‘Two years after the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s book, I see a resurgence in Utopian thinking in many countries and fear we could be on verge of taking a collective voyage to nowhere once again.’ Part One (of three) of an essay on utopia, millennialism, freedom, society, human nature – and Scotland.
‘Marx therefore helps us make sense of modern power relations after all. Then, as now, there is no contradiction between capitalism and crisis: it is a process of historical development and economic transition within the system.’
‘This shared commitment is so different in character from the imposition of any neo-liberal ‘structural adjustment programme’ of the past imposed by the international financial institutions, or any diktat of the powerful emerging from the Security Council or from any single power.’
Rory Scothorne explores the emergence of student radicalism in Scotland, arguing that the politicisation of Scottish students during the “1968 era” has left a lasting impression on Scottish politics and culture rather than the prevailing myth about 1968: it didn’t happen here.
The power of words was the theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day. Gordon Munro reports on how Jewish poets/authors and others wrote about and recorded the (hidden) atrocities occurring in 1942 onwards and asks today’s governments to match fine words with the right deeds to prevent any repetition.
‘We need to recognise the bawdy sense of mischief that was common currency in the tradition before it was swept aside by the religious revival in the 19th century. In contrast to the shortbread tin image of Highland culture, this sheds vital light on the past and the present – as Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair would have it, breasts, pricks, warts and all’.
This year’s Black History Month opens a new chapter in Scotland with a campaign to establish Scotland’s own museum of empire, slavery, colonialism and migration.
There is every chance that the strident, morally certain progressives of the future will look at us in much the same way we look at the slave owners. And much the same way the slave owners looked at the slaves; less than, unevolved inferiors…Sub-human’.
Kate Tough’s poetry stirs hearts and minds as Glasgow celebrates Slavery Remembrance Day 2017 with growing openness about the city’s link with the slave trade.
Rather than trying to unmake history, Scotland should build on it. Rich landowners, whether native-born or from elsewhere, who cherish Scotland’s wild places, can use their resources to help to care for for it and to protect it from the challenges of the future.