Theater of Cruelty

Formation activism

We have to do it all at once
Forfatter: Rune Lykkeberg
Forlag: Informations Forlag (Danmark)
OUR COMMON CONVERSATION / Dagbladet Information's editor-in-chief Rune Lykkeberg invited a study group of 37 "thinkers and activists". The book's interviews are written as introductions to intellectuals and activists.


Running a newspaper today is often more than just getting the newspaper out and on the internet every day. Even a smaller newspaper finds it necessary to make itself visible with its own identity, through various forms of meeting and publication activities over merchandise for the organization of the "friends".

With the title of the book We have to do it all at once invites the editor-in-chief of the daily Information, Rune Lykkeberg, to a study group with 37 "thinkers and activists". The book's 37 interviews – «they can raise the level of our common conversation» – are written as introductions to intellektuell to and activists. The people behind the short introductory interviews have been carefully selected. However, scientists, activists and thinkers who might think they can "help us think about everything" are excluded in advance from participation in the study group. This is evident from the preface.

The many crises the world is facing are interconnected – with climate crisisn as the largest, states Lykkeberg. Now that "no one can see everything", yes, according to Lykkeberg, we are forced to "stay in the trouble" (Donna Haraway). Hence Lykkeberg's desire to practice 'educational activism' in a study group with the 37 'slow conversations' as a framework. They must "help us think about everything" and "open our hearts".

The book, published by Informations Forlag, covers a wide range of topics and dilemmas. And it will not be fair to criticize the book, which only wants to introduce to a bigger picture, so as not to go into depth or to not try to create an overview and coherence. Still, it is surprising that the focus of the conversations in the book is primarily related to the OECD member countries. It is also not motivated in Lykkeberg's preface why civil society voices (possibly anonymously) from, for example, China, Russia or "the indigenous peoples" are not included in the study circle – when the intention is to "raise the level of our common conversation".

The publication of the interviews was followed up in Information's columns by a review by a former editor-in-chief at Information (and now a commentator at Politiken), Peter Wivel, who delivered such a laudatory review that one reader thought it deprived him of the desire to read the book. Another reader asked for a real review of the book.

Lykkeberg's own mentor, writer and former editor-in-chief at Politiken, Bo Lidegaard, has also had the opportunity to question Lykkeberg about the study circle project in a podcast on Information. In the conversation, Lidegaard asks Lykkeberg if he agrees with the statement in the book's title, to which Lykkeberg gives a both-and answer. The podcast can also be recommended.

After the 37 short conversations, I missed a global historical-structural perspective in the book.

Bow We have to do it all at once with its study group material can of course be assessed as a contribution to emphasizing Information's identity in the Danish media landscape. Below to mark an 80th birthday on 29 August 2023 – as a 'resistance newspaper' and 'Denmark's smallest newspaper'. Congratulations.

Niels Johan Juhl-Nielsen
Niels Johan Juhl-Nielsen
Juhl-Nielsen resides in Copenhagen.

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