“Les temps sont durs; les idées sont molles.” François-Bernard Huyghe, La Soft-Idéologie
GROWING imprecision in the language of political discourse has turned virtually everyone into a democrat or, at least, an aspiring democrat. East, West, North, South, in all corners of the world, politicians and intellectuals profess the democratic ideal, as if their rhetorical homage to democracy could substitute for the frequently poor showing of their democratic institutions(1) Does liberal democracy – and this is what we take as our criterion for the “best of all democracies”-mean more political participation or less, and how does one explain that in liberal democracy electoral interests have been declining for years? Judging by voter turnout, almost everywhere in the West the functioning of liberal democracy has been accompanied by political demobilization and a retreat from political participation(2). Continue reading “Liberalism or Democracy? Carl Schmitt and Apolitical Democracy THIS WORLD (An Annual of Religious and Public Life), vol. 28, 1993 .”
No political phenomenon can be so creative and so destructive as nationalism. Nationalism can be a metaphor for the supreme truth but also an allegory for the nostalgia of death. No exotic country, no gold, no woman can trigger such an outpouring of passion as the sacred homeland, and contrary to all Freudians more people have died defending their homelands than the honor of their women. If we assume that political power is the supreme aphrodisiac, then nationalism must be its ultimate thrill.
Continue reading “The Decline & Splendor of Nationalism (Chronicles of American Culture), January 1992,Tomislav Sunic”
While a massive amount of both critical and laudatory literature on America is circulating in western Europe, only a few critical books on America and the American way of life can be found in today’s postcommunist eastern Europe. This essay is my attempt to add to that literature.
Before attempting to tackle this complex subject (an eastern European account of America), one needs to define terms. People living in the Czech Republic, Hungary,Poland, or Slovenia do not like being called eastern Europeans; the term eastern Europe has a ring of an insult to their ears. Continue reading “America in the Eyes of Eastern Europe (The World and I) Vol. 16, November 2001 (The Washington Times) (Tomislav Sunic)”
Historical pessimism and the sense of the tragic are recurrent motives in European literature. From Heraclitus to Heidegger, from Sophocles to Schopenhauer, the exponents of the tragic view of life point out that the shortness of human existence can only be overcome by the heroic intensity of living. The philosophy of the tragic is incompatible with the Christian dogma of salvation or the optimism of some modern ideologies. Continue reading “EMILE CIORAN AND THE CULTURE OF DEATH,Tomislav Sunic”
Language is a potent weapon for legitimizing any political system. In many instances the language in the liberal West is reminiscent of the communist language of the old Soviet Union, although liberal media and politicians use words and phrases that are less abrasive and less value loaded than words used by the old communist officials and their state-run media. Continue reading “The Liberal Double -Talk & its Lexical and Legal Consequences”
Even with their eulogy of universalism, as Serge Latouche has recently noted, Westerners have, nonetheless, secured the most com¬fortable positions for themselves. Although they have now retreated to the back stage of history, vicariously, through their humanism, they still play the role of the undisputable masters of the non-white¬-man show. Continue reading “History and Decadence: Spengler’s Cultural Pessimism Today (part 2/2)”
Oswald Spengler (1880-1936) exerted considerable influence on European conservatism before the Second World War. Although his popularity waned somewhat after the war, his analyses, in the light of the disturbing conditions in the modern polity, again seem to be gaining in popularity. Recent literature dealing with gloomy post¬modernist themes suggests that Spengler’s prophecies of decadence may now be finding supporters on both sides of the political spectrum. Continue reading “History and Decadence: Spengler’s Cultural Pessimism Today (part 1/2)”
Few political thinkers have stirred so much controversy as Franco-Italian sociologist and economist Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923). In the beginning of the twentieth century, Pareto exerted a considerable influence on European conservative thinkers, although his popularity rapidly declined after the Second World War. The Italian Fascists who used and abused Pareto’s intellectual legacy were probably the main cause of his subsequent fall into oblivion.
Continue reading “Vilfredo Pareto and Political Irrationality”
Some members of the international community, along with some foreign media representatives, have recently criticised Croatia for its alleged mistreatment of Bosnian Muslims. Several details need to be put into perspective in order to comprehend this never-ending Balkan drama:
1. Croatia was the first country in Europe to recognise the sovereignty of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Given the important geopolitical position of this neighbouring state, it is in the paramount interest of Croatia to respect the integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In fact, it is Mr. Izetbegovic, not the Croats, who has just recently signed the de facto partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina in his agreement with the Serb side. On her part, Croatia has also strongly urged all Bosnian Croat military units to allow free safe passage to all United Nations humanitarian convoys. Continue reading “The Fear of More Terrible Conflicts in the Balkans (21 September 1993 ~ The Guardian)”