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The Munk Debates Podcast

English, Social, 3 seasons, 172 episodes, 4 days 5 hours 46 minutes
About
The Munk Debates podcast is an extension of the main stage events - in subject, speaker selection, tone and format. It will introduce the iconic brand - and its engaging debates about significant issues of our time. Audiences will hear strong and passionate arguments from both sides of an issue so they will have enough information to make up their own minds about where they stand.
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Be it Resolved, the Democrats need a new nominee

“An elderly man with a poor memory”. That is how a special counsel report described Joe Biden, president of the United States. Public appearances of the President looking confused and forgetting important dates and names seem to support this finding. Some Democrats believe Biden’s cognitive decline is a major liability that can no longer be ignored. With so much at stake in the 2024 election, and polls that are favouring Trump to win, it’s time for Biden to step aside for a candidate that can take on Trump with the energy and mental vigour such a contest requires. Biden’s supporters argue that his record as one of America’s most effective presidents renders his age irrelevant. Unlike previous candidates, Biden has proven that he can form a winning coalition. The risk of replacing him this close to the election would all but guarantee his defeat and the ruin of American democracy at the hands of a President Trump. Arguing in favour of the resolution is Jeff Weaver. He was a s
27/02/202439 minutes 20 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Sarah Paine: the rise of the Russia-China axis

Most geopolitical experts agree that we have entered into a new cold war. The rise of the China-Russia axis and its threat to the international rules-based order is of growing concern to western powers. On this Munk Dialogue, we’re speaking with Sarah Paine, University Professor of History and Grand Strategy at the US Naval War College. Sarah explains what is motivating leaders like Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin to act aggressively towards their neighbours, and how western powers should respond to these acts of aggression. In short: what can we learn about the wars of the 20th century to prevent a devastating global war in the 21st? The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/munkdebates/ To sign up for a weekly email reminder for this podcast, send an email to <a hre
22/02/202438 minutes 18 seconds
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Be it Resolved, western governments must resume funding to UNRWA

14 countries, including Canada and the US, suspended funding to the U.N.’s Palestinian Refugee Agency in response to Israeli allegations that 12 employees were involved in the attack on Israel on October 7th, and roughly 10% of their employees in Gaza have links to Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Human rights workers argue that this is a form of collective punishment that will have dire consequences on a population already suffering from widespread hunger, displacement, and disease. Furthermore, cutting off payments to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Lebanon, and Syria could destabilize an already volatile region. UNRWA’s critics argue that by keeping Palestinians in a perpetual state of refugee status, the organization prevents them from setting down roots elsewhere in the region and thus acts as an obstacle to peace. Given the irrefutable evidence of its ties to Hamas and support of terror against Israel, they argue, there is no reason to continue to fund an agency open
12/02/202450 minutes 45 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with John Mearsheimer: why Ukraine needs to break ties with the West

In May 2022, just a few months into the war between Russia and Ukraine, we convened a public debate in Toronto about whether the West needed to acknowledge Russia’s legitimate legitimate security interests in order to bring the conflict to a resolution. John Mearsheimer, one of the world’s leading realist scholars in international relations, argued on stage that the West deserves some blame for Russian aggression.  After almost two years of fighting, the war, as John predicted at that debate, is nowhere near its conclusion. Mass casualties, a country in ruin, and billions of dollars in western aid has done little to advance the goals of either side. On this Munk Dialogue, John offers his thoughts on how to resolve this conflict as soon as possible, the threat of a growing alliance between Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, and why military power has its limits in a multipolar world.   The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths <
07/02/202449 minutes 26 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with David Horovitz: is it possible to defeat Hamas?

Despite international pressure and the threat of a wider regional conflict, Israel has made clear their intention to keep fighting until Hamas has been eradicated and no longer poses a security threat on their southern border. So how does the government’s military aim square up against growing civilian pressure to free the hostages? And what does this all mean for the future of Gaza? On this Munk Dialogue, we’re joined by David Horovitz, the founding editor of The Times of Israel, which since October 7th has become the fastest-growing English-language news website in the world. David shares his thoughts on the unfolding conflict and provides unique insights into what Israel wants - and doesn’t want - at this critical moment. The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our Facebook page ht
30/01/202446 minutes 21 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Michael Knights: Houthi attacks in the Red Sea

US airstrikes don’t appear to be deterring Houthi rebels in the Red Sea. The Yemen-based militant group has continued their attacks on commercial ships in retaliation to the Israeli offensive against Hamas in Gaza. These violent clashes risk escalating an already tense situation in the Middle East, which in recent weeks has moved beyond Gaza into southern Lebanon, Pakistan, and parts of Iran and Iraq. So what, exactly, do the Houthis want? And how can the US and its allies successfully defend against Houthi attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea? For this we are joined by Michael Knights, one of the most sought after experts on the Gulf States, Yemen, and Iraq. As Michael explains, this battle of the Red Sea is much bigger than a few violent skirmishes, and if not managed properly has the potential to drag the whole region into war. SOURCES: AP, ABC News   The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - <a href="https://twitter.com/rudya
24/01/202436 minutes 40 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Lenore Skenazy: the importance of raising free-range kids

Teenagers are facing a mental health epidemic. The numbers are staggering: 30% of teenage girls and 10% of teenage boys are suffering from depression, reflecting a 150% increase since 2010. Rates of anxiety and ADHD are equally alarming. On this Munk Dialogue we’re joined by Lenore Skenazy, the founder of the Free-Range Kids and Let Grow movements. Since 2008 she has been sounding the alarm about helicopter parenting and overly-supervised play, which, she claims, is robbing children of their independence, creativity and resiliency. Without these important skills, they are likely to become depressed, anxious, and unable to resolve conflict without adult intervention. Furthermore, there is a case to be made, Lenore argues, that the threat to academic freedom on university campuses can be traced back to a lack of unsupervised play in childhood.   The host of this Munk Debates podcast is Ricki Gurwitz Tweet your comments about this episode to <a href="abo
18/01/202440 minutes 45 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Greg Lukianoff: how to fix higher education

Claudine Gay, the first black female president of Harvard, faced intense scrutiny since her widely criticized congressional testimony on campus antisemitism in early December. Last week, President Gay resigned from her post after mounting allegations of plagiarism in her published articles.  In an op-ed in the New York Times, Gay argued that she was a victim of a right-wing political attack on academia and the diversity initiatives that she both championed and represented. On this Munk Dialogue were joined by Greg Lukianoff, the president and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression. FIRE is America’s leading defender of fundamental rights on college campuses and it should come as no surprise that these past few years have been the organizations busiest on record. Greg talks to us about how universities can - and must - turn things around to save higher education and our children’s futures. The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - <a href
10/01/202440 minutes 37 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Zhou Bo: Why China sees Taiwan as its biggest national security concern

On this Munk Dialogue we are speaking to one of China’s leading experts on military strategy and security. Zhou Bo is a retired senior colonel of China's People's Liberation Army and a senior fellow of the Centre for International Security and Strategy at Tsinghua University. He was also a director at the Ministry of National Defence of China. In this wide-reaching conversation, Bo talks about why Taiwan is the biggest national security concern for China, regional disputes over the South China Sea, and lessons that Chinese leaders are taking away from the ongoing war in Ukraine. The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths  Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/munkdebates/ To sign up for a weekly email reminder for this podcast, send an email to podcast@munkdebates
02/01/202435 minutes 26 seconds
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The best debates of 2023

On this special edition of the Munk Debates podcast, host Rudyard Griffiths is joined by senior content producer, Ricki Gurwitz, to discuss some of their favourite debates and dialogues from the over 50 podcast episodes published this year. They also peel back the curtain to give listeners a glimpse into how these debates come together. How do they decide what debates to convene? What makes for a successful debate? And which debate topics are the hardest to book?  The answers may surprise you.   The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths  Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/munkdebates/ To sign up for a weekly email reminder for this podcast, send an email to [email protected].   To support civil and substantive debate on the big questions of the day, consider becoming a Munk Member at https://munkdebates.com/membership Members receive acces
27/12/202340 minutes 17 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Michael Geist: Why the Online News Act is a policy disaster

Amid years of decline in news ad revenue and a rapidly changing media landscape, the Canadian government introduced Bill C-18, the Online News Act. This controversial piece of legislation requires Google and Meta - the company behind Facebook and Instagram – to pay Canadian news outlets for linking their content to these social media sites. Meta responded by blocking all Canadian news content from Facebook and Instagram, while Google has recently agreed to pay $100 million to Canadian publishers, indexed for inflation. Our guest on this Munk Dialogue is Michael Geist, one of the legislation’s fiercest critics. Michael is an expert in Canadian technology law and the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, and argues that far from helping Canadian news outlets, media organizations – unable to drive users from social media – will not only suffer from a loss of revenue, but they will become more reliant on government subsidies to stay af
19/12/202343 minutes 4 seconds
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Be it Resolved, Henry Kissinger was one of history’s great statesmen

Henry Kissinger, the former US Secretary of State who helped shape Cold War history, is a man both revered and reviled.  To his supporters, he was a brilliant statesman whose realpolitik approach to foreign affairs helped maintain international world order and contain Soviet aggression. Kissinger’s skilled diplomacy produced a diplomatic opening to Beijing, a détente with the Soviet Union, and the eventual peace agreement between Israel and Egypt. As present-day conflict threatens to engulf the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and a new and dangerous alliance is forming between China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea, a statesman with Kissinger’s strategic acumen is badly needed. To his distractors, however, Kissinger was a war criminal whose pursuit of power resulted in the carpet bombing of Cambodia, a prolonged Vietnam war, a military coup in Chile, and many other such atrocities. Few Americans have been responsible for as many deaths in America and abroad as he. Henry Kissinger, his
12/12/202355 minutes 52 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Yossi Klein Halevi: for Israel, this is a war of necessity

It’s been two months since Hamas’s surprise attack on Israel that killed 1200 people, took 240 hostage, and shook the country to its core. October 7th was a day that not only altered the course of Israeli history, but also has forced Israelis to re-examine their relationship to their Palestinian neighbours, and their ability to rebuild a thriving democracy in one of the most hostile regions in the world. To understand the story of Israel post October 7th, we’re joined by Yossi Klein Halevi. Yossi is a best-selling author, a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.   The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths   To sign up for a weekly email reminder for this podcast, send an email to [email protected].   To support civil and substantive debate on the big questions of the day, consider becoming a Munk M
07/12/202344 minutes 48 seconds
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Be it Resolved, the western media has an anti-Israel bias

Within one week of the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, the BBC received more than 1,500 complaints relating to its coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict. Criticisms were split almost evenly between those claiming its reporting had been biased against Israel and those saying it was biased in favour of Israel. These disparate interpretations of the media’s coverage of the war are not limited to the BBC. Other mainstream media outlets like the New York Times, CNN, and the CBC have faced similar accusations in recent weeks. Israel’s supporters argue that activists have infiltrated newsrooms, leading to journalism that is increasingly biased against the party whom many young progressives have deemed the villain in this conflict: Israel. From falsely and prematurely blaming Israel for an attack on a Gaza hospital, to refusing to use the word terrorists to describe Hamas, to trusting information provided to them by Hamas under the pretext of the Gaza Health Ministry, the international
28/11/202350 minutes 26 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with John Spencer: how to dismantle Hamas terror tunnels

On this episode of the Munk Debate podcast we’re talking about one of the biggest challenges facing the Israeli army in Gaza: Hamas tunnels. These tunnels, some of which stretch for miles and reach depths as low as 230 feet underground, offer Hamas fighters protection and allow them to launch attacks against the IDF before returning underground to safety. How can Israel hope to dismantle this underground web of labyrinths, while trying to rescue over 200 hostages that are suspected of being held there? For this, and more, we turn to one of the world’s leading experts on urban warfare, John Spencer. John is a combat veteran, national security and military analyst, and chair of urban warfare studies at the Modern War Institute. The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - @rudyardg.   Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our Facebook page <a href="https://www.face
20/11/202340 minutes 35 seconds
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Be it Resolved, liberalism gets the big questions right

This is the podcast version of our public debate on the Crisis of Liberalism that took place in front of an audience of 3,000 people in Toronto on November 3rd, 2023. For the better part of three centuries, through wars, revolutions, and sweeping social change, liberalism has endured as the defining ideology of the West. Its championing of individual rights, free trade and capitalism, and liberal democracy has long been equated with the West’s economic development, social tolerance, personal freedoms, and the rule of law. But, more recently, powerful criticisms of liberalism have arisen on the right (populism) and left (socialism). Liberalism is increasingly blamed for everything from growing inequality, environmental degradation, political polarization, and cultural fragmentation. For its critics, liberalism has become an impediment to the goal of progress, and humanity urgently needs a new animating ideology. Arguing for the motion is the controversial British M.P.
14/11/20231 hour 30 minutes 5 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Mohamed El-Erian: A plan to fix a fractured world

The last two decades have seen the world economy cascade from crisis to crisis: from the global financial crisis of 2008, to increasing economic inequality and the devastating effects of climate change, to the COVID supply chain crisis and rise in inflation, we are living in a period of heightened instability. It is this economic unpredictability which is the subject of a new book by world famous investor Mohamed El Erian. Permacrisis: A Plan to Fix a Fractured World, written together with former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Nobel Prize winning economist Michael Spence, identifies the common causes behind these crises, and offers a sensible plan for reform to create a fairer, more equitable and more stable world.   The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - @rudyardg.   Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our Facebook page <a h
09/11/202346 minutes 2 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Leon Cooperman: anti-semitism on college campuses

On this Munk Dialogue we’re speaking to American billionaire investor Leon Cooperman. Leon is as famous for his candid conversations as his success on the stock market, and in this dialogue he doesn’t hold back. Leon tells us why he welcomes the recent rise in interest rates, why he thinks Bidenomics has been a disaster for the US economy, and what stocks he’s investing in right now. We also get his response to the current war between Israel and Hamas, the rise of anti-semitism on campus, and why he has vowed to stop donating to his alma mater, Columbia University.     The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - @rudyardg.   Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/munkdebates/ To sign up for a weekly email reminder for this podcast, send an email to <a hr
02/11/202333 minutes 40 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Munk Dialogue with George Will, Ash Sarkar, Jacob Rees Mogg, and Sohrab Ahmari

On November 3rd four debaters will take to the stage at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall to debate the crisis of liberalism. The motion is Be it Resolved, liberalism gets the big questions right.  On this Munk Dialogue, we are speaking with each of the debaters who are taking part in this important and timely debate, to get a sense of their arguments and what we can expect from them on stage at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall on November 3rd. Arguing for the motion is the controversial British M.P. and former cabinet minister, Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg. He will be joined by the American writer and columnist who has shaped a generation’s thinking on the important issues of our time: George F. Will. Opposing the motion is U.K. journalist, self-avowed communist and popular leftist thinker, Ash Sarkar. Her debating partner is the disruptive and thought-provoking American social conservative, Sohrab Ahmari, author of the bestseller Tyranny Inc.: How Private Po
30/10/20231 hour 10 minutes 3 seconds
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Be it Resolved, the US should call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza

Israel has launched intense strikes on Gaza and shut off water and electricity to the territory as they prepare for a ground invasion in response to Hamas’s terror attacks on October 7th. Thousands of Gazans have been killed in the bombardment, with hundreds of thousands displaced and millions going without basic supplies like fuel and medicine. Human rights groups and left-wing politicians are highly critical of Israel’s response. They argue that a human catastrophe is unfolding in real time as Palestinians in Gaza are being subjected to collective punishment by Israel despite having nothing to do with the attacks on October 7th. Protesters argue that in the name of self-defense, and with the backing of western governments, Israel is violating international law and engaging in ethnic cleansing on a mass scale. The only solution is an immediate and unequivocal ceasefire on all sides. Western leaders, however, have thrown their support behind Israel, providing the country with the ti
27/10/20231 hour 4 minutes 7 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Robert D. Kaplan: the challenge of urban warfare in Gaza

Israel is facing a wartime challenge unlike anything we have witnessed in modern history. The IDF is planning to invade Gaza in order to - in the words of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - “crush and destroy” Hamas after their devastating terrorist attack on Israel last week. This type of dense urban warfare, where the targets are insurgents hiding behind civilians and residential buildings, has rarely been successful for the invading armies. One need no look further than the Battle of Fallujah in Iraq in 2004 to see what Israel will be up against. On this Munk Dialogue by celebrated author Robert D. Kaplan who was embedded up close and personal with the U.S. Marines as they stormed Fallujah and faced intense close quarter combat against thousands of insurgents inside a large Middle Eastern city.  Robert shares with us his experience of the siege of Fallujah and the lessons it holds for Israel as its military prepares for a ground assault on Gaza, along wit
17/10/202346 minutes 52 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Bret Stephens: Israel under attack

On Saturday morning, Israelis woke up to their world forever changed. The numbers are staggering: over 1000 civilians killed by Hamas and 150 taken hostage, including children and the elderly. The brutality of these crimes are even more shocking - dead bodies desecrated and paraded down the streets of Gaza to the applause of onlookers. This was Israel’s 9/11, and its response will be severe. So, what comes next? How many more countries could be pulled into this war? And how should the US and the West respond? To answer these questions and more, we’re joined by Bret Stephens. He’s a New York Times columnist, the former Editor-in-Chief of The Jerusalem Post, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and a past Munk Debater.   The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our Facebook page https://www.faceboo
11/10/202341 minutes 50 seconds
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Be it Resolved, DEI workplace programs do more harm than good

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the protests that followed in the summer of 2020, offices across North America began introducing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training programs with the objective of reducing racial bias and discrimination in the workplace. Lately, however, this multi-billion dollar industry is facing scrutiny by critics who believe these are unproven and expensive programs which are not only ineffective, but counterproductive. DEI training, they argue, often reinforces biases or introduces new stereotypes where they didn’t previously exist. Furthermore, if people from marginalized groups perceive themselves to be surrounded by others who are biased against them, they are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and antisocial behaviour, which will impede their professional success and overall happiness. Supporters of DEI programs argue that these initiatives are required to correct inequities that have long existed within organizations. This traini
04/10/202341 minutes 25 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Fredrik DeBoer: How the Elites at the Social Justice Movement

Author, journalist, and popular Substack writer Fredrik DeBoer is a self described marxist with a long standing commitment to left-wing activism. However, his new book, How the Elites At the Social Justice Movement, takes aim at his former political allies. Fredrik criticizes the current social justice movement for taking a hyper emotional approach to politics, engaging in character assassination against anyone perceived to be on the wrong side of history. In Fredrik’s words, we are living in a moment of political bloodlust dressed up in the language of anti-racism, damaging free speech, societal cohesion, and any chance of affecting real progressive change long term.   The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - @rudyardg.   Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our Facebook page https://www.faceb
26/09/202345 minutes 29 seconds
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Be it Resolved, traditional gender roles make for a happier marriage

The women’s liberation movement of the 1970's has long been championed as breaking down the barriers for women in the workplace. As women began to enter the workforce in droves, traditional gender roles in the home – one which saw the husband as the breadwinner and the wife as the homemaker – were torn down and replaced with a new, egalitarian vision for a modern day partnership defined by a two income household and an equal division of labour. And yet, there are some women who believe this transformation has yielded unhappy results. They argue that in order to be in a happy marriage, one must admit that men and women are not equal; they are different. When we deny our biological DNA and inherent gendered desires and capabilities we create mass confusion in the home, the resentful record keeping of household tasks, and a decrease in sexual desire. Men and women may be capable of doing many of the same things, but that doesn’t mean they want to. Modern feminists say the opposite is t
20/09/202350 minutes 47 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with David Brooks: How to Know a Person

New York Times columnist and bestselling author David Brooks is a cultural commentator and astute observer of social trends and behaviour. He believes that our society is fractured, and the number of people who report feeling isolated, alone, and invisible is higher than at any time in recent memory. David joins us to talk about his new book coming out this fall, How to Talk to Strangers, which offers a practical guide to help people truly get to know each other  in order to foster deeper connections at home, at work, and in their communities.   The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - @rudyardg.   Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/munkdebates/ To sign up for a weekly email reminder for this podcast, send an email to <a href="mailto:podc
12/09/202338 minutes 53 seconds
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Friday Focus: G20 or G-zero?

The following is a sample of the Munk Debates’ weekly current affairs podcast, Friday Focus.   On this edition of the Friday Focus podcast, Janice and Rudyard dedicate the show to talking about the upcoming G20 meeting in India. How should we understand the G20 meeting of the world’s largest economies in a world that is more divided than ever along regional lines? What is the relevance of the BRICs alliance to the future of the G20? Could a BRICs +, as is being orchestrated currently by China, displace the G20 in the near term? And finally, how do we preserve a rules-based international order in an era where the United States is no longer the global policeperson? Is there a different style of leadership needed for our more divided world? If so, what does this look like? Enjoy! To access full-length editions of the Friday Focus podcast consider becoming a <a href="https://munkdebates.com/donate" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=https
08/09/202317 minutes 42 seconds
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Be it Resolved, Gen Z is unemployable

Bare-Minimum Mondays. Quiet Quitting. Lazy Girl Job. Ask a Boomer or Gen Xer about their younger employee, and they might point to these viral tik tok slogans as how they see their new coworkers. Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen Z is the latest cohort to enter the workforce. They are criticized for wanting it all - work-life balance, high pay, great benefits - and wanting it right away. They expect their work assignments to align with their ideological goals, they aren’t afraid to call out senior coworkers for creating a toxic workplace, they complain constantly about burnout, and if their demands aren’t met, they are happy to quit (sometimes very publicly). Exasperated employers argue that seniority and pay is earned through years of hard work, long hours, and loyalty to the company. In their view, Gen Z are entitled, lazy, and in for a rude awakening. Zoomers, on the other hand, paint a different story. They are entering the workforce in a period of crushing student loan debt, grow
05/09/202338 minutes 6 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Graham Allison: the deteriorating relationship between the US and China

It’s no secret that relations between China and the US are at an all time low. And at the centre of this fraught relationship is the question of Taiwan: China is moving closer to asserting its territorial rights over the island, while US President Joe Biden has pledged to defend Taiwan, even going so far as sending defensive weapons to protect the country against a Chinese invasion. How should a superpower like the US respond to a rising power like China? Foreign policy expert Graham Allison joins us for a wide reaching conversation about this important moment in history, and how shared interests in the climate, technology, finance, and health could force these powerful rivals to become unwilling partners.   The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - @rudyardg.   Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our Facebook page https://www.f
29/08/202352 minutes 41 seconds
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Be it Resolved, the British Empire did more harm than good

In 1933, at the height of the British Empire, a small island off the north east coast of Europe controlled 25% of the world’s population and land mass. India, Canada, Australia, the British West Indies, parts of South America and Africa were all under British sway to one degree or another for the better part of the preceding century or longer. In its heyday, this mighty colonial power was admired for the innovation and enlightened principles it brought to newly conquered lands. Now, however, some modern historians want to set the record straight and reconsider British colonialism by its true nature: one defined by mass torture, rape, censorship, and starvation. The British so-called commitment to virtue and social progress, they argue, was a fallacy used to hide the cruelty with which they dominated their underlings.  For these historians, the Brits were no less violent or savage than Russia’s Stalin or Japan’s Hideki Tojo. Other historians see the vilification of Britain by modern
22/08/202336 minutes 22 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Stephen Walt: Surprising developments in the war between Russia and Ukraine

Ukraine is in ruins. Casualties are piling up on both sides. And western sanctions don’t seem to be working. As the war between Russia and Ukraine enters its 20th month, experts fear that a negotiated settlement will not be reached anytime soon. On this Munk Dialogue, we’re joined by one of the world’s leading realist thinkers in international relations, Stephen Walt, to talk about some surprising developments that have emerged from this conflict, and why it could drag on for much longer than anyone had anticipated. SOURCES: PBS, ABC News   The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - @rudyardg.   Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/munkdebates/ To sign up for a weekly email reminder for this podcast, send an email to <a href="mailto:podcast@mu
17/08/202344 minutes 38 seconds
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Be it Resolved, let’s engineer a better human being

We’ve come a long way since DNA was first discovered in the mid 19th century. Today’s scientists are using powerful engineering techniques to edit genes in human eggs and sperm, curing diseases and repairing defective genes before a child is even born. Some scientists are excited about these therapies, championing them as an exciting opportunity to create immunity to viruses, eliminate serious illnesses like AIDS, Alzheimer’s, and cancer, and possibly reverse aging. Like prior innovations in medicine and technology, why wouldn’t we embrace a science that allows people to live longer, healthier, and happier lives? Others are alarmed. They are worried that these new techniques raise a host of profound ethical issues. While eliminating genetic diseases is a worthwhile endeavor, many parents might be inclined to use this science to create designer babies: children who are smarter, taller, or have other supposedly desirable traits. And these tools aren’t cheap. They will surely be availa
08/08/202343 minutes 43 seconds
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Be it Resolved, pornography is exploitative, harmful, and too easy to access. It’s time to ban porn.

It’s a $97 billion global industry that has made its way into mobile phones, video games and laptops. Never before has porn been more accessible, and offered more variety, than the present day. And yet, some feminists want to revisit the question of whether it should exist at all. They say pornography exploits young women and creates unrealistic expectations in the bedroom. So many of society’s worst problems – from pedophilia, to sexual assault, to gender inequality – are amplified by porn use. And with the advent of the internet and video streaming, children are able to access hardcore porn with few guardrails, leading to a generation of young men who are getting their sex education from unrealistic and exploitative sexual relationships portrayed onscreen. On the other side of the debate are those who see value in porn: research shows that men who watch porn value female pleasure more, couples who watch porn together have better sexual relationships, and LGBT folk report a greater
01/08/202340 minutes 34 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Yossi Klein Halevi: Israel on the brink of civil war?

Chaos is unfolding on the streets of Israel as protesters face off against riot police and water cannons. Millions of Israelis are expressing their anger and frustration at the right wing coalition government - led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - for a series of judicial reforms that they argue will dismantle the country’s liberal institutions and its ability to function as a thriving democracy. On this Munk Dialogue, we’re joined by one of the government’s fiercest and most outspoken critics. Yossi Klein Halevi is a best-selling author, a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, and a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.   The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/munkdebates
27/07/202344 minutes 47 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Jean Twenge: a clash of generations

On this Munk Debate podcast, we're talking about the clash of generations: Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z.  How are these age groups - with vastly different life experiences and upbringings - interacting and competing with each other at home, at school, and in the workforce? Author and psychologist Jean Twenge, often referred to as the “reigning expert on generational change”, argues that evolving technology, more so than major historical events like the great recession of 2008 or the terrorist attacks of September 11th, has had a greater impact on how generations have come to see themselves, and what they want for the future. She joins us for a wide ranging discussion to dispel common misconceptions about certain generations (IE/ millennials aren’t as doomed as they believe to be) and why the young are postponing adult milestones for longer than any previous generation.   The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - <a href="https://twitter.com/rudyar
18/07/202343 minutes 44 seconds
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Be it Resolved, affirmative action should be based on class, not race

In a landmark ruling, The United States Supreme Court rejected affirmative action at US colleges, determining that race should not be a factor in achieving educational diversity. The controversial decision is expected to lower the admission rates of black and hispanic students at elite universities. Many supporters of the court's decision believe that affirmative action - that is, policies that aim to increase opportunities provided to underrepresented members of society - should be based on class, not race. Focusing on the disadvantaged of all races would create a more fair environment that is based on real need. Furthermore, they argue, affirmative action in its current form lowers standards for black students applying to universities, promoting different criterions based on race and therefore perpetuating a system of racism and inequality on campus. Others argue that replacing race-based affirmative action with economic need will hurt black students more as they will now be judge
11/07/202354 minutes 47 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with AI Debaters Yann Lecun, Max Tegmark, Melanie Mitchell and Yoshua Bengio

On June 22nd we gathered at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall for a live, sold out debate on Artificial Intelligence. We were joined on stage by four AI experts and pioneers to debate the resolution Be it Resolved, AI research and development poses an existential threat. MIT’s Max Tegmark and Mila’s Yoshua Bengion argued in favour of the resolution, while Meta’s Yann Lecun and the Santa Fe Institute's Melanie Mitchelll argued against it. In this episode of the Munk Dialogues, we bring you the pre-interviews our host Rudyard Griffiths conducted with each debater prior to the debate. How did they intend to argue their case? What made them want to take part in this event? And what is it about AI that has them most worried, or alternatively, most excited?   The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - @rudyardg.   Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our F
04/07/20231 hour 7 minutes 29 seconds
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Be it Resolved, AI research and development poses an existential threat

With the debut of ChatGPT, the AI once promised in some distant future seems to have suddenly arrived with the potential to reshape our working lives, culture, politics and society. For proponents of AI, we are entering a period of unprecedented technological change that will boost productivity, unleash human creativity and empower billions in ways we have only begun to fathom. Others think we should be very concerned about the rapid and unregulated development of machine intelligence. For their detractors, AI applications like ChatGPT herald a brave new world of deep fakes and mass propaganda that could dwarf anything our democracies have experienced to date. Immense economic and political power may also concentrate around the corporations who control these technologies and their treasure troves of data. Finally, there is an existential concern that we could, in some not-so-distant future, lose control of powerful AIs who, in turn, pursue goals that are antithetical to humanity’s i
29/06/20231 hour 33 minutes 22 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with James Bessen: how AI will transform the labour market

Some experts believe that over 300 million jobs worldwide will be automated by AI, with white collar professions in advanced economies being most affected by AI bots like ChatGPT. Radiologists, lawyers, coders, you name it - if you sit at a computer for work, you can expect to have some of your tasks completed by artificial intelligence. To get a closer look at just exactly how AI will transform the labour market, we’re talking to James Bessen. James is a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and an expert on how automation affects the workplace. We want to ask him: will robots steal our jobs?   The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - @rudyardg.   Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/munkdebates/ To sign up for a weekly email remin
19/06/202339 minutes 12 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Bruce Schneier: AI and democracy

Over the past few months we’ve heard many warnings about the dangers of Artificial Intelligence. But are there some positive aspects about this emerging technology that are being overlooked? On this episode, we’re joined by internationally renowned security technologist Bruce Schneier who argues that dangers associated with Artificial Intelligence are being overblown, and that chatbots like ChatGPT could actually strengthen democracy and restore trust in our governing institutions.   The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - @rudyardg.   Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/munkdebates/ To sign up for a weekly email reminder for this podcast, send an email to [email protected].   To support c
14/06/202337 minutes 58 seconds
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Be it Resolved, cats, not dogs, make better human companions

It’s a debate as old as time: when it comes to a household pet, which four legged furball makes the best companion? On one side, we have the independent, low maintenance feline, she who is quiet and clean. The cat isn’t needy; she gives her humans personal space and can walk herself, thank you very much. Unlike the too-eager dog, winning a cat’s affection takes time, patience, and trust. It’s a hard-fought battle which makes its victory that much more special. On the other side, we have man’s best friend. The ultimate companion, the dog is happy, affectionate and attentive. He protects the house and defends his humans. And, perhaps most importantly, he’s always up for a snuggle. Research shows dogs are better for your health: dog owners are less lonely, have fewer mental health issues, and get more exercise. When searching for a pet companion, dog enthusiasts claim, canines beat out cats in every category that counts.  Arguing for the motion is Aaron Hancox. He’s a filmm
06/06/202339 minutes 52 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Matt Taibbi: mainstream media, the twitter files, and online censorshi

In November 2022, substack journalist Matt Taibbi joined us on stage for our Munk Debate on Mainstream Media. Matt and his debate partner, political commentator Douglas Murray, argued in favour of the resolution, Be it resolved, don’t trust mainstream media, against best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell and New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg (Matt and Douglas won a decisive victory, it was the biggest voter swing in Munk Debate history). Right after the debate, Matt got on a plane to San Francisco, where he went directly to Twitter’s head office to meet with its new CEO, Elon Musk. What came next was perhaps the biggest news story to close out 2022: the release of the twitter files, which exposed content moderation decisions at the social media company, often at the behest of politicians and government agencies. What followed was a tumultuous few months for Matt which included testifying before congress, a house visit from the IRS, a public fallout wi
30/05/202350 minutes
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Be it Resolved, the United States should publicly pledge to defend Taiwan against Chinese aggression

It’s no secret that both China and the US are preparing for war. Some American military experts think that an armed conflict between the two superpowers is inevitable and could begin as early as 2025. And while there is a general consensus among Americans that the US should defend Taiwan from Chinese aggression, there is also widespread disagreement about whether the US government should make a public commitment to do so. Some foreign policy experts argue that strategic ambiguity will signal that an invasion will be met by a weak response, thus bolstering China’s resolve to attack. Strategic clarity in the form of a pledge to defend Taiwan would intimidate Xi Jinping, deter his re-unification ambitions, and send a strong message of support to allies in the region. Other analysts say that a security guarantee by the US could force Xi’s hand and lead to a military conflict that would have otherwise never come to pass. The US should focus on deterring China from attacking Taiwan withou
23/05/202353 minutes 40 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Francis Fukuyama: Liberalism in a state of crisis

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the end of the Cold War marked a new era in world politics.  For many geopolitical experts, it was championed as the ascendancy of the western liberal world order over competing political ideologies. It was, as American political scientist Francis Fukuyama famously declared, “the end of history”  and the beginning of long term peace and prosperity. But that post-Soviet optimism did not last long. The past decade has seen a rise in authoritarian leadership, widespread distrust in liberal institutions, polarization on the left and right, and a new war being fought on European soil. On this episode of the Munk Debates Podcast, we’re joined by that same political scientist - Professor Francis Fukuyama - to talk about how the world has changed in 30 years, and whether liberal democracies around the world can withstand the strong forces that seek to dismantle them. Click <a href="https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780374606718/liberalismanditsd
16/05/202346 minutes 28 seconds
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Be it Resolved, teaching gender identity has no place in the k-5 school curriculum

It’s a debate being argued across school boards, politics, and family dinner tables: whether educators should be including gender identity and sexual orientation in their k-5 curriculums. At least 5 Canadian provinces and seven US states now require the inclusion of LGBTQ topics, while more conservative states like Florida have banned any mention of such language altogether. Conservative lawmakers and parents argue that teaching about gender identity is inappropriate and confusing for children who are too young to understand the complexity of this subject and its potential life altering consequences. Educators, driven by liberal ideology, are ignoring parents’ wishes and using their classes to push their own political beliefs on impressionable youth. Progressives believe that as the number of children who identify as transgender and non-binary rises, teachers have an obligation to dispel misconceptions about gender and provide inclusive, safe environments for all students, especiall
10/05/202351 minutes 30 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Nadine Strossen: Academic Freedom in Higher Education

60 years ago, university students were leading the protest in defense of free speech. The 1960’s Free Speech Movement at the University of California at Berkeley has been credited with paving the way for the civil liberties movement of the 1960’s and widespread social and political change. These days, however, free speech has taken on a new meaning. University students are being criticized for shutting down speech that doesn’t align with their progressive and left leaning principles. So how do free speech laws play into the current free speech debate? Where do we draw the line between speech that offends and speech that causes harm? For this conversation, we’re joined by one of the most important free speech advocates in America. Nadine Strossen served as President of the American Civil Liberties Union from 1991 to 2008, and is now a senior fellow at FIRE - the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression.    The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - @ru
02/05/202345 minutes 12 seconds
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Be it Resolved, Central Banks have not adequately represented the public interest

Just when inflation seemed to finally be cooling, high interest rates claimed their first major victim: Silicon Valley Bank. And yet, central banks around the world claim the job is not finished, and more needs to be done to curb runaway inflation. But for some economists and business insiders, the latest debacle confirms a long held belief that central banks have largely failed as public institutions.  Their supposed neutrality is a farce, and they are inherently political bodies run by unelected officials. Democracy requires more than accountability, transparency, and good deliberation. It requires democratic power: the power of the people and their elected officials to steer policy. They argue central banks are in desperate need of transformation to better serve the economy and the public.  But others argue that the central bank has largely succeeded at seeing the global economy through turbulent times over many decades.  The fact that central bankers play an important role in so
26/04/202343 minutes 45 seconds
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Be it Resolved, Trump’s prosecution is bad for American democracy

The indictment of Donald Trump is an historic event. The 45th president of the United States now holds the unique distinction of being the first president to face criminal prosecution in the country’s history. Some legal experts believe that prosecuting Trump sets a dangerous precedent that will open an era of politically motivated prosecutions undermining democracy and the rule of law. Future presidents will be more likely to stay in office – through undemocratic means – in order to avoid trial. Furthermore, bringing this particular case against Trump, one which has nothing to do with his time in office, will undermine and delegitimize more important prosecutions that he could face in the future. And doing so will almost certainly galvanize his supporters and all but secure his nomination as the GOP presidential candidate in the 2024 election. Other experts argue that the opposite is true. Not holding Trump accountable to the rule of law would undermine democracy and send a message
17/04/202348 minutes 49 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Mark Zandi: avoiding a recession with smart policy decisions

With inflation remaining high despite rising interest rates, many economists are looking for new solutions to bring inflation down without triggering a recession. On this Munk Dialogue, we’re joined by Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, who gives us some insight into why the situation might not be as dire as some believe, and offers up some proposals on how to get inflation under control without raising rates.   The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - @rudyardg.   Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/munkdebates/ To sign up for a weekly email reminder for this podcast, send an email to [email protected].   To support civil and substantive debate on the big questions of the da
11/04/202353 minutes 28 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Michael Oren: is Israel on the brink of civil war?

Over half a million people have taken to the streets in the biggest protest movement the country has ever seen in response to Prime Minister’s Benjamin Netanyahu’s controversial plan to overhaul the judiciary and give unprecedented legal powers to the government. Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to the US and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s office, joins us for a Munk Dialogue about what he sees as a clash of two Israels: On the one side is a liberal and secular faction that wants to be a leader in tech, science, and the arts; and on the other, a more religious and right wing voting bloc whose vision for Israel is quite the opposite.   The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - @rudyardg.   Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/munkdebates/<
27/03/202346 minutes 16 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Vivian Bercovici: Israel in crisis

Israel is facing its biggest internal confrontation since its founding in 1948. Army reservists are refusing to be called in to serve. Former Mossad chiefs are denouncing the government. Hundreds of thousands of protesters are taking to the streets. And businesses are fleeing the country en masse. What precipitated this conflict? What’s at stake? And can Israel remain a liberal democracy under Benjamin Netanyahu’s extremist coalition and the judicial reforms they are hoping to pass? Vivian Bercovici is the former Canadian ambassador to Israel, and the founder of State of Tel Aviv, a weekly newsletter and podcast focusing on Israel and the Middle East. She joins us from Tel Aviv for a far reaching conversation about how competing visions over Israel’s future could threaten its very existence.   The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - @rudyardg.   Tweet your comments about this episode to <a href="about:bla
13/03/202346 minutes 1 second
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Munk Dialogue with Bjorn Lomborg: how to actually meet Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, the world’s leaders attempted to address the major problems facing mankind by setting the Sustainable Development Goals, a compilation of 169 targets to be hit by 2030. On this Munk Dialogue, we’re joined by Bjorn Lomborg, President of The Copenhagen Consensus, who argues that we need a total rethink in how we tackle and overcome our biggest challenges.  This new strategy, the culmination of a partnership between several Nobel laureates and more than a hundred leading economists, aims to deliver important targets - such as ending world hunger and the eradication of disease killers like tuberculosis and malaria - thereby saving 4 million kids every year and creating economic benefits worth one trillion dollars. In our discussion, Bjorn narrows down a few high impact, low cost solutions that will deliver real world results.   The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - @rudyardg.   Tweet your comments
28/02/202344 minutes 10 seconds
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Be it Resolved it's time we cancelled Winston Churchill

In 2002, Winston Churchill was voted the greatest Briton who ever lived, beating Darwin, Shakespeare and Elizabeth I to take the top spot. Just 18 years later, a statue of the former British Prime Minister was defaced in London, spray painted with the words “Churchill was a racist”. As the west reckons with the misdeeds of history’s heroes, Winston Churchill’s long-time critics are eager to shine a spotlight on his dark past. To them, he was a racist, imperialist warmonger whose bombastic speeches during World War II have overshadowed the atrocities he oversaw during his decades in government: from using excessive force to crush dissent at home, to carpet bombing German cities during the war, to his role in the 1943 Bengal famine that killed 3 million Indians, his disregard for the suffering of others and penchant for violence has left a dangerous legacy. An advocate for British colonial rule, a well-known racist, and an admirer of Mussolini did not deserve praise when he was alive,
10/11/202245 minutes 39 seconds
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Be it resolved Let’s engineer a better human being

We’ve come a long way since DNA was first discovered in the mid 19th century. Today’s scientists are using powerful engineering techniques to edit genes in human eggs and sperm, curing diseases and repairing defective genes before a child is even born. Some scientists are excited about these therapies, championing them as an exciting opportunity to create immunity to viruses, eliminate serious illnesses like AIDS, Alzheimer’s, and cancer, and possibly reverse aging. Like prior innovations in medicine and technology, why wouldn’t we embrace a science that allows people to live longer, healthier, and happier lives? Others are alarmed. They are worried that these new techniques raise a host of profound ethical issues. While eliminating genetic diseases is a worthwhile endeavor, many parents might be inclined to use this science to create designer babies: children who are smarter, taller, or have other supposedly desirable traits. And these tools aren’t cheap. They will surely be availa
03/11/202243 minutes 43 seconds
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Munk Dialogue with Dmitri Trenin: the threat of nuclear war

The war between Russia and Ukraine has killed thousands of people and displaced 13 million Ukrainians. Yet despite heavy losses on both sides, the conflict shows no signs of abating anytime in the near future. What will it take for both countries to agree to a ceasefire? How does Russia view America’s role in this conflict? And should Russia continue to suffer heavy military losses, will Putin make good on his threat to use nuclear weapons? Dmitri Trenin was a colonel in the Russian army for 21 years before becoming Director of the Carnegie Moscow Center. He offers a perspective from Russia on the continued conflict and how it might change in the coming months.   The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - @rudyardg.   Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/munkdebates/ To sign u
27/10/202249 minutes 7 seconds