This weekend we remembered both the 100 anniversary of the First World War and the 25 anniversary of the tearing down of the Berlin Wall.
Yet debate In Britain seems to be focussed on whether to abandon fifty years of collaboration, leave the European Union and erect a curtain against immigration. In the US Republicans and Democrats are also retreating from collaboration back to their trenches.
Adversarial, bi-polar positions not only restrict human possibilities but lead directly to conflict in human affairs. They are often based on rhetoric designed to limit understanding, distort facts and reduce options. Leaders need to be more honest about the dangers of reducing debate to binary choices – native vs. foreign, left vs right, with us or against us etc.
More than ever those of us who work as journalists, speech writers, facilitators and moderators need to become much more effective in debunking the myth of binary choices and framing more constructive and honest conversations.
As Angela Merkel said yesterday ‘Alles ist moglich’ (Everything is possible)