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The Ezra Klein Show

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 Podcast: The Ezra Klein Show 

Putin May Not Like How He’s Changed Europe

Generated by reNotes: In this episode of the Ezra Klein Show, Ivan Kristof argues that many Europeans are missing the fact that their continent is undergoing a rapid transformation. He cites the financial crisis, the wars in Ukraine and Syria, and the rise of populism as examples of the changes that have taken place. The podcast discusses how the current political situation in France is a moment of small d democratic accountability, and how this is impacting the rest of Europe.

Content created using reNotes

Show notes (unedited)

In this podcast, Ezra Klein interviews Ivan Kristof about the changes taking place in Europe. Kristof argues that many Europeans are missing the fact that their continent is undergoing a rapid transformation. He cites the financial crisis, the wars in Ukraine and Syria, and the rise of populism as examples of the changes that have taken place.

The economic and refugee crises of 2015 were caused by a variety of factors, including the war in Ukraine and the influx of refugees from the Middle East. These crises have had a profound impact on Europe, shattering many of the assumptions that Europeans had about their safety and security.

The story of Ukrainian refugees being welcomed into Europe is one of heroism and resistance, which has been unifying for many people. However, some people believe that this story is being used to mask the underlying problems within European societies.

The podcast discusses how the current political situation in France is a moment of small d democratic accountability, and how this is impacting the rest of Europe. It also talks about how the more pro-Putin politicians don't seem to be suffering as much as some might have expected, and how the problem is not simply the strength of disunity, but how long it can last.

Tony Blair gave a speech in Sofia in 1999 in which he said that the UK was doing for Bulgarians what Gladstone had done for them in the past. He was wrong, because people are different now and they identify more with their own groups. The refugee story is different now, and it is more inspiring because of the solidarity shown by Ukrainians. However, there is a problem with this story, in that it is happening in Europe and not in Syria, which means that many countries outside Europe and the US do not care as much about the war.

It discusses the different reactions of various countries to President Biden's invitation to a summit on democracy. Some countries are more critical of Russia than others, but all see the West as hypocritical. The major difference between Russia and the West, according to this author, is that when the West commits atrocities, there is often a moral outrage.

There was a Senate investigation into the Russian Ukrainian case, and it found that the Russian president had decided to make heroes out of the people who had been accused of committing crimes against civilians. This was seen as a major difference between the two countries. The historian said that the fact that Americans felt uneasy about what their country was doing in the world was proof that they were American. The Russians were losing respect because they were not admitting any wrongdoing.

The collapse of the Soviet Union was an unexpected event for many people in the West. Some people saw it as proof of the predictability of human events, while others saw it as a mystery. There was a lot of conspiracy thinking about politics after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The author argues that the assumption that trade will lead to the civilizing of other countries is naive and that focusing on corruption is missing the point. They contend that human nature is more complex than just economic activity and that this should be taken into account when predicting the behavior of states and their leaders.

Guillermo's article discusses the importance of recognition and struggle for recognition in understanding the world. He argues that the end of communism was more about the leaders losing belief in communism than anything else. After the end of communism, many new states were born in Europe. Guillermo believes that we have marginalized the experience of the US workforce of 19 itis and that we have missed the sovereignty moment for democracy moment.

The author is discussing the rise of people like Corbin and LePen, who are concerned with sovereignty in an interdependent world. He argues that democracy is relatively easy to co-opt, and that this has led to a weakening of liberalism.

The author argues that the European Union is a great example of an idea that is eventually turned into mundane governance. He argues that this is a problem for liberal democracy, as people are constantly disappointed by the reality of governance as compared to the exciting idea of a candidate or platform.

The content discusses the idea that liberalism has become disappointing to many people because it has not lived up to its promises. It argues that democracy is better equipped to deal with disappointment than other societies, but that nevertheless people are often disappointed with how democracy works in practice. The author suggests that part of the problem is that people have become too used to the status quo and are not willing to change it.

This individual argues that people are more likely to vote based on identity than on material incentives. They believe that this is especially true in the case of the recent French elections, where older people were more likely to vote for president Macron. They also believe that this is true of Putin's policies in Russia, which are motivated by a desire to maintain Russia's status as a great power.

This content discusses how identity politics has become globalized, and how this has led to a feeling among some that they are no longer in control. It also explains how this has led to a rise in popularity of populist politicians.

This passage discusses the rise of religious conflict in American politics, attributing it to the secularization of society which has led to the breakdown of Protestant dominance. It also suggests that this is causing a rise in identity politics, as more and more groups are asserting their own political agendas. Finally, it argues that this is also contributing to the polarization of society, as people become more and more concerned with defending their own positions.

This content discusses how the European identity has changed over time, from being centered around war to being a post-war laboratory for the world. With the recent conflict in Ukraine, Europe has lost its centrality and is now just one of many regions in the world.

The author argues that the Chernobyl disaster has led to a moral outrage among Europeans, resulting in a desire to isolate Russia. They argue that this could have negative consequences for Europe, either in terms of economic sustainability or in terms of shared sovereignty.

It is unclear how the situation in Ukraine will end, but one possibility is that Russia will control much of the east while the government maintains control of the rest of the country. This would lead to a divided Ukraine, with Russian expansion and increased dependence on Russian oil and gas. There is worry that Putin will take further actions, and so Europe is trying to unified against this external threat. However, it is difficult to maintain cohesion when there are internal divisions among the population.

This is a discussion about how Europe will either unify or fragment due to identity politics. The speakerAgrees that Russia is a civilization different than others and that this should be accepted. Europe can imagine the world without Russia, but other countries will still find a place for Putin's Russia. The speaker then talks about a survey that found most Europeans were happy for Joe Biden to be elected, even though they don't think he can help America make a comeback as a pre eminent global leader.

The content discusses the various ways in which America has become divided, and how this has affected European countries. It also talks about the possible outcomes of the upcoming midterm elections, and how this could impact the relationship between America and Europe. Finally, it touches on the role of the stock market in the modern economy.

Basically, this podcast is about how the future is uncertain, and how America's power might be waning. The speaker argues that part of the reason for this is that America has become more transparent to the world, while the world has become less transparent to America.

The strength of American power depends on the willingness of American society to allow the government to use that power. Soviet power disappeared because society was not ready to support any involvement. This is the biggest problem in America today. There are three books that have influenced the speaker: "Layup" by Yanko Albanian, "The Age of Peace" by Mark Leonard, and "Time Shelter" by Dr. Yunus Patino.

Description (unedited)

In this episode of the Ezra Klein Show, Ivan Kristof argues that many Europeans are missing the fact that their continent is undergoing a rapid transformation. He cites the financial crisis, the wars in Ukraine and Syria, and the rise of populism as examples of the changes that have taken place. The podcast discusses how the current political situation in France is a moment of small d democratic accountability, and how this is impacting the rest of Europe. It also talks about how the more pro-Putin politicians don't seem to be suffering as much as some might have expected, and how the problem is not simply the strength of disunity, but how long it can last.

Article (unedited)

The Future of American Foreign Policy: Weaker or Stronger?

As America's global influence wanes, China is set to overtake the United States as the world's most powerful nation within 10 years, according to a new poll.

This shift in power dynamics has profound implications for the future of American foreign policy. Will the United States become a weaker or stronger nation in the years to come?

The answer to this question largely depends on America's willingness to use military force. Soviet power disappeared because society was not ready to support any involvement. This problem exists on the Republican right and on the Democratic Left, for different reasons.

A book that has influenced the author is "The Age of Peace" by Mark Leonard. In it, Leonard argues that the United States will only be able to maintain its position as a global superpower if it can find a way to win the "hearts and minds" of the world's population.

This will be a tall order for the Biden administration. The Trump Effect is still present in the minds of European leaders, and it will be difficult to undo the damage that has been done. Additionally, it is unclear how easily an American progressive revolution can travel to other countries with different compositions and experiences.

The future of American foreign policy is uncertain. What is certain, however, is that the world is changing and the United States must adapt if it wants to remain a global superpower.

Social Posts (unedited)

Post 1
Listen to this podcast episode to find out why Europe is no longer the peaceful and prosperous place it once was, and what its leaders need to do to address the challenges it now faces.
Post 2

Are you concerned about the future of European democracy? Check out this episode of the The Ezra Klein Show with Ivan Kristof to hear his thoughts on the matter.

Post 3
In this podcast, Ezra Klein interviews Ivan Kristof about the changes taking place in Europe. Kristof argues that many Europeans are missing the fact that their continent is undergoing a rapid transformation. He cites the financial crisis, the wars in Ukraine and Syria, and the rise of populism as examples of the changes that have taken place.

The economic and refugee crises of 2015 were caused by a variety of factors, including the war in Ukraine and the influx of refugees from the Middle East. These crises have had a profound impact on Europe, shattering many of the assumptions that Europeans had about their safety and security.

The story of Ukrainian refugees being welcomed into Europe is one of heroism and resistance, which has been unifying for many people. However, some people believe that this story is being used to mask the underlying problems within European societies.

Original transcript used by reNotes

Podcast: The Ezra Klein Show

Episode: Putin May Not Like How He’s Changed Europe

Mr. Klein, this is the Ezra Klein show so before we begin one last time, but we are getting ready to do the Ask Me Anything episode.

So if you've got anything you'd like to ask me about any issue about the show about me send it your question to Ezra Klein show at ny times.com. With the subject line A M A.

Rewind a few years, and the idea of Europe seems exhausted. It's buried in these LibraryThing regulatory projects of the EU. It's fractured by debt crises and Brexit. It's dependent on Russian oil and gas. There's very little idealism left in that union. What was Europe at that point, even for? To the extent that question had an answer, it was this, Europe was for an end to war in Europe. That was the European idea, as Tony should put it, Europe was postwar. But now we are watching a land war in Europe, one that is trashed the assumptions of many European leaders, building pipelines with Putin didn't stop him from invading Ukraine. It gave him the money he needed to do it, opening a door for countries such as Ukraine to join NATO and the EU, without truly deciding whether you're wanted responsibility for their security, whether it would take responsibility for their security, doing that provoked Russia without giving thought to what would happen, then what you would do if Russia lashed out, and in outsourcing so much defense spending to the US. Well, that looks like a pretty bad idea after Trump, and a pretty bad idea now that Putin has actually started a war. So Europe is changing, it is having to rebuild itself in the wreckage of so many treasured beliefs. But what is it changing into Ivan crusted chairs, the Center for liberal strategies in Sofia. He's a founding board member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and the author of the book after Europe. And he's just among the most interesting and erudite people you can talk to on the subject of Europe of liberalism, of democracy. And all the tensions are there. And as always, my email as for Concho at ny times.com. Ivan Kristof, welcome to the show.

Thank you very much for inviting.

So I had a first question. But when we were just talking beforehand, you told me what you've been thinking about, which is, you feel that we are so obsessed with the question of what will happen that we miss what has happened. So tell me what has happened.

Listen, one of the things that strikes me is that the change is happening so quickly, that people are really missing seeing some very obvious things. For example, for the last 10 years, Europe was very much shattered by at least three crisis. One was first the financial crisis, which was a big economic issues, the fear of impoverishment of the population, and what is going to happen. And then you have the Russia first kind of annexation of Crimea war in Donbass. And then basically, you have the refugee crisis of 2015. The first thing that we're not seeing is that all this crisis came back. If you're going to see what is happening on the economic story, we're talking about inflation, we're probably going to talk about the decline of the GDP. That is compared to what happened in 2829. If you see the refugee crisis, basically, you're going to see more refugees coming out of the rush of Ukrainian war, then of the war in the Middle East. And by the way, this is going to be the biggest movement of people in Europe since World War Two. And then basically, if you're going to talk about the first Russia, Ukrainian war, when it started, now, you're going to see a totally different scale. So suddenly, all these three came back, but they came in a very different way. They came in so different way that we didn't see that this is the same crisis coming back. And for me, this is one of the things secondly, I was surprised how quickly certain things that we have been taken for granted, have been totally shattered. For example, just a year ago, Europeans have been convinced that the major war is not possible in Europe. If you basically go is the famous, tawny jazz history of Europe after 1945 called post war, post war was the very definition of what Europe was. Europe was a project European Union bought out of the World War Two, but also a project that is based on the idea that the major war is not possible anymore. And now it changed totally, even before the Russian invasion. European Council on Foreign Relations did studies in several of the EU member states and majority of people claim that they're going to be or to the end of the year, or the very story of neutrality. There was talk and talk and talk. And then over two months now we expect that Sweden and Finland two countries for which neutrality was the identity, probably going to change it, or Germany, a country that didn't have a single drone for now. They believe it's unethical. They never bought a drone. And now the same country is talking about investing 100 billion euros in the rearmament, this is such a big changes, but because everything happens so fast, we're not understanding how dramatic all this is. And we're just thinking what is going to come next?

Let me take those three crises from the beginning. And particularly number one, and number two, the economic and refugee crises, because I've been thinking a bit along the same lines practically around refugees. And one thing that is striking is how differently populations respond to stress, when there is a story behind it. So a financial crisis caused by bankers or to some in Europe caused by the Greeks. That's one thing that you're mad at your leaders, you're mad at your fellow EU members, but it causes a lot of internal dis cohesion. refugees coming from Syria, which is a place that many in Europe who have very little connection to is another kind of crisis and invasion, right, it becomes a huge political problem. But the stories we're hearing about the way Ukrainian refugees are being taken in are very different. The way people I assume are understanding some of the economic tumult right now is different. How much does it matter, that there is a unifying external enemy in the person of Vladimir Putin, compared to when these crises felt to many people more like the fruits of poor, liberal governance?

Totally, the narrative is critically important because when people don't see who is responsible to for what is happening, the conspiracy theories comes up. And the story was, of course, there was a major war in Syria. But people cannot identify because they don't understand it, there was all this kind of a quite wicked talk about the economic migrants, or the refugees. And now you see a word that you understand, particularly countries like Poland, that is receiving now 3 million people. This is the paradox. During the first refugee crisis, Poland was one of the countries that closed themselves, totally for refugees. And suddenly, you see the same Poland, 3 million people, volunteers, private persons, volunteers going to the borders, driving their cars. Why? Because they understand this war, they can identify it. And they do well, if also, the pandemic has a role in this before people in Europe particularly felt protected against any major disaster, we should have been complaining, of course, we had been unhappy with this and that but you had the feeling that you were living in a world where nothing dramatic can happen to you. And then came the pandemic and they came this war, and you identify with these people. And the third thing which I found really important was that it's not that the Ukrainians suffer, they suffer but they fought back. This level of heroism, particularly in a societies like Europeans, where heroism was kind of perceived as something coming from the past is critically important battle practice set upon once upon a time that he feels sorry for nations that need heroes. But at some point, basically, we also should feel sorry for nations that do not need heroes. And from this point, they are the Ukrainians, the very fact that they did something that nobody expected from them, created this respect. So you're not simply going to meet suffering people, refugees, but you meeting goals when trying to welcome respectful people, people who are victorious in their resistance. I do believe this also has a huge importance to understanding. It's not simply a narrative, but it's a narrative of a heroic resistance.

How unifying is this story in truth, because another way of looking at it is that this is what is being reported. Germany is making this huge defense expenditure. People are taking in refugees in Poland. But then you look at the country that is currently undergoing a moment of small d democratic accountability France, where there is an election going on, and LePen is making a very strong challenge to McCrone in Hungary, or bond was reelected easily. Now. He has created a system where it be very hard for anything to happen, but for him to be reelected easily. But still in the two data points we have Hungary and the race in France. The more pro Putin, politicians don't seem to be suffering a complete exile from politics in the way that some might have expected.

You're right. And it's even going deeper. The problem is not simply how strong is disunity, but how long it can last. Because meeting people hosting people living in your house for three months for four months for six months, for how long. So this comes the problem of what is going to happen next for the governments. So I do believe it is a momentum. And this momentum is also dividing in the case of France. As you know, on the first round, Macron prevailed now the second round is going to come on Sunday, if we trust opinion polls, he's going to win. But of course, this victory is not going to be the glorious victory that he expected. But part of the story is that what happened in France is that well, Macron was focusing on a war. The major message of LePen was everybody cares now about Ukrainians who cares about your French people. So you start and in Europe, a kind of Olympics of suffering, who is suffering most is basically the Forgotten French farmer is doing worse than the Ukrainians because his suffering is invisible. And this is a moment in which there is a unity. But there is a very strong nationalist sentiment. And of course, both LePen and Orban did it very clear that they don't stand behind the invasions or the against the war. But the major message was, we don't like what Putin is doing. But the most important for us is that we care about our own people. And he's something that they find as a major change, compared to UK, for example, is the late 1990s. People now talk a lot about the impact of the Kosovo War, and NATO, basically, bombing of Belgrade, on what is happening in Russia and how the Russians were perceiving themselves. But one of the interesting story about the Kosovo War was that, from the western point of view, the message of the war was, we care about people who are not like us, who are Muslims, and we are ready to die, or at least, to kill for place in which there is no oil. So in a certain way, it was perceived as a classical humanitarian or so the idea was that when we talk about rights, we normally talk about rights of the minorities of the most vulnerable group. And not only about people like us, I remember, in 1999, during the war campaign, Tony Blair came to Sofia, and he gave a speech. And he said, What Gladstone did for Bulgarians, in 8076, during the liberation from the Ottoman Empire we're doing for the cost of ours. And he was wrong. Because God's don't interfere, because Bulgarians were Christians, like him, and hear the major message was this people are different than us. What in my view is changing is that you see that people, again, start very much to focus on people like them, in a certain way you identify, for example, polls identified with the Ukrainians, because they do believe that they have an enemy, which is the same enemy. And this was not the same in Syria, regardless of the fact that it was Russians bombing Aleppo. But this was not type of identification. It's not simply that you have a common enemy, but you're seeing that you can be the next. And this kind of a moment in which people have a solidarity, but it's the solidarity of their own groups.

Yes, there's a way of understanding the refugee story right now with the Ukrainians, as very inspiring. But the more difficult and I think also true way to understand it, is that what makes it inspiring is how different it is from previous refugee stories. And that question of who we care about, and why. When do we care? When does it become a front page news day after day after day after de correctly because Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a big deal. But in terms of lives, in terms of geopolitics, it's not like the starvation in Afghanistan isn't a big deal, or the war in Yemen isn't a big deal, or any number of other conflicts or catastrophes we can name. So on the one hand, the solidarity with Ukrainians, is it a genuinely wonderful moment, I think in the West, but it's thrown into sharp relief, by all the times we have not offered that solidarity or have even gone in the other direction.

No, I totally agree with you. But here there is a basic problem. And in its most radical form, it looks like this. Can you laugh, all kids in the world as drunk as you love young kids? To what extent there are certain preferences that are so strongly embedded in all of us? That when it comes to solidarity, certain type of a community suddenly ends up to be more important, and I'm saying this because on one level, what you're seeing is very true. On the other the fact that this is happening in Europe, and this is Russia, taking Ukraine and not Syria, also explain the fact why many countries outside Europe and the United States do not care much about the war. For example, the majority of the countries that have been invited by President Biden, on the summit of democracy, do not sanction Russia has some of these countries, important countries, you have countries like India, but also you have a kind of a symbolic places like South Africa. They obviously don't approve what Russia is doing. But for them, this is not so important because it's not so much about them. And because they feel other things because they have other calculations. So in my view, this is one of the interesting story that we can see in the moment in which the globalization is in crisis, the moment the world globalized, suddenly universalism ended up in crisis. In a way, we had a much more kind of a readiness to identify with different people and people will not like us, when these people are much more part of our imagination than part of our personal experience. So it's not by accident that Immanuel Kant, the guy who basically come with this Universalist ethics and ideas, was famous for never leaving his town. So this is what I found kind of quite interesting.

Yeah, so there's very much there's very much something to that. And to the point you made about those countries, another thing you hear in the reporting from them, is it when they look out, and they see America and Europe, rallying global opinion against Russia, as you say, they may not support what Russia did. But they see less difference than we do, between what Russia did, and what we do. And I as, as a member of my own, we here don't want to draw what I consider to be a false equivalence. At the same time. I think we are seeing here that it has built a deeper reservoir of weakness than we always admit, for America, I will say, to have violated international law so often, to have been an expansionist power many times over the past 20 or 30 years to appoint itself the global policeman. There are real ways here where the case we make to ourselves is not believed, it seems to me by other countries, you say, well, I hear what you say, but But look what you do.

Not Listen, you're absolutely right. And the major accusation to the West in all these countries is hypocrisy. And the major thing that basically put him believe that he is doing is teaching the west the lesson, I'm just doing what you're doing, just see yourself, I'm the mirror of yours. He is obsessed with the hypocrisy of the West. On the other side, there is one major difference, which is at least important for me when I'm trying to basically decide for myself how right or wrong we are saying this or that listen, the tortures atrocities. This is not the only thing that's not only the Russians that are doing this. We remember we repent what happened during the 2003 and four in Iraq. But there is a major difference. When this happened. There was a moral outrage. There was a Senate investigation saying what was the chain of command, who knew what is going on? This is totally absent. In the Russian Ukrainian case, the Russian president decided to make heroes of the people that have been accused of committing crimes against civilians. And this is a major difference. So the major difference is not what the military do. The major difference is basically to what extent society is ready to face the evils that they are doing. And from this point of view, there is a famous Italian historian who said something that I found particularly convincing, he said, In order to understand, which is the nation to which you belong, this is not the nation that you love most. But this is the nation that you ashamed of. So the fact that you feel kind of a much more stirred and kind of uneasy about the things that America is doing in the world is simply a proof that you are American. And the thing that basically makes the Russians losing a lot of the moral respect that they have gained because of what their parents and grandparents did during the World War Two is exactly this. Do not apologize, do not confess any type of wrongdoing. Try basically to dismiss any type of suffering that you have injected on others. And in my view, this is becoming an issue because this is demoralizing nations.

I want to use this as a bit of a bridge to a different question of projection here, which is projection from Europe as to what Europe is internally and from Europe as to what other countries are externally. And let's begin with the ladder. You wrote that Europeans made a mistake by universalizing their post World War Two experience to countries like Russia Tell me about that.

Listen, this is a very interesting story if you go back to the Nighty night is not immediately 9091 1992 When there was a lot of kind of uncertainty and by the way, the fear of chaos and disorder, so there was not fearful ism immediately after the end of the Cold War. But in the last part of the Nighty night is the beginning of 2000 Suddenly, because something that we did not expect happen to me Soviet Union collapsed, we decided that we know what is going to happen in the future. Our failure basically, this is a German colleague of mine who made this great observation, the failure to basically predict the Soviet Union collapsed, made the West confident that we know what is going to happen next. And here the story was Russia is going to follow the development of Germany after World War Two, but they three things happened. One is your Victor. But your economy collapsed. I'm always giving this example. But if you're coming from alien planet, and you don't know anything that happened after 9090 9091, you're just going to see the GDP of the countries and what happened to them in this first five or six years. You look at Soviet Union, and this is a country that was the major war, there was 1/3 of their GDP. So you have this. Secondly, while Russians were quite happy, that communism and didn't I do believe majority of them were. For them. The end of the day, communism does not meant the end of Soviet Union. It was true for many people in the republics, it was quite natural for the West. But for them, this was a surprise. And thirdly, this was the mystery of defeat. Can you imagine, even now I do? Well, if if we're going to repeat what happened, we're going to understand how strong the shock was. You have a nuclear power that basically cannot be defeated militarily, because the moment you're going to defeat them, they're going to destroy the world that has survived. Good luck, World War Two, major misery. And suddenly they collapsed overnight. And nobody decided to defend the communist system. Nobody decided to die for the Soviet Union. Even the intelligence officer who was in GDR at this moment, put in, none of these people basically did it. I'm saying this because this sense of guilt and misunderstanding, you don't understand what happened. This pushed a very strong conspiracy thinking about politics. One of the things that is absolutely amazing not about Putin, but about Russian political debate, is that they really adopted a very conspiratorial view of how the works functions. When you see 5000 people on the street, you're not asking questions, why they're there, you're asking questions who sent them? Who paid them. So this created a situation in which, in my view, our expectations, the trash is simply going to be the repetition of what happened to Germany after World War Two was wrong, or in a way it was right. But it was not a repetition of what had happened to Germany after World War Two. But what happened to Germany after World War One? I'm Wesley Morris.

I'm a culture writer at The New York Times where I co host a podcast called still processing. Normally, I do this work with the incomparable Jenna Wertham. But this season, Jenna is off writing a book. So I invited some of my favorite writers and critics to come talk to me about the culture that shaped us the changing ways we consume it, and why Keanu Reeves is basically a culture unto himself. You can listen to still processing wherever you get your podcasts.

I really liked the point that the West took the collapse of Soviet Union, an unexpected event, as proof of the predictability of human events, right of the end of history, at least as a relevant hypothesis. And one thing that's interesting about that, that I think gets into some of the assumptions that have been wrongly applied in recent decades. Is that the story that is applied to the Soviet Union's collapse, I think correctly, is it it is economic, that economics or destiny, that communism was a bad economic system, and eventually its own internal contradictions around an inability to provide a better life for its citizens to keep economies growing to produce efficiently in comparison to democracies and more capitalist systems. That that is what makes their cloud It's predictable. And then applied broadly. Those are the forces allow you to predict anything. And this, I think, is something that ends up informing the way the United States and Europe treat China, of course, but also Russia. And you have this nice line that follows in the same piece for you, right? Capitalism is not enough to temper authoritarianism. Trade with dictators does not make your country more secure. And keeping the money of corrupt leaders in your banks does not civilize them, it corrupts you. Do you mind talking a bit about the assumptions behind that the assumptions that I think were particularly dominant in Europe, that you can civilize other countries through

trade? This was very much the European experience as Thomas baggier, a German diplomat said The End of History was an American book, but the German reality. And what was so appealing to the Europeans was that basically, all the rationality is economic. The only thing that you're really interested in is your GDP, the welfare of your people, anything which is based on identity, pride, resentment, humiliation should not be important. So from this point of view, have you seen to what extent anytime that we cannot explain, we're trying to explain by corruption, for example, all these years when we're trying to understand what is going wrong with countries like, be it Russia, big China be hungry, we're going to focus on corruption, and corruption is there, it's part of the system. But the most important thing that people, for example missed is that through corruption, you're not going to understand what President Putin is going to do. Because there is something very naive and to be honest, ridiculous to believe that the president of a nuclear power, who is preoccupied with history and who is writing essays himself why the Russians and Ukrainians are the same people is going to have this or that policies simply based on his economic interest, particularly private economic interests. They did that the Russian oligarchs can prevent the war, simply because they want to keep their bank accounts shows the fact that we totally eliminated the non economic motivations, of states of politicians, but also basically, of human nature. So as a result of it, we reduce human nature, to the economic activities. And by the way, we reduced economics, to the GDP, and to the standard of living. Well, in front of our eyes, we're seeing that people were motivated by totally different things. Most of the big protests that we have seen in the last decade in the world cannot be simply explained in economic terms. We like to talk dignity, but dignity cannot be explained simply by economic factors. There's something different. And here to be honest, for Guillermo was more interesting than some of his critics because following Hegel, he really made a strong point that recognition and struggle for recognition is critical to understand what is happening to the world. By the way, his article not so much the book is interesting because it was totally misread because people read for grandma's article as if it was written in Nighty night, this being the end of history article, The End of History, who is a question mark Ellison, it was written in the spring of 1989 Fukuyama did not expect Soviet Union to collapse. For him. The End of History was that it was communist leaders that stopped believing in communism. Suddenly, basically, they accepted the fact that the major utopia that justified their political order, is that and suddenly, what happened after the end of communism, in fact, was the disintegration of the last European empire. Suddenly, in Europe after the end of communism, almost 20 and more new states have been born. So from this point of view, European Nighty night, this was like Africa in the 1960s. It was the major site for newly born nations. This was kind of an absence. And one of the things that I do believe we went totally wrong is we very much marginalized, the experience of the US workforce of 19 itis suddenly appeared that many of the problems that we saw in the period of the disintegration of Yugoslavia, were not problems coming from the past, they were problems coming from the future. We, in my view, Miss recognize the sovereignty moment for democracy moment, say more about that. Listen, we continue to talk about the post Cold War period, in terms of the Cold War. But in a big way, it can turn out the decolonization that started with basically the end of the first and then second world war is a much more important narrative for the other parts of the world. Simply the Cold War has arrested this narrative. And with the end of the Cold War, what happened was the emergence of a new states that they're looking for identities. And from this point of view, Europe is a great story. Right, because European Union was created by former empires, but for east Europeans, and this was quite interesting. They were sharing very much the sentiment of the same African nations, because they were seeing themselves as being the product of the disintegration of Habsburg Empire, Ottoman Empire or Russian Empires. So this kind of change of a narrative in which we continue to describe what we have been seeing in terms of the Cold War, namely democracy versus authoritarianism. And it was true to great extent. But the much more important was what was the meaning of sovereignty in a interdependent world. And then this is going to explain us the rise of people like Corbin, the rise of people like LePen, who basically obsessed with what it means to be sovereign, in a interdependent world. And of course, in European Union, this is a much more important, meaning because of the nature of the European project

is a way to think about this. And I'm just thinking about this on the fly democracy versus sovereignty, or is it liberalism versus sovereignty, because we often collapse liberalism and democracy and to liberal democracy. But as many people pointed out, Yasha, Monk among them, those can be quite intention. And often what the de most wants, is not to be as rule bound as cosmopolitan as respectful of rights as neutral in its treatment, as what the rules and ideals of liberalism would want. And when I think of LePen, when I think of an autobahn, I think something they have understood is that democracy is relatively easy to co OPT, it can be altered, right? It can be shaped corrupted the way Orban has, but it's also possible for you to just win, right, and I hope LePen won't, we will know that by the time this comes out. But it can happen. And Donald Trump was not a very small d democratic figure, just one in America. And so one of the weaknesses in this period, it is often seemed to me has been believing liberalism is something that has simply one that you can take for granted. While others understood it as something and in fact, a weakening target that you could fight against.

You're very right. And there were two things that you might be critical for understanding this. The first is when the Cold War ended, the assumption in the West was the least is going to change, but the West is going to remain the same. To a certain extent, the Western democracies were quite blind to To what extent the existence, their political and social system was very much preconditioned on the Cold War and the existence of the Soviet Union.

I think this is a very, very under done point.

Yeah. Because listen, this is extremely important when you have service on the other side, claiming that they represent the proletariat, you should very carefully think, how your workers are perceiving what is going on. It's so important for you, your workers to be on your site. So the welfare state was not simply an economic project, the welfare state was a security project. But the second thing in here, of course, the worst is to be blamed, but also can be excused. Because it might be an idea. And what you saw for this first decade, is that our East European societies ourselves, if you're going to ask us, What do you want, we're going to say we want to be like the West. So imitating the West, became our understanding of what it means to have a good society to be a liberal democracy. And then you imitating first of all, we're writing constitutions, we're doing this you're inviting advisors. But the problem is imitation is that if I imitate you, I basically claim that you're better than me, and about my identity, and here comes the idea of the sovereignty, I also want to be different. I like to be like you, but also I want you to recognize my difference. And from this point of view, if you're going to see particularly do some of his European populist regimes beat Hungary, Poland, they have the same psychological kind of a trajectory that we know from the second generation of immigrants, the first generation comes in being very kind of willing to accept and to integrate in the cost society because it was their choice. But the second generation which is born there in a certain way, much more internalized some of the things, they start to see basically the glass ceilings, they see basically, the loss of their own authenticity and identity. And this is very difficult, because you have the cultural environment in which the message is Be unique. Be yourself. And on the other side, the political imperative is be like us, fulfill all the obligations and all the criteria of the European Union, if you want to join, and in my view, this created this clash between yes liberalism, and the idea of sovereignty is liberalism and the idea of the will of the people, which was very skillfully used. And one of the major message that came also in the first years of transition was, we have been asking for justice, and we have been given the rule of law. And then came people like Kaczynski, who said, Do you really need an independent court? Do you really need an independent central bank? How I can make a revolution if somebody's constraining my power all the time?

Let me then ask about a hypothesis that I can't decide if it is the same or different than the one you're offering here, which is that one of the continuous difficulties of liberal democracy, even when it is a term in tension, is that you're promised an idea. And what you get is governance. And that over time, this is a continuously difficult problem for any system. To be fair as a problem for communism. It's a problem for Vladimir Putin moving from the idea of invading Ukraine to the reality of invading Ukraine. But I'll take the European Union as the example here. The European Union is such a remarkable idea when it emerges. That it's foreigner, which is a pact to trade coal around is understood historically, is this great, inspiring moment of postwar turning. But then eventually what you get is bureaucrats and the harmonizing of regulations and trade. I cover elections obviously, in America quite often. And you see this in miniature constantly. Elections are exciting, your promise the idea of a candidate the idea of their platform, and then you get the disappointments of their governance. And it does seem to me that one of the difficulties is it as liberalism went from being an idea to being a reality, one promise, simply lost ideologists people stopped making really the argument for it, particularly after the Cold War. But the other problem is it it actually is disappointing. It's disappointing to live under these rules. Rule of Law is frustrating, constantly frustrating. And it's more frustrating, the bigger the area that law needs to rule

is. You're absolutely right. Albert Hirschman, one of the social scientists for whom I have the highest regard was claiming that nevertheless, of what you were doing in life, we get disappointed. For example, you get involved in politics, and in 10 years, you get disappointed. You go in your private life, and you're sad that you're not interested in politics, you get disappointed. So normally, the major strength of democracy was that democracy better than other societies was dealing with disappointment. You're disappointed and you're going to change a government, you're going to change this and that and you're getting a kind of a new license for being Cree engaged, what is changing, and in a certain way, I saw this in Eastern Europe, in one way, and in America in different in 1990s, you're changing the government, but you have the feeling that you cannot change the policies. And this creates this kind of angry position in which you're ready to vote for any buddy, who is ready to challenge the system, even when you don't agree particularly with the ideas that he comes from you because this is just to try to assert your agency, I can make it because if the change of government does not mean much, if there is too much consensus, and this is the crisis in places like France and others, you see the crisis of conceptual politics. So the politics of citizens was very much replaced by the politics of fence. Political leaders really started to treat their voters at a fan clubs. And by the way, this is true also for non democratic regimes like Russia. If you see the annexation of Crimea, annexation of Crimea was like a sport performance. Everything is changing, when basically, it's not sport anymore, when you have all these people, including Russian soldiers being killed in Ukraine. So this story that you have a leader that you should deliver gifts to the public. And on the other side, you have a fence who are not citizens anymore, because they are totally and critical to their home. And the loyalty is only unconditional loyalty. From this point of view, I do believe President Trump basically has the best understanding of loyalty in this type of world. The oil is somebody who defends you when he knows that you're totally wrong. And also wrong in moral terms. If you're supporting somebody when he's right, that is not wild. This is just a common sense. So this is where the problem of dissatisfaction goes. Because dissatisfaction assumes a meaningful change, a change that you can achieve. If you don't believe that you can achieve this change, you go with this kind of hysterical reactions in one direction or the other. Where everything is about expressing how you feel. And this is what I find kind of dramatically changing candles. So this is slightly generational. Talking about the first round of the French elections, if people older than 65, were not allowed to vote on the French elections, President McCrone was not going to reach the second round. The second round is going to be between the candidate of the far right and the far left in this type of a centrist politics, which is very much based on compromise on achievement on governing is very much in my view, replaced by politics of self expression, were for me, the most important is how I feel, because this is the only thing that I really believe I can do, to express how I feel, I don't believe any more in a collective project that can be realized.

And to express who you are exactly. One thing of vote is, is a expression of self identity.

Totally. And from this point, if this is the biggest story of identity politics, that is going, and this is also very much in the way we got wrong, what Putin will do, because people believe that he's going to be very much guided by economic considerations. This is true also in our society is about how people vote.

This is a big theme of my book, why we're polarized this way, like the book, if you want us to try to predict the way people vote, people always want to go to material incentives, they always want to go to who's gonna give them the most money pundits do. And that does not describe it, that does not describe the way people vote, they vote based on who they are and who they want to be seen as in the world. And they vote based on who they think is going to raise up people like them. And we've tested this 100 different ways in many, many countries. And it is always true identity Trump's policy.

But this is true also on the level of the states. Because basically, what you see in Ukraine is identity, Trump's interests, economic interests, listen, Russia is going to be economically devastated, regardless of how the war is going to end up. But basically, they did to keep your status of a great power of Imperial nation, the fear of being irrelevant in global politics, is the one not simply that is moving what the government is doing. In my view, it also explains why people are ready to support policy that is going to hurt them. So from this point of view, we have a global spread of identity, politics, identity politics stop to be kind of characteristics of a certain groups, normally minority groups, it stopped to be the characteristic of small nations, because small nations were used to be much more than that, for very obvious reasons to identity politics, suddenly, everybody's in identity politics, but the interesting stories, that the powerful, what also to be perceived as the most vulnerable. So when Russia is trying to position itself as the victim of Ukraine,

when Russia is positioning itself as a victim of cancellation? Yeah, exactly. I mean, the the metaphor is being is being drawn very, very directly.

And this is quite interesting, because at the same time, and this is also quite important is that when everything is identity politics, the majority cannot be taken for granted. Normally, in a classical liberal democracy of the 1990s, the idea was that democracy works very well for the majority groups. And this is why all the rights discourse was focused on minority groups. In a certain way, majorities has power minority has rights. And suddenly, majorities get the feeling that they don't have power anymore. And when majorities gets the feeling that they don't have power anymore, minority don't have rights anymore. Because then suddenly, everybody starts feeling as a kind of a persecuted group. And I do believe, particularly in European politics, which I know better, the threatened majority, the majorities, which also for demographic reasons, believes that they are the minorities of tomorrow, is becoming the major driving force in politics. And by the way, Mrs. LePen. The more during the first round, much stronger than her is the classical example of this. And by the way, also Russia, because many of the things that you see in the politics of President Putin are driven by demographic fears in the last month because I have been following all his statements. He's repeating that if it was not for the revolution, if it was not for the World War Two, if it was not for the disintegration of the Soviet Union, there are going to be 500 million Russians in the world. This idea of the fear of a demographic decline, which in the eyes, particularly of this much more traditional politicians, mean also decline of power, decline of prestige is pushing you to do many things that better that you have not done.

Yeah, one of my deep beliefs about the way politics works is that you see identity politics when the dominance of Single identities begins to wane. That identity politics was much stronger 50 years ago, it's just that a small number of identities had so much control, a small number of groups had so much control such unquestioned majorities such unquestioned power, that you don't see the politics of it, they're able to make the politics of it invisible. That's just the boundaries of debate. An example I always like to use on this in America is religion. There was not an open atheist, in the House of Representatives until 2007. Until 2007, there have been atheists around for a lot longer than that. And I assure you, there were some non believing members, non theist members of the House of Representatives, but it was something you could not say. And so now we have what feels to me like more and more fierce religious conflict in American politics than we did when I was younger, and a lot of religious radicalization is rising Catholic, radical Integris group and a lot of collision. But it's coming because secularization has made Protestant dominance, far less total. And as such, now more identities are able to assert a politics. When that happens, then we say, oh, there's all this identity politics, but what it really is, is like a breakdown of the dominance of certain identity groups.

You're absolutely right, because this also the moment when you see the breakdown of your dominance, two things are happening. All the elections basically perceived as the most important as the last elections. And all the war is perceived as the most important as the last war. I'm absolutely sure that if somebody is going to have an interview and ask President Putin why he decided to invade Ukraine and to do what he did, one of the arguments that probably he's going to tell this kind of invisible interviewer is that he realized the time does not work for him, that in 10 years, they're going to be less Ukrainians who speak Russian, in 10 years, they're going to be better Ukrainian armed forces, in 10 years, they're going to be stronger Ukrainian identity. So suddenly, you have the feeling that either you're going to do it now, or you're going to do it never. And I do believe also, President Trump was very powerful in 2016, when he was telling the Republicans, this is the last elections, either you're going to elect me, or if you're not going to elect me, the demography is going to change in such a way that you're never going to win. And in my view, this explains also very much your favorite topic of polarization, because out of the title of the Fukuyama book, The End of History, and the last man, probably we parted with the deviant of history. But now Strangely, the world is populated by the last man. Everybody believes that they're kind of the last of a kind, that if they're not going to defend their position, their power, then everything is going to collapse. And this also explains the fact why future disappeared as a kind of a mobilizing project, as societies became very nostalgic. Deep was three years ago, that Bertelsmann Foundation was asking Europeans, do you believe that the past was better than the future majority in every single European country, including among the young people believe that past was better than the future. And of course, if you're going to ask which passed, then you're going to have a huge differences. But suddenly, people were dreaming for the past. This is a classical understanding of a kind of a crisis of this basic dominance is that you're talking about because what was better about the past that I knew simply that there was more powerful this is, I was younger.

But I get these change. People tend to think of them as groups and religions and races, but nationalities and identity. European is an identity. And so one of the things that I'm interested in, is how the identity of European is changing under this kind of pressure, you made this very, very good point, I thought, at the top of our conversation, that there was a period when the identity of Europe the reality of Europe is war, then there's the post war period, as Tony showed put it, the identity is that this is a place that is no longer at war that is united through trade, and they are trying to extend the assumptions of that identity, the assumptions of that philosophy over to Russia. But then what is the next Europe? If it's no longer post war? What do you think the European identity is changing into?

Listen This a great question. I'm not sure that I'm going to give you a great answer, but difficult historically, in 1914, Europe was the world, at least in its own imagination, because basically, the World War One was also called the European war, because it was the war of European empires. So all the power was constant. strategy in Europe. And then comes World War Two and the Cold War. And in the Cold War, the two non European powers, the United States and Soviet Union had been totally dominating. But Europe was the price. It was the major stage, it was central, basically what it means to win the Cold War, it was basically to win Germany, to try to dominate Europe. And then comes the end of the Cold War. And I do believe he, it was interesting about the European project and Europe was not as important as it was. But Europe tried to build its identity of being the laboratory of the world to come. Europe suddenly said, we're the one which are kind of a postmodern state, we're about economy and soft power, we're not going to fight each other, everybody's going to be like us simply takes time. So suddenly, Europe's made itself Central, based on the fact that we have this unique experience, which is exceptional, but also Universalist. So from this point of view, Europe slightly took from the American playbook, your exceptional, but it's your exceptionalism that makes universal because in 50 years, 100 years, everybody's going to be like you because everybody wants to imitate you. What happened now is that Europe lost, suddenly, Europe is becoming simply one of the regions of the world, probably the most prosperous, culturally, quite interesting, but we lost our centrality. And from this point of view, the war in Ukraine can have a very different outcomes when it comes to European identity. Because at this this moment, by the way, based on a very legitimate moral outrage, most of the Europeans will get rushed in the way they have been looking at the Chernobyl reactor after the disaster, you simply want to isolate it. We don't want to have anything to do with you. We don't want your oil, we don't want your gas, we don't believe that we can change you anymore. This is who you are. Simply, we want to imagine the world without you. So as a result of it, either, we should start to be interested in other parts of the world. Also, for the reasons that you should buy from somewhere oil and gas, in natural resources, and this could be quite interesting, or Europe is basically going to see itself as the appendix to the United States, which is also very much what is happening now in military terms. But under the assumption that the United States is interested in this, because this is the problem, when you're not at the center, you cannot even take the American interest for granted. So as a result of it, this war basically challenged dramatically the identity of all the three players that around it, Russia, because Russia cannot take its historical empire in the way Putin has been assuming it for granted just the opposite. And then, of course, Europe. Who are we going to be? I mean, how economically sustainable, how politically sustainable, what is going to come out of our own project? Do we still believe in shared sovereignty? Do we still believe that economic interdependence is the major source of security? So all these questions are coming and I don't believe that we know exactly what the answers are going to be. Because the answers are not going to be theoretical, they're not going to be ideological, they're going to be the result of a certain decisions taken by certain people and certain governments, which are going to end up in a constellation. And going back to your idea about the European narrative. Now, we tend to tell the story of Europe as a history of a project. But if you go back and close it to what happened, this was a compromises certain type of decisions as a response to a certain crisis. Europe is a project when you look back, or when you look very far ahead. But in a midterm, it's not a project. It's something different. It is a mechanism for surviving. And I have a very high opinion of the capacity to political projects to survive. Because what gives you legitimacy is the capacity to survive. If certain project manages to survive after different prices. It is worth existing.

But that mechanism is interesting, because I think in that way, there will not be the capacity to forget about Russia. I do not know how any of this will end I do not pretend to have any capacity to make relevant predictions, but I think a plausible path might be on is Russia controlling much of Ukraine's east and Solinsky and his government maintaining Kiva and the other parts of Ukraine. It's, you know, you have a carved up Ukraine, you have Russian expansion. You have a recognition that the dependence on Russian oil and gas weakened the ability to sanction Russia and strengthened Putin. And you have fear that Putin will go further that he'll do More that he's waiting to strike again. And so Europe to say nothing of Ukraine, of course, but Europe is going to be living with an external unifying threat, they might be trying to make Russia isolated. But that is an active practice, right? It is a practice of sanctions, the practice of getting yourself off of Russian gas, or practice, as you say, of trying to respond to crisis. And so it seems to me that one thing that is changing about Europe now is that it has something to fight something to defend itself against, you know, you go back six years, and it seemed like the fundamental fight was about the European Union, you have Brexit, you have this question of whether or not the ideas become exhausted. And now you have this new unity, but it's aimed at an external enemy. I wonder, Is that ground not just for responses, but for ideas?

Listen, this is a great question. And in a certain way, it can develop very differently. One of the things that strikes me in the modern world, particularly in the modern democratic world, is the fading power of the external enemy to create domestic cohesion. When you see the United States, and if you compare basically American, the beginning of the Cold War with America, what we see now was that Soviet Union created a lot of cohesion in the American side. You remember this famous quote from Updike. What is the meaning to be American if there is not cold war? So in a certain way, Cold War was the identity. This one of his character is basically saying, and now what you see is that, yes, on artificial level, everybody, of course, is against Putin. But I'm sure that for many Republicans, Biden is the real enemy, not put in, and probably for many Democrats, Trump is the real enemy, not put in. So this kind of external enemy that is producing an incredible political cohesion at home, this is not in the way it worked in a classical period, either of the Cold War, or even before in a classical nation state. I always remember this famous poster, which I have seen from 1848, the poster of a worker who has a belt in one hand, and rifle in the other. And the message was ballot for the class, enemy, and bullet for the National enemy. So now, you cannot understand which of the two are more important. And this is why Europe is going to either be unified because of the external threat, or fragmented because of the external threat. Because this is the problem of identity politics, they have a different logics. I very much agree with you that and by the way, I found wrong. Our discourse talking about Russia in the way we have been talking before about democracy is if we know how Russia is going to look like in the next 50 100 years, this civilization of this course, the moment when you know, you have the illusion that you know, what the country is doing, you're not interested. By the way, we really are not curious about what is happening on all of these places. Instead of saying we don't understand why they're doing this, for example, why Russians are not opposed to killing other slough Christians. What about all this religious discourse that was so popular? Is this government how it happens that the Russian patriarchy is blessing these people to be killed? So this is an interesting questions, and they have an answers, but there does not need to be obvious answers. The moment when we define Russia as a civilization different than others that never can be done what they are now, we don't need to be interested, the moment we define Russia, like the last Chernobyl reactor, then when is elation because the other parts of the world does not see it like this. Europeans can imagine the world without Russia, but the Indians for their own reasons, the Chinese for their own reasons, they are going to find a place for us in this world for Putin's Russia or post Putin's Russia. So as a result of it, in my view, this is the story can this war unified Europe to the extent that Europe should build a new identities that did not exist before? And this identity can be based on many things? It can be also based on rediscovering what is European sovereignty, the famous topic of Macron what it means for European Union to be sovereign, sovereign with respect to home till recently it was from the United States, but now Russia, China where we do stay on this.

Let me and basically a couple of questions and about America. And I was going back to a PC wrote shortly after Joe Biden was elected, building around a big poll across many countries in Europe. And he wrote that while most Europeans rejoiced at Joe Biden's victory in the November US presidential election, they do not think he can help America make a comeback as a pre eminent global leader. So tell me what you found in that survey. And then tell me if you think it has changed at all over this period.

Really, the majority of Europeans were very happy for Biden to come back. And this was true even on the European right, with a very small segments that had been devoted to Trump, Trump was was a strange figure for the European politics. But what people start to fear, and I do believe that this fear has not disappeared was that suddenly we see America so divided, that every elections in America looks like regime change. And President Biden did a great work of consulting Europeans, I do believe this was one of the amazing success of his foreign policy. And compared to his many other administrations, basically, this administration is very sensitive to things that are important to the Europeans, also to the asymmetrical, for example, nature of the sanctions, United States compared to Europe. But several things are going to happen, first of all midterm elections, if we trust what experts like you're telling, most probably you're going to have a different Congress, a different Senate. And then the story is, is America, as a result of the war in Ukraine, restored certain type of a foreign policy consensus when it comes to Europe, or to what extent is an elite consensus that is not endorsed, neither by the Trump Republicans, no, by the kind of a more left wing of the Democratic Party, which are not particularly excited of American being over engaged and talking carbs, and so on. So for Europeans, this is a major issue, because Europeans before, he'd been taking the American foreign policy consensus for granted, and not anymore. So from this point of view, Trump Effect is still much more in the back of the mind of European leaders. Secondly, and here, of course, President Putin is touching on something that I can also see in Eastern Europe, many of the things that you see us on identity politics, and we're talking about happening in the American universities, differently interpreted in Eastern Europe for many reasons, but the most important is, communism was very sensitive on words. Communism very much was a linguistic regime, when Sinofsky basically, was put on camp, and when he was asked why he was arrested, he said, I have some grammar disagreements with the Soviet government. So basically, this kind of major focus on language, make these Europeans nervous. And this could be right or wrong. This is against about sensitivities. This is about identities, you cannot say that you see Europeans are right or wrong. And of course, we don't know much about what is happening in America, but you have this. And then one of the question is how easily American progressive revolution can travel to some of these places where the composition of society is different, where the historical experience is different. China is a great example of this too, coming from a communist period, too. So all this goes into sort of courses, the American economy during the pandemic, where all of us is more time you see the American stock market over performing. And then you start asking yourself, how it is related to the real economy. To what extent basically, the stock market does not play in the modern system, the same role that communist ideology plays in the communist regime. Basically, this was live in a future and talk about the future, but it's not very clear how the future is related to the present. That's a

very, very interesting way of putting it. The other question, though, is there's the uncertainty around the steadiness of American foreign policy. So so the question of simply American power, something you found in that poll I referenced Is it six out of 10 of the respondents felt China would be more powerful than the US within 10 years. Now that might be economic, that also might be something else that the poll found a sense that the American political system was breaking down was returning crazy results. There's a lack of ability to govern. So it doesn't just have to be China rising power, it can also be America losing power, losing the capacity to act. But I wonder if whether broadly or just to you watching American, this period has made you think America's stronger or weaker in its ability to act abroad than you believed, you know, let's call it a year ago.

That's a great question. Of course, part of the Chinese said vantages that when people talk about power, they always see the change of power. Even if America basically is stronger than China, what we're seeing is that China basically became less weaker with respect to America. And it was. So people always impressed by change. Secondly, unlike the United States, that everything is visible to everybody, everybody has the feeling that he knows how America works. China, for most of us is a kind of a black box, you know certain things, but you don't know how it works. My colleague Steven combs, who made this argument, which I found extremely important, he said, America discovered that its major advantages are turning against it, for example, the spread of English language, because of the spread of English language, any kind of a terrorist can go and basically rent a plane, somewhere in the United States, Intertek the Twin Towers, because American society works transparent for the foreigners, because they know the language, but also the culture the the American culture is so much dominant. At the same time, also, because of the spread of the English language. When an American goes to society, you're always going to have an English speaker. So speaking to the English speakers, you have the feeling that you know what is happening in this society. But quite often, the English speakers are not the most representative parts of the societies. So suddenly, because of the American power, America become transparent to the world. But the world became totally non transparent to America. And when you're asking the question, do I see America strong or not? I do believe that Biden did a very good foreign policy. I do believe also what Bill Burns and the American intelligence community did with this declassified intelligence as a way to prevent the war was amazingly interesting. But the strength of the American power very much depends to what extent American society is ready to allow the American government to use this power, particularly military power. I don't believe that, nevertheless, how well you are, if your society has decided not to be involved, any government can achieve anything. Don't forget, Soviet Union was very well armed. But in the late 1980s, after Afghanistan, after many disappointments, which they had, Soviet power has disappeared, because society was not ready to support any involvement. And this is the biggest problem. And in my view, this problem both on the Republican right and on the Democratic Left, for different reasons, both of them don't trust American power.

That's where we'll end. Always our final question, what are three books that have influenced you that you'd recommend to the audience?

One is a book which I found really, really very important. And I see that this is now well read, this is layup is book free. This is Yanko, Albanian political philosopher teaching in the London School of Economics, who is reflecting on the idea of freedom, just telling the story of Albania of the 1990s and the idea of freedom of father, her mother, grandparents and home, and the relations between political freedoms and economic freedoms, beautifully written book, really worse. I'm a great fan of Fiona Hill's book, but I know that Jana was with your very soul. So I'm not going to give her an example. But I'm going to recommend Mark Leonard in my very good book on international relations called the age of peace, or the story of economic interdependence and the weaponization of interdependence, in my view, is very well captured there. And the third is going to be a fiction book by a Bulgarian and friend of mine, Dr. Yunus, Patino, who is called time shelter. And this is a interesting book and part of the book is also when Europe was very much kind of counted by referendums. He comes with the idea of asking different European nations to have a referendum way back in history they want to go and trying to understand basically the new identity politics of Europe, through the sentimental nostalgia of European societies. It's also very, very good book, which makes the my view the most beautiful assertion that the only time machine that exists is a man, human imagination.

I love that. I've impressive Thank you very much. Thank you. Yes, our current show is a production of New York Times Opinion is produced by Andy Galpin, Merced karma and Jeff Geld. This episode is fact checked by Michelle Harris and Kate Sinclair. Original Music by Isaac Jones mixed and engineered by Jeff Geld. Our executive producer is our reading the Gucci Special thanks to Shannon busta Christina Samuel Lusky and Kristen Lennon.

Disclaimer: Content created by reNotes from the podcast transcript is an example only.  reKnow does not own the original podcast and all content on this page, including content derived from the podcast, are the property of the podcast owner. 

Disclaimer: Content created by reNotes from the podcast transcript is an example only.  reKnow does not own the original podcast and all content on this page, including content derived from the podcast, are the property of the podcast owner.  Being featured as an example does not imply the podcast owner is a reNotes user.

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