In his 1989 essay The End of History? American thinker Francis Fukuyama suggested that Western liberal democracy was the endpoint of our political evolution, the best and final system to emerge after thousands of years of trial and error. Fukuyama seems to have been wrong: our recent history -- filled with terrorism and war, rising inequity and the mass flight of populations -- suggests that we've failed to create any sort of global formula for lasting peace and social equity.
To commemorate the recent death, and to celebrate the remarkable life of Ursula Franklin, we turn to the IDEAS archives, and sample over forty years of appearances by the public intellectual who delivered the 1989 CBC Massey Lectures -- "The Real World of Technology". Highlights include her profound (and still remarkably relevant) response to the events of September 11, 2001.
T.E. Lawrence -- Lawrence of Arabia -- was one of the most brilliant and enigmatic figures of the 20th Century. A groundbreaking archaeologist and cartographer, to say nothing of his legendary skills as a military tactician and leader in the First World War, he was also uncannily prescient about the shape of the world to come. As the great powers carved up the world, he foresaw the geopolitical fault lines that plague us still.read comments audioListen 53:58