Europa moet na gaan denken over een Chinese aanval op Taiwan

Terwijl een paranoïde China steeds meer zelfverzekerdheid in het eigen systeem uitstraalt, komen er geluiden uit Peking dat het ‘Taiwanese vraagstuk’ niet oneindig lang onopgelost kan blijven. We hoeven niet gelijk morgen een invasie van Taiwan te verwachten. Maar het risico op ongewilde escalatie stijgt. Bovendien moet voor het honderdjarig bestaan van de Volksrepubliek in […]

Indies Literature: Thoughts on ‘This Earth of Mankind’ by Pramoedya Ananta Toer

The Dutch lack of awareness of its colonial past has almost become a cliché. Anticolonial activists clamouring for compensiation and pundits nostalgic for a past where the Netherlands once dared to dream of a permanent seat on the UN Security Council both lament the uneducated state of the public. Their oft repeated complaint has actually […]

Closed meritocracy in a segregated Dutch society

It must have been a news article on the occasion of a report from the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau; SCP) where I read this interesting observation: the Dutch upper class is both very open and closed. This outwardly nonsensical statement could be rephrased by saying that the Netherlands has ‘closed meritocracy’. It […]

Ironies of history captured in photo

The above picture shows the delegation of the Dutch prime minister, who is currently on a trade mission in Indonesia, meeting with their Indonesia hosts inside the Presidential Palace in Jakarta. The irony here is that Merdeka Palace—named after the slogan of the Indonesia struggle for independence, ‘freedom’—was built as Paleis Koningsplein, the residence of […]