When states fail


Michael Ignatieff reflects on 9/11 and the decade that has followed.

We are in need of good politics, of democratic systems that are more than reality-TV shows driven by attack ads, and of democratic debate that allows the people to talk about what actually matters and then to elect politicians who will do what must be done.

We are not short of good ideas about what to do. We are not short of dedicated public servants. Most people, apart from those in the grip of ideological fantasy, know that we need competent sovereigns. But truth be told, a decade later, sovereigns are failing us still. And until they stop failing us, we will not be safe, and our prosperity will not be secure.

See previously: The apparatus


When states fail

  1. So, he learned nothing in the last election. He’s still telling us that we’re all rubes who elect the wrong idiots, and that bigger government is the solution to all of life’s problems.

    • You didn’t read it did you?

      “Competent doesn’t mean bigger. It may even mean smaller, nimbler, more digital, less bureaucratic and more responsive in the face of the ceaseless ingenuity of greed. But whatever form sovereign government takes in the future, it has to mean government that prepares for the worst and regulates to protect the public from greed, violence and environmental ruin.”

      • Did you read it? That one paragraph is meaningless in the context of everything else he’s advocating. Do you even remember his campaign? It was all spending, higher taxes, and bigger more intrusive government.

        But of course, one paragraph paying lip service to efficient government MUST mean he’s completely reformed.

        • Its a bit rich to hear you mention spending, higher taxes, bigger and more intrusive government.

          Spending:  F35’s, More prisons and the odd gazebo bought from misallocated funds

          Higher Taxes”  The various HSTs, but letting the provinces carry the can for that

          Bigger and More intrusive goverment:  Ballooned deficits from a surpluse position, plethora of snitch lines and plans to re-enact anti-terrorist legislation  that was never used.

          • Who demanded stimulus spending? – do you remember?

            Iggy’s essay is average at best – just like the man

  2. An excellent essay.

    The role of govt in a modern society, rather than the feudal view of it, is a matter of importance in a globalizing world.

    • “the feudal view of it, is a matter of importance in a globalizing world”  Read that statement to yourself – do you even know what you are talking about?

      • Yes, I do

        There is a feudal view of governance….and the modern view of governance.

        Don’t leave out important words like RATHER THAN

      • With her eyes on the past, Emily looks forward on a world quickly becoming villagized

  3. Wow.  That guy is great.  If only we could get poiticians who were as thoughtful as that.

Sign in to comment.