Episode 352

Hubris & Chaos

A Conversation with Rory Stewart

February 4, 2024

Sam Harris speaks with Rory Stewart about the fraying world order. They discuss the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the problems with nation building, cultural ignorance, tolerance for corruption, our catastrophic withdrawal from Afghanistan, the role that Islam played in our failures in Afghanistan and Iraq, conspiracy theories, the influence of social media, cults of martyrdom, the war in Ukraine, the age of populism, Trump and the future of NATO, Brexit, the current state of politics, GiveDirectly, and other topics.

Rory Stewart is a leading thinker on international affairs and development currently serving as Special Advisor to GiveDirectly, which delivers cash directly to the world’s poorest households. Stewart was a member of the British Parliament for almost a decade, where he served as secretary of state for international development, prisons minister, minister for Africa, development minister for the Middle East and Asia, and minister for the environment. In addition to his work with GiveDirectly, Rory Stewart is also the co-host of The Rest is Politics podcast and author of How Not to Be a Politician.

Website: https://www.givedirectly.org/

Twitter: @RoryStewartUK


Learning how to train your mind is the single greatest investment you can make in life. That’s why Sam Harris created the Waking Up app. From rational mindfulness practice to lessons on some of life’s most important topics, join Sam as he demystifies the practice of meditation and explores the theory behind it.