Gordon Brown on global ethic vs. national interest

Gordon Brown on global ethic vs. national interest

Chris Anderson: Thank you
so much, Prime Minister, that was both fascinating
and quite inspiring. So, you’re calling for a global ethic. Would you describe that
as global citizenship? Is that an idea that you believe in,
and how would you define that? Gordon Brown: It is
about global citizenship and recognizing
our responsibilities to others. There is so much to do
over the next few years that is obvious to so many of us to build a better world. And there is so much shared sense
of what we need to do, that it is vital
that we all come together. But we don’t necessarily have
the means to do so. So there are challenges to be met. I believe the concept
of global citizenship will simply grow out of people talking
to each other across continents. But of course the task
is to create the institutions that make that global society work. But I don’t think we should underestimate the extent to which
massive changes in technology make possible the linking up
of people across the world. CA: But people get excited
about this idea of global citizenship, but then they get confused a bit again when they start thinking about patriotism, and how to combine these two. I mean, you’re elected as Prime Minister with a brief to bat for Britain. How do you reconcile the two things? GB: Well, of course national identity
remains important. But it’s not at the expense of people
accepting their global responsibilities. And I think one
of the problems of recession is that people become more protectionist, they look in on themselves, they try to protect their own nation, perhaps at the expense of other nations. When you actually look
at the motor of the world economy, it cannot move forward unless there is trade
between the different countries. And any nation that would become
protectionist over the next few years would deprive itself of the chance
of getting the benefits of growth in the world economy. So, you’ve got to have
a healthy sense of patriotism; that’s absolutely important. But you’ve got to realize
that this world has changed fundamentally, and the problems we have cannot be solved
by one nation and one nation alone. CA: Well, indeed. But what do you do
when the two come into conflict and you’re forced to make a decision that either is in Britain’s interest,
or the interest of Britons, or citizens elsewhere in the world? GB: Well I think we can persuade people that what is necessary
for Britain’s long-term interests, what is necessary
for America’s long-term interests, is proper engagement
with the rest of the world, and taking the action that is necessary. There is a great story, again,
told about Richard Nixon. 1958, Ghana becomes independent, so it is just over 50 years ago. Richard Nixon goes to represent
the United States government at the celebrations
for independence in Ghana. And it’s one of his first outings
as Vice President to an African country. He doesn’t quite know what to do, so he starts going around the crowd and starts talking to people and he says to people
in this rather unique way, “How does it feel to be free?” And he’s going around,
“How does it feel to be free?” “How does it feel to be free?” And then someone says, “How should I know? I come from Alabama.” (Laughter) And that was the 1950s. Now, what is remarkable is that civil rights in America
were achieved in the 1960s. But what is equally remarkable is socioeconomic rights in Africa
have not moved forward very fast even since the age of colonialism. And yet, America and Africa
have got a common interest. And we have got to realize
that if we don’t link up with those people who are sensible voices
and democratic voices in Africa, to work together for common causes, then the danger of Al Qaeda
and related groups making progress in Africa is very big. So, I would say that what seems sometimes to be altruism, in relation to Africa,
or in relation to developing countries, is more than that. It is enlightened self-interest
for us to work with other countries. And I would say that national interest and, if you like,
what is the global interest to tackle poverty and climate change do, in the long run, come together. And whatever the short-run price
for taking action on climate change or on security, or taking action
to provide opportunities for people for education, these are prices that are worth paying so that you build
a stronger global society where people feel able to feel
comfortable with each other and are able to communicate
with each other in such a way that you can actually build stronger
links between different countries. CA: I still just want to draw
out on this issue. So, you’re on vacation at a nice beach, and word comes through
that there’s been a massive earthquake and that there is a tsunami
advancing on the beach. One end of the beach, there is a house
containing a family of five Nigerians. And at the other end of the beach
there is a single Brit. You have time to — (Laughter) you have time to alert one house. What do you do? (Laughter) GB: Modern communications. (Applause) Alert both. (Applause) I do agree that my responsibility is first of all to make sure
that people in our country are safe. And I wouldn’t like anything
that is said today to suggest that I am diminishing the importance
of the responsibility that each leader
has for their own country. But I’m trying to suggest
that there is a huge opportunity open to us that was never
open to us before. But the power to communicate
across borders allows us to organize
the world in a different way. And I think, look at the tsunami,
it’s a classic example. Where was the early warning systems? Where was the world acting together to deal with the problems
that they knew arose from the potential for earthquakes, as well as the potential
for climate change? And when the world
starts to work together, with better early-warning systems, you can deal with some
of these problems in a better way. I just think we’re not seeing,
at the moment, the huge opportunities open to us
by the ability of people to cooperate in a world where either
there was isolationism before or there was limited alliances
based on convenience which never actually took you to deal
with some of the central problems. CA: But I think this is the frustration that perhaps a lot of people have,
like people in the audience here, where we love the kind of language
that you’re talking about. It is inspiring. A lot of us believe
that that has to be the world’s future. And yet, when the situation changes, you suddenly hear
politicians talking as if, you know, for example,
the life of one American soldier is worth countless numbers
of Iraqi civilians. When the pedal hits the metal, the idealism can get moved away. I’m just wondering whether
you can see that changing over time, whether you see in Britain that there are changing attitudes, and that people are actually
more supportive of the kind of global ethic
that you talk about. GB: I think every religion, every faith, and I’m not just talking here
to people of faith or religion — it has this global ethic
at the center of its credo. And whether it’s Jewish
or whether it’s Muslim or whether it’s Hindu,
or whether it’s Sikh, the same global ethic is at the heart
of each of these religions. So, I think you’re dealing with something that people instinctively
see as part of their moral sense. So you’re building on something
that is not pure self-interest. You’re building
on people’s ideas and values — that perhaps they’re candles
that burn very dimly on certain occasions. But it is a set of values that cannot,
in my view, be extinguished. Then the question is, how do you make that change happen? How do you persuade people
that it is in their interest to build strong — After the Second World War, we built institutions, the United Nations, the IMF, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization,
the Marshall Plan. There was a period in which people
talked about an act of creation, because these institutions were so new. But they are now out of date.
They don’t deal with the problems. You can’t deal
with the environmental problem through existing institutions. You can’t deal with the security problem
in the way that you need to. You can’t deal with the economic
and financial problem. So we have got to rebuild
our global institutions, build them in a way that is suitable
to the challenges of this time. And I believe that if you look
at the biggest challenge we face, it is to persuade people
to have the confidence that we can build a truly global society with the institutions
that are founded on these rules. So, I come back to my initial point. Sometimes you think things are impossible. Nobody would have said 50 years ago that apartheid would have gone in 1990, or that the Berlin wall would have fallen
at the turn of the ’80s and ’90s, or that polio could be eradicated, or perhaps 60 years ago, nobody would have said
a man could gone to the Moon. All these things have happened. By tackling the impossible,
you make the impossible possible. CA: And we have had a speaker
who said that very thing, and swallowed a sword right
after that, which was quite dramatic. (Laughter) GB: Followed my sword and swallow. CA: But, surely a true global ethic
is for someone to say, “I believe that the life
of every human on the planet is worth the same, equal consideration, regardless of nationality and religion.” And you have politicians who have — you’re elected. In a way, you can’t say that. Even if, as a human being,
you believe that, you can’t say that. You’re elected for Britain’s interests. GB: We have a responsibility to protect. I mean look, 1918,
the Treaty of Versailles, and all the treaties before that, the Treaty of Westphalia
and everything else, were about protecting
the sovereign right of countries to do what they want. Since then, the world has moved forward, partly as a result of what happened
with the Holocaust, and people’s concern
about the rights of individuals within territories
where they need protection, partly because of what we saw in Rwanda, partly because of what we saw in Bosnia. The idea of the responsibility to protect all individuals who are in situations
where they are at humanitarian risk is now being established as a principle
which governs the world. So, while I can’t automatically say that Britain will rush to the aid
of any citizen of any country, in danger, I can say that Britain is in a position where we’re working with other countries so that this idea
that you have a responsibility to protect people who are victims
of either genocide or humanitarian attack, is something that is accepted
by the whole world. Now, in the end, that can only be achieved if your international institutions
work well enough to be able to do so. And that comes back to what the future
role of the United Nations, and what it can do, actually is. But, the responsibility to protect
is a new idea that is, in a sense, taken over from the idea
of self-determination as the principle governing
the international community. CA: Can you picture, in our lifetimes, a politician ever going out on a platform of the kind of full-form global ethic,
global citizenship? And basically saying, “I believe
that all people across the planet have equal consideration, and if in power we will act in that way. And we believe that the people
of this country are also now global citizens
and will support that ethic.” GB: Is that not what we’re doing
in the debate about climate change? We’re saying that you cannot solve the problem of climate change
in one country; you’ve got to involve all countries. You’re saying that you must, and you have
a duty to help those countries that cannot afford to deal with
the problems of climate change themselves. You’re saying you want a deal with all the different
countries of the world where we’re all bound together to cutting carbon emissions in a way
that is to the benefit of the whole world. We’ve never had this before
because Kyoto didn’t work. If you could get a deal at Copenhagen,
where people agreed, A, that there was a long-term target
for carbon emission cuts, B, that there was short-range
targets that had to be met so this wasn’t just abstract; it was people actually
making decisions now that would make a difference now, and if you could then find
a financing mechanism that meant that the poorest countries
that had been hurt by our inability to deal
with climate change over many, many years and decades are given special help so that they can move
to energy-efficient technologies, and they are in a position financially to be able to afford
the long-term investment that is associated
with cutting carbon emissions, then you are treating the world equally, by giving consideration
to every part of the planet and the needs they have. It doesn’t mean that everybody
does exactly the same thing, because we’ve actually got
to do more financially to help the poorest countries, but it does mean
there is equal consideration for the needs of citizens
in a single planet. CA: Yes. And then of course the theory
is still that those talks get rent apart by different countries fighting
over their own individual interests. GB: Yes, but I think
Europe has got a position, which is 27 countries have
already come together. I mean, the great difficulty in Europe is if you’re at a meeting
and 27 people speak, it takes a very, very long time. But we did get an agreement
on climate change. America has made
its first disposition on this with the bill that President Obama
should be congratulated for getting through Congress. Japan has made an announcement. China and India have signed up
to the scientific evidence. And now we’ve got to move them to accept a long-term target,
and then short-term targets. But more progress has been made,
I think, in the last few weeks than had been made for some years. And I do believe
that there is a strong possibility that if we work together, we can get
that agreement to Copenhagen. I certainly have been
putting forward proposals that would have allowed
the poorest parts of the world to feel that we have taken into account
their specific needs. And we would help them adapt. And we would help them make
the transition to a low-carbon economy. I do think a reform of the international
institutions is vital to this. When the IMF was created in the 1940s, it was created with resources that were
five percent or so of the world’s GDP. The IMF now has limited
resources, one percent. It can’t really make the difference that ought to be made
in a period of crisis. So, we’ve got to rebuild
the world institutions. And that’s a big task: persuading all the different countries with the different voting shares
in these institutions to do so. There is a story told
about the three world leaders of the day getting a chance
to get some advice from God. And the story is told
that Bill Clinton went to God and he asked when there will be
successful climate change and a low-carbon economy. And God shook his head and said, “Not this year, not this decade,
perhaps not even in [your] lifetime.” And Bill Clinton walked away in tears because he had failed
to get what he wanted. And then the story is that Barroso,
the president of the European Commission, went to God and he asked, “When will we get
a recovery of global growth?” And God said, “Not this year,
not in this decade, perhaps not in your lifetime.” So Barroso walked away
crying and in tears. And then the Secretary-General
of the United Nations came up to speak to God and said, “When will our international
institutions work?” And God cried. (Laughter) It is very important to recognize
that this reform of institutions is the next stage after
agreeing upon ourselves that there is a clear ethic
upon which we can build. CA: Prime Minister, I think
there are many in the audience who are truly appreciative
of the efforts you made in terms of the financial mess
we got ourselves into. And there are certainly
many people in the audience who will be cheering you on as you seek
to advance this global ethic. Thank you so much for coming to TED. GB: Well, thank you. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Gordon Brown on global ethic vs. national interest

  1. Lets not for get that the unelected "Prime Minister" Gordon Brown was Chancellor of the Exchequer for nearly 10 years prior to no being elected PM.

    It was Brown's "I've abolished boom and bust" arrogance that lead the "UK" into recession. The man is responsible for failing to see the dangers and to take action to protect us.

    The man is worse than useless.

  2. International corporate interests do amazing things in advancing technology and perhaps present the opportunity to right some of the world's wrongs, but they shouldn't force the necessity of a global government to protect their interests, much less the increase of taxes and prices in an extended financial crisis.

  3. What he means is one world control, nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide.
    People like Brown are trying to engineer a global communist state with everything they disagree with sanctioned.
    They work with large globalist multinationalists to remove freedom, buy up government & enforce conformity to their twisted view.
    The world is huge, there should be seperation, should be people living in forests or mud huts. there should be freedom to live how you want, but these control freaks dont want that.

  4. Civil rights in the US was a fleeting moment. The Gordon Brown's of the world have been stealing these rights piece by piece for decades – Might makes right "bullyism".

  5. sure, it could lead to people to hope for better things etc. but there's no reason why it should or would.

    If you ask me we should scrap this whole patriotism thing, and replace it with a concept of something related to being human. We should help out everyone, not just our nation, why should we care specifically about that geographical grouping?

    from my point of view, you're fantasizing about the ideals of patriotism, and disregarding actualities. The attitude makes me think of communism.

  6. Someone born in a mud hut in Namibia isn't poor, they only become poor when cretins in the 'developed' world force their monetery system and values on them. Ultimately people like Brown meddling in Africa only helps to create poverty.
    People in the monetery world are not free, they are chained by money, freedom is only for the elite like Brown, whose earnings allow some choice.
    Globalisation will only ever create mass poverty & relative slavery for the many.

  7. Nonsense. It's only what Republicans wanted to sell as 'patriotism' – it was all about linguistic manipulation. Words don't change their meaning just because some propaganda uses them in a manipulative way.

    There is no 'classic patriotism' nor 'modern patriotism'. True patriotism is about love for your own nation, state, language, history and culture and it has nothing to do with hatred towards anyone.
    I'm a cosmopolite myself but I have great respect for true patriots.

  8. So the alternative is you drag/force people from the bush to have them die in abject poverty.
    Without birth control there never will be material comfort, only an ever increasing mass of deprived. Redistribution of wealth /globalisation at the current birth rate only ensures that those in the 'material' world will become poor whilst a few in the poor world will get a few more possessions.
    And all the while those at the top like Brown & the few who fund him will become vastly richer.

  9. So, Gordon Brown spends 17 minutes and 57 seconds to tell us that there needs to be international cooperation. Where did the English get this guy?

  10. @addicted2rpg I think you mean BRITISH, bearing in mind he is the BRITISH Prime Minister and is infact a Scot, not English.

  11. @linkin622 All the crazed neo-cons would just get their guns out and start mouthing off as they stuffed their faces with burgers. So thanks, but I think he'll politely decline your request, we don't need that crap in the United Kingdom thanks.

  12. Wow, what a talk! I am sure the fellows at TED were thrilled to hear this one. I wonder if TED would have entertained the same talk from someone else…

  13. oh thats right i heard that ya'll turned in your guns….so you cant give anyone any crap……governments should fear the people keep your eye on the U.S. come2010 lots of our "leaders" are gonna get , how do you unarmed sheep say it ? oh right SACKED

  14. actually America is being destroyed by internationalists (NWO) who are obviously SOCIALISTS (or just use them). If you would know some history and some basics of socialism you would know that. All that american imperialism stuff started with FDR – national socialist piece of sh*t.
    European Union is totally out of control of the people (they elect themselves between them) – typically socialist outcome of the great idea of no borders free Europe. Ribbentrop-Molotov was called a paranoia too.

  15. @grraadd Have you all just become a self-parody of yourselves? You're a fucking joke. I don't know how you ended up watching a TED video, but you represent everything that TED isn't. Enjoy bathing in your own ignorance.

  16. Yep, we gave up our guns. We forced the government to ban them. We were fed up of children being slaughtered in schools. What awful people we must be.

  17. @serbfree Hey you do realise you are being a racist? There's no sort of, you are being an exact example of a racist. Now that that's out of the way.
    You do realise that not 100% of crime is asian? Let's just say, for argument's sake, 60% of crime is by "Asians", that means that there is a lot of non-Asian crime. This is what you racists always do, you generalise: Since the "majority" of crime is by Asians(it isn't, by the way), all Asian are evil, and all whites(even if criminal) are crimeless

  18. Oh dear, serbfree, what delusion are you living in? May I mention right now, that I do not call a person a single word before I look it up. A Racist is one who is racist, and racism is the exclusion, ridiculing, etc. of one because of or based on their race. (I looked that up in the dictionary).
    And a moron is one with an IQ of between 35 to 50(yes, I looked that up too).
    Stop fooling yourself. There is no genocide. Interbreeding is not KILLING a race.

  19. Part two of the response to your polemic diatribe. Genocide: "Is the Murder of a whole community or race." There is no murder, absolutely none. Interbreeding is not murder. And also, WHITE is not a race. Neither is black. Included in the "white" race: Slavs, Caucasian, Germans, Scandinavians, Greeks, etc. You don't seem to realise that.
    So you're not a racist? Would you agree Hitler was a (self proclaimed) racist?Okay, these people are spoiling our culture, taking up space and killing people

  20. So, does Hitler's point sound familiar? Sound awefully similar to yours, which is all non whites(note how all whites are good, everyone else evil) are criminals, taking up OUR space, and making our culture impure.
    One last thing, OBJECTIVE and ANALYTICAL??? Your whole spiel is basically, all blacks evil, all whites pure in mind and culture. GET RID OF EVIL BLACKS. Analytical?. You can't even be stuffed finding out what percentage of whites and whites are criminal, "ALL NON WHITES ARE CRIMS!!!!"

  21. Globalisation means that the poor in western countries are having their jobs redistributed to the 3rd world simply because we have no trade protection & the people there have to work for next to nothing. Obviously this is yet to destroy the more well off & those with featherbed government paid jobs, but it will.
    Brown & co are not redistributing wealth, they are creating slaves. Int. socialism/globalisation is not about wealth for the many, it is poverty for the many & wealth for the few.

  22. But he is an internationalist socialist & he sees nothing wrong with redistributing jobs from the west to the third world.
    Today for instance 1700 UK steel workers sacked because people like Brown have helped to redistribute their jobs & that's just today.
    He talks about the west giving money to help poorer countries deal with global warming when the fastest growing polluters are 3rd world countries because globalists like him are engineering the shift of jobs to lower paid 3rd world 'slaves'.

  23. No…. Some of them did…. But you know what did reduce after the banning of bearing firearms, massacres like Virginia Tech.
    Do you have any idea how many people are killed when some "psycho" decides to go into a restaurant, or a school, or even the streets, and decides to kill people? Here they report on only the major ones….. many a year. That is what the government tries to reduce. Deaths as a result of firearms reduced drastically, and when they do, it was unavoidable, even with a gun.

  24. Because it is no longer Darwinism. Now, it is about technology, and who can shoot first, or who has more support, is not Darwinism. So "Survival of the Fittest" is no longer relavent, it is now Social Darwinism, which was, by the way, a nazi ideal.

  25. Serbfree, you don't get it, do you? The majority of Britain is white, it is not possible to make anti-white laws without major repercussions. And by the way, Gordon Brown is white, so why would he discriminate against his own "race".
    Realy Brits? Do you mean the French, the Vikings, the Angles, the Saxons, the Normans, the Picts, the Romans, the Greeks or the Irish? Britains immigratory history is so complex that you are an interracial person yourself. Who is the real Brit? The First Brits?

  26. Let me rephrase that. After the banning of carrying firearms, deaths as a result of them dropped drastically, and often when people were killed by them, it was unavoidable, like for example while they were sleeping. It was extremely effective in reducing deaths as a result of crime overall.

  27. We are not preaching to you. Keep your disgusting guns if you want, along with your blow up dolls of George Bush who devastated the planet. We don't want a gun culture thanks. It's our prerogative, just as it's your prerogative to maintain a gun culture that ends in the slaughter of thousands of people each year. That's your choice. We've made ours and we are quite happy with the decision we've made thanks, as are the parents of those children slaughtered by guns in our country priot to the ban.

  28. mostly its knives ? dude think about what your saying…does it really matter to a victim of a violent crime whether he got stabbed to death or shot to death…my point is he should be free to decide if he wants to be able to defend himself and his family or depend on someone else..like me to shoot his attacker

  29. disgusting guns ? if a golf club was used as murder weapon are golf clubs then disgusting ? or is the person who uses it for that purpose ? a gun is a tool and nothing more and just like any other tool it can be misused………blow up doll ? really ? grow up …..devastated the planet ? i think not , keep the drama to a minimum plz

  30. Given that ever country that has applied far left politics has failed & given that even communist China has embraced capitalism then deciding how far left Brown is can only be judged by what he does.
    Signing the UK into a totalitarian EU state without a vote. Leaving thousands to freeze to death in the UK this winter while spending 10 billion on foreign 'aid'. Preciding over the worst invasion of privacy & human rights in UK history.
    Like all leftists he feathers his own nest at our expense.

  31. I don't know if you know, but there's this funny thing about language; meanings change as usage change.

    and guess what, usage has changed. when you say patriotism, I think of the manipulative way in which the republican party used it over the last ten years because that's what it commonly means now.

    I do the same interpretive thing now for the words "natural" and "artificial" and "chemicals." they all have their distinct meanings, but marketing has changed them so that they mean something else

  32. You see, but I don't live in USA, so I didn't have to know that. I come from Poland and there, the word 'patriotism' means exactly what it always meant and it hasn't changed at all, because no one dared to use it in such a manipulative way.

    Meanings don't change, only some people are stupid enough to get manipulated this way. Educated people use words with their proper meanings.

    Anyway, let me ask then, what do you think of traditional patriotism? Was it as bad as what you see now in US?

  33. 'psychological evidence suggests' that's a subjective observation not a fact.
    But if we take facts as a basis from which to draw political conclusions than we could note that:
    China under communism has seen the murder of approx 100 to 120 million for not being left wing enough.
    Cambodia 1.2 to 3 million murdered for not being good communist stock.
    Stalinist Russia, at least 20 million murdered for not being suitably socialist.
    So for the leftists like Brown, the facts speak for themselves.

  34. Given that much of Nazi Germanys political ideology was actually socialist then to pin the term right or left as to whether a pensioner freezes to death is a joke. But then the left likes to pretend that all 'nice' policies are theirs & the nasty people are everyone who doesn't act like them.
    The truth is that socialism has a history of brutality, murder & failure.
    Is Brown helping the 'plebs' by destroying their jobs, is Brown helping the 'plebs' by deliberately destroying their security?

  35. Actually the Nazi method of appeasing communists was with a club or a bullet but that's another story.
    So what measure is there of what a 'socialist 'is. Is it industrial based socialism as was followed to destruction in Russia. Is it Maoist socialism eating itself up in a paranoid drive to create a universal peasentry. Or is it socialism Blair/Brown style, where they drip feed communism while working hand in glove with multinationals, removing freedom/identity, creating universal subjugation

  36. it's a shame an official from the number one (oppressing, resource sucking and narcissist country in history) talks about GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP I hope the intention and deeds meet his words. Because if you ask me, I don't trust an English person…why, because they are the culture of discipline and manor accompanied by Grand theft of auto of another nations.

  37. meanings don't change? So you would contest that the word gay only means happy, and doesn't mean homosexual at all?

    I think two world wars were started based around patriotism, so yeah, I think traditional patriotism, while slightly less direct, was just as bad as modern patriotism. In some ways, it was worse in the past, when it wasn't so blatant that you were being manipulated.

  38. And isn't Global Patriotism just another manipulation?

    And yes, to me, the word 'gay' still means 'happy', because it LINGUISTICALLY doesn't say anything about someone's sexuality. Nonetheless, homosexual propaganda decided to use this term, because it sounds 'better' – it was a part of making a new, brighter PR for homosexuals.

  39. Exactly. Adrew Carnegie was an example of both great spirit and amazing entrepreneurial skill. Take a look at Rockefellers – did they earn their money because of how intelligent they are or how hard they worked? No, they inherited their fortune. Bankers are modern nobility. Most of them come from a families that were already in the business. There's no one new. Still the same names after 5 and more decades.

  40. Weren't the only one's prepared for the tsunami the remote tribes and the animals that felt something coming? Seems like we dismissed our warning systems.

  41. global patriotism might be manipulation, but national patriotism is dangerous because it's manipulation against other nations. Can you tell me what other globes global patriotism puts in danger?

    it linguistically says everything about someones sexuality. when I say "that guy is gay over there" you don't think I'm saying he's happy, you think I'm saying he's homosexual. A few people will remember that the word gay used to mean happy, so in a few contexts it does mean happy, but it wont soon.

  42. Socialism was effectively born in the Terror of revolutionary France with the 50k murdered for not being revolutionary enough, and you might quote Pinochet but he's a bit player compared to genocide & mass murder of socialist despots.
    Thing is I dont actually support an ism, but you do, the ism that has a history of mass murder.
    Nice values you quote there, like the big round eyes of the big bad wolf, but the reality of socialism is very different, it's no different to Fascism.

  43. Yeah, but that's only because how dumb people have become in America, so they are very easy to manipulate. Word 'gay' came to Britain with its 'new meaning' from US, homosexuality is no longer a psychiatric condition due to the vote of American Psychological Association, in other words, we have to bear allt he crap that comes for your country.
    Besides, your view is totally biased. It's impossible to debate with you. EOT.

  44. I didn't say that revolutionary France was socialist, only that it was effectively born there. The notion that there is a collective form of government which justifies mass murder in its defence & impletation.
    The fact that the Terror killed thousands of the poor & revolutionaries as well as nobility has no doubt escaped you.
    Socialism is a them and us mindset, like Aryan & Jew Fascism. It is a hate fueled philosophy, the idea isn't abused when it leads to murder, murder is its pure expression.

  45. Yes, but you forget about human nature, & socialism is a blueprint which sounds 'nice' but actually leads to the destruction of human rights and murder.
    I have actually read the communist party manifesto, I have actually pretended to be one to understand the mindset & I found no difference between it and the worst expression of Fascism.
    Fascism ultimately is just as good on paper, but in reality human nature changes it.
    Socialism says it cares, but actually socialists only care about the ism.

  46. This probably the worst stand up comedy routine I've ever seen.
    But seriously folks, this is really quite inane. She is from the generation, or close to it, that has helped unleash this demon onto our culture. After showing her own vulgarity & courseness, she goes onto complain when the culture of vulgarity she celebrates goes beyond the bounds she can tolerate.
    It incomparably stupid to insist that abstinance campaigns won't work when they have worked for 1,000s of years.

  47. So you want to sideline the violent history of socialism so that we can focus on say its effect on freedom or scientific advancement, which is a bit like ignoring the fact that snake has a deadly bite, focusing instead on the fact that it has a slippery skin.

    Most UK political socialists for instance show a publicly acceptable version of their personal views, the left knows that the public will not accept their totalitarian system overnight, they are instead inching us into the socialist abyss

  48. typically for leftist, you can't gather any arguments, so you are using adjectives…
    I'm sorry for you – as you are obviously uninformed and easy to use by murderers like Brown… Remember – when you come to my home to kill and loot I will have to terminate you – no offence.

  49. Yes because creating a 'stable and fair' world is not interference, it's perfectly acceptable for people to meddle in the affairs of poor nations, to enforce their views on what people should have and how they should work. And if to achieve that they force one type of government & destroy other systems of living then that's all good.
    Global Justice Movement, maybe a better description could be Socialist Imperialism.

  50. But the reason we end up with the poor living as bonded slaves is because capitalism has that dark element lurking at its core. Just as socialism has murderous oppression & the destruction of human freedom lurking at its core.
    Socialism like Christianity, well yes. Both have sought to enforce their particular view of the world through eradication of the opposition and violence. Both consider their doctrine to be the only acceptable way. Both lead to totalitarian control & stagnation.

  51. But if some gentle nursery rhyme appeared innocent & yet was so worded to push some deep psychological button so that the child would grow up into a psychopath, then would that make the rhyme evil, or merely an incidental cause of evil.
    At the end of the day it doesn't really matter where the blame lies, all that matters is the consequences.
    Socialism is such a rhyme, seemingly virtuous, but its application leads to evils. That's why there are so many examples of socialist mass murder.

  52. I think the poor are poor because most often they are born or are forced into a situation where they have no options. Other people 'own' 'the land, other people have taken their birthright by fair means or foul.
    I wouldn't enslave the rich, but I do think that society fails to give people opportunity & birthright. Large companies destroy freedom and individual wealth. People should be given the means to have something to offer. Be it land & crops, a trade or skill, rather than being slaves.

  53. wait, what? this isn't the end of anything. You can't call me biased without first reflecting on your own biases, or else how are you sure you're not just in a position of bias and my opinion (since it disagrees with yours) seems biased? I only used the word gay because it reflected my point. It had nothing to do with homosexuality and had everything to do with the fact that language changes over time. I don't care where the change originated, but if your country adopted it then it still changed

  54. Gordon Brown failed to sufficiently address the question. The question is a common question presented on a larger scale, that of self-interest vs the common good. With the "self" referring to a single country and the "common good" referring to the global good.

  55. IMO, the problem with the current situation is you have governments/national institutions which have the RESPONSIBILITY to look after the interest of its people. Government officials were elected by the nation's citizens to look after their interest. This is exactly why Chris Anderson raised the question to Gordon Brown of the time he will see a politician pushing a platform that focuses on delivering the "global good" rather than one that just delivers the self-interest of that nation.

  56. It's human nature to want to preserve one's self first.IMO, to achieve a global ethic, the first thing that needs to be done is to let go of the concept of national governments and to establish a global institution.


  57. I suppose you have the same wisdom to offer to poor countries upon which the IMF forced an oligopoly of big companies.

  58. Why is everything with Gordon Brown being voted down? Lots of Brits here who don't like his domestic politics and have no idea what TED is about, or what?

  59. I think he addressed it wonderfully. He stated his views simply and clearly: The world is better off accepting whatever England and USA want – that is what's best for the world.
    I don't think I agree with him.

  60. Global institutions don't work and will never work for the following reasons: 1. whoever leads them will have too much power to make subjective absolute decisions. 2. Governing/ruling/administrating large entities is tougher than doing the same for smaller entities. A "global" entity would be impossible to govern properly.
    3. Human emotions (pride, greed, corruption, etc).

  61. @DrQuijano
    1. I think you're referring to dictatorships not global institutions that have the right mechanisms to balance out power such as having separate bodies concerned with the creation, implementation, and enforcement of laws. (executive, legislative and judiciary).

    2. You can say this for any institution. How big is big? How small is small? People didn't probably imagine countries (governments) before.

    3. This problem exists not only in global institutions. Invalid argument for this.

  62. "The world is better off accepting whatever England and USA want – that is what's best for the world."


  63. the point is the system we are facing is on a global scale. and there are already global structures and interests in operation which are under no democratic control whatsoever. if we want to tackle the problem we need some kind of global government. i know our governments don't work these days. but we can learn from the failures and use that knowledge to create a better version. i can't see another way to go. do you?

  64. thats right, we hate his domestic politics because he is self serving where both his personal beliefs (marxist social assumptions) and where his poltical future is concerned

  65. the new wourld order frame work is now compleat. gopanhagen. unalected dictators will control ,wake up if your not already wide awake. before its all to late. the pen is mighter than the sorwd

  66. I cluod not blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch sudty at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in wrods are the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist & lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae The rset can be a taotl mses & you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef but the wrod as a wlohe & I thgouht slpeling was ipmorantt

  67. Put it this way, we utterly despise Tony Blair for obvious reasons…Gordon is 10 times worse. He is a despicable fuck-head and has continued to shame the UK to a point where we are now as (if not more) unpopular than the US globally. And the fact that he constantly brings religion into politics and talks about civil liberties while imposing even more draconian laws restricting protest and free speech is disgusting and hypocritical. I could rant on for hours but I love TED too much to taint it.

  68. Better international institutions wont amount to much if nations don't develop internal resilience. Newer institutions without this could make a whole new round of neoliberal exploitation.

  69. Why would the Brits call him a complete Dick Head ? He is a global guy looking out for the global security and the global society . It is wonderful that he has his lover on stage with him. Globalization must be good. Prices that are worth paying?? What is the Global interest ?? I would buy a car from this man ! We have the opportunity for a NWO. Thanks Mr Gordon Brown. It is the moral thing to do. Have the complete confidence in this man and message.

  70. Okay…let's start by including India into the UN security council. What reason can anyone have to exclude a quarter of the population from the 'world government'? Lol

  71. Why is Brown campaigning for more money for espionage and pillage on TED? Britons and Americans should get out of Africa and actually allow them to progress financially and politically. No country in the world has progressed until white people were kicked out. When will Africa wake up I wonder

  72. Btw for people from developing countries that still haven't figured it out, the IMF and thw World Bank promote a completely different agenda than the development of your economies. China, India and countries surrounding these behemoths all went against most of the guideslines of these two propaganda machines to achieve their 8 or 9% GDP growth per year. Especially the eradication of tariffs and protective barriers would have eliminated all industrialization in a few years

  73. Interesting and an optimistic insightful perspective 🙂 My worry is that the focus is on dealing with the symptoms and not the virus though, in which case the process will continue but gradually get worse – corporations have the power to help but they are corporations, they have different motives and agenda (that they require to survive).  Tough job and no easy answers; if you change an environment though, the results can be instant 🙂


  75. Core! That fella handled that hypothetical tsunami in an amazing fashion 😀
    Took on the whole interview pretty well actually.

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