Monthly Archives: January 2015

Wisdom of expression

Freedom of expression fundamentalism – or what happened to Charlie?
Four main reasons you need to be wise – and not make New Atheism your new creed! This is TFF PressInfo # 304.

You can get these fast-growing PressInfos winging into you e-box too. Just write to pressinfo@transnational.org

Klogt sagt mod ytringsfrihedsfundamentalismen!

Med undtagelse af den altfor brede pensel hvormed der i interviewet tales om “araberne” og “den arabiske kultur” så siger jeg bare: Tak, Herbert!

Det er så vigtigt at nogen tør sige at det også handler om Vestens hærgen i Mellemøsten og at vi må se fremad og diskutere hvordan vi får styr på fremtidens meget meget mere blandede samfund.

Det er egentlig utroligt at det er unge mediefolk, der – 1/3 så gammel som Pundik og uden en brøkdel af hans internationale erfaring – skal fremføre den tåbelige ytringsfrihedsfundamentalisme, der er konfliktforøgende som ind i helvede.

Det er præcis hvad han siger til sidst: Vores egocentriske holdning til omverdenen.

The world’s richest 1% will own more than all the rest by 2016!

Richest 1% will own more than all the rest by 2016! – Oxfam report states.

The West has had about 300 years to create a more fair world – as it thought of itself as a civilising factor and as the First World, as a model. But it has only made things worse. It has accumulated wealth to itself and elites in allied countries. This articles states that “the explosion in inequality is holding back the fight against global poverty at a time when 1 in 9 people do not have enough to eat and more than a billion people still live on less than $1.25-a-day.”

It is not that long ago, the World Bank told the world that China, in a couple of decades, had uplifted 400 million citizens out of poverty. One must wonder how they could do that in such a short time but world capitalism that has dominated for centuries has not been able – or willing – to do anything similar where it could have done so.

Inequality is a major reason for resources and productivity lost, for wars and for social disintegration. Capitalism as we have known it must come to an end and the traditional science of economy should be scrapped.

The Swedish-Israeli crisis

Interview with RT International on relationship between Sweden and Israel on YouTube.
And we end it with a good laugh about my advice to PM Netanyahu!

If one could say so I would: “I’m Pope!”

After Paris attacks, Pope Francis speaks out against insulting religions:

“You can’t kill in the name of a religion. That is an aberration.” And “You can’t provoke, you can’t insult the faith of others, you can’t make fun of faith.”

Pope Francis gestures as he answers questions from a journalist during the flight from Colombo, Sri Lanka, to Manila in the Philippines January 15, 2015. CREDIT: REUTERS/ STEFANO RELLANDINI

Pope Francis gestures as he answers questions from a journalist during the flight from Colombo, Sri Lanka, to Manila in the Philippines January 15, 2015.
CREDIT: REUTERS/ STEFANO RELLANDINI

Thank God there is such a wise Pope! If it couldn’t be misunderstood I would say “I’m Pope”!

Remember also Gandhi: “There can be no rights without duties.”

May all the Freedom of Expression Fundamentalists (FEFs) take heed before this spirals all of us down in hell !

My thoughts at this moment © Jan Oberg 2015.

My thoughts at this moment © Jan Oberg 2015. Click to enlarge.

Text:

• Who of them will say: “My belief in my Western identity and our values and culture is strong.
Therefore, I am Security, Police and Intelligence – but I am also Nonviolence, Dialogue and Reconciliation.
And I feel safe when I take the first step away from the spiral of violence.

Let me repeat for a thousandth time that nonviolence is of the strong, not of the weak. M. K. Gandhi.

“We Are All Charlie” – but is that story so simple?

Eleven points as a reflection on the terror in Paris and – not the least – the reactions to it*:

1. What was this an attack on?
Was that attack an attack on freedom of speech as such, on democracy, even on the whole Western culture and lifestyle, as was maintained throughout? Or was it, more limited, a revenge directed at one weekly magazine for what some perceive as blasphemy?

2. Is freedom of expression practised or curtailed for various reasons?
How real is that freedom in the West? Just a couple of days before the Paris massacre PEN in the U.S. published a report – Global Chilling – finding that about 75% of writers report that they are influenced by the NSA listening and abstain from taking up certain subjects or perspectives? Self-censorship, in other words. Finally, most of the political leaders marching in Paris on Sunday January 11 have clamped down on media, such as Turkey and Egypt.

I must admit that I have experienced limitations in the practise of that freedom in my work with Western media and it is decades ago I draw the conclusion that things like political correctness, ownership, commercial/market considerations and journalists’ need for good relations with power – e.g. to obtain interviews – play a role.

I’ve been on the ground in conflict zones and returning home to see reports so biased to tell very little of what I’ve seen myself. And we’ve recently seen lots of cases from the U.S. academic world where there’s been a clampdown on certain views, pulications, courses and professors – not the least in relation to the Israel-Palestine conflict. Or, you look at the proportions between government fund available for peace research and military research in virtually every Western society; free research is a vital element in the self-understanding of the West. But how much of do we have?

3. Freedom doesn’t mean duty.
Is freedom of expression really 100% irrespective of how much the practise of that freedom is hurtful, offending, humiliating or discriminatory against other peoples, religions and cultures? Even if you can express your opinions freely it is not always what we should do. Continue reading