Ethics matter. This is not only the tag line for the Carnegie Council. It is also the proposition of my work. Many writers take up ethical issues. But few have the vantage point of the Carnegie Council — a place where leaders from around the world come to share ideas, reflect on their experiences, and engage in public conversation.
Posted here are lectures, articles, and reviews reflecting my engagement with the Council’s activities. If there is a pattern, one might say it is opportunistic, seeking to add the ethical dimension to debates ongoing. One might also see a thread of realism. In my view, power and ethics are inseparable and are best considered together. …
Myths give meaning to our lives. They are stories created to explain the human condition—creation, death, heroism, dignity, pain, pride, and suffering. There is an elevating character to myths. Gods and humans share the stage. One cannot come to Greece without feeling inspired by the ancient classical myths that shape so much of our culture and society.
And yet there is also an instrumental aspect of myths. As the French sociologist Roland Barthes put it, myths are often created by the powerful to serve their own interests, almost always at the expense of the weak.
Let’s give President Obama the benefit of the doubt. As the president has repeatedly asserted, the agreement insures that every pathway to a nuclear weapon will be cut off for at least the next decade and Iran will need to demonstrate compliance before it begins to receive sanctions relief. Yet even if these two things prove true, it is not certain if the deal will ultimately be a good compromise or a rotten one.
Transcript of an interview on The Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC.
“A little over 100 years ago, in February of 1914, the industrialist Andrew Carnegie started an organization whose goal is was to put an end to war forever through rational principles of international law. Reality check: World War I began just six months later.“