Jason Stanley, “How Fascism Works”

Jason Stanley discusses his book, “How Fascism Works”, at Politics and Prose on 9/25/18.

In this clear and direct primer, Stanley, the award-winning author of How Propaganda Works, draws on a wide range of history, philosophy, sociology, and critical race theory to define fascism, explain its mechanisms, and help people identify its red flags. At its most basic level, fascism is simply a movement that achieves power by dividing a population. A country can have fascist strains without actually being fascistic, Stanley says, and he identifies myriad seeds of authoritarianism in U.S. history, from the Confederacy and the Jim Crow South—which inspired Hitler—to the more recent birther movement and the rise of Trump. More generally he cites ten hallmarks of fascism, such as the mythic past, propaganda, anti-intellectualism, and unreality; on the rise today, these must be resisted if we are to stop fascism from gaining hold here.

https://www.politics-prose.com/book/9…

Jason Stanley is the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University. Before coming to Yale in 2013, he was Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Rutgers University. Stanley is the author of Know How; Languages in Context; Knowledge and Practical Interests, which won the American Philosophical Association book prize; and How Propaganda Works, which won the PROSE Award for Philosophy from the Association of American Publishers. He is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Review, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among other publications. Stanley lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with his family.

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so I you always hear to set it up you
always you I always hear people saying
well when when presidents a president
Trump take an example when his
supporters don’t realize they’re not
getting the material benefits they
expected they will throw you know he’ll
lose their support unfortunately that is
not how this kind of politics works it’s
not a politics of material benefit
it’s a politics of loyalty fascism is
about loyalty and power it replaces
material interests it replaces truth and
reality by loyalty and power ah as
Arendt says the fascists resemble Mafia
bosses they stock their administrations
with with family members and and and
people from their businesses because of
loyalty and that’s
Sisseton so I don’t look at people who
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do that and say they’re being
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inconsistent I say no good you’re being
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consistent because loyalty is your thing
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so uh so so what you what what in that
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chapter I believe in him klemper is
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talking about how much the psychological
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wages of German as’ tied your tied
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Germans to Hitler even well beyond the
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point at which they should of April 1945
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the Red Army is in the gates of Berlin
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and clampers trudging through the woods
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with a soldier missing an arm and he
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says to the soldier I guess it’s time to
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give up and the soldier says what do you
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mean Hitler’s got them trapped and
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klemper says what what the soldiers a
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young man he’s lost his arm you know
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what is he and Klemperer says uh and the
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soldier says yeah it’s Hitler’s
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birthday’s coming up and Hitler just
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meant to suck the Red Army in and trap
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them he’s never lied to us yet and
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klemper says he’d been lying
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consistently year after year after year
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after year I mean literally people would
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till the last moment I mean I’ve spent
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years of my life in Germany and I’ve met
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people who still believed in him so so
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you know the bond of loyalty
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what fascist politics tries to do is it
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tries to break down your any of your
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connection to your material interest and
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say well what you have is you have you
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national identity your ethnic identity
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and your bond with the leader and that’s
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why and and that bond is so powerful and
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so meaningful to people that they will
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you know they will just to see that they
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will like it will last through great
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trial and tribulation it will last you
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certainly the loss of their material
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interests and if you look at countries
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that suffer from fascist politics I
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would say Russia right now is one uh you
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can see that the leader becomes very
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popular even as people’s economic
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situation becomes worse so you can’t
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like wait around for oh you know when
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their health insurance gets taken away
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though no it doesn’t work like that I
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mean
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these are you know air Dewan in Turkey I
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mean these are leaders who win elections
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and they win elections by a politics of
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loyalty they win elections by lying so
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so so I’ll talk for five more minutes
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and then and then take questions so I’m
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going through so what I do in my book is
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I give you a template I give you a
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template of of sides I used to be I am
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an analytic philosopher but I’m not just
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one of the many things I am but I sort
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of like militantly did not pay attention
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to the world as my stepmother and my
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father would always remind me and so
until birtherism so my first New York
Times piece in 2011 was about birtherism
because I had read enough Arendt to
realize that was weird that shouldn’t
happen in a democracy and I recognized
the trap the trap is something that’s
familiar from the protocols of the
Elders design and my family both my
parents are Holocaust survivors my
mother and father two of my three
parents are Holocaust survivors and and
so obviously protocols the other design
is something you talk about in when
you’re very young and some advantages so
so so this trap of you know Hitler said
the the lying press the press is owned
by the Jews and you can tell because
they never talk about the prosperous so
very familiar I recognized it
immediately I mean it was like maybe I
should write something not on the left
parenthesis so so so in 2011 I wrote my
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first New York Times piece about that
the trap always works like this mr.
Trump President Trump when he came to
political consciousness he went on an
interview in Fox News and he said CNN is
controlled by the leftists and Obama you
can tell because they’re not talking
about birtherism that’s the same move
was made in the 30s the delusion plasa
the mainstream press you
they’re controlled by the Jews because
they don’t say they’re controlled by the
Jews law and justice party in uh in
Poland the hilariously miss named law
and justice party comes to power in 2015
in a country that had been whose
economic whose GDP had been going up
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Civic Platform has done very well so it
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wasn’t economic anxiety it’s not
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economic anxiety in Bavaria either but
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they came they did this move to I’m
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emphasizing this because comic pizza is
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right here uh so I can’t not talk about
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the conspiracy theories as a sign so so
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so what Piz did what law and justice did
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is there was a Smolensk disaster when
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which was admittedly horrific when a
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plane carrying all of Poland’s political
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leaders and business leaders and
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military leaders crashed and and and
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everyone was killed and there were about
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between 20 and 25 conspiracy theories
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about that crash it was pilot error
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it was pilot error but admittedly it was
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hard to believe it was pilot error so so
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law and justice Road that to power you
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know it was all about the conspiracy and
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it was the Communists and it was
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d’Arnaud communists in Poland but it was
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the car just like there were no comic
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very no communists very few communists
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in the American South but the KKK still
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acted like there were it was the
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Communists it was the Russians
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it was the Liberals who were who were
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hiding out hiding the real facts of who
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brought that plane down and you could
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tell that the newspapers were owned by
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the people who did it because they
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didn’t report on it and when I saw
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birtherism I was like oh yeah that’s
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familiar and conspiracy theories work in
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a weird way and I’ll end with us only in
deference to comet pizza conspiracy
theories function they functioned to
break down the epistemological spaces
they functioned to break down to their
their simple narratives that make sense
of of panic fear in Poland’s case
– and loss paranoia they’re not meant to
be taken at face value so Edgar Madison

Welch when he walked in so this is a
point that my colleague at UConn Michael
Lynch had made which I think is very
powerful he pointed out that when Edgar
Madison Welch walked in and and fired
three shots in that restaurant um three
or four shots I’m not exactly sure how
many uh I he was acting rationally right
if you thought that the Democratic Party
was running a child sex ring in the
basement of commet pizza by all means go
and free the child the children but he
was immediately denounced by Alex Jones
and everybody else as a spy for the
Democratic Party
so Michael Lynch makes this point to
point out conspiracy theories you’re
doing the wrong thing if you believe
them
they’re just supposed to make you you
know hate the target more they’re just
supposed to make you hate the target
more they’re not supposed to be believed
like that so what I do in my book is I
give you ten properties of fascist
politics the book is not about fascist
government I’m not saying you know you
could it’s about fascist and key and and
the difference being fascist government
fascist politics is tricky anyway
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because fascism is our power so fascism
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is a method to come to power people are
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always like well do you really believe
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that that does do do such and such
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people like President Trump do do they
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really believe you really believe he
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believes the things that other fascist
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movements uh believe uh and my response
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is it doesn’t matter because fascism
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isn’t about belief it’s about power so
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it doesn’t matter like its first hit me
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when I was reading Richard Grune burgers
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1975 work on fat banks thanks to my
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father’s library I have a rich
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collection of history sociology
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philosophy and psychology of the Nazis
30:30
so much else but uh but he says many
people think of the Nazis as morally
pure anti-semites they were devoted you
know devoted to killing Jews and
definitely
believed in it and got up and were very
neat and but actually a lot of them were
just thugs
they were just mafia gangsters and they
didn’t care about killing Jews they
cared about money they cared about
Jewish art and property but they were
doing the devoted anti-semitism thing
they didn’t care about it what they
cared about was the profits they got
from it and that’s I think what we need
to focus on when we think about fascism
it’s a tactic it’s a way to delude us to
seize power and retain power and and and
it has it like the history in our own
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country thank you right he did he
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started his campaign in the in that in
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that county for the missus what was it
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Philadelphia Mississippi right then I
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forgot the name of the County Fair um
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but but we’re good we’re good men and
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Chaney were near we’re on a journey and
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certainly we have the welfare clean
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trope that you know the racial coding
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now I think that one thing you get so
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you have these really tripling down on
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on America’s racial history on America
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ground American racism in that camp in
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those campaigns you have militarism and
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you have and you have the and you have
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the aspect and you have something that
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is last chapter of my book social
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Darwinism which is connected in certain
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ways to economic libertarianism although
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it’s inconsistent in various ways but
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the idea is I talk about Hitler’s speech
the industrialists you know fascists
talk about winners and losers makers and
takers it’s all about you know who wins
has value who loses has no value so that
whole way of going on the other hand
Reagan does not explicitly you know
fascists are harshly on to
anti-democratic you don’t
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the enemy of the state you you have you
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okay to go on the Reagan I mean look
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there’s gonna be a lot of overlaps
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between social conservatives between
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various forms of conservativism and
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fascist politics but we can’t condemn
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everybody we can’t say it’s a spectrum
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fascist politics is a spectrum and and
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our familiar conservatives are gonna be
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on that spectrum just like just like
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Bernie Sanders is gonna be on the
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spectrum to something much more extreme
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I mean he’s on the spectrum to Denmark
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but yeah there are certain things he
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says that are too bad leftist
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authoritarianism so there is this
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spectrum and and I don’t mean to and we
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have in a liberal democracy we have to
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have social conservatives we have to
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have libertarians we have to have we
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have to have progressives and socialists
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we have to have this spectrum we’re
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gonna have this spectrum but what
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happens when you get something really
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worrisome which I don’t think you quite
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had you didn’t have with Reagan is when
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you have these different things I mean
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look at Reagan on immigration for
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instance I mean he isn’t demagoguing on
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immigration
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he isn’t when you have these overlaps
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when you have you know social
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conservatives business and corporate
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elites libertarians all coming together
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and nationalists coming together and
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saying let’s have a group you know a
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constellation and we might disagree on
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certain things but let’s unify and then
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you can get fascist constellations there
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but I I think you know I think Reagan
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had elements that are there like but
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also we have to remember that lots of
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Canuck just like you know you wouldn’t
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want to say that oh very socially
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progressive policies just because they
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do that in communist countries that’s
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communist
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so I wouldn’t want to paint Reagan as
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engaging in fascist politics he’s not
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harshly anti-democratic in the way that
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you you find with just respond really
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quickly I guess my my thing was the
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militarism and really the dangerous
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militarism during his empire is yeah
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but really the building of the empire
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and like the really the strong anti on
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this strong racist tone of things is
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really right and the and though and and
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those are overlaps and and i think a dis
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analogy now is you don’t find President
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Trump actually being as Empire oriented
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I mean it’s tricky there people will say
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I think now people use fascist politics
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they used to use it in in the 30s it was
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used to mobilize people for war
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now it’s used to demobilize people so
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it’s a tech it’s a set of techniques and
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you know and it overlaps with techniques
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and and and you know and people use some
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of them you know there’s a spectrum
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there’s a spectrum and and yeah I want
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to thank you I think this is a very
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important discussion and I’m from the
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Caribbean grew up in the Netherlands and
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it’s been a quite a significant amount
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of time they’re in a different type of
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Netherlands then it has become sadly
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enough right when I was the Netherlands
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if you had told him that characters I
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mean these guys would be twenty to
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thirty percent of the population
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literally people would lock you up and
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put you in a psychiatric institution say
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thinking too much you literally are you
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kind of lost it you know this is not
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what the Netherlands about we are you
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know civilized decent people although
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you know they have a very we have a very
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horrific history of colonialism which is
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not talked about at home but the issue
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is a few questions and these questions I
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think are provoked by some of the things
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you said I think you wanted something
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quite profound when you said that what
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we are dealing with now is a demobilized
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depoliticize and the ideologized pop
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population populations not only in
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America see if this was only happening
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in the United States okay okay but I’m
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so called fringe Dutch I mean between
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brackets right I’m from the Caribbean
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but so-called French Dutch um this
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France right the last elections right
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people were panicked that marine lepen
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walks into the White House right and we
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know if she walks there what is going to
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happen she’s not made she made it very
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clear from well you know one of the big
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problems I see is that in you
potentially the Muslims become the new
Jews absolutely you know the Muslims we
come to new Jews right
but the issue it at that I want to deal
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with here is a more profound issue that
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this type of fascism is indeed to
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mobilize the demobilize in essence what
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you have a mass talks about legitimize
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the crisis of the West right and the big
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problem is when you have a legitimate
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Christ is not taking place on one level
37:43
alone right economic social political
37:45
legal right moral ethical domestic
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international on all different levels
37:50
the white West and not is facing crisis
37:53
on crisis and crisis that are feeding
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back in and creating problems another
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problem that you have in a Western I
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think this is a major problem me and I
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didn’t think you touch on it is that if
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you look at the populations here right
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populations that are so-called
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Democratic you know I mean I’m glad you
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began claiming that the democracy always
38:11
never much of anything at all it was
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much more a job to fool people and then
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in democracy the issue is that in these
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populations a long time twenty to thirty
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percent of the population remain quite
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fanatically right even look what
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happened to Communist Party in France
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right the communists moved move over to
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the fascists they didn’t tell you how
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how strong the Communist identity of
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brotherhood and sisterhood of rattle and
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stuff like that so I mean how do you see
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and the big problem of your face is that
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often these fascistic parties tend to be
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the most mobilized part of the
38:50
population right right
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why well well well the majority of the
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party although somewhat against I mean
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Hitler never got a majority he always
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got forty percent but but they are
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highly mobilized and you only need forty
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in a small
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organized minority to create have
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everyone is scared I mean everybody’s
39:07
killed so how do you see and do you see
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anywhere in the West at this point in
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time really
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they since the average trade unions are
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gone the socialist and communist party
39:17
out are we and very few intellectuals in
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academics are really really speaking out
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as a really standing up here and say
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wait a minute here guys right you people
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in the Western or not you white people
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in a western or not right now I’m saying
39:29
that’s kind of provocative because my
39:31
part you know your apps a most European
39:33
a most of the European descent but the
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issue is you
39:37
white people in to not be very careful
what you’re doing right because you are
facing a massive influx of black and
brown people here because of global
warming what do you do when you across
that when you look at the Mediterranean
50 60 million Africans are about to come
genocide you fall back the default
position of genocide let me hear what
you guys said yeah let me just say one
39:57
quick thing I’m gonna get another
39:58
question there was a great series of
points that you raise the climate change
point Timothy Snyder talks about that at
the end of black earth he warns that
that’s our big and I talked about that
in my book as well picking up on Tim’s
on Snyder’s points that you know climate
change is gonna lead to immigration
crises that you know crises immigrant to
massive immigration that we’re gonna
have to deal with but let me say
something about the point of oh you know
40:27
the majority minority point that oh soon
40:29
the countries give me a
40:30
majority-minority president Trump and
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his campaign always emphasized that you
40:36
know uh my colleague Jen Richardson the
40:39
great social psychologist she she has
40:42
done this experiment she’s on a number
40:44
of experiments on the on this she showed
40:46
she when you get she presents white
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Americans with three three questions
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three different groups of white
40:53
Americans the first she says in 2042 the
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Netherlands will become majority
40:58
minority the second group she says in
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2042 the United States will become
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majority senior citizen and the third
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group she says in 2042 the United States
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will become majority minority and then
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she asked him a series of political
41:15
questions the first two groups don’t
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change their MA they did they their
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politics doesn’t change that she gets a
41:21
test of them before what their political
41:23
leanings are the third group of white
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Americans that’s presented with the
41:27
information in the United States is
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gonna become majority minority becomes
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more becomes again more against the firm
41:33
ative action more against the air for
41:35
immigration and interestingly because
41:38
Jen Richardson is a genius she added
41:40
this they become much more in favor of
41:43
increased defense spending so so that oh
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we’re going to become majority minority
41:50
it it enables right-wing politics or a
41:55
certain kind of politics maybe not right
41:57
wing but that could you talk a little
41:59
bit more about what appears to be
42:02
increased white anxiety and white
42:05
feelings of white victimization and how
42:08
does how to talk a little bit about
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Trump’s role is he a symptom of
42:15
something that’s going to continue after
42:17
him or what happens to fascist movements
42:20
when leaders disappear ah
42:22
you know that’s that’s that’s re they
42:25
always have succession crises but I but
42:27
I’d you know we have more Trump’s so
42:30
there so but he is an expert a real
skilled expert at milking white anxiety
there was that quote that he that he and
and the psychological wages of whiteness
point like remember that thing he said I
remember I don’t remember when he said
42:46
it but you know he said something about
42:48
poor white trash and someone someone
42:49
said what is that he said like me except
poor so that connect he’s I have great
respect for his rhetorical political
abilities
we’re always it we always have this
43:01
nascent the dominant group
I mean think of the men’s rights
movement I mean is there any more
aggrieved group on earth than men when
their representation in the Senate goes
from 98 to like 83 or whatever 75 you
know you know just look at how men act
and you know and you know and that’s
what’s going on and that’s what happens
it’s all look at France the example of
France there’s a good example you know
43:30
the the aggrieved the you know we’re
43:34
losing our culture we’re losing our so
that’s a big one chapter in my book is
called victimhood and it’s all about
this it’s a whole chapter just about
this could you wouldn’t would you agree
that an important benchmark for
43:49
authoritarian is in this country might
43:52
have its roots in Eisenhower’s farewell
43:55
address in 1960 I guess in which the
44:00
leading General in the world
44:01
representing the strongest country in
44:03
the world
44:03
I spoke about this fear and then
44:06
subsequent to that you had three of our
44:09
foremost civil rights leaders slain
44:11
under dubious circumstances the official
44:13
narrative which only thirty and thirty
44:15
percent of Americans believe and then
44:17
you had this Vietnam War and there were
44:20
protests all over the country or there
44:22
were cities burning there were people
44:24
killed at Kent State and now we have
44:29
multiple Wars and nobody says a word so
44:33
what’s your take on this so I have a lot
44:35
in my book on Nixon
44:36
so I’m when I talk give talks on that
44:39
people because Nixon is a model for
44:41
Trump President Trump of course I mean
44:44
law and order politics you know Nixon
misses miss rep you know there’s a whole
protest misrepresented as riots think of
Baltimore 2015 so I talk in my book
about how Fox News described uses the
word riot use the word riot seven out of
every 1000 words
in describing Baltimore what happened in
Baltimore and protests only two words
out of 1000 CNN used them roughly
equally around three and a half words
per 1000 riot and protest and MSNBC used
riot two words out of 1,000 and protests
almost four words out of 1000 to
describe Baltimore to this radical
partisan difference in descriptions of
political protests the sixties you
really saw that you know so much so that
someone of my age I’ve been 36 for 12
years ah is I can’t even say Detroit
protests cuz it doesn’t come out of my
mouth because I was raised in schools
that just taught me Detroit riots you
know but then you you have Kathryn
Bigelow’s movie then you realize an
actual history they were protests and
you know you just focused on like one
you know a few people doing bad things
and you paint them a certain way so the
sixties Nixon’s campaign you know again
my books not about fascist government is
about fascist politics I think you see
with Nixon a lot of use of fascist
politics and I’m sure you couldn’t go
back because as I’ve been saying this is
us it’s not them do
you think the history of the the take on
Lyndon Johnson Lyndon Johnson might get
a more critical view because he kind of
laid the groundwork for Nixon and and
his involvement in the war his refusal
46:29
to get out of it the pressures that kept
46:32
in a minute so so in in in in a week in
46:35
October 12th at Harvard bookstore I’ll
46:37
be in discussion with Elizabeth Hinton
46:38
who’s who has written the greatest book
46:41
about the domestic policies of job
46:44
Johnson and and Nixon from the war on
46:48
poverty the war on crime the making a
46:50
mass incarceration in America and that’s
46:52
about the domestic policies so it’s a
46:54
different point you’re asking about the
46:55
foreign policy but I think on domestic
46:57
policy you know there are some issues
47:00
with Johnson that lead to Nixon as well
47:04
I mean John a lot of Johnson’s projects
47:07
in the in in cities were with minority
47:13
populations we’re sort of like here’s
47:15
how to learn to pull off here’s how to
47:17
act like someone with a job or something
47:19
like that rather than providing people
47:21
jobs you know which is like you know
47:24
trumpet was smart and you know could you
47:26
imagine Trump going to like rural
47:27
Michigan and being like I’m going to
47:29
teach you how to act like bankers no he
47:32
wasn’t doing that
47:34
so so right so so I Nixon I talk and so
47:38
those are interesting questions in the
47:39
Hinton book I think talks about the
47:42
hints of Nixon and Johnson while giving
47:45
him credit for certain things so first I
47:49
just want to say thank you for coming to
47:50
talk tonight who’s really interesting
47:52
and so my question is or first I’ll just
47:56
say on you mentioned that a key tactic
47:59
of fascists is to caricature the
48:01
center-left has been communists but I
48:05
feel like it seemed to me that you made
48:08
that same mistake when you talked about
48:10
how when you talked about opposition to
48:14
unions because that seems like a pretty
48:17
mainstream right dumb view to be opposed
48:20
to unions right I didn’t mean to I I
48:22
don’t mean to say that each so there’s
48:25
ten different aspects to fascism each
48:27
one of those aspects is going to be
48:29
familiar
48:30
from ordinary conservative father’s okay
48:31
it’s the combination but it just didn’t
48:35
occur to me that opposition to labor
48:37
unions is a uniform feature of all
48:40
fascism I learned that in doing the
48:42
research for my book so no you can have
48:45
good sound economic reasons you know
48:47
there are good for each of these things
48:49
you know for each of these properties
48:51
for you can be I mean some of the
48:55
hierarchy some of the chapters about
48:57
racial hierarchies okay that’s pretty
48:59
fascist but but you know as I say in my
49:02
book economic libertarianism overlaps
with fascism on social Darwinism like
winners have value losers don’t but
they’re different in other ways like
consistent libertarian will never
generalize to groups and say you know
white people have more value than
non-whites because they work harder and
win more you know so so there are these
overlaps and you know I just think it so
screams out from you from the literature
it’s just universal that’s you know you
go to Portugal and you go to their
49:33
Museum and Lisbon and they talk about
49:35
the attack and labor unions and you know
49:38
it’s so universal and you has to be
49:40
mentioned but of course you can
49:42
criticize labor unions and not be a
49:43
factor yeah thank you and for each of
49:45
these thank you we are your parents uh
49:50
well my stepmother is here and she
49:55
helped a lot with the book she gave me
49:59
she gave me and my brother-in-law’s is
50:01
there where you are profound and you are
50:04
brilliant and I think your parents your
50:07
family should and friend should be very
50:08
very proud of you
50:10
now I’m well read on reconstruction but
50:14
the issue that you spoke about with
50:16
respect to anti unions and wealthy
50:21
whites in the north coming down that I
50:25
have not read about and do not know
50:27
about I knew you know certainly with
50:29
Rutherford putting the nail in the
50:30
casket and you know wanting to a peace
50:34
to south and pulling the troops all
50:35
right so that he could win the election
50:37
I want you to talk a little bit more
50:39
about the north in
50:42
you know coming against the the labor
50:45
unions and I wanted to get your take on
50:49
what happened in Charleston with the
50:52
massacre at you know mother Emanuel
50:57
Church as well as what happened in
50:59
Charlottesville
51:00
because after listening to you you do
51:03
see a theme and when you know Trump come
51:06
you could say the most horrible thing
51:08
about McCain
51:09
I prefer winners in people who don’t get
51:12
duh you know yeah so so I’ve been
51:19
spending more time lately for my sins
51:22
with former members of Nazi parties and
51:26
I mean I was a so a friend of mine is
51:29
Tony Mack Lear the director of like
51:31
executive director of life after hate he
51:33
spent 20 or so years as a Nazi and
remarkable man and he’s very clear that
the law I mean I think we all know this
from David Duke the long-term goal of
the American Nazi Party was to to be
respectable and for that they had to
have people who were not respectable
so Tony Mack Lear said at one talk I won
symposium we’re out together he said the
first time I was on Montel Williams I
was a skinhead with combat boots and
tattoos the second time I wore a suit
and he explains that you need the
killers the radicals out there to say
that’s not us you’re seeing this all
over you’re up now you know the Austrian
Kurt Sebastian Kurtz all what happens is
that the right wing parties are like
we’re not not white supremacists the
white supremacists are the ones actually
killing people the ones marching on the
streets were respectable we’re in
government were in and but they need
each other so the in order for the for
the people in power who are pushing
white supremacy to plausibly deny that
they’re white supremacists they need
Charlotte’s VLEs because they need to
say no no those are
supremacists and Tony McLaren explain
that this is long been the strategy I
know of of the American Nazi Party and
it’s and and David black the former the
the son of the storm front founder is
also very clear about this he’s like he
says what we hear from our leadership is
the kind of things that we always he
said our target audience was always the
person who said I’m not a racist but dot
dot dot so you need you need the
charlottesville and the horror of
Charleston which is unspeakable horror
of Charleston because those provide
plausible deniability to white supremacy
and power and and we know those of us
who study history and and who are a
woman of color as I am and a descendent
of people who were enslaved both or
53:50
maternal returns so we always knew in
53:52
the communities and certainly in the
53:53
South when people when the KKK took off
53:56
those hoods they were your local doctor
53:58
you’ll put your Sheriff your policemen
54:01
your store owners you know not all of
54:04
them but these were the respectable
54:07
people and it was the hood that allowed
54:10
them to to you know to really crucify
54:14
and you know and hang people and uh so
54:17
we I mean the wisdom of the black
54:19
American tradition guides me in my book
54:21
I mean I to be wells oh absolutely
54:25
that’s Du Bois obviously I probably owe
54:30
boys today but it’s he earned yes so so
54:38
because that those it’s that literature
54:43
that you get the insight into the form
54:46
fascism takes here and so someone from
54:49
like me who’s from Europe the certain
54:52
sort of particular masks fascism wears
54:57
here that’s something you really need
54:59
the black American literature to
55:01
understand but thank you for your work
55:03
and thank your parents
55:07
and my brother finds out it earlier this
55:16
year I read another book by a
55:17
psychologist named Steven Pinker called
55:20
enlightenment now staring me in the face
55:22
right over there and in the book he
55:26
argues that the world is getting better
55:30
and better and this is the best time to
55:33
be alive the best time to be born and he
55:36
extolled the virtues of of the future
55:38
and so I want to you know ask you what
55:43
what you feel about that how what’s your
55:45
response to that and are you optimistic
55:48
about the future I mean you’re talking
55:49
about possible fascism in this country
55:52
so let me quote my my father’s book the
55:54
technological conscience where he says
55:58
pessimism is very much the humanistic
56:01
view he says I am a pessimist pessimism
56:04
is very much the humanistic view so so
56:09
that’s just to say that I think that I
56:12
think Pinker I mean we could go on about
56:14
Pinker I’m not going to I think that
56:16
when you count you know says err already
56:19
does a takedown of Pinker a long time in
56:23
in famiiy this is that what’s this is
56:29
our book I’m just blanking
56:31
well discourse on Colonials do you thank
56:34
you so uh so and discourse and
56:36
colonialism where he’s like you know you
56:37
count you tell us about the diseases
56:41
you’ve cured you tell us about the you
56:44
know the new food that we access from
56:46
Europe and yet what about the religion
56:49
you destroyed what about you know the
56:51
traditions you eliminated what about the
56:54
ways of life you laid waste to can you
56:57
count those you know so Pinker it’s just
57:01
like no it only matters if you can count
57:02
it dignity doesn’t count you can’t count
57:04
dignity so you’ll also find me
57:07
criticizing Pinker in recent years
57:09
Pinker is very as a Pinker has not all
57:12
to write himself but Pinker does have a
57:15
lot of all right fans if you look at
57:17
Pinker’s views about the IQ debate their
57:19
problem i mean
57:20
as you’ll find some stuff on Pinker
57:22
there um you know this idea of we have
57:26
to face you know we have to face the
57:28
facts of difference nature I mean I
57:31
think he’s right that you know I’m not
57:33
for banning discussions but the
57:35
fascination that he has with the IQ
57:37
debate is something that I think is kind
57:39
of worrisome so and I’m worried about
57:42
the sort of technocratic way of
57:44
measuring human value that said in any
57:47
country that had the civil rights
57:49
movement and I mean if I did had to do
57:52
the civil rights movement I definitely
57:53
would have done it in Vermont but they
57:55
chose like Alabama and Mississippi so
57:57
given that I feel quite safe in the
58:00
United States ultimately I feel
58:02
optimistic because this is a country
58:04
that did that so the labor movement you
58:09
know Jane Addams I just wanted to make
58:14
two brief comments one about giving
58:18
value to things and if we really just
58:21
take a quick scan of history going back
58:25
to as far as we can go back it seems
58:28
like human life does not have a lot of
58:30
value it in just that’s just a general
58:36
comment and if we look at capitalism and
58:42
the globalization of everything and all
58:46
these wars and like you said there’s two
58:49
wars going on Noma and I’ve said this to
58:51
myself why is no one talking about our
58:54
troops that we still have in Afghanistan
58:56
and Iraq and in these places then
58:59
they’re still getting blown to pieces
59:00
and I know because my first job out of
59:04
college I worked at the VA hospital in
59:06
the 70s when the guys were first coming
59:08
back from Vietnam so that’s just what I
59:13
want to say about the value of human
59:15
life now on a lighter side I would like
59:19
to say which you which you said about
59:23
Dubois and then you said about the new
59:27
push for Black Studies in colleges and
59:31
that it was going to replace Shakespeare
59:34
yeah yeah I know it’s just it’s just a
59:37
joke but I just wanted to play on that
59:40
because it from my experience and having
59:45
done like studies and everything else
59:50
there’s a lot of credit and study given
59:55
to Shakespeare people who write Ln Locke
59:59
Dubois a little bit too much yeah and
60:03
also I wanted to say that most of our
60:07
most appreciated african-american actors
60:12
studied Shakespeare to the hilt
60:16
you know the most excellent Shakespeare
60:21
no I mean I mean that God is ultimately
60:23
you know I mean the great Jeffrey
60:25
Stewart Alain Locke biography talks
60:28
about I mean Locke won the sort of
60:30
literary prize at Harvard for for
60:32
something on its hat on Irish Irish
60:35
poetry and he gave a talk in a black
60:37
church in Cambridge saying look the
60:40
Irish created the greatest were were
60:42
colonized and oppressed and their
60:44
revenge was to create the greatest
60:46
English language literature and poetry
60:48
and he’s obviously encouraging taking
60:51
that as a speaking Paul Dunlop I think
60:54
it was also electrode and Dunlop right
60:56
absolutely so right and of course Dubois
60:59
sort of takes that to extreme the
61:00
extreme with the talented tenth so I I
61:03
don’t mean to by the way Pinker is a
61:05
liberal Pinker and I have family
61:07
disputes ultimately he’s a technocratic
61:09
liberal of a certain kind I have family
61:11
disputes with him but he’s obviously
61:14
gent in some general sense on my side
61:18
what he’s all right he’s all tracked
61:23
know the alt are certain aspects of
61:25
Pinker that the alt-right pick up on
61:29
that you know the the stuff which is a
61:32
danger of the messaging so I’m not he’s
61:35
definitely not all right he’s it’s that
61:37
you got to be careful I mean one should
61:41
be sensitive to the messages that like
61:45
Pinker said recently
61:47
I think it was in Davos and a panel
61:50
where he said you know the alt-right are
61:52
really bright tech-savvy people who come
61:55
to college and realize there are certain
61:57
topics that you’re not allowed to talk
61:59
about and then they feel shocked and
62:02
then they become all trite that’s the
62:05
kind of I think that was an
62:06
irresponsible comment of course he’s on
62:08
my side but I just think that’s an
62:10
irresponsible comment of course that’s a
62:11
comment that makes some people you know
62:14
that he does not agree with it puts them
62:17
in so that’s that’s that’s that’s all
62:20
I’m saying ultimately we can’t have
62:22
these family disputes between different
62:24
stripes of liberals and so I don’t want
62:27
to do that though I do want to say I
62:29
don’t think that’s why people become
62:30
alright we are unfortunately out of time
62:36
for questions although if you want to
62:38
make a brief question make it really
62:40
quick them we can fit it in the question
62:46
is for you to elaborate maybe we don’t
62:48
have time for any more elaboration on
62:51
anti-intellectualism which was one of
62:53
the 10 I guess that you have and you
62:55
didn’t really say much about it and it’s
62:57
a case that I see certain parallels with
63:00
the sort of the were the Left
63:05
philosophies of I don’t know class
63:08
warfare and I mean I think it seems like
63:11
now was an anti-intellectual yeah many
63:14
respects yeah I mean I think I think
63:17
that I what you get in fascist ideology
63:23
is is like the straightforward fascist
63:28
ideology is about appealing to emotion
63:34
not that there’s some emotions can be
63:37
perfectly rational as Martha respond
63:38
others as many philosophers would tell
63:40
you but the idea is to cut off reasoning
63:44
by you know fear panic and and and just
63:47
and then just replace and show you and
63:50
then present yourself as like the
63:51
solution you got this very explicitly
63:54
discussing you know in in meine Kampf
63:56
Hitler talks about you know propaganda
63:58
should appeal to you know the least
64:00
educated
64:01
so you know the idea that it’s the least
64:03
educated your who’s your who your
64:06
audience or no talk you know essentially
64:08
that’s what you want to appeal to Bannen
64:10
said you know we want unlock her up
64:13
build a wall you know we won on that but
64:16
there’s a kind what why I talk about me
64:19
anti-intellectual chapter is this all
64:22
across the world right now we’re seeing
64:24
in these condo countries I discuss
64:26
attacks on universities for being
64:28
bastions of liberalism feminism European
64:33
University of st. Petersburg was closed
64:35
down because of gender studies Central
64:38
European University was was attacked
64:42
because they’re spreading liberalism so
64:45
this kind of thing when you find
64:46
universities harshly targeted as
64:48
bastions of leftism and you know now of
64:52
course sometimes they are not Yale but
64:55
the the yell is a great place it’s not
64:59
that but you know when you find this
65:03
hysteria about this area about communism
65:05
being being directed at universities and
65:10
the media you know and fanned now it
65:13
takes the form of Gender Studies panic
65:15
about Gender Studies because that’s just
65:18
like Masha Gessen is clear about that in
65:20
her 2017 book that Gender Studies just
65:24
seems to be and and you know Pat McCrory
65:26
in North Carolina did that he said we’re
65:29
not gonna have this tax governor in
65:30
North Carolina said they were not gonna
65:31
be taxpayers paying for gender studies
65:34
or Swahili so so the idea is is you know
65:41
so you target universities in your
65:43
politics now all authoritarians target
as you say target universities in our
politics because universities are places
where young people protest against older
people and so that’s gonna be something
65:56
that that as I get older I recognize the
65:59
wisdom of seeing that as a problem but
66:03
yeah thank you
66:05
[Applause]
66:20
you

Populism and the Future of White Majorities

The Agenda welcomes Eric Kaufmann, an immigration expert, politics professor at London’s Birkbeck College, and author of the controversial new book, “Whiteshift,” which explores how demographical change has given rise to populism. In an age marked by cultural wars and ethnic divisions, Kaufmann says, “We need to talk about white identity.” He writes that societies need to shift their thinking and analyze how Western populations – immigrants, non-whites, whites and mixed populations – can co-exist.

Michael Ignatieff: Liberalism in Search of a New Self

Steve Paikin speaks with Michael Ignatieff, rector and president of the Central European University and former leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, about his university’s ongoing battle with the Hungarian state, populist unrest in Europe, and his impressions of Canada’s recent election.

00:00
almost a decade ago Michael Ignatieff
00:02
fought a tough election as leader of the
00:04
Liberal Party of Canada although he
00:06
didn’t win the day then it turns out it
00:08
may have been a meaningful precursor to
00:10
the fight he’s been facing of late
00:12
having returned to academic life as the
00:14
rector and president of the Central
00:16
European University in Budapest he’s
00:19
been making the case for small L liberal
00:21
values in the university’s ongoing
00:23
battle with the Hungarian government so
00:25
joining us now to reflect on that and
00:28
the wider context of populist unrest in
00:30
Europe here’s the former MP for
00:32
Etobicoke lakeshore there’s Michael
00:34
Ignatieff welcome back nice to be here
00:36
and whenever I say welcome back to you I
00:37
always have to start by reminding
00:39
everybody you used to do a show here at
00:40
TV in this studio I don’t know how many
00:43
years ago but it was a lot absolutely I
00:45
can’t believe I’m still standing well
00:48
you’re sitting at the moment but anyway
00:49
the last time we spoke your University
00:53
was in Budapest Hungary yes where is it
00:55
now well we’re never gonna leave
00:58
Budapest we we stood up for academic
01:01
freedom and we defied this regime so
01:04
we’ll always maintain a presence in
01:06
Budapest but they’ve rendered it illegal
01:08
for us to offer our us masters and
01:11
doctorates in Budapest so we’re doing
01:13
them in Vienna so we have we’ve
01:15
recreated the austro-hungarian Empire we
01:17
have a campus in Budapest and a new
01:20
campus in Vienna but it’s a kind of
01:22
scandal Steve that in the 21st century a
01:25
member of the European Union an ally of
01:28
Canada a member of NATO could get away
01:31
with throwing a university out of its
01:33
country because it doesn’t like the
01:34
politics and it doesn’t like we’re
01:36
frankly a liberal institution in the
01:38
small-l sense of it that we believe in
01:41
academic freedom liberal democracy and
01:43
those values and that’s the beef he has
01:46
with us and so he’s pushed us to move
01:49
next door he is Viktor Orban the prime
01:51
minister he is Viktor Orban I never met
01:53
him no I’ve never had the I’ve never had
01:56
the pleasure and then that’s significant
01:59
in a normal country the university
02:02
president might talk to a prime minister
02:04
from time to time we’ve sought
02:05
continuously to have some contact with
02:08
him but it’s just not possible he
02:10
determined that he could win an election
02:12
in 2018
02:13
by making George Soros who founded our
02:16
University his chief number-one enemy so
02:20
if George Soros was the number-one M
02:22
enemy then the University he founded our
02:25
university would be you know the number
02:27
one enemy and that’s what it’s about
02:28
it’s a political battle in which an
02:31
illiberal single-party state has lined
02:36
up against academic freedom and
02:38
institutional autonomy and so we’ve had
02:40
to fight back and and it’s been a it’s
02:44
been kind of brutal battle the the the
02:49
official media never stops coming after
02:51
us it’s a very unfamiliar position for a
02:54
university to be in because most of the
02:56
time people don’t even notice
02:57
universities are there and suddenly
02:59
you’re constantly under attack but we
03:02
fought back and I feel proud of the team
03:05
that has fought with me because we’re
03:08
fighting for something important there’s
03:10
a connection between democracy and free
03:14
institutions we forget how important to
03:17
democracy is the idea of free
03:19
self-governing institutions like
03:21
universities and when you attack a
03:24
university you are eventually attacking
03:27
democratic freedom he calls it George
03:29
Soros University why did you do that do
03:31
you think well because he wants to brand
03:33
us with kind of an association with you
03:37
know let’s remember who George Soros is
03:39
he’s a Hungarian Holocaust survivor made
03:43
a huge amount of money on the
03:45
international markets has now given away
03:47
billions to promote difficult unpopular
03:51
causes like human rights and founded
03:55
this university why to help the
03:58
countries of Eastern Europe move from
04:00
communism to democracy but there must be
04:03
there must be something about evoking
04:06
the Soros name in Hungary that he feels
04:08
resonates with his base what do you
04:10
think that is well then we get into
04:12
complicated territory
04:13
George is Jewish some of the rhetoric
04:17
not some of it a lot of the rhetoric has
04:20
been anti-semitic while denying that
04:23
it’s anti-semitic so there’s a lot of
04:25
stuff about the
04:26
Paulette rootless speculator who ruins
04:29
the lives of ordinary people has no
04:32
national attachments no national roots
04:36
no national commitments where have we
04:38
heard that language before and they
04:40
surface that language and it calls up
04:43
the devil from the deep as it were and
04:45
then when you say but this is
04:47
anti-semitic language they say how dare
04:49
you right so it’s the anti-semitism of
04:52
the 21st century and it’s very alarming
04:54
to be to see it happen you think you
05:00
know let’s remember in 1944 500,000
05:03
Hungarian citizens were exterminated in
05:05
the space about 8 weeks so you really
05:08
don’t want to go back to this this is
05:10
just poison all the way down and when
05:12
they play with it I feel I feel that
05:14
they’re there they’re there they’re
05:16
playing with fire and it gets me steamed
05:19
up to see it happen when we thought you
05:22
know never again to the best of my
05:24
knowledge
05:24
orbán studied liberal arts in Great
05:28
Britain during his younger days what do
05:30
you think’s happened to him well his
05:33
story is a parable of what’s happened to
05:36
the transition from communism to
05:38
democracy in in Europe he did have a
05:41
scholarship paid for by George Soros he
05:44
went to Oxford he was a heroic figure in
05:47
1989 because he was the first young
05:50
student leader to call for the retreat
05:52
or removal of Soviet troops in Hungary
05:55
then I think he understood I think he
05:59
felt dissed by the Budapest liberals
06:01
he’s a country very smart able country
06:04
boy he felt I’m a rural guy these urban
06:07
sophisticates you know and and then I
06:09
think he saw just how conservative the
06:13
base of Hungarian society is just how
06:17
fearful they were of being integrated
06:20
into a global capitalist economy just
06:24
how fearful they were about the future
06:25
of their language their national
06:27
identity there’s some of their religious
06:29
identity and now that’s bad too you know
06:32
to want to preserve that but he went
06:34
right into that grab that nationalist
06:37
conservative
06:39
strand in Central and Eastern Europe but
06:41
it’s a strand in every society and he’s
06:44
built a political career on it very
06:46
effectively I mean this this is a master
06:48
politician I he Hungary’s a small
06:51
country but the whole world talks about
06:53
him because he’s tried to do something
06:54
that you know he’s a model for a lot of
06:58
people air21 in Turkey mr. Netanyahu in
07:01
Israel
07:02
mr. Kachinsky in Poland and even mr.
07:05
Putin they respect mr. Orban because
07:09
he’s creating a new form of single-party
07:11
rule for the 21st century and it’s it’s
07:14
is justified by democracy I mean mr.
07:17
Rubin wins elections and then he uses
07:19
elections against democracy by eroding
07:22
civil liberties by eroding the
07:24
independence of the courts by you know
07:26
and then coming after the universities
07:28
so he set a new path in the liberal path
07:31
which is pretty significant pretty
07:33
important that’s why I think Canadians
07:35
and Ontarians listening to this ought to
07:37
pay attention to what’s happening in in
07:39
in in Hungary I’m not saying it’s coming
07:43
to a neighborhood near you but I’m
07:44
saying it is concerning to see a great
07:49
democratic society go towards a
07:51
single-party state in this way it should
07:53
concern us all I want to share with you
07:56
and our viewers and listeners on
07:58
podcasts two sets of numbers here which
08:01
compare popular opinions in Hungary and
08:03
in Poland and then I’ll get your take on
08:05
this so according to Pew Research this
08:08
is what Hungarians say are the very
08:10
important liberal democratic values for
08:12
their country
08:13
apparently 95 percent support a fair
08:16
judiciary eighty-five percent support
08:18
gender equality eighty seven percent
08:20
support free speech 76 percent support
08:23
of free media eighty seven percent
08:25
support regular elections 68 percent
08:28
support free opposition party so some
08:30
pretty high numbers and here it is in
08:32
Poland and these numbers are all lower
08:34
only 72 percent supporting a fair
08:36
judiciary only 69 percent supporting
08:38
gender equality 61 percent supporting
08:41
free speech 64 percent supporting a free
08:44
media 63 percent supporting regular
08:46
elections less than half the people
08:48
supporting free opposition parties the
08:51
agendas got some great numbers there
08:53
it gives me a lot to think about and I
08:54
don’t have an instant answer for the
08:56
comparison between Hungary and Poland
08:59
but I think it shows something hopeful
09:02
in my view which is that people vote for
09:05
Orban because they don’t have actually a
09:08
better alternative it’s important to
09:10
remember that the opposition which you
09:13
know picks up those numbers has never
09:16
been able to consolidate around a single
09:19
candidate that people can support so
09:21
Orban has benefited massively from a
09:23
divided opposition but those numbers are
09:26
telling you that Hungarians want to be
09:29
consistent with European values and
09:32
human rights standards and if those
09:34
numbers tell you that if a candidate got
09:37
together and said folks I want to make
09:40
those those numbers mean something I
09:43
want free courts I want free media I
09:45
want real political pluralism I think
09:47
those numbers are telling it that
09:49
opposition figure could win an election
09:51
now when when that will happen I don’t
09:53
know but it indicates a an important
09:56
thing about liberalism is that it is a
10:00
mistake to think that Orban reflects the
10:04
country orbán shapes the country from
10:07
the top-down but this is a country that
10:10
wants to be a modern Western European
10:13
democratic society what it doesn’t have
10:16
is an opposition that can express that
10:18
but here’s the the proof of what I’m
10:21
saying is that about a month ago the
10:24
city of Budapest elected an opposition
10:28
mayor a moderate pragmatic liberal green
10:32
candidate who swept the board swept out
10:35
the fit as the the government mayor and
10:39
that’s a sign of what those numbers are
10:41
saying to you
10:42
they won’t change so I I don’t feel
10:45
Orban as the end of the story and I
10:47
don’t think a liberal ISM is going to
10:50
triumph over liberal democracy I think
10:54
those numbers are telling us an
10:55
important story not just in Hungary but
10:58
also in Poland though I can’t explain
11:00
the difference between the two numbers
11:01
let me now read an excerpt for you this
11:04
is by Yvonne Kruschev and Stephen Holmes
11:07
an excerpt from their new book and here
11:08
we go Central European elites saw
11:11
imitation of the West as a well-traveled
11:13
pathway to normality encouraged by hopes
11:16
of joining the EU the reformers
11:18
underestimated the local impediments to
11:20
liberalisation and democratization and
11:22
overestimated the feasibility of
11:24
importing fully worked-out Western
11:26
models the wave of anti liberalism
11:28
sweeping over Central Europe today
11:30
reflects widespread popular resentment
11:33
at the perceived slights to national and
11:35
personal dignity that this palpably
11:38
sincere reformed by imitation project
11:40
entailed what’s your view on the
11:42
suggestion that well I think the
11:44
suggestion is that Eastern European
11:46
countries are really not quite ready to
11:47
recreate Western cultures in their midst
11:50
well that’s a very good book by Yvonne
11:53
Kraus 7 Stephen Holmes these are people
11:55
I know and respect and they really know
11:57
the ground they’re making a key point I
11:59
think which I think Canadians would
12:01
resonate with which is that nobody likes
12:03
to be told the only way you can go is to
12:06
copy someone else Canadians don’t want
12:09
to copy Americans we like living beside
12:11
them but there are a lot of things we do
12:12
not want to copy Eastern Europeans do
12:15
not want to copy you know Germany and
12:18
France they don’t want to be Germans
12:20
they want to be Hungarians Czechs and
12:22
poles that’s what that story is telling
12:24
you emulation copying being told that’s
12:28
the only objective you can have creates
12:31
resentment because people wanted to fin
12:33
they want to defend what they have they
12:35
want to defend being Hungarians urban
12:37
has been a genius at capturing that
12:40
resentful feeling that they don’t want
12:42
to just become Germans or French people
12:45
they want to stay on Geary and and so
12:47
you know nationalism patriotic pride is
12:51
just the building block of all politics
12:54
everywhere and liberals forget that at
12:56
their peril and if you have a if you
12:58
have a political story that says we want
13:01
to be transnational we want to be
13:03
cosmopolitan we want to have you know a
13:04
borderless world at a certain point
13:07
there’s gonna be a push back and we see
13:09
the push back in Europe but we all would
13:11
see we would also see it in Canada
13:13
Canadians want be Canadians we’ve had a
13:16
hundred and fifty plus year experiment
13:18
in being
13:19
different doing our own saying and I I
13:21
just think that’s bedrock to all
13:24
politics everywhere whether you’re a
13:25
conservative whether you’re a liberal
13:27
whether you’re a new Democrat who ever
13:29
you’re if you don’t have a story about
13:30
why you love your country and want to
13:32
defend it and keep it distinctive in
13:34
itself you’re not going to win an
13:36
election
13:36
have we been too arrogant in the West
13:38
suggesting you got to be more like us if
13:40
you want to be ready for primetime I
13:42
think I think the straight answer is yes
13:45
sometimes arrogant it’s been appropriate
13:48
for us because I teach human rights for
13:50
us to say look every democracy is going
13:53
to be different but we think democracy
13:54
is a better system than a totalitarian
13:58
or authoritarian one we should have said
14:02
a little more you know there are
14:03
different strokes for different folks
14:04
democracy doesn’t come in one color
14:07
one-size-fits-all Canadian democracy is
14:10
completely different from American
14:12
democracy to the south
14:14
Hungarian democracy will will have its
14:17
own national characteristics where we
14:19
were right to say is look there’s some
14:21
things you should never do to anybody
14:22
and that’s what we’re saying with human
14:24
rights you know don’t torture don’t
14:26
imprison without trial don’t you know
14:28
treat people with the basic elements of
14:30
justice there are some universals but i
14:32
think it was right for us to say we
14:34
stood for but i think we paid much too
14:37
little respect to the national histories
14:40
the specificities of countries their
14:42
pride their desired not to emulate other
14:45
people but to be themselves i think i
14:47
think that’s the story we did get wrong
14:49
in the nineties blood and belongings
14:51
still matters oh yeah if I can steal a
14:52
chat app so tightly from a book
14:54
absolutely I mean that that was I think
14:58
that’s the thing I learned actually from
15:00
Quebec nationalism weirdly I mean I we
15:03
we had this dingdong battle about the
15:06
future of our country in the 80s and the
15:07
90s when I was a student growing up and
15:09
it taught me to respect nationalism it
15:12
taught me to respect the stubbornness of
15:14
it and I think the trick Canada’s tried
15:16
to manage is we can share the same house
15:19
you know and easy let me sort of lay out
15:23
this sort of well-worn political path
15:24
and have you tell us what we’re supposed
15:26
to make of it
15:26
progressives want progress for a
15:29
significant number of people progress
15:31
represents
15:32
a threat to their sense of what is
15:34
normal clashes ensue populist s– gain
15:38
attention they win elections what do you
15:41
do with that kind of conundrum yeah I’ve
15:46
lived this you know you go to towns in
15:49
southwestern Ontario where the steel
15:51
mill is just closed or where you know
15:53
they’ve relocated something across the
15:55
border or they ship the jobs out
15:56
altogether
15:57
and that’s progress in the sense that
15:59
it’s capitalist progress it helps the
16:02
stock price and it’s a killer for the
16:04
for the working people and a lot of
16:07
those folks didn’t finish high school
16:09
and they’re in their 50s and you think
16:11
I’ve never felt so bad being in public
16:14
offices I was facing those folks because
16:16
I’d you did the blah blah blah but you
16:18
know it was kind of empty and they were
16:19
too smart not to know it was a bit empty
16:21
you know job retraining and got to have
16:24
hope you got to have faith and you know
16:26
they just looked crumpled bye-bye bye
16:28
Automation job relocation progress and
and I think liberalism liberal
gradualism of the kind I passionately
believe in often meets its limit at that
moment when when progress and change
really hurts livelihood another place
where I think progress is running up
against a real limit is the green agenda

because I think you know progress
absolutely requires us getting our co2
down and it’s a national project that
we’ve got to get right but it’s it’s
dividing the country west-east it’s
dividing smokestack people working in
smokestack industries and fuel intensive
industries from those in the tomorrow
industries and we just haven’t we we’ve
got the wrong idea about green politics
which is we’re all supposed to agree
this is the great civilizational
challenge and it’s kind of above
politics

green politics is politics all the way
down because it’s so divisive
and I
think liberalism has been slow to
adopted green agenda and it’s been slow
17:37
to understand then how do we get these
17:39
share conflicts adjudicated I mean the
17:42
West wants that pipeline built to
17:44
Tidewater Eastern Canada
17:46
says hell no i we that’s the only way we
17:48
can make our targets if we keep the
17:50
stuff in the ground Alberta is
17:52
absolutely incandescent with anger at
17:55
the threat and and the fatal mistake
17:58
would be to turn this into a kind of
18:00
tribal religious conflict to say you
18:03
know oh the Albertans don’t care about a
18:05
green agenda you know to divide us that
18:09
way a liberal politics that says look
18:11
we’ve got a common objective which is to
18:13
save the planet how do we make these
18:15
tough choices together you talk you talk
18:18
you talk everybody puts water in their
18:20
wine and we you know this is a real test
18:23
for what I love which is liberal
18:24
gradualism you know step by step patient
18:27
adjudication of interest which is how
this country holds together but boy the
green stuff is really the biggest
challenge we’ve got in Canada in the
21st century I really mean it the green
agenda is the most divisive issue in
Canadian politics and it will be for a
long time
also because the aboriginal
factor if your side doesn’t figure out
its side of the argument and there are
18:49
more people like XI and Trump and Boris
18:52
Johnson and air Dhawan and Modi and and
18:54
then you mentioned those Eastern
18:56
Europeans Kachinsky and/or bun then they
18:58
come along they’re gonna win so your
19:03
side of the arguments kind of got its
19:04
get its act together pretty soon don’t
19:06
you think well I think we need to be we
19:10
need to be go on the offensive we need
19:14
to say and it’s an unpopular thought
19:16
because it sounds kind of complacent but
I don’t think it is that liberal
gradualism is the only thing that’s
going to get the green agenda done
if
you think about how far we’ve come since
1970 when I was a student there was
19:32
barely any ecological or environmental
19:34
consciousness at all there was very
19:37
little understanding of what the climate
19:38
science was meaning in 50 years there’s
19:41
been an absolute change every single
19:44
thinking person in the world now we’ve
19:47
got to make the choices but the the
19:49
increase in our consciousness has been
19:51
enormous the public policy is getting
19:55
sharper and sharper here’s an here’s a
19:58
significant fact
19:59
if you look at the places in the world
20:02
where emissions co2 emissions have
20:06
platformed out that is we’re still
20:09
putting too much out there but there is
20:11
no growth in co2 emissions they are all
20:13
in liberal democratic societies which
20:17
tells you that a liberal democratic
20:20
society is actually very it’s built for
20:22
adjudicating share conflict it’s built
20:25
for getting people to recycle it’s built
20:28
for getting a price on carbon it’s get
20:31
it’s built for getting the cost
20:33
renewables down and those societies
20:36
democratic societies are doing actually
20:38
a better job of that than authoritarian
20:41
China than authoritarian Russia and we
20:44
need to hold on to confidence that it’s
20:46
actually through democracy that we get
20:49
an adjudication of these political
20:51
conflicts over green issues its renewed
20:55
my faith in democracy not made me more
20:57
pessimistic about democracy we either do
21:01
the green agenda democratically we’re
21:03
not going to do it at all I can’t have
21:05
the former leader of the federal Liberal
21:07
Party in that chair and as I hinted at
21:09
earlier and not ask him questions about
21:11
Canadian politics you knew this was
21:13
coming how carefully did you follow the
21:15
last just-completed federal election in
21:17
this country well I get it on my news
21:20
feed every morning and my wife and I sit
21:23
in bed and feel basic relief that we’re
21:26
not in the bear pit are still did you
21:29
take any particular lessons away from
21:31
the results of that election well I
21:35
think a minority government it was a
21:38
kind of a bit of a slap in the face to
21:41
my party in a way and I think there’s a
21:43
kind of sense of relief that it wasn’t
21:45
worse that the minority is quite strong
21:47
mr. the Prime Minister campaigned hard
21:49
he’s an unbelievable campaigner and I
21:51
think they kind of pulled it out but I
21:53
think it’s been sobering and I think
21:55
that’s probably good for a Liberal Party
21:57
I think it will force much more cross
21:59
party collaboration I think that’s good
22:02
I think you can see a minority
22:04
government lasting for a while how
22:06
long’s a while well they usually last 18
22:09
to 24 months I could see this going
22:11
three possibly four
22:13
or actually but look year’s possibly
22:16
possibly just because I think that the
22:18
stars are aligning and a certain way to
22:20
favor stability and I think as I said
22:23
before the green issues are the really
22:26
tough ones there are national unity
22:27
issues in our country and handling them
22:30
wisely will be the test of the next the
22:33
next mandate but I think the stars are
22:35
aligning to make this make this better
22:39
we’ve had a very strong resurgence of
22:42
Quebec nationalism we’ve had a very
22:44
strong resurgence of Western alienation
22:46
I think it’s important just to remember
22:48
we have been here before this is the
22:50
this is the ground condition of Canadian
22:52
politics since forever
22:54
I don’t see it as being fundamentally
22:56
new the thing I do see is new is that
22:58
the share conflicts are now
23:00
fundamentally about the green agenda in
23:02
a way that they weren’t in the 70s or
23:04
80s so they weren’t in the nationalist
23:06
period before now the green agenda is
23:10
the is the thing where we’ve got to get
23:12
our public policy right but I you know I
23:15
I think that I hope the the election was
23:20
a lesson in humility sobriety you say
23:25
you hope because that is certainly one
23:26
of the questions that’s percolate in
23:28
Canadian politics right now is you know
23:30
did the Prime Minister and did his party
23:32
understand that they were that they
23:34
ought to be somewhat chastened right now
23:36
and the jury is out on whether they are
23:37
yeah I think they should be I I am not
23:42
in a position to give anybody any
23:44
political advice since you will recall
23:46
how just how well I did and in that last
23:49
election so I’m not I I don’t actually
23:51
have the credibility to give anybody
23:53
least of all my successor advice but I I
23:56
would hope that it’s chastening and
23:58
sobering the public sent this government
24:01
a message and I think they will because
24:04
they’re all very politically smart the
24:06
Prime Minister whatever is a very shrewd
24:08
political you know master of his game he
24:12
will read the tea leaves I have no doubt
24:15
about it it’s one of the takeaways from
24:17
this election that some politicians
24:20
amazingly have incredible layers of
24:22
teflon and others don’t
24:25
yes I think that’s true
24:26
I think that I think there’s no question
24:28
and that’s a huge political asset but
24:32
again don’t don’t abuse it don’t misuse
24:34
it be careful that that’s that’s that’s
24:37
pure treasure it’s pure lightning in a
24:39
bottle
24:39
don’t don’t don’t overdo it as a guy you
24:42
can lose it sure and as a guy who’s been
24:44
through all that do you find a sort of
24:46
fundamental injustice in in who gets the
24:48
Teflon and who doesn’t no no no no this
24:52
is about this is about deep stuff in our
24:56
in our in our country you have a Prime
25:00
Minister speaks both official languages
25:02
perfectly who is credible and both of
25:05
our fundamental national communities a
25:08
man who has a name that is deeply
25:13
resonant in Canadian politics I’m not
25:15
you know and he’s a good-looking guy I
25:17
mean he and he put it all together I
25:20
mean you know you know I I feel you know
25:24
the key question is whether he will use
25:28
these gifts wisely
25:30
in the next mandate and that’s it that
25:33
will be a test of his leadership it’ll
25:35
be a test of his toughness it’ll be a
25:36
tough test of his decisiveness it’ll be
25:39
a test of whether he’s willing to get
25:41
down and really master the difficult
25:46
questions of national unity this this
25:48
the the job of a prime minister is keep
25:52
a country together that’s that’s what
25:55
you do and he will have to keep the
25:58
country together and that means
25:59
Aboriginal Canada means Western Canada
26:01
means go back it means all our regions
26:03
it’s one of the most difficult political
26:05
jobs in the world and as a bystander I
26:09
can only wish him the very best of luck
26:11
because you know the country’s future
26:13
depend on depends on his wisdom his
26:16
sobriety his humility and his discipline
26:18
I want to just finish up by I always
26:23
like to have a little fun with you when
26:24
you come in here because you do have
26:26
history with this place and I want to
26:28
remind everybody that it was almost
26:30
exactly 25 years ago that you and I sat
26:33
in this very studio and talked about a
26:35
book that you had just written called
26:37
blood and deal belonging about the
26:39
spasms of national is
26:40
in the world as much as I fear doing
26:43
this you want to see what we look like
26:44
25 years ago when we had that
26:46
conversation really Steve I really dread
26:49
this boy you’re gonna see a lot of miles
26:51
on the clock okay Sheldon let’s let’s
26:56
introduce the horror show to come roll
26:58
it please what we have to find is a form
27:02
of state government or state order that
27:06
allows ethnic groups to have
27:08
self-determination in the states that
27:10
matter this is why the Canadian story is
27:12
so important so crucial if we can show
27:15
that you can have two nations and I
27:18
regard the québécois as a nation if we
27:20
can have two nations sharing a single
27:23
state we can prove that you do not have
27:26
to fragment state structures in order to
27:28
give nations self-determination in other
27:32
words we can have a situation in which
27:34
we can collaborate in the business of
27:36
maintaining a state structure if we fail
27:38
the whole world is going to draw one
27:41
overwhelming lesson which is that every
27:43
nation in the world has to have its
27:45
state if every nation in the world has
27:47
to have a state we will have 5000 States
27:51
instead of 300 and that is a recipe for
27:55
chaos pretty good hair back then I gotta
27:58
say it feels deeply embarrassing where
28:02
did that hair go I haven’t got much of
28:04
it let’s go get your hair what are you
28:05
talking about though do you know what
28:06
can I say though 25 years later those
28:09
words still seem pretty wise and how do
28:10
you think we’re doing at accommodating
28:12
two nations inside one country well I
28:15
think Canada you know when I was in I
28:19
was in Spain about two weeks ago every
28:22
time a Canadian arrives in Spain they
28:25
ask you one question how do you how do
28:27
you guys do it pretty separatist leaders
28:29
in jail there they put separatist
28:30
leaders in jail and my Canadian instinct
28:33
are frankly is that that’s a mistake I’m
28:35
strongly in favor of a the sovereignty
28:38
of national sovereignty of Spain but I
28:40
think judicial izing and criminalizing a
28:43
secessionist attempt was a political
28:45
error these things are solved as we
28:48
solve them by talking and talking and
28:50
talking we we had 30 years of this or
28:52
something it can
28:53
and we were all sick of it but the
28:55
talking saved us and and I think now and
28:59
it doesn’t mean we love each other it
29:01
doesn’t mean Quebec nationalism is over
29:03
it doesn’t mean threats to to even
29:07
Western separatism will will not
29:10
entirely disappear but we’ve managed to
29:13
create a political frame in which we
29:15
talk we discuss we don’t necessarily
29:16
love each other we don’t necessarily
29:18
understand each other all that well
29:20
sometimes but I think there is a kind of
29:22
basic existential commitment to the
29:25
dialogue that makes us Canadians and
29:27
that’s that really is important to the
29:30
world I mean you know it’s important
29:33
when you go to Spain it’s important
29:34
everywhere every country that I ever go
29:37
to looks to Canada not for a lot of
29:41
things but they look to us intensely on
29:43
this issue how did you keep your show on
29:46
the road and what I answer is it was
29:49
politics all the way down and talking
29:52
and keeping it simple and keeping it
29:53
peaceful and that’s the great story that
29:56
Canada has to offer the world it’s
29:58
always good of you when you make the
30:00
trip back over to this side of the pond
30:01
that you spend so much time with us here
30:03
at Evo we’re grateful and let’s keep
30:05
doing it okay well thanks so much Steve
30:07
that’s Michael Ignatieff director and
30:08
president of Central European University
30:14
the agenda with Steve Paikin is brought
30:16
to you by the chartered professional
30:17
accountants of Ontario CPA Ontario is a
30:20
regulator an educator a thought leader
30:23
and an advocate we protect the public we
30:26
advance our profession we guide our CPAs
30:29
we are CPA Ontario and by viewers like
30:33
you
30:33
thank you

Timothy Snyder Speaks, ep. 10: Pompeo or Pompeii? Climate Security is National Security

Mike
05:12
Pompeo is an interesting figure here
because Mike Pompeo who as I’m sure you
know has been the head of the CIA and is
now going to be confirmed probably to be
Secretary of State
Mike Pompeo comes into existence as part
of the energy industry when he becomes a
politician when he runs for office as a
congressman from Kansas his campaign is
funded by the Koch brothers and by other
energy lobbies to the tune of 1.1
million dollars and duly elected he
proposes that climate change is not real
when he’s confirmed as CIA director he
says that it’s a terrible mistake to say
that climate change is a problem for the
national security of the United States
however if we just look at his career a
little bit and if we look at the actual
challenges that he’ll have to confront
were the challenges that are in front of
us now we can see at a deeper level
how-how-how his his his own life shows
how false the position is so Lebanon for
example Mike Pompeo made his name by
criticizing Hillary Clinton on Lebanon
why was there a crisis in Lebanon why
was there an Arab Spring in the first
place because of the droughts because of
the droughts which created the bread
lines which created the riots
why were there droughts because of
climate change
Syria is a problem which mr. Trump can’t
wish away and which mr. Pompeo can’t
wish away why is there a problem in
Syria there are many reasons one of them
a horrifying dictator one of them is the
presence of the Russian army but one of
the root causes is that drought in Syria
destroyed what was once called the
Fertile Crescent leading to mass
migration to cities leading to civil
unrest which was one of the conditions
of the Civil War now why does this
matter because Libya and Syria are the
kinds of things which mr. Trump and mr.
Pompeo talk about and we’ll have to talk
about and the main way that US policy
could actually make a difference in
these parts of the world and in the
Muslim world generally is by having a
policy on climate change you see there’s
this odd coincidence which is that the
crescent of the world where more than a
billion Muslims live is also the place
where climate change is having the
greatest effect the fastest if one were
serious about unrest in the Muslim world
if one were really worried about
terrorism coming from the Muslim world
one would then then one would then
insist on having a policy about climate
change
if you think about foreign policy
as entertainment you’ll just let the
individual crises come you’ll drop a
bomb you’ll launch a missile you move on
to the next thing if you’re really
thinking about the Muslim world if
you’re really thinking about Muslim
terrorism as a growing threat then you
would think about climate change
the thing is climate change makes fake
problems real your your little
entertainment number becomes the real
world if you don’t address climate
change with policy Mexico is another
example right now it’s entirely
entertainment but if we continue to
desertified Mexico with climate change
there really will be waves of migrants
from the south if we continue to
desertified Mexico
Mexico City can
collapse as groundwater reserves are
taken out from under it and then there
really will be mass migration from
Mexico
to the United States do you want
to head that off if you do then you have
to be in favor of a serious policy on
climate change now the relationship
between climate change and national
security is actually even more direct
than that so who are our rivals in the
08:50
world now who are the countries that are
08:51
in the headlines
08:52
Russia in China let’s imagine that you
08:56
think that Russia is an adversary
08:58
what’s imagine that you think that
08:59
Russia does things that are not in the
09:00
national security interest the United
09:02
States what’s the most effective policy
09:04
the most effective policy would be to
09:07
develop renewable energies because the
09:09
Russian regime and every regime like it
09:12
depends precisely on the world being in
09:14
a carbon economy you get past the carbon
09:16
economy there will not be a Putin led
09:19
oligarchy or regime in Russia China the
09:23
Chinese like everybody else know that
climate change is real the Chinese
unlike us are devoting a great deal of
state investment to renewable energy
precisely with the goal of being the
people who developed the technology
which get us around this Bend into a new
energy economy is that a technological
competition that we want to lose the
only way to maintain some kind of parity
technological parity with China is to
acknowledge a real problem and then to
invest in the real solutions but it gets
09:54
even more direct than that so let’s say
09:57
you’re not concerned about these
09:58
long-term things but say you just think
10:00
are our armed forces can run out to
10:02
various spots in the world and solve
10:04
whatever problem arises okay if you want
10:06
to send the US Armed Forces out to the
10:08
world to solve various problems where do
10:10
they leave from they leave from a naval
10:12
base in Norfolk Virginia what’s the
10:14
problem with the Naval Base in Norfolk
10:15
Virginia
10:16
the rising tides the rise of sea level
10:20
because of global warming and the
10:22
melting of ice and the north and south
10:25
poles
10:25
our own major Naval Base in Norfolk
10:28
Virginia will soon not be functional who
10:32
is saying that the United States Navy is
10:36
saying that right so even if you think
10:38
that these long-term things don’t matter
10:39
and the national security is just a
10:41
matter of sending soldiers and sailors
10:43
out to hot spots in the world we’re not
10:46
going to be able to do that unless we
10:48
get our minds around climate change so
10:51
in all these ways real national security
10:54
the things that we should really be
10:56
afraid of as opposed to the
10:58
entertainment industry around national
11:00
injustice national security the things
11:02
that were made to be anxious about day
11:03
after day real national security depends
11:06
upon
11:06
thinking about everybody in the country
11:07
the country is a whole the country’s
11:09
future and that means caring about
11:11
climate change so if we if this whole
11:14
thing isn’t just a joke right this whole
11:16
thing isn’t just a performance by paid
11:18
lobbyists if the next Secretary of State
11:21
is really going to be someone who cares
11:22
about national security which one would
11:24
think would be the basic Job Description
11:26
it has to start with climate change
11:28
that’s that’s what the real national
11:30
security interest the United States are
11:31
going to have to do with thanks