Ali smo še demokrati?

 

Po drugi svetovni vojni je, kljub poprejšnji nenaklonjenosti do nje na evropski celini, demokracija postala splošno sprejeta kot najbolj sprejemljiv politični sistem ali pa vsaj tisti, ki je najmanj slab.

Tako se dandanes praktično vse politične stranke, think – thanki ter javni intelektualci imajo za demokrate. Pravzaprav vsak poskuša javnosti dokazati, da je tista specifična oblika demokracije, ki jo sam zastopa, tista prava, ki naj bi dejansko izražala voljo ljudstva. Sklicevanje na voljo ljudstva je namreč v demokraciji nujnost, saj za je prehod od ancien regime najbolj zaslužen ravno prehod od merila legitimnosti ne več po božji milosti (dei gratia) v po volji ljudstva. Kar se tega tiče, je ena izmed najboljših interpretacij Carla Smitha v njegovem eseju Duhovno zgodovinski položaj današnjega parlamentarizma v katerem je zapisal: »V zgodovini političnih idej obstajajo epohe velikih impulzov in zatišni časi statusa quo brez idej. Tako je epoha monarhije končana, ko se izgubi občutek za načelo kraljevine, za čast, ko se pojavijo meščanski kralji, ki namesto svoje posvečenosti in časti skušajo dokazati svojo uporabnost in koristnost. Zunanji aparat monarhičnih ustanov lahko obstaja še dolgo zatem, toda monarhiji je odbila zadnja ura. Prepričanja, ki sodijo k tej in k nobeni drugi instituciji, se zdaj zdijo zastarela, ne bo manjkalo praktičnih utemeljitev, toda dejansko vprašanje je le, ali se bodo pojavili ljudje in organizacije, ki se bodo dejansko pokazali za enako uporabne ali še uporabnejše, kot so kralji, in bodo s tem preprostim dejstvom odstranili monarhijo. Podobno je s socialno – tehničnimi utemeljitvami parlamenta. Če se parlament iz institucije evidentne resničnosti spremeni v zgolj praktično – tehnično sredstvo, je treba le v kakršnemkoli postopku – ki niti ni nujno odkrita diktatura – via facti pokazati, da gre tudi drugače, in bi parlamentu tako odzvonilo.«

Demokracija, kakršno poznamo, seveda ni zgolj katera koli. Gre namreč za demokracijo, ki je zrasla iz humusa liberalne in nacionalne države 19. stoletja. V taistem eseju je Carl Smith pokazal tudi, da demokracija teži k homogenosti, ki jo je nacionalna država do neke mere ponudila, hkrati pa prave homogenosti nikoli ni bilo – ne socialne, ne mnenjske, ne verske, ne etnične. In zato je liberalno načelo o javnem mnenju, o diskusiji, porodilo parlament – specifično institucijo, ki je vsaj do neke mere bila sposobna zgladiti nasprotja med različnimi skupinami znotraj države. Že pred tem so sicer obstajale podobne institucije, kot so npr. stanovske skupščine, ki pa takrat še niso bile suverene ter so imeli pretežno posvetovalno vlogo. Tako ima parlament svoje načelo, t. j. načelo diskusije, goverment by discussion, ki igra podobno vlogo kot jo je v monarhiji načelo časti. Ravno diskusija je namreč sredstvo, ki je do določene mere omogočilo izraz volje ljudstva – tistega ljudstva, ki podeljuje legitimnost brez popolne nuje po homogenizaciji. Vendar nam dogodki v zadnjem času kažejo na to, da to načelo prihaja h koncu podobno kot načelo časti pri monarhiji. Kot nova načela legitimnosti se kažejo predvsem napredek in človekove pravice. Nekateri krogi postmoderne levice sicer sam koncept napredka do neke mere zavračajo kot produkt zastarele dialektike razsvetljenstva, a se vendarle v javnem diskurzu še zmeraj kaže kot ključen. V velikem delu javnih razprav so namreč krogi »progresivne« levice vedno pripravljeni označiti svoje nasprotnike, kot tiste, ki ne sprejemajo napredka. Poglejmo npr. dogodke na univerzah v tujini, predvsem v anglosaškem svetu, kjer smo bili priča odpovedim debat o spornih temah, pojavom ti. safe spaces ter vsesplošno zmago ti. »pravice do udobja« in politične korektnosti, ki dejansko delata načelo diskusije zastarelo, saj lahko marsikatero stališče koga užali (podobnosti s slovensko levico in razpravo o družinskem zakoniku seveda niso naključne). Tovrstne ideje, ki počasi prihajajo iz zahodne in severne Evrope v Slovenijo nam torej kažejo na resno omajanost načela na katerem temelji sodobna liberalna demokracija. Ti ekscesi naše dobe pa niso edini faktorji pri novih vrednotenjih demokracije.

 

Liberalna in naprednjaška omejitev demokracije

Klasično liberalna misel, četudi po svoji naravi vedno podpira diskusijo in svobodo govora, ni nujno povezana z demokratičnostjo. Demokracija namreč predvsem daje odgovor na vprašanje, kdo naj vlada in ne kako naj se vlada, ali kaj so vrednote vladavine. Prva omejitev demokracije se kaže že v parlamentarizmu, kar pa je vseeno še zmerna omejitev, ki bi, dosledno izpeljana, lahko preprečila marsikatero tiranijo. Pravzaprav je ravno Platonova teorija o degradaciji demokracije v tiranijo klasičen argument proti ljudskemu udejstvovanju v javnem in političnem življenju. Zgodovinar Moses I. Finley je v svoji knjigi Antična in moderna demokracija citiral kaj nekaj modernih političnih znanstvenikov, ki branijo apatijo in ljudsko neudeležbo. Iz njih vejejo podobni argumenti kot iz Platona in Aristotela, a z dvema pomembnima razlikama. Ne Platon, ne Aristotel se nikoli nista imela za demokrata, temveč sta demokracijo zavračala, medtem ko se sodobni avtorji s pogledi kot so, da ekstremistična gibanja privlačijo ekstremiste (Platon in nasprotovanje udeležbi čevljarjev v politiki) ali da je politična apatija znak strpnosti in protiutež fanatikom, ki so resnična nevarnost za demokracijo (Aristotel in njegovo pisanje o tem, da bo demokracija najboljša v državi kjer so številni poljedelci in živinorejci, ki so raztreseni po državi in nimajo potrebe, da bi se pogosto sestajali), kljub podobnosti z grškimi avtorji samooklicani demokrati. Druga razlika pa je, da sta Platon in Aristotel videla politiko kot pot k dobremu življenju, k višjim ciljem, medtem ko sodobni liberalizem cilje, posebej takšne moralne narave, ki težijo k temu kar sta Platon in Aristotel dojemala kot objektivno dobro življenje, življenje v skladu z vrlino, v imenu svoje pluralistične etike zavrača. Charles Taylor je opazil, da tovrstna interpretacija liberalizma, sicer močno ceni osebne in ekonomske svoboščine, precej manj pa politične, kar mnogi avtorji sami priznajo, kot je npr. knjiga Beyond democracy Franka Karstena in Karla Bekmana, oba sodelavca klasično liberalnega Mises institute. Karsten je v intervjuju za Portal plus svoje stališče formuliral takole: » Recimo, v demokraciji ni postavljena nobena meja česa večina ne more vsiliti posamezniku in v demokraciji je posameznik zgolj podvržen željam in ciljem kolektivnega. Pravzaprav obstaja v demokraciji samo ena individualna pravica in to je pravica do glasovanja. Zagovorniki demokracije trdijo, da demokracija ščiti pravice manjšin, ampak v samem jedru, v katerem je posameznik najmanjši element, manjšine nimajo nobenega vpliva na večino in nobenih pravic. Dejansko obstajajo danes pravice manjšin samo zaradi tega, ker večina selektivno podeljuje manjšinske pravice. To podeljevanje pravice manjšini pa je dostikrat podvrženo trenutno popularnim preferencam in seveda težava je, da ni nujno, da je manjšina, ki ji pripadate, takšna, da je popularna. Edina pravica, ki bi jo manjšine lahko imele, je svoboda, ampak te pravice demokracija ne zagotavlja. « To stališče odpira povsem legitimne ugovore, a vendar se s temi ugovori odprejo nova vprašanja, kot denimo od kod izvira suverenost ali pa celo praktične omejitve svoboščin, kot so na primer tiste na zahodnih univerzah.

 

 

Tukaj pa smo že prišli do naslednje točke in sicer še mnogo bolj sporne pozicije za omejitev demokracije kot je klasično liberalna – libertarna, in sicer t.i. naprednjaške (ang. progressive). Tovrstna misel je v marsičem bližja Platonovi in Aristotelovi poziciji, in sicer v tem, da je naloga države usmerjati ljudi k dobremu življenju, kar si tovrstna ideologija razlaga kot pot k socialni pravičnosti: strpnost, pravica do udobja, porazdelitev bogastva itd.. Tovrstno pozicijo se pogosto napačno enači s kulturnim marksizmom, a vendar sta si tako marksizem kot progresivizem v marsikaterih točkah presenetljivo podobna, ter vpliva Marxa in marksistov na progresivce ne gre zanikati. Obe sta namreč nekakšna oblika sekularne (politične) religije, ki obljubljata tuzemsko odrešitev ter trdita, da poznata voljo ljudstva bolje kakor ljudstvo samo. V svojem bistvu so naprednjaški ugovori demokraciji sicer podobni kot liberalni, se pravi: glasovanja o pravicah manjšin, demokratična omejitev svobode itd., a ključna razlika je, da je naprednjaška pozicija za dosego svojih ciljev dobrega in socialno pravičnega življenja pripravljena omejiti tudi osebne svoboščine kot je svoboda govora, ter ekonomske svoboščine v imenu preprečevanja neenakosti. Klasični liberalizem pa je do demokracije nezaupljiv, ker obstaja dejanska skrb, da bi prevelika moč odločanja lahko vodila do totalne oblasti in širjenja države, poleg tega pa mu je pomembneje kako se vlada, kot pa kdo vlada. Progresivizem na drugi strani ni občutljiv za širjenje države, dokler gre pri temu širjenju za prave cilje. Zgoraj opisane omejitve demokracije hkrati pokažejo na nekatere druge probleme premika od demokracije in sicer vprašanja izvira legitimnosti in suverenosti.

 

Legitimnost iz človekovih pravic

Stephane Hessel, francoski diplomat, ter človek, ki je preživel Dachau, je nekoč zapisal, da smo končno prišli do točke, ko suverenost izhaja iz človekovih pravic. To bi lahko poimenovali kot lep idealizem, a se pri tem kaže kljub vsemu nekaj problemov. Eden izmed drugih snovalcev listine o človekovih Jacques Maritain je namreč že malo po kreaciji tega dokumenta napisal, da so takrat sicer lahko sporazumeli o tem kaj so človekove pravice, niso pa se mogli sporazumeti o tem, na čemer te pravice stojijo. Na prvi pogled to seveda ni nič problematičnega, a vendar se kmalu pokaže, da ni tako. Filozof Rok Svetlič je namreč v svojem zadnjem intervjuju v Primorski novicah opozoril na pomembno dejstvo glede prava in zakonov: Sleherni pravni red sestavljata dve sestavini. Eno je formalni del; to je tisto, kar lahko preberete v zakonu. Vedno pa je še tu druga polovica prava, ki ni napisana in se je ne da napisati; to je naš način razmišljanja, tisto, kar imamo v glavah, forma mentis. V sebi imamo nekega avtopilota, s pomočjo katerega razumemo svet. Problem je, če nastane med tistim, kar je napisano v pravu, in tistim, kar ljudje razmišljajo, prevelika razlika. Lepa ilustracija tega so zadnji primeri demokratizacije Bližnjega vzhoda, kjer smo naivno verjeli, da bomo dobili demokracijo zgolj s kopiranjem našega pravnega reda, na primer v Afganistanu ali Iraku. Verjamem, da imata Afganistan in Irak zdaj zelo podobno zakonodajo, kot jo imamo mi, ampak način razmišljanja je tam tako silovito drugačen, da se vsi pravni predpisi razpočijo kot milni mehurček.” . Tako pridemo do tega, da bodo isto listino o človekovih pravicah ljudje različnih političnih, filozofskih, verskih in/ali ideoloških pozicij brali različno, in tako hitro pridemo do problemov. Ljudje progresivnih, liberalnih in konservativnih pozicij bodo tukaj izrazito trčili, posebej takrat, ko nekateri izmed njih vidijo svojo pozicijo, kot tisto, ki po vodilo do imanence eshatona, do zemeljskega raja. Zato pa se velja spomniti na preroška svarila Edmunda Burka iz njegovega dela Razmišljanja o revoluciji v Franciji, kjer je opozoril kako lahko metafizične doktrine o človekovih pravicah vodijo v razrušenje konkretnih pravic, ki jih človek uživa kot pripadnik neke politične skupnosti, stanu itd. Se pravi, tudi človekove pravice, ne glede na hvalevreden namen tovrstnega sklepa, se prav tako kot ideologije lahko izkažejo kot vir za legitimacijo imperialističnih ali avtokratskih teženj še posebej če zavračajo pluriverzum kot konstanto političnega življenja.

 

 

Zavračanje pluriverzuma in problem suverenosti

Iz istega obdobja kakor Edmund Burke je izhajal tudi Francoz Joseph de Maistre, ki je prav tako bil skeptičen do razsvetljenskega idealizma in je svojo kritiko povzel z besedami, da je že srečal Francoza, Angleža in Rusa, ni pa še srečal človeka o katerem govorijo razsvetljenci. Kaj pa to pomeni za nas? De Maistrova izjava nam kaže na zavedanje, da človek povečini živi znotraj manjših, manj abstraktnih skupnosti kot je celo človeštvo in da po svoji naravi ne more političnega sveta dojemati drugače kot raznolikega, sestavljenega iz različnih enot se pravi, kot pluriverzuma. Ta pluriverzum pa tako sestavljajo različne enote, se pravi države ali ljudstva, iz katerih prebivalcev je izpeljana suverenost po volji ljudstva, ki je splošno sprejet temelj suverenosti v moderni Evropi. V primeru suverenosti iz človekovih pravic, ki imajo za svoj predmet celotno človeštvo, pogosto izredno abstraktno razumljeno (kot razsvetljenci časa Burka in de Maistra), pa se avtomatsko zavrne teorijo suverenosti iz ljudstva in pridemo do naslednjega problema, ki ga je prav tako že pravilno razumel Carl Schmitt in sicer, da v kolikor neka politična enota nase pripne legitimnost po volji človeštva, lahko to izrabi za legitimacijo uporabe najhujših sredstev proti nasprotniku, bolj kot če bi se borila za kak drugi, bolj zemeljski cilj. Prav tako takšna legitimnost, lahko prepreči ljudstvu izražati svojo voljo v kolikor nasprotuje specifični interpretaciji človekovih pravic ali človeštva in s tem legitimira omejitev demokratičnega odločanja. Seveda omenjeni argumenti zgoraj ne pomenijo, da so bili kritiki demokracije od Platona do Hayeka nujno v zmoti, problem pa je, da omejevanje demokratičnega odločanja ne more biti več demokratično, čeprav bi mnogi njegovi zagovorniki to radi verjeli. Prav tako je to v marsičem v nasprotju s splošno sprejeto teorijo vlade po volji ljudstva. Javna razprava o demokraciji in njeni vrednosti bo tako potrebna tudi v prihodnje, a vendar ne bo mogla biti brez jasne razprave o vseh povezanih faktorjih od suverenosti, do človekovih pravic, do naravnega prava itd., če noče postati farsa, opremljena s puhlicami in populističnimi slogani.



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Tedenski izbor

Še enkrat poudarjamo: absurdno poigravanje z mislijo, da je bil Balantič, da so bili številni drugi uporniki zoper revolucijo sokrivi in celo sostorilci zlasti nemškega kulturnega pogroma nad Slovenci, ki se je med drugim odrazil v barbarskem uničenju velikanskega števila knjig, nima nič opraviti z razmerami na Slovenskem med drugo svetovno vojno, pač pa služi samo podaljševanju neke, za razmeroma ozek krog rentnikov zelo donosne iluzije.

France Balantič sodi v javni spomin slovenskega naroda – Skupina podpisnikov

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Po ocenah strokovnjakov je bilo pobitih nekaj sto tisoč ljudi, ki so bili krivi le tega, da so bili ideološki in vojaško nasprotni komunizmu in njegovi revoluciji. Regularna okupirana država se je borila proti boljševiški revoluciji in ostalim, ki so čakali, da bodo to državo lahko dokončno uničili (ustaši, balisti, separatisti in vsi nasprotniki Kraljevine).

Poslednji dom sinov Črne gore – Uroš Šušterič, Časnik

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Skratka, Resolucija 1096 je dve desetletji po sprejemu nujno branje za vsakdanjo slovensko rabo. Svet Evrope nam ne ukazuje, z resolucijo le prijazno svetuje, kaj nam je treba narediti, da bi se skobacali iz teh smrdljivih cunj preteklosti. Tega v dveh desetletjih nismo uspeli in vse bolj se zdi, da tudi prihodnjih dvajset let ne bo dovolj.

Lustracija ob predpostavki – Miro Petek, Slomedia.it

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Dokler bomo imeli tako politiko, v najširšem smislu, vključno s tisto v pravu, nimamo pogojev za ustvarjanje pravne države. Dokler bomo imeli to isto politiko, vključno s tisto v gospodarstvu, ni nikakršnih obetov za bolj konkurenčno ekonomijo, s katero lahko preživimo v globalni tekmi. Dokler bomo imeli tako politiko v najširšem možnem smislu bo ta država umirala na obroke in večina bo živela slabše. 

Dovolj je bilo – Matej Avbelj, IUS-INFO

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Koalicija Združena levica je v nedavni javnomnenjski anketi, skupaj s SDS, dosegla prvo mesto na lestvici podpore slovenske javnosti. To je bil zagotovo velik uspeh za koalicijo, ki združuje politično levico, a tudi trenutek za premislek in zaskrbljenost tistih sil, ki se zavzemajo za demokratični razvoj države. Luka Mesec in njegovi namreč žalujejo za propadlo Jugoslavijo, poveličujejo njene simbole in domnevne vrednote, hvalijo Tita, socializem in se zavzemajo za obnovitev močne države. Vanjo naj bi se vrnili Slovenci, saj bi po zatrjevanju Združene levice samo močna država lahko odpravila slovenske težave in z vrednotami ter simboli iz preteklosti upravljala z državljani in njihovim življenjem.

V Sloveniji skrajna levica za izhod iz težav ponuja socializem – Marijan Drobež, Novi glas

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To figure out whether a policy is good or bad, you have to first figure out what effects it would have. And while ideologues like to treat this as obvious, it rarely is.

Consider the minimum wage, one of the topics covered in the survey Roberts cites. Much of the debate over the minimum wage focuses on the empirical question of how a higher minimum wage would affect low-wage workers. Some economists believe a higher minimum wage will eliminate low-wage jobs; others believe this effect is negligible.

And crucially, this depends on the details. It’s plausible that today’s relatively low federal minimum wage costs few jobs, and that higher minimum wages in wealthy urban areas won’t cause much unemployment. But in areas where wages are lower, minimum wages can cause a lot of harm.

Sorry, liberals, liking free markets doesn’t make someone a jerk – Timothy B. Lee, Vox

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Conservatives, for their part, wanted to know why we are now expected to accept, if not celebrate, those who choose their own gender identities, in defiance of hard chromosomal and anatomical facts, but are forbidden from extending an equally tolerant welcome to those who choose their own racial identities. After all, liberals tend to be the ones who insist that race is a “social construction”. So why not roll out the red carpet for Ms Dolezal?

Rachel Dolezal and race: Blurred lines – The Economist

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The current definitions advanced by social liberalism do not make individual autonomy the measure ofall things; they do not simply instantiate a will to power or self-fulfillment. But they do treat adult autonomy as a morally-elevated good, and rate other possible rights and harm claims considerably lower as a consequence. Linker is right that today’s social liberalism does not simply preach an individualism unbound. But it preaches an individualism in which many bonds and rules and constraints are thinned to filaments, and waiting for the knife.

The Liberalism of Adult Autonomy – Ross Douthat, The New York Times

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The concept of “micro-aggression” is just one of many tactics used to stifle differences of opinion by declaring some opinions to be “hate speech,” instead of debating those differences in a marketplace of ideas. To accuse people of aggression for not marching in lockstep with political correctness is to set the stage for justifying real aggression against them.

Micro-totalitarianism – Thomas Sowell, The New American

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Hyperbole is part of politics. But there seems to be a fairly large disconnect between the criticism of Laudato Si (much of it made prior to the release of the actual text) and the encyclical itself. Theactual document is a more measured affair. For one thing, it’s not even really accurate to call it a “climate encyclical.” Most of the document is devoted to other environmental issues (ranging from clean drinking water to biodiversity) or to the proper Christian perspective on the environment generally. Only a small portion of the lengthy encyclical is devoted to climate change per se, and much of what the encyclical does say about climate change is in keeping with the prior statements of John Paul II and Benedict XVI on the issue.

(…)

It’s not progress but “irrational faith in progress” that he opposes; not technology but “blind confidence in technical solutions.” And Francis elsewhere praises specific new technologies that are going to be needed if we are going to reduce carbon emissions without hurting the poor.

Let’s Listen to the Pope on Climate – Josiah Neeley, First Things

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Although Levin acclaims the thinking of the 18th-century Anglo-Irish statesman Burke with fewer reservations than Fisichella approaches his more controversial object of study, both authors believe that their subjects have much to teach the present age. They try to make their ideas relevant to the present, although in the case of the second figure in Levin’s book—Thomas Paine, who was a critic of Burke, an enthusiast for the French Revolution, and an advocate of the “rights of man”—we are given a counterexample to what Levin considers to be sound political and social views.

Inventing the Right – Paul Gottfried, The American Conservative

Štirje liberalizmi

V državi, ki ji je 12 let vladala stranka z imenom Liberalna demokracija, znotraj katere so glavne vzvode oblasti imeli predstavniki nekdanje komunistične mladine – veličastne posledice njene vladavine lahko še danes opazujemo na vsakem koraku – je zmeda glede pojma liberalizma neizogibna. Ker smo v zadnjem letu veliko prispevali k razjasnitvi te pojmovne zmede, je prav, da prispevamo tudi k njenemu ohranjanju. Prožna misel se namreč hrani iz paradoksov – in če bi se na našem portalu predolgo zadrževali v didaktičnem poučevanju bralcev glede pravilne rabe pojmov, bi nas kdo še utegnil zamenjati za marksiste; ali morda celo za libertarce.

Da ne bi izgubili konſervativnega zadržanja, objavljamo ta simpatičen in pronicljiv prispevek z naslovom Štirje liberalizmi izpod peresa avstrijsko-ameriškega misleca in našega soseda iz Gornje Štajerske Erika Marie viteza von Kuehnelt-Leddihna, v katerem razmišlja o spremembah pojma liberalizem skozi čas. Prevajalcu, ki je želel ostati anonimen, se zahvaljujemo za trud.

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Amerika je ogromen otok v svetovnem oceanu in posledično so jezikovna nerazumevanja med to celino in ostalim svetom številna in pogosta. Uvrstitev Sirije in Libanona na Srednji vzhod (kje je potem Bližnji vzhod?) je npr. enako zmotna kot uporaba besede holokavst (grško žrtvovanje za pridobitev naklonjenosti bogov) za brutalno množično morijo, da niti ne omenjam idiotskega govorjenja o »moškem šovinizmu«. Ali pa metanje tradicionalnih monarhistov in nacionalsocialistov v isti skupino » desničarjev« in označevanje levičarskih pol–socialistov z besedo »liberalec«. Zadnja izmed omenjenih zmot pa je nedavnega nastanka in ker sem sam prvič prišel v Ameriko med zadnjim obdobjem New Deala, sem bil priča začetkom te obžalovanja vredne izprijenosti. Toda kako je do tega prišlo?

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Tedenski izbor

branje13

Like Haidt, Girard observes that ideology becomes a source of tribal identity, but at its most extreme it becomes increasingly dependent not on the principles that it espouses but on the psychological kinetics of its adversarial relationship to its rivals. Positive philosophy gives way to the need to feed on rivalry as a source of meaning. This is why extremist ideologies tend to be built upon fabulist views of a possible future: the more spectacular the vision, the more unreachable the goal, the more immersive the cause.

(…)

In the penultimate chapter of The Righteous Mind, Haidt shares with the reader the disorienting moment when he realized conservatism wasn’t so backward and parochial after all:

»As a lifelong liberal, I had assumed that conservatism = orthodoxy = religion = faith = rejection of science. It followed, therefore that as an atheist and a scientist, I was obligated to be a liberal. But Muller asserted that modern conservatism is really about creating the best possible society, the one that brings about the greatest happiness given local circumstances«

Why Secular Liberalism Isn’t Liberal – Forfare Davis, The University Bookman

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Še o konservativnosti in liberalizmu

Nekaj mesecev je preteklo odkar je zelo zanimiva in relevantna razprava o odnosu med konservativizmom in liberalizmom začasno potihnila. Prispevku, ki sem ga bil objavil oktobra, je sledila vrsta kvalitetnih zapisov, pri čemer je posebno vrednost imelo dejstvo, da je vsak izmed njih obravnavani odnos motril iz drugačnega gledišča in pristopal do njega na izviren način.

edmund-burke

Ker razprava nikakor še ni izčrpana, sem se odločil, da ji s pomočjo krajšega prispevka skušam dati malce novega zagona. Moj glavni cilj bo – poleg dodatne pojasnitve nekaterih lastnih tez ter opomb k njihovi kritiki – podati nekaj možnih iztočnic za nadaljnjo razpravo.Zato bom najprej vnovič izpostavil temeljne teze mojega zapisa. Temu bo sledila dodatna razlaga tistih vidikov, ki so bili morda premalo jasno razdelani, pri čemer se bom navezal predvsem na izvrsten članek pisca Bonalda, ki je bil v veliki meri odziv na moje pisanje. Preko navezave na nekatere Bonaldove pomembnejše uvide in nadaljnjega razdelave svojih tez bom nato skušal razviti širše razmišljanje, ki ga želim nasloviti nanj ter na vse (potencialno) sodelujoče v razpravi.

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Tedenski izbor

branje1

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

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

(…)

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

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

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Robert Nisbet in iskanje skupnosti

Nepoznavanje miselne tradicije konservatizma lahko gotovo označimo kot eno izmed največjih belih lis slovenske humanistike. Da se slednje počasi zapolnjujejo, se lahko poleg nekaterim redkim objavam del konservativnih klasikov (v mislih imam predvsem deli Nova politična znanost E. Voegelina ter Moč idej R. Weaverja, ki ju je izdal Inštitut Karantanija) zahvalimo tudi prispevku Kritike konservativne. Namen pričujočega zapisa je nadaljevanje tega poslanstva – v njem namreč želim predstaviti pomembnega avtorja, ki je v slovenskem prostoru tako rekoč nepoznan, in sicer ameriškega sociologa Roberta Nisbeta.

Resnici na ljubo je treba reči, da je Nisbet avtor, ki ne sodi med »zvezdnike« niti med nekoliko ekscentričnimi krogi konservativnih intelektualcev v anglosaških deželah. Kot poudarja priznani kolumnist New York Timesa Ross Douthat, lahko razloge za to iščemo predvsem v tem, da Nisbet ni bil izstopajoča osebnost. Manjkale so mu npr. filozofske ambicije Lea Straussa ali Richarda Weaverja, prav tako pa ni nikoli iznašel dobro zvenečih fraz, kot je denimo »imanenca eshatona« Ericha Voegelina. Ne glede na to imamo opravka z avtorjem, čigar ideje so izredno zanimive in, upam si reči, nepogrešljive za vsakega, ki bi rad bolje razumel sodobne družbene procese, predvsem problem skupnosti.

Robert Nisbet

Robert Nisbet

O pomenu skupnosti v konservativni miselni tradiciji sem že pisal. Dejansko je prav pomen, ki ga konservativci pripisujemo skupnosti nasproti posamezniku ter s tem nujno povezano vprašanje avtoritete, ena bistvenih razlik med nami in našimi liberalnimi »bratranci«. O Nisbetovih uvidih glede te problematike bomo več izvedeli nekoliko kasneje, za začetek si najprej grobo oglejmo njegovo življenjsko pot.

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Tedenski izbor

branjevka

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

(…)

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

(…)

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

Conflict and Ego – David Brooks, The New York Times

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

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

Dvorana zrcal – Miha Mazzini, Siol.net

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

(…)

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

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

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

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

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

(…)

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

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

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

(…)

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

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

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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

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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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

nun-reading

The contrast illustrates a characteristic of Lincoln’s which his biographers have never sufficiently emphasized. His mind was capable of harboring and reconciling purposes, convictions and emotions so different from one another that to the majority of his fellow-countrymen they would in anybody else have seemed incompatible. He could hesitate patiently without allowing hesitation to become infirmity of will. He could insist without allowing insistence to become an excuse for thoughtless obstinacy. He could fight without quarreling. He could believe intensely in a war and in the necessity of seeing it through without falling a victim to its fanaticism and without permitting violence and hatred to usurp the place which faith in human nature and love of truth ordinarily occupied in his mind.

When, for instance, the crisis came, and the South treated his election as a sufficient excuse for secession, he did not flinch as did Seward and other Republican leaders. He would not bribe the South to abandon secession by compromising the results of Republican victory. Neither would he, if she seceded, agree to treat secession as anything but rebellion. But although he insisted, if necessary, on fighting, he was far more considerate of the convictions and the permanent interests of the South than were the Republican leaders, who for the sake of peace were ready to yield to her demands.

Abraham Lincoln Was Not a Man of the People – Herbert Croly, The New Republic

***

Lahko rekonstruiramo genezo Zgodovencev? Na našo srečo so kolumnisti v tem smislu povsem jasni: Zgodovenci so nastali, ko so se zgodovinski Slovenci »zataknili« pri eni stvari. Ne pri desetih ali petintridesetih stvareh v preteklosti, ampak zgolj pri eni stvari, ki je niso »prebavili«, »predelali« ali »presegli«. Ostali so na neki stopnji in se pač niso premaknili naprej. Na zunaj živijo sodobna življenja, v svojem bistvu pa se vedno znova vračajo k enem problemu, v katerega se neuspešno zaletavajo in si tako razbijajo betice. Povsem logično je, da si kolumnisti niso povsem edini, kaj naj bi bila ta »stvar«, ki je ustvarila zgodovenskega belcebuba. Še največ zagovornikov imata hlapčevstvo in tlačanstvo, zanemariti ne smemo tudi majhnosti, katolištva, komunizma, revolucije, pa še kaj bi se našlo.

Zgodovenci – Marko Zajc, Airbeletrina

***

Iskanje krivca za vsako stvar je zgolj obsedenost naše civilizacije, da mora biti vedno vse brez napak, da če pa gre kaj narobe, je pa nekdo kriv. Nekdo drug. Ne jaz sam. Zgoraj je, upam, naštetih dovolj “drugih”, da boste imeli lep dan.
Pokaže tudi, upam, da prava debata ni o tem, kaj je krivo za poplave, ampak, kaj se da narediti, da bi bile posledice blažje.

***

Kritiko pri nas razumemo kot element promocije. Vsakršna kritiška refleksija, ki zazna slabosti umetniškega dela, je obravnavana kot ad hominem napad na umetnika. Kot »nesramnost«, ki si jo kritik od časa do časa »privošči«. Ko si jo, pa mora za svojo nesramnost tudi »odgovarjati«.
Osebno sem se s tem fenomenom prvič soočil, ko sem prejel prošnjo piarovske službe nekega ljubljanskega gledališča, če bi lahko naslednjo predstavo prišel ocenjevat kdo drug, ker je bil moj zapis »preveč negativističen«; še jasneje pa se mi je razkril, ko mi je na enem od festivalov ugledni gledališki ustvarjalec diskretno svetoval, naj prihodnjih nekaj sezon pišem le pozitivne kritike, ker je slovensko gledališče »trenutno res v redu«.
Gre torej za stanje duha, ki že skoraj meji na bolestni optimizem stereotipne predkrizne evforije korporativnega sveta, v kateri je vsaka negativnost šteta kot »slaba za posel«; evforije, v kateri so tiste, ki so poskušali opozarjati na rdeče številke, najrajši po hitrem postopku odpustili, češ, ne kvarite razpoloženja, dobra volja je najbolja.
Seveda si nihče ne želi, da bi grenko obračunavanje z neuspehi postalo osrednji modus slovenskega kritiškega diskurza. Navdušenje nad dosežki in presežki mora vselej preglasiti nerganje ob spodletelih podvigih. A če res želimo prve, je pač treba tudi druge vselej iskreno analizirati, ovrednotiti in poimenovati.

Oklofutaj svojega kritika – Matic Kocijančič, Pogledi

***

Mojmir Mrak je prepričan, da se bo spremenilo razumevanje narave gospodarske krize, ključno vprašanje v Evropi pa je že postalo “kako priti do neke stabilnejše obnove gospodarske rasti v pogojih, kjer je fiskalni prostor praktično zelo omejen. Cela vrsta držav – tudi Slovenija – je v situaciji, kjer drugega fiskalnega prostora ni.”

Ponekod, denimo v Grčiji, bo za rast treba najprej odpisati dolgove ali močno podaljšati njihovo ročnost. Drugod, denimo v Sloveniji, se bo treba bolj odpreti tujemu kapitalu. Privatizacija ni nujna zaradi zmanjšanja dolgov: “Osebno vidim privatizacijo bolj v kontekstu korporativnega upravljanja.” In izboljšanje upravljanja lahko pripomore k rasti.

In pa, Slovenija ob nevzdržno visokem javnem dolgu še vedno nima izgovora za opustitev proračunske konsolidacije, naše varčevanje je bilo medlo in bilo bi“nekorektno primerjati, da je naše varčevanje bilo tako drastično, kot je bilo drugod”. “Kar pa smo res naredili, je, da smo celotno varčevanje izvedli na investicijah.”

Moralo pa bi biti obratno: manj varčevanja pri investicijah in več reform, ki bi ustavile naraščanje javnih izdatkov, pravi Mrak.

Mrak o krizi: drugačna diagnoza, drugačni ukrepi – Maja Derčar, MMC RTVSLO

***

Ste eden tistih ljubljanskih voznikov, ki pri zelenem semaforju najprej malo razmislijo in pogledajo, nato počasi in previdno speljejo, si pustijo razkošno varnostno razdaljo in potem zelo zelo zelo zložno pospešujejo do naslednjega križišča? Ker verjamete, da tako varčujete gorivo? Za vas imam novico – motite se. Fizikalno gledano, porabite enako energije, da od nič do 60 pospešite v petih sekundah, kot če za enak pospešek potrebujete 20 sekund.

Očitno ne veste niti tega, da taka ležernost povzroča tudi nemajhno kolateralno škodo. Če vsi speljejo po polževo, bo šlo v zelenem intervalu skozi križišče samo pet avtov namesto 10 ali 15. Postopoma se bodo naredili zastoji, križišča se bodo navzkrižno blokirala, tisoče avtomobilskih motorjev bo teklo v prazno, kurilo gorivo in povečevalo izpuste. Zapomnite si, torej: naslednjič, ko boste spet speljali takole po principu »previdnost je mati modrosti«, bo zaradi vas še en severni medvedek nekje na Arktiki izgubil bitko za preživetje, ker se mu bo zaradi globalnega segrevanja stalila njegova ledena gora.

Cijazenje prometa po naši prestolnici je metafora za naše reševanje gospodarskih težav. Strukturne reforme se vlečejo v nedogled. Sanacija bank se vleče v nedogled. Privatizacije se vlečejo v nedogled. Insolvenčni postopki se vlečejo v nedogled. Postopki zmanjševanja presežkov zaposlenih se vlečejo v nedogled. Sodni postopki se vlečejo v nedogled. Postopki prestrukturiranja podjetij se vlečejo v nedogled. Likvidnostnemu in razpoloženjskemu krču dajemo čas, da metastazira po dobaviteljskih verigah in omrežjih. Zaradi dolgotrajne negotovosti zmrznejo še porabniki in kar naenkrat ves center stoji, vsa križišča so navzkrižno blokirana, prometnikov, ki bi razčistili situacijo, pa od nikoder. Počasi se vse več ekonomskih subjektov zakrči, izgubijo voljo do iskanja dela, do iskanja podjetniških priložnosti, do investiranja in rasti. In za piko na i jih zaradi dolgotrajnega stresa zatolčejo še psihosomatske težave.

Prestavite vsaj v tretjo, prosim – Blaž Vodopivec, Finance

***

Contrary to standard definitions of sociology as an a-telic pursuit of insight and knowledge, Smith argues that sociology has an agenda, “visionary project of realizing the emancipation, equality, and moral affirmation of all human beings as autonomous, self-directly, individual agents (who should be) out to live their lives as they personally so desire, by constructing their own favored identities, entering and exiting relationship as they choose, and equally enjoying the gratification of experiential, material, and bodily pleasures” (7-8). Sociology isn’t philosophically neutral, but pursues a vision of the “good life and society” as one that “throws off the restrictive, repressive constraints placed on the gratification of individual pleasures and frees everyone to satisfy any pleasure that she or he so desires” (17).

Borrowing from the aims of Christianity, sociology unsurprisingly offers “a secular salvation story” with roots in the “Enlightenment, liberalism, Marxism, reformist progressivism, pragmatism, therapeutic culture, sexual liberation, civil rights, feminism, and so on” (20). Some sociologists are true believers; others are tacitly friendly to the project. Describing sociology in this terms has a couple of advantages: It’s sure to shock, and so has some rhetorical punch. But it also helps to explain some of the behavior that Smith describes in the book. As he shows, the reaction to sociology’s “heretics” isn’t rational discussion and dispassionate weighing of evidence.

Sacred Sociology – Peter Leithart, First Things

***

The disintegration of the ruble is merely a symptom of something much deeper and more worrying. This is Putin digging in; this is Putin reinforcing his foxhole and preparing for the long fight ahead. He will not let go of eastern Ukraine, and he is trying to keep the reserves full so that he can survive the long fight ahead.

The problem, though, is that the pressure inside the system is rising. Food prices are jumping and, though so far, Russians mostly blame the West for their country’s economic malaise, it’s not clear how long that will last.

Far more alarming, though, is the struggle over resources that is starting to take shape among the billionaires in Putin’s orbit. In January, I quoted Elena Panfilova, now the vice president of Transparency International, who predicted that the elites will start to cannibalize themselves as they fight over a rapidly shrinking economic pie. These men are used to a certain level of income and it is one that is hard to maintain when your economy isn’t growing. At all. And so, over the last year, we’ve seen the system eat two men who were once quite close to Putin. Earlier this year, Sergei Pugachev, the man known as the “Kremlin’s banker,” fled Russia, a warrant out for his arrest. This fall, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, one of the wealthiest businessmen in Russia, was arrested. In record time, a court said that an oil company he owned actually belonged to the government, and it was gone.

Russia’s Ruble Value Is Plummeting and Putin’s Billionaires Are Canabalizing Each Other – Julia Ioffe, The New Republic

***

Today, the positive emphasis on a war of aggression goes well with tendencies in the Russian media, where defiant declarations of Russian anti-fascism are increasingly submerged in rhetoric that may seem rather fascist. Jews are blamed for the Holocaust on national television; an intellectual close to the Kremlin praises Hitler as a statesman; Russian Nazis march on May Day; Nuremberg-style rallies where torches are carried in swastika formations are presented as anti-fascist; and a campaign against homosexuals is presented as a defense of true European civilization. In its invasion of Ukraine, the Russian government has called upon the members of local and European far right groups to support its actions and spread Moscow’s version of events.

In the recent “elections” staged in the Russian-backed eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, as in the earlier faked referendum in occupied Crimea, European far-right politicians have come as “observers” to endorse the gains of Russia’s war. Far from being an eccentric stunt, the invitation of these “observers” reveals why the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact is meaningful to Moscow today. Although Putin would certainly have been pleased if actual German or Polish political leaders were foolish enough to take the bait of agreeing to a new division of Europe, he seems satisfied for the moment with the people who have actually responded, in one way or another, to his appeal to destroy the existing European order: separatists across Europe (including the UK Independence Party, whose leader, Nigel Farage, calls Putin the world leader he most admires); anti-European right-wing populist parties (of which the most important is France’s National Front); as well as the far-right fringe, including neo-Nazis.

Putin’s New Nostalgia – Timothy Snyder, The New York Review of Books

***

Zionism, which did not undergo a metamorphosis in 1948 and did not desist in 1967, became a kind of revolution-in-progress and thereby became like the other revolutions-in-progress of the 20th century. It forged a situation that a liberal democrat cannot live with and cannot accept. This is a situation that cannot endure indefinitely.

(…)

I will tell you where you differ from the Zionist left. For most of us, the key concept is the “State of Israel.” As we see it, the Zionist enterprise was intended to bring into being a place where the Jewish people would constitute the majority and enjoy sovereignty. If there is no majority, there is no sovereignty and no democratic-Jewish state; there is no point to all this. It’s more convenient to live as a minority in Manhattan. But for you the basic concept is the “Land of Israel.” In that sense, you resemble the right wing and the Palestinians. You have a soil fetish. You come from the soil and you live the soil and you speak in the name of the soil.

It’s true that I live the story of the soil. I live the whole land and I am mindful of all the people who live here. That is how I know that the land cannot tolerate partition. And I know the land is hurting. The land is angry. After all, what two great monuments have we built here in the past decade? One is the separation fence and the other is [architect Moshe] Safdie’s terminal at Ben-Gurion Airport. The two monuments have something in common: they are intended to allow us to live here as though we are not here. They were built so that we would not see the land and not see the Palestinians, and live as though we are connected to the tail end of Italy. But I see all the fruit groves that were demolished in order to build the fence. I hear the hills that were sliced in two in order to build the fence. The heart weeps. The heart weeps in the name of the soil. For me, the soil is a living being. And I see how this conflict has tortured the soil, the homeland. I grieve for the torments of the homeland.

Jerusalem-born thinker Meron Benevisti has a message for Israelis: stop whining – Ari Shavit, Haaretz

***

Why was the South so well suited to fill the demand for congenial Catholic voices? The standard explanation holds that their inability to retreat to insular, self-sufficient “ghettos” made Southern Catholics more appealing on the national scene. Forced to find their way in a largely non-Catholic world, they grew adept at expressing their moral vision in terms accessible to outsiders. The flowering of Catholic fiction in the mid-twentieth century bore witness to this dynamic. Readers who wished to penetrate the inner workings of a self-contained parochial universe could listen to the musings of J. F. Powers’ upper-Midwestern clerics. Those who wanted to explore broader applications of Catholic soteriology attended to the harsh twang of Flannery O’Connor’s “good country people” or the more gentlemanly drawls of Walker Percy’s cosmic wanderers. In political matters, meanwhile, the Southern Catholic voice remained optimistic about the basic congruity of civic aims and Christian commitments. It was yet another South Carolinian, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, who emerged as the Church’s leading architect of moderation and consensus amid our late-century culture wars.

Stephen Colbert and the Southern Catholic Charism – Drew Denton, First Things

***

According to Bromwich, Burke’s importance must be understood in terms of a theological crisis in the late 18th century. This was, Bromwich tells us, the crisis of “secularization.” In the old Thomist view of politics, the state was a practical extension of the moral law. But in Burke’s day, Bromwich explains, this vision of politics had become increasingly untenable. In its absence, what arguments could be levied against the Machiavellian image of politics as an amoral arena in which statesmen recognize only the dictates of power and prestige? If statesmen are to obey gods higher than the will to power or the logic of the market, then in the wake of religion’s collapse a new justification for political morality is needed. This is what Bromwich thinks he has found in Burke.

Again and again Bromwich repeats Burke’s mantra that “the principles of true politics are those of morality enlarged, and I neither now do nor ever will admit of any other.” For Burke, he argues, political morality was grounded in the natural human ability to empathize with one’s fellow man. Rather than divine command, Burkean morality is based on human psychology.

Occupy Edmund Burke – Jonathan Green, The American Conservative

Kaj je pravzaprav konzervativizem?

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

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O apologetih liberalizma

Moj esej z naslovom Zakaj nisem liberalec? je sprožil kar nekaj odzivov pripadnikov desne miselne struje na raznoraznih spletnih omrežjih. Glavna kritika moje malenkosti se je seveda glasila, da sem pripadnik »črnega (to se pravi, krščanskega) socializma«. Pravzaprav sem iz odzivov dobil vtis, da živimo v manihejski stvarnosti, kjer sta možni le dve opredelitvi – liberalizem ali socializem.

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Iz manihejskega stališča gre torej za princip: vsakdo, ki ni z nami, je proti nam – se pravi, je socialist. Tovrstni apologeti, ne glede na količino znanja, ki ga premorejo, vedno razmišljajo znotraj dualnosti. Poglavitni način njihove argumentacije bi lahko poimenovali kot reductio ad Marxum, če si lahko dovolim parafrazirati sloviti izrek Lea Straussa reductio ad Hitlerum. Leo Strauss je svojo hudomušno frazo skoval za ljudi, ki stališča argumentirajo tako, da pogledajo odnos Hitlerja do njih in se opredelijo nasprotno. Na primer: nacionalna država je slaba, ker jo je podpiral Hitler, varstvo okolja je slabo iz istega razloga itd. Pri odzivih na moj esej šlo za podobno vrsto argumentacije, in sicer: ker je Marx nasprotoval liberalizmu, sem sam nujno nekakšne vrste socialist. Vse razlike, ki obstajajo med konservativnim mišljenjem in socializmom, jih pravzaprav ne zanimajo. Liberalizem je pač iznad kritike; vsaj na desnici, kjer postaja nova dogma.

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Zmernost in dolga senca žlahtnega konservativizma

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V prejšnjem prispevku sem objavil razmišljanje ob priliki smrti Franca Zagožna. Morda se je komu zdel zapis preveč kritičen in zato nepieteten. Če sem se v njem osredotočil na specifični vidik politične vloge, ki jo je v slovenski tranziciji odigral Franc Zagožen, je to predvsem zato, ker o teh vprašanjih ob njegovem slovesu ni bilo govora. Glasovi, ki so se oglasili ob tej priložnosti, so poleg njegovih nespornih zaslug za demokratizacijo v obdobju slovenske pomladi (1988 – 1990) poudarjali zlasti njegove osebne kvalitete.

Ko umre politik, je pogosto slišati hvale njegovih pozitivnih osebnih lastnosti, saj je poudarjanje le-teh najbolj eleganten način, kako se izogniti političnim ocenam njegovega delovanja, ki bi v občutljivem trenutku utegnile raniti občutljivost pokojnikovih svojcev, prijateljev in tesnih sopotnikov. Toda v tem primeru so tudi Zagožnovi nekdanji sopotniki poudarjali predvsem njegove značajske poteze: poštenost, razumnost, preudarnost, razsodnost – predvsem pa zmernost. V času, ko je ekonomski in politični vidik njegovih življenjskih prizadevanj izgubil na prepričljivosti, je spominjanje na te karakterne lastnosti samo po sebi imelo vlogo nekakšne rehabilitacije.

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