Thymos and Logic – Why we know, yet do not act

Francis Fukuyama, arguably America’s most profound political scientist, enriched our understanding of man and history by an important notion of Greek origin – “thymos”. This term, used extensively by Plato in “The State”, is well suited to illuminate our present situation. The Greek philosopher speaks of thymos to describe a decisive dimension of human action. In his opinion, man does not obey reason alone; in truth, something else is added, namely will, desire, passion, anger, self-assertion – in short, “thymos”. Whoever ignores this driving force hardly understands human behavior. Continue reading Thymos and Logic – Why we know, yet do not act

Economic decline and the doctrine of free trade

In my opinion the underlying reason for the impending disintegration of Europe is free trade policy as pushed by Germany (see my essay the “The ugly German – a specter is coming back”). I am, of course, aware that this view is diametrically opposed to accepted wisdom as to be found in economic textbooks. Therefore, I would like to emphasize at the outset that I do not consider those textbooks to be wrong – their theory is, indeed, hard to refute and at first glance it seems to be morally sound as well. In my new book, “From Crisis to Chaos”, I even speak of “neoliberal idealists” – a wording which may sound rather queer to some ears (1). But if they are honest, neoliberals certainly strive for the best. Unfortunately, despite of all their endeavors, they always achieve the worst, and for this there is a very simple and basic reason: Their theory and the world we happen to live in, do not share much of a common ground. Continue reading Economic decline and the doctrine of free trade