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«
Since Thomas Hobbes, many people have embraced the illusory notion that society is made up of individuals. According to this view the only fair competition is between individuals, without undue benefit from family connections.
But no society has ever been this way. Individuals don’t come fully formed. They emerge out of families and groups. The family and the group are the essential social unit. These collectives have always shaped public life.
The philosopher Michael Oakeshott once observed that it takes three generations to make a career. That is, the skills that going into, say, a teacher — verbal fluency, empathy, endurance — take a long time to develop. They emerge in grandparents and great-grandparents and are passed down magnified through the generations. I bet you can trace ways your grandparents helped shape your career.
Cameron states that for too long ‘we have been a passively tolerant society’ and is presumably ‘pumped-up’ at the possibility of actively changing this image. But, in truth, Britain has strayed a long way from the Enlightenment conceptualisation of tolerance, which advocated robust engagement with others over matters of principle while recognising and accepting the need to live side-by-side.
In recent years, British society has become not tolerant but indifferent to the mores of others, preferring to turn a blind eye to outlooks and activities deemed not too threatening. You can believe anything you like, so long as you don’t believe in it too much, has been the unstated outlook of the authorities. Now, Cameron seeks to shift gear from passive indifference to active authoritarianism.
V teh dneh je ameriški diplomat Joseph Mussomeli zapustil službovanje kot veleposlanik Združenih držav Amerike v Ljubljani in odšel nazaj v svojo deželo v zasluženo penzijo. Mediji in javna grla (ter seveda tudi domorodsko ljudstvo) imajo o Mussomeliju zelo deljena mnenja. Če bi na hitro pregledali le tista, ki se nočejo vrednostno opredeliti do njegove 4-letne pojavnosti v Sloveniji, bi največkrat zasledili pridevnik kontroverzni. Vendar, kaj je tisto, kar je bilo za nas tako kontroverznega pri njem?
Le hiter pregled njegovega udejstvovanja nam pokaže, da je Mussomeli nedvomno bil zelo izkušen diplomat, države v katerih je služboval pa so zelo oddaljene od slovenske realnosti. Egipt, Filipini, Šrilanka, Bahrajn in Kambodža. Tik preden je prišel v našo skupnost, pa je služboval kot Veleposlanik ZDA v Kabulu. Slovenija seveda spada med tiste države, ki so strateško povsem nepomembne, zato je seveda dobra destinacija za zaslužne diplomate, ki se morajo malo odpočiti ali pa jim manjka kakšno leto do penziona. In tako je tudi Mussomeli, ko je zapustil Afganistan, prišel k nam na počitek za nekaj let. Še sam je izjavil, da so mu v Washingtonu dejali, da je »Slovenija urejena družba brez težav«. Nič lepšega, noge po kavbojsko na mizo, vsake toliko pa se prikažeš na kakšnem visokem srečanju. Vendar ne. Mussomeli je prejšnjo izjavo dopolnil: »Seveda se ne bi mogli bolj zmotiti.«
Today is a dark day for Europe. The barbaric assault on the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is an attack most immediately on the journalists and cartoonists who worked there, 12 of whom are dead, executed in cold blood for the ‘crime’ of saying what they think. But this horrific act was also an attack on Europe itself, on all of us, on our fundamental right to freedom of thought and speech. None of us can feel the pain currently being felt by the friends and families of the murdered journalists and illustrators – but all of us should feel assaulted by this massacre, for it is designed to chill us and make us cower, to make us censor ourselves or else suffer the consequences.
Our response should be to reaffirm our commitment to freedom of speech and most importantly to the right to be offensive, to provoke, to mock and ridicule any belief system we want. From John Wilkes’ royalty-bashing pamphlets to Thomas Paine’s questioning of religion, offending gods and kings, kicking against the orthodoxies of one’s age, has been central to the Enlightenment, to the birth of the modern world. To fail to offer solidarity to Charlie Hebdo and other modern offenders against religious or political correctness would be to turn the clock back on the Enlightenment itself and propel Europe back into an era of self-silencing and moral obedience.
According to a recent study conducted by Bond University in Australia, sharks are nine times as likely to attack and kill men than they are women. If sinister motivation is attributed for this disparity, as is done in the cases of sex and racial disparities, we can only conclude that sharks are sexist. Another sex disparity is despite the fact that men are 50 percent of the population and so are women, men are struck by lightning six times as often as women. I wonder what whoever is in charge of lightning has against men.
Another gross statistical disparity is despite the fact that Jews are less than 3 percent of the U.S. population and a mere 0.2 percent of the world’s population, between 1901 and 2010, Jews were 35 percent of American and 22 percent of the world’s Nobel Prize winners.
If America’s diversity worshippers see underrepresentation as “probative” of racial discrimination, what do they propose be done about overrepresentation? After all, overrepresentation and underrepresentation are simply different sides of injustice. If those in one race are overrepresented, it might mean they’re taking away what rightfully belongs to another race. For example, is it possible that Jews are doing things that sabotage the chances of a potential Indian, Alaska Native or Mexican Nobel Prize winner? What about the disgraceful lack of diversity in professional basketball and ice hockey? There’s not even geographical diversity in professional ice hockey; not a single player can boast of having been born and raised in Hawaii, Louisiana or Mississippi.
Political correctness thus results as a confusion of political word for political action—so saying the wrong words is doing the wrong action. If I say something that disagrees with your position or lifestyle, it may be taken as an actual assault on you, the person.
Virtues, however, cannot be gained by “identifying” with others psychologically—a virtue is the skill of an action performed repeatedly over time. As Aristotle said, since we are what we repeatedly do, character is a habit and not an attitude. To fight this decadent culture in the academy, pointing it out and criticizing it is not sufficient. As Roger Kimball notes, “those who want to retake the university must devote themselves [to] cultivating those virtues” of candidness and courage, “and perhaps even more to cultivating the virtue of patience, capitalizing wherever possible on whatever local opportunities present themselves” in exercising them (Tenured Radicals, xlvii).
We must give up on the hope of restoring the past in this culture. It’s not that some aspects of the past shouldn’t be reclaimed, but rather that doing so, at least at a society-wide level, is not feasible at this point in time. The more we act as if it were so, the greater our losses will be once we definitively lose an unwinnable battle. This “take back America” stuff is self-deluding nostalgia, and the more conservatives believe it, the worse off they will be.
Ne razumem, zakaj so sicer inteligentni ljudje pripravljeni vedno znova ponavljati ene in iste neumnosti oziroma laži, ko gre denimo za razliko med zasebnim in državnim lastništvom podjetij? Jih ideologija povsem zaslepi? Ali gre morda za kako drugačno dojemanje tega, kaj je dobro, uspešno in za regijo pomembno podjetje?
Marcel Štefančič, jr. je danes v Studiu City izjavil:
“V Sloveniji imamo dva farmacevtska giganta, eden je Krka drugi je Lek. Krke nismo prodali, Lek smo prodali. Ali opazite kakšno razliko med njima? Vam jaz povem: od Krke živi kompletna regija, od Leka nima nihče nič.” (RTV 4D – Studio City, 22. sept. 2014)
Ampak že če preberete samo prve zadetke za geslo “Lek in Krka” v spletnem iskalniku, dobite povsem drugačno sliko.
Dr. Cerar, ko ste leta 1990 s skupino študentov raziskovali te umore, ste pogumno in odločno predlagali, da bi zoper storilce vložili ovadbo, saj je jasno, »da sodijo ustrelitve na meji bolj pod opis dejanja v 46. členu KZ RS, kot pa v izvrševanju ustave in zakonov. Omenjeni 46. člen namreč povsem nedvoumno določa: ‘Kdor komu vzame življenje, se kaznuje z zaporom najmanj petih let.’« Vaš predlog je prav tako naletel na gluha ušesa. Vendar časi se spreminjajo in zdaj imate lepo priložnost, da kot odrasel moški na visokem položaju uresničite zamisli skromnega, a drznega in prodornega mladeniča …
Glede na vaše odlično stališče iz leta 1990 vas, dr. Cerar, prosim, da bi spodbudili g. Maslešo, da bi le našel dovolj moči in spoznal, da je bilo njegovo zanikanje zločinov na meji nadvse sporno dejanje in da naj zoper sebe in druge sodelujoče pri ubojih na meji napiše ovadbo (npr. s temi zločini se je še pred leti javno hvalil general Marijan Kranjc).
Predvsem pa naj novo državno vodstvo ponovno presodi, ali lahko človek, ki zanika zločine, pri katerih je sodeloval, še vodi Vrhovno sodišče RS.
If Orwell stands as the model leftist who exposed the horrors his own side was willing to commit, Herzen stands as one who went along even though he knew better. More than a limousine liberal, he was a sapphire socialist. In spite of all his natural skepticism, he was willing to overcome it—heroically, he thought—rather than be seen agreeing with the wrong people.
That said, it is no less true that Herzen was aware of this very weakness. “I hate phrases to which we [radicals] have grown used, like Christians to the Creed. They appear moral and good on the surface but they bind thought.”
Ali se je raznoterim činom vseh vrst italijanskih vojaških sil, ki so si tako strastno želele prihod svetega očeta na kostnico v Redipulji in si preko vojaškega ordinariata obdržale organizacijo dogodka tudi ob tihem nasprotovanju vernikov krajevne nadškofije, morda papeževo razmišljanje zdelo izzivalno?
Odgovora nimamo. Ostal pa nam je globok vtis, da je papež s svojimi besedami, pa tudi s samim potekom svojega sobotnega obiska, ko je pred osrednjo svečanostjo v Redipulji obiskal še avstro-ogrsko pokopališče v Foljanu, kjer dejansko počivajo ‘naši predniki’ (kdo izmed naših se je vojskoval v italijanskih vrstah!), pospravil z vsako ceneno nacionalno-vojaško retoriko. “Vojna je norost”… “in zdaj je čas joka”. In pika. Najbrž se je papež Frančišek zaradi istih razlogov izognil tudi običajni toplini do vernikov, saj se ni podal mednje niti ob prihodu niti ob odhodu: to ni bila ne vojaška parada ne praznik, česar tudi marsikateri vernik resnici na ljubo ni dojel.
Osnovna šola (in seveda celotna vzgojno-izobraževalna vertikala) je bolj ščitenje privilegija toplih malic in vožnje na delo, dopusta in povsem zagotovljenega delovnega mesta, njegovega lastništva, kakor realizacija tega, kar potrebuje družba in mladi ljudje: dobre izobrazbe in vzgoje.
Zato je slovenska osnovna šola je podobna razvajenemu in z boleznijo zaznamovanemu otroku: imamo brez dvoma najbolj bogat predmetnik, najbolj obsežne učne načrte in najbolj centralizirano osnovno šolo v Evropi. Težko je našteti vse njene posebnosti, dejstvo pa je, da bi ob ostri redukciji vseh dobrot, ki jih uživa zdaj, brez dvoma padla v komo. Zato bo potrebna dolgotrajna dieta, da se bo vzpostavilo stanje, ki ne bo več ogrožalo normalnega vzgojno-izobraževalnega sistema.
Doesn’t “progressive” reflect the spirit of the Progressive Era a century ago, when the country benefited from the righteous efforts of muckrakers and others who fought big-city political bosses, attacked business monopolies and promoted Good Government?
The era was partly about that. But philosophically, the progressive movement at the turn of the 20th century had roots in German philosophy (Hegel and Nietzsche were big favorites) and German public administration (Woodrow Wilson’s open reverence for Bismarck was typical among progressives). To simplify, progressive intellectuals were passionate advocates of rule by disinterested experts led by a strong unifying leader. They were in favor of using the state to mold social institutions in the interests of the collective. They thought that individualism and the Constitution were both outmoded.
It is that core philosophy extolling the urge to mold society that still animates progressives today—a mind-set that produces the shutdown of debate and growing intolerance that we are witnessing in today’s America.
Predvsem pa se politika z etiko nima kaj ukvarjati. Naloga politike je, da poskrbi za pravno državo, ki bo pravočasno in pošteno kaznovala ljudi, ki prestopijo meje razumljivo napisanih in logičnih zakonov. Ko pa politiki začnejo govoriti, da morajo ljudje postati bolj etični, pa to pomeni, da želijo s svojimi instrumenti – ki so po definiciji instrumenti oblasti in prisile – spreminjati ljudi same.
Politik, ki si za cilj postavi spreminjati naravo ljudi, slej ko prej postane bodisi dalajlama bodisi stalinist.
Words you probably never thought you’d read in the Telegraph. Words which, as a Gladstonian Liberal, I never thought I’d write.
This sort of utterly amoral screw-everyone capitalism has become much more prevalent in the last 15 years. Our financial elite is now totally out of control. They learned nothing from the crisis, except that the rest of us were stupid enough to give them a second chance. And, now, having plucked all the “low hanging fruit,” they’re destroying the middle classes for profit.
Our current problems have their roots in the early 80s. While much of what Reagan and Thatcher did was necessary, the trouble is that they set a deregulatory train in motion which, over the last couple of decades has dismantled so much of the legal framework that protected us from greedy scuzzballs.
The middle classes went along with it. We were sick of the Left, tired of powerful unions and, besides, very few us could remember the inequality of the 1920s that gave rise to many of these regulations in the first place. Also, vain fools that we were, we identified upwards. We thought the elite had our interests at heart. The 0.1% must have found this pretty cute. They knew the truth. We weren’t their pals, we were just at the end of the line for the financial blood-letting.
I’d like to remind you of Alasdair MacIntyre’s definition of emotivism in After Virtue:
“What is the key to the social content of emotivism? It is the fact that emotivism entails the obliteration of any genuine distinction between manipulative and non-manipulative social relations. Consider the contrast between, for example, Kantian ethics and emotivism on this point. For Kant–and a parallel point could be made about many earlier moral philosophers–the difference between a human relationship uninformed by morality and one so informed is precisely the difference between one in which each person treat the other primarily as a means to his or her ends and one in which one treats each other as an end.”
Walsh almost exclusively uses others as means to his own end of scoring points in the culture wars (and boosting internet traffic). This is why his writing is so banal. It does not challenge anyone to drop their defenses.
In the end Walsh becomes like his enemies, because in his rivalries he plays a zero-sum cultural warrior game of ‘either me or the other’ (I just clicked on a link to an interview with him some random site and the popup ad predictably read “fight the liberal media”). Perhaps the only heuristic value of Walsh’s writing lies in the way that it suggests an overlap between MacIntyre‘s discussion of emotivism and Girard‘s discussion of mimetic rivalry.
Za konec pa še naravnost genialni zapis Carla Truemana v First Things, ki ga zaradi kratkosti objavljamo kar v celoti:
Britain’s Daily Telegraph reports that anti-incest laws in Germany could be struck down on the grounds that they constitute an unacceptable intrusion into the right to sexual self-determination. The narrow context is the case of a brother and sister who have lived together for years and have four children. The wider context is the very meager basis upon which laws relating to sexual ethics are now built.
In a world where consent provides the only de facto limit to acceptable sexual ethics, this legal move has a certain obvious legal and cultural logic. If the brother and sister are in love, why should they not live together in a sexual partnership? Even the pragmatic argument from the risk of congenital defects in children is irrelevant: birth control and abortion are the obvious answers which this present age would give.
In fact, it is not so much the legitimation of incest in itself as it is the collapse of the boundaries of sexual taboos given our current ethical logic which makes the case significant. The question of consent is itself surely a complex one when it comes to sexual morality and even this might soon be faced with a serious challenge. Take, for example, bestiality (or, to use the more anodyne modern term, zoophilia). I regularly eat cows, pigs, sheep and chickens whose consent to be part of my diet is (I assume) rarely if ever sought before they arrive on my dinner plate. The law as it stands clearly does not recognize the need for a cow to give permission before it is slaughtered and turned into a hamburger. One assumes that it would not require its consent for a less drastic fate.
A thought thus comes to mind if any notion of sexual ethics is not to vanish in its entirety: Either consent is not a sufficient basis for a sexual ethic, or eating meat needs to be outlawed as soon as possible.