Mikas blogg

Demonstration mot kriget i Irak, Helsingfors mars 2003
Börja med END!

06 December

Independence Day

[World Social Forum] 

Dear C.,

thank you for the sign of life. I look forward to reading your comments on my little Spinelli-inspired essay.

Maybe we can meet and discuss over a cup of tea in Nairobi during the WSF?

You seem to apologise for what you wrote eight years ago about markets and politics. Don't. I think you were on the right track already then.

Besides, considering that you are in your early thirties, eight years may seem a longer time to you than to me, who is in my late fifties.

In the past, I used to take a negative stand to the whole EU project, which seemed a very natural thing to do for a Finnish leftist, but the French NON in May 2005 forced me to go deeper and seek after the original ideas. I learned that those ideas had grown out of the experience of the two European world wars of the last century - that the EU is, essentially, a peace project.

Unfortunately, the original project has not been completed, and all too often capitalist economism and Western imperialism have been allowed to replace the original content.

Thus the recent decision of Tony Blair and his associates to renew and modernise the British nuclear arsenal - and of Jacques Chirac & Co to maintain and modernise the force de frappe - reveal the persistence of imperialistic and racist attitudes among the European political leaders. They continue to reserve for themselves the option to "exterminate all the brutes" (Joseph Conrad).

Unfortunately we, the peoples, are co-responsible for the criminal deeds of our leaders.

What we need in the coming months and years is a restauration and innovative continuation of the Spinelli Project from the 1980ies. Whether Attac can play a leading role in that necessary process remains to be seen. However, the existing political parties are (voluntary) prisoners of their respective national states. They are not capable of initiating the necessary transformation of the international system; they are indeed the bearers of the system that must be transformed. Therefore, transnational movements of citizens - like Attac - will have to play key roles.

Today Finland celebrates its 89th year of Independence. That might be one of the reasons why I have bothered you with these very general remarks.

All the best.

- Mikael

14 December

Attac Europe is re-inventing the wheel

[World Social Forum] 

[From now on, I will put all my English blog-entries into the category 'World Social Forum'. ]

In these days Attac Europe meets in Catania, Sicily, in order to discuss, among other things, an alternative constitutional treaty for the European Union. But that alternative already exists, althought it needs, of course, to be updated to the internet age. The alternative European Constitution is the treaty of Spinelli and the European Parliament from 1984.

Below, two further email messages which I have sent to the list of the European Attacs.


    Dear Catania-goers,

    for a number of reasons, it would be a serious mistake to include a "copyright on the personal genetic code" in a constitution, or constitutional treaty.

    As soon as the genetical code is copyrighted, it becomes a tradable commodity. This is the meaning of copyright. It is a tradable right. In the case of the genetical code, the very concept of the copyright creates a market for the selling and buying of it. You must have noted that some persons are even willing to, or forced to, sell one of their personal kidneys. How much easier is it not to sell one's personal genetical code for money!

    Those who propose a "copyright on the personal genetic code" could soon end up achieving precisely the contrary to what they want. I assume that they want to keep the personal genetical code sacrosanct, which is close to saying that it should not be subsumed under Capitalism. However, theintroduction of the concept of copyright on the genetic code into our political constitution would make the door wide open to the invasion of Capitalism into our genetical constitution. Therefore, I hope that you will agree to drop the "copyright on the personal genetic code" from the envisaged "Ten Principles of a Democratic Europe" of Attac.

    All the best, - Mikael



    Dear Catania-goers, once more

    the material you have sent out is already quite impressive. I am a bit disappointed, though, to see that you have not included the comments which I sent some days ago under the title "Restore Spinelli's Treaty", because those comments were written exprès for the debate within the movement Attac before the Catania-meeting.

    In my notes, I said that the movement Attac is re-inventing the wheel. That technological parallell was actually not very appropriate, because once a technical invention is made it stays, while in the politics, we probably always will have to re-invent old ideas and solutions (and alas, old problems, too).

    Furthermore, there is the risk that we completely lose sight of the valuable ideas that were invented by our predecessors.

    This is what has happened, to an inadmissible degree, with Spinelli, the legacy from Ventotene, and the "Draft Treaty Establishing the European Union" that was adopted by the European parliament 1984.

    Thus Mrs Robert Joumard, Henri Paraton, Michel Christian and Jean-François Escuit start their little historical lesson as follows:

    "Les "pères" de l'Europe que furent Robert Schuman, Jean Monet, Alcide de Gasperi ou Konrad Adenauer tentent de réaliser les États Unis d'Europe par étapes successives, en commençant par des "réalisations concrètes, créant d'abord une solidarité de fait". (See among the Catania-materials: Quelle Europe construire? Les termes du débat p 6).
    But the history of the EU does not start with Schuman, Monnet, de Gasperi and Adenauer. It starts somewhere else. If you dig a little bit deeper you may even re-discover yourself in the mirror of that history. I sincerely wish you a good meeting in Catania,


15 December

A propos det viktigaste


En bekant från Sverige lyssnade på radioprogrammet om 911, som jag har nämnt i ett tidigare inlägg. Han skrev:

Tack för radioprogrammet, har lyssnat, mycket intressant! Tror inte att Sveriges Radio varit ens i närheten av att göra något liknande.
Jag svarade så här:

Det är bara ett enstaka program för en språklig minoritet.

Jag vet inte med Sveriges Radio, men t.ex. italienska televisionen har sänt några utmärkta program om 911.

Har du läst David Ray Griffins böcker om 911? De är det mest övertygande som jag har läst i ämnet. Jag finner, att Griffin lämnar fältet öppet för ett antal tolkningar, samtidigt som han presenterar ett brett perspektiv på händelserna. Han är alltså inte någon fanatisk anhängare av den ena eller andra teorin.

Griffin har t.o.m försökt sätta in händelserna 911 i ett världshistoriskt, teologiskt-politiskt perspektiv, nämligen i boken Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action, (Westminster John Knox Press), 2006.

Jag delar på många punkter hans allmänna syn på världsläget trots att jag inte själv är en troende kristen. David Ray Griffins tänkande är så att säga värdigt vår västerländska civilisation, vilken dock tillsvidare bara finns på papperet, som en god idé, för att parafrasera Mahatma Gandhi.

De mera seriösa kritikerna av Griffin och "rörelsen för sanning om 911", såsom Noam Chomsky och Alexander Cockburn (den senare är visserligen inte riktigt på Chomskys nivå), brukar framhålla att USAs regering har gjort sig skyldig till allvarligare brott än 911, samtidigt som de kategoriskt avfärdar teorierna om att USAs regering made-it-happen-on-purpose eller let-it-happen-on-purpose. Den pågående ockupationen av Irak, till exempel. Jag finner att dessa våra kritiker har en viktig poäng. Man måste undvika att få 911 på hjärnan. 911-händelserna representerar trots allt bara ett av många viktiga skeenden i världen och de är inte nödvändigtvis ens det viktigaste som har skett i den nuvarande fasen av historien.

A propos "det viktigaste":

Daß wir so gerne sagen möchten »Das Wichtige ist das« - indem wir für uns selbst auf die Empfindung deuten, - zeigt schon, wie sehr wir geneigt sind, etwas zu sagen, was keine Mitteilung ist. -- Wittgenstein, Phil. Untersuchungen, 298. (http://www.geocities.jp/mickindex/wittgenstein/witt_pu_gm.html)

Med vänlig hälsning,

- Mikael

>> Mikas hemsida

Powered by COREBlog

laskuri alkaen-påbörjad-started 2014-01-23