Friday, October 11, 2019

Liberalism is not nice

I don't get this niceness aspect that is so often associated with liberalism. Well, to be exact, with the real existing liberalism - unlike pretty much all the other ideologies, liberalism is seen as actual practice, not as an abstract ideology, and as an actual existing practice in this hopelessly fallen world it is then compared with the pure ideologies, with those countless ideal laboratory cases of our rich human imagination. But in any case liberalism is not nice: it's hard, it's nonsentimental, it's detached, empirical, unemotional, even inhumane. Liberty is an empty thing, an emptiness, just a preliminary tiny first step away from outright barbarism. And that tiny step has been paid for with blood - it has been taken from unimaginable hardships and brutalities and injustices. Not for capital, not for the highest return for investment, but for the primitive ignorance and brutality of human history to be totally ended.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Kus on Konstantin Pätsi haud? Kus on Jaan Tõnissoni haud? Kus on kindral Laidoneri haud?

Meditating on that wave of liberation and emancipation, the late 80's, the falling of the wall. The liberal Europe, its seiren song, the mostly pragmatic, rational US (at least in the West). And then, what happened? - further relaxation of the capital controls, robber capitalism, the explosion of private debt and public corruption. Not what was supposed to happen at all. And now in 2019, the former bastions of the liberal order, the US and Britain are mad and chaotic, capital ever gaining on work, the finance sector casually buying politicians, the centre not holding at all. History is merciless, it doesn't give respite, triumphs fade and are forgotten, ideals crumble.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Short span

Obviously we should understand that our moment here is absurdly brief and that we attach comically too much attention to our immediate past and our immediate future. The planet is billions of years old and billions of years are still coming (though any chance of developed life will have disappeared much before). All those vistas. But nevertheless, being here, having our existence, our consciousness, we should focus laser like to our moment, to our one chance. For us, being grass, there is no long term, there is only here and now.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Remembrance of things past

A vignette that has stayed on my mind: September 1987, our Pietist student hostel, passionate arguments - me declaring not praying for my loved ones as they would be entitled to justice, not for mercy. Not that I would still that much disagree about that, yes, they would be ever so entitled, but having been lucky, having found people, living in this world - no shred of that immature pride left, just, please, let them be safe, and well knowing that there are no guarantees here, nothing whatsoever, it's empty, it's cold here. But I did grow up.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Alo Mattiisen in memoriam

I guess it is justified to think that history simply grabs any random people to ride the wave, and probably it often does so. But what happened with Estonia in the late 1980's was so richly deserved, so ridiculously just which obviously almost never happens in this world, and no, no random person he then. Obviously too pure for this world, or too imperfect (no doubt probably often not that nice or wise either), you take your pick, but so right for that moment, for history, for justice.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

To our coy lovers

There is remarkably little to say about Andrew Marvell himself - one suspects that most of the relevant facts are carefully hidden. But the poems left do richly compensate: an ease, a tolerance, a sentiment not sugary but of genuine human understanding of this world, tough but not dead to feeling. Such a joy in these latter days of increasing greed and aggression.

Saturday, April 27, 2019

The exact sciences

I have a terribly soft spot for them, for it, the natural science: all that reason and empiricism flowing down the long slide, so logically. Needing and providing such endless ingenuity and effort and sheer genious to find how things do cohere. And those then are the things that are so, that do cohere, that would cohere. Leaving then those aside that do not. And so, in the meanwhile, we have to do with all the random scraps we have gotten hold of. So here we are and so it just goes phile physics wroughts miracles...

Monday, March 04, 2019

A tale of two countries

I'll just post these two songs here:

Two countries with not awfully Swedish type of experience of the 20th century. And not to put too much interpretation into two almost random choices. But still. The first experience is even more savage, no room for sadness, just irony and anger. The latter being about people escaping to safety. For the former no safety whatsoever.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

My epitaph - "He was not sure..."

No doubt this sounds like something rather sad, and partly, I guess, it is, at least in its various reflections, consequences to many other, secondary things (that don't often feel so secondary). But fundamentally it's not: for I am passionately not sure, I am passionately rational and thus perpetually withholding final judgement. For there can't be, logically, any final judgements in this world, in this our local experience of being in the world. And thus I believe I really have remained true to myself, in a world where the overwhelming default experience is not to be. Sure, I still might have deceived myself, but even if so, I have deceived myself honestly. So, no, no regrets about this winding, narrow, dangerous path. The views are breathtaking still, well worth the effort.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Dark is Rising

If we speak about one single book before the Fellowship of the Ring - and even after. That was it: history and myth and modernity, complex and beautiful and surprisingly sad, hardly for anyone 9 years old but it was for me and the rest has been history and literature, and I guess was even before that in some strange form. The carols rising to timeless heavens under the stars and the struggle still being way more ancient than Christianity, such coherance with my rural world of unlit winter skys. And then soon afterwards came Sword at Sunset among others (passingly so damn sweetly tolerant of male love) and my mind was in two places simultaneously, fighting for Light on the lanes and hills of Britain and desperately surviving in the late 70's and early 80's rural Finland. Liht heht mec gewyrcan - but not so awfully flawlessly.