Saturday, September 11, 2021


Twenty years ago today I lived in Malmö sharing a house with some friends. A house where I had lived since I got back to Sweden from my dwelling in London the year prior. During the past weeks I had stayed in the living room though, sleeping on the sofa, as someone else had taken my old room. The reason was that I was moving out, having bought tickets to Montreal in Canada where I was going to stay with a friend for a few weeks. Then I would go WWOOFing outside Lachute. I did not have much money saved but had planned a trip during autumn and winter, and had gotten cheap tickets for the Greyhound bus across the continent to British Columbia. From there I would be heading south to San Francisco some weeks later, and then back through the United States to Quebec from December 5 to 8. My lighthearted and vague intention was to stay with friends and friends of friends as I traveled around. Spirit of youth

As I was packing and preparing I had the radio on and I heard about the first plane flying into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York. I turned on the shared television and watched from the sofa/my bed as the second plane hit the South Tower. The rest of the afternoon and evening cohabitants and friends came in to the living room and watched the scenes unfold. Thousands of immediate deaths and many more to follow, and – for better or worse – another nail in the coffin for a western world that naively believed in some sort of hastened expansion of advancement for mankind. It also made obvious a very violent threat to the open society that we had become accustomed to and had taken for granted.
It was first the next day or the day after that I again started thinking about my impending travels and how close Montreal and New York are to each other. Would I be able to use my plane tickets, would it be safe to journey throughout North America and would I make it back? It was not only the Twin Towers that had collapsed on 9/11, the entire commercial air industry seemed stalled. As Swissair was not yet grounded my youthful enthusiasm and confidence triumphed and off I went.

In 2021 we have discarded the lofty idea of a liberal empire. Instead we live in an almost dialectical opposite (as per Engels) agenda of low self-esteem and irrational psyches in the academic and public debate: Claiming that the studies of our own western history is racist (our cultural history has not achieved anything worthy), that genderfluidity should be the norm (fabulous for building the strong inner structure of a child). Emotional and incoherent response from a privileged upper middle class is the top dog and defines political correctness (who needs science and contemplation when we have disruption), escapism is a human right (a stable foundation and taking responsibility is unfashionable). Und so weiter. Identity politics runs amok and seemingly outlying deconstructive theories win entry. Ideology which actually generates the intolerance and division of humans it declares it is opposing. Grownups have escaped.

Although in the immediate aftermath of the attack, it ended up being an awesome trip with several lifetime experiences. Pretty much as I imagined and hoped for. Initially in Montreal and then making CSA-baskets for La Ferme Biologique de Bullion, followed by couchsurfing across the continent and back again. I made great friends whom I still have in my life and my innocent conception of how most people are nice and helpful if you meet them in person was confirmed.

The global balance of power will not accept a vacuum. Another superpower already bids for the role as world hegemon by looking at the expansion over all continents. It is unlikely that this alternative will hold similar values to us when it comes to the groundwork of society building that we have achieved: Division of power, human rights and so forth. Consequently it is obvious who must be our strongest ally in this game. I believe that the bubble of an open society with free speech and rule of law will prevail in our part of the world. We are resting on the shoulders of giants and with this foundation, reason will eventually win. Even so we have now learned the hard way that it is not something we have achieved and thus manage for free. Peace comes with a cost. We not only need to protect our outer borders with force but also continually fight for common sense against deranged ideologies within. We need to constantly defend ourselves against the people who hate us, our way of living and the cultural history that makes the open society possible, and that is precisely what we will.