Posts Tagged ‘paz’

Anger and social issues

15 Feb

One of the strongest arguments for anger is the social issue, before economic, now cultural and ethnic.

The book by the American John Steinbeck, caused a great malaise in society, was cited with a certain reverence when he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962 although the book is from 1939, the book was well received in Soviet Eastern Europe at the time and in the Scandinavian countries.

At the time, the book was burned in public squares and banned from schools, it was the beginning of the cold war and McCarthyism (persecution of communists in the USA), although the author never had an affiliation.

The book begins with Tom Joad, the central character of the book, asking for a ride after 7 years in prison which was his sentence for having murdered someone as a result of a bar fight, even though it was in his self-defense he ended up being declared guilty.

He finds nothing in his old house and ends up discovering that they had sold all the belongings and going to Uncle John’s house and getting there he realizes that everyone is ready to leave and discovers that the big companies and farms are closed and the farmers are leaving to California to look for work.

It is the period of the great American depression, and social issues are emerging, the book shows the conditions of work and exploration in the fields of fruit plantations in California, Steinbeck is from the Salinas region, where the novel takes place, which although fiction has a connection with the region.

The question is how far can the limits of this type of revolt go, is it just violence and ideological struggles when these conditions are present, what are the alternatives to the problems, is it likely that we will enter a new recession, in addition to the risk of war, the book by Steinbeck gives us a similar scenario (recession and war) and may point us not to a return to the past, but to a new possibility for the dark future that awaits us.

Steibeck, John. (1939). The grapes of wrath. First edition: New York Viking,  1939.


On Wrath and War

14 Feb

There are those who defend that Wrath and its maximum expression, war, are necessary and in many situations unavoidable, the Roman philosopher Seneca, in addition to theorizing the issue and writing a treatise “On Wrath”, in three books, in the first theorizing, in the second it deals with advice and examples to avoid it, since for him anger is always harmful.

The work concludes with tips on how to calm yourself and other people and summarizes the work, according to the philosopher a great man should never be angry.

A must-read for today is Wrath and Time: psycho-political essays, by Peter Sloterdijk, in which he not only deals with an overview of the issue in Western thought, we add Seneca on purpose as a counterpoint, the author shows that it it is valued for being the driving force of heroes and warriors, and it is said that this force was lost with the repression of anger, but is that really so, or was it transferred to the State that monopolized it.]

Love in the Time of Cholera is a book by Gabriel Garcia Marques from 1985, where the backdrop is Latin America, the genre is fantastic realism and talks about a love triangle that lasted for more than 50 years, contrary to what it seems and suggests, there is true love behind the triangle.

During all his life Florentino Ariza loved and waited for more than fifty years Fermina Daza, the novel can remember and is a good parallel with Candido or Optimism, by Voltaire (which is from 1759) and which ironizes the provincial spirit of Candido in the eternal waiting for his beloved Cunegonde, who finally conquers her at the end of her life, in this case there is no triangle, but an impediment due to the nobility of the maiden and the vulgarity of the commoner.

The novel takes place at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century, and there was both the plague of cholera and war, and this brings a very current reality, it is not an idealized love in a contradictory context (cholera and war), Fermina was married to renowned physician Dr. Juvenal Urbino, the narrative is intelligent because at the beginning of the book the doctor dies, and then the author will put the story of both and a repressed love, and what love is like in a mature phase.

This maturity and despite the fantastic realism, according to the author himself would have a lot to do with the love story of the parents themselves, and although it speaks only of human love, it brings a positive reflection on what love is, how much it can be true and mature when his whole life is tried.

In 2007 it was filmed and directed by Mike Newell, I confess that I haven’t seen it, but I believe that the little interest from the critics is a thermometer of how good it is.


MARQUEZ, Gabriel García. (2016). Amor no tempo do cólera (Love in the Time of Cholera). Trans. Antonio Callado. Ed. Special hard cover, Br: Editora Record.

SENECA. (2014) A Ira: sobre a tranquilidade da alma (On Wrath: On the Tranquility of the Soul), trans. José Eduardo S. Lohner, Br: Ed. Penguin-Cia.

Sloterdijk, P. (2012) Ira e Tempo: um ensaio Político-psicológico, Br: Estação Liberdade.


Geopolitics of war and “viruses”

13 Feb

Not even the serious earthquake in Turkey and Syria, with more than 25,000 fatalities, managed to appease the spirit of anger and revenge that shakes the planet.

The war suffers a scale in a world geopolitics, the Russian ship Almirante Gorshkov (supported by the supply freighter Kama) passes by the coast of Europe and goes towards the USA (recalls the crisis of Pearl Harbor (1941) and missiles in Cuba (1962)), after “spy” balloons now there is a wave of shot down Unidentified Flying Objects, which are not aliens, but just unknown devices.

In the aspect of the pandemic, some changes in the behavior of the syncytial virus (complicated name for a multinucleated mass of cytoplasm formed by the fusion of originally separate cells) that occur in seasonal viruses, now seem to have an atypical and out-of-season behavior, in the southern hemisphere, for example, we are still at the end of summer.

Returning to the war, the frigate Admiral Gorshkov was sailing towards Africa, it was accompanied by a supply ship that followed this route, but the frigate changed course and is now heading towards the United States which causes an increase in tension in the war that it was not only from Ukraine and Russia, some Russian missiles also crossed the southern border of Ukraine and headed towards Moldova, the feeling of total war is growing.

It is good to remember that the frigate heading to the USA has the fearsome and unbeatable Zircon hypersonic missiles, even being in international waters, it can reach a distance for the American east coast to be reached safely, which will certainly aggravate the international and imminent crisis conflict.

After the balloon event, the one accused of being a spy in American airspace, two other “unidentified objects” (which do not have aliens) were shot down, and this Sunday (02/12) one of these objects was shot down in China, everything indicates espionage and ongoing counterintelligence.

In terms of the Pandemic, these extra-seasonal viruses cause concern due to their severity and volume, Marcelo Gomes, coordinator of InfoGripe (from Fiocrus), says that these viruses called RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) can be attributed to two factors: the mitigation of care with the pandemic that also curbed other viruses and the lack of control in collective environments, which prevented greater contact and circulation of viruses socially.

Both in war, concern grows both with peace and with the possibility of new pandemics, the international climate remains tense, recently there were barbs between French Prime Minister Makron and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, who was excluded from the meeting with Zelensky.



New tensions and pandemic

06 Feb

In addition to the war between Russia and Ukraine, where tensions are growing, tensions between the United States and China have increased due to an alleged spy balloon that entered the American sky and a new tension between Azerbaijan and Armenia where there are 130 thousand Armenians isolated in substandard conditions. -human activities in the region of Nagorno-Kabarakh, claimed by both countries (map) and with a history of conflicts.

In the war after the delivery of German tanks to Ukraine and American aid, Russia reacted with fury promising a devastating offensive, February 24th will complete a year of war and a strong Russian offensive is expected by then, in addition there are threats to the West and an offensive in Moldavia, which borders Ukraine in the south, and thus create a new combat front.

The balloon that invaded American territory, coming from Canada and according to China was lost, since it will be taken over by the Americans (the overthrow could be dangerous), entered the Montana region, northern USA and with possible nuclear weapons, which led to suspicious, but China claims that the American measure was hasty and that it is just an atmospheric balloon, but tension has risen.

Beijing’s leaders declared that they “would not accept any conjecture or unfounded exaggeration” and accused “some US politicians and media” of using the incident “as a pretext to attack and defame China”, despite the tension the climate is not one of a war and the Taiwan question is a backdrop.

Covid-19 follows a roadmap of uncertainties, now there are indications that Japan is facing a growth of the pandemic, isolated during the previous stages, the country has opened up to tourism and this seems to be one of the indications of this unexpected growth, the use of masks there, for example, it predates the Pandemic.

According to the BBC website, the country reached a historic record on January 20 with 425 deaths in a single day, proportionally higher than Latin America, the United States and South Korea, among others, data is from Our World in Data, which is compiled by the University of Oxford.

There are also fears about side effects of Pfizer’s bivalent vaccine (immunizes the initial variant and new strains), according to the American health control body, the FDA, the analysis carried out on millions of elderly people did not identify a risk of stroke, but experts ask more in-depth study.


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.


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.