October 4, 2010
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“Riot – worthwhile work for everyone.” I have a t-shirt that says that. I bought it because I thought the message made sense. It was back in 2001, just after the riots at the EU summit in the Swedish city Gothenburg had happened, and I was appalled by the reactions from the general public. First there were lots of very violent demonstrations and clashes between the protesters and the police, and then a guy was shot by the police, in Sweden that’s not something that happens every day. In fact, it was pretty much unheard of. But the strange thing was that it was the protests themselves that were questioned, not what the police did. Suddenly the “fight for your right” credo seemed to belong more to the police than to the people. I thought that was scary. And i think that’s why I bought that t-shirt. To make some sort of statement about the right to protest.
So does it help? To protest and challenge the establishment? Is there a point? Yes, I hope so. I hope it helps to raise your voice when you think something is wrong. After all, that is one of the fundamental rights in a democracy, to speak your mind. As citizens we do have a right to protest. And that right should be exercised. Thankfully most of the political establishment realizes and recognizes this. But what strikes me is how few conclusions are drawn from this realization. Read more of this post
January 6, 2010
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There are a lot of puzzling phenomena in this world. One of the more puzzling ones is nationalism: The idea that you can somehow acquire value by-proxy, without actually having to do anything actively. Passive superiority. Just because I happened to be born in this particular country I am intrinsically better than everyone who wasn’t. Seriously, how can anyone be arrogant enough to actually believe that? How pitiful are you? How mind bogglingly stupid? “I am proud to be [insert any of the hundreds of artificially constructed nation concepts here].” Why? What possible reason could you have to be proud over the fact that you happened to be born within a certain artificially constructed geographical area? Exactly how did you contribute to this random event? It’s stupid on so many levels. Not only because of the total randomness of the whole event, but also because of the simple reason that the concept of nations is a pure construction. They are not predetermined. They exist only because we have constructed them through our language and our actions. We have defined their borders and their meaning and it is an ongoing process. Constantly evolving with borders being redefined over and over again. And it’s a process not driven by a desire to better the world, but as a means to ensure the prosperity of one group at the expense of others. Us against them. It’s the tribe blown way out of proportion and taken far beyond the boundaries of the absurd. Taken to the level of idiocy. Read more of this post