On Europe’s Future

I am part of the top-% of the highly educated people. Yet never have I taken one class or seminar on economics, leaving me in the dark about what macro & micro economics look like and how these processes are deeply connected to political history and our future. It was time to change that, so I started reading.

I am part of the top-% of the highly educated people. Yet never have I taken one class or seminar on economics, leaving me in the dark about what macro & micro economics look like and how these processes are deeply connected to political history and our future.

With the encroaching crisis of 2008, and the many attempts the media has made to explain this crisis to the ignorant mass to which I counted myself, I did realize something was wrong – why would governments and the European Union decide to lend money to bankrupt banks and countries, money that would instantly be used to pay off other loans of the same institutions that were so ‘generously’ offering the new loans? Why would they not invest these in the backbone of what makes a country – the people actually doing the work, trying to keep their jobs and feeding their family? (Let alone take care all those without work!) I didn’t understand, but these governments must know what they were doing, right? Or not? I had no idea. Continue reading “On Europe’s Future”

The Burden of the Freedom to Philosophise

“…freedom to philosophise can not only be granted without injury to Piety and the Peace of the Commonwealth, but that the Peace of the Commonwealth and Piety are endangered by the suppression of the freedom.”

The chairperson of the Dutch parliament has some books standing on her desk, an old Wikipedia article informed me. Three books that symbolize – well, something. An importance, a specific guidance, a reminder of the standards we set ourselves? The million-dollar-question is of course: which books are these? Continue reading “The Burden of the Freedom to Philosophise”

Why again do we want this ‘freedom of speech’? Or: reading Spinoza

Watching the news, reading social media contributions, I more and more come to the conclusion that it might be time to end our persistent liking of this concept, the ideal of freedom of speech. In a world where opinions create problems, perhaps it is time to stop having opinions altogether. Especially when having an opinion is seen as ‘doing something’, as ‘contributing something’ to society. Thus, the main problem I have with the ‘freedom of opinion’ is that is seems to warrant a liberty through which people feel entitled to say whatever they want, even if it hurts, even if it confirms prejudice and ignorance.

When we take into account that we are mostly limited in our thinking by the world in which we find ourselves, then we must conclude that our opinions can only be a confirmation of who we already are, of what we already know.

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Continue reading “Why again do we want this ‘freedom of speech’? Or: reading Spinoza”