Tedenski izbor

branje8

Ne more pa gospodarski liberalizem biti udarna točka programa NSi, njihova naslovna zgodba, pozicijski slogan, jedro prepoznavnosti, edinstvena primerjalna prednost (…). Ker to nikakor ni zgodba večinskega potencialnega volivca NSi. Čeprav kakšen nadobuden strankin funkcionar, ki je pravkar odkril eleganco liberalne ekonomske misli, zdaj meni, da ga morajo zato kar naenkrat imeti radi vsi njegovi potencialni volivci. Ki jim v večini primerov za eleganco liberalne misli bolj ali manj visi dol.

(…)

Po vsebini pa mora NSi svoj liberalizem postaviti nekoliko v ozadje in postati, če želite, žlahtna konservativna stranka. Nikar, prosim, ne dovolite, da bi vam asociacija na Kučana za vedno onečedila to lepo besedno zvezo. Raje si tule preberite, kaj naj bi to zares pomenilo: www.kirkcenter.org.

NSi se mora dovolj jasno profilirati, da bo prva izbira za vse krščansko usmerjene volivce, tako tiste, ki bolj stavijo na tekmovalnost in meritokracijo, kot tiste, ki bi v ospredje prej postavili sožitje in solidarnost. Tudi kakšen krščanski socialist se mora prej najti pri njih kot pri kakšni naslednici Zveze komunistov ali pri kakšni skrajni novolevičarski združbi tipa Luka Mesec. Tudi vsem tistim kristjanom, ki so se ob vsaki priložnosti pripravljeni pridušati čez pohlep, sodobni materializem in brezdušni kapitalizem, mora znati pokazati, da ni pravi odgovor zatekanje h karšnemkoli kolektivizmu in centalnoplanskemu etatizmu.

Slovenska krščansko-liberalna stranka? Hm. – Blaž Vodopivec, Finance

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Desetletje, v katerem se je zgodila finančna, gospodarska in socialna kriza, ko je država zdrknila na obrobje EU, smo se novinarji, politiki, sodniki in odvetniki ukvarjali s Patrio. Medtem ko so druge države iskale poti, kako iz krize, smo mi bojevali versko vojno med dvema religijama, med verniki v “kriv je” in verniki v “ni kriv”.

Proces Patria je samo zgovoren dokaz, da nam je tranzicijska povzpetniška elita ukradla državo, ki je ni sposobna voditi. Tako kot osemletni otrok ni sposoben voziti avtomobila, ker je pač premajhen, nevaren sebi, sopotnikom in drugim udeležencem v prometu, tako naša tranzicijska elita ni sposobna upravljati države v korist in blaginjo vseh državljanov. Ne zmrdujte se nad Hrvati, ki kupujejo naša podjetja, to je za nas sreča, naši politiki jih uničujejo.

Ostaja zgolj vprašanje, ali smo se iz Patrie morda le kaj naučili. Odziv Luke Mesca, da je ustavno sodišče spet pristransko, kaže na to, da se tudi tranzicijski podmladek sploh noče nič naučiti.

Luzerji – Uroš Urbas, Siol.net

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Tedenski izbor

branje7

Problem “Grosupeljčanov” je, da so v manjšini. Čeprav bo del desne politične javnosti to razumel kot krivico, je vendarle jasno, da bo na naslednjih volitvah — zaradi nesposobnosti vlade morda predčasnih — spet zmagal Nejanez Nejanša. Kdorkoli že bo nasledil Cerarja kot vodilni politik levice in glavni izzivalec predsednika SDS.
Zato je tudi vlada v senci, ki so si jo zamislili v največji opozicijski stranki SDS, projekt, obsojen na volilni poraz — košarica Nove Slovenije pa razumljiva.Če bi hotela desnica resno ogroziti večno vladavino levice, bi projekt morala zastaviti širše. Povabiti bi morala neodvisne strokovnjake, nekdanje mladoekonomiste in zdrava jedra Državljanske liste in SLS in tako zasesti kar največji prostor na desni sredini. Šele tako bi volilcem ponudili nekaj novega, ne samo že videnega in doživetega v letih 2004 in 2011.

Če niso chemtrailsi, je pa Janša – Domen Uršič, FokusPokus

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Tedenski izbor

branje2

Nemtsov had been preparing for an anti-Kremlin march scheduled for this Sunday. Hours before he was killed, he did a radio interview urging people to attend the march, and connecting the country’s economic woes to Putin’s policy in Ukraine. “The most important reason for the crisis is aggression, which led to sanctions and, in turn, isolation,” he said. Nemtsov understood that he, along with everyone else involved in anti-Putin politics, was being pushed to the fringes, having less of a voice and a foothold in Russian society than ever before. “Three years ago, we were an opposition. Now we are no more than dissidents,” he told the Financial Times earlier this week.

Then why was he killed? Without knowing who gave the orders, it’s possible to understand that the current political environment allowed for this to happen.

Assassination in Moscow – Joshua Jaffa, The New Yorker

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Tedenski izbor

branje1

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

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

(…)

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

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

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Tedenski izbor

reading-hipster

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

Kako kazino kapitalizem hrani Mladino – Kizo, Portal Plus

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

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

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

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Kritično o kritičnem mišljenju

marija

R. R. Reno, urednik ugledne ameriške teološke revije First Things, je pred kratkim držal zanimivo predavanje o problemu nekritičnega poudarjanja pojma “kritičnega mišljenja”.

Spodbujanje kritičnega mišljenja, ugotavlja Reno, je postalo splošno sprejeto vodilo, ki naj bi usmerjalo delovanje akademskega področja.

Vendar Reno poudari, da “nekritično” sprejemanje tega vodila vodi v spoznavni proces, ki se namesto v iskanje in afirmacije resnice osredotoča na izogibanje zmotam. To vodi v položaj, ko so edine resnice, ki jih je akademski konsenz pripravljen sprejeti, pravzaprav malenkostne. Posledica je sterilnost in nezanimivost akademske kulture, ki je po “koncu velikih zgodb” zapadla bodisi v diskurz strkovnosti bodisi v drobnjakarsko specializacijo.

Reno je seveda namerno provokativen. Sam poudari pomen zahodne tradicije kritičnega mišljenja, ne le v spoznavnem procesu, temveč tudi v življenju, saj nas varuje pred pretirano navezanostjo na delne resnice ali celo zmote.

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Tedenski izbor

bhl

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

(…)

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

(…)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tedenski izbor

FolioCarols

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tedenski izbor

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

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

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

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

Zgodovenci – Marko Zajc, Airbeletrina

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

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

Oklofutaj svojega kritika – Matic Kocijančič, Pogledi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prestavite vsaj v tretjo, prosim – Blaž Vodopivec, Finance

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

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

Sacred Sociology – Peter Leithart, First Things

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

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

***

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

(…)

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

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

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

***

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

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

***

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

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

Occupy Edmund Burke – Jonathan Green, The American Conservative

Tedenski izbor

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Zdrav način razdolževanja, ki bi omogočil hitrejšo gospodarsko rast, bi bilo pridobivanje novega kapitala v podjetja. Tudi primerjalni podatki z drugimi državami območja evra kažejo, da slovenska podjetja ne odstopajo po višini zadolženosti, ampak po prenizkem kapitalu. Vendar večina podjetij nima lastnikov, ki bi ga lahko zagotovili. Lani so vsa podjetja skupaj dobila le 295 milijonov novega lastniškega kapitala.Najboljši mogoči ukrep za razdolževanje in zagon gospodarstva bi bila zato hitra odprodaja deležev, ki jih imajo v rokah različni tranzicijski lastniki vključno z državo (ta je lastnica 23 odstotkov vsega kapitala slovenskih podjetij in bank ). Čeprav kupci ne bodo pravljični princi na belem konju, je to ena od redkih možnosti, ki jih sploh imamo, da podjetja pridejo do lastnikov, ki bi lahko izboljšali upravljanje in zagotovili dodatni kapital.
***
“Putin’s actions should be easy to comprehend,” writes Mearshimer. Ukraine is a “huge expanse of flat land that Napoleonic France, imperial Germany, and Nazi Germany all crossed to strike at Russia itself.” Since Ukraine serves as a “buffer state of enormous strategic importance to Russia … no Russian leader would tolerate a military alliance that was Moscow’s mortal enemy until recently moving into Ukraine.” By the same token, no “Russian leader [would] stand idly by while the West helped install a government there that was determined to integrate Ukraine into the West.” After all, “great powers are always sensitive to potential threats near their home territory.”
The argument is marred by two fatal flaws. First, by invoking past invasions, Mearshimer goes beyond the analytical framework of realism, which assumes that “objective” threats would be recognized as such by any rational observer, and invokes Russian historical memory, ideology, and political culture—or perceptions. Once perceptions enter the picture, we leave the realm of realism’s logical rigor and introduce factors that contradict the objectivity and rationality assumption of realism and implode Mearshimer’s theoretical framework. After all, the power of realism resides in its claim that all rational observers, regardless of nationality, would assess national interests and power relations in approximately the same way. If they do not, because values, norms, ideas, and the like get in the way, then realism amounts to the banal observation that power somehow matters in our assessments of international relations. Who could disagree?
***

Upoštevajoč tvit pomembnega pristaša SDS Tomaža Štiha, katerega mnenje v tej stranki veliko šteje, je opcija tudi, da vojska izvede državni udar (ne vem, kakšen bi bil drug evfemizem za to, da vojska prevzame nadzor, saj takšne institucionalne zanke nimamo kodirane v ustavi). To je sicer malo težje izvesti, ampak očitno se te dni razmišlja tudi o tem, zato poglejmo, kako smiselno je priporočilo Tomaža Štiha.

Prvič, kot so že ostali tviteraši opozorili Štiha, bo težko vojska z Vebrovim načelnikom generalštaba izvajala državni udar v imenu Janše in Štiha. Drugič, če obvelja Štihova kontra-informacija iz tvita, da častniki ne sprejemajo Ostermana, potem se mora zgoditi ali najprej udar znotraj vojske in šele potem tanki zapeljejo na ulice in zavzamejo RTV, parlament, zgradbo vlade in predsedništva države ali pa samostojno častniki, ki ne sprejemajo Ostermana, udarijo v prej omenjene institucije in prevzamejo nadzor, kar pa, priznajte, je malo težje izvedljiv scenarij.

Tretjič, in to podpornikom ideje državnega udara ne bo všeč, takšne vrste institucionalnih sprememb zadnjih nekaj let nekako niso zelo popularne v mednarodni javnosti, posebno če bo najprej potrebno obračunati z Ostermanom in šele potem izvesti državni udar. Bodimo kar realni, ideja je absurdno bedasta in ni je sile v katerikoli državi EU, ki bi te dni lahko izvedla kaj takega in preživela.

Bralcem se opravičujem, ker analiziram tako trapasto idejo, kot je državni udar v imenu Janše, ampak take ideje so pač dane v javni prostor in to s strani ljudi, katerih mnenje v SDS šteje in so zaradi tega legitimirane. So pa tudi precej iskrene, saj če prikimamo Štihu k njegovi tezi, da je vse pore slovenskih institucij prevzela komunistična klika, potem se lahko Štih za demokracijo bori samo s pomočjo nasilja.

Končni paradoks: stranka SDS je izdala Janšo! – Kizo, Portal Plus

***

Bodimo iskreni, če ni dokaza, da ima Iskra agendo zrušiti ustavni red Republike Slovenije, potem imamo opravka z otroci, ki se igrajo vojno, ne pa z ekstremisti, ki izvajajo mobilizacije in vojaška urjenja. To nas napelje na tretjo točko, razkrinkanje ciljev Iskre. V prilogi k članku boste našli odstopno izjavo nekdanjega predsednika Iskre Klemna Kneza, v njej boste prebrali, da je končni cilj te grupacije:

“Vzpostaviti moramo politični subjekt – ki bo revolucionaren – kar pomeni samo to, da bo svojo moč črpal iz ulice in ne argumentov znotraj postavljenih okvirjev – kajti argumenti so in vedno bodo stvar politikantskega in ideološkega obračanja zadev na glavo. Naš boj je boj za oblast in tega nikoli in nikdar ne smemo pozabiti – oblast celotnega delovnega ljudstva…”

Menim, da je nedvoumno, kaj je želel Knez v svoji odstopni izjavi povedati in kakšna je politika ter cilj Iskre: prevlada ulice nad argumenti, ravno obratno, kot je kodirano v naši ustavi, kjer je parlamentarna argumentacija edini mehanizem za oblikovanje, delovanje in vzpostavljanje institucij. Prevlada ulice nad argumenti (kakršenkoli že je dominantni mehanizem argumentacije) je evfemizem za nasilno revolucijo. In kot pravi Knez, njihov boj je boj za oblast.

V tem kontekstu postane jasno, da Iskrin tabor, ki je bil izveden v nedrjih Univerze, ni bil rekreativnega namena, ampak je imel za svoj namen urjenje sile nad močjo argumentiranja in taisti tabor ni služil motiviranju študentarije pred jesenskimi izpitnimi roki, ampak team-buildingu obstoječih in mobilizaciji novih sil. Ste še vedno skeptični? Potem preberite nadaljevanje Knezovega pisanja:

“… Pot do tja je mukotrpna – saj se ne borimo za ljubljanski študenteraj, niti za slovenski delavski razred – temveč za svetovni prevrat obstoječih družbenih razmerij – socialno revolucijo – in s tem socialistično Republiko.”

Hočete ekstremiste? – Kizo, Portal Plus

***

Nothing is too gross when promoting racial hysteria in an election year. Veteran Democrat Congressman Charlie Rangel from Harlem declared that Republicans “don’t disagree — they hate!” According to Rangel, “Some of them believe that slavery isn’t over and that they won the Civil War!”

Republicans did win the Civil War. That’s why there is no more slavery. It was a Republican president who issued the Emancipation Proclamation. It was a Republican-controlled Congress that voted for the 13th Amendment, outlawing slavery.

In the 1960s, a higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats voted for the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. If we are going to talk about history, let’s at least get the facts right.

Only an utter ignorance of history, in this era of dumbed-down education, could allow demagogues like Rangel to get away with the absurdities that abound in election year politics.

Voter Fraud and Voter I.D. – Thomas Sowell, The New American

***

Lena Dunham has been declared the voice of her generation not because she has anything to say but because she never stops talking. Or so it seems to me, a member of that generation. However awkward, unnecessary, or ill-informed a thought of hers may be, the twenty-eight-year-old seems ready to give voice to it. Her film, television series, and book—all to varying degrees autobiographical—seek deliverance in disclosure. Dunham has shown us everything.

In turn, she has been praised for demonstrating “courage,” “honesty,” “awareness,” and a dozen other euphemistic antonyms for reticence. (…)

Intimacy demands spaces of silence, and Dunham has built a career by violating those silences. She has attacked discretion and in the process attacked intimacy itself.

A Word for Discretion – Matthew Schmitz, First Things

***

Since I cannot now receive the Eucharist, it is through spiritual communion that I am kept spiritually fed by the Lord. This act of willing reception is not, as some may think, second-class communion. Far from it. To believe so is to diminish one of the ways Christ feeds his people, as Hans Urs von Balthasar warns in his book, Prayer:

For spiritual communion is by no means merely an act of longing for the reception of the Lord under the sacramental signs; much deeper, and more properly, it is the act of prayer of a living and understanding faith, by which it enters into living communication and communion with Christ, the eternal and living Truth.

Balthasar wants to impress upon the reader the objective reality of spiritual communion. It is not the absence of something but the presence of him. I don’t get to pine or indulge in self-pity during the distribution of the Eucharist. And God forbid I should become angry with my priest or the Church for not giving me Communion. As Archbishop Charles J. Chaput put it during the 2014 Erasmus lecture, “none of us are welcome on our own terms, in the Church we’re welcome on Jesus’ terms. That’s what it means to be a Christian, you submit yourself to Jesus and His teaching. You don’t recreate your own body of spirituality.”

My Plea: I’m a divorced and remarried mother. Please don’t change the Church practice – Luma Simms, First Things

***

Za konec pa še tekst, ki smo ga po krivici spregledali v oktobru: kolumna Narod si bo PR pisal sam izpod peresa našega priljubljenega levičarskega kolumnista Mihe Blažiča – N’Toka.

Ideja, da smo Slovenci homogena celota in da nas povezuje neka pradavna zarukanost, je privlačna iz več razlogov. Kdo ne bi rad verjel, da ga obdajajo sami idioti, ki ovirajo njegov uspeh? Če bi se rodili v katerikoli drugi državi, bi gotovo prepoznali našo genialnost, tukaj v Butalah pa, eh … kaj bi vam govoril. Slovenci imamo zaradi zaplankanega okolja pač zvezane roke. Če so našim babicam župniki povedali, da živijo v tej dolini solz zaradi izvirnega greha, smo mi dobili zgodbo o narodnem značaju. Tako pred začetkom vsakega delovnega dne moja generacija zmoli: »Verujem v Enega Slovenca, zarukanega, koruptivnega lenuha, ki poveličuje nesposobnost in kaznuje talent. Verujem v Balkansko mentaliteto, v prirojeno nepoštenost, v slovensko uravnilovko. Za hlapce rojeni, za hlapce vzgojeni, ustvarjeni za hlapčevanje. Amen.« In beseda je meso postala.

Tedenski izbor

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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

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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

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

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

Banditi, Balkanci, titoisti – Dejan Steinbuch, Finance

***

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

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

Sedating, not leading – The Economist

***

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

Putin’s Coup – Ben Judah, Politico Magazine

***

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

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

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

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

forbidden-fruit

Zdaj smo navajeni, da vas uvrščamo v levo sredino italijanskega političnega prizorišča, toda občutek imam, da ste se po zadnjem županskem mandatu nekako izvili iz klasične bipolarnosti italijanskega političnega sistema. Imam prav?
Lahko rečem, da nimam popolnoma nič skupnega z desničarsko tradicijo. Že leta pa seveda mislim, da so tovrstne delitve preživete – to ne pomeni, da ne obstajajo radikalne razlike med enimi in drugimi: v pogledih na pomen osrednjih državnih institucij, denimo, ali pa pomen demokracije. Toda starih političnih usmeritev ne moremo več soditi po starih merilih. In katera so ta merila – če zdaj ne posegava nazaj do Adama in Eve, ampak se ustaviva v povojnem času? Socialne demokracije je vedno označevala misel, da je povsod navzočna država potrebna za uravnavanje gospodarskih ciklov in za zagotavljanje enakih možnosti. Dolgo so socialne demokracije gojile določen tip fiskalne politike – a ta nas je čedalje bolj bremenila. Ta model – lahko bi rekli, da gre za Evropi prilagojen keynesianski model – se je povsem izčrpal in to si je treba priznati. O tem sem govoril že leta 1984. Zgodila se je fiskalna kriza države: država ne more več igrati vloge nosilke tako razraslih socialdemokratskih politik. Celoten konstrukt je treba razgraditi, in to s federalističnimi politikami in podporami, srednji razred je treba na novo ozavestiti … Ampak državo je treba razgraditi, če hočemo še naprej zagotavljati zaposlovanje, razvoj in drugo. Usmeriti se moramo proti politiki ministrstev, proti birokraciji … Stara levica pa še naprej po starem brani pravice čedalje manjše skupine prebivalstva: če že koga branijo – ampak to čedalje redkeje počnejo –, potem branijo stalno zaposlene, ne branijo pa prekernih delavcev, mladih, nezaposlenih … Vso to politiko je treba radikalno prevetriti. Govorim o politikah dela in javne uprave. Žal se v Italiji nove vizije prepočasi uveljavljajo. Reforme potekajo točkovno – to je Renzijeva metoda. A nove vizije sistema ni.

“Slovenija je neskončno bolj konkurenčna kot Italija”: intervju z Massimom Caccarijem – Janko Petrovec, MMC RTVSLO

***

Inferno je skrajna posledica tendencioznega, simplifikatorskega, pavšalističnega, demagoškega, katastrofičnega, brezizhodnostnega dojemanja gospodarske krize in njenih socialnih implikacij. Möderndorfer operira z obče veljavnimi in v dominantnem diskurzu sprejetimi klišeji o črno-belih socialnih razmerjih: delavec in sindikalist proti direktorju in birokratu, direktor in birokrat proti delavcu in sindikalistu. Inferno je tragedija absurda, v kateri se v vrtoglavi spirali nezaustavljivo kaže vse, kar se brezpravnemu človeku, ki ostane brez službe, lahko v predivji domišljiji socialno čutečega Slovenca dandanes pripeti.

Film je generaliziran stereotip pogleda na slovensko družbo, polno domnevnih krivic – tudi tistih, ki se jim nihče na svetu ne more izogniti –, zgoščenih v osebni in socialni fiasko nič krivega posameznika. Umetnik je zdaj iz tega končno naredil veliko, bigger-than-life zgodbo.

Super, načeloma: vsak film, vsakršna literatura, umetnina, celo pop, je bigger-than-life in mora taka tudi biti. Vendar je Inferno pornografska verzija socialne kritike – v tem smislu, da gre za depresivni social porn, ki se ga je domislil prvi, ki je imel želodec in denar, da iz kupa majhnih družbenih resnic, kot si jih predstavljajo mediji in njihovi ne preveč razgledani konzumenti, sestavi eno samo veliko laž, veljavno le zato, ker ji je dal navidezno umetniško, filmično, profesionalno legitimiteto.

Inferno dramaturško funkcionira, socialno pa niti malo. Kar je po svoje še huje: Möderndorfer ni instrumentaliziral zgodbe v političnem smislu, instrumentaliziral jo je emotivno. On je samo radikaliziral in v enem človeku, v eni družini personificiral to, kar so vam mediji in politiki – ki jih v filmu, hvalevredno, vsaj to, ni – in angažirani intelektualci leta in leta vbijali v glavo o nemoči malega človeka, soočenega z brutalnim kapitalom.

Inferno, to so drugi möderndorferji – Marko Crnkovič, Pogledi

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This ideology offered Stalin a deep sense of certainty in the face of political and economic setbacks. If policies designed to produce prosperity created poverty instead, an explanation could always be found: the theory had been incorrectly interpreted, the forces were not correctly aligned, the officials had blundered. If Soviet policies were unpopular, even among workers, that too could be explained: antagonism was rising because the class struggle was intensifying.

Whatever went wrong, the counterrevolution, the forces of conservatism, the secret influence of the bourgeoisie could always be held responsible. These beliefs were further reinforced by the searing battles of 1918–20 between the Red and White Armies. Over and over again, Stalin learned that violence was the key to success. “Civil war,” Kotkin writes, “was not something that deformed the Bolsheviks; it formed them … [providing] the opportunity to develop and to validate the struggle against ‘exploiting classes’ and ‘enemies’ (domestic and international), thereby imparting a sense of seeming legitimacy, urgency, and moral fervor to predatory methods.”

Understanding Stalin – Anne Applebaum, The Atlantic

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O, ko bi bilo več ‘profesorjev kodretov’ po naših fakultetah, ki bi pripravljali ljudi za dejansko profesionalno življenje, ki bi nam dajali, kot pravi zgoraj omenjeni bivši študent profesor Kodreta ‘pravi pristop in širok pogled’! Tako pa mnoge fakultete omogočajo, da študenti nekaj let le “kopipejstajo” z interneta, reproducirajo eks katedra povedano, … in na koncu dobijo papir, ki nič ne velja.

Tudi v postdiplomskem študiju se tak način študija nadaljuje, tako, da mnogokje lahko na enak način tudi magistrirate in doktorirate. Na primer, na Fakulteti za družbene vede, je pod mentorstvom cenjenega profesorja dr. Veljka Rusa, magistrirala tudi naša Magistra, ki je zadnjič na zaslišanju pred očmi evropske in slovenske javnosti “švicala” pod težo zelo normalnih vprašanj. (…)

Alenka Bratušek je po moje tako tudi šolski primer neuspeha našega visokošolskega sistema izobraževanja. In, da ne bo pomote, seveda tudi brezsramnosti sistema političnega kadrovanja ljudi brez ‘pravega pristopa in širokega pogleda’. Saj, kaj pa so pravzaprav s pomočjo težkih vprašanj iskali evropski parlamentarci? Podrobno znanje o sistemu energetike in ravnanja z okoljem v Evropi? Ne, saj je vsakemu človeku jasno, da se človek ne more v podrobnosti seznaniti s tako obširnima temama v dveh tednih. Iskali so pač ‘pravi pristop in širok pogled’, se želeli utrditi v prepričanju, da Alenka ‘zna in zmore’ opraviti to za kar je bila predlagana, ter da ima trdna moralna načela.

Mojster za vse, mojster za mafijo – Aleš Čerin, Časnik

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V 25 letih nam namreč ni uspelo odgovoriti na nekaj povsem osnovnih vprašanj:

1) Do katere ravni je dopustno politično kadrovanje, torej kadrovanje na podlagi politične afinitete/preferenc/nazorov, do katere ravni pa je kadrovanje izključno strokovno?

2) Do katere ravni se pri strokovnih imenovanjih – kljub temu da gre za strokovne funkcije – dopušča diskrecijsko vlogo politike, ker je pač potrebno politično zaupanje, od kod pa to ne velja več in je treba dati prednost drugim kriterijem? In kateri so ti drugi kriteriji?

3) Kateri so tisti družbeni podsistemi, kjer je nujno, da obstaja politična pluralnost in minister (vlada) mora skrbeti za uravnoteženost (vojska, šolstvo, znanost, kultura, javna RTV …), kateri pa so tisti družbeni podsistemi, kjer je ta pluralnost sicer manj nujna, a zaželena?

Da bi prišli do dogovora o političnem kadrovanju, nam še nikoli ni uspelo, saj nimamo niti trohice skupnih kriterijev. Zato se nam dogajata popolna poljubnost in pristranskost tistega, ki kadrovsko nastavlja, in tistega, ki njegovo kadrovsko politiko kritizira.

Navada je, da se samodejno razdelimo po preferencah, in dokler je JJ na oblasti, levica joče nad kadrovskim cunamijem, ko pa je na oblasti levica, jočejo nad cunamijem desni.

Posledica: slovenska politika sploh ni več tekmovanje različnih politik in vizij razvoja posameznih političnih strank, temveč tekma med interesnimi skupinami s ciljem, kateri bo uspelo nastaviti čim več svojih ljudi na pomembne položaje, kjer je čim več javnega denarja.

Rdeča čistka – Uroš Urbas, Planet Siol

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Za popačeno predstavo o ponižnosti ima v veliki meri zasluge cerkev, zlasti tista v bizantinski in rimski izvedbi.  Dejanska ponižnost je, da se zavedaš, da si to, kar si, nič več in nič manj. To velja tako za naš odnos do Boga kot do ljudi. Seveda obstaja ogromna razlika med našim razmerjem do Boga in do soljudi. Bog je neskončno presežen, pred njim smo nekakšen vesoljski prašek. Pa vendar je bil on tisti, ki se je ponižal in  pobral ter očistil svoje izvoljene. To je zadosten razlog za to, da mu na ponižnost odgovorimo s ponižnostjo.  Ponižnost pred soljudmi ne pomeni, da se dajemo v nič, ampak, da se pravilno ocenimo. To seveda ni enostavna stvar. Zato je boljše, da  ne rinemo  v ospredje. To je nauk zgornjih odlomkov iz Svetega pisma.  V tem primeru imamo možnost, da nas drugi povabijo naprej.

Boljše je, da ti reko: “Pomakni se naprej!!” – Reformirana stran

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I believe that any Christian who is qualified to write a good popular book on any science may do much more by that than by any direct apologetic work…. We can make people often attend to the Christian point of view for half an hour or so; but the moment they have gone away from our lecture or laid down our article, they are plunged back into a world where the opposite position is taken for granted….What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects—with their Christianity latent. You can see this most easily if you look at it the other way around. Our faith is not very likely to be shaken by any book on Hinduism. But if whenever we read an elementary book on Geology, Botany, Politics, or Astronomy, we found that its implications were Hindu, that would shake us. It is not the books written in direct defense of Materialism that make the modern man a materialist; it is the materialistic assumptions in all the other books. In the same way, it is not books on Christianity that will really trouble him. But he would be troubled if, whenever he wanted a cheap popular introduction to some science, the best work on the market was always by a Christian.

So it is with music. What’s needed is not Christians writing “Christian” music. What’s needed is the best music in the world to be written by Christians, that the world might know the validity, depth, and truth of Christianity as an experienced reality, not as a deluge of clichés set to pop-music, working to negate the meat and bone of this rich, all-encompassing religion.

5 Reasons to Kill Christian Music – Marc Barnes, Bad Catholic

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Non-Muslims are not responsible for interpreting or reinterpreting Muslim sources. It is instead the duty of Muslim scholars to react to ISIS. Without a doubt, several Muslim clerics have previously criticized ISIS, and recently a collective effort appeared in an open letter signed by 126 Muslim scholars. Yet, the verses, texts, and historical accounts used by ISIS to harm mutual coexistence and religious freedom need more attention and a rigorous, reliable explanation from the Muslim community. ISIS can only be stopped when zealous Muslims are able to find an expression of their faith more in line with Islam’s scripture than ISIS’s expression. The world is watching while hundreds of Muslims seem to be debating within themselves whether or not ISIS really is that best expression. Muslim scholars must wrestle with these textual elements and provide what they believe to be the “correct” Islamic teaching concerning caliphate, jihad, and treating the non-Muslims.

What Makes ISIS Appealing? – Ayman S. Ibrahim, First Things

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Preprost primer, kako samo na naši strani hriba ni mogoče najti rešitve: v zdravstvenih domovih (ki jih seveda mora imeti vsaka občina) morajo biti laboratoriji, kjer vam naredijo analize krvi, urina, blata in podobnih vzorcev. Zaradi razvoja tehnologij in analiz so lahko ekonomični, zanesljivi in strokovno vodeni le veliki laboratoriji, ki bi hkrati oskrbovali deset ali 20 zdravstvenih domov.

To je preprosto tehnološko in ekonomsko dejstvo, o katerem ni kaj razpravljati, če želimo biti kredibilni. Tako je pač leta 2014 – povsod. V Avstriji to dejstvo sprejemajo tako, da več zdravnikov ustanovi skupni laboratorij, ki oskrbuje vse – lahko tudi v obliki zadruge.

Tudi pri nas vsi pristojni vedo, da bi bilo to ekonomsko in strokovno potrebno, ampak – imamo občine. In vsaka občina ima svoj zdravstveni dom in svoj laboratorij v njem. In čeprav ta laboratorij ni podoben ničemur, kar je kredibilno (vključno z rezultati), človek ne pride živ prek občinskih mej. Mrtev pa zaradi občinskih mrliško-oglednih služb tudi ne.

Gastarbajterji – Alojz Ihan, Planet Siol

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Nikoli ničesar ne ustvari. Njegova drža je samo nasprotje dela. Kajti prepričan je, da vsako človeško prizadevanje nujno vključuje naivnost, nezdružljivo z njegovim najhujšim strahom: da bi se jemal preresno. Vendar to ne pomeni, da je hipster komična figura. Nasprotno, hipster se obkroži z mrtvimi stvarmi: njegov svet je tako zasičen z obskurnimi referencami, preživelo modo in citati, da bi lahko bilo kakršnokoli znamenje duhovitosti resnično le še čudež. Njegova strast je delo arheologa. Kajti stvar – oblačilo, bend ali frizura – lahko postane atribut njegovega okusa šele po svoji smrti. Okus je grobnica stvari, on je njen nočni čuvaj. Na hipsterju ni nič novega.

Nekromatika stvari. O duhovnem bistvu hipsterstva – Aljoša Kravanja, Airbeletrina

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

The-young-student-Ozias-Leduc

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

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

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

 ***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

Dear Dr. Dawkins,

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

/…/

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

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

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

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

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

***

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

Ni časa za igro – Staš Zgonik, Mladina

***

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

/…/

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

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

***

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

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

Čakajoč na repo iz ušes- Branko Cestnik, Časnik

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

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

***

Še nekaj za tiste, ki berete italijansko:

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

Tedenski izbor

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

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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

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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

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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 

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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

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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