The Murderer and the Victims

In particular in recent times remarks are concerning in particular the catholic church … . Though there is on the one hand the fear when it comes to religious fundamentalism, many initiatives taken by the current pope are celebrated – and indeed I joined a little bit in, asking in the title of a contribution for the Primavera vaticana?, i.e. Vatican Spring. Now there had been the one celebrated ‘Spring’ in the recent times which turned out to be the beginning of a hot autumn. And though there are the surely critical remarks and initiatives as not least in the Evangelli Gaudium and the Laudatio Sì and also the recent proposals in connection with abortion and divorce, one should not overlook that these can well be a threat: on the one hand a kind of Trojan horse; on the other hand a suicidal fuse, provoking fundamentalist catholics to start a palace coup. Well, in any case, much could be said and documented, also on the modern way inquisition – I found an article recently, and of course did not store it, post it …

With all this, I find another thing pretty interesting point: I received a hint on a BBC cast, specifically on China, even promising the unveiling of the Secrets of China. A young presenter. Indeed, she reveals some interesting stuff, gives some insight into real life of some people. I think she is much too positive in some way: on young people, the gambling addiction etc, youth issues – too positive and somewhat naïve. So I checked up on the presenter as I found it interesting to see such a young presenter being so …, well, in some instances ‘critical (which can be translated into conservative) about how young people live today’, the life of her own generation. The result – if this is her: she walked some … let’s say: ‘strange paths’, and if she would not have been as lucky as she has been, she would be at this stage in prison, undergo a drug detox treatment or already at the stage of addiction therapy – or worse: without it; in some way she is still behaving in the same way though she has now other ways with exactly the reputation these starlet producers provide and is now starting a career as ‘everything’: documentaries, fashion, activism …, as a veil and wrap of nothing else than the old habits, now ‘authorised’ by the Holy grail of BBC, fashion magazines and others ….

There is no reason to contest what is stated; and there are also some moments where one mentions the genuine approach and ‘empathy’ of the documentarist. The actually shocking about this is that it is not really about China: it is a ‘slow motion picture’ of many developments [including cosmetic surgeries, gaming and computer addiction, drugs, a lost youth, the pressure from careerism and (threat of) unemployment] which in western societies are now regretted, and faced with helpless despair, currently in part taken over in China, where inequality can easier be seen as ‘we’, the folks in the wild west are usually somewhat used to it, intoxicated by the Hello-press or to overlook it or are not able to see it easily as they happen in secret corners or where we cannot see them due to ‘commercial censorship’. We are somewhat used to it to such an extent that we often do not even hesitate when reading the paper like the Corriere della Sera: The edition of September 3rd showed on page 6 an article on Le tragedie in uno scatto, horrible photos, including the famous from the Vietnam war, showing the naked child, screaming and running away from the US-Napalm-bomb source of its pain and on page 7 we see an ad: Emporio Armani. – Yes, if reading the name it may sound a bit like the story about an armed empire, the arms being those of designer and finance capitalism – and we know that ‘this economy kills’ as Francis said. Sure, if you ‘join the wrong forces’ and are on the losers end, they will still gain, literally make profit after sending you to jail – saying all this in connection with a critique of the China-series is just saying this and has nothing to do with China, let alone the defence of any political past or presence. Still, it is worthwhile to read the ‘official critique‘ of the series … – there is surely some good reason for stating that


‘Professional media practice,’ the Xinhua commentary reads, ‘should be to interview sociologists… and education experts to give authoritative explanations; but the BBC has not done this.’ Instead, they say the programme ‘selectively uses non-mainstream phenomena to give subjective judgements the impression of objectivity.’

What we can learn from the series, though not necessarily outspoken, is that there is a China that is now kept out of the roundelay of the centre states in different ways. Andre Gunder Frank’s thesis, suggesting the Development of Underdevelopment has surely not completely lost its value also for analysing today’s (under)developments. And surely the series could have shown (it is stated in parenthesis) that it is exactly this fact leading to many of the problems: an over-stressed youth extreme inequality and so on: the attempt to build another armed empire or even to take over the existing one even if the arms are not the traditional ones but now those of brands and designs. But when it comes to talking about empires, it is still too often forgotten that the Most Violent Nation is indeed to be found in another corner of the world – and the violence there is really penetrating the entire society, coined by a high degree of feeling supremacy as ultimate characteristic of the state and the nation. This surely is somewhat different to what we read in the Diplomatic Words of Wisdom.

It may be far fetched, but interestingly: the UN-resolution on Debt Restructuring (I did not find it, only reports on it) had been adopted by a majority but against countries where the most important forces are referring to be servants of religious faith, in particular USNA and FRG. And it is a country where Christianity plays a major role, also in the reference of the relevant power holder (Hungary), now beginning to move military forces to the border to ‘solve’ the problem of migration. And …, well, it was also the Christians who did not allow critiques in West Germany of the 1970s entering state services, Christians who are again attempting to close Corvinus university in Budapest (or at least the relevant part of critical work there) while they are putting up barbed wire and engaging the army against migrants … and who make (with reference to god and the good will and hope) empty promises which let people end up on the street…

Surely a beginning only

It is surely not a complete analysis of the encyclical letter which is due to be published today. But one thing seems to be striking: it continues to dichotomise economy and ecology, only demanding taking responsibility FOR nature. 

Quando si analizza l’impatto ambientale di qualche iniziativa economica , si è soliti conside- rare gli effetti sul suolo, sull’acqua e sull’aria, ma non sempre si include uno studio attento dell’impatto sulla biodiversità, come se la perdita di alcune specie o di gruppi animali o vegetali fosse qualcosa di poco rilevante.

(Para 35)
Shouldn’t we move further, looking for responsibility IN nature?
Indeed there are several instances in the letter that suggest a too technical understanding to the real social responsibility, i.e. a responsibility that sees nature as an inherent part of the social existence.

Difficult questions and the surely important contribution of the 






will offer many impulses for a hopefully productive debate.
… Camminare insieme … 

con tutte le nostre differenze 

Opening Views against the Closure of the World

finding a “new home” now and will be published with Nova Science. Just working on the fine tuning of the contract after WVFS goes stray …

Commedia della Vita or Pánta Rêi's Firm Ground

Just doing there final work – proof reading etc. – A book under the title

Opening Views against the Closure of the World

should then soon ready for publication at Some overview in the following. 

The contributions collected in this volumes are all centred around challenges we face globally – and saying globally means that they are taking such perspective seriously as one that “concerns us all”. Too often social science remains explicitly limited by understanding the process of globalisation as a matter of (i) maintaining the old developmentalist perspective, presuming the superiority of what is today called global north or (ii) as suspicious, i.e. defending in one way or another indigeneity. A possible further move consists in (iii) claiming some form of merger, the caminare insieme, for which the present pope can claim some fame, is then reduced on some moral statement, translated into demanding collective rationality against…

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Excellence – The Mediocrity of Excellencies and Excellence of Mediocrity

the issue came up recently for me – again and again, and in the conversation with different people: Excellence … – too often not being anything else than megalomania — a dangerous deception that does not allow people to be …, just to be ordinary people and be great as such. That would allow us all as well to be aware of the responsibility we have instead of carelessly killing others …, allowing things to get out of control …
The current version is slightly modified

Commedia della Vita or Pánta Rêi's Firm Ground

The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.[1]

Those who know me well, can understand what it means when I write: I do not know since when I am living here now; I do not know if it is for a long time, a small eternity or if I actually just a arrived, still trying to get used to things and developing routines. Those who know me well are aware of the fact that time, units on the calendar, are just like numbers: only meaningful in their uniqueness which is only given by being just a dot on an endless scale.

We may measure it by looking at the time it takes to establish routines … ? Well, it does only take a couple…

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Presenting an agenda for Europe at AMBROSETTI (Lake Como, 14th March 2015)

Indeed we have to think about Europe and not about nation states!!!

Yanis Varoufakis

Workshop the European House - Ambrosetti a Villa D'Este

Dear All, Ministerial duties have impeded my blogging of late. I am now breaking the silence since I have just given a talk that combines my previous work with my current endeavours. Here is the text of the talk I gave this morning at the Ambrosetti Conference on the theme of ‘An Agenda for Europe’. Long time readers will recognise the main theme – evidence of a certain continuity…

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Compassion in action

The European Social Modell – see it in Action

Social Policy

From the Daily Telegraph, 5th March 2015:

Iain Duncan Smith: Taking people off benefits is ‘compassionate’. 

… for too long it has been assumed that compassion is “soft” …  There is nothing compassionate about increasing dependency by spending more of taxpayers’ money …    No – Conservative compassion is about getting someone back to work, taking the tough choices to move someone clear of the benefits system.

From the Mirror, 6th March 2015:

Father killed himself after his benefits were cut and he was threatened with eviction

A father-of-three killed himself after his benefits were cut and he was threatened with eviction.  … Mr McDonald’s benefits had been stopped by the Department of Work and Pensions …   A spokesman for mental health charity Mind said: “It would be helpful to see what could be going wrong in the benefits system that leads to these tragic situations.”

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Democratic Round Table’s Manifesto to the People of Hungary

The development in Greece may hopefully be more than an encouragement of the anti-austerity forces in Europe (so today’s huma). This is ONE important point, the other is to move Europe towards a different direction altogether … – May be there is some movement also in Hungary now. Actually the same day as Greek people went to the ballots …

Hungarian Spectrum

It was on January 16 that four people who are concerned about the fate of Hungary announced the formation of a new Democratic Round Table (Demokratikus Kerekasztal or DEKA). People familiar with the period of the regime change in Hungary will recall that it was at such a round table that the foundations of the new democratic Hungary were laid.

The four patriotic people are Zsuzsa Ferge, a sociologist whose primary interest is social stratification with special emphasis on poverty; Gábor Iványi, the Methodist minister who works with the homeless and the poor; András Horváth, the whistleblower who revealed the rampant corruption within the Hungarian Tax Authority; and Zoltán Lovas, a journalist who was one of the organizers of the long demonstration against the erection of the memorial to the German occupation. They are convinced, as are many others, that Hungary is in a social, political, and economic crisis, and they are trying to stave off a “national catastrophe.” Due to the growing…

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