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Posts Tagged ‘paz’

War at the crossroads and pandemic under review

30 Jan

Analyzing these two themes of great global relevance, complicating elements of the great civilizing crisis, which we have already analyzed the political and cultural aspect that is its background, we see a war on a global scale and a pandemic under analysis by the WHO, regarding the use of the term.

These are two euphemisms, as the war already has global proportions with the sending of Leopard tanks by Germany and Poland, while Russia sends its ship called “the end of the world” to international waters in the North Atlantic, there is no prospect of Peace, the pandemic continues what is being discussed is whether the word should continue to be used, the kraker variant infection is already seen worldwide as fast and easy to transmit.

After the announcement of the delivery of Leopard tanks to Ukraine, Russia has already bombed the country with hypersonic missiles that are out of radar range and announced the development in scale of the Poseidon nuclear weapon (image), an Autonomous Nuclear torpedo with intercontinental capacity, as relies on submarines can reach coastal cities in practically all continents.

Vice-President of Security Council and ex-president of Russia Dmitri Medvedev said that whoever has nuclear weapons does not lose a war, and the declaration is seen as a threat to the involvement of European countries and the United States, now seen as direct involvement by the declared shipment of weapons.

Analysts from all over the world, including the so-called symbolic “Doomsday clock”, which began after the end of World War II, advanced the “clock” to 90 seconds from midnight, due to the war in Ukraine and the escalation of threats between the West and Russia.

In 1945, created by biophysicist Eugene Rabinovitch and organized by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the Doomsday Clock featured scientists such as Albert Einstein, J. Robbert Oppencheimer and Marx Born, who are still renowned scientists who maintain this analysis, the 23:58 time: 30 is the closest since its inception.

The WHO is also considering suspending the state of “public health emergency of international interest”, a euphemism for declaring the end of the pandemic, which is worrying because more than 170,000 deaths have resulted in China alone in recent weeks, and the kraken variant continues expanding, with this the help of nations with health difficulties and a global policy to combat the virus is weakened.

I do not believe that the current crisis, which includes and is based on cultural values, can dissipate, but attitudes of peace and care for life can give us some warning, the authorities must bear this in mind.

Addendum:

After the publication of this post, came the official WHO statement: “We cannot control the covid-19 virus, but we can do more to deal with the vulnerabilities of populations and health systems”, said its Director General Tedros Adhanom this Monday. -Friday (01/30/2023).

 

 

One year of war and three of pandemic

23 Jan

On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) was alerted about cases of pneumonia in the city of Wuhan in China, in Brazil although there were cases without a precise diagnosis, I remember a case that was reported in Minas Gerais, only in On March 11th, when the WHO characterized the situation as a “pandemic”, it started a combat process in Brazil.

Accurate data is lacking, however WHO continues to talk about advancing numbers and the Kraken variant (other is Othrus, CH.1.1, appear in England) and China has had records of infections.

For those who don’t remember, March 11, 2011 was also the date of a tsunami that affected the Fukushima plant (in the photo the tsunami in Minamisoma, Japan), just to remind you that both natural disasters and those of a war can affect the 447 reactors nuclear weapons in operation in 30 countries (according to data from the WNA, World Nuclear Association), in addition to the nuclear weapons that are growing all over the world.

In a meeting at the Ramstein military air base in Germany, members of the EU, Canada, Japan, USA, and among Latin American countries, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, signed their support for Ukraine. Brazil did not sign.

The request for sending Leopard tanks, the most advanced and manufactured in Germany, has not been decided, Finland will be able to send 200 units that it has of this type of military vehicle, the next meeting will include the sending of 4th fighters. Generation, Russia has the powerful MIg-31 with strike and aircraft intercept capability in combat.

The warnings should be seriously discussed by those who claim to fight for life and peace, the use of rhetoric no longer works due to social media, at all times election campaign lies and populist statements are confronted with an increasingly warlike reality.

 

 

Multiculturalism and diversity

19 Jan

As we outlined in previous posts, there is no way to talk about conflict and peace these days without addressing the cultural background issue and in them the philosophical ideas that are a background and how it could not be otherwise is also discussed by Zizek.

The discourse of cultural diversity, politically translated into multiculturalism, has not solved the problems of the contemporary world, Angela Merkel speaking on October 17, 2010 to a youth meeting of the Christian Democratic Union declared: “This multicultural approach, which says that we simply have to live side by side side by side and be happy with each other, was a complete failure” (p. 51), and there introduced the Leitkultur (dominant culture) debate which insisted “that every state is based on a predominant cultural space that must be respected by members of other cultures who live in the same space” (idem).

What was found is that “the conflict over multiculturalism is already a conflict over Leitkultur: it is not a conflict between cultures, but a conflict between different visions about how different cultures can and should coexist, about the rules and practices that these cultures must share if they want to coexist” (idem), and what happened was that the dominant culture wanted to dictate its vision of particular diversity.

I was once in a dialogue between Christians and non-believers full of spirit and curiosity and what I saw was an attempt to impose a particular vision of Christianity on atheism, double betrayal and no dialogue.

Clarifies Zizek, when speaking of gays: “At this level, of course, we are never tolerant enough, or we are always too tolerant, neglecting women’s rights, etc. The only way out of this impasse is to propose a universal positive project, shared by all interested parties, and to fight for it” (ibidem), this is the end of Chap. 3 “The return of the bad ethnic thing” that I purposely avoid to just listen and shut up, since as a white person of European descent, I am part of Leitkultur.

Just as many European thinkers want, Edgar Morin in his defense of a global citizenship, Peter Sloterdijk who asks Europe to wake up, in his own way Zizek asks for a positive emancipating Leitkultur, “not just respecting others, offering a common struggle, because today our problems are common” (Zizek, 2012, p. 52).

Chapter 4 could now be rewritten, since “the desert of post-ideology” has given way to the return of the ideological struggle of the beginning of the last century, we are going in circles and going backwards.

The rest of the book talks about the Arab spring, the “occupy” movements and ends with “beyond envy and resentment”, the one that Nietzsche drew so well, but just look at the current discourses and they are nothing but resentments and hatred distilled and Unsuccessful envy and “the signs of the future” of conclusion now seem obscured by a lack of subtleties, clarity and sane policies interested in the common good.

ZIZEK, Slavoj. (2012). O ano que pensamos perigosamente (The year we dream dangerously). Trans. Rogerio Bettoni. Brazil, São Paulo: Boitempo.

 

 

 

Insanity in War and Indefinition in the Pandemic

16 Jan

The news of the War in Eastern Europe is that the struggle for the conquest of the Soledar region had a high military cost and the city was practically destroyed with just over 10 thousand inhabitants has a strategic military significance and the consolidation of Russian positions in the Donetsk region , while the missile frigate Zircon sails across the Atlantic.

The Ukrainian defense denies dominance in the region, while the Russian one celebrates amid a controversy with the mercenaries of the Wagner command who claim that they fought in the region.

The meaning of this battle is that of a war that each piece of territory means bloody battles and still indicate a long period, unless a more aggressive and more dangerous strategy.

The inhabitants of the neighboring city of Sirversk dream of peace, but it could be the next combat, as well as the strategic city of Bahkmut for the land war.

The pandemic is experiencing days of uncertainty, neither the diagnoses nor the severity of the new variants are clear, but it is known that “kraken” is highly contagious.

Although the WHO policy is not to make a fuss and leave the measures to be taken unclear, the picture is alarming (see map)+ and the kraken variant has proven to have higher contagion rates and the effectiveness of vaccines from the WHO is not clear. first lineage.

What is expected in war and in the pandemic is that affective measures are found to save lives, avoid even greater radicalization than the current situation and give simple people hope for a future with peace and security.

 

The causes of peace

12 Jan

This is the subtitle of chapter 7 “Why are we like this (2)?” of Theodore Dalrymple’s book that we analyzed this week, topic 1 which deals in particular with transcendence, we left it for the last analysis, although the book does not end there, although this title goes to “Why are we like this (7)?” and then talks consequences, but I think we should first think about why we think that way and where did our culture go, which is the author’s essential purpose expressed in other books of his authorship.

The aspect of the causes of contemporary relativism was already discussed in the previous topic: empirical and abstract, but without overcoming in depth the dichotomy about logical (abstract) truth and scientific empiricism (valid in laboratories for specific cases) which also already has its questions both in philosophy and in science itself, see the anachronistic case of the virus, it cannot be prevented because mutations cannot be controlled and nature also reveals its strength in negative aspects, we hope that the positive thing is to rebalance the disastrous human action.

The author’s approach is interesting, but it is restricted to the European sphere, there is no analysis neither in this author nor in other Europeans there is no analysis of the colonial dispute, also in the leftmost analysis of Slavoj Žižek (I will write without the accents in the Z because for non-Slavs this is too extravagant), because in my view they all focus on state power and its palliative solutions. The peace analysis starts from the idea that the last two wars were basically caused by the conflict between Germany and France (there was the previous Franco-Prussian war, see the map), and the European Union could be a “cause of peace” since a greater harmony in Europe could destroy the reasons for the first two wars. big conflicts.

It was thought then that no one believes that “France would attack Germany, not the other way around. The resulting conclusion would be the following: without this vast European apparatus of containment, the Hun [name given to Germans during the wars] would revert to its old form” (Dalrymple, p. 111). The scenario at the time of the book seemed stable, and although it is plausible to think that greater “unity” between nations means less war, there was no thought of the possibility of England leaving the Union (Brexit, started in a plebiscite in 2017 and finalized in 2020), nor a more recent Soviet turnaround from Russia.

So the causes of peace, as we have already defended this thesis in other posts, almost always result from bad peace agreements, not just truces, but what promises a stable future, because that was how the bad agreement between Germany and France after the first World War, resulted in the Second, although the trigger was the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the already fragile Austro-Hungarian Empire and see that this region can be a trigger again once Bosnia and Serbia wave to the Russian government, and the second war ends with bad deals between NATO and the soviet empire.

The entry of countries from the east to the European Union should be distinct from joining NATO’s military force, this for example is the case with Turkey, although the threat of leaving the community remains.

However, the author points out the Achilles heel of the European Union, a “pension fund” for tired politicians who want to maintain their clientelism: “after having been defeated or losing the willingness to go through the rigors of the electoral process” (p 117).

In comparison with the Soviet state, the author says that it is possible to identify the subject fed by the EU from a kilometer and a half away: “it is a type of subject that has developed that typical countenance of the former members of the Soviet Politburo”, a tendency of the current states the left or the right, within a reasonable proposal that is a greater union between nations, which should differ from states where the appetites of its members are satisfied by those who best know how to manage their appetites, and this does not lead to a true new co-governance and true management of the public good.

So the cause of peace that would apparently come (in 2010) from a greater integration of countries, nations continue in their cultural differences, unfortunately it did not come true, the model of Pax Eterna is bankrupt.

Dalrymple, Theodore (2016). A nova síndrome de Vicky: porque os intelectuais europeus se rendem ao barbarismo. Transl. Maurício G. Righi. Brazil, São Paulo: É realizações, original english 2010.

 

 

There is something rotten

10 Jan

This is the title of the first chapter by Theodore Dalrymple in the book “The new Vicky syndrome – why European intellectuals surrender to barbarism” (É Realizations, 2016 in portuguese, english original 2010), for those who do not know Hamlet’s phrase about the kingdom of Denmark from which he was a prince, the tragedy written between 1559 and 1601, which talks about the murder of the king, father of Hamlet by his brother Claudius who wants the throne and queen Gertrude (the poster beside the film Hamlet directed and written by Michael Almereyda, 2001) , whose adaptation was criticized but I liked: “the idealism of a young man destroyed by the corruption existing in the world” says a synopsis.

He speaks of a richer Europe with greater life expectancy, recalls that Keats, Schubert and Mozart died young (25, 31 and 35 years old respectively), that “the increase in wealth and physical standard of living was impressive in Europe in the last decades” (Dalrymple, 2016, p. 17), and despite this “there is a widespread sense of imminent obliteration, or at least decline, permeating Europe” (p. 18) and I add, of a war with Russia or of an increasingly possible social conflict, now also in England and France.

In order not to wander into psychological cultural ideas and philosophies, some facts cited by Dalrymple, after 12 years of his book (the original in English was published in 2010), seem to correspond to the facts, despite his conservatism cites a “beautiful example” of the Patrick Besson’s book called Haine de la Hollande. Besson sympathizing with the Serbs when NATO launched an offensive against Serbia “as to the subsequent trial of Slobodan Milosevic as major mistakes” and says that NATO “recurred to the very same crimes of which Serbia was accused” (p. 13), to this refers to the previous post when I say use gasoline to put out the fire, and refers to the Netherlands because the jury was in The Hague.

He makes a curious and intelligent sentence about history, which seems to confirm current facts: “fanaticism is resentment in search of power; consumerism is apathy in pursuit of happiness” (p. 15), we talked the week before about what we mean by joy and here it becomes clearer that it cannot be compared to the success of fanatics or the melancholy apathy of those who seek the pleasures of consumerism .

All of this is a preface and precedes chapter 1 “Algo de rotten” which we explained the origin at the beginning, already quoted from the second paragraph a brief summary of the opulence and the fall of what Peter Sloterdijk called the “Empire of the Center” and he also describes the detour from Europe in “If Europe woke up”, we have already made some scores in posts here on this blog.

Among several aspects that the book points out, the topics on Anxiety and Weakness must be read in full to be well understood, its sentence of what is “rotten” can be read when it points out that there is an awareness that the difference “between Europe and good part of the rest of the world, both in terms of wealth and achievement in other spheres, dramatically declines, and in some areas it has reversed, causing the appearance of a major nuisance, even if it was considered inevitable in the long run* ”(here the footnote quotes Disraeli from 1838), and concludes: “no one likes to lose positions in the hierarchy of things” (Dalrymple, 2016, p. 21).

Disraeli’s quote from 1838 when he foresaw that “England will not be the factory of the world”, and this can now be extended to Europe and the rest of the world in relation to food products.

I cite here a work that I came into contact with when I was in Portugal and for which I wrote two texts: “Repensar Portugal”, when the cultured and eclectic priest Manuel Antunes said of Portugal after Salazarism, that it should return to the European continent and forget the ex- colonies, this should apply to the entire European continent now in a dramatic crisis and with threats of totalitarianism and war.

 

Dalrymple, Theodore (2016). A nova síndrome de Vicky: porque os intelectuais europeus se rendem ao barbarismo. Transl. Maurício G. Righi. Brazil, São Paulo: É realizações, original english 2010.

 

War, brazilian intervention and pandemic

09 Jan

Although the Russian government has decreed a unilateral ceasefire due to Christmas, which is celebrated there on Kings Day (which was yesterday), the war scenario is very worrying: a frigate (named Admiral Gorshkov, but there may be others navy´s movements) will sail across the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Ocean´s, with nuclear Zircon missiles, which are hypersonic and difficult to be captured by anti-missile radars.

The American government and NATO have said that they can bomb Russian territory, although Ukraine has already done so surgically reaching weapons points or military troops, now the threat is general.

In Brazil, after a day of demonstrations with invasions of the Planalto Palace (house of government), STF (Federal Court) and Legislative Assembly, the federal government decreed federal intervention in the Federal District, using Art. 34 of the Brazilian constitution, which in the third item says: “maintenance of public order”, intervention is when a higher body intervenes in a lower body that in a normal situation enjoys autonomy, that is, it is an exceptional act.

The pandemic, although enjoying stability in the country, registers a 25% increase worldwide, so being treated only as covid-19 is an understatement, although the symptoms are milder, also due to vaccination, the new variants are much more transmissible than the previous ones and Kraken (XBB.1.5) is starting to stand out, a subvariant of Omicron already present in 25 countries, with the first case registered in Brazil three days ago.

The WHO statement was “XBB.1.5, a recombination of the BA.2 sublines, is increasing in Europe and the United States, has been identified in more than 25 countries and WHO is closely monitoring it”, said its Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

It would be necessary to increase vaccination, in Brazil children have a high delay, and to quickly start inserting second-line vaccines, since the current ones are not effective for the new variants.

It is expected in the world, and especially in Brazil in this moment of tension, greater serenity and dialogue, barbarism does not solve anything, it is like putting out a fire with gasoline.

 

 

Turn of the turn: 2023

31 Dec

Where we will go depends on us, on a healthier, more fraternal environment where men desire and build peace.

Not only because of the pandemic, because of the economy and wars, the social environment becomes toxic, it is in micro-relationships, in cultural and even falsely spiritual propaganda, that the new is built or destroyed.

We talk about violence, we indicate some readings to understand cultural aspects (we indicate Zizek and Darlymple), technological with the very brief introduction of Margarete A. Boden and spiritual (we indicate Anselm Grün), but there are many other serious authors (it is necessary to separate superstitious, fatalists and soothsayers in this field), many of which indicate a great civilizational danger every year that begins.

Anselm Grün quotes in his book Aristotle: “Joy is an expression of the full life” and says it is characteristic of “those whose activities are not blocked by internal or external factors” (Grün, 2014, p. 15) and thus we also find joy in times of tension and anger, and we make room for the hopes that can only spring from a full life and its social exercise.

Zizek, in a broader sense, often defends violence in a more conscious way, states that: “Not even in the field of politics should we aspire to systems that explain everything and to projects of global emancipation; the violent imposition of great solutions must give way to specific forms of intervention and resistance”, he also said in an interview that “We do not need prophets, but leaders who encourage us to use freedom”.

In the field of technology, which is subject to criticism yes and we often quote the lucid and critical of digital media Byung Chul Han, there is a lot of daydreaming and attempts at explanations by essayists (which is what they really are) who write about technology, but because they don’t know their insides, they navigate through problems and questions that are neither demystifying nor clarifying and they do what they most criticize, which is political and religious fanaticism, due to technological ignorance.

Margarete A. Bodan’s proposed text (Artificial Intelligence – a very brief introduction), although it is historical and not very deep (in the technological aspect) is illuminating and can help critics.

All this is not because of the pandemic and the economic crisis, which are just new harmful elements, but mainly because we don’t introduce more empathy, more joy into personal and social life.

Happy 2023, Monday I have a new vision operation and we will be without access to digital media and devices for a few days, it’s a good start with this forced break.

GRÜN, A. Viver com alegria (Live Joyfully) Trans. Luiz de Lucca. Brazil, Petropolis: Voices, 2014.

 

 

 

2022 alert and hopes

29 Dec

The balance of 2022 began with the successful launch of the James Webb observatory (at Christmas 2021, but arrived in 2022), its first images and scientific data impacted astronomy and already balance current physical theories, new conceptions of the  universe itself, the formation of galaxies, dark matter and black holes and it is predictable changes in physical laws from observations.

He arrived at his destination at a point of equilibrium in the gravitational attraction of the Sun called the Lagrange point L2, and he sent the first impressive images only in June, and always accompanied here on our blog we show the first 5 images on July 12th and make them available the available zoom tool link that allows you to choose the view target in the universe.

Another warning aspect was the war in Ukraine, we followed the evasions of Russia that would not invade the country, then the invasion with the excuse that it was to fight Nazism and militarization, but the war was becoming more bloody and although they reached Kiev, after countless setbacks, has retreated, the number of dead and refugees is enormous, in addition to the physical destruction of the country, Ukraine’s reaction was a great surprise and the war will complete a year in February, still with few expectations of negotiation and peace .

Tensions between China and Taiwan, involving the US and Japan are also on the agenda, internal tensions in Islamic countries are also a cause for concern.

In Brazil, the highlight was the electoral race, wrapped in an even greater polarization than the previous one, with even worse denunciations and provocations than the previous ones, intolerance and the lack of constructive dialogue was one of the hallmarks of the elections, with the victory of the united left in a broad front, and with a reaction still from the results of the polls.

The new government however waves to conservative sectors with a center-left minister and even respected people in agribusiness, fragility is still a clear proposal in the economy, congress and the senate had an advance in the number of Conservative seats.

Throughout Latin America, the advance of leftist forces is visible, Colombia and Chile were the most impactful victories, in addition to Brazil of course, but the general picture is still a little conservative.

Throughout Latin America, the advance of leftist forces is visible, Colombia and Chile were the most impactful victories, in addition to Brazil of course, but the general picture is still a little conservative.

Covid gave signs of a truce, seeming to cool down, but at the end of the year it returns to worry about a serious health crisis in China, and the increase in cases and deaths, which could grow again to worrying levels.

There are still hopes and concerns for next year, the picture is not good for the world economy, the health and humanistic aspect draws attention and must be dealt with in greater depth, the G7 meeting for January, the expectation of alliances that should arise in Latin America, they should make the geopolitical framework quite modified for 2023, there are always hopes and forces that fight for peace.

 

 

 

Violence and power

28 Dec

All contemporary Western literature leads to the reading of two things that are apparently not opposed, but are frontally opposed: love and power.

Violence has been a common theme since man has been a man, the confrontation was initially aimed, like animals, at the domination of a territory, the demarcation of countries, it does not always mean nation and its culture, it is imposed by the dominating power, thus the first Babylonian empires were born , Persian, Roman in its decadent stage, the medieval monarchies, the Mongol empire and later the Turkish-Ottoman one.

Since the discussions of Thomas Hobbes, David Hume and John Locke, and Jean Jacques Rousseau, the so-called contractualists, who disagreed about the violent origin of man: man is bad, man is good and it is society that corrupts him and man natural is good, the so-called good savage, what is certain is that the modern state, unlike the Greek polis, is the one that has the right to violence.

In Plato’s Republic it was not like that, the idea of ​​this philosophical school was to educate man to be a politician, he should have wisdom and virtues (aretê), wisdom being the greatest of virtues, but it is necessary to remember the polarity between Athens, city of the wise and Sparta, city of warriors, so the idea of ​​violence remained in everyday life, and Aristotle not only walked in this direction but also became tutor of Alexander the Great, Emperor of Macedonia.

Thus, Plato’s idea remained influential in Greece, and the attempted alliance between Greeks and Macedonians to defeat the Persian empire did not happen, even so the empire extends throughout Asia Minor, reaching India, but not the conquest, without heirs and with disputes between his generals the empire splits and weakens, soon in the following period the Roman Empire begins to form.

Modern violence before the wars was concentrated in the division of kingdoms, with the Protestant reform and also the Anglican one in the United Kingdom, until the Peace of Westphalia was established.

The great theory about the modern State and power will be elaborated by Hegel, it is dominant today regardless of ideological positions, after all Karl Marx was also Hegelian (news, as he called himself), but it is the modern state that holds the power to cause Peace, Pax Eterna as Kant intended, but which resulted in two wars and we are on the verge of a third, which we hope will not happen.

However, looking at the current literature, a good part of it deals with barbarism, the two books that I indicated and will read next year go in this direction, although with opposite political tendencies, Zizek and Dalrymple focused on the theme, but there are many others: “Anger and time” by Peter Sloterdijk, “Violence” by Slavov Zizek and “Nonviolent Communication” by Marshall Rosemberg among others.

I remember Byung Chul Han’s quote from his book No Enxame, which analyzes the violence of new media, where he states that only respect is symmetrical, that is, both sides are non-violent.

The novel/fiction by Gabriel Garcia Márquez “Love in the Time of Cholera” risked a happy ending, unlike other books he wanted to make happiness possible, creating a kind of modern fable or a desperate hope, where “a utopia of life , where love is indeed true and happiness possible” (Márquez, 2005).

Marquez, Gabriel Garcia (2005). Love in the Time of Cholera. Rio de Janeiro, ed. Record, Brazil. (in portuguese)