La Mulți Ani, Horia Patapievici!


Pe 18 martie 2017, Horia-Roman Patapievici implinește 60 de ani. Este o sărbătoare a societății deschise, a spiritului liberal, a culturii democratice din România si din Europa de Est. Sunt mândru, fericit si onorat că-l pot numi unul dintre cei mai apropiați prieteni din viața mea. Ii doresc tot binele lumii, ani frumoși si insoriți, impliniri cât mai multe, noroc si sănătate pentru el si cei dragi lui. Adică, intr-un cuvânt, fericire!

Scrierile anti-totalitare ale lui H.-R. Patapievici au fost si rămân repere ale gandirii democratice românești, analize percutante si riguroase ale patologiilor comuniste si post-comuniste. Reacțiile negative, calomniile venite din zonele neo-comuniste si șovin-naționaliste nu au făcut si nu fac decât să confirme meritele lui H.-R. Patapievici ca remarcabil gânditor liberal si ca intelectual critic. Pentru mine si pentru mulți alții, gândirea lui H.-R. Patapievici este emblematică pentru patriotismul luminat, acel patriotism civic, cinstit si curat pe care populistii xenofobi il urăsc de moarte.

Horia-Roman Patapievici este un gânditor original, un spirit viu si nobil, ale carui lucrări dovedesc erudiție, creativitate conceptuală, angajament moral si o veritabila deschidere spre dialog. Mă refer in primul rand la “Omul recent”, la “Ochii Beatricei”, la cartea despre Ioan Petru Culianu, contribuții esențiale la explorarea originilor, tensiunilor, dilemelor si provocărilor modernitătii. Perioada cât a condus ICR-ul, impreună cu Tania Radu si Mircea Mihaies, a fost una fastă din toate punctele de vedere: al eficienței instituționale, al sincronismului axiologic, al probității si onestității. Este sansa noastra că ii suntem contemporani. Să o prețuim cum se cuvine!


Image result for patapievici


Ilegitim si criminal: Zece ani de la condamnarea regimului comunist


In memoria Monicăi Lovinescu şi a lui Virgil Ierunca, membri ai Comisiei Prezidențiale pentru Analiza Dictaturii Comuniste din România, figuri paradigmatice ale spiritului civic-liberal: “Poate că aspectul cel mai frapant al posteritații comuniste este inocentarea ideologiei şi a partidelor care, in numele comunismului, au practicat ceea ce in cazul nazismului a fost denumit ‘crimă impotriva umanității’. Incurajați de placida indiferență a ‘maselor largi populare’, fostii comunişti, vechi tovarăşi de drum sau oameni de convingere pur şi simplu–revizioniştii–isi articulează din ce in ce mai limpede un tip de discurs care fie separă net ideologia marxist-leninistă de practica partidelor care s-au reclamat din ea, fie reabilitează insăşi politica acestor partide”. (H.-R. Patapievici, “Politice”, Ed. Humanitas, 1996, p. 205)  Raportul Final al CPADCR, ale carui concluzii si propuneri au prezentate de Presedintele României, Traian Basescu, in sesiunea comună a camerelor Parlamentului din 18 decembrie 2006,  a reprezentat şi va continua să reprezinte opusul negaționismului  şi al revizionismului. A fost o onoare pentru mine să colaborez la scrierea “Introducerii” la Raport cu Monica Lovinescu şi cu H.-R. Patapievici. Toti membrii CPADCR, fără exceptie, si-au asumat Raportul Final in spiritul şi litera sa.


Image result for monica lovinescu virgil ierunca images

Fierbinte auto-scrutare: Batranul Cioran despre tanarul Cioran


Burning self-scrutiny, old Cioran on young Cioran: “We were a band of desperate individuals in the heart of the Balkans. And we were doomed to fail; our failure was our only excuse… [The Iron Guard] was the only sign that our country could be anything but a fiction. It was a cruel movement, a mixture of prehistory and prophecy, mystique of prayer and of revolt. And it was persecuted by all authorities, and it wanted to be persecuted … It had been founded on ferocious ideas: it disappeared ferociously. Whoever between 20 and 30 does not subscribe to fanaticism, to rage, to madness is an imbecile. One is a liberal only by fatigue, and a democrat by reason.” (E.M. Cioran, “Mon pays,” cited in Alain Finkielkraut, “Cioran mort et son juge,” Le Messager Européen, no. 9, Paris: Gallimard, 1996, pp. 66–67)

This passage is included in my essay titled “The Metapolitics of Despair: Romania’s Mystical Generation and the Passions of Emil Cioran,” and will be appear in the volume “Ideological Storms of the Twentieth Century,” co-edited with Bogdan C. Iacob

Why does Michnik matter?


It is not my intention to offer here a biography of my close friend Adam Michnik. I just want to offer some responses, hopefully informed, to the following question: Why does Adam Michnik matter? He matters because in times of infamy, he raised his voice and suffered for this. He matters because he has a moral compass and some of us regard it as persuasively indispensable. He matters because he does not yield to nativism, tribalism, clericalism, militarism, Orbanism, Putinism, LePenism, Trumpism, populism, and other political pathologies. I dedicate this thext to the memory of Leonidas Donskis.

Adam Michnik in Vilnius, Lithuania



Heroes: Václav Havel and Adam Michnik


One would have turned eighty on October 5. The other will turn seventy on October 17. One wrote “The Power of the Powerless,” the other one “The New Evolutionism.” These two essays defined the goals of East European dissident movements, their vision of liberty, and their ethos. They both deserve our gratitude. Their names: Václav Havel and Adam Michnik.


Image result for michnik havel images

Dialectica desvrajirii: Imre Lakatos si Cercul Petőfi (Budapesta, iunie 1956)


Dialectics of disenchantment: In the spring of 1956, Imre Lakatos joined the Petőfi Circle where he delivered a vitriolic, devastating attack on Stalinism. In fact, his speech went further than the self-limited revisionism embraced by Georg Lukács. In the aftermath of the revolution’s crushing, he left Hungary and taught philosophy of science at the London School of Economics. He is widely regarded as as one of the most influential epistemologists of the twentieth century. Lakatos died suddenly in 1974 of a heart attack at the height of his powers. He was 51.

“The very foundation of scholarly education is to foster in students and postgrads a respect for facts, for the necessity of thinking precisely, and to demand proof. Stalinism, however, branded this as bourgeois objectivism. Under the banner of partinost [Party-like] science and scholarship, we saw a vast experiment to create a science without facts, without proofs.

… a basic aspect of the rearing of scholars must be an endeavour to promote independent thought, individual judgment, and to develop conscience and a sense of justice. Recent years have seen an entire ideological campaign against independent thinking and against believing one’s own senses. This was the struggle against empiricism [Laughter and applause].”

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.