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tv   After Words with Naomi Klein  CSPAN  July 23, 2017 12:01pm-1:00pm EDT

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thank you so much for coming. [applause] >> [inaudible conversations] >> booktv is on twitter and facebook and we want to hear from you. tweet us or post a comment on our facebook page, >> up next on "after words" syndicated columnist naomi klein discusses current politics in her book "no is not enough: resisting trump's shock politics and winning the world we need." she's interviewed by medea benjamin cofounder of code pink.
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>> so lovely to get a chance to interview you on a book i found a fantastic. i read it voraciously i think in one long sitting and found it absolutely fascinating. and my first question to you is how in the world we able to write this so quickly? you reference things that just happened in april, may and the book just came out. >> guest: thank you so much. great to speak with you. i'm glad you enjoyed the book. it was a bit of a frenzy, writing this book. i usually take about five years to write books. that's been my average. i published a new book about every seven years. i give myself a little break, but 54 years.
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this book, i just wanted to get it out as quickly as possible. though i couple of chapters in the book that are focused on what we should expect if there is a crisis in the united states, if there's an economic crisis or a major security crisis and i felt so passionately that there needed to be some political disaster preparedness among progressives that i just wrote at the speed i frankly have never written before, and i also worked with a publisher that was really committed to getting it out really quickly. the publishing industry can be quite slow. usually you finish the book and it sort of creeps along with the production process and all of the stages for another four months. in this case everybody just worked so hard to get it out in
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record-breaking time. i'm really lucky to have worked with a publisher who is as committed, to this political moment as i am. >> host: i think it's a great contribution to millions of people who are looking at our political situation right now in thinking what do i do. obviously from the title of the book you give it away that "no is not enough" but i also see the book as an amazing coming together of your work that begins with the no logo in the branding come into the shock doctrine, and even with your climate work about this changes everything. it seems like you are the quintessential anti-trump, and to, embody everything that is the opposite of what trump stands for. so maybe we should start with what you start the beginning of
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the book which is looking at trump as the quintessential branding. >> guest: yarrow. and -- yeah, and the truth as you know so many of us have been on this journey. some of my early work as a journalist before i published any books at all was focused on what i would describe as the underside of branding. focused on what's beneath the site of those beautiful logos and transcendent marketing, marketing got better and better in the 1990s. it sort of turned into high art in the air of nike and michael jordan. but behind, as companies up the ante in marketing and design they really divested from the world of work. they sold off their factories. they started outsourcing to a web of contractors and subcontractors in getting
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contracts to whoever, was willing to bruise the products asked cheaply, cheaper. i say wee bit on this journey for a long time. of course your work at global exchange in the '90s was part of this process, exposing the horrific conditions under which some of the most valuable brands in the world, nike and disney were making their products. i look at trump as this hollow brand. and by how low i what are these companies that adopted this paradigm of we are not in the product business. this was the big ship i was tracking in no logo was it was up until the '80s that the iconic brands in the american marketplace were manufacturers first. they made products and disney branded those products with logos and the marketed them. but in the '90s the order flick and he started to see companies announcing that they
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were marketers first come in the ideas business and the projected their big idea onto as many extensions of the brand as possible. started building the sort of cell phone close branded cocoons. disney and this time opened a branded town, celebration florida so you could live inside your favorite brand. trump did this in real estate. he started off as a pretty traditional real estate developer, but quickly went into this stratosphere of the super brands, the apprentice was an enormous breakthrough for him, where it became less about building buildings and more about buildings is brand and then selling his name, his brand for very high prices to other developers who wanted to have that help name on the side of their condo tower, underside of the resort. and like as of the brands i mentioned earlier disking often
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at the expense of workers. we've heard many stories of terrible conditions for workers in trump owned properties and also making trump or eyeball cobranded clothing around the world -- ivanka trump. >> host: so here you have a guy who can make millions of dollars in one building this by allowing him to put his name on it, and then he becomes president. and as you say in the book, it's impossible to really separate out trump and trump and his family and the family businesses, including of course i bonkers clothing line and the president now. so groups that are trying -- tragic i don't think they can separate. i don't think trump knows where his personal identity and and his commercial brand begins. >> host: i love this light in the book, you can't disentangle
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trump, the man from trump the brand. those two entities, you say, merged a long time ago. every time he sets foot in one of his properties, a golf club, hotel, the white house press corps intel he's increasing his overall brand value which alas his company to sell more memberships, rentable rooms and increase fees. so yes, how could you possibly separate this man from the brand? >> guest: the particular challenge of trump is the interest politics not playing by the traditional roles of the game but by playing by the traditional roles of branding. the only rule of branding is stay to to your brand. -- stay true to your brand. in the 1990s many activists expose the copies like nike and disney were betraying the promise of the brand, which made was empowerment for girls, or a
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family friend and kid friendly ethos. because the products were being made under conditions that were abusive to young people in those factories. so they were vulnerable on that front and had to be responsive. trump is a different entity, a different kind of bran bread bee of the guy get trump has always sold was the idea of absolute power through wealth. this was the promise of the trump brand. since the '80s come since he published his first brand extension which was the art of the deal. he was on the promise that you can be kind of come he loves the word killer. he doesn't mean it literally budget somebody who is out for themselves willing to step on anyone, when he describes the art of the deal it is essentially about screwing over other people and ended up on top, not coming to any kind of mutually beneficial agreement. and so he's a guy who gets away with it.
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he has a consumer base that wants to be him that has an aspirational identity with him, a consumer base the feels that they've lost power on many different fronts, and trump represents the attainment of the kind of power that they want. that's the real problem when it comes holding trump accountable to his brand promise. if you catch in line come if you catch a cheating, if you catch him being nasty, anything that might hurt a traditional politician, or even a brand whose brand identity has sort of more ethical aspirational components, trump is not about any of this because it all conferences identity as the guy who gets away with anything because he's so rich. this is a challenge that go the way you can hurt the trump brand is by proving he's not as powerful as he seems to be picked this is why he is very bothered when people talk about
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bandit on the idea he strings are being pulled by putin. that hurts his brand identity cases brand identity is all about being the boss. >> host: this word emolument that it don't think. >> host: ever heard of before but is now being bandied around -- [inaudible] but now that there are lawsuits in court trying to say that donald trump is making money illegally from the presidency by, i don't know if it just for entities, is it foreign entities like government in saudi arabia and others taking rooms and renting his hotels as part of ill-gotten gains come to think there's anything to that? is that really illegal? >> guest: it may well be. it's been interesting timing with the release of the book because just as the book came out, the day the book came out
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the news came that the attorneys general in d.c. and also marilyn had launched a lawsuit alleging a violation of the constitution on those grounds, and then 190 lawmakers in congress filed a lawsuit of their own. that one is significant because what the constitution says is that the president cannot do this without the permission of congress. so the people, there already was a lawsuit that had been filed by a d.c. restaurant i believe and also a group of restaurant workers were making this allegation that the significance of congress people filing their own emoluments lawsuit is that they are the ones who should've been consulted. so they really had the most legitimacy as a party it would seem to make this challenge. we may well discover that trump
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is not as immune as he thinks he is and has been behaving as if he is. one thing i would just add is a lot of examples we have heard for how he is receiving gifts, baby receiving gifts or benefits from foreign governments has focus on this hotel rooms, and i think that as a case to be made that foreign governments are deciding to stay at the trump hotel, deciding to have extensive events that trump properties to ingratiate themselves to the president and hopefully get into his good graces. but there are other things to look at as well, including the fact that chinese government has been granting a wave of trademarks to both trump and a parka to sell the products in china. what i most disturbed by something out of because got nearly enough media attention which is the chinese government
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has detained labor monitors who were investigating conditions in one of her factories. that would seem to me to be a very tangible benefit. and i think allegation is not that these governments are being directed to do this by trump. it's just that they see this president has not divested, and they believe that these are favors that they can do to get themselves into the good graces of a president who was clearly clearly very, very concerned about his personal and family wealth. you don't need to prove that ivanka is on the phone going to arrest those people. that's not the allegation or delegate would be that the chinese government would think that would be a helpful thing to do, to get rid of those pesky whistleblowers. >> host: one of the points you make in the book is that this is not anything new, that you talk
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about the decades that the clintons have been using their foundation as a place where people could give money to curry favor with them. so i wonder if you could tell us a bit about how the stage was set for trump? >> guest: right. i guess my overarching goal in writing the book other than getting it out before there's a major crisis was to try to challenge, i think this narrative because trump is so unlike any kind of come any president before. there is this idea that he's kind of a martian. he stormed an otherwise functioning system and if he could only be impeached and everything would be fine. i'm not saying, i'm not saying one way or another on impeachment. if you competed in peach bowl offenses he should be impeached, but that would just get us where we were before trump, and that was the grounds that created trump. it was not a safe place.
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it's nothing to prevent somebody else who combines an even more dangerous mix of these qualities that trump has from taking power once again. so yeah, and i see this as very much a bipartisan process, the table that was set for trump. it isn't just about politics. it's about media, news coverage. the table was set for him in so many ways at all he need to do was just show up because it was come we were already treating elections like reality tv shows. we already had a media landscape that was much interested in interpersonal drama between candidates then in-depth coverage of the issues that we already had democrats using the tools for corporate branding themselves. president obama was a fantastic brand. he used incredibly cutting-edge marketing techniques and a lot of us felt that there was, that
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behind the claims that he was leaving this deep change and transformation that there was enough change and that also helped set the table for trump. something tell else that set the table for trump i believe was this liberal idea that the clintons were really central to, which is all about how billionaires could use the great wealth that they amassed in a period of deregulation and privatization to fix problems that we traditionally look to governments to solve. so if you look at the clinton global initiative and you mentioned that currying favor, i think even more significant is this whole model of what the clinton global initiative was doing was bring you the billionaires of the world together with policymakers and you have a big announcement from richard branson that he was going to solve climate change with the prophets of his airlines.
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this was the biggest gift in history of the clinton foundation. as it turns out, he did make good on the promise of the money or certainly didn't solve climate change but there was no accountability because unlike government it's all voluntary. and so i think that model, bill gates has tremendous power over the u.s. education system, he has tremendous power over africa's healthcare system. he plays a role that is similar to what the world health organization used to do. many people argue he's more powerful than the world health organization. bill gates does lots of good things in the world but this idea with a billion or savior complex i think helped create a context for donald trump could stand before the american people and say trust me because i'm rich. because we were already as a culture acting as if the ability to make a lot of money in one
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area bestowed just kind of incident wisdom on this tiny group of billionaires, even if that no experience in health or education, they had tremendous power because of their wealth. so how different is that from trump's pitch to voters of sure, i drive any qualifications come any expense in government but i'm so rich that you can trust me to fix america. >> host: you also talk about setting the stage engines are going back to reagan, for example, ask of it being part of the problem, private is the solution. then you talk about the clinton era and the deregulation of the banks and in the field of president obama to do anything to hold the bankers accountable and how this also set the stage for an economic system that has allowed the transfer of wealth to be so enormously skewed in our society. you just have been talking about
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the people who enter into government and navy could talk a little bit about how the trump administration has taken it to extreme where you say they've eliminated the middleman, that you don't have to wine and dine the people in office anymore because the corporations are the ones in office right now. >> guest: right. once again this is not a process that trump started but he is taking it into new territory. to avoid, for instant that ceo ceo of exxon as secretary of state. there's certainly been secretaries of state in u.s. history to our ties with corporate america. dollars probably most significant example. baker. this is not a new process but to be the ceo -- cheney. cheney, very significant, right? i think the biggest difference is one object.
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halliburton was a company most people have not heard of before, before cheney. it's a hugely important company but it's not a highly branded company. so appointing the ceo of exxon what you go that a highly branded company bought one of the most controversial companies in the world under investigation by three states attorneys general over allegations that it had misled its shareholders about how much it knew about climate change because exxon, their own scientists against researching climate change back in the '70s and '80s and then funded climate change denial in the 1990s. exxon was under a lot of pressure when trump appointed it ceo of exxon rex tillerson put bennet exxon his entire working life. had never worked anywhere but exxon. worked there for 41 years, and
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so it is a continuation of all that come of that road, that same road from dulles to cheney the tillerson. and, of course, trump himself. at least tillerson divested from exxon before becoming secretary of state. trump has just emerged it seems the trump organization with the white house. >> host: except as you talk about so eloquently in the book, this is now the ultimate giveaway to corporate america. so maybe we should talk about how the initial, we're not even six months into this administration, and what has this administration been doing to go through the top wishlist of the fossil fuel companies, of the bankers, of the military and
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actual complex, what are the items we already see that as please corporate america? >> guest: sure, yeah. and i do think they should be getting a lot more attention, medea because is a lot of this focus exposing what some people believe is a conspiracy between the trump administration and the russians, and surely that should be investigated. but there's also a kind of conspiracy in plain sight. there is the systematic and orderly transfer of wealth from the lower and middle income to the 1% of the 1%. it really is the connective tissue of everything that the trump administration is doing on the economic front. so if you look at the 15% corporate tax that trump has announced that he wants to introduce. obviously this is a massive gift to all of corporate america,
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getting rid of the estate tax is something that the only benefits the very wealthy and has been on the wishlist of major republican donors for a very long time. trump may be the one who gets it through, precisely because so much attention is focused on what trump any 80s called the trump show. he says the show is trump and that was when he turned his extramarital affair with marla maples into a live-action soap opera. he has always understood the power of distraction. i think some of the trump shone out is being orchestrated by trump. i think he likes to leak information about his drama. much of it is being foisted upon them picky clearly did not like the investigation, the rush investigation. but all of this is drawing our eyes away from what is happening
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on the economic front. if a look at what he's doing on climate, it's a huge giveaway to the oil, gas and coal industry. the deregulation. something like, one of the first things he did was rolled back obama's initiative to increase fuel efficiency standards. another one it is very early decisions was to go after new requirements introduced at the end of the obama administration to better document methane, methane leaks in the gas industry. because actually don't know the extent to which the gas industry in particular fracking is leading to a major spike in methane emissions because it's really got track very well. there were new measures the company so going to have to abide by and this is what of the first things trump has moved to eliminate.
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very, very profitable. that also means we will not have accurate information about how much emissions are going up under trump. so those are a few examples that the whole health care plan that trump celebrate in the rose garden is a huge giveaway, a backdoor tax giveaway, backdoor redistribution of wealth. it's unfortunate we haven't focused on this enough. the budget, texas social security and health care because this goes against what trump promised on the campaign trail. i do think he is vulnerable. his brand is vulnerable. perhaps not the trump brand but the make america great brand had a very particular promise about bringing back jobs. another broken promise, another giveaway i think is what we'll see with trade. trump promised to renegotiate nafta and of the trade deals so they would be better for workers, that it would be a new era of fair trade. meanwhile, his commerce secretary is reassuring business audiences that they were
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renegotiate nafta to make it more like the transpacific partnership which is the deal that trump tore up or withdrew the united states from on one of his first days in office. so this is where i actually think he much more vulnerable, and, unfortunately,, it's getting a fraction of the attention it deserves because the trump show never shops and its -- stops and is always sold out. >> host: one of the statistics i love when your book is trump met with 190 different executives of corporations and the first three months in office, and then when there was a news report about that, what did the study was not made public list of people who visit the white house anymore. and i totally agree -- i was going to say that the focus on russia is taking our eyes off of so many things, on the military-industrial complex front, the fact that the already bloated pentagon budget is now, according to trump, not big
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enough and he wants to increase with another $54 billion. when he announced that the stocks of weapons industries just shot up. but there is no attention being paid to that. >> guest: but it is more than that. it's more than that, medea to trump is basically a traveling weapons salesman. this seems to be the sum total of his foreign policy. he goes to saudi arabia. he praises of him. why? because it just purchased a whole bunch of just weapons. he sent the message to the world of this is i get in america's good graces that you buy a lot of weapons. this is what trump likes. so now qatar is done the same thing. they just announced huge new weapons increase. this is how they're trying to cool down tensions with saudi arabia. he goes to nato. a nato summit, and he lectures nato members on quote-unquote not pulling their weight.
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i am a dual canadian american citizen and the canadian prime minister went home and announced a massive increase in military spending, 70% increase. so this is how the world, unfortunately, is responding to trump. there seems a way to get into good graces of this administration is by buying hundreds of millions of dollars worth of weapons. it isn't just the military increase in the united states. it's a global. >> host: let's also do what you do so beautifully in the book and setting the stage,, recognizing that is under the obama administration country with saudi arabia, slattery became a number one weapons purchaser under obama who bragged in the white house website that this old $110 billion to this repressive extremists intolerant misogynist regime. so there again we see the stage
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set by the democrats who proceeded trump. so here yet set the stage and you talked about people getting prepared for the shocks to come but you also talk about what people are doing to resist trump now and the whole premise of your book, "no is not enough", doesn't it what's been done in the first several months the trump administration with people rising up so maybe we should spend a little time on that to move to why that's not enough. >> guest: right. we've seen this incredible wave of resistance. we have seen that it can win. the travel ban most notably, the multiple travel ban and amazing surge of people going to airports across the country and just saying no, just rejecting this.
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i think that emboldening local officials and congresspeople to also go to the airport, lawyers and maybe even getting some courage to judges to stand up to trump. so that's one example i think that everybody who i know who is involved in political organizing is saying that they've never seen the level of interest, the more people showing up to rallies, the women's march from day one, record-breaking numbers that the women's march, people want to get involved. they want to understand their democracy better. they're educating themselves. a lot of white people trying to do in turn were to understand their own internal racism, showing up more for racial justice. and this is really inspiring and i think there's a collective
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memory of september 11 and a lot of people described being in shock that this could happen, trying to respond in ways that deep in solitary that make us more shock resistant. this is important because there is, heaven forbid a manchester like attack in the united states, we already know how trump would respond or at least in part because when the manchester attacks have been immediately blamed immigrants. he said this is about immigrants flooding across our borders, even though the bomber in the case had been born in the united kingdom. after the london bridge attack trump tweeted that night this is why we need the travel ban. there's a lot of things to love the trump agenda some of which have been stopped by this resistance in some of which they haven't even tried to do. betsy devos education agenda is actually made radical. she believe in public education i'm concerned about a security
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shocks like manchester become also concerned about an economic crisis because they are deregulating the banks, making it more likely they would be another 200 2008 like crisis. that would become the pretext to privatize social security to for the attack the public education system. that's why think it is so important for progressives to guess we had to say no but i think we have to develop a common agenda that we will advance when th these shocks hi. even if they don't we need to dancing a progressive agenda. one of the things i have found from covering societies and it's a major crisis now for over two decades is that saying no might be able to slow it down a little bit. it really is not enough. i think about being in greece after the 2008 financial crisis
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and the ways in which the greek people came together, very courageously to reject what they saw as being a forced to pay for the crisis of the bankers with slashed wages come with austerity. people occupied classes and elected and other government and said no at the polls and said no in the streets but it wasn't really enough of a bold vision for kind of economy they wanted instead. i make the case in the book for us to do the work to come up with people platform come for a forward-looking vision for real economic, racial and department of justice. that's what our best defense against demagogues who are tapping into real pain and mixing it with some very, very insidious ideas is to hold out that promise of really a better life. we saw with the campaign of
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jeremy corbett in the uk that when issued his manifesto, which is a very bold document, that is about fully funded public health care, that's about getting rid of tuition fees, that's about a bull transition to renewable energy and creating green jobs, that's what inspired people particularly young people to turn out in record numbers. >> host: i think also the fact that he took on the foreign-policy issues, and after there were those attacks in england, rather than just saying the platitudes, he said we have to look at our policies overseas, our intervention in libya, overthrow of gadhafi and how this creates resentment and blowback back at home, which unfortunately that are not major politicians in the united states who have been willing to say that. >> guest: but that may change, you know? people are paying attention to how the atmosphere has shifted.
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when jeremy corbett did that, when he talked about the underlying causes, he was absolutely savaged in the british press and his comments were described as monstrous by theresa may and the tories but it didn't hurt them. it may have helped because i think there is at this late stage in the failed war on terror and appetite for getting others would causes, just as a resident in the united states when bernie sanders talked about climate change as a security issue. he was mocked by the elite opinion makers but arrested with a lot of voters. >> host: let's talk about the bernie sanders campaign and the kind of ideas that he talked about that i've become more commonplace, and what to quote from you, you're saying what for decades was on the sable as now being sent out loud like
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candidates to win millions of votes. free college tuition, double the minimum wage, when at a% energy, demilitarize the police come free prisons can no place for young people, refugees are welcome. wars make us all less safe. could you talk about how some of those ideas have become more acceptable and was only from bernie sanders campaign? >> guest: this is the moment we are in and it's an exciting moment from a progressive perspective because for me i grew up in the neoliberal era. my childhood was in the '80s, the air of reagan and thatcher and there is no alternative. that project was about advancing a set of radical so-called free-market ideas, privatization, deregulation, pets to taxes, a far with cuts the spending, accompanied by huge expansions of the security
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state. but that was sold based on the idea that there is no alternative to it. and it was really a project that is so anyways was about constraining the collective imagination. neoliberalism, that set of policies has been in profound crisis since 2008 financial meltdown. for many reasons not the least of which is that the elites had to their own rules right out in the open and everybody saw that it was possible to intervene in the market to save the banks. suddenly they could find trillions of dollars after we'd all been told there was no money for schools, no money for day care. no money for hospitals. so the spell was broken and we are in this time when other progressive imagination is being unleashed. the first stage was saying no to
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the austerity after the 2008 economic crisis but now the utopian imagination on the left is being rekindled. you see it in documents like the vision for black lives which comes out of movement for black lives, just an exciting bold policy document that is about how to get at the underlying causes behind violence pickets by changing the economy, changing society with racial justice at the center. i've been involved in a project called the leap. people can read about it at the which is an approach which assess progressive ideas are surging in popularity and where saying the unsalable and candidacies like bernie sanders for jeremy corban are doing better than the entire expert class predicted tickets also the case that far right ideas, white
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supremacist ideas, highly xenophobic ideas are also more pipe with an event at any point in my lifetime. i see this as race against time because what is this vacuum, where this elite consensus used to be and as it collapses a lot of things are shifting. >> host: another contradiction i see is that the progressive movement is way ahead of the democratic party, for example. you see a fight in baltimore where the people had one to pushing the city council, the right to $15 an hour minimum wage, and the democratic mayor of baltimore then vetoing that. so i wonder what you think about how to move the democratic party that is supposed to be more progressive and yet doesn't seem to have caught up to the popular sentiment in a lot of these issues.
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>> guest: i mean, the energy is huge up there with more and more deep progressive committed to taking power and seeing that it is possible i think with bernie getting 13 million votes, caring 22 states. there's really the belief out there that i did not have at any point in my lifetime up till now which is that a winning progressive coalition usually within reach. it is possible. we know that bernie had weaknesses that many women, mine and your generation didn't feel comfortable that he really got, how precarious many women's rights are. many people involved in racial justice issues didn't feel that he fully integrated racial justice engine interest campaign
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although he got better as a campaign went on but it wasn't enough to really capture, i mean, if you been able to capture 50% of the black vote in d.c. he would adamant able to win. it isn't the democratic base is too right-wing. it's that there were key constituencies he wasn't able to reach. if that changed next time around that winning coalition is out there and people know it. i think if the democratic party does not come to its senses and keeps trying to fight off the tide of history, that people will leave the party. this is what i'm hearing. there's very much alive debate. if we look at what happened in the uk, jeremy corbyn was fought by his own party at every single turn. he won the leadership and then you sabotaged by his own mps. they tried to unseat him as leader and he held on. and now after the election results which were so surprising
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where he what i believe 32 seats when you is supposed to have been wiped out. people are having to admit that this is actually the way to win elections. we will see whether the democratic party learns from that or not. i don't think it's going to come easily. i think the lesson is it's going to be a fight and there's some people think it's not even worth fighting within the democratic party and we will see. >> host: it's a tough one because there are so many other examples in europe where it has been transformation from within traditional parties. it's actually been new parties that have cropped up data captured the public imagination, and one tremendous victories whether it's in spain or in greece or the progressive parties in france or in portugal. so who knows how it will go? the hard thing in the united
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states is that we have this winner-take-all system that makes it so -- >> guest: that's really hard part. if there was a different electoral system that allowed for coalition government, it would be a bit of a no-brainer engine to start a new party given how much resistance there is but this is the system there is here. >> guest: you brought up the issue of race and you talk about quite a lot in the book. you talk about the movement for black lives and you also talk about the indigenous community and, of course, in canada you have a very strong indigenous community that's been on the forefront of a lot of the environmental struggles. and you have a very compelling chapter in the book about your experience at standing rock. i think your view about how we moved to a different society is one where people of color and the wisdom of indigenous communities have to be in the lead. so how did you come to that conclusion? >> guest: well, you know, i'm
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a journalist first and foremost. this book comes from talking to a whole lot of people in movements or organizing. this is i think the wisdom of our movement at this point. visit with the energy of organizing is. in canada every single key and by mental battle has always been led by indigenous people. this is true to a larger extent and the united states as well. that chapter on standing rock i wrote because it was, it was so moving to be there. when i was there which was when the obama administration finally denied the easement. but trump had already won the election and so people understood that this victory was really on borrowed time, that trump was going to go in and probably reverse it. but the reason why i wanted to include that experience in the
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book is because the kind of leadership that i saw in standing rock and the people that he spoke to, the standing rock council members, the analysis was so deeply holistic and intersectional, that this was a racial justice battle, that the pipeline had originally been rooted through bismarck and overwhelmingly white city and had been rejected because of concern over water quality so it was moved to underneath the single drinking water source for the standing rock sioux. just absolute classic example of environment of racism. it was also very much about climate change and understanding that we cannot keep expanding the fossil fuel and have any hope of protecting a livable
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planet for our kids. it was also profoundly about stand up to corporate power, stand up to increasingly militarized police because of course the water protection at standing rock were up against police force to look like an army. tanks and all the privatized surveillance equipment and so, and i quote when known in the book about how it was all of it. you can talk about intersectionality which is a wonderful phrase from kimberly crenshaw, african american legal scholar and feminist who has given us this term for so many of us are using. but in standing rock it was just life. and i think it's helpful, sometimes to not talk about something in three but to talk about it as a lived experience and how it is playing out on the
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land and on peoples bodies. >> guest: what you also bring up in the standing rock chapter in which i saw myself having traveled there is that it was about winning the rights to the land and to do what they want with their property. but it was also showing active way of living together and how this was an experience that profoundly changed the people who came to see what it was like to be in a struggle under the leadership of the indigenous people, and that different that is in many other struggles have been, the profound sense of connection to the land, even the language of protectors, not protesters. do you think that this will carry on or has had an impact on people who are part of this movement? >> guest: i think everyone who workwas there was changed by itd
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standing rock also really embodied the title of the book, "no is not enough" because as soon as the victory was one to stop the pipeline, it was a temporary victory as we know but it's not over. they also won an important legal victory that what trump has done in pushing to this pipeline would help assessment is illegal. they haven't stopped fighting. but as soon as that ruling came down from the army corps of engineers, immediately everybody who i talked to want to say okay, now the real work starts. now we can turn this reservation into a shining example of a justice-based transition off of fossil fuels. we want to get to one of% renewable energy. >> we want to start building the economy that would never need a new oil pipeline. and so it was like that no was
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nested to be able to get to that yes. i think this is sort of where we are. we have to leave they yes, and a together and that was inspiring. in terms of how this plays out the truth is we don't know. i've been involved in social movements for long enough to never believe a movement obituary. movements are always declared over, whether it's occupy wall street, whether it's at the so-called anti-globalization movement. but those of us been involved in the struggles know that the infrastructure come the ideas, the teaching, the people that were part of early movement resurface, reemerge and the from past mistakes. i don't think movements die. they go into a time of just a shell reemerge and turn into something else wall street turned into occupy sandy, respond to hurricane sandy. many people from occupy went on to form the digital backbone of bernie sanders campaign.
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and are continuing to learn new lessons, share information and evolve. we just don't know where those teachings go. >> host: i want to also emphasize that in your book, while you are not naïve about how dangerous the trump administration is, i love the analogy you use to being in the automatic tennis things where you been hit by the balls constantly and you taking a swing and you might get one or two but you feel like you're always been battered. on the other hand, you talk about the trump agenda is not all controlling and the trump space is not all controlling. i just want to read from this point where you say they don't control what cities and states to do. they don't even control what congress does a lot of the time. they certainly don't control universities, faith institutions, unions. they don't control what the
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courts do, yet, you have in parentheses. they don't have what other sovereign nations do i do not control what we do as individuals and groups around the world. and for me this was very inspiring, this section of the book, because you do let out for us we have a lot of spaces in which we do not have to just be saying no, no, no where we are building up these alternatives, whether it's on that very small level of the way you live your life, or whether it's on the global level of how we can reignite some of the global alliances that we've had in the past after trump said no to the paris agenda, have the world community came together to say we are moving ahead anyway. so talk a little about those spaces trump does not control. >> guest: right. and to think specifically because what trump and his
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administration are doing is so dangerous with what they do control and what the control is significant. the onus on us to do more in all of these on trump spaces is all the greater i star started think about this when i was speaking at harvard giving a lecture early on in his ministry and there's been an absolutely ferocious fight at harvard over fossil fuel. harvard has one of the strongest fossil fuel divestment movement in the country but the administration of the road intransigent within. it's important for the fossil fuel divestment movement because of course harvard is so iconic and if harvard would make the decision it would help other schools and other institutions to also make a similar decision. talking to some of the activists there i realized that the arguments during the obama years
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that the school used to make was well, we don't really think divestment is the most effective way to fight climate change. we think it's more effective to have policy. there was a credible possibility that the obama administration would introduce policy that would be quite strong. the introduce a clean power plan which was not strong enough but it wasn't a figure of course it is being undone by trump. of course there is no credible prospect at this moment of federal legislation on climate change of the real carbon tax, for instance. that argument is gone and anywhere we do have power we have to use it. during the dnc when michelle obama said when they go alone, we go high, right? i think that was probably the best line of the convention. she was talking about tone and not wanting to join trump and
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his gang in the gutter of slurs and attacks. i think we should adopt a similar approach but as a relates to policy, as it relates to action, that as the trump administration lowers the bar come with the race of our everywhere where we have power. i think an amazing example was the mayor of pittsburgh after trump announced that pairs withdrawal and invoked the city of pittsburgh say he was elected by the people of pittsburgh, not the people of paris. the next a at the mayor of pittsburgh stepping up and saying actually pittsburgh voted for hillary, and i'm going to get the city to 100% renewable energy by 2035 can which is supposed ambitious target in the country. i think ford is the only of the city has adopted a target that ambitious. that's an example of what i mean of people using the power that they do have to advance a powerful progressive vision.
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i think we're seeing something similar with healthcare. in california the california senate moving one step closer to single-payer precisely because what congress and trump are doing and health is a dangerous. i think we may well be in a position to advance something similar when it comes to free trade. when there are seriously really gushy nafta to make more like the tpp, that's going to be an opening for workers movements or environmentalists come for everybody concerned about our economy to come forward and say no, this is how you write a fair trade agreement comes this is what it would look like. and really say what we think would look like. when we were citing these deal back in the day we were pretty good at saying no but we were not as good at saying yes. >> guest: as we are winding down now, naomi, i just want to come as an activist, one, thank you for saying that the lines are blurred, that we have to all
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the activists, and, giving us this beautiful way of looking at the trump agenda, not as something that is so enormous that we don't want to get out of bed in the morning because we don't want to think about it, but as a challenge to us that we have to take extremely seriously, but that gives us a lot of not only spaces within which to work but whole new canaries to work with. i think as you go forward on your book tour getting more and more people excited about being part of the solutions and showing the enormous potential that the solutions have, we as a community, as a nation and as a global community will be much, much better at articulating a guest of the want to live in, and so thank you so much for the work, the book. again, "no is not enough: resisting trump's shock politics and winning the world we need."
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thank you so much, naomi. >> guest: thank you so much, medea. >> c-span, where history unfold the daily. in 1979 c-span was created as aa public service by america's cable-television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. >> booktv recently visited capitol hill to ask members of congress what they are reading this summer. >> this summer one of the books i just got done reading and i normally and and all kinds of history books, books that are faith-based. one of the books i read just got done with a friend of mine wrote. it's called from the valley of despair to the mound top of praise instead of the book of the bible but the interesting thing about this author is, and a new the sun very son, he was


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