In the wake of the Ukraine invasion many in West described Putin as crazy, even claiming clinical insanity. Yet for 30 years, in frequent speeches Putin repeatedly stated that Russia and Ukraine were 'one people' likening a hostile Ukraine to 'a weapon of mass destruction'. And when Xi Jinping called for an era of 'Chinese reunification' in 2012, equating Hongkongers to 'terrorists' many failed to predict the decimation of democratic freedoms in that country. Are we making a fundamental error, risking global catastrophe, in imagining that others think like us and failing to properly listen to what they actually say?
Should we recognise that our worldview is one amongst many, and seek to understand the perspectives of others even if we do not agree with them? And will this enable us to keep one step ahead in a dangerously treacherous world? Or does this risk undermining belief in our own outlook and values, and threaten our very existence?
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