Archive for liberalism

tactical vote against extreme right Le Pen

Posted in Kids, pictures with tags , , , , , , , on April 23, 2017 by xi'an

Today is the first round of the French presidential elections, which readers could guess were coming from the flurry of anti-Le Pen posts in the past weeks. While I am not particularly close to any candidate’s program and find the flow of unrealistic promises that keeps coming as The Day comes closer both embarrassing and pathetic, or maybe because of this, I decided to vote in a minimax manner, trying to minimise the maximum damage, i.e., casting a vote for the candidate the most likely to stop Le Pen and her xenophobic and economically nonsensical programme if she reaches the second round of the election. As it seems likely she will. This means voting for Emmanuel Macron, who stands at the centre of the political spectrum, is fairly liberal on societal issues may be the most pro-European of all candidates, and managed to gather  a wide range of supports. And will stand a fair chance to win the second round if he reaches it, contrary to the radical Mélanchon. Everything being chaotic about this election, this remains a big if until tonight… Go vote, if you can!

Gray matters [not much, truly]

Posted in Books, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2015 by xi'an

Through the blog of Andrew Jaffe, Leaves on the Lines, I became aware of John Gray‘s tribune in The Guardian, “What scares the new atheists“. Gray’s central points against “campaigning” or “evangelical” atheists are that their claim to scientific backup is baseless, that they mostly express a fear about the diminishing influence of the liberal West, and that they cannot produce an alternative form of morality. The title already put me off and the beginning of the tribune just got worse, as it goes on and on about the eugenics tendencies of some 1930’s atheists and on how they influenced Nazi ideology. It is never a good sign in a debate when the speaker strives to link the opposite side with National Socialist ideas and deeds. Even less so in a supposedly philosophical tribune! (To add injury to insult, Gray also brings Karl Marx in the picture with a similar blame for ethnocentrism…) Continue reading