Category: Outlook

  • Harnessing history to politics, part II

    The Icelandic historian Thorarinn Hjartarson has written a piece about the 1932–33 famine in Ukraine. What follows is most of the second part of his analysis. Causes of grain shortage Historians explain the food shortage in the Soviet Union in 1933 in various ways. The predominant view is that the dramatic changes imposed by the […]

  • Harnessing history to politics

    The Icelandic historian Thorarinn Hjartarson has written a piece about the 1932–33 famine in Ukraine. What follows is most of the first part of his analysis. The quotes included by the author were translated by him to Icelandic from English. Since I have been unable to consult all his sources, I must include some of […]

  • The tightening of the screw

    Europe is currently undergoing a tightening of the screw. As most of you will have learnt from either Milton Friedman or Naomi Klein or both, crises (e.g. the 2008 financial crisis, Covid, the war in Ukraine, etc.) will be inexorably exploited by the powers-that-be. Result: the poor will become poorer, the rich richer. This is […]

  • Anger

    I am just a common inhabitant in a country of just five million – just one country of 195. I live in the West – i.e. the part of the world that makes up just 15 per cent, or so, of the world’s population. Countries in the West take orders from an infinitesimal minority of […]

  • Change

    The very word – change – is a little scary. For a child, moving with parents to a different district means moving away from friends and/or bullies, to potential new friends and/or bullies. As adults we may think we have grown out of such starkly black-and-white notions, yet, we are still vulnerable, maybe as vulnerable […]

  • Not greed?

    Have you heard of the Dominican prelate Bartolomé de las Casas (1484-1566)? Almost any book about Latin American history will respectfully mention him, usually, however, without quoting him – more’s the pity. He was an eyewitness in Latin America during the early decades of the colonisation, and he addressed an account of his observations to […]

  • The meaning of life

    There were a lot of us – young people during the 70s – who struggled with questions of an existential nature. Although a lot of young Western kids are killing themselves these days – overdose and whatnot – questions about the “meaning of life” do not seem to figure in young people’s cognitive equations. What […]

  • For the pursuit of (whose?) wealth…Part II

    Officially, of course, the motif is never greed. When the British Parliament approved a series of “Enclosure Acts” that culminated in the 18th century, they argued that this was for the common good. However, as more and more peasants were denied access to “common land” and had to leave their homes to seek underpaid labour […]

  • More than bombs

    War is more than collapsed buildings, deaths, and lots of people maimed for life. It is also paralysed infrastructure. We have just seen the beginning of the war with Russia. We have not seen the end of it. As I write tonight, I find myself without internet. The internet service provider assures me that the […]

  • On the heels of science fiction

    Do you sometimes come out of a building and feel that the world outside is somehow unreal? Maybe if you have been very immersed in your work, or if you have seen an engrossing film or even just read a thrilling saga? Recently, I have had that feeling almost every day, but not when I […]