de Revista Literariedad (Colombia)

Hace 30 años #JorgeLuisBorges ocupó un lugar especial en la Biblioteca. Le agradecemos por el infinito, por lo insuperable, por la arquitectura de las palabras que no dejamos de leer cada día.

A photo posted by Revista Literariedad (@literariedad) on

Here's an English translation, from somewhere on the Internet...:

I will no longer be happy. Maybe it doesn't matter.
there are many other things in the world;
any moment is more profound and
diverse than the sea. Life is short

and though hours are very long,
a dark delight lies in wait for us
Death, that other sea, the other arrow
come to free us from the sun and the moon

and the love. the joy you gave me and took away must be crossed out;
that which was everything has to be nothing.

All I have left to enjoy is sadness,
that vain habit that brings me
South, to a certain door, to a certain corner.

This is one of the great coincidences of history. Fidel, the dapper law student in the center, was scheduled to meet with Gaitan that afternoon. But Gaitan, the candidate of the people and the likely victor in the next presidential election, was murdered when he went out for lunch. And so, instead of a meeting, there was a riot that tore down much of el centro Bogotá and the beginning of a civil war that has continued, under different names, until today.

Siempre he imaginado que la participación espontánea de Fidel Castro en el #Bogotazo fue decisiva para su lucha posterior en Cuba. Desde entonces Colombia está en guerra civil, el fuego no se extingue; desde entonces Cuba ha sido, pese a todo, un ejemplo de resistencia ante el monstruo norteamericano y un pilar de la salud y la educación. Gaitán no sobrevivió al espíritu traicionero de Colombia, como no lo hiciera Santander. En cambio, por fortuna, Fidel Castro sobrevivió al Bogotazo, como el Che, que viniera en 1952 enardecido por el fútbol, sobreviviera a Los Andes en cenizas. Al parecer el 2016 se nos quiere llevar a todos los personajes históricos. ¿Qué pasaría en el mundo cuando muriera Fidel? Era la vieja pregunta. Pues ahí está. Ojalá una respuesta sea la reconciliación entre los habitantes del país que empieza en el Río Grande y va hasta la Patagonia, para recordar a Martí. #HastaSiempreComandante En la foto se ve a #FidelCastro el 9 de abril de 1948 en Bogotá.

A photo posted by Albeiro Montoya Guiral (@amguiral) on

My family supplies other examples of this slippery slope of collaboration. Take my own. In 2012, I was working as the editor-in-chief of a popular science magazine called Vokrug Sveta when Vladimir Putin, who fancies himself an explorer and a nature conservationist, took a liking to the publication. His administration launched a kind of friendly takeover of the magazine, one that the publisher could not refuse. I found myself in meetings with the Russian Geographic Society, of which Putin was the hands-on chairman. They wanted me to publish stories about their activities, most of which, as far as I could tell, were bogus. In exchange, they promised to help the magazine: at one point every school in Russia was ordered to buy a subscription (like many Kremlin orders, this one ended in naught). I felt a slow rot setting in at a magazine I loved, but I kept telling myself that I could still do a good job—and keep many fine journalists gainfully employed. Then I was asked to send a reporter to accompany Putin on his hang-gliding adventure with a migrating flock of endangered Siberian cranes. I refused—not on principle but because I was afraid that the reporter would see and describe something that would get the magazine in trouble. The publisher fired me, but then Putin called me in for a meeting and offered me my job back—legally, it wasn’t his to offer, but for practical purposes it was.

In comparison to the Putin regime’s major abuses of power and suppression of the opposition, the story of the cranes and my firing does not deserve a mention. All that happened as a result of the hang-gliding trip (from what I know) was that two or three of the cranes were badly injured for the sake of the president’s publicity stunt, and I lost my job. But I also lost a bit of my soul and the sense of moral agency I had earned over decades of acting like my best journalist self. When Putin offered me my job back after the trip, I hesitated to say no: I loved that job, and I thought I could still edit a good magazine and keep some fine journalists employed. I didn’t want to imagine what would happen the next time I was asked to cover a Putin photo op or a fake story produced by his Geographic Society, which siphoned money off like every other part his mafia state. Fortunately for me, my closest friend said, “Have you lost your mind?,” by which she meant my sense of right and wrong.

Source: Trump: The Choice We Face | by Masha Gessen | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books

Umberto Eco was born in 1932, in Fascist Italy. He lived the first 13 years of his life under Fascism. In 1995, he published an essay in The New York Review of Books in which he attempted to clarify the meaning of meaning of "fascism:"

Fascism became an all-purpose term because one can eliminate from a fascist regime one or more features, and it will still be recognizable as fascist. Take away imperialism from fascism and you still have Franco and Salazar. Take away colonialism and you still have the Balkan fascism of the Ustashes. Add to the Italian fascism a radical anti-capitalism (which never much fascinated Mussolini) and you have Ezra Pound.

I think it is possible to outline a list of features that are typical of what I would like to call Ur-Fascism, or Eternal Fascism. These features cannot be organized into a system; many of them contradict each other, and are also typical of other kinds of despotism or fanaticism. But it is enough that one of them be present to allow fascism to coagulate around it.

It's a long discursive essay, of more than 5,000 words, in which Eco wanders from personal reflections to political and philosophichal analysis. The core of the essay is a list of 14 features which Eco believes to be the underlying characteristics of fascism. I have condensed these 14 features into brief slides. If you watch it on auto-play, it takes 3 minutes and 45 seconds.