La Multi Ani, Ioana Măgură Bernard!

24/05/2017

La Mulți Ani cu sănătate, noroc și bucurii, dragă Ioana Bernard! Ne leagă o veche, incasabilă prietenie, angajamentul comun pentru valorile in care au crezut și pe care le-au apărat Noel Bernard, Monica Lovinescu, Virgil Ierunca și Vlad Georgescu. Am fost fericit să pot spune aceste lucruri la lansarea cărții tale acum câțiva ani. Da, Ioana, ani și ani de zile, vocea ta a fost vocea libertății. Iti mulțumesc și iți mulțumim…

 

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Răscrucile insângerate…

21/05/2017

Dacă cineva mi-ar cere să numesc un intelectual critic român, un om care s-a aventurat in spaţiul ideilor, dar şi al politicului, in polemici de o mistuitoare şi periculoasă intensitate, şi care a apărat public valorile democratice, plătind cu viaţa pentru angajamentul său, l-aş numi pe Ioan Petru Culianu. Binecuvântată să-i fie amintirea!

 

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Pinacoteca malefică: Sorin Toma despre Dej și Răutu

05/05/2017

Jurnalistul comunist Sorin Toma a fost unul dintre principalii activiști a ceea ce s-a numit frontul ideologic in anii stalinismului dezlănțuit. Ca redactor-șef al organului CC al PMR, “Scânteia”, ST a indeplinit fără murmur, in chip zelos și necondiționat, ordinele magnaților și, in primul rând, pe cele ale lui Gheorghiu-Dej. Cand i s-a cerut să-l “desființeze” pe Tudor Arghezi, a făcut-o fără jenă si fără rezerve intr-un pamflet de trista memorie, intrat in istoria infamiei din România comunizată. A cunoscut din interior lumea secretă, impenetrabilă, a nomenclaturii. Exclus din partid in 1960, reprimit in 1970, fiul versificatorului oficial din aniii 50, “academicianul” A. Toma, nu a mai revenit in cercul vrăjit al puterii. A emigrat in Israel unde a incetat din viață in martie 2016. Trecuse de o sută de ani. Am corespondat cu el in perioada cand lucram la cartea mea “Stalinism pentru eternitate”. In eseul la care dau link mai jos, transmis la RFE, reiau pasaje revelatoare din scrisorile sale referitoare la GGD si Leonte Răutu.

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Opium for the Intellectuals…

05/05/2017

The author of “Das Kapital” was born almost two centuries ago, on May 5, 1818. He died on March 14, 1883. As a political religion, Marxism became the “opium of the intellectuals” (Raymond Aron). For Marx, the revolution is an apocalyptical act of liberation, a return to a long-forgotten state of unity of the human species. Marxism is an eschatology (a doctrine about the death and its aftermath, a vision of post-apocalyptical resurrection): a doctrine of ultimate rediscovery of human identity and liberty. It is also a millenarianism (it announces t the advent of the classless millenium), a chiliasm—a belief in the coming utopian age, the advent of Messianic time (Walter Benjamin),created through revolution.

Historical materialism is a phihilosophy of action: Marx refused mere philosphical speculation and contemplation. He considered ideas as means to change the world. The 11th Thesis on Feuerbach gave full voice to this belief: „Philosphers have only interpreted the world. The issue is to change it”. In this respect, Leninism (Bolshevism) was the loyal heir to Marx’s orginal doctrine. It fulfilled the three main postulates in the original doctrine: the postulate of revolution; the postulate of universalism; and the postulate of an anthropological mutation.

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JFR (1924-2006)

04/05/2017

This book came out 25 years ago. Its author was one of the most lucid political thinkers of our times. I was privileged to be friends with him. I visited him many times in his appartment on Ile St Louis. I remember my first visit when I saw the names on the bell downstairs: Revel, Sarraute, Tzara. His wife, the journalist Claude Sarraute, was the daughter of novelist Nathalie Sarraute and the former daughter-in-law of poet Tristan Tzara, one of the founders of the Dada Movement. “Le regain” is dedicated to Branko Lazitch, a democratic socialist historian, disciple of Boris Souvarine, Panait Istrati’s and Victor Serge’s great friend. I re-read yesterday chapter 8, “How Utopias Perish.” It reads as if written today. The epigraph is from St Augustine’s “Confessions” and speaks about man’s invincible love for truth…

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Between past and future: On Karl Mannheim

03/05/2017

Hungarian-Jewish born sociologist Karl Mannheim (March 27, 1893, Budapest, Hungary–January 9, 1947, London, United Kingdom) was one of the founders of the discipline known as the sociology of knowledge. His “Ideology and Utopia” has endured as a classic of social science. Mannheim’s contributions to the understanding of generations as social, political, intellectual phenomena are utterly timely. The transmission of cultural constructs, memories, and significant reference points (what Mannheim called “the accumulated cultural heritage”) is the guarantee that humanity can overcome oblivion and amnesia. Each generation has its differentia specifica, yet none is totally devoid of visible or invisible links to the previous ones.

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http://www.history.ucsb.edu/…/art…/27MannheimGenerations.pdf

 

 


The ethics of memory

01/05/2017

Born under this sign, I practice the ethics of memory. As Adam Michnik poignantly wrote: “Amnesty, yes; amnesia, no!”

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Image: Magnet from the Polin Museum, Warsaw