Generational shift? Historian sees virus encouraging new values
LONDON (Reuters) - The coronavirus pandemic could encourage a generation to turn away from a culture of selfishness, with young people now wanting to do jobs where they can help others, Dutch historian Rutger Bregman believes. Bregman, 32, whose latest book 'Humankind' argues that people are generally decent rather than evil, became famous last year when he told a wealthy audience at the Davis World Economic Forum that they should pay more tax
LONDON (Reuters) - The coronavirus pandemic could encourage a generation to turn away from a culture of selfishness, with young people now wanting to do jobs where they can help others, Dutch historian Rutger Bregman believes.
Bregman, 32, whose latest book "Humankind" argues that people are generally decent rather than evil, became famous last year when he told a wealthy audience at the Davis World Economic Forum that they should pay more tax.
In an interview with Reuters Television, Bregman said he sensed the virus crisis was showing that things are changing and there is "a shift in the Zeitgeist" for the younger generation.
"We are now moving into a different kind of era that is more about public service, about cooperation, about basically what's decent," he said.
Governments had published lists of essential professions in the crisis and this could have a huge impact on a whole generation, Bregman said.
"If you look at these lists, you're like, where are the hedge fund managers? You know, where are the bankers, or the marketeers?"
He said it was clear who were doing the important jobs now - nurses, teachers, care workers and journalists.
"I think we could see a real shift here, that now there could be a new generation, and I think we already see the early signs of this, of people who want to do a job where you actually help other people," he said.
As for other post-pandemic changes, Bregman saw a decline in travel with people appreciating local values more, although global cooperation would be needed on climate change.
And after months of social distancing, would there be an end to the handshake and the hug?
"No, I don't think you can ever kill the handshake or the hug, especially not the hug," Bregman said. "People are hard-wired to connect with one another."
(Reporting by Axel Threlfall; Writing by Giles Elgood; Editing by Mike Collett-White)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.