In the wake of a somber 9/11 anniversary, the COMMENTARY podcast surveys the depressing intellectual and political landscape that typifies American discourse. Is the reaction against classical Western liberalism reversible? The “crushing morosity” is thick in this episode.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Welcomes the commentary magazine, Billy Podcast today's Monday September, sixteen twenty twenty one. I jump on board the other commentary magazine with me as always: executive editor, a green wallpaper, Hijab Senior, representing Rosen High, Christine I got an associate other nor rough, and I know a guy is the September. Eleventh commemoration has come and gone, and I think it's fair to say that even ten years ago we would not have predicted thee
Somber nests of the occasion and its sovereignty is not about the commemoration of the horrors of that day, which should always be somber, but about the condition of the United States. Twenty years after nine eleven cause, it's a moment of reflection in which a lot of people on all sides of the Isle are looking at the country saying that something has gone deeply wrong in the last today kids since nine eleven and the question is was nine eleven thee triggering event of all of that war was the were or are other things that are not really related to it. You know, can I add the the consequence? and I I genuinely don't don't know we are clearly a country
state of some kind of emotional crisis and we were not a country in state of emotional crisis on September tenth, and we were a country attacked and unified to some extent. In the wake of that attack about how our way of life had been assaulted, that it was under threat and that we had something to fight for it, live for work for and support, and I don't even know that that's true any more as a com experience. We have people on the right who are saying that liberalism and the broadest contact stand the ito, enlightenment, liberalism from which this country sprang was up
a poisoned chalice or a poison fruit, and we have people on the left saying that the entire american experiment was born in evil. Simply the purpose of America was the was the trading slaves and the profiting off human misery- and these are the vanguard, opinions on both sides. They are not held by majorities, but they are. They are drenching the main stream and dumb. I just think back to where things felt on September, thirteenth, two thousand and one, and I don't think that I would have thought that we were gonna be here. I think I agree with you entirely. I am reminded of something I've been reminded of this a lot in the past year. Some Walter Russell Mean wrote
years ago, five years ago- and he said- I think you said this with the two biggest challenges facing the Eu S Right Now- are the lack of agreement about what constitutes the good in the country and- the related lack of agreement about America's role, what what what we are supposed to be and the thing about the immediate aftermath of nine, was that there was very little doubt about what the good was touching the aftermath, as we saw a lot of it not to be in a much about it, but in the first responders in their country coming together, and all that and we knew that what it, whatever
was going to follow. We knew that the? U S stood for the very opposite of those who had attacked us, and that was that he at least I'm in that's that was brought the unifying. I just wonder if that's right those intellectual current set, your talking about China, really all that new or were merely just privy to them more. There has always been a profound debate over what America's role should be in the world, whether it to be introversion, ed or an extra virgin proponent of any logical goals are merely a just a realist. Conception of what are you know it as self interested states should be in those debates, were profound and have always been profound and pronounced and done. Critics of classical liberal some were not enough. The practice slightly more muted enough in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, but their those intellectual currents existed on the left in the existed on the on the run.
Said to varying degrees. Side is not even. I knew that that really assistance took one profound crisis too, In the end, its immediate wake, the made it something that was a perversion to say out loud that you know it existed before exists now so, but one of them was a blip in Asia. I think you're right and we d there was that there were. There was an expression of it even on the left. In the immediate aftermath of nine eleven that the kind of we deserve this for how we are that was really astonishingly awful, but one The things that I think is changed a lot in the twenty years since has actually been on our side of the island. The conservative side you know somewhat. Whenever anyone asked me what I think, a conservative as I do, that the definition I kind of loosely give is that in a service, believes that, Leave that human nature is human nature, human beings are kind of, fundamentally flawed, were sort of depraved people, and so Anything that modern civilization can do to help us guy nature is kind of a mere
and should be protected should be preserved, should be celebrated, and I think it's that part of conservatism actually that we have lost in the last twenty years. There are fewer and fewer people who will be who will stand up and say you know this is but were deeply, But people, but we gotta, make the best of it, and here the institutions and the means of doing it, whether if the family or their institutions and society education, what not Instead, we have a kind of innocent, just tromp trumpets simply be the most. Its exemplar of this trend, but the trend is one of anger, hostility paranoia fear, That's, not really what the base of conservatism has has been in the past twenty before nine eleven.
These past twenty years. I've really sense more, unfortunately, a lot more of that on our side of the ILO to well I'm in the question that arises from the rise of social media and the kind of thumb massification of opinion, because opinion has always been largely expressed in the country in one way: witches elections, that's what elections are as an expression of the opinion, the people in the broadest sense. But the last twenty years have changed that there is a daily hourly minute by minute expression of opinion, and we have to sort through whether that opinion genuinely represents you know. A large number of people are whether were somehow once again in our favour. An analogy of places
for what we are responding to our are our shadows and not anything real, but the massification of opinion means that or, as seems to have taught us that the carriage Lady of people, the ability of people were However, they are to believe anything that supports their priors as we say, and to believe anything again about their opponents that banks their opponents, look bad and to embrace ideas about them about their opponents. Anyone about their own on side that are that were frankly, like beyond the bounds of most discourse, because the people who were responsible for the expression
of considered opinion in aid? States lived with him. For the most part or for the overwhelming part, live within boundaries in which they did not go too far off one cliff or too far, On the other. I mean this even in the end, in the in the holding of noxious opinions, let's say like a belief in in our communism or something like that communism being of either the greatest evil in some ways that we ve ever known, but of course the people who expressed support for communist opinion or something like that. They always they always descended into this into the purely theoretical. The idea that you know what what what they want or what they think is good, has never really been tried, and so, but now we have a different. We live in a different way.
all we have you know there is this question, like tens of millions of people, think that the election of twenty twenty was stolen now maybe in nineteen sixty eight had there been a similar existence, a social media and some He had said the election was stolen and you then asked people in the wake of that election had the election than stolen, tens of millions of we would have said that election was stolen too. It's just that those those opinions. played no role in our lives, and they now play a very large role in our lives and they are incredibly easily manipulated. Amid there there far more easily manipulated, then we realized not just the trump Conspiracy theory nonsense that either, as it is discredited. Even as you know, Linwood and Sydney power while, in others, make food
themselves in court rooms are gonna, lose multi billion dollar defamation sits and things like that. What they said, what they laid out, what they claimed that doesn't seem to have shaken the body of opinion that both that decided to go Along with them and on the right, it's the same thing that you know that sixty nineteen Brown, the left, excuse me the sixteen nineteen pro serious historians who know anything about anything, know that it's all garbage and it doesnt matter, because it's more protected than then wooden Powell and the Trump can spend in our promise, my pillow guy, and all that, because the people who have been promulgating in our part of the liberal elite and so a separate themselves set people suffer and there and they are prevailing, fashionable opinions that dovetail with whiskey
fashion. But but you know even there, so it's garbage it doesn't matter. Does matter that its garbage does matter that it's not true, doesnt matter, that its proved that it's not true, and I this is a crisis, because we we don't have any anti body to protect against this, though you didn't know we didn't do there, there used to be a kind of inclination to dismiss fringe opinion and say well, no one, no one's gonna, believe those crazies or or even take something like twitter and when the opinions that trend for a day on twitter and the extreme political takes on twitter, you know- I wasn't
wasn't too long ago, that I would say well, that's just twitter, no one's on Twitter. That represents a tiny, fragment, tiny percentage of of the country, but I don't think we can really do that so easily the more. I think what we have seen on both sides, that, range minorities wheeled outsize power. In the? U S, it is largely, I think, result of social media, but not exclusively resolve themselves from media. I think I think it's it's just it's, because we are as estimate frank and open as we are. Everyone getting a say means that everyone can sort of Bee emotionally or morally black held into going along with some extreme opinion, less they be thought of as the enemy
and- and this is what we see is stream. You know in the wake of the attacks on the and the other, the generous Text Capitol Hill overwhelmingly Republicans across the board were saying, discussed in services and bit by bit, it's become so much more acceptable to accept and even endorse parts of things that went on that day among people who didn't do so in its immediate wake, because these things snowball out there inside for media in the culture generally and and again, and again is out this these. These fringe minorities take on our size power when I just just to add real quick to that. It's not even that is true, and in addition to that now- and I think this is too what John was saying earlier about the impact in the transfer me
in social media has wrought. You don't even have to be a person who gets deep into the weeds on any individual conspiracy theory. But I think what has been cultivated in the last decade, in particular, is just a general scepticism and suspicion when A thing like that is put before you, you don't even have to believe it, but you think in a way that I think Americans did not about certainly about their government except for free. Elements they now go, while maybe that's true and then add to that. We mixed sitting in the noble lies that have been coming forth out of the pandemic and people are, were, I think, rightfully much more suspicious in general of their institutions as well as not trusting them, and that is quite corrosive over time. So I don't wanna be dismissive of any of us, because these are all very serious problems and particularly the normalization of the events of January sex. But It strikes me more is a tribal signifier among the right than it does in expression of fealty to a deeply
belief and the sort of thing that I think probably people expressing in two pollsters, at least as an expression of tribal fealty, in much the same way that you have just about every Democrat, believing in its two thirds of Democrats, believing that Russia, somehow manipulated, left tat election results. In twenty seventeen, there was no evidence of that. No one is no one in the elite sphere was even saying that, but it was something that you had to adopt an honest and again express, as an expression of your zealotry in services cause that you were they were devoted to to when I don't know whether this elected this current political environment, electoral environment, is really all that the similar from the one that prevailed in nineteen forty, nineteen, thirty nine elite dissatisfaction with the way in which the United States had organised itself contrasting varied this favourably to the models represented by the Soviet Union
the models represented by Nazi Germany depending on what side of the island was not uncontroversial. It was an error. Rather, it was not controversial for you to say well. We need to emulate that the best aspects of nazi society of soviet society, because we're hype we're behold into a model of social organisation that is woefully inefficient, and that's out sort of thing that I think you can see expressing an elite opinion today and the people who adhere to leave. Now. I agree with you entirely that it that it is largely travel. I just don't know that that makes it less of a threat, because tribal affiliation runs very deep and there isn't. There is none of the sort of cooling element that there is that there can be in political discourse political thought too rigid tribe runs. You know right to the heart breaks the bone, especially in an age when people have fewer associations outside themselves in their use
do so now, if your political tribe is your identity that that that means more to you than it ever did an M The whole idea of a poem he'll tribe is a bit of an oxymoron, because tribes as understood are very visceral personal connections to very real, tangible things that are right in front of you. You live within your tribe, you you, your tents are veto, you hey! You place your tents and proximity to your drive. You set up a perimeter to protect you from other tribes who live a life in which you are interwoven into a real, practical thing and political Bribes are abstractions you're connecting to people on the basis of shared concepts or shared prejudice.
Is our shared. Whatever that aren't real and tangible added a tribe is the passions of a tribe or controlled to some extent, by the need to live Guy, you know communitarianism IE and their don't seem to be any controls on the passions of a political tribe when it comes to the ideas that they support. They just seem inexact.
Possibly able to swallow ever more extreme and therefore you know like alluring, attractive, exciting. You know things that make your heart pound ideas, then than they are tempered by the need to live within an organization like a tribe, I mean what what really holds tribes together is wariness of those not in the tribe, and that is that is if that is the sort of dangerous motivation that we see playing out very clearly in the political traps that I saw in that sense of political action America have managed to mimic the actual dynamics of of of living living tribalism and again that's where the public face. social media online line. Twenty four seven cable news world plays into that extremely bad instinct because used use,
lay tribes when they self police. You know when they, when they root out the heretics in their midst, do it in private or could do it in private and political parties is to do the same somewhat in private. Now you have veto. C in the squad calling out senior senators on twitter constantly in picking fight so that their picking faced with each other publicly now in a way that I think fuels for individual voters that same sense of us first is that the other, the other ing, as, as the sociologist suggests, like to call it a of your enemies. I mean tribes are not peaceable within themselves ever obviously right. There's always somebody wants to contest fur for adults
but in position and a tribe, if you want to talk about, why oh see as having, if I would show mansion that's a boy, that's an intricate intertribal rivalry to see who can become dominate and who can decide where, where things are, where things go, I all of these trans everything we're talking about. Nothing is new. In one sense, what is new is the capacity to communicate at it in in in real time instantaneously, to people and the consequences there from which are much broader than I think we we ever could have imagined, though
When you look back and you think about what instant Navy can do, obviously you know we were naive or something not to understand, I'm not that there is a thing to be done about it. This all happened, as is always sure of technological revolutions. It happens while you're not looking or the or the integration of the new thing. That is changing the way people live, sort of comes upon you all of a sudden. I think, MRS Breyer, my favorite example of this is something that New Gingrich said, which is he said you you'll know. You know the world has changed when people put money in to a bank machine and then don't wafer receipt like forty years earlier before the creation of the atm. If you had taken cash and put it into a machine, your presumption would it,
and that there was a person answer inside the other machine, you have taken your cash and with no example of any by what lope, without taken one of the twenties and put it in his pocket. How did you know it was really a registered. So then you have a machine and goes in a machine gun received the receipts, as you put an eighty dollars, doesn't say, put in sixty dollars and therefore, if something happens, you can go to a human, being and say I put an eighty dollars. Not any, regrettably, was sixty and then they'll have to fix it. And now you just assume that the that these machines are more honest than people that they are more They are more rational that they do things in an objective fashion and that this is all happening in a recorded way and that your safer. So you don't have to balance your cheque book any more because it's done for you, you don't have to check on things, because these are all happening to you in this way.
And that change alteration in human consciousness has a real reflection here in there in a weird way. Here I am on Facebook. Here an article that says something about Joe Biden whom I dont like, and it must be true. You couldn't God that article before you know would have taken your grandmother clipping it from the Canton repository and putting in the mail to you, and then you get it five days later and it's in your hand, and then you take that article and you read it. Then you send somebody else and in three mm
seven people will have read this article wedging, something or other, and now that cat repository article could be read by two million people in five minutes, it's consciousness altering and, as I said, there is no solution to it, but it does change things and, and- and it is, I think, the largest- she is the thing that has had the most impact on this weird somber quality that we have as we look at the country. Now that you couldn't have hat trump couldn't have existed without it. Ah, the the reactions trump couldn't exists. Without it black lives matter couldn't have happened without it.
At the George Floyd protest couldn't all of this is all the result of this technological alteration in the way we process information and then act on it and it's a it's it's and you know that it's gonna be the job of the twenty first century, to figure out how to reconcile this with how we go about life without living in this constant state of hysteria. Let me talk to you now about.
A con. Our first sponsor, you know so much going on in the world whether you wanted to hear the names being read on nine eleven or whether you need to just relax by listing to some beautiful music. You know you, you can't control the vibes out there, but you can always control vibes in your head with a pair of re con wireless airports in your ear, whether you use them to pump up, went down work out or work re cancer, the go to four on the go audio and the new everyday. Airbus look feeling sound better than ever, with an improved rubber oil, look and feel and optimize gel tips. For the perfect in your fit, these are impressive before you, even
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the forty five day happiness guarantee right now, commentary listeners can get fifteen percent off their rake on order at by re conduct comes less commentary, that's be. Why are you I see? O n dotcom slashed commentary, say fifteen percent on re cons by re conduct, com, Slash commentary, George W Bush gave a speech on Saturday. I'm sorry at the flight. Ninety three things now entering and checks and here's what he said he said as our nation are just words- have been profound. Many strong american struggle to understand why the enemy with hit us with such seal security measures incorporated. It relies
source of comfort, ever minors or vulnerability, and we have seen growing evidence that dangerous to our country can come not only across borders, but from violence gathers within there is low though cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home, but in their disdain for pluralism in their disregard for human life in their determination to file national symbols. They are children of the same fell spirit, and it is our continuing duty to confront them. So this is gazing a lot of talk that the bushes talking about January six, maybe or I'm not sure he obviously has an mentioned January six. The only January sixth hint is a violent extremists and be the filing national symbols.
Do we think? What does it matter that the former leader of the ruling party is willing to call out violent extremists? A sore, clearly sort of you know if you are going to blind these things up in this broad possible way, people you know on, though side of the ledger. No, yes, he was talking about Jane Recycling, absolutely with such measures, but now I don't think it it matters to them to the audience that people wanted to matter to us, but to get to the point of our first break the size of that audience, matters and the relevance of that audience matters and we risk over inflating it, because it is
so in our face, as you said, the vanguard, but a vanguard is, by definition a very narrow, small, overly zealous committed banned, and that may be indicative of a future that is broader based, but isn't today. I bear and MRS it up I've puzzled over this. Since I heard her the speech, I admire George Bush for a deal, I don't see any good coming of invoking the January sets Andy and then on the anniversary of September eleventh, I don't I don't. I don't you think. It's true said the people involved are children of the same fell spirit their children of a different fell spirit aid. They don't they're, not they don't actually want the same things. May I know I know which said that there is
there's little ideological overlap, but it's it's it's it's more than that. It, I don't think one belongs. In the other at all, and I add anything It's wrong in the same way that it's wrong: when do the left uses nine hundred and eleven to sort of make points retroactively about what what they are and, what's on their mind, like there was this writer from Oh, who said something on Twitter over the weekend along the along the lines of Vienna, America was hit on nine eleven because, because of institutional race and the Santini you know as if, as if, as if Al Qaeda were you know, teen vote, is there's also that having lurking vote was even you know, woke
The other reason he I puzzled over as well a and I think the other reason he might have done a little signalling and the speeches that referred there's there's a bunch of people coming to Washington on September eighteenth, that's a saturday for another rally and they're good. Putting up fencing again around the capital possibly, and there is concern about violence breaking out there. Just like there is no dog bargain breaking out of my I'm sorry for okay. So. I'm trying to think of. To say that you know extremism has the same route, is some yeah I think is it is? It is a bad illusion. One way that you can defend. It is to say that, while here
the difference. So the different says we assumed at his wife, maybe bushes, and wasn't the right person say this week. We assumed that the Al Qaeda, the nineteen hijackers who died on nine eleven and the suicide bombings, ah that they were not simply a vanguard, did they were not outliers that they were for word. They were the most a forward soldiers in a law. An ace, serious sustain, larger idiot laws
will struggle with the United States that was getting physical that was literally becoming a physical reality. They were blown buildings, the United States and then over the course of the next ten years there was the attack on the Madrid train station. There was, there was up. There was the british Subway attack on seven seven, seven, multiple efforts to attack that work thwarted in and stymied, and then ultimately, you could say that it militarized when ISIS them. What, when, when I This was it became out of a potent force and that we went into Iraq on the grounds that somehow they their word that this was all co terminus that that was the idea was that they were. They were that the heads of a many many headed,
multi pronged and very large movement against America in the west I just don't think you can say that about January sex them in the number of people in the crowd who might have been motivated by the kinds of any illogical hatreds, enrages that in that that that bushes, talking about probably numbered in the dozens at most. This was clearly you know. These were people who honestly believe that the election was being stolen and were marching on the capital to try to affect their will. It's terrible thing, it was a monstrous thing that happened, but their purpose wasn't to destroy the United States. It was to save the United States in their own deluded fantasy mine
whereas there sure there is, as will, all such cry crowds. There were a couple dozen people who were therefore the destruction and wanted to know, see things Berne and all that and that that's so that though I the analogy is, is is it is terrible where I think it is fair. to make this analogy, is that there is some kind of an anti democratic movement In the United States, in our again against the very the ideas and ideals that gave birth to the caught to the declaration of independence and the constitution. That is that that is a real thing. It may be really time. You know, I mean one of the great ironies of what happened
after September. Eleventh was the the search for the moderate Muslim. Remember there was all this whose, whereas the moderate Muslim and there are various p and there was a right it I see when schwartz- I I I I haven't seen you know anything from him and in many years This work is a very real audibly, interesting person and he wanted to go. Look for the moderate Muslim. He ended up converting to supervision, which is a kind of mystical. What you'd call it human they stick. Islam centering some sense on them on the on the poetry of the of the poet roomy, and the thing about the surface is that they represent one or two percent of if that of the population of the entire.
Muslim woman, like that they that date, it's great to embrace you, know a lover. Poetic, peaceful, beautiful. You know image of the Koran, but that is not, but that was like embracing a. yeah, that was, that was becoming part of a set of tiny, tiny, tiny sliver of Islam. Not the not the real thing. And similarly, I don't know why I just find that we wish were hopeful yeah that either the people that we know who are embracing this anti democratic thing. Are you aren't a fact like Stephen Schwartz or or again they are there a vanguard and that more and more people are going to say out. This country took a wrong term wrong turn in sixteen
Eighty nine, by got disavowing John Locke, gave it there's, ok, so, but these debates have been going on. This is ready to put my historian had unfortunate. These debates have always gone on, in fact, some of the most rich, interesting time than it was when the states will develop, their own constitution during in a post articles of confederation, when they were all kind of trying to figure out what kind of government they wanted to embrace for themselves. The states, I would highly recommend Gordon S, Woods, excellent new book collection of essays I'm gonna meet me, try it. I think it's called power and liberty. I just finished it. It's very aspiring, because what it shows you is that we ve always been arguing about this, and those arguments are important and to the earlier part of the show, the buried to have in the current intellectual social environment, because of the way that we have debate in general, but there are, There were always among our founding fathers people, very concerned about
the masses having too much say in democracy and weather This is how we got a Senate and the house. This is how we got all you know a single unitary executive, but those discussions and debates are just as rich unimportant to be having now and instead what we have our young people not be elected governor of Georgian. Yet declaring she, in fact, still is the governor of Georgia claims that any time someone wants to require idea Providing its Jim, probably we ve lost our ability to have these debates. We need to restore that and continue to have them It's probably why I'm far more sympathetic to George W Bush speech than I think any of you are on it, a shit a distinction to be made between a person, sets out with violent designs and though the chilean brain that takes over when you're a minimum that in a crowd, that is a distinction that is difficult to make because people find it to be morally reprehensible. But it is a distinction with indifference, as anybody is rather alliance. Can
Nevertheless, what George W Bush set out to do in the wake of nine eleven and but he forgets should go ahead and we read every watch the first addressed to a joint session Congress after the attacks. We need very little distinction between the Taliban and their conception of society and how it should be organised and the Al Qaeda terrorists and people aligned with Al Qaeda terrorists, who were the vanguard of this violence, is that that giddy, illogical, proclivity unchecked has the capacity to up to do great damage and become and organizing philosophy, even among those who are not predisposed to be sympathetic towards it, because it just becomes the social value which you do.
you live, and in that sense, the anti democratic forces. The illiberal forces that were unleashed upon us on January six, an earlier on the left for those who organise in the streets in defence of a theory of social organisation of do away with american liberalism and the protection afforded in the constitution in favour of a work of social justice, recapitulation of America that doesn't really observe you are individual liberties and free believes you to be just a member of a tribe and which were born, and that's your indelible identity. Those are the two competing theories organization or at work trying to undermine the United States as it was conceived by the founders and to the extent of violent elements
a small as they may be, working towards that they represent a far greater threat because their ideology left, unchecked, left and challenged has has the capacity to do what he's. I think, George W Bush mourned over two thousand one, which has created alternative furious of organization. That is entirely antithetical to the classical western liberal standards that we observe life every inch of a question. You lumbered talking about the Americans who are anti democratic. We are talking about people who say that their anger comes from the fact that that they are, they do believe in democracy, but that democracy was hijacked that it was that that the election was fraudulent.
So. Therefore, there there looking to write things, do you not believe them I mean of the egg? Can we struggle with a view to shortly say that their anti democratic, if, if they think they ll, if they believe that that the election, fixed, weren't entry in their minds to briefly in their minds there. The more defenders of the constitution. So in that sense there their motives were pure in the minds of the nineteen hijackers who flew themselves in the buildings there? taking to restore a moral order that was lost right. Well, I
mean, I said this to begin with there, that there is that there is a distinction. They may think that they were going for the restoration of democracy. You know the people of fingers like a dream for mule are not interested in democracy anymore. They don't believe in democracy. They think democracy leads to soul, destroying liberties.
of every category, and that we need a different kind of religiously driven authoritarianism, and I bring this up only to say that, while this, this theory is very high, on the one hand, it's very extreme and very anti american and very much not the american Spirit. As Christine says. In some ways it is the fundamental argument of modernity and anti modality. The fundamental argument is that, where the, but their newly built placed the individual at the centre of, I was gonna, say, existed but that's not right- that the place the individual at the centre and pre modernity did not have much use for the individual. The individual was not up was not what was interesting so large scale, social Organisation and the
Elevation of souls and the condition of your soul in relation to guide is what mattered, and so this fight is very, as we say, is a very, very long standing, and we somehow got a pause in it for a couple of centuries and in some fundamental sense, as simply because the enlightenment model was working, working, like a kind of couldn't argue with success. It was like it wasn't. You know, people got Richards Societies got freer and people seemed happier and they were, we are now in the prosperity, was share. then, all of that and so little hard to make the argument that it was bad and things have changed over the last twenty years so that it's a little harder? Not the prosperity is good.
Not that we don't worry about growth and all that in the story. The last three years is the more people have been saved from poverty on the planet, earth that at a time in unit human history and all that, but here in the United States we have a suicide epidemic and we have opium there dammit we have. We have a sense of a loss of any kind of national purpose and all that, and so when people come out and say: oh yeah, things are better. Will you really think things are better than they were when people warrant killing themselves at this rate and it's a little harder for that argument to be made, and that gives space and oxygen to this thing? That means that it's not just a fringe opinion, because anybody who tries to happy talk the problems in the EU I did states hits runs into up above solve reality. There. Things have gone wrong here in a way that we did not anticipate that they would go wrong when
world in which we didn't have the Soviet Union as arrival or world in which we work is the dominant unit how're. You know an end. Speaking of prosperity and all of that, let's go and talk about our friend David bonds that the bond some group, David is a believer in prosperity and a believer in the idea that large, in a large scale, prosperity is the only way to lift people out of poverty and the only way to alter the circumstances of the lives of people who can't you know who can't scratch to Nicholls together and in his two great news, letters the DC to data common dividend, cafe dotcom. He goes into great depth on a daily and weekly basis. Dc to data coming weekly since today gives that sense and Devenant CAFE outcome a speedy decision daily and giving cafe weekly I'll. Give you a view both from thirty thousand feet
and from the actions and behaviors of that day in the markets. It is thrilling an interesting at all ways. Regulatory stuff go to dividend, cafe, dot com now and subscribe. This is from our friends the bonds and growth, the antidote to the intellectual, spaghetti of the financial services and management industry, Christine again putting on your historians helmet. When you say things like, we need to restore the ability to have debates. Are we need to get back to a thing like this? Does that ever happen, or is it a fool's errand to hope that somehow, once a certain type of civility
he or whatever you want won't want to call. It has been breached that it can ever be that it can ever be gotten back again and it's very difficult in and it's easy to say all. We shall be more civil and have more conscientious debates where we respect each other's opinions and it's very hard to do in practice. I will say, though, in a week that way, the kind of so the liberalism point the right: civil liberalism, particularly on places like college campuses, which used to be a really good area. Ferment for these kinds of discussions, out of which grew scholarship then trick down into policy making, perhaps or at least in form, some of the current debates, I think the excesses of critical race three cancel culture. Liberalism in general are forced, the creation of alternatives to those sorts of play, so you do seat. Look our friend very wise has a has assigned The fact that the house all kinds of debates, lots of other writers are trying to create those
spaces. Some of them are online, some of them in the real world. There are people in these institutions, academic institutions trying to do the same thing as well. It. A very small at this point in its up against soaks deserve again to win thing, that is social media as well as a very politicized academia, but I I'm not entirely pessimistic, that is impossible, and particularly when you talk to younger generations who ve been in after needed, your cater twelve, who kind of see how a social media operates and dont really necessarily want to participate in a world like that? I think there some hope, but it has to be weakened We you think, be vigilant on our end, on our end, about upholding the ability to have those disagreements publicly, especially with people on the other side of the Isle. But we disagree with a mean that spend the power of the sixteen nineteen project, folks, You time their pressed on matters of fact claim. Are we just want people to be better informed? We're not saying this. Is this recast? They are they the closer constantly shifting on their side same with critical raised, there is so people pushing
at a kind of at this point, it was level when its parents for schools yeah. I think that will make a difference down the line if it remains consistent. ok, so I graduated from college thirty nine years ago and I went to the earth of Chicago reputed to be. You now serve like even then then you know uncommonly judicial school when it came to the expression of brought brought, arrange your opinion than was the case of other universities so it's now we know two generations later and what I, even at the time, people on the right serious people were saying. My graduate department is getting increasingly hostile to me
I'm interested in the X Y see. I have trouble a faculty meetings because people, if I say certain types of things people come down my at an all that a lot of the population of the think tank so places like a high and others happened apart, because academic said like I can't live like this anymore, it's just too horrible and they went they took their distinguished work and and stop teaching kids when did researching, were things like that at a think tanks. So it's now two generations later Lisbon increasing depopulation of non
liberal, not left us, not radical thought, college campuses and clearly there we're gonna, be terrible consequences from that and that data that a whole range of ideas in the United States were somehow ruled out of polite contemporary discourse, as the march through the institutions expressed itself through the ideological uniformity of of of all of these department of all liberal arts departments and now increasingly there's this move on the sciences. The science should also reflect these ideas. Again. Is this reversible? I mean I m the consequences of it seem very plain in terms of the radicalization early, this kind of the opening of the Overton Window,
It's a radical leftist ideas that were once not quite so easily accessed or not one site. Why so easily believe them, and can that ginning of- and I hate to sound like I'm in this like incredibly pessimistic mode here, but I cannot gene go back in the bottle. Can there can there be a roof I've all of them were or are or is this you now are we are we just going down a road that was mapped for us when, after the Sixtys, when when sixties radicals simply decided there were in and make their home in the in the universities and do what they could to work their activism through these disciplines? I think you know when you bring the sixties its appointment before and I believe- and I fervently hope I think, the kids who grew up with parents and teachers.
Bears and celebrities telling them moralising parents, teachers and celebrities telling them that they are bad because they are inherently racist or that they are aware that their her islands are limited because they live in a country that is inherently rates it. I think those kids will. I think we're going to see something like a right wing sixties because it It is. It is the exact same dynamic whereby you're being lectured at by an older generation, and you don't actually subscribe ultimately to their views. you, don't you want to sort of just live your life? That's that's! That's what it has in common with with another sixty generation. These are people say I'm I'm I dont want to be sure of light.
You know limited by your moralising, and that is that is what is happening on left, so I could certainly see a big reversal ideologically coming down the pie. I think, what's it harder to reverse is the incivility? Actually I don't I bought. My fear is that that stays, even as the ideology swings the other way right guys. I ask you why you just for companies control eighty percent of the EU s meat industry, because big food crushes law guy, you can help change that with Moyne cutbacks.
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The culture war now has a draft. You are drafted into it, whether you want to go or not, you have to participate and for younger kids in particular. They don't like that right, let alone a view of agricultural backlashes. Something generational backlash against is the most consistent, forcing the universe you can work on it, and yet the the backlash against what we are seeing today would be anti censorious would be. Libertine would be immoral in in a certain sense, but an anti moralistic, more more likely. It won't be civil. For short, because it requires levity, jocularities, making fun of these people. But one thing you can count on when it comes to processing the world's radiological frameworks is that the people who subscribe to this idea will find that the ideological framework is wholly insufficient to describe the world around them. That was the problem with Marxism. You can't filter the universe through class conflict because it's an insufficient theory to understand the world, but we have a case in point. You have a baby,
I was in college right now, she's talking to me about the corset she's taking one of them is a course on Non she's. Doing little. Medical researchers is taken course on pharmaceuticals, but the pharmaceutical course is filtered through this. The framework of gender politics. It is farmers suit. the pharmaceutical industry, the feminist theory, which you will find holy insufficient to the world of drug manufacturing that one hope you at all professionally and when I was learning I was studying graduate Workin international relations, the theory of feminism as school of international relations was taught to me and it was ridiculous because it Absolutely no bearing on the conduct of geopolitics is the sort of thing that eventually you discover is save, for the truly indoctrinated is just talisman is not actually anything that will help in the real world,
Yeah, but by the time that happens, the damage is done in your already out in the real world and ill of realise that you were sold a bill of goods and I think a lot of people have had that experience. But you know like boost In general, like like the world in which people came to settlement they had bought into in the nineteenth century. It said come to us, we have our opera house, we have our feed store, we have everything and they got off the train than there was nothing there than the idea was. You have to join the conspiracy of lies here, because otherwise your property is worth nothing. You also need to write back to people in the east and say come less than you you'll be able to be entertained that our opera house. People who get college degrees- and you now spend a lot of money on them- have no incentive any more to say what I just wasted enormous amount of my time. Quite the opposite, and so that's it
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Can anybody the only thing that I can say of a cheerful nature right now, as I took my kids to see the new Marvel movie, Shank Chee and the legend of the ten rings, if you're in adult thinking of taking your kids to a movie, this is a movie to see it's really good at its very. action thriller with some amazingly good fight, seen some very good comedy and I've had a pretty interesting plot. Like all Marvel movies, the last ten minutes you could just throw the garbage. The final fight is very hard to follow and boring, and you know it's all tat is what you would expect, but but for most of it, so it's really pretty so with that four April stay than our job onwards, keep the cattle burning.
Transcript generated on 2021-09-15.