Tedenski izbor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Immutable money – Richard W. Rahn, The Washington Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Živeti tam nekje – Miha Kosovel, Novi glas

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

Teror politične korektnosti – Jožica Grgič, Delo

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

Studenten dürfen nicht zum Gendern gezwungen werden – Die Freie Welt

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

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

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

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

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

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

(…)

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

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

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

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Tedenski izbor

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

Za normalizacijo potrebujemo antidemagoško koalicijo – Rok Novak, Finance

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

(…)

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

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

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

(…)

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

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

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

(…)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eucharistic Eyes – Marc Barnes, Bad Catholic

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

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

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

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

(…)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Et tu, Luka? – Goran Vojnović, Dnevnik

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

Slovenija je država sužnjev – Matic Jelovčan

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

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

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

 

Tedenski izbor

Like Alexis de Tocqueville, Hayek is more quoted than read. Despite being on the short list of leading intellectual heroes for the American right, few conservatives or libertarians are all that familiar with his actual views on classical liberalism and free-market capitalism. Instead, as Thompson notes in his post, the rhetoric of the right reveals that we are more influenced by Ayn Rand than Hayek.

(…)

Today, the common enemy is liberalism and the fusionism occurs not between disparate groups butwithin an individual. People who would laugh at the absurdity of a “Christian Muslim” seem not to recognize the similar incongruity between being a follower of Christ and an acolyte of Ayn Rand.

Has Modern Conservatism Become a Cult? – Joe Carter, First Things

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Crucially, given worries about investment and political instability, “In countries where inequality was generally thought to be high, more people supported government redistribution. But demand for redistribution bore no relation to the actual level of inequality.”

There’s too much in the paper to cover in one blogpost, but the results are extremely clear: people’s perceptions of inequality are really, really inaccurate – that holds globally and in all but a handful of Scandinavian countries.

(…)

Redistributive policies that reduce actual inequality are costly, and because actual inequality is barely related to perceptions of inequality they may do little to make the country more stable or market-friendly. If these are important problems, we can only solve them by making people feel less unequal – not by making them less unequal in fact. In short: even if people’s perceptions of inequality matter, the reality does not.

 The case against caring about inequality at all – Sam Bowman, Adam Smith Institute

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Everyone in this debate favors marriage equality. Everyone wants the law to treat all marriages in the same ways. The only disagreement our nation faces is over what sort of consenting adult relationship is a marriage. Since the Constitution doesn’t answer that question, the people and their elected representatives should.

As Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito pointed out two years ago, there are two different visions of marriage on offer. One vision of marriage sees it as primarily about consenting adult romance and care-giving. Another vision sees it as a union of man and woman—husband and wife—so that children would have moms and dads.

Our Constitution is silent on which of these visions is correct, so We the People have constitutional authority to make marriage policy.

Ryan T. Anderson – Citizens, Not Judges, Should Determine Future of Marriage, The Daily Signal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cake and Cosmology – Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Odločili so se, da za pomorjenimi izbrišejo vsako sled. Poznamo dokumente zveznega in republiškega nivoja, ki govorijo o tem, da grobovi nikakor ne smejo obstajati. Ljudje in grobovi morajo izginiti iz spomina javnosti. To je trajalo do demokratičnih sprememb v Sloveniji leta 1990, do določene mere pa celo še danes. Seveda se je v Sloveniji o njih nekaj govorilo, zlasti ko je bil leta 1975 objavljen intervju Borisa Pahorja z Edvardom Kocbekom v reviji Zaliv, pa esej Spomenke Hribar Krivda in greh leta 1983 ter zlasti po spravni slovesnosti v Kočevskem rogu leta 1990. Letos bo od te slovesnosti minilo 25 let, ko smo Slovenci mislili, da bomo to travmatično točko slovenske zgodovine lahko zaključili, da bomo pokopali mrtve in označili njihove grobove, a se to na žalost ni zgodilo. Če lahko razumem, da je to skrivanje v času socializma trajalo 45 let, pa težko razumem, da je že 25 let, odkar imamo demokratično ureditev, a imamo le malo pokazati glede označevanja grobov in pokopa žrtev. Njihovi svojci zdaj z bolečino v srcu zapuščajo ta svet, saj so upali, da bodo v novi slovenski državi izvedeli, kje ležijo njihovi domači in kje jim lahko prižgejo svečo.

Huda jama je bila prehuda, po državi še vedno stotine neoznačenih grobišč – Mitja Ferenc za MMC RTV Slovenija

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Nekaj je hudo narobe z družbo, ki ne želi pokopati svojih mrtvih, jim postaviti spominske centre in državna obeležja, kaj šele, da bi preganjala odgovorne za njihovo smrt. Vsi, ki so kdaj umrli oziroma bili pokončani na slovenskem ozemlju, sodijo v kolektivni spomin in podzavest slovenskega naroda. Morda je v avtokratski družbi razumljivo, da želi takratna totalitarna stran še dandanes preko svojih naravnih in ideoloških potomcev počistiti s prav vsakim, ki drugače misli, zagotovo pa slednje ni sprejemljivo v demokratični in pravni družbi, ki kaj da na učinkovito varovanje človekovih pravic in temeljnih svoboščin. Ko se spominjamo obletnice osvoboditve nekdanjih nacističnih koncentracijskih taborišč in tam storjenega genocida in hudodelstev zoper človečnost je prav, da če pometamo pred tujim pragom, končno pometemo tudi domačega, saj trava ni nič bolj zelena na slovenskih tleh, kvečjemu bolj krvava in prežeta s človeškimi kostmi in izgubljenimi dušami.

Slovenska trava ni nič bolj zelena – Jernej Letnar Černič. Časnik

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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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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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Pat pozicija v grški politiki

Od grških volitev sta minila že več kot dva tedna, ampak glede na histerijo, ki so jih povzročile na levici (zmaga!) in desnici (komunizem!), se jim še vedno splača posvetiti kratko analizo. Kot (bodoči) politolog bi rad zelo jasno povedal, da se na grško politiko ne spoznam tako dobro kot na razmere v nekaterih drugih mediteranskih državah niti ne berem grško. Svoje analize zato baziram na poročanju tujih medijev in pa iz pogovorov s kolegi iz drugih držav, med katerimi je tudi nekaj Grkov, ki jih zelo cenim.

Že ti skromni viri pa so dovolj, da se človek izogne nekaterim ideološkim pastem, ki jih nastavljajo »alternativni« mediji. Recimo nad »presenečenjem« nad koalicijskim sporazumom med Sirizo in desničarskim ANEL-om. Informirani opazovalci so namreč že tedne pred volitvami opozarjali, da je takšen sporazum najverjetnejši scenarij v primeru, če Siriza ne dobi absolutne večine.

Po drugi strani je res, da je centristična stranka To Potami prek ALDE-ja lobirala, da bi bruseljski krogi Ciprasu poslali signale, da bodo bolj popustljivi do njegovih zahtev, če vstopi v koalicijo z reformističnimi liberalci. Ciprasova odločitev za koalicijo z evroskeptičnimi (in proruskimi) desničarji je zato tudi strateška igra: Evropi pokazati, kdo je gospodar razmer in jo opozoriti, da lahko v času konfrontacije s Putinom Grčija (vojaško najmočnejša sila na Balkanu in druga najmočnejša na vzhodu Evropske unije) postane nezanemarljiv faktor regionalnega ravnotežja.

greek-elections

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hieronim

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

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

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

Liberals and the Illiberal Left – David Frum, The Atlantic

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

(…)

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

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

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Yet [Greece’s] recent comeback masks deep structural problems. To tidy its books, Athens levied crippling taxes on the middle class and made sharp cuts to government salaries, pensions, and health-care coverage. While ordinary citizens suffered under the weight of austerity, the government stalled on meaningful reforms: the Greek economy remains one of the least open in Europe and consequently one of the least competitive. It is also one of the most unequal.

Greece has failed to address such problems because the country’s elites have a vested interest in keeping things as they are. Since the early 1990s, a handful of wealthy families — an oligarchy in all but name — has dominated Greek politics. These elites have preserved their positions through control of the media and through old-fashioned favoritism, sharing the spoils of power with the country’s politicians. Greek legislators, in turn, have held on to power by rewarding a small number of professional associations and public-sector unions that support the status quo. Even as European lenders have put the country’s finances under a microscope, this arrangement has held.

The fundamental problem facing Greece is not economic growth but political inequality.

Misrule of the Few: How the Oligarchs Ruined Greece – Pavlos Eleftheriadis, Foreign Affairs

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I agree entirely with Ryan that libertarianism (“rugged individualism”) is hard to reconcile with Christianity and the history of Christian political thought. His comment, though, highlights two ideas I’m trying to work out within my own thinking on religion and politics.

First, to say that Republicans, especially Christian conservatives, have “given up on America” because they no longer have Tocquevillian ideals is, I think, sort of true — but then, is it not the case that America has given up on itself in that regard? Who really believes in the common good anymore? We have become an atomized nation of individual consumers who believe our preferences must be indulged no matter what. It’s true of the Right as well as the Left. The main reason it’s so hard to talk about the common good is that so few people are willing to recognize an independent authoritative standard for determining that good.

Has the GOP Given Up on America? – Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

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This updated conservative tradition consists of several complementary propositions:

As human beings, our first responsibility lies in stewardship, preserving our common inheritance and protecting that which possesses lasting value. This implies an ability to discriminate between what is permanent and what is transient, between what ought to endure and what is rightly destined for the trash heap. Please note this does not signify opposition to all change—no standing athwart history, yelling Stop—but fostering change that enhances rather than undermines that which qualifies as true.

Conservatives, therefore, are skeptical of anything that smacks of utopianism. They resist seduction by charlatans peddling the latest Big Idea That Explains Everything.

Counterculture Conservatism: the Right Needs Less Ayn Rand, More Flannery O’Connor – Andrew Bacevich, The American Conservative

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Zgodba o vlačenju Anuške Delić po sodišču postaja bizarna in se spreminja v institucionalni spin, ki je mogoč zgolj zaradi tega, ker je to politično mogoče. Da ne bo pomote: Delićeva, ki, kot smo razkrili na našem portalu, pridobiva informacije kar pri Pristopu in z njimi obdeluje bivše Pristopove poslovne stranke, je v primeru desnih ekstremistov naredila tisto, kar bi vsak novinar moral in k čemur je zavezan – objavila je vse zgodbe.

In bodimo iskreni, objavila jih je še z večjim veseljem, ker je šlo za informacije, ki so neposredno škodile volilni mobilizaciji SDS. Problem pa, institucionalno gledano, ni v Delićevi, ampak v viru, ki je informacije s točno določeno agendo (ki je lahko samo politična) odcurljal do Dela.

Ali je Sova ušla izpod kontrole? – Kizo, Portal Plus

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Potrebujemo iniciativi Reset in Gremo na volitve na steroidih. Takšni, ki se ekipirata skrbneje in dlje časa od izvirnika in ne ponovita začetniških napak Državljanske liste. Potrebujemo kritično maso razumnih ljudi, ki bi skupaj z ranjeno desno-sredinsko opozicijo, brez Desusa, na volitvah lahko dosegli 51 odstotkov  ter izvedli trajne spremembe. Nemogoče? Sploh ne.  Naj brez posebnega vrstnega reda in brez vedenja oseb, ki jih bom namočil, naštejem nekaj posameznikov, ki bi jim kot ekipi zaupal svojo podporo in glas: Romani Jordan, Janezu Šušteršiču, Marjanu Batagelju, Blažu Vodopivcu, Bojanu Travnu, Igorju Mastenu, Žigu Turku in Igorju Akrapoviču Bi jim tudi vi? Ne pravim, da se bo takšna politična opcija pojavila. Pravim le, da bi tudi apatični volivci in volivke prišli na volitve in podprli spremembe, če bi zanje ustrezno ponudbo. In da torej ni res, da je vse izgubljeno!

Reset na steroidih – Tomaž Štih, Reporter

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The Putin personality cult appears to be rising. Vyacheslav Volodin, first deputy chief of staff to the president, told the conference Wednesday that Western “attacks against Putin are attacks against Russia.”

He went on to say that Russia’s people understand “that if there is no Putin, there is no Russia.” (…)

Mr. Volodin’s remarks spurred political pundit Stanislav Belkovskiy, a Putin critic, to tell the independent Ekho Moskvy radio station: “The search for Russia’s national idea, which began after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, is finally over. Now it is obvious that Russia’s national idea is Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin as an individual.”

It is hard to imagine that identification between state and ruler being made in the U.S. or Western Europe, in private or in public. It is another illustration of how those in power in Russia think differently from their counterparts in the West.

Russia and West Grapple with Alternate Realities – Allan Cullison, The Wall Street Journal

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The collapse of Ukraine would be a tremendous loss for NATO, the European Union, and the United States. A victorious Russia would become much more influential within the EU and pose a potent threat to the Baltic states with their large ethnic Russian populations. Instead of supporting Ukraine, NATO would have to defend itself on its own soil. This would expose both the EU and the US to the danger they have been so eager to avoid: a direct military confrontation with Russia. The European Union would become even more divided and ungovernable. Why should the US and other NATO nations allow this to happen?

The argument that has prevailed in both Europe and the United States is that Putin is no Hitler; by giving him everything he can reasonably ask for, he can be prevented from resorting to further use of force. In the meantime, the sanctions against Russia—which include, for example, restrictions on business transactions, finance, and trade—will have their effect and in the long run Russia will have to retreat in order to earn some relief from them.

These are false hopes derived from a false argument with no factual evidence to support it. Putin has repeatedly resorted to force and he is liable to do so again unless he faces strong resistance. Even if it is possible that the hypothesis could turn out to be valid, it is extremely irresponsible not to prepare a Plan B.

Wake Up, Europe – George Soros, The New York Review of Books

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Tisto, kar je bilo včasih samoumevno in potem izgnano iz narodovega spomina, počasi a vztrajno spet dobiva prostor pod soncem. Hvala Bogu, očitno postajamo normalni.

Pred par meseci sem slišal osebno pričevanje nekdanjega partizanskega borca iz manjšega kraja v zamejstvu na Goriškem. Pripovedoval je o svojih izkušnjah v partizanskih vrstah, ko se je kot mobiliziran mladoletnik septembra 1943 udeležil bojev na t. i. goriški fronti. Samo za osvežitev spomina: Partizanske enote na Primorskem so želele sredi septembra 1943 zadržati nemški prodor pred Gorico. Toda bile so nepripravljene in preslabo vodene, tako da so nemški okupatorji, ki so zamenjali Italijane, kmalu krvavo zatrli partizanski odpor ter povzročili velike in nepotrebne žrtve.

No, omenjeni možakar je pripovedoval, kako so se nič kaj junaško skrivali v Trnovskem gozdu, tam pri Rijavcih, ko so pač videli silno nemško premoč. In tam, v skalni votlini, je dvanajst primorskih mož in fantov ždelo nekaj dni. Lačni, žejni, prestrašeni. Na dan vseh svetih, 1. novembra popoldne, je eden izmed njih rekel: »Sedaj so naši domači zbrani na domačem pokopališču na grobovih rajnih in molijo, dajmo tudi mi kaj zmoliti za naše rajne.« Iz žepa je najmlajši med njimi potegnil rožni venec, in vsi, prav vsi, so v en glas molili s priprošnjo k Svetogorski Kraljici za rajne.

Pravica do normalnosti – Renato Podbersič ml, Časnik

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Treba je začeti znova in projekt narediti na civilizacijski normi, da ima vsak človek pravico do groba, kar izhaja iz pietete in dostojanstva človeka. Obuditi je potrebno sočutje, ki je izraz dobronamernosti človeka in preprečuje zlo, ki ustvarja sovraštvo, da se zadeve ponavljajo. Tu smo na mestu, kjer so se dogajali nasilje in zločini, materam so jemali otroke in ljudi odvažali na morišča v razne jarke in Hude jame. Tu so ljudje umirali in bili tudi ubiti in zakopani. Torej to je kraj, kjer se mora človek zjokati in to dvakrat: prvič zaradi zločinov in drugič zaradi neetičnega odnosa do trupel in neresnega urejanja okolja za prikrivanje resnice.

Nedokončan park, nedokončana demokratična prenova – Franc Zabukošek, Časnik

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Se torej splača študirati?

Prepričan sem, da ja. Za take razmisleke ni dovolj analizirati, kako je zdaj, ampak se je treba ozreti v prihodnost. Slovenija bo morala doživeti svojo katarzo in prav zato, ker smo tukaj, namenoma nisem omenil možnosti odhoda v tujino. V Sloveniji radi živimo in samo skupaj jo bomo lahko premaknili z mrtve točke. Vseh stvari se preprosto ne da znanstveno dokazati, kaj šele napovedati. V nekatere stvari je treba preprosto verjeti. In glagol »splačati se« nima zgolj finančnega pomena.

Ali se splača študirati? – Jaka Vadnjal, Finance