Dimitar Krastev

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Book cover for Tropic of Capricorn
things were wrong usually only when one cared too much.
“When there’s a will to fail, obstacles can be found.”
John McCarthy

Pascal Bruckner
“There is no solution for Europe other than deepening the democratic values it invented. It does not need a geographical extension, absurdly drawn out to the ends of the Earth; what it needs is an intensification of its soul, a condensation of its strengths. It is one of the rare places on this planet where something absolutely unprecedented is happening, without its people even knowing it, so much do they take miracles for granted. Beyond imprecation and apology, we have to express our delighted amazement that we live on this continent and not another. Europe, the planet's moral compass, has sobered up after the intoxication of conquest and has acquired a sense of the fragility of human affairs. It has to rediscover its civilizing capabilities, not recover its taste for blood and carnage, chiefly for spiritual advances. But the spirit of penitence must not smother the spirit of resistance. Europe must cherish freedom as its most precious possession and teach it to schoolchildren. It must also celebrate the beauty of discord and divest itself of its sick allergy to confrontation, not be afraid to point out the enemy, and combine firmness with regard to governments and generosity with regard to peoples. In short, it must simply reconnect with the subversive richness of its ideas and the vitality of its founding principles.

Naturally, we will continue to speak the double language of fidelity and rupture, to oscillate between being a prosecutor and a defense lawyer. That is our mental hygiene: we are forced to be both the knife and the wound, the blade that cuts and the hand that heals. The first duty of a democracy is not to ruminate on old evils, it is to relentlessly denounce its present crimes and failures. This requires reciprocity, with everyone applying the same rule. We must have done with the blackmail of culpability, cease to sacrifice ourselves to our persecutors. A policy of friendship cannot be founded on the false principle: we take the opprobrium, you take the forgiveness. Once we have recognized any faults we have, then the prosecution must turn against the accusers and subject them to constant criticism as well. Let us cease to confuse the necessary evaluation of ourselves with moralizing masochism. There comes a time when remorse becomes a second offence that adds to the first without cancelling it. Let us inject in others a poison that has long gnawed away at us: shame. A little guilty conscience in Tehran, Riyadh, Karachi, Moscow, Beijing, Havana, Caracas, Algiers, Damascus, Yangon, Harare, and Khartoum, to mention them alone, would do these governments, and especially their people, a lot of good. The fines gift Europe could give the world would be to offer it the spirit of critical examination that it has conceived and that has saved it from so many perils. It is a poisoned gift, but one that is indispensable for the survival of humanity.”
Pascal Bruckner, The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
“Human beings are born with different capacities. If they are free, they are not equal. And if they are equal, they are not free.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

“Ако човек няма необходимите качества, за да стане някакъв, да постигне нещо, свободата е тягостно бреме. Каква е ползата от свободния избор, ако личността не е способна за нищо? Ние се присъединяваме към масовите движения, за да избегнем индивидуалната отговорност, или, по думите на един пламенен млад нацист, "да бъдем свободни от свободата." Твърдението на редовите нацисти, че не са отговорни за всички чудовищни дела, които са извършили, не е само и единствено лицемерие. Те са се чувствали измамени и оклеветени, когато са били принудени да споделят отговорността за изпълняваните от тях заповеди. Нали са се присъединили към нацисткото движение точно за това - за да бъдат освободени от отговорност?”
Ерик Хофър

Jean Cocteau
“Истински задълбоченият човек навлиза навътре, а не се изкачва. Дълго след смъртта му откриват забравената колона, одялана от цяла скала, или я изравят къс по къс. Докато посредствените величия, изтъкани от намигвания и ирония, безпрепятствено се изкатерват до корнизчето на властта.”
Jean Cocteau, Thomas the Impostor

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