Is nationalism ever a force for good?

The lack of it can also be a problem.

  • Nationalism isn't always a bad thing. When a country doesn't have self-confidence, and a collective sense of identity, that is also a problem.
  • The optimal situation, in the case of nationalism, is that a nation's citizens have a healthy amount of it. For instance, as Jared Diamond points out in this video, Finland seems to have a nationalism based in reality — and largely founded on their unique language. It imbues them with an innate pride but doesn't compel them to conquer the world.
  • Also, nationalism that is used to be inclusive, rather than exclusive, can help a nation transcend its darkest moments.
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Videos

Criminal reform: Why wake-up calls are windows of opportunity

Here's how we can use the concept of 'impact impression' for criminal reform.

  • In his work in criminal reform, Bishop Omar Jahwar recounts how a person's life trajectory can typically be traced back to a moment of trauma or an 'impact impression'.
  • An impact impression has two outcomes: It can be an awakening that steers people in a positive direction where they seek help, or it can become a negative spiral that lands them in prison. In the latter case, supporting people in undoing the damage and mental scars they've incurred from such impact impressions can help reduce recidivism.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation

What makes a good leader: strength or smarts?

When it comes to leadership, we're quite picky on who we let govern us.

  • Research suggests that human beings are equipped for, and even prefer, a kind of mild hierarchy.
  • However, there is a certain alchemy behind successful leaders. For instance, we don't want leaders that are too powerful or too autocratic or are too able to impose punishment on ourselves.
  • The best leaders foster connections, friendships, and cooperation among their subordinates.
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How America could become a dictatorship in 10 years

Are we witnessing the end of democracy in America?

  • Much like in marriage, you also have to have political compromise in a country.
  • During the last few decades, American elected representatives and our electorates succeeded in reaching compromise about difficult issues. However, political compromise seems to be breaking down today.
  • This breakdown, Diamond posits, is the "most serious" problem the United States faces because it could preciptate the rise of a dictatorship in the country.
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Why we might want to rethink who we put on money

We put presidents on our money, but isn't there more to life than politics?

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
  • American money is famous for only featuring statesmen who we sometimes refer to it as "Dead Presidents."
  • Other countries aren't so limited in their selection of people to display on their currency.
  • The recent discussion around putting Harriet Tubman on the twenty dollar bill raises questions about who gets on money and why.
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Politics & Current Affairs