Welcome to social-issues.org online community!

This site is welcoming individuals as well as a community from different horizons with various backgrounds, defending diverse points of view, but all having the same desire to share information and knowledge and to start or consolidate collaborations and synergies in the domain of social sciences, philosophy, and policies. The social-issues community is organized around a set of tools to promote:
  • information sharing (blog, news, etc.)
  • communication and public debate (forum, chat, etc.)
  • collaboration (Computer-Assisted Personal Interviews - CAPI, laboratories, "coffee break" place).

This can happen to anyone

I’d difficulty deciding on the topic of my blog this month. My heart goes out to Manchester in the UK, especially to families, relatives and friends of those who were at Ms. Ariana Grande’s concert last May 22. More than one hundred people were injured and 22 were killed in that vicious terrorist attack, including an eight-year-old girl and an off-duty female police officer.

Last Wednesday evening, I had a mixed feeling of warmth and sadness watching on BBC Tony Walsh reading his poem ‘This Is The Place’ as a tribute to Manchester city at vigil. His rendition was defiant and resilient for peace. For me, it means not hating and living in fear; but be hopeful yet stand up for your rights.

So, here I am doing my usual routine on the first day of every month.

Most-stressful departure ever

You’ve certainly heard about flight delays and lack of information at airports that angered passengers. You probably know at least one person who has lost a luggage or whose baggage ended up on the other side of the world. How about long check-in lines that make you nervous about missing your flight? The story below is an addition to the list of disappointing travels.

Maria has been an international traveller for over 30 years and has visited about 40 countries with more than 20 stopovers/transits. Stories and anecdotes about unfortunate travelling were foreign to her until last month. Her Expedia-purchased tickets (Brussels-New York) had a very short transit in Montreal. To her surprise, she and her family couldn't board Air Canada because they didn’t have a visa for Canada and their US Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) was not enough to get them into this plane for New York.

属国劇場 ~ 「あれから桃太郎は」

Momotaro

かつて、神国日本をささえた価値体系があった。国の起源を「神話」にもとめた国体論。国家神道。天皇の神格化。天皇を家長とする家族国家観。「皇祖皇宗のために命を捨てよ」と説いた教育勅語と国民総動員体制に盾つかない従順な人づくり。玉砕を強いる人命と人権の軽視。そして学問軽視。

(国のかじ取りをする人が条理明晰な説明ができずに、中身なし・専門知なしの反論だと外国人に指摘されて、逆ギレしたり開きなおったり。今も、あまり変わってないのでしょうか。世界の常識では、「国を愛し、誇りに思う心をはぐくむ」教育と、国際人権規約に抵触しそうな法案を通そうという国は、矛盾があるとみなされる)

「臣民」の童心教育で教訓性や強制力をすりこむのに、こどもたちからひろく愛された桃太郎ほど最良の教材はなかった。国際連盟から脱退を余儀なくされた日本で、その英雄の暴力性は増し、いつしかハチマキの文字も「日本一」から「世界一」に変わっていた。

戦後、占領軍はさまざまな分野の専門家を集め、日本を骨抜きにするための画策を練った。社会科学者たち(ルース・ベネディクト含む)は、「世界に類をみない特別な国」「日本人らしさ」「日本人の誇り」という偏狭な選民意識に目をつけた。それを逆手にとりアイデンティティとして宣揚すれば、日本の国際協調を困難にし、アジアで孤立させることで、常に宗主国のご機嫌をうかがう属国の思想的な下地になると、彼らは70年前に見抜いていた。

。。。下につづく

奥泉栄三郎さん(1940-2013) 「桃太郎と日本文化」

Momotaro

「それにしても、あなたは年寄りの友達が多いねぇ。僕も含めてね」なにを話していたかは、覚えてないが。そう言って、奥泉さんは明るくはじけるように笑った。

彼がいなくなれば、友人関係はそれで終わってしまうものだと悲しかった。ところが、病気になった彼に代わって、妻の圭子さんという友人をあらたに得た。奥泉さんの人生は、この賢くやさしい女性にささえられてきたのだと知るようになった。

その圭子さんが、この春、彼の残した「桃太郎と日本文化」という文書を送ってくれた。

室町時代から語りつがれる民話が、軍国主義を正当化する童話として、GHQに禁じられた時期があったという。「赤鬼・青鬼」は「鬼畜米英」で、「鬼ヶ島」を「真珠湾」にたとえたのだから、ムリもない。ピーチ・ボーイの改変史を知ったのは、近年ジョン・ダワー氏の本を読んでからである。

奥泉さんも、随分まえから桃太郎をみていた。うれしいのと同時に、これは年上の友人からの警告だろうか、と思ったりもする。

つまり「桃太郎人気にご用心」ということだろうか?

。。。下につづく

No individual or nation thrives alone

Four of my friends were born in April. When I was in Australia, April was a month of non-stop partying, gift giving and receiving, and catching up with relatives and acquaintances. It’s widely known that the birthstone of April is diamond. Meanwhile, it’s still a wonder why this fourth month of the year is called as such. One explanation refers to its Latin origin, Aprilis, which is derived from aperire meaning “to open” as in the opening or blossoming of flowers and trees throughout the month of April in Europe (the northern hemisphere). Another theory is that since Aphrilis is derived from the Greek “Aphrodite” and since months are often named for gods and goddess, it can be deduced that April is in honour of the Greek goddess of love (the Romans called this goddess ‘Venus’). (see ''The Mystery Behind April’s Name'' on Dictionary.com)

This year’s April, however, didn’t seem like a month of wealth (diamond) and love for many individuals and families. The Hunger Project reveals that 795 million people, which is one in nine persons in the world, do not have enough to eat; and 98% of the world’s undernourished people live in developing countries. (reference ''Know Your World: Facts About Hunger And Poverty'' on The Hunger Project)

Last April, you’d surely seen on TV the horrifying chemical attack in a Syrian town that prompted the US airstrikes, suicide bombing of the 2 Coptic Christian churches in Egypt, stolen truck driven by a terrorist into a store in a busy Swedish street, killing of a police officer in Paris, etc. I know none of the victims, nevertheless, these incidents have saddened me a lot and made me earthlier.

屈しない明日へのビジョン(3)

ポスト真実

みなさん「ホームランド Homeland」という米国のTV ドラマを、ご覧になったことはありますか?

事実をゆがめ 嘘も繰りかえし拡散すれば、世論やポスト真実としてなりたつという情報・印象操作や政治プロパガンダの一面を扱っています。

スノーデン氏が香港のホテルに持参していた本のタイトルも、実は「Homeland」で、同じタイトルでIT 専門家による本もでています。

その「Homeland」を下巻とすると、上巻にあたるのがCory Doctorow の「Little Brother」 (Big Brother じゃなくて) です。(わたしはまだ全部読み終えてませんが)

。。。下につづく

屈しない明日へのビジョン(2)

インターネットと自由

4月4日。ネットでの閲覧履歴について、マーティン・ファクラー氏がツイ―ト。その後「閲覧:貴方が行っているインターネットの閲覧は売り出されるかもしれないのです。トランプはこれを許可」と孫崎享‏ 氏がリツイート。

でもね。私たちには、他の方法があります。マイクロソフトより、Linux、グーグルの代わりにダックダックゴー DuckDuckGo.com スカイプより、トックスTox / qTox

監視されるものから、監視されない自由なものへ。既得権益がらみのモノから、みんなのオープンソースのモノへ代替可能だから大丈夫。大丈夫と思いきや。

そんな単純な話ではないようだ。

。。。下につづく

屈しない明日へのビジョン(1)

最近考えていることを、書きとめたいと思います。

国有地

むかし、むかし。チリという国に、独裁者がいました。

このあくどい男は、お金ほしさに大地を売りさばいていました。

そこに通りがかったお母さんとお父さんが、夢のようにきれいな原っぱをひとめ見て気に入りました。ふたりは、見わたすかぎりの草原を買うことにしました。

「この牧草地を守りそだて、いつか時がきたら国にかえしてあげよう」そう誓いました。

それから、ながいながい年月がすぎました。その草むらは、いこいの楽園になり、みんなのもとへもどったそうです。

めでたし。めでたし。

。。。下につづく

Fake news

Last March 4, the BBC reported on the joint declaration regarding fake news, disinformation and propaganda by Mr. David Kaye (UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression) and his counterparts from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Organisation of American States (OAS) and African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR).

After some minutes of flicking and clicking online, I got into one of the United Nations’ websites which I thought would shed more light on this declaration. Someone from the Special Procedures Division of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights responded promptly to my request for a copy of the declaration.

This declaration focuses on concerns about fake news and the risk of censorship while trying to combat these. It, likewise, mentions the danger in which the growing prevalence of fake news or disinformation, fuelled by both State and non-State individuals and agencies, mislead citizens and interfere with people’s right to know the truth. Charter 6, the last section, says “All stakeholders – including intermediaries, media outlets, civil society and academia – should be supported in developing participatory and transparent initiatives for creating a better understanding of the impact of disinformation and propaganda on democracy, freedom of expression, journalism and civic space, as well as appropriate responses to these phenomena.”

Last month, you most probably heard about the much publicised video of a female cyclist responding to catcalls from men in a van by chasing them and destroying their vehicle’s wing mirror. This was posted on Facebook then by the media; several of them later updated their stories calling it as a hoax or fake.

How to recognise fake news?

Publishing or reporting fake news undermines the trustworthiness of the media as a whole. But, why are some media outlets and journalists not careful and thorough with their information?

「太平洋の真珠」礼賛

  • Madeira

ここはどこでしょう?

そう、ポルトガルはマデイラ諸島。

昨年末、その楽園に2週間滞在しました。過去には、結核患者の保養地としても知られたところだろうです。あそこにいたら、そりゃどんな病気でも治るでしょ、という明るく希望を持てる安息地でした。

自然保護地区内にあるホテルのスタッフは、訪ねてきた友人を迎え入れるようにあたたかく、毎日オーガニック野菜の手作り料理を食べさせてもらい、連日レバダという灌漑用水路(昔は共同洗濯場でもあったそう)沿いにトレッキングに出かけました。行けども行けども山脈が冴えて見え、海岸線の断崖に立っては足の震える思いをしました。足は震えるのだけど、引き返そうとは思わない。野趣満載。そんな不思議なチャレンジをしました。後で聞いたら、地元住民以外は立ち入り禁止地区でした。

ハヤトウリ、じゃがいも、紫陽花、ブーゲンビリア、ゴクラクチョウカ以外は、図鑑でも見たことのないような、あでやかな花が行く先々で見られ、幾筋もの大滝に息をのみ、源泉を手ですくい、ユーカリの香りを肺一杯にすい込み、幸福感いっぱいの気持ちになりました。

。。。下につづく

Carnival

This week, 9 of my acquaintances are on holiday or have taken days off from work to participate in carnival activities. One of them lives in Binche, Belgium, where every year during the Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday (i.e. today) there are street performances, dancing and merry making. The Shrove Tuesday’s parade includes the throwing or giving away of oranges to spectators by the Gilles – famous participants colourfully dressed with wax masks, ostrich-feathered hats and wooden footwear. The oranges are considered to bring good luck because they are a gift from the Gilles and it is an insult to throw or give them back. (Shrove Tuesday is also known as Mardi Gras, Pancake Day or ‘Fat Tuesday’ in French as it’s the last night of eating rich and fatty food before fasting during Lent, which is 40 days before Easter).

According to The History of Carnival (on CarnivalPower.com), the Catholics in Italy started the tradition of holding a wild costume festival right before the first day of Lent. Because Catholics are not supposed to eat meat during Lent, they called their festival, carnevale — which means “to put away the meat.” As time passed by, carnivals in Italy became quite famous; and the practice spread to France, Spain and all Catholic countries in Europe.

Two years ago, I was at the Notting Hill carnival in London and it had a fully Caribbean flare with lots of feathers, and I have since found out that in Africa feathers are used in masks and headdresses as a symbol of humans’ ability to overcome problems, pains, illness and difficulties. I’m certain you’ve heard a lot about the spectacular carnival bonanza in Brazil and Trinidad & Tobago, and the lavish Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans, Sydney, Venice and other cities.

Board games

I hope 2017 has started well for you and your loved ones. I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions but believe that there’s always a room for improvement. So, in any day of any month, I try to deal with my faults and weaknesses. These imperfections make me wake up in the morning wanting to do something better than yesterday.

I got a trophy 3 weeks ago for finishing 2nd among adult female participants at a chess tournament in Marange-Silvange, a commune 20 km from where I live in Moselle department in north-eastern France. From time to time, I join this kind of competition because it makes my avid-chess playing son happy and proud of his mum. As well, I find the atmosphere festive amid rivalry characterised by fair play, respect and camaraderie.

What pleases me most is watching children, as young as 5 years old, sitting for some time thinking, analysing and making decisions which pieces to move to corner their opponents’ Kings. For me, all players are winners because they learn and exercise discipline, accept or manage their wins and losses, and try to improve their future performances. Furthermore, spending a Saturday or Sunday afternoon playing and socialising is more productive, with long-term benefits, than being a couch potato -- which is likely when the outside temperature is -5°C.

Though there's been a widespread use of computer and video games, Internet entertainment and online socialising, individuals and families still get involved in group activities. According to ''The Top 10 Most Sold Board Games Ever'', the following are the most popular board games ever: 1. Chess, 2. Checkers, 3. Backgammon, 4. Scrabble, 5. Monopoly, 6. Clue (or Cluedo), 7. Othello, 8. Trivial Pursuit, 9. Pictionary, and 10. Risk.

アマルティア・セン 「障害と正義」世界銀行における基調講演 (和訳掲載)

アマルティア・セン教授が、障害者について話した講演録がある。それを日本語に訳する許可をいただいた。この講演は2004年とやや古いものであるが、彼が明らかにした問題も解決法も時をへて今なお新しい。

「正義論」というと、きれいごと、青臭い話、独善、あるいは気おくれなどのイメージを持つ人がいるかもしれない。嘘、変節、詭弁、論点ずらし、番狂わせ、詐術・・・・と空論のテクニックでやりこめるような論客がもてはやされる昨今の日本では、正義について語ること自体、空洞化してしまっている感は否めない。

そんなしらけ感を持つ人は、ぜひセンの著物を手にとってほしい。その正義というわかりにくいテーマをわかりやすい言葉で争点化し、彼が縷々と語るほてりを感じてほしい。そして論議をかさねた正義の哲学が、私たちの日常生活につながる政策や法律のもとになることを忘れずにいてほしい。

一般的に「正義」は理非曲直をいうが、アマルティア・センの正義論では分配の公平さや平等に関して論じられることが多い。正義という概念は、国のあり方にも行方にも大いに関係する。

。。。下につづく

Dublin Core
Autore: 
Amartya SEN
Sachie MIZOHATA (introduction and translation)
Oggetto: 
アマルティア・セン 「障害と正義」世界銀行における基調講演 (和訳掲載)

Happy New Year - Surprises, wonders and hope

December 2016 was an unusual Christmas for me because I had received an unexpected, generous gift from someone who’s not a friend or relative. When I opened the envelope, I thought it was handed to me by mistake, so the next time I saw her I tried to return it. With the sweetest smile, she said “it’s not a mistake, it’s for you from Santa.” A week later, I still couldn’t believe and accept such a present. What did I do to deserve such kindness? This act of generosity propelled me to do the same, and I was even more blessed. I was so joyful to see the sparkling eyes of contentment and happiness of those I shared my blessings with.

The year 2016 has just ended, and it’s quite a challenge trying to find words to describe it. It has been a tough year for several people whose friendship I value (i.e. losing parents and family members, colleagues, etc.) This reminds me, as in other gloomy situations, that I should not neglect my family and friends, and be greatly grateful for what I’ve.

As well, I should look at the glass half full, and not half empty, even in surprisingly polarising events, such as Brexit in the UK and Donald Trump’s election as the US president. The situation in Syria’s Aleppo is dehumanising and unbearable, and how can peace and security be restored there? Last month’s terrorist attacks in Europe and the Middle East resulted in the loss of many lives, which have contributed significantly to making the fear of migrants and refugees even worse. Consequently, insecurity in many facets and from different directions besets our society. On the other hand, there were inspiring events last year that have left a positive imprint, such as the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro with its Refugee Team (the first time in its history).

Condividi contenuti