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Bill Clinton at the 2006 World Economic Forum January 2, 2007

Posted by Unreasonable in Matters Democratic, Matters Political.

President Clinton speaking with Klaus Schwab at the 2006 World Economic Forum:

Since 1989 when the Berlin wall fell, we’ve been in a world dominated by a global economy without a global society or global political system. We have a lot of shared problems without the mechanisms to deal with them, with enormous shared opportunities that are unevenly distributed, and with positive and destructive forces let loose in ways they had never been let loose before – because of the breaking down of all those barriers.

Normally it takes 30 years for a nation to work this out… We worked on America’s conversion from an agricultural to an industrial economy and the implications for government and society from the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt through the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt. It takes a long time to do these things…

Machiavelli said that there is nothing more difficult in all of human affairs than to change the established order of things because the people who will lose from the change are certain of their loss and the people who will
benefit are uncertain of their gain….


It is still more likely than not that the 21 century will be far less bloody than the 20th. It is still more likely than not there will be widely shared prosperity within the next few decades than ever before in human history.

Could we screw it up if we let AIDs eat us alive? Yes. Could we go back to an ice age if we don’t do something about global warming? Absolutely. But I have to hope that the world will be like Winston Churchill said America was when we didn’t come into World War 2 for two or three years and the press was debating.

He said “America always does the right thing… after exhausting every other alternative.” It may be that’s where the world is. We’re building something that we’ve never had to build before. Don’t be discouraged and don’t use your political disappointments as an excuse to avoid personal commitment.

(lightly edited for readability)

He also recommended Max Weber | Politics as a Vocation

:: A Conversation with William Jefferson Clinton

:: via Casey Capshaw

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