With the New Zealand General Election happening tomorrow, I want to highlight two conversations; conversations that, for me, resource my thinking around some of the significant themes that touch upon our national and international lives and interrelationships.
The first is a lecture delivered by Michael Ignatieff. It was titled Human Rights, Global Values and the Ordinary Virtues, and was the Uehiro-Carnegie-Oxford Lecture in Practical Ethics, Merton College, University of Oxford. It was delivered on the 27 October 2016. I was fascinated by it, and both affirmed and challenged with respect to my own thinking, and indeed, actions. As with Rutger Bregman below Ignatieff offers a significant challenge and invitation to us all. I highly recommend his lecture, which you will find here. Additionally you might be interested in his book, The Ordinary Virtues: Moral Order in a Divided World was published a few days ago. His earlier book Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics (pub. 2013) is one I also want to purchase and read when able to. I’ve seen and heard so many positive reviews.
The very next conversation, following the lecture above, was a conversation with Rutger Bregman, a young
(b.1988) Dutch historian, opinion maker and author, and a person I hadn’t heard of his until I listened to this interview with him on Australian radio: Conversations with Richard Fidler. It aired on the 14th September 2017.
For more of an introduction to his thinking, you might value this Feb. 2017 Guardian article. For those preferring a visual option, I recommend his TED talk (delivered in Vancouver B.C.). In this TED talk he does cover off some of the content of the podcast I highlight above, specifically, his comments on poverty (the talk is entitled: Poverty Isn't a Lack of Character, It's a Lack of Cash). Finally there’s his March 2017 book, Utopia For Realists: And How We Can Get There.