A FELICIDADE SÓ É REAL SE COMPARTILHADA
"A felicidade, pois, não é algo que a gente receba como um presente, ou que devamos esperar sentados com a bunda confortavelmente instalada nos sofás da inação esperançosa. A felicidade está em agir para construi-la. E não há situação mais infeliz do que aquela do devoto que, em lágrimas, de joelhos, implora por ajuda do alto. Uma longa tradição filosófica, que inclui Epicuro, Lucrécio, Spinoza, Alain, Comte-Sponville, une-se em coro para cantar: “Quem sabe faz a hora, não espera acontecer.” A felicidade nunca vem de graça; é preciso conquistá-la. E há boas razões para crer que jamais alguém a conquista em solidão, ao contrário do que pregam ascetas e anacoretas. Chris McCandless, vulgo Alex Supertramp, precisou buscar o isolamento extremo, nas geleiras do Alaska, para descobrir, em Into the Wild: “happiness is only real when shared”. Os filósofos assinariam embaixo, e Alain entre eles: o amor e a amizade são elementos sine qua non na construção de qualquer felicidade, que é sempre trans-individual, conectada com a presença de uma teia de relações humanas em que a convivência aumenta a potência de existir (e, logo, a alegria) daqueles que interagem…”
Leia o artigo completo no blog A Casa De Vidro
New York Times publica editorial a favor da legalização da maconha. Confira na íntegra em português - Via NINJA
Revogue a Proibição, Outra Vez
Levou 13 anos para os Estados Unidos cair em si e encerrar a Proibição, 13 anos nos quais as pessoas continuaram bebendo, cidadãos comuns se tornaram criminosos e sindicatos do crime surgiram e se multiplicaram. Já se passaram mais de 40 anos desde que o Congresso aprovou a vigente interdição sobre a maconha, causando grandes danos à sociedade ao proibir uma substância bem menos perigosa do que o álcool.
O governo federal deveria acabar com a proibição da maconha. Chegamos à esta conclusão após muitos debates entre os membros do Conselho Editorial do New York Times, inspirados por um movimento em franca expansão nos estados sobre a reforma das leis que proíbem a maconha.
Não existem respostas perfeitas para as preocupações legítimas sobre o uso de maconha. Tais respostas tampouco existem para o consumo de álcool e o tabaco, e nós acreditamos que, em todos os aspectos – efeitos na saúde, impacto na sociedade e aplicação da lei – a balança aponta claramente no sentido da legalização nacional. Isto colocaria as decisões sobre como e se permitiria a produção e o uso para fins medicinais ou recreativos onde elas pertencem – no nível estadual.
Nós refletimos se seria melhor que Washington esperasse enquanto os estados continuam a experimentar com a legalização da maconha medicinal, redução de penas ou até simplesmente legalizando todo tipo de uso. Aproximadamente ¾ dos estados americanos já adotaram alguma destas medidas.
Porém, isso deixaria estes cidadãos vulneráveis aos caprichos de quem quer que esteja na Casa Branca com o poder de escolher a aplicação ou não da lei federal.
Os custos sociais das leis que proíbem a maconha são amplos. Em 2012, de acordo com dados do FBI, 658 mil pessoas foram presas por posse de maconha, comparados à 256 mil detenções por posse de cocaína, heroína e derivados. Pior ainda, o resultado é racista, atingindo de forma desproporcional jovens negros, destruindo suas vidas e criando novas gerações de criminosos de carreira.
Já existe um debate honesto no meio científico sobre os efeitos da maconha à saúde, mas nós acreditamos nas consistentes evidências de que o vício e a dependência são problemas relativamente menores, especialmente se comparadas ao álcool e o tabaco. O uso moderado de maconha não aparenta oferecer risco à adultos saudáveis. Acusações de que a maconha funciona como porta de entrada para drogas mais pesadas são tão utópicas quanto o Refeer Madness que associa a maconha a imagens de estupro, assassinatos e suicídios.
As preocupações sobre os efeitos da maconha no desenvolvimento cerebral de adolescentes são legítimas. Por esta razão, nós advogamos pela restrição de vendas a menores de 21 anos.
O desenvolvimento de sistemas para regular a produção, venda e marketing será complexo. Mas são problemas passíveis de solução, que já teriam sido enfrentados há muito tempo se nós, como nação, não estivéssemos apegados à decisão de tornar o cultivo e uso de maconha um crime federal.
Nos próximos dias, vamos publicar artigos de membros do Conselho Editorial e material complementar que examinam estas questões. Convidamos nossos leitores a oferecerem suas idéias e nós reportaremos suas respostas, sejam favoráveis ou contrárias.
Reconhecemos que é pouco provável que o atual Congresso aja em relação à maconha, como tem sido com outros grandes temas. Mas já passou da hora de revogar esta versão da Proibição.
* * * * *
Texto Original do Conselho Editorial do New York Times, traduzido por Rebeca Lerer.
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Frida Kahlo de Rivera (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954; Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón) was a Mexican painter, born in Coyoacán.
Perhaps best known for her self-portraits, Kahlo’s work is remembered for its “pain and passion”, and its intense, vibrant colors. Her work has been celebrated in Mexico as emblematic of national and indigenous tradition, and by feminists for its uncompromising depiction of the female experience and form.
Her work has also been described as surrealist, and in 1938 André Breton, principal initiator of the surrealist movement, described Kahlo’s art as a “ribbon around a bomb”.
During her lifetime, Frida created some 200 paintings, drawings and sketches related to her experiences in life, physical and emotional pain and her turbulent relationship with Diego. She produced 143 paintings, 55 of which are self-portraits. When asked why she painted so many self-portraits, Frida replied: “Because I am so often alone….because I am the subject I know best.”
She also stated, “I was born a bitch. I was born a painter.” (x)
Liu Heung Shing,
A young couple waiting under a bridge pass tanks, 1989
NOAM CHOMSKY. Fateful Triangle - The United States, Israel & the Palestinians (South End Press Classics, 1999). Foreword by Edward W. Said. Download e-book (PDF, 2mb): http://bit.ly/1rJLGK1. SHARE ON FACEBOOK.
“Fateful Triangle may be the most ambitious book ever attempted on the conflict between Zionism and the Palestinians viewed as centrally involving the United States. It is a dogged exposé of human corruption, greed, and intellectual dishonesty. It is also a great and important book, which must be read by anyone concerned with public affairs. The facts are there to be recognized for Chomsky, although no one else has ever recognized them so systematically. His mainly Israeli and U.S. sources are staggeringly complete, and he is capable of registering contradictions, distinctions, and lapses which occur between them. There is something profoundly moving about a mind of such noble ideals repeatedly stirred on behalf of human suffering and injustice.” – Edward W. Said
Reblogged from Awestruck Wanderer.
“Whether you’re high or low
You gotta tip on the tightrope…”
A masterpiece of pop!
Hendrix. Foxy Lady. 1967.
“In total contrast to German philosophy, which descends from heaven to earth, we here ascend from earth to heaven.” - KARL MARX (1846)
Walking down the streets of a big city, are we aware that we are like fishes swimming in an ocean of History? Do we realize that tall buildings, concrete roads and old churches, just to mention a few items of the urban landscape, have been erected by human labour throughout the centuries?
One of the advantages of wandering around with the brain fueled by Marxist ideas is a certain transformation of perception in which History ceases to be something buried in books and museums. History is alive and kicking: while I drift through the metropolis, I bump on it everywhere.
This awareness may be much more intense in a visit to what’s properly called an “historical city” like Québec, founded in 1608, whose Citadelle, Château Frontênac and monuments to European conquerors (such as Jacques Cartier and Samuel Champlain), gives one the strong impression of past-still-present. Generations ago, humans who are no longer among the living, built this awesome castle on the top of the hill, facing from the height the Saint Lawrence River below, and now those who are among the living - myself included – can’t help but notice how the Québec of nowadays is actually a product of History. It’s History incarnate
That’s how I’m coming to understand better what Karl Marx meant by his doctrine of Historical Materialism: the material world isn’t simply a world of “natural” objects; the material world is nature transformed by human endeavour; it’s the result of the productive activities of mankind, what necessarily includes the labour of bygone generations.
One of the commonest antithesis in the history of philosophy opposes Materialism to Idealism. To even attempt to describe this controversy, in all its subtleties and historical developments, is a Herculean job that I feel unable to cope with (this task would take a much larger knowledge of the history of philosophy than I presently have). My intention in the present scribbling is merely to share some Marxist ideas which, it seems to me, enlighten the matter of Historical Materialism quite vividly. It’s well known that Karl Marx’s philosophy is accurately described as a “Materialist Conception of History”. Its inception and development seems to be one of the endeavours to which Marx and his comrade Engels devoted theirs lives to accomplish.
It’s worth remembering that the so-called “Young Marx” was already deeply interested in philosophical Materialism, so much so that Marx’s 1841 Doctorate was a thesis about the philosophies of nature of two of the most important Greek materialists, Democritus and Epicurus. It’s also well known that Marx, despite having been deeply influenced by Hegel, was far from being an orthodox disciple who would preach the Hegelian gospel like a conditioned parrot. Marx’s sharp powers of criticism and scorn were also directed against “The German Ideology”, guilty of an idealism that’s incarnate in the tradition of Kant, Fichte and Hegel. In Robert C. Tucker’s Philosophy and Myth in Karl Marx (Cambridge University Press, 1961), we can find some help in understanding the “materialist-idealist antithesis”:
“The idealist starts from the ‘heaven’ of theory and attempts to descend to the ‘earth’ of practice. He proceeds from man’s ‘sacred history’ or thought-process in the effort to comprehend the historical process as a whole. The materialist, on the other hand, begins with the ‘real life-process’ or ‘practical developmental process of man’. He takes his stand on ‘earth’ and adopts man’s ‘profane history’ as the starting point for theory. Abandoning the vain effort to descend from heaven to earth, he rises from earth to heaven. He treats the sacred history as a mental reflex of the profane one, the history of mental production as an epiphenom of the history of material production. His underlying principle is that ‘Life is not determined by consciousness, but consciousness by life.’ Marx defends it on the ground that man cannot think, and cannot live at all, without producing the material means of life. Here is the doctrine of economic base and ideological superstructure, better known in Marx’s later formulation in the preface to his Critique of Political Economy: ‘The mode of production in material life determines the general character of the social, political and spiritual processes of life. It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but, on the contrary, their social existence determines their consciousness.” (TUCKER, p. 179)
Materialism, after all, doesn’t deny the existence of ideas and ideals, of phantasies and imaginations, of all those contents that can be said to pertain to the life of the mind, to subjective space or to the psychological realm. It’s undeniable, for example, that religious ideas do exist, but not as abolute or objetive truths, but as concepts produced by the human brain. The idealist, usually infected by theological ideologies, confuses a creature of his own brain with something that exists outside himself – a critique expounded in detail by Feuerbach’s highly influential The Essence of Christianity (1841).
Historical materialism aims to understand the world around without supposing for it a divine origin or an ideal which serves as its foundation. Rather, historical materialism aims to describe the sensuous external world – that which our senses have access to – as a “materialization of all past productive activity of the human race. The sensuous world around man is a nature produced by history, or in Marx’s words ‘an historical product, the result of the activity of a whole succession of generations. He criticizes all past doctrines of materialism for the failure to grasp the external material objects as materializations of human activity.” (TUCKER, op cit, p. 182)
We’re like fishes swimming in a sea of History, but also fishes who are born into a certain stage of the process of Nature’s transformation by human labour. Each one of us has a consciousness, or an “ego”, which can only be understood as something necessarily determined and conditioned by its situation in a certain historical epoch, in a particular web of social circumstances.
Even when we presume to be witnessing Nature in its purity, we may actually be witnessing Culture and History. This is one of the cleverest criticismsMarx shoots against Feuerbach: when facing a cherry tree, Feuerbach believed it to be a sensuous object from the natural realm, but he failed to grasp that “the cherry tree was transplanted to Europe by commerce only a few centuries ago, and solely by virtue of this historical fact is it given to Feuerbach’s senses.” (TUCKER, op cit, p. 182)
|—||Arundhati Roy. See full post at Awestruck Wanderer.|
I’m deeply saddened and worried by the ongoing bloodshed in Gaza. One of the most densely populated areas in the planet, home for 1.8 million people, 56% of them under the age of 18, what’s happening in Gaza right now is a heartbreaking historical tragedy unfolding before our eyes. According to the The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), these are the disaster’s description in numbers today - July 23, 2014, 16 days after the start of Israel’s military attack: 697 Palestinians killed, including at least 518 civilians, of whom 170 are children and 86 are women; 32 Israelis killed, including 3 civilians and 29 soldiers; 3.993 Palestinians injured (1.213 are children and 698 are women); more than 140.000 have been displaced and 1.2 million people in Gaza have no proper access to water.
The latest news about the conflict are all around the news – I particularly recommend tuning in to Al Jazeera or independent blogs such as Gazanism - so I’d like to share with you some material that can enlighten us about the historical roots of the present crisis. I’d like to start quoting from one of the world’s greatest writers and activists, Mrs. Arundathi Roy, a well-informed and highly sensitive witness to all the sound and fury of human history:
"In 1937 Winston Churchill said of the Palestinians: ‘I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance that a great wrong has been done to the red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place’. That set the trend for the Israeli state’s attitude towards Palestinians. In 1969, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir said: ‘Palestinians do not exist’. Her successor, Prime Minister Levi Eshkol, said: ‘What are Palestinians? When I came here [to Palestine] there were 250,000 non-Jews, mainly Arabs and Bedouins. It was desert, more than underdeveloped. Nothing’. Prime Minister Menachem Begin called Palestinians ‘two-legged beasts’. Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir called them ‘grasshoppers’ who could be crushed. This is the language of heads of state, not the words of ordinary people.
In 1947 the UN formally partitioned Palestine and allotted 55% of Palestine’s land to the zionists. Within a year they had captured 78%. On May 14, 1948, the state of Israel was declared. Minutes after the declaration, the US recognized Israel. The West Bank was annexed by Jordan. The Gaza strip came under Egyptian military control. Formally, Palestine ceased to exist except in the minds and hearts of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian people who became refugees.
In the summer of 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Settlers were offered state subsidies and development aid to move into the occupied territories. Almost every day more Palestinian families are forced off their lands and driven into refugee camps. Palestinians who continue to live in Israel do not have the same rights as Israelis and live as second-class citizens in their former homeland.
Over the decades there have been uprisings, wars, intifadas. Tens of thousands have lost their lives. Accords and treaties have been signed, ceasefires declared and violated. But the bloodshed doesn’t end. Palestine still remains illegally occupied. Its people live in inhuman conditions, in virtual Bantustans, where they are subjected to collective punishments, 24-hour curfews, where they are humiliated and brutalised on a daily basis. They never know when their homes will be demolished, when their children will be shot, when their precious trees will be cut, when their roads will be closed, when they will be allowed to walk down to the market to buy food and medicine. And when they will not. They live with no semblance of dignity. With not much hope in sight. They have no control over their lands, their security, their movement, their communication, their water supply.
So when accords are signed and words like ‘autonomy’ and even ‘statehood’ are bandied about, it’s always worth asking: What sort of autonomy? What sort of state? What sort of rights will its citizens have? Young Palestinians who cannot contain their anger turn themselves into human bombs and haunt Israel’s streets and public places, blowing themselves up, killing ordinary people, injecting terror into daily life, and eventually hardening both societies’ suspicion and mutual hatred of each other. Each bombing invites merciless reprisals and even more hardship on Palestinian people. But then suicide bombing is an act of individual despair, not a revolutionary tactic. Although Palestinian attacks strike terror into Israeli civilians, they provide the perfect cover for the Israeli government’s daily incursions into Palestinian territory, the perfect excuse for old-fashioned, 19th century colonialism, dressed up as a new-fashioned, 21st century ‘war’.
Israel’s staunchest political and military ally is and always has been the US government. The US government has blocked, along with Israel, almost every UN resolution that sought a peaceful, equitable solution to the conflict. It has supported almost every war that Israel has fought. When Israel attacks Palestine, it is American missiles that smash through Palestinian homes. And every year Israel receives several billion dollars from the US.
What lessons should we draw from this tragic conflict? Is it really impossible for Jewish people who suffered so cruelly themselves — more cruelly perhaps than any other people in history — to understand the vulnerability and the yearning of those whom they have displaced? Does extreme suffering always kindle cruelty? What hope does this leave the human race with? What will happen to the Palestinian people in the event of a victory? When a nation without a state eventually proclaims a state, what kind of state will it be? What horrors will be perpetrated under its flag? Is it a separate state that we should be fighting for, or the rights to a life of liberty and dignity for everyone regardless of their ethnicity or religion?” – ARUNDHATI ROY
To delve deeper into the roots of the matter, I share with Awestruck Wanderer’s readers three excellent documentaries. They have taught me a great deal about the history of the Middle East’s conflicts and still have a lot to say to us under the present tragic situation. They are: BBC’s The Birth of Israel; Ilan Ziv’s Six Days in June – The War That Redefined The Middle East; and B.Z. Goldberg’s Promises. I’ve managed to gather these films here – including YouTube or Vimeo full-lenght videos, official synopsis and other relevant information. If you find this documentaries as relevant as I do, please share the knowledge!