AXIOS on HBO: President Trump Exclusive Interview (Full Episode) | HBO

On the return of Axios on HBO, Axios National Political Correspondent, Jonathan Swan, speaks with President Donald Trump about multiple topics including the coronavirus crisis, the Black Lives Matter movement, the November election, and U.S. Foreign Policy in Afghanistan, China, and Russia. Axios On HBO airs Mondays at 11pm. #HBO #AxiosOnHBO

Jeffrey Gundlach: Why Trump’s Hyperbole isn’t working anymore

DoubleLine Capital CEO Jeffrey Gundlach joins Yahoo Finance’s Julia La Roche for an exclusive, wide-ranging interview discussing everything from his outlook on the economy amid COVID-19, the 2020 election, and more.

Transcript

00:03
I just want to get your views Jeffrey on
00:06
what’s transpired in the markets in the
00:08
last few months and as it relates to the
00:11
economy as well in the Fed dependency
00:14
here how do you think about the feds
00:16
role in the overall economy and the
00:18
markets well the Fed has decided that
00:21
they want to pull out all the stops to
00:25
reduce market and economic volatility I
00:28
think that was what really got them
00:29
going in the later part of March in
00:32
early part of April was that markets not
00:35
just the stock market but commodity
00:37
markets jump bond markets interest rate
00:41
Marcus we’re experiencing really
00:43
persistent and elevated volatility and
00:45
it just kept throwing things at it to
00:48
make the volatility stop and of course
00:50
when investors use the word volatility
00:52
what they really mean is down prices
00:54
going down a lot and the Fed came in
00:57
because there was a total seized up in
01:00
really the credit market system around
01:02
the world but of course relative to the
01:04
Fed in the United States I was I’ve been
01:07
in the market for thirty five years and
01:09
I’ve seen all kinds of crises including
01:11
I was right at the front lines during
01:14
2008-2009 during the global financial
01:17
crisis which really hit the securitized
01:20
assets sector and what we experienced
01:22
it’s been the last part of March was far
01:25
worse in terms of market conditions in
01:28
the investment grade corporate bond
01:30
market in emerging markets certainly in
01:33
the junk bond markets far worse than the
01:36
very worst date in March of 2009
01:39
literally in 2009 you could get a bid he
01:43
didn’t like it the prices were in a
01:45
freefall from the day before on the
01:47
really ugly days of maybe 10 or 15
01:50
percent price moves to the downside in a
01:52
single day but in March of 2020 here
01:55
there was no bid there were actually
01:58
situations in large swaths of the fixed
02:01
income market where you simply could not
02:03
sell assets and that led to well what
02:07
looked like was going to be some very
02:08
substantial bankruptcies in some of the
02:11
leveraged pools like like mortgage
02:13
related REITs
02:15
other leverage types of investments and
02:17
the Fed just figured that it desperate
02:20
times
02:21
you know they required desk for measures
02:23
and they went all the way into buying
02:25
corporate bonds which as I’ve said in my
02:28
webcasts is not allowed under the
02:30
Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and they did
02:34
not buy corporate bonds during the
02:36
global financial crisis even though I
02:37
know for a fact they talked a lot about
02:39
it because I know people that were
02:41
inside the Fed at at those discussions
02:44
but what they’re doing is really a
02:46
bridge further than they’ve ever gone
02:48
before where they’re not even following
02:50
the room Charter which means that the
02:52
Fed could go even further in violation
02:56
of the photos of Act of 1913 if they
02:59
really feel like you know we go into
03:01
another economic move down so the Fed
03:04
has propped up the economy with just the
03:08
most incredible fiscal lending that
03:12
they’ve ever contemplated and of course
03:14
I think the listeners know that the
03:17
quantitative easing that the Fed has
03:19
done since March is greater than all of
03:22
the quantitative easing that they did
03:24
that they started back you know in the
03:26
little financial crisis it’s it was more
03:28
in just three or four weeks than an
03:30
entire program that was laid out over a
03:33
multi-year framework so that shows the
03:35
level and extent of their commitment
03:37
yeah certainly the word that gets tossed
03:39
around is unprecedented and you were
03:41
just referencing your 35 plus years and
03:43
the markets never seen anything quite
03:45
like this we’ve talked a bit in the past
03:48
Jeffrey about corporate credit and you
03:51
know the issues that were already there
03:52
to begin with how do you begin to assess
03:56
those issues with the latest Fed moves
03:59
and are we just delaying the inevitable
04:01
here well in a certain sense I think
04:04
we’re delaying the inevitable because
04:06
under my analysis many bond prices that
04:09
have been pushed up by the feds buying
04:11
of ETFs and then individual corporate
04:13
bonds
04:14
more recently the prices they’ve pushed
04:17
many of these assets up to I think is a
04:20
higher price that they’re actually
04:21
paying for them then you’ll receive
04:23
through a bankruptcy workout when a lot
04:26
of these companies are
04:27
have to go through a filing also as I
04:30
talked about in the past before I talked
04:32
about this in our last interview the
04:35
fraction of the corporate bond market
04:37
that’s investment-grade and is the
04:39
lowest tier of investment grade which is
04:41
triple B is really enormous it’s
04:44
basically half from now even more than
04:45
1/2 of the entire you know it’s like a
04:48
12 trillion dollar market now there’s
04:50
been so much issuance of corporate bonds
04:51
and the prices have been propped up to
04:54
levels where I think the owners that
04:56
owned them at these levels will end up
04:58
losing principal on a basket of these
05:01
assets so to that extent they’re
05:03
delaying the inevitable in the meantime
05:04
they have a lot of wherewithal to
05:06
continue to layer because they are
05:09
spraying money all over the place and
05:12
buying all of these all these assets the
05:14
one thing that’s happened that a lot of
05:16
investors aren’t aware of relative their
05:18
corporate bond activities is at first it
05:20
really pops the prices of D which is the
05:24
investment grade ETF and J and K which
05:26
is the jump on ETF that I followed and
05:28
since then the the price of hyg
05:33
is not really even up since April 9th
05:36
when they really went fully and I think
05:38
they announced corporate bond purchases
05:40
as a strategy around March 23rd they
05:43
really upped the ante in a meaningful
05:45
very meaningful way on April 9th and 6th
05:47
since then those prices haven’t really
05:49
gone up they fluctuated but they’re
05:51
pretty much unchanged meanwhile that has
05:53
led investors that understand that the
05:56
price of corporate bonds today isn’t
05:58
really real there’s no price discovery
06:00
mechanism that’s being Ted hey there’s
06:02
no there’s a message there’s just a
06:04
target price that the Fed has been doing
06:07
and that led to a pump a pop-up and
06:10
corporate bonds but since April 9 which
06:12
is now we’re moving on to about three
06:14
months the sector’s that were left
06:15
behind to fight further themselves like
06:18
the lower tiers commercial
06:20
mortgage-backed securities or asset
06:22
backed securities and some emerging
06:24
market bonds they’ve really outperformed
06:26
corporate bonds because they’re catching
06:28
up as investors realize that the that
06:31
the interest rate profile of investment
06:33
created like the lqd is very long I mean
06:36
it’s about an eight-year duration so
06:37
it’s about the interest rate risk of
06:39
almost 10-year Treasury and yet the
06:41
yield to no losses is about two and a
06:44
quarter so there’s not a lot of reward
06:46
there and there’s a lot of risk if those
06:48
bonds get downgraded because the the
06:51
yields on junk bonds are far higher
06:53
today than the yields on trip will be
06:56
corporate so if they get downgraded we
06:58
know that the pricing is going to suffer
07:00
very significantly so in that way the
07:03
rating agencies might be might have an
07:06
influence that the Fed can’t really
07:08
offset that easily because those down
07:10
raids leads who probably about a 200
07:13
basis point spread widening which means
07:15
about a 15 point price drop if the
07:17
market starts to factor in the potential
07:19
for the credit quality reevaluated to
07:22
the downside all right Jeffrey I want to
07:24
bring in Brian chunk to give the latest
07:26
on the FOMC meeting minutes Brian why
07:29
don’t you break it down for us well
07:30
Julia the big headlines from that June
07:32
FOMC meeting which took place June 10th
07:34
where the Fed did hold rates steady the
07:36
Federal Reserve did commit to what they
07:38
call highly accommodative monetary
07:40
policy they said that was needed to
07:41
support a recovery for a second quarter
07:44
that the minute said would likely show
07:46
the largest decline in economic activity
07:48
in post-world War two history on the
07:51
other side of the coin the FOMC did see
07:53
financial conditions improve between the
07:55
period between its previous FOMC meeting
07:58
in April and that June 10 meeting they
08:00
also pointed to that may job support
08:02
which as you recall had the surprise of
08:04
job gains during that month the FOMC
08:07
said that the proportion of laid off
08:09
workers who expected to recall to be
08:11
recalled was much larger than they had
08:13
expected but even though they said it
08:15
could indeed be the case that April
08:17
showed to be quote rough of the
08:19
recession participants dead based on the
08:21
minutes that it was too early to draw
08:23
any conclusions a number of participants
08:25
on the FOMC did Express worry about the
08:28
epidemiological a path of the virus a
08:30
number of them saying that there is a
08:32
substantial likelihood was the quote of
08:34
additional waves of outbreaks which in
08:36
some scenarios could result in further
08:38
economic disruptions shifting gears to
08:40
quantitative easing again their asset
08:42
purchases of mortgage-backed securities
08:44
and also US Treasuries the FOMC minutes
08:47
did note that they wanted to increase
08:49
the current pace to quote sustain smooth
08:51
market functioning unquote that was
08:53
something we had heard
08:54
Fed Chairman Powell in that press
08:56
conference and then lastly something if
08:58
you’re watching fix then come very
08:59
closely as your discussion was just
09:00
touching on yield curve control this
09:02
would be further fed intervention in the
09:04
medium term market for US Treasuries a
09:07
couple of participants after receiving a
09:10
briefing on the idea of capping medium
09:12
term perhaps three or five US Treasuries
09:14
remark that it could be quote a powerful
09:16
commitment device for the committee end
09:18
quote but did say and needed further
09:20
studying which means the Fed could be
09:22
getting a little closer to enacting such
09:24
a policy but again a number of Fed
09:26
officials still saying they need to
09:28
study the issue a little bit more so not
09:30
a done deal but again the big headlines
09:32
out of the FOMC minutes highly
09:33
accommodative monetary policy and an
09:35
expectation for some pretty shocking
09:37
second quarter numbers Julia Brian II
09:39
thank you so much for that breakdown
09:41
Jeffrey your reaction to that and also
09:43
even your reaction to the the yield
09:45
curve control part of that that just
09:47
came out I know it’s something you’ve
09:48
brought up on your webcast well I’m glad
09:50
that the Fed acknowledges that they have
09:52
highly highly accommodative monetary
09:54
policy it’s staring you in the face of
09:57
course and it would be disingenuous for
09:59
them to not admit that they have really
10:02
put the pedal to the metal and the that
10:06
they’re right that the economic activity
10:07
everybody knows this for the second
10:09
quarter is going to be terrible the
10:11
Atlanta feds GDP now shows an annualized
10:14
decline during the quarter of about 37
10:18
percent that’s actually improved it used
10:21
to be more like negative 45 for separate
10:23
that analyzes to roughly a 10 percent
10:26
drop off in economic activity for the
10:28
second quarter so yield curve control is
10:31
something that the Fed has been
10:32
telegraphing jpowel
10:35
and I give him credit jpowel which are
10:37
words I don’t speak very often that I
10:39
give him credit
10:40
but give him credit for talking strongly
10:44
against negative interest rates and so
10:47
he says that in the next recession which
10:48
of course were in that he doesn’t my go
10:51
to negative interest rates you can’t go
10:53
to negative interest rates United States
10:54
without a total catastrophe in my view
10:56
so I’m glad he says that so what’s left
11:00
is yield curve control which they’re
11:02
talking about which is just a code word
11:04
for suppressing interest rates there’s
11:06
there’s precedent
11:08
this they did in the late 1940s in the
11:10
early 1950s at the interest rate levels
11:12
that weren’t that dissimilar to where we
11:13
are today in a way to help manage the
11:16
world war two debt so what’s interesting
11:19
is to watch the 30 year Treasury I know
11:21
in the minutes there Brian talked about
11:23
the three and the five year they already
11:25
look like they’re being pegged to me
11:27
there’s very low levels but what what
11:29
seems to be a little bit left to fend
11:30
for itself is the 30 year Treasury bond
11:32
which has gone up in yield from its low
11:35
close by about forty three basis points
11:39
and from its intraday low by about
11:40
seventy basis points which is actually a
11:42
pretty big loss if a 30-year Treasury
11:44
bond goes up and yield by 70 basis
11:46
points you lose you lose about 15
11:49
percent or 12 percent or so which is a
11:51
pretty pretty big loss so the 30-year
11:53
Treasury bond if left on its own will be
11:56
going higher and the real signal to
11:58
watch for is what is the level at which
11:59
the Fed really gets uncomfortable with
12:02
the tenure but in particular 30 year
12:05
Treasury bond yield because the amount
12:07
of debt that needs to be floated that
12:09
the Fed has quantitative done
12:11
quantitative easing but we have a lot
12:13
more debt coming I mean we keep still
12:15
hearing about multi trillion-dollar
12:17
rescue packages and don’t forget we have
12:20
these one of the the programs like the
12:23
$600 program is running off I think at
12:25
the end of July and there’s other
12:27
assistance that runs off at the end of
12:29
the year and it’s going to be a really
12:31
big question as to how the economy can
12:34
handle the taking a way of direct
12:37
monetary payments to American citizens
12:39
that are you know don’t have any savings
12:41
and are in economic distress so if you
12:45
didn’t have the Fed you manipulate the
12:47
30 year Treasury bond I think with all
12:49
the supply that’s coming if we’re
12:51
allowed to actually float into the
12:52
market the rate would go quite a bit
12:54
higher but there’ll be a level at which
12:56
I think the Fed decides to do that yield
12:58
curve control and therefore suppress
13:00
that interest rate so it’s a very tough
13:02
environment for investors because there
13:05
are no market signals there’s just
13:06
targeted assets and targeted prices for
13:10
many sectors of the market and the only
13:11
way to succeed as a fixed income
13:13
investor is to really unfortunately have
13:17
to put in a tremendous amount of time
13:20
and energy
13:21
and with a lot of people working on it
13:24
into the areas that the Fed is not
13:25
supporting and when I talk about that a
13:28
lot of investors get really nervous
13:29
because we’re taught the things that the
13:31
Fed isn’t supporting our areas that have
13:33
a lot of economic question marks around
13:35
them like commercial mortgage-backed
13:37
securities like credit card receivable
13:40
debt these types of things I think we we
13:43
all know that some of these forbearance
13:47
and some of the non-payment is likely to
13:48
continue to increase over time and you
13:51
have to kind of understand that you’re
13:54
likely to take losses from par on some
13:57
of these securities the good news is
13:58
that we don’t think the losses are going
14:01
to take our beyond what the discounted
14:04
prices are already because everybody
14:06
knows that these sectors are in really
14:08
big trouble or this certain particularly
14:10
hotspots of them aren’t truly big
14:12
trouble you know like hospitality Cruise
14:14
Lines and the like but that’s what you
14:17
have to you have to do and investors are
14:19
reluctant to go into fixed income
14:22
securities when they think there’s any
14:24
risk there’s always risk of course but
14:27
when they can see the risk they get
14:29
afraid but that’s why the prices are
14:30
down it’s the paradox of investing
14:32
people don’t like to buy low they like
14:35
to buy high when everything when the Sun
14:37
looks like it’s shining in the sky is
14:38
blue and what it looks like there’s a
14:40
hurricane coming they want out but the
14:42
hurricane is priced in when you know
14:45
that it’s coming and so this is it it’s
14:47
a tough environment for standard
14:49
investment types I’m glad that we at
14:51
double I’ll always have a differentiated
14:53
more creative investment style because
14:55
it’s kind of a suited to this type of
14:57
environment better than more traditional
14:58
or certainly a passive investment style
15:00
which looks like almost doomed to fail
15:02
in in the environment that we’re in
15:04
Jeffrey I’d like to get your take though
15:07
on the economy and we keep hearing about
15:10
a v-shape recovering a u-shaped and L
15:13
shape a W a Nike swoosh what have you
15:15
what is your baseline scenario what does
15:18
it look like to you
15:19
well my baseline scenario is that a
15:22
v-shaped recovery so-called is highly
15:25
optimistic and I don’t think really
15:27
plausible what it basically implies is
15:31
that you can take 20% of the entire work
15:35
force the labor force United States and
15:37
put them in jeopardy
15:39
put him on unemployment benefits have
15:41
them produced nothing and instead
15:43
receive money that’s being lent by the
15:45
Federal Reserve to to buy the bonds and
15:48
that you could do that and nothing bad
15:51
happens and nobody gets hurt it just
15:53
doesn’t seem very likely to me that you
15:55
can have that type of hardship roll over
15:58
the economy and you just it’s like
16:01
nothing happened you know it’s like the
16:03
servpro economy like it never even
16:04
happened
16:05
and I just don’t believe that so when I
16:08
was when I finally started to ocean safe
16:11
I when I first started worrying about
16:13
the Cova 19 being a real thing which was
16:17
in in March in like the first week of
16:19
March I did an interview and I was asked
16:22
what do you think about this virus thing
16:24
and I said you know I I don’t know what
16:27
the consensus view point is about how
16:29
bad this is gonna get and what the
16:30
damage is gonna be to the system but
16:33
whatever that consensus view is I want
16:35
to take the over that it’s gonna be
16:37
worse than that and when it comes to the
16:39
economic outlook going forward here from
16:41
July 1st by the way welcome to the third
16:43
quarter in the second half of 2020 I’m
16:45
glad the first half is over I think that
16:49
whatever the consensus is on the
16:51
so-called shape of the recovery I’m
16:53
taking the under I think that you cannot
16:56
have this type of economic disruption
16:59
and fear that has been instilled in
17:02
people’s psyches I don’t think there’s a
17:04
good appreciation for how much economic
17:06
fear there is I can well imagine the
17:09
people that were making you know seventy
17:12
thousand dollars a year and they
17:13
suddenly got furloughed or laid off and
17:16
they look in their bank account and
17:18
they’re hoping to see something there
17:19
but unfortunately there was no magic
17:21
Genie that showed up and deposited money
17:23
and their balance is still five dollars
17:25
and so they suddenly are looking into an
17:28
economic black hole and I think that’s a
17:30
really major jolt to the psyche of those
17:34
people and I have a feeling that there’s
17:36
going to be more of that that goes on as
17:38
I said these programs roll off so some
17:41
of the people are going to start getting
17:42
economic eggs about that but beyond that
17:44
I believe that the people who are make
17:48
$100,000 to maybe a hundred and fifty
17:51
thousand dollars might be a risk also in
17:55
another wave of layoffs because those
17:57
people also don’t really have any
18:00
savings by and large but also the
18:03
government is unlikely I think to come
18:05
to the rescue for those types of people
18:07
quite as readily as they did for people
18:10
who are lead living paid more paycheck
18:12
to paycheck in a real literal kind of a
18:14
sense and it just seems to me that this
18:17
this economic situation from a jobs and
18:20
wages perspective is fundamentally
18:23
deflationary we have all these people
18:25
that are are working at our risk and you
18:30
might decide through work at home and
18:32
other things that there’s more efficient
18:34
ways of doing things and what we did
18:37
prior to February of 2020 and I could
18:40
see that there could be a round of
18:42
middle management layoffs that come
18:44
around because people might be revealed
18:47
for not being that productive when
18:50
you’re doing work at home it’s more easy
18:52
actually to tell this for me it’s more
18:54
easy for me to tell who’s really doing
18:56
work because who’s responding to the
18:58
emails who’s really contributing to the
19:00
team’s meetings and all that sort of
19:03
thing and I just think that companies
19:05
will realize that there’s a they could
19:07
right-size with the knowledge they’ve
19:09
gained through this pandemic and so we
19:13
could see people who are making $120,000
19:17
a year and if de minimis savings if they
19:19
get R it’s a pink-slipped
19:21
they’re gonna be in a real panic because
19:23
there’s not a lot of jobs open they’ll
19:26
probably have a lot of company in people
19:28
that are in that position and that will
19:30
put downward pressure on these wages
19:32
also we also know that the economy is
19:34
going to be unevenly affected we know
19:36
that make big cities are likely to
19:39
suffer an exodus we know that prices on
19:42
apartments and homes and the in the San
19:44
Francisco area are declining you know
19:46
that’s also happening relative to
19:48
Manhattan real estate and that means
19:50
that other parts of the country are
19:52
going to start to see perhaps inflow of
19:55
population we’ve been tracking a double
19:56
I kind of the the showings the the
20:00
request for showings of home
20:01
in various parts of the country and is
20:03
very uneven there are parts where that
20:07
are more suburban like I’m it’s a
20:09
reversal of the trend that we had a
20:11
decade ago and so there’ll be an uneven
20:14
type of type of effect to the economy
20:16
the other thing that’s going to happen
20:17
isn’t as being talked about nearly
20:18
enough is the states are really in
20:21
trouble the tax revenue from the states
20:23
has completely collapsed and it’s
20:26
unlikely to improve and so a lot of
20:29
these states are going to be looking for
20:32
or in some of them already asked for
20:33
more government bailouts so there’s a
20:36
long queue of entities that want or need
20:39
government bailouts and that’s just
20:41
going to keep further pressuring that
20:44
the situation so I think the economy is
20:47
going to feel the blow the effects of
20:50
the recession and that we’re in now for
20:53
quite some time to come I think it’s
20:55
very unlikely that we’ll get back to our
20:57
peak economic growth even in 2021 well
21:02
it’s certainly a confluence of forces
21:04
that you just highlighted there that are
21:06
playing into your thesis I guess Jeffrey
21:09
what does this mean for the social
21:11
fabric of the country does this actually
21:14
exacerbate the inequality especially if
21:17
you step back and look at some of the
21:18
response we’ve seen because you know a
21:19
stock market go up that we also know not
21:22
everyone owned stocks
21:23
well what’s there’s a lot a lot to that
21:27
question the stock market is partially
21:29
up because of all the money that the
21:31
government has given people who are
21:33
unemployed and if you see the
21:35
commercials on financial media they’ve
21:38
created the investment products that are
21:40
smaller in smaller denominations there’s
21:43
ones that it’s called slices and it can
21:45
buy $5 of a company $5 and you can buy a
21:49
10 stock portfolio and invest $50 and
21:52
it’s been well widely reported and it’s
21:54
true there’s been an incredible increase
21:56
in tiny retail investor activity in
22:00
terms of the accounts on robin hood and
22:01
in other platforms like that that have
22:04
just exploded in terms of size and I
22:06
think that’s pretty dangerous one thing
22:08
it was interesting at the top of the
22:10
stock market in February there was
22:12
really unusually high call option buying
22:15
activity by the little guy but that has
22:17
been far surpassed at the high of about
22:21
three weeks ago around June eighth
22:22
through June ninth where the number of
22:25
call options were purchased then was
22:27
fully fifty plus percent higher than the
22:30
call buying that was happening at the
22:32
peak in February which shows that
22:35
there’s kind of an you phoria weirdly
22:37
from people who made me maybe they would
22:40
normally gamble that money or about that
22:42
they’re getting from the government but
22:43
the casinos are closed so the racetracks
22:47
are closed so you so instead you can you
22:49
can take a flyer on the fans and the
22:53
super six I call includes Microsoft in
22:55
the light without the super six there is
22:57
no earnings growth the United States
22:59
stock market there’s an any for the past
23:00
five years if you take them out it’s
23:02
nothing and there’s no earnings growth
23:04
at all in small caps so this is all
23:06
being driven by by a price not by
23:09
earnings and of course earnings have
23:11
taken the humongous hit and earnings in
23:14
the stock market are now about the same
23:16
as they were in 2016 when the stock
23:18
market was like a third lower than it is
23:20
today
23:21
so the fundamentals are completely out
23:24
of sync with what’s how the markets been
23:26
manipulated I think and then we got of
23:28
course we got the social fabric that you
23:30
brought up which we’ve talked about in
23:31
the past and unfortunately I quite
23:34
certain not predicted this in Prior
23:36
interviews there’s just going to keep
23:37
getting worse and in fact this triple
23:39
crisis of the the economic recession the
23:42
Cova thing the protests and all that
23:44
stuff it’s really just the same problem
23:46
through different through different
23:48
lenses it’s all it all fits together and
23:51
it also fits together that we’ve got a
23:53
horrific allah bad presidential election
23:55
coming up where you know joe biden has a
23:58
real enthusiasm problem everybody knows
24:00
about that and nobody knows really what
24:03
his state of mind is these days because
24:05
he’s hiding out in a bunker and then
24:07
president Trump’s a basic strategy which
24:10
has been very successful for him for
24:12
decades really and certainly in the 2016
24:14
election has backfired his strategy is
24:17
hyperbole he likes to take a situation
24:19
that is pretty good and say that it’s
24:22
great and to take a situation that’s
24:25
great and say it’s the greatest thing of
24:27
all time
24:28
we had the greatest economy of all time
24:29
the first part of 2020 no he didn’t
24:32
that’s ridiculous
24:33
it’s I mean close to the greatest
24:34
economy of all time but this time the
24:37
hyper but in all of those instances the
24:39
hyperbole was on the right side of the
24:41
distribution it was a good economy he
24:44
just called it great he wasn’t saying it
24:46
was a terrible economy that was great
24:48
because that doesn’t resonate with
24:50
people it comes across as disingenuous
24:51
but with the virus he screwed up because
24:55
he’s got a situation where the virus is
24:57
bad and he keeps saying it’s gonna
24:59
disappear it’s not really a prop he’s on
25:01
the wrong side of the distribution the
25:03
virus is a negative side of the
25:05
distribution and he’s pretending that it
25:07
isn’t on the negative side he’s
25:09
pretending that it’s all pretty good and
25:11
it’s just gonna go away
25:12
and that’s I think why his unfavorables
25:15
going up people in the past people said
25:19
Trump’s a liar he was he was an
25:21
exaggerator there’s a difference there’s
25:23
a subtle difference but there’s a
25:25
difference now he’s not an exaggerator
25:27
he’s just changing the sign from a
25:30
cluster from a negative sign to a plus
25:31
sign on that variable and I think that’s
25:34
that’s a really problem for him and I
25:35
don’t know if he knows how to get
25:37
himself out of it so today I saw in the
25:39
news that they’re arguing the argument
25:41
now has become which of these two men is
25:43
more intellectually challenged I think
25:47
they’re safe they’re having to debate on
25:49
who’s more senile okay this is not an
25:51
inspiring conversation when you have to
25:54
ancient guys who they’re there debate is
25:57
centering around which one of them is is
26:00
you know in a greater slope of mental
26:04
decline so this is this is not
26:06
encouraging just having a conversation
26:07
about the election which is only four
26:09
months away at this point Jeffrey I I
26:12
look at the betting markets I know you
26:13
do too and unpredicted those bite and
26:16
beating Trump and also a Democratic
26:18
sweep yet the markets are still going up
26:20
and some people think when there is
26:21
usually a change in leadership that they
26:24
might go down on what do you make of
26:28
that well it’s true that Divine’s ahead
26:31
pretty nicely and unpredicted now and
26:34
it’s also true I think that there’s a
26:36
disconnect between that and the stock
26:38
market because Joe Biden and
26:40
the Democrats broadly they pledged
26:42
pretty loudly that they want to increase
26:46
corporate taxes they want to take that
26:48
tax benefit away from what Trump gave
26:51
corporations and since earnings aren’t
26:54
going up at all really it’s the tax has
26:57
had a lot to do with levitating the
26:59
stock market and if you review if you
27:01
reverse that that’s gonna be a really
27:03
big problem you know I was talking about
27:06
you talked the social fabric and I that
27:08
fits into the election I was listening
27:09
to this fellow who I think they call him
27:11
the president of New York black lives
27:13
matter his name is hawk Newsome and he’s
27:16
actually a pretty interesting guy and he
27:18
was talking on a Sunday program and he
27:20
was talking about politics and the like
27:22
and he was you know he’s got a
27:24
particular core issues that he hammers
27:27
home for his sort of constituency but he
27:29
started to go off on what you hold a
27:30
tangent and he said I don’t want to
27:33
digress too far but you know what’s
27:35
wrong here is I don’t trust any of these
27:37
politicians he said they always show up
27:39
about a year before the election and all
27:41
of a sudden they embrace us they want
27:43
our votes they never do anything for us
27:45
and that sounds that sounded to me to be
27:48
not not a digression or a tangent that
27:50
seemed to me to be really the point the
27:53
point is that there are a lot of people
27:55
that feel that they’re not sure what’s
27:57
wrong but they know that over the last
27:59
however many years twenty years whatever
28:02
thirty years ever it is that somehow
28:04
this economic arrangement is not working
28:06
for them and they understand that takes
28:08
many different forms and you know
28:11
there’s all kinds of data points you can
28:13
look at like wealth inequality but
28:15
there’s other things than that I mean
28:16
these these people these this political
28:19
regime has been in charge for a long
28:20
time and it’s it’s it’s awful how
28:24
they’re the investment in America is so
28:28
uneven how the quality of education is
28:31
so uneven and and really it’s just not
28:34
being addressed and what I hear the
28:36
president black lives matter in New York
28:37
say you know they’re they’re not paying
28:40
attention to us that starts to sound
28:42
like a third party to me I think that if
28:45
if the election were in 2021 and not
28:48
2020 I really think there’d be a third
28:50
party and one thing to watch on that
28:53
is the labor force participation rate
28:55
the number of people that are spoked it
28:57
can have a job that have a job is got
29:00
down I think it it uptick in the most
29:03
recent report but it was down to like 52
29:05
percent that 52 percent of the labor
29:08
force was engaged if that number goes
29:12
any meaningful amount below 50 you’ve
29:14
got a winning third party it’s called
29:16
the unemployment party it’s called the
29:18
omelet out party and I think that’s
29:20
what’s really happening here we’ve
29:22
talked about this in past interviews and
29:24
I just think that that will do nothing
29:26
but get worse and we will ultimately
29:29
I’ve even talked about civil unrest
29:31
during this summer in a past interview
29:33
with you in the context of the
29:35
conventions for this election and that’s
29:38
already here and I think that you were
29:40
going to see an escalation in these
29:43
problems as the voices of the unheard
29:46
remain unheard primarily except except
29:49
for all kinds of sound bites and you
29:52
know promises that I’ve heard a lot of
29:55
times before and so have a lot of other
29:57
people in American constituency yeah
30:00
Jeffrey yeah one final question before
30:01
we let you go one of the things about
30:03
double line even going back to the name
30:05
of it it’s don’t cross the double line
30:07
of risk and we have a lot of investors
30:09
watching a lot of retail investors too
30:11
and what is the risk right now that
30:15
people aren’t talking about enough
30:16
aren’t paying attention to enough that
30:18
they should be more aware of I think
30:22
there’s a real risk and it’s not
30:24
imminent exactly in fact I don’t I don’t
30:26
think it’s really in the next few months
30:27
but I think there’s risk that the dollar
30:30
starts to reverse into a significant
30:32
downtrend because the value of the
30:34
dollar versus other currencies is
30:36
greatly affected by the growth in our
30:39
budget and trade deficit the trade
30:42
deficit is shrinking right now because
30:43
economic growth is bad globally but it
30:46
doesn’t matter because the fiscal
30:48
deficit has just exploded higher I mean
30:50
we’re up at over three and a half
30:51
trillion already and the year in first
30:54
five months of this year in addition to
30:56
that and a lot of people say but the
30:59
dollar will be you say the dog is going
31:00
to go down against what because
31:02
everybody else is doing strange policies
31:04
to and
31:05
that’s a it’s a that’s an okay point
31:08
except it misses the fact that what
31:09
we’re doing here in the United States
31:11
Dwarfs the policies particularly what
31:14
the Federal Reserve is doing versus ECB
31:16
and other central banks what we’re doing
31:18
dwarfs what they’re what they’ve been up
31:20
to we’re really carrying the burden here
31:22
in terms of in terms of fiscal explosion
31:24
and that I think will ultimately lead to
31:26
a weaker dollar which means that you
31:28
might start to see some sort of
31:30
purchasing power problems you might also
31:32
see that the dominance of the US markets
31:36
will start to fade away and maybe not
31:39
turn into dominance but an inferior type
31:41
of a forward-looking
31:43
outcome so I think these people that are
31:46
buying slices of the stock market don’t
31:49
even know what they’re doing and if
31:51
probably lost money already because they
31:53
probably bought them Junaid I just think
31:55
they don’t think they understand that
31:57
this is a is a it’s not a fixed
32:00
situation and there’s all there there
32:02
are several more shoes if not Imelda
32:04
Marcos is closet full of shoes to fall
32:07
on this economic and market situation
32:09
something that we will be watching
32:11
Jeffrey gun lock the CEO of doubling
32:13
capital I thank you so much for this
32:15
great conversation I know our viewers
32:17
appreciate it it’s always great to be
32:18
with you

Donald Trump Is Our National Catastrophe

This spring I taught a seminar (via Zoom, of course) at the University of Chicago on the art of political persuasion. We read Lincoln, Pericles, King, Orwell, Havel and Churchill, among other great practitioners of the art. We ended with a study of Donald Trump’s tweets, as part of a class on demagogy.

If the closing subject was depressing, at least the timing was appropriate.

We are in the midst of an unprecedented national catastrophe. The catastrophe is not the pandemic, or an economic depression, or killer cops, or looted cities, or racial inequities. These are all too precedented. What’s unprecedented is that never before have we been led by a man who so completely inverts the spirit of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address.

With malice toward all; with charity for none: eight words that encapsulate everything this president is, does and stands for.

What does one learn when reading great political speeches and writings? That well-chosen words are the way by which past deeds acquire meaning and future deeds acquire purpose. “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here,” are the only false notes in the Gettysburg Address. The Battle of Gettysburg is etched in national memory less for its military significance than because Lincoln reinvented the goals of the Civil War in that speech — and, in doing so, reimagined the possibilities of America.

Political writing doesn’t just provide meaning and purpose. It also offers determination, hope and instruction.

In “The Power of the Powerless,” written at one of the grimmer moments of Communist tyranny, Václav Havel laid out why the system was so much weaker, and the individual so much stronger, than either side knew. In his “Fight on the beaches” speech after Dunkirk, Winston Churchill told Britons of “a victory inside this deliverance” — a reason, however remote, for resolve and optimism. In “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” Martin Luther King Jr., explained why patience was no answer to injustice: “When you have seen hate-filled policemen curse, kick, brutalize, and even kill your black brothers and sisters with impunity … then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.”

In a word, great political writing aims to elevate. What, by contrast, does one learn by studying Trump’s utterances?

The purpose of Trump’s presidency is to debase, first by debasing the currency of speech. It’s why he refuses to hire reasonably competent speechwriters to craft reasonably competent speeches. It’s why his communication team has been filled by people like Dan Scavino and Stephanie Grisham and Sarah Sanders.

And it’s why Twitter is his preferred medium of communication. It is speech designed for provocations and put-downs; for making supporters feel smug; for making opponents seethe; for reducing national discourse to the level of grunts and counter-grunts.

That’s a level that suits Trump because it’s the level at which he excels. Anyone who studies Trump’s tweets carefully must come away impressed by the way he has mastered the demagogic arts. He doesn’t lead his base, as most politicians do. He personifies it. He speaks to his followers as if he were them. He cultivates their resentments, demonizes their opponents, validates their hatreds. He glorifies himself so they may bask in the reflection.

Whatever this has achieved for him, or them, it’s a calamity for us. At a moment when disease has left more than 100,000 American families bereft, we have a president incapable of expressing the nation’s heartbreak. At a moment of the most bitter racial grief since the 1960s, we have a president who has bankrupted the moral capital of the office he holds.

And at a moment when many Americans, particularly conservatives, are aghast at the outbursts of looting and rioting that have come in the wake of peaceful protests, we have a president who wants to replace rule of law with rule by the gun. If Trump now faces a revolt by the Pentagon’s civilian and military leadership (both current and former) against his desire to deploy active-duty troops in American cities, it’s because his words continue to drain whatever is left of his credibility as commander in chief.

I write this as someone who doesn’t lay every national problem at Trump’s feet and tries to give him credit when I think it’s due.

Trump is no more responsible for the policing in Minneapolis than Barack Obama was responsible for policing in Ferguson. I doubt the pandemic would have been handled much better by a Hillary Clinton administration, especially considering the catastrophic errors of judgment by people like Bill de Blasio and Andrew Cuomo. And our economic woes are largely the result of a lockdown strategy most avidly embraced by the president’s critics.

But the point here isn’t that Trump is responsible for the nation’s wounds. It’s that he is the reason some of those wounds have festered and why none of them can heal, at least for as long as he remains in office. Until we have a president who can say, as Lincoln did in his first inaugural, “We are not enemies, but friends” — and be believed in the bargain — our national agony will only grow worse.

Trump sounds just like a right-wing talk-radio host

Talk radio has President Trump’s back. “Where does it say in the Constitution that if Washington’s establishment doesn’t like the results of a presidential election, they get to do whatever they want to do to overturn them?” asked the broadcast king, Rush Limbaugh, after the House formalized its impeachment inquiry in October. “They have been trying to get rid of Donald Trump under false, lying premises since election night.” Mark Levin claimed that several of the witnesses testifying in the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment hearings “exposed themselves as part of a cabal.”

To these radio hosts, Trump’s voters are the ones who are really under attack: “He’s a surrogate for their hatred for us,” said Limbaugh. Given this robust defense, it’s not surprising that Trump regularly retweets or quotes hosts like LimbaughLevin and Laura Ingraham.

But there’s more to these apologetics than the fact that right-wing talk radio hosts agree with the president’s views. Trump sounds just like them. Reality TV may have enshrined his celebrity, but Trump’s tone, his concerns and his willingness to shock people are most at home on the radio waves during rush hour.

He calls the House investigation “The Greatest Witch Hunt In American History!” and a “hoax.” He asserts without evidence that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) is “a corrupt politician and a criminal” and that Republicans are dealing with “human scum.”

It’s rants like these — which mimic what millions of conservative Americans consume on the airwaves — that have helped Trump build and cement a durable bond with these voters. This relationship might prove to be the president’s political salvation, propelling him not only past impeachment but maybe even to a second term.

When Trump declared his candidacy in 2015, reporters and analysts of all political stripes dismissed him as a sideshow. Not only did he lack political experience, but he kept saying things that politicians just weren’t allowed to say. One astute observer thought otherwise: Limbaugh. He said he and his producer were “laughing ourselves silly” during Trump’s announcement speech, but he also presciently observed: “This is gonna resonate with a lot of people, I guarantee you, and the Drive-Bys” — Limbaugh’s term for mainstream journalists — “are gonna pooh-pooh it. They’re gonna relegate it to the carnival characteristics of the campaign and so forth, but it’s gonna resonate, just like [1992 and 1996 presidential candidate Ross] Perot did.”

How did Limbaugh know that Trump’s message would connect? Maybe because a lot of what the candidate said sounded like his show. The most controversial line in Trump’s campaign announcement speech was his assertion that Mexico was sending the United States “rapists” and others who brought drugs and crime with them. This claim horrified many Americans. But later that summer, after Trump was pushed on the point during the first Republican primary debate, Limbaugh defended himarguing: “You know, they try to dump on Trump, demand proof from him that the Mexican government is knowingly sending rapists, murderers and purse snatchers, and this kind of thing. They are! It’s something I know full well. We’ve had the stories. We’ve done them on this program.” And indeed, he had: For more than a decade, Limbaugh had been railing about “violent criminals” that “countries like Mexico” were “unwilling to take back.” To Limbaugh and his audience, Trump was showing a refreshing willingness to tell uncomfortable truths that Republican politicians shy away from because they are afraid of offending liberal sensibilities or being accused of bigotry.

Stylistically, Trump is far more talk-radio host than buttoned-down politician. For instance, he employs snarky nicknames to rip the mainstream media. While Levin bemoans the “Washington Compost” and “MSLSD,” Trump lashes out at the “Failing New York Times,” “Deface the Nation” and “Very Low Ratings” CNN.

The extreme rhetoric Trump uses, especially on immigration, has long been a staple of talk radio (and other conservative media, like Fox News and Breitbart). During the 2007 debate over bipartisan immigration reform, Limbaugh warned that the Senate bill would “fundamentally, and perhaps permanently, alter American society for the worse.” Fellow talker Michael Savage said then-Senate Republican leader Trent Lott (Miss.) was engaged in “gansterism” after Lott compained about talk-radio hosts.

Seven years later, when Republican House Speaker John Boehner revealed his principles for immigration reform, Limbaugh exploded again. To him, the push to admit immigrants who, he claimed, saw the United States as “no place special” was one more part of the left’s campaign to degrade America. Liberals were teaching young Americans in public schools, he said, “not only not to love the country, but they’re being lied to about how the country was founded, why it was founded, who founded it and what its purpose is.” And now, with immigration reform, Limbaugh fumed, the Republican Party wanted “the end of the country as we know it.” While Ingraham admitted in 2014 that she personally liked Boehner, she, too, declared that what he was doing on immigration was “a nightmare. It is political suicide both for the free market and ultimately for small-government conservatism.”

What enraged hosts and listeners the most was that, instead of going to war to defeat such dangerous ideas, establishment Republicans like Boehner were proposing them and trying to punish the few courageous conservatives who dared to fight back. That’s what happened to Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) in 2015 when he voted against a procedural rule on a trade bill that would have given President Barack Obama authority to negotiate deals faster. Leadership’s attempt to punish Meadows enraged Levin, who called Boehner a “fool” and a “moron” and demanded: “We need a new Republican Party that’s principled, that’s conservative, that believes in America. Not this crap that goes on inside the Beltway.”

Listening to talk radio, it was clear that many of the people in right-wing audiences wanted this sort of fire from politicians, too. But they had concluded that most Republican politicians were too weak or too interested in currying favor in the clubby world of Washington to adequately battle Democrats. Later that summer, after analysts panned Trump’s performance in the first Republican debate, a Limbaugh caller named Chris epitomized this sentiment, explaining that pundits underestimated the anger of Republicans like him toward their party. These voters felt “almost betrayed.” To Chris, instead of two parties arrayed against each other, “like Republican versus Democrat,” it was “almost like two versions of one party, and the other side is the outsiders that aren’t part of it.”

This belief created fertile ground for Trump: His blunt calls to build a border wall, his willingness to sneer at norms dictating what he couldn’t say or do, and his instinct to punch back at critics thrilled conservatives who had been looking for a pugilistic politician who sounded like their favorite warriors on the airwaves.

And far from becoming more presidential after winning office, Trump has continued to shred norms, sticking to the sort of rhetoric more commonly found on talk radio than in the White House — especially on his Twitter feed. A New York Times analysis last month revealed that between Inauguration Day in 2017 and early this November, Trump had attacked someone or something in 5,889 tweets, while 1,710 tweets promoted conspiracy theories, also common on conservative airwaves. The impeachment inquiry has turned the president’s Twitter feed positively molten: He has labeled Schiff “sick and suggested that the chairman be arrested for treason. He has dubbed Democrats a “disgrace” and questioned their sanity. Like the radio hosts, he has called the impeachment investigation “bulls—,” a “coup” intended to take away people’s “freedoms.” He has demanded that lawmakers such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) be impeached (which isn’t constitutionally possible) and even endorsed the theory that his removal might lead to a “Civil War like fracture.”

To Trump’s base, rather than being unpresidential or dangerous, this rhetoric proves he’s a fighter willing to tell inconvenient truths and take on their burden — just as hosts like Limbaugh, Levin and Ingraham have for decades. Listeners believe that their values — such as a belief in traditional nuclear families and gender roles, patriotism, religiosity and economic freedom from government intrusion — which they see as crucial to American greatness, are under attack. And Trump has the power, the megaphone and the willingness to battle back against a cruel and intolerant liberal establishment that increasingly dominates society, no matter the firestorm he creates. As long as he’s doing that, his base isn’t going to let him be destroyed by the forces seeking to cripple the country they love.

How Donald Trump Answers A Question

 

SOURCES:

Barton Swaim, “How Donald Trump’s language works for him” (via The Washington Post) September 15,  2015
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/t…

Emily Atkin, “What Language Experts Find So Strange About Donald Trump” (via ThinkProgress) 2015
http://thinkprogress.org/politics/201…

Matt Viser, “For presidential hopefuls, simpler language resonates” (via The Boston Globe) October 20, 2015
https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/poli…

Jack Shafer, “Donald Trump Talks Like a Third-Grader” (via Politico) 2015
http://www.politico.com/magazine/stor…

Jason Stanley, “How Fascism Works”

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

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

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

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

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

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