tv After Words Jonah Goldberg Suicide of the West CSPAN June 3, 2018 9:01pm-10:01pm EDT
in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by a make america's cable television companies. today we continue to bring you unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court and public policy events in washington dc and around the country. c-span is brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. >> up next, on the tvs "af words" syndicated columnist jonah goldberg argues that tribalism, populism and nationalism are threatening american democracy. he's interviewed by joh the edir of commentary magazine. it's a weekly interview program with relevant vessels interviewing top nonfiction authors about their latest work. >> jonah goldberg, in your book you posit that everything we
take for granted in every freedom that we have, every economic advantage that we possess as americans and as people of the west all of these are a radically new development in the history of humankind, number one and number two are unnatural that western civilization, as we understand it, or contemporary american west and democratic civilization is unnatural and what you mean by that? >> guest: first of all, great to see you, john. >> host: i'm just following the brian lamb model of acting as though we never met each other and have no preliminary and we are old friends and do a podcast together and constantly exchange insults on twitter and all that.
>> guest: i saved her life in prison. >> host: i did want to cue to the c-span up. so -- >> guest: part of what i tried to do in the book is not so much to say i have t right facts and public version of what happened in human history and all that but i'm doing something and just asking people to tilt her head a little bit and take a step back and look at the world around them with fresh eyes and the alien from another planet ice. a big part of my argument is to simply say that human nature is a thing and it's a constant desperate one of my favorite definitions of conservatism is human nature has no history. if you take a baby from today, take a baby from new rochelle and send it back thousand years to be lived by vikings and it
will rave and pillage the counyside. if you take a baby from the vikings and send it to new rochelle it will grow up to be anrtdoist. every generation is invaded by barbarian and we call them ildren. the place where children are born into is the family and that symbolizes them into a culture. other institutions play into that role but if you just take it as a human species the c-span studios are not natural and this is not our natural about it. it's 250-3000 years with a semi- hairless age forging and fighting for food and killing each other with rocks and we weren't even apex predators until fairly recently. if you take a jar of answer and dump it on virgin soil and some
alien planet or continents the ants will instantly start behaving like answer they will dig tunnels and set uponies. if you took humans and clear them of all of our civilization education and put them in their natural environment we would not be having conversations about books or podcast but we would be teaming up to little bands and troops and defending ourselves against animals and other bands and troops and that is what our actual nature is. that's the point of lord of the flies. for the flies you have these kids who are the pentacle of western civilization, kids from a british boarding school. almost instantly the second you put them back in a natural environment they go all tribal and become superstitious and terry spears and kill each other and that is humanity. if property rights were national and individuals were natural if democracy were natural they
would have showed up in the evolutionary record and that's where they actually show up in a sustainable way and in the late 00s england coming to america. >> host: you say in the a blog of the book that you make the point that all that is for thousands of years according to every serious economic student of human history and for thousands of years there was effectively 0% economic growth on the planet earth and that people lived on the a coupling of two and $3 a day everywhere. >> guest: everywhere on the planet. subsistence existence was what it meant to be a human being and there were these spurts of creativity moments and intellectual creativity and all
that but this was the fact. >> host: it seems so counterintuitive because we have this wonderful history of rome and chinand all t rest but the rich people left kristof in the left words and rinsed off and aristocrats less stuff but they were living of the wealth created by subsistence farmers and all the rest and they were small stratum of humanity. >> guest: then as you say around the late in the 1700s basically if you were to do a chart showing human progress the charts like this beginning with homo sapiens goes like this and like this and then goes like this. as you say, 96% of people on earth were living on $2 a day and that number is 9% on earth
today. we have 90% of humanity and hu is at times, three or four times there are three more times people than there wasn 1750. we think because it's in our nature we think that this is what it means to be human. you live with free speech, you have a certain level of income, even if you are poor there's always stuff about how the poorest person in america today is not clear that the richest person in america in the year 1900s would want to change places because he could get a septic infection and diet whereas that's unlikely to happen. that is not what life is like
now. we think that this is the natural order of things. this, this thing, this. of 300,000 years is what people really are and that we have built this thing has been built to undergird our wealth, our freedoms and it is precarious in part because it is new and also it's precarious because it is a construct of ideas and within it and against it is a construct of ideas that looks at this and says, as you do, this is unnatural but rather you say this is unnatural and amazing and it's a sounding in the greatest thing that's ever happened. they say this makes me uncomfortable and i don't feel like this is authentic and this is real. you call that romanticism and he want to lay out this conflict.
>> host: one of the people i deeply indebte to is the economic historian and she runs in her book and there are several them a the values and she went to the various what we call the miracle happens and i should start by saying the reason why is it is things are unnatural and the reason why the first sentence of the book is there is no god in this book and it's to say that part of what try to do is persuade people which is something you and i both agree on this the art of persuasion is something lost in our political discourse these days and so i'm trying to model the behavior by persuading people and youan't appeal or
say we have this great stuff in america because god wanted to have it and among other things the only appeal to authority when everyone agrees on the authority. so much of what is called the left or progressive or liberals and so much of their touchstones are secularism, science, evolution and these things and if i make argument from god that i don't mean to listen to you. when trying to do is argue on their term. according to the most generous understanding of the left what is left care about? they care about income equality, condition the material condition of the poor, the care about things like tolerance and inclusivity and literacy and you go down the list of a sincere argument about what they care about and say this is why they are liberal they would list these things. i'm trying to be the point that all these things are better
because of liberal democratic not just that we get richer but we live longer and literacy goes to the roof and were much more tolerant and part of my problem with the suicidal part of my ys is that because we take this miracle for granted and were born into it so we just think that this is the way it should work as we take it for granted and don't defend it. also because capitalism is unnatural it angers our interpretive and if you do and read intellectual history going back to nietzsche or so this
complaint about capitalism in the enlightenment in the commercial border is a constant one and takes new forms in every generation but it is the same one of those episodes of the child's own work i wakes up and when he wakes up at different actors are paying the same characters over and over and it appears all the timend russo is the first widely credited for being the father of romanticism so this is. >> host: jean-jacques were so is the french philosopher. >> guest: his work really gives to take shape around 1750 and he has responding in great measure to the philosophical tradition that began with thomas hobbes in 1650 and revolutionized by john locke. >> host: and adam smith. >> guest: and he's a contemporary of russo so lock the lays out the idea that there are natural liberties and that the purpose of civilization of a civil society is to protect the
individual's right and this is a totally new idea and russo comes along two generations later to say hold on one minute that is not the purpose of society. the purpose of society is to enrich and allow people to live authentic, natural lives. >> host: there's a famous scene and he describes himself where he's on his way to visit his friend who is in jail and he finds -- the transitions are different but he finds a flyer or advertisement for an essay writing competition asking the question have the arts and sciences improved morals in the state of man or something like that? the essay title was almost surely rhetorical and an essay competition at kenyon saying the diversity make a stronger and it's a clever way of saying yes.
the art and scientist have they made it better? and russo looks at this and says he basically has a salt on the road to damascus moment where he passes out the weeks up and drenched in his own tears and bit of a drama queen and all of a sudden this is basically the essence of his view that is entirely backward. it's very much inspired by his calvinist upbringing and christianity and he is got this classic religious tale that he started in the golden age. it's the golden age of noble savages where were individuals and it's not true. in the society has corrupted us in that science crops us. he says man is born free but everywhere he is in chains. the first person who put up a fence protecting his property in saying this is mine was the first guy like the original sin of mankind is private property.
very different from locke. russo's whole orientation is to say he's a father of romanticism but he deserves it is much as anybody else that the argument is about arguing from his own a personal feeling and to say that my feeling are more authentic than your fax and that personal authenticity is the highest bar and that emotions tell us so much more. that's what early romanticism was. embracing the wild side of our nature that the enlightenment was pushing away. then you make another leak and says that we can only be realized when we are everything is in perfect harmony, what i call the cult of unity. the society has to be working toward the same end in the general will lose everything so the contrast between locke and
russo please he comes in from god not government and the individuals are sovereign. recently the group is more important than the individual, private property is evil and that morality could be determined by the group and but the reason i bring this up is i reject this idea of doing this as intellectual history because we don't get these ideas from locke and russo. >> host: from the very beginning of the miracle which is the term you have not quite to find but it's the term that describes this bizarre fact that a door and i say at home i wrote about the book is that something happens in the late 17th century, early 18th century where a door is opened to human possibility and human creation in 300 years later we're flying to the moon and we've invented a
weblike mitigation system and who we are and how we live and how long we live in our health and all that we have been unthinkably unimaginable to everybody before the door was open. >> guest: it sounds like heaven on earth if you describe it to someone 500 years ago. >> host: the miracle starts and the counter miracle or the counter argument against the miracle happens almost simultaneously because these are the two sides of humankind. >> guest: the differences between locke and russo is a divide the runs straight to the human heart. were all tribal and we all want the sense of belonging where we think were all a part of the part the group and this --
things that give us meaning beyond her own individuality and we all want to be recognized as a unique person in this universe and that makes unique contributions and is free to pursue happiness and that's an inherent tension in our hearts and civilization. part of it the suicide part that i think that romanticism never went away. this compulsion to this idea that it's unnatural and doesn't feel right we need something more authentic. it comes up in every generation in different forms and it can take a form of populism or nationalism or irrationalism or radicalism, fascism, socialism and these are reactionary time
was him in the sense that they are trying to restore that sense of socl solidarity that we missed. this is a fundamental flaw of capitalism. it's inevitable because capitalism is the greatest system ever created for peacefully improving the state of mankind in a cooperative nonviolent way. one drawback. it doesn't feel like it. it's so unbelievably efficient that we don't notice the coation and when my favorite essays is when the great essays was a guy by leonard [inaudible] who points out and written from the perspective of a pencil and he says i'm a number two pencil and there are two takeaways that every college kid should read and one is he says first of all, you have all these people and he says my rubber comes from indonesia, my word comes from [inaudible] and my zinc comes from wherever you get zinc and all these people with different gods and faiths and languages
and customs and heritages working seamlessly from all around the world to produce a pencil at a fraction of a penny or whatever it costs. then the second point that you should take away is no one knows how to make a pencil. even pencil manufacturers don't know how to make of this. they put together the last bits of ingredients to make the pencil and there was a guy who did an exhibit in england a few years ago called i toaster work i made a toaster from scratch. he mind the copper and forged tin and galvanized rubber and it took him, i can't member, eight years and was a crappy toaster and lost a couple thousand dollars. that is the beauty of capitalism. it gets everyone to work together but it doesn't feel like it. they talk about alienation and that is what it is. capitalism is inherently alienating and so it can only work and this is where you can
only work if you have institutions of civil society and the family that canro that meaning for people because if they are not there we start yearning to look for meaning and other things like politics and tribalism and human nature always comes in. >> host: we came to call these in the world of postwar sociology mediating institutions. there's government and individual and this massive individual and if there is nothing between them government will either inherently drive the drift and tyrannize the individual in that institutions exist to create both richness and personal richness and involvement and connection into prevent you from being swamped
by the mass or by the tyrant and those institutions and the one that is an institution that precedes society in some sense is the family and then youave your church for your neighborhood or your union or your communal organization and your bowling league, or whatev whatever. >> guest: friends. >> host: right, so the suicide of the rest that you layout has to do a lot with the beginning of these institutions and partially as a result of some of the effects of capitalist and partially as a result of an ideological assault on them that is oddly from the perspective of the crazed, romantic, authenticity addict who say it is these institutions that are
robbing us of our authentic selves in the family abuses us in the church abuses us or does these terrible things to us and all these things are -- so, they are bad but it turns out you attack them and you go after them and some pretty lousy things start to happen. >> guest: that's right. but the problem is we essentially have an autoimmune syndrome in this country where the antibodies of the politics are attacking our healthy organs and a great mid century -- the guy who predicted the end of capitalism because he protected the children as of the industrialist and capitals become intellectuals and become dedicated to destroying it capitalism and interns marks on his head but he gets a clip much closer than it marks. he makes this point that capitalism the relentless efficiency of capitalism is kind
of like water seeking its own level. it doesn't stop at destroying bad customs in institution but erodes these customs in institutions but the family could stand the problems of capitalism pretty well but the other part that comes partly from his protection is this romantic thing where the way we teach western civilization today and the way we teach american history today is this fascination of all the negative stuff. howard is open about this. >> host: the author of the people history of the which one of the most assigned. >> guest: most wily history texts and it's a deliberately logical reading of the nitrate that suggest that from its very origins the government was more oppressive that it was
liberating. >> host: it was systemic persecution. professor brown. >> guest: he says the right my perspective history from the save of the carolinas from the women here in the coalminer here in the areas they are and it's always these guys who are the victims. and the problem with teaching that stuff. but here is the thing about switching people's perspective on this. yes, it's usually important to talk about how we had slavery in western civilization but the fact is every civilization had slavery but what's interesting about slavery in western is we got rid of it. the slavery is not actually natural in the sense that we talk about it but it comes from after the agricultural revolution because when we lived as a dramatic tribes slaves were a heavy resource. you killed the men and took the women and children but there wasn't slavery when you couldn't
put them to work. slavery comes at the agricultural revolution. since then which is 11 or 12000 years there's been slavery everywhere. what people don't understand is the reason why we should be horrified and why we should teach about slavery in america is because of the grotesque moral hypocrisy of it. we preached about all of us having equal in the eyes of god and all men are created equal and we didn't live up to it. the reason we should teach about it is the hypocrisy illuminates the ideal. instead will beget today from the sins from the romantics is the rousseau argument that the idea itself was a con and oppressive and intended to enslave people and this idea of there are lots of people and i think i quote them in the book but lots of people who think it is somehow racist for conservatives to quote martin
luther king on saying we should judge people by the content of their character, not by the color other skin. in my telling the amazing thing do not got it perfect from dayy one but they dropped the mental algorithms and put them in writing that the intellectual logic of this idea of human equality and human dignity that is inherent in the decoration took time for it to work its way through american consciousness. lincoln at gettysburg invokes right there retaining our country. he was up to those ideals and then essentially only looking says the founders wrote this country a promissory note that all men including whiteman and buckman are created equal and deserve to be treated with unalienable rights. what he was doing there was appealing to the ideal and appealing to the best self of white america. all of civilization and all rhetoric is the story we tell
ourselves about ourselves and the best version of ourselves and he was appealing to the best version of yourself and that was incredibly compelling. today that vision is in patters because the identity politics part of it is people are bacally saying you can never get past your white people, white privilege, white supremacist, all people are whie are racist and the essence of identity politics is that i can reduce a vast diverse publisher people to a single historical grievance based on their skin color and that to me i found fascinating while working on the book is trying to find the things that if you are a visitor from ours you see more continuity today than you would see change and this identity politics bit of it is deeply human and normal. people say you have to be taught
heat. no, you need to be taught not to hate. he an inherent distrust of strangers. babies are born with accented cry and they almost instantly like a people of their own race of their own mother or their own appearance. you have an amazing work of the guy from yale who says this comes encoded in babies and is a basic moral sense to them but usually wired in us is this a stranger versus kin and so identity politics really is another variant of the natural human tendency to form aristocracy. when the greatest thing founders did was never gets taught is a big deal they got rid of titles of mobility. they got rid of the notion of blooded aristocracy and they thought aristocracy would come back but they do not thank you should just because of an
accident of your birth be considered better or worse than somebody else. that is what identity politics says. by the accident of your birth these are more deserving or less deservin tther pple. that is deeply pernicious t the corporate spells that make the miracle wonderful. >> host: the suicide then is the overlay of a set of ideas that you and i and people like us or people that are reading this book and we think are destructive overlaid on top of a system that is an extraordinary achievement and the question is sunsets district. >> guest: that's 250 years and that's a long time.
it's an amazing thing or you could say 250 years old and i used in the book all of human -- if you take all of humankind and said it was lifespan were a year then all of human civilization or progress was in the last 14 hours on december 301st. not a lot of time for the question is how hearty and my assumption is that for a lot of people who aren't the most ideological in the most consumed with the romanticism aren't preachers about romanticism that one of the reasons they say yeah, this is bad and you have to believe that it's okay to express your pain and feel like you're part of the group in america can take it. you can take this criticism.
is that they don't think that it's fragile. they assume that individual liberty, you know, they'll get to keep your stuff. there wil be a revolution but they get to keep the stuff. >> host: and the revolution that the first to go. >> guest: the fellow traveler is always the first to base the chopping block. this is the interesting aspect. here's an idea and they've come up with a respecter history with no teacher history and we don't teach the glories of the miracle we don't say this think that you have is something that happened because a bunch of people at a certain point in time saw something about how life could be constituted and so forgetting of that will lead inevitably to its disintegration or, you know
what? we can take it. we are going to a bad patch now but we will come out of this and it would all be fine. i think we all bounce a little between depending on the day whether there's a story where you say or done and finished and someone beat up charles murray escort on a college campus and you like the dark ages are upon us and no one can speak freely anymore. or look at this and this is amazing. were about to have the present unemployment in the united states. >> guest: i agree with all that and i feel like feel like [inaudible] talking about judaism and the reasons why judaism has survived for thousands of years -- with the official number? >> host: 3000. >> guest: because he worked hard
to keep memory alive and you read the passover and it is thousands of years later and we still express gratitude for deliverance and gratitude is part of my argument that if yo you -- conservatism is gratitude. when you look around and say these are the things i'm thinking for and i'm blessed for anyone to preserve and pass them onto your children and i also think that a lot of liberalism probably understood is based on gratitude which is that liberalism seems to be having trouble these days not to say our conservatism is it. we started to say this before but [inaudible] she deals with the explanations deals with
explanations for wire it comes from and she is persuasive and i can adopt. it's better than almost anybody else which is that it works and it's the way we talk about ourselves and the way we talk about the world around us and rhetoric and for almost all of human history, certainly almost all western european history, innovation was considered a sin because our economics was dominated by guilds and the monarchy which took off the guilds and by the church which also took -- basically the established powers of the establishment of guilds, nobility and church do not like any of the movers of europe. innovation was considered a sin in the for a weird bottom-up reason this starts to emerge
where innovation is celebrated and all of a sudden this locke idea were the fruits of your labor belong to you gets out of the bottle and it only happens in england and it happened in england because england is weird. there have been places that have allowed innovation and the longe europe did and timeses and again the established powers of shutdown innovation because it is disrupting and england had a very weak central government and never had authoritarian monarch the way an absolute monarch in france did and armies and also the reasons in this jeannie gets out of the bottle and the way we talk ourselves and for me but part of the argument is simply if we don't talk about the stuff then we
will forget about it. the bible says remember the sabbath and keep it holy. the remember is not translated as honor but an activity. it's not recall but you have to physically do and we don't do any of that right now in our culture. >> host: this is to your point about -- >> i write in a footnote, my father was born when oliver wendell holmes was on the supreme court and was fought in the civil war under lincoln and lincoln was young man working on a farm in indiana when john quincy adams was president. in 1735 john quincy adams is a boy from the gunfire at the siege of boston where george washington commanded the colonial forces. washington was born in 1732 at the dawn of a miracle and that's five lifetimes. make it six, washington's father was born in 1694 and died at the ripe age of 48 about 14 years past the average life expectancy for investment at the time.
six lives and even then it was get it started. the economist says most of man's life he lived better on two legs than he did on four. there's another guy and i can't remember but pointed out that the average english citizen in material terms lived no better than the average roman citizen and the steady state of poverty was unbelievable and this was six lifetimes. there are bars and pubs in oxford that i've been to that are from the 1300. >> the striking thing that comes up whenever we -- if you take the 2016 election and it's something you deal with 20 in the book and the question of what our current political situation tells us about where the west is that we have these
two narratives and we have one of them is solid and the trump narrative and then the democratic narrative shifts and dodges around largely because it decides to center itself on the trump narrative and the antithesis. trumps says america is lost in america got a track and we done everything wrong and there are all these people who have been left out and i'm speaking for you. i am your voice and you did not get anything. your salary stinks, your financial system stinks and basically encoded terms your cultural dominance has been taken away from you and it is not fair or right and i'm going to take it back. then you have hillary clinton and the democrats who remarkably for the first time in my
lifetime or since really from the democratic convention on start going this is great in this country -- i don't like to hear donald trump running down my country. this is terrible. this is michelle obama eight years earlier when she was and now they are, you know, they are all haggard and you're running down my country and walking on the finance i to meet. okay, so trump makes this tribal appeal to white america, let's say, and the democrats become universalist and even though they are the party of identity politics. proportional representation by race and gender in their political convention and all that and trump is maybe the
effectively first really successful national identity politics politician but it's an identity politics that they never expected would be identity politics which is the great danger of identity politics which is that if the majority of the plurality decides that it is going to act as though it is an oppressed minority well, there's no telling where that leads. >> i think that is right and it's amazing if you look at the pool everybody thanks they are oppressed right now. [laughter] name a demographic group that doesn't feel like they aren't oppressed or demeaned or set upon by the other people. look, i historically and i thank you do to that i have considerable sympathy for a lot of the people in the trump
coalition who feel they are put on. the way in which our popular culture or our campus culture consistently and relentlessly denigrates flyover people for one of the better word. >> gun owners. >> churchgoers, cleaning their guns and their gods and hunters and i think some of that are those feelings are cultural resentment are legitimate in the sense that they are being looked down upon and you can get away with making fun of those people in our coastal elite culture that you never could for other people. i also think this is something that is controversial with the left these days that whenever you talk about the left on the
backlash that led to donald trump they get -- we did not vote for this guy. there is some truth to all of that and i certainly have been beating up the republican party and you have been beating up the republic party but you can't go around saying yes, all white people are racist and you can't go around talking about how it's amazing how the white working-class, blue-collar guy, joe lunch bucket was the centerpiece of the democratic coalition from fdr up until the day before yesterday and that's joe biden bragged about and the votes came from and the union guys. >> the second they vote for donald trump they are all champions of white supremacy and all racist and the electoral college the day before the
election, the called the blue wall, democrats touted it and celebrated it the day it worked against them all of a sudden it's an institution of white supremacy and the print i'm getting at is you can't demonize people forever and expect them to say you are right. i'm horrible. what people will do is they say my dad was a pretty good guy and my grandfather fought in world war ii in my great-great-grandfather he fought for the union in the civil war and white people did pretty good things in this country. you will get defensive and that is what a normal human responses. now we are seeing increasing numbers of white people identifying or saying that their core identity comes from being white which is not the case 25 years ago. >> thirty years ago when pat
buchanan's presidency arose in 1992 against george hws and i started hearing in certain precincts of the right and i worked with washington times and worked a great many people on staff who would end up working for buchanan and populating early trump stuff and they started talking about being european americans and this was startlingly almost [inaudible] at the time. it was ludicrous. something to say you are an american jew as we both are so jews make up 2% of the -- is not quite enough for me to say i'm just american because it's a big thing but i do it because we are so small and that's the -- but then europeans were in absolut absolute -- they were attempting
to don the mantle of an oppressed minority while being the majority and that was the forerunner to what is happening now where white americans still constitute -- yeah, yeah, the idea is that they somehow the only way you get standing in a society that is [inaudible] in the session is to retreat into a sub tribe. >> and you have a grievance. i think this is a huge problem and again i am all for calling out the problems on her own side but this is a problem that is a cultural problem and the left commands the heights of most of our culture and saying that they had no role in this cultural problem is bizarre. not trying to scapegoat the left but persuade them and spoke and
i'm the house going on at the npr and i want to say i hear this from trevor noah and a lot of people on the left but in the subtitle we've got the rebirth of tribalism and identity politics is destroying american democracy. although liberals agree with the populism and nationalism and pretty much with me on the tribalism but get furious at the identity politics. i've done conservative talk radio and they are all with me on the identity politics but they don't like the -- [inaudible] you'll never get rid of ethnic politics. i know problem. from then pregnant talking about the germans in pennsylvania to the irish in tammany hall -- is not necessarily a good thing. you can go too far and all the rest but it's very different than this identity politics
which is essentially trying to create an obstruction of that i can tell it all a need to know about you buy some abstraction. we can have many different identities and one of the ideas of the travel mind is that all politics was personal in our natural environment and the tribe or the troops or the platoon whatever you call it was our nation and our family and our politics and our spirituality and we worshiped our group and the group was in relation to god and everything and all the meaning was stacked up on each other and has a downside because it is alienating but instead of
stacking up all the meaning we spread it out and so at one moment you can be in church and the other going to the movies and another you could be committed to your job or your family and we split up the sources of meaning and that is one of the things that is possible because it's come to get it with the role of institutional pluralism but if you have enough buy-in in institutions you're willing to create this open space for other people to have different points of view and in the tribe everyone has to agree on everything and we lose a lot of that in a policy. >> she posits in her book that what america can be should be and what it can be again is that the definition of being american is you are a part of what she called the supergroup. your tribe can be part of the larger tribe which is not to be a rule of tribes and if you're an israelite you are not a semite but you're not a moabite
and you want to kill the moabites so the supergroup but the problem is you talk about the spreading of these institutions and the ideas of you also understand that for yours to remain healthy and free to be what it needs to be you can't poach on the other guys that are different from you because you give permission to come in and go with yours. it's a mutual or a mutual defense agreement where there's a cultural dmv. you don't attack me, i will attack you. the question is how do we -- your argument is that teaching our history and creating a space in which we allow our children and you and i both have teenage children and we are going through this experience of having them educated without this that we need to give them the tools to feel the gratitude
for what we have even if they don't want to accept the logical basis of the miracle or anything like that but also to say get in a time machine and go back to the 1600 and see how many minutes you can survive as opposed to living now. >> and this is i keep distracting myself on this. this was light part. i don't think mccloskey fully appreciates that anything that can be created by words can be destroyed by words. we can talk ourselves out of this. we seem to be doing a pretty good job of doing that. the reason why it's fragile is the only thing that differentiates us between the jungle are the institutions that we are born into an art institutions are in bad shape. starting with the family.
people keep asking me what do you do about it and what your policy suggestions and i don't do a lot of policy inereut one o the things that i do say that i firmly believe is that we need to shove as muchower to the most local level possible for a bunch of reasons. primarily the first is so much of this resentment in the tribalism and all the rest comes from this sense that has its roots in capitalism in politics and lots of places where this comes from but the sense that there are people out there who are controlling my life. i have no power over my life and people are making decisions for me and conspiring against me and the system is rigged. i keep hearing this. the system is rigged. some of that is paranoia and it is not true. some of it is legitimate but the way you fix it is if you send as
much power over people's lives to the most local level possible you know who the powers that be are and you see them at your kid school and at the plate and at the baseball game in church so there is an accountability fix in there. you can't claim the powerful unseen forces of globals are doing everything and sometimes when people talk about globals they may confound at age 13 every globalist gets a bar mitzvah and there's some of that going on to but you still have cultural were fights but the advantages and the winners have to look the losers in the eye the next day and they will see them and they will be the parents of their kids friends and all of that and that creates a certain humility and a certain amount of open heartedness to these questions. also, people don't live in the united states of america and that's one of the reasons nationalism doesn't do what it
wants to do. america still live in the united states america but live in this neighborhood in cleveland and this cul-de-sac in san diego or whatever and they live in actual communities of three human beings and there's this thing called the dunbar number that limits what we can know as human beings about 152 people and that is where all of real life happens is with other human beings in the virtual communities aren't communities. they're only five things to give us happiness in life. i always mess it up at faith, family, friends, experiences and jeans because some people are born miserable pastors but earned success which is not just money but this feeling that you made a difference in people's lives and that he respected and made contribution and the
government can't give you earned success. it can increase your net worth but can't increase your self-worth and the only people that give you a sense of earned success isple who love you and who care about you or respect you and that has to be done at the ground level and giving more people resources to find that where they actually live is, i think, the only answer. it has to start with the family. there was a wonderful piece about how identity politics is an offshoot of the family disaster because if you don't get your identity or unity from your family then you look for it in abstractions and you see the idiots on the right who think that they will find meaning in their life by calling themselves [inaudible] or whatever and it's all cheap and shabby and we fix it is by reaching out to actual human beings.
>> you say and you start by saying this is a book about god and g is not a factor in this book but to conclude where we began nonetheless you refer to this seismic intellectual event 350 years ago as a miracle and in the pages of my magazine there's a spherical in the supernatural event in the event that will not happen in the world miracle is an interesting one because what it suggests and this is also with gratitude even though this is a book that is not atheist but does not bring god into it is that what you are supposed to do with the miracle is goff added and realize
gratitude is one thing but there's something awesome about a miracle something awesome and this simply laying out the fact of what happened to mankind over the last 250 or 300 years and to say if these people in england for whatever reason had not in ireland or scotland had not have these ideas and had this common concert of we would not this set would not be here and we would not be here. i don't know where we would be whether in some [inaudible] in lithuania but there is that aspect to this and as i read the book and i think i read it twice. it is just an on firing thing that this thing was i went to see the cathedral in france
which was built around 11 or 12 century and you walk through it and is the greatest building on earth and they can't believe they did this and how do they do it. how is this done and that is what suicide of the west even though it's no and actually depressing title but maybe feel that we are witness and we are the living witnesses to a thing that is without precedent in the life of the world. ...
giving you this unbelievable treasure and it says i can't and you are not a rage of presentment or intellect what we should be doing is protecting it from everybody like this is valuable and we don't do enough about that and that is what i am trying to convey. >> host: so it is building a cage around a goose. >> guest: it would take eight