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Chris Stone:My name is Chris Stone and this is the first of what I hope will be dozens of events at the new headquarters of the Open Society Foundations. It is a pleasure to Moiss Nam with us today to talk about the end of power and other associated topics. In addition to being a member of the board of the Open Society Foundations, Moiss is senior associate in international economics, in International Economics Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Before that, for 14 years was the acclaimed editor of foreign policy taking that magazine to all sorts of new heights. He spent some time as Venezuelas Minister of Trade and Industry in the early 90s and might if we have nothing more to say about power before the end of the afternoon might offer a few comments on Venezuela, and he is a recipient of many prizes including probably the most prestigious award in Spanish journalism, the Ortega y Gasset prize. He is the v-chief international columnist at el pais, the largest newspaper in Spain and many more things. He's also just a very good friend of the Open Society Foundations and a good friend of Open Society more generally. HisI first learned of Moiss with a book closer to my area of work, Illicit, which is if you havent seen, I recommend to you. But actually while this isnt my area, Its probably the topic I find most compelling these days, which is power and in this case, Moisss theories and prescriptions about what to do about the end of power and how power is changing in the world. In the book, which some of you I now have already devoured, but in case others of you have not gotten all the way through it. In the opening of the book, he talks about how human life, of course, does not boil down to power alone. Surely love, sex, faith, and other urges, and emotions also have their part to play. But just as surely, power is a quest that is forever motivated people and just as it has always done, power structures society and helps govern relationships and orchestrates the interaction between people and within and among communities and nations. Power plays out in every field in which we can tend, compete or organize. Arguably power also plays out in our most intimate love and family relations as well as in our language and even through our dreams. Those last dimensions are beyond the focus of this book. Moiss Nam:For now. Chris Stone:But that does not mean they're behind the focus of todays conversation. It does not mean that they have been insulated from the trends I seek to explain. Were going to have a conversation here and then in a bit, open it up and invite you to join with questions or comments yourselves. I thought thatbut it might be good to begin if I simply Moiss, just say a little bit about what is happening to power in your view and how did this book begin. Moiss Nam:Well, let me first start by thanking you Chris. Thank you all for being here and this difficult weather today and I'm very proud of my association with the Open Society Foundations and delighted that I am the first to start these series of conversations in the new facility. So thank you very much. What's happening to power is, some of it is well known. We know that power is shifting. We know that its shifting from east to west and from presidential palaces to public squares and from big companies to startups. Recently, you know, Kodak that used to be the dominant player in photography almost in monopoly went down and was bankrupt, and at the same time by coincidence that called my attention, an app called, Instagram, was sold for a billion dollars. Total number of employees at Instagram, 13. So when you start thinking about this kinds of events, you know that yes, power is shifting in very fundamental ways in politics, in religion, in culture, in philanthropy, and of course in geopolitics, in matters of world and peace and everything else. So power is shifting, but the big idea in the book, the central theme is that power is just not shifting. Power is also changing in fundamental ways. Power is decaying. And by that I mean that power now is easier to get, much harder to use, and its more freely. You can lose it much faster in all of the realms of human activity. Chris Stone:Can you give us a few concrete examples of what you mean? Moiss Nam:The book is organized by chapters about a variety of sectors. So, you know, the military and business, and the media, and culture, of course national politics and geopolitics. One compellingand each one isI was very aware that I was writing a book about a subject that has been very well treated by for centuries. And so my only hope of making a statement was a bit different is to make sure that the theme was grounded on data and statistics and evidence and not just opinion. And in the chapter on the military for example, there is what I find a fascinating example, which is a study by a scholar called Ivan Arreguin-Toft, who studied asymmetrical armed conflicts. Meaning on that, it was a period of a weak side against a strong side measured by weapons and a number ofthe size of the troops and all of the typical military metrics that you used to gouch power. And so between 1800 and 50 to 1949, the weak part won armed conflicts 12% of the time. From 1950-1998, the weak party won 55% of the time. So in todays conflicts, it seems to be that statistically, its more likely that the weak side is more likely to win. Then, you know, I was also very aware that I was making these bold statements about the decay of power at a time in which inequality in the world is growing in which we have this very large wealth being concentrated in few hands. The 99% being energized against the concentration of power and health in the 1%, so I am aware of that, but then I started looking at what was happening in the world of the wealthy and in the world of corporate wealth and corporate power. And there is another fascinating study that shows that if you accompany that was in the top 20% of its sector in 1980, had only a 20% probability of falling out of that year, 5 years hence. That probability now has doubled. So the probability that if you're at the top of your league and then you get ousted or displaced by another is now doubled. The probability that you are a CEO of a large American company and you get fired, has also doubled since the 1990 until today. Chris Stone:Its probably true for foundations as well. Moiss Nam:And [Laughs] lets say that some more than others. And so essentially, the story is one that its slippery at the top. In religion, in many countries in Africa, Latin America, you know, 20 years ago, most people would identify themselves especially Latin America as Catholics. Now, that number has dwindled. One example is Brazil. Brazil in 1970, 90% of the country calls themselves Catholic. In the 2010 census, its 65% and that were seeing that everywhere. The number ofjust imagine in your world and the world of philanthropy, 20 or 30 years ago, well, you know, the big playersyou knew who they were as a limited number of foundations. There was the four foundations and the [???][0:09:29.6] and a few others that were essentially the dominant players with a lot of other smaller ones. Now, you have witnessed an explosion of activities in their own profit in the charity world and in philanthropy, and the same is happening in labor unions, and same is happening in a variety of ways. So that points in the book, the central messages, show me you are one human activity and I will you show you how those that are in power have less power than they have before. That doesnt mean that they're not powerful. They're very powerful people in the world today, and Vladimir Putin continues to be very powerful in the presence of the United States. Also as is the pope, and he's the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the pentagon. My point is that all of these people including the president of China has less power than the people that were in depositions and depositions done 10 or 20 years ago. Chris Stone:So, why? Why wouldactually, the examples in the book go beyond even what we think of as well, you talk about chess champions, you talk about a whole range of sort of fascinating things. So we could go on with the examples I think well beyond the corporation and governments. But lets get to why. Why is this happening? Why is power shifted for ages? But the claim that power is decaying and changing, why is it happening? Moiss Nam:Their first instinct when that very good question is asked is the Internet. So the Internet and social media more recently, that is changing everything and I of course agree with that except that I think thats a very limited way of understanding. I think the Internet or social media are tools, and tools need users, and those users have motivation and direction. So its not enough with what happen in the Arab spring cannot be explained by the widespread proliferation of social media. Of course they played a role but far more important than that, was in the case of Tunisia for example was a huge expansion of the middle class in Tunisia. A middle class that was able to bring their sons and daughters to a university to have a significant increase in education, information, aspiration, expectations and all kinds of things that were frustrated by a government that there was no delivering except for the small but important detail that Tunisia has the best performing economy in North Africa. Tunisia had the highest rate of economic growth, had the biggest expansion of educational opportunities and educational attainment had the most stable economy, the lowest unemployment. Tunisia was a success story. It was a most homogeneous country in terms of ethnicity and race and all of the other variables that very often contribute to divisive politics and yet it exploded because it had a very corrupt leader and the families and cronies and it became known and then one day, a food vendor in the interior of the country just immolated himself because of the way he was being treated and that sparked the whole Arab spring. So explaining that in terms of just social media on the Internet is very truncated. My explanation instead is that there is a variety of fortress that in order to simplify my understanding of them, I put in 3 categories that I called, The more revolution, the mobility revolution and the mentality revolution. And so the More Revolution is that we live in an age of profusion. We live in an age of abundance. There is just more of everything starting with people. Their world increased by 2 billion people just in 20 years. We now grow in a decade what we used to grow in a century in terms of population. And thatthe more people that we have is not just more but they are better off in general on average as you will know poverty has been declining, global GDP today is 5 times larger than it was in 1950. Per capita GDP is 3.5 times 3 times and a half larger than it used to be. According to the World Bank in the last 2 decades, 28 countries are no longer low-income countries. They shifted in their categories from low-income to middle-income. According to the ILO, the International Labor Organization, 38,000 workers per day are lifted out of poverty in the last decade. So we have more people. They are relatively better in terms of material situation. But we also have more guns and more medicines, more computers and more airplanes, more cargo containers and more everything. Touch any statistic and compare that statistic in volume in for the last 20 years and you'll be amazed, booming, skyrocketing rates of growth of everything. What does that have to do with power? Well, it is much easier to control a small group of people than a large group of people, obviously. Brzezinski is fond of saying that in these days, its easier to kill a hundred million people than to govern a hundred million people. So you have moreits harder to control. Thats the More Revolution. But these more of everything and more peoplenot only are more, they move more and thats the Mobility Revolution and you know that, and its just we have more movement of people and ideas and money and goods and services and illnesses and everything is moving more and is not keeping, its not staying in one place, which also has consequences for power. We have according to the UN, 37% more people living outside of the countries. The numbers of remittances for many countries are far more important. The incomes from remittances of workers, of people, of nationals working abroad from many countries are the main source of revenuesrevenues that go directly from the workers abroad to their families without government intermediation, which also has consequences for power. Recently, a man from Nigeria was elected the mayor of a town outside Dublin. That is just one example of many that are having consequences. Obama said last election, and in the last election in the United States as you know, had a lot to do with the presence and the voting patterns of Hispanics. So these are people that are even on the move. So thats the mobility revolution. And the third is the Mentality Revolution where you have a decade or two of thesethere are patterns that we are seeing in terms of changes in aspiration, expectations, motivations, and ambitions, and patterns of behaviors are changing. There are some striking anecdotes and some striking statistics. One striking anecdote to me is that the rates of divorce, divorce rates in India among the elderly are skyrocketing. So alland mostly driven by women. So Indian old senior citizens, women, are just getting out of marriages. Many of them arrange marriages, people like marry 20, 30, 40 years ago and they're not taking it anymore and they're walking away. Why? Well, because of the 3 revolutions. They are more in power. They are more in material well-being, they're better informed. They have the option to do it. That idea now is in the past. And thats the kind of anecdote is collaborated by all kinds of evidence. The worldwide...the world values survey. In something is a fantastic enterprise that started 3 or 4 decades ago that goes around the world. Hundreds of countries, same questions about peoples opinions, expectations, and we see a global trend in which there is a far more commitment and expectation of individual freedoms of ability to decide on your own life. Resistance authoritarian in positions and even gender rights are moving in the direction more equality. So there are three revolutions, you put them together, you shake them and you create what I call the decline of power. Chris Stone: Let me try and tease out a consequence of a couple of things. You talk in the book aboutyou make a particular focus on middle classes across the world both in growing low and middle income countries and in perhaps stagnating or declining high income countries and you talk about the effect of the More and the Mobility Revolutions and you couldve draw on them and tell the revolutions well on middle classes in particular. At least when I read that, it struck me as an important part of what I saw firsthand in South Africa and in Northern Ireland. In transitions they were ascribed to long-term struggles. But in many ways, the moment of changewhen you were really there on the ground, the desire of middle classes in South Africa, a tiny but aspiring black middle class and a large and growing white middle class that just wasnt interested in the struggle about a part tide and the white side anymore and the desire to move, to partake in a world culture was at least a powerful part I think of that change. You could make the same analysis that that was at play in Northern Ireland and I dont know the situation. My colleagues know it better in Burma today. But my hunch is these movements that you're talking about are part of changes in power, the loss of the part tide regime, the loss of both sides in the struggle in Northern Ireland and perhaps the loss of the military grip on even the generals in Burma. What is the causethose 3 examples make me think, well, bring it on, you know, this loss of power is a pretty good thing. If we got Mobility and we got More and we got Mentality and people are shaking off oppressive regimes. Why should we be worried about this? What makes you nervous about the decay of power? Moiss Nam:So first, I'm with you in celebrating that power is changing the way it does. It gives us as consumers, as voters, as citizens, it gives us more options, less restrictions, more opportunities, and so plenty to celebrate, to applaud, and as you say, bring it in, we like it, break it off. And sogoodbut then it has some elements that deserve our concern. Think about sequesters in the United States. Think about the Italian Election. Think about the inability of the world to stop the carnage in Syria. Think about the incapacity of the European Union to stop and do something about the economic crisis. Think about the inability of the world to really do something effective about climate change and global work. To me, and I can continue with infinite examplesto me, all of those are instances in which the decline of power is at work in which we have worked our way to a world in which in two many critical situations, we have enough actors with just enough power to veto and block the initiatives of rivals and others but no one with enough power to impose a view. And so we are living of vetoes in many, many instances. Of the 34 countries that are members of the OCD, the rich countries group, only 5 have a head of state that has the support of parliament, meaning that his political party is also in control of the parliament or congress of the national assembly. 4 out of 34, meaning that in 30 of the largest democracies in the world, there is a division and there is the, you know, the executive and the legislative are at odds, are in opposition, which is a good thing, if you know, thats part of the checks of balances of democracy and we welcome that and thats good, except that in many countries, they're now choking on checks and balances. The good positive effects of checks and balances on governance, on democracy, are in some instances creating the contrary effect of inability to make decisions, delusions of decisions. Meaning, in order to arrive at something that you can do, you have to reach for a minimum common denominator that very often is not good enough to solve the problem. And other times, the timeliness of the decisions are justthese problems and this crisis just need urgent action that because of the world of vetoes, they just take too damn long. Chris Stone:Can you sayI mean, I think there's a way of hearing what you're saying that that power is useful at times to do things and the fact that power can also be oppressive and people are getting feeling better at getting over it, it means they're actually getting over it more than its good for us and we ought to hold on to some. But there's a way ofthat could begin to sound a playoff, a kind of resistance movement or some type of protest movements versus people who hold power. You also talked you have a phrase in the bookI'm not going to pronounce it right, the [PH][benolization] of social movements. So its not just that people with great power are losing the concentrated ability to impose their will. You also think something is happening to the kind of social movements that many parts of the Open Society Foundations are counting on to be checks on oppressive power. What does that phrase mean and what's happening to social movements. Moiss Nam:They're thriving and doing quite well and in the last 2 decades have been great for social movements or NGOs and have been terrible for political parties, and I think that's bad. In the book, I made a big appeal to bring back political parties. Not the ones we know now but political parties that I hope will be better and more modern and more alluring. The example I'm fond of using is where I talk to university students. I ask them, how many of youthere is this butterfly in Indonesia that is endangered, How many of you could help me? Lets do something. Lets mobilize time and energy and raise money to save this butterfly in Indonesia. Typically in university settings, you see a lot of, yes, you know, I'm going to help you, lets do thatthen ask that same group, Would you like to join the political party with me? Would you want to be? and they rush to the door, you know, they dont want to hear about that, and in fact, its not cool to be a member of a political party, the republicans or the democrats or in any of the countries. So political parties have lost a lot of appeal and they're not that competitive in terms of attracting the energies and the potential of the best and the brightest and the young and energetic. And so I think that thats bad and I think that needs to be changed. I believe that democracy based on social movements is not good. I believe that democracy needs political parties mostly because a lot of the social movements tend to be single issue movements and you can afford to just have some tunnel vision that says, All I care about is the environment and I you know, kindergarten education, I dont care, and incarceration rates, I dont care nor I care about the exchange rate or monetary policy or nuclear weapons. So all I care is the environment, whales or you knowand well, thats a luxury because if you're in government, you have to have an opinion and you have to care about kindergarten education and nuclear weapons and agriculture and finance and war and multilateral organizations and a whole panel of things. And very often you need to discover that in government, the choices are never between the wonderful and the horrible. In government, very often most of the time that the issues are on the choices, are between the horrible and the really, really horrible. And you know, that is an education that if you listen to some of the debates that are out in the streets, you would think that the world is divided between idiots that make horrible decisions and the idealists that have the solution and they are [???][0:28:29.4] and thats, you know. Chris Stone:But not all political parties are doing badly. I was just in Athens recently and Golden Dawn seems to be growing in popularity and in the book, you talk about actually the rise of parties on the far left and the far right as part of the decline and power or the decay of power. How does one entail the other? Moiss Nam:Well, if you look atI have looked at the agenda. So if the powers of the political parties that are doing well, you know, and you said we mention in Venezuela, their PSUV is a political party of President Chavez is doing quite well. And in Europe, a lot of the political parties that reflect anti-immigrant, isolationist, and nationalist tendencies are also doing quite well. Golden Dawn is going quite well and so on. Thats not the kind of political parties I want to see and I like to use example of, you know, I hope the political parties can examine and learn and understand better what happened and perhaps even emulate in some aspects. What happened to Al Qaeda and what happened to the Occupy Wall Street Movement? Of course I'm not suggesting that you know, you have to train your followers to emulate and kill and be assassins. But certainly Al Qaeda had something in terms of their ability to motivate, recruit, attract, retain, and make people do horrible things. Well, you know, how do they do that? I'm far from me to suggest that political parties have to look like cults or have to have deeply, you know, religious kinds of narratives in order to attract and energize people. But surely something is going on or used to and now its much weakened. There's something there, and the same with Occupy Wall Street. How did it happen that all of the sudden in 2600 CDs around the world, you have people camping in the squares. We have very similar structures, you know, it was leaderless, they communicate in more or less in the same ways, they had the same agenda of requests and protests, you know, a lot of the Occupy Wall Street ended up as a cathartic movement where just nothing happened. In some cases, it didthat they did have some influences. But again, what is it that they have that some political parties could emulate? And I think learning and studying that is part of the political innovations that the world desperately needs. Chris Stone:I want to come back to that in a minute. But, I mean, since you brought up Venezuela, let me just seize the moment to ask you. So does the book mean that Marullo will lose power quickly? Moiss Nam:President Marullo is likely to be the next president of Venezuela. He's only the vice president and the acting president. He's going to preside over deeply, deeply, contradictory, hard to understand and divide a country. As we are now here, there are essentially millions in Venezuela that are morethe death of president Chavez. That feel of deep attachment to him. The feel that he was a father figure, that he was one of them that had their back protected that for the first time, they had someone like them in charge and making sure that their well-being and their families that was paramount in the ways in which the state behaved. So there are millions and they're just bellowing and mourning the loss of these great leaders. But they are also millionsaccording to the last selection, he had 55% of the country loving him and 45% of the country not wanting him in power, in a country that is very poor in general to get 45% of the votes means that you have to have millions of very poor people with you. That means that millions of very poor people are not with president Chavez. And the explanation is complex but at the same time, you know, in the last, Venezuela had a very big decline in its inequality, which is quite a success in a region where Latin-America wherein equality is one of the worst in the world. So president Chavez was successful in bringing down inequality. He was successful in bringing down poverty and inclusion and empowering people that have not been empowered. And he wasone of his great, very good legacies is that he brought front and center the poor and the plight of the poor and the peaceful coexistence that in Venezuela existed with inequality, exclusion and poverty is gone. Poverty and inequality is the center of the national conversations and he was very good in exporting that idea. But at the same time, the glass is half-full but, you know, the glass is also half-empty. This is a country that hadlet me give you this very interesting anecdote. Oil, essentially its impossible to think about Venezuela without thinking about oil and the impact of oil. The day president Chavez was elected for the first time in 1998, according to the statistical series of oil prices for Venezuela. That day, all international prices fro Venezuela where at the lowest in its history and they have been coming down for almost 2 decades from the 80s to the 90s wherein he got elected, oil prices were deeply depressed. A few months after he got elected, oil was tradingthe Venezuela basket of oil experts was $736 per barrel. A few months later, oil started climbing and the average for his tenure is oil at $100 per barrel. So he had a wind full of money that was, you know, he could use, and he had a blank check on the part of Venezuela population to say, Do whatever needs to be done to change the country and improve it. So he had a political blank check and he had a financial blank check given by Omar himself. And here we are 14 years later, in which Venezuela has the slowest rate of growth in Latin-America in the last 5 years as the highestone of the highest inflations in the world, the highest inflation of the world after Zimbabwe. It hasthe highest is the 6th country in the world in terms of murder rates. Its one of the most murderous countries and most dangerous countries in the world today. It is much more risky to walk the streets of Caracas and to walk the streets of Cabu or any of the dangerous cities in the world. In the most recent war in Gaza during that period, the number of people that were killed in Venezuela was 3 times larger than the number of casualties or victims in that war. Venezuela, in rankings in a hundredthere's one of the rankings, 144 countries are studied in terms of the equality of the judicial system. Venezuela ranks 144 today. Haiti, according to these rankings has a better more reliable judicial system than Venezuela. Venezuela ranks 120th in terms of infrastructure. Ethiopia and Gabon rank higher than Venezuela in terms of quality of infrastructure. In terms ofthere's an index of the efficiency of globalof goods markets, Venezuela ranks at the bottom. There is an index about shortages, you know, you measure availability of basic goods and staples in shells in grocery stores. This is a study by a United Nations agency. Venezuelas indexes of shortages are those that you commonly find in a warzone and this is a country that almost about 1.4 trillion dollars worth of revenues during the Chavez year. So thats where we are and one of the most distorted economies in the world in terms ofpick any variable, the monetary policy exchange rates, fiscal, pick any variable, and that variable will soon need to be adjusted and you know what that means. That means a lot of popular pay and president Marullo will need to explain why where [???][0:37:56.7] was in charge, life was so much better and while under president Marullo thinks they're not doing that well. Chris Stone:And so I want to try and connect the Venezuelan analysis to the book a little bit because. If I apply what you say in the book, I shouldnt worry about whether Marullo is up or someone else is up. Part of one the lessons you say is to look in the long-term and stop worrying about whos up and whos down and in the short-term because powereven if you're up, you wont be up for as long as you used to be. And the second point that youve been talking about already is the point about political parties and so perhapsand this is really a question, part of your prescription might be to build political parties in Venezuela. Now, presumably the opposition coalition was trying to do that the last time but will a coalitions a way to do that or will it just go the way of other power and fragment. What in short is to be done if you apply, if we have this inside about power, we have a situation whether its Venezuela or any in the world. How does understanding what's happening to power that would help us figure out what to do? Moiss Nam:Perhaps the most important statistic to answer that is todayin todays world, there are 22 countries that are autocracies, down from 89 in 1977 and here they always have certainly played an important role. So this is not a good time to be a dictator and an autocrat. You can see how even the autocrats go out of the way to find ways to build a path and have democratic legitimacy credibility. I wonder, you know, the extent to which Mr. Putin goes out of his way to have elections and have everything that makes him look like a democrat, and then we all know what's really going on. So you ask yourself, you know, why does he do that? And you know, my answer is, you know, 20 or 30 years ago, he wouldnt, and now he feels that he needs to do it in order to be part of the, you know, to have everything that the world is not longer that tolerance with autocracies and you know, we still have 22 of those. But its harder to keep them and its not easy. Applying it to the specificity of Venezuela, I would only caution that to think about Venezuela in terms of a democracy may not be the best way to think about it in terms of, you know, when you think well, there's a political party that is in the government and then there is an opposition that is trying, you know, to oust the incumbent and thats the way we think about the democracy except that is not the case. The opposition in Venezuela is not running against the political party. Its running against the petro state that is not shy from away from using all of the resources of the state to stay in power. They massively use government money and government worker and government resources of all kinds, and government incentives and sticks and carrots to make sure that the elections go their way. And they have all the levers of power in their control. The national assembly is controlled from the presidential palace and we have evidence of that. The judicial system is also an appendix of the government and we have seen president Chavez when he was alive, all televisions dictating rulings for the judges saying, I want this to happen. And lo and behold, the next day, a judge made a decision exactly the way that president Chavez wanted it to be. The national electoral council, which is the arbiter of elections, is also an appendix in most recently the president of the electoral council after election in which president Chavez was again was rewarded, with what? With the vice presidency. So just imagine, the guy that is in charge of being the arbiter of your electoral decisionsif it goes your way, the guy becomes the vice president of the country. So that are just some of the elements that illustrate the kind of political system you have there, and why? Thinking about it in traditional categories of democracies and electoral politics may not capture what's really happening in the country. Chris Stone:I listen to you and I think, actually was going on was, power may not be what it used to be, but clever people do know how to hold on to it and I want tobefore we open it up, I just want to ask one more question and go back to the point about political parties because a lot of your prescription at the end of the book really comes down to an investment in restoring trust in government, restoring active citizen participation and participation particularly in political parties. In that section, you talk about justice political parties have been declining in popularity and power. NGOs have been growing. You almost suggest there's almost a direct tradeoff, which would be music to the ears of most of my colleagues in the room with us. We worked very hard for that and you want to reverse it. So I want to know why. There's an idea there that somehow political parties need to look more like NGOs or at least feel to citizens more like NGOs, and thats the motto. I have two questions about that, one is, you talked about how NGOsyou wouldnt want a government buy at least some kinds of NGOs or social movements and political parties become more like that to try to appeal the citizens, feel them engaged. Might not they just reproduce the very thing you worry about in trend of NGOs? Related to that, I want to ask, you know, we dont feel here so triumphant about the place of NGOs in the world. Were looking atits not just Russia and Egypt that are attacking NGOs, charging them with criminal penalties, threatening to shut them down, passing more and more restrictive laws. Those laws are the South African government and others sort of the government celebrated as clear democracies are cracking down as it were or at least putting pressure of NGOs particularly around international funding of NGOs. So in many ways, we look at the world and see a power fighting back in a way against the picture of NGOs you depict. So whathow do I make sense of thisboth your sense that NGOs are really triumphant in the world today, and what would political partiesyou really want them learning the lessons of acting, like the very NGOs youve distressed? Moiss Nam: Thats a great question. So the immediate reaction is by no means I'm suggesting that authoritarian governments have disappeared or are weak or incapable of being repressive, and we have seen that, and what's very interesting is to see against whom they are being repressive and in most cases, is they are beingtargeting the ones that are successful. So one measure to gouch the success of NGOs and by thatby the NGOs lets be specific. You're talking about NGOs that promote protection of human rights, freedom of the press and you know, the political specter of NGOs because you also have the social NGOs that wants to fight for poverty alleviation. There is connection there but, you know, lets choose that category for a second. So it tells you something that when these governments are targeting these NGOs, you know, thats because they feel threatened by them. Thats because they feel that they have something that may become important and its going to be with us. I am not at all suggesting that we are, you know, these autocracies are going to explode out of existence. They're going to be there and they're pushing back and power is very addictive and there are a lot of barriers to exit of power. Its very dangerous in some places to have been in power and no longer be in power, you know. It used to be that if you're a dictator, you stop being a dictator, you ended up in Europe, in the south of France in the palace. Now, you end in Europe but not in the south of France but in the hay, and you know, in the criminal court. So its dangerous to be a dictator but its even more dangerous to be a former dictator and that creates the mousetrap effect in which you are there and you're not going to get out, look at Bashar al-Assad, you know, he's not going tofor him, its very, very dangerous to beand they're going to cling to it and they're going to do whatever it takes. My point is that they are under more pressures than in the past, that they are more constrained in what they can do that they were, and the future doesnt end for them. Chris Stone:Lets open it up to any comments orI think we have a microphone here. Lets just take it right down right there. Audience:Thank you. Its such a great pleasure to listen to you. I've followed your articles and books before. Chris Stone:Just tell us who you are. Honcarlos Kiros:My name is [PH][Honcarlos Kiros] I work for the Revenue Watch Institute, which is sort of a satellite Chris Stone:Part of the family. Honcarlos Kiros:--yeah, part of the side. So my question is, what's your take on how would these changes have also empowered organizations that used to have less means for power and I'm thinking of illicit organizations, organized crime, narcotics in particular. I think that your 3 revolutions haveone of their consequences of having more affluence in the society or somewhere progressive mentality and just mobility have empowered the drug cartels that are just on their mind the societies and states in Latin-America. What's your take on all these and how your analysis of the decay of power interacts with these sort of factors? Moiss Nam:So the book, The end of power has a genesis in very personal experiences that lead me to start this thinking about that and sniffing around. The first personal experience was when I was in government and people will come and ask me to do certain things, and I would look at them and say, this guy is really crazy, you know, I cannot do that. And at the time I was one of the powerful ministers in my government. Then I went to the World Bank and I was in the board of the World Bank and I, you know, that was a very educational experience because I had to work with governments from around the world. And you will sit with them and try to sort out what was needed in order to move things forward and reform things, and you will suggest sometimes that they do things and they will look at you and say, He really doesnt know what hes talking about you know, there's no way I can do that. That started giving me a strong sense of how limited is our government very often in what they can do. And then I wrote a book about that Chris mentioned, about the globalization of crime. And I looked at the international trade in all of the bad things, from human beings to drugs to weapons to human organs to industrial waste, you know, a long list of things. And when I ended that book, one of the most striking and powerful message was how limited we were, both governments and civil society in containing this global networks, and that gave another layer to my intuitions about what's happening to power. So the next stage of that is Foreign Affairs Magazine asked me to write an update about what had happened to illicit, the criminal activities since I last wrote about them, and I started thinking and talking and one of themthen I wrote an article titled, Mafia States and the central thing of that article is that its no longer the case that criminals influence government, certain government agencies, you know, they bribe or extort or you know, do things to the head of customs in order that that person looks the other way when some cargo containers go by. What I think is happening today is that governments are becoming criminal enterprises and that they cover criminal enterprises, not to stomp them out but to run them, and I think we have examples of governments in which the top level of that government is effectively a criminal enterprise. Chris Stone:Well come back here for just a second. But is that new? I haventin some ways-- [Laughs] Moiss Nam:Thats a greatno, you were right. Its not new but my point is that it has become in the same way that in equality is not new. I think it has acquired a new two characteristics that we need to understand. But you're right. Chris Stone:Yes, well come back, you know, weve got a microphone there and well bring it down here, yeah. Just tell us who you are. Malcolm Arnold:Malcolm Arnold. You talked about as far as the role of NGOs as far as the number of NGOs and wanting to see them decline, and you look at lets say, what's going on in Uganda with NGOs there promoting anti-LGBT, you know, message and how that, you know, NGOs around the world, how they distort the environment whether they will be sociological, economic, etc. the role of that and in the documentary recently released, The Gatekeepers, one of the heads of Shin Bet said, you know, one persons freedom fighter is another persons terrorist or vice versa. So the role of NGOs, where do you see that as a role and then partnering with the state as you say, the states becoming, you know, mafia. Do you then go down the path where you become anti-statist and where do you see the role of NGOs in the equation? Moiss Nam:Yeah, thats a great question. So let me give you another example to theI followed the thing in Uganda and other places in Africa in which you have this new conversation about equality and you know, to gays, lesbians and transgender. But let me give you anotherso there isessentially you could talk about the globalization of issues thanks to NGOs, right? Thats part of the story. But there is another part of that story, another example that I think is very illustrative and that is the National Rifle Association, which is also exporting its agenda to other countries, and we havethere are some fantastic examples. I dont know if you know that the NRA has a fulltime theme working at the UN. The tracks that monitors any initiatives that have to do with you know, gun control issues that they care about and it was fantastic to seein Brazil, they had an initiative to ban handguns and essentially driven by the mothers of victims, of people who were assassinated and they passed a resolution and in order to have a referendum about that and then the surveys indicated that the referendum was going to win and there was going to be a ban on handguns and you know, stricter gun control regulations. And all of he sudden about three weeks before the referendum, there was an explosion of advertising against it that nobody knew where it came from, and essentially it was a very well structured, a very well organized campaign that mobilize people against it and the referendum lost. And then it was discovered that it had been funded by the NRA in the United States. So these are two examples of NGOs exporting and globalizing issues that are in fact very local. And both have to do with the states if you think and both have to do with changing rules and legislation and very important things. So the question was, are we becoming statist or are we becoming an anti-state kind ofis this an anti-state message, no. I think if I have a message, is a message that we need a smarter, stronger state and more autonomous state and my worry is what I repeatedly talk about which is a state choked by checks and balances that we applaud and they are the essence of Jeffersonian democracy and we want that and we want to curve a little power and we know that absolute power corrupts absolutely. So we dont want that. We want to fight against the concentration of power. My point is that in some instances were getting two extremes that are not good for society. Chris Stone:Lets come down to here. Tanya Millach:Tanya Millach. Could you tell me if there are any places where you thinkwhat you hope would happen is happening? Maybe perhaps Scandinavia, any placeI threw Scandinavia out. But certainly United States is not one of those places. Moiss Nam:Well, lets define what it is that I wanted to happen and where is it happening. We talked about a wide range of things onlets concentrate on I guess the government part of it, and the Scandinavians are also the, you know, feel good example. Whenever there's something horrible, you say, Well, but in Scandinavia they do it differently and it works. Tanya Millach:I almost didnt say that but Scandinavia, but that was the only place I could think of Moiss Nam:Yeah, no, noby the way, I think you're right if I had to pick. But even there, you see events, you know, you see what happened in Iceland when the financial crisis hit and how they process that politically and the power shifts that took place there. But mostly Im very hesitant to use patterns because I think initial conditions matter and the initial conditions and the basic conditions in Scandinavia are so uniquely Scandinavian that I'm wary of imagining that you could, you know, go to Norway or Sweden and make a list of conditions there and then go to South Africa and say, Well, lets do that here. One has to be very, very respectful of local conditions and be aware from easy exporting. But you are right, thats a right question in terms of looking around for models of success that can be emulated. Lenny Bernardo:Thank you very much. Lenny Bernardo. Moiss Nam, thank you for a very interesting conversation with Chris. I was struck by one particular thing. You have on the one hand a fairly provocative analysis of power constrain, the sort of mutation of power, but your prescription, what needs to be done is very modest and I'm trying to square the two because when you spoke about the Tunisia example, it struck me as a combination of sort of modernization theory come global interdependence ideas, pretty traditional. Fewer people practice religion, divorce rates are higher, the middle class is growing, straight modernization theory, which is fine but I wondered if there was something a little bit more provocative about your description. Chris focused on the political party question, which I also found surprisingly traditional for an analysis that was this in some ways radical, and that one need not counter pose as you do political parties and social movements to our middle grounds. It doesnt have to be representative democracy or social movements. There are forms of participatory democracy as well that could fall in to an analysis of this sort. So I'm wondering about this disjuncture between a radical analysis about in some ways, the diminution and a kind of traditional prescription around it. Moiss Nam:Thats a very insightful question. The way to answer it candidly is that it has to do with what brings a book to an end. [Laughs] Moiss Nam:And there is an intellectual answer and there is a biological answer. [Laughs] Moiss Nam:So the intellectual answer is that you close the book when you feel that you have made the argument and then you round it up and you have a conclusion. And the more real answer I think has to be, a book is finished when you cannotyou're sick of it [Laughs] Moiss Nam: --and you're exhausted and you dont want to know anymore. Very candidly that was my case and I accept that my prescriptive ending is not as all encompassing and all of, you know, it should be. That requires frankly another book that I was at the time in which I was closing this book, I was not in the mood of writing. [Laughs] Moiss Nam:Having said that however, in a humble defense of the conclusion is that I believe that the conclusion isthe implications are larger than to say therefore these are the five things that need to be done. I think this is beyond the PowerPoint and therefore, this is my consultant type of approach and these are the five prescriptions for you. First, because I dont have themsecond, because I'm very humble in terms of being very respectful of what's going on, and then finally, this isno, there is an element of modernization theory but this is modernization theory or steroids. What's going on here and what I try to describe in the book, I think transcends the typical notions that we have seen in terms of modernization theory or, you know, structure functional analysis of all that. I think there's something going on that we dont have the intellectual tools to fully comprehend, and thats why its so hard then to move swiftly to very boldall I know is that I have identified a situation that is taking us to a place that dramatically, urgently needs something to be done and I hint at some of the arenas. To be the most sincere thing I can tell you is that I have to do more with my own mood and biology more than the intellectual resolutions. Chris Stone:So now that its been a few months since you put the book down and we can entice you into a conversation about the other side of that. So let me justlet me follow on that question because it seemed to me and weve talked a little about this before. One of the things that I was worried about in your focus on political parties was spending a lot of time in South Africa, with the AMC looks like exactly what you're calling for. Theyve learned a lot of lessons from NGOs, a lot of them [???][1:04:03.9] Its very, very popular. People are very engaged and it has a grip on power in South Africa that is impressive if one is impressed by power. It would be a series of efforts to try and shake it. It seems to survive remarkable scandal, splinters, attacks from its own heroes, and a range of things, constitutional judgments Moiss Nam:Corruption. Chris Stone:--corruption. And it seems to me that its very hard if you start trying to figure out how to start from political parties and it seems to me, your analysis about the power of Occupy Wall Street or just take your point about NGOs. Isnt that a better starting place rather than worrying about the narrowness or the venality of some of those movements and some of those NGOs? Wouldnt it be better to start there and try and build the kind of political maturity that you're calling for, rather than ask what feels like the old structures to learn something from these upstarts but not let them get a hand on the levers of power and keep it for themselves? There's a sense in which youve sort of seen the future and then instead of embracing it or maturing it, you want to hold it back while the past learns the lesson of it and tries to have another go at global governance or at national governance or at corporate governance. Moiss Nam:I think Chris that, one of the difficulties we have in the conversation is the use of the concept of NGO, and you know better than I that now that comes in compass such a variety is a category that has and captures such a diversity and such a variety of experiences and initiatives of organizational forms and agendas that is hard to just say, well NGOsand I am guilty perhaps of having presented political parties in a Manichean way, political parties and NGOs, so I want more political parties, which by default I didnt say it. By default, interpreters say I want less NGOs, thats not at all what I'm saying. And in fact NGOs have provided they are the breeding ground of a lot of people in the government and a lot of people that end up being cabinets come not from political parties but are coming from NGOs and that kind of thing. That was my own personal experience. So not at all, I'm saying that, you know, NGOs have to be shrunk or are not important or do not perform a useful job. All I'm saying is on the last 20 years, the playing field has been very, very skewed against political parties. Thats all I'm saying. And yes, this is not an appeal to shrink or stop or curve the expansions and the support of NGOs is just pay attention to the need to strength in political parties, which is not part of the usual conversation. We could have had this conversation without ever mentioning political parties. Chris Stone:Yes. I can always count on you. This is great. [Laughs] Dawn Shaygo:My question is, you yourself in the position of power and do you feel like its declining in recent years the power of your position? Chris Stone:And just introduce yourself. Dawn Shaygo:My name is [PH][Dawn Shaygo] from the Open Society Foundations. And the second question, would you imagine giving up your power and what would that mean and what would be the occasion or the course for that if you ever imagine? Moiss Nam:The power of my position sounds like huge [Laughs] Moiss Nam:--but not from where I stand. I dont run an organization. I dont have a budget. I dont have people working for me or at least, you know, I just have a very competent assistant but I dont have a bureaucracy. So when you strike power to me, I mean the board OSF, but thats not a powerful position. I do whatever he tells me to do. [Laughs] Moiss Nam:So no, I have a hard time relating to the notion that I am powerful. I do write a column that its widely syndicated and perhaps my ideas are spread around the world. But I have no evidence that you know, so I have a hard time relating to that. I dont feel, you know, there are far more powerful people in the world. Chris Stone:Do you miss being minister? Moiss Nam:No. Well, yes. [Laughs] Chris Stone:Alright. Moiss Nam:Yeah, but even there, you know, thatsyou wanted me to say more? Chris Stone:No its okay. Even there you're Moiss Nam:I'm ready for someone has an offer, I'm listening. [Laughs] Moiss Nam:Regardless of the country, I'm available. Chris Stone:Just introduce yourself. Tom Kellogg:Tom Kellogg, Open Society Foundations. I run the China program and my question is about China. I was relieved in hearing this talk. I saw the title of the talk. I'm sorry I havent read the book yet and I thought this would be yet another talk in which I am professionally obligated to go to a lot in which china is coming and it is going to be the new world power and that is not a view that I share. And I see you shaking your head, so I see that you also do not share that view since you're now only interested in powerful positions, maybe you can be the next leader of China. [Laughs] Tom Kellogg:Well, my question is, how do you see China in the picture of the ideas that you developed in the book? Thank you. Interviewee:Yeah. Well, yes I am baffled and surprised by the obsession about the elevator conversation, you know, whos up, whos down and Chinas coming and the United States is goingyou know, the [???][1:10:44.0] debate makes me sick and I think he's intellectually very fragile and not that interesting. Of course, and you know, the people counting the minutes when Chinas GDPs going to be larger than the United States. This is also what I think in an intellectual semi-fraudulent conversation. China continues to be a very poor place with huge limitations that is going to face massive challenges ahead. And of course, its going today or how to deny that China today is so much more powerful than it used to be. But the way to think about that and the scene of American relationship is not, you know, whos up and whos down and thinking in traditional power place and they're all geopolitics, you know, theyll be smart in kind of power place. I do believe that the three revolutions are fast and hardworking China. I believe that everything that I described in the three revolutions has China as a paradigmatic example. And I do believe China is going to face very important pressures to democratize and so on. And Chris was mentioning before the role of the middle class as a force of change. The middle class can also be a very important obstacle to change. I can imagine a middle class in China, very fearful of cares, and the middle class says yes, you know. They are authoritarians and they limit a lot of things that I could do in the political realm. But they're giving me and my family opportunities that I have never had, and lets make sure that things continue, and therefore you can imagine that there is a middle class that is going to be against profound political change in China, but also at the same time you can see or imagine a middle class that is aspirational that it once were. And after they have been given more material well-being and more goods essentially, they would want more services, and by that, I mean health and education and so on. So in China as in many other places, its easier to build a building and call it a hospital then provide health care. So once they have a hospital in the neighborhood that they didnt have before, next thing they want is the hospital to provide good health care, and if they dont get it, they're going to take to the streets. And you know better than I that the number of street incidents in China is by the hundreds of thousand, you know, you got a single day in China and you go out and the probability there are people in the streets clashing with riot police is very high for a variety of reasons, and I think thats going to continue. So imagine that a country facing those challenges will become, you know, a challenger to the United States and others. I think its not an interesting conversation to make. [???][1:14:09.9] I know. But the book is just out. Interviewer:Yeah. Sanji Patil:Hi Sanji Patil with Open Society Foundations. I mean, power is a very complicated word and I think people may mean different things when they use that word, Power. So my question is, may be slightly existential, but what I want to ask is, we often dont hear much about the reasons for why people seek power in the first place, the motivations for acquiring power. In my mind, I feel like a lot of it is ego-driven, and even if itseven if the intention to acquire power is for Good reasons, I still feel a lot of it is ego-driven. They say that you cant run for president of the United States without having a healthy ego. So even if you feel you're doing it for the right reasons, a lot of the impetus for seeking and acquiring power is ego-driven and I was wondering, A, whether you agree with that, and B, its strikes me that there's very few secular attempts to unpack this question of why people seek power with the ego component to it, teasing outif you look at say, Maslows Hierarchy of Needs and if we agree that self-actualization is at the peak. Is this the gap of work that say, OSF or other donors work on that were not focusing on the reasons for why people seek power in the first place because that motivation often translates into control, issues of control, issues of domination, issues of oppression. Interviewee:Thats a very sophisticated and complex question. So there's a whole chapter in the book in which I try to answer, you know, there's a brief history of power and what it means and differentas you said, there are different ways of interpreting power and everything else. Let me just start by suggesting that implicit in what you're saying and equating power, drive towards power to a healthy ego. I suspect that you're talking and thinking about political power. But you know, there is power in families. So you know, you have powerin many ways, you have a power relationship with your parents and your siblings and your spouse or yourand so on. And there are power relationships inside OSF and so power is partand that you cannot argue that its just driven by ego, right? There are maybeto support that, I can point to you to the recent research with brain imaging, with toddlers. There's a whole new way of looking at power that says that power is wired in our brains. That is a very deep profound innate urge and thatand then its controversial, but its there and there are brain imaging preliminary evidence in that respect from very, very early stages of human evolution, the development and developmental perspective. And solet me just divide, moving now to the realm of power in politics and everything else. Let me just parse what you call a healthy ego with narcissism. Narcissism is not just a metaphor. Narcissism can become a psychiatrist dysfunctional behavior. In fact, if you go to the BSM 5, which is the book that psychiatrist use to define mental illnesses, there is one that is called narcissistic something disorder, and has the specificities of what is a narcissistic personality. What is very interesting is one of the things when you become very narcissistic, when you are in acute manifestations of narcissism, your antennas about others and how to relate with others get modeled. You dont hear, you just listen to yourself and you just listen to people that are applauding you. You stop listening to people that are not applauding you or even criticizing you, and thats very interesting because in order to have power often, you need to have a very alluring, very appealing, very attractive personality, and you have to have very good antennas about interpersonal relationships. You have to have a very high emotional intelligence. You have to sniff what the other wants and convey it and scratch whatever needs that person, whatever each that person has. Its very developed intuitions about others. Then when you get to have power, somehow having powers stifles the functioning of those antennas because people stop listening and that has consequences for power. A lot of the people lose power because their antennas about how to read the environments are not as good as they were in their way up to power. Interviewer:Well therejustone at the back and then well go over here. Robert Shecona:Yeah. Thank you for a fascinating exchange. My name is Robert Shecona. In addressing the fluidity of power in central and Latin America today, given the parameters that youve described, how would you pine on the changing for turn of relationship between Venezuela and Cuba? Interviewer:Did you ask him that? [Laughs] [???][1:20:47.0] Interviewee:One of theconcerning specifically Venezuela, one of the untold stories and fascinating stories and a known story is how this small bankrupt island in the Caribbean ends up controlling the worlds largestthe countrys largest oil reserves. I can understand why they would want to do it. I cannot understand why the Venezuela government led them. I know there are reasons for that, but there's a big story. The extent to which the Cuban government now runs, not influences, runs very important agencies of the Venezuelan government is quite amazing and quite unknown, and that will continue. And if you compare, you know, the big empires that are trying to shape things, well, Cuba has become a very influential player in this country and I think that will continue for a while. Interviewer:And here. One second. Jamila Hetley:I'm Jamila Hetley and I'm from the public health program at OSF. So if I accept your thesis that power is declining and that this is problematic for the range of reasons that you suggested. And if I also jump, I havent read the book yet, so I'm presenting as thesis. If I also jump to accept that this means that we need to invest in building the relationship between the state and society and political parties, then you're kind of talking about redeeming and repurposing these structures that weve lost faith in for a whole host of reasons. I mean, you pointed the fact that many states are becoming mafia states and criminalized kind of entities and themselves, political parties, weve lost faith and this is why your college students walk out of the room. Thats a huge task and I understand that you didn't get in your book to talking about how were going to do this and thinking about solutions. But I wonder if you have some opinions on where we start. Do we rely on the same NGOs and social movements that you kind of criticize to do this work of making the argument that we need to invest in these structures? Where do you start to begin to move towards the world that you want to see? Interviewee:Well, I will be very, very happy and this is a very modest ambition. If at least we started talking about how to bring back political partiesas I said, I could have come here today and give you a talk in which political parties would have never been mentioned. I would have not raised it. I bet you that none of you would have raise it, because they are not part of the way we think about the world today wherein its not something that is part of the conversation. The strengthening modernization, transformation, of political parties is not part of the national conversations anywhere. And so if I succeed in making that a little bit more part of the conversation and get smart people like you to start thinking or scratching your head and first if, you know, if you agree and then if you agree, then how do we do this. Thats not a bad start because again, I very humbly say, I dont have the PowerPoint with the 5 bullets on what needs to be done. I do know that its urgently needed and I do know that I dont have the answer. Interviewer:Well take one more question, but before we do, let me just follow up on that and I can a little bit. Weve been talking about the potential for a re-energized and re-purpose politics from the bottom up and weve been talking about the political parties in which I think most of our minds are identified with national states. We dont havethere used to be some visions of some global political parties. But thats not what you're talking about and thats not what its talked about much anymore. And yet, when I listen to the problems youve ticked off when I said, you know, actually the decay of power might be a good thingyou said, Ah but, the but were all beyond the reach even of a national state, even if it revived a political party. The problem in Italy is not an Italian politics problem. Its a European problem. The problem in Syria you said was not aboutyou didnt saywhy cant the international actors deal with the problem of Syria? And then youve talked about climate change. So these are problems on a different scale in political parties as we know them even if they could be repurposed are likely to be able to affect, unless it happens in many countries at the same time, and yet when I think about new forms of power today, at least I think and I dontI think about theI mean, call it as powerful might not pass a laugh test, but you mentioned yourself the international criminal court. You didnt mention, and I dont think its in the book the global fund on aids to be malaria. These are institutions where people are exercising power now in very sophisticated ways across a span we probably never seen before at least in these relatively open ways. The international criminal court, the global fund may not be completely transparent, but compared with general motors, they're doing pretty well. So are there forms, are there other sourcesyou talked about political parties but what about these new forms of global organization. Do they give us any hope or clues about the kind of new institutions you call for at the end of the book? Interviewee:I think the most dangerous deficit in the world today is the gap between the need for effective multilateral action and the capacity of the states, of nation states to act collectively. In globalization and a whole set of all the factors including the three revolutions have created a long list of problems that you correctly mentioned that cannot be tackled by any country acting alone that escape you and the reach and effectiveness of a big superpower like the United States. So we have a growing list of challenges that need countries to work together. At the same time, what we have seen is that the ability of the world of a number of countries to act together, its either stagnant or declining and that creates a big deficit, a big gap. In economics when you have a huge demand and not enough supply, you end up with inflation. In geopolitics, when that happens, you end with a lot of people killed. And thats why thats the most dangerous deficit. The reason why I place political parties and the need to strengthen national politics is because I am convinced that our stagnation at the global level is a reflection of inability and the weakness of nation states to strike deals because they dont have a mandate. So if you have a weak national government that has to sit with other weak national governments, the deals that they will strike will not be up to par in terms of solving or making a dent to the global problems we have. And what's happening is that you have these weaklings sitting down at summits that look like they are, you know, a convention of the powerful of the world. But then when you see who they are and if you see even more importantly what they agree, then you see, well, there's no power there, and the reason there's no power at the international level is because the powerful at the national level are not being able to get a mandate from their citizens. In order to reach international deals, very often you need to have compromises and you have to you know, go back to your voters and explain for example why you're going to divert some resources from your urgent dire needs at home to deal with a problem that looks remote and foreign and distant and how will you explain that if you're barely surviving for your political life. And so unless we have stronger government, more secure government, its going to be very hard to have a better functioning of the multilateral system. And then in the book, I make a big deal of something I call Minilateralism which is trying to do things like the global fund and others that do not require the vote of 192 countries that just do a coalition find. If you look at what are the main problems of the world and you say, well, which countries are the main players either as a cause or a solution of this problem? The number will never be more than 20. Very few problems in the world today, the big ones require more than 20 players. If you get, and the number is more like 12 and 15if you get 12 of 15 countries for the big issues to agree to and work together, you're going to get about 80% of the problem. The issue is that the 180 countries that are not invited to the table are going to complain about the democratic deficit and how these are the exclusionary. How this wreaks of colonialism? The whole list of why, you know, we need a global democracy, you know, one country, one vote, even if that one country has 100,000 inhabitants. A population of 100,000 that has as muchand that vote counts as much as the vote of India. So thats very problematic and thats why minilateralism may be a one small step in the right direction. Interviewer:So the next book will have a chapter on the G20. Yes right here. Teresa Studzinski:My name is Teresa Studzinski and I'm the president of the Global Alliance for Preventive Wings in the Military. Interviewee:Preventive? Teresa Studzinski:Wings in the Military. Its a non-profit organization. I was wonderingfirst of all, I wanted to thank you for a wonderful book and presentation and the conversation. And when I think about this, you know, decline of power and you presented, painted so many variables so widely, you know, that it affects. I was just wondering, do you think because when you come to the core of the basic reason why it happens on such a large scale everywhere in particular and on higher levels concerning not only local issues but also global issues that the gentlemen mentioneddo you think when we come to the core of that, isnt it in the inability to cope with the issue of violence and the issue of poverty in a way which would work, I mean, in a kind of predictive way, that behind all this is basically everywhere locally, and on the higher levels, its the violence but erupts in every kind of situation and every way which is connected with the crime rate, and on the other hand, its poverty, which is lingering around. And if these two issues are coped with, you know, some kind of predictive way on a local and on a higher level, there would be no violence and no povertyfirst of all, what do you think about this, how violence and issue and poverty influence this decrease of power and you know, what do you think about this as a solution? Interviewee:I think that equating on and giving poverty, as an explanation for crime is a very dangerous idea. We have very poor countries that are not that violent, and we have we very wealthy countries that are very violent. So I disagree that povertyof course, poverty is always the driver for a lot of things. But declaring that violence and homicide rates are just a function of poverty is a highly paralyzing assumption because that means, well, there's nothing we can do about the crime and violence until you know poverty is eradicated or deeply evaded and thats a very dangerous idea. I think there's plenty that one can do to deal with crime and homicide rates that before we see a massive declines in poverty. I am surprised in one of the crusades I embarked on is to stop the peaceful coexistence in Latin-America with homicide rates. Latin-America is the most murderous country region in the world of the top six murder rate, you know, the countries that have the highest murder rates in the world are Honduras, el Salvador, Jamaica, Cote dIvoire, Gabon and Venezuela. So of the six top murdering countriesno Mexico is not in the list. Mexico has very high murder rates in some cities. But again in terms of homicides per 100,000, the top six countries in world are these and as you see, of the six, four are in Latin-America, and I think thats a priority. I think this is not just for the government to solve. I think this has to bethere should be a mobilization or society. The media and intellectuals and universities and labor unions and the church and governments and everyone has to, and I hope that one day we can have something like, a millennium goal type approach in which, you know, were not going to eliminate homicide but we can drop, you know, we can do things in which murder rates are declined by 50% in the next 5 years. Thats not an unreasonable goal if you make it as the top priority for society, that when presidents meet in summits and dont talk about that, you just shame them into neglecting to talk about the problem that is killing plenty of their citizens very often the most vulnerable of their citizens, and I think thats achievable and I think thats one of the things that we out to be doing. Interviewer:Were going to leave it there. I want to thank you hugely for this talk, for this book, and for the promise for the next book. One of the things we do with the Open Society Foundations is try to work with people who feel excluded from power who are on the margins of society, who are oppressed in various ways and try to remove the obstacles that prevent them from feeling their own power in their societies. When that begins to work, it often takes the form of stopping a national government, stopping a corporation, stopping a land grab, stopping the loss of the local treasure, and I think your call is to take that to recognize that that power can actually be channeled in ways beyond that that can be a constructive use of that power and maybe a hope that if we assemble power differently, maybe we can hold on to it at least.