isn’t there such discussion in political science and sociology? The EU is trendy and we all are creating and shaping Europe now.

Listening to what the leader says and looking at how they expand on it is as rich in content as what we are all asked do now.

Some of my earlier, though recent thoughts on the EUropean question can be found herehere and here.


quo vadis – not yet answered …

… and possibly not yet sufficiently clear in posing the question.

In his address to the Heads of State, on the occasion of the anniversary of the process of  European integration, of which the EU is so far the highest stage, pope Francis said that

[t]hat spirit remains as necessary as ever today, in the face of centrifugal impulses and the temptation to reduce the founding ideals of the Union to productive, economic and financial needs.
Of course, at first sight most laudable – and having worked many years in the orbit of the EUropean institutions I was very much friend of the idea of rejecting the dominance of the ‘economic thinking’. Who would not welcome and ask for
a new humanism based on three capacities: the capacity to integrate, the capacity for dialogue and the capacity to generate.
Still, there is a bit of a question – some, and not least old and new populists, would formulate it like this: Who will pay for it? From where do we get the resources? And there answer is well known: love it ‘to the other’, those who are outside and should be kept outside, those who are below and are too lazy to step up etc. – It is a it a reversed version of the claim that it should be on earth as it is in heaven (Mathew 6.10)
The other answer is in some way given by Francis, in his already quoted address on the occasion of the conferral of the Charlemagne Prize, where he rightly states:
The just distribution of the fruits of the earth and human labour is not mere philanthropy.
But then he continues, suggesting that
[i]t is a moral obligation
and suggests that
[i]f we want to rethink our society, we need to create dignified and well-paying jobs, especially for our young people.
So, doesn’t he return to square one? – All what follows, all what is linked remains being about the distribution- and details slow reading must make us at least hesitate, if we learn that the ‘new economy’ is about
passing from an economy directed at revenue, profiting from speculation and lending at interest, to a social economy that invests in persons by creating jobs and providing training.
There is a twist in the middle of the thought: first we move to a different direction of the production itself, one that is not
directed at revenue, profiting from speculation and lending at interest
Instead it is about ‘a social economy’; but second we arrive again by being interested in and geared towards the individuals, investing
in persons by creating jobs and providing training.
Of course it is about
access to land and lodging through labour.
And of course
[l]abour is in fact the setting in which individuals and communities bring into play “many aspects of life ….”
But all these aspects have to be thought of in a relational way – would the use of and reference to personalities change the result of the reading?
I do not have the ultimate answer, and there may well be different answers. And it will be even difficult to find a sound formulation of a question. But I still think – and think more and more – that it is the old question, turning full attention to the way in which we deal with
and that means to think further about what may be called “social policy as production”, not as complement and not as supplement and not as value-lead phantom that easily becomes valueless.

… Perché …

Ti hanno uccisa e sepolta nei titoli dei loro giornali, madre. Come posso perdonare, madre? Come può Jenin perdonare? Come si può portare questo fardello? Come si può vivere in un mondo che volta le spalle a questa ingiustizia da così tanto tempo? E’ questo che significa essere palestinesi, madre?

(Susan Abulhawa, 2011: Ogni mattina a Jenin; Milano: Feltrinelli: 371 f.)

… non solo la Palestina – Qual è il significato di un mondo senza giustizia, un mondo che ha la competitività tra gli individui – stati nazionali, le persone, la personalità – come il valore massimo? E dove l’amore e la comprensione è di accettare e in attesa l’identità, non permettendo differenza? Questo che significa essere umano?

Quo Vadis Europe

Part of the previous story is of course the question mentioned above … – and a small contribution to push the direction can be made here, where the

IASQ is calling scholars to support our Declaration that was published om March 8, 2017. The Declaration, titled The Post Brexit Declaration on Social Quality In Europe, deals with the pressing needs of European society after last year’s victory of the Leave camp in the Brexit vote.



forward, right- or upwards or where should we go?

Yesterday we stood a step back from the abyss … – today we are looking for The progressive way, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the EU.

It is frightening that the linked article, explicitly claiming a social democratic orientation, is even opened by a photo, making direct reference to the pattern that has in the meantime even a name: Trumpism or Trumponomics.
Is this really the way to go?
All this, including the address with which the pope addressed yesterday the heads of state of a somewhat crumbling EU-member states, comes just in time while I am preparing both, the teaching of an intensive course on European Integration at the University of Vienna, department of political science end of the coming month, and a debate at the Rosa-Luxemburg-Foudation to which I want to contribute later this year.
There are some short reflections and questions that come to my mind.
  • Why can’t we move back, taking up on the traditions?
  • But do we really have to move forward instead, forgetting about the old wisdom that characterises linearity in economic thinking
  • There is more to be done, and in particular there is still some serious thinking to be done, resisting a subjectivist and voluntarist turn – be it to the right or also left populism, the one aiming on making nations great again, the other on making the EU great again.
  • And it is surely also about the rejection of platitudes, equalising right and left populism in a way in which earlier in history the thesis of totalitarism was put forward – there is surely left populism though it is surely an issue that needs some reflection – interesting is at least when ISI [import substitution industrialisation] is rejected while such sides rarely question the manifold ways of subsidies and new indirect protectionism of multi-speed policies. And equally interesting that such proposal of an entrepreneurial state is indeed something that made an earlier proponent, namely J. A. Schumpeter and his opus magnum highly contestable.
My tiny and humble contribution, planned to make the next 60 years something of which the positive results, which surely had been made already, are more then appreciated side effects of a structurally defunct model are outlined in the following:
Some of this employs my thinking in the realm of economics, under the title
– in close cooperation with Vyacheslav Bobkov from the Plekanov University in Moscow, currently as well with the College of Public Administration, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou and it is also playing a role in some preparation of this years G20, I have to do.
Another strand is employing me already now, and especially from September onwards, when taking up work at the Max-Planck-Institut für Sozialrecht und Sozialpolitik/Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy under the title
Still, at the moment it is about teaching students economics – and a decisive challenge remains to resist the number-crunching mind snatchers in a tiny village at the coastline of Wales, even unable to communicate, but trying to creep into the CORE.
see also here for some small but important action

… vista …

Chiuse gli occhi, rinata, il metallo freddo ancora contro la fronte. I ricordi la riportarono indietro, e ancora indietro, a una patria che non aveva mai conosciuto.


Una terra senza popolo per un popolo senza terra. Lo ripeté finché quasi non se ne convinse. Se non fosse stato per quella donna araba.

Ed è vero per i tanti altri che sono sfollate … – di storia e di oggi … Sarà il futuro nostro?

site update

A brief note on a “change” of the blog. Two new categories are added:

Aphorisms from living in and between worlds – impressions and conversations

It is a bit about thoughts on life and its philosophy, and also about joys of life. But it is more like taking up on the Diary from a Journey into another World: Diaries against nationalism, inspired by trying to overcome personal resentments (also on researchgate)

In any case: short reflections, not offering many links, not working with tags, thus hopefully provoking the reader making links and establishing tags … – here a first example

Slow reading

Some earlier blog posts would fit here, but it will be now more systematic, offering some of my thoughts while reading and revisiting some texts, focussing on particular aspects that go far beyond the text to which reference is made, hopefully offering an innovation to read more consciously, look at details that are so often overlooked, thus underrated. Still, one always has to be careful: it is not necessarily about what the author meant but also possible unintended interpretations – we al can easily  end up in such traps and gaps as soon as we write and speak. but it is also about the positive side: brilliant ideas, stimulating thoughts … , even if it may be at times a bit about a blind chicken, sometimes finding a bed.

Have a look for an example here ….


It may be that these are “real inspirations” for real – present of future – inventors and entrepreneurs; it may be that there some simple ideas also for everybody, often emerging from not considering enough consequences, implications of things I do, you may do, we all possibly do – making our own life more difficult and causing “externalities”: unnecessary cost for the environment etc.. Sometimes behaviour we may simply change, sometimes inventions that can be made and sold profitably – do so, if you are successful and ask for an account number I may provide it 😉

Here a first post in the series