Stefan Zweig or Liberalism as Fate
José María Lassalle
To José María
Lassalle , Stephan Zweig was a man who
lived the concept of Liberalism so intensely that he even assumed its
contradictions. Lassalle sees Zweig's defense of the movement as a "civic
commitment to virtue" which the latter took to its ultimate conclusions,
identifying it with his personal destiny. For that reason, when the rise of
Nazism, and the ideology that it spread, started to endanger the very basis of
the civilization that he considered his own,...
Freedom to Speak
To be free is not just to experience the world as possibility. Emilio Lledó , like the Greeks, sees freedom as an inward change. And there's no freedom without language: a language founded on truth that opens the gates of reason and life; a language wholly opposed to the frozen mass of dead words that keep us from honoring Socrates' enjoinder that we "say what we think," bringing us to a point where we can no longer think at all. It may seem utopian to wish human beings will one day...
Does Historical Responsibility Exist?
Manuel Reyes Mate
Following on from his now famous reflections on history, Reyes Mate sets forth here the question of historical responsibility. The twentieth century is beset by terrible events, some of them of such unimaginable evil that reason and judgement seem as if they should remain silent, unable to report on such horror. And the author focuses on those which are particularly disturbing, like for example the Holocaust, but looking back he also dedicates special attention to Spanish America, so...
Bishops, abortion and celibacy
In March 2009, while the Spanish national parliament fiercely debated a bill that would remove long-standing restrictions on a woman's ability to terminate an undesired pregnancy, the Spanish Church launched a public awareness campaign. The highpoint was a pro-life rally, in the course of which demands were made for the government to "protect children's lives" and "support mothers." Jesús Mosterín points out some of the disingenuous inconsistencies, omissions and...
When Aesthetics is Ethics
The Art that Lost its Manners
Ever since Hegel officially declared it dead, art has never seemed more alive. In this nimble, deftly paced article, Félix Ovejero ranges from Thomas Mann and Arnold Schönberg to Julien Benda, and from Jaeger and Sophocles to Baudelaire and Verlaine, stopping to reflect on painfully unresolved issues. One dilemma that pervades the human moral universe is the question posed by the Holocaust: How can someone create sublime art in the morning, but exterminate his fellow...
The Strange Fruit of Time
José Luis Pardo
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees...
The hair-raising thriller A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess and more recently the no less spine-chilling film version by Stanley Kubrik give José Luis Pardo the opportunity to reflect on the idea of public order —which is suspiciously similar to the order in which we live— where the absence of a civil and police presence is met with sheer violence and pure corruption. Ultimately, this is what both seduces and...
The European Civic Deficit
There is much work to be done in building a politically active Europe before this becomes a true, ipso jure reality. In this work, Víctor Pérez Díaz carries out a critical reflection on the lack of European political culture and active citizenship, highlighting the limited understanding most have of the European city as an order of freedom and the civic duties of its citizens.
Up Against the Believers
Fernando Savater is well-known for his social critiques as well as his characteristic sarcastic style. In the present article, he targets not believers in general ─"in the warmest sense of the word, we are all believers," as he points out─ but rather those who lay claim to their faith as a type of personal right, which leads them to feel it´s their duty to convert everyone else. In other words, he targets those who believe themselves to be secular, but still...