Nekaj opazk k migrantski krizi (II.) – kje je odločnost v odločilnem času?

Ko sem pred dvema tednoma objavil prvi del svojih opazk k t. i. migrantski krizi, sem načrtoval naslednji zapis začeti tam, kjer sem bil končal in nadaljevati z analizo vloge medijev ter širših vidikov evropske krize identitete in vprašanj migracijske politike. Ker pa se je položaj vmes korenito zaostril in Slovenija pravkar nosi glavno breme množičnega eksodusa iz bližnjega Vzhoda, gre komentar trenutni situaciji oziroma akutni politični krizi, v kateri se je bila znašla Evropska unija. Trenutek to zahteva, medtem ko bo za širše razprave brez dvoma še dovolj časa.

Kot sem izpostavil že v prejšnjem zapisu, je naravnost strašljivo, kako je migrantska kriza – ki sicer nedvomno predstavlja zelo velik izziv – do obisti razgalila klavrno stanje evropskega projekta, ki je očitno povsem zašel v slepo ulico. Ne le, da Evropska unija ne deluje, kot bi morala delovati prava unija. Danes se zdi, kot da sploh ne obstaja. Njene težave so nam bile dobro znane že prej, a najbrž si je le redko kdo mislil, da bo že malce večji sunek, ki pa ga kljub njegovi resnosti nikakor (še) ne gre obravnavati kot katastrofo, ne le zamajal evropski projekt, temveč tudi postavil pod vprašaj njegov nadaljnji razvoj.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Tematski izbor – migrantska kriza

Namesto z običajnim tedenskim izborom se po daljšem premoru vračamo z izborom zapisov, ki se tako ali drugače dotikajo t. i. migrantske krize – teme, ki zadnje mesece stoji v ospredju in se je neposredno dotaknila tudi Slovenije. V skladu z duhom pluralizma, na katerem je utemeljen naš portal, se izbrani teksti problema lotevajo iz različnih zornih kotov. Spričo njegove kompleksnosti, večplastnosti in širine smo namenoma vključili tudi premisleke, ki ne izhajajo iz konservativnih oziroma „desnih“ pozicij.

Pri izboru pa smo se držali dveh kriterijev. Prvič: zavestno smo izbrali tekste, ki so tako ali drugače odstopali od v zadnjih mesecih prevladujoče medijske naracije, ki se je pogosto nevarno približevala propagandi enoumja. Takšne torej, ki vsebuejo bodisi bolj poglobljene premisleke, bodisi originalnejše, v primeru nekaterih pa tudi provokativnejše poglede. Drugič: omejili smo se na  zapise, ki k problemu pristopajo na razumen način. Če si delno izposodimo formulacijo časopisa Domovina, to pomeni, da smo izključili radikalna stališča iz obeh strani ideološke premice – tako tista, ki v migrantih vidijo le grožnjo oziroma priročen cilj za usmerjanje gneva, kot tudi tista, ki utopično govorijo o svetu brez meja, institucionalnega reda in nadzora ter migrante pri tem izrabljajo kot priročno orodje za širjenje lastnih ideologij.

Continue reading

Tedenski izbor


branje5

Someone please tell me if my progression here is inaccurate in any way:

1) Family owners of small-town Indiana pizzeria spend zero time or energy commenting on gay issues.

2) TV reporter from South Bend walks inside the pizzeria to ask the owners what they think of the controversial Religious Restoration Freedom Act. Owner Crystal O’Connor responds, “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding, we would have to say no….We are a Christian establishment.” O’Connor also says—actually promises is the characterization here—that the establishment will continue to serve any gay or non-Christian person that walks through their door.

3) The Internet explodes with insults directed at the O’Connor family and its business, including a high school girls golf coach in Indiana who tweets “Who’s going to Walkerton, IN to burn down #memoriespizza w me?” Many of the enraged critics assert, inaccurately, that Memories Pizza discriminates against gay customers.

4) In the face of the backlash, the O’Connors close the pizzeria temporarily, and say they may never reopen, and in fact might leave the state. “I don’t know if we will reopen, or if we can, if it’s safe to reopen,” Crystal O’Connor tells The Blaze. “I’m just a little guy who had a little business that I probably don’t have anymore,” Kevin O’Connor tells the L.A. Times.

Rod Dreher titles his useful post on this grotesque affair “Into the Christian Closet,” and it’s apt considering the progression above. If only these non-activist restaurateurs had simply kept their views to themselves when asked by a reporter, April Fool’s would have been like any other day for them.

But as it stands, they’re now being trashed not just by social-justice mobs from afar, but by powerful politicians where they live and work. Democratic State Sen. Jim Arnold represents the O’Connors’s district.

Burn Her! – Matt Welch, Reason

Continue reading

Tedenski izbor

branje1

What must one take for granted in order for same-sex marriage to be intelligible? (This is not a question about the motives or beliefs—which can seem quite humane—of those who support same-sex marriage.) It is commonly argued that marriage is no longer principally about the procreation and the rearing of children but that it centers instead on the companionship of the couple and the building of a household. The courts have repeatedly accepted this reasoning. And yet, if same-sex marriage is to be truly equal to natural marriage in the eyes of society and the law, then all the rights and privileges of marriage—including those involving the procreation and rearing of children—must in principle belong to both kinds of marriage, irrespective of the motives impelling a couple toward marriage or whether, once married, they exercise these rights and privileges.

With same-sex couples this can be achieved only by technological means. And so the case for companionate marriage has been supplemented again and again by the argument that we must endorse reproductive technologies that eliminate any relevant difference between a male–female couple and a same-sex couple. This elevates these technologies from a remedy for infertility, what they principally have been, to a normative form of reproduction equivalent and perhaps even superior to natural procreation. But if there is no meaningful difference between a male–female couple conceiving a child naturally and same-sex couples conceiving children through surrogates and various technological means, then it follows that nothing of ontological significance attaches to natural motherhood and fatherhood or to having a father and a mother. These roles and relations are not fundamentally natural phenomena integral to human identity and social welfare but are mere accidents of biology overlaid with social conventions that can be replaced by functionally equivalent roles without loss. The implications are enormousexistential changes to the relation between kinship and personal identity, legal redefinitions of the relation between natural kinship and parental rights, and practical, biotechnical innovations that are only beginning to emerge into view and will be defended as necessary for a liberal society.

(…)

Whether this is the logical outworking of the metaphysical and anthropological premises of liberalism or a radically new thing (…), it marks a point of no return in American public philosophy. And it effectively brings the civic project of American Christianity to an end.

The Civil Project of American Christianity – Micheal Hanby, First Things

  Continue reading

Tedenski izbor

branjevka

Everybody who is on the Internet is subject to insult, trolling, hating and cruelty. Most of these online assaults are dominance plays. They are attempts by the insulter to assert his or her own superior status through displays of gratuitous cruelty toward a target.

(…)

Clearly, the best way to respond is to step out of the game.

(…)

Historically, we reserve special admiration for those who can quiet the self even in the heat of conflict. Abraham Lincoln was caught in the middle of a horrific civil war. It would have been natural for him to live with his instincts aflame — filled with indignation toward those who started the war, enmity toward those who killed his men and who would end up killing him. But his second inaugural is a masterpiece of rising above the natural urge toward animosity and instead adopting an elevated stance.

Conflict and Ego – David Brooks, The New York Times

***

Tehnologija nam je omogočila, da stojimo sredi dvorane zrcal in povsod vidimo samo sebe. V resnici pa nas internetni algoritmi delajo osamljene in nevarne, ker večajo naš narcisizem s tem, da odstranijo ves svet, ki ni kot mi. Okrepijo lastnosti, ki jih imamo. In ker se v osami in anonimnosti interneta prej pokažejo slabe lastnosti, okrepijo njih.

Drugačno mnenje je šok. V svetu, ki je ves kot jaz, nenadoma zagledamo košček nejaza in srd je strahoten, treba ga je odstraniti, takoj! Grožnje in trolanje postajajo norma. Sodobna komunikacija ni več pogovor, marveč je postala eksorcizem.

Dvorana zrcal – Miha Mazzini, Siol.net

***

There’s much to the view of Punxsutawney as purgatory: Connors goes to his own version of hell, but since he’s not evil it turns out to be purgatory, from which he is released by shedding his selfishness and committing to acts of love.

(…)

Ultimately, the story is one of redemption, so it should surprise no one that it speaks to those in search of the same. But there is also a secular, even conservative, point to be made here. Connors’s metamorphosis contradicts almost everything postmodernity teaches. He doesn’t find paradise or liberation by becoming more “authentic,” by acting on his whims and urges and listening to his inner voices. That behavior is soul-killing. He does exactly the opposite: He learns to appreciate the crowd, the community, even the bourgeois hicks and their values. He determines to make himself better by reading poetry and the classics and by learning to sculpt ice and make music, and most of all by shedding his ironic detachment from the world.

A Movie for All Time. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, Growdhog Day Scores – Jonah Goldberg, National Review

 ***

For conservatism is about national identity. It is only in the context of a first-person plural that the questions – economic questions included – make sense, or open themselves to democratic argument.

Such was the idea that Edmund Burke tried to spell out 200 years ago. (…) Political wisdom, Burke argued, is not contained in a single head. It does not reside in the plans and schemes of the political class, and can never be reduced to a system. It resides in the social organism as a whole, in the myriad small compromises, in the local negotiations and trusts, through which people adjust to the presence of their neighbours and co-operate in safeguarding what they share. People must be free to associate, to form “little platoons”, to dispose of their labour, their property and their affections, according to their own desires and needs.

But no freedom is absolute, and all must be qualified for the common good. Until subject to a rule of law, freedom is merely “the dust and powder of individuality”. But a rule of law requires a shared allegiance, by which people entrust their collective destiny to sovereign institutions that can speak and decide in their name. This shared allegiance is not, as Rousseau and others argued, a contract among the living. It is a partnership between the living, the unborn and the dead

(…)

In other matters, too, it is not the economic cost that concerns the conservative voter but the nation and our attachment to it. Not understanding this, the government has embarked on a politically disastrous environmental programme. For two centuries the English countryside has been an icon of national identity and the loved reminder of our island home. Yet the government is bent on littering the hills with wind turbines and the valleys with high speed railways. Conservative voters tend to believe that the “climate change” agenda has been foisted upon us by an unaccountable lobby of politicised intellectuals. But the government has yet to agree with them, and meanwhile is prepared to sacrifice the landscape if that helps to keep the lobbyists quiet.

Identity, family, marriage: our core conservative values have been betrayed – Roger Scruton, The Guardian

***

I write because I am one of many children with gay parents who believe we should protect marriage. I believe you were right when, during the Proposition 8 deliberations, you said “the voice of those children [of same-sex parents] is important.” I’d like to explain why I think redefining marriage would actually serve to strip these children of their most fundamental rights.

(…)

The definition of marriage should have nothing to do with lessening emotional suffering within the homosexual community. If the Supreme Court were able to make rulings to affect feelings, racism would have ended fifty years ago. Nor is this issue primarily about the florist, the baker, or the candlestick-maker, though the very real impact on those private citizens is well-publicized. The Supreme Court has no business involving itself in romance or interpersonal relationships. I hope very much that your ruling in June will be devoid of any such consideration.

Dear Justice Kennedy: An Open Letter from a Child of a Loving Gay Parent – Katy Faust, Public Discourse

Continue reading

Tedenski izbor

reading-hipster

Ali, dragi levičarji, razumete perverzijo, ki se dogaja na Mladini? Ta tednik ni proti privatizaciji, ker sovraži Janšo, ni proti privatizaciji zato, ker so partizani umirali za našo svobodo in slovenski jezik, niti ni proti privatizaciji, ker ne prenese kapitalizma, proti je zaradi tega, ker je proti njihov lastnik, politično upravljani zmazek, imenovan NLB! S tega vidika je enačba Mladina = politično upravljana NLB = interesne skupine, ki so penetrirale v vlado, najlepši model za opisovanje motivov Mladine.

Kako kazino kapitalizem hrani Mladino – Kizo, Portal Plus

***

Oblast govori o reševanju krize, hkrati pa zaradi socialnega miru marginalizira in v tujino izganja sodobnemu svetu najbolje prilagojen del prebivalstva.

Namesto da smo “mladi” in naivno čakamo, da se “postaramo” – ali pa pristanemo na izgon možganov – se že enkrat opredelimo in politično organizirajmo kot generacija. In sporočimo – dovolj, tudi mi si zaslužimo enake priložnosti. Zaslužimo in izboriti si moramo generacijsko neodvisnost; torej sposobnost sprejemanja lastnih odločitev kot posledice vsaj približne premoženjske neodvisnosti. Naša moralna odgovornost v prvi vrsti ni in ne sme biti do staršev in starih staršev, ampak do lastnih partnerjev in – morda ravno zaradi katastrofalne socialne situacije nerojenih in zato povsem neupoštevanih – otrok. Socialna država je super; ampak veljati mora v istih ključnih točkah za vse, ali pa je ni.

Odj**ite že s temi mladimi – Davor Hafnar, Torek ob petih

Continue reading

Tedenski izbor

FolioCarols

Če nič od tega ne bo razkritega, pričakujemo vsaj en pošten medijski umor Bojana Petana. Saj veste, Dnevnik je v tej panogi v samem svetovnem vrhu. Dajte jim Dalajlamo pa kak teden dni časa in iz njega bodo naredili mešanico Al Capona, Radovana Karadžića ter Bernarda Madoffa. Njihova prepričljivost, angažiranost in posvečenost medijskim umorom je tako iskrena in silna, da jim je za to res potrebno dati posebno priznanje. Nobena novica za Dnevnik ni tako pozitivna, da iz nje ne bi mogli narediti negativnega spina in nobena informacija ni tako kredibilna, da je ne bi mogli popolnoma relativizirati. Zato vas, sužnje Petana, najlepše prosim, da raztrgate svoje okove in temu trpečemu narodu omogočite vsaj en pošten (čeprav ojdipovski) resničnostni šov letos, in sicer “Dnevnik uniči svojega gospodarja”.

Končno! Vukovićeva in Ranka bosta v Dnevniku raztrgali lastnika Petana! – Kizo, Portal Plus

***

By running on a single issue, anticorruption candidates often avoid taking positions on the long list of problems their countries face: stagnant economies, a need for foreign investment, a lackluster civil service. And getting things done often requires knowing how to deal with the people and practices of a corrupt system.

In Slovenia, for instance, Cerar has already faced two serious obstacles in his fight to eliminate corruption. First, many of his nominees to high positions in his new government come from the political establishment he campaigned against. This raises serious doubts about the credibility of Cerar’s electoral promises. Second, a majority of legal institutions continue to do a poor job of upholding the rule of law. The Slovenian judiciary, for example, remains among the least trusted institutions in Slovenia. In a recent high-profile case, the Ljubljana county court sentenced Janez Jansa, the leader of the main opposition party, to two years in prison for accepting bribes in a public procurement case. According to a former justice of the country’s constitutional court, the case was based on insufficient, largely circumstantial evidence. But with the backing of Cerar’s own party, Jansa was also stripped of his seat in parliament, underscoring the political nature of the prosecution and suggesting that Cerar might not be as independent as voters believed him to be.

Put simply, eliminating corruption is difficult, if not nearly impossible—especially from the outside. Yet eastern Europeans hope for deliverance. In Romania, Slovenia, and Ukraine, a silent majority has rejected right-wing nationalists in favor of unassuming, pro-European reformers. Liberal-minded parties throughout eastern Europe should take note and seek renewal themselves, drawing to their ranks antiestablishment outsiders with moral backbone.

 The Eastern European Spring. Voters Tilt Toward Pro-EU, Anti-Corruption Candidates – Mitchell A. Orenstein, Bojan Bugarič, Foreign Affairs

Continue reading

Kaj je pravzaprav konzervativizem?

Na internetnem portalu Kritika konservativna se je v zadnjem času začela krvavo potrebna resna razprava o konservatizmu, liberalizmu in njunem medsebojnem razmerju. Ta razprava je v Slovenijo prišla z vsaj polstoletno zamudo, saj naš prostor, kot je v svojem spisu ugotovil že pisec Barbarossa, pravega konservatizma doslej sploh še ni recipiral. Na njegov kritični esej o razlikah med liberalizmom in konservatizmom sej je elokventno odzval pisec Bertl, ki se prišteva h klasični liberalni tradiciji ter trdi, da »sta konservativnost in liberalizem nekaj povsem skladnega«. Ker se kot konservativec s to trditvijo ne morem strinjati, sem se odločil, da se tudi sam vključim v debato in poskušam podati svoj pogled na razmerja med »nelagodnima bratrancema«, kot je liberalizem in konservatizem nekoč označil ameriški sociolog Robert Nisbet. Pri tem mi bodo kot opora za razpravo služile nekatere Bertlove trditve, ki jih bom kritično komentiral.

Continue reading

Tedenski izbor

reading2

 

Mass clientelism, Fukuyama writes, is different from outright corruption. It creates a primitive (but economically highly damaging) form of democratic accountability. Citizens, after all, can say that they’ll only keep casting their ballot for a politician who actually delivers that plum job in Athens.

Fukuyama argues that the real division in Europe is not between a disciplined, hard-working north and a dolce far niente south, or between countries with generous welfare states and those harder on the needy. The real opposition is between what he calls a clientelistic Europe and a nonclientelistic Europe.

Francis Fukuyama’s ‘Political Order and Political Decay’ – Jan-Werner Mueller, The Irish Times

***

Miti so vsegliharska poceni promocija različnih interesnih grupacij, ki se prolongirajo z mediji samo zaradi tega, ker obstoj mitov garantira donos. Če ne bi bilo mita o zlati dobi Janeza Drnovška, bi se slovenska levica referirala zgolj na Tita, kar pa je slaba popotnica za zajemanje sredinskega volilnega telesa. Če ne bi obstajal mit o racionalnosti in progresivnosti levice, bi se levičarji razgalili kot vsebinsko prazni blebetači, požrtni hohštaplerji, homofobi in odurni nacionalisti. Če ne bi bilo mita o reformatorski desnici, bi desnica morala sama reformirati. To so slovenske kosovske bitke.

Trije najbolj odurni miti o slovenski politiki in ekonomiji – Kizo, Portalplus

***

Bergant, Starič, druščina, dobro jutro. Pred dobrim letom je bil vaš kolega na TV Slovenija suspendiran, ker je povedal, da Bratuškova v svojem govoru v Mariboru ni povedala nič. Takrat neke velike zaskrbljenosti glede kratenja novinarske svobode niste pokazali. Je mogoče zdaj, ko je njeno vsebinsko praznost uradno potrdila tudi Evropa, trenutek za katarzo? Boste na odgovornost pozvali odgovorno urednico, ki je odgovorna za tisto? In še pomembneje, boste končno odložili rožnata očala in pogledali svet v njegovih pravih barvah? Je mogoče bruseljska blamaža Bratuškove priložnost, da postanete neodvisna, nepri­stranska in neobrzdana četrta veja oblasti in se resno lotite resnih zgodb?

Levo. Priden. Piškotek – Blaž Vodopivec, Finance

***

Seveda niso vsi novinarji neprofesionalni, manipulativni, kupljeni, pokvarjeni ali preprosto butasti. O številnih bi lahko napisal veliko pohvalnega. Toda večina teh ob vsem skupaj tiho gleda stran in se ne zgane. Čeprav splošno nezaupanje v medije, ki ga opisane slabe prakse povzročajo, najbolj škodi prav tistim, ki odstopajo od povprečja.

(…)
Tako kot niso vsi novinarji slabi, tudi vsi mediji niso enako neprofesionalni ali manipulativni. Nikakor pa zapisano ne velja samo za tiste, ki jim običajno pravimo levičarski ali dominantni mediji. Če uporabim duhovito domislico Blaža Vodopivca, piškotke za novinarje pečejo tako na levici kot na desnici in tudi v zasebnem sektorju. Sam zato za medije in roke, ki jih hranijo, že nekaj časa uporabljam izraz “krotilci javnega mnenja”

Sedem razlogov, zakaj bi morali novinarji razkriti svoje vire – Janez Šušteršič, Planet Siol

***

Ker se torej vračamo tja, od koder smo prišli, pravzaprav z dvojno plebiscitarno večino pobegnili, javna intelektualna vest narekuje, da je nekaj treba storiti. V nasprotju z Lukacsem menim, da alternative niso samomor, dekadenca in revolucija, temveč aktivna, javno-intelektualna državljanska zavzetost za evropsko Slovenijo. Pri čemer se je treba zavedati, da tu ne gre za ad hoc politični, ekonomski ali katerikoli kratkoročni interesni izziv, temveč za jedrno civilizacijsko vprašanje o tem, kakšna družba ali država bomo. Oblikovati je treba široko, vključujočo koalicijo razmišljujočih ljudi, zares vseh, »ki dobro v srcu mislijo«, da bodo s svojim delom in imenom aktivno branili tisti vrednostni civilizacijski minimum, ki nam ga zapoveduje slovenska ustava. Demokratično in pravno, ekonomsko odprto in socialno prijazno slovensko državo, utemeljeno na človekovem dostojanstvu, zasidrano v vsebinskem liberalizmu, ki naj nas popelje v svetovljansko smer zahodnega sveta, ne pa v provincialno samozadostnost semidespotskih režimov na obronku Evrope.

Samomor, dekadenca ali revolucija – Matej Avbelj, Časnik

***

Zakaj imamo torej takšne težave z zavračanjem smejočih županov, ki so v resnici navadni kriminalci? Zakaj vsi po malem goljufamo in utajujemo davke? Zakaj imamo problem s sprejemanjem lastne države in spoštovanjem njenih institucij? Zakaj dvomimo v pravno državo in enakost pred zakonom, zakaj smo prepričani, da sta klientelizem in korupcija osrednja problema naše državljanske eksistence?

Odgovori se skrivajo v intimnem dojemanju države kot slabe, nepravične in nefunkcionalne. Umanjkanje normativne integracije se stopnjuje do tiste skrajnosti, onkraj katere je prostor za vse in kjer je tudi dovoljeno vse. To je tisti pravi Balkan, katerega smo ponotranjili približno tako, kot so naši politični zaporniki in pošteni župani obtoženca Josipa Broza Tita, ki se je v bombaškem procesu leta 1928 drl iz zatožni klopi: »Ne priznajem buržoaski sud, jer se smatram odgovornim samo svojoj komunističkoj partiji!«

Banditi, Balkanci, titoisti – Dejan Steinbuch, Finance

***

Most of Mrs Merkel’s predecessors stood for at least one big, controversial project. Konrad Adenauer after 1949 bound the new republic to the West at the cost of making reunification seem impossible. Willy Brandt recognised East Germany. Helmut Schmidt allowed American Pershing missiles in West Germany to deter a Soviet attack. Helmut Kohl made the Germans give up the D-mark for the euro. Gerhard Schröder liberalised the labour market.

Nobody in Germany today considers Angela Merkel capable of a similar level of leadership. Her power is immense but mainly potential. “She has not tried out how much power she has. For that she would have to dare to do something, to go against polls and the Zeitgeist,” concludes Mr Kurbjuweit. “In a certain way, Merkel is thus a powerless chancellor.” She uses her power to block, not to promote. It is power amassed but unused. If she goes on this way, that will be her main legacy.

Sedating, not leading – The Economist

***

Russia has attempted to involve Poland in the invasion of Ukraine, just as if it were a post-modern re-run of the historic partitions of Poland. “He wanted us to become participants in this partition of Ukraine,” says Sikorski. “Putin wants Poland to commit troops to Ukraine. These were the signals they sent us. … We have known how they think for years. We have known this is what they think for years. This was one of the first things that Putin said to my prime minister, Donald Tusk, [soon to be President of the European Council] when he visited Moscow. He went on to say Ukraine is an artificial country and that Lwow is a Polish city and why don’t we just sort it out together. Luckily Tusk didn’t answer. He knew he was being recorded.”

Putin’s Coup – Ben Judah, Politico Magazine

***

Kiev feels like a Russian city, architecturally and linguistically. Check into a hotel, signal a waiter, enter a shop, and chances are you will be addressed in Russian. Television talk shows are bilingual — guests speak the language in which they are most comfortable. Taxi drivers still listen to “Russky Chanson,” Russian prison ballads that are something of a cross between gangsta rap and country and western music.

But recent months brought subtle changes. The young consider speaking Ukrainian cool. Some older Ukrainians have adopted the attitude that Russia does not own the culture.

“Some of my friends think that real patriots of Ukraine should not speak Russian because they are enemies,” said Irina Bekeshkina, a sociologist who specializes in political polling. “Why should we identify Putin with the Russian language? Russian language and culture has been around a lot longer than Putin.”

Conflict Uncovers a Ukrainian Identity Crisis Over Deep Russian Roots – Neil McFarquhar, The New York Times

***

I wrote a piece for the New Republic soon afterward about the Obamacon phenomenon—prominent conservatives and Republicans who were openly supporting Obama. Many saw in him a classic conservative temperament: someone who avoided lofty rhetoric, an ambitious agenda, and a Utopian vision that would conflict with human nature, real-world barriers to radical reform, and the American system of government. (…)

In my opinion, Obama has governed as a moderate conservative—essentially as what used to be called a liberal Republican before all such people disappeared from the GOP. He has been conservative to exactly the same degree that Richard Nixon basically governed as a moderate liberal, something no conservative would deny today. (Ultra-leftist Noam Chomsky recently called Nixon “the last liberal president.”)

Obama Is a Republican: He’s the Heir to Richard Nixon, Not Saul Alinsky – Bruce Bartlett, The American Conservative

***

Vatican II sought to respond to the changing circumstances of modernity.  Council Fathers wanted to discover how the Holy Spirit was moving the Church to present the teachings of her faith to a new world.  The Council Fathers sought to discover how to follow Our Lord’s great commission to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Mt. 28:19) in the cultures of modernity.  The attempts by the Council Fathers to answer these questions and to present the fruits of their deliberations, however, were hindered by a media contingent attempting to explain the conciliar debates in terms alien to the council and divorced from a deeply historical and nuanced understanding of the faith.  Thus, many misleading and false interpretations of council spread quickly. If nothing else, it allowed for the so-called “hermeneutic of rupture,” which saw Vatican II as a clear split with the tradition of the faith, to survive and take root. Those who were not already well catechized and firm in their faith were unable to differentiate the true faith from that presented to them by a largely secular media.

The Dangers of Transparency – John Macias, Ethika Politika

***

One exception to the generally positive religion-marriage link is Latin America, as the figure above indicates. In many countries in this region, cohabitation, single parenthood, and family instability are high, according to data from the World Family Map. And, yet, so too are forms of the Catholic and Protestant faith. Marriage is comparatively weak, and religion is comparatively strong, in countries like Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador. In these countries, religious faith may be a lifeline for women, children, and families in communities where the family is weak and poverty is common, places where—as political scientists Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart have argued—“existential insecurity” is high.

So, perhaps it’s no accident that Pope Francis has been making waves with his untraditional approach to tackling the issue of marriage. He may be less likely to associate strong families with strong faith, and more likely to see the ways in which religious faith can be a balm for fragile families. After all, in Francis’s native Latin America, the ties between hearth and altar are attenuated at best.

Religion and Family around the Globe – Bradford Wilcox, First Things

***

The central message, after all, of the New Atheism — the message that divides it from earlier forms of skepticism — is that it’s perfectly obvious that God and the supernatural don’t exist, and the only reason you might think otherwise is because you’re either a fool or a charlatan. Dawkins doesn’t know theology and is proud he doesn’t; P.Z. Meyers will happily tell you that the religious emperor obviously has no clothes, and any argument to the contrary is merely the courtier’s reply. It’s obvious, they’ll tell you, that the supernatural doesn’t exist, because science hasn’t found it, and we know that science is the only valid method of inquiry, because the supernatural doesn’t exist.

Duh. Obviously.

The mix of self-congratulation and playground taunts that defines the movement is, in essence, merely the flipside of the defining characteristic of religious fundamentalism: a refusal to acknowledge the intellectual experiences of others. Never mind that plenty of thoughtful, sincere people believe in God due to varying mixes of personal experience and ontological argument; it’s just so obvious that scientific rationalism is the only valid means of interpreting the world that the experiences of others can simply be dismissed out of hand.

Rape Culture, Fundamentalism, and the New Atheism – Luke T. Harrington, Presbylutheranism

***

Italijanski filozof Gianni Vatimo razume današnji čas kot »mnoštvo«. S tem hoče povedati, da se sodobni človek ne počuti več povsem vključenega v delo institucij, ki so se oblikovale v 19. in 20. stoletju. Korporativni model, kjer je vsaka panoga ali skupina reprezentirana s strani višjih, ponekod javnih institucij, danes ne deluje več tako organsko kot nekoč. Zato se v sodobnem mnoštvu nenehno rojevajo nove in nove oblike združevanja in delovanja, ki hočejo iz posameznikov ustvarjati javno: pobude, društva, zadruge, kolektive, gibanja, iniciative … Vendar ta združevanja, čeprav izhajajo iz zasebne pobude (s strani posameznikov ali skupin), niso nujno usmerjena le v zasebno dobrobit, temveč želijo doseči neko javno dobro.

Ta premik se je zgodil v vseh segmentih družbe, vendar je najrazločneje opazen prav na področju kulture. Zanjo ne moremo več reči, da je najboljše, najsodobnejše, najkvalitetnejše zaobseženo v javnih ustanovah. Konkretno: ne moremo reči, da so vsi interesi ustvarjalcev in odjemalcev kulture zaobseženi znotraj tradicionalnih kulturnih institucij, kot so kulturni domovi, knjižnice in gledališča. Mesta, ki so znana po svojem živahnem kulturnem življenju, to še dodatno dokazujejo. Berlin, Praga, Krakov, Varšava, Gradec, Gent, pa tudi Pordenone ali Ljubljana ne uživajo ugleda zanimivih in živahnih kulturnih središč zaradi svojih javnih kulturnih zavodov, pač pa ravno zaradi omogočanja spodbud od spodaj, da kulturna združenja bolj optimalno delujejo in s tem ustvarjajo svojo razpoznavnost.

Goriški kulturi naproti – Miha Kosolel, Anja Medved, Gorazd Božič, Goriška.si