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10. godišnja Vanenburg konferencija u Dubrovniku

Ovogodišnja Vanenburg konferencija u organizaciju Center for European Renewal, održat će se u Dubrovniku od 3. do 5. srpnja.

Tema ovogodišnjeg okupljanja je Civilizacija i barbarizam, a kao ključni govornik nastupit će Rémi Brague,  Profesor emeritus na pariškoj Sorbonni.

Kao jedan od govornika na konferenciji nastupit će i dr. Stjepo Bartulica, predsjednik Centra za obnovu kulture i profesor na Hrvatskom katoličkom sveučilištu. Pritom će sudjelovati na panel raspravi Religija, civilizacija, sekularnost sa Agnieszkom Kołakowskom.

Više informacija o konferenciji i samoj udruzi na stranici CER-a 

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Russell Kirk

Povratak korijenima – prvi put u Hrvatskoj literatura o konzervativizmu

Koliko pojedino društvo prati trendove, koliko je moderno i otvoreno za druge, pokazuje činjenica koliko je upoznato sa stranom literaturom. Hrvatsko je društvo konstantno kroz povijest bilo više-manje dobro upoznato s „bijelim“ svijetom prateći razvoj suvremenih misli.

No, u drugoj polovici 20. stoljeća, to nije slučaj s literaturom koja je iz ideoloških razloga bila zanemarena u Hrvatskoj. Radi se o literaturi o slobodi govora, razmišljanja i djelovanja koja nije postojala; o jednakosti koja je uvjetovana članstvom u političkim i inim organizacijama; tradiciji koja je nasilno prekinuta represivnim totalitarnim režimima i ideologijama. Plemenite vrijednostima koje su urođene i prirodno bliske hrvatskom društvu i narodu u cjelini, sada se ponovno oživljuju.

Ovaj tjedan u Hrvatskoj je prvi put pokrenuta biblioteka knjiga o konzervativnoj misli. Radi se o prijevodu strane konzervativne literature koja će nas upoznati s osnovama tog sustava mišljenja i negacije ideologije. Projekt predvodi Centar za obnovu kulture, a u suradnji s Večernjim listom omogućit će se dostupnost po cijeloj Hrvatskoj.

Prva u nizu je „Politika razboritosti“ najutjecajnijeg teoretičara modernoga konzervativizma, Russella Kirka.

Nadoknadimo propušteno i vratimo se korijenima – s provjerenim temeljima i trajnim vrijednostima ponovno krenimo ukorak sa svijetom.

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Održana međunarodna konferencija „Ivan Pavao II: Papa i europljanin“

Centar za obnovu kulture bio je domaćin ovog jednodnevnog događaja posvećenom nasljeđu pape Ivana Pavla II. Konferencija je održana u suradnji sa Poljskim veleposlanstvom i Centrom misli Ivana Pavla II u Varšavi (Centrum Mysli Jana Pawla II).

Konferencija je bila usredotočena na papinu viziju Europe i njegov doprinos povijesnom ujedinjenju europskog kontinenta. Glavnu misao je iznijela H.E. Hannah Suchochka , bivša premijerka Poljske i veleposlanica pri Svetoj Stolici.

Gospođa Suchocka je naglasila da je Ivan Pavao II bio čovjek velike vizije koji je vrlo osobno i dobro poznavao slabosti komunističkog režima. Njegov proglas o ljudskim pravima i vjerskim slobodama je u konačnici doveo do sloma totalitarističke vladavine u centralnoj i istočnoj Europi.

Dr. Mate Granić, bivši ministar vanjskih poslova, podjelio je sa nazočnima svoje osobne dojmove o Ivanu Pavlu II sa njihovih sastanaka kojima je nazočio tijekom svog mandata. Tako je iznio da je Papa Ivan Pavao II bio odlučan okončati rat u Bosni i Hrecegovini. Također ističe da je bio veliki zagovornik i branitelj hrvatske neovisnosti. Dr. Granić istaknuo je da je Vatikan imao ključnu ulogu u međunarodnom priznanju Hrvatske 1991.godine.

Konferencija se sastojala od tri panela:

    1. “Utjecaj Ivana Pavla II na promjene u Europi i pravci mišljenja o budućnosti Europe“
    2. “Istina i kompromis: Nadilaženje podjela u društvu i izgradnja civilnog društva“
    3. “Europa dvaju plućnih krila. Identitet , poštovanje i koegzistencija“
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Raspad komunizma u Europi: 20 godina kasnije

Raspad komunizma u Europi: 1989-2009

COK je domaćin međunarodne konferencije s glavnim gostom Nj.E. Lechom Walesom, bivšim predsjednikom Poljske i dobitnikom Nobeleove nagrade za mir. Ove godine diljem Europe se obilježavaju povijesnih promjena koje su uslijedile nakon pada Berlinskog zida. Zbog mladih naraštaja važno je prisjetiti se kako je došlo do raspada komunizma 1989. god., te izdvojiti koje su pouke za buduće generacije. Kao jedan od ključnih aktera iz tog povijesnog razdoblja, smatramo da predsjednik Walesa može dati jedinstveni doprinos u tumačenju dinamičnog procesa iz nedavne prošlosti.

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Video s održane konferencije

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Predavači

Lech Wałęsa je poljski političar i borac za ljudska prava. Wałęsa je od 1990. do 1995. godine služio kao predsjednik Republike Poljske, a ujedno je i dobitnik Nobelove nagrade za mir u 1983. godini. Su-osnivač je i vođa Solidarity (Solidarność) pokreta, prvog nezavisnog sindikata na području bivšeg sovjetskog bloka. Osnivač je i Lech Wałęsa Instituta čija je misija podupirati demokraciju i vlade u Poljskoj i diljem svijeta. Danas Lech Wałęsa nastavlja svoju misiju širenja solidarnosti. Putujući po svijetu podsjeća čitav svijet na poljski primjer i ne-nasilnu borbu za mir i demokraciju. Američki časopis TIME ga je proglasio jednom od 100 najutjecajnih osoba 20. stoljeća.

Mart Laar je estonski državnik, povjesničar i utemeljitelj Zaklade za Istraživanje Komunističkih Zločina (Foundation for the Investigation of Communist Crimes (FICC). Bio je estonski premijer u dva navrata, od 1992 do 1994 te od 1999 do 2002. Za vrijeme drugog mandata njegova vlada je provela ekonomske i društvene reforme koje su izvukle Estoniju iz ekonomske krize. Estonija je zahvaljujući upravo Laaru, postala jedan od vodećih “Baltičkih tigrova”. Laarove reforme danas se koriste kao jedan od najboljih modela za ostale zemlje u tranziciji. Laarove temeljite reforme prepoznate su od strane Transparency International-a, The Heritage Foundation-a, UNDP-a (United Nations Development Program), te CATO instituta koji ga je nagradio Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty u 2006. godini. 2007. godine postao je predsjednik estonske političke stranke Unija Pro patria i Res Publica.

José Piñera je čileanski ekonomist i intelektualac, poznatiji kao arhitekt čileanskog privatnog mirovinskog sustava. Piñeru nazivaju «najpoznatijim svjetskim zagovarateljem privatizacije javnih mirovinskih sustava». Jose Piñera je viši član i potpredsjedatelj Catovog Project on Social Security Choice na Cato Institutu u Washington DC-u i na talijanskom Istituto Bruno Leoni, Predsjednik International Center for Pension Reform u Santiagu, te član savjetničkog odbora EICEE-a (Educational Initiative for Central and Eastern Europe) u Beču. Ove godine, 2009., Piñera je dobitnik “Adam Smith Award” nagrade od Association of Private Enterprise Education. Dr. Piñera trenutno savjetuje vlade diljem svijeta o reorganizaciji mirovinskih sustava. Osim navedenog Piñera piše za The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, i Foreign Affairs.

Robin Harris britanski je povjesničar, publicist i novinar. Poznat je i kao savjetnik nekadašnje britanske premijerke Margaret Thatcher. Pisao je za listove »The Daily Telegraph« i »Prospect«. Doktorirao je iz moderne povijesti na Sveučilištu u Oxfordu. Od 1985. do 1988. radio je kao direktor Odjela za istraživanja Konzervativne stranke, a od 1989. do 1990. kao član Radne skupine za politiku britanskoga premijera. Danas je direktor-savjetnik organizacije »Politeia«. Taj izvrsni poznavatelj Hrvatske autor je i monografije »Povijest Dubrovnika«. Također je član uprave Centra za obnovu kulture.

Damian von Stauffenberg je predsjednik EICEE-a (Educational Initiative for Central and Eastern Europe). G. Von Stauffenberg je stručnjak na području međunarodnih financija i razvojne ekonomije. Ima 25 godina iskustva rada u Svjetskoj Banci, u International Finance Corporation-u (IFC), te je osnivatelj MicroRate-a, agencije za ocjenjivanje institucija koje se bave mikrofinanciranjem. Von Stauffenberg ima preko 10 godina iskustva u post-komunističkoj Rusiji, a u 2001. godini postaje prvi predsjednik EICEE-a. Inače, je član poznate njemačke plemićke obitelji von Stauffenberg, iz koje potječe i Claus von Stauffenberg, poznat po neuspjelom atentatu (urota Valkyrie) na Adolfa Hitlera 1944. godine, zbog čega je slijedeći dan pogubljen od strane nacista.

Roberto de Mattei predaje kolegij Povijest kršćanstva i Crkve na Europskom sveučilištu (Universitá europea) u Rimu te suvremenu povijest na Sveučilištu u Cassinu. De Mattei je i predsjednik Zaklade Lepanto (Rim-Washington), čije je poslanje štititi vrijednosti zapadne i kršćanske civilizacije, član talijanskoga Nacionalnog vijeća za istraživanja te Upravnog odbora Talijanskoga povijesnog instituta. Osim brojnih stručnih radova, urednik je revije »Nova Historica« te mjesečnika »Radici Cristiane« (Kršćanski korijeni). Od veljače 2002. do svibnja 2006. bio je i Savjetnik za međunarodne poslove u talijanskoj vladi. Autor je mnogobrojnih knjiga i publikacija koje su prevođene na više jezika te redovito piše za mnoge talijanske i inozemne časopise i novine.

John O’Sullivan je politički komentator i novinar, te glavni urednik Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty u Pragu. O’Sullivan je bio i glavni urednik časopisa National Review te viši član Hudson Instituta. Osim toga, bio je glavni urednik novinske agencije United Press International (UPI), časopisa The National Interest, te posebni savjetnik britanske premijerke Margaret Thatcher. Osnivač je i predsjednik New Atlantic Initiative-a (NAI), međunarodne organizacije posvećene revitalizaciji i proširenju atlanske zajednice demokracija. NAI je ustanovljena od predsjednika Vaclava Havela i Lady Margaret Thatcher na Kongresu u svibnju 1996. godine, u Pragu. O’Sullivan je pisao za Encounter, Commentary, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Policy Review, The Times Literary Supplement, The American Spectator, The Spectator, The American Conservative, Quadrant, The Hibernian i mnoge druge časopise. Također je autor knjige “The The President, the Pope, the Prime Minister: Three Who Changed the World” (“Predsjednik, Papa, Premijer: Trojac koji je promijenio svijet”).

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Govor dr. Robin Harrisa (engleski)

Remarks by Dr. Robin Harris, October 16, 2009 in Split

Presentation on Repercussions of the Global Economic Crisis to the 19th Zagreb Stock Exchange Conference in Split, Friday 16th October 2009

It is a great privilege to speak to this distinguished business audience. I love Croatia – Sava, Drava, Danube, all of this beautiful country. But I know Dalmatia best, and I take the liberty of telling a cautionary tale with some lessons for today.

In 1571 the Dubrovnik Government decided that it would sharply raise the customs dues it levied on foreigners. The revenues increased but the protests were loud, particularly from the powerful and mobile Jewish community. Three years later a prominent Jewish merchant, Daniel Rodriguez, proposed that Venice open a free port at Split. The Venetians dithered. But finally, in 1590, they agreed. The tax regime and Split’s natural advantages gave it the edge. Soon the cellars of Diocletian’s Palace were bulging with Balkan merchandise. Good for Split – but a disaster for Dubrovnik – and probably more serious than the Great Earthquake in accounting for its decline.

Four centuries before Art Laffer invented the Laffer Curve, or Margaret Thatcher entered Downing Street, the truth was established: high taxes impoverish those who levy them. If you wish Croatia to be poor – levy high taxes.

The current crisis is not a crisis of capitalism. It is a crisis that has occurred in capitalist economies. But that is not the same thing. Capitalism by its nature, indeed by the human nature that explains its success, experiences boom and bust. No one will ever abolish the business cycle. At the micro-level the process of “creative destruction”, as Joseph Schumpeter termed it, is, indeed, the condition for new steps of economic advance.

Capitalism does not, contrary to Marxist analysis, experience “structural” crises. There is, as usual, an apposite Russian joke. The question is: name the four structural crises of Soviet agriculture. The answer is: spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Free enterprise capitalism is not like that. It is the highest social achievement in human history, for the simple reason that it delivers continuing economic progress without coercion.

There would have been a recession, probably a deep one. But it was overtaken by a banking crisis which hugely magnified its effects. The underlying causes of that crisis were excess money and credit, principally but not only in America, and – also in America – irresponsible lending for house purchase. These policies were pursued by central bankers and government agencies under political pressure and for political purposes. The globalised banking sector then added its own fatal complication, through the devising and trading of largely incomprehensible collateralized debt obligations (CDOs). The subsequent stages of the crisis are well known.

The point I am making here is that although the operation of markets – and the misjudgement of bankers and investors – magnified and transmitted the crisis, it was government failure, not market failure, that was at the heart of it. Consequently, while there are important lessons to be learned about the way in which banks are regulated and, just possibly, bankers remunerated, it would be foolish to assume that politicians and officials are likely to come up with all the right answers at once, if at all. Any measures should be taken case by case. The assumption that one international size fits all countries should be resisted. We should try to mitigate the effects of bank failure. But we should not fall into the trap of accepting that some banks are just too big to fail. That would guarantee those institutions pursuing imprudent policies. And, finally, no one should assume that the fertile brains of financiers will be slow to find ways round new rules – as they have previous ones.

There is one further point I want to make about the crisis itself. It may be obvious to members of the Zagreb stock exchange but not to all decision makers. A sound financial system is a necessary condition for a successful economy. But it is not a sufficient condition.

What drives an economy forward is human energy. Such energy has to be harnessed, but not suppressed or distorted. It demands confidence – confidence in the worth of a currency, in the solvency of financial institutions, in the availability of credit on reasonable terms, above all in the security of property rights. But this confidence must be a springboard not a hammock. If government steps in and makes decisions which properly pertain to individuals the result is inefficiency and less wealth creation – as well, of course, as less freedom.

Capitalism falters, but it does not fail; it also recovers. It would have done so without the fiscal and monetary measures that governments have taken. Would it have done so more slowly? Probably. Would it have emerged from the process healthier? Probably that too. The creative destruction’s creativity could have gone further.

We can say for sure that it will be a long time before external finance is available so easily and cheaply to fund consumption and investment. We can also say that governments and individuals will have to look much more closely at what they spend. These circumstances should induce a new atmosphere of realism – including realism in Croatia, which indeed shows early signs of breaking through.

Recently I was editing a new version of Margaret Thatcher’s memoirs. In doing so, I re-read the account of the economic problems she faced when she entered Downing Street, three decades ago this year. I was struck by the similarities between Britain’s situation back then and yours in Croatia now.

Croatia has an enormous amount to be proud of. I want to say – because it’s not said enough – how much we should admire the huge progress Croatia has made since the unjust war waged against it.

But, as I say, your difficulties now remind me of ours back then.

Our problems were a swollen, inefficient state sector, powerful unions that wanted to cling on to existing jobs not allow new ones, low productivity, a lack of new small businesses, very high personal taxes that discouraged effort and innovation and encouraged a brain drain, and a large burden of debt – so large, in fact, that two years earlier we had been bailed out by the IMF. Unlike you we also had high inflation.

Mrs Thatcher was told by nearly everyone that Britain was destined to decline – the decline just had to be managed.

She proved that analysis wrong. Britain by the time she left office was one of the most successful economies in Europe. Public spending was under control. The deficit had turned into a surplus. The country had built up overseas assets. Previously state owned loss makers had either been liquidated or slimmed down or were making healthy profits in the private sector. Crucially, productivity growth had been revolutionised. The number of days lost in strikes was lower than for decades. Living standards had risen for all groups – yes, I repeat, all groups.

The policies pursued were often unpopular – though please note that four elections were won on them. But anyway they worked – because they established the basis of successful free enterprise capitalism along classic lines. These lines apply everywhere and always, and to suggest otherwise is to be a flat-earther.

I have also been reading, in some detail, what well placed economic observers say about Croatia. Some of it is good. The Croatian National Bank, for instance, has been a model of intelligence and prudence. But much of the rest is not encouraging. I particularly commend to you the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom and the World Bank’s EU Convergence Report – the former for its analysis and the latter for its proposals.

Croatia is only going to succeed economically if it cuts public expenditure substantially – not just to fund the deficit but because public expenditure at nearly half of GDP is a burden you cannot afford. Croatia needs to stop subsidising out of date industries. It needs to cut its very high personal tax rates, which discourage effort and merely increase the black economy. It needs to make it easier to start a business and to downsize staff. It needs to remove perverse incentives for active people to stay out of the workforce.

One thing more Croatia needs. That is a long term view of how to become a rich country. This isn’t just about balancing the books. It’s about creating the conditions for much higher living standards for this generation of Croatians and much better opportunities for the next. It’s not a mystery. It can be done. And as a friend of Croatia, I think that it is time you got on with it.

Thank you for your attention.

Robin Harris

The Center for the Renewal of Culture promotes conservative values, liberty and the free market.

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