Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

It Could Happen Here Weekly 14

It Could Happen Here Weekly 14

Sat, 18 Dec 2021 05:02

All of this week's episodes of It Could Happen Here put together in one large file.2

Learn more about your ad-choices at

See for privacy information.

Listen to Episode

Copyright © 2022 iHeartPodcasts

Read Episode Transcript

Football is back and bet MGM is inviting new customers to join the huddle and enjoy the action like never before. Sign up today using bonus code champion and your first wager is risk free up to $1000. You'll also have instant access to a variety of parlay selection features, player props, and boosted odd specials. Just download the bet MGM app today or go to and enter a bonus code champion and place your first wager risk free up to $1000. The bet MGM app is the perfect way to experience the excitement of wagering. Live sports now and more markets than ever. for terms and conditions. Must be 21 years of age or older to wager Virginia only new customer offer. All promotions are subject to qualification and eligibility requirements. Rewards issued as non withdrawable free bets or site credit free bets expire 7 days from issuance. Please gamble responsibly. Gambling problem call 1-888-532-3500. Hey everybody, Robert Evans here and I wanted to let you know this is a compilation episode so every episode of the week that just happened. Is here in one convenient and with somewhat less ADS package for you to listen to in a long stretch if you want. If you've been listening to the episodes every day this week, there's going to be nothing new here for you, but you can make your own decisions. Welcome to it could happen. Here, a podcast about things falling apart, how they came to be that way. I'm your host, Christopher Wong, and today we're doing part three of our series on neoliberalism. We're going to start today with one of the most famous episodes in history of neoliberalism, the September 11th, 1973 coup against Salvador Allende. Andy was a democratic socialist of a type that has broadly ceased to exist today, a committed Marxist to believe that, classes aside, could be created by means of electoral democracy. He embarked on a campaign drastically more radical than any modern socialist politician has done more than dream of. Mass nationalizations in an attempt to develop a technical system that would allow the government to democratically plan as much of the economy as humanly possible. In part, his hand was forced by Chili's workers who had embarked on their own unsanctioned campaign of takeovers of mines and factories, which I Anna disapproved of and now sought to bring under the National Planning Scheme. To do this, he brought in British cybernetics theorist Stanford Beer, who embarked on an operation called Project Cybersyn to collect and coordinate information between various factories and allow democratic planning at the ground level in a way that would allow instantaneous reaction to crises and immediate changes in production. Levels and conditions inside the factories themselves to deal with them. Ayende for all asparagus credentials was fiercely critical of the bureaucratization of the USSR and in particular in the economic sphere. The way it's planning systems were essentially unable to react to local changes quickly in a context where plans were only created every five years. Cybersyn would solve these problems by workers participation at the factory level and constant updated data flows to the planning office. As the project went on, beer became progressively more radical. Strike by right wing truck workers backed by capitalists and the CIA, in 1972 threatened to grind the nation to a halt. In response, workers formed enormous cordones Industriales, or industrial belts, to help self organize production and bypass the striking right wing workers. In coordination with the Indian Government and a new cybersyn control room. They were able to outmaneuver the strike and maintain production and distribution at nearly full capacity by tracking where goods were going and where they needed to go along what routes. Beer rapidly became convinced that quote the basic answer of cybernetics. The question of how the system should be organized is that it ought to organize itself. In essence, the cybersyn should be used to eliminate the bureaucracy in the state entirely and allow workers to directly organize production themselves. Now. Cybersyn in theory is what the neoliberals claim, at least in public. To want is an anti bureaucratic system that uses decentralized control over the means of production to combat totalitarianism and ensure that the state respects individual rights and liberties. In fact, as evengy moneros put it, pier and Hayek knew each other. As Burn noted in his diary, Hayek even complimented him on his vision for the cybernetic factory after beer presented at a conference in 1960 in Illinois. So naturally, when the system was actually implemented, at least in part Chile, the neoliberal position was that every single person involved in the entire economic experiment needed to be killed. Chile was put under economic blockade by the US and multinational corporations with full neoliberal support, an ironic position given Milton Friedman, Hayek and Rope case pure and absolute opposition to economic blockades of South Africa Rhodesia. To its eternal shame, the AFL-CIO's American Institute for Free Labor Development provided training and funds to the right wing unions that opposed the leftist government and others across Latin America. In Chile, working directly with the CIA, the AFL-CIO's organizations trained the right wing truckers, whose 1972 strike we've already discussed, and used 1973 strike, which paved the way for Pinochet's coup. In many cases organized labor, especially in the US but also in places like Italy. Spent the 70s battling their own left flank and defensive capital. The reward for their service? This was capital turning around and getting them like a fish in the 80s. In day two fought a series of battles with his left flank, disarming the mask workers assemblies that have formed. In 1972 it could have saved him from the coup. The result was the other 911, on which day in 1973 the military overthrew Allende in a coup and Ayende shot himself in the presidential palace. The man who would emerge on the top of the power struggle in the military at the end of the coup was one Augusto Pinochet. Now Pinochet from the beginning had the support of Chile's own domestic neoliberals, of which there were a fairly large number. Upon taking power, he carried out what would become the standard neoliberal program, returning nationalized industries to the capitalists, illuminating price controls and increasing interest rates. But full scale neoliberalism didn't come immediately. Inflation, which Pinochet had nominally in large part taken power to control, continued unabated. And in 1974 Milton Friedman arrived in Chile to argue for neoliberal shock therapy. But it wasn't until Pinochet's desperation for money drove him to the IMF that he would fully embrace neoliberalism. Most of the world had refused to do business with new dictatorial regime, with the exception of the US and, oddly enough, maos China, which poured money into the regime and Pinochet's personal pockets. But that money was insufficient, and the IMF was the only remaining body who would actually lend money to Pinochet without any requirements on improving Chiles at this point abysmal human rights record. Much of the full neoliberal turn that hit Chile in 1975 came from demands from the IMF itself. Who demanded a draconian measures to control inflation. Here Pinochet was aided by the support of the neoliberals, whose legitimacy and academic standing allowed them to negotiate and secure favor from the IMF, which they had already begun to infiltrate. At this point, the infamous Chicago Boys economists trains at the University of Chicago by Milton Friedman were put in charge of the economy. University of Chicago trained economist Sergio De Castro, known as the Pinochet of the economy, was put in charge of the Ministry of Economics. To cash your privatize an enormous portion of the remaining profitable state industries, eliminated tariffs and implemented free trade policies, deregulated the finance sector, and eliminated any remaining price controls. Chicago boys would go on to do things like privatizing the entire Chilean pension system, with the exception of the military, which is good in education of any as to what the regime thought the actual effects of privatization would be. In 1978, Pinochet declared something called the Seven Modernizations with quote reforms in labor, education, health, regional decentralization, agriculture, and justice policy. The goal of these reforms was to introduce the market into literally every aspect of society. Now, in episode one, I very briefly mentioned the Virginia school as one of the major schools of deliberate lism. The Virginia School, the people behind public choice theory, their thing is essentially taking the absolutely absurd set of beliefs Chicago school holds about people that humans are all knowing, rational, calculating. God's optimizing their behavior to get the most of every single interaction to maximize the utility. And then applying it to political science and then literally every other field. If you've ever heard someone say there's no rational reason to vote. Because if you're a rational, self interested person, the cost of voting outweighs the benefit because your vote only matters if it's deciding one. Therefore it's against your interest to vote. That's the Virginia school and their public choice theory ******** at work. Pinochet 7 Modernizations was an application of Virginia school doctrine to the entire Chilean state and as much as the society as humanly possible, with the goal of transforming it into a market. I'm going to read a section from the road to Mount Pelion describing Virginia school Titan James M Buchanan's work. Ineffectual consequences in the political marketplace were blamed solely on the fallacies of political decision making. Quote we can summarize public choice as a theory of government failure. End Quote Buchanan delivered a highly abstract paper titled Limited or Untitled Democracy to the Montpelier One Society in Vina Del Mar in Chile in 1981, which some constructed as a critique of the host countries mobilization for action history. Buchanan stated that if limited, democracy was a polity predisposed to disable. Political market that would otherwise promote the most efficient allocation of resources. The only meaningful task of the government would be to deprive the polity of its ability to do so. Public choice theory thus sought to limit democracy and depoliticize the state in order to enable unconstrained market forces to guide human interaction. Since the Pinochet regime was committed to. Using its governmental powers in precisely this manner, Buchanan's paper provided theoretical support for the regime, even if it did not openly endorse the authoritarian rule. Buchanan, of course, would spend a bunch of time doing lectures in Chile throughout Pinochet dictatorship. But he was not that regime's most vicious neoliberal supporter. That award goes to Frederick Hayek. Here's Hayek when asked about Chile, which he'd been to in 1978 and blessed with his approval quote. A dictatorship can restrict itself in a dictatorship which deliberately is restricting itself can be more liberal than its politics, than a democratic assembly which has no limits. Chili's 1980 Constitution was drafted in part by one of Hayek's friends. Here's wrote road to Mount Pelion. Again, the Constitution was not only named after Hayek's book The Constitution of Liberty, but also incorporates significant elements of high thinking. Above all, the Constitution places strong emphasis on a neoliberal understanding of freedom. Guzman's version of freedom is intrinsically connected to private property, free enterprise, and individual rights. Individual freedom, in his interpretation, can only evolve. You know, radical market order. The Constitution was dedicated to guarantee such an order without constraining any economic activities. In order to protect free market conditions and individual freedoms against totalitarian attacks or democratic interventions, the constitution stipulated a necessity of a strong central state authority to guarantee the established rule of law and thus, above all else, is hammered in the application of discretionary government power. Exempted were measures to uphold the status quo, inasmuch as Guzman aggressively supported continuing the state of emergency, which legalized the use of whatever discretionary powers were deemed necessary to quell opposition. That, folks, is a Hayekian constitution used the state to murder anyone wants democracy or God help them, wants to control their production. They're forced to serve every day. Chile is neoliberalism's Voltron by taking binding the power of all four major schools of neoliberalism. Chicago School monetary and economic policy, Austrian school constitutional order order liberal reliance on the international bureaucracy and legal institutions like the IMF in order to promote a market economy and Virginia school public choice theory running the state. You get a neoliberal right wing military dictatorship. Now most conventional accounts of neoliberalism will move from Chile to Reagan and Thatcher. And next episode will cover the neoliberal counterrevolution in the Anglosphere. But focusing on purely national events gives a skewed perception of how neoliberalism actually spreads. And in order to correct that, we're going to look at Venezuela. I'm going to be drawing heavily here from the work of the legendary Venezuelan anthropologist Fernando Coronil in his book the magical state, which I highly recommend as one of the best things ever written about oil and the Venezuelan state. Though readers, be warned, chapter one is an absolute slog. That, on the one hand, is one of the most interesting explanations of what oil rents are of ever encountered, but also features coronial inventing a new trio electric, and then stubbornly refusing to explain what it is, or literally anything about how it works. So read the magical state skip chapter one. Now, the guiding principles of the new mass capitalist democratic parties and post dictatorship Venezuela since the 1960s had been developing sovereignty by economic independence. The keystone of this project was an attempt to use the power of the state in new oil rents to develop an automotive industry. The project had sort of stalled out from its origins in the 60s until the rise of the G77 OPEC alliance in 1973 and 1974 that we discussed last episode. In 1975, Venezuela's assembly passed a law that granted the president's special powers to speed up the developments of the auto industry core in the auto industry in Venezuela. Coronial described it thus quote the central goal was to have 90% of the vehicles value, including the drivetrain produced locally. By 1985. Major components would be produced by enterprises having at least 51% of their capital from local private sources. Existing foreign companies would have to become mixed or national firms in accord within day impact regulations if they wanted to benefit from the common market. Now, this plan is what's called industrial import substitution. Developing countries would attempt to develop industries, in this case auto manufacturers, inside of a country to produce cars for internal consumption instead of importing them from other countries. There are other key of this plan is the Andean Pact, an association of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Chile that was collaborating to develop a regional industrial economy that would use local resources to build a local industrial economy producing industrial goods made entirely inside of the countries themselves from their resources. Now, Venezuela joins the pack in 1973, and Pinochet notably leaves in 1977. The key sticking points in this joint and day impact Venezuelan attempts to build an auto industry was that Venezuela needed technology held by multinational corporations in order to actually produce the vehicles. Multinational car companies were willing to go ahead with the project to build cars in Venezuela in the short term because they were hurting from the oil shock and thus were willing to help national plants develop cars as long as they could use the parts to build their own cars with parts sourced from around the world. And this is where the neoliberal defensive intellectual property rights becomes extremely important, because the companies who held the patents for the drivetrains essentially had a technological stranglehold over car developments. Now, Venezuela conducted an extensive bidding process for companies to make cars in Venezuela. But the car companies essentially sabotaged it by submitting designs that failed specs. The result was a kind of political war inside Venezuela. And particularly inside the Venezuelan ruling class between national development and international profits. The Venezuelan developmentalist needed a breakthrough. What they needed, in essence, was new international economic order and its corporate. Regulations. Debt relief. And technology transfers. Without them, even a third world country like Venezuela, flush with oil money, was incapable of developing an industrial economy. But the new international economic order never came. All the G7 had to do in order to stop it was stall the G77 out until commodity power faded. The G77 had to fundamentally change the structure of the economy in order to allow them to industrialize. Before the sort of Damocles hanging over all of their heads, the mounting third world debt fell and decapitated them. The G7 strategy to outlast the G77 was to pull the various factions of the G77 apart, in particular pulling the moderate governments away from the radical wing of OPEC and the African Socialists. They attacked OPEC by using Saudi Arabia to undermine its unity. They attempted to peel the so-called less developed countries away from their reliance with OPEC, with the promise of aid to patch up the damage dealt by increased oil prices. These are worked incredibly well, but when combined with the US, essentially shutting the UN down by refusing to let any business get done, refusing to vote. Four or even vetoing routine matters. The stalling worked. No new international economic order was forthcoming. Instead, the world would get neoliberalism. Neoliberalism arrived in the world stage in the form of the Volcker Shock. In 1979, Jimmy Carter appointed Paul Volcker as the chairman of the Federal Reserve, with a broad mandate to do whatever he wanted to reduce inflation. Volcker had become a disciple of monetarism, a Friedmanite Chicago school belief about the role of the money supply in the economy considered to be absolutely crank even by modern neoliberals. His solution, which became known as the Volcker Shock, was to increase interest rates at 20%. This essentially blew a crater in the American economy and immediately sent it into recession, and we'll get to Volcker and Reagan's efforts to destroy American labour in the next episode. But the damage to the Third World was even worse. G77 governments had. For decades, taking on adjustable rate loans pegged to something called the Libor rate. When they took the loans out, interest rates were virtually negative, but when the Volcker Shock hit, they skyrocketed. Now, as we talked about last episode, a major part of the crisis of the 70s was enormous piles of oil money, mostly from the Gulf states floating around, that nobody could actually get returns on. Because of declining manufacturing profit rates, this money wound up flowing back into the American finance system when capital controls were lifted in 1975. And the banks threw the money at loans in the Third world. Now some of that money had been put into industrial development that had yet to pay off. Some of the money had simply been put directly into dictators bank accounts. The banks essentially didn't care if the loans they were making had little to no chance of being repaid without some kind of structural reform, because in 1978 control of the IMF fell to an arch neoliberal named Jacques de la Rosiere. I I really don't know if that's how you pronounce his name, but he is evil, so. Neoliberals further took control of the World Bank in 1981 from the IMF and the World Bank. A succession of neoliberals enshrined the key principle of the new neoliberal order debtors must always pay back their debts. Creditors would no longer assume risk for their loans. Instead, loans would be repaid at gunpoint. This was no me a rhetorical slogan, as the G77 imploded as a political body under the weight of hundreds of billions of dollars of debt. Now, with 20% interest, Thomas Sankara, the Socialist President of Burkina Faso, attempted to rally its remains to collectively negotiate debt relief. Sakara was promptly shot by a former ally who accused him of threatening Burkina Faso's relationship with France. With all resistance slaughtered, entire nations were reduced the debt servicing machines, as tax dollars were directed from health, education, and Social Security. Programs into the coffers of international banks which use a newly neoliberal controlled International Monetary Fund as their enforcer. The anthropologist David Graeber described the consequence of one such IMF austerity program in debt, the 1st 5000 years quote. For almost 2 years I had lived in the Highlands of Madagascar. Shortly before I arrived, there had been an outbreak of malaria. It was a particularly virulent outbreak because malaria had been wiped out and highlight Madagascar many years before, so that after a couple of generations most people had lost their immunity. The problem was, it took money to maintain those mosquito eradication programs, since there had to be periodic tests to make sure mosquitoes weren't starting to breed again, and spraying campaigns if it was, discovered that they were not a lot of money. But owing to IMF imposed austerity programs, the government had to cut the monitoring program. 10,000 people died. I met young mothers grieving for lost children. One might think it would be hard to make a case that the loss of 10,000 human lives is really justified in order to ensure that Citibank wouldn't have to cut its losses on one irresponsible loan that wasn't particularly important to its balance sheet anyways. Following the old odor, liberal dream of legal framework to ensure neoliberal market economies. The new generation of neoliberals used the IMF, World Bank and other bureaucratic institutions to act as debt enforcers. And it posed neoliberal policies from above without anything so petty as democracy interfering with it. In fact, one of the first neoliberal structural adjustments, one of a bewildering new array of terms for IMF and forced austerity programs, was implemented by the Jamaican socialist Michael Manley in 1977. Which in a single year wiped out every gain in education and public health, and madly had spent his first term building up similar faiths would be fall health, education and justice programs across the world. The death toll remains unknown. Venezuela would fall victim to a similar fate without the new international economic order. Venezuela's industrial policy imploded as post voltage shock government debt skyrocketed. In the 1980s, the government began to impose IMF structural adjustments. Carlos Andres Perez, the man who led the industrial push in the 1970s, was elected a second time in 1989, running a campaign that I've seen euphemistically described as quote against liberalization policy. It was somewhat more extreme than that, featuring lines such as calling the IMF quote, A bomb that only kills people. But Perez was negotiating with the IMF behind the scenes and imposed even harsher IMF austerity measures upon winning the election, leading to a mass uprising in 1989 that was suppressed in a bath of blood, with hundreds killed by the army. But even more structural adjustments were imposed after Perez was deposed for corruption in 1992. Implemented, ironically, by the founder of the movement towards socialism, Teodoro Petkoff, the head of Venezuela's planning agency, in 1996. All of Venezuela's economic crises from the 1980s until now stemmed from the failures of 1970s industrialization. Without any kind of industrial economy, even the Socialists that took power in the 1999 at a national level were reduced to shuffling oil rents around. And with the market economy still in place, the economy simply imploded again when oil prices fell. This is how neoliberalism comes to most countries. Not as policies implemented by anything even remotely resembling the will of the people. But enforced by the international economic system itself and the bureaucrats, the IMF, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization. It is imposed by enormous states at gum points, constituted by the mass looting of the population in order to pay corporate debt. Masters near Liberals have effectively achieved their goal and transcended Democratic politics entirely. From their perches in the international bureaucracy, they can dictate policy to even hostile leaders. But tomorrow we'll see what happens when they take power domestically as we conclude our neoliberalism series with a man rotting in hell, with Paul Volcker, Ronald Reagan. Welcome to it could happen here, a show about things falling apart and is for one final time this week about why and how things have fallen apart in this specific way. I'm I'm I'm your host, Christopher and. Today with me, I have Garrison Garrison. Hello, how you doing? I'm doing fine. We're gonna talk something that is not fine. It's not fine at all, is in fact extremely grim and bad, which is part four of our series of deliberate lism, IE all of the bad things happen at once. O in our last episode, we talked about how throughout throughout most of the third worlds. Or, you know what was at the time known as a third world neoliberalism. Is not really imposed on people voting for it. It's mostly imposed by either external forces via coup or by just the IMF going OK, just we're running the country now. But this this, yeah we're we're gonna shift our focus a bit this. Episode with the people who were, I don't know, unfortunate enough, misguided enough, decided that they hated each other enough to actually choose neoliberalism for themselves. Now, one of the sort of stories we've been tracing here is sort of a very broad arc is the reaction by kneeler bolts to a kind of kind of compromise that had been worked out between labor and capital, particularly the US. After a sort of the open class warfare from the 1930s and you know. There, there, essentially there's there's a kind of deal that's set up informally, which is. O. The, the, the working class will stop literally, constantly going on strike and showing up the strikes with, like, enormous numbers of guns and shooting at people. And they will, you know, stop trying to overthrow the government. And in exchange, the state gives you welfare programs. The state will give you a house. And this is particularly after World War Two. The Americans say it's just, you know, does this massive homeownership campaign and, you know, if you're, if you're, if you're, you know, a union worker, particularly if you're a white man like this, you know, working, working, working. One of these Union jobs will put you in the middle class. You can take vacations. You can have a house. You can get pensions. Your unions are legal now, which is the thing that, like you know, hadn't happened before. And this is essentially, you know, this is essentially a counterinsurgency tool. The, the, the goal of this is to stop people from, you know, doing the kinds of roles that were happening in the 30s. But by the 1970s it's becoming very clear that this sort of deterrent like can't, it can't really be maintained because it's too expensive for sort of the capital states to maintain and trying to maintain both. Well. And you know, the secondary thing here is, is, you know, OK, so this deal specifically goes out to white men, right. Now throughout the 60s and 70s, you get a bunch of other people who are not white men attempting to enter the workplace, attempting to get the same bargain. And you know, they're in a lot of ways significantly more militants and this causes. And no response. Emotional strife you get. You know the US is murdering the Black Panthers. You get similar stuff in the UK. And the neoliberals basically are. The people who just fully called this to taunt off and are, you know, essentially going to return to full scale class war. And so now we are finally getting to Reagan and Thatcher, and one day we will do a full episode about how Ronald Reagan, in a weird, shadowy cabal of Italian intelligence services, rigged the 1980 election by planting fake stories about Jimmy Carter's brother and the press. Which is, do you hear the story, Garrison? No, but it sounds like regular media manipulation. That happens all the time now. Yeah, yeah, it's it's, yeah, there's, there's, there's, there's, there's a whole through line. There because, you know, a lot of those, like same kind of intelligence tactics are going to be used to sell the Iraq war. And there's this whole sort of thing that, you know, there's also the specific Italian angle of, yeah, the Italian states being run by this rogue Masonic Lodge led by a fascist. And it's it's a time. There's a lot going on there. But that's, you know, I'm just, I'm just thinking like Hunter Biden laptop and all of that. Yeah. Yeah, stuff it's like, oh, so that's just the same playbook. Yeah, it's the same thing. End up like they were like actual intelligence people running it instead of just sort of like. Whatever. Tucker Carlson? Yeah, Tucker Carlson and Glenn Greenwald. Trying to get people to like care about this thing that just nobody gives a single **** about. Yeah, you know, it was, it was, but the 80s version of it was significantly more effective and you know the the product of this is that. Reagan, sort of Reagan finds like the secret sauce for right wing politics, which would kind of, you know. In, in, in in some ways. And Nixon had been trying to develop, hadn't quite gotten right, which is no. Yeah, yeah, yeah. He figures out that, you know, if you wanted to neoliberalism, if you want to destroy the unions, you want to show the welfare state. The way you do it is basically a combination of sort of racist attacks and welfare recipients and you mobilize new religious right. And this is extremely effective, and it's. But I think it's also interesting and worth noting that. You know, if you go all the way back to episode one like this is this is rope keys like white nationalism, like sort of German white nationalism. Thing is, this is explicitly what rocky sort of strategy for implementing the liberalism was. The problem is he was German and Catholic, which meant that like, it could never work in the US. But, you know, you get Reagan, you suddenly you get the American version of it. That is, you know. White, but American, and then also works off, sort of off of the sort of mass protestantism. In the US and this. Becomes a four studies. Responsible for like almost every bad thing that exists today in some form or another. A lot of them, yeah. I mean, not all of them, but you know, I think things go extremely badly and. You know so, so. Reagan wins this election and then almost at exactly the same time, Margaret Thatcher wins this wins her election in in the UK. And that the combination of those two things and also as we talked about last episode, the Volcker Shock, where Volcker raises the interest rates just raised the Fed into become so Volcker. Volcker is installed weirdly, not by Ronald Reagan but by Jimmy Carter, but is given this sort of mandate to just do whatever, literally do whatever you have to to, to get inflation under control. The thing he decides to do is just. Literally nuke the entire world economy. You know, we talked about the effects of this had on sort of the world in the last episode, but in the US this sets off a recession at last, basically from like 1979 to like 1982 at the height of it. It's like it's I think we finally got more people unemployed during the pandemic, but I'm like 8090% sure that between World War Two and the pandemic, that was the single largest number of people who've been unemployed in the US. Which is. Yeah, which is apocal just epochal devastation. And, you know, there's, there's there's a whole thing here where the head of the AFL-CIO is literally begging Volcker, like, please don't do this. Like, we can get inflation under control after, you know, after the economy recovers. It looks just like, no. The consequence of this is that you have you have an economy in which is number of people unemployed and the unions are weak. And both Reagan and Thatcher. Sort of. See this now. The the the the unions in the UK are in a significantly better position in the American unions. Reagan is able to sort of smash the American unions very quickly. There's there's the, you know, the famous air traffic control strike, where a bunch of American air traffic controllers go on strike technically illegally. And Reagan just has literally every single one of them fired and replaces them with just like, like, like people from flight school, like people who just just like literally anyone. He can just like pull off the street who sort of kind of knows how to how to land an aircraft, like they pull people from the military. It's it's just like this absolutely wild. Of. Feed a strike breaking and then you know and when, when, when that falls and that that strike fails. You know, air traffic controllers well, OK, funnily so, the air controllers had actually backed Reagan. They were like the only union that backed Reagan in the election and they immediately just get, you know, they get gutted for it. Which. Like? I have mixed feelings about because like, on the one hand, like, yeah, that's that, that's what you get, but on the other hand, this is basically what the story is. This distance, the consequences, that this is basically what the story is, like trade unions in the US, because at this at this point everyone realizes that the unions are weak and they just start, you know, you get to the point where employers are deliberately provoking strikes so that they can just fire all the unionized employees. And it's extremely effective in in Britain, the fight is a lot more intense. In 1984, Thatcher cuts cold like basically Thatcher wants to provoke a fight with with the coal unions. And so she basically wants to shut down a whole bunch of coal production and fire like 20,000 miners and the miners go on strike and they go on strike for over a year. But Thatcher had basically stockpiled enough coal to stave off the worst effects of the strike. And then she makes these, like, incredibly elaborate network of deals with like. She's like this, this whole scab driver, like union, like basically this whole network of scab drivers, like make sure you can move the coal around while the strikes going on. There's all of this stuff. And. You know, and and she eventually is able to cross the coal strike, and this also just just completely annihilates. Like the British trade union movement, I mean union participation. I think dream Thatcher's term alone falls by 50% and it's gotten way worse since then. So, so with with those two incidents, the air traffic control and the coal we did, did those just kind of make people be disillusioned or did that just like pave the way for similar tactics to be acceptable for every other Union that tried to do the same thing both? And then the other thing was fear because. You know, so with the air traffic controllers, right. The air traffic controllers are, you know, these are the most highly skilled like people, people. There are a bunch of people who are incredibly highly skilled and they're they're, they're in a logistic industry, right. So you know in theory these are the people who have like the the the maximum amount of impact if they were go on strike. And when Reagan shows that you can literally just fire 24,000 people of like the most highly skilled sort of workers in the in the US, you can fire them and just break the strike and nothing will happen. And you know the result is total defeat and none of these people ever work. That basically spreads this massive wave of fear. Through the Union movements, because you know, if they can fire those guys, they can fire anyone and then you know the the, the employer should start doing it and the other thing that's been happening here is that for. Really, since the the end of the 40s, the unions have kind of. So we'll talk about this more in in in an interview that's going to come out probably next week about the sort of the history of American Union movements, but American unions basically. So American, like the union movement, was built by radical organizers. And in the 40s? And sort of moving on from there. All these people getting expelled from the labor movement and labor fights this basically. Incredibly intense battle against his own left flank. And you have, you know, like for example in in this thing called the the Dodge Revolutionary Union movement, right, which is a bunch of mostly black workers in Detroit who are you know, they're, they're, they're, they're forming unions are going on strike, but they're also fighting against the the UAW because the UAW is cooperating too closely with the bosses, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. And there's there's these, you know, there's there's basically this battle between. Like, not even just basically between the unions, ranked and file and the radicals and the sort of business union management and in fighting that battle. The unions had basically like massively weakened themselves. And then you know, and by by by by the time you hit the 80s. Especially in the US, the unions are just sort of a shell of their former selves and and Reagan just sort of like smashes them aside then Thatcher. The predictions are much stronger, but. You know, I mean that Thatcher is preparing to like, like, there's she, she has plans to, like, the army is going to come in and suppress the strike. There's these and especially there's there's just, I mean, just an absolutely incredible amount of police violence that's, you know, I mean, this is something that had like happened before during strikes, but the, the, the, the, the, the, the level of intensity of it is just like massively increased. And. There, there's also another thing that's happening. Basically at the same time with this which is squeezing the units from the other side. Which is there's this. I guess you could call it like an internal class war inside the ruling class between, well, specifically inside of the sort of corporate management between the sort of traditional like manager CEO class and the sort of like I guess you call them the sort of Wall Street finance bank types. And so, so, yeah, so one of the other things that that's happens at the end of, you know, basically after the war is the sort of class compromise we're talking about like this, this happens inside of the company too. And people start to see the corporation as like a social institution. It has, you know, it's like, well, OK, so there's this alliance between middle management and the workers and, you know, like, OK, so we, we both work with each other and, you know, the compromise is that you guys get to have unions, but the unions won't sort of disrupt production, will all work together and we'll just make like. I don't know. We'll we'll make really, really good ballpoint pens together. And so, yeah, you have this alliance which sort of middle managements and and these unions, NEO and this, this is embedded into the structure of the corporation because you know you not only have the unions but you have corporations paying pensions. One one of the the the things that that Reagan does is that Reagan starts, you know, Reagan does is this massive series of financial deregulations. And the other part of this agreement basically had been that like the the the high level finance class had sort of stayed out of the way of management. And so management I kind of like you know. There you, you, you get this like this independent sort of CEO class that that's that's a distinct thing that you know that there are people who come up through the company who manages and worked away the top. And this is a distinct thing from sort of the finance people who are like, yeah, they're not supposed to be allowed to like, you know, the touch production. Yeah. But in the 1980s, the finance people. Start to look at this and go wait, hold on. Why are we not running things and the finance people have? Because they have two things on their side. One, they have a sort of neoliberal ideology and the second thing they have is so. Michael milken. He figures out how to do this thing called a leveraged buyout option. It's it's it's a it's a kind of complicated financial instrument. The short and simple explanation of what it is is he figures out a way to. Basically go into a bunch of debt and he he he gets he gets people to give him a bunch of money like in the form of these bonds and then he uses it. Just buy out entire companies. He he buys 51% of the company and if you own 50% of the company now you control, you have controlling interest. And so he he he goes in and he just he just raises the stock prices of all these companies. And now, you know, but now he, he's gone into an enormous amount of debt, right, in order to buy, in order to buy this company. And so, you know, in order to pay off that debt, he just starts strip money in the company. And so he starts, you know, anything that can be sold for money that he can put in his pocket to pay off his debt starts getting sold. And you know, everything the corporate the company is doing, it doesn't immediately make money or doesn't immediately raise the stock price gets cut. And so. You know, there, there, there, there, there. There are two major things that a company has that don't immediately make money and don't raise the stock price, and that is pensions and research and development. And this this has you know this this this this this becomes known as the the the sort of this is the hostile takeover wave this is it gets rebranded as mergers and acquisitions in the 90s but it's it's this huge sort of. Wave those corporate scripts, corporate America and. It turns the corporation from this kind of social body where it's like, well, everyone's cooperating and companies sort of have this responsibility to like, provide for their workers and provide sort of for like the social good into literally the only, like the single entire purpose of, of of any company is to raise the stock price. And this. Yeah. Yeah, this is really bad. Yeah. And and and, you know, the the part about it that's awful is that, you know, OK. So all, all literally all a corporate Raider has to do. In order to. Buy out. One of these companies is be able to is be able to offer a price for the stock that's higher from the stock price of the company. Now, and this means Even so, there's a very famous. Series of battles, they they buy out, an enormous number of companies get bought out and strip mines like this. And, you know, and again, these are, these are very, very profitable companies, right? These are companies with large research development budgets. These are companies that are making enormous amounts of money. And they're just completely destroyed in order to sort of just like, satiate these. Just like absolute ghoul corporate, like vulture rater people. This is, you know, if you remember, might be too young for this, but Mitt Romney's campaign. For so yeah, one of the reasons why Mitt Romney loses is that like, he he he's one of these guys. Like he he's he's like, he's The Big Bang capital guy. And I first kind of looks at him and goes like, you are the reason we like got into this mess in the first place. But the the the problem is that these people will have enough money and they have enough power if they're able to do this and in order to stop them. So there, there, there there's a mass, there's a massive fight between a bunch of people try to take over a Goodyear who are, you know, they make the tires. They have the blips. And Goodyear CEO is like fanatically opposed to all of this because, you know, he, he's, he's from the old CEO crop who's like, well, OK, We're here to like make things instead of, you know, increase stock prices. But the problem is the only way he can stave off the Raiders is by increasing his stock price. And the only way to increase stock prices is by doing the things the corporate rates are already doing. So you start. Yeah. He starts flashing your development budgets. Yeah and this and this this sort of cycles because now you have you know there's there's you're not only having pressure from you know like the government that's that's anti union the corporations themselves are being forced to become more anti union because they're you know they now have this pressure on them from the top down from from these sort of these sort of finance schools and the finance schools in a lot of ways just the perfect kneeler both subjects, right. Because they they they only see the world in money they see everything as a market. They literally think that like they they are like these like shamans. If if there's a really good ethnography that I've plugged before on here called liquidated and ethnography of void. Yeah liquidated and ethnography of Wall Street where an anthropologist goes onto Wall Street and works there for a while and then you couch interviews doesn't doesn't topological stuff. And and the way they talk about the market they they literally talk about it as if they're channeling it right like it's like something and they're like these are these are these are let's let's one of the new. Gods of of our world that. Yeah that's I mean that's that's not a uncommon turn of phrase to describe stuff like this. Yeah and and but what what I what I think is interesting about it though is that you know that conception of the market of like every person is just like a pure like completely socially unbound like thing of capital that you Oh well OK if you lose your job here you can just move to another firm. Right. So this makes sense inside of the context of Wall Street because these people like like these Wall Street. Room they have, they have like 30% turnover a year. And so all these people are constantly being fired and shuffled into the next job, fired and shuffled onto the next job. And so, you know they so they they they do they do this very common sort of fallacy thing where they assume that because this is the way that it works for them, but this is the way it's gonna work for everyone else. And they, they genuine. And a lot of these people genuinely believe this. They're like, well, OK, the things we're doing, the things that we're about to do. Like, you know, when we destroy these workers entire lives, when we, you know, when we close their factories, when we take their pensions, when we literally destroyed like every community and every like thing that's ever just in their lives are like, oh, they'll just pick them up and go to another place and be fine because, you know, if you're, if you're, you know, a Wall Street finance school, like, yeah, that's what happens when you get fired every three months. And so these people, these people basically take control of of. The entire corporate sector, they do this very quickly by, you know they they they start this in, in the sort of early 80s and Milliken the, the guy who comes up with the junk bonds leveraged buyout scheme like he he goes to jail for I think securities fraud. They get him for fraud, but it doesn't it doesn't matter that a lot of those guys got securities fraud. All of these people like are you going to get all of these people are just doing crime? Like, yeah. Standards. This is how, uh, this is how the action park guy got kicked out, got kicked out of Wall Street, is doing all the same stuff. And again, I want to put this out, like, the stuff they're doing is so illegal that, like, even the Reagan administration was like, no, we have to prosecute you like, yeah, it's like, this is the. This is the Ronald Reagan Justice Department. And they're like. It was, it was so much crime. Yeah. It's it's really bad and and you know, the result of this is. Just basically the total evisceration of of the working class, just like as a movement. And, you know, all of the left wing parties are sort of reshaped by this and you know it. And you know, we've been focusing on the US and. And the UK here, but this is not the only place that happens and you know, so one of the, you know, like this, this happens, this also starts happening like in in socialist states. And we talked about this in more detail in our interview with our Nessa cutra about Bosnia. But one of the big things that Milosevic is doing in Yugoslavia in when when he takes power and he starts like actually being a real political force in 1980s, is he starts doing basically all of the same stuff that that that Reagan and Thatcher doing. He starts, he starts implementing shocks and he starts privatization. He starts like. Marketization. He starts cutting, cutting, cutting price controls. He starts, sort of. He starts doing. I don't know if the collectivization is quite the right word, because Yugoslavia's. Economic system is complicated and weirder than the USSR's. But, you know, he does this and this is one of the things that starts Yugoslavia's death spiral. Because, you know, you have this enormous economic devastation from being the increase in oil prices from the oil shock. And then that gets paired with, you know, the economic devastation from everyone losing their benefits, people losing their pensions, these state owned industries going under, getting privatized. The sort of like collective ownership structures imploding. And. The, the, the, the product of this is that, you know, Milosevic looks at this and is like, OK, how can I stay in power? And his answer is just genocide on that. It's just genocide on nationalism. And this sort of collapses sort of state and social life is, you know, and and the leaders at the top realizing that they can weaponize sort of nationalism is one of the things, at least directly to the Bosnian genocide. Now towards the end of the 80s, the whole Soviet block starts coming apart. Yeah, the Berlin Wall falls and eventually. You know, the Soviet Union dissolves and the people who are trying to end the Soviet Union. The things that they want basically are like freedom of speech, the ability to like leave the country and basically like Scandinavian style social democracy. And it was, like, reasonable requests coming from the Soviet Union. Yeah, yeah, I know. I mean, these these people like, you know, this is these these, you know, like, they, they they they they wanted to live in Scandinavia and instead they got, hey, welcome to the US but, like, even worse. Yeah. And so, yeah, that happens if you're not careful. Yeah. Yeah. It's it's really bad. And, you know, what they said is just these, this enormous wave of privatizations, the welfare state just vanishes. And you know, this, this causes basically like total societal collapse, like one of my, one of my professors and this this happens basically across the whole Soviet bloc. One of my professors in college, I think she was from Gary. Umm. She she told me about how during the 90s, like when she was growing up, like she and her family would just the only thing they had to eat was raw Millet because there's no food. There's there's literally no food anywhere. The entire economy has collapsed. Nobody has any money. And so, you know, it's like, well, OK, everyone just eating raw grain because you know that that's, that's, that's. The only thing you can, you can, you have to survive. And you know, it's this, it's it's literally so bad that in Russia it causes the single largest life expectancy drop in post World War Europe is it's like like, it's the life expectancy decreases by like 4 years because so many people die from this. You know and and one of the one of the ways that happens is that. There's the so the the way they're they're gonna deal with like the state owned industry thing is they they. OK, I've never been able to figure this figure out if it was like they they actually took Murray Rothbard's plan for this, or if they just independently developed were Rothbard's plan for for for dissolving Salon Industries, which is give like everyone who worked in a share of the company. And so they do this, right? And everyone has these shares. These shares are just like paper and you can't eat this paper. So a bunch of sort of like organized crime guys and the people who've been, you know, like, like the sort of the people who've been richer or like had been sort of. Connected party people who were just like, I'm just gonna cash out start, you know, just just going through cities and they're they'll, you know, they'll be like, OK, we'll give you a pair of jeans like we'll give you some food if you give us their share and you know, everyone, people just give up their shares. And the result of this is that like just every industry in Russia immediately falls under the control of just like absolutely psychotic oligarchs. And, you know, the the West is definitely sharing this, on this. This whole process is is engineered by just. A bunch of just like. Pure neoliberal ghoul like Harvard's, like Weird Harvard grads who get sent into Russia and who are like, oh, we're gonna, we're gonna run the Russian economy and we're gonna fix everything. And they just. Just absolutely destroy it. And you know the the West has a thing that they're they're you know that they're cheering on this whole process. They have this thing about how, like, uh, where everyone has to do belt tightening and it's you're going to suffer for a bit and it'll all be worth it. And meanwhile Boris Yeltsin is just completely drunk off his *** like shelling the parliament with tanks. While, like the US press is cheering and. You know the, the the sort of like, you know, the tragedy of this is like, it's not really like Russia got like more free. You know, like they they still, they still torture and disappeared. Anarchists and secret prisons like. You know, there's they still just, like, randomly assassinate political dissidents with through increasingly bizarre, like, poison ********. They yeah, they sure do. Yeah. But, you know, the, the, the, the, the. The big difference is that a bunch of Harvard grads made an indescribable amount of money and now no one has any pensions. And there's this great, like, there's this great Russian joke from this. That goes is talking about the communist everything they ever told us about Communism was alive, but everything they ever told us about capitalism was absolutely true. Yeah. That's supposed to be. That seems to be roughly accurate. Yeah. It's it's it's basically true and you know and and the the the the product is sort of neoliberalism coming to Russia is that by by by the end of the 90s Russia is just literally controlled by the mob and the these sort of monstrous oligarchs and Putin's campaign is like I'm better than the mob and I will bring the, I will bring the mob and the oligarchs under control and this is, you know this is how Putin takes power because and and he has failed to live up to that promise. To be fair, to be fair, the you are significantly less likely to just, like, randomly be kidnapped and ransoms. Not me. No, I have. I have written for a website he does not like. I cannot. That's true. That's true. If if if you're if you regular people, yeah, if you **** *** Putin, you might be held for ransom. But it's like, you know, the number of random people who don't do anything political, who are just like randomly held for ransom did kind of go down a bit and like, that's all right. You gotta hand it to Putin, OK? I give him. Yeah, OK. The, the, the, the, the the. The thing I'll hand to Putin is that he restored the states monopoly on violence. Now that's not a good thing. Now, there's nothing on violence is. But he did it. Yeah. He. Well, he did it. And, you know, this, this was the basis of sort of his power and political support was that and sort of nationalism. And this is like, you know, and and there's always this sort of liberal line on, on, on Putin. He's like, oh, he's an KGB guy and like, oh, it's still communism again. And it's like, no. Yeah. Yeah. Like, no, no. And. And this brings me back to the single thing that I I need everyone to understand about neoliberalism, which is that neoliberalism does not decrease the size of the state. Like there, there, there. There are more. There were more bureaucrats now in the Russian state than there were under the Soviet Union. No, and it definitely in a definite in order for it to operate, it definitely extends drastically like the hands of the state in terms of like like like military, police, law enforcement, like all those things. In order to keep this weird market driven thing alive, you need to have a lot of like enforcement on people who don't have but both, both people who like actually make money and then but most of the people who don't make very much money. Yeah, so it it increases not only like the bureaucratic state, but also like the enforcement arm of the state. Yeah, and I think that there's there's there's there's 2 interesting ways this happens. One is that. Well, OK, there's two ways happens. One is that anytime someone says they're going, they're going to do deregulation. Like deregulation does not mean that they're going to decrease the number of regulations there are. What it means is that the the regulations are bad for this company and so they're, they're, they're going to, they're going to add more regulations in a way that is good for this company. And The thing is this, this actually this, you know this net increases the size of the state right there. They're not like, they're not like, they're not decreasing the number of laws or whatever. No, they're, you know, they're they're, they're, they're, they're writing like incredibly like ink, absolutely incomprehensible banking legislation that like let's banks charge like interest rates that previously only organized crime could do. And then there's there's another aspect of this which is that you know so the the the welfare that remains right. You know becomes means tested and you know that means that there's so you have to bureaucracy, right that like gives you things and then you have another bureaucracy on top of that that decides whether or not you should be allowed to do the thing and put you know, there's this is just this. Like process of abject humiliation that you have to go through to receive anything. Yeah. From the state. And it's like, and that sucks. And then, because that is so awful, there's another layer of therapy, which is like social workers and stuff whose job it is, in large part, is to help you bypass the the, the second layer of bureaucracy. And so that creates another layer. Yeah. There's, there's there's so much. Yeah, it is. Yeah. And but this is, you know, this, this is one of the things in the Liberals do, which is, OK. So, you know, you, you have, you have, you have your two doctrines. Right. You have the thing. They actually. Belief, which is enormous, bureaucratic military state. And then you have the thing they claim to believe, which is, oh, the state needs to be smaller. The state needs to be decentralized. The state shouldn't interfere in the market. And so whenever, whenever, like the things that they do get, too bad they have this other thing. They can turn you to go, Oh yeah, the reason there's too much bureaucracy is because the states getting involved too much. Elect us, we will get rid of the bureaucracy. And then you elect them and they make the state bigger and you know, you get this perpetual cycle. I think the reason people get confused by this is that. When when people, when most people think of the state, right, they they think of the state as something that provides services. You know, the quintessential thing a state does is build roads. Roads. Yeah. And, you know, we can talk about how, like, the US building roads probably doomed the entire Earth's climate change. Oh yeah. No. Like the the way that we've done roads around cars and the type of things we make roads. Yeah, it's horrible, but yeah, it's awful. Yeah. But there there's there's there's another thing about roads, which is interesting, which is that roads. Or, you know, so the original reason why states built roads was so they can move armies around. And and this comes back to the the the core of what a state is, right? There is nothing in the actual core definition of a state which is basically it's a hierarchical, localized monopoly on violence, right? There's nothing in that that has that like says at all. The state has to do anything for you, right? Like if if you know if if if if 200 guys with guns show up and sees a place, right, they can create a state. They don't have to give you anything. The state is the the fundamental core of the state is just a bunch of armed people who can order people around and. You know but people, people sort of can people sort of confuse the two and the the and neoliberalism's entire thing is increasing the increasing the military. You know that the part of the state that takes things from you at gunpoint and decreasing the part of the states that like gives you things and. You know one one of the there, there's one of the other things that happens in this. Is that. Labor increasingly stops being about making or doing anything and just becomes pure guard labor. So. You know, the, the, the, the, the last big neoliberal project that doesn't really get talked about as a neoliberal project ever is that mass incarceration is a neoliberal project. It started under under Nixon and under Carter. But you know, so when when Reagan takes office, the American prison population is about 329,000. When he leaves office he has basically doubled it to 627,000. We have now more than doubled it again and you know, it it it. Basically it it, you know. Whenever you get a large neoliberal administration, they, you know, they double it, right? It basically double s again between the Clinton administration. You know it keeps accelerating and you know, this is, this is, this is the other thing that that neoliberalism. Brings in which is that OK, so Nelson produces this enormous population of people who don't have any jobs, have no opportunities whatsoever, are just screwed. So what do you do with them? And the answer is slavery. And basically everywhere that you stay using neoliberalism, you see massive increases in into prison population, especially the US is, is, is the by far the worst example of this. But this happens. You know that this happens basically across the world. And. What what what you see is it in place of you know it's it's this is one of the things that drives politics in in sort of in rural regions in the US which is that you have these places that used to sort of have industries used particularly like coal mining, things like that. And it gets replaced by prisons because prisons you know having a prison in your sort of rural town is, is the only way to sort of. Ensure that you have a large economic base and so you know, like local, local city councils. Are, you know, incredibly prison because like, Oh well, the prison will bring you jobs. And you know this means that. OK, so some of the people, a lot of people who are prison guards are just, you know, fascists. But there's also people who are prison guards who normally would just be workers. Yeah. No, absolutely. Yeah. Who have just been sort of, you know, there's nothing left, right. And they they're fighting, you know, Mike Davis talks about this. They're fighting this just incredibly desperate, ferocious struggle to, like, stay in the places they love and stay with their families and stay with their friends, stay with the communities. And the only way they can do this is, you know, by becoming part of this like. Just the neoliberal health state. And you know they don't like it either. But that's, you know, that's what your liberalism is right is you no longer have a job. The only job available to you is picking up a gun and pointing it at someone who is exactly the same as you. Except. You know, they've been thrown into the slavery part of the system instead of the people holding the guns at the slavery part of the system. And one of the things that that that happens a lot of people just. Really conflate. About what neoliberalism is, is they confused with libertarianism? Yes, and they're not the same thing. And and this this is a this is a very confusing problem because. Well, a the term neoliberal doesn't get used in the US all that much. No. When people use it, they usually use it to mean something bad. And that's just about it. Yeah. Yeah, and and. You know, and and also another part of the problem is that even if you go into like the monteleon society, right, which is, you know, this is, this is, this is the arch dealer Bill institution, just like. Basically like a think tank generator. There are there are libertarians in there there, there are narco capitalists in in the Mount Pelion society, and the 1,000,000 society is fighting this sort of constant internal battle between the people who actually believe the things that they say publicly, like you actually believe you should have a small state, blah blah blah. And the people who understand that, that all the small state stuff is just like stuff you tell the masses in order to get them to like slash welfare things while you just hire more cops. And probably the single biggest. The distinction between libertarians and and the neoliberals is about border control. Now if if if you listen to neoliberals on Twitter, or you listen to Neil or you listen to libertarians, right? Capitalism is supposed to have open borders, supposed to be free movement of people, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. If you look at literally everything every neoliberal government has ever done, it's exactly the opposite. It's they don't like that. Yeah. No, yeah. They hate it. And you know the the this whole thing about like, ohh, you need workers to. Yeah, if if you if you if you let workers from other countries go into into the US like, oh, they'll they'll, they'll decrease wages. Well, blah, blah. O. The, the, the period in which the US like had strong unions and strong wages and stuff with the period where there was like basically no militarization on the Mexican border. I mean there were some and you know there's there's a build up sort of during the Vietnam War. And they're, they're, they're sort of been one back, like around Mexican Revolution era. But, you know, it's it's nothing, it's literally nothing like it is today. Today, the US border is just absolute hellscape. I mean, just like there's there's there's this enormous perimeter of the US border where just the Constitution doesn't apply or like the Bill of Rights doesn't exist if, if if you're if you're close enough to the border, it's all suspended. It's not entirely suspended, but like basically the the Border Patrol can just do whatever the **** they want to you. And you know, like this, this, this is this is how the Border Patrol was able to be deployed in Portland, right? Because Portland is technically on the border and so Border Patrol has increased power is there. And. The the actual goal is so people people are always going to move right. And what the neoliberals figured out was that. You know, these these, these enormous migrant labor populations. The the the best way you can exploit them is if they're just absolutely terrorized by just this. You know, an incredible sort of. Ferociously hostile, murderous, just border regime run by fascists. And it works like they they kill, they kill enormous numbers of people, they do horrible things. They put people in concentration camps, they sterilize people they like they they sexually assault children. They they disappear people. They like still people with babies. And this is, you know, this, this is what you're liberalism is, right. This is what it actually is in practice. This is, you know. This, like this is this is the, this is the policy that is imposed by the liberal states. And. I think I want to end on that, and I want to end on. And note about what the quintessential sort of figure of neoliberalism is, because I think in the neoliberal's mind, right, the quintessential neoliberal figure is like the small entrepreneur who's like. Guy, she's, you know, turned their own creativity and, like, harnessed it into, like, the ability to create value. And, you know, they're creating things for the world and they're reaching themselves. And I think a lot of leftists think of it as like. The question of the Liberal is, you know, Chicago, Chicago School of Economics person. Yeah. And I want to suggest that they quit the single quintessential, like neoliberal figure. Is a riot cop, and specifically specifically the you know. If if you know every everyone by now knows what a riot cop looks like, right? I I want everyone to go back and even even from from like 2001 look at what a riot police officer looks like in 2001 versus what they look like now. And then go back to even, like, the 1960s and look, look at, look at what those guys look like. Yeah. Now looking at footage from the 60s of riot cops is, like really depressing because you're like, I could take these guys. Yeah, they're they're just wearing T-shirts. Yeah, they're just guys. It's it's way more of a fair fight. They have T-shirts and sticks. We could have T-shirts and sticks. That is a that's like the Orion in the 60s. It sounds like now they also, in some cases, will be much more willing just to murder tons of people now there. There is that exception, but in like a big St brawl it is it is generally a bit of a fair fight. Yeah. I mean, I I will say also 60s police love, love dogs. They love like sicking dogs on people, which is really bad. Yeah. I'm looking at the looking at the 2001 riot cops, and yeah, they are not nearly as robocopy as what they are now driving the train Chilean uprising in 2019. I was talking to someone in Chile and they they were talking about how like they were describing it as like the the cops were just like like something a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Like it was like fighting the shredder. There's yeah, they have these, like, even, even even the LAPD riot cops for the 1992 riots. They're also still just wearing like, yeah, shirts. Like they they they just have they just have colored shirts in one stick. Yeah. And now versus now they're wearing their whatever dumb armor they have. Yeah. You know, and this is, this is, you know, this is, this is, this is if you want to trace the path of neoliberalism, it's this, it's a lot of the army surplus stuff that like. The police have gotten a lot of it's really scary. A lot of it also sucks, like a lot of those ATVs every like everyone who's ever had the drive them hates them. But you know, like, like, my, my, like, absolutely tiny, dinky town has a BearCat. That and that shouldn't that shouldn't be. No, it shouldn't. And I know where it is too. I know. I know where the BearCat is. It's like there shouldn't be a BearCat. This, my town, is a tax cut out like it's it's literally a tax carve out like that. That's the reason. That's the reason it exists and it has a BearCat. And like you know, you know, this is, this is sort of the, this is the consequence of of of what neoliberalism, isn't it? Vicky Osterweil talked about this on on on the Occupy episode, but it's the comps become more like become more like the army, the Army becomes more like the cops. And, you know, the, the, the the result is this sort of pedantic on surveillance states where, like, if you and seven people stand on a sidewalk, 16 cops will show up. Yeah, they've they they've really excelled in making the capitalist realism doomer philosophy be almost like the base philosophy for anyone who takes 2 seconds to think about the world that they live in. And you know, and this has been really effective in a lot of ways, but you know, David Graeber point pointed this out, which is that the problem with doing this is that. You know, OK, so like the the, the, the enormous amount of guard labor, right, the enormous amount of sort of prison guards amount like that's all unproductive labor, right? You know, you, you, you you make you make some of that money back off the companies make some of that money back off the slave labor, right? But like, but that in general, there the guards aren't adding anything. They're not, they're not, they're not producing any goods and not really much service either. No. And and and this is, you know, this is a problem, right? Because neoliberalism is profit driven. And so you know what what you have is, is that that the system has a choice between either it functioning or it making it appear as if it's the only system. And it shows the latter. Yeah, that's The thing is it's it's it's kind of profit driven. But honestly, the more that I, the more that you've been talking like, no, it's just about eliminating any alternative. So it's not even profit driven, it's that it's forcing itself to be the only acceptable option. Yeah, that's how it gets so much of its power. Yeah, but but you know the the the problem with this is that. All of that sort of ideological coercion only lasts as long as the police can hold the streets. Which is which is. They're good at it. They are. They are. But sometimes they're decent. You know, one one of the story I want to end on is. So there's, you know, there has been in some with more varying degrees of success there has actually been. Resistance to neoliberalism and there are places where people have won the people. There are places where people have run the IMF out those people. There's places where people have have, you know, defeated coups where they've like, you know, where they've they've they've, they've successfully sort of taken over the state. There's places where, you know, I mean there's there's places like. You know, we're gonna talk a couple things in Mexico, but yeah, I mean, there's there's this Artistas who have, you know, are constantly besieged but have carved out a territory in which they have, you know, like totally defeated the Mexican, almost really defeated the Mexican state. And I think one of the sort of forgotten incidents in. In in the 2000s is this uprising in Mahaka where there's there's an enormous sort of a bunch of teachers are going on strike. And, you know, Rawkus teachers unions are enormously powerful, incredibly radical. And so, you know, one of the things they do is that they go into the city and they they have these like these giant sort of protest tents that they showed up. They have these giant camps. And she wasn't 6. The police attacked them. And so these are attacking and and the teachers fight back. And so you you have this, you know, this is massive. Battle erupts. It's just in the city and you know this is all the police attack at like 3 in the morning, right? But they can't they there's not enough of in the clear teachers out. And the teachers hold and they hold and they hold. And the the city of Wahaca wakes up to this just enormous battle in the streets between a bunch of just like teachers and the cops. And when Wahaca wakes up. They are just like, what the **** is this? And you know, they they join the teachers and they go fight the cops. And they, they, they, they're largely successful in like, like they they beat them, they they drive, they drive the police from the city. And you know, and and for for for for for several months. The city is basically under the control of these like direct democratic councils and like there there are these are these things they call them mega marshes. We're just a million people will do a March through the streets and the there's the police just can't stop them because you know there's a million people. And yeah that's that's the only way that I've seen to be successful, whether it be, you know just assure sheer mass of people driving cops out of a police station or you know an entire city rallying behind people like. In in in Portland, when the feds came, it's like you need to have like everybody to show up because yeah, they can fight 200 like twin can artists very pretty easily you usually. But when you have like all of the moms and dads and regular people come up, that is much more of a complicated fight on on like on on their end. Because yeah, we'll still have the teenage frontliners throwing **** at the cops, but when you have like. Regular people behind them. That creates the whole media narrative to be something totally different. And it got the Feds to back down in Portland when Trump really wanted that to not happen. And I think also the thing, the thing that was incredible wahaca is it wasn't just people sort of like standing behind them, like really like 10s of thousands of people just joined the fight. In in in a way that you know it, like it. And if, you know, if there's like 50,000 people in a city throwing bricks at you like you, you, you you either have to start shooting into the crowd or try to hold. You can't. You can't. And you know when you're shooting into the crowd. Yeah. They tried it and it didn't work. It was a disaster. It made it even worse. Yeah. The crowds were larger. And like, you know, one of the things that happens is that the, the, the, the the revolutionaries try to like, you know, they they they go to the radio station or like, OK, well, you broadcast this radio station says no. And so they they start seizing radio stations all over, all over. The city's incredibly. Yeah, yeah, you know, and they had these, they have these like bonfires at the edge of the city where it was sort of meets and like they're, they're, they're, they're sending, they're sending radio like messages like over, over, over the radio station they've taken over from like barricade to barricade. And you know, eventually the police and like the like the the Mexican Army shows up and at that point they're able to sort of retake the city and there's a couple of other things happening in Mexico at this point that are sort of this giant sort of left wing tide. And the way that it gets stopped is that. The Mexican Army basically fully kicks off the drug war and they kill. I mean. I, I've, I've, I've seen numbers up to like 800,000 people in 10 years. They just, they they basically basically genocide the indigenous population of of. Of Mexico. And you know I I think I think that's that's that's sort of a place to leave it because wow what what what what what you know warming hopeful note to end the show on. Yeah. But I mean I think I think it is it is worth it is you know it's it's it's it's worth thinking about is 1 it is possible to beat the police to the ruling class will literally bathe the entire country in blood like they they they will destroy their own country is different the way I mean this gets discussed and what happened here but like the way the American. Military works, I think they'll be less likely to do that. Yeah, well, I mean, I I want to put this, like, so the thing that the army doesn't directly murder people, what they do is what they do is basically like. They, they they they set off a bunch of fighting between the cartels and the cartels ******* murdered enormous numbers people. You know, it will happily murder each other. But yeah yeah well and also, you know, I mean it's it's also, this is the thing with Mexican state. It's it's very, very difficult to tell where the cartel stop and where the Mexican army begins because a lot of them are the same thing and like you know, there there's yeah that's what neoliberalism is. Hopeful note to end on. Make the ending a bit better. I I do wanna say I I'm no longer gonna call anyone a neoliberal. I I made this joke in the group chat yesterday and nobody responded to it, so it was sad. So I'll say it now. I'm I'm only gonna call them Thomas Anderson. Liberals, that, that, that, that, that, that is what I'm calling them now. And I'll make everyone wait two seconds to understand what's going on and then sign and then motion to Get Me Out of the room. So thank you, Chris, for talking about the other problem. And think, think. Think. Thank you all for joining us. This this has been naked happened here. You can find us on Instagram and Twitter if you so desire. If you want to get, if you want, if you want people to know that you follow us and create a whole network of surveillance based so everyone knows what you're watching and what you're listening to. To create a better picture of who you are online so you can get better advertisements. Yeah, follow us online. Yeah, join the Panopticon. Throw bricks at it. It is pretty funny how they tricked everyone into carrying around GPS wherever they go. It's it's pretty funny. Yeah, it's it's amazing. It's like, it's like, ohh, everywhere, everywhere. Everyone in my town is like, oh, we can't get the vaccine. They have microchips and it's like you have a phone. It's. Various. How they tricked us into carrying around speakers, cameras and GPS's everywhere, there we go. It is really funny. It's amazing. Alright, well, bye bye. Welcome to it could happen here, the show that is normally introduced by me shouting atonally. But today I I did like a professional because today myself and my colleagues Garrison and Christopher are talking to someone I'm very excited to chat with. Mr Cory doctorow. Corey, welcome to the show. Thank you very much. It is my pleasure to be on it. It's so great to meet you all and to be talking to you today. Corey, you do a lot of writing about kind of technology and surveillance and cultural issues around those. You're also an author. You've written some great fiction, I think today will probably talk most around books like a tax service and walk away. But you've written a lot of wonderful stuff, and you've also worked with the F for years and years. So you you you're coming at what I love about. I mean, we're going to be talking today broadly about surveillance and kind of the future of of of the Internet will probably talk about some metaverse stuff. What I love about the way in which you think and write about the future is that you're kind of coming about it from a number of angles, both as like a tech industry journalist, as a fiction writer imagining the future and as somebody who's kind of waded in as an activist to this. And I'm kind of wondering, where do you see like the greatest potential for actual, like change? Is it is it in kind of, is it in lobbying and engaging as an activist or is it in sort of imagining? As a as a, as a fiction writer, what might be so? I see them as adjuncts, you know. Diversity of tactics and all that stuff. The The thing is that tech policy arguments are often very abstract, and they are only visceral for the people who would provide the kind of political will to do something about them. Usually that that comes when it's too late, right people. People care about tech monopolies once the web is turned into five giant websites filled with screenshots of text from the other four, but not when Yahoo is on a buying spree of tech. Companies. And we're saying, oh, that's how tech companies grow. And all tech companies will grow in the future by buying all their nascent competitors and rolling them up into a big vertically integrated monopoly. Which is kind of how we got Facebook and Google and the rest of it. And you need to be able to make policy arguments to policy people, but you also need to be able to put some some sinew and muscle on the bone of that highly abstract kind of argument. And and that's where fiction comes in. It's kind of a like a a fly through. Have like an emotional architects rendering of what things might look like if we get it wrong or if we change it. It preserves the sense of possibility. You know, I think one of the great enemies of change is the inevitable ISM of capitalist realism and the idea that there is no alternative. So if you can make people believe in an alternative, then they might work for one. And certainly the opposite is true. If people don't believe there is any alternative possible, they won't work for one. Why? Why would you? And so all of that together. I think is is part of how you mobilize people to care about stuff. Yeah, I mean that makes that makes total sense and it is, it's difficult, I think, because I first came into technology as a journalist and it's very difficult to get people to care about. Stuff, and I think in particular privacy, which there was it has been one of the most interesting cases of like the kind of thought leaders in in an industry freaking out over something and people not really having an issue with it because we kind of all agreed to hand over all of our data to a number of big site, not all. But I don't know, I'm interested in your thoughts on that. I understand the idea that like fiction is, is a much better way to try to get people to care about these things because it makes them feel as opposed to kind of reporting on. I think people can get kind of lost in the weeds. Acquisitions and like, uh, pivots and you know, tech companies acquiring each other and whatnot. Sure. Well, look, I think that the. Part of the the the problem with privacy, the reason that we were late to wake up and do something about it, is because it was obfuscated. You know, if you've ever seen the maps of like how an ad tech stock works, the flow diagrams. There are some things that are complicated because there are some things that are hard to understand because they're complicated. And then there are some things that are made complicated so they will be hard to understand. And I think in the case of the surveillance industry, the the latter is true. And it wasn't just that they were trying to play us for suckers, they were also playing their customers for suckers, right. One of the reasons that the ad tech stock is such a snarled hairball is so that the people who buy. Ads. And the publishers who run ads can't tell how badly they're being ripped off by their intermediaries. But this also has the side effect of making it very hard for us to know as the as the kind of inputs to that system, how our own dignity and private lives and safety and integrity are being put to risk by these systems as well. And you know. It may be that people, if they had been well informed about what was going on, they they might have been indifferent as well. But I think that when most people were very poorly informed, right when all there was was this kind of that privacy discourse was just like stuff as beings, your personal information is being siphoned up, but no kind of specifics on how that was being used and how that was being done and how it might bring you to harm. It's not clear that you can say that, that the reason they were indifferent is because they were fully informed and didn't care if, you know, that they weren't fully informed, if you know that they were barely informed. I mean, yeah, I think you're absolutely right. Because when the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, which was, I think one of the first times, that there was a really huge international story that made it clear some of the consequences of all this, like it did, provoke a lot of, a lot of anger. AI do you worry at all that like there's a degree to which because it because people got tricked or however you want to frame it and it's gone the the kind of financialization of peoples private data of peoples like personal information because that has gone so far, there's a risk that people are just kind of inured to it. Yeah. Well, well, I mean that kind of gets to my theory of change here, which is that there is always going to be a point of maximum indifference, peak indifference. You know, if you think about something like being a smoker, the the likelihood that you care about cancer goes up, the longer you smoke and the more health effects you feel and certainly there will come a point in your life when you will. Only ever grow more worried about the effects of smoking on your life. But there's also a point of no return, right? If the point at which you you're your concern reaches the point where you're actually going to do something about smoking is the day you get diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, then that denialism can slide into nihilism. You can say, why bother? Right? It's too late. It's like if if we spend years arguing about the crashing population of rhinos. And then finally, there's only one left and you say you're right, there was a problem. You might as well say, like, why don't we eat them and find out what he tastes like? It's not like the rhinos are ever going to come back, right? And so for me, so much of the work is about shifting the point of peak indifference to the left of the point of no return on the timeline so that people actually start to care earlier because it's it's it's if you haven't a genuine problem, right, like the over collection of our private. The mishandling of it, the abuse of it, that genuine problem will eventually produce tangible effects that are undeniable, right? That the the, our ability to ignore it just goes monotonically down. Let's think about the climate emergency. You know, even if Shell had no or Exxon had not hidden the data it had on the role that its products were playing in in climate change in the 70s, it would have been hard to muster a sense of urgency in the 70s, right? Because the story is that in 50 years. Something bad is going to happen, but here we are, 50 years on, something bad is really happening, and a lot of people are caring about it. They still don't seem to care about it enough, or maybe they've slid into nihilism. They're certainly, I think, on the part of the elites, a kind of nihilistic sense that maybe they can all retreat to like mountain tops and build fortresses and breathe their children by Harrier jet, you know, and and and. You know that nihilism I think is is what you get when the point of no return is passed before peak denial and the privacy. Catastrophe that is looming in our future that we haven't quite reached yet. I mean we've just had the first kind of trickles of the the dam breaking that's in our our future. It it hasn't been enough yet to shift people away from it. But but we might be getting there, right? We might. We might eventually be able to do something about it and one of the things that will hasten that moment. Is restoring competition to those industries that one of the reasons that the industry that spies on us is able to foster denial and indifference is because it is a monopolized industry. Two companies control 80% of the ad market, Google and Facebook, and as as monopolists, they're able to extract huge monopoly rents. They're among the most profitable companies in the history of the world, and some of those monopoly rents, rather than being returned to shareholders. Demobilized to distort policy to to make us think that there's nothing wrong with the way that they collect data and use it to forestall regulation to pay Nick Clegg 4,000,000 a year to go around Europe and the world and say as the former Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom I'm here to tell you that Facebook is the friend of the democratic regimes of the world and and you know if if the anti monopoly movement which is a thing I've become very involved with is able to. Go from strength to strength. It's surging now. Then one of the things that we might do is is destroy the ammunition that's being used by these large monopolistic firms to distort our policy and harm us in these ways with impunity. And and then maybe we can actually take the the nascent and and natural alarm that people do feel about the invasions of their privacy and and actually turn that into privacy policy. That is meaningful in respect to these big companies that actually reigns them in. Yeah. And I, I think I like that you frame it as a privacy catastrophe because I think, I mean, what I just exhibited earlier in this episode is this, this tendency that I certainly see in myself and I see in other people to get kind of beaten down by the continued excesses of this industry and the continued kind of failure of anything to be done to curb it. And I think you're right, it has to be viewed as as a calamity and I and nothing. I think makes that clearer than some of watching some of the stuff Facebook in particular has put out about their plans for the Metaverse and kind of thinking back from all of these sensors they want to store in your house, all of the ways in which they want to map everything around you. They never, you know, they, they they kind of advertise this, like you'll be able to play basketball with somebody who's in a different state. But really what it is is you're giving Facebook access to every measurement of your body and, you know, the the pulse of the beat of your heart and all this, this stuff that, like, maybe we don't quite know. What it would be useful for from a financialization standpoint. But they'll it's unsettling to think that they'll have to find a way because they'll have it. Yeah. I don't know. I don't know what what is to be done about that other than, as you say, kind of breaking up these monopolies. Well and and I mean breaking up is like one of the things we can do to monopolies and and it takes a long time. You know, AT&T, the first enforcement action against it happened 69 years before it was broken up in 1982. I don't think we can wait that long. But there's a lot of intermediate steps, right? Like, we can force them to do interoperability, we can block them from from predatory acquisitions, we can force them to divest of of companies and engage in structural separation. We can do all kinds of things. It actually looks like the United Kingdom is going to stop them from buying giffy, which might seem trivial. After all. It's just like animated GIFs. But what it actually is is surveillance beacons in every social media application, right? Because if you're hosting. A gift from Giffy in your message to someone else. Facebook has telemetry about that message and so the the. About the ICO, the computation, competition and markets authority in the UK was like, yeah, this is just going to strengthen your market power. That's why you're buying this company. You have too much market power already. We're not going to let you do it. It was almost the case that the Fitbit merger was blocked. Google's Fitbit merger, I think it's still not too late to roll it back. And Lena Khan, who's the new fire breathing dragon in charge of the FTC, who is an astonishing person who was a law student three years ago, she has said, Oh yeah, this, this like $1.3 trillion worth of mergers and acquisitions that you're doing right now to get in under the wire before we start enforcing. Guess what? We're going to unwind those ******* mergers if it looks like they were anticompetitive. And not only are you going to lose all the money you spent on the M&A due diligence and the paperwork and the corporate stuff, but all that integration you're going to do between now and then, you're going to have to de integrate those companies. When we tell you that yet you don't have, you don't have merger approval and you're on notice. You can't come and complain later, right? Like you can either get in line and wait for us to tell you whether or not your merger is legal or you can roll the dice. But I tell you what, if you come up snake eyes, you are ****** and that is amazing. Right. That is a powerful change in American industrial policy that really makes a difference. Yeah. I mean, that is a beautiful thing to think of, being in place and actually hitting as hard as it could. Obviously, the concern is that, like, who will be, you know, picking the head of the FTC in three years and change and like, how, how, how, how much influence is Peter Thiel gonna have there in the like? Yeah. Well, I'm Peter Thiel, of course, loves monopolies. He says competition is for losers. So you're right. I mean, obviously elections have consequences. But, you know, one of the ways that you win elections is by making material differences in people's lives. And so, you know, if people are policy, then one of the most important policies Biden is set so far is hiring Lena Kahn and and her colleagues Kantor at the DOJ and Tim Wu in the White House. Yeah I mean I I I would I would love nothing more than to see particularly like Facebook reined in at this point because I'm one of the casualties of the of the of the the ad market like crash of a started in like 2016 seventeen it feels like the odds of them being able to like I don't know we we've got three years where we know you know theoretically the these policies will be in place and and I don't know I'm hopeful like when I when I. As the Republicans are talking a lot about regulating social media too, about even breaking up these companies, but they they often tend to be talking about it in a very different way and with a very different kind of end goal in mind. And I guess, you know, obviously they know that, right Facebook they they are well aware that like this might be a wait out the clock situation for them and they have some arrows in the quiver. I mean that may be so. But also remember that 80% of Facebook's users are outside of the US and that even a change in administration here won't, won't put Marguerite Vestager, who's the the competition Commissioner in the EU, back in the bottle. And she's another fire breather, right. She's another amazing person and so, you know, I, I wouldn't be too quick to write. That off, I mean Facebook needs its foreign markets. Yes, it's US customers are worth more to anyone else because we have the most primitive privacy frameworks. So it can extract a lot more data for like we're the, we're the richest people with the worst privacy. Yeah. So that's that's, you know, it's a real home court advantage for Facebook, but it needs that other 80% of its users it it wouldn't be what it is without them and that makes it subject to their jurisdiction. And you know, one of the things about ad driven firms like Facebook is that they really need sales. Officers in country. So, you know, even before we had the proliferation of national firewalls, which, don't get me wrong, I don't think is a good thing. These large global firms that operated sales offices in country and every territory they worked in were vulnerable to regulation because if you have staff in a country then you have someone that can be arrested. Right. And so it's not like they can just be like, I don't know, like the Tor project, which just, you know, it has people who who said and hack on tour, who are close to lawyers who can defend people who sit on hack into on tour. You know, if the Tor project had to have staff full time in Turkey and China and Russia and Syria in order to operate, it would be a very different project, but, you know, Facebook and Twitter. In Google, they all have staff in those countries and it makes them vulnerable to regulation and so, you know, China's really interesting cause cause them. She Jinping for his own reasons, which are not my reasons and distinct from the Democrats and the Republicans reasons, is doing stuff to reign in big tech in China. And it's actually quite interesting because, you know, the argument that Nick Clegg makes when he says why we shouldn't break up Facebook as he says, you know, China's coming for your, for your IP and for your industrial competitiveness with its big tech giants that it treats as national champions that project soft power around the world. Meanwhile, China is like these tech giants. We hate these tech giants. They present a countervailing force to the hegemony of the of the Communist Party and the and the executive branch that Xi Jinping sits at the top of. We're going to neuter them and we're going to, we're going to disappear their founders, like Jack Ma into ******* gulags, right? Like they're like, we don't want national champions because the nation that, you know, Weibo and Alibaba is the champion for is Weibo and Alibaba and Tencent. They're not. They're not champions for China, by. Any stretch of the imagination, they don't give a **** about China. And so you know there all of these companies are going to face regulatory pressure, anti monopoly regulatory pressure all over the world. And you're, you're so much more optimistic, I guess, about about the potential for that to bite than a lot of people I talked to and I think more knowledgeable as well. And I, I kind of wonder because there's this very strong, obviously influenced by decades of cyberpunk attitude that like we're in this age of mega corporations whose power is, you know, there's nothing that can stop Amazon from doing what Amazon wants to do, right. Facebook's going to keep doing whatever they want to do forever. You you clearly don't believe that. And I, you know. You you clearly know your stuff. I'm wondering why you think that. That image is still persistent, so persistent that like attitude in our heads of these these, these are kind of monolithic forces in our society that just have to be endured. So I think it's a belief in the great forces of history, right and the great man theory, you know that the these. Are. You know that these rich people are driving history. Yeah, these, these, these powerful figures are driving history. They're in charge. They're in the driver's seat. I mean, that's kind of what's behind Trump Derangement syndrome, right? The idea that Trump is a uniquely powerful and and talented demagogue as opposed to just like a demagogue shaped puzzle piece that fit in the demagogue shaped hole that was left by the collapse of credibility of capitalism and, you know, a man who is clearly too stupid to be a cause of anything. Will only ever be the effect of something. And you know the the for me, the theory of of history and how it goes was really transformed by an exercise that my friend Ada Palmer does. So Ada is a science fiction novelist. She's, she's just published the 4th book of her Terra Ignota series, her debut series. It's an incredible series of books, but she's a real life kind of multi talented, multi threat. So she's a librettist and singer who's produced. Album length operas based on the Norse mythos. She's also a tenured history of a tenured professor of Renaissance history in Florence at the University of Chicago, where she studies heterodox information, *********** homosexuality, witchcraft, and so on during the inquisitions and every year with her undergrads, she reenacts through a four week Long live action role-playing game. The election of the Medicis Pope, and each of her students takes on the role of a card. Well, from a great family and the and the actual election of the I I forgot what year was 151490 or something, maybe 15-10 I forget. But they each take on the the the this role and they have a character sheet and has motivations like a dinner party, murder mystery. But for four weeks they make alliances break alliances stab each other in the back stage surprise reversals. And at the end of the four weeks there's this. Faux Gothic Cathedral on campus and they dress up in costume. Aida has a a Google alert for theater companies that are getting rid of their costumes. So she clothes them in the garb of of the Medicis Cardinals, and they gather and they go into a room and then a puff of smoke emerges and you get the new Pope. And every year, four of the final candidates, there are four final candidates rather, and two of them are. Always the same, because the great forces of history bear down on that moment to say those people will absolutely be in the running for the for the papacy, and two of them have never once been the same. Because human action still has space to alter the outcomes that are prefigured by the great forces of history. And so for me. The idea of being an optimist or a pessimist has always felt very fatalistic. It's this either way, this idea that the great forces of history have determined the outcome in human action has no bearing on it. And I think that rather than optimism or pessimism, we can be hopeful. And that's the word you used before. Hope is the idea. Not that you can see a path from here to the place you want to get to, but rather that you haven't run out of things that you can do to advance your your goal. Right? Because if you can, take a step to advance your goal. If you can ascend the gradient towards the peak that you are trying to reach, then you will attain a new vantage point. And from that vantage point, you may have revealed to you courses of action that you didn't suspect before you took that step. So, so long as the step is available, there's always another step lurking in the wings that you can't see from where you are. And the reason I'm hopeful about this is I can think of like 50 things that could improve the monopoly picture that we're living in now, and it's up from 30 things last year. And so even though I don't know how we get from here to a better future, and even though I absolutely see the blockers, you're talking about a Trump landslide losing Congress because they let Joe Manchin and and Kristen Sinema neuter the the, the build back, better bill. You know, all of those things that can happen. I have hope, you know, which is not the same as optimism or a belief that things will be great or even even like a sense, a lack of a sense of foreboding. I have that in spades. But I have hope that when the next phase of the fight begins, that we will have many vulnerable spots we can strike at and that we can capitalize on whichever victories we attain to find more vulnerabilities and move on. I think that's so important, and I think it goes in line with to bring up climate change again. The idea that, like one of the most toxic things you can think re climate change is that there's nothing to do. We're already passed every point of no return, and there's no, there's no positive action. Does it just leads you to doing the same thing as the people who deny it and it it's yeah I think it's it's very important to. Recognize that? Like, not only are there things you can do, but when you do those things, you start taking those steps. Other steps reveal themselves, yeah? Yeah, and you know what? If you're feeling nihilistic about about climate, I'm nearly through Saul Griffith's book electrify. Saul's an old friend of mine. He's McArthur winner, he's electrical engineer, and he's just done the he's it's a popular engineering book. It's one of my favorite genres. They're like Popular Science books, except instead of telling you about how science works, they tell you about how engineering works. And he's basically like, here is why all the estimates of how much renewables we need are hugely overestimated. And it's. Basically that like keeping. Fossil fuel power online requires a lot of fossil fuel, right? So something like 40% of that estimate is just it's the energy that we need to make the energy, and it's not present in electrical models. Here's how we can manufacture it. Here's how we can distribute it. Here is basically how, if we can figure out the financing, Americans can spend less money every year than they do now to get more stuff that they love every year, that we can do this without hair shirts. It's a spectacular book, and you know, I don't agree with everything Saul says every all the time, but he is very careful about his technical facts. There aren't technical errors in this. There might be assumptions that we disagree with, but as a technical matter, he's basically written a piece of design fiction in which over the next 15 years, using clever finance and and solid engineering, we really actually do avert the climate emergency. And yeah, as always, kind of the main barriers to doing the best version of The thing is the the political realities on the ground. You know, you have to, but I think that's the, that's the value of at least trying to make it clear that there are options. I wanted to shift for a moment. I was thinking recently about I think probably the earliest back book of yours that I've read, pirate cinema, which is heavily involved. I think I'm going to, you know, if if you're one of the folks like me who was on the Internet back when, you know, file sharing sites, when that was a huge topic of discussion, when the RIAA was going after people, when like copyright was kind of a much more prevalent part of kind of the online discourse. It it deals a lot in that and these kind of, I think there's elements of it that kind of prefigured what Disney has done, buying up every imaginable fictional property in the world. And that's kind of the the elements of dystopia that book deals with. Is, is, is, you know, the attempts of these this, these giant multinational entertainment corporations to shut down the free tape, trading of ideas, remixing and all that stuff. And then kind of thinking about the difference between the focus of that and the focus of books like attack surface. Where you're really delving more into, you know, I the fictional versions of real life companies like Tiger Swan that do it. Surveillance on protesters and all around the world and that are kind of using tactics that were pioneered by other contractors in like Iraq and Afghanistan years earlier. I guess kind of the things that I find interesting about that is, as I can remember when I was first on the Internet, the the big social kind of crusades online with the people that that I paid attention to at least was all around copyright. It was about not just, you know the attempts to stop people from remixing and sharing copyrighted work, but about. Attempts to like buy up copyrights and like into these these ever kind of larger. Agglomerations and and that's kind of hit. It seems to have hit like a terminal point with the, you know, movies like Ready Player one and kind of a lot of the stuff we're seeing in marble where everything's showing up everywhere. Space Jam, Space Jam 2. I guess the part of it that feels less dystopian today is attempts to crack down on file sharing, which I don't think went kind of in the worst case scenario. I'm interested actually in your thoughts on that because I can remember, you know, when the RIAA would be threatening. With years in jail and whatnot over sharing stuff on Kazaa, we we seem to be. I don't know, is it just that it gets less like, I'm interested in your in your thoughts on that. Is it just that it's less publicized when they crack down on people or has kind of the nature of their response to that really changed? Well, I think that what's happened with the, the, the kind of steady state of the copyright wars has been the introduction of brittleness and fragility into our speech platforms like Twitter and and Facebook and YouTube where it's very easy to get. Material removed by by making copyright claims. And, you know, we see that with the sleazier side of the reputation management industry where they use bogus copyright claims to take down criticisms. You know, there was a group of leftists who were really celebrating the idea that if you if Nazis were marching in your town, you could stop them from uploading their videos by playing copyrighted music in the background. And I was like, you have no idea what a terrible ******* idea that is. And you know. Within a couple of years, cops and Beverly Hills were doing it. Whenever people tried to film the police there, they would just turn on some Taylor Swift to try and stop uploading. You know the the thing about the copyright wars is that the real action turned out to be in wage theft through monopolization. So, you know, the neutering and destruction of label independent music distribution platforms like Kazaa or Grokster or Napster. And the Supreme Court decision that Grokster decision that supported that meant that the only way that you could launch a service like that was in cooperation with the big labels and the the, you know, the most successful one is Spotify. Spotify is actually partially owned by the labels. And the labels use that ownership stake to negotiate a kind of formalized wage theft where they allowed for a lower per stream rate because when they get royalties. Or a stream part of that money goes to their musicians. And that meant that the firm Spotify retained more profits, which it returned to it in the form of higher dividends, and dividends go just straight to their shareholders. They don't that there. There's no claim that musicians can make on this. And because they set the benchmark rate, it meant that everyone, irrespective of whether you were assigned to one of the big three labels, ended up. Getting the same per stream rate as as universals artists, so they were able to structure the whole market in the meantime in the industrial side copyright laws, notably section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which is a law passed in 1998 that makes it a felony to remove DRM to bypass a technical protection measure that has become the go to system for blocking repair interoperability. And to prevent third parties from from from creating services or add-ons that accomplish positive ends like improved accessibility, improved security, ad blocking and privacy and so on, they just say, well, you know, we we put a A1 molecule thick layer of DRM around, say, YouTube. And when you make a YouTube downloader for archival purposes or whatever you you just create a a you you bypass our technical protection. Azure. And so you're committing a felony and you can go to prison for five years and pay a $500,000 fine. And so you have this, like, relentless monotonic expansion of DRM into like, automotive tractors. Medtronic uses it to block people from fixing ventilators. So you know this, this assault on the ability to reconfigure a technology that is ever more prevalent in our lives and that increasingly holds our lives. And it's in its hands, right? Its choices determine whether we live or die has been really consequential. And I know we don't really think of it as a copyright problem. We think of it as right to repair. We think of it as security, auditing or accessibility. But the the rule that is being used to block interoperability is a copyright law. It's what printer companies use to stop you from buying third party ink. It's what Apple uses to stop you from installing a third party App Store. And you know, the absence of a third party App Store is why when Apple. Removed all the working VPNs in China. Chinese users couldn't just switch to another App Store that had working VPNs in it. And so, you know, this end game of the copyright wars is, I think a lot more dystopian than merely suing college kids. Yeah, it's it's actually really screwed us in ways that are that are hard to fathom. Yeah, it's a fascinating example of kind of dystopic creep because at least kind of from my. More like more ignorant position. When I was 19 I was like worried that all of these these people remixing music and movies that I liked like we're going to get cracked down on or have their stuff pulled. And the the kind of thing that I didn't I don't think a lot of people saw coming until it hit. I certainly didn't was what you were just talking about the fact that kind of the logic of how these these entertainment companies were looking at like an album or you know a movie and and cutting up pieces of that they've they've applied to like a tractor, you know? And now you can't, like, repair your John Deere or modify your John Deere so it works better. And then, you know, you get situations like, we just kind of averted with the John Deere strike where there was a very real possibility that we wouldn't be able to get a large chunk of a harvest because there wouldn't be parts and you can't put your own in. And that's to think that that the thought process that led us there started with, like, trying to protect Metallica in some ways, is kind of funny. And This is why the antimonopoly critique is great because it shows you that there's cause for solidarity. Between John Deere tractor owners and John Deere tractor makers the the workers who work there because the same force that is allowed John Deere to cram down its workforce for 40 years is the is the force that allows it to. Take away the agency and economic liberties of farmers who own John Deere tractors and it's, it's the, it's the political power that comes with monopoly. And so, you know, if John Deere were a smaller, weaker firm, it would be less able to resist both the claims of its workforce and the claims of its customers. Hmm. Yeah. I mean, that makes that makes sense. And it is like, I like that idea of of because it's not just kind of solidarity between John Deere purchasers and and the people who work in the factories. It's also there's kind of solidarity between a wide, like anyone concerned with copyright that it it it's a much broader base of solidarity than just people who are worried about, you know, what's happening to fiction or like what Disney's doing to like copyrights around Mickey Mouse or whatever. Gets it you can, you can draw in concerns from right to repair to a bunch of other things, which potentially means there's there's a greater body of people available for action if you can make them see kind of converging interests there, which is I think is an interesting idea. Well, I think you're getting something really important and this is this comes from James Boyle, who's a copyright scholar at Duke University and was really involved in founding Creative Commons and in those early copyright fights and and Jamie makes an analogy. To the coining of the term ecology. And he says that before the term ecology came along, you know, some of us cared about owls and some of us cared about the ozone layer, but it wasn't really clear that we were on the same side. You know, it's not clear. If you're a Martian looking through a telescope, you might be hard pressed to explain why. You know, the destiny of charismatic, charismatic, nocturnal birds and the gaseous composition of the upper atmosphere were the same issue, right? And the term ecology let all these people who cared about different things find a single point. Rally around. It turned 1000 issues into one movement. And I think that in the in the course of resisting corporate power, which is to say resisting monopoly, we have the potential to Weld together people from very diverse fields. You know, farmers and and people who make tractors, sure. But, you know, if you grew up watching professional wrestling and now you're aghast at the wrestlers that you loved are begging on, go, fund me for pennies to die with dignity. You know, once someone explains to you the reason that that's happening is that. Dirty wrestling leagues became one wrestling league that was able to practice worker misclassification. Turn those performers into contractors, take away their health insurance, and leave them to die. Then suddenly you're on the same side of the people who are worried about big tech and big tractor, and the people are worried about the fact that there's only one manufacturer of cheerleading uniform uniforms and two manufacturers of athletic shoes, and two manufacturers of spirits and two manufacturers of beer and one manufacturer of eyewear that also owns all the eyewear stores. And the eyewear insurer, you know that Duff beer thing from the Early Simpsons where there's like, Duff Beer? Raspberry? Yeah. Yeah. It's saying one thing. Dolce and Gabbana, Oliver Peoples, Bausch and Lomb, Versace, every eyewear brand you've ever heard of is 1 company coach, all of them. And they also own sunglass Hut and a target optical and Sears, optical and LensCrafters and Specsavers and every other eyewear story you've ever heard of. And. They bought all the labs that make the lenses, so more than half the lenses in the world come from them, a division called Essilor. And they bought Immed, which is the company that bought all the insurance companies that insure eyewear. And so they're also the company that's insuring your glasses, your your eyes. One company and I wear costs 1000% more than it did a decade ago. They stole our ******* eyes, right? So people who care about that have common cause with people who care about wrestlers and people who care about beer and big. Back and the fact that there's four shipping companies and they have no competitive pressure, and so they just keep building bigger ships that get stuck in the ******* Suez Canal, right? We're all on the same side. Yeah. And I I like the idea that I like. I I like hoping that that kind of inherent solidarity, if you can point it out to people, is potentially an antidote to, or at least a partial antidote to the level of the layer of politicization that's falling down over everything that. People from actually considering matters but instead considering, like, I don't know, is this owning the libs? Right. Like if you if they if if you can get them to see that, like, yeah, their favorite wrestler is like dying because he couldn't afford insulin. And that that that's tied to the issue of like, the reason his dad can't get tractor parts this year or whatever. And that that's tied to other issues that are maybe championed by people he would reflexively dismiss. But like, yeah, I I I find that really inspiring. It's still a significant, there's a significant challenge. For people who are trying to make those connections, for folks who are who are trying to like, inform them of, of that state, I mean, yeah, that's true. And, you know, like, Steve Bannon will tell you that the reason to do culture, world culture, culture war ******** is because politics are down downstream from culture. And there's probably an element of truth to that. But I also think the reason that people find culture war ******** so attractive is because they got nothing else. Yeah, I I think we, we talk about that a lot within the context of. Conservative for politics. I grew up very conservative and I do remember how the tenor of things I was hearing through the Bush years changed from advocation of policies to just all culture war, all the time, all all striking the dims, all the time. And it was the kind of Umm it it. And that's not the only place that's happened. You see it on the left too, absolutely. Like it's it's endemic now. It's it's a poison in kind of the the discourse. But I think that there's a lot that needs to be. I think there's a lot to be discovered. Still for like how to break people out of that? I'm kind of bullish when we talk about the issues like you were bringing up with sort of the monopolization of these industries you wouldn't expect would be monopolized. I'm hopeful about the future that stuff like 3D printing presents for that. We have an organization in Portland that does kind of 3D printing glasses frames and stuff and is is helping people with that sort of stuff. And I'm in conversations with like the the four thieves Vinegar Collective, I think it's called the, yeah, some of the folks doing like trying to do working on pharmaceutical. Backing making at the moment like lower cost kind of home, scratch, brood versions of like different AIDS medications and the the Holy Grail is doing that with them insulin effectively. And I I think it is. And I I do think one of the things that's exciting about that is because the way in which the way in which collaboration on 3D printing works and the way in which actually spreading like the ability to do stuff works. I think it synergizes nicely with the ability of people to kind of reach other folks through writing or other forms of content. Is they can both spread through the same you can have a video or a story and you can have like kind of embedded guides on how to do that. I I I don't know that I've, I've run into a lot of your writings on kind of the potential of 3D printing in this space, but I'm interested it like to what do you do? Are you looking at that as kind of an area of hope or do you see that still as kind of too too niche and labor focused to really actually take off in the way that it would need to to crack some of these nuts? This is where I do my. By Woody Allen you know nothing of my work schtick, because I I had this novel. Maker makers in 2009 haven't read makers 2008. It's it's why re Pettis went out and founded Makerbot and it's you know, credited with like kickstarting the homebrew 3D printed revolution, blah blah blah blah blah and and it was a very bullish novel about 3D printing. I you know the reality hasn't lived up to the hype yet, and may just be that we're in the long through of despair. Is that the Gartner hype cycle model? Has it? But you know, I think that the problem with 3D printing was that the patents had been concentrated into the hands of two large firms that have bought all their competitors, including Maker bought. And when those patents finally expired, the big one was the the laser centering of of powder patent expired. There just wasn't a Big Bang and I think it's because the supply chain for it still had a lot of proprietary elements. And so producing the powder and producing the components that allowed for that powder printing remained a very high bar. And so we just didn't see the kind of new industry emerged that we would have hoped for. And you know, it's like 7 years since those patents expired, five years since those patent expired. Now we're seeing a few more of those powder printers. You get a lot more like UV cured epoxy printers because those came off patent earlier and they have a less complicated supply chain. But still, I mean, mostly when we talk about printers, we're talking about filament and just filaments. Just not a great technology. It's been pushed in ways that you wouldn't even believe, and people have figured out how to do absolutely incredible things with it, but it's not. It's not something that you would make aerospace components for, you know, it's it's something that you make. Novelty Dungeons and Dragons dice out, yeah. Which is an important industry to disrupt, don't get me wrong, but I'm with you. I'm with you. I can remember paying 30 bucks for a set of dice as a kid and thinking somebody's got to fix this scam. I can print you some for Christmas, Robert. Thank you, Garrison. And, you know, now I own a I bought a Comic Con a couple of years ago. I bought a tiny little D20 made out of meteoric. Or I have a sky metal D20 now. That's yeah, that's that's classy. You're curious, we've got a little bit of time left and I wanted to ask in your novel attack surface I know was released 2020, right, October if I'm not mistaken. And obviously a lot of that deals with, again, these kind of like corporations that have been contractors for the DoD doing like ****** ** surveillance **** in Iraq and Afghanistan, bringing that technology to crack down on like us sort of dissident left wing political movements, it chems out the year that we have a nationwide kind of. Uprising that a lot of ****** ** surveillance **** that had been kind of demoed stateside around it, like Standing rock and whatnot, gets gets really put into its own. How much of that was written before **** went down? And I, and I'm assuming, like, I don't know exactly how your process works, but I'm wondering, like I assume you started the project before everything went the way it did last summer. How much did kind of what happened last summer affect the way you imagined that technology? And those tactics functioning in that book? Yeah. The the timeline goes the other direction. I I wrote that book before the the summer uprising. Long, long, long, long before that. And I wrote it about things like the surveillance technology we saw in Belarus and Chev and also at Occupy and Standing Rock and at other Black Lives Matter demonstrations and uprisings in America. And I'm assuming. Yeah. And if you you know, also the. Monotonic expansion of surveillance leaks, right, where, you know, first we learned about MC catchers and then we learned about dirt boxes, which are MC catchers on airplanes and you know, like we just all of that stuff leaked like crazy because, you know, these surveillance giants are are not good at what they do, right. Which isn't a reason we should be hopeful. No company that's bad at what it does is is in some ways even worse because one of the ways that they're. Incompetence expresses itself is that they often gather a bunch of data on innocent people and then leak it. Yeah, right now. Not maliciously, just through incompetence. And so, you know, the, the, the, this expansion of surveillance has, like, been on my mind for a long time. Yeah. I've been writing about it, well, at least since little brother. Right. So 2006, I wrote that novel and and I've had my finger in that. Yeah. So I've had my finger in that for all that time. And and working with the F, it was impossible to miss. Was there a degree to which I don't know. I guess, were you surprised by anything that happened last summer or did it just kind of comprehensively feel like these are everything slotting into place that I knew was heading in this direction? Because, yeah, I mean, you're right, I did. I like there was like everything was kind of presaged years before. I'm yeah. I I'm wondering if there was anything that kind of surprised you or was it was it all just sort of what you'd been braced for? Yeah, I I don't feel like there were any kind of surveillance surprises. I mean, the reverse the, the, the use of reverse warrants, I think we all kind of assumed was going on. There had been hints of it and Google's warrant Canaries beforehand. But you know, those geofence warrants, which again, if you're like sitting there going, oh, geofence warrants are awesome because they're catching the 16 rioters. Like, dude, you are going to be so disappointed. Yeah, holy ****. That's not where they're going to keep you. Like this, yeah. So, you know, learning more about those reverse warrants I think was was interesting, but I don't feel like I don't. Well, off the top of my head, I can't say that there was any new technical stuff that emerged. You know, I, I kickstarted the audio book for attack surface and I I offered as like the top tier you could Commission short stories in the Little Brother universe. And there were three of those, and I just finished the first of them. And it's about future pipeline protests and. You know, I I spent a lot of time in my research looking at the surveillance that was done on the pipeline protest. And a lot of it was provocateurs and undercovers who were just terrible at their jobs. Yeah, right. Like, they intercepts long publication of, you know, long documents about how those operators worked. They just, like, showed up in military haircuts and combat boots. And then we're like, hey, I'm from Portland, and I'm here because we were going to **** ** some bad guys. Let's go do it. Let's go do violence and save Indian. Country and like, everyone was like you. And like, does anyone want to buy drugs? And and the actual protesters were like, you're a provocateur, like, go away, you know, like we they could tell. I mean, I guess, you know, there are a lot more effective in the UK in infiltrating the climate movement. You know, they impregnated several protesters, so, you know, and had long term relationships with them and raised kids with them. So there is that. But here, yeah, here it was not. We did, just didn't. Be that incredible efficacy. Yeah. And I do think that that's I, I think kind of the message I took out of it because I, I was, I, I started reporting on like dirt boxes back during Standing Rock. Just having them like it explained to me by people who were on the ground when I showed up that like, yeah, there's this you're like, phones don't work the same out here. And like, we're trying to figure out what's going on, but like everything is is and it's not just that we're out in the sticks or anything. And I think the only surprise, the big surprise for me last year was how I think how little. The technology accomplished for them and how much it it just it just wound up back down to violence like that was kind of the for all of the the toys they had the toys that actually made the most difference was gassing and beating people and violence and like old fashioned informants that was that was the stuff and just having a dude there. Yeah they were really relied on and the fact that you that that you Corey weren't super surprised by anything last year I think kind of just more shows kind of the strength of your work in terms of how you're very good. Seeing the trends that are already happening, but taking them to their next logical place. And it's a really great way to kind of get a sense of what is something, what is what will something maybe look like in the next decade or so, because it's all based on already existing stuff, just in different kind of original ways. So that's why I think it's so useful to look at your books as, as an activist specifically around like surveillance and stuff, because it's it's just really, it's, it's really good. We're kind of keeping. Keeping an eye on keeping your head. Yeah. And and keeping an eye on what's keeping an eye on you and all that kind of stuff. This was a really lovely conversation. It was a lovely last thing to do in my Home Office in 2021 cuz I leave tomorrow and won't be back until the next year. And then I'm actually going to be offline for a month after a joint replacement. So it was it was really lovely to meet you all and to chat with you. Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Corey. My pleasure. You know what? I think it's time to do a podcast. All right, I did it, Sophie. This is it could happen. Here, a podcast that's begun. We talk about how things are falling apart and occasionally when we're feeling good, how to maybe how to maybe put them back together a little bit. But today we're more talking about the growing consensus that things in the US culture wars are heating up to an unacceptable level and and maybe people are going to start doing some non culture type wars here in the near future. Like a civil type war here in the near future. Those of you who know me, which why would you be listening to this podcast if you, if you don't know, like the earlier seasons of this exact show, know that I talk a lot about the potential of a mass civil conflict in the United States. I've been kind of trying to warn about it for a while, and today we're going to do an episode about some of the more mainstream sources that have started to kind of accept this as a possibility and get concerned about it. Garrison. You've presented us with three articles, one from NBC News, one from the Independent and one from the Brookings Institute, all kind of fiddling around this idea that certain unnamed journalists have spent years discussing. So, yeah, we're going to, we're going to get into it, Garrison. Yeah. So the past, the past few months we have, well, I've been watching to see how this idea has been slowly kind of gaining. In popularity, of course, there was like a spike in this around like January 6th, but then stuff kind of settled down and now we're kind of seeing it come back up again. So we had these, these three pieces all published within like a month of each other. All kind of on this topic and specifically like the pieces themselves are definitely going coming at this from a more like liberal perspective. But the thing that made them interesting is that they they did have a decent number of like a of of polls and and and surveys in them based on like what who who what types of people think are like, are thinking about this and think it's more more of a possibility. One survey published on November 1st, 2021 they said 18% of Americans. Believe that a quote UN quote patriots might have to resort to violence to quote save the country so and that included a 30% of Republicans so but 18% of all of of of of Americans general, 30% of Republicans so using that very specifically turn of phrase. Is definitely a notable. And then another poll from earlier in the year found that 46% of people thought the country was somewhat or very likely to have another type of civil war. And that's the plurality of the people polled in that because only like 43% said unlikely. So the majority of people are not the majority of people polled, but like the most common plurality of leaned on yes, it is, yeah, I think maybe we're going to have us a war, yeah. Which is not great. The one that NBC published included in their article had about like 33% of people saying no, it's probably not going to happen, 20% kind of on the maybe and and and 47 leaning on yeah, this may, this is this is probably going to happen at some point soon. Yep. And I mean a lot of a lot, a lot of what these articles are talking about is just like kind of the increased. Increased threats against like elected officials and then increased almost like militancy or performative militancy of elected officials. Types of like, like, you know, like a performatively bringing your gun into Congress and that type of thing. And it lays out like a list of a list of like of of of Threats or Stuff enacted against governors, congressmen, all that kind of stuff in in the past. In the past, like a year, year mainly, yeah. One of the things I really disagree about the the Brookings, because Brookings is the one who kind of is analyzing that made that big poll. And talking about it has a list of reasons why we might have a civil war and a list of reasons why it's unlikely. And one of the reasons why it's unlikely is, quote, most of the organizations talking about civil war are private, not public entities. And note that when Southern states seceded in 1860, they had police forces, military organizations, and state sponsored. Delicious. The, the right there. That's very proud of that now. Yeah, yeah, yeah, like like, I really disagree with it. There's a ton of signal posting from guys like Jim Jordan, Madison, Cawthorne, Gates, Bobert. A ton of signal posting of Gosar from elected Republican leaders, from governors, from state level elected officials and like regular St Cops. Yeah, and like regular St cops that are like civil war adjacent if not directly advocating for Internet scene violence. So I think that that I don't think Brookings don't think their analysis is spot on with this. And I think there's one other thing that's interesting about that, which is. I think it was. What those articles were arguing that it was like, well, the Pentagon's not particularly civil. Like, well, the Pentagon doesn't want civil war. They're not going to happen to do it. But I think it is also important to note that like, like, if you remember what happened last summer, there's a lot of Feds who are just like, you know, like when, like, yeah, so so, you know, the, the, the, the army kind of doesn't want Trump to, like, send the army against protesters. But like. You know, like bortac for example. Like 100% was just. Like, absolutely hyped up to. Just like, absolutely just. Go disappear a bunch of people and they like, they were very excited about that. Yeah, yeah, they love, they love this stuff and it's like. The notion that it's less likely because it doesn't have, like, formal police backing is really silly. Because if you spend any time monitoring these type of militia groups, you know that a good portion of them are also members of some type of law enforcement or have like family connections to members of law enforcement. There have been a bunch of cases of weapons being stoned, stolen from forts, particularly in like the West Coast right now. Like, yeah, there's a ton of. Connections to the and a ton of like members in common. It's like at the capital riot there were like 30 something active duty police officers involved. To say that there's not direct connections with law enforcement is is nonsense. And it's true that like our military leadership remains pretty much apolitical and very, like committed to being apolitical in the sense that, like in the within the like US partisan context, right, like they they don't come in to to prop up the Democrats or the Republicans. And I don't think that's immediately likely, but police forces in the United States are extremely politicized and have more than enough power. To carry out a counter insurgency campaign nationwide and as long as the US military didn't step in. And why would they, like the cops, are willing and able to do the civil warring for the government. Why do you think they have all those tanks? You know? So yeah, like there is. There is a lot of backing, at least performatively among certain types of like right wing politicians and of course police. But I think a lot of what the politicians are trying to do is more like. Encourage regular folks or people in like civilian militias to just start doing violence against other elected leaders. That is seems to be kind of like like like Bob Art and that and those types aren't they're not like telling police to go do this. They're speaking to like regular people. And I think 111 decent point, the action the NBC piece actually puts out it says all this kind of like divisive and and more violent rhetoric and behavior displayed by. And towards some of our elected officials does not necessarily mean another like civil war. In terms of like a military conduct contest between states, it does not mean that it's inevitable or even or even like probable. A more likely scenario is a turbulent era of civil disturbances, armed confrontations, standoffs, threats, assassination attempts and other acts of political violence. In other words, one that's a lot like the last 200 years of American history, which I feel like, yeah, in terms of, in terms of the likelihood of there being like a more formally declared kind of conflict versus just tanks and **** yeah. Just like increasingly, increasingly normalizing extreme violence against you know quote UN quote fellow countrymen. I think is is a yeah. Like there's we are going to be more likely to be just moving in that direction slowly and at the point when there is like frequent enough exchanges of fire that's when we say, yeah we're basically in a civil war. We're just not calling it that which is you know that's the points that you Robert have have made a lot in the in. In in in the past. Yeah. I mean, and there's I, I'm, I I think a lot of this is just a failure of kind of imagination and ability to accept from a group like Brookings, who I know has paid some attention to the Syrian civil war that like civil conflicts in the United States or in the in the 21st century, often don't like. There's no clear regional split. Like you look at a lot of what was happening in Syria, you had cities divided up by neighborhoods between like who who was in charge. You know that that's. Very much what we see here. And you do see like clear regional split between urban and rural divides. And it's not like they say within specific states, but like I would say, it's very specific and limited states that don't have huge urban rural divides. Like that's that is the norm everywhere in this country that I've been. Maybe it's different in ******* Vermont or New Hampshire, but I don't trust those places. Yeah, and I I guess. I I think they're. Overly optimistic, based on kind of a fundamental misunderstanding of how these sorts of conflicts occur. That said. I don't know, like, it's it's one of those things. I think the number one, the number one thing you should be looking at in terms of whether or not a civil war is likely, is the number of people who respond in polls with things like, yes, I I think we need to use violence to restore the nation or whatever. That it's not just enough like I it's not just enough to think that a civil war is likely because a lot of that's just based on people who don't want one but are paying attention to the same media as everybody else. And have are watching the same stuff we're watching and we're like, well, this seems sketchy. I think the the main indicator is the number of people who respond, yeah, I I think it would be awesome to use violence as a like in order to make America more like what I want it to be. And again, that doesn't mean we'll creep over the point. There's a number of interesting things that have happened. On kind of the we're headed towards the Civil War side, the, the number one thing that I've seen recently is the use of paramilitary organizations to kind of choke local civil institutions like school boards. I I see that as very concerning and as kind of prelude to the sort of armed mobilizations that you would see in localized areas in any kind of civil conflict. It's it's the the precursors to death squads. So that's the that's the thing that I see. On the ground, that worries me most. UM, in terms of the thing that. I'm I'm less certain about, honestly, like one of the things they they note in here in the Brookings article that like the sheer number of guns in the United States is a reason why we might have a civil war. And I I agree with that entirely. When you have 400 million weapons in private hands, it increases the odds that they'll be used in some sort of scale. We've also seen historic numbers of of non white people of of of like folks who are from marginalized communities, not just buying up weapons and unprecedented. Rates, but organizing with them, and I'm not really sure how to think of that, there's certainly a way. It could certainly be a very negative development, but it could also be, I think a big part of what I've seen from the right lately is the sense of impunity. And I think the feeling of being matched in, in arms is an end to impunity potentially. Then the big question is like, well, what about the police? And like, well, if the police side with the riot against, you know. There's there's still a number of questions there and we don't have any clean answers, but I don't know that. I I I think that on the whole I'm more worried than I was two years ago when I wrote it could happen here. But it's not clean. And I think in some to some extent I'm I'm a little more worried about something like the years of lead in Italy than I am about Syria right now, if that makes sense. I will say one thing about the years of lead which. Because a lot of people talk about the years, also the years of letter this. It kind of roughly 10 year. In Italy of. I don't know. Mass terrorism made escalating political violence with. Yeah. Infant body counts in a way that stood out from the years around it. Yeah. And, I mean, you know, the years of lead has years of lead also. There's much intelligence and she's involved. There's a lot of foreign country. Yeah. False flag. Yeah. False flag bombings. Like hundreds of people are being killed in bombings and and I think. There, there's one absolutely crucial difference between now and the years of light. I mean, well, OK, so partially it's that unlike Italy, we don't have 17,000 intelligence agencies operating in the US and like trying to kidnap and kill the foreign Prime Minister. But the the other thing that's very important is that. Unlike, unlike the Italian left and you know, really unlike the the whole global left of the 70s and 80s, there is no American like left wing. Like left wing, I guess you could. Like, there's no left wing terrorist tradition, right? Like the like the left doesn't do suicide bombings, the left doesn't kidnap people. Like, like the modern American left doesn't do that. And that a big part of of what was happening in the years of lead was that, you know, sometimes the left was doing this, a lot of times it was the state pretending to be the left carrying out bombings and that. Isn't really something? That is happening right now because. There's just like the, like the, the, the. The left is not in a place where everyone is going would need to do armed urban guerrilla movements. And yeah, so then that makes it harder to sort of pin things like PIN actual urban guerrilla movement stuff on the left because there's just none of them. But I I don't think I agree years of left is kind of like a broad. Strokes comparison, because what I see is more likely is what we're what we're already witnessing on the ground with these right wing militant groups increases and they move to the point of kidnapping and executing and potentially in concert with law enforcement like doing stuff like in states that have issued harsh laws you know banning certain books. You have in a town lot local law enforcement and militias like go after and grab individual leftists and either kill or imprison them and conflicts over that and you have the left increasingly. Organize and arm. As a defense against that and then a number of armed conflicts, you know, as a result of that which maybe then proceed to bombings and stuff that that's terrorism or proceed to just more kind of skirmishes that the feds have a minimal response to. And local or state law enforcement kind of tacitly allows like that. That's that's kind of obviously that's not a direct comparison to what happened in Italy, but of course we're a different country, but that's kind of, that's kind of the the kind of brush fire conflict. I could see cropping up in the very near future in this country. You know what else? Will start a series of armed gunfights between. Left and right and American towns. The products and services services. 3. They're they're working on it every day. The products and services that support this podcast urge violence on the streets of the United States. That's behind the back streets guarantee Sophie. We're not doing behind the ********. What? What show are we? Who are we? Anyway, here's ads. All right. Oh my gosh. We're back. Yeah, what a great ad. I really nailed that transition, just absolutely. Bang. So the next thing that I want to talk about something that I think has some, some backing behind it and something that I think is kind of more silly is that one of one of the reasons that this NBC piece by what's his name Brian, Brian Michael Jenkins, she's made is? He says one of one of the reasons that we're kind of getting more OK with, you know, killing or hurting our neighbors essentially is. Quote Americans do fewer things together. Church attendance is declining. Membership and civic organizations and lodges have been decreasing for decades. PTA membership has dropped by nearly half from what it was in 1960s, bowling leagues have almost disappeared, and a shared national experience of military service disintegrated with the abolition of conscription in 1973. Meanwhile, self-proclaimed citizen militias, driven mainly by far right conspiracy theories, have surged since 2008, especially in the past. Five years so. He is wrong, but he's yes, militias have leagues. Militias have risen. But is that due to bullying leaks? Yeah. I don't think it's due to a drop in bowling leaks. I think it's due to the fact that all these guys are terminally online now and we're watching Fox News for 20 years before that that that is The thing is that, like, I don't think this guy, Brian Michael Jenkins, understands how the Internet intersects with extremism because he's. He's doing this from a very like. Like, he's he's acting like we're still in the 70s and he like, like, that's not how the world works and how like, people spend their time. No, people aren't doing bowling leagues, but yeah, a whole bunch of young men are spending and and, you know, middle-aged men are spending time online, whether that be discord in a terrorist group chat or that be a Facebook group, that's for a militia and that's where that socialization is happening. And because the Internet rewards extremism and the hottest take, it's moving in that direction even with people who would. Generally just have historically in the past joined Bowling leagues, I guess. But yeah, it's very it's it's correlation doesn't equal causation. **** it's wow, less people are in bowling leagues and going to church and militias have grown. Why wildly? This one must cause the other and it's like, well, no, they're both. Both of those things may have some causes in common, there may be similar factors that are driving both of those things, but they are not caused like they don't. One doesn't necessarily cause the other. And if you like, again, the smart person version of this would be to say, hey, people are doing less things together out in the world. People are reporting because you can find statistic backup for this. People seem to be lonelier than ever. People are more depressed than ever. Suicide rates have risen, and while this is happening, militias and extremist groups have grown. Perhaps there's something about these organizations that makes them particularly attractive when folks are vulnerable due to these things and like, let's look at, you know. The failure of our political system to confront these issues further feeds into the desire among some chunk of the populace for some sort of nihilistic cleansing violence. And again, pieces of all the pieces of this article could be could be reassembled into something with some insight. But I I don't think Brian Michael Jenkins has much. I think there's also an interesting thing to note here about because so the, the, the last thing he talks about this, oh, is the thing that formed the common sort of national identity was shared universal military service and it's like. OK, the the the the the reason shared universal military service went away was that everyone kept murder, literally just blowing their officers up in Vietnam. Like that and, you know, if you want to talk about like incredibly high levels of political polarization and like mass violence between Americans, I mean the army basically fighting a civil war against itself in Vietnam is, you know, an enormously important part of this. And then simultaneously the sort of right wing vets returning home and, you know, going Louis beam and stuff like that that, you know. He he's relying on this kind of mythos of of this oh there was a time when the you know it's it's basically made it make America great again but sort of like yeah that that's the thing that this type of rhetoric is actually very similar to like the return return to tradition stuff being like the solution to our extremism need to be going to church again being part of civil organizations joining bowling leagues and conscripted military service that's like that is that that is just the same. That that is very similar to like the making America great again return to tradition sex because those are those are also their goals except that they're willing to use violence to achieve those goals. Whereas this guy just wants people to start doing that again. I guess. I don't know. Yeah like in terms of like military service not leading to extremism. I mean like Oklahoma City bombing. I I don't I don't I don't really. There is other stuff going on there. But like in terms of terms of that being like an example, it is it is very silly because a lot of a lot of. A lot of the guys even inside, you know, are our current like 3 percenters and stuff. A lot of them have former military service, yeah. So that I mean, but like, yeah, citizen militias in terms of gaining popularity, but specifically due to kind of overall distrust of the federal government and the type of socialization that being online too much. Results in this has, yes, grown, grown, grown. The militia movement. A lot. And. And they just don't see how bowling is going to solve that issue in terms of. In terms of how do we, I mean, I can trust the federal government solve that issue, Garrison, but you've never watched the Big Lebowski, so you wouldn't, you wouldn't understand. The Big Lebowski, so I'm kind of, I'm kind of, I'm kind of done with the. Kind of done with the NBC piece there. I know there was, there was some other, Brian, Michael Jenkins. The the other thing on on the Brookings thing that I have a decent issue with is that. They're one of the reasons they give for and and this is actually something that Brian Michael Jenkins also brings up the BBC piece is that one of the reasons why he they believe the Civil War is not as inevitable is because there is no clear regional split like in north-south divide. And they for some reason think this means that there is less likely to be civil conflict. They they recognize there is an urban rural divide in most states but because there is no large kind of obvious NS divide they think this is going to make us. War less likely and well, the map would really be a pain in the *** so it probably won't happen, right. Like that's that's the thing they're thinking is like, oh, if I was going to, if I was going to map this out, it's going to be too complicated. When I read that, I had flashbacks to my first trip to a war zone in Ukraine where we were like taking Google Maps up to a certain point. And then we had to use like hand drawn notes because he was like, well, the, the different, like the different chunks of this air next, like 20 acres that are owned by the separatists as opposed to the government. Like, you can't use Google. It'll send you into enemy territories because it's not a clean break because you had literally suburbs of cities fighting each other and you still do. Yeah, this is a this is, you know, I think partially this, this is this is a sort of peak America brain thing because, you know, there's there's been like 5 Evers civil wars that have broken like this. And the problem is that there's American Civil War. And then we also fought in both Vietnam and North Korea. But like, yeah, yeah, well, we just those were really civil wars. Yeah. Yeah that's that's there was fighting between two halves of the country but it was a proxy for two others, several other countries in this case. Yeah and that's and that's the thing that like it's the the the combination of the American Civil War was a very unique civil war and then the other major things that we think of as like quote UN quote, civil wars where you know where we're basically Cold War stuff and I mean you know like there there are a couple other like. Yeah, I mean there have been other examples of like secessionist stuff like that. Like, I mean in in, in any civil war, like there's a lot of other countries that get involved in the US Civil war. There was a significant amount of of that sort of thing. And and even even even in, even in the US civil war, like there are just like towns in the middle of like, Confederate territory. They're like, no, **** this, we're not going over. But everyone but people have this just like incredibly myopic view of what is if a war is. And it's like every other civil war that's been fought in the last like 50 years has been. Just 7000 factions like neighborhood fighting each other like, I don't know, it's just incredibly frustrating. Watch these people not understand this. It's very America brained and it's very sad because I'm going to read a quote that's going to make us want to purge our ears. There are urban rural differences within specific states with progressives dominating the cities while conservatives reside in rural communities. But that is a far different geographic divide than when one region could wage war on another. The lack of a distinctive or uniform geographic division limits the ability to confront other areas, organize supply chains, and mobilize the population. There can be local skirmishes between different forces, but not a situation where one state or region attacks another, which is complete nonsense. And that's not how like it's like. They don't understand that guerrilla fighting exists, and they don't understand how the whole the whole, the whole part about organizing supply chains and mobilized population like. That is just another way to fight a war is by exploiting that specific thing. Like the fact that cities are so isolated and lack and and and lack a whole bunch of resources, and the fact that rural areas are isolated in a different way and like separate resources. That is not something that makes a civil war less likely. That just makes it more complicated and makes it more of a pain in the fighting over Amazon fulfillment centers and the like. Yeah, like it's it's the IT is. It is ridiculous. Saying that, yeah. Saying that the that that it's it's far different from a geographic divide that one region could wage one another is like that. No, you're you're just saying something that is just completely wrong and, like, you have not studied any type of, like, urban conflict whatsoever. Yeah. And I think it's important to understand here, which is that regions in the civil war, mostly, it's not that regions wage war. And yeah, it's not that people don't do movements. Do the fighting. Yeah. Like regions aren't the things that are fighting. It's the people in areas and people can move around and people can block off access to areas and like, yeah, it's it's this, it's a weird, it's a it's super weird way to think about things. And it's the fact that if this is something that like the Brookings Institution is, if this is what they think on this topic, that's a pretty sad indicator for what a lot of people how they how like a lot of mainstream levels are going to view the possibility of any type of civil conflict and. I don't know, maybe they feel very secure in their cities. Which. Which is a weird thing. I've, I've not felt that in years. Yeah. And I think the other thing that's very weird about this is that cause so a lot of people writing about this are ex are like are like kind of terrorism people, right. And the counter terrorism, counterinsurgency people it's weird because they used to understand this like you know like a lot of like you know because like in in you know in in the 20th century and in you sort of the early 21st century like the, the, the, the the sort of the sort of standard like guerrilla insurgency doctrine was, you know. Some, some, some some variation on the like Maoists I fish in the sea, like surround the cities where there were rural areas etcetera, etcetera and like and you, you even see versions of this, you know in things that aren't quite civil wars but are kind of like what happened like the the, the, the the water and gas wars in Bolivia and the 2000s were like, you know what? Yeah you, you, you have kind of an urban rural divide with they have allies in the cities but the sort of, you know, the the you have a bunch of rural additions. That literally just. You know, they blockade every Rd in the country and then starve the cities out, right. I mean, this is, this is, this is just a thing that happened in like 2005 thousand 6 and that's going to happen. It's just like, yeah, that is like, yeah, that is that is, that is going to happen sooner than later. Whether that be caused by accident, by some type of climate natural disaster or on purpose by a militia like that, it's just a matter of time until we have to deal with this massive problem. Yeah. And it's like, I've been reading recently about Uruguay and what happened with them. And like, the 70s when they're dictatorship took over. And they had a left wing group that was, like, very much engaged in kind of a lot of acts of poetic terrorism. Like, you know, robbing banks to steal paperwork that they would then hand over, just like somebody to reveal malfeasance within a company. Or like stealing trucks of food, going to like some big wealthy Christmas party and redistributing it in poor neighborhoods. Pretty rad stuff. And one of the ways in which the the, the new incoming dictatorial regime cracked down on them as they deputized, like 10,000 chuds and gave them guns and sent them in with the army. And I was like, yeah, I could absolutely see **** that happened. Absolutely see that happening. Yeah. Like, if there was some sort of uprising in a liberal city, there's rural areas around them filled with chuds and they're and there was there is precedent for police doing that. They have done it. Within your our eyeshot Garrison like on small scales, yeah. So I think we'll have one more break and come back and talk about a talk about a hedge fund. Ah **** I love hedge funds. Let me get let me get my hedge fund shared out the shirt that I wear when talking about hedge funds. All right. I have my hedge fund shirt on. As you can all see, it's a picture of Ringo Starr. Fellating himself. I don't know why. That's my hedge fund shirt. I don't Garrison. I don't know either, but I love The Beach Boys anyway, so thank you. Perfect. Nailed it. Should we talk about this hedge fund guy? Yes, I do want to talk with hedge fund guy because this is. When someone with this much money is talking about this one just for fun, right? He's doing this just for **** for funds. Yeah, he's doing it for ***** and giggles and he wrote a book kind of on this topic and he proposed 11 solution. He he he he he came up with one thing that will prevent us from entering a civil war, which shows how smart these hedge fund people are. But first, I, Chris, would love to. I would love for you to explain who, who this who this dude is. OK, so Ray Dalio is is is a hedge fund manager. And he is so he he he he runs British Bridgewater Associates, which is 1, allegedly the world's largest hedge fund firm. Yeah, it depends how you define everything, but yeah, it's a very large hedge fund. And this guy, this guy is weird by like, venture capital standards. So the Bridgewater whole thing is that everyone in the company is constantly surveilled at all times and anyone else within the company could look at what anyone else is doing. It's supposed to be like total transparency and what it actually means again, is it like, you can you can look at like, ******* what any of your colleagues like? Also working at this place is doing just ******* at their job. You can see all their records, you see everything they're looking at. And the other thing that he's known for is that he doesn't trust anyone else to like, run the hedge fund after he retires or dies. So he's trying to build like a like a cybernetic version of his brain to keep running the hedge funds. Like other hedge fund weirdos think this guy is ******* wild. And it yeah he's he's a time and he runs one of the world's largest hedge funds. It's great. It's we it's it's amazing and good we give these people this much money to control. So I will say when it comes to his actual analysis of like whether or not it's likely, I don't particularly disagree with anything. Yes, I it's it's broadly reasonable. Yeah. His looking, yeah. For what? He's just doing this because he thinks it's fun. He has enough money. He's going to survive. Whatever. But yeah, his he's also, I mean part of why this is fairly credible is he's. I mean, if you're, if you're good at this, it means that you have one actual talent, which is is judging risk. And I think he's probably pretty good at judging risk. Yeah. So he he he said that he believes there's like a high likelihood that a civil war or something resembling it will break out within the decade. 30% is the number he gives. He's the number he gives and then he. He he. Yeah. Wait, let's see. Yeah, he said there's also he have a quote that says it's we're we're in a we're in a a high risk position right now. And yeah he he talks about the different kind of reasons why he believes so in this book, most of which are like pretty reasonable in terms of like in terms of like looking at a population and how much, how like you know the the various like polarization between politics and culture and all this kind of stuff. But the the solution that he gives to this is that we should make a formal judgment for quote, UN quote, close elections and have the losers respect the outcomes. And then once that happens, the order is going to be like restored and respected and then we will avert a civil war. So he he thinks that a civil war will probably be like enacted by some type of election dispute, which that is actually very reasonable in terms of what happened. In our last election, if there is like a big, if there's a big election, Despite that could absolutely spark some type of conflict. But the idea that we can avert a civil war by just having an organization to judge close elections is like, but that's not going to solve that America, bro. Like, that's not going to. If you do that, that's not going to solve the close election problem that doesn't. Even if you do it, that won't be a solution, you know, and I, I will say, like, yeah, I'm saying. Credit where minor credit is due. Ray Dalio is in fact right that the the difference between. 2000, which is when the last time someone actually, literally stole an election. Happened where? Yeah. But Bush Bush openly rigged the election. It's incredibly obvious for like there's like six ways he does this. Everyone knows what's happening in the reaction is everyone just kind of shrugs because they're like, oh, the supreme courts legitimate compared to both 2016 and 2020, which yeah, that that's you know, that's that's that's there's, there's there's been an actual break there. It's just that. I don't know, maybe. I think it's it's almost just like a Lib brain thing where it's like you think that if you have an institution that sets down rules this, this will make everything OK because everyone will obey it. And that's just not where we are anymore. Yeah. I mean there was just a poll that came out recently that showed like, Americans trust in the military has fallen to its lowest level ever registered. And like, that was kind of the one thing left that most people felt positively about. Not to say that's even a good thing, but just like the there is such a complete. ******* lack of faith in institutions across the spectrum in the United States. But it's like how unless you're hiring, I don't know. ******* no. I would say Tom Hanks, but Tom Hanks has even gotten politicized. Even he believes in viruses. So, yeah, there's no one they could pick to get do this job that people would feel good about if they. Yeah. I mean, I'm sure if they brought Mr. Rogers back from the dead, half the country would call him a cuck. So I don't, I don't know what to what. I don't know who Dalio thinks is going to like. Get everybody on board. So maybe. Maybe. Maybe. Danny DeVito Danny DeVito might be able to do it. Well, I think if if we put all of our hope in Danny DeVito, that is a better solution than what any of these articles have. Beats the Supreme Court. It's it beats every other quote solution out of the Supreme Court. I mean, these positive Odenkirk brought Twitter together that one week. Maybe we could try. Yeah, yeah. You know, with respect to this in court, if you just picked 12 random people off the street and we're like, you're lying about 12, right? Yeah, that's that's the thing. It's like, I am, I am. All for the term isn't the term isn't a democracy. Forget other term. Yes. Of of. I forget exactly. But it's when the government is not composed of elected leaders composed of a random selected, a random selection of of of people and they make decisions and then the decisions over, then we then we get a new selection. I'm all for that model of government over almost any other. It sounds way better than what we have. Yeah. Yeah. So that that is that is the three pieces I want to talk about the the the independent piece on the hedge fund, Brookings Institution on the Civil War and then. Brian went no, not, not Brian, yes, Brian. Michael Jenkins, senior adviser to the president of Rand Brimi. Jay Brimage, who, who, who, who, who wrote the the thing for NBC. So yeah, that is just the terms of, in terms of, you know, people in institutions talking about the topic more generally and sometimes decent ways, oftentimes not decent ways. That is. That is the stuff from like the just the past between the past week. Two months of people with big salaries talking about the civil war. Yeah. Or in terms of the, in terms of the hedge fund guy, not a salary, just billions of dollars. Yeah, just billions of dollars and thinking that's neat. I don't know. You know, every time one of these comes out, I get tagged by a bunch of people. Saying like Robert is the thing you were talking about. The other people are talking about it. And. I don't know. I don't like that. This is the thing other people are talking about that I've been talking about. As opposed to Mass Zeppelin transit or something more fun. Yeah, these people could dedicate their resources into something more manageable for them, and because they don't have a good grasp, especially the Brian Michael Guy has no grasp on how extremism works, and it would be better if they dedicate the resources to something else. But this is the world we live in. It would be better if perhaps Brian Michael Jenkins dedicated his his efforts and his platform at NBC to looking into Mr Dario and whatever the **** he's been up to. That might that might do more. Terrifying, man. He just refined a mod. He would absolutely Brian Michael Jenkins would get Panda mod so ******* quick. All right, well, Panamanians, ************. In journalism, just just. Like not even not even downtime before that car gets bombed. As he's talking on air. The OK Brian Michael Jenkins is 79 years old so it wouldn't it wouldn't be hard to stop him. Yeah, I know that that that's like a 10 minute job. I'm just, I'm just thinking like probably Michael Jacobs, he's a quote UN quote, an American expert on terrorism and Transportation Security with four digits of analysis. Like This is why he doesn't understand modern extremism. It's because, yeah, he's still thinking in the 70s mode. That's why I'm sure 90% of his thoughts on terrorism. Just him rehashing opinions about like Hezbollah in the 80s. Yeah, all of all of his stuff is super dated. So that's that's I I said that previously that he still views terrorism as like as it was in the 70s and yeah this is This is why. So that's that's that's him. Anyway, that wraps up our show. Yeah, watch out for I think the one, the one Brian Michael Jenkins prediction I do think will happen is that there's a decent chance we might be back in assassination territory, because it is, but it has been a long time since that has happened. It's it's it has been a hot minute and definite decrease in bowling leagues and it keeps happening in the UK. Yeah, I I was meeting specifically in in in in in America. And yeah, that's what I'm saying is that we're we're not that far away from them in terms of like things happening. So like, I'm, I'm kind of surprised it hasn't. I think it's probably just because maybe American legislators are all much more concerned about assassination because guns, so people like our elected leaders take more precautions than British ones did. I don't know. Maybe I don't know either. Well, Speaking of assassinations, you can follow us. On Twitter and Instagram at happened here, potted Coldstone media. If we go missing, it was Ray Dalio. If we go missing, it was Ray Dalio. Yeah, right. Goodbye, everybody. Welcome to it could happen here. Podcast. Yep, I could say it. A podcast. That's what we're doing. And it's about it's about how things are kind of kind, kind of falling apart sometimes. Or at least it feels like it. And I don't know, maybe we can do some things to help make it better, like what happened recently in terms of forests. So hey, a good news episode. Whoa. Rare, rare, rare episode. Drop for us. We got some good news. So I'm going to be talking with Sam, who was on a previous episode, discussing. Forced defense about an update on on all of the things that we were talking about a few weeks ago. So, yeah, I think we can, we can pretty much get into it and then then we'll talk about some other stuff around kind of forests in general. So hello, Sam. Thank. Thank you for joining me again to talk about trees, one of our favorite topics. Hello, my pleasure. Always so. I think it was like a day or two after we dropped the episode or something. Or I think it was actually, it was maybe maybe even like right, like right before we got some extra, extra news about all about the post about the post fire logging near the bright Bush watershed. Yeah, what happened there? Yeah, yeah. It was pretty wild, actually. It was really serendipitous timing, too. We, as I think we mentioned in the last podcast, we were awaiting the first hearing for the court case. Essentially, you know, we believed that the plan to log in that area for myriad reasons was not only unethical but also illegal. And so it was going to court and we were awaiting a hearing that happened on December 3rd of Friday. And typically the judge does not rule from the bench in these sorts of hearings and so we did not expect the decision on that day. But sure enough, the judge felt strongly enough about this case and sure enough about her decision that she did rule from the bench and ruled in our favor. And so, yay, victories. Now we have a preliminary injunction in place, meaning that no logging can happen there, at least until this timber sale has its real day in court or until the forest. That is, just drops this shenanigan entirely, which hopefully they they will do, but we'll see. Yeah, so they they they blocked, they blocked the post fire logging and the the the. Basically starting to clear cut these areas without without actual public input and without actually going through the process. As flawed as the process may be, they were just skipping it entirely so that that was. That was that was blocked by this by by this legal case. What was. I guess, yeah. What what was what was the what, what was the what, what was the reaction like in in in the room and in the various signal chats when, when this, when this happened. Yeah. In the ether spheres. The reaction was super awesome. I mean, so many people love this place and that was kind of the whole point of what we were trying to do when we did the direct action out there. A number of. Years ago it was just demonstrate how many people love this place and how the Forest Service wasn't going to get away with what they were planning to do. Because people as we promised would be back if they tried to log it and move forward with that logging. Which as you pointed out and as we said last time was super sketchy not only because it was a terrible plan that they were planning to do in this beloved for us, but also because it was behind locked gates that the public wasn't allowed into. And so it was just this, you know, travesty that was about to happen and. When we found out and when we heard the judges, incredibly strong ruling. We, you know, we're absolutely overjoyed. The news spread, you know, like wildfire, excuse the pun. How to do it? How to do it? And just, you know, all the signal threads were popping, people were putting it on Twitter, people were reposting the sexy photos of the blockade with the giant slash pile and the fire truck and the band on top of the fire truck. And I just wish that we all could have hung out again and had another dance party because it was the best. Credibly Rad was was like your this is this is this is like I don't I don't don't actually know but also like was like the documentation that was taking place by by going to these places and showing hey this is where they're getting was that brought up in the court case in terms of like hey this is we actually went and saw what's actually happening so it was was that type of evidence used and did it in your mind like. Kind of be a small part of like, the result of the ruling. Yeah, it definitely was. And that is such an important point. And I really hope that everyone who's listening can just, like, put that in their minds for later. How important it is for people to be field surveying or sometimes we call it ground truthing these places and actually collecting documentation, photographic evidence, a lot of folks do. Kind of like what we call community surveying and collect some site specific. Kind of like, uh, community science sort of stuff, but all of that was used in court and it was super awesome. I actually was one of the standing declarants, so I got to submit a lot of evidence from my many years of traveling that place and that all of that was referenced in court. So, so, so important. Even, you know, when the Forest Service is essentially trying to kick everyone out and keep everyone out of these places, it's really important to go and see them anyways. Obviously, you know, everyone needs to consider how. They do that and their own security and safety, and it's becoming difficult, but certainly putting eyes on threatened places is one of the best tools we have to save them. Yeah. I just think that's really important to really focus on that as like a thing because like, yeah, stuff that people did actually had an impact on this not happening right now. And yeah, but like, by going out there and documenting and then talking about it, it has like an actual. Like causal relation, which is very hard to it's it's hard to get direct causal stuff to happen in like the general umbrella of activism. And it's, I think it's it's just really exciting that that that this happened. Yeah, that's so true. It does feel in the general umbrella of activism, really hard to point to things that we do that are actually making an effect. And this is totally one of them. I mean, when, if and when this case does. Have its day in court. You know, outside of the preliminary injunction itself, I am sure that so much of that evidence from all the folks who've been traveling there and documenting it will be used. We documented, you know, so many green living trees and places the Forest Service that were dead, Umm, you know, so many like unused roads and places. The Forest Service said they needed to log alongside these roads because they're so trafficked and they are posing a safety hazard. And so it's basically like, you know, the best way to expose their. Gas lighting and lies is to just go document what's there. Yeah because a big part of their ability to do this is you utilizing deception in terms of like and and and and utilizing like non information. Like they're just not talking about the stuff that's actually happening or they're doing like white lies to make it sound better. So they're they're they're lying about the type of like the type of sales that they're doing with these, with these streets and like how they're classifying the trees that they're logging to like get it past all of the loopholes. But they're not actually, like, that's not actually reality. They're just changing the terms to make it fit what they want. So, like, as soon as you start looking into this stuff, it gets all get, it gets very sketchy because it is it that they're just lying about a lot of this stuff. Like, if you're listening to me, like, oh, you know, these people just love trees. Like, yes, we do love trees. But like the actual thing that's going on is like they're lying about the types of damage that's being done. They're lying about what areas this is happening in all to just rack up more timber. Feels like that. That is that. That is, that is what's actually happening. And that's so, so important to say, like loudly and clearly because the Forest Service and other management agencies are experts in making the public feel dumb and wrong and misinformed. And right now, even we sound a little wing nutty being like, yeah, absolutely service, you know? Like, let us be clear. A federal judge agrees with us. Yeah, yeah, right. You know, like, we're not the ones who are wrong here. And I think you're totally right. You know, they're using a mixture of blatant lies, but also euphemisms like, we no ones they don't. They don't use the word clearcut anymore. They're using all of these euphemisms, you know, regeneration, harvest. I **** you not. It's a real term. A lot of, a lot of the stuff that they're deciding to do is, like, not open to the public. You need to do, like, FOIA requests. To to actually learn what they're doing because they don't talk about it like it is all it is all extremely sketchy. And yeah, like the fact that like a federal, a federal judge agreed with like green activists is not a sentence you hear often. So, like it's like, yeah, this is actually a thing. It's important to remember. Like you are not immune to propaganda. Like all a lot of this stuff is is has people who want a lot of money are vested in making people believe things about about. About about like force management, all this kind of stuff. Yeah, I know it may, it may sound crazy when we're talking about, you know, the secret illuminati of the Forest Service, but like no, like it act like it. It's it is a it is a governmental organization. All governmental organizations are kind of sketchy, especially when their sole purpose is to, well, one of their purposes is to make money or assistant, like sales of something like, yeah, it's going to have some sketchy stuff. Absolutely. And also, you know, in the realm of just like the propaganda machine we, you know, just the other day, a hilarious response piece came out from the timber industry. An organization called Federal Forest Resource Coalition, which is just a coalition of loggers, put out this hilarious little mini video responding directly to the line that we've been using in forest events, which is worth more standing. Our forests are worth more standing. And they put out a hilarious response that is essentially, you know, pushing this timber. Of this logging propaganda saying, well, actually our forests aren't worth anything standing after they've been burned and they're contributing to the climate crisis and they're destructive, you know, and all these things and so totally, I mean, even people who see it with their eyes can be convinced by these voices that they're wrong because they're so good, so good at making us feel just like where the wrong ones. But we're not. We got this in terms of like this, the secret of kind of decision making and stuff. Behind the scenes in terms of like a the the types of like terms they're using to to you know do like restoration thinning and all this stuff around around trying to like basically just take as many trees from the bright British watershed as they can. And the the judge said that she was quote disappointed in the agency for for all of their silly behind the scenes trench coats meet in a dark alleyway to pass off. Information type of thing. Yeah, like So what, what, what is? What is some of the other kind of? Stuff that the Forest Service and the related organizations were trying to we're trying to hide like, what? Like what? What, what, what, what? What was the stuff that, like, came out via this legal process that was like, yeah, what's what's the what's a few of the actual things that they were, that they were trying to do that eventually, like, came to light. Interesting is that they were trying to get away with changing the logging contracts without doing any additional environmental analysis or public engagement process. And so there were before the 2020 fires there were there was a plan to do what they what we had fought them so hard to get them to agree to do, which was not log a bunch of these, this older stands protect tree. They had a diameter limit on trees that they were going to log. So we basically like slapped their hands. Off of all of these trees. And finally, we're like, OK, we won't sue you if you move forward with the plan as stated. And it would have very strong side boards and you know, even local folks were like, OK, go do this. And then the fires came through. And So what they were trying to do was just change the plans. They turned it all into clear cuts in the forest that we slapped their hands off of. And they were trying to argue that they didn't need to do any additional analysis and they didn't need to engage the public. And even in court, you know, that's what they were arguing. There are. They are doing some stupid magic math and, you know, somersaults to try and explain how they had already done an analysis that accounted somehow for the fires that no one could have ever predicted. That was before actually happened. Yeah. No. Yeah, that was the judge was like, just, you know, she was just roundly like, y'all couldn't have predicted. I like to give her, you know, Southern accent. Y'all couldn't have predicted Judge Aiken S No, you couldn't have predicted, you know. That the fires were going to burn through. And so there's no way you could have done analysis for fire that you didn't know was going to happen here, you silly little beasts. But she did talk to them, you know, as if they were just naughty little children, which I loved to hear. You know, the disappointed in the Forest Service was a major move. And I think the other one that came up is just, you know, the Forest Service was arguing that they needed, quote, need to do this logging for restoration, for economic recovery and to prevent future wildfires from severely burning in the area. All of that too BS like, one thing that the the judge said that was super strong was that she sees, and obviously I'm paraphrasing here, but she she sees that the community loves this place. It's obvious that this is like a beloved place. And she, you know, essentially understands that the forest is worth more standing. She said that she wanted, she thinks that the forest needs an opportunity to recover from the fires. And so basically just called the BS on the Forest Service for their hilarious, you know, justifications. They're logging all the we're going to save the forest by logging. It is just not it's not right, it's not accurate, and the judge agrees. Yeah. I mean I, I'm, I'm very, very excited about about this ruling and what it means for the future and at least at least at least postponing this until if, if, if the if if the lawsuit is going to go through or if they're just going to drop this, which they also very well may be. They might decide to focus on another part that is that they just don't tell anybody about and start doing it there and then you know we'll we'll start, we'll start this again. But for this particular area that is, that is very exciting and yeah it is, it is rare for a federal judge to agree with. People on this topic. Now I want to talk about a few other kind of stuff around like forests and how and how these kind of types of things work. I I didn't get an interesting comment, which I totally agree with, in terms of like how propaganda works in this department and how like how like logging towns operate or how like towns became logging towns. How like they're basically able to convince local populations that logging is is like good because like, yeah, like they're going, they're going into this town, they're going to restore the town because they're going to bring in new money. Through like logging industry. And yeah, this is a very like very like a a typical move, whether it be like, you know, coal mining, whether that be for pipelines in terms of like big companies going into small towns and be like, hey, we can promise you economic growth if you can like assist in this, you know extractive process and they'll be able to convince them with, you know, misleading statistics on and you know, all that kind of stuff in terms of logging industry is getting, getting really good at radicalizing rural populations to have them. Believe that it's one not. It's it's not like economically destructive to take down trees. They might even say it's like good and all all that kind of stuff has have, has there been like any outreach in terms of kind of addressing, addressing people in small towns who like maybe used to like, you know, rely on unlocking or something and how does how does that work? I know, like, they'll be like, oh, but you people come from the city and now you're coming out here into like the woods where I live. And I think this is good. That they're chopping down these trees, right? There's, there's, there's there's like that kind of that, that kind of disconnection because again, no one, no one's immune to propaganda. You can you just you just have to find the specific one. See I'm just curious about like in terms of, in terms of like Forest defense, how often this comes up and how and how you kind of kind of I don't know what's what steps to make to to be like to tell people hey, maybe you're believe these things because timber industries told you them like how, how, how, how do you start that conversation with people? Yeah, this is, like actually the heart of. The forest defense work ahead what you're talking about right now the heart of our work ahead. And I would also say, you know there is a there's certainly. The dichotomy that the media especially likes to present between the rural logging communities and, you know, Portland, or, city based environmentalists and the hippie environmentalists who like come in and. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. And everyone's familiar with that. And there's of course some truth to that, but I want to say like super clearly there are so many rural folks who do not support the logging industry. And so that's like a false dichotomy that gets presented to us right off the bat and a lot of those you know. Or in the in the work that I've been doing on Forest, Forest defense, essentially we're always connecting with folks on the ground in the literally the backyards of these logging proposals. And many of them are super uninterested in having their backyards clear cut. And so we, you know, the we we push directly against that mythology that, you know, it's just environmentalists coming in from Portland because we work directly with people, including for Brighton Bush, but with every single thing that we work on directly with people who are literally on the front. Lines of that logging. That said, there is absolutely a huge pull. You know, Oregon specifically, as you know, famous for logging, like we talked about last time there's a logger on top of the Capitol, you know, are the mayor of Portland, Mayor parking money. It's in Oregon. Oregonians, blood. Easily, yeah. And for rural Oregonians, there are economic realities where in some cases some counties benefit from logging in their totally from the logging industry, their school. You know, schools are tied to logging money and there's, you know, in a lot of ways a narrative that is not really accurate anymore but has like an element of nostalgia to it, like, you know, logging towns and this old story about how things used to work with small, small. Family logging, that's not how it is anymore, but that narrative, that like nostalgic narrative carries on into a lot of communities. And So what the way that I like to cut through that for people is by making it really clear that there is difference between small, you know, family loggers of lore and and you know of, you know, peoples, what people are attached to. And the kinds of what we're seeing today is we're looking at Wall Street logging, we're looking at Wall Street's invested in. Tested huge, you know, corporate industries, who owned who, who still own like, you know, huge percentages of our drinking watersheds, of our communities. Some, some of the communities on the coast are owned primarily by private industrial Wall Street funded logging corporations. And that's, you know, those aren't mom and pop. They're not living in the community. They're living often not even on the Pacific Northwest. These are rich *** ******** who are destroying. Our bioregion and, you know, I think that making it clear that those aren't, those folks are not like us. You know, those are not like rural Oregonians. You're those are not your friends. Those are not, you know, your pals or your neighbors. And just cutting through that narrative that like, oh, you know, logging communities, you know, loggers are your friendly neighbor, actually. No, loggers are Wall Street, you know, investment corporations, rich money people who are doing this destruction. And just kind of like breaking that I guess, like that. That attachment that people have to this idea, that's just not a reality anymore. The reality is that. People who are for logging in rural communities. Are they have a lot more common with those of us who are fighting logging than the actual people doing the logging, if that makes sense. Like there's a lack of understanding of what the logging industry actually is. It's like back to that nostalgia. Like people who are against logging in rural communities, you know, often genuinely do not realize that this is Wall Street. And like, who's doing this logging? They're still thinking it's their, you know, neighbor or their friend and it's, you know, these stories, but, you know, the reality is that. You know, this is corporate timber owners who are maximizing their financial gain by buying out small land owners all over the place, ensuring that they aren't taxed by lobbying heavily in the government. So they don't, you know, have any sort of taxation that then goes back to benefit our communities. Don't even get me started about how many taxes the timber industry skips out on that could actually benefit our communities and our schools and our libraries and our fire departments but aren't. And then they're adopting exploitative labor practices, basically, you know, the contracted workers. Who are in the logging industry right now? We're doing the logging and hauling and and reforestation, so-called reforestation, planting of monocrop plantations. They are experiencing flat wages and declining work quality conditions. Meanwhile, while the corporate chamber forms are expanding their profits and, you know, getting more wealthy investors. So that is the reality of the timber industry. These are not, you know, your friendly neighborhood loggers anymore. So a few other points I wanted to bring up kind of on force. Self someone someone said something about how. We talked about like old growth and and and I guess they think that we said that all force in this area is old growth and that's not something we actually said old growth is is a specific term that means a specific thing and yeah regardless of it being old growth or not they still shouldn't be cut down. I don't. So I'm not sure why this point was really raised because we didn't. I did. I don't think we did say that every that every tree in there is, is, is old growth a lot of them. Implanted in the past few 100 years. But that that doesn't mean like they're like much less important. It's like this just because they're not old growth doesn't mean we shouldn't be preserving this particular watershed in this particular environment and not be clear cutting all of it. Yeah, old growth is like a like the term old growth is just like become fetishized to me in this like this thing that you know this. Also let's be clear, there's not an agreement on what old growth actually means across the board even between agencies like there is an arbitrary date cut off that the federal government. Uses to define old growth, but obviously if you walk into a forest stand, there's a healthy, you know, a healthy old growth stand is complex in terms of age diversity. There's going to be old growth individual trees, there's going to be a lot of younger trees, is going to be horizontal and vertical diversification, like old growth is complicated. It's messy, but the whole point is like, you're right. Like it doesn't actually matter if it's like quote in the the cat, the small narrow category of what the Forest Service would define as old growth if it's a forest that's been around for. You know, hundred years or even, you know, I would argue if it's a force that's over like 70 or 80 years old, what are we doing cutting that down on that for now? Yeah, especially now, you know, that's storing so much carbon safely in the ground. And also by that age it's had the opportunity, you know, to to become more diverse than these like monocrop plantations that we're seeing, younger forests. So I would argue any forest that's not a monocrop plantation, a young monocrop plantation, should absolutely not be clear cut. It's just an inappropriate. Activity to do in native forests and and Speaking of the clear cut, there was another another comment was about how. Clear cutting can sometimes be good because it creates new environments for other animals and living things to exist in. And I find this to be a really weird comments to make. I don't, I don't quite understand this this like kind of idea. Because yes of of course if you cut down a forest you are creating a new environment, but that's not where that environment should be, nor is it where it is. It's like if you if you erect a whole bunch of concrete. Ice scrapers where force used to be. Yeah, you're also making a new environment, but I would say we probably shouldn't do that, though I don't. That's not a good thing. Same thing with like the people obsessed with like putting solar panels in the desert. Like the desert is an actual like environment like it has in. There is reasons for why deserts need to exist and that have this whole like a whole, like a whole whole environment and a whole. I forget the word, but like it has an entire system of living things. That exist there, that should we we don't need to terraform everything. I don't think that's like, I know we shouldn't. I think preserving the environment in general, preserving the environments that are existing and who are creating like ecosystems is a good thing. I think generally the less terraforming probably the better. At least right now, when we're dealing with a massive like looming climate crisis that's caused by US terraforming the earth, maybe we should not do that as much. Yeah, we could call that a general rule, like no more tariff warming y'all just leave it. Let's just, let's just leave us, leave us for a bit. Things. But for real though, whoever wrote that comment, I mean that is a timber industry talking point that I hear all the time. It's literally that is literally and and whether they meant it or not, you know, this is how the timber industry gets us. They're real good at this. This is their, you know, nice sounding talking points that we rebut all the time, you know, not just in media but also in court. And the talking point is clear cuts mimic natural disasters like severe fires by replacing, you know. They totally don't, because it does not appear cut. Go look at a fire. It's a completely different experience, and I could go down that rabbit hole all day on fire ecology another time, maybe. But suffice it to say, you know, what they're arguing is that they're they're creating young forest or quote early seral habitat by clear cutting an old forest. But what they're actually doing is deforestation. They're replacing an old forest with something that's not a forest, a young monocrop. Plantation is a crop. It is not a forest and so they are deforesting and it is ecosystem. It is ecocide and is it, it is, it is ego side. And I think, yeah, the the insistence that like it's it's good because it will allow some species to exist in this new environment. Like, yeah, but there's other environments where they can't exist and we don't. We don't need to be destroying the ones that are already kind of important and doing good stuff to make room for other ones that aren't already there. And they argued that the deer and the butterflies love the clear cuts and so just call that out as ********. Next time you'll hear that it's, you know, spread the word. That is some timber industry BS. They're tricksy, but don't let them get you. The last thing I want to mention is why blocking off access to these areas is bad. Because I got someone said something like, you know, because 95% of fires are human caused, closing off public lands is. It can be good because then fires get started in those areas. And this really, this just misunderstands why fires get started and also is just a bad thing to do anyway because like fire, if you look at like the map of where wildfire start, almost all of them are on the path of highways, specifically in California that when when the fires have really bad. In 2020 there was there was a firefighter who made a great video about like, why the fire line was all next to the highway. And there was like conspiracy theories of like including the antique was driving down highways and setting the forest. Your fire, which was, which was an actual popular talking point because we live in the hell world. But like, you know, he's explaining like the reason why. Like they are like human caused, but they're not like a lot of them aren't intentionally caused. It's because that's where power lines run. And this is where a lot of sparks can ignite stuff on the edges of of of highways that will then take out part of the forest. Now every once in a while there is a gender reveal party that goes horribly wrong and does and and does ignite it. That is true. And I think the solution to that is not closing down the forest. It's not having gender reveal parties that absolutely don't do that either. We stopped selling on Amazon. I mean, I'm all for Tannerite as an idea, but how about let's stop selling blue and pink Tannerite packets to people who don't know how to use explosives? Too rich, genuinely don't know. Because yeah, they're they're actually using Tannerite for what it's meant for, and they're not using it to do like a like training. They're using it to say that they're having a baby. And this has caused a lot of wildfire death. So how how about we just stop selling? The gender reveal party bombs and I think that would be a better solution than closing down massive swaths of public land. And how about our power line companies get their **** together and stop do actually have a plan for planned power shut offs? And actually, you know, we know now actually Pacific Corp is in court right now because they started the Santiam fires, their power lines started the Santiam fires and the Archie Creek fires and probably more. And so, yeah, how about the power line? Companies get their **** together. But I feel like the other huge thing here is that, you know, the suggestion that we should close off these forests to the public, to me is just like more, you know, it's, you know, blatantly, it's racist and it's, you know, I think it's wrong because. These lands, these belong to indigenous people. We should be giving these lands back to indigenous people. And as you know, when we're talking about like rural communities too and a just transition like rural community members should actually have more say in what happens in their backyard. Forest should be able to be more engaged in, you know, the forest that literally provide them with their drinking water and, you know, all of the things that they need to survive. So I we should not be, you know, locking off these lands and keeping humans out. Humans have a place. In these lands. I've always had a place in a role in these lands. And if we take leadership from the right folks, then we could totally live in a much more reasonable way than the gender reveal party path. Yeah, and like, I don't know if you know this, but, like, being in the forest is great. It's like it is great to be surrounded by giant trees. It makes you feel awesome. Last thing I want to talk about is you you mentioned before like getting people who live in these rural areas who used to rely on logging, getting them more involved and doing a just transition. Because this is a topic that comes out that comes up on climate change like everywhere in terms of like you know like countries that are still developing not being able to have access to the same amount of fossil fuels that countries like the states you know had when they when when they were developing and like how is that fair right. This is like this is a very common thing of in terms of. Countries that are better off need will, you know, have kind of kind of like a duty to assist, assist countries that are trying to develop and trying to get better standards of living. Because we profited off of fossil fuels and now they won't have the same opportunity if we're trying to, you know, get to a carbon neutral world. So in terms of like a just a just transition, this is something like, you know, a cop 26, there was supposed to be funding for adaptation efforts in in developing countries. Now that failed because of course it did. It's top 26. But in terms of like, in terms of like this, this idea of a just transition, how do you see this like locally in the rural environment within the States and for for like these types of areas? Like, yeah, because it's similar to like coal mining. The towns similar to, you know, logging towns, how, how does how do you see this working? Yeah. This is something I think about so much. And we actually put out a platform called a green New Deal for our forests in the Pacific Northwest that talks like all about what a just transition could look like for communities. But I mean this is a dream and I think it's like a really inspiring, inspiring path forward because what it means is that, you know, we're not saying to end logging and we're not saying that rural communities basically need to like stop existing and getting funding from logging. What we're saying is that rural community members, we what we that nostalgic dream that are that people are playing to. We actually want to have something in that regard. We would like people to, you know, engage with and interact with their local forests. Now that shouldn't look like clear cutting them because that's irresponsible and that doesn't benefit local communities or, you know, a benefit of future. But that could look like restoring these young monocrop plantations into complex healthy forests. It could be look like bringing fire back onto the. Landscape with prescribed fire and cultural burning taking lessons from indigenous folks who are doing that work. It could look like education and recreation and so many things of like you know hands on engagement with backyard forests that surround us and you know that that could look like basically firing the Freddy's and taking this land and giving it to local communities with, you know the with with conservation goals but also goals to economically support. By all of those ways, you know, jobs, but also jobs and recreation economically support local communities. So basically giving the land back to the local communities who rely on them and giving them power and control to care for them in ways that make sense. Because right now Wall Street is caring for our forests, and really it should be us. And I think one other thing on this topic for like how how well propaganda works when I was at the STOP Line 3 purchase camps last summer in terms of like, how do corporations get towns to start supporting these ideas? And how do they, like, foster this hatred of environmentalism despite, you know, these areas often being the worst impact, one of the worst impacted ones by these like effort efforts, right? You know, you're chopping down forests near where this town is. Pipeline is going next to the town. If it leaks, it's going to cause all this problem to like their water supply and stuff. But like, how they do. It's like the day of the direct action to block off the pipeline. And Enbridge was sponsoring like, a town fair in, like, the little downtown area. And it's like this super surreal moment of being like, oh, this is like, I've read this happen in, like comics before, like this. This is like, this is like one of Lex Luther's favorite things to do is he'll like, he'll like, go into this like, small town. Who's going to start like this? Evil, you know, evil like a like lab at. And he'll like, fund, like, this small town event thing. And like, I've, like, seen this before in so many superhero comics, like, I've seen this trope and now I'm just, like, living it. You're just, like, watching it happen. You're like driving past the town to go block a pipeline. And then you see like, Enbridge with, like a little stage and like a little, like, fair and like, everyone in the town's like, dancing. And they're giving out, like, free drinks and like, Oh no, like, this is. Yeah, like you're like living the things like, you know, a lot of it's about like this idea of like really like reinvigorating like, like, like the the, the, like the, the, the spirit of the town and injecting, injecting new life into it. So like, you know this, this is like a new one for like they're putting a pipeline down, but you know, it's the same thing for like, you know, old like old coal towns, old, old old logging towns. So these corporations will come in, you know, make the town more active again, start putting on events, make it feel like more of a place and then that that gets so the company gets associated. With positive changes. Right. So then people who live in towns like, Oh yeah. And we're just doing all these good things for my town. That must mean they actually, you know, are going to care about us here and then help and help us out. Meanwhile, these people from all around the country are driving through and trying to block the pipeline. And the police are driving everywhere now with all this chaos, right? These stupid environmentalists, they don't understand how this is going to, you know, it's we're creating so many jobs here, which I actually didn't. Enbridge outsourced most of the jobs out of state, but they lied about the type of job creation, you know, all, all, all all this type of stuff. And this is a very, very common thing, totally. And like timber, unity is like delivering wood to people when the when the snowstorm happened and everyone was cold and didn't have power and they were, you know, going door to door with mutual aid support. But that is why, you know, a remember how everyone should remember how, how Trixie and how dishonest these folks are, but also be why those of us who want to see a different way need to be doing mutual aid too, like we actually need to be. Out there in our communities and making friends and building trust and not just showing up to **** **** up when it's time to **** **** up. And I think that kind of like circles back to the point we talked about earlier, which is like building relationships with people on the front lines looks like so much more than just like the defense of a bad thing in their backyards. It looks like, you know, mutual aid because the industry is doing it and they're they're good at it and we need to be better. I think that wraps it up for us today. I guess what one thing I want to mention is like what, what is going to happen going forward now after this, after this legal victory. What's kind of just just, just just just just so people know like what is like the next steps that are going to be taken on the legal process that will kind of determine what, what happens with like you know, direct actions and going to see the forest and like in the future. Yeah. Well, basically we're waiting for a date for this court case. And so that will hopefully be scheduled if it if it ends up having to go through, which it might not. And obviously it is going to be an effort made on behalf of lawyers to try and get the Forest Service to just stop, to just drop this shenanigan and walk away while they're, you know, where they're at. Because we, we do think we have a really strong case that will win in court if it goes to court. So that's kind of like the legal Ave. Same story as what I said the last time we talked. You know, if if logging is going to move forward in that area, whether that be because it happens in the future or because somehow this legal case is lost, direct action will happen. People will be out there in the way of logging. There's no way people are going to let that go down in the branch community. So right now we're kind of in a waiting game. We're watching and waiting. But you know, I hope the Forest Service knows now that they can't just get a get away with stuff like this. People are watching. People are going to file public records requests for documenting this and hopefully, you know, we won't be seeing more of this, but because we live in the real world, the real sad world, we will be seeing more of this. And so, you know, we'll be out there again when the next forest is on the chopping block, which is probably going to be, you know? Today? Tomorrow. Yeah. It's kind of always the thing. Well, thank you so much for coming on to talk about this and the rare, rare good news episode of hey, something good happened. Yeah. Thank you. And in any other sources, people can kind of follow along on the fight that the people can find online. Yeah, make sure to follow Cascadia Forest Defenders and Portland Rising tide, who will be definitely tracking and posting. You can also follow Cascadia Wildlands, who was the lead nonprofit on the lawsuit, and they've been posting about it too. Great. Alright, thanks everybody for listening. Go see a tree, touch tree. Hey, we'll be back Monday with more episodes every week from now until the heat death of the universe. It could happen here as a production of cool zone media. For more podcasts from Cool Zone Media, visit our website, or check us out on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts you can find sources for. It could happen here, updated monthly at Thanks for listening.