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diumenge, 31 de juliol de 2016

Donde el anticapitalismo y el antisemitismo se cruzan

THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT.- there a connection between anti-capitalist anti-Semitism and zealous anti-Zionism? Battini deals with this in the last chapter of his book, I think plausibly. First of all, there is the matter of Holocaust denial, which is not something the Labour hard Left can be accused of, but which is expressed by some of the Middle Eastern activists whose causes they support. Battini sees this type of denial as an extension of Jewish conspiracy theories. In this view Jews lie about Auschwitz as a way to control public opinion and promote the interests of Israel. The credibility of this type of nonsense gets some help from Israeli politicians, alas. At the very least since the premiership of Menachem Begin in the late 1970s, the Shoah has been used to legitimize the Jewish state. Those who seek to delegitimize it, therefore, must seek to discredit the history of Jewish near-annihilation.

There is a vital difference between criticizing the policies of a particular Israeli government and denying the state of Israel’s right to exist. The former is not necessarily anti-Semitic; the latter almost always is. Just as Jews, in the anti-Semitic imagination of counter-Enlightenment zealots, were linked to Protestants, Freemasons and liberals, as well as to Britain, Holland and the US, Israel is now inextricably linked to New York and Washington (not to mention Hollywood), where the Jewish diaspora is supposed to be pulling the strings. Many Arabs and European Muslims see Israel as an illegitimate colonial outpost of American capitalism in the Middle East. Another word for the domination of American capital is globalization. In the words of Battini: “In the ‘antiglobal’ attitude, which has taken the place of the old anti-capitalism, there are often ideological residues of European anti-Jewish anti-capitalism, unearthed above all in Central and Eastern Europe or reemerging in the language of Islamist extremist groups”. I believe that he is right. And what goes for extremist Islamist groups very often goes for their most ardent non-Muslim supporters in the West. Israel is no doubt guilty of many sins, and there may be perfectly sensible reasons to disagree with Zionism as an ideal, but to suggest, even in jest, that Israeli citizens should be deported to the US – as the Labour MP Naz Shah did via Twitter shortly before she was elected – is to question, once again, the right of Jews to be free citizens of the state in which they were born and raised. If that isn’t anti-Semitism, I don’t know what is. | Ian Buruma
Leer artículo completo, aquí

La rebelión antigenealógica europea

La modernidad europea antigenealógica es, al fin y al cabo, la máquina productora de solteros y personas sin hijos más eficaz desde las órdenes mendicantes medievales

'Après nous le déluge'

LIBROS DE HOLANDA.- Si para los antiguos el hombre está en el mundo porque no mereció un sitio mejor, para los modernos representa más bien un honor haber sido arrojados del paraíso, “el acontecimiento más feliz y más grande de la historia humana”, para Schiller, en cuanto preludia un despertar de las fuerzas de la razón. Es posible un nuevo comienzo, un "punto cero" de la humanidad porque la mente es una “tabla rasa” y la herencia una tara remediable.

A partir de la revolución francesa–irónicamente consentida por Dios, para De Maistre– empieza una época caracterizada por el primado del futuro (grácil) sobre el pasado (robusto), y por el primado de la moda sobre la costumbre. Para Sloterdijk se trata de una interrupción radical, un “hiato” entre la cultura genealógica paleoeuropea y los “nuevos hombres”, pero que no anuncia tanto un ascenso hacia arriba, radiante, ininterrumpido y previsible, cuanto que una permanente “caída hacia adelante” (La gaya ciencia: "¿No caemos continuamente?"), imagen que apunta a un avance paradójico, puntuado de accidentes monstruosos y consecuencias inesperadas.
Artículo completo, aquí

EEUU: Siete años después de la recesión, la recuperación sigue siendo las más débil desde la Segunda Guerra Mundial

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.- Even seven years after the recession ended, the current stretch of economic gains has yielded less growth than much shorter business cycles.

In terms of average annual growth, the pace of this expansion has been by far the weakest of any since 1949. (And for which we have quarterly data.) The economy has grown at a 2.1% annual rate since the U.S. recovery began in mid-2009, according to gross-domestic-product data the Commerce Department released Friday.

The prior expansion, from 2001 through 2007, was the only other business cycle of the past 11 when the economy didn’t grow at least 3% a year, on average.

Total growth this expansion ranks just 8th of the past 11 cycles. The U.S. economy, at the end of June, was 15.5% larger than it was when the recession ended in 2009.

The current expansion remains smaller than the one during Richard Nixon‘s administration. And that 16% expansion lasted just three years. The economy grew 18% from 2001 through 2007. It grew 52% from 1961 through 1969.

dissabte, 30 de juliol de 2016

La inteligencia turca tuvo indicios del golpe pero no supo interpretarlos

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.- The MIT discovered the communications channel last winter and began the laborious process of decrypting the messages, which numbered in the millions. The agency eventually identified 40,000 names, including 600 senior military officers, suspected of connections with the group.

None of the ByLock messages referred to a coup plot, senior Turkish intelligence officials said.

U.S. intelligence agencies knew of growing political opposition against Mr. Erdogan. A classified U.S. assessment included Turkey on a list of countries at heightened risk of political instability, but it didn’t predict a coup.

At the time, U.S. intelligence-gathering about Turkey focused on Islamic State and other terror threats, not the Turkish military.

Soon after the MIT gained access to the ByLock messages, operatives of Mr. Gulen’s organization realized the channel had been compromised and switched to a different messaging app that remained impenetrable, senior Turkish intelligence officials said. In early spring, the Turkish spy agency shared the decrypted files with other government ministries. Turkish intelligence officials said that tipped off Mr. Gulen’s group that the messages had been decoded.

Days later, on March 21, Turkish analysts saw a YouTube video that showed Mr. Gulen wearing for the first time a khaki robe the same green hue used by the army.

Analysts at MIT believed he was signaling his followers in the army, but they had no idea what. A person close to the Gulen group said such speculation was unfounded.

Four days before the coup, the Turkish spy agency forwarded the names of the 600 military officers under suspicion to the military’s general staff. The plan was to sideline them during the annual meeting of military leaders in August

'¡Purgaremos a decenas de miles, sean quienes sean!'

¿Por qué siguen hablando de golpe de Estado fallido?

Nazli Ilıcak, de 72 años de edad, veterana del periodismo turco se encuentra entre los 21 periodistas detenidos en Turquía las últimas horas.


divendres, 29 de juliol de 2016

Los españoles confían más en Parlamento Europeo que en las Cortes

Más información , aquí


Dos de cada tres europeos se sienten ciudadanos de la UE

Cette enquête Eurobaromètre Standard (EB85) a été réalisée entre le 21 et le 31 mai 2016, quelques mois après les attaques terroristes de Paris (le 13 novembre 2015) et de Bruxelles (le 22 mars 2016) et quelques semaines avant le référendum sur l'Union européenne au Royaume-Uni (le 23 juin 2016). Les migrations et le terrorisme constituent aujourd'hui les principales préoccupations des Européens. Si, d'après les Européens, l'immigration reste le principal problème auquel doit faire face l'UE, le terrorisme a consolidé sa place en seconde position, après une forte progression. Désormais, il représente également la quatrième préoccupation la plus importante au niveau national.

La confiance dans l'UE reste stable. Après le recul observé entre les enquêtes Eurobaromètre du printemps 2015 (EB83) et de l'automne 2015 (EB84), la confiance dans l'UE a légèrement progressé : à 33%, elle reste supérieure à la confiance dans les parlements et les gouvernements nationaux, qui sont toutes deux restées stables. Pour une majorité d'Européens, l'UE évoque une image neutre ; un peu plus d'un tiers en ont une image positive, une proportion en baisse pour la deuxième fois d'affilée. La moitié des Européens reste optimiste quant au futur de l'UE, mais cette proportion est également en recul pour la deuxième fois d'affilée.

Malgré une légère baisse, la proportion de citoyens de l'UE qui estiment que leur voix compte dans l'UE (38%) reste égale ou supérieure à ce qu'elle était entre 2009 et 2013, entre les élections européennes de 2009 et de 2014.

La tendance à l’amélioration du sentiment des Européens à l'égard de leur économie nationale, quasiment continue depuis l'automne 2013, est stoppée : près de quatre personnes interrogées sur dix indiquent désormais que la situation économique de leur pays est « bonne » (39%), tandis que 57% affirment qu'elle est « mauvaise ». Au sujet de l'impact de la crise sur l'emploi, près de la moitié des personnes interrogées déclarent que « le pire reste à venir ». Le pessimisme progresse pour la deuxième fois d'affilée, ce qui n'était jamais arrivé depuis que la question a été posée pour la première fois, au printemps 2009. Près de quatre personnes interrogées sur dix estiment que « l'impact de la crise sur l'emploi a déjà atteint son apogée ».

Le soutien aux priorités politiques de l'Union européenne reste fort : plus de la moitié des personnes interrogées sont d'accord avec l’affirmation selon laquelle l'argent public devrait être utilisé pour stimuler les investissements dans le secteur privé au niveau de l'UE, tandis que moins de trois sur dix expriment leur désaccord à ce sujet. Plus de la moitié des Européens se déclarent favorables à « une union économique et monétaire européenne avec une seule monnaie, l’euro ». Dans 22 Etats membres, le soutien à l'euro est majoritaire.

Environ huit Européens sur dix soutiennent « la libre circulation des citoyens de l'UE qui peuvent vivre, travailler, étudier et faire des affaires partout dans l'UE ». Le soutien en faveur d'« un accord de libre-échange et d'investissement entre l'Union européenne et les Etats-Unis » est moins marqué, même si, dans 24 Etats membres, une majorité de personnes interrogées est de cet avis : environ la moitié des Européens y sont favorables, mais cette proportion baisse régulièrement depuis l'automne 2014.

Environ deux tiers des Européens se déclarent favorables à une politique migratoire commune. Par rapport à l'automne 2015, la proportion d'Européens ayant un sentiment positif au sujet de l'immigration de personnes venant d'autres Etats membres de l'UE a augmenté : 58% des personnes interrogées partagent ce sentiment. Toutefois, la même proportion de personnes interrogées déclarent que l'immigration de personnes venant de pays en dehors de l'UE leur évoque un sentiment « négatif ».

Enfin, environ deux tiers des Européens se sentent citoyens de l'UE. Cette opinion est majoritaire dans 26 Etats membres.

Eurobarómetro FR
Eurobarómetro EN

El Gobierno pide al TC medidas penales contra Forcadell

EL PAÍS.- El Gobierno en funciones ha pedido este viernes al Tribunal Constitucional que abra la vía penal contra la presidenta del Parlamento de Cataluña, Carme Forcadell, por desobedecer sus sentencias y por ser "la persona claramente implicada y afectada" que lidera una institución que vulnera "de manera flagrante el Estado de derecho y el orden constitucional". La número dos del Ejecutivo, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, ha informado tras el Consejo de Ministros de que este es uno de los puntos clave del incidente de ejecución aprobado hoy, que se presentará de manera inmediata ante el Constitucional y que el presidente Mariano Rajoy ha comunicado posteriormente a los demás líderes políticos.

La vicepresidenta ha explicado que el Gobierno busca con esta actuación la nulidad y suspensión inmediata sin ningún efecto de la resolución 263/11 de 27 de julio del Parlament aprobada para iniciar la desconexión con España, pero también un requerimiento personal a Forcadell y el resto de miembros de la Mesa de la Cámara, el secretario general de ese organismo, el presidente catalán y todos sus consejeros para que se abstengan de realizar a partir de ahora cualquier iniciativa relacionada con esa resolución. En el último punto del incidente de ejecución el Gobierno demanda del Tribunal Constitucional que deduzca "testimonio de particulares" para exigir la responsabilidad penal que pudiera corresponder a Carmen Forcadell por incumplir ya sus mandatos.

Así manipula el CEO las encuestas catalanas

1.- Sesgo partidista en la dirección del CEO. El director es Jordi Argelaguet Argemí. Nombrado por Artur Mas, es ex-miembro del MDT, el brazo político de Terra Lliure. En 2012 le pagamos €83.148, un 21% más que un ministro de España; sus 15 empleados cobraban una media de €34.053, un 39% más que el catalán medio. El CEO sólo publica sus informes en catalán e inglés.

2.- Sesgo partidista de la muestra: hay un 44%% menos de votantes libres de nacionalismo de lo que corresponde a la realidad de las últimas elecciones. Sólo un 22% de los encuestados son votantes de C’s+PP+PSC, cuando en las últimas autonómicas obtuvieron el 39% de los votos.

3.- Sesgo de medios de comunicación: en la encuesta hay 2,1 veces más encuestados que se informan por TV3/324 de lo que corresponde a la realidad. Los medios nacionales están muy infrarrepresentados.

4.- Sesgo territorial: en la encuesta de la Generalitat hay un sobrepeso de las comarcas nacionalistas y una infravaloración de las comarcas libres de nacionalismo. Por ejemplo, como explica Carles Enric López “en Osona deberían haber encuestado al 2% de la muestra y son un 2,9%. Berguedà un 0,5% de la población de Cataluña pero son seleccionados nada menos que un 1,7% de la encuesta. (…) El Barcelonès que representa a un 29,6% de la población es reducido al 28,7. El Baix Llobregat (10,7%) solo es representada por el 9,1% de las encuestas”. Y así con todas las comarcas.

Los resultados cocinados fueron éstos:

SI a la secesión: 47,7%
NO a la secesión: 42,4%
NO HO SAP 8,3%

Pero los expertos en demoscopia no se dejan engañar: según los datos del propio CEO, si se corrigen las trampas de la Generalidad los resultados son completamente diferentes:

SI a la secesión: 38,4%
NO a la secesión: 49,7%
NO HO SAP 9,4%

Independentismo "de obligado cumplimiento"

Las conclusiones de la Comisión de Estudio del Proceso Constituyente constan de once puntos, entre los que destacó el noveno, que indica que "la Asamblea Constituyente, una vez convocada, elegida y constituida, dispondrá de plenos poderes. Las decisiones de esta asamblea serán de cumplimiento obligatorio para el resto de poderes públicos y para todas las personas físicas y jurídicas".

"Ninguna de las decisiones de la asamblea no será tampoco susceptible de control, suspensión o impugnación por ningún otro poder, juzgado o tribunal", se remarca. Ya en el punto séptimo se explica que "después de la fase de participación ciudadana, se completará la desconexión con la legalidad del Estado español por medio de la aprobación de las leyes de desconexión por parte del Parlament y de un mecanismo unilateral de ejercicio democrático que servirá para activar la convocatoria de la Asamblea Constituyente".

El racismo se desata en el Reino Unido tras el Brexit

INDEPENDENT.- The full extent and true nature of the “blatant hate” that has beset post-Brexit Britain is today detailed for the first time after The Independent was given exclusive access to a database of more than 500 racist incidents compiled in the weeks since the EU referendum.

The hatred that has divided British society in the past month features “F*** off to Poland” letters in Tunbridge Wells, wealthy London diners refusing to be served by foreign waiters, dog excrement shoved through letter boxes in Rugby, and racist abuse from children as young as ten.

A picture of nationwide hatred emerged after The Independent was allowed exclusive access to a database of accounts collected by the social media sites PostRefRacism, Worrying Signs and iStreetWatch.

Race hate incidents that have occurred since the June 23 EU referendum

What the social media sites in their own report describe as an “explosion of blatant hate” has included:

* Gangs prowling the streets demanding passers-by prove they can speak English

* Swastikas in Armagh, Sheffield, Plymouth, Leicester, London and Glasgow.

* Assaults, arson attacks and dog excrement being thrown at doors or shoved through letter boxes.

* Toddlers being racially abused alongside their mothers, with children involved as either victims or perpetrators in 14 per cent of incidents.

* A man in Glasgow ripping off a girl’s headscarf and telling her “Trash like you better start obeying the white man."

* Comparisons with 1930s Nazi Germany and a crowd striding through a London street chanting: “First we’ll get the Poles out, then the gays!”

And in their own report – written with the support of the Institute of Race Relations – the three social media groups accuse the Prime Minister Theresa May of helping create the “hostile environment” that paved the way for post-referendum racism.

Criticising Ms May’s record as Home Secretary, and in particular her endorsement of advertising vans telling illegal immigrants “Go Home or face arrest”, the authors of Post-referendum racism and xenophobia say: “If a hostile environment’ is embedded politically, it can’t be a surprise that it takes root culturally.”

Singling Ms May out as one of those who helped create such a ‘hostile environment’, the report recalls that in 2012, Ms May, the then Home Secretary, used a newspaper interview to declare: “The aim is to create here in Britain a really hostile environment for illegal migration.”

El padre de un soldado americano de confesión musulmana muerto en combate pide a Trump que se lea la Constitución

THE WASHINGTON POST.- Donald Trump was speaking at an event in Iowa, complaining that America was not allowed to waterboard terrorists, when Khizr Khan and his wife walked up to the microphone at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.

Khan's son, Humayun, was a captain in the U.S. Army. When a vehicle packed with explosives approached his compound in Iraq in 2004, he instructed his men to seek cover as he ran toward it. The car exploded, killing Khan instantly. He was awarded the Bronze Star posthumously.

In 2005, The Washington Post interviewed Khizr Khan. "They did not call him Captain Khan," he said of the men his son led. "They called him 'our captain.' "

"We are honored to stand here as the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan," the elder Khan said at the Democratic convention, "and as patriotic American Muslims with undivided loyalty to our country." He spoke of his son's dreams of becoming a military lawyer and how Hillary Clinton had referred to his son as "the best of America."

Then he focused his attention on Trump.

"If it was up to Donald Trump, [Humayun] never would have been in America," Khan said. "Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities, women, judges, even his own party leadership. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country.

"Donald Trump," he said, "you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy." He pulled a copy of the Constitution from his pocket. "In this document, look for the words 'liberty' and 'equal protection of law.' " Earlier this month, Trump promised congressional Republicans that he would defend "Article XII" of the Constitution, which doesn't exist.

dijous, 28 de juliol de 2016

El paro cae al 20%, su menor nivel desde el verano de 2010

EL PAÍS.- La recuperación laboral avanza. Ha bajado el paro en 216.700 personas entre abril y junio, hasta quedar en 4,57 millones. En paralelo ha caído la tasa de desempleo al 20%, según la encuesta de población activa (EPA). Pero esta vez se esperaba que el segundo trimestre fuera algo mejor. La creación de empleo se ha frenado. En tres meses se han creado 271.400 puestos de trabajo, muy lejos de los más de 400.000 que se crearon en el mismo periodo de 2014 y 2015. Lo mismo se aprecia si se analiza lo sucedido en los últimos 12 meses, cuando el empleo ha crecido un 2,4%, nueve décimas menos que en marzo.

Podemos y PSOE se reúnen 8 horas en secreto para perfilar un posible pacto de gobierno

OKDIARIO.- PSOE y Podemos ya mantienen contactos secretos para, al parecer, intentar conformar un Gobierno alternativo al de Rajoy si el PP no logra los apoyos necesarios para su investidura.

Tal y cómo ha confirmado OKDIARIO, las delegaciones de ambos partidos mantuvieron anoche una larga reunión que terminó ya de madrugada en un restaurante discreto de la zona de Atocha, en una mesa en la que al menos estuvieron presentes seis personas, tres por cada formación.

Por Podemos se personaron Irene Montero, jefe de Gabinete de Pablo Iglesias y diputada; el senador y diputado autonómico Ramón Espinar y el exJemad Julio Rodríguez, perteneciente a la dirección del partido tras no haber logrado acta ni el 20D ni el 26J. Una representación del mayor rango y con hilo directo con el secretario general y candidato de la formación morada.

El PSOE se presentó con una de las personas de mayor confianza de Pedro Sánchez, su portavoz parlamentario en la última legislatura completa, Antonio Hernando, secundado por la también diputada Ángeles Álvarez y una tercera persona sin identificar.

La Complutense suspende a Monedero

Alberto Garzón pide "una investigación" sobre el asistente de Pablo Echenique

El ISIS tiene campos de entrenamiento en Kosovo, cerca de una base de la OTAN

Camp Bondsteel is the main military base run by the United States of America under the KFOR (Kosovo Force) laws and regulations. Located near Ferizaj in the eastern part of Kosovo, the base serves as the NATO headquarters for KFOR‘s Multinational Battle Group East. KFOR is responsible for maintaining the peace in the problematic area of Europe. It is located in the eastern side of the country, close to Urosevac. It is also the host for the KFOR headquarters.

¿Es Europa impotente?

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.- At last count, members of the European Union spent more than $200 billion a year on defense, fielded more than 2,000 jet fighters and 500 naval ships, and employed some 1.4 million military personnel. More than a million police officers also walk Europe’s streets. Yet in the face of an Islamist menace the Continent seems helpless. Is it?

Was France helpless in May 1940?

Let’s stipulate that a van barreling down a seaside promenade isn’t a Panzer division, and that a few thousand ISIS fighters scattered from Mosul to Marseilles aren’t another Wehrmacht. But as in France in 1940, Europe today displays the same combination of doctrinal rigidity and loss of will that allowed an Allied army of 144 divisions to be routed by the Germans in six weeks. The Maginot Line of “European values” won’t prevail over people who recognize none of those values.

So much was made clear by French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who remarked after the Nice attack that “France is going to have to live with terrorism.” This may have been intended as a statement of fact but it came across as an admission that his government isn’t about to rally the public to a campaign of blood, toil, tears and sweat against ISIS—another premature capitulation in a country that has known them before.

Mr. Valls was later booed at a memorial service for the Nice victims. It would be heartening to think this was because he and his boss, President François Hollande, have failed to forge a strategy to destroy ISIS. But the public’s objection was that there hadn’t been enough cops along the Promenade des Anglais to stop the attack. In soccer terms, it’s a complaint about the failure of defense, not the lack of a proper offense.

Then there is Germany, site of three terror attacks in a week. It seems almost like a past epoch that Germans welcomed a million Middle Eastern migrants in an ecstasy of moral self-congratulation, led by Angela Merkel’s chant of “We can do it!” Last summer’s slogan now sounds as dated and hollow as Barack Obama’s “Yes we can!”

Now Germany will have to confront a terror threat that will make the Baader-Meinhof gang of the 1970s seem trivial. The German state is stronger and smarter than the French one, but it also surrenders more easily to moral intimidation. The idea of national self-preservation at all costs will always be debatable in a country seeking to expiate an inexpiatable sin.

Thus the question of whether Europe is helpless. At its 1980s peak, under François Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl, the European project combined German economic strength and French confidence in power politics. Today, it mixes French political weakness with German moral solipsism. This is a formula for rapid civilizational decline, however many economic or military resources the EU may have at its disposal.

Can the decline be stopped? Yes, but that would require a great unlearning of the political mythologies on which modern Europe was built.

Among those mythologies: that the European Union is the result of a postwar moral commitment to peace; that Christianity is of merely historical importance to European identity; that there’s no such thing as a military solution; that one’s country isn’t worth fighting for; that honor is atavistic and tolerance is the supreme value. People who believe in nothing, including themselves, will ultimately submit to anything.

The alternative is a recognition that Europe’s long peace depended on the presence of American military power, and that the retreat of that power will require Europeans to defend themselves. Europe will also have to figure out how to apply power not symbolically, as it now does, but strategically, in pursuit of difficult objectives. That could start with the destruction of ISIS in Libya.

More important, Europeans will have to learn that powerlessness can be as corrupting as power—and much more dangerous. The storm of terror that is descending on Europe will not end in some new politics of inclusion, community outreach, more foreign aid or one of Mrs. Merkel’s diplomatic Rube Goldbergs. It will end in rivers of blood. Theirs or yours?

In all this, the best guide to how Europe can find its way to safety is the country it has spent the best part of the last 50 years lecturing and vilifying: Israel. For now, it’s the only country in the West that refuses to risk the safety of its citizens on someone else’s notion of human rights or altar of peace.

Europeans will no doubt look to Israel for tactical tips in the battle against terrorism—crowd management techniques and so on—but what they really need to learn from the Jewish state is the moral lesson. Namely, that identity can be a great preserver of liberty, and that free societies cannot survive through progressive accommodations to barbarians. | BRET STEPHENS

dimecres, 27 de juliol de 2016

Cataluña inicia el golpe de Estado

Hoy, con premeditación y vacacionalidad, el Parlamento de Cataluña ha aprobado iniciar la secesión de España. Y hacerlo, no por las vías legales y constitucionales -siempre lentas y complejas- sino de manera rápida y unilateral, violando la ley y las resoluciones del Tribunal Constitucional. Es decir, hoy, Junts pel Sí y la CUP han impuesto su mayoría en el Parlamento para iniciar un golpe de Estado. Un golpe que puede llevarlos a la independencia o a la cárcel.

La 'corrección política' de la prensa socialdemócrata elude hablar de Golpe de Estado para definir lo que acaba de aprobar el Parlamento de Cataluña. Sin embargo, es la figura jurídica que mejor se ajusta a los hechos delictivos que se están cometiendo. Ciertamente, hay muchas clases de golpes de Estado: pacíficos o violentos, civiles o militares, para derribar un gobierno o un régimen o para desgajar una parte del Estado del territorio nacional. Pero todos ellos tienen un denominador común: que se ejecutan vulnerando la legalidad y la legitimidad institucional establecida por el Estado de Derecho.

El nacionalismo catalán ha dejado definitivamente atrás la máscara del seny para mostrar el rostro golpista de la rauxa.

¿Cuántos puestos de trabajo ha hecho perder en Francia el smartphone mundial?

La historia de la globalización y sus fracasos aún no se ha escrito. Probablemente debería comenzar en el año 350 ac: Alejandro Magno empieza entonces su empresa, no para conquistar, sino para unificar el mundo conocido. Desde Atenas hasta el río Indo, derroca a los tiranos locales, pero en vez de esclavizar a los pueblos incorpora a sus dioses en el panteón griego; se casó con la hija del rey de Persia y ordenó a sus funcionarios hacer lo mismo con las princesas locales. Después de haber alcanzado el Indo, sus oficiales se rebelaron y lo obligaron a dar marcha atrás: las raíces nostálgicas y tribales son más profundas que el sueño de la unidad. ¿El primer fracaso de la primera globalización? No hay duda de que al proyecto de Alejandro le faltaba una motivación económica. Una motivación que si estuvo presente en el viaje de Cristóbal Colón: una segunda globalización que, desde 1492, combina la religión y el comercio, la evangelización y los negocios, de Perú a China. Esta segunda oleada terminará con las guerras civiles que dividieron a los europeos. La tercera globalización coincide con el siglo XIX, de 1815 a 1914, y era sólo comercial, bajo los auspicios británicos. Esta tercera ola nos muestra que sin una fuerza de paz -la flota británica en ese momento y ahora la flota americana- la globalización no es duradera. También enseña cómo el comercio internacional contribuye al desarrollo de todos los socios: India y Brasil se modernizaron (contrariamente a lo que cuentas las sagas anticoloniales), Japón despega, en África la salud pública mejora, pero China colapsa. Una vez más, fueron las divisiones entre los occidentales las que acabaron con esa globalización.

Una nueva ola, la cuarta, se formó en 1945 por iniciativa de los estadounidenses. Al igual que en la época de los grandes descubrimientos, la globalización contemporánea combina una idea -la democracia li,beral en lugar de la cristiandad- con la teoría económica, la de la prosperidad a través del comercio. Hasta 1990, la globalización fue parcial, ya que la Unión Soviética y los dos grandes países socialistas, China e India, no participaron de ella. Después de 1990, estos imperios, autárquicos, se sumaron a la globalización de Estados Unidos; nadie se opone realmente a ella ni ofrece alternativa viable. Pero esta globalización, creada, de hecho, sobre la base de los valores estadounidenses de la misma manera que en el siglo XV se basó en los valores cristianos, es percibida como hiriente en muchas civilizaciones. A pesar de sus enormes ventajas, no implica que las mismas sean conocidas y reconocidas; y no excluye que se pueda marchar en dirección contraria, como en 1914.

La relativa debilidad de esta cuarta globalización se debe a un factor clásico en la economía: el efecto de la asimetría. Los partidarios de la globalización y de la democracia liberal que lo acompaña destacan sus efectos positivos "globales". Pero ¿quién razona en "global" o en "promedio"? Cada uno mide primero su beneficio personal. Si la globalización y la democracia benefician a la humanidad "en general" y mejora la renta "promedio" del planeta, pero a mi no me alcanza ¿puedo estar a favor? Si el trabajador o el gerente de una empresa local que desaparece debido a que es más racional importar de la India, México y Rumanía ¿cómo van a estar a favor de la globalización? Y aunque se explique que "en promedio" todos se beneficiarán con el tiempo, nadie ha fijado un plazo concreto. Es también conocido por los economistas que una empresa que cierra es más noticia que una que abre: esta asimetría mediática refuerza la asimetría de la percepción. Del mismo modo, las víctimas de la globalización tienen mayor capacidad de identificarse y unirse mientras que sus beneficiarios, dispersos, a menudo no saben que lo son. Por tanto, es más fácil para los oponentes de la globalización o de la democracia liberal, movilizar el descontento, ya que sus argumentos son visibles y sentidos, mientras que la globalización trae beneficios generales, "de promedio" y para el futuro. La ignorancia de la ciencia económica, principalmente en Francia, se suma a la 'asimetría': nuestro país, que yo sepa, es el único en el que las opiniones sobre la economía tienen el mismo rango que el conocimiento de la economía, y donde el comentarista tiene más audiencia que el investigador. Esto distorsiona el debate público sobre la economía de mercado y la globalización.

En lugar de ilustrar la globalización de una forma teórica, consideremos un ejemplo sencillo, el de la telefonía móvil. Todos tenemos un móvil o un smartphone, adquiridos a un precio modesto teniendo en cuenta la complejidad de este producto, y todos estamos conectados a una red nacional. ¿De dónde viene el teléfono inteligente? No hay duda de que el dispositivo se ha diseñado en California, ensamblado en China con productos producidos en Corea del Sur, Japón y Taiwán. Nadie puede hoy en día prescindir de lo que es el símbolo más evidente de la división internacional del trabajo, nombre científico de la globalización. Sin esta división, es probable que el teléfono inteligente existiera igual, pero costaría diez veces más y estaría reservado para la élite mundial: por el contrario, la eficiencia económica de la globalización lo ha convertido en el artículo más popular de todos. El sueño de los franceses más nacionalistas es poseer un teléfono inteligente hecho en Francia, pero eso no es posible: a este precio, no se puede hacer casi en ninguna parte. En cuanto a las redes, siguen siendo nacionales por el momento; en el futuro, las conexiones serán probablemente por satélite, y apátridas.

¿Cuántos puestos de trabajo ha hecho perder en Francia el smartphone mundial? Probablemente ninguno. Creó muchos en los sectores de servicios y comerciales que no hubieran sido posibles sin la globalización: ¿quién lo iba a decir? El teléfono inteligente ha creado todavía más puestos de trabajo y riqueza en los países que han sabido situarse en el circuito del diseño y la producción, como Corea del Sur y Taiwán. Francia ha fallado en esto, Alemania también, pero esta última está presente en otras áreas tan globalizados como el lujo, la aviación, la automotricidad, la agroindustria o las obras públicas; sin la globalización, estos sectores se verían obstaculizados, arruinando a millones de franceses. A la pregunta "¿Cuánto nos cuesta la globalización y cuánto nos aporta?" Nadie puede responder admitiendo que la pregunta tiene sentido. En realidad, y esto no lo entienden los franceses, la globalización como la economía en general es un flujo dinámico y no un stock. Algo que resume muy bien el aforismo de Joseph Schumpeter (1940): "El crecimiento es una destrucción creativa". Lo antiguo muere o se mueve para hacer espacio a lo nuevo. En 1945, la mitad de los franceses eran agricultores, ahora son el 3%: todos somos, o casi, una cosa distinta a lo que eran nuestros padres, gracias a que tenemos, "en promedio", un ingreso cuatro veces superior, incluyendo la calidad de vida, del que tenían nuestros padres. Este ciclo, que pasa de lo local a lo global, beneficia a los que se embarcan y deja en la orilla a aquellos que no entienden el principio de Schumpeter. O aquellos que se beneficiarían de los efectos positivos del Príncipe sin incurrir en su brutalidad: no se puede. El ciclo ahora se está acelerando: China, que se ha beneficiado de la globalización, debido a sus bajos salarios, es expulsada por Vietnam y Bangladesh, donde los salarios son aún más bajos. Mientras que la producción en 3D permitirá la re-industrialización de los Estados Unidos y Europa, volver a importar las actividades que se han externalizado. La globalización, si es efectiva, no es moral en sí misma. La moral está en otra parte, cosa que en Francia se vive mal: quisiéramos que la economía fuese moral, que la globalización fuese justa. Se confunde, a continuación, la producción y la redistribución, que posiblemente puede ser más moral que el mercado: se permite el debate.

Debatir sobre la globalización en sí, tener en cuenta que Francia se retira del mundo, es intrascendente, excepto para iluminarnos con una vela. Pero el debate sobre el lugar de Francia en el mundo es constructivo, puesto que nuestras fuerzas son considerables. El bien cultural, en primer lugar, porque el comercio está en parte determinada por la imagen de las naciones: las naciones son marcas comerciales, y la de Francia es positiva. Un ejemplo entre cien: los franceses en los Estados Unidos, después del español que es un lenguaje interior, es la lengua extranjera más enseñada. En Asia, la civilización francesa brilla: nuestras exportaciones suben, en el lujo pero también en la alta tecnología. Francia, si se mide objetivamente su clasificación por el número de patentes mundiales que se presentan cada año, representa por si sola el 5% en alta tecnología, por delante de Alemania. Lo que nos falta es la capacidad de convertir nuestras innovaciones y nuestra marca en bienes y servicios exportables. Esto nos devuelve a un debate gastado, pero no hay otro que sea realista: la dificultad de ser emprendedor en Francia, ya que solamente el empresario transforma las ideas en productos. Discutir sobre la globalización sólo es una manera de evitar el debate interno sobre el lugar de los "rentistas" -los monopolios públicos y privados que tienen interés en el status quo- y el de los innovadores, de las nuevas empresas: es principio de Schumpeter, que es lo que debe ser discutido y no la globalización. | GUY SORMAN

Artículo original en francés, aquí

El Parlamento de Cataluña inicia la secesión

España se libra de la multa de Bruselas por el déficit

El ministro de Economía y Competitividad, Luis de Guindos, se ha salido con la suya: La Comisión Europea ha decidido proponer la cancelación de la esperada multa a España por el reiterado incumplimiento del déficit. Después de semanas de incertidumbre y tras una tensa reunión de varias horas, el organismo europeo ha decidido finalmente cancelar la sanción.

Dentro de la propia Comisión había posiciones muy distantes. Mientras que algunos eran partidarios de anular la multa o dejarla en una sanción simbólica para no sentar un precedente, el ala más dura quería demostrar que las normas están para respetarlas, sobre todo cuando un país como España no ha cumplido sus objetivos, a pesar de estar creciendo por encima del 3%.

Los ministros de Economía y Finanzas de la Unión Europea (Ecofin) activaron el pasado 12 de julio el proceso formal para sancionar a España y Portugal por incumplir sus compromisos de reducción de déficit. Dos días después el equipo de Luis de Guindos envió las alegaciones del Gobierno español para evitar la multa, en las que se comprometía a hacer cambios en el Impuesto de Sociedades para elevar la recaudación en 2.000 millones, a mejorar los ingresos de la lucha contra el fraude y a cerrar el Presupuesto de 2016 el pasado 20 de julio para evitar aumentos del gasto inesperados.

Estas alegaciones, en las que el ministro también recordaba todas las medidas puestas en marcha por el Gobierno de Mariano Rajoy para luchar contra la crisis y el inesperado efecto de la inflación en las cuentas, han sido suficientes para convencer a la Comisión, que finalmente ha optado por no castigar a España. Según las reglas europeas, la multa podría haber llegado al 0,2% del PIB, lo que habría implicado unos 2.000 millones de euros en el caso español.

Con esta sorprende decisión de última hora Bruselas ha decidido no empezar a usar las sanciones que contempla el Pacto de Estabilidad con dos de los países que más han sufrido las consecuencias de la crisis y que más medidas han tomado para reconducir sus cuentas. De hecho, los países miembros de la UE se han saltado 165 veces el Pacto de Estabilidad y Crecimiento y en 114 ocasiones lo hicieron sin justificación alguna y nunca la Comisión Europea decidió poner una multa.

¿Por qué uno de los asesinos del cura de Normandía fue puesto en libertad tras 10 meses de prisión provisional?

LE MONDE.- La juge, qui veut croire à un avenir possible pour ce jeune homme perturbé, motive son ordonnance par le fait qu’il aurait « pris conscience de ses erreurs », qu’il a eu des « idées suicidaires » durant son incarcération, qu’il serait « déterminé à entamer des démarches d’insertion » et que sa famille semble disposée à lui apporter « encadrement » et « accompagnement ».

L’enquête réalisée sur la faisabilité de placement sous bracelet électronique précise que ses parents « avouent qu’ils préfèrent savoir leur fils incarcéré et vivant que libre et en route pour la Syrie. S’ils acceptent de l’accueillir, c’est parce qu’ils pensent sincèrement qu’il sait s’être trompé et qu’il ne tentera plus de partir ».

Le parquet est peu sensible à ces arguments et fait appel de l’ordonnance du juge, qu’il juge « peu convaincante ». Dans son réquisitoire, il estime que les contraintes prévues par le contrôle judiciaire « s’avèrent parfaitement illusoires au vu du contexte du dossier ». « Dans ces conditions, et quoiqu’il fasse état d’une erreur et réclame une seconde chance, il existe un risque très important de renouvellement des faits en cas de remise en liberté », insiste le ministère public.

La chambre de l’instruction ne suit pas l’appel du parquet. Adel Kermiche sort de prison. Il est assigné à résidence chez ses parents et équipé d’un bracelet électronique. Les modalités de son contrôle judiciaire lui interdisent de quitter le département, l’obligent à se soumettre à une prise en charge psychologique et ne l’autorisent à quitter le domicile familial qu’entre 8 h 30 à 12 h 30 en semaine, période durant laquelle il a commis, mardi, son attentat dans l’église de Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.

Primer ataque mortal del Estado Islámico a una iglesia católica en Europa

Hasta ahora habían atacado un supermercado, una redacción, un tren, terrazas de bares, una sala de conciertos, un colegio, un estadio, a policías en la calle o en sus casas, un paseo marítimo. El yihadismo, que ha sacudido Francia en los últimos años con una dureza tal que ha dejado el país al borde de la ruptura social, golpeó ayer un objetivo codiciado por Daesh pero, hasta el momento, indemne: una iglesia. Dos hombres armados con un cuchillo degollaron a un sacerdote de 86 años en Normandía e hirieron a otra persona, que se encuentra muy grave.

dimarts, 26 de juliol de 2016

Echenique sufrió mucho manteniendo sin contrato y sin Seguridad Social a su asistente personal durante un año

El secretario de Organización de Podemos y líder del partido en Aragón, Pablo Echenique, ha reconocido este martes que no ha hecho "las cosas bien" en relación al asistente que trabajó para él durante más de un año sin contrato y sin pagar la Seguridad Social, pero ha justificado que la gente "humilde", como el citado trabajador, se vea "empujada" a participar en la "economía sumergida" cuando debe elegir entre pagar la cuota de autónomos o la hipoteca.

Así lo ha asegurado en una rueda de prensa en Madrid, al ser preguntado por la información publicada por El Heraldo de Aragón sobre la situación irregular en la que se encontraba su empleado, que acudía a su domicilio para ayudarle en sus tareas personales durante una hora.

El dirigente de Podemos admitió al citado diario que el que fuera su asistente desde hace unos años dejó de cotizar como autónomo en los últimos meses, perdiendo así la cobertura de la Seguridad Social, porque "tenía problemas para llegar a fin de mes". Ante esta situación, Echenique le dio un tiempo para regularizar la situación pero como no lo hizo, rompió "la relación", según ha explicado.

"Como cualquier familia de esos millones de familias que participan de la economía sumergida, cuando yo pago un asistente sabiendo que él no está al corriente de sus obligaciones con la Seguridad Social, yo sé que no estoy haciendo las cosas bien de la misma manera que millones de familias ante las pocas alternativas que hay para hacer las cosas de otra manera. Todo el mundo sabe que no está haciendo algo bien, yo también lo sabia", ha reconocido.

Científicos belgas crean una máquina que convierte la orina en agua potable

BRUSSELS, July 26 (Reuters) - A team of scientists at a Belgian university say they have created a machine that turns urine into drinkable water and fertilizer using solar energy, a technique which could be applied in rural areas and developing countries.

While there are other options for treating waste water, the system applied at the University of Ghent uses a special membrane, is said to be energy-efficient and to be applicable in areas off the electricity grid.

"We're able to recover fertilizer and drinking water from urine using just a simple process and solar energy," said University of Ghent researcher Sebastiaan Derese.

The urine is collected in a big tank, heated in a solar-powered boiler before passing through the membrane where the water is recovered and nutrients such as potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus are separated.

No actuar según la razón es contrario a la naturaleza de Dios pero no de Alá

El 12 de septiembre de 2006, el Papa Benedicto XVI pronunció una conferencia en la Universidad de Ratisbona, Baviera, en la que parecía diagnosticar el Islam como una religión inherentemente defectuosa a causa del fanatismo. A continuación, publicamos el texto completo de la misma con traducción oficial al inglés del Vaticano.

(SEPTEMBER 9-14, 2006)
Aula Magna of the University of Regensburg
Tuesday, 12 September 2006

Faith, Reason and the University
Memories and Reflections

Your Eminences, Your Magnificences, Your Excellencies,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a moving experience for me to be back again in the university and to be able once again to give a lecture at this podium. I think back to those years when, after a pleasant period at the Freisinger Hochschule, I began teaching at the University of Bonn. That was in 1959, in the days of the old university made up of ordinary professors. The various chairs had neither assistants nor secretaries, but in recompense there was much direct contact with students and in particular among the professors themselves. We would meet before and after lessons in the rooms of the teaching staff. There was a lively exchange with historians, philosophers, philologists and, naturally, between the two theological faculties. Once a semester there was a dies academicus, when professors from every faculty appeared before the students of the entire university, making possible a genuine experience of universitas – something that you too, Magnificent Rector, just mentioned – the experience, in other words, of the fact that despite our specializations which at times make it difficult to communicate with each other, we made up a whole, working in everything on the basis of a single rationality with its various aspects and sharing responsibility for the right use of reason – this reality became a lived experience. The university was also very proud of its two theological faculties. It was clear that, by inquiring about the reasonableness of faith, they too carried out a work which is necessarily part of the “whole” of the universitas scientiarum, even if not everyone could share the faith which theologians seek to correlate with reason as a whole. This profound sense of coherence within the universe of reason was not troubled, even when it was once reported that a colleague had said there was something odd about our university: it had two faculties devoted to something that did not exist: God. That even in the face of such radical scepticism it is still necessary and reasonable to raise the question of God through the use of reason, and to do so in the context of the tradition of the Christian faith: this, within the university as a whole, was accepted without question.

I was reminded of all this recently, when I read the edition by Professor Theodore Khoury (Münster) of part of the dialogue carried on – perhaps in 1391 in the winter barracks near Ankara – by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both.[1] It was presumably the emperor himself who set down this dialogue, during the siege of Constantinople between 1394 and 1402; and this would explain why his arguments are given in greater detail than those of his Persian interlocutor.[2] The dialogue ranges widely over the structures of faith contained in the Bible and in the Qur’an, and deals especially with the image of God and of man, while necessarily returning repeatedly to the relationship between – as they were called – three “Laws” or “rules of life”: the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Qur’an. It is not my intention to discuss this question in the present lecture; here I would like to discuss only one point – itself rather marginal to the dialogue as a whole – which, in the context of the issue of “faith and reason”, I found interesting and which can serve as the starting-point for my reflections on this issue.

In the seventh conversation (διάλεξις – controversy) edited by Professor Khoury, the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that surah 2, 256 reads: “There is no compulsion in religion”. According to some of the experts, this is probably one of the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later and recorded in the Qur’an, concerning holy war. Without descending to details, such as the difference in treatment accorded to those who have the “Book” and the “infidels”, he addresses his interlocutor with a startling brusqueness, a brusqueness that we find unacceptable, on the central question about the relationship between religion and violence in general, saying: “Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”[3] The emperor, after having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain in detail the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. “God”, he says, “is not pleased by blood – and not acting reasonably (σὺν λόγω) is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats… To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death…”.[4]

The decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to act in accordance with reason is contrary to God’s nature.[5] The editor, Theodore Khoury, observes: For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this statement is self-evident. But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality.[6] Here Khoury quotes a work of the noted French Islamist R. Arnaldez, who points out that Ibn Hazm went so far as to state that God is not bound even by his own word, and that nothing would oblige him to reveal the truth to us. Were it God’s will, we would even have to practise idolatry.[7]

At this point, as far as understanding of God and thus the concrete practice of religion is concerned, we are faced with an unavoidable dilemma. Is the conviction that acting unreasonably contradicts God’s nature merely a Greek idea, or is it always and intrinsically true? I believe that here we can see the profound harmony between what is Greek in the best sense of the word and the biblical understanding of faith in God. Modifying the first verse of the Book of Genesis, the first verse of the whole Bible, John began the prologue of his Gospel with the words: “In the beginning was the λόγος”. This is the very word used by the emperor: God acts, σὺν λόγω, with logos. Logos means both reason and word – a reason which is creative and capable of self-communication, precisely as reason. John thus spoke the final word on the biblical concept of God, and in this word all the often toilsome and tortuous threads of biblical faith find their culmination and synthesis. In the beginning was the logos, and the logos is God, says the Evangelist. The encounter between the Biblical message and Greek thought did not happen by chance. The vision of Saint Paul, who saw the roads to Asia barred and in a dream saw a Macedonian man plead with him: “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” (cf. Acts 16:6-10) – this vision can be interpreted as a “distillation” of the intrinsic necessity of a rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek inquiry.

In point of fact, this rapprochement had been going on for some time. The mysterious name of God, revealed from the burning bush, a name which separates this God from all other divinities with their many names and simply asserts being, “I am”, already presents a challenge to the notion of myth, to which Socrates’ attempt to vanquish and transcend myth stands in close analogy.[8] Within the Old Testament, the process which started at the burning bush came to new maturity at the time of the Exile, when the God of Israel, an Israel now deprived of its land and worship, was proclaimed as the God of heaven and earth and described in a simple formula which echoes the words uttered at the burning bush: “I am”. This new understanding of God is accompanied by a kind of enlightenment, which finds stark expression in the mockery of gods who are merely the work of human hands (cf. Ps 115). Thus, despite the bitter conflict with those Hellenistic rulers who sought to accommodate it forcibly to the customs and idolatrous cult of the Greeks, biblical faith, in the Hellenistic period, encountered the best of Greek thought at a deep level, resulting in a mutual enrichment evident especially in the later wisdom literature. Today we know that the Greek translation of the Old Testament produced at Alexandria – the Septuagint – is more than a simple (and in that sense really less than satisfactory) translation of the Hebrew text: it is an independent textual witness and a distinct and important step in the history of revelation, one which brought about this encounter in a way that was decisive for the birth and spread of Christianity.[9] A profound encounter of faith and reason is taking place here, an encounter between genuine enlightenment and religion. From the very heart of Christian faith and, at the same time, the heart of Greek thought now joined to faith, Manuel II was able to say: Not to act “with logos” is contrary to God’s nature.

In all honesty, one must observe that in the late Middle Ages we find trends in theology which would sunder this synthesis between the Greek spirit and the Christian spirit. In contrast with the so-called intellectualism of Augustine and Thomas, there arose with Duns Scotus a voluntarism which, in its later developments, led to the claim that we can only know God’s voluntas ordinata. Beyond this is the realm of God’s freedom, in virtue of which he could have done the opposite of everything he has actually done. This gives rise to positions which clearly approach those of Ibn Hazm and might even lead to the image of a capricious God, who is not even bound to truth and goodness. God’s transcendence and otherness are so exalted that our reason, our sense of the true and good, are no longer an authentic mirror of God, whose deepest possibilities remain eternally unattainable and hidden behind his actual decisions. As opposed to this, the faith of the Church has always insisted that between God and us, between his eternal Creator Spirit and our created reason there exists a real analogy, in which – as the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 stated – unlikeness remains infinitely greater than likeness, yet not to the point of abolishing analogy and its language. God does not become more divine when we push him away from us in a sheer, impenetrable voluntarism; rather, the truly divine God is the God who has revealed himself as logos and, as logos, has acted and continues to act lovingly on our behalf. Certainly, love, as Saint Paul says, “transcends” knowledge and is thereby capable of perceiving more than thought alone (cf. Eph 3:19); nonetheless it continues to be love of the God who is Logos. Consequently, Christian worship is, again to quote Paul – “λογικη λατρεία”, worship in harmony with the eternal Word and with our reason (cf. Rom 12:1).[10]

This inner rapprochement between Biblical faith and Greek philosophical inquiry was an event of decisive importance not only from the standpoint of the history of religions, but also from that of world history – it is an event which concerns us even today. Given this convergence, it is not surprising that Christianity, despite its origins and some significant developments in the East, finally took on its historically decisive character in Europe. We can also express this the other way around: this convergence, with the subsequent addition of the Roman heritage, created Europe and remains the foundation of what can rightly be called Europe.

The thesis that the critically purified Greek heritage forms an integral part of Christian faith has been countered by the call for a dehellenization of Christianity – a call which has more and more dominated theological discussions since the beginning of the modern age. Viewed more closely, three stages can be observed in the programme of dehellenization: although interconnected, they are clearly distinct from one another in their motivations and objectives.[11]

Dehellenization first emerges in connection with the postulates of the Reformation in the sixteenth century. Looking at the tradition of scholastic theology, the Reformers thought they were confronted with a faith system totally conditioned by philosophy, that is to say an articulation of the faith based on an alien system of thought. As a result, faith no longer appeared as a living historical Word but as one element of an overarching philosophical system. The principle of sola scriptura, on the other hand, sought faith in its pure, primordial form, as originally found in the biblical Word. Metaphysics appeared as a premise derived from another source, from which faith had to be liberated in order to become once more fully itself. When Kant stated that he needed to set thinking aside in order to make room for faith, he carried this programme forward with a radicalism that the Reformers could never have foreseen. He thus anchored faith exclusively in practical reason, denying it access to reality as a whole.

The liberal theology of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries ushered in a second stage in the process of dehellenization, with Adolf von Harnack as its outstanding representative. When I was a student, and in the early years of my teaching, this programme was highly influential in Catholic theology too. It took as its point of departure Pascal’s distinction between the God of the philosophers and the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In my inaugural lecture at Bonn in 1959, I tried to address the issue,[12] and I do not intend to repeat here what I said on that occasion, but I would like to describe at least briefly what was new about this second stage of dehellenization. Harnack’s central idea was to return simply to the man Jesus and to his simple message, underneath the accretions of theology and indeed of hellenization: this simple message was seen as the culmination of the religious development of humanity. Jesus was said to have put an end to worship in favour of morality. In the end he was presented as the father of a humanitarian moral message. Fundamentally, Harnack’s goal was to bring Christianity back into harmony with modern reason, liberating it, that is to say, from seemingly philosophical and theological elements, such as faith in Christ’s divinity and the triune God. In this sense, historical-critical exegesis of the New Testament, as he saw it, restored to theology its place within the university: theology, for Harnack, is something essentially historical and therefore strictly scientific. What it is able to say critically about Jesus is, so to speak, an expression of practical reason and consequently it can take its rightful place within the university. Behind this thinking lies the modern self-limitation of reason, classically expressed in Kant’s “Critiques”, but in the meantime further radicalized by the impact of the natural sciences. This modern concept of reason is based, to put it briefly, on a synthesis between Platonism (Cartesianism) and empiricism, a synthesis confirmed by the success of technology. On the one hand it presupposes the mathematical structure of matter, its intrinsic rationality, which makes it possible to understand how matter works and use it efficiently: this basic premise is, so to speak, the Platonic element in the modern understanding of nature. On the other hand, there is nature’s capacity to be exploited for our purposes, and here only the possibility of verification or falsification through experimentation can yield decisive certainty. The weight between the two poles can, depending on the circumstances, shift from one side to the other. As strongly positivistic a thinker as J. Monod has declared himself a convinced Platonist/Cartesian.

This gives rise to two principles which are crucial for the issue we have raised. First, only the kind of certainty resulting from the interplay of mathematical and empirical elements can be considered scientific. Anything that would claim to be science must be measured against this criterion. Hence the human sciences, such as history, psychology, sociology and philosophy, attempt to conform themselves to this canon of scientificity. A second point, which is important for our reflections, is that by its very nature this method excludes the question of God, making it appear an unscientific or pre-scientific question. Consequently, we are faced with a reduction of the radius of science and reason, one which needs to be questioned.

I will return to this problem later. In the meantime, it must be observed that from this standpoint any attempt to maintain theology’s claim to be “scientific” would end up reducing Christianity to a mere fragment of its former self. But we must say more: if science as a whole is this and this alone, then it is man himself who ends up being reduced, for the specifically human questions about our origin and destiny, the questions raised by religion and ethics, then have no place within the purview of collective reason as defined by “science”, so understood, and must thus be relegated to the realm of the subjective. The subject then decides, on the basis of his experiences, what he considers tenable in matters of religion, and the subjective “conscience” becomes the sole arbiter of what is ethical. In this way, though, ethics and religion lose their power to create a community and become a completely personal matter. This is a dangerous state of affairs for humanity, as we see from the disturbing pathologies of religion and reason which necessarily erupt when reason is so reduced that questions of religion and ethics no longer concern it. Attempts to construct an ethic from the rules of evolution or from psychology and sociology, end up being simply inadequate.

Before I draw the conclusions to which all this has been leading, I must briefly refer to the third stage of dehellenization, which is now in progress. In the light of our experience with cultural pluralism, it is often said nowadays that the synthesis with Hellenism achieved in the early Church was an initial inculturation which ought not to be binding on other cultures. The latter are said to have the right to return to the simple message of the New Testament prior to that inculturation, in order to inculturate it anew in their own particular milieux. This thesis is not simply false, but it is coarse and lacking in precision. The New Testament was written in Greek and bears the imprint of the Greek spirit, which had already come to maturity as the Old Testament developed. True, there are elements in the evolution of the early Church which do not have to be integrated into all cultures. Nonetheless, the fundamental decisions made about the relationship between faith and the use of human reason are part of the faith itself; they are developments consonant with the nature of faith itself.

And so I come to my conclusion. This attempt, painted with broad strokes, at a critique of modern reason from within has nothing to do with putting the clock back to the time before the Enlightenment and rejecting the insights of the modern age. The positive aspects of modernity are to be acknowledged unreservedly: we are all grateful for the marvellous possibilities that it has opened up for mankind and for the progress in humanity that has been granted to us. The scientific ethos, moreover, is – as you yourself mentioned, Magnificent Rector – the will to be obedient to the truth, and, as such, it embodies an attitude which belongs to the essential decisions of the Christian spirit. The intention here is not one of retrenchment or negative criticism, but of broadening our concept of reason and its application. While we rejoice in the new possibilities open to humanity, we also see the dangers arising from these possibilities and we must ask ourselves how we can overcome them. We will succeed in doing so only if reason and faith come together in a new way, if we overcome the self-imposed limitation of reason to the empirically falsifiable, and if we once more disclose its vast horizons. In this sense theology rightly belongs in the university and within the wide-ranging dialogue of sciences, not merely as a historical discipline and one of the human sciences, but precisely as theology, as inquiry into the rationality of faith.

Only thus do we become capable of that genuine dialogue of cultures and religions so urgently needed today. In the Western world it is widely held that only positivistic reason and the forms of philosophy based on it are universally valid. Yet the world’s profoundly religious cultures see this exclusion of the divine from the universality of reason as an attack on their most profound convictions. A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures. At the same time, as I have attempted to show, modern scientific reason with its intrinsically Platonic element bears within itself a question which points beyond itself and beyond the possibilities of its methodology. Modern scientific reason quite simply has to accept the rational structure of matter and the correspondence between our spirit and the prevailing rational structures of nature as a given, on which its methodology has to be based. Yet the question why this has to be so is a real question, and one which has to be remanded by the natural sciences to other modes and planes of thought – to philosophy and theology. For philosophy and, albeit in a different way, for theology, listening to the great experiences and insights of the religious traditions of humanity, and those of the Christian faith in particular, is a source of knowledge, and to ignore it would be an unacceptable restriction of our listening and responding. Here I am reminded of something Socrates said to Phaedo. In their earlier conversations, many false philosophical opinions had been raised, and so Socrates says: “It would be easily understandable if someone became so annoyed at all these false notions that for the rest of his life he despised and mocked all talk about being – but in this way he would be deprived of the truth of existence and would suffer a great loss”.[13] The West has long been endangered by this aversion to the questions which underlie its rationality, and can only suffer great harm thereby. The courage to engage the whole breadth of reason, and not the denial of its grandeur – this is the programme with which a theology grounded in Biblical faith enters into the debates of our time. “Not to act reasonably, not to act with logos, is contrary to the nature of God”, said Manuel II, according to his Christian understanding of God, in response to his Persian interlocutor. It is to this great logos, to this breadth of reason, that we invite our partners in the dialogue of cultures. To rediscover it constantly is the great task of the university.
* * *
[1] Of the total number of 26 conversations (διάλεξις – Khoury translates this as “controversy”) in the dialogue (“Entretien”), T. Khoury published the 7th “controversy” with footnotes and an extensive introduction on the origin of the text, on the manuscript tradition and on the structure of the dialogue, together with brief summaries of the “controversies” not included in the edition; the Greek text is accompanied by a French translation: “Manuel II Paléologue, Entretiens avec un Musulman. 7e Controverse”, Sources Chrétiennes n. 115, Paris 1966. In the meantime, Karl Förstel published in Corpus Islamico-Christianum (Series Graeca ed. A. T. Khoury and R. Glei) an edition of the text in Greek and German with commentary: “Manuel II. Palaiologus, Dialoge mit einem Muslim”, 3 vols., Würzburg-Altenberge 1993-1996. As early as 1966, E. Trapp had published the Greek text with an introduction as vol. II of Wiener byzantinische Studien. I shall be quoting from Khoury’s edition.

[2] On the origin and redaction of the dialogue, cf. Khoury, pp. 22-29; extensive comments in this regard can also be found in the editions of Förstel and Trapp.

[3] Controversy VII, 2 c: Khoury, pp. 142-143; Förstel, vol. I, VII. Dialog 1.5, pp. 240-241. In the Muslim world, this quotation has unfortunately been taken as an expression of my personal position, thus arousing understandable indignation. I hope that the reader of my text can see immediately that this sentence does not express my personal view of the Qur’an, for which I have the respect due to the holy book of a great religion. In quoting the text of the Emperor Manuel II, I intended solely to draw out the essential relationship between faith and reason. On this point I am in agreement with Manuel II, but without endorsing his polemic.

[4] Controversy VII, 3 b–c: Khoury, pp. 144-145; Förstel vol. I, VII. Dialog 1.6, pp. 240-243.

[5] It was purely for the sake of this statement that I quoted the dialogue between Manuel and his Persian interlocutor. In this statement the theme of my subsequent reflections emerges.

[6] Cf. Khoury, p. 144, n. 1.

[7] R. Arnaldez, Grammaire et théologie chez Ibn Hazm de Cordoue, Paris 1956, p. 13; cf. Khoury, p. 144. The fact that comparable positions exist in the theology of the late Middle Ages will appear later in my discourse.

[8] Regarding the widely discussed interpretation of the episode of the burning bush, I refer to my book Introduction to Christianity, London 1969, pp. 77-93 (originally published in German as Einführung in das Christentum, Munich 1968; N.B. the pages quoted refer to the entire chapter entitled “The Biblical Belief in God”). I think that my statements in that book, despite later developments in the discussion, remain valid today.

[9] Cf. A. Schenker, “L’Écriture sainte subsiste en plusieurs formes canoniques simultanées”, in L’Interpretazione della Bibbia nella Chiesa. Atti del Simposio promosso dalla Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede, Vatican City 2001, pp. 178-186.

[10] On this matter I expressed myself in greater detail in my book The Spirit of the Liturgy, San Francisco 2000, pp. 44-50.

[11] Of the vast literature on the theme of dehellenization, I would like to mention above all: A. Grillmeier, “Hellenisierung-Judaisierung des Christentums als Deuteprinzipien der Geschichte des kirchlichen Dogmas”, in idem, Mit ihm und in ihm. Christologische Forschungen und Perspektiven, Freiburg 1975, pp. 423-488.

[12] Newly published with commentary by Heino Sonnemans (ed.): Joseph Ratzinger-Benedikt XVI, Der Gott des Glaubens und der Gott der Philosophen. Ein Beitrag zum Problem der theologia naturalis, Johannes-Verlag Leutesdorf, 2nd revised edition, 2005.

[13] Cf. 90 c-d. For this text, cf. also R. Guardini, Der Tod des Sokrates, 5th edition, Mainz-Paderborn 1987, pp. 218-221.

La ilegitimidad del referéndum del Brexit

On the basis of democracy, the result of the EU referendum needs to be - if not annulled - at the very least debated and voted on by Parliament. I am not seeking to reverse a decision that I don’t agree with by looking for new rules or seeking a second referendum (for if the first was a mistake a second would be a greater error) but the simple truth is that the referendum outcome is democratically illegitimate. It cannot be justified on the appeal to democracy.

The outcome of a referendum is unlike the outcome of a general election where simple majorities determine the result. A referendum on a matter of major national importance and in which huge constitutional issues are implicated is in itself not decisive. It is consultative. Many countries have rules on the conduct of referenda, such as the size of the majority decision for it to be binding and the relation of the majority to the percentage of the eligible electorate who voted. The UK does not have those rules. However, the absence of such regulations does not mean that a referendum must be automatically enacted regardless of the consequences and the size of the majority.

If the outcome is detrimental to the collective good - and in this case it is demonstrably contrary to the national interest - and leads to undemocratic outcomes, it follows that the argument of majoritarianism does not in itself hold up as the only criterion of legitimacy. | Gerard Delanty

Casi el 40% no votaría en unas terceras elecciones

LA RAZÓN.- Un mes ha pasado desde el 26-J y el intercambio de acusaciones y vetos entre las principales fuerzas políticas recuerda sospechosamente al de la pasada legislatura fallida. Hoy comienza la ronda de consultas del Rey y, por el momento, el PP, con sus 137 escaños, sigue sin contar con los apoyos necesarios para sacar adelante la investidura. Mientras, el PSOE continúa enrocado en su «no, no y no», y sueña con liderar la oposición durante una legislatura que difícilmente echará a andar si no da su brazo a torcer. En este contexto de bloqueo institucional, la encuesta encargada por LA RAZÓN a NC Report habla a las claras del desencanto de los ciudadanos. De repetirse las elecciones, la abstención aumentaría en 5,1 puntos con respecto a los pasados comicios, pasando del 33,9 al 39 por ciento. En esta ocasión iría a votar un 61 por ciento frente al 66 que lo hizo el 26-J. Éstos datos evidencian que la clase política ha demostrado no estar a la altura a los ojos de cientos de miles de electores. Además, según se desprende de dicha encuesta, los electores culparían del bloqueo a PSOE y Ciudadanos. Por su parte, el PP volvería a subir.