After the collapse of communism the world-soul (expressed as political idealism) WITHDREW. Capitalism has no soul. It is brutal materialism. Money, money, money. And if not kept in check by idealism, it will turn on itself and disintegrate. Communism was equally brutal materialism, but it was kept in check by unrealistic idealism. The two kept each other in check for nearly all of the 20th century. Then the soul withdrew.
But it has come back, thank God! We refer to a few remarks by the new UK Foreign Minister, David Miliband. During a speech delivered in ultra-conservative Chatham House - the first ever to be broadcast live by an online organization called ‘avaaz.org’- he quoted John F. Kennedy saying that British foreign policy will be characterized by ‘idealism without illusions’. A good opening salvo. He also said that Foreign and Domestic policy have become indistinguishable. Hey, this guy is not sleeping!
Most importantly, he explicitly broke with the pure materialism that British foreign policy is about interests only. It is about interests and values, he said. This is the soul returning. Obviously, nobody knows as yet where this will go. What values? They must be universal. But the return of the soul, the recognition that there is more than material interests only, that is a major shift. We celebrate that. We bring good news on this Monday morning. A good thing after Saturday’s stone that we could not help but throw.
Anybody interested in Miliband’s full speech can surf to avaaz.org.