domingo, 6 de novembro de 2016


Entretanto, o Linhas Direitas está de regresso para a sua segunda temporada. Teve direito a teaser e já vai no terceiro episódio.


"To divide (and not merely to distinguish as facets or aspects of one substance) body and soul, science and craft or art, the individual and society, description and evaluation; philosophical, scientific and historical judgement, empirical and metaphysical statements, as if any of these could be independent of one another, is for Herder false, superficial and misleading. (...) One upon a time men 'were all things: poets, philosophers, land surveyors, legislators, musicians, warriors'. In those days there was unity of theory and practice, of man and citizen, a unity that the division of labour destroyed; after that men became 'half thinkers and half feelers'. There is, [Herder] remarks, something amiss about moralists who do not act; epic poets who are unheroic, orators who are not statesmen, and aestheticians who cannot create anything. Once doctrines are accepted uncritically - as dogmatic, unaltered, eternal truths - they become dead formulae, or else their meaning is fearfully distorted. Such ossifications and decay lead to nonsense in thought and monstrous behaviour in practice".

Isaiah Berlin, 'Herder and the Enlightment', in: Isaiah Berlin, The Proper Study of Mankind, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2000, pp. 419-20


"What is here entailed is that the highest ends for which men have rightly striven and sometimes died are strictly incompatible with one another. Even if it were possible to revive the glories of the past, as those... pre-historicist thinkers who called for the return to the heroic virtues of Greece or Rome, we could not revive and unite them all. If we chose to emulate the Greeks, we cannot also emulate the Hebrews; if we model ourselves on the Chinese..., we cannot also be the Florentines of the Renaissance, or the innocent, serene, hospitable savages of the eighteen-century imagination. Even if, per impossible, we could chose among these ideals, which should we select? Since there is no common standard in terms of which to grade them, there can be no final solution to the problem of what men as such should aim at. The proposition that this question can, at last in principle, be answered correctly and finally, which few had seriously doubted since Plato had taken it for granted, is undermined. (...) But if this is so, then the notion of the perfect civilization in which the ideal human being realizes his full potentialities is patently absurd: not merely difficult to formulate, or impossible to realize in practice, but incoherent and unintelligible. This is perhaps the sharpest blow ever delivered against the classical philosophy of the West, to which the notion of perfection - the possibility, at least in principle, of universal, timeless solutions of problems of value - is essential".

Isaiah Berlin, 'Herder and the Enlightment', in: Isaiah Berlin, The Proper Study of Mankind, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2000, pp. 430-1

terça-feira, 1 de novembro de 2016




[Before the 1905 revolution] The Russian peasant household [dvor] was organized on a simple authoritarian model, under which full authority over the members and their belongings was entrusted to one person, known as bol'shak or khoziain. This family patriarch was usually the father...: he assigned farm and household duties, he disposed of propriety, he adjudicated domestic disputes,, and he represented the household in its dealings with the outside world. Customary peasant law endowed him with unquestioned authority over his dvor: in many ways, he was heir to the authority of the serf owner. Since the Emancipation Edict of 1861, the bol'shak was also authorized by the government to turn over members of his household to administrative organs for punishment. He was the paterfamilias in the most archaic sense of the word, a replica in miniature of the Tsar.
(...) The household allowed no room for individuality: it was a collective which submerged the individual in the group. Second, given that the will of the bol'shak was absolute and his orders binding, life in the dvor accustomed the peasant to authoritarian government and the absence of norms (laws) to regulate personal relations. Third, the household made no allowence for private property: all belongings were held in common. Male members acquired outright ownership of the household's movable property only at its dissolution, at which time it once again turned into the collective property of the new household. Finally, there was no continuity between households, and consequently neither pride in ancestry nor family status in the village, such as characterized Western European and Japanese rural societies. In sum, the Great Russian peasant, living in his natural environment, had no opportunity to acquire a sense of individual identity, respect for law and property, or social status in the village - qualities indispensable for the evolution of more advanced forms of political and economic organization".

Richard Pipes, The Russian Revolution 1899-1919, Fontana Press, 1992, pp. 93-5