What’s Missing from the Pope and Patriarch’s Statement on Climate Change – Public Orthodoxy

Source: What’s Missing from the Pope and Patriarch’s Statement on Climate Change – Public Orthodoxy

O blatantly neoliberal view of ecology – with the worship of the so-called ‘free market’ and wild capitalism included; a genuine ‘gospel according to capitalism’.
And, of course, very critical of the biblical and theological critique made by Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch to the incessant and unmoderated search for profit with the excuse of looking for the illusionaary greatest good for most people, in spite of the worrying growing disparity between the richesst and the poorest of this world.

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Wealth Creation Manifesto | Mats Tunehag

Source: Wealth Creation Manifesto | Mats Tunehag

This is an evangelical document thamt needs careful attention in the current wworld situation, and the relatine disentrest of churchees in world economics.

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 »

WeFood – The Most Interesting Supermarket in the World

WeFood

Food waste has met its most innovative opponent yet, a new supermarket in Denmark, where the vegetables are dirt cheap—and too ugly or old to sell elsewhere.

WeFood, which opened in Copenhagen this week, stocks only food that is past its official expiration date or unworthy of other supermarket shelves because of aesthetic imperfections and damaged packaging. The grocer, opened by Danish NGO Folkekirkens Nødhjælp, is hoping to lure shoppers of all socioeconomic backgrounds by selling its food at steep discounts — somewhere between 30 to 50 percent cheaper than other standard supermarkets.

The new supermarket is a not-so-subtle swing at the modern food system, which often prioritizes food safety at the expense of waste. Roughly one-third of all food produced worldwide ends up in the garbage, complicating efforts to alleviate hunger around the globe. But the problem is especially pronounced in developed countries, thanks in large part to stigmas attached to unappealing fruit and vegetables and overly conservative expiration dates.Read More »

Englewood Review of Books – Ten Social Critics that Christians Should Be Reading

Englewood Review of Books

The work of social critics is vital for the health and flourishing of the church, because they remind us of the brokenness of the world and challenge us to imagine new and more healthy ways of sharing life together.

Here are ten social critics whose work has been particularly helpful for me in trying to discern how to live faithfully in the twenty-first century. With each critic, I’ve included an excerpt that will serve as an introduction to that writer’s work.

Here is the list, with a few details about each author:

Wendell Berry

A Kentucky farmer and writer, Berry’s work challenges us to live peacefully within the created created and to find ways to vitalize our local communities.

Jacques Ellul

Ellul (1915-1994) was a French lawyer and scholar, renowned for his criticisms of technological society.  He also wrote a number of insightful theological works.

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Coates is a national correspondent for The Atlantic, whose 2015 book Between The World and Me won the National Book Award, among many others.Read More »

Margaret Heffernan: Why it’s time to forget the pecking order at work

Organizations are often run according to “the superchicken model,” where the value is placed on star employees who outperform others. And yet, this isn’t what drives the most high-achieving teams. Business leader Margaret Heffernan observes that it is social cohesion — built every coffee break, every time one team member asks another for help — that leads over time to great results. It’s a radical rethink of what drives us to do our best work, and what it means to be a leader. Because as Heffernan points out: “Companies don’t have ideas. Only people do.”

Does your company or organisation follow this wisdom? Does mine?

The former CEO of five businesses, Margaret Heffernan explores the all-too-human thought patterns — like conflict avoidance and selective blindness — that lead organizations and managers astray.

Average Wealth per Adult in Europe

wealth-per-capita-europe

Credit Suisse recently published a study comparing the wealth (net worth) of an average adult (as an individual, not the wealth of the whole state divided by its population) in different countries, and the differences are stunning. Switzerland leads the chart with staggering 567,000 dollars, and the only other European nations with values over 300,000 are Iceland, Norway, United Kingdom, Sweden, and Luxembourg.

On the other side of the spectrum are Eastern European nations, reaching values as low as USD 1,437 for Ukraine, 1,551 for Belarus, and 3,104 for Moldova. It should be noted, however, that Credit Suisse described the quality of sources of data for these countries as “poor”, so the figures may be somewhat inaccurate.

(Source, HERE.)

Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us

Liana Enli Manusajyan About ‘Electric Yerevan’ – An Interview

Liana Manusajyan
Liana Enli Manusajyan

During my trip to Armenia, that I have just finished, I had the privilege of meeting Liana Manusajyan, a young human rights lawyer, who is also a member of the Advisory Council of World Vision Armenia.

During our short meeting we were able to talk about the recent peaceful demonstrations in Yerevan, Liana being one of the organisers. She has the kindness of responding to a few questions and allowed me to publish here her answers. Here is the short interview.

* * *

DMArmenia is, for me, a paradoxical country. Armenians are smart, industrious and well educated people. However, Armenia, to a certain extent like my own country, Romania, is a poor country. How do you explain this paradox?
LEM – The reason of our paradox is monopolization of fields. No competition. Everything is centralizes in the hands of few people who don’t allow the competition.
DMBecause of its geographic location, of complex historical circumstances and the decision of its leaders in the last two decades, Armenia is under the spell of Putin Russian empire. Along the years I have been surprised by the level of acceptance that Armenians have of this political and economic dependence of the ‘Bi+g Bear’. Am I right? And, if so, why do you think this is the case?
LEM –  You are right. The thing is that Russia wants to have control over economy and politics in Armenia. We have economical dependence on Russia and till we won’t find other alternatives to escape that economical dependence we should somehow take them into account.

Read More »

Stop taierii padurilor din Romania

Mesaj catre Presedintele Iohannis pentru recunoasterea genocidului armean

Domnule Presedinte,

Pe 24 aprilie se implinesc 100 de ani de la teribilul genocid caruia i-au cazut victime circa 1,5 milioane de armeni.

Din pacate, Romania, din pricina unor calcule politice meschine, legate de interesele turcesti in Romania, si de interesele romanesti in raport cu Turcia, nu a recunoscut acest act criminal sub presedintii anteriori.

Cred ca a sosit vremea unui act de dreptate istorica, oricit de mult am pierde economic ca urmare a acestuia.

Daca victimele acestei crime oribile ar fi fost romani, nu ne-am fi asteptat ca armenii, si altii, sa fie solidari cu noi?

Sper ca intelepciunea si simtul dreptatii vor prevela, macar de data aceasta, asupra pragmatismului politic si economic ce domina cel mai adesea destinul poapoarelor mici si le face sa nu conteze in istorie.

Cu sincera pretuire,

Danut Manastireanu

* * *

Am transmis astazi presedintelui Iohannis, pe contul sau de Facebook, mesajul de mai sus. Sper ca voi primi un raspuns. Sau, si mai bine, voi vedea un act public de dreptate. Sa dea Dumnezeu!

Paul Tudor Jones II – Why We Need to Rethink Capitalism

Paul Tudor Jones II loves capitalism. It’s a system that has done him very well over the last few decades. Nonetheless, the hedge fund manager and philanthropist is concerned that a laser focus on profits is, as he puts it, “threatening the very underpinnings of society.” In this thoughtful, passionate talk, he outlines his planned counter-offensive, which centers on the concept of “justness.”

The Amazing Story of Iceland’s Economic Recovery

Iceland map

Iceland went through a deep economic crisis in 2008. This tragedy, which could have led to the economic enslavement of the country – the Greek scenario – was the occasion of a major restart of the Icelandic society, on very different principles from the reigning neo-liberal vulgata that controls presently the Western world, with dire consequences that are continuously exposed prophetically by Pope Francis, which makes the preachers of the neo-liberal false ‘gospel’, to accuse him of being a communist. They would have done that to Jesus too, if he lived today. So, the pope is in good company.

How did the whole thing started? Here is one version of it:

Five years of a pure neo-liberal regime had made Iceland, (population 320 thousand, no army), one of the richest countries in the world. In 2003 all the country’s banks were privatized, and in an effort to attract foreign investors, they offered on-line banking whose minimal costs allowed them to offer relatively high rates of return. The accounts, called IceSave, attracted many English and Dutch small investors.  But as investments grew, so did the banks’ foreign debt.  In 2003 Iceland’s debt was equal to 200 times its GNP, but in 2007, it was 900 percent. Read More »

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 »

How Do People Define Financial Success Around the World

how people define success

‘More and more, affluent individuals in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East are placing value in experiences over things. 30% of the survey’s 1,000 respondents rated international travel as their most desired experience, followed by culinary experiences (23%) and golf (12%).’

Read more on Business Insider.

Map of Wage Gap Between Men and Women

Global Gender Pay Gap

(Source, TIME)

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 »

Rowan Williams at Changing the Landscape

Rowan Williams discusses the mixed economy at Changing the Landscape, 6th May 2011, Oxford.

Thanks to my son, Daniel for the link.

Pope Francis Against Fracking and Destructive Mining

Pope Francis Against Fracking

Pope Francis - Water is worth more than gold

Read about this HERE, in English; and HERE, in Romanian.

Un intreprinzator roman cere statului documente justificative pentru a-si plati taxele si impozitele

Declaratie pe propria raspundere:

In atentia domnului Prim-Ministru – Victor Ponta si a domnului Ministru de Finante – Daniel Chitoiu

Domnilor Ministri,

Subsemnatul Catalin-Teodor Dogaru va informeaza ca, incepand cu data de 1 decembrie 2013, pentru a plati in continuare taxele si impozitele aferente (CAS, cota unica etc. etc.) trebuie sa primesc de la dumneavoastra urmatoarele documente:

A. O singura data:

A.1 : Carte de identitate – copie (aduceti, va rog si originalul, pentru a confrunta)

A.2 : Documentele de investitura in functia de Prim-Ministru, respectiv Ministru de Finante (incluzand ordinul semnat de presedintele Statului) – copie legalizata

A.3 : Proiectul de buget in varianta finala pe anii 2012 si 2013 in care se va mentiona clar traseul banilor incasati din taxele si impozitele platite de mine – copie legalizata

A. 4: Extras de cont pentru conturile in care va primiti salariile – semnate si stampilate de banca!Read More »

Mariana Mazzucato: Government — investor, risk-taker, innovator

I am sure my friends on the right politically, who think that the state is the arch-enemy, will hate listening to this. Yet, they should, in the hope they can understand a thing or two and come to a more balanced view of economics and stop worshiping the supposedly sacred free market economy.

Why doesn’t the government just get out of the way and let the private sector — the “real revolutionaries” — innovate? It’s rhetoric you hear everywhere, and Mariana Mazzucato wants to dispel it. In an energetic talk, she shows how the state — which many see as a slow, hunkering behemoth — is really one of our most exciting risk-takers and market-shapers.

Which actor in the economy is most responsible for making radical innovation happen? Mariana Mazzucato comes up with a surprising answer: the state.

Mariana Mazzucato

States and governments are often depicted as slow, bureaucratic, risk-averse. That argument is used in support of making states smaller and the private sector bigger. In her latest book, The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Private vs. Public Myths in Innovation and in her research, Mariana Mazzucato offers a bold contrarian view: States aren’t only market regulators and fixers, but “market makers” — actively creating a vision for innovation and investing in risky and uncertain areas where private capital may not see the ROI. Yes: Private venture capital is much less risk-taking than generally thought. As an example, the technology behind the iPhone and Google exists because the U.S. government has been very interventionist in funding innovation. Private investors jumped in only later. The same is true today of what promises to be the next big thing after the Internet: the green revolution.

Mazzucato, a professor of economics at the Science and Technology Policy Research Unit (SPRU, University of Sussex), argues that Europe needs today to rediscover that role — that what the continent needs is not austerity but strategic investments (and new instruments such as public investments banks) towards an “innovation Union.”

The Story of Solutions – Better Rather Than More

The Story of Solutions explores how we can move our economy in a more sustainable and just direction, starting with orienting ourselves toward a new goal.

In the current ‘Game of More’, we’re told to cheer a growing economy – more roads, more malls, more Stuff! – even though our health indicators are worsening, income inequality is growing and polar icecaps are melting. But what if we changed the point of the game? What if the goal of our economy wasn’t more, but better – better health, better jobs and a better chance to survive on the planet?

Shouldn’t that be what winning means?

Over the coming year, we’ll be highlighting and supporting game-changing solutions that get us on the path to Better. We’ll be looking to you for examples from where you live and calling on you to help grow Solutions.

Scott Anthony – Five Ways to Innovate Faster

The Harvard Business Review blog publishes a very interesting post by Scott Anthony, managing partner of the innovation and growth for the consulting firm Innosight, in which he outlines five ways of boosting innovation in the corporate (and, I would also suggest, in the not-for-profit sector).

Here they are:

1. Form small, focused teams. Small teams almost always move faster than large teams.

2. Push to learn in market. …he search for tomorrow’s business has to be conducted in or close to the market.

3. Measure learning, not results. Executives should pepper teams with questions like, “What did you learn? What do you still not know?”Read More »

Emil Stoica – Despre Londra, putin altfel

London

Cel mai capitalist oras al lumii se umple de comunisti

Comunisti, adica oameni care pun activele la comun si nu au nevoie neparat de a se simti proprietari.

Vorbesc despre Londra, un oras unde oamenii detin din ce in ce mai putine active fizice.

Lumea sta mai degraba cu chirie, este mai flexibila mai ales cand trebuie sa schimbi serviciul. Nu mai iti cumperi masina pentru ca este oricum greu sa o parchezi si costa destul de mult – si ca bani, dar mai ales ca timp – pentru cele cateva ore pe saptamana cat ai avea nevoie. Folesti mai mult taxiul si, daca ai nevoie de un pic mai mult exista nu numai firme de inchiriat clasice, dar si masini de inchiriat pe orice strada prin firme precum Zipcar. Nu mai ai nevoie sa tii bicicleta pe balcon pentru ca exista scheme de folosit biciclete publice. Numarul de calatorii cu masina si de kilometri parcursi cu masina a scazut an de an in ultimii 10 ani, lumea prefera din ce in ce mai mult transportul public sau mersul cu bicicleta publica.Read More »

Against Chrapitalism

Debt. The First 5,000 Years  The Faith of the Faithless

Love Is Stronger than Debt
Against Chrapitalism

by Eugene McCarraher

If the last five years of American politics have demonstrated anything, it’s that Marx’s dictum about the modern state couldn’t be more indisputable: our government is the executive committee for the common affairs of the bourgeoisie. Now more than ever, our liberal democracy is a corporate franchise, and the stockholders are demanding an ever-higher return on their investment in America, Inc. Over the last four decades, the Plutocracy has decided to repeal the 20th century, to cancel the gains and protections won by workers, the poor, and others outside the imperial aristocracy of capital. Enough of this coddling of those Ayn Rand vilified as “moochers” and “looters.” Return the country to its rightful owners: the “Job Creators,” the Almighty Entrepreneurs, those anointed by Heaven to control the property interests of the American Empire. Endowed with the Divine Right of Capital, they deserve our thanksgiving and reverence, for without them we would not deserve to live, such common clay are we.

Lest anyone think that the re-election of President Barack Obama invalidates this judgment, think again. Mitt Romney may have been a more egregious and openly disdainful lord of the manor, but Obama has compiled an impeccable record of imperial corporate stewardship. Despite all the hype about a rising progressive coalition of non-whites and young people, there is no reason to believe that Obama’s second term of office will be any less a model of deference.

The Plutocracy’s beatific vision for the mass of Americans is wage servitude: a fearful, ever-busy, and cheerfully abject pool of human resources. Rendered lazy and recalcitrant by a half-century of mooching, American workers must be forced to be free: crush labor unions, keep remuneration low, cut benefits and lengthen working hours, close or narrow every avenue of escape or repose from accumulation. If they insist on living like something more than the whining, expendable widgets they are, reduce them to a state of debt peonage with an ensemble of financial shackles: mortgages, credit cards, and student loans, all designed to ensure that the wage slaves utter two words siren-sweet to business: “Yes, boss.” It’s the latest chapter in the depressing story that David Graeber relates in Debt: debt as an especially insidious weapon in the arsenal of social control. “There’s no better way to justify relations founded on violence … than by reframing them in the language of debt,” he writes, “because it immediately makes it seem that it’s the victim who’s doing something wrong.”Read More »

Bill Moyers – An American Who Tells the Truth

Bill Moyer

Bill Moyers, Broadcast Journalist, Public Servant, Baptist Minister: b. 1934

“The framers of our nation never imagined what could happen if big government, big publishing, and big broadcasters ever saw eye to eye in putting the public’s need for news second to their own interests — and to the ideology of market economics. The greatest moments in the history of the press came not when journalists made common cause with the state but when they stood fearlessly independent of it.”Read More »

Crayola, Make Your Mark! Join your voice to the call!

Every year, Crayola makes about half a billion markers — enough markers to wrap around the earth more than three times! — and sells them all around the world. Millions of kids use and love Crayola products — including the students at Sun Valley School, where I volunteer. That’s why we’re asking Crayola to make sure these markers don’t end up in our landfills, incinerators and oceans.

“I love your markers, but I’d like to tell you it’s polluting. So can I please send some of your markers back? I love your product, but hate pollution,” Zachary, age 9.

Around the world, people are starting to realize the massive problem of discarded plastics. It’s not only a waste of resources — it is detrimental to our wellbeing. Plastics, which escape into the ocean, are entering our food chain as they are weathered and broken down into smaller and smaller pieces. By establishing a take-back program for their plastic markers, Crayola can stop millions of markers from becoming pollution and waste.Read More »