Carne Ross is founder and executive director of Independent Diplomat.
Carne Ross on
Globalization, in a word. But disaggregated; this incredible interconnectedness of humanity now through electronic means but also through better transport; the sheer number of people; the fact of a kind of awareness of global issues. I think it makes it harder and harder for individual nation-states' governments to manage the world. It demands a new kind of politics to address political change.
The biggest challenge we are facing now is the crisis in capitalism and representative democracy. We have an economic model that is not working. It is producing success in only a very narrowly defined way, of economic growth. That growth has not been fairly distributed. It is causing great damage to the planet.
I don't really believe in morals or ethics. I believe what matters is what you do. I worked for a government that claimed to believe in international law, a kind of moral version of the world, and yet was quite happy to break that law when it suited it. I think it is very difficult to suggest universal moral rules that should be applied in all circumstances. I think if there were one, though, it is an obligation of cosmopolitanism, the idea that we have to take the views and the positions of other people seriously.
I have absolutely no idea. That doesn't mean we shouldn't keep working for it. I think actually we need a much more fundamental review of how we organize our society at a microcosmic level as well as the national and the international. I think we've actually got to abandon a lot of the familiar old presumptions that we relied upon in the twentieth century. Our world is fundamentally different today.
For me it's all about action. I think we live in an age of considerable and correct skepticism of rhetoric. The sort of rhetorical age of delivering political promise through speeches has been transcended by something else, which is about authenticity. People need to feel a message is authentic if they are to give it any credibility at all.