The article is an account of Romanian Marxist discourse between 1970 and 1980, one that was completely engaged in the justification and legitimation of the contemporary totalitarian political regime. Radu Florian's works, one of the most representative authors of this decade, are analysed via the conceptual lenses of Austrian economic theory. This methodological approach is quite fertile, since it generates clear explanations why Marxist theory and the communist state incarnating its teachings could not and cannot implement their claims. The samples of Romanian Marxist discourse under scrutiny are a showcase of philosophy invaded by rhetorics and converted into ideology. The author concludes that Romanian Marxism in the designated period represents a long line of contradictions resulting from the attempt to adapt a cruel reality to a generous and humane self-construction of a political programme.
This article compares the ideas of two political thinkers representative for their time and region - Kautilya (of ancient India) and Machiavelli (of modern Europe). The analysis reveals important similarities and differences, and offers potential explanations for the findings. Most significantly, the similarities between Kautyla's Arthasastra and Machiavelli's Prince are visible particularly when it comes to their treatment of war, 'state' administration, diplomacy, monarchy and the features of a good leader. Such similarities suggest that the development of modern European philosophy has been influenced by other cultural spaces, including Ancient India.
The phenomenon we have tried to approximate in our work is that of Romanian inter-war spirituality. The "protagonists" of this research belonged to the so-called "young generation" or "generation 27", that is "The Criterion group": Mircea Eliade, Emil Cioran, Constantin Noica, Mircea Vulcanescu, as well as other two representatives of a different generation: Nae Ionescu and Nichifor Crainic. The first chapter, entitled "Steps and traps in the perception of Romanian inter-war spirituality" stipulates the topic of our research. The novelty of the approach lies in our desire of deciphering the way in which these persons had perceived themselves and their role in what we are going to refer to as the great inter-war experiment. We intend to regard reality as the sum of various images, arising from different layers of perception, coming from the respective personalities, their critics and exegetes. These images overlap to an extent that does not justify the metaphor of a "mirror broken into pieces" and reconstructed; they merely form a sort of kaleidoscope whose images are recomposed in ever changing pictures every time the object one looks through revolves. In the same time, we make a starting point in an idea suggested by social psychology, which leads to our belief that the way in which the protagonists under discussion perceived themselves was defined by their representations on the events of the time, a sort of intellectual projection of collective consciousness. We made clear some terms such as "post-event perception": the type of cognitive reflection upon a cultural background that occurs under the circumstances imposed to the subject, situated at considerable distance in time, capable of placing him in a favorable position – as the absence of subjectivism cannot contaminate direct, synchronic perception of events; possible reiteration of the moment achieved by means of reading, an experiment possessing the supplementary cognitive charge of an anticipatory knowledge of the denouement, as well as a series of disadvantages – such as the informational deficiencies caused by the passing of time, the reality of events being an indirect, secondary one; the contamination of hypothetical decisions and post-event judgments by the bulk and value of information on the events, as well as their subsequent evaluation, jeopardizing the accuracy of perception. Evaluating the working hypotheses we notice that there is a considerable difference between the way in which we, who were not directly involved in the events, perceive the "epoch", and the way it was perceived by the persons whose intentions we are striving to decipher, together with the ideas and attitudes they shared, the people they came into contact with, the events they took part in or carried them along a sometimes disagreeable, often ungrateful History. Our protagonists observed that whatever culture consecrates or recovers is in possession of another type of reality. It is a relatively continuous reality; even if it becomes the subject of ever renewed evaluation, it constantly perpetuates a series of values, while history is anthropophagous, swallowing in an equally inconsiderate manner both geniuses and jesters, bringing together in its terrifying ignorance both illustrious characters and the most ordinary of all people.
The author sketches a vivid intellectual history of the content and bearing of Raymond Aron's work, particularly with respect to the great scholar's analyses of totalitarian regimes and of Marxism as a "Christian heresy". He describes the dominant themes of the French philosopher, political scientist, sociologist, historian and journalist from The Opium of the Intellectuals, to Progress and Disillusion: the Dialectics of Modern Society, or Peace and War: A Theory of International Relations; from De Gaulle, Israel and the Jews to Politics and History, or to Main Currents in Sociological Thought; from Marxism and the Existentialists, to Introduction to the Philosophy of History: An Essay on the Limits of Historical Objectivity; and from In Defense of Decadent Europe, to the Memoirs and to the Committed Observer… and this list is not an exhaustive one. He writes about the most prominent of Aron's contemporaries, and about his most enthusiastic followers, particularly in the Western world. As an autobiographical detail, Tismăneanu does not fail to mention Aron's readership among the Romanian students before the fall of the Berlin wall, a triumphant moment which the great champion of "methodological doubt" and the enemy of total metaphysics and ideological orthodoxies did not live to witness.
The aim of this paper is to analyze the Romanian studies, in postcommunism and inter-war period, upon Montesquieu, more specifically upon his writting, De l'esprit des lois. In order to understand and to create a Romanian tradition of liberalism, one needs to begin from its origins. Montesquieu created a new language, different from that of his predecessors, a moderate one. He used the philosophic reason as an instrument of inquiry. It is said that one cannot understand a philosopher unless one thinks in his terms. Do the Romanian studies upon Montesquieu use this instrument, the philosophic reason? If they used it, they would be able to clarify Montesquieu's writtings and to understand the moderate language of liberalism. It is from this perspective that this paper will analyze the Romanian studies, out of which only two are academic.
Any reflection on the relationship between religion and politics in the Catholic thought cannot do without reminding the Augustinian distinction between the civitas Dei and civitas terrena. The goal and foundation of any just political community should be the orientation to wards the common good. In the contemporary catholic thought, Johann Baptist Metz proposes a political theology revolving around the concepts of the value of the human person, the necessary refusal, on the part of the Church, of any mundane ideology and the necessary use of the socially critical potential of theological thought. Hans Küng criticizes any politicization of theology. He insists on the development of an internal pluralism within the Church and advocates a self-limitation of the magisterial intervention in the world in the name of a necessary "eschato logical reserve". Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict the XVIth , invested with the magisterial authority, relies heavily on official documents of the Catholic social doctrine. He emphasizes the necessity of founding the state on the central value of justice and its acting according to the principle of subsidiarity. In this context, the Christian faith and the Church in particular may have a pedagogical role, as it may guide reason to follow the right priorities. All three thinkers agree on the public significance of the Christian vision of society and on the fact that it may help society both by its critical and by its constructive dimension.
The positive, unifying ideological resources of liberal and progressive Islamic interpretations deserve more than ever to be exploited in the contemporary socio-political context. Their conceptual tools, principles and theses could solve the conflictual cleavage, politically manipulated, between Islam and Western modernity, without repudiating the references to an Islamic paradigm. Therefore, liberal and progressive Islamic understandings could avoid the recent superficial oscillation between two ideological -artificially constructed- extremes, namely either confining the discussions to the secular, colonialist or postcolonialist perspectives, or promoting the defensive opportunist neotraditionalist Islamic approaches, specific to the nationalist movements of the last century so-called Islamic revival. Liberal Islam does not fully adopt all liberal theses and does not obediently imitate Western philosophy. Liberal Islamic understandings are defined by the opposition against teocracy and by supporting the democracy. Women, minorities and non-Muslims' rights in Muslim-majority countries, freedom of thought and trust in human progress, are other essential tenets that are fundamented on contemporary understandings of the major Islamic sources. Trying to correct some excesses that the liberal Muslims were accused of, but maintaining the reformist tendencies, progressive Muslims' approach is centered on a "multiple critiqueˮ ‒ a simultaneous critique of the diverse discourses and communities in which Muslims are situated. Not only the authoritarian constructions of literalist, puritanist Muslims, the violation of human rights, freedom of expression and of religion, the oppression of women in some Muslim countries are condemned and deconstructed, but also some political, economic, intellectual hegemonic Western aspects of modernity. In Romania these contemporary tendencies of interpreting Islam are not yet represented at a community level.
This article is following the evolution of the understanding of the concept of "property" in the Catholic Church's social doctrine, during a period of 120 years, starting with the pontificate of Leo XIII and ending with the one of Pope Benedict XVI. Being about the various understandings related to the concept of "property" in the Church's social doctrine, only the official discourse of the popes will be followed (magisterium) together with the input brought by the Second Vatican Council in interpreting and defining the concept.