The Netherlands, July 2015

Peace Palace, The Hague. Built by the famous American entrepreneur Andrew Carnegie in 1905. The idea of a “Peace Palace” where international disputes would be settled came out of a conversation between an American and Russian diplomat in 1900. Upon the request of the American diplomat, Carnegie built the “Peace Palace,” and it has since been a monument and pilgrimage site for thinkers and writers interested in diplomacy and international law. I was also quite fit and slim at that time, as opposed to now.
International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague. Although limited in jurisdiction due to major power politics, the ICC still carries quite a bit of psychological and social clout if used in a smart way.
Nieuwe Kerk, located in the heart of The Hague where the gravesite of Baruch Spinoza is located. Spinoza was one of the most powerful idealist philosophers of the Western tradition. Known for being excommunicated from his Jewish community in Amsterdam for his eccentric and esoteric views, Spinoza is one of the least appreciated philosophers of the Western tradition. Bertrand Russell famously said that the philosopher who was dearest to his heart was Spinoza. Aside from his work on ethics for which he is most known for, Spinoza deserves a lot of credit for ingraining the concept of predestination in the Western philosophical tradition.

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