Interviu Teodor Baconschi – Est-Vest, renaştere şi debandadă spirituală – fragmente

Theodor Baconschi

Am selectat mai jos citeva fragmente dintr-un foarte interesant interviu acordat de Teodor Baconschi lui Cristian Patrasconiu pentru platforma LaPunkt. Sper ca ele va vor motiva sa citi intregul interviu, care poate fi accesat la linkul de mai sus.

Avem de-a face, desigur, cu o perspectiva conservatoare si ortodoxa, asumata in mod deschis de autor. Ceea ce nu inseamna insa ca aceasta il scuteste de anumite interpretari partizane si subiective, desigur, inevitabile in orice demers intelectual cinstit.

Enumar, in fuga, citeva dintre acestea:

  • perspectiva exclusiv negativa asupra procesului de secularizare in Europa
  • invinuirea exclusiva a protestantismului pentru acest ‘flagel’
  • cresterea prezentei musulmane in Europa privita preponderent ca o amenintare
  • atitudinea implicit critica fata de papa Francisn, pus in contract cu ‘ultimul papă conservator, Benedict al XVI-lea’

si la acestea as putea adauga si altele, dar va las s-o faceti voi insiva.

* * *

Societatea românească e un mozaic de fracturi. Aveam, la 1900, un retard istoric de cel puțin 100 de ani față de Occident (evident, e o apreciere pur estimativă). Aproape un secol mai târziu, când a căzut comunismul, eram, iarăși, una dintre cele mai sărace țări de pe continent. Deși ne-au ajutat să ne dezvoltăm, tranziția democratică și integrarea euro-atlantică n-au făcut decât să ne așeze întru-un sistem de referință care ne-a agravat complexele de inferioritate. Pe acest fundal dislocat, regăsirea tradiției precomuniste, cu o Biserică Ortodoxă liberă, s-a făcut adesea formal și zgomotos, fără creșterea organică de care au nevoie procesele istorice firești. Am intrat în mileniul trei cu povara acestor handicapuri. Prin urmare, nu putem încă avea o atitudinea critică față de Occident: nu l-am trăit pe dinăuntru. Dacă ne socotim ca parte integrantă a lui, ne ies oricând la iveală reminiscențele comuniste și orientale. Dacă îl respingem, nu prea avem ce să punem în loc. Avem, cum s-a spus, o modernizare lipsită de modernitate. Am copiat, în loc să asimilăm. Cu alte cuvinte, în loc să spunem ce e greșit amenajat ”la ei”, ne sar în ochi propriile defecțiuni de parcurs.Read More »

Pope Francis Has A Dream

Source: Pope Francis Has A Dream

‘Francis defended the idea that continental Europe plays a particularly important role, while at the same time exhibited a rejection of colonial ideals. His vision is that of a Europe based on new ideas and discussions, a political and social model engaging all of the players on the global stage. Francis called for a “just distribution of the wealth of the earth,” as well as “more inclusive and equal economic models” and the transition “from a liquid economy to a social economy” in which the priority will be access to employment, rather than a speculative economy. His Europe is one that is sympathetic and open to youth, migrants and refugees.’

Povestea apei imbuteliate

Vintila Mihailescu – Perspective incomode (despre ‘Sectantii’ lui Vasile Ernu)

Sectantii - Vasile Ernu

Întîmplarea a avut loc la Biroul de Paşapoarte. Merge omul la acest birou şi acolo începe un interogatoriu cum numai instituţiile evreieşti actuale ştiu să facă.

– Locul naşterii?
– Imperiul ţarist.
– Şcoala?
– România Mare.
– Muncă?
– URSS, profesor de muzică.
– Pensia?
– Republica Moldova…
– Sînteţi umblat prin lume, cetăţene şalom Isakovici, constată domnul de la Biroul de Paşapoarte.
– Da’ de unde! răspunde abătut bătrînul evreu. Nu am părăsit cartierul nici măcar o singură dată în toată viaţa mea. Acum am ieşit prima dată din oraş…Read More »

”Doar o secta ne mai poate salva….” – Interviu cu Vasile Ernu

Interviul de mai jos a prefatat prima lansare a ultimei carti a lui Vasile Ernu, Sectantii, care a avut loc miercuri, 13 mai, la Terasa J’ai Bistrot din Bucuresti;

Vasile Ernu - Sectantii

Dragă Vasile Ernu, vii cu o nouă carte, cu un nume incitant: ”Sectanții. Mică trilogie a marginalilor”. De ce sectanţi și de ce marginali?

De mult timp mă gândesc să scriu ceva depsre marginali dintr-o perspectivă puțin diferită de cea întâlnită des pe la noi. Altfel de marginali. Mă pasionează marginalii și am lucrat destul de mult cu câteva grupuri. Am ”dormit într-un pat cu ei” ca să pot să-i înțeleg, să-i pricep. Mă interesează foarte mult să înțeleg societatea și istoria prin ochii lor. Totul arată altfel. Lumea văzută prin ochii lor arată radical diferit faţă de cea văzută prin ochii majoritarilor. Felul lor de organizare e diferit, tehnicile de supravețuire, care mă interesează în mod special sunt foarte diferite. Sunt chiar opuse tehnicilor grupurilor majoritare. E mai ceva ca în Matrix.

Practic trilogia mea va încerca să spună povestea a trei grupuri marginale. Primul volum se ocupă de sectanți. Al doilea de bandiți. Despre al treilea grup mai discutăm la anul: sunt niște grupuri mai speciale.Read More »

World Ideologies Explained with Cows

Here is the original joke, about ideologies explained with cows.

World Ideologies Explained with Cows

Capitalism Explained with Cows

Capitalism Explained with Cows

I did not know there is such a joke about capitalism.

I only knew one on world ideologies explained with cows, which I have also used in my little book on communism. I will publish it in the next blog post.

Barbara Ehrenreich – It Is Expensive to Be Poor

It Is Expensive to Be Poor

Barbara Ehrenreich, author of the book  Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America and of other books has just published a very interesting article on poverty in The Atlantic. Here are a few excerpts, which, I hope, will motivate you to read the entire article.

* * *

Fifty years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson made a move that was unprecedented at the time and remains unmatched by succeeding administrations. He announced a War on Poverty, saying that its “chief weapons” would be “better schools, and better health, and better homes, and better training, and better job opportunities.”

Johnson seemed to have established the principle that it is the responsibility of government to intervene on behalf of the disadvantaged and deprived. But there was never enough money for the fight against poverty, and Johnson found himself increasingly distracted by another and deadlier war—the one in Vietnam. Although underfunded, the War on Poverty still managed to provoke an intense backlash from conservative intellectuals and politicians.

In their view, government programs could do nothing to help the poor because poverty arises from the twisted psychology of the poor themselves. Read More »

Vasile Ernu – Program electoral minimal

Vasile_Ernu
Vasile Ernu

Intr-un articol publicat de jurnalul National din Moldova, prietenul meu Vasile Ernu prezinta ceea ce ar trebui sa fie, in opinia lui, un program electoral minimal pentru a instaura justitia sociala in Romania. In acest context, Vasile, care spre deosebire de mine este un om de stinga, isi prezinta programul – NU, el nu candideaza la presedintie; cel putin nu de data asta 🙂 – in contrast cu acela al candidatei Monica Macovei, program care este extrem de liberal – in sensul european al acestui cuvint, caci la americani, ca de obicei, este exact invers.

Iata ‘programul lui Ernu’, cu care sunt de acord cel putin in proportie de 90%. Adaug, [intercalate] in text si marcate cu DM, comentariile mele, din perspectiva angajarii mele sociale si crestine:

Program minim.

Voi simplifica şi sintetiza pentru a fi mai limpede. Monica Macovei (citeşte: MM & Băsescu & Ponta & Co) şi majoritatea candidaţilor susţin una, iar eu (şi din fericire nu sunt singurul), în cazul dat, alta.Read More »

Pope Francis – Address to the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum

pope-francis-i

To Professor Klaus Schwab Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum

I am very grateful for your kind invitation to address the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, which, as is customary, will be held at Davos-Klosters at the end of this month. Trusting that the meeting will provide an occasion for deeper reflection on the causes of the economic crisis affecting the world these past few years, I would like to offer some considerations in the hope that they might enrich the discussions of the Forum and make a useful contribution to its important work.

Ours is a time of notable changes and significant progress in different areas which have important consequences for the life of humanity. In fact, “we must praise the steps being taken to improve people’s welfare in areas such as health care, education and communications” (Evangelii Gaudium, 52), in addition to many other areas of human activity, and we must recognize the fundamental role that modern business activity has had in bringing about these changes, by stimulating and developing the immense resources of human intelligence. Nonetheless, the successes which have been achieved, even if they have reduced poverty for a great number of people, often have led to a widespread social exclusion. Indeed, the majority of the men and women of our time still continue to experience daily insecurity, often with dramatic consequences. Read More »

Pope Francis – Blasphemy!

Blasphemy

(Source, The Economist) Thanks to my son for the link.

The Pope of the Poor Strikes Again


The Pope kisses the feet of residents of a shelter for drug users (CNS)

VATICAN CITY, Dec 12 (Reuters) – Pope Francis said in the first peace message of his pontificate that huge salaries and bonuses are symptoms of an economy based on greed and inequality and called again for nations to narrow the wealth gap.

In his message for the Roman Catholic Church’s World Day of Peace, marked around the world on Jan. 1, he also called for sharing of wealth and for nations to shrink the gap between rich and poor, more of whom are getting only “crumbs”.

“The grave financial and economic crises of the present time … have pushed man to seek satisfaction, happiness and security in consumption and earnings out of all proportion to the principles of a sound economy,” he said.

“The succession of economic crises should lead to a timely rethinking of our models of economic development and to a change in lifestyles,” he said.Read More »

Nestle – Water, NOT a Basic Human need

Peter Brabeck, CEO of Nestle, at the time when this statement was made, argues that water is NOT a basic human right and, therefore, should be privatised, like any other kind of food. You can find Brabeck’s statement at minutes 1.50 to 3.30.

As a result, Nestle is trying to get a hold of many water resources around the world, wit very little concern for what this does to access to water of the people in that area, let alone the pollution created by the plastic bottles use to distribute that water.Read More »

Richard Rohr on Spiritual Captalism

The phrase “spirituality of subtraction” was inspired by Meister Eckhart (c. 1260-1327), the medieval Dominican mystic. He said that the spiritual life has much more to do with subtraction than it does with addition. Yet I think most Christians today are involved in great part in a spirituality of addition, and in that, they are not really very traditional or conservative at all.

The capitalist worldview is the only one most of us have ever known. We see reality, experiences, events, other people, and things—in fact, everything—as objects for our personal consumption. Even religion, Scripture, sacraments, worship services, and meritorious deeds become ways to advance ourselves—not necessarily ways to love God or neighbor.

The nature of the capitalist mind is that things (and often people!) are there for me. Finally, even God becomes an object for my consumption. Religion looks good on my resume, and anything deemed “spiritual” is a check on my private worthiness list. Some call it spiritual consumerism. It is not the Gospel.

Adapted from Radical Grace: Daily Meditations, p. 114, day 123
(Available through Franciscan Media)

Adam Michnik in Der Spiegel: ‘We Are Bastards of Communism’

Adam_Michnik

The online international edition of Der Spiegel has just published probably the most interesting interviews on post-communist Eastern Europe I have read in years. This is no surprise when the interviewee is Adam Michnik,  former Polish dissident, editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza, the most read Polish daily newspaper, and one of the most lucid minds in the former communist world.

Here are excerpts from this interview that, I suggest, should be read in its entirety.

* * *

SPIEGEL: Mr. Michnik, for more than six weeks now, thousands of people have taken to the streets in Bulgaria to demonstrate against their country’s rotten political system. More than 20 years after Eastern Europe’s democratic awakening, political conflicts are still characterized by turf wars and hatred. Why?

Michnik: We lack a political culture, a culture of compromise. We in Poland, as well as the Hungarians, have never learned this sort of thing. Although there is a strong desire for freedom in the countries of Eastern Europe, there is no democratic tradition, so that the risk of anarchy and chaos continues to exist. Demagoguery and populism are rampant. We are the illegitimate children, the bastards of communism. It shaped our mentality.Read More »

BCR recidiveaza – Apelind din nou la instincte primare

Ati vazut cumva noul spot publicitar licentios de la BCR? Este vorba de acelasi faimos credit Divers BCR. Se vede ca nu le-a iesit pasenta de prima data si trebuie sa apeleze la ceva si mai scarbos decit promovarea desantata a infidelitatii in familie.

Baietii astia care fac PR-ul acestei banci  – vezi detaliile acestei companii de doua parale in postarile anterioare despre BCR (care fac si PR-ul altor institutii, inclusiv al unor ONG-uri respectabile), ca si cei de la BCR care le comanda, par sa fie de-a dreptul obsedati sexual.

De data asta insa se dau culti, cu aluzii la Basic Instinct. Din pacate nu le-ai iesit nici de data asta, ca si data trecuta, decit o chestie scabroasa. Vorba rusului, ‘niet kultur’.Read More »

The Poor Among You


Poverty in America (source of picture, HERE)

The ABP site has just published a very powerful article on poverty in America. Here are a few excerpts:

…more Americans live in poverty today than at any time in more than 50 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Bureau of Economic Research.

“The richest nation in human history now has the highest poverty level of any Western industrialized nation,” Sider writes in his new book, Fixing the Moral Deficit: A Balanced Way to Balance the Budget.Read More »

Wild Capitalist Madness

(Source, Facebook)

Walter Brueggemann despre societatea de consum

walter_brueggemann

Walter Brueggemann

Nota

In aceasta saptamina am avut sansa extraordinara de a petrece doua zile cu Walter Brueggemann. Inainte de a publica pe blog cite ceva despre aceasta intilnire, afisez din acest publicat initial acum trei ani.

* * *

Contextul totalizant al producţiei şi consumului

Propun să înţelegem cultura de astăzi din Statele Unite ca pe un ,,totalism al productivităţii.” Prin totalism înţeleg un sistem ideologic atotcuprinzător care exclude abaterile de la regulile sale şi care îi anulează pe toţi cei care nu se supun acestei ideologii dominante. Prin productivitate înţeleg faptul că sistemul ideologic dominant din Statele Unite îi consideră valoroşi doar pe cei care participă la realizările consumiste legate de producerea şi de consumul de bunuri materiale, sistem care este guvernat de triada: bani, putere şi a sex. „Liturghiile” care susţin această ideologie sunt cele ale sportului şi ale întregii industrii de divertisment, care este specializată în chestiuni legate de putere, succes, bogăţie şi confort, livrate în proporţii nelimitate. Mijlocul de promovare al acestei liturghii este, desigur, televiziunea şi, din ce în ce mai mult, internetul care mediază o lume a vitezei, a puterii şi a dezvoltării, complet ruptă de realitatea trăită de persoane reale care-şi duc existenţa în comunităţi reale.

Read More »

Davos, Relationality, and Economic Inequality

My friend Jonathan Tame, from the Relationships Global, sends every Friday a newsletter in which he comments on world issues from the point of view of Christian relationality. His new item on 27 January deals with Davos and the problem of growing economic inequality in the world.

Here is an extended quote from this newsletter:

* * *

News

The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting at Davos brings together global leaders, including 800 CEOs whose companies represent 25% of the world’s GDP. So it is perhaps surprising that one of the major topics of conversation this week is pay differentials – a crucial indicator of how fair the economic system is. Despite the economic downturn, CEO salaries of top companies are 145 times the average salary of their employees.Read More »

Vladimir Solovyov on Socialism and Capitalism

The views of Russian author Vladimir Solovyov on socialism and capitalism form the object of a recent article on Acton Institute website.

This may be of interest to you in light of the recent protests in the world, including Romania, against a capitalism without values and compassion.

* * *

In the third book of his work The Justification of the Good, Solovyov focuses on the dignity and infinite, moral potential of every human being, realized in human society. He believed that all social action ought to be limited by morality. Thus, he favored limitations to government power, writing, “[T]he demands of the positive law [of the state] are not absolute but are limited by the natural law which is sanctified by religion….”Read More »

Dr. Russel Norman, An Atheist, on the Perenial Message of Christmas – A Remarcable Discourse

A recent discourse in the the Parliament of New Zealand, by the co-chair of the Green Party.

I wish I could hear this kind of discourse from our church leaders. If they cared at all. Which remains to be proven.

(Thanks to my friend Rob Kilpatrick for this link.)

The Story of Broke

Why are we today in such deep… trouble in our world? Why are we broke? Are are we really? Annie Leonard, from The Story of Stuff tries to help us understand. What do you think?

Walter Brueggemann – A Message for Christ the King Sunday

Walter Brueggemann is Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary. He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, and a past president of the Society of Biblical Literature. He has recently authored “Disruptive Grace” (Fortress Press). (source, here)

Those Christians who are following the Revised Common Lectionary are celebrating today the Feast of Christ the King. It is the last Sunday of the liturgical year and it marks the eschatological celebration of the end of history with the coronation of Christ as Lord and Saviour of the Universe.. The following Sunday marks the beginning of the Advent and of the new liturgical year (year B in the western church calendar – you may find HERE the readings for the Advent period).

On the occasion of this feast, the renowned Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann, has published in Huffington Post an exegesis and a commentary on Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24, the OT text prescribed by the lectionary for this special Sunday.

I will let you read HERE, in the first part of the article, Brueggemann’s exegesis and I will transcribe below, for your consideration, what I consider to be  the most important parts of his commentary and actualisation of the text (emphasis is mine).Read More »

Pope Benedict – A Critique of Marxism… and Capitalism

Catholic social doctrine has always supported that equitable distribution of goods is a priority. Naturally, profit is legitimate and, in just measure, necessary for economic development.

In his Encyclical Centesimus Annus, John Paul II wrote: “The modern business economy has positive aspects. Its basis is human freedom exercised in many other fields” (n. 32). Yet, he adds that capitalism must not be considered as the only valid model of economic organization (cf. ibid., n. 35).

Starvation and ecological emergencies stand to denounce, with increasing evidence, that the logic of profit, if it prevails, increases the disproportion between rich and poor and leads to a ruinous exploitation of the planet.

Instead, when the logic of sharing and solidarity prevails, it is possible to correct the course and direct it towards an equitable, sustainable development.Read More »

An Evening with Barbara Ehrenreich

If you became interested in the subject of the dangerous effects of the delusional American capitalist ideology called ‘positive thinking’, you may want to watch a more extended presentation. You will need about an hour for this.

Friday, October 23, 2009 – 7:00 pm

Ehrenreich reveals how Positive Thinking has infiltrated every part of American culture and she exposes the downside of this insistence on always and only seeing the bright side. She tracks this phenomenon to all corners of society—the medical profession, which encourages staying positive as a form of healing; the mega-churches, which spread the good news of the prosperity gospel and that God wants you to buy that car or home, even if it means going further into debt; and most of all, the business community, where the refusal to consider negative outcomes—like mortgage defaults—and CEOs groundless optimism have replaced risk analysis as the basis for company decisions. Positive thinking has become a beacon of hope for many but all blind optimism has its consequences, not least a failure to find the real culprits or tackle the real causes at work. Bright-Sided is a call for a clear-eyed assessment of the problems at hand and a return to realism in America.

Bright-Sided – How Positive Thinking is Undermining America

A sharp-witted knockdown of America’s love affair with positive thinking and an urgent call for a new commitment to realism

Americans are a “positive” people—cheerful, optimistic, and upbeat: this is our reputation as well as our self-image. But more than a temperament, being positive, we are told, is the key to success and prosperity.

In this utterly original take on the American frame of mind, Barbara Ehrenreich traces the strange career of our sunny outlook from its origins as a marginal nineteenth-century healing technique to its enshrinement as a dominant, almost mandatory, cultural attitude. Evangelical mega-churches preach the good news that you only have to want something to get it, because God wants to “prosper” you. The medical profession prescribes positive thinking for its presumed health benefits. Academia has made room for new departments of “positive psychology” and the “science of happiness.” Nowhere, though, has bright-siding taken firmer root than within the business community, where, as Ehrenreich shows, the refusal even to consider negative outcomes—like mortgage defaults—contributed directly to the current economic crisis. Read More »

Iarasi despre sclavii chinezi ai capitalistului ‘drept-maritor’ Iulian Dascalu

In noiembrie 2008 povesteam AICI despre felul in care un capitalist iesean fara scrupule, dar care se da mare drept-credincios, cu trecere la Patriarh, ii insela pe chinezii adusi sa lucreze la complexul Palas.

Atunci am primit nenumarate amenintari, mai mult sau mai putin voalate, de la slugoii naimiti ai lui Dascalu.

Iata insa ca istoria se repeta.

Ziarele scriu astazi despre o noua revolta a sclavilor chinezi ai ciocoiului iesean. Motivul, din nou, salariile mici. adica cu totul altele decit cele promise de acest mincinos patentat.Read More »

John Mackey and Capitalist Paradise

According to John Mackey in this clip, we are already in Paradise, the capitalist one. Capitalism is THE solution and it has already brought happiness and prosperity to billions.

With such a successful ideology, who needs God?

By the way, look HERE and you will see that this part of a major propaganda campaign. Will they find enough naive people to believe them?Read More »

A Psychological Analysis of the Riots in the UK – UPDATE


(Source of picture, HERE)

Zoe Williams, a Guardian columnist, has written the best analysis I have read until now on the roots and the meaning of the riots in the UK. Reading this article I was wondering where are the ethics theologians when we need them.

I paste below a few quotes from this remarkable text, in the hope that this will motivate you to read it in its entirety.Read More »