I was pleased by the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Grameen Bank. The bank is a successful illustration that capitalism is a force for good and it is economic development that has the best chance of promoting peace in the world. The Nobel committee, which suffers from the mentality of a university social science department, has shown unexpected and welcome imagination here. Some previous winners of this prize have been laughable (Kofi Annan!?!).
Last year's literature prize went to a deserving recipient, Harold Pinter, but probably for the wrong reasons (his silly politics). This year the literature prize was also politically motivated when it was awarded to Orhan Pamuk. He has been persecuted by the Turkish authorities for his criticism of the official silence over the Armenian controversy and Kurdish policy. I have more sympathy for him than I do for Pinter, but I can't help wondering if a literature prize should be awarded for good writing.
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