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February 24 2013

"History and Identity in the Late Antique Near East", edited by Philip Wood

Egypte actus's curator insight, Today, 8:23 AM

 

History and Identity in the Late Antique Near East gathers together the work of distinguished historians and early career scholars with a broad range of expertise to investigate the significance of newly emerged, or recently resurrected, ethnic identities on the borders of the eastern Mediterranean world. It focuses on the "long late antiquity" from the eve of the Arab conquest of the Roman East to the formation of the Abbasid caliphate. The first half of the book offers papers on the Christian Orient on the cusp of the Islamic invasions. These papers discuss how Christians negotiated the end of Roman power, whether in the selective use of the patristic past to create confessional divisions or the emphasis of the shared philosophical legacy of the Greco-Roman world. The second half of the book considers Muslim attempts to negotiate the pasts of the conquered lands of the Near East, where the Christian histories of Hira or Egypt were used to create distinctive regional identities for Arab settlers. Like the first half, this section investigates the redeployment of a shared history, this time the historical imagination of the Qu'ran and the era of the first caliphs. All the papers in the volume bring together studies of the invention of the past across traditional divides between disciplines, placing the re-assessment of the past as a central feature of the long late antiquity. As a whole, History and Identity in the Late Antique Near East represents a distinctive contribution to recent writing on late antiquity, due to its cultural breadth, its interdisciplinary focus, and its novel definition of late antiquity itself.

Oxford University Press, USA, April 1, 2013, 272 pages

 

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Contents via http://scholar.qsensei.com/content/1t9yw6 ;

 

Sophronius of Jerusalem and the end of roman history / Phil Booth -- Identity, philosophy, and the problem of Armenian history in the sixth century / Tara Andrews -- The chronicle of Seert and Roman ecclesiastical history in the Sasanian world / Philip Wood -- Why were the Syrians interested in Greek philosophy? / Dan King -- You are what you read: Qenneshre and the Miaphysite church in the seventh century / Jack Tannous -- The prophet's city before the prophet: Ibn Zabala (d. after 199/814) on pre-Islamic Medina / Harry Munt -- Topoi and topography in the histories of al-?ira / Adam Talib -- "The crinkly haired people of the black earth"; examining Egyptian identities in Ibn 'abd al-?akam's futu? / Hussein Omar -- Forgetting Ctesiphon: Iran's pre-Islamic past, ca. 800-1100 / Sarah Savant -- Legal knowledge and local practices under the early Abbasids / Mathiew Tillier.

 



Reposted byiranelection iranelection

February 13 2013

"A Crisis Of The State? The End Of The Post-Westphalian Model" by Carlo Bordoni

Carlo bordoniBefore we delve into the reasons for the crisis of the state it is necessary to clarify the meaning of ‘nation’. Nation has a cultural connotation and its distant origins are historically much older than state: it is still recognisable as a nation even when its borders have not been marked out and, at least formally, it is still not a state with its own laws. A population that is recognised as a nation feels free in the territory in which it lives and does not need to set limits on their freedom of movement within that space that they feel belongs to them.

And yet a country can continue to exist only if it exists as a state, that reinforces its identity and ensures precise territorial limits, because while the idea of “nation” is a feeling, the state – more pragmatically – needs a territory in which to take root. According to Jürgen Habermas, on the other hand, “national community does not precede the political community, but it is the product of it” (The Postnational Constellation: Political Essays, Polity Press, 2000, p. 76). A statement which is partially accepted, if we admit that the idea of nationality can mature only within a state, which, however, does not take into account the presence of a core of national feeling (although not institutionalised) on which to build a state.

State and nation go together and support each other, but something began to change in the late seventies and subsequent decades, in correspondence to the dissolution of modernity.

The anthropologist Arjun Appadurai was the first to report that the concept of nation is entering a crisis (Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization, University of Minnesota, 1996), because it is the very cultural identity that is first damaged by the change taking place. What is called into doubt is the idea of the national community, based on the same language, same customs, same religion, same culture.

The opening of borders is preceded by a cultural openness that upsets the age-old certainties. The idea of nation endures while the presence of linguistic, religious or political minorities is “confined” temporarily or geographically in “enclaves” in ghettos, in refugee camps or in shelters. Then, when the diasporic communities begin to see recognition of their rights as citizens with full rights, and then demand recognition of their “diversity” with respect to the obligation to integrate (the customary path towards equality), the ‘unity of the nation begins to crumble.

Already in the nineties, Appadurai talked about post-national states, where diasporic communities are no longer occasional or temporary events, but long-lasting ones built into the system, which have become an integral part of the culture and history of a country. The term post-national better defines the earlier concepts of multinational and international, that remain fairly strongly related to economic, legal and practical dependence with the state as reference, until the entire system is weakened.

We live in a constant state of crisis, and this crisis also involves the modern state, whose structure, functionality, effectiveness (including the system of democratic representation) are no longer suited to the times in which we live.

There are many critical issues facing the modern state and the causes are many: some induced by deep historical and cultural changes that took place between the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the third millennium, others by political and economic choices that led to consequences in people’s daily lives, further exasperating the distance from the institutions.

In the first place, the end of the post-Westphalian model. It appears crucial to an understanding of the present condition starting from the loss of meaning of this model of balance between states, which has stood for centuries and has been the cornerstone of international relations. The Treaties of Westphalia (Münster and Osnabrück) in 1648 (then essentially reconfirmed by the statute of the United Nations) have established some basic principles on which to base the rights and limits of the modern state, the new civil system that was born from the ashes of feudalism and that Hobbes represented as metaphoric in Leviathan: a form of monstrous strength made up of all the men who gathered together and recognised each other in a superior unity.

Based on the principle of limited sovereignty, the post-Westphalian model recognises in the modern state absolute and indivisible sovereignty over its territory and ownership in international relations, of which it is the sole subject.

If for a long time the state and nation have been able to live together, united on a historical and legal level by the insolubility of the fundamental principles that modernity assured, it was thanks to the agreements made in the Treaties of Westphalia, at the end of the long religious war, that had shattered Europe for thirty years. Since then, modern states, in the form that we have known for centuries, have standardised the so-called “post-Westphalian model”, which sets down the rules of universal stability and recognises the full sovereignty of a state within its own borders.

In the third millennium, it is the very post-Westphalian model that enters into crisis, dragging with it the crisis of the modern state, which is determined not only by the opening of borders, but by the inability demonstrated in maintaining its commitments to its citizens. In this phase, it is the “internal” boundaries that create problems. Security, defence of privilege, identity, recognition and cultural traditions, which once coincided with the boundaries of the post-Westphalian state, are now altered, uncertain, liquid. They are no longer reliable.

The dissolution of geographical or temporal limits imposed on diasporic communities determines the well-known phenomenon of the turnaround: if in the past it was the majorities that enclosed the minorities in “enclaves”, now it is the same majorities that shut themselves inside the “gated communities”, guarded by private security guards, by electronic control and security systems; jealous of the privacy that is no longer guaranteed on the outside.

Now it is clear how this model entered into crisis with the development of globalisation, whose explosive force has erased the boundaries between states and undermined any claim of absolute sovereignty. But the consequences of globalisation are not limited only to undermining the rules of international relations; they have led to a further upheaval, removing the power and raising it to a higher level. Now it is distant and spread on a global level, thus separated from politics, with which, up to now, it had been intimately linked. Hobbes’s Leviathan, deprived of its operating arm, is reduced to a mutilated body that wallows in its impotence. It gets agitated, argues and proclaims, but can not do anything even when it has made momentous decisions because the operational side is the responsibility of others. This no longer belongs to it.

The separation of politics and power is lethal to the modern state. Especially if it is a democratic state, whose constitution has promised its citizens to let them take part in common decisions that but now are taken by bodies that are non-democratically appointed or controlled from the bottom. The tragedy of the modern state lies in its inability to implement at a global level the decisions taken locally. The citizen, for example, elects their representatives to the European Parliament, who, in turn, elect committees and subcommittees, where executive decisions are taken by the last organisational bodies, formed on the basis of a series of institutional changes, the complexity of which should be a guarantee of impartiality and independence.

If it were just a matter of bureaucracy, complicated by the presence of more than one body, the system would still retain some form of democracy, although there is no direct relationship (no feedback, no opportunity to reply) between the last of the voters of a small European country and the drafter of a Community regulation. The problem is more serious, from the moment when the most important decisions on an economic, financial and developmental level are taken not by institutional bodies, as required by a democratic system, though it be a rather loose network, but by groups of power, by holding companies, multinationals, lobbies and the so-called “market”, that is by a summation of personal actions, technical consequences, emotional reactions, political will and particular interests that overlap in a very confusing manner and determine the fate of millions of people without any liability. Everything seems to happen because this is how the world turns and no one is able to oppose it. Not the people taking to the streets, protesting, whose only result is, at best, to sensitise public opinion that is otherwise distracted by an excess of information. Not even the nation-state, which does not have the instruments needed to operate at global distances and never had, since the issue had never been raised before.

Before being physical, political, legal and economic, in compliance with the post-Westphalian model, borders have always maintained that balance of strength and relationships which now no longer exists.

The crisis of the state coincides with the crisis of the post-Westphalian model, whose certainties have been swept away by the opening of borders, by increasingly more rapid exchanges of communications, by an economy at a global or supranational level and, not least, by a culture which is no longer at a local level, and is deeply influenced by suggestions, information, and comments from all over the world. The global village of McLuhan was created (or is being created) thanks to economic and cultural exchange, but at the expense of system-states that it is no longer in line with the changing times.

Reposted from02myEcon-01 02myEcon-01

January 12 2012

Identité(s) juive(s) dans l'Antiquité | nonfiction.fr 2012-01-10

Recueil organisé d’articles qui met en lumière la façon dont l’Antiquité méditerranéenne a perçu le judaïsme et comment ce dernier s’y est intégré. Parmi les différentes enquêtes que mène l’auteur, la première cible les premières représentations que les Grecs se font des Juifs. C’est à la fin du IVème siècle avant notre ère qu’on trouve trace d’une rencontre entre les Juifs et les Grecs. La première désignation qu’utilisent les Grecs pour parler les Juifs est celle de " peuple de philosophes nés " - qui donne son titre à l’ouvrage. Cette première mention des Juifs chez un Grec, en l’occurrence Théophraste, dérive du fait que cet auteur met au centre de ce qu’il connaît du judaïsme leur monothéisme...

 

-------------------------

 

// oAnth - original URL -- http://www.nonfiction.fr/article-5361-identite_s_juive_s_dans_lantiquite.htm



August 30 2011

It’s official: Google wants to own your online identity

Ever since Google launched its new Google+ social network, we and others have pointed out that the search giant clearly has more in mind than just providing a nice place for people to share photos of their pets. For one thing, Google needs to tap into the “social signals” that people provide through networks like Facebook so it can improve its search results. But there’s a larger motive as well: as chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt admitted in an interview in Edinburgh over the weekend, Google is taking a hard line on the real-name issue because it sees Google+ as an “identity service” or platform on which it can build other products.

Schmidt’s comments came during an interview with Andy Carvin, the National Public Radio digital editor who has become a one-man newswire during the Arab Spring revolutions. Carvin asked the Google chairman about the company’s reasoning for pushing its real-name policies on Google+ — a policy that many have criticized (including us) because it excludes potentially valuable viewpoints that might be expressed by political dissidents and others who prefer to remain anonymous. In effect, Schmidt said Google isn’t interested in changing its policies to accommodate those kinds of users: if people want to remain anonymous, he said, then they shouldn’t use Google+.

Google+ is primarily an “identity service”

But it was the former Google CEO’s remarks about the rationale for this policy that were most interesting: He didn’t just say — as Vic Gundotra, the Google executive in charge of the new social network has — that having real names maintains a certain tone of behavior that is more preferable to anonymous forums (an argument that online-community pioneer Derek Powazek has also made). According to Carvin, Schmidt said the reason Google needs users with real names is that the company sees Google+ as the core of an identity platform it is building that can be used for other things:

He (Eric) replied by saying that G+ was build primarily as an identity service, so fundamentally, it depends on people using their real names if they’re going to build future products that leverage that information.

As Union Square Ventures partner Fred Wilson noted in a blog post in response to Schmidt’s comments, this is an admission by the company that it wants to be an identity gatekeeper. Others have made similar observations since the launch of Google+. Programmer and online veteran Dave Winer, for example, said when the real-name policy first started to become a hot-button issue that Google’s purpose was clearly to “provide identity in a commerce-ready way. And to give them information about what you do on the Internet, without obfuscation of pseudonyms.” In his blog post, Fred Wilson said:

It begs the question of whom Google built this service for? You or them. And the answer to why you need to use your real name in the service is because they need you to.

Real names are more valuable to advertisers

As I tried to outline in a recent GigaOM Pro research report entitled “How social search is changing the search industry” (subscription required), there’s an obvious search-related rationale for launching a social network like Google+, since indexing and mining that kind of activity can help the company provide better “social search” results. But the real-name issue has more to do with Google’s other business: namely, advertising. Users who are anonymous or pseudonymous are arguably a lot less valuable to advertisers than those who choose to attach their real identities, including their age and gender, location and other demographic details to their accounts.

What kind of services is Schmidt referring to when he says that Google is looking at Google+ as an identity platform that could support other services? Dave Winer thinks that the company wants to effectively become a bank — something he also suspects that Apple and Amazon are interested in as well — and that’s definitely a possibility. Apple and Google both seem interested in NFC technology (near-field communication), which turns mobile devices into electronic wallets, and having a social network tied to an individual user’s identity would come in handy. Ross Dawson says Google wants to build a “reputation engine” using Google+ as a platform.

Whatever its specific interests are, Google clearly sees Facebook as a competitive threat not just because it has developed a gigantic social network with hundreds of millions of devoted users, but also because it has become a kind of identity gatekeeper — with tens of millions of those devoted users happily logging into other websites and services with their Facebook credentials, thus sending Facebook valuable data about what they are doing and where they are doing it. And the ubiquitous “like” button provides even more data, something Google is also trying to mimic with its +1 buttons.

Google needs a horse in the identity race

The bottom line is that Google needs to have a horse in this identity race, and it has been unable to create one so far. The growth of Google+ provides a reason for people to create Google profiles, and that data — along with their activity on the network and through +1 buttons — goes into the vast Google cyberplex where it can be crunched and indexed and codified in a hundred different ways. And the more people who decide to do it, the better it gets, both for Google and for its advertising strategy. As the saying goes, if you’re not paying for it, then you’re the product being sold.

That’s the obvious background to the real-name issue, something Eric Schmidt has effectively confirmed with his remarks in Edinburgh. Whether users like the position that puts them in remains to be seen.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Kat B Photography

Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro:
Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.

Reposted fromdarinrmcclure darinrmcclure

August 29 2011

02mydafsoup-01

[...]

(L)egal identity needs to be administrated in the online domain (which, contrary to what NSTIC and others seem to think, is not demonstrably proven), it remains that without the protections outlined in the “dotrights” campaign, the NSTIC effort is an incredibly dangerous movement for state managed identity as well as for citizens/consumers and their rights/interests. But don’t take my word for it, consider carefully the wording and implications of Mr. Messina:

“The last thing that I’ll add — which itself is controversial — is that this whole system, at least at the outset, will be voluntary and opt-in,” Messina says. “That means that if you don’t want the convenience of not having to use passwords anymore, you won’t have to. If you’re okay rotating your passwords and maintaining numerous discreet accounts across the web, that’s cool too. I don’t think a mandatory system would succeed — at least not without proving its security, stability, convenience, and utility over several years.”

I would point out that the current efforts by Google are, in fact, “entirely voluntary and opt-in”.

I would also point out that they have made it exceedingly clear that they are being driven by a yet-unexplained motivation that makes taking a “don’t like it, leave” stance attractive for Google.

I would further point out that Google’s CEO Schmidt himself stated that (paraphrasing), “Google+ is an identity service”; this is also supported by Google’s own site.

My assertions and conclusions at this point are, I think, things that you will find utterly logical:

  1. Google intends to be one (the first? the premiere? the only?) identity service for the USA.
  2. Google intends that their existing hold over users (adoption of services and products and related entrenchment thereto) be the weight brought to bear that ensures adoption rather than abandonment.
  3. Google intends that their ability to demonstrate adoption will allow them to leverage themselves, if not into the position of sole provider, then into a position of an elite few.
  4. Google intends to lobby and support our government in reaching a point of transition at which this “entirely voluntary and opt-in” identity service may become a mandatory one.
  5. Google is counting on YOUR continued use and willingness to adopt and endure any change they make to accomplish this.

Seem far fetched? Why? Messina is obviously thinking about it, the NSTIC is as well, thus Google, our Government, and who knows who else are thinking about it, too. Look at this and understand: There is not that much distance at all between Messina’s statements and the above assertions and conclusions and, frankly, that distance will close rapidly if Google is right about consumer apathy and passive adoption.

[...]


The NSTIC, you, and me (and Google?)… | BonnieNadri.Com - 2011-08-29
02mydafsoup-01
#Stiegler -

It seems appropriate somehow to think again of Bernard Stiegler’s opening comments in Taking Care of Youth and the Generations after a few days of rioting and endless irrelevant comments in the spectacle about the causes. Stiegler’s underlying proposition is that the spectacle, which he refers to as the culture industry undermines what it is to be an adult. “An adult human being is one recognized as socially adult and thus responsible. Responsibility is the adult’s defining trait; an adult who is irresponsible, stricto senso, loses both adults rights and duties…” Stiegler defines the process of becoming adult, becoming responsible through the Freudian moment, since “…Freud it has been clear that the formation of this responsibility, this becoming adult, develops from infancy through a relationship of identification with parents who educate the child. This is what Freud calls primary identification…” and which enables adulthood and responsibility to be transmitted between the generations.

This might be challenged by those who find the psychoanalytical understanding problematic, perhaps preferring an evolutionary psychology model or a neuro-psychological model,(though the idea of challenging this through such a biologically deterministic model does amuse me). However this would clearly change nothing of significance in Stieglers argument, unless you wish to use such an anti-psychoanalytical perspective to argue against the positive values assigned to adulthood and responsibility. For what Stiegler is raising is that the culture industry, the spectacle is working to subvert the process of becoming adult, becoming responsible… as follows: So that “… this process of identification is precisely what the contemporary culture industry subverts, in diverting and capturing the attention of young minds in their time of ‘brain availability’ passive in the face of demands to consume but increasingly subject to attention problems…” Typically the new stereotypes are used to subvert, short-circuit and infantilize parental authority. The culture industry derides parental stereotypes and in so doing works to place itself in their stead. It is this process which we have seen repeated in the aftermath of the riots…Even in the abbreviated version briefly outlined here I would ask how does this read as yet again we have heard mothers and fathers derided by the political elites and their priests of the spectacle ?

concrete rules, differences & equivalences (#Stiegler -)
via https://twitter.com/#!/02mytwi01/status/106662458155995136

August 02 2011

02mydafsoup-01
[...]

Eine Geschichte aus einer möglichen Zukunft: Sie sitzen in der U-Bahn einem interessanten Menschen gegenüber. Wie heißt er? Wo arbeitet er? Wofür interessiert er sich? Sie halten kurz ihr Smartphone hoch, fotografieren unauffällig das Gesicht ihres Gegenübers und nach ein paar Sekunden erscheinen auf ihrem Handy all diese Details.

Ferne Zukunft? Im Prinzip wäre das technisch schon sehr bald möglich, sagen die Forscher Alessandro Acquisti und Ralph Gross von der Carnegie Mellon University. Die Wissenschaftler haben in mehreren Experimenten Belege dafür gefunden, dass die Technik funktioniert. Es ist möglich, Menschen nahezu in Echtzeit per Software zu identifizieren - anhand von im Internet frei verfügbaren Fotos.

Acquisti und Gross stellen ihre vorläufigen Forschungsergebnisse in den kommenden Tagen vor, unter anderem auf der Black Hat Konferenz, einem der wichtigsten Treffen von IT-Sicherheitsforschern. 

[...]

Bilderkennung: Ich weiß, wer du bist | SPIEGEL ONLINE - Nachrichten - Netzwelt - 2011-08-02
Reposted bydigitalekulturresearchbrightbyteFreeminder23SmokeyTheBeartowserkrekkentspanndich

April 30 2011

Johann Hari: The British Royal Wedding Frenzy Should Embarrass Us All (Democracy Now!) Part 1 of 2

DemocracyNow.org - Up to two billion people around the world tuned in to watch the British royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, a story which has dominated TV news for weeks. The wedding buzz, however, provides an interesting time to look at the monarchy, Britain's domestic policy, and how its colonial legacy around the word affects foreign affairs today. While all eyes were on the wedding procession and the first kiss, Democracy Now! talked instead with Johann Hari, a columnist at The Independent of London, who says that royal wedding frenzy should be an embarrassment to us all. Watch Part 2: www.youtube.com For the video/audio podcast, transcript, to sign up for the daily news digest, and for our complete news archive, visit www.democracynow.org Read Johann Hari's article in The Independent of London www.johannhari.com FOLLOW US: Facebook: www.facebook.com Twitter: @democracynow Please consider supporting independent media by making a donation to Democracy Now! today, visit www.democracynow.org
Views: 190
19 ratings
Time: 13:42 More in News & Politics
Reposted fromVideosDemocracy VideosDemocracy

Johann Hari: The British Royal Wedding Frenzy Should Embarrass Us All (Democracy Now!) Part 2 of 2

DemocracyNow.org - Up to two billion people around the world tuned in to watch the British royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, a story which has dominated TV news for weeks. The wedding buzz, however, provides an interesting time to look at the monarchy, Britain's domestic policy, and how its colonial legacy around the word affects foreign affairs today. While all eyes were on the wedding procession and the first kiss, Democracy Now! talked instead with Johann Hari, a columnist at The Independent of London, who says that royal wedding frenzy should be an embarrassment to us all. Watch Part 1: www.youtube.com For the video/audio podcast, transcript, to sign up for the daily news digest, and for our complete news archive, visit www.democracynow.org Read Johann Hari's article in The Independent of London www.johannhari.com FOLLOW US: Facebook: www.facebook.com Twitter: @democracynow Please consider supporting independent media by making a donation to Democracy Now! today, visit www.democracynow.org
Views: 166
4 ratings
Time: 08:08 More in News & Politics
Reposted fromVideosDemocracy VideosDemocracy
It’s no coincidence that as genuine social mobility in broken Britain is eroded, so commoners turn to the National Lottery, The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent. Winning them represents the only chance real people have to change their circumstances significantly. It could be you. And, like some giant illuminated penis flying over the rooftops of suburban homes and frothing at random passing women, William has pointed himself at Kate Middleton, the Susan Boyle of social mobility. In declaring her his princess, he brings hope of real change to millions of people denied a decent education and the means to better themselves, to millions of tiny babies denied even books, that one day they too could be randomly rewarded with untold wealth and privilege.
Stewart Lee
Reposted fromjhnbrssndn jhnbrssndn

April 28 2011

It is a theoretical possibility, but in my opinion an extreme improbability, that Britain would be rid of its monarchy short of a social convulsion on a par with, or close to, revolution. The British capitalist state has been defined by its successes as an imperialist state. It was the world’s first capitalist empire, and it is as an imperialist state that it has most tightly embraced the monarchical principle - in victory against republican France, for example, and in its colonial conquests, from the Opium Wars, to the Raj, to the Mandates. It was as Empress of India that Victoria re-invented a previously ramshackle and endangered monarchy in the face of a rising mass democracy. It was flush with the wealth of the colonies that the British royal family, itself always a very successful family of capitalist entrepreneurs and not just rentiers, regained its lost exuberance and vitality. Even if our biscuit tin monarchy (as Will Self has called it) is no longer riding a wave of colonial success, it remains at the apex of an imperial matrix whose ‘role in world affairs’ (as our professional euphemisers would have it) relies heavily on the accumulated cultural capital embodied in the Commonwealth. Windsor has also entrenched itself as a domestic power. It has assiduously courted a popular base, which perforce requires it to act as a silent partner in the class struggle - a source of legitimacy for the bourgeoisie, by dint of its apparent (only apparent) disentanglement from the daily grind of capital accumulation. And British capitalism has not run out of uses for these sojourners from the German low-lands. That this is so can be easily checked: no significant pro-capitalist political force in the UK is interested in republicanism. The bourgeois modernisers of Blair’s court, for all their initial constitutional radicalism, never had any desire to challenge monarchical power, least of all its residues in parliament which guaranteed Number Ten such strong executive powers. Blair, who went weak at the knees in the presence of the rich, is said to have been genuine in his sentimental, star-struck adoration of the royals. The monarchy still functions as the guarantor of a caste within the ruling class, which any good bourgeois wants admittance to - give an old chief executive an OBE, and he will consider himself to have truly lived. It still bestows social distinction - more than that, it upholds and perpetuates the superstitious belief in distinction, in meritorious ‘honour’ as well as ‘honour’ by birthright. Its systems of ranking still structure hierarchies within the state, notably the police, the navy, the air force, and the army. It is still the major patron of ‘Britishness’, the myth of a temporally continuous and organically whole national culture, which every legislator in search of an authoritarian mandate invokes. It is the sponsor of martial discourse, inviting us to believe that the British ruling class and its stately authorities, notably its armed forces, cleave to ‘values’ other than those of egoistic calculation. Its festivals of supremacy still mediate our experience of capitalism, suggesting that beneath the daily experience of conflict and confrontation, there is a more essential, eternal unity in the British polity. They still summon deference, in an era of political secularism. Windsor is susceptible to secular decline in that respect but this decline is, if I may say so, taking an awfully long time. Longer than is reasonable.
LENIN’S TOMB: Note on a wedding
Reposted fromjhnbrssndn jhnbrssndn

April 21 2010

02mydafsoup-01

April 13 2010

Historiker Shlomo Sand: Es gibt kein jüdisches Volk | Frankfurter Rundschau - Top-News 20100413

[...] Jetzt aber erklärte man ihm [...], dass in der Fachwissenschaft kein Mensch mehr an die Vertreibung der Juden durch römische Truppen glaube [...] Es sei zunächst christliche Lehre gewesen, dass Gott die Juden bestraft habe - für den Gottesmord oder dafür, dass sie nicht Christen geworden seien oder für beides - und ihnen ihr Land nahm [...] [W]as ist dann Israel? [...] Ihr habt uns dorthin getrieben. Die Nazis. Aber nicht nur die. [...] Niemand wollte uns haben. [...] Niemand. Darum ließen sie uns Israel. Und wir nahmen das Land und vertrieben seine Bewohner. Die [...] machten wir zu Bürgern zweiter Klasse. Israel muss das begreifen. Sonst wird es nicht überleben.[...] Es muss der Staat seiner Bürger werden [...] [der] nicht die Burg ist, auf die sich in der Not alle in der ganzen Welt verstreuten Mitglieder eines imaginären jüdischen Volkes flüchten können. [...] Das Existenzrecht Israels können wir nicht aus der Geschichte ableiten. Kein Staat der Welt kann das.
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