Tedenski izbor

Today the French celebrate the 226th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, the date usually recognized as the beginning of the French Revolution. What should libertarians (or classical liberals) think of the French Revolution?

The Chinese premier Zhou Enlai is famously (but apparently inaccurately) quoted as saying, “It is too soon to tell.” I like to draw on the wisdom of another mid-20th-century thinker, Henny Youngman, who when asked “How’s your wife?” answered, “Compared to what?” Compared to the American Revolution, the French Revolution is very disappointing to libertarians. Compared to the Russian Revolution, it looks pretty good. And it also looks good, at least in the long view, compared to the ancien regime that preceded it.

The French Revolution and Modern Liberty – David Boaz, Cato at Liberty

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Če nam ekonomija ne more napovedati, kaj se bo zgodilo, zakaj pa je potem sploh dobra?
“Ekonomija je dobra za modrost, ampak modrost bolj grobe vrste. Ekonomija daje grobe nasvete. Denimo na ravni makroekonomije, da ni dobro ustvariti takšnega poslovnega okolja, kjer bo vse nepredvidljivo. Ali pa da ne sprejemajmo delovnih zakonov, zaradi katerih je za mlade nemogoče, da bi dobili službo neverjetno, koliko ljudem to še zmeraj ni jasno. Tako pa po vsej Evropi zakoni, ki ščitijo starejše, onemogočajo mlajše. A ne nazadnje so starejši tisti, ki hodijo na volitve, mladi pa ne. Francoski klasični ekonomist Frédéric Bastiat je govoril o vidnem in o nevidnem. Naloga nas ekonomistov je, da ljudi opozarjamo na nevidno. Žal pa obstaja veliko ekonomistov, ki ekonomije ne poznajo prav dobro.”

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We have evolved a political debate where essentially nationalistic concerns have been hiding behind the gentler cloak of egalitarianism. To clear up this confusion, one recommendation would be to preface all discussions of inequality with a reminder that global inequality has been falling and that, in this regard, the world is headed in a fundamentally better direction.

Income Inequality is Not Rising Globally, It’s Falling. – Tyler Cowen, The New York Times

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The Greek crisis provides a look into what awaits us unless we stop overspending on warfare and welfare and restore a sound monetary system. While most commentators have focused on Greece’s welfare state, much of Greece’s deficit was caused by excessive military spending. Even as its economy collapses and the government makes (minor) cuts in welfare spending, Greece’s military budget remains among the largest in the European Union.

Greece Today, America Tomorrow? – Ron Paul, The Ron Paul Institute

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V Atenah sem že peti dan in priznam, še zmeraj nisem našel ta trenutek najbolj razvpitega mitološkega bitja – “lenega Grka”.

Dnevnik iz Aten: Mitološko bitje – leni Grk – Jure Stojan, Večer

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Poverty-Porn is the tactic of media and charities that uses sympathy as a catalyst for monetary gain, exploiting the poor and uneducated, to showcase desperate conditions for an emotional response. And while the tactic may be effective at heightening profits—by misrepresenting an entire continent as slum—the fate of an entire continent is stamped with pity. What this means is that outside of Africa, Africans are expected to look up.

Africans are fighting media poverty-porn by tweeting beautiful images of their real lives – Tyler Fyfe, The Plaid Zebra

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Interest rates that once were high and promised stable, good future returns tumble down and stop very close to the zero mark. The rate of inflation, which is being used to show how much more expensive daily life will be in the future, is at the moment even higher than average bank account interest rates. In Germany in February 2015 the average inflation rate was 2,2 %, while interest rates were only a measly 0,8 %. This basically means that your bank money is not going generate enough returns to compensate for the rising costs of living.

How the EU punishes savers – Fabian Sauter, European Students for Liberty

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Those who love liberty and economic growth and opportunity have been for many years seeking private solutions to get around the abuses by government of its monopoly money. The most promising technology for the individual to free himself from the government monetary shackles has been the development of bitcoin, which allows largely anonymous transactions from peer to peer, without going through the banking system. Those in government hate the idea of bitcoin and its newer competitors because it largely destroys their global power to monitor and extract tribute from transfers of goods and services, and wealth.

Immutable money – Richard W. Rahn, The Washington Times

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Interestingly, Mussolini found much of John Maynard Keynes’seconomic theories consistent with fascism, writing: “Fascism entirely agrees with Mr. Maynard Keynes, despite the latter’s prominent position as a Liberal. In fact, Mr. Keynes’ excellent little book, The End of Laissez-Faire (l926) might, so far as it goes, serve as a useful introduction to fascist economics. There is scarcely anything to object to in it and there is much to applaud.”

The Socialist Economics of Italian Fascism – Lawrence K. Samuels, Library of Economics and Liberty

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Since the post-World War II era, movement conservatives have focused so much on an intrusive state that they have overlooked the other side of the coin. Early twentieth-century Catholic thinkers such as G.K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc clearly recognized the danger to mediating institutions such as the church and the family posed by the intrusions of both the state and vast impersonal corporations.

Corporate America: A Friend of the Family? – Gillis Harp, Crisis Magazine

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Until the Second World War, Russia had never really managed to dominate the area behind the Carpathian Mountains. Thus aside from the Cold War period it is difficult to find much in common among the Visegrad nations in their historical experience with Russia. Clearly the S4 format, with its common Habsburgian past, could serve as a potential integrating factor, especially taking into account that Austria has long ago ceased to be an imperial power.

What Makes the Visegrad Group so Geopolitically Fragile? – Adam Klus, New Eastern Europe

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Mnogi bi sicer trdili, da je Slovenija še premalo centralizirana, saj v njej deluje nepregledno število občin, ki upravljajo z denarjem in območjem brez kakršnekoli kontrole. To, da imajo občine v Sloveniji pri marsičem daleč prevelika pooblastila – predvsem na področju prostorske politike –, je jasno. Vendar je reševanje tega problema s še večjo državno centralizacijo popolnoma napačen pristop. Dejstvo je namreč, da sta trenutna oblika in funkcija občin ravno posledica centralizacije.

Živeti tam nekje – Miha Kosovel, Novi glas

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Danes vsako omenjanje razlik med posamezniki, narodi, rasami, kulturami velja za politično nekorektno. V bistvu gre za hinavščino, kamufliranje resničnosti, siromašenje jezika in s tem tudi misli. Zakaj beseda belec ni žaljiva, črnec pa je? Črnec, ki ga v ZDA imenujejo z menda politično nevtralno besedo Afroameričan, ni zato nič manj črn in segregiran. Da je paradoks še večji, ima za mnoge beseda Afroameričan isti pomen kot črnec.

Teror politične korektnosti – Jožica Grgič, Delo

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Es sind nicht viele Studenten, die den Mut aufbringen, das zu hinterfragen, was ihre Dozenten als herrschende Lehre vorsetzen, wo eigentlich Freiheit der Lehre herrschen soll. Nicht nur an der TU Berlin auch an anderen Universitäten wollen Lehrkräfte ihren Studenten Gendern als Doktrin verordnen.

Studenten dürfen nicht zum Gendern gezwungen werden – Die Freie Welt

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Ko mi danes kak anketar natrosi, da so študentje in izobraženci večinoma levo (beri: neo-marksistično) usmerjeni, ter namiguje, da je leva opcija tista prava, že zato, ker ima intelektualce na svoji strani, se kot kak balkanski čiča namrdnem in rečem: „Ima pametnih, ima glupih, a ima i intelektualaca.“

Marksizem ali razkošje, da me ni (več) zraven – Branko Cestnik, Časnik

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Professional race hustlers have no incentive to see our current civil war end. They see in this shooting only an opportunity to escalate their demands.

Now there are rumblings of demands that statues of Robert E. Lee and other Southern leaders be destroyed — and if that is done, it will only lead to new demands, perhaps to destroy the Jefferson Memorial because Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. And if that is done, no doubt there will be demands that the city of Washington be renamed, for the same reason.

Is the Civil War Over? – Thomas Sowell, The New American

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Barks created a wealth of economic lessons through fables that are still enjoyed around the globe today.

(…)

Donald and the rest of the country quit their jobs and set off to “see the world.” Meanwhile, Scrooge and the boys continue to labor on their farm. With no one else working and nothing being produced, Donald and the rest of the world come straggling back. Scrooge is happy to feed them — at new market prices. Eggs are a million dollars apiece, cabbage is two million, and ham is a bargain at a cool trillion. With each purchase, the money from Scrooge’s corn crib trickles back and he becomes, yet again, the richest duck in the world.

With another “helicopter” scenario, we see the inflationary effects of a massive injection of money. We also get a glimpse into many aspects of wealth — how it is created, how it is maintained, and what happens when we redistribute in ways that are not related to market performance. Barks knew he was creating a morality tale of capitalism, admitting, “I’m sure the lesson I preached in this story of easy riches will get me in a cell in a Siberian gulag someday.”

Lessons from the Richest Duck in the World – Robert Anthony Peters, the Freeman

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Tedenski izbor

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Ni problem idejna sorodnost nekaterih političnih strank in Cerkve. Taka sorodnost je dobrodošla. Tudi ni problem, če Cerkev kdaj nakaže, katera stranka ji je po krščanskih etičnih merilih in družbenem nauku bližja. Na tem mestu bi celo predlagal, da bi se kdaj kak organ pri SŠK, denimo Komisija za pravičnost in mir, oglasil z (pol)uradno (a nezavezujočo) oceno strankarskih programov jasno in glasno imenovavši stranke – pa naj „cerkvena učiteljica“ Ranka Ivelja še tako zavija z očmi. Bolje jasno povedana beseda nad pultom kot šepetajoča hipnoza volivca pod pultom.
Problem je, ko politično poškoduje eklezialno. Ko politika v cerkveno občestvo vnese svoje kriterije razločevanja, kdo je in kdo ni na pravi poti. Naj ponazorim s svežim primerom dveh duhovniških imen. Revija Reporter, 23. marec 2015: pišoči duhovnik Janez Turinek na strani 55, s strani Boštjana M. Turka komentirani duhovnik Milan Knep na strani 35. Turinekovim antikomunističnim erupcijam je dana cela Reporterjeva plahta, Knepovi dialogi z zakoncema Hribar so hudo okrcani. Turinek lahko zapiše, kar se mu zljubi, za Knepa je med vrsticami sugerirano, da ni primeren za odgovornega za katehezo v ljubljanski nadškofiji. Uredniško sporočilo revije je moč dešifrirati takole: militantni duhovniki (t,j, katoličani) à la Janez Turinek so okej, mostograditeljski duhovniki (t.j. katoličani) à la Milan Knep niso okej!
V času Udbe se je temu reklo diferenciacija klera (prim. isti Reporter, str. 19). Cilj diferenciacije? Nič drugega kot nadzor politike nad religijo.
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Here’s the thing: Having been advertised to our whole lives, we millennials have highly sensitive BS meters, and we’re not easily impressed with consumerism or performances.

In fact, I would argue that church-as-performance is just one more thing driving us away from the church, and evangelicalism in particular.

Many of us, myself included, are finding ourselves increasingly drawn to high church traditions Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, the Episcopal Church, etc. precisely because the ancient forms of liturgy seem so unpretentious, so unconcerned with being “cool,” and we find that refreshingly authentic.

What millennials really want from the church is not a change in style but a change in substance.

We want an end to the culture wars. We want a truce between science and faith. We want to be known for what we stand for, not what we are against.

We want to ask questions that don’t have predetermined answers.

We want churches that emphasize an allegiance to the kingdom of God over an allegiance to a single political party or a single nation.

Why Millenials are Leaving the Church – Rachel Held Evans, CNN blogs

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Politically correct leftism is more than a challenge to liberalism. It is a test of liberalism. (…)

America’s most effective liberals—from Harry Truman to Rahm Emanuel—have known how and when to defy the illiberal left, whether that illiberal left was communist or Third Worldist or, as it is today, infatuated with the jargon of “intersectionality.” The liberals who couldn’t or wouldn’t or didn’t have been dragged toward the same marginality that has always befallen the hard left in America—and always will.

Republicans have suffered greatly over the past six years from their visible terror of their more extreme associates. The evolution toward a more responsible Republicanism remains incomplete, but is visibly under way. Now it seems to be the turn of liberals and Democrats to veer off into their own ideological fever-swamps.

Liberals and the Illiberal Left – David Frum, The Atlantic

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The Church does not rename pagan traditions as the secularist renames Christian holidays, seasons, symbols and so forth. The Church baptizes the world. The Church impudently gives pagan traditions new meanings, of which a new name is an icon and consequence. The Winter Solstice is not renamed ‘Christmas’ in the manner in which secularists timidly rename Christmas ‘Winter Solstice.’ No, the Winter Solstice becomes Christmas — the old gods are dead and Christianity has killed them.

(…)

This helps us to finally understand the difference between a baptism and a renaming. The post-Christian renaming reduces to an acceptable effect without daring to alter the cause. The baptism invokes and declares a new cause — not Spring, but Christ, not the gods, but God, not the garden’s growth, but the Gardener. A cause alone can remain and bear the fruit of effects. An effect divorced from its cause — a holiday apart from a Holy Day, a sign of the cross apart from the Cross — these crumble as a tree without roots. I am Catholic because I want to live in a universe of primary meaning, of a real relation of effect to cause

The Difference Between Renaming and a Baptism – Marc Barnes, The Bad Catholic

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The-young-student-Ozias-Leduc

Can you guess which books the wannabe jihadists Yusuf Sarwar and Mohammed Ahmed ordered online from Amazon before they set out from Birmingham to fight in Syria last May? A copy of Milestones by the Egyptian Islamist Sayyid Qutb? No. How about Messages to the World: the Statements of Osama Bin Laden? Guess again. Wait, The Anarchist Cookbook, right? Wrong.

Sarwar and Ahmed, both of whom pleaded guilty to terrorism offences last month, purchased Islam for Dummies and The Koran for Dummies. You could not ask for better evidence to bolster the argument that the 1,400-year-old Islamic faith has little to do with the modern jihadist movement. The swivel-eyed young men who take sadistic pleasure in bombings and beheadings may try to justify their violence with recourse to religious rhetoric think the killers of Lee Rigby screaming “Allahu Akbar” at their trial; think of Islamic State beheading the photojournalist James Foley as part of its “holy war”but religious fervour isn’t what motivates most of them.

This Is What Wannabe Jihadists Order on Amazon Before Leaving for Syria – Mehdi Hasan, The New Republic

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If Mr Valls wanted to send a message with his new government, Mr Macron is it. Mr Montebourg, who was ousted the previous day, had a knack of irking foreign investors, once telling Mittal, a steel company, that it was “not welcome” in France. Mr Macron, by contrast, spent much time privately picking up the pieces, arguing to investors that France was in fact open for business. Of Mr Hollande’s election-campaign promise in 2012 to set a sky-high top income-tax rate of 75%, Mr Macron once said scathingly, “it’s Cuba without the sun!”.

By itself, of course, Mr Macron’s appointment will not make it any easier for Mr Valls to press ahead with the politically daunting job of sorting out France’s squeezed public finances and trying to revive the stagnant economy. Nor will it put an end to the debate, led by Mr Montebourg and other fellow anti-austerity Socialist deputies outside government, over the pace of fiscal consolidation. But it does at least suggest that the Valls government is serious about pursuing a more business-friendly approach, and about starting to bring the largely unreconstructed left into line with the rest of Europe’s social democrats.

No more Cuban-style policies? – Charlemagne, The Economist

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Hearing students cite Marcuse while decrying bourgeois society, Novak thought it a good idea to bring Marcuse to campus for a day of discussion and lecturing. But the admiring conversation he expected to witness didn’t occur. Instead, Novak recounts in his 2013 memoir Writing from Left to Right,

After mingling with the students, he was affronted and disgusted. At his lecture he set aside his prepared notes and instead described the severe Prussian discipline of his own education: the classics he had to master; the languages he had to learn by exercises and constant tests. His theme was that no one had any standing on which to rebel against the past—or dare to call himself a revolutionary—who had not registered the tradition of the West. (p. 107)

We can imagine how the students felt hearing this denunciation, but what could they say? Here was a prophet of youth rebellion endorsing utterly disreputable ideas—classics, discipline, mastery, tradition, the West—and telling students fully convinced of their own supremacy that they had nostanding to overturn anything.

The Enemies, and Friends, of the Humanities – Mark Bauerlein, First Things

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Dear Dr. Dawkins,

Earlier this week, on Twitter, you drew attention to a troubling fact unknown to most people. You pointed out that in the United States and Europe, most children conceived with Down syndrome are aborted.

/…/

You’ve traditionally held a position of moral neutrality regarding abortion. You’ve asserted that killing animals, with the capacity to experience pain, fear, and suffering, is of greater moral significance than killing fetuses: nascently human, you assert, but without the kind of sentience that gives them moral significance. You’ve suggested that no carnivore can reasonably hold a position in opposition to abortion. You’re not alone in that position, it’s become de rigueur among most contemporary analytic ethicists.

disagree with your position. I’ve long ago concluded that the fetus, the embryo, and in fact, the zygote are human beings—undeveloped, certainly, but possessing the dignity and the rights of sentient adults.

Despite my disagreement, I recognize that you’ve tried to apply your viewpoint with consistency across a variety of ethical situations.

Until this week. This week, you moved from presenting abortion as a morally neutral act to asserting that the abortion of some people—genetically disabled people—is a moral good. A moral imperative, in fact.

An Open Letter to Richard Dawkins – J. D. Flynn, First Things

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Ni ogrožena samo otrokova neodvisnost. Spremembe v strukturi prostega časa in odnosov v družini , ki na podoben način potekajo v večini razvitih držav, lahko po mnenju nekaterih strokovnjakov ogrozijo tudi zdravje otrok. Ameriški psiholog dr. Peter Gray z univerze Boston College trend upadanja količine proste igre povezuje s hkratnim trendom naraščanja psihopatologije med otroci – povečane pojavnosti depresije, anksioznosti in narcisoidnosti. Kot opaža, so intristične dejavnosti (tiste, ki nas veselijo in si jih izberemo prostovoljno) začele upadati na račun ekstrističnih ciljev (tistih, ki nam jih narekujejo od zunaj). »V šoli si otroci prizadevajo za čim boljše ocene in pohvale, v organiziranih športih si prizadevajo za pohvale in pokale. Vse temeljijo na presoji drugih. V prosti igri pa otroci počno, kar hočejo, učenje in duševni razvoj sta stranska produkta, ne pa zavestno postavljena cilja aktivnosti.« Ta premik k potrebi po zadovoljevanju zunanjih pričakovanj je po Grayevem mnenju idealen recept za povečanje depresije in anksioznosti. Če temu dodamo še upadanje občutka samostojnosti, nadzora nad svojim življenjem, ki je povezan s povečanim nadzorom staršev, je recept še prepričljivejši.

Ni časa za igro – Staš Zgonik, Mladina

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5. Marriage must be color-blind, but it cannot be gender-blind. The melanin content of two people’s skin has nothing to do with their capacity to unite in the bond of marriage as a comprehensive union naturally ordered to procreation. The sexual difference between a man and a woman, however, is central to what marriage is. Men and women regardless of their race can unite in marriage, and children regardless of their race deserve moms and dads. To acknowledge such facts requires an understanding of what marriage is.

/…/

While Americans are free to live as they choose, no one should demand that government coerce others into celebrating their relationships.Whatever one believes about marriage and however government defines it, there is no compelling state interest in forcing every citizen to treat a same-sex relationship as a marriage when this would violate their religious or other conscientious beliefs.

7 Reasons Why the Current Marriage Debate Is Nothing Like the Debate on Interracial Marriage – Ryan T. Anderson, The Daily Signal

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Joj, kako me je o stanju slovenskih političnih medijev, se pravi, medijev, ki pomagajo razmišljati o človeku in družbi, poučil letošnji žled! Četrtek v žlednem tednu (6. februar): Demokracija ima na naslovnici udbovca Janeza Zemljariča. Slučajno se slišiva s prijateljem J. C., ki profesionalno dela v visoki politiki. Rečem mu, da sem razočaran, da Demokracija ni zmogla na naslovnico dati žleda. Da pa bom počakal še dan, da vidim, če ga bo na svojo naslovnico dala Mladina. Z J. C. sva bila prepričana, da ga tudi Mladina ne bo dala. In res. Mladina (7. februar) je izšla, verjetno že tisočič, s popačenim obrazom Janeza Janše na naslovnici. Če ni Janše, Mladina nima družbene teorije.

To je bil slovenski žledni teden, ki se zgodi na vsakih sto let. To je bil teden, ko so gasilci, prizadeti vaščani, drugi prostovoljci in razne službe dali najboljše od sebe ter pravzaprav razkazali solidarnostni in demokratični potencial slovenskega naroda. In glej: eminentni politični tisk, ki naj bi imel nos za „demokracijo od spodaj“, je ostal v svojih fiksacijah, v svojem negativizmu. Ubožci – sem dejal – še ko vsi trpimo, oni demonizirajo drug drugega. In bil jezen.

Čakajoč na repo iz ušes- Branko Cestnik, Časnik

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Če zdaj to situacijo vseeno na hitro prenesemo v politični prostor in pogledamo rezultate letošnjih volitev, bomo ugotovili, da bi se pomladna politika iz tega medgeneracijskega razkoraka in prekinitve stika lahko kaj naučila. Tudi v pomladni politični drži namreč mladi nimajo pravih sogovornikov in nič ne pomaga, če se zgražamo, kako na drugi stani mlade nekakšni navidezni sogovorniki in šarlatani vedno zavedejo. Pravi sogovornik mladih je nekdo, ki se približa njihovemu doživljanju, kar sploh ni enostavno, in jih poskuša razumeti in sprejeti, kar je še težje. Tak sogovornik ni žrtev, zato ni zagrenjen in se ne posmehuje zgroženo niti najbolj čudnim idejam, ker so samo ideje. Stoji na svojih nogah, svoje potrebe rešuje drugod, ali pa jih začasno odloži ali skrije, vsekakor pa od mladih nič ne zahteva, se jim ne dobrika in jih ne krivi za njihovo kratkovidnost in obrnjenost vase. Ker vsega tega v našem političnem prostoru ni, me ne čudi, da so nekateri mladi volivci pripravljeni podpreti celo tako absurdno idejo, kot je ideja demokratičnega socializma. Če so bili pred leti zadovoljni samo s stranko mladih, je kriza očitno prinesla zaostritev retorike in, zanimivo, naslonitev na neke čudaške politične zglede pri starejši generaciji. Kot bi se povezali dedki in vnuki, in sicer dedki, ki so zamudili svoj čas, ter vnuki, ki jim nihče ne pokaže, kako vstopiti v tok časa.

Zakaj (travmatične) zgodbe dedkov vnukov ne zanimajo? – Tomaž Erzar, Časnik

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Še nekaj za tiste, ki berete italijansko:

Nessuno dei quattro grandi paesi che adottano l’euro è davvero a posto, nessuno può alzare il ditino o indossare l’aureola del santo. Ma chi è in grado di convincerli a seguire la retta via? È questo il dilemma che Draghi ha posto indirettamente, ma con chiarezza. E si è scontrato contro un muro, perché nessuno oggi ha il potere di farlo, certo non la Ue che è ridotta sempre più a un club di nazioni chiassose e litigiose, ma nemmeno la Bce che pure è l’unica istituzione federale dotata di veri strumenti d’intervento. I cambiamenti principali finora sono stati compiuti sotto la pressione degli eventi, davanti a rischi drammatici come la crisi bancaria del 2008, il crack della Grecia nel 2010 o il collasso dell’euro nel 2012. E sono comunque rimasti cambiamenti a metà, accettati di mal grado dalla Germania che pure vanta il proprio europeismo federalista.

Draghi ha chiesto un’ulteriore cessione di sovranità e vuole un patto per le riforme da accompagnare al patto fiscale. Se si vuole dare all’euro una intelaiatura più solida è un passaggio inevitabile. Ma oggi non c’è consenso né tra i paesi del sud né in quelli del nord Europa. Dunque, la politica economica europea è in un cul de sac. La Bce alla fine sarà costretta a fare come la Fed se arriverà davvero una nuova tempesta finanziaria. Ma senza dietro un paracadute politico, nessuno può garantire che sia davvero efficace. Draghi lo sa e lo ha detto. Anche la sua diventerà una predica inutile?

Mario Draghi e l’Europa irriformabile – Stefano Cingolani, Linkiesta

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Za konec pa še zgodba, ki daje dober vpogled na način, kako se dela kadrovska politika v Sloveniji – ali drugače, na poniglavost, s katero je odhajajoča vlada v vse pore družbenega življenja skušala nastaviti svoje mediokritetne kadre. Bo v prihodnje kaj boljše? Gotovo ne, če bomo še naprej skomigali z rameni in s tem dopuščali tako prakso.

The Judicial Council of the Republic of Slovenia prepared a ranking of candidates and proposed to President of Slovenia to send the names of three highest-ranking candidates to the Parliament, which has to vote on the list of three candidates in order to be sent to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. However, Mr Pahor, the incumbent President of Republic of Slovenia, last week refused to send the list of three high ranking candidates to the Parliament and requested that the Ministry of Justice repeats the call for applications. It is not entirely clear why Mr Pahor rejected the list approved by the Judicial Council, but it appears that the merits of the candidates did not impress him. Surprisingly, the Ministry of Justice at this point does not plan to repeat the call for application.  It seems we are witnessing situation so often seen in the Central and Eastern European countries where the merits of the candidates play only side role in the nomination process and where the nomination of the candidates to the European Court of Human Rights comes down to brutal power politics.

Problem-Ridden Nomination Process for Judge on behalf of Slovenia at the European Court of Human Rights – Esohap

Tedenski izbor

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Danes je moto dneva povprečnost. Danes seveda nihče z IQ, višjim od sobne temperature, ne bi upal Slovenije več postaviti v bližino kakšnega svetilnika uspešnosti. (Izjema je Alenka Bratušek, ki še kar misli, da nas je njena vlada pripeljala v nekakšen trajen gospodarski orgazem.) Pač pa nas danes vsi, na čelu s politiki levice, »resnimi ekonomisti« in »resnimi mediji«, prepričujejo, da je v Sloveniji stanje čisto povprečno, obdavčitev je čisto povprečna, obremenitev plač je čisto povprečna, kriza je čisto povprečna (itak je uvožena iz ZDA), rast je čisto povprečna, zadolženost je čisto povprečna, stroški javnega sektorja so čisto povprečni, brezposel­nost je čisto povprečna, državna lastnina je čisto povprečna, znanje naših otrok je čisto povprečno, vraga, še nesposobnost naše politike naj bi bila čisto povprečna. In če smo čisto povprečni, smo torej čisto O. K. in neke resne spremembe niso potrebne. In da bo natančno jasno, katere spremembe še posebej niso potrebne, je Mladina celo spet začela neskrupulozno in primitivno pogrevati stare pravljice o grdih domobrancih, češ vsakdo, kdor podpira privatizacijo in prilagajanje normam EU, je v resnici kolaborant in izdajalec, če že ne to, pa vsaj en ušiv hlapec. Kako nazadnjaško, predmoderno, blut-und-boden, res vredno tako imenovane progresivne novolevičarske publikacije.

Tako imenovani pogum, tako imenovana povprečnost in tako imenovane spremembe – Blaž Vodopivec, Finance

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Trdim, da sistemsko preprečujemo, da bi imeli boljše politike. Razmeroma maloštevilen parlament le majhnemu številu ljudi omogoča preživljanje s politiko. Fluktuacija v parlamentu je velika, to preprečuje, da bi se ljudje s poslansko funkcijo gradili. Za ministra ni obvezno, da je izvoljen kot poslanec. Plače politikov, zlasti na izvršilnih mestih, so demagoško nizke. Zapenjanje pri financiranju strank še bolj zmanjšuje možnosti za ekonomsko preživetje v politiki in financiranje ustrezne strokovne podpore. Volilni sistem tisto malo politikov razprši v veliko strank, to pomeni, da skoraj v nobeni ni kritične mase – ne pameti ne denarja.

Vzorci prejšnjega sistema živijo naprej. Tam so partija in njeni sateliti razpolagali z dovolj velikim številom delovnih mest, da so se na njih lahko gradili politiki. Celoten samoupravni delegatski sistem, ki je zakrival partijsko diktaturo, je bil amaterski, jedro pa je bilo profesionalno. Stari mački danes odhajajo v pokoj. A naslednice partije imajo vsaj nekaj ustanov, fakultet in inštitutov, kjer se njihovi kadri, kot pravijo, »sončijo«, ko niso v politiki. Na drugi strani sta ducat, dva kariernih politikov in še amaterji, ki sem in tja nekaj pametujemo. Nimamo razvitega ekosistema think-tankov, kjer bi se razvijale politike in o njih tekla široka družbena debata, na katere bi se politiki lahko strokovno naslonili in od koder bo prišla, ko bo, politika 2.0.

Vse to zmanjšuje intelektualno raven in akcijsko sposobnost politike, da bi urejala javne stvari v državi. Na mesto politike vstopajo interesne skupine in neformalni centri moči, ki niso od nikogar izvoljeni in nikomur odgovorni. Politika je samo za vse kriva.

Več politike, prosim! – Žiga Turk, Reporter

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Kako ste prišli do liberalizma kot tipični socialistični klon v Sloveniji: ali skozi LDS »liberalizem« ali skozi gospodarski liberalizem (prosti trg)?

Ne eno ne drugo. Skozi zdravo kmečko pamet, bi rekel. Predvsem preko spletnega foruma Financ, na katerem smo v tistih časih (10 do 15 let nazaj) zelo kvalitetno debatirali o perečih problemih Slovenije na področju borze, gospodarstva in politike. Šele naknadno sem izvedel, da se tej smeri razmišljanja reče liberalizem. Sam bi to poimenoval zdrav razum. Veliko vlogo pri usmeritvi foruma v to smer pa je imel takratni urednik Financ Črt Jakhel.

Marko Pavlišič, inženir v politiki – Robert Šifrer, Časnik

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Če lahko pritrdimo dejstvu, da se je v 20. stoletju na nemški strani odpor do Slovencev podkrepil z rasnimi teorijami, pa moramo tudi priznati, da se je na slovenski strani podkrepil z enačenjem nacionalnega in razrednega sovražnega. Ko  je marksistična definicija razrednega boja postavila enačaj, Slovenec = kmet in se je sovraštvo do višjih stanov povezalo z nacionalnim sovraštvom. Nemci in v manjši meri Italijani so tako ”postali” zatiralci par excellence. To se je pokazalo tudi pri sovraštvu do Nemcev, ki je najverjetneje vsaj delno dobilo svoj izraz pri ravnanju po drugi svetovni vojni, saj vsega spet ne gre povezati z maščevanjem nad okupatorjem, tako kot ne gre vsega prebivalstva nemškega izvora in/ali identitete imeti za naciste.

Ne vrag, le Švab bo mejak – Andraž Kovač, Časnik

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There may be lessons in Jeremiah and Jewish history for Christians and others concerned about their place in modern society. These can be sketched by three ideas.

First, internal exiles should resist the temptation to categorically reject the mainstream. That does not mean avoiding criticism. But it must be criticism in the spirit of common peace rather than condemnation. Jeremiah is famous as the etymological root of the jeremiad. Yet his most scathing criticisms are directed against his own people who have failed in their special calling of righteousness, not the “mainstream” culture. /…/

Finally, Jewish tradition provides a counterpoint to the dream of restoring sacred authority. At least in the diaspora, Jews have demanded the right to live as Jews—but not the imposition of Jewish law or practices on others. MacIntyre evokes historical memories of Christendom that are deeply provocative to many good people, including Jews. The Jeremiah option, on the other hand, represents a commitment to pluralism: the only serious possibility in a secular age like ours.

What Would Jeremiah Do? – Samuel Goldman, The American Conservative

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Unlike the military, who are trained in nonviolent options for conflict resolution, the police often lack such knowledge. Bonnie Kristian expounded this failure and reasons behind systematic police brutality earlier this summer, noting also that cops are rarely held accountable for abuse. “Only one out of every three accused cops are convicted nationwide, while the conviction rate for civilians is literally double that.”

The entrenched racial injustice behind Michael Brown’s death will be difficult to root out, as it has been over centuries of American history. But the decades of policy that allowed for police abuse of Brown, and his town’s peaceful protesters, could be reversed—and if the public outcry over Ferguson is anything to judge by, Americans will be keeping a closer eye on the police in the coming years.

What Ferguson Has Revealed – Catherine Addington, The American Conservative

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The media’s handling of this case was no surprise: political correctness rules in America’s newsrooms. But imagine a hypothetical crime: two clean-cut black couples go into University McDonald’s during the daytime – and are viciously attacked by a mob of whites. An international media circus would erupt! Big-time journalist from all over the world would descend on College Station to deal with the deplorable state of America’s race relations caused by bigoted whites. President Obama would weigh in with a few comments about America’s racial sins; and Attorney General Eric Holder – just like with the Ferguson disturbances – would travel to College Station, where Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would be leading protest marches.

But the narrative they’re promoting is false.

It obscures where most of the hate is coming from. Crime statistics have long reveled the real problem: high levels of black-on-black violence, followed by black-on-white violence and mob attacks — and the latter has been on the increase at an alarming rate, underscoring deep pathologies in a growing black-thug subculture — even as liberals in the mainstream media and Washington are unwilling to acknowledge this fact.

Beaten to Death at McDonald’s – David Paulin, FrontPage Magazine

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There’s no better example of that than Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr., the Harvard professor who was arrested at his own house in Cambridge in 2009 by a white police officer responding to a report of a burglary. “Gates is as respectable and renowned as any black person in the U.S. and he is not shielded from this type of harassment despite being very affluent and even more prestigious,” says Dawson.

Gates is perceived as “respectable” for another reason, too: He preferssportcoats to  baggy pants. On that day in 2009, he was wearing a red polo and dark slacks, and still he was cuffed and thrown in jail. No amount of grooming changed the fact that he was a black man in America. 

“No One Treats African-Americans Worse than We Treat Each Other” – Julia Ioffe, The New Republic

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To kar se v zadnjih letih proti moji krščanski skupnosti dogaja v moji rojstni deželi Iraku in v mestu Mosul, od koder izhajam, je genocid po vseh pravilih, je zločin in še ena črna stran več v zgodovini Islama in muslimanov. Na tisoče ljudi je ubitih, družine so uničene, ženske posiljene, otroci zasužnjeni, hiše napadene, trgovine ukradene, cerkve iz prvih stoletij krščanstva napadane in zažgane.

Resnica je, da se kristjanom v Iraku zelo slabo godi, da jih ne bo ostalo veliko v Iraku, da maloštevilni, ki ostajajo prosijo pomoč, saj ne vedo, kakšna prihodnost jih čaka. Egoistično bi želel, da moji bratje kristjani ne zapustijo Iraka, ker nočem izgubiti svojih korenin in naše dvatisočletne zgodovine. Po drugi strani pa jim tega ne morem direktno zapovedati. Sam namreč živim tukaj v Španiji dokaj varno, zares trpijo pa oni.

R. S. Naaman: Kaj pomeni črka  in kdo so “kafir” – Branko Cestnik, Časnik

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Evangelijski kristjani, ki živijo na območju spopadov, so se znašli v nezavidljivi situaciji. Proruski uporniki so se zavezali, da bodo branili “sveto pravoslavje” in njegove tradicije pred vsakim zahodnjaškim vplivom in evangelijskimi “heretiki”, ki da kvarno vplivajo na edine prave ruske narodne vrednote.  Kot poroča Sergej Rahuba, pravijo separatisti, da se bodo bojevali proti vsakemu heretiku, vsakemu protestantu in vsakomur, ki predstavlja nemoralne zahodne vrednote. Evangelijski kristjani, pa ne le oni,  so torej postali smrtni sovražniki  edinih pravih ruskih vrednot.
 
Prišlo je že do zaplemb protestantskih cerkva, ugrabitev in brutalnih umorov. V mesecu juliju so uporniki ugrabili štiri prostovoljce, ki so delali za krščanski radio in jih pretepli do smrti. 9. junija so oboroženi uporniki med nedeljskim bogoslužjem vdrli v evangelijsko cerkev v Slavjansku in odpeljali v neznano štiri mlade pridigarje. Njihova trupla so pozneje našli v masovni grobnici zraven pediatrične bolnišnice.
 

Tedenski izbor

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Morali se bomo navaditi, da v dvopolni Sloveniji vendarle obstaja nek PRAGMATIČNI SREDINSKI VOLIVEC. Ta je včeraj priskočil na pomoč standardnemu ex-LDS-volivcu iz javnega sektorja – in Cerar je premočno zmagal. Na naslednjih volitvah lahko ta volivec priskoči na pomoč komu na desni. Ta tip volivca ni nek tavajoči in nestabilni element, zgolj produkt medijske manipulacije, ampak je ena izmed legitimnih in spoštovanja vrednih političnih drž.

Odziv na “Slovenci niso razočarali” – Branko Cestnik, Časnik

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Še več: cela vrsta faktorjev priča o tem, da k Cerarju niso množično prehajali le tisti volivci SDS-a, ki so se stranki pridružili v zadnjih 10. letih, temveč tudi mnogi iz »starega trdega jedra«, torej Janševi podporniki iz let 2000 in 1996. Te izgube je, kot rečeno, SDS uspešno »nadoknadila« s širjenjem na desno in tako ostali pomladni stranki stisnila na rob, kjer le za silo preživita; hkrati pa zaradi kadrovske šibkosti, luknjičasti njune zemljepisne porazdelitve in pomanjkanja trdne medijske podpore nikakor ne zmoreta nagovoriti volivcev, ki jih SDS pušča vnemar.

Anatomija pomladnega poraza – Luka G. Lisjak, Časnik

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Tabela predvsem zelo jasno kaže, da so bile letošnje volitve – pa čeprav so se zgodile nekako po pomoti – res izjemne. Prvič se je zgodilo, da je politični novinec povsem pometel s staro politično elito. Če seveda odmislimo Demosovo zmago v povsem drugačnih zgodovinskih okoliščinah in drugačnem skupščinskem sistemu.

Stare strankarske elite vseh barv, vonjev in okusov – in ne le desnica – so torej resnični poraženec letošnjih volitev.

Ne sodi mačka po žaklju – Janez Šušteršič, Siol.net

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Slovenijo smo razlagali kot razdeljeno na dve pripovedi:

Leva pripoved: “Kar imamo zdaj, je demokracija. In ker to ni bistveno različno od prejšnjega režima, tudi prejšnji režim ni mogel biti posebej napačen.”

Desna pripoved: “Kar imamo zdaj, ni demokracija, ker to ni bistveno različno od prejšnjega režima, ki je bil evidentno napačen.”

Na volitvah smo dobili še tretjo: “Imamo, kar imamo. O podrobnostih se prepirajte brez mene.”

Volivci tretje so na volitvah premočno zmagali.

Zmaga in poraz 2014 – Žiga Turk, Čas-opis

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Hitenje s fiskalno konsolidacijo ali hitro zniževanje javne porabe ali davkov na podlagi konzervativne ideologije ima lahko zelo negativne učinke na gospodarsko okrevanje, medtem ko ima nereformiranje javnega sektorja, ohranjanje neoptimalne strukture socialnih transferjev, odlašanje z reformo pokojninskega sistema in trga dela zaradi socialistične ideologije zelo visoke negativne učinke na dolgi rok. Iz povsem pragmatičnih razlogov in v dobro dolgoročnih koristi za celotno družbo je na kratek rok treba biti keynesianec, na dolgi rok pa upoštevati ekonomiko ponudbe. Ni čas za ideologijo, ampak za pragmatičnost.

Upajmo, da bo nova vlada pragmatična, ne ideološka – Jože P. Damijan

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The bottom-line question is: Does an act that’s clearly immoral when done privately become moral when it is done collectively and under the color of law? Put another way, does legality establish morality?

For most of our history, Congress did a far better job of limiting its activities to what was both moral and constitutional. As a result, federal spending was only 3 to 5 percent of the gross domestic product from our founding until the 1920s, in contrast with today’s 25 percent. Close to three-quarters of today’s federal spending can be described as Congress taking the earnings of one American to give to another through thousands of handout programs, such as farm subsidies, business bailouts and welfare.

Spending and Morality – Walter E. Williams, The New American

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Thomas Piketty is to be commended for putting the question of distribution at the center of discussion about our economic future, rather than, as is more common in the dominant neoliberal framework, treating it as important only inasmuch as it bears on questions of mobility and growth. He is to be commended as well for demanding a humbler empiricism from the community of economists. But if we are to proceed from analysis to action, we still need a more robust theory of what is actually causing the problem that we observe. And while there is a certain French elegance to single, universal solutions, it may be that a diversity of attacks, tailored to the economic situations of different countries and regions, is not only more plausible than a new, global tax regime but more optimal as well.

Thomas Piketty Is the Anti-Marx – Noah Millman, The American Conservative

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This is a subject that JM Keynes visited in his famous essay Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren. And while all sensible people have their doubts about “Keynesian Economics” there’s no doubt he was a most perspicacious economist. The essay looks at exactly at this point: when will we actually be able to supply everyone’s needs with not all that much work? He thought it would be some 15 years or so from now and we’d all be working 15 hour weeks. Simply because productivity would have advanced so much that that’s all we would need to work.

And this usually brings out the people shouting about why it hasn’t happened yet. But the thing is that is has happened, just not in quite the manner that everyone thought it would.

Google’s Larry Page on the 40 Hour Work Week – Tim Worstall, Forbes

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The success of these re-emergent technologies also has important lessons for how we think of disruptive innovation. New technologies do not simply displace old ones. Some old technologies, like sailing boats and paper books, have an enduring appeal; some, like watches, can redefine their value; and some, like condoms, can get a new lease of life for unexpected reasons. In addition, people do not just buy something because it provides the most efficient solution to a problem. They buy it because it provides aesthetic satisfaction—a beautiful book, for example, or a perfectly made shirt—or because it makes them feel good about themselves. This suggests a paradox: the more that disruptive innovations like the internet boost the overall productivity of the economy, the more room there will be for old-fashioned industries that focus on quality rather than quantity and heritage rather than novelty. Sometimes the best way forward is backwards.

Second wind: Some traditional businesses are thriving in an age of disruptive innovation – The Economist

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Imagine the once thin borderline of the American past as an ever-thickening band, now extending 100 miles inland around the United States—along the 2,000-mile southern border, the 4,000-mile northern border and both coasts—and you will be able to visualize how vast the CBP’s jurisdiction has become. This “border” region now covers places where two-thirds of the US population (197.4 million people) live. The ACLU has come to call it a “constitution-free zone.” The “border” has by now devoured the full states of Maine and Florida and much of Michigan.

66 Percent of Americans Now Live in a Constitution-Free Zone – Todd Miller, The Nation

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Za konec dodajamo pretresljivo pričevanje Tadeje in Iva Keržeta, h katerima gredo naše misli, sočutje in molitve. In seveda moralna podpora za njuno legitimno prizadevanje:

Desetega julija ob 17. uri je po osmih urah trpljenja prišel na svet otrok, ki bi po moji oceni lahko zapolnil moji dlani. Nisem utegnila preveriti, ker ga je sestra skupaj z ostalimi tkivi takoj odnesla stran. Mož je šel za njo in se vrnil z novico, da imamo punčko. Jok in sklep, da bi jo tudi jaz rada videla. Ko sem jo videla ležati v umivalniku, se mi je zdelo, da mirno spi, tisti prelepi obrazek s čudovitimi ušesci, z drobnimi ročicami, kot narejenimi za prvi objem in nožicami, ki bi jo enkrat ponesle v svet. Vedela sem, da je to Elizabeta. Pokrižala sem jo, še poljubiti in dotakniti se je nisem upala, te krhke lepote. Bolelo je še bolj v petek, ko sem brez otroka zapuščala bolnišnico in brez resnega upanja, da jo bova dobila. Predstojnik oddelka nama je sporočil, da njihovi ustanovi grozi 30 tisoč evrov kazni, če bi nama jo izročili. Ob prisotnosti zastopnika pacientovih pravic smo se dogovorili za prenos na UKC Maribor, kjer Elizabeta čaka na obdukcijo. Danes, v ponedeljek, je moja bolečina še večja. Moja lepa hčerka leži v Bogve kakšnem hladilniku in grozi ji, da jo bodo vrgli med biološki odpad. Vse v meni se upira temu, kajti jaz sem jo v bolnišnico prinesla v trebuhu in jo cel dan rojevala, sedaj pa mi Republika Slovenija ne dovoli, da bi jo z možem pokopala v družinski grob. Kot ženska bi od te iste države lahko zahtevala, da mi otroka na državne stroške ubijejo, moja domovina pa mi ne dovoli, da bi svojo Elizabeto na lastne stroške pokopala.

Vrnite nam Elizabeto! – Ivo in Tadeja Kerže, Časnik

Hegemonija in odsotnost

V zelo lepem članku Branka Cestnika O roju ali česa se ne smemo učiti od čebel avtor prikaže, kako neka komunikacija poteka tako rekoč po inerciji, brez konkretnih centrov, ki bi z direktnimi pritiski uveljavljala svojo moč. Čebele mu služijo kot metafora za komunikacijo, ki deluje kot odsotnost komunikacije: roj sam funkcionira tako, da že vsaka posamezna čebela točno ve, kaj mora storiti, ne da bi zaznala, da sama ni agent lastnega delovanja. Ali z njegovimi besedami: »Proces uporablja posamezno članico bolj kot posamezna članica obvlada proces«.

Tu bi sam dodal: ravno odsotnost direktnega pritiska na posameznike je tista, ki roju omogoča optimalno delovanje; vsak neposreden pritisk bi bil namreč že smatran kot napad (npr. kot sršen, ki je udrl v panj) in bi s tem tudi izzval upor.

To, kar g. Cestnik opisuje skozi metaforo mehanizma roja, bi lahko z nekoliko bolj učeno besedo imenovali hegemonija. In v tem smislu lahko trdimo, da imamo v Sloveniji hegemonijo levice.

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Nas bo morebitni ponovni vihar krepko zajel. Zato je popolnoma jasno, kaj narediti. Zdaj, ko nam finančni trgi dajejo dihati, je nujno, da v enem letu sprejmemo vse zamujene reformne ukrepe. Ti so znani, napisani, razloženi, celo zavezali smo se jim. Treba jih je le spraviti skozi parlament. Treba je izjemno hitro narediti vse, da morebitni pok borznih balonov pričakamo z večino reformnih ukrepov pod streho. Vendar pogled na to, kdo je lahko za krmilom naše barke, človeka rine do obupa.

Nacionalno brambovstvo v perspektivi – Igor Masten, Siol.net

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Niti na misel mi ne pade, da bi se vprašal, zakaj na vseh soočenjih novinarji postavljajo težja vprašanja popolnim outsiderjem, Cerarja pa obmetavajo z vprašanji, ki so prej v domeni pojasnjevanja, da je človek najboljši in najlepši, namesto, da bi ga, zaradi tega, ker je jasno, da bo volitve dobil, do potankosti in brutalno izprašali, kaj bo kot predsednik vlade počel naslednja štiri leta in kako bo rešil strukturne težave slovenske ekonomije. Namesto tega bom raje analiziral njegov program. Če ne drugega, bo vsaj en slovenski medij pošteno opravil svoje delo.

Saibaba Cerar in njegove vizije – Portal Plus

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Skratka, bralec programa bo opazil, da se velika večina točk v razdelku “Kako” zelo dobro bere, če pred željo napišemo besedico “Kako”. Npr. kako zajeziti beg možganov, kako zagotoviti dostojno raven pokojnin, kako preprečiti krčenje pravic zavarovancev, kako zagotoviti svobodo medijskega prostora, kako omejiti sivo ekonomijo … Je pa nek pregovor, ki pravi, da je postaviti dobro vprašanje včasih težje od odgovora nanj. No, v tem primeru bi lahko rekli, da so Cerarjevi opravili težji del posla.

Cerarjevih šestindvajset – Žiga Turk

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Odgovornost za idejo klasičnega liberalizma je na tistih, ki mislijo, da bi ta morala biti uspešna tudi v politiki, vendar čakajo, da bo za to poskrbel nekdo drug.

Intervju z Janezom Šušteršičem, Portal Plus

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Nekateri pisci so Pikettyjevemu opozorilu o naraščajoči neenakosti odločno pritrdili, medtem ko so drugi izražali ostre pomisleke. Pojavile so se tudi prve obtožbe, da gre v Pikettyjevi kritiki neenakosti pravzaprav le za nekakšen posodobljen zagovor socializma. To karto so hitro pograbili najmočnejši ameriški libertarni think thanki in Francoza začeli bombardirati z oznako »marksist«, ki se v ameriških političnih spopadih uporablja na podobno prismuknjeno raztegljiv način kot v naših krajih nalepka »neoliberalec«: v širokem delu javnosti učinkuje kot fleksibilno orožje za instantno diskreditacijo. Je francoski ekonomist res zgolj preoblekel starega Marxa za novo stoletje? Prav zaradi tovrstnih napadov je Piketty v javnih nastopih še zaostril svojo antimarksistično pozicijo, ki jo sicer jasno izrazi že v knjigi. Marxa okvirno zavrne v prvem poglavju knjige, svojo kritiko marksizma pa v posameznih fragmentih stopnjuje in poglablja skozi celotno delo.

Iniciativa za demokratični kapitalizem, Matic Kocijančič, Pogledi

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A good friend of mine once asked if I believed it was possible to be a “conservative” artist. He was speaking of something deeper than politics. Could an artist, he wondered, live a quiet, ordered life surrounded by family, friends, and hard-won comfort and still produce work that was vital? Surveying his own favorite writers—William Butler Yeats, James Dickey, and William Faulkner—my friend concluded that the prognosis didn’t look good. Thinking of Bob Dylan in his homebound years, I countered that it was possible. It is true that great artists must be on intimate terms with both darkness and light, but most of us do not need to court darkness; it comes to us in unbidden tragedies large and small.

Unlike a Rolling Stone. Why Bob Dylan, troubadour of the revolution, turned homeward – Robert D. Lurie, The American Conservative

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It is at least unchivalrous of the panoptic security state’s comfortable defenders to demand that its critic accept martyrdom to prove his sincerity. If Edward Snowden’s critics were as intent as he is on exposing our country’s betrayal of its citizens,  we might take their concerns more seriously. Until then, we hipster conservatives will stand up for this hipster whistleblower.

The Unpatriotic, Double-Plus Ungood Cowardice of Edward Snowden – The Hipster Conservative

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Ni in ni dobro, ko namesto po racionalni razčlembi posežemo po enostavni in udarni demonizaciji drugega. Ni in ni dobro, ko se prepustimo programu roja. Vsak pa mora začeti pri sebi. A večjo odgovornost pri tem ima levica. Zakaj? Preprosto zato, ker – kot nas učijo filmi o spidermanu (spet smo pri žuželkah) – moč in odgovornost gresta skupaj. Ker ima levica večjo finančno, politično in medijsko moč (sociolog Frane Adam govori o „asimetriji v vplivnosti“), je tudi bolj odgovorna za nastale razmere in mora več kot drugi storiti, da postanemo normalni in” nad-žuželčje” racionalni.

Roj ali česa se ni dobro učiti od čebelic – Branko Cestnik, Časnik

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Bonus – fascinantno teološko dopolnilo prejšnjega premisleka: Bad Catholic o Niču, grehu in kreposti:

Sin is weak. Sin is a white flag of surrender waved to the oncoming Nothingness. Sin chooses absence over being and Nothing over Something. Sin is sinful not in that it is too bold, but in that it is not bold enough.

We see this truth on a personal level. Sin is always the easiest action to perform in any given situation. All it requires is Nothing.

To commit the sin of wrath or anger, a man doesn’t have to do anything, he merely has to lose something — his temper. He breaks, he snaps, he “gives in”, all of which merely points out the obvious, that he stops doing something. There is no boldness in wrath, any more than there is in rot, though they amount to the same thing, an acquiescence into Nothingness.

Better than Nothing – Marc Barnes, Bad Catholic