Tematski izbor – migrantska kriza

Namesto z običajnim tedenskim izborom se po daljšem premoru vračamo z izborom zapisov, ki se tako ali drugače dotikajo t. i. migrantske krize – teme, ki zadnje mesece stoji v ospredju in se je neposredno dotaknila tudi Slovenije. V skladu z duhom pluralizma, na katerem je utemeljen naš portal, se izbrani teksti problema lotevajo iz različnih zornih kotov. Spričo njegove kompleksnosti, večplastnosti in širine smo namenoma vključili tudi premisleke, ki ne izhajajo iz konservativnih oziroma „desnih“ pozicij.

Pri izboru pa smo se držali dveh kriterijev. Prvič: zavestno smo izbrali tekste, ki so tako ali drugače odstopali od v zadnjih mesecih prevladujoče medijske naracije, ki se je pogosto nevarno približevala propagandi enoumja. Takšne torej, ki vsebuejo bodisi bolj poglobljene premisleke, bodisi originalnejše, v primeru nekaterih pa tudi provokativnejše poglede. Drugič: omejili smo se na  zapise, ki k problemu pristopajo na razumen način. Če si delno izposodimo formulacijo časopisa Domovina, to pomeni, da smo izključili radikalna stališča iz obeh strani ideološke premice – tako tista, ki v migrantih vidijo le grožnjo oziroma priročen cilj za usmerjanje gneva, kot tudi tista, ki utopično govorijo o svetu brez meja, institucionalnega reda in nadzora ter migrante pri tem izrabljajo kot priročno orodje za širjenje lastnih ideologij.

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Tedenski izbor

branje13

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

(…)

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

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

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

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Tedenski izbor

branje12

Since Thomas Hobbes, many people have embraced the illusory notion that society is made up of individuals. According to this view the only fair competition is between individuals, without undue benefit from family connections.
But no society has ever been this way. Individuals don’t come fully formed. They emerge out of families and groups. The family and the group are the essential social unit. These collectives have always shaped public life.
(…)
The philosopher Michael Oakeshott once observed that it takes three generations to make a career. That is, the skills that going into, say, a teacher — verbal fluency, empathy, endurance — take a long time to develop. They emerge in grandparents and great-grandparents and are passed down magnified through the generations. I bet you can trace ways your grandparents helped shape your career.

Mothers and Presidents – David Brooks, The New York Times

***

Cameron states that for too long ‘we have been a passively tolerant society’ and is presumably ‘pumped-up’ at the possibility of actively changing this image. But, in truth, Britain has strayed a long way from the Enlightenment conceptualisation of tolerance, which advocated robust engagement with others over matters of principle while recognising and accepting the need to live side-by-side.

In recent years, British society has become not tolerant but indifferent to the mores of others, preferring to turn a blind eye to outlooks and activities deemed not too threatening. You can believe anything you like, so long as you don’t believe in it too much, has been the unstated outlook of the authorities. Now, Cameron seeks to shift gear from passive indifference to active authoritarianism.

Anti-terror: the perversion of tolerance – Bill Durodié, Spiked

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Tedenski izbor

 

Moj sogovornik ima prav in hkrati ne. Prav ima po mojem mnenju zato: narobe je, da ima redno zaposleni profesor hkrati tudi podjetje. Kajti tudi zato, ker je profesor, ima ime, infrastrukturo ter še kaj, kar mu omogoča, da svoje storitve sploh ponuja. Če ne bi bil profesor, bi svoje storitve težje prodal in zato je edino logično, da je tudi njegov zaposlovalec udeležen pri teh prihodkih. In logično je tudi, da fakulteta želi tržiti svoje storitve in da svoje zaposlene za dodatno delo tudi dodatno plača. Če redno zaposleni profesor oceni, da bi svoje storitve lahko prodajal tudi brez redne zaposlitve na fakulteti, naj odpove delovno razmerje, naj se trži, in tudi fakulteti naj za svoje raziskave in predavanja zaračuna kot podjetnik. In fakulteta bo presodila, kdaj ga potrebuje. Biti redno zaposlen in hkrati izdajati fakture prek svojega podjetja po mojem mnenju ni etično – torej tudi profesor Miro Cerar ni bil etičen -, vse dokler ni postal predsednik vlade.

(…)

Pri nas trga »ni«, ker je »vse« državno. In dokler bo to tako, za kar so zaslužni predvsem profesorji-politiki-nadzorniki-honoriranci, bo na seznamu sramote tudi kdo, ki svoje znanje prek fakultete trži samo Franckam, d. o. o. Žal.

Honorarji in etika Mira Cerarja – Peter Frankl, Finance

***

Delu politikov, ki so sprožili zadnjo akcijo, ni šlo samo za to, da istospolnim izboljšajo pravni položaj, ker o tem se je v celoti strinjala tudi desna politika. Tudi jim ni šlo za to, da ti pridobijo nekaj svetega, ker niti ne vejo, kaj je to in kaj bi s tem počeli.

Šlo jim je tudi za to, da nekomu nekaj svetega vzamejo. Za nalašč. Ker lahko. Ker tega ne razumejo, so pa vseeno nevoščljivi tistim, ki razumemo. Kot otrok, ki iz zavisti z veseljem polomi igračo vrstniku. Na tej točki pa je zmerna levica, ki bi se iz Viča rada preselila v Center, naredila napako in jim pritegnila.

(…)

Med tem, ko se bodo medijsko po prsih trkali tisti, katerih največji dosežek v življenju je, da so heteroseksualno spolno usmerjeni in tisti, katerih dosežek je, da se napredno zavzemajo za politično oportune manjšine, bo referendum odlična dimna zavese za rabote na DUTB, SDH in drugod. Mogoče je pa center kost v glodanje vrgel prav zato.

Razumeti sveto in svetno – primer družinske zveze – Žiga Turk, Časnik

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Tedenski izbor

hieronim

Politically correct leftism is more than a challenge to liberalism. It is a test of liberalism. (…)

America’s most effective liberals—from Harry Truman to Rahm Emanuel—have known how and when to defy the illiberal left, whether that illiberal left was communist or Third Worldist or, as it is today, infatuated with the jargon of “intersectionality.” The liberals who couldn’t or wouldn’t or didn’t have been dragged toward the same marginality that has always befallen the hard left in America—and always will.

Republicans have suffered greatly over the past six years from their visible terror of their more extreme associates. The evolution toward a more responsible Republicanism remains incomplete, but is visibly under way. Now it seems to be the turn of liberals and Democrats to veer off into their own ideological fever-swamps.

Liberals and the Illiberal Left – David Frum, The Atlantic

***

The Church does not rename pagan traditions as the secularist renames Christian holidays, seasons, symbols and so forth. The Church baptizes the world. The Church impudently gives pagan traditions new meanings, of which a new name is an icon and consequence. The Winter Solstice is not renamed ‘Christmas’ in the manner in which secularists timidly rename Christmas ‘Winter Solstice.’ No, the Winter Solstice becomes Christmas — the old gods are dead and Christianity has killed them.

(…)

This helps us to finally understand the difference between a baptism and a renaming. The post-Christian renaming reduces to an acceptable effect without daring to alter the cause. The baptism invokes and declares a new cause — not Spring, but Christ, not the gods, but God, not the garden’s growth, but the Gardener. A cause alone can remain and bear the fruit of effects. An effect divorced from its cause — a holiday apart from a Holy Day, a sign of the cross apart from the Cross — these crumble as a tree without roots. I am Catholic because I want to live in a universe of primary meaning, of a real relation of effect to cause

The Difference Between Renaming and a Baptism – Marc Barnes, The Bad Catholic

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Tedenski izbor


reading-stairs

Across Eastern Europe, local oligarchs and investment groups — some directly connected to their countries’ political leadership — are snapping up newspapers and other media companies, prompting deep concerns among journalists and others about press freedom.

It is just one of an array of developments across the region raising questions, a quarter century after the fall of the Berlin Wall, about progress toward Western standards of democracy and free speech. As in Russia, there are increasing worries about a potentially dangerous concentration of power in the hands of people who have managed to acquire both wealth and political influence and are increasingly extending their control to media outlets.

Oligarchs of Eastern Europe Scoop Up Stakes in Media Companies – Rick Lyman, The New York Times

***

Povprečna mesečna bruto plača zaposlenih v slovenskih sindikatih je po podatkih državnega statističnega urada avgusta letos obsegala 2.445 evrov. Za primerjavo: povprečna slovenska bruto plača je avgusta letos dosegla 1.517 evrov.

Plačni rekorderji so po podatkih iz baze GVIN v Sindikatu zdravstva in socialnega varstva, ki ga vodi Zvonko Vukadinovič. Lani je povprečna bruto plača v tem sindikatu, ki sicer zaposluje pet ljudi, znašala 5.071 evrov bruto. Med prvo deseterico najbolje plačanih sindikalistov se uvršča tudi Sviz Branimirja Štruklja s povprečno plačo 2.607 evrov bruto. Ob tem povejmo, da več kot 2.600 evrov zasluži le 10 odstotkov najbolje plačanih v državi.

Razkrivamo: sindikalisti med slovenskimi plačnimi rekorderji – Jurij Šimac, Jure Ugovšek, Finance

***

You can’t succeed in politics if you give too much appearance of despising the low arts by which we govern ourselves. Fastidious distaste for the roughness and meanness of political life may work in a seminar room, but it’s fatal on the campaign trail.

This distaste is common among people who’ve enjoyed success outside of politics, in academia or journalism or business, and who go into politics with the reasonable assumption that the prestige they achieved in their former profession should automatically transfer into politics. It doesn’t. People who think they’re entitled to standing—because they are brainy, rich, or famous—almost always lose. They forget you earn your standing, you are not entitled to it. That’s the best thing about democracy, the single reason why we’re not yet entirely governed by wealthy oligarchs.

I may have come into politics with an unacknowledged condescension toward the game and the people who played it, but I left with more respect for politicians than when I went in. The worst of them—the careerists and predators—you find in all professions. The best of them were a credit to democracy. They knew the difference between an adversary and an enemy, knew when to take half a loaf and when to insist on the whole bakery, knew when to trust their own judgment and when to listen to the people.

 I Wish Someone Had Told Me This Before I Became a Politician – Michael Ignatieff, The New Republic

***

Dejstvo je, da je ta družba, ta politična nomenklatura, ta slovenska levičarska falanga spravila SDS na rob propada. Bolj kot s političnimi metodami – legitimnimi ali nelegitimnimi, obsojanja ali skomiganja z rameni vrednimi – pa jim je to uspelo s psihološko vojno proti njihovemu karizmatičnemu voditelju. Pravilno so domnevali, da se mu bo nekega dne utrgalo in da bo pri tem nastal vtis, da ni poti ne nazaj ne naprej.
Odnos politike in javnosti do SDS – in obratno! – je vseh dvajset let nekakšna samouresničujoča se prerokba. Dogaja se to, kar hočejo drugi – oni pa ostajajo na svoji liniji.

Na svoji liniji: edini možni reset SDS – Marko Crnkovič, Požareport

***

Spodaj objavljam, kar sem bil takrat napisal. V skoraj štirih letih se je zgodilo marsikaj. Zadeva Patria je naredila svoje. Marsikaj, kar je SDS v začetku leta 2011 še bila, danes ni več. Marsikaj, kar bi leta 2011 lahko postala, danes ne more postati več.

(…)

SDS nagovarja ljudi, ki niso bili prijatelji prejšnjega režima. Niso se mogli okoriščati z drobnimi privilegiji, s katerimi je prejšnji režim kupoval ljudi. Ker niso bili pri koritu, so bili tudi luzerji tranzicije. Več jih je iz podeželja kot iz mesta, več je revnih kot srednjega sloja, prej so manj kot bolj izobraženi. Nezadovoljni so, razočarani, terjajo popravo krivic. Nekateri nosijo v sebi veliko bolečino in dosti grenkobe. Te znamo nagovoriti.

Ampak jezik, s katerim jih nagovarjamo, prispeva proporcionalni delež tega, kar Drago Jančar v Viziji 20+20 označi kot »Drobnjakarski pragmatizem in provincialna prepirljivost« ki da »blokirata kreativni zanos, jemljeta veter iz jader vsakemu poskusu drznejše plovbe skozi sodobne ekonomske in kulturne tokove, v celotni družbi ustvarjata ozračje negibnosti in lenobnega samozadovoljstva

V SDS smo nezadovoljneži in nergači. Jamramo čez komuniste, bivše komuniste, tranzicijske bogataše in povzpetnike in sploh vse, ki so po krivici (kdo pa tudi po pravici) uspešnejši ali bogatejši od nas. Znamo kritizirati, interpelirati, blokirati, preiskovati, sklicevati izredne seje in referendume, vihteti kazalec in moralno dvigati obrvi ob aferah, od kokaina do bulmastifov. In še vsaka manjša zadeva nam pride prav, vsaj za na spletno stran ali pa tiskovno konferenco. Bolj ko vse to počnemo, bolj smo naši, bolj smo »ta pravi«.

Spomini na neko resetiranje – Žiga Turk, Čas-opis

***

But modernisers have two great faults. The first is to assume that what is modern is inevitable. Soviet Communism was modern once, and part of its power lay in its claim that it was inevitable. It wasn’t, and now it is dead.

The second is to equate modernity with virtue and so to treat its critics as moral inferiors. In Britain, the saga of same-sex marriage is a classic case. Parts of the Western world are heading in that direction: “therefore” it must be welcomed: “therefore” its opponents are bigots: “therefore” they should be virtually disqualified from public office.

All those “therefores” are wrong. A moderate conservative approach would try to balance the age-old, universal view that marriage is between a man and a woman with tolerance of homosexual relationships. This balance was achieved by civil partnerships, but violated by the way that Mr Cameron casually imposed gay marriage. His approach insulted settled beliefs, and therefore wounded him politically more than people like to state directly. In times of wrenching economic change, social conservatism (not to be confused with social authoritarianism) helps reassure people. Instead, we have had doctrinaire, finger-wagging modernism from a party that calls itself Conservative. And, broadly speaking, the better off and better educated have been lecturing the less fortunate. Again, a reason to edge towards Ukip.

Ukip’s Rochester win shows voters no longer trust the main parties – Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph

***

On a une gauche européenne sociale qui préfère parler de politiques publiques (policies) plutôt que de politique (politics). Ce discours-là ne peut pas battre la Manif pour tous. Beaucoup de gens sont heurtés par la société de la rentabilité dans laquelle on vit, une société du chiffre où on évalue les enfants dès 3 ans. Les conservateurs de la nouvelle génération proposent une vision du monde philosophiquement contre-révolutionnaire mais qui répond à ces aspirations-là, en rejetant le productivisme, le consumérisme, et l’économie inféodée à la finance. Ils trouvent écho dans la société. Mais il y a aussi une France qui ne supporte plus de vivre dans la société d’Eric Zemmour. Qui parle pour cette France-là? Qui s’insurge ? Être à gauche, ça ne consiste pas, comme le décrit la Manif pour tous, à être un libéral-libertaire fanatique de GPA et désireux de vendre des bébés sur Internet à des consommateurs américains. Il y a la place pour un mouvement républicain qui s’appuie sur les idéaux égalitaires. La République n’est pas qu’un bataillon de CRS filmé par BFM TV : au-delà du maintien de l’ordre, la République c’est aussi la générosité.

Gaël Brustier: “La Manif pour tous est un combat pour l’hégémonie culturelle” – Mathilde Carton, Les In Rocks

 

***

Across the United States and Europe, sexual partnerships between persons of the same sex are being legally recognized as “marriages,” thus abolishing in law the principle of marriage as a conjugal union and reducing it to nothing other than sexual or romantic companionship or domestic partnership. The unavoidable message is a profoundly false and damaging one: that children do not need a mother and a father in a permanent complementary bond.

To insist on the truth that neither mothers nor fathers are expendable is not to dishonor anyone.

Marriage and the Black Family – Jacqueline C. Rivers, Public Discourse 

***

If your go-to image of a student is someone who’s free-spirited and open-minded, who loves having a pop at orthodoxies, then you urgently need to update your mind’s picture bank. Students are now pretty much the opposite of that. It’s hard to think of any other section of society that has undergone as epic a transformation as students have. From freewheelin’ to ban-happy, from askers of awkward questions to suppressors of offensive speech, in the space of a generation. My showdown with the debate-banning Stepfords at Oxford and the pre-crime promoters at Cambridge echoed other recent run-ins I’ve had with the intolerant students of the 21st century. I’ve been jeered at by students at the University of Cork for criticising gay marriage; cornered and branded a ‘denier’ by students at University College London for suggesting industrial development in Africa should take precedence over combating climate change; lambasted by students at Cambridge (again) for saying it’s bad to boycott Israeli goods. In each case, it wasn’t the fact the students disagreed with me that I found alarming — disagreement is great! — it was that they were so plainly shocked that I could have uttered such things, that I had failed to conform to what they assume to be right, that I had sought to contaminate their campuses and their fragile grey matter with offensive ideas.

Free speech is so last century. Today’s students want the ‘right to be comfortable’ – Brendan O’Neill, The Spectator

 

***

Pornography is an act of disgust, for by visually isolating the sexual organs for the sake of stimulus and libidinous pleasure, it places its viewer in contact with the genitalia considered as objects unto themselves. Once the desire for physical pleasure evoked by the visual stimulus of genitalia is satisfied, the genitalia lose their “erotic light” and reassume their status as organs with functions quite apart from that of sexual gratification. They become disgusting.

Thus the faces of pornography and pornographic advertising are usually sneers, and expressions of lust tend to mimic a barely suppressed nausea. Within the pornographic, Eros never smiles, never laughs, never plays — she is busy holding down and warding off disgust by the force of sexual arousal. The sin of pornography is not that it makes sex too free and casual, but that it makes it something serious — a suppression of disgust that is doomed, at the end of the day, to return to it. The tragedy of pornography is not that it makes men and women lust after each other, but that it makes them disgusted by the images of each other.

Are the Genitals Beautiful? – Marc Barnes, Bad Catholic

***

Molti dei triestini in platea non sono mai entrati nel teatro della Kulturni Dom, sono quelli che, come me, stanno seguendo la scena con un occhio ai sottotitoli. L’effetto è ancora più straniante perché non viene giustificato, lascia credere l’incredibile e, al tempo stesso, mostra l’occasione perduta: quindi avremmo potuto fare così? Parlarci? Dialogare? Trieste, una città in guerra è uno spettacolo concepito in occasione del centenario, ma di fatto, grazie all’intuizione del giovane regista Igor Pison, i due testi di Marko Sosič e Carlo Tolazzi sono stati manipolati e fusi in una pièce sul linguaggio. A Trieste la Grande Guerra è stata solo l’esordio di un conflitto che le due comunità autoctone hanno condotto e, potremmo dire, interpretato per tutto il Novecento. L’italianizzazione coatta degli sloveni, le foibe titine, la divisione in zona A e zona B, le manifestazioni contro il bilinguismo, e sempre l’ombra della cortina di ferro alle spalle del Carso e la possibilità che la paranoia si trasformi in odio personale; possibilità la cui soluzione ottimale è stata una surreale convivenza tra estranei.”

Trieste, città in guerra. Dialogo sul palco tra italiani e sloveni – Mauro Covacich, Corriere della Sera

***

Naj se torej omejim le na nekaj vtisov, kot so se mi porajali ob nedeljskem spremljanju njegove posvetitve v stolnici sv. Nikolaja. Njena najopaznejša značilnost je bila, da so razen v vznesenih obrednih obrazcih skoraj scela umanjkale velike besede. Kako drugače kot pred slabima dvema desetletjema, ko smo bili še mladi petelinčki in smo za velike praznike namesto nevpadljive pridige patra Zoreta na Tromostovju poslušali med oboki iste stolnice, v kateri so ga sedaj posvetili, rafale težkih misli in izjav ter imeli o vsaki izmed njih občutek, da izraža ravno tisto, kar nas trenutno najbolj žuli. Šele čez veliko časa smo se zbudili v bridkem spoznanju, da ni zaradi velikih besed Cerkev iz neke pravljične, v mitične višave povzdignjene preteklosti nič bliže, da pa ji zaradi od besed vse drugačnih dejanj pod nogami spodmika sedanjost.

Nič takega se ni dogajalo v nedeljo. Nabito polna stolnica, zaradi katere sem si sicer čestital, ker sem se zadnji hip odločil zgolj za spremljanje slovesnosti po televiziji, me je skupaj z na prvi pogled nenavadno kombinacijo dvornega baročnega ambienta, baročnih latinskih mašnih napevov in lesene pastirske palice novega nadškofa spomnila predvsem na genialnega Dominika Smoleta. In na zaključek njegove resda kisle pokristjanjevalne drame Krst pri Savici. Tudi za zbrano ljudstvo v Nikolajevi stolnici bi lahko kot za njegove Slovence, ki na koncu napolnijo oder, rekli: Vsak zase stoji težko in trdo, kakor da bi pognal korenine. Če kaj, kaže njih drža pač to, da so tukaj.  Da, namesto vzvišenih fraz je bil v ospredju ta molčeči, preprosti, a v plašč prostora z žlahtnim izročilom oblečeni (še) biti tukaj.

Biti tukaj – Aleš Maver, Časnik

***

Naš kulturni model je v marsičem posnetek tistega iz petdesetih, šestdesetih let 20. stoletja. A odtlej se je ogromno spremenilo, vzniknile so, denimo, nevladne organizacije, ki ne delujejo za zasebno zabavo, saj krepko spreminjajo javni prostor in je tudi njihov obstoj pravzaprav v javnem interesu – pri čemer je tistih 0,5 odstotka dohodnine, s katerimi jih državljani lahko podpremo, za njihovo delovanje odločno premalo. Kosovel je poudaril še, da je v Sloveniji težko govoriti o trgu za kulturo, še zlasti pri vseh zadevah, ki imajo opravka s slovenskim jezikom (knjige ni mogoče prepustiti trgu). A kako iznajti sistem, da bodo uporabniki lahko nagradili tiste izdelke, dogodke, ki so zanje relevantni? Vprašati se moramo, kaj je v javnem interesu, kaj je dovolj dobro, da dobi javna sredstva, je razmišljal Kosovel. Presenetil ga je podatek, da je kar 90 odstotkov vseh sredstev iz razpisov ministrstva za kulturo šlo v Ljubljano. »Razumel bi, če bi bila ta številka 70, toda 90 odstotkov!« je vzkliknil. Kakovost in relevantnost kulturnih dogodkov in vsega, kar se odvija s podporo javnih sredstev, bi morali po njegovem mnenju ocenjevati tudi ljudje, ne le neke strokovne komisije na ministrstvu.

Prispevki k spremembi slovenskega kulturnega modela – Pogledi

***

The Russian state has always done everything it could to conflate love of country with love of government, arguing that one is indistinguishable from the other.

This is why Russians who love their homeland but question their government are once again being cast as ‘enemies,’ ‘traitors,’ and ‘fifth columnists.’ They are hounded and threatened in both public and private. This is why independent media in Russia is not just in a precarious position anymore but has been almost declared anathema. The simple calculation made says that Russia equals the Kremlin. As it permeates most aspects of public life, the state is declared to be the face and soul of the Russian nation.

(…)

And because the Kremlin’s strategic thinking is more short-term than long-term, casting the government as the soul of the nation has become a kind of band-aid solution to this multitude of problems. Sure, things may be hard, the message goes, but the government is the glue that’s holding everything together —criticising us is like criticising the ground beneath your feet. People fall for this argument because they don’t feel they have a choice. The problem of autocracy is that it is like a perpetually collapsing house of cards. It leaves the people living under it few alternatives apart from propping it up, or being buried underneath it.

Kremlinophobia, russophobia, and other states of paranoia – Natalia Antonova, Open Democracy

Tedenski izbor

nun-reading

The contrast illustrates a characteristic of Lincoln’s which his biographers have never sufficiently emphasized. His mind was capable of harboring and reconciling purposes, convictions and emotions so different from one another that to the majority of his fellow-countrymen they would in anybody else have seemed incompatible. He could hesitate patiently without allowing hesitation to become infirmity of will. He could insist without allowing insistence to become an excuse for thoughtless obstinacy. He could fight without quarreling. He could believe intensely in a war and in the necessity of seeing it through without falling a victim to its fanaticism and without permitting violence and hatred to usurp the place which faith in human nature and love of truth ordinarily occupied in his mind.

When, for instance, the crisis came, and the South treated his election as a sufficient excuse for secession, he did not flinch as did Seward and other Republican leaders. He would not bribe the South to abandon secession by compromising the results of Republican victory. Neither would he, if she seceded, agree to treat secession as anything but rebellion. But although he insisted, if necessary, on fighting, he was far more considerate of the convictions and the permanent interests of the South than were the Republican leaders, who for the sake of peace were ready to yield to her demands.

Abraham Lincoln Was Not a Man of the People – Herbert Croly, The New Republic

***

Lahko rekonstruiramo genezo Zgodovencev? Na našo srečo so kolumnisti v tem smislu povsem jasni: Zgodovenci so nastali, ko so se zgodovinski Slovenci »zataknili« pri eni stvari. Ne pri desetih ali petintridesetih stvareh v preteklosti, ampak zgolj pri eni stvari, ki je niso »prebavili«, »predelali« ali »presegli«. Ostali so na neki stopnji in se pač niso premaknili naprej. Na zunaj živijo sodobna življenja, v svojem bistvu pa se vedno znova vračajo k enem problemu, v katerega se neuspešno zaletavajo in si tako razbijajo betice. Povsem logično je, da si kolumnisti niso povsem edini, kaj naj bi bila ta »stvar«, ki je ustvarila zgodovenskega belcebuba. Še največ zagovornikov imata hlapčevstvo in tlačanstvo, zanemariti ne smemo tudi majhnosti, katolištva, komunizma, revolucije, pa še kaj bi se našlo.

Zgodovenci – Marko Zajc, Airbeletrina

***

Iskanje krivca za vsako stvar je zgolj obsedenost naše civilizacije, da mora biti vedno vse brez napak, da če pa gre kaj narobe, je pa nekdo kriv. Nekdo drug. Ne jaz sam. Zgoraj je, upam, naštetih dovolj “drugih”, da boste imeli lep dan.
Pokaže tudi, upam, da prava debata ni o tem, kaj je krivo za poplave, ampak, kaj se da narediti, da bi bile posledice blažje.

***

Kritiko pri nas razumemo kot element promocije. Vsakršna kritiška refleksija, ki zazna slabosti umetniškega dela, je obravnavana kot ad hominem napad na umetnika. Kot »nesramnost«, ki si jo kritik od časa do časa »privošči«. Ko si jo, pa mora za svojo nesramnost tudi »odgovarjati«.
Osebno sem se s tem fenomenom prvič soočil, ko sem prejel prošnjo piarovske službe nekega ljubljanskega gledališča, če bi lahko naslednjo predstavo prišel ocenjevat kdo drug, ker je bil moj zapis »preveč negativističen«; še jasneje pa se mi je razkril, ko mi je na enem od festivalov ugledni gledališki ustvarjalec diskretno svetoval, naj prihodnjih nekaj sezon pišem le pozitivne kritike, ker je slovensko gledališče »trenutno res v redu«.
Gre torej za stanje duha, ki že skoraj meji na bolestni optimizem stereotipne predkrizne evforije korporativnega sveta, v kateri je vsaka negativnost šteta kot »slaba za posel«; evforije, v kateri so tiste, ki so poskušali opozarjati na rdeče številke, najrajši po hitrem postopku odpustili, češ, ne kvarite razpoloženja, dobra volja je najbolja.
Seveda si nihče ne želi, da bi grenko obračunavanje z neuspehi postalo osrednji modus slovenskega kritiškega diskurza. Navdušenje nad dosežki in presežki mora vselej preglasiti nerganje ob spodletelih podvigih. A če res želimo prve, je pač treba tudi druge vselej iskreno analizirati, ovrednotiti in poimenovati.

Oklofutaj svojega kritika – Matic Kocijančič, Pogledi

***

Mojmir Mrak je prepričan, da se bo spremenilo razumevanje narave gospodarske krize, ključno vprašanje v Evropi pa je že postalo “kako priti do neke stabilnejše obnove gospodarske rasti v pogojih, kjer je fiskalni prostor praktično zelo omejen. Cela vrsta držav – tudi Slovenija – je v situaciji, kjer drugega fiskalnega prostora ni.”

Ponekod, denimo v Grčiji, bo za rast treba najprej odpisati dolgove ali močno podaljšati njihovo ročnost. Drugod, denimo v Sloveniji, se bo treba bolj odpreti tujemu kapitalu. Privatizacija ni nujna zaradi zmanjšanja dolgov: “Osebno vidim privatizacijo bolj v kontekstu korporativnega upravljanja.” In izboljšanje upravljanja lahko pripomore k rasti.

In pa, Slovenija ob nevzdržno visokem javnem dolgu še vedno nima izgovora za opustitev proračunske konsolidacije, naše varčevanje je bilo medlo in bilo bi“nekorektno primerjati, da je naše varčevanje bilo tako drastično, kot je bilo drugod”. “Kar pa smo res naredili, je, da smo celotno varčevanje izvedli na investicijah.”

Moralo pa bi biti obratno: manj varčevanja pri investicijah in več reform, ki bi ustavile naraščanje javnih izdatkov, pravi Mrak.

Mrak o krizi: drugačna diagnoza, drugačni ukrepi – Maja Derčar, MMC RTVSLO

***

Ste eden tistih ljubljanskih voznikov, ki pri zelenem semaforju najprej malo razmislijo in pogledajo, nato počasi in previdno speljejo, si pustijo razkošno varnostno razdaljo in potem zelo zelo zelo zložno pospešujejo do naslednjega križišča? Ker verjamete, da tako varčujete gorivo? Za vas imam novico – motite se. Fizikalno gledano, porabite enako energije, da od nič do 60 pospešite v petih sekundah, kot če za enak pospešek potrebujete 20 sekund.

Očitno ne veste niti tega, da taka ležernost povzroča tudi nemajhno kolateralno škodo. Če vsi speljejo po polževo, bo šlo v zelenem intervalu skozi križišče samo pet avtov namesto 10 ali 15. Postopoma se bodo naredili zastoji, križišča se bodo navzkrižno blokirala, tisoče avtomobilskih motorjev bo teklo v prazno, kurilo gorivo in povečevalo izpuste. Zapomnite si, torej: naslednjič, ko boste spet speljali takole po principu »previdnost je mati modrosti«, bo zaradi vas še en severni medvedek nekje na Arktiki izgubil bitko za preživetje, ker se mu bo zaradi globalnega segrevanja stalila njegova ledena gora.

Cijazenje prometa po naši prestolnici je metafora za naše reševanje gospodarskih težav. Strukturne reforme se vlečejo v nedogled. Sanacija bank se vleče v nedogled. Privatizacije se vlečejo v nedogled. Insolvenčni postopki se vlečejo v nedogled. Postopki zmanjševanja presežkov zaposlenih se vlečejo v nedogled. Sodni postopki se vlečejo v nedogled. Postopki prestrukturiranja podjetij se vlečejo v nedogled. Likvidnostnemu in razpoloženjskemu krču dajemo čas, da metastazira po dobaviteljskih verigah in omrežjih. Zaradi dolgotrajne negotovosti zmrznejo še porabniki in kar naenkrat ves center stoji, vsa križišča so navzkrižno blokirana, prometnikov, ki bi razčistili situacijo, pa od nikoder. Počasi se vse več ekonomskih subjektov zakrči, izgubijo voljo do iskanja dela, do iskanja podjetniških priložnosti, do investiranja in rasti. In za piko na i jih zaradi dolgotrajnega stresa zatolčejo še psihosomatske težave.

Prestavite vsaj v tretjo, prosim – Blaž Vodopivec, Finance

***

Contrary to standard definitions of sociology as an a-telic pursuit of insight and knowledge, Smith argues that sociology has an agenda, “visionary project of realizing the emancipation, equality, and moral affirmation of all human beings as autonomous, self-directly, individual agents (who should be) out to live their lives as they personally so desire, by constructing their own favored identities, entering and exiting relationship as they choose, and equally enjoying the gratification of experiential, material, and bodily pleasures” (7-8). Sociology isn’t philosophically neutral, but pursues a vision of the “good life and society” as one that “throws off the restrictive, repressive constraints placed on the gratification of individual pleasures and frees everyone to satisfy any pleasure that she or he so desires” (17).

Borrowing from the aims of Christianity, sociology unsurprisingly offers “a secular salvation story” with roots in the “Enlightenment, liberalism, Marxism, reformist progressivism, pragmatism, therapeutic culture, sexual liberation, civil rights, feminism, and so on” (20). Some sociologists are true believers; others are tacitly friendly to the project. Describing sociology in this terms has a couple of advantages: It’s sure to shock, and so has some rhetorical punch. But it also helps to explain some of the behavior that Smith describes in the book. As he shows, the reaction to sociology’s “heretics” isn’t rational discussion and dispassionate weighing of evidence.

Sacred Sociology – Peter Leithart, First Things

***

The disintegration of the ruble is merely a symptom of something much deeper and more worrying. This is Putin digging in; this is Putin reinforcing his foxhole and preparing for the long fight ahead. He will not let go of eastern Ukraine, and he is trying to keep the reserves full so that he can survive the long fight ahead.

The problem, though, is that the pressure inside the system is rising. Food prices are jumping and, though so far, Russians mostly blame the West for their country’s economic malaise, it’s not clear how long that will last.

Far more alarming, though, is the struggle over resources that is starting to take shape among the billionaires in Putin’s orbit. In January, I quoted Elena Panfilova, now the vice president of Transparency International, who predicted that the elites will start to cannibalize themselves as they fight over a rapidly shrinking economic pie. These men are used to a certain level of income and it is one that is hard to maintain when your economy isn’t growing. At all. And so, over the last year, we’ve seen the system eat two men who were once quite close to Putin. Earlier this year, Sergei Pugachev, the man known as the “Kremlin’s banker,” fled Russia, a warrant out for his arrest. This fall, Vladimir Yevtushenkov, one of the wealthiest businessmen in Russia, was arrested. In record time, a court said that an oil company he owned actually belonged to the government, and it was gone.

Russia’s Ruble Value Is Plummeting and Putin’s Billionaires Are Canabalizing Each Other – Julia Ioffe, The New Republic

***

Today, the positive emphasis on a war of aggression goes well with tendencies in the Russian media, where defiant declarations of Russian anti-fascism are increasingly submerged in rhetoric that may seem rather fascist. Jews are blamed for the Holocaust on national television; an intellectual close to the Kremlin praises Hitler as a statesman; Russian Nazis march on May Day; Nuremberg-style rallies where torches are carried in swastika formations are presented as anti-fascist; and a campaign against homosexuals is presented as a defense of true European civilization. In its invasion of Ukraine, the Russian government has called upon the members of local and European far right groups to support its actions and spread Moscow’s version of events.

In the recent “elections” staged in the Russian-backed eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, as in the earlier faked referendum in occupied Crimea, European far-right politicians have come as “observers” to endorse the gains of Russia’s war. Far from being an eccentric stunt, the invitation of these “observers” reveals why the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact is meaningful to Moscow today. Although Putin would certainly have been pleased if actual German or Polish political leaders were foolish enough to take the bait of agreeing to a new division of Europe, he seems satisfied for the moment with the people who have actually responded, in one way or another, to his appeal to destroy the existing European order: separatists across Europe (including the UK Independence Party, whose leader, Nigel Farage, calls Putin the world leader he most admires); anti-European right-wing populist parties (of which the most important is France’s National Front); as well as the far-right fringe, including neo-Nazis.

Putin’s New Nostalgia – Timothy Snyder, The New York Review of Books

***

Zionism, which did not undergo a metamorphosis in 1948 and did not desist in 1967, became a kind of revolution-in-progress and thereby became like the other revolutions-in-progress of the 20th century. It forged a situation that a liberal democrat cannot live with and cannot accept. This is a situation that cannot endure indefinitely.

(…)

I will tell you where you differ from the Zionist left. For most of us, the key concept is the “State of Israel.” As we see it, the Zionist enterprise was intended to bring into being a place where the Jewish people would constitute the majority and enjoy sovereignty. If there is no majority, there is no sovereignty and no democratic-Jewish state; there is no point to all this. It’s more convenient to live as a minority in Manhattan. But for you the basic concept is the “Land of Israel.” In that sense, you resemble the right wing and the Palestinians. You have a soil fetish. You come from the soil and you live the soil and you speak in the name of the soil.

It’s true that I live the story of the soil. I live the whole land and I am mindful of all the people who live here. That is how I know that the land cannot tolerate partition. And I know the land is hurting. The land is angry. After all, what two great monuments have we built here in the past decade? One is the separation fence and the other is [architect Moshe] Safdie’s terminal at Ben-Gurion Airport. The two monuments have something in common: they are intended to allow us to live here as though we are not here. They were built so that we would not see the land and not see the Palestinians, and live as though we are connected to the tail end of Italy. But I see all the fruit groves that were demolished in order to build the fence. I hear the hills that were sliced in two in order to build the fence. The heart weeps. The heart weeps in the name of the soil. For me, the soil is a living being. And I see how this conflict has tortured the soil, the homeland. I grieve for the torments of the homeland.

Jerusalem-born thinker Meron Benevisti has a message for Israelis: stop whining – Ari Shavit, Haaretz

***

Why was the South so well suited to fill the demand for congenial Catholic voices? The standard explanation holds that their inability to retreat to insular, self-sufficient “ghettos” made Southern Catholics more appealing on the national scene. Forced to find their way in a largely non-Catholic world, they grew adept at expressing their moral vision in terms accessible to outsiders. The flowering of Catholic fiction in the mid-twentieth century bore witness to this dynamic. Readers who wished to penetrate the inner workings of a self-contained parochial universe could listen to the musings of J. F. Powers’ upper-Midwestern clerics. Those who wanted to explore broader applications of Catholic soteriology attended to the harsh twang of Flannery O’Connor’s “good country people” or the more gentlemanly drawls of Walker Percy’s cosmic wanderers. In political matters, meanwhile, the Southern Catholic voice remained optimistic about the basic congruity of civic aims and Christian commitments. It was yet another South Carolinian, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, who emerged as the Church’s leading architect of moderation and consensus amid our late-century culture wars.

Stephen Colbert and the Southern Catholic Charism – Drew Denton, First Things

***

According to Bromwich, Burke’s importance must be understood in terms of a theological crisis in the late 18th century. This was, Bromwich tells us, the crisis of “secularization.” In the old Thomist view of politics, the state was a practical extension of the moral law. But in Burke’s day, Bromwich explains, this vision of politics had become increasingly untenable. In its absence, what arguments could be levied against the Machiavellian image of politics as an amoral arena in which statesmen recognize only the dictates of power and prestige? If statesmen are to obey gods higher than the will to power or the logic of the market, then in the wake of religion’s collapse a new justification for political morality is needed. This is what Bromwich thinks he has found in Burke.

Again and again Bromwich repeats Burke’s mantra that “the principles of true politics are those of morality enlarged, and I neither now do nor ever will admit of any other.” For Burke, he argues, political morality was grounded in the natural human ability to empathize with one’s fellow man. Rather than divine command, Burkean morality is based on human psychology.

Occupy Edmund Burke – Jonathan Green, The American Conservative

Tedenski izbor

Churchill-reading

 

Yet [Greece’s] recent comeback masks deep structural problems. To tidy its books, Athens levied crippling taxes on the middle class and made sharp cuts to government salaries, pensions, and health-care coverage. While ordinary citizens suffered under the weight of austerity, the government stalled on meaningful reforms: the Greek economy remains one of the least open in Europe and consequently one of the least competitive. It is also one of the most unequal.

Greece has failed to address such problems because the country’s elites have a vested interest in keeping things as they are. Since the early 1990s, a handful of wealthy families — an oligarchy in all but name — has dominated Greek politics. These elites have preserved their positions through control of the media and through old-fashioned favoritism, sharing the spoils of power with the country’s politicians. Greek legislators, in turn, have held on to power by rewarding a small number of professional associations and public-sector unions that support the status quo. Even as European lenders have put the country’s finances under a microscope, this arrangement has held.

The fundamental problem facing Greece is not economic growth but political inequality.

Misrule of the Few: How the Oligarchs Ruined Greece – Pavlos Eleftheriadis, Foreign Affairs

***

I agree entirely with Ryan that libertarianism (“rugged individualism”) is hard to reconcile with Christianity and the history of Christian political thought. His comment, though, highlights two ideas I’m trying to work out within my own thinking on religion and politics.

First, to say that Republicans, especially Christian conservatives, have “given up on America” because they no longer have Tocquevillian ideals is, I think, sort of true — but then, is it not the case that America has given up on itself in that regard? Who really believes in the common good anymore? We have become an atomized nation of individual consumers who believe our preferences must be indulged no matter what. It’s true of the Right as well as the Left. The main reason it’s so hard to talk about the common good is that so few people are willing to recognize an independent authoritative standard for determining that good.

Has the GOP Given Up on America? – Rod Dreher, The American Conservative

 ***

This updated conservative tradition consists of several complementary propositions:

As human beings, our first responsibility lies in stewardship, preserving our common inheritance and protecting that which possesses lasting value. This implies an ability to discriminate between what is permanent and what is transient, between what ought to endure and what is rightly destined for the trash heap. Please note this does not signify opposition to all change—no standing athwart history, yelling Stop—but fostering change that enhances rather than undermines that which qualifies as true.

Conservatives, therefore, are skeptical of anything that smacks of utopianism. They resist seduction by charlatans peddling the latest Big Idea That Explains Everything.

Counterculture Conservatism: the Right Needs Less Ayn Rand, More Flannery O’Connor – Andrew Bacevich, The American Conservative

 ***

Zgodba o vlačenju Anuške Delić po sodišču postaja bizarna in se spreminja v institucionalni spin, ki je mogoč zgolj zaradi tega, ker je to politično mogoče. Da ne bo pomote: Delićeva, ki, kot smo razkrili na našem portalu, pridobiva informacije kar pri Pristopu in z njimi obdeluje bivše Pristopove poslovne stranke, je v primeru desnih ekstremistov naredila tisto, kar bi vsak novinar moral in k čemur je zavezan – objavila je vse zgodbe.

In bodimo iskreni, objavila jih je še z večjim veseljem, ker je šlo za informacije, ki so neposredno škodile volilni mobilizaciji SDS. Problem pa, institucionalno gledano, ni v Delićevi, ampak v viru, ki je informacije s točno določeno agendo (ki je lahko samo politična) odcurljal do Dela.

Ali je Sova ušla izpod kontrole? – Kizo, Portal Plus

***

Potrebujemo iniciativi Reset in Gremo na volitve na steroidih. Takšni, ki se ekipirata skrbneje in dlje časa od izvirnika in ne ponovita začetniških napak Državljanske liste. Potrebujemo kritično maso razumnih ljudi, ki bi skupaj z ranjeno desno-sredinsko opozicijo, brez Desusa, na volitvah lahko dosegli 51 odstotkov  ter izvedli trajne spremembe. Nemogoče? Sploh ne.  Naj brez posebnega vrstnega reda in brez vedenja oseb, ki jih bom namočil, naštejem nekaj posameznikov, ki bi jim kot ekipi zaupal svojo podporo in glas: Romani Jordan, Janezu Šušteršiču, Marjanu Batagelju, Blažu Vodopivcu, Bojanu Travnu, Igorju Mastenu, Žigu Turku in Igorju Akrapoviču Bi jim tudi vi? Ne pravim, da se bo takšna politična opcija pojavila. Pravim le, da bi tudi apatični volivci in volivke prišli na volitve in podprli spremembe, če bi zanje ustrezno ponudbo. In da torej ni res, da je vse izgubljeno!

Reset na steroidih – Tomaž Štih, Reporter

***

The Putin personality cult appears to be rising. Vyacheslav Volodin, first deputy chief of staff to the president, told the conference Wednesday that Western “attacks against Putin are attacks against Russia.”

He went on to say that Russia’s people understand “that if there is no Putin, there is no Russia.” (…)

Mr. Volodin’s remarks spurred political pundit Stanislav Belkovskiy, a Putin critic, to tell the independent Ekho Moskvy radio station: “The search for Russia’s national idea, which began after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, is finally over. Now it is obvious that Russia’s national idea is Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin as an individual.”

It is hard to imagine that identification between state and ruler being made in the U.S. or Western Europe, in private or in public. It is another illustration of how those in power in Russia think differently from their counterparts in the West.

Russia and West Grapple with Alternate Realities – Allan Cullison, The Wall Street Journal

***

The collapse of Ukraine would be a tremendous loss for NATO, the European Union, and the United States. A victorious Russia would become much more influential within the EU and pose a potent threat to the Baltic states with their large ethnic Russian populations. Instead of supporting Ukraine, NATO would have to defend itself on its own soil. This would expose both the EU and the US to the danger they have been so eager to avoid: a direct military confrontation with Russia. The European Union would become even more divided and ungovernable. Why should the US and other NATO nations allow this to happen?

The argument that has prevailed in both Europe and the United States is that Putin is no Hitler; by giving him everything he can reasonably ask for, he can be prevented from resorting to further use of force. In the meantime, the sanctions against Russia—which include, for example, restrictions on business transactions, finance, and trade—will have their effect and in the long run Russia will have to retreat in order to earn some relief from them.

These are false hopes derived from a false argument with no factual evidence to support it. Putin has repeatedly resorted to force and he is liable to do so again unless he faces strong resistance. Even if it is possible that the hypothesis could turn out to be valid, it is extremely irresponsible not to prepare a Plan B.

Wake Up, Europe – George Soros, The New York Review of Books

***

Tisto, kar je bilo včasih samoumevno in potem izgnano iz narodovega spomina, počasi a vztrajno spet dobiva prostor pod soncem. Hvala Bogu, očitno postajamo normalni.

Pred par meseci sem slišal osebno pričevanje nekdanjega partizanskega borca iz manjšega kraja v zamejstvu na Goriškem. Pripovedoval je o svojih izkušnjah v partizanskih vrstah, ko se je kot mobiliziran mladoletnik septembra 1943 udeležil bojev na t. i. goriški fronti. Samo za osvežitev spomina: Partizanske enote na Primorskem so želele sredi septembra 1943 zadržati nemški prodor pred Gorico. Toda bile so nepripravljene in preslabo vodene, tako da so nemški okupatorji, ki so zamenjali Italijane, kmalu krvavo zatrli partizanski odpor ter povzročili velike in nepotrebne žrtve.

No, omenjeni možakar je pripovedoval, kako so se nič kaj junaško skrivali v Trnovskem gozdu, tam pri Rijavcih, ko so pač videli silno nemško premoč. In tam, v skalni votlini, je dvanajst primorskih mož in fantov ždelo nekaj dni. Lačni, žejni, prestrašeni. Na dan vseh svetih, 1. novembra popoldne, je eden izmed njih rekel: »Sedaj so naši domači zbrani na domačem pokopališču na grobovih rajnih in molijo, dajmo tudi mi kaj zmoliti za naše rajne.« Iz žepa je najmlajši med njimi potegnil rožni venec, in vsi, prav vsi, so v en glas molili s priprošnjo k Svetogorski Kraljici za rajne.

Pravica do normalnosti – Renato Podbersič ml, Časnik

***

Treba je začeti znova in projekt narediti na civilizacijski normi, da ima vsak človek pravico do groba, kar izhaja iz pietete in dostojanstva človeka. Obuditi je potrebno sočutje, ki je izraz dobronamernosti človeka in preprečuje zlo, ki ustvarja sovraštvo, da se zadeve ponavljajo. Tu smo na mestu, kjer so se dogajali nasilje in zločini, materam so jemali otroke in ljudi odvažali na morišča v razne jarke in Hude jame. Tu so ljudje umirali in bili tudi ubiti in zakopani. Torej to je kraj, kjer se mora človek zjokati in to dvakrat: prvič zaradi zločinov in drugič zaradi neetičnega odnosa do trupel in neresnega urejanja okolja za prikrivanje resnice.

Nedokončan park, nedokončana demokratična prenova – Franc Zabukošek, Časnik

***

Se torej splača študirati?

Prepričan sem, da ja. Za take razmisleke ni dovolj analizirati, kako je zdaj, ampak se je treba ozreti v prihodnost. Slovenija bo morala doživeti svojo katarzo in prav zato, ker smo tukaj, namenoma nisem omenil možnosti odhoda v tujino. V Sloveniji radi živimo in samo skupaj jo bomo lahko premaknili z mrtve točke. Vseh stvari se preprosto ne da znanstveno dokazati, kaj šele napovedati. V nekatere stvari je treba preprosto verjeti. In glagol »splačati se« nima zgolj finančnega pomena.

Ali se splača študirati? – Jaka Vadnjal, Finance

Tedenski izbor

lettura

 

Kako to, da ji v Sloveniji nihče nikoli ni postavil težkih vprašanj? Kako to, da na Univerzi v Ljubljani lahko zagovarjaš znanstveni magisterij, čigar mentor je “akademski profesor”, naziv, ki ne obstaja? Kako to, da je v Sloveniji gladko prišla na najvišji položaj? Kako to, da v Sloveniji nihče ni opazil tega, kar so v prvi uri opazili evropski poslanci?

A predsednik slovenske vlade je pa lahko kar vsak? Za razliko od ministrov predsednika vlade niti domači parlamentarni odbori ne izprašajo. Pri čemer so slovenski parlamentarci praviloma vsaj taki začetniki kot bodoči ministri in debata na zaslišanjih ne dosega nivoja evropskega parlamenta. Ker imamo nestrankarsko demokracijo brez pravih politikov.

Kako to, da njenih omejitev niso opazili mediji? Z izjemo tistih, katerih fokus je bila Bandiera rossa. Kako to, da naš politični sistem na najvišje položaje pripelje ljudi, ki v mednarodnem okolju, torej zunaj akvarija, popolnoma pogorijo? Mimogrede, kakšne so pravzaprav mednarodne reference trenutnega političnega vrha? (…)

Komisarka Alenka Bratušek je rezultat akvarija, ki smo si ga naredili, ki ga vzdržujemo. Pretvarjamo se in nas pretvarjajo, da je ta akvarij vse, kar obstaja. Do so najboljši v akvariju najboljši na svetu. Na nek način je Alenka Bratušek njegova žrtev.

Nevidni akvarij Alenke Bratušek – Žiga Turk, Časnik

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Es gibt eine Menge Dinge, die eine angehende EU-Kommissarin können muss, um das grilling zu überstehen – jene Anhörung im Europa-Parlament, bei der Kandidatinnen und Kandidaten ihre Kompetenz für das hohe Amt beweisen sollen. Über glühende Kohlen laufen zu können, gehört normalerweise nicht dazu.

Doch genau diese Qualifikation bringt Violeta Bulc mit, soeben von der slowenischen Regierung als neue EU-Kommissarin nominiert. Sie soll Sloweniens ehemalige Regierungschefin Alenka Bratusek ersetzen, der das Europaparlament die Zustimmung verweigert hatte.

Die 50 Jahre alte Bulc ist nicht bloß Eigentümerin der Beratungsfirma “Vibacom”, sondern auch begeisterte Anhängerin von Esoterik und New Age. Auf ihrem Firmen-Blog erklärt sie, an die “Kraft von Netzwerken, das holistische Individuum und positive Energie” zu glauben.

Umstrittene EU-Kandidatin Bulc: Komissarin für positive Energie – Gregor Peter Schmitz, Der Spiegel

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Temelje negativne kadrovske selekcije je slovenska politika postavila že na začetku samostojne Slovenije. Razkril jih je Ivan Oman, ko je javno rekel: “Ni važno, da je pismen, važno, da je naš!”

Slovensko politiko tudi danes poganja vodilo: ni važno, kaj znaš, važno je, da si naš.

Zato ostaja blokovska delitev na naše in vaše, zato v slovenski politiki ni mogoče uspeti sposobnim, ki bi smeli razmišljati s svojo glavo, zato predsedniki strank nimajo dostojnih naslednikov, imajo zgolj svoje kopije. A vsaka kopija je le še slabša od originala.

V slovenski politiki so lahko uspešni samo luzerji – Uroš Urbas, Planet Siol

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Kdaj in kako bo drugače? Takole smo zapisali v zborniku Evropska Slovenija:

»Z uveljavitvijo liberalne misli bo na prvo mesto spet stopil posameznik: svoboden, odgovoren in ustvarjalen. Iz množice takih posameznikov bodo ob ustrezni, spodbudni družbeni klimi zrasle meritorne elite z znanjem, ki bodo zagotovile človeške vire za delovanje institucij. Na drugi strani bodo ti isti posamezniki res uveljavili svojo svobodno gospodarsko pobudo in na njeni osnovi ustvarjali zasebni kapital.

Iz tega se bodo pobirali davki za delovanje institucij demokratične in pravne države, za socialne transferje najšibkejšim v družbi, presežki pa se bodo lahko namenjali za investicije v novo gospodarsko rast, kakor tudi za delovanje civilne družbe. Vse to se bo odražalo v močnih zasebnih, civilnodružbenih in državnih institucijah. Te bodo predstavljale prostor za uveljavljanje idej in bodo hkrati njihova valilnica. Večja kot bo možnost za uresničitev idej, večja bo spodbuda posameznikov za njihovo proizvodnjo. In to bo gonilo svobodomiselnega napredka.

Spoštovanje vsakega posameznika, njihova ekonomska okrepitev, razcvet civilne družbe in s tem pravega družbenega pluralizma bodo Slovenijo odprli tudi navzven in jo spremenili v svetovljansko družbo. Kot taka, odprta za pretočnost dobrih idej, ne glede na njihov izvor, bo sama po sebi pritegnila tudi številne posameznike iz sveta, ki bodo s seboj prinesli nove ideje, nov kapital in nove spodbude za nadaljnji družbeni razvoj, obenem pa bodo Slovenijo vpeli tudi v globalne okvire.«

Tako se bodo postopoma vzpostavile predpostavke Slovenije kot normalne evropske države. Tedaj ne bomo več kulturni šok za druge, temveč bomo – sebi in drugim – v iskren, a skromen ponos.

Kulturni šok v Bruslju – Matej Avbelj, Ius Info

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Orbán exerts fascination on international commentators because he is an Anakin Skywalker-like figure who walked from the light side (democratic, liberal, anti-communist) to the dark side (illiberal and pro-Russian). But this response suggests that Orbán’s story is unique, which is unfortunately not true. Orbán is not the only opportunist populist politician who lost his enthusiasm for western-type democracies. The Turkish president Erdogan for example – who began his career as a religious hardliner – surprised many at the beginning of his political career with his moderate, reformist line of governance. Erdogan established good relations with the US, the EU, and even Israel, and made steps to calm relations with Greece. But he gradually shifted away from this political line and became a populist, nationalist conservative leader, turning against western values and allies, who now wants Turkey to walk its own way instead of belonging to a western alliance. It is symbolic that Erdogan, formerly a good ally of Israel, has just returned the award he received from the Jewish World Congress a decade ago.

This should be a wake-up call for the west: the political attractiveness of the western model is eroding, and populist politicians who have made many efforts to gain the support of the west one or two decades ago are now abandoning the western path.

More Hungarys in Eastern Europe – Péter Krekó, Open Democracy 

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The question of a double standard on equal rights has much to do with the left’s longstanding devotion to multiculturalism and cultural relativism: that we must respect the value systems of cultures different from our own, and that, since we are all morally compromised, we shouldn’t cast stones. As Azlan points out in his CNN interview, Saudi Arabia may be the most extreme Muslim country in the Middle East, and still it’s the United States’ closest Arab ally. Too often we have funded extremist regimes in the region at the expense of fostering democracy, creating an environment for radical Islam to thrive.

But this doesn’t negate the argument that there is a double standard. Even if we admit complicity in the rise of militant Islam, we have every right to condemn the values of Islamic fundamentalists. Fears of cultural imperiousness cannot allow us to ignore or, worse, justify beliefs and behavior in other cultures that we would never accept here at home.

Yes, Bill Maher Is Boorsih. But We Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Criticize Islam – Eric Sasson, The New Republic

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Na simbolni ravni za Stranko Mira Cerarja ni najhujše to, da je bilo za njenega županskega kandidata nedosegljivih že pet odstotkov glasov in da je v mestnem svetu šele na tretjem mestu. Ne, bistvena je njena vnaprejšnja prepustitev terena Zoranu Jankoviću. Niti za resen izziv niso imeli volje. S tem pa se SMC dokončno odmika od predstave o domnevno sredinski stranki, drugačni od predhodnic, ki so jo z njo povezovali nekateri komentatorji po volitvah.  S svojo ljubljansko kapitulacijo so Cerarjevi dokazali, da so povsem običajni nasledniki LDS in Pozitivne Slovenije,  stranka brez lastne volje v službi svojega bloka.

Majhen obliž na veliki rani – Aleš Maver, Časnik

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Several of the traits that Dawkins displays in his campaign against religion are on show here. There is his equation of superiority with cleverness: the visiting aliens are more advanced creatures than humans because they are smarter and know more than humans do. The theory of evolution by natural selection is treated not as a fallible theorythe best account we have so far of how life emerged and developedbut as an unalterable truth, which has been revealed to a single individual of transcendent genius. There cannot be much doubt that Dawkins sees himself as a Darwin-like figure, propagating the revelation that came to the Victorian naturalist.

Among these traits, it is Dawkins’s identification with Darwin that is most incongruous. No two minds could be less alike than those of the great nineteenth-century scientist and the latter-day evangelist for atheism. Hesitant, doubtful, and often painfully perplexed, Darwin understood science as an empirical investigation in which truth is never self-evident and theories are always provisional. If science, for Darwin, was a method of inquiry that enabled him to edge tentatively and humbly toward the truth, for Dawkins, science is an unquestioned view of the world.

The Closed Mind of Richard Dawkins – John Gray, The New Republic

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Novi nadškof ima tako vse pogoje za neodvisnost in distanco do dosedanjih škofijskih in medškofijskih upravljavskih struktur in mrež, do katerih se je zaradi toliko bolečih dogodkov v zadnjem času pojavilo veliko nezaupanja.

To bo verjetno eden od temeljnih preizkusnih kamnov novega vodenja – na eni strani graditi na vsem dobrem in v spoštovanju in pravilnem vrednotenju prispevka vsakega doslej odgovornega posameznika, po drugem pa odločnost za spremembe ter imenovanje, priznanje in odpravo nepravilnosti, napak ali celo zlorab.

Ta distanca in neodvisnost mu bosta lahko pomagali pri uvajanju potrebnih sprememb, če bo želel in če se bo na to prednost seveda tudi naslonil.

Prvi vtisi o novem ljubljanskem nadškofu – Štefan Kržišnik, Iskreni.net

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Caring for your corner, making the world a better place, one square foot at a time: this is localism, and conservatism, at root. Supporting the foundations, heritage, and traditions that one has inherited. Using one’s talents and gifts to build a better street, a better neighborhood, a better town or city.

Why Cities Need Localists – Gracy Olmstead, The American Conservative

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An atemporal victory of masculinity over the principle of femininity is no victory. A life without history, without children, without season, without going back, without produce besides money, without a fixed vision of “the other side of the river,” just the daily, masturbatory existence of constant acquisition and forward-plowing line without end — this over-masculization is as much a source of impotence, rage and violence as it is of millionaires, and could as easily end in prolonged video-gaming as becoming a CEO. Women, by the very mystery of their form, embody a conception of time that teaches men to rise to the fullness of their humanity — to resist the temptation to violence which is a foremost perversion of masculinity.

It is far more difficult to speak of what the masculinity offers to femininity, for while I daily receive an education from the latter, marvel at the fact, and can attest to its reality — women are awfully quiet about whether men are doing them any good. But if I were to venture a guess, I would say that the masculine form is an education in teleology — in achieving an end. It is written in the very muscular structure of the male form — to accomplish the task, to complete the mission, to do and do well, to use strength.

Masculine and Feminine Time – Marc Barnes, Bad Catholic

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Razsežnost vojne je pomenila, da je kruto realnost jarkov na svoji koži izkusil marsikateri slikar, pesnik in pisatelj. Med slovenskimi ustvarjalci je bil v takih kritikah šaljivo oster prav Hinko Smrekar, ki je v svojih podobah in zapisih obsojal vojno, opozarjal na njen nesmisel in razgalil brutalnost avtoritarnega vojaškega sistema. S svojim begom v zaigrano blaznost pa postal “simbol usode malega človeka v spopadu z represivnim militarizmom”. Žal je v drugem velikem svetovnem spopadu sam postal del tragike in nesmisla, na katerega je opozarjal. Na prvi oktobrski dan leta 1942 so ga po brutalnem zaslišanju v Gramozni jami ustrelili fašisti. Če je pogreb minil brez prisotnosti znancev, pa je bil drugi dan Smrekarjev grob ves pokrit s cvetjem.

Zaigrana blaznost Hinka Smrekarja – Maja Kač, MMC RTVSLO

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Starejši občani so, kot je znano, pogosto tarča raznih vsiljivcev. Ker neprijetni pripetljaj, ki se je zgodil Mesečevim starim staršem tudi ni edini, v bodoče malce več pozornosti ne bo odveč.

Pozor starejši: vsiljivi novinarji revije Reporter na vratih! – Uroš Abram, Spletna Mladina

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Državnega monopolista niso še nikoli prisilili v učinkovitost s tem, da so mu dali več denarja. Ukrotiš ga lahko le, če ga izpostaviš odprti konkurenci ali pa ga preprosto ukineš.

Konkurenca pri avtomobilskem zavarovanju deluje, prav tako deluje ločitev na obvezni in prostovoljni del zavarovanja (na primer kasko). Na podoben način bi lahko delovala tudi pri zdravstvenem zavarovanju in tudi deluje v številnih državah, po katerih se sicer radi zgledujemo, na primer v Nemčiji, Avstriji ali na Nizozemskem.

Če bi konkurenco dopustili, bi jo ZZZS najprej skušal onemogočiti, podobno, kot je Telekom nekoč onemogočal konkurenčne ponudnike storitev. Tako kot se agenciji za varstvo konkurence in za telekomunikacije dolgo nista hoteli spraviti nad Telekom, se verjetno tudi agencija za zavarovalni nadzor ne bi lahkega srca spravila nad ZZZS. Ko bi se, bi se moral ta končno prilagoditi. Morda bi kar sam predlagal spremembo upravljavske strukture, se trše pogajal z dobavitelji in z lastnimi močmi preganjal korupcijo.

Ukinitev dopolnilnega zavarovanja je slepilni manever – Janez Šušteršič, Planet Siol

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Wealth inequality is generated not by intrinsic features of capitalism—the most important of which, in Taleb’s view, is that every participant is exposed to the losses that go hand in hand with risk—but from specific state and central-bank policies that reward leveraged speculation and enable financiers to play with no skin in the game. In Taleb’s trenchant phrase, financial inequalities are “one crash away from reallocation.”

This suggests that one way to address both wealth inequality and speculative excesses is to rewrite the rules so that participants must have skin in the game. Whether this is possible in an era of regulatory capture by the very financiers the rules aim to corral is an open question. Wallerstein’s school, like Piketty, also overlooks the transformative power of the factors Giovanni Arrighi—another disciple of Braudel and author of The Long Twentieth Century—identifies as the key drivers of capital accumulation: attracting entrepreneurs and mobile capital.

What could replace the current iteration of global state-capitalism? If we assemble these three potentially transformative dynamics—degrowth, the recoupling of risk and loss, and entrepreneurial mobile capital—we discern a new and potentially productive teleological arc to global capitalism, one that moves from a capitalism based on financial hyper-centralization and obsession with rising consumption to one focused on more efficient use of resources and capital via decentralization and localized innovation.

Is There Capitalism After Cronysm? – Charles Hugh Smith, The American Conservative

Tedenski izbor

cigar-smoking-traveler-reading

Danes je moto dneva povprečnost. Danes seveda nihče z IQ, višjim od sobne temperature, ne bi upal Slovenije več postaviti v bližino kakšnega svetilnika uspešnosti. (Izjema je Alenka Bratušek, ki še kar misli, da nas je njena vlada pripeljala v nekakšen trajen gospodarski orgazem.) Pač pa nas danes vsi, na čelu s politiki levice, »resnimi ekonomisti« in »resnimi mediji«, prepričujejo, da je v Sloveniji stanje čisto povprečno, obdavčitev je čisto povprečna, obremenitev plač je čisto povprečna, kriza je čisto povprečna (itak je uvožena iz ZDA), rast je čisto povprečna, zadolženost je čisto povprečna, stroški javnega sektorja so čisto povprečni, brezposel­nost je čisto povprečna, državna lastnina je čisto povprečna, znanje naših otrok je čisto povprečno, vraga, še nesposobnost naše politike naj bi bila čisto povprečna. In če smo čisto povprečni, smo torej čisto O. K. in neke resne spremembe niso potrebne. In da bo natančno jasno, katere spremembe še posebej niso potrebne, je Mladina celo spet začela neskrupulozno in primitivno pogrevati stare pravljice o grdih domobrancih, češ vsakdo, kdor podpira privatizacijo in prilagajanje normam EU, je v resnici kolaborant in izdajalec, če že ne to, pa vsaj en ušiv hlapec. Kako nazadnjaško, predmoderno, blut-und-boden, res vredno tako imenovane progresivne novolevičarske publikacije.

Tako imenovani pogum, tako imenovana povprečnost in tako imenovane spremembe – Blaž Vodopivec, Finance

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Trdim, da sistemsko preprečujemo, da bi imeli boljše politike. Razmeroma maloštevilen parlament le majhnemu številu ljudi omogoča preživljanje s politiko. Fluktuacija v parlamentu je velika, to preprečuje, da bi se ljudje s poslansko funkcijo gradili. Za ministra ni obvezno, da je izvoljen kot poslanec. Plače politikov, zlasti na izvršilnih mestih, so demagoško nizke. Zapenjanje pri financiranju strank še bolj zmanjšuje možnosti za ekonomsko preživetje v politiki in financiranje ustrezne strokovne podpore. Volilni sistem tisto malo politikov razprši v veliko strank, to pomeni, da skoraj v nobeni ni kritične mase – ne pameti ne denarja.

Vzorci prejšnjega sistema živijo naprej. Tam so partija in njeni sateliti razpolagali z dovolj velikim številom delovnih mest, da so se na njih lahko gradili politiki. Celoten samoupravni delegatski sistem, ki je zakrival partijsko diktaturo, je bil amaterski, jedro pa je bilo profesionalno. Stari mački danes odhajajo v pokoj. A naslednice partije imajo vsaj nekaj ustanov, fakultet in inštitutov, kjer se njihovi kadri, kot pravijo, »sončijo«, ko niso v politiki. Na drugi strani sta ducat, dva kariernih politikov in še amaterji, ki sem in tja nekaj pametujemo. Nimamo razvitega ekosistema think-tankov, kjer bi se razvijale politike in o njih tekla široka družbena debata, na katere bi se politiki lahko strokovno naslonili in od koder bo prišla, ko bo, politika 2.0.

Vse to zmanjšuje intelektualno raven in akcijsko sposobnost politike, da bi urejala javne stvari v državi. Na mesto politike vstopajo interesne skupine in neformalni centri moči, ki niso od nikogar izvoljeni in nikomur odgovorni. Politika je samo za vse kriva.

Več politike, prosim! – Žiga Turk, Reporter

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Kako ste prišli do liberalizma kot tipični socialistični klon v Sloveniji: ali skozi LDS »liberalizem« ali skozi gospodarski liberalizem (prosti trg)?

Ne eno ne drugo. Skozi zdravo kmečko pamet, bi rekel. Predvsem preko spletnega foruma Financ, na katerem smo v tistih časih (10 do 15 let nazaj) zelo kvalitetno debatirali o perečih problemih Slovenije na področju borze, gospodarstva in politike. Šele naknadno sem izvedel, da se tej smeri razmišljanja reče liberalizem. Sam bi to poimenoval zdrav razum. Veliko vlogo pri usmeritvi foruma v to smer pa je imel takratni urednik Financ Črt Jakhel.

Marko Pavlišič, inženir v politiki – Robert Šifrer, Časnik

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Če lahko pritrdimo dejstvu, da se je v 20. stoletju na nemški strani odpor do Slovencev podkrepil z rasnimi teorijami, pa moramo tudi priznati, da se je na slovenski strani podkrepil z enačenjem nacionalnega in razrednega sovražnega. Ko  je marksistična definicija razrednega boja postavila enačaj, Slovenec = kmet in se je sovraštvo do višjih stanov povezalo z nacionalnim sovraštvom. Nemci in v manjši meri Italijani so tako ”postali” zatiralci par excellence. To se je pokazalo tudi pri sovraštvu do Nemcev, ki je najverjetneje vsaj delno dobilo svoj izraz pri ravnanju po drugi svetovni vojni, saj vsega spet ne gre povezati z maščevanjem nad okupatorjem, tako kot ne gre vsega prebivalstva nemškega izvora in/ali identitete imeti za naciste.

Ne vrag, le Švab bo mejak – Andraž Kovač, Časnik

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There may be lessons in Jeremiah and Jewish history for Christians and others concerned about their place in modern society. These can be sketched by three ideas.

First, internal exiles should resist the temptation to categorically reject the mainstream. That does not mean avoiding criticism. But it must be criticism in the spirit of common peace rather than condemnation. Jeremiah is famous as the etymological root of the jeremiad. Yet his most scathing criticisms are directed against his own people who have failed in their special calling of righteousness, not the “mainstream” culture. /…/

Finally, Jewish tradition provides a counterpoint to the dream of restoring sacred authority. At least in the diaspora, Jews have demanded the right to live as Jews—but not the imposition of Jewish law or practices on others. MacIntyre evokes historical memories of Christendom that are deeply provocative to many good people, including Jews. The Jeremiah option, on the other hand, represents a commitment to pluralism: the only serious possibility in a secular age like ours.

What Would Jeremiah Do? – Samuel Goldman, The American Conservative

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Unlike the military, who are trained in nonviolent options for conflict resolution, the police often lack such knowledge. Bonnie Kristian expounded this failure and reasons behind systematic police brutality earlier this summer, noting also that cops are rarely held accountable for abuse. “Only one out of every three accused cops are convicted nationwide, while the conviction rate for civilians is literally double that.”

The entrenched racial injustice behind Michael Brown’s death will be difficult to root out, as it has been over centuries of American history. But the decades of policy that allowed for police abuse of Brown, and his town’s peaceful protesters, could be reversed—and if the public outcry over Ferguson is anything to judge by, Americans will be keeping a closer eye on the police in the coming years.

What Ferguson Has Revealed – Catherine Addington, The American Conservative

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The media’s handling of this case was no surprise: political correctness rules in America’s newsrooms. But imagine a hypothetical crime: two clean-cut black couples go into University McDonald’s during the daytime – and are viciously attacked by a mob of whites. An international media circus would erupt! Big-time journalist from all over the world would descend on College Station to deal with the deplorable state of America’s race relations caused by bigoted whites. President Obama would weigh in with a few comments about America’s racial sins; and Attorney General Eric Holder – just like with the Ferguson disturbances – would travel to College Station, where Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would be leading protest marches.

But the narrative they’re promoting is false.

It obscures where most of the hate is coming from. Crime statistics have long reveled the real problem: high levels of black-on-black violence, followed by black-on-white violence and mob attacks — and the latter has been on the increase at an alarming rate, underscoring deep pathologies in a growing black-thug subculture — even as liberals in the mainstream media and Washington are unwilling to acknowledge this fact.

Beaten to Death at McDonald’s – David Paulin, FrontPage Magazine

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There’s no better example of that than Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, Jr., the Harvard professor who was arrested at his own house in Cambridge in 2009 by a white police officer responding to a report of a burglary. “Gates is as respectable and renowned as any black person in the U.S. and he is not shielded from this type of harassment despite being very affluent and even more prestigious,” says Dawson.

Gates is perceived as “respectable” for another reason, too: He preferssportcoats to  baggy pants. On that day in 2009, he was wearing a red polo and dark slacks, and still he was cuffed and thrown in jail. No amount of grooming changed the fact that he was a black man in America. 

“No One Treats African-Americans Worse than We Treat Each Other” – Julia Ioffe, The New Republic

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To kar se v zadnjih letih proti moji krščanski skupnosti dogaja v moji rojstni deželi Iraku in v mestu Mosul, od koder izhajam, je genocid po vseh pravilih, je zločin in še ena črna stran več v zgodovini Islama in muslimanov. Na tisoče ljudi je ubitih, družine so uničene, ženske posiljene, otroci zasužnjeni, hiše napadene, trgovine ukradene, cerkve iz prvih stoletij krščanstva napadane in zažgane.

Resnica je, da se kristjanom v Iraku zelo slabo godi, da jih ne bo ostalo veliko v Iraku, da maloštevilni, ki ostajajo prosijo pomoč, saj ne vedo, kakšna prihodnost jih čaka. Egoistično bi želel, da moji bratje kristjani ne zapustijo Iraka, ker nočem izgubiti svojih korenin in naše dvatisočletne zgodovine. Po drugi strani pa jim tega ne morem direktno zapovedati. Sam namreč živim tukaj v Španiji dokaj varno, zares trpijo pa oni.

R. S. Naaman: Kaj pomeni črka  in kdo so “kafir” – Branko Cestnik, Časnik

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Evangelijski kristjani, ki živijo na območju spopadov, so se znašli v nezavidljivi situaciji. Proruski uporniki so se zavezali, da bodo branili “sveto pravoslavje” in njegove tradicije pred vsakim zahodnjaškim vplivom in evangelijskimi “heretiki”, ki da kvarno vplivajo na edine prave ruske narodne vrednote.  Kot poroča Sergej Rahuba, pravijo separatisti, da se bodo bojevali proti vsakemu heretiku, vsakemu protestantu in vsakomur, ki predstavlja nemoralne zahodne vrednote. Evangelijski kristjani, pa ne le oni,  so torej postali smrtni sovražniki  edinih pravih ruskih vrednot.
 
Prišlo je že do zaplemb protestantskih cerkva, ugrabitev in brutalnih umorov. V mesecu juliju so uporniki ugrabili štiri prostovoljce, ki so delali za krščanski radio in jih pretepli do smrti. 9. junija so oboroženi uporniki med nedeljskim bogoslužjem vdrli v evangelijsko cerkev v Slavjansku in odpeljali v neznano štiri mlade pridigarje. Njihova trupla so pozneje našli v masovni grobnici zraven pediatrične bolnišnice.
 

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

***

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.

/…/

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

reading1

 

Morali se bomo navaditi, da v dvopolni Sloveniji vendarle obstaja nek PRAGMATIČNI SREDINSKI VOLIVEC. Ta je včeraj priskočil na pomoč standardnemu ex-LDS-volivcu iz javnega sektorja – in Cerar je premočno zmagal. Na naslednjih volitvah lahko ta volivec priskoči na pomoč komu na desni. Ta tip volivca ni nek tavajoči in nestabilni element, zgolj produkt medijske manipulacije, ampak je ena izmed legitimnih in spoštovanja vrednih političnih drž.

Odziv na “Slovenci niso razočarali” – Branko Cestnik, Časnik

***

Še več: cela vrsta faktorjev priča o tem, da k Cerarju niso množično prehajali le tisti volivci SDS-a, ki so se stranki pridružili v zadnjih 10. letih, temveč tudi mnogi iz »starega trdega jedra«, torej Janševi podporniki iz let 2000 in 1996. Te izgube je, kot rečeno, SDS uspešno »nadoknadila« s širjenjem na desno in tako ostali pomladni stranki stisnila na rob, kjer le za silo preživita; hkrati pa zaradi kadrovske šibkosti, luknjičasti njune zemljepisne porazdelitve in pomanjkanja trdne medijske podpore nikakor ne zmoreta nagovoriti volivcev, ki jih SDS pušča vnemar.

Anatomija pomladnega poraza – Luka G. Lisjak, Časnik

***

Tabela predvsem zelo jasno kaže, da so bile letošnje volitve – pa čeprav so se zgodile nekako po pomoti – res izjemne. Prvič se je zgodilo, da je politični novinec povsem pometel s staro politično elito. Če seveda odmislimo Demosovo zmago v povsem drugačnih zgodovinskih okoliščinah in drugačnem skupščinskem sistemu.

Stare strankarske elite vseh barv, vonjev in okusov – in ne le desnica – so torej resnični poraženec letošnjih volitev.

Ne sodi mačka po žaklju – Janez Šušteršič, Siol.net

***

Slovenijo smo razlagali kot razdeljeno na dve pripovedi:

Leva pripoved: “Kar imamo zdaj, je demokracija. In ker to ni bistveno različno od prejšnjega režima, tudi prejšnji režim ni mogel biti posebej napačen.”

Desna pripoved: “Kar imamo zdaj, ni demokracija, ker to ni bistveno različno od prejšnjega režima, ki je bil evidentno napačen.”

Na volitvah smo dobili še tretjo: “Imamo, kar imamo. O podrobnostih se prepirajte brez mene.”

Volivci tretje so na volitvah premočno zmagali.

Zmaga in poraz 2014 – Žiga Turk, Čas-opis

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Hitenje s fiskalno konsolidacijo ali hitro zniževanje javne porabe ali davkov na podlagi konzervativne ideologije ima lahko zelo negativne učinke na gospodarsko okrevanje, medtem ko ima nereformiranje javnega sektorja, ohranjanje neoptimalne strukture socialnih transferjev, odlašanje z reformo pokojninskega sistema in trga dela zaradi socialistične ideologije zelo visoke negativne učinke na dolgi rok. Iz povsem pragmatičnih razlogov in v dobro dolgoročnih koristi za celotno družbo je na kratek rok treba biti keynesianec, na dolgi rok pa upoštevati ekonomiko ponudbe. Ni čas za ideologijo, ampak za pragmatičnost.

Upajmo, da bo nova vlada pragmatična, ne ideološka – Jože P. Damijan

***

The bottom-line question is: Does an act that’s clearly immoral when done privately become moral when it is done collectively and under the color of law? Put another way, does legality establish morality?

For most of our history, Congress did a far better job of limiting its activities to what was both moral and constitutional. As a result, federal spending was only 3 to 5 percent of the gross domestic product from our founding until the 1920s, in contrast with today’s 25 percent. Close to three-quarters of today’s federal spending can be described as Congress taking the earnings of one American to give to another through thousands of handout programs, such as farm subsidies, business bailouts and welfare.

Spending and Morality – Walter E. Williams, The New American

***

Thomas Piketty is to be commended for putting the question of distribution at the center of discussion about our economic future, rather than, as is more common in the dominant neoliberal framework, treating it as important only inasmuch as it bears on questions of mobility and growth. He is to be commended as well for demanding a humbler empiricism from the community of economists. But if we are to proceed from analysis to action, we still need a more robust theory of what is actually causing the problem that we observe. And while there is a certain French elegance to single, universal solutions, it may be that a diversity of attacks, tailored to the economic situations of different countries and regions, is not only more plausible than a new, global tax regime but more optimal as well.

Thomas Piketty Is the Anti-Marx – Noah Millman, The American Conservative

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This is a subject that JM Keynes visited in his famous essay Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren. And while all sensible people have their doubts about “Keynesian Economics” there’s no doubt he was a most perspicacious economist. The essay looks at exactly at this point: when will we actually be able to supply everyone’s needs with not all that much work? He thought it would be some 15 years or so from now and we’d all be working 15 hour weeks. Simply because productivity would have advanced so much that that’s all we would need to work.

And this usually brings out the people shouting about why it hasn’t happened yet. But the thing is that is has happened, just not in quite the manner that everyone thought it would.

Google’s Larry Page on the 40 Hour Work Week – Tim Worstall, Forbes

***

The success of these re-emergent technologies also has important lessons for how we think of disruptive innovation. New technologies do not simply displace old ones. Some old technologies, like sailing boats and paper books, have an enduring appeal; some, like watches, can redefine their value; and some, like condoms, can get a new lease of life for unexpected reasons. In addition, people do not just buy something because it provides the most efficient solution to a problem. They buy it because it provides aesthetic satisfaction—a beautiful book, for example, or a perfectly made shirt—or because it makes them feel good about themselves. This suggests a paradox: the more that disruptive innovations like the internet boost the overall productivity of the economy, the more room there will be for old-fashioned industries that focus on quality rather than quantity and heritage rather than novelty. Sometimes the best way forward is backwards.

Second wind: Some traditional businesses are thriving in an age of disruptive innovation – The Economist

***

Imagine the once thin borderline of the American past as an ever-thickening band, now extending 100 miles inland around the United States—along the 2,000-mile southern border, the 4,000-mile northern border and both coasts—and you will be able to visualize how vast the CBP’s jurisdiction has become. This “border” region now covers places where two-thirds of the US population (197.4 million people) live. The ACLU has come to call it a “constitution-free zone.” The “border” has by now devoured the full states of Maine and Florida and much of Michigan.

66 Percent of Americans Now Live in a Constitution-Free Zone – Todd Miller, The Nation

***

Za konec dodajamo pretresljivo pričevanje Tadeje in Iva Keržeta, h katerima gredo naše misli, sočutje in molitve. In seveda moralna podpora za njuno legitimno prizadevanje:

Desetega julija ob 17. uri je po osmih urah trpljenja prišel na svet otrok, ki bi po moji oceni lahko zapolnil moji dlani. Nisem utegnila preveriti, ker ga je sestra skupaj z ostalimi tkivi takoj odnesla stran. Mož je šel za njo in se vrnil z novico, da imamo punčko. Jok in sklep, da bi jo tudi jaz rada videla. Ko sem jo videla ležati v umivalniku, se mi je zdelo, da mirno spi, tisti prelepi obrazek s čudovitimi ušesci, z drobnimi ročicami, kot narejenimi za prvi objem in nožicami, ki bi jo enkrat ponesle v svet. Vedela sem, da je to Elizabeta. Pokrižala sem jo, še poljubiti in dotakniti se je nisem upala, te krhke lepote. Bolelo je še bolj v petek, ko sem brez otroka zapuščala bolnišnico in brez resnega upanja, da jo bova dobila. Predstojnik oddelka nama je sporočil, da njihovi ustanovi grozi 30 tisoč evrov kazni, če bi nama jo izročili. Ob prisotnosti zastopnika pacientovih pravic smo se dogovorili za prenos na UKC Maribor, kjer Elizabeta čaka na obdukcijo. Danes, v ponedeljek, je moja bolečina še večja. Moja lepa hčerka leži v Bogve kakšnem hladilniku in grozi ji, da jo bodo vrgli med biološki odpad. Vse v meni se upira temu, kajti jaz sem jo v bolnišnico prinesla v trebuhu in jo cel dan rojevala, sedaj pa mi Republika Slovenija ne dovoli, da bi jo z možem pokopala v družinski grob. Kot ženska bi od te iste države lahko zahtevala, da mi otroka na državne stroške ubijejo, moja domovina pa mi ne dovoli, da bi svojo Elizabeto na lastne stroške pokopala.

Vrnite nam Elizabeto! – Ivo in Tadeja Kerže, Časnik

Tedenski izbor

porch-reading

Alternativa je seveda, da pomladna gibanja odrastejo v stranke. Razlika med gibanjem in stranko je v tem, da gre gibanju za stvar. Da oznanja, kar se mu pač zdi prav, pa tudi, če nič od tega nikoli ne izpelje. Uspešnost strank se meri v tem, kaj izpeljejo.

Kako končati s tranzicijo – Žiga Turk

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Naš izobraževalni sistem nas je, kar se tega tiče, naredil za invalide, saj je ključni način pojasnjevanja sveta izgnal s polja resničnega. Kaj je danes resnično za dijaka, osnovnošolca? To je celica, molekula, ameba, električna napetost itd. V redu. Toda kaj nam tedaj govorijo roman Zločin in kazen, načelo svobode in enakosti, svetovne religije? Je to nekaj resničnega? Ne! – ker se tega se ne da dokazati. Projekt sovjetizacije šolstva je iz učilnic izločil vse, kar naredi človeka za človeka. Klasični jeziki so kot »buržoazni« padli prvi. Ostala omika pa se je skrčila na instrument za »splošno razgledanost«. Buldožer naravoslovja je naposled pregazil izobraževalno vertikalo. S tem je človek oropan svoje duhovne svobode. Ne zna zavzeti odnosa do Celote bivajočega. In s tem do sebe.

Kritika prostaškega uma – Rok Svetlič, Razpotja

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The libertarian age is an illegible age. It has given birth to a new kind of hubris unlike that of the old master thinkers. Our hubris is to think that we no longer have to think hard or pay attention or look for connections, that all we have to do is stick to our “democratic values” and economic models and faith in the individual and all will be well. Having witnessed unpleasant scenes of intellectual drunkenness, we have become self-satisfied abstainers removed from history and unprepared for the challenges it is already bringing. The end of the cold war destroyed whatever confidence in ideology still remained in the West. But it also seems to have destroyed our will to understand. We have abdicated.

Our Libertarian Age – Mark Lilla, The New Republic

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Barth yielded to modernity’s most pernicious idea, which took aim not at belief in the supernatural but at our rational capacity for knowledge of it. In denying what Jesuit philosopher Bernard Lonergan called the “native infinity” of human understanding, Barth capitulated where he most needed to take a stand. He seemingly did not understand that restricting reason was modern philosophy’s great act of presumption, not humility. Nor did he understand that rejecting the secularity of reason was Christian philosophy’s great act of piety, not hubris. And his bargain with Kant—turning the limits of reason into an opening for revelation—could only corrode the foundations of Christian faith.

Karl Barth’s Failure – Matthew Rose, First Things

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Ours is a culture that lacks hope, that is characterized by a sort of interior despair, the antithesis of hope: a disorientation of the pilgrim character of man’s earthly sojourn. In despair, man denies his status viatoris by swapping his “not yet” with a “not,” turning away from the fulfilment for which he was called into existence and anticipating the time when the unrepentant “no” of sin becomes the “never” of damnation—when hope, because the striving after the promise-object of hope, extinguishes irrevocably.

Fertility and the Crisis of Hope – Michael Bradley, Ethika Politika

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In other words, America’s drug problem is not primarily about drugs. Instead drug abuse is a symptom of a variety of other social problems, and, not surprisingly, those problems are worst in the poorest communities. Hart stops short of calling for full legalization of all drugs, but he does recommend the decriminalization of drug possession. Portugal decriminalized drug possession in 2001 and has seen declines in drug-induced deaths and rates of drug use, particularly among the youth.

Drugs in Context – John Payne, The American Conservative

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Nevertheless, we cannot and must not conceive of physical sexuality as a mere raw material with which we can construct a form of psychosexual self-expression which is determined only by the free impulse of our spirits.  Responsibility in sexual development implies a responsibility to nature–to the ordered good of the bodily form which we have been given. And that implies that we must make the necessary distinction between the good of the bodily form as such and the various problems that it poses to us personally in our individual experience.  This is a comment that applies not only to this very striking and unusually distressing problem, but to a whole range of other sexual problems too.

The Transgender Question – Mere Orthodoxy

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Still, the awareness of this fact helped me to understand the determination of these people who stayed and built that barricade. There was something of the “existential situation” that was described by French existentialists; Camus’ Myth of Sisyphus came immediately to my mind. I presume that most of those barricade builders had never read Camus – but they acted like him: they were resisting absurdity. And most amazingly, they did so with such strong determination! So together with awareness of my cowardice, another thought dawned on me: the Maidan is really invincible – you cannot defeat the people like these.

Diaries and Memoirs of the Maidan (Yaroslav Hrytsak) – Timothy Snyder & Tatiana Zhurzhenko, ur., Eurozine

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Rather than propping up the old model, governments should make the new one work better. They can do so by backing common standards for accreditation. In Brazil, for instance, students completing courses take a government-run exam. In most Western countries it would likewise make sense to have a single, independent organisation that certifies exams.

Reinventing an ancient institution will not be easy. But it does promise better education for many more people. Rarely have need and opportunity so neatly come together.

Higher Education: Creative Destruction, The Economist

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Covered by overgrown vegetation, locked away from public view, and every day a step closer to complete destruction, Plečnik’s stadium does not only represent a harmful impoverishment of the country’s cultural heritage. Rather, it also tells a much more familiar cautionary tale for our time – a tale of land use conflicts, inadequate spatial policy and a refusal to engage in constructive dialogue. It is, furthermore, a story that belies the public’s understanding of the irreversibility of radical spatial transformation.

The Shame of Ljubljana: Plečnik’s Abandoned Stadium in Full Bloom – Barbara Prezelj, Failed Architecture

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Si predstavljate, da bi Hrvate začeli prepričevati, da je njihova rdeče-bela šahovnica ustaška? Srbe, da je njihov beli orel četniški? Nemce, da je njihov črni orel nacističen? Ali državljane vseh novonastalih evropskih držav v nekdanjem vzhodnem bloku, ki so se po propadu komunizma vrnili k svojim narodnim simbolom, da uporabljajo nacistično ali fašistično simboliko? Seveda ne. Saj bi se pred tujo javnostjo osmešili.

V Sloveniji pa se lahko na javni televiziji za notranjepolitična obračunavanja nemoteno izjavlja, da je modri orel nacistični simbol. Kot da se je zgodovina slovenskega naroda začela šele z revolucijo in njenimi simboli, preučevanje zgodovinskih virov pa šele z njenimi učbeniki. Če bi se zares pogledali v ogledalo, bi nemara opazili, da smo ravno mi tisti, ki še vedno uporabljamo totalitarno simboliko. Se morda bojimo tega?

Na krilih kranjskega orla – Blaž Karlin, Časnik

Tedenski izbor

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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

Tedenski izbor

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Bonus – najboljši nenamerni komentar k letošnji zmagi na Evroviziji: