Daniel Bell, a socialist, a liberal, a conservative

“I believe there are different realms in the society and there are different principles which underlie these realms. That’s why I’ve been called myself a socialist in economics, a liberal in politics, and a conservative in culture. I’m a socialist in economics because I believe that every society has an obligation to give people that degree of decency to allow them to feel that they are citizens in this society. In the realm of economics, the first lien on resources should be that of the community in a redistributive way.

I’m a conservative in culture because I believe in continuity, and I believe in judgment. I don’t believe that all opinions in culture are the same as everybody else’s opinion. I don’t believe that all art is the same. Some things are better than others, and you have to justify why it’s better than others, and you have to understand the grounds of justification.

I’m a liberal in politics but liberalism has no fixed dogmas. It has no fixed points, that you can say, “This is the liberal position.” It changes because it’s an attitude. It’s a skepticism. It’s a pluralism, it’s agnostic.”

— Daniel Bell, Arguing the World: The New York Intellectuals in Their Own Words

Team TLT

Jeg er med i Vejle kommunes og EU’s projekt “Aktive Unge”. Lige nu er unge fra Bosnien, Makedonien, Serbien og Storbritannien i Vejle på et workshop hvor de arbejder sammen om at finde nye idéer hvordan de kan støtte demokratiske værdier, være med til at videreudvikle deres lokale samfund og hjælpe andre unge.

Her er et TV indslag fra TV2 Syd. Jeg kan også ses et eller andet sted i indslaget. 🙂

Once again, shame on you, Israel!

What Israel is doing in Gaza is, once again, nothing less than war crime.
Even Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Vatican’s Council for Justice and Peace, condemned Israel’s warfare: “Look at the conditions in Gaza: more and more, it resembles a big concentration camp”.

What kind of warfare is launched by Israel in Gaza?

Four exhausted children have been discovered cowering in a house next to the bodies of their mothers by staff of the International Committee of the Red Cross, which today accused the Israeli military of “unacceptable” delays in allowing medics safe access to injured Gazans.

The Red Cross workers found the small children, who were so weak they could not stand, sheltering next to the bodies of their mothers in a house in Zeitoun, southeast of Gaza City. Another man was found alive, but again too weak to stand. At least 12 bodies were lying on mattresses… — Guardian.co.uk

[Update – January 10]:
I just watched a news program Centralni Dnevnik on Bosnian TV station Hayat which had a lengthy interview with an Israeli and Palestinian former combatants who now are members of the organization Combatants for Peace. Both guests talked about only solution to the Middle Eastern problem: a peaceful and non-violent solution through dialog.
Israeli guest Yonatan Shapira is former pilot in the Israeli Army who in September of 2003 signed together with other 26 Israeli pilots the Pilots Letter, refusing to fly missions over the occupied territories. I really liked his reasoning about the current conflict in Gaza. He believes that Israel must stop bombing massacring and bombing innocent Palestinian children and civilians and that only with dialogue there can be peace in Israel and Palestine. Here’s another interview with him at wrmea.com.

On interview with Nihad Hasanović

I’ve just finished reading one of the most intriguing and thought provoking interviews I have read in a really long time. The subject in question is “An Interview with Nihad Hasanović” done by Jasmin Čaušević.

I rarely write about other people’s online writings, and probably never about interviews, but this interview simply brought so much joy and pleasure while reading, and sort of optimism into the future and mankind itself, that I simply had to write at least a word or two about it.

So who’s Nihad Hasanović? According to the interviewer’s website, he’s a “Bosnian writer, one of the most interesting and intriguing young writers in the space of Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian language”.

As the interview progressed, which consists of five parts, I found Nihad Hasanović a very interesting person with strong opinions and vivid thoughts on life, literature, philosophy and society pretty much identical to my own ideas.

“[Danilo] Kiš was very important also because he encouraged me to think of literature not just as belonging to a particular nationality, nation, ethnicity, but as belonging to humankind.”
This is simply joy to my ears, a wonderful, albeit still somewhat utopian, idea, but nevertheless it’s great to see that the idea of cosmopolitanism is still alive even in these turbulent times of globalization and all those nationalistic, local reactions to it.

The writer is really full of “sugar puffs” (guldkorn) as they say it in Danish; Mr. Hasanović has very interesting, progressive and firm thoughts on literature, language, politics, science, moral and religion. He’s a great opponent to religion and its influence in society: “In a very cunning way religion have usurped the moral and empirical experience that humanity has accumulated over the course of history and pre-history.”
In religion he sees evil deed rather than a good one. He mentions the Catholic Church, its Inquisition and all the atrocities and genocide committed in Latin America in its name.

He sees “the suppression of freedom to interpret the Qur’an” and attacks on those who bring humor and satire that involve Islam as a very serious problem along with Muslim slave-traders in history. Furthermore he mentions Serbian Orthodox Church which had a huge role in shaping Serbian nationalism and chauvinism that later started a dissolution of Yugoslavia and all those bloody wars in the 1990’s: “Serbian Church has its hands soaked to an incomparably greater extent with the blood of the last war.”

Anyway, there are many additional interesting themes and areas covered in this lengthy interview such as influence of Latin writers, importance of learning a foreign language, criticism of post-modernism, Bosnian and South Slavic literature, religion, lack of scientific presence in literature, politics and much more.

As I mentioned before, I was overjoyed while reading the interview. I felt almost like reading a good book I didn’t want to end. I will most definitely look forward to read more about and of this very interesting Bosnian writer and thinker, and I can only thank Jasmin Čaušević for this great interview which should be read by anyone interested in literature, Bosnian and the Balkans affairs, religion and the criticism, science, language, philosophy, moral and just plain humanity and common sense.

Links to the interview: part I, part II, part III, part IV and part V.

A free chapter (in Bosnian) of Hasanović’s new book “O roštilju i raznim smetnjama” (Concerning barbeques and various interludes) can be read at publisher’s website – pdf.