An artist’s eye-witness account of Hitler’s first concentration camp where academics, artists and political opponents of Nazism were imprisoned and tortured. An extract from Von Ripper’s Odyssey, Sian Mackay’s remarkable biography, gives a chilling insight into public acceptance of Hitler’s rise to power.
In Part 3 of his essay the author urges an end to utopian thinking: ‘Should we condone people like my father who yearn for Utopia and who believe we should give planned perfection one more try? No, these people are endlessly sailing their boats towards a non-existent goal and are making themselves and the rest of us unhappy.’
‘In this he follows those other utopian traditions of the French revolutionary great terror, the purges of Stalin and Mao. His walled island state now resembles North Korea. If he were to enforce his ideal of the human blank slate, then he would have arrived at Pol Pot’s ‘Year Zero’.’ Part 2 of the author’s essay on utopia(s)
‘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.
So much of McGarvey’s analysis comes from personal experience, not from theories and books…it has a freshness which reminds me of early Enlightenment thinkers: Carol Craig reviews Poverty Safari
‘We need to speak up for ourselves and other children from Scotland’s past. We need to fathom out how to protect subsequent generations. As a society we need to recognise how a good childhood, free of toxic stress, forms the basis of future physical and mental health. And as a country we need to admit that nurturing children has never been one of Scotland’s strengths.’
‘In the past twenty years, festivals are returning as we realise their place and value in society. It should be unsurprising that many of these ‘newly hallowed’ traditions should resemble Halloween in some way or other: the selection of a hallowed day or event, the putting on of costume, the establishment of rites and rituals. Even non-festive occasions, like protest, are increasingly moments for Halloween-esque performance and participation: a symptom of the appetite for a public sphere conducive to sociability like the one that, at some point, conjured the modern Halloween’.
“It is this total vacuity of devolved politics, self-consciously free from conflict and danger, that allows the spectre of Scottish Toryism to haunt us so brazenly. They can happily adopt the rhetoric of the centre-left parties that have predominated in Scottish politics, articulating a politically empty ‘Scottish’ interest that means whatever the voters want it to”.
‘It’s embarrassing to admit there are nights I wake up trembling, ‘They can deport me’. Waiting to hear if her permanent residency application is accepted, Polish writer Kasia Kokowska describes what it’s like to live her Scottish life in limbo.
“There is considerable political goodwill to Scotland in EU capitals since it is facing Brexit despite having voted to remain. That political goodwill, on current trends, is likely to feed into an effort to fast-track Scotland’s EU membership in the event of a successful independence vote.”