Founder Editor in Chief: Octavian-Dragomir Jora ISSN (print) 2537 - 2610
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Contact Editorial Team PATRON The Idea
Unsupported Sport Spirit (International Edition)

Unsupported Sport Spirit (International Edition)

“The ball is round” is a statement endowed with immeasurable explanatory power, a veritable theory of general relativity of human life, since it is often used in so many extra-football justifications. It’s a statement that should be a working premise in any setup in the world, whether it’s based on rough elbows and fine ankles or anything else. The ideal of football would be for it to represent the game of the ball, played with the feet, but by people with their heads up whether on the field, the side-lines, the boards of sports clubs or associative structures. Representing a distillate of human passions, football concentrates both humanity and nothingness and it does so regardless of jurisdictions, cultures, histories and horizons. Football, as a common denominator of a huge part of the population of the world map, preserves in high concentrations everything that brings us together and divides us too: solidarity and passion, excellence and mediocrity, justice and crookedness, joy and hatred. The “Copa Mundial”, Brazil 2014, started some time ago, on which occasion we saw once again that football exhibits and exhales planetary virtues and vices. More


Human Rights and America’s “Empire by Invitation”

Human Rights and America’s “Empire by Invitation”

The idea of universal human rights is part of the borrowed capital the West secularized from its Biblical origins as the eternal kingdom of Christ. Cut off from its source is becomes sentimental, utopian, ideological and sometimes apocalyptic. Most of the damage to the idea of universal human rights was done more than 75 years ago through the ideological twist which was added at the insistence of the Soviet Union after the Second World War.The first twenty-one points of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) are classified as civil and political rights: “freedoms from.” These are best regarded, first of all, as liberties which deserve protection rather than rights which have standing in courts of law. The next seven, which the Soviets insisted upon, are social and economic rights – “obligations to” – various social and economic categories. These might best be characterized as collective rather than individual rights, sometimes as claims upon the government treasury. They are rights other people – ultimately taxpayers – owe to a distinct class of people rather than liberties for all which governments are obliged to protect. More


Heartland vs. Rimland

Heartland vs. Rimland

The last decade saw more and more thoughts on, opinions, and claims that a new world order is just around the corner and the old system of bipolar and then unipolar world will belong in the history books. The “Pax Americana” period is living its final days, marking the beginning of a not so long interregnum characterized by a vaguely-defined so-called “multipolar world”. Since it is unstable in the longer term, multipolarity will most likely segregate and in the end will lead to a world dominated either by a single power, probably China, or, more likely, by another bipolar world divided on an East-West gradient politically and economically, but, more importantly, on ideology and in terms of the proposed social model. This could mean the end of globalization as we know it in its Anglo-Saxon form, but does not mean that globalization itself will be gone completely. It just may very well take another shape, under a presumable new “Pax Sinica”, or a half-half globalization in case of bipolarity, meaning one type of international system in the Western, democratic and capitalist world and another form in the authoritarian states in Eurasia. Pretty much like in the Cold War, with the main difference that these two global systems can cooperate economically much more than in the previous setting. More


Loneliness as a Disease: A Bird in Its Cage and the Effects of Consumerism

Loneliness as a Disease: A Bird in Its Cage and the Effects of Consumerism

In the fast-paced society we live in, the divide between generations is more pressing than it has ever been. Parents and children have always clashed, but the general saying nowadays is that “things were better in my time”. Whether you translate this phrase in Romanian, put into Japanese hiragana or find its equivalent in Arabic, the general sentiment is the same: degradation is impending and people yearn for better times, as they were before.Where does this sentiment actually come from? Is it some sort of en-masse illusion? Maybe it’s just a stage that every person goes through once they hit their midlife crisis. Is there some sort of truth to it? As humans, we compare every experience we engage in with past situations, in order to find answers. We use these models due to the fact that they are all we know and we thrive on precedents. So, when people go metaphorically back in time, they actually romanticize the sense of comfort that their youth brought them. This is done on micro-levels too. A 70-year-old always remembers his 50s fondly. A 40-year-old yearns to be 25 again. Some would say it is just the nature of man, and I tend to agree.So, where does loneliness come into play? More


Employees Working Abroad, of Great Importance for Romania

Employees Working Abroad, of Great Importance for Romania

For France, Romania and Belgium, the positive net balance of personal transfers and compensation of employees reduces their current account deficits significantly, according to data for 2022 published recently by Eurostat. For some countries, net inflows of personal transfers and compensation of employees are important sources of external funding and contributors to a recipient’s disposable income and GNI.Romania considerably reduced its negative current account balances through these net inflows, with €7.4 billion (see Figure 1). The current account deficit for Romania would have been €33.5 billion instead of €26.1 billion, which includes transactions related to personal transfers and compensation of employees. More


Biden Throws His Hat in the Ring

Biden Throws His Hat in the Ring

President Joe Biden recently announced his intention to run for a second term as President. His detractors mocked him for a message that was both alarmist and emotional, as well as for the fact that it had been pre-recorded and scripted, like most of the media appearances of the oldest American leader. However, the Biden Campaign cannot be underestimated. Despite its weaknesses, potential legal hurdles, and questionable performances, the Democratic Party will rally behind him as the only notable candidate capable of defeating Trump or a Trumpist successor like DeSantis. More


Enlightened Minds’ Derby: Oxford vs. Cambridge

Enlightened Minds’ Derby: Oxford vs. Cambridge

In the beginning, there was the… bludgeon – in an episode of the “town vs. gown” saga. The first faction – that of the trueborn townsfolk; the second one – of the academics – alien and politically privileged as opposed to the locals. In 1209, following a harsh clash between the two Oxford factions – NB: a town with academic activity dating as far back as 1096 –, several studious individuals fled to Cambridge and laid the foundation of the university with the same name, yet bringing with them the same social tension. Nicknamed “Oxbridge”, given their common historical and institutional features, the two venerable English universities have developed a mutual condescension over time. Though aristocratic and non-aggressive, it was seemingly even more defiant in its staunch refusal to “name the other”: i.e., to those in Cambridge, Oxford remains, bluntly, “the other place”. Centuries of “grey-matter” warfare, following the original battle of fists, led to these two universities accumulating both intellectual/human and financial capital. Their combined wealth: £21bn! More


The Soft Power of Manga

The Soft Power of Manga

Hayao Miyazaki helped popularize anime (i.e. cartoons drawn in a Japanese style) outside of Japan, playing a significant role in increasing global interest in this genre of animation. Studio Ghibli, his creations, has influenced not just the content of anime, but also the way this industry is perceived and appreciated around the world as a producer of art. And not only the anime industry, it also played an important role for manga, which are Japanese comic books which often inspire anime movies and series.His personality combined with the strict rules of Japanese society gave rise to a unique man. A man who could never be satisfied with his, or with other people’s efforts, someone who would have given everything for his passion and his work.He was always fascinated by this idea of drawing. He was especially drawing planes in the childhood. His family had military involvement, since they owned a company that built parts for fighter planes – Miyazaki Aircraft Company – and this is why he was so interested in them. The Miyazaki family received special treatment because of their company – everyone in the family was exempted from the responsibility of going to war. And they were quite rich. More


The West’s Own Goal on Energy

The West’s Own Goal on Energy

The various World Economic Forum reports speak of poly-crises and perma-crises, which act as powerful stressors on our societies. Their effect has been visible in the area of energy, which is fundamental for the effective functioning of our economic, social and political lives. The effects of the American invasions in the Middle East and the civil wars that broke out after the so-called Arab Spring (including the emergence of Daesh, the so-called Islamic State) have proven that an increasingly integrated global energy system is also prone to cascading effects as a result of crises in demand, supply or risk perception. In recent years, we have seen the effects of the pandemic, resulting in a shrinking and then increase in energy demand, and the war in Ukraine (and sanctions against Russia) had significant effects on perceptions of security of supply and markets. We may soon see an impact from Houthi rebel attacks on energy shipping traffic through the Gulf of Aden, much of it aimed at Europe. Disturbances in the global energy markets increase the prices of almost all products, implicitly also increase inflation, lower living standards, bury companies, especially in energy-intensive fields or with fossil fuels as inputs and often strategic (metallurgy, petrochemicals, arms industry). However, not all of these effects can be attributed to exogenous shocks. They are also the result of a mix of ideology, special interest groups, civil society organizations, which have pushed many Western countries towards counterproductive energy policies, including for the desired reduction of carbon emissions (decarbonization), which have ended up exacerbating energy insecurity in the West. Especially in the case of Europe, the recurring crises in the field of supply, sustainability, and accessibility of energy for large consumers will sharpen trends of Western deindustrialization. There will be four ripple effects – a reduced competitiveness of Europe on the global stage, the economic stagnation of Western Europe after 2008 (with small exceptions such as the Netherlands or the Nordics) becoming chronic, the vulnerability of the Energy Union (resulting in more frequent blackouts) and an inability of Europe to rise to challenges such as the production of munitions and other war materials. From Romania’s perspective, even if we will not face supply crises, we will suffer secondary effects of the economic weakness of our main economic partners. Also, as we have not yet seen a country that becomes developed in conditions of high energy access costs, we can ask the question whether Romania and other Eastern countries will be able to enter the club of the developed after the limits catch-up growth will be reached, and countries will face middle income traps, which can produce long-term economic stagnation. More


The Fortune at the Bottom of the Cup

The Fortune at the Bottom of the Cup

Coffee? What is coffee? A daily ritual enjoyed by billions of people worldwide. For hundreds of years, this magical beverage has forged connections between people, contributing to the exchange and distribution of information. In this era where everything has become digitized, and face-to-face socialization is increasingly rare, coffee inspires people to have discussions, write, read, stimulate their imagination, and encourages people to meet, communicate, have fun, or simply spend time together, becoming a social bond. Cafes have been and continue to be places where people unwind and feel at home, where culture, time, and social barriers merge. And coffee is the second most valuable export of developing countries and an important element of their economies. Its energizing effect has made it the most consumed beverage after water. More


Techno-Socialism: The Illusions of Technology in Search of Utopia

Techno-Socialism: The Illusions of Technology in Search of Utopia

In the history of humanity, few ideologies have incited as much enthusiasm and controversy as socialism—a subject that has captivated the minds and hearts of many, stirring passions and igniting fervent debates. Its proponents proclaim it as the harbinger of a new dawn, promising to rectify perceived injustices and build a (utopian) society based on equality and solidarity. Socialism, in its various forms and iterations, purports to address the flaws of capitalism and create a fairer and more prosperous world. In a socialist society, it is believed that human nature will undergo a transformation; it will be purified of selfishness, and reshaped to create a new type of socialist individual. The desires of this individual will be compatible with the hard work, prosocial behaviors and devotion required to achieve the goals and fulfill the directives set by the socialist state. Socialism advocates for the abolition of private property, collective ownership of the means of production, and the centralization of economic power in the hands of the state, purported to be controlled democratically, but in actuality ruled by a dictator or a committee. Through this reordering of social relations, it is believed that a fair distribution of resources and wealth will be achieved, eradicating poverty, exploitation, and social stratification. More


Cryonics – Staying Chill

Cryonics – Staying Chill

Hey there, thrill-seekers! Ever wondered about outsmarting the ultimate opponent – death itself? Enter the fascinating realm where science, hope, and the human ambition collide – welcome to the extraordinary world of cheating the Grim Reaper! At some stage in our lives, most of us encountered the science fiction plot when somebody hops into a sealed chamber to freeze their body, envisioning a future revival in an entirely new world. Surprisingly, this scenario isn’t merely an exaggerated tale, as people have actually been undergoing cryopreservation since the 1960s! More


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