tv Jared Diamond Upheaval CSPAN August 29, 2019 11:02pm-12:14am EDT
i'm david rubenstein and i have the privilege of serving as the cochair of the national book festival open to all people in the united states or anybody in the world who wants to come. in washington over labor day weekend at the arlington center. however if you cannot make it and everybody obviously can't be in washington, d.c. at this time, please read about it and learn about it through booktv, which is on c-span2. they are going to do extensive coverage of the national book festival, and as always, do a terrific job with you know what's going on at the festival even if you can't be there. up next, our look at recent best-sellers continues with jared diamond, talking about his book, "upheaval: turning points for a nation in crisis.
[applause] good evening, everyone. i'm the deputy director of programs at politics and prose bookstore. i'd like to thank you all for joining us this evening. tonight's event is a joint effort with our venue part owners of the marvin theater. i am honored tonight to introduce doctor jared diamond. i work with academics every day. we offer over 100 classes yearly with local distinguished professors on subjects such as
current and classic literature, history, politics, writing workshops as we are a community of lifelong learners and speaking of learning, jared diamond is professor of geography at the university of california los angeles. his work includes five best-selling books and he's here today to talk about the most recent book entitled "upheaval: turning point for nations," from the firsthand experience the history of the six countries where he lived and was in five of six languages. i asked which language he didn't speak and he said japanese but he had japanese relatives. "upheaval" completes the trilogy's of his book how societies choose to fail or succeed and the acclaimed guns, germs and steel. for the general nonfiction.
his international reach has extended to translations of his works in 30 languages and the notable research teaching the work deserved the macarthur foundation fellowship genius award. the japan cosmos prize as well as the numerous research teaching awards, lectures and grants from the american physiological society, national geographic society of san diego among others. professor diamond had been elected a member of all three of the leading scientific and academic honorary societie socid the national academy of sciences, american academy of arts and sciences and the philosophical. his breadth of interest in conservation, ecology, bio geography, physiology has touched nearly every continent of the world with over 22 expeditions and neighboring thailand who study the evolution
of birds, his biological exploration is credited with the rediscovery of the long-lost golden bird at the top professor diamond devised a comprehensive plan for indonesia's new park system. the director of the wildlife fund conservation international. he notably adds a psychological dimension to the most recent book where he combines history, geography, economics, anthropology to examine how the nations and individuals respond to crisis through selective change. a well-documented coping mechanism that is linked to personal trauma. she takes us on a journey of frustration experienced by nations recovering from crisis usually brought about by calamities were threats to the national identity.
finland and world war ii with the soviet union, japan search for modern stability following hiroshima, chile's struggle under the dictator, indonesia's rise from colonialism, germany's post-world war ii rebuilding and rebranding and australia's rise from the colony. he examines the challenges within each country and the respective path towards recovery through the widely used 12 step approach. as one writes about professor diamond's detailed analysis of history and internationally inspired therapeutic approach to make both nations and individuals more resilient is nothing short of the urgent and groundbreaking. please join me in welcoming this awe-inspiring scholar to politics and prose community of lifelong learners.
[applause] was the first check whether you can hear me okay. it's a great pleasure for me to be back in washington under less adventurous circumstances and a first try. my first trip to washington was also my first intercity travel by myself. i was born and grew up in boston and when i was about 14-years-old, i visited boston representativvisit austinrepresd cross that had its meetings in washington, d.c. and so i took a journey from boston to washington the first time i
traveled by myself my parents put me on the train, i arrived in those days it was a big deal making long-distance calls, but i suppose when i arrived i called them i have no memory of it now. only when i had my own children did i realize what migh i've isg through fuente wondered whether i was going to arrive in washington because parents worry about their children. today as we speak my twin sons are 32-years-old but one of my son today as we speak is driving from los angeles to the national park and probably has not yet arrived. he's 32-years-old and much more confident in traveling then im, but our parents worry whether he got there just as my father undoubtedly in tuesday's
wondered whether i got there okay to washington, d.c.. i did get okay to washington, d.c., and i've been coming back ever since. the type of books that i write are books of comparative history. most historians write a single case studies, they write about one country so to get a book about the late 19th century germany. writing both single case studies allows you to do that all 499 pages of the book to germany which you can discuss and lots of detail. i don't write that sort of book. it has its value tha value diret comparative histories comparing different countries. if you compare different countries, then you can devote fewer pages to the country, but comparisons allow you to pose questions and add the questions you would never raise and could
better address in a single case studies. for example, there are so many books on the american civil war with an entire book on the american civil war you can devote six pages to the second day of the battle of gettysburg, but the books on the american civil war never notice or discuss one of the most striking facts of the american civil war, which was at the end of the war the victors did not kill the losers, only one person on the losing side, the commandants was killedtold, and that's really ul at the end. if you read jus register by then civil war you don't notice that or ask that. why is it so unusual in that respect, that is an example of the things you can notice and answer by comparative studies.
my current book follows on the comparative history, collapsefrom a different set of people compares national political crises in the countries that i know best where i've lived and where except for japan i speak or spoke the language where friends go back 60 years. there are countries that suffered political crises either as the result of an invasion or threaten invasion. the tiny country of finland invaded by the soviet union november 301949. japan threatened with invasion after centuries of isolation by the arrival of the steamships of cannons in 1853. which launched japan on a
decade-long process of the westernization to be able to resist the west while still maintaining much of the japanese identity. a couple of crises consisted of internal explosions are in chile six years before the kenosha coup d'état. in the indonesian genocide of 1965 when the indonesian army and people that ar are productie anput up tothat killed at leasta million indonesians. and then there are a couple of slowly unfolding in the countries that i know well. i was living in germany on the date of the berlin wall was erected and so over the decades i've seen how germany is gradually dulled with the legacies and gradually laid the ground for its reunification. in australia where they begin
working in 1964 still have a policy and then over the decades gradually undid that policy up to the point where today second only to israel around the world in the fraction of its population that is immigrants or children of immigrants. and when i brought my son in 2008 i bought them across the university campus and felt as if i was on the university of california berkeley or ucla campus that was unthinkable in australia interesting for themselves, they also raised practical questions of why some countries deal with the crisis more successfully than others.
perhaps the recent crisis in the modern countries could provide guidance for the crisis now developing in the u.s. and britain and japan and the whole world. there are many books by historians already about national political crisis from the new perspective mainly of the personal crisis all of us have to deal with as individuals, and i'm sure you've all been through personal crisis and you know the causes from your own experience or that of your friend, people are thrown into the crisis by the breakup or threatebreakupwere threatenef marriages were other relationships with the death of a loved one, but if your child or spouse or parent or sibling that throws into doubt your view of the world as a just place or a serious setback to your health or career or financial security. you've all experienced it
ourselves or you've seen it in your friends all of those posed the question we either confront or avoid confronting. what did i do wrong? what do i have to change about myself? what has gone wrong in my life? what doesn't need changing and what does need changing so i don't get into this mess again? i'm interested in the personal crisis because of my own experience but also because my wife is a clinical psychologist with a specialty in crisis therapy which is a branch of psychotherapy counseling that instead of seeing a client for years and having the leisure time to explore what happened in early childhood and how that affects you now, crisis therapy instead involves seeking people in a crisis who have defined a new way of dealing with my fast typically within about six weeks
a crisis therapist sees the client for just six weeks. it's got to go fast because you all know from your experience when you are in a crisis you can't stay in a state of limbo forever. you either have to find a new way of dealing with the world or you will relapse into your own lawn and adaptive ways and in the saddest cases, there are cases of suicide comes the crisis therapist have to figure out fast who is dealing with their problem and who is not. we come home at the end of the week when she and her fellow therapist would meet and go over the clients to figure out who was making progress and who was not. we recognize a dozen factors which again all of you will know from personal experience. a dozen factors that affect the outcomes of personal crisis and as we talked about in the factors they recognize that a similar factors or ones for at least which those outcome
factors serve as metaphors. similar considerations apply to the outcomes of national crisis over what course it now poses unique problems of their own. nations have leadernations havee individuals to raise questions, the nations to reconcile conflicting interests of groups. we as individuals don't have to reconcile conflicting interests of groups. the outcome predictors that we found for the personal crisis command again they are things which all of you have either experienced or have seen in other people that math against outcome predicted crisis. the first step in dealing with the crisis is acknowledging that you are in a crisis. if you deny that you were in a crisis you will get nowhere towards a result. another early start is accepting responsibility. it's tempting in a crisis to blame it on other people.
it is all the fault of those other people. but if you blame it all on the other people and don't accept responsibility that there's something you can do your self of course you are not going to make any steps towards resolving the crisis. and already you can see the analogies to the national crisis nations may acknowledge or deny or accept responsibility for the problems or deny responsibility and say the problems of the united states or the fault of canada, mexico, china and nothing is wrong with the united states which is a guaranteed way not to solve the problems. you know from your experience in a personal crisis that makes it a big difference whether or not you get help from other people come emotional or material help from friends and whether you can look to other people as models of how to solve similar problems. nations need to get help or they fail to get help from allies not
from personal friends and nations also may look to other nations as models or refuse to look to other nations as models. you know from your personal experience with the self appraisal is essential you have to be clear about what is working in you and what is not. and again to solve the crisis they have to practice honest self appraisal. those are just some examples of the outcome predicted in the crisis that you have all experienced or that you have seen friends and relatives experiencing. but which in some cases has have close parallels the financial crisis such as getting help from others. it enables you to get through a
crisis that is the metaphor of the nations while they don't have ego strength they do have national identities which are suggested by the ego strength and national identities are important in the can treat getting through the crisis. let's consider an actual crisis. this crisis that i experienced is also the one i developed my books by teaching the material to my undergraduates year after year until the book is ready for the publication. the material of this book i first talked to my undergraduates in 2013 and each year since then. the story that i'm about to tell you about now is that most upsetting as a national political crisis because the parallels of the united states are so obvious. i've lived in chile, the latin american country in 1967. at that time, chile is the latin
american country with the longest history of uninterrupted democracy. and when i went to chili in 1967 in france and explained that the country to the visiting americans, the thing they said was we are not like those other latin american countries. we are a democracy. we have an uninterrupted history of democracy for the last 150 years. we know how to govern ourselves. that was the sentence we know how to govern ourselves. this was 1967 but it was also at that time spiraling into a political compromise. does that suggest anything about the united states toda today the breakdown in the political compromise? none of my friends small how it would play out. they democratically elected a
president who'd been a great minister of public health for two adopted disastrous economic and foreign policies. he tried to change it to fast although he had won by the plurality that voted against him and so he was not a surprise that there was a coup d'état under the general. what shocked them was the military government remained in power out for a couple of months but for 17 years but smashed world records. the o.j. did it coconut shy to bbe at the -- by taking the free market policies of milton friedman or what he perceived as those policies at the university of chicago.
eventually, he miscalculated and was voted out of office in 1989 and returned to chile but the socialists when they came back into power democratically for te socialists, 100,000 of those that haven't been told, many of them had been living in westernn europe where thewesterneurope wm operating differently. in contrast with the breakdown of political compromise and the intransigence of the chilean socialists in the 1960s they obligated in the western european countries and they saw the socialists could achieve a lot of their goals by not being intransigence but by compromising with those different views while the chilean socialists also saw those countries and disasters of the socialists have learned and
chilly today is once again the most democratic country in latin america. the story of chile illustrates parallels between the personal crisis and national crisis. chili remained a catholic homogeneous country without any change in its borders. when they came back into power, it was again a selective change. the socialists reintroduced the democracy and liberal social policies, but they increased the military government's free-market policies and illustrates the importance of the flexibility which you will know from your own experience is
important with personal crisis, national flexibility is important to dealing with the national crisis. for the lack of help that you all know from personal crisis and in this case help from allies or lack of help than chile and illustrates the importance of the national identity in getting through the national crisis. when the first socialist president came back into office after pinochet hide went in his inaugural address and chileans that suffered under pinochet were hoping to hear how he was going to take revenge should on
the people who commi who come aa government that have killed and tortured so many chilean but in the first presidential underestimate the goal was to build for all chileans, and what that meant is they turned pinochet under power and they voted for the military government and recognized the socialists to compromise with the government and the spent those killed and tortured would have to put together and would have made possible was the strong national identity, the national identity in which there hasn't been a taking of revenge that there was under the war.
by now you may have been or should have been getting uncomfortable because what happened in chile is a great political compromise resulting in the end of democracy. chile illustrates why we study history. it is a breakdown of political compromise and this has been thn sitting in usually dated to the 1990s. the breakdown in the political compromise, you know all this i. more than any congress in history because it can't agree, can't reach copper mines is about passing a law.
the legislature such as is going on now in the united states. involved in so many lawsuits against the federal government involved in so many lawsuits against the state of california you've seen the breakdown of compromise between legislatures and the judiciary, the gradual loss of independence of the judiciary. recently the legislature of the state of west virginia impeached all of the supreme court justices of the state of west virginia. so the breakdown of the decline of the political compromise i see as the most serious problem now threatening the united
states because democracy is a great form of government, but the democracy involves compromise. and if there is not compromise, then it's not a democracy. the other problems in the united states, you know well, democracy involves voting, and if a substantial fraction of citizens are prevented from voting, they are prevented from registering a as is the case in the united states. but it involves citizens have succeeded in registering to vote and actually voting. the united states has the lowest voter turnout of any major first world. for any election in the united states with the 2008 presidential run the voter turnout was 61%. the most recent for the nadir of my city in los angeles, la is one of the biggest most
important american cities. the mayor of la is one of the most important urban political chops in the unitejobs in the un the last election 20% of registered voters of la could be bothered to turn out to vote for the mayor and 80 percent didn't even bother to turn out. if you are dissatisfied with your government, it's your fault for not having voted. their problems -- other problems in the united states as you know our socioeconomic and quality, the fact that fewer and fewer, have been 1% of the people controlled something like 80% of the money in the united states and also you've seen the decline of government investment in the united states for public purposes. so, all those things threaten american democracy. american democracy isn't threatened by mexico and china.
there's no way thethere is no wd democracy in the united states. the only people who can and democracy in the united states are we americans and that it ends, yes it ended in chile by the military coup. it's not going to end in the united states by the military coup. the american military has ever been involved in politics. if or when a democracy in us in the united states, it's going to be by the continuation of thing that are going on now. the restriction of the voters ability to register to vote and the apathy of so many voters not voting and breakdown of compromise and the anonymity of the legislatures and executives to get anything done. let's play the outcome predictors for personal crisis and the extensions were differences as outcome predictors for the national crisis there are features in the
united states to give me cause for optimism that maybe things will end okay in the united states. and those include our geography, which protect us on the east and west by oceans and north and south by land borders with nonthreatening neighbors mexico and canada whereas other countries like finland and germany have powerful neighbors which restrict their freedom of choice. the united states has great freedom of choice for geographical reasons. the united states enjoys the largest expanse of the richest farmland in the world. the united states has a strong national identity we americans identify as being americans need to shining sea, land of the democracy, rags to riches. we have political flexibility during the last 70 years.
the party in power is usually lost to the press essential level the next elections for the united states has moved back and forth between political parties. all of those characteristics, strong identity, freedom of choice makes one cautiously optimistic for what is going to happen in the united states but they are also reasons to be pessimistic about what's going to happen. the chances are sick of it and the united states in the next five or ten years will no longer be functioning as a democracy if the cause of pessimism many perhaps most americans don't acknowledge that we are in a crisis now. of those americans that recognize we are in a crisis, many especially those in command of the federal government don't accept responsibility but blame our problems not on ourselves but on mexico, china and canada that if you deny responsibility
you are not going to grasp what you are doing to make them ask your self. the united states today is characterized by a lack of self appraisal but without the self appraisal you can't do with reality. perhaps most egregious to me it is what is called american belief in an exceptionalism. exceptionalism. this term american exceptionalism means the belief that the united states is exceptional, unique and guess the united states is exceptional and unique that doesn't mean we can't learn anything from other countries because the problems that the united states faces today we face problems of food to register voters and health and immigration in the balancing individual community interest. but, canada and australia and west into european countries also face similar problems with
voting, health, immigration, education, prisons, balance between the individual community interest and in many of these areas americans are profoundly disillusioned and dissatisfied with how we are dealing with these problems in that there is much more satisfaction in canada or western europe with other governments deal with these problems. so to look to our close neighbor canada or the western european democracies for guidance in how to solve the problems of democracies face but because of our belief in american exceptionalism, we suffer from the fantasy that there's nothing we can learn from other countries. that is a reason for some pessimism about whether the u.s. will learn from other models and resolve its problems.
at this point you may be feeling depressed and overwhelmed by the problems i've been discussing. let's end on a cheerful note the problems of the world faces. what are the major problems of the world. one could debate and i would identify four major problems the world faces mainly for things that could wipe us off the planet for good civilization in the next few decades and my choice for the nuclear risk that there will be a large-scale nuclear war precipitating the whole world for example in exchange between india and pakistan or north korea and terrorists acquiring nuclear bombs as they tried to do in 2001 at the time of the world trade center attack.
in the resources that are essential for us and essential for civilization for the natural resources they are regenerating we can't keep going for more than a few decades by 30 years by 2050 before we start to run out of these essential resources and finally a major world problems and inequality among the major countries in the world, inequality, enjoying living standards on the average 30 times higher than the living standards for 6.5 billion people in the developing world. and some decades ago americans could take the attitude isn't it
sad for all those people out there in africa, asia, latin america that they enjoy, they suffer from a lower standard of living compared to us that is tough luck. nowadays in this globalized world, it's impossible for the rich countries to coexist with poor countries because in this globalized world poor countries have a way of consciously or unconsciously sharing their dissatisfaction with rich countries. unconsciously through the spread of diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and aids from poor countries with inadequate public health systems, globalization, travelers from the u.s. to the developing countries and vice versa. these diseases with them, but peter from uganda is now spreading to europe.
they shared their dissatisfaction by attempting to integrate or attempting to integrate into their 6.5 billion people then there's the support for terrorists that develops in countries where most citizens are dissatisfied and have reason to be dissatisfied. the united states and western european countries have their own. it's not the case that afghanistan has any monopoly on terrorists. the united states has a timothy mcveigh who blew up and killed 150 people in the oklahoma city veterans building but because the americans i americans of the more or less satisfied there is not widespread support for timothy mcveigh in the united states and similarly there was a crazy norwegian and then
detonated a there wasn't widespread support in norway because norwegians and americans aren't us were satisfied that in countries where people were chronically dissatisfied and understand realistically they and their children are not going to have a better lifestyle there is support for terrorists, so those are as i see at the big problems facing the world. again, let's apply, and outcome predictors to the whole world what is going to happen to the world initially you might think they are grounds for pessimism because there's not worldwide acknowledgment of the world problems, there isn't worldwide acceptance of responsibility. we are not going to get help from extra terrestrials to solve our problems. we are not going to be able to look for models of solving world
problems from the red extraterrestrials on the planet orbiting. we in the world do not have shared core values and it may at first seem that there are few precedents for the world getting together to solve the problems. in fact if you will eventually look at my chapter about world problems, take a look at the chapter and imagine that his top six pages before where it actually stops that was the first draft of the chapter and it ended pessimistically because it appeared to me at the time the world doesn't have a track record for solving world problems but then i learned better the fact is in the last 50 years the world succeeded in solving really difficult problems either by bilateral
agreements or regional agreements or international agreements. here's a case of a bilateral agreement solving the problem between two countries walked in the worst hatred, israel and lebanon. what two countries could have more difficulty agreeing on anything when israel has invaded lebanon and lebanon as the basis for firing rockets at israel that israel and lebanon wyoming eastern mediterranean migratory pathway for migratory birds into freefall of the birds including big ones, pelicans, eagles, fly from europe and africa and then in the spring an in the million, billions fly from africa to israel and lebanon into europe
and they collide with airplanes so it turns out the leading cause of plane crashes and military action shooting down each other's planes, the leading cause is collisions with big migratory birds, something i experienced on something we, my family and i experienced when weaver on a plane flight on a small charter plane something hit the plane and it carried on but when we landed we saw that the plane had a hole in the wing and there was the body of the dead eagle tha that had collided with our plane. it didn't bring the plane down but there are a lot of those collisions including military planes and israel and lebanon despite the hatred, bird watcherbirdwatchersand lebaneseh an agreement to discuss politics but they were going to tell each other about bird migration and so seriously each year in the
spring, israeli birdwatchers when they see a flock of pelicans going overhead they will call it and say we've got 75 coming your way and they will arrive late afternoon at the lebanese faa closes down air traffic in lebanon and then again in the fall when they migrate south, the lebanese birdwatchers will contact the israeli colleagues and say we have 132 storks heading your way, get warplanes out of the air and they close down so here is an example of how countries with even the worst hatred has managed to solve problems. that's a bilateral agreement. there's also regional agreements in recent decades. the worst livestock disease that
no longer exists because an agreement was reached between all the countries of europe and asia, africa to eliminate and it was difficult to get every country in africa, europe and asia but it was done and it no longer exists. there are world agreements that have been reached in recent decades. the disease smallpox that used to be the worst killer of history no longer exists because the who got together on an effort to eliminate smallpox and that was difficult because the last cases were in remote places the last cases were in somalia and it's hard to imagine a country where it's more difficult to undertake public health programs and somalia but it works and the world eliminated smallpox. all the things the world has succeeded in doing in the last few decades include the montréal protocol to get refrigerant
asses out of the atmosphere when it was discovered they were destroying the ozone layer. to get it out you had every country to the creed. there was a lot of screaming that the result was the montréal protocol. there's the agreement of oil tankers spilling oil on the high seas. the agreement applies to oil tankers from every country and again that was hard to negotiate, but the result is they are doubl double gold holdl spills are much rarer these days. the convention to delineate economic zones on the continental shelves. countries on the seacoast of overlapping economics, overlapping fisheries and fabrications in the salon and every country on the seacoast
has economic zones overlapping with some other countries, so again it was difficult to get those negotiations but the result of the negotiations is a big economic zones into shallow water are now delineated for the whole world. every country managed to agree to it and more recently the establishment of the seabed apology to regulate on the modules on the ocean floor turns out that on the ocean floor there are mineral in that they can other' there's problems wite much cleaner way to extract minerals to pick up these from the ocean floor.
as a result of the lengthy negotiations, the seabed authority reached agreement on finding minerals from the seabed floor so that even the landlocked countries like libya got something like 15% of the royalties they are on the seabed authority for making is now feasible to extract from the seafloor. these were difficult problems. yes, climate change and nuclear agreement sustainable resource management and inequality those are difficult problems, but they are not more difficult than the eradication of smallpox or the delineation of coastal zones. that gives me cause for optimism. the world does have a track record of solving the most difficult problems and because we could solve those most difficult problems there is hope that we both look the other difficult problems that face the
world today. nevertheless, clearly it is a matter of touch and go because the world does have major problems. what is the chance that we are going to, we, humanity will get out of this okay, the metaphor i use for this into the way that i think if it is the world is now engaged in a horse race between two horses, a metaphorical horse race, one is the self-destruction of the problems, nuclear climate change coming in the other is the voice of hope, the resolution of the world problems, increasing realization of people, climate change is due to humans increasing involvement big international businesses in protecting the environment and not just doing bad things. in a normal horse race they get out and run a constant speed until the end of the race. this isn't a normal horse race
where there any constant speed this is that exponentially accelerating which the course of destruction is going faster and faster, world population is increasing, technology is increasing, the problems are getting more and more serious, but also growing exponentially faster and faster. more and more people are realizing that climate change is real and caused by us and recognizing the problems of inequality and resources used around the world. how is it all going to end up? it will be settled in the next 30 years where we are mining the resources we can carry on for about another 30 years before we run out of essential resources
and it will be too late so i'm 81 now. i'm not going to see the outcome but there are lots of you here that will see the outcome of 30 years from now. people often ask me argue an optimist or pessimist. i'm a cautious optimist. i rate the chance at least 51% we will have a happy landing and no more than 49% that we will have an unhappy landing but in reality whether we have a happy or unhappy landing depends upon our choices. it depends on whether you vote and how you vote and people around the world vote because the problems the world faces. the problem we face isn't the problem of an asteroid and there's nothing we can do about it. if climate change, nuclear
proliferation, unsustainable resources, problems caused by us human. we can choose to stop causing them. i hope that we will choose to stop causing them and of courset part of my motivation for writing the book we can learn from history there are lots of crisis and in recent times there've been regional crises. my hope is we can learn from history we don't have to repeat the errors of history or the mistakes.
i would especially favor questions from high school students, college students, those recently out of college you are the ones that are going to be most affected by the consequences and then also the reality is men tend to be more pushy questions from young people and women but also many have the right to raise questions. [laughter] if you will raise your hand if you have a question. finding the women and young people. [laughter]
thank you so much for doing all this research and comparison. it's terrifying. i'm thinking as you are talking, the people that need to hear this are probably not in this room and are not going to read your book. are there any plans to make like a cartoon or animated video? [applause] [laughter] that's a good question. it's a good practical question into something which would cause concern in writing the book. what good does it do to write a book that just reinforces the views. it looked to the object has to appeal to the whole political spectrum. when you read the book you will see in the prologue the words president trump appears only once and there is a sentence in
the prologue i say the word will not appear in the fourth in the book a couple of reasons. one, because the problems of the united is preceded the current presidency and they will still be here after the current presidency. second because things are changing so rapidly in the united states that anything i've written about president trump in august of 2017 would have gone out of date a week later but the remaining thing is i want the book to be read by people all across the spectrum, not just by those who already share my views. my hope is that it will be read across the spectrum. i can only say that of my previous books i was delighted when they took a phone call from the chief of staff of the governor jeb bush and the chief of staff said a big problem for florida was the issue of haitians and dominicans in
florida. they were going to place my book on the desk of governor bush and he would come back to see whether they had read the book. i don't know whether bush did read the books that you can bet that the chief of staff wouldn't have called me if my book had been a diatribe against his party. >> thank you for coming tonight. you have given us a lot to think about. i have a cognitive disability so i had to write this down. please bear with me otherwise i'm going to screw it up. first indigenous nations have had massive traumas inflicted upon them. most are not acknowledged by other nations, so there can be no compromises were analyzed. as a result, the people have
experienced the consequences related to the multiple generational trauma. you mentioned australia no longer has the policy and the university where your son attended was very dangerous. i used to live blocks from a campus. the website says that currently there are 25 staff members which make up .42% of their entire staff. the aboriginal and only .57% of the students are currently aboriginal islander. aboriginal people make up 3% of australia's current population. so, similarly to the populations of north america into just a significantly higher rates of mental crisis, poverty,
addiction, chronic health conditions, lower life expectancies alcoholism etc., i could go on. so, where does resiliency and fighting allies fit in here? >> everything you said is true. there are big problems in the united states about unjust is putting it mildly but the unjust treatment of native americans and african-americans and various immigrant groups going back centuries in the united states. but in australia as well, australia since 1964 has backed away from the policy. the aborigines are still economically disadvantaged and substantially legally and educationally disadvantaged in australia. australia, yes, isn't it wonderful that australia is now admitting so many but what about its homegrown problems of its
treatment of the aborigines of these are major problems. what can i say about them? be grateful that my book discusses only the problems it does discuss and doesn't discuss other major problems because my boothey don't have 499 pages log and there's a lot to be said about the problems of discrimination within the u.s. and australia. .. >> it has gotten less bad over
the last 60 years but the problems are still left. so i agree with you. >> i work with international humanitarian assistance in iraq and yemen so i very often see firsthand the effects of a country going through a crisis and up evil does your research indicate from the upheaval for the countries to work i have not been to iraq or afghanistan so i do not personally suggest what could get them out of their present
problem but it does seem to me they are overwhelmed but i can only say those countries where i have been the ways to get out of a crisis are the ones that i discussed but then to come back and say as a dictatorship what can you do to get your way on the situation quick. >> so you know that there are people who face problems and those who face overwhelming problems and is difficult to be optimistic for those who face overwhelming problems. also to be optimistic and careful for those that are just so overwhelming. but it does say that it takes those problems that are harder to solve than chile or japan or indonesia or germany.
perhaps it's time for a man to ask a question? [laughter] >> i am a history teacher here in virginia so when i presented at the gun shows i love how my students critique your research. so looking at this, you profile six different upheavals and those countries that gave you experience so how would you respond to the criticism because you say you draw comparisons from those that maybe there are others that could have been discussed that you would draw a different conclusion had you looked at other examples quick. >> you are absolutely right. i discussed six countries and i respond to the criticism the other 210 countries you may
come to a different conclusion. it is limitation that i discuss in the preface and in the epilogue of my book to select countries random around the world somewhat random to have a fair slice of the countries i have a chapter on south africa but i just don't understand it well enough. so it is a small sample but the reason i chose that sample is those are the countries that i know the best and i thought would be better to discuss that i know best even though it is biased and leave it to those that know better with the other countries where my conclusions apply to other countries. you are right and we will see.
>> at the end you mentioned the four problems that you see as the biggest problems we are facing in the world. and you mentioned specifically with small sparks as an example and interestingly as climate change in order of magnitude which i found confounding but those problems that you mentioned of one smallpox had universal appeal nobody was to die of smallpox. there is no smallpox lobby or no interest to protect or continuing the perpetuation of smallpox. and then to be the utter failure in the south china sea
or others of military conflict over the next ten years with a naval arms race grows in that area and then the other problem you didn't mention they all have enormously powerful interests that are invested to not overcome. so while yes we have great successes as a humanity in general those problems truly threat and all of us and i feel the problems that you describe as the major problems don't really affect all of us and the people they don't affect are the ones that have the most power to change or not change. >> i take that as a comment rather than a question but that's okay because that is a good comment in effect it is of the examples of success of the world that i pointed out that you suggest it is easier to achieve than the success to
solve the problems of climate change. but we have no choice about it. those are problems that we face now. will i roll over and be pessimistic with those problems or with those less difficult problems than what we now face? all i can say the problems that we face are the ones we are stuck with. i hope they will succeed even if you are correct they are more difficult and you may be. >>. >> of the problems that you mention and a crisis i was surprised you did not mention
debt. we are at record levels so at what point can we sustain that? >> yes. the united states us borrows a large national debt there are countries with worse in fact my book has two chapters on japan one is on in the 18 hundreds the other is modern japan like with japanese relatives and students but if you ask them themselves the most serious problems these are the first to say the national debt facing japan relatively they have the highest national debt of any major first world economy which is like two.six times the national output their debt proportionately has risen to
that of italy and spain. they will say in defense the national debt is owned by the japanese people themselves rather than overseas so maybe it is last were - - less worrisome than italy but nevertheless they do say it is a major problem and there are also people that are concerned about national debt of the united states from what i hear from economists personally i am more worried about the breakdown of political compromise and breakdown in the united states than the national debt but i may be wrong. but i acknowledge be grateful that my chapter on the united states discussed only i saw as the four major problems without discussing every knee-jerk one - - major problem such as debt. [laughter] so when you live in bed at night you can hold your head and read it instead of being
too heavy to read what you could and if i discuss the national debt. [laughter] that may be a good question two and. we clearly have not exhausted the points that you have raised there is much to discuss but i would say in conclusion that as a starting point, go out and vote for the next election and when you get ready to vote get your friends to vote and tell them to convince ten of their own friends to vote that's already 100 votes and in the 2000 presidential election was decided by 700 voters in the state of florida and also remember the recent goop in a terry nondiscriminatory election was decided by 300 votes in washington. so if 1518 -year-olds in the