tv After Words Jonah Goldberg Suicide of the West CSPAN August 29, 2018 9:32pm-10:37pm EDT
historian, doris goodwin with leadership in turbulent times. and the book grant. and fox news host brian kill mead with his book, andrew jackson and the miracle of new orleans. the battle that shaped america's destiny. watch the 18th annual library of congress national book festival live on c-span2 booktv. saturday at 10 am eastern. >> syndicated columnist, jonah goldberg argued tribalism, populism and nationalism are threatening american democracy. he is interviewed by john podhoretz, editor of commentary magazine. this is one hour. >> jonah goldberg, in your book, you posit that everything we take for granted, every freedom that we have, every economic advantage that we
possess as americans, all of these are actually a radical new development in history of humankind, number one. and number two, it is unnatural that western civilization as we understand it, or contemporary american western democratic civilization is unnatural. what do you mean by that? >> well, first of all, great to see you, john. [laughter] >> wow isi was following the br lamb model of that we don't know each other. and possibly exchanging insults on twitter and all of that. but -- >> i didn't want that.
>> right. part of what i'm trying to do in the book is, not so much to say i have all the right facts and have the perfect version of what happened in human history and all of that.i'm not claiming that. i was doing something a little different. i'm asking people to tilt the head a little bit and maybe take a step back and look at the world around them with fresh eyes. and a big part of my argument is just to simply say that human nature is a thing. right? it is a constant. one my favorite destinations of conservatism is that human nature has no history. by that i mean if you take a baby today, to new rochelle, you send back a thousand years, to be raised by vikings it will grow up to be a viking and it will grade and pillage. and if you send a viking baby
to new rochelle it will grow from the countryside. every generation, western civilization was invaded by barbarians. and the place where children are born, into, at first is the family. that symbolizes them into a type of culture. then other institutions play the role. but if you just take the human species, everything around, it is not natural this is not our natural environment.our natural environment for 250 or 00,000 was semi hairless apes forging and fighting for food, killing each other and we were not even apex predators until fairly recently. and if you take a jar of ants and you dump it on virgin soil on some alien planet or continent or something, the ants will instantly start behaving like ants. they will dig tunnels, set up colonies, whatever they do.
if we take humans and clear them of all of our civilization education, and put them in their natural environment, we would not be having conversations about books or doing podcasts. we would be teaming up into bands and troops, defending ourselves against animals and other bands and troops. it is a point of lord of the flies. and lord of the flies you have these kids who are the pinnacle of western civilization at the time. the british boarding school, almost instantly, the second you put them in a natural environment they go tribal, becoming superstitious, they kill each other and attack each other. that is humanity. and so, if capitalism were natural, if property rights are natural, if individual rights were natural, if democracy were natural, they would have shut up a little earlier in the evolutionary record than 300 years ago. because that's really where the only time they actually show up in a sustainable way.
basically in late 1600s england and then coming to america. >> so you say in the epilogue of the book, you make the point that that for thousands of years, according to serious economic students of human history, for thousands of years, there was effectively zero percent economic growth on the planet earth. >> right.>> and that people lived on the equivalent of summer 2 to $3 a day. everywhere! >> everywhere. >> everywhere on the planet. existence was what it meant to be a human being. >> right. >> and there were the source of creativity, moments of intellectual creativity and all of that. but this was the fact. >> right. it seems counterintuitive of people because we have all of this wonderful history about rome and china and all of that.
the rich people left. he left words and rinsed off and aristocrats left stuff. but they were living off of the wealth created by subsistence farmers and all of the rest. and they were very small stratum of actual humanity. >> and then as you say, around the late, in the 1700s, basically, if you were to draw a chart showing human progress, at least economic progress, charts like this, it's like the beginning of homo sapiens, right? it goes like this, like this and like this. so that as you say, 96 percent of people on earth were living on two dollars a day. >> two or three dollars. >> and nine percent. on earth today. so that we have 90 percent of humanity. of course now i believe three or four times, there three or
four times more people on the planet than there were in 1750. so we have this and we think because it's in our nature, our parents, grandparents, we think that this is what it means to be human. >> right. >> free speech, you have a certain level of income, even if you are poor. all of this stuff about how the poorest person in america today, it is not clear that the richest person in america in the 1900 would want to change places because he could get a septic infection and die. >> right. >> war is unlikely just from walking down the street. that is not what life is like now. but we think that this is the natural order of things. where in fact, this, this thing, this period of 200,000
years. it is what people really are. >> right. >> and we have built this thing, it has been built to undergird our wealth, our freedoms, and it is precarious in part because it's new. and also, it is precarious because it is a construct of ideas and within it, and against it is a construct of ideas it looks at this and says as you do, this is unnatural but rather you say this is unnatural and amazing and it is astounding and the best things ever happened. they go, it makes me really uncomfortable. >> right. >> off like it is authentic or real.and you call that romanticism. you want to lay out this conflict. >> yes. so -- one of the people i'm deeply indebted to is an economic historian.
and she runs in her books, several of them, bourgeois virtues, -- she runs to all of the various theories about what i call the miracle. and in the miracle, i should start by saying, the reason why say these things are natural and the reason why the first sentence of the book is, there is no god in this book, is not because i'm saying an atheist, is to say that every part of i'm trying to do is actually persuade people which is something that you and i both agree on this. the art of persuasion is something that has been lost in our political discourse these days. and i'm trying to model the behavior by persuading people or try to persuade people. and you can't say we have all this great stuff, we've america because god wanted us to. because among other things, you only appeal to authority when everybody agrees on the
authority. and progressives or liberals, so much of their touchstones are secularism, science, evolution, those kind of things. and i think the argument from god, i don't need to listen to. what i'm trying to do is argue on their terms. and according to the most generous understanding, what does the left care about? they care about income equality, the material condition, they care about things like tolerance and inclusivity and literacy. i may just go down the list of the things that if you are having a sincere argument with a liberal the things they really care about, they say this is why they are liberal. they would list these things. and i'm trying to make the point that all of these things get better because of liberal democratics. not that they just get richer, they live longer, literacy goes through the roof, we are much more tolerant and so part of my
problem with, the suicidal part of my analysis here is that because first of all, we take this miracle for granted like you were saying before. we are born into it we just assume it's the way the world is supposed to work. we take it for granted and we don't defend it. but also because capitalism is unnatural it angers the inner primitive. and if you do end read intellectual history going back, this complaint about capitalism in the enlightenment and the commercial border is a constant one. it takes new forms in every generation. but it's like one of those episodes of the trial is aware guy wakes up and every time he wakes up different actors are playing the same characters over and over. it appears in different masks over time. and russo was largely credited
for being the father of romanticism so -- >> is a french philosopher. >> whose work really begins to take shape around 1750 and he is responding in great measure to the philosophical tradition that kinda began around 1650 and was revolutionized by john locke and smith. so locke basically lays out the idea that there are natural liberties and the purpose of civilization, of a civil society is to protect the individuals rights, this is a totally new kind of idea. and russo comes along two generations later to say hold on a minute. it is not the purpose of society. the purpose of society is to
enrich and allow people to live authentic natural lives. >> right so there's a famous scene as he describes himself where he is on his way to visit his friend who is in jail. and he finds, there are some transitions that are different. he finds an advertisement for an essay writing competition. asking the question, have the arts and sciences improved morals in the state of man or something like that. and it was almost surely rhetorical. it was kind of like finding an essay competition at bryn mawr or kenya. of course you're coming up with a clever way of saying yes. but it's about the arts and sciences, have they made it better? and russo looks at this and he has basically, a road to
damascus moment. and he passes out, he wakes up transient his own tears and a bit of a drama queen. and it occurs to him all of a sudden, this is basically the essence of his view. we have it entirely backwards. and it's very much sort of inspired by bringing in this christianity, he has a sort of classic religious tail that we started in the golden age. the golden age of savages where we are rugged, where individuals, totally not true. and society is corrupted us. and science corrupts us and man is born free but everywhere he is in change. and the person who put up the fence protecting his property saying this is mine, was a first basically the original sin of mankind is private property. very different than locke. and so russo whole orientation and why they say he's the
father of romanticism, i think others can be called that but he deserves as much as anyone else. this is all about an argument from his own personal feelings. to say that my feelings are more authentic than your facts. and personal authenticity is the highest bar and emotions tell us, is so mature early romanticism was. embracing this wild side of our nature and then he says we can only be realized when everything is in perfect harmony. so everyone in society has to be working together towards the same end. and so the contrast between locke and rousseau is strong. locke says we are citizens not subjects, the fruits of our
labor belongs to us. -- i reject this idea because we don't get them from locke and rousseau. >> the beginning of them miracle you haven't quite defined it but is a term that describes this bizarre fact that a door, i said this in a column that something happened in the late 17th century or early 18th century where a door is open it's human possibility in human creation and 300 years later, we are flying to the moon, you know we have invented a worldwide communication system. you know, the things that we can do, who we are, how we live, how long we live, our
health and all that. i think we have been unmanageable to anyone before the door was open. >> it sounds like heaven on earth we describe it 7500 years ago. >> so the miracle starts and the counter argument against the miracle happens almost -- >> simultaneously. >> because these are the two sides of humankind. >> that's right. the difference between locke and rousseau, is really, a divide that went straight to the human heart. we are all a little tribal. we all want to have this sense of belonging where we are part of what is more important than the individual. we all want to have sort of on a subscribe, subscribe to things that give us meaning in ways beyond their own individuality.and we are also, want to be recognized as a unique person in this universe that makes unique contributions and is free to
pursue happiness as we see it. and this is inherent in tension in our heart and in civilization. i think this never really went away. this compulsion to this idea to thank all of this is unnatural, it doesn't feel right. we need something more authentic. and it comes up in every generation in different forms. and it can take the form of populism, nationalism, just rank your rationalism, radicalism.fascism, communism, socialism. these are all various kinds of reactionary tribalism is a sense that they are trying to restore that sense of social solidarity that we missed. it is a fundamental flaw of capitalism. it is inevitable because capitalism is the greatest system ever created for peacefully improving the state of mankind in a cooperative and
nonviolent way. there is one drawback. it doesn't feel like it. it is so unbelievably efficient at the corporation that we do not notice the corporation. and so one of my favorite essays, one of the great essays in libertarianism, it is written from the perception of the pencil. and there are two takeaways that every college kid should read this and take away from it, one, he says, first of all, all of these people he says my rubber comes from indonesia, my wood from comes from canada, the 10 from argentina, the zinc from wherever. and all of these people, different gods and faith and languages, customs, heritages. working seamlessly from all around the world to produce a pencil at a fraction of a penny or whatever it costs. the second point you should take away is, no one knows how
to make a pencil. even pencil manufacturers do not know how. they put together the last bits of ingredients to make the pencil. there was a guy who did -- there was exhibit in england a few years ago called toaster where a guy made a toaster from scratch. so he mind the copper informed the tenant galvanize the rubber. it took him out of the maybe eight years. it was a really crappy toaster. and it cost a couple of thousand dollars. that is the beauty of capitalism predicates ever to work together but it doesn't feel like it. so marx was right about this, and rousseau, they took my alienation. that's what it is. capitalism is inherently alienating and it is, it can only work if you have institutions of civil society and in the family that can
provide that kind of meeting for people. because if they are not there, we start yearning to look for meaning and other things like politics, like tribalism, human nature always comes roaring into play. >> so we have these in postwar sociology, mediating institutions. so there's the government and the individual. there is that individual and then if there's nothing between them, government will either inherently drive to restrict and you know tyrannize the individual and then institutions exist to create both richness, personal richness and involvement and connection and to prevent you from being swamped by the mass or meaning institutions of an
institution that perceives society is some sense of the family. >> right. >> and they have church or neighborhood or the union, the communal organizations. you know, the bowling league, whatever. >> friends! >> friends. the "suicide of the west" has to do with the weakening of these institutions partially as a result of some of the effects of capitalism, partially a result of an ideological assault on them that is oddly, from the perspective of the crazed, romantic, authenticity with those who say it is these institutions that are robbing us of our authentic selves. >> yes. >> family abuses us, the church abuses us or does the terrible things to us. and all of these things so, they are bad. but it turns out you attack
them, and you go after them, and some pretty lousy things can start to happen. >> that's right. some of the problem is that we essentially have an autoimmune syndrome in this country. where the antibodies of the body politics to help attacking the healthy organs. and -- great mid century economist that predicted the children of industrious and also become intellectuals and would turn it on its head. he got much closer to marx. so he makes this point that capitalism, relentless efficiency of capitalism is kind of like water seeking its own level. it doesn't stop at destroying
just bad customs and institutions. it erodes all customs and institutions. but i think the family would stand it pretty well. i think the other part that comes partly from history is that this romantic thing. right? where the way we teach western civilization today, the way we teach american history today. it is this, just all the negative stuff. and how it is open about this. >> the author of the people's history of the united states which is i think most -- >> still the most widely used history text. >> a deliberately ideological reading of the united states that suggest that from its very origins, the government of the united states was more oppressive than it was liberated. >> that's right. and that it was systemic prosecution. he says openly. >> professor brown i think.>> yes. >> he says i'm writing my history from the perspective of
the women here, from the coal miners there, the irish there. it is always these guys who were victimized. i have no problem with teaching that stuff, right? but here is the thing about flipping peoples perspective on that. yes, it is usually important to talk about how we had slavery in western civilization. but the fact is, every civilization had slavery. what's interesting about slavery is that we get rid of it and it is not actually natural in the sense we've been talking about. it only comes from after the agricultural revolution. because slaves were heavy resource he took the women and children and killed the meds but there was not a lot when you couldn't put them to work. slavery comes with the agricultural revolution.but since then, 11 or 12,000 years is been a lot of slavery everywhere. and what people don't understand is that the reason why we should be horrified in
why we should teach about slavery in america is because of the grotesque moral hypocrisy of it. we preached about all of us having an equal in the eyes of god, all men are created equal but we didn't live up to it. and so, the reason we should teach about is the hypocrisy eliminates the ideal. instead, what we get today from the romantics is the very rousseau argument that the ideal itself was a con and oppressive and intended to enslave people and this idea of there are lots of people i think i caught some in the book but there are lots of people who think it is somehow racist for conservatives to quote - martin luther king saying we should judge people by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. in my telling, the amazing thing about this was not that
they got a perfect day one. is that they dropped basically these mental algorithms, put them in writing. that the logic of this idea of human equality and human dignity inherent in the declaration of independence, it took time for it to work its way through american consciousness. lincoln at gettysburg, to rewrite the understanding our country. to be living up to those ideals. and a century later martin luther king says that founders had a promissory note that all men, including white and black men are created equal and deserve to be treated within their rights, and what he was doing there was appealing to the ideal. appealing to the best self of white america. right? all civilization, all rhetoric is, is the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. the best version ourselves. the best version ourselves that was incredibly impelling. today, the whole vision is in
tatters because the identity politics part of it is people are basically saying, you can never get past the whiteness paid all whites are racist, they are demonizing my people. while there celebrating all of these other differences and saying assimilation is evil, the melting pot is evil, they are saying that the essence of identity politics is that i can reduce a vastness, diverse population of people for a single historical grievance based on their skin color. ...
the they almost instantly like people of the race of their own mother for their own parent. paul bloomingdale has done amazing work about how much of this stuff comes than just babies, the basic moral sense of them, but this friend versus bo, stranger versus ken being. and so identity politics really is just another variant of the natural human tendency to form aristocracy because one of the greatest things the founders did, which never get taught us a big deal anymore. they got rid of the notion of an aristocracy and even though they thought it would come back, they didn't think you should just because of an accident of your birth he considered better worse than somebody else. that's what identity politics says. by virtue of the accident of birth, these people are more deserving or less deserving than
other people indicted deeply pernicious to the core principles that make the miracle wonderful. host does so, the suicide than is the overlay of a set of ideas that uni and people like us or people who would read this book, we think our distract to come up overlaid on top of a system that is an extraordinary achievement and the question is, 25300 years old. that's a long time. it's an amazing thing. or you can say 250 years old. as you say in the book, if you
took all of humankind and said all of human kinds lifespan were a year, that all human civilization nor progress was in the last 14 hours on december 31st of that year. so, not a lot of time. the question is, my presumption is that for a lot of people who aren't the most ideological, aren't the most consumed with the romanticism in their preachers have romanticism that one of the reasons they say yeah, it's okay for people to express their pain, feel like they are part of this group. americans can take it. you can take it. you can take this criticism is that they don't think that it's fragile. they just assume that individual liberty, you know, they'll get to keep their stuff.
whereas the revolution there always the first to go. the fellow travelers always the first to face now. this is the really interesting aspect is your same there are these ideas that come up. we don't respect or history. we don't teach our history. we don't teach the glories of the miracle. we don't say this thing you have is something that happened because of a bunch of people at a certain point in time saw something about how life could be constituted. and so, the forgetting of god will lead inevitably to this disintegration. or you know what, it would be okay. so we are going through a bad patch now or we are going to
come out of it it will all be fine. i think we all balance a little bit between depending on the day, whether it were a story where you go we are done, we are finished. somebody beat up charles murray and the like okay, the dark ages are upon us. no one can speak freely. or you know what, the main thing were about to have 3% unemployment in the united states. >> i feel little bit like talking to you about judaism. they survive for the thousands of years. what is the official number? 53,000. because they work really, really hard to keep memory alive. you read the passover haggadah and it is thousands of years
later and we are still expressing gratitude for deliverance. gratitude is part of my argument that conservatism is gratitude or do look around and say these are the things i'm thankful for, blessed for and you want to conserve them, pass them on to your children. i also think a lot of liberalism popularly understood in that kind of liberalism seems to have trouble these days. and so, ginger mccloskey, she deals with a lot of the explanations people use for where capitalism comes from anything she's overwhelmingly persuasive in knocking them down. less than 100 of them bought into her explanation, but it's better than almost anybody else's, which is that it was
worse. he was. he recently talked about yourself. we talked about the world around us. frederick. for almost all of human history, certainly almost all of the western european industry, innovation was considered a sin because our economics is dominated by the monarchy which took off the guilt and by the church. so basically the established powers that the establishment of killed, nobility and church did not like any of the blueberries. for we are bottom-up reasons, this pooch raw thing starts to emerge where innovation is celebrated. for all the sadness lock the sadness lock in a the sadness lock in a deal with the fruits of your labor belong to you and really only happens in england.
it has been in england because england is cleared. there are places that property rights. the chinese had printing presses phone before. time and again, and the established power shut down innovation because it was disrupting and destabilizing as well. for whatever reason because england had a weak central government and an authoritarian monarch or an absolute monarch of a friend said, all sorts of reasons, this genie gets out of the bottle they are. so for me, a big part of the argument is simply that we don't talk about this, we'll forget about it. the bible says remember the sabbath and keep it holy. remember is not translated as honor. it's not like we called. these things we have to
physically do and we don't do any of that right now in our culture. this is on your point about a recent all of this stuff is. i read on a footnote of page nine. think of it this way. oliver wendell holmes is on the supreme court and of us thought the civil war under lincoln. lincoln was a young man working on a farm in indiana and john quincy adams was president in 1775 john quincy adams were george washington commanded the colonial forces. washington was born in 1732 at the dawn of the miracle. that's five lifetimes or do i make a six, washington's father was born in 1694 and died at the ripe age of 48 passed the average life expectancy for an englishman at the time. even then it was just getting started. economist does for most of man's life, he would know better into lakes than he did on for. another guy can't remember points out that the average
english seducing in material terms would know better than the average roman citizens. the state of poverty was just unbelievable in just six lifetimes all of that changes. you know, there are pubs in oxford that i've been to of over 1300. you know, the striking thing that comes up whenever we -- if you take the election, which is something that you deal with towards the end of the book and the question of what our current political situation tells us about where the west is comment that we have these two narratives. one is pretty solid. that is the trump narrative. the democratic narrative shifts and dodges around largely it
decides to center itself on the trump narrative and the antithesis. america's loss. we've done everything wrong and there are these people who been left out and i'm speaking for you. i'm your voice. you got nothing. your salary stinks, financial situation stinks. and basically encoded turns, your cultural dominance had been taken away from you. it is not fair. it's not right and then you have hillary clinton and the democrats who remarkably for the first time in my lifetime were really from the democratic convention, this is great. this country -- i don't like to your donald trump running the
country. this is terrible. and so now, they are merle haggard. we are walking on the fighting side of me. okay, so trump makes this sort of tribal appeal to white america let say and democrats become universalists even though they are the party, that is proportional representation by race and gender. political convention and all of that. and so, trump this may be effectively the first really successful national identity politics politician. but it's an identity politics that they never expected would
be identity politics, which is in great danger, which is if the majority or the plurality decided that it is going to act as though it is an oppressed minority, there's no telling where that leads. >> i think that's right. it's amazing if you look at the polling, everybody thinks -- a demographic group that doesn't feel like they aren't depressed or demeaned or beset upon by the other people. and look, i have considerable sympathy for a lot of the people in the trump coalition who feel they are put on. the way in which enter campus
culture consistently and relentlessly denigrate flyover people for want of a better word. gunowners, churchgoers, worshiping hunters and i think some of that is cultural resent and are legitimate in the sense that they are being looked down upon. you can get away with making fun of those people in the coastal ecology that she never could further people. and so, i honestly think this is something that's very controversial with the left these days, that whenever you talk about the left having some responsibility for the backlash of donald trump, they get furious. we didn't vote for this guy. this is the way the republican party has been going for a long
time. but you can't go around saying, you know, yes all white people are racist. you can't go around talking about how it's amazing how the white working class, blue-collar guy, joe lunchbucket with the democratic coalition for bakhtiar up until the day before yesterday. joe biden bragged about that. the sort of union guys. the second they vote for donald trump, they are all champions of white supremacy. there are races. the debut for the 26th election, do you let go college, what did they call it, the blue ball they had. but they have worked against them but as an institution of
white supremacy. the point i'm really getting at is you can't demonize people forever and expect them to say my gosh, you are right. i'm horrible. people will say wait a second, my dad was a pretty good guy. a great, great grandfather, he fought for the union in the civil war. why people did some pretty good things in this country. that's a normal human response. and so now we are seeing increasing numbers of white people identifying, saying that their core identity contravene white, which was not the case. >> 25 years ago, 30 years ago when pat buchanan's presidency rose in 1992 against george h.w. bush and i started hearing in certain precincts of the right. i worked at the "washington times" at the time and there
were people on staff and repopulating sort of early trumps of. they started talking about european americans. in this is ludicrous. like one thing to say you are an american jew as we both are. the defining characteristic of my life. stats and have to say i'm an american because this is a very big thing. but it's also, i do it because -- but then they -- europeans are an absolute majority. they're attempting to don the mantle of an oppressed minority will be in the majority and that was a forerunner to what is happening now where white
americans still constitute. but the idea is the only way you can't stand being in a society that is atomized in this fashion is to retreat into a sub tribe. >> i think this is a huge problem and again, i am all for calling out the problems on their own site, but this is a problem that is a cultural problem in the left commanding heights of most of our culture to say that they have no role in this cultural problem i think is bizarre. been trying to persuade them in this book. i do want to say one thing because i hear this from trevor
noah. i hear this from a lot of people on the left. it's funny in the subtitle of the rebirth of tribalism and identity politics is destroying american democracy. all liberals agree with the populism and nationalism in there pretty much with the other tribalism. they get serious at the identity politics. there are with me on the identity of politics. and you're never going to get rid of that they politics. i've got no problem with ethnic politics. talking about the germans in pennsylvania to the irish and timothy hall. it's not necessarily always a good thing. it can go too far in all the rest. but it is very different than the identity politics thing, which is essentially trying to create an abstraction that i can
tell all i need to know about you by some abstract adherence to sound vain. we can have many different identities. one of the things about the tribal mind is that all politics is personal in our natural environments. the tribe for the troop for the platoon, whatever you want to call it was our nation. it was her family. it was our politics. it was her spirituality. we worshiped our group who the group is in relation to god. all the meaning was stacked upon each other. the thing that comes with modernity is that instead of stacking up on the meaning, we kind of spread it out. at one moment you can be a church in another you can go to the movies at another moment you can be committed to your job or your family and we split up the sources of meaning. that's one of the things because
it gets complicated with the role of institutional pluralism. if you have enough buy-in and political institutions come you're willing to create this open base for other people to have different points of view. in the tribe, everyone's got to agree on everything and we are losing a lot of that in our politics. >> amy shuler has written a book called vertical tribes. but america can be should be, that the definition of being an american is part of what you're called the supergroup. so your tribe can be part of the larger tribe, which tends not to be a rule of tribes. if you're an israelite, you actually want to kill them all. so the supergroup, but he has to talk about the spreading out of institutions and the idea being
that you also understand that for yours to remain healthy and free of what it means to be, you can poach on the other guy different from you because you're giving them permission to come in and go with yours. so you know, it's sort of a mutual defense agreement furthers the dnc. so the question is how do we -- your argument is that teaching our history and creating a space in which we allow our children. you and i both had teenage children and i have younger children. circling through the experience without them, do we need to give them the tools to feel the gratitude for what we have. even if they don't want to expect the ideological basis or anything like that. but also to say go back to 1600
see how many minutes you could survive. as opposed to living now. >> and i keep the suicide part that i don't think the costly and anything that can be created by word can be destroyed by word. we can talk ourselves out of this. we seem to be doing a pretty good job. the reason why it's fragile is this the only thing that differentiates us from the jungle of the institutions that we are born into and our institutions are in bad shape. starting with the family. and so, people keep asking, would you do about it? what are your policy suggestion and i don't do a lot of policy in here, but one of the things i do say is that i really firmly
believe is we need to shove as much power to the local level is possible for a bunch of reasons. the first is so much of this present and in the tribalism and all the rest comes from the sense that has its roots in capitalism and politics and lots of places where this comes from. but the sense that there are people out there controlling my life. i have no power over my life. people are making decisions for me, conspired against me. the system is rigged. in some of that is paranoia. it's not true. some of it is totally legitimate. but the way you fix it is if you send as much power over the local level as possible, you know that the powers that be are appeared you see them at your kids school, the play, baseball game from this event at church.
so there is an accountability fix a matter. you can't claim the powerful unseen forces that globalists are doing everything. sometimes when people talk about globalists, and to make it like at age 13 they get the permits that. there's some of that going on, too. you still have culture were fights, but the advantage is the winners have to look the losers in the eye the next day. they are going to see them. to be the parents of their kids friends and all that. that creates a certain amount of humility and a certain amount of open heartedness to these kinds of questions. and also, people don't live in the united states of america. with the recent nationalism doesn't do what people like to do. americans don't live in the united states of america. they live in this neighborhood in cleveland. the cul-de-sac in san diego or
wherever. they live in actual communities with real human beings. dunbar's number is a number human beings about 150, 200 people. and that is where all of real-life happens with other human beings. virtual communities are communities. they were only like five things that give us happiness in life. it is like faith, family, friends, experiences and genes. because some people are just born miserable. and earned success, which is not necessarily often money. it is the feeling that she made a difference in people's lives, that you respected the contribution and the government can't give you earned success. they can increase your net worth. they can increase yourself for who you feel the people that can give you a sense of earned success as the is the people who love you and care about you or respect you.
that has to be done at the ground level. giving people more resources, a sign that where they actually live is really the only answer. a wonderful piece for the weekly standard a while ago about how identity politics is not shared of the great done at the family because the desire to feel like you're part of something doesn't go away and if you didn't get those feeling satisfied in your family or your local community, you look for distractions. on the right to think that they'll find meaning in their lives that calling themselves areas or whatever. it is all cheap and shabby in the way you fix it is by reaching to actual human beings. >> so come me start by saying god is not a factor in this book. but to conclude where we began,
you nonetheless referred to this kind of seismic intellectual event 350 years ago as a miracle . the pages of my magazine commentary this month, the miracle is a supernatural event but otherwise nationally would have been. the word miracle is an interesting one because what it suggests, even though this is a book that is not atheist, but does not rain god into it is that what you're supposed to do with the miracle is kind of at it and realized gratitude is one thing, but there's something awesome and is simply laying out the facts of what's happened to
mankind over the last 250, 300 years into say if these in england for whatever reason had not england and ireland, had not had these ideas, habits, and conserve, they said it wouldn't be here. we wouldn't be here. i don't know where we would be. and so, there is that aspect to this. i've read the book. i think her credit twice. it is just a kind of awe-inspiring thing. like i would to see -- [inaudible] in 11th and 12th century in iraq through the greatest building on earth. how did they do that?
they didn't even have power tools. and that is what "suicide of the west," even though it's extremely depressing title, that is how we feel. in the life of the world. >> that is sort of what i was going for so i appreciate that. the miracle part for me, you know we have to back that up, but the miracle part for me suggest divine intervention. we also call things miracles that are inexplicable. ..