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.

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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

 

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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.

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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

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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.

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

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.
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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

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Tedenski izbor

leer_de_todo

Kritičnih glasov komentatorjev, razen na desnici, sploh ni. Kar je tragično, ker dokazuje, da v slovenskem prostoru ideološke delitve še vedno zamegljujejo racionalno presojo in da “levi” novinarji niso sposobni prestopiti ideoloških meja. Večina slovenskih medijskih hiš je ob tem primera ravnala tako, kakor da bi bile v teh hišah zaposlene presstitutke, ne pa novinarji in komentatorji, ki bi bili sposobni samostojnega sprejemanja sklepov.
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Sodba Janezu Janši je zato – enako kot povsem nezakonit odvzem njegovega mandata – kapitulacija prava pred mediji. S to sodbo je prevladala logika, da se v Sloveniji ni več potrebno “kot pijanec plota držati zakonov” in da jih je zaradi “višjega cilja” (včasih partije, danes boja zoper korupcijo) tu in tam mogoče tudi “kreativno” interpretirati. S tem pa smo skozi stranski vhod v sodstvo znova uvedli arbitrarnost in novodoben mišljenjski delikt. To pa je huje, kakor če bi se zaporu izognil nekdo, ki je morda celo kriv, vendar mu tega ni mogoče nedvoumno dokazati.

Nezaznavno kaznivo dejanje – Igor Mekina, Radio študent

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Naj se ugotovi kaj je in kaj ni res; so grajske kleti v Škofji Loki zapolnjene s trupli ali ne? Potem naj se, če se najde množična grobišča, uredi grobnice in kostnice. Naj se sprejme zakon, ki bo določal, da na teh kostnicah plapolala slovenska zastava, ki bo govorila: “Republika Slovenija stoji za tem, da se mrtve pokoplje in spoštuje. Republika Slovenija je civilizirana država. Republika Slovenija je poskrbela, da se mrtve pokoplje ne glede na to, kateri vojaški formaciji so pripadali in brez ozira na to, kateri totalitarni režim je odgovoren za njihovo smrt. Republika Slovenija se zavzema za to, da so kostnice namenjene žrtvam povojnih izvensodnih pobojev, v viden opomin naslednjim generacijam.”

Predlagam tudi, da se na spomenike ali ob spomenike NOB postavi znamenje križa, saj so bili borci NOB povečini kristjani. K spoštovanju njihovega dostojanstva spada tudi spoštovanje njihove verske pripadnosti.

Kaj pomeni “pokopati mrtve”? – Bogdan Vidmar, Časnik

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This model of learning (…) assumes that teachers and classes are not essential to the learning process. After all, anyone can pick up a book or watch online presentations and extract information. Indeed, if that’s what learning is, then the entire history of education since the advent of the mass-market book has been ineffective and time-wasting. Why do you need a lecturer if you can read the book yourself?

But for liberal education, teachers and classes are essential. Why? Because it’s not just about information, but about dialectic.

What is dialectic? The pursuit of truth, together with others, in a spirit of good will, about the things that matter most to human beings.

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Dialectical learning cannot be assessed in the ways used for information and skills—and especially not by timed questioning intended to elicit valid responses according to a predetermined “competency framework.”

In particular, the highest goal of dialectic—namely, dependable judgment based on thorough consideration of issues that really matter in life—is not assessable by “objective” testing instruments. It can only be assessed by competent dialecticians who watch students’ progress over time as they grapple with ideas, listen to others, join with others in inquiry, become proficient at asking insightful questions, become deft at working through premises and consequences, and so on.

What Competency-based Education Cannot Do – Christopher B. Nelson, The Imaginative Conservative

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What is very telling is that the broadsheet press is leading the charge against Cosby, using the very same tactics of salacious finger-pointing as they condemned in the tabloids when they ‘named and shamed’ paedophiles. It seems all sides in public life are now involved in a modern version of demonology, suspending rationality in the desperate hunt for some kind of horribleness we can cohere our disconnected society in opposition to. Ultimately, this ugly rush to condemn those who haven’t been convicted of a crime speaks to a widespread disregard for what is lost when someone is so condemned: freedom. We used to take seriously the process of convicting someone because we took seriously what they risked losing – their liberty. Not anymore. Liberty, life, justice, be damned – collective outrage is more important.

Bill Cosby is innocent. We forget this at our peril – Brendan O’Neill, Spiked

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While Blanc views women as brainless putty, to be moulded by nonsense and automated conversation, the campaigners against Blanc view women as desperately helpless and in need of state assistance to keep them away from lechy men.

Of course, Blanc and his loony techniques are nothing to be afraid of. If anything, they are a tragic symptom of a culture in which intimacy has been so problematised, and the process of seduction so heavily dissected and imbued with anxiety, that some have decided to adopt a robotic pseudo personality to address members of the opposite sex. Sadly, our government needs little excuse to exercise draconian controls over our national borders. It has already banned a long list of comedians, politicians and thinkers from our shores based on what they think and say. Now Blanc joins that sorry list. And no doubt the petty bureaucrats in the Home Office will be delighted to have the support of the new authoritarians in the Twittersphere.

 Julien Blanc is a dickhead – Luke Gittos, Spiked

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Liberalizem je gotovo slaba politična in svetovnonazorska usmeritev, a ima eno samo prednost, ki je noben drug sistem nima, prav ta prednost pa je bistvena. Liberalni sistem, če je res tak, dovoljuje tudi vse druge poskuse, medtem ko diktature, pa naj bodo še tako socialno ali drugače utemeljene, razen lastnega recepta ne dopuščajo nič drugega. Če kdo hoče, lahko pod liberalno vlado ustanovi socialistično vodeno podjetje, lahko vsem zaposlenim da enako plačo, lahko vse naredi za solastnike.  Seveda so taki poskusi vedno obstajali in tudi vedno propadli – spet zaradi nerealnosti “dobrega človeka”, o katerem kritiki liberalne pozicije nepoboljšljivo sanjajo.

O neoliberalizmu – Vinko Ošlak, Časnik

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There hasn’t been a nationwide ban on alcohol in nearly a lifetime, but prohibition-era regulatory relics still manage to put a damper on what could be an even more thriving industry: Craft beer.

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Another remnant of the prohibition era are “sin taxes” on alcohol. On average, 40 percent of the cost of every beer is going into federal or state coffers, partially to dissuade you from enjoying your favorite craft brew. These taxes are even higher on both spirits and wine.

Perhaps most damaging are the prohibition-era distribution laws known as the “three-tier” system. Under this regime, suppliers, wholesalers, and retailers must remain entirely separate entities. In a classic example of a government-created monopoly, this scheme forces brewers to sign contracts with one distributor, who then has exclusive rights to sell their product to stores and restaurants in a given area.

Free the Markets, Free the Brews – Corie Whalen Stephens, Red Alert Politics

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

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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

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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

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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

***

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

***

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

Tedenski izbor

gentleman reading newspaper

Bonus – najboljši nenamerni komentar k letošnji zmagi na Evroviziji: