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lundi, 04 novembre 2013

LIBIA: El descrédito de la democracia


LIBIA
El descrédito de la democracia
 

POR EDUARDO VELASCO
 
Prólogo de Manuel Galiana
 
Diseño: Fernando Lutz
Maquetación: Manuel Q.
Colección: Helénica
Papel blanco 90gr.
Páginas: 146
Tamaño: 21 x 13’5 cm
Edición en rústica (cosido) con solapas de 8 cm
P.V.P.: 14’5 €
(Gastos de envío no incluidos)
 
ISBN: 978-84-940846-7-6 
 
 
Sabadell-CAM: 0081 3176 22 0006048819
 
 
La Primavera Árabe en general y la Guerra de Libia en particular, son los acontecimientos estelares del 2011, junto con los movimientos de protesta supuestamente espontáneos que están teniendo lugar en todo Occidente. A diferencia de Iraq, con Libia no se han visto a las masas populares gritando "No a la guerra". Existen varios motivos. Uno de los más importantes es que la Guerra de Libia no ataca a los intereses de la oligarquía capitalista de Francia, sino que los defiende. El otro es la desinformación: según nuestros medios de comunicación, el mundo árabe ha decidido "perrofláuticamente" que quiere ser demócrata como sus "admirados" prohombres de Occidente, y Gadafi era simplemente un "sátrapa" que había que derribar. Pero ¿acaso no lo era Saddam Hussein? ¿Y no lo siguen siendo Mohamed VI (…) y el rey saudí Abdulá? ¿Y qué pasa con las dictaduras de Qatar, Kuwait, Emiratos Árabes Unidos y Bahréin? ¿Por qué ha atacado la OTAN a Libia y por qué se ha armado, en tiempo récord, un extraño movimiento "rebelde", que en buena parte no es ni siquiera libio?
 
(Eduardo Velasco, extracto introducción)
 
ÍNDICE
                                              
I – Tragedia en el Mare Nostrum                                   
II – Proyectos coloniales en África: Italia y Rusia                
III – El rey Idris y la Revolución Verde                       
IV – Poderoso caballero es don petróleo: La política petrolera de Gadafi
V – Nivel de vida en Libia y políticas sociales de Gadafi      
VI – El problema del Agua: resuelto                             
VII – La cuestión identitaria: Gadafi y las tribus libias         
VIII – Gadafi y la religión                                    
IX – Terrorismo patrocinado por Libia                        
X – El fracaso del panarabismo y el éxito del Panafricanismo: Los Estados Unidos de África
XI – El Dinar-Oro y el dominio de África : La conexión Strauss-Kahn y Libia “Des-gadafización” del sistema financiero Libio y rentabilidad de la guerra.
XII – Quienes están detrás de la guerra de Libia                    
XIII - ¿Quiénes son “los rebeldes libios”?                                
XIV – Comienza la guerra                                    
XV – Organización Terrorista del Atlántico Norte: Crímenes de guerra de la OTAN en Libia            
XVI – Libia en el gran tablero: La atlantización del Mediterraneo                        
XVII – Futuro de Libia y próximos pasos del atlantismo en África: España y Argelia                          
XVIII – Africom y el proyecto atlantista para África 
XIX – Conclusiones                                                           

jeudi, 31 octobre 2013

Nietzsche fenomenologo del quotidiano

 

nietzsche31.jpg

Scolari, Paolo, Nietzsche fenomenologo del quotidiano

 

 

 

Milano-Udine, Mimesis , 2013, pp. 233, euro 20, ISBN 978-88-5751-472-7

 

 

Recensione di Massimiliano Chiari 

Ex: http://recensionifilosofiche.info

 

 

Nietzsche è stato senza dubbio un filologo precoce e promettente: non ancora venticinquenne, e non ancora laureato, ottenne – per meriti scientifici – la cattedra di filologia classica all’Università di Basilea. È stato anche, e in misura incommensurabilmente maggiore, un filosofo di primissimo piano capace di condizionare il pensiero filosofico dell’intero Novecento, e oltre. Tutto ciò è assolutamente noto, direi a tutti.

 

 

Ciò che, invece, è senza dubbio meno universalmente noto del pensiero di Nietzsche, è la sua propensione fenomenologica verso la quotidianità, la sua capacità – cioè – di offrire una lettura tagliente, profonda, lucidissima e in molti casi profetica (nel senso di anticipatrice) della realtà quotidiana e delle sue strutture sociali ed economiche. Accanto a un Nietzsche “maggiore” (filologo e, soprattutto, filosofo) ci sarebbe dunque anche un Nietzsche “minore”, semplice (pour ainsi dire) osservatore della realtà che lo circonda, analista e descrittore (fenomenologo, appunto) del quotidiano: questa è la tesi sostenuta – e ampiamente dimostrata – dal giovane (classe 1983) Paolo Scolari nel libro in esame, pubblicato anche grazie ad un contributo finanziario dell’Università Cattolica, “sulla base di una valutazione dei risultati della ricerca in esso espressa”. È chiaramente un giovane molto promettente l’autore di questo bel libro che ci conduce, ci accompagna per mano, fra i luoghi meno noti – e pur tuttavia interessantissimi – del pensiero di Nietzsche.

 

“Il suo sguardo fenomenologico – ci ricorda Scolari – si posa su quei piccoli temi – «le cose prossime e più vicine di tutte», come le chiama Nietzsche – che vanno a comporre l’esistenza degli uomini della società moderna: «le ventiquattro ore del giorno, il mangiare, l’abitare, il vestirsi, l’aver rapporti sociali, la condotta di vita, la ripartizione della giornata, la professione ed il tempo libero, la festività e il riposo, il matrimonio e l’amicizia»” (p. 15-16); insomma, questo Nietzsche minore, o “terreno” come lo definisce anche Scolari, questo “osservatore dei «luoghi umani» della convivenza”, fa del filosofo tedesco un vero e proprio fenomenologo del quotidiano, testimone di «quella cronaca quotidiana che indagò come sfera dell’umano troppo umano»” (p. 16), per riproporre un’efficace espressione utilizzata da S. Moravia.

 

Scolari ha individuato un saldo filo conduttore che attraversa tutta la nietzscheana fenomenologia del quotidiano; si tratta della “frammentazione dell’umano” (p. 118): “Io mi aggiro in mezzo agli uomini, come in mezzo a frammenti (Bruchstücken) e membra (Gliedmaassen) di uomini! E questo è spaventoso ai miei occhi: trovare l’uomo in frantumi (zertrümmert) […]” (p. 119, cit. da Così parlò Zarathustra). L’uomo in frantumi è quello che si manifesta, al fenomenologo, nelle strutture sociali ed economiche della seconda metà dell’Ottocento: nella scuola, nella cultura, nel lavoro, nel tempo libero, nella città come luogo dell’abitare, e perfino nel giornalismo. L’uomo in frantumi è l’anticipazione nietzscheana dell’uomo a una dimensione, teorizzato da Herbert Marcuse nel suo famoso saggio Der eindimensionale Mensch del 1964.

 

Così ad esempio, la “cultura” prodotta dalle scuole tedesche “perde in profondità quanto pretende di guadagnare in estensione. Non una «vera cultura» (Wirkliche  Bildung), bensì solo una «specie di sapere intorno alla cultura», una «culturalità» (“Gebildetheit”) che «si ferma al pensiero e al sentimento della cultura»” (p. 44). La cultura non ha più come fine se stessa, “ma viene sfruttata per realizzare quelli che, un tempo semplici mezzi, sono ora diventati i fini più importanti dell’esistenza umana: l’utile economico e la potenza dello Stato” (ivi). Ciò che Nietzsche critica aspramente è il “democraticismo” della cultura (e della scuola) tedesca, e ciò in quanto “il valore della cultura è inversamente proporzionale alla sua diffusione: la «cultura quanto più possibile vasta e universale» e «comune a tutti» ha una sola via d’uscita, la «barbarie»” (p. 47). Per Nietzsche la cultura autentica “deve rifiutare ogni asservimento, non deve «servire» a niente, deve cioè essere “«fine a se stessa», gratuita, socialmente disinteressata, al di sopra della mischia sociale” (p. 57). Ma più propriamente, a cosa è asservita – secondo il filosofo tedesco - la cultura dei suoi tempi (e, potremmo aggiungere, dei nostri tempi)? Essa è innanzitutto e per lo più asservita al denaro: “In una modernità «travolta da un’economia del denaro gigantesca e spregevole», dove si rincorrono freneticamente «tutti i mezzi e le vie per guadagnare più facilmente possibile del denaro (Geld)», la cultura «si fa sempre più utile in senso economico»: nei tempi moderni «esiste una naturale e necessaria alleanza di “ricchezza e cultura”, e, ancor più, questa alleanza sarebbe una necessità morale»” (p. 62, cit. da Sull’utilità e il danno della storia per la vita). Un’anticipazione profetica: non grazie alla cultura, ma sotto la spinta del commercio mondiale – ha scritto Nietzsche – “sarà il «denaro a costringere l’Europa a stringersi insieme in un’unica potenza»” (p. 63).

 

In che senso, quindi, il decadimento della cultura e l’egemonia del denaro gettano l’uomo “in frantumi”? Nel senso che “la società sarà dominata da “uomini attuali” senza identità, facilmente spendibili, in grado di valutare ogni cosa soltanto in termini di utilità economica. Uomini coinvolti nel mercato del lavoro, scambiabili e ridotti a valore di scambio: uomini-merce che, «livellati dallo spirito del mercato», hanno perso la propria «qualità individuale» e ritengono superflua una consapevolezza di sé che vada al di là di una mera determinazione del prezzo” (p. 65).

 

Ma l’uomo moderno non è “frammentato” solo a livello culturale, lo è anche nell’ambito lavorativo e perfino nella fruizione del suo (presunto) tempo libero: “ovunque c’è frammentazione, lì ne va dell’umano” (p. 85). L’analisi nietzscheana del lavoro rimanda, forse inconsapevolmente, al concetto marxiano, ed hegeliano prima, di “alienazione”; “nell’era del dominio della fabbrica, continuando a specializzarsi, l’operaio non solo ripete meccanicamente e ininterrottamente la medesima azione, ma diventa l’oggetto di quell’azione: non solo produce la vite per la macchina, bensì si trasforma lui stesso in quella vite” (p. 95). In un aforisma di Umano, troppo umano, Nietzsche scriverà che “«La macchina umilia, è impersonale (unpersönlich), sottrae al pezzo di lavoro la sua fierezza, la sua individuale bontà e difettosità, ciò che rimane attaccato ad ogni lavoro non fatto a macchina, – quindi il suo pezzetto di umanità (sein Bisschen Humanität)»” (p. 96). Anche il tempo libero, che dell’antico otium non mantiene neppure lontanamente la parvenza, diventa funzionale a qualcosa di diverso da sé, serve ormai solamente “per riprendersi dalla stanchezza del negotium” (p. 103). Perfino “la religione moderna”, quella “che vive nell’epoca della morte di Dio” è “ridotta a un dovere della domenica, un ulteriore impegno fra le numerose occupazioni del cittadino moderno” (p. 108).

 

Di particolare pregio è il quarto capitolo (pp. 160-202) del saggio di Scolari, quello in cui viene riproposta la “fenomenologia della città” (luogo dell’abitare) che il giovane studioso fa sapientemente emergere, in particolare, dalle pagine del Prologo di Così parlò Zarathustra. “La città è quell’affascinante palcoscenico sul quale va in scena l’umanità dell’epoca moderna: un’umanità che Nietzsche, «seduto al caffè» della piazza, osserva con molta attenzione (p. 166). Zarathustra incomincia la predicazione del «superuomo» proprio nella piazza della città: “nonostante la dirompente portata del suo messaggio, la folla è indifferente nei confronti di Zarathustra”, non gli presta ascolto, “egli «passa in mezzo a questa gente e lascia cadere qualche parola, ma essi né sanno prendere né trattenere». Questi uomini non riescono a capire ciò di cui parla, continuando imperterriti ad aspettare lo show del saltimbanco” (p. 181). “In quella piazza, l’agire della «folla» si spinge ben oltre la semplice indifferenza. Essa non solo non ascolta Zarathustra, ma con grande fragore «ride di lui»” (p. 183). Ma da chi è composta la gente che affolla quella piazza? Dall’uomo moderno, frammentato, incapace di prestare attenzione a, di cogliere un messaggio nuovo e rivoluzionario che intende ricondurre l’umano alla sua interezza. La gente della piazza “è popolata da «buoni», «giusti» e «credenti»: «esperti di ‘bene’ e di ‘male’», uomini «prigionieri della loro buona coscienza»” (p. 184). La piccolezza di quegli uomini si riflette, perfino, nelle loro abitazioni: quel tipo d’uomo “abita in case ristrette e «saltella su una terra diventata piccola» […]: una piccola «felicità», una piccola «ragione», una piccola «virtù», una piccola «giustizia», una piccola «compassione». Piccolezza e moderazione che tuttavia sanno molto di «accontentabilità» e mediocrità” (p. 186).

 

Il saggio di Scolari offre altri numerosi esempi di fenomenologia del quotidiano, così come viene filtrata dalle lenti di Nietzsche, ma sempre medesimo appare il tratto distintivo di quell’umanità moderna così banale: ciò che ne emerge è l’uomo frammentato, l’uomo a una dimensione per dirla con Marcuse, l’uomo che ha perso il senso della sua originaria unità e potenza, l’uomo che sarà protagonista del ventesimo secolo e, anche, dei giorni nostri.

 

 

 

Indice

 

 

Premessa

 

Sguardo sul quotidiano: Nietzsche e le “cose prossime”

 

 

Capitolo I

 

Sull’avvenire delle nostre scuole: cultura, educazione, società

 

 

Capitolo II

 

Frammentazione dell’umano: cultura, lavoro e tempo libero

 

 

Capitolo III

 

Fenomenologia delle masse: Nietzsche e le logiche collettive

 

 

Capitolo IV

 

Fenomenologia della città: Nietzsche e i luoghi dell’abitare

 

 

Appendice

 

La preghiera del quotidiano: Nietzsche e i giornali

00:05 Publié dans Livre, Livre, Philosophie | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : nietzsche, philosophie, livre, allemagne | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

samedi, 26 octobre 2013

Reviews Ex: http://atimes.com

Reviews

Ex: http://atimes.com


  Crushed by the Chinese dream
Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw

As this tale of five new arrivals in Shanghai unfolds, the narrative that gradually draws them together builds a picture of the city as a glittering, ruthless devourer of their cash - and fame-fueled dreams. While the book succeeds in showing how the modern "Chinese dream" is as illusory as its American counterpart, an overplaying of coincidences sees it descend into heavy-handed plot manipulation. - Kent Ewing (Oct 11, '13)

 

  How the West denied China's law
Legal Orientalism: China, the US and Modern Law by Teemu Ruskola

This important book traces the remarkable hold Orientalist views demonizing China as lawless still have on political and cultural narratives about China's laws and legal institutions. It argues that at a time the word needs more accurate knowledge of Chinese legal concepts, present-day reforms equating to a "self-Orientalism" make that unlikely. - Dinesh Sharma (Sep 27, '13)

 

  Military matters in Myanmar
Soldiers and Diplomacy in Burma by Renaud Egreteau and Larry Jagan. Strong Soldiers, Failed Revolution
by Yoshihiro Nakanishi

Outside focus on Myanmar's new civilian authorities and recent economic changes has helped the military, still the country's most powerful institution, to retreat into the shadows and to evade similar scrutiny. These two books help to shed light on that space, though both fall short of their objectives. - Bertil Lintner (Sep 20, '13)

 

  How oil poisoned Gulf governance
Collaborative Colonialism: The Political Economy of Oil in the Persian Gulf by Hossein Askari

Given the "collaborative colonialism" relationship between Western powers and Arab countries, with callous, often corrupt, regimes backed militarily in return for secure oil supplies, Askari sees little motivation for Gulf countries to improve governance despite increasingly restive populations. His suggestion of intergenerational oil funds as an alternative reflects a compassion for the region that runs throughout the book - Robert E Looney (Sep 13, '13)

 

  The dark heart of West's Iran obsession
A Dangerous Delusion: Why the West Is Wrong About Nuclear Iran by Peter Oborne and David Morrison

Using concise research, this work argues that Iran's readiness to accept monitoring and lack of weapons-grade uranium enrichment make a mockery of Western hype over a supposed nuclear program threatening the security of Israel and Gulf states. Its only questionable conclusion is that the US wants to prevent Iran from becoming a major Middle East power - bitter memories is one more likely explanation. - Peter Jenkins (Sep 6, '13)

 

  How colonial Britain divided to rule
Define and Rule: Native as Political Identity by Mahmood Mamdani

Following a series of revolts, the British Empire was forced to recalibrate its style of indirect rule. Instead of merely differentiating between conquerors and the conquered, it now drew lines between distinct political identities and between natives according to tribe. This work argues that this not only led to local administrations becoming racialized, it also helped create our modern preoccupation with defining and managing difference. - Piyush Mathur (Aug 2, '13)

 

  What China really wants
Wealth and Power: China’s Long March to the Twenty-First Century by Orville Schell and John Delur

Tracing Chinese history through the eyes of its most influential leaders, this work proposes that all but one were motivated by the simple pursuit of wealth, power or both. It was these objectives that led China to dabble in republicanism, anarchism or "whatever ism of the time", writes the authors. Now that the country is wealthy and powerful, they conclude, a constitutional society may just be possible. - George Gao (Jul 26, '13)


 

  How Jews navigated Bolshevik currents
Russian Jews Between the Reds and the Whites, 1917-1920 by Oleg Budnitskii

Western historians approaching the subject of Russian Jews during the Civil War are too often influenced by ideology - conservatives paint the Bolsheviks as anti-Semitic fascists, while leftists sketch out a pro-Jewish, progressive regime. This book succeeds in portraying a more accurate central path. Neither the Reds nor Whites favored ethnic-religious pogroms - but only because it was a politically expedient stance. - Dmitry Shlapentokh (Jul 12, '13)

 

  When will the dirty wars end?
Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield by Rick Rowley and Jeremy Scahill

Using investigative reports, this film argues that from cover-ups of Afghan night-raid atrocities to extrajudicial assassinations, a globally extended US militarism is being used to prevent anything undermining the US image of dominance being projected overseas. If it weren't for journalism exposing dirty wars, knowledge of such abuses might never escape the affected hotspots.
- Steve Fake (Jun 14, '13)

 

  Orphan of the collective
The Elimination by Rithy Panh

Cambodian-born filmmaker Rithy Panh's brave account of life stripped bare by the Khmer Rouge is helped by the inclusion of interview exchanges with Duch, the death-camp warden sentenced to life in prison by a UN-backed tribunal. Yet Panh is at his best writing about his own survival as a teenaged orphan among an adopted collective of killers. - Joe Freeman (May 31, '13)

 

  Portraits of an identity crisis
Lens and the Guerrilla: Insurgency in India's Northeast by Rajeev Bhattacharyya
Che in Paona Bazaar: Tales of Exiles and Belonging from India's Northeast by Kishalay Bhattacharjee

Scores of local rebel groups are active in the seven states east of the narrow "Siliguri Neck" connecting the northeast with the rest of India, but the motivations and people behind these movements are understudied. By taking entirely different approaches to the problems of identity in the volatile region, two new books shine complementary light. - Bertil Lintner (May 10, '13)

 

  Banker tries bait and switch
Nothing Gained by Phillip Y Kim

When this tale of death and mystery in a crisis-hit US investment bank relates how a life built on arrogance, privilege and luck can rapidly unravel, it's a pleasure to watch high-fliers squirm. However, the would-be international business thriller pushes its most compelling characters offstage and offers unsatisfying substitutes. - Muhammad Cohen (Apr 26, '13)

 

  How humanitarians trumped neo-cons in Libya
Slouching Towards Sirte: NATO's War on Libya and Africa by Maximilian Forte

The succession of human-rights based scare stories used to justify Western intervention in Libya, from the looming bloodbath in Benghazi to the African mercenaries and the "mass rapes", underscore the colonial mentality of the liberal lynch mob who backed the invasion. While it's similar to the smoking gun deception over Iraq, at least the neo-cons never claimed to be kind. - Dan Glazebrook (Apr 25, '13)

 

  The Real North Korea
The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia by Andrei Lankov

Andrei Lankov turns his critical eye on the North Korean system and attempts to do the impossible: describe a country that has spent considerable time and effort defying description. If anyone can have a shot at delivering the goods on the "real North Korea'', he is the man, and with a few exceptions, he does a very good job. - John Feffer (Apr 22, '13)

 

  Living (and dying) in the shadows
Hong Kong Noir by Feng Chi-shun

Gruesome tales from the minds of Hong Kong's most notorious serial killers and gangsters fascinate and appall in equal measure. While the 15 "factual" stories in the book sometimes mobilize the author's imagination, the squeamish detail in the former pathologist's writing will likely leave some readers cold. - Kent Ewing (Apr 19, '13)

 

  Searching the globe for China Inc
China's Silent Army: The Pioneers, Traders, Fixers and Workers Who Are Remaking the World in Beijing's Image by Juan Pablo Cardenal and Heriberto Araujo

As Chinese business expands overseas, it is increasingly important to understand how mainland companies and Beijing interact as the latter steers the economic juggernaut. This book unravels some aspects of how Chinese diplomacy and business cooperate to serve geopolitical goals, but it mistakenly implicates Chinese immigrants in search of a better life in the economic exploitation being orchestrated by their leaders. - Muhammad Cohen (Mar 22, '13)

 

  Judaism's ancient voice of reason
The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture by Yoram Hazony

The Hebrew Bible has long been misinterpreted within the Christian framework of revelation, though Christian concepts such miracles and eternal life are conspicuously absent from core tenets of Judaism. This book sets out to remind readers that like the works of great Greek philosophers, ancient Hebrew scriptures are entirely products of universal reason. - Friedrich Hansen (Feb 8, '13)

 

  Judaism's ancient voice of reason
The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture by Yoram Hazony

The Hebrew Bible has long been misinterpreted within the Christian framework of revelation, though Christian concepts such miracles and eternal life are conspicuously absent from core tenets of Judaism. This book sets out to remind readers that like the works of great Greek philosophers, ancient Hebrew scriptures are entirely products of universal reason. - Friedrich Hansen (Feb 8, '13)

 

  Huddled masses
Refugee Hotel (Voice of Witness) by Gabriele Stabile and Juliet Linderman

Striking photographs and moving personal accounts present a firsthand look at the confusion-filled first days of refugees in the United States. The stories of refugees from Bhutan, Myanmar, Burundi, Ethiopia, Iraq, and Somalia illustrate the variety of calamities that drive people to flee their home countries. - Renee Lott (Feb 1, '13)

 

  Can Asians be funny?
The Curious Diary of Mr Jam by Nury Vittachi

A endearing collection of Hong Kong humorist Nury Vittachi's observations on everything from global politics to family life, this "diary" of his alter-ego Mr Jam also sets out to prove that despite blacklisting by oppressive regimes, post-modern Asian vidushaks, or jesters, can indeed raise a smile. The author succeeds, it just takes a few too many pages to get there. - Kent Ewing (Jan 18, '13)

 

  Hirsute iconoclasts
Joseph Anton - A Memoir by Salman Rushdie.
Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Salman Rushdie's most recent book describes the lead-up to the infamous death sentence imposed on him by Ayatollah Khomeini, while Nassim Nicholas Taleb's provides background to his examinations of probability in finance. This makes the works seem incomparable, but both are brave accounts of presenting counter-logic to a prevailing consensus, and both explore the radical afterthought that comes from post-trauma. - Chan Akya (Dec 7, '12)

 

  A Wolfe loose as Miami meets Moscow
Back to Blood: A Novel by Tom Wolfe The return of Tom

Wolfe sees the "New Journalism" exponent expose a Russian oligarch in a plot to make hundreds of millions of dollars through donating fake art to a Miami art museum. While the romp through Russian art and Cuban-American montes veneris does get to the heart of the Cold War eventually, it's no triumph of investigative journalism, fictional or real.
- John Helmer (Nov 16, '12)

 

  Making Korea possible
Korea: The Impossible Country by Daniel Tudor South

Korea is far from being a dull place, and has much more to offer the visitor than kimchi and K-pop. From "neophilia" to Shamanism, Tudor reveals cultural and political concepts missed by less-informed Western observers while exploding the myth that this is a conservative and isolated country.
- James Pearson (Nov 2, '12)

 

  Curse of the donor
Aid Dependency in Cambodia: How Foreign Assistance Undermines Democracy by Sophal Ear

Billions of dollars in aid has poured into Cambodia over the past two decades, and while the economy has grown it is on shaky foundations, with real development languishing in a mire of corruption ruled over by a predatory elite. Modern Cambodia is a kleptocracy cum thugocracy, writes the author, and the international community, led by the UN, is its enabler. - Sebastian Strangio (Oct 26, '12)

 

  Tamerlane through Central Asian eyes
The Legendary Biographies of Tamerlane: Islam and Heroic Apocrypha in Central Asia by Ron Sela

This glimpse into how Central Asia's evolving view of the legendary 14th-century ruler Timur (Tamerlane) highlights how the region's impoverished societies for centuries held up Timur as a symbol of past greatness and promise of future glory. In post-Soviet discourse the cult of Timur was re-launched under Uzbekistan leader Islam Karimov - overlooking that Uzbeks were his sworn enemies. - Dmitry Shlapentokh (Oct 19, '12)

 

  A one-sided history
Modern China-Myanmar Relations: Dilemmas of Mutual Dependence by David I Steinberg and Hongwei Fan
Given the wide-ranging hypocrisy dominating the West's embrace of Myanmar's "normalization" and China's role in the transition, honest analysis of what is really going on in is scarce. While this book does little to fill the void, it does coherently outline China's economic aspirations in Myanmar and provide valuable data on cross-border trade. - Bertil Lintner (Oct 5, '12)

 

  Unity in diversity: NAM's nuclear politics
Nuclear Politics and the Non-Aligned Movement by William Potter and Gaukhar Mukhatzhanova

This book offers valuable insights into how in a post-9/11 revival the Non-Aligned Movement has shed its outdated image and create non-proliferation initiatives that have put Israel and its Western defenders on the back foot. While summizing well the complexity of NAM's nuclear politics, the authors fail to grasp how the International Atomic Energy Agency is manipulated by Western powers.
- Kaveh L Afrasiabi (Sep 28, '12)

 

  Chinese juggernaut
World.Wide.Web by Bertil Lintner

Seemingly insignificant stopovers by US diplomats in Asia-Pacific backwaters are one pointer to the expansion of Chinese interests in the region. The author has done an excellent job of tracing the country's increased role over the past three decades, but the absence of some developments means the work already seems dated.
- Kent Ewing (Sep 14, '12)

 

  The nudists and the diplomat's daughter
Midnight in Peking by Paul French

Written in a racy style that occasionally veers too close to parody, this is a fascinating look at the brutal slaying of a young Englishwoman in Beijing during the run-up to World War II. The victim herself now lies under the modern city's Second Ring Road, but the author has told her tragic story, and that of her bereaved father who never accepted the official investigation into the murder, vividly and expertly.
- Michael Rank (Aug 31, '12)

 

  The West, the Gulf and China: An oil-fueled triangle
China and the Persian Gulf, ed Bryce Wakefield and Susan L Levenstein

As China continues its rise, its vast energy requirements are increasing its influence in the Middle East, source of more than two-fifths of its crude oil. China has replaced the United States as Saudi Arabia's top export partner and Beijing is taking advantage of the West's demonization of Iran to do business in the Islamic Republic. Yet neither oil buyer can force the other out from the Persian Gulf. - Giorgio Cafiero(Aug 24, '12)

 

  Iran nuclear diplomacy: An insider's take
National Security and Nuclear Diplomacy,
by Hassan Rowhani

Hassan Rowhani, Iran's nuclear negotiator for 22 months during Mohammad Khatami's presidency, continues to influence the debate on how Tehran deals with the West. His book, detailing disagreements within the establishment, is recommended reading for anyone interested in understanding Iran's post-revolutionary politics and how a changing power structure has transformed decision-making from one-man rule to a collective enterprise. - Farideh Farhi (Aug 10, '12)
 

 

  Marketing guru chooses a tough sell
The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends That Will Disrupt the World by Shaun Rein

No longer a mere source of cheap labor, China is becoming the world's most compelling consumer market. The author not only has stellar credentials to describe this new reality, and offer advice on how foreign business can cash in on it, he does so in a clear and highly readable style. It's his spin on politics that falls flat. - Muhammad Cohen (Aug 3, '12)  

 

  The 'real' story is the less obvious
Three Ways of Thought in Ancient China by Arthur Waley
Because they are familiar, to some degree, to Westerners, the book's treatment of Taoism and Confucianism may be of most interest to readers. Yet it was the third way of thought, "realism", that largely guided the evolution of China. - Dmitry Shlapentokh (Jul 20, '12)

 

  Living large in Hong Kong
Walking the Tycoons' Rope by Robert Wang

This autobiography by a lawyer who found success in the circles of Hong Kong's mega-rich, only to be brought down by that same world of greed and heartlessness, begins in a very different environment, of poverty and tragedy in the communist mainland. A fascinating look back at a city of dreams that no longer exists, the book is also timely, as resentment against the tycoon class grows in Hong Kong.
- Kent Ewing (Jul 13, '12)

 

  Internet under their thumb
Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom by Rebecca MacKinnon

United States-based companies happily profit from overseas Internet censorship - most notably in China, while at home Facebook, Google, and government officials exert feudal rule over cyberspace. MacKinnon draws on a rich history of classical liberal thought to explore the real threat to digital freedoms. - Geoffrey Cain (Jul 10, '12)

 

  China's take-off riddle
China Airborne by James Fallows

Fallows' work, nominally about China's ambitious commercial aviation sector, opens far broader issues vital to future international relations, such as how far Western partisanship and passivity contributed to China's momentum over the past 30 years when it should have provoked action and investment. - Benjamin Shobert (Jul 5, '12)

 

  Rationalizing US Middle East policy
The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East, by Marc Lynch

The range covered by Lynch in a work designed to reflect the recent complex and murky developments in the Middle East from Tunisia to Bahrain and Yemen, results in some essential reading for the student of the region. Yet he falls short in many ways, not least in his failings in considering socio-economic structures, the absence of an adequate theoretical framework, and an overly superficial grasp of United States involvement. - Kaveh L Afrasiabi (Jun 29, '12)

 

  Mindset of a mass murderer
Facing the Torturer: Inside the Mind of a War Criminal
by Francois Bizot


A searing personal account of the suffering the author endured as a prisoner of the Khmer Rouge in the early 1970s, this book delves deep into the mental makeup of his tormentor, the infamous "Comrade Duch". Haunted by his own ghosts over the circumstances of his release, Bizot explores why Duch, an evidently intelligent man, became a mass murderer. - Bertil Lintner (Jun 22, '12)

 

  A window into North Korea's art world
Exploring North Korean Arts edited by Rudiger Frank

This collection of essays on North Korean visual arts, literature and music offers invaluable historical and theoretical perspective on an art culture that's as kitsch as it is cynically propagandistic. Postage stamps of American soldiers being killed and paintings of waves, waterfalls and rivers predictably promote slavish devotion to the Kim cult. Its less clear what motivated philatelic depictions of the late Princess Diana.
- Michael Rank (Jun 15, '12)

 

  A drone-eat-drone world
Barely a decade after America's drone wars began, the unmanned hunter-killers are set to fill the global skies, with initial dreams of technological perfection giving way to the reality that as their use soars, so will the number of dead civilians on the ground. But drone warfare is here to stay, and will escalate as other nation's acquire more remotely controlled weaponized hardware. - Nick Turse (Jun 1, '12)

 

  Cherry-picking from China's success
What the US Can Learn from China by Ann Lee

This book forces the reader to confront China's growth in the midst of America's decline, drawing attention to the reasons US politics became too self-serving, too short-sighted and too partisan. The author doesn't argue the Chinese approach is flawless, but she does hold up China's single-minded fixation on economic growth and leadership process based on experience as examples US policymakers must consider. - Benjamin Shobert (May 18, '12)

 

  Mainstream political science masks Western clientelism
The Rise and Fall of Arab Presidents For Life
by Roger Owen

This study of repressive modes of governance in the Arab Middle East falls flat due to a failure to examine the West's historical role in perpetuating those authoritarian regimes. By whitewashing the legacy of interventionism, such works prevent a better understanding of how clientelism delayed democratization from below and kept the region a "subordinate sub-system" in global politics.
- Kaveh L Afrasiabi (May 11, '12)

 

  When heaven and earth shook in China
The Death of Mao: The Tangshan Earthquake and the Birth of the New China by James Palmer

As a devastating earthquake struck the Chinese city of Tangshan on a sweltering summer's night in July 1979, killing an estimated 650,000, a series of political events that would culminate in the Gang of Four's expulsion were starting in Beijing. Recounting days of despair and deceit that helped forge modern China, this insightful work suggests political reform did little for disaster management.
- Michael Rank (May 4, '12)

 

  Anti-India agenda costs Pakistan dearly
Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan and Afghanistan by Ahmed Rashid

Offering bleak but compelling insights into how the Pakistani military elite's obsession with defeating India has crippled national development and destabilized Afghanistan, this work argues that as a war-weary Taliban approach the United States seeking peace, Pakistani intelligence will increasingly rely on the Haqqani network to further its quest for strategic depth. - Brian M Downing (Apr 27, '12)  

 

  Green lessons from India's past
Dharma and Ecology of Hindu Communities: Sustenance and Sustainability by Pankaj Jain

Green lessons from India's past Exploring how three historic Indian communities - the Swadhyayis, the Bishnois and the Bhils - became forerunners of a tree-hugging ethos of "dharmic ecology", the book offers insight into how Hinduism-inspired environmental methods and ethics in rural India are relevant to the entire planet. - Piyush Mathur (Apr 20, '12)

 

  Compelling case for Iraq war crime tribunal
The Age of Deception: Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times by Mohamed ElBaradei

The author, former head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog, is so morally outraged by the blatant pulverization of a sovereign Middle East country (Iraq) by a Western superpower and its allies that he advises the Iraqis to demand war reparations. If for nothing else, this book is indispensable. Apart, that is, from the invaluable insights it offers into the ongoing crisis over Iran. - Kaveh L Afrasiabi (Apr 13, '12)

 

  Global tango tilts toward China
China Versus the West: The Global Power Shift of the 21st Century by Ivan Tselichtchev

Professor and TV talking head Ivan Tselichtchev assesses the heavyweight battle for global economic supremacy in his new book. Rather than a clash of civilizations and systems, his nuanced analysis suggests that everyone can wind up a winner. However, the West will need to play by China's rules. - Muhammad Cohen (Mar 30, '12)

 

  Two faces of Islamism in Afpak
An Enemy We Created: The Myth of the Taliban/Al Qaeda Merger in Afghanistan by Alex Strick Van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn

This study of the divergent origins and motivations of the Taliban and al-Qaeda argues that the United States mistakenly evaluated the Taliban's refusal to hand over Osama bin Laden in 2001 as proof of close links, coloring US policy for years. Al-Qaeda's international agenda was an anathema to the Taliban's nationalism, with shared suspicions of a Western conspiracy the only common thread. - Brian M Downing (Mar 23, '12)

 

  The power and the inglory
Power Struggle over Afghanistan by Kai Eide

As the United Nations' main envoy in Afghanistan from 2008 to 2010, the author had unique insight into the myriad problems in that country, and the hatchet job done on Hamid Karzai by the Obama administration. Somehow Eide came away from the experience still hopeful that the Afghan people will find a way out of the chaos. Still, after reading his book, it's hard to see how. - Nick Turse (Mar 16, '12)

 

  Meth madness in Hong Kong
Eating Smoke by Chris Thrall

This book works well as a portrait of a crystal-methamphetamine addict, not as a portrait of Hong Kong. The city is no longer what it was in the mid-1990s before the handover, the time of the English author's harrowing sojourn. What is captivating is his hellish depiction of his addiction and fall into a dangerous underworld. - Kent Ewing (Mar 9, '12)

 

  Women who shaped India
Sonia Gandhi: An Extraordinary Life, an Indian Destiny
by Rani Singh .

It began as a love story, and has culminated in a modern, transitional chapter of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. This cannily crafted biography stands as a narrative not only of the modern history of the planet's largest democracy, but also of the role of some of the most remarkable women the world has ever known, including Sonia's beloved mother-in-law, the late Indira Gandhi. - Dinesh Sharma (Mar 2, '12)

 

  BRIC by brick to the future
The Growth Map: Economic Opportunity in the BRICs and Beyond by Jim O'Neill.

Few economists saw their reputations survive intact after the global financial crisis. The pre- and post-crisis growth of China and other BRIC countries has, however, burnished the standing of Jim O'Neill, who now expands his search to identify the world's next growth centers. - Benjamin Shobert (Feb 24, '12)

 

  Love in a time of revolt
Love, Passion and Patriotism: Sexuality and the Philippine Propaganda Movement, 1882-1892
by Raquel A G Reyes

A number of young Filipinos, or rather the children of colonial Spaniards, educated in Spain in the 19th century were later venerated as national heroes after their ideas helped to spark the revolution of 1896. Yet these self-titled Ilustrados had an often overlooked human, if not haughty, side marked by serial affairs, duels, and deep male chauvinism. - George Amurao (Feb 17, '12)

 

  Decoding Obama's Iran policy
A Single Roll of the Dice: Obama's Diplomacy with Iran
by Trita Parsi

An intricate study of how President Barack Obama's Iran policy evolved, this book relates how campaign pledges to reach out crumbled under the weight of Israeli and Saudi pressure, and from disillusionment following Iran's 2009 election crackdown. The book reveals top Israeli officials' doubts that a nuclear strike will ever be launched, with Israel's aggressive stance based on maintaining its Palestinian territories and aura of invincibility. - Brian M Downing (Feb 10, '12)

 

  Playful lessons for North Korea's young leader
The Lily: Evolution, Play, and the Power of a Free Society
by Daniel Cloud
Princeton University political philosopher Daniel Cloud's gift to North Korea's new leader Kim Jong-eun could not have come at a better time. The book explains to the Young General, that by grasping evolutionary forces, free societies - as the Dao De Jing puts it - "accomplish everything by doing nothing." Something for Kim to ponder among his ambitious plans to join the "elite club of nations" this year. - Mark A DeWaever (Feb 6, '12)

 

  LeT: Terror incorporated
The Caliphate's Soldiers: The Lashkar-e-Tayyeba's Long War by Wilson John

With thousands of recruitment and training centers across Pakistan, funds pouring in from the Gulf and links from Nepal to Sri Lanka, Lashkar-e-Toiba has flourished since the Mumbai attacks of November 2008. Detailing LeT's growth into "the world's most powerful and resourceful terror consultancy firm" - including a Department of Martyrs - this book offers an excellent primer on LeT's global ambitions. - Surinder Kumar Sharma (Feb 3, '12)

 

  Obama, the Lone Ranger
Barack Obama in Hawaii and Indonesia: The Making of Global President by Dinesh Sharma

This book maps out how the cultural influences and global underpinnings of Barack Obama's diverse upbringing in Indonesia and Hawaii created the president America needed for the multipolar world of the 21st century. Written by a cultural psychologist, it uses anthropological, political and genealogical perspectives to argue that Obama's life journey has reflected the challenges America faces today. - Richard Kaplan (Jan 20, '12)

 

  How Imperial Russia wooed Asia
Russia's own Orient: The politics of identity and Oriental studies in the Imperial and early Soviet periods by Vera Tolz

When Russia launched Oriental studies amid its imperial decline, it sought to emulate the West. However, the glamorous image of the downtrodden at the time led minorities to be treated as equals rather than subjects, a wild contrast from the West's approach. Using a wealth of research this book outlines how this impacted positively on ethnic policy after the Bolshevik Revolution - until the regime needed to consolidate power. - Dmitry Shlapentokh (Jan 13, '12)

 

  Invisible walls in Xinjiang
The tree that bleeds: a Uighur town on the edge by Nick Holdstock

A snapshot of Xinjiang province's Yining city four years after deadly ethnic riots in 1997, this book provides insights into how fraught relations between Uyghurs and and Han Chinese were worsened by Beijing's divisive rules and policies, particularly in education. The separate dormitories, canteens and admissions described as the ethnicities "pretend the other doesn't exist" make recent violence easier to understand. - Michael Rank (Jan 6, '12)

 

  A future with China
China and the Credit Crisis: the Emergence of a New World Order by Giles Chance

The book explores the inter-connection between United States policy and China's participation in globalization. The presentation on what the current economic crisis means regarding the future of the US dollar and the necessary adjustment by the world's financial and regulatory systems to incorporate China's needs are balanced and satisfying. Yet the most important reason to read this work may be what it has to offer about how these troubled times will reshape US-China relations. - Benjamin A Shobert (Dec 21, '11)

INTERVIEW
Getting the dragon onboard
The Chinese may have an attitude whereby they want to exploit the rest of the world for their own benefit. They do not see themselves yet as a responsible leader of the world economy in a way we would like them to. The issue is how can we bring China to stand alongside Europe and America? So asks Giles Chance, author of China and the Credit Crisis in a conversation with Benjamin A Shobert. (Dec 21, '11)

 

  Angels and inquisitors
A Point in Time by David Horowitz For a quarter of a

century, Horowitz has told unpleasant truths about the political left where he spent the first half of his career before turning conservative some 30 years ago. He surpasses himself in this new essay, though, by telling unpleasant truths about the human condition. - David Goldman (Dec 21, '11)

 

  The Unraveling
The Unraveling: Pakistan in the Age of Jihad by John R Schmidt

With relations between Pakistan and the United States in cold storage, John R Schmidt, a senior US diplomat, sheds some light on the reasons. He argues that Islamabad's dual policy of supporting US military actions in Afghanistan while maintaining its connection with radical Islamic groups is understandable and the US must face up to the problem; advice unlikely to lead to a thaw any time soon. - Erico Yu (Dec 16, '11)

 

  Deconstructing Thomas Friedman
The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work by Belen Fernandez

Analyzing the work of influential New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, this book finds flaws ranging from hypocrisy and racism to factual errors and skewed judgment. More frightening is how Friedman is found to represent a US media that's sacrificed its objectivity to US economic and political goals, with corporate profit taking precedent over human life in counsel on Iraq, Israel and Palestine. - Sandra Siagian (Dec 9, '11)

 

  Down the wrong path
9-11 by Noam Chomsky

Updated to cover Osama bin Laden's death, this prescient work on the September 11 attacks written in November 2001 chillingly predicts how expensive and bloody wars in Muslim countries would drain the American economy and kill thousands of civilians. Though a compelling indictment of an "imperial mentality" that's seen America abandon human-rights principals to pursue its goals, the book's dialogue format may frustrate some readers. - Christopher Bartlo (Dec 2, '11)

 

  Revelations of a secret war
The Secret Army: Chiang Kai-shek and the Drug Warlords of the Golden Triangle by Richard M Gibson and Wenhua Chen

While it's known that thousands of Chinese nationalists settled in north Thailand after the civil war, as seen in thriving Chinese villages like Mae Salong, this book reveals how the United States rebuilt and re-equipped the forces to fight Mao Zedong's China and later Thai communist insurgents. It also constructs how US involvement helped created the narcotics production hub that is today's Golden Triangle. - Bertil Lintner (Nov 18, '11)

 

  The incredible lightheadedness of being German
I Sleep in Hitler's Room: An American Jew Visits Germany by Tuvia Tenenbom

Tuvia Tenenbom comes off as a Jewish Hunter S Thompson, describing cringing encounters in Germany that strip away the veneer of sanity from his subjects. His peregrinations show that World War II and the Holocaust have left the Germans with a terminal case of post-traumatic stress disorder and aspirations for their national identity to be subsumed into Europe. To understand Germans, one has to learn their language and live with them - or read Tenenbom's book. - Spengler (Nov 15, '11)

 

  Harsh light on history
Breaking the Rules by Alexander Casella

An insider's account of the United Nations refugee agency's inner workings, this book sketches out a "humanitarian industry" run by politicians and bureaucrats more interested in securing their own paychecks and promotions than helping victims. Starting in post-unification Vietnam and traveling into the UN's dark heart, it rewards readers with a trove of insights and anecdotes about events that have shaped our time by someone who was right in the thick it it. - David Simmons (Nov 10, '11)

 

  A path not taken
The Ideal Man: The Tragedy of Jim Thompson and the American Way of War by Josh Kurlantzick

Rather than seeking answers to Jim Thompson's mysterious disappearance in 1967, this book examines how the American spy turned Thai silk magnate increasingly resented his idealized Thailand being swept away by the involvement of the United States in the region. As Thompson strolled into Malaysian hills never to return, his era of intrigue and opportunity was fading forever from Southeast Asia. - Sebastian Strangio (Nov 4, '11)

 

  A graveyard for US war strategies
The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy, And the Way Out of Afghanistan by Bing West
This cold hard look at United States' Afghan war strategies concludes that Washington's focus on nation-building rather than military supremacy since 2006 has reinvigorated the Taliban's influence. Through boots-on-the-ground chronicling, readers glimpse how US soldiers are battling bureaucracy as much as insurgents. However, its final argument - that Afghanizing counter-insurgency will turn the conflict - is problematic. - Geoffrey Sherwood (Oct 28, '11)

 

  The human face of World War I
To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918 by Adam Hochschild

An exploration of how World War I became so protracted and bloody, this book also retells how pacifists braved jail and lynchings to reject the carnage. By focusing on individuals like the vain generals who ordered a whole generation into deadly storms of steel, the author offers a timely reminder that blindness to war's realities leads to unparalleled loss. - Jim Ash (Oct 21, '11)

 

  Hidden eyes and ears
Spies for Nippon by Tony Matthews

Using recently declassified United States intercepts of World War II Japanese intelligence, this book offers a rare glimpse into how Tokyo ran diplomat spies in Axis-leaning "neutral" European capitals to track Allied troop movements across Asia and establish Latin American cells. Though lacking insight into individual spy operations, it holds compelling revelations on how cracking Japan's "Purple" code altered the war's course. - George Amurao (Oct 14, '11)

 

  US-China power imbalance threatens Asia
A Contest for Supremacy: China, America, and the Struggle for Mastery in Asia by Aaron L Friedberg

While arguing that a stark evaluation of Beijing's military strategy proves the United States has been overly optimistic in believing economic engagement would foster democracy, this book makes no alarmist predictions of China pursuing global hegemony. However, to alter deep-seated patterns of power politics drawing the countries toward conflict, the US needs to rebalance its China relationship by urgently addressing its own economic and political dysfunctions. - Benjamin A Shobert (Oct 7, '11)

 

  Before the darkness
Rangoon Journalist: Memoirs of Burma days 1940-1958 by J F Samaranayake

This gripping account of a journalist's life in 1940s-1950s Burma before press repression took hold covers the "gold rush", a time when media were more modern, outspoken and professional than any other in the region. Aside from offering a chilling glimpse into the descent into military rule, the book offers a valuable and rare account of the country's forgotten literary history. - Bertil Lintner (Sep 30, '11)

 

  Russia's tug-of-war with its Asian soul
Russian Orientalism: Asia in the Russian Mind from Peter the Great to the Emigration by David Schimmelpenninck

van der Oye
This book expertly details how pre-revolutionary Russia's view of "Asia" coincided with that of European Orientalists - even as Western intellectuals saw Russians as Asiatic successors to the Huns and Mongols. As study of Asia blossomed into a critical source of colonial know-how, belief in the potential of Eurasian symbiosis gradually gave way to suspicions and benign imperialism, mimicking present-day Russia's Asian outlook.

- Dmitry Shlapentokh (Sep 23, '11)

 

  Make babies or die
How Civilizations Die: (And Why Islam Is Dying Too) by David P Goldman

The author's demographics-mixed-with-religion dash through history displays the erudition and sarcasm that marks his writing on this site ("Spengler") and elsewhere. And demography may indeed be almost (sometimes fatal) destiny - but pessimism may blind Goldman to what is adaptation and survival. (Sep 23, '11)

 

  Lashkar-e-Toiba - safe at home
Storming the World Stage: The Story of Lashkar-e-Toiba by Stephen Tankel

A detailed study of Lashkar-e-Toiba's evolution from a relatively unknown group into the infamous militant organization that launched the 2008 Mumbai attacks, this book also covers how Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence nurtured LeT as an indispensable asset in its anti-Indian struggle. The author concludes that ISI's strong support of LeT leaves it unlikely to turn against Islamabad. - Brian M Downing (Sep 16, '11)

 

  Obama and Osama as archetypes
Barack Obama in Hawaii and Indonesia: The Making of a Global President by Dinesh Sharma

The ashes and the bellowing smoke of 9/11 metaphorically touched all corners of the Earth. They also touched the core of Barack Obama's identity as a would-be senator, global citizen and progressive thinker who knew the world had been pushed to a cataclysmic point and was determined to play a role in shaping events. Moreover, in the minds of millions, the Obama-Osama bin Laden binary opposition formed archetypes of good and evil. (Sep 9, '11)

 

  One final word?
On China by Henry Kissinger

Forty years ago, Henry Kissinger's masterful diplomacy helped clear a path for China's rise, though he could not have foreseen the threat that presents to the American psyche today. His belief that partnership is possible - yet conflict the easier path - stems from aged and experienced eyes, but exhortations to Americans to avoid a contest with China focus readers on a question he is easily the least qualified to answer. - Benjamin A Shobert (Sep 2, '11)

 

  War without end
Roads of Bones: The Epic Siege of Kohima 1944 by Fergal Keane

Almost forgotten, Kohima in the mountains of northeastern India was where British and British-Indian troops inflicted the Japanese Imperial Army's worst defeat and forced a retreat back into Burma (Myanmar). Keane's outstanding account of "Asia's Stalingrad" shows remarkable understanding of Japanese soldiers who fought and died, and has important contemporary value since it is often argued that in the hills of northern Myanmar and northeastern India, World War II never ended. - Bertil Lintner (Aug 26, '11)

 

  US smart power falters in information age
The Future of Power by Joseph S Nye Jr

This too United States-centric analysis of global power trends envisions major shifts towards non-state actors in the 21st century, with soft power increasingly important. While the author rejects that the US is in precipitous decline, he argues that in the age of social networks and information-sharing, leaders need to think of themselves in a circle rather than atop a mountain. - Shiran Shen (Aug 19, '11)

 

  In search of a way out
No Exit: North Korea, Nuclear Weapons, and International Security by Jonathan D Pollack

With the belief that the how and why of the North Korean nuclear impasse must begin with the country's system and its history, the author consults Cold War archives, interviews and technical history, among others, to weave together the evolution of the Hermit Kingdom and its nuclear program. It's a useful narrative with a detailed, beyond-the-Beltway overview.
- Shiran Shen (Aug 11, '11)

 

  J Street battles for Jewish hearts and minds
A New Voice for Israel: Fighting for the Survival of the Jewish Nation by Jeremy Ben-Ami

This manifesto of "pro-Israel, pro-peace" lobby J Street and memoir of leader Jeremy Ben-Ami lays out the group's strategy to steer United States policy on the Middle East towards favoring a two-state solution. While J Street is emerging as a strong voice, forces aligned against it - Christian Zionists, neo-conservative think-tanks and the Israel Lobby - exert a powerful grip on US foreign policy. - Mitchell Plitnick (Aug 5, '11)

 

  US rattled by Vietnam War skeletons
Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes Girl by the Road at Night: A Novel of Vietnam by David Rabe Wandering Souls: Journeys with the Dead and the Living in Viet Nam by Wayne Karlin

This wave of Vietnam War literature features the familiar grunt prose, patrol drama and punji pits, alongside a new, ultimately inadequate attempt to empathize with the formerly faceless enemy. Yet exploration of the gaping holes left in Vietnamese families by the countless still missing does suggest soul-searching, while guilt over the thousands forced into prostitution recognizes that lives were not only destroyed by bombs and bullets. - Nick Turse (Jul 29, '11)

 

  The real AfPak deal
Inside al-Qaeda and the Taliban: Beyond Bin Laden and 9/11 by Syed Saleem Shahzad

Drawn from fearless reporting in the complex and deadly Pakistani tribal areas, this book outlines the grand strategy al-Qaeda plotted for AfPak before the United States even coined the term. Despite the book's revelations and vision, it's also the cracking narrative of one man armed only with a strong moral compass; a man murdered by his own state for searching out the truth. - Pepe Escobar (Jul 22, '11)

 

  Dispelling the myths of humanitarian aid
International Organizations and Civilian Protection by Sreeram Chaulia

Demolishing notions that humanitarian organizations from the United Nations and elsewhere risk all to protect civilians, the author draws on extensive experience in Sri Lanka and the Philippines to illustrate how donor and host-state pressures - as well as internal struggles - leave these organizations passively "building databases" and providing blankets while local activists fight to protect the innocent. - Sudha Ramachandran (Jul 15, '11)

 

  Fallacy of American cosmopolitan power
Cosmopolitan Power in International Relations by Giulio M Gallarotti

The notion of a world led by United States "cosmopolitanism" is undermined by the superpower's use of colossal hard and soft power to manufacture consensus. Far from holding a worldly, trans-national outlook, the US employs military and economic strength to safeguard its geopolitical interests and promote its ideology of expansionism. - Kaveh L Afrasiabi (Jul 8, '11)

 

  Asia on expressway to disaster
Consumptionomics: Asia's Role in Reshaping Capitalism and Saving the Planet by Chandran Nair

For the author, capitalism's deficiency remains its inability to acknowledge the natural resource limitations that confront most of the developing world. His solutions, like "economic activity being subservient to the vitality of resources" - will deeply trouble many in the West. However, questioning capitalism's longer-term implications makes sense for an Asian audience. - Benjamin A Shobert (Jul 1, '11)

 

  A black man from Kenya and
a white woman from Kansas

A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mother by Janny Scott
The Obamas: The Untold Story of an African Family by Peter Firstbrook

While Barack Obama's Kansas-born mother was a trail-blazing globalist whose idealism gave the United States president access to the progressive soul of America, his intelligence, resourcefulness and ambition can be traced back several generations in his economist father's African bloodline. Obama's own books openly discuss his roots, but these works paint a clearer picture of his two guiding lights. - Dinesh Sharma (Jun 24, '11)

 

  Pomp and porn during the Qing Dynasty
Decadence Mandchoue. by Sir Edmund Trelawny Backhouse

In an erotic romp through the twilight years of the Qing Dynasty, these memoirs recount among other trysts the Victorian Orientalist author's subservient servicing of the Empress Dowager Cixi, then 69, and adventures with the eunuchs and catamites of Peking's bathhouses. Intermingled with fantastical imperial palace intrigue, the work has faced charges of fraudulence and obscenity; this belies its charm and historical significance. - Kent Ewing (Jun 17, '11)

 

  Moral war compass fails to point West
Moral Combat: A History of World War II by Michael Burleigh

This books succeeds perhaps too well in detailing just how repugnant the German and Japanese regimes were in World War II, and is especially strong on the Pacific theater, an area one-volume histories tend to neglect. Where it fails is in its resort to slippery tactics to avoid confronting the dirt that was on the Allies' hands. - Jim Ash (Jun 10, '11)

 

  Crisis of American international thought
Liberal Leviathan: The Origins, Crisis, and Transformation of the American World Order by G John Ikenberry

A liberal pro-United States bias permeating the book sees the US's resource-oriented military gambits and imperial behavior conveniently papered over and rising states dismissed as challengers to the global order. By presenting US power as benign, with no nefarious core-periphery or hegemonic dimensions, the author undermines his own views on the rapidly changing state of world affairs. - Kaveh L Afrasiabi (May 27, '11)

 

  War and taxes
Development Disparities in Northeast India by Rakhee Bhattacharya

In insurgent-run areas of northeast India the penalty for not paying "tax" is final: death. But as this book reveals, revenue collections systems put in place by rebels there are surprisingly sophisticated. By investigating exactly how the "taxation" takes place, the author offers an excellent glimpse into how other shadow insurgent economies are likely run elsewhere in Asia. - Bertil Lintner (May 20, '11)  

 

  Wages of peace
Cambodia's Curse: The modern history of a troubled land by Joel Brinkley

This searingly accurate depiction of how Western aid in post-Khmer Rouge Cambodia helped create the corrupt, impoverished and lawless state of today is undermined by its premise: that Cambodians will never rise up against bad leadership due to a "curse" of feudal subservience. History suggests internal rebellion is more likely to spark change than the weak-kneed efforts of foreign donors. - Sebastian Strangio (May 12, '11)

 

  When Attlee met Mao
Passport to Peking, A very British mission to Mao's China by Patrick Wright

This colorful account of British delegations sent to communist China in the 1950s intersperses valuable insights into the early Cold War period with a humorous culture clash as a typically eccentric English band led by prime minister Clement Attlee meets a rapidly transforming China. Beyond the gayety lies a fascinating account of a forgotten era. - Michael Rank (May 6, '11)

 

  Obama's hidden radical past
Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism, by Stanley Kurtz

Detailed organizational charts, histories, and smoking-gun documentation about the world of left-wing organizations in which Barack Obama circulated early in his career make this book required reading for anyone who wants to pierce the veil of a self-constructed enigma. It also shows the US president is not the man he claimed to be in the 2008 campaign. - Spengler (May 2, '11)

 

  Conservative reappraisal of the Afghan war
The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy, and the Way Out of Afghanistan by Bing West

The United States war effort in Afghanistan is failing, says this authoritative - and usually supportive - voice on US military affairs. While implacable Afghan resentment of foreigners is undermining the counter-insurgency, inter-ethnic divisions are killing "Afghanization". Throw in the financial crisis, an apathetic American public and the vague objectives of Washington's revolving-door leadership, and you have a recipe for quagmire - Brian M Downing (Apr 29, '11)

 

  The president as a public intellectual
Reading Obama by James Kloppenberg

James Kloppenberg's intellectual biography of Barack Obama finds the United States President 's political philosophy and style of politics owes a lot to the pragmatic tradition in American philosophy. That will disappoint those on the right who paint him as an extreme leftist radical. Missing from this otherwise outstanding analysis are the ideas the younger Obama acquired from his global travels. - Dinesh Sharma (Apr 21, '11)

 

  Seeing the forest for the leaves
Family of Fallen Leaves by Charles Waugh and Huy Lien
The Invention of Ecocide by David Zierler

These books take separate approaches to the United States' defoliation campaign in the Vietnam War. One focuses on US scientists who realized there were horrendous implications to using chemicals such as Agent Orange; the other tells heart-rending tales of birth defects, sickness and death inflicted on the Vietnamese. Neither fully captures the horrific impact of "ecocide" on an agrarian society. - Nick Turse (Apr 15, '11)

 

  The good old days
Reporter Forty Years Covering Asia by John McBeth

An absorbingly detailed account of the major stories that shook Southeast Asia during the 40 years the author was a reporter, from Thailand's five coups to the "secret war" in Laos and Cambodia's Khmer Rouge massacres. Evoking an era when journalists were cut from a different cloth, the book also recounts the death of one of Asia's most influential news magazines. - Robert Tilley (Apr 8, '11)

 

  Asians can't have it all
Consumptionomics: Asia's Role in Reshaping Capitalism and Saving the Planet by Chandran Nair

Western consumerism in the developing East will have an irreversible climate impact, according to Nair, who observes that climate change is an example of massive market failure, so the world can't rely on markets to fix it - authoritarianism is his preferred alternative. The challenge is finding an appealing alternative to steak and SUVs. - Muhammad Cohen (Apr 6, '11)

 

  Asians can't have it all
Consumptionomics: Asia's Role in Reshaping Capitalism and Saving the Planet by Chandran Nair

Western consumerism in the developing East will have an irreversible climate impact, according to Nair, who observes that climate change is an example of massive market failure, so the world can't rely on markets to fix it - authoritarianism is his preferred alternative. The challenge is finding an appealing alternative to steak and SUVs. - Muhammad Cohen (Apr 6, '11)

 

  The trouble with China's brands
The Brutal Truth About Asian Branding: And How to Break the Vicious Cycle by Joseph Baladi

China has failed to nurture compelling consumer brands and largely remains a factory for the West. Blaming the rigid confines of Confucian leadership and a lack of awareness that "brands fundamentally define people", this book argues that if China can't make the transition to home-grown brands, the process of globalization will falter. - Benjamin A Shobert (Apr 1, '11)

 

  The privatization of US foreign policy
Outsourcing War and Peace: Preserving Public Values in a World of Privatized Foreign Affairs by Laura A Dickinson

Since the Vietnam War, the United States has steadily shunted foreign policy responsibilities onto private contractors, with no hope now of closing the Pandora's box. This legal look into how privatization has seeped into the Pentagon and why serious abuses take place outlines how a flawed organizational and monitoring structure can be reformed to not threaten human rights and democratic accountability. - David Isenberg (Mar 25, '11)

 

  Davids in a world of Goliaths
Small Acts of Resistance: How Courage, Tenacity, and a Bit of Ingenuity Can Change the World by Steve Crawshaw and John Jackson

These heroic tales of non-violent, game-changing defiance by individuals or small groups in repressive states like Iran, Myanmar and communist Poland are a reminder that all authority, even at its very worst, exists only with the consent of those it commands. By illustrating the bravery of those facing imprisonment without trial, torture or extra-judicial murder just to enact change, the book makes a mockery of political apathy in the West. - Jim Ash (Mar 18, '11)

 

  Smoking out Vietnam War truths
Search and Destroy: The Story of an Armored Cavalry Squadron in Viet Namby Keith Nolan

As the United States marks 50 years since the start of the Vietnam War, revisionism is as rife as ever. This one-year account of an armored cavalry squadron, however, offers a clear-eyed appraisal of atrocities inflicted on the Vietnamese people as well as a three-dimensional, sensitive portrayal of the American troops that suffered bravely in the conflict. - Nick Turse (Mar 11, '11)

 

  Islam and democracy debate revisited
Democracy in Modern Iran: Islam, Culture, and Political Change by Ali Mirsepassi

This critique of political Islam's evolution in Iran attempts laboriously to apply Western philosophical and political perspectives to the issue, with an uncritical embrace of the opposition "Green" movement also apparent from the start. While there are useful chapters on Iranian intellectuals, the generalizations and borrowed terminologies undermine any serious exploration of Iran's part-theocratic, part-republican system. - Kaveh L Afrasiabi (Mar 4, '11)

 

  Oil poisoning humankind
Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil by Peter Maass

For the author, oil is a curse - from the moment it is extracted until the moment it is poured into the oversized gas tanks of sports utility vehicles. The book takes no pot-shots at companies, nations or people, instead using snapshots of badly affected counties to show that Peak Oil will be a blessing. - Jim Ash (Feb 25, '11)

 

  The lighter side of the Tibet issue
Waiting for the Dalai Lama: Stories from all sides of the Tibetan Debate by Annelie Rozeboom

Not a run-of-the-mill portrayal of the Free Tibet love camp, this book draws on an eclectic cast of characters to flesh out the debate, including a former serf and a nomad, a state oracle and a Tibetan Mao Zedong impersonator. While the author's ability to highlight the funny and bizarre ensures an easy read, this limits analysis of meaningful subjects such as evolving views towards the Chinese. - Dinah Gardner (Feb 18, '11)

 

  Unmasking British intelligence
MI6: The History of the Secret Intelligence Service 1909-1949 by Keith Jeffery

Tracing the history of the British Secret Intelligence Service (now known as MI6) from its birth in 1909 until the post-World War II years, this book focuses on the spy service's trailblazing founder, its emergence and early triumphs, and political battles the organization faced for its survival. Replete with detail, the work rehabilitates the SIS's contribution to the British war effort. - Mahan Abedin (Feb 11, '11)

 

  One man's Korean war
Yin Yang Tattoo by Ron McMillan

This novel follows the sexual and drunken exploits of Scottish photojournalist Alec Brodie as he is sucked into the shady attempt of a bankrupt South Korean chaebol to save itself through a corporate scam involving the Hermit Kingdom. As a work of expatriate escapism, the book is a great success. But as a cautionary tale it may fall a little short. - David Simmons (Feb 4, '11)

 

  The party principle

Red Capitalism: The Fragile Financial Foundation of China's Extraordinary Rise
by Carl E Walter and Fraser J T Howie

Is China headed for a fall? Can it cope with the crises its rapid growth and uneven development might spark? Walter and Howie attempt to answer these questions by focusing exclusively on the country's financial system. They conclude that China’s embrace of the free market is merely a ploy to keep the Communist Party predominant, and question whether this approach can work in the long term. - Reviewed by Benjamin A Shobert (Jan 28, '11)

 

  The neo-Renaissance man
How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance by Parag Khanna

Khanna tells us that an informal network of committed individuals can end the new feudal age we toil in, and usher in the next Renaissance. The book bristles with good ideas, and Khanna's heart is in the right place. But he fails to explain how his vision will survive the plutocrats and Pentagonistas who currently run the world. - Pepe Escobar (Jan 21, '11)

 

  Not so special
The Eurasian Face by Kirsteen Zimmern

This photographic exploration of the Eurasian experience treads too lightly on a tumultuous history of discrimination, violence and stigma, dismissing the identity crisis many Eurasians still feel as an amusing reminiscence. While its subjects are young and old, and drawn from all walks of life, their shallow portraits make the reconciling of ethnicities sound far too easy. - Kent Ewing (Jan 14, '11)

 

  The last American Caesars
Dismantling the Empire: America's Last Best Hope by Chalmers Johnson
The late author's last book encapsulates his previous themes of how America's empire-building since World War II, epitomized by base-building sprees, stage-managed coup d'etats and illegal killings and torture, has filled a "pond of hatred" set to cause pernicious "blowback" and financial ruin. It offers little hope for the empire's future, predicting a hubris-fueled demise similar to that of Rome. - Jim Ash (Jan 7, '11)

 

  Reconfiguring the Middle East
Reset: Iran, Turkey and America's Future by Stephen Kinzer

The book argues the United States' morass in the Middle East could be improved by "reseting" relations with Turkey and Iran, who with their histories of popular democratic struggle are an ideal US "soul mate", while inching away from traditional ties with Saudi Arabia and Israel - relationships built on "dirty war" contracts and "Biblical traditions" that have hurt US interests. - Sreeram Chaulia (Dec 22, '10)

 

  The driving force behind empires
When Empire Meets Nationalism by Didier Chaudet, Florent Parmentier and Benoit Pelopidas

When Empire Meets Nationalism by Didier Chaudet, Florent Parmentier and Benoit Pelopidas The authors attempt to deconstruct the ideologies that inform foreign policy and the creation of empires, particularly in relation to the United States and Russia. This is an informative exercise, but overlooked are other important factors, such as economic policies. - Dmitry Shlapentokh (Dec 17, '10)

 

  Eastern promise
The Chinese Dream: The Rise of the World's Largest Middle Class and What It Means to You by Helen Wang

The author argues that the mainland's rising middle class is essential to the economic health of both China and the United States, as well as to China's future political liberalization. Underneath all this, her book also strikes a poignant note about America's lost optimism. - Benjamin A Shobert (Dec 10, '10)

 

  Myanmar's ageless ethnic question
The Shan of Burma: Memoirs of a Shan Exile by Chao Tzang Yawnghwe

The intensifying clashes between Karen rebels and government forces along Myanmar's border with Thailand make the re-release of this seminal account and overview of the Shan resistance all the more timely. Written by a late Shan activist and prince, the two-decade-old book's plea for a solution to the state's deadly ethnic divisions is equally powerful and relevant today. - Bertil Lintner (Dec 3, '10)



Book Reviews Archive

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mercredi, 23 octobre 2013

Bernard Lugan présente son livre "Printemps arabes, histoire d'une illusion"


Bernard Lugan présente son livre

"Printemps arabes, histoire d'une illusion"

mardi, 22 octobre 2013

Clément Rosset: Faits divers...

philosophie,clément rosset,livreFaits divers...

Les Presses universitaires de France viennent de publier Faits divers, un recueil de textes de Clément Rosset. Philosophe du réel tragique et joyeux, Clément Rosset est notamment l'auteur de La philosophie tragique (PUF, 1960), Logique du pire (PUF, 1971), L'Anti-nature (PUF, 1973) , Le réel et son double (Gallimard, 1976), La Force majeure (Éditions de Minuit, 1983) ou de Principes de sagesse et de folie (Éditions de Minuit, 1991).

Faits divers.jpg

" Gilles Deleuze, les vampires, Emil Cioran, Samuel Beckett, le dandysme, Friedrich Nietzsche, Raymond Roussel, Casanova, Arthur Schopenhauer, Jean-Luc Godard, Goscinny & Uderzo, Jean-Paul Sartre, Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Le réel, le double, l’illusion, le tragique, la joie, la musique, la philosophie, la politique, le péché, l’enseignement. Faits divers sont les miscellanées de Clément Rosset : le répertoire désordonné et jubilatoire de ses passions et de ses dégoûts, de ses intérêts et de ses bâillements, de ses tocades et de ses coups de sang – ainsi que de la prodigieuse liberté de ton et de pensée avec laquelle il les exprime et les pense. Un des philosophes, un des écrivains les plus singuliers de notre temps revisite les coulisses de son œuvre. Et vous êtes invités. "

00:05 Publié dans Livre, Livre, Philosophie | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : philosophie, clément rosset, livre | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

vendredi, 18 octobre 2013

L’Iran au-delà de l’islamisme, de Thomas Flichy de la Neuville

1393369348_ebfbb301a2_o.jpg

Parution :

L’Iran au-delà de l’islamisme, de Thomas Flichy de la Neuville

 Ex: http://www.realpolitik.tv

Thomas-Flichy-Comprendre-l-Iran-au-dela-de-l-islamisme-Editions-de-l-Aube-2013_medium.pngL’Iran est aujourd’hui placé au centre de l’attention géopolitique mondiale pour trois raisons fondamentales. En premier lieu, ce pays constitue le coeur énergétique du monde, exploitant simultanément les réserves en hydrocarbures de la mer Caspienne et celles du golfe Persique. Les puissances du Moyen-Orient qui l’environnent constituent, à cet égard, des périphéries envieuses. Pour la Chine, un partenariat avec l’Iran permettrait l’indispensable sécurisation de ses approvisionnements énergétiques. Ceci explique la double poussée maritime et terrestre de l’Empire du Milieu vers l’Iran, sur les traces des routes de la soie de la dynastie Tang. En second lieu, le monde chiite représente le coeur historique de l’innovation musulmane. Ce foyer d’inventivité est confiné depuis très longtemps par le monde sunnite. Profitant aujourd’hui du basculement irakien et de l’instabilité syrienne, l’Iran pousse son avantage pour étendre son influence au coeur du Moyen-Orient. Mais sa créativité, décuplée par la puissance imaginative de la poésie persane, effraie. En troisième lieu, l’Iran, qui souffre d’un déficit énergétique malgré ses réserves prodigieuses de gaz, développe des activités atomiques de façon accélérée, suscitant les interrogations légitimes de ses voisins. Soucieux d’éviter l’affrontement, les États-Unis et leurs alliés ont exercé des pressions indirectes sur l’Iran afin que celui-ci renonce à l’enrichissement nucléaire. Ces actions ont été qualifiées, le 3 septembre 2001, de djang-e-naram, ou « guerre douce », par Hossein Mazaheri, professeur de droit à Ispahan. Cette nouvelle forme de guerre, intimement liée aux progrès technologiques de la dernière décennie, se présente en effet comme un conflit dans lequel chacun des adversaires, préservant le capital humain et matériel de ses forces armées, cherche à faire tomber l’ennemi par des actions masquées et déstabilisatrices telles que les sanctions financières, la manipulation médiatique, les cyber-attaques ou l’élimination ciblée des têtes de réseau adverses. Ce conflit dépasse de loin la simple réalité iranienne dans la mesure où les puissances asiatiques et continentales que constituent la Russie, la Chine et l’Iran ont connu, malgré des différends internes, un rapprochement spectaculaire au cours des dernières années. Face à cette conjonction, les États-Unis redoutent la formation d’un nouvel Empire mongol, capable de concurrencer leur puissance océanique.

 

(…)

 

Les incompréhensions entre Français et Iraniens s’enracinent en réalité dans une double fracture culturelle. Partageant un héritage indo-européen commun, la France et la Perse se sont brusquement éloignées à partir de la conquête islamique. Les grandes divergences s’expliquent en grande partie par la très longue période d’occupation qu’a connue l’Iran depuis lors. La culture aristocratique de la négociation menée par les hommes d’armes s’est effacée à cause du discrédit jeté sur les élites militaires persanes vaincues. La culture des marchands combinant ruse et sophistication s’est substituée aux modes antiques de négociation. Face aux envahisseurs, l’inertie s’est imposée comme la force des dominés. La déliquescence de l’État a favorisé la lenteur et la corruption de ses agents. Face à la suspension du droit commun, les courtiers se sont substitués aux gens de loi afin de dire le droit et régler les difficultés privées. Devant le despotisme des rois et la prodigieuse insécurité des personnes et des biens s’est développé un langage indirect et ambigu destiné à protéger les sujets de l’arbitraire du pouvoir. Incapables de maîtriser leur propre destin, les Iraniens ont attribué les malheurs du pays aux complots étrangers. Les longs siècles de domination ont par conséquent forgé une culture allant à rebours de la tradition française fondée sur le temps compté, la force de la loi, la bonne foi et le rayonnement. La seconde fracture est le fruit de la Révolution française. Les ambassadeurs français du XVIIème siècle avaient de nombreux atouts pour comprendre les ressorts secrets de la culture persane. Enracinés dans la transcendance et l’attente messianique d’un temps nouveau, ils servaient un État puissant. Conscients d’un héritage historique pleinement assumé et partie intégrante de leur identité, ils étaient non seulement capables de saisir les références faites à leur propre passé, mais également aptes à renvoyer leurs interlocuteurs à leurs propres contradictions historiques. Ils n’ignoraient ni l’art de la conversation, ni les références littéraires donnant tout son sens à leur culture. L’étiquette de la Cour avait façonné en eux une habitude de la courtoisie devenue une seconde nature. Aujourd’hui, la fracture révolutionnaire sépare ces improbables messagers de la culture persane. Si la fracture culturelle générée par les invasions de la Perse explique pour une large part notre inaptitude à comprendre l’Iran au-delà des mots, nous pouvons à l’évidence puiser dans notre culture classique les clefs d’un dialogue réinventé avec ce pays méconnu.

 

Professeur à l’Institut d’Études Politiques de Bordeaux, à l’École Navale puis à l’École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr, Thomas Flichy de La Neuville est spécialiste de la diplomatie au XVIIIème siècle. Ancien élève en persan de l’Institut National des Langues et Cultures Orientales, agrégé d’histoire et docteur en droit, ses derniers travaux portent sur les relations françaises avec la Perse et la Chine à l’âge des Lumières.

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jeudi, 17 octobre 2013

Die Geburt der Moderne

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Die Geburt der Moderne

von Benjamin Jahn Zschocke

Ex: http://www.blauenarzisse.de

 

9783898094016.jpgDer Nationalsozialismus ist der absolute Fixpunkt der deutschen Geschichte – wirklich alles ballt sich zu ihm hin. Alle zeitlich daran angrenzenden Epochen verschwinden in seinem Schatten.

Der in Chemnitz lehrende Professor für Europäische Geschichte des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts Frank-​Lothar Kroll ist dafür bekannt, eine mittelbar an diese Zeit angrenzende Epoche, nämlich das Deutsche Kaiserreich von 1871 bis 1918, dankenswerter Weise aus diesem Schatten hervorzuholen. Unter Zuhilfenahme aller verfügbaren historischen Quellen betrachtet er diese Epoche so, wie sie war und nicht, wie sie laut der verengten Sichtweise eines „deutschen Sonderweges“ – bei einem gleichzeitig angenommenen „westeuropäischen Normalweg“ – gewesen sein soll.

Ein umfassendes Update der Quellenlage

Krolls aktuellstes Werk Geburt der Moderne. Politik, Gesellschaft und Kultur vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg unternimmt auf reichlich 200 Seiten den Versuch, einen Gesamtüberblick über die gesellschaftlichen Entwicklungslinien zwischen 1900 und 1914 zu geben. Da dies in solcher Kürze fast unmöglich scheint, verzichtet Kroll auf alle narrativen Elemente und gibt dem Leser in höchster Komprimierung sozusagen ein Update der aktuellen Quellenlage, in deren Ergebnis die Annahme des besagten „deutschen Sonderweges“ ebenso definitiv zu den Akten gelegt werden muß, wie das „persönliche Regiment“ unseres letzten Kaisers Wilhelm II.

Die seit gut fünfzig Jahren praktizierte „germanozentrische“ Herangehensweise gelangt bei Kroll ebenfalls auf die Deponie. Vielmehr gehört der historische Blickwinkel nach seinem Verständnis auf eine europäische Dimension geweitet, was allein angesichts der verästelten außenpolitischen Bündnisse dieser Epoche gar nicht anders möglich ist.

Doch Krolls Schwerpunkt liegt in diesem Buch definitiv nicht auf dem Ersten Weltkrieg: ungleich mehr interessiert ihn der kulturelle und soziale Entwicklungsstand eines Landes, das zur damaligen Zeit das fortschrittlichste der Welt war. Krolls große Stärke ist es, nicht nach Belieben zu werten, sondern nüchtern Fakten um Fakten vorzutragen und damit großkalibrig gegen die an deutschen Gymnasien, Universitäten und in den Medien herrschende Guido Knopp-​Mentalität vorzugehen.

Kultureller Vorreiter des Kontinents

Besonders der kulturelle Schwerpunkt reizt an Krolls Buch. Die titelgebende These, nach der die Moderne bereits zwischen 19001914 unter Wilhelm II. ihren Anfang nahm sowie erste Schwerpunkte herauskristallisierte – und damit nicht erst in den gepriesenen (dekadenten und auf Kredit finanzierten) so genannten Goldenen Zwanzigern – macht die Lektüre besonders empfehlenswert. Walther Rathenau schrieb schon 1919 in seinem Text Der Kaiser: „Für Kunst lag [beim Kaiser, Anm. BJZ] eine entschiedene formale Begabung zugrunde, die in rätselhafter Weise über die kunstfremde Umgebung emporhob […]. So ergab sich von selbst der Anspruch des künstlerischen Oberkommandos.“

Unter anderem am Beispiel der Kulturreform aber auch der Jugendbewegung arbeitet Kroll heraus, welche in Europa zur damaligen Zeit einmalige Fülle an verschiedenartigsten Kulturinstitutionen entstand und sich in aller Ruhe, teils sogar mit erheblichen Finanzspritzen, entwickeln konnte. Am bekanntesten sind auf dem Gebiet der Kunst wohl die Strömungen des Jugendstils, des Expressionismus und des Impressionismus, die zwischen 19001914 ihren Anfang nahmen. Besonders mit Blick auf Letzteren lohnt ebenso die Lektüre des bereits 1989 bei Königshausen & Neumann erschienenen Werkes von Josef Kern Impressionismus im Wilhelminischen Deutschland.

Weimars Probleme im Voraus erkannt – und behoben

Der oben mit „Guido Knopp-​Mentalität“ zusammengefaßten Erscheinung heutiger Geschichtsschreibung (eigentlich politischer Bildung), tritt Kroll mit aller Entschiedenheit entgegen: Erhellend sind zum Beispiel seine Erkenntnisse auf dem Gebiet der Presse– und Parteienlandschaft. Er spricht hier von einem „beispiellosen Pluralismus“. Außerdem wird die vielzitierte, himmelschreiende Armut der späten Phase der Industrialisierung (auf die im gymnasialen Geschichtsunterricht „zufällig“ eine monatewährende Behandlung der deutschen Arbeiterbewegung folgt) als Ammenmärchen enttarnt: „Wirkliche Massenarmut, die zur Verelendung trieb, gab es im wilhelminischen Deutschland – anders als im viktorianischen und edwardianischen England – nicht, wenngleich, die Mehrheit der Arbeiterschaft von sehr bescheidenen Einkommen zehrte.“

Am schwerwiegendsten sind, mit Blick auf den anfangs benannten Schatten einer gewissen Epoche wohl Krolls Feststellungen zum angeblich durch und durch judenfeindlichen Deutschland unter Wilhelm II.: „Die unmissverständliche Zurückweisung solcher Zumutungen seitens des Kaisers und der Reichsregierung verdeutlichte einmal mehr, dass im ‚ausgleichenden Klima des wilhelminischen Obrigkeitsstaates‘ dem politischen Einfluss radikalisierter Massen und Massenbewegungen, anders als in den späten Jahren der Weimarer Republik, enge Grenzen gesetzt waren.“

An anderer Stelle wird Kroll noch deutlicher: „Dass sich die Mobilisierung antisemitischer Ressentiments in Deutschland – und nicht etwa in Frankreich, wo sie vor und nach der Jahrhundertwende weitaus stärker verbreitet waren – Jahrzehnte später zu einer parteipolitischen Massenformation verdichten und schließlich in die Katastrophe des ‚Dritten Reiches‘ einmünden sollte, lag, bei aller partiell vorhandenen gesellschaftlichen Diskriminierung der rechtlich gleichgestellten Juden im Kaiserreich, nicht an strukturellen Defiziten oder Defekten des vermeintlichen wilhelminischen Obrigkeitsstaates. Eigentliche Ursache waren vielmehr die fatalen Konsequenzen der militärischen und politischen Niederlage Deutschlands im Ersten Weltkrieg.“

Hörenswerte Audio-​Rezension bei Deutschlandradio Kultur.

Frank-​Lothar Kroll: Geburt der Moderne. Politik, Gesellschaft und Kultur vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg. Band 1 der Reihe Deutsche Geschichte im 20. Jahrhundert. 224 Seiten, Be.Bra Verlag 2013. 19,90 Euro.

Josef Kern: Impressionismus im Wilhelminischen Deutschland. Studien zur Kunst– und Kulturgeschichte des Kaiserreichs. 476 Seiten, Königshausen & Neumann Verlag 1989. 50,00 Euro.

mardi, 08 octobre 2013

R. Marchand: Reconquista

 

00:05 Publié dans Evénement, Livre, Livre | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : rené marchand, lyon, événement, france, livre, dédicace | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

L’Ecologie n’est pas la démagogie !

Eco-architecture-Lilypad.jpg

Un projet de décroissance ?
 
L’Ecologie n’est pas la démagogie !

Pierre Le Vigan
Ex: http://metamag.fr
 
Thomas Paine déclarait en 1792 : « Sans un minimum de ressources, le nouveau citoyen ne peut vivre pleinement le principe républicain de liberté, d’égalité et de fraternité. » De là, l’idée d’un revenu universel, ou de citoyenneté, ou encore, comme dans ce livre, d’une dotation inconditionnelle d’autonomie (DIA).

Les auteurs couplent cette idée avec celle d’un Revenu maximum acceptable (RMA), en d’autres termes d’un revenu maximum. Comme d’autres écologistes radicaux, ils fixent l’écart entre le revenu minimum universel (donc sans travailler) et le revenu maximum à 4. Les auteurs essaient aussi d’articuler leur projet de revenu inconditionnel d’autonomie avec une réduction du temps de travail qui permettrait un partage du travail. Ils ne sont là-dessus guère convaincants. On leur objectera volontiers qu’ils posent mal le problème qu’ils essaient de résoudre par leur « revenu universel ». D’une part le travail ne saurait être rejeté, il est le propre de l’homme. Un revenu sans travail est donc inacceptable. En défendant un tel revenu, ils se privent de tout moyen d’effectuer une critique solide de la finance.
 
Par contre, le travail peut revêtir de multiples formes, il peut avoir un intérêt social sans être un travail salarié. Il faut donc reconsidérer ce qui est travail mais non proposer une anti-civilisation refusant le travail. On ne pinaillera pas outre mesure sur les écarts de revenus proposés. Mais tout de même… Un écart de 1 à 4 entre deux travailleurs est pour le moins modeste.  Mais pourquoi pas ? Un travail 4 fois mieux payé que le salaire minimum est aussi souvent beaucoup plus intéressant. Mais ce n’est pas ce que proposent nos auteurs. Pour eux, c’est encore trop inégalitaire ! Ce qu’ils veulent c’est un écart entre le revenu inconditionnel donc sans travail et le salaire maximum de 1 à 4, cela veut dire un écart de 1 à 4 entre quelqu’un au RSA actuellement et le salarié le mieux payé : quelque 492 € pour le moins bien payé ne travaillant pas, moins de 2000 € pour le mieux payé. Imagine-t-on que quelqu’un prendra des risques, travaillera 70 heures et plus par semaine pour ne gagner que 4 fois le revenu minimum attribué inconditionnellement à quelqu’un qui ne travaille pas et à qui on ne demande pas de le faire ? Ce n’est pas sérieux. 

Les auteurs de ce livre réduisent ainsi l’écologie à de la démagogie et n’emportent pas la conviction. Dommage car ils ont parfois des lueurs de lucidité. Ainsi quand ils indiquent que les « premières victimes de l’ [cette] immigration massive sont les immigrants eux-mêmes, condamnés pour des raisons économiques, aveuglés par les lumières du consumérisme, à quitter leur culture et leurs proches et à prendre de gros risques pour finalement être exploités par le système capitaliste dans un autre pays ». Les immigrés ont donc une culture ? Différente de la nôtre alors ? Ils ne sont donc pas solubles si facilement dans l’Occident ? L’immigration serait « massive » alors que les journaux « sérieux » nous expliquent que le nombre d’immigrés n’augmente pas ou si peu ? Il ne manquerait plus que nos auteurs finissent par nous expliquer que l’immigration n’est pas une chance pour l’écologie. Il resterait à reconnaitre que les indigènes aussi en sont victimes car l’immigration comme armée de réserve du capital est une arme de la  lutte des classes que mène l’hyperclasse contre les peuples.

Vincent Liegey, Stéphane Madelaine, Christophe Ondet, Anne-Isabelle Veillot, Un projet de décroissance. Manifeste pour une dotation inconditionnelle d’autonomie, préface de Paul Ariès, éd. Utopia.

00:05 Publié dans Ecologie, Livre, Livre | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0) | Tags : écologie, livre, démagogie, politique, décroissance | |  del.icio.us | | Digg! Digg |  Facebook

dimanche, 06 octobre 2013

G. Adinolfi: Orchestre rouge

Gabriele Adinolfi vient de publier en France son tout dernier livre, Orchestre Rouge, adressé tout particulièrement au public français (il n’existe pas encore de version italienne).Dans ce livre-enquête, il nous revèle les secrets de l’internationale terroriste. Secrets de Polichinelle, pour utiliser une expression chère à la commedia dell’arte! Les enquêteurs sont en effet en possession de preuves irréfutables disculpant totalement les nationalistes. Ils les ont toujours ignorées par décision politique.Cet ouvrage, conçu comme un complément de Nos belles années de plomb (toujours en librairie), reconstitue pas à pas les actes terroristes perpétués en Italie, mais qui concernent aussi la France, longtemps carrefour international de la terreur.Adinolfi révéle (avec l’aide d’avocats et de juges qui ont tenu à conserver l’anonymat), les preuves qui clouent la centrale de la terreur italienne qui n’était rien d’autre que la filière du commandemant partisan des annés quarante. Qui oserait dire que la «pieuvre» de la terreur était consitituée essentiellement de l’internationale trotzkiste et socialiste? Que leurs agissements étaient non seulement autorisés, mais surtout couverts par la Commisson Trilatèrale? Qu’ils ont déclenché une véritable guerre méditerranéenne, remportée par Israël avec l’imposition de la doctrine Kissinger?A la fin de l’ouvrage, un témoignage historique nous éclaire sur les motivations et le jeu machiavélique des guérilleros rouges. Une clef indispensable pour comprendre la mentalité révolutionnaire.L’auteur nous démontre point par point comment la théorie (officielle) de la «stratégie de la tension» voulue par le parti atlantiste pour contrer l’avancé communiste et le pacte de Varsovie est totalement fausse.Orchestre Rouge Avatar Editions, 19 €.

Gabriele Adinolfi vient de publier en France son tout dernier livre, Orchestre Rouge, adressé tout particulièrement au public français (il n’existe pas encore de version italienne).

Dans ce livre-enquête, il nous revèle les secrets de l’internationale terroriste. Secrets de Polichinelle, pour utiliser une expression chère à la commedia dell’arte! Les enquêteurs sont en effet en possession de preuves irréfutables disculpant totalement les nationalistes. Ils les ont toujours ignorées par décision politique.Cet ouvrage, conçu comme un complément de Nos belles années de plomb (toujours en librairie), reconstitue pas à pas les actes terroristes perpétués en Italie, mais qui concernent aussi la France, longtemps carrefour international de la terreur.Adinolfi révéle (avec l’aide d’avocats et de juges qui ont tenu à conserver l’anonymat), les preuves qui clouent la centrale de la terreur italienne qui n’était rien d’autre que la filière du commandemant partisan des annés quarante. Qui oserait dire que la «pieuvre» de la terreur était consitituée essentiellement de l’internationale trotzkiste et socialiste? Que leurs agissements étaient non seulement autorisés, mais surtout couverts par la Commisson Trilatèrale? Qu’ils ont déclenché une véritable guerre méditerranéenne, remportée par Israël avec l’imposition de la doctrine Kissinger?A la fin de l’ouvrage, un témoignage historique nous éclaire sur les motivations et le jeu machiavélique des guérilleros rouges. Une clef indispensable pour comprendre la mentalité révolutionnaire.L’auteur nous démontre point par point comment la théorie (officielle) de la «stratégie de la tension» voulue par le parti atlantiste pour contrer l’avancé communiste et le pacte de Varsovie est totalement fausse.

Orchestre Rouge Avatar Editions, 19 €.

jeudi, 03 octobre 2013

UN REGARD SUR LES TRENTE GLORIEUSES

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UN REGARD SUR LES TRENTE GLORIEUSES
Ou les trente ravageuses


Pierre LE VIGAN
Ex: http://metamag.fr
Le livre a de quoi agacer. Il est vrai qu’il bénéficie de subventions du CNRS. En conséquence de quoi (on l’espère car si c’est spontané c’est pire), les auteurs sacrifient parfois au politiquement correct et surtout aux nouvelles niaiseries grammaticales : historien.ne.s (sic). Reste que se pencher sur les Trente Glorieuses est une fort bonne idée. 

D’une part, elles furent marquées par l’essor inouï du productivisme (voir le chapitre sur Jean Fourastié et le culte de la productivité définie comme un état d’esprit « sans patrie et sans couleur politique »). Elles furent en somme sous ce registre les « Trente Ravageuses ». D’autre part, elles furent une période de sécurité identitaire autour de la valeur travail et c’est une des raisons de la nostalgie qu’elles suscitent.

Sur le plan de l’urbanisme elles furent une période de mutation assez considérable (chapitre « Le Grand Paris sous la tutelle des aménageurs »), et les grands projets technocratiques virent assez souvent l’opposition des habitants, petits propriétaires de pavillons, souvent soutenus par les municipalités (mêmes et surtout communistes : c’est un paradoxe à certains égards  mais une réalité que le PCF s’appuyait sur un conservatisme sociétal). 

En fait, toute cette période est marquée par une lutte entre l’Etat et les pouvoirs locaux, avec le démantèlement des départements de la Seine et de la Seine et Oise en 1964. Dans le même temps que la France se déleste de son Empire colonial et de l’Algérie, de Gaulle ambitionne que la France aussi « retrouve son indépendance », allusion claire à la domination américaine, d’où un élan modernisateur c’est-à-dire productiviste accéléré. 

Mais ce sont les derniers chapitres qui méritent surtout la lecture. Ils portent sur les critiques des Trente Glorieuses durant cette période même. Il s’agit notamment des situationnistes, de « Socialisme et Barbarie », mais aussi de Bernard Charbonneau, de Jacques Ellul, de Georges Bernanos (La France contre les robots). On lira notamment les analyses concernant Emmanuel Mounier, favorable à la modernité technique, et rompant avec Bernanos sur ce point. Les auteurs montrent qu’une certaine pensée écologiste, à la fois hostile à la société de masse et à l’individualisme, est passée par l’école d’Uriage sous Vichy.
 
Céline Pessis, Sezin Topçu, Christophe Bonneuil dir., Une autre histoire des « Trente Glorieuses », La Découverte, 310 pages, 24 €.

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dimanche, 29 septembre 2013

Montherlant und der nutzlose Dienst

MACAVOY_dessin_2_montherlant.jpg

Montherlant und der nutzlose Dienst

von Jens Strieder

Ex: http://www.blauenarzisse.de

 

Die wichtigsten Auszüge aus Henry de Montherlants 1939 erstveröffentlichter Essaysammlung wurden im Verlag Antaios wieder aufgelegt.

Vielen deutschen Lesern ist der Name Henry Marie Joseph Frédéric Expedite Millon de Montherlant nicht mehr geläufig. Das gilt auch für sein Heimatland Frankreich. Es ist umso verwunderlicher, wenn man bedenkt, dass es sich bei dem 1895 in Paris geborenen Literaten um ein Ausnahmetalent handelte, das in nahezu allen Textformen zu Hause war: Montherlant schrieb Romane, Erzählungen, Novellen, Theaterstücke, Essays und Tagebücher. Sein Gedankenreichtum, seine Beobachtungsgabe und die durch ihre Schönheit bestechende Ausdruckskraft, sprechen für sich und machen ihn zu einem der bedeutendsten Schriftsteller des 20. Jahrhunderts.

Das Nutzlose liegt nicht im Trend

1939 erschien in Leipzig sein Essay-​Band mit dem Titel „Nutzloses Dienen”. Damit diese Texte nicht vollends in Vergessenheit geraten, ist im Verlag Antaios ein Band erschienen, der in Form von fünf Essays eine Auswahl der im Original vertretenen Schriften aus den Jahren 19281934 versammelt.

Die Namensgebung des Bandes verweist sogleich auf eine literarische, aber auch lebenspraktisch orientierte Selbstkonzeption Montherlants: Eine persönliche Haltung, die einem scheinbar sinnlosen oder gar unsinnigen Handeln einen eigentümlichen Wert jenseits jeglichen oberflächlichen Utilitarismus’ beimisst.

Das Nutzlose liegt nicht im Trend, erschließt sich nicht jedem und ist vornehmlich Selbstzweck, dessen idealistischer Wert in der Herauslösung aus dem Alltäglichen, Banalen und Kollektiven liegt. Dabei dient es Montherlant auch zur Überwindung des Nihilismus: „Was mich aufrecht hält auf den Meeren des Nichts, das ist allein das Bild, das ich mir von mir selber mache”.

Der überzeitliche Wert des eigenen Handelns

Allein dieser Satz macht deutlich, dass sich die Dienerschaft auf den Dienenden selbst bezieht. Eine derartige Selbstkonzeption sollte nicht als Ausdruck von Arroganz oder Narzissmus missverstanden werden. Vielmehr geht es Montherlant darum, dem eigenen Wirken einen ideellen und überzeitlichen Wert jenseits des Egos beizugeben.

Ein solches Verständnis vom irdischen Dasein schlägt sich dann auch in allen fünf hier enthaltenen Texten nieder. Entscheidend scheint hierbei vor allem der Umstand zu sein, dass sich Montherlants Ethik eines nutzlosen Dienstes bei aller inneren Höhe, durch eine spezielle Form von Askese auszeichnet, die nicht nur auf Anerkennung von außen verzichtet, sondern auch nicht nach sichtbaren Bezeugungen giert.

So ist für Montherlant beispielsweise die Architektur ein Spiegel dieser Ethik. Wo das Versailler Schloß in erster Linie durch äußeren Glanz und Prunk wirkt, jedoch nach Meinung von Montherlant nicht darüber hinausschaut, sind beispielsweise die spanischen Paläste durch die Verbindung von Schnörkel und schlichtester Einfachheit ein Zeichen von Strenge, welche zum unabdingbaren Wesensmerkmal echter Größe gehört.

Montherlants Selbstkonzeption als Habitus

Für Montherlant sind deshalb die einzig wertvollen Kronen diejenigen, die man sich selbst gibt, denn „[…] die gute Tat geht nicht verloren, wie vergebens sie auch gewesen ist […].” Entsprechend wird auch die „sittliche Idee” der Ehre verteidigt, die auch dann zu wahren ist, wenn sie anderen als unangemessen oder gar lächerlich erscheinen mag.

Das „Heldentum des Alltags” ist nicht weniger bedeutsam als beispielsweise jenes im Krieg und anderen Ausnahmesituationen. Vielmehr ist es Bestandteil der Würde des Menschen. Montherlant setzt nicht einfach andere Prioritäten als jene, die ihm hier nicht folgen können, sondern er wird auch zum Schöpfer seiner selbst, indem er die Rolle konzipiert, die er als endliches Wesen im Fortgang der Zeit spielen möchte – nicht als Schauspieler, sondern als Resultat eines inneren Bedürfnisses.

Somit ist es nur logisch, sich nicht mit dem von niederen Instinkten geleiteten, hässlichen gemein machen zu wollen. Der nutzlose Dienst ist so auch immer ein Akt der bewussten Sezession.

Die Unabhängigkeit des Schriftstellers

Zugleich grenzt Montherlant in einem ebenfalls abgedruckten Vortrag, den der er am 15. November 1933 vor Offizieren der Kriegsakademie hielt, jenes Handeln aus Pflichtgefühl, Notwendigkeit oder edlen Motiven gegen ein Ehrverständnis ab, das der Unbesonnenheit anheim fällt und aus Dummheit und Leichtsinn Risiken eingeht und andere Leben gefährdet.

In Der Schriftsteller und das öffentliche Wirken fordert Montherlant die Freiheit der Unbhängigkeit des Schriftstellers von gesellschaftlich relevanten Themen ein. Er wendet sich gegen das Schubladendenken und die Erwartungshaltung des Kulturbetriebs, die letztlich den wesentlichen Teil des dichterischen Ausdrucks unterdrücken. Vor dem Hintergrund der heute üblichen, feuilletonistischen Simplifizierungen und Rollenzuschreibungen kann man mit Gewissheit sagen, dass dieses Anliegen berechtigt war.

Existentielle Bedrohung von innen oder außen

In einer Lage existentieller Bedrohung von innen oder außen dagegen sieht Montherlant den Schriftsteller dennoch in der Pflicht, seinen Beitrag zu leisten. Das verdeutlicht, dass die konstatierte Eigenart keine Ausrede für Verantwortungslosigkeit oder Feigheit sein kann. Ein geistig-​moralischer Führungsanspruch im Sinne einer engagierten Literatur” lässt sich hieraus jedoch keineswegs ableiten und wird vom Autor auch verworfen.

Für alle, die sich für diesen großen Geist interessieren, stellt der Band trotz seiner Knappheit den idealen Einstieg für eine tiefergehende Beschäftigung mit dessen Werk und Wirkung dar.

Henry de Montherlant: Nutzloses Dienen. 88 Seiten, Verlag Antaios 2011. 8,50 Euro.

mercredi, 25 septembre 2013

Pour une critique positive

La première publication de Pour une critique positive est datée de 1962. Rédigé en détention (les prisons de la République hébergeaient alors de nombreux patriotes coupables d’avoir participé à la défense des Français d’Algérie), ce texte est un exercice d’autocritique sans comparaison « à droite ».
S’efforçant de tirer les enseignements des échecs de son action, l’auteur propose une véritable théorie de l’action révolutionnaire. Pour une critique positive a été une influence stratégique majeure pour de très nombreux militants, des activistes estudiantins des années 70 aux identitaires.
Pour une critique positive a été publié sous anonymat, comme c’est souvent le cas pour ce type de textes d’orientation, mais il est aujourd’hui communément admis que Dominique Venner en fut l’auteur. C’était avant qu’il quitte le terrain de l’action politique pour se consacrer à l’histoire.
Nous avons souhaité conserver l’œuvre originale dans son intégralité, les références ou le vocabulaire employés dans le texte pourront parfois surprendre ou choquer. S’il arrive que les mots soient durs, c’est que l’époque et les épreuves traversées l’étaient.

lundi, 23 septembre 2013

La teoria etnonazionalista

La teoria etnonazionalista

Ex: http://walseruradel.blogspot.com

Da pochi giorni è stato pubblicato un nuovo libro sull’etnonazionalismo, che uno dei quattro autori mi ha pregato di segnalare. Lo faccio ben volentieri, anche perché tutti e quattro hanno pubblicato loro contributi anche sul sito del Centro Studi La Runa.

* * * Orizzonti del Nazionalismo Etnico Pensiero Etnonazionalista e Idea Völkisch

  Orizzonti del nazionalismo etnico
Effepi Edizioni, pagg. 144 Euro 16,00 Maggio 2007 IL LIBRO – Nel testo, vera guida dogmatica al Pensiero Etnonazionalista ed all’Idea Völkisch, si affermano quali debbano essere le “linee guida” che ogni “Soldato politico” etnonazionalista, per essere definito e considerato tale, debba seguire. Il Pensiero Etnonazionalista Völkisch assurge al ruolo di nuovo paradigma etno-identitario di cui la Volksgemeinschaft, la Comunità di Sangue, ne diviene il cardine. Il Popolo rappresenta la Comunità di Sangue: il concetto di Razza e d’ereditarietà, le nozioni derivate dalle ancestrali tradizioni degli Avi. Una comunità di popolo che vuole proteggere e favorire i valori radicati nell’individuo che accetterà ed accoglierà l’atavica eredità atropo-razziale, etno-culturale e storico-politica per riacquistarne ed attualizzarne i Valori fondanti l’identità etnonazionale. Questo paradigma consiste dunque in una riscoperta e riproposizione del concetto di Sangue e Suolo, Razza e Patria, Etnia e Stato. DAL TESTO – “ Il non facile compito che gli autori del libro si sono proposti è quello di “illustrare” e “spiegare”, nella maniera più completa ed organica possibile, la Weltanschauung che sta alla base del pensiero Etnonazionalista Völkisch. Illustrare, pertanto, quale sia, la particolarità metapolitica dell’Etnonazionalismo Völkisch, che gli conferisce una costante attualità, in quanto Idea-Forza in grado di fornire sempre serie e concrete soluzioni politico-culturali capaci di ovviare ai mali che da troppo tempo affliggono l’Europa tutta. Difendere ad ogni costo le Identità etnico-razziali e le ancestrali Tradizioni delle Piccole Patrie europee dalla Sovversione politico-culturale e spirituale che le minaccia. Riaffermare con forza la volontà di ritornare pienamente padroni sulle nostre terre. Rendere edotti e consapevoli i Giovani d’Europa di appartenere a comunità etnico-nazionali antichissime aventi nei Popoli Indoeuropei i nobili padri fondatori. Vigilare, custodire, ricordare le ataviche Tradizioni di quell’Europa Aria che diede vita alle nostre Nazioni di Sangue e Suolo. Salvaguardare l’immenso ed unico patrimonio razziale, etnico, culturale, storico, linguistico ed ambientale delle nostre millenarie Heimat.”
 
GLI AUTORI – Federico Prati, Silvano Lorenzoni, Flavio Grisolia e Harm Wulf .
 
INDICE DELL’OPERA – Premessa – Pensiero Etnonazionalista e Idea Völkisch – Immigrazione allogena, massoneria e mondialismo capitalista – Bibliografia essenziale.
 
Ordinabile presso: Effepi Edizioni effepiedizioni@hotmail.com tel 338 919 5220

dimanche, 22 septembre 2013

Technopol und Maschinen-Ideologien

 

neil-postman-quote.jpg

Robert Steuckers:

Technopol und Maschinen-Ideologien

Analyse: Neil POSTMAN, Das Technopol. Die Macht der Technologien und die Entmündigung der Gesellschaft, S. Fischer Verlag, 1991, 221 S., ISBN 3-10-062413-0.

Neil Postman, zeitgenößischer amerikanischer Denker und Soziolog, ist hauptsächlich für seine Bücher über die Fernsehen-Gefahren bei Kindern bekannt. In seinem Buch Das Technopol klagt er den Technizismus an, wobei er nicht die Technik als solche ablehnt, sondern die Mißbräuche davon. In seiner Einleitung, spricht Postman eine deutliche Sprache: Die Technik ist zwar dem Menschen freundlich, sie erleichtert ihm das Leben, aber hat auch dunkle Seiten. Postman: «Ihre Geschenke sind mit hohen Kosten verbunden. Um es dramatisch zu formulieren: man kann gegen die Technik den Vorwurf erheben, daß ihr unkontrolliertes Wachstum die Lebensquellen der Menschheit zerstört. Sie schafft eine Kultur ohne moralische Grundlage. Sie untergräbt bestimmte geistige Prozesse und gesellschaftliche Beziehungen, die das menschliche Leben lebenswert machen» (S. 10). Weiter legt Postman aus, was die Maschinen-Ideologien eigentlich sind und welche Gefahren sie auch in sich tragen. Postman macht uns darauf aufmerksam, das gewisse Technologien unsichtbar sein können: so Postman: «Management, ähnlich der Statistik, des IQ-Messung, der Notengebung oder der Meinungsforschung, funktionniert genau wie eine Technologie. Gewiß, es besteht nicht aus mechanischen Teilen. Es besteht aus Prozeduren und Regeln, die Verhalten standardisieren sollen. Aber wir können ein solches Prozeduren- und Regelsystem als eine Verfahrensweise oder eine Technik bezeichnen; und von einer solchen Technik haben wir nichts zu befürchten, es sei denn, sie macht sich, wie so viele unserer Maschinen, selbstständig. Und das ist der springende Punkt. Unter dem Technopol neigen wir zu der Annahme, daß wir unsere Ziele nur erreichen können, wenn wir den Verfahrensweisen (und den Apparaten) Autonomie geben.

neilpost.gifDiese Vorstellung ist um so gefährlicher, als sie niemand mit vernünftigen Gründen gegen den rationalen Einsatz von Verfahren und Techniken stellen kann, mit denen sich bestimmte Vorhaben verwirklichen lassen. (...) Die Kontroverse betrifft den Triumph des Verfahrens, seine Erhöhung zu etwas Heiligem, wodurch verhindert wird, daß auch andere Verfahrensweisen eine Chance bekommen» (S. 153-154). Weiter warnt uns Postman von einer unheimlichen Gefahr, d. h. die Gefahr der Entleerung der Symbole. Wenn traditionnelle oder religiöse Symbole beliebig manipuliert oder verhöhnt werden, als ob sie mechanische Teilchen wären, entleeren sie sich. Hauptschuldige daran ist die Werbung, die einen ständig größeren Einfluß über unseres tägliche Denken ausübt und die die Jugend schlimm verblödet, so daß sie alles im Schnelltempo eines Werbungsspot verstehen will. Um Waren zu verkaufen, manipulieren die Werbeleute gut bekannte politische, staatliche oder religiöse Symbole. Diese werden dann gefährlich banalisiert oder lächerlich gemacht, dienen nur noch das interressierte Verkaufen, verlieren jedes Mysterium, werden nicht mehr mit Andacht respektiert. So verlieren ein Volk oder eine Kultur ihren Rückengrat, erleben einen problematischen Sinnverlust, der die ganze Gemeinschaft im verheerenden Untergang stoßen. Postmans Bücher sind wichtig, weil sie uns ganz sachlich auf zeitgenößischen Problemen aufmerksam machen, ohne eine peinlich apokalyptische Sprache zu verwenden. Zum Beispiel ist Postman klar bewußt, daß die Technik lebenswichtig für den Menschen ist, denunziert aber ohne unnötige Pathos die gefährliche Autonomisierung von technischen Verfahren. Postman plädiert nicht für eine irrationale Technophobie. Schmittianer werden in seiner Analyse der unsichtbaren Technologien, wie das Management, eine tagtägliche Quelle der Delegitimierung und Legalisierung der politischen Gemeinschaften. Politisch gesehen, könnten die soziologischen Argumente und Analysen von Postman eine nützliche Illustration der Legalität/Legitimität-Problematik sein (Robert STEUCKERS).

samedi, 21 septembre 2013

Kerry Bolton: Revolution from Above

Kerry Bolton: Revolution from Above

By Manfred Kleine-Hartlage

Ex: http://www.sezession.de

revolution-from-above-cover.jpgJeder, der einmal versucht oder auch nur theoretisch erwogen hat, einen größeren geistig-politischen Umschwung herbeizuführen – von einer Revolution ganz zu schweigen –, weiß, daß dazu vor allem eines erforderlich ist: Geld.

Geld bringt Journalisten dazu, bestimmte Themen hoch- oder niederzuschreiben, Geld veranlaßt Professoren, ihre Erkenntnisinteressen denen ihrer Drittmittelgeber anzupassen, Geld ermöglicht es, Zeitungen und Fernsehsender zu kaufen, mit Geld kann man Kurse für Agitatoren und solche, die es werden wollen, bezahlen, mit Geld eine Infrastruktur von „Nichtregierungsorganisationen“ unterhalten, und wenn all dies nicht reicht, kann man mit Geld Waffen kaufen.

Obwohl dies so offenkundig ist, daß man es schon banal nennen muß, ist es zugleich ein Tabuthema. Jeder weiß zwar, daß etwa die Bolschewiki eine Organisation von „Berufsrevolutionären“ waren; und jeder, der darüber nachdenkt, könnte sich sagen, daß Berufsrevolutionäre – wie alle anderen Berufstätigen auch – auf Arbeitgeber oder Kunden angewiesen sind, die sie bezahlen. Und doch gilt die Oktoberrevolution bis heute als das Werk eines gewissen Lenin, nicht etwa als das seiner Geldgeber. Allenfalls gesteht man zu, daß die Millionensummen, die die deutsche Regierung während des Ersten Weltkriegs zur Verfügung stellte, eine gewisse Rolle gespielt haben mögen. Daß entsprechende Summen aber schon lange vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg an die Bolschewisten und andere revolutionäre Organisationen flossen, und daß sie keineswegs aus Deutschland stammten, sondern aus amerikanischen Finanzkreisen: Das ist zwar kein Geheimnis, sondern wohldokumentiert; im offiziösen Geschichtsbild kommt es aber nicht vor.

Dabei ist die Russische Revolution noch dasjenige Thema, bei dem der kausale Zusammenhang zwischen den Interessen schwerreicher Finanziers und der Entfesselung der Revolution am ehesten thematisiert werden kann. Wer dagegen fragt, warum 1789 wie auf Kommando in ganz Frankreich Agitatoren auftauchten, die ein gar nicht so unzufriedenes Volk aufzuhetzen verstanden, sieht sich schnell als „Verschwörungstheoretiker“ abgestempelt, und erst recht gilt dies für den, der den ominösen „Zeitgeist“ hinterfragt, der – man weiß nicht wie – seit rund hundert Jahren, spätestens aber seit dem Zweiten Weltkrieg, grundsätzlich nur von links zu wehen scheint.

Wiederum ist es nicht wirklich ein Geheimnis, daß dieser Zeitgeist keineswegs von selbst entstanden ist, und es ist auch kein Geheimnis, wer seine Entstehung organisiert und finanziert hat: Die verantwortlichen Akteure rühmen sich dessen sogar und geben in ihren Veröffentlichungen detailliert Auskunft darüber. Und doch haben diese allgemein zugänglichen Informationen kaum Eingang ins herrschende politische Bewußtsein gefunden.

In seinem Buch „Revolution from Above“ [2], das zur Zeit leider nur auf Englisch verfügbar ist, hat der neuseeländische Autor Kerry Bolton diese Informationen zusammengetragen und zu einem theoretisch überzeugenden und empirisch unanfechtbar untermauerten Ganzen zusammengefügt. Er weist überzeugend – und dies ausschließlich auf der Basis von Selbstzeugnissen der einschlägigen Akteure! – nach, daß praktisch alle intellektuellen und politischen Strömungen der Linken im 20. Jahrhundert, soweit sie nicht von der UdSSR finanziert wurden, nur aufgrund der milliardenschweren Unterstützung durch eine winzige Schicht von amerikanischen Superreichen und deren Stiftungen zum Zuge kommen konnten. Zumindest hätten sie ohne diese Unterstützung bei weitem nicht die Durchschlagskraft haben können, die sie haben.

Ein solcher Befund mag denjenigen überraschen, der den Gegensatz von Kapitalisten und Sozialisten immer noch für unüberbrückbar hält. Tatsächlich war er das nie. Die Linke leistet dem Kapital vielmehr gute Dienste bei der Zerstörung hergebrachter Strukturen, Bindungen und Werte. Sie planiert damit das Gelände, auf dem der globale Kapitalismus errichtet wird. Sie zerstört reale, gewachsene Solidarität im Namen einer fiktiven und bloß ideologisch postulierten, und sie erzeugt damit die Gesellschaft von atomisierten Einzelnen, die auf ihre Rolle als Produzenten und Konsumenten zurückgeworfen werden und als Masse so lenkbar und nutzbar sind wie eine Viehherde. Das gilt für die russischen und chinesischen Kommunisten, die eine traditionelle agrarische Gesellschaft ins Industriezeitalter katapultierten und schließlich in den Weltmarkt einbanden; es gilt genauso für die westliche Linke mit ihrem Kampf gegen Nation, Tradition, Religion und Familie.

Boltons Buch ist die passende Ergänzung zu meinen eigenen Ausführungen zu diesem Thema (in „Die liberale Gesellschaft und ihr Ende“ [3]). Wo ich die Zusammenhänge abstrakt analysiere, nennt er konkrete Namen, Summen, Profiteure und Strategien. Steinchen für Steinchen entsteht dabei das Mosaik einer langfristigen Strategie der amerikanischen Plutokratie, die auf nicht mehr und nicht weniger hinausläuft als auf eine Weltrevolution – eben auf die Revolution von oben, der das Buch seinen Titel verdankt.

Solche Bücher können auch entmutigen: Wie will man denn, so mag mancher Leser fragen, einem Feind entgegentreten, der an allen Fronten unter Einsatz schier unbegrenzter Mittel auf dem Vormarsch ist? Ist da nicht jeder Widerstand von vornherein zumm Scheitern verurteilt?

Ich selbst ziehe den umgekehrten Schluß: Wenn der Feind Milliardensummen einsetzt, dann deshalb, weil er es nötig hat. Wer ganze Völker mit einem geschlossenen System von Lügen indoktrinieren muss, muß wesentlich mehr investieren als der, der es sich leisten kann, mit Wahrheiten zu operieren. Freilich rechtfertigt auch diese Feststellung nicht eine in manchen Kreisen immer noch verbreitete naive rechte Sozialromantik, die ohne professionelle Strukturen auszukommen glaubt, weil die Wahrheit sich allein durch den Idealismus ihrer Verfechter durchsetzen werde.

Kerry Boltons Buch ist insofern kein Anlaß zu Resignation, wohl aber zu produktiver Ernüchterung: Wir kommen mit weniger Geld aus als der Gegner, aber auch wir werden viele Millionen Euro benötigen, um einen spürbaren politischen Effekt zu erzielen. Es wird Zeit, daß diese Einsicht sich unter den besser betuchten Sympathisanten der politischen Rechten herumspricht.


Article printed from Sezession im Netz: http://www.sezession.de

URL to article: http://www.sezession.de/40908/kerry-bolton-revolution-from-above.html

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.sezession.de/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/kerry-bolton-revolution-from-above.jpg

[2] „Revolution from Above“: http://www.arktos.com/revolution-from-above.html

[3] „Die liberale Gesellschaft und ihr Ende“: http://antaios.de/detail/index/sArticle/314/sCategory/13

jeudi, 19 septembre 2013

Silvio Gesell: der “Marx” der Anarchisten

Robert STEUCKERS:

Silvio Gesell: der “Marx” der Anarchisten

Analyse: Klaus SCHMITT/Günter BARTSCH (Hrsg.), Silvio Gesell, “Marx” der Anarchisten. Texte zur Befreiung der Marktwirtschaft vom Kapitalismus und der Kinder und Mütter vom patriarchalischen Bodenunrecht, Karin Kramer Verlag, Berlin, 1989, 303 S., ISBN 3-87956-165-6.

silvio_gesell.jpgSilvio Gesell war ein nonkonformistischer Ökonom. Er nahm zusammen mit Figuren sowie Niekisch, Mühsam und Landauer an der Räteregierung Bayerns teil. Der gebürtige Sankt-Vikter entwickelte in seinem wichtigsten Buch “Die natürliche Ordnung” ein Projekt der Umverteilung des Bodens, damit ein Jeder selbständig-autonom in totaler Unabhängigkeit von abstrakten Strukturen leben konnte. Günter Bartsch nennt ihn ein “Akrat”, d.h. ein Mensch, der frei von jeder Bevormündung ist, sei diese politischer, religiöser oder verwaltungsartiger Natur. Für Klaus Schmitt, der Gesell für die deutsche nonkonforme Linke wiederentdeckt (aber nicht kritiklos), ist der räterepublikanische Akrat ein der schärfsten Kritiker der “Macht Mammons”. Diese Allmacht wollte Gesell mit der Einführung eines “Schwundgeldes” bzw. einer “Freigeld-Lehre” zerschmettern. Unter “Schwundgeld” verstand er ein Geld, das man nicht thesaurisieren konnte und für das keine Zinsen gezahlt wurden. Im Gegenteil war für Gesell die Hortung von Geldwerten die Hauptsünde. Geld, das nicht in Sachen (Maschinen, Geräte, Technik, Erziehung, Boden, Vieh, usw.) investiert wird, mußte durch moralischen und ökonomischen Zwang an Wert verlieren. Solche Ideen entwickelten auch der Vater des kanadischen und angelsächsichen Distributismus, C. H. Douglas, und der Dichter Ezra Pound, der in den amerikanischen Regierung ein Instrument des Teufels Mammon sah. Douglas entwickelte distributistische Bauern-Projekte in Kanada, die teilweise noch heute existieren. Pound drückte seinen Dichterhaß gegen Geld- und Bankwesen, indem er die italienischen “Saló-Republik” am Ende des Krieges unterstütze. Pound versuchte, seine amerikanische Landgenossen zu überzeugen, keinen Krieg gegen Mussolini und das spätfaschistischen Italien zu führen. Nach 1945, wurde er in den VSA zwölf Jahre lang in einer Irrenanstalt eingesperrt. Er kam trotzdem aus dieser Hölle ungebrochen zurück und ging bei seiner Dochter Mary de Rachewiltz in Südtirol wohnen, wo er 1972 starb.

silvio gesell,anarchisme,allemagne,histoire,nouvelle droite,théorie politique,sciences politiques,politologieNeben seiner ökonomischen Lehren über das Schwund- und Freigeld, theorisierte Gesell einen Anarchofeminismus, wobei er besonders die Kinder und die Frauen gegen männliche Ausbeutung schützen wollte. Diese Interpretation des matriarchalischen Archetyp implizierte eine ziemlich scharfe Kritik des Vaterrechts, der in seinen Augen die Position der Kinder in der Gesellschaft besonders labil machte. Insofern war Gesell ein Vorfechter der Kinderrechte. Praktish bedeutete dieser Anarchofeminismus die Einführung einer “Mutterrente”. «Gesell und sein Anhänger wollten den gesamten Boden den Müttern zueignen und ihnen bzw. ihren Kinder die Bodenrente bis zum 18. Lebensjahr der Kinder als “Mutter-” bzw. “Kinderrente” zukommen lassen. Ein “Bund der Mütter” soll den gesamten nationalen und in ferner Zukunft den gesamten Boden unseres Planeten verwalten und (...) an den oder die Meistbietenden verpachten. Nach diesem Verfahren hätte jeder einzelne Mensch und jede einzelne Gruppe (z. B. eine Genossenschaft) die gleichen Chancen wie alle anderen, Boden nutzen zu können, ohne von privaten oder staatlichen Parasiten ausgebeutet zu werden» (S. 124). Wissenschaftliche Benennung dieses Systems nach Gesell hieß “physiokratische Mutterschaft”.

Neben den langen Aufsätzen von Bartsch und Schmitt enthält das Buch auch Texte von Gustav Landauer (“Sehr wertvolle Vorschläge”) und Erich Mühsam (“Ein Wegbahner. Nachruf zum Tode Gesells 1930”).

Fazit: Das Buch hilft uns, die Komplexität und Verwicklung von Ideen zu verstehen, die in der Räterepublik anwesend waren. Ist Niekisch wiederentdeckt und breit kommentiert, so ist seine Nähe zu Personen wie Landauer, Mühsam und Gesell kaum erforscht. Auch interressant wäre es, die Beziehungspunkte zwischen Gesell, Douglas und Pound zu analysieren und zu vergleichen. Letztlich wäre es auch, die Lehren Gesells mit den national-revolutionären Theorien eines Henning Eichbergs in den Jahren 60 und 70 und mit dem Gedankengut, das eine Zeitschrift wie Wir Selbst verbreitet hat. Eichberg hat ja auch immer den Akzent auf das Mütterliche gelegt. Er sprach eher von einem mütterlich-schützende Mutterland statt von einem patriarchalisch-repressive Vaterland. Ähnlichkeiten, die der Ideen-Historiker nicht vernachlässigen kann (Robert STEUCKERS).

vendredi, 13 septembre 2013

Pour une séparation du Laïcisme et de l'État

Pour une séparation du Laïcisme et de l'État

par Jean-Gilles MALLIARAKIS

Ex: http://www.insolent.fr

laicisme-contre-la-liberte.jpgPeillon s'est encore fait remarquer pour la rentrée scolaire. Le personnage communique beaucoup. Tel Robespierre, qu'il admire et qui, cependant signa son arrêt de mort à la Fête de l'Être suprême, il pose en grand maître d'une religion [presque] nouvelle.

Tout cela le prétentieux personnage l'écrit lui-même.

Qu'on en juge par ses propres citations :

On remarquera d'abord que, comme beaucoup d'esprits marqués par l'enseignement de la philosophie, il fait bon marché de la connaissance concrète de l'Histoire. Voici en effet comment il définit la révolution :

"La révolution française est l’irruption dans le temps de quelque chose qui n’appartient pas au temps, c’est un commencement absolu, c’est la présence et l’incarnation d’un sens, d’une régénération et d’une expiation du peuple français. 1789, l’année sans pareille, est celle de l’engendrement par un brusque saut de l’histoire d’un homme nouveau. La révolution est un événement méta-historique, c’est-à-dire un événement religieux." (1)⇓

Et il enchaîne donc par cette conclusion, certes logique, mais terrifiante :

"La révolution implique l’oubli total de ce qui précède la révolution. Et donc l’école a un rôle fondamental, puisque l’école doit dépouiller l’enfant de toutes ses attaches pré-républicaines pour l’élever jusqu’à devenir citoyen. C’est une nouvelle naissance, une transsubstantiation qui opère dans l’école et par l’école cette nouvelle église avec son nouveau clergé, sa nouvelle liturgie, ses nouvelles tables de la loi."

On se situe exactement dans cette idée rousseauiste "il faut les forcer d'être libres" qu'Augustin Cochin souligne. (2)⇓

Peillon ose écrire : "La laïcité elle-même peut alors apparaître comme cette religion de la République recherchée depuis la Révolution". (3)⇓

Mais il déclare par ailleurs ouvertement que "la franc-maçonnerie est la religion de la république"(4)⇓

Le laïcisme qu'il professe se veut par conséquent l'expression profane, le mot d'ordre, – et comme le mot "républicain",– le mot de passe d'une secte, d'ailleurs divisée, dont on rappellera qu'au sein de l'Éducation dite Nationale elle doit représenter au maximum 1 % des fonctionnaires eux-mêmes, malgré sa réputation d'ascenseur professionnel : ce qui doit bien vouloir dire qu'elle dégoûte les autres 99 %.

Cessons donc de confondre laïcité et neutralité. L'un des fondateurs du système, Viviani, qui fut président du Conseil au moment de la déclaration de guerre de 1914, l'écrivait à l'époque: "La neutralité est, elle fut toujours un mensonge [...]. Un mensonge nécessaire lorsque l’on forgeait, au milieu des impétueuses colères de la droite, la loi scolaire [...]. On promit cette chimère de la neutralité pour rassurer quelques timidités dont la coalition eût fait obstacle au principe de la loi. Mais Jules Ferry avait l’esprit trop net pour croire en l’éternité de cet expédient [...]." (5)⇓

Le développement de l'éducation étatique a toujours été conçu en vue de perpétuer le système.

Le fonctionnement de cette coûteuse administration, lourdement centralisée, se révèle d'année en année plus improductif, et plus destructeur.

Les écoles d'État ne parviennent plus à enseigner aux enfants de France à lire, écrire et compter. Mais on veut, par l'effet du laïcisme totalitaire, faire semblant d'imposer avec une soi-disant "morale laïque", dont personne ne connaît les fondements, un recul de l'islamisme, lâchement, sans oser le nommer : cette rustine méprisable, poisseuse et liberticide ne servira à rien. Jetons la sans hésiter. Séparons le laïcisme de l'État.

JG Malliarakis       

Apostilles

  1. cf. "La révolution française n’est pas terminée" Seuil 2008 page 17
  2. *cf. "Les sociétés de pensée et la démocratie moderne" Éditions du Trident.
  3. Ibidem p. 162
  4. cf. ses déclarations destinées à promouvoir son livre enregistrées au départ sur le site de son éditeur.
  5. cf. L’Humanité 4 octobre 1904.

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jeudi, 12 septembre 2013

L’histoire fabriquée

L’histoire fabriquée
 
Un livre salubre de Vincent Badré


Pierre LE VIGAN
Ex: http://metamag.fr
 
histoire-1.jpgPeut mieux faire. C’est le moins que l’on puisse dire à propos de beaucoup de manuels scolaires d’histoire dans le secondaire. Mais il est vrai qu’il faudrait aussi plus de temps pour enseigner l’histoire. Vincent Badré remet les pendules à l’heure. Reprenant le contenu des principaux manuels en circulation il expose les faits et idées enseignées, indique leur part de vérité, mais parfois aussi leur part de contre-vérité.
 
La méthode de Badré (« la fabrique d’une idée reçue, l’histoire à redécouvrir »…)  a une certaine rigueur même si elle est un peu lassante. L’ouvrage, sans doute écrit un peu vite, souffre aussi de quelques coquilles ( ‘’Annah’’ Arendt p. 153) et d’imprécisions dans certaines sources. 

Il est pourtant très utile par sa méthode : l’histoire est remise à l’endroit dans sa complexité. L’auteur ne remplace pas des erreurs de gauche par des erreurs de droite, mais par un nécessaire recul : la capacité de se placer de différents points de vue.
 
C’est flagrant à propos d’une question comme la naissance du christianisme. Jésus a bien existé même si on ne sait pas tout de lui, son enseignement n’est pas seulement celui du mépris des richesses (!), et le baptême de Clovis, pour n’être pas conforme aux images d’Epinal longtemps diffusées n’est pas non plus – excès inverse – totalement anodin.
 
La Guerre d’Espagne de 1936 donne aussi à l’auteur l’occasion de rappeler bien des faits oubliés, montrant que le camp « antifasciste » n’était guère plus démocrate que celui d’en face, soutenu par des fascistes certes, mais au demeurant jamais réellement fasciste. Bref, une passionnante mise au point qui revisite l’histoire avec le recul nécessaire par rapport aux préjugés contemporains, qui pèchent souvent par l’angélisme et la reconstitution historique rétroactive (Alexandre le Grand était quasiment, nous dit-on, un partisan de la société métissée sous prétexte qu’il cherchait à se rallier des élites non hellènes !).
 
Il ne faut pas voir autre chose dans le livre de Vincent Badré qu’un bon décrassage par rapport aux naïvetés et aux simplismes. Comme tel, son livre est tout à fait salubre.

Vincent Badré, L’histoire fabriquée, Ce qu’on ne vous a pas dit à l’école, éd. du Rocher, 292 p., 21 €.

mardi, 10 septembre 2013

The Gentleman from Providence

The Gentleman from Providence

By Alex Kurtagić

Ex: http://www.counter-currents.com

iap

S. T. Joshi
I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H. P. Lovecraft [2]
2 vols.
New York: Hippocampus Press, 2012

When it comes to a truly comprehensive biography of Howard Philip Lovecraft, one cannot do better than S. T. Joshi’s I am Providence, a 2 volume, 1,000-page, 500,000-word mammoth of a book that aims to cover everything there is to know about the American master of the weird tale.

As with Mark Finn, whose biography of Howard I reviewed recently, it would seem that L. Sprague de Camp was what spurred Joshi into action: after reading the latter’s Lovecraft: A Biography upon initial publication in 1975, Joshi dedicated his life thereafter to the study of the author from Providence. His choice of university was dictated by its holding the Lovecraft manuscript collection of the John Hay Library. And when he discovered that At the Mountains of Madness, his favourite Lovecraft story, contained no less than 1,500 textual errors, he devoted the ensuing years to tracking down and examining manuscripts and early publications in order to determine the textual history of the work and make possible a corrected edition of Lovecraft’s collected fiction, “revisions,” and other writings. What we have here, you may confidently conclude, is the product of decades of fanaticism and obsessive investigation.

Lovecraft was born in 1890, into a conservative upper middle class family, in Providence, Rhode Island. His father, Winfield, was a travelling salesman, employed by Gorham & Co., Silversmiths, and his mother, Sarah, could trace her ancestry back to the arrival of George Phillips to Massachusetts in 1630. His parents married in their thirties.

The young Lovecraft was talented, intellectually curious, and precocious, able to recite poetry by age two, and to read by age three. Growing up at a time when school was not compulsory, Lovecraft would not be enrolled in one until he was eight years of age and his attendance would be sporadic, possibly due to a nervous complaint and / or psychosomatic condition. But he was well ahead of his coevals in any event, having been exposed, and thereafter enjoyed ready access, to the best of classical and English literature. From Lovecraft’s perspective, this meant 17th and early 18th century prose and poetry, and, indeed, so steeped was he in the canonical literature from this period that he regarded its style of writing not only the finest ever achieved, but, for him, the norm. In the process, he also absorbed some of the archaic tastes and sensibilities permeating this literature, which would subsequently be reflected in his writing, speech, and attitudes, fundamentally aristocratic and at odds with the 20th century. What is more, Lovecraft was never denied anything he may have needed in the pursuit of his intellectual development, be it a chemistry set, a telescope, or printing equipment, so he became knowledgeable enough on these topics, and particularly his passion, astronomy, to contribute articles to a local publication from an early age. He also regularly produced—while still in infancy—his own amateur scientific journals, many of which still survive and were personally examined by Joshi for this biography. Thus, from early on, Lovecraft, a somewhat lonely boy with a charmed boyhood, was committed to a life entirely of the mind.

With such beginnings, it would appear to a casual observer that Lovecraft was well-equipped to become a success in life. But, instead, in adulthood he experienced ever-worsening poverty, squalor, and, though well known for a period within the specialised milieu of amateur publishing, growing professional obscurity. That his legacy has endured owes—besides to the intrinsic value of his works—perhaps in a not insignificant measure to his having been a prodigous correspondent: it has been estimated that throughout the course of his life Lovecraft may have written as many as 100,000 letters (only about 20,000 of which survive), and these were not hastily penned missives, as can be seen in the many excerpts herein presented, but thoughtful communications, sometimes of up to 30 pages in length, which are works of literatue in themselves.

In examining his overall trajectory, we can identify a number of negative vectors early on. The loss of his father, who, following a psychotic episode and permanent committal to a local hospital, suffering from what Joshi presumes to have been syphilis, meant that, from 1893, Lovecraft passed into the care of his mother, aunts, and his maternal grandfather. Whipple van Buren Phillips, a wealthy businessman, proved a positive influence, but died in 1904, and, his estate being poorly managed, this eventually forced the family to downsize. This badly affected the young Lovecraft, to the point that he briefly contemplated suicide. He was eventually dissuaded by his own intellectual curiosity and love of learning.

In 1908, just prior to his high school graduation, Lovecraft suffered a nervous breakdown. Joshi speculates that failure to master higher mathematics may have been a factor, since Lovecraft’s ambition was to become a professional astronomer. (Failure to master meant not getting straight As, but, among the As, a few A-s and Bs.) Whatever its cause, the breakdown prevented Lovecraft from obtaining his diploma, a fact he would later conceal or minimise. Lovecraft then went into seclusion—hikikomori, as it would be called today—in which condition he remained for five years, mostly reading and writing poetry. Joshi expresses alarm at the sheer volume of reading undertaken by Lovecraft during this period, a large portion of it consisting of magazines.

Lovecraft’s re-emergence owes to his irritation with a pulp author, Fred Jackson, whose stories in Argosy magazine he found maudlin, mediocre, and irritating. His letter was published in the magazine, whereby it detonated an opinionated debate. When Lovecraft’s expressed view led to attacks, he responded in lofty and witty verse, thus instigating a months-long war—in archaic rhyme—in the letters’ page. This got him noticed by the president of the United Amateur Press Association (UAPA), Edward F. Daas, who invited Lovecraft to join. This inaugurated Lovecraft’s amateur career, which led to his return to fiction—something he had dabbled in years before—and, by 1919, to his first commerically published work. During his early years in amateurdom, Lovecraft would also produce his own literary journal, The Conservative, a publication that truly lived up to its name and that has only recently been reprinted by Arktos in unabridged form.

Throughout this period Lovecraft continued to live with his mother, who sustained them both off an ever-shrinking inheritance. Trapped between the expectations of her class and dwindling resources, she grew progressively more neurotic and unstable. She already had an unheathily close, love-hate, relationship with her son, and Joshi records that she considered her son’s visage too ugly for public view. By 1919, suffering from hysteria and clinical depression, she would be committed to hospital, where she would remain for the rest of her days. Mother and son stayed close correspondents, but she was a perennial source of worry. Thus, when Sarah died in 1921, initial grief led to a sense of liberation, and an improvement in Lovecraft’s general health—though he, at this time a tall man of nearly 200 lbs, always regarded himself as ailing.

Yet there were further turns to the worst ahead. In 1921, at a convention for amateur journalists in Boston, Lovecraft met Sonia Green, an assimilated 38-year-old Ukrainian Jew from New York, whom he would marry in 1924. Interestingly, Lovecraft only told his aunt after the fact, writing to her from New York, where he had by then already taken residence at Sonia’s apartment.

Joshi notes that at this time Lovecraft’s prospects appeared to be improving: Sonia earned a good living at a hat shop in Fifth Avenue, and Lovecraft’s professional writing career was taking off. Lovecraft, then in a decadent phase, was also enthralled by the city, where he had a number of amateur friends. However, Sonia lost her job almost immediately when the shop went bankrupt. This forced Lovecraft for the first time to find regular employment, but without qualifications, work experience, nor, apparently, marketable skills, he was unable to find a position. The consequent financial difficulties impacted on Sonia’s health, who entered a sanatorium for a period of recovery. Eventually, she would find a job in Cleveland, leaving Lovecraft to live on his own, in a tiny apartment, in Brooklyn Heights (then Red Hook), back then a seedy neighbourhood. Sonia sent him an allowance, which permitted him to cover his rent and minimal expenses, but otherwise Lovecraft lived in poverty, stretching as far as possible a minuscule fare of unheated beans, bread, and cheese.

This was, however, genteel poverty. When, on one occasion, Lovecraft’s apartment was burglarised, he was left with only the clothes on his back (while he slept, the thieves gained access to his closet and stole all his suits). His reaction says much about Lovecraft: first priority for him was to get four new replacements: light and dark, winter and summer—no easy task, given his slender wallet. A gentleman may be poor, but he must still dress like a gentleman! The ensuing hunt for suitable attire taxed Lovecraft’s ingenuity, and ignited his frustration at the shoddy quality of modern suits (Lovecraft’s original suits had been made in happier times). Eventually, he succeeded, with minimal compromise.

Seething with immigrants of all descriptions, crowded, and filthy, Lovecraft came to despise New York, recognising it as an emblem of modern degeneration (remember: he already thought this in 1925!). This negative opinion does not sit well with Joshi: having immigrated from India at a young age and having been a New York resident for 27 years, Joshi puts Lovecraft through the wringer for failing to appreciate the city’s vibrancy. Here and elsewhere, he attacks Lovecraft for his enamourment with Anglo-Saxondom, his fierce resistance to racial egalitarianism, and his rejection of the multicultural society. In Joshi’s estimation, Lovecraft ought to have considered Franz Boas’ research, which was beginning to transform anthropology at this time; Joshi views this as contrary to Lovecraft’s rigorous scientific outlook—in other words, as Lovecraft having been blinded by prejudice. However, this overlooks the fact that there were different strands of opinion in anthropology at this time: this was the Progressive Era, when the American eugenics movement was at its height, enjoying institutional legitimacy, famous proponents (e.g. John Harvey Kellogg), and backing from the likes of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Institution, and the the Harriman estate. Boas’ findings were politically motivated and not universally accepted, and he had by no means proven his case. (Worse still, since then there have been accusations of scientific fraud.) It would, therefore, seem that Lovecraft was entirely consequent with his aristocratic and scientific worldview.

Though Joshi deems it necessary to shoehorn his views on race and racism—zzz . . . —he shows admirable restraint, all things considered—though he has still been criticised by readers. He clearly struggles to reconcile his admiration for Lovecraft with an imagined rejection by him, which is coloured by the absurdities of the modern discourse on these matters. As the author of The Angry Right: Why Conservatives Keep Getting it Wrong (2006), where he invects against liberals like William Buckley and Rush Limbaugh, and where he welcomes the Leftward drift of American values, he can understand Lovecraft’s own merely as a reflection of the times in which he lived. Yet, Joshi has expended an immense amount of time and energy studying and writing about Lovecraft’s thought and worldview, as expressed both in correspondence and in fiction, and thus makes a fair attempt at describing them at length in a temperate fashion.

Lovecraft would eventually return to Providence, thus marking the beginning of the most productive phase of his career. By this time his marriage to Sonia was essentially over; a final attempt was made, but Lovecraft’s aunts rejected the idea of Sonia setting up shop in Providence, regarding her—or rather, the idea of a businesswoman—as somewhat declassé. Joshi again takes Lovecraft to task for not having shown more backbone before his aunts, but he is, nevertheless, of the opinion that Lovecraft was unsuited for marriage—being emotionally distant, stiff-upper lipped, and sexually sluggish—and ought never to have taken a wife. The Lovecrafts would in time agree on an amicable divorce (though, in the end, and to Sonia’s shock later on, he never signed the decree).

Despite his peaking productivity, Lovecraft’s economic prospects continued to decline. His stories became longer and more complex, and it became increasingly difficult to place them. Farnsworth Wright, Weird Tales’ capricious editor, repeatedly rejected them, though sometimes he would accept some after a period, after lobbying or intercession by one of Lovecraft’s correspondents. His seminal essay on horror fiction, Supernatural Horror in Literature [3], completed at this time, appeared haphazardly and incompletely in tiny amateur publications, and would never appear in its final, revised, complete form during his lifetime. Therefore, Lovecraft, now living in semi-squalor with his aunt in cramped accommodation, was increasingly forced to survive through charging for “revisions,” which, given the amount of hands-on editing and re-writing involved, was for the most part tantamount to ghostwriting. Lovecraft was too much of a gentleman, too generous for his own good, and charged very modest fees. We must remember, however, that Lovecraft, in this same modest spirit, saw himself as a hack.

All the same, through extreme frugality and resourcefulness, Lovecraft still managed to travel yearly around New England, mainly as an antiquary. This resulted in extensive travelogues, written in 18th-century prose, replete with archaisms and therefore neither publishable nor intended for publication. Joshi mentions that some have criticised Lovecraft for expending excessive energy on correspondence and unpublishable travelogues, rather than writing fiction, but he argues that this was Lovecraft’s life, not his critics’—who are they to tell him, posthumously, what he ought to have done?

Joshi notes that the Great Depression forced Lovecraft to reconsider some of his earlier positions, and that he—encouragingly in his view—embraced FDR’s New Deal. He also notes, although briefly, that Lovecraft may have misunderstood the nature of the program. All the same, he likes to describe Lovecraft as having become a “moderate socialist,” even if he is later careful to point out that his socialism was radically distinct from the Marxist conception—in fact, Lovecraft instinctively sympathised with fascism and Hitler’s movement, and would remain firmly opposed to Communism. Lovecraft’s conception of socialism was entirely elitist. From his perspective, the culture-bearing stratum of a civilisation should not, in an ideal world, be shackled by the need to waste time and energy on trivial tasks, out of the need to earn a living: the production of high culture is often incompatible with commercial goals, so, in his view, it demands freedom from economic activity. And this implied some sort of patronage, in the manner that kings, popes, or wealthy aristocrats or businessmen provided to artists in the past. In other words, a portion of the nation’s wealth should be channelled into things of lasting value—and, therefore, into seeing to it that the very few individuals capable of producing them are in a position to do so. Lovecraft conceived this as socialism because he saw it as the task of the best to better the rest, and high art and intellection played an important rôle in that endeavour.

By 1936, Lovecraft, already in constant pain, was diagnosed with bowel cancer. He would die a few months later, on 15 March 1937.

As with Finn’s biography of Robert E. Howard, Joshi carries on beyond the grave to trace Lovecraft’s legacy, and the development of Lovecraft scholarship over the past 75 years. Like Finn, he has complaints about L. Sprague de Camp’s biography, which he deems substandard and inaccurate; he describes de Camp as business-minded (a euphemism for opportunist). Joshi also criticises August Derleth, one of Lovecraft’s correspondents, who acted early on and energetically to preserve Lovecraft’s legacy through his publishing company, Arkham House: as de Camp did with Howard, Derleth sought to extend Lovecraft’s mythology with posthumous “collaborations,” wherein he distorted the mythology by infusing it with his own preconceptions. To Joshi this was a disreputable attempt to market his own fiction using Lovecraft’s name, though Derleth would later become a well-regarded author in his own right.

While Joshi’s biography is impressive in its comprehensiveness and level of detail, I found his compulsion to provide a plot summary of every single story that Lovecraft ever wrote rather tedious and beyond requirements. One can see that the biography’s comprehensive logic dictates their inclusion, and they can be useful, but I wonder if the tomes’ objectives could not have been met without this overwhelming prolixity.

Joshi recognises his subject’s superior character in that, though Lovecraft would have been able to prosper economically had he compromised on quality, produced more, and stuck to what was popular, he remained steadfast in his refusal to do so. Whatever he did, he did to the best of his ability, without homage to Mammon. Readers, says Joshi, should be grateful for that, as it was this that has guaranteed the lasting value of Lovecraft’s work as well as his enduring legacy.

 


Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/09/the-gentleman-from-providence/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/iap.gif

[2] I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H. P. Lovecraft: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1614980519/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1614980519&linkCode=as2&tag=countercurren-20

[3] Supernatural Horror in Literature: http://shop.wermodandwermod.com/supernatural-horror-in-literature.html

samedi, 07 septembre 2013

Nietzsche et l'éternité

NIETZSCHE ET L’ETERNITE
 
Au cœur de la philosophie nietzschéenne

Pierre Le Vigan
Ex: http://metamag.fr

kmn1.gif « La vie éternelle n’est pas une autre vie, mais, précisément, la vie que tu vis » écrivait le philosophe de Sils-Maria. La question de l’éternité est au cœur de la pensée de Nietzsche. Aimer la vie longue est selon lui le contraire d’aimer la vie. L’homme ne se résigne pas à la brièveté. L’homme est malade du manque d’éternité. Pour Nietzsche c’est la cause du nihilisme. L’éternité est pourtant à portée de main. Elle est dans le corps même, ce grand oublié, elle est dans la vie même. C’est la vie elle-même qui crée les valeurs qui rendent inutile le nihilisme. La tentation du nihilisme est inhérente à la vie elle-même mais c’est la vie qui permet de la surmonter. « Nous ne pouvons comprendre que le monde que nous avons créé » explique Nietzsche. Il rejette ainsi toute foi et toutes valeurs extérieures à l’homme. Le principe d’une foi extérieure à l’homme est de refuser le temps cyclique, comme le faisait Augustin d’Hippone. Le monothéisme veut le temps droit et linéaire. Au contraire, Nietzsche affirme que « tout ce qui est droit ment (…), toute vérité est courbée, le temps lui-même est un cercle. » (Zarathoustra). C’était ce qu’exprimait Héraclite : « Pour le temps comme sur le pourtour de la roue, le début et la fin sont communs ». 

L’éternité s’atteint alors par la transformation « de tout ce qui a été » (Zarathoustra). Le surhomme n’est pas autre chose que l’homme qui interprète et transforme le monde, ici et maintenant, à la différence du stoïcien, qui se contente d’accepter le monde. Amor fati s’écrit Nietzsche. Mais il lui donne plutôt le sens d’amor mundi. Et le monde est transformation et métamorphose. Ambivalence de Nietzsche : « Je vous enseigne comment vous libérer du fleuve éternel ». L’éternité serait donc le mal ? Non, l’éternité serait le mal si elle était immuabilité. Ce qu’elle n’est pas. L’éternité bonne, c’est tout simplement l’éternelle métamorphose du présent. 

« Le royaume des cieux est un état du coeur – ce n’est pas un état ‘’au-dessus de la terre’’, ou bien ‘’après la mort’’ (…). Le ‘’règne de Dieu’’ n’est pas une chose que l’on attend, il n’a point d’hier et point d’après-demain, il ne vient pas en ’’mille ans’’ dans le sens chronologique ou historique, selon un calendrier – il est une expérience du cœur, il est partout, il n’est nulle part, il advient à tout moment et à tout moment n’est point là »(L’Antéchrist). Il en est du retour comme du bonheur. « L’éternel bonheur n’est pas une promesse mais une réalité ». Parce que tout présent inclut une promesse d’éternité. « Chaque chose a deux faces, l’une est celle de ce qui passe, l’autre celle de ce qui devient ». Il n’y a jamais ni de commencement ni de fin à l’écoulement du présent dans le passé, ni à son écoulement dans l’avenir. « Le temps plonge ses racines dans l’éternité et s’attache à elle » écrivait de son côté Nicolas Berdiaev. K. Michalski renouvelle l’étude de la question de l’éternel retour chez Nietzsche. « Zarathoustra raconte le mystère du retour de tout ». L’éternel retour du toujours neuf beaucoup plus qu’un éternel retour du même.
  
Krzysztof Michalski, La flamme de l’éternité. Essai sur la pensée de Friedrich Nietzsche, Zdl éditions, www.zdl-editions.com, 318 pages, 24,90 E

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A Breviary for the Unvanquished

A Breviary for the Unvanquished

By Michael O'Meara 

A propos of Dominique Venner
Un Samouraï d’Occident: Le Bréviaire des insoumis [2]
Paris: PGDR, 2013

samocc.jpgIn his commentaries on the Gallic Wars, Julius Caesar claimed the ancient Celts were ruled by two principles: to fight well and to speak well. By this standard, the now famous essayist, historian, and former insurgent, Dominique Venner, who frequently identified with his Gallic ancestors, was the epitome of Caesar’s Celt—for with arms and eloquence, he fought a life-long war against the enemies of Europe. 

Like much else about him (especially his self-sacrifice on Notre Dame’s high altar, which, as Alain de Benoist writes, made him un personage de l’histoire de France), Venner’s posthumously published Un Samuraï d’Occident bears testament not just to his rebellion against the anti-European forces, but to his faith in the Continent’s tradition and the restorative powers this tradition holds out to a Europe threatened by the ethnocidal forces of the present American-centric system of global usury.

His “samurai” (his model of resistance and rebellion) refers to the “figure” of the aristocratic warrior, once honored in Japan and Europe. Such a figure has, actually, a long genealogy in the West, having appeared 30 centuries ago in Homer’s epic poems. And like a re-occurring theme, this figure continued to animate much of Western life and thought—up until at least 1945.

An especially emblematic illustration of Venner’s warrior is Albrect Dürer’s 1513 engraving of “The Knight, Death, and the Devil.” In the daunting Gothic forest sketched by Dürer, where his solitary knight encounters both the devil and time’s relentless march toward death, the figure of the noble warrior is seen serenely mounted on his proud horse, with a Stoic’s ironic smile on his lips, as he patrols the lurking dangers, accompanied by his dog representing truth and loyalty.

For Venner, Dürer’s timeless rebel does what needs doing, knowing that however high the price he must pay to defend the cosmic order of his world, it will be commensurate with whatever “excellence” (courage and nobility) he finds in himself. It is, in fact, the intensity, beauty, and grandeur of the knight, in his struggle with the forces of death and disorder, that imbue him with meaning. The crueler the destiny, it follows, the greater it is—just as a work of art is great to the degree it transcends tragedy by turning it into a work of beauty.

Contemporary “conservatives” and libertarians struggling with the crisis-ridden economic imperatives of our globalized/miscegenated consumer society, will undoubtedly think Venner’s warrior irrelevant to the great challenges facing it—but this is not the opinion of the “European Resistance” (and it will not likely be the opinion of the European-American Resistance, if one should arise). For between those forming the fake, system-friendly opposition to the liberal nihilism programming our global electronic Gulag—and those European rebels defending the Continent’s millennial tradition and identity—there stretches a gaping ontological abyss.

***

Venner’s book begins with an account of a not uncommon situation in today’s France, especially among the so-called petit blancs—the little people. He cites the case, reported by Le Monde, of one “Catherine C.,” who is what France’s black and brown invaders refer to as a Gauloise: a French native (i.e., someone whose Celtic ancestors fought Caesar’s legions).

All her life Catherine C. has lived in the suburbs of Paris, in a housing estate originally designed to lodge French workers, but now occupied almost exclusively by the invaders. She has hence become a “minority,” a stranger in her own land, abandoned to the whim and rule of the non-Europeans dominating her environment. As such, she rarely leaves her apartment, feeling alienated not just from her “neighbors,” but from the established institutions and authorities favoring the invaders. Even her son, who lacks her sense of French identity, has converted to Islam and wants “to be black or beur [Arab] like everyone else.” But however isolated and threatened, this Gauloise refuses—out of pride—to abandon her home or identity.

We know from other sources that Venner’s resistance to the present anti-white regime began long ago, in his late adolescence, when he took up arms to defend “French Algeria.” His resistance – then on the field of battle (against the outer enemy), later in Parisian street skirmishes (against the inner traitor), and finally on the printed page – has shaped the course of his entire life. Though a “tribal solidarity” and “rebel heart” motivated his initial resistance, the cause of France’s “little people”—the Catherine C.’s—constituting the majority of the nation—became a no less prominent motive for him, especially in that the “little people” of French France are the principal victims of the elites’ criminal system of governance and privilege.

***

“To exist,” Venner argues, “is to struggle against that which denies me.” Since 1945, the whole world has “denied” the European (allegedly “responsible” for the Shoah, slavery, colonization, etc.) the right to exist. At the most fundamental level, this implies that Europeans have no right to an identity: no right to be who they are (given that they are a scourge to humanity). Venner, of course, refused to submit to such tyranny, which has made him a “rebel”: someone who not only refuses to accommodate the reigning subversion, but who remains true to himself in the name of certain higher principles.

Venner’s rebel—the “unvanquished” to use Faulkner’s term—is an offspring of indignation. In face of imposture or sacrilege, the rebel revolts against a violated legitimacy. His rebellion begins accordingly in the conscience before it occurs in arms. Our earliest example of such a rebellion is Sophocles’ Antigone, who rebelled against King Creon’s violation of the sacred law. Like Antigone, Venner’s rebel warrior obeys a transcendent “legitimacy” and resists all that transgresses it; similarly, he never calculates the prospect of success or refuses to pay the often terrible price of rebellion—because a higher defining duty with which he identifies impels him to do so.

Since such rebellion arises from an offended spirit, it often breaks out where least expected. In a life spanning the 20th century’s great catastrophes (World War II, the German Occupation of France, the so-called “Liberation” and its murderous left-wing purges, the Cold War, Decolonization, etc.), Venner has known a Europe paralyzed by dormition (sleep)—too traumatized by the great bloodlettings and destructions of earlier decades to counter her ongoing de-Europeanization. The present “shock of history,” he contends, may change this.

A historical figure (in the form of a revolutionary opponent of De Gaulle’s Fifth Republic, then as a founder of the European New Right, and finally as a proponent of a “revolutionary nationalist” Europe) before he became a historian, Venner holds that there are no fatalities in history (“the trace men leave on their destiny”) and that Europeans, with their incomparable legacy, will eventually awake to resume their destiny. Their history and tradition weighs thus in their favor.

In the last year of his life, Venner thought the forces of French indignation had finally begun to stir. The massive, spontaneous upsurge of outraged opinion in early 2013 against the Taubira Law legalizing homosexual marriage had set it off. (What was so unexpected in this was that earlier, “Catholic” Spain had passed a similar law without mass protest.) Everywhere in French France, however, this perverted law was experienced as the last straw, for in denaturalizing the family it assaulted the very foundation of Continental life.

***

When a régime contemptuous of popular opinion provokes a “rebellion of the mothers,” as François Hollande’s Socialist/African government had, Venner thought it sign that an unpardonable transgression had occurred. For once middle-class Catholic house wives, with their children and strollers, joined militant identitarians and other rebels, in pouring onto French streets in unprecedented numbers to protest the Soviet-style desecrations, it was if another age had suddenly dawn— sign, perhaps, that the awakening had commenced.

Venner also reminds us that the founding work of European civilization, Homer’s Iliad, is all about what happens when the marriage law is violated. Though Homer believed a civilization could not exist in face of such violation, today’s elites know better—which suggests not just the advanced degree of decay among the latter, but the future-significance of the former.

The young identitarian and revolutionary nationalist rebels, who share Venner’s faith in the ongoing significance of the European tradition and follow him in resisting the violators, are the ones in whose hands the Continent’s future now lies—if Europeans are to have a future. The course of history in any case remains endless and open-ended: which means that the sons and daughters of Odysseus and Penelope, however denied they have become, may one day get another chance to re-conquer their lands and lives.

Venner’s last work (and he was always conscious that words are arms) addresses these awakening forces of resistance—preeminently those opposing the denaturalization of the nation (la Grande Replacement)—for the “prayers and hymns” of his breviary revere an alternative to liberal nihilism that re-grounds Europeans in themselves and in their unique heritage.

***

This European heritage is key to everything, for a people or civilization lacking a memory of its past and a stake in its continuation, is a people or civilization that no longer exists as such. Contrary to the tabula rasa suppositions of the moneychangers, Europeans were not born yesterday. Whatever future they have is unlikely to come from the deranged utopias planned for them, but rather from the memory of their past—and thus from the recognition of who they are in this period and of what is expected of them. Faithful to Europe, Venner’s rebel warrior fights for a future he sees sanctioned in everything that has gone before.

The hubristic course of the 20th century—with its great civil wars and wanton destruction, its world crusades and diseased, mercantile, technological metaphysics—has created a situation in which for the first time in history the Continent’s peoples have been denied their tradition (the soul of their culture) and compelled to find themselves in everything alien to who they are. As a historian and as one of Nietzsche’s “good Europeans,” Venner’s life work might be characterized as a struggle to recover Europe’s memory and the relevance of her sacred wisdom.

If Europeans, then, are to escape the great abyss of nothingness the money powers in Washington and New York plan for them, they will need to recover their identity as a people and a civilization. This means returning (not literally, but spiritually) to their roots, to those authentic sources that created them at the beginning of their history, distinguished their destiny from others, and sustained them over the millennia.

There is, as such, nothing antiquarian or nostalgic in this privileging of history’s longue durée, for the tradition and culture animating a people’s millennial history are ultimately never things of the past per se, but of the future—given that the aesthetic values and living spirituality inherent in them nourish the Europeans’ representations, structure their behavior, and lend meaning to their endeavors.

***

Venner claims the preeminent source for the spiritual re-conquest of Europe’s identity (given that the Catholic Church has abandoned its European roots for the sake of becoming a truly universal religion) is Homer, for his sacred poems reveal the “secret permanences” distinct to the Continent’s family of closely related nations and peoples. Though written at the dawn of our civilization, there is nothing in the Homerian epics that is not intimately familiar to the European of today. For in giving form to the European soul, Homer articulated a conception of the world that is entirely unique to the West—a conception, as Georges Dumézil demonstrated, that was rooted in the earlier Indo-European or Borean antecedents of pre-Hellenic Europe, and one that would shape the subsequently Latin, Celtic, Slavic, and Germanic expressions of European life. In Homer, the true European encounters a mirror of his soul.

Virtually every figure and sentiment distinct to European man is to be found in the civilization-creating monuments of the blind poet—for his epics articulated archetypes that will always be timeless and timely for “the white men of the West.” This seems especially the case in respect to Homer’s model of life, which makes “nature the base, excellence the goal, and beauty the horizon.” Above all, Homer’s virile concept of the warrior and his affirmation of the European tradition (which never actually changes, only adapts) offer Europeans the sole alternative to their impending extinction.

***

Those acquainted with Venner’s vast opus will find Un Samuraï d’Occident an eloquent summation of his identitarian postulates. Those unfamiliar with it may find a door opening to an entirely different future. Finally, for Venner’s fellow rebels—the unvanquished—his breviary is certain to impart new vigor to the hours and offices of their already endless sacrifices to remain true to themselves.

More on Dominique Venner

• “The Rebel [3]

• “From Nihilism to Tradition [4]

• “The Foundations of the 21st Century [5]

• “Another European Destiny [6]

• “The Shock of History [7]

• “Arms and Being [8]

Source: http://www.wermodandwermod.com/newsitems/news310820131249.html [9]

 


Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/08/a-breviary-for-the-unvanquished/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Venner-Dominique-Un-samourai-dOccident.jpg

[2] Un Samouraï d’Occident: Le Bréviaire des insoumis: http://www.amazon.fr/Un-samoura%C3%AF-dOccident-br%C3%A9viaire-insoumis/dp/2363710738

[3] The Rebel: http://www.counter-currents.com/2010/06/the-rebel/

[4] From Nihilism to Tradition: http://www.counter-currents.com/2010/06/from-nihilism-to-tradition/

[5] The Foundations of the 21st Century: http://www.counter-currents.com/2010/06/foundations-of-the-twenty-first-century/

[6] Another European Destiny: http://www.counter-currents.com/2010/06/another-european-destiny/

[7] The Shock of History: http://www.counter-currents.com/2011/11/the-shock-of-history/

[8] Arms and Being: http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/07/arms-and-being/

[9] http://www.wermodandwermod.com/newsitems/news310820131249.html: http://www.wermodandwermod.com/newsitems/news310820131249.html

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jeudi, 05 septembre 2013

Intellectuels sous l'occupation

INTELLECTUELS SOUS L’OCCUPATION

 
Une réalité complexe

Pierre Le Vigan
Ex: http://metamag.fr
 
riding22.gifLe premier mérite de l’auteur, journaliste américain installé de longue date en France, c’est qu’il évite d’aborder une période compliquée avec des idées simples. Peu de périodes furent aussi compliquées que celle de l’Occupation. Alan Riding pose les bonnes questions : « Est-ce que le fait d’avoir travaillé sous l’Occupation était systématiquement une forme de collaboration ? » Des questions cruciales pour les intellectuels et artistes. 

Il y avait, montre-t-il, une infinité de nuances ente la résistance franche et la collaboration assumée, nuances passant notamment par la résistance passive – le fait de publier le minimum – le retrait de la vie littéraire, ou un mélange de collaboration et de services rendus à la Résistance. « Les Parisiens auraient été surpris d’apprendre que certains écrivains célèbres, des musiciens, des cinéastes, qui travaillaient avec l’accord des Allemands, étaient en même temps engagés dans la Résistance. » Si l’attitude des intellectuels et artistes français fut rien moins que monolithique, l’attitude des Allemands fut elle-même souvent complexe, entre répression, intimidation et tentative de séduction des intellectuels. C’est pourquoi la résistance littéraire fut bien souvent plutôt une dissidence de l’intérieur qui n’inquiétait pas outre mesure l’occupant allemand. « A partir de 1942, aucun de ceux qui étaient impliqués dans le Comité national des écrivains ou dans les groupes plus petits du cinéma, des arts, de la musique ou du théâtre ne fut arrêté. Une explication plausible est que, tout en étant décidé à lutter contre la résistance armée, les Allemands accordaient peu d’importance à ces groupes. » 

Une réalité complexe difficilement conciliable avec  les stéréotypes trompeurs d’une France toute entière résistante mais aussi avec la nouvelle vulgate dévalorisante présentant les Français comme massivement compromis dans la collaboration. Un écart entre le réel et le discours qui explique le persistant malaise français quant à l’histoire de la période 1940-1944. Comme le disait Jean-Galtier Boissière : veni, vidi, Vichy. Nous ne nous en sommes pas encore tout à fait remis.

Alan Riding, Intellectuels et artistes sous l’Occupation. Et la fête continue, Flammarion-Champs-histoire, 442 pages, 12 E.

mardi, 03 septembre 2013

L’idéologie du genre, une dérive du féminisme

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L’idéologie du genre, une dérive du féminisme

Quelle est donc cette idéologie que la Manif pour Tous entend contrer dès la rentrée ? L’idéologie du genre. Comment est-elle parvenue en France ? Quel est son but ? Ses conséquences sur l’éducation des enfants ?

gabard.gifDans son livre, Le féminisme et ses dérives, rendre un père à l’enfant-roi, le professeur d’histoire-géographie et ancien féministe Jean Gabard nous explique comment et pourquoi notre société en est arrivée là. Il ne nous donne pas de recette miracle mais il nous explique que deux idéolog
ies s’affrontent et s’entretiennent mutuellement. L’une, visant à nier toute différence entre l’homme et la femme. L’autre voulant au contraire ramener l’homme à son autorité pour faire tenir à carreaux les enfants qui sont mal élevés. Dans une première partie, nous verrons les rapports entre l’homme et la femme tout au long de l’histoire. Dans une seconde partie, nous verrons les conséquences de l’idéologie du genre dans notre société.

Au cours de l’histoire, les rapports entre l’homme et la femme se sont modifiés. Durant la préhistoire, la femme était sacralisée parce que l’homme s’était rendu compte qu’elle pouvait donner la vie. Dans l’Antiquité, la femme avait un rôle ambigu. Elle avait moins de droits que les hommes mais pouvait prendre des initiatives dans la maisonnée. En outre, certains cultes étaient rendus à des déesses. Certaines fêtes étaient même réservées aux femmes et l’homme qui osait s’y introduire était puni, la sentence allant jusqu’à la mort.

La femme avait un statut entre valorisation et dévalorisation. Il faut bien comprendre que la femme s’occupait du domaine privé et que l’homme s’occupait du domaine public. La seule personne qui est venue mettre le bazar dans ce monde est le Christ. Il est le seul à parler d’égalité entre l’homme et la femme. Petit à petit, au Moyen Âge, les rapports entre l’homme et la femme se sont modifiés. Certes, la femme restait à la maison pendant que l’homme allait travailler à la ferme. Mais dans les seigneuries, elle les accompagnait et pouvait même prendre des initiatives dans le château. Exemple, à partir de 987, les privilèges étaient devenus héréditaires par la volonté d’Hugues Capet.

Aussi, lorsque le seigneur décidait de donner, de louer ou de vendre son bien, la famille était donc conviée à donner son avis sur le sujet. La femme était présente. Toutefois, malgré ce rôle et ce statut,  une contestation intellectuelle se mis en place lors du siècle des Lumières. Pourtant, on peut remarquer que ce n’est pas dans un cadre trop flatteur. La contestation est surtout venue de mai 1968. Cette contestation s’inspire des études sur le genre qui sont publiées pour la première fois aux États-Unis. La polémique arrive en France en 2011, lorsque le ministre de l’éducation national, Luc Châtel demande à faire la distinction entre l’identité sexuelle et l’orientation sexuelle dans les programmes de SVT.

Les conséquences de cette idéologie sont doubles. Soyons clairs : les études sur le genre sont nécessaires pour comprendre les rapports entre l’homme et la femme et démonter certains préjugés. Le problème est la théorisation de ces études par certains chercheurs. Ils sont ensuite passés dans les institutions internationales pour les imposer (ONU, UE). La conséquence est d’abord juridique. Dans la loi, il n’y a plus de distinction entre l’homme et la femme. La seule exception est le sous-marin : la femme n’a pas le droit d’y aller.

Ensuite sur l’éducation des enfants : l’enfant ne connait plus de limite, il a beaucoup de mal avec les règles de disciplines, de grammaire, de calculs, de conjugaison d’orthographes. Pourquoi ? Parce qu’il n’y a plus de père et de mère. Le rôle de la mère est affectif auprès de l’enfant puisque c’est elle qui l’a porté jusqu’à sa naissance. Le rôle du père est de casser cette affection pour mettre des limites aux désirs de l’enfant.

L’exemple de l’interrupteur : vous avez souvent vu un enfant s’amuser avec un interrupteur pour allumer et éteindre la lumière. Normalement, le père doit intervenir pour demander à l’enfant d’arrêter de jouer avec la lumière. Mais si c’est la mère, alors l’enfant le prendra comme un chantage affectif : « j’obéis parce que sinon maman ne m’aimera plus ». Le temps que les parents se mettent d’accord sur le moment de l’intervention, l’enfant ne va pas s’arrêter.

En conclusion, pendant longtemps, on a utilisé les différences pour dire que l’homme domine la femme mais aujourd’hui on affirme que ces différences sont sexistes et discriminatoires. Par ailleurs tous les programmes de lutte contre la discrimination mis en place par les gouvernements ont échoué puisque les différences ressortent plus violemment au moment de la puberté. La question est de savoir si nous serons capables de construire une société à même d’accepter les différences et de se tenir à notre place.

Antoine Billot

 

lundi, 02 septembre 2013

VILLON & CÉLINE de Pierre de BONNEVILLE

Vient de paraître : VILLON & CÉLINE de Pierre de BONNEVILLE

 
Les éditions Dualpha viennent de publier Villon & Céline de Pierre de Bonneville. Initialement paru aux éditions Improbable, ensuite publié en plusieurs partie par Le Bulletin célinien puis repris sur notre site (ici), ce texte fait un parallèle très intéressant entre les deux illustres écrivains, leurs vies, leurs époques, leurs styles...


Pierre de BONNEVILLE, Villon & Céline, Dualpha, 2013.
98 pages, 15 €
Commande sur www.francephi.com.


Quatrième de couverture 
Villon et Céline : près de cinq siècles les séparent, mais ils ont beaucoup de points communs. Parmi ceux-ci, l’auteur a relevé l’identité, la personnalité, le milieu, le génie, l’invention, le parcours, le destin, la musique, le comique et le tragique. Dans un parallèle rigoureux, il nous trace ces ressemblances, qui sont l’occasion de replonger dans les citations, les textes de ces deux écrivains d’exception.
« Les études comparatistes ne sont plus guère à la mode. Le fait que notre auteur renoue avec cette tradition se justifie tant il est vrai que le parallèle entre l’œuvre et l’itinéraire respectifs de Villon et Céline apparaît ici comme une évidence. Se basant notamment sur la somme du grand médiéviste Pierre Champion, il passe en revue tout ce qui les réunit. Leur destin d’écrivain maudit bien sûr, mais surtout ce lyrisme basé sur l’émotion et les ressources du langage populaire » (Marc Laudelout).