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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Kennedy on Holland

Back to the sixties again with a book by American James Kennedy on the Dutch sixties. Will use a lot of his writings about politics in the years right before the revolution/springperiod of the second half of the sixties. Very interesting again are his comments on the difference between America and Holland. Somehow, Americans feel they can 'rewrite' history, and undo changes, like those that happened in the sixties, while the Dutch feel they will only be able to subtly guide changes that will happen anyway. That's why we tolerate so much more than Americans, for instance. Better to move with the tide a little, than drown in a tsunami. See our attitude to drugs, euthanasia and such. A female, consensus-oriented attitude, not really understandable for many Americans, living in their masculine, target-driven country. Interesting stuff. What it does is it makes us always look forward, trying to accomodate to changes and jumping into one reorganization after another, without looking back much. That always suprises me, the Dutch not looking back at recent history and learning from it. Perhaps my book will help. Tom Kniesmeijer to the rescue of our meaningful past. Must see if I can ask Kennedy some questions. He is associated with the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.

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