Showing posts from May, 2019

Populism and trade wars

Finally, it was easy to choose my last pre-election subjects, after following media headlines. Populism, it's rise and fall, it's risks, and that constant talking about a certain eastern neighbor of ours. And then came Trump with his new trade war levels against Huawei. The EU has its work cut out, now more than ever. The many ways to see populism First of all, when combating populism, I think we shouldn't do it with populism. "Populism is the one, biggest and only threat, period" does not show signs of an intelligent opinion, neither does shouting Russia constantly. One would do wisely to look at the reasons for the populist rise, like how the common worker changed from beloved to arch enemy in the eyes of too many establishment parties. Or how people's fears are being ridiculed. There may be no statistical points to support this fear but fears live outside mathematics. On the other hand, polls show that tomorrow, populists parties will most likely ma

Religion revisited, honor violence and onto voting

Due to an unfortunate injury, I had to cut back on my time on creating more content, apologies. However, the episode on religion raised a lot of debates and threw more subjects onto the table which needed to be looked at. As early voting is beginning, it's also the right time to give some ideas on what to think when choosing a candidate to vote for. Honor violence While there is no honor in violence, I am sticking to this term because scholars argue for use of it quite well. If honor is seen as the motive (excuse), it should be named so we can properly study it. This is a matter which involves religion quite often - or is it culture? Doesn't matter. Religion is culture, culture is religion and there's always some form of traffic between these in any country. Religion gets off the hook too easily, quotes like "...however religion had no part in this violence" are seen too often. Sometimes that is true, often that is not. Religion has much to answer for, be i


Very few things raise as much feelings as religion. It really shouldn't. A religion is a human construct, an organization, like a company, made by humans, for humans, due to human reasons in human context. Let us not mix it with faith, which is personal. While it can inspire all forms of creative expression in near infinite ways, it can never live as words. Christian Europe vs freedom of religion Europe There's reason enough to say that Europe has a strong history with Christianity and it plays a part in defining our identity. In fact, there's a lot to read about  and when we do, we soon also realize that Christianity is not one color that defines us but many. We have a Christian rainbow of various denominations here. In some things we agree between our various colors, in some we don't. It's healthy to remember that while there is strong Christian tradition in Europe, it is not a single, universally agreed upon story. Even in the most basic things like marriag

Fake news and Russia

Not much happens anywhere in the EU without these keywords popping up here and there. I think we're not seeing fake news or foreign electoral intervention in context, and we're not playing the right game with Russia. Both problems have boring solutions. Fake then, fake now Fake news is old news. Propaganda is an ancient tool, though perfected in the previous century, but in various forms seen for thousands of years. Foreign intervention in elections has quite a history , and that page only covers the greatest hits. We know who does it, how they do it, why they do it. Of course social media is providing new platforms and methods but the players are the same, so is the game. Naturally social media platforms are working hard against this issue. Sometimes fake news is just affecting voters a bit. Sometimes it can even be deadly, when people stop vaccinating their children. It's good for Facebook, Google and others to be awake, but the only real and lasting solution is

The challenge of fair immigration

There's no point in avoiding the toughest subjects. We all still remember the huge influx of asylum seekers in 2015. Some are shouting for closed borders, some are shouting for limitless immigration, and everyone in the middle is bleeding from the ears. If we set up a few ground rules, a few widely accepted cornerstones, we can work on a fair solution. It's not interesting, but has a chance of working. Cornerstones and carrots I won't go deeply into the matter of populist talk, I may have another episode for that, so I'll go straight into the cornerstones for handling asylum seekers. I think a notable majority of the EU population can agree that... We can't close the borders from everyone We can't let everyone in without any limits We can't force countries to accept migrants We can't allow people to drown in the Mediterranean Sea It seems a lot of notable EU leaders are planning for a processing center outside the EU. Due to the popular