This Ted talk by Yuval Noah Harari, an Israeli author, and historian, offers a very powerful framework that I’d not encountered or thought of before.
For my colleagues at BC360°, whether it resonates with you or even if you watch it and go “Pfft – that’s bs,” I think it will provide long-term food for thought.
The video begins with definitions – the difference between Fascism and Nationalism. Per Harari, nationalism presents the country as unique, with special obligations to the county. Fascism, he says, presents the country as supreme, with obligations exclusively to the country.
Nationalism, he says, promotes obligations across the spectrum, in addition to the country – to family, to neighborhood, my profession. This creates tension and conflict, so we look for easy.
Harari says, “Whoever told you life is easy. Life is complicated. Deal with it.”
The talk is entitled “Why Fascism is so Tempting.” His explanation: Because we present the conceptual picture as beautiful and easy.
But the real crux, at least to me, is his historical explanation of politics. Politics began over land. “Land was concentrated with the government or the small elite.” Then came equipment, which was again concentrated in the hand of a few.
Today, it isn’t land or equipment that drives our politics or the determination to concentrate power. It is data. That’s a bit frightening.
With those few teasers, I invite you to watch it.
I would love to hear what you think.