(((My Fellow Americans))) #82: David Ramsay Steele

(((My Fellow Americans)))


About This Episode

Spike talks with David Ramsay Steele.

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Libertarian Party Waffle House Caucus

Chris Reynolds, Attorney at Law

Intro & Outro Music by JoDavi.


Episode Transcript

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FULL TRANSCRIPT TEXT

00:00
[Music]
00:02
[Applause]
00:03
[Music]
00:09
south carolina
00:11
you’re watching my fellow americans
00:14
with your host spike cohen folks my
00:18
guest tonight is a world-renowned
00:20
libertarian author and speaker he has
00:22
written many books
00:24
uh from here let me fact i can pull up
00:26
the book so you can take a look at them
00:27
from
00:28
mises to marx post-capitalist society
00:31
and the challenge of economic
00:32
calculation
00:33
as well as orwellian orwell uh
00:37
and uh most recently he has written the
00:40
mystery of fascism which is a collection
00:42
of his uh essays where he talks about
00:44
the differences between
00:46
far right socialism and far left
00:48
socialism
00:49
uh ladies and gentlemen my fellow
00:51
americans please
00:53
join me in welcoming to the show
00:56
mr david ramsey steele
00:59
david mr steele thank you so much for
01:01
coming on really interested to get your
01:03
perspective on some things i appreciate
01:04
you coming on my show
01:07
well thank you for inviting me
01:08
absolutely absolutely
01:10
and folks be sure to chime in with your
01:12
thoughts and comments
01:13
muddied admins are standing by to tell
01:15
you whether you are
01:17
right or wrong now uh mr steele
01:20
first by the way oh i should have asked
01:21
should do you go by mr steele dr steele
01:24
well david will do david okay i’ll just
01:27
go by david okay or dr steele or mr seal
01:30
or you slimy prick slimy
01:34
that would be interesting if i just did
01:35
that with no context um
01:37
no we’ll go we’ll go with david if
01:38
that’s okay because i ask people to call
01:40
me spike so we’ll go with dave
01:42
now david this is your first time on my
01:45
fellow americans and anytime i have
01:47
a libertarian on my show for the first
01:49
time i always ask as my first question
01:51
what was it that brought you to
01:52
libertarianism was it kind of an
01:54
aha moment or sort of a gradual
01:56
evolution over time i actually know the
01:58
answer to this but i i it’s an
02:00
interesting story so i’d like to hear it
02:01
yes
02:01
everyone everyone has their story of how
02:03
they became a libertarian tell us the
02:05
steel story
02:07
well between 1963 and 1971
02:12
i was a marxist and a fairly dedicated
02:15
marxist
02:16
and i would say that before 1963
02:19
i accepted a lot of marxism because it
02:22
was in the zeitgeist you know
02:25
without calling myself a marxist right
02:27
um
02:28
in 1970 i had a conversation with a
02:31
libertarian
02:32
i was at the university of hull which is
02:34
in the northeast of england
02:36
and it was a very odd place because it
02:38
had two anarcho-capitalists
02:40
probably the only two
02:42
anarcho-capitalists anywhere in a
02:44
university
02:45
uh in the united kingdom in in in 1970
02:49
and one of them whose name is mark brady
02:51
he’s still a libertarian still alive
02:54
and living in in california
02:57
um we were having this conversation and
03:00
he said well just how do you answer
03:02
the uh the mises economic calculation
03:05
argument
03:06
against the possibility of socialism
03:09
uh and i said well uh what is that
03:13
um i i had actually heard of mises
03:16
because
03:16
um because i’d heard of him as an
03:19
anti-keynesian
03:21
and as a as a very strict orthodox
03:23
marxist i was anti-keynesian too
03:25
uh so i’ve been looking through the
03:27
library at things of course in those
03:29
days we didn’t have the internet you had
03:30
to go to the library um
03:32
looking for things that were critical of
03:34
keynes i came across this person mises
03:37
um but um so he immediately told me what
03:41
the um
03:42
what this economic calculation argument
03:45
was and it was an argument put forward
03:46
by
03:47
ludwig von mises in 1920
03:50
and um as he explained it to me within
03:55
within seconds i thought to myself
03:57
inwardly
03:58
that’s a very powerful argument but of
04:00
course i didn’t
04:01
give any sign that that was my in in a
04:03
reaction i said that’s ridiculous
04:06
the working class will know how to
04:07
handle problems like that
04:09
um and uh so that so the the
04:12
the mises economic calculation argument
04:15
runs as follows really that it’s
04:17
impossible to operate a modern
04:19
industrial economy
04:21
without the information provided by
04:23
market prices
04:25
and if you have market prices you have
04:27
to have
04:28
uh private property in the means of
04:30
production which is
04:31
by definition incompatible with
04:34
socialism
04:34
so um so what happened then was
04:38
i i started thinking about this and
04:40
talking to people about it and reading
04:41
about
04:42
it um and i would say
04:45
uh again with again inwardly
04:48
um uh without telling many people
04:53
uh i began to think that socialism was
04:55
out of the question
04:56
i should say by the way that what i
04:59
called
05:00
socialism in 1970 i would now say
05:03
was marxian communism because socialism
05:06
means a great many different things and
05:08
has
05:08
integrated many different things
05:09
historically my version of socialism in
05:12
1970
05:13
was uh marxian communism
05:17
and i came to the conclusion that this
05:19
was an impossible
05:20
system that mises was right um
05:23
so uh it took me a you know
05:27
one of the things i’m working on now is
05:29
a general theory of belief systems
05:31
and one of the one of the phenomena that
05:33
i’ve noticed in
05:34
when people change their ideas radically
05:37
they often keep quiet about it for a
05:39
while
05:40
they don’t they don’t tell the world
05:42
that they’ve changed their mind
05:44
and what this means is you know that if
05:46
you find enthusiastic adherence of some
05:49
belief system
05:50
let’s say the moon is uh let’s say you
05:52
meet 20 of them and you’re very
05:54
impressed by how
05:55
articulate they are um and how convinced
05:58
they are
05:59
you can be sure that two or three of
06:00
them are already in in
06:02
inwardly have left they just haven’t got
06:05
it
06:06
they just haven’t got to the point of
06:07
actually publicly leaving
06:09
even even as they are still being active
06:13
in promoting the ideology they’ve
06:14
already left it in their heads um
06:16
and you know one one of the things about
06:18
belief systems uh
06:20
is that all belief systems at least all
06:23
belief systems where free competition in
06:25
belief systems is allowed
06:27
right have a high turnover
06:30
and one of the interesting things about
06:32
this this is straying a bit from
06:34
from how i became a libertarian but um
06:37
one of the interesting things about this
06:39
is that the very earliest independent
06:42
reference to christianity
06:44
which is a letter sent to the emperor
06:49
by a minor official in the roman empire
06:52
plenty of the younger his name was
06:54
he was governor of um what we would now
06:57
call part of turkey
07:00
and he wrote to the emperor uh saying
07:03
there are christians around here they’re
07:04
making a nuisance of themselves what
07:06
should i do about them
07:07
and the emperor wrote back and said this
07:09
is what you do um
07:11
but the interesting thing there’s very
07:12
little information about christianity in
07:14
this brief letter from plenty of the
07:16
younger
07:17
but one of the things he does reveal is
07:19
there are a lot of people around
07:21
who used to be christians and are no
07:22
longer
07:24
so you know the christianity even when
07:26
it was very early and growing
07:28
expands slowly expanding had a high
07:30
turnover
07:31
and it’s true of all belief systems as
07:33
long as the turnover is permitted of
07:35
course
07:36
um by the state uh that people join
07:39
uh some belief system and
07:42
then they leave many cases they leave
07:46
so that’s an interesting point about
07:48
that but um yeah so going back to my
07:50
personal odyssey uh i got more and more
07:53
interested in free market economics
07:55
um and um
07:58
read quite a bit about economic theory
08:01
although i was actually
08:02
uh a sociologist at the time um
08:06
and um i sort of announced to the world
08:09
that i was a libertarian
08:11
uh in about 1973 uh in
08:14
in 1973 in fact um and um
08:17
uh it’s called caused a big upset among
08:20
some of my friends but um
08:22
uh but uh that’s what you expect right
08:25
yeah in certain in certain circles yes
08:28
now
08:28
at the time when you announced that was
08:30
the term libertarian fairly well known
08:33
or was it still in its kind of i mean
08:34
that was still when it was sort of in
08:35
its
08:36
nascency wasn’t it or was it well known
08:39
it was less
08:39
well-known than in the us right right
08:42
and in fact there were a lot of people
08:44
who um if who used the word libertarian
08:47
to mean
08:48
like left-wing anarchist um that’s right
08:51
that would
08:52
that would be a common uh meaning given
08:54
to the term
08:55
so uh so you know usually
08:59
well not usually but fairly frequently i
09:01
had to explain what libertarianism was
09:04
you know so that it would not from the
09:06
school of like uh um
09:08
a proud home or something like that but
09:10
from the from the from the school of
09:11
of mises and and rothbard and so forth i
09:14
guess this would be
09:15
well no this wouldn’t this would have
09:16
been the same time as rothbard yeah yeah
09:18
rothbard was very much around at the
09:20
time
09:20
yes and um i visited the us in 1977
09:25
uh and met rothbard and then he visited
09:28
britain
09:28
a little bit after that and i met him
09:30
again so um
09:32
i got to know him i would say in a
09:34
superficial way anyway uh had some
09:36
conversations with him um so uh i knew
09:39
rothbard
09:40
um i’m afraid i have to say that um
09:43
i tend to be a heretic in everything and
09:46
um
09:47
when i joined the libertarian movement
09:49
effectively
09:50
uh in in 1973 there were certain things
09:53
that you were expected to believe
09:55
and if you didn’t um uh you would
09:58
you were under suspicion of not being a
10:00
libertarian one of these was natural
10:02
rights
10:03
um and uh so um and the other was uh
10:07
praxeology
10:08
the museum system of uh economic theory
10:11
and i came to reject both of these uh
10:14
at least i i rejected natural rights in
10:17
the form but it was held by libertarians
10:19
at the time
10:20
and the basically um
10:23
ein rand and murray rothbard were the
10:26
sort of
10:27
the the spectrum of natural rights
10:30
theory i came to
10:31
to reject that and i came to reject um
10:33
uh
10:34
the whole um praxeological approach to
10:37
economics as well so i became a chicago
10:39
boy
10:40
and then um ideologically and then i
10:43
moved to chicago so i’m a chicago boy in
10:45
two ways so are you are you you would
10:48
adhere yourself to the chicago school of
10:50
economics as well as actually living in
10:52
chicago or
10:53
yeah yeah that’s that was what i meant i
10:55
mean i mean uh i mean i
10:57
i it’s been it’s been um
11:01
uh 50 years since i read uh milton
11:04
friedman’s essay
11:06
on the methodology of positive economics
11:08
and i remembered i had some
11:10
disagreements with it
11:11
even but but i agreed with the gist of
11:13
it which is that
11:14
um economics is an empirical science and
11:17
it can be tested empirically
11:19
uh and to the extent that it’s not an
11:20
empirical science it’s not science
11:22
because if it can’t be tested i’m a
11:24
papierian by the way
11:26
um that’s one heresy i haven’t uh kicked
11:29
over yet
11:30
um and um so science is what is
11:33
uh among other things not it’s not the
11:36
only thing about science but one of the
11:39
things about science is
11:41
that it its propositions can be
11:43
falsified
11:44
in principle so you can lay down the
11:47
conditions that would ha
11:48
that would be observed that would
11:49
falsify um science
11:52
that is very interesting it’s good to
11:53
know that it’s not a new thing
11:56
that libertarians actively look for even
11:59
the smallest amount of orthodoxy
12:00
that you someone doesn’t adhere to to
12:03
label you as not being a real
12:04
libertarian i i thought we had started
12:06
that with social media i thought that
12:08
was a
12:08
a uh oh no i i assumed that that was
12:11
part of cancel culture that we were just
12:13
actively looking to
12:14
cancel libertarians if they if they
12:16
strayed even remotely from orthodoxy so
12:18
i’m not sure if that makes me feel
12:19
better or worse but it’s a good thing to
12:20
know
12:21
um well it’s characteristic of belief
12:24
systems down the ages
12:25
that they have a tendency to become more
12:28
rigid and narrow
12:29
and to exclude more people uh and then
12:32
there are account of
12:33
alien forces as well but that’s a
12:34
characteristic um phenomenon that goes
12:36
on with belief systems
12:38
to become cloistered and dogmatic in in
12:42
to to to uh find new ways of excluding
12:46
people as not being true believers
12:48
and by the way it’s not altogether
12:50
regrettable because it is an essential
12:53
if you if you form some kind of
12:55
association of people who
12:56
agree on their beliefs you do have to
12:59
decide what beliefs count for this
13:01
association
13:02
and what don’t count so so this is um
13:06
this is uh a feature of all belief
13:08
systems that they have that problem they
13:10
have to do that
13:11
and circumstances change and so
13:14
um the reasons people have for departing
13:17
from the straight and narrow
13:18
of the belief system uh will change with
13:21
circumstances and and
13:23
things come along that nobody
13:24
anticipated 50 years earlier
13:26
uh and and the belief system has to
13:28
adapt to that you know
13:30
but without that rigidity it wouldn’t be
13:32
a belief system to begin with because
13:34
you could just believe whatever you
13:35
wanted
13:35
that’s it yeah it’s fair enough i
13:37
thought we were special but here we go
13:38
it turns out it’s everyone’s like that
13:40
um so in the in your book the mysteries
13:44
of fascism
13:45
and i’ll pull that up again yeah
13:48
sorry the mystery of fascism uh you talk
13:51
about the differences between
13:54
what you call far-right socialism and
13:56
far-left socialism and one of the
13:58
examples you use
13:59
is the i guess the evolution of of
14:01
mussolini from being sort of a standard
14:03
issue
14:04
marxist radical to becoming a fat
14:08
not just a fascist but one of the
14:10
founders of fascism and one of the most
14:12
uh you know uh uh uh infamous leaders of
14:16
fascism well you know that’s an
14:17
interesting point was mussolini the
14:19
founder of fascism
14:20
he certainly was the co-founder along
14:23
with a few others
14:24
of a movement that be that became called
14:27
fascism
14:28
um but the uh i think i
14:31
point this out in this article uh that
14:34
um
14:36
what we could what we know as fascism as
14:38
it existed in say 1920
14:41
19 well 1919 let’s say when mussolini
14:44
announced this
14:45
fascist movement um incidentally that’s
14:48
the same year that the communist
14:50
international was founded
14:51
in um in moscow and that the bolsheviks
14:55
stopped calling themselves bolsheviks
14:57
and call saudi call themselves
14:58
communists communists so those two
15:00
things happen simultaneously
15:02
um more or less uh but the but the um
15:06
the ideological movement that we call
15:09
fascism which was announced by mussolini
15:12
in 1919 you can date it to before the
15:15
first world war
15:16
uh and what what what uh
15:20
it would be called national syndicalism
15:24
or productivist syndicalism
15:27
and it was it was in many ways a kind of
15:31
adaptation of marxism uh that the
15:35
the syndicalists or certain groups of
15:38
syndicalists moved from being
15:40
extreme leftists uh and therefore in
15:43
very internationalism mussolini had done
15:45
time in prison
15:46
for anti-war demonstrations and a very
15:49
you know there was a period when he was
15:51
he took seriously marx’s victim that the
15:53
working class has no
15:55
has no um country and of course unlike
15:58
many leaders of socialism mussolini
16:00
really was from the working class
16:02
um uh but um
16:05
but but uh so the the
16:08
the a group of syndicalists or mainly in
16:12
france but also in other
16:13
southern european countries like italy
16:16
um
16:17
uh they moved from being on the extreme
16:20
left
16:20
to be to basically they thought the
16:24
working class let them down by not being
16:25
revolutionary
16:26
and so they and they saw that the
16:29
revolution was not going to come to
16:31
fruition
16:32
in the advanced industrial countries so
16:34
what was the hope for the more
16:36
economically backward countries like
16:37
italy uh
16:39
who obviously in the absence of a
16:41
socialist revolution
16:42
uh their only hope was rapid industrial
16:45
development
16:47
and that had to be done by capitalism
16:50
but
16:50
of course they gave they couldn’t accept
16:52
laissez faire or anything like that
16:54
liberalism was anathema to all these
16:55
people
16:56
they hated old-fashioned liberalism um
16:59
what we would call libertarianism right
17:02
like the plague
17:03
um and um uh so
17:07
so it was a kind of modified capitalism
17:09
that they
17:10
that they capitalism but capitalism had
17:13
its uses
17:14
in industrializing uh and they wanted to
17:16
make full use of capitalism in that
17:18
sense
17:18
well in fact fascism and socialism sold
17:21
themselves as kind of a third position
17:23
or
17:24
centrist position between like marxist
17:27
communism
17:28
and and you know i guess what we would
17:30
call libertarian or liberalism you know
17:32
like free market economics
17:33
uh or or from a uh um
17:36
from a i guess maybe foreign policy
17:38
standpoint the difference between
17:40
uh between the the the marxist position
17:43
and like the imperialist position
17:45
they considered themselves what they
17:47
called third position or basically a
17:49
centrist position right
17:51
right well of course um countries like
17:54
italy
17:55
um if nationalism was very much aligned
17:58
with the idea
18:00
that uh the established imperial powers
18:03
britain
18:04
uh especially a bit but france as well
18:07
uh belgium and so on
18:09
uh had carved up the the the
18:12
the third world what we now call the
18:13
third world of the under undeveloped
18:16
world let’s say
18:17
non-industrially developed world they
18:18
carved it up and
18:20
and um you know in the first world war
18:22
um
18:23
uh uh countries like um
18:27
like germany talked about a place in the
18:30
sun
18:31
you know uh because britain and france
18:33
had carved
18:34
got all the places in the sun so in
18:36
other words they wanted
18:40
and that went along with nationalism so
18:42
when the
18:43
when the syndic when the syndicalists
18:45
turned to um
18:47
to nationalism uh because they saw they
18:50
they
18:50
they saw um they were practically minded
18:54
people uh
18:56
in or they thought of themselves as such
18:58
uh and they
18:59
they they adopted uh the principle that
19:02
um
19:04
we should cast aside dogmas if they are
19:06
proven to be
19:07
outworn uh and they saw that uh the
19:10
working class really wasn’t interested
19:11
in proletarian internationalism
19:13
they were quite interested in killing
19:16
and uh the uh
19:17
the enemy of a foreign country if they
19:19
were told to uh
19:20
and so in other words the waking class
19:22
were more nationalistic than
19:24
internationalistic
19:25
and that was spontaneous it existed in
19:27
the working class
19:28
and so uh this was part of the reason
19:30
why
19:31
uh they they became and but they also
19:33
they saw nationalism as um
19:35
as a vehicle for anti-liberal revolution
19:38
uh you know the fascists saw themselves
19:41
as revolutionaries
19:42
right they saw themselves as more
19:45
practical
19:46
minded revolutionaries so then when you
19:49
talk about the difference between
19:50
far-right socialism and far left
19:52
socialism
19:53
what are the key defining
19:55
characteristics
19:57
that in terms of difference between the
19:59
two is it nationalism versus
20:00
internationalism or is there is there
20:02
more to it besides just that
20:04
well um that’s an interesting question
20:09
uh exactly what all the differences are
20:11
uh i would say
20:12
you know that um that there was a crisis
20:16
in in in marxism and the crisis was that
20:20
capitalism was not turning out
20:22
the way marx expected and people
20:26
responded to this crisis in many
20:27
different ways uh
20:29
the the people we now call the social
20:31
democrats
20:32
um were the people who who in practice
20:37
said well we’ve got to live with
20:38
capitalism because
20:40
uh like having everything owned by the
20:43
government
20:44
somehow for some obscure reason doesn’t
20:46
work um
20:48
and so there so there you get you get
20:50
the social democratic parties of western
20:52
europe
20:53
including the labour party in britain
20:55
which didn’t call itself social
20:56
democratic but
20:57
it was very similar uh and of course the
21:00
labor party was unusual
21:02
uh in that it didn’t have a marxist
21:04
predominantly marxist there were
21:06
marxists in the labor party but they
21:08
didn’t predominate the cliche is a good
21:11
crude guide that the labor party owed
21:13
more to methodism than to marx
21:16
but they have the same ideas about
21:17
socialism as the continental
21:20
social crafts and
21:23
the the the the social democrats
21:27
evolved gradually a piecemeal over a
21:30
period of time uh without anybody
21:33
really noticing the whole direction of
21:35
their evolution
21:36
uh from from being parties pledged to
21:39
replace capitalism with socialism to
21:41
parties
21:42
pledge to administer capitalism uh in
21:44
with reforms
21:46
uh you know with um a welfare state and
21:48
things like that
21:49
so right so that’s what happened in
21:51
western europe and the the bolsheviks
21:53
got
21:54
hunkered down uh in um in russia uh they
21:58
couldn’t say
21:59
that marx had been right because marx
22:02
had always said you can’t start a
22:04
uh a socialist revolution in a backward
22:06
country
22:07
it was a this was at the abc of marxism
22:10
you don’t
22:11
you don’t try to introduce socialism in
22:14
a backward
22:15
an economically backward country a
22:16
predominantly peasant country
22:18
alone in isolation from the advanced
22:21
industrial countries this was
22:23
you know this was marxism 101 in 1917
22:26
and lenin and trotsky they were the
22:28
heretics who turned against that and
22:30
said no we’re going to try
22:31
well they couldn’t go back to the old
22:33
marxist view because they’d been killing
22:35
the old marxists
22:37
the menstrual vixen and other marxists
22:39
in russia right the bolsheviks
22:41
uh had a secret police uh kept on
22:43
knocking on people’s doors and cutting
22:45
them off and shooting them
22:46
um so uh this started
22:50
started in 1918 you know it wasn’t it
22:53
wasn’t they
22:54
didn’t wait for stalin uh this was this
22:56
was bolshevism so they couldn’t go back
22:58
because they couldn’t say well
23:00
we were wrong and we’ve been we’ve been
23:01
slaughtering all these thousands of uh
23:03
marxists uh because they had the wrong
23:05
idea but it turns out they were right so
23:07
they had to
23:08
persist in the in the in the idea that
23:10
um that
23:11
that they were on the right track and
23:13
they were gonna uh it was just turning
23:15
out to be a much
23:16
longer and more protracted process so
23:18
they were gonna they were gonna build
23:20
eventually build the communist society
23:22
where money would be abolished and
23:24
that was the dream of all the marxists
23:27
now the
23:28
the the um
23:29
[Music]
23:31
the national syndicalists you know the
23:33
syndicalists
23:35
if you if you if you look at it say the
23:36
period uh
23:38
leading up to the first world war
23:40
syndicalism
23:42
was the one exception to uh
23:45
the domination of socialism by this
23:48
state ownership model uh um
23:52
you know if you if you go back earlier
23:53
go back into the 19th century
23:55
socialism meant all kinds of things
23:57
there was
23:58
there was a medley of different ideas
24:01
captured by the word socialism even
24:02
things like workers
24:04
owning the owning and running their own
24:06
companies
24:07
was called socialism you know so uh this
24:10
is what a lot of people don’t understand
24:11
that when
24:12
john stuart mill had kind words to say
24:14
about socialism
24:15
he wasn’t thinking about the state
24:17
owning everything which not for a moment
24:19
would he have
24:20
would he have had any kind words for uh
24:22
but the socialism meant all different
24:24
kinds of things
24:25
um the one exception to the dominance of
24:28
this
24:28
state socialism by the end of the 19th
24:30
century
24:32
with syndicalism uh and cyndicalism
24:35
were the the real radical left the
24:37
people who said no this
24:38
uh electing people to parliament and
24:40
nationalizing industry
24:42
is not where we want to go we want
24:43
something more a more radical break with
24:45
bourgeois society
24:47
um and so it was something that
24:51
that um emerged in tactics instead of
24:54
elections we have the general strike
24:56
we have direct action uh but it was also
24:59
in the in their
25:00
vision of the future society was not so
25:02
much
25:03
the government takes over everything and
25:04
then plans everything rationally
25:07
to create abundance for all which was
25:08
the socialist dream
25:10
uh the syndicalist syndicalist idea was
25:12
its up
25:13
uh trade union with this sandy car is
25:16
the french word for uh
25:18
trade union and uh so it’s a trade union
25:21
organization originally it was trade
25:22
unions
25:23
then of course they came into collision
25:25
with the bureaucrats who run most trade
25:28
unions so they became
25:29
it became a different kind of thing but
25:31
it was still this bottom-up idea
25:33
of um a kind of socialism arising from
25:38
from the grassroots uh from the
25:40
self-organization
25:42
of workers in the factories and in the
25:44
other workplaces
25:45
so um so cynicalism
25:48
uh you know even in the united states
25:51
there was the wobblies
25:52
you know this is syndicalism had its
25:54
even in the united states where
25:56
socialism of all kinds has always um
25:59
been
25:59
underrepresented compared with western
26:01
europe or all of europe
26:03
um but you still have the wobblies who
26:05
were syndicalists they were
26:06
straightforward
26:07
syndicalists and shared all the ideas of
26:10
the city list
26:10
now what happened was that a group of
26:13
syndicalists
26:14
uh began to become um
26:17
national they they saw that there was no
26:21
hope
26:21
for um for uh in in
26:24
uh you expecting the the most advanced
26:27
countries in the world to have a
26:28
socialist revolution was not going to
26:30
happen
26:30
this dawned on them in stages um uh
26:34
therefore we’re stuck with our
26:35
backwardness in italy and spain places
26:38
like that
26:38
um so what are we going to do well
26:42
uh a group of syndicalists
26:45
influential
26:48
turn to the idea that we support
26:51
everybody who
26:52
who is productive now they had a very
26:55
narrow idea of what was productive they
26:57
didn’t have a sort of
26:58
all-encompassing economic theory idea
27:02
and they they were suspicious of
27:05
uh banks and financial um financial
27:08
uh institutions um but but but this was
27:12
their idea
27:13
so they so basically the bourgeoisie
27:16
could be on the side of the revolution
27:18
as long as they were increasing
27:20
production
27:21
and therefore industrializing these
27:23
backward countries
27:24
so this this led them gradually into
27:26
becoming uh more and more
27:28
uh nationalistic in the traditional
27:30
sense and they they switched from being
27:32
anti-war to being pro-war uh because
27:36
part of the pride of nationalism is
27:38
you’ve got to have a war now and then to
27:40
show your metal and to
27:42
to bring about change radical change so
27:45
um so this is what happened with
27:47
mussolini
27:48
i was going to say with mussolini that
27:50
was his first big break
27:52
from uh from you know from the marxist
27:55
was that he became one of a very small
27:57
group of
27:58
pro-war socialists and actually enlisted
28:01
in the war and became a uh you know
28:03
injured in the war and became a war hero
28:05
uh whereas the the standard marxist uh
28:08
uh position was being anti-war because
28:10
they were internationalists who didn’t
28:12
want to
28:13
you know get involved in the in the
28:14
squabbles of the various nation states
28:17
um which they didn’t even think uh
28:19
legitimately should exist in the first
28:20
place
28:21
and uh and so when he made that break uh
28:24
he ended up
28:25
uh that was the beginning of his you
28:27
know uh
28:28
fall from grace among socialists what
28:31
was that
28:32
what drove uh him becoming pro-war was
28:35
the idea that that war was needed to
28:38
test the medal of the people
28:39
or was he just sort of generally
28:41
becoming more nationalist in general
28:44
um i think you see um generally speaking
28:47
the most radical of the syndicalist
28:50
didn’t join the italian socialist party
28:53
um they remained outside it and attacked
28:56
it but there were people like mussolini
28:58
who were in the socialist party but
29:01
read this very attentively they read
29:03
this um
29:05
this uh syndicalist stuff very
29:07
attentively and in fact
29:08
um mussolini had um
29:12
uh he was he was the editor of the
29:16
uh the socialist party of italy’s
29:19
main uh newspaper um but he also had his
29:23
own journal
29:24
which was called utopia and it was a
29:28
discussion journal for people
29:30
seeking to clear away all dogmas of
29:33
marxism and move forward to a more
29:35
concrete practical
29:37
vision of marxism and uh
29:40
you know very famous names in marxism
29:43
were associated with mussolini
29:45
in this in this journal wrote for this
29:47
journal uh and
29:48
and so he was mussolini was someone who
29:52
uh could easily have been uh you know
29:54
the leader of the socialist movement he
29:56
was the most outstanding socialist
29:58
in right in the socialist part of italy
30:00
by by far i mean he was clearly
30:02
uh the outstanding figure he could have
30:04
been either a prime minister of a
30:06
socialist government
30:07
or the leader or a social or an italian
30:10
lenin
30:11
it could have been either of those if it
30:12
wanted to uh um
30:15
and this is why i think it’s um it’s
30:16
ridiculous to suggest that he sold out
30:19
you know didn’t sell out at all uh he
30:22
tried for years to get the working class
30:24
to become revolutionary and then
30:26
realized
30:27
this wasn’t working um so uh and of
30:30
course uh what
30:31
you find with all these people in that
30:33
leftist
30:35
around media time of the first world war
30:36
is the idea of going back to liberalism
30:39
was unthinkable
30:40
you know any any talk about laissez
30:42
faire they would just burst out laughing
30:44
you know this was just
30:45
so ridiculous that was just beyond
30:47
consideration
30:48
so you had to come up with something
30:50
that was anti-bourgeois
30:52
uh that was um that was revolutionary
30:55
uh and that um uh but but that would
30:58
have some practical application would
31:00
work
31:00
uh uh and um you know so um
31:04
so it’s an intellectual development
31:06
mussolini’s development was purely
31:08
intellectual it wasn’t
31:09
it wasn’t uh opportunistic i mean he was
31:11
an opportunist
31:12
in his techniques but he was driven by
31:15
his intellectual vision
31:17
um and uh and it’s an interesting he was
31:20
an interesting character you know
31:22
uh um extremely intelligent uh
31:25
you know his he was a far far more uh
31:28
intellectual substance than someone like
31:30
lenin far more there’s no comparison
31:33
uh and um you know of course he had a
31:36
sad outcome
31:38
what’s interesting is mussolini is often
31:41
portrayed as a buffoon
31:42
or you know someone who was you know
31:44
kind of a just a strong
31:46
man who wasn’t didn’t have much you know
31:48
uh uh
31:49
much rigorous thought behind his actions
31:51
it was more just might rate makes
31:54
right uh but even before reading about
31:56
your your
31:57
uh you know your take on on mussolini
31:59
and history and his
32:00
evolution that’s not what it was and i
32:03
don’t know how much of that was just a
32:05
byproduct of world war
32:07
ii propaganda that you know he was an
32:09
idiot and that you know so that’s what
32:10
in in the anglo-american world that’s
32:13
just what we’ve been told is that he was
32:14
an idiot or a buffoon or whatever
32:16
you know they portrayed him as this you
32:17
know italian monkey or whatever but
32:20
but he was actually i mean a very smart
32:23
guy a very
32:24
not just smart a very intellectual
32:25
person he just got taken into a very
32:28
weird direction with it obviously
32:29
right right no um no mussolini was was
32:33
was very sharp um i mean the the the
32:36
buffoon image
32:37
comes from the fact that um uh
32:40
i don’t want to um insult a nationality
32:44
but um
32:44
the italians didn’t fight very well put
32:46
it that way um
32:48
in this in the in the second world war
32:50
or even in the spanish civil war and
32:51
things like that you know where they had
32:53
some
32:53
uh milita for one reason or another
32:57
uh without going into that they were
32:59
pretty hopeless
33:00
um and um and therefore you know
33:03
uh it italy had to be bailed out by
33:06
hitler you know they hit that
33:07
right uh save mussolini’s skin
33:11
um and then of course um when in the
33:14
this
33:14
short-lived uh uh italian social
33:17
republic that was
33:19
with mussolini in reinstalled by hitler
33:22
um they became more more overtly
33:25
socialist you know in that in the
33:26
fascist period
33:28
where it was what mussolini thought he
33:30
always attacked socialism he said we’re
33:32
not socialists
33:33
right whereas of course the the national
33:35
socialist government of hitler
33:36
said we are socialists and that’s one of
33:39
the reasons why the nazis would never
33:41
join any of these international
33:43
fascist uh uh meetings or or
33:47
conferences and things because they were
33:48
they said we’re not fascists
33:50
we’re socialists um and um
33:53
uh but um you know so in this
33:55
short-lived period
33:56
mussolini had to eat his words and say
33:58
yes socialism is a good thing
34:01
um so that’s just and of course he was a
34:03
bit of a buffoon at the end
34:05
because because i mean
34:08
one of the problems with with a an
34:11
organization that exalts the leader
34:13
and gives the leader tremendous um
34:16
discretion
34:17
is that the leader may get you into a
34:19
war
34:21
and it’s a and it was a disastrous
34:23
decision and it was purely um
34:25
it was purely uh mussolini’s decision he
34:28
could have
34:28
he could have said no we’re staying out
34:30
or he could have said we’ll support the
34:31
allies like we did in the first world
34:33
war
34:34
um and then not only um did they
34:37
did they agree to the accid the axis of
34:39
steel
34:40
the uh with uh with germany but in 1938
34:43
they started introducing all this
34:45
anti-semitic things you know most of
34:48
most of mussolini’s mistresses were
34:50
jewish and there were jewish people at
34:52
very high rank
34:53
in the right in the fascist party you
34:55
know there were there were
34:57
there were it was not in the least
34:58
anti-semitic uh
35:00
prior to 1938. right right but mussolini
35:04
felt he
35:04
well these exact motives are obscure but
35:06
presumably
35:08
he felt that he had to make this gesture
35:09
to keep hitler
35:11
uh supporting him and backing him up in
35:13
every way
35:14
uh and of course it’s ironic because up
35:16
until
35:17
1938 even as late as the munich um
35:20
the munich uh agreement in 1938 uh
35:24
diplomats and and politicians in western
35:27
europe thought of mussolini as a as the
35:30
uh the counter check to hitler you know
35:33
because
35:34
because uh mussolini had stopped uh this
35:37
uh
35:37
this um uh this coup in austria
35:41
um uh by putting troops in it’s all
35:44
bluff but he put troops in and the and
35:46
the
35:46
the national socialist back coup fell
35:48
apart uh although
35:50
dolphus the uh the uh prime minister was
35:53
killed
35:54
um and um you know uh
35:58
mussolini was quite scathing about
36:01
hitler’s racial theories prior to
36:03
1938 you know um uh so but
36:06
you know so because the logic of the
36:08
situation forced him into a position
36:10
where he had to um
36:12
go along with his anti-semitism um and
36:16
um uh you know get involved in this
36:19
war that uh was was
36:22
predictably disastrous that’s
36:25
interesting so
36:26
he was kind of the clown by his own
36:28
folly uh so it’s interesting that
36:31
that at least by by by your recollection
36:34
or by europe by your measure
36:36
fascism was actually a not just a
36:39
reactionary movement to
36:40
the the problems with communism but
36:43
actually a reaction to
36:45
many socialist revolutionaries who
36:47
refuse to acknowledge that maybe
36:49
decentralizing power
36:51
and having more of a laissez-faire way
36:53
of looking at things was better
36:54
because that was anathema to anything
36:56
they thought they instead went further
36:58
into even more radical schools of
37:00
thought
37:00
and ended up getting into things like
37:02
fascism that’s fascinating so
37:04
and of course you know um after the
37:07
second world
37:08
war uh you’ve got these um
37:11
so-called socialist movements in the
37:14
third world
37:15
which bear a distinct resemblance to
37:17
fascism right you know they
37:19
they they talk about socialism uh and
37:22
they’re definitely
37:23
sort of come out with this anti-liberal
37:25
and anti-capitalist rhetoric
37:27
um uh and and they’re and they glorify
37:31
the leader whose pictures everywhere
37:34
and um and they um and they are very
37:37
belligerent
37:38
and and generally the african socialism
37:41
is
37:41
is really african fascism uh well in in
37:44
in china you know they’re called a
37:47
communist country but if you look at the
37:48
real the hallmarks of how things are
37:50
happening there
37:51
it looks like a command fascist economy
37:53
and and you know dengueism is a
37:55
is a far cry different than maoism so i
37:58
it’s the
37:59
the theory stands up right
38:02
right by the way uh a lot of this that i
38:05
mentioned in this particular article
38:07
which gives that
38:08
its name to the type is the title of
38:10
that volume of collected articles
38:12
um a lot of it is not original to me in
38:14
slightest it’s
38:15
um a lot of it comes from um well i
38:18
would say the most outstanding
38:20
american writer on fascism was gregor
38:24
a james gregor was his name he died a
38:26
couple of years ago
38:27
um and he wrote a lot about fascism he
38:30
wrote you know
38:31
and it’s worth reading his um i think
38:34
the book is called uh young mussolini
38:36
and the origins of fascism which
38:38
traces mussolini’s intellectual
38:40
development
38:41
and you know you realize that this this
38:44
was somebody who thought deeply
38:46
about things uh and wrote was was a
38:49
writer of talent um and um
38:53
uh you know you you actually read about
38:55
mussolini you know the the munich
38:57
conference
38:58
in um in 1938 there was mussolini there
39:01
was chamberlain there was hitler there
39:03
were all these different people
39:04
uh and mussolini was the only person
39:06
present who could follow the discussion
39:08
in all four languages in which it was
39:10
conducted
39:11
uh and then and he he was uh came from
39:13
an almost destitute family and
39:16
and when he was in his teens he was
39:17
starving he was a migratory laborer in
39:20
switzerland and yeah
39:22
and as soon as he could keep body and
39:24
soul together what did he do he started
39:25
attending pareto’s lectures
39:28
at the university uh you know just going
39:30
in to the classroom and listening
39:32
um that was the kind of person mussolini
39:35
was you know very
39:36
very intellectually alive and very
39:38
curious
39:39
and very much a person from the toiling
39:42
masses
39:44
that’s fat that is fascinating so
39:46
applying this
39:47
how much of this you know when we talk
39:49
about the differences between far-right
39:51
uh
39:51
socialism and far-left socialism how
39:54
much of this
39:55
applies to you know it’s it’s hard often
39:58
to
39:58
apply these types of things to com
40:02
modern american politics if for no other
40:04
reason then
40:06
in the us socialism has sort of the term
40:10
socialism has sort of just become
40:13
a uh a slur
40:16
against anything that a large number of
40:19
americans disagree with
40:21
so they’ll say a specific program is
40:23
socialism whether or not it
40:24
actually has anything to do with
40:26
socialism they don’t like it so it’s
40:28
socialism
40:29
and then they get counter-accused of
40:30
being socialists because they often
40:32
support things that their party does
40:34
that are similar to the things that they
40:35
don’t like from the other party but
40:36
how much would you say that this you
40:38
know looking at for example
40:40
the the uh i guess political spectrum
40:44
in the u.s government uh how much of
40:47
this applies or do you think it doesn’t
40:48
apply at all that the difference is you
40:50
know
40:51
i guess the way i should ask this is do
40:53
you think that this government
40:54
is far right socialism far left
40:57
socialism some combination of the two or
40:59
not even anything else when you say this
41:01
government do you mean the trump
41:02
administration or do you mean the
41:04
continuity of all the governments for
41:06
the past
41:06
few years uh i guess i would say
41:10
at least for the last couple years i
41:11
don’t see a huge
41:13
departure between say the trump
41:15
administration and the congress that was
41:17
there
41:17
and say the obama administration and the
41:19
congress that was there maybe maybe you
41:20
do so
41:21
i’ll let you i’ll let you define it uh
41:23
it’s it’s an odd thing
41:25
i was just a couple of days ago i was
41:27
just thinking i was sort of having a
41:28
daydream
41:29
and i was thinking uh imagine
41:32
the trump trump as he is now
41:36
uh running against jack kennedy of 1960
41:40
yeah um and i would look at that and i
41:42
would say well
41:45
just look at the policies and i would
41:47
say well um
41:49
this trump has some if i was just
41:51
looking at the policies i would say this
41:53
guy trump has some uh uh distinctly
41:56
radical leftist
41:58
um inclinations and uh definitely to the
42:01
left of
42:02
kennedy of 1960 um and
42:05
uh given that in if it was trump with
42:08
his present ideas in 1960 or
42:11
somehow you combine these two different
42:13
historical periods
42:14
right i would say i would marginally
42:16
favor jack kennedy
42:18
against trump uh on on the policies
42:21
um although i’d probably say there isn’t
42:23
much to choose between them
42:25
all right but certainly um you know
42:28
this whole business of bullying the
42:30
corporations
42:32
to cut their prices and things like that
42:34
is so it
42:35
is economic illiteracy but on the other
42:38
hand
42:39
it’s politically very savvy people the
42:41
masses like it
42:43
uh they think it’s great and and this is
42:45
true of a lot of things that trump does
42:47
uh that that makes makes no sense
42:50
economically
42:51
uh but um but it’s it’s good persuasion
42:53
it’s good propaganda
42:55
yeah i would i would argue that a lot of
42:57
the the what we’re seeing as bullying of
43:00
of you know the corporations quote
43:02
unquote
43:03
is often either being orchestrated or at
43:06
least harnessed by large corporations
43:08
who foster this mindset because they’re
43:11
the only ones that can weather the storm
43:13
and they know it’ll cut off all their
43:14
smaller competitors like for example
43:16
minimum wage increases
43:17
increasing regulations on businesses and
43:20
things like that
43:21
and taxes and things like that they know
43:22
that they’re the only you know amazon
43:24
walmart target microsoft you know these
43:26
types of companies
43:28
are the only ones who can weather the
43:29
storm and it leaves all their smaller
43:31
competitors in the dust and so that
43:32
whenever
43:33
you know when that when the when it when
43:34
the you know the
43:36
you know when the the chips fall where
43:38
they may it leaves them in a far better
43:40
position
43:41
because they only got a they only got a
43:42
flesh wound and everyone else got killed
43:44
in the in the in the aftermath of it
43:46
right right no i i agree with that and
43:48
um going back to this whole question of
43:50
what socialism
43:51
means today um i’m i’m of the opinion
43:55
that um there’s a lot of exaggeration
43:59
about this revival of socialism idea
44:02
uh because you know what happened in
44:05
compare what happened in western europe
44:08
with what happened in the united states
44:09
in western europe um you had socialist
44:13
parties so they said we’re
44:14
we’re socialist party we we intend to
44:17
abolish capital and the labor party had
44:18
its famous clause four
44:20
um to you know the the um the the the
44:24
common ownership of the means of
44:25
production distribution and exchange
44:27
that’s
44:28
clause four of the labor party which was
44:29
eventually uh
44:32
many right-wing labor leaders tried to
44:34
get rid of it but tony blair
44:36
to his credit did get rid of it that’s
44:38
one of the few things that
44:39
takes credit by the way but um but um
44:43
uh so the result of that is that in
44:46
europe
44:48
people don’t have a horror of the word
44:50
socialism
44:52
like people used to until recently in
44:54
the united states
44:55
uh because there are all these parties
44:57
that call themselves socialists that
44:58
have been
44:59
been in office many times the sky hasn’t
45:02
fallen
45:03
they maybe have been a bit more inclined
45:05
to increase
45:06
uh social security payments than their
45:09
more conservative rivals but that’s you
45:11
know they’ve been reasonably sensible
45:14
uh they’ve they’ve been in favor of what
45:16
was called the mixed economy
45:18
um and and uh really um
45:21
what what they what they’re doing what
45:23
they’ve been doing
45:24
for since the second world war is um
45:28
is administering welfare state
45:31
capitalism
45:32
uh capitalism with the big welfare
45:34
states right and with a certain and with
45:36
a certain measure of uh
45:37
dirigism in uh in in in uh
45:41
sort of little gestures towards planning
45:44
of industry that usually
45:46
don’t amount to much and get reversed
45:48
after a few years you know
45:49
but but in the united states it’s
45:51
different one of the striking things
45:53
about the united states of someone
45:54
coming from england
45:55
uh would about say 20 years ago would be
45:59
that people a lot of people not
46:02
everybody but a lot of people would just
46:03
be horrified by the word socialism
46:06
um whereas people in in europe have got
46:10
used to the idea that
46:11
the parties can call themselves
46:13
socialists but they’re not
46:15
going to abolish capitalism um
46:18
uh they’re going to modify it but then
46:20
so is there
46:21
so the conservative party is going to do
46:23
that you know
46:24
the degree of modification now sometimes
46:28
you get little ripples like margaret
46:29
thatcher who actually reversed
46:31
uh uh some of the things that have been
46:34
accepted
46:35
state incursions into capitalism by both
46:38
labour and conservatives she
46:40
she actually did something that was a a
46:42
new thing
46:43
a break um but um i i think that what’s
46:47
hap what’s
46:48
what’s happening in the united states is
46:50
largely that um
46:52
that uh people are becoming used to the
46:56
word socialism
46:57
uh i i would like to see instead of
46:59
asking people what they think of
47:01
socialism
47:02
um you could ask them a question like
47:04
this
47:05
uh what percentage of of the united
47:08
states industry should
47:10
be owned and controlled by the
47:11
government and how what percentage of
47:13
the population should be government
47:15
employees
47:16
now in um
47:19
in the 1930s people who called
47:22
themselves socialists would say
47:24
100 or they might say uh
47:27
95 they might say well you know some
47:30
small farmers we could let them
47:32
uh survive for a few generations as
47:35
private property owners
47:36
but in principle the idea was that all
47:39
of industry
47:40
um uh you know i’ve made a special study
47:43
of george orwell
47:45
and contrary to what a lot of people
47:46
think george orwell was
47:48
a very dogmatic and doctrinaire
47:51
socialist
47:52
he was converted to socialism in
47:55
mid-1936
47:56
and he remained a socialist
48:00
until his death in january 1950
48:04
and he he was very um
48:07
he was very eloquent and and puts things
48:10
very strikingly so
48:11
he often says things that are that are a
48:14
bit more
48:15
clear-cut than most people who thought
48:17
just like him
48:18
would have said and one of the things he
48:20
said was well socialism means the
48:22
government owns everything and
48:23
everybody’s a government employee
48:25
um and that was the 1930s picture of
48:28
socialism whether you were a member of
48:29
the communist party
48:30
the labour party the ilp
48:34
which was a an important um minor party
48:36
in britain
48:37
uh or whatever you know whatever your um
48:40
your affiliation if you call yourself a
48:42
socialist that was what you wanted
48:43
now what percentage of the american
48:45
public today
48:47
would say we would prefer everything to
48:49
be owned by the government i don’t know
48:51
that it’s increased much
48:52
uh over the past few decades socialism
48:55
was an economic theory that meant if you
48:57
plan it if your government owns
48:58
everything and plans everything
48:59
then then you’ll have a huge abundance
49:02
super abundance of
49:04
wealth uh that you can treat everybody
49:06
fairly
49:07
because we will have this super
49:08
abundance of wealth that was the promise
49:10
of socialism
49:11
um now uh if you listen to um
49:15
uh the radicals today uh you know uh um
49:19
uh what’s the name ocasio-cortez and
49:21
people like that
49:22
uh you don’t hear anything like that or
49:24
you you don’t you don’t hear them you
49:25
hear them say yeah socialism great and
49:28
they they the more they
49:29
they see that it horrifies the
49:30
republicans the more they say it
49:32
right right but but it’s not clear now
49:35
in 1915
49:37
um uh bernie sanders
49:40
said uh made a public statement about
49:42
what he meant by
49:44
socialism and he said socialism is like
49:46
what they’ve got in denmark
49:48
now it just so happens that 19
49:51
that denmark and the united states of
49:53
america are neck and neck
49:56
in their degree of market freedom in
49:58
business
49:59
right in fact in 1915 when when um
50:03
when bernie sanders made that statement
50:06
denmark was a little more
50:08
in the direction of lasik affair
50:09
capitalism than the united states
50:12
um uh since then it’s gone the other way
50:15
slightly but
50:15
anyway they’re roughly the same in their
50:17
degree of free market
50:19
versus government involvement now of
50:22
course
50:22
um uh a lot of us might think that
50:25
bernie sanders
50:26
when he says denmark he really means
50:29
russia
50:30
uh circa in 1950 but but even if that’s
50:34
true
50:35
and i suspect that it might be um uh
50:38
he still thought it was a good thing to
50:40
say to get people’s support
50:41
oh socialism means something like
50:43
denmark well
50:45
you know um the scandinavian countries
50:47
are no more socialist than the united
50:49
states absolutely not
50:51
right the americans i guess social
50:54
democrat
50:55
it’s more about from an economic
50:58
standpoint it’s more about
51:00
increasing and expanding the welfare
51:03
state or
51:04
increasing and expanding specific
51:07
regulations on government that they
51:08
perceive to help
51:10
workers as opposed to the government’s
51:13
going to just control
51:15
the the actual means of production
51:17
they’re going to just put a lot of
51:18
guidelines down and they’re going to
51:20
have a very
51:20
they’re gonna take a lot of the money
51:22
from the private sector to
51:24
massively fund you know the welfare
51:26
state that they want to see and then so
51:28
then republicans who call themselves
51:30
free market capitalists
51:32
are basically saying we want somewhat
51:34
less of that
51:36
but still some of it so it’s it’s them
51:39
using very lofty terms to describe
51:42
varying degrees of essentially the same
51:43
thing which is a mixed command economy
51:46
right yeah i think that’s right and um
51:49
so
51:50
so uh and this has been fairly
51:52
continuous you see i think that
51:54
um uh 30 or 40 years ago
51:57
americans there would have been more
51:59
americans who would be horrified by the
52:01
word socialism than today
52:03
especially in the younger age group but
52:05
it doesn’t mean
52:06
they were that it doesn’t mean they were
52:08
really
52:09
any more against socialism than they are
52:11
today uh you know
52:12
in principle um and of course government
52:16
some government regulation of capitalism
52:18
is not the same as socialism
52:20
um and um uh although according to
52:24
people like hayek
52:25
it has a tendency to lead in that
52:27
direction
52:28
um so um you know uh so so basically i
52:32
i don’t think that uh we i don’t think
52:35
the the big threat
52:37
of today is is socialism i don’t see
52:40
i don’t see a movement arising to um
52:44
to take uh to take industry into state
52:47
ownership on a massive scale
52:49
well that is absolutely fascinating and
52:51
uh i am
52:53
very honored to have had to have you on
52:55
the show thank you so much for coming on
52:57
before i let you go
52:58
i just anytime i have a guest on i
53:00
always give them want to give them the
53:01
final word
53:02
i want to give you a chance to talk
53:03
about anything that you uh that you
53:05
didn’t get a chance to say
53:07
if there’s anything that you’d like to
53:08
plug tell people where they can find you
53:10
and find out more
53:12
i give you as much time as you need and
53:14
and the final word uh
53:15
the uh david ramsey steel the floor
53:19
is yours yes well
53:22
one of the disappointments uh about and
53:25
i’ve mentioned this it just sprang too
53:27
much sprung to my
53:28
mind just now is that
53:31
um i published this book um the mystery
53:34
of fascism which is a collection of
53:35
essays about all kinds of different
53:37
topics
53:38
the thing that i’m most disappointed in
53:40
strangely enough is that
53:41
this may seem weird and out of the way
53:44
is um
53:44
there’s a one of my chapters in that
53:46
book is a refutation of the idea that we
53:49
could be living in a simulation
53:51
and i keep hearing this that we could be
53:54
living in a simulation and
53:56
um or we are living in a simulation but
53:58
then if you push back they say oh we’re
54:00
probably living in a simulation
54:02
um and uh you know scott adams keeps on
54:04
pushing this
54:05
it’s hardly a day goes by without he
54:07
mentions it um
54:09
and uh there are other people who’ve who
54:11
seriously
54:12
think that the this i mean now i have to
54:14
admit the world is pretty crazy
54:18
um especially this year i was going to
54:21
say
54:21
2020 2020 has convinced a lot of people
54:23
that it might be a simulation
54:25
yeah uh i if so so that the the one
54:28
thing
54:29
that that i’m most disappointed in is
54:31
that nobody has picked up on my
54:32
refutation of this idea
54:34
uh and it’s partnering now looking back
54:36
looking back on it i think
54:37
i should have given it that particular
54:40
essay a title like
54:41
um why we’re not living in a simulation
54:44
instead i get i
54:45
um i i gave it the original title which
54:48
appeared in a book of essays about scott
54:50
adams
54:51
so the essay is called scott adams
54:54
and the um and the pinocchio fallacy
54:58
um the pinocchio fallacy being that a
55:01
boy made of wood
55:03
uh can have consciousness um
55:06
so so um so that’s so i i would love
55:09
somebody to to pick up on my article and
55:12
and and really start attacking this idea
55:14
that we’re living in a simulation which
55:15
is so crazy
55:16
um but anyway um uh yeah i i’ve written
55:20
uh i’ve written a standard sort of
55:22
popular treatment of atheism defending
55:24
atheism called
55:25
atheism explained uh and that’s that’s
55:28
probably
55:29
been my most successful book in terms of
55:31
sales um
55:32
and i have a uh i’ve not just in that
55:35
book but
55:36
elsewhere i’ve had some criticisms of
55:38
the so-called new atheists
55:40
who i think make certain mistakes um
55:43
i’ve also written or co-written a couple
55:46
of books on psychotherapy three-minute
55:48
therapy with mike littlestein
55:50
and um therapy breakthrough also with
55:53
mike levelstein
55:54
um and i’m i’m quite pleased with the
55:57
way those books turned out
55:59
uh so um so i hope that uh
56:02
if people are watching this they might
56:04
pick up one of my books and read it
56:06
so you heard it here folks here is your
56:08
call to action
56:09
go out into the world and tell them that
56:11
dave ramsey steele
56:12
thinks that anyone who thinks that we’re
56:15
in a simulation is wrong
56:16
and wants to argue with them about it
56:19
get that out there get the get it out
56:21
he wants to get into the popular debate
56:24
as to whether or not we’re in a
56:25
simulation which again 2020 i mean we
56:27
had murder hornets
56:28
it kind of feels like a simulation at
56:30
times it feels like someone’s pressing
56:31
put us in hard mode uh you know a hard
56:34
difficulty mode this year but
56:35
well again thank you so much for coming
56:37
on uh you are always welcome as a guest
56:40
on mindful americans and and thank you
56:41
again for
56:42
for your time well thank you very much
56:44
for inviting me
57:00
[Music]


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Spike Cohen
Spike Cohen
Local Jew. Contrarian stoic sentimentalist. Antidisestablishmentarianism. 2020 Libertarian VP candidate. Will pet your dog.
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