Bill Clinton and Edward de Bono

Sent in from an SOT member:

There’s a story of a conversation Bill Clinton had with Edward de Bono a couple of years ago, when they were both in Hong Kong.

Bill asked Edward his opinion of what, in an ideal world, ‘the perfect nation’ would look like.

De Bono is said to have replied:

It would have an ethnically diverse population of twenty to twenty-five million people. English would be the national language. It would be religiously and economically liberated, have a democratic form of government and a vigorous free press. I’d locate it somewhere along the Pacific Rim. It would have a young history and an optimistic outlook. And a generous climate that lent itself to encouraging all its people – rich or poor – to enjoy the wonderful free gifts nature has to offer.

‘Sounds wonderful,’ Clinton wistfully remarked. ‘What would you call it?’ he asked.

‘Oh, I wouldn’t change its name,’ de Bono replied. ‘”Australia” will do fine.’

But what is “Australia”? … 

20 thoughts on “Bill Clinton and Edward de Bono

  1. This is indeed wonderful! Sounds and looks like Utopia. The only thing missing (in my view at least) is peacefulness from within and without, including no violence and no serious crime. Maybe for all of you it’s a given so Mr. de Bono didn’t even need to mention it. However, the rest of the world is suffering from this.

  2. Beautiful!

    Those who have not left our shores do not realise how truly fortunate we are to live in this great society.

    Our diversity is indeed our greatest strength! and our constitution which encourages this and separates state from religion is our greatest asset.

  3. Wow That puts beautifully into words what I have always felt about living in this amazing country. But let us not go the ways of that other once great nation of the USA. We must remain humble, easy going and forever searching for the answers to the questions that are yet to be asked.

  4. Sounds like a great place. Once Australia fixes up its FOI laws I’m sure that even the part about the “vigorous free press” may one day be true and we could be just that country. Perhaps the new government could be the answer?

  5. I proud that I’ve been blessed to be raised & currently live in Australia.
    For all of you who will read this & would care to visit. We’ll make it worth your while…Welcome to our lucky country.

  6. Australia is far from the perfect nation – it needs to learn ethnic tolerance, as it still has many deep seated racist issues.

  7. Having lived and worked elsewhere I believe that Australia, although not perfect, is a pretty bloody wonderful place to live, love and work. As a broad generalisation we seem to have taken the best from the cultures that have made our nation. Yes, there are areas we can improve and areas we need to stabilise – and a new government will hopefully bring a fresh perspective and positive change. I have always loved coming home here after my travels to distant lands – and appreciated my freedom to be able to travel to those lands.

  8. If we truly had separation of state and religion we wouldn’t have had a PM who appointed a religious leader (George Pel) as head of state over the wishes of the rest of the nation. Or someone like Tony Abbott in parliament who puts his religious beliefs ahead of the interests of the voters.

  9. The perfect nation

    I mostly agree, Australia has many advantages and strengths. She does however have two major external weaknesses; Lack of water and the tyranny of distance. She also has a number of internal weaknesses including but not limited to a lessening of its innovative spirit and a system which breeds a lack of confidence and lack of real investment.

    Much is still required to be done.

  10. De Bono should shut up so that we can keep the country a secret. Tell the yanks about the spiders and snakes. That usually keeps them away.

  11. I know many Australians, like Dr. Walter Stark, one of the foremost oceanographers in the world, whom I profoundly admire.

    Although no Country is perfect, Australia and its people are a wonderful example of what can be achieved when peace and wisdom prevail above other considerations.

    Great Country. Great people. Great natural life.

    All this greatness carries a great responsability: to be an example to the rest of the world.

    Keep up the good work!

  12. We need to distinguish between the macro and micro. From an external view Australia looks good. But, when we look internally there are many flaws with the potential to seriously impair our future. Increasing centralism, growing corruption, managerial incompetence on a vast scale, huge infrastructure problems remaining unaddressed, growing wealth imbalance, shocking balance of trade, mindless emphasis on population growth, severe climate problems, the list goes on.

    Certainly, relative to many other countries, we are well situated. But, enormous probems exist and they are not being adequately addressed.

    Greater application and less jingoism should be our catch cry.


  13. I think the perfect nation is the Armenian nation. Do you know those guys? They live worldwide: they are more abroad than in Armenia. They work hard, but do not cooperate for multiplying achievements and defending their riches. They love themselves, but love others much more. They develop cities while citizens cannot stand them. They are people of law mainly in other countries, but not at home. They exist for thousands of centuries in spite of enemies.

  14. Australia score good to ok for the range of criterias implied – it is better than most countries. NZ is also up there and Canada. There are also many other countries that are on the whole good but does not match our PTV. At the end of the day it is what we make of the situation – keep in mind that that there are opportunities hidden in crises and chaos. Australia has a manageable level of crises and chaoes for most people and the safe-harbour for those who find it difficult to cope.

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