What explains elite contempt for Joe Rogan? – System Update with Glenn Greenwald

35:27
great you know there’s just tremendous
35:29
homogeneity now in in american culture
35:32
right
35:32
uh it’s the idea that these are the
35:34
types of people
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who should be both in charge
35:39
of talking about liberal left
35:42
politics and who should really be in
35:44
charge of the country in general there
35:45
are people who right now have cultural
35:46
hegemony in this country
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right um and it’s the idea that these
35:51
people
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are sort of the these are the people who
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embody
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what should be american morality right
35:58
now right these are the people who
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embody what that is and
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should hold the cultural level levers of
36:04
power in the country and who
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should have the power to be speaking on
36:09
uh the important topics of the day
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so that’s sort of what i mean by that
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what is joe what does joe rogan
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lack on that list of
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attributes that people think define
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those who should be
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exerting influence and power over our
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discourse in politics
36:27
well i think what he lacks is i mean
36:30
the most important thing he lacks is
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the um willingness to exclude everyone
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else from the debate who isn’t a part of
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that culture i mean i think that’s
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probably the primary thing that enrages
36:43
them
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is that he i mean one of the reasons why
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his show is so popular is that it’s a
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really powerful cross-pollination
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of ideas of different fields of
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different
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industries people from all these
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different walks of life
36:58
um it’s you know it’s it’s a great
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reflection of internet culture you know
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one of the reasons why the show is so
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popular is that it kind of operates on
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internet time
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right as opposed to you know cable news
37:08
that
37:09
is kind of really slow to pick up on
37:11
things probably because of its older
37:12
demographic whereas
37:14
joe rogan is able to seize on something
37:16
that appeared on a message board
37:17
yesterday right and i mean even if you
37:19
watch his show
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um they’re able to fact that fat check
37:23
themselves in real time right he’s got
37:25
his sidekick there jamie who
37:27
pulls something up to verify whether
37:29
what joe
37:30
what joe just said is totally full of
37:32
i mean that’s not something you’re
37:33
going to see chris hayes do
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or sean hannity do right like that’s
37:37
just not the way it works
37:38
everyone’s online today i mean the
37:41
entire country is essentially getting
37:42
email
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and facebook and all that jazz like why
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bother
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doing it in this particular medium that
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has an inherent time constraint
37:51
well you’re right i mean the internet
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has revolutionized
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politics and in many ways good ways we
37:58
use
37:59
our social media our email list which is
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very large
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we every day we’re sending out stuff and
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other candidates are doing it the same
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way
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but television still has a very
38:07
important role to be playing um and so
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probably it’s it’s partly that uh and
38:12
it’s
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and it’s partly you know his his
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willingness
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to transgress on issues that are
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considered
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sacred right not necessarily obviously
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the big one nowadays is the trans issue
38:25
the transgenderism issue
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he’s willing to talk about that and he’s
38:28
willing to bring in
38:30
um perspectives on it that right now
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liberals are just have
38:34
zero zero tolerance for um and so
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so let me let me let’s stop there for a
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second so
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you know i’m i’m i’m i to kind of
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present what i think would be the
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best or strongest case that a liberal
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would make for why joe rogan ought to be
38:54
regarded
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certainly not as an ally and even as an
38:58
enemy
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and one is the one that you just put
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your finger on so this week there was a
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report in vice
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that employees of sportify which is the
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platform that essentially just paid joe
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rogan
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in excess of 100 million dollars for his
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show exclusively to appear there
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are upset um and it came from
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how they what they described themselves
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as being lgbtq
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a i plus employees
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and allies so not just the lgbtqai plus
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employees but also their allies are
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upset because
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in particular he has had on his show
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number one an author who has argued
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that there are times when young people
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are influenced to believe
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that they have gender dysphoria and to
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even begin
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irreversible transitions when in fact
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they don’t have gender dysphoria because
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of the culture that is encouraging them
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to think that to what
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in other words questioning whether young
40:08
people are being misdiagnosed
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with gender dysphoria who don’t in fact
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have it and there are definitely people
40:14
who
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have said that they have been that
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they’ve gone through that process only
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to realize that
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that wasn’t their issue so that was one
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of the problems is just
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airing an author who did research and
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science
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who said that to some extent people are
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being misdiagnosed
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and then i guess the other one was him
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being an mma fan
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a fighting fan as you alluded to earlier
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questioning whether it’s fair
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to allow uh trans women who
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live their lives uh as biological men
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who went through puberty as biological
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men who developed muscle mass and
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hormones and
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um the entire physiology of a man to
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then
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transition and compete with cis women
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something that people like martina
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navratilova who’s been a long time
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advocate for trans people have asked as
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well and that
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essentially this demonstrates his
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willingness not just to air these
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views but to even kind of wonder them
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himself
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suggests that he’s transphobic which is
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a form of bigotry
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and we ought not to have any kind of
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alliance with
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or support for people who are bigots
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that’s one of the
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cases that is made against joe oregon
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why isn’t that valid
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so i mean it goes to the point that i
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that the question you just asked
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me and the point that i made which is
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that you know
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what makes what makes it what makes joe
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rogan
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seen as not an ally and you know
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what makes him come across as not an
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ally is that he is not
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actively engaged in the culture war
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right i mean what’s so crucial to people
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who are actually
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actively engaged in liberal culture war
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is that you have to be
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actively seen as saying you know this is
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our line and anyone who does not
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um hew to this line is the enemy right
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and if you’re not
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a part if you’re not a part of the
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solution you’re a part of the problem
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essentially
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and so when joe rogan someone like joe
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rogan comes along and says hey there are
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some interesting issues here hey
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let’s talk about this hey there are some
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certain scientific studies
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that immediately raises all the alarms
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in people’s heads
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saying that uh oh this is not one of us
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this is not one of the allies right like
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this isn’t someone who is going
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to be doing the work that we define
42:32
ourselves by
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the work of advancing the culture war
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right and if you’re not advancing the
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culture war
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then you’re as good as the enemy if not
42:42
the enemy is ironic right because like
42:44
george george bush’s
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911 formulation that liberals
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incessantly not just mock but we’re
42:51
very alarmed by was that you know
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every country has a choice you’re with
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us or you’re with the terrorists it’s
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one or the other there’s no middle
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ground if you’re not
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actively supporting what we’re doing
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we’re going to regard you as an
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ally of the terrorists or even one of
43:08
the terrorists and that means that
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for example in the culture war you
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become the enemy not merely by
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advocating against trans rights but
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questioning the premises the science
43:23
behind the implications of these very
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profound social changes
43:27
that a lot of people are advocating
43:29
right and and that’s what you saw from
43:30
this vice article right
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um it was actually a perfect case study
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i mean first of all the headline said
43:37
joe rogan’s transphobic episode or
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something like that or
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transphobic joe rogan you know it
43:43
clearly editorialized before you even
43:45
you didn’t i mean you didn’t even have
43:47
to read the article right like you you
43:48
just read the headline and you know
43:50
exactly what the article is saying
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but beyond that it also completely
43:55
sidestepped the debate as we’re just
43:56
saying now right
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this episode that they’re talking about
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that that’s causing all the drama
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internally and spotify if you watch it
44:04
there’s
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two important things to know about it
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first of all before
44:08
anything happened and again the reason
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why this stuff works so well is because
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no one actually listens to the episodes
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who care involved in this
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in this war right in these battles
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because or they see
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like one minute chosen snippets
44:20
deliberately selected to
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cast it in the responsible light right
44:26
right exactly but so he starts off right
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off the bat and he’s
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and he says this episode is not about
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adults right
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this is not about trans adults we
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completely believe in trans adult rights
44:37
we believe in their identities
44:38
we are completely supportive of them um
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i joe rogan and completely a supporter
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of trans adults right so that’s
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important to set aside
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um because right off the bat you know
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that he’s not talking about
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tran the idea of transgenderism in
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general obviously right
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you can’t i’ve heard him say before i’ve
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heard him say before
45:00
not only do i fully support the complete
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range and panoply of
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robust equal legal rights for trans
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people
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and not only do i believe that they have
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the absolute right to live their lives
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with full and complete dignity and
45:15
liberty
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which is consistent with his overall
45:18
philosophy i’ve heard him say
45:20
i have nothing but love in my heart for
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trans people in fact
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admiration for people who are willing to
45:27
defy societal convention to be
45:29
who they are so it’s almost like even on
45:32
the question of trans issues
45:34
from a liberal perspective he’s way
45:38
ahead of
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the vast majority of where the
45:40
population is in terms of how he talks
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about it
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um so you’re right he he carves out this
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kind of
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you know um territory that he’s saying
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i’m not
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questioning the rights fully of trans
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adults to live a complete and full
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life filled with dignity and love um
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so what is it that that became
46:02
problematic
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so what became problematic is that you
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know the rest of the show
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is devoted to the issue of children
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who you know children teenagers
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people going through adolescence who
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come across the idea of transgenderism
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and think that maybe transgenderism has
46:24
some kind of answers
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for what may be the natural kind of
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patterns and challenges that children go
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through in young age
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um you know normally and also you know
46:36
in these days
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we’re suffering through a mental health
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crisis right one that probably
46:40
even preceded um coded but has just been
46:44
amped up
46:44
greatly during covid right but generally
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the
46:47
the idea and the author of the book who
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i will say you know the the author of
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the book the title
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was a little bit sensationalist and i
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think that’s probably driving a
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little bit you know it’s something like
46:57
they’re coming for our daughters or
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something like that which you know
47:00
listen i if i was advising someone to
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write a book that you want well received
47:03
broadly
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you might do a better job with the title
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but and that’s not and that’s not a book
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written by joe it’s not a book written
47:10
by joe rogan it’s a book written
47:14
not always favorably right he
47:16
interrogated that person on
47:17
a lot of those premises exactly and he
47:20
did and he did do a good job of actually
47:22
kind of talking about the cover and
47:23
saying well why did you go with this
47:24
cover
47:25
and i mean it was he did this job on
47:27
that end actually right
47:28
um but more importantly this entire
47:32
episode was talking about
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whether there’s an issue with kids
47:37
that you know kind of exploring
47:39
transgenderism and actually
47:41
moving forward with it when maybe it’s
47:43
not it maybe it’s
47:44
sort of a product of just a tumultuous
47:47
adolescence and maybe
47:49
allowing children to do this and engage
47:51
in this is maybe not the right move
47:53
essentially saying
47:54
maybe these children who think they’re
47:55
trans aren’t actually trans and maybe we
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should be
47:58
engaging the science engaging um
48:02
engaging the experts on this issue to
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kind of sort this out so that
48:06
you know we’re not we’re not kind of
48:09
sending people
48:10
on this path that will sort of you know
48:12
uproot their lives and
48:14
things that they’ll have to undo later
48:16
on and just causing more trauma into
48:18
adulthood right
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it’s a way to argue against that which
48:20
is to say well no we’ve talked to the
48:22
experts and the experts say this isn’t a
48:24
widespread
48:25
issue or when we interrogate these
48:27
children who think they might be trans
48:29
there are real reasons why they think
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they are or you know look into that
48:33
literature
48:33
bring it up bring the experts in and
48:35
actually engage this debate but of
48:37
course that’s not what they’re in for
48:38
right like this that’s not what this is
48:40
about
48:40
this is about immediately kind of
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shutting down the debate
48:44
and saying okay you’re on the you’re not
48:47
you’re not advancing
48:49
the the cause the trans cause and the
48:51
broader culture cause so you’re clearly
48:52
part of the problem you’re not being an
48:54
ally right and that’s why
48:56
this word ally is has become so
48:58
important and this broader kind of
49:00
critical theory culture war
49:02
um dynamic is because this idea of ally
49:07
it’s not just it’s not a it’s not just
49:09
an affirmational
49:11
kind of identity of being an ally but
49:12
it’s a negational identity right what
49:14
it’s saying is that
49:15
if you’re an ally it means you’re
49:17
actually part of this
49:19
right you’re not you’re not someone who
49:21
is just letting it happen or working
49:23
against us if you’re not an ally
49:25
it’s not just that you’re being lazy
49:26
they’re not trying to you know when they
49:28
say you’re not an ally what they’re
49:29
saying is that you’re the enemy
49:31
right yeah you know there’s several
49:32
there’s there’s a couple things really
49:34
interesting to me about that which is
49:36
obviously part of my formative
49:38
experience in
49:39
being politically engaged was being part
49:43
of the gay rights movement
49:44
in the late 80s or even the mid 80s to
49:48
late 80s when i kind of came of age as
49:51
a gay teenager in the reagan years there
49:53
was obviously just like there is against
49:56
trans people now it sustained an
49:57
organized demonization campaign
49:59
right obviously the people who were just
50:02
you know
50:03
close-minded malicious bigots
50:06
were not people that you regarded as
50:08
allies those are people you were willing
50:09
to kind of demonize and scorn but the
50:11
reason why
50:13
that debate ended up being won by
50:16
advocates of
50:17
gay equality was because we were
50:19
constantly searching for ways to
50:22
engage people and to change their minds
50:24
and
50:25
encouraging those questions to be asked
50:27
based on the recognition
50:29
that if you want to usher in very
50:31
profound
50:32
changes to how society functions
50:35
and do so in a way that requires a
50:38
majority to support you
50:40
even though the majority is not um part
50:43
of the group who’s
50:45
on be on whose behalf you’re advocating
50:48
dialogue
50:48
and engagement is crucial and so people
50:51
who want to
50:52
engage and ask questions are are things
50:54
that you’re happy about not people that
50:56
you want to denounce
50:57
the other thing i find so um
51:00
kind of baffling and confounding about
51:03
this
51:04
taboo on asking in particular
51:07
whether or not children or teenagers are
51:11
being
51:12
uh misdiagnosed with gender dysphoria
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for cultural reasons or social reasons
51:17
or because the
51:18
the understanding of it is so
51:19
preliminary um
51:21
aside from the fact that just in general
51:23
you want medicine and science and
51:26
mental health uh professionals always
51:29
asking
51:30
whether misdiagnoses are taking place
51:32
but
51:33
there’s this kind of morality now as i
51:35
know all too well and as people have
51:37
been seeing
51:38
you know it’s kind of made its
51:40
appearance in the alex morse
51:41
scandal where there’s this now
51:44
growing uh orthodoxy among
51:49
in left global politics that if you’re a
51:51
young adult
51:53
23 21 20 you lack the capacity to make
51:58
decisions for yourself that are truly
52:00
consensual about who you want to date
52:02
who you want to have sex with
52:03
frequently people cite neurological
52:06
research that says your brain isn’t
52:07
fully formed
52:09
and that therefore if someone is 28 or
52:11
30 like alex morse was
52:13
he shouldn’t be dating or having sex
52:14
with 21 or 22 year olds even if they say
52:17
they want to
52:18
because 21 and 22 year olds aren’t
52:20
capable of making
52:21
a much a pretty limited choice do i want
52:23
to have sex with this person on this
52:25
particular night or date them and yet
52:27
those same people who say that 21 year
52:30
olds or 20 year olds
52:31
aren’t capable of deciding for
52:33
themselves whether to date an older
52:35
person or whether to have sex with an
52:36
older person
52:37
want to put it off limits whether a 14
52:41
year old or a 15 year old
52:43
is sufficiently mature and has the
52:46
emotional sophistication
52:48
to make permanent life-altering
52:50
decisions about
52:51
what their gender is to the point of
52:53
having surgeries or
52:55
hormonal treatments that will alter
52:57
themselves
52:59
forever um and you know i think that
53:03
um one of the
53:07
kind of uh phenomenon that we’re seeing
53:10
in liberal
53:10
culture increasingly that’s reflected in
53:13
this treatment of joe robin
53:15
rogan as a homophobe not for saying
53:17
anything disparaging
53:19
about trans people or advocating against
53:21
equal rights quite the contrary
53:23
he he he doesn’t do that he advocates
53:26
for rights
53:27
is the idea that simply asking questions
53:29
even in response to things that probably
53:31
ought to be interrogated
53:33
is considered itself almost as bad as
53:37
malice and bigotry itself they’re kind
53:40
of equated
53:41
in a way that just will inherently repel
53:44
people from a political movement that
53:46
says
53:47
that if you have questions you have no
53:49
right to ask them and simply asking them
53:51
makes you a bad person
53:53
right and and the the i think the uh the
53:56
tying
53:56
kind of thread there is that this is
53:59
again it’s it’s about this delineation
54:02
that we have to make between liberal
54:04
politics and liberal culture
54:05
and the culture war um this is very much
54:08
about
54:09
a culture that has de-prioritized
54:12
political outcomes right
54:14
uh we see that with your example that
54:16
you just made
54:17
um with the gay rights movement we also
54:19
saw that with the alex morse campaign
54:20
right
54:21
we saw people who were much more focused
54:24
on maintaining
54:25
the integrity and the purity of the
54:28
battle they’re engaged in culturally
54:30
even at the expense of achieving real
54:33
political outcomes
54:34
right and as you just said you know
54:36
engaging debates is
54:38
is how you actually you know having that
54:41
cross-pollination of ideas
54:42
and and actually persuading people
54:44
actually engaging in persuasion
54:47
um rather than just kind of identifying
54:49
who’s on in my tribe who’s in your tribe
54:51
that’s how you achieve political
54:53
outcomes it was the same with the alex
54:54
morse right where it was
54:56
an allegation was made and we
54:58
immediately have to believe the
54:59
allegation
55:00
not investigate it because if you are a
55:03
you know if you’re a denier or if you
55:05
even hesitate to believe
55:07
what’s happening then you are not
55:09
promoting this broader idea
55:12
that there are victims in the world and
55:14
we’re not
55:15
kind of invested further investing in
55:16
the idea of victimization right
55:19
um victimization is this really core
55:21
concept to this culture where right like
55:23
we have to believe that there are
55:24
victims and we have to always support
55:27
the creation of new categories of
55:28
victimhood and if we don’t and if we’re
55:31
not engaged in that struggle
55:33
then we’re not pushing the culture war
55:34
and again it just shows
55:36
that maintaining the integrity of this
55:38
culture war is far
55:39
more important than even the political
55:41
outcomes and i think there may be some
55:43
very tangible reasons for that i think
55:45
a lot of the people that are engaged in
55:46
this stuff are people who do derive
55:49
power from cult power powerful cultural
55:51
centers right they work in academia
55:54
they work in the media and that’s how
55:55
they exert their power
55:57
over politics and over society because
55:59
again culture is how
56:01
we talk about ideas culture is how
56:04
we mold political ideas and say which
56:07
ideas can connect together which people
56:09
can connect together who can
56:10
hang out with who how cool you know
56:13
culture builds coalitions right
56:16
it builds political coalitions so um
56:19
i think there’s a very real reason why
56:22
people
56:22
are very concerned about maintaining the
56:25
integrity of this liberal culture
56:28
it’s because that’s where they derive
56:30
their power and in fact
56:32
you know they’re i mean it’s not a
56:34
surprise to see especially
56:35
now seeing cultural elites feel so
56:38
disempowered democratically right they
56:40
feel so politically disempowered
56:43
um that they would kind of throw
56:45
themselves completely into this culture
56:47
war because that’s the only place where
56:48
they can exert their power now right
56:50
and that’s why we see these insane sorts
56:53
of um
56:55
kind of concessions to even corporate
56:57
culture where they’re
56:59
so excited to allow corporations to
57:01
censor
57:02
free speech they’re so excited to allow
57:04
hr departments to and you know
57:06
indoctrinate people and run
57:08
programs on people and force people in
57:09
these programs where the people are
57:11
literally denouncing themselves because
57:13
of the way they’re born
57:14
it’s exerting power through culture
57:16
because you can’t do it politically
57:18
anymore politically it’s a lot harder
57:20
you have to get the people on your side
57:21
why would you want to get the people on
57:23
your side that’s a pain in the ass
57:24
so yeah exactly um so
57:28
and and i do think it’s interesting as
57:30
well that
57:31
that this whole concept of whether you
57:33
care about power or not because
57:35
you know i watched i mentioned martina
57:37
navratilova earlier who um
57:40
you know is obviously a person who i pay
57:42
attention to i’ve talked about before
57:44
and written about before how she was my
57:45
childhood hero
57:46
i was working on a film about her and it
57:48
was amazing to watch
57:49
that this person who is like one of the
57:52
main 20th century pioneers
57:54
of feminism she did as much to create
57:58
space for the ability of female athletes
58:01
to compete on equal terms with male
58:03
athletes in terms of money and
58:04
sponsorships and
58:05
corporations is probably anybody except
58:08
for billie jean king
58:09
she had a trans coach in 1883 and was
58:11
defending
58:13
not just lgbts and was one of the few
58:14
openly gay celebrities or athletes of
58:17
that era
58:18
you know all she kind of did was say hey
58:21
i’m kind of confused
58:23
is all you is the only thing you have to
58:25
do to enter
58:26
female professional sports and win all
58:29
the cash
58:30
awards and and prizes and trophies is
58:34
declare yourself a woman or are there
58:35
protocols
58:36
she was really asking earnestly and
58:39
in response she was just mauled um
58:42
with no generosity no kind of
58:46
you know uh consideration for her whole
58:48
history she was just instantly declared
58:50
a bigot the more she tried to defend
58:52
herself
58:53
the worse it got and then eventually
58:55
very soon thereafter she converted
58:57
into a real enemy she emerged two months
58:59
later and wrote this
59:01
article aggressively condemning the idea
59:04
that trans women should be able to
59:06
compete in female athletic and female
59:10
athletics because it the the the kind of
59:13
intolerance for her even asking
59:17
converted her it alienated her converted
59:19
her into an enemy and
59:20
it seems like people who don’t care
59:22
about outcomes are about winning
59:24
really don’t get bothered by that but
59:27
let me just ask you about one
59:28
the kind of the last um
59:32
kind of prong of the case of the liberal
59:34
case against joe rogan i find this one
59:36
really interesting
59:37
too which is you know people say
59:41
okay fine he he liked bernie like tulsi
59:45
um and yet i believe in 2016 if i’m not
59:48
mistaken
59:50
he said that he was voting for trump
59:51
over hillary
59:53
and i’m certain that after saying that
59:56
he
59:56
thought bernie was the best candidate
59:58
and really like tulsi
59:59
he’s now saying i can’t vote for biden i
60:02
probably would vote for trump over biden
60:05
which would is leading ripples to say to
60:07
people like you
60:09
why would we possibly why should we
60:12
possibly regard somebody
60:14
as an ally who is
60:18
saying twice now that they’re going to
60:19
vote for donald trump and i guess like
60:21
an
60:21
ancillary part of that question is you
60:24
know there is this phenomenon of people
60:26
who twice voted
60:27
for barack obama and then voted for
60:29
donald trump in 2016
60:31
not a small number a large number and
60:33
here in brazil
60:34
same thing you know a lot of people who
60:35
voted for bolsonaro in 2018
60:38
were people who voted for the workers
60:40
party four consecutive
60:42
elections so if you’re kind of a
60:44
political junkie who relies on the
60:46
polarization of choose between rachel
60:48
maddow and sean hanovey
60:50
it doesn’t make any sense that somebody
60:52
could do that to say i like bernie
60:54
but i’m gonna vote for trump because you
60:56
have to pick an ideological box
60:58
and joe rogan clearly is a person
61:01
who doesn’t think that way and i think
61:03
there’s like this liberal sense that
61:05
that makes him bizarre when in fact
61:07
i think it makes him pretty common it’s
61:09
one of the reasons why people like him
61:11
because he’s not in one of those boxes
61:13
but what do you say to liberals who
61:15
would make that argument that how can we
61:17
consider somebody supporting
61:19
this authoritarian racist for president
61:22
to be an ally
61:25
well i mean there are two things that
61:26
you you have to kind of
61:29
kind of set the record straight on first
61:31
is that i i’m pretty sure in 2016 he
61:33
voted for gary johnson so he voted for a
61:35
libertarian i don’t think he voted for
61:37
trump in 2016.
61:39
um and in 2020 again he first you know
61:42
supported tulsi
61:43
then he supported bernie um and then
61:46
most recently if you really
61:48
look at his comments it’s not that he’s
61:49
saying he’s endorsing trump but he’s
61:51
saying that
61:52
he would he would vote for trump um
61:55
as a result of the party choosing biden
61:57
because he just doesn’t think biden can
61:59
do the job
62:00
just from a kind of mental age
62:04
decline standpoint so it’s not like the
62:06
most heartfelt support of trump but yeah
62:08
i mean
62:08
let’s set that aside and just say okay
62:10
like he’s willing to vote for trump
62:12
right
62:12
um i mean the idea that you wouldn’t
62:15
want to engage
62:16
someone who is willing to go from the
62:19
most
62:20
liberal the most left candidate in the
62:23
democratic primary and willing to then
62:26
switch over to trump
62:27
i mean you know it’s the argument that
62:29
the left’s been making
62:30
for you know for years now right that
62:33
like
62:33
these this is the is the guy to be
62:36
studying right he’s the one that we can
62:38
kind of crack the code on
62:40
um as for you know why that’s the case
62:43
i think it’s real again it’s really
62:45
threatening i don’t think
62:46
you know i think the democratic
62:48
establishment what i tend to tell people
62:49
is that the democratic establishment
62:52
their main priority is not really to
62:54
actually even win elections
62:56
it’s to keep control of the democratic
62:58
party right like that’s where most of
63:00
their power comes from it’s certainly
63:01
where
63:02
their most reliable source of power
63:04
comes from it’s keeping control of the
63:05
party because as long as you can
63:07
keep control of the party and you keep
63:08
control of the cultural
63:10
um levers of power in the country
63:13
you’re always going to be able to
63:15
command 50
63:16
of the political system you’re always
63:18
going to be able to command
63:20
um you know the entire media apparatus
63:23
that’s devoted to politics right you’re
63:25
good
63:25
or at least half of it right you’re
63:27
going to in control the liberal half
63:29
and so i think it’s i i mean i it’s
63:32
i’m sorry to say but i think it’s a
63:34
really cynical calculation
63:36
that cultural elites and democratic
63:39
party elites are making when they make
63:41
these decisions because when when you
63:43
engage joe rogan
63:45
and you engage his viewers you’re being
63:47
bringing in
63:48
a ton of people who you can’t
63:50
necessarily rely on to keep these clean
63:52
lines of political and cultural
63:54
engagement you’re
63:55
you’re completely blowing up the
63:57
political system you’re you’re blowing
63:59
up the racket
64:00
right and why would you want to do that
64:02
because at the end of the day
64:04
hell trump could get reelected and
64:05
they’d still control the party they can
64:07
still control the other half they’d be
64:10
raising hundreds of millions of dollars
64:12
for their think tanks and therefore you
64:14
know the media institutions and so
64:16
it’s a great racket why would you risk
64:18
that just for
64:19
winning you know the presidency for
64:21
maybe four years eight years
64:22
don’t get me wrong obviously they’d like
64:24
to win that too
64:26
but i don’t think that’s the real game i
64:27
don’t think that’s ever been the real
64:28
game
64:30
we saw that in the uk right where the
64:33
centrists and playwrights and moderates
64:36
who controlled the labor party
64:38
levers of power forever whether they
64:40
were in power out of power
64:42
when they lost control of their own
64:44
party to jeremy corbyn
64:46
they it was very obvious if you’re just
64:48
paying minimal attention but we now know
64:50
from documents that have been leaked and
64:51
reports that have been issued
64:53
they were actively working against the
64:56
labor party they preferred
64:58
to destroy corbyn and retake control
65:01
of the party even if it meant empowering
65:04
the tories and making boris johnson
65:06
prime minister because as you say
65:09
their top priority is ensuring that they
65:11
maintain
65:12
control of their party and secondary
65:15
or even more distantly is actually
65:18
winning elections
65:19
um and you know i think that you know
65:22
it’s like when people ask me why i go on
65:23
tucker carlson i
65:24
can barely even understand the question
65:26
because it’s such an obvious answer
65:28
which is
65:29
because there are four million people
65:30
watching and whatever percentage it is
65:33
that i can reach in any way not
65:34
necessarily change their minds instantly
65:37
but just kind of make them a little more
65:38
open
65:39
to hearing from different people maybe
65:41
get them kind of unsettled about
65:44
who they should be paying attention to
65:46
or introducing some ideas that maybe
65:48
maybe it’s ten percent maybe it’s five
65:50
percent maybe it’s fifteen percent
65:52
why would i ignore that if i actually
65:54
care about outcomes
65:55
to watch you know i i it kind of shocked
65:58
me edward snowden
65:59
uh appeared on rogan’s show for the
66:02
second time this week and so i went back
66:03
to look at what the audience was the
66:05
first time he appeared which is
66:06
about 10 months ago and even though
66:09
edward snowden being edward snowden kind
66:11
of spoke in like a monologue form for
66:13
about
66:14
three hours you know and he was
66:16
obviously remote because he couldn’t
66:18
go to the studio since he’s trapped in
66:19
russia the audience for that
66:22
appearance from edward snowden just on
66:25
youtube never mind all the other
66:26
platforms
66:27
was 15 million people 15 million
66:31
um which is you know four or five times
66:34
the size
66:35
of a primetime cable host even on their
66:37
best night
66:38
and obviously by virtue the fact that
66:40
you watch it that people
66:42
listen to it and can hear him say i
66:44
support tulsi or i support
66:46
bernie obviously there’s huge numbers of
66:48
those
66:49
that audience that are very reachable
66:51
from a liberal perspective
66:53
anybody who says i don’t want to have
66:56
anything to do
66:57
with a show that reaches 15 million
66:59
people
67:00
is somebody to me who’s saying
67:04
i look at politics as about everything
67:06
other than
67:07
winning wielding power and changing the
67:10
world
67:11
right right and they shrouded in moral
67:13
language right they shrouded
67:15
in how could you associate with someone
67:17
like that how could you you’ll be
67:18
tainted by someone like that
67:20
um they shrouded in those things but at
67:22
the end of the day it’s a much more
67:24
cynical calculation it’s
67:25
it’s put forth as some kind of moral
67:28
decr
67:29
declaration but it’s really a cynical
67:31
calculation
67:32
calculation in terms of controlling the
67:33
party in terms of controlling cultural
67:36
power centers
67:37
why would we want to upset that this is
67:40
a great setup
67:41
um and yeah that’s why you see 15
67:43
million people tuning in to edward
67:45
snowden because it completely cult
67:47
cuts across all of these cultural lines
67:50
i mean there aren’t
67:51
you know being interested in edward
67:53
snowden just his story and what he did
67:55
and the cultural and political impact he
67:57
had
67:58
that’s not a liberal or conservative
68:00
idea that’s
68:01
that’s reaching millions of people um
68:03
but that’s just not interesting to
68:05
um what informs the you know the the
68:08
careers and the lifestyles of the people
68:10
that
68:11
sort of hold these both the political
68:13
and cultural
68:14
levers of power in the country yeah so
68:16
yeah so thanks very much for
68:18
for taking the time i i think is a
68:20
really important topic not just
68:22
because it’s important to understand the
68:24
phenomenon of joe rogan although that
68:25
is important there are very few people
68:28
having the kind of cultural
68:30
and political impact that he’s having
68:34
um in a reaching a group of people who
68:38
often tune out politics or who aren’t
68:40
engaged in the traditional ways which
68:42
makes him
68:44
even more important than just the
68:45
numbers alone but i do think too
68:47
the reaction to him tells us a lot about
68:50
how media figures view their position
68:52
how liberals view what their political
68:54
project uh is and so
68:56
um i i think your your analysis on
69:00
twitter and the discussion that we just
69:02
had
69:02
um has really clarified those issues in
69:05
in a really helpful way so thank you so
69:07
much for
69:08
taking the time to talk to me um and i
69:10
hope people will tune into your
69:13
back channel youtube program where
69:14
you’re doing a lot of these kind of
69:15
header docs
69:17
uh discussions with people across a wide
69:20
range of
69:21
ideological and cultural uh belief
69:24
systems so
69:24
thanks very much sean yeah thank you so
69:27
much i enjoyed it
69:36
you

Michael Hudson – De-Dollarization–Toward the End of the U.S. Monetary Hegemony?

On 20 November 2019, Professor Michael Hudson delivered a lecture on “De-Dollarization–Toward the End of the U.S. Monetary Hegemony?” in Lingnan University, Hong Kong, China. The moderator was Professor Peter Beattie (The Chinese University of Hong Kong).

Michael Hudson is President of The Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET), Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and author of …And Forgive Them Their Debts (2018), J is for Junk Economics (2017), Killing the Host (2015), The Bubble and Beyond (2012), America’s Protectionist Takeoff, 1818-1914 (2010), Super-Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire (1968 & 2003), and Trade, Development and Foreign Debt (1992 & 2009), amongst many others. He acts as an economic advisor to governments worldwide including Iceland, Latvia and China on finance and tax law.

De-Dollarization – Toward the End of the U.S. Monetary Hegemony?
Since the end of World War II, the United States has been the world’s hegemonic power. In economic, military, and cultural spheres, the U.S. has enjoyed nearly unrivaled supremacy. However, unlike past hegemons, which have been net creditors to the rest of the world, the United States is a net debtor; but this is a strength, not a weakness. U.S. debt is an integral feature of its economic dominance, through which the United States receives goods and services from the rest of the world in exchange for dollars it can print and keystroke into existence. Yet cracks are showing in the foundations of dollar hegemony, as countries look to find ways to escape from U.S. economic dominance. In this talk, Professor Hudson discussed the prospects and challenges of global de-dollarization, and how countries like China might forge a way toward a different monetary system free of U.S. control.

The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities | SOAS University of London

The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities was a talk given by Professor John J Mearsheimer at the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy, SOAS University of London on 21 January 2019.  Find out more at http://bit.ly/2Dv5nlZ

It is widely believed in the West that the United States should spread liberal democracy across the world, foster an open international economy, and build institutions. This policy of remaking the world in America’s image is supposed to protect human rights, promote peace, and make the world safe for democracy. But this is not what has happened. Instead, the United States has ended up as a highly militarized state fighting wars that undermine peace, harm human rights, and threaten liberal values at home. Mearsheimer tells us why this has happened.

Speaker
John J. Mearsheimer is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, where he has taught since 1982. He graduated from West Point in 1970 and then served five years as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. He then started graduate school in political science at Cornell University in 1975. He received his Ph.D. in 1980. He spent the 1979-1980 academic year as a research fellow at the Brookings Institution, and was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University’s Center for International Affairs from 1980 to 1982. During the 1998-1999 academic year, he was the Whitney H. Shepardson Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

Professor Mearsheimer has written extensively about security issues and international politics more generally. He has published six books: Conventional Deterrence (1983), which won the Edgar S. Furniss, Jr., Book Award; Liddell Hart and the Weight of History (1988); The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (2001, 2014), which won the Joseph Lepgold Book Prize and has been translated into eight different languages; The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (with Stephen M. Walt, 2007), which made the New York Times best seller list and has been translated into twenty-two different languages; Why Leaders Lie: The Truth about Lying in International Politics (2011), which has been translated into ten different languages; and The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities (2018).

He has also written many articles that have appeared in academic journals like International Security, and popular magazines like Foreign Affairs and the London Review of Books. Furthermore, he has written a number of op-ed pieces for the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times dealing with topics like Bosnia, nuclear proliferation, American policy towards India, the failure of Arab-Israeli peace efforts, the folly of invading Iraq, and the causes of the Ukrainian crisis.

Finally, Professor Mearsheimer has won a number of teaching awards. He received the Clark Award for Distinguished Teaching when he was a graduate student at Cornell in 1977, and he won the Quantrell Award for Distinguished Teaching at the University of Chicago in 1985. In addition, he was selected as a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar for the 1993-1994 academic year. In that capacity, he gave a series of talks at eight colleges and universities. In 2003, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Chair
This event will be chaired by Professor Arshin Adib-Moghaddam. Arshin Adib-Moghaddam is Professor in Global Thought and Comparative Philosophies at SOAS University of London and Fellow of Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge.

33:50
Madeleine Albright’s comments we are the
indispensable nation we have a right we
have the responsibility and now we have
the military power since we’re Godzilla
to turn the world into a different place
to remake it in America’s image think
about the concept of American
exceptionalism no American politician
can you know move one micrometer away
from American exceptionalism right you
know that Barack Obama who got
criticized on this issue was forced to
say that America is the indispensable
nation he used those words
it’s American exceptionalism we’re
different we’re better but that
nationalism juiced the liberalism the
nationalism coupled with the liberalism
coupled with the fact that we were so
powerful coupled with the fact that we
had this template in their head about
how we were going to make the world a
much better place
and we were off to the
races what’s the track record let’s talk
about the Bush Doctrine and the greater
Middle East the Ukraine crisis and
us-russia relations I’ve talked a bit
about that and then the failure of
engagement with China these are the
three most glaring examples of failure
the bush doctor the Bush Doctrine was
designed to turn the Middle East into a
sea of democracies in keeping with
liberal hegemony it’s very important to
understand that the war in Iraq 2003 was
not going to be in the minds of the
liberal hegemonist the last war in the
Middle East it was the first stop on the
train line
the second stop on the train line if you
want to include Afghanistan
we didn’t go
much further in terms of invading other
countries because Iraq turned into a
fiasco but the idea was that we could
use military force or the threat of
military force the threat of military
force to overthrow governments in the
region and install liberal democracies
in their place and therefore produce
peace in the Middle East that solved the
proliferation and terrorism problems I
know this sounds crazy now but this is
the way we were thinking you remember
Afghanistan is finally under American
control by December 2001 and then in
early 2002 the Americans are talking
about maybe invading Iraq the Israelis
catch wind of the fact that we’re going
to do Iraq and the Israelis send a
high-level delegation to Washington to
say why are you doing Iraq you should be
doing Iran
it’s the greater threat the
Americans say don’t worry Iraq is the
low-hanging fruit we’re gonna go in and
do a rack and then when we’re done with
Iraq will either do Syria or Iran next

but we won’t have to do one or two more
of these military invasions before
everybody in the region understands how
powerful we are and throws up their hand
and jumps on the american bandwagon
the
israelis foolishly believe the americans
thinking that we have found the magic
formula for winning wars and they then
begin to champion an invasion of iraq
right what’s the result total disaster
it’s truly amazing the amount of murder
and mayhem that the united states is
responsible for in the Middle East truly
amazing
virtually no successes and nothing but
failures and failures were huge numbers
of people died countries are physically
wrecked
Afghanistan now the longest war in
American history I know not a single
37:47
national security analyst who thinks
37:49
there’s any possibility we can win that
37:51
war and all we’re doing is checking
37:52
can down the road now so that Obama
37:55
doesn’t get blamed for losing
37:58
Afghanistan and now Trump doesn’t get
38:00
blamed for losing Afghanistan to Iraq we
38:03
wrecked that country Syria where the
38:06
United States displayed of a very
38:08
important role in trying to topple Assad
38:11
that’s hardly ever repeat reported in
38:14
the media that’s a total disaster the
38:17
amount of murder and mayhem we’ve
38:19
created in Syria no Libya we did a great
38:21
job there right with the help of the
38:23
Europeans my god right the Bush Doctrine
38:27
in the greater Middle East an abject
38:29
failure then there’s the Ukraine crisis
38:31
and us-russia relations I’ve talked a
38:34
little bit about this you know in the
38:35
West here in Europe and certainly in the
38:38
United States we blame the Russians for
38:40
the crisis well I don’t buy this
38:44
argument for one second from the time we
38:47
started talking about NATO expansion the
38:50
Russians made it very clear that it was
38:52
unacceptable to them they were too weak
38:55
to stop it in 1999 that’s when the first
38:58
tranche took place they were to stop too
39:01
weak to stop in 2004 which is when the
39:04
second tranche of expansion took place
39:06
but after 2008 when we were talking
39:09
about doing Georgia and talking about
39:11
doing Ukraine they said this is not
39:14
gonna happen
39:15
it was April 2008 at the bucura summit
39:19
the bucura Sneyd au summit April 2008
39:21
where when the meeting was over with the
39:24
declaration was issued by NATO that said
39:27
Georgia and Ukraine would become part of
39:30
NATO the Russians went ballistic it’s no
39:33
accident ladies and gentlemen that a
39:35
couple of months later in August 2008
39:38
you had a war over Georgia Georgia
39:40
Russia war August 2008 Bucharest summit
39:42
April 2008 and then on February 22nd
39:46
2014 you had a major crisis break out
39:49
over Ukraine the Russians had no
39:54
intention of letting either Georgia or
39:57
Ukraine become a Western bulwark on
40:00
their doorstep and the end result is
40:04
that neither one of those countries has
40:06
come Western bulwark and the Russians
40:09
are going to great lengths to wreck
40:10
those countries and the Russians are now
40:13
going to great lengths to split NATO
40:15
apart and split the EU apart so that
40:17
they can expand further eastward and
40:20
further where we have terrible relations
40:24

analysis was based on the idea that
57:28
there is a genuine effort in u.s.
57:31
foreign policy to export democracy and
57:36
some would say that you know this was
57:39
more like a Trojan horse to expand US
57:42
dominance or hegemony or however you
57:44
want to call it and that example such as
57:47
Pinochet in Latin
57:48
America or the Shah in Iran or or you
57:51
know us alliances with with autocracies
57:53
all over the world do not really
57:56
unprovided of evidence for a real
57:59
genuine effort to spread democracy in
58:02
the way it was done in in Europe with a
58:04
Marshall Plan that was really a genuine
58:06
effort to democratize absolutely agree

with you the European continent but with
the Iraq invasion in particular there
was no Marshall Plan there was no really
systemic structure competent effort to
create a democracy the only
administrator that was guarded after the
invasion was the oil ministry
and none
of the others so this is just a point
for my for my own understanding about
the trajectory of of you know what
happened to to the liberal United States
and we used to no good
these are two great issues and let me do
my best to answer them I take them in
reverse order first of all with regard
to what happened with the Shah would
happen with Pinochet Guatemala in 1954
and your comments on the Marshall Plan
remember my argument is that liberal
agenda only takes effect with the end of
the Cold War really about 1990
so I
would argue that the this is just
dovetails with what you said the United
States has a rich history of
overthrowing democratically elected
leaders right and furthermore preventing
the emergence of Democrats in other
cases and furthermore aligning itself
with murderous thugs and dictators
and
my argument would be then in a world of
realpolitik where security competition
is it play you’re going to see a lot of
that kind of behavior so I’m not
challenging that part of the story in
any way what I’m saying is that after
59:58
1990 Oh
but so recently up until Trump the
United States I believe was genuinely
committed to spreading democracy around
the world now a number of people
including some of my really good friends
make the argument that you make which is
dead even after 1990 this is a Trojan
horse their argument is John this is you
know the atavistic realist United States
taking advantage of the unipolar moment
to dominate the globe and then
disguising its aggressive behavior with
liberal rhetoric okay now uh I think
that’s wrong okay and I think whether
you’re you and my friends are right or
I’m right is largely an empirical
question it may be the case in thirty
years when they open the public records
there is an abundance of evidence that
supports your perspective which is that
we behaved in a very realist
we tried to become a global hegemon and
we successfully covered it up and we
bamboozled people like John okay that
that may happen I cannot deny that okay
but my argument to you and to my friends

is that I believe that’s wrong and I
61:23
believe that the people who are who have
61:29
been conducting American foreign policy
61:30
are not that clever they’re fools
61:32
they’re fools and they are remarkably
61:36
idealistic and I think there is an
61:39
abundance of evidence to support my
61:41
position right I can’t adduce it all
61:44
here or we can’t have a big debate about
61:45
it but I do think that’s true and the
61:48
reason I go to the case of NATO and I
61:50
say that NATO was not about containment
61:53
cuz I’m anticipating your question
61:56
necessarily from you maybe from somebody
61:59
in the audience
61:59
right and I’m trying to show you that
62:01
NATO expansion was not realpolitik at
62:04
work
62:05
it was liberal hegemony but again I
62:09
think I’m right in the terms of the
62:11
story that I’m telling you
62:12
but again this is an empirical question
62:14
and as you well know we want to be
62:16
humble in this business because we’re
62:18
sometimes proved wrong your question
62:21
about nationalism and liberalism I’m
62:23
gonna make two responses to that first
62:26
of all I do think one can make an
62:28
argument that liberal democracy is in
62:31
trouble in the United States with Donald
62:34
Trump as the president I think most
62:37
people believe that there is some chance
62:40
some reasonable chance he will get
62:42
reelected I think eight years with him
62:45
could do a great deal of damage to
62:47
liberal democracy but I would take it a
62:52
step further and say that Trump is a
62:54
manifestation of you know underlying
62:58
forces that are at play here that don’t
63:03
bode well for liberal democracy so I’m
63:05
not at all making light of what a
63:09
dangerous situation were in and of
63:11
course not only applies to the United
63:14
States as I told you folks in my talk if
63:17
you go look at Freedom House’s data
63:19
since 2006 the number of liberal
63:22
democracies in the world has been going
63:24
down now another fascinating issue you
63:28
raise is the whole question of the sort
63:36
of omnipresent state in the United
63:39
States right that doesn’t look like a
63:42
liberal state it looks like it’s
63:44
interfering in the management of almost
63:48
everyone’s daily life I don’t want to go
63:53
into this in any great detail but
63:54
basically when I talked about rights I
63:59
was talking about negative rights I was
64:02
talking about freedoms and the problem
64:05
is that in the modern world this is all
64:07
to be a good thing we’re not just
64:09
interested in negative rights were
64:10
interested in positive rights and the
64:14
best example of that is just think about
64:16
this the right to an equal opportunity
64:20
it’s not just the right to life liberty
64:22
and the pursuit of happiness we you’re
64:24
talking about freedoms those were
64:26
we’re talking about rights like the
64:28
right to health care the right to equal
64:33
opportunity those are called positive
64:35
rights and they’re very important in
64:38
every society today including the United
64:41
States and the point is once you start
64:44
talking about positive rights as well as
64:47
negative rights the state begins to get
64:50
involved in a really serious way and you
64:53
remember folks when I told you about the
64:55
three solutions that liberals have to
64:59
dealing with potential for violence
65:01
I said inalienable rights tolerance and
65:04
the state and remember that I said that
65:07
it’s very important to have a limited
65:09
state and the point that you’re making
65:11
is that we’re moving away from that
65:13
limited state and I think in modern
65:17
societies it’s very hard not to do that
65:22
I’m agreeing with you because of the end
65:24
is because of the emphasis on positive
65:26
rights and then when you start thinking
65:30
about things like artificial
65:31
intelligence the national security state
65:34
the ability of the state to intervene in
65:36
our daily lives you see that liberal
65:39
democracy is a fragile device that
65:44
really has to be protected so I’m
65:47
agreeing with you in very important ways
65:50
in terms of ever saying that was
65:53
essentially the point that we are all in
65:56
the same boat in many ways trying to
65:58
struggle to keep the rights alive when
66:00
trying to struggle to keep a democracy
66:03
alive here but questions from from the
66:07
audience and if I may I take two at a
66:10
time John is that okay it’s perfectly
66:12
fine I should have said at the beginning
66:13
by the way switch off your mobile phones
66:15
I mean Jeff reminded myself with a so –
66:19
two questions the lady with the colored
66:23
jumper yes I forgot to bring over a big
66:31
piece of paper
66:33
hello thank you very much for your talk
66:35
in your talk you mentioned international
66:37
institutions particularly the WTO and
66:40
the IMF as kind of instruments of
66:43
liberal hegemony I’m wondering what do
66:45
you see the future of those
66:47
international institutions now that
66:49
there’s a failure of in of liberal
66:52
hegemony thank you okay one more
66:54
question the gentleman in the back just
66:57
right at the back yes with the highest
66:59
hand ah yes that’s what the blue blue
67:01
sweatshirt hi thanks you said that
67:08
obviously liberal Germany is faltering
67:12
is it any more or less faltering than
67:17
autocracies such as China Russia Thank
67:21
You Jon first question had to do with
67:32
the future of international institutions
67:34
I believe that in a highly
67:40
interdependent world and we live in a
67:43
highly interdependent world a globalized
67:46
world a hyper globalized world cult
67:49
whatever you want international
67:52
institutions are absolutely essential
67:55
and that doesn’t mean that certain
67:59
international institutions won’t die but
68:02
if they do they’ll be replaced by new
68:04
international institutions there’s just
68:07
no way you can do business without
68:11
international institutions international
68:13
institutions is I learned a long time
68:15
ago when I wrote an article on this
68:17
subject are basically rules and you need
68:20
rules for all sorts of reasons when
68:23
you’re doing business and that business
68:25
can be economic it can be military I
68:28
mean if you have military alliance NATO
68:31
as an institution the Warsaw Pact as an
68:33
institution if you’re gonna fight the
68:35
Cold War all over again you’re going to
68:36
do it with a mill
68:37
Alliance which is an institution you
68:39
need the WTO although I think you need a
68:42
different variant of it you need the IMF
68:45
the World Bank the Chinese have created
68:48
the aii big institutions are here to
68:50
stay
68:51
Donald Trump can get rid of NAFTA but he
68:54
in effect just produced another
68:56
institution that looks like NAFTA so
68:59
institutions aren’t going away no
69:01
question in my mind on that the
69:05
gentleman up here asked me about whether
69:07
you know the Chinese political system
69:10
and the Russian political system were
69:12
also failing and maybe failing more so
69:15
than liberal democracy I don’t know what
69:19
the answer is to that at this point in
69:21
time I think that both the Chinese and
69:26
the Russians are doing reasonably well
69:28
at this point in time what the long-term
69:31
future of those political systems is
69:35
it’s hard to say so I’m just not too
69:41
sure I think in in both the Chinese in
69:45
the Russian case a lot depends on the
69:47
economy and I think a lot depends on how
69:53
much progress they make on the economic
69:57
front over the future but I think at
70:00
this point in time to some extent
70:02
everybody’s in trouble okay two more
70:05
questions
70:06
the lady in the back all the way
70:16
my question is about based on the
70:20
relationship between China and United
70:22
States do you think we are entering oh
70:26
we are already living you know in new
70:29
Cold War era and secondly do you think
70:34
that sports country US and China will
70:37
end up in Susa dated Trump’s will end up
70:41
way so City Detra okay second question
70:52
yes the gentleman right here would you
70:57
wait for the microphone it’s right that
71:02
it’s in the front yeah thank you
71:04
it’s okay sorry to make you run hi John
71:09
thank you for your talk much of the US
71:12
political discourse lately around Trump
71:15
seems to be focused apart from the
71:17
collusion with Russia seems to be on the
71:20
lack of coherence of foreign policy and
71:23
I think looking at some of trumps
71:26
rhetoric in recent years it seems to
71:29
align a lot with the core tenets of your
71:31
book tragedy of great power politics and
71:33
in particular we see Trump adopting an
71:35
offensive realist position towards China
71:37
we see him somewhat buck-passing Syria
71:40
to Russia and we see a kind of offshore
71:42
balancing with regards to NATO in Europe
71:45
so my question is to what extent do you
71:48
think that Trump is a meerschaum
71:50
heurists
71:50
so to speak truth
71:51
[Music]
71:54
okay John okay I’ll take the first
72:01
question on China and the United States
72:04
and the young woman in the back asked me
72:07
if I thought there was a new Cold War in
72:10
store between those two countries I
72:13
think the answer is yes my basic view of
72:18
international politics is that the great
72:20
powers in an ideal world want to
72:23
dominate their region of the world and
72:26
they want to do like the United States
72:29
did in the Western Hemisphere they want
72:30
to be the only great power and they
72:34
don’t want any other distant great
72:36
powers coming into their backyard and if
72:40
you look at China today China’s growing
72:44
economically and militarily and I think
72:49
that the Chinese are very interested as
72:51
they should be in dominating Asia and
72:55
that means not only being the most
72:58
powerful country in the region but also
73:01
making sure the Americans are pushed out
73:04
the Americans well the Chinese talk
73:11
constantly these days about the century
73:14
of national humiliation which ran from
73:17
the late 1840s until the late 1940s the
73:21
Chinese were weak over that hundred year
73:24
period and they were exploited by the
73:28
Japanese the Americans and the European
73:30
great powers they have never forgotten
73:32
that
73:32
and their goal is to make sure they are
73:35
really powerful in the future if you
73:38
were to go up to a Jap to a Chinese
73:40
policymaker or remember the Chinese
73:43
foreign policy League and say to that
73:45
person you have two choices you can be
73:48
twenty times more powerful than Japan or
73:51
Japan can be 20 more times powerful than
73:54
you do you think it makes any difference
73:56
they would laugh in your face they would
73:59
tell you we know what happened the last
74:00
time Japan was 20
74:02
more times powerful than us we intend to
74:04
be 20 times more powerful than Japan in
74:07
the future and then when you ask the
74:09
Chinese behind closed doors what they
74:11
think about the Americans running ships
74:13
and aircraft up their coast and having
74:16
ground forces off their coasts and
74:18
places like Korea and Japan they will
74:21
tell you in no uncertain terms if they
74:24
get powerful enough they will try to
74:25
push us out beyond us meaning the
74:27
Americans beyond the first island chain
74:29
and then beyond the second island chain
74:32
and if you look at how they think about
74:33
the waters around them they’ve made it
74:35
very clear that they think the South
74:37
China Sea belongs to them and we’ve made
74:40
it clear to them we don’t agree with
74:42
that they’ve made it clear they think
74:44
the East China Sea belongs to them and
74:47
there’s a real possibility they’ll get
74:49
into a fight with the Japanese over
74:51
those small islands in the East China
74:53
Sea
74:53
then there’s Taiwan which is a potential
74:56
flashpoint of great significance China
74:59
is not a status quo power so the Chinese
75:03
as they get more and more powerful are
75:06
going to try and become more and more
75:09
influential in East Asia and they’re
75:12
going to try and push the Americans out
75:13
and you know what the Americans are
75:15
going to do the Americans are going to
75:16
pivot to Asia and they’re going to try
75:18
and contain the Chinese and they’re
75:20
going to push back so I would argue that
75:24
there is likely to be trouble ahead and
75:29
put it in your terms you are likely to
75:31
get a new Cold War in Asia second
75:38
question had to do with Trump and he
75:43
accused me of being in bed with Donald
75:46
Trump intellectually this is a
75:49
frightening thought
75:54
yes right that’s right then we know
75:58
there is no connection look to be
76:03
serious I think that I think that Donald
76:06
Trump has no coherent foreign policy I
76:10
think he flies by the seat of his pants
76:12
and he has certain intuitions and I do
76:18
think apropos your question that some of
76:21
those intuitions are consistent with a
76:23
realist perspective in other words when
76:26
Trump says that he is not interested in
76:30
using military force to spread democracy
76:33
around the planet that’s an argument
76:35
that resonates with realists there’s
76:38
just no question about it now another
76:41
example that you used was containment of
76:44
China right that of course resonates
76:47
with realist logic but also you want to
76:50
remember that the person who articulated
76:52
the pivot to Asia was Hillary Clinton
76:54
and the Obama administration the Clinton
76:56
administration was also interested in
76:58
the pivot to Asia so this is not
77:00
something new to trump but it gets
77:03
consistent both with the Democrats and
77:05
with Trump with basic realist logic my
77:08
problem with Trump is that he’s done a
77:10
half-baked job of pivoting and dealing
77:14
with our Asian allies Trump’s big
77:16
problem and this is where you know he
77:18
parts for realism his realist believed
77:21
that alliances matter allies matter and
77:24
if you’re gonna deal with an adversary
77:28
like China right you need help from
77:31
countries in East Asia and you don’t
77:34
want to be slapping him around which is
77:36
what he does I also think the TPP the
77:39
trans-pacific partnership which was an
77:41
economic institution that was designed
77:44
to contain China right it was designed
77:48
for economic purposes but also for
77:49
security purposes he vetoed that or he
77:53
killed that when he came
77:54
to office that was a big mistake so I
77:58
think a lot of what he has done is
78:00
inconsistent with a realist approach but
78:03
there is no question that he does have
78:04
realist tendencies although again it’s
78:07
not part of any sort of grand theory of
78:11
how the world works okay last round of
78:14
questions
78:16
the gentleman white sweatshirt thank you
78:24
so much for your talk it’s very
78:26
enlightening I just have a question with
78:30
regards to the Iraq invasion
78:33
so you said and I quote there are
78:36
virtually no successes in Iraq and I
78:39
personally think that there were some
78:40
successes for the United States let’s
78:44
put aside all of the inexplicable damage
78:46
that has been wrought on to the Iraqi
78:49
population I think that there were
78:53
benefits for it for its economic
78:56
interests in the long term we can see
78:59
today that although what was done in
79:01
Iraq was a failure in many ways many oil
79:05
contracts if not all were given to
79:08
American country companies like
79:10
ExxonMobil war was created which
79:14
increases the demand for for weapons
79:17
which in turn can increase manufacturing
79:20
and selling of weapons by American
79:23
companies although all these contributes
79:27
to the economic superiority of the
79:29
United States and its prominent
79:31
companies so we need a question I will
79:34
come to the question because we’re
79:35
running out of time all right I
79:37
apologize for that so we can’t imagine
79:40
the United States today without its
79:42
superior economy right so I ask can the
79:49
Iraqi invasion be seen as a commercial
79:51
success for the United States
79:53
thank you very much the second question
80:05
hi thank you very much for your talk
80:08
my question is regarding the European
80:10
Union as America focuses on itself more
80:13
and liberalism takes a backseat do you
80:16
think there is a future for the European
80:18
Union and what do you think the future
80:19
holds for Western Europe thank you I
80:29
should go okay thank you
80:31
with regard to your question about Iraq
80:33
I thought you were gonna argue that it
80:36
had some benefits for Iraq but obviously
80:39
you’re arguing that it had benefits to
80:41
the United States economic benefits for
80:43
the United States I don’t believe that
80:46
I think it’s estimated that the two wars
80:53
won in Afghanistan and two in Iraq and
80:56
the Iraqi war is the more expensive the
80:58
two of the two is gonna cost us
81:00
somewhere between four to six trillion
81:03
dollars over time again when you think
81:08
of all that money and and and and the
81:11
consequences for the Iraqi people it’s
81:14
just stunning right but for the six
81:16
trillion dollars I don’t think the oil
81:19
companies ended up making much of profit
81:24
as a result of the invasion and I think
81:28
in terms of arms sales yes we sold some
81:31
more arms but not enough to really
81:34
matter not enough to really affect the
81:36
economy so I don’t think I don’t think
81:42
that you’re right that the the United
81:44
States benefited economically from this
81:47
war but again even if it did it wouldn’t
81:49
justify you know what happened in Iraq
81:53
and by the way remember that one of the
81:55
principal consequences of the invasion
81:58
of Iraq was the creation of Isis just
82:01
don’t want to lose sight of that
82:04
second question a very interesting
82:06
question on the EU and the future of the
82:08
European Union and you prefaced it by
82:11
saying America’s losing interest in
82:15
Europe to some extent and as American
82:18
interest in Europe wanes what does that
82:21
mean for the EU I make two points first
82:26
of all I believe that one of the reasons
82:29
probably the main reason that European
82:32
integration has been so successful and
82:35
there has been peace in Europe is
82:37
because of the presence of the American
82:40
military in Europe its NATO it’s the
82:45
American pacifier as I often say to
82:48
audiences you know I’ve spent a lot of
82:50
time going around Europe since 1990 when
82:52
the Cold War ended I have never met a
82:56
single policymaker a single pundit a
82:59
single academic a single representative
83:03
of the foreign policy establishment in
83:05
any country in Europe who wants to see
83:07
the Americans leave Europe this is quite
83:09
remarkable and now I was recently
83:12
Romania as recently in Denmark the
83:15
Romanians and the den Danes do not want
83:18
us to leave Europe and it’s because they
83:20
understand that this I’m throw but the
83:23
American military presence that NATO
83:25
underpins the EU and peace and security
83:29
in Europe okay that’s my view so in
83:33
terms of the future of the EU what
83:37
really matters in terms of the United
83:39
States is that we stay in NATO keep NATO
83:43
intact and keep American forces here the
83:47
second point I would make to you the
83:49
problems in the EU today despite all
83:52
Donald Trump’s rhetoric have nothing to
83:55
do with the United States they’re mainly
83:59
Eurocentric problems problems associated
84:02
with the euro problems associated with
84:05
brexit if you look at what’s going on in
84:07
Italy and a lot of these problems by the
84:10
way have to do
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with nationalism right I’m not going to
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get into that in any detail here but
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there are real problems in the EU today
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but those problems are not the result of
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the United States right so the Europeans
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have to figure out how to fix those
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problems but more importantly for the
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Europeans they got to keep the Americans
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here in my opinion I think the America
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the European elites understand correctly
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that an American military presence is a
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pacifying factor here in Europe the main
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pacifying factor thank you very much
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John unfortunately we have to leave it
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at that there will be a drinks reception
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outside in the foyer but join me once
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again to in thanking professor much I’m
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afraid
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excellent
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[Applause]
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you
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[Applause]

What is China’s Grand Strategy?

America’s foreign policy establishment believed that China’s economic ascent would lead to political liberalization, and that China in the long term would become a benign actor in world affairs. That view has been falsified, but there is no consensus about what China wants and what threat it might pose to American interests. China is seeking technological self-sufficiency and even superiority in key industries. It has concentrated military spending on advanced technologies. Its Belt and Road Initiative proposes a trillion-dollar investment program to project China’s influence across the world. What is China’s grand design, and how should the United States respond to it?

David P. Goldman is a columnist at Asia Times and a principal of Asia Times Holdings LLC. He contributes regularly to the Claremont Review of Books and other conservative outlets, including PJ Media, where he writes the “Spengler” column. During 2013-2016 he was a managing director at Yunfeng Financial, a Hong Kong investment bank. Previously he was global head of debt research at Bank of America and head of credit strategy at Credit Suisse. He is the author of several books including “How Civilizations Die” (2011).

The Hague Aims for U.S. Soldiers

The U.S. has done more than any other nation to instill in its civilian-controlled military a respect for human rights and the laws of war. When American servicemembers violate their doctrine and training—which can happen in any human institution—the U.S. is perfectly capable of applying our own laws to their conduct. These laws and procedures do not need to be second-guessed by international courts, especially ones that violate basic rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, like trial by jury.

.. Moreover, the Rome Statute’s real targets always have been not merely individual soldiers accused of war crimes, but their commanders and political leaders—all the way to the commander in chief of the global hegemon (as they resentfully see it).

.. It also fails a critical constitutional test—the separation of powers—in that the executive not only prosecutes but determines guilt or innocence. Decoupling executive and judicial powers is no mere constitutional nicety; it is a critical mechanism for restraining excesses.

.. To date, the ICC has been feckless and often in disarray, acquiring the justifiable reputation from its caseload that it was a project by Europeans to prosecute miscreants in their former African colonies. Burundi recently withdrew from the ICC, and others have come close.

 

Exiting the Iran deal is a blow to financial transparency and US control

the West’s dominance of global finance has meant that the US effectively controls conduits which are the lifeblood of non-Western powers like Russia and China as well. Russia, itself bitterly subject to American sanctions, hopes to escape the noose by deploying a blockchain-based parallel infrastructure for international transactions. Whether such an enterprise will prove laughable and quixotic, or whether it might pierce meaningful holes in the US-dominated conventional system, depends a great deal on how policymakers, bankers, and entrepreneurs around the world react to it.

.. However, now, specifically with respect to its enforcement of financial sanctions on an apparently compliant Iran, it is the United States that seems, even among its Western partners, to be the rogue state in need of policing. However begrudging European acquiescence to extraterritorial US sanctions may have been two days ago, it is more begrudging today.

.. More than that, the remaining counterparties of the Iran nuclear deal — China, France, Russia, the UK, and the EU — all want the deal to continue. They will be at pains to persuade Iran that it continues to enjoy significant sanctions relief relative to what it would face if it abandoned the deal. Which puts those countries between a rock and the hard-place of extraterritorial enforcement by the US of reimposed prohibitions. At a policy level, the remaining signatories now have an active interest in enabling, even encouraging, evasion of US financial controls, an interest that is morally and politically defensible. All of a sudden La Resistance among sullen French bankers isn’t just about the juicy fees foregone, but a heroic struggle to #resist Donald Trump, to prevent the renuclearization of Iran. And policymakers might agree.

.. That might mean taking some of the pressure off of European and vacation isle tax havens, reversing the recent, American-enforced trend towards transparency. It might mean partnering with China and Russia to participate in the parallel, alternative financial arrangements that those countries seek to develop. It plainly puts at risk the hard won, absolutely extraordinary, hegemony that American regulators have over global finance.

.. And for those among the US #resistance who see Vladimir Putin beneath every strand of orange hair, what Donald Trump has just done makes the possibility of a new Russian SWIFT considerably less laughable.

China’s New Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere

China is following the same path to regional hegemony that Japan did in the 1930s.

.. Implicit in the 205-minute harangue were echoes of the themes of the 1930s: A rising new Asian power would protect the region and replace declining Western influence.

.. In the 1930s, Imperial Japan tried to square the same circle of importing Western technology while deriding the West. It deplored Western influence in Asia while claiming that its own influence in the region was more authentic.

Only about 60 years after the so-called Meiji Restoration, Japan shocked the West by becoming one of the great industrial and military powers of the world.

.. Japanese engineering students returned home with world-class expertise in aviation, nautical architecture, and ballistics — and a disdain for the supposed “decadence” of their mentors.

.. By 1941, Japanese super-battleships, fleet carriers, and fighter planes looked almost identical to British and American models. Often they were just as good, if not better.

.. Satellite Asian clients were expected to overlook Japanese bullying and imperialism in exchange for the advantages of trickle-down wealth from a rising Japanese economy and the paternalistic security offered by the Imperial Japanese Navy and ground forces.

.. China is currently following the Japanese model of the 1930s and early 1940s. All the parallels are there: claims of Western decline, appeals to pan-Asian solidarity, the bullying of neighbors, visions of a Chinese-led trading and currency bloc, new westernized Chinese weapons, and boasts that Beijing has combined the best of both Western technology and superior Asian discipline to become the superpower of the future.