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The Hub for Important Ideas
The Hub for Important Ideas

Episode 26 · 2 years ago

Upheaval

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In America today, is our goal to be right, or to make a better country? This episode responds to the January 6 upheaval in Washington, DC. It works toward a perspective on what’s been happening and how to move forward. 

In America today. Is Our goal to be right or to make a better country. Welcome to the hub for important ideas. I'm Steve James and I'm Ken Swain. In this episode we respond to the January six upheaval in Washington DC. We hadn't planned to make this podcast, but the recent events wouldn't let us ignore them. We're going to play for you a conversation we had with Jack Moscow. We invited him back because we didn't know anyone with a better perspective on what's been happening right Jack is a CO founder of the writer's collective in New York. He has an extensive background in management, training, strategic planning and political consulting. His commentary on political events was previously posted on blogging for utopiacom and dispatches from Utopia. He is the author of why not Utopia, a political platform in search of a party, and he writes bi weekly untrammeled and entertaining blog, nobody asked me, but I'll tell you anyhow, and dispatches from the planet Utopia. Here's our conversation with Jack Moscow. So, Jack Moscow, welcome back, glad to have you again. Glad to be here. Hi, Jack. They can super so Jack, we're going to play a clip from episode twenty where you made your prediction about what was going to happen after the election, after the November election. If trump loses and, as I say, the power of lead throw him under the bus and Biden is elected, and assuming that the Democrats have a sweep, they win more seats in the house, they recapture this enate and Biden in come. Aa Are the president. Vice President, I think he will see a new version of the civil war. The civil war was fought on a battlefield of clearly defined territory. What I think you'll see this time is a non territorial civil war. I would think he will see all of the Kukux clad types wherever they are killing and murdering. They'll kill nine people in a church, they'll blow up the Oklahoma City building. They'll blow up and kill the Jews in the synagogue in Pittsburgh, in the Day Care Center in a California they'll assassinate doctors who want to offer abortions. The killing will go on unabated and the question is whether or not people will see this as systemic or each killing will be an operation. Each killing as well, that's one individual loader, that's one individual unhappy people person, and I don't know that, even if Biden and Harris are able to say no, this is esthetic. White terrorism is real and we have to end it. If Biden is elected, I don't know what'll happen, except it won't be pretty. Then this will be your time to gloat. So this is that's a good, good, good way to put it. Yeah, you get to, you get to. I told you so. Yeah. So if I've been wrong ninety eight times out of a hundred, am I still allowed to goat for the two times I'm right? Absolutely everybody else does. Why should you be any different? So it's right. Is this this debical? I don't know what to call it. I mean, some people call it a coup attempt, some people call it a riot. On January sixth, is this what you expected? You're asking me. Yes, I'm asking you very definitely that the state. The stated reason for the trum the trump supporters, for taking up arms against their government was that it was a stolen election, and I think the unstated reason was that they're fed up. They want liberty, they want freedom from what they considered to be an oppressive government and they're just this completely dissatisfied with their situation and their system. Could you comment on that? Well, I agree with you. Coming from my own left wing background, I was raised to believe that governments are oppressive by definition, and the people who we now call right wing insurrectionists are people who have been oppressed by the government, and for the most part that has been a liberal, not quite social democratic, government, and they've been angry for for a hundred years and, from my perspective, with justification. Now, like everything else, they take out their anger in ways not just the right violence, but they find scapegoats.

Instead of blaming what I would blame, which is capitalism or human nature, they blame blacks, they blame communists, they blame Jews, immigrants. That's a dangerous road to go down, yeah, isn't it though? And the danger, of course, has translated into some people being murdered. The police officer, who, the capital police officer, was just doing his job, got his his head bashed in with a fire extinguisher. Some other people died from unknown causes, we don't know. But the woman, the one woman trump supporter, was shot breaking into the capital. She in my opinion, died for no real reason that I can see. I mean, whatever the cause was that she thought she was fighting for was a lie, in my opinion. I feel very sad that she had to die, but from all accounts she was delusional. She was a queue and on conspirator and she believed in the pizza gate conspiracy and all that stuff. I feel bad for anybody who got sucked into this. I don't feel bad for the brutish people that destroyed property and did horrible things and and kill the police officer. I don't. I don't feel they deserve whatever retribution they're going to get, in my opinion, but I feel bad for the ones that have been duped. How do you see these folks, Jack, how do you see these trump supporters that stormed the capital? Taking a deep breath, because it will literally take me five hours to answer that question. Answer it is briefly as I can. Okay, just airs he for my own personal experience in terms of how I was raised. They're not delusional in the come in the way we use the word. They have very strong beliefs, and the stronger that belief is, and more you were impelled to act upon it. You know, you go back to Hannah arrants the finality of evil. HMM, if you meet these people in a bar and they don't know your political background and you don't know there is will have a great conversation with most of them. When it gets into politics, begin to veer off to some extent. But reason I object to delusion them is, and I'm pulling now on my own personal life history, but get again. I'm ninety one and I'm going back to when I was ten years old. So clearly my memory of that is their bone and it's been fleshed out over the years by my reading. But in nineteen s the Communist Party was all out against Adelf Hitler and the Germans and Hitler and Russia. Sigunder non aggression pact in one thousand nine hundred and thirty nine, and I swear the ink wasn't drawing on the paper before the Communist Party changed its position and every single communist did. Now this is one thousand nine hundred and thirty nine. I'm what ten years old? How much of it can I remember? It's only my later readings that that got me into that. Now, when Salon went it became our apply the Communist Party became acceptable to the US government and Earl Browder, who was the Communist Party leader, was actually had been in jail for his anti Roosevelt war effort. You know, he was opposing the wars. That was the Communist Party, and Roosevelt released him as a gesture to Molotov, who was coming over to see him. Keep this background in mind. The Communist Party says, okay, the situation on the ground is change. We're no longer opposed to this as a capitalist war. This is a war to end fascism. At the same time there's a group called Trotsky. It's, I think, Trotsky ice, I don't know who are communists under follows of Leon Trotsky. They continued to oppose our getting into the war and even after the Japanese attacked US and Burn Pearl Harbor, they were saying things like we shouldn't be here, we shouldn't get into this war. The Smith Act was created and all of these guys were jailed for a serviss edition. The Communist Party supported their going to jail because they were all in on the war. Now one of the Communist Party leaders, I can't remember his name. Anyway, he was at the trial and he said we need to be careful to make sure that the Trotsky ice are exposed, but at the same time the Smith Act isn't used at a...

...later date to jail progressives. Okay, now he knew this, but nobody heard him in the party and of course they all in by the N S. That same Smith Act was what put them all in jail. Now I'm jumping one thousand nine hundred thirty nine. I'm ten years old, one thousand nine hundred and forty eight, seventy of eighteen years old I joined the party. I joined the party because it was fighting for peace and democracy and racial justice. I have no real recollection of that. I haven't yet read or will and in fact, at that time, when or well was publishing, because he was a part of the Truyskyi Anti Communist faction, the party was denouncing him and of course now all the left wingers are supporting him. It was brilliant, except when he wasn't brilliant. So, to go back to your point, I am not only unsympathetic to I think I understand very clearly where these people are coming from. They are fighting for liberty. The fact that some media told them. We sold the election and they believe it. Hell, but I believe in all kinds are nonsense. Didn't mean that my ideas weren't founded in my reality. So I'm very unhappy with what's happening to them now. Again, the ones who translated rhetoric into action. That's another story, you know, and too violence. Action, action, I I'm okay with that, but into violence. But I would be willing to bet that ninety percent of the people at a rally we're not performing or even thinking about performing, actionable ideas, except rhetorically. I had an interesting conversation for me to this digress for a minute. I know a young kid who's in the Canadian military and as part of their training they do riot control. And, by the way, he had access to Russian TV, French TV, German TV and British TV while the riots were going on, so he's seeing everything. Now I thought when the capital police opened up the barriers, this was proof of their conspiracy to let the insurrections in. This is what the young military kid told me. He said no, what we study is this at the head of any mob, riot as mob of any kind, including a peaceful one, are the ones with the tendency to be violent, and what happens is that their tendency to be violent carries along with it the less violent. So what we try to do is we try to isolate them, and the way we do that is called dispersal, and the version we open up the gates to let people disperse so that they are not as under the not under the direct control of the real action will people, and I experienced this but didn't realize it. You're during the S. I went down with my kids so to protest the war in Vietnam and I couldn't help but notice that on the streets, on the side work, they were garbage cans, all kinds of barricades to prevent us from spilling over and doing damage to the property right, of course, the from us. After about an hour or two, I got tired. I'm older than them. I say Hey, kids, I'm leaving and I walked over to the barricade and I walk alongside it, but I'm still inside the barricade and I come to a place where the barricade is open and what they were doing was dispersing the crowd. So let me interrupt you one one second just to add one thing to this. What you're saying is fascinating, by the way. I like it a lot. What I heard was that many of the capital police open the gates and allowed people who had badges to come in, because many of them were police and firefighters and people from other cities with badges, and the cops said, Oh, you're a cop, come on in, not thinking Oh, you're a cop, but you're also a rioter, you're also a member of a militia, you're also going to coming here and trash the place. So that was another reason. I'm not disputing what you're saying, but that was a reason that I heard that they were allowed in. And there are a lot of there are a lot of trumpers who are police or police who are trumpers. Yeah, that's absolutely correct and I just want again delve a little bit...

...deeper into history. I know you're well aware that it's a slave patrols were the originators of our police force and in the south, I don't know what percentage, whether it's fifty percent or ninety nine percent, of police where members of the KKK and similar groups or, as we would say, fellow travelers. They were veriantly racist and those attitudes carried over. I think what is not as well known is that for a long time right wing elements throughout the country, forstered, I'm promoted, having their there's, their people joined the police forces and an inordered amount of policemen. And we're not idealistic, pretty pull trying to, you know, protect society. They came predisposed with racist ideas, with anti communist ideas and, I radical ideas. Call it what you will. Whether or not the particular policemen that opened up the gate was sympathetic or following the dispersal rule. I think is one of these human interest stories that doesn't fully take a look out, as we like to say, the actual conditions on the ground. Well, I heard this quote and I've actually heard it more than once, but this is the longer version of it. This is a from a police officer who was on the scene and he said that was a heavily trained group of militia terrorists that attacked us. said the officer, who has been with a department for more than a decade. They had radios, we found them. They had two way communicators and earpieces. They had bear spray, they had flash BANGS, they were prepared. They strategically put two IED's pipe bombs in two different locations. These guys were military trained. A lot of them were former military, the veterans said, referring to two suspected pipe bombs that were found outside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee. So not only did we have cops, but we had military militia's, people with training and people who had a strategy. They were they were prepared. They set the pipe bombs as a Dec as a distraction, as a diversion, so that the cops and swap teams would rush to wherever the bombs exploded, opening up passages for them to get into the capital. Did you hear that? Is this something you're aware of? Well, just think back. It's now almost sixty years to the posse commentators. These were people who are armed, who were training. They were out of the Midwest. Then go to the militias and think of the name militia. I had married my wife in Flint, Michigan and I was living there in the nineteen one thousand, nineteen and forty nine, nineteen fifty three, somewhere I remember. But the militias started in Flint Michigan Milicia. They went into the woods, they would training weekends and every time they got a chance with guns to protect themselves someone oppressive government. The Guy who bombed the Oklahoma City federal building, Tim M Fay, was a member of the Michigan militia. These militious was springing up all over the country and our ruling elite ignored them deliberately and when everything happened he said, oh well, this is one individual owner, this is one psycho path and the FBI under it. Get over, who was investigating communists from one thousand nine hundred and twenty on and couldn't even find it in his heart to investigate the mafia, which he claimed didn't exist? None of them did anything about these people, people and of course, like everything else now, these people came back to bite them and they are complaining it all. We got to arrest them all, we got to put them in jail. Oh, they're terrible, and, you might add, it is. Where the hell were you for the last sixty years when they were your people? This is all fascinating, what you're saying, but let's double back and talk a little bit about what we think is wrong. What can and I, as cultural critics, think is wrong. We're going to play for you a clip of Jamie aren't from episode thirteen. Jamie talks about Ernest Becker's way of evaluating the success of a culture. To what extent does a cultural system do a few things? To what extent does it provide for the psychological needs of its members, to what extent does...

...it give those people in the culture a sense of meaning and the possibility for a sense of value, and to what extent does it do that well minimizing the costs for those outside the cultural system and for future generations? You know, American enjoy some of the highest rates of depression across the world and other forms of mental illness. To what extent is everybody getting access to this as a viable system of meaning? That's a pretty traditional becker one hundred and one and I think that comes from within death of meaning. That's the first place I read that and it was it was startling to me that someone would take that high view of it. I'd never heard it put quite like that before. Yeah, he's indicting the whole American society in this. Well, before he gets to doing that, he lays out a sort of a measuring stick by which you would buy, which you would judge a culture. Right, a frame way. Had never even thought of that before. Right, exactly. Neither had I before. Well, we got into it with Kirby fowls so many years ago. But right, we're looking at our culture now in terms of what Becker wrote back in one thousand nine hundred and seventy three, and he's saying then that we had high rates of depression. And you look at the the numbers now and depression, stress, anxiety. The situation across our culture is it's hardly ideal. And and we're looking at this from, you know, from this perspective, from this Becker perspective, and we're saying something is wrong, something's wrong with our society, something is wrong with the culture that is not defending us against death anxiety. And people may not understand that intellectually, but intuitively they know something is desperately wrong. That's my take on it and I think that's that's what Becker would be saying if you were alive today. Do you agree with that? Jack? I know you've read or in a spector several times. W Do you? Do you agree with that? IDEA. I agree with it one hundred percent and since I thought of it before he wrote it, I claim he plagiarized my thoughts. I should take credit for it. This what was marks is all about. Yeah, talked about alienation, Marxist criticism of our culture was exactly that. What Becker did was was so profoundly important was he took this materialistic kind of well, you know, there's capitalism, that means exploitation, that eat, that that at Um and human beings are perfectable, and he added a dimension that is striking in its significance for all of us. And when you take what can you just read and what you're talking about, Steve, it's so obvious that scapegoating is a form of denying death. is so obvious. Yeah, I don't like to cite authority except as a form of hey, modestly, I didn't think of this before, and I hate it when people say, well, the proof that I'm right is mark said it, you know, and the proof that I'm right is Becker said it, but you give them credit because he was a hey, you know, wasn't my original idea. And again I would say that ninety percent of the people of that rally rally fell into it. That character. How do he said? The Carrion. Yeah, that's that's how we say it perfectly. This was their way of trying to deny death, because to them what's going on in the society is our society is dying. And just translate from the individual to the collective and you get that result. And you're absolutely right. Scapegoating is a big part of this. I mean that this corporate media perspective, that let's blame trump for everything. I mean, it's trump in your mind. Is Trump the problem of the symptom? He's both. He's the problem because he was so damned good at what he does, but which is lying them in the sense that, as I say, the Times create the man. I mean trump was saying these things in one thousand nine hundred and sixty four, hundred and sixty eight. Did I tell you about what he got? Three till Ken. Yeah, this is good. What do he guthrie was living in New York City in the S and s and he was living in a trump owned building and and they barred blacks. And what do you got? reactually wrote...

...or so about old man trump fred and his racist housing policies. And an outfit named the village voice, which was a counter the first counterculture. One a note. They dreamed trump junior, donald trump from one end of New York City to the other as a Comman, a crook, a racist. And my wife happened to work when she came back, when we came back from Canada to live in New York City, she wound up in Mario Cuomo's cabinet. Her boss was the director or the Secretary for Housing and Urban Development, and they sued Donald Trump for discriminatory practices in all of his buildings. His defender and lawyer was Roy Cohne, perfect and he lost the case but in typical and typical trump fashion he claimed victory. I mean so this guy, we knew him for ever, but the Times at that time didn't raise him up the way he was did a twenty or thirty years later. And Remember, back in that period, five young black kids were arrested for raping a white woman is Central Park, Jogger, I think it was right Jogger, yeah, and they all confessed and the oak I sent to jail. There were kids, there were there were young kids, there were young kids. Thus, three hundred and sixteen yeah, if that, everybody who knew anything knew that they were innocent, knew that the confession was coerced. And trump took out a foot page at saying they should all go to jail and be killed. And even after they were exagerated ten years later by DNA, he still said no, they were guilty. Yeah, kill him gain any traction until the recession of two thousand and eight and all of those kinds of things took place. So answer a question. He's the problem and where the cause? And I thought Ken's depiction the other day or recently was that trump is a pin Yada, which I thought was a wonderful image. Yeah, yeah, that's great. Yeah, he's the scapegoat and and you're right, he lied. He's told twenty Fivezero lies. He's got an obvious personality disorder. Seventyzero psychologists signed an article, or letter, whatever it was, printed in psychology today back in two thousand and sixteen, saying that he had a severe personality disorder. People are saying he's a malignant narcissist, that he's a sociopath. So that regard, the man himself is loathsome, but that we don't need to dwell on that because everyone's reported on that and talked about that. I'm much more interested in the people that he has deceived. But they may be deceived on what's wrong. Like they believe it's the immigrants, they believe it's the minorities, they believe that that the election was stolen from them. But underneath all that, deep down, they know something is desperately wrong and what we've talked about, what Kennon I've talked about with others, are that it's economic inequality and systemic corruption that's at the heart of the problem that trump supporters have experienced and and gravitated to the one person in politics who was saying, I feel your pain, I'm going to do something about it now. You lied. He didn't do anything for them, but they believed it and four years later they still believe it and are loyal to him, I think, because they had nowhere else to go. They still have no one in American politics, with the exception maybe a Bernie Sanders who saying I understand EU upset, I understand why and I've got something to help you. Nobody else, Biden, the rest of them just give that lip service. Am I way off here? Or do you? Are we on the same page? I agree with you, but you know that classic. I agree with you. But first of all, I am so glad that you won't be able to publicist podcast for a few days because my newsletter is coming out tomorrow and I'm saying some of these things very good, but I distracted myself from my thought. You agree with him, but now what were you saying? That economic inequality and a corrupt system are at the heart of so many of the problems we're talking about that the trump supporters are experiencing. They may not know what intellectually, but they know it intuitively. Yeah, what I was...

...going to say is I think they are feeling their own pain. They're not feeling any sense of economic inequality per se. Again, they probably are at a subconscious level, but all of them are hurting individually and it's in Co wit. It's unformed. They can't argue. Well, a lot of them can articulate that. I take that back. Go back to Bacon's rebellion. The poor whites rebelled against the governor because he was giving favors to his wealthy friends and they were out in the cold and in their desperation they actually allied with the blacks, free and slave. Now they were fighting economic inequality, but they also wanted to kill all the Indians. Now, how do you how do you deal with this kind of compartmentalization that people have right it's very difficult. I'll I'll pose a question to you. Trump said an effect when he was running, I'm going to rebuild the cities, I'm going to rebuild our infrastructure. What might have happened if the congressional Democrats, the day after that he got elected, say said Hey, let's get together because we're in totally agree with you and let's come up with a plan to rebuild the cities, and offered to listen to her on that. As I recall, they did that. But the House Democrats did that. They proposed an infrastructure bill that got absolutely nowhere in the Senate, as I recalled about. You know where in the house either, but it got nowhere because they made no effort to it was their bill and Republicans felt left out of the down. I hear what you're saying and I probably have to amend that. It might not have made any difference what the progressive did. The House Deemer House Republicans in the House ended weren't going to go anywhere, and trump, being trump, was going to only go where he wanted to go anyhow. So let me just back up a second say that when I say that the problem is economic inequality and a systemic corruption, I'm talking about a plutocracy and a plutocracy in which the billionaire class controls what's happening in Washington controls our socalled elected representatives are so called public events and they're controlling them through their campaign contributions, but also through a form of coercion that if you don't go along, you get primaried and you lose your power. And that economic inequality that results in a plutocracy is bad for the whole society that we've talked about this. Wilkinson and pickets the spirit level, have pointed out that economic inequality is bad for your health. It raises infant mortality, it reduces life expectancy, it causes a host of problems, social problems, like we said, depression, anxiety, but also suicide, addictions of all kinds. So when you look at the heartland, the people who have suffered the most from the policies of the last forty year, more years, going back to the late S, early s and on. And yes, in two thousand and eight when the whole thing collapsed like a house of cards. When you look at the heartland, the people that lost those manufacturing jobs, those good union jobs that were paying a very comfortable living wage, all those jobs that got shipped overseas and the corporate entities that ship them overseas got a tax break and the CEOS that engineered it got bonuses. And the workers out there and Allantown and and Flint and all those those rust belt cities were left out in the cold. They went from making sixty eight an hour to ten an hour, if they got jobs at all. The kids are living in their basements, they have no future. The kids have have master's degrees with and can't get jobs. And they're looking at this saying something is desperately wrong, and someone comes along and says, well, it's the immigrants, and well, we go build a wall. They're being lied to and they know that the person is lying to them as a game show host, and yet they know something is wrong and he's the only one that's saying yes, this is wrong and I feel your pain and I'm with you. That's what I understand to have happened in two thousand and sixteen and why they're still loyal to him, because they have no one, nowhere else to go, as I said before. So when I talk about cultural, I'm sorry, economic inequality, that's that's what I meant by that. Yeah, there's another aspect to this deef that we're leaving out, and I want to say it before we stop talking about the image of trump as the...

...pin Yatta. Yeah, because we were. Everything that you said is true, but there's there's a new technology that's never before existed in the history of humankind, and that is the Internet and social media and these echo chambers that algorithms are programming what individual people here, because they've been gathering data as you move through the world. Now you're just you're just giving your just spewing data, and people are picking it up that everything you do has value to them now, because it gives them a finer point on who they believe you to be and based on that, they cater there they fine tune the news, and I'm using big quotes around the Word News, that you receive, and at a certain point you're only hearing stuff that they know you already agree with and if you have a strong opinion about something, they can whip you into a frenzy and all your right and and it's those people that are whipped into a frenzy that then you use the word scapegoating, as we've been saying, and then you hold trump up like a pinata and everybody just wants to take a stick and take a big swing at it, because they're not every all their frustrations. Everybody on everybody on one side is taking a stick at him. Yes, but everybody on one side, everybody in that Echo Chamber, and that what yea on the left, the liberal yes chamber. Yeah, absolutely, absolutely, the right. They have their they have a different view, which Jack has shown a light on. And, just so you know, I mean the left would like us to be killed for even suggesting that there could be another point of view here. I don't are completely more completely violating the narratives on both sides, and you're not allowed to do that. That the contemporary world. Yes, yeah, you're absolutely right. It's a black and white world. There's two teams. Pick your team and don't violate the narrative. That's the rules. Well, Jack, you see it that way. Absolutely forgive my sense of humor. If you have two Jews in a room, what you have three opinions. So I come from a very disputatious tribe. Very much. I agree with everything you're saying and the problem, of course, is you can't in any one or two minutes say everything that you are saying or want to say. That's at there's just can't be done. But I'm going to play around with this and hopefully, Steve, you can edit it down so it doesn't take twenty hours and you can't serve the Kernal of what I'm staying through my best. With all the respect to the Internet, which I couldn't agree with you more on. Candidates change the nature of the game and I think it may be changing the nature of our proofund too low. I think you're right. Long before that we had television, and long before that we had just the pressed and long before that we had word of mouth. But from the beginning of our inception as a country, racism has been the foundational belief of our White Society and there's been an unceasing propaganda to scape got blacks as the fourth of everything that's occurring now. I want to tell a joke which goes like this. Cohen says the Goldberg Lend Me Twozeros now that does. He how old the joke is, and Golburg Says No. Cohen says, you wouldn't lend me two thousands when you came to America. Who sponsored you? Says you did. When your son got married, who paid for the wedding? Says you did. He said. When you want to go into business, who set you up? Says you did. All this, I did for you, and now you won't lend me twozeros. Everything you say is true, but what have you've done for me lately? Now I have told that Joe. Of course, that joke is also told between two Texans, right between two Yankees. The Yankees don't take offense, the Texans don't take offense, the Jews do, because if it's a certain stereotype that Anti Semites will respond to, so Jews are sensitive to the very same joke that dominant culture people are not, which doesn't stop you from telling it. Of course not me, but it did get me barred from one nursing home that was run by Jewish owners. Oh Man, yeah, good, and again, if I can talk about communication. Who Will Borrow you? I did a workshop on communication skills. This was...

...so long ago that the term we use was abortion and anti abortion. We hadn't gotten around to euphemisms like pro choice in pro life. So I'm teaching this course on communication and I have a workbook that I wrote and I said to the group, how many of you hear our pro abortion? Raise your hand. Who Praise the hands that you go over there. I say how many of you here our anti abortion? Race the hand. They go over there as a how many of you can see both sides of the issue? They raised as a you go over there. And then I tell each group. I say the group that you are pro abortion, I want you to write down every reason you can think of that abortion should be outlawed. And I say to the group that is anti abortion, I want you to write down every reason you can think of that abortion should be legal. And for those who can see both sides, I want to write down everything on both sides. Well, I had occasion to do that Exercise Probably Fifteen or twenty times over the course of the year or so. Invariably, with how did exception, the Anti Abortion Group always came up with the shortest list. They just could not bring themselves to find all of the reasons or allowing abortion. The pro abortion group came up slightly better. You're like, okay, they had a slightly longer list. It was only the group that could see both sides. Their list was bigger than both of them and that they had what reasons for, more reasons against. So what I'm looking at it as we discuss all this? What the Hell is there about human nature? What makes some of us so close minded, some of US Open minded, some of US somewhere else? I don't know. And I look at all of these things and are we a floored species? You know, is this despite everything we like to say about ourselves? Maybe our theologians were right that Satan took over when she ate the apple, which is why we don't like women and we have to live with the consequences actually have. What I think is they were sociologs just before their time. Steve and I were talking about that this morning and I can't remember. My cousin Dave used to quote, I think it was whitehead, but I'm not a hundred percent sure. He said out of timber. As crooked as human nature. Nothing really straight can ever be built. I never heard that and I love it and in a great yeah, we we are a flawed species and I think that the reasons are in the religions. We are fallen creatures. I think the reagions are since we first set down on the world stage as an eighth, not as up, almost Apien Yep, and we are hardwired now. We're hard wired both ways. We're hardwired to be hateful and predatory and we're hardwired to be cooperative and loving, and that's fits in with what you're saying. By the way, when we talk about television, and this is what I'm writing, already wrote it, it'll be out tomorrow. Newton Minto, social critic in one thousand nine hundred and sixty eight, said television is just one big waste land. Right, I remember that quote. All of these guys in s we thought television was going to liberate humankind. We thought it was going to just spread education and humanity on a scale unheard of, and what it did is it gave us reality TV and the Fox News Network. So I like your quote, by the way. I hoping that I remember it because I'm definitely going to use it. I'll I'll email. I'll email it to you. Good for Alfred North Whitehead. Right, I'm not a hundred percent sure, but I'll research the quote by googling it and then I'll find the author if I'm wrong. Yeah, you know what I'm doing lately is I remember almost everything, but then I go to wikipedia or to Google to confirm what I think I know. Right. I do this at the whole world does that now? Yeah, yeah, I by way, I contribute to to wikipedia. I feel like I should. I feel like I should. I they're my go to for so many things. I contribute to a lot of individual politicians reluctantly meeting, okay, but Wikipedia I give unreservedly my twenty five dollars every so often. So when we look at the division in America, and you're right, a lot of it has to do with human nature, it has to do with xenophobia, and we have teams, we have tribes, we have groups. I think of the football team that has a head coach that's a pedophile and they're still cheering for the team even though the head coaches is...

...a loathsome person. So you can cheer for the trump team even though you know trump is a misogynistic, xenophobic racist. But I think there is something to this criticism of the trump team that claims that they are dominated, maybe not all, but dominated by white supremacists. And I know you've talked about this in the past, Jack, the white supremacy at the heart of this. You mentioned that trump junior, or not well, Donald Anyway, was called out for being a racist as early as the s. The t the father, yeah, yeah, the fatherless of the son. The father actually was in the Kukluk Klan in the s. At least he was in there Gallia. We don't know if he was an actual member, but yes, he was certainly photographed with them. So what is the role of white supremacy in the trump movement and this upheaval? Can I wander around that for a second? Sure part of the problem is how do you define racism? Is there a difference between racism and Digotry? Is there a difference between bigotry and prejudice? But I'll give you how I define it. White America in the North was rigidly said cregated. Blacks lived in a specific community. They were red line, they were segregated. I mean when they went to Chicago daily actually built a city for them, a fire rise building, so they wouldn't spill over into white neighborhoods. When integration came about, as soon as any neighborhood became, depending on the neighbor, between ten and twenty five percent black, all the whites moved out. Where they racist? Where they bigots? Where they prejudiced? Where they just falling to the fear that blacks really are criminal? was there some basis to the reality that Black Black Street crime percentagewise, is greater than White Street crime? Still in if it is sassable? But take the same thing with schools. The schooling schools became integrated. White pulled out from anywhere, from the south with their Christian academies to New York City, which is more segregated today in a school system than it was during the pre legislation. How do you define these people? My answer is it's fun and games to try to define them as so far as we're trying to understand human nature. But the fundamental fact is that white racism is the pervasive, underlying structure of our society and no matter how incoherently or no matter how subconsciously whites buy into it. They buy into it and that motivates them in every aspect of their life. And and they can deny it up and down the by the way, there are people who are interracial marriages and it turns out that the white person still barbers. What are you calling races feelings? And virtually every liberal white person, and I include myself, the first thing you hear about when you hear of a crime is, I wonder if it's black. You know, I've hope it's not. And why are they that way? Well, mark the reaction we're Malcolm gladwell writes about the implicit bias test. He as a Jamaican mother who is black, as father's a white Canadian. But he said when he took the implicit association test it showed him to be racially biased. Right, and he said how can it not be when you live, you grow up in this society, racially charged society? Now every culture has xenophobia. Every culture has an in group and out group. If you're in Europe and Germany, it's Pakistani's or people from the India or the Middle East. If you're in Turkey, it's who do the Turk's slaughter? The Armenians, it's the Armenians. It's not necessarily racial, but in this country it's black and white and Brown, and if you're black or brown you're on in on that group and you're feared. In my experience growing up in Baltimore, when blacks moved into the neighborhood, they were middle class. I remember in my church there was a judge and lawyer and they were probably better off than my family. And the same thing in my neighborhood. The kids down the street, their families were middle class and the there was no there was no fear of blacks who were in your class. But as...

...you ventured into neighborhoods that were mired in poverty, and Baltimore boy, poverty was intense, their images burned into my brain of what Baltimore Street looked like back in those days. I think the fear there is what's going to happen to my neighborhood? What's going to happen when poverty comes into this way of life and it begins to deteriorate what we have now? I'm not saying that's right or wrong. I'm saying that's the fear and I'm not saying that it's inevitable. It's class, it's economics, but it's also this xenophobia that that's the other, fear them, that's hard wired into us. And Ken was saying this to me. I don't know if it was today or yesterday or when it was. That that goes back to when we were, like Jack said, when we were apes. Absolutely, Yes, always out of here, the other, Yep, Yep, and that's that's what jared diamond writes about. You're walking through the forest and you come upon a stranger and you have to sit down and talk to him for an hour to figure out if you're related, and if you figure after an hour's conversation that he's not a relative and doesn't know any of your relatives, then one gets up and runs while the other one goes to kill him, because that's how traditional people survive, I'ved and you say, well, okay, we are not like that, we have laws, but we have that same inclination to distrust the other and fear the other. Yeah, go ahead, Jack, continue now. So I'm just saying, I'm turning it back to you. Is some of that at work here? Yeah, absolutely, that one of two or three things. First, we say poverty. We know this is a cause for a lot of crime. Poverty it doesn't cause crime, but a precentage of people in property were in sort to criminal activities and since they don't have access to embezzlement and stuck insider trading, they rob and they still all stereotypes breakdown on an individual level. We understand that also. But what hasn't happened here is that poverty has been associated with blacks and instead of that ending there, then becomes blacks associated with crime. Now, when I lived in Flint, Michigan, I came in nineteen, properly forty nine, and the vile boom was in full swing. The Japanese invasion hadn't taken place and you could get a job like whatever, you know, if you could breathe, they took you. And a lot of people came into flint from Oklahoma, Arkansas, at Missouri. That was part of the migratory pattern. Not a lot of blacks came because then migratory pattern tends to be the out to the west coast. So the black population in Flint when I was there was still relatively small. It grew, but again what we had was neighborhoods Little Oklahoma, little argands or little Missouri, and they were defined and those neighborhoods and those whites were seen as more alcoholic, more prone to violence and more prone to destroying a neighborhood than the good white Anglo Saxon folks who have been living there. Now let me take stereotypes further. Among the groups that came over were Ukrainians. So there was a little look Ukrainian conclaves and there was a Czecho Slovakia and unclave. And you can say what you want about stereotypes, but twenty years later the children of the Czecho Slovak immigrants were all skilled tool and die makers or college graduates, and the Ukrainian kids were all drunkards and violent, you know, and you can say all boy, yeah, there you go again, stereotyping all over. This case I'm stereotyping not by race. It was some truth to this areotype. Yet one of the comrades I had in the Communist Party was the Ukrainian intellectual. Now, his father beat his mother every day of the week. His father was a drunken alcoholic and one day he and his son, my colleague and his son, and who it by that time twenty, grabbed the father, held him and had the mother beat the hell out of him with a rustick until he could barely live. Stereotypes have a basis in reality, but they are then carried on in a hundred thousand ways of propaganda. Well, unfortunately, the stereotype that you hear, that I hear and see on Facebook, is that trump supporters are rednecks,...

...and we've called them in the past. Fly over people and he'll billy's and white trash. There's a dozen epithets and I said to one on facebook. I shouldn't make this sound like I'm some sort of hero, but I just reacted when they you know, he talked about rednecks and I said, how is it that redneck is okay to say and red skin is not? And if you're the you know, the Washington Red Skins, well, that's politically incorrect, but if you're a trump redneck, well that's perfectly okay to categorize them that way. I find it seems like a little bit of a double stand, isn't it? Yeah, and I think a lot of the trump supporters feel that trump is their guy because he's anti political correctness, which can and I've talked about before. Politically correctness is, I think, incredibly offensive to tell someone you are incorrect. What does that mean? Is it basically means you don't agree with our group? Yeah, exactly, you've it's an in group out. You're not in my tribe right. Hm. But it's perfectly okay to insult the other tribe. Yeah, terms like fly over people much worse than that. Yeah, you get a couple of drinks into him. Yes, I'm sorry, go ahead. Jack my daughter a middle Lord Jackie again. Now we're talking nineteen, give or take. Let's see, she's, I don't know, in mid S, maybe late s. She belonged to a radical theater group that was doing like about God theater. But anyhow they toured the country and they did a lot of shows in Appalachia and of course they came in, even though they were radical, with his preset notion of how they were going to civilize the natives. And my daughter said they was shocked to understand the depth of the humanity and intellectual understanding and awareness of these people who of course also in the same people who were the coal mines fought in Arlan County and everywhere else and produced great music, you know, Appalachian Music, American folk music, which came right out of England, Scots are land, and she said they came to educate the natives. My daughter said they went away, like in all of these people. But you know, we've got from our intellectual snobbishness but then down. One of the things I didn't realize. I'm reading a very interesting book right now called the folk singers and the bureau. It's a history of how the FBI tracked all of the folk singers for being either communist or procommunist and a fascinating book. But what I didn't realize it's how many of our folk singers from the left came from the Appalachian Mountains, came from Oklahoma, came from the southwest, came from really rural working class roots, with his strange alliance with peace seeker, who was of course, a Harvard educated intellectual, and half a dozen others. So again our intellectual snobbishes is just drives me crazy. I know I've teased myself that I'm anti intellectual and Steve, you've corrected me by saying no, you're not. You read wildly. I guess what I should say is. I'm against stobbishness. HMM, instances tribal superiority. That because I read Playo. I know more than you. Now we're getting along time here, but I want to get to this one point that you and I have talked about, that is setting a side the proud boys q and on the Neo Nazis, the KKK and these other violent radicals in the trump support camp. But it seems to me from what we're been talking about at those trump supporters that turned out on January six have a lot in common with black lives matter and the occupy movement and the tea party before them, and the Sanders supporters, a socialist, Libertarians, anarchists and Tifa. They all are dissatisfied. In fact, I don't know anybody who is satisfied, who stands and says, Oh yeah, America, we're so much better than the Canadians. I don't know anybody who thinks that. Everyone seems to be dissatisfied. Everybody is in these different groups, but we can't seem to come together. The differences are so vast between the groups, between the left and the right.

How do we how do we reunite the country if it ever was united, but it was in the s and World War II. It was in the S, maybe not the way we would like it to be, but there was more cohesion than we have now. What do you think about this? Jack? I'm going to make two comments and in turn it over to you. The S gave us the common enemy right and therefore we could subsume everything else. Now let me see if I can get the two of you talking. Those people that are there are utopians. They want a better way of life, a Utopian way of life. Hitler was a utopian, Solon was a utopian. The fact that they created monstrous apperations is beside the point, and I'm saying that your comment is actually correct, but I'm trying to take it to one step further. And again, when I when I waver between marks and Becker at my own particular take on life, those people, they are crying out that we want a better way of life and until we recognize that, they want what we want, which is a better way of life, but we can't find the terminology or the actions to agree on what how you get there and what it should look like. But that's what they want. UTOPI UP, you're right, but about out I've been talking a lot. I want to hear from you and can on that concept of mine because I'm writing about it, so I'll steal all of your ideas. Feel free. Okay, I'll start. I think if there's a way forward, we are trying to do it right here, right now. I think it starts with open minds and open hearts and discussion, honest discussion, about what's wrong and what's right and what's the way forward. And I'm sorry, I listened to a lot of people who agree with that statement and one of the things that they have said is that the way is not known right now. So if you're going to have an invitation to the discussion, you have to be open enough that you are not rigidly decided on major issues. And if you are rigidly decided, you need to remain silent, because that's not probably the way. I like what Ban Lichty said about humility and gratitude in that we have to look at these folks who are on the other side of this chasm, who are taking up arms, who are pretty scary, yeah, but we've got to say to them, look, we respect you, Yep, we value you, we depend we depend upon you. We are humble in our self evaluation. We don't hold ourselves up as the be all and end all. We're not a hundred percent correct. We are humble and we're grateful. We're grateful to you. We know that we didn't build this world on our own. Hell, I don't know who who built the street outside my house. I don't know the Japanese car makers who built my car, but I'm grateful to them and I'm grateful to those people in the Midwest who grow our food and the build the things in our factories and who contribute to this common project we call America. Dan made a beautiful statement when he said that part of humility is realizing I didn't do anything to deserve this. Right, Yep, this was all handed to me. That's gratitude as well. Yes, that's gratitude. Yep. Yeah, Jack, do you have anything, anything to add here? Yeah, I have a problem with words like respect. It's hardly to respect people who want to kill me, but to Parac to piggyback of what you're saying. Do you guys remember? Oh that was the name. He wrote the seven habits of high these successful people. Yes, Covey Covey, covey, he had a real fifteen minutes of fame, he really did, and his book was widely used. And I was a trainer. You were really huh, that's great, I didn't know that. Yeah, and I went to any number of workshop on training and which he was cited as someone you should use. Now I didn't like covey because he accepted capitalism as a fundamental premise. Therefore, so everything that came from the book is being flawed. Another was all self help, and self help that my mind, was of limited value. But Covey said one thing that I used over and over again, which was seek first to understand before you seek...

...to be understood. Exactly and right to me is what you guys are saying. And while I again, if I apply that, I have to say, why did Steve Use the word respect? Why did the can use the word gratitude? Where's I'm not comfortable with because they don't capture my feelings. But I can have a conversation with you by either suspending judgment about that word or saying hey, for all I know, their word is more accurate than the one I'm using. Let's see if we can continue talking. But how do you get people again? I forget who said it, but George Binatua. He said I hate the capitalist for what they did to the working class. I hate the working class more for what they let be done to them. And I translated that into I hate the liberals because they're Goddamn self centered. Egotism and snobbishness drives me crazy. And can when you were talking about we need to talk, yeah, their version of focus. Can you and I? Let's talk so that you'll come around to my point of view. Right, right. That's not what you want to be thinking. And while Jack, I appreciate it, you being so open and admit admitting that. So, since you do that, I'll add my thing. You want to know what a word is that makes me extremely uncomfortable. Utopian. Oh No, you went there, oh my God, and have, and you have to know that, in my in my writing now and in my book. What I say is we have to understand that Utopian is not only on reaching a reachable but if we get there, we may very well find out we are the problem. Yeah, and I use utopia as a catchua word because I don't want to use socialism, I don't want to use communism. I don't want to know the oldliberalism. I want to use the word that has connotations that are not specifically political. But the thought that that Utopia exists is the contradiction in terms fact, in fact, what I have. You can cut this from your you're going to need to end be out of a lot of this. We're gonna, Oh, I don't know, yeah, exactly what I start to say. Oh, on Utopia. I've created an alter ego, thea Shiloh, and she's going to be writing dispatches from Utopia, from the planet, whatever the name is that Steve gave me, that is twenty six Minion watchillion miles away, and in that at some point, I think it's my third and fourth dispatch from her, I have her say that Utopia is not without its problems. We have our own tensions between our human nature and our desired ability and with it, in constant tension with it. So again I'm using utopia as a placehold to placate exactly people like you who object to that word, and also to placate all the other people who would say, Oh, it's communistic, socialistic, God, it's this that the other thing was the only neutral word I could think of. And again, because it's a far away in remote place. How are you going to argue? Yeah, I encourage everyone listening to find and read Jack's dispatches from the planet Utopia and also your newsletter and your nobody asked me, but I'll tell you anyhow. Both of them are wonderful reading. Your blogs are great. I got to tell you of and can we put it in the notes for the the podcast? I think we shall on our podcast. Yeah, and I'm find people to Jack. Yeah, any pluck, you can put it on the light it now will plug is much so ca. Yeah, absolutely, we will. Yeah, if if I couldn't hide behind humor, I would probably committed suicide. Yep, and I tell people when I'm being serious, I'm probably right about fifty percent of the time. Probability theory. You know, what can you do? But what I'm kidding around and being yours. I write a hundred percent of the time because I'm not censoring myself. Am I unconscious is probably much closer to being truthful and accurate than my conscious mind. Yep. So if you fuck me, be sure to tell people when you read me. Forget what I wrote on Monday. was. On Tuesday I will have an entirely different opinion and on Wednesday I will not like either of those two opinions. So enjoy me in the moment, but do not attribute to me any profound long term philosophical ramblings. Well, Jack,...

...we certainly will do that. Number One and number two, we're very, very grateful that you joined us today and shared your thoughts, because I just really enjoy talking to you and listening to you, and can I I think you agree same. Yeah, absolutely, and in defense, in defense of your position that you just gave, which is my favorite one. I think it was Emerson, but I'm not sure who said that. A foolish consistency is the Hobgoblin of small minds. Well, I want to return the compliment in the following way. I've been watching a podcast since you introduce them to me, but I think matching up on all twenty. Every time I have some time I go pick up one of them and look at it, and I don't know when it was, but correctly, maybe three of four podcasts ago, you guys slightly altered the format and instead of just ending the podcast, you carried on a conversation between the two of you kind of wrapping it up. Sure, those you do it there. We always do. I will tell you that the wrap up and closure is often better than the interview itself. Thank you, Jack. I appreciate that high praise indeed, sir, thanks again. Thanks for joining us. We really love it. Thank you for inviting me. You'll be invited. You're going to get tied. You're going to get sick of it. Very good. We are not done. Good, yes, we're not done. I get sick of rejection. I never get sick of praise. Okay, okay, good night, all right, take care. Bye. Bye, Steve. What's your response? Well, I think we have to ask ourselves what us our goal in all this? Is it to win the election, win an argument, gloat, be right, or is it to have a better country and a better world? Exactly? I hear a lot of really disturbing things these days. I want to ask our listeners if their goal is to get revenge and show trump and his supporters who's in charge, or is the goal to find a way forward that avoids violence and makes a better life for our grandkids? Right, and how will we get there? Remember, Jack said, respect and gratitude weren't the words he would have used, but he was open to them. He's a leftist, historically an extreme leftist, and he's pushing ninety two years old and he has an open mind and he remembers everything, as he says, absolutely and I I think that's all we can ask of everyone on both sides. Humbly have an open mind, show each other respect and gratitude. That's right. As Martin Luther King said, we must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. Wow, important ideas, Steve. I think we need them right now. Join US next time. Everybody like us on facebook. We are grateful for your encouragement. Please recommend us to your friends. You can find us at www the hub for important ideascom and support us on Patreon at www dot dot com slash the hub important ideas. We are one hundred percent listener, supported and we are most grateful for your support. Thank you for listening to the hub for important ideas. I'm Steve James and I'm Ken Swain. STAY SAFE, everybody. Stay Open. Yes, stay open.

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