Monthly Archives: June 2011

June 26, 2011

The Lesson of Japan

In The Fifth Mountain, Paulo Coelho affirms that “all of life’s battles serve to teach us something, even those that we lose”. If there is a country from which the entire world could learn, it is Japan. After decades of growing in systematic fashion, developing extraordinary technologies, and demonstrating to the world new ways to […]

June 19, 2011

Pact and Democracy

In some philosophical circles, there is an old debate on the efficacy of a long-standing mode of Chinese execution denominated ling chi, death by thousands of little cuts. Whatever the effect of ling chi on Mexican politics might be, our democratic system suffers from innumerable problems. We went from a centralized and semi-authoritarian regime to […]

June 12, 2011

Our Neighbors

Carl Friedrich, one of the most important political theoreticians of the XX century, said that “to be an American is an ideal; while to be a Frenchman is a fact”. According to Friedrich, U.S. identity is defined in normative terms, while that of the French is in existential terms. These differences translate into very distinct […]

June 5, 2011

Costs and Reckonings

Myshkin, the hero of Dostoyevsky’s novel “The Idiot”, -erudite, coarse, naïve- arrives at an important party, obsessed with not breaking the Chinese vase in mid-salon. He attempts to maintain his distance from it, but, no matter how much he tries, ends up destroying it. The episode could be a photograph of the political transition that […]