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tv   Book Discussion on Flashpoints  CSPAN  February 7, 2015 8:00pm-9:01pm EST

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. . >> on behalf of the owners of politics and prose, thank you for coming out and good evening on this wintry night. i would like to remind everyone to turn or silencer cell phones as well as i would like to remind everyone that we are recording the event. when it is time to ask questions, please use the audience microphone which is right there so that your question will be recorded as
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well. and also if you could at the end of the event -- can you hear me? [inaudible] >> is it on now? is this okay? >> [inaudible] >> if you can also fold up your tears at the end of the evening and put them against a nearby shelf, that would be very helpful. okay. is this better? [inaudible] >> okay. also on your way out be sure to grab a schedule that has our events. politics and prose is hosting a lot of wonderful events in partnership with us boys and poets. be sure to check it out. now to introduce our guest author tonight george friedman is a political scientist, author and ceo of the private
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intelligence corporation that he founded in 1996. yes written many books and his most recent include two dark times bestsellers. the first one is "the next decade" and "the next forecast." he has been invited to speak at many military and government organizations and as well he appears as an international a affairs expert for such magazines as fortune, "newsweek" and others just to name a few. george is here to talk about his new book "flashpoints: the emerging crisis in europe." if this title sounds dramatic, it is because the subject matter warrants it. we point to the stunning fact that in the first half of the 20th century, 100 million europeans died as a result of war and genocide purges and disease and the like. george immediately set it up
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putting this into the larger context of history and prevents to us a real possibility that the conditions that led europe to self-destruct in the last century could persist into the next. it has made it it all the more relevant and his family originally from budapest only narrowly survived world war ii and the beginning of the cold war. this book is the work of a political scientist and also as george makes clear, a study motivated connection to these historical events. please join me in welcoming george friedman. [applause] [applause] >> good evening. i always feel inadequate at politics and prose. i am reminded of how many books i have not read. [laughter] i wrote this book for two
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reasons. the first was that when i publish the next hundred years i forecasted that the european union could not survive in the form that he had taken. this was written in 2006 and 2007 published in 2008 and was preposterous. i wanted to revisit it and more because europe is so central to human history in the past 500 years. what happens in europe is something that happens everywhere but it is uniquely influential in the world. and the second reason that i wanted to write this book as mentioned is that i am hungarian and i was born in hungary and my life and my family's life is bound up with the geopolitics of
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europe. my father's and brothers fought in that war and tortured families for a long time. they made their lives in love in starting a business in the kind of liberalism of hungry between the wars. they survived the holocaust and found themselves to be hunted by the communists and social democrats. at the age of six months i was put on a river out with my father and mother and 11-year-old sister. and we paddled across the danube on august 9 in 1949. we were told that searchlights were playing across the water and guard towers with machine guns were there and leaving was a matter of life and death. the cold war had begun in
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earnest and on both sides the sense of foreboding was deep. i was six months old and i was drugged because had i cried out at night, we would die. so my life came from this place, from the torture of what i call the 31 years, the years in 1914 -- 1945 30 years in which europe went from an extraordinarily civil union and decent place to a life of extraordinary barbarism. my family was shaped with that. my father's nightmares, my mother's nightmares every night. every night they would head back. and for me, the cold war was a defining element of my life in many ways. background of this period of
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time. and so they came to accept being genuinely american and now living in texas of all places you can be more american than that. [laughter] and so [inaudible] growing up in new york, moving around the country i always had this tension between myself as an american, which is where i went to school and grew up. and with hungarian, which was my first language, so i wrote this book. there was a deep paradox in europe. on the one side it conquered the world and stated this nature. it transformed man's relationship to each other. when europe started in the 15th
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century the mongolians had never heard of the congolese and the congolese have never heard of the aztecs and each thought themselves in their own. what they did with love and strife and for her was to create a humanity. everyone became aware of everyone else to the point that for the first time and the enlightenment, a single concept of humanity, that was an extraordinary achievement. up to that point in the world we did not know ourselves. we created his humanity. maybe not a common humanity, but a humanity in which we live. it also created in london paris on the eve of world war i, an extraordinary place of not just physical culture but of a place where on a night like this mozart would be played in the
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winter would be kept outside and lights were on and when you contend that with a century before, that is an extraordinary place. at the same time and never conquered itself, but many tried. the spanish, the french, the english, the germans, the dutch war after war after war they could never come together permanently. they could never be subjugated and the geography of europe made it impossible. europe is the second smallest continent in the world and today it has 52 sovereign nations. it is a place or you can drive for two hours in northern europe and encounter for languages. all of them difficult to understand in many ways. what is important about europe is that it conquered the world
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and it conquered and brought a singular culture of science to the world and yet never stopped being at war with itself. it never stopped this constant warfare. but it seemed like it was ending. in 1910, a man called norman was an extremely bright man one nobel prize committee wrote a book called the great illusion where he demonstrated there could be no serious wars in europe because the level of interdependency the exposure in the financial markets if there was a war, the consequences for trade made such a war impossible. we look back and throughout my riding writing of this book, i kept remembering norman, the absolute, and if he will certainty that europe had put
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its history behind it. the absolute smug conviction that it couldn't happen any more. and this is with a person of enormous sophistication and enormous learning and yet he did not see what was coming right in front of him. and so that is a story that has to be told within itself. how you're convinced itself of its exceptionalism and i would argue convinced itself of european exceptionalism that it solves the problem of a war. it solved the problem of being depressive and poverty. and yet we remember that this is a piece of within itself of european history, and never more catastrophically in the eve of 1913 when this was happening.
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in 31 years europe went from being the center of gravity or to which the world has never seen to be occupied territory. one half occupied by the soviet union and one occupied by the united states. each treated their territory differently. but in the end european sovereignty was lost. it was not made in paris or london, but washington and moscow and i might add that given the nuclear weapons that they had, we noticed that the russians behave with the enormous prudence. we wonder what would have happened if the states in europe in 1914 or 1939 owned nuclear weapons. i think that we are fortunate.
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and from 1945 until the collapse of the soviet union in 1992 peace was not a gift that the europeans gave themselves. it was given to them by the americans and the russians. and it was only in 1992 when they collapse that the americans lost interest, that europe was truly sovereign. as in 1992 by coincidence that the treaty creating the modern european union, the eurozone and everything else went into existence. and it did create a continent of enormous hope and promise and its spread to countries like greece that opened the door, greece would participate in the european experiment, promising that germany and france would
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never again be enemies. succeeded magnificently. but the years of 1992 and afterward among those prosperous years and there was a period of extraordinary prosperity and certainly they knew how to handle prosperity. because the founding principle contained in the documents with peace and prosperity, not like life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, prosperity and peace and left open the question what if there was no prosperity. what if there was no peace. what would happen then. but that from 1992 onward abstract meaning of this question, the european sense of exceptionalism it was believed that they had reached a plateau where they had learned the lesson that war does not pay and
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that understanding meant that there would be no war. and they learned that this was better than poverty and therefore there would be prosperity. and so all this changed in seven weeks in 2008. on august 8 2008 russian troops invaded georgia. this was not in itself transcending importance. but it announced that even the things he thought were gone in europe, the ghosts could come back to life. russia declared its presence with authority and its still playing itself out in the ukraine and elsewhere. the idea that the russian question had been settled in august 2000 it had demonstrated this is so many things in europe, everything appears settled, but nothing is permanently. seven weeks later the lehman
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brothers collapsed and the collapse of them was an event that the europeans thought well go there the american cowboys again, irresponsible and foolish, but it doesn't hit us. but oh, how badly it is. many european banks as we know started with the subprime mortgage crisis and many of them were as responsible as anyone else, they say you americans started this and i said you guys didn't have to buy it. but they did. and that's what they do. and the financial crisis ensued. the americans know how to deal with financial crises. against all reasonable laws the head of the federal reserve bank, the secretary of the treasury, and the major makers, the secretary of treasury read them the riot act about what is
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what we are going to do the next day. i cannot count the number of laws are broken. but as badly as the united states is hit, it did not cascade and cascade until we grew last quarter at 5%. and the europeans had never experienced this before. this was the fourth major crisis of this sort of the united states since world war ii. there were bond prices, the savings and loan crisis all of them solved in the same way, the government intervened and saved the bankers and then the bankers call the government they responsible for their behavior. it's a wonderful game that we play. and the europeans have no room to go into or no commonality. and there was no question. and they don't want to be allowed illinois.
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but in europe the question in germany versus greece, france versus germany this was the question, no one went into the room not because it was just the bankers that were out of order but in the end it was a treaty of sovereign nations i could go their own way and it was not a united states of europe. that came out more and more and more. so here was the fundamental problem of europe. germany is the fourth-largest economy in the world that exports 50% of gdp. one half of that going to the free trade zone of europe. germany needs the free trade zone desperately, which is why angela merkel is so belligerent
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and it's a bit of a bluff if they lose the free trade zone they are in huge trouble. so imagine if the united states exported 50% of its gdp. we export 9%. and half of that -- what would be the condition of canada and mexico two and so the germans use the euro because they had to to set prices in such a way that facilitated the exports and protected them from inflation. but they also created rules that made activity almost impossible. the tax structure of europe doesn't mean that the people that you have laid off are not your problem making activity impossible. so you would expect massive
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risk-taking that didn't occur because it couldn't happen and when it occurred it occurred on the black market because no one could afford the taxes. and there was no google that was going to emerge in europe. there was no microsoft that was going to challenge ibm and destroying the mainframe business. siemens, a corporation then was a corporation today and europe was constructed in such a way as to ensure the existing institutional corporations like siemens was preserved and that wave of constant innovation that destroyed and created new companies do not quite take place in the same way. so when the banking crisis of
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europe and the europeans tried to solve this problem and other banking crisis is hit them and the sovereign debt crisis was simply that all the country in the periphery, they could not pay back the loans. they couldn't pay off the bonds. denis greece was local runner of everything that happens and not the outlier. everything that happened in greece and eventually happens to everyone else. so the question was what is to be done and what was to be done was either forgive the debts or restructure them in some way or force the nations to pay back what they owed. there was a great debate between germany and the rest of europe and the germans voted for paying it back.
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and the result was austerity. and that posterity created a massive wave of unemployment. the unemployment rate today in spain is 23% yet the unemployment rate increase is 26%. when you take all of mediterranean europe, southern italy france the unemployment rate as it has been for years now, 20% and more that is an important number because that was about the unemployment rate of the great depression. southern europe is in a massive depression. german unemployment is at 5%. i'm not blaming the germans, the germans have built an industrial plant far greater than their own economy. they have to export and use the tools that they need it. the others consumed and didn't develop the industries. but when it came down to it
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there was no one experience anymore. the idea that we europeans have one is lost. germany is experiencing life in a different way than britain was and certainly in a different way than southern europe was and eastern europe facing this after reemerging in 2008 because the spaniards did learn about the russians, the germans didn't worry much about it. so what happened here was a fragmentation of europe and there was a greek experience and there was an italian experience. all of the national distinctions reemerged and the institutions remained in place but what it meant to be the europeans changed tremendously. think about who was affected.
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government employees were affected in the united states. he think of department of motor vehicles, and certainly even here, the government is far more. but in europe it's even more than in the united states. electrical engineers and government employees, the economy is we have a friend in greece who is an architect who checks houses after earthquakes and he used to earn 3000 euros a month and now he earns 800 euros a month. so even to those who are employed they are on the edge and well beyond it. when the poor become poorer, it is not a radical event. because the poor people understand what it is to be poor. it is misery compounded by misery.
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but when you are an architect or a doctor a professional in the middle class there is an expectation of how you will live and suddenly the middle classes of southern europe were plunged into a life that they never expected. for a great time there were expectations among the middle-class that it was going to get better. but this must be the way it was going to be. but it has been more than six years since 2008 and it's only gotten worse. and so what you see happening in europe is the rise of the kind of parties that you saw in the 1920s and 30s extreme right-wing parties and left-wing parties. all united in the idea that europe was a very bad idea and if we want out -- the right-wing
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party says by the way send the muslims home and the greeks not mentioning them. but the mainstream parties of europe that created the european union are being challenged even in britain by the united kingdom independence party and in spain and france parties that have been marginal or nonexistent until recently are now as in greece are a forerunner of all things taking power. what they are saying is that we cannot live in this europe. in the end the problem of europe is simply this. it is a coalition of nations who are they are for peace and prosperity. and if they do not have prosperity, what is the point of
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being here? this was the same problem that the united states had when we were founded, a we were called the united states, emphasizing the states and not the nation. we had a problem of this sort, which is the economy of the south and the economy with the moral understanding of what the united states meant and we met at gettysburg for a great conference. and we agreed with much blood and violence and horror that this was one nation under god, indivisible. with hopefully liberty and justice for all. who will die to preserve the european union remap who will go to gettysburg and where will the grand army of the republic be raised from? and there is no center of
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gravity beyond an economic center. the basic reality of europe, which is a continent of nationstates who share this remains the case we have just seen the decision by the european central bank to do what is called qe. it's a little too late but it's interesting to see how they do it. the european central bank will not distribute this money. each of the national banks will print the money and they are allowed to buy only their own debt. why is that? because no nation wants to take part in the default of another nation. no nation wants to be liable for another nations bear responsibility. each nation wants to control how
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it is spent. they don't want the european central bank. they don't want them to decide what to buy and whatnot survive. and that does happen last week. and so the reemergence of this nationstate it reminds us not only that europe is divided but that for millennial as this has been a place of conflict and war. it may be coincidence and it may be part of the picture, but that was already there in the ukraine. with russia reemerging from the ashes, it is asserting the interesting claims and is being faced by nations like poland and romania who looked to nato to help them and nato is not going to help them because that is a loss of sovereignty and commitment. the americans in europe this
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weekend announced that the united states is going to be pre-positioning tanks in poland and hungary and the baltics and poland and romania and the baltics. and so that is quite a commitment that we have started to do. it is the united states that will take this role. and it's very important to understand that europe was never at peace. 100,000 people died in yugoslavia. but the europeans have said that with the european union it doesn't count. but what has happened here is that the countries that face russia, the baltics poland and romania we face them alone. the other europeans are not part of it. as if world war ii in the pacific seemed to be at risk and
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iowa wasn't really involved. and that is the real reality of europe. and so the nationstate represents a shared fate and shared history and shared culture. in one of the things the european union tried to do was not abolished the love of one's own but redefine it so that there were two loves, your country and also europe. it's pretty much what they tried to do in virginia at the revolution. it was very hard those few months. and this is the underlying crisis of europe today, which is increasingly the institutions that have held europe together between 1992 and 2008 that are collapsing.
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meetings are held, votes are taken, but the fundamental innards are not continued. before that. map of time before the russian occupation, europe was a nightmare. in my life would not be what it is if it had not been for this. so there is one fundamental question. so is it possible this time for europe to fragment into a nationstates and not resort to what resorted to before. war in europe is unthinkable though it is being waged in the ukraine. the idea that you can have european nationstates return to full sovereignty and not live with the consequences is the great test and i think ultimately you cannot have 52 countries living in the second
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smallest continent in the world and we don't want to count australia in a place where there are multiple histories and multiple languages and multiple narratives of what happened 500 years ago were a thousand years ago. if you wonder go to hungary and ask them about the romanians. ask the romanians about hungarians. it's hard to see when you're talking about the same history. they don't like each other. much of europe doesn't like each other and it's interesting to go back there and here are the germans speak of the absolutely dissolute greeks and the greeks speak of the return of german paratroopers. you would think that all this is past but it isn't. the question is where does it lead. and i do not think in european history there is any basis for
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optimism. so europe is not exceptional in my view, in my view they are returning after a short time to what it was. how bad it becomes becomes an interesting question because some nations hate each other, resent each other, and tell stories of how the others betrayed them and that is not an easy thing at the center of the world, the place that created the world in a single integrated entity, setting the stage for science and philosophy and mozart was a gift within itself, to realize that it is returning to the past. thank you very much. [applause] [applause] >> questions please remap. >> yes, if i may.
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i must say that i am from the caribbean. and i went to school [inaudible] and having said that, i must say that i am less optimistic in my vote. i see potential manufacturing with the periphery and we could see this fracturing depending on what happens in europe and greece. but even if that were to happen the european economic community france germany even spain england has always been a
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problem. >> not to the english. [laughter] >> not to the english but to the french and others and that can be a problem. so if you have a fracturing of europe, the fracturing is not going to in my opinion lead to a fracturing, i don't see that at all and i know both countries very well between france and germany. i simply do not buy that that may be true. okay, if that doesn't fracture that is a major potential of stabilizing aspect for europe as such. although there are problems on the perforating. >> most europeans don't live in france and germany. >> absolutely, but they are dominant countries. >> they are that becomes the issue that they compete. the fundamental of europe is between the european peninsula and the mainland and it is the
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line that runs from the baltics through belarus ukraine, sometimes east. this fault line was one of the foundations of world war i and that is where my family thought it was not the french trenches that was the horror but the germans, the austro-hungarian's, the turks and others. and so when we speak of the fragmentation of europe, it is altogether possible that we already see this borderline coming to life. we have already seen the tension developing in the ukraine and we have seen the confrontation in eastern europe and the tension in eastern europe and one of the fragments is that this huge center of gravity in europe, which is certainly in terms of size and significance, it is
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important as the rhineland's, this has become alive. one of the most important things that it's asking in europe is will the germans join us. one of the most important discussions going on is between the germans and the russians who are also fighting with each other. so it is not that germany and france will going to war but this that this entire periphery shatters and when it does, what will happen. we just saw an election in which 45% of the stocks voted to leave a 300 year union. we see in barcelona and independence movement and we see the northern league in italy speaking about this. it is not simply that history repeated itself but it is that even with any countries the assumptions that northern italy
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and southern southern italy are one country that are being challenged by some i just don't know what the fragmentation would look like but i do know that if you go to romania or poland and they feel that they are near war and what is going on in the ukraine is significant and their question is worded germany stand, that question is not easily answered. so i would agree with you that it is extremely difficult to imagine the netherlands i would also argue first to that the assumption that this is the heart of europe is true in one sense. but it's hard to say that britain is not part of the heart of europe or spain or where does the heart rest. and so what draws the center apart to start when has not only been animosity with the germans but fear of the turks. and that fear is very real.
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>> thank you. >> it is a wonderful thing [inaudible] and it's much better than others, starting in remote places and i submit to you that the problems are not just take this but also the united states doing. and that instead of helping russia it was we won the cold war, great we won and trying to help them prevent russia from falling into economic collapse and that the members have changed in their society and the
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mortality rate includes the life expectancy of a man and there was starvation misery, suffering now we have the backlash of the extreme. and we pay attention to this in the united states. plus there was this talk and so forth and that was seen as a hostile place. and my question is -- i wanted to comment on that. >> sure. >> the united states is 25% of the world economy and therefore bears responsibility even by default in some way for this.
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however, the question of europe is a european question and the intent to shift the burden to the united states is shifting the burden of the civil war and the british. one of the things that happens when this happens is what happened in russia ultimately was the russian doing. what happened in the united states was ultimately the american doing. as for the europeans the gdp of europe is greater than the united states if they wish to stabilize the situation in russia, nobody would stop them. but of course the germans didn't want to stabilize the situation in greece or spain, so even less. the idea that had the united states engaged in trying to rebuild russia and the united states would not be resented deeply for rebuilding russia,
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the united states can be shown to intersect with everything that happens, it cannot be held morally responsible for how other nations behave. so if you want to talk about the fact that the united states did things that they moved in different places, i've fully agree. if you want to say that outside the united states this would happen, i don't think this is true. what i am arguing is that they have a great deal more to do with germany and a great deal more to do with the european union and the european union policies towards russia, then it had to do with the united states and we had very little trade with the europeans and russia they have a great deal of trade. and in the end i don't think responsibility is the issue or blame is the issue. it is the underlying
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geopolitical structure that determines what comes out of it. and it is one of the characteristics of human beings that someone must be held responsible and of course if it's not me it must be you. the fact of the matter is that there are many forces beyond anyone's control. >> i have been using research for some time and i want to thank you for the service. however, i want to thank you for what is a pretty good service reporting on points of contention between the u.s. and europe in a question of genetic modification of agriculture. strafford used to cover this topic extensively but has not run a single articles since 2006. wiki leaks says that this is because of the financial relationship between this and influential companies such as
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monsanto. >> we have no relationship with monsanto or any other company. >> why have you ignored such a big thing? >> essentially we don't know enough about it. it is a highly technical subject in which science is divided and there is nothing that we can say or add to it. we have had many issues that we do not discuss. we consign ourselves to issues in which we have something significant to say. when the issue first broke out we may have looked at it but we also don't discuss, you know, questions of this very much except as you mention it. >> but the ebola virus doesn't have the point of contention. >> i'm not sure that it has a geo-political importance. you've made up your mind on the subject. so we don't cover it because we don't cover issues that are technical. as for wiki leaks and what it claims, i really hope that you
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go to their website and read the e-mails because what it claims to have in those e-mails such as working for monsanto, we have no relationship with them and more do any other companies that we work for. so there are plenty of people who are experts. we are not. >> are you behind some of those people? [inaudible] >> i'm wondering a lot about nato. is nato a substantial force? is it reliable? is useful and capable? is the united states bound to defend countries that are nato members and that russia may
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invade? >> i think that we should not overstate the russian strength. [inaudible] >> not strength that merit. >> merritt doesn't give you enough fuel to get there. [laughter] so what i am saying is that first of all nato is a military alliance would therefore doesn't exist, you cannot have a military alliance without the military. so many think that they don't have a military. praiseworthy or not, that is a reality. many have a real significant effect, not a symbolic contribution and it isn't there. so my opinion is that nato does not exist. it certainly has wonderful parties and the cocteau parties are outstanding, but it doesn't have the portability of an
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organized command structure that can order troops into combat. plus nato is built so that any action must be approved by everyone unanimously. anyone nation can veto it. during the cold war there was a consensus and those were plans were voted on beforehand and that wasn't a matter. but right now if the united states were to want to support, poland, ukraine, something like that, that would be very hard to get. the united states would have to do it pretty much by itself, the british might come along and the french may or may not have the ability to deploy. but we are now in a situation where nato's institution is more hindrance to the united states because it obligate us to do things in concert with other lives. our obligation is even if our
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lives can help. but then we don't know what the mission is in any one nation that can go against anything. so the united states is clearly not moving for bilateral relations outside of the context of nato. >> i have two questions. one of you are still following hungry and interested in it. and i would like to get comment on the turning to the right of hungarian politics and the meaning of that. secondly just a couple of weeks ago of leaders of europe that were standing together in paris and whether that is just an anomaly that could represent some kind of attempt to recapture the european spirit.
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>> the meetings take place within a few weeks and also that was the bailout plan that they used the national banks in the european institutions. so in hungry there is an interesting case, because there you have a prime minister who has been saying that the european union is a threat to us. what happened in hungry is that mortgages were let out by german and austrian banks and they were denominated in euros they were denominated in swiss francs and even they change their currency in this way. the hungarians collapsed and the ability of them to repay these mortgages has dissolved, they said look, you're going to have to restructure and the europeans
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refused and he turned around and said, okay, here is the deal. we are we paying and two we are paying about 60% on the dollar and three other option is that we don't repay anything but we default. give us a call and we will make a decision. two things happened. first the europeans -- bureaucrats, i should say, decided that they didn't object to the bailout [inaudible] and hungry is interesting because of the model of how other countries might handle the incredible crisis that they might face. so when this happened, they started looking very carefully to hunt aryans and the romanians look carefully and then in the greek election the model was held out as a solution and announced that they are paying
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it back and talk mutter nothing, pay back a certain percentage and then doing what american airlines does. and so he himself is a populist leader who wanted to crack down and hold onto hungry, very popular or has been popular and he instituted a bunch of very impressive laws in terms of free speech taxing media so on. but to me this is less about hungry it is a model that might emerge in europe of the populist right-wing leaders, very popular for defending hungry against the italian and austrian banks. and we dealt a lot with ontarians when asking about their banking systems and they said we don't have a banking
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system. the austrians have a banking system, germany has a banking system, but we do not have one. so that is the kind of you that is taken advantage of to build this position. so i think it's very important what is happening. i think that part of it is an indifference to human rights and the civil rights and part of it is tapping into the hostility of ontarians to the european banking system that they felt had caused a crisis. >> going back to 1992 and the formation of the eu is there a concept other than peace and prosperity that they could have built this on that would have survived the economic downturn? is there a concept that this could survive? >> they wanted one but there is no common european identity. the problem is that france and germany, for example have
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histories and in the histories they are each other's enemies. so when you take a look at this they have histories that they are against each other. the histories do not draw upon commonality but one of the things they want to do is get that history because if you don't forget that history you cannot get people to work together. it was really let's not dwell on the past but let's dwell on the future. it's a very good thing to do if your future is rosy. the problem is the only thing they could dwell on was the promise that really meant something. peace, prosperity, a decent society and the problem with that is that it can handle everything in the crisis with
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the europeans facing their first crisis had found themselves unable to handle it together and there was no history to bind them, so it's a very hard thing to think about what they would have done otherwise. it used to have something called christianity and the art he had that now, and of course even christianity was also divided. but these things that united europe were replaced by secularism and that secularism was a thin ruled that held together an entity especially one when it came to blood and sweat and tears. so thank you very much. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> copies of the book are on
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sale. please make sure to get your copy. >> is there a nonfiction author or book that you would like to see featured on booktv? send us an e-mail at booktv at, send us a tweet or post on our wall at >> what we witnessed in the first couple of months of the uprising was something that i found inspiring as a student of history and of politics and identity all over the world. i have come to believe is a child of triangulation and moderate reform that radical change is impossible individuals can work hard, they can maybe nudge government policy one way or another. and i believe that government
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and state systems were hard things to turn that was naïve idealistic, foolish to think otherwise. and so the moment that lasted about a year after the first uprising began showed that in fact it is not impossible. in this case that this had happened and millions of people who were terrified and refuse to utter even the smallest political speech or suddenly from one to the next willing to rush towards police that were shooting them dead in the interest of the slogan that was taken and social justice and the fall of dictatorship.
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to me that was mindbending and very humbling and as an individual, also as a reporter it was you know, it was incredible to see these kinds of things that were possible again. in a world in which they sort of dropped off. so that was the beginning of the story, which is how do you create a new politics in a broken society in which there is almost no freedom in one of the primary tools of government is to routinely and habitually torture and humiliate the population and treat them as subjects, treat them as fools in the hopes that they internalize that it never challenge you. it is a very tall order to do that. we do not know today how that is going to turn out. i cannot begin to say that i know in the long term what is
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going to happen in egypt and the arab world is going to be something as inspiring and appealing, but i do know that whatever is going to happen is going to take at least a generation to unfold. history doesn't work on the cable news cycle but on the generations. >> you can watch this and other programs at >> from time to time "the washington post" will public e-books on topics reporters cover. here is a collection of some of those books. in the case against cosby, the post interviewed five of the women that have accused bill cosby of assaulting them. it also looks at her records from a previous case against him. and a profile of the 36th president, lyndon johnson, and a look at his legacy in the great society. also on the list is a collection of the pulitzer prize-winning
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articles on the impact of food stamps once. they put into book form the reporting on edwards noted. also on the electronic book list is a series of stories on america's relationship with the history of gun control in guns in america. an investigative reporter robert o'hara junior expounds on the potential for cyberwarfare and computer hacking. to see what other electronic books "the washington post" has published, visit "washington post".com backslash e-books. >> next the current caregiver system and what it can handle. ..


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