08:28uh the the thesis of the book we were08:31asking08:31why is it that democratization produced08:34a politics of grievance and resistance08:37and resentment and one the simplest08:40answer08:41is that uh democratization was imitation08:44and imitation08:45uh uh is associated with the confession08:48that the other is superior you’re08:50inferior08:50and of course that produces resentment08:53but more08:54particularly if i could give you just08:55one i think uh08:57very revealing example09:00of how this uh how this developed let’s09:03take hungary as an example09:05the hungarians took standard model09:08thatcherite09:09privatization which uh uh developed in09:12the west09:13they tried they applied it in a society09:15with no private capital09:17the consequence of this was in a way we09:19should have seen it ahead of time09:21was that managers took the assets of09:24their enterprises09:25and uh used that to buy the enterprises09:27for themselves09:28creating their own private wealth and uh09:32this was the beginning of the09:34development of an appalling inequalities09:36in these uh in east european societies09:38post-communist societies unjustifiable09:41inequalities which were resented but not09:43only that09:45the the language of liberalism which is09:48the language of human rights individual09:49rights09:50was not able to capture or to articulate09:54the grievance uh experienced by those09:56who watched the public patrimony of09:58their country09:59put into the pockets of individuals who10:01were insiders10:02so the privatization of polypatrimony10:06was a uh was was experienced as an abuse10:09as a10:09as a as a crime but it couldn’t be10:12articulated in the language10:13of individual rights of liberalism and10:16indeed10:17the language of liberalism particularly10:18the language of private property rights10:20be uh beca banned blessed or justified10:24this process which was widely viewed as10:27illegitimate and unjustifiable and and10:30of course10:31personally painful if you are your best10:33friend10:34you have two friends uh uh they’re very10:37equal one day10:38in a couple years one of them is riding10:40around in limousines10:41the other can’t afford a bus ticket one10:43is eating at fish restaurants every10:45night the other10:46can’t afford a piece of fresh fruit that10:48produces resentment so the10:50the the westernization process created10:53traumas in these societies which we10:55didn’t foresee and didn’t predict10:57but that was the seedbed for this11:00populist revolt against the liberal11:02order11:03now for those of us who grew up during11:04the cold war this is going to sound11:05passing strange but there are many on11:07the right11:08in eastern and central europe that11:10consider the european union to be the11:12new11:12soviet union how can that be11:15yeah this is a very strange development11:17interesting and kind of11:18complicated so the first thing is that11:21reform elites11:23in eastern europe were very eager to uh11:26to join in the accession process to the11:29european union11:30and therefore accepted the post-national11:32rhetoric11:33of the european union that if you11:35remember was really developed to help11:37germany11:38overcome its nationalistic past so it11:40was a very post-national language11:42and that um meant that this these reform11:46elites11:47were leaving behind in their own country11:50national symbols11:51national traditions they kind of didn’t11:53speak about them11:54and therefore when resentment uh or when11:57when the west entered into crisis11:59particularly in 200812:01and the western model seemed to be less12:04than it was cracked up to be12:05and to present problems um a counter12:08elite emerged12:09in eastern europe in central eastern12:11europe mostly of provincial origins12:13who blamed everything that went wrong12:17on the fact that they the reform elite12:19had abandoned the nation12:20had abandoned national traditions so12:22this was a uh12:24the the accession process was a viewed12:26as a12:27betrayal of national authenticity12:31uh in in addition there’s another very12:34interesting factor which is that the12:35european union was12:36asking all in and hungary become12:39democratic12:39you must learn how to become democracies12:42like we in the west12:43at the same time brussels was saying we12:46are going to write all of your laws12:48so while you’re becoming democratic12:50actually your laws are going to be12:51written in brussels12:52this produced also resentment and a12:54feeling that there is something12:56uh perverse or uh arrogant about12:59brussels obviously brussels is not13:02moscow it doesn’t have a boot13:04on their throats but it did it does did13:06convey13:07a sense of uh superiority judgmentalism13:10and then i i need to uh emphasize that13:13although13:14the west did not impose democracy and13:18liberalization13:19it did judge the progress of13:22democratization and liberalization13:24and in a way westerners when they13:26visited eastern europe i saw this a lot13:28i worked there of course in the 90s13:30uh it was as if it’s in the way tourists13:33visit a zoo you know13:34you go to the zoo you look at the13:36primates you say well13:38uh they’re like us but they’re lit13:40missing something they don’t have an13:42opposable thumb13:43or they don’t have the rule of law so13:45you’re kind of saying you’re you’re kind13:46of a copy of us but you’re not a very13:48good copy13:49and probably you’ll never be much good13:51so there was a feeling of13:52being looked down upon uh which also13:55stirred resentment uh and let me just13:59say one other thing about14:00i think authenticity the sense these14:02populists are claiming that they14:04are those in touch with the authentic14:06tradition which has been14:08lost by westernization and14:10democratization so14:12in 1989 uh it’s clear that the14:16nationalists were allied with the14:19liberals in the revolt against moscow’s14:21empire14:22so in poland there was a lot of14:24basically trying to get away from russia14:25was a very important motivation now they14:28didn’t14:29speak the language of nationalism at the14:31time probably because it was not a14:32language welcome in brussels14:34but also because this was the period of14:36milosevic you know the bloody side of14:38nationalism and milosevic was a14:40communist communist so a man like14:42kaczynski would never14:43echo milosevic so there was the language14:46of nationalism was subdued14:49and when after 2008 2014 the immigration14:52crisis14:53these populist knees near felt freed14:56from having to14:57to cover their nationalism with the14:59language of liberalism so15:01it it it had felt like a kind of cage15:04in which they were trapped and they15:06broke out of it15:07and returned to this kind of nativist uh15:10way of feeling which had always been15:12there but had been muffled so it was15:15that’s part of the why populism seems15:18authentic to them15:19well let’s extend your metaphor a little15:22further if we want to talk about the15:24number one primate in the zoo boy this15:26is a terrible analogy15:28uh should we ask about russia here why15:30didn’t i i mean15:31the the many of the central and eastern15:33european countries did sort of flirt15:35with15:35liberal democracy for a while before15:38adopting illiberal democracy that they15:40have today but russia never did15:41why why did russia never try it well i15:44mean first of all you have to remember15:45that in the soviet union15:46elites have been have found it very easy15:49to15:50fake democracy have fake elections15:52because they’ve been faking communism15:53for at least two decades before15:55uh they were sort of dressed up this way15:58let’s pretend we’re having to15:59have elections these are all rigged of16:01course uh16:02and uh we know he’s going to win and16:04there’s not really any competition16:06that was very easy for them to do they16:07also in russia by the way16:10they they had a communist training told16:12them that democracy is just16:14a trick by which elites uh deceive their16:17publics16:18and hold on to power capitalism is just16:20really an elite project to16:22exploit the working classes and so on so16:25they were16:25very comfortable with that idea of16:27capitalist democracy16:29but in the end basically uh russia16:33was so injured i mean the main thing to16:36understand about the russian16:37situation is they lost huge part of16:40their territory16:41uh a huge number of their population16:43they lost their superpower status it was16:45a16:46it was a huge injury to the self-image16:48of russians which was not true in16:49eastern europe that they didn’t16:51eastern europeans didn’t have this16:52imperial swagger this imperial16:54claims that they were you know on the16:57top of the world16:58uh and actually exporting their own17:01model17:01elsewhere so that was a very strong and17:04i think the so the russians for17:06a couple decades were pretty happy with17:08just faking democracy and17:10but in the end as putin came to power17:13the resentment of being treated as17:16second-class17:16citizens as being looked down upon as17:18being taught lessons17:20by the west boiled over and uh the17:23russians17:24went from this like faking a democracy17:28to a what we call aggressive imitation17:31uh that is17:32imitation of the west which is designed17:35to humiliate the west17:36uh which is designed to show that the17:38west is hypocritical so for example17:41in the speech he gave putin gave17:44justifying the annexation of17:46crimea he basically imitated word for17:49word17:49uh western speeches about the17:51independence of kosovo17:53human rights national self-determination17:56and so forth but this was17:57very much a kind of imitation meant to18:00expose the west’s18:01hypocrisy and uh yes i think that’s18:05i think that’s a good uh way to18:07understand the putin regime which is not18:09people often uh act as if putin is a18:12great strategist and it is true that18:13he’s played18:14beforehand well but he’s not a great18:16strategist his18:17his main aim which is not strategic and18:20is not18:21helping russia redevelop itself is to18:24expose the west as hypocritical that’s18:26his18:26obsession uh and i think that’s a18:29blind alley that’s a dead end maybe a18:31blind alley but most days of the week18:33it’s not that hard to do18:34whoops there’s my little editorial18:36comment uh let me try this18:39do we have to come to the unhappy18:40conclusion therefore18:42that liberalism as we understand it is18:45really not exportable18:47to cultures that are if i can put it18:49this way wired differently18:51from those of us in the west i think18:54one of the big lessons of the 2003 war18:58in iraq18:59is that uh trying to impose a19:02democratic system after a six-week19:04military campaign19:05in a country where three-quarters of the19:06population married their first cousin19:08and so19:08it’s a completely different social world19:10you can’t just you know uh19:12impose something like this and that that19:15was such a lesson even though19:16our uh uh international internationalist19:21humanitarian internationals uh went over19:24there19:25with the uh crude and i think uh19:28defenseless uh idea that the only19:31legitimate authority with whom we are19:33going to deal are going to be authority19:35that’s elected19:36i think it’s very good to help so the19:38listeners to contrast what19:40how we behaved in afghanistan and how19:42the americans behaved in afghanistan and19:44how they behaved19:45in iraq and afghanistan we had been19:47there for decades we19:49knew all the warlords we didn’t say to19:51the warlords you must be elected19:53before we negotiate with you but in iraq19:56the religious leaders the tribal shakes19:57were set aside we had this19:59fake ideological belief that we have to20:02create authority by elections which of20:04course is a20:05is a uh it is based on historical20:08ignorance20:09democracy is a tiny spot in human20:11history20:12it has cute enormously complicated20:14preconditions20:16it doesn’t we we’re confusing the20:18absence of obstacles with the presence20:20of preconditions we thought if you get20:21rid of saddam20:22you’re going to have democracy just like20:24if you get rid of communist elite you’re20:26going to have democracy20:27and this was an illusion it’s a20:29democratic ideology that20:31idea was uh is is is it20:34uh uh ex exposes a kind of disgraceful20:38historical ignorance which was uh at the20:41basis of much of american foreign policy20:44in the post-cold war era we’ve got about20:46five minutes to go here so let me try a20:48couple more questions with you20:49your book now suggests that we’ve20:51entered an age of illiberal20:53imitation how do you see that20:56well it’s a strange uh fact that uh21:00president trump seems to be uh uh21:03accepting putin’s uh a strategic goal of21:07dismantling the european union21:09of destroying all of the international21:11organizations created by the united21:12states after world war21:14ii uh and he’s at war not only with the21:17wto the who in21:19all the world america made seems to be21:21uh uh21:22the liberal world order seems to be21:24something that trump himself21:26is uh attacking so that is a a kind of21:29imitation of and he’s using the rhetoric21:32nationalist rhetoric anti-immigrant21:33rhetoric21:34of orban and kaczynski uh and the21:38anti-western21:39uh language and also by the way21:42uh he’s the first american president who21:45has not said we deserve to rule the21:47world because we’re morally superior21:49i mean that’s a kind of not a very21:52likable uh uh position to take but every21:55american president has taken that21:57basically21:58trump says no no we’re just like21:59everyone else uh22:01well what i was personally don’t you22:03think22:04is that again be a tough case for him22:06personally to make it22:07imitate him personally yes i would say22:10but he of course22:11his basic uh thing is he resents22:14this is sort of the trump world view is22:16he resents terribly22:18the countries that imitate our uh22:21economic productivity22:22or or are horning in on our market share22:25and so on so22:26he’s a person who has claimed i think22:28the first american president ever22:30to say that america is the greatest22:33victim of the americanization22:34of the world so that’s part of it but i22:37wouldn’t like uh to say a word about22:40uh the current crisis we’re in and i’m22:43i’ve been asking myself and my colleague22:45yvonne krustev22:46we’ve been speaking about this as well22:48what does the was the current pandemic22:51tell us about the trauma of liberalism22:54and the the competition between22:56liberalism and populism22:57uh because in a way uh the23:01the previous crises of liberalism 1923:04uh the uh 2001 in which it turned out23:07that23:08defending human rights the whole uh idea23:11of defending human rights as the primary23:12value23:13seemed to give way to the battle against23:15terrorism in which rights were viewed as23:17a trojan horse for our enemies23:192008 which really showed that our23:22economic elite23:23i didn’t know what it was doing so that23:25also uh really hurt our prestige to uh23:28201423:29in which the migrant crisis uh made23:32people feel like open borders23:33were a threat to western civilization23:36and so on all these things have23:37combined and and we’re under a23:40uh we’re living in a time where those23:43three crises have seemed to be23:45accumulating in the present one23:46and weakening the liberal commitment to23:50globalization and so forth23:51openness uh at the same time23:54every political order has its own23:57disorders and populism23:59is producing its own discontents and24:01these populist leaders24:02bolsonaro trump authoritarians like24:05putin24:06strangely enough they are very afraid of24:09this crisis24:10they are not you know taking hold of it24:12and using it24:13to uh to uh uh to their benefit24:16uh there’s a way in which this kind of24:19crisis has24:20uh had is is challenging any kind of24:23regime24:24the archaeon regimes we saw that in24:25china where they’re hiding evidence24:27we see it in the west some some24:29democratic societies have done well some24:31authoritarian societies have done okay24:33it doesn’t seem to fit well into our24:36ideological24:37uh polarities so i think that’s and the24:39way i would put this in the end the24:40question open to us24:42is now in the future is is the pandemic24:45going to24:46increase our reliance on science and24:49rationality24:50belief in fact consciousness or is it24:53going to24:54uh create a uh is the panic24:57of and fear going to lead to more25:00conspiracy theories25:01uh and more xenophobia uh uh25:04migrant bashing uh so we’re on a knife’s25:08edge25:08i think and the the fate of the liberal25:11model and the liberal commitment to25:13rational decision making25:14uh and uh the uh uh25:17and its competition with these populist25:21myth makers25:22sloganeers who are always trying to sell25:24something has not been decided25:26i definitely do not think the populists25:29have the upper hand25:30i think the populists are also25:32struggling and they’re25:33not finding this an easy crisis to deal25:36with25:36so although i don’t believe that the25:39west is covering itself with glory25:41either25:42uh the whale and liberal regimes are25:44also struggling because25:46uh the the disease is hard to understand25:49and it’s hard to master25:50i i definitely don’t believe that uh the25:54current crisis is going to25:56really decide the question in favor of26:00of the populists well why don’t i26:02freelance then and just uh re-title your26:05book the light that’s failed26:07so far and we’ll leave it there uh26:10i want to thank you very much professor26:11holmes for joining us on tvo tonight26:13congratulations again on your gelber26:15prize26:15uh for anybody who wants to pick it up26:17yvonne krastieff and stephen holmes26:18collaborated on the light26:20that failed are reckoning take good care26:22and thanks for joining us on tvo tonight26:25thank you steve26:30the agenda with steve pakin is brought26:32to you by the chartered professional26:33accountants of ontario26:35cpa ontario is a regulator an educator26:38a thought leader and an advocate we26:40protect the public26:41we advance our profession we guide our26:44cpas26:45we are cpa ontario and by viewers like26:49you26:49thank you
35:27great you know there’s just tremendous35:29homogeneity now in in american culture35:32right35:32uh it’s the idea that these are the35:34types of people35:36who should be both in charge35:39of talking about liberal left35:42politics and who should really be in35:44charge of the country in general there35:45are people who right now have cultural35:46hegemony in this country35:48right um and it’s the idea that these35:51people35:52are sort of the these are the people who35:55embody35:56what should be american morality right35:58now right these are the people who36:00embody what that is and36:01should hold the cultural level levers of36:04power in the country and who36:05should have the power to be speaking on36:09uh the important topics of the day36:12so that’s sort of what i mean by that36:14what is joe what does joe rogan36:16lack on that list of36:20attributes that people think define36:22those who should be36:23exerting influence and power over our36:25discourse in politics36:27well i think what he lacks is i mean36:30the most important thing he lacks is36:33the um willingness to exclude everyone36:36else from the debate who isn’t a part of36:39that culture i mean i think that’s36:40probably the primary thing that enrages36:43them36:43is that he i mean one of the reasons why36:47his show is so popular is that it’s a36:49really powerful cross-pollination36:51of ideas of different fields of36:53different36:54industries people from all these36:56different walks of life36:58um it’s you know it’s it’s a great37:00reflection of internet culture you know37:01one of the reasons why the show is so37:03popular is that it kind of operates on37:04internet time37:06right as opposed to you know cable news37:08that37:09is kind of really slow to pick up on37:11things probably because of its older37:12demographic whereas37:14joe rogan is able to seize on something37:16that appeared on a message board37:17yesterday right and i mean even if you37:19watch his show37:20um they’re able to fact that fat check37:23themselves in real time right he’s got37:25his sidekick there jamie who37:27pulls something up to verify whether37:29what joe37:30what joe just said is totally full of37:32i mean that’s not something you’re37:33going to see chris hayes do37:35or sean hannity do right like that’s37:37just not the way it works37:38everyone’s online today i mean the37:41entire country is essentially getting37:4237:43and facebook and all that jazz like why37:45bother37:46doing it in this particular medium that37:49has an inherent time constraint37:51well you’re right i mean the internet37:53has revolutionized37:55politics and in many ways good ways we37:58use37:59our social media our email list which is38:01very large38:02we every day we’re sending out stuff and38:04other candidates are doing it the same38:05way38:05but television still has a very38:07important role to be playing um and so38:09probably it’s it’s partly that uh and38:12it’s38:12and it’s partly you know his his38:15willingness38:16to transgress on issues that are38:19considered38:20sacred right not necessarily obviously38:23the big one nowadays is the trans issue38:25the transgenderism issue38:26he’s willing to talk about that and he’s38:28willing to bring in38:30um perspectives on it that right now38:33liberals are just have38:34zero zero tolerance for um and so38:38so let me let me let’s stop there for a38:40second so38:42you know i’m i’m i’m i to kind of38:46present what i think would be the38:49best or strongest case that a liberal38:52would make for why joe rogan ought to be38:54regarded38:56certainly not as an ally and even as an38:58enemy38:59and one is the one that you just put39:01your finger on so this week there was a39:03report in vice39:05that employees of sportify which is the39:08platform that essentially just paid joe39:10rogan39:11in excess of 100 million dollars for his39:14show exclusively to appear there39:16are upset um and it came from39:20how they what they described themselves39:22as being lgbtq39:24a i plus employees39:28and allies so not just the lgbtqai plus39:33employees but also their allies are39:36upset because39:38in particular he has had on his show39:41number one an author who has argued39:45that there are times when young people39:49are influenced to believe39:53that they have gender dysphoria and to39:55even begin39:56irreversible transitions when in fact40:00they don’t have gender dysphoria because40:02of the culture that is encouraging them40:05to think that to what40:06in other words questioning whether young40:08people are being misdiagnosed40:10with gender dysphoria who don’t in fact40:12have it and there are definitely people40:14who40:14have said that they have been that40:16they’ve gone through that process only40:17to realize that40:19that wasn’t their issue so that was one40:22of the problems is just40:23airing an author who did research and40:26science40:27who said that to some extent people are40:30being misdiagnosed40:31and then i guess the other one was him40:33being an mma fan40:35a fighting fan as you alluded to earlier40:38questioning whether it’s fair40:40to allow uh trans women who40:44live their lives uh as biological men40:47who went through puberty as biological40:49men who developed muscle mass and40:50hormones and40:52um the entire physiology of a man to40:55then40:56transition and compete with cis women41:00something that people like martina41:01navratilova who’s been a long time41:04advocate for trans people have asked as41:06well and that41:07essentially this demonstrates his41:09willingness not just to air these41:11views but to even kind of wonder them41:13himself41:14suggests that he’s transphobic which is41:16a form of bigotry41:18and we ought not to have any kind of41:21alliance with41:22or support for people who are bigots41:25that’s one of the41:27cases that is made against joe oregon41:29why isn’t that valid41:30so i mean it goes to the point that i41:32that the question you just asked41:34me and the point that i made which is41:36that you know41:38what makes what makes it what makes joe41:41rogan41:41seen as not an ally and you know41:45what makes him come across as not an41:47ally is that he is not41:48actively engaged in the culture war41:50right i mean what’s so crucial to people41:53who are actually41:54actively engaged in liberal culture war41:56is that you have to be41:58actively seen as saying you know this is42:00our line and anyone who does not42:03um hew to this line is the enemy right42:06and if you’re not42:06a part if you’re not a part of the42:08solution you’re a part of the problem42:09essentially42:10and so when joe rogan someone like joe42:12rogan comes along and says hey there are42:14some interesting issues here hey42:16let’s talk about this hey there are some42:18certain scientific studies42:19that immediately raises all the alarms42:22in people’s heads42:24saying that uh oh this is not one of us42:26this is not one of the allies right like42:28this isn’t someone who is going42:30to be doing the work that we define42:32ourselves by42:33the work of advancing the culture war42:37right and if you’re not advancing the42:39culture war42:40then you’re as good as the enemy if not42:42the enemy is ironic right because like42:44george george bush’s42:45911 formulation that liberals42:48incessantly not just mock but we’re42:51very alarmed by was that you know42:54every country has a choice you’re with42:56us or you’re with the terrorists it’s42:58one or the other there’s no middle43:00ground if you’re not43:02actively supporting what we’re doing43:03we’re going to regard you as an43:05ally of the terrorists or even one of43:08the terrorists and that means that43:10for example in the culture war you43:13become the enemy not merely by43:16advocating against trans rights but43:20questioning the premises the science43:23behind the implications of these very43:25profound social changes43:27that a lot of people are advocating43:29right and and that’s what you saw from43:30this vice article right43:32um it was actually a perfect case study43:35i mean first of all the headline said43:37joe rogan’s transphobic episode or43:40something like that or43:41transphobic joe rogan you know it43:43clearly editorialized before you even43:45you didn’t i mean you didn’t even have43:47to read the article right like you you43:48just read the headline and you know43:50exactly what the article is saying43:52but beyond that it also completely43:55sidestepped the debate as we’re just43:56saying now right43:58this episode that they’re talking about43:59that that’s causing all the drama44:01internally and spotify if you watch it44:04there’s44:04two important things to know about it44:06first of all before44:08anything happened and again the reason44:10why this stuff works so well is because44:12no one actually listens to the episodes44:13who care involved in this44:15in this war right in these battles44:16because or they see44:18like one minute chosen snippets44:20deliberately selected to44:22cast it in the responsible light right44:26right exactly but so he starts off right44:28off the bat and he’s44:29and he says this episode is not about44:31adults right44:32this is not about trans adults we44:34completely believe in trans adult rights44:37we believe in their identities44:38we are completely supportive of them um44:41i joe rogan and completely a supporter44:45of trans adults right so that’s44:46important to set aside44:48um because right off the bat you know44:50that he’s not talking about44:52tran the idea of transgenderism in44:54general obviously right44:56you can’t i’ve heard him say before i’ve44:58heard him say before45:00not only do i fully support the complete45:04range and panoply of45:07robust equal legal rights for trans45:09people45:10and not only do i believe that they have45:12the absolute right to live their lives45:14with full and complete dignity and45:15liberty45:16which is consistent with his overall45:18philosophy i’ve heard him say45:20i have nothing but love in my heart for45:22trans people in fact45:23admiration for people who are willing to45:27defy societal convention to be45:29who they are so it’s almost like even on45:32the question of trans issues45:34from a liberal perspective he’s way45:38ahead of45:39the vast majority of where the45:40population is in terms of how he talks45:42about it45:43um so you’re right he he carves out this45:47kind of45:48you know um territory that he’s saying45:51i’m not45:52questioning the rights fully of trans45:55adults to live a complete and full45:57life filled with dignity and love um46:01so what is it that that became46:02problematic46:04so what became problematic is that you46:06know the rest of the show46:08is devoted to the issue of children46:11who you know children teenagers46:15people going through adolescence who46:18come across the idea of transgenderism46:21and think that maybe transgenderism has46:24some kind of answers46:26for what may be the natural kind of46:29patterns and challenges that children go46:32through in young age46:33um you know normally and also you know46:36in these days46:37we’re suffering through a mental health46:38crisis right one that probably46:40even preceded um coded but has just been46:44amped up46:44greatly during covid right but generally46:47the46:47the idea and the author of the book who46:49i will say you know the the author of46:51the book the title46:52was a little bit sensationalist and i46:54think that’s probably driving a46:56little bit you know it’s something like46:57they’re coming for our daughters or46:58something like that which you know47:00listen i if i was advising someone to47:02write a book that you want well received47:03broadly47:04you might do a better job with the title47:06but and that’s not and that’s not a book47:09written by joe it’s not a book written47:10by joe rogan it’s a book written47:14not always favorably right he47:16interrogated that person on47:17a lot of those premises exactly and he47:20did and he did do a good job of actually47:22kind of talking about the cover and47:23saying well why did you go with this47:24cover47:25and i mean it was he did this job on47:27that end actually right47:28um but more importantly this entire47:32episode was talking about47:33whether there’s an issue with kids47:37that you know kind of exploring47:39transgenderism and actually47:41moving forward with it when maybe it’s47:43not it maybe it’s47:44sort of a product of just a tumultuous47:47adolescence and maybe47:49allowing children to do this and engage47:51in this is maybe not the right move47:53essentially saying47:54maybe these children who think they’re47:55trans aren’t actually trans and maybe we47:58should be47:58engaging the science engaging um48:02engaging the experts on this issue to48:04kind of sort this out so that48:06you know we’re not we’re not kind of48:09sending people48:10on this path that will sort of you know48:12uproot their lives and48:14things that they’ll have to undo later48:16on and just causing more trauma into48:18adulthood right48:19it’s a way to argue against that which48:20is to say well no we’ve talked to the48:22experts and the experts say this isn’t a48:24widespread48:25issue or when we interrogate these48:27children who think they might be trans48:29there are real reasons why they think48:31they are or you know look into that48:33literature48:33bring it up bring the experts in and48:35actually engage this debate but of48:37course that’s not what they’re in for48:38right like this that’s not what this is48:40about48:40this is about immediately kind of48:43shutting down the debate48:44and saying okay you’re on the you’re not48:47you’re not advancing48:49the the cause the trans cause and the48:51broader culture cause so you’re clearly48:52part of the problem you’re not being an48:54ally right and that’s why48:56this word ally is has become so48:58important and this broader kind of49:00critical theory culture war49:02um dynamic is because this idea of ally49:07it’s not just it’s not a it’s not just49:09an affirmational49:11kind of identity of being an ally but49:12it’s a negational identity right what49:14it’s saying is that49:15if you’re an ally it means you’re49:17actually part of this49:19right you’re not you’re not someone who49:21is just letting it happen or working49:23against us if you’re not an ally49:25it’s not just that you’re being lazy49:26they’re not trying to you know when they49:28say you’re not an ally what they’re49:29saying is that you’re the enemy49:31right yeah you know there’s several49:32there’s there’s a couple things really49:34interesting to me about that which is49:36obviously part of my formative49:38experience in49:39being politically engaged was being part49:43of the gay rights movement49:44in the late 80s or even the mid 80s to49:48late 80s when i kind of came of age as49:51a gay teenager in the reagan years there49:53was obviously just like there is against49:56trans people now it sustained an49:57organized demonization campaign49:59right obviously the people who were just50:02you know50:03close-minded malicious bigots50:06were not people that you regarded as50:08allies those are people you were willing50:09to kind of demonize and scorn but the50:11reason why50:13that debate ended up being won by50:16advocates of50:17gay equality was because we were50:19constantly searching for ways to50:22engage people and to change their minds50:24and50:25encouraging those questions to be asked50:27based on the recognition50:29that if you want to usher in very50:31profound50:32changes to how society functions50:35and do so in a way that requires a50:38majority to support you50:40even though the majority is not um part50:43of the group who’s50:45on be on whose behalf you’re advocating50:48dialogue50:48and engagement is crucial and so people50:51who want to50:52engage and ask questions are are things50:54that you’re happy about not people that50:56you want to denounce50:57the other thing i find so um51:00kind of baffling and confounding about51:03this51:04taboo on asking in particular51:07whether or not children or teenagers are51:11being51:12uh misdiagnosed with gender dysphoria51:15for cultural reasons or social reasons51:17or because the51:18the understanding of it is so51:19preliminary um51:21aside from the fact that just in general51:23you want medicine and science and51:26mental health uh professionals always51:29asking51:30whether misdiagnoses are taking place51:32but51:33there’s this kind of morality now as i51:35know all too well and as people have51:37been seeing51:38you know it’s kind of made its51:40appearance in the alex morse51:41scandal where there’s this now51:44growing uh orthodoxy among51:49in left global politics that if you’re a51:51young adult51:5323 21 20 you lack the capacity to make51:58decisions for yourself that are truly52:00consensual about who you want to date52:02who you want to have sex with52:03frequently people cite neurological52:06research that says your brain isn’t52:07fully formed52:09and that therefore if someone is 28 or52:1130 like alex morse was52:13he shouldn’t be dating or having sex52:14with 21 or 22 year olds even if they say52:17they want to52:18because 21 and 22 year olds aren’t52:20capable of making52:21a much a pretty limited choice do i want52:23to have sex with this person on this52:25particular night or date them and yet52:27those same people who say that 21 year52:30olds or 20 year olds52:31aren’t capable of deciding for52:33themselves whether to date an older52:35person or whether to have sex with an52:36older person52:37want to put it off limits whether a 1452:41year old or a 15 year old52:43is sufficiently mature and has the52:46emotional sophistication52:48to make permanent life-altering52:50decisions about52:51what their gender is to the point of52:53having surgeries or52:55hormonal treatments that will alter52:57themselves52:59forever um and you know i think that53:03um one of the53:07kind of uh phenomenon that we’re seeing53:10in liberal53:10culture increasingly that’s reflected in53:13this treatment of joe robin53:15rogan as a homophobe not for saying53:17anything disparaging53:19about trans people or advocating against53:21equal rights quite the contrary53:23he he he doesn’t do that he advocates53:26for rights53:27is the idea that simply asking questions53:29even in response to things that probably53:31ought to be interrogated53:33is considered itself almost as bad as53:37malice and bigotry itself they’re kind53:40of equated53:41in a way that just will inherently repel53:44people from a political movement that53:46says53:47that if you have questions you have no53:49right to ask them and simply asking them53:51makes you a bad person53:53right and and the the i think the uh the53:56tying53:56kind of thread there is that this is53:59again it’s it’s about this delineation54:02that we have to make between liberal54:04politics and liberal culture54:05and the culture war um this is very much54:08about54:09a culture that has de-prioritized54:12political outcomes right54:14uh we see that with your example that54:16you just made54:17um with the gay rights movement we also54:19saw that with the alex morse campaign54:20right54:21we saw people who were much more focused54:24on maintaining54:25the integrity and the purity of the54:28battle they’re engaged in culturally54:30even at the expense of achieving real54:33political outcomes54:34right and as you just said you know54:36engaging debates is54:38is how you actually you know having that54:41cross-pollination of ideas54:42and and actually persuading people54:44actually engaging in persuasion54:47um rather than just kind of identifying54:49who’s on in my tribe who’s in your tribe54:51that’s how you achieve political54:53outcomes it was the same with the alex54:54morse right where it was54:56an allegation was made and we54:58immediately have to believe the54:59allegation55:00not investigate it because if you are a55:03you know if you’re a denier or if you55:05even hesitate to believe55:07what’s happening then you are not55:09promoting this broader idea55:12that there are victims in the world and55:14we’re not55:15kind of invested further investing in55:16the idea of victimization right55:19um victimization is this really core55:21concept to this culture where right like55:23we have to believe that there are55:24victims and we have to always support55:27the creation of new categories of55:28victimhood and if we don’t and if we’re55:31not engaged in that struggle55:33then we’re not pushing the culture war55:34and again it just shows55:36that maintaining the integrity of this55:38culture war is far55:39more important than even the political55:41outcomes and i think there may be some55:43very tangible reasons for that i think55:45a lot of the people that are engaged in55:46this stuff are people who do derive55:49power from cult power powerful cultural55:51centers right they work in academia55:54they work in the media and that’s how55:55they exert their power55:57over politics and over society because55:59again culture is how56:01we talk about ideas culture is how56:04we mold political ideas and say which56:07ideas can connect together which people56:09can connect together who can56:10hang out with who how cool you know56:13culture builds coalitions right56:16it builds political coalitions so um56:19i think there’s a very real reason why56:22people56:22are very concerned about maintaining the56:25integrity of this liberal culture56:28it’s because that’s where they derive56:30their power and in fact56:32you know they’re i mean it’s not a56:34surprise to see especially56:35now seeing cultural elites feel so56:38disempowered democratically right they56:40feel so politically disempowered56:43um that they would kind of throw56:45themselves completely into this culture56:47war because that’s the only place where56:48they can exert their power now right56:50and that’s why we see these insane sorts56:53of um56:55kind of concessions to even corporate56:57culture where they’re56:59so excited to allow corporations to57:01censor57:02free speech they’re so excited to allow57:04hr departments to and you know57:06indoctrinate people and run57:08programs on people and force people in57:09these programs where the people are57:11literally denouncing themselves because57:13of the way they’re born57:14it’s exerting power through culture57:16because you can’t do it politically57:18anymore politically it’s a lot harder57:20you have to get the people on your side57:21why would you want to get the people on57:23your side that’s a pain in the ass57:24so yeah exactly um so57:28and and i do think it’s interesting as57:30well that57:31that this whole concept of whether you57:33care about power or not because57:35you know i watched i mentioned martina57:37navratilova earlier who um57:40you know is obviously a person who i pay57:42attention to i’ve talked about before57:44and written about before how she was my57:45childhood hero57:46i was working on a film about her and it57:48was amazing to watch57:49that this person who is like one of the57:52main 20th century pioneers57:54of feminism she did as much to create57:58space for the ability of female athletes58:01to compete on equal terms with male58:03athletes in terms of money and58:04sponsorships and58:05corporations is probably anybody except58:08for billie jean king58:09she had a trans coach in 1883 and was58:11defending58:13not just lgbts and was one of the few58:14openly gay celebrities or athletes of58:17that era58:18you know all she kind of did was say hey58:21i’m kind of confused58:23is all you is the only thing you have to58:25do to enter58:26female professional sports and win all58:29the cash58:30awards and and prizes and trophies is58:34declare yourself a woman or are there58:35protocols58:36she was really asking earnestly and58:39in response she was just mauled um58:42with no generosity no kind of58:46you know uh consideration for her whole58:48history she was just instantly declared58:50a bigot the more she tried to defend58:52herself58:53the worse it got and then eventually58:55very soon thereafter she converted58:57into a real enemy she emerged two months58:59later and wrote this59:01article aggressively condemning the idea59:04that trans women should be able to59:06compete in female athletic and female59:10athletics because it the the the kind of59:13intolerance for her even asking59:17converted her it alienated her converted59:19her into an enemy and59:20it seems like people who don’t care59:22about outcomes are about winning59:24really don’t get bothered by that but59:27let me just ask you about one59:28the kind of the last um59:32kind of prong of the case of the liberal59:34case against joe rogan i find this one59:36really interesting59:37too which is you know people say59:41okay fine he he liked bernie like tulsi59:45um and yet i believe in 2016 if i’m not59:48mistaken59:50he said that he was voting for trump59:51over hillary59:53and i’m certain that after saying that59:56he59:56thought bernie was the best candidate59:58and really like tulsi59:59he’s now saying i can’t vote for biden i60:02probably would vote for trump over biden60:05which would is leading ripples to say to60:07people like you60:09why would we possibly why should we60:12possibly regard somebody60:14as an ally who is60:18saying twice now that they’re going to60:19vote for donald trump and i guess like60:21an60:21ancillary part of that question is you60:24know there is this phenomenon of people60:26who twice voted60:27for barack obama and then voted for60:29donald trump in 201660:31not a small number a large number and60:33here in brazil60:34same thing you know a lot of people who60:35voted for bolsonaro in 201860:38were people who voted for the workers60:40party four consecutive60:42elections so if you’re kind of a60:44political junkie who relies on the60:46polarization of choose between rachel60:48maddow and sean hanovey60:50it doesn’t make any sense that somebody60:52could do that to say i like bernie60:54but i’m gonna vote for trump because you60:56have to pick an ideological box60:58and joe rogan clearly is a person61:01who doesn’t think that way and i think61:03there’s like this liberal sense that61:05that makes him bizarre when in fact61:07i think it makes him pretty common it’s61:09one of the reasons why people like him61:11because he’s not in one of those boxes61:13but what do you say to liberals who61:15would make that argument that how can we61:17consider somebody supporting61:19this authoritarian racist for president61:22to be an ally61:25well i mean there are two things that61:26you you have to kind of61:29kind of set the record straight on first61:31is that i i’m pretty sure in 2016 he61:33voted for gary johnson so he voted for a61:35libertarian i don’t think he voted for61:37trump in 2016.61:39um and in 2020 again he first you know61:42supported tulsi61:43then he supported bernie um and then61:46most recently if you really61:48look at his comments it’s not that he’s61:49saying he’s endorsing trump but he’s61:51saying that61:52he would he would vote for trump um61:55as a result of the party choosing biden61:57because he just doesn’t think biden can61:59do the job62:00just from a kind of mental age62:04decline standpoint so it’s not like the62:06most heartfelt support of trump but yeah62:08i mean62:08let’s set that aside and just say okay62:10like he’s willing to vote for trump62:12right62:12um i mean the idea that you wouldn’t62:15want to engage62:16someone who is willing to go from the62:19most62:20liberal the most left candidate in the62:23democratic primary and willing to then62:26switch over to trump62:27i mean you know it’s the argument that62:29the left’s been making62:30for you know for years now right that62:33like62:33these this is the is the guy to be62:36studying right he’s the one that we can62:38kind of crack the code on62:40um as for you know why that’s the case62:43i think it’s real again it’s really62:45threatening i don’t think62:46you know i think the democratic62:48establishment what i tend to tell people62:49is that the democratic establishment62:52their main priority is not really to62:54actually even win elections62:56it’s to keep control of the democratic62:58party right like that’s where most of63:00their power comes from it’s certainly63:01where63:02their most reliable source of power63:04comes from it’s keeping control of the63:05party because as long as you can63:07keep control of the party and you keep63:08control of the cultural63:10um levers of power in the country63:13you’re always going to be able to63:15command 5063:16of the political system you’re always63:18going to be able to command63:20um you know the entire media apparatus63:23that’s devoted to politics right you’re63:25good63:25or at least half of it right you’re63:27going to in control the liberal half63:29and so i think it’s i i mean i it’s63:32i’m sorry to say but i think it’s a63:34really cynical calculation63:36that cultural elites and democratic63:39party elites are making when they make63:41these decisions because when when you63:43engage joe rogan63:45and you engage his viewers you’re being63:47bringing in63:48a ton of people who you can’t63:50necessarily rely on to keep these clean63:52lines of political and cultural63:54engagement you’re63:55you’re completely blowing up the63:57political system you’re you’re blowing63:59up the racket64:00right and why would you want to do that64:02because at the end of the day64:04hell trump could get reelected and64:05they’d still control the party they can64:07still control the other half they’d be64:10raising hundreds of millions of dollars64:12for their think tanks and therefore you64:14know the media institutions and so64:16it’s a great racket why would you risk64:18that just for64:19winning you know the presidency for64:21maybe four years eight years64:22don’t get me wrong obviously they’d like64:24to win that too64:26but i don’t think that’s the real game i64:27don’t think that’s ever been the real64:28game64:30we saw that in the uk right where the64:33centrists and playwrights and moderates64:36who controlled the labor party64:38levers of power forever whether they64:40were in power out of power64:42when they lost control of their own64:44party to jeremy corbyn64:46they it was very obvious if you’re just64:48paying minimal attention but we now know64:50from documents that have been leaked and64:51reports that have been issued64:53they were actively working against the64:56labor party they preferred64:58to destroy corbyn and retake control65:01of the party even if it meant empowering65:04the tories and making boris johnson65:06prime minister because as you say65:09their top priority is ensuring that they65:11maintain65:12control of their party and secondary65:15or even more distantly is actually65:18winning elections65:19um and you know i think that you know65:22it’s like when people ask me why i go on65:23tucker carlson i65:24can barely even understand the question65:26because it’s such an obvious answer65:28which is65:29because there are four million people65:30watching and whatever percentage it is65:33that i can reach in any way not65:34necessarily change their minds instantly65:37but just kind of make them a little more65:38open65:39to hearing from different people maybe65:41get them kind of unsettled about65:44who they should be paying attention to65:46or introducing some ideas that maybe65:48maybe it’s ten percent maybe it’s five65:50percent maybe it’s fifteen percent65:52why would i ignore that if i actually65:54care about outcomes65:55to watch you know i i it kind of shocked65:58me edward snowden65:59uh appeared on rogan’s show for the66:02second time this week and so i went back66:03to look at what the audience was the66:05first time he appeared which is66:06about 10 months ago and even though66:09edward snowden being edward snowden kind66:11of spoke in like a monologue form for66:13about66:14three hours you know and he was66:16obviously remote because he couldn’t66:18go to the studio since he’s trapped in66:19russia the audience for that66:22appearance from edward snowden just on66:25youtube never mind all the other66:26platforms66:27was 15 million people 15 million66:31um which is you know four or five times66:34the size66:35of a primetime cable host even on their66:37best night66:38and obviously by virtue the fact that66:40you watch it that people66:42listen to it and can hear him say i66:44support tulsi or i support66:46bernie obviously there’s huge numbers of66:48those66:49that audience that are very reachable66:51from a liberal perspective66:53anybody who says i don’t want to have66:56anything to do66:57with a show that reaches 15 million66:59people67:00is somebody to me who’s saying67:04i look at politics as about everything67:06other than67:07winning wielding power and changing the67:10world67:11right right and they shrouded in moral67:13language right they shrouded67:15in how could you associate with someone67:17like that how could you you’ll be67:18tainted by someone like that67:20um they shrouded in those things but at67:22the end of the day it’s a much more67:24cynical calculation it’s67:25it’s put forth as some kind of moral67:28decr67:29declaration but it’s really a cynical67:31calculation67:32calculation in terms of controlling the67:33party in terms of controlling cultural67:36power centers67:37why would we want to upset that this is67:40a great setup67:41um and yeah that’s why you see 1567:43million people tuning in to edward67:45snowden because it completely cult67:47cuts across all of these cultural lines67:50i mean there aren’t67:51you know being interested in edward67:53snowden just his story and what he did67:55and the cultural and political impact he67:57had67:58that’s not a liberal or conservative68:00idea that’s68:01that’s reaching millions of people um68:03but that’s just not interesting to68:05um what informs the you know the the68:08careers and the lifestyles of the people68:10that68:11sort of hold these both the political68:13and cultural68:14levers of power in the country yeah so68:16yeah so thanks very much for68:18for taking the time i i think is a68:20really important topic not just68:22because it’s important to understand the68:24phenomenon of joe rogan although that68:25is important there are very few people68:28having the kind of cultural68:30and political impact that he’s having68:34um in a reaching a group of people who68:38often tune out politics or who aren’t68:40engaged in the traditional ways which68:42makes him68:44even more important than just the68:45numbers alone but i do think too68:47the reaction to him tells us a lot about68:50how media figures view their position68:52how liberals view what their political68:54project uh is and so68:56um i i think your your analysis on69:00twitter and the discussion that we just69:02had69:02um has really clarified those issues in69:05in a really helpful way so thank you so69:07much for69:08taking the time to talk to me um and i69:10hope people will tune into your69:13back channel youtube program where69:14you’re doing a lot of these kind of69:15header docs69:17uh discussions with people across a wide69:20range of69:21ideological and cultural uh belief69:24systems so69:24thanks very much sean yeah thank you so69:27much i enjoyed it69:36you
“The rise of right wing populism represents the failure of liberal and progressive politics,” says Harvard political philosopher Michael Sandel. He joins The Agenda to diagnose the failure of liberal politics, the decline of civic life, and what liberals need to know in the age of anger and populism.
Staff writer for The New Yorker, Adam Gopnik, also author of A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism Basic Books (Basic Books, 2019) argues that “liberalism” is not a political ideology, but a way of life.
9:30 In France, Emmanuel Macron attempted a Green New Deal with gasoline price hikes and faced revolts.
The legacy system is affirmative action for the privileged.
We progressives hail opportunity, egalitarianism and diversity. Yet here’s our dirty little secret: Some of our most liberal bastions in America rely on a system of inherited privilege that benefits rich whites at the expense of almost everyone else.
I’m talking about “legacy preferences” that elite universities give to children of graduates. These universities constitute some of the world’s greatest public goods, but they rig admissions to favor applicants who already have had every privilege in life.
.. Most of the best universities in America systematically discriminate in favor of affluent, privileged alumni children. If that isn’t enough to get your kids accepted, donate $5 million to the university, and they’ll get a second look.
.. Reeves noted the irony that in Europe and most of the rest of the world, there is no such explicit system of legacy preferences, yet in supposedly egalitarian America it is formal and systematic.
.. Isn’t it a bit hypocritical that institutions so associated with liberalism should embrace a hereditary aristocratic structure? Ah, never underestimate the power of self-interest to shape people’s views. As Reeves put it dryly: “American liberalism tends to diminish as the issues get closer to home.”
.. having a parent graduate increased the chance of admission at 30 top colleges by 45 percentage points. For example, a candidate who otherwise had a 20 percent shot became a 65 percent prospect with a parent who had graduated from that school.
.. Earlier, a 2004 Princeton study estimated that legacy at top schools was worth an additional 160 points on an SAT, out of 1600 points.
Legacy preferences apparently were introduced in America in the early 1900s as a way to keep out Jewish students. To their credit, some American universities, including M.I.T. — not to mention Oxford and Cambridge in Britain — don’t give a legacy preference.
The top universities say that legacy preferences help create a multigenerational community of alumni, and that’s a legitimate argument. They also note that rewarding donors helps encourage donations that can be used to finance scholarships for needy kids.
Yet on balance, I’m troubled that some of America’s greatest institutions grant a transformative opportunity disproportionately to kids already steeped in advantage, from violin lessons to chess tournaments to SAT coaching. On top of that, letting wealthy families pay for extra consideration feels, to use a technical term, yucky.
Liberals object to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allowing tycoons to buy political influence, so why allow tycoons to buy influence in college admissions?
I have formulated five tenets for the project of building up Central Europe. The first is
- that every European country has the right to defend its Christian culture, and the right to reject the ideology of multiculturalism. Our second tenet is that
- every country has the right to defend the traditional family model, and is entitled to assert that every child has the right to a mother and a father. The third Central European tenet is that
- every Central European country has the right to defend the nationally strategic economic sectors and markets which are of crucial importance to it.
- The fourth tenet is that every country has the right to defend its borders, and it has the right to reject immigration. And the fifth tenet is that
- every European country has the right to insist on the principle of one nation, one vote on the most important issues, and that this right must not be denied in the European Union. In other words, we Central Europeans claim that there is life beyond globalism, which is not the only path. Central Europe’s path is the path of an alliance of free nations.
.. a pattern in which matters in Europe have effectively been decided by competition between two camps: on one side, communities based on the continuing foundations of Christian tradition – let us call them Christian democratic parties; and, on the other side, the organisations of communities which question and reject tradition – let us call them left-wing liberal parties.
.. a situation can arise in one country or another whereby ten per cent or more of the total population is Muslim. We can be sure that they will never vote for a Christian party. And when we add to this Muslim population those of European origin who are abandoning their Christian traditions, then it will no longer be possible to win elections on the basis of Christian foundations.
Those groups preserving Christian traditions will be forced out of politics, and decisions about the future of Europe will be made without them. This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is the situation, this is the goal, and this is how close we are to seeing it happen.
.. we must demonstrate that there is an alternative to liberal democracy: it is called Christian democracy. And we must show that the liberal elite can be replaced with a Christian democratic elite.
.. Christian democracy is not about defending religious articles of faith – in this case Christian religious articles of faith. Neither states nor governments have competence on questions of damnation or salvation. Christian democratic politics means that the ways of life springing from Christian culture must be protected. Our duty is not to defend the articles of faith, but the forms of being that have grown from them. These include
- human dignity,
- the family and
- the nation
– because Christianity does not seek to attain universality through the abolition of nations, but through the preservation of nations
.. The bait for this trap is hanging right in front of our noses: it is the claim that Christian democracy can also, in fact, be liberal. I suggest we stay calm and avoid being caught on that hook, because if we accept this argument, then the battle, the struggle we have fought so far will lose its meaning, and we will have toiled in vain. Let us confidently declare that Christian democracy is not liberal. Liberal democracy is liberal, while Christian democracy is, by definition, not liberal: it is, if you like, illiberal.
- .. And we can specifically say this in connection with a few important issues – say, three great issues. Liberal democracy is in favour of multiculturalism, while Christian democracy gives priority to Christian culture; this is an illiberal concept.
- Liberal democracy is pro-immigration, while Christian democracy is anti-immigration; this is again a genuinely illiberal concept.
- And liberal democracy sides with adaptable family models, while Christian democracy rests on the foundations of the Christian family model; once more, this is an illiberal concept.
.. Liberalism, he says, has become a system and a way of looking at the world that destroys nations and traditions, especially the Christian tradition. He’s right about that: it’s not a bug of liberalism, but a feature. It’s something that’s very hard for Americans to see, because we were founded as a liberal nation, and unlike contemporary Europe, we have not yet faced mass migration from non-Christian civilizations. For traditional Europeans, this is not an abstract discussion. They are fighting to save their civilization. If that requires illiberal democracy, fine.
.. they recognize that the kryptonite they’ve been able to use so effectively for so long to paralyze opposition no longer works on people like Orbán.
.. Americans rarely stop to ask if the people there actually want liberalism, at the expense of the things that make them a people.
.. Who is a more trustworthy contemporary steward of European faith and culture:
Viktor Orbán, or bishops who preach more immigration and more gay pride parades?
But if the test of Europe’s unity feels like a test for liberal democracy, it’s a mistake to see it only in those terms. It is also a struggle of nations against empire, of the Continent’s smaller countries against German mastery and Northern European interests, in which populist parties are being elected to resist policies the center sought to impose upon the periphery without a vote. And the liberal aspect of the European system wouldn’t be under such strain if the imperial aspect hadn’t been exploited unwisely by leaders in the empire’s German core.
This disastrous imperial dynamic was first manifest in the fiscal policy imposed on Southern Europe in the wake of the Great Recession — a policy that manifestly made more sense for Germany’s economy than for Italy’s or Spain’s or Greece’s, even as it was confidently presented by German bankers as a hardheaded necessity that no merely national government could be permitted to reject.
Then the same dynamic repeated itself on immigration, when Angela Merkel took it upon herself to make migration policy for the Continent, in atonement for Germany’s racist past and in the hopes of revitalizing its aging society. The resistance from other Europeans to her open door to refugees and migrants, the refusal to let the German chancellor and her admirers determine immigration policy, is one reason among many that populists won the Brexit referendum and find themselves on the cusp of power in Italy — and it’s the major reason that populist parties rule today in Budapest and Warsaw.