Even in darkening days…

22/07/2016

At Hannah Arendt’s funeral, December 8, 1975, her close friend for decades, philosopher Hans Jonas, spoke about the immense biographical significance of her coming to the US. True, her politicization had started in Parisian exile, but ti was here, in the US, that she developed her vision on what “beginning anew” means: “Still, what would have become of that, had she not come to these shores–who knows? It was the experience of the Republic here which decisively shaped her political thinking, tempered as it was in the fires of European tyranny and catastrophe, and forever supported in her grounding in classical thought. America taught her a way beyond the hardened alternatives of left and right from which she had escaped; and the idea of the Republic, as the realistic chance for freedom, remained dear to her even in its darkening days.” (Quoted by Richard H. King, “Arendt and America,” University of Chicago Press, 2015)

 


Let’s face it: Coup d’etat in Turkey

15/07/2016

Let’s face it: The Erdogan regime is not a democracy. I deliberately use the present tense because the situation remains uncertain, volatile, and fluid. Kemalism has been the institiutional and ideological pillar of Turkey’s adherence to modernity. Imperfect as is is, democratically speaking, it is the opposite of Erdogan’s sham democracy based on boundless corruption, disguised, self-serving Muslim radicalism, and populist techniques of mass mobilization. I have no idea (does anybody have?) who the coup architects/protagonists are. Maybe they are the new Young Turks. We shall see. Turkey is a crucial NATO member, its stability is a key for NATO vitality and viability. These are just cursory, early thoughts. We need more information based on which we can go beyond guesstimation…


Dreptul la normalitate

11/07/2016

Nu e nevoie de analize sofisticate pentru a deslusi semnificatia a cea ce se intampla acum in privinta doctoratelor obtinute prin furt. Sensul acestor decizii e limpede precum cristalul. Este absolut normal ca intr-un stat de drept infractiuni precum plagiatul sa fie sanctionate fara urma de ambiguitate.

Sa nu ni se vorbeasca de “vendete” politice! Politizarea a avut loc in 2012, cand din ordinul mega-plagiatorului au fost inlocuite intregi comisii ministeriale si s-au anulat decizii perfect legale. Atunci a fost dezonorat statutul doctoratelor din Romania prin legitimarea hotiei.

Noul ministru al Educației, Mircea Dumitru a declarat că va semna ordinul de retragere a doctoratului lui Victor Ponta. Consiliul Naţional de Atestare a Titlurilor, Diplomelor şi Certificatelor Universitare (CNATDCU) a stabilit că Victor Ponta a plagiat în lucrarea de doctorat şi a dispus retragerea titlului de doctor acordat fostului premier. Felicitari profesorului Mircea Dumitru si membrilor CNATDCU!

Ceea ce intreprind ei acum vine in prelungirea demersului inceput in 1990 in vremea cand ministrul educatiei era filosoful Mihai Sora. Domnul Sora a demisionat in semn de protest impotrva barbariei intrata in istoria Romaniei drept mineriada din 13-15 iunie 1990. Este vorba acum, ca si atunci, de necesitatea afirmarii unei viziuni comune despre binele public. Acolo unde-i plagiatu-n floare, binele public se afla in grava suferinta…


Ce inseamna un doctorat…

08/07/2016

Doctoratul nu este o rezervare de masa la un restaurant. Dai un telefon si o anulezi. Doctoratul este bazat pe un contract a carui incalcare il descalifica moral pe cel care o comite. Doctoratul presupune truda, originalitate, onoare. Presupune ca o institutie academica il si te garanteaza. Doctoratul figureaza pe primul loc in CV cand se mentioneaza scoli si universitati absolvite. Plagiatul echivaleaza cu analfabetismul moral, tot asa cum invocarea unui doctorat inexistent este o sarlatanie revoltatoare. Mai ales atunci cand faci cariera, politica si/sau academica, pe baza unui fals. Am condus (singur ori in co-tutela) cel putin 30 de doctorate in Statele Unite, Belgia, Franta, Ungaria, Romania etc Cred ca vorbesc in cunostinta de cauza…


Gaudeamus igitur! Demascarea mega-plagiatorului Ponta

30/06/2016

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

28/06/2016

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?

26/06/2016

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.


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