China in your hand

Swaziland is the only African country to retain ties with Taiwan. China is now compelling the Swazi regime to sever these ties.

Western countries have not exerted much pressure on Swaziland’s absolute monarchy to rectify its lack of democracy and human rights. Neither has another democracy, the People’s Republic of China, more commonly known as Taiwan. A country with whom Swaziland (renamed Eswatini by King Mswati III in 2018) – as the only country In Africa – has diplomatic ties with. Read more of this post

Culture of the heart

Christian Mathisen med kinesiske bekendte“We talk a lot about culture in the world today. What we say about our own culture in Denmark is often nonsensical and sometimes downright nauseating. But vanity, lust for power, greed, the belief that ‘might is right’ and all other kinds of selfishness have nothing to do with culture. Nevertheless, all of these traits are gaining ground throughout the world today, not least in Denmark”.

These words could easily have been written today, but they are not. They are written after WWII, as part of an autobiographical report on the life of my Danish great-grandfather Frederik Christian Mathiesen in China between 1900 and 1936. A report that I was given after the death of Frederik’s son recently. Read more of this post

Panama Papers goes to Swaziland

Panama Papers sw blogThe rich and powerful are also avoiding the tax man in Swaziland. Nineteen of the Panama Papers documents are related to Africa’s last absolute monarchy.

The leaking of the so-called Panama Papers, with details of offshore financial information that “strips away the secrecy that cloaks companies and trusts incorporated in tax havens and exposes the people behind them,” have made headlines around the world. Read more of this post

The development of Africa: outsourcing poverty

I asked the question in a previous article, as to whether history showed that humanity is gradually, but irrecoverably, moving forward and becoming more developed, and answered it rather superficially by saying that we are getting there slowly.

But who is getting where and who determines what being developed is? And is development inevitable, as modernization theorists from Rostow to Fukuyama have claimed, as long as the developing nations follow the path of the so-called developed West, is development possible in a more than one way, and is development interconnected or unconnected with European development and wealth accumulation? Read more of this post