Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Atlantic Shift

Listening to Monocle24, “The Atlantic Shift”, as if I of all people would need that. From Halifax to Hamburg, I will cross its cold waters twice this spring. Before summer, I also hope to make it to St Petersburg, Warsaw and Tel Aviv. So, spinning globe alright.

Giving a lecture on conservatism the other day, I came to think about how treacherous yet indispensable self-irony is. While Kierkegaard makes the distinction between “irony” and “humour”, with only the latter allowing for the fullness of love and reconciliation, it still seems as if even the most nihilistic forms of irony would be better than the seriousness by which many conservative people view themselves.

Yesterday, Per Gudmundson suggested that “more responsible politicians” would have closed the door for refugees from Uzbekistan (and thereby preventing Rakhmat Akilov from carrying out his terror attack in Stockholm last year). No, "more responsible politicians” would have prevented Uzbekistan from sliding into authoritarianism in the first place. As I have said repeatedly, there is no going back to a world of closed doors. The 21st century should be a time when we domesticate the global, not a time of isolationism and unchecked fear of those who are ever so slightly different from ourselves. Never before in human history have we been more alike, maybe that is also part of the reason why we seem so obsessed with whatever differences that remain?

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