We the People: Populism and Progress #SkollWF 2017



Hello. Thank you very much
indeed for coming. Now, Sally talked yesterday of the political
ruptures of the last year. She was referring, of course, to the election
of Donald Trump, the vote here for Brexit, and the increasing support for so called
populist politicians across Europe and beyond. And we’re talking about populists
both from the left and from the right. Now, this room is pretty full
of social entrepreneurs, and other people mostly who are
working to make the world a bit better. So I want to just ask you
for a show of hands, those of you who feel that these
political ruptures have shaken you and your world in some way. Hands up. Okay. Anybody who feels that they
were just brilliantly insightful and knew it all along and their
life is all straightforward? The lights are at me, but I can’t quite
see if anybody has said that. Maybe one or two,
which is interesting. But I can see why you guys
have come here, despite all the other attractions
of schmoozing and food in the tent. And I hope that our discussion today is going
to be able to give you some insight, some more insights, into populism
and also the challenges and ways of beginning
to tackle them. Now the theme, of course,
of the Skoll World Forum this year, is about creating common ground
across the fault lines that divide us. And so a really warm welcome
on this Thursday afternoon, both for those of you who are here
in the Nelson Mandela Theater at Saïd, and also to those who are joining us
on livestream, I’m told, across the world. And I’m sure that the insights of our
panel here are going to be so compelling, that the only reason you’re going to turn
to your phone, which, of course, is on silent, is because you want to jot down
something, some brilliant insight, or you want to tweet, using the hashtag skollwf,
or on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, or, you know, telegram
or whatever you use. And one more reminder, you’ve got to fill in
this slightly peculiar survey at the end, please. That’s a requirement. So I’m really honored to introduce you
to my fantastic panel, although I should say, given about these chasms that we’re talking
about and the divides, everybody, I don’t think they all agree,
but on some level that they are perhaps on one
sort of curved side of this divide. And after I introduce each of our panelists,
I’m going to ask them for a very quick definition, a quick and rough definition of populism. And also, to tell us here about why these ruptures have been so important to them, personally. So, to kick us off first, Anne-Marie Slaughter. Now, you have such an extraordinary resume, or CV, as we say on this side of the pond. Director of the Policy Planning for Hilary Clinton when Hilary was Secretary of State. Professor at Harvard Law School. Dean at Princeton. You’ve written a library of academic books and articles, but actually, a rather non-academic essay, Why Women Still Can’t Have it All, has really generated massive public debate. Now you’re President and CEO of the New American Foundation, which I think very interesting and on the website I noticed it says, not just a think tank, also an action tank, which is going to be useful for our discussion. Dedicated to renewing America in a digital age. So Anne-Marie, briefly. Your definition of populism, and why it matters to you, personally. Thanks. So my definition of populism is, the politics of an aggrieved majority. And I’m grateful to you for asking me to do it in a line, because the aggrieved part, we see, it is a sense of injury, often of rage, of a kind of wanting to take something back. But of course, it’s a majority, and that’s what makes it powerful, and often worrisome. Minorities are often aggrieved, and often aggrieved rightly, but this is an aggrieved majority. And it’s tearing my country apart. And it is, I think, for me, I run to America, New America is about American renewal. America’s renewed itself often. We have to, if we’re ever to have any hope of living up to our professed values. But right now, you are seeing more destruction than renewal. And I’m very worried that the populism that we see is preventing what really could be, I think, a much more exciting process of coming together, in renewal. Thank you very much. Gemma Mortensen. Well known to the Skoll community here as a Skoll awardee. You’ve been Executive Director of Crisis Action, which works, and still works, to protect civilians at risk from armed conflict. You’ve recently been Chief Global Officer of change.org on the West Coast. You’ve won a slew of awards, and you feel that now is the right time to return home here in the UK, in order to set up, with some colleagues, a new organization to understand the causes and the most effective responses to populism. And that’s not just in the UK, you’re also looking at France, Germany and the US. So what’s your definition, and why does it matter to you, personally? Thanks Emily. Yes, it’s something that I’ve obviously thought a lot about in recent weeks and months. And for me, it comes down to the perception of exploitation, really, by ordinary people, by elites, by the other. And the denial of fundamental expectations, such as prosperity, such as rights, such as identity. I think identity in this is absolutely critical. And why it matters to me, is that I’ve worked, as you say, on international issues, as many of the people here have, for most of my life, and this feels like a moment where, what I honestly have taken for granted at home, can no longer be taken for granted. And I think that I feel a particular responsibility, a responsibility that was made more acute by the murder of a very close friend of mine, Jo Cox, by a far-right extremist in the UK. Obviously that was an intensification of what was a realization that this is no longer a moment where we can afford to only look outside our own borders. And actually, many of the problems that we all care about in this community, can only be solved and only be addressed, if we look closer to home about what will otherwise rip our societies apart and render us incapable of doing anything useful at all. Thank you very much indeed. Ernesto Zedillo, an economist, President of Mexico, 1994 to 2000. And you really, when you were President, paved the way for profound political change in your country, creating a genuine multiparty democracy after 70 years of PRI rule. You brought in bold reforms to address the economic crisis that you were dealing with at the time, and poverty. And since leaving office you’ve tackled some sort of small, global challenges, what, climate change, drugs. And at the highest level I should say, partly in your role as a member of the elders, and now you’re Director of the Center for the Study of Globalization at Yale. And I should also say, on the Board of Citigroup. So, tell me Ernesto, your definition and why it matters to you, personally. Well, my definition from Latin America, populism is a horrendous political tactic used by demagogue politicians, to grab power frequently by democratic means, but also used by those politicians to preserve and enhance their power. It is true, sometimes they do it by exploiting negative feelings in the population. Sometimes you don’t need that. Sometimes, simply they are good snake oil sellers, promising paradise at price zero. They use many tactics. Right now we are traumatized by this idea that there is a resentful majority against an elite. By the way, it was not a majority, Anne-Marie, I am correcting you. According to arithmetic, it was not a majority. Okay? And I don’t think it’s only or always about the one person and the 99%. I think populism, it’s simply a political tactic used by demagogues, sometimes with success for a little while, and sometimes, fortunately, with no success. And why does it matter to you, personally? Or did you choose not to answer that bit? No, yes, yes. I forgot, you know, I have short memory. It’s a problem. I think I told you, because every time I think about populism, I get a stomach-ache. And if you put it worse, if you make me think, no that’s not serious, I can vomit but I don’t want to say that. No, I do matter, it does matter for me, you know, as I said. I am from Latin America, I am from Mexico. And I think in Latin America, although we may not have been the originators of populism, we are the champions of the word. I don’t think any other region in the world, as a region, has endured as many populists, and consequently, as many social, economic and political disasters as my own region. And I do care for that reason. Sorry, did somebody…? Actually, it’s interesting you say that. I remember immediately after the Trump election, I spoke to some then colleagues of mine in Latin America, and Argentina in particular, and the reaction, obviously, among many people at that time, was kind of, you know, one of quite a lot of shock among some groups. And their reaction was so telling to me, because they said, “We have experienced this for years, for decades. You are just waking up to this, but do not pretend for a second that it is strange to us.” And there was almost a, I felt, a sentiment of sadness, actually. The kind of, where were you when we have been going through this for so long? And I think it’s incumbent on us to actually go through this experience with some humility, as a result of exactly what you’re saying. Yeah, the best thing I read was by a Venezuelan who described the process in Venezuela. It’s striking, though, that Latin America has the greatest inequality, globally, also. Yeah, but these guys, I asked them to misbehave, yeah. I asked them to interrupt, and they already— usually I ask audiences to hold the panel accountable, to make sure they misbehave enough, but I think they don’t need to be held accountable here. They’re just going to have fun and ride with it. But, it’s great, I can then just relax. So, what’s on the menu for this afternoon, after I hope you’ve had a good and fulfilling lunch. Because we’re going to be looking, as already Anne-Marie has hinted there, looking at the two main schools of thought, first of all. Looking at the drivers of populism, these two main schools of thought. Number one, the economic and inequality. The results, people say, of stagnant wages and lost jobs. And then the other school of thought, which is looking at the cultural backlash, the values of globalization and globalism, the values which hold dear the questions of diversity. But we want to really devote, a part of the Skoll World Forum, we really want to devote the majority of the conversation, and also to include you guys, looking at potential solutions to these challenges. And when you have a chance to have your say, please wait for the microphone, so people who aren’t in the room can have a chance to hear your ideas as well. So, a year ago, talking about inequality, I don’t know who was here, but I sat in this chair, chairing a discussion on inequality. And we had lots of really interesting thoughts from the floor about, you know, looking at challenges and ways to address them, and there’s a big argument that populism has been driven by an anger about this, people at the sharp end of globalization. And Anne-Marie, you just brought it up. And you’ve talked of this globalization agenda not working for many Americans. So I do think—sorry about that. I will take charge of that. You know— Misbehavior. That’s a tactic I am using to distract her. I don’t use the (inaudible 00:14:01) but I use other tactics now. Now we are connected. I feel left out. So, as I was saying to Ernesto, the genie co-efficient of inequality has been higher in Latin American for a very long time, that you know, tremendous concentration of wealth at the elite level, and the gap then with the mass. I do think, I think that’s clearly part of it, the sense that, you know, there’s a small group just pulling further and further away. And go back to Occupy Wall Street, and it’s striking. Everybody said, oh, Occupy Wall Street didn’t have any political impact. That’s ridiculous. It changed the conversation in the election of 2012, the 1%, the 99%. What we saw this time around, was I think, a surge of, well, wait a minute, you know, the people being left behind, many of them had voted for Obama, and now they were voting for Trump. And essentially it was a, we are not part, even of this recovery, even when the macro in economics seem to be going well, the stock market is through the roof. It’s just broken. There’s a complete disconnection between what’s happening at the national economic level,and what’s happening in people’s lives. And economic globalization? What about that? Yeah, you know, globalization and technology together, you’ve all read, it’s really automation more than globalization. Now, those two things are connected, because globalization meant much thinner profit margins, which meant that then automation made much more sense. So definitely a big part of it. But what I see in the United States wasn’t just globalization, it’s things like the big box stores. Right? I mean the hollowing out of communities, of community stores. Of course, now with Amazon, even more so, so that local commerce disappeared. And we’ve been doing some economic geographies of places like St. Louis. And that, I think, I mean, globalization contributes, because of course, Walmart and Target could sell any number of things very cheaply because of globalization. But it isn’t as direct as, you know, the factory jobs went to Mexico. People often benefit from those cheap stores as well, so there’s two sides. Ernesto, you’re Director of the Study of Globalization. Where do you stand here? Well, the first thing I think of is the old Tina Turner song, What Does Love Have To Do With It? You know, it is true, of course, there are objective economic conditions in society that constitute the fertile ground for this kind of political tactic to be successful. But I think, at least in a forum like this we have to be a little bit more analytic than that. Because we have to distinguish, really, whether things like globalization, international trade, technological progress, are at the root of that economic and social condition, or whether that has happened because policies have been simply absent. To be up to the challenges that are posed by this modernity, by this globalization. I think the resource of some people, unfortunately some on the right, some on the left, you know, has been to blame the others. You know, to blame globalization, to blame, in the case of, right now in the United States, to blame China or even to blame Mexico, which is ridiculous. But you know, not talk about what has been done or has not been done in the United States, in terms of policies. I mean, what is the US doing in education? What is the US doing with its tax policies since the Reagan times? What is the US doing with other social policies? What is the US doing with training? What is the US doing with, you know, providing wage insurance? So, it’s very easy to say, oh, it’s about China, it’s about Mexico, it’s about bad income distribution. Yes, but who has said that you don’t need a government? Who has said that the invisible hand is going to solve every problem? Not even (inaudible 00:18:49) said that. But you’re also on the Board of Citibank, and I’m wondering there, whether that these kind of conversations are happening and people are starting to think about responsibility in that sphere? They came to happen after I became Board member. No, that’s not true. No, I came after the crisis, and I can tell you that it has been a very frequent topic of conversation. And is it taken seriously? Well, you know, for one thing we are here. Bob, where are you? I will make you speak if needed, in my defense. You know, because we believe that it is, of course, my fiduciary responsibility is to look after the interests of the shareholders. Which, by the way, happen to be, I guess, pensioners, ultimately, right? But we know that the institution will only be successful to the extent that we truly provide a good public service. Otherwise, it will not be possible, right? But, this is very important. It is not going to happen, and I keep fighting for this at the Board, because at heart I am a central banker, that’s my, you know, public service formation. So I sit there, more as a central banker than anything else, and I said, “You know, this is an industry that must be severely regulated. Period.” No, there is no other, we have to abide by that. You’re clearly right that there needs to be an analytical assessment of what is really going on. But I think the thing that springs to mind hearing you talk, is perception is reality. And at a certain point, it doesn’t matter, I don’t think, whether the root causes are actually domestic policy or international policy. If you have enough people who believe that globalization is at the root of it, you have, as you said, you know, the seed bed for which that sentiment can be exploited. It’s really interesting, if you look at the research as to how the Brexit vote breaks down, what differentiates the leavers from the remainers, is not a sentiment about globalization. Two thirds of the British public, well actually, two thirds of the British public are very suspicious of things, you know, the whole kind of like liberal agenda, global liberal agenda. But over 50% just don’t think that globalization is helping the UK. That’s not the differentiator in a way. It’s around things that are to do with identity, and group identity, and a fear of threat. So if there’s a, you know, at some point, if people are feeling that there are forces out there which are responsible for the decisions that affect their lives being taken out of their hands, that’s where we’ve got to get to. We’ve got to get to those communities and how people are experiencing each other on a much more immediate human level, I think. I would just add, that the policies were policies of globalization, right? When you were President, Bill Clinton was President, and his view was, we’re going to open markets, but we’re going to retrain. And that was a policy, and we did open markets, and we didn’t retrain. It’s not that we…we tried, but it didn’t work.
-We’re just going to have to put a bit of a hold, because I can see that we can have a fantastic conversation in this area, which is really, really brilliant, but— But one important point about…wait a minute. Misbehavior or what? It’s not sufficient to describe a problem. I think we are here to try to say, okay, not only the what but also the how. And I would say, yes, people must have some feelings, but it so happens they maybe have that feelings because, in part, they have been manipulated by demagogues. And I think in this country it’s very important to recognize that. That there have been a few, very successful demagogues. And there have been other people, who are not demagogues, but who have been incompetent in the field of politics. And I think that’s very important to say, because we are not going to start granting, right? So, okay, yes, people feel bad, and therefore, I will play by the music provided by the demagogues. I will never accept that. I want to move the conversation to talk about the other school of thought, the cultural drivers of populism. And I think, especially because in many ways I think that’s a really big challenge for my panel, and for people here. People have talked about, you know, the reason for populism being about these cultural differences, about cosmopolitan, about elite. Now, those terms are pretty uncomfortable put together, but the fact is, a lot of people here thrive on being cosmopolitan, on flying, on engaging with people with very different lives of their own. And that isn’t the case for all of people in all countries, and there’s a kind of feeling of revolt. And I’m just wondering, Gemma, what you’ve started to do research as part of your new project. What are you throwing up here? Well I think, speaking as somebody who has, you know, lived in the world and felt very comfortable with that experience. I think, honestly, one of the most important starting points is recognizing where you are personally part of the problem. And what I mean by that, is that it’s very difficult to understand, when you have adopted and become familiar and comfortable with a certain set of language, how that is perceived and felt by others. And I don’t think we necessarily comprehend or understand how it is experienced as quite extreme, how it is reacted to with some kind of deep suspicion. And part of this doesn’t need to be about abandoning our values, that’s not what it is about. It’s about understanding how we are experienced by other people. Because, at the moment I think part of what is happening, is that you have two fairly strong-minded polls talking to each other. And there are a lot of people who occupy the middle space, who are very anxious. Who don’t necessarily identify strongly with either those who are, you know, quite nativist or nationalist in their outlook, or those who are deeply, comfortably kind of cosmopolitan and globalist in their outlook. And that’s an alienating experience, and we need to understand why it is an alienating experience and then how to have a conversation which doesn’t make people more fearful, rather than less. And I know you are particularly interested in masculinity and some of the challenges around that, which also feed in, Anne-Marie. I am. Just on that, I’m reading the David Goodhart’s Road to Somewhere, which I do think, it’s controversial, but it is exactly around the idea that we are the anywheres. We are the people who are comfortable anywhere and crave that. Although we have our own tribe, that’s what this week is about. Is meeting members of our own tribe, versus people who are much more grounded and deeply suspicious of people who would say, we should treat Syrians the same way as Americans, or Mexicans the same way as Americans. I mean, I’m a globalist, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying, no, if you’re in the American government, your job is to put Americans first. You have to do that first. It’s obvious, but clearly when Donald Trump said it, because that’s exactly his mantra, even though he has other very bad associations, a lot of people clearly felt that was not the view of the Democrats. But on the sense of cultural displacement, it’s also, you know, the margin in many of these States, and it was close, and yes, the popular vote, Hilary, won. But in these States, where white men, working class white men, who felt, judging by the research, that their worlds had been turned upside down. Which is certainly true. All the things that I celebrate as a woman in my nearly 60 years on the planet, you know, for men, particularly white men in that same time, everything I celebrate as a victory, every, you know, way I celebrate reversing gender roles and creating opportunity, that for many men who cannot support their family, and that was their role, they find that, I think, profoundly disorienting. And one of the things we’re seeing, when you look at the White House and you see these pictures of nothing but white men who are now making decisions for the rest of us. There was a very good piece by Jill Filipovic that said, that’s deliberate, because that’s reestablishing an order that is an order that many people want to get back to. Really interesting. So, as we begin to think and start to think about some of the solutions to populism, as you guys have identified it. And to think about creating alternative narratives, to sort of seize that opportunity. What do you think are the most fruitful areas to explore? I’m actually not entirely, kind of, pessimistic about this. What I think we can see there, in the way you exactly articulated, is that there’s a desire to be re-rooted in the self. And there’s a desire to have an identity that feels firm and secure, and local, actually. And I don’t think that this is so alien to the people in this room. I think there’s something happening, whether it’s because of the roller-coaster of technology, whether it’s because, actually, maybe, an elongated experience of a global identity feels a bit dis-rooted after a time. I think there are many people for very different reasons, who are yearning community, and yearning a different kind of emphasis on human relations. And that is where the potential lies. I think there’s a, you know, a recourse, actually, to what feels like an older and maybe gentler times, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I think we need to embrace it, and I think we need to really look into, you know, what are the kinds of ways of building community and reconnecting people who’ve grown suspicious of each other, but I firmly believe, at the end of the day, may want similar things. And that’s where we need to get to. And what are your thoughts? I deeply agree with the caveat that we have to reinvent those communities. So again, so I emphasize family, and family as a way of, you know, being rooted, being grounded. But I then emphasize a family is however you want to construct it, right? A strong family can be a flexible family. That can be your biological family, it can be the people you want to love and care for, and I really don’t care how that’s configured. But how do you talk to people who do have very different ideas of what a family should constitute? So, I think you start with the emphasis on family. So if I’m talking to not just Republicans, but a particular kind of Republican in the United States, faith, family and flag. Those are the three, you know, kind of rooted ways, rooted communities. A religious community, a national community, family community. And I— And guns, too. Well, but, okay. Yeah. Yeah. When you do that, that is exactly what people think you’re going to do, and why they vote for Donald Trump, because we sneer. I will continue fighting against guns and atomic bombs, and everything that kills people. I will fight in many ways, but I also grew up in Virginia where lots of people had rifles. …populists or to anybody, that is wrong. But you don’t really think that just someone who—so, alright, hand guns, obviously, I want gun control too, but somebody who grows up in the west, in the south, where people have guns, they hunt, we’re not going to say that those people are somehow, what? There is not much to hunt in the inner city in the US. I agree with that. But that’s not where the fault line is. But Zedillo, what do you think? I mean, in terms of not wanting to put people into being morally outraged, and into a corner beyond the pale, how do you think that we can begin to have real conversations with people who deeply think differently? The fundamental problem, is about inclusion. You know, how do you make people feel, with objective elements, that they have a chance to be part of what others are enjoying? You know, what I don’t accept is that we start playing this game, oh yes, there must be something right in these politicians. Never mind that they are lying to people. Never mind that they are manipulating people to grab power. There must be something right. I think we have to respect, you know, the fundamentals, but also question in which way the system can work for people. And I think that’s about policies and institutions. But if we start to play in this rather nebulous field of feelings, because you know, feelings are created by circumstances. So why don’t we think about the objective circumstances that can modify those feelings. Of course, I have great respect for the culture of individuals, families, communities. But on the other hand, there is a shock, a technological shock, of communication. And I have read her article, speaking about the new book, you should read the book that is coming by Anne-Marie Slaughter, and I think she’s quiet upon that in that she’s not applying that at this moment here, but I recommend the book. It’s going to be great, you know. So we cannot say, you know, something nostalgic, you know, like the political thing that is being said now in your country, make the US great again. Come on, the US has not been as great as it is today, in terms of economic and political and international power, so what is that stupidity? Again, I mean, what’s the empire in decline. All of that is manipulation, so people are thinking about a romantic past that never existed…
-But wait a second, you’re talking about politicians, and we’re talking about people, and engaging— Some politicians are also people.
-I mean, not that politicians aren’t people. But Ernesto, I would challenge you. So, I took the train from London to Oxford on Tuesday morning, and I wanted to cry. Because it’s a train that works, and goes when it was supposed to, on decent tracks. You got lucky, Anne-Marie. Okay. But, you know, I spend my life in infrastructure that is crumbling, right? Yeah. So even I have this sense the country is coming apart in various ways. There’s a lot of good stuff that’s happened, but there’s a lot that really is broken. Our democracy is broken. It is broken. I have no way, as an American, either to run for office, or to make sure that what a majority of people want, gun control is a good one, the majority of Americans want sensible gun control, there’s no way to make that happen. Our infrastructure is broken, our democracy is broken, and for many people, our economy’s not working. But we want to talk more about some of the solutions, in order to— Move. To move, and to move out of this space. Gemma, you’ve been starting to do some research. What’s coming up here? Well, I mean, I think there’s the importance of differentiating between politicians who are manipulative of the circumstance, and there I completely agree with you, and people who are responding to a combination of circumstances of the world, driven partly by what is, for sure, objectively present economic inequality, created by policies as much as anything else as individual people. The pace of technology. I think we have to look there at social media, at the fragmentation of voice, the experience of an intensification of moral outrage from different people. And if we unpick that, I think, you know, actually Anne-Marie’s book is about systems, right? And we need to look at what has changed within the system that has allowed people who I do not think are necessarily bad people, are not themselves manipulative, or, you know, craven destroyers of the fabric of our institutions. But they are nevertheless, responding to something which is being told to them, about the only way you will get your control back, your agency back, the things that you care about for your children, is to follow us, we are the only solution. And the only way in which, I think, we get out of that trap, and we need to get out of it quickly, is to hear that and understand it, and do a combination of probably three things. Yes, one, look at what are the systemic policies that need to change the economy, for sure. Two, look at what are the narratives that we are using, which are being very, very polarizing, and we need to study that, and we need to learn how to change them so that we start to have the same conversation together. And the third, is that we need to meet people where they are. This is about experience, and emotions matter here. They do, deeply. Like, the psychology tells us that people are increasingly making decisions based on a subconscious response to their context, that is a relational, emotional experience, and we need to get far more sophisticated at understanding what’s going on there. So we’re not only thinking with our heads about this, but really engaging people’s hearts. It sounds corny, but we’ve got to do it. And how do we begin to have those conversations, to bring people together who aren’t, at the moment, talking to each other? Well, I mean, I go back to the community. I think it’s around giving people what they need, right? We’re not going to get people talking to each other because we say, “People, talk to each other, it’s going to make you feel great.” No, there’s a lot to fix. Like as Anne-Marie said, whether it’s the trains in the US, or we all know here in the UK there’s many, many things that are broken at the local level or at the national level that we can make better. I think it’s, you know, the most inspiring people in my life, or among them, was my grandparents, who were of the World War Two generation, and that was a generation of fix it. Get together with people and fix stuff. And that’s what we need to get back to. That’s not, I don’t think, a—I agree with you, there needs to be a reinvention, it can’t be back to, you know, an older, less permissive kind of society, but there is something there about just getting together with people, and making each other’s lives better in a way that is reciprocal, and practical. And I think that’s where we’re going to see some of the creative— I think there is, and I acknowledge, of course, that perceiving, taking into account, emotions and feelings, is very important. But responding emotionally to those emotions, when you have a public responsibility, either on purpose to manipulate people, or by being naive, or ignorant, can be terrible. Of course. And let’s try to touch upon the most difficult problem, I think that has created a lot of what we are seeing. And that’s the topic of international migration, either for humanitarian or for economic reasons. Of course, there is a feeling, of course, there is an emotion by people who belong to a country, when somebody from another country moves, and probably objectively, or just in their mind, competes for something, that it’s supposed to be available for the locals. But again, you know, and I think that’s the most difficult problem we are confronting, really. It’s a little bit about trade, it’s a little bit about investment, but that’s the real issue about globalization. But again, I go back, no, I go back to policies and institutions. But it’s a lot about the perception of immigrants, because when they’ve done research, they’re not— Okay, yes. But the perception, in part, has been created by policies and by the failure of institutions. Even humanitarian migration, I don’t think it has been managed in the right way. Economic migration has not been managed. I think if Cameron had negotiated, explicitly, some additional safeguards, some leeway, to be able to do a better policy on that, I don’t think Brexit will be happening. And this is a very concrete example, you know, in which it’s not only about taking into account emotions. Because you try to create policies with emotions, it’s a failure. You have to take into account needs, emotions, but make sure to do the right thing.
-Anne-Marie. Alright, I think we all agree that there is an incredibly important emotional component, and you have to respond to it. That doesn’t mean letting emotion drive policy, but it does mean being aware of that component. But on solutions. So I’ll speak for the United States, I’m not going to presume, and I’m fascinated with what Gemma’s saying about the UK. But in the United States, there are a couple of things. One is really getting off the coasts and out of the big cities, and going, really working in communities, many of our hometowns. New America’s spending a lot of time looking at smaller communities, smaller cities, heartland cities in the south and southwest, where a lot of great stuff is happening. And part of it is lifting that up. It’s exactly the kind of work that many of you do. There are social entrepreneurs all over the place. They might not use that term, I think they would think that they’re problem solvers, they’re people who are pulling together, often across political lines. Pulling together, you know, the non-profits, the business leaders in smaller towns, there is still more of an attitude of being a business leader means caring for the community in various ways. Minnesota has a long tradition there, and that’s starting to come back. So really, working in communities, and celebrating what’s happening. But the other thing, at least in the United States we need, is a patriotic narrative about standing for something more than national interest. And it is critical that we become more comfortable with the language of patriotism. The American left is not comfortable with the language of patriotism, and I understand why, for many reasons. On the other hand, it is very important that you not seed love of country to a particular group of people who have a very narrow, in my view, definition of what the idea of America is. And in my view, the United States stands for universal values. We often don’t live up to them. But that is a core part of what it means to be an American, and to, you know, talk about the nation and the world, and the relationship between the nation and the world, in ways that our military’s comfortable with, in terms of serving the country. Many people more on the right, who have the sense of this love of country. That’s an emotional connection that I think many people on the left are uncomfortable with or even disdain, in a way that we cannot do. It is very important that we have a capacious idea of American that is also grounded in our history, in our better moments, not our worst ones. Thank you very much. I want to turn to the floor. You could have brilliant comments or questions. You’ve got to keep them brilliant and brief. So, you’ve got to wait for the microphone, and also just please say who you are at the beginning as well. So, any people, I can’t quite see out there. I see a lady over there halfway. In fact, let’s take a couple, and then this gentleman over here. And then that gentleman over there in the grey top. So if we do in that order, that will be fantastic, thank you. So yeah, number one over here, this lady here. Okay, thank you. Hi. Laurie Garrett from the Council on Foreign Relations. I want to ask you to comment regarding actual empirical data. So, this is data that I’ve gleaned from the Oxfam on the left, World Bank/World Economic Forum in the middle, Nick Eberstadt in American Enterprise Institute on the right, and they all agree. Okay? The first thing they agree on, is that the economy of wealth of the world is around 250 trillion dollars. The second thing they agree on, is that starting in 1990, the wealth of world shifted from geographic concentration, in the old colonial powers, if you will, in the United States, North America, to tremendous reduction in extreme poverty in the world. And at least two billion people came out of extreme poverty. And that is tremendously positive. However, what this, at the same time did, was see a shrinking of the middle classes in the United States, in much of Europe, particularly southern Europe, and now we see the same trend occurring in Brazil. The question has been raised, is it possible— if you keep waving your arm at me I’m not going to stop talking. The question has been raised repeatedly. Is it possible to have global wealth distribution that ends extreme poverty without it being at the expense of moderate wealth in developed countries? My response would be, well, let’s start with getting 37 trillion that’s in dark money tax havens, out of tax havens. 37 trillion would build Anne-Marie’s infrastructure. And let’s also deal with the fact that according to Oxfam, 1% of global wealth, in the top 1% excuse me, control as much as 99% of the rest of the world. So, how do you deal with these? I mean, that’s a source of populism. That’s a source of rage. Thank you very much. Let’s just hear from this gentleman down here, thank you. My answer is to spend more on education and less on guns. Big guns and small guns. Thank you. My name’s Eddie Mandhry, I’m with Yale University. Michael Moore, describing the rise of Donald Trump, said his supporters essentially saw in Donald Trump, a human Molotov cocktail, that they were throwing at the establishment. Steve Bannon has declared that their job is to deconstruct the administrative state. I’m curious as to whether you feel like, you know, there’ s moment here, where there’s the reactivation of peoples’ civic impulses to be reengaged in the political process, and is there an opportunity that this kind of disruption can lead to new social contracts, that allow for greater inclusion and governments that deliver for we, the people, and people who require their support. Thank you very much. And we do want to kind of—we’re looking at solutions particularly here today. There was somebody over there who… yeah, you’ve got your mic. So my name is Kai Grunauer and I work for UBS, and I have a question for President Zedillo. I come from Ecuador. And I have experienced first-hand the consequence— You come from? Ecuador. So, I have experienced first-hand the consequences of populism. And it seems to me that populist governments in Latin American tend to be more resilient now. We see Venezuela is a country that’s being destroyed by populist policies, and the government is still there. And we might have a populist government in Mexico in two years’ time from now. What do you think the future of populism in Latin America is going to be, in the next five, ten years? It’s a good question, and also, what can the rest of the world learn from Latin America, given your experience in many countries of defeating populism? Well, first I will respond directly to you, because I think you are very much marked by the experience of Venezuela, and to some extent, in Ecuador. What we have seen historically, in Latin America, is that when populists come to power at a time of say, a commodity boom, they have to be lucky, because they have money and then they have money to spend and to do whatever they want to preserve power, misleading people. But when the commodity boom is over, then they run into difficulties. Now, in the case of Venezuela, it’s not that people continue to adore Mr. Chávez or Mr. Maduro, it’s that unfortunately Venezuela has moved, since a few years ago, into being a highly repressive, almost a police state. And we have seen how more and more, you know, the Venezuelan government has suppressed, or tried to suppress, very fundamental elements of a democratic system, including the physical existence of opposition, by putting them in jail. So it’s not that they system is resilient, per se. It is that they are abusing power to keep power. That’s very different. In the case of Ecuador, I think it was the case of somebody who was very lucky, but also that didn’t cross some red lines. I think the case of your country is somewhat different from the case of Venezuela. But now they have run out of luck. Money is gone. And we will see what happens with the new government in Ecuador. I don’t think they will have the conditions that prevail in the previous ten years. With the question over here about the opportunities that populism affords in terms of civic engagement. Gemma, what are your thoughts?
-Well, it has to. I mean, it must. And I think that it’s, hence, you know, on a very personal level, a feeling of wanting to engage in this quite deeply. I think there are opportunities there, for the reasons that I’ve said about what I think people actually want in common. And I think also, looking at what’s at stake, you talked a lot, and I think that’s right, about what we really need to look at here, is the link between populism and authoritarianism, and that’s why we fear it. One, because experience shows it doesn’t deliver. But the second is, of what it seeds. And authoritarianism, you know, there’s a clear link to show those who are attracted towards populism are attracted to an authoritarian mindset, a disposition, and that is very much linked to an anxiety about identity, based on the literature of that. So, how do we go towards that, and how do we go towards— I don’t think we do it by talking about how we build, necessarily, overtly kind of inclusive societies, and you know, the project, as Anne-Marie says, is one of common endeavor, where we are building for each other, a future that we all find valuable, which may have many different characteristics that we want it to have. But it’s rooted in things which are of common value, and finding a new kind of patriotism, the kinds of countries we want for tomorrow that can withstand technological change, and do give people jobs and survive automation, and celebrate the kind of policies that are going to be soberly adopted to enable us to have a great future. And that’s what it needs to look at. On Monday night when I was having dinner, Tuesday night, I was talking to Pooran Desai, who’s one of the Skoll awardees, and I told him about this discussion, and then he said to me, “But look, there’s all this negative talk of populism, what can we learn from populism?” And I thought that was a really interesting reframe. And, Anne-Marie, have you got any thoughts about that? Well, I think in part, again, Gemma said you need people where you live. And the reason we had that exchange over guns, is one of the reasons that I think populism turns to authoritarianism is populism feeds on hate, and it feeds on demonization and othering. And so, when I sort of said that about, you know, when Barack Obama said they cling to their religion and their guns, or Hilary said, deplorables, I may have known what they meant, but that kind of talk is so easily then, they can demonize the other side. And so part of what I think you have to learn is to fight back against any kind of disdain, of contempt, of sneering. There are, of course, borders, there’s absolute, you know, there’re things that you can’t say, that you shouldn’t say, but we need to widen the conversational space, we need to be able to have conversations that are hard for us to have. In response to your point, for instance, there’s a lot I don’t like about Steven Bannon, believe me. I actually think the administrative state doesn’t work very well. In a world where technology changes every two months, five months, one month. We’ve got an administrative procedure act that was invented in 1946, that takes roughly three to five years to get a regulation passed. So, part of what I would want to do is to say, let’s actually talk about this. Let’s not assume that the administrative state is a good thing. Let’s hear what people are lifting and try to then presume good intent, and to have a conversation about what could be done, in ways that I think a lot of people who are voting for these people want, even though we see the worst of them. Just a clarification, because when I speak, for example, about guns, I don’t do it with disdain. I do it with something much worse. More than 100,000 people have died in Mexico over the last eight years. Why? Because of a very stupid drug policy that we have, that was somehow culturally imposed by the United States on Mexico and the world. And most of those people who have died, have died with American guns. Right? Because there’s a huge traffic of guns from the US into Mexico. So, it is not with disdain, is with a rage. Of course people can have guns, or can have whatever bad things they want to have, but it has to be properly regulated. And that is not the case in the United States. And this is something that is offered by the US, but also by people all over the world. And of course, the US is not the only big guy guilty in this. The others, Russia and China, the big producers of weapons, are guilty. But this is a very serious issue, and cannot be put, oh, you know, it’s in the American culture. It’s part of the—well, yes, but you know, we’re in the 21st Century, so why don’t we try to think what civilization means today? But Ernesto, you know I agree with you. I hope. Of course. You know I agree with you. But I also know, and I know a majority of Americans want at least handgun regulation, assault rifle regulation. It’s appalling what is happening. But I also know, even Barack Obama couldn’t even get, you know, a dent in gun control, in part, because of exactly a kind of populist reaction that says, they’re going to take our guns. So unless you at least try to understand that culture, you can’t make the political change that you and I both want. Let’s hear some more thoughts from the floor. You’ve got to keep them brief, or I’m going to be waving my arms in a really embarrassing way, and you don’t want that. There’s somebody way up at the top waving her arms madly. There’s a lot of embarrassing arm waving going on over here. Particularly, we’re looking at solutions. And I’m also interested in social entrepreneurial solutions if people want to just briefly say. So, we’ve had a lady here, at the far, let’s hear from you. And then let’s hear from the woman here near the front. And then let’s hear from this person over here who’s doing great arm waving at the very, very back. Okay, so go on, shoot away, and say who you are. Good afternoon. My name is Ladan Manteghi, I’m with the Social Progress Imperative. I have a question, which is regarding solution, and that is, in the context of populism, the problem is often stated, and you all have as well, around a sense of the economy and jobs and the effect economically. In terms of the solutions that you all have been talking about, you’ve been speaking purely in a social context, whether they’re policies or otherwise. So, there is this disconnect, not only from you, but in the conversation, defining the problem and the way we’re saying the solutions need to be faced. How do we reconcile? …some of the responsibility, because I did ask them, because there’s been so much discussion at the forum about poverty, and solutions to poverty and inequality. So I did think that, because it’s a big challenge looking at the culture. So, I don’t think it’s—these guys would, you know, really love to talk about some of those things as well, so I take some responsibility. Not at all. It’s actually the way that the conversation is happening generally. So the way people think the problem is, it’s defined in a way where, I don’t have a job anymore, yet underneath it, it really is the social issues. But how do we reconcile addressing this perception of it being an economic problem? Interesting. Where are we going to go to number two? Who was number two? Yes, this lady over here. Hi, I’m Jane Bloch with the Skoll Global Threats Fund. Sort of building up from that, I actually do have a question for each of you about what is the social solution in your mind? You’ve got this dichotomy between us versus the other of, you know, ownership versus blame, of patriotism versus populism. In the world that’s now being increasingly split up into camps and tribes, what are your ideas for how to bring that back together? Let’s hear from the person that was waving beautifully at the back. Thank you. My name’s Mandeep Rai and I just wanted to focus on values. It’s a word that you’ve all used, so I’d like all of you to respond, and we’ve noticed, we’ve seen how values can divide us. How we vote in different directions, because we’re voting according to our values which are in our subconscious, as you rightly said. Give us concrete examples of where values, firstly, how can we use values to unite us? Give us some examples of that. And secondly, you say anywhere, somewhere. Some concrete examples of communities that really are working together based on their values. Thank you. I’ve been told we’ve only get 10 minutes for the whole discussion, so we’re going to have to just pick up small things. Let’s kick off first with values. How do we use values positively in response to populism? Gemma. Maybe a concrete example on this one. So, a piece of research that we’ve been looking into, is actually to your point around migration, the fear of other, particularly around refugees, because it’s a particularly extreme manifestation, like, of fear. And in many cases, like a legitimate worry about like, strains on the services of nations, and you know, things like that. There’s a lot going on under there. One of the things that we looked at was how can people have true, genuine experiences of the other, that is truly transcendent of like natural inclination of what you’d think about someone? So, Airbnb did this really interesting experiment where, around Thanksgiving, which is a very patriotic, safe celebration for people across the American population. They brought together American families with a new American. And new American, the person that it was in this case, it was an Afghan who’d been an interpreter for the US military. And around that table was also an octogenarian, who was a enthusiastic Trump supporter. And over the course of that dinner, the encounter that those two men had, talking about the experience of the Afghan interpreter in Afghanistan, had so much impact on the octogenarian, who also cared passionately about his country and about his military, hearing about the service, hearing about the dedication, that he left that dinner saying that he felt that the man that he had just met, who in normal circumstances he may have been, you know, fearful of, or not understand, was emblematic of the best of America. Now, that’s over one dinner. And I think, you know, that’s exactly what we’ve got to try and look at, is how do we provide and learn from the kinds of human encounters that can enable us to transcend what would otherwise be inclinations or instincts that don’t enable us to truly get to realize what are the common values that underpin our experience and our wishes for the future. Anne-Marie. Well, it was a range of questions. I love that. I want to try to answer the two. First place, I don’t know the answers, I’m trying very hard to think about them and to read, and I find it striking that both Gemma and I have spent our lives doing foreign policy and have the same sense, at least I do, that my time’s better spent studying my own country. But I do think we need a set of answers, and part of them are economic answers. The future of work should actually be alarming many more than people who had industrial jobs. Lawyers, doctors, professional jobs. If you really look at what’s coming with AI, we have to have an account of how people are going to work. And it’s not going to be universal basic income. Even if it is, you still need work, right? And so, trying to answer future of work, family centered social policy, really thinking about how to build communities, thinking about tech policy. But the key to me, is thinking about those answers, independent of political support. Because, just look at healthcare in the United States. There are a lot of answers, but we never even put them on the table because the insurance companies would be opposed, and we’d never get it through. Or we’d never be able to think about a new antitrust policy because companies many of us rely on would be very opposed to that. So I do think there needs to be a set of answers that you reach, before you think about the politics. And who knows where those politics go, but right now, I’m a Democrat, but I think the Democrats won’t do a lot of things because they are completely dependent on a completely corrupt campaign finance system. So that’s where I would start. You’re nodding there, Zedillo? Well, I think, yes, even before we speak about the politics, again, we have to speak about policies that are consistent with the challenges we have in front of us. And I think you force me to put it in a few words, you know, it’s about what? It’s about investing in human capital, in a clever way. It’s updating and improving social safety nets. And to do all that, whether conservatives like it or not, you know, you have to have more redistribution, and more progressive tax policies. Period. And some people have an ideological issue with this in your country, you know? They say, no, no, no, you know, the government is the problem, not the solution, you know? Some people are, you know, trying to play with Mr. Trump, for only one reason. Because they want to see their taxes, corporate and otherwise, reduce. And they are not thinking about the social consequences of that. And that, I think, is absolutely self-defeating. Because that is not going to strengthen, but rather it’s going to weaken terribly, the United States. I would say, you know, one thing that should be valid for the whole world, if you want to have more inclusive society, is to fight hard for universal health coverage. Right? Period. Right? Is it the British model? I don’t know. Is it the Canadian model? I don’t know. Is it the model that is being tried in some developing countries? But for me, as I have told my fellow elders, you know, universal health coverage can be the salvation of capitalism. And I want to save capitalism. But here is where I think there is a hopeful convergence. Like, the majority of the population in this country think the economic system is rigged. Rigged. And it is. Right? So, if there is a consensus that it is rigged, and I was speaking to a fascinating psychologist today, based in Oxford, who was saying that the brain— he was looking at the belief structure in how we form beliefs and how we change beliefs. And apparently in times of challenge or crisis, yes, we are quicker to change our belief in a negative way, but we are also more able to change profound, deep-seated beliefs that we have. So we are starting to see, within the business community, within the political community, deep, existential reflection that has not been present, certainly in my lifetime, I don’t think, and that’s an opportunity that is, I think, a moment at which we can rethink things on a deep, structural level, that would enable policies to come to the fore that would have been politically impossible in previous times. And politics, I say, but you will know far better than me, presuming there’s a relationship between those who forge and conceive of policy, and those who will enable and accept it. You know, the pollists, the people, and if we are seeing a shift in perception, yes, that is dangerous, but it also is the seeds of a conversation, and actually a contemplation of fundamentally restructuring society for the better, including the economic apparatus that underpin it. Thank you very much.
-Hear, hear. Thank you. A really, really great, well, wide ranging discussion. Just a very quick thought of things that I’ve picked up. Latin America being the champion of the word populism, the recognizing— Not yet, not yet. Fortunately. Not yet. Recognizing that you might be part of the problem, and that we might be experienced as extreme. The desire to have an identity that feels firm and secure, and local. The smaller heartland cities that are really doing some great stuff that needs lifting. That learning to live with love of country. The opportunities of a time of crisis, that you were saying just now, on changing people’s minds, and allowing us to change our own minds. And the great benefit of a good Thanksgiving dinner. So, I’d like to thank my stellar panel, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Gemma Mortensen and Ernesto Zedillo. And a really great audience, and I just so wish we had more time to discuss this important topic, because there’s so many interesting things that I feel we have only just touched upon. And something that Michael Franti said yesterday in his beautiful, wonderful celebration, he said, “Don’t convince, connect.” I think he was quoting somebody else, but I thought that was lovely. So, in honor of that thought, before we go, I just want to offer a small suggestion to you. Is to, when you leave this space, and when you leave the Skoll World Forum, I know it’s going to be tough, but you’re going to do that. When you leave this community here, I want you to seek out people who have values and ideas which are different to your own, and have a really meaningful conversation in which you are going, mainly, to listen. Thank you very much indeed.

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