tv Charlie Rose PBS April 27, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
>> welcome to our program, tonight, the murdoch testimony in london. an assessment from andrew edgecliff-johnson of the financial times, and john burns of "the new york times". >> i think that the big, thought maybe murdoch himself has because he talked a lot about democracy, that i think he was genuine about that. he is a scrappy australian as i said in the first place. he doesn't -- he doesn't like toughs. he doesn't like the establishment but he became the establishment in all of this. he became enormously powerful. he became divorced from his own, the roots of his own empire, and as we have seen throughout history, and goodness knows this was a lesson that the founding
fathers of the united states clearly understood, if you allow power to be concentrated things will go bad and ultimately they will go very bad. and i think that that is what has happened here and that is likely to be the principal conclusion in my view of the judicial inquiry. >> rose: we continue with eric liu and nick hanauer, their book is called the garden of democracy, a new american story of citizenship, the economy, and the role of government. >> americans rightly refer by two to one margin prosperity over fairness. but it turns out that the problem with inequality isn't that it is mean, although it is, the problem with inequality is that it destroys growth, because if the average person doesn't have any money to spend anymore, the virtuous cycle of increasing sales and hiring and prosperity dies and you end up in this death spiral of decreasing consumption that characterizes our economy today. >> rose: we conclude this
evening with irshad manji, three is the author of allah, liberty and love, the courage to reconcile faith and freedom. >> the fact of the matter is that over the last 50, 75 years, more muslims have been tortured and murdered by fellow muslims than by any foreign power. and moderate muslims deny this fact. >> rose: rupert murdoch, the gardens of democracy, and irshad manji, when we continue. funding for charlie rose was provided by the following.
captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: we begin tonight with a phone hacking scandal engulfing news corp are you rupert murdoch today testified before the senate inquiry for the second day running, he apologized but insisted he and other executives were misled about the extent of the phone
has beening at the now defunct news of the world tabloid. >> i have explained that i am guilty of not paying enough attention to the news world. at any time that i was in charge of it, certainly to say me around the world, no. >> rose: he also faced questions about his political influence. >> has the sun got a large audience? yes. certainly. does -- do they -- do people follow everything we say? certainly not. we hope that by raising issues and so on we can have influence in things we believe in, but it is not a political party as such. we try to -- our approach to public affairs is to take issues by issues. >> rose: james murdoch, the
son of rupert murdoch testified earlier this week, he also denied wrongdoing, the long running saga has rocked the news corp media empire and the british political establishment. it is already led to multiple fines, arrests and resignations. investigations are ongoing on both sides of the atlantic. joining me now from cambridge, england is john burns of "the new york times", here in new york, and andrew, andrew edgecliff-johnson of the financial times, i am pleased to have both of them, i go first to john burns and what he said today, in an e-mail to me, i found so interesting that i wanted to repeat it and i have asked his permission, he says i am not one of those inclined to be rupert barbers, his testimony was fascinating for many reasons, as british newspaper stumbled on to the mire, but also for what we learned of a character of a man who is indisputably the preeminent media mogul of our time. it would be easy to characterize him as a hypocrite and peddler
of nontruths but what struck me is how australian he is after all of these years in the uk, unsentimental, anti-elitist and he made a billion-dollar forth fortune, $60 billion fortune out of those qualities. saving uk newspapers along the way and now it is all at risk because of those who worked for him, allowed those competitive win at all cost instincts to run riot. >> i see him as a tragic figure, more than as one to be pillared and condemned. john, why a tragic figure? >> well, he used the rather shakespearean word today, he talk about this blot, which he thought is that macbeth or hamlet, i forget but he, but he said this blot would be with him for the rest of his life. he said, he is 81 years old, i think he is be going understand there will ultimately be no full recovery for him in his lifetime. he has seen his lifetime's work
fundamentally friend by this. his reputation deeply tarnished, and he spoke today for the first time of the full cost of this. he talked about having already lost hundreds of millions of pounds, i think it was found, not dollars he was talking about, and that con cords with what we have estimated, which is we may be talking about a billion dollars or more by the time it is through. so, you know, you couldn't -- he didn't seek sympathy at all. he wasn't, on the other hand, defiant. and i just thought that in a sense, like in all great tragedies, that we were seeing was something that was inevitable given the matrix, the construct of the media industry in this country, over concentrated, too much power in one hand, tabloid newspapers which are extremely competitive, where anything goes, and insufficient oversight, and --
as they say in france. >> rose: we know he loves the newspaper business, but it seems to me in terms of the future of the news corp empire, so much of it is in broadcasting, and cable and satellite, and they are so much a global corporation that if they lose their political influence in great britain that is one thing, but it does not in any way in a sense end the news corp's immense influence in the rest of the world or its profit-making potential. >> well, look, i am not a legal expert, but it seems evident from what i read from our correspondents in new york that there are serious concerns about the possibility of this metastasize and crossing the atlantic. i think joel klein and other very savvy people of the news corp are doing everything possible to make sure that the foreign, corrupt practices act doesn't kick in here. you are right, 60 percent of news corp's revenues and profits are earned in the united states,
eight percent in the uk. so -- but this is not just a little local difficulty. this goes to the reputation of the news corporation, and it goes to the attitude of the shareholders, he holds 40 percent, he and his family own 40 percent of news corp, but that least 60 percent in the hands of others. i think there are very large questions that hang over the larger enterprise here. >> rose: so what do you think it is? >> one of the things that trig third whole situation, the scrutiny being renewed on phone hacking which is a five-year old story when it broke back into the public in the middle of last year, was the fact that news corporation flu rupert murdoch and particularly james murdoch, his son was trying to get full control of sky, the satellite broadcast, that they set up and partially own in the uk. that was -- that would have been world about $12 billion, it would have been the biggest bid that news corp had ever done in rupert murdoch's history, so no small thing. it fell apart in the political tumult after the phone hacking story blew up last summer.
>> okay this is your newspaper's headlines yesterday. i mean this morning, reflecting testimony the day before. it says, as sharp as a tack, murdoch makes his points at levinson press inquiry, had he been sharp as a tack? >> it was a very different day today. the first day was interesting, and we have james murdoch first on tuesday, and there was ill disguised glee around news corp on how well he did, not so much more the testimony in the room, but for the release of a bunch of documents which just turned the attention on to, what ministers had been doing, and their advisors during this, so all of the headlines, 24 hours ago in london were about the behavior of the culture minister and his office. which is much better from the headlines being about the murdochs from news corp's point of view. on rupert murdoch's first day of testimony, he managed to parry all of the attacks with sort of his trademark barbs and jokes and little punches that, at enemies and sort of a vague
dismissal of any sense that, you know, wow could take the idea seriously -- >> rose: it should be pointed out this was mainly about what kind of access he had to british politicians. >> the theme. >> rose: other than you sat down with, and you did this and that. >> and he said, that, you know, it never crossed his mind to expect political coverage for. he may be the only man in england beliefs that but the today the focus was sharply on phone hacking and the questioning was much tougher. there was a moment where the counsel for the levinson inquiry actually said, is that a serious answer, mr. murdoch? and i think that, showed frustration with some of the parrying and deflection we have seen in the previous 24 hours. so he had a tougher time, he made some fairly extraordinary admissions that he had failed, and that there had been a
coverup, and essentially, you know, he said the coverup had been a very, very junior level within the news world which of course is now closed. >> john, when you assessed his performance today, did he open himself up to vulnerabilities weren't to the hacking scandal? >> no, i actually don't think he did. i think if there -- if joel klein and the others in his legal team are keeping score, the first thing that you would have to say is that he didn't -- he didn't worsen the situation as i judged it for news international, the british subsidiary or for news corp or the senior executives. i think what he took great advantage of a plalt form -- plalts form, seven or eight hours on the stand live television watched by millions in this country, a platform to let the public see the real rupert murdoch as he wanted them
to see him. now, we could argue about whether that is the real rupert murdoch and some of his biographers would say, it wasn't, but he did come across as a rather affable, highly intelligent, thoughtful, practical man and very interesting to hear him talk and both lord justice and the council stayed silent for quite a long time while he talked about the future of newspapering and ink stained register he is, he certainly knows a great deal about that, there is not much contest that he saved british newspapers in the 1980s, that he changed the course of newspapering actually in the english speaking world with his battle with the unions here, and he is worth listening to. >> rose: is there a feeling that there are more shoes to drop in the hacking scandal that no matter how much we know, there are other damaging hinges to, that might very well come out? >> well, it would be very surprising if that were not so,
because this cascade of revelations has now continued for what, nine months, a year, it has got worse at every turn .. we know now of the nearly 50 reporters, editors and investigators with links to the murdoch tabloids who have been arrested, 11, and there were doubtlessly be more appearing to be facing imminent criminal charges, those may include rebecca brooks the chief executive of his operation here and not the impression he was alluding to her today at several points, i think he is deeply, deeply wounded by the feeling that as he puts it, and we -- whether this is true or not, only time will tell, he felt let down that he was not -- he was not informed that there was a coverup, and he said something really quite telling when he said that in effect he would have closed down, he wished he closed down the news of the world, the paper that was really at the core of all of this, which he bought in, if i am not
mistaken 1980, it was the largest sunday newspaper, a real crusading and quite salacious paper. there were a lot of good journalism, he wished he closed it down years ago. as a matter of fact he sounded as if he never bought the paper, and this, again, is a pretty hard for him to say, because this is a guy who told us again and again throughout his testimony that his passion lies, although his business lies now mainly with television, his passion lies with newspapers. >> rose: well, not only that, his passion is there, he has said before that there is nothing more exhilarating than being the editor of publisher of a newspaper during a hated political campaign. newspapers were his entree to reflecting political power. >> yes. and he said if you want to know what i think, you should read the editorial columns of the stun, that is the reflection of his brain, he essentially said.
he said one more extraordinary thing about the news of the world. he said when he closed it he did so because he panicked, and that is not something you ever associated with rupert murdoch. his enemies see him as incredibly calculating, his supporters see him as calculating in a different way but incredibly strategic and long-term in his thinking and here is the image of somebody under incredible pressure last july, just days after another newspaper had broken this extraordinary scoop wide open about phone hacking, and there is rupert murdoch with his son and with rebecca brooks panicking into closing the paper that gave him his entree into the world's stage, 40 plus years ago. >> charlie, there is one other thing he said, which i think would strike a cord with americans which is superior interesting, he is being asked repeatedly about the kind of control he exercises over the editorial policies of his newspaper and also, of course, the kind of control and influence that he exercises with
governments. on the first point, he said that he made no apologies, he said as andrew said, if you want to know what i think, read the sun, meaning the editorials but he made a distinction and said, he took a different attitude to his broad sheet newspapers in britain, the times and the sunday times, where he is by the way obliged by law to take a step back position but it was a similar case as i understood what he said in the united states, where he owns on the one hand the "new york post", a tabloid, and on the other hand the wall street journal which cost him five and a half billion dollars a few years ago that he takes a similar step back position with the wall street journal. i think some people in new york would find that rather hard to believe, but it was a distinction that seems important important for him to make. >> rose: what has this done to succession as far as we can -- as far as we can tell? it is my opinion that at the time this story broke in the last, you know, year, with this intensity
that even though james murdoch was where he was, that rupert murdoch had clearly not decided on the question of succession. what do you think? >> well, it is interesting to see that this week lock land murdoch was in london and has no duties over any of the london properties, within news corp, he does no business case for him to be there, he is supposed to be running operations in australia, but he was there first of all by his a brother james side and by his father's side. and so there is a sense that the family has come together, but going back to john shake experience's analogy we have this king lear scenario of feuding between the siblings and, you know, great personal distress, heaped on of this extraordinary business story and how that is going to play out. it is almost impossible for anybody outside the family to really predict but blood is thicker than water in this company and rupert always played one child cash. >> rose: he made it clear eventually this company will be run by somebody -- >> and rupert's time is a very
long time away. >> rose: john, succession. >> yeah. i agree. absolutely, with what andrew said, i think we can work this shakespearean analogy but i am thinking of the henry's in shakespeare's play, henry the fourth and henry the fifth, there are many things that steam familiar to me, it seems to me .. that james is pretty well certainly out of the picture, he is the second son, lock land who was out of the picture has gone, had gone back to australia is back in the picture, then there is elizabeth, his daughter, who he mentioned at one point in terms of elizabeth's husband having led her plain to cameron as opposition leader fly to a greek island to meet murdoch. but, you know, something, i think that the big thought that maybe murdoch himself has, because he talked a lot about democracy, that i think he was genuine about that. he is a scrappy australian as i
said in the first place. he doesn't -- he doesn't like toughs. he doesn't like the establishment, but he became the establishment in all of this, he became enormously powerful. he became divorced from his own, the roots of his own empire and as we have seen throughout history, and goodness knows this was a lesson that the founding fathers of the united states cheerily understood, if you allow power to be concentrated things will go bad and ultimately they will go very bad. and i think that that is what has happened here and that is likely to be the principal conclusion in my view of the judicial inquiry, now looking at what can all can be done about this, in terms of pressure, elation or whatever is that never again should such power be concentrated at least in the united kingdom in the hands of one media barohn. >> rose: thank you, john burns, thank you, andrew, thank
you, andrew edgecliff-johnson. >> my pleasure. >> rose: we will be back, stay with us. >> eric liu and nick hanauer are here, their new book is called the gardens of democracy a new american story of citizenship, the economy, the role of government. who is a former speech writer and domestic policy advisor for president clinton and adventure capitalist and entrepreneur the first nonfamily member to invest in amazon i am pleased to have him here at my table for the first time to talk about exactly what they have done in their message, the first book was called the true patriot, and was that the foundation for this? >> yes. i suppose, in the true patriot, we argued that progressives needed to reclaim patriotism, and that we had left patriotism be sort of a highjacked by the right, although the left, we on the left did a great job of essentially letting it go, the core argument in the true patriot was if you take patriotism seriously that is to say putting country first as
john mccain puts it you end up with a set of very progressive central, and, values, and i suppose at the core of the argument is, that .. a millions act of selfishness don't add up to be a great -- don't create a good society and that being selfish and narrow, you know, narrowly self centered in this sort of way that our culture points us to really is, in the american context, immoral. this book argues further that being selfish is stupid, so the true patriot was a moral argument. this is an intellectual argument. >> rose: and you argue -- go ahead. >> i think that the foundation we try to lay in the true patriot was one of values. right? but upon that foundation, what we are trying to put forth in the gardens of democracy is a theory of action, hike how things actually work in the economy, in citizenship, in the role of government, and what we start with, the title of the book itself, the garden of
democracy, starts with this idea that we suffer in public life right now from a misdirected imagination, because we are looking at the world through the lens of a machine, that is the metaphor we have to explain the my, our politics, so much of what goes on we think in mechanism, machine terms, our argument in the book is we have to shift that metaphor, what goes on around us more than ever today is not like a machine, it is more like a garden, and in the economy, for instance is not some automatic efficient self-correcting machine that just runs cogs and gears on its own, as the garden and gardens require guard in other words, it requires tending and watering and feeding and that metaphor opens up as a matter of imagination a whole set of possibilities about what we are supposed to do as citizens and what government is supposed to do. >> rose: and the point is that those who define the metaphors define the politics. >> absolutely, they define our sense of the possible, what is permissible. >> right. it is worth understood scoring that we didn't choose garden for poetic reasons, right in that we
know now with scientific certainty that the mcistic human view of social services is not true, we know with scientific certainty .. things like economies are not just ecosystem milk, they actually are ecosystems and one you .. and there is just a tidal wave of new science, you know, basically since the 1970's, 1980s that helps us understand the system, the complex, adaptive and eco, systemic and once you understand an economy is an ecosystem then you have to decide, what type of he zero co, ecosystem would we like it to be, a jungle or a garden? and that's where the metaphor comes from. >> i think your point about this shaped so much of what we understand to be possible in politics, the .. economy is a case in point right now, what is dominant right now, whether a democrat or republican, frankly
is a picture of the universe, the economic universe that puts a tiny number of wealthy people at the center and in an economy revolves around them and they are the job creators from them flows process officer at this, right? you can shorthand that asteriskable down economics and although it is easy to criticize it it actually has not as a cross molg been displaced and what we try to argue for in this book is that, in fact, when you understand things correctly, the economy is something that resolves not around a tiny number of rich people but around a great and ever growing number of middle class people if you actually want to have a thriving economy, so for instance, this idea out there that rich people are job creators, which is a mean that is so hearty and so infected our political and economic conversation is just wrong. because the true job creators. >> rose: the ideology about the relationship between revenue and spending. >> you bet. you bet. right? the true job creators when you understand thinks in this ecosystem milk way, they are middle class customers .. without their demand and without
them having purchasing power an economy goes nowhere, jobs that are created he strap rate. >> rose: two political, two important political dialogues, two of the most important things, facts first and truth, but in pursuit of truth, it is, in fact, metaphor, which gives you a grasp of an understanding of the ecosystem. >> right. >> and narrative. >> yes. >> which gives you an understanding of a story. >> yes. and so you make -- a democracy becomes a story. >> yes. so one of the ways in which to understand what we have tried to do here is so think of it as a civic cross molg and we use the word cross molg very purposefully it means in astronomical terms how the universe works, and cross molgs are things that people accept both consciously and unconsciously and it is important to remember those assumptions completely frame the metaphors we use and how we understand the world around us, and in our argument is this. that in precisely the same way
and to the same degree our -- the cross molg that, cros cosimo nicastro molg that, cross molg. >> it would lead you terribly astray, the civic and economic cosmology that is dominant in our culture today that holds for instance that markets are perfectly efficient, that the i ch and business people are job creators is equally mistaken, and here is the problem. is if you accept, if you accept that cosmology, either consciously or unconsciously it leads necessarily to a different set of beliefs. here is the thing, if it is true the markets are perfectly efficient then by definition the rich deserve to be rich and the poor deserve to be poor. there can be no other way. now it turns out markets aren't efficient, they are eco, systemic they are effective if well constructed and leads you to a different set of ideas
about how you construct a society. > one of the things we try to lay out in this book and these are one level complex ideas, and somewhat what abstract but on the other hand, if you said, narrative and metaphor matter fundamentally and you can distill everything we are saying into a set of precepts we have tried to do that in the book, and so in talking about the economy, for instance, it boils down, all of the theory boils down a simple notion we are all better off when we are all better off, and that is -- that is not a near tautology that is theory of action we are not better offer when a small portion of us are better offer and things flow down from them, we are all better offer when more people are playing and participating and contributing to the growth and dine mitchell. >> rose: we also and interdependent of the value and system and skills that somehow hold us together as social animals. >> this is a part of the citizenship so one to the big chunks of the book is about what we mean by citizenship, even the word citizenship today, good citizenship feels musty and old-fashioned, right and our argument in this book is that what we have to recognize is
that americans have this hugely over developed consumer muscle, as my friend andy leonard has said buzz this terribly atrophied citizen muscle, i am not talking about documentation status under the immigration laws of the united states, i am talking about citizenship as how you show up in public, and how you live among others, right? and in this arena, we are as you said hugely interdependent, norms and behaviors are hugely contagious, and to me it is best distilled, i saw a bill board not long ago in portland by this incredibly crowded highway, you know, congested highway and the billboard said you not stuck in traffic, you traffic, right? and to me in is essence of what we are talking about when we think of citizenship our precept there is society becomes how you behave. what do you mean by the social stock of trust? >> well, i mean, i think, you know, frank has written beautifully on how, on ways in
which trust defines essentially the quality of a society, because the more trust you have the more cooperation you have, the more cooperation you have the more wealth you have definitionly, the highest predictor .. of society's process officer at this is the amount of trust in it. and that is because humans societies only function with cooperation and the more cooperation you have the more it functions so trust is essential and why eroding trust is so dangerous in society. this is a huge point in the context of i equality and the debate we are beginning to have in this country about both the roots and costs of inequalities. inequality is bad for a number of reasons. the traditional progressive reason that is given is it is not fair, it is i in nt nice to have this inequality and that may be true but part of the argument we are making in the gardens of democracy is that in addition to being unfair, allowing this level of severe inequality is just stupid, it is bad for us and our ability to be prosperous together, right? and
trust comes into this in a hugely important way, the more segregated we are by class, the more that, you know, the one person or the top, are deattached in every day lives, in their civic lives from everybody else the less trust there is and the less ability this country has when it faces crises large and small to act as one american and think of ourselves in common cause and, you know, there are a lot of things that you can do do address trust that aren't even about tax policy and inequality, it is just about getting people to serve together again, getting people to step forward and share in the life of a community again, and this is not something that we have to wait on a president for, where it has to come on, it is about how you choose to live, in a neighborhood. >> rose: what would you like to see as the great debate of the campaign 2012? >> well, i think that, i think that the thing that has to get litigated is this idea of how the economy works, and the dominant orthodoxy, the
cosmology that almost every american has accepted this idea that the rich business people are job creators. and it is just not true. in fact, as soon as you understand the economy is an eco system you realize it is a feedback loop between customers and businesses. look, i have started or helped start dozens of companies. initially hired lots of people but if there was no one around who could afford to buy what we had to sell. >> rose: no business. >> all of those jobs and all of those businesses will evaporate. and in that very real sense, a middle class customer is far more of a job creator than a capitalist like me. it is funny, when a capitalist like me calls himself a job creator it is a lot like a squirrel claiming to have created evolution, it is actually the other way around. and once you understand that it is actually. >> rose: evolution creates squirrels? >> yes, evolution creates squirrels not the other way around, right? >> and the thing is is that it
is the great mass of, middle class customers that animate this feedback loop of the economy, and the more they thrive, the more businesses hire and owners profit, and so if you -- if you go from understanding the -- the rich capitalist, like me as job creators to understanding, i think much -- much more a accurately it is middle class consumers that are job creators -- and that -- and that that the economy doesn't orbit around this tiny group of rich people, it actually orbits around a great mass of middle class people you end up with a different set of ideas of how you would restructure the economy. >> rose: simplify the compelling other idea. >> it is this idea -- >> the true job creators are middle class customers, right? so henry ford economics is what we called it in part in this book, henry ford paid his line workers on the assembly lines more than they needed to when making model t's. >> so they would buy the car. >> exactly not because he was an
altruist because he wanted customers he restructured the tax code not around people like me and mitt romney, but around ordinary middle class consumers, not only will it be fantastic for them but ultimately it will be fantastic for me. so we understand it eco, systemically. >> before you go there, tell me how you create this middle class and what it is that would be an action agenda to see the kind of emphasis on the middle class as job creators that would result in a better america. >> well, i mean, you first have to stop -- start by shifting the burden of the tax code back from the middle class to where all the money has gone, to -- to the very tippy top and bring tax rates on rich people to historic levels,. >> right so when rag reagan was collect elected somebody like me had a tax burden in the range of 35 percent, today somebody like me with an eight figure annual
income i paid 11 percent last year, right? absolutely -- >> rose: because most of your income is investment income. >> absolutely because we pay 15 percent on capital gains, 15 percent on dividend and 15 percent on carried interest,. >> right you give a bit of money away, and now you are down to a very low level. >> rose: people who work with their hands pay. >> 35 percent. >> rose: 35 percent,. >> right here is a very interesting thing is that when -- when capitalists, when people like me call themselves job creators it sounds like what we are going is describing how the economy works, but there is actually something far more interesting going on, we are actually doing is making a claim on status and privilege, because if you were the creator, right, obviously this language wasn't chosen by accident, you are very much the center of the economic universe, and as such you deserve status and privilege. this is the only way you can explain a 233 percent difference between the tax rates i pay and the tax rates that ordinary americans pay. >> rose: and it is buffett argument. >> absolutely. >> rose: so what would you put the capital gains rate at?
>> you know, higher, 25 percent, 27 percent, you know, it doesn't -- i think my own instinct is capital gains rate should be lower than the prevailing rate, because i do believe that some incentive should be given to the people -- >> rose: the idea that. >hereis an incentive for a lowex rate for people to create businesses? >> absolutely, but it only has to be a five percent differential in order for there to be an incentive, right? >> rose: yes. of course buffett said to me, that, and also said this in stuff he has written, that he doesn't really have any investors that he knows who come to him and say, i am not going to invest in this really good idea because of the tax rate. >> of course it is true, right? >> invest in good ideas because i think they are good ideas, i would prefer the tax rate, on the mci might generate from this investment be as low as possible, if i look at it totally in terms of self-interest and your argument for different kind of self-interest, self-interest to have a country that functions better. >> right, but it is more than
that. if you understand the economy properly as this eco, systemic feedback loop the better middle class people do, the betterly do, right? the more customers i have, the more busily have -- >> rose: like china does better -- >> you have to, that is a very important point. >> rose: it is not a zero sum. >> either internationally or within our country, right? but what we do, within the united states, for instance, a lot of conversations about immigration, for instance, are very zero sum, right? you can't let these immigrants come this because they are taking jobs away and it relates to this idea that, you know, our diversity ends up being a weakness of this country, because you have people competing for this fixed amount of prosperity. if you switch your mindset and recognize that as we said, we are all better offer when we are all better off that when we have more people percentage with the education and the health and the skills to be the middle class, to be robust participants in the economy, then our diverse
diversity becomes a great asset, sitting there alone it is nothing but if we activate it by act activating a diverse middle class then we as the united states are unstoppable, wrote care that china's scale of might is many orders of magnitude potentially more than our. our killer competitive advantage is our diversity, and that we have done in the united states -- >> rose: diversity in? >> in every, ethnic, cultural, but we fall into this bad habit of simply celebrating diversity and i don't think we should celebrate diversity, i think we should celebrate what we do with diversity. too much the united states we don't activate it, we don't put people together and mobilize our full potential. >> it is, i think, a great scarcity in terms of a political dialogue that articulates things in a way that resonates with people, in which they say, there is -- there is a narrative that defines my own self-interests, a
self-interest that works in a country that respect it is value of who i am and what i do and all of that. so, you know, one of the really interesting features of thinking about these things cosmologically if you accept the existing economic orthodoxy, it is a feature of prosperity, definitionly because if the rich are job creators, so inequality becomes a feature of prosperity, and if you accept that paradigm, then the best argument you can make against inequality is, as my daughter would say, it is mean. it is unfair. the problem is, is that americans rightly prefer by two to one margin process enter at this over fairness, but it turns out that the problem with inequality isn't that it is mean, although it is, the problem with inequality is that it destroys growth, because if the average person doesn't have any money to spend anymore, the
virtuous cycle of increasing sales and hiring and prosperity dies and you end up in this death spiral of decreasing consumption that characterizes our economy today. >> rose: go ahead. >> one thing that i want to pick up on here is this idea of what it is that makes a country great. right? and part of when you say no one is out there really articulating this framework this way, that is largely because we are stuck in a very broken, old left right frame of what politics is. >> rose: right. >> and we are trying to come at a lot of these questions october tag naturally and one instance of that there is a very tired debate in washington .. and everywhere, we want big government or small government, right? and our argument is, no, no, no what we need in this country. >> rose: is good government. >> yes but what we need is government is big on the what and small on the how. right? we need to set great goals the way china is setting great goals about energy, and energy economy. >> rose: models.
>> but we need to be more far hands off about the imagination and ability of citizens to engage and solve problems half of what i said sound democratic and half sound republican, and part of what we have to start doing in forums like this and elsewhere is allow people to break apart a lot of these old left-right frames. >> rose: thank you for coming. >> thank you for having us. >> rose: it is good to have you here. >> thank you so much. >> rose: thank you. the book again, the gardens of democracy and look at that cover. . irshad manji is here, she is the director of the moral courage project at new york university's wagner school of public service, a self described muslim refuse nick and "the new york times" once described her as osama bin laden's worse nightmare her most recent book is called, allah, liberty and love, the courage to reconcile faith and freedom. welcome. >> thank you so much.
>> rose: welcome for the first time here. why did "the new york times" call you that? and who at the new york times said that? >> it was a particular reporter who did a profile of me for their saturday international profile page, and, well, why did he call that me that? >> rose: it is true before -- >> whether it was my spike can i hair, kpiky .. woman who is, hair and speaking truth within islam, i think ultimately because, what i have been doing over the last ten years within the world of islam is thoroughly nonviolent, and as you can tell from the title of my new book, allah, lint and love, the emphasis really is on sort of reconciling words and concepts that you wouldn't typically see elsewhere, how does allah square with love? i will tell you, there was an incident not too long ago in the netherlands where 22 jihadists stormed into
my book olympic and i held up a copy of allah, liberty and love and pointed to the word love and they were dumb founded, speechless. they didn't know how to respond. >> rose: two questions come out of all of this is, number one, is what is it, what is it you want us to know about islam? >> well, you know, islam once in had a gorgeous, independent thinking, debate and reinterpretation and that is called ich jihad i know that sound eerily like jihad to thon muslim ears and comes from the same root, struggle that is what jihad means but unlike any concept of violent struggle ich jihad is struggling with the mind to comprehend a wilder world. >> muslims in the 21st century have a wonderful opportunity to renew this tradition of ich jihad and i think that's of us privileged enough to be living
in open, and democratic and plural link societies, plufkistic societies like america .. we have the professionals ability to think, it will really be up to us to rejuvenate ich jihad and in the way we change our own behavior show the rest of the world that islam immediate not be a monolith. >> rose: and do you -- you want to show that diversity, but do you also want to make the case that in some cases people have tried to either hijack or kidnap islam? >> well, you know, i remember after 9/11 as you do, of course, that so many moderate muslims spokespeople argued that islam has been highjacked, i have to tell you, charlie, that metaphor never statistic well with me, because i it suggested that islm was some human rights haven and were it not for the 19 terrorists on 9/11 this plane called islam would have reached its destination, its wondrous destination with mary a bump but that is simply not true, the fact is over the last 50, 75
years, more muslims have been tortured and murdered by fellow muslims than by any foreign power. and moderate muslims deny this fact. they stay title about this fact, silent about this fact because they are so grouped in, grouped in group identity to speak out would be to sellout, so, in fact, moderate muslims who keep using the highjacked metaphor, moderate muslims have become part of islam's problem, not part of the solution. that is why i call myself a reform mist muslim. somebody who .. appreciates that there is something going on within the space today that needs to be fixed, first and foremost by muslims, not by pointing fingers to the outside world. >> rose: and what is the struggle within, within islam that needs to be heard and sought out? >> well, there are many. but at the end of the day, it is
the fact that group think has taken over, and i think that that group think comes not just from defense cinches about u.s. foreign policies. i think it also comes from how arab tribal culture has colonized the faith of islam, you know, most people don't think about it, but under than 80 percent of muslims around the world are not arab, charlie, fewer than 20 percent are. why, then, are we muslims told that the only legitimate language in which you can communicate with god is arabic in why are muslim women told. >> in indonesia and other places. >> iran, et cetera, absolutely, but, again you will often be told there is no translation that is worthy, because arabic is the only language -- >> rose: and how did that happen? >> well, politics. >> rose: it is the center of islam is in an arab country? >> well, because over the course of, you know, a century, the
empires within islam have generally shifted around within the same region, mainly, the middle east and north africa. of course, iran also had, you know, a brilliant empire of its own, but i have am lied in both of my books how politically even the tradition of ich jihad of independent thinking was closed down, and at a time when, you know, islamic civilation led the world in curiosity and creativity and ingenuity, the arab rulers decided that in order to have unity. >> rose: and it was not even giving full rights and freedom to women? >> nope, that's right, that's right. this is about 1,000 years ago. the arab rulers decided that in order to have union at this we must have uniformity, and that is the great struggle, that a new generation of muslims needs to tangle. >> rose: what has the rise of social media tone? i mean all of the bloggers that now blog
within -- and you are one of them within the faith. >> social media has done two things. it has allowed violent jihad disneys to get their message out faster .. but also gives their opponents people like me, reform isthmus limbs far more opportunities to engage as well .. a very quick example. you know, when my earlier book came out, the trouble with islam today, my in-box was flooded with messages from young muslims in the middle east asking me, when are you going to get this book translated into arabic so we can share these ideas with our friends? and my standard industrial era response to them was, please, name one arab publisher in this fragile 9/11 moment that will have the butts to translate a book like this, let alone circulate it and to their credit, charlie most of them wrote back to say, you are right, irshad, but so what? you get the bach translated into arabic, post it as a pdf so it
can't be hacked on your web site, and when we can download it free of charge, right? they are young but they weren't born yesterday, okay? free of charge, that means that we will have access to it, we will download it, we will share it with our piers, peers we will create conversations where none would have existed before a few years later 2.5 million downloads. >> rose: you emphasized the importance of pluralism. >> yes. >> but also warn against really at this vism. >> relativism. >> we live in a time many scholars argue religion deserve the same right as individuals, they call it cultural rights but i call this dangerous and pernicious, and because when we sort of treat cultural difference as if it is a right, we wind up lumping all kinds of people associated with a given tradition under the same umbrella, as if they are all the same. and that leads to a hot of self
stereo typing such as these muslim kids in detroit as well aster owe typing by others. so let's just, what this has to do with pluralism and relativism is this. so many people today, good-hearted big minded people say well i can't comment on islam, because i am not part of the faith. and i am not part of that culture. well, what they have really resigned themselves to is becoming relativists, people who fall for anything barks us this he stand for nothing. my argument is, that we should all strife to be pluralists, people who are willing to make judgments, every day about what is true and false, right and wrong, con sonable and unconscionable but who make those judgments with humility, charlie, acknowledging that any judgment i make today is temporary and contentious upon having more experiences in life and better arguments down the road. hence the importance importance of free speech.
pluralism is the way out of this rabbit hole of relativism that so many liberals, in particular have lambed into. >> rose: so how many people have risen to -- i mean, what impact have you had? >> look, all i can tell you is that with the new book, allah, liberty and love i am being invited to all kinds of places i, it would have been inconceivable five years ago but even five years ago i found myself in egypt, observing what were then the biggest demonstrations against mubarek and since you ask about impact let me again give you a wonderful story. afterwards, a bunch of democracy activists and i are hanging out at a cafe, and one of them, a woman, pointed something, in her 20s approaches me to say, you know, i have seen you on tv, i know you give a lot of advice to young people, so here is my question, i have fallen in love with a jewish man, and i don't know how to tell my parents, and then she added something amazing.
she said, here is the irony, i am literally putting my life on the line to achieve political change in my country and yet the scarier thing for me is to talk to my own family about love. and that story among many others has influenced the new book, because it really is no longer a why should we stick our mention out to ignite a liberal reformation within islam, the new book is a how can we do so? and the very fact that young muslims today are asking, how rather than why is a huge leap forward. >> rose: are you, in a sense, are certain people trying to use you because they view you without a full understanding of what your message is? >> i think anybody who has a mission, and a message to share with the world will -- will be sort of in danger of being used,
but you said to me, are some people trying to use you? the answer is, yes, trying to. but i can assure you that as an ich jihadist and independent thinker, have -- i have no interest in sort of throwing my lot in with one or another camp. and even -- i can tell you that when the debate was percolating at its most around the so-called ground zero mosque here in new york city. >> rose: right. >> i noticed that both camps were taking positions based not on the merits of the project, charlie, but how offended they felt by people with the opposite views and i pointed out to individuals in both of those camps that you guys are being manipulated by the culture of offense. surely i said, we are capable of better, sure think we can use our freedoms to ask questions about the project itself, questions like, will women and
men be segregated at the ground zero mosque in any -- at any time of the day or night? if so, then it is not islam that is being practiced there, it is tribal culture. but the point is that these issues will be on partisanship. at the end of the day human rights really does trance agenda whatever political or partisan stripes one as describes to him or herself. >> rose: what ought to be in your judgment the great debate within islam? >> well, it goes to the title of the new book, the courage to reconcile faith and freedom. the great debate really ought to be how .. and not whether islam and freedom can be harmonized and my argument is that it absolutely can. these two things can be harmonized and here is why. we muslims are to believe in one god, not in god self appointed
ambassadors, which means that no muslim can legitimately behave as if he or she owns the truth. because if they did behave that way, then they are playing god with others, and that is the central at the net, at the net in islam so it is a spiritual duty for muslims to build a society in which we can disagree with each other in peace and civility and the paradox of all of this, therefore, is that devotion to one god obliges us to defend human liberty. now, mullahs, muftis, i see lambs tell me what i am wrong about. >> rose: the book is called, allah, liberty and love, the counsel to reconcile faith and freedom, as she has just defined it, irshad manji, thank you. >> thank you. >> rose: thank you for joining us. see you next time. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org