Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Causa-efeito entre problemas económicos e estilos de vida desestruturados

Paul Krugman:

What Wilson argued, however, was that social dysfunction was an effect, not a cause. His work, culminating in the justly celebratedbook “When Work Disappears,” made the case that declining job opportunities for urban workers, rather than some underlying cultural or racial disposition, explained the decline in prime-age employment, the decline of the traditional family, and more.

How might one test Wilson’s hypothesis? Well, you could destroy job opportunities for a number of white people, and see if they experienced a decline in propensity to work, stopped forming stable families, and so on. And sure enough, that’s exactly what has happened to parts of nonmetropolitan America effectively stranded by a changing economy.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Comparando AOC com Trump

AOC explained: A digital performer enters the political stage, por Martin Gurri:

From one perspective, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the second coming of Donald Trump.  By this I mean that she surfed the same structural forces to Congress that swept Trump into the White House.  These forces can be characterized, very roughly, as the escape of information from institutional control and the desire of an angry public to overturn the established order.  AOC, like Trump, communicates digitally, and thus directly, with the public, somersaulting over institutional gate-keepers like the media and Democratic Party elders.  And as with Trump, AOC’s digital voice has struck a chord with the millions who follow her online.

Politically, of course, she’s the anti-Trump

Taxas de juro negativas e positivas

Joe Weisenthal: "People saying that negative rates aren't natural. I'd argue that in the state of nature, negative rates are the norm (paying people to store and preserve your stuff). Positive rates are the weird deviation."

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Entretanto, no Brasil

Policiais interrompem reunião que planejava ato contra Bolsonaro em Manaus (Folha de São Paulo, cópia aberta aqui):

Três agentes da Polícia Rodoviária Federal (PRF) entraram na sede do Sinteam (Sindicato dos Trabalhadores em Educação do Estado do Amazonas) durante reunião de movimentos sociais que organizam um protesto na visita do presidente Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) nesta quinta-feira (...)

A presidente do Sinteam, Ana Cristina Rodrigues, disse que "na história do movimento sindical do Amazonas, em que um presidente visita o estado, é a primeira vez que agentes federais vêm para interromper uma reunião e tomar informações a respeito do que está ocorrendo nela".

O trilema do Brexit

"Exame de Português confrontou alunos com excerto de Os Lusíadas que não consta do programa"

E depois? É o que eu penso quando vejo noticias destas; se considerarmos que o objetivo é ensinar as pessoas a interpreta textos, até poderiam por no exame um autor que não constasse do programa.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

O nacionalismo húngaro e a romantização da Ásia Central

Hungarian Nationalism And The Ghosts Of Turan, por Razib Khan

Hungary is unique in Europe because the people speak a language that is only related to two groups in western Siberia, the Mansi, and Khanty. Most linguists place these Ugric languages as a distant sister clade to the Finno-Permic group. But it seems incontrovertible that the modern Magyar people are culturally descended from a group of people who were in close association with various Turkic nomads (e.g., the Khazars) in the lower Volga region. Their migration westward seems to have recapitulated the movement of the ancient Huns, who were likely Turkic. Additionally, not only did the Magyar tribes absorb Turkic tribes as they moved out of Khazar territory but in later centuries gave they refuge to Turkic groups fleeing the Mongols.

The Turanism described in the article is a real thing, but much of it seems to consist of the co-option of the lifestyle of the Altaic nomadic peoples, Turks, and Mongols, to add glamor to Hungarian history. In fact, the inclusion of groups such as Scythians and Sarmatians (Indo-European Iranians) indicates that what is common is not descent or ethnolinguistic affinity, but a lifestyle. It’s the lifestyle and ethos that Christopher Beckwith writes about in Empires of the Silk Road. (...)

This reality, that what Turanism celebrates is the idealization of brutal martial past, mitigates the fact that genetically modern Magyars descend overwhelmingly from the conquered, not the conquerors. The conquest elites did have an eastern affinity. But the best recent data indicates that modern Hungarians are only a few percent enriched for this ancestry. Rather, the ancestors of modern Hungarians probably are Slavic peasants as well as the post-Roman peoples of Pannonia.
The Call of the Drums - Hungary’s far right discovers its inner barbarian, por  Jacob Mikanowski (Harper's Magazine):
The Great Kurultáj, an event held annually outside the town of Bugac, Hungary, is billed as both the “Tribal Assembly of the Hun-­Turkic Nations” and “Europe’s Largest Equestrian Event.” When I arrived last August, I was fittingly greeted by a variety of riders on horseback: some dressed as Huns, others as Parthian cavalrymen, Scythian archers, Magyar warriors, csikós cowboys, and betyár bandits. In total there were representatives from twenty-­seven “tribes,” all members of the “Hun-­Turkic” fraternity. The festival’s entrance was marked by a sixty-­foot-­tall portrait of Attila himself, wielding an immense broadsword and standing in front of what was either a bonfire or a sky illuminated by the baleful glow of war. He sported a goatee in the style of Steven Seagal and, shorn of his war braids and helmet, might have been someone you could find in a Budapest cellar bar. A slight smirk suggested that great mirth and great violence together mingled in his soul.

Inside, I watched a procession of riders—Azeris, Avars, Bashkirs, Chuvashes, Karakalpaks—take turns galloping around the amphitheater, a vast oval of trampled earth. Then, after each brother nation had been announced, the Battle of Pozsony began. Four hundred and fifty-four years after Attila’s death, in 907, a Frankish army came charging out of Bavaria into the heart of the nascent Hungarian kingdom. The Hungarians beat them with an old nomad trick: they fooled the Franks into thinking they were on the retreat, wheeled around at the last second to spring a trap on their unsuspecting foes, and showered them with arrows when they were too close to escape. The original bloodbath took place over the course of three days, but that day at the festival the Hungarian troops needed to wrap things up in thirty-five minutes. (...)

This is the key to the political message behind the Kurultáj: that the truth of the Hungarian past has been suppressed, obscuring the Hungarian people’s origins as a nomadic race of pagan warriors, born for conquest but forced into submission by treacherous neighbors, liberal ideologues, even Christianity itself. Given its nationalist orientation, it’s no surprise that the Kurultáj was established in close association with Jobbik, Hungary’s one­time ultra-nationalist political party. (It has since slightly tempered its message.) Today, the festival’s patron is Fidesz, the party of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, which now occupies the rightmost spot on the political spectrum. Fidesz gives the event around a million euros a year, which is the reason admission is free and why, in the absolute middle of nowhere, it takes an hour of waiting in traffic to get in. (...)

By the end of the nineteenth century, the search for Hungary’s Hunnic past had gradually coalesced into a theory called Turanism. (The name ultimately derives from Old Persian, in which Turan meant something like “the land of darkness” and designated a fringe region of the Sassanid Empire inhabited by unruly nomads.) Part political movement and part religious revival, Turanism was big-­tent nationalism in the style of pan-­Slavism and pan-­Germanism, born of Hungary’s nineteenth-­century imperial ambitions. It held that the Hungarian people hailed from Asia, were related to Turks and other Central Asian peoples, and that their nomadic and pagan history should serve as the basis for Hungary’s cultural life and foreign policy, rather than being subordinate to the concerns of their nominal Austrian Hapsburg overlords.

After Austria-­Hungary’s defeat in World War I, Turanism became an ideology of resentment, serving as inspiration to Hungarian fascist movements. It offered a way for Hungarians to become equal competitors in the racialized violence of the inter­war years—in a world in which Nazis were proclaiming their historic mission as leader of the Aryan nations, it made sense for Hungary to cast a wide net in search of friends. In the Turanist imaginary, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Japan were all possible allies whose support could be used to claw back the greatness (and territory) that had slipped away after Hungary’s defeat. Beginning with the postwar communist takeover of Hungary, however, Turanism was banned. (...)

Since Orbán and Fidesz came to power for a second time, in 2010, Turanism has been made into something of an official ruling ideology, with little room for dissent.(...)

Under Orbán, Hungary has also pursued something like a Turanist foreign policy, seeking strategic partnerships with the governments of Kazakhstan, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. At a meeting of Turkic-­speaking states held in Kyrgyzstan last fall, the prime minister declared that “Hungarians consider themselves late descendants of Attila, of Hun-­Turkic origin.” That same day, Zsolt Bíró, the Kurultáj founder and head of the Hungarian Turan Foundation, was on hand to lead Hungary’s delegation at the World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan. (The Hungarian team, whose specialty is mounted archery, won 12 medals—an impressive showing, though far behind Kyrgyzstan’s 103.)
Aparentemente, esse festival (o "Kurultáj")[1] teve a participação de azeris, avares, basquires, búlgaros, bálcaros, buriates, chuvaches, gagaúzes, cabardinos, carachais, caracalpaques, cazaques, madjars, quirguizes, cumiques, mongóis, nogais, uzbeques, madzsares[2], tártaros, turcos, tuvanos, uigures, iacutos e, claro, húngaros. .

Uma coisa que me desperta a atenção nisto é que se por um lado o governo húngaro até gosta de cultivar a imagem de defensor da Europa e da Cristandade contra uma suposta invasão islâmica, por outro parece ter adotado uma ideologia que até vê a Hungria como mais asiática do que europeia e que considera como aliados naturais muitos povos que até são atualmente muçulmanos.

Um aparte - nomeadamente nas redes sociais, há quem diga que a Hungria é contra a imigração islâmica porque terá a memória da dominação pelos turcos muçulmanos; mas Viktor Orbán não deve ter nenhuma memória da opressão turca - ele é protestante, e os protestantes húngaros eram aliados dos turcos nos tempos das guerras entre o Império Otomano e a Aústria (em compensação os tártáros muçulmanos da Polónia - os antepessados do Charles Bronson... - combatiam ao lado da Aústria católica).

Diga-se que em praticamente todos os livros que falam do assunto que passei os olhos é apresentado como um facto que existirá um grupo linguístico chamado "uralo-altaico", que se subdividiria em "línguas urálicas" (que se sub-subdividiria em línguas fino-úgricas - finlandês, húngaro, estónio, lapão, etc. - e samoiedo) e "altaicas" (línguas turcas, mongóis e tungúsicas, e talvez até mesmo o coreano e o japonês); em compensação, na internet (nomeadamente na wikipédia) o "uralo-altaico" é apresentado como uma hipótese totalmente abandonada e mesmo o "altaico" como algo largamente abandonado; o que concluo disso é que no século XX (quando os livros foram escritos) era considerado ponto assente um "parentesco" (se não biológico - a ideia de que os finlandeses seriam mongóis louros de olhos azuis nunca deve ter sido muito levada a sério - pelo menos cultural) entre húngaros, finlandeses, turcos, mongóis e mais uma carrada de povos da Ásia central e da Sibéria, e que no século XXI terá sido abandonada (abandono esse que já se vê na internet); de qualquer maneira, isso significa que a teoria dos nacionalistas húngaros de que serão parentes dos turcos e dos mongóis não será assim tão exótica como o artigo da Harper's dá a entender, já que isso seria quase o consenso no século passado.

Já agora, ver também Os nazis mongóis - combinação absurda?

[1] enquanto escrevia este post estava-me a a tentar lembrar de onde conhecia este nome; entretanto lembrei-me: foi (com uma grafia ligeiramente diferente) num livro sobre o Gengis Khan, em referência à assembleia dos chefes tribais mongóis

[2] parece ser uma tribo do Usbequistão tão obscura que mal se encontra referências a ela além desse festival; provavelmente é convidada por causa do nome (tal como os madjars do Casaquistão), que sendo parecido com "magiar" serve para dar apoio à teoria de que os húngaros são parentes dos povos turcos e mongóis

EUA alarga deportações sumárias

De acordo com novos regulamentos[pdf], o ICE (o SEF norte-americano) vai passar a ter poder para deter e expulsar dos EUA (sem ter que ir a tribunal nem nada) qualquer estrangeiro que tenha entrado nos EUA nos últimos dois anos e em qualquer área do país (até agora, isso só se aplicava a quem tivesse entrado nas últimas duas semanas e estivesse a menos de 100 milhas da fronteira). Sim, supostamente isso só se aplica a quem tenha entrado ilegalmente, mas é o acusado que tem que provar que entrou legalmente (ou que está nos EUA há mais de dois anos), num processo em que os agentes do ICE são ao mesmo tempo acusadores e juizes, sem intervenção dos tribunais, e em que alguém pode ser expulso dos EUA antes que tenha tempo de provar que o novo decreto não se aplica a ele. Como alguém escreveu no Twitter, "[f]or those of you that have brown, black, mocha, olive, or yellow skin, now you'll need ID to buy groceries. Those from Norway, Finland, or carrying a Tiki Torch need not be concerned".

Há quem diga que isso pode permitir até deportar cidadãos norte-americanos que não consigam rapidamente provar que são cidadãos, ainda mais tendo em consideração casos como este.

A esquerda armada dos EUA

‘If others have rifles, we’ll have rifles’: why US leftist groups are taking up arms (The Guardian):

Armed antifascists groups say they want to protect events from malicious and potentially armed groups – an increasingly common phenomenon

Monday, July 22, 2019

Socialistas, liberais e fascistas

- "Vocês não passam todos de materialistas decadentes que só falam em direitos e não em deveres"
- "Vocês não passam todos de defensores dos ricos, em busca de desculpas para justificar a desigualdade e os privilégios"
- "Vocês não passam todos de coletivistas que querem acabar com o carácter único de cada individuo"

Ou, numa versão com mais referências bibliográficas:

Ainda a respeito disso, Re: Pequeno esclarecimento.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Trump vai ser reeleito, mesmo voltando a ficar em segundo lugar

How Trump could lose by 5 million votes and still win in 2020, por David Wasserman (NBC).

Trump’s Electoral College Edge Could Grow in 2020, Rewarding Polarizing Campaign ("Re-election looks plausible even with a bigger loss in the national popular vote"), por Nate Cohn (New York Times)

Trump’s Electoral College Advantage Growing ("He could lose the popular vote by an even larger margin in 2020---and still coast to re-election"), por James Joyner (Outside the Beltway).

O "conservadorismo nacional"

The New Conservative Nationalism Is About Subverting Individual Liberty, por Stephan Slade (Reason):

The several hundred attendees of this week's National Conservatism conference have a different vision for American politics. The event brought together a variety of speakers to discuss and defend, in explicit terms, the need for a new nationalism. (...)

Practically speaking, the nationalist agenda is largely focused on the need for a federal "industrial policy." For Breitbart's John Carney, that means tariffs, and lots of them. Americans need to be willing to pay higher prices to protect the jobs of their fellow citizens, according to Brog. For American Affairs founder Julius Krein, "protectionism is not sufficient….It's not radical enough." The Manhattan Institute's Oren Cass laid out a plan involving research and development subsidies, infrastructure investments, preferential tax rates for favored firms, punitive taxes on companies that move jobs overseas, "trade enforcement" to make other countries play according to our rules, and more. "We should have a National Institutes of Manufacturing just as we have a National Institutes of Health," he said.

What do all of these proposals—and the many others offered at the conference, from censoring porn to cracking down on opioids to preventing trans girls from playing on girls' sports teams—have in common? There is a tendency among the new nationalists to frame their movement as standing in opposition to supranationalism. Yoram Hazony, author of The Virtue of Nationalism, laments in particular what he sees as a push toward a homogenous "new world order" in which umbrella institutions such as the European Union and the United Nations override the rightful sovereignty of states.

Yet the true object of the nationalists' ire is much closer to home: They cannot abide individual Americans making social and economic choices they do not like. For consumers, the question might be whether to buy foreign or domestic. For a business owner, it might be where to open a factory. For a parent, it might be whether or not to attend drag queen story hour at the local library. Regardless, the new nationalists have decided not only that there is a right answer from a moral perspective but that government should force you to choose correctly.

"Today we declare independence," Hazony said, "from neoliberalism, from libertarianism, from what they call classical liberalism. From the set of ideas that sees the atomic individual, the free and equal individual, as the only thing that matters in politics."
Eu diria que este programa (dirigismo económico para apoiar algumas empresas nacionais contra a concorrência estrangeira + dirigismo em questões de "moral e bons costumes") é o que em Portugal (e provavelmente em grande parte da Europa continental) grande parte das pessoas associariam quase instintivamente com "conservadorismo"; em larga medida eram os EUA (e em menor escala o Reino Unido) que, nos significados atribuídos tanto a "conservadorismo" como a "liberalismo", eram os outliers.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Mais difícil suspender a democracia parlamentar no Reino Unido

Brexit: MPs back bid to block Parliament suspension (BBC):

MPs have backed a bid to stop a new prime minister suspending Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit.

A majority of 41 approved an amendment that blocks suspension between 9 October and 18 December unless a Northern Ireland executive is formed.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

O budismo não é fofinho

Buddhism Has Never Been Pacifistic, por Razib Khan. Já agora ver também A Radical Realist View of Tibetan Buddhism at the Rubin, por Ian Johnson.

Eu em tempos (por culpa de Aldous Huxley) cheguei a acreditar na ideia que o budismo teria sido a única religião sem guerras santas.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

A direita e a esquerda da New Age / Pensamento Positivo

Jesse Walker: "The long American spiritual tradition that gave us Marianne Williamson—and Donald Trump"

Já agora, o texto (embora só de raspão fale no assunto) faz-me pensar que nestas primárias Democratas há uma espécie de bloco pós-hippie - Sanders, Williamson e Gabbard (esta última mais por nascimento do que por escolha).

Monday, July 15, 2019

Quem tem poder para suspender a democracia parlamentar no Reino Unido? O primeiro-ministro ou a rainha?

The Queen Is the Reason Boris Johnson Would Struggle to Suspend Parliament, por Robert Hutton and Kitty Donaldson (Bloomberg):

Boris Johnson is threatening to suspend Britain’s Parliament to force through a no-deal Brexit if he becomes prime minister -- and some politicians are planning to fight him in court.

But he would face a bigger problem: Queen Elizabeth II could stop him first. (...)

The power to prorogue -- as it is formally called -- lies not with the prime minister but with the monarch. As with her other powers, it is usually deployed at the request of the prime minister. That’s why some academics, such as Vernon Bogdanor of King’s College London, think the Queen “would follow the advice of her prime minister.”

But others disagree.

“The question constitutional experts are all debating is whether the Palace could say ‘No,’” said Catherine Haddon of the Institute for Government. “It’s all something of a gray area in our system.”

Friday, July 12, 2019

Gestão democrática dos serviços públicos

We must trust the public to run their own utilities, por Gareth Thomas (deputado do Partido Trabalhista britânico):

‘We Own It’ published an interesting proposal earlier this week for the future democratic public ownership of the water industry. I share their critique of the current ownership of the industry, which is failing to invest at the speed necessary to tackle leakage. Customers currently have little power and there are few signs that the industry has grasped the scale of the climate crisis. Water bills have rocketed since privatisation, while there have been huge dividend payments to the often remote and unaccountable owners.

But I support a different method for securing genuine democratic public ownership. I want employees, John Lewi-style or consumers co-op style, to directly own the water business in their area. I don’t see why consumers should only be regularly consulted and stay once or twice removed from control of water firms.
Vagamente relacionado, um post meu de há dez anos, Os "monopólios naturais".

Friday, July 05, 2019

Declaração de interesses

Eu em princípio vou ser candidato (como penúltimo da lista dos suplentes do círculo de Faro) pelo Bloco de Esquerda às próximas eleições. Portanto, se já antes tudo o que eu escrevia tinha um claro enviesamento, agora ainda mais.

Monday, July 01, 2019

Nos EUA, 54% o crescimento da bolsa é devido a transferência de riqueza a favor das acionistas

E apenas 24% devido a crescimento da economia, e isto desde 1989:

How the Wealth Was Won: Factors Shares as Market Fundamentals, por Daniel L. Greenwald, Martin Lettau, Sydney C. Ludvigson (NBER Working Paper No. 25769, doi:10.3386/w25769):

We provide novel evidence on the driving forces behind the sharp increase in equity values over the post-war era. From the beginning of 1989 to the end of 2017, 23 trillion dollars of real equity wealth was created by the nonfinancial corporate sector. We estimate that 54% of this increase was attributable to a reallocation of rents to shareholders in a decelerating economy. Economic growth accounts for just 24%, followed by lower interest rates (11%) and a lower risk premium (11%). From 1952 to 1988 less than half as much wealth was created, but economic growth accounted for 92% of it.