A presentation to the Kendal Forum, Kennett Square, PA --
Tonight I want to step back from the immediate issues that dominate the news, and consider two basic topics: First, understanding our moment in history, and second, the relation of today's events to that moment. For it's increasingly clear that we're not just facing a few critical problems here and there. We appear to be at some major junction in human affairs. I suggest part of understanding how best to go forward lies in comprehending the significance of our particular historic moment.
A Presentation for the Public Affairs Council, Washington, D.C. --
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A Presentation for the Congressional Institute
Good evening. I'm going to ask your indulgence as I forego customary introductory remarks, and jump to the essence of what I've been invited to discuss.
The question I have been wrestling with for some time now is this: Do we comprehend-at a foundational level-what is happening to America and the world? Are we simply passing through what appears to be an extremely dangerous and difficult period of multiple crises, after which life will return to a more familiar normalcy? Or do these converging crises signal the end of the world, as we've known it? Is it reasonable to suggest that the next three decades will be the most decisive 30-year period in history?
The "9/11 Memorial Address", Santa Fe, NM
It is a humbling honor to be invited to give the 9/11 Memorial Address. What can possibly be said that even begins to approach the horror and the grandeur of that day? The horror of the act, and the grandeur of the response of the American spirit.
It has taken a series of crises in France, Holland, Britain, Germany and other European countries for the issue of identity finally to be recognized as central to the contemporary global crisis. President Chirac admits on national TV that his country faces “an identity crisis,” a crisis that swells as increasing numbers of immigrants from Asia, Africa and the Middle East crowd into Europe and North America. The editor-in-chief of the Dutch daily, Handelsblad, sums up Holland’s dilemma: “We now want to teach immigrants more about our identity, and we discover that we’re not sure what’s left of it!”