It must have been about a year ago, when I decided that I would also take up the art or science of blogging on the web. At that point in time, we were heading towards elections in the Netherlands and I noticed quite a few interesting developments in Dutch society, politics and economics (whereto with the Euro-zone..?) that amused me, surprised me, amazed me and bemused me. I figured that it might be nice to share my personal surprise with respect to those developments so I started the Dutch weblog: Verbazing over Nederlands publiek en politiek.
Given that I very much enjoy history and historical perspectives, I decided in a flash of intuition that I would choose the pseudonym of a former Dutch government official: Johan de Witt (the first statesman of the Dutch republic). I did this because my intuitive impression was that my personal opinions on developments in the particular Dutch society (and on the way how to handle politics and the Royal Family) could be similar to the style of regent that de Witt was.
After a year of blogging (and becoming more aware of the relevance and background of Johan de Witt) I don't know whether indeed my opinions are completely similar to what his would be. Still I continue to write the blog in his name, to illustrate that my perspective is one of seeking the best organisation and development for the Dutch democratic state, thereby not conforming to the populist opinion of the people in the street, nor the powers that be.
And -as of Queens Day 2011- I decided to also write some of my blogs in English, to share the Dutch developments with a broader audience. And I have also selected and translated some of this years blogs (as a sort of backward-compatibility gesture). Thus I hope to provide a bit of extra context so that the non-Dutch speaking audience may appreciate and grasp a bit more of the nuanced detail of the Dutch political and economic developments.
I am convinced that the development of society benefits from the open exchange of free thought and in particular the exchange of thoughts under pseudonym. Such pseudonyms allow for an objective treatment of the argument itself, and prevent the reader from being distracted by considerations about the author. And thus I hope to create a bit of influx of ideas, thoughts and consideration that may help the national development, as also mentioned by T.W. Rolleston in Myths and legends of the Celtic race:
Be the creed what it may, Druidism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, or fetichism, a priestly caste claiming authority in temporal affairs by virtue of extra-temporal sanctions is inevitbly the enemy of that spirit of criticism, of that influx of new ideas, of the growth of secular thought , of human and rational authority, which are the elementary conditions of national development.
I hope that the blogs may help you in gaining some additional perspective on this beautiful, amazing and funny bit of lowlands country that the Netherlands are.
All the best and enjoy !
Written in the Netherlands, Queens Day 2011