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Lennart är en av våra mest uppskattade kommentatorer, genom sin sakkunskap, öppna sinne, rakryggdhet, humor och typiskt sardoniska texter, med ibland flera nivåer av “understatements”.
Det passar kanske väl i dagens sammanhang att återge ett klipp ur “Resan till Luggnagg” han sände mig via email för några veckor sedan:
In Jonathan Swift’s novel Gulliver’s Travels, the name struldbrug is
given to those humans in the nation of Luggnagg who are born seemingly
normal, but are in fact immortal. However, although struldbrugs do not
die, they do nonetheless continue aging. Swift’s work depicts the evil
of immortality without eternal youth.
They are easily recognized by a red dot above their left eyebrow. They
are normal human beings until they reach the age of thirty, at which
time they become dejected. Upon reaching the age of eighty they become
legally dead, and suffer from many ailments including the loss of
eyesight and the loss of hair.
Struldbrugs were forbidden to own property:
As soon as they have completed the term of eighty years, they are looked
on as dead in law; their heirs immediately succeed to their estates;
only a small pittance is reserved for their support; and the poor ones
are maintained at the public charge. After that period, they are held
incapable of any employment of trust or profit; they cannot purchase
lands, or take leases; neither are they allowed to be witnesses in any
cause, either civil or criminal, not even for the decision of meers
(metes) and bounds.
Otherwise, as avarice is the necessary consequence of old age, those
immortals would in time become proprietors of the whole nation, and
engross the civil power, which, for want of abilities to manage, must
end in the ruin of the public.
Professor emeritus i Fysikalisk Kemi vid KTH. Klimatdebattör sedan 2003.