Zakaj sekularni liberalizem ni liberalen

Pred kratkim smo lahko na spletni strani RTV Slovenije brali poročilo o dnevu boja proti homofobiji, v okviru katerega je bila organizirana okrogla miza, ki so se je udeležili številni eminentni tuji in domači gostje. Na tem mestu nimam namena obnavljati vseh razprav, ki, resnici na ljubo, niso prinesle pravzaprav nič novega. Mojo pozornost je vzbudila izjava državne sekretarke Martine Vuk, ki je poudarila, da homoseksualna skupnost ne potrebuje tolerance, temveč sprejetost. Toleranca po mnenju sekretarke namreč ni dovolj, saj smo lahko do nečesa tolerantni, a to še vedno odklanjamo. Njenemu mnenju se je pridružil finski veleposlanik, ki je opozoril: »Mi si ne želimo tolerance, ampak enakopravnost. Razlika je, ali vam nekdo reče, da vas “tolerira” ali pa da ste mu “enaki”.«

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Gejevski aktivist in konservativni kolumnist razpravljata o katolištvu

Naslov je nekoliko provokativen. Označiti Andrewa Sullivana za “gejevskega aktivista” je premalo. Prvič zato, ker je mnogo več od tega: v 80-ih in 90-ih je bil eden najmlajših in najbolj prodornih urednikov slovite revije The New Republic, je avtor, ugledni komentator in eden od stebrov ameriškega žurnalističnega establišmenta. Drugič zato, ker je mnogo več kot “aktivist”: je eden od glavnih teoretikov sodobnega LGBT gibanja in avtor ene najbolj kontroverznih idej zadnjih destletij, ki se je razširila po vsem zahodnem svetu in povsod vzbudila žgoče polemike – ideje o istospolnih porokah.

Sullivan je bil konec 80-ih let prvi, ki je resno predlagal to idejo kot program LGBT gibanja. Z neomajnih aktivizmom v nekaj letih premagal skepticizem v lastnih vrstah. Od tedaj dalje je zgodba bolj ali manj znana – posledice te ideje so nedavno dosegle tudi Slovenijo.

Manj pa je znano, da je Sullivan liberalni konservativec in da je začetne argumente za istospolne poroke osnoval na argumentih, ki izhajajo iz njegovega burkovskega konservativizma (odmeve te pozicije najdemo pri Davidu Cameronu, ki trdi, da se zavzema za uzakonitev istospolnih porok, ker je konservativec in ne kljub temu, da je konservativec).

Sam se s Sullivanovimi stališči glede tega ne strinjam. Moram pa mu priznati veliko mero koherentnosti pri zagovarjanju njegovih pogledov. Pa tudi intelektualni pogum – v zadnjih letih se je namreč večkrat odločno zoperstavil radikalizmu sodobnega LGBT aktivizma, predvsem njegovim poskusom cenzuriranja nasprotnih stališč, in napadom na versko svobodo.

V spodnjem posnetku, ki si zasluži ogled, Sullivan razpravlja z Rossom Douthatom, verjetno najbolj znanim konservativnim kolumnistom pri sicer liberalnem dnevniku The New York Times. Douthat je Sullivana pred leti v eni svojih kolumn označil za najvplivnejšega ameriškega intelektualca zadnjega pol stoletja, saj je tako rekoč iz niča oblikoval idejo (istospolne poroke), ki se je razširila po vsem Zahodu.

Toda na posnetku ne razpravljata o tem vprašanju, temveč predvsem o njuni skupni veri – katolištvu. In o religiji nasploh. Sullivan, tudi sam veren katoličan, je namreč Douthata pred dvema letoma izzval na pogovor o njegovi zadnji knjigi Bad Religion: How We Became A Nation of Heretics (Slaba vera: kako smo postali narod heretikov), v kateri izpostavlja nedoslednosti in površnosti ameriškega religioznega življenja.

Tako se je porodila ta zanimiva razprava, iz katere se lahko tudi pri nas marsikaj naučimo. Predvsem kulture dialoga.

p. s. Brez skrbi – govora je tudi tudi o spolnosti.

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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Tedenski izbor

 

According to a recent study conducted by Bond University in Australia, sharks are nine times as likely to attack and kill men than they are women. If sinister motivation is attributed for this disparity, as is done in the cases of sex and racial disparities, we can only conclude that sharks are sexist. Another sex disparity is despite the fact that men are 50 percent of the population and so are women, men are struck by lightning six times as often as women. I wonder what whoever is in charge of lightning has against men.

Another gross statistical disparity is despite the fact that Jews are less than 3 percent of the U.S. population and a mere 0.2 percent of the world’s population, between 1901 and 2010, Jews were 35 percent of American and 22 percent of the world’s Nobel Prize winners.

/…/

If America’s diversity worshippers see underrepresentation as “probative” of racial discrimination, what do they propose be done about overrepresentation? After all, overrepresentation and underrepresentation are simply different sides of injustice. If those in one race are overrepresented, it might mean they’re taking away what rightfully belongs to another race. For example, is it possible that Jews are doing things that sabotage the chances of a potential Indian, Alaska Native or Mexican Nobel Prize winner? What about the disgraceful lack of diversity in professional basketball and ice hockey? There’s not even geographical diversity in professional ice hockey; not a single player can boast of having been born and raised in Hawaii, Louisiana or Mississippi.

Do Statistical Disparities Mean Injustice? – Walter E. Williams, The New American

***

Political correctness thus results as a confusion of political word for political action—so saying the wrong words is doing the wrong action. If I say something that disagrees with your position or lifestyle, it may be taken as an actual assault on you, the person.

/…/

Virtues, however, cannot be gained by “identifying” with others psychologically—a virtue is the skill of an action performed repeatedly over time. As Aristotle said, since we are what we repeatedly do, character is a habit and not an attitude. To fight this decadent culture in the academy, pointing it out and criticizing it is not sufficient. As Roger Kimball notes, “those who want to retake the university must devote themselves [to] cultivating those virtues” of candidness and courage, “and perhaps even more to cultivating the virtue of patience, capitalizing wherever possible on whatever local opportunities present themselves” in exercising them (Tenured Radicals, xlvii).

Political Correctness and the University’s Pink Police State – Ryan Shinkel, Ethika Politika

***

We must give up on the hope of restoring the past in this culture. It’s not that some aspects of the past shouldn’t be reclaimed, but rather that doing so, at least at a society-wide level, is not feasible at this point in time. The more we act as if it were so, the greater our losses will be once we definitively lose an unwinnable battle. This “take back America” stuff is self-deluding nostalgia, and the more conservatives believe it, the worse off they will be.

Roger Scruton’s Big Question for the Right – Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

***

Ne razumem, zakaj so sicer inteligentni ljudje pripravljeni vedno znova ponavljati ene in iste neumnosti oziroma laži, ko gre denimo za razliko med zasebnim in državnim lastništvom podjetij? Jih ideologija povsem zaslepi? Ali gre morda za kako drugačno dojemanje tega, kaj je dobro, uspešno in za regijo pomembno podjetje?

Marcel Štefančič, jr. je danes v Studiu City izjavil:

“V Sloveniji imamo dva farmacevtska giganta, eden je Krka drugi je Lek. Krke nismo prodali, Lek smo prodali. Ali opazite kakšno razliko med njima? Vam jaz povem: od Krke živi kompletna regija, od Leka nima nihče nič.” (RTV 4D – Studio City, 22. sept. 2014)

Ampak že če preberete samo prve zadetke za geslo “Lek in Krka” v spletnem iskalniku, dobite povsem drugačno sliko.

***

Dr. Cerar, ko ste leta 1990 s skupino študentov raziskovali te umore, ste pogumno in odločno predlagali, da bi zoper storilce vložili ovadbo, saj je jasno, »da sodijo ustrelitve na meji bolj pod opis dejanja v 46. členu KZ RS, kot pa v izvrševanju ustave in zakonov. Omenjeni 46. člen namreč povsem nedvoumno določa: ‘Kdor komu vzame življenje, se kaznuje z zaporom najmanj petih let.’« Vaš predlog je prav tako naletel na gluha ušesa. Vendar časi se spreminjajo in zdaj imate lepo priložnost, da kot odrasel moški na visokem položaju uresničite zamisli skromnega, a drznega in prodornega mladeniča …

Glede na vaše odlično stališče iz leta 1990 vas, dr. Cerar, prosim, da bi spodbudili g. Maslešo, da bi le našel dovolj moči in spoznal, da je bilo njegovo zanikanje zločinov na meji nadvse sporno dejanje in da naj zoper sebe in druge sodelujoče pri ubojih na meji napiše ovadbo (npr. s temi zločini se je še pred leti javno hvalil general Marijan Kranjc).

Predvsem pa naj novo državno vodstvo ponovno presodi, ali lahko človek, ki zanika zločine, pri katerih je sodeloval, še vodi Vrhovno sodišče RS.

Odprto pismo Miru Cerarju – Jože Dežman, Časnik

***

If Orwell stands as the model leftist who exposed the horrors his own side was willing to commit, Herzen stands as one who went along even though he knew better. More than a limousine liberal, he was a sapphire socialist. In spite of all his natural skepticism, he was willing to overcome it—heroically, he thought—rather than be seen agreeing with the wrong people.

That said, it is no less true that Herzen was aware of this very weakness. “I hate phrases to which we [radicals] have grown used, like Christians to the Creed. They appear moral and good on the surface but they bind thought.”

The Minister of Paradox – Gary Saul Morson, The New Criterion

***

Ali se je raznoterim činom vseh vrst italijanskih vojaških sil, ki so si tako strastno želele prihod svetega očeta na kostnico v Redipulji in si preko vojaškega ordinariata obdržale organizacijo dogodka tudi ob tihem nasprotovanju vernikov krajevne nadškofije, morda papeževo razmišljanje zdelo izzivalno?
Odgovora nimamo. Ostal pa nam je globok vtis, da je papež s svojimi besedami, pa tudi s samim potekom svojega sobotnega obiska, ko je pred osrednjo svečanostjo v Redipulji obiskal še avstro-ogrsko pokopališče v Foljanu, kjer dejansko počivajo ‘naši predniki’ (kdo izmed naših se je vojskoval v italijanskih vrstah!), pospravil z vsako ceneno nacionalno-vojaško retoriko. “Vojna je norost”… “in zdaj je čas joka”. In pika. Najbrž se je papež Frančišek zaradi istih razlogov izognil tudi običajni toplini do vernikov, saj se ni podal mednje niti ob prihodu niti ob odhodu: to ni bila ne vojaška parada ne praznik, česar tudi marsikateri vernik resnici na ljubo ni dojel.

To ni bila ne vojaška parada ne praznik – Igor Gregori, Novi glas

***

Osnovna šola (in seveda celotna vzgojno-izobraževalna vertikala) je bolj ščitenje privilegija toplih malic in vožnje na delo, dopusta in povsem zagotovljenega delovnega mesta, njegovega lastništva, kakor realizacija tega, kar potrebuje družba in mladi ljudje: dobre izobrazbe in vzgoje.

/…/

Zato je slovenska osnovna šola je podobna razvajenemu in z boleznijo zaznamovanemu otroku: imamo brez dvoma najbolj bogat predmetnik, najbolj obsežne učne načrte in najbolj centralizirano osnovno šolo v Evropi. Težko je našteti vse njene posebnosti, dejstvo pa je, da bi ob ostri redukciji vseh dobrot, ki jih uživa zdaj, brez dvoma padla v komo. Zato bo potrebna dolgotrajna dieta, da se bo vzpostavilo stanje, ki ne bo več ogrožalo normalnega vzgojno-izobraževalnega sistema.

Kriza blagostanja – Dušan Merc, Pogledi

***

Doesn’t “progressive” reflect the spirit of the Progressive Era a century ago, when the country benefited from the righteous efforts of muckrakers and others who fought big-city political bosses, attacked business monopolies and promoted Good Government?

The era was partly about that. But philosophically, the progressive movement at the turn of the 20th century had roots in German philosophy (Hegel and Nietzsche were big favorites) and German public administration (Woodrow Wilson’s open reverence for Bismarck was typical among progressives). To simplify, progressive intellectuals were passionate advocates of rule by disinterested experts led by a strong unifying leader. They were in favor of using the state to mold social institutions in the interests of the collective. They thought that individualism and the Constitution were both outmoded.

It is that core philosophy extolling the urge to mold society that still animates progressives today—a mind-set that produces the shutdown of debate and growing intolerance that we are witnessing in today’s America.

The Trouble Isn’t Liberals. It’s Progressives – Charles Murray, The Wall Street Journal

***

Predvsem pa se politika z etiko nima kaj ukvarjati. Naloga politike je, da poskrbi za pravno državo, ki bo pravočasno in pošteno kaznovala ljudi, ki prestopijo meje razumljivo napisanih in logičnih zakonov. Ko pa politiki začnejo govoriti, da morajo ljudje postati bolj etični, pa to pomeni, da želijo s svojimi instrumenti – ki so po definiciji instrumenti oblasti in prisile – spreminjati ljudi same.

Politik, ki si za cilj postavi spreminjati naravo ljudi, slej ko prej postane bodisi dalajlama bodisi stalinist.

Učna leta izumitelja Mirka – Janez Šušteršič, Siol.net

***

Words you probably never thought you’d read in the Telegraph. Words which, as a Gladstonian Liberal, I never thought I’d write.

/…/

This sort of utterly amoral screw-everyone capitalism has become much more prevalent in the last 15 years. Our financial elite is now totally out of control. They learned nothing from the crisis, except that the rest of us were stupid enough to give them a second chance. And, now, having plucked all the “low hanging fruit,” they’re destroying the middle classes for profit.

Our current problems have their roots in the early 80s. While much of what Reagan and Thatcher did was necessary, the trouble is that they set a deregulatory train in motion which, over the last couple of decades has dismantled so much of the legal framework that protected us from greedy scuzzballs.

The middle classes went along with it. We were sick of the Left, tired of powerful unions and, besides, very few us could remember the inequality of the 1920s that gave rise to many of these regulations in the first place. Also, vain fools that we were, we identified upwards. We thought the elite had our interests at heart. The 0.1% must have found this pretty cute. They knew the truth. We weren’t their pals, we were just at the end of the line for the financial blood-letting.

Why aren’t the British middle classes staging a revolution? – Alex Proud, The Telegraph

***

I’d like to remind you of Alasdair MacIntyre’s definition of emotivism in After Virtue:

“What is the key to the social content of emotivism? It is the fact that emotivism entails the obliteration of any genuine distinction between manipulative and non-manipulative social relations. Consider the contrast between, for example, Kantian ethics and emotivism on this point. For Kant–and a parallel point could be made about many earlier moral philosophers–the difference between a human relationship uninformed by morality and one so informed is precisely the difference between one in which each person treat the other primarily as a means to his or her ends and one in which one treats each other as an end.”

Walsh almost exclusively uses others as means to his own end of scoring points in the culture wars (and boosting internet traffic). This is why his writing is so banal. It does not challenge anyone to drop their defenses.

In the end Walsh becomes like his enemies, because in his rivalries he plays a zero-sum cultural warrior game of ‘either me or the other’ (I just clicked on a link to an interview with him some random site and the popup ad predictably read “fight the liberal media”). Perhaps the only heuristic value of Walsh’s writing lies in the way that it suggests an overlap between MacIntyre‘s discussion of emotivism and Girard‘s discussion of mimetic rivalry.

On Not Fighting Matt Walsh’s Cultural Warrior Contagion – Artur Rosman, Cosmos in the Lost

***

Za konec pa še naravnost genialni zapis Carla Truemana v First Things, ki ga zaradi kratkosti objavljamo kar v celoti:

Britain’s Daily Telegraph reports that anti-incest laws in Germany could be struck down on the grounds that they constitute an unacceptable intrusion into the right to sexual self-determination. The narrow context is the case of a brother and sister who have lived together for years and have four children. The wider context is the very meager basis upon which laws relating to sexual ethics are now built.

In a world where consent provides the only de facto limit to acceptable sexual ethics, this legal move has a certain obvious legal and cultural logic. If the brother and sister are in love, why should they not live together in a sexual partnership? Even the pragmatic argument from the risk of congenital defects in children is irrelevant: birth control and abortion are the obvious answers which this present age would give.

In fact, it is not so much the legitimation of incest in itself as it is the collapse of the boundaries of sexual taboos given our current ethical logic which makes the case significant. The question of consent is itself surely a complex one when it comes to sexual morality and even this might soon be faced with a serious challenge. Take, for example, bestiality (or, to use the more anodyne modern term, zoophilia). I regularly eat cows, pigs, sheep and chickens whose consent to be part of my diet is (I assume) rarely if ever sought before they arrive on my dinner plate. The law as it stands clearly does not recognize the need for a cow to give permission before it is slaughtered and turned into a hamburger. One assumes that it would not require its consent for a less drastic fate.

A thought thus comes to mind if any notion of sexual ethics is not to vanish in its entirety: Either consent is not a sufficient basis for a sexual ethic, or eating meat needs to be outlawed as soon as possible.

Tedenski izbor

 

Old-man-Reading

 

Zmagovalca volitev imamo. Izvolili so ga tisti, ki si ne želijo soočenja z realnostjo. To odmaknjenost si lahko privoščijo volivci, to si lahko privošči kandidat na volitvah, celo si lahko to privošči kandidat za mandatarja, ko sestavlja koalicijsko pogodbo, ne more pa si tega privoščiti predsednik vlade Republike Slovenije.
Pred Cerarjem je zato težka naloga. Volilno podporo mora pretvoriti v operativen program in dejanja. Za katera pa na volitvah od svojih volivcev ni dobil mandata. Prav zanimivo bi bilo od zunaj gledati ta eksperiment. Od znotraj, iz Slovenije, zna biti pa precej neprijetno.

Zmaga zanikanja – Žiga Turk, Čas-opis

***

Like Christians enduring similar violence in Iraq, Palestinian Christian communities are historically rooted and unique, and they are tied to areas with spiritual significance in the Christian tradition: nonetheless, their status appears to be of little interest to rightwing partisans. This is not because of defects in particular people, but because of defects in the partisan model of rendering intelligible political realities. If political action must take place along party lines, then even the most straightforward commitments are difficult to maintain when their coherence would interfere with the party line. Since the right wing must support Israel and tends to maintain anti-Muslim animus, rallying for Christians besieged by ISIS is convenient, while rallying for those endangered by Israel is untenable. Partisan commitments truncate good impulses, like the one to protect threatened Christian communities abroad, by measuring qualification for support by amenability to internal agendas rather than objective need. In other words, they hobble virtue by calibrating it against their own interests rather than a shared or sharable standard.

Christians, Campaigns and Collateral Damage – Elisabeth Stoker Bruenig, Ethika Politika

***

But you’ve changed.  You’re always like “Oh no, thousands of missiles are being fired at our cities” and “Let me tell you about those death squads who infiltrated through underground tunnels to attack our farms.”

I think you’ve lost all perspective.  Most of those missiles miss and you’ve stopped most of those infiltrators.  But it is still all about how your people have to go into bomb shelters and how your farmers are worried about being massacred.

Dear Israel – Peter Spiliakos, National Review

***

For the first time in decades, Israel is defending itself against an army that has penetrated the 1967 borders, by means of tunnels and naval incursions. Hamas rockets produced in Gaza can now reach all of Israel’s largest cities, including Haifa, and it has rocket-equipped drones. It was able to shut down Israel’s main airport for two days. Israelis who live near Gaza have left their homes and are scared to go back since the IDF says that there are probably still tunnels it doesn’t know about. Rockets from Gaza kept Israelis returning to shelters day after day, demonstrating the IDF’s inability to deal with the threat. The war is estimated to have cost the country billions of dollars.

The greatest costs, of course, have been borne by Gaza’s civilians, who make up the vast majority of the more than 1600 lives lost by the time of the ceasefire announced and quickly broken on 1 August. The war has wiped out entire families, devastated neighbourhoods, destroyed homes, cut off all electricity and greatly limited access to water. It will take years for Gaza to recover, if indeed it ever does.

Hamas’ Chances – Nathan Thrall, London Review of Books

***

While the actions of Russian propaganda have not delivered any significant results in the West so far, the situation is unfortunately different in Ukraine. For a long time, the majority of Ukrainians treated Kiselyov (and others) as rather comical characters, the heroes of numerous parodies of internet and comedy shows. Nevertheless, many took the propaganda voiced by such “Kiselyovs” very seriously. Many dormant pro-Russian inhabitants of eastern Ukraine, bombarded by anti-Maidan (de-facto anti-European) propaganda during the revolutionary events of November 2013–February 2014, have become intolerant of any other point of view. After the triumph of the Maidan, most of the Ukrainian media have changed their focus to favour the new authorities, undermining their credibility in the eyes of Donbas residents.

Therefore, during the separatist meetings, assurance of uninterrupted broadcasting of Russian TV was always named among the top demands of the protesters (up to now TV remains the main source of information for many of the protesters). Russian TV channels, almost non-stop, report on the horrors that the post-Maidan authorities would bring to Donbas: forcible Ukrainianisation, shutting down mines (a large employment sector), forced gay marriages and neo-Nazis that would butcher all Russian speakers. As a result, an ordinary peaceful resident of Donbas, whose right to speak his mother tongue, preserve his culture and honour his heroes has taken up arms to the barricades to “defend against the invasion of the Right Sector”. As a consequence of this, Ukraine has lost hundreds of fellow citizens on both sides of the conflict.

Victims of Russian Propaganda – Milan Lelič, New Eastern Europe

***

Love is to choose to give ourselves to the other; it is to lay down our lives as a sacrificial offering for the beloved. It is inseparable from the Cross, which is the sacrificial signifier of the marriage of love and suffering. This traditional understanding of love differs drastically and radically from the modern understanding of “love,” which can be defined as that which makes us feel good, especially in terms of the erotic. As Kris Kristofferson tells us:

Feelin’ good was easy Lord, when Bobby sang the blues, Feelin’ good was good enough for me, Good enough for me and Bobby McGee.

I love you because you make me feel good. When you do not. make me feel good any longer I will nott love you any longer; I will find someone else who makes me feel good. This “feel good” love was epitomized by the hippy movement, by Lennon’s mantra “All You Need is Love,” and by the so-called “summer of love,” with its narcissism finding fulfillment in narcotic-induced oblivion. The fact is that feeling good is not good enough for me or for you, or even for Bobby McGee. True love is never about feeling good but about being good.

When Nice Turns Nasty – Joseph Pearce, The Imaginative Conservative

 ***

Does the racist deserve respect, Barro will ask? In reply, we may observe that those Americans who have done the most against racism have done so by treating even racists with respect.

Abraham Lincoln consistently denounced slavery as an institution without denouncing southerners for being slaveholders. On the contrary, he admonished his fellow northerners that they would be no better had they been raised in a slave-holding society. Lincoln reasoned with the South about the immorality of slavery. And when some southerners sought to dismember the Union, he reasoned with them about the illegality, injustice, and imprudence of secession, appealing to the “better angels” of their nature. Of course, his efforts at persuasion failed, and war came—a war that Lincoln was determined to wage with full force in pursuit of a just victory. Even in the midst of civil war, however, and even with the war won, he did not indulge a desire to denounce or vilify his opponents. The same was true, of course, of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the most effective leaders of the civil rights movement.

Civility is due not to a person’s opinions, but to the person himself. Such civility is right and just because, while we may be very convinced that our opponent is wrong, our opponent is still a person with dignity. The just response to error is, as Socrates pointed out long ago, not mockery but argument.

Who Deserves Respect? – Carson Holloway, Public Discourse

***

For more than 30 years, the Islamic Republic has been obsessively battling against sex. It is preoccupied by how and with whom its people are having it. Lawmakers and scholars devote hours to discussing sex, condemning sex and sentencing people for having sex. Mullahs on television and radio philosophise and advise about it, sometimes in surprisingly lascivious detail. Government posters warn of the link between immodest dress and dubious morals; find-a-fatwa websites warn of the perils of self-love (everything from psychological damage to wreaking havoc on the nervous system) and offer cures to masturbators (lots of prayer and fasting).

As with anything that is suppressed or banned – such as alcohol, which flows through homes the length and breadth of the city – people have learned to sidestep the restrictions. And they are hungrier than ever for that which is not allowed.

High Heels and Hijabs: Iran’s sexual revolution – Ramita Navai, New Statesman

***

[Adam] Smith never can decide how one should feel about the pursuit of wealth. On the one hand, it keeps in motion the industry of mankind. On the other, it doesn’t make people very happy. So how is the individual character—after all, the subject of a treatise on ethical conduct—to treat wealth?

Smith resolves not to resolve on anything. He encourages his readers to take a “complex” view of wealth. While nature imposes on our sympathies and senses most of the time, we know what it is like not to be fooled. Smith urges us to remember those times of “splenetic humour”—illness, usually—when we fail to appreciate beauty, utility, “that accommodation which reigns in the palaces and oeconomy of the great.” In sickness, we “consider the real satisfaction which all these things are capable of affording” and find wealth “in the highest degree contemptible and trifling.”

This isn’t a prescription for lifelong malingering. It’s a reminder instead to maintain an attitude of ambiguity towards wealth even when one’s full sympathetic and aesthetic faculties are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

The Economics of Jane Austen – Shannon Chamberlain, The Atlantic

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Prav lahko si predstavljam brata, ki jima je oče kakih 50 let nazaj, ko je delal oporoko, zapustil parcele – enemu na levi, drugemu na desni in skupni dostop do njih. Logično, da samo z eno dovozno potjo – pot pač ne daje kruha. Da se ne dela škoda. Pa je skozi leta med bratoma in njunima družinama kdaj prišlo do kakega nesporazuma, ki so ga vestno pometli pod preprogo. Morda je kakšen od bratov celo drugemu “odščipnil” kje kakšen košček zemlje, kar je oni drugi odpustil, da bi se le razumela. Morda je celo ponesreči kdo od bratov odkosil kakšno travo ali posekal drevesce, ki je bilo prav gotovo na “našem”. V teku let se je takih drobnarij nekaj nabralo.

Ob prvem večjem sporu sta si vse to vrgla v obraz in – kot je navada – prenehala govoriti med seboj, se na smrt “skregala” in zanetila začetek bratskega sovraštva. V sporu se seveda nista znašla le onadva, pač pa kar celotni družini. Sovraštvo se namreč kaj rado prenese v naslednjo generacijo in se potegne še naprej v prihodnost. Danes nihče sploh več ne pozna pravih vzrokov spora, ne pozna dejstev, nihče ne ve za krivice, ki so se dogajale.

Kolovoz za hojo po levi – Aleš Čerin, Časnik

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Bonus: izvrsten članek urednika Pogledov Boštjana Tadela o reformi slovenskega kulturnega modela, ki je bil po krivici spregledan v poplavi banalnosti pred in po državnozborskih volitvah. Še en dokaz, da so Pogledi po svojem bistvu konservativni trojanski konj v samem jedru slovenske kulturne javnosti:

Posledica skoraj izključno državnega financiranja kulture je bil nastanek močnega lobija »producentov«, kot jih je poimenoval minister. Ta je bil v času po osamosvojitvi praktično edini usmerjevalec kulturne politike. V tem seveda kultura ni bila izjema med javnofinančnimi področji – ki se vsa po vrsti sklicujejo na »brezmadežno stroko« nasproti »korumpirani politiki« – je pa tudi v kulturi zaradi tega prišlo do šibke odzivnosti na potrebe trga, se pravi bralcev, gledalcev, poslušalcev, prav tako pa do omenjenega stopnjevanja generacijskega konflikta.

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Z drugimi besedami: raznovrstnosti ne smemo iskati v ponudbi posameznih producentov, nasprotno, ti morajo imeti jasno profilirano identiteto – raznovrstnost pa bo posledica večjega števila različnih in prepoznavnih ponudnikov čim bolj različnih vsebin in oblik.

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Ko torej razmišljamo o interakciji med družbo in kulturo, je smiselno razmišljati o določitvi ciljev. Ali želimo, da v dveh opernih hišah zagotavljamo eksistenco okrog petsto glasbenikom in plesalcem – ali želimo mednarodno ugleden baletni ansambel, kakršen je Clugov v Mariboru? Ali mislimo, da je nujno prek Javne agencije za knjigo (JAK) letno zagotavljati izid več kot petsto naslovov, izmed katerih marsikateri ne dosega niti tehničnih založniških standardov, kaj šele vsebinskih – ali bi raje dostojno podprli nekaj res izstopajočih avtorjev, da leto, dve ali celo tri lahko v miru ustvarjajo. (O tem je pred časom govoril prvi direktor JAK, pisatelj, založnik in dolgoletni predsednik Društva slovenskih pisateljev Slavko Pregl.) V času, ko bo e-samozaložba vedno bolj enostavna, je to vprašanje še bolj aktualno kot doslej. Ali res potrebujemo toliko šol z umetniškimi vsebinami, ki bruhajo diplomante, med katerimi večina postane socialni problem – ali bi raje podpirali ciljane tečaje, kot so npr. tisti za kreativno pisanje, na nadebudne umetnike pa apelirali, da se v okviru javnega šolstva izšolajo za kaj, kar jim bo omogočilo eksistenco? Pedagoških delovnih mest bi bilo sicer manj, ampak pred meseci je Andraž Teršek pisal o odgovornosti države, ki razpisuje študijska mesta za poklice, po katerih ni povpraševanja – sliši se grdo, ampak tudi mlademu človeku vzeti več let življenja na račun nikomur potrebnega študija ni prav lepo.

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Vrhunskost, raznovrstnost in dostopnost v kulturi so dosegljiva načela, če bo prišlo do razširitve virov financiranja, če bo kultura našla stik z zainteresirano in še posebej z novo javnostjo in če bo poskrbljeno za sistematično uvajanje novih generacij. Če bomo to storili, bo produkcija boljša, bližje bo številčnejšemu in bolj vpletenemu občinstvu ter manj obremenjujoča za javna sredstva – seveda pa bo to s seboj nedvomno prineslo tudi to, da si bodo nekateri dosedanji »producenti« morali poiskati drugo dejavnost. To se dogaja tudi v medijih in se je na marsikaterem drugem področju že zgodilo. Ni pa to nujno nekaj slabega, v kulturi in vrhunski umetnosti sploh ne. Celo obratno je – slab je status quo.

Radikalno nov kulturnopolitični model – nujno! – Boštjan Tadel, Pogledi

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Like capitalist consumerism as a whole, the specifically sexual consumerism of the post-1960s sexual revolution gradually enslaves people by producing an increasingly large amount of the same desire that it alone purports to be able to satisfy, yet only satisfying that desire in increasingly diminished proportions. Instead of the straitjacketed view of freedom offered by the sexual revolution, Hayes proposes celibacy as a witness to a genuinely “responsible freedom” in the use of one’s own body and in one’s disposition toward the bodies of others “in today’s world of instant gratification”.

Celibacy and Sexual Capitalism – Aaron Taylor, Ethika Politika

 

When man viewed himself as generally ignorant of most things from the start, which is true of us all, then knowledge was able to maintain a position of authority and to direct the affairs of men. Once ignorance was forgotten—or denied altogether, particularly in regard to our social consciousness of the fact—the power and influence of knowledge began to evaporate. It began to wane, and has not stopped waning since, and it is reasonable to suggest that it may be ignorance, rather than knowledge, that gives direction to politics, economics, and the sciences of our world today.

Liberalism and the Empowerment of Ignorance – Daniel Schwindt, Ethika Politika

 

Ko se je Slovenska demokratska stranka odločila za referendum, se je morala zavedati, v kakšnem okolju in kakšnem razpoloženju bo potekal. Zastavlja se vprašanje, ali se je tveganje obrestovalo. Referendum o arhivski noveli se je namreč hočeš nočeš sprevrgel v referendum o politiki ene stranke. Seveda je res, da bi uspeh prinesel mnogo več, kot bo neuspeh odnesel, a vendar. Če nič drugega, je v veliki meri zbledel psihološki učinek zmage na volitvah v Evropski parlament. Razen tega se je najkasneje včeraj izkazalo, da so nepovratno del preteklosti časi, ko so se Janševi s svojimi referendumskimi pobudami sprehajali do zmag, tudi z bistveno več kot dvajsetimi odstotki glasov volilnih upravičencev.

Nepotrebna anketa – Aleš Maver, Časnik

 

V jedru skupnega paradigmatskega okvira obeh narativov je tranzicija. Prvi narativ pravi, da ni bila niti potrebna, drugi, da ni uspela. In spusti samokritiko, da tranzicija desnici ni uspela. Premik paradigme slovenskega političnega razmišljanja bi bil premik stran od koncepta tranzicije. Bi bilo priznanje, da je tranzicija končana. Kakor pač že. Konec koncev so to zelo jasno povedali državljani, ki so s skorajda severnokorejsko večino prešpricali referendum o arhivih. Ki je bil referendum tranzicijske paradigme per-excellence.

 

 

The progressive spirit came down upon the cities, bulldozing communities weak in the measurables of the moment, but strong in social solidarity and common support. It subsidized interstate systems and street grids that were placed in the hands of planners and engineers who would work with singular purpose to maximize car flow, without a thought given to community cohesion. The postwar explosion in building was dominated by a misunderstanding of human life manifested in suburban sprawl-friendly federal policy and local zoning codes alike. Their legacy has been a country largely built for a prosperous people seeking to purchase entertainment within the privacy of their own homes and backyards, not in town commons or on front porches.

Reform Conservativism Needs Place – Jonathan Coppage, The American Conservative

 

 

It’s not just the homeless who are targeted. “Those impacted are usually homeless people, teenagers, the poor, those who are marginalised or don’t have good social representation, or who aren’t organised as an interest group,” says Selena Savic, one of the editors of the book Unpleasant Design. The most egregious anti-teenage-loitering device is the Mosquito Alarm, which emits an unpleasant sound that many older people can’t hear. Aldi are one supermarket company that uses such devices. An Aldi spokesperson said: “These alarms are in place to prevent antisocial behaviour taking place near the store, prevent damage to the building and promote a safe shopping and working environment for customers and staff.”

Anti-homeless spikes are just the latest in ‘defensive urban architecture’ – Maryam Omidi, The Guardian

Evropa kot periferija

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

Evropski predsodki na račun krščanstva

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

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

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

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Men Reading Newspapers in London

Tedenski izbor

gentleman reading newspaper

Bonus – najboljši nenamerni komentar k letošnji zmagi na Evroviziji:

Komintator in katolik, zedinjena

Preberimo dve izjavi o Putinovi Rusiji. Prvo je napisal Janko Lorenci, ugledni Mladinin kolumnist, siva, morda celo bela eminenca slovenskega novinarstva. Drugo je podal katoliški filozof mlajše generacije, dr. Ivo Kerže, pobudnik obnove Katoliške akcije.

Lorenci pravi:

Za Zahod je bila idealna Rusija Jelcinova Rusija – kaotična, šibka, odprta za zahodni kapital. Putinova Rusija je v vseh teh pogledih postala bistveno odpornejša. Take Rusije ni mogoče kar počez deregulirati, privatizirati, liberalizirati in potem držati na kratko, kot se je to naredilo z nekoč sovjetsko vzhodno Evropo. (Janko Lorenci, “Ukrajina. Več licemerja, manj varnosti, manj demokracije”)

Kerže piše:

[Konsenkvence Putinovih izjav] se kažejo v izrazito pro-life, pro-družinski in pro-cerkveni ruski zakonodaji, pa tudi v geopolitičnih smernicah ruske zunanje politike, ki sledijo shemi boja post-komunitsične, znova-krščanske Rusije zoper proti-krščanski Zahod. V tem boju prav posebej izstopa boj za naravno pojmovano družino in zoper t.i. homoseksualne pravice, poroke, družine. Znana in povedna je kremeljska oznaka za Evropo kot Gay-ropo, glede na LGBT-usmerjeno politiko Bruslja. (Ivo Kerže, “Na čigavi strani je sedaj Bog?”)

Kako lahko moža s tako oddaljenimi stališči tekmujeta v isti zaljubljenosti? Zakaj dve skrajni gubi slovenske politične harmonike pojeta isto pesem?

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