Tedenski izbor


branje6

“I wouldn’t call myself a conservative, but neither would I own to liberal. I’ll take just plain old “Catholic,” thanks” – writes with the following thought experiment:

Imagine a gay male couple who have been together for 20 years. They live nearby. You know them well, having a friendly non-political neighborly relationship. You borrow the odd egg, watch each other’s pets when somebody is on vacation, maybe chat at the annual 4th of July party. You are an orthodox Christian who runs a bakery business. Now apply the following scenarios:

A) One of the gay guys has a birthday. His partner asks you to bake the cake. Would you?

B) One of the gay guys dies. His partner asks you to bake the cake for the reception after the funeral. Would you?

C) Marriage is suddenly legalized in your state. They marry and ask you to bake the cake. Would you?

Seems to me that if the answer is no, no, and no, then you ought to examine yourself for homophobia.

But if the answer is yes, yes and no – that’s my answer – then you are arguably simply being principled. I can say “yes” to A and B because I can honor their friendship and loyalty to each other, their faithful service to each other over years. However, I say “no” to C because marriage is not an institution that can be defined entirely in terms of affection, loyalty and service. Or even eros or heartfelt private romantic feelings. Marriage includes all those things, but it exists is a social institution because the fertility of male and female potentially creates uniquely public consequences (children).

The left disputes my premise for saying no to C. Fine, let’s have that debate. People of goodwill can disagree.

But we are not even allowed to have that debate. My side’s case is dismissed by the liberal elite because they think people like me are haters.

Given that I want to say yes to situations A and B, I think it’s demonstrable that I’m not a hater or homophobe. I am not frightened of gay people and I do not hate them. I just do not think that what they are doing is marriage, and I think calling what they’re doing “marriage” will obscure what marriage is.

Cake and Cosmology – Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

***

The only clear biblical meta-narrative is about male and female. Sex is an area of Jewish law that Jesus explicitly makes stricter. What we now call the “traditional” view of sexuality was a then-radical idea separating the early church from Roman culture, and it’s remained basic in every branch of Christianity until very recently. Jettisoning it requires repudiating scripture, history and tradition (…)

I take a different view of what they could have known. But yes, the evidence that homosexuality isn’t chosen — along with basic humanity — should inspire repentance for cruelties visited on gay people by their churches. But at Christianity’s bedrock is the idea that we are all in the grip of an unchosen condition, an “original” problem that our wills alone cannot overcome. So homosexuality’s deep origin is not a trump card against Christian teaching.

Interview With a Christian – Ross Douthat, The New York Times

***

I was raised by a lesbian couple and had to build bridges to my estranged father in my late twenties. Much of the connection to my father and the benefits of growing up with him were irreparably lost by the time I was a grown man—but at least, I knew who my father was and where to find him. I could salvage my ancestry.

A new generation of children will not even have that consolation I had. Conceived in loveless fertility clinics, gestated in the wombs of women they will never meet, trafficked from poor biological families with the help of complicit governments, “adopted” through a social services system corrupted by money and political pressure, or torn from their birth parents by family court judges who are desperate to please the gay lobby, the new generation of children will be far worse off than I was.

When the debate over gay marriage has receded, when their gay guardians are dead and buried, when the world has moved on, these children will still never be able to recover their heritage.

After Indiana, Gay-Marriage Supporters Should Look in the Mirror – Robert Oscar Lopez, Ethika Politika

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Tedenski izbor


branje5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Burn Her! – Matt Welch, Reason

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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

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

***

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

 ***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

 ***

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

***

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

***

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

reading2

 

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

Levo. Priden. Piškotek – Blaž Vodopivec, Finance

***

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

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

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

***

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

Samomor, dekadenca ali revolucija – Matej Avbelj, Časnik

***

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

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

Banditi, Balkanci, titoisti – Dejan Steinbuch, Finance

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

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

Sedating, not leading – The Economist

***

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

Putin’s Coup – Ben Judah, Politico Magazine

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

The Dangers of Transparency – John Macias, Ethika Politika

***

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

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

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

***

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

Duh. Obviously.

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

 

According to a recent study conducted by Bond University in Australia, sharks are nine times as likely to attack and kill men than they are women. If sinister motivation is attributed for this disparity, as is done in the cases of sex and racial disparities, we can only conclude that sharks are sexist. Another sex disparity is despite the fact that men are 50 percent of the population and so are women, men are struck by lightning six times as often as women. I wonder what whoever is in charge of lightning has against men.

Another gross statistical disparity is despite the fact that Jews are less than 3 percent of the U.S. population and a mere 0.2 percent of the world’s population, between 1901 and 2010, Jews were 35 percent of American and 22 percent of the world’s Nobel Prize winners.

/…/

If America’s diversity worshippers see underrepresentation as “probative” of racial discrimination, what do they propose be done about overrepresentation? After all, overrepresentation and underrepresentation are simply different sides of injustice. If those in one race are overrepresented, it might mean they’re taking away what rightfully belongs to another race. For example, is it possible that Jews are doing things that sabotage the chances of a potential Indian, Alaska Native or Mexican Nobel Prize winner? What about the disgraceful lack of diversity in professional basketball and ice hockey? There’s not even geographical diversity in professional ice hockey; not a single player can boast of having been born and raised in Hawaii, Louisiana or Mississippi.

Do Statistical Disparities Mean Injustice? – Walter E. Williams, The New American

***

Political correctness thus results as a confusion of political word for political action—so saying the wrong words is doing the wrong action. If I say something that disagrees with your position or lifestyle, it may be taken as an actual assault on you, the person.

/…/

Virtues, however, cannot be gained by “identifying” with others psychologically—a virtue is the skill of an action performed repeatedly over time. As Aristotle said, since we are what we repeatedly do, character is a habit and not an attitude. To fight this decadent culture in the academy, pointing it out and criticizing it is not sufficient. As Roger Kimball notes, “those who want to retake the university must devote themselves [to] cultivating those virtues” of candidness and courage, “and perhaps even more to cultivating the virtue of patience, capitalizing wherever possible on whatever local opportunities present themselves” in exercising them (Tenured Radicals, xlvii).

Political Correctness and the University’s Pink Police State – Ryan Shinkel, Ethika Politika

***

We must give up on the hope of restoring the past in this culture. It’s not that some aspects of the past shouldn’t be reclaimed, but rather that doing so, at least at a society-wide level, is not feasible at this point in time. The more we act as if it were so, the greater our losses will be once we definitively lose an unwinnable battle. This “take back America” stuff is self-deluding nostalgia, and the more conservatives believe it, the worse off they will be.

Roger Scruton’s Big Question for the Right – Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

***

Ne razumem, zakaj so sicer inteligentni ljudje pripravljeni vedno znova ponavljati ene in iste neumnosti oziroma laži, ko gre denimo za razliko med zasebnim in državnim lastništvom podjetij? Jih ideologija povsem zaslepi? Ali gre morda za kako drugačno dojemanje tega, kaj je dobro, uspešno in za regijo pomembno podjetje?

Marcel Štefančič, jr. je danes v Studiu City izjavil:

“V Sloveniji imamo dva farmacevtska giganta, eden je Krka drugi je Lek. Krke nismo prodali, Lek smo prodali. Ali opazite kakšno razliko med njima? Vam jaz povem: od Krke živi kompletna regija, od Leka nima nihče nič.” (RTV 4D – Studio City, 22. sept. 2014)

Ampak že če preberete samo prve zadetke za geslo “Lek in Krka” v spletnem iskalniku, dobite povsem drugačno sliko.

***

Dr. Cerar, ko ste leta 1990 s skupino študentov raziskovali te umore, ste pogumno in odločno predlagali, da bi zoper storilce vložili ovadbo, saj je jasno, »da sodijo ustrelitve na meji bolj pod opis dejanja v 46. členu KZ RS, kot pa v izvrševanju ustave in zakonov. Omenjeni 46. člen namreč povsem nedvoumno določa: ‘Kdor komu vzame življenje, se kaznuje z zaporom najmanj petih let.’« Vaš predlog je prav tako naletel na gluha ušesa. Vendar časi se spreminjajo in zdaj imate lepo priložnost, da kot odrasel moški na visokem položaju uresničite zamisli skromnega, a drznega in prodornega mladeniča …

Glede na vaše odlično stališče iz leta 1990 vas, dr. Cerar, prosim, da bi spodbudili g. Maslešo, da bi le našel dovolj moči in spoznal, da je bilo njegovo zanikanje zločinov na meji nadvse sporno dejanje in da naj zoper sebe in druge sodelujoče pri ubojih na meji napiše ovadbo (npr. s temi zločini se je še pred leti javno hvalil general Marijan Kranjc).

Predvsem pa naj novo državno vodstvo ponovno presodi, ali lahko človek, ki zanika zločine, pri katerih je sodeloval, še vodi Vrhovno sodišče RS.

Odprto pismo Miru Cerarju – Jože Dežman, Časnik

***

If Orwell stands as the model leftist who exposed the horrors his own side was willing to commit, Herzen stands as one who went along even though he knew better. More than a limousine liberal, he was a sapphire socialist. In spite of all his natural skepticism, he was willing to overcome it—heroically, he thought—rather than be seen agreeing with the wrong people.

That said, it is no less true that Herzen was aware of this very weakness. “I hate phrases to which we [radicals] have grown used, like Christians to the Creed. They appear moral and good on the surface but they bind thought.”

The Minister of Paradox – Gary Saul Morson, The New Criterion

***

Ali se je raznoterim činom vseh vrst italijanskih vojaških sil, ki so si tako strastno želele prihod svetega očeta na kostnico v Redipulji in si preko vojaškega ordinariata obdržale organizacijo dogodka tudi ob tihem nasprotovanju vernikov krajevne nadškofije, morda papeževo razmišljanje zdelo izzivalno?
Odgovora nimamo. Ostal pa nam je globok vtis, da je papež s svojimi besedami, pa tudi s samim potekom svojega sobotnega obiska, ko je pred osrednjo svečanostjo v Redipulji obiskal še avstro-ogrsko pokopališče v Foljanu, kjer dejansko počivajo ‘naši predniki’ (kdo izmed naših se je vojskoval v italijanskih vrstah!), pospravil z vsako ceneno nacionalno-vojaško retoriko. “Vojna je norost”… “in zdaj je čas joka”. In pika. Najbrž se je papež Frančišek zaradi istih razlogov izognil tudi običajni toplini do vernikov, saj se ni podal mednje niti ob prihodu niti ob odhodu: to ni bila ne vojaška parada ne praznik, česar tudi marsikateri vernik resnici na ljubo ni dojel.

To ni bila ne vojaška parada ne praznik – Igor Gregori, Novi glas

***

Osnovna šola (in seveda celotna vzgojno-izobraževalna vertikala) je bolj ščitenje privilegija toplih malic in vožnje na delo, dopusta in povsem zagotovljenega delovnega mesta, njegovega lastništva, kakor realizacija tega, kar potrebuje družba in mladi ljudje: dobre izobrazbe in vzgoje.

/…/

Zato je slovenska osnovna šola je podobna razvajenemu in z boleznijo zaznamovanemu otroku: imamo brez dvoma najbolj bogat predmetnik, najbolj obsežne učne načrte in najbolj centralizirano osnovno šolo v Evropi. Težko je našteti vse njene posebnosti, dejstvo pa je, da bi ob ostri redukciji vseh dobrot, ki jih uživa zdaj, brez dvoma padla v komo. Zato bo potrebna dolgotrajna dieta, da se bo vzpostavilo stanje, ki ne bo več ogrožalo normalnega vzgojno-izobraževalnega sistema.

Kriza blagostanja – Dušan Merc, Pogledi

***

Doesn’t “progressive” reflect the spirit of the Progressive Era a century ago, when the country benefited from the righteous efforts of muckrakers and others who fought big-city political bosses, attacked business monopolies and promoted Good Government?

The era was partly about that. But philosophically, the progressive movement at the turn of the 20th century had roots in German philosophy (Hegel and Nietzsche were big favorites) and German public administration (Woodrow Wilson’s open reverence for Bismarck was typical among progressives). To simplify, progressive intellectuals were passionate advocates of rule by disinterested experts led by a strong unifying leader. They were in favor of using the state to mold social institutions in the interests of the collective. They thought that individualism and the Constitution were both outmoded.

It is that core philosophy extolling the urge to mold society that still animates progressives today—a mind-set that produces the shutdown of debate and growing intolerance that we are witnessing in today’s America.

The Trouble Isn’t Liberals. It’s Progressives – Charles Murray, The Wall Street Journal

***

Predvsem pa se politika z etiko nima kaj ukvarjati. Naloga politike je, da poskrbi za pravno državo, ki bo pravočasno in pošteno kaznovala ljudi, ki prestopijo meje razumljivo napisanih in logičnih zakonov. Ko pa politiki začnejo govoriti, da morajo ljudje postati bolj etični, pa to pomeni, da želijo s svojimi instrumenti – ki so po definiciji instrumenti oblasti in prisile – spreminjati ljudi same.

Politik, ki si za cilj postavi spreminjati naravo ljudi, slej ko prej postane bodisi dalajlama bodisi stalinist.

Učna leta izumitelja Mirka – Janez Šušteršič, Siol.net

***

Words you probably never thought you’d read in the Telegraph. Words which, as a Gladstonian Liberal, I never thought I’d write.

/…/

This sort of utterly amoral screw-everyone capitalism has become much more prevalent in the last 15 years. Our financial elite is now totally out of control. They learned nothing from the crisis, except that the rest of us were stupid enough to give them a second chance. And, now, having plucked all the “low hanging fruit,” they’re destroying the middle classes for profit.

Our current problems have their roots in the early 80s. While much of what Reagan and Thatcher did was necessary, the trouble is that they set a deregulatory train in motion which, over the last couple of decades has dismantled so much of the legal framework that protected us from greedy scuzzballs.

The middle classes went along with it. We were sick of the Left, tired of powerful unions and, besides, very few us could remember the inequality of the 1920s that gave rise to many of these regulations in the first place. Also, vain fools that we were, we identified upwards. We thought the elite had our interests at heart. The 0.1% must have found this pretty cute. They knew the truth. We weren’t their pals, we were just at the end of the line for the financial blood-letting.

Why aren’t the British middle classes staging a revolution? – Alex Proud, The Telegraph

***

I’d like to remind you of Alasdair MacIntyre’s definition of emotivism in After Virtue:

“What is the key to the social content of emotivism? It is the fact that emotivism entails the obliteration of any genuine distinction between manipulative and non-manipulative social relations. Consider the contrast between, for example, Kantian ethics and emotivism on this point. For Kant–and a parallel point could be made about many earlier moral philosophers–the difference between a human relationship uninformed by morality and one so informed is precisely the difference between one in which each person treat the other primarily as a means to his or her ends and one in which one treats each other as an end.”

Walsh almost exclusively uses others as means to his own end of scoring points in the culture wars (and boosting internet traffic). This is why his writing is so banal. It does not challenge anyone to drop their defenses.

In the end Walsh becomes like his enemies, because in his rivalries he plays a zero-sum cultural warrior game of ‘either me or the other’ (I just clicked on a link to an interview with him some random site and the popup ad predictably read “fight the liberal media”). Perhaps the only heuristic value of Walsh’s writing lies in the way that it suggests an overlap between MacIntyre‘s discussion of emotivism and Girard‘s discussion of mimetic rivalry.

On Not Fighting Matt Walsh’s Cultural Warrior Contagion – Artur Rosman, Cosmos in the Lost

***

Za konec pa še naravnost genialni zapis Carla Truemana v First Things, ki ga zaradi kratkosti objavljamo kar v celoti:

Britain’s Daily Telegraph reports that anti-incest laws in Germany could be struck down on the grounds that they constitute an unacceptable intrusion into the right to sexual self-determination. The narrow context is the case of a brother and sister who have lived together for years and have four children. The wider context is the very meager basis upon which laws relating to sexual ethics are now built.

In a world where consent provides the only de facto limit to acceptable sexual ethics, this legal move has a certain obvious legal and cultural logic. If the brother and sister are in love, why should they not live together in a sexual partnership? Even the pragmatic argument from the risk of congenital defects in children is irrelevant: birth control and abortion are the obvious answers which this present age would give.

In fact, it is not so much the legitimation of incest in itself as it is the collapse of the boundaries of sexual taboos given our current ethical logic which makes the case significant. The question of consent is itself surely a complex one when it comes to sexual morality and even this might soon be faced with a serious challenge. Take, for example, bestiality (or, to use the more anodyne modern term, zoophilia). I regularly eat cows, pigs, sheep and chickens whose consent to be part of my diet is (I assume) rarely if ever sought before they arrive on my dinner plate. The law as it stands clearly does not recognize the need for a cow to give permission before it is slaughtered and turned into a hamburger. One assumes that it would not require its consent for a less drastic fate.

A thought thus comes to mind if any notion of sexual ethics is not to vanish in its entirety: Either consent is not a sufficient basis for a sexual ethic, or eating meat needs to be outlawed as soon as possible.

Tedenski izbor

reading

Vprašanje položaja humanističnih ved v izobrazbi je precej aktualno. Če levičarski del javnosti razume pomen, čeprav znotraj svojih ideoloških okvirjev, pa je na desnici pogosto nerazumeljena, in občasno celo zaničevana. A vendar je ravno konzervativna misel tista, katera lahko humanistiki, da smisel obstoja, kateri ni pogojen z njeno koristnostjo in uporabnostjo. Levica pogosto opozarja na nujnost humanistike in družboslovja s potrebo po družbeni kritiki, ki je ne moremo zanikati. A vendar se je potrebno vprašati, kakšno funkcijo bi lahko imela humanistika, ali pa celo katerakoli bazična znanost v brezrazredni družbi, ko bi bil cilj celotne zgodovine izpolnjen.

Apologija humanistike – Andraž Kovač, Časnik

***

His /Tocqueville’s/ ultimate fear was that this tendency toward privatism—especially the “restless” pursuit of thing after thing—and disinterest in the banal activities of self-government would result in an apathetic and disconnected citizenry whose main interest would be security and comfort amid the unpredictability of their economic lives. /…/

In contrast to democracy understood as a discipline of shared self-governance—leading to self-command and an inclination to obey laws made by oneself—Tocqueville describes here instead a people altogether infantalized by their private materialist obsessions and civic indifference. Rather than making them into men and women, this form of democracy creates perpetual adolescents: “[Democratic despotism] would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood.”

The answer to this threat, then, isn’t simply “more democracy.” Tocqueville, rather, pointed to certain arrangements in which active self-rule was more likely to occur—especially local, small-scale settings in which people would develop a strong sense of investment and care in the outcome of decisions.

How Democracy Dies – Patrick J. Deneen, The American Conservative

***

Tako kot nekateri Italijani prvo svetovno enačijo zgolj z italijanskimi žrtvami in zmago, počnejo to tudi nekateri Primorci. Natančneje, borci. Takoimenovani borci. V njihovi zvezi je namreč večina ljudi, ki druge svetovne vojne niso doživeli niti kot dojenčki. Oni drugo svetovno vojno enačijo zgolj z levičarsko mitologijo o partizanstvu.

Za ene je prva svetovna vojna samo trikolora. Za druge je druga svetovna vojna samo rdeča zvezda.

In to je velika škoda. Oboji namreč pozabljajo na preproste ljudi, ki so se borili prisilno ali za svoje ideale in mnogi tudi zato umrli. Je moj nono s partizanske strani hotel, da bo po vojni zavladala diktatura? Prepričan sem, da ne. Takoimenovani sodobni borci zato nimajo pravice, da govorijo v njegovem imenu.

Vojna je tragedija, ki se je moramo spominjati, saj tako preprečujemo nove. Zato bi bilo dobro, če se takoimenovani borci usmerili v prihodnost in nehali politiki vsiljevati svoje zvezde.

Mi pa verujemo v našo pomlad! (O Primorcih in t. i. borcih) – Tino Mamić, Časnik

***

Kakšno uro ali dve po premieri se je nedaleč stran, v zakulisju informativnega teatra zavrtel še en, neznatnejši, a pozornosti vreden dramski prizor. Besedilo, ki ga je napisala poročevalka STA (Slovenske tiskovne agencije) Jasmina Vodeb, se je uredništvu zazdelo neustrezno ali kar napačno. Zato je bil del poročila črtan in slavnostni govorec je ostal brez besed oziroma brez citata.

Kaj je bilo predmet spora? Dogajanje leta 1939/40. Po besedah Ljuba Sirca se je usodni preobrat v življenju te angažirane ženske zgodil z avgustom 1939, ko sta nemški zunanji minister Ribbentrop in sovjetski zunanji minister Molotov sklenila pakt o nenapadanju (in delitvi Evrope), imenovan tudi pakt med Hitlerjem in Stalinom. Angela Vode, ki je bila tedaj članica komunistične partije, se je nad povezovanjem komunistov z nacisti zgrozila. To je tudi jasno povedala in delovala naprej, kot da pakt ne velja oziroma da nje ne zavezuje ukaz, da se čez naciste ne sme reči žal besede. Zaradi kljubovanja so jo iz partije izključili, za nameček pa sprožili hudournik raznih oblik kaznovanja, tudi dolga leta zapora.

In zakaj se o tem še aprila 2009 ne bi smelo govoriti? Po informacijah, ki so s STA prišle do mene, zato, ker baje jugoslovanska partija ni imela nič s paktom med Hitlerjem in Stalinom. Tudi je menda izmišljotina, da bi koga kaznovali, če je temu nasprotoval. Kaj šele, da bi koga izključili in maltretirali! Saj je vendar splošno znano, da je bil Tito proti Stalinu…! – Tako so torej Ljuba Sirca črtali iz poročila o premieri. Besede, s katerimi je označil Angelin spor s partijo in odnos do nacizma, so izpuhtele, stavek o izključitvi pa je bil zmehčan v »se je s partijo razšla«. Ta verzija – tako rekoč uradna, saj jo je razširila državna tiskovna agencija – je potem zasedla večino informacijskega prostora.

Ob ognju iz polen, vrženih pod noge – Alenka Puhar, Časnik

***

Po podatkih finančnega ministrstva je zadolženost Ljubljane 31. decembra 2006 znašala 29,7 milijona evrov, zadolženost njenih pravnih oseb (mestnih podjetij, zavodov…) še dodatnih 26,2 milijona. Skupno torej 55,9 milijona ali 202,3 evra na Ljubljančana. Podatkov za letos še ni, konec leta 2013 pa je dolg Ljubljane znašal 120,5 milijona evrov, dolg njenih pravnih oseb pa 84 milijonov. Skupaj torej 204 milijone oziroma 758 evrov na Ljubljančana. Dolg Ljubljane je bil konec prejš­njega leta torej skoraj štirikrat večji kot v času, ko je Janković začel županovati.

Grdi obrazi najlepšega mesta na svetu – ni jih malo – Jurij Šimac, Novica Mihajlović, Finance

***

Vprašanja, ki bi morala plavati po javnem prostoru, so sledeča: kakšen je bil Mramorjev odnos do managerskih prevzemov s pomočjo denarja iz državnih bank? Kakšen je Mramorjev pogled na dajanje garancij, koncesij in subvencij? V kakšni relaciji je Mramor z ljudmi, ki so kronični in masivni odvisniki od koncesij, subvencij in garancij? Kdo so ljudje, ki lahko vplivajo na Mramorjevo mnenje pri javnofinančni konsolidaciji? Kakšne so relacije med Mramorjem in posamezniki, ki upravljajo s paradržavnimi podjetji in paradržavnimi skladi?

Vse to bi morali vedeti in analizirati v kontekstu njegovih preteklih dejanj in interesnega kroga iz katerega prihaja in je tisto, o čemer bi morali razpravljati že od prvega dne, ko je iz SMC prišla informacija, da je Mramor njihov ministrski kandidat.

Razumel bi, da je danes gospodarska rast okoli 5 odstotna, da dolg ne presega 20 odstotkov BDP in da imamo proračunski presežek, ampak temu ni tako, zato skorajda popolna odsotnost debate o svetovnem nazoru in interesni grupaciji tega človeka kažeta, da kljub šestletni ali recesiji ali stagnaciji v tej državi še vedno nihče ni sposoben razprave o realnih problemih in načinih reševanja teh problemov.

Dušan Mramor, računovodja, ki je postal finančni minister – Kizo, Portal Plus

***

In your chapter on “The Truth in Socialism”, you say that what conservatives, in your sense, and socialists share is a recognition of the “truth of mutual dependence”. Where, then, does the conflict between socialists and conservatives arise? Over the distribution of the benefits of that mutual dependence?

Partly that. But it also has to do with control. Socialists, when they see a problem, they want a centralised answer to it. Whereas conservatives are more open to the thought that if a problem arises locally, it must be solved locally—to the extent that it can be solved at all. Also, conservatives are open to the thought that most [political] problems are not soluble.

How to be a conservative: a conversation with Roger Scruton – Jonathan Derbyshire, Prospect

***

In reality, as the German economist Walter Eucken observed, actually existing economies involve a web of various market forms, with up to 100 different possible combinations of various types of supply and demand (competitive, semi-oligopolistic, oligopolistic, semi-monopolistic, and monopolistic), each of which can be either open or closed. And market forms, of course, are only one of many aspects of an economy. Reality doesn’t often give us easy choices between good and evil but requires a high level of prudence and discernment. In other words, it requires hard work.

My point is not that every time a person advocates capitalism, socialism, or any other economic “-ism” that she must, therefore, be scapegoating. Rather the goal is to encourage my coreligionists (and myself) to get beyond the abstract.

Do you support capitalism? Socialism? Distributism? Something else? Wonderful. What does that look like among the mess of market forms that actually constitute the economy you participate in every day? Rather than criticizing those policies that fall short of your saintly ideal or align too closely with your Hitler, what ones constitute a first step in the right direction for you? And why? And what are the actual consequences, intended or otherwise, that may come about?

Scapegoats of Christian Social Thought – Dylan Pahman, Ethika Politika

***

Zaradi vnetega zagovarjanja državnih investicij kot vzvoda gospodarske rasti vas večkrat primerjajo z Jožetom Mencingerjem. Vas ta primerjava moti?

Za te stvari mi je vseeno, včasih so me zmerjali kot neoliberalca, zdaj kot keynesijanca ali mencingerjanca, če hočete. Pomembno je, da znaš v pravem času najti prave recepte za konkretne težave. Najhuje je, če vztrajaš pri istih stališčih vse življenje. Mencinger je nekoč o mojih stališčih dejal nekaj v smislu, končno je ugotovil, jaz to vem že vse življenje. Ampak težava je ravno v tem, da je keynesianec že vse življenje. Keynesijanec moraš biti, kadar je čas za to, torej ko imaš težave s povpraševanjem. Hudič je, če želiš vse bolezni zdraviti z istim zdravilom.

Kam je šel liberalec v meni? – Jože P. Damijan, intervju za Manager

***

Begin with the disease. At the core of America’s problems with health care is a great delusion: it likes to think it has a vibrant private marketplace. In fact the country has long had a subsidy-laden system that is the most expensive and complicated in the world, with much of the government cash going to the rich, millions of people left out and little individual responsibility.

/…/

Obamacare’s effects will not be fully understood for years; but it will never be the core of the problem. If America wants to stick to the idea that it has a health-care market, then it should focus on trying to make it more like a market—with prices, competitors and some form of choice.

How to fix Obamacare – The Economist

Tedenski izbor

 

Old-man-Reading

 

Zmagovalca volitev imamo. Izvolili so ga tisti, ki si ne želijo soočenja z realnostjo. To odmaknjenost si lahko privoščijo volivci, to si lahko privošči kandidat na volitvah, celo si lahko to privošči kandidat za mandatarja, ko sestavlja koalicijsko pogodbo, ne more pa si tega privoščiti predsednik vlade Republike Slovenije.
Pred Cerarjem je zato težka naloga. Volilno podporo mora pretvoriti v operativen program in dejanja. Za katera pa na volitvah od svojih volivcev ni dobil mandata. Prav zanimivo bi bilo od zunaj gledati ta eksperiment. Od znotraj, iz Slovenije, zna biti pa precej neprijetno.

Zmaga zanikanja – Žiga Turk, Čas-opis

***

Like Christians enduring similar violence in Iraq, Palestinian Christian communities are historically rooted and unique, and they are tied to areas with spiritual significance in the Christian tradition: nonetheless, their status appears to be of little interest to rightwing partisans. This is not because of defects in particular people, but because of defects in the partisan model of rendering intelligible political realities. If political action must take place along party lines, then even the most straightforward commitments are difficult to maintain when their coherence would interfere with the party line. Since the right wing must support Israel and tends to maintain anti-Muslim animus, rallying for Christians besieged by ISIS is convenient, while rallying for those endangered by Israel is untenable. Partisan commitments truncate good impulses, like the one to protect threatened Christian communities abroad, by measuring qualification for support by amenability to internal agendas rather than objective need. In other words, they hobble virtue by calibrating it against their own interests rather than a shared or sharable standard.

Christians, Campaigns and Collateral Damage – Elisabeth Stoker Bruenig, Ethika Politika

***

But you’ve changed.  You’re always like “Oh no, thousands of missiles are being fired at our cities” and “Let me tell you about those death squads who infiltrated through underground tunnels to attack our farms.”

I think you’ve lost all perspective.  Most of those missiles miss and you’ve stopped most of those infiltrators.  But it is still all about how your people have to go into bomb shelters and how your farmers are worried about being massacred.

Dear Israel – Peter Spiliakos, National Review

***

For the first time in decades, Israel is defending itself against an army that has penetrated the 1967 borders, by means of tunnels and naval incursions. Hamas rockets produced in Gaza can now reach all of Israel’s largest cities, including Haifa, and it has rocket-equipped drones. It was able to shut down Israel’s main airport for two days. Israelis who live near Gaza have left their homes and are scared to go back since the IDF says that there are probably still tunnels it doesn’t know about. Rockets from Gaza kept Israelis returning to shelters day after day, demonstrating the IDF’s inability to deal with the threat. The war is estimated to have cost the country billions of dollars.

The greatest costs, of course, have been borne by Gaza’s civilians, who make up the vast majority of the more than 1600 lives lost by the time of the ceasefire announced and quickly broken on 1 August. The war has wiped out entire families, devastated neighbourhoods, destroyed homes, cut off all electricity and greatly limited access to water. It will take years for Gaza to recover, if indeed it ever does.

Hamas’ Chances – Nathan Thrall, London Review of Books

***

While the actions of Russian propaganda have not delivered any significant results in the West so far, the situation is unfortunately different in Ukraine. For a long time, the majority of Ukrainians treated Kiselyov (and others) as rather comical characters, the heroes of numerous parodies of internet and comedy shows. Nevertheless, many took the propaganda voiced by such “Kiselyovs” very seriously. Many dormant pro-Russian inhabitants of eastern Ukraine, bombarded by anti-Maidan (de-facto anti-European) propaganda during the revolutionary events of November 2013–February 2014, have become intolerant of any other point of view. After the triumph of the Maidan, most of the Ukrainian media have changed their focus to favour the new authorities, undermining their credibility in the eyes of Donbas residents.

Therefore, during the separatist meetings, assurance of uninterrupted broadcasting of Russian TV was always named among the top demands of the protesters (up to now TV remains the main source of information for many of the protesters). Russian TV channels, almost non-stop, report on the horrors that the post-Maidan authorities would bring to Donbas: forcible Ukrainianisation, shutting down mines (a large employment sector), forced gay marriages and neo-Nazis that would butcher all Russian speakers. As a result, an ordinary peaceful resident of Donbas, whose right to speak his mother tongue, preserve his culture and honour his heroes has taken up arms to the barricades to “defend against the invasion of the Right Sector”. As a consequence of this, Ukraine has lost hundreds of fellow citizens on both sides of the conflict.

Victims of Russian Propaganda – Milan Lelič, New Eastern Europe

***

Love is to choose to give ourselves to the other; it is to lay down our lives as a sacrificial offering for the beloved. It is inseparable from the Cross, which is the sacrificial signifier of the marriage of love and suffering. This traditional understanding of love differs drastically and radically from the modern understanding of “love,” which can be defined as that which makes us feel good, especially in terms of the erotic. As Kris Kristofferson tells us:

Feelin’ good was easy Lord, when Bobby sang the blues, Feelin’ good was good enough for me, Good enough for me and Bobby McGee.

I love you because you make me feel good. When you do not. make me feel good any longer I will nott love you any longer; I will find someone else who makes me feel good. This “feel good” love was epitomized by the hippy movement, by Lennon’s mantra “All You Need is Love,” and by the so-called “summer of love,” with its narcissism finding fulfillment in narcotic-induced oblivion. The fact is that feeling good is not good enough for me or for you, or even for Bobby McGee. True love is never about feeling good but about being good.

When Nice Turns Nasty – Joseph Pearce, The Imaginative Conservative

 ***

Does the racist deserve respect, Barro will ask? In reply, we may observe that those Americans who have done the most against racism have done so by treating even racists with respect.

Abraham Lincoln consistently denounced slavery as an institution without denouncing southerners for being slaveholders. On the contrary, he admonished his fellow northerners that they would be no better had they been raised in a slave-holding society. Lincoln reasoned with the South about the immorality of slavery. And when some southerners sought to dismember the Union, he reasoned with them about the illegality, injustice, and imprudence of secession, appealing to the “better angels” of their nature. Of course, his efforts at persuasion failed, and war came—a war that Lincoln was determined to wage with full force in pursuit of a just victory. Even in the midst of civil war, however, and even with the war won, he did not indulge a desire to denounce or vilify his opponents. The same was true, of course, of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the most effective leaders of the civil rights movement.

Civility is due not to a person’s opinions, but to the person himself. Such civility is right and just because, while we may be very convinced that our opponent is wrong, our opponent is still a person with dignity. The just response to error is, as Socrates pointed out long ago, not mockery but argument.

Who Deserves Respect? – Carson Holloway, Public Discourse

***

For more than 30 years, the Islamic Republic has been obsessively battling against sex. It is preoccupied by how and with whom its people are having it. Lawmakers and scholars devote hours to discussing sex, condemning sex and sentencing people for having sex. Mullahs on television and radio philosophise and advise about it, sometimes in surprisingly lascivious detail. Government posters warn of the link between immodest dress and dubious morals; find-a-fatwa websites warn of the perils of self-love (everything from psychological damage to wreaking havoc on the nervous system) and offer cures to masturbators (lots of prayer and fasting).

As with anything that is suppressed or banned – such as alcohol, which flows through homes the length and breadth of the city – people have learned to sidestep the restrictions. And they are hungrier than ever for that which is not allowed.

High Heels and Hijabs: Iran’s sexual revolution – Ramita Navai, New Statesman

***

[Adam] Smith never can decide how one should feel about the pursuit of wealth. On the one hand, it keeps in motion the industry of mankind. On the other, it doesn’t make people very happy. So how is the individual character—after all, the subject of a treatise on ethical conduct—to treat wealth?

Smith resolves not to resolve on anything. He encourages his readers to take a “complex” view of wealth. While nature imposes on our sympathies and senses most of the time, we know what it is like not to be fooled. Smith urges us to remember those times of “splenetic humour”—illness, usually—when we fail to appreciate beauty, utility, “that accommodation which reigns in the palaces and oeconomy of the great.” In sickness, we “consider the real satisfaction which all these things are capable of affording” and find wealth “in the highest degree contemptible and trifling.”

This isn’t a prescription for lifelong malingering. It’s a reminder instead to maintain an attitude of ambiguity towards wealth even when one’s full sympathetic and aesthetic faculties are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

The Economics of Jane Austen – Shannon Chamberlain, The Atlantic

***

Prav lahko si predstavljam brata, ki jima je oče kakih 50 let nazaj, ko je delal oporoko, zapustil parcele – enemu na levi, drugemu na desni in skupni dostop do njih. Logično, da samo z eno dovozno potjo – pot pač ne daje kruha. Da se ne dela škoda. Pa je skozi leta med bratoma in njunima družinama kdaj prišlo do kakega nesporazuma, ki so ga vestno pometli pod preprogo. Morda je kakšen od bratov celo drugemu “odščipnil” kje kakšen košček zemlje, kar je oni drugi odpustil, da bi se le razumela. Morda je celo ponesreči kdo od bratov odkosil kakšno travo ali posekal drevesce, ki je bilo prav gotovo na “našem”. V teku let se je takih drobnarij nekaj nabralo.

Ob prvem večjem sporu sta si vse to vrgla v obraz in – kot je navada – prenehala govoriti med seboj, se na smrt “skregala” in zanetila začetek bratskega sovraštva. V sporu se seveda nista znašla le onadva, pač pa kar celotni družini. Sovraštvo se namreč kaj rado prenese v naslednjo generacijo in se potegne še naprej v prihodnost. Danes nihče sploh več ne pozna pravih vzrokov spora, ne pozna dejstev, nihče ne ve za krivice, ki so se dogajale.

Kolovoz za hojo po levi – Aleš Čerin, Časnik

***

Bonus: izvrsten članek urednika Pogledov Boštjana Tadela o reformi slovenskega kulturnega modela, ki je bil po krivici spregledan v poplavi banalnosti pred in po državnozborskih volitvah. Še en dokaz, da so Pogledi po svojem bistvu konservativni trojanski konj v samem jedru slovenske kulturne javnosti:

Posledica skoraj izključno državnega financiranja kulture je bil nastanek močnega lobija »producentov«, kot jih je poimenoval minister. Ta je bil v času po osamosvojitvi praktično edini usmerjevalec kulturne politike. V tem seveda kultura ni bila izjema med javnofinančnimi področji – ki se vsa po vrsti sklicujejo na »brezmadežno stroko« nasproti »korumpirani politiki« – je pa tudi v kulturi zaradi tega prišlo do šibke odzivnosti na potrebe trga, se pravi bralcev, gledalcev, poslušalcev, prav tako pa do omenjenega stopnjevanja generacijskega konflikta.

/…/

Z drugimi besedami: raznovrstnosti ne smemo iskati v ponudbi posameznih producentov, nasprotno, ti morajo imeti jasno profilirano identiteto – raznovrstnost pa bo posledica večjega števila različnih in prepoznavnih ponudnikov čim bolj različnih vsebin in oblik.

/…/

Ko torej razmišljamo o interakciji med družbo in kulturo, je smiselno razmišljati o določitvi ciljev. Ali želimo, da v dveh opernih hišah zagotavljamo eksistenco okrog petsto glasbenikom in plesalcem – ali želimo mednarodno ugleden baletni ansambel, kakršen je Clugov v Mariboru? Ali mislimo, da je nujno prek Javne agencije za knjigo (JAK) letno zagotavljati izid več kot petsto naslovov, izmed katerih marsikateri ne dosega niti tehničnih založniških standardov, kaj šele vsebinskih – ali bi raje dostojno podprli nekaj res izstopajočih avtorjev, da leto, dve ali celo tri lahko v miru ustvarjajo. (O tem je pred časom govoril prvi direktor JAK, pisatelj, založnik in dolgoletni predsednik Društva slovenskih pisateljev Slavko Pregl.) V času, ko bo e-samozaložba vedno bolj enostavna, je to vprašanje še bolj aktualno kot doslej. Ali res potrebujemo toliko šol z umetniškimi vsebinami, ki bruhajo diplomante, med katerimi večina postane socialni problem – ali bi raje podpirali ciljane tečaje, kot so npr. tisti za kreativno pisanje, na nadebudne umetnike pa apelirali, da se v okviru javnega šolstva izšolajo za kaj, kar jim bo omogočilo eksistenco? Pedagoških delovnih mest bi bilo sicer manj, ampak pred meseci je Andraž Teršek pisal o odgovornosti države, ki razpisuje študijska mesta za poklice, po katerih ni povpraševanja – sliši se grdo, ampak tudi mlademu človeku vzeti več let življenja na račun nikomur potrebnega študija ni prav lepo.

/…/

Vrhunskost, raznovrstnost in dostopnost v kulturi so dosegljiva načela, če bo prišlo do razširitve virov financiranja, če bo kultura našla stik z zainteresirano in še posebej z novo javnostjo in če bo poskrbljeno za sistematično uvajanje novih generacij. Če bomo to storili, bo produkcija boljša, bližje bo številčnejšemu in bolj vpletenemu občinstvu ter manj obremenjujoča za javna sredstva – seveda pa bo to s seboj nedvomno prineslo tudi to, da si bodo nekateri dosedanji »producenti« morali poiskati drugo dejavnost. To se dogaja tudi v medijih in se je na marsikaterem drugem področju že zgodilo. Ni pa to nujno nekaj slabega, v kulturi in vrhunski umetnosti sploh ne. Celo obratno je – slab je status quo.

Radikalno nov kulturnopolitični model – nujno! – Boštjan Tadel, Pogledi

Tedenski izbor

subway-reading

Sprašujem se, kam bomo prišli, če bodo duhovniki med najsvetejšim obredom licitirali za stranke. To ni v skladu z doktrino Cerkve v odnosu do politike. Tudi, če bi hodili v Cerkev pripadniki samo ene stranke, bi bil proti temu, da se med evangelijem in povzdigovanjem daje politična navodila, kaj šele pod pretnjo greha. Ne samo zato, ker temu nasprotuje Cerkev sama in ker ne maram, da se razodeta resnica meša s političnim interesom. Vprašljivo se mi zdi, z duhovno avtoriteto v času govornega monopola (med mašo), pozivati politično različne vernike k  strankarski podpori. Duhovnik tudi nima pooblastila govoriti v imenu vernikov o strankarskih zadevah – ne samo pri maši. Nekateri so me takoj obtožili, da oporekam duhovnikom pravico do mnenja. Seveda so duhovniki politična bitja z vsemi pravicami, potrebno pa je razlikovati, kaj je delo za vrednote, za pravico in poštenje, za politiko v širšem smislu, kaj pa opredeljevanje za stranko in aktivizem zanjo. Eno je menje, volilno navodilo pa je nekaj bistveno drugega.

Intervju z Lojzetom Peterletom – Jani Drnovšek, Časnik

***

Mogoče so hoteli predstavniki katoliške hierarhije nenadoma pokazati, da so bili ves čas na pravi strani poosamosvojitvene zgodovine. Bojim se namreč, da bi pogled od blizu velikokrat pokazal nezdravo navezanost na Cerkvi morda nenaklonjene, a z realno močjo obložene sile. Loščenje te nelepe podobe pa, kot kaže, ni bilo učinkovito. V javnosti je samo še okrepilo že tako zakoreninjeno prepričanje, da sodijo vsi katoličani na desno in k Janši. Čeravno ne prvo in še zlasti ne drugo ni nikdar držalo.

Izlet v Libanon – Aleš Maver, Časnik

***

Calling on conservatives to write fiction in order to regain power by shaping the moral imagination, as Bellow seems to claim, would, in my view, repeat the errors of the later avant-garde and progressives who came to view art as a weapon in class struggle. This attitude toward art always leads to art becoming a mere tool, a mere means to an end, rather than an end in itself. Bellow tries to distinguish between the “the original counterculture” and a counterculture that “was hijacked and turned into a vehicle for progressive politics,” but I don’t buy this. The problem with Bellow’s approach, as Rod [Dreherremarked two weeks ago, is that it would most likely lead to ideologically “pure” but bad work.

Politics and Literature – Micah Mattix, The American Conservative

***

The real foes of conservatism are not socialism and liberalism, but the reactionary and innovating mentalities. Neither the reactionary nor the innovator share the joie de vivre of the conservative mind—its natural inclination to rejoice in and savor what is. They are restless and tormented if things are not in a state of perpetual flux, if “progress” is not being made either backward toward an imagined age of innocence, or forward toward an imagined age of future liberation. If nothing is changing, then nothing is happening. Reactionaries and innovators eschew what Oakeshott calls the conservative mind’s “cool and critical” attitude toward change, advocating instead a radical overhaul of society and its refashioning in the image of a golden age which is either imagined to have existed in the past or lusted after as a possible future.

The Twilight of Conservatism – Aaron Taylor, Ethika Politika

***

Since the conflict in eastern Ukraine began, Russian propaganda has sought to portray it as a civil war, an internecine Ukrainian conflicta formulation that was a comfortable dissimulation for many European democracies that wanted to avoid disrupting their economic relations with Russia. With the downing of MH17, the fighting in eastern Ukraine has been globalized into a war that has claimed the lives of western Europeans, Asians, and North Americans. It has place under unprecedented international scrutiny Russia’s central role as the backbone of the fighting in Eastern Ukraine and has stripped the mask off Russian subterfuge and propaganda.

The Malaysia Airlines Disaster Is Vladimir Putin’s Lockerbie Bombing – Adrian Karatnycky, The New Republic

***

The Economist editors want to put the liberal state on a starvation diet. Theirs is a diagnosis that identifies symptoms, but if applied as policy medicine might just kill the patient. The problem needs to be understood differently. The modern state may be too large in some areas, like the US military, because legacy commitments have not been examined in the light of emerging strategic requirements; or because, in a few countries, still powerful public sector unions retain a hammerlock on human resource budgets; or in others because predatory elected elites are siphoning revenues into their own pockets. But in other liberal states, honest and well-administered governments are staggering along without the resources to provide citizens with valuable and needed services.

Are the Authoritarians Winning? – Micheal Ignatieff, The New York Review of Books

***

What lessons does Switzerland offer? A strong doctrine of subsidiarity, whereby tasks should be done at the lowest possible level of government. Cantons have ceded powers to the confederation piecemeal (its right to raise taxes must be reviewed periodically), but have also devolved them to communes. All three levels of government have taxation powers and provisions for issues to be decided by referendum. German economists also point to Switzerland’s mechanisms to control public spending and enforce a no-bail-out rule. The big difference, though, is that cantons have drafted their own balanced-budget rules and voters have forced similar ones on the confederation. The euro zone imposed too much austerity on troubled countries, but Switzerland has shown that running surpluses and paying back debt in good times creates more scope to respond in a crisis.

Hail Helvetia: Some Swiss lessons for the Euro zone – The Economist

***

Barring minor adjustments, the Orban project proceeds steadily. The prime minister has centralised power to a degree unprecedented since the collapse of communism. A report by the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe notes that, though there was a “diverse choice” of parties at April’s election, Fidesz benefited from “restrictive campaign regulations, biased media coverage and campaign activities that blurred the separation between political party and state”.

Some accuse Mr Orban of looking admiringly east at the state-controlled crony capitalism of the former Soviet Union. Certainly, there is talk on the nationalist right, from Fidesz to the far-right Jobbik, of the decline of the West. The government has boosted Hungary’s trade links with Russia, China, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.

Between Brussels and Russia – The Economist 

***

Traditionally, moral thinking about war is divided into two broad questions. First, we ask whether the decision to go to war was a moral one.In doing so, we ask: Are the reasons for the war morally compelling? Were less-destructive alternatives considered and pursued?

For Israel, the first question seems easier to answer. Few would deny that, in principle, Israel’s war with Hamas is both just and necessary. Israel acts on the most clear justification possible: self-defense after days of restraint, warnings, and pleasas rockets continued to land on its cities and later, as militants sprang from tunnels to kill its citizens. Ceasefires have been offered, but Hamas has rejected them. And whatever criticisms one may have of Israel’s failures to midwife an effective and peaceful alternative to Hamas (and I have many), these do not undermine the fundamental justice of this self-defense.

But there is also a second, larger question: How should wars be fought? And here, Israel runs into a problem.

Israel’s Deadly Invasion of Gaza Is Morally Justified – Yishai Schwartz, The New Republic

***

Berating Jews with their own history, disinheriting them of pity, as though pity is negotiable or has a sell-by date, is the latest species of Holocaust denial, infinitely more subtle than the David Irving version with its clunking body counts and quibbles over gas-chamber capability and chimney sizes. Instead of saying the Holocaust didn’t happen, the modern sophisticated denier accepts the event in all its terrible enormity, only to accuse the Jews of trying to profit from it, either in the form of moral blackmail or downright territorial theft. According to this thinking, the Jews have betrayed the Holocaust and become unworthy of it, the true heirs to their suffering being the Palestinians. Thus, here and there throughout the world this year, Holocaust day was temporarily annulled or boycotted on account of Gaza, dead Jews being found guilty of the sins of live ones.

Anti-Semitism? Absolutely not. It is “criticism” of Israel, pure and simple.

Let’s see the ‘criticism’ of Israel for what it really is – Howard Jacobson, The Independent

***

From the classical Muslim perspective, the dhimma reflects the fact that Christians, as the recipients of an earlier, incomplete revelation, merit some protection and communal autonomy. But there is a price. The jizya and the many dhimma restrictions are meant to keep Christians in their place and provide a salutary incentive for them to convert to Islam.

By last week, most Christians in Mosul had already taken a fourth option—evacuation. Their departure marks the end of a continuous Christian tradition in Mosul. For thousands of years, Mosul has been a center for Christians, particularly for Assyrians, an ethnic group that predates the Arab conquest of Mesopotamia. Indeed, the ancient Assyrian capital of Nineveh, where the Prophet Jonah preached, lies across the Tigris River. Christianized in apostolic times, Assyrians have divided over the centuries into a number of communions that reflect the history of the religion: the Assyrian Church of the East, a small body, historically associated with Nestorianism, which once spread as far as China; the Syriac Orthodox Church, a member of the Oriental Orthodox family; and the Chaldean-rite Catholic Church, in communion with Rome. A small number of Assyrian Protestant churches exist as well, the legacy of nineteenth-century American missionaries.

As recently as a decade ago, tens of thousands of Christians lived in Mosul, some of them descendents of victims of the genocide the Ottoman Empire perpetrated against Assyrians, as well as Armenians and Greeks, during World War I. After this weekend, virtually none remain.

A Line Crossed in the Middle East – Mark Movsesian, First Things

***

In What Is Marriage? my coauthors and I try to present these traditions’ central insight in the thesis that what makes a marriage (and provides the intelligible grounds of its structuring norms) is comprehensive union. We begin by noting that any voluntary bond is created by common action—by cooperative activity, defined by common goods, in the context of commitment. The activities and goods build up the bond and determine the commitment it requires. Then we argue that the kind of union created by marriage is comprehensive in just these ways: in (a) how it unites persons, (b) what it unites them with respect to, and (c) how extensive a commitment it demands. That is, it unites two people (a) in their most basic dimensions, in mind and body; (b) with respect to procreation, family life, and its broad domestic sharing; and (c) permanently and exclusively.

You contend that same-sex partners could be united in just these ways. But clarifying each will show that they cannot be—unless we so stretch the criteria as to erase any principled difference between marriage and companionship.

Contrasting Views on Marriage: the Need for a Defining Principle – Robert P. George, Public Discourse 

***

Sanjam o družbeno angažiranem mecenu, ki se bo, kot so to počeli pametni in etični bogati gospodje v 19. stoletju, odločil kupiti enega izmed obstoječih ali pa – precej bolj logično – ustanoviti svoj medij, s katerim bo »izpolnil svojo moralno dolžnost«.

Sanjam o internetnem dnevnem časopisu, ki bi imel svojo tedensko tiskano izdajo v obliki bogatega, s kontekstom, vrhunskimi reportažami, analizami in intervjuji napolnjenega magazina, katerega vsaka številka bi bila posvečena le eni sami temi.

Sanjam zagnane, zagrizene, etične in že skoraj do roba norosti razgledane in vedoče sodelavce in sodelavke, s katerimi bi dnevno izmenjavali tako funkcije – v resnih ekipah mora vsak igralec dobro igrati vsaj na treh ali štirih pozicijah – kot informacije in ideje.

Koliko je ura v resnici? – Boštjan Videmšek, Pogledi

***

Bonus za tiste, ki berete italijansko: članek ob 22. letnici umora tožilca Paola Borsellina:

“L’equivoco su cui spesso si gioca è questo: si dice quel politico era vicino ad un mafioso, quel politico è stato accusato di avere interessi convergenti con le organizzazioni mafiose, però la magistratura non lo ha condannato, quindi quel politico è un uomo onesto. E NO! questo discorso non va, perché la magistratura può fare soltanto un accertamento di carattere giudiziale, può dire: beh! Ci sono sospetti, ci sono sospetti anche gravi, ma io non ho la certezza giuridica, giudiziaria che mi consente di dire quest’uomo è mafioso. Però, siccome dalle indagini sono emersi tanti fatti del genere, altri organi, altri poteri, cioè i politici, le organizzazioni disciplinari delle varie amministrazioni, i consigli comunali o quello che sia, dovevano trarre le dovute conseguenze da certe vicinanze tra politici e mafiosi che non costituivano reato ma rendevano comunque il politico inaffidabile nella gestione della cosa pubblica. Questi giudizi non sono stati tratti perché ci si è nascosti dietro lo schermo della sentenza: questo tizio non è mai stato condannato, quindi è un uomo onesto. Ma dimmi un poco, ma tu non ne conosci di gente che è disonesta, che non è stata mai condannata perché non ci sono le prove per condannarla, però c’è il grosso sospetto che dovrebbe, quantomeno, indurre soprattutto i partiti politici a fare grossa pulizia, non soltanto essere onesti, ma apparire onesti, facendo pulizia al loro interno di tutti coloro che sono raggiunti comunque da episodi o da fatti inquietanti, anche se non costituenti reati”.

Paolo Borsellino: “Chi ha paura muore ogni giorno, chi non ha paura muore una volta sola” – Beniamino Andrea Piccone, Linkiesta

Tedenski izbor

porch-reading

Alternativa je seveda, da pomladna gibanja odrastejo v stranke. Razlika med gibanjem in stranko je v tem, da gre gibanju za stvar. Da oznanja, kar se mu pač zdi prav, pa tudi, če nič od tega nikoli ne izpelje. Uspešnost strank se meri v tem, kaj izpeljejo.

Kako končati s tranzicijo – Žiga Turk

***

Naš izobraževalni sistem nas je, kar se tega tiče, naredil za invalide, saj je ključni način pojasnjevanja sveta izgnal s polja resničnega. Kaj je danes resnično za dijaka, osnovnošolca? To je celica, molekula, ameba, električna napetost itd. V redu. Toda kaj nam tedaj govorijo roman Zločin in kazen, načelo svobode in enakosti, svetovne religije? Je to nekaj resničnega? Ne! – ker se tega se ne da dokazati. Projekt sovjetizacije šolstva je iz učilnic izločil vse, kar naredi človeka za človeka. Klasični jeziki so kot »buržoazni« padli prvi. Ostala omika pa se je skrčila na instrument za »splošno razgledanost«. Buldožer naravoslovja je naposled pregazil izobraževalno vertikalo. S tem je človek oropan svoje duhovne svobode. Ne zna zavzeti odnosa do Celote bivajočega. In s tem do sebe.

Kritika prostaškega uma – Rok Svetlič, Razpotja

***

The libertarian age is an illegible age. It has given birth to a new kind of hubris unlike that of the old master thinkers. Our hubris is to think that we no longer have to think hard or pay attention or look for connections, that all we have to do is stick to our “democratic values” and economic models and faith in the individual and all will be well. Having witnessed unpleasant scenes of intellectual drunkenness, we have become self-satisfied abstainers removed from history and unprepared for the challenges it is already bringing. The end of the cold war destroyed whatever confidence in ideology still remained in the West. But it also seems to have destroyed our will to understand. We have abdicated.

Our Libertarian Age – Mark Lilla, The New Republic

***

Barth yielded to modernity’s most pernicious idea, which took aim not at belief in the supernatural but at our rational capacity for knowledge of it. In denying what Jesuit philosopher Bernard Lonergan called the “native infinity” of human understanding, Barth capitulated where he most needed to take a stand. He seemingly did not understand that restricting reason was modern philosophy’s great act of presumption, not humility. Nor did he understand that rejecting the secularity of reason was Christian philosophy’s great act of piety, not hubris. And his bargain with Kant—turning the limits of reason into an opening for revelation—could only corrode the foundations of Christian faith.

Karl Barth’s Failure – Matthew Rose, First Things

***

Ours is a culture that lacks hope, that is characterized by a sort of interior despair, the antithesis of hope: a disorientation of the pilgrim character of man’s earthly sojourn. In despair, man denies his status viatoris by swapping his “not yet” with a “not,” turning away from the fulfilment for which he was called into existence and anticipating the time when the unrepentant “no” of sin becomes the “never” of damnation—when hope, because the striving after the promise-object of hope, extinguishes irrevocably.

Fertility and the Crisis of Hope – Michael Bradley, Ethika Politika

***

In other words, America’s drug problem is not primarily about drugs. Instead drug abuse is a symptom of a variety of other social problems, and, not surprisingly, those problems are worst in the poorest communities. Hart stops short of calling for full legalization of all drugs, but he does recommend the decriminalization of drug possession. Portugal decriminalized drug possession in 2001 and has seen declines in drug-induced deaths and rates of drug use, particularly among the youth.

Drugs in Context – John Payne, The American Conservative

***

Nevertheless, we cannot and must not conceive of physical sexuality as a mere raw material with which we can construct a form of psychosexual self-expression which is determined only by the free impulse of our spirits.  Responsibility in sexual development implies a responsibility to nature–to the ordered good of the bodily form which we have been given. And that implies that we must make the necessary distinction between the good of the bodily form as such and the various problems that it poses to us personally in our individual experience.  This is a comment that applies not only to this very striking and unusually distressing problem, but to a whole range of other sexual problems too.

The Transgender Question – Mere Orthodoxy

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Still, the awareness of this fact helped me to understand the determination of these people who stayed and built that barricade. There was something of the “existential situation” that was described by French existentialists; Camus’ Myth of Sisyphus came immediately to my mind. I presume that most of those barricade builders had never read Camus – but they acted like him: they were resisting absurdity. And most amazingly, they did so with such strong determination! So together with awareness of my cowardice, another thought dawned on me: the Maidan is really invincible – you cannot defeat the people like these.

Diaries and Memoirs of the Maidan (Yaroslav Hrytsak) – Timothy Snyder & Tatiana Zhurzhenko, ur., Eurozine

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Rather than propping up the old model, governments should make the new one work better. They can do so by backing common standards for accreditation. In Brazil, for instance, students completing courses take a government-run exam. In most Western countries it would likewise make sense to have a single, independent organisation that certifies exams.

Reinventing an ancient institution will not be easy. But it does promise better education for many more people. Rarely have need and opportunity so neatly come together.

Higher Education: Creative Destruction, The Economist

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Covered by overgrown vegetation, locked away from public view, and every day a step closer to complete destruction, Plečnik’s stadium does not only represent a harmful impoverishment of the country’s cultural heritage. Rather, it also tells a much more familiar cautionary tale for our time – a tale of land use conflicts, inadequate spatial policy and a refusal to engage in constructive dialogue. It is, furthermore, a story that belies the public’s understanding of the irreversibility of radical spatial transformation.

The Shame of Ljubljana: Plečnik’s Abandoned Stadium in Full Bloom – Barbara Prezelj, Failed Architecture

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Si predstavljate, da bi Hrvate začeli prepričevati, da je njihova rdeče-bela šahovnica ustaška? Srbe, da je njihov beli orel četniški? Nemce, da je njihov črni orel nacističen? Ali državljane vseh novonastalih evropskih držav v nekdanjem vzhodnem bloku, ki so se po propadu komunizma vrnili k svojim narodnim simbolom, da uporabljajo nacistično ali fašistično simboliko? Seveda ne. Saj bi se pred tujo javnostjo osmešili.

V Sloveniji pa se lahko na javni televiziji za notranjepolitična obračunavanja nemoteno izjavlja, da je modri orel nacistični simbol. Kot da se je zgodovina slovenskega naroda začela šele z revolucijo in njenimi simboli, preučevanje zgodovinskih virov pa šele z njenimi učbeniki. Če bi se zares pogledali v ogledalo, bi nemara opazili, da smo ravno mi tisti, ki še vedno uporabljamo totalitarno simboliko. Se morda bojimo tega?

Na krilih kranjskega orla – Blaž Karlin, Časnik

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Like capitalist consumerism as a whole, the specifically sexual consumerism of the post-1960s sexual revolution gradually enslaves people by producing an increasingly large amount of the same desire that it alone purports to be able to satisfy, yet only satisfying that desire in increasingly diminished proportions. Instead of the straitjacketed view of freedom offered by the sexual revolution, Hayes proposes celibacy as a witness to a genuinely “responsible freedom” in the use of one’s own body and in one’s disposition toward the bodies of others “in today’s world of instant gratification”.

Celibacy and Sexual Capitalism – Aaron Taylor, Ethika Politika

 

When man viewed himself as generally ignorant of most things from the start, which is true of us all, then knowledge was able to maintain a position of authority and to direct the affairs of men. Once ignorance was forgotten—or denied altogether, particularly in regard to our social consciousness of the fact—the power and influence of knowledge began to evaporate. It began to wane, and has not stopped waning since, and it is reasonable to suggest that it may be ignorance, rather than knowledge, that gives direction to politics, economics, and the sciences of our world today.

Liberalism and the Empowerment of Ignorance – Daniel Schwindt, Ethika Politika

 

Ko se je Slovenska demokratska stranka odločila za referendum, se je morala zavedati, v kakšnem okolju in kakšnem razpoloženju bo potekal. Zastavlja se vprašanje, ali se je tveganje obrestovalo. Referendum o arhivski noveli se je namreč hočeš nočeš sprevrgel v referendum o politiki ene stranke. Seveda je res, da bi uspeh prinesel mnogo več, kot bo neuspeh odnesel, a vendar. Če nič drugega, je v veliki meri zbledel psihološki učinek zmage na volitvah v Evropski parlament. Razen tega se je najkasneje včeraj izkazalo, da so nepovratno del preteklosti časi, ko so se Janševi s svojimi referendumskimi pobudami sprehajali do zmag, tudi z bistveno več kot dvajsetimi odstotki glasov volilnih upravičencev.

Nepotrebna anketa – Aleš Maver, Časnik

 

V jedru skupnega paradigmatskega okvira obeh narativov je tranzicija. Prvi narativ pravi, da ni bila niti potrebna, drugi, da ni uspela. In spusti samokritiko, da tranzicija desnici ni uspela. Premik paradigme slovenskega političnega razmišljanja bi bil premik stran od koncepta tranzicije. Bi bilo priznanje, da je tranzicija končana. Kakor pač že. Konec koncev so to zelo jasno povedali državljani, ki so s skorajda severnokorejsko večino prešpricali referendum o arhivih. Ki je bil referendum tranzicijske paradigme per-excellence.

 

 

The progressive spirit came down upon the cities, bulldozing communities weak in the measurables of the moment, but strong in social solidarity and common support. It subsidized interstate systems and street grids that were placed in the hands of planners and engineers who would work with singular purpose to maximize car flow, without a thought given to community cohesion. The postwar explosion in building was dominated by a misunderstanding of human life manifested in suburban sprawl-friendly federal policy and local zoning codes alike. Their legacy has been a country largely built for a prosperous people seeking to purchase entertainment within the privacy of their own homes and backyards, not in town commons or on front porches.

Reform Conservativism Needs Place – Jonathan Coppage, The American Conservative

 

 

It’s not just the homeless who are targeted. “Those impacted are usually homeless people, teenagers, the poor, those who are marginalised or don’t have good social representation, or who aren’t organised as an interest group,” says Selena Savic, one of the editors of the book Unpleasant Design. The most egregious anti-teenage-loitering device is the Mosquito Alarm, which emits an unpleasant sound that many older people can’t hear. Aldi are one supermarket company that uses such devices. An Aldi spokesperson said: “These alarms are in place to prevent antisocial behaviour taking place near the store, prevent damage to the building and promote a safe shopping and working environment for customers and staff.”

Anti-homeless spikes are just the latest in ‘defensive urban architecture’ – Maryam Omidi, The Guardian

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The human person is a vast and toothy creature, with enough complexity and contradiction to keep the most advanced super computer fully at bay. Our history has been short by comparison to other forms of life, but quite long when compared to our favorite analog: ourselves. We’ve invented and reinvented each other across time and place and are likely to have forgotten more than we remember. None of this scares me as a man, a Catholic, or a human person, nor should it scare you—and I am getting sick and tired of hearing why it should.

Moronic Manhood – Sam Rocha, Ethika Politika

 

The merits of the argument for gay marriage, such as they are, are obscured by the movement’s immense rhetorical shallowness. Advocates seem to think that progress is inevitable, that history only turns one way. But accusing someone of being on the wrong side of history says nothing about whether he is on the right side of the argument. It is a mere threat, and a somewhat hollow one, for history is an arbitrary enforcer.

How I Evolved on Gay Marriage (And How I Didn’t) – Matthew Schmitz, First Things

 

Some of that Fairtrade premium is meant to be spent on public goods in those areas. Which is just absolutely great, assuming (as in the case described, it isn’t) that the public good is actually available to those it is supposed to benefit. But even then we come back to the same old problem. They might now be poor peasants with free toilets. But they’re still poor peasants, free toilets or no. And this is something that hateful neoliberals like me have been saying for a long time now. Fairtrade is simply a vastly inefficient method of making the lives of the poorest people in the world better.

Surprise! Fairtrade Doesn’t Benefit the Poor Peasants – Tim Worstall, Forbes

 

Pope Francis is very concerned for the poor, but I’m worried whether he has a very good theory for how you get the poor out of poverty. I mean, I don’t think the aim should be to keep the poor poor and feel sorry for them and give them alms; I think the hope for the poor is to help them to break the chains of poverty and become independent people of initiative and energy on their own, and I don’t see the Pope there yet.

The scholar who made John Paul II appreciate capitalism, worries about Pope Francis – Jerry Bowyer & Micheal Novak, Forbes

 

Russia’s rise as an anti-Western power is seen by the European extreme right as an amazing example of national sovereignty and self-determination. These ideas are most prominent in today’s Eurosceptic rhetoric of the extreme right parties based in the EU, ‘a technocratic monster that only serves the interests of bankers’ (Le Pen), from which, according to Geert Wilders of the Dutch far right Partij voor de Vrijheid, European nation-states should ‘liberate’ themselves. Forza Nuova even calls upon Putin to destroy ‘the Europe of technocrats.’ European neutrality, which verges on national isolationism as the logical consequence of self-determination driven to extremity, is also a popular idea among the European extreme right. It serves as a euphemistic argument in favour of ‘Fortress Europe’ and justifies non-interference in international matters outside Europe.

The Kremlin’s marriage of convenience with the European far right – Anton Shekovtsov, Open Democracy

 

Contrary to the claim of transparency advocates who insist that it is possible to reconcile the demand for the opening of government with the protection of citizens’ privacy, I contend that wholly transparent government denotes a wholly transparent citizen. We can’t make the government fully transparent without sacrificing our privacy. In contrast to those advocates who believe that a politics of full disclosure improves the quality of public debate, I think that injections of huge flows of information make public conversation more complicated, shifting the focus away from the moral competence of the citizen to his expertise in one or another area. Contrary to the expectations of the transparency movement that full disclosure of government information will make public discourse more rational and less paranoid, my argument is that a focus on transparency will only fuel conspiracy theories. There is nothing more suspicious than the claim of absolute transparency. And nobody can honestly say that when our governments have become more transparent our debates have become less paranoid. The rise of the transparency movement has the potential to remake democratic politics, but we should be sure we are in agreement as to the direction of the change. Is the transparency movement capable of restoring trust in democratic institutions, or is it, alternatively, going to make “mistrust” the official idiom of democracy?

The Transparency Delusion – Ivan Krastev, Eurozine

 

Leta 2012 je aktivnejši del frakcije Vsi Na Ulice! dejansko šel na ulice in več mesecev zahteval odstop vseh politikov. Med njimi sem bil tudi sam, nezadovoljen in željan sprememb. Ure in ure sem se pogovarjal z najrazličnejšimi aktivisti, številni izmed njih so mi predstavili zelo konkretne zamisli o tem, kako vpeljati več neposrednega odločanja in pravičnejšo razdelitev dobrin. Ko pa so ti ljudje spremembe poskusili vnesti v lokalne skupnosti, institucije in politiko, smo jim obrnili hrbet in jih označili za izdajalce. Ker z vstopom v sistem baje daješ legitimnost sistemu … Kot da bi nasprotoval umivanju, ker s tem daješ legitimnost umazaniji. Imamo vse možnosti, da podpremo drugačne pobude in spremenimo sistem, pa tega ne storimo. Zato se nehajmo pretvarjati, da se bo zdaj zdaj pojavilo kaj boljšega, kar nas bo nagovorilo k participaciji. Boljše ideje in ljudje so že tu, potrebujejo le še nas.

Mi smo 76 % – N’Toko, Mladina

 

Današnji odnos do neprecenljive dediščine, ki je preživela več stoletij, je res porazen. Zgodovina, ki se je zgodila pred prvo in drugo svetovno vojno, nas ne zanima kaj preveč. O gradovih bi se bili verjetno sposobni res glasno pogovarjati samo, če bi šlo za pripisovanje krivde za propad po drugi svetovni vojni, med našim pričkanjem pa bi se srednjeveške stavbe še naprej spreminjale v razvaline. Zato je kar luštno, da se bomo z zgodovino ukvarjali vsaj na referendumu o arhivih.

Kaj bi bila Ljubljana brez gradu? – Irena Jenko, Siol.net

 

Kot Primorec se sprašujem, kako to, da je celo na svetovljanskem Primorskem zmanjkalo idej, kako naprej; kako to, da za našo prihodnost nimamo boljšega navdiha od Titove (dvomljive, pa tudi krvave) dediščine? Kako je mogoče, da nekatere Tito navdihuje bolj kot kakšni pravi primorski junaki in velikani, ki so bili tudi demokrati: bazoviške žrtve, tigrovci, Stanko Vuk, čedermaci, Janko Premrl – Vojko, Stanko Premrl, Srečko Kosovel, Alojz Gradnik, Simon Gregorčič, Boris Pahor, Lojze Spacal, Zoran Mušič?

Ne Tito, ne JJ, ampak … – Časnik

 

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Glavna tokova ameriškega katolicizma

st-patricks-cathedral-catholic-church

Pred meseci je Patrick J. Deneen v reviji The American Conservative objavil zanimiv pregled sodobnih trendov v ameriški katoliški politični misli.

Deneen izhaja iz ugotovitve, da je delitev na liberalni in konservativni katolicizem preveč shematična in ne ustreza stvarnosti. To pa zato, ker »liberalni katolicizem«, poosebljen v katoliški politični eliti Demokratske stranke (od podpredsednika Joea Bidena, prek državnega sekretarja Kerryja do prve linije predstavnikov velikih metropol vzhodne obale), ne obstaja kot koherentno politično gibanje in nima nobene vloge v razpravah, ki se odvijajo v množici raznolikih katoliških občestev širom ZDA.

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