Geert Wilders and the ‘Judaeo-Christian tradition’ or: How To Argue with A Right-Radical (And Possibly Win)

DEN HAAG-TWEEDE KAMER-VRAGENUURTJE
Geert Wilders. Photo by Robert Vos (ANP).

Anyone who has followed Dutch politics for the past few years must know Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch ultra-right political movement PVV (which translates to: Party of Liberty). Those who have even examined Wilders’s speeches and pamphlets must be familiar with that curious and controversial little phrase: ‘the judaeo-christian tradition’, or alternatively, ‘our judaeo-christian tradition’. This concept, so little elaborated, is sometimes presented as the core of Wilders’s anti-Islamic stance, which in turn can be described as the core of Wilders’s political programme. If the judaeo-christian tradition can be termed the core of the core of Wilders’s politics, then it is absolutely crucial to get a clear sense of what the judaeo-christian tradition means. Only once we understand what maneuvers Wilders is making by using this phrase in the way that he does, we can effectively counter this concept or expose it for what it really is: a poorly concealed desire to have an uneducated and sheepish Dutch people to carry out his every wish.

Continue reading Geert Wilders and the ‘Judaeo-Christian tradition’ or: How To Argue with A Right-Radical (And Possibly Win)

My kind of history: the anthropology of utopia – part I

clare-autumn
The Backs entrance to Clare College, Cambridge, with King’s College ‘chapel’ (looks more like a cathedral to me) in the background. Stock photography of Cambridge University.

For many, the onset of Autumn signifies the start of the new academic year. For some, including myself, it rather means the beginning of the Sisyphossian labour called ‘university applications’. As I have to write a fresh research proposal in the coming weeks, I would like to dedicate this blog post to putting some thoughts on paper about the kind of research I can see myself doing in the coming years, in a relatively ‘safe’ and informal environment – as a kind of exercise in self-help. What kind of issues trigger my interest most within the intellectual space comprising Classics, Political Thought, and the Humanities more broadly? Is there a pattern discernable within the topics I have already worked on in the past? Is it possible, in the course of this blog post, to come to a rough sketch of my research proposal?

Continue reading My kind of history: the anthropology of utopia – part I