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Can We Reconcile Patriotism with Global Ethics?

By Gordon Brown | TED | December 3, 2009

Gordon Brown walks the political tightrope between patriotism and a global ethic, concluding that national identity remains important but not at the expense of people accepting their global responsibilities. With massive technology changes linking people in new ways, he says, we should be able to build global institutions suitable to the challenges of our day.

The key challenge is persuading people that what's necessary for the West is proper engagement with the rest of the world, and that the short-term costs of tackling climate change and poverty are worth paying in order to build a stronger global society. Based on common moral instincts, the era of isolationism and convenient alliances will cede ground to a shared sense of the possible and how to attain it.


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