Možnost trojega: ljubezen, poroka, dostojanstvo

Prepričanje, da je bila ljubezen vedno tisti najvišji motiv, ki je moškega in žensko združil v razmerje in s tem občestvu omogočil, da to razmerje pripozna skozi poročni obred, je zgodovinsko neresnično. Ljubezen je šele na prehodu iz 18. v 19. stoletje začela dobivati priznanje kot tisto čustvo, ki ga je zaradi njegove pristnosti in interesne neobremenjenosti vredno spodbujati kot glavno vezivo v zakonskem razmerju med moškim in žensko.

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Štirje odgovori na ugovor: »Zakaj pa se lahko poročijo neplodni pari?«

Nadaljujemo z objavljanjem tekstov, ki predstavljajo razloge nasprotnikov razširitve definicije zakonske zveze na istospolne pare. V spodnjem prispevku ameriški pravni teoretik Ryan T. Anderson odgovarja na pogost ugovor: če drži, da je zakonska zveza utemeljena predsem na prokreaciji, zakaj se potem smejo poročati tudi neplodni pari?

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Zakaj država uzakonja poročne oziroma zakonske zveze? Kot pojasnjujem v svoji knjigi Truth Overruled: The Future of Marriage and Religious Freedom (Preglasovana resnica: prihodnost zakonske zveze in verske svobode), je razlog v tem, da država na tak način spodbuja moškega in žensko k trajni zvezi moža in žene ter tako skrbi za otroke, ki se v tej zvezi rodijo. Ta politika torej temelji na antropološki resnici, da so moški in ženske različni ter komplementarni, temelji na biološkem dejstvu, da razmnoževanje zahteva moškega in žensko ter tudi na družbeni realnosti, da otroci potrebujejo mamo in očeta.

Najpogosteje uporabljen ugovor proti zgornji argumentaciji vključuje neplodnost. Če se neplodni pari lahko poročijo – kar je splošno znano dejstvo –, kako je potem lahko definicija zakonske zveze odvisna od prokreacije? Zagovorniki istospolnih porok ta argument običajno razumejo kot »as iz rokava«, ki pobije tradicionalno definicijo poroke – kot da v vseh tisočletjih doslej še nihče ni prišel do ugotovitve, da nekateri pari (in vse ženske nad določeno starostjo) ne morejo spočeti otroka.

Kot pojasnjujem v svoji knjigi, se lahko na ta ugovor odzovemo na štiri načine.

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Je nasprotovanje istospolnim porokam enako rasizmu?

V prizadevanju za poglobitev razprave ob bližajočem se referendumu o družinskem zakoniku objavljamo  prevod prispevka, v katerem ameriški pravnik Ryan T. Anderson iz Heritage Foundation analizira analogijo, ki jo tudi pri nas pogosto slišimo: je nasprotovanje istospolnim porokam podobno prepovedi porok med pripadniki različnih ras? Prispevek predstavlja prirejeno (skrajšano) obliko daljšega Andersonovega članka, objavljenega na sledečem spletnem naslovu. Zainteresiranega bralca vabimo, da si prebere celotno verzijo razprave, ki vsebuje tudi obsežen znanstveni aparat.

Ryan T. Anderson

POROKA in ARGUMENTI RAZUMA

Ali je nasprotovanje istospolnim porokam kakorkoli podobno nasprotovanju medrasnim poročnim zvezam? Eden izmed argumentov v današnji debati glede narave zakonske zveze je tudi ta, da so zakoni, ki poroko opredeljujejo kot izključno zvezo moškega in ženske, sodobni ekvivalent nekdanjim prepovedim medrasnih porok. Nekateri dalje trdijo, da so zakoni, ki ščitijo svobodo govora in delovanja za tiste posameznike, ki na podlagi svojega verskega prepričanja vztrajajo, da je poroka lahko le zveza moškega in ženske, na nek način enaki zakonom, ki so zagotavljali rasno segregacijo.

Te trditve so napačne.

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Nekaj misli ob novem družinskem zakoniku

Priznam, da so me ob sprejemu novega Družinskega zakona preplavljala močna čustva. Čeprav sem razumsko seveda pričakoval oz. vedel, da bo levičarska večina v Državnem zboru nov zakon potrdila, sem na nek najosnovnejši način vseeno bil razočaran nad neznosno aroganco današnjih oblastnikov, ki si drznejo razmišljati o redefiniciji nečesa tako osnovnega, kot je družina. Kot je zapisal že Barbarossa v svojem prispevku, je družina skupnost oz. institucija, v katero po naravnem pravu država nima nikakršnih pravic posegati. Družina je namreč obstajala pred vsakršno državno oblastjo, je, če smem uporabiti nekoliko obrabljen izraz, osnovna celica vsakršne človeške družbe. Pri tem sploh ni važno, kakšen odnos ima ta družba do homoseksualnosti kot take. Vsakdo, ki je denimo vsaj malo bral o zgodovini antične Grčije, ve, da je v tedanji tamkajšnji družbi homoseksualnost bila splošno sprejeta. Na nek način so homoseksualni odnosi bili razumljeni celo kot moralno večvredni nasproti heteroseksualnim (spomnimo se samo Plutarhovih življenjepisov). A nihče ni razmišljal o tem, da bi te odnose označil kot poroko oz. jih skušal institucionalizirati kot družino.

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O vprašanju prioritete

V naslednjih tednih se bodo mediji znova ukvarjali z vprašanjem družine, kar bo znova onemogočalo ukvarjanje z veliko bolj perečim vprašanjem dela. V Sloveniji se sicer skoraj nihče več ne poroča, hkrati pa je tudi vse več ljudi brez dela. Vzroke za to moramo iskati v ekonomskih dejavnikih, s katerimi pa se tudi v naslednjih tednih ne bo nihče ukvarjal. Mnogi se namreč ne poročajo zato, ker s tem ne pridobijo nikakršnih ugodnosti, mnogi pa so brez dela zaradi neprilagojenosti delovne zakonodaje dejanskemu stanju. Tako levičarjem kot desničarjem je v medsebojni bitki ljubši kulturni boj za simbolno definicijo družine, ne pa strukturne spremembe, ki bi posledično omogočile tudi večje število družin. Šele dovolj preskrbljeni posamezniki lahko začnejo razmišljati o skupnem življenju in potomstvu. Navsezadnje je poroka vedno bila ravno oblikovanje nove ekonomske celice, ne pa le goli simbolni akt oblikovanja zveze dveh posameznikov.

Manj kot tri leta po referendumu o družinskem zakoniku, kjer se je celotna kampanja pred tem bíla le glede vprašanja kdo lahko je družina, kdo se lahko poroča in kdo lahko posvaja otroke, je parlament izglasoval točno tisto točko, ki je bila kamen spotike. Predlog o izenačitvi partnerskih zvez pa sploh ni prišel iz vladajoče koalicije, temveč iz opozicijske Združene levice, kar lahko nedvomno štejemo za njihov prvi dejanski uspeh kot parlamentarne stranke. Hkrati pa je to sploh prva vidna zadeva, ki jo je ta parlament sploh naredil (če odštejemo glasovanje in posledičen odvzem mandata legalno izvoljenemu poslancu, a to je že druga zgodba, saj gre za ukvarjanje parlamenta s samim seboj). Opozicijska stranka je torej prepričala vladajočo koalicijo, da je to tako pomembna in nujna zadeva, da mora iti skozi hitro proceduro. Kot se za vse razsvetljene ideje spodobi, jih ne smemo prepustiti ljudstvu, uveljaviti jih je potrebno čim hitreje in s čim manj javne diskusije, ki itak ne pelje nikamor.

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Zakaj še zmeraj nasprotujem družinskemu zakoniku

Kljub temu, da smo Slovenci na referendumu zavrnili precej manj radikalen predlog za spremembo družinskega zakonika, so sedaj novelo poslanci potrdili. Medtem ko čakamo na nadaljnji razplet dogodkov, pa se moramo na desnici vseeno oglasiti in podati svoje razloge, zakaj tovrstnemu predlogu nasprotujemo. Najprej je potrebno poudariti, da vprašanje ureditve socialnih in podobnih pravic homoseksualnih ni v nasprotju z ohranitvijo tradicionalnega pojmovanja družine in zakonske zveze.

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Tedenski izbor

branjevka

Everybody who is on the Internet is subject to insult, trolling, hating and cruelty. Most of these online assaults are dominance plays. They are attempts by the insulter to assert his or her own superior status through displays of gratuitous cruelty toward a target.

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Clearly, the best way to respond is to step out of the game.

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Historically, we reserve special admiration for those who can quiet the self even in the heat of conflict. Abraham Lincoln was caught in the middle of a horrific civil war. It would have been natural for him to live with his instincts aflame — filled with indignation toward those who started the war, enmity toward those who killed his men and who would end up killing him. But his second inaugural is a masterpiece of rising above the natural urge toward animosity and instead adopting an elevated stance.

Conflict and Ego – David Brooks, The New York Times

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Tehnologija nam je omogočila, da stojimo sredi dvorane zrcal in povsod vidimo samo sebe. V resnici pa nas internetni algoritmi delajo osamljene in nevarne, ker večajo naš narcisizem s tem, da odstranijo ves svet, ki ni kot mi. Okrepijo lastnosti, ki jih imamo. In ker se v osami in anonimnosti interneta prej pokažejo slabe lastnosti, okrepijo njih.

Drugačno mnenje je šok. V svetu, ki je ves kot jaz, nenadoma zagledamo košček nejaza in srd je strahoten, treba ga je odstraniti, takoj! Grožnje in trolanje postajajo norma. Sodobna komunikacija ni več pogovor, marveč je postala eksorcizem.

Dvorana zrcal – Miha Mazzini, Siol.net

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There’s much to the view of Punxsutawney as purgatory: Connors goes to his own version of hell, but since he’s not evil it turns out to be purgatory, from which he is released by shedding his selfishness and committing to acts of love.

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Ultimately, the story is one of redemption, so it should surprise no one that it speaks to those in search of the same. But there is also a secular, even conservative, point to be made here. Connors’s metamorphosis contradicts almost everything postmodernity teaches. He doesn’t find paradise or liberation by becoming more “authentic,” by acting on his whims and urges and listening to his inner voices. That behavior is soul-killing. He does exactly the opposite: He learns to appreciate the crowd, the community, even the bourgeois hicks and their values. He determines to make himself better by reading poetry and the classics and by learning to sculpt ice and make music, and most of all by shedding his ironic detachment from the world.

A Movie for All Time. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, Growdhog Day Scores – Jonah Goldberg, National Review

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For conservatism is about national identity. It is only in the context of a first-person plural that the questions – economic questions included – make sense, or open themselves to democratic argument.

Such was the idea that Edmund Burke tried to spell out 200 years ago. (…) Political wisdom, Burke argued, is not contained in a single head. It does not reside in the plans and schemes of the political class, and can never be reduced to a system. It resides in the social organism as a whole, in the myriad small compromises, in the local negotiations and trusts, through which people adjust to the presence of their neighbours and co-operate in safeguarding what they share. People must be free to associate, to form “little platoons”, to dispose of their labour, their property and their affections, according to their own desires and needs.

But no freedom is absolute, and all must be qualified for the common good. Until subject to a rule of law, freedom is merely “the dust and powder of individuality”. But a rule of law requires a shared allegiance, by which people entrust their collective destiny to sovereign institutions that can speak and decide in their name. This shared allegiance is not, as Rousseau and others argued, a contract among the living. It is a partnership between the living, the unborn and the dead

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In other matters, too, it is not the economic cost that concerns the conservative voter but the nation and our attachment to it. Not understanding this, the government has embarked on a politically disastrous environmental programme. For two centuries the English countryside has been an icon of national identity and the loved reminder of our island home. Yet the government is bent on littering the hills with wind turbines and the valleys with high speed railways. Conservative voters tend to believe that the “climate change” agenda has been foisted upon us by an unaccountable lobby of politicised intellectuals. But the government has yet to agree with them, and meanwhile is prepared to sacrifice the landscape if that helps to keep the lobbyists quiet.

Identity, family, marriage: our core conservative values have been betrayed – Roger Scruton, The Guardian

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I write because I am one of many children with gay parents who believe we should protect marriage. I believe you were right when, during the Proposition 8 deliberations, you said “the voice of those children [of same-sex parents] is important.” I’d like to explain why I think redefining marriage would actually serve to strip these children of their most fundamental rights.

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The definition of marriage should have nothing to do with lessening emotional suffering within the homosexual community. If the Supreme Court were able to make rulings to affect feelings, racism would have ended fifty years ago. Nor is this issue primarily about the florist, the baker, or the candlestick-maker, though the very real impact on those private citizens is well-publicized. The Supreme Court has no business involving itself in romance or interpersonal relationships. I hope very much that your ruling in June will be devoid of any such consideration.

Dear Justice Kennedy: An Open Letter from a Child of a Loving Gay Parent – Katy Faust, Public Discourse

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Tedenski izbor

calvarlist

 

Moraliziranje ima tako na moralizirajočega posameznika nasprotne učinke od pričakovanih. Je kontraproduktivno. Bolj, kot si pripovedujem, kako moralen in integriteten da sem, bolj se bom v to zaciklano prepričal, manj bom tako ravnal. In, ko mi bo okolica nastavila, kot se spodobi, ogledalo, ga bom razbil, ker mi ne bo všeč podoba v njem. Pa čeprav, kot je najbrž vsem jasno, ni in ne more biti krivo ogledalo, ampak le tisti, ki se v njem ogleduje.

Še slabše pa se nam godi, ko moraliziranje z nivoja posameznika potegnemo na raven javnega diskurza in ga celo spremenimo v njegovo paradigmo kot merilo javnega ravnanja. To lahko sproži dve, po svoje znova paradoksalni, reakciji: popolno relativizacijo standardov ravnanja in zavestno, sistematično zavračanje kakršnekoli odgovornosti za svoja javna ravnanja.

Konec moraliziranja – Matej Avbelj, Ius Info

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In tako se je še enkrat izkazalo, da je poglavitni smisel Zavoda Republike Slovenije za zaposlovanje ta, da nudi delovna mesta uradnikom, ki so tam zaposleni. Včasih se vprašam, zakaj skoraj nobeno svetovanje, ukrep, mehanizem, spodbuda ali delavnica ne služi svojemu dejanskemu namenu, marveč samo kot krmilo za občutek, da nekje neka vladna služba nekaj počenja. Pogosto se vprašam, kaj bi veljalo storiti, da bi bilo drugače. Odgovore še čakam.

Kraj, kjer se končajo sanje – Katja Perat, Delo

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In our day, prejudice against gays is just a very faint shadow of what it once was. But the abolition of prejudice against gays does not necessarily mean that same-sex marriage is inevitable or optimal. There are other avenues available, none of which demands immediate, sweeping, transformational legislation or court judgements.

We are in the middle of a fierce battle that is no longer about rights. It is about a single word, “marriage.”

Two men or two women together is, in truth, nothing like a man and a woman creating a life and a family together. Same-sex relationships are certainly very legitimate, rewarding pursuits, leading to happiness for many, but they are wholly different in experience and nature.

Gay and lesbian activists, and more importantly, the progressives urging them on, seek to redefine marriage in order to achieve an ideological agenda that ultimately seeks to undefine families as nothing more than one of an array of equally desirable “social units,” and thus open the door to the increase of government’s role in our lives.

I’m Gay and I Oppose Same-Sex Marriage – Doug Mainwaring, Public Discourse

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In recent years, progressive politics has been known for its pursuit of social change in the moral realm, with LGBTQ causes at the forefront of its crusade. But the poor have been left behind. In ironic fact, progressives have given up equality for the sake of also giving up virtue.

With old-fashioned virtue, there might be a chance at equality. But “progress” has been determined to consist in the final dismantling of all moral structures that once lent backbone to the demands of the virtuous poor. Without meaningful work, there can be no working class. Another way of saying this is that without the kind of work that imparts a working-class identity, the working class can have no class-consciousness.

People need work. The poor—and all of us—are made virtuous in part by the need to labor; to struggle, not with one another in the sense of “class struggle,” but with our bodies and within our souls; to practice the virtues of diligence and self-denial; to have something to show for ourselves. If the “virtuous poor” are virtuous, it is because work has made them so. Take away work, and you take away humanity. That goes for the elite, too.

Are We Proving Marx Right? – The Hipster Conservative

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The current trends in America, Wall Street getting richer, everyone else getting poorer, politicians of both parties feeding brazenly at Wall Street’s trough, the party of the Left in full blown attack gear not on inequality, which it has done nothing to address, but picking at and rubbing raw the scabs of identity politics—this can’t keep going on indefinitely without something really bad happening.

Abandoned by the Left – Scott McConnell, The American Conservative

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Increasingly the divides in American life are not between those who defend equality of opportunity versus those who demand equality of result, as Nisbet argued. Rather they are between whether freedom and voluntary association on a more local level can win out over coercion and bureaucracy at an ever more distant national level. Kunkel’s desire for sustainable production by worker-owned businesses and grassroots democratic decision-making seems to envision a new kind of politics, more local and left-libertarian in nature, that transcends easy categorization. And if there is a genuine mood rising among Americans, particularly the young, toward a return to smallness and democratic self-control throughout American society, then the argument now should revolve around means.

What’s Left After Marx – Matthew Hartwood, The American Conservative

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Conservatives should embrace him /Foucault/ and his work. From a conservative perspective, the great thing about Foucault’s writing is that it is more plastic than Marx, and far less economically subversive. Academics rooted in Foucauldian thought are far more compatible with neoliberalism than the old Marxist academics.

In some ways, Zamora’s book is an effort by some on the left to try to “discipline” Foucault’s flirtation with the right. It will be interesting to see the academic left’s response to the book. But Zamora also reveals why free-marketeers might want to give Foucault another read and not just dismiss him with the “post-modern” epithet.

Why Michel Foucault is the libertarian’s best friend – Daniel W. Dresner, The Washington Post

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Given Chesterton and Burke, there exists a liberalism consistent with right reason and revelation. Extension of economic and political liberalism into all-encompassing worldviews would be an American heresy. But one can take them to be prudent means—of negative liberty for the sake of trade and civic liberties under the rule of law—when rightly ordered toward proper ends known by natural reason and revelation. As Chesterton writes in What I Saw in America: “The unconscious democracy of America is a very fine thing. It is a true and deep and instinctive assumption of the equality of citizens, which even voting and elections have not destroyed.”

Different Kinds of Liberalism – Ryan Schinkel, Ethika Politika

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Havlu je Srednja Evropa je omogočala vizijo neke drugačne, demokratične Češke (oziroma Češkoslovaške). Njegova osebnost je bila zato tudi za druge srednjeevropske države monumentalnega pomena. Na prvi pogled se morda res zdi, da je ideja o Srednji Evropi nek romantičen in nostalgičen pojem, ki se navzven lepo sliši, znotraj pa je votel. Ali kot piše Jančar: »Kaj nas resnično druži v srednjeevropskem prostoru, je precej nedorečeno. Zdaj se naenkrat kaže, da nas je bolj združeval odpor do njegove razdeljenosti kot pa sorodna kulturna vprašanja.« Svobodna demokratična družba, pluralizem, spoštovanje temeljnih človekovih pravic, odprtost in prevzemanje odgovornosti pa vendarle ostajajo nekatere skupne vrednote srednjeevropskega prostora, ki povezujejo, če že ne vladajoče strukture, pa predvsem ljudi, ki živijo na tem prostoru. To pa so prav vrednote, ki jih pooseblja Havlovo življenje.

Srednja Evropa Václava Havla – Jernej Letnar Černič, Razpotja

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Ne glede na dejanske in objektivno ugotovljive razloge za kršitve in napake, ki so se zgodile v sodni kalvariji, znani kot afera Patria, se bo za dobršen del prebivalstva ta zgodba kazala kot zadnja etapa te izključevalne prakse.
Posledice bodo vsaj dvojne.

Prvič, Janševi podporniki bodo za kršitve človekovih pravic v zadevi Patria klicali na odgovornost ne le dejanskih in objektivnih krivcev, temveč celotni slovenski mainstream; to se pravi vse tiste, ki ne spadajo v njihov krog.

Drugič: če živiš v okolju, kjer ti še pri najbolj očitnih in eklatantnih kršitvah tvojih osnovnih pravic na pomoč priskočijo skoraj izključno le podporniki in kjer se politična kritika takoj pretvori v podporo politični izločitvi, potem je logično, da lahko računaš le na podpornike. In če lahko računaš le na podpornike in če od tistih, ki ne spadajo mednje, ne moreš pričakovati niti osnovne državljanske in človeške empatije, potem je logično, da postane lojalnost glavni, celo edini kriterij selekcije.

Družba, ki se začne organizirati po teh principih – ki so, povejmo jasno, principi klanovstva –, se začenja nevarno oddaljevati od razmer demokratičnega sobivanja.

Kako je Janez Janša postal državni sovražnik številka ena – Luka Lisjak Gabrijelčič, Planet Siol.net

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As these examples of democratic regression into various forms of ‘illiberal democracy’ in Central and Eastern Europe show, democratic consolidation is still far from complete. The most disturbing detail is the vulnerability of ‘consolidated democracies’ such as Hungary or Slovenia to ‘democratic regression’, which reminds us that democracies are inherently unable of being ‘definitely established’. While significant progress in the development of ‘electoral democracy’ in the region has been achieved, ‘liberal democracy’ still remains fragile and weak. Moreover, the legal institutions of liberal democracy in Central and Eastern European countries significantly differ from those of their Western European counterparts. Behind a façade of harmonised legal rules transposed from various EU legal sources, several cracks have begun to appear, exposing the fragility of constitutional democracy in these countries.

As a consequence, Central and Eastern European countries are once again displaying certain features of “lands in between” which call attention to their constantly precarious and indeterminate location on the political map of Europe. Zwischen-Europa, as some interwar German writers called it, lies in the territory between the West and the Russian East and is said to have been the “unfinished part of Europe” for most of the 20th century. Its political and legal institutions were similarly “caught” in between the democratic West and the authoritarian East.

Academics should be careful not to exaggerate the progress made by Central and Eastern Europe since the fall of the Berlin Wall – Ivan T. Berend, Bojan Bugarič, LSE Blog

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Skeptics have been planning the EU’s funeral for decades, but time and again, the union has refused to die. During the EU’s latest and most profound crisis, national governments once more chose to reaffirm and deepen their commitments. This rapid growth of EU power, however, has given rise to a number of misguided and counterproductive policies that have undercut public support and left the EU in a deep malaise. European citizens today largely ignore the EU’s many achievements or take them for granted, instead equating the organization with economic pain and feckless leadership. The union endures, but it has lost its mojo.

The EU has worn out its default strategy of muddling through crises. Lurching from one calamity to the next has damaged the credibility of Brussels and national governments alike. It is time for a bold and far-reaching agenda. To see a Europe truly reborn and fit for the twenty-first century, EU leaders must reassert with confidence—on the economy, on security, and on democracy—that Europe is stronger when it stands united.

Europe Reborn. How to Save the European Union from Irrelevance – Matthias Matthijs & R. Daniel Kelemen, Foreign Affairs

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Narodno identiteto bomo zgubili zaradi ležernosti, neaktivnosti, ne-ljubezni do domovine, ne pa zato, ker bi v stiski priskočili na pomoč ljudem, ki nas potrebujejo. Najlažje je ljubiti svoje. A Kristus nas poziva, da ljubimo tujce. »Tujec sem bil in ste me sprejeli.« (Mt 25, 35).

Če že ne moremo začeti ljubiti, ker smo to najčistejše čustvo umazali in pocukrali, se sklicujmo vsaj na pravičnost in mir.

Tujec sem bil in me niste sprejeli – Irena Vadnjal, Časnik

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During the Korean War, alarmed by the shocking rapidity of American POWs’ breakdowns and indoctrination by their communist captors, the CIA began investing in mind-control research. In 1953, the CIA established the MK-ULTRA program, whose earliest phase involved hypnosis, electroshock and hallucinogenic drugs. The program evolved into experiments in psychological torture that adapted elements of Soviet and Chinese models, including longtime standing, protracted isolation, sleep deprivation and humiliation. Those lessons soon became an applied “science” in the Cold War.

During the Vietnam War, the CIA developed the Phoenix program, which combined psychological torture with brutal interrogations, human experimentation and extrajudicial executions. In 1963, the CIA produced a manual titled “Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation” to guide agents in the art of extracting information from “resistant” sources by combining techniques to produce “debility, disorientation and dread.” Like the communists, the CIA largely eschewed tactics that violently target the body in favor of those that target the mind by systematically attacking all human senses in order to produce the desired state of compliance.

(…)

(B)ecause the concept of torture has been so muddled and disputed, I suggest that accountability would be more publicly palatable if we reframed the CIA’s program as one of human experimentation. If we did so, it would be more difficult to laud or excuse perpetrators as “patriots” who “acted in good faith.” Although torture has become a Rorschach test among political elites playing to public opinion on the Sunday morning talk shows, human experimentation has no such community of advocates and apologists.

The CIA Didn’t Just Torture, It Experimented on Human Beings – Lisa Hajjar, The Nation

Tedenski izbor

portrait-of-edmond-maitre-the-reader

Če je pomembno le število znakov, naštempljane ure, potem bodo uredniki hitro ugotovili, da so v idealni deželi: člankov jim še brati ni treba, kaj šele komentirati in se komu zameriti. Tudi novinarji se bodo hitro prilagodili. Kdor odda raziskan in temeljito pripravljen članek, je idiot – mar bi skopiral nekje od nekod, izpolnil normo glede znakov, poštempljal odmerjeno število ur, od tega pol na kavici s predstavnikom lastnika, kjer bi se mu prilizoval.

(…)

Omeniti moram še element novinarskega dela, ki pa je zunaj poklica in del nezavednih družbenih pravil: jamranje, pasivnost, letargija, fatalizem. Tudi če objavite še tako raziskano in šokantno novico, recimo lopovščino kakega politika, bodo ljudje le zavzdihnili “Takle mamo” in to bo to. Politik seveda ne bo odstopil, le zameril bo.

Skratka, javno mnenje, ki bi moralo biti največji zaveznik novinarstva, pri nas ne obstaja.

Obstaja le javno jamranje. To pa se lahko najbolj naslaja ravno pri zgodbah o lačnih čistilkah in tako je krog sklenjen.

Mučno potovanje v nepomembnost – Miha Mazzini, Planet Siol

 

***

Mariboru je šlo slabo že takrat, ko se je še zdelo, da gre Sloveniji dobro. Poudarjam: zdelo! Danes je vsakomur jasno, da se kriza v Sloveniji ni začela 15. septembra 2008 z bankrotom Lehman Brothersov. To nas je kvečjemu pahnilo v spiralo, na katero pa že prej nismo bili pripravljeni.

Razlogi za slovensko zavoženost so starejši. Če bi bili pametnejši, bi jih videli v Mariboru. Namesto da bi v njihovih težavah videli resne, splošne, vseslovenske napake – ekonomske, politične, socialne, kulturne napake, celo zmote -, smo videli zanemarljive probleme lokalnih ljudi, ki da se ne znajdejo in pričakujejo pomoč drugih.

Maribor je bil vseh teh dvajset in več let ogledalo Slovenije, ki nam je kazalo prihodnost. Našo skupno prihodnost. Mi pa smo gledali stran.

(…)

Nihče ni v Mariboru videl splošnih slovenskih problemov. Ne ti ne jaz, ne profesorji ne komentatorji in ne politiki – ne Kučan ne Drnovšek, ne vsi tisti vmes med njunimi časi in današnjim Cerarjem.

Maribor je veliki poraz slovenskega ekonomskega in političnega modela. Sram nas je lahko.

Maribor je Slovenija : samo bolj fejst nor – Marko Crnkovič, Primorske novice

***

V Sloveniji se je plačna enakost povečala, ugotavlja urad za makroekonomske analize in razvoj. Kot so pojasnili, so se plače nižje izobraženih v krizi najbolj zvišale (nominalno za več kot 16 odstotkov), plače višje izobraženih pa so se znižale.

(…)

Res se je enakost torej povečala, a na žalost tako, da smo vsi revnejši.

Čedalje bolj enaki, čedalje bolj revni – Rok Pikon, Finance

***

Zelo nizek obisk /kinodvoran/ po Sloveniji pomeni, da se, ne glede na to, da smo praktično v vseh večjih mestih v zadnjih desetih letih dobili kinosredišča (te imajo Koper, Kranj, Ljubljana, Celje, Novo mesto, Maribor in Murska Sobota), vseeno srečujemo z nekakšno deurbanizacijo mladega resnejšega aktivnega prebivalstva, ki kulturne vsebine preprosto vse manj spremlja na tak način, da se odpravi od doma. (…) Če (in kako) mladi filmske vsebine spremljajo doma, pa je že drugo, morda malce bolj filozofsko vprašanje.

Nadaljnji strahovit padec kinooobiska v letošnjem letu kaže, da je erozija resnejšega filmskega občinstva vse večja in večja in da je ta ostala relativno čvrsta zgolj še v jasno določenih nišah filmske kulture, ki jo recimo v Ljubljani tvorita Kinodvor in Liffe.

V zgolj dvanajstih letih se je Slovenija iz dežele, kjer je film, tudi slovenski (v obdobju 1998–2003), relativno dobro cvetel, spremenila v urbano puščavo iz poapokaliptičnih filmov, kjer se mladi ljudje najraje zadržujejo doma, od koder jih sem ter tja spravijo zgolj še razvpiti filmi. Ti seveda niso sinonim za mestno življenje, kjer naj bi se rojevale družbene pobude in nove ideje.

Slovenija, dežela brez mestnega življenja? – Samo Rugelj, Planet Siol

***

Homosexual marriage is primarily a creation of the judiciary, a fact which is especially evident right now as the lower federal courts go about using the United States Supreme Court’s 2013 Windsor decision to nullify the marriage laws of state after state.

In this essay, we deal with the decisions of the Massachusetts Supreme Court in 2003 and a federal district court in California in 2010 holding man-and-woman marriage deficient and, indeed, unconstitutional. But how and on what basis did they do that? There were no written laws, constitutions, or case precedents in either state or federal constitutional law to which to refer. Marriage had existed in the form of a relationship of a man and a woman with a primary purpose of procreation for all human history. Before the homosexual rights movement, no one had ever thought to sue marriage. Marriage was not considered to be a subject for “equal protection” analysis in either state or federal constitutional law. It was not a civil rights issue, much less an “issue.”

The Courts Invent Homosexual Marriage – Erasmus More, The Imaginative Conservative

***

The book contains numerous examples to illustrate the deleterious effect boycotts have upon academic freedom. We’re told of authors who refuse to have their books translated into Hebrew, Israeli academics pulled from the editorial boards of journals, PhD students prevented from taking up scholarships, as well as many more mundane examples of academics not being able to speak at conferences or take part in collaborative research projects.

The Boycott-Israel Brigade Undermines the University – Joanna Williams, Spiked

***

Pero el problema es que la palabra liberal la quiere todo el mundo. Todos son liberales y conservadores, o socialistas a fuer de liberal. Es una palabra manipulada por todo el mundo. Por eso los que de verdad somos liberales tenemos que tener clara una cosa: si eres liberal tienes que serlo en todas las manifestaciones. La palabra liberalismo no solamente habla de libertades, también de liberación. El liberalismo habla de que el ser humano no puede estar oprimido por los poderes financieros, ni por el poder de los medios de comunicación, ni por el eclesiástico. En este mundo la tendencia a la concentración de poder es tremenda. Este es el problema del liberalismo y tarda uno mucho en entenderlo.

[Težava je, da si besedo liberalizem želijo prisvojiti vsi. Vsi so liberalci in konservativci ali pa so socialisti, ker so liberalci. Gre za besedo, ki jo vsi manipulirajo. Zato nam mora resničnim liberalcem biti jasno nekaj: če si liberalec, moraš biti liberalec v vseh pogledih. Beseda liberalizem ne govori le o svoboščinah, temveč tudi o osvoboditvi. Liberalizem pravi, da človek ne sme biti zatiran niti s strani finančnih moči niti s strani medijskih moči niti strani moči cerkvenih institucij. V našem svetu obstaja grozljiva koncentracija moči. To je problem, s katerim se sooča liberalizem, in zelo zamuja z njegovim dojemanjem.]

Antonio Garrigues Walker: “El auge de Podemos es absoluta y radicalmente lógico y positivo” – Guillermo de Haro & Álvaro Corazón Rural, Jot Down Magazine

***

The full horror of the CIA interrogation and detention programmes launched in the wake of the September 11 terror attack was laid bare in the long-awaited Senate report released on Tuesday.

While parts of the programme had been known – and much more will never be revealed – the catalogue of abuse is nightmarish and reads like something invented by the Marquis de Sade or Hieronymous Bosch.

Detainees were forced to stand on broken limbs for hours, kept in complete darkness, deprived of sleep for up to 180 hours, sometimes standing, sometimes with their arms shackled above their heads.

Prisoners were subjected to “rectal feeding” without medical necessity. Rectal exams were conducted with “excessive force”. The report highlights one prisoner later diagnosed with anal fissures, chronic hemorrhoids and “symptomatic rectal prolapse”.

The report mentions mock executions, Russian roulette. US agents threatened to slit the throat of a detainee’s mother, sexually abuse another and threatened prisoners’ children. One prisoner died of hypothermia brought on in part by being forced to sit on a bare concrete floor without pants.

Rectal rehydration and waterboarding: the CIA torture report’s grisliest findings – Dominic Rushe & al, The Guardian

***

Torture is absolutely wrong and absolutely useless, and demonstrating the truth of both statements will make clear how completely bankrupt its defenders’ arguments really are. Proving that torture achieves nothing except the cruel degradation of human beings takes away the only argument its defenders have left. It would obviously be better if no one were willing to offer a defense for something as abhorrent as torture, but we know very well that quite a few people are prepared to do that so long as they can dress up what they’re defending in euphemisms and false claims about its efficacy. The point of insisting on torture’s uselessness is to strip away the remaining falsehoods that its defenders use to conceal the ugly reality of what they are defending.

Torture Is Wrong and Useless – Daniel Larison, The American Conservative

***

There is, however, another prism through which to examine these grim stories: the use of excessive violence by the state (see article). It, too, has complex origins, but quite a lot of them may be susceptible to reform. In many cases Americans simply do not realise how capricious and violent their law-enforcement system is compared with those of other rich countries. It could be changed in ways that would make America safer, and fairer to both blacks and whites.

Bits of America’s criminal-justice system are exemplary—New York’s cops pioneered data-driven policing, for instance—but overall the country is an outlier for all the wrong reasons. It jails nearly 1% of its adult population, more than five times the rich-country average. A black American man has, by one estimate, a one in three chance of spending time behind bars. Sentences are harsh. Some American states impose life without parole for persistent but non-violent offenders; no other rich nation does. America’s police are motivated to be rapacious: laws allow them to seize assets they merely suspect are linked to a crime and then spend the proceeds on equipment. And, while other nations have focused on community policing, some American police have become paramilitary, equipping themselves with grenade launchers and armoured cars. The number of raids by heavily armed SWAT teams has risen from 3,000 a year in 1980 to 50,000 today, by one estimate.

Above all, American law enforcement is unusually lethal: even the partial numbers show that the police shot and killed at least 458 people last year. By comparison, those in England and Wales shot and killed no one.

America’s Police on Trial – The Economist

 ***

Votre ouvrage, en rendant Foucault compatible avec le néolibéralisme, risque de faire grincer un paquet de dents!

J’espère ! C’est un peu le but du livre. Je voulais clairement rompre avec l’image bien trop consensuelle d’un Foucault en opposition complète avec le néolibéralisme sur la fin de sa vie. De ce point de vue, je pense que les interprétations traditionnelles de ces derniers travaux sont erronées, ou évitent du moins une partie du problème. Il est devenu aujourd’hui une sorte de figure intouchable dans une partie de la gauche radicale. Les critiques à son encontre sont pour le moins timides. Cet aveuglement est d’autant plus étonnant que j’ai moi même été surpris de l’indulgence dont fait part Foucault vis-à-vis du néolibéralisme lorsque je me suis plongé dans les textes. Ce n’est pas uniquement son cours aux Collège France qui pose question (Naissance de la biopolitique) mais de nombreux articles et interviews, qui sont pourtant accessibles. Foucault était très attiré par le libéralisme économique : il voyait dans celui-ci la possibilité d’une forme de gouvernementalité beaucoup moins normative et autoritaire que la gauche socialiste et communiste qu’il trouvait totalement dépassée. Il percevait notamment dans le néolibéralisme une politique « beaucoup moins bureaucratique » et « beaucoup moins disciplinariste » que celle proposée par l’État social d’après guerre. Il semble imaginer un néolibéralisme qui ne projetterait pas ses modèles anthropologiques sur les individus et leur offrirait une autonomie plus grande face à l’État.

Peut-on critiquer Foucault? – Daniel Zamora, Ballast

***

Slovenija je bila že pred letošnjim letom na nehvaležnem prvem mestu držav po številu sodb ESČP na število prebivalstva z ugotovljenim kršitvami Evropske konvencije. Zdi se, da je v iztekajočem se letu svoj položaj le še utrdila. Statistični podatki so več kot alarmantni, zaradi česar zahtevajo skrbno ter resno obravnavo. Dosegli so že takšno stopnjo resnosti, da jih nosilci državnih oblasti ne morejo več kar tako pometati pod preprogo, če jim je seveda kaj mar za izboljšanje stanja na področju varovanja človekovih pravic.

Najprej se bo potrebno vprašati zakaj smo dosegli tolikšno število obsodilnih sodb Evropskega sodišča in zakaj se varovanje človekovih pravic prav nič ne izboljšuje. Več kot očitno je, da težave nastajajo ne le zaradi pomanjkljivega znanja o Evropski konvenciji, ampak morda tudi zaradi premajhnega zavedanja resnosti problema. Odsotnost resnega obravnavanja takšnih sistematičnih in vsesplošnih težav izhaja iz vseh vej oblasti v Sloveniji, pa tudi od organov, ki naj bi delovali na področju varovanja človekovih pravic. Denimo, letno poročilourada Varuhinje človekovih pravic za leto 2013 obravnava le posamezna drevesa – navaja denimo le dve sodbi Evropskega sodišča zoper Slovenijo, ne vidi pa celotnega gozda, torej sistematičnih in vsesplošnih težav slovenske države, prvič, pri uresničevanju Evropske konvencije, in drugič, pri izvrševanju sodb Evropskega sodišča v slovenskem pravnem redu.

Tristo – Jernej Letnar Černič, Ius Info

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Po raziskavah zgodovinarjev, ki se ukvarjajo z genocidom nad Romi, je bilo med drugo svetovno vojno v Evropi pobitih okrog pol milijona Romov in Sintov. Nekateri raziskovalci to številko sicer močno povečujejo. Romi so bili, tako kot Judje, žrtev genocida, ki so ga izvajali nacisti in ga strokovno imenujemo porrajmos. Heinrich Himmler je namreč sredi novembra 1943 tudi uradno izenačil položaj Romov z žalostno usodo evropskih Judov.
(…)
Omenjene poboje, ki so jih zakrivili pripadniki partizanskega gibanja, moramo prišteti med vojne zločine nad Romi. Resda ni šlo za genocid, saj slovenske partizanske oblasti niso nikoli ukazale njihovega načrtnega ubijanja. Ampak, ali to spremeni dejstvo, da so več kot polovico vsega romskega prebivalstva v t. i. Ljubljanski pokrajini med drugo svetovno vojno pobili pripadniki partizanskega gibanja?

Sprenevedanje po slovensko – Renato Podbersič ml., Časnik

 

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Most protesters said Thursday morning that they had returned to the camp not to resist the clearance, but to witness what they called the beginning of another era in a long-term democratic movement.

“This is definitely not the end of the movement,” lawmaker Leong told TIME just hours before his arrest. “With this awakening of the Hong Kong people, we have sown the seeds for the next wave of the democratization movement.”

Hong Kong’s Main Democracy Protest Camp Falls With Leading Protest Figures Arrested – Elizabeth Barber, Time

Biti konservativec – primer Louisa de Bonalda

Na internetnem portalu Kritika konservativna je bilo objavljenih že več tehtnih prispevkov o konservativni politični misli. Pozorni bralec je medtem gotovo že ugotovil, da definicija konservatizma nikakor ni nekaj preprostega. Kot sem že skušal pokazati v svojem prispevku, je prav ta »izmuzljivost« ena od bistvenih atributov konservatizma, ki zavrača ozko ideološko mišljenje.

V pričujočem prispevku se bomo skušali bistvu konservatizma približati na drugačen način in sicer prek prikaza življenja in dela enega izmed velikih konservativnih mislecev in državnikov. Naš case study bo »soimenjak« avtorja teh vrstic, francoski plemič Louis de Bonald. Bonald je v slovenskem prostoru, a tudi širše, praktično neznan avtor, čeprav prav njegova dela nedvomno predstavljajo enega izmed vrhuncev francoske protirevolucionarne misli. Zato si gotovo zasluži nekoliko podrobnejšo predstavitev. Iz našega stališča je zanimiv posebno zato, ker predstavljajo tako njegovo zasebno življenje kot javno delovanje enovito celoto (za razliko od denimo njegovega sodobnika Chateaubrianda), ki nam lahko poda dober uvid v to, kaj pravzaprav praktično pomeni biti konservativec.

bonald

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Tedenski izbor

The-young-student-Ozias-Leduc

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

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

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

 ***

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

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

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

***

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

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

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

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

***

Dear Dr. Dawkins,

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

/…/

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ni časa za igro – Staš Zgonik, Mladina

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

/…/

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

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

***

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

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

Čakajoč na repo iz ušes- Branko Cestnik, Časnik

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

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

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Še nekaj za tiste, ki berete italijansko:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tedenski izbor

subway-reading

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

Intervju z Lojzetom Peterletom – Jani Drnovšek, Časnik

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

Izlet v Libanon – Aleš Maver, Časnik

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

Politics and Literature – Micah Mattix, The American Conservative

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

The Twilight of Conservatism – Aaron Taylor, Ethika Politika

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Between Brussels and Russia – The Economist 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Koliko je ura v resnici? – Boštjan Videmšek, Pogledi

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

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

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