Michael Malice: Christmas Special | Lex Fridman Podcast #347

The following is a conversation with Michael malice this is a special holiday Episode and it is made extra special Because it's announcing the release of Michael's new book called the white pill A tale of Good and Evil Michael and I Disagree on a lot of ideas in politics And philosophy and we have a lot of fun Disagreeing But there's no question that he has a Deep love for Humanity and puts his Heart and soul into his work especially Into this heart-wrenching deeply Personal book So I ask that you support him by buying It at White pillbook.com that should Hopefully forward to the Amazon page As always we each dressed up in a Ridiculous outfit without coordinating For the chaos that makes life so damn Interesting this episode is full of Humor darkness and love Which is the best way to celebrate the Holidays This is the Luxe Friedman podcast to Support it please check out our sponsors In the description and now dear friends Here's Michael malice We probably should have coordinated this Better shouldn't we yeah I think so have You since this is a Christmas special a Holiday special have you been a good or A bad boy Michael this year well that's Interesting one of the people in the

Book Granville Hicks his autobiography Starts with I was a good boy uh and he Wasn't a very good boy Um on a scale of one to ten I'm trying to think of what bad things I've done oh okay there's that okay wait That's not that was no that was not that That's all right I would say nine nine Yeah I try to do the right thing Okay what are you you're either is it Gonna be one or zero yeah no I'm Extremely self-critical I pushed to zero Okay I reach for the zero Well mission accomplished so this this Episode is announcing the release of the White pill a book you wrote which is Um I've gotten the honor the privilege The pleasure of being one of the first People to read it you're the first so I'm really I don't know if nervous is The word but you are the first person Who has read it that I am speaking to About it my first my last my everything Yes you say that to all the girls but I'll take all the fem Bots all the fun Bots but yeah it was a truly incredible Book it's basically a story of evil in The 20th century And throughout it you reveal a thread That gives us hope and that's the idea Of the white pill so there's the the Blue pill and the red pill There's the black pill which is a kind Of deeply cynical

Um maybe apathetic just giving up on the World given that you see behind the Curtain and given that you don't like What you see given that there's so much Suffering in the world you give up That's the black pill and the white pill I suppose is even though you acknowledge That there's evil in the world you don't Give up yes so if you're listening to This and you're a fan of this podcast You go to White pillblock.com it'll go To it white pillbook.com and if you Don't know how to spell we'll probably Have a link that you can click on so for People who also don't know Michael Malice is not just a troll Not just the hilarious comedic genius Who hosts his own podcast but he is an Incredible brilliant author dear reader The uh unauthorized autobiography Kim Jong-il so that's a story of North Korea The new right to Journey To The Fringe Of American politics that's The story Of uh the extremes of the United States Uh political movements and then the Anarchist handbook that's talking about The ideologies the different flavors of Ideologies of anarchism but on top of That you're now going in going into the Darkest Aspects of the 20th century with the Soviet Union and the communism with the White pill so

Let me ask you uh let's start at the Beginning at the end of the 19th century As you write the term socialist Communists and anarchists were used Somewhat Loosely and interchangeably Because the prophecied Marxist Society Was one in which the state had famously Withered away that was a great Disagreement about what a socialist System would look like in practice but Two things were clear first that Socialism was both inevitable and Scientific the way of the future and Second that the capitalist ruling class Were now going down without a fight so What are the key points of disagreement Between the Socialists the anarchists The Communists along that at that time At the beginning at the end of the 19th Century at the beginning of the 20th Century the possibility of the century Laid before us that eventually led to The first and the second world war the Idea when the Industrial Revolution came And Marx was very much a product of the Industrial revolutionary thinking was Okay now that we have technology now That we have science we can Scientifically match manage Society we Saw this very much with Woodrow Wilson And this kind of idea of progressivism That uh you know we could use technology And kind of not capitalism in their view Unfettered capitalism was wasteful

You're making too much stuff you have Surpluses you have uh shortages if we Produce just exactly what we need and You have these people Engineers their Engineering Society then you know Everyone will be happy and you won't Have to have any suffering or waste so Socialism at that time was used as a Broad umbrella it's not used in the term That it means today of Necessarily State socialism it just Meant the idea of having Society Scientifically run so you had a huge Argument they're different Wings you Even had it from the beginning with uh Marx versus bakunan because Marx was for Obviously State socialism uh the Absolute State running everything Although even with Marx and Engels it Was a means to an end after man is Remade in his very nature then the state Where there's a way and everyone's equal And you have this kind of Heaven on Earth situation but coonan you know was The opposite he regarded the state as Inherently immoral and wanted to have Kind of like workers collectives and Things like that and Ultra localized Control so the end was always stateless It's just that some people viewed this State as a convenient effective Intermediate State well I think to me at Least there are plenty of others who Just regarded it you know have the work

Have state owner have the workers you Know control the production via the State by the way how does my hat look it Looks great festive it's good is this Side better than the other side I think You want it on this side so people can See you oh no no I wanna you know like Uh when you have like hair or peekaboo Hair it's called Veronica Lake I think Was her name and then I just glance Flirtatiously towards the camera Sometimes I gotta um Foreign No glove No Love The bad the bad aspect of white gloves Is uh The blood stains them So you have to get new ones every time And now I glance flirtatiously after That's there I'm sorry okay marks go Ahead so so there were there were there Were other socialists who did not regard Uh this kind of end times where the State would do the way at all Um and they're you know very strange in Between where you know you'd have some Capitalism and some socialism uh you Know the concept of a safety net uh came Out of socialist thinking the labor Party uh came out of the Fabian Socialists in Great Britain uh their Their logo was a wolf in sheep's Clothing and then when that was too on The nose they changed it to a tortoise

Meaning we're gonna get to socialism Slowly uh in the sense of either uh Gradualism or boiling a frog and also The big part of this thinking at the Time this is again the late 19th century Is the idea that there's going to be a Worldwide workers Revolution it wasn't Going to be that you know in one country You know it was going to happen and then All the other countries be capitalists The idea was all right uh like the Workers in Germany have more income with The workers in America then the workers In Germany have with the capitalists in Germany so the idea is all right like The working class all over the world at One point they're going to be like we're Being exploited uh it's getting worse And worse for us we can't feed our Families uh we're getting injured and so On and so forth and there's no Compensation for this we're just going To overthrow our chains and we're going To run everything ourselves we're the Ones running it already anyway Um and you know this was uh doing all The work and we're doing all the work so Why why shouldn't we be getting all the Benefit What's the role of violence in all of This So this was a big source of contention So the fabians for example in Britain Who are all socialists they were very

Heavily of the idea that we can do this Through The Ballot Box we can Advocate And agitate and get the people to be Voting for their own self-interest and Furthering the state at the expense of The capitalist class then there were the People who were the hardcore anarchists Who were like uh if voting changed Anything they wouldn't let us do it and The only way to have a revolution is to Have a revolution to kill to overthrow To seize these factories and this was a Big argument uh and it also fed into the Idea of where does Free Speech end uh Are is it legal to be giving speeches Advocating for violence and revolution Is illegal Johann most you know who I Discuss in the book and in the Anarchistan book he published a book in 1800s about how to build dynamite and How to build bombs and this is a big Free Speech concern at the time because Now anyone in their own house can make a Bomb and kill lots of people and this is Something that was happening with Enormous frequency at the time and People tend to think you know because we Have these kind of prejudices or we only Remember what's happening now but this Was a I mean World War II well excuse me World War One got started with the Assassination of Arctic Franz Ferdinand There were lots of people McKinley's Another one who I discussed in the book

His assassination there was lots of Violence happening uh very regularly and With the creation of dynamite it kind of Exponentially became more dangerous and Threatening even now on Wall Street There was a bomb that went off I think In the 1920s and the shards of shrapnel Are still in the JP Morgan building I Believe Do you ever think if you were alive During that time what you would be doing You think of yourself as an anarchist Right would you be where would you be Would you be a socialist a communist Which parties would you attend uh Figuratively and the thing that was so Interesting back then is there was a Woman named Mabel Dodge Luhan uh and she Ended her days in Taos New Mexico she Found an artist colony and she had an Apartment on 9th Ave 9th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan uh a shadow Salon and everyone got together and Talked and you'd have Emma Goldman who's An anarchist Margaret Sanger who Invented Planned Parenthood and Advocated for birth control and you'd Have the people from the wobblies the The hardcore labor unions and everyone Kind of at Shell menkin didn't attend But he was friends with them all so There was this very weird With the birth of modernism in art and And in kind of modernist thinking there

Was this idea of like all right like This was the first time where you could Be intellectual as a class where there Really was this space for people who are Thinkers and they just sat around being Like all right like what are we gonna do With ourselves uh you know and you have It in modern art you had it in Literature you had it in politics Um so it was a very exciting time where People were like all right like Everything is now on the table what are We gonna do with this and they very much Were aware that this was a break with You know the pre-industrial revolution Uh kind of farmer labor era do you see Do you think for you violence would be Compelling no first of all I'm just too Small Um but second I I just Dynamite Doesn't care about your size yeah but I Mean retribution does and I I think I I Don't know but to me violence is the Kind of thing where you think you're Running it but it's running you uh once You you know cross that line you know Violence sings its own song so whenever I hear even contemporary tabs or people Are advocating for you know violent Actions it's like when you start a fire You're not like I'm just gonna burn down This house you know it's it's and There's many cases over and over of People who are building bombs or trying

To assassinate someone or or things like That and it ended up literally literally Literally blowing up in their own face So and violence doesn't really work Necessarily because you know if you have An assassination you're not Assassinating the presidency you know if You take out you know a president There's another president instantly There so what have you accomplished Someone's husband Dad is gone you Replace them with someone who now is in A position to crack back down and Retaliate with even more violence so It's it the the calculus for me Isn't There would I be advocating if we're Then who knows Um but I mean I don't know if I'd uh be Able to space to be I certainly wouldn't Have the space to be a podcaster or like A media personality that wasn't really a Thing it to some extent it was in the 1920s with the Algonquin Roundtable and All the people from The New Yorker Magazine Um but they were all drunks you know it Was very much Um uh a weird kind of situation to be a Thinker what would you think you'd do Work at a carnival you look good in Lipsticks so thank you Um I look at anything Um what would I I don't know I mean You're not building robots I mean you

Could have been a Tesla right okay I Didn't mean a car I meant the person Like I understand oh thank you for Explaining the way he comments to me at All because you went in Einstein because Your name he was an immigrant so I Wouldn't work with the name again what Does that even mean no you would have Been a Tesla like figure there's already A Tesla so you wouldn't literally be Tesla that's why I said a Tesla oh ah Tesla okay so all right I thank you for The explanation see Mike Michael doesn't Only make funny things he also explains Them for you it wasn't funny man's plays Them it wasn't funny at all that I agree With okay Okay so yes when when you achieve see This is my Kanye didn't like you it's This All right I'm I'm downgrading it from a Nine down to an eight And if you keep talking like this Uh a five is a real possibility all Right so uh vacuum is the kind of vacuum That's created with violence is is Usually Um filled with like a with a harsh with A harsher figure so so you don't think Violent revolution ultimately leads to a Positive Pro positive progress in the Short term well sometimes it does the American Revolution I think was a Positive example and overthrowing the

Czar which was done peacefully uh was a Positive example but again uh when Violence happens people get scared and They want the violence stopped Immediately and that's a call for Authoritarianism and you see it time and Time again and and they also want Retribution they were like bring this Back to normal uh and they don't really Worry about things like civil liberties Or things like that it's it's a very uh Uh and then it also creates this space For Invasion from foreign sources or Demagogues you know like oh look they're Killing us in the streets now you got to Support me it's it's a very uh Deadly game obviously I remember Somebody told me That uh I forget where it was but they Told me that from the very beginning was Obvious that communism is an evil system That would or a system that leads to Evil And uh to me at least that's not if I Had to put put myself in the beginning Of the 20th century at the end of the 19th century that's totally not obvious They are Trying to elevate Humanity the the basic Worth of a human being of a hard-working Human being of the working class of the People that are doing the work and the Striving and just uh really trying to Build up Society with their own hands

And she seems like a beautiful ideal uh So I guess the question is Can you see yourself believing in that In in the ideas of socialism and Communism yeah let's say if you were Living in Russia oh yeah easily so first Of all I I don't think anything is Obvious in politics uh it's not obvious That you know uh humans have rights it's Not obvious that Liberty is better or The Market's either either whether You're for you know a welfare state or You're for more free markets not that Those is obvious both of them involve an Enormous amount of thought and Background information so when someone Says something is obvious in politics They really mean something is apparent Well it's not a parent on its face that If we all get together and promote a Society based on equality and we all Chip in that it's gonna really be good For everyone I mean that to me is the Promise of Communism Um and it was also very appealing to Many people because it was new So the idea was all right we've tried it These other ways there's all these Negative consequences you have all these Slums you have people getting you know Fired and then they have no recourse you Have women with 10 kids and they can't Feed their kids infant mortality you Don't have sanitation you don't have

Food you know everyone's illiterate and Uneducated and then here's saying look If we all chip in together everyone will Have clothes everyone have food everyone Will be educated everyone will do their Part it's going to be rough in the short Period that's a very compelling Case to be made for communism it's Really easy in many ways when something Hasn't been tried to make it sound Uh compelling because you just talk About how great it's going to be and Then no one no one you know people are Always arguing about like Venezuela and Sweden like oh we you know you want Democratic socialism to be like Sweden You don't want to be like Venezuela the Venezuelans didn't vote for Venezuela They voted for Sweden they ended up with Venezuela so it's I think And the thing with Communism especially At that era it was very much a Correlated with uh people who are too Smart for their own good because they Had the idea that if we're just put in Charge instead of these like business People or these heirs to Great Estates If the people who are smart and get it Like us I don't mean you and me like the People at the time who are advocating For it once we're in charge since we're Good people and we want what's best for Everyone Um we're gonna make sure everyone's

Taken care of and you know they always Talked about how much they cared about The little guy and so I'm sure some of Them meant it a lot and they're like Look if the guy in charge is very much Concerned with the little guy he's not Going to slip between the cracks and It's just going to be absolutely great Um and we don't have to worry about you Know uh you know the capitalist class Just basically exploiting people and Having these huge Estates while these People can't even feed their own Families since we have a little bit of Momentum Can you steal me on the case For socialism at that time and even Today I don't know if it's I don't know if there's a rhyme and uh Similarity to those to socialism as Implemented at that time and what could Possibly be implemented today but maybe You can dance between the two the Steel Man arguing for socialism is If you have everything up to Private Industry you do not have a guarantee That someone won't fall between the Cracks and the other concern is in any Other context if someone is let's Suppose mentally ill right through no Fault of their own and they are or Someone's handicapped you know they Can't feed themselves or mentally Disabled or something like that

If you have everything up to charity Some if this you see this with like Endangered species right the species That are cute it's easy to raise money For them to protect them some weird kind Of frog somewhere that no one cares About you can't raise money for it There's people's interests are to what They find interesting so if someone is Someone who's like not socially Appealing in some way whatever capacity They're going to fall between the cracks And they're screwed under socialism if You have a government taking care of Everything no one is Left Behind you are Guaranteed that the lowest of the low And the worst of the worst are still Going to make sure that they're not Starving the street or uh just left Behind so that is a big moral case to be Made for having the state running Everything in terms of economics it's a Lot harder but the argument there would Be it's why it's it's not fair a term Which in my view does not actually have A good meaning but it's not fair that Because you were born a Rockefeller and I was born in Poland that you never have To worry about food for the rest of your Life whereas I have to worry about you Know paying for a doctor for my kid like You just you won this Lottery when You're born and now I have to be screwed And have to respect all your property

Why so Um that is another strong argument to be Made for socialism and the other Argument is if you have a media Apparatus that is operated under Profit-seeking principles it is going to Feed into people's worst Qualities most basic animal-like Qualities and sensationalist qualities And will be used as a mechanism for Capitalist control whereas if the Government which represents all of this All of us is running things then Everyone will have a right to have their Voice heard and won't be manipulated That's the argument what about the Reaching towards the stateless version Sort of uh because you espouse the ideas Of anarchism it kind of has the same Conclusion which is reaching towards the Removal of the state to where we I guess Have Uh some distributed reallocation of Resources that are quote unquote fair But the thing is the the Marxist vision Of the state withering away and uh Becoming anarchism it's really kind of Like um The Underpants Gnomes because It's like tell me more well step one you Have Mark Tell Me Slowly I'm sorry you have full communism the State's running everything including Education step two question mark step Three anarchism so their idea was that

After enough time The nature of man himself was going to Change changed and then the government Would be Superfluous because we would All be uh equal and we would all Naturally or socially whatever term they Would use want to act the part that we Would need to do and in fact Reagan had A great joke about this where there were Two where uh there were two comma Stars I think in Moscow and one of them They're walking around they're going is This it uh is this have we done it have We reached full communism the other goes Oh no it's going to get a hell of a lot Worse so you know that's kind of the Counter argument to that Do you think Culture Society can change the nature of Man no So no matter you don't think this idea That uh for example America has been Founded on that all men are created to Equal That that idea can't permeate the Culture and in thereby change how we see Each other how we Think of the basic worth of a human Being and thereby change our nature it Doesn't change that's epigenetic I don't Think that that changes the nature of Man I think for example if I say someone Which I agree with that if someone is Innocent so proven guilty they're not

Literally innocent they're regarded in a Legal context as innocent but that Person is or is not a murderer or thief Or so on and so forth so we can Legally and ethically regard everyone as Equal but as Thomas sull pointed out a Human being isn't even equal to himself Over the course of a day twins who are Genetic clones are not equal to one Another so it is a important thing Legally and it's a good yardstick but It's not literally true but don't you Think that law becomes ethics so we Um We that like idea of Justice starts to Like we start to internalize it that we Just The way we behave the way we think about The world no I I I think it's a complete Red herring because no one is no you're A red herring okay see what I did there Um Because Someone is people are still going to Always prefer their family to strangers Or they're in group to our group so in Terms of you're going to have equality That means it's going to not matter to You whether someone is your mom or Someone is you know someone down the Street and I don't see how that will Ever become the case do you think it Would be possible if you were an Intellectual

Uh like you are at the beginning of the 20th century would you be able to Predict the rest of the 20th century no I I don't think at all I think there Were so many Um Out of nowhere turns that no one would Have seen their them coming for and as An example Um Lenin seizing power and making the Bolshevik Revolution a reality was Regarded as utopian and insane uh the Fact that he pulled it off is close to Miraculous and it was quite literally Unprecedented Um the fact that so that's a very big One which aspect of it sorry to Interrupt which aspect was hard to Predict that a singular figure with just Some ideas would be able to take so much Power and and maintain that power and Remake that Society so drastically so Quickly despite such opposition also not Just a set of temporary protests by Hooligans that lead to Um turmoil in the short term but then Stabilizes but literally changes the Entirety of the society yeah lutendorff It was the German general he's like all Right we got to get this the Russians Out of world war one he's the one who's Like all right let's get this lunatic Lenin who already tried and failed to Have a Revolution in Russia let's send

Them back there and he's just gonna Cause problems to everybody and it's Gonna be great because it's gonna weaken Russia and then our Eastern Front isn't Going to have to be a problem and then To his surprise and everyone else is Including you know anarchists and Communists worldwide uh they pulled off This you know October Revolution and Then for a while it's like all right I Mean I mean I think my understanding is Even people at the time in St Petersburg And in Moscow were like what does this Even mean right like no one took it Seriously and then very quickly you had The checkout and and the secret police And all these other kind of Implementations of the you know the Communist state and people like oh They're not messing around but they're Like all right this is this is not going To last for for long and you know the USA the US and day we didn't even Recognize the Soviet Union's legitimacy For a very long time there were no Diplomatic relations after certain point It's like who's the if you don't Recognize Lenin and Stalin's government Who's the government of this of Russia Or the Soviet Union is it the Czar like You have to recognize that it's just They're not going anywhere so that was Something that was not I I think very Predictable the Great Depression in

Retrospect there were certain things That were predictable but it was not at All the case that it needed to last as Long as it did in the states as FDR made It do so there's all sorts of things I Mean if they uh um Fought Germany's re-militarization near World War World War II could have been Prevented if you didn't have the Treaty Of Versailles would you have the Hyperinflation would you have Hitler These are all I think Choose Your Own Adventure moments where things could Have gone in other directions I don't Believe this kind of idea this is very Marxist idea that like history is Inevitable and once you start with Certain premises the contradictions kind Of unfold I think it's ridiculous I feel That there's power in the Santa Claus Outfit yeah I mean it's a fundamentally Communist idea right Santa Claus Arbitrary redistribution of wealth it's Not redistribution well at least I Decide who's good and bad only I only I Know this And I mean I am somehow getting funding From somewhere right no Okay listen there's I have so much to Teach you you have a word little Michael Workshop yeah and how many people do you Think are employed in this Workshop They're slaves yes I don't know how many Elves are in the workshop uh I think the

Rest of you are gonna have to look into It no anyway in the red colors and Everything is that the biggest holiday Of all time Christmas like just in terms Of The intensity of the festivities no I Think Christmas is a very recent Phenomenon I think historically it was Not a big deal now I know historical has Not been but in terms of How much it captivates how intense it is I guess from a capitalist perspective Like how much is going on how visual it Is how intense it is I think it grabs a Whole population I think it's because The idea of Christmas is probably the One of the most powerful holiday ideas Uh Easter is probably up there is There's obviously up there because you Have Christ resurrect Christ dying his Resurrection so that's kind of a big one But but Christmas is the symbol of Brotherhood and kindness and magnanimity You know one of the things I despise About our culture is this glory and Something I'm fighting very heavily with This book or at least attempting to is This glorification of cynicism This kind of like oh you like this song That's cute stupid Um whereas Christmas is the one time of Year where you could be happy and joyous And kind and people don't get to roll Their eyes at you they get to stop being

Too cool for school and they get to be Like you know I enjoy your friendship Your your my sister my brother my dad my Mom whatever and it's the you know I was Iran's favorite holiday I adore it and Especially Christmas in New York and It's just this idea of like even though We're called and it's dark outside you Know it's still it's kind of like it's Still cozy and you and the next let's Hope the next year is because with with Russians Santa comes on New Year's so It's kind of like let's make this next Year an even better one so it's very Much the holiday of Hope and joy And like love for family for friendship And kindness and benevolence yeah and Like almost the whole that whole rat Race of uh chasing material possessions And all that gets put on hold for beef Moment it just all goes quiet but it's Also about giving people material Possessions like here like I value you This is something that brings you Joy Yeah yeah you write in the book which by The way People should go get by right now if you Support this podcast or if you support The ridiculous office that Michaels wear Wears the more books you buy the more Outfits he is going to wear I've got two My next two appearances in the show Assuming I don't burn this bridge I've Got some good ones this bridge

Has been burning for a long time we've Been going across the road by Kent canoe At this point next time we're going to Be swimming Um how the hell are you gonna swim Yeah that's true sink to the bottom get Dragged across by rope okay you write in The book cynics like to lie and call Themselves realists hoping for positive Outcomes can thus be dismissed as being Naive or utopian can you elaborate on This point just like you said right now I mean It seems like a I don't know if it's a fundamental Characteristic of our society today or Just societies throughout history but There is a cynicism you write in the Soviet Union it was a really there's a Deep cynicism that was good at the end Yeah Um and but there is a cynicism today as Well at least in like public discourse Yes why does it happen and how can we Fight it Um I think it is easy To be like everything sucks uh you know I had my friend Lux um she was a a Vlogger and she was an author she had This great line because you know we Worked in media and she's like if you're At a party and someone starts talking About a new app or website and you don't Want anything about it just say oh I was

On that for a while it sucked and that's All you need to say I'm like look that's A great line but I I think it is and Especially I'm sure you had to you Experienced this as well with your Family I certainly did with mine there Is this idea especially in Russian Culture but in American culture to some Extent as well where if you have Aspira Aspirations I remember there was this Show called Russian dolls it was Oh I just got it like the matrushka okay I just got it that's the name okay the Show is called Russian dolls it was About Brighton Beach which is the Russian Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn It was supposed to be their version of Jersey Shore it was a lifetime and it Had no ratings and I remember the last Four episodes they had to burn them so They just ran it through like 8 A.M to 10 am one day and there was this one Scene where the when the girls I forgot Her name probably Natalia and she'd been In college And she had been Wondering what you want to major in Right and I this story was so perfect I'm sure I've told it before and she Took an aptitude test and she went with Her mom to get like mani pedis or Something and she goes mom you know I've Had like 80 Majors I didn't know what I Wanted to do and she goes I took this

After test it really made sense to me I Am gonna go to law school I want to be a Lawyer and it's something I enjoy and The first thing out of her mom's mouth Is how you're gonna pay for it and the Girl and I really related because if you Didn't have this Russian upbringing you Watched it you would think her reaction Was completely insane she just lost it Just screaming she's like people pay for Law school all the time I'll figure out A way why is your first reaction to look For a problem why is your first response To be like oh wait are you sure you've Thought this through I have been Struggling with one problem for years What I wanted to do for a living and now Like as soon as I solve this one big Problem of identity your first reaction Is like let's find a new problem why is That Europe instead of let's figure out How we're gonna pay for it and that kind Of approach is so Uh deadly and it it gnaws at you and I Always I don't like giving people advice Because I'm who the hell am I and also If I don't know the context of the Problem I'm not informed enough to give Advice but this is piece of advice that I do for Comfort giving if you are Someone who has around you people who as Soon as you have any accomplishment or Any hope that their first reaction is to Be like well what about this you have to

Get rid of them or sit them down maybe Give them a chance because that is Something that is such so demoralizing And it drains you and it's like you know The example I've used all the time all The time all the time I say if you want To be an author right you can go to any Bookstore and look at all the shitty Shitty books like the white pill and you Could say to yourself I could be this Shitty author you don't have to be Having right so people should buy your Book just to know which it doesn't take Much it really does not take much shitty Writing is all about And boring yeah you could just pick a Random random period in history and just Write a bunch of crap about it yes and Put a pretty stamp on the cover and just Go it was pretty yeah yeah but I mean Like like for you right like not you Don't I don't mean you left batteries by The Wolves the wolf Bots there's lots of Stand-up comedians who aren't Jerry Seinfeld yeah right if you want to be a Podcaster you don't have to be Joe Rogan You could be someone who's got a medium Audience and are enjoying it so like the Idea that like something has to be You have to be a massive Superstar or You're a failure is also ridiculous but That's cynicism I mean you can even be a failed comedian Like Dave Smith uh yeah I don't

Um this is a generic name I came up with As an example Um I think he has like a podcast of some Kind he said I like it yeah not very Funny I don't know why you would call Himself a comedian but uv's being ironic Um don't you think yeah so even even Then you could do something special I Remember what you did with me in the Movie theater what's that I don't is oh you continue can you Explain the jokes because I can't no I'm Not explaining jokes I'm wearing Lipstick it's not enough Now I remember what you did to me in a Movie theater and you wore lipsticks That night too not when I was done People for sure will think this this Feels like a gay porn Like like a very long intro because We're not wearing pants yes there's many Reasons why this feels like this and the Outfits and just everything about this Uh how would you know I my friend I have Stories I thought you know I thought I Don't have friends They're all suspiciously named either Lex or Lux or some variation like you Lack complete creativity Just like in the writing or locks yeah It's it's like you you didn't even use Like a thesaurus for your book the same Words over and over and over uh the the Sad thing about the cynicism is like

I don't think it's just a Russian thing I I think the people let me just because I didn't finish what you were saying Earlier in America it's not just a Russian thing in American culture If you have like a sitcom or a musical It's regarded as less legitimate than a Drama right like if something's got to Be about someone's struggling or Someone's suffering whereas this is like A joyous happy story like maybe Something like Pixar right like sure They have conflict and they're going for Something but it's overall the Background the universe is taking in is Very joyous and happy that is regarded Artistically as less legitimate than Something which is dark and and the Background is Despair and that very Subtly sends a very to me pernicious Message that the you know that what's Real is Despair and happiness is the Aberration and I think if you have that As your mindset you're setting yourself Up for maybe not failure but certainly Not happiness Yeah but that that's in the the figures The ideas that the culture elevates but At the local personal life of parents And teachers that still happens a lot in Russia and here just my whole life Especially because I'm a weirdo I've been kind of told to Um

Basically be less weird Be uh Um There's a kind of Sense and where there's a certain path You're supposed to take in life And every time you have a little bit of Success on those very specifically Defined paths you're pushed to do more And more and more on those paths as Opposed to celebrating the full Complexity of the weirdo that each one Of us is and I certainly am and I just Teachers even friends And certainly family Have constantly been Um very cynical about Um my aspirations my dreams and so on Um I think that actually created a deeply Self-critical engine in my brain That I think It ultimately was Productive Because it was also Um Balanced by just an internal maybe Through genetics thing I have of Optimism about the world of just seeing The beauty in the world but it is weird Looking back how much the how much People that love me were trying to uh Bring me down yeah so strange it's also Very hurtful for me because when I Graduated college it was important for

Me to be self-made and not take money From my family and I remember my grandma This was a huge argument an ongoing Argument and one time she you know as we Were leaving as she was leaving my house She slipped money in under the door and I threw it out and it made me so angry Um or like one year for my birthday she Gave me I think like 500 which was a lot Of money you know when you're like 22 or 23 and I was so pissed because that Told me that they didn't believe that I'd be able to feed myself or make it on My own and I understand their their Mindset but it's like I'm not I wasn't You know I never was never hungry like Maybe I couldn't I remember I'd have to Wait on the subway because I couldn't Afford a cab Um so but that was a sacrifice I had to Make you know I had to wait that half Hour so it was a huge source and remains A source of enormous uh tension and Contention and I think also I'm sure Speaking to your upbringing in their Minds unless you're going into an office You can't pay the rent it doesn't make Sense Um so but there's just like you said Forget the office forget all that no Matter what There's always whatever you accomplish In life you always do you're always uh Negative about your current position

You always come up with another problem Just like you said it's always a it's Like a self-generating problem box yeah I remember I didn't speak to my dad for A few years then I'm like let me give This guy another chance and in that time Period Harvey picar the author of uh Subject of American Splendor of the Movie and author of the series comic Books he and I became friends and he was Writing a graphic novel about me And when I met with my Dad I'm like oh Uh someone's writing a book about me and He goes I know so and it was one of Those moments where I'm like wow you're An [ __ ] and not the kind of [ __ ] I Am you're just like not a good person And I don't know or really at this point Care what the motivation or if there was No motivation with the visceral Emotional reasoning for that but that Kind of thing is something I You know much later now in life have Absolutely no tolerance for well my in My own private life I try to forgive and Love those people but it is uh there Have been a few in my life like this and I think they are they are incredible People if you allow yourself to see it But they're flawed and so I tried to forgive them that said it is True that uh the people that are close To you especially family have a Disproportionate psychological effect on

You so you have to be very careful Having them in your life too much like One thing is to love them And the other is to actually you know Allow yourself to flourish surround Yourself with people that help you Flourish and like you said the advice There is is really powerful especially Early on to have people that believe in You in whatever crazy Big Dreams you Have they pat you on the back and say You got this kid and and so value here's The other thing If you try And you don't make it to that Rogan Level it's okay Like I have several books that I've Written that are on my hard drive that Have not been published and there were a Lot of work and it was really Disappointing when they went out and no Publishers were interested in maybe I'll Publish them maybe I won't point being It's fine I tried it's like a romance Novel one is one is a a romance no does That have a Santa a guy in a scent Outfit okay you know can you please stop Asking me to send you gay pornography He's calling me up all hours of the Night I need more gay porn I need some Ones I only have zeros yeah uh Never Enough no I never enough this one almost Got a book jail this was it would have Been it was 16 years ago it was a ladlit

Novel Um what kind of Novel ladlet it's like The Corned Beef what the corn B about a Boy so there was a little mini genre of These books about young men trying to Struggle their way through it's a whole Little there's a whole little series Then Fight Club uh is adjacent to that Uh it's not literally ladle it Um I feel like you would write a great Fight Club type novel no you know fight Club's much and Chuck Paul and it's my Understanding admitted this fight Club Is one of the few things where the movie Is better than the book Oh that's interesting But but the movie's so iconic yeah for Sure but but still isn't there a deeply Like philosophical it's kind of like David Foster Wallace novels isn't Doesn't it doesn't Fight Club capture Some moment in time that's very kind of I was hanging with Kurt Metzger a couple Weeks ago comedian very failed name drop Yeah hey Kurt watch out and he was he Had this great story he was hanging with Patricia Neal the late comedian name Drop with the great comics of all time And Uh Patrice goes Kurt was talking about How much she liked the book or the movie Fight Club and Patrice is like that is The whitest book on Earth he goes your Problem in life is you don't have enough

Violence in your private life you need Someone to beat you up that's not a Problem for me Yeah it wasn't I mean but still it it is A very white book but it it still Captures a kind of anger and it angst And a certain subculture in society yes That's really powerful that probably led To In some parts of the thing you uh wrote About and then you write oh for sure I Mean it was this kind of like there's That line in the movie where uh um Edward Norton says I'm a 30 year old boy This kind of question of what is it Sorry to be Matt Walsh but what does it Mean to be a man right what does Masculinity mean what are why are so Many men so at such a young age feeling So lost uh this idea that like if I fill My house with nice furniture that's Still not going to be fulfilling to Anyone who met what who's Matt Walsh is Um he's from the daily wire he just did A documentary called what is a woman can You explain I don't know who he is so Matt Walsh is someone who works for the Daily wire yes and he just recently did A documentary called what is a woman I Think it was called and he went out to Lots of people working in gender Theory And uh well that's thing and he asked Them to Define he went to the Maasai in Africa the tribe and to talk to people

About transgenderism non-binary which is A word I know you hate and the Documentary was a Um surprisingly well done is that like a Passive aggressive compliment Surprisingly well done well because Matt Is very Um aggressive on Twitter uh sure we Follow each other and There was a lot of opportunities in this Film for him to really be like and Instead to his credit he let the people Speak and it it's possible is edit a Certain way of course it was obviously Edited but when he's just asked them can You just Define a woman for me and Playing dumb we're not playing dumb just Saying what's your opinion a lot of the People he was speaking to were getting Extremely uh agitated so it worked in That kind of context as well it was not His usual Style Speaking of which do you ever regret Your behavior on Twitter There were a couple of times but very Rarely Can you describe the big strategy before We dive back into the October Revolution Uh my strategy do you have a strategy or Is it does it come from the heart or Does it come from the brain It comes from I want to have fun That's literally what it comes down to It's like this is Girls Just Want to

Have Fun Are you drunk what is it what are you What is in there I'm very cheeky I'm I have the holiday Spirit even though it's not the holidays Oh that's eggnog Delirious I did not Sleep much last night I've been uh which Is I think the second time we talked or The third time the second time I I Stayed up almost all night oh I know I Keep track of when you come and go yeah So my door camera points at your garage So I know when you're leaving or coming Home my camera points at your bedroom From the inside but I shouldn't have Told you that now let me ask you this Because if something's been bothering me Yes there was a chair that you threw out Yep and it's broken and I was looking at My camera and I'm like let me see when He threw this out and then one time you Went to the garbage and you adjusted it To make it stick out of the garbage even More what were you doing there Uh was I oh To make sure that people know there's a Chair in there is that really what you Did well like the garbage person so they Know it's the chair so they don't get Like I I always think I don't want them To get like hurt or whatever oh okay Like they open the thing it's like uh Chair I don't know I don't know what I Was thinking okay it was really odd I

Didn't know how to get rid of a chair it Was broken it was like cracked and I Didn't it was uh it was a Twitter for me I my point is to have fun it's also fun To kind of smack down people who I Regard as Bad actors Um and also kind of to promote news that I find interesting that maybe isn't as Prominently part of the culture as it Might otherwise be do you think Sometimes you draw too broadly the Category of people that are Bad actors And then some thereby Sort of adding to the The mockery and the cynicism in the World I don't think mockery and cynicism Are at all synonymous I think cynicism Means everyone sucks I don't think Everyone sucks I think uh it is Undeniable that a lot of people suck What if I told you most people don't Suck Could you could you Could you steal me in the case that most People sure I can do it in a cynical way Honestly it's quite a cynical way but I Think most people are neither here nor There Uh most people just kind of go with the Flow Um they're amiable human beings are Social creatures they want to get along Uh they don't want to cause problems They don't have the capacity to be the

Target of a problem so most people I Mean if people if most people sucked Then going anywhere would be Excruciating ordeal right like literally And like the airport's annoying but if Most people sucked it would really be Annoying you know go in the supermarket Would be really annoying so I don't Think most people suck but I do think That in public discourse there are lots Of people who are dishonest about their Agenda for example if I'm you know I Could be a Someone who has promoting a certain Ideology but I'm in the payroll of a Candidate or you know my Think Tank Needs this to happen or I'm being paid For some something like that so that Sort of thing I think happens all the Time there's the line I have in the book Upton Sinclair uh I forgot how he he Worked exactly but it's very hard to Convince someone of something if his Payroll depends on him not being Convinced of it right so I think things Like that are uh the thing I'm really Excited about with what elon's doing With Twitter and I I'm just ecstatic About this is to have the context now so You'll have a politician making a claim And they're going to award it in certain Ways like my favorite example is when People are like if you look at the years 2002 to 2020 terrorism in America it's

Like did anything happen in 2001 is There a reason you just coincidentally Started in 2002 like things like that so When people are manipulating things to Force an outcome that they want and to Promote an idea that they want Disingenuously to have that underneath That in Twitter now where the audience Provides context I think is something Extremely useful and it's a great way to Nip propaganda in the bud and propaganda Pervades the entire political spectrum Of course The interesting thing about Twitter is Also the discussion about free speech And so on I think it's interesting to Discuss free speech and the freedom of The press from the context of the Soviet Union sure let's return to the October Revolution at London What was the October Revolution what uh Who was Lenin what's some interesting Aspects of this this human being and Also this moment in history that stand Out to you that are important to Understand I think the Interesting thing about Lenin is he was A zealot and he was a Visionary and he Really kind of meant it and I'm skipping Ahead a little bit but Lennon also was Someone who was strategic so at a Certain point when they were trying to Advance communism throughout the Soviet Union and the costs outweighing the

Benefits he did a strategic Retreat he That did the New Economic Policy you had A rise of kind of these small Capitalists coming back you could hire People again and for the hardcore people In the Soviet Union hardcore Communists This was a huge betrayal it's a step Back he didn't do it because he was some Kind of crypto capitalist he did it Because he's like all right we know Where we got to get to but we have to go At a certain pace and we have to adjust As we go along so to have someone who is That much of an ideologue and that much Of a Visionary but still to have any Element of pragmatism to him is I think A very rare uh uh combination and that Pragmatism do you think that's Ultimately where things go wrong sort of Uh That's where you sacrifice the ideas Pragmatism is in this case was good Because by taking a step back you know He kind of gave himself some breathing Room to allow the revolution to continue To win the civil war there was a big Moment where Germany if it's it's just There's lots of like little funny Anecdotes that I learned while Researching this book so you know they Were uh Germany and Russia they were Negotiating uh still a ceasefire because They wanted Germany wanted to rush out Of the war and basically Germany was

Like all right you will let you leave But you have to sign this treaty and Basically hand over all this land that We're currently occupying it was like Just parts of Ukraine parts of Poland And Lenin tells Trotsky to stall he's Just just run the clock because he was Of the belief that now that they've Taken power in Russia you're going to Have a worldwide workers Revolution so Just like just just stall them and he Stall he stalled at a certain point Germany's like all right you're signing This tomorrow or we're invading and Trotsky basically said yeah so so we're Leaving the war but we're not signing Anything and the Germans are like what It's like yeah well that's what we're Doing so hey Um and basically it eventually he had to Sign the treaty and Seed huge paths to Land and a lot of money and this was a Very uh precarious moment for him to Maintain control of Russia and people Were telling him like you've lost huge Amounts of territory you know you you've Blown it you should be in jail and he's Like watch your mouth because if you Look for the future it'll be clear which One of us is more likely to be the one Ending up in jail and he was absolutely Right Uh this was Trotsky or Lennon this is Lenin saying this to Carl radic uh so

Who are these figures here who's Trotsky Who's Lenin who's Stalin what are some Interesting aspects of all of this would It sort of just to linger on it the Personalities the ideas that were Important well Trotsky came late to Bolshevism he was really the brains in Many ways of the October Revolution he Was an amazing strategist he never Forgot that he was in amazing strategist Had a very high opinion of himself and By the way the October Revolution 1917 That's like a key moment Um Of course the the Russian Revolution Lasted a long time but this was a key Moment of uh what a phase shift towards Success Of the Bolsheviks well that was the Moment that was like all right we are The government now and now we have to Make it's a you know like Thomas Jefferson said I think it was Thomas Jefferson or no it's Ben Franklin uh a Republic if you can keep it it's like All right we've made our own kind of Government if we can keep it because That was the big question you had an International blockade you had the white Armies the tsars forces who want to Restore zaraism or at least the the Parliament from uh right before Landon Took over so this was a big kind of no One's was you know in some ways it was

Like the 2016 election it's like all Right we vote in Trump what's this going To look like like no one no one had any Idea of what a trump presidency was Going to look like all we knew was this Guy's on Twitter running his mouth he's Insulting people and he's had all these Views somewhere over here some over There and the funny thing is the Russians hacked both elections See that's true it was Putin in the Gremlin so Trotsky was you know Lenin's Right-hand man Um and he was you know enormous and to This day a he remains this kind of Figure who is Supposedly a less authoritarian Anti-stalinist version of Communism that People can endorse and Stalin of course Was Lenin's successor at first there was A triumvirate running Russia as Lenin Was recuperating from Strokes then very Quickly not very quickly but gradually And then suddenly Stalin became an Absolute dictator and he had a series of Uh of purges and so and so forth which Solidified his control over the country And of course for Stalin Trotsky later But throughout as you write seemed to Almost take on a supernatural character Wherein everything that went wrong in The USSR was due not just to his views But to his direct orders from abroad and Uh of course George Orwell brilliantly

And probably my favorite book of his Which is animal farm and also in 1984. Portrayed Trotsky as a a snowball in Animal Farm and Emmanuel Goldstein in 1984 is this embodiment of this evil That will always have to be fighting and You need that in order to hold On to power you always have to have that Enemy right so that I mean that's Something I talk about uh in in the White pill as well when things start Going wrong they always have to have Scapegoats right and there's this Russian dot you know what the Russians Like to do is you can't say things out Loud but if you make jokes you can say Unspeakable truths and there's this one Anecdote where there's a Russian leader And things are going bad and he looks in His drawer and there were two letters From his predecessor and he opens the First letter in a panic and the letter Says you know for advice and the letter Says blame everything on me so he goes Out there and he's like oh my Predecessor sucked he was terrible blah Blah it's his fault and everyone's like Okay and then there's a Calamity again And he's like a crap so it goes back at His desk and he reads the second one and It says sit down and write two letters So when things start going wrong as they Constantly did throughout the history of The Soviet Union uh or any you know

Totalitarian authoritarian country it's Someone has to be the blame since we Know that our idea theology is true and Scientifically true if it's not working In reality given the Perfection of the Ideology someone must be intentionally Undermining it and causing the Disconnect between thought and reality And in the Soviet Union there were there Was a cool locks at one point then it Was the Wreckers uh the doctors it was Just different the cap there was always Someone and Trotsky uh was called a Fascist and was accused of plotting with Hitler and all this other stuff and you Also write the problem with Communism is That eventually you run out of possible Escape boat Escape boats Escape boats You run out of boats Who's going to carry them Uh eventually you run out of possible Skate because Uh it's it's my second language this English thing I'm a failed podcaster I'm a failure uh Eventually you run out of puzzle Escape Goats for failure at which point Acknowledging or even noticing that Something was wrong itself becomes a Form of treason yeah so I saw that in North Korea right wherever you went in North Korea something was wrong so if You have four buttons for the elevator One would be mismatched every wall had a

Crack every floor had a stain uh the Bathroom would be rusted through when You want to flush the urinal but if you Are someone who points this out you're a Troublemaker and you're oh you're crit Oh you're saying something's wrong You're criticizing the operation you Create you're first of all you're you're Threatening the person who's in charge Because now they're incompetent and now That's a big red flag for them but Second if you're just going around Saying this is wrong this is wrong this Is wrong even if it's objectively true Your troublemaker and your counter Revolutionary so at a certain point Everyone just has to put on blinders and Pretend that everything is fine one Example I use in the book an extreme Example was there was a photography Professor and he pointed out to his Class and he was an older man that Before the Revolution the quality of Photographic paper was better and he was I think executed uh for this heresy so Yeah you have to pretend there was I Just I'm reading a book right now about The Chinese Um Cultural Revolution and there was a An academic I I forget his name Yushi I Think and he points out that in these Countries Not only do you not have freedom of Speech you don't have freedom of Silence

You can't just sit there quietly you Have to say how great things are and how Much you're enjoying and how wonderful They are instead of just keeping quiet Because if you keep quiet that's Suspicious Yeah those um They're always singing those songs about How happy they are and how great Everything is and if everyone else is Singing who are you to sing not sing Yeah those uh pictures especially when Uh you know when it's Stalin giving Speeches and everyone's applauding any Dictator and you do you you don't want To be the the first person that stops Applauding Stalin had to have a button Is my understanding at a certain point To tell people stop applauding because They're like you said if you're the First one to stop clapping people are Going to notice and why'd you stop Clapping you don't like Stalin But just imagine being one of those People clapping but that's the thing They they always had a sword over their Head and they had but they all had a lot Of blood in their hands too it's it's It's it's a it's a very very precarious Life But there's also I mean 1984 does a good Job of this Um what is that like two minutes of hate Or something like this you like lose

Yourself in the in the in the hysteria Of it in the history so there's some Level of which At first it's uh you're sacrificing your Basic individualistic ability to think But then you get lost in this kind of Wave of emotion and you give into it you Allow yourself it's like a mix of fear And then anger and then you direct that Anger towards like snowball or Trotsky Or whoever the and like and what is that And you're also losing yourself in the Crowd yeah you're losing you're like It's not just I'm angry everyone I know We're all Angry together so you really Are becoming a part of something bigger Than yourself and having this kind of Communal very Primal emotional Experience It's like the opposite of thanks of Christmas right Christmas we're all Together everyone's sharing their Joy Everyone's sharing their love this is The opposite literally the opposite like Everyone's together sharing their hate And anger and rage but you're all kind Of having a mind meld But I wonder what it's like to be an Independent thinker in those in those Moments like allow yourself to think Well we we know because there were a lot Of them and they were all punished Enormously so they can be noticed you Can notice them oh yeah you even noticed

It in America America is a free country But when people start asking too many Questions it's like where are you going With this you know like if you're in an Office even in a corporate setting uh You're you're a troublemaker you're just You know you're making problems for Everyone why can't you be normal why Can't you be just like everybody else so People do not like having to be made to Think and they certainly despise having To be made to justify themselves Um because that's a threat to their Status into their power and this applies In totalitarianism applies to you know Dunder Mifflin I still can't believe you're wearing Lipstick I'm not Uh goes to show you can pull lipstick on A pig It's like a snowball I think you've just been on a bender That's what I think it's been rough it's Been rough it's been rough I I feel kind of I feel like I can be Myself in this outfit like I honestly Feel like I could just go around in this Outfit and um Just be weird Because everyone will accept you if You're wearing a Santa outfit like You can say anything in a Santa outfit Right have you seen Bad Santa yeah Exactly you can't say anything my [ __ ]

Stick How does Stalin come to power if we Return back to Those early days post the October Revolution with Lennon and Trotsky And Stalin how did he come to power so What Stalin did very cleverly Stalin was You know he worked the system he was you Know but he was very much in the Background and what he did better than Trotsky is he was much more politician He was a gladhander he made friends Within the party he made people feel Respect and appreciated uh and Len Entrusted him uh when after Lenin's Stroke Stalin was basically the one who Was keeping track of him Lenin asked Stalin at one point for to kill him Because after The Strokes using Capacitated style and talked him out of It but at the same time Lenin was like If I need someone killed like this is Who I need to talk to you know Stalin if You look up photos of him when he was Young he was a stud he was a gangster He's a bank robber uh and You know he basically worked the system And you had the trotskyites on one hand Who were much more to the left Stalin's Big I would guess I would call it a heresy Was he put forth the idea of socialism In one country whereas like we're just Going to make it work here in what

Became the Soviet Union the Trotsky idea And this is really kind of the Marxist Idea is that the workers revolution has To be worldwide uh this is just a Worldwide kind of new era of humanity Where Stalin's like no no we're just Gonna make it here and then later uh Behind what became the Iron Curtain but This was sure this was an ideological Division between the two but what Happens in totalitarian countries it Happens in any kind of like you know When you have intermingling of like Religion and government things that are Like ideological ideological disputes Like the Aryan heresy the Aaron Harrison Christianity is that Christ is Subordinate to God the father right Whereas the Contemporary Orthodox Version it's three Gods one God and Three person excuse me so they're all Co-equal aspects of God in heaven but That was an excuse to be like you guys Are evil you're on the inside the devil We're going to kill you so these little Disputes about ideas are often a Convenient cover for people to have a Power struggle In the guise of being like it's not that I'm about wanting to be more powerful I'm just on the side of Truth and you're Speaking lies and that's dangerous to The revolution or to the true Faith so He squeezed truck but the thing is

Trotsky had the seeds of his own defeat Because pertrotsky the party is always Right you cannot be right against the Party right so if you have this kind of Party structure and the party is saying You're wrong as an individual you are Wrong because the collective is what Makes decisions the collective the Workers are who have the knowledge and And the information and it is important For you to kind of subordinate your Selfishness your individualism to this Greater good so he Kind of set himself up in many ways Is it clear to you why Trotsky Lost That Power struggle so you just explained That he sets himself up but you can see How different ideologies can be used to Uh to achieve different ends is there Another alternative possible trajectory Where Trotsky could have been the the Head of the Soviet Union uh it would be Very hard because he was Jewish so when They were seizing power Trotsky Explicitly said I can't be in charge I'm Jewish so the Soviet Union remained Extremely anti-semitic uh one of the Reasons so many Jews became Communists In the Soviet Union because the promise Was once the Communists took over we're Not going to have pilgrims anymore Programs was you had these Jewish Ghettos and under the permission or Encouragement of the Czar just gangs of

People go through killing raping robbing Stealing riding for days and just it was Just a clean Massacre and the idea is Like under communism everyone's going to Be equal we're not going to have this Anymore they still had it but to a Lesser extent but uh Since Trotsky was Jewish his real name Is Lev bronstein you can't it was almost Impossible to have a scenario where he Was going to be in charge and Stalin fed Into that to some extent also this kind Of idea of Jewish internationalism it's Like okay he doesn't really have loyalty To Russia and many of the people who Were Jewish who were high up in Stalin's Um Uh government Administration they very Much had to prove their loyalty uh to Communism as opposed to Judaism Throughout the 20th century what was the Relationship between communism And um Jews in the Soviet Union What in terms of anti-Semitism the ups And downs of anti-Semitism it seems like It lessened it was lesser and greater in Different parts of the 20th century well It's it's the kind of thing where Um if something was bad it's there's This Russian rhyme uh you could like Yesterday Like if there's if there's no water in The sink who drank it all the Jews Um so if something goes wrong there's

There's just a convenient historical Scapegoat it's the Jew's fault so this Is something that's towards the end of His life very much and this was after World War II Stalin was getting ready For another kind of series of programs There all these Jews were getting kicked Out of their jobs uh Jewish doctors were Getting sent to the Far East instead of Being in cities uh the newspaper started Talking about uh Cosmopolitan rootless Cosmopolitans which was a term the Nazis Also used to kind of uh regard Jews as Others or as aliens and this was going To be and and they were very clever About it uh in Pravda they would and I Talk about this and then the white pill Improved that there were articles edit The uh letters to the editor they were Like you know things are getting so Anti-semitic we really should round up All the Jews and send them elsewhere for Their own safety so they were kind of Setting the the ground rules or the or The basis to have this sort of uh Program come back but uh spoiler alert Um Stalin dies and immediately Um all this gets reversed and the new Administration Um Rehabilitates the doctors who are Accused of trying to hurt him and all This other sort of thing What is it about the scapegoats in

Society are we always going to be Looking for scapegoats what do you learn From Human Nature that this seems to Keep happening I think because there's a Book called The nurture assumption And I discussed this in the new right And what the author learned Is that humans Define themselves by Opposition So if you have a group of people and It's kids and adults the kids will see Themselves as kids because we're as Opposed to adults if the adults leave The kids see themselves as boys and Girls because I'm not a girl I'm a boy I'm not a boy I'm a girl so they divide So this idea which is very Lefty idea That human beings naturally all get Along is not accurate and the best Example of this is look after 9 11. look Where there's a war nothing unites a Popular it's not like when times are Thriving that everyone's all working Together when things are bad and there's An enemy you know it's it's the Japanese Of Pearl Harbor it's Al Qaeda that's When everyone really comes together Because now we have someone to be Against so there will always be Someone has to be the out group and we Have to be the end group as opposed to Them But there's a viciousness to the actions You take to the uh towards the owl group

That that varies throughout his yes some Like the degree of viciousness can cross The line towards like atrocities towards Genocide right and that's that's the Question of in Why does this sometimes do that why does It sometimes cross into genocide I Understand it's a useful thing to have The other to blame in this world Especially when times are rough but why Does that sometimes Lead to a sort of action that says I'm Going to murder well I'm going to Torture together the question really is Why sometimes it doesn't right and one Of the things I learned when I was doing The new right is a lot of the uh Nazis Using that term loosely speaking Neo-nazis they make the point they're Like oh when the Holocaust happened it Really wasn't that big of a deal and That only became a big deal in the Decades later and this just shows the Power of Jewish influence and I'm like This to me is a great thing it's a great Thing that we sat down Pretty recently historically and we're Like wait a minute guys when we have a War or we have Conquest you don't have To just start killing everyone like this Is something that's bad and wrong and And certainly in the last 60 years 70 Years this is something that people have Come to take for granted but that wasn't

The case before it would always be or Not always but often if you conquer you Just go wild and just start slaughtering Massive people Um it's um who's the guy from um Harvard Um and he Stephen pink Steven Pinker I'm Sorry I forgot his name so he just talks About like you know we know this is one Of the reasons also why there was so Much skepticism when the Holocaust Started because this was regarded as Something that was barbaric this is from The Middle Ages from the Biblical times We don't do this anymore we're civilized Now so genocide is Historically the norm I think it's also Harder to pull it off emotionally when You have the visuals and when you have The audio and when you have the voices Of the people being slaughtered we don't Know you know if this was 2000 years ago And people you know in the Bible they go Kill this group go kill that group we Don't have their names we don't have the Visuals we have anything but when you See someone being like you know they're Uh there's a book about I think the Rwandan Genocide and the title is we Regret to inform you that tomorrow we Will be executed with all of our Families like a telegram and like when You get a telegram like this it's very Different than reading some history book About you know the Assyrians kill the

Phoenicians it's like I don't know who This is I don't know who that is right So I think this is something that has Changed uh very recently there was this Kind of interesting moment just that Speaks to the way technology has Liberated people from violence Um kristallnacht which was a moment in Uh the lead up to the Holocaust were Basically you know with Hitler's Blessing you had a nationwide burning of Jewish businesses synagogues burnt down And Kaiser Wilhelm uh you know the Kaiser he said for the first time my Life I'm embarrassed to be a German but That was the moment where worldwide even Plenty of people who did not think very Highly of Jewish people were like This is The rap this is a complete nightmare but 200 years ago 100 years ago maybe not Literally a crystal knocked but there's An out group and we hate them and we're Gonna kill them and it's fine and you Think it's even more difficult now with The internet yeah that kind of thing Yeah I'm not now more difficult this Mean doesn't happen or it can't happen I'm not saying that at all but I'm Saying The we know a lot about what's going on In North Korea you know probably the Most secretive country on Earth uh There's a lot of atrocities in Eritrea

Uh which is kind of known so I think it Also it's also Like if you think about it if you're how Many years ago 300 years ago you only Know the people in your village and They're all probably going to look like You so on and so forth whereas now if I'm on social media and there's someone From any country and maybe their picture Looks a little different they use the Same anime picture as somebody else but They're putting forth their ideas You do see the humanity in them and you Do see a sense of familiarity and a Familial bond with them and when you Hear about these things you know when I Again like I did when I did dear reader No one And I was on Al-Qaeda and I was on Alex Jones no one pushed back about like oh The North Koreans they were all like This is horrible if I had a magic wand I'd give them food I wouldn't have them Live in fear uh and this is something That I don't think was the case a couple Hundred years ago that said uh I'd love To get your thoughts about what's going On in Iran the protests it seems like The the regime there is able to uh crack Down with violence my thoughts about Iran let me just there's something else About Iran which thinks interesting this Whole idea of careful what you wish for Because people have this site and

Something I kind of one of the reasons I Have the white pill is Americans really Are very naive about the nature of evil Right they really think that a dictator Has a weird mustache and he's banging The table and he's you know like a crazy Person and it's often not the case but They also think if something is bad Therefore the alternative is going to be Better Um so you had the Shah of Iran and he Was kind of authoritarian and no he's Not a good guy so in 1979 there are a Lot of people like this guy's a horrible He's oppressed in the Iranian people Let's get him the F out of there he's so Bad that whatever comes after it is has To be an improvement and it's like no That's if you think I mean this drives Me crazy when conservatives are like you Know Joe Biden's the worst president We've ever had like this is destroying America I'm like you have no idea How bad things can get the fact that you Are in a position to complain means We've got a ways to go yeah every time You say that Donald Trump or Joe Biden Is the worst president ever that that Warms my heart because the yo because You're allowed to say that yes yeah It's like I just let it it's like music Because you're you're allowed to be Pretty in response to a president's Tweet you couldn't write that yeah yeah

And it still lives there and it's and Nobody uh arrests you yeah Which is a rare thing in human history Yes and still rare thing in the world I Mean what it does seem that Iran the Current regime is able to crack down on Communication channels it's still It's surprising to me how much power Government can have like they could use Violence to control the population right And nobody's gonna do anything about it Well the rest of the world just watches But here's the thing right because if The rest of the world starts doing too Much then they have a justification to Crack down even more this regime this Protests are not legitimate these are This happened constantly Soviet Union These are foreign provocateurs uh this Is in you know meddling in our country Uh uh curfew lockdown ID you know Mandatory searches everyone's a spy so That narrative is a very convenient one For people who are authoritarian Um I know a lot of people who are Persian as I'm sure you do as well uh Very hard-working very bright great People Um and you know all you could do is hope For a peaceful uh liberalization of Here's that people don't realize how Liberal Iran used to be Andy Warhol Andy Warhol used to be friends with the Shah And if you read his Diaries He talks

About how he knew things weren't going Well for the Shah because they had less Caviar at the table but like this is he Was a really kind of know there's There's I think a poor understanding in America and I'm not sure why of what These liberal Muslim countries are like Um I gave a talk in Bodrum and turkey Which is like a resort town in turkey And I had thought previous to that or I Had suspected if push comes to shove and They have to choose people in Turkey Between the west and like Al Qaeda not Al Qaeda but like you know hardcore Islam they're going to choose hardcore Islam you go there and you're like oh This is like Los Angeles like these People are so liberal so and they are The first to be killed they're the first Targets so that people like that in Iran Are who my thoughts are and with the I Gotta tell you like nothing makes me More of a feminist than seeing the women In countries like this fight for the Right to education the right to dress as They please maybe we don't need them Driving but you know that's okay There he is with that characteristic Brilliant humor That you're so loved for and should Probably be banned for on Twitter I'm Doing my best every time you tweet I Just report report You don't have a like a script

Exactly well actually funny enough I do Um but I don't I don't abuse my power I wear the ring like Frodo And I respect the power but you look Like Gollum That's not what your mom said last night She said you're hung like Gollum I'm not going down that road with you I'm not holding hands one another time I Learned my fool me once okay I my my close childhood friend is from Iran oh wow okay and Um Uh I talk to him a lot I I wanted to go to Iran but it's so far Away I can see it from my house my friend Um I would love to take that trip even Now It's I just uh culturally so all the Different little pockets of local Cultures that make up Iran I just heard So many amazing things yeah my friend Paul went there he had an amazing time He just absolutely loved it he thought The people were awesome uh it was so Interesting uh very developed uh just Like Tehran is I mean this is the History in Tehran is insane yeah I would I would I would really love to Um to visit now we've returned back I Don't know how we ended up in Iran But let us let us stroll back to uh to Stalin taking power what role did the

Suppression of speech The censorship the suppression of the The freedom of the press have in um Stalin taking hold taking power in Lenin And Trotsky and Stalin having power well It was a very useful mechanism to direct Public opinion and inform public Perspectives and everything so first of All there was a lot of news about how Um great things were you have a bumper Crop here you know grain's never been Better you have there's this great There's another anecdote where president Kalinian is talking about how Um On Karl Marx Street in Clarke there's All sorts of new skyscrapers being built And it's just absolutely amazing and Some of the audience gets up and goes Comrade I work on Carmike Street I walk There every day there's none of these Skyscrapers that goes see that's your Problem you're trusting your eyes Instead of reading something and Learning what's in the papers so there Was this kind of Disconnect between you Know uh uh I I forgot you probably know The joke like proud Means truth but there's no truth to be Had in Prophet is that kind of Russian Line the point is it very much And the other thing this is you know my Mom wasn't particularly politically Motivated but she talked about how you

Didn't have to be smart to realize how Dishonest it was because one day someone Is the great hero of the Soviet people And the next week he's been a traitor And a class enemy and the worst and then Sometimes they reverted and it's like Okay like they couldn't even keep their Their story straight and in fact at a Certain point when they you know Gorbachev liberalized they had to cancel Tests because the history books had to Be Rewritten so quickly Um so and the thing that also with these Newspapers is there was a lot of it was Very monotonous Because you know you had the same Message over and over uh a lot of these Papers were about kind of speaking to The lowest common denominator Stalin's Great everything's great overseas bad so It it uh very much was about not Informing but creating uh a certain Perspective in the public at large and Also it you you were educated as a Citizen on what you're supposed to think And say so you have a lot of this was This kind of uh Private truths public lies situation so You could read the paper and at your at Your factory you could be like oh my God This this guy Carl radax great he's like Oh my God yeah he's amazing you you knew What to talk about and you knew how to Um look at it as well and then when you

Get home you could just kind of be more Honest with family but the question is To which degree does this propaganda and This ideology infiltrate your actual Thinking Um you get you give examples as like Scientists in infiltrated science oh Yeah so basically you know lucenko is The textbook example of senkoism in Biology so because Marxism is Materialist uh they didn't like the idea That genes pass on Um you know from one generation to the Next so lysenkoism kind of was a Rejection of um Mendel and and that kind Of genetics and if you reject genes You're really going in a bad Direction In terms of biology the Soviet Union's Biological biological program became an International laughingstock at one point Lucenko claimed he crossed the tomato in A potato Um you had things where they said they Uh had nuclear which wait we have fish In but they said they invented Fusion or Hard or heavy water or hard water or it Was point being In cultures like this your Way to achieve uh status wasn't Necessarily about your accomplishments But about your loyalty to Orthodoxy so If you were saying things that got to a Result that was congruent with the Broader ideology as a whole that was

Much better as a means of furthering Yourself in the Arts or in the Scientists in The Sciences than if you Had something that was Innovative Because if you're Innovative it's like Well how do I fit this in with the Broader ruling ideology the problem Totalitarianism one of the many problems Is everything literally everything has To be perceived through the lens of Ideology so and that is you know there Were Um scientists who were arrested or at Least fired because of their theories About Sunspot developments because it Was regarded as unmarxist uh there was Just there was a there was a An epidemic and all these horses got Sick and because the vaccine didn't work On the horses the bacteriologists were Arrested because they were regardless Wreckers it's like we gave you a job you Didn't do it you're undermining the Social estate so it's kind of a Backwards series of incentives Um and it's designed to maintain at all Costs the ruling ideological Superstructure but you draw a small Distinction between the ideology and the Ideological superstructure and the Propaganda aren't those kind of Intermixed together well the ideological Is like in the sciences and what's true In genetics or what's true in astronomy

That doesn't really percolate out to the Masses right so the the problem does not Is maybe covering this scientist's grade Or these discoveries are great but it's Not necessarily the same as day-to-day Or glorifying political leaders but uh Providence and manifestation of the idea That truth can be conjured up yes it can Be constructed and it could be altered Quickly and then I just I wonder so 1984 caricatures that I wanted to a degree It really could control the way you Think That like how many people it affected I Can give you an example a very easy one So again with with regarding North Korea Kim uh the great leader Kimmel sung who Was the founder of North Korea had a Tumor on the back of his neck and it was Too close to the skull the sky spinal Column so they couldn't operate on it And throughout his life it got bigger And bigger and I got mixed messages in My research about whether North Koreans Knew about it because there was Photographed him from this angle And I met a refugee Um and I asked him like did you know That he had this tumor she goes yeah Yeah when people played him in the Movies they would you know you'd make up There and she goes uh it was an old war Injury and I go why would a war injury

Get bigger throughout your life and she Just stood there And she was like holy but she never Questioned it but it was the kind of Thing where they put the idea in her Head and since there's no reason to Question it she just kind of went with It her entire life until I talked to her Audrey has a name Hi Audrey hi Audrey I wonder what Percent of the population is like that Here's the thing If there is a cost to me questioning Lucenko as a great scientist and there's No benefit why wouldn't I just go with What's going to keep me my family safe But I also mean just the psychological There might be a very local Psychological cost so not a cost you're Going to jail but it costs like You're going to kind of ruin the Conversation by bringing it up kind of Like yeah I don't I'm just trying to It's like Debbie Downer right yeah but There's also the the whole metaphor of Like there's two fish in the river one Says man the water is really great today And the other one goes what's water yeah Like a friend of mine's uh um Adriana Her mom came to the west and they went To supermarket and then mom's just in Front of all the Fanta this this so just Crying actually what's going on she goes They told us we had more food than you

And when something is you can it's you Can underthink this story this guy's Enemy of the people he was the hero he Just offended someone this is [ __ ] It's almost impossible psychologically To think I'm living in The Truman Show And that everything in the media is not Just wrong but a carefully constructed Narrative and a lie like what they're Never gonna tell the truth and how you You know like what like you and even if That even if you do understand that how Would you even read between the lines to Deduce what the truth is yeah it must Have been a strange experience there's Stories of soldiers the the Red Army Soldiers throughout World War II as they Go to different countries even Romania But in Europe to just to to understand That people live much better Than they did then the soldiers did back In the Soviet Union and that's why a lot Of times when they went back Stalin had Them killed because they saw too much or Sent to the camps So just to linger on this idea of free Speech so there's constant Discussion about free speech in this Modern debate about social media and all That kind of stuff what what's your take On it grounding it Not in some kind of shallow discussion Or Free Speech we have today but more in The context of

And the suppression of speech in um Stalinist Russia I hate the term free Speech Um because it's used in many different Contexts some I agree with entirely some I disagree with at all uh I don't think Everyone has something to say or Something after the conversation Um and you know I have my locals Community Um and it used to be I think the the Boilerplate language is you know come Support free speech and free discourse And I changed that because I I don't Like that term Um because people will tell you with Some reason that oh if you block me and Or on Twitter you're avoiding my free Speech it's like okay so I don't I don't Like that term as a whole but one of the Points of the white pill and something I See enormous parallels with today If you have one news Outlet or three News outlets with identical ideology You're not going to be able to get to Any kind of Truth or any kind of useful Information it's all going to be Pre-filted for you it's like a baby bird And you're eating the mother Bird's Vomit right but If you have what we have increasing now With technology if you have a world Where everyone has a camera on their Phone if you have a world where anyone

Can put their ideas out there maybe They're banned from certain Outlets but They're not literally vanished like they Were in the USSR that is very healthy That is something I'm enormously Supportive of because back in the day if You only had the TV Crews with cameras You can only see what they're capturing And they could edit it whereas now We saw this recently during covid right You had these reporters with masks on And they're talking but the cameraman Wasn't wearing a mask so you'd have the People on the street being like look This they don't believe it you know or As soon as they would start filming the Guy took the mask off and they'd film Them they go you are lying you don't Believe this you're putting this on for Some purpose whether you're leaving the Thickacy of mass or not that person Clearly does not is only putting on for Show so that's or crimes It's people you know are anti-police They say okay the cop said this did he Draw the gun in this guy necessarily so On and so forth it is so much better When everyone has access to as much of The information as possible and can make That informed decision themselves now There certainly is Space for informed people to be like no No no this isn't what it looks like if You look here if you look there it's

Cropped here so on and so forth but That's still much more useful than just Having that 20 second clip that someone Has decided to edit for you so like Truth has a way of because it's Everything is so interconnected truth no Matter what has what finding his way to The populace and also there's an there's A big asymmetry in terms of trust So if I tell you a hundred truths and One Lie that lie is equal I'm I'm Screwed because once you catch me in Like a you don't have to kill someone Every day to be a murderer right you Only have to do it once so if you catch Me in a Brazen lie you're gonna look at Everything I say after that with an Enormous grain of salt Um so that is another big asymmetry in Favor of truth if someone trusts you you Have to be honest all the time and You're gonna make mistakes you can own Those mistakes be like hey this is why I Made the mistake this is why I said such And such okay but the flip side of that Which has been disheartening to me is That people on the conspiracy side Conspiracy theory side of things I've noticed how easy it is to just call Something a lie yes and then that Becomes viral for some reason there's a Desire for people yeah for anyone who Points out that the emperor is not Wearing a clothes even when the emperor

Is fully closed So I don't know what that is but that Really seems to mess with this tooth Mechanism so when uh when it becomes Viral to call people a liar whether They're a liar or not it's like I'm feel You feel like on unstable ground because It to me that idea of revealing a lie That somebody told is a really powerful Mechanism to keep people honest but when You're like misusing a crying wolf too Much well it seems it seems to break the System makes me nervous because there's Also like um well just if someone is a Liar that doesn't mean literally Everything they say is a Lie No but what Is a lie and what isn't I I just noticed That there's money to be made in calling Out something as a lie It's just Um the conspiracy theories straight up Uh the the the the the first thing some Traumatic event happened give an Explanation that's not the mainstream Explanation no matter what whether it's True or lie there's a lot of virality And money to be made in that and that Makes me nervous because it doesn't Matter if it's true or not it becomes Anti-establishment ideas are viral Whether they whether they're true or not Sure but I think establishment ideas are Powerful whether they're true or not so I think on the whole I think you're

Right I mean and the whole it's good to Test the power centers but it just makes Me Nervous in our attention economy that The sexy thing seems to be the Anti-establishment message And then it feels like that becomes a Drug where you uh everything Anything The Establishment says anything Is that you should say anything in the Mainstream says must be wrong because it Comes from the mainstream I I have that Line that you you're supposed to take One red pill not the whole bottle yeah I Am certainly one of those people who is Of the idea that they are dishonest far More more open that they're honest Um that said there are people who are of The belief to use an extreme example That Trump is still the shadow president Um and and you know there's going to be These Q Anon Mass arrests I thought this Was something that like The Daily Beast Made up to make fun of Mega but I was Just on the phone with my buddy last Night and he was like no no if you go to Truth Central they're like all over There and if you disagree with them they Call you uh controlled opposition or a Grifter or so on and so forth this is Unfortunately where uh trust Central Trump's social media Outlet oh truth no Truth yeah but he he forgot the name of It himself so he's like you gotta

Explain the jokes they've got to explain The jokes you do like uh like the the Way Twitter puts that context you gotta You gotta do the joke and then pause and Expl like turn to the camera and explain It and have a laugh track but yeah so People know what the jokes are that's That's how that's real humor yeah Absolutely and then we just clap and Everyone and then everybody clapped Um I think for the last two years Especially vis-a-vis covid the Overwhelming message was the experts Know what they're talking about and if You are questioning this you're a vax Denier and you basically should be read Out of polite society and one obvious Counter example to this was social Distancing if social distancing was Efficacious why were there no attempts Ever to bring it back right when you had Different waves and if it wasn't Efficacious why was it so insistent that We do it all do it at the very beginning In fact in many places you'll still see The signs on the floor where it's six Feet apart so there's an incongruity There and I think it we are forgetting As the people the intensity with and Understandably to some extent if you Have this worldwide deadly plague like Yeah like it's gonna be go where the Leakiest hole is so you really gotta Kind of get everyone on board but to the

The vehemence with which we're told we Know what we're doing this is the way to Solve it if you don't do it you are Causing Mass death that I think fed in Very heavily to people's enormous sense Of skepticism toward establishment Sources Speaking of the plague you opened the Book with uh yeah that quote from Camus It's a strong strong quote Camus brings Me to tears and it's funny because I Reread the myth of Sisyphus which I've Been recommending to people I'm like This book is not good but he's got his Ethos is my favorite of all the Philosophers it sounds like the myth of Sisyphus was a myth He says after I cute All I maintain is that on this Earth There are plagues and there are victims And it's up to us so far as possible not To join forces with the plagues and why I have that as the introductory quotes The book is I think morality and ethics are very Very complicated subjects there's lots Of gray areas where you don't know which Way to choose but at a base level he has Another quote that subscribed to him he Never actually said but something about Um you know is the duty of thinking People not to be in the side of the Executioners If you are go we should do whatever we

Can Not to have blood on our hands not to be Murderers not to want death and that in And of itself is a big pill for a lot of People to swallow we're all brought up Taught that war is a last resort and yet When it comes to International Affairs It's always often a first priority and People are champing at the bit to start Going in and killing people and what war Means isn't good guy soldiers versus bad Guy soldiers it my concern is always With the civilians with the kids who Become orphans with the wives who become Widows and and things like that and then Communities which are you know ruined Forever uh so I I love that quote of his I think he's I mean the book started it Was going to be a recontextualization of Camus thought I was going to rip off my Old body Vine holiday what he did with The stoics and do about Camus and then When I started rereading Camu I'm like Oh there's I've read more into him than Is really there and then it went the Whole other direction uh so you wanted To do almost Like an existentialist Manifesto so like Imagine that one must imagine sis was Happy well more like kamu for today and And what his philosophy can teach us Like Ryan did with his many books yeah And it was going to be called the point Of Tears

Live to the point of Tears yes but the Title was giving me the point of Tears No I know but it does that from that one That's a good line right he has so many Good lines yeah maybe it's not about Shitty in bed though right well no he Was a big he was a big lothario he was Pretty much he got around What percent of the audience of humans On Earth do you think know the the word Lotharia what percent of them have a Computer look it up Lothario it's not some weird term sorry L-o-t-h-a-r-i-o lothario lothario a man Who behaves selfishly in response to Being his sexual relationships with Women they're seduced by handsome in Quotes they're seduced by Handsome Lothario who gains control of their Financial affairs oh I I don't think I Always thought it was divorce just Someone who's like a stud like a player But not a player yeah there's a I'm 11 Malevolent oh I didn't realize that okay Well then selfishly okay that's not him Irresponsibly in a Man Too Um Although Ein Rand would be proud Selfishly well nothing's wrong with Selfish she wouldn't like that kind of Selfishness that's sexy behaves a man Who behaves selfishly and irresp Irresponsibly in his sexual Relationships with women

Huh Yeah okay so he was he was just a player No no maybe it's maybe a stud I don't Think he was promiscuous particularly Nietzsche didn't get he got he didn't Never got laid right yes It was from prostitutes was it okay Possibly yeah if you're asking me like I Knew the guy I I heard it's from Um it he never had a deep loving Fulfilling relationship he had a very Skewed understanding on uh the way he Wrote about women although somebody Wrote to me and said that's a Mischaracterization that he was actually Very respectful yeah but he had that Line if you're going before women bring A whip wasn't that him was that show but If I were to quote you from your Twitter Yeah I think I could make a very Convincing argument that you're sexist Racist and probably a Nazi Well I do own like Some of Hitler's stuff exactly I I got The I rest my case I feel like I'm a Nuremberg This isn't a time it's a noose You should have thought about that when You were saying all those things okay What do you think of the leak of the Twitter files I Was So

Happy That Elon gave the information to Matt Taibi and Barry Weiss who are both by Any metric lefties who are both Professional journalists of Long-standing with great resumes and Overnight now they're they're doing PR For the world's Rich whatever the party Line was The fact that you had all these Corporate journalists now having to play Catch up and not having control of the Microphone to me was just absolutely Amazing Um I think transparency is what brought Down in many aspects of Soviet Union and What will bring down what negative Aspects of the regime we have here When you see the machinations behind the Scenes and then when you see the Rationalizations after the fact you Realize oh these people are not acting In good faith the fact that for example The New York Post article about the Hunter Biden laptop and how the the New York Times comforted as well they didn't Mention any kind of dick pics Twitter Made it so I couldn't even DM you the Link to the New York Post article which Was a tool they had previously used only To prevent child pornography So that shows to what extent they were Willing to put their thumb on the scale But it also shows that

For any laymen when they're looking at This to realize what you are perceiving As news or information Is very much sculpted edited and guided By powerful people who have a vested Interest in maintaining their uh Power I Think to me the important lesson is this Is not a left to right thing oh not at All powerless yes and but and also the Important lesson there I think at least In the case of Twitter in our society It's a it's a slippery slope you don't Get there overnight You start you start using those tools a Little bit a little bit to slow down This information to just a little bit That you start uh sending emails to each Other a little bit and it becomes more And more Um you you start forming justifications You start getting a little more and more Comfortable kind of talking about the Stuff Um I think There are several ways to fight that one Is having hardcore Integrity up front so Don't even open the door but I think Realistically human nature is what it is And so I think the only way is through Transparency is this is why the nice I I Hate the fact they got politicized I Really hate that the right has have run With it like look the left is planning The rig elections and so on to me that's

It shouldn't be left or right it Shouldn't be about politics it's that Transparency is good other companies Should do the same Facebook should do The same and in fact that transparency Will protect Facebook it will protect Google look like this is our situation Tell us what to do and we'll do our best I remember when I was writing the new Right Twitter's line was we're not going To tell you guys what the metrics are by Which we ban or censor people because Then Bad actors are going to navigate Around them and it's like what are you Doing like just tell people in any Establishment what are the rules for Which behavior is permissible if I go to A store if I were return the sweater is It cash back no refunds or if I get Store credit you know what I mean so That they were having this place which Was presented as a Huge International Space for public Discourse and they're not telling you Ahead of time this is what we will Tolerate this is what we'll warn you About this is what will kick you out Overnight that to me was crazy and Outrageous and I'm really pleased with To what extent Elon is like it is being Open with their policies and what I Really want to commend him about Is now I'm triggered because one of the Things that he took over he's like our

First priority is getting rid of child Pornography and child exploitation yeah Yeah right that was he's like like Racial slurs homophobics there's Anti-semitic stories yeah yeah that's Cool kids kids getting harmed is number One and you know he fired the old task Force because they weren't doing their Job uh Eliza blue who you know you know She had been on this for a long time but People who were victims of child Pornography child expectation were Emailing Twitter being like these are my Images get them off and they're like too Bad porn is allowed on Twitter he starts Trying to crack down on it this is a Very hard problem because these uh Bad Actors have mechanisms to evade uh you Know being banned they they want to get There for lack of a better term product Out there Forbes Magazine Who is an agent of the devil had a tweet And they tweeted this nine times you Know now that elon's here Twitter's Child porn nightmare has gotten much Worse they tweet us nine times I looked Up anyone listeners can look up look at Forbes and do a search they never Mentioned this problem before so now That Elon is doing something about it Now it's a problem for you no it's a Problem elon's the problem it's not the Child porn that you guys had a problem With and that to me is like yeah I

Understand that you think that Elon is a Bad guy because he's upset your apple Cart this isn't a political issue this Isn't a gotcha moment this is all right Here are some tips we talked to 10 Experts digital experts and here are Some techniques Mr musk that you might Want to take from us free of charge that Will help you solve this that would be a Great article And I just want to use this opportunity To say quite clearly and strongly that Even though Twitter and other parts of The internet I are interpreting some of My statements to me and I'm right In this case meaning leaning right right Wing and in other cases leaning left Left wing I'm not I'm apolitical or at Least I try to be in my thinking take One issue at a time I do take an opinion On each issue at a time but I hate camps I don't try to avoid political accounts In general it just it sucks that Promoting transparency in this case or Celebrating transparency Um is somehow Connected to being right wing no it's Being made into so supposed euphemism For being right wing It's just it sucks uh it sucks even Though I'm wearing a red suit and this Is a very red themed conversation well That's I mean the Revolution was the Color of blood

I'm just gonna let it sit on that for a Second okay uh you mentioned New York Times bestseller list you chose to Self-publish yes can we just Linger on That decision what's what are the pros And cons of self-publishing the cons are It is acceptable in our current business Climate or cultural climate for Corporate media Outlets to pretend the Book doesn't exist yep so basically and There's reason for it I can make the Case of them pretty easily if someone's Doing it themselves who is this guy's Some crackpot writing crazy stuff from His basement right it's a little Different I think for me because I'm an Established author uh C-SPAN gave me an Hour on book TV I'm still a crackpot but Yeah for dear reader I think I was the First one to get an hour on book TV for A book that I did myself Um so there is space for that Um it didn't go through a vetting Process the way a book going through a Corporate publisher did so those are the Minuses The pros are Uh I can drop it and publish it Immediately Uh if you go through a corporate Publisher you have to wait a year Um you can do what you could have the Book you want instead of the getting Past the editor and some editors are

Very very good and there's a whole Spectrum some of them not so good some Are good I know the real killers all right let's Be there's good people on both sides Yeah there's plenty of people at both Sides yeah and I don't mean the white Nationalists who I condemn totally Um So but the thing is in terms of money You get six times as much Uh profit when you're self-published Then when you go through a corporate Publisher Um the buck stops here it's you know in One of my books that I co-authored I Won't even mention the name there is a Typo and they didn't they don't care They didn't fix it for the paperback Edition here since I'm going through Amazon if there's a typo I can fix it Live and it updates oh yeah yep you can Just update it yeah so that's very Useful like a Fight Club thing where you Can insert like a dick pic in one of the Pages okay why are you so why do you Keep texting me to send you dick pics Talk about your suggestion you're all Right all right all right yeah I guess I'm not the editor I get it North Pole I Get it yeah Um the other advantage Just socially is I think people are like I found this with the kickstarter I did

For de-reader people are much more Excited to buy it and promote it and Talk about it when they know you're Doing it yourself instead of you're Getting a big check from You know St Martin's Harper Collins Penguin whatever are you also trying to Use some kind of service to get it Distributed to bookstores or you just Going to do Amazon no just Amazon yeah And that's probably what most sales Happen a vast majority yeah so it's not Going to be in bookstores so what's how Difficult is the process of getting it On Amazon so I'll tell you a funny story About how Amazon works and because this Was a I always plan for because everyone Uh People's here's another piece of advice I will give people your life will be a Lot easier if you realize that the Majority of people in every industry are Bad at their jobs like once you have That realization everything else makes Sense and you your life will be a lot Easier right so when I did the anarchist Handbook which was a collection of Essays from various anarchists Throughout history When I submitted it to Amazon there was A lot of copyright issues because They're like do you have the rights to This essay do you have the right to this Says it has to go back and forth with

Them a lot uh to make sure I had Copyright where everything was public Domain and that and the thing is you Forward you know you update it you get The information three days there's Another problem within three days so It's weeks the other thing with their CreateSpace program is the paperback and The ebook the Kindle are approved Independently so just because it's Approved for one it's not for the other After I published amarcus handbook and It was a big success They Unleashed enrolled excuse me a Hardcover Edition uh program so I'm like Oh great I'll put in hardcover they're Like sorry this is too similar to uh Murray rothbard's Anatomy estate and Which is a pamphlet or short book that Mary rothbard wrote I go well wait I Have the entirety of anatomy state in Here I have permission from The mises Institute in writing which I'm giving to You to reprint it and you guys already Haven't been published for a year as a Paperback and ebook and they're like too Bad blocked so it's not available as a Hardcover on Amazon even though it's Available maybe now it's going to be Pulled as paperback an ebook so with This book I was anticipating all right There's going to be some whatever I the Thing with how it works is you have to Upload it and hit publish and then you

Got to wait for the approval yeah I'm Like okay this is gonna be who knows I Just wanted to get as fast as possible 4 AM Less than 24 hours I get a notification Congratulations your books available for Sale and have to run downstairs and pull It yeah from publication because Otherwise it was out and I didn't finish Editing it yeah so that's the situation There oh that's fascinating but that's Like powerful that's like you're it's It's all in your hands it's all on you Yes and I think the program is great Um it charts just like any other book Um the quality of the books is great I Am uh very happy with uh I have no I Have no contact with them uh my buddy Tucker Max he had a company that did This and they basically helped people Self-punch their own book they did the Goggins book I think you've talked to Him haven't you uh or yeah maybe they Emailed me or something yeah yeah and he Said I have done dozens maybe hundreds Of books with them I have never been Able to get someone on the phone so I Don't know what's going on over there But guys if you want to reach out to me Um please call me it's Michael Lexfreegman.com Laughs Friedman is spelled wrong yeah if you Ever have any complaints

Please just add me at Twitter About Michael no Uh why do you what do you think so if You establish authors Self-publish I mean why it seems like it makes Perfect sense in this modern society to Be able to when you finish the book to Publish it within a few days a few weeks I think I talked to Jordan Peterson About this at length and Michaela his Daughter who I'm also good friends with She's actually named after Gorbachev Who's the big hero of this book also Friend Michael you know I was in talks To interview Gorbachev and then covet Hit and that's one of the big regrets of My life that I didn't get I think if I Met him I would be On my knees literally kissing his feet Crying uh because of you I mean one of The big points of the white pill is There were so many moments When they were calling him up sending The tanks we want another Tiananmen Square and he's like [ __ ] you so when You have anyone who has the capacity to Murder Thousands of people and chooses to Withhold that power like all I could do Is applaud he resisted the cynicism yes Wait so the why the authors why I don't Publish all the books I think they're Still in the you know how like there's

This whole idea about how if you're a Movie actor you don't go on TV because That kind of ruins your brand so and That's kind of going away there's a lot Of shows where the lead is now like a Former movie actor and this is kind of Like they're a big thing like Matthew McConaughey you know he had a TV show um On HBO I believe so I think there's this Kind of like wait a minute what's that And he reset I said all right You see all right all right all right All right Matthew McConaughey all right all right I don't I don't I don't know what that Is sorry Um just I'll explain it this is what Look at the context below okay so I Think for them it might be a a loss of Credibility to some extent but B they Their agent Whose job is to sell them and get a big Advance wouldn't be encouraging to Self-publish because you know so I don't Think it's percolated to powerful people Yet how feasible this is and how Profitable it is and how they'll still Be able to reach Their audience Um and I feel if you know I don't if Anarchist handbook wasn't such a Gigantic success Um I would be much more nervous about The white pill but the fact that it was And that I saw it from start to finish

And I know the ins and outs now I'm like What are you guys bringing to the table So that's taking a year of my time and Introducing edits that I would not Otherwise agree with I think for some People a book is a Is the sort of Beacon of reputation so Like so it's really important to not There's somehow not as much reputation Associated with a self-published book Unless it's successful yes and then and Then like the it's success outshines the Actual however it was published I think I guess David Goggins self-published uh His book because it used to be you Self-publish when you can't get a book Deal so it's like an admission of Failure Yeah so you would recommend it as Something for for authors no I would Recommend it as something for authors of A certain stature for lack a better term Because it is still in terms of your Resume and your experience it's better To get a crappy advance and have a book With Saint Martins that goes nowhere Than a self-published book that goes Nowhere so the other thing is you have To make sure you have enough an audience That you can move some copies What about only fans would you recommend Authors How much money do you think you and I Can make if we didn't like bathtub

Scenes in only fans not just chilling Just reading like reading like Animal Farm just like while sitting in the Reality I don't know okay snowflake Okay Uh uh all right what was his name no the Horse uh boxer I'm hung like a boxer I I will work harder And that guy I think about that guy a Lot boxer yeah he's uh his motto was I Will work harder anything that happens Like the the the pigs would take Advantage and his response to everything He was inspiring to me because he never Gave in to the cynicism right and they Killed him yeah spoiler sorry But that's a good way to die never Giving in Well yeah there's a lot of that in this Book about the people who are like I'm Not you're not gonna break me like I'm Bigger than this Did you uh ever believe in Santa Uh I remember the day I woke up on New Year's and there was a president under My pillow and it was like holy [ __ ] Because left it that's the whole thing He leaves your present under your pillow Right so you believed but what I thought The story was going to be when you first Realized he's not real I don't remember When I realized he wasn't real but that Story was I did think it was real I was

Like oh my God and okay there's this Because I did too and I remember I don't think I can put myself in the Mindset of the kind of person that Believed he was real Because what did I think what was my World view that allowed Like a giant person in a red suit to be Real Although I do remember I think the first Time a Santa Claus showed up to our like Lived in this very small apartment and Uh when he first showed up to our Apartment I just remembered because he was really Drunk and and smelled it was like a Party it was like a New Year's party or Whatever so one of the one of the people Dressed up with Santa Claus and just Remember this Wow this this gotten like real fast Like I I remember like thinking of Course of course it would be like what Was I thinking what was I thinking There's gonna be some perfect Like being a perfect being like better Than like the best of humanity he was Just a regular dude Kind of fat but like not sexy fat it was Yeah uh not really that jolly and kind Of exhausted I really have not showered In a while but also funny I I remember I Love telling the story how old I was and I must have been five or six and it was

Just that age where you distinguish Between what's real and what's not so Like Vikings and Um Knights and ninjas are real and Dragons and mermaids and elves are fake And I was on the corner of shore parkway Right before the park in Bensonhurst in Brooklyn and around the corner wearing a Denim vest Uh was a little person a dwarf and I saw Him and I was like all right back to the Drawing board like I don't know what's Real or not anymore because I just saw a Dwarf so I don't know what's going on And since then Given your relationship with Alex Jones You've continued the Journey of not Knowing what's real or not that's Correct all right let's talk about the Next steps after Stalin took power he Started to actually implementing some of The economic some of the policies in This idea of uh collectivization yeah What's the story of that in the uh in The 20s uh leading into the 30s what was This idea what was the relationship Between the regime the ideology and the The farmers well there's always been and Obviously very much this day an enormous Amount of And enmity for lack of better term Hatred between Ukraine and Russia I mean This is you know centuries in the making If not more and the Ukraine or Ukraine

Now but at the time the I'm speaking of The region Is and still is the Bread Basket of Europe it was very fertile lands this is Where the food comes from and this was a Issue also for Lenin as I discussed in The book because when you had famines There you know you have famines Throughout uh what later became the Soviet Union And the problem is this happened in North Korea as well in the 90s when they Don't have food if you let in foreigners And feed your people all of a sudden you As the government are either Superfluous Or downright you know deleterious to Their well-being and that's a threat to Your power uh so Lenin let in an American organization the early 20s Which was actually headed by Herbert Hoover of all people and after a while Hoover left because he found that the Bolsheviks were just taking the grain That the Americans were giving to feed The people and selling it for export While the people suffered and one of People who grew up in these uh Starvation times was a young Mikhail Gorbachev where he had you know I think It's like a quarter or a third of his Village starved to death during one of These periodic famines Um let Stalin's idea this was a good Mechanism for him to break

The idea of Ukraine being an independent Nation into within its own identity Um and you know he had this kind of Liquidation of the kulaks you know very Famously which thankfully is much more Discussed now than it was maybe when you And I were kids And akulak the real meaning or the Literal meaning is kind of this wealthy Landowner right but very quickly it's Kind of like it becomes out group so you Know there was a a big incentive to call Someone you didn't like a kulak and then Good luck to you because now the eyes of The state are on you and you have to Prove that you know you didn't hire People you you didn't have four cows or How many acres or so and so forth they Took a huge percentage of the population The kulaks and they just deported them You know these are lands that they had For generations and they just spread Them throughout uh uh broader Russia Many of them never made it and many of Them were killed this was by Design and The dark thing about the cool Ox like You said when it becomes abused when it Becomes the the owl group is The clock is supposed to be uh wealthier Than sort of the general right Um farmer peasant and so basically it Gives you a mechanism of resentment Anybody that's better off must be better Off because they're cool let's get rid

Of them and it has a Um just just from an economics Perspective uh even leaving ethics aside It basically completely dis De-incentivizes productivity like it Wants you to fail because if you succeed You're a cool lock and you're going to Be tortured you're going to be deported Uh you're going to be derided all that And also you're poor because he's rich Like that's a big part of it so while This was going on and food was becoming A problem because you had uh you know For weather conditions Uh there was a campaign about oh the Reason you're hungry is because the Kulaks are hoarding all the grain yeah Uh and if you're somewhere else in in The Soviet Union how are you supposed to Know any better because you're being Told every year the crops are bumper Crop bumper crop bumper crop but now There's no food there's no bread and so You see we we produced all this bread It's not getting to you because the cool Locks are according to grain so there They came like um in what became known To haldemore and Applebaum uh who's a Great historian who unfortunately I Disagree with a lot in contemporary Politics but who's done so much great Work about the uh the Soviet Union that I pretty much give her a blank check and Whatever she wants to say nowadays you

Know she wrote a great book about this Called red famine and these activists Descended on these Villages like locusts And their job was to requisition as much Food as possible and they would come Back you know at all hours of the night To make sure you weren't hiding food and This is what was so pernicious about it Your own body would betray you they Could look at you and see that you're Not losing weight you're got those Chubby cheeks that means you have food And that's the government's food that is The food of the people and if you are Keeping food for yourself you are Stealing from the people you're an enemy Of the people and you deserve whatever Comes to you and it got to a point where They're eating they didn't have grain to Plant for the next Harvest Um and what was even sicker is you know One of the big criticisms of of Communists of the Czar was his internal Passport system that I can't go wherever I want within Russia the Russian Empire Without permission uh Stalin Reintroduced this So if your village was targeted you Can't leave now some people got away They tried to get to the cities and so On and so forth but you get to the city And you're starving you have no clothes You're a coolock I'm hungry because of You and now you're too lazy to get the F

Out of there and there were stories you Know uh you know I have them in in the White pill of this like starving teenage Girl and she's begging for food and the Guy knocks the The shopkeep Knocks the Food out of her hand and she dies on the Spot and everyone in that line knew not To you know give her uh any food or any Sympathy because she's a cool lock Sympathizer and very quickly if you're a Cool luck sympathizer all that has to Happen is someone has to call I think it Was the nkpd at the time you know the Different names for the Checker the Secret police and they had to be like oh You see uh whatever her name was jenya She was a kulak sympathizer we saw kulak Who was trying to shake us down for food Because too lazy to work and she uh felt So bad for them so you might want to Check in on jenya so yeah But in 32 and 33 holiday Moore It wasn't just Um small Injustice here and there it was Mass starvation yes and suffering yes Millions starve to death in the Ukraine Alone and by Design So you uh mentioned and applebaum's book Red famine yeah Stars war in Ukraine but Another excellent book on on the topic And by the way thank you for Recommending that to me so Um her work's amazing yeah it's it's a Really really powerful uh book about not

Just about hanamore but like the context Of Ukraine Basically the history of Ukraine that's Relevant for today yeah To understand understand the the Relationship between Russia and Ukraine Uh but another great book is bloodlands Europe between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy I don't know I think you also Recommend that to me at some point or Maybe not I haven't but I'm I'm familiar With that and read it uh so he he does Quite a bit of it's brief but extremely Well researched writing about Cannibalism there okay and that it was Not uncommon during the Stalin imposed Famine in the Soviet Ukraine for parents To cook and eat their children he writes Quote survival was immoral as well as a Physical struggle a woman doctor wrote To a friend in June 1933 that she had Not yet become a cannibal but was not Sure that it shall not be won by the Time my letter reaches you In quotes the good people died first Those who refused to steal or to Prostitute themselves died those who Gave food to others died those who Refused to eat corpses died those who Refused to kill their fellow man died Parents who resisted cannibalism died Before their children did and their Stories in there about Um

Yeah cooking cooking your children Uh the the other thing about cannibalism About famine in general that stood out To me that unlike a lot of atrocities Is uh the people that are starving are Exhausted they're they're basically Unable to think So they don't even have the energy to Protest It's a it's a strange kind of way To kill thinking in the populace That that it kind of I suppose it was Obvious But there's something fundamental about Starvation where it's slowly removes Your Humanity Um Yeah there's a there was a scene in the Book where um A lot of times people literally go crazy And there's a scene where Mom it's some Nursing train station was nursing her Kid and she was you know going mad from Hunger and she just starts beating the Crap out of her baby and kicking it and Then she just reverts to normal like Nothing had happened uh yeah Madness Like yeah yeah you lose yeah you lose Your mind yeah yeah and uh I mean I Don't know what the physiological cause Of this it's not it's I think it's you Know if someone has dealt with a Glycogen depletion it affects their mood Things like that so taken to an extreme

Who knows what happens when parts of the Brain start functioning and start Imploding Um but yeah it's um What I wanted what just happened this is Something that's really cool regarding The holiday more so there was one Western journalist Gareth Jones Who was like all right something's not Adding up here so he was supposed to Take a train uh through Ukraine and he Got out early And decided to start walking through the Countryside to go from Village to Village And I'll get to his story in a minute Right before we started recording I got This book in the mail I ordered on November 28th from Great Britain it was The only copy available on the whole Internet it's called experiences in Russia 1931 it is anonymous And it's uh Gareth Jones wrote the Introduction it was published by the Alton Press in Pittsburgh it was Self-published and She just says forward it just says by The author So it was the author who who went Alongside Um Gareth Jones was summoned by the name Of Henry John Hines who was uh heir to the Heinz Fortune

And you only know that if you start Looking the internet because his name's Not into this book well I open this book Up right when I got it right before We're taping And it's signed by him and it took me a Second I'm like wait a minute who's the Signed by and it's h.j Hines because his Name was Jack Hines but it was Henry John Hines from so this is I'm very Excited that I had this little miracle In the mail Um Christmas miracle it's a Christmas Miracle we traveled they traveled Together they travel together so this Book's a diary of their travels why do You think so few journalists They was able to do what he did so there Were several reasons first of all if you Were a western journalist in the Soviet Union you were under very strict uh uh Circumstances first of all you could be Deported any time you had no there was No pretense that you have a right to be A journalist in uh as a special as a Representative of a capitalist by which They meant Western paper uh second it Was a complete nightmare getting your Paper your articles filed because you Had a sensor that you had to go through And the censor's job whose life depended On it was to make sure that your story Was advantageous to the Soviet Union or At least neutral uh and they had all

Sorts of techniques you know they could Spot they spied on you all the time they Followed you around because you know You're a foreigner but also that sensor Had to answer to somebody so all the Sensor could has to do is be like look I Having trouble with my supervisor and The reporter could be like well can I Talk to supervisor it's like well I'm Sorry that's not possible and he's on Deadline but it's too bad bureaucracy Doesn't recognize the needs of deadlines So There was a big uh pressure a lot of Pressure on Western journalists to have To get through this net and that's Literally constant you know every story It's going to be a fight so at a certain Point you're just going to be like all Right and you're going to pre-censor Yourself you know if you know all right If I include this it's not going to get Through what are you supposed to do I Think human beings are naturally and Also a lot of these journalists were Pro-soviet they thought this is the Society of the future at least Everyone's trying to make it a better Country for everyone not like back home With a poor poor slip between the cracks Uh we got to do what we can to make this Work And You know there was a lot of I don't want

To say conspiracy but within the Industry there was a consensus that the Stalin was the good guy and we were if Not the bad guy certainly not as good uh In certain regards so when this news of The famine started percolating all the Other Western journalists besides Gareth Jones and Malcolm muggerage were saying This isn't true it's nothing that they Haven't seen before the paper that took The lead in this was New York Times with Their guy Walter Durante who had Previously won a Pulitzer and had Interviewed Stalin which was a Enormously rare honor for a Westerner Um and he because he has so much Experience covering uh Russia and the Soviet Union he basically took the lead And other people followed his lead you Know he was kind of the dean of the Press Corps in Russia and he made a Point and the thing there's so many Quotes I have from him Um where he's not only denying that this Mass starvation is happening he's also Going after journalists who are Questioning the narrative and he you Know he says things like look this is Nothing that the Russians haven't Experienced before they're simply Tightening their belts and it's like you Only have to tighten your belt when you Don't have enough food it's not like They started a new exercise regimen and

Now their body Fat's dropping that's why Would someone tied their belt so that Was one and there the New York Times had A 13 page article big headline Russians Hungry not starving and he went after Jones he went after muggerage I believe No he dig off the Margaret but the point Being that this is just propaganda from People who want the Soviet Union to fail You know they don't understand what They're building here uh you know he had So many excuses like oh you know the Reason all these Russians are supposedly Leaving their villages to go to the Cities isn't because there's no food It's because they're nomadic it's Tradition they go from town to town Looking for new experiences and it's Just you know at a certain point and I Think it's 1941 where he was eventually Like or 51 rather I remember he was like Oh well uh I guess I was kind of wrong and it's Like he's like any journalist worth his Salt can admit when he's wrong and it's Like well were you worth your salt Because you sure you he explicitly said There's no point in sending out Journalists to look for themselves I've Been through the countryside and Everyone's fine and it's just that the Loudest people are making noise whereas Everyone else is doing the work and and You know trying and and this isn't about

Famine but it's about Western skeptical About collectivization which is just Simply a new way of farming and yeah it Was a new way of farming and the results Were by Design and also accidentally Absolutely catastrophic How how hard was it To see the truth at that time do you Think do you think that was a mistake That that's understandable to make as a Journalist if my job as a journalist I have two bosses if I'm in Moscow I've Got my reporter in New York or London or Whatever but I've got my sensor here and He is making sure I have A house the department he makes sure I Have food he makes you have access to Dignitaries he's my lifeline if I piss Him off I'm on the next plane out of Town so is that enough is that enough to Uh Slowly suffocate the Integrity of a Journalist I don't think it was slow at All and it was clearly enough and Because what are they going to disagree With that I just I I I think the failure Of integrity Has to come from New York on the New York on the American side that it's just The flock of fish or whatever that all Move in the same narrative right I think journalists Would like to be the kind of people that Have integrity so if they are conscious

Of sacrificing their own Integrity they Wouldn't do it if they're conscious of An act that's doing it they wouldn't do It so it has to happen like a lobster Slowly boiling no I think it happens When everyone else is it's a it's a Greek chorus right it's a chorus but That's exactly that's right so it's not About the ACT but they will I mean I've Talked to no journalists where I get the Sense that they will sell their soul for Access Because that's their job Is it though because what they do what Journalists do I've seen American Journalists they take a huge amount of Pride for having gotten the interview Whatever that is the the Putin interview And First of all they they're gleaming They're they're glowing with pride it Seems like they're always showing off to The other journalists back in America so They're going on they're showing off Like look I got the access you didn't And second thing they're doing when they Show up to that interview is they ask All the questions that signal to the Other journalists that we're on the same Side they ask the most generic Aggressive questions to which they know The answers To to they they just they want to they Want to basically get the access and ask

The quote unquote hard-hitting questions That they know will not be answered and This is this is the entire Machinery of It it's not it's that's modern Journalism and I suppose at that time It was worse it was worse they weren't Even doing the hard-hitting the uh the Display of hard-hitting questions right Because there's PR pieces think about What high status that is if I'm an American journalist in Moscow I'm Allowed in this secretive country I'm You know I'm the I'm the guy who's very Privileged to have access to live in Moscow and tell Americans which we're All fascinated about this new Society of The future what it's like and as soon as I kind of uh start questioning the Narrative I'm gonna get kicked out and Humiliated very publicly I thought you Were in Moscow what am I supposed to say So you know they uh Eugene Lyons Was you know he's one of the heroes in The book he was a young communist and I Think it was United press he was working For they sent him there and when he went There he's like oh this is not what I Thought it was going to be like this is Horrible and he's he's turned very Heavily against it but he talks about How they would write one thing and say Another thing and then think another Thing and each of those steps was just More and more like kind of lying in

Terms of maintaining your sanity and Maintaining your narrative So you uh reference an apple bomb And say that quote starvation was not Simply a consequence it was the goal and It was the law Stalin intended to break The ukrainians once and for all and thus Became common for villagers to spy and Inform on one another turning in a Neighbor for having a sack of grain Might be the easiest and safest way to Procure food for one's family yeah Um To what degree was this the intention to It to what degree does Stalin anticipate This kind of suffering as a consequence Of the collectivization policy I don't Know that he intended the suffering to Be consequence of the collectivization But he it was Quite Apparent and I think there's a pretty Heavy consensus nowadays that his goal Was very much because Ukraine again uh You know resented the Czar and had this Kind of very contentious relationship uh With Russia which obviously very clearly Remains today I mean the hatred of Ukrainians for Russians preceded Putin's War I mean this is even when I was a kid This uh you know I obviously don't Remember it but my parents just told me Like the hatred that they had Understandably I mean they're basically

Under foreign occupation uh what they Regards for an occupation for so your Parents talked about a hatred by Ukrainian stores Russians oh yes oh yes I I mean I you know I I certainly having visited there this Year because of the most recent invasion In February in February that hatred is Uh Nationwide and very intense but I Don't know I think the feeling the Emotions were much more complex before But at the same time at least they were Under occupation before right and they Couldn't speak Ukrainian they had to Speak Russian so this was a thing But because of the forced intermixing It's a it's a more complex story okay But I mean they weren't certainly fans Yeah but there's People that came from Marshall that are Living there they're marrying they're Falling in love they're working with Each other so like there is a the bigger Atrocity of the genocide of it but There's also the reality of intermixing Over people's well sure I mean there's The atrocity of slavery in the United States but then there's also a reality That there's now an intermixing of a of A peoples and now they fall in love and They live after after slavery is Abolished it's that's just the real like Uh After the genocide right

Precedes a kind of generational Integration That still remembers like the the Suffering reverberates but there's still Um it's a different culture that's Created and now I think I mean I have complexity most of my Family is from Ukraine so I have a and It's my understanding is grounded in um Soviet Ukraine but there's something in The last 30 years that's different where Now after the collapse of the Soviet Union there's a true Maybe you've renewed fight for Independence and that's a different Thing But there's also a difference like you Know if I go to North Korea as an American right they're very friendly now Right they don't perceive me as part of The yank Devils they're like okay you're An American but you know you come from America so yeah there's going to be Intermarriage but that's a big Difference between the perception of Russia as an entity as opposed to some Individual Russians I just that wasn't the Um the experience I've had talking to a Lot of friends and family in Ukraine Until the war started really so they Really didn't have this kind of low-key Animosity towards Russians no there was A lot of uh factional conflict

Inside Ukraine okay Now the whole country is United I think I think there's a clarity now the war Gave a clarity That wasn't there before no this is I Was saying earlier how humans Define Themselves by opposition so now that There's a war it's like okay this all This little stuff doesn't matter we are All United because we have a common Enemy but there's also as as you know There's regions and there's Um there's just groups of different People that people and then one of the Big divides of course is the City versus Rural and then in the case of Ukraine It's it's eastern Ukraine and Western Ukraine it's very difficult to know what The truth is because my personal Experience is sampled right you know I Don't know how many ukrainians I know Maybe like 30 or 40 before this trip Like 30 or 40 and then I'm close with Just a handful But then it's hard to know because you Get a lot of Western press perspective And you get the Russian perspective and You got other perspectives it's very Hard to know how much hate there is Um outside of this conflict so my my Primary question is and this is what I Asked a lot of people when I visited Ukraine is Will you ever will you ever be able to

Forgive the Russians and a lot of people Said uh never Never so this isn't just about assuming Assuming we win they would say assuming We win was still would not ever forgive Never never forgive and and they said it In a way where like Not only us but our children will never Forgive and that and it wasn't just you Know what it wasn't just about uh Russia Or the Russian leadership is about Depression people Um but a lot of people also said that This is where this is our feeling Currently we understand like you you're Lost in the Rage of War yeah Because you lose so much I mean if you Asked Americans would you ever be Friends with Germany or Japan you'd be Like are you kidding after Pearl Harbor Yeah but of course most Americans didn't Feel Pearl Harbor is different Um it's a good point when it's your own Land but uh When when imagine it wasn't just Pearl Harbor but it was New York right and uh Chicago and And Dallas and all these cities being Being bombed yeah yeah It's it's Just a linger on this war in Ukraine Currently Does it break your heart to see what's Going on there now that it's on the same

Land as the same cities The same stories and I'll like brought Back to the surface like the the Generational pain as it was in the in The time that you're writing about Do you think it's a fundamentally Different Country different War different Situation or does it uh do you hear Echoes of the same I don't think it's The same because I think there is No one or I mean there is no one Who is like I'm glad this is happening To the Ukrainian people right so even The people who are for Putin and for The Invasion and whatever justification they Might have for his War No one is like yeah let's get those you Know darn ukrainians I think there was That sense in America after 9 11 when we Invade Afghanistan and Iraq and there Was like if those Iraqis eftos Afghan People Um whereas now I think it's completely Opposite uh I think I also think a lot Of Russians I'm sure if I ask them They're not thinking like let's wipe the Ukrainian people off the map I think Whatever reasons they have it's not kind Of going after this even if you have to Kind of rile up people against the Citizenry it's not to that level of the History of the kulox uh hatred of uh of Of those Villages there's still a belief

Though amongst the soldiers outside of The big cities their belief that the Ukrainian people Who the Russian soldiers believe are Their brothers and sisters are occupied By an evil regime okay and they need to Save them from the evil regime that's Also very different from yes you know The holiday more and also there is Dispute in the Press about the causes The consequences the victims the Villains of Putin's War but when it came To this No one no one is denying That the war is happening the New York Times isn't saying everything is fine And the only reason people are saying It's a problem is because they hate Putin or they hate zelinsky that's not a Thing and the fact that we have so much Footage of what's Happening uh uh in Ukraine and you know you have it takes Two seconds to go on Google and you have A map of you know Russian advancement What are they what like for what parts Are they occupying what parts are not Out of the control uh you know I did a Little live stream I raised money for European refugees to feed them because That's my concerns just keeping people Fed uh there was none of that you know And and the the two people who kind of Spoke the truth Gareth Jones was shot I Think the day

Before his 30th birthday while he was on Uh undercovering uncovering news I think He was in Mongolia Malcolm mugrage had Problem finding work when he exposed This Um and I think the like we was talking About earlier the ubiquity of things Like cell phones and camera phones uh Would make something like this I don't know I wouldn't say an Impossibility if they could still do it But it would be really hard to cover it Up well sort of to push back on that if You just look at Iran I would draw a Different so I agree with you mostly but I would also draw a different Distinction when the atrocities Happening to Your own people versus there's a war Ukraine is a sovereign independent Nation there's now a war between two Nations it feels like it's easier for Journalists to somehow reveal the truth In that when the atrocity is happening Within the Soviet Union for some reason That's easier to hide that's easier for Journalists to deceive themselves and Easier for the authoritarian leader to Hide them I think that's I agree with You and so that's that's the dark I mean That's why people maybe maybe you can Educate me on this but this is why I Think People don't talk about

Um holiday more and other atrocities the The Great Leap Forward because it's Inside the country yeah versus the Holocaust that's part of a war Why why is that that we uh There were two almost like uh afraid too Polite to what is it that we don't want To cover the atrocities because inside The country like it's their business so We don't want to touch it what is it I Think it's that what we refer to as the News is in the business of selling Narratives right and The Narrative of The Holocaust is a very powerful one Which is if you let hatred of a subgroup In a population get out of control this Is the ultimate consequence and this is Something that we all have to be scared Of and do everything in our power to Avoid in the future for any outgroup Whereas what's The Narrative of the Holiday more sometimes governments kill Their own citizens there's nothing you Could do about it there's nothing we I Mean they wouldn't have let us send food They wouldn't acknowledge like the Newspapers even even Russia weren't Acknowledging it like what's this like This is some of the issues I had with Regard to trying to advocate for the North Korean people the reporters be Like well what can I do as an American It's a very natural question and I'm Like I don't know I I like all I know is

How to speak to what is happening but in Terms of next steps I don't have a good Answer for you so that is where the news Kind of does break down if there isn't a Story or a call to action the kind of You're kind of almost like having a Movie with a cliffhanger and there's no Sequel It's like what am I supposed to Do here like this is not scratching that Itch which for me what as a consumer of News you know Layman is like okay here's The story there was a bad guy and the Cop shot him or they took him to jail And now the bad guy's caught beginning Middle end here it's just like Mao did This a lot of people were executed and Starved isn't that awful well and Mao's Still in power now Richard Nixon is Raising a toast to him like that story Is just like how am I supposed to feel About this Yeah it feels like when there's tanks And there's war and there's military Conflict then um it's more actionable You can cover it yeah and uh it did seem Like Nazi Germany I don't know if Holocaust was the thing that made it Most coverable I think it was that this Is a threat to the entire So yeah they were a war with them yeah This is that's what makes it coverable And if the Holocaust was happening just Inside that country inside of Germany Or even if it didn't expand Beyond

Poland Yeah it would be like a footnote it Wasn't many ways a footnote like many of The early steps toward it was like they Didn't cover it's just like all right They're they're being oppressive toward Their own people okay especially given Some of the Uh maybe if you negotiate certain peace Treaties with the Soviet Union and which Are like you're too uh the basic the Pacifist imperative Oh boy Sorry Santa So we say every time you uh masturbate No after you're done you know I'm sorry All right all right Now see I hate it when you don't yes and Because it leaves me in a hole I dug for Myself Um and I sit there in a hole is this In my sadness How long have you been writing this book I mean two years mentally it was like Two years since you spent with the time With it what um No almost three two and a half yeah And I I suppose it stages you much Longer like you said your family So it in many ways this is a book you've Been writing your whole life I think That's fair that all my work's been Leading to this yeah It's certainly the most in my opinion

The most important thing I've done What stands out to you uh about holiday More what moments what what aspects of Human nature stand out to you I don't know I think that story is I Don't want to say story but I mean like That incident Is I I mean I was familiar with it before You know what I mean so I kind of knew About it you know in part thanks to kind Of the North Korean work and coming from Ukraine Um the thing that was also kind of Insane about it is that they were taking All this grain and not using it even to Feed the Russian people they were Selling it for export for hard currency Um Yeah I I think what the takeaway there And I think again this is something Westerners and especially Americans Don't appreciate they think that evil Often has Like a logic to it right and it's like Why would like because it makes no sense To them like why would they kill their Own people Uh therefore it probably didn't happen Right there that there's that thing they They really think like okay they can Understand you know country a country Congress country B and because Slaughter Is a bunch of people country b as a

Means of Conquest like that kind of Makes sense them they know that thing But like why are you starving all these People like what are you gaining out of It that doesn't make sense to them and Because it doesn't make sense there's Kind of like well it's probably more the Story that I'm hearing and a lot of Times there's not it's just like evil For the sake of power Um and we don't really have that Certainly anywhere near that scale and Never have Um certainly you know since since America uh has been a thing I mean it's It's it's and the fact that this is like The 30s you know what I mean this isn't That long ago Uh but I think also the the narrative in Some ways is How You know technology is also something That kind of people have mixed feelings About I think like I've said this before And this is something I really believe Very strongly the ability of information To be captured and spread easily is such An effective tool in exposing uh Humanity at its worst because that it's One thing if I sit here and tell you What I saw in these Villages it's Another thing that I sat you down and Showed you a YouTube and you know you And I don't know what it's like to look

In the eyes of someone who's uh thinking About kill eating their own kids I mean And you see that face and you know it's You know not something some CGI it it Will haunt you forever Just looking at the different mechanisms That made all of this happen so this is Not just one guy Stalin having a policy There's a whole system I mean one of it is just a system of Fear But how do you implement that system of Fear Well there's a giant bureaucracy of fear Yeah so what he implemented with the Great terror is that's in the in the 30s In the late 30s well it's throughout the 30s but yeah like it starts in the um Mid to late 30s basically you know Communism was based on the common good And the public good and anything private Which was Bourgeois was a problem when They were started you know when the Revolution came the October Revolution They wanted to recreate Society entirely And that included like okay let's make It so Um uh uh everyone eats in like Cafeterias so they're eating by Themselves let's design buildings so Everyone has to share bathrooms like Their whole plan was to have eliminate Any kind of concept of privacy at all They also had this bizarre kind of

Radical idea of uh like attacking shame So many of these you know before the 1917 people were also very involved like Free love uh because the idea of like Having this private bond between your Husband and wife was also Bourgeois and Old-fashioned and you know we're the Society of the future that changed Relatively quickly but they were talking About things like raising kids Communally uh and and so on and so forth So for Stalin If you and I are friends We have a bond that's a threat to him The family's a threat the any kind of Organization is a threat because it's a Power center that is uh not between a Relationship between you and him now do You have relationship with somebody else So he systemically Went through that whole society and you Know it became you there's certain Things that became a crime then it Became a crime to be a spouse of the Enemy of the people now right away I as A child become an orphan because my dad Was the name of the people my mom is Married to any of the people Now I don't have parents they get Arrested or executed or whatever but now I know where to go but I can't go to my Friend's house because their family Doesn't want to take in a child of the Enemy of the people

Um you had this culture where everyone Was very much encouraged to turn people In and if you turn if you're arrested You know and tortured you're like okay Who are your accomplices and now you Just gotta name names people you knew And then it becomes this whole chain and It's like how am I going to protest my Innocence if Lex just said you know I uh Worked with Michael and we were working With trotskits and we were plotting to Overthrow Stalin let's testify to this He signed a confession what am I Supposed to do now right so it worked Its way in a most viral fashion through The whole society there was this amazing Moment where these poor people peasants Because obviously the powerless are Often going to be caught in the web They're going to jail for being Trotskyites and they had to ask Themselves what's a tractorist like they Didn't even know who Trotsky was uh and The thing other thing is ethnicity was a Problem right if you were an ethnicity You have more power with other members Of that ethnicity than you have with This kind of broader Soviet culture so He would just Deport entire populations From their ancestral lands to other Parts a to spread the population around But also to break that link between the Peoples and their lands there was this 1937 nkvd order against Polish people

Where it's just like if you had come From Poland or had uh just this whole List and basically people were being Arrested because they had uh polish last Names and I think it was a million People were killed like some Astronomical number Um so there was this anything that was a Bond was a threat to him and it went Systemically so after he had all these Kind of executions of people who were Like Lenin's people the old Bolsheviks Then he went after he started arresting The secret police you know he arrested All the cops he arrested all the judges And all these prisoners got to see the Judges who yelled at them for being Counter-revolutionaries and spies now They were in the jails if you were a Foreigner if there was a huge push from The Soviet Union toward African Americans right because they're like Look you were living in a racist country Here we have no Um Uh racial inequality come come live here A bunch of them went and they were all Vanished you know anyone who knew Information about the outside world if You're a foreigner Um uh Andre uh Babel I forget his first Name he had a French writer he was Friends with he was arrested in shock Because he's a spy because you're

Friends with Melrose and that means if You know Foreigner you're a spy speaking Esperanto became a crime having a pen Pal literally anything that was some Kind of chain between yourself and Someone else was a threat and was Grounds for arrest it was uh the Russians would joke About how relieved they would be if Someone knocked on your door in the Middle of the night to tell your house Was on fire because it wasn't the nkvd Coming to arrest you and of course most Of the accusations probably were Completely false so not only could you Not do all of those things You Were also a victim of just being late to Work became a felony and also not doing Your job became a felony because now You're taking the food or product away From the people and you're supposed to Be there working for the people there's This one story which you know I I was Doing the audiobook and this is like I Still try and get through without crying This was 1920. they were a bunch of kids In Moscow who were pickpockets aged Between ages 11 and 15. they rounded Them up and they're like all right point Out your accomplices and they would take Them in the trams and you have to point Out people then they would take them Back to the this the seller beat the

Crap out of these children and then they Take them out again and if they didn't Point out to anybody they'd beat them They're like all right so they just Start pointing at random yeah and the Thing that was really sick about this Story if that wasn't sick enough is that The screams that the other criminals the Adult hardened criminals had to hear From these children as they realized They were being taken back to the to the Seller it was just horrifying And they so they tortured people they Tortured confessions out of people yes At scale oh yeah I mean And the dark aspect of this is it's all It's like this weird it's it's a Bureaucracy of torture yes so like it's Not like there's What is it the torturer is afraid of Like does it so that he doesn't become The prisoner right because then it's Like oh you couldn't get a confession Out of him are you an enemy of the People now as well and the thing that Was even crazier is that a lot of these Interrogators were frustrated because They're like look we both know you're Innocent just sign this confession and Make my life easier they knew it was Crap Stalin joked about Stalin joked About this this is one of his little Jokes there was a kid uh who was Arrested and he was said oh it was

Forced to say you wrote Eugene o'negan Which is a play he goes that play was by Pushkin and they tortured him they Tortured him tortured him and then his Parents are walking down the street and They run into a secret police and they Go congratulations and they go for what You go your son wrote Eugenia Negan like He admitted to it last night like it's Just like they could get you to say Anything and what else was really really Sick which they understood is it they Lower the death penalty for kids I think Either 14 or 12 if I remember the top of My head and what Stalin's head of the Secret police did is when you were Interrogating someone they would you Either had to have some of your family Member of that family members Um possessions on the desk or a copy of The decree that's saying you know that That they can go after your family and The amount of people who would confess To anything when they saw their family Was in danger and they knew this wasn't A bluff uh uh was astronomical and then It becomes a chain because if you Confess and I have your confession how Hard is it to get your neighbor What do you make of the uh for time for Most of the time the nkvt was about the Head of uh and KVD Ente pavlovovich Beria now barrier yeah I have a I have a death warrant signed

By him hanging in my kitchen that I uh Um acquired Um he was one of the most evil people Who ever lived Uh the thing that Americans don't Appreciate is how clever some of this Sadism Is so there was one uh actress I think He took her back to his house and he Asked her to he tried to get her to Sleep with him then he promised her that If she did her father and either her Husband or her grandfather and which one It was it's going to be released from Jail well they're already dead at that Point he had them executed Um they're still finding the bodies of The women he murdered uh in the grounds Of his Dutch it's an embassy now and the Thing is stalinu because at one point Stalin there's a picture of Stalin's Daughter in his lap you know and she was At his house one day and Stalin calls up He goes get out of there immediately so He like a good bureaucrat he had a he Kept the list of all of his sexual Partners it's still uh um sealed but Both him and his bodyguard had this list So just to clarify yeah he headed the Operation that did this whole giant Mechanism of forced confessions yes he Was part of expanding the gulag so he Was in the head of the Glocks but he was Part of this giant and his famous quote

Was show me the man and I'll show you The crime yeah But on top of that what you're Describing is he was also related or not Was also just a mass rapist yes and There's some dispute by whether he went After kids with his rapes but there's Plenty of adults women that were uh Targets for this there was also another Little joke about him about how Stalin Is looking for his pipe and he can't Find didn't he calls barrier and he's Like okay I can't find this pipe and in The afternoon he calls Barry again he's Like oh I found the pipe he goes but but Comrade Stalin we've got four people to Confess to stealth already so you have To laugh but then you think about the Nature of how it operates it well also The fact that this kind of person was Allowed to run I mean I I suppose Um it's all different kinds of evil and Rape was just a part of the story His own personal Um willingness to uh Oversee torture and commit torture Himself And rape but it's also what happens when You're in a country where it has no Rights of any kind And by the way I should mention that People should get your book and audio What is your audiobook coming up it's in

A couple weeks so I'll be out shortly Yeah uh you gave me the great honor of Uh voicing this man that's for the promo Yeah for the promo yeah excellent I Appreciate that For a moment I actually It was really difficult really yeah it Was just a sentence I understand I Understand Uh because it takes you to that place oh Yeah because he told her scream if you Want doesn't matter yeah and he was Right like that's the thing he wasn't Bluffing he could scream these women Could scream their head off no one's Gonna come help him he would drive Around Moscow at night in his limo Looking for victims but somehow me Saying those words was tough I'm sure is Uh stuff Because this is where we came from do You know what I mean this isn't just Like some kind of uh Tolkien villain But it also was tough because I could See myself being somewhere in that Machine somewhere like somehow that put Me right there Like Any like they're Any Cog in that machine is committing Evil yes That's the dark thing Um I think the the hot the the higher you

Are to the top the closer you are to the Top the more Ability you have to stop it But the less the more freedom you have To stop it I suppose Um to a point yeah But like the little things So barrier had the freedom to commit Rape Or not to And so he chooses to Sort of increase the amount of evil he's Putting out into the world but then you Have to counterbalance that as as dark As this calculus is after Stalin dies Like that week they start making the Gulag shrink they start pulling back on The concentrate the labor camps So I mean So that is a big Plus in his side like You start liberating having this Mass Amnesty and freeing people from uh work Camps that that's not minor things so It's crazy like it's like I I'm not I'm Not saying Peter right I don't I I don't Know I'm not saying he's a good person But it's kind of insane that someone can Do things that everyone listening to This would regard as pure evil and at The same time this guy also when the Time came saved Tens of thousands of lives so in some Sense Stalin is the kind of cancer that Permeates all yes all the Soviet minds

And once it's gone you almost like wake Up wait a minute What the [ __ ] was I a part of and Khrushchev in it was a 56 when he gave a Secret speech uh you know behind closed Doors and he's just like all this Criticism of Stalin was true this is Complete I want marxistence you know he Tried to salvage the system this is not What Marxist is about we can't have a Personality cult uh you know Stalin Killed all these top generals and when Hitler turned to betrayed The Pact and Invaded Stalin didn't believe his buddy Hitler was going to do this and as a Result of this we lost a lot of Territory in lives this is not a Military genius this was Stalin being an Idiot or an a [ __ ] whatever you Whatever term we want to be so you know Yeah there but the thing is Khrushchev Also was a butcher you know he had a lot Of blood in his hands you don't become You know the textile seat without having Overlooked a lot of uh murder and Chaos So It's such a um that's why it's called Subtitled books the tale of Good and Evil there's so much malevolence to go Around What do you think was going through Stalin's mind in the 20s and the 30s Like Did he directly

Like allow himself to acknowledge the Reality Of the suffering he was causing like What does it take to be that human I I'm Almost interested To extract lessons from that for leaders Of today Like how hard is it is it that Stalin is Evil or can you just delude yourself Gradually into where you don't have a Sense of the effect of your policies in The populace well you're not deluding Yourself because you have around you an Entire government of people telling you 24 7 how great you are how thankful they Are for you how awesome you are you're The best uh so that certainly going to Play into it I've asked myself that Question as well like do these people Believe their own [ __ ] and I just And I think the receipts are uh when Elena chachescu who's one of the four Women on the cover when she's being Taken away to be executed in 1989 she's Yelling at the soldiers how could you I Raised you like a mother so she at least Believed her own [ __ ] Um With Stalin he was obviously extremely Intelligent uh I think it's kind of easy For us to kind of psychologize and say He's a sociopath he's a narcissist he's This he's that Um but at this at a certain point like

If you're surrounded by a culture Dedicated to glorifying you and everyone You meet is so happy to see you and oh My God all your pronouncements are so Good and it you know what if some if you Make a decision that's wrong the people Around you it's their job to tell you Why it's not your fault it's the fault Of the Wreckers or it's the fault of you Know Hitler or whoever it is the kulaks At a certain point the human mind wants To believe how great it is Especially someone in that vaunted Position But he had his love there was this one Funny I'm using the word Loosely quote When Hitler invades Russia and he Couldn't believe it and he's just Missing an action for days because how Could Hitler betray me we had to deal Birds of a feather and he had this quote About like we've taken Lennon's Legacy And [ __ ] out our asses I think he was Very aware that that's no question that He was aware that in terms of being a Philosopher or a thinker he wasn't on Lenin's level right so that was I'm sure Played a lot into his psychology That he never quite lived up to the like Everything he tried I mean there's some Sense that the collectivization That this idea was a failure The way he responds to the economic Policy being a failure is to lean in

And basically torture anyone who says It's a failure and double down on the Policy Like that says something about it but it Wasn't a failure it broke the ukrainians You don't think he believed early on That's what it turned into but you don't Think in the very early days There was a thought that Collectivization is the right mechanism By which to Um enact communism I think his goal was To break their spirit And getting them fed was secondary right And given the fact that they stopped Complaining because they're dead He got what he wanted He got a compliant population I mean that's really interesting I Didn't I wonder how much disagreement there is About Because if that was the goal from the Beginning that's a different level of Evil I think that was clearly so his hit What like I said earlier he broke with Landon because he wanted socialism in One country right that was his vision Right and he was also very aware that What became the Soviet Union was Extremely diverse versus gigantic Country is the big country on Earth it's Not always gigantic you had all these Peoples these nationalities within it

That have had historical anemone and They're not they're not gonna have Loyalty to Moscow he's a Georgian Himself this was always a big problem so That was what he wanted to do as well is To homogenize and have them be Standardized and I don't see how you do That without either massive re-education Which is only going to go so far or Really just crushing people's spirits So uh like a forced Homogeneity yeah And the other big thing a big element of Soviet culture and the Soviet mythology I mean he called his name was uh his Name to style and I can't even Pronounced his George name jokes really Or something like that it means Man of Steel so a large part of the and this Still remains in in Russian culture to This day I see in my family too and like Other Russians I know there is this Pride in ruthlessness and this kind of Like I'm so tough like nothing's gonna Affect me like yeah we're gonna suffer But it's for a greater good or for the Long term and not to be kind of Sentimental or squeamish about things Like that was a big part of it don't Take that away from me too Michael what Are you taking everything am I wrong I admire uh not not stoicism but that Kind of hardness uh I look forward to Myself it has nothing to do with Stalin

But not to the extent that like if some Like for example like if you see Um someone suffering oh yeah and and That's being used as a mechanism to get You to change your opinion you're like They're not gonna get to me like that is Very much part of that Russian Psychology right Uh at least at that time yes I think Still largely no I'm not going to be manipulated by Someone else is suffering a weakness That kind of thing I think that's really Part of it to this day I don't know I don't know how much of His character how much of it is reality Sure sure Um I remember I knew that I knew as someone Who was him and his fiance were Russian And they had this big fight she took off The ring right and she's like you know He's like that's it and it's just like The way he told the story to me she's Like what do you want me to say oh don't Leave me baby I can't live without you Like that nasty cruelty I don't know man I know I know you're so I I don't know If there's a Russian thing that's just That's just a people thing I don't think That's an American thing I think there's all kinds of flavors and They're different by region of the way That people are cruel to each other sure

That in America New Jersey is different Than Texas is different than California You don't think Americans are higher Trust more kind Society than Russia even Today The higher trust uh listen I'm not going To so first of all I have a very complex Uh Feelings about Russia today I'm talking About let's talk about January before The war I'm talking about nowadays I think it's a complex psychological Dynamic of what trusting means I think Russians are generally less friendly but Have more intimate Uh friendships yes I think that's true So it's just a different it's not Different it's just one is more trusting Which is more trusted Americans But then this would Define trusting Different because okay I'll give you an Example if someone's having a party in America and people come over yeah okay That's fine everyone's welcome if it's In Russia it's like who who's that who'd You bring and there's much more of a Like let me be sure that's okay this Person's here I maybe this there you Don't have parties I have never been in A party and you don't come to mind Foreign And I just lay on the ground instead and Feel sorry for myself it's not bad santa It's sad Santa

Well I can serve I can serve my Emotional energy towards this one day of The year okay Intensely spread my joy All right speaking of which you tell a Christmas story in the book Are you spoiling that chapter it's Called die hard all right well I'm not Gonna spoil it it's really good I I was Very proud of that chapter why Because the ending that's the Christmas Story is just like I know everyone Reading is gonna go Google it'd be like He can't he can't be real but it was Real because then it was on Christmas Yesterday Um I mean that this has to do with the Bigger picture we don't have to uh do The big reveal but the bigger picture of There there was an iron curtain and it Was coming down in complex ways How would you define the Iron Curtain There's a there's this a set of Ideologies a set of countries United by An ideology and a set of countries you Know by a different ideology And um There's a curtain that divided them and It eventually came down so how would you Describe how it came down It came I I hate that I can never Remember ever ever remember if this was Hemingway Uh no it was Hemingway is Mark Twain no

It came down two ways gradually then Suddenly Um The thing with the Iron Curtain in the Warsaw Pact these were a bunch of Nations with you know run under Communism but they were all almost all Under this way of Moscow so if they were Going to make big changes Moscow had to Uh prove it it was in 19 in the early in The 50s we're in Hungary uh decided to Rebel or not liberalize and they even They were thinking of leaving the Warsaw Pact and the Russians send in the tanks And you had the development of what was Called the bridge Doctrine which was the Idea that it is the duty of all the Warsaw Pac Nations if another country Tries to and this was also in 68 in the Prague spring in Czechoslovakia if a Nation wants to leave uh socialism it is Uncommon of those socialist Nations to To do whatever is necessary to make sure There isn't a counter Revolution so they Were Very much under moscow's thumb Um and one of the big ways it changed Was one man and that was Mikhail Gorbachev and he was the first Russian Leader to be born after the October Revolution he grew up and his Grandfather was arrested for being a Trotskyite and the other one you know Was arrested for this or that he saw his

Village starve as a result of Stalin so Even though he was a very committed Communist he also was very an Increasingly skeptical of Authoritarianism And you know in Poland for example you Had the solidarity movement Um and this was a labor union movement And the government didn't know what to Do they were getting a lot of support From the peoples they had strikes that Um the dance Shipyard was was when them Started and basically Moscow told them Either you crack down or we're cracking Down on you And they're like all right and they Declared martial law and they you know Arrested leaders put them away but then When Gorbachev you know was in charge There wasn't a gun to their back and it Was the Communist leaders themselves who Were like you know what there's this Really funny moment where Um like for Less is meeting with Margaret Thatcher and she's he's telling Her what solidarity the movement wants And she had been meeting with the Polish Government as well and she's like look Like Tell them like what because they they Had you tried they they wanted the Government wanted her to tell them that We want to negotiate and work things out She goes all right tell the government

What it is that you're asking for and he Just points to the ceiling she goes he's Like oh yeah our meetings are bugged Anyway Um but they then had the freedom because They knew that Gorbachev wasn't forcing Them to drive solidarity underground so They had the idea of like let's work Together with these people and as a Result of this you know Poland Liberalized and freed itself uh um Fairly easily and with a minimum of Bloodshed in 89 and it there was this Whole argument for the Vietnam war with Something called Domino Theory which is If you lose Vietnam then you're going to Lose Laos then you lose Cambodia one by One the countries are going to turn Communists like dominoes but people Didn't realize the reverse was true Because after Poland liberalized then You have you know a Hungary then you Have you know Czechoslovakia then you Know that you had East Germany and the Fall of the Berlin Wall so it's a great Right thing because as this is happening The people are looking around and They're like wait like that's that's That's it like this has got to be a Trick and it wasn't a trick so one of my Favorite books which was a big Inspiration for this one was by my Favorite historian I apologize to Victor Patricia David Patricia and Arthur

Herman my second and third uh they're Tied but uh Victor Sebastian wrote a Book called Revolution uh 1989 and he Just talked about that year and how all These countries one after another Liberalized and it's just such a beaut And none of them thought this was Possible my one my favorite favorite Moments in this book Is helmet Cole who was the head of West Germany is in Warsaw with like valessa Uh discussing the Berlin wall and like Willis is like I don't think it's gonna Be around for like another you know few Years and and whole Nicole laughs in his Face And he goes look you're young this isn't How things work like this is gonna take Some doing it fell the next day and Hell Nicole literally says I'm at the wrong Party and he got on a plane and got out Of Warsaw so there are why this book has A broader message than the actual Stories of these incidents is that as These wonderful things are happening the Universal consensus at the time is it's Never going to happen or if it does have Gonna happen it's gonna happen only Through an enormous amount of Carnage And blood and when it doesn't then Everyone's like oh it was inevitable you Didn't say it was inevitable at the time You only said it was inevitable after The fact and the other thing that I was

Really brought me a lot of joy is there Are so many moments of men with guns Saying we're not shooting anyone because They wanted Several Tiananmen squares they wanted it In you know East Berlin uh they wanted It in Romania they wanted in Moscow and These strong tough trained men with guns Were like no we're not shooting the Civilians and then everything else was History Yeah just as surprising as the mass Violence committed by uh like police and The Army on its own citizenry equally Surprising is when they choose not to Yeah somehow yeah And what is that what um how do you Explain uh 1989 how do you explain this Progress That happened so suddenly How do you explain that in the at the Beginning of the 20th century So much Revolution happened that created Communism And how do you explain then the collapse Of that across So Many Nations at the Same time I think a large part of it had To do with the closer Um interconnections between people like Gorbachev and Thatcher and Gorbachev and Reagan because both of them visited red Square and you know in the years before These are these are enemies you know They want to invade they want to kill us

The Americans thought this about the Russians the Russians thought this about The Americans obviously not so much the British and They got on really well uh when Gorbachev came to Checkers which is the Prime minister's uh Countryside estate Uh Thatcher sat him down and she's Lecturing him about human rights and She's lecturing about economics and She's lecturing about this and that and Then she's lecturing him about why he's In eating while he's yelling at her and He goes Mrs Thatcher like I know you Have a lot of strong opinions I do too I haven't been sent here to Recruit you to the Communist party and She just started laughing but right away There was such a sense in the air of we Can do better we're spending all this Money on missiles we're spending all This money on the military it's Expensive and for what uh we don't have To be looking at each other as enemies We can try to work together to kind of At the very least lower the the the the Volume and the the heat how much credit Do you give to Gorbachev the man so Meaning how much power does a single Individual have I I could not give him More credit uh I had a tweet last year Where I said who do you think is the Greatest person alive right now and my Answer by far would be Gorbachev then he

Died I don't know who it is right now But it's just funny because Gorbachev Also had a tweet But it was it was like and he said oh Sure Um that would be a good now I wish I Interviewed Gorbachev and asked them the The famous question of what would you Like best about uh Michael Mouse look The transition after the Soviet Union Fell to Russia and Yeltsin was not a Smooth one by any means uh you know as I Say at the end of the book it's not like They lived happily ever after yeah uh But my point broader point is you take The wins when you can get them uh people Now had access to passports they don't Have to have uh they can leave the Country they have food they have access To information it's somewhat censored But it's certainly nothing like it was Uh under the Soviet Union Um and they didn't have to live in this Kind of Constant fear and they had opportunities And it's such a step forward uh um and There was this one great moment and I'm Good there's a super Boris Yeltsin Became president of Russia he's also Mayor of Moscow at one point or the Equivalent of Mayor And he came here to visit NASA on in the In the capacity of one of the other and While he was there he went to visit a

Supermarket it was a Randall's then I Think it's a food town now it still Exists I'm gonna go there I'm gonna Start bawling And as he's looking around like he had Never seen so much food and this is food That like even wealthy people in Russia Don't have access to and there's Pictures of him just like this like what And the scene that really was poignant To me is on his flight back he's sitting There on the plane like this And he's like they had to lie to the People because if they knew they Wouldn't have been able to get away with It and that's the moment where it's just Like oh this wasn't like skewed Propaganda you know this was like they Knew and it was a lie from A to Z and he Was just like holy crap just like and You can just imagine him on that plane His brain reprogramming because if You're taught since you're a kid and he Was no he was an older man he was no Dummy you think okay the Americans are Starving and poor and they're lynching People every day and then you go to a Supermarket the most banal place on Earth and you see like I think when the Article said like they couldn't believe How big the onions were or something Like that and you're seeing this and You're seeing these like janitorial School teachers these aren't dignitaries

And they're regular people just picking Whatever they want and you're just like Like you you it's like the equivalent of Having a stroke Yeah I do think that that's one of the Most powerful things is the grocery the Grocery store is that guy in terms of Drawing a distinction between the two Systems yeah because uh you know you Could have like technology you can show Off technology and so on but you can Kind of sign up write-off Technologies Like okay that's the mechanism Uh of the devil but when you look at Just Uh Fruit and veggies and like very big Fruit and veggies and like yeah and Fruit in particular like certain kinds Of fruit that are just not available in Russia I mean it's yeah that really shows wait A minute It's uh interesting like when you're Older and you have to face the reality That uh what you believe to be true that Your whole life has been based on a set Of lies and your stuff not not mistakes Not like a little bit like blatant lies From top to bottom start to finish that I don't know what that's like How much uh you've um you start the book I think you start the book with Iran yes Yes yes

As one does So before the Revolution she was born in In in Russia and she witnessed the Revolution Uh and moved uh to the United States in The 20s 26th 1926 yeah 1926. I remember Like it was yesterday anyway uh she uh You write that she spent a lot of her Life trying to convince Americans in the World that uh um The negative effects of totalitarian Government just you know maybe using her As an example but also this question can We draw a distinction between Authoritarian regimes and communism is It possible to steal man the case that Not all implementations of socialism and Communism would lead to the atrocities We've seen in the Soviet Union and uh in China under Mao oh like when you in Studying all of this how much blame do You put on the ideologies on the Marxist Ideologies versus the particular leaders And dictators well you have to blame the Leaders a lot because they had different Leaders in different countries where Uh different from each other Duke who Took over Czechoslovakia and he tried to Introduce socialism with the human face In the Prague spring of 1968. he was Like all right we got to do away with This authoritarianism we gotta have more Free speech he was thinking of Introducing elements of democracy now

Then the Russians sent in the tanks but The point is he certainly was someone Who was like all right this this has got To stop this is just absolutely crazy Um Khrushchev and Stalin were not the Same animal at all Um so I I think the problem with uh Communism in in the Marxist sense is That you're going to have an introduced An element of authoritarianism simply Because you can't have Um economic planning if I don't have a Price mechanism I don't know how price Is what is me knowing as a consumer or a Producer what should be produced or what Had there's a shortage of as prices Increase that's a signal that we have a Shortage here as prices decrease that Means that there's a surplus here but if I'm setting the price I don't really Have know how much weed I need to Produce if I'm compared to Corn as Compared to shoes as compared to Santa Costumes so that is a big problem the Other issue is if you have one agency The government having a monopoly on Let's suppose the news like you were Talking about earlier with Twitter it's Going to be really hard to have any kind Of objective discourse because everyone Is going to be working for the same Organization that is going to cause a Problem in terms of having a feedback Mechanism even in the best scenario in

Terms of this is a problem this isn't a Problem and when you have a monopoly Which is what a government is I think People are very familiar with what the Problems happen with Monopoly this lack Of accountability bureaucracies are Faceless and then no one's to blame but You know uh and yet everyone kind of Suffers as a consequence so it doesn't Necessarily have to be as authoritarian As stalinism but you can't have have it A government which is Authority by its Nature be this pervasive Without a strong amount of of Oppression And same thing with even if you just Have like let's go socialized Healthcare You're going to have to make it illegal For doctors to practice privately you're Going to have to have rationing so on And so forth now that might be a price That people are willing to pay because You can't have infinite spending on Health care right so something's gonna Have to give somewhere so there is an Element of authoritarianism there and People are comfortable with that and I Can wrap my head around it but if you're Going to have one organization running Literally everything in society I don't See how you do that and have any measure Of liberalism Why do you think Iran Rand had so much Trouble Telling people the danger of

Soviet stalinism Well I I think uh More pertinent question is why did Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman have so Much problems so they were hardcore These are anarchists yeah they're Emma Golden's on the cover they were deported Um from the U.S J Edgar Hoover saw them Off at Ellis Island they were sent to Russia they were bloodthirsty Revolutionaries they had no shortage Advocating violence when necessary and When they went there they were just like This is a complete nightmare they both Individually had meetings with Lenin Complaining about political prisoners Complaining about lack of free speech She told them you know this is a Revolutionary time you could do that Later and when they both left they she Wrote her Memoir was split into two Books my disillusionment in Russia and My first dissolution in Russia uh he Wrote the Bolshevik myth and she was in England and she gave a speech and she's Just like if you guys think this is for The workers this is the biggest lie I've Ever heard like they're oppressing the Workers like no capitalist has ever Imagined and you know as she described It like people were just shifting their Sheep seats they're interrupting her and She when she opened her talk she had a Standing ovation and when she was done

You could hear a pin drop so they didn't Want to hear it because this was this Kind of and Eugene lines talks about it Later this was like the guinea pig Theory of the Russian people like we're Gonna experiment on them over there If it works great we're right if it's Wrong it's their problem and sure these Animals squeal but they're beneath us And of course they're going to make some Noise but you know this is a noble Experiment but they're experimenting on A country several countries Um so I think an ideology like this Which appeals to intellectuals because You know if it works or if it's Implemented they're the ones who are Gods in effect in a society like their Status cannot be higher they really want This to work like they want a society Where they are the new aristocracy that The most important people uh and their Criticisms of America if they had a Binary worldview if America is bad and This is the opposite of America then by Definition it's good and the the other Binary that they bought into is you know The Nazis and the uh the fascists hate The Communists and the Communists it's True uh to up to a point hated the Fascists and the Nazis okay well Hitler Is evil so this guy's against Hitler We're with him so that's an argument That's still made in in you know schools

Growing up when you talk about World War II where they're like Latino with Stalin And they don't really talk about Stalin Being a bad guy but it's like you know We worked with him to fight Hitler Because Hitler was a unique evil now That is certainly true that Hitler's Unique evil but that doesn't mean or Even imply that Stalin is somehow uh an Angel or a saint Do you think some of the lessons of History are forgotten here in our in in Our modern political discourse that are Important to remember I was so triggered Because I was in the supermarket and There was like a company that's selling Russian Ice Cream because it meets these High-level Soviet standards and I'm just Like you think this is some kind of joke You think this is some kind of kitschy Punch line that you had Decades of People who were taught in school to turn Their parents into the police if they Were hoarding grain even if it cost them Their own lives where it was a crime to Be married to someone who was an enemy Of the state where you had torture being The norm where people were Institutionalized uh because they were Politically disadvantageous and they Were called insane like this isn't just Like like oh this hammering stickles This cool wacky symbol like the amount Of blood under this symbol was just

Enormous and and so yeah I think that Lesson has very much been forgotten how Did the ice cream taste it was fine okay I'm a Baskin Robbins guy to be honest But van lewins does some great work Basketball doesn't have any Soviet Flavors no Um those dark jokes dark dark jokes uh I'm gonna I'm gonna self-publish a book Of jokes Um coming out Um in a grocery store near you okay uh What was the hardest part about writing This book spent two years writing it So when I write books for celebrities And I was co-authoring them I did it Kind of like method acting I tried to Get into their head as much as possible To kind of speak in their voice And when you're dealing with Children being tortured harmed starved And you're trying to empathize with the Characters it's it's hard to take Um the other big part I had like I was Saying earlier is just I was just very Very concerned that I told this story And did it justice because I think this Is something that is I I still don't Understand and I'm kind of angry about It that it's fallen on me To tell this story this isn't some minor Incident that happened some random town And pick a state this is half the world For you know 70 80 years and the fact

That it's this is the 80s this isn't we Were I mean you and I are old enough to Remember the 80s there's a show I Remember the 80s the fact that all these Things have just kind of we have this Collective Amnesia Um and if not even Amnesia I think a lot Of this stuff even I like was not known Even at the time or was kind of obscured Uh this is I I remember I was at the Blaze which is a network run by Glenn Beck and they're conservatives and I Have a lot of fun there and I'm just Sitting there and then you know Sometimes Dave you're off they're like Oh Biden's a communist I'm like okay Okay bite's the Communist but I'm like We talk so much about you know slavery In the Civil War the atrocities we talk About World War II and the Holocaust I'm Like how is no one talking about this And and this was can very easily be Portrayed as like conservatism's big Victory because Reagan and Thatcher were So instrumental in in guiding this to a Safe landing and I'm like how is no one Telling the story and then one day my Brain is like you know you write books For a living this is kind of your job And I'm like all right but I I still Don't I still I gotta tell you I'm uh Kind of confused that I'm the one who has to do this because This should be they should be you know

There should be a 30 books like this Yeah and this is a model to follow yeah And it's also Um That is such recent history yeah But it also kind of makes you realize That there might be Other fights For Progress going on right now oh the World that we don't know about so you Wrote about North Korea I I don't know To what degree there is could possibly Be fights there for progress But there could be they could be uh Boiling up in China that could be Boiling up battles for progress in other Parts of the world Um Russia that could be Um and in America in America and these Are all different kind of battles of Progress and now Um Sometimes Sometimes I you know um We somehow tend to criticize these Battles of progress like uh if it's on The left we'll call it like wokism or Whatever and we pick extreme elements of It and show how silly and ridiculous it Is not realizing it not acknowledging That there's a a more civil battle going On underneath for actual for for Respecting human dignity uh from all for People for all walks of life and the

Same we tend to call anybody who Questions mainstream narratives Conspiracy theories we dismiss them Immediately and they're ultimately Fighting for Progress so people who Criticize fallacy and everybody else I Don't know if they're I think they want Institutions that serve the public They're fighting for Progress too and we Tend to dismiss them like each side Tends to caricature the other but the Battle for progress is happening and I Guess that's what your Um that's the hopeful message with the White pill right is that there there's Progress being made somehow we're all Making progress here I think more the Hopeful message is that it's not Possible that we have to lose like if Someone tells you the straight face you Can't win the enemy is too impressive And strong I'm like what are you talking About we I mean look this was the Soviet Union and it it happened you know Relatively quickly and and relatively uh Peacefully I mean again and it wasn't Because uh Hanukkah and East Germany was Like oh I'm just gonna I'm just gonna Vacate my seat he was like sending the Tanks and the military guy said no yeah So they wanted blood there were plenty Of people who wanted blood and would Have been happy to have it so to you Uh the maybe if not to follow the Soviet

Union then the the fall of the Iron Curtain Is is a great leap of progress in the 20th century I don't see how anyone can Argue against that point With a straight face so that gives you Hope that that we that we Humanity were Able to do that Yes and at the same time we were told at The time give it up be realistic it's Utopian to think this is going anywhere Maybe in a hundred years look there's a Recent checkup was on Star Trek because The idea is even the far future you're Going to have America and you're going To have the Soviet Union like this is The reality it was called real politic We're gonna have Dayton because it's you Know it's this permanent stalemate we Had the Vietnam War we got our asses Kicked Russia's not going anywhere America's not going anywhere we got to Learn to live each other blah blah blah And Reagan said you don't want to hear My uh strategy for the Cold War some People might say it's simple or even Simplistic here it is we win they lose And the people who won were the Russian People and the Ukrainian people and the Lithuanian people and the Polish people And the Romanian people especially and The Hungarian people Um and and it's it's just just there's So many moments of great joy uh that you

Know just tears coming down my face Because you're you're go you're like in Prague when dupchek who again who tried To liberalize in 1968 and then when they Said in the tanks they deport him to Slovakia somewhere to do some forestry Job like he appears in their big square Is just waving from the balcony like This ghost uh from 20 years prior being Like look you know the spirit of 68 is Still alive here uh in Czechoslovakia And it was like a matter of weeks the Entire government resigned and then they Liberalized it's just so many things About just overnight uh just change for The profound better Um and you know people are so Committed to making sure you don't have Hope and if things get better oh it Doesn't really matter because the Broader picture never gets better and There's lots of data to the contrary Where that's happened before and this Isn't some magical Faraway place this is The opposite of magical far away place It's Eastern Europe And to me I think one such narrative That people assume will always be true Or just to a degree will always be true Like in American politics is the extreme Levels of division And it seems to me like that too we can Overcome Uh so the the division in American

Politics that seems to be Counterproductive I think that can be Overcome And I think the the division in Geopolitics currently with Russia China And the United States particularly uh China and the United States can be Overcome And I think that requires great Leadership That that galvanizes the populace Uh to the better angels of their nature Like I have hope for that people have Become really cynical on social media And elsewhere in the way they talk the Liberals are destroying this country The conservatives that destroying this Country this kind of language is Becoming more and more popular Um I think that's I hope that that's Temporary At least that's that's my weight pill I don't know if you have that kind of Hope for like what does Hope look like For you in American politics forget American Politics American the nation the country The people Um My Hope Uh Which I don't think is an unrealistic One Is that

The Next Generation has a better life Than you and I have had in this country And I think anyone who thinks That America is over Or is one president away from being Destroyed Cannot in good conscience call Themselves a patriot because if you Think America is so weak that it takes a Biden or a trump to irreva or an Obama To erotically destroy it then it's Already a wrap And I think that's just absolutely Ridiculous if you look what this country Has survived Great Depression World War II the Civil War I mean my God so we've Been through worse before uh it wasn't Always easy certainly not but I am I I it's so hard for me as someone who's A hopeful person not by my nature I'm Not you know Michael kindness who does Work for random house or at least he Died last time I talked to him I look at even like this the thing is When you speak positively it sounds Corny that's how it screwed up our Cynical have you seen my Twitter You're verified now So that's good but even like something Like Etsy like you can go in Etsy I paid Eight dollars for that verification I earned it it's an opportunity for Independent Artists to create something Special and cool and I've bought a lot

Of stuff from them that in and of itself Is something that's pretty awesome There's so much I'm into shaving soaps Right of course you are the point is There's like dozens of artisans Every day when you have a shave it Brings you uh um some Joy so there's Just so many things that are wonderful And I know there's people listening to This rolling their eyes how can you talk About shaving soaps when my daughter or When my wife or when blah blah blah and I'm not disparaging or dismissing what You're regarding as a problem my point Is Hope means the belief that it's not At all a certainty that this problem Will be insurmountable that's all it Means What do you look forward to in 2023 Since this is a holiday special Honestly like if I I look forward to a Lot of young people Realizing that they still have lots of Opportunity in this country and taking Control of their own selves and Realizing they can be a better person Tomorrow than they are today that the Entirety of their identity is not a Function of a culture which may they may Not identify our government which they Might not identify with or like or think Is is deplorable and realize you know What I have it in me to improve and find Joy and happiness and also that fact

That that is so compelling and Contagious that is what I would want in Uh 2023 and also for New York to get Nuked So those two things could be Accomplished can I go back and switch The order because I think New York won Oh the jokes the jokes and one day Friends if you uh if you work hard Enough in believing yourself you too can Nuke New York no you too can uh spend Your Days dressing up Grown men dressing up in a Santa outfit And putting on lipstick and having hours Upon hours of conversation with each Other and loving every second thank you For writing this really really important Book please buy the white pill I love You brother I love you too Thanks for listening to this Conversation with Michael malice to Support this podcast please check out Our sponsors in the description and now Let me leave you some words from Shell Silverstein Listen to the Muslims child listen to The don'ts listen to the shouldn'ts The Impossibles of the wants listen to The Never haves then listen close to me Anything Can Happen child anything can Be Thank you for listening I hope to see You next time

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