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

(…)

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

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

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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

Sedating, not leading – The Economist

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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

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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

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Sam nisem voznik, zato vsaki kritiki, ki jo naslovim na samozavestnega slovenskega voznika, sledi: »Ko boš imel vozniški izpit, boš že razumel!« Dober voznik ne potrebuje legitimacije drugega, dovolj mu je dejstvo, da je on voznik in vozi tako, kot je pač v navadi v teh krajih. Legitimacije ne pridobi z odgovorno soudeležbo v občem prostoru prometa, kjer so pravila jasna in vsakemu udeležencu že prej znana, temveč sam od sebe, v neke vrste cehovski solidarnosti, s tiho zavestjo, da si to lahko privošči, ker je močnejši. Ni promet kot občost tista, ki nekomu podeli status dobrega voznika, temveč je dober voznik tisti, ki ustvarja stanje v prometu.

S takimi dobrimi vozniki se srečujemo na vsakem ovinku svojega bivanja. Ko se pogajamo z občinskimi politiki in lokalnimi veljaki, ko poskušamo sodelovati z odgovornimi v javnih inštitucijah na področju kulture in drugih družbenih dejavnostih, ko se moramo meniti s poldržavnimi gospodarstveniki, študentskimi funkcionarji itd. Nihče se ne počuti kot del neke občosti, da je odgovoren do nje, in da bo legitimacijo, ali dela dobro ali ne, dobil ravno v tem, ko bodo vsi njeni udeleženci bolj optimalno delovali. Ne, že samo dejstvo, da so se prebili do neke pozicije in počnejo stvari tako, kot je v navadi, je čisto dovoljšnje upravičenje za njihovo nadaljnje delovanje.

»Ko boš imel vozniški izpoit, boš že razumel!« – Miha Kosovel, Časnik

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Redukcija politike na boj med klientelami je, res, značilnost Vzhodne Evrope. In sploh perifernih držav. To pa se dogaja prav zato, ker te države niso vzpostavile učinkovitega mehanizma izmenjave elit. Ravno zato, ker v premnogih družbenih podsistemih vlada kadrovska inertnost, postane skrajna politizacija edini način, kako stvari premakniti iz mrtve točke. Politični boj se sprevrže v borbo za pozicije v javnem sektorju in paradržavnih strukturah, saj se zdi, da po normalni poti, prek kriterijev meritokratske selekcije, ni mogoče spremeniti ničesar. Javni sektor postane sistem dodeljevanja rent in sinekur političnim privržencem, ki v zameno skrbijo za širjenje »ideološke« (beri: kulturnobojne) megle, ki zakriva, za kaj v resnici gre. To stanje je gojišče vse bolj nezmernih idej o raznih »neoliberalnih revolucijah« – ki pa ne morejo priti do besede drugače kot z jezikom kulturnega boja, kar je voda na mlin taistim predatorskim elitam. Začarani krog.

O plemenitem poslanstvu Grege Repovža – Luka G. Lisjak, Časnik

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Še vedno sem prepričan, da sta SDS in Janša glavna za kakršenkoli preobrat na bolje v Sloveniji. Na žalost pa kaže, da SDS sporočila volitev še ni dojela. Po objavi rezultatov so izdali javno sporočilo, ki še najbolj spominja na kakšen razglas zvezne partije v času, ko je nekdanja država že razpadala po vseh šivih, in se je nanašal na neko resničnost, ki je živela samo še v glavah zveznih funkcionarjev. Ko bo Janševa obsodba razveljavljena, mu Slovenija ne bo razvila rdeče preproge in ga povabila, naj postane imperator. Na žalost bo odziv sistema in tudi velike večine prebivalcev »business as usual«. Kardinal Rode je spomnil, da sta tudi Gandi in Mandela po prihodu iz zapora prevzela vodenje preporoda države. Vendar je prvi pogoj za to, da se nekaj podobnega zgodi tudi pri nas, da Janša pride iz zapora vsaj kot pol Gandi ali pol Mandela. Če pride kot stoodstotni Janša ali celo 150-odstotni Janša, se bo čedalje večji del zmernega volilnega spektra, tistega, ki ga je za premierski položaj podprl leta 2004, odvračal od njega.

Post mortem – Blaž Vodopivec, Finance

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Če smo demokrati, imamo zato samo eno možnost: spoštovati voljo ljudi in strpno sprejeti dejstvo, da je Janez Janša poslanec. Ali so njegovi volilci normalni? Da. Preprosto verjamejo, da je nedolžen in po krivem obsojen. In glede na šlamastiko slovenskega pravosodja, ki je prepleteno z mafijskimi omrežji pokvarjenih sodnic in sodnikov, imajo svoje argumente. Ali je vso to dogajanje zdravo za Slovenijo? Niti slučajno.

SDS je stranka, ki je danes ni mogoče vključiti v politični proces vodenja države. Je stranka destrukcije, ki s svojim pomembnim deležem pridobljenim na volitvah zaradi svoje strategije krči parlamentarni prostor. Je stranka, ki nima namena sodelovati in se pogovarjati z nikomer. Niti z najbližjimi, celo partnerji. Tako kot ima Italija težave z destruktivnostjo predstavnikov Beppe Grilla, ima tudi Slovenija težavo s tem, da petina parlamentarnega prostora nima namena sodelovati pri vodenju države. Tej petini pa se je sedaj pridružila tudi Združena levica, ki destrukcijo vodi z drugega kota. Zato je maneverski prostor pomembno zožen in terja še toliko več dialoga med preostalimi zmernimi političnimi silami. Ta strategija SDS je z vidika volilnega rezultata samomorilska. Zaradi take kampanje so samo na zadnjih volitvah izgubili vsaj pet odstotkov. Z vidika politike, ki hoče uspeh na volitvah ter nato vladati, je taka strategija torej nespametna.

Toda ta strategija je z njihovega vidika povsem utemeljena in celo edina možna etična drža.

A je to demokracija, da je Janša poslanec? – Sebastjan Jeretič, Neurovirtu

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I recognize the Fox Geezer Syndrome these readers identify. This is what happens when conservatism becomes an ideology instead of an approach to life. It indicates an extremely unconservative temperament, frankly. /…/ These Fox Geezers may well be conservative in their politics, right down the line. What they’re doing, though, is allowing politics to consume their minds and their entire lives, such that they are making impossible the kinds of things that true conservatives ought to be dedicated to conserving: that is, the permanent things, like family. I have been around Fox Geezers before, and I see absolutely no difference between them and the kind of self-righteous loudmouths on the left that make reasonable discussion impossible, because all problems are reduced to a conflict between Good and Evil, and decided in advance.

The tragedy — and I think it is exactly that — is that the elderly often have great wisdom to share with the younger generations, to say nothing of the fact that it is they who have the long view, and who ought to understand how important it is to nurture bonds among family members, especially across the generations. Yet in these cases, it is they who behave like teenagers and twentysomethings, full of piss and vinegar and a toxic certainty, plus a radioactive impulse to crusade. What they lack is the principal conservative virtue: Prudence.

Fox Geezer Syndrome – Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

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It’s not that abortion opponents don’t really care about abortion as such, but only about sexual mores, but that political language is necessarily corrupt because its purpose is pornographic in the sense that it is intended to provoke action, not increase understanding.

/…/

I really, really do believe that the more seriously you take the proposition that abortion is categorically immoral, the more morally imperative it is for you not to hitch your wagon to the star of either political party. Nothing is more corrupting of the anti-abortion cause than its subsumption into a culture war that is fundamentally – fundamentally – about making it easier for politicians to get re-elected.

You Know What’s Murder? Politics Is Murder – Noah Millman, The American Conservative

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It is not an accident that the three key planks of the Left-wing outlook today – the anti-Israel anti-war sentiment, the shallow anti-capitalism of Occupy, and the worship of those who leak info from within the citadels of power – should all have had issues with anti-Semitism. It is because the left, feeling isolated from the public and bereft of any serious means for understanding modern political and economic affairs, has bought into a super-simplistic, black-and-white, borderline David Icke view of the world as a place overrun and ruled by cabals and cults and sinister lobby groups. And who has always, without fail, been the final cabal, the last cult, to find themselves shouldering the ultimate blame for the warped, hidden workings of politics, the economy and foreign turmoil? You got it – the Jews.

 Is the Left Anti-Semitic? Sadly, it is heading that way – Brendan O’Neill, The Daily Telegraphy

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Up until now, even European politicians who were paying attention to developments in Hungary — German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for example — believed that they didn’t have any political capital to spare amid the euro crisis. It was difficult enough for European leaders to bully Greek governments into drastic spending cuts; they didn’t want to be seen lecturing small central European nations on democratic norms as well. But given the current perception, right or wrong, that the continent’s financial crisis is no longer acute, Brussels and Europe’s bigger states may finally get serious about Orban. They should understand that the new ideological conflict — liberal versus illiberal Europe — is a greater danger to the foundations of the EU than the euro crisis. Of course money matters — but a rising antiliberalism inside the EU, inspired and materially supported by Putin, could tear the Union apart morally and, ultimately, politically. Orban has done the rest of Europe a favor by spelling out his illiberal intentions so openly — and making it clear just how high the stakes are.

Moscow’s Trojan Horse: In Europe’s Ideological War, Hungary Picks Putinism – Jan-Werner Müller, Foreign Affairs

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I’d respectfully argue that libertarianism is neither dangerous nor doomed, and that people who think otherwise are misled by a double standard they use when analyzing this political faction. When they write about a “libertarian moment,” they act as if it would mean the immediate embrace of an extreme, ideologically pure version of a philosophy that most actual sympathizers embrace with pragmatic moderation. Yes, if the most radical faction of any ideology that has never before exercised power was suddenly put in charge, that might well end in disaster. But in the real world, libertarian ideas will only ever be implemented partially in a system of checks and balances where modest reforms are difficult to achieve, never mind sweeping, rapid changes. It’s true, but trivially so, that neither a libertarian nor a liberal nor conservative utopia is coming. But liberals and conservatives exercise power regularly, so no one is under the silly illusion that their ascendance would entail a pure ideological program untempered by reality.

“Is libertarian economics at all realistic?” Krugman asks, as if the question is coherent. There are deep disagreements among libertarians about economic policy. There is never a moment when an entire economic philosophy comes up for a vote. It may just be that libertarian thinkers are correct on the merits of some policies, like rent control, and incorrect on others, like the gold standard, and that the prudent thing for a pluralistic society would be to adopt their best ideas and insights, rather than preemptively declaring all libertarian economic ideas unrealistic.

Libertarians Can Be a Significant Force for Good in U.S. Politics – Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

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Prostitution is moving online whether governments like it or not. If they try to get in the way of the shift they will do harm. Indeed, the unrealistic goal of ending the sex trade distracts the authorities from the genuine horrors of modern-day slavery (which many activists conflate with illegal immigration for the aim of selling sex) and child prostitution (better described as money changing hands to facilitate the rape of a child). Governments should focus on deterring and punishing such crimes—and leave consenting adults who wish to buy and sell sex to do so safely and privately online.

Prostitution: A personal Choice – The Economist

 

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Compared to virtually all comedians today, Williams was a gentleman. He certainly wasn’t a jerk in the mode of Johnny Carson or Seinfeld. Nor did he content himself with ironically orbiting life with sad eyes in the mode of Bill Murray. He was hardly ever gratuitously gross, because he knew, even as a performer, he had grown-up responsibilities. Even though, in my opinion, Louis C.K. is funnier and maybe deeper, he has a lot to learn about being a grown-up, to say nothing of a gentleman.

Williams, apparently, never achieved in his own life the self-confidence and self-knowledge of his best characters. He seemed never to have been quite comfortable in his own skin. Too much restlessness and not enough serenity. He was a great man.

Robin WIlliams as a Man in Full – Peter Augustine Lawler, National Review

 

Evropa kot periferija

Evropejci smo nekoliko počasnejši v doumevanju tega, kar se dogaja okoli nas. V nas je še vedno močno prisotna zavest, da smo začetniki vsega, kar se v svetu pripeti, in da smo, kot na zemljevidih sveta, ki smo jih navajeni bolščati od osnovnošolskih dni dalje, središče sveta – nek standard, h kateremu stremi ali se mu upira preostali svet. Zato je bil velik šok, ko je predsednik ZDA ob nastopu funkcije pred štirimi leti med vrsticami poudaril, da mu je več do dobrih odnosov s Kitajsko kot z Evropo. Vendar problem zavesti Evropejcev ni toliko na ravni napačne ocene svoje geostrateške moči. Ta je zanemarljiva v primerjavi z zaslepljenostjo, da smo še vedno standard na idejni, svetovnonazorski ravni. Kar se je najbolj opazilo pri komentarjih novinarjev in drugih intelektualcev v času izbora novega papeža.

Evropski predsodki na račun krščanstva

Izvolitev Jorgeja Maria kardinala Bergoglia za novega rimskega škofa je seveda revolucionarna. Novi papež je prvi Neevropejec na tem mestu po dolgih dvanajstih stoletjih, hkrati pa je prvi po več kot tisoč letih, ki si je nadel ime, ki ga papeška tradicija še ni poznala ali ni bilo iz njih sestavljeno. Vendar to so malenkosti, statistika, ki je uporabna zgolj za rubriko Ali ste vedeli?. Novi papež je revolucionaren zato, ker je po vsej verjetnosti za vedno odvzel primat papeštva in ostalih cerkvenih služb Evropejcem. Ali drugače: z izvolitvijo papeža z južne poloble se je formalno potrdilo nekaj, kar v svetu velja že nekaj časa – da krščanstvo in katolištvo nista več evropska stvar, ampak živita in raseta nekje drugje.

Tega se seveda veliko število komentatorjev ne zaveda in tako ponavlja klasično, še iz 19. stoletja privlečeno teorijo o postopnem umiranju krščanstva. Tako so se spraševali, kako se mora Cerkev reformirati, da bo nagovorila sodobno, vedno bolj sekularizirano družbo, kot da je »vedno bolj sekularizirana družba« neko dejstvo sveta. Nato se je govorilo, da bi morala Cerkev dovoljevati homoseksualne poroke, kontracepcijo ali žensko duhovščino, ukiniti celibat oz. na kratko stopiti v korak s časom, kot da je »čas« nekaj, kar je povsem enakega v Nemčiji, na Madagaskarju, v Boliviji ali na Kitajskem. Kot da je delo Cerkve prilizovanje zahodnim liberalcem. Še celo izvolitev južnoameriškega papeža se je pospremilo s komentarji, češ končno se je Cerkev toliko liberalizirala, da je dopustila, da jo vodi nekdo izven Evrope. Mogoče bo naslednji papež celo gej. Kot da bi tista stavba na Trgu Svetega Petra določala, kdo bo papež.

Treba se je namreč zavedati, da papeža ne izbira tista stavba na Trgu Sv. Petra, temveč so to ljudje, kardinali, od katerih dobršen del prihaja izven Evrope. Na tokratnih volitvah je bila sicer večina kardinalov še vedno evropskih, vendar je to najverjetneje zadnjič v zgodovini. Kar pa seveda ne pomeni, da se Cerkev liberalizira.

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