Democracy is an ethic whose universality, its applicability everywhere on the face of the earth, stems from its commitment to ‘pluriversality’. It stands for the robust protection of peoples and their biosphere against bogus First Principles and arrogant Grand Ideologies and their claims upon power. Democracy is not a First Principle. It stands guard against pompous Universals, including the imaginings of Liberal Democracy and Western Democracy. Its key ethic is humility, and it therefore remains calm when confronted by the provocative question (posed by the Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk in Snow) of whether particular democracies can endure rival forms of democracy created by people they don’t much like.
Monthly Archives: Travanj 2011
Views About the Economy, Budget Deficit and Health Care
Americans are more pessimistic about the nation’s economic outlook and overall direction than they have been at any time since President Obama’s first two months in office, when the country was still officially ensnared in the Great Recession, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. ovdje
Results from the latest New York Times/CBS News poll conducted April 15-20 with 1,224 adults nationwide
LONDON—A year after the tragic explosion and oil spill that caused petroleum giant BP to cease operations in the Gulf of Mexico, the company announced Wednesday that it was once again ready to begin oil spilling. “People said this company might never rebound from last year, but we’re here and ready to do what we do best,” said BP chief executive Robert Dudley, who confirmed that the company had already successfully conducted small test spills and that full-scale spilling operations could resume as early as July. “We’ve reorganized and regrouped, and now we’re ready to put the faulty blowout preventers on the wellheads and watch them pump raw crude petroleum right into the environment.” BP stock jumped $14 a share following the announcement.
LONDON—World-renowned news and opinion magazine The Economist announced plans to suspend any new online and print content for the next month in an effort to finally allow subscribers a chance to catch up. “It’s only fair to our readers,” said Economist editor Winthrop Parker, adding that there was no reason for subscribers to feel ashamed for not necessarily knowing every last detail about the current economic and geopolitical climate. “Even just scanning over some of the feature stories can sometimes take two or three daily bus commutes to finish. After all, some of these issues have as many words in them as a short novel. No one should be expected to do that in one week.” In related news, ESPN The Magazine announced Monday it would be suspending publication indefinitely until its readers learned to read
There is very little either complicated or interesting about poverty. Poverty has been man’s condition throughout his history. The causes of poverty are quite simple and straightforward. Generally, individual people or entire nations are poor for one or more of the following reasons: (1) they cannot produce many things highly valued by others; (2) they can produce things valued by others but they are prevented from doing so; or (3) they volunteer to be poor.
The true mystery is why there is any affluence at all. That is, how did a tiny proportion of man’s population (mostly in the West) for only a tiny part of man’s history (mainly in the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries) manage to escape the fate of their fellow men?
At last January’s State of the Union, President Obama said America needs more passenger trains. How does he know? For years, politicians have promised that more of us will want to commute by train, but it doesn’t happen. People like their cars. Some subsidized trains cost so much per commuter that it would be cheaper to buy them taxi rides.
The grand schemes of the politicians fail and fail again.
By contrast, the private sector, despite harassment from government, gives us better stuff for less money—without central planning. It’s called a spontaneous order…
Liberalism comes in two varieties, classical and modern. All liberals support limitations on government power, but modern liberalism favors, while classical liberalism opposes, significant interference with private property rights….
Arnold first asks if reasoned agreement between liberals about this agenda could be achieved by some shared principle. Liberals disagree too much about basic rights to provide common ground, but perhaps this ground could be generated by a common principle that the State has some role to play in providing public goods. Some classical liberals, however, accept the legitimacy of State-provided public goods only if they cannot feasibly be provided by nongovernmental means…
Finding no common ground between liberals on the modern liberal regulatory agenda, Arnold then discusses conversion arguments, arguments for why classical liberals ought to make exceptions to their principles about the scope of government action. Typically, modern liberals use these arguments by identifying some alleged failure in the market order that would supposedly be solved by government regulation; classical liberals reply that regulation makes things worse than they would be if the programs were dismantled or radically altered. After thoroughly canvassing this debate, Arnold concludes the replies are reasonable, which means reasonable disagreement between liberals persists.
The Migration Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) rates the EU nations’ (plus Norway, Switzerland, Canada, and the U.S. — 31 countries in all) efforts to integrate immigrants according to 148 policy indicators, which range from opportunities for education and political participation to levels of protection against discrimination, from prospects for reuniting with family to the likelihood of achieving permanent residence status and citizenship.
For those keeping score, Sweden ranked first, Portugal second, and Canada third. The U.S. was ninth! The map below shows the scores for the 31 countries measured by the Index.
This new Index is an important advance in the way we measure openness to immigrants. Previous studies, including my own previous work on the subject, for example, in The Flight of the Creative Class, gauge openness or tolerance by measuring the share of immigrants in the general population, or more commonly, with reference to surveys of attitudes toward immigrants, racial and ethnic minorities, or other excluded groups. The MIPEX measures something different and deeper — the degree to which nations successfully integrate and proactively include immigrants. Still it is closely correlated with those other measures of openness and tolerance, such as Gallup surveys which measure openness to ethnic and racial minorities (.66) and to gays and lesbians (.68).
Revolutions are tumultuous, and it would be naive to expect a smooth establishment of law and order in Benghazi so soon after the frantic violence that accompanied the populist uprising of the early spring. But Libya’s revolution is regressing, despite the air strikes by the Nato-led coalition. Observers who call it a stalemate miss the point. That term implies an equal and balanced standoff. It suggests that UN resolution 1973 might yet have a positive outcome in this instance if Nato maintains its pressure. The reality on the ground suggests something different. “Stalemate” seems too optimistic a prognosis for a revolution that is in real danger of imploding. Such a failure would undermine the case for intervention and strengthen the cause of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
Paul Lendvai, veliki zagovornik priznanja Hrvatske devedesetih, napisao je u Standardu svoj komentar presude Gotovini i Markaču. Povela se rasprava o tekstu (i sadržaju) na 55 stranica. Za sve buduće branitelje, diplomate i ostale, poučni komentari o tome što misle naši prijatelji Austrijanci.
Ebenso wie die Serben und die Kosovo-Albaner haben auch die Kroaten die ernsthafte Auseinandersetzung mit den düsteren Seiten ihrer Kriegsvergangenheit nie richtig begonnen