So one of the advantages of having my own blog here, as opposed to just my platform at Medium, is that having my own blog allows me to write (and, more dangerously, share) some of my more unfinished, more personal thoughts. But I realize I haven’t used it enough for those purposes. Back in the aughts when I was blogging at JWN pretty obsessively, I recall sitting up late at night to finish blog posts. I recall the excitement of having created something of an online community here; and connecting with my blog was a way of connecting with that. I did hear from a few people that they wish I could activate the comments here, and I am definitely thinking about that. (If anyone wants to help with moderating the comments here, let me know asap!)
I realize I haven’t been blogging here much recently. I am still struggling to win and keep a good balance between my own researching/commentating work (which I judge this to be a part of) and the work I need to continue to do both to keep Just World Books ticking over (and who knows, maybe even thriving a bit?) and to fulfill my obligations to my colleagues on the board of Just World Ed.
Then there is also, you know, life… (Like the red lily I put into a flower arrangement I made a few days ago, shown above.)
One of my problems is that there’s some of what I do for JWB and JWE– not the boring book-keeping/admin part, but the more creative parts– that I really enjoy doing, and too easily get sucked into doing. For example, the past couple of days I wrote and published two new pieces on the JWE blog: this one on the action someone took to take down and hide the exhibition of artworks that my friend Mohammad Sabaaneh was having at the Hague HQ of the ICC; and this one updating people on what’s been happening with the amazing, disciplined,nonviolent protest movement in Algeria. Both of those blog posts, I really wanted to do, but they were not in my researching/commentating plan of work and took me away from it…
Also, the “Giving Tuesday” fundraising we planned and ran for Just World Ed… That also felt like a distraction from my own work.
Plus, I went to the opening reception for the Quincy Institute and did a bit of livetweeting there. They will be taking over Lobelog so I hope I can still publish some of my pieces there…
However, I did do some good researching/commentating-ish work over this past week, too. I finished writing a book review that’s been hanging over my head for a while now. (Coming up soon, I hope, on Mondoweiss.) And I started doing some good reading and some research into the whole question of Finlandization, something that I think got a very bad rap among strategic thinkers in the West for many decades, but which is an option that that I very much hope Ukraine’s Pres. Zelensky is actively exploring.
Finlandization started in the immediate aftermath of WW2 and involved an intentional commitment to political and military neutrality between the then-emerging “East” and “West” blocs, along with parliamentary democracy and a very low level of militarization. One of the arguments I’ll be making is that this formula allowed Finns to enjoy not just peace during the tumult of the Cold War but also a good standard of life. Coincidentally, this morning the NYT had this article extolling the many benefits of Finnish-style capitalism, especially in comparison with the bad quality of life in the United States. Anyway, stay tuned for my piece on that.