Category: Outlook

  • 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 […]

  • Hope?

    LOOK TO CHILE LOOK TO CHILE LOOK TO CHILE Challenging neoliberalism, fake news, and mainstream (neoliberal) press is only the first step. Winning an election against such formidable foes, however, is nothing less than fantastic, almost sci-fi. What remains to be seen is whether the beautiful forces of mostly (but certainly not only) young people […]

  • Democracy

    Have I made fun of the term? I bow my head in shame. Yes, it is true that being allowed to vote once every four years for some caudillo to lead your country is not really worth fireworks. However, Democracy is not only about ballot boxes! Sometimes, you only understand that, when Democracy has been […]

  • A Saga

    During the period 1122–1133, Ari Froði (the Learned) wrote Íslendingabók “the Book about Iceland”. This remarkable piece of scholarly literature was written in Icelandic, or Norse, if you will, although the writer was probably much more fluent in Latin, at least when writing. In those days, Latin was the language of choice for European scholars, […]

  • What is Democracy?

    For various reasons, a growing number of people are beginning to wonder whether Democracy is just a fading daydream. The long-predicted effects of climate change are one by one starting to unfold and are shaking our faith in the future. Meanwhile, the spectacular cognitive contortions of many politicians and their followers have seemed beyond belief […]