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Tony Judt

Datum narození: 2. leden 1948
Datum úmrtí: 6. srpen 2010

Tony Robert Judt byl britský historik, univerzitní profesor, který se specializoval na moderní evropské dějiny a veřejný intelektuál. Je známý svými esejemi, v nichž se kriticky vyjadřoval k zahraniční politice USA, státu Izrael a budoucnosti Evropy. Ve svém mládí původně inklinoval jako teenager k levicovému sionismu, nicméně nedlouho poté opustil svoji víru v agrární socialismus a marxismus a prohlašoval se za "universalistického sociálního demokrata.


„Demagogové říkají davu, co si má myslet, a když se jim z davu vrací ozvěna jejich frází, tvrdí, že jen naslouchají hlasu lidu.“

„Poláci a Židé toho mají společného mnohem více. Obě komunity mají tendenci si myslet, že pokud nevyhlásíte své ústřední postavení jasně a s přehnanou naléhavostí, neustále vám hrozí marginalizace.“


„I kdybychom si z dějin dvacátého století neodnesli nic jiného, měli bychom si alespoň odnést ponaučení, že čím dokonalejší se zdá nějaké řešení, tím hrozivější jsou jeho důsledky.“

„stejně jako mnoho dalších přeživších se v této době cítili bezpečněji v poraženém Německu než v osvobozených zemích na východě.“ Thinking the Twentieth Century

„Something is profoundly wrong with the way we live today. For thirty years we have made a virtue out of the pursuit of material self-interest: indeed this very pursuit now constitutes whatever remains of our sense of collective purpose. We know what things cost but have no idea what they are worth. We no longer ask of a judicial ruling or a legislative act: Is it good Is it fair Is it just Is it right Will it help bring about a better society or a better world Those used to be the political questions even if they invited no easy answers. We must learn once again to pose them.

The materialistic and selfish quality of contemporary life is not inherent in the human condition. Much of what appears “natural” today dates from the 1980s: the obsession with wealth creation the cult of privatization and the private sector the growing disparities of rich and poor. And above all the rhetoric that accompanies these: uncritical admiration for unfettered markets disdain for the public sector the delusion of endless growth.

We cannot go on living like this. The little crash of 2008 was a reminder that unregulated capitalism is its own worst enemy: sooner or later it must fall prey to its own excesses and turn again to the state for rescue. But if we do no more than pick up the pieces and carry on as before we can look forward to greater upheavals in years to come.“
Ill Fares the Land

„Undergraduates today can select from a swathe of identity studies.... The shortcoming of all these para-academic programs is not that they concentrate on a given ethnic or geographical minority; it is that they encourage members of that minority to study themselves - thereby simultaneously negating the goals of a liberal education and reinforcing the sectarian and ghetto mentalities they purport to undermine.“ The Memory Chalet

„We no longer ask of a judicial ruling or a legislative act: is it good? Is it fair? Is it just? Is it right? Will it help bring about a better society or a better world? Those used to be the political questions, even if they invited no easy answers. We must learn once again to pose them.“ Ill Fares the Land

„If we remain grotesquely unequal, we shall lose all sense of fraternity: and fraternity, for all its fatuity as a political objective, turns out to be the necessary condition of politics itself.“ Ill Fares the Land


„Love, it seems to me, is that condition in which one is most contentedly oneself. If this sounds paradoxical, remember Rilke’s admonition: love consists in leaving the loved one space to be themselves while providing the security within which the self may flourish. As a child, I always felt uneasy and a little constrained around people, my family in particular. Solitude was bliss, but not easily obtained. Being always felt stressful- wherever I was there was something to do, someone to please, a duty to be completed, a role inadequately fulfilled: something amiss. Becoming, on the other hand, was relief. I was never so happy as when I was going somewhere on my own, and the longer it took to get there, the better. Walking was pleasurable, cycling enjoyable, bus journeys fun. But the train was very heaven.“ The Memory Chalet

„The moral courage required to hold a different view and to press it upon irritated readers or unsympathetic listeners remains everywhere in short supply.“ Ill Fares the Land

„Whatever Americans fondly believe, their government has always had its fingers in the economic pie. What distinguishes the USA from every other developed country has been the widespread belief to the contrary.“ Ill Fares the Land

„We no longer have political movement. While thousands of us may come together for a rally or march, we are bound together on such occasions by a single shared interest. Any effort to convert such interests into collective goals is usually undermined by the fragmented individualism of our concerns. Laudable goals - fighting climate change, opposing war, advocating public healthcare or penalizing bankers - are united by nothing more than the expression of emotion. In our political as in our economic lives, we have become consumers: choosing from a broad gamut of competing objectives, we find it hard to imagine ways or reasons to combine these into a coherent whole. We must do better than this.“ Ill Fares the Land


„If it is to be taken seriously again, the Left must find its voice. There is much to be angry about: growing inequalities of wealth and opportunity; injustices of class and caste; economic exploitation at home and abroad; corruption and money and privilege occluding the arteries of democracy.“ Ill Fares The Land: A Treatise On Our Present Discontents

„Loss is loss, and nothing is gained by calling it by a nicer name.“

„But the disposition to disagree, to reject and to dissent - however irritating it may be when taken to extremes - is the very lifeblood of an open society. We need people who make a virtue of opposing mainstream opinion. A democracy of permanent consensus will not long remain a democracy.“ Ill Fares the Land

„... 'exist because there are no longer any, settings in which memory is a real part of everyday experience.' And what are? [They] are... vestiges... the rituals of a ritual-less society.“ Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century

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