Mystical socialism versus skeptical sarcasm

25/04/2017

Today in my class on Marxism, neo-Marxism, post-Marxism we discussed the intellectual origins of the Budapest School and the avatars of humanist dialectics. I mentioned this telltale story: When Georg Lukács said that even the worst socialism was preferable to the best capitalism, Leszek Kołakowski replied: “Ah yes, the advantages of Albania over Sweden are self-evident.”

Images: Georg Lukács (1885-1971) and Leszek Kołakowski (1927-2009)

 

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Ciuma

23/04/2017

Qui vivra, verra: Will the xenophobic, neo-Fascist, populist plague prevail in France? Will the ghosts of Pétain, Laval, Doriot, Déat, Maurras etc defeat the legacies of de Gaulle, Jean Moulin, Malraux, Camus, Robert Schuman, Raymond Aron, Mendès France?

 

 

http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2017/04/troubled-times?fsrc=scn%2Ffb%2Fte%2Fbl%2Fed%2Ftroubledtimeshowtheplagueinfectsthemodernpoliticalmood


RPR

23/04/2017

Moștenirea RPR este una a modernizării distorsionate și a unei dezvoltări deraiate, ambele menite să abolească piața liberă și societatea civilă. Ceea ce s-a consacrat în a doua parte a secolului trecut a fost întreruperea cursului firesc al integrării României în modernitate, negarea formei politice naturale care a fost monarhia constituțională, lichidarea pluralismului politic și cultural și, cu consecințe cât se poate de tragice, năruirea statului de drept.

Pentru textul complet si inregistrarea audio:

http://www.europalibera.org/a/blog-vladimir-tismaneanu/28446874.html


Marine Le Pe, le pétainisme, and Putinism

22/04/2017

I dedicate this post to the memory of André Malraux (1901-1976), one of the greatest novelists and public intellectuals of the twentieth century, an uncompromising anto-Fascist fighter. Marine Le Pen doesn’t need to praise le Maréchal, it’s enough that her ideological bricolage is pétainiste in its thrust, phobias, and mythologies. What she wants is “la révolution nationale,” la France pour les Français de bonne souche. Foreigners are apriorically inimical to le bien-être de la nation, they need to be expelled. Next step, eliminated. Then… Her amitié with Putin is ominous and alarming. Marine Le Pen”s victory would mean the second death of Jean Moulin and the demise of the Fifth Republic…

 

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Please look into his eyes, the whole sadness of the world is there…

21/04/2017

He committed suicide in Paris on April 20, Hitler’s birthday. The beginning of “Death Fugue” by Paul Celan (1920 – 1970):

Black milk of morning we drink you at dusktime
we drink you at noontime and dawntime we drink you at night
we drink and drink
we scoop out a grave in the sky where it’s roomy to lie
There’s a man in this house who cultivates snakes and who writes
who writes when it’s nightfall nach Deutschland your golden hair Margareta
he writes it and walks from the house and the stars all start flashing he whistles his
dogs to draw near
whistles his Jews to appear starts us scooping a grave out of sand
he commands us to play for the dance..

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Man of Marble

20/04/2017

Today, in my undergraduate seminar on the rise and fall of communism in the twentieth century we watched Andrzej Wajda’s “Man of Marble.” Made in 1976, the film remains as fresh and moving as ever. Students loved it

 

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Diavolul in Istorie: Lenin, Hitler si totalitarismul

20/04/2017

Vladimir Ilici Ulianov, devenit Lenin, s-a născut la Simbirsk, in Imperiul Rus, pe 22 aprilie 1870. Adolf Schicklgruber, devenit Hitler, s-a născut la Braunau am Inn, in Imperiul Austro-Ungar, pe 20 aprilie 1889. Fără ei, milioane de oameni nu ar fi fost masacraţi. Tăcerea şi consimţământul, conformismul cel mai obedient şi răbdător, sunt însemnele inconfundabile ale zodiei totalitare. Timp în care diverşi inspectori ai sufletelor, servitorii dictaturilor concentraţionare, se pregătesc să mai adauge vreun cadavru etic pe lunga listă a oribilelor lor cuceriri. Dincolo de atâtea triste abdicări, rămâne însă certitudinea raţiunii ca substrat al speranţei, convingerea că solidaritatea, individuală şi socială, poate învinge noaptea totalitară.

Poate ca nimeni nu a afirmat mai limpede acest lucru decit Hannah Arendt in finalul “Originilor totalitarismului”: „But there remains also the truth that every end in history necessarily contains a new beginning; this beginning is the promise, the only ‚message’ which the end can ever produce. Beginning because it becomes a historical event, is the supreme capacity of man; politically, it is identical with man’s freedom. Initium ut esset homo creatus est—‚that a beginning be made man was created’ said Augustine. This beginning is guaranteed by each new birth; it is indeed every man.” (Ramine totusi adevarul ca fiecare sfirsit in istorie contine in chip necesar un nou inceput; acest inceput este promisiunea, unicul ‚mesaj’ pe care il poate vreodata genera sfirsitul. Inceputul intrucit devine un eveniment istoric, este suprema capacitate a omului; se identifica cu libertatea umana. Initium ut esset homo creatus est­­–,pentru ca inceputul sa se produca a fost creat omul’ a spus-o Augustin. Acest inceput este garantat de fiecare noua nastere; el este de fapt fiecare om”.)

 

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