Protestele din februarie şi noua sensibilitate politică

22/02/2017

Oamenii care regretă “egalitatea” din regimurile leniniste sunt fie prost informaţi, fie de rea-credinţă. Societăţile nomenclaturiste erau, de fapt, experimente profitocratice, se bazau pe un rigid sistem de tip caste. Nomenclatura beneficia de privilegii la care muritorii de rând nici măcar nu puteau visa. Niciodată nu a fost clasa muncitoare mai batjocorită şi mai oprimată decât în regimurile care pretindeau că guvernează în numele ei. Este o ignorare, şi pe cale de consecinţă, o banalizare a răului totalitar.

Actualele proteste sunt expresia unei noi sensibilităţi politice. Am scris un articol, împreună cu politologul Marius Stan, în Politico.eu, în care ne-am ocupat de această temă. Da, este vorba de o nouă generaţie pentru care vechile metehne şi infamii nu mai sunt tolerabile. UE înseamnă transparenţă, încredere, norme, reguli, proceduri. Pesedismul este exact opusul: clientelism, cinism, jaf la drumul mare sau pe ascuns, manopere dolosive. Pentru mine, aceste demonstraţii au pus capacul peste coşciugul în care zace putredul sistem Iliescu.


Vestea cea bună

03/02/2017

În 1990, România a trecut cu maximă viteză de la starea de grație la aceea de greață. În 2017, în chip miraculos, România a trecut de la starea de greață la aceea de grație. Iar în această poveste, rolul gratiilor nu trebuie subestimat…


Pentru Radu Filipescu: La Mulți Ani cu noroc, bucurii şi sănătate!

27/12/2016

Many happy returns, dear Radu Filipescu! For those who don’t know or have forgotten, Radu is one of the main Romanian dissidents. Born: December 26, 1956 (age 60), Târgu Mureș, Romania, the young engineer Radu Filipescu was one of those who heroically resisted Ceausescu’s terror. He acted alone, but he knew he was not alone. Like the members of the White Rose resistance group in Nazi Germany, he distributed leaflets denouncing the tyranny. He was arrested and jailed. A founding member of the Group for Social Dialogue, Radu Filipescu served as a member of the Presidential Commission for the Analysis of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania. Never acerbic, caustic, or bitter, Radu embodies good faith, moral clarity, and civic courage.

 

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Budapesta, octombrie 1956: Despre statui si revolutii

26/10/2016

Genialissimo and generalissimo: The fate of statues during revolutions. Of Stalin’s glory, only the boots survived…


Not to sink into the mass of the depraved: Adam Michnik at 70

17/10/2016

Minima moralia: In “Shadows of the Forgotten Ancestors,” one of his most influential essays–and also one of my favorites–, Adam Michnik wrote about Piisudski, but in fact about himself: “…his is not simply a national but also a very human perspective. It is not patriotic and political concerns but my own concerns, my own good that inspire me to fight. This will rescue me from sinking into the anonymous, shapeless mass of the depraved, captive, and obedient.” (“Letters from Prison,” University of California Press, 1985, p. 210)

Image: Adam Michnik, Warsaw, December 1981

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Heroes: Václav Havel and Adam Michnik

05/10/2016

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.

 

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In Memoriam Leonidas Donskis (1962-2016)

21/09/2016

My close friend of soul, ideas, and values, Lithuanian political philosopher Leonidas Donskis passed away in a sudden, absurd, totally unexpected way. But is there any death expected? “Death transforms life in destiny,” wrote Malraux. In this case a noble, generous, altruistic destiny. We have been friends for many years. I can’t write details now, I am speechless. Below, a concise summary of a rich and inspiring life. A few months ago, Leonidas and I signed the contract with Brill Publishers in Netherlands for a book of dialogues in English to come out in their series “Value Inquiry.” The title is: “Demons: Metapolitics, Nihilism, and Radicalism in a Century of Ideological Passions.” We completed the first chapter. My plan was to work these days for the next one. Destiny decided otherwise. I extend my warmest feelings of compassion to his wife, Jolanta Donskienė. He will be immensely, irreplaceaby missed by all the friends of liberty.

 

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Leonidas Donskis, Ph.D., (August 13, 1962 – September 21, 2016) was Member of the European Parliament (MEP, 2009-2014), a philosopher, political theorist, historian of ideas, social analyst, and political commentator, Professor of Politics and Head of “VDU Academia Cum Laude” at Vytautas Magnus University and Honorary Consul of Finland in Kaunas.

As a public figure in Lithuania, he acted as a defender of human rights and civil liberties. In 2004, Donskis has been awarded by the European Commission the title of the Ambassador for Tolerance and Diversity in Lithuania. He has always been opposed to all extreme or exclusionary attitudes and forms of violent politics, and, instead, has been leaning to liberalism with its advocacy of individual reason and conscience, ability to coexist with democratic programs of other non-exclusive ideologies, and moderation.

He died on September 21, 2016, of an apparent heart attack.