There are questions I can’t answer: is the frog the farmer’s friend, does history tell the future?
Many believe that history repeats itself, and looking back there is evidence of that, but telling the future is something else again.
I have been reading Black Sea, by Neal Ascherson.
This is not a work of marine biology but a history of the human activity in the Black Sea area over hundreds of years. It is full of detail and constantly interesting, but I was struck by these passages.
‘Tomorrow it will be the turn of the customs officers and frontier guards of the European Union to be outwitted and “hunted” by ten million illegal, inaccessible, fast moving aporoi immigrants.’ (Page 56)
‘That nightmare survives in the new Europe after the revolutions of 1989. It survives as Western fear of all travelling people, of the millions pressing against Europe’s gates as “asylum-seekers’ or “economic migrants”, of a social collapse in Russia which would send half the population streaming hungrily towards Germany.’ (Page 76)
The Black Sea was published in 2007.