Democracies running on Stalinist lines!

The west’s crisis is one of democracy as much as finance

The spirit of dictators like Ceausescu is finding new life in the response of the European elite to pressures in the eurozone

By: Slavoj Žižek

In one of the last interviews before his fall, Nicolae Ceausescu was asked by a western journalist how he justified the fact that Romanian citizens could not travel freely abroad although freedom of movement was guaranteed by the constitution. His answer was in the best tradition of Stalinist sophistry: true, the constitution guarantees freedom of movement, but it also guarantees the right to a safe, prosperous home. So we have here a potential conflict of rights: if Romanian citizens were to be allowed to leave the country, the prosperity of their homeland would be threatened. In this conflict, one has to make a choice, and the right to a prosperous, safe homeland enjoys clear priority …

It seems that this same spirit is alive and well in Slovenia today. Last month the constitutional court found that a referendum on legislation to set up a “bad bank” and a sovereign holding would be unconstitutional – in effect banning a popular vote on the matter. The referendum was proposed by trade unions challenging the government’s neoliberal economic politics, and the proposal got enough signatures to make it obligatory.

Continue reading Democracies running on Stalinist lines!

Asma Jahangir sees democracy in danger

KARACHI: Prominent rights activist and former president of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA)Asma Jahangir on Tuesday said that lawyers will not support any decision which is against the rule of law and democracy.

Addressing a press conference at Karachi Press Club, she said future generations will not forgive us if democracy was derailed in the country, adding it is about time that we should start resisting undemocratic decisions.

Jahangir said the lawyers’ community will announce their strategy after going through written order of the Supreme Court for arresting Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and other accused in the rental power projects case.

President Sindh High Court Bar Association Mustafa Lakhani said an all parties’ conference was called to discuss the long march of Dr Tahirul Qadri a few days back in Lahore in which the participants, including lawyers, rejected it.

President Karachi Bar Association Naeem Qureshi said the lawyers had taken active part in the movement for independence of judiciary, adding the Karachi bar has given many sacrifices in this regard.

Courtesy: DAWN
http://dawn.com/2013/01/15/asma-jahangir-sees-democracy-in-danger/

Khomeini’s granddaughter says Iran facing “critical situation,” calls for reforms

Khomeini’s Granddaughter Gives Iran Some Tough Love

And she believes that the Islamic Republic has no choice but reform.

According to Zahra Eshraghi, whose grandfather, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founded the Islamic republic, Iran “is on the edge of the precipice.”

Eshraghi — who is married to Mohammad Reza Khatami, the brother of former reformist President Mohammad Khatami — recently gave an interview to the Iranian website Anarpress and said, “Everyone knows that the country is facing a critical situation.”

She said politicians should find a solution quickly to the crisis the country is facing, though it may be too late.

“Maybe they thought we could act independently and that we don’t need the world,” she said. “We should be up front. As much as [the West is] likely to need us, we need them.”

The 49-year-old mother of two also talked about the negative impact sanctions are having on the Islamic republic.

“For example, Tehran’s air pollution,” she said, “for which the sanctions — and the bad gasoline that is being used – are to blame. This pollution should be considered a silent death, meaning that we in Tehran are breathing poison every day.” …

Read more » The Atlantic
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/01/khomeinis-granddaughter-gives-iran-some-tough-love/267196/