Yuval Noah Harari. The war in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic and the future of globalization – the topic of conversation with Piotr Kraśka on TVN24

Since the fundamental problems we face are global in nature, I don’t think a return to the pre-globalization world is possible, Israeli historian and philosopher Yuval Noah Harari said in an interview with Piotr Kraśka . The author of world-renowned publications also spoke about the war in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Piotr Kraśka, journalist for “Fakt” TVN and TVN24, was interviewed by Israeli historian and philosopher Yuval Noah Harari during the Impact22 congress in Poznań. He is the author of books such as “21 lessons for the 21st century” and “Homo deus. A brief history of tomorrow”, which have been translated into more than 60 languages ​​and sold more than 235 million copies.

Teacher. Yuval Noah Harari in an interview with Piotr Kraśka TVN24

Harari: If Putin wins, it will be the end of the world order

One of the topics of the conversation was the war in Ukraine and the impact of its possible outcome on the future of the world. As Harari said, “If Vladimir Putin is allowed to win and it becomes possible for a country to be conquered and destroyed, it will end the era of peace and prosperity that we have enjoyed over the last decades”.

– Let’s just think in the context of government budgets. Countries around the world have felt secure enough in recent years to spend around 6% of their GDP on defense and much more on health, welfare and education, he said. As he pointed out, “if Putin were allowed to win, defense budgets around the world would grow indefinitely.” “And the money that should be going to teachers or doctors or social workers will be spent on tanks or cyber weapons,” Harari said.

As he added, “it’s a way of thinking”. – At a deeper level, if Putin wins, it will be the end of the world order. The end of all possibility of cooperation between the nations of the world. It is impossible to cooperate with people who want to destroy you – he said.

Teacher. Yuval Noah Harari: If Putin wins, it will be the end of the world orderTVN24

“We cannot accept peace as something given once and for all”

Harari said that “we cannot accept peace as given once and for all, but neither should we think that we live in a jungle”. “And that the only thing that works is military power, because then we will see more and more wars breaking out in the world,” he said.

According to the professor, “Putin is trying to break the biggest taboo in the world we live in.” – You can’t just invade another country. It is impossible to try to erase it from the face of the earth. Since 1945, there have been many wars, civil wars and conflicts, but never has an internationally recognized country been wiped off the face of the earth. Saddam Hussein tried to do so in Kuwait but failed, he said.

“If Putin succeeds, it will completely destroy the world order,” he added.

“The war started out as a war of one person, but it is becoming a war of nations with each passing day,” Harari said. Putin has sown these seeds of hatred in more and more people’s minds. Now it is beyond him. If it doesn’t stop now, it could lead to generations of hate, fear and violence, he said.

– The madness of a man goes out of his mind and infects millions – said the guest of TVN24.

Harari on the COVID-19 pandemic: scientific victory coupled with political failure

During the conversation, Piotr Kraśko also asked the philosopher about the book “21 lessons for the 21st century” in the context of recent world events, including the COVID-19 pandemic. – We watch what happens and sometimes we have to predict the future During the first two decades of the 21st century, mankind experienced the most prosperous period in history. This should be recognized and appreciated, but it is not a guarantee for the future – said Harari.

– We had peace and prosperity because people made wise choices, built good institutions, and maintained a functioning social order. Then they started neglecting him, he continued.

– When we start making bad decisions and undermining the institutions, the norms, the values ​​that have preserved world peace, then war returns. We have seen this undermining happen, even in countries that were leaders of the world order like Britain and the United States, when they turned their backs on it, the professor said. Harari pointed to “Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidency and his isolationism.”

– It’s the same with a pandemic. It was a scientific victory coupled with a political failure. Humanity had far more power to stop this pandemic than any other in history, he said. When COVID-19 hit, it only took two weeks to identify the virus. Scientists around the world have joined forces to identify it and understand how it travels and how to stop it. We have had several vaccines that have worked over the year. It was an incredible scientific achievement – he stressed.

Teacher.  Yuval Noah Harari: The COVID-19 pandemic was a scientific victory and a political failure

Teacher. Yuval Noah Harari: The COVID-19 pandemic was a scientific victory and a political failureTVN24

According to Harari, “we had the tools to stop this pandemic, but it turns out that the tools are not enough.” – We need politicians who make wise decisions on how to use these tools. It was a political failure. There was no world leadership that would fight it. Even today, two years after the start of the pandemic, he underlined.

Harari: As long as there are ICBMs, the world is global

Yuval Harari also spoke about the future of globalization. As he assessed, “at some point we will see shorter supply chains.” – There will be more countries that will be ready to produce themselves – he estimated. At the same time, he pointed out that “if each country were to produce everything by itself, the standard of living for everyone, especially the poorest, would plummet”. – Let’s think about medicines, vaccines. There was a vaccine in Israel that had been developed by Turkish immigrants in Germany (Pfizer) and produced by an American multinational. Then she came to Israel – he said.

– As long as there are intercontinental ballistic missiles, the world is global – Prof. Harari. – You can build walls, walls, and what can you do with nuclear war? What can be done with climate change, with the advent of artificial intelligence? he wondered. As he pointed out, “no country in the world can stop a nuclear war, just by passing a law in its parliament.” – No country can stop climate change just by changing its own policy. No country can regulate this potential of technologies such as artificial intelligence, he stressed.

Teacher.  Yuval Noah Harari: As long as there are ICBMs, the world is global

Teacher. Yuval Noah Harari: As long as there are ICBMs, the world is globalTVN24

– Due to the fact that the fundamental problems we face are global in nature, I do not believe that a return to the pre-globalization world is possible – he concluded.

Main photo source: TVN24

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