ONE blogs – JOHN CALDER – Man for Monday: CAN MAN PLAN?

On the opening day of he great international conference in Copenhagen, over fifty of the world’s leading newspapers jointly published a single editorial, emphasizing that this important event must not be allowed to fail. Interestingly, only one American newspaper, in Miami, Florida, was among them: New York, Chicago, L.A. etc. had obviously declined to join the consensus, an ominous signal of the American unwillingness to face reality or to confront the disasters that are now facing us.

There is everywhere and new awareness, except in the countries that either cannot conceive of losing the life-style they have enjoyed for decades or have just entered a new affluence such as China, which is still uncertain which way it wants to go. International careful planning to make a single world economy and level of existence is of course the answer, but is it possible? read more —>

ONE blogs – JOHN CALDER – Man for Monday: TERRORISM, PATRIOTISM, FANATICISM… What’s the Difference?

That which we call monomania by any other name would still be as dangerous… Our Man for Monday, John Calder, discusses where terrorism and patriotism converge and the consequences of governments, the press and militants – to paraphrase George Santayana – redoubling their efforts when they have forgotten their aim.

We use words as mind-set clichés and usually without much thought. George Washington was called a terrorist by the British parliament and, not that long ago, that was what Margaret Thatcher called Nelson Mandela, whose statue now stands proudly in Parliament Square along with Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Disraeli, Gladstone and so many others, including Mandela’s one-time compatriot, although on the other side of the ideological fence, Jan Smuts. read more —>

ONE blogs – JOHN CALDER – Man for Monday: IS DEMOCRACY A GOOD THING?

Is democracy a good thing? According to Plato who was able to observe it in its early days in Athens, which first invented it, definitely not. It is too open to corruption, either by those who use it through demagogy or whipped-up prejudice or bribery to take advantage of the naivety of simple people to achieve their own ends, or because most people are too unaware of what is best for them to be able to make the right choices. All that remains true today. Plato saw how Socrates, probably the greatest thinker and teacher of his time, was driven to his death by corrupt democracy. Indeed, if it were not for Plato we would not even know of Socrates’ existence, let alone his ideas because he appears to have written nothing down. read more —>

ONE blogs – JOHN CALDER – Man for Monday: YOU, YOURS, & BLACKS IN ABERFELDY

editors’ note: If you know anything about John Calder, one of the UK’s most notorious publishers — who has brought us Alleg, Beckett, Duras, Hiss and Selby. Typed in London on a manual, mailed to and re-keyed in Glasgow, ONE Magazine is pleased to present the second article from the Man for Monday.

Man is an animal, and all animals have certain things in common – one of them being a natural, tribal instinct. This means that prejudice against anything that does not belong to our own tribe is perfectly normal, as is the loyalty to one’s own tribe. Colour, race, religion – or even the fact of living a few miles away – arouse suspicion, dislike, even venomous hatred. This applies as much to rats and birds as to humans. read more —>