Why societies in Europe and America have become far more divided in recent years

This video is a work of art – literally. You will understand the politics of hope perfectly from this short presentation.

Here is a partial transcript of the video:

“In recent years, societies in Europe and America have become far more divided. The gap between left and right has

become deeper. There has been a rise in populous parties in the far right and far left. The extremes are growing

and the center ground has been abandoned. This is the politics of anger.


Why has it happened and can we create a different politics: the politics of hope? The starting point has to be the

fact that for the past 50 years, societies in the West have been dominated by two institutions – the state and the

market, politics and economics, the logic of power and the logic of wealth. The state is us in our collective

capacity, the market is us as individuals.


The great debate has been about which has been more effective in creating a better future. The left tends to favor the

state. The right tents to favor the market.  But what if this entire way of thinking leaves out something essential?


We can see this by asking some simple questions. Suppose there is an organization in which you have total power.

One day you decide to share it with 9 others. How much power do you have left? One tenth of what you began with.

Politics of Hope

Now suppose you have 1000 powers,  and decide to share that with 9 other people. How much do you have left?

Well, a tenth of what you had before. That’s  because in the short term, power and wealth are zero sum games. If I

win, you lose. If you win, I lose.


In zero sum games, the more we share, the less we have. That’s why politics and economics,

the state and the market, are arenas  of competition.


But now, suppose you decide to share with 9 others not power or wealth, but love, or friendship, or influence. How

much do you have left? Not less. You actually have more. Perhaps even ten times more.”


The brilliance of this presentation is clear. Who is better at splitting hairs in a clear and explainable manner for the

masses to understand.  Rabbi Sacks is right-on as he explains that our ability to cooperate – in addition to compete –

is the key.

This leads him to help us understand the basic difference between a contract or a covenant.

To watch the rest of Rabbi Sack’s presentation, or his masterpiece on anti-semitism enjoy watching the complete video.

Published: February 15, 2018
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