Posts Tagged ‘nationalism’

Mario Vargas Llosa

Mario Vargas Llosa: “Political correctness is the enemy of freedom”

https://elpais.com/elpais/2018/02/27/inenglish/1519736544_699462.html

Besides writing prize-winning fiction, the Nobel Laureate has fought tirelessly for civil liberties. With his new book, ‘The Call of the Tribe,’ he promotes liberal thought and pays tribute to seven authors who embrace it. We talk to him about liberalism, intellectual blindness and the dangers facing democracy today

liberalism defends some basic ideas: freedom, individualism, the rejection of collectivism and nationalism – in other words, all the ideologies or doctrines that limit or annihilate freedom within society.

Nationalism is present, but my impression is that, as with Catalonia, it’s a minority and the strength of democratic institutions is going to gradually undermine it until it’s derailed.

I wanted to be a communist. I thought communism represented the antithesis of a military dictatorship, corruption and, above all, inequality.
But the communism in Latin America was pure Stalinism, with parties subject to the Comintern in Moscow.
Fidel invited myself and a dozen other intellectuals to speak to him. We spent the whole night, 12 hours, from eight in the afternoon to eight the next morning, basically listening to him speak. It was impressive, but not very convincing.

Blindly, intellectuals have always seen democracy as a mediocre system that lacked the beauty, perfection and coherence of the big ideologies. And this blindness is not incompatible with great intelligence. How could Heidegger, perhaps the greatest philosopher in recent times, for example, be a Nazi? The same happened with communism. It attracted writers and poets of great stature who applauded the Gulag. Sartre, the most intelligent French philosopher of the 20th century supported the Cultural Revolution in China.

In Latin America, if you weren’t a left-wing intellectual in the 1970s, you simply weren’t an intellectual. You were shut out. Culture was controlled by a left that was very clannish and dogmatic and that had a profound warping effect on cultural life

intelligence is not a guarantee of intellectual honesty.

In the case of misinformation and manipulation, communism was incredibly clever at distorting things, undermining honest people and masking lies with false truths that came to substitute reality.

 

Orban Hungary populism

PODCAST – Dean Starkman: “We are looking at the Golden Age of Public Corruption”

PODCAST – Dean Starkman: “We are looking at the Golden Age of Public Corruption”

Разговор с американския журналист Дийн Старкман, който е един от редакторите на Paradise Papers и има над 20-годишен…

Posted by America for Bulgaria on Monday, May 7, 2018

Dean Starkman is a fellow at Center for Media, Data and Society and a visiting lecturer at the School of Public Policy at Central European University, Budapest. He and Ben Novak discuss the challenges facing public interest journalism, the transformation of journalism as whole, and where things are going from here.

+++++++++++
more on Hungary in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=hungary

more on populism in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=populism

Slavenka Drakulic and Yugoslavia

DRAKULIĆ, S. (2017, October 19). Tackling the virus of nationalism. Retrieved October 30, 2017, from http://www.eurozine.com/tackling-the-virus-of-nationalism/
Drakulić, S. (2017, October 10). La gran cronista de los Balcanes: El virus del nacionalismo ha despertado en España. Noticias de Mundo. Retrieved October 30, 2017, from https://www.elconfidencial.com/mundo/2017-10-08/independencia-catalana-nacionalismo-balcanes-espana_1457330/

More from Drakulic:

DRAKULIC, S. (2009). The Generation That Failed. Nation289(16), 16-17.

http://login.libproxy.stcloudstate.edu/login?qurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ebscohost.com%2flogin.aspx%3fdirect%3dtrue%26db%3daph%26AN%3d44864523%26site%3dehost-live%26scope%3dsite

Slavenka describec what the East Germans called Die Quall der Wahl

When communism fell, Poland had Solidarity and Lech Walesa, Czechoslovakia had Václav Havel, Hungary had Fidesz, Bulgaria had Zhelyu Zhelev—and Yugoslavia had no democratic opposition at all. My note: Little she knew about the Bulgarian Opposition

A few years before the breakup of Yugoslavia, the political landscape was already filled with communists-turnednationalists (like Slobodan Milosevic and Franjo Tudjman). Nationalism became the only political “alter native” in Yugoslavia, leading us directly to wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo.

Yes, my generation lived too well, and obviously we mistook freedom and democracy for the freedom of shopping in the West. And as in a medieval morality play, we had to pay for that in the three wars to follow: our children fought those wars; they were killed, and their limbs were severed.

Drakulic, S. (2011). Serbia’s War Criminal. Nation292(25), 8. http://login.libproxy.stcloudstate.edu/login?qurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ebscohost.com%2flogin.aspx%3fdirect%3dtrue%26db%3daph%26AN%3d61138708%26site%3dehost-live%26scope%3dsite

Slavenka, D. (2008). Seduced by power and vanity. Toronto Star (Canada).

http://login.libproxy.stcloudstate.edu/login?qurl=http%3a%2f%2fsearch.ebscohost.com%2flogin.aspx%3fdirect%3dtrue%26db%3drps%26AN%3d6FP2091659851%26site%3dehost-live%26scope%3dsite

 

+++++++++++++++++++
more on history in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=history

Robert Paxton

The Cultural Axis

The Nazi-Fascist New Order for European Culture

by Benjamin G. Martin
Harvard University Press, 370 pp., $39.95
“When I hear the word ‘culture,’ I reach for my revolver.”
Kultur, he explains (along with Bildung, or education), denoted in pre-unification Germany those qualities that the intellectuals and professionals of the small, isolated German middle class claimed for themselves in response to the disdain of the minor German nobles who employed them: intellectual achievement, of course, but also simple virtues like authenticity, honesty, and sincerity.
German courtiers, by contrast, according to the possessors of Kultur, had acquired “civilization” from their French tutors: manners, social polish, the cultivation of appearances. As the German middle class asserted itself in the nineteenth century, the particular virtues of Kultur became an important ingredient in national self-definition. The inferior values of “civilization” were no longer attributed to an erstwhile French-educated German nobility, but to the French themselves and to the West in general.
By 1914, the contrast between Kultur and Zivilisation had taken on a more aggressively nationalist tone. During World War I German patriotic propaganda vaunted the superiority of Germany’s supposedly rooted, organic, spiritual Kultur over the allegedly effete, shallow, cosmopolitan, materialist, Jewish-influenced “civilization” of Western Europe. Martin’s book shows how vigorously the Nazis applied this traditional construct.
Goebbels and Hitler were as obsessed with movies as American adolescents are today with social media.
Music was a realm that Germans felt particularly qualified to dominate. But first the German national musical scene had to be properly organized. In November 1933 Goebbels offered Richard Strauss the leadership of a Reich Music Chamber.
Goebbels organized in Düsseldorf in 1938 a presentation of “degenerate music” following the better-known 1937 exhibition of “degenerate art.”
As with music, the Nazis were able to attract writers outside the immediate orbit of the Nazi and Fascist parties by endorsing conservative literary styles against modernism, by mitigating copyright and royalty problems, and by offering sybaritic visits to Germany and public attention.
Painting and sculpture, curiously, do not figure in this account of the cultural fields that the Nazis and Fascists tried to reorganize “inter-nationally,” perhaps because they had not previously been organized on liberal democratic lines. Picasso and Kandinsky painted quietly in private and Jean Bazaine organized an exhibition with fellow modernists in 1941. Nazi cultural officials thought “degenerate” art appropriate for France.
Science would have made an interesting case study, a contrary one. Germany dominated the world of science before 1933. Germans won fifteen Nobel Prizes in physics, chemistry, and physiology or medicine between 1918 and 1933, more than any other nation. Far from capitalizing on this major soft power asset, Hitler destroyed it by imposing ideological conformity and expelling Jewish scientists such as the talented nuclear physicist Lise Meitner. The soft power of science is fragile, as Americans may yet find out.
American soft power thrived mostly through the profit motive and by offering popular entertainment to the young.

+++++++++++++++

The Original Axis of Evil

THE ANATOMY   OF FASCISM By Robert O. Paxton. 321 pp. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. $26.

fascism — unlike Communism, socialism, capitalism or conservatism — is a smear word more often used to brand one’s foes than it is a descriptor used to shed light on them.

World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 contributed mightily to the advent of fascism. The war generated acute economic malaise, national humiliation and legions of restive veterans and unemployed youths who could be harnessed politically. The Bolshevik Revolution, but one symptom of the frustration with the old order, made conservative elites in Italy and Germany so fearful of Communism that anything — even fascism — came to seem preferable to a Marxist overthrow.

Paxton debunks the consoling fiction that Mussolini and Hitler seized power. Rather, conservative elites desperate to subdue leftist populist movements ”normalized” the fascists by inviting them to share power. It was the mob that flocked to fascism, but the elites who elevated it.

Fascist movements and regimes are different from military dictatorships and authoritarian regimes. They seek not to exclude, but rather to enlist, the masses. They often collapse the distinction between the public and private sphere (eliminating the latter). In the words of Robert Ley, the head of the Nazi Labor Office, the only private individual who existed in Nazi Germany was someone asleep.

t was this need to keep citizens intoxicated by fascism’s dynamism that made Mussolini and Hitler see war as both desirable and necessary. ”War is to men,” Mussolini insisted, ”as maternity is to women.”

For every official American attempt to link Islamic terrorism to fascism, there is an anti-Bush protest that applies the fascist label to Washington’s nationalist rhetoric, assault on civil liberties and warmaking.

+++++++++++++

Is Fascism Back?

https://www.project-syndicate.org/onpoint/is-fascism-back-by-robert-o–paxton-2016-01

++++++++++++

Paxton, R. O. (1998). The five stages of fascism. Journal Of Modern History70(1), 1.

Paxton, R. O. (2012). The Civic Foundations of Fascism in Europe: Italy, Spain and Romania, 1870-1945. New Left Review, (74), 140-144.

Paxton, R. O. (2000). Nationalism, Anti-Semitism and Fascism in France (Book Review). Journal Of Modern History72(3), 814.

++++++++
more on history in this IMS blog
http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=history