The mentioned discussion takes place within the framework of a (broader) international conference organized by Alma Mater Europaea from Maribor.

Frane Adam’s Comment:

I read three texts: 1) A New Vision, a good three pages, signed by Igor Škamperle; 2) The Principles; and 3) Therefore, we stand for the following. As I understand, policy implications were left out and Igor’s text has been changed quite a lot based on the online discussion (although he remains the sole author).
In the first text, Europe appears on pages 1 and 3 while the most frequently used geopolitical locations being: World, Earth, and Global Home. The European Union does not feature at all. At the end of the first text, an appeal – which seems quite naïve and illusionary – is made to multiculturalism, versatilely to open cultures and borders. However, without borders, there is no (European) identity. There is no mention of the clash of cultures as part of the global competition and ideological positioning of global actors. The culture wars within EU countries are also not mentioned, nor the ever-smaller possibility of consensual decisions being reached by individual countries. The continuous reference to Spengler (on page 1 and again on page 2), who wrote his book on the decline of the West (Der Untergang des Abendlandes) directly after the First World War (1918–1922), is troublesome. Is not E. Husserl with (both) of his ‘Krisis’ closer to us?

I also have some comments about the (re)interpretation of the dignity of man, which is ascribed to the Renaissance thinker Pico della Mirandola. Based on this (very postmodern-sounding) interpretation, a human being has neither a predetermined nature, a goal nor a meaning of their existence. Instead, we each have a free possibility to choose and build our existence ourselves… this is foundation of human freedom and dignity …. we are the goal in itself, the goal being the full realization of our own existence (pages 2–3). If we overlook the oratorical style, the question of whether there is too much stress on the spontaneous subjectivity remains. It looks as if our choices were not embedded (in many cases) in the context, which only slightly depended (solely) on us. Namely, cited Renaissance idea of humanity and humanism suggests a certain limitlessness in human self-realization as if we can discard all coercion and concessions in the sense of Max Weber’s ‘Sachzwang’.

Are we dealing with the anticipated extreme individualism/solipsism, and ego-centric position? How, proceeding from this position, can we think about the dignity of a person, which is always connected to the (pluralistic) community? How can we reconcile this with the claimed multiculturalism since other cultures are based on collectivism and hierarchy (especially Asian ones). How will we communicate? And ultimately, how can we define advocacy for (new) humanism?

The text is not consistent. It needs to descend from some normative heights to the real grounds of European man and European societies, which are in a state of anomie and cognitive dissonance. The rhetoric reminiscent of the New Age should be avoided. One of the main ideologues here, Joe Dispenza, wrote a book with the telling title: Becoming Supernatural. If we translate the Slovenian translation back into English, it would be called Becoming Limitless. I have to say that I do not know what kind of humanism that is, perhaps even transhumanism? This should be clarified before the text appears in the form of a Manifesto.

And, last but not least, while Renaissance is a nice metaphor, so too is Reformation. The EU needs crucial reforms and (to use a third metaphor from history) enlightened leaders/active citizens who are capable of thinking and acting in an integral and non-ideological way.


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