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Archive for Dezembro, 2008

Post de Pacheco Pereira sobre a absurda ideia de um regresso a Marx pode ser lida aqui.

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No final da sessão de ontem, a Assembleia Nacional homenageou o “líder máximo” da revolução cubana, que assinala no próximo dia 1 de Janeiro meio século de vida. Numa “reflexão” publicada hoje pela imprensa local, Fidel Castro defende um maior controlo dos recursos do país, ao mesmo tempo que apoia um regresso ao socialismo “puro e duro” para enfrentar a actual crise económica mundial.”

fonte: http://ultimahora.publico.clix.pt/noticia.aspx?id=1354330&idCanal=11 .

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Crise Financeira e Krugman

A opinião de Paul Krugman sobre a crise aqui. De certeza que se dirá que a crise é culpa de Obama e do seu discurso vazio, mas o nobel da paz sugere já a dificuldade que Obama vai enfrentar e a herança de Bush.

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Os movimentos mais importantes na Filosofia Política Contemporânea anglo-americana são o Liberalismo, Libertarianismo, Multiculturalismo, Feminismo e Comunitarianismo. Vou indicar aqui as obras que, a meu ver, são as mais importantes em cada um destes movimentos.

Dois dos liberais mais importantes são Rawls e Dworkin. Rawls talvez seja, de facto, o filósofo político mais importante do século XX. A obra A Theory of Justice é o seu trabalho mais importante e influente. Grande parte da Filosofia Política de hoje é uma resposta a esta obra. Taking Rights Seriously é outra obra muito importante, na qual Dworkin discute vários tópicos acerca dos direitos e da relação entre moralidade e lei.

Os dois autores libertários mais importantes são Nozick e Kukathas. Nozick em Anarchy, State and Utopia faz uma crítica bastante inteligente e imaginativa a Rawls e parece-me ser um bom livro para repensar os direitos de propriedade.  Kukathas em Liberal Archipelago tem uma posição curiosa: assume-se como liberal e não como libertário. No entanto, a sua posição parece-me ser melhor apelidade de libertária. De qualquer dos modos, é um bom livro para pensar acerca dos limites do liberlismo.

Kymlicka na sua obra Multiculturalism tenta conciliar o liberalismo com o multiculturalismo. É interessante como o filósofo tenta conservar a diversidade cultural que por vezes parece ser anti-democrática com o liberalismo.

Susan Okin tem a mais brilhante crítica feminista à filosofia política contemporânea. Na sua obra Justice, Gender and the Family, tem críticas a Nozick, Rawls e ao comunitarianismo. Outro livro bastante importante é Sex and Social Justice, de Martha Nussbaum, onde a autora, apesar de ser feminista, critica as posições feministas que se opõem ao liberalismo.

Finalmente, a obra comunitária de referência é After Justice de MacIntye. O comunitarianismo é uma crítica, a meu ver relativista, do liberalismo. É interessante analisar o ponto de vista que a neutralidade liberal pode ser contraditória e não ser, de facto, imparcial ou neutra.

Obviamente que há outras obras importantes nestes movimentos, mas esta parece-me uma selecção representativa de cada movimento.

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Oferta de Portugal sobre Guantánamo destacada na imprensa estrangeira

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“Consenso em Ciência” por João Miranda no Diário de Notícias, 6-12-2008.

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NEWSWEEK: Lack of regulation is being blamed for our current crisis, and free markets are in disrepute. Has Objectivism been dealt a deathblow?
Yaron Brook: No, not at all. From a public-relations perspective, it’s been hurt. But in the long term there will be a backlash against what’s going on in the markets today—the heavy government involvement, the nationalizations and the move toward socialism. If the free-market advocacy groups position themselves correctly, they can benefit from it.

How can they do that?
What we need to do is really make the case to the American people—and I think it’s an easy case to make—that this is not a failure of free markets, this is not a failure of capitalism, but this is a failure of the exact opposite. It’s a failure of the regulatory state. It’s a failure of all the government policies of the last eight years. Actually, the last 95 years.

Why do you say the last 95 years?
I believe that the No. 1 cause of the current crisis is Federal Reserve policy. [The Federal Reserve was created in 1913.] The Federal Reserve, by necessity, creates economic problems; no matter how good a Federal Reserve chairman is, he’s going to create cycles of booms and busts.

How did the Federal Reserve create today’s mess?
The current crisis was caused by the housing bubble, and the primary cause of the housing bubble was the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates at 1 percent in 2003. They were asking people to borrow money, basically begging them. The financial problem we face today was a problem of overleverage, of too much debt—but that’s exactly what Federal Reserve policy encouraged.

But during that time, the head of the Federal Reserve was Alan Greenspan, a close friend of Ayn Rand and the world’s most famous Objectivist.
Yes. Alan Greenspan was quite close to Ayn Rand in the 1960s and 1970s. But from pretty early on, Greenspan was a part of economic policies that I don’t think Ayn Rand would have approved of. Yes, he wanted less regulation, but he never talked about rolling back regulation. He never talked about significantly meaningful ways to cut spending, cut taxes. I believe he sold his soul to the devil. Power corrupts, and absolute power—which I think is what you have at the Federal Reserve—corrupts absolutely.

So it sounds like you’re not bothered by his admission that he found a “flaw” in his “free-market ideology.”
No, the only thing that bothers me is that the press took it to mean, “See, capitalism has failed, even according to this guru of capitalism.” He was never a guru of capitalism! At least he hasn’t been a guru of capitalism since the 1980s.

(…)

What do you think of the various and numerous bailouts?
They’re horrible. I think that the biggest mistake that was made was probably the bailout of Bear Stearns. I think they should have let Bear Stearns fail. The fact that everybody else now wants a bailout makes complete sense. Why bailout AIG and not General Motors? General Motors employs more people.

But scholars like Ben Bernanke, current head of the Federal Reserve, says one reason the Great Depression was so severe was that government waited three years before intervening, and let scores of banks fail before then.
Unfortunately, just because economists understand what caused the Great Depression doesn’t mean they understand what needs to be done to prevent one. People today mistakenly think that FDR saved us from the Great Depression. But from 1932 until at least 1940, the U.S. was still in a depression. Government grew during the 1930s more than in any decade in history, and yet at the end of the 1930s, we still had more than 15 percent unemployment. So government growth and regulation is not a solution to a depression. I would argue it’s the exact opposite.

What does that mean for the current situation?
Everything that [Treasury Secretary Henry] Paulson and Bernanke have done since day one of this crisis has made things worse, not better, if only because they have been so panicky and hysterical, and changed their minds so many times and offered so many different plans. The market has come to the conclusion that they have no idea what they’re doing.

You want to do away with the Federal Reserve, but something that radical isn’t going to happen, at least not anytime soon. In the meantime, wouldn’t more regulation of the financial sector make sense?
No, I think quite the opposite—more financial regulation would be a disaster. Financial regulations created this mess. The Community Reinvestment Act, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae—they’re the institutions and proposals that got us into this. Regulators are not good at managing financial institutions. Think about the [savings and loan] crisis: the S&L industry was the most regulated industry in the United States. Did that stop the crisis from happening? No. Regulations don’t prevent crises; they cause them.

With free markets now in disrepute, what’s going to happen to the popularity of Ayn Rand’s most famous book, “Atlas Shrugged”?
I think it’s going to go up dramatically. I think it already has. [People] are saying, “We’re heading toward socialism, we’re heading toward more regulation.” “Atlas Shrugged” is coming true. How do we get out? How do we escape? Unfortunately, there is no escape. Businessmen are panicking, and I think they should be panicking. Many of them understand that this was not a crisis of free markets. There was no free market to fail. What we have is a regulated market, and the regulated market has failed.”

fonte: http://www.newsweek.com/id/173514.

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