First, something about anarchy. When most people think of anarchy, they think of lawlessness and political disorder. In the Standford Encyclopedia of philosophy1, you can read in the introduction: Anarchism is a political theory, which is skeptical of the justification of authority and power, especially political power. Anarchism is usually grounded in moral claims about the importance of individual liberty. Anarchists also offer a positive theory of human flourishing, based upon an ideal of non-coercive consensus building. Anarchism has inspired practical efforts at establishing utopian communities, radical and revolutionary political agendas, and various forms of direct action… At this moment, I am not so interested in the political side of anarchism. There are countless forms of anarchism, sometimes also called libertarianism2, and like with all political tastes, they all claim some unique knowledge on how the world should be organized based on their conception of what the world is.
Yesterday I wrote about philosophers and how seriously they can take their task. You can widen this, of course, to all kinds of professions. Today I listened to a podcast where some biologists talked about the history of the crocodile. One thing they have done the last ten years is scanning fossils with all sorts of equipment to see how many different kinds of crocodiles there were 200 million years ago. It’s fascinating and cool to spend your day doing that, and it probably has some purpose down the line. I myself restore old wooden buildings and boats, and I can tell you precisely why it is important but, as I do now, I can tell you also why it is not that important. This finding meaning in what we do is something we all do. That’s why I called it “playtime” for grownups yesterday, and that sounds all jolly, but there is also a downside. We are so rich that we can do all of these fun but unnecessary jobs and produce so much stuff that we don’t need, and this pollutes the world and maybe even cynical.
If I talk to people about life, politics and what is important for them in life the one thing that gets mentioned a lot is tolerance for each other’s views. I cannot agree more if, and I say if everybody would follow that rule.
But if I think about it more, I immediately see some problems with this ideal of respecting each other’s way of life. It is the wet dream of all the libertarians in the world off course, a society of loving egoists but we all live in some kind of group. At work you live in a small group where you might have a lot of freedom, but the workplace expects from you that you follow certain rules like safety instructions and the expectance that you deliver some sort of work or added value for the money you get paid. You cannot go to work and expect your boss to respect your personal opinion that following safety rules is wrong, your boss can’t be tolerance towards you, he can at most tolerate that you want to work unsafe in your own time.
I don’t like to write about politics though I did it a lot when Trump was president, he was a special case, to put it mildly. But now politics in the world is back to “normal” I had some hope that I could forget about it again, at least on this blog. But last week I got really disappointed in president Biden, not that I had high hopes on many issues but maybe he would be less of a…I don’t know. He more or less ended one war and immediately starts provoking China out of some idea that China is dangerous and banging on your chest is the only solution to stop them. I know that international politics is complicated with thousands of moving parts but once again a group of privileged, (middle)-aged man decide the direction the world goes. I understand that a captain of a ship can not steer the boat democratically but a nation is not a ship and should not be treated like one.
After almost 15 years of seclusion from much of society our move to the city was both a welcome surprise and change. Before I moved to North Norway I lived in Holland where you can meet all kinds of people if you want to, and I did. I have had a lot of good conversations, I was already interested in philosophy, psychology and more and I always tried to talk about these subjects but with little success overall. Most people have some interest in for example philosophy but up till a certain level. Its like talking about your train collection, at first people indulge your enthusiasm but if you still talk about the different train tracks you can buy after 20 minutes you start to see in their faces that you went to far. So, my move to Norway, and thus lack of social contact, was not a big problem because I could do without the disappointment of people losing their interest when I wanted to dive deeper.
There were elections in Holland last week, and though I don’t live there anymore I still follow the news with interest. The parties on the right side of the right have won a few seats in the parliament, and that was disappointing. I did learned recently that in a country like Holland you always have around 20% of the people that vote way to the right or populist. This knowledge makes it a little bit easier to have peace with what’s happening, but it doesn’t make me want to move back. I left Holland for all kinds of reasons but one of them was the hardening of society. Here in Norway things are probably not all that rosy to, but even after 15 years, there is still a buffer between me and whats going on here. I make sure of this by not reading the Norwegian news and the character of the Norwegians helps to, they don’t talk about politics with you if you don’t ask them. In Holland it is all much clearer how someone looks at life, they tell you.
Democracy is important, it brought us all a lot of good. Democracy can also steer a country into ruins if a majority, and that is not always necessary, get a chance. Look at Nazi Germany, Trump’s America or Brazil. In Holland the mainstream parties ignore the brown-shirts but you never know what’s gonna happen in the future. I thought 15 years ago that it all would blow over but the parties of resentment only got stronger. It frustrates me, I just wish we had a democracy where we voted for people because we appreciate their competence as a human being and a leader. I have so much to say about this but don’t know how, for now I try it is some kind of short poem that highlights one aspect of the popular leader.
Have you ever heard of the “impostor syndrome? It’s when you have the feeling that you are not capable of doing the job you are doing, but the people around you don’t seem to notice your alleged deceit. I have the feeling that a lot of people feel like that every now and then. I have had that feeling, but if others trust you, well…what can go wrong? It is something that plays in your own head, you probably do a good (enough) job, you just doubt yourself, or you are more of a perfectionist that realizes that you are not reaching your own goals.
But in some way, doubting yourself because you expect more is not so bad. I even think that everybody, or at least a lot of people, are impostors, but they just don’t see it that way. A lot of people project an air of confidence and knowledge, specially when you just interact with them for a short while. You probably had these kind of colleagues, when you just started at a job you are all intimidated and impressed, but after half a year you realize that they screw up as much as you do, sometimes even more.
Look at what happened in America on the 6th of January, this big, so called impressive, police apparatus, with tons of confident people screwed up big time. If Iran had known that they could just shopper in a few dozen commando’s, and take over the whole government of America, they would have done that. They spend billions of dollars on security and intelligence gathering, and it seems that they are all incompetent, and the sad thing is that none of them realize that they are impostors, they just find excuses.
It is sobering when you see that a “professional” organization can do such a bad job, it makes you wonder. I am 48 now, that’s not old, but not young either, but there are leaders of counties that are my age, and I assume that they also just try to do a good job. I assume that much older world leaders are not much different then the rest of us, have a look at the results of all there confident posturing and pointing the way. I think there is no one in the world that really knows what is going on, and we all just pretend, because we think the others are on to us.
If you look at the world from a distance, you realize that it’s just a silly place. That street in your neighborhood where all the screw ups live, that kind of planet. Can you imagine that if the aliens came and asked: who is your leader? That we have to bring him to the whit-house and show them Tr…. that’s the person on top of the pyramid…the pinnacle of man kind…our best example…
In 2016 I came back from a visit to my parents in law in America. My girlfriend is African American* so we were extra exited by what’s going to happen, specially if T…p would win. When we came back at the end of September we anxiously waited till the election where over. It was off course a big disappointment. The good thing is that I started this blog. I already had an other place where I posted my daily pictures and now I wanted a blog again to vent on. I made a whole series of photoshopped pictures of the situation in America and wrote about it. Now it is almost over, I wanted to wait with it but after what happened last night I might as well post it now. I re-upload most of the pictures I made in 2016, and I will tell something about it. I was hoping back then that the readers would understand the pictures, including all the details, but that didn’t happen.
*I asked my girlfriend if I could still use these words to describe her…mistake;-)
As a grown-up you can still play, I like to play the game where in I regularly look into myself and see what all these years living in an other country do to me. Sounds boring? It probably is for a lot of people, but it is something I like to do. I like to look in the mirror at other things to, but since I live in Norway now for fourteen year, this seems to be and interesting angle.
I had several reasons why I wanted to move to an other country, and why I went to Norway. The main reason is different depending on who I talk to. One of my problems was that my future was not there, and I don’t mean there as in there in the Netherlands but it was just not there. Up to that point I did things that came on my path, the Marines, studying, learning a trade stuff like that. But around the age of…34…Jezus Ch… did I wo(a)ndered around that long? Well anyway, I guess it took me that long to realize that I never have taken it serious what to to with my life. The problem is that thinking like that doesn’t really fit with my philosophy. Moving to Norway looked like a big plan into the future, but honestly it was just a way out, it was after all a big plan.
The other important reason for why I left was my discontent with the Dutch society at that moment. I’ve seen some thing and lived in poor countries where life is much harder than the life I have ever led. For the same reason why I think about living for so many years in an other country I also think about why…why where those people in Cambodia seemingly more exited by the new prospects they had, coming from a place where there is nothing and probably never will be. Compared to all the complaining and specifically the hatred towards other people and strangers. So afraid of the future and the things they might loose or never get. I just didn’t know what to do with the knowledge that one in five people I met on the street or within the group of people I knew, voted for a party that, if it where 1932 Germany, would lead them at the road to the concentration camps.
And I know that things will probably not go that way, but if you study history and try to look and understand how politics was perceived in those day’s, you will find that many normal people had understandable reasons for why they voted, for instance, for the Nazis not knowing that they slowly went along with the more extremist standpoint that where preached louder and louder. Even if no one in Holland wants to be a Nazi or will become one in the foreseeable future, the fact that you hop on the yrain that might lead that way is alarming enough for me. That’s why I also left to Norway, to escape the confrontation with these people, who were sometimes my friends and or colleagues.
Why did I Thought about this today? Two reasons. First I found this Haiku from Day 811.
The land behind me
a haze waning in the past
clearing the future.
Secondly, I listened by accident to the radio today and I understand that a certain party is getting bigger here in Norway that I might not like. I purposelessly don’t integrate here in Norway insofar the politics go. I am helped by the fact that most Norwegians don’t talk about, in the Netherlands everybody does…well almost.
I don’t know why I have such a problem with it. Most people I know condemn these parties and devastating ideologies, but somehow they don’t feel the urge to migrate to an other country. I have asked them how they do it but I have never gotten a satisfying answer. I guess my kindergarten teacher was right, I asked way to mush questions, I had to stand in the corner…and don’t look at the group.