September 28, 2022

Is the EU’s Establishment Trembling?


My latest on American Thinker.

Apart from the EU’s establishment and the international leftist community, no one should be worried about Italy’s next government.

The New York Times’ Jason Horowitz on Monday correctly stated that “Italy turned a page of European history on Sunday.” Unfortunately, he was wrong in adding that Italy elected “a hard-right coalition.” In fact, the winning coalition led by Giorgia Meloni is a center-right one. But this kind of misunderstanding perfectly reflects the way liberals -- and the mainstream media -- change the meaning of words to suit their own narrative and agenda. Meloni, for her part, describes herself and her Fratelli d’Italia party -- Brothers of Italy, a name that echoes the first line of the Italian national anthem -- as conservative. “There’s no doubt that our values are conservative ones,” she told the Washington Post. “The issue of individual freedom, private enterprise in economy, educational freedom, the centrality of family and its role in our society, the protection of borders from unchecked immigration, the defense of the Italian national identity -- these are the matters that we preoccupy ourselves with.” Of course, she’s very firm on her beliefs and principles. As she said at CPAC 2022: [...]  







September 10, 2022

Is Europe on the Verge of a Political Breakdown?


My latest on American Thinker:


"Among the many consequences of the war in Ukraine, power dynamics in the EU are changing -- or have changed -- in response to the profoundly altered circumstances. As a matter of fact, if on the one hand Viktor Orbán’s proximity to Vladimir Putin has de facto paralyzed the Visegrad group (Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, and the Czech Republic), on the other Poland and the Baltic states are gradually coming into a more structured relationship with Nordic countries such as Sweden and Finland, presenting the EU, starting with Germany and France, with a fait accompli.

At the same time, last Saturday tens of thousands of Czechs protested in Prague against the government to demand more state help with rising energy bills, with some carrying signs denouncing the country’s membership of the European Union and the NATO military alliance. It was the largest manifestation of public discontent over the worst cost-of-living crisis in three decades.

In Germany on Monday, more than 70,000 protesters took to the streets in Leipzig, the most populous city -- with population of 500,000 -- in the German state of Saxony to protest against the government’s inefficiency in supporting measures to overcome the rising cost of living amid soaring inflation in the European country after the sanctions imposed on Russia by the EU in response to the assault on Ukraine. In addition to the Left Party, several right-wing parties have also called for demonstrations, including Free Saxons and Alternative for Germany (AfD).

In addition to that, it’s almost election time in Italy, where the very likely victory for the center-right coalition in the general election on September 25 could see Europe’s fluctuating power dynamics shift still further... [...]"


Read more: Is Europe on the Verge of a Political Breakdown?







June 11, 2022

A Roller-Coaster Ride in Leftist Academia Hell



My latest on American Thinker:


"It must have been a whirlwind last few days for Ilya Shapiro, from his reinstatement as head of the Georgetown University Law Center, on Thursday, June 2, after a more than four-month investigation launched by Georgetown Law School, to his resignation from the school, on Monday, June 6, to the news that he joined the Manhattan Institute as senior fellow and director of constitutional studies.

Ilya Shapiro
Georgetown investigated Shapiro after he tweeted on January 23, 2022 that Sri Srinivasan, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, would be President Biden's "best pick" for the Supreme Court. He continued: "[Srinivasan e]ven has identity politics benefit of being first Asian (Indian) American.  But alas doesn't fit into latest intersectionality hierarchy so we'll get lesser black woman."

Ilya Shapiro's "lesser black woman" tweet gained wide attention on Twitter and within the Georgetown community and led Georgetown Law dean William Treanor to send an email denouncing the tweet as "appalling" and "at odds with everything we stand for at Georgetown Law."  Georgetown's Black Law Students Association also called for Shapiro to be fired, the Washington Post reported.

Shapiro deleted the tweet within hours, calling it "poorly worded" and "inartful."  But, as the report submitted by Georgetown to the dean's office on June 2 shows, contrition can empower the mob rather than placate it.  In fact, that apology was framed as evidence of guilt: Shapiro's "plain words not only explicitly identified the race, sex, and gender of a group of individuals," the report said, "but also categorized Black women as 'lesser.'  Though [Shapiro] did not himself describe his comments as offensive or acknowledge that his comments could reasonably be interpreted to denigrate individuals, he promptly removed the tweet and apologized after others expressed their criticism."  Besides, the 10-page report suggests that the university faced tremendous pressure to ostracize Shapiro.  A "lot of faculty" expressed "deep concern" and "outrage" about Shapiro's tweet, as did several administrators, who said they would "not participate in any program or activity" involving him.  It would be "disruptive," they told the diversity office, if Shapiro were "physically present" on campus.

Yet Georgetown reinstated Shapiro, saying university policies did not apply to him when he tweeted on Jan. 26, as his employment was to begin Feb. 1.  In other words, he was cleared in the 122-day investigation only on a technicality.  A bit too much to take in.[...]"


Read more: A roller-coaster ride in leftist academia hell







April 6, 2022

Western Suicide

Gerardo Dottori, "Incendio sulla città" (1926, olio su tela)
Perugia, Museo Civico di Palazzo della Penna

My latest on American Thinker:


"On September 19, 2019, accepting the Defender of Western Civilization award from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute at the fourteenth annual Gala for Western Civilization, Sir Roger Scruton gave a splendid address, his last one before he left this world after battling cancer.  The core message of the speech was that if Western civilization is under attack, this is happening precisely because it's Western, and "the word Western has been taken to be a standard term of abuse by so many people in the world today."  Yet, he explained, Western civilization is not even close to what its detractors think it is — namely, some narrow, small-minded thing called Western.  It is instead "an inheritance, constantly expanding, constantly including new things.  It is something which has given us the knowledge of the human heart, which has enabled us to produce not just wonderful economies and the wonderful ways of living in the world that are ours, but also the great works of art, the religions, the systems of law and government, all the other things which make it actually possible for us to recognize that we live in this world, insofar as possible, successfully."  That's why "we shouldn't despair of Western civilization."  We're talking about, he concluded, "an open, generous, and creative thing called civilization."

Sir Roger's remarks came to my mind as soon as I read the first pages of Suicidio occidentale  (Western Suicide), the new book by Federico Rampini, a prominent Italian journalist who lives in the U.S. and holds Italian and American citizenship.  If an attack in the heart of Europe caught us unprepared, he argues with reference to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it is because we were engaged in our own cultural disarmament and self-destruction.  The dominant ideology spread by elites in universities and in the media requires us to demolish self-esteem and blame ourselves for almost everything that goes wrong in the world.  According to this ideological dictatorship, he says, we Western countries no longer have values to offer the world and the new generations; we only have sins to expiate and lessons to learn.

This is the suicide of the West.  In many U.S. universities, Rampini notes, it is impossible for non-extremists on issues of sex and gender to have freedom of speech.  The New York Times in particular, says Rampini, bears heavy responsibility in this regard for playing a central role in the creation of Critical Race Theory.  Putin's aggression on Ukraine, backed by Xi Jinping, he concludes, is a consequence of the fact that the two major autocracies know we are sabotaging ourselves.

Well, that makes perfect sense, does it not?  After all, isn't it true that Putin wouldn't have dared to attack Ukraine if the 45th president had gotten a second term?  And this not only because of Trump's personal charisma, but also — if not mainly — because of his philosophy and anti–politically correct narrative.  From this point of view, too, the change at the White House was a disaster: Joe Biden's "woke" presidency is a luxury the West couldn't and can't afford. [...]"


Read more: Western Suicide






February 7, 2022

The Big Lie of Woke Capitalism

 My latest on American Thinker:


"There are at least three terms to describe the concept of stakeholder capitalism -- corporate wokeness, woke corporatism and woke capitalism. The last of the three was coined in 2015 by Ross Douthat when writing a piece for the New York Times. He defined it as how companies signal their support for progressive causes in order to maintain their influence in society. Since then the concept has become very popular in the U.S. and worldwide, corporations have gone political and seek, or at least profess to seek, change in the world.

On January 24, for one thing, former Unilever CEO Paul Polman wrote in a piece for the Financial Times that “Today, staff and customers believe you should... speak out on big, touchstone issues, from race to fake news and climate change.” In a historic moment of multiple and converging global challenges, he thinks, we have no other option but to embrace so-called stakeholder capitalism. After all, evidence is stacking up to show the “financial benefits to companies that consistently apply their principles and actively work to solve societal problems,” he argues. “Not everyone agrees, however,” he sadly but honestly acknowledges. In fact, if there is a big support for stakeholder capitalism among corporations, there’s also been a backlash from conservative voices, as we will see below. But let us dwell a little more on the supporters of stakeholder capitalism.

In his annual letter to BlackRock shareholders a few days ago, CEO Larry Fink argued that expectations of business leaders have changed dramatically in the last few years. Increased profits, happy shareholders, and more jobs are no longer what a chief executive is expected to deliver. For instance, most stakeholders -- from shareholders, to employees, to customers, to communities, and regulators -- “now expect companies to play a role in decarbonizing the global economy.” And “few things will impact capital allocation decisions -- and thereby the long-term value of your company -- more than how effectively you navigate the global energy transition in the years ahead.” This illustrates perfectly what stakeholder capitalism -- the new mantra of the Business Round Table as announced in August 2019 and endorsed by almost 200 CEOs of the largest corporations -- is all about..."


Read more: The Big Lie of Woke Capitalism






January 18, 2022

The American Medical Association Falls to CRT

 


My latest on American Thinker:


"The old world is dying and the new world struggles to be born. Now is the time of monsters.” This well-known quote is a liberal translation of Antonio Gramsci popularized by Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, which renders “In this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear” as “Now is the time of monsters.” Antonio Gramsci, the Italian Communist leader and theoretician who is considered the forefather of Critical Race Theory, had probably no idea that, a century later, such an accurate insight into his time would prove to be incredibly prophetic of our own here and now. Today the monsters -- or morbid symptoms -- are among us as neighbors, colleagues, and friends accept and embrace the Critical Race Theory and its ramifications in the many fields of human life and scientific research.

One of these fields -- perhaps the most unthinkable -- is that of medical science and practice. Things have meaningfully changed since on June 25, 2021, White Coats for Black Lives (WC4BL), a national organization led by medical students, published its statement of “vision and values.” The organization, which boasts 75 chapters at medical schools across the country and was called to action by the Black Lives Matter movement, “aims to dismantle racism in medicine and fight for the health of Black people and other people of color […]. Our job is two-fold: 1) dismantling dominant, exploitative systems in the United States, which are largely reliant on anti-Black racism, colonialism, cisheteropatriarchy, white supremacy, and capitalism; and 2) rebuilding a future that supports the health and well-being of marginalized communities.” WC4BL also focuses on “dismantling fatphobia,” embracing “Black queer feminist praxis (theory and practice),” “unlearning toxic medical knowledge and relearning medical care that centers the needs of Black people and communities.” [...]

On top of that, the Association of American Medical Colleges’ (AAMC) recent guide to anti-racism planning suggests that universities develop a scorecard “similar to the White Coats for Black Lives’ Racial Justice Report Card.” A very important endorsement! Similarly, the October 30, 2021 “Guide to Language, Narrative, and Concepts,” a collaboration between the American Medical Association (AMA) and the AAMC Center for Health Justice, offers “a guidance on language for promoting health equity, contrasting traditional/outdated terms with equity-focused alternatives,” explores “how narratives (the power behind words) matter,” and provides “a glossary of key terms, defining key concepts, and whenever possible acknowledging debates over definitions and usage.” Terms such as “Caucasian,” for instance, should be avoided. Conventional phrases such as “Low-income people have the highest level of coronary artery disease in the United States” and “Native Americans have the highest mortality rates in the United States” should be changed respectively into..."


Read more: The American Medical Association Falls to CRT