What forces have shaped humanity most?

Ken Adelman: Well I think that, you know, there is a phase in human life that I hope is getting over with, where leaders wanted to do the social engineering. Where the idea of Communism . . . not the original idea of Communism , but the idea of Lenonism and Stallinism was the state should control what you are like. The state was more important than the people and should form what the people are. And that has been a devastating whole approach. It was the basis of Nazism. It’s the basis of Communism. It’s the basis of Islamic Fundamentalism. And it’s the opposite basis as our founding founder . . . and not just our fathers, but going back to Aristotle. And human beings have these attributes, and we should allow the flowering of the human being. And the state is there to serve us. We’re not there to serve the state. And that’s a very big deal. And it’s a very big fundamental difference . . . where their first words in the Constitution – “We the People of the United States . . .” Now these other philosophies, it’s “We the state”, or, “The state does.” And then the people . . . they form the people. They make the people. But that’s a very debilitating philosophy. So that’s generally what’s been the most important political fight in the last century.

Recorded on: 7/2/07

 

Adelman hopes that we have moved beyond social engineering.

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