TED Conversations

Taghi Amirani

Filmmaker - TED Senior Fellow, Amirani Media


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The west can no longer claim to be an honest broker in the search for peace in the Middle East.

Has Egypt exposed a blatant hypocrisy in the west's relationship with the Middle East? For decades the west has propped up and funded dictators in the region, preferring 'stability' to democracy in order to protect its own interests. All at the expense of the human rights of the people in the region. A people who have finally spoken and will continue to speak. Peacefully, elegantly and in a highly sophisticated manner.

For western leaders is freedom a question of strategy rather than principle?

A quote from Gary Younge in The Guardian: "Last week Tony Blair said Mubarak was "immensely courageous and a force for good". On Sunday he said Mubarak's departure could be a "pivotal moment for democracy in the Middle East". The man charged by the major world powers with bringing peace to the region can't make up his mind whether he is for despotism or democracy from one week to the next."


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    Feb 16 2011: @Nassim Assefi When we take politics and religion out of the equation most people get along.

    Depends what people call Freedom? Freedom brings personal responsibility for all people to act
    with restraint not imposing their views on others.

    I too am cynical about governments, yet the question is would the "crowd" act more sensibly? Not
    imposing their own interests, grabbing the riches and raping the weak?
    • Feb 17 2011: I'll try to answer your question:

      For some reasons people are rich and others are poor, some are extremely rich and many are extremely poor. But are they different races or species? Would rich or poor people act and react in different ways under equal conditions?

      I do not talk about individuals but the average of each group when I deny it. Many people would neither grab nor rape. But others, be they rich or poor, actually do, only that the rich one's grabbing and raping is not so evident and often justified by law and therefore named differently or simply kept secret.

      I do not consider this a constitutional flaw of the human species but a consequence of social evolution. Man has on the one side indispensable instincts and on the other side intelligence. Man has to learn to combine these two sides, mankind itself and each individual. Suppression is certainly not the way to achieve this, but real democracy requires, demands it.

      Does anyone have an proposal how to achieve it?
      • Comment deleted

        • Feb 22 2011: Not to be misunderstood: By "suppression" I did not mean suppression of either instincts or intellect but suppression through the ruling system which I do not regard a way to support what should be achieved.

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