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

***

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.”

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

branje15

V danih razmerah je tako edino upanje za zlom demagoške koalicije to, da se SMC, SDS in NSi naučijo delati skupaj. NSi je s predlogom »ukrepov za nižje davke« (o katerih kakšno več rečem v prihodnje) podala roko za vsebinsko sodelovanje. To je lahko prvi korak, da te stranke pokažejo, ali premorejo zrelost in državotvornost za antidemagoško koalicijo.

Za normalizacijo potrebujemo antidemagoško koalicijo – Rok Novak, Finance

***

Pazite to: samo v Sloveniji je mogoče, da so mediji, ki so utemeljeni na uredniških hiperintelektualnih komentarjih o demokratičnem socializmu, polni pa jih denar iz davčnih oaz, sprejeti kot kredibilni levičarski mediji.

(…)

Lastniki, ki se vdajajo paradržavnim bankam, razumejo davčne oaze kot bistveni element poslovanja, sklepajo kravje kupčije in so vsi po vrsti pod drobnogledom preiskovalnih organov. To so danes Delo, Dnevnik in Mladina, vir resnice za naše borce proti kapitalizmu.

Celoten “bulšit” slovenskih mainstream tiskanih medijev na enem mestu! – Kizo, Portal Plus

***

This procedure represented a major transference of wealth. The losers were savers, people living on salaries, creditors of private dollarized contracts like mortgages, and many more. All of them saw their income and savings liquefied by an imposed exchange rate and the eroding power of inflation.

(…)

The prestigious economist Carlos Rodríguez Braun says that if devaluations were the way to economic success, Argentina would be rich and Switzerland would be poor. Leaving the common currency will definitely bring to the Greek population most, if not all, of the problems that leaving convertibility brought to Argentinian citizens. As to the advantages, they remain to be seen.

Argentina 2001, Greece 2015? – Federico N. Fernández, Free Market Diaries

***

Like many Germans, Guardini loved to vacation in Italy, and he took particular delight in the lake region around Milan. He was enchanted (…) by the physical beauty of the area, but what intrigued him above all was the manner in which human beings, through their architecture and craftsmanship, interacted non-invasively and respectfully with nature. When he first came to the region, he noticed, for example, how the homes along Lake Como imitated the lines and rhythms of the landscape and how the boats that plied the lake did so in response to the swelling and falling of the waves. But by the 1920’s, he had begun to notice a change. The homes being built were not only larger, but more “aggressive,” indifferent to the surrounding environment, no longer accommodating themselves to the natural setting.

(…)

It is only against this Guardinian background that we can properly read the Pope’s latest encyclical. Whatever his views on global warming, they are situated within the far greater context of a theology of nature that stands athwart the typically modern point of view. (…) In the spirit of the author of the book of Genesis, the Biblical prophets, Irenaeus, Thomas Aquinas, Francis of Assisi—indeed of any great pre-modern figure—Pope Francis wants to recover a properly cosmological sensibility, whereby the human being and her projects are in vibrant, integrated relation with the world that surrounds her.

Laudato Si’ and Romano Guardini – Robert Barron, Word on Fire

***

Perhaps our immediate future fits neither the dynamist nor the catastrophist framework.

We might have entered a kind of stagnationist position, a sustainable decadence, in which the issues Pope Francis identifies percolate without reaching a world-altering boil.

In that case, the deep critique our civilization deserves will have to be advanced without the threat of imminent destruction. The arguments in “Laudato Si’ ” will still resonate, but they will have to be structured around a different peril: Not a fear that the particular evils of our age can’t last, but the fear that actually, they can.

Pope Francis’ Call to Action Goes Beyond the Environment – Ross Douthat, The New York Times

***

I can think of no better education of the eyes than Eucharistic adoration. By stretching the eye to its utmost, demanding that it see in an appearance the real presence of God, we are taught to see the person in and through any appearance. If I see God in bread, how can I not see the person in the prostitute? If I see the God-man in the tabernacle, how can I not see the man in the doorway? If I see the person of Christ lifted up in the hands of the priest, how can I can I not see the person of the newborn as she is lifted to her mothers breast? The most difficult task of the eye is completed at church — it makes seeing-in-the-world like walking after a sprint.

Eucharistic Eyes – Marc Barnes, Bad Catholic

***

Dogajanje z begunci zahteva poglobljeno debato in pošten pogled na prihodnost naše celine. Begunci, ki prihajajo k nam, pripadajo popolnoma drugačnim kulturam. S svojim prihodom in visoko nataliteto počasi, a vztrajno versko, vrednostno in nasploh civilizacijsko spreminjajo Evropo in jo nekako prilagajajo sebi. To ni vrednostna sodba, to je dejstvo, vsem na očeh. Vprašanje za nas ni, ali se tega bojimo; pravo vprašanje je, ali si tega spreminjanja želimo.

Enotni smo si v tem, da je treba beguncem pomagati, vendar na način, ki bo za njih koristen in za nas vzdržen.

O beguncih malo drugače – Federico V. Potočnik, Nova Slovenija

***

Die autochthonen Europäer sollen offensichtlich auf jegliche nationale,kulturelle, religiöse sowie letztlich auch auf eine traditionelle sexuelle Identität verzichten. Selbst die radikalsten kommunistischen Intellektuellen gingen seinerzeit in ihren Forderungen nicht so weit. Die Diskussionen nehmen geradezu groteske Formen an. Die Eliten der Gesellschaft werden nicht müde, große Teile der eigenen Bevölkerung des Rassismus und der Xenophobie zu bezichtigen, während große Teile der Bevölkerung längst das Vertrauen in die vermeintlichen politischen und medialen Vordenker verloren haben.

(…)

Kollektive Verirrungen wie der Kommunismus, der Faschismus oder der Nationalsozialismus waren reversibel: Nach ihrem Scheitern konnte auf das kulturelle und religiöse Erbe Europas zurückgegriffen werden, und neue zivilisierte, demokratische Gemeinwesen entstanden. Werden jedoch die einheimischen Bevölkerungen zur Minderheit, dann ist dieser Weg der zivilisatorischen Regeneration versperrt

Islamisierung Europas: Nein, ich habe keine Visionen – Michael Ley, Die Presse

***

In Deutschland werden im Jahr 2050 nur noch rund 70 Millionen Einwohner leben. Jeder zehnte Bürger wird dann muslimischen Glaubens sein, also sieben Millionen deutsche Muslime. Für ganz Europa wird gelten: Jeder zehnte Bürger ist muslimischen Glaubens. Zum Vergleich: 2010 war es nur jeder 17. Europa ist den Forschern zufolge der einzige Kontinent, dessen Bevölkerung schrumpfen wird – und zwar um 100 Millionen Menschen auf 454 Millionen Bürger im Jahr 2050. Fast ein Viertel der Europäer (23 Prozent) werden dann keine Religionszugehörigkeit mehr haben.

Muslime – die Gewinner des demographischen Wandels – Dietrich Alexander, Die Welt

***

The fundamental reason for the Left’s unpopularity is that it still hasn’t answered the biggest question it has faced since the second world war: what does it mean to be left-wing when the money has run out? Left-wing parties used to keep their rainbow coalitions together by showering money on different interest groups.

The left’s great global downturn – Tim Montgomerie, CapX

***

Ampakliberalizem je pač edini liberalizem, ki ga naši politiki poznajo, in ni čudno, da se človekove pravice že skoraj četrt stoletja predvsem prilagajajo razmerjem moči v slovenskem parlamentu in da četrt stoletja različne družbene skupine čakajo, kdaj bodo njim naklonjene stranke tvorile parlamentarno večino in bodo lahko pravice, ki jim po ustavi pripadajo, tudi uveljavile.

Et tu, Luka? – Goran Vojnović, Dnevnik

***

Vseeno sem ga povprašal še, kaj bi naredil s socialnimi transferji in na moje skorajda presenečenje je odgovoril: “če bi nas država ne naredila odvisnih od nje, bi z ljudje z veseljem pomagali. Tako pa ne. Distancirani so od realnosti. Češ ‘država bo rešila’ in gredo naprej. Prelagajo, prelagamo odgovornost za sočloveka. To ni prav.

Slovenija je država sužnjev – Matic Jelovčan

***

At the heart of the original American ideal is the deep distrust and suspicion the founders of our nation had for Congress, distrust and suspicion not shared as much by today’s Americans. Some of the founders’ distrust is seen in our Constitution’s language, such as Congress shall not abridge, infringe, deny, disparage, violate or deny. If the founders did not believe Congress would abuse our God-given rights, they would not have provided those protections.

Maybe there are Americans who would argue that we are moving toward greater liberty and less government control over our lives and no longer need to remain an armed citizenry. I’d like to see their evidence.

Constitutional Ignorance and Dereliction – Walter E. Williams, The New American

 

»Živel Prvi in Drugi maj!« ali kako težko se je upirati samemu sebi

Obstajajo ljudje, ki ne marajo valentinovega. Pravijo, da zaljubljenci ne potrebujejo posebnega praznika, saj je za prave zaljubljence valentinovo vsak dan. Analogno kritiko nekateri namenjajo tudi prazniku dela. Za nekatere (teh je letos prijavljenih slabih 130 tisoč, realna številka pa je seveda bistveno večja) to ni le dan ali dva v letu, temveč način bivanja. Seveda z dvema bistvenima razlikama: da se ne vsak dan bašejo s čevapčiči v Opatjem selu in da za njihovo zabavo ne skrbi sindikat. No, seveda, ti redni praznikarji pravzaprav sploh nimajo sindikalnega zastopstva, niso »socialni partner« v pogajanjih o reformah, niso, razen z lepimi besedami, vključeni v program kakšne stranke. In vendar so. Obstajajo kot določen nevidni sloj. Nezaposlenost v Sloveniji namreč ni neko prehodno obdobje, nekaj začasnega, neka trenutna nemilost, v katero smo padli samo zato, da bi se lahko kmalu – in opremljeni z novo izkušnjo – spet postavili na noge. Ne, tako kot obstajajo redno zaposleni, obstajajo tudi redno nezaposleni.

Zanimivo je seveda to, da vseh teh stotisoč in več nezaposlenih ne sedi nujno križemrok, jokajoč nad svojo usodo. Mnogo nezaposlenih dela dosti, tako kot mnogo zaposlenih ne dela ničesar. Vsi moramo jesti, piti in plačati položnice za telefon. Z dvesto pa nekaj evrov socialke, ki jih lahko dobijo od države, brezposelni tega gotovo ne zmorejo. Vendar, bi dejala zaposlena gospa na zavodu za zaposlovanje, njihovo dodatno delo je nezakonito. To je žalostna zgodba tega sloja: ne le, da niso reprezentirani, niti zakoniti niso.

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O vprašanju prioritete

V naslednjih tednih se bodo mediji znova ukvarjali z vprašanjem družine, kar bo znova onemogočalo ukvarjanje z veliko bolj perečim vprašanjem dela. V Sloveniji se sicer skoraj nihče več ne poroča, hkrati pa je tudi vse več ljudi brez dela. Vzroke za to moramo iskati v ekonomskih dejavnikih, s katerimi pa se tudi v naslednjih tednih ne bo nihče ukvarjal. Mnogi se namreč ne poročajo zato, ker s tem ne pridobijo nikakršnih ugodnosti, mnogi pa so brez dela zaradi neprilagojenosti delovne zakonodaje dejanskemu stanju. Tako levičarjem kot desničarjem je v medsebojni bitki ljubši kulturni boj za simbolno definicijo družine, ne pa strukturne spremembe, ki bi posledično omogočile tudi večje število družin. Šele dovolj preskrbljeni posamezniki lahko začnejo razmišljati o skupnem življenju in potomstvu. Navsezadnje je poroka vedno bila ravno oblikovanje nove ekonomske celice, ne pa le goli simbolni akt oblikovanja zveze dveh posameznikov.

Manj kot tri leta po referendumu o družinskem zakoniku, kjer se je celotna kampanja pred tem bíla le glede vprašanja kdo lahko je družina, kdo se lahko poroča in kdo lahko posvaja otroke, je parlament izglasoval točno tisto točko, ki je bila kamen spotike. Predlog o izenačitvi partnerskih zvez pa sploh ni prišel iz vladajoče koalicije, temveč iz opozicijske Združene levice, kar lahko nedvomno štejemo za njihov prvi dejanski uspeh kot parlamentarne stranke. Hkrati pa je to sploh prva vidna zadeva, ki jo je ta parlament sploh naredil (če odštejemo glasovanje in posledičen odvzem mandata legalno izvoljenemu poslancu, a to je že druga zgodba, saj gre za ukvarjanje parlamenta s samim seboj). Opozicijska stranka je torej prepričala vladajočo koalicijo, da je to tako pomembna in nujna zadeva, da mora iti skozi hitro proceduro. Kot se za vse razsvetljene ideje spodobi, jih ne smemo prepustiti ljudstvu, uveljaviti jih je potrebno čim hitreje in s čim manj javne diskusije, ki itak ne pelje nikamor.

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Tedenski izbor

hieronim

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

***

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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Tedenski izbor

bhl

Right after the French Revolution, France abrogated its old laws making blasphemy a crime—and so Charlie Hebdo’s blasphemous depictions of Muhammad are not a crime. At the same time, France’s press laws, which date to the late nineteenth century, make it a crime to “provoke discrimination, hatred, or violence toward a person or group of persons because of their origin or belonging to a particular ethnicity, nation, race, or religion.” In other words, you can ridicule the prophet, but you cannot incite hatred toward his followers.

(…)

This complex distinction reflects modern France’s anti-clerical roots: individuals are protected, but churches and their doctrines are not. There was a powerful desire among the French Republicans to destroy the hegemony of the Catholic Church after the Republic was definitively reëstablished in 1871. This desire did not, however, extend to the creation of something akin to a First Amendment in France. Freedom of expression is mentioned prominently in the Rights of Man, but in practice it is far more restricted than in the U.S., and contains many confusing exceptions.

(…)

These kinds of exceptions, selective restrictions, and ambiguities in France’s freedom-of-expression laws have left the country vulnerable to charges of political favoritism. France might consider either a broader conception of free speech—the notion that the answer to bad speech is more speech—or doing a better job of clarifying what is allowed, and why. That it does not relates, once more, to France’s anti-clerical roots.

Why French Law Treats Dieudonné and Charlie Hebdo Differently – Alexander Stille, The New Yorker

***

Last Thursday, the day after the massacre at Charlie Hebdo and the day before the killings at a kosher supermarket, teachers in many suburban classrooms were unable to impose a moment of silence in tribute to the dead. They had insulted the Prophet, the kids said, and the Gauls are not our ancestors—to parody the famous slogan “nos ancêtres les Gaulois” which has traditionally guided the teaching of history in the French education system.

When the slogan, “Not in my name!”, appeared in Britain in May 2013 in protest against the attempted decapitation of the soldier Lee Rigby  in full view of passersby, there was criticism in France: Muslims should not appropriate the phrase. Why? Because they are French—religion should not become an identifying label.

All European countries, whatever their approach to immigration, are confronted today with the intricacies of multi-culturalism and the rise of populism. All European countries have to face the threat of al Qaeda and IS converting desperate youths to their cause, training them in Yemen or in Syria, before some of them go back home and vanish in to the depths of our free societies. There is no easy solution to this new phase of terrorist strategies against our democracies.

Charlie Hebdo: the emotional hangover begins for France – Christine Ockrent, Prospect Magazine

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Tedenski izbor

calvarlist

 

Moraliziranje ima tako na moralizirajočega posameznika nasprotne učinke od pričakovanih. Je kontraproduktivno. Bolj, kot si pripovedujem, kako moralen in integriteten da sem, bolj se bom v to zaciklano prepričal, manj bom tako ravnal. In, ko mi bo okolica nastavila, kot se spodobi, ogledalo, ga bom razbil, ker mi ne bo všeč podoba v njem. Pa čeprav, kot je najbrž vsem jasno, ni in ne more biti krivo ogledalo, ampak le tisti, ki se v njem ogleduje.

Še slabše pa se nam godi, ko moraliziranje z nivoja posameznika potegnemo na raven javnega diskurza in ga celo spremenimo v njegovo paradigmo kot merilo javnega ravnanja. To lahko sproži dve, po svoje znova paradoksalni, reakciji: popolno relativizacijo standardov ravnanja in zavestno, sistematično zavračanje kakršnekoli odgovornosti za svoja javna ravnanja.

Konec moraliziranja – Matej Avbelj, Ius Info

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In tako se je še enkrat izkazalo, da je poglavitni smisel Zavoda Republike Slovenije za zaposlovanje ta, da nudi delovna mesta uradnikom, ki so tam zaposleni. Včasih se vprašam, zakaj skoraj nobeno svetovanje, ukrep, mehanizem, spodbuda ali delavnica ne služi svojemu dejanskemu namenu, marveč samo kot krmilo za občutek, da nekje neka vladna služba nekaj počenja. Pogosto se vprašam, kaj bi veljalo storiti, da bi bilo drugače. Odgovore še čakam.

Kraj, kjer se končajo sanje – Katja Perat, Delo

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In our day, prejudice against gays is just a very faint shadow of what it once was. But the abolition of prejudice against gays does not necessarily mean that same-sex marriage is inevitable or optimal. There are other avenues available, none of which demands immediate, sweeping, transformational legislation or court judgements.

We are in the middle of a fierce battle that is no longer about rights. It is about a single word, “marriage.”

Two men or two women together is, in truth, nothing like a man and a woman creating a life and a family together. Same-sex relationships are certainly very legitimate, rewarding pursuits, leading to happiness for many, but they are wholly different in experience and nature.

Gay and lesbian activists, and more importantly, the progressives urging them on, seek to redefine marriage in order to achieve an ideological agenda that ultimately seeks to undefine families as nothing more than one of an array of equally desirable “social units,” and thus open the door to the increase of government’s role in our lives.

I’m Gay and I Oppose Same-Sex Marriage – Doug Mainwaring, Public Discourse

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In recent years, progressive politics has been known for its pursuit of social change in the moral realm, with LGBTQ causes at the forefront of its crusade. But the poor have been left behind. In ironic fact, progressives have given up equality for the sake of also giving up virtue.

With old-fashioned virtue, there might be a chance at equality. But “progress” has been determined to consist in the final dismantling of all moral structures that once lent backbone to the demands of the virtuous poor. Without meaningful work, there can be no working class. Another way of saying this is that without the kind of work that imparts a working-class identity, the working class can have no class-consciousness.

People need work. The poor—and all of us—are made virtuous in part by the need to labor; to struggle, not with one another in the sense of “class struggle,” but with our bodies and within our souls; to practice the virtues of diligence and self-denial; to have something to show for ourselves. If the “virtuous poor” are virtuous, it is because work has made them so. Take away work, and you take away humanity. That goes for the elite, too.

Are We Proving Marx Right? – The Hipster Conservative

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The current trends in America, Wall Street getting richer, everyone else getting poorer, politicians of both parties feeding brazenly at Wall Street’s trough, the party of the Left in full blown attack gear not on inequality, which it has done nothing to address, but picking at and rubbing raw the scabs of identity politics—this can’t keep going on indefinitely without something really bad happening.

Abandoned by the Left – Scott McConnell, The American Conservative

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Increasingly the divides in American life are not between those who defend equality of opportunity versus those who demand equality of result, as Nisbet argued. Rather they are between whether freedom and voluntary association on a more local level can win out over coercion and bureaucracy at an ever more distant national level. Kunkel’s desire for sustainable production by worker-owned businesses and grassroots democratic decision-making seems to envision a new kind of politics, more local and left-libertarian in nature, that transcends easy categorization. And if there is a genuine mood rising among Americans, particularly the young, toward a return to smallness and democratic self-control throughout American society, then the argument now should revolve around means.

What’s Left After Marx – Matthew Hartwood, The American Conservative

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Conservatives should embrace him /Foucault/ and his work. From a conservative perspective, the great thing about Foucault’s writing is that it is more plastic than Marx, and far less economically subversive. Academics rooted in Foucauldian thought are far more compatible with neoliberalism than the old Marxist academics.

In some ways, Zamora’s book is an effort by some on the left to try to “discipline” Foucault’s flirtation with the right. It will be interesting to see the academic left’s response to the book. But Zamora also reveals why free-marketeers might want to give Foucault another read and not just dismiss him with the “post-modern” epithet.

Why Michel Foucault is the libertarian’s best friend – Daniel W. Dresner, The Washington Post

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Given Chesterton and Burke, there exists a liberalism consistent with right reason and revelation. Extension of economic and political liberalism into all-encompassing worldviews would be an American heresy. But one can take them to be prudent means—of negative liberty for the sake of trade and civic liberties under the rule of law—when rightly ordered toward proper ends known by natural reason and revelation. As Chesterton writes in What I Saw in America: “The unconscious democracy of America is a very fine thing. It is a true and deep and instinctive assumption of the equality of citizens, which even voting and elections have not destroyed.”

Different Kinds of Liberalism – Ryan Schinkel, Ethika Politika

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Havlu je Srednja Evropa je omogočala vizijo neke drugačne, demokratične Češke (oziroma Češkoslovaške). Njegova osebnost je bila zato tudi za druge srednjeevropske države monumentalnega pomena. Na prvi pogled se morda res zdi, da je ideja o Srednji Evropi nek romantičen in nostalgičen pojem, ki se navzven lepo sliši, znotraj pa je votel. Ali kot piše Jančar: »Kaj nas resnično druži v srednjeevropskem prostoru, je precej nedorečeno. Zdaj se naenkrat kaže, da nas je bolj združeval odpor do njegove razdeljenosti kot pa sorodna kulturna vprašanja.« Svobodna demokratična družba, pluralizem, spoštovanje temeljnih človekovih pravic, odprtost in prevzemanje odgovornosti pa vendarle ostajajo nekatere skupne vrednote srednjeevropskega prostora, ki povezujejo, če že ne vladajoče strukture, pa predvsem ljudi, ki živijo na tem prostoru. To pa so prav vrednote, ki jih pooseblja Havlovo življenje.

Srednja Evropa Václava Havla – Jernej Letnar Černič, Razpotja

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Ne glede na dejanske in objektivno ugotovljive razloge za kršitve in napake, ki so se zgodile v sodni kalvariji, znani kot afera Patria, se bo za dobršen del prebivalstva ta zgodba kazala kot zadnja etapa te izključevalne prakse.
Posledice bodo vsaj dvojne.

Prvič, Janševi podporniki bodo za kršitve človekovih pravic v zadevi Patria klicali na odgovornost ne le dejanskih in objektivnih krivcev, temveč celotni slovenski mainstream; to se pravi vse tiste, ki ne spadajo v njihov krog.

Drugič: če živiš v okolju, kjer ti še pri najbolj očitnih in eklatantnih kršitvah tvojih osnovnih pravic na pomoč priskočijo skoraj izključno le podporniki in kjer se politična kritika takoj pretvori v podporo politični izločitvi, potem je logično, da lahko računaš le na podpornike. In če lahko računaš le na podpornike in če od tistih, ki ne spadajo mednje, ne moreš pričakovati niti osnovne državljanske in človeške empatije, potem je logično, da postane lojalnost glavni, celo edini kriterij selekcije.

Družba, ki se začne organizirati po teh principih – ki so, povejmo jasno, principi klanovstva –, se začenja nevarno oddaljevati od razmer demokratičnega sobivanja.

Kako je Janez Janša postal državni sovražnik številka ena – Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič, Planet Siol.net

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As these examples of democratic regression into various forms of ‘illiberal democracy’ in Central and Eastern Europe show, democratic consolidation is still far from complete. The most disturbing detail is the vulnerability of ‘consolidated democracies’ such as Hungary or Slovenia to ‘democratic regression’, which reminds us that democracies are inherently unable of being ‘definitely established’. While significant progress in the development of ‘electoral democracy’ in the region has been achieved, ‘liberal democracy’ still remains fragile and weak. Moreover, the legal institutions of liberal democracy in Central and Eastern European countries significantly differ from those of their Western European counterparts. Behind a façade of harmonised legal rules transposed from various EU legal sources, several cracks have begun to appear, exposing the fragility of constitutional democracy in these countries.

As a consequence, Central and Eastern European countries are once again displaying certain features of “lands in between” which call attention to their constantly precarious and indeterminate location on the political map of Europe. Zwischen-Europa, as some interwar German writers called it, lies in the territory between the West and the Russian East and is said to have been the “unfinished part of Europe” for most of the 20th century. Its political and legal institutions were similarly “caught” in between the democratic West and the authoritarian East.

Academics should be careful not to exaggerate the progress made by Central and Eastern Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall – Ivan T. Berend, Bojan Bugarič, LSE Blog

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Skeptics have been planning the EU’s funeral for decades, but time and again, the union has refused to die. During the EU’s latest and most profound crisis, national governments once more chose to reaffirm and deepen their commitments. This rapid growth of EU power, however, has given rise to a number of misguided and counterproductive policies that have undercut public support and left the EU in a deep malaise. European citizens today largely ignore the EU’s many achievements or take them for granted, instead equating the organization with economic pain and feckless leadership. The union endures, but it has lost its mojo.

The EU has worn out its default strategy of muddling through crises. Lurching from one calamity to the next has damaged the credibility of Brussels and national governments alike. It is time for a bold and far-reaching agenda. To see a Europe truly reborn and fit for the twenty-first century, EU leaders must reassert with confidence—on the economy, on security, and on democracy—that Europe is stronger when it stands united.

Europe Reborn. How to Save the European Union from Irrelevance – Matthias Matthijs & R. Daniel Kelemen, Foreign Affairs

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Narodno identiteto bomo zgubili zaradi ležernosti, neaktivnosti, ne-ljubezni do domovine, ne pa zato, ker bi v stiski priskočili na pomoč ljudem, ki nas potrebujejo. Najlažje je ljubiti svoje. A Kristus nas poziva, da ljubimo tujce. »Tujec sem bil in ste me sprejeli.« (Mt 25, 35).

Če že ne moremo začeti ljubiti, ker smo to najčistejše čustvo umazali in pocukrali, se sklicujmo vsaj na pravičnost in mir.

Tujec sem bil in me niste sprejeli – Irena Vadnjal, Časnik

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During the Korean War, alarmed by the shocking rapidity of American POWs’ breakdowns and indoctrination by their communist captors, the CIA began investing in mind-control research. In 1953, the CIA established the MK-ULTRA program, whose earliest phase involved hypnosis, electroshock and hallucinogenic drugs. The program evolved into experiments in psychological torture that adapted elements of Soviet and Chinese models, including longtime standing, protracted isolation, sleep deprivation and humiliation. Those lessons soon became an applied “science” in the Cold War.

During the Vietnam War, the CIA developed the Phoenix program, which combined psychological torture with brutal interrogations, human experimentation and extrajudicial executions. In 1963, the CIA produced a manual titled “Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation” to guide agents in the art of extracting information from “resistant” sources by combining techniques to produce “debility, disorientation and dread.” Like the communists, the CIA largely eschewed tactics that violently target the body in favor of those that target the mind by systematically attacking all human senses in order to produce the desired state of compliance.

(…)

(B)ecause the concept of torture has been so muddled and disputed, I suggest that accountability would be more publicly palatable if we reframed the CIA’s program as one of human experimentation. If we did so, it would be more difficult to laud or excuse perpetrators as “patriots” who “acted in good faith.” Although torture has become a Rorschach test among political elites playing to public opinion on the Sunday morning talk shows, human experimentation has no such community of advocates and apologists.

The CIA Didn’t Just Torture, It Experimented on Human Beings – Lisa Hajjar, The Nation

Tedenski izbor

civilwar

Glasilo Ljubljana, ki ga izdaja Mestna občina Ljubljana, v zadnji številki sploh ne omenja drugih kandidatov na prihajajočih lokalnih volitvah. Seveda je v glasilu dovolj prostora namenjenega aktualnemu županu Zoranu Jankoviću in njegovim projektom, pri Transparency International ugotavljajo, da je publikacija za skoraj 55 odstotkov daljša od običajne take publikacije, zaznali so podobnost med oblikovnimi rešitvami v občinskem glasilu in v propagandnem gradivu liste Zorana Jankovića.

Jankovićevo glasilo se je znašlo v ‘sivi coni’ – Novica Mihajlović, Finance

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Pope Francis isn’t the best thing to happen to the Gospel in our lifetime, just as he isn’t the best thing to happen to the global economy, politics, or ecumenism. He’d surely tell you that himself if you asked. He is, though—by his own admission—an example of a life lived in Christ, and of a sinner saved by a merciful God. His pontificate is a story worth retelling to our children and grandchildren, and more importantly one worth listening to carefully and with rapt attention. Not because its characters are played by the biggest stars, but because the writing is just so damn good.

Pope Francis is a Toxic Asset – Andrew M. Haines, Ethika Politika

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To be sure, I had many other Evangelical apologetic heroes, who were not only outstanding scholars in their respective disciplines, but also good and decent people as well. In the case of this latter group, however, unlike the former, they were men and women of prayer, devotion, deep piety, and personal charity.  Because their Christian faith was not reducible to cerebral combat, they had an attractive manner and radiated a sense of joy, contentment, and real intellectual curiosity.  I wanted to be like them.

After I re-entered the Catholic world nearly eight years ago, I discovered a similar phenomenon. Some Catholic apologists were like the first group I had encountered as an Evangelical: they often had wonderful arguments, but ugly souls. They seemed perpetually angry, dismissing critics as blind fools motivated by bad faith.

Others, to my great joy, were like the latter group. They understood that evangelization is not just about introducing your neighbors to arguments in order to win them to Jesus; it is about introducing Jesus to your neighbors through one’s example so that they may be drawn in to listen to your arguments. This is what I believe Pope Francis is trying to teach the Church about the New Evangelization.

Reason Is More than Just Arguments – Francis J. Beckwith, The Catholic Thing

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Nekaj hinavskega je v našem glorificiranju uspehov Slovencev v tujini. Posamezniki, ki jih ni nihče povohal, dokler so delovali na domačih tleh, so se spremenili v genije in superjunake, takoj ko so švignili čez mejo. Časopisi, ki so jih dolga leta ignorirali, zdaj objavljajo naslove v stilu »Doma neznan, v tujini pa velika zvezda!«. Pri tem uredniki seveda pozabljajo, da so jim domačo prepoznavnost onemogočali ravno oni sami, ko jim niso hoteli nameniti prostora. Na podoben način država, ki se tako rada hvali z mednarodnimi dosežki svojih državljanov, noče podpreti njihovih projektov doma. Zmage naših športnikov fetišiziramo v nedogled, a mirno sprejemamo stradanje domačih klubov, iz katerih so ti vrhunski igralci izšli. Ujeli smo se v zanko naših lastnih moralizmov: če je uspeh v tujini junaštvo, potem je domači uspeh lahko le lopovščina. Treba je torej ljudem preprečiti možnost uveljavljanja, da se ne spridijo. Tako je edina rešitev, ki ostane, da vse sposobne ljudi pošljemo ven, v Slovenijo pa pripeljemo tujce.

Samo ven! – N’Toko, Mladina

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Ker je bilo v socialističnem sistemu pravo potemtakem v celoti instrumentalizirano za politične cilje, ti pa so se z muhavostjo partije lahko spreminjali iz dneva v dan, tako da je bilo stanje za pravne akterje skrajno negotovo, Uzelac ugotavlja, da so pravniki, zlasti pa sodniki, razvili celo plejado metod, kako slednjič ne-odločiti v zadevi. Poleg razvlečenega sojenja, razpisovanja na desetine obravnav, neuspešnega vabljenja strank, prič, nepotrebnih izvedencev, iskanja materialne resnice itd., Uzelac trdi, da je najbolj izpiljena metoda v izogib sprejetju vsebinske odločitve in s tem tudi odgovornosti zanjo bila razveljavitev sodbe in vrnitev v ponovno odločanje na prvo stopnjo. Kot slikovito zapiše avtor: »ta vrtiljak se je lahko vrtel toliko, kolikor je bilo potrebno, de je slednjič odpadla družbena potreba po odločitvi v zadevi.«

/…/

Rezultat je bila frapantna neučinkovitost sodstva in vse, kar dobro poznamo tudi iz lastnih slovenskih izkušenj v povezavi z nespoštovanjem pravice do sojenja v razumnem roku.

Kljub temu Uzelac sklene, da se vse opisano ne bo kaj kmalu spremenilo. Še več (post-) socialistično pravo je po njegovem zacementirano za naslednjih nekaj desetletij in to vse bolj glasnim javnim kritikam navkljub. Vse to pa, na nek način paradoksalno, zahvaljujoč zahodnim standardom, katerih uveljavitev so terjali zavezniki v najrazličnejših evropskih integracijah. Med temi prednjači neodvisnost sodstva. Pod njeno krinko, ugotavlja Uzelac, se ohranja vse staro na način preverjenega, izbranega kadriranja; preprečevanja vseh kritik, tudi legitimnih, in to »na sindikalni način, ki nekritično brani vsakega člana svojega ceha.«

Socialistični pravni cement – Matej Avbelj, Iusinfo

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Čakam odrešitelja – ministra za pravosodje, recimo -, ki bo dal sodnikom diskrecijsko pravico, da nekatere tožbe zavržejo. Zakaj bi se moral tako velik del sodnega aparata (če primere seštejemo) ukvarjati z bagatelnimi bizarnostmi trmastih ljudi? Predstavljajte si ves ta pogon, profesionalni in privatni: posvetovanje z odvetnikom, pa sestavljanje tožb, pa samo še brezplačna pravna pomoč se manjka, pa mastne odvetniške tarife, pa razpis naroka, pa nekaj obravnav, pa propadle mediacije, pa zapisničarkino histerično tipkanje, pa vse te slovnične pomote in célo stran dolgi stavki, pa vročanje in prevzemanje pošte itd. itd. Celi ducati ljudi zapravljajo ure in ure dela, za katero so sicer v službi, in denarja, ki je sicer davkoplačevalski – koga to briga, ne? -, samo zato, ker se dva človeka ne moreta dogovoriti o neki popolni neumnosti, ki nikogar na svetu, razen njiju, ne zanima in katere objektivna vrednost je tako rekoč enaka nič!

Ah, saj res, Slovenija mora biti pravna država, kajneda? Od pametnih pravnikov pričakujem, da bodo našli rešitev za onemogočenje tožarjenja za irelevantnosti, ki so v izrazitem nesorazmerju z za to potrebnim vložkom oziroma trudom sodnega aparata, in ki obenem ne bo kršila človekove pravice do sodnega varstva, kadar gre za nekaj pomembnega in tudi resnično materialno vrednega.

Bela tehnika, črna kronika: pralni ali pravni stroj – Marko Crnkovič, Primorske novice

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Kliše, ki v Sloveniji noče in noče umreti, govori o urbani levici in provincialni desnici, kar naj bi pomagalo pojasniti dosedanje volilne rezultate v Ljubljani kot “rdeči trdnjavi”. Če se vrnemo na izhodiščno dilemo – koga v tej državi pravzaprav zastopa t. i. levica – smo se znašli pred paradoksom, saj obstaja tudi primer Maribora, kjer je socialna struktura prebivalstva neprimerljivo bolj proletarska kot v Ljubljani, pa je bil vseeno za župana že dvakrat izvoljen Franc Kangler, čigar ljudska stranka stranka niti po definiciji ni levičarska.

Lublana je še naprej bulana – Dejan Steinbuch, Finance

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Težko se je tedaj znebiti vtisa, da puščajo sedanji »novi obrazi« za ohranitev ljubega miru na levi sredini razmeroma velik ljubljanski fevd padlega bivšega novega obraza namenoma nedotaknjen in v polnem obsegu, ne oziraje se na vse homatije v zadnjem letu in pol.  Kar bi moralo verjetno sprožiti kakšno neprijetno vprašanje o enakih vatlih, a ga morda niti ne bo.

Vsaj v nečem se ljubljanskemu in še kakšnemu »večnemu županu«  rahlo poznajo tegobe obdobja, ki je minilo med dvema svetovnima nogometnima prvenstvoma. Zaradi občasno močno povišanih tonov proti praksam obstoječe politike je njihova javna navzočnost manj izrazita in bo bržkone tudi proslavljanje zmag manj bučno kakor nekdaj. Pa še kak njihov volivec bo ob vprašanju, komu je oddal glas, raje zamenjal temo.

Parcelice in veleparcela – Aleš Maver, Časnik

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Mr Orban outlined his longer-term vision in a much-noted speech on July 26th in Baile Tusnade, in neighbouring Romania. Hungary, he explained, would become an “illiberal state”. Speaking admiringly of Russia, China and Turkey, he said Hungary would remain a democracy, and not reject liberal principles such as freedom of speech, but would be based on “a different, special, national approach”. The approach, say critics, was evident earlier this month when police raided the Budapest office of Okotars, an NGO that manages funds from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, and confiscated computers and documents for alleged financial mismanagement. Okotars strongly denies the charge. The police raid was “completely unacceptable”, thundered Vidar Helgesen, Norway’s minister for Europe.

The show of force has sent shivers through Hungary’s non-profit sector. The EU had no comment, as the NGOs are funded by Norway. But Kate Byrnes, the deputy chief of America’s OSCE mission, demanded that Hungary allow NGOs to operate without “further harassment, interference or intimidation”, repeating earlier protests.

Orban the Unstoppable – The Economist

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Po Mitchellovih opažanjih in analizah so baltske države najbolj tržno usmerjene, Skandinavija pa prosti trg združuje z veliko vlado. Francozi so brezupen primer, saj po eni strani hočejo veliko, socialno in redistributivno državo, ki jo na drugi strani sami goljufajo. Južne ekonomije so v globokih težavah.

Uničile so svoj socialni kapital, delovno etiko in zanašanje nase. Vlade v južnih državah so prevelike in demografska razmerja so obupna in … Pravzaprav imam svojo različico Evrope dveh hitrosti. Južna bo propadla in večina severne bo ugotovila, kako preživeti in se reformirati. Ne bi bil presenečen, če v južni Evropi čez 10 ali 20 let ne bi bilo več demokracije.”

Kje v takšnih razlikah med evropskimi državami vidi Slovenijo? “/…/ Moj občutek mi govori, da je Slovenija podobna severni Italiji – zmerno produktivna, zmerno dobro izobražena, z veliko impresivnimi zmožnostmi, a s političnim sistemom, ki jo drži nazaj. To bi bil moj preprost sklep. Če bi severna Italija postala švicarski kanton, bi njeno gospodarstvo cvetelo. Ljudje bi živeli v političnem sistemu, ki deluje, namesto da jih, tako kot zdaj, nadzoruje disfunkcionalni Rim. Menim, da bi Slovenija prav tako dosegala precej višje stopnje rasti, če bi bila vodena kot švicarski kanton. Slovenija je namreč sposobna hitrejšega razvoja, toda ne v obstoječem političnem okolju.”

Če bi bila Slovenija vodena kot švicarski kanton … – Pogovor z ameriškim predavateljem Danielom Mitchellom, MMC

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Očitno je, da so ti ljudje, izbrisani, mnogo pretrpeli, utrpeli so krivico. To mora biti popravljeno. Vendar pa naj se v to, prosim, ne vpleta Jožeta Pučnika. Znova sem prebral tisti njegov sporni govor, besedo za besedo, tako kot je o njem poročalo Delo. Ne vem točno, kaj je želel povedati. Vendar pa sem ga poznal. Ko Jože Pučnik reče, da je potrebno neko zadevo razrešiti »humano, socialno in pravno demokratično«, misli natanko to. O tem ste lahko prepričani. Bil je najbolj pokončna in pravična oseba, kar sem jih kadarkoli poznal. No, nekateri očitno mislijo, da je te besede izgovoril na izjemno ciničen način, kot kakšen SS-Obersturmbannführer, ki Zyklon B označi za »humano rešitev«. Bog jim pomagaj, jaz jim ne morem.
Zlo, ki ga povzročijo ljudje, jih preživi, dobro je pogosto pokopano z njihovimi kostmi. Prepričan sem, da je Božo Repe častivreden mož. In prav tako so vsi, vsi častivredni. Vsake toliko uživajo v blatenju, vendar to ne more omadeževati njih samih. Kajne?

Nasprotujem nacionalizmu kot konceptu – intervju z Marcusom Pučnikom, Razpotja

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Prav zato smo se osamosvojili in kot dokaz večstoletnega boja za narodno osvoboditev ustvarili svojo državo, ki je utemeljena, tako večkrat poudarja tudi slovensko Ustavno sodišče, na vrednostnem prelomu s prejšnjo Socialistično federativno republiko Jugoslavijo. Izjave predsednika Državnega zbora kažejo na to, da si sam tega preloma ne želi in zato tudi ne zmore. Pritrjevanje pozivom k ponovnemu obveznemu uvajanju srbo-hrvaščine v osnovne šole, objokovanje izgube domnevnih komparativnih prednosti na Balkanu zaradi neznanja tega jezika, dokazujejo njegovo ujetost v miselni in politični kontekst, ki ga ni mogoče poimenovati Evropska Slovenija, ki nasprotuje etosu slovenske ustave in zato vsemu, kar naj bi predstavljal Državni zbor kot njen vsakodnevni izvrševalec.

In morda najbolj pomembno: nikjer v zahodni civilizaciji, še posebej pa ne po grozotah druge svetovne vojne, ne boste našli visokega politika, ki bi povojne poboje pojasnil z golim upoštevanjem naravnega prava s strani tedanjih oblastnikov. Gre za izjavo, ki je nevredna intelektualca, še manj univerzitetnega predavatelja mednarodnih odnosov in ki je naravnost škandalozna za predsednika Državnega zbora države, ki jo vse mogoče krivice, storjene v in po drugi svetovni vojni tako zelo bremenijo še danes. Bistvo naravnega prava, kot ga poznamo v zahodni civilizaciji, je pravičnost sama na sebi, v naravi stvari, ki v posebej hudih okoliščinah celo terja umik pozitivnega prava, ki ga sprejme človek in njegove institucije. Trditi, da so povojni poboji odraz take pravičnosti je bodisi skregano z zdravo pametjo bodisi, če je mišljeno resno, skrajno zavržno. Povojni, in zares vsakršni poboji, nimajo ničesar opraviti s kakršnimkoli pravom, še najmanj pa naravnim. So preprosto proti-pravni.

Javno vprašanje Društva Evropska Slovenija predsedniku Državnega zbora

Tedenski izbor

library-reading

The enormity of the destruction of flight MH17 should have led Mr Putin to draw back from his policy of fomenting war in eastern Ukraine. Yet he has persevered, for two reasons. First, in the society he has done so much to mould, lying is a first response. The disaster immediately drew forth a torrent of contradictory and implausible theories from his officials and their mouthpieces in the Russian media: Mr Putin’s own plane was the target; Ukrainian missile-launchers were in the vicinity. And the lies got more complex. The Russian fiction that a Ukrainian fighter jet had fired the missile ran into the problem that the jet could not fly at the altitude of MH17, so Russian hackers then changed a Wikipedia entry to say that the jets could briefly do so. That such clumsily Soviet efforts are easily laughed off does not defeat their purpose, for their aim is not to persuade but to cast enough doubt to make the truth a matter of opinion. In a world of liars, might not the West be lying, too?

A Web of Lies: Russia. MH17, and the West – The Economist

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As America grew and changed after World War II, urban planners dismissed the historic structure of town life. Old buildings were demolished to make way for modern architecture. Neighborhoods gave way to suburbs designed around and for the automobile. Not only did this erase the aesthetic loveliness of our towns, it had dangerous consequences for community. Alexandria’s battle to preserve something small and traditional amid the burgeoning sprawl of the nation’s capital region is a struggle with obvious parallels to the efforts of traditionalist conservatives around the country—those who believe in creative preservation, not just creative destruction. But there’s more at stake here, too: a future for American urbanism that doesn’t just hold onto the best of the past but makes it a viable, enlivening pattern for the 21st century as well. Redevelopment must be handled with a delicate touch, careful not to stretch or tear the precious fabric that makes a town a place.

The Battle of Alexandria – Gracy Olmstead, The American Conservative

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Young Democrats have become selfishly against real equality in their opposition to any kind of moral restraint imposed by government. They’re the party of uninhibited freedom in one’s own personal life. And they are no longer moved by any sensitivity to the injustices of the growing inequality — or the struggles of the failing middle class — that are the consequences of the unmediated effects of the global competitive marketplace on ordinary American lives. Well, I’ve been saying for a while that big-government progressivism, or the communitarian Left, is dead.

Is Progressivism Dead? – Peter Augustine Lawler, National Review

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According to Orbán, the time of liberal democracies has come to an end. Something else, something better will come that will ensure “competitiveness” in this global economy. Orbán mentioned a few countries worth imitating: Singapore, China, India, Turkey, and Russia. What a happy prospect in the center of Europe!

Close to the end of his speech Orbán listed a number of unexpected global occurrences. For example, no one would have ever imagined that Barack Obama could be sued by Congress for repeatedly encroaching on Congress’s power. He expressed his utter astonishment and continued: “What do you think, how long could I stay in office if parliament could sue me for overstepping our authority?” Viktor Orbán does not even pretend. He tells the whole world that he has unlimited power. He has no shame. In fact, he is proud of it.

Foreign journalists should no longer have to pretend either. They don’t have to use milquetoast adjectives like “conservative,” “right-of-center,” and “conservative-nationalist” anymore. Call it what it is. A one-man dictatorship with more or less free but unfair elections.

Viktor Orbán’s Hungary: An Illiberal Democracy – Hungarian Spectrum

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While you are on the demonstration, if passersby disagree with you about Israel and Gaza, do not surround them, shove them, steal their phone and call them a “Jew Zionist”. Having a different view of where blame and responsibility lie in the current conflict does not make someone a proxy-combatant for you to attack.

While you are at the demonstration, do not compare Israel to Nazi Germany. Gaza is not the Warsaw Ghetto. If you can’t tell the difference, this post explains it. It’s a totally false comparison that plays on Jewish sensibilities in order to provoke a reaction. Another word for that is Jew-baiting. Don’t do it.

In fact, don’t take any banner or placard that has a swastika on it. Not when it is equated with a Star of David and not when it is drawn on Bibi Netanyahu’s forehead. Don’t you find it odd that the only political demonstrations where it is considered OK by people on the Left to wave a swastika, just happen to be protests against the world’s only Jewish state? That’s an almighty coincidence.

Oh, and don’t wave a Socialist Worker banner out of the window of a Lamborghini. It makes you look like a shmuck. And I bet you don’t even need your Jewish friends to translate what that means.

An Open Letter to Pro-Palestinian Protestors – Dave Rich, The Huffington Post 

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There is no moral justification for Hamas firing rockets against Israeli cities, but what initially sparked the current conflict was Israel’s determination to undermine the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. By that agreement, Hamas actually subordinated itself to the Palestinian Authority and to a new government that was to be staffed by technocrats who had no affiliation to either party. As Nathan Thrall from the International Crisis Group wrote in The New York Times, that agreement could have served the interest of an Israeli government committed to a two-state solution:

It offered Hamas’s political adversaries a foothold in Gaza; it was formed without a single Hamas member; it retained the same Ramallah-based prime minister, deputy prime ministers, finance minister and foreign minister; and, most important, it pledged to comply with the three conditions for Western aid long demanded by America and its European allies: nonviolence, adherence to past agreements and recognition of Israel.

But from the beginning, Israel set out to undermine it. That was consistent with Israel’s denial of Palestinian self-rule, and it helped to provoke the current conflict.

Who Bears More Responsibility for the War in Gaza? – John B. Judis, The New Republic

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Vse navedeno kaže, da pisanja na roko nikakor ne gre izrinjati iz šolskih klopi na račun uvajanja računalniških pripomočkov, kakršne so tablice. Te naj bodo le dopolnilo ostalim oblikam učenja in poučevanja. Kako tablice delujejo, otroci dovolj zgodaj ugotovijo sami, v šoli bi moral biti poudarek na drugih aktivnostih, meni Tancigova. Pisanje na roko spodbuja tudi razvoj fine motorike; predmeti, v okviru katerih se odvijajo telesne aktivnosti in spodbuja kreativnost (umetnost), bi morali imeti več prostora v šolskem kurikulu. Finski arhitekt in izjemni mislec Juhani Pallasmaa v knjigi Misleča roka(izid izvirnika 2009) zelo dobro pokaže pomen povezanosti telesa in možganov (utelešena kognicija) ter poudarja povezovanje uma in roke ter pomen ročnega risanja pri ustvarjalnem delu.

Uporaba sodobnih tehnologij ima po drugi strani za posledico, da se, laično rečeno, možgani polenijo. Človeški možgani so zelo plastični in se oblikujejo odvisno od rabe, zato ni vseeno, v kakšnem okolju živimo ali kaj delamo. Prva svarila pred pasivizacijo je bilo slišati že v času zmagovitega pohoda televizije, z internetom in sodobnimi tehnološkimi igračkami je podobno. Posledice prevelikega naslanjanja na tehnologijo je zaznati pri študentih, ki imajo zaradi pomanjkljivega znanja pogosto velike težave pri iskanju informacij ali selekcioniranju le-teh, se raje kot na izvirnike naslanjajo na kratke obnove knjižnih in strokovnih del, ki jih dobijo na spletu … Vse to neredko vodi v površinskost, nepoglobljenost in nereflektiranost /…/

O izginjanju pisanja na roke – Agata Tomažič, Pogledi

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Dawkins’ narrowmindedness, his unshakeable belief that the entire history of human intellectual achievement was just a prelude to the codification of scientific inquiry, leads him to dismiss the insights offered not only by theology, but philosophy, history and art as well.

To him, the humanities are expendable window-dressing, and the consciousness and emotions of his fellow human beings are byproducts of natural selection that frequently hobble his pursuit and dissemination of cold, hard facts. His orientation toward the world is the product of a classic category mistake, but because he’s nestled inside it so snugly he perceives complex concepts outside of his understanding as meaningless dribble. If he can’t see it, then it doesn’t exist, and anyone trying to describe it to him is delusional and possibly dangerous.

Richard Dawkins: What on Earth Happened to You? – Eleanor Robertson, The Guardian

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Bonus: članek dr. Mateja Avblja, objavljen v Delu pred enim letom, ter intervju z Bernardom Brščičem, objavljen v reviji Razpotja poleti l. 2011:

Spoštovanje vsakega posameznika, njegova ekonomska osamosvojitev, razcvet civilne družbe in s tem pravega družbenega pluralizma bodo Slovenijo pomagali odpreti tudi navzven in jo spremenili v svetovljansko družbo. Odprta za pretočnost dobrih idej, ne glede na njihov izvor ali svetovnonazorsko obarvanost, bo evropska Slovenija lahko pritegnila tudi številne posameznike s sveta, ki bodo s seboj prinesli spet nove ideje, nov kapital in nove spodbude za nadaljnji družbeni razvoj, obenem pa bodo Slovenijo vpeli tudi v globalne okvire.

Ideja Evropske Slovenije – Matej Avbelj, Delo

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Sam menim, da je ekonomiziranje, torej postavljanje primata ekonomiji in reduciranje vsega družbenega na ekonomsko, pogubno. Politika preprosto ima svojo dimenzijo in ekonomija ji je podrejena in je samo sredstvo za reševanje ekonomskega problema. V 20. stoletju pa smo zdrsnili v to, da je ekonomija postala primarna in politika zgolj odvisna od ekonomije. Politika se tako reducira bodisi na zadovoljevanje interesov – gre za politiko brez romantike, bodisi na urejanje javnih zadev iz vidika sodobne doktrine menedžiranja. Sam obema pojmovanjema politike in političnega ostro nasprotujem, zlasti redukciji političnega na udejanjanje interesov. Res pa je, da ob analizi slovenske stvarnosti človek zelo hitro dobi občutek, da politika ni nič drugega kot udejanjanje interesov.

Kljub temu sam menim, da je izhod iz te brezupne družbene krize povezan ravno z reafirmacijo političnega, s sposobnostjo političnih skupin, da artikulirajo skupno dobro.

 

Ugrabitev države in kriza političnega: pogovor z Bernardom Brščičem – Marijana Koren, Razpotja

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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Slovenija ne vidi izhoda iz recesije. Strokovnjaki: v Sloveniji preveč Slovencev

(poročilo prevedeno iz bruseljskega časopisa The New European Times)

Foto: Delo

Foto: Delo

BRUSELJ, DUNAJ – Evropska unija izraža skrb nad ekonomskim in političnim stanjem v Republiki Sloveniji. Slovenija se z vsako uro zadolžuje v številkah, ki jih zna razumeti le še Berlusconi. Pri tem pa EU opazuje, da se v nobenem segmentu svoje ekonomije ne želi spoprijeti z reformami. Na tiskovni konferenci minuli torek je lokalna premierka Alenka Bratušek dejala: »Stanje v Sloveniji je stabilno. Trojke v našo deželo ne bo, saj smo v zadnjih pol leta uspešno privabili več tujih posojilodajalcev, ki nam bodo redno zagotavljali likvidnost v teh težkih časih, tako za Slovenijo kot tudi za naše prijateljske republike Rusijo, Azerbajdžan in Libijo«.

Toda v kuloarjih bruseljske Steklene palače je v pričakovanju evropskih volitev zaznati veliko stopnjo nezaupanja. »Sam pogled na kandidatne liste ne vzbuja preveč zaupanja – nam je zaupal vir iz hodnika – ena lista izgleda kot skupina, ki išče zatočišče pred sodnimi pregoni, druga kot da je ravnokar prikorakala iz srednje šole, tretja pa ima tistega zoprnega čebelarja«.

Če pa so na čudaške kandidatne liste na evropskih volitev še vajeni – tokratnih volitev se bodo namreč udeležili tudi na Hrvaškem, sicer južni sosedi Slovenije, s katero sta skupaj žulili klopi v socialistični Jugoslaviji – pa je ekonomsko in gospodarsko stanje tisto, ki administratorjem EU najbolj beli glavo. Predvsem zato, ker so to republiko, ki po prebivalstvu ne presega berlinskih četrti Pankow in Oraniensburg, dobrih pet let nazaj tako nemarno spustili v monetarno unijo.

V poročilu odhajajočemu komisarju EU Josetu Barosu je v sredo skupina iz Centra za organiziranje in koordininarnje lokalnih administracij (COKLA) predstavila izsledke dolgoletne raziskave o problematiki implemenatcije evropskega modela ekonomije na mejnih območjih EU in državah PIIGS. Strokovnjaki so za Slovenijo locirali predvsem dva poglavitna problema.

Prvega opažajo v tem, da je slovensko gospodarstvo čudna mešanica med fevdalnim sistemov obveznih cehov in socialistične retorike. Levji delež vidijo predvsem v slovenski medijski krajini, ki naj bi takšen sistem tudi legitimirala – njihov največji in osrednji časopis Delo je, v raziskavi kvalitete medijev za leto 2013, zasedel 78. mesto, takoj pod revijo Upanje, glasilom dekliškega zbora kolegija Edvarda VII. v Porthsmouthu, in tik nad mesečnikom Novi časi, ki ga izdaja Združenje levičarskih podjetnikov iz Bolgarije. Strokovnjaki zato ugotavljajo, da bi morala Slovenija preiti dvojno tranzicijo: najprej v modernizem in potem še v postmodernizem, da bi prišla na stopnjo Slovaške v letu 1994.

Drugi problem, ki so ga strokovnjaki izpostavili in ki bo v veliki meri otežil reševanje prvega, naj bi bil, da je v Sloveniji daleč nadpovprečno visoka koncentracija Slovencev.

»Opažamo zaskrbljujočo visoko količino Slovencev tako na vodstvenih položajih (v javnem in privatnem sektorju) kot med zaposlenimi. Najbolj skrb vzbujajoče pa je, da je enormna prisotnost Slovencev tudi v zakonodajni, sodni in izvršni oblasti,« je na tiskovni konferenci dejal Aki Rassmusen, visoki predstavnik COKLE za Srednjo Evropo. Na vprašanje, kaj ta visoka prisotnost Slovencev predstavlja za implementacijo gospodarskih reform, je Rassmusen poudaril, da so »Slovenci nenormalno obsedeni z željo po čimprejšnjem upokojevanju, za kar gre sedaj že 76 % celotnih javnih izdatkov; da ne prenesejo ideje fleksibilnega urnika, saj morajo ob 15h pustiti službo in iti delat na tem, da v predmestjih uničujejo sosedom razgled z grajenjem štirinadstropnih vil; in še tisti čas, ki ga preživijo v službi nadpovprečno porabijo na spletni strani avtomoto.si«.

Rassmusen tako ugotavlja, da se bo, preden se reši ta drugi problem, zelo težko lotiti prvega.

Spomnimo, da je slabo leto nazaj do podobnih zaključkov prišel tudi Sveti Sedež, ko je odstavil oba nadškofa v tej mali republiki. Glede tega problema se je uradni Vatikan zavil v molk, vendar je iz krogov blizu Svetega očeta med naše dopisnike pricurljala informacija, da papež Frančišek na noben način noče imenovati še enega Slovenca na to mesto. »Ne bom dopustil, da mi bodo neki Slovenci spet srali tam, kjer poskušam jaz čistit!« je baje dejal v buenosaireškem dialektu.