Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Tag: jean thomas

Brexit: a new beginning?

Non ho parole, quindi mi limito a condividere commenti intelligenti.

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Jean-Thomas. How did Churchill say again? If you cannot stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Marie. And here is what happens when mainstream parties structure their political project on populist narratives. Congratulations to the Tories for creating a monster they can no longer control.

Old Tom. Ti dico la verità: dipende. Dipende da che piega prende la cosa. E’ chiaro che se passa la linea Farage è la fine. O la linea May, che è molto più insidiosa. E’ abbastanza chiaro che i Brexiter hanno almeno due visioni incompatibili. Da un lato c’è un nazionalismo little englander tendenzialmente protezionista e populista, molto anti-establishment e anti-londinese. Dall’altro c’è l’idea di trasformare UK in una specie di Singapore. O una super-Svizzera. Queste visioni NON sono conciliabili e fanno riferimento a costituency del tutto diverse. Per come la vedo io Farage è da un lato dello spettro, Johnson dall’altro. Osborne ora si ricollocherà con Johnson.

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Cristiano. Sinceramente sono contento che il Regno Unito sia uscito dalla UE. In primo luogo perche’ non e’ possibile che esista un paese che vuole stare dentro la UE e allo stesso tempo continua a pretendere concessioni. E in secondo luogo perche’ finalmente sara’ possibile vedere le conseguenze dell’uscita di un paese dal sistema comunitario: se affonda, smetteremo di ascoltare lo stronzo di turno che ci spiega come si stava meglio quando si viveva con una moneta che non valeva nulla; se rinasce, allora sara’ la dimostrazione che la comunita’ europea e’ ormai un grande sistema burocratico che deve essere riformato.

 

Pédaler avec charme

I have received a few messages from readers complaining for the abrupt interruption of publications on this blog. To be honest, it is mainly relatives worried about my health – a reasonable concern in light of recent events and previously expounded theories. Unlike my blog and Aston Villa, I am still doing fine. In the last few weeks I have been traveling. Let me sum up so I myself can keep track.

First off to Spain. It is a shame I do not have a good camera, because there are so many vivid imagies I should have captured. Instead I only took a picture of a book which I found in a museum of photography. I thought it was funny that it appeared randomly open on a picture of South Tyrollean valleys. Anyways. I was in Madrid for work and I stayed in a room in Lavapies, arguably one of the city’s most vibrant, alternative, and popular neighbourhoods. My stay was courtesy of Pedro, whom I hope to meet soon. Then down to Sevilla, also for work: I could barely appreciate La Giralda, el Alcazar, la Torre del Oro, el Guadalquivir, which I had already seen in 2009 in a torrid day at around 45° when I was living in Granada with Anna. This time my mind was closed, much more closed than it used to be, so I only had a remote glimpse of the exotism, the monuments, the women, the fiestas. As a sentence written in a lost book, todos hellos parecian confabulates para arrastrar a los centavos mas alla de lo que los limited que podian proportioner una domesticate imagination.

Then back to Florence. Unfortunately I had to cancel my participation to the Florence Gran Fondo which took place today (sic), because I am away. However, I still managed to go on a couple of long rides with Giallu and Bjorn. It is probably safe to assume that I have ridden more kilometres in 2016 than in the previous three years combined. And it has become somehow addictive.

Cycling is really becoming a thing for me. I am spending too much money buying fancy outfits, too much time watching highlights of professional races, too much energy studying stories of old champions.

The video above is about the story of a Swiss rider, Hugo Koblet. And it is probably fitting, since I just moved to Neuchâtel to work on my PhD dissertation – hint: that’s why I had to miss today’s Gran Fondo in Florence. Here, again, I have to thank Jean-Thomas, who made my stay possible and provided such gorgeous looks on the lake.

 

Nation-building and the social world

About a couple of weeks ago I was reading the Ph.D thesis of Jean Thomas Arrighi, which is the most similar work to what I am trying to do, up to date. At page 30 I found a compelling critique of the current social understanding of nation states.

But if nation-building still requires today as much collective amnesia as remembrance, it also relies heavily on a highly questionable sociological understanding of the present, neglecting the inherent complexity of the social world and the plurality of experiences of individuals who together make up a political community.

Then, at page 56, the author points at the necessity to shift the focus on the unit of analysis from the state to the regions. His example is on immigration policies.

For Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party (BNP), Britain should urgently “close the door to more because this is the most overcrowded country in Europe and is way beyond its proper carrying capacity in population terms.” Likewise, the French Minister of Immigration and National Identity [sic] legitimized the need to introduce stricter border control on the grounds that “France’s hosting capacity is simply limited”, which requires putting an end to the “migratory chaos which consists in accepting migrants without restrictions.” Comparable arguments have regularly been deployed in Germany, the United States, Australia, Switzerland, and many other countries where the supposedly uncontrollable influx of immigrants has been presented as exceeding the nation’s capacity to cope with the consequences. But does the BNP leader refer to the London conurbation, where inward flows have indeed been considerable since 1945, or to the English Midlands, Scotland or Cornwall, where the main concern has been protracted emigration? Is Brice Hortefeux solely concerned with the situation in the Ile- de-France and the Bouches-du-Rhône, or with the notorious diagonale du vide stretching from the Meuse to the Landes, where the population density barely exceeds 30 inhabitants per km2, a heritage of the nineteenth and twentieth century rural exodus? Does the right-wing slogan ‘America is full’ encompass the empty lands of the Midwest, or is it meant to halt the ongoing inflow to the five greater metropolitan areas concentrating 60% of all immigrants in the country? By shifting the unit of analysis from state to regional level, migration trends can shift dramatically, not only in quantitative terms, but also in regard to the cultural and socio- economic composition of migrant stocks.

These issues, in a nutshell, are what interest me and what I have been studying for the last two years. Just so you know. I thought these two quotes were an excellent way to provide you a basic understanding.