iai.tv news RSS feed https://iainews.iai.tv/articles-old/the-world-and-the-future Mark Lilla: On Identity Politics and the Left in Decline https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/on-identity-politics-and-the-left-in-decline-an-interview-with-mark-lilla-auid-1082 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/marklillainterview.png" /><br />Should we stop talking about who we are and start talking about what unites us? Mark Lilla considers the future of liberalism and our need for political authority. An American political scientist, historian of ideas and professor of humanities at Columbia University in New York City, Mark Lilla is a prize-winning essayist and frequent contributor to The New York Times. He is best known for his books The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics, The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West, and The Shipwrecked Mind: On Political Reaction. He considers himself a liberal, but believes that liberalism has lost its way with its focus on Identity Politics. He set out this position in his most recent book The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics which came out this spring. It has been discussed, praised and critiqued by many, as Identity Politics and its consequences for the Left and Right alike dominate the political discourse.                                       ... Tue, 08 May 2018 15:46:35 +0000 Tessa Van Rens https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/on-identity-politics-and-the-left-in-decline-an-interview-with-mark-lilla-auid-1082 A Tribal World https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/a-tribal-world-auid-664 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/Brendan-O-Neill-49.jpeg" /><br />In 2016, it's all the rage to be post-borders, beyond tribes, a global citizen rather than a blinkered inhabitant of an old-fashioned, closed-off community. Among the new clerisy — those self-styled guardians of right-thinking, who are pro-EU, sniffy about national borders, and made positively nauseous by the sight of the St George’s flag — there’s nothing naffer than being tribal, than feeling like you belong to one community more than another. In fact in their minds, communities, especially local ones, aren’t only lame — they’re potentially dangerous, fostering narrow-minded thinking and in some cases even racist attitudes. Modern-day commentary drips with contempt for community life and national sentiment and sporting or cultural tribes. Writing in the Guardian a few years back, Lynsey Hanley, author of the new book Respectable: The Experience of Class, came off like one of those Nietzsche-worshipping British snobs catalogued by John Carey in his book The Intellectuals and the Masse... Sat, 30 Apr 2016 07:34:33 +0000 Brendan O'Neill https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/a-tribal-world-auid-664 Cosmopolitanism and the Mixed Blessings of the Windrush Scandal - An Interview with Kwame Anthony Appiah https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/kwame-anthony-appiah-cosmopolitanism-and-the-mixed-blessings-of-the-windrush-scandal-auid-1070 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/kwame-portrait-2.jpg" /><br />‘Mother-of-five Windrush kid in UK for 50 YEARS branded illegal immigrant’, ‘Brits born in Caribbean are fired, denied NHS care and could be deported’, read the headlines in The Sun newspaper. The political crisis over the deportations of people who came to the UK between 1948 and 1971 from the Caribbean has changed the discourse on immigration in the UK. Is the British identity being redefined, as a result? We asked leading theorist of cosmopolitanism Kwame Anthony Appiah to comment on the case. Raised by a Ghanaian father and an English mother in the UK, and now living in the US, where he is professor of philosophy and law at New York University, Appiah discusses how public attitudes to race and national identity have transformed over his and his father’s lives, and whether cosmopolitanism can be a solution for all. —Paula Erizanu PE: What were your first thoughts when you read about the Windrush crisis? KAA: I suppose I thought that at that time between the late 1940s and the early... Mon, 23 Apr 2018 10:57:54 +0000 Paula Erizanu https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/kwame-anthony-appiah-cosmopolitanism-and-the-mixed-blessings-of-the-windrush-scandal-auid-1070 Imagining Reality https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/imagining-reality-auid-646 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/Dylan-Evans-47.jpg" /><br />None of us believe Mr. Darcy or Oliver Twist are real, no matter how much we might wish it so. Yet fiction's most fantastical creations have a habit of leaping into reality. Does imagination create reality, and if so, do we need to conjure new visions of better worlds to relegate the darkness of the present? Dylan Evans is a behavioural scientist and CEO of risk intelligence company Projection Point. He has been selected as among the Independent’s twenty best young writers in Britain and described by the Guardian as “Alain de Botton in a lab coat”. Here he speaks to the IAI about the relationship between imagination and reality, and why this affects how we can build a better future.   You take the view that our imaginations play a very important part in shaping our reality. Can you give a few examples of how this works? It is more accurate to say that our imaginations shape our perception of reality, than to say that they shape reality itself. Perception is not just a matter of sensory... Sat, 12 Mar 2016 15:27:30 +0000 Dylan Evans https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/imagining-reality-auid-646 Wealth, Justice and Prosperity https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/wealth-justice-and-prosperity-auid-674 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/Kwasi-Kwarteng-50.jpg" /><br />In 2014 Thomas Piketty, a little known French academic economist, published his global bestseller Capital in the Twenty First Century. This book, all of 900 pages long, captured the spirit of the age. Piketty’s book reflected a growing concern about the enormous inequality that has blighted western societies at the beginning of the 21st century. Piketty famously stated that returns on capital grew faster than the incomes of the poor, leading to even greater inequality. Piketty’s arguments were welcomed by a world ever conscious of growing inequality. The success of the so called ‘1%’ – bankers, financial speculators and entrepreneurs who control so much of modern wealth – is clearly visible. But what should the response of politicians be to growing inequality? How can we reconcile the obvious need to grow the economy while ensuring the weakest and most vulnerable in society do not get left behind? A number of measures have been introduced to make sure that the rich pay their fair share... Mon, 16 May 2016 09:59:37 +0000 Kwasi Kwarteng https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/wealth-justice-and-prosperity-auid-674 Do You Have to Kill to Be a Murderer? https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/do-you-have-to-kill-to-be-a-murderer-auid-1085 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/mitchel-lensink-220106-unsplash.jpg" /><br />LaKeith Smith was 15 when, in February 2015, he and several friends burgled two homes in Millbrook, Alabama. When police arrived, some of Smith’s friends, including 16-year-old A’Donte Washington, engaged in gunfire with the police officers, and one of the officers shot and killed Washington. Now Smith has been charged and convicted of Washington’s murder even though Smith himself did not participate in the shootout (he did not even have a gun). In April 2018 a judge sentenced him to 30 years in prison for Washington’s death, plus an additional 35 years for two counts of theft and one count of burglary. The case is worrisome for a host of reasons. We might reasonably object to sentencing a person to 65 years in prison for crimes that occurred when he was 15 years old. We might also object that the 35-year prison term for the burglaries themselves is a disproportionately harsh sentence. And we might worry about the role played by plea deals in this case. Smith went to trial after refusi... Mon, 14 May 2018 10:44:16 +0000 Zachary Hoskins https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/do-you-have-to-kill-to-be-a-murderer-auid-1085 The Beautiful Game https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/prejudice-on-the-pitch-auid-819 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/David-Papineau-4.jpg" /><br />In the modern world, sport is a crucial part of national identity. A victory over historical rivals can lift a country, a defeat can cast it down. Labour’s loss in the 1970 general election is widely attributed to England’s elimination from the World Cup a few days earlier. Half a million Czechoslovakians thronged the streets when their team beat the Russians in the 1969 World Ice Hockey Championship. When Uruguay upset Brazil in the 1950 World Cup Final, most of the bars and restaurants in Rio closed their shutters. The make-up of national teams comes to function as a visible symbol of national character. The people representing us on the field show us what kind of country we are. And this means that the rules governing eligibility for national selection assume a critical importance. Who is entitled to play for the national team? The answer is an important marker of attitudes towards immigrants and refugees. Consider Adnan Januzaj, who has been on Manchester United’s books since short... Tue, 25 Apr 2017 16:51:19 +0000 David Papineau https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/prejudice-on-the-pitch-auid-819 A.I. and the Medicine of the Future https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/a-i-and-the-medicine-of-the-future-auid-970 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/parashkev-edited-and-cropped-JPEG.jpg" /><br />Every generation needs an object of revolutionary fervour. For medicine at the end of the last century, it was the idea that all treatment should be founded on evidence. The revolutionaries demanded data behind each and every medical decision; the reactionaries argued that the void of data is precisely what a doctor’s expertise is supposed to fill. Those of us then only just entering the field simply wondered on what, if not evidence, medicine could have been based all this time. As so often happens in the world of ideas, each side was wrong on a cardinal point they both agreed on. The error is not easy to see, so let’s proceed step-by-step. The subject of medicine is the individual patient, its task to determine what to do in his or her specific case. Such judgment must naturally be drawn from the study of other patients, and so depends on how knowledge of individuals is distilled from knowledge of populations. This has traditionally been done with little formality, more often than no... Tue, 14 Nov 2017 12:18:16 +0000 Parashkev Nachev https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/a-i-and-the-medicine-of-the-future-auid-970 The Danger of Making Exceptions for the Death Penalty https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-isis-beatles-thinking-about-the-death-penalty-again-auid-1154 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/marius-ciutacu-277198-unsplash.jpg" /><br />What are the philosophical and moral implications of sending ISIS terror suspects who until recently possessed British passports to stand trial in the US, and so condemning them to capital punishment? Are the acts of El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey so horrific that we may revise our views on the death penalty?The debate over Elsheikh's and Kotey's cases, after raging for much of the summer, has heated up again after recent charges that British Home Secretary Sajid Javid's decision to drop the UK's objection to the death penalty in these cases was to avoid the 'outrage' of the Trump administration. Elsheikh and Kotey, who were until recently British citizens, are currently being held by UK allies in Syria. They are believed to be members of the notorious Isis cell nicknamed ‘the Beatles’ and are suspected of taking part in public beheadings, waterboarding, and other serious crimes. They would likely face the death penalty if convicted by a U.S. court, whereas the UK abolished capi... Mon, 08 Oct 2018 17:33:10 +0000 Zachary Hoskins https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-isis-beatles-thinking-about-the-death-penalty-again-auid-1154 Terrorism and the Truth https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/terrorism-and-the-truth-auid-644 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/John-Lloyd-47.jpg" /><br />Writing about terrorism is to enter into a field of more uncertainty than in most journalistic work. The basic uncertainty in the present context is over the intent and capacity of the main terrorist networks. We know that the Islamic State (ISIS) is brutal, since they take pride in demonstrating brutality. But we don’t know how far they will go. Writing about contemporary terrorism truthfully requires taking up a position on that. That position is not in itself the truth: but it is a declaration of the assumptions the writer makes when commenting, or reporting. It is what the writer believes to be the underlying truth of the threat faced (he may, of course, be wrong. In this case, I hope I am). In interviews with secret service people, mostly retired, for a forthcoming book (Journalism in an Age of Terror: I B Tauris), I often heard that senior British officers had thought the phrase “War on Terror” to be a stupid one, and that they never used it. It was not a war, they believed: the ... Sat, 12 Mar 2016 15:17:40 +0000 John Lloyd https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/terrorism-and-the-truth-auid-644 How to Become A Philosophical Foodie https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/how-to-become-a-philosophical-foodie-auid-999 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/sartredebeauvoir.png" /><br />Very few things are so important to our lives as food, but most of us don’t think much about it. Sure, we think about what to eat every day and, even more so, what not to eat, but we don’t really think about food. Where does it come from? Who produced it? Who picked these tomatoes or apples? How far has it travelled? Even less do we reflect on other more remote issues, but central to food, such as, hunger, population growth, migration, sustainable agriculture, human rights, animal rights, waste, GMOs, etc. It seems clear that we cannot continue to be ignorant of these issues. I suggest we should make them part of our lives and our food choices. It is becoming clear that our food system involves massive problems that will take all our ingenuity and resolve to come to terms with, and which cannot be solved unless we change our own habits. Most researchers studying this agree that people in certain parts of the world (foremost North America and Europe) need to eat less and food production... Mon, 11 Dec 2017 14:04:14 +0000 Henrik Lagerlund https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/how-to-become-a-philosophical-foodie-auid-999 What Should You Worry About and Hope For in 2018? https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/what-should-you-worry-about-and-hope-for-in-2018-auid-1022 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/planet-what-we-should-worry-about.jpg" /><br />As we're sobering up from the end-of-year celebrations, it's time to ask: what should we reflect on, and hope for, in 2018? Can we do anything about it? Philosophers Julian Baggini and Barry Smith, gender theorist Jack Halberstam, psychiatrist David Nutt, astrophysicist Liv Boeree, Times columnist Philip Collins and literary critic Stanley Fish speak about the biggest challenges we face in 2018 and how we could overcome them.   Jack Halberstam, Author of GaGa Feminism and Professor of English and Gender Studies at University of Columbia ___ &quot;I hope that we can change everything. And if we cannot, I hope everything can change us.&quot; ___ The short answer to the question “What should you worry about?” is: everything. The long answer is also everything. That’s the bad news. The good news?  Well, the good news is that under the intense pressure of a cascading series of crises - political, environmental, social and economic - we are being forced to think beyond the usual liberal language of ... Tue, 16 Jan 2018 16:35:14 +0000 Editor https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/what-should-you-worry-about-and-hope-for-in-2018-auid-1022 Why You Should Hate Your Job https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/why-you-should-hate-your-job-auid-1075 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/alex-iby-212875-unsplash.jpg" /><br />Do you like your job? Maybe you do, but I think you should reevaluate. At the very least, I think you should be uncomfortable with the fact that you live in a system that compels you to have a job, particularly if that job is neither necessary for your own well-being nor the well-being of others. Thanks to advances in robotics and AI, we may be close to building a society in which work, as we currently know it, is no longer necessary for either of these things. Far from being a cause for concern, this is something we should welcome. The work ethic is a cultural virus, something that has infected our minds and our institutions. We need to be inoculated. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that there is no place for determined effort, self-improvement and ambition in the well-lived life. Mastering skills, making a contribution to one’s society, and achieving goals are all key elements of the good life. They are also, as the philosophers Anca Gheaus and Lisa Herzog point out, things that are mad... Tue, 01 May 2018 11:17:18 +0000 John Danaher https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/why-you-should-hate-your-job-auid-1075 The Death of the 9-5 https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-death-of-the-9-5-auid-1074 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/tom-wells-pic-1-edited.jpg" /><br />Machines powered by self-learning algorithms and internet connections are displacing humans from all kinds of jobs, from driving to legal discovery to acting in movies. Will there be any work left for us to do? Economics says yes. Will it be awful or will it be nice? That is up to us. Firstly, basic economic principles and the history of technological revolutions show that displacement does not mean replacement. Humans are not going to run out of economically valuable things to do for each other. We will not share the fate of horses in the early 20th century. History shows that human labour not only survives technological revolutions but even becomes better paid. Economic principles explain why: technologies like automation increase productivity - the amount of economic value a society can produce with the same inputs of labour and raw materials. That means we can have all the things we used to have, plus we now also have some spare labour left over. We can use that spare labour to pro... Tue, 01 May 2018 09:32:56 +0000 Thomas R. Wells https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-death-of-the-9-5-auid-1074 Can Our Jobs Make Us Happy? https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/can-our-jobs-make-us-happy-auid-1073 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/stephen-mumford-jpeg.jpg" /><br />Bertrand Russell famously argued in defence of idleness, depicting work as a necessary evil. It had no intrinsic value. Instead, we should look at what we produce for its own sake: literature, art and philosophy. The value of these achievements is revealed in their very uselessness and it is only when we have adequate leisure that we can turn to their creation (Russell, In Praise of Idleness, 1935).But Russell’s view can be resisted. There is value, too, in what Russell dismissed as mere useful work. Russell’s argument reveals an aristocratic view of what counts as work and unreasonably relegates the value of certain forms of human activity to worthlessness.Work is a necessity, Russell argues, only because nature is unkind to us, failing to provide easily all that we need in order to survive, bringing the occasional famine too. Even so, it is still up to us what social arrangements are put in place to ensure such work as is necessary is properly conducted and rationally apportioned.Her... Mon, 30 Apr 2018 16:23:26 +0000 Stephen Mumford https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/can-our-jobs-make-us-happy-auid-1073 My Job, My Self: How Work Defines Us https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/my-job-my-self-how-work-defines-us-auid-1078 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/sisyphus-al-gini-my-job-my-self.jpg" /><br />Work is not something detached from the rest of human life. It rather is synonymous with life. In the words of Pope Piux XI, we humans are “born to labor, as a bird is born to fly.” As adults there is nothing that more preoccupies our lives than work. For 95% of us, work is an entirely non-discretionary matter. We must work. We do not sleep, spend time with our families as much as we work, eat or recreate or rest as much as we work. Whether we love our work or hate it, succeed in it or fail, achieve fame or infamy through it, we are all – like Sisyphus – condemned to push and chase that thing we call our job, our career, our occupation, our calling or our vocation all our days. “Even those of us who desperately don’t want to work,” said the American poet Ogden Nash, “must work in order to earn enough money so that they won’t have to work anymore.” I have been fascinated by work.            I come from a family of workers who immigrated to the United States in the early 1900s and who, b... Thu, 03 May 2018 17:14:45 +0000 Al Gini https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/my-job-my-self-how-work-defines-us-auid-1078 Post-Work Won’t Work https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/post-work-wont-work-auid-1081 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/sarathy-selvamani-69218-unsplash.jpg" /><br />Many people are anxious about work. Fear of unemployment and under-employment is widespread, especially amongst young people. Youth unemployment has skyrocketed since the financial crisis of 2008 and is at scandalous levels in many countries. Then there's job insecurity. Many are anxious about the future, not just those with insecure employment contracts or the self-employed, but also those with regular jobs who wonder how long they can cope with the stress of it all, all the ‘bullshit’. Discontent with work is rife. This much we can agree on: we are in the midst of a malaise around work. But how should we respond to this malaise? A common response is the post-work view. According to the defenders of post-work, the whole system of work is a fraud and needs a complete overhaul. We have been duped into thinking that work is good for us, but all it gives us is pain and dishonour. The work ethic, the idea that we should love our work and the injunction always to work harder, is a sham. Wha... Fri, 04 May 2018 16:34:15 +0000 Nicholas Smith https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/post-work-wont-work-auid-1081 What Michelangelo’s David Can Teach Us About Radical Politics https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/what-michelangelos-david-can-teach-us-about-radical-politics-auid-1016 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/David-radicalism.jpg" /><br />A well-known May 1968 slogan reads: &quot;Be realistic, demand the impossible!&quot; Is that just an affected Parisian provocation, or does it contain a useful insight? Suppose you've every reason to believe that your political dreams are unachievable. Your ideals yield prescriptions--things we ought to try to bring about--that just won't happen. Not now, not anytime in the foreseeable future. Or maybe your ideals don't even lead to prescriptions: perhaps all they tell you is that the status quo is rotten and ought to be replaced by something else, though you don't know what. But the question is, as they say, academic, since the revolution isn't happening anyway. If that's what your political ideals tell you, what should you do about it? And does thinking in that way make you a political failure? To avoid answering the latter question in the affirmative, most philosophers would answer the former in one out of two ways. The first answer is to say that, well, you should revise your ideals, for the... Fri, 12 Jan 2018 13:39:16 +0000 Enzo Rossi https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/what-michelangelos-david-can-teach-us-about-radical-politics-auid-1016 How To Escape Fear: An Interview With Martha Nussbaum https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/escaping-the-monarchy-of-fear-an-interview-with-martha-nussbaum-auid-1128 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/martha-nussbaum.png" /><br />“Hope really is a choice and a practical habit,” says Martha Nussbaum in her new book The Monarchy of Fear – an x-ray of Trump America’s emotions. Building on political theory, psychoanalysis, psychological studies and classics, the philosopher argues that fear, disgust and envy undermine democracy, while Martin-Luther-King-Jr-style-love and ‘practical hope’  offer answers to our current political crises. Dubbed as ‘The Philosopher of Feelings’ by The New Yorker, Nussbaum is at her twenty-third book. Currently a professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago, she has previously taught at Harvard, Brown and Oxford. In November 2016, Nussbaum was awarded the Kyoto Prize – the equivalent of the Nobel in fields that are non-eligible for the European prize – and thus joined a short list of philosophers including Karl Popper and Jürgen Habermas. Election Day caught the thinker at the award ceremony in Japan. As she was battling her own political anxiety far away from home, Nussbaum... Thu, 09 Aug 2018 15:58:10 +0000 Paula Erizanu & David Maclean https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/escaping-the-monarchy-of-fear-an-interview-with-martha-nussbaum-auid-1128 Guns and Butter https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/guns-and-butter-auid-637 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/Rana-Mitter-46.jpg" /><br />Early in 2014, Obama teased Putin that we had grown out of military solutions. That was before Russia invaded Ukraine and US bombers returned to the Middle East. Is it a fantasy to imagine that the economy has replaced the barrel of the gun as the real source of power? Or is this a short cut to Armageddon? Rana Mitter is Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at Oxford University. He is also a regular presenter of Night Waves and contributor to The Financial Times, History Today, and the London Review of Books. Here, he speaks to the IAI about China’s global economic vision and the difference between soft power and military strength.   In the debate on IAI TV you argued that economic power has trumped military strength around the globe. Could you expand on that? How has that taken place? I was thinking specifically about the Asia-Pacific region. On the one hand there’s a very obvious and, in some ways, alarming story about the growth in military power. The most obvious e... Sun, 28 Feb 2016 11:30:30 +0000 Rana Mitter https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/guns-and-butter-auid-637 Diogenes the Cynic vs Elon Musk https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/diogenes-vs-musk-auid-1122 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/muskdiogenes.png" /><br />Elon Musk is a visionary, entrepreneur, and billionaire. You can check his Wikipedia page if you don’t believe us. In December 2016, Musk was ranked 21st on the Forbes’ list of The World's Most Powerful People, and as of February 2018, he has a net worth of $20.8 billion, which ranks him 53rd in Forbes’ list of richest people in the world. As one of our favourite philosophers, Spider-Man, often says: with great power comes great responsibility, and one kind of responsibility Musk seems to have trouble mustering is to keep his hubris in check. And to treat others kindly. And to do more for the world. Okay, that’s three responsibilities, to be fair. Recently, Musk did try to do something for the world. He has repeatedly been asked to intervene with the awful and apparently largely forgotten situation in Flint, MI, where the local water is still contaminated by lead and nobody seems to give a damn. But Musk probably thought this too easy a task for his genius. Some malevolent people even ... Wed, 25 Jul 2018 15:13:35 +0000 Massimo Pigliucci https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/diogenes-vs-musk-auid-1122 How Mesut Özil's Resignation Exposes Europe's Crisis Of Citizenship https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/how-mesut-oezils-resignation-exposes-europes-crisis-of-citizenship-auid-1117 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/mesut-ozil-resignation-germany.png" /><br />“I have two hearts, one German and one Turkish.” Star footballer Mesut Özil, whose grandparents moved to Germany as gastarbeiter 50 years ago, offered this as explanation for posing in a photo with Turkish president Recep Erdoğan in May. The incident has exposed deep rifts in German society, culminating this week in Özil announcing his withdrawal from the national team. To many in Germany, Özil’s confession of dual loyalties will confirm their view that he has always lacked commitment to the national side. Before the recent World Cup, Lothar Matthäus, ex-captain of Germany, wrote “Özil does not feel comfortable in the Germany jersey . . . he is not free, almost as if he does not want to play at all. There is no heart, no joy, no passion.’’ A politician from the far-right AfD party was more specific, attributing Özil’s failings to his Muslim upbringing, where “he never learned much about Germanness”.The Özil controversy raises general issues about citizenship. What should be required of... Wed, 25 Jul 2018 11:57:25 +0000 David Papineau https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/how-mesut-oezils-resignation-exposes-europes-crisis-of-citizenship-auid-1117 How To Understand a World Run By Bad Boys https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/how-to-understand-a-world-run-by-bad-boys-auid-1099 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/thomas-hobbes-trump-putin-new-world-order-iaitv.jpg" /><br />States pursue their own interest, and are always at risk of being attacked by other countries, wrote Thomas Hobbes in the 17th century. With the rise of populist impulsive leaders, the world does indeed seem like an increasingly unstable place. We asked Harvard professor of International Relations Stephen Walt about why threat matters more than power, how Trump’s foreign policy is challenging international alliances, and how we created rules to make cooperation easier but have not found a way to prevent conflict where the road is paved with unfriendly intentions. Sitting firmly in the realist school, as he puts it, Walt is concerned with explaining how the world is, rather than how it should be. – Paula Erizanu PE: What were your first thoughts when you read about the US agreement with North Korea, and Trump’s recent declarations accusing Western allies for abusing the US through tariffs at G7? SW: There isn’t really much of an agreement between North Korea and the United States. The m... Thu, 21 Jun 2018 12:08:00 +0000 Paula Erizanu https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/how-to-understand-a-world-run-by-bad-boys-auid-1099 Issue 58: Don't Be Evil https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/issue-58-dont-be-evil-auid-883 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/editorial-image-1.jpg" /><br />Should we fear the growing influence of the internet giants? Are monopolies a threat we must control or an inevitable consequence of success? Have we surrendered control of our privacy, our labour rights and even our memories?“Don’t be evil”, Google’s old mantra, was exchanged last year for a new slogan: “Do the right thing”. Yet with accusations of privacy violation, tax avoidance, and a recent £2.1 billion fine for abusing its internet monopoly, the tech titan’s eagerness to ‘do the right thing’ seems open to debate.The digital giants, from Facebook to Microsoft, are repeatedly attacked for wiping out competitors and manipulating search results. Now some claim they even threaten democracy. But at the same time, online technologies are celebrated for their radical innovations and the ingenious services they offer.As the Silicon Valley tycoons continue to monopolise markets, should we fear their influence? Could we embrace technology’s ability to transform our world and encourage these... Tue, 05 Sep 2017 13:04:34 +0000 Editor https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/issue-58-dont-be-evil-auid-883 The Fall of the Alpha Leader https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-fall-of-the-alpha-leader-auid-595 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/Margaret-Heffernan-40.jpg"><br>Modern life is too fast and complex for powerful individuals to save the day. For CEO and author of Wilful Blindness, Margaret Heffernan, the idea of the heroic individual is a fantasy. Here she speaks to the IAI about the myth of the heroic individual, and why the most successful businesses are adopting radical new organisational structures.   In your talk on IAI TV, you suggested that when considering positions of authority and leadership we collectively buy into the myth of what you called ‘the heroic individual’. What exactly is the ‘heroic individual?’ A heroic individual is a person who thinks, “I’m the smartest guy in the room [it usually is a guy] and my job as leader is to know everything and to be able to make all the decisions, to be able to make all the right decisions faster, and better than anyone else can”. You also suggest that we have too much faith in these leaders, treating them as messiahs to solve our problems. Why do you think this is? And why do such individuals ... Sat, 21 Nov 2015 22:13:13 +0000 Margaret Heffernan https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-fall-of-the-alpha-leader-auid-595 In Defence of Competition https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/in-defence-of-competition-auid-585 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/martial-arts-291049-640.jpg" /><br />Competition within publicly funded services such as school education and the NHS is a hard idea to sell. The idea that it might be desirable for publicly funded schools to compete with one another for pupils or NHS hospitals to compete for patients strikes many people as bizarre at best and positively evil at worst. The fear seems to be two fold: that such competition will damage the quality of service, and that the competition will come from the private sector, hence privatising or hollowing out the ‘real’ NHS or public education The fear of about quality is misplaced, at least in health care. There is now a considerable volume of evidence that increasing competitive pressure does indeed provide the challenge that public services need if they are to improve. Zack Cooper, Carol Propper and colleagues at the London School of Economics and the University of Bristol found that, during the period when patient choice was introduced in England, hospital quality improved faster in more compet... Sat, 10 Oct 2015 15:30:48 +0000 Julian Le Grand https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/in-defence-of-competition-auid-585 Open Borders https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/open-borders-auid-580 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/Open-Borders.jpg" /><br />A single man, alone, against a column of Chinese tanks. The Stars ‘n’ Stripes half-raised above Iwo Jima. Phan Thj Kim Phuc running in fear ahead of American GIs in Vietnam. Sometimes a photo captures a single moment and becomes timeless. Aylan Kurdi’s limp body, carried from the Greek beach where he was washed up, is the latest in the pantheon of photos that cut through the general fog of distance and apathy with an edge sharper than any statistic. The family’s story is now as familiar as it has remained upsetting. Fleeing Kobane in Syria, and making for Greece, Aylan drowned with his brother Galip and mother Rehan when their boat capsized in the open sea. Their tragedy has become the singular icon of the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War.  British newspapers almost didn’t print it. When they did, according to Getty, they broke a “social taboo that has been in place in the press for decades: a picture of a dead child is one of the golden rules of what you never publish.”... Sat, 26 Sep 2015 15:43:07 +0000 Carl Miller https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/open-borders-auid-580 After the Expert https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/after-the-expert-auid-576 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/Experts-1.jpg" /><br />“It used to be left to us experts to tell ordinary tasters what to think…,” wrote Jancis Robinson, the Financial Times wine “expert” of 40 years standing. “But now wine has definitely lost its elitist veneer.&quot; Actually it’s not wine; it’s the public that has changed. Everyone now has instant access to an almost infinite amount of information, and anyone who claims expertise on any subject can almost instantly be shown to be fallible. So experts are no longer respected as they once were, and that may be quite healthy since they are, after all, human beings. But the truth is that, whether you get your information from the FT or from the latest app on your smartphone, you are always relying on someone else who has spent more time looking into the subject than you have yourself. And that is all an expert really is. I remember being told, as a young journalist, that “an expert is a guy who did the story yesterday”. Indeed, that was roughly the attitude on Fleet Street in those days. In 1973... Sat, 26 Sep 2015 15:24:09 +0000 Edward Mortimer https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/after-the-expert-auid-576 A Dangerous Dependency https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/a-dangerous-dependency-auid-575 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/Dangerous-Dependency.jpg" /><br /> We rely on experts in every field. Yet from economists to climate scientists they hold wildly disparate views. Might the very idea of objective knowledge be illusory and expertise be a form of institutional power? If we were more sceptical would it lead to democracy or bring chaos? Norman Lamont was Chancellor of the Exchequer under Major and Chief Secretary to the Treasury under Margaret Thatcher. He is now President of the Economic Research Council. Here he speaks to the IAI about the role of the expert in a democracy, the future of the Eurozone, and why Jeremy Corbyn has proved so popular with disillusioned voters.   What is the role of the expert in today’s society? Experts in society and experts in government are different things. Experts in society will give their conclusions and inform a debate. Frequently an expert’s word would be taken as true. But in policy one has to be more precise. The expert will give his or her opinion but it is up to the political master, the governmen... Sat, 26 Sep 2015 15:14:39 +0000 Norman Lamont https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/a-dangerous-dependency-auid-575 Policing Secrets https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/under-surveillance-auid-569 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/Open.jpg"><br>The privacy and security debate over digital intelligence continues, but little by little the fog of controversy that followed the publication of material leaked by Edward Snowden is being cleared away. Last month, the Prime Minister received the report[1] from the Independent Surveillance Review commissioned under the last government by Nick Clegg, then Deputy Prime Minister. The review panel reached a unanimous set of conclusions, perhaps to the surprise of some, given how broadly based the review panel was. It included former heads of the three British intelligence agencies and a senior retired police officer as well as a leading investigative journalist, parliamentarians, a law professor and an internet entrepreneur. The report called for fresh legislation both to justify necessary intrusions into privacy by the state and to regulate such activity through clear law and effective oversight. The title of the RUSI report conveys its message: a new democratic licence to operate is need... Mon, 14 Sep 2015 06:02:49 +0000 David Omand https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/under-surveillance-auid-569 The Wealth Delusion https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-wealth-delusion-auid-541 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/Frances-Stewart-33.jpg" /><br />Writing in 1931, the great economist, John Maynard Keynes, thought the major problem of this generation (that of his possible grandchildren) would be how to entertain ourselves, how to live ‘wisely and agreeably and well’ because he thought ‘the economic problem’ would have been solved: we would have enough material goods.  He was talking about Europe, not the poor colonies, of course. And we do have enough: for example, average income in the UK is  around £25,000 or nearly three times the world average, and 60 times that in Afghanistan. We have enough, but Afghanistan and  most developing countries clearly do not.  That we have enough is shown by surveys showing we – in rich countries – don’t get happier when we get richer. More important is the environmental issue: growth eats up the world’s resources and generates carbon with seemingly inevitable and catastrophic effects on the climate. There is a simple tautology:  world carbon use depends on the size of the global population multi... Thu, 09 Jul 2015 10:03:26 +0000 Frances Stewart https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-wealth-delusion-auid-541 Rethinking Capitalism https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/rethinking-capitalism-auid-556 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/Alex-Callinicos-35.jpg" /><br /> As China and Russia adopt their own variants, the reign of capitalism seems absolute. Yet there are many who wish for an alternative and some who claim a final crisis is in the making. Is there a radical alternative that we have not yet discovered? Or is the reality that capitalism is the only viable economic system? Alex Callinicos is a Zimbabwean-born Marxist political theorist. He is Editor of International Socialism and Professor of European Studies at Kings College London, His books include Imperialism and the Global Economy. Here he speaks to the IAI about capitalism, the state of the left, and his proposals for a democratically planned economy. Tobias Phibbs: Before we begin, how would you define capital and capitalism? Marx said that the distinctive thing about capitalism is that it is self-expanding. In other words, capitalism represents a situation in which money its able to grow, to be more by the end of a cycle of investment than it was at the beginning. This seems like a ... Sat, 15 Aug 2015 08:11:46 +0000 Alex Callinicos https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/rethinking-capitalism-auid-556 Expert Lies https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/expert-lies-auid-509 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/Matthew-Parris.jpg" /><br />We rely on experts in every field. Yet from economists to climate scientists they hold wildly disparate views. Might the very idea of objective knowledge be illusory and expertise be a form of institutional power? If we were more sceptical would it lead to democracy or bring chaos? Matthew Parris is a writer, broadcaster and former Conservative MP. He writes columns for the Times and the Spectator as well as presenting Radio 4’s Great Lives. Here he speaks to the IAI about expertise, vested interests, and the importance of a healthy kind of scepticism.   Daniel Rhodes: In the debate on IAI TV you talked about the threat of “technocracy” or a “rule of experts that might be considered a threat to democracy”. Do you see the experts themselves a threat to democracy or is it a tyranny of data that we should guard against? Matthew Parris: I think it would be the tyranny of pretend objectivity. Politicians don’t pretend to be objective; we know where they’re coming from – their hidden agendas... Sun, 08 Mar 2015 13:31:40 +0000 Matthew Parris https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/expert-lies-auid-509 The Growth Delusion https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-growth-delusion-auid-532 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/The-Infinite-Boom-SUN-31-MAY.jpg" /><br />We tend to assume that our wages or salaries should, and will always rise in real terms. That living standards will follow the same trajectory. That house prices will never fall. That the price of Picasso paintings or ruby rings can be trusted always to “smash records”. And that the economy will “grow’ exponentially over time. Indeed “economic growth” is hard-wired in the way we think about, and measure the economy. This is delusional stuff, if only in linguistic terms. “Growth” derives from nature. Plants are seeded, animals are born, they grow, mature and then die. And although humans mostly live in denial of the reality, our lives follow the same trajectory. Death is as inevitable as taxes. We know, in our heart of hearts, that there are limits. That markets and firms, grow, mature and then die – or implode. Think of the market for sub-prime mortgages, CDOs, credit default swaps or even that for chimney sweeps. Think of firms like Woolworths, HMV, PanAm, Arthur Andersen or Enron. Th... Wed, 13 May 2015 15:15:44 +0000 Ann Pettifor https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-growth-delusion-auid-532 Dunkin' Democracy https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-end-of-democracy-auid-494 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/Jamie-Whyte-3.jpg" /><br />Politicians and commentators make a lot of noise about their points of disagreement. But such disagreements are typically trivial. Should the top rate of income tax be 50% or 45%? Should we have slightly more council houses or slightly fewer? Precisely how should the management of the tax-funded, free-at-the-point-of-use NHS be arranged? The current disagreements between the Conservative Party and the Labour Party are no greater than you would expect between factions within a single, centre-left party. After five years of a Conservative-led government, state regulation of industry continues to grow, the national debt continues to increase and government spending is 44% of GDP, higher now than in the last year of the previous Labour government. David Cameron has said that his guiding principle is: “Those who can should, and those who can’t, we will always help”. This is simply a clumsy restatement of the Marxist slogan: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.... Sun, 08 Feb 2015 10:54:12 +0000 Jamie Whyte https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-end-of-democracy-auid-494 Radical Animal https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/radical-animal-auid-492 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/Pat-Kane-2.jpg" /><br />We are the radical animal. Animal, because we – our bodies and our minds – are the outcome of evolution, of the struggle to propagate our species, and to defend it against predators and rivals. Radical, because that same evolutionary process has given rise to self-consciousness: this is able to turn experiences into concepts, and then return us to the world with the power to reframe and manipulate reality. We are natural, but we are able to go to the roots of everything, and pull it apart with our will – guided by reason, driven by emotion. So we are also unnatural.  How does this radical animal exist with other members of its species? Generally in a state of fitful tension, caught between two poles. At one pole, we deeply embrace the ties of family, tribe, class, nation, or any other more elective affinity – but in any case, we affirm the sociability that took us out of the savannah, and into our ever-more-complex forms of cohabitation.  The other pole is a permanently flickering awar... Sun, 08 Feb 2015 10:36:30 +0000 Pat Kane https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/radical-animal-auid-492 When the Money Runs Out https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/when-the-money-runs-out-auid-487 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/stephen-king.jpg" /><br />Sluggish growth, a loss of trust, a culture of blame, an unequal burden of austerity, growing deflationary pressures: it’s hardly the most tempting of cocktails. We are threatened with a dystopian world of economic and financial failure, leading to political instability on the grandest of scales. We may no longer be engaged in twentieth-century debates about the relative benefits of the free market versus central planning. Marxist- Leninist dogma has, thankfully, disappeared from view. But we are in danger of letting a culture of blame and mistrust develop. We cannot understand why we have to make sacrifices so we search, instead, for sacrificial lambs. It’s a convenient approach, absolving ourselves from blame even as we construct a narrative to blame others. Yet if we all follow the same approach, it won’t be long before the politics of isolation, introspection and even hatred makes a comeback. Indeed, it may already be with us. Support for the UK Independence Party has surged, refle... Sat, 17 Jan 2015 08:50:26 +0000 Stephen D. King https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/when-the-money-runs-out-auid-487 The City and the Future https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-city-and-the-future-auid-464 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/skyscrapers.jpg" /><br />54% of humanity now lives in cities. By 2030, there will be 41 mega-cities across the world with populations that exceed 10 million. These cities will dictate the global economy, say the UN, who on 31st October held their inaugural “World Cities Day”, an initiative dreamed up to “greatly promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization”. Under the overall heading of “better cities, better life” the organisers’ belief is that “urbanization should be seen as an opportunity to harness cities as engines of growth, and to lead a positive transformation towards sustainable development”. The event was cheered on by the Guardian and their brand new Cities section. In stark contrast, a two-day event took place in London over the weekend that explored similar issues but from a radically different perspective. This Is Not a Gateway was founded by Deepa Naik and Trenton Oldfield in 2007 and since then has hosted five festivals of critical urbanism, with a book published to dis... Tue, 28 Oct 2014 19:32:17 +0000 Trenton Oldfield https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-city-and-the-future-auid-464 Values Beyond Value https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-time-for-change-auid-468 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/15048741110-bcbbab1c42-k.jpg" /><br />We are currently facing four concurrent crises – the economic, the social, the environmental, and the political. They are all interlinked and they all have to be tackled together, and urgently. We have a deeply dysfunctional system that cannot continue as it is now. What we have to do is change everything, and change it in ways that deal with the economic, the environmental, the political and the social. This is the kind of real change the Green Party is calling for. At stake is the survival of life as we know it. The status quo is not an option. Let’s take one example: the community ownership of renewable energy sources. A recent report for the Liberal Democrats suggested that people living near wind farms should be able to buy a stake for as little as £5. This is something that the Green Party has been talking about for a long time, and now it seems that the government is finally beginning to catch up. If you look at Germany, more than 50% of renewables are community-owned. That’s a ... Sat, 22 Nov 2014 13:29:23 +0000 Natalie Bennett https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-time-for-change-auid-468 The Gathering Storm - Part I https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/drawing-a-red-line-auid-457 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/CroppedImage608342-The-Eagle-and-the-Dragon-2.jpg" /><br />Across the world, the spectre of war looms large. In many places it is already here. US air strikes against Isis in Syria, sporadic fighting in the Ukraine, shelling in Gaza, and China and Japan in dispute over the Senkaku Islands: all the while, the established global superpowers seem reluctant to intervene. Are we seeing a changing of the guard, away from American dominance of the world stage? If so, will this open up a power vacuum, and which countries would be looking to step into it? Not yet, says Rana Mitter, in Part I of Drawing a Red Line, our two-part interrogation into the changing balance of global power. Not so, says Martin Jacques in Part II, who argues that we're witnessing the rapid decline of Europe and the US and the inevitable rise of China. For Mitter, though, this is still very much a story of America and how Barack Obama responds to global events. While Russia may be flexing its muscles, he argues, China is yet to formulate a coherent global vision. Mitter is a his... Sun, 19 Oct 2014 10:57:52 +0000 Rana Mitter https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/drawing-a-red-line-auid-457 The Gathering Storm - Part II https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/drawing-a-red-line-part-ii-auid-463 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/China.jpg" /><br />In Part II of our interrogation into the shifting sands of global politics, Martin Jacques warns that we are witnessing the inevitable decline of Europe and the US, with China rising to become the next global economic powerhouse. In Part I, Rana Mitter argued that this is sill very much a story of US dominance, but here, however, Jacques speaks to the IAI about the future of global politics and why we mustn’t use a Western template to think about what China is going to be like. Jacques is a journalist and academic who founded the influential think-tank Demos. His 2009 book, When China Ruled the World, has helped shape debate on China’s future role on the world stage. China has been reluctant to comment on recent events in Russia and the Middle East. It appears to be more concerned with internal affairs than intervening in global ones, so how can it truly be called a superpower? Isn’t it the case that all eyes turn to the US when major events like those in Russia and the Middle East oc... Sat, 25 Oct 2014 07:17:05 +0000 Martin Jacques https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/drawing-a-red-line-part-ii-auid-463 Betraying the Global Poor https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/betraying-the-poor-auid-459 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/660469007-e88ff39a61-o.jpg" /><br />Designed by the rich for the rich, the national and international rules of our world are stacked against the poor, and they are falling ever farther behind. Our politicians keep telling us that the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the greatest concerted effort against poverty in the history of humankind and have lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. The truth is far less inspiring. Instead of taking pride in slight improvements, we should be ashamed of the massive persistence of severe poverty that is today so easily avoidable through small reductions in global inequality. The richest 1% of humanity now own 48.2% of global private wealth; the poorer half own just 0.7%, as much as the world’s 66 richest billionaires. According to the World Bank, the success of the MDGs occurred mainly in China, where the number of those living on less per day than $2.50 could buy in the US in 2005 fell by 615 million even while it rose by 282 million in the rest of the world betwe... Tue, 21 Oct 2014 15:30:14 +0000 Thomas Pogge https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/betraying-the-poor-auid-459 Rethinking Foreign Aid https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/rethinking-foreign-aid-auid-448 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/5659908590-a2fb90dfc0-b.jpg" /><br />The issue of foreign aid is once again in the news as the international development select committee has blamed the global spread of Ebola on spending cuts made by the British government. Meanwhile, in South Sudan, relations between foreign aid workers and the country’s government have been called into question, and, in Australia, a recent report has suggested that the government there has been considering foreign aid cuts in order to fund military involvement in Iraq.  Despite these difficulties, Danish novelist Janne Teller has spoken to the IAI about the need to maintain aid to those countries that need it most. “There is a moral case for aid,” she says, “both due to arguments of humanity as well as due to the guilt of past Western sins of colonialism.” Teller is the author of the best-selling Nothing (2000) as well as War, what if (2012), about life as a refugee, and Everything (2013), a collection of short stories. Teller was originally educated as a macro-economist and worked for... Fri, 03 Oct 2014 12:07:35 +0000 Janne Teller https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/rethinking-foreign-aid-auid-448 Against Modernity https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/against-modernity-auid-414 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/MOdernity-1.jpg" /><br />One of the effects of what we’ve now come to know as modernity is that if you’re not up there with the rest of the crowd following “fashion” then you must be backward. Fashion has many guises and its most obvious manifestation is the clothes industry (the words clothes and fashion are now interchangeable) where models manage to look progressively glamorous whilst they progressively wear less and less. This is a trick, and in this trick lies a moral. Behind the jargon of political correctness and the hype of the advertising industry, the idea of modernity stands as naked as the fashion models. Like them, it exudes glamour at the same time. But it is the fleeting glamour of built-in obsolescence, and its nakedness attracts and devours. This process is most evident in the garish cities to which people are attracted like suicidal moths to a powerful street lamp. It is estimated that over 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities before the end of this century. Think what will ... Mon, 08 Sep 2014 12:31:55 +0000 Fazlun Khalid https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/against-modernity-auid-414 The Referendum Fallout https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-referendeum-fallout-auid-429 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/the-yorkshire-flag-showing-the-white-rose-of-yorkshire.jpg" /><br />The nation state has been saved; the United Kingdom remains intact. That seemed to be the immediate comment on the “No” result of last week’s referendum in Scotland. However, the reality is of course much more complex, and actually in a matter of just hours comments, statements and raised expectations mean that the future of the UK as a nation state has started to look distinctly ragged around the edges. Perhaps the whole event has been another staging post in a continuing process of constitutional change; the question then is, where do we go next and what is the ultimate destination? For a nation with a famously 'unwritten' constitution this is quite a task. Even our point of departure is unclear, hidden as it is in ancient charters, centuries of legal precedent in turn overlaid by more recent statutes and treaties tacked on here and there. In such circumstances it is challenging to know when or indeed if we are actually having a constitutional debate. We lack the structure and clari... Wed, 24 Sep 2014 05:59:58 +0000 Diana Wallis https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-referendeum-fallout-auid-429 Justice Beyond Privacy https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/justice-beyond-privacy-auid-409 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/Justice-Digital-Age.jpg" /><br />Justice has been always about modes of interconnectivity. Retributive justice – ‘eye for an eye’ stuff – recalls an age when kinship was how we related to each other. In the modern era, courtesy of the nation-state, bonds have been forged in terms of common laws, common language, common education, common roads, etc. The internet, understood as a global information and communication infrastructure, is both enhancing and replacing these bonds, resulting in new senses of what counts as ‘mine’, ‘yours’, ‘theirs’ and ‘ours’ – the building blocks of a just society. That scourge of Silicon Valley, Evgeny Morozov, is certainly right when he says that the internet isn’t sufficient to solve the problem of justice, today or tomorrow. But he’s wrong to suggest that it’s not necessary. Indeed, this is the time to think about how to digitally realise the entire range of bonds that have been forged over the past 250 years of nation-building. Morozov’s quite justifiable fear is that some of the most c... Tue, 26 Aug 2014 17:08:50 +0000 Steve Fuller https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/justice-beyond-privacy-auid-409 Aid is not the Answer https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/aid-is-not-the-answer-auid-372 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/money-pie1.jpg" /><br />Having previously served as International Development Secretary, Hilary Benn is MP for Leeds Central and the Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Here he talks about the problem with ill-thought through aid provision and the responsibility of human beings to look after those less fortunate than themselves.   What do you think the main problem is with aid provision today? I know from my experience as the International Development Secretary that aid saves lives. It puts children in school; it stops people dying because they’re HIV positive, because we’re able to buy antiretroviral drugs; it improves the life chances of children and it saves lives in emergencies. We give a lot of humanitarian aid when disaster strikes, be that natural disaster, conflict or famine. But aid is not on its own the answer. If it were, you could write a big enough cheque and you could solve the problem of global poverty. But you need lots of other things as well. You need an absence ... Wed, 18 Jun 2014 20:53:26 +0000 Hilary Benn https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/aid-is-not-the-answer-auid-372 Owning the World https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/owning-the-world-auid-368 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/WorldHands.jpg" /><br />An economist and journalist, Anatone Kaletsky wrote for The Economist, The Financial Times, and The Times of London before joining Reuters in 2012. He is also author of Capitalism 4.0: The Birth of a New Economy in the Aftermath of Crisis. Here, he discusses the biological basis for property rights, owning the unownable and the growing need to limit copyright protection.   Is ownership a moral, or an economic issue? Well, it's both. Certainly there are very strongly economic justifications, weaker moral ones, as well as important political, civil, and biological justifications. The moral part of the entitlement to own property in the abstract 'good' or 'evil' sense is the weakest justification for property rights. The economic justifications for property rights are that they give people incentives to work and to improve the world. An even stronger justification is biological, though – there is clearly an evolved tendency for human beings to want to compete; to expand their power, domai... Tue, 03 Jun 2014 23:28:24 +0000 Anatole Kaletsky https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/owning-the-world-auid-368 A New God of Chaos https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/a-new-god-of-chaos-auid-363 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/climate-change.jpg" /><br />Benny Peiser is a social anthropologist best known for his work on the portrayal of climate change. The founder of CCNet, a leading climate policy network, Peiser is co-editor of the journal Energy and Environment and director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. Ahead of his appearance at this year’s HowTheLightGetsIn festival, we spoke to him about changing attitudes to climate change.You have previously argued that scientists are overstating the significance of anthropogenic climate change. What, then, do you believe is the source of our panic over global warming? I think it's a combination of factors. It's of course something comparatively new, and what very often occurs when people experience a new hazard, a new risk that they haven't encountered before, is that they are increasingly concerned because it's an unknown hazard. So that's the backdrop to the concern, and then of course we've had the climate science community ratcheting up the rhetoric, which was kicked up by the m... Sat, 03 May 2014 22:03:13 +0000 Benny Peiser https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/a-new-god-of-chaos-auid-363 Politics @HowTheLightGetsIn https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/politics-podast-howthelightgetsin-auid-366 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/HTLGI-Flashmunki-rest-251.jpg" /><br />More updates from our festival, HowTheLightGetsIn 2014, including interviews with Guardian columnist Owen Jones and UK Anti-Drug Co-ordinator under Blair Mike Trace confronting the west's relationship with drugs. Produced by Graihagh Jackson. Thu, 29 May 2014 12:04:09 +0000 Tom Phillips https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/politics-podast-howthelightgetsin-auid-366 India, China, and the decline of the West: 3 questions with Rana Mitter https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/india-china-and-the-decline-of-the-west-3-questions-with-rana-mitter-auid-333 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/Rana-Mitter2.jpg" /><br />Rana Mitter is Professor of the History and Politics of Modern China at Oxford University. He is also a regular presenter of Night Waves and contributor to The Financial Times, History Today, and the London Review of Books.   The US is still China's main competitor, but might we see India take up this role in the coming decades as China overreaches itself? Or perhaps the two will team up to form a pan-Asian bloc? No, I don’t think so – in either case. India aspires to become a regional leader, but a combination of geography and self-defined roles will hold it back for a long time. I don’t see this as a problem, however, as it leaves India to focus on what it does best, which is setting a global example instead of seeking to exercise influence elsewhere. As for China overreaching itself and India passing China, it’s possible. In India, their next phase of growth is based on services, where India seeks to add value. That’s also where China is looking to go next, but it depends on whether... Tue, 11 Mar 2014 22:01:24 +0000 Rana Mitter https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/india-china-and-the-decline-of-the-west-3-questions-with-rana-mitter-auid-333 The Future is a Storm Front https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-future-is-a-storm-front-auid-327 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/Warren-Ellis2.jpg" /><br />Warren Ellis is an English author of comics, novels and television scripts well known for their exploration of transhumanist themes, particularly cryonics, nanotechnology and human enhancement. He has won numerous Eagle Awards for best comics writer. His first nonfiction book, Spirit Tracks, is due out this year (published by Farrar, Straus &amp; Giroux), and looks at the “future of the city, the ghosts that haunt it and the science-fiction condition we live in.”   Vassili Christodoulou: Let’s kick off with science fiction. What sort of things did you read when you were younger, and how did this inspire your adult work? Warren Ellis: I was a voracious reader as a kid. But I didn't really get a sense of what science fiction was supposed to be until my early teens, where in quick succession I discovered Michael Moorcock, William Burroughs, J.G. Ballard, and Jack Kerouac. Science fiction is social fiction, using the tools of science fiction as a scalpel with which to examine the present day. ... Mon, 24 Feb 2014 22:57:42 +0000 Warren Ellis https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-future-is-a-storm-front-auid-327 Gaia and the City https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/gaia-and-the-city-auid-323 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/Lovelock1.jpg" /><br />One of the most famous names in environmentalism, James Lovelock is the originator of the Gaia Hypothesis, which sees the biosphere is a self-regulating entity. He is less well known as the inventor of both the microwave oven and the electron capture device. Here, he sits down with diplomat, academic and environmentalist Crispin Tickell to discuss the lone scientist, the “population problem” and why we shouldn’t try to air condition the whole of the Earth.   Crispin Tickell: I would argue that the work you’ve done in the past has been that of a lone scientist, and we all agree that lone scientists don’t operate in a void. Maybe you can say something about that? James Lovelock: That's a good one to start with, yes. Lone scientists are not very usual. In America they're considered very dangerous and people walk on the other side of the street if you come down. I was born in Letchworth Garden City, which I think was one of the first garden cities in the world. I'd been dumped there by my ... Mon, 24 Feb 2014 22:40:44 +0000 James Lovelock https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/gaia-and-the-city-auid-323 The Decline of Violence https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-decline-of-violence-auid-451 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/1250703105.jpg" /><br /> Steven Pinker addressed the Institute of Art and Ideas with his thesis outlining a decline in violence over the course of recent centuries. Is this the case and, if so, why?   &quot;Violence has been in decline for long stretches of time, and today we may be living in the most peaceful era in our species' existence. The decline of violence has not been steady, it has not brought rates of violence down to zero, and it is not guaranteed to continue, but I hope to persuade you that it's been a persistent historical development visible on scales from millenia to years, from the waging of wars to the treatment of children and animals.&quot; Steven Pinker   It's certainly a substantial claim, and one that has stimulated much debate over the past year. Some have reviewed his book, &quot;The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence has Declined&quot;, as a supremely important study of human nature. However, John Gray has attacked it as displaying a misplaced faith in an enlightenment teleology. While Gray is st... Wed, 08 Oct 2014 10:24:10 +0000 Steven Pinker https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-decline-of-violence-auid-451 The Failure of Patriarchy https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-failure-of-patriarchy-auid-315 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/Finn-Mackay-crop.jpg" /><br />Dr Finn Mackay specialises in feminist activism at the University of Bristol’s School for Policy Studies. In 2004 she founded the London Feminist Network, one of the largest grassroots feminist activist organisations in the country. Here, Mackay discusses gender equality, the need to radically rethink society and why feminism doesn’t simply mean replacing a patriarchal society with a matriarchal one. What would a matriarchal society look like? How would it be different from the way we live now? If we take the term 'matriarchy' to mean a mirror image of patriarchy, but with women in charge instead of men then I don't think society would necessarily be very different from the one we are in now. The whole point of feminism is not to retain the status-quo, and change the leadership; the point of feminism is to radically alter the status-quo and build a new society altogether, one that is better for women, men, children and young people, non-human animals and the environment.  The aim of fe... Sun, 09 Feb 2014 12:05:14 +0000 Finn Mackay https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-failure-of-patriarchy-auid-315 DIY DNA https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/diy-dna-auid-311 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/why-oh-why.jpg" /><br />I had the perfect present lined up for my father this Christmas. For a recently retired surgeon what better gift than a personal genomics kit from 23andme. Its ongoing stream of genetic self-insight would provide him with a medical amuse bouche via a spit-and-send kit wired up to an internet profile. And since our debate at HowTheLightGetsIn last year, the price of 23andme had bottomed out from $699 to $99, placing it well within my budget.  Unfortunately my pre-festive brainwave came on the 23rd of November, the day after the FDA sent out a cease-and-desist letter to 23andme ordering the company to stop marketing a product that repeatedly failed to prove its predictive calculations. Apart from thwarting my idea, the cease-and-desist letter went on to trigger the most widespread series of debates to date regarding the validity of unfettered access to medical information. From the New Yorker to the Daily Mail the pros and cons were laid out, establishing battle lines of of paternalism v... Sat, 25 Jan 2014 16:30:06 +0000 Matt Jameson Evans https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/diy-dna-auid-311 George Galloway welcomes US and UK suspension of non-lethal aid to Syria https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/george-galloway-welcomes-us-and-uk-suspension-of-non-lethal-aid-to-syria-auid-293 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/gal2407919b.jpg" /><br />The decision announced by the US and UK today to suspend “non-lethal” support for rebels in northern Syria has been welcomed by George Galloway MP. Fighters from the Islamic Front, a new rebel alliance, seized bases along the border with Turkey from the Western-backed Free Syrian Army. This prompted the US and UK to suspend aid including medicine, vehicles and communications equipment, although humanitarian aid will continue. Speaking exclusively to the IAI today, Galloway welcomed the news, but issued a note of caution: &quot;The bizarre love affair between Britain and Al Qaeda in Syria is over. But not before thousands of people were consumed.&quot; In a lecture titled On Imperialism given at the HowTheLightGetsIn festival in May 2013, Galloway questioned Britain’s continued support of Syrian rebels, comparing them to “Islamic extremists” in Mali publicly opposed by the government. Galloway also cited a document written by Robert Cooper, then Tony Blair’s chief aide, in which he advocated for ... Thu, 12 Dec 2013 14:51:38 +0000 George Galloway https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/george-galloway-welcomes-us-and-uk-suspension-of-non-lethal-aid-to-syria-auid-293 Lockdown https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/lockdown-auid-254 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/sarahfrost06.jpg" /><br />General-purpose computers are astounding. Even the most apparently straight-forward home computers are so astounding that our society still struggles to come to grips with them, what they're for, how to accommodate them, and how to cope with them. This is most apparent when it comes to the complex relationship between technology (especially the internet) and law, but is also an issue of increasing in the spheres of politics, privacy and surveillance. In the beginning, we had packaged software and we had sneakernet. We had floppy disks in ziplock bags, in cardboard boxes, hung on pegs in shops, and sold like candy bars and magazines. They were eminently susceptible to duplication, were duplicated quickly, and widely, and this was to the great chagrin of people who made and sold software. Enter Digital Rights Management in its most primitive forms. They introduced physical indicia which the software checked for – deliberate damage, dongles, hidden sectors – and challenge-response protoco... Sat, 23 Nov 2013 12:12:18 +0000 Cory Doctorow https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/lockdown-auid-254 Under Surveillance https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/under-surveillance-auid-298 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/privacy-image2.jpg" /><br />Yes, you are under surveillance. Yes, it is odious. Yes, it should bother you. And yes, it’s hard to know how to avoid it. Most of the steps you might take with regard to your government to lessen surveillance are proscribed or made ineffective by law. In the UK, you must provide your encryption keys on demand. In other nations, encryption is flat-out illegal. In the commercial arena, most of the steps you might take with regard to corporate snooping carry a penalty of being unable to use many of the central services on the Internet.If you weren’t under surveillance, everything on the Internet would cost money. The reason entities like the NSA and the Government Communications Headquarters exist is to seek to obtain and analyse every bit of signals intelligence they can. The business models of Google, Amazon and Facebook are based on trying to understand who you are and why you buy so that this information can then be used to sell you things. If it’s any consolation, though it shouldn’... Sun, 12 Jan 2014 10:23:28 +0000 Nick Harkaway https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/under-surveillance-auid-298 How to Change the World https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/how-to-change-the-world-auid-275 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/Eno-Final2.jpg" /><br /> Brian Eno and James Thornton envisage a powerful story - one rooted in history, biology and international law - to begin a new renaissance for the world and how we live in it. Click on the image to watch the video! Tue, 03 Dec 2013 16:43:40 +0000 Editor https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/how-to-change-the-world-auid-275 The Rights of Journalism https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-rights-of-journalism-auid-285 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/eye-for-news.jpg" /><br />“It’s the newspapers I can’t stand”In Tom Stoppard’s play Night and Day, one character remarks to another: “I’m with you on the free press. It's the newspapers I can't stand.” I don’t think that our discussions of the proper configuration of press freedom have moved very far from this impasse in the thirty years since the play was published. This is evident in the fruitless reiteration of rival claims about supposed speech rights, both by those who think the media – at least the print media – should be self-regulating, and that anything else will lead to censorship, and by those who think that the media – including the print media – should be restricted or regulated in various ways. At present those who oppose regulation are particularly keen to counter any claims that any right to privacy should receive legal or regulatory protection at the expense of media freedom. For example, Paul Dacre has claimed robustly, but with little argument, that those who seek to use regulation to secure ... Thu, 05 Dec 2013 14:31:01 +0000 Onora O'Neill https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/the-rights-of-journalism-auid-285 A New Nationalism https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/a-new-nationalism-auid-815 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/Jon-Cruddas-1.jpg" /><br />Politics – translated from the Greek as “affairs of the city” – refers to the way power is exercised on behalf of the people. It is the competition for governance of a specific community, state or territory by political parties grounded within alternative traditions regarding how society should be organised. Yet progressive politics appears to be moving away from any notion of politics being anchored within specific ideas of community, state and territory. Increasingly these are considered reactionary, exclusive categories. It is true for both the liberal and the radical left. It might well account for why the left keeps losing elections.This retreat is hardly ever discussed yet is arguably leading the country toward political disaster.  Whilst much of the left has abandoned the currency of nation and solidarity in favour of a vague abstract global cosmos, almost everywhere the populist right appear to be on the march. The two developments are related.                                  ... Mon, 10 Apr 2017 10:14:05 +0000 Jonathan Cruddas https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/a-new-nationalism-auid-815 Immigration and Identity https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/immigration-and-identity-auid-783 <img src="https://iainews.iai.tv/assets/Uploads/_resampled/ScaleWidthWzE1MF0/John-Ralston-Saul.jpg" /><br />It is mesmerizing to watch as the cancer of fear worms its way back into the human soul or imagination or wherever it lodges itself. For most of us the first reaction to such widespread fear is disbelief. The second? As it spreads and morphes into populism, racism and exclusion, we are often paralyzed, unable to imagine how to fight back. Mr. Trump has, in a tortured way, done Americans - perhaps all of us - a favour with the extremism of his first week in office. His racist, certainly illegal and probably unconstitutional orders are an abrupt wake-up call. More than that, they are a warning to Washington's traditional allies to take care. Is this man a stable, trustworthy partner? It took him only a few hours to damage Theresa May's reputation. Canada is the United States’ closest ally - a 6000 kilometre border - and biggest trading partner. But Justin Trudeau is keeping his head down, using officials to negotiate arrangements behind the scenes. His reaction to Trump's anti-Muslim ord... Fri, 24 Feb 2017 16:10:17 +0000 John Ralston Saul https://iainews.iai.tv/articles/immigration-and-identity-auid-783