Free Zehra Dogan

19 July, 2018 at 10:48 | Posted in Politics & Society | Leave a comment

banksy

Advertisements

The captain of an unconquerable soul

18 July, 2018 at 10:39 | Posted in Politics & Society | 1 Comment

A hundred years ago, in July 1918, the unconquerable soul of one of the greatest​ men that have walked this earth was born — Nelson Mandela.

This poem helped him keep​ hope alive for​ 27 years in prison.

Long live his memory.

Il cittadino medio 100 anni fa non credeva ci fosse alcuna possibilità di migliorare le proprie condizioni di vita. Persino in una democrazia come gli Stati Uniti la segregazione razziale e la discriminazione sistematica erano leggi in metà del Paese, e norme nell’altra metà. Ma attraverso sacrifici e leadership incrollabile, e forse soprattutto con il suo esempio morale, Mandela e il movimento che ha guidato hanno finito per significare qualcosa di più grande. È diventato il simbolo delle aspirazioni universali dei diseredati in tutto il mondo.

Barack Obama

The psychopathy of Ayn Rand

15 July, 2018 at 16:53 | Posted in Politics & Society | 6 Comments

Now, I don’t care to discuss the alleged complaints American Indians have against this country. I believe, with good reason, the most unsympathetic Hollywood portrayal of Indians and what they did to the white man. They had no right to a country merely because they were born here and then acted like savages. The white man did not conquer this country …

Since the Indians did not have the concept of property or property rights—they didn’t have a settled society, they had predominantly nomadic tribal “cultures”—they didn’t have rights to the land, and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights that they had not conceived of and were not using …

What were they fighting for, in opposing the white man on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence; for their “right” to keep part of the earth untouched—to keep everybody out so they could live like animals or cavemen. Any European who brought with him an element of civilization had the right to take over this continent, and it’s great that some of them did. The racist Indians today—those who condemn America—do not respect individual rights.

Ayn Rand,  Address To The Graduating Class Of The United States Military Academy at West Point, 1974

It’s sickening to read this gobsmacking trash. But it’s perhaps even more sickening that people like Alan Greenspan consider Rand some​ kind of intellectual hero.

Alan Greenspan isn’t just a bad economist. He’s a bad person. What else can one think of a person that considers Ayn Rand — with the ugliest psychopathic philosophy the postwar world has produced — one of the great thinkers of the 20th century? A person that even co-edited a book with her — maintaining that unregulated capitalism is a “superlatively moral system”. A person that in his memoirs tries to reduce his admiration for Rand to a youthful indiscretion — but who actually still today can’t be described as anything else than a loyal Randian disciple.

Ayn Rand and her objectivist philosophy have​ more disciples than Greenspan. But as Hilary Putnam rightfully noticed in The Collapse of the Fact/Value Dichotomy (Harvard University Press, 2002) it’s doubtful if it even qualifies as a real philosophy:

It cannot be the case that the only universally valid norm refers solely to discourse. It is, after all, possible for someone to recognize truth-telling as a binding norm while otherwise being guided solely by ‘enlightened egoism.’ (This is, indeed, the way of life that was recommended by the influential if amateurish philosophizer – I cannot call her a philosopher – Ayn Rand.) But such a person can violate the spirit if not the letter of the principle of communicative action at every turn. After all, communicative action is contrasted with manipulation, and as such a person can manipulate people without violating the maxims of ‘sincerity, truth-telling, and saying only what one believes to be rationally warranted.’ Ayn Rand’s capitalist heroes manipulated people all the time (even if she didn’t consider it manipulation) via their control of capital, for example. Indeed, the person who says, ‘do what I want or I’ll shoot you,’ need not be violating any maxim concerned solely with discourse. But it would be a mistake to use such examples as objections to Habermasian ‘discourse ethics.’

In her diary from 1928, Ayn Rand approvingly quotes a statement made by a William Edward Hickman – “What is good for me is right.” Rand is enthusiastic and writes: “The best and strongest expression of a real man’s psychology I have heard.”

Later she models one of her heroes​  – Danny Renahan – after Hickman. Renahan is portrayed as

born with a wonderful, free, light consciousness — [resulting from] the absolute lack of social instinct or herd feeling. He does not understand, because he has no organ for understanding, the necessity, meaning, or importance of other people … Other people do not exist for him and he does not understand why they should.

Who was this  Hickman that so inspired Rand?

Hickman was a notorious bank robber, child kidnapper and mass murderer. One of the most hated and heinous criminals in U. S. history.

How people like Alan Greenspan and Paul Ryan — not to mention all modern day ‘objectivist’ disciples — can consider Ayn Rand “one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century” is really beyond comprehension. It’s sickening.

In need of medication

13 July, 2018 at 13:42 | Posted in Politics & Society | 1 Comment


In Trump-era US, reality sure beats fiction in the worst way possible, day after day.

USA today

8 July, 2018 at 09:03 | Posted in Politics & Society | 1 Comment

 

The reckless, untruthful, outrageous, incompetent & undignified buffoon Donald Trump is debasing the nation day after day.

A grandmother — Liz DeCou — gets arrested in California for attempting to deliver toys and books to migrant children separated from their parents at the border.

Sickening to see how decent people are being treated.

The mess at the heart of the EU

4 July, 2018 at 09:38 | Posted in Politics & Society | 4 Comments

austerity22

The EU establishment has been held to account for the euro mess, for austerity policies that turned recession into depression, for the galloping inequality, and for the millions and millions of unemployed.

The EU austerity policies bread understandable and righteous anger — but also ugly far-right xenophobic political movements taking advantage of the frustration that austerity policies inevitably produce. Ultimately this underlines the threats to society that austerity policies and mass unemployment are.

The neoliberal austerity policies pursued in the EU is deeply disturbing. When an economy is already hanging on the ropes, you can’t just cut government spendings. Cutting government expenditures reduces the aggregate demand. Lower aggregate demand means lower tax revenues. Lower tax revenues mean increased deficits — and calls for even more austerity. And so on, and so on.

Without a conscious effort to counteract the inevitable forces driving our societies towards an extreme income and wealth inequality, our societies crackle. It is crucial to have strong redistributive policies if we want to have stable economies and societies. Redistributive taxes and active fiscal policies are necessary ingredients for building a good society.

Societies where we allow the inequality of incomes and wealth to increase without bounds, sooner or later implode. The cement that keeps us together erodes and in the end we are only left with people dipped in the ice cold water of egoism and greed.

In a society with a huge shortage of homes, a precarious job market, and a marginalized and pressured working class, EU to a large extent becomes a question of class and inequality.

In a market economy, it is money that counts.

In a democracy, it is your vote that counts.

If you’ve got money, you vote in. If you haven’t got money, you vote out.

Med Thatcher som idol

1 July, 2018 at 23:55 | Posted in Politics & Society | 3 Comments

anniethatcher ”Har du någon egen förebild?

– Ja … Sen är jag väldigt fascinerad av Margaret Thatcher. Hon hade verkligen råg i ryggen och visade var skåpet ska stå …

När man har sett henne i debattstolen så mår man bra hela dagen! Hon har betytt mer för eftervärlden än någon annan brittisk ledare. Jag försöker ta efter henne …

Annie Lööf

“Fascinerad av Margaret Thatcher”? Undrar vad mer hon tänker på? Är det månne Thatchers ohöljda förmåga att titta åt andra hållet när det gällde apartheid i Sydafrika och diktaturens Chile? Eller att hon förespråkade återinförandet av dödsstraff? Eller införandet av lagstiftning som förbjöd myndigheter att framställa homosexualitet på ett positivt sätt? Eller att superladyn under sina elva år vid makten utsåg ett enda kvinnligt  statsråd? Eller hennes hatiska kamp mot facken? Eller hennes gedigna antifeminism …

Thatcherbio Thatcher var själv noga ned att markera avstånd från kvinnors kamp för lika rättigheter …

Det var uppenbart att hon trivdes bäst på männens planhalva, saknade känslan av solidaritet med andra kvinnor …

Thatcher bröt könsmönster, överskred gränser och visade att det omöjliga var möjligt, men hon var inte feminist. Feminismen som teori och som praktik tog hon bestämt avstånd från.

Animal cruelty and human dignity

26 June, 2018 at 17:09 | Posted in Politics & Society | 1 Comment

 

pid_1103Throughout European history the idea of the human being has been expressed in contradistinction to the animal. The latter’s lack of reason is the proof of human dignity. So insistently and unanimously has this antithesis been recited … that few other ideas are so fundamental to Western anthropology. The antithesis is acknowledged even today. The behaviorists only appear to have forgotten it. That they apply to human beings the same formulae and results which they wring without restraint from defenseless animals in their abominable physiological laboratories, proclaims the difference in especially subtle way. The conclusion they draw from the mutilated animal bodies applies, not to animals in freedom, but to human beings today. By mistreating animals they announce that they, and only they in the whole of creation, function voluntarily in the same mechanical, blind, automatic way the twitching movements of the bound victims made use of by the expert …

In this world liberated from appearance — in which human beings, having forfeited reflection, have become once more the cleverest animals, which subjugate the rest of the universe when they happen not to be tear­ing themselves apart — to show concern for animals is considered no longer merely sentimental but​ a betrayal of progress.

Brave women

25 June, 2018 at 15:50 | Posted in Politics & Society | Leave a comment

Courage is a capability to confront fear, as when in front of the powerful and mighty, not to step back, but stand up for one’s rights not to be humiliated or abused.

Courage is to do the right thing in spite of danger and fear. To keep on even if opportunities to turn back are given.

Dignity, a better life, or justice and rule of law, are things worth fighting for. Not to step back, in spite of confronting the mighty and powerful, creates courageous acts that stay in our memories and means something — as when this Iranian woman refuses to be harassed by self-appointed moral guardians.

The American descent

24 June, 2018 at 12:57 | Posted in Politics & Society | Leave a comment

The speed of America’s moral descent under Donald Trump is breathtaking. In a matter of months we’ve gone from a nation that stood for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to a nation that tears children from their parents and puts them in cages.

truWhat’s almost equally remarkable about this plunge into barbarism is that it’s not a response to any actual problem. The mass influx of murderers and rapists that Trump talks about, the wave of crime committed by immigrants here (and, in his mind, refugees in Germany), are things that simply aren’t happening. They’re just sick fantasies being used to justify real atrocities.

And you know what this reminds me of? The history of anti-Semitism, a tale of prejudice fueled by myths and hoaxes that ended in genocide.

Paul Krugman

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.