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segunda-feira, 16 de janeiro de 2006

166) Um Kissinger spengleriano, perdido no limbo de Dante...

Uma citação, de um realista convencido, ainda em sua juventude:

"Life involves suffering and transitoriness. No person can choose his age or the condition of his time. The past may rob the present of much joy and much mystery. The generation of Buchenwald and the Siberian labor camps cannot talk with the same optimism as its fathers. The bliss of Dante has been lost in our civilization."

Henry A. Kissinger, “The Meaning of History: Reflections on Spengler, Toynbee and Kant”, senior thesis at Harvard College (1950).

Informação sobre o Kissinger, constante da edição de 24 de janeiro de 2002, do jornal The Tribune (Chandigarh, India):

Dr Henry A. Kissinger

The selection of Dr Henry A. Kissinger as the world’s top public intellectual from a list of 100 is indeed a rare honour for the 79-year-old scholar-statesman. Considering the fact that those challenging him for the top place included luminaries such as Salman Rushdie (who got ninth place in the list), George Orwell (11th), George Bernard Shaw (17th), John Kenneth Galbraith (69th) and Alexander Solzhenitsyn (72nd), Dr Kissinger’s achievement is magnificent.

The list entitled “Public Intellectuals: A Study in Decline” has been compiled by a US federal judge, Mr Richard Posner, who used the Internet to count the number of media mentions of anyone who expressed himself on matters of general public concern between 1995 and 2000.

Born on May 27, 1923, in Furth, Dr Kissinger hails from a poor family. When his father, Mr Louis, a school teacher, was dismissed by the Nazis, he fled with his parents from the Nazi Germany to the USA before the outbreak of World War II. He was a brilliant student and did well in the examinations through hard work and perseverance — the qualities for which he has been known till date. In 1950 he got BA (Honours) degree. His 377-page honours thesis entitled “The meaning of History: Reflections on Spengler, Toynbee and Kant”, prompted Harvard University to set a future limit of 150 pages for honours thesis. He did MA in 1952, followed by Ph.D in 1954. For his Ph.D thesis, he analysed the fashioning of political order in Europe in the post-Napoleonic period, in particular how the Austrian and English statesmen, Metternich and Castlereagh, managed to create a generally enduring peace for the 19th century.

After he joined the faculty of Harvard University, both in the Department of Government and at the Centre for International Affairs, he came in contact with world leaders. This, in a way, shaped his eventful career in the next three decades. He became the Secretary of State on September 22,1973, the year in which he also got the Nobel Prize for Peace. He is the first naturalised US citizen to hold this post. Though he was fourth in the line of succession to the Presidency, the American Constitution barred him from that post as he was a Jew by birth and not a native-born American.

Dr Kissinger wrote several books on foreign policy, international affairs and diplomatic history. His two books — “The White House Years” and “The Years of Upheaval” — are treated as standard reference by students of international politics.

Arguably the USA’s most effective foreign policy architect, Dr Kissinger remains a 21st century realist. He is deeply steeped in theories of international relations and the interactions of governments. He was in New Delhi last week in his capacity as a leading member of the Aspen Strategy Group (ASG), a think tank founded in 1984, to “educate himself on Kashmir and not to push through any politics”. The fact that the Government of India had accorded almost the same treatment to him as that of the present US Secretary of State, Mr Colin Powell, who was also in Delhi, shows the importance the Indian leaders attach to Dr Kissinger’s views on matters of policy.

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