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Niccol√≤ Machiavelli (1469-1527) var pioner i politikforskningen. Fra 1498 til 1512 var han ansat som sekret√¶r for Firenzes byr√•d og og desuden travlt besk√¶ftiget som diplomat i bl.a. Rom og Paris. Mens samtidens filosoffer og kunstnere dyrkede den antike gr√¶sk-romerske tradition p√• deres respektive omr√•der, sekulariserede Machiavelli det fag, der senere blev til statskundskab ved at flytte opm√¶rksomheden fra Guds vilje og menneskenes fromhed til de regerendes handlekraft. Motivet i hans politiske indsats og derefter i hans politiske skrifter var patriotisme. Italien bestod af en m√¶ngde mindre stater, der blev invaderet og domineret af tyskere, franskm√¶nd og spaniere, og Machiavelli fremh√¶vede derfor oldtidens romerske republik, der byggede p√• borgernes pligtf√łlelse og sammenhold.

√Ör 1512 blev det republikanske styre i Firenze styrtet af Medici-sl√¶gten, der fremover herskede enev√¶ldigt. Macchiavelli blev arresteret, mishandlet og derp√• forvist til sit landsted Albergaccio en halv snes kilometer syd for byen. Her skrev han de tre b√łger, der har bevaret hans navn som en af de betydeligte italienske forfattere: ‚ÄúFyrsten‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúKrigens kunst‚ÄĚ og en kommentar til den romerske historiker Titus Livius.
Albergaccio er i dag en vinproducerende virksomhed med restaurant. Machiavellis arbejdsværelse er her bevaret og kan besigtiges af gæsterne.

Torben S. Hansen (©tekst og fotos)

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Kirken Santa Croce i Firenze. Her er Machiavelli begravet.

Hvem er  Oswald Spengler ?

alts√• ikke den tyske filosof, men¬† pseudonymet der har skrevet The Complete Spengler i Asia times¬† i en del √•r ? Ikke mange ved det. Han er¬† midaldrende¬† eller¬† √¶ldre, af ukendt nationalitet, formentlig¬† angelsaksisk,¬†bekendende¬† kristen og s√• konservativ at det g√łr noget.¬†Pseudonymet er¬† ironisk ment, da han¬† afskyr den tyske¬† filosofs racisme, pessimisme¬† og bioligisme.¬† Det¬† var¬† David Gress der¬† gjorde¬† opm√¶rksom p√• ham i Jyllands Posten forleden. Han¬†er noget¬†af en myte med tusindvis af Google¬† hits.¬†¬†Det ville v√¶re¬† n√¶rliggende at gribe¬† fat i¬† noget han har skrevet om Danmark, Islam, ytringsfrihed¬†eller Kierkegaard (der¬† sammen med¬† Goethe, Biblen¬†og Clausewitz er hans prim√¶re referencerammer) , men jeg er¬† i stedet faldet over et essay om moderne¬† kunst med den herlige tiltel:

Admit it – you really hate modern art
By Spengler

There are esthetes who appreciate the cross-eyed cartoons of Pablo Picasso, the random dribbles of Jackson Pollock, and even the pickled pigs of Damien Hirst. Some of my best friends are modern artists. You, however, hate and detest the 20th century’s entire output in the plastic arts, as do I.”I don’t know much about art,” you aver, “but I know what I like.” Actually you don’t. You have been browbeaten into feigning pleasure at the sight of so-called art that actually makes your skin crawl, and you are afraid to admit it for fear of seeming dull. This has gone on for so long that you have forgotten your ownmind. Do not fear: in a few minutes’ reading I can break the spell and liberate you from this unseemly condition. First of all, understand that you are not alone.¬† [..]

The Lord of the Flies is an appropriate benchmark for the movement. Thomas Mann in his novel Doktor Faustus tells the story of a composer based mainly on Arnold Schoenberg, whom resentment drives to make a pact with the Devil. Mann’s protagonist cannot create, so out of rancor sets out to “take back” the works of Ludwig van Beethoven, by writing atonal lampoons of them that will destroy the listener’s ability to hear the original.

Many critics maintain that Picasso’s famous painting originally named “The Bordello at Avignon” (Les Demoiselles d’Avignon) was the single most influential modernist statement. In this painting Picasso lampooned El Greco’s great work The Vision of St John. Picasso reduces the horror of the opening of the Fifth Seal in the Book of Revelation to a display of female flesh in a whorehouse.¬† Picasso is trying to “take back” El Greco, by corrupting our capacity to see the original.

By inflicting sufficient ugliness upon us, the modern artists believe, they will wear down our capacity to see beauty. That, I think, is the point of putting dead animals into glass cases, or tanks of formaldehyde. But I am open-minded; there might be some value to this artistic technique after all. If Damien Hirst were to undertake a self-portrait in formaldehyde, I would be the first to subscribe to a commission.

Asia Times Oswald Spengler, columnist (jeg afst√•r¬†fra¬† at bringe nogle¬† nylige¬† kunstbilleder jeg har taget, da jeg ikke vil have¬†¬† sagsanl√¶g fra forn√¶rmede kunstnere). Men her er det ¬†p√• sin plads at g√łre opm√¶rksom p√• dagens interview¬† med en anden “gammel, sur, hvid mand”, ¬†Dr. Dalrymple i Washington Times: Necessary prejudice

Ayaan Hirsi Ali back in the Netherlands

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is back in the Netherlands, and wants to settle here, according to the newspaper NRC Handelsblad.  She left the country for the United States afer she had spoken out sharply against conservative Muslims. That led to a series of threats, which meant she had to be heavily protected while in the United States.

The US has been billing the Dutch government for the cost of this protection, but Justice Minister Hirsch Ballin is no longer willing to pay for it. For the time being, Hirsi Ali has been taken to a safe house at a secret address.The American authorities cannot take over the protection of Hirsi Ali because US law does not permit it. Therefore she has returned to the Netherlands, where she can continue her work for the conservative thinktank the American Enterprise Institute.   Radio Netherlands

Milton Friedman’s Last Interview

In talking about the Scandinavian “third way”, he also acknowledged that “a competitive market is not the whole of society. A great deal depends on the qualities of the population and the nation in how they organize the non-market aspects of society.” His argument was that the small sizeand relative homogeneity of Scandinavian countries enabled them to cooperate and reach consensus in a way that larger, less homogeneous societies could not. Markets, he said, were one way to enable people who hate or dislike each other to work together.¬† Huffington Post


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