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LEONIDAS DONSKIS

Publications

Death of Utopia

Death of Utopia

September 09, 2016

Niccolò Machiavelli, the quint-centenary of whose Discourses on Livy will be celebrated in 2017 as a great event in European history of political ideas (the treatise was written around 1517) is regarded as one of the founding fathers of modern political thought, and rightly so. (Continue...)

Doom Sayers Get it Wrong

Doom Sayers Get it Wrong

August 02, 2016

We live in the time of fear, panic, and doom-mongering. Never before did the modern Western societies have so little trust in their institutions, so little confidence in their ability to fulfill political visions and programs as they do now. We would be deceiving ourselves in thinking that it had always been so. Social criticism is not fear-mongering, just like the new waves of moral panic should not be equated with so many dystopian novels of the past. (Continue...)

The scapegoat for all seasons

The scapegoat for all seasons

July 15, 2016

My story is inseparable from my experience as a member of the European Parliament. During my term (2009-2014), I was in a position to witness the debates and political skirmishes in the House that allowed me to anticipate easily what happened recently in the United Kingdom. (Continue...)

Isaac Bashevis Singer: Devil in Eastern Europe

Isaac Bashevis Singer: Devil in Eastern Europe

July 15, 2016

Was the God s on the side of the poor and innocent, or did he side with evil due to being totally neutral and impartial to all of his creations? This was the central theological and philosophical issue for the Nobel Prize winning Jewish writer Isaac Bashevis Singer (1902-1991) – a major Eastern/Central European author who passed away twenty-five years ago. (Continue...)

Grotesque, God and miracles

Grotesque, God and miracles

July 01, 2016

Isaac Bashevis Singer (1902-1991), a great Polish-born Jewish writer, a poet of the East European Jewish soul, the guardian angel of the Yiddish language in modern literature, and a Nobel Prize winner, died twenty-five years ago. This brings us closer to his immense legacy that covers Jewish tradition and modernity, especially his short stories on how modernity came into Jewish life. (Continue...)

The banality of evil: The case of Vladimir Bortko

The banality of evil: The case of Vladimir Bortko

June 01, 2016

That evil can be banal we learn from Hannah Arendt’s book Eichmann in Jerusalem: The Report on the Banality of Evil published in 1963. As we all know, Israeli intelligence, the Mossad, caught the chief architect of the Holocaust in Argentina, and brought him to Israel where his trial took place. (Continue...)

Seeking Europe: A Wild Goose Chase

Seeking Europe: A Wild Goose Chase

May 26, 2016

As we learn from William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, a "wild-goose chase” is a hopeless quest for something unattainable. It is a fitting metaphor for an Eastern European quest for Europe that no longer exists. (Continue...)

William Shakespeare’s prophetic words

William Shakespeare’s prophetic words

April 29, 2016

William Shakespeare is usually celebrated as the author of great tragedies, comedies and historical chronicles. Yet his sonnets reveal Shakespeare as a poet and as a thinker who found a perfect form for his wit and breadth of his thought. (Continue...)

Reclaiming a Sense of Meaning

April 29, 2016

We are living in an era that is rushed, short on time, and generally accelerated. How best to describe it? Haste. Constant bustle. Multitasking. We lack time for ourselves, for cherished friends and beloved books, and for enjoying life’s simple pleasures. (Continue...)

Great Baltic profiles: Two stories

Great Baltic profiles: Two stories

March 31, 2016

Born on September 11, 1935, the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt is one of the most illustrious creators of contemporary academic music. Born on January 9, 1928, Irena Veisaitė is a person through whose incredible life story we could write the history of the twentieth century. (Continue...)

A theory of self and human existence

A theory of self and human existence

March 26, 2016

A review of Initiation and preservation: Modes of cultural philosophy By: Arūnas Sverdiolas. (Continue...)

How to Reclaim a Sense of Meaning Amid Meaninglessness

How to Reclaim a Sense of Meaning Amid Meaninglessness

February 24, 2016

We are living in an era that is rushed, short on time, and generally accelerated. How best to describe it? Haste. Constant bustle. Multitasking. We lack time for ourselves, for cherished friends and beloved books, and for enjoying life’s simple pleasures. (Continue...)

Jazz, Memory, and Freedom: Three Little Stories

Jazz, Memory, and Freedom: Three Little Stories

February 02, 2016

When as a student I heard Arsenal, the jazz rock band of the Kaliningrad Philharmonic, I was dumbfounded: in Soviet times Russian musicians were playing music that jazz lovers at once identified as being under the influence of Chicago and Blood, Sweat and Tear. (Continue...)

What Happened to the World? Ukraine Was Born Anew

What Happened to the World? Ukraine Was Born Anew

December 18, 2015

The new nation has come into existence. This great event in world politics was predicted and aptly described by more than one European political analysts and writers, Eastern and Western alike. Suffices it to remember Andrei Piontkovsky, Vladimir Sorokin, or Alexander J. Motyl, to prove this to have been the case. Ukraine has engraved her name anew on the political map of the world. (Continue...)

 

 

Liquid Evil of Our Times

Liquid Evil of Our Times

December 16, 2015

What does the concept of liquid evil signify? I would argue that liquid evil, contrary to what we could term solid evil, the latter being based on white-and-black social optic and the resilience of evil easily identifiable in our social and political reality, assumes the appearance of good and love. More than that, it parades as seemingly neutral and impartial acceleration of life – the unprecedented speed of life and social change implying the loss of memory and moral amnesia; in addition, liquid evil walks in disguise as the absence and the impossibility of alternatives. A citizen becomes a consumer, and value neutrality hides the fact of disengagement. (Continue...)

Neither Friend nor Foe Who Saved Europe

Neither Friend nor Foe Who Saved Europe

December 09, 2015

Immediately after Russia stepped in Syria, we understood that it is time to sum up the convoluted and long story about Ukraine and the EU – a story of pride and prejudice which has a chance to become a story of a new vision regained after self-inflicted blindness. (Continue...)

Vladimir Putin as Entertainer

Vladimir Putin as Entertainer

November 12, 2015

In the twentieth century, we got accustomed to the clownish dictators who can sing or act or else amuse the crowds. In Russian, the term “yurodstvovat’” refers to clowning, practicing the art of amusement, yet it also allows the point of entry when dealing with being bound to balance between reality and non-reality, empirical evidence and non-entity, flesh-and-blood humanity and abstract ideas or principles. Small wonder that “yurodivye” were Russian medieval jesters whose work was to amuse the folks, and who were absolved from political responsibility for making any dangerous allusions to or even poking fun of real power structure. (Continue...)

Yuri Afanasiev: A Beautiful Dissenting Mind

Yuri Afanasiev: A Beautiful Dissenting Mind

September 24, 2015

Russia has recently lost one of her towering personalities in the fields of political dissent, human rights defence, political memory, social criticism and humanities. Professor Yuri Nikolayevich Afanasiev (1934–2015) was a prominent historian and democratic activist. The founder of the Russian State University for the Humanities, Professor Afanasiev appears to have been the voice of humanism, conscience and liberty in Russia and beyond. (Continue...)

The Devil as the Loss of Empathy

September 07, 2015

The Devil in politics is not a fantasy. Its existence is manifested in many ways. One is the subversion and destruction of a universal social and moral order. Another is the loss of memory and empathy towards others, resulting in mass psychosis. (Continue...)

Where is Leadership to be Found?

Where is Leadership to be Found?

September 02, 2015

A great many commentators are inclined to sigh now with sadness when mentioning the Leaders of Europe with capital L. The same applies to the Politicians and Statespersons seemingly extinct in today’s world. Where are they now? All we can do is to exclaim after François Villon’s immortal Ballad of Old-Time Ladies recurrent punchline: “But what is become of last year’s snow?” (Continue...)



LEONIDO DONSKIO KADENCIJA EUROPOS PARLAMENTE
(2009-2014)