Gaudeamus igitur! Demascarea mega-plagiatorului Ponta


Ziua de 30 iunie 2016 este o sarbatoare pentru toti prietenii societatii deschise, ai statului de drept, ai adevarului pur si simplu. Prin decizia CNATDCU cel desemnat de Iliescu si Nastase drept succesor in fruntea famigliei pesediste, micul Che Gargara din Balcani, a fost public demascat ca plagiator. Sigir, nu e o noutate ca Ponta a plagiat cu o nesimtire de dimensiuni galactice. Noutatea tine de legitimitatea institutionala a deciziei, de faptul ca o comisie de maxima credibilitate academica a spus acum ceea comisiei condusa de academicianul Marius Andruh i-a fost interzis acum patru ani sa o faca.

S-a recurs la abuzuri incalificabile, s-au facut presiuni odioase asupra Senatului Universitatii din Bucuresti. Intrucat am fost cat se poate de activ in analiza si blamarea infractiunii lui Ponta, am devenit eu insumi tinta unor mizerabile campanii. Tiin sa le multumesc celor care, in acesti patru ani, au stat neclintit alaturi de mine. Nimic nu este mai pretios si mai eficient in asemenea situatii decat solidaritatea bazata pe principii si valori. Aici, la Washington, este o zi minunata, insorita si, acum, in zori, chiar racoroasa. Sa ne bucuram cu totii de soarele care, azi 30 iunie 2016, a rasarit generos pentru sansa Romaniei de a iesi dintr-un lung, insuportabil marasm moral.


Nietzsche and the Current European Crisis


130 years ago, Friedrich Nietzsche on Europe’a fatefullly fractured future: “Thanks to the pathological alienation which the nationalistic idiocy has established and still establishes among European peoples, thanks as well to the short-sighted politicians with hasty hands who are on the top today with the help of this idiocy and have no sense of how the politics of disintegration which they carry on can necessarily only be politics of intermission, thanks to all this and to some things today which are quite impossible to utter, now the most unambiguous signs that Europe wants to become a unity are being overlooked or wilfully and mendaciously reinterpreted.” (“Beyond Good and Evil,” 1886). This passage is one of the three epigraphs to the volume “Messages from a Lost World: Europe on the Brink,” by Stefan Zweig, Foreword by John Gray, Pushkin Press, 2016.


What is populism?


I offer here a brief operational definition which I first put forward in a text titled “The politics of charismatic protest” which came out several years ago, together with pieces by Marc Howard and Cas Mudde, in the quarterly “East European Politics and Societies.”

Populism is a political strategy meant to generate mass mobilization and enthusiastic support for a leader and a party (or movement) among heterogeneous social groups by opposing the established political arrangements and pledging their fundamental regeneration, often at the expense of minority and human rights and liberties, social, economic, and political life.

Lessons from Brexit


Fatuous, irresponsible, autarchic, populism works. The more ridiculous the prophetic demagogue, the more successful in deluding his/her followers. Xenophobia masquerades as elitophobia. Lambasting the elites becomes a perfect springboard for instant popularity.

From Benito Mussolini and Juan Domingo Peron to Hugo Chavez, Marine LePen, and Donald Trump, populist mountebanks have exploited popular fears, uncertainties, neuroses. None of these anxieties vanished under the populist regimes. On the contrary, they exacerbated. Populism is a secular chilasm, it promises salvation hic et numc. In this respect, charismatic populism, Trump-style, is a form of fundamentalism. It indulges in cheap fantasies and turns citizens into subjects of abject manipulations. It does not recoli from blatant lies. On the contrary, it despises truth and cultivates illusions.

Populism is rooted in the myth of le bon sauvage, it exalts an uncorrupted, idealized “people” and demonizes the “soulless plutocrats” and the “rootless cosmopolitans.” In Hungary, the populists abhor Budapest (“Judapest”), in the US they detest New York, the East Coast etc The paleo-symbolic infrastructure of populism is a purifying utopia…

Memory, awareness, vision


Václav Havel’s address to the European Parliament, Strasbourg, March 8, 1994. “I have come from a land that did not enjoy freedom and democracy for almost sixty years. You will perhaps believe me when I say that it is this historical experience that has allowed me to respond at the deepest level to the revolutionary meaning of European integration today. And perhaps you will believe me when I say that the very depth of that experience compels me to express concern for the proper outcome of this process and to consider ways to strengthen it and make it irreversible. Allow me, in conclusion, to thank you for approving the Europe Agreement on the association of the Czech Republic with the European Union two weeks after it was signed. In doing so, you have shown that you are not indifferent to the fate of my country.”



Tirania majoritatii, atunci si acum…


Contemporary East-Central Europe, in particular Romania’s Parliament: “The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.” Lord Acton— The History of Freedom in Antiquity, 1877


Maria Tanase, prima mea iubire…



A fost prima mea iubire, aveam zece ani cand am vazut-o la televizor, la un spectacol de varietati. Sprte a relua o superba imagine a lui Labis, ea aducea “un curcubeu/Deasupra lumii sufletului meu.” Emana o eleganta nepereche. Am plans cand am aflat ca a murit. La ceasul sangerosului balci stalinist, ea a dovedit ca se poate trai demn. Maria Tanase, simbol si incarnare a tot ce are mai frumos si mai nobil muzica poporului roman, a incetat din viata pe 22 iunie 1963. Vocea ei era sublima, poseda o muzicalitate comparabila cu aceea a unor Edith Piaf, Nina Simone si Amalia Rodrigues.