Segments in this Video

Introduction: the Role of the State (03:19)


Richard D. Heffner welcomes writer and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel. Wiesel calls for a moral state that supports people during their lifetime and emphasizes humanity. He envisions leaders that genuinely care for people, not just their votes.

Changing Role of Politics (04:37)

Political leadership was once a noble endeavor, but is now associated with corruption and scandal. Citizens must trust elected leaders; most could profit more in the private sector but want to serve their country.

American Governmental Tradition (02:26)

U.S. citizens have traditionally advocated limiting the state. According to Jewish tradition, Wiesel supports a powerful legal system. He lauds the right to criticize the justice system in the U.S.

Citizens vs. Government (02:33)

Wiesel says the people separating themselves from Washington are also politicians. He is concerned about cynicism among young people toward leaders; cynics confuse good and evil.

Addressing Cynicism (02:30)

Wiesel supports the media tendency to expose political scandals, except those involving private lives. Citizens should know their leaders, in order to build trust. He calls for mutual respect between citizens and politicians.

Leviathan State (01:57)

Heffner questions whether politicians can respect individual needs and desires as government imposes increasing regulations. Wiesel admits democracy can fail, but believes it is the best political system for people who want to be moral.

Measuring Society (04:52)

Wiesel is not concerned with the size of government, but with its attitude toward the poor, dispossessed, and immigrants. He discusses political and economic paradoxes, including the failure of elected politicians to fulfill campaign promises.

Social Issues in U.S., France, and Israel (04:08)

Wiesel discusses drugs and youth suicide in America; right-wing politics in France; and the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Israel is a young nation motivated by Utopian visions.

Credits: Episode 10: The Role of the State (00:40)

Credits: Episode 10: The Role of the State

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Episode 10: The Role of the State

Part of the Series : Dialogues
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $129.95
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This program confronts on the promises and paradoxes of politics, and contemplates the possibility of moral and responsible governance.

Length: 28 minutes

Item#: BVL192539

ISBN: 978-1-64623-628-2

Copyright date: ©1997

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video customers.