Skip to main content

tv   Book TV After Words  CSPAN  January 1, 2012 9:00am-10:00am EST

9:00 am
here, the spanish, the english who were also around, and americans. this letter here, you see somebody, not claiborne secretary, but in a later hand has written dual at the topic this was going to be a duel between an englishman and a frenchman, but it didn't happen but they did meet each other in the street later and one of them came to the iphone. this went to taking a side in the city that was kind of intensified because of the situation of the doubt about where the country was going, where the colony was going, what was going to happen. ..
9:01 am
>> in 1804, and then his brother-in-law was shot in a duel, um, a few years later defending him and his now-deceased wife so in addition to the official correspondence that's in here, there are also a few personal letters, and this is a letter he's writing to his in-laws telling them of the death of their son in the duel march 23, 1805. so this volume is, um, just one of my favorites that we have in the collection. it's just kind of fascinating to me that for louisiana that it went kind of back and forth between the french and spanish and became part of america one day, okay, t america. but how does that really happen,
9:02 am
how does that look whenever that change is happening? and this volume tells us a lot about that change and what things were like on the ground in louisiana at that time. >> coming up next, booktv presents "after words," an hourlong program where we invite guest hosts to interview authors. this week, pat pew can than and his latest book, "suicide of a superpower." in it he argues that america is suffering from a moral and social collapse that may be permanent. he discusses his claims with ralph nader, consumer advocate and four-time presidential candidate. >> host: good day. pat buchanan today on his book, "citizen of a superpower: -- suicide of a superpower: will america survive to 2025. >>" i'm going to give you a television eternity. take three minutes and explain
9:03 am
your theses and what would you do about that. >> guest: i think it's going to be a military virtual equal of the united states, china, and an economic equal, so we're going to a bipolar world. secondly, i think the american state, the nation-state, the government is in deep trouble, ralph. it cannot balance its budgets or secure its borders or win its wars or stop the hemorrhaging of its manufacturing base overseas. we lost six million manufacturing jobs in the first decade of the 21st century, some 55,000 factories shut down. the united states is declining as a great superpower and a great nation. but i think the most important thing i see is that america is disintegrating. i think it was lee hamilton that said the seven riff gal forces are becoming dominant in our
9:04 am
society, and i think if you look at our country you will see that ethnically in terms of class, philosophy and ideology and in terms of race each, the united states seems to be breaking down into enclaves of people who separate from each other and do not much like each other and even detest each other. and so in that sense america will be a legal entity, i think, and a political entity, but i don't think we'll be able to call ourselves one nation under god indwi visible again, i don't think we'll be a country in the sense that john jay in the federalist two described us as one unique, separate people. >> host: it's marked by a great diversity of background, cultures, religions, race. >> guest: right. >> host: sort of united against the power of wall street and washington. >> guest: right. >> host: in a desperate search
9:05 am
for a more democratic side. not just political, but economic. how do you explain that? that seems to be against -- >> guest: that's what i'm saying. >> host: yeah. >> guest: well, i do think this, i think the measure of unity that they have, i think one of the reasons they have it is because they're not defining their demands. i've seen some of their 13 demands, and i'm sure some of those tea party types would not be in favor of those demands. so i think there's no question about it, ralph, i agree with the fundamental premise of the occupy wall street folks which is, look, these fellas up here played the highest-stakes poker game in the world. they had a great time, they made billions of dollars. then all of a sudden they were wiped out, and they ran to uncle and said give us back our chips, and uncle gave 'em back the chips. now they're playing again, and they've got the bonuses, and everybody out in middle america is suffering. you've got 9% unemployment and
9:06 am
16% probably active unemployed and those searching for work. and so i share the exasperation and the anger and the rage at that inequity and injustice. but again, when you come to an agenda, i think you will find they break down ideologically, and i think they will. and also, ralph, i think as winter comes they're not going to -- a lot of them are going to peel off. [laughter] they're not going to get the publicity they did, ralph, and what's going to happen? they're going to do things such as happened in atlanta, happened in oakland, and i think then the american people will turn them off because the american people, they don't like what happened in grant park when i was out there in 968. -- 1968. >> host: or they'll move south to warmer weather. >> guest: let me mention something. you and i with the battle of seat, right? -- seattle, right? we had a great group of people. all of us, and what happened? remember, at first it was the
9:07 am
sea turtles, and secondly it was the guy throwing cans through starbucks and the anarchists who, basically, turned the american people off to a movement i think the american people then would have supported. stop exporting our jobs. stop sending the factories overseas. look out for our own people first. >> host: it's interesting. they're quite disciplined now in the occupy wall street in terms of nonviolet disobedience. in oakland where the iraq war veteran got hit by a canister, even that didn't provoke them. they're not being infiltrated the way they were in seattle. but, you know, early in the reagan administration i was on a program with you on local d.c. tv. >> guest: right. >> host: and my last words were the coming months, pat, will show whether you're a corporatist or a conservative. so let me ask you the question just so people know where you're coming from. are you a corporatistover -- or
9:08 am
a conservative? >> i'm a conservative, a russell kirk conservative. you know, when i was younger i didn't, you know, i followed the flashier conservatives than russell kirk. but eventually you came to see he had something really good to say about society and how to preserve it. so i'm much more that. i'm also as a catholic i've got a little of the social cyclicals back in there, ralph. >> host: liberation theology? >> guest: no. [laughter] no, let me tell you a story though, ralph. i went to school, journalism school, and one of my classmates was an old priest. my brother was for a while. and he and i became friends. his name was miguel. he became the foreign minister of the sandinistas, and he won the peace prize. he's a classmate of mine, catholic. no, but i didn't agree with him
9:09 am
back then, and i don't agree with him, obviously, now. >> host: and how would you define a corporatist? >> guest: i would say a lot of the lobbyists here in washington, d.c., some of them coming out of both administrations, both white houses. they're down here in d.c., and they will do what the corporate boss tells them. let me tell you a story again. you know, i came off the nixon white house, and there was an issue, and you probably were involved in it, toshiba. the japanese company had taken this superquiet technology we had for our submarines where they could move even into soviet ports and move back out undetected, and they had access to it, and they turned it over to the soviet group on. and i thought the congress ought to come down on it with both feet. and i found out the guys i'd worked with were representing toshiba up there. and that's, i mean, the parting line for me. >> host: well, in the book which i have read the one thing that there is very little of was how
9:10 am
in the mix of disintegration that you're describing is corporatism, is the power of corporations. now, we know that corporations know few limits. every major religion in the world says not to give too much power to the mercantile class, the money lenders. >> guest: right, right. >> host: and what we've seen in america because you see a decline, i see a decline in this way. parental authority being sidestepped by corporations selling to kids junk food, violent programs, sadistic stuff. >> guest: right. i agree with you 100%. >> host: and so let me -- i'm trying to get the variables in here. the military industrial complex doesn't mind our empire abroad. that's more business. eisenhower warned us about that. the corporations push nafta and wto through. we were both opposed to it. >> guest: right. >> host: that has dealt with a
9:11 am
huge abandonment of jobs and industry to communist and fascist regimes overseas who know how to keep the workers in their place at 80 cents an hour. >> guest: right. >> host: nafta dutched a lot of corn into mexico, dispossessed families, some of them in desperation went north over the border, increased the immigration there. you have the corruption of our democratic politics, you know, the big money in politics. and they want to own everything, even our jeans, you know? they have thousands of patents of our jeans, and they don't have any patriotism. i mean, these u.s. companies grew to profit on the backs of american workers, they got in trouble, they're bailed out by american taxpayers, they got in trouble overseas, american marines, right? so what's their message to america? we're outta here! >> and they have devastated the
9:12 am
family. they have separated children from their parents -- >> guest: right. >> host: and we have a lot of documentation. >> guest: well, you know -- >> host: how does this mix in the book? there isn't -- except for one quote by -- >> guest: well, i agree with almost everything you said. look, they had no -- i mean, look, when you put pornography on the internet for children and all the rest of it whether it's hollywood or the businesses, you're right, they're corrupt human beings that do that. in and i'm -- and i'm against that. and you and i were opposed nafta and these others, but i will say, you know, only partly in defense of business guys, i talk to textile guys, they say, pat, i don't want to go overseas. this guy's move today mexico, they're undercutting me. if i don't go move my factory, i'm finished. so i tell grow who i blame is, frankly, the ideological free
9:13 am
traders. i blame them, and i used to be one of them. you know, milton friedman and i were friends until he wrote me a letter and said you're doing the devil's work, you know, i was o opposed to free trade. [laughter] so i agree with you, some of these business guys say, look, in the global economy they dumped me in, i work for this company, and i've got to save my company. but if someone has said the problem, ralph s this: that the vital interests of the united states and the vital interests of the fortune 500 or the 200, whatever it is, they used to be the same in this country. they've diverged. their interests and, look, and if what's good for general motors is moving its factories overseas, then what's good for general motors isn't good for the united states of america. >> host: with our solar industry, taxpayers funded solar r&d, we were ahead of the rest of the world, and now the factories are moving to china
9:14 am
because china's giving them the store. >> guest: let me ask you what you think of the solution i propose. from lincoln through coolidge, for example, you had all these american patriotic customers, robber-barons in there. the republicans said with the taxes these kauais are going -- these guys are going to pay an entrance fee, and it's called a tariff. now, what i would do on all manufacturers coming to the united states, not just china -- i wouldn't single them out -- i would put a 30% tariff, say $2.5 trillion in imports, you're talking about $600 billion. take that 600 billion from those tariffs and eliminate taxation on manufacturers who start up or who produce in the united states. you tell the guys that build the lexus, a beautiful car, and you guys, and you assemble it here. what you're going to do, you're going to make your batteries
9:15 am
here, your drive train, your tires, all those things here. you can bring your technology, you can bring your money, and you can take your profits home, but you're going to have american workers build everything here, otherwise you're going to pay a tariff on -- that's hamilton. aren't you a hamiltonian, ralph? >> host: actually, some liberals favor a social tariff. >> guest: right. >> host: basically anti-competitive countries because they've oppressed their labor. >> guest: right. well that feeling on that, ralph -- >> host: you'd have it across the board? >> guest: i would have it on manufactured goods. the problem with that and even the problem with the congress up there saying, you know the chinese are doing -- you know, forget what the chinese are doing. they're doing what's in their interest. i mean, we know what you're doing, and we can't control what you're doing, but we can control the products coming into this country. >> host: on that point, to show you how you've changed, you basically said in this book we should have no conflict with china or russia.
9:16 am
we're actually disrespecting russia because they've done everything since the collapse of is soviet union that we wanted. and yet we have 12 aircraft carriers which the beltway guys are saying is needed to project american power. [laughter] you know what the next country that has aircraft carriers? italy has two. >> guest: well, yeah, and the chinese have one -- >> host: in the -- [inaudible] >> guest: made out of parts from the russians, didn't they? >> host: yeah. so explain the ukraine, actually. >> guest: right. >> host: explain, i thought it was quite interesting the way you dealt very concisely with the way we're responding to russia after the fall of the soviet union. >> guest: i think, look, ronald reagan, i mean, he had a lot of luck, but he was a good man, and i think in many ways a great president. and he began saying, look, this is an evil empire, they lie, cheat and steal. when he said that in his first press conference, there were strokes all over the department
9:17 am
of state. at the end of his administration he's walking through red square arm and arm with gorbachev, and russians are patting him on the back, okay? and the cold war ended without a war. and it was a blood bless victory. -- bloodless victory. i said at the time do not move nato up to russia. they let the germans go, they took the red army and moved it back to the euros, and what did we do -- >> host: and they broke up. >> guest: then they let the whole place come apart, and the soviet empire came down. and we took the alliance and moved it up on -- right up onto their front porch. i opposed that. i said it was a terrible mistake. and then we had some people go over there and help loot that place, helped whatever it was loot the place, and that's why you've got putin now who's a tough customer and a nationalist. and my view is russia does not,
9:18 am
does not threaten the -- the united states doesn't threaten their military, they don't threaten us. it's time for the europeans to defend themselves. they're as rich as we are, they've got as many people. and so that's what i would do. >> host: bring the soldiers back? >> guest: well, what are we doing with the guys on the alb river? >> host: years after world war ii -- >> guest: what is going on? i would say the same thing to the south koreans. look, i was a kid, you were a kid, the guys we grew up with were over there in korea, but look, what are we doing with 16,000 or 28,000 folks in korea? you've got an economy 40 times the size of korea, the population twice as great. we're not going to leave our guys as hostages on the dmz. you guys are the first responders in the war. americans are not going to be the first to die in a second korea war period. the japanese, look, it's 65
9:19 am
years, get over it. you've got 1% you spend on defense, you're going to have to spend more, but you're going to be the first responders yourselves. >> host: you can see now the drums are being beaten to raze china. what's your take on china? in the book you say -- >> guest: i was -- >> host: -- in no conflict with china. >> guest: i'll tell you, i was against for economic and geostrategic reasons i was opposed to bringing them -- well, i was opposed to the trip to china when mr. nixon was there, and i didn't like what carter did when he dumped taiwan, and i went into reagan's white house, they called me in there. they had a communique, and it was different from the shanghai communique, and i said, you know, i'm suspicious of china in terms of -- i do believe the chinese see themselves as replacing the united states, they're going to play the role in the 21st century that america
9:20 am
played in the 20th century. i think they see that. and so i think we have been building them up. where'd they get that trillion dollars, ralph? that they've got in cash reserves? >> host: walmart. [laughter] >> guest: so i'm more apprehensive of them. look, we don't want a war with them or a conflict with them, and i think the way we managed, the way reagan managed the cold war, but i do think the chinese have ambitions. they've told us get out of the taiwan strait, get out of the east china sea and get out of the yellow sea. and these are our territorial waters. >> host: yeah, you know, they look at it this way, what if they had aircraft carriers off long island sound? >> guest: well, they had them in the gulf of mexico? yeah, we'd be miffed. >> host: let me go through some things in this book in more rapid fashion. iran, you debunk iran as a threat. again, it's being built up as a major existential menace.
9:21 am
>> guest: well, i did say sort of off the record that this plot to blow up the ambassador from saudi arabia with this character down there who's a womanizer, a big drinker, a smoker, a loud mouth guy who is a used car salesman, and they got him as the key guy in this conspiracy, so he goes to the mexican cartel and happens to run into a dea agent, and he did get some money from iran. that's a little disturbing, but they sent it to the fbi account, apparently. [laughter] so i said this thing looks like it was worked up by a couple of interns at langley. it looks like a sting operation. you see the neocons, this is an act of war, let's go after them. >> host: yeah. >> guest: so i do think there's a real move in this country to have this country go to war against iran, and i think that would be a terrible mistake. on this one i agree with brzezinski, and i heard him on msnbc the other day. and, frankly, you know, i would
9:22 am
be -- look, richard nixon engaged the chinese. he engaged some real monsters. mao was the greatest mass murderer in history, and we were over there, and i'm writing speeches, you know, toasting the health of mao see tongue. and nixon did that because you have to do those things. and we didn't attack china, we didn't attack russia, we didn't attack pakistan or india. the israelis got their nukes partly from the united states. so i think the united states should engage the iranians to try to prevent them from going nuclear. i'm not sure they want to go nuclear. i don't think the american intelligence agencies have no firm data that they're going nuclear, so i would engage them. i would have taken a look at that turkish/brazil proposal, you know? >> host: uh-huh. >> guest: and also, look, they're not a threat to the united states of america, for heaven sakes. we've got thousands of nuclear weapons -- >> host: they haven't invaded anybody in 250 years, but they
9:23 am
have been invaded by saddam with our backing -- >> guest: with our support. [laughter] >> host: put the shoe on the other foot. >> guest: well, i agree -- >> guest: they're scared of us. >> guest: well, i think they are. i believe they are, and i think they were very apprehensive when this story broke. i think that it was -- i'll bet they thought it was a pretest for the americans to come after them. >> host: yeah. >> guest: but let's take the israelis, they say this is an existential threat. the israelis have a hundred bombs. they're the ones running the planes out to gibraltar on test runs and running them into greece. if i were the iranians, i would be looking very closely at that, quite frankly. and what, i mean, i don't know that the iranians are going to do that, suppose they did build a nuclear bomb. the turks would build one, the saudis would get one. what advantage do you get from doing that? >> host: yeah. >> guest: if i were an iranian, i'd say i don't know what we get from this, fella.
9:24 am
maybe a year or two we've got a bomb longer than the turks, but that's it. >> host: and as you said, they would be annihilated. >> guest: the israelis would put that nuclear force on a hair trigger. >> host: yep. you've come out for a palestinian state long ago. >> guest: right. [laughter] >> host: it's what -- when you first said the israeli lobby's powerful in congress like who's going to deny that -- >> guest: right, right. >> host: behind the resolution. do you know what's interesting? in 60 some years since israel was created by the united nations, there's never been a hearing with the israeli peace advocates who are now often foreign generals, foreign security people -- >> guest: right, right. oh, yeah, sure. >> host: -- have never been invite today give the other side, and they had a large number of israeli support with a two-state solution. >> guest: let me say this.
9:25 am
i sometimes read the israeli press, and you see these -- there is far more dissent and argument and discussion in israel over which course they should take, i think, than you find in the unite of america quite candidly, you know? >> host: yeah. >> guest: but let me tell you why the palestinians. i was really very extremely strong with israel, i went with nixon in '73, i was down there, i was urging the president to go all out now when the russians were moving their troops to airborne bases, moving ships, and guys said, look, we detected nuclear weapons on the ships. i thought we should have gone all out. what changed my mind is the simple thing that i'm a great belief in ethnonationallism as you know from the book. when the pal stints rose up in the first inte fad da, i said the possibility of a single state is dead. i mean, these people want their own state. they may not have been a people in '73 when --
9:26 am
[inaudible] said the palestinians are a people, but there comes a point when a people exist, and they became not just arabs, but palestinians. and once you do that in this day and age, it has to be express inside a nation-state, and the best of the israelis like genre bean, in my judgment, they came to deal with that. they said we've got to work with this reality. the existential threat is demography. >> host: yeah, and more arabs then. >> guest: well, i mean, the numbers are growing enormously. >> host: let's turn to mexico. on page 391 you had an amazing statement you can explain. quote, you say after all u.s. troops in iraq, afghanistan and korea are home, the u.s. army will be on the mexican border for which is where the fate of the e -- republic will be decided. can you explain that? >> guest: sure. by 2050, the number of hispanics
9:27 am
in the united states if we do nothing about illegal immigration will be 135 million, and they'll be largely concentrated in southern california, nevada, arizona, new mexico, texas. if that happens, i think culturally and socially the american southwest is as much a part of mexico as it is of the united states. i think we then become a binational state and a bilingual nation and a binational nation. and i don't think the this, the united states survives. you see what happens in places like kosovo when they do that way, they pull away. and so the question -- this is what might be called the national question. i mean, mexican folks are good folks, they're hard working folks, and even the illegals who come here work hard, but we're going to have to decide are we going to remain one nation and one people? be and i think if we do not get control of immigration, certainly illegally and even legally, if we continue with a million and a million and a half when the melting pot, ralph, has been rejected and broken and we're talking multiculturalism which is failing all over europe, i think that's, that's
9:28 am
one of the fundamental problems i see which is the internal breakup of the united states into its component parts. >> host: see, what i think, you go further than that, though, you quote some high mexican officials that seem to think the southwest of the united states is going to be theirs. >> guest: let me say -- >> host: you think there's a reversal movement underway there? >> guest: i think -- >> host: you weren't for the mexican-american war, were you? lincoln despised it. >> guest: yeah, well, lincoln lost his -- was thrown out of congress after one term. [laughter] >> host: yeah. >> guest: didn't he say secession was justified in '47, '48? 1847, 1848? he was very much against it. >> host: yeah. >> guest: he had the spot resolution. show me the spot where the mexicans came in here and shot the american troops at patrol. and he was very much against it, you're right. but he found out he could use -- he didn't give back when he got in power. >> host: what's your view on the
9:29 am
mexican-american war as a segway to this discussion? >> guest: i think in a way, i think it was a just war in this sense; i think the texas war of rebellion and revolution was a just war. these people rose up, and they outnumbered the mexicans 10 to 1. the mexicans had invited them in, and they took texas out, and for ten years the mexicans didn't try to retrieve it, and they were an independent country. and then they said we want to join the united states. i think they had a sovereign right to do it. it was a dispute all the way down between the rio brand and the -- rio grande. and so polk sent troops down to the rio brand and said we claim it all. >> host: they wanted to expand -- >> guest: you're right. i point out in this anybody who thinks this is a democratic revolution, texas was a slave state, a slave nation. but i do think the americans were right in the sense that they had a legitimate claim there, and if mexican army came
9:30 am
right up to the border. but there's no doubt once the war started polk said, okay, and he said tryst down to mexico, the greatest state department agent ever -- >> host: before we take a break, do you think the mexican nationalism really has designed on -- >> guest: i believe that the mexicans, listen, something like 56% of the mexicans -- i'm not sure i got the figure in this book, i've got it in earlier ones -- believe that the by all rights belongs to them. i think they believe as they move in gradually, the numbers, they will gradually become, as i said, socially and culturally a part of the southwest. and some of them, quite candidly, believe with a merger of the three nations in this that it will be as much a part of mexico as of the united states, but i think they want to be associated with us much more economically, too, because they get the benefits and the rest of it. yeah, look, i don't think they're all benign in their
9:31 am
purposes down there in mexico city. >> host: okay. we'll be back after the break. >> guest: right. >> on the go? "after words" is available via itunes and xml. visit and click podcast on the upper left side of the page, and listen to "after words" while you travel. >> host: pat, you make some pretty incendiary statements in the book, and i want to go through them and put them in a larger context because you're half scotch-irish and half german, i understand. your ancestors. >> host: one-half german, one-fourth scotch/irish, one-fourth regular irish. >> host: you know the reaction to the irish was unbelievably vicious. >> guest: right. >> host: they were called hooligans, lazy, drunkards, you know, polluting the race, et.
9:32 am
>> guest: you know, hooligans might not have been altogether wrong. [laughter] >> host: and then how they were treated in new york city. they were called criminals and shiftless and so forth. now, when you talk about new york city that the vast majority of street crimes are black and hispanic -- >> guest: right. >> host: let me ask you this question. don't you think the vast majority of corporate crimes are white? >> guest: yeah. >> host: okay. so you left that out, see? i mean, if you were strengthening your argument because there's a lot of preventable violence, occupational disease and hospital infections and -- >> guest: all right, but let me tell you what i -- look, i think corporate criminals ought to go to prison, but the point i was making is that -- one of the points i was making is, you know, there's real objection. i know a lot of african-american guys that cabs go right by. >> host: you make that point. >> guest: yeah. 98% according to the guy that runs the cab, cabs who say hispanic, african-american combined, he said 98% of the
9:33 am
assaults and murders of cab drivers are done by black and brown folks, all right? so if it's 49 to 1, if you get mugged or killed it's going to be by a person of color, that would explain why a cab driver might say let's pass by the person of color and pick up the corporate crook because the corporate crook isn't going to beat me to death in the car. >> host: as you know, a lot of crime is based on drugs, and the war on drugs which has been attacked by both right and left -- >> guest: right. -- including milton friedman. >> guest: i've got milton friedman in there. >> host: a lot of discriminatory enforcement. for example, there have been studies showing black teenager, white teenager, same record caught with drugs, five times more likely the black teenager goes to jail. but aside from the way the statistics reflect these kinds of distortions -- >> guest: right. >> host: -- do you think the high percentage of crime by blacks and hispanics, street
9:34 am
crime, not corporate crime, reflects something inherent in their character, or do you think it reflects a class deprivation? is it race or is it class deprivation? that's why i went back to the irish example. >> guest: well, i think this -- i grew up in washington d.c. we had 400,000 black folks, 400,000 white folks, you didn't have crime in those days in either community like the crime you've got today. >> host: right. >> guest: i think one of the main problems is the total collapse and decomposition of the african-american family. you've got kids born now 71% of african-american kids are born to single moms, some of them high school dropout gals. and so they've got no father at home, and, frankly, going back to one of your earlier points, the welfare state has taken the place of the father in the home, and all those welfare benefits and programs and the rest of it have not prevented the decomposition of the family. i think they may have
9:35 am
contributed to it. and so i think it is a matter, it is certainly a matter of the social situation in which these kids live. it's a matter, also, of the decline of religion. i've got two chapters in there. you know, people -- they've got no internal resistance or opposition to things like that. >> host: yeah, but let me just point out -- >> guest: right. >> host: so if all these people had jobs and the public works was decent and there weren't rats in tenements and landlord abuses and drug wars, etc., you would say that that crime level would go down? >> guest: oh, listen, the crime level -- >> host: so you do -- >> guest: people were poor -- listen, ralph, 1930s in this town they were a lot poorer than they sure are today. d.c.'s got the highest per capita income, i think, in in te nation, and they were poorer in 1950, and you didn't have the crime today. let me ask you what explains, what explains the explosion of crime, what is it, quintupling
9:36 am
of the prison population? of course, one reason -- you're right -- is drugs and alcohol which it was with the irish. it was drugs which in some cases are far, far worse. so that's why i'm in favor of prohibition of drugs. i wouldn't be in favor of prohibition of alcohol. >> host: well, in other words, you would attribute it more to class than anything inherent, right? >> guest: i would attribute it more to the collapse of the family, and the collapse of religion and things like that. >> host: yeah. they all go together, you know? >> guest: right. >> host: the thing you have to be worried about in this book the -- is they're going to want to taint you as bigoted and racist. >> guest: tell me about it, ralph. [laughter] >> host: there are two sectionses in there that are semi-tragic and semi-humorous that i want to bring to your attention. >> guest: right. >> host: in your zeal to cover all ethnic groups, you alight on the poor iroquois in upstate new york, the soccer team. and you said, you're trying to show how the ethnic priority is
9:37 am
over the american priority. >> guest: exactly. >> host: so they wanted to go to england to compete in a soccer match, and they wanted to go on an iroquois passport, and britain said no, hillary said yes. as you know, certain native americans are not like any other immigrant group. >> guest: right. >> host: and you complete your little paragraph here by saying for the iroquois, being iroquois is first and american is next. >> guest: yeah. >> host: give 'em a break. >> guest: look, if you're asking yourself -- >> host: yeah. >> guest: if you're looking for an iroquois passport, i would say you consider yourself an iroquois first. is that outrageous? i mean, what is wrong with saying that? >> host: no, but you were criticizing it. >> guest: no, i'm not criticizing them. i mean, here's the thing. you know, in a way i'm saying this shows you, ralph, in a very
9:38 am
small way the force that pat moynihan and arthur schlesinger said are the dominant forces right now in the world in ethnic nationalism, tribalism, religious fundamentalism. far more powerful than ideology. and we're not immune in this country from these forces, and when the melting pot has been thrown out and you're preaching multiculturalism, what holds us together? >> host: let me tell you what, corporate commercial culture. it's transcending ethnic differences. in order f you want to sort of melt people together even though you may not like the values -- >> guest: right. >> host: -- corporate commercial culture is sweeping the world. the same people in sri lanka are listening to the same music as they are in alaska. >> guest: okay. well, you're talking economics. there's no question -- >> host: but it's a culture too. >> guest: it's a culture, but let me tell you, it is not as
9:39 am
powerful as these forces i'm describing. take a look at what's tearing countries apart. >> host: let's talk about america. it's overwhelmingly a unifying force -- >> guest: yes, but let me tell you, there are unifying forces i didn't cover in the book. one of them is sports. espn, it's a religion. >> host: corporate commercial -- [inaudible conversations] >> guest: the nfl. >> host: exactly. >> guest: right. there's no doubt in all that economics is the one thing that does unite folks in sports, but what i'm saying is these forces pulling worlds and continents and countries apart, barack obama said it himself in his nobel prize saying, he says the wars today are not between nations, they are within nations. >> host: yeah. but in the united states the corporate commercial culture, as you say, they make icons out of minorities, sports, music, actors -- >> guest: right. >> host: -- actresses. that is a dynamic --
9:40 am
>> guest: what do you do, that's free enterprise? what are you going to do? >> host: it's reducing these ethnoclashes that you think are disintegrating america. >> guest: listen, there's no doubt people have in common, let's go out there, we're all shoppers. [laughter] that's what unites us. we shop together. >> host: that's what bush after 9/11 said shut up and shop. [laughter] he said to the american culture. here's another one. this one, i know a little bit about this. black farmers. >> guest: right. >> host: black farmers, very hard working. after the civil war, they had a few million acres, and it started declining after world war i. and because of the most odious discrimination on support structures favoring white farmers and not black farmers by the department of agriculture. i mean, it was so crude, and it was done by the county agents who were whites -- >> guest: they were all appointed. >> host: right. and you were, you were upset because after years and years of
9:41 am
litigation delay and a lot of these farmers in their 80s and 90s got $50,000. and the point is they were dispossessed of their land -- >> guest: these individuals, did they all prove they were dispossessed? >> host: wait. they were dispossessed, and they had to sell out. and so now you're down to a few tens of thousands of acres for black farmers. and, of course, the records disappeared, they didn't exist -- >> guest: so everybody gets 50 grand? >> host: well, no, but they knew from the land records. this one, in your next edition you really have to -- >> guest: all right. but then they got the hispanic farmers, didn't they. >> host: yeah. >> guest: they went down to florida. are there any hispanic farmers who didn't get, you know, got robbed? they gave out a billion dollars. >> host: but it comes from the county agents' discrimination. >> guest: but look, we had all
9:42 am
that many hispanic farmers -- >> host: in the southwest there were. this was heavily in the southwest. >> guest: but they went to florida, they couldn't find any. >> host: mostly, i mean, when you consider what is at stake over 50, 60 years, do the statistics. anyway, i don't want to belayer it. >> guest: i gather that set you off in the book. >> host: did it ever. the decline of christianity makes up a lot of this. >> guest: right. it's two chapters. >> host: here's what i don't understand. it's not all consistent. like let's take, for example, the situation in bethlehem in the west bank. >> guest: right. >> host: okay. it's now surrounded by ten growing israeli colonies -- >> guest: right. >> host: -- which block access to jerusalem. >> guest: right. >> host: and there are two other colonies that block access of people to -- [inaudible] >> guest: right. >> host: okay. there are very few christians left. >> guest: i know it. >> host: the church of the nativity is almost, like,
9:43 am
isolated. >> guest: right. >> host: the christian stores for the tourists and hotels have shut down, so the pilgrims who come from all over the world can't stay the night in beth bethlehem. the methodist church has taken a stand, the evangelicals support israel no matter what happens against the birthplace of jesus christ -- >> guest: right. >> host: you think they would have an exception. but the vatican, and you know this probably better than i because robert novak wrote two columns about it. >> guest: right. >> host: the vatican's very upset. they're negotiating with the israelis, access to holy places and so on. but they haven't really spoken out. now, you know, the israelis blasted their way to protect the wailing wall in 1967. >> guest: right. >> host: and whereas -- where is christiandom on these holy places? and what about the u.s. congress? what about the catholics and protestants in the u.s.
9:44 am
congress? this has nothing to do with whether israel's going to get another $2, $3 billion every year of aid. >> guest: well, i take your point. who was the mayor then, he was a wonderful fella, he was a christian over there for a number of years and good friend of bob strauss. >> host: but see, where is the religious nationalism? >> guest: where's the moral authority of the catholic church there? i don't disagree with you, ralph. i think they ought to stand up, frankly, for the palestinians. ralph, look, look at all the christians. there's 17 million christians in that part of the world. i will say this, they're not being -- if it's in israel, they're not being persecuted like the cops are in egypt or the asyrian catholics in iraq. i mean, they're victims of persecution, martyrdom. i mean, afghanistan, liberated afghanistan, one guy converted to christianity, and they sentenced him to death.
9:45 am
>> host: see, the demons have been released because for centuries the whole arab/islamic world was a paragon of tolerance for religious sects -- >> guest: under the ott toman empire. >> host: under the mayans, i mean, they prided themselves on it. >> guest: right. >> host: but when the west moved in, divide and rule, you support one muslim sect against another, they engage in a fury, then they -- >> guest: you got a problem with the british empire, ralph? >> host: yeah, a little bit. [laughter] >> guest: look, i don't disagree with that. >> host: invaders disintegrate societies. >> guest: okay. all right, there's no doubt that's one of the great causes, but let's say this. right now you do have a rising islamic movement there, and a lot of them i don't disagree with the fact that people's religion should not only shape their culture, but they want it representative -- christians wanted that in the united states in the 19th century, a more christian society reflecting our views and values. but also, ralph, i mean, this
9:46 am
thing -- what's taken place against the christians over there, and some governments are trying to stop it, but that is real. it is an effort really to drive christianity completely out of that part of the world all the way from egypt over to pakistan and india. and all those in there are facts, and how, i mean, it's now down into east yoap that. what's it, the 16th parallel? it's heavily catholic, sub-sahara africa. north of that in the sudan and places like that, it's arab and muslim. look at, the persecutions are unbelievable. >> host: the chinese are persecuting muslims in western china -- >> guest: the uighurs. let me ask you about that. >> host: they're terrified that if this disintegrates, that they're going to be slaughtered or -- >> guest: well, look, the christians are very successful in the syria. they're protected by assad and his son both, and they -- i
9:47 am
heard the motto over there is when assad goes, it's the christians to beirut and the aloe whites to the wall. so i'm not sure this is all that liberal a society that's going to emerge out of any of these places, but clearly one of the factors, ralph s this rising militancy of islam. i think they're looking -- let me say this. i think they're looking at europe as a decadent and dying continent, and they're exactly right. and the europeans can't provide enough service workers to take care of their aging, shrinking, dying populations. and i think the folks are going to be moving across the mediterranean into europe. >> host: it's a huge backlash against colonialism and invasion and invaders. look at now iraq, afghanistan. you don't think the u.s. military's going to defeat the taliban. >> guest: no. i think it's going to end very badly. i think the taliban will be coming back to power. >> host: in fact, general mcchrystal is quoted in this your book if they fought us to a
9:48 am
draw, 30,000 people in sandals and rocket-propelled grenades. >> guest: look, the colonists took care of the brits. >> host: it's very hard to defeat a movement against foreign invaders. >> guest: sure, they live there. they're going to stay there, right. >> host: okay. now, sometimes when i read this book, as i was reading this book, there's almost a weeping, wistful quality to it. it's almost if i could use this analogy, you're in a neighborhood, and you have, say, one ethnic group, say white anglos with some irish sprinkled in. [laughter] and they've lived there for years. suddenly, people come in of other ethnicities, other religions -- >> guest: right. >> host: the food mels different, the kids are running over the grass, and it's like the whole breakdown of this kind of quiet, self-contained community because -- let me finish. >> guest: sure. >> host: because what gets me
9:49 am
about what you're trying to convey here is that you're not taking account except in the last part of the book where you become optimistic. >> guest: uh-huh. >> host: you're not taking account the common desires for fairness, fair play, decent standard of living, even tolerance that cross all ethnicities -- >> guest: right. >> host: other than extremists, right? but we're talking about the large majority. here's what you say on page 364 because i saw you zigging and zagging here partly because you didn't want to be misunderstood. you say, quote, on the national question americans are united, there still exists in their hearts the will to remain one nation, under god and one people united by history, heritage and language. committed to proposition that in this america men and women are to be judged, quote, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,
9:50 am
that's out of martin luther king, unquote. americans still believe that we are all equal in rights not because of where we came from, but because of who we are; americans. okay. so why do you go overboard with this who's white and who's not white? do you think hispanics are not white? do you think justice sotomayor is not white? she looks white to me. >> guest: well, she's a puerto rican lady. i don't know how she defines herself. but let me tell you what i see is the problem here. no doubt as i've said many times before, anybody can be a good american. i think any group can be assimilated. but here's -- there's three problems, ralph. one is the enormous numbers of people coming into this country who have never before been assimilated into any western country, never been, never -- >> host: well, that was true years ago. 1912 the highest -- >> guest: okay, but now we get to the second thing. >> host: okay. >> guest: the process of assimilation, the melting pot, the parochial schools, the fact that we listen to the same
9:51 am
radio, watch the same tv, rooted for the same team, all these things the melting pot has been rejected for multiculturalism. people are told keep your own faith, keep your own traditions, don't assimilate, be different -- >> host: they do that for protective reasons. >> guest: okay. they do it for protective reasons, and the third thing is i look around the world, and you see these -- you look at, just say take iraq as one. the sunni versus the shia, the quds versus the arabs -- curds kurds very russ the -- very russ the arabs. all these powerful forces even in europe. scotland wants to break away, northern italy. so what i'm saying is we've thrown out the melting pot, we bring in all these folks from all these places never assimilated, we destroyed our process of assimilation, and i'm looking around the world and seeing it's all coming apart, and i'm saying why are we taking in the race welcome the greatest
9:52 am
country on earth? why are we doing it? >> host: but you also say how can multiculturalism and multiethnicity and all that, how can that produce a better country than the one we grew up in, mainly, say, our generation? >> guest: right. >> host: objection, let me give you an example. first of all, it wasn't all that great, you know? segregation was horrible, the repression of human potential among blacks was terrible, there was a lot of discrimination against women. now, in my harvard law school class of 19 -- i entered in 1955. >> guest: right. >> host: we had 560 students. we had 13 women. women were never allowed at harvard law school until 1950. we had 13 out of 560 women, maybe two blacks, and i don't think one hispanic. >> guest: uh-huh. >> host: the hispanics at harvard were usually children of south american dictators. >> guest: right. at georgetown we had the rich kids. [laughter] >> host: was that a good thing
9:53 am
when you wistfully go back -- >> guest: no, the point i would say here is, look, all these, were these kids raised up in a tradition to be american? when they went into law school with you, which law school was it? >> host: harvard. >> guest: okay. you're at harvard law. you're at the top law school. were kids kept out of there because, if they were kept out who were qualified and unqualified guys got in, that's wrong. what's happening now as i write in there, you read in there white working class kids are the conservative, and christian kids are the most discriminated kids in these ivy league schools according to that study i quote in there. that's what i don't like. what i like is the -- look, it doesn't bother me that in the nfl african-americans are overrepresented by 500%. why? they got every job they got because of ability, drive, energy and the rest of it. >> host: right. >> guest: that's the 1950s i remember. >> host: okay. >> guest: and those -- >> host: but you wouldn't think this is a nice thing--
9:54 am
>> guest: well, if they were discriminated against -- >> host: of course. >> guest: but if they got better scores than ralph nader, ralph shouldn't have been in there. >> host: you've got to look into the s.a.t. nonsense. it's a terrible way to screen out or screen in people. heavily correlated with family income, overwhelmingly -- >> guest: well, let me ask you -- >> host: far better are the assessment tests. not a, b, c, d, none of the above, do you know this about economics, do you know this about history? harvard and all the ivy leagues, they use these multiple choice which correlated with family income. >> guest: well -- family income? >> host: yeah. [laughter] >> guest: well, you know, when i was growing up a lot of the guys maybe they got rich by some scheme or something, but most of them these lawyers and doctors and people were very smart people, and that's why they made more money. >> host: yeah. well, i want to go on to one
9:55 am
other thing here because i think you're overestimating the clashes. i think corporate commercial culture is pervasive, i think a lot of -- >> guest: you think it can hold us together? >> host: i think a lot of people have come over here who have assimilated. look at the sub-indian continent in california? silicon valley. >> guest: well, you've got extremely bright kids in school and winning all those spelling bees. >> host: right. where you have the population, recently from society america, their going to create their own subculture, you're right. but do you remember that battle with gm in detroit? it was the early '80s. it was a 5,000-people community on one side of detroit. >> guest: right. >> host: and gm said we want to build a cadillac plant. >> guest: right. >> host: and we would like it here. it was 450 acres. >> guest: right. >> host: okay? the black mayor, mayor coleman, went along with it. so you had a white corporation, black mayor went along with it,
9:56 am
so did the uaw. >> guest: right. >> host: the only problem was there were a thousand homes, there was 400 small businesses, there were 12 churches including a beautiful polish-built catholic church, a hospital and two schools, right? >> guest: right. >> host: they took it by eminent domain -- >> guest: eminent domain? >> host: absolutely, for a plant. >> guest: well, i don't believe in that. >> host: they ended up producing about half the jobs they promised, and the church -- because we had people out there trying to save it, john reich arizona, others -- >> guest: right. >> host: the church was bulldozed, the police came, they cleared out the parishioners and the police, they bulldozed this beautiful church that early polish immigrants built. >> guest: right. >> host: do you know where that church was? it was where the shrubbery of the parking lot of the general motors plant was. >> guest: well, i don't believe in that. i forget -- >> host: no, but here's the point. that community was half black and half polish and eastern
9:57 am
european living in very small but clean, prepared houses, little flowers and gardens. you know, the old -- >> guest: sure. >> host: peacefully. >> guest: sure. look, i grew up -- >> host: but who disintegrated it? >> guest: well, the politicians did if they granted -- how can you grant general motors the right to tear down private homes? eminent domain is the interstate highway system. sometimes you can take lands for public purposes, but this seems to be a private purpose that the mayor went along with. i would agree with you 100%. >> host: upheld by the michigan supreme court and recently in the new london case -- >> guest: okay. i agree with you that new london decision. >> host: i'm trying to show that corporate power disintegrates -- >> guest: listen, i mean, i know it does. >> host: listen, we don't have much more time, but i do want to ask you when you said religion, race, culture and tribe are the four horsemen of the coming
9:58 am
apocalypse. would you add corporatism to that? [laughter] >> guest: there's only four, ralph. >> host: okay. would you say there are five? [laughter] >> guest: no. i'll tell you -- >> host: would you say that corporatism is part of -- >> guest: i think, look, corporatism is, you know, what it has become, i'll tell you what, you take religion and ethics, look, religion is the basis of ethics and morality, and when that goes, then i think -- and you've got powerful corporations, there's, they are, they're a lot even more dangerous in many way than individuals. no doubt about it. and do i believe in rampant corporatism? no. i don't -- i mean, i do agree, i don't agree with the pope on this when you've got a world bank, world economic like the fed? i don't agree with him on that. but when he did say the worship of capitalism is idolatry, i do agree with that. i do agree with that. i believe in free enterprise, a free enterprise system.
9:59 am
and i think it's the greatest in the world, but i do think when corporations get that powerful, they do have to be regulated, and i don't agree with what happened to pole town. >> host: well, we're out of time unfortunately. thanks to c-span, we've had a discussion that wasn't made up of sound bites. >> guest: right. i think so. >> host: thank you very much. >> guest: thank you very much, ralph. we've got to get back, need a second battle of seattle. [laughter] >> that was "after words," booktv's signature program in which authors of latest nonfiction books are interviewed by journalists, public policymakers, legislators and others familiar with their material. "after words" airs every weekend on booktv at 10 p.m. on saturday, 12 and 9 p.m. on sunday and 12 a.m. on monday. you can also watch "after words" online. go to and click on


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on