How To Change the World
How To Change the World
Can individuals change entire political systems? And how much do ideas actually matter?
Published on: Jul 22, 2022  

We return to some questions that the Crowd has been chewing over for the last month or so: How does change happen? Do ideas really change the world? And can the actions of individuals change the larger systems of which they are a part—whether that’s bloated bureaucracies, divided governments, or “systemic racism”?

We start talking about climate change, and debate whether it’s the world-ending catastrophe that many leftists and liberals believe it is. Have we, as a species, finally run into hard limits on progress? Damir is less sanguine about the future, while Shadi grounds a certain kind of optimism about humanity muddling through in his faith.

We then move into a wider-ranging discussion of the role of ideas in world politics. Is Francis Fukuyama that ideas will transform the world more and more, as it gets increasingly globalized ? Shadi also shares his own conflicted views on whether it’s possible to fundamentally alter U.S. policy in the Middle East. After all, the “system” in place has remained stubbornly resistant to change for seven decades. When, if ever, should one give up hope?

Finally, in Part 2 of our conversation, available to paying subscribers only, we turn to the question of whether democracies are inherently more conservative than progressive. Does the fact that the Tories' ranks were made more diverse by David Cameron show how non-democratic means are often needed to achieve social goods?

Required Reading: