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with Death Reviews
If you will cling to Nature, to the simple in Nature, to the little things that hardly anyone sees, and that can so unexpectedly become big and beyond measuring; if you have this love of inconsiderable things and seek quite simply, as one who serves, to win the confidence of what seems poor: then everything will become easier, more coherent and somehow more conciliatory for you, not in your intellect, perhaps, which lags marveling behind, but in your inmost consciousness, waking and cognizance. You are so young, so before all beginning, and I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear sir, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. Perhaps you do carry within yourself the possibility of shaping and forming as a particularly happy and pure way of living; train yourself to it -- but take whatever comes with great trust, and only if it comes out of your own will, out of some need of your inmost being, take it upon yourself and hate nothing.
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters To a Young Poet
Nick Cohen in the Guardian on the UK’s pandering to despots:
Europe’s most blatant example is Vladimir Putin’s Russia. When its agents poisoned Alexander Litvinenko with polonium-210, the Russians were as astonished as the Saudis that Britain insisted on bringing alleged criminals to justice. ‘I don’t understand the position of the British government,’ a foreign ministry spokesman spluttered. ‘It is prepared to sacrifice our relations in trade and education for the sake of one man.’
From Leon Trotsky on, the Soviet regime has killed exiles. The difference between the old and the new Russia is that now Russia can buy the support of corporations and capitalists who will excuse their crimes.
In The New Cold War, his study of Putin’s impact on Europe, Edward Lucas of the Economist argues that the Russian elite has understood that money can be used to undermine freedom because there are many in the West who believe that ‘capitalism is a system in which money matters more than freedom’.