Paper Clippings The Blog of The Crossroads Cultural Center
Paper Clippings, more than a classical blog, is a service providing valuable reading material in order to help readers reach a judgment about current affairs. Comments and discussion are more than welcome.
Interesting paradox: democracy in Turkey is being endangered by the EU's insistence on civilian control over the military. This confirms a basic truth: that the foundation of democracy is the education of a people, not formal mechanisms. E.g. it is not the brilliant checks and balances of the US constitution; it is the kind of people who wrote it. Not understanding this is the tragedy of contemporary liberalism.
More progress towards the demise of marriage in France and the USA
(see also the latest masterpiece by the NYTimes Magazine). Positive side: this will bring some clarity after a couple of centuries in which it was thought that it is possible to preserve Christian values without Christ, and the Christian ideal of marriage will shine in the darkness (as long as Christians witness to it). Negative side: great suffering, because nothing can damage a human being like messing with his/her affectivity.
The good thing about mathematics is that it is easy to see when it is not being taught. The truth is that the situation may be just as bad with much more important subjects and nobody will ever complain (english, anyone? literature? history? naaaah, nobody needs history to compete in a globalized world).
No human being could live through so much un-reality without being (or getting) crazy. In fact, it does say something about our culture: the exaltation of the individual will to the point that a fantasy replaces reality (for those who are rich and powerful). Except that, in the process, the individual person itself (who is by nature relationship with reality) loses itself. What will a man give in exchange for his own self?
The "balance" of yesterday's elections was already calculated two months ago by conservative pundit Ramesh Ponnuru. In the end, this may well turn out to be a step towards a McCain presidency, and just a temporary anesthesia for the democratic party as it drowns in a cultural vacuum. If there is a long-term trend in US politics, it is probably that the common people in the heartland feel that their way of life is threatened by the nihilism of the liberal elites. Another is that people fear a developing world war. Obviously both of these play in the hands of the Republicans, since the Democrats are not even prepared to accept that there is a war and that their intellectual guides are essentially nihilistic. The irony is that they have to end up recruiting people like Jim Webb.