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Sat, 09 Apr 2022 04:01
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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 gonna be nothing new here for you, but you can make your own decisions. Welcome to. It could happen here, a podcast where we talk about. Things falling apart. And this week we're talking about our ability to have things that that don't get Co opted by fascists falling apart. Garrison. Hello? Take us. Take us away. Yes. So today we're going to talk about kind of why maybe it's great not to cede any aesthetic ground to fascists anytime it's uncomfortable. And to do so, we've brought on someone who I found on Twitter. Wrote a very very great article about some kind of ongoing debate and drama around like anarchists, symbols and fascists trying to use symbols but we are talking to a black ram hello. Hey, how's how's things? I'm I'm, I'm, I'm actually, I'm actually doing OK. I've been, I've been looking forward to this chat for a while. So yes, if people are unfamiliar, it looks like the past few weeks people have really freaked out about an 8 pointed star. People really, really seem concerned about it. Yeah, this has a lot tied in with what's been happening in Ukraine because as always happens when there's a new story that has anything to do with the the far right people got acquainted with some symbols that they had not been aware of before, particularly the the son Inrad, which is a common symbol that you'll see on members of the Azov Battalion, kind of some other far right organizations in Ukraine as well as elsewhere. You know, the the Christchurch shooter wore us on and rad, and then they started identifying. All sorts of things that they felt looked like son and rads everywhere on the Internet and things kind of spiraled from there. Well, and I think there's actually a little bit more to it than that. Well we're gonna get into we're gonna get into black Rams article here shortly. But yeah I kind of first one just briefly go through. I think why it's this kind of why this debate happened now because the debates happened before, but it's never gotten this like intense a big part of this his tied to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and everyone wanting to play like Where's Waldo with. Symbols being like, can you spot the song and read on the on the pictures of the Azov Battalion and I think the other so like, so everyone's already kind of looking for symbols as like a fun game. But the other thing was kind of happening is because of the Russia Dugan connection, dugans like a political fascist writer who's a very influential inside Russia. But because of the Russia Dugan connection, some people are now seeing a dugans symbol, the Eurasian Square, for the first time, right? And now that they've seen the square. They're seeing anarchists using the Chaos Star, which looks a little similar. They're they're not the same, but they're because they just because they just learned about the Eurasian square. Now they're seeing the Chaos Star, and they've never really noticed the Chaos star before. Maybe they're they just don't really care about what symbols and the people use. But now that they see the duration symbol and they see the Chaos star, they're making this connection here and they think this is a new development, right? They think this is like, like they're asking themselves, like, why are anarchists? Suddenly using this fascist symbol which they either think to themselves or they think out loud on Twitter.com, which is really rich because, I mean, anarchists have been using the Chaos star longer than dugans been using his urination square. And if you have been watching anarchists for any amount of time on the Internet, I know you you would have seen them using the Chaos Star. It's not a it's not a new development by any means, but because everyone's trying to like where's Waldo and osint their way through the war, they're they're kind of drawing these. False connections, which is kind of unfortunate because there is actually some interesting things to talk about in terms of how Duggan did kind of base his design off of Michael Moorcock's Chaos Star and a whole bunch of stuff around like why anarchists used the Chaos Star. And you know, there's there's a nice debate to be had there around fascists always inserting themselves in these subcultures and trying to gain ground, whether it be like the punk scene, the industrial music scene, you know, online gaming, right? Fascists always tried to do this, just often we want to, we try to push back on that, right? Like Nazi punks **** ***. But it seems specifically with the Chaos Star, a whole bunch of people just want a cave and let them kind of take this symbol, which is, I know, I think not not a not a great instinct, but to kind of, to kind of talk about this and other kind of background stuff. Like I said, we brought on a black ram hello to help to help talk about this. So yeah, what kind of prompted you to write? Article I guess on you know watching this debate kind of go down what what kind of actually just like. What was the what was the straw that broke the camel's back? And being like, OK, now I need to write like a decently long article on this topic. I think I've said this on like uh on the on Twitter a little while before writing the actual article, but I think the the spark was a thread from a guy you may or may not have seen him around. He's like somebody's like well Dem sock but but but he has like anarchist leaning on his bio, which I guess sort of, which I guess sort of communicates the idea that he would probably like anarchism if he did not consider it to be impractical. Sure, yeah. But anyways, I actually I kind of wavered on the idea of covering it at all. I thought it would. I thought it would only go for like a few days and it was sort of a Johnny come lately by maybe a day or so admittedly, but they figured it would be sort of ephemeral. But there's things I sort of kept seeing, but in the midst of writing it, there was like some tanky who went even further and made the link to the Chaos Star and I think it was the logo of the Sith. Empire from certain Star Wars media. Yeah, we'll talk. We'll talk about that. Yeah, like, it's it's like, well, it's like, well, one has six lines, and they're not even arrows. They're just like blocks in, like, a sort of hexagonal shape. But it's like the same guys really like the idea that the logo of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is actually the Iron Cross. Yeah, a big chunk of this, I think, kind of the prehistory of why this became such a specific problem, started. With kind of unite the right and the period after that where you had all these new fascist groups on the ground in the United States and they all had their symbols. And I, you know, I was a part of this to to to the degree that there's some culpability here. A number of researchers, including myself, were warning people like, hey, there's some like symbols that people are are taking to right wing gathering and they're claiming to be normal conservatives. And these are these are symbols of groups like the Phineas priesthood or groups like different kind of fascist. Organizations and you might not be aware of them. And so you should know what kind of these, you know, the kekistan flag or whatever means. Because people are trying to kind of signpost their sympathy to these extreme groups. And that I think that was important because those people were legitimate problems and they were trying to kind of stealthily hide their very radical right wing sympathies behind some like obscure images. But the problem is that it got a lot of people. Looking, not just looking for fascist symbols and everything, but also looking for the clout that comes from like, pointing something like that out. And I think that's that's kind of the root of a lot of these these problems. And it's not surprising that it happened with Dugans symbol that there's no, absolutely not. Because it does like, again, if you're just like kind of a casual observer, it does look a lot like the chaos start. It makes 8 pointed star with arrows. Yeah, and it makes sense if you know anything about Dugans philosophy, do Alexander. Dugan is a. Essentially a Russian political theorist and author, there's a lot that's kind of said about how close he is to Putin. He certainly was at one point closer to Putin. There's a lot of debate as to whether or not Putin kind of saw him as more of like a useful. Person to kind of a useful propaganda organ or whether or not he really bought into what Dugan was saying. But Dugan is and was a really big advocate of like what? What he called, like multipolar. International politics, yeah, Multipolarity, which is this idea that, like, the United States should not be a the hegemonic power in the world, right? Which it kind of was after the fall of the Soviet unions, this idea that there should be a bunch of equivalent powers, which is number one. You can see how a lot of folks on the left would be drawn in by that, even if they weren't particularly fans of of Putin. Just the idea that like, Oh well, yeah, it's it's been a problem that the United States is this massive hegemonic power. Perhaps it would be better if there were a bunch of equivalent. Hours and and it's one of those things where there's a logic to that, but it does kind of require ignoring all of the times in the past when we had a multipolar world and there was tremendous violence. There's a root error in this sort of pathway which sort of like refuses to deal with imperialism as a global system. Yeah. The reason that's a hang up is because, you know, once you once you think of imperialism as a global system, you at you then have to move on to the idea that it's a global system that then has to be dismantled globally. Yeah, you can't quite do that with camp because it implicates nations that are supposed to serve as like moments of world historic progress. Against like hegemonic capitalism. And it is one of those Spooks of the mind that people kind of have to do away with, which the atheist movement sort of does pretty successfully, because that mostly comes from the fact that it starts off from the position of like this state as an actual sort of structural presence. It's sort of funny that, like the Marxist argument is usually down to like hyper focus on the state and hierarchy is idealist, which is odd when you consider that hierarchy. And the state are very much material in the same way that capitalism itself is. So it's like a it's it feels more like a sort of argument that's like a well, well, my materialism is V materialism. Your materialism is in fact a form of idealism. I think with with that, we're gonna go on a a quick, a quick, quick ad break and then we're going to come back. And I think we should probably now talk about like, the origins of the Chaos Star and and Michael Moorcock and Discordianism, and then we'll kind of get into the kind of current, current debate on it some more. So, yeah, anyway, here's, here's here's some, here's some ads for your ears coming in through the airwaves. Ah, yeah, Yep. It's time. It's time to talk about more. Time for more. OK, well, you beat me to it. So. Of, I guess, a black graph. You you actually did a pretty good succinct to kind of things on how the Chaos Star came into being initially via Michael Moorcock. Do you want to just like as brief, briefly talk about kind of how he came up with the symbol for his books and stuff? OK, so Full disclosure, I haven't really read the books themselves. I. I have read some Michael Moorcock, a lot of what a lot of my familiarity from him is pretty second hand. One of the main things of that is Siri fungal being like this, this sort of 80s band that I sort of think back to this their whole vibe is more ***** works but but but anyways the reason why the KAOS start is this shape that it is, is because what it's supposed to represent is meant to extend outward endlessly. Yeah, the counter symbol. Or order is a single a single upward pointing arrow voted with. Funny enough, when I thought about that, I thought about the T was ruined for like tear. It doesn't really have the same meaning, but it's like upward pointing arrow in a symbolic context. That's the other example I have, yeah, but but that upward pointing arrow signifies a straight and narrow expression of where possibility goes, where potential sort of goes, which creates structure the other. That the chaos star, by contrast, has like. The eight directions are meant to represent all directions in a circular sort of space, like a compass of sorts. And the energy and the potential and possibility goes out, and all of them with no set path, no definite limit, no boundaries. It just goes. It just sort of goes out there. It's little wonder why the chaos Magic movement embraced it for a very similar set of reasons. Yes, it's even because even though it is kind of a myth that there is absolutely no rules. Chaos magic. What is true is that you can explore very of a very, very broad and like almost limitless range of like, practical possibilities within that movement in that sort of within that sort of frame. It's it's a very like, post structuralist, postmodern view of it. But yeah, modern is how I've heard it described and kind of getting back to the like what Moorcock was in brief, because I do think we need to kind of give an overview of who he is. He he's still alive. Last I checked, at least he is alive. I I heard him talking at an anarchist sci-fi conference a few weeks ago. If you didn't immediately know who he was, he is the most influential fantasy author you have not heard of. He he he is like a George RR Martin level of influence, if not significantly more so. Like he he's he. Some people will say he's the most influential fantasy author since Tolkien. And among his you you've you've noted the band Cirith Ungle, if you've if you've been a fan of, of any of the Warhammer games, he's a huge influence on that because the thing that he created was kind of the the concept of chaos as a sort of religious entity. And I'm not going to get into like the depths of the law in his books, but a lot of it is about kind of the struggle between order and chaos. And so the Chaos Star had it what he he created that specifically like for this kind of. Theological like conflict that occurs throughout his books and it became the symbol of like one of the sides in Warhammer. And this very like there's 10s of thousands of people who have the Chaos Star tattooed on them, not because of Warhammer but or not because of any political reason or because of chaos measure, because they were fans of like Warhammer 40,000 or whatever. Yeah, and it's interesting because in the same time when I first got into anarchist political theory before, long before. Be considered calling myself one. It was because I came across a book published by AK Press. I think I bought it in 2007, called No gods, no masters. And it was. It's a collection a lot of people have a copy of this book in in their house. If they're into anarchist theory. It's like a collection of early anarchists, like people like Proudhon, essays on like kind of the first wave of anarchist political theory. And it has a chaos star on the cover because #1 Michael Moorcock identify is an anarchist. Is A is a like, as in like is both an author and someone who identifies as an anarchist politically and yeah politically. And so his books had were particularly popular among anarchists who don't always get a lot of chunks of pop culture that to themselves. Absolutely. And so he's he's it. It was kind of from the beginning both this nerdy fantasy symbol that you could see you could you could put alongside a bunch of different from the Lord of the Rings. Not that. I love the Lord of the Rings, but like you, you could see it as like like like somebody having a tattoo in Elvish. But it also took on almost immediately this dual meaning where it was actually representing aspects of anarchist political theory. And so it was put in printed on like books that were about political theory and had nothing to do with fantasy. So it's I can't actually, I cannot actually think of another symbol with a similar pedigree. It's it's a really pretty unique case. It is. It is because it's it's less of like an anarchist. But more a symbol created and used by anarchists like it was like it was, it was, it was, it was invented by an anarchist. It was it was a symbol invented by an anarchist to represent something in fiction that had such resonance that people adopted it as an actual political symbol. Yeah, it honestly, it honestly doesn't require that much reach to see why people who invite people who like the idea of there being no hierarchy in no state, even if not total freedom, there's still like the most range that you could get that. Results in that negation. It doesn't take a lot of elaboration to see why the symbol expressly meant for the symbol of chaos would gain traction. Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. I was talking with Margaret Killjoy about this a while ago, and she was like, yeah, like, if you were in the 2000s and you were like a traveling crust punk, at least, like 25% of people would have Chaos star tattoos because that's because that, like, it's about expanding out in all directions. You know, you're those. The single arrow is law and order. Instead, we're expanding out ever in in every possible way. Yeah. I mean, I have a chaos star tattooed on me and I it it's a it's it's for primarily ideological reasons, as opposed to the fact that I spent my entire childhood playing Warhammer. Of so, so yeah, it's I think now. So it is worth mentioning. So the Chaos Star was invented in the 60s by Michael Markoch. Of course there is. There's been other eight pointed stars over the course of thousands of years of history. Jesus, of course it is. It is. It is like a broad like geometrical shape. Every kind of star has meant something, yes. But the the specific design was, was made, was made by Michael Mycock. And then because of because of more ***** like anarchist tendencies in fiction, his work was used or at least appreciated by a lot of the discordians. Which is also popular around the 60s. A lot of the Situationists and then, as the Discordian situationist movement kind of morphed and started to kind of intermingle with parts of occultism, we have the chaos Magic movement starting in the late 70s, which started also using the the Chaos Star. Which makes sense because like what, Robert, you were talking about how it's like. It's not like it's almost like personifying chaos as like a thing to worship, which is actually a big part of early chaos magic text is is like. Like like reveling in the idea of like, chaos is like a primordial God, which there's there's a lot of primordial gods in like the actual like world. You know like if you look like through through histories of various cultures, like chaos is one of the original primordial gods. So it is there is a big part of that in early chaos Magic books about kind of looking at chaos as this like this very ancient force that should be kind of respected. And I think that that is a, that is a big part of why they cause chaos magicians started using the the star. I mean, obviously there's a lot of crossover between like sci-fi writers like Robert Anton Wilson and Michael Moorcock, who then Robert Anton Wilson was very influential in the Chaos Magic movement. So you you can see how this gets carried over from like anarchist sci-fi to chaos magic. And then because it's in chaos magic, it gets way more visibility. So then it starts, then you start seeing it inside more, more like underground anarchy scenes. And then so around around this time Dugan was starting his political career and he was, he was he was dabbling in a lot of various like occult circles himself right now he's he's more of like a traditionalist like a more like a Christian traditionalist. That is kind of his primarily, that is like his that is his primary kind of a cult of interest as long as it could be called a cult. Yeah it's it's it's not it's not worth getting too much into the weeds on undoing at this point. I think people, I think it's worth mentioning like he, like he because he obviously. Did rip the he did take inspiration from the Chaos Star to make his own version of it? Yeah, he certainly because he was in those same circles, occultic leanings and and and a degree of knowledge. I think, again, like with a lot of things, a lot of things about Dugan are overstated, including his like, closeness to Putin because he's this really easy, in part because he's like so prolific and and there's a lot available on him in English. It's really easy to kind of tie everything happening in in Russia to do to him. Yeah, and I think that's kind of a degree of what's happening here. There's a website I've forgotten the name of, but I think it had like a bunch of like online reproduction of dugans, various writings from the 90s, all sorts of weird **** about occultism. And yeah, and yet I do think that there's a very obvious gulf between the Dugan of that weird eccentric, like esoteric Nazi sort of phase of like his relative youth versus today where. He frames his entire rationale for multiple morality as a kind of Christian, a Christian crusade against a hegemony that he legitimately believes to be a satanic empire. He has basically said that, and it's not the only thing he considers satanic like, like we we should point out that like one of the one of the main forces that were that were going like against ***** Riot were eurasianists at that as of that time, and he called them like devils and. Stitches and taught his followers to show up with pitchforks. People in the West don't really understand them, so you get guys like, well, you get both. Alexander Reid Ross describing him as an adherent of chaos magic. And some guy from the National Review referring to him as the leader of a satanic cult somehow. Yeah, and and boy, I mean there's a long history of people liking to flat liking to flatten. Fascist movements within Occultic tradition to just Satanism. We're not gonna talk about that at length, but it whenever whenever you hear people talking about a problem and like they reduce it to its satanists, you should be a little on edge. Because usually they're wrong or at least incomplete and they just have have kind of over anyway. We don't need to get terribly into that. The only reason we wanted to bring that up is because like this is around the same time that people that are fascists were trying to enter in a lot of different. Political like subcultures, whether it be like the punk scene and industrial music including like the the issue because that that is like their primary means right like they they try to like. They are an aesthetic driven movement. They try to Co opt to any aesthetic and use it for their own gains and to to kind of overlook the anarchist origins of this thing just because fascists tried to copy it at some point. I think it's very silly because then like what are you going to throw away all punk music like come on or even like. They're like crosses. Like, yeah, the fascist still used variations of Christian crosses that still have essentially political Christian meanings that I'd probably still assume that the majority of religious fascists do lean on some kind of Christianity. And to the extent that there's Neo pagans involved, there's sort of a minority. There's a couple of things that this is like one of them would be kind of in the United States Fascist Co option of of the the flag of the United States, which. We can talk a lot about like, the fact that the United States is an imperialist power, and the genocides done on under that flag without, while still acknowledging that attempts by fascist movements to Co opted as a purely fascist symbol, are problematic, in part because that symbol, the United States flag, has a lot of power to a lot of people. And so if you if the fascists kind of Co opt it totally, that's a harmful thing. That's a thing that can, like, allow them to get their brain. Terms into more people, which doesn't mean like, you should take and waive the US flag, but it does mean that like, it's just a matter of don't you don't have to let them take the ground. You know, and I, I think on a kind of a different angle, one of the things I think about a lot is the first time I went to India seeing, especially in a large parts of India, you'll see swastikas hanging over the doors of many, many houses all over the place. You'll see them hanging from cars. You'll see they're they're constant. Things. And it's only unsettling if you have allowed yourself to forget that the swastika is a symbol that the Nazis stole from another culture Co opted and invested with a new meaning. You should see Japan. Yeah, yeah. And and why should people in other parts of the world who have been using it for a totally different purpose for thousands of years? Why should they be like, well, I guess we don't get this now. Also, like, it's like in India has had to deal with their own fascists as well. Well, yes, and and and there's, I mean again, we're, we're we're delving into a lot of very deep topics because there's a lot to be said about how the fact that the Nazis took the swastika led to degrees of sympathy with an areas of Indian culture that allowed some fascist ideology to creep in. And like that's also tied to the fact that both the Nazis and a lot of Indian nationalists were fighting against the British Empire. It's all very complicated, right. So we don't need the guys, guys like VD Savarkar did, who were founders of the Hindu. The movement, yeah, did openly praise Hitler. Ohhh, yeah, yeah. It's kind of easy for some people to think of it as entirely motivated by religion. But his whole concept of nationhood is entirely racial. Yeah, it says himself that it has nothing to do with religion. So yeah, and it's it's, it's one of those things if you actually want to understand things and engage with them in a useful area, you have to understand that history and grapple with it without like looking at a 2500 year old Hindu temple and going, well, I guess they were Nazis, hash, hash #problematic, yeah. Probably the last thing I actually want to talk about is how, how, how the kind of debate around symbols used symbols has just kind of morphed into. Just fast jacketing anarchists in general, and worrying about like, oh, the fascists are secretly infiltrating the anarchists, and they're going to turn anarchists into fascists. Which is pretty silly, because, I mean, if you're if you turn anyone into fascists, think anarchists are one of the hardest people to to do that too. This is, this is, this is a lot of other people. It's way easier to convince to become fascists that although when anarchists go fascist they didn't go fast, pretty hard. It's the type. The type of like fear mongering around it is still. It's really frustrating because, like, I'm looking at all these, I'm I'm looking at all these tankies like, fast jacketing anarchists for using US, for using a symbol created by anarchists, which has been used by anarchists for decades, right? But then you also have like tanky superstar Caitlin Maupin regularly hanging out with like like, Malkin regularly hangs out with Dugan. And then you have someone who's like another, like, pretty like popular, like, like tanky influencer like Ben Norton, who openly uses dugans multipolar theory, right? And so if, if. But if you're looking for the most visible example of fascist and nationalist rhetoric trying to enter into leftism, you should look at like the growing, like patriotic communists. You know, people people often refer to as like patriotic socialist. But yeah, yeah, the idea is basically the same. But yeah, it's like people like Peter Coffin and this like growing like Patriot, communist, socialist kind of live streamer grift, which is like because like the easiest entry on the left for fascism is in forms of nationalist. Authoritarian communism, right? It's like, you know that that that that is how you get, like, National Socialism, right? It's like they just had this, like super Cringey nozzle convention just a few weeks ago with with some of the best moments on Twitter up until Will Smith slapped that guy. Yeah, but like, you know, you have, you have like coffin and Malpan hanging out and like moped regularly, regularly hangs out with Dugan. Like if you're going to, if you want to be watching out for like a fascist creep, maybe you should direct it towards the people. Just like doing it out in the open and not. Dash jacketing like queer anarchists who have been doing the thing that they've been doing for like decades. I guess one of the last things I will mention is the the hilarious incidents with the Sith Empire thing of people just fully of like fully getting consumed by their own brain worms and trying to insist that a Star Wars symbol is secretly a fascist chaos star and then doing the same thing to the Warhammer symbol. It is. It is in. I mean it. It's funny because like. In Star Wars, it is a fascist symbol, right? That is, that's not a fascist symbol in the real world, but it is within the world of of Star Wars that is absolutely a fascist. But it's also, it's also not a chaos star, it's not a Chaos star and in Warhammer it is a Chaos star, but it's not a fascist symbol. It's actually an anti fascist symbol within the world of Warhammer. You can basically argue that yeah, yeah, because it is. It is just frustrating looking at all these people being like trying to play, trying to play the Where's Waldo game just to all like dunk on anarchists. And it's it just kind of shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the history of anarchist culture and the history of like anti fascist anarchists. You know, most of the anti fascists that I know use the Chaos star because it's because it's a red symbol. It looks red, it looks cool. Yeah, trying to like in insisting that we must see this ground and let fascists use anything that they think is aesthetically cool. I think is is a first of all like a losing battle to actually just like to just just to to to start that now I think is you would have some pretty bad implications for fascism and its use of aesthetics. You don't have to give them things just because they want to take those things. It makes sense that you would see like tankies do it because then if you're tanky you could basically get into a position. Where you can basically discard all sorts of symbolisms and just replace everything with like old like Soviet symbology or something which is which is obviously not tied to any atrocities that have happened. Right. Oh, oh, incidentally, don't ever tell them about Georgia. Yeah, don't don't tell them about Georgia, Kazakhstan. Ukraine, Ukraine, that giant lake that was like the largest lake in Europe that they turned into a pile of poison. You know, don't mention a few things. And Trotsky would be proud considering he wanted to turn mountains into like, city structure. I mean that that actually is one of the things I think Trotsky was on the right ball about. More ministeriales, more ministerios. Let's teerath up some mountains. So Eddie, Eddie, Eddie, final thoughts on? Our lovely circular chaos chaos star. I'm thinking I'm thinking of a quote from like, uh, what was his name? Uh, Pablo freerdp? I hope I've gotten that name right. Yeah, a quote I've seen going around that. I think it was around something to the effect of when the point of education isn't liberation, the goal is to become the oppressor. You could sort of that usually that quote is like relevant to like the material processes of like being inculcated into a capitalist system. So so so you can kind of make the most sense of it as basically like you are educated to become a boss instead of wanting to abolish all bosses bought it. But but but on a micro level you can sort of apply it to the right to the ways in which people even in like radical spaces sort of this is sort of become. Like self styled cops as it were. That I think is a phenomenon that a lot of the anarcho nihilist tendencies sort of responds to anyway. This is coming from a perspective that is sort of flirtatious towards anarcho nihilism, but not necessarily. But it's like you could a lot of the interactions with like they have, like certain people demonstrate that. There are some instances of it where I think, I can't quite tell if it's Poe or not somebody. Yeah. So, so somebody posted like a photo of themselves with like a like the jacket and they had like the upside down cross and the inverted pentagram on board and. Somebody, somebody, somebody with like basically no followers who somehow blew it somehow blew up when they posted that photo next to like a Nazi uniform to try and compare the inverted cross to a swastika. Our or. No, not. If not a swastika, then like maybe some other part of the jacket and the pentagram to, like, the armband or something like, yeah, yeah, yeah. And I think this. I'm still not sure if that was entirely serious. See that's The thing is, like, we have to be careful. Like, I I don't like anarchist in fighting. It's rarely useful. And we have to be to be watchful for like, how much of it is just people trolling or people trying to prompt infighting just for the sake of infighting. Right. So if. If, like, I tried for a long time to not engage in this debate because I don't like talking about this like I I don't like infighting with anarchists I don't like, I don't like having these types of debates. So hopefully the next time this debate starts, we don't need to because we can just we can just point to how this last one went and say no. Look we clearly demonstrated that this is a this has a long history of use by anarchists in invented by anarchists and not start, not start, not and not start the debate again because we we don't we we don't need to do it. And there's no telling if people are doing it sincerely or people doing it ironically or people just doing it just to get, you know people upset. Going to be like if you want to look at anarchists and look at OK, I wear. Where is right wing people? Where is fascists trying to kind of blend in with anarchists? Like look at like books, right, look at end caps, right. These people who try to claim to be anarchists are very bad at actually blending in because they can't help themselves when they start talking about like the validity of anarcho capitalism or the validity of like small nation states like it's it is, it is, it is hard. It's hard to actually infiltrate anarchists. This is the thing that the FBI has said multiple, multiple times. It's hard to actually do so whenever fascists try to blend in, whether they're boogaloo boys. They can't help but use their old like boogaloo symbols. They can't help but just like like give hints it is it. It is astonishing how how bad they are at this thing, so also bad at like the protection that they claim to offer. Like there was a there was an article from like last year going over over, going over. Well part of it mentioned that they were basically at this like purported protest that they were supposed to offer protection from. And most and most of what they did was get drunk and like this on the sidewalks. Little boys I've seen at actual protests who are like with, like with like cops attacking protesters. The Boogaloo boys are the first ones to run because they're cowards. Yeah, all right, well. I guess so. Where can where can people, where can people find you online? And where can people read your read your article like Chaos, Nihilism and the way of No surrender? WordPress basically I can I call the site I left so retical domain but the but the link goes like my thoughts born from fire.wordpress.com. I actually try. I actually tried changing the URL once I changed it to LF. Heretical domain I think in 2013. Fourteen. But I figured that doing so would **** ** all of the stats and whatever, so I just didn't bother. Well, thank thank you so much for your kind of writing. I would say probably the most definitive stance on this debate at the moment, which we can always point point back to whenever this inevitably comes up again in like a year or two, because I don't know. They've seen it. I've seen it come up like every, every few years. You see it. So thank you. Thank you for that and thank you for coming on. Yeah. If you want to follow, follow us. You can do it at the, you know the thing, you know the thing. Twitter, Instagram. It happened here. Pod and Cool Zone media. You can look at my unhinged chaos tweets at hungry bow tie. Yeah, nothing is true and everything is permitted. Also at Ace Catalinas is where I go to like sort of ramble about politics and occasionally the occult and other things. We do. We do, we do love a good, we do love a good ramble, all right? That that that doesn't for us today. Folk fascists, Nazi punks, **** *** etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Welcome to it could happen here, the only podcast where the hosts asks all listeners and guests to provide their Social Security number and bank account number. Routing number. All that good stuff. This is a podcast about how things aren't always great and maybe are kind of falling apart a little bit and and it has also not been, for the most part, a podcast about. The expanded war in Ukraine, for a variety of reasons. Uh, we have done some coverage of that, but we've focused specifically on stories of individual people. And and that's generally where I feel like our strength is as a program, but people have been repeatedly requesting we do a little bit of a bigger picture, look at what's gone on in that conflict. And so I have brought a RAM shambo anian into the studio. Aram, how are you doing, buddy? Oh, not too bad, man. How you doing today? Fine and dandy. Like sour candy. Now would you describe kind of your your who you are and what you do and why, uh why you're you're someone people should listen to when we're talking about a conflict like this because you are one of the people who when everyone was like, there's no way Russia will invade was was saying. Well. It might happen, yeah. I mean, Umm, well, I think one of the things that that sets me aside from a lot of other analysts out there is that I never thought I would become an analyst and I never thought that I would do this. I it wasn't set in stone for me from the beginning. I thought I was going to be like a high school history teacher. And so I've always studied the world in terms of reading books on different conflicts around the world and and I've tried to keep appraised on where these books have led to. Right. So if I read a book about the Second Congo War, it makes sense to them. Follow current events that are related to what happened after the Second Congo War. Yeah. As a result, I followed things going on in Ukraine starting in 2014 with Euromaidan and elsewhere in the world. But but Ukraine has been one that I've focused on pretty heavily because there's been a lot of information about Ukraine ever since 2014 because of how late the war happened, in terms of human history and in in terms of recent conflicts, 2014 isn't that long ago. And so I started following it. Then, and I think that if you combine modern open source tools, modern technology, some of the stuff that organizations like Bellingcat can do with traditional research and and and knowledge, some of the stuff that I've done in school, you have a really powerful tool to combat disinformation. And I think that's one of the best tools we have to combat disinformation is wedding oscient with traditional research. But yeah, yeah, when it comes to open source intelligence. The Ukrainian war is actually kind of one of the it's not the conflict where that really started to become a thing. That would probably be the Libyan Civil War. When, when that. Began to be something people were talking about in a big way. But the Ukrainian, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in particular in 2014, is really where open source intelligence kind of came into its own in a really widely known way. That's when Bellingcat's, reporting on the Downing of MH 117, like, went out. And that was kind of like the first first really huge international story involving, like, open source intelligence. Cracking a case. And now since the expanded invasion of Russia back in February, we've kind of entered and again, this isn't really where this. Started, but this has been kind of, we've seen an explosion of what I think would be fair to call open source intelligence. Disinformation. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah you want to talk a little bit about kind of some of the stuff that you've seen because there's there's a number of accounts claiming to be doing OSINT on the Ukrainian war and boy howdy they they are not all giving out good information and it it can be difficult for people to tell what they should trust. Because if you're, if you're kind of just scanning over it bad oscient or even outright fake oscient can look very similar to good docent, right? And and so I I would put a lot of the ocean community into four rough categories. Uh, there's, uh, osen analysts, and those are pretty rare. Those are the kind of people who combine what they're seeing in real time on social media with a background of knowledge in the area. So like a Ukraine regional expert combining that with what they're seeing happen in Ukraine. That's a Osen analyst. There is some Twitter accounts that are more ocean aggregators. They don't really have much analysis to put into what they're what they're producing, but they spit out a lot of information in real time. And so if you follow the right ones. That use the right sources, you can get some pretty decent information from them. Then there's more of the misinformation aggregators, which are accounts that just kind of spread whatever they see without regards to whether it's true or not. They'll sensationalize stories, you know, if there's the. A rare command and control plane takes off somewhere in America that's known as the Doomsday plane. During the Cold War, they'll tweet out. The doomsday plane is in the air. Doesn't mean clear war, right? And they're not doing it to be hurtful. They're doing it for likes. And then there's disinformation aggregators who are deliberately out there trying to sow discord and solve problems. And those are four categories that I've seen all of them develop in their own ways in the last 10 years. I think the best, best example of that final category there's an account on Twitter called SM Syria, and if you look at the account, it looks almost identical to the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. It takes the same kind of graphics, and it has the same kind of terminology, but it's an assadist disinformation outlet. And so, but they've woven their way into if you just took a casual glance at the war in Syria, you might believe that it's a valid source. And that's the kind of more malicious disinformation that I'm talking about, where like, they know what they're doing and they're trying to confuse people. And it's there's, you know, I think one of the best examples of. Something that really struck me recently as problematic in in the war in Ukraine is you've got a video going around of that purports to show Ukrainian soldiers shooting captured Russian soldiers, which is a war crime. And I think credible people within the OSM community have said this is something that desperately needs to be investigated more seriously. This this, like is very, has a very good chance of being legitimate and people should be looking into this, whereas you've also seen folks who kind of reflexively. Jumped to defend Ukraine against these allegations. Putting out what I think is fairly shoddy OSINT claiming to show like issues with the video and stuff and it's like people circling blurry sections of the video and saying like this is, you know, looks like it could be edited or this doesn't look credible. And it is the kind of thing I think one way reason people get tripped up by that is prior to the invasion of Ukraine there were some Russian false flag events that involved like cadavers bodies that had been autopsied and stuff which was broken down. That people like Eliot Higgins at Bellingcat and one of the things that again if you're just kind of looking at the surface level you can see like Oh well that those were videos that were faked and so these like the O center around this people like pointing out different sections of the video looks the same. Some of the differences are for example when they were analyzing the bodies in those those false flag footage they brought in actual you know corpse cutter, uppers, morticians yes to to analyze like the cuts in the. In the skulls and whatnot as opposed to again just kind of a guys circling aspects of a video and being like this doesn't seem right and it's like, but you can I can see why people get tripped up by it and it it is important not to get tripped up by that kind of stuff because war crimes are bad. I think as a general attitude that we we both share and and should be investigated regardless of like whether or not they're being done by the side who's also towing Russian tanks away with tractors that you're you're on the side of right like. Right. And and I think that that's that's exactly an important distinction to make because like there are certain claims that have come out from the Ukrainian side, certain statements that have come out that as an ocean analyst I could probably look into more and maybe poke holes and stuff like the number of kills that the ghost of keys claimed, right. OK, maybe it's not 30 kills or whatever it is that people are saying maybe he's not real. But that's not harmful as much as did these guys shoot people in the legs, right, right. So one of those bears examination just because of the nature of the claim. The other one maybe we can examine it after the war when it's not as it doesn't really matter if there is an A Ukrainian ACE fighter pilot who's dropped a bunch of crazy number like obviously in a military sense of Russian jets are being down to that does matter. But like from the perspective of of people just kind of observing this war as as news. Consumers, it doesn't really matter. Whereas whether or not a country gets away with a war crime absolutely matters. And people are treating it with the same reflexive hand wave as they do when they accept these, the ghost of Kiev Smiths, right, they're saying, like, well, no, but I want the Ukrainian side to win this war. So we can't even look into any claims of war crimes. And that's just not how it's supposed to be. Like you condemn the crimes up front and you investigate and you try to move forward, and that's how we prove that we're better than the opposing side. Right. That's that's been the rule in this war and it's been the rule in the wars past. You know you you prove that you're better than your opponents by being more decent. Yeah. And it's it's I have seen some really unsettling logic from some people along the lines of like, well these were artillery men who have been you know, shelling civilian areas. So why shouldn't they be be shot in the leg? And the answer is because like that's number one it is a war crime to shoot captured prisoners like that. That is a thing that we as a as a species. Have attempted to make illegal and and ought to be. It is a thing that, like, should not be done. And there's actually a wide variety of, like, tactical reasons why it's bad for Ukraine. If Russian soldiers believe they will be shot after being captured, it makes for, among other things, it makes soldiers less likely to turn themselves in. One of the wiser decisions that the Ukrainian government has made in this war has been really deliberately pushing the idea that, like, hey Russians, if you surrender, we'll pay you. You can get Ukrainian. Citizenship, like bringing your tanks, you know, land your planes or whatever. Like, we'll, you know, we'll make it worth your while, which is a lot, which is potentially a force multiplier, right? If Russian soldiers think when I get captured they will shoot me, then they will fight to the death and Ukraine will lose more people in that fight, as opposed to if Russian soldiers think, well, **** I could actually have a pretty decent life if I just turned myself into these guys and refused to fight. That means less people you have to fight. So it it. It does. It does really matter whether or not this is happening, and it's also just like. On a moral level, you you shouldn't accept it. And I see some, really, I think one of the things that I find so unsettling about that logic like these are, these are, you know, artillery men who have been targeting civilian areas. Why shouldn't they be shot? It's not that much of a leap to, like, some other **** we saw people saying in Vietnam, you know, these villages are harboring insurgents. Why shouldn't we treat them like the enemy? You know, like that all of this logic leads to people getting murdered who don't deserve to get murdered. And that is bad right there. The snowball effect, the slippery slope effect with the moral side of it. And then, like, you're saying, the practical side of it. I mean, if you look at part of the reason members of ISIS fought so hard in places like Mosul, God was because once you're in that organization, your options are a bullet or like a desert cell. If you're lucky. They're not going to treat you well and reintegrate you into society. Come on. Like, no, that's not how it works. So you fight like hell, you know? And that's that's a very basic rule. That's pretty easy to understand, I would think. Yeah. So that's why this needs to be looked into. And if it's proven false, if it's proven that there not be a correct true video, that just strengthens the Ukrainian side. But if it is proven to be true, it's something that needs to be investigated. It can't be overlooked. It can't be swept under there, under the rug. Just because we we want one side of this war to come out on top doesn't mean that we have to ignore they're committing like one. A good rule of thumb to approach a war from when you're trying to analyze it is that there there has never been a side. In a war who have not committed war crimes. So that should always be on your mind when you're trying to evaluate the reality of a war. It doesn't mean every claim of a war crime is true. That would be a very silly way to translate that. But it does mean that when there is a claim that the side you support has been responsible for a war crime, your default should be. This is not impossible, and I should. I should proceed from the area that this could have happened and and it should be analyzed without reflexively dismissing it, and also without saying that like war crimes committed by a group of. Soldiers in a single part of a theatre necessarily mean that the the war itself is being prosecuted in a criminal level by that government. No, because for example, well, I mean I I was about to say U.S. soldiers committed war crimes in World War Two, but actually the prosecution of that war was criminal and a lot of fundamental ways. They don't let that one go for a minute, but it that doesn't mean that like your Granddad committed war crimes because other U.S. soldiers who were in the field executed captured German POW's, you know, right? Yeah, which I think is something people have an easier time understanding when it's not a war they feel the need to have a series of 280 character or less takes on in Twitter. It's that's the weirdest thing about about the social media age and and kind of ocean in general is that while it does make it very accessible and easy for anybody to get involved in investigating these crimes in these events, it also means that everybody thinks they have an opinion that matters on it and and and in that sense they they muddy the waters. They they a lot of people can can imitate the oscient look pretty well, they can circle things in pictures that look similar. As we saw in Syria a lot, they'd take 2 pictures of of two totally different dudes and say these are the same guy, they're both members of Al Nusra are something like that. And they would compare the eyes and compare the chins and stuff. And it looked kind of like a belling cat image, but it wasn't right. Yeah, it is. That's the danger here, is that, like, everybody can can help, but everybody can hurt now, too. Yeah. Yeah. And it's one of those things. Every, every aspect of this cuts both ways because like, I think people started saying rightfully so after the invasion or the expanded invasion, I should say, of Ukraine by Russia is like, well, now all of these people who are experts in whatever the last big story. Those are going to become experts on the Ukrainian conflict, right? Which is absolutely a thing that happened. You get all of these people who I think are. Pretty bad journalists and reporters who suddenly like rush to to have their commentary on this thing that they have ignored for the last eight years. But at the same time it's to talk about Bellingcat, the founder of Bellingcat. My old boss, Elliot Higgins was like literally an unemployed dude sitting on his couch and when he started analyzing war footage and is now one of the most respected conflict analysts in the world. And that is a thing the Internet has made possible. I think a great example would be the caliber obscura Twitter, which is just like a dude in the UK who has an almost impossible ability to recognize firearms. And pieces of firearms. And so just analyzes people, send him footage from all over the planet and he'll say, like, these are these guns and this is where they came from. And this is this one is like, looks like this kind of gun, but it's actually a, a fake one that's being made locally in this country and it is supposed to look like this. And you can tell because, like, that's not a person who caliber did not, like, go to some sort of fancy gun school. They just are. I mean, it's definitely not right to call them an amateur because quite frankly, I don't know. The people who are working at institutes and better at the thing that caliber does than caliber is right. But they did just start as a person on Twitter. You know that's the thing about this, this is that you get people who were not kind of born with that they were going to become analysts in this in this field. And so you have people like both of the, both the people you mentioned whom I I know personally, I don't know Elliot personally, but I remember him from our days, our shared days on a comedy website together. The website that show remained nameless. Nameless, right? And then and then, you know, uh, caliber and I have have talked on Twitter a bunch and, you know, we're friends there. And it's just interesting to see that, like both of them are very real people behind like their professional personality and their their expertise. They're also down to Earth real people, which is rare in this field because a lot of people are kind of elitist and and and gatekeeper and neither of them are about that. They're both all about like getting as many people doing this as possible because more eyes are better, like. Elliott is is I mean the whole reason my career with Bellingcat existed is because like I emailed him out of the blue one day and said hey I've been noticing this weird thing in videos of fascists talking to cops can I write a thing for you? And he was just like OK and and that was I mean like that was how that started and he's I've met him since a couple of times and yeah is a very I think is very informed it because of the fact that he did not come from sort of this big institutional background has a has a humility with which he approaches. Is investigations. That I think is one of the things you you should look for in trying to decide whether or not open source intelligence that you're seeing on Twitter, whatever is credible is how, how, how conclusive are they stating their claims are? How many times do they offer only a single possibility for what something is? Like, you know, there's a number of things you can do. I think at this point we should probably move to a separate area of discussion which is has the has this war going. Who's who? Who's who's winning? Well, so I I made a statement on my Facebook page, my personal Facebook page, about three weeks ago and I still feel confident in that statement. And that is that while Ukraine has yet to win this war, Russia's already lost. They've already lost their objectives. They've already lost what they what their goals were. And at this point it's a face saving venture on the Russian part. But Aram Russia carried out a cunning, faint action to distract while they while they took the east. By burning 1/5 of their general staff and all of their armored vehicles, it was a cunning fate. Yeah, I saw someone on Twitter positive that was actually a move to use up all of Ukraine's ammunition cut. Brilliant. Yeah, just they're very Zapp Brannigan logic on behalf of Vladimir Putin. Ukrainians have a preset kill limit, and once they hit 10 generals, though, the army will shut down, right? Exactly. But no, the war is not going well for Russia. And that's not to say that it's going great for Ukraine either, but needs to do less well to succeed here, yes. It's, uh, I mean, because one of the things that is a black box, right. I I do think because there was a lot of discussion earlier in the war particularly like, how credible are these numbers that the Ukrainian Government is putting out for, for dead and for destroyed vehicles? And I think the oscient out there, like the verified vehicle casualties and stuff that we could verify means that, like, obviously the Ukrainian Government is patting their numbers, but not by as much as a lot of people might have. I'd like, it's not wildly off. First casualty count, I think first casualty count, I think it was like 2500 dead and I was like, OK guys come, it's like day two or three. Like all of the Western intelligence, actually. Yeah, probably about 2000. Oh my God. Wow. Yeah. Perspective for some people who may not, that number may not jump out to them. We lost, you know, just shy of 3000 soldiers killed during the Iraq war. So 2000 in the couple days is an extraordinary number of losses. Yeah. And of course, the black box here we don't have nearly as good an information on is what kind of casualties has the Ukrainian military suffered and what kind of civilian casualties have been suffered. And obviously civilian casualties nearly always take much longer to get to the extent that it's ever. I think we have a better chance of getting objective civilian casualties for this because unlike a lot of other conflicts, these civilians being killed are civilians under the aegis of a government that is a functional state. As opposed to Syria for example, where the there's basically the only people with an interest in accurately reporting the death count are a number of different non governmental organizations. Because the the people being are being killed by 1 government or the other right including like this is this was the same thing like in Iraq. The civilians who died in Mosul were technically under the Iraqi governments you know whatever protection seems like the wrong word to say. But I can tell you from my experience there, there was no, we still do not have anything that approaches a credible civilian death count for for that conflict and probably never will, right and and on that note on the civilian casualties. We were talking earlier about what how you can identify a credible Osten account versus one that you probably shouldn't give too much credence to. And one of the best ways to do that, honestly, is, is a look at their their morals. I guess if they're ever posting and celebrating the death of civilians anywhere, you should probably disregard them. Like, you'll never see Eliot Higgins being like, yeah, suck it people of Belgrad, like you got hit with a missile. Like, it's not. It's, you know, it's not going to happen. Yeah, it's not. It's the same thing as like, I I get why people celebrate. You know, Battlefield victories, obviously. I don't think, especially if you're literally a Ukrainian living, you know, in the area affected. I don't think there's anything morally wrong with celebrating opposing soldiers being defeated, but I I am. I continue to be deeply unsettled by footage celebrating things like the destruction of armored personnel carriers full of 19 year old kids, even though a non insignificant number of those 19 year old kids are accessories to war crimes. Right. Like, it doesn't mean like, I'm broadly OK with it. I do. I do feel a lot better about celebrating losses of special forces units like the VDV that have been heavily involved in war crimes around the world like that I have less kind of an issue with, but and and I felt that personally, you know, I'm Armenian. And during the Karabakh war in 2020, it was just day, every day, I would wake up to dozens of videos of Armenian conscripts and soldiers being blown up and hunted from the air. And people on Twitter cheering for it because they were, for one reason or another on the aziri side. And, like, I get it. You know, like you were saying you want to cheer your battlefield victories. And and I understand that from people who live on the battlefield and live near the battlefield. I get it. It's happening to you people thousands of miles away. Cheerleading on the Internet. What the hell is wrong with you? Yeah, maybe don't do that. Maybe don't do that. Like you. What the hell? Like, you know, those are real people in that video that never did anything. To you. And this is not like a sporting event where, like, they go home at the end of the day and they've just lost, like they're dead even when they do. Like, I've spent a huge amount of my career talking directly face to face with victims of ISIS, right? I have been to. Like 8 or 9 refugee camps in two countries at this point specifically for that war, in addition to days spent on the refugee trail in between Hungary and Serbia talking to to Syrians and talking to other people who had like fled the region. But at the same time, I can't help but like, like I I've literally been under fire by ISIS and then have those ISIS guys gotten killed and I have celebrated and cheered when that's happened. And I'll never forget we were embedded with this mortar. Name and we were under fire from this sniper and the mortar team. I I forget you can. In the article I wrote on it, I list the exact number of rounds fired, but it was like 9 or 10, something like that, where they're gradually walking and mortars until they they get this guy. And obviously we like cheered when they ******* killed this dude because he was shooting at us. And I remember like kind of on our way out away from the front. My fixer sangar was like. How many rounds did they drop before they got him and I was like, I think it was like 9 or 10. I've got the footage somewhere and he was like, I wonder what else they hit. And then saying sangars a like was born and raised in Mosul and it was one of those things we spent the very next day. We were like talking to people fleeing their homes and stuff. And not only did we like see some of those people who lost family members to misses both by Iraqi forces and by coalition aircraft and stuff. But like, we came upon this dead ISIS fighter in a fighting position where you could see he had been in there with his wife for days and he had been wounded two or three days before he got killed. And you could see the evidence of the first aid she had done on him. And it was one of those things. I guess I could try to make the case that, like, well, maybe she was a captive and didn't want to do it. But quite frankly, everything I saw in there makes me believe, like she cared deeply for him and stayed with him until the bitter end, trying to keep him alive and fighting. And that doesn't mean he's not like a monster, and it doesn't mean he shouldn't have been killed because he's a ******* Doshi who was in the middle of doing in enabling a series of terrible things. But he's also like, you can't. You can't ignore the humanity of of somebody when you have seen that element of what what happens in the conflict and that has stayed with me quite a bit ever since. Yeah, and and it's. It's one of those things, you know, you gotta, you gotta remember that the majority of of young men of fighting age around the world who join a military or an armed organization or an insurgent group, whatever it may be, they do so typically because it's whomever is in charge of the area they're growing up in. Yeah, right. You don't join the Russian army because you weighed all the options. And the Brazilian Army offer some good aid, you know, some good healthcare packages. And I looked at the Italian army, but really, I want to go with the Russian. No, you go with wherever you were born. Yeah. Whether, and you know, and I was talking to my roommate about this last night, we were watching this footage from the flood of 96 here in Oregon, you know, and it's this National Guard helicopter where they're pushing bales of hay out of the back of the helicopter down to cows stranded out near Tillamook. And so, depending on when you join the National Guard, you either fed cows hay from a helicopter or deployed to Iraq. Yeah, that's the luck of the draw, right? That's not fair. No, they don't deserve to die anymore than the guys dropping the hay out of the helicopter did, right? But. People get, yeah, they get carried away with, like, turning it into a sport almost. And they forget that there's people on the other end. And, like, while some of them are threats and they may need to be dealt with, it's like, you know, a bear comes at you in the woods, you shoot it. You don't you don't skin it and make fun of it. Like, you know, go kill its kids, you know? That's not, that's not how it works, you know? So like, yeah, yeah, don't, don't be, don't be a ***** ** ****. Like, don't, don't, don't, don't lose your humanity. Because, I mean, one of the things that makes it easy to lose your humanity is that, like, videos of **** getting blown up looks dope, right? Like it it does. It looks cool to watch things get blown up. That's in fact, I suspect how a lot of people who become very good oscient investigators, part of what draws them in is just like, I'm sure that was a part of why caliber started. Obsessively researching guns is like, they're neat. Guns are neat. You know, weapons are interesting. People are inherently interested in in weaponry, which is not a good thing. It's just the thing, you know? It's not a bad thing either. It's just like a thing human beings will always be interested in, because warfare is as natural to us as eating and *******. Well, you were talking about the mortars, right? The mortars walking in. And there's this video on on YouTube of made by an American Navy attack squadron of them dropping bomb after bomb on targets in Mosul and and and Raqqa, places like that. And it's set to the devil's going to cut you down. And every time there's a beat in the music, you see a bomb drop and some of these bombs, it's like 4 bombs dropping at a time, dropping an 8 story building. And so I'm sure there was a guy inside there with a weapon. But like, you want to tell me there wasn't anybody else in that 8? Story building and like. OK, yeah. You're celebrating the death of the combatant there. But, like, also, all those other people are being celebrated indirectly. And so, like, you got to remember that, like, these bombs explode and they take out a large area. And these fights are happening in cities a lot of the time. Yeah. The weaponry that the United States uses is more precise than something like a barrel bomb, but not by as many orders of magnitude as you would hope. And precision doesn't. Precision matters, yes. It's not a non important thing, not an important thing. But ultimately it doesn't matter if you're missile went right into that living room full of civilians and blew them all up or if you leveled the block and maybe you know killed them indirectly like you got to know what you're hitting the target is what really matters right. So it doesn't matter if you can hit the target, you got to make sure it's the right target and that's where we're starting to have issues now is like we can hit targets really well we just aren't always sure that it's the right yes as opposed I mean and and you are seeing. So let's let's talk about we we started this chatting about Ukrainian a potential Ukrainian war crime. What we have absolute documentation of is a tremendous amount of war crimes on behalf of the Russian invaders, including a thing that they have done repeatedly in Syria, which is the targeting of of hospitals and medical facilities with with terrible civilian casualties as a as a result. And this is something that the New York Times actually published an incredible article based on a mix of OSINT and like. I'm not entirely sure how they got them, but combat flight recorders like the audio that these, these Russian fighter pilots were sending back and forth to command as they attacked hospitals in Syria. So we actually have a tremendous amount of detail about like, what it looks like inside the cockpit and then like the control room and whatnot as air strikes are being ordered on medical facilities. I I really recommend people check that article out. It's it's pretty harrowing ****. But yeah, are you are you surprised at all by kind of what you are? What you've seen so far in behalf of the Russian forces in Ukraine, no, no, not even, not even the slightest. Because I followed the war in Ukraine in Syria rather closely. And I mean, there was a point when they had to stop marking the hospitals with hospital markings because the Russians would target them so consistently. the United Nations had to stop giving the Russians the coordinates of the hospitals in Aleppo because they kept getting targeted. There was an aid convoy that was struck, I believe, by Syrian aircraft, but it was the targeting was given to them by Russian. Aircraft it was just an aid convoy coming into Aleppo, a United Nations aid convoy, and it was bombed and strafed repeatedly for, you know, several hours, things like that that happened so regularly in Syria, to the relative silence of the rest of the world that led me to believe that when they go into Ukraine, they're not going to be any gentler. A lot of people suspected early on that, like, well, they it's harder to demonize people who look like you. So they're not going to have as much of an easy time demonizing Ukrainians. And I think there has been some degree of difficulty with that, at least in terms of some of the conscripts on the Russian side. But the other thing we're seeing is that, like a lot of these, a lot of people seem to genuinely believe the mission of DE notifying Ukraine. And so if that's what you believe you're doing. Then the the bombing doesn't surprise, doesn't become a surprise, right? If you think that you're going into Ukraine to suppress it and occupy it, then bombing cities full of Russians, Russians, and Russian speakers seems like a bad idea. But if you believe that they're all Nazis. Then it makes sense that you might just blow them up because they're all the enemy. I'm not saying I'm not condoning it. I'm saying no. But I mean, that is literally what the US government and the British Government did in World War Two, you know? Exactly. There have been claims made that what Russia is doing in places might like Mariupol amounts to an act of genocide. What is your opinion on that? Genocide is a big word. It is. It is. There's a big word. It's. Yeah. But, you know, it has a lot of meaning behind it in the sense that, like, just because somebody is killing large numbers of people and doing so in heinous ways does not make it a genocide. You have to prove it was an attempt to destroy culture and destroy heritage and things of that nature. As it stands, I would say that it looks likely that there are signs of potential genocide in Mariupol. I am not confident enough to come out and say that I conclusively think it's happening, but the way that it looks like the the city is being deliberately targeted to either force the entire population to flee or to radicalize them one way or the other is it goes beyond military targeting. You know, I think the thing that we're, that I that is the. Most. Like troubling potential sign of of an intention of genocide is the reports that the Russian government has been evacuating civilians that they have in parts of Mariupol. They have captured 2 places in Russia, which is this is a misconception. You don't have to just be killing people, as you stated, it's an attempt to destroy a culture, which you can do by killing, but you can also do by things like separating people, moving people like forced migration and whatnot. Like there there's aspects of that. Again, look at like the genocide of the native. Americans in the United States, it was not all straight up killing. A lot of it was forced migration, which is an act of genocide as well. And that's the kind of thing where I'm, I'm kind of waiting for more reporting on that to the to see, hear exactly what's happening and the extent to what's happening. But that really troubles me in terms of potential signs of a genocide. Yeah. And when they, when they coined the term genocide after World War Two, it was a it was with reference to the Holocaust. But but what they had in mind was the Armenian genocide. Yeah, when it when they when they drafted these words up and and because it was beyond just sheer number of people killed, if we're talking sheer number of people killed. The Nazis also killed 6 million other people in addition to the 6 million Jews they killed. The reason we talk about the Jews is 16 million is a lot of people. And two, it was a deliberate attempt to destroy their entire culture and make them have never existed. And that's very different and very scary. Dying is also very bad. Yeah. The idea of dying and then all of the people who were like, you just don't exist anymore and all your books in your literature are gone, like, that's that's monstrous. Yeah. And that's why there's a difference between genocide and mass killing. Yeah. And and it's it's the difference that we talk about US war crimes in World War Two, of which there were many, including the firebombing of Dresden, I would argue, but it's not an act of genocide because when they fire bombed Dresden, it was certainly the killing of civilians without particular regard to the direct. Military efficacy of the action, but it was not an attempt to destroy German culture or obliterate the German people. And you brought up the Armenian genocide. We'll, we'll talk about this at some point on behind the ******** but you mentioned that that was kind of what the people when the term genocide was invented, that was what people were looking at, even though it was kind of a direct response to the Holocaust. It's also worth noting that, like when the Nazis planned the Holocaust, they used the Armenian genocide as a model Hitler's literal statement. Was when people when he was asked during like one of his his dinners with a bunch of Nazi officials like. What? Uh, what about kind of the international reaction to what we're planning to do? He was like, well, who remembers the Armenians, you know, like that was his. That was his attitude was like, we'll get away with it cause nobody did anything during this genocide. Right. And and and I think while I would hesitate to call the entire war in Ukraine a genocide. Yes, as of yet, I would say that there's a similarity between the Armenian genocide and the and how that led to the Holocaust. There's a similarity between the Russian war crimes committed in Syria. And how that led to the war crimes being committed in Ukraine in the sense that if the world had stood up earlier, we would not be seeing this now. Yeah. The problem is, the world looked the other way when the Russians bombed hospitals in Syria. When they repeatedly bombed hospitals. In fact, the world didn't just look away. A lot of people in the West mocked it. I I'm sure you've heard it as often as I have the last hospital in Aleppo joke right where they oh, they're bombing last, last hospital in Aleppo again. Well, the reason that happened is because when you bomb the hospital, they build a new one and then it gets bombed again three days later. So they've bombed the last one again. So it wasn't a joke. It was just a tragedy that kept playing out that people couldn't really fathom. So they mocked, right. And and so when that's the attitude of a lot of the world, it's no surprise that what's what's happened in Ukraine as as run out of control. Umm, where do you think we go from here? What are what are you expecting to kind of see next within this conflict? You know, the most recent kind of reporting is that Russia's pulling Russia's framing it as they're pulling back from Kiev to to focus on other fronts. The Ukrainian side is saying like, well, they've been defeated around Kiev and they're pulling back. What do you think kind of we're seeing next? What is your opinion on kind of the next stages here? So I think it really depends on Vladimir Putin's power and how long he remains. In a position of unchecked power, I'm not saying necessarily he will fall from power. I'm saying that how long can he go as the only guy calling the shots? Because as it stands right now, it doesn't look like he's the same Vladimir Putin that we were used to dealing with. It seems like something may have changed with him. And that's a wild card, because if. If Vladimir Putin wants to continue to escalate here, he continued to do so because he may not be getting the same reporting that we are about the condition of his army. He may think his army is doing better than they're doing and that they actually are just repositioning. So if that's the case, there's a chance that he'll escalate against potentially a NATO country. I find that unlikely, but there's still a chance for it. I think what's more likely is that we're going to see the Russian military refocus its efforts in the east and in Donetsk and Luhansk with an attempt to create a land bridge to Crimea through the area, through Mario. Melitopol area. I think they're going to try to russify the area as much as possible and remove as many of the Ukrainians as possible one way or the other. And I don't know if they'll be successful in that. But I think simultaneously while they do that, they're going to try to tie down and destroy as much of the Ukrainian military as possible, which will be difficult because the units in the East are Ukraine's best equipped units. So I don't know how this ends. I don't see a reasonable end to this insight, but. That's just because there's too many variables at the moment. I do think one thing that's kind of worth looking at this Warren and historical context. A number of comparisons have been made to both of the world wars here. I think the thing that it most reminds me of is World War One. Not in that it's a conflagration on that scale or in that it's a similar war in terms of the combat, but it is an example of the first big war that utilizes a variety of weapons and tactics that have been. Battlefield tested in a series of smaller wars, right? Umm and I I think we are seeing in Ukraine for the first time the actual I think one thing that we have seen is that drones, and I'm not talking about the big ones here you know they get a lot of the Bay Rockstar and stuff like get that gets a lot of attention but like small the kind of drones anyone listening to this could pick up and buy today, right. Those drones I think are proving to be a game changer on a tactical level in a similar. Enter to the machine gun in in the the turn of the last century. Yeah. Century before the last century, yeah. Well, with the drones, I've often machine guns are good, good comparison. I've often thought of it as like the airplane and that we had airplanes and we even had combat airplanes before World War One. We didn't have very many of them because nobody really realized the utility of them in war. And then as the war got closer and then the war started, countries started to slowly build up these small fleets of aircraft and then by the end of the war, everybody had an Air Force. I think we're going to see the same thing with these small consumer drones. Is that like, by the end of this war or whatever, conflagrations are coming after it, every military in the world is going to have little, little, you know, phantom, phantom threes or whatever, basically for every infantry squad. One of the things that's so wild is that if if you again, if you sitting here right now have not an insignificant amount of money, let's say 3 to $4000 and the enough mechanical. Like competence to carry out modest repairs on your own car. You could, with things entirely available over the shelf, build a weapon system capable of disabling a variety of armored vehicles at night. You know, like you that that is a thing. That individual people. You could do that, and you could have it up and running in a matter of days. I'm just, I'm imagining the next protest in unnamed city. Yeah, and a consumer drone flies over the police. Line and drops, the little thing on him that says Bang. Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. Like there's a lot of people even even as as influential and meaningful as they've been on the battlefield in Ukraine, I think people still are kind of slow to understand the extent. Like there is. One of the wildest stories that's come out of it is that the Ukrainian military has a an outfit of civilian drone operators using hacked and home built drones to attack Russian forces at night. And they have been. The documented efficacy of their raids has been significant. And I can I can remember spending a brief period of time with an Iraqi military unit that was just using DJI Phantoms that they had rigged to drop what were essentially essentially mortar shells with shuttlecocks on them from a height. And they were very effective at killing people as ISIS drones were effective at, at sort of spotting, you know, mortars for folks. Well, and one of the things I saw ISIS used their their drones for to great effect, wasn't so much to kill large numbers of enemies. Soldiers. It was to do the same thing that American predator drones and Reaper drones had done for for decades by that point to terror groups, which is let them know you can't gather in large numbers. If you gather in large numbers, you're a target. And so you saw Iraqi soldiers saying no more than two or three in a group anymore than that will get targeted, you know, and it's they flipped the equation basically. Yep. And don't I mean, I one of the reasons why I, I have a general policy heavily informed by my time in Mosul that the last place I want to be. In an anywhere near a war zone is an armored vehicle, because that's a really in unless you are in something that's heavily up armoured like an amrap. Little bombs dropped by drones can do significant damage to something like a Humvee, and that's exactly what you target. You don't target a Toyota Corolla with a drone like that unless you specifically know an individuals in that Corolla that you want to kill. But you may just behind the line see a target of opportunity in an armor, see an armored lightly armored vehicle, and drop a wet ammunition on it. And that's one of the things this is done. There was a lot of talk prior to the expanded Russian invasion about how immediately Russia was going to get air superiority, and that's obviously a bigger story than just drones. There's a lot of factors in why Russia. It's probably accurate to say they have superiority in a number of parts of the war, but they don't have supremacy like they. It's not like an absolute matter. And part of that is because it's not really possible to at this moment. Someday I suspect there will be more effective ways of stopping drones in, in at like a theater level, maybe, but it certainly hasn't happened yet. Yeah, yeah. And and that's the thing, you know, there's there's the drones and then there's also on the Ukrainian side they, you know, I think they recognize that. Air Force against Air Force. The Russians have a numerical superiority, so you can deny the Russians air supremacy by shooting down their planes with MANPADS. You don't have to have an Air Force to deny your opponent air premise. You just have to deny them the ability to freely operate in your airspace. And this is one of those things. There's been a lot of talk about a no fly zone, which I tend to think would be a bad idea in the traditional sense, in terms of like the US and NATO sending and planes to down Russian planes over Ukraine. There's a number of reasons why that's concerning. But you can effectively establish a no fly zone by shipping and a ******** of man paths, right? Exactly, yeah. And I I'm not against that. I I think in terms of what kind of what kind of armed arm support is ethical to provide, giving people the ability to stop planes from bombing cities is, broadly speaking, one of the most ethical things you can do in terms of shipping munitions around the world. Right. And the other advantage is that MANPADS, I'm sure somebody could turn it into a lethal ground weapon, but they're pretty hard to use against ground targets, against houses, things like that, not really what they're designed for. So it's not like just handing over, you know, some indiscriminate weapon to the Ukrainians to use against Russian cities. You're giving them a weapon that's specifically used against military aircraft. Like most MANPADS can't reach the altitude that airliners are at, Even so. Yep. So I think that's probably what we want to talk about today. You want to plug your plug cables, tell people where they can find you and and your analysis out in the world? Yeah, so you can you can follow me on Twitter. My handle is at Shabani and Aram and I work. I publish occasionally with the new lines Institute so you can see my work there as well. And I have a website that I seldom update. The folder gap.com hasn't been updated in probably 8 months now because I've been tired. But yeah, those are the places to find me and. DMS are open on Twitter, so if you ever have questions or anything like that, let me know. I'm happy to talk with anybody who's got questions on these kind of things. Hell yeah, well that's going to be us. So, you know, enjoy this analysis of the of the war in Ukraine before we return you to your regularly scheduled multi part series on Nazi cat Girls, the primary focus of this podcast. Money. Money. This is welcome day could happen. Here it is. Me, Christopher Wong. This is a this is a podcast about things falling apart, things putting back together again. And also today, it's just about money. And also, well, OK, it it is not just about money. It is about money and it is about. Seemingly seemingly esoteric arguments about the nature of money that actually turned out to be extremely important for any post revolutionary society, or even just this society so. Yeah. And and joining, joining me to talk about this are Kyle Flannery and Steve Mann, who are the Co editors of Strange Matters Magazine, which is a new workers Co-op that's in the middle of a fundraising drive. So yeah, go, go sport their magazine. And Steve and Kyle, welcome to the show. It's great to be here. Chris, thanks for having us. The basis of this interview is a piece that is coming out actually. When is it coming out? That's that's a good question that I should probably have asked for this. Let's see. It will come out later this month. OK. Yeah. Yeah, later this month. That is about the history of money and what money is. So I guess we can we can start there, which is. Yeah. Can can you walk us through a bit about? The the the debate over what money is and how sort of various people have gotten parts of it wrong and parts of it right. Sure, I got into this debate as a economics graduate student in 2011, and a book that really kind of shapes my initial understanding was David Graeber's depth the 1st 5000 years. And. Yeah, it's excellent. UM, it's, it's very long and it's a bit scattered, but I I love what he put together with it. And so he kind of introduced me to ideas of from a school, if you economic thought called chartalism and chartalism is kind of the theoretical forebear of Mt and Mt is, which is modern monetary theory is kind of in the news now as a theory which is saying. Like, OK, if you if you're a government that issues its own money, its own currency, that is not really backed by anything, it's not backed by any other currency or any other commodity, then you don't really face a financial limit as far as how much you can produce you. You're the sole source of that money, and you can spend it into existence. Spend by buying things, the money into existence, and people will accept it to the extent that they either. Need it or they want it? And that's one theory that's kind of in the air now, but chartalism. Over 100 years before this is putting out very similar ideas around money that is created by states in order to Marshall. Physical resources. They call it biophysical resources, which is just a fancy word of meaning all of the material people, techniques, physical processes that are required to create economic activity. So to the extent that people either need or want your money. You can use it as a social technology, sort of, to Marshall those resources into action and you being a state, CHARTALISM says. So from Chartalism we got MMT. But David Graver spoke is about a lot more than just turtles and MMT. So it's about the origins of money. And origins of money, it turns out, are at least 5000 years ago. As the title says, there are examples of early accounting systems that are where people are just rather than there being a circulating medium of exchange type money like a a coin or something or a dollar bill, there were just records of what people own and what people owe and their debts and credits against each other. And it was. In early Mesopotamia. There so we have these early accounting systems that yield more advanced credit systems overtime that are ruled by temples, which are served prostates in a way in terms of like they administer the flow of goods and services through their territory and between their territory and another temples territory using their domestic money but also international money. International money was facilitated through trade networks. Trade networks use things like they needed to convert between a domestic money and international money. In Graeber goes through these like wonderful examples of silver and other metals being used as like international means of payment. Umm. That's sort of our term in our piece basically, uh, which is covering them. Foreign exchange, but. He says like in order to get from the domestic money into the international money, you need to have this linkages of experts in the temple and the trade networks to get together and make credit instruments which knit them together into this trade network. And from there we go into UM, I don't want to spend too much time on the history, but we go from there to situations. Thousands of years later, we get coins. Coins are being minted by starting in the. Roughly 600 BC I wanna say, Carl, yeah, that sounds about right. It's gonna be early Iron Age, right? So the first I someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I've been doing some homework on this because I've been on a few podcasts and there's like numismatists in the comments and whatnot, but. The first OK, the first mixed gold and silver coin was sometime in the 7th century BC, and the first gold coin was not long after. I think it was like they were both Lyddy and kings. Like one after another. Anyway just wanted to hit that because someone said I got it wrong earlier but. Uh, these coins were kind of the first, uh, widely used sort of retail means of settling debts, like at the point of sale between people. So it wasn't just an accounting system, it wasn't elaborate credit system with no circulating means of payment. It was a circulating money now, and it's getting around based on military conquest. Military conquest in the Axial Age spread the use of coins. Much wider than the domestic spheres in which they were first minted. Yeah. And I, I think we should like just just to talk about like roughly when this is like a, you know, like if if if you go back, I mean this, this is slightly later, but one of the huge sort of like like the, the the periods were like the entire Mediterranean using coinage, right, is, you know this, this is, this is when you're dealing with you're sort of like classical Greek, like your Greeks and your Persians and you have your sort of like Athens and Sparta. And those guys are very much, they're engaged in this thing that Graber calls the the military industrial coinage. Every complex. The military industrial coinage complex. Yeah. And I yeah. I think he had slavery on the because it's. Yeah. It's it's this giant sort of like this giant warfare system, right. Like, these are like, like, Athens is an empire, right? They run around, they steal, they seize people's gold mine like this gold and silver buyers and they, like, have slaves that work in this whole sort of like. Like this? Yeah. You get the system of empire that is like, what the actual age is sort of defined by. Yeah, yeah. And it's like, whereas previously, like, so precious metals did circulate, but they weren't in coin form, and they were more as like a bulk means of payment stored from 1 Temple to the next, almost as if they were central banks. But central banks don't exist yet. And axial axial Age coinage system gave rise to the more much more sophisticated medieval coinage system. And I'm going breezily through this because there's a lot there. But several 1000 years, several 1000 years are passing in a few minutes here, so bear with me. But there are there. Now, in the medieval and Renaissance times, not only do we have the coinage circulating, but we also have credit instruments which are being submitted, transferred, transmitted rather between banks. Between banks and different countries and territories that are saying, hey, you don't even need to. Based on what is written on this piece of paper, I already know you're good for it. I will dispense with the coins. That I have in my bank because this paper signifies that they you're good for it basically and so that greatly speeds things up in terms of settling commerce debts and and settling bills between different. States. So. But going through all this history, the point of it is that at every, at every sort of step of the way, you see, OK, there's a lot of different types of money. They're circulating and they're being exchanged against one another, and they're also seems to be a domestic sphere and international sphere. The international means of payment, which is a analyte category that I and my coauthor John Michael clone thought up is kind of sort of sets the tune as far as what? What kind of hierarchy of money, if you will, develops in each of these ages? So like in the prior to the Axial Age, there were both. There was bulk settlements from 1 Temple to the next in terms of silver, although it wasn't coins, it was just like bullion basically. And then and then later it was coins, and then later it was bills of exchange and then after a while there emerged gold standards. Umm that existed between nations and they had central banks eventually which hoarded gold. Not not just because they are fetishizing it or something, something basic like that, but rather because it was the established international means of payment and if you either you need that or you need something that is easily transferable into that. In order to conduct your trade, especially if you're developing country or. A. Otherwise like an upstart state of some type. Now. Today, we're in a dollarized world. The dollar is the international means of payment. From 1971 onwards, the MMT story, yeah, I mean that's basically true. The and then the. For the US government as the issuer, the sole issuer of the dollar, which is a Fiat currency which is not backed by anything, yeah, you can make as much of that as what you want. You could make you can create and spend into existence as many dollars as the US government wants. And then delete it from existence by texting it away. And that makes perfect sense. Totally acknowledge that. But there's some problems nonetheless in terms of how they apply that into a more general theory. Because it's like, can you OK, you can make as much of your own money? What about other types of money from the perspective of a US statecraft interested individual? Like, why would you? Care about other people's money? Basically, if you're just the sole source of the of the US dollar, which happens to also be the international means of payment, of course you wouldn't. Or if you're like, say, Tunisia. The Tunisian dollar is accepted almost nowhere as payment. Yeah. And and one, one of the big things, I mean, it's not the sole driver and people sort of overlap besides this. I'm going to caveat this immediately because people will yell at me. But like one of the very important things about the dollar is that the dollar is what you can buy oil in. And this is extremely important because if you are a society in the world, you need oil. That's basically universally true. And and this, you know, and but and the fact that you need to buy oil and the fact you need to buy a lot of other things that are manufactured in the US means you have to find some way to get U.S. dollars. Now again, the US doesn't. This doesn't matter for the US because we can just make them. Well, OK, a this is another thing. This stuff gets very weird and convoluted very quickly. But the, the, the. Essentially, the US can just sort of make this money, technically speaking as the Federal Reserve and there's all of this just incredibly convoluted finance stuff. But yeah the US like, doesn't the US does not have to worry about obtaining U.S. dollars. You could just do it. But you know yeah. If if you're yeah if if you're, if you're. I don't know if you're Tunisia, if you're Denmark is an example. I like. Yeah. Denmark. Yeah. Like you, you you need to find a way to get U.S. dollars because you need to have stuff where you need to use U.S. dollars to buy it. Yeah. And so international context, this is after all of the history I just went through since about 1971 or so when we went off the gold standard, we have a system of central banks dominated by the dollar and the dollar represents about 60%. Of settlement of all trade. And the next 5 or so currencies are plus the US account for like 80 to 85% of all trade. So there's really just a few currencies which dominate everything. With the US being outsized among them. And these, when you look at the historical record, this is like very similar to other forms of international means of payment where it's like, OK, I either need to have the one that's at the top or failing that, one of the other sort of reserve currencies, even though that that that terminology didn't really exist prior to that, say 80 years ago. Umm. But yeah, so if you don't, if it's not gold, then, OK, it's the US dollar. So we need dollars or we either need to be printing dollars because we're the US or for not them. Then we need to get into either U.S. dollar or the yen or the euro or one of the major trading currencies. And Umm, like China? China does a lot of trade with the US and they they sell things to us. We give them dollars. They're rational. They put their dollars into treasuries to gain a little bit of return instead of just holding the dollars themselves for no return to explain, I guess, what a treasury is because, yeah, sorry, Treasury bill is if you receive dollars, you can use them to purchase what's called a Treasury note or a treasury bill. And you receive notes too. If you ever hear someone talk about notes, that's what this is. Yeah, so it's a way to learn. It's like moving from your checking to your savings account, essentially. So if you have just dollars in a bank, it doesn't earn hardly anything if you're in a saving, if you go into the savings account, which is basically the treasury, the Treasury bills, you'll earn a little more and you'll earn dollars you won't earn from NBA from them. You'll earn more dollars. Yeah, yeah, some dollars for the international means of payment. So that's good. Yeah. So it's like, basically like there's the US government puts out a bond and like, you buy it and then it, when you, whenever you like, expires. There's like a 10 year T note that people talk about that's like in 10 years. Buy it and yeah, it'll, it'll give you like a certain amount of dollars, like later on that is more than what you paid for it. Umm, exactly. So you'll earn a little bit of interest over time. Yeah. And then you may earn like a little lump sum when it matures in the future. So China has tons of dollars. It's part of a huge strategy that they have in order to manage their foreign, their foreign currency reserves or what's called Forex. So forex is. The It's the term we're going to use a lot that just is the foreign currency reserves you have on hand in order to pay for things that are only available for sale in currencies that you can't make yourself. OK, so you have this question of like why do we care about this, right. Like why do we people who want to make the world better care about this. And the answer is OK take take take your hypothetical scenario your your your hypothetical scenario is the scenario in which like. A a bunch of workers in alliance with, like, tribal confederations have taken Vancouver Island, right, and they've set up a new, they've set up a new government, they have worked out sovereignty arrangements. Things have happened. You now have in you, you have, you have a new sort of entity that that is in Vancouver Island. Umm. Yeah, so so immediately you have you have both. You have both resources and you have problems, right. You have a certain amount of resources that are on Vancouver Island, right? You have, you know, you have like you have literally like what you have the things that are on the island, right. You have cars, you have like probably some yachts. You've managed to like steal, you have, you know, you have, you have shops, you have production facilities, you have extremely large number of very good Chinese restaurants. Yeah. Trees got a lot of trees. Yeah. You've got trees. Major acid. Yeah. You know, these restaurants. I mean, also it's true. Like I yeah, my, my, my family spent a lot of time, like specifically going, going to Vancouver Island just to eat Chinese food. Yeah. You know, and say, like, let's say you've taken Vancouver Island and you expand out, you know, have like a swath of Canada, right. That that is, that is, that is now sort of been liberated. And, you know, you have, you have, you have a lot of resources. You have sort of timber. You have. I don't know, maybe you have. All maybe you have other stuff you have, you have and you also have a lot of people and say, yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever labor you can. Marshall. Yeah. You have a lot of Labor and, you know, and those people have a lot of skills. They have a lot of dedication. They have like, you know, they, they, they, they have, they have, they have a belief that you can make the world a better place. And I think this is where. You know this, this is this is the arena in which MMT can. Sort of. Explain what you're doing next. Yeah. So you have this. UM, you have a territory that has undergone revolutionary change, and you have biophysical resources that are in it and biophysical resources that could be in it. And you have. And you also have the social technology of money. Some of the money you can just make yourself, other monies you cannot. MMT and is applicable in the sense that it says. In this scenario I think the most the way MMT is most applicable is to say. Everyone can be employed. Who wants to be employed? Yeah, you know, they're one of their principal ideas is a job you're in a federal job guarantee, and it could be applied just as easily conceptually in this situation, it says. Uhm, there's nothing preventing a revolutionary government of some type. Uh, not necessarily a states, but any any non state type of administration from setting up something sort of like a central bank to make its own money to Marshall domestic resources, domestic in terms of within its own territory. And. To get everyone, everyone who wants to be employed, to be employed and to be paid for their work. Like, not to be too vulgar, but like, why? Why is this? This stuff is important, this monetary theory and this history is like people want to be paid for their work. They're not going to go and barter things. They won't get paid. Yeah. And I and I think this is something that like, you know, if if if you look at sort of like the thing that gets held up is like the classic example of an anarchist revolution, right is, is what happens in Spain in 1936 and if if if you look at what they do, right. Like almost immediately after the revolution, what happens is you have basically like a union of all of the bank workers and those guys take over all the banks. And you you have you have the individual work like workers and different unions start seizing. They start using the factories, start seeing like the trains. And once they've done that they start just pulling all of their resources into you know like in into like they have they they now have this like they have they have the banking union. The banking union is is the the sort of central body that has resources that can distribute it and. You know what what what MMT is essentially saying is like, yeah. So in as as long as what you're moving around is the resources that you have in your territory like you can just create money in order to do that and you can sort of, you know and and you can use this to get people to do certain things and like you know, the, the, the, the catalonians like they they they they they equalize influence wages, for example. I mean it would be better if we equalize everyone's wages. I I do agree with that. Yeah. You know, I mean they they they do have a lot of other stuff that's like, OK. So like they they get rid of a lot of jobs that are like. Sort of managerial stuff or like just ******** jobs, they just kind of eliminate and. Yeah, and, you know, and this, this frees up people to like, do stuff that actually matters and is real instead of sort of dislike this sort of bureaucratic hierarchy that's above them. And yeah, but, and I think the other thing to do that's that's very important for our sort of scenario, for us talking about money, is that like they they immediately start, like they start seizing gold and they start seizing. You know, like they started using foreign currency and yeah and I think that this this is where we can get into where I guess MP doesn't work because MMT like. It's it's it. It doesn't it doesn't really think much about the fact that like, OK, you, you have Vancouver Island, you have a part of like Canada, right, there is a lot of resources that you don't have. Absolutely, yeah, that's that's that's gonna be a lot of why foreign exchange matters so much as that. You know, you inevitably you think. What if we just made an autarchic society? That's, sorry, that's a little. I probably should jump the gun a little bit there. What if we just made everything ourselves? What if we made a society that was fully, economically independent? That's what autarky tends to be used to mean. And the answer to that is because that sucks. This is the problem with it, is it it sucks like you you don't want to be trying to manage an autarchic society on multiple grounds, not least of which is that. I mean, we've, we've, we've seen societies try to do it. And, you know, we, me and Steve, could go for hours and hours and hours talking about historical precedence of previous economic systems, many of which did try to be autarkic because that was something that monarchies liked a lot was the idea that there, there Kingdom could be fully independent? Because The thing is, is that when you're economically independent, that means that you've got a certain amount of security, of International Security, and there's kind of a trade off where the more stuff that you're reliant on importing. The more vulnerable you are to the people you're importing and screwing you. But it's just so massively difficult to be a good producer of every possible good. Yeah. And and this and this is this is true even if you have an enormous amount of resources. Like, I think, you know, we can talk about one case study at this, which is socialist. China and, you know, socialist. China. They they they have. They, they, they're, they're getting resources and especially the early periods are getting some resources from like Hong Kong. They're getting some stuff from the Soviets. But you know they, they, they they get into like Mao famously does not like markets. This is this is the thing that is known about Mao. And so Mao is like, OK, we're like, no we're going to shut off the sort of like market system that we that we've been running sort of through Hong Kong. And then you know China have been getting technology transfers and aid from the USSR, but you know the US and China got into a bunch of political fights. And the US are like pulls out all of its advisors and you know China, China has an enormous amount of resources, right. They have a large population. They have, they have just an enormous geographic mass. And so they they basically try to you know build in a target society and they try to sort of just, OK, well we'll just we'll just Marshall a resources and we'll just sort of like well we'll plan a way out of it and they run into this problem which is that there is actually things that they need from other countries which is technology. And they, they hit this thing I've talked about before, which is like they they basically this, but this production bottleneck, it's like, well, OK, so in order to produce more industrial goods, they need more food. But the problem is in order to produce more food to support a larger urban population, you need more industrial goods, right. You need your like fertilizers, need your tractors and stuff like that. And, you know, and once they're cut off from sort of the rest of the world from through Hong Kong and from the USSR, they don't have a way. They, they, you know, they're they're sort of scrambling to figure out how we do this. And their solution is the Great Leap Forward, which is essentially we're just, we're going to just bust through this whole thing and we're going to do it by forcing everyone to work for, like an absolutely enormous, like, increase in hours, right? Like we're going to have peasants working in the fields literally until they collapse from exhaustion and it just doesn't work. It is a, it is a apocal failure. There are millions of people die from famines. And, you know, and and sort of the response to this is that, like, is that China eventually ends up like, winds up opening its economy again. Yeah. And yeah. And yeah. And like, you know, this is the thing, like if if China, which has like just just an astounding breath of natural resources, can't pull this off, like, it's probably just not a good idea because like, yeah, well, I mean we even have like a, a very, you know, a very contemporary example that, you know, makes they'll make certainly makes my blood boil and I'm sure it will. Like some of the listener's blood boil the you know vaccines you know the the realistically you know the the coronaviruses fund is a more or less is an incredible threat to basically every state on the planet at this point and. The really, really chemical and biomedical research is done in just a handful of places on the planet. And there have been attempts to create vaccines outside of those places and they have been somewhat successful. But it has been difficult and most places are just not in a position to create A to develop their own competing technology. And even China struggled with creating their own competing vaccination technology. And I'm not at all a biology expert. I'm understand it's a not quite as efficient vaccine. The sinovac but. At the end of the day, this is like South Africa's not developing their own independent vaccine. That's a quite sophisticated economy. Yep, all of all the various South American countries could have pulled their resources together in theory. But it's so hard to turn a dime and develop from scratch a primary research industry. It's it's so difficult and it's so not worth it. It's, you know, if you have trade relations with a country that has technology developments in a field that you really care about. It's just not really worth it. Like we don't. the United States doesn't really compete with several sort forms of Japanese technology because it's just. Not worth the bother. Just let Korea and Japan handle that for us and we buy it and they accept our, our Forex, they accept our dollars. But you know, let's say you're the Philippines. You know. How are you going to get those? And this is this is now international trade and international politics, and if we're creating our now independent Vancouver Island, we have now entered into this territory. We have now entered into international politics and international trade. Yeah. And and this, this is an arena that's fraught and a lot of ways because it's it's, you know, as we've sort of been talking about, right. It's not just that you need. In the sense that you need for example like you know if you, you, you have, you have your sort of like you know you, you, you, you, you, you, you have your new society like Vancouver, right. Yeah. Vancouver Island you know you need to think you need mostly is dollars and this is this is a real problem. Because it this requires you to have something that you can turn into dollars. And you know, OK, so you're gonna have some amount of dollars that are just there, right from when you see society, there's, there's assets you can sort of just sell off that like, OK, like do we really need this yacht? Like, OK, we can sell this for some amount of dollars? But this becomes a a real economic problem because you you need to produce something that you can exchange for dollars. And you know, there's there's a pretty good chance that like whatever sort of new currency, whatever new sort of like Mt currency that's like, oh, it's it's controlled because we're producing, it moves our resources around. We can make them much of it as we want. Like, yeah, you have to actually able to convert that into dollars and you know why? Why does the, why is the US going to want your currency? Yeah, it's a bit dialectical because you have to OK, you have your MMT currency, which domestically is accepted because of tax received ability or something, or national fervor if you will, to create a new democratic confederalism. Society. UM, and that's accepted there, but yeah, you need U.S. dollars. So like. You you need your sellers. But why do you need them? Partly because, like, you eventually want to not need them. Yeah. And so you have what you can. You have assets right now that you can just sell. So that's one way, but long-term you can't do that. So you need to have cash flow over the long haul that allows you to buy. What are called capital goods which are? This is a fancy term for machines that make machines, or machines that make some sort of like end product, which is a physical thing. It's not like a service or something. And uhm. You want to classic, like really classic economic development advice that is actually pretty good. Is you want to move up what's called a value chain and eventually be not producing just like a stable crop or something, but doing really innovative advanced technology things later on. So you like, here's where I am, here's what I have. Here's what I could have though. How do I get there? Part of part of the formula to get there is, yes, acquiring Forex, but it's other things like saying how do I cultivate political alliances that will yield trade partners such that I have a stable flow of Forex and maybe even technology transfers, you know, or something down the line, which could be a game changer. You need to have an education system, like if you're a fan of the Economist Thorstein Veblen, he thought. Like in his mind, he thought the economic development was ultimately from the human intellect and like everything was downstream of that. So, like, you need to have money to, UM, you can use your MMT money to create a basic education system, and you can augment it with buying, importing things that you can't yet make. And uh, using it to create like a university or something which can do R&D work. Umm. You have to you have to find tools to get enough of the money that you can't just infinitely produce forex in order to augment what your society can produce beyond what initially could, and show, essentially, that you OK, I can make a better mousetrap like I. I don't need to. I don't need donations from well meaning imperial powers or something. We're building what we need in order to move up the value chain and then build out our productive capacity in such a way that it doesn't leave anyone behind. Everyone is. Everyone's employed because we're doing the classic MMT stuff on the Homefront, such as a job guarantee, but we're also doing the international economic development stuff. Of assiduously monitoring our foreign currency reserves and then using them to import things that we cannot yet make but can make things internally and then. Have a. A *********** effect as far as being able to sell even higher value things which to our trade partners who are hopefully share our values of like democratic confederalism or whatever you whatever your chosen guidelines are. Yeah, and and this is something that like. This is something that that becomes very difficult in. Like the current market, you know this. This is to some extent like why the Cold War went the way it did, right. Which is that you know, once once you have the Soviet split, once you have, like, you know, you have Chinese and Russian troops killing each other on the border. China, it it like enters the situation where it's like, well, OK, so we still want to do economic developments, but we've lost the Soviet Union as as a technology, as a way to get started transfers and their solution to that was to ally with the US and this is like. It it it it works out for the Chinese economy. It is it apocal disaster for like literally everyone else on earth because like it means that capitalism is the thing that wins the Cold War. And and this means that, like, you know, I mean like if if you look, if you look at how, you know, like the, the, the, the, the, the the things that China are doing in order to be able to get technology transfers for the US, it's like like there's so there there are joints like Chinese CIA like operations inside of China that are like monitoring Soviet missile sites. So they're just like. CIA outpost just like in China that are just, you know, doing spying like for for the US government. There's like they invade Vietnam, which is A and, you know, and it's just the Indians like the Vietnam. And then they fight this like there's really, you know, the immediate war doesn't last that long, but they fight this like horrible border war that goes on for like a decade that kills enormous numbers of people. And, you know, and the end result of this is like, yeah, like, you know, trying to get to Synology transfers and they developed economy. But everyone else on Earth, yeah, the cost is like everyone who's ever tried to be a labor organizer in like. You know, and and and like, El Salvador gets murdered by a bunch of fascists and it's like every development econ is so ******* frustrating because every single step of the way, there's like, there's like a really razor thin line between risk and reward at every step of the way. And so, like Imperial Powers will dangle technology transfers or extended trade agreements on somewhat favorable terms in exchange for allowing them to just, like, go to war with your neighbors. Like. Or rope you into it. Yeah. Or or extract resources that would be valuable for you later in your development phases. Yeah. Actually, this leads to me going to our hypothetical here, thinking about Vancouver Island, the People's Republic of Vancouver Island, and we can kind of talk about some of the development traps because that's kind of what I'm was churning through my head right now because I'm looking at the Wikipedia page for Vancouver Island as an incredibly deep local research. And So what they listed under the economy is there's a tech sector. Logging, fishing, tourism and food. And so you know we were talked 1st about like you could like sell off like the yachts and the cars and stuff like that and that's I don't even know if that counts as a sector of the economy at that level. That's a. You have a yard sale, yard sale, but you know, logging and fishing, those are, those are pretty solid primary sector economies. You know, you know, to that describe the terminology and they've got this, this is part of that hierarchy that Steve was talking about that, you know the chain of development and a primary sector is like a basic extractive element of your economy, a mind logging, fishing, food production, you know, basic. Goods and then, you know, you talk about a secondary development, which is like manufacturing and the tertiary, which is, you know, services. Those are kind of your basic. Those are usually considered like sectors of the economy, but in a way they kind of correspond to development. And they require different amounts of developments. And you know the thing about primaries is everybody needs those things. Like unless people just stop using wood for construction, which we are very far from doing, we still use a lot of wood for construction. You're logging industry is going to have buyers. Until people stop buying, eating, fish, you're fishing industry is going to have buyers, you know, up to a really ludicrously bottomless reserve. But you're going to be stopped on that secondary industry until you have capital. Like, I don't mean just like the sense of having a lot of money, but, you know, as Steve said, the right money. Well, you need capital. Production need capital. You need the machine. You need, you need, you need your factory. You need, you need, yeah. So you. Wealthy countries, uh, partly. In order to maintain their power, they have they. They want to be the only seller of capital goods. Yeah. And they're gonna be very withholding about it. Quite like a really good example for right now with, like, all of the inflation stuff going on and, like, the chip shortage. Yeah. So the machines that make, the machines that make the chips, holy **** those are like, those are. They only make like 50 of those a year. Yeah. And it's all two companies. Yeah. Well, you know, that's the thing with the thing with the chip shortage, right? It's also like. So if if you can be like the people who do that, that gives you a lot of economic power like this is, this is one of Taiwan's things, right, which is that like, you know, it's like, OK, so why hasn't Taiwan just sort of been bowled over by by China? And like, I mean there's a lot of sort of geopolitical reasons for that. It's also partly it's just that like, yeah, like Taiwan has this enormous chip making industry and it's incredibly advanced and you know, it has like, you know, this, this is I think and everything that that that's a real problem for sort of revolution society doing this is that. Yeah, like Taiwan's chip making. Economy, like, it's not like people like fall in like vats of chemicals, like a lot, like there's a lot of, there's a lot like just horrible sort of Labor exploitation. And this comes back to even your sort of like, like, you know if you're talking about you're sort of primary. Primary sector stuff in the economy, which is that like, OK, well, yeah. I mean like oil in particular example of this, like, you know, same with timber and same with fishes that like, these are extractive industries. Yeah. And this becomes a real problem for a lot of your sort of like nearly revolutionary developing societies because you, you got this tension between like, and you see this a lot in in Latin America's like this is there's a huge tension like this in Bolivia, for example, you see in Ecuador 2 where like you have different factions of, you have different factions of the political movements where you have people who are like, OK, yeah. I'm OK with just like, you know, building these highways through indigenous land or just like doing mass deforestation or like doing doing open pit mining. And those people will be like, those people will be leftist, right? They'll be like, OK, well, we need to do this because we need to like, you know, this is an anti poverty measure. We have to put the value chain. We have to increase our production. But then, you know, you have the indigenous people who's like homes. These are right. Yeah. Yeah. And you can rationalize a lot of evil **** if you. Yeah. The right intellectual backing. Yeah. Yeah. And like, and this, this happens like in in China too. There's like like a lot of the industrialist has been absolutely devastating, like and and and this, this becomes a real, like the fact that you need Forex becomes. This. Like incredible trap that that you're, you sink into because it's like, on the one hand, like, yeah, like there are resources that you need in order to have a functioning society, but it's also that that you can't get in in your territory, but also like. The cost of getting that Forex is enormous and a lot of times it's. It it's it's it's a it's something that just simply destroys revolutionary project. Yeah well it hit me when I looked at this list of Vancouver's economic sectors was you know tourism being listed among the big ones and my mind immediately went to Cuba to pre revolutionary pre Castro Cuba and you know precast or Cuba has all these things going for it off when you're looking at it from a developmental standpoint it's got this like very good productive base of you know primary resources like sugar. It has great relations with the United States of America, particularly through the mafia, you know? Yeah, wonderful, right? It has. The tourism industry is, is very successful. It's producing manufactured cigars, so it even has a secondary industry bridge, but it is still absolutely failing to develop in a way that is meaningful for the people living in Cuba. You know, pre Castro, Cuba was a nightmare for most people. And that's, you know, that that's like Steve said, you know, there's this razor thin thing between risk and reward and during that, you know, during the 40s and 50s in Cuba, it was just, it just made so much sense to just stick it with this. Impoverished, extractive, tourist, heavy mafia, friendly economy and yeah, they were friends with the US. They could have gone technology transfers in in principle, but. Were they actually going to? And also we have to think about with our People's Republic of Vancouver Island is, you know, yeah, like people are going to want our logs, people are going to want our fishing, American tourists are going to come here and go whale watching and that's going to bring in Forex. But are we going to be able to like leverage that and how would we leverage that? Yeah, yeah. And I kind of want to move the conversation to like, I think people might be listening and saying, like, OK, yeah, I can see why forks would be important, but like, what are the specific ways in which we can? Acquire it, but also manage it and it's like, OK well. Without which we want. Would that be? Being socialists who want democracy. OK, so I think. If we're I'm, I'm picturing some sort of assembly structure taking shape. Because I'm a libsoc libertarian socialist. And. Uh, it could be something else, but any case, uh, I think they should appoint 50 or so people, some of them experts, some of them not to. Examine. They should do a thorough economic analysis of the entire island. And you should do it on the basis of. Here are the assets we have. Here's where we want to go in terms of assets. How do we get from here to there? And one of the assets that you have is, OK, we have so many U.S. dollars, we have so many Canadian dollars, we have reserve balances. So we need to import things. We can make some of it ourselves and we need to buy the rest of it. We can't buy all of it now. We need to cash flow. Some of this we need to. We need to do export LED growth as the develop the classic development econ people would say, where we say we have some industries where we can. Gradually and consistently ramp up to the point that they give. They give us the types of money which we need in order to input capital goods, the machines that build machines to. Buy them. Learn how to use them. And maintain them and then build more ourselves, ideally. And over the course of say, it means basically. I'm basically suggesting that Vancouver Island should have a 10 year plan. Does she have a 10 year plan for further economic development? And it should be as democratically decided upon as possible. Within the limits of like, OK, there's some experts which will obviously be needed and not everyone can do that, but. Umm, whatever assembly structure you have should be given oversight ultimately. And you should say. Just be really frank with it. Like. We have these are our biophysical resources now. In 10 years, they should be this. In order to get there each year these things need to happen. We have to have this much foreign currency, we have to have this many workers involved in this industry. We can change things along the way, but we're constrained by these factors. We're like we need trade partners. We need. Uh to. Reverse engineer some technology that we've acquired or something in order to educate ourselves on how to like create chips or something in the future. Umm. Yeah, there's like there should be like an extremely vigorous discussion of what assets do we have, what do we need, what's our goal, and then thread together a development plan from there and then use your MMT money to Marshall the resources that you currently have and that you need for like the next year, say, domestically. While monitoring and augmenting your foreign currency reserves and using the tools of monetary policy to safeguard those reserves and economize on them in order to import what you can't yet make. So that you can make it in the future. I think the the thing that we should learn from the fact that like a lot of these projects haven't worked. Is. Well, I think it's twofold. One is that you have OK there, there there's constant sort of like. There, there there's traps you have to avoid that have to do with like for example, like who actually has access to the Forex because this is what this is a way that like, you know, and also like because it's very, very easy to like access to sort of like incidentally redevelop ruling classes when you're trying to do planning technology stuff, when you're, when you're dealing with enormous amounts of foreign currency. And this is a problem and you know, and in the second problem has to do with sort of like. How, how, how do you make sure that your economy essentially doesn't end up as a resource colony and this has, this has other components and you know, and I think, I think this is something that like. Like the there is a lot that can be done if you control like a region of territory. But there's there's political limits on it, and the political limits have to do with, you know, who actually controls. The sort of like vast majority of of resources and technology. And the only way to really deal with that is that, like, you know, you can't, you can't sort of have. Like you if if if if you want to actually have sort of long term stability you can't just have your sort of like you're you're like libertarian socialist councils in one country. Like that's a thing that has to like keep moving and keep spreading because otherwise it becomes, it becomes just increasingly difficult. And you come under increasing pressures you know for you know in order to do things that you do that you need to do in order to make sure people don't starve. In order to make sure that people have education services to make sure that people, you know are able to sort of live their lives. And also like in order to make sure that you don't just annihilate the. Like annihilate the entire environment while doing this because something that happens a lot when in these developmental estates. Is that like, you know, you, you, you get you, you, you, you, you get groups who like, come in the power and are like, well, OK, we're like, we're gonna be electrical regime and then, you know, they wind up having to, they wind up doing oil extraction and like open pit mining because that's. You know that that's the easiest way to get money. And I and I think, I think like. I I think. It's it's valuable that, like, these are things that if if you're serious about taking power, you have to think about. But I also think it's it. It's important to keep in mind just. The the. The the the inherent limits that you have if you're just sort of, if you're, if you're completely isolated like if you're completely isolated revolutionary movement in one place. It doesn't have people that you can you know give stuff to and move stuff around between. Yeah. I mean it's it's it's always been I mean that's been like a kind of inevitable thing that like. You know there are. There are communes in my extended family, you know, I've got. Members of my family who live on, you know, those little farm communes and. They're not fully economically independent. And I'm sure that we could find people who would be willing to say, oh, you know, this is like, this is totally fake. This is not a real commune because they, you know, sell, you know, sell. Sunflower seeds at the farmers market and stuff, uh, and that's kind of the unfortunate. That's kind of like the tough reality that. Unless you manage to create a truly. Global revolution. As I said, unless until you've got like 2/3 of the population under your umbrella. You're going to have Foreign Relations and you're going to have foreign trade, which is. Going to, uh, it's going to be, it's going to be difficult to manage. You know, you're going to have to be both. You're going to have to have like a, you know, a diplomatic core. That's something we're barely mentioning here. But like we're going to need to have diplomats coming out of this Council if we're talking about them having relations with the US and Canada and, you know, negotiating these trade deals. You know, these trade deals don't happen out of nowhere. And, you know, we kind of brushed this aside, but it's a, it's a bit of a. There's a bit of a misperception that people tend to have that. The United States is pro free trade in like an extreme sense that, like any trade with the United States, is done without any tariffs. Oh yeah, no. I don't think that you if you believe that. Without having done a lot of research, I do not think that that is an absurd thing to believe, because that is the propaganda that is passed along in common knowledge. A very quick examination of how trade works between international actors will reveal that there are thousands and thousands and thousands of tariffs active all the time in every trade deal. Yeah, like the like the the the the big one with the US agricultural subsidies, which are just. It is it is. It is illegal to have them. We have like just in just like billions and billions of billions of dollars of agricultural subsidies that have producing cheap food that's like, we're not even good at making it like it's it's a complete disaster. It let me just like this this is just single handedly annihilated the economies of like enormous swaths of the globe because that because no one can compete with American agriculture subsidies and it's you know and but like it when you join the free trade system like that's one of the carve outs that was that's that's that's in the WTO is you can't have subsidies for agriculture programs except for the US and it's it's great and by great I mean if one dies there's all sorts of like weird technical ways that you can create pseudo subsidies you know you know Italy very famously. As a price floor on wine. And this means that you know, if you if you make a bottle of wine that nobody would buy for the minimum price, the government will buy it off of you for that price. And so there there are wineries in Italy that just produce wine at such a this so bad nobody would buy nobody you'd have to pay people to drink it. But the government just buys it at this minimum set price and then throws it enough in a giant Olympic swimming pool that adds to go rot and. Like there are, yeah, there, there, there. The trade is, you know, there's a lot more complex. The free trade is kind of a myth at the international level it is. At it's at the most cynical, free trade as a doctrine is a cudgel used by more powerful countries that they impose, that you have to do free trade with them and that they get to do protracted trade with you. Well, it's a it's well, firstly, like you mentioned, it's a myth. And historically speaking, we had, like we had infant industries in this country. That we're highly protected from. The very earliest days through most of the 19th century and into this 20th century. And we had. Uh, we had expert LED growth from infant lid for infant industries in the US and that's precisely the opposite advice we now turn around and give via our Imperial. Like apparatus from the IMF and the World Bank to to developing countries and like countries, countries that that examined what the US was telling them to do and did the opposite are the ones that succeeded. Yes, like South Korea said, Nah, **** that. And there and they went up the value chain and they did all of the things that we said Vancouver Island should do, basically, except not being evil. They did not do that well. They were evil. For a time. And they're dictatorial, but the in terms of their economic development plan divorced from political reality, which is probably naive of me to say they took the opposite advice of the IMF in terms of that narrow scope. Well, yeah. I think the other thing is kind of important here that I haven't really touched on yet. Is that like. So part of what was going on with with South Korea's economy is that South Korea's economy was was a war economy and it was a war economy designed to build, I mean originally just it was, it was a war economy because they were fighting a war, right. But then it became this, I mean central actress of sort of the the production in the Korean War and then it became this access that. Like, it became a huge part of the American sort of arms industry in in Vietnam, and this is the same thing. Japan has this too, where both of these economies are like a huge part of the reason why they're able to develop is because they get enormous amounts of just money and that guaranteed contracts and stuff like that from American military development. And this isn't, this is another really big problem for like, you're sort of Free State. That like you've created like whatever, you're sort of like council Republic, you're like if hunting is own, you're like indigenous confederation, is that like? You need weapons, and the people who make guns are like the US and Russia. And this is a, you know and and you know, we've been talking on this show about about producing like 3D weapons. But I mean, you know. In terms of things like, you know you're like artillery, right? Like because of your mortars and like things like that, or like, you know you can't, you can't 3D print to best of my knowledge. And I'm like 99.99% sure about this that like unless you had extremely advanced facilities and even then it's not clear like I like. I I don't think anyone on Earth has ever played 3D printed like an anti aircraft rocket like you, you, you, you know, you can't make, you can't make stingers. You can't make manpad, you can't make anti tank, anti aircraft weapons. Not today, not to get too much into it, but like the way in which Ukraine is fighting like Russian tanks in its very specifics is kind of encouraging actually. Yeah. But like, you know, like the like specific. Yeah. I mean there's only a few companies who are making the components for these things. Yeah. So that's a problem. And that's like the personnel launched. The in law or whatever things. Yeah. Like the the the anti take antique weapons like yeah. If you can get them they're effective and they they do they they do stuff they're mostly just handed out from by the US or the UK yeah yeah. And that's and that's that's a huge problem if you're you know not trying to like be a political colony of these two things and this is another trap that you see like you see dictators especially falling into which is that that they. You know, OK. So like on the one hand, yeah, you do need weapons, right. Like you you need you need some kind of military complex and you you need arms in order to make sure that, like, you know, you're not like the US doesn't roll tanks across the border, but simultaneously like there's there's a thing that happens a lot with this happens with Petro states where, you know, OK. So the the the US is like, OK, so we need this oil. Right. And how, how do you, how do you deal with this sort of balance payments emphasis. And the answer is we just sell them like 100 billion tanks and we just like, we just like dumb F. 30 fives on them and you, you can get into these scenarios where like you get these like because I mean the problem with weapons, right, like, OK, so you need to survive. But they also, they don't produce anything, right? In fact, they're sort of net economic negatives because the only thing you could do with a gun is, I mean, I guess you can actually hunt, but like. You know, the thing you're doing with the weapon is destroying value. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, and they require maintenance. Yeah. Yeah. You know, like these things are substantial net negatives. Yeah. And and and, you know, and and countries get sucked into these traps where, like, you know, OK, we're just going to keep buying American weapons because of security or like, we we we want to invade some other country. You're like, well, you know, you see so many weaponry, too, like back when that was a thing and say modern Russian weaponry where it's like, yeah, you can you can get funneled into these traps where, like the ruling class. Your society just decides that it, the thing that it wants to just spend is Forex on his weapons and and you have to be very, very like you have to be, you know and this is the thing that happens like. Like Evanor hoxa, for example, famously like makes just a bunch of bunkers, right? And like, militarized society and it's like, well, you know, part of this is just hoax, it being extremely weird, but like. Yay. You have to be very careful when you're a society that is genuinely under threat that you're not sort of like just throwing all of your resources into into stuff like that where you know it doesn't produce anything but. You know and yeah and also I mean this is a, it is a need like like whatever the the Vancouver economic planning whatever group should like one of one of the objectives would frank would be military, of course, yeah. You need to. I don't know if you could get your hands on in laws or MANPADS or anything like that, but you. I think you would be foolish. Frankly, not to distribute and train on weapons and stuff like that. Yeah. And use some of your forex for that. Yeah. Yeah. Like, I think, like, yeah, it's like you have to use some for that. And it sucks because this is something that, like this, this sucks you into the arms complex, right? Yeah. I mean, like. Russia is using its oil revenues. Ohm to fund like 50% of its expenditure almost is at least like in 2020 or the last time I checked was uh to defense forces. Yeah and like and this is a lot of, a lot of that came from dollars, EUR and Turkish lira. That they required through oil. Yeah. And like this. And this is the thing that, like, yeah, this is this is a problem if you're in your revolution society surrounding people who just literally want to murder you. Or it's like, stuff like this winds up happening and you wind up like, I don't blame them. Yeah. It's like, it's obviously real. It's like reality. Yeah. And, and I think that's a, you know that that that's a good example of like what happens if the revolution doesn't spread and if you get sort of like, if you get isolated contained by Imperial Powers who just want to murder you is that you wind up like. You you basically you want. You wind up fighting an endless war against both the proxy forces and the real forces of armies that are significantly larger and more powerful than you and. Yeah. And there's a lot of times there's not much you can do about it. But it's like, I think, you know, in terms of like like in in the school of high principal, like This is why internationalism is important. I mean, yeah, of course, obviously the other answer is, you know, selling out on the revolution and, you know, we, we, we, you know, that there's the example that people don't think about if Syriza, you know, Syriza gets elected on all these like radical promises for Greece and then just doesn't do any of them. And then you can look at say, Nepal and, you know, the the Communist one in Nepal and then they. Establish a government that's functionally you know it's a liberal government. Yeah my my my my, my, my favorite Nepal fact is that the OK so the Nepal has like 17 different like Maoist factions but the guy who was the head of of of the of the largest Maoist faction. I think it's him. Is is he's the one who now lives in the mansion of the guy who used to be the Nepalese, had a security, I think so, yeah. And it's like. We've well, this is this. This has gone great. We've we've changed the person in the mansion. It's like you've got a yeah and I mean the and and, you know, not too surprisingly, you know, the second leader a couple. About a year ago, Kiran was on the verge of declaring a new People's War against the Maoist faction. Analised war against the malice. Like, yeah, I mean, that's you know, you, you you end up it's. Yeah it's it's it's tricky to try to like game it out so to speak because you know by. I maybe I'm just squeamish. I am hoping for things to not happen with a river of blood. Yeah, in in life, I I hope that I hope that we don't get rivers of blood. Ohh, plan, plan for work. So you get, you get peace. Yeah. Yeah. Uh, but you like, like, like Chris said, you know, you can get trapped into like that, that escalating security dilemma. And of course, you know, investing in security doesn't actually necessarily lead to security. We have, you know, over a century of looking at Latin American countries that investments in the military is just investments in the next civil war or or you get cooked and that's another real problem like, like it's weird because it's like it's a double edged sword like the 20th century. Like there's all there's a lot of like. Socialist governments that come into power just from military coups, but also like. It's probably more of those governments like get overthrown by their own coups. And it's yeah, there was, there was one lesson I learned from playing Tropico. It's that. If you try to invest more in your no matter how much you invest in your military, it only will ever get you up to 5050 odds of surviving a coup. Yeah, this is a don't have kernels and don't have generals. Then you can captain's Coos so you know it's always kernels. It's because they're like passed up for general ship by the next administration or something. Yeah again again some sometimes sometimes you do get like sometimes you get like your Pinochet and sometimes you do get your captains Coos and it's like this is a that that goes that's ambition right there when the capped who's the government yeah yeah you know once your captains have hit **** it mode. Yeah. That's indicative of like bigger, deeper problems. Yeah. What I think like the the Baptists are interesting example of this because like, it's like the Baptists were never like good. But like, you know, the the Baptists like originally like were kind of a mass movement. But then increasingly like over time as as they consolidate power to military sort of revolutions, like it becomes increasingly just the Baptists are powerful because they have control of like various portions of the military and, you know, and like the the the end result of this is like instead of having revolutions. Like you just get, you just get all political power has nothing to do with what's happening in the street. You get these giant protests that are like, we want to go back to being part of the United the the United Arab Republic, and it just doesn't matter because the actual political power is just what happens when the army fights itself. And yeah, and I think like. There's no easy solution to that other than just, like, don't have an armed body that's separate from just the masses of people, which is difficult to do, but also, like, I mean, we're just arm the people somewhat. Yeah. And and, you know, it's means of violence should be more evenly distributed. Yeah. I will say that was, I guess, part of why the scenario we had started off with. Like, you've declared the People's Republic because the question of how you get that People's Republic feels like that's a 75% of your podcast. Podcast episodes. Yeah. Yeah, you know, we've done, we've done, we've done. Just like a miracle has occurred, but like a revolution has occurred. And I don't know, they, like, blockaded all the nodes or something. Like, as I like to say, it's good to have a plan for if you win, yeah. Win and then fumble once you've already gotten. Yeah, and this, this, this is something that, like, that actually does happen a lot, which is like. You you get into the, you get into these revolutionary like. Moments. But then there's just sort of like, no. Like no one has any idea what to do next. And so they sort of bungle it or, you know, you can just ambitious scenarios. Yeah. Or you get to relive scenarios where like nobody's thought about what happens next and that that's that's another way that like. Yeah, these things cholesterol time. That's another way you get like, you know, this is in some sense like the the the whole of the sort of like the trial and error of the 20 of the 20th century, which most of which sort of ended in error is that, you know, a bunch of people were experimenting in a lot of the stuff they tried didn't work. And there are lots of reasons for that. But you. Like you have to in order to win, you have to actually be serious about. Taking power and you have to be you know you you have to be thinking strategically and and have a like have at least a vision of what you're going to do before you like you know like before things happen because otherwise there's just sort of like you know you just you just get sort of mass confusion and and and say what say what you all about the fascists they know what they're going to do when they see its power. They're not confused about it. Smart? Well, they're their problems are what you do after. Yeah, they're not confused about that list first, like 48 hours when things start going their way. Like, I hope that nothing we've said, I hope that nothing we've said on this podcast kind of makes people think, like, oh, they so they have like one weird trick basically to like, secure, secure your power. Like, obviously, no. Like and and that we aren't like singularly focused on acquiring Forex or something also. I mean this is just like it's an important lever to. To have at your disposal and like, well, number one, you should know that it's important #2 you should have tools in place such as like. Running, uh, running a fixed extra fixed exchange rate or something to make it a bit easier to acquire Forex on the whole, or doing capital controls or doing price controls or something like that. And you should have these tools in mind in order to get from. Year 1 to year 10. In terms of your biophysical resources, like, here's what we have, here's what we need. And, uh, you know, some of that could be military, some of that could be economic and some of that could be political. And no one's like, I don't know if the answer is we don't have the answers, but at each step of the way, you need to find groups of people who can come together and think objectively about them. Yeah, I I want. Yeah, it's not that I think that there is an answer. I I'm kind of thinking about almost a little bit parallel to like, we know that if we create our, you know, if if Socialists managed to seize any amount of power, they're going to reform whatever healthcare system they're currently existing in. We know this is going to be better because it would be hard for it to be worse. But. You know that's making a good hospital system is not the entire thing that makes a revolution happen. It is just one of those things that you need to do and you need to think about it. And my objective here, and it's. A lot of my objective with, you know, making this whole magazine project is that. My socialism means that we, we have say over our lives. You know, that's fundamental to me that we have say over what we do with our lives and I want to make sure that. The people who are in this with me, which is hopefully everybody, I am an optimist. I'm hoping that everybody is with me on creating a better socialist world, that all of us are at least somewhat informed about the decisions we're making. I I'm not actually economically trained, you know, I'm I I've learned this stuff as I've gone. It's not insurmountable. And it's, you know, I I would want the decision about how do we make a socialist economy, you know the the core of socialism, worker control, of the means of production that the people involved again, hopefully everybody. Has, you know, at least has an inkling of what's going on. I don't want people to be confused and baffled by the decisions being made on their behalf. That's, you know, a fundamental evil of a capitalist system, that. We don't know what the ****. Decisions are being made for us by powerful people. Well, part of the part of the problem comes back to education because, like, people are busy, have hogged, they've hoarded the knowledge. Of how to plan in certain respects, and I think Socialists, socialists will sometimes look at the body of knowledge in terms of planning and economy and say like, well, because they are the only ones who know how to do that, the knowledge itself is tainted. And like, I don't need to learn this because it's evil basically. I don't need to learn how to manage a currency board or do Forex management, because that's money and that's evil stuff. Yeah, I hope. I hope what we've described so far says like, I don't know if it's evil or not, but it's important and it should be. I think I honestly think you're going to probably probably fail if you don't consider these things at each step of the way. Yeah, and and even in your like. Well, one of the things that that you see a lot with socialist countries is they have basically have like a firewall right where they they try to keep a separation between the parts of their economy that like are planned and the parts of their economy that like. Are about moving forwards around. And I think, like, OK, like, there are varying degrees of effectiveness of this, but like, this is like, even even if you're like, OK, like, we want to get rid of the economy, right? Like, we want to get rid of Labor. We want to get rid of all the stuff as a concept. Like, you're going to have to deal, like, until until you like win, right, like, until until you've like, until you've like raised a flag over like New York, Berlin, Shanghai. Like and you deli at the same time, right? Like you're you're gonna be, you're gonna have to be dealing with this stuff and how how you do that and how quickly you're able to to figure this out, how quickly you're able to implement it and how quickly you're able to sort of like. Seize control of and use the resources that you have in order to advance your political project. Is, you know, that that that that's going to be one of the things that determines whether or not your revolution survives, no matter what it's fighting for. Like in addition to all the military stuff. UM, military and economic, I think you have to just say. Like? You have to get to a point economically and militarily and all the other stuff to where you can just say to international powers like, I don't need to make some moral claim to you. I've built a better mousetrap. I'm going to let the people decide, and it's like it just shows people living freely together. And enjoying a good standard of living, and they don't need to exploit each other to get it. And like for not everyone, but many people that will be really appealing and you have to have like. Uh, well, more than just a diplomatic core, you have to have like an entire, like a full court international push to say like it's just a better mouse trap. It's like it's. I don't need to focus on moral claims about like, well, it's better because you should just care about people because of like, you should care about people more than capitalism permits because it's just morally right. That may be the case, but also people want to get paid, and they want to be treated well and have a decent standard of living at the same time, and we can do it. So here's so here's how like you've. You've shown them specific steps you've taken, and you've shown them the material standard of living that is shared democratically and. It's not just like a state giving handing things out to people. It's like a. A. True industrial democracy, where it's like you. You get plugged in, you make decisions each along the way, and yeah. Basically that. Yeah, I think, I think, I think that's a pretty good note. To, to and on as a A a thing that we want and things that are going to have to be components of it. And also, I guess thinking about, you know, like rejecting theories about money as incomplete that don't deal with the fact that you don't have all the resources in your country and you in fact indeed other things to acquire them that you cannot simply create into existence. Yeah, due to have anything else you want to say before I guess you move into plugs. I mean, like like I said, I mean, I, I. You know, this may have sounded like a whole bunch of, you know, high minded theoretical egghead crap, but again, I'm I'm not formally educated on this stuff. This is stuff that I have learned and participated in as a socialist first and foremost, and it's been driven from the get go, at least for me, from a really fundamental desire for equality, for egalitarianism, and for people having a say in their own lives. And I I hope that the people. Who have stuck with us through this? Who didn't know these concepts before? Feel a little bit more equipped to participate in a discussion about. How you would handle these things and as, as I kind of alluded to, this scales all the way down to, you know, 12 hippies on a farm. You know, this, this, this scales all the way up until you've got a total, total global communism for pretty much anything below that. This, this these principle scale, and I I hope that people feel more able and more willing to. Engage both. First of all you know, to tell liberals to you know, shut the **** ** that I should have a say over how I participate in the economy. Even when that's things like Forex that seem very abstract and far away. Like, yeah, I I'm I'm a person who's affected by this. Therefore I've got a stake, therefore my opinion matters and that you you can get there, you can learn and you should be allowed to participate in that and. Yeah, this is what I'm trying to create is, you know that socialists do not feel like they can. They're those are browbeaten out of the room of a discussion because some liberal nerd pushed up their glasses a whole bunch and spun their bow tie and then sense of ******** like you. No, you. It is your life and. You have a right to have an opinion on it, and this is not an insurmountable thing to it's it's hard. I want to be clear here. This is hard and I want, but I want you in the discussion. Well said, yeah. So I guess, speaking, Speaking of things that people are involved in, I can do transitions like this because I'm a professional. Yeah. Do you, do you two want to talk a bit about your magazine? Sure. Like we mentioned at up top, we're Kyle and I are both Co editors of Strange Matters Magazine, and we're in the middle of a fundraiser right now, and you can find the fundraiser at the URL tinyurl.com/strange matters. No, no dashes or anything. You can also follow us on Twitter at strange under score matters. And the magazine itself is going to be a we're a literary magazine and each issue we're we're publishing in both print and digital. And the print issue one is about 300 pages and it's split in half between the front pages, which is topics like economics, philosophy, politics, more technical fields and then the back pages is. Art. Uh, like culture reviews? UM. Anthropology is anthropology like uh, more certain we kind of attach it to the word meaning. Like meaning development and and. There's a middle resting spot which is actually called the futon, which is a play on the word futon. Which is like kind of a resting spot between those two halves where there's going to be short pieces of usually of humorous nature and. Overall, it's going to cover a wide range of topics. And you can find out more of us you can find out more about us on our fundraiser on our website strangers Coop we got a couple articles already up on strange matters. dot coop we have a Steve wrote an amazing piece explaining of some very in very layman's terms some arguments about what inflation is and why we should care about it. You know, very good. Yeah. Very relevant. Right now we have a truly delightful review of. Of very contemporary, very recently made cyberpunk works by Elizabeth Sandifer, author of Neoreaction, a Basilisk, which anybody who listens to this podcast needs to read. Neoreaction a basilisk. And she did those the wonderful favor of doing a pop culture review for us. We've yeah, we've also got a work by the editors, whereas for our present reality about. What's how how can we discuss what actually exists in the world and what are the shortcomings with our current with just like the basic levels of our discourse and how can we advance beyond, beyond this difficulty. And it's, you know, it's something that sounds like it's supposed to be this very high level philosophy. But we've been I I think I don't want to take too much credit for this because I was not the main writer on it. I think that we've successfully managed to. Bring it down to A to a lower brow level, you know to to a level that doesn't require you to have 18 letters after your name of various college degrees. We also managed to publish a piece by a Russian dissidents and I'm I'm very excited for the the works that people are going to see in the future from us we've got a history of black cooperative movements we've I I wrote a nice little ditty about colonialism in modern board games. I'm, I'm very excited for people to get the chance to read these and you know, it's all kind of in the service of. Us creating a. More. Almost democratizing the socialist world and making it, making it meaningful, making it. Useful and also making it pleasurable for people to be socialists and to fight for a freer and more equitable world. Yeah, do you do you two want people to find you on social media, and if so, where? OK, you can say no to those people do sometimes because first hell site. OK, well I don't have social media so. On social media, I am on some social media, so you can find you can find me at at capim in Wacom and I'll spell that out because it's kind of confusing. At CAPM in WACC. In. Misspelling your own username. Yeah, so strange matters is our our campaign will run through this month, and it's going pretty good so far. But we can use. Every little bit of support goes a long way. So yeah, find find us at our website and also the fundraiser. Yeah, we're not getting paid. Just to be clear, this is the we we need to pay the authors, we need to pay for the printers. But you know, this is not us trying to make a quick buck. This Is Us trying to make sure we, we are not willing to accept paying our writers substandard writing, that we're going to pay our writers higher than market rate as on principle because we think the market rate is just too low. It really is. Yeah. And oh and by the way are where I think I mentioned it, but we're a workers cooperative, so we're 100% worker owned and control. There's no, there are no levels of employment or ownership. We're all horizontal. Yeah, yeah. So yeah, go go check out strange matters. Yeah. Thank, thank you to you both for. Thank you both for joining us. It was a wonderful time, Chris. Thank you. Thank you for having us. Yeah. And if you want to find more of us, we're at happened to your pod on Twitter and Instagram, I keep saying Instagram, I've never actually. I'm not on Instagram, so I I've been told we have one. I've never interacted with it. Yeah, and I close on media, has our other shows. Go listen to them, they're good and we work a lot on them. Alright. Bye. Bye. Goodbye. Oh, it could happen here, and it's currently happening there. There being Ukraine, which is in the midst of an invasion by the Russian government. I'm Robert Evans. This is a podcast about bad things and how to make them better. I'm joined as often by Garrison and Chris, my Co hosts, and we are talking about. Some of the advice, good and bad, that's been going around on social media about how to disable and destroy armored vehicles, this is something we've kind of waited to do until the conflict was a little bit more of a mature state. But in briefs, if you have been following what's been happening in Russia through the lens of social media or what's happening Ukraine through the lens of social media, one thing that has happened is in the early stages of the invasion, a whole bunch of people flocked, particularly to Twitter, but also not this is not just stay on Twitter. Or a large number of mainstreams news articles published on the subject of the things people were saying to talk about different ways civilians could disable Russian armoured vehicles or otherwise stymie and thwart the progress of Russian military units through their cities. And this has been accompanied by things like the Ukrainian Government giving out information on how to make Molotov cocktails. We talked about this in our Molotov cocktail episode and putting out really neat infographics on where to throw Molotov cocktails, disable armored vehicles. But it's also come with a lot of bad advice that I don't want people who are maybe looking at the potential of urban combat happening in their future to take away from this conflict, because there's also a lot of disinfo that's we're talking about today. Yes, and I guess one of the first places to probably discuss this urban combat idea is they probably the guy who's tried to make kind of a career out of talking about different combat, which would be your Spencer who who wrote a relatively viral Twitter thread on this topic and has been writing about this thing for the past few years. He's a. He's the the chair of Urban warfare studies at West Point Smotherman War Institute and served for like 1/4 of a century as an infantry soldier, including two deployments into Iraq. And yeah, the past few years, he tried to kind of make a name for himself as the guy who writes about urban combat. And obviously since this was happening largely when Russia started invading Kiev, John Spencer put together some of his thoughts that went pretty viral on this on this topic. Yeah, and it's. It's frustrating. You've got a quote in here from one of the articles about who was giving out that says some of his advice, such as preparing simple Molotov cocktails is already being seen on the streets of Kiev, which is kind of framing it as if Spencer advised the Ukrainians to make Molotov absolutely not true. Before he made that thread, the government was urging people to rise and also, like Molotov cocktails, got their name from people in Finland not super far from Ukraine, resisting the Russian military in a very similar way to how they're being used by Ukrainian civilians. Now what I I believe what John Spencer did, he's a guy with some qualifications, certainly, like not a random person. We'll talk about random people giving advice to on Twitter. But he's also alt. None of his advice is new, none of it is from him. None of it is counter intuitive. A good deal of it is bad. And most of what he said that is good is just him pulling things from U.S. military combat manuals and from Ukrainian military combat manuals and then putting it up in social media. In order to go viral and try to get another book deal by making it look as if he is giving advice that is being adopted in real time, which is not what is happening. Yeah, I mean, like a good, good instance of this is, yeah, he's claiming that they're making Molotov cocktails due to his advice. I mean, there's a picture in that very article that was taken before he even posted that thread. So it's like, no, they're they're people know how to make moltov cocktails. That's not hard to find out. In a lot of cases, the Ukrainian Ukrainian government was giving out instructions on how to do it. I mean and if you if you look at this picture, it looks very similar to a lot of, a lot of like the, the, the almost like small defensive weapons factories that we saw across the states in 2020. You would often see just collections of bottles just ready to be thrown, all kind of laid out in, in, in, in milk crates very similar to this photo. Now there was there was less actual moltov cocktails, but the way that this is whole, the way this is all set up looks, looks very similar to any kind of. Insurgency tactics of being like, yeah, there's going to be spontaneous on the ground organizing because people are just kind of naturally gifted at that. And on a on an objective level, Molotov cocktails have a place on an urban battlefield. They can be useful weapons for disabling armored vehicles, for causing distractions, for injuring and even sometimes killing soldiers. They are, they are capable of doing that. And they that's part of why the Ukrainian Government put out these guides showing like, where to Huck the **** ** ******* in order to. People, you know, transports and armored vehicles and whatnot. Now, that said, attempting to attack a military column with a Molotov cocktail in most circumstances is very close to suicidal. And I've watched a number of videos of Ukrainians do it. And the times that seem to be most successful is when you have areas where the Russians are attempting to establish control. You have small groups of vehicles that are moving down residential streets. You have a significant amount of traffic. A civilian traffic occurring alongside those military convoys, and as they passed the convoy, a civilian hucks a Molotov, or as they pass a building, a civilian huxi Molotov. And those seem to be, broadly speaking, the situations in which people have kind of gotten away with it. We don't have any kind of, I'm not aware of any kind of solid overarching analysis of all of the use of Molotovs in this, but that is, broadly speaking, a potentially effective way to use a Molotov cocktail. Uh, in order to degrade military capacity of an occupier, what doesn't work and what Spencer and a number of other people suggested is this Huck and painted tanks or other armored vehicles? Yeah, and that may be surprising to a lot of people. I think there's a lot of folks who want to believe this, want to believe that, that that could really work, because it it's like you walk **** right? It feels like the kind of thing insurgent should be doing. But here is the thing. When you have police officers who are tear gassing an area and you hug a bunch of paint and you get it over their face masks and they cannot see, it reduces their ability to tear gas you for a while. It makes them uncomfortable, it makes them have less fun, and it damages gear. When you hook a bunch of paint at an armored vehicle, the armored vehicle will return fire with a 50 caliber mounted dashka or some other similar gun which fires bullets that are large enough to take chunks the size of your head out of concrete. And you will be torn apart and your organs liquefied in a hail of metal. Meanwhile the paint that you are attempting to throw at that vehicle is almost certain to have no impact on it. Not only are you unlikely to get close enough to use the paint, because you have to be considerably closer to do that, then you have to with a Molotov in most situations. But also tanks are built with the understanding that it is possible that one or more of the ways in which they see will be obstructed. Tank. Drivers are trained to drive blind. There are ways of utilizing tanks when vision is obstructed because in the kinds of fights that tanks are built to get into, they are often in situations where there is so much smoke around them. So many things. First, yeah, exactly that. There is effectively 0 visibility. Which is why when Spencer started talking about people throwing paint at tanks, a number of tank drivers came out and said that's actually horrible advice, like they don't work that way. And I was, I was chatting with a couple of people, there was one. Fellow former Green Beret named Mike Nelson, who was posting about Spencer and very angry that he was basically copying material directly from stuff published by the Ukrainian Government. And then like getting up anytime journalists or media figures would comment about Ukraine. Would like, like there's a nasty post here where Anne Cabrera, who I think is some sort of reporter, was like, I feel heartsick upon the latest news out of Mariupol. My God, just like expressing horror at humanitarian tragedy. And Spencer posts a link to his personal website and says. 32 not sure if you saw my mini manual for the urban defender, but it is available in English and Ukrainian. Yeah, it's so like, anyway grifter **** like that. But yeah, because that is all that's very different than also like throwing paint at like a squad car or a like a like a riot truck that's coming through because if you obscure their vision, the worst they can do is crash into a wall. They're not going to start firing a massive head explosion rounds from a central. Yeah, so. They do not like, for one thing, the like the police, as bad as they can be, their default when they come under any kind of like attack is not to start firing machine guns wildly in all directions. Not not which Russian soldiers do. Not yet, at least. But you know, the other thing I was chatting with? Uh, Matthew Mora, who's A is has been one of the guys who's bailing, yelling at Spencer on Twitter. Matthew was a Marine Corps tank commander and was blown up in Afghanistan. So he was in a tank that was attacked several times and eventually destroyed. So he's he has some first-hand knowledge about what works and does not work against tanks. And one of the things he pointed out is that the people who destroyed his tank put together, I don't know, hundred $200.00 worth of various accelerants and random scrap metal. And made a bomb that destroyed an Abrams tank that works a lot better than paint. Yeah, and it's it's the kind of thing where. I think one of the things that's frustrating here is you've got a lot of these like American kind of military academic guys. And I know Spencer served, but that doesn't necessarily mean much. That doesn't mean it. Just being deployed to Iraq doesn't mean you did anything, but they were deployed and maybe they did see urban combat. But I have watched United States soldiers in an intense urban combat environment, and most of what they did was be inside of Mraps because it's very hard to blow those up while the Iraqi military did a great deal of the fighting and when U.S. soldiers did. Engage in fighting. They did so with absolute air supremacy and with artillery supremacy. Which isn't to say that it wasn't dangerous, but it is a profoundly different situation than engaging in urban combat when the airspace is contested and when you do not have artillery supremacy. So what does that mean in terms of like, what can people actually take away that's useful from this? Well, on an individual level, something has have been extremely effective. Ukrainian territorial defense militias have been very effective at doing things like picking up small arms, going out in small patrols into rural environments around the area where Russian troops are moving in small convoys, and oftentimes because of the way the advance. That you would have a single or a couple of Russian munitions trucks, essentially alone and unsupported, trying to find their way around. You had civilians doing stuff like turning signs around, like removing signs which they were instructed to by various Ukrainian officials as well, yes, yes, and which I'm sure some people just started doing because it seemed like a good idea, but that sort of **** causes them to burn fuel, causes them to abandon vehicles. You had these kind of independent groups of farmers towing away abandoned vehicles. You had small rating. Parties attacking convoys and attacking isolated units. You had cases where you know Russian military units early in the fight would get into Kiev kind of on accident and be ambushed by territorial defense units and wiped out. And those are all very effective examples of of decentralized kind of ground up resistance against a a major military force. Now one thing we don't know that is important if you think about the potential that you might have to endure something like this is we have no idea what the casualties. Like among those years it is a total black box and it's it's probable that part of why Russian forces did the war crime they did in Buca was because they had an attitude that all civilians were insurgents, which is you know what happens when you have kind of a peoples war which doesn't justify an act of genocide, but it is something people should keep aware of. When you start ******* with the signs and ambushing the convoys and throwing Molotovs, one of the things that will happen is it will accelerate the violence that is being done. Yeah. And it makes to the civilian justified target in some, you know, propaganda lens. Yeah, exactly. And that doesn't mean like it's you should resist if you are invaded, but these are things that also should be noted as this is what happens when you resist, right. This, this is what a modern war of this type looks like. Other things that I I'm not sure if they've been effective, but they're certainly not bad strategies is the construction of a lot of vehicle barriers, tank traps. Yeah is is the barricade thing both than what we've been kind of seeing or being speculated about in the east and then how we've seen you know barricade setups a lot in the past few years in various resistance movements, 2 of you know a variety of success levels and non success levels. Yeah. And and and these are like, you know, barriers, tank traps have a very long history in in warfare. So they absolutely can be and have been effective many, many times on the battlefield. So this is not an area of does this thing work? But it is a question of like and and this is something we just don't seem to have perfect data on. Did it, did it particularly play a role in what's happening here? And that's harder to tell and is probably going to be different, you know, depending on the tactical in area you're talking about, which kind of like theater you're talking about. But Umm, you know, one thing that's like the way in which these kind of barriers, hedgehogs and like whatnot work is they're they're an area denial tool. It's like an area denial tool for vehicles, and it makes military units slow down, it makes them take more time and clearing area. They have to tow things away or blow them up. And they also can provide, depending on the type of thing, cover for infantry and in urban combat situations, which obviously can cut both ways a little bit, but. There's a reason why you see these kinds of things in every conflict, and also a reason why people put them up in protests. It can be very useful to deny the vehicles of the enemy access to an area temporarily, and a big pile of metal always does that 100% of the time. It requires something to deal with it. Yeah, that was something that was very kind of considered when there was an increase in, like, vehicular attacks during 2020, like a lot of vehicles ramming into massive, massive marches, there was definitely a. Concerted effort to try to block off streets where stuff is happening, whether that be like, you know, corkers for marches, the people who specifically block off the sides of streets with their own cars to follow the March around, or, you know, less, less effective barricades like throwing a chain link fence in the middle of the street, which is I guess better than nothing sometimes, but also maybe not the most effective thing. Yeah, in terms of trying to like, build layered barricades that's not just, you know, one flimsy wall, but it's a series of things that can compress. Down and when you're talking about barricades. In a a kind of militant situation there's there's broadly speaking gonna be 2 purposes. One of those purposes is to create A to add to the friction that you are attempting to create for the enemy and that's that's all in search all insurgent warfare is about creating friction, right because friction degrades assets. It it's over time it it it caused basically like OK so say you blocked off a bunch of roads and you've added 1520 miles to the transport distance that this convoy has to go well. Generally speaking, in the case of war, when we talk about war, it it's assumed that about one mile is, in terms of wear and tear like tins plus miles because of how much more difficult the strain on vehicles is in those situations. So you've added a great deal more strain on the vehicles. That increases the chance that one of them's going to blow a tire, one of us going to crack an axle, one of them's going to have an engine block go like blow or whatever. Which means over time if you're doing this a bunch, if you're setting up barricades and you're effectively increasing or. All the amount of travel time, or at least the amount of idling time that forces have to go in by a significant amount. You're guaranteeing a certain number of those vehicles are going to break or be rendered inoperable in that time. And you're also the other thing that they do is they allow you to deny area and funnel the enemy into a specific, into a place more advantageous for you. Right? And this can be advantageous if you're trying to set up an ambush, if you're just trying to buy time for forces to move back to a better position. It can. You know, there's a number of, of, of uses for it. But if you set up a series of obstacles like this and guarantee that they're going to have to find an alternate route, and you know, broadly speaking, because it's your terrain, what kind of route they're going to take, then you could do stuff like drop throw a drone at them or if because of the the damage you've done to the roads and the difficulty of how difficult you made it to advance, they wind up just parked for a long time. That's also a great situation to bomb people with a ******* drone, which is by far the most effective weapons unit that we have seen. Built by civilians in this war, by the way, uh, it's not Molotovs, it's certainly not paint, it is a civilian volunteers who put together combat drones using generally DJI drones that they have upgraded with thermal imaging cameras in order to see at night, and they have used 3D printed parts in order to drop bombs from. And they have done carried out for weeks now, hundreds of extremely successful nighttime raids on Russian. Positions. This has been effective for a couple of reasons. One of them is that the Russian military does not widespread have effective night vision. We don't need to get the the reasons for this are complicated, based in the mix of like appropriations, corruption, issues with the technologies they do have, yadda yadda yadda. But they do not have the capacity in large scale to carry out operations at night to the extent that the Ukrainians do. And so you get, when night time comes, these forces that were advancing in places like Kiev, clustering up and huddling. For the night. And then these hunter killer drones would sneak in at night and they are impossible to ******* see in daytime. I can tell you from experience, at night they're ghosts just dropping bombs on on armored vehicles and on groups of soldiers. And these, you know what you have seen with these units which have been integrated, they are like started out as civilian volunteer groups. They have been integrated into the military to a significant extent and I think what you do have. Some of this is conjecture on my part, but you've had a lot of Russian officers and generals killed generally because they have been communicating over open phone lines. And I suspect some of what's been going on is when they figure out where one of these guys is, they send some of these ******* drone units in to blow them up. Because it's not hard if you know where someone is to kill them with a drone in this way. I think the other thing to talk about in terms of, you know, building obstacles, building barricades is the whole cover versus concealment thing, where a lot of people think that if they hide behind a barricade, they're now impervious, which obviously isn't true if a drone is going to get you and obviously isn't true for a large, a large number of the munitions that get fired, whether they be bullets or tank rounds. Yeah. Yeah, I mean it's and I I think that's something in videos I have watched of Russian soldiers responding to contact, you have seen a lot of people in ambushes that they lost hiding behind vehicles, which if it's an armored vehicle definitely can protect you from small arm fire. But if somebody shoots that vehicle with a with a javelin, you may find yourself next to a cooking off tank and they've seen **** like people hiding behind ******* fences, which is terrible to hide behind. Failing to go to ground, which is always your best bet, is to kind of get behind a berm or something, get low to the ******* ground and it it's it's interesting to me. A lot of the worst videos of responding to contact that I've seen on the Russian side have been there. The Ross Guardia units, I'm, I'm not great at pronouncing Russian, but they are essentially police special forces units. That actually makes sense. Yeah, they have. Every video I've seen of these guys handle being ambushed very poorly because they're not trained for that. They're trained to go bust into a house and arrest somebody. You know? Like, yeah, this is not where they're what they're supposed to be doing. The other thing that Spencer really focuses on is this whole like on the sniper idea of of being afraid of someone, of someone just cutting you down from above. Which obviously kind of is, you know, more more of a thing with the drone stuff as well. But this idea of not even being good at firearms, but just having the threat of taking fire from somewhere that you can't see in terms of like knowing your terrain better than whatever invading force does and knowing how to set up spots where it's. That's less. You're less likely to get shelled, I mean. Yeah. And that's that's very, I mean this is very basic and old, you know, military doctrine, but this is like. You know the the ways a sniper can work in a dense urban environment is you have a large number of guys and they are trying to move to a specific area and if they take fire. That limits their options from forward movement unless they're willing to just risk getting hit, and generally they're not. And then you find yourself kind of holding up for time to take out the sniper, which can be an involved and difficult process for just a single sniper. And yeah, that's definitely a thing like that. You don't have to be the ******* Chris Kyle in order to effectively work in that kind of situation. Now, what makes that effective? Because if you just have a sniper attacking police officers or soldiers in an urban environment. Generally speaking, there exists the ability to deal with that pretty ******* quickly. But if you have small units of snipers, kind of oftentimes just like civilians with hunting rifles who are doing that within the context of soldiers also being resisted by other soldiers and dealing with like an active combat environment, then yeah, a handful of people with rifles can be a significant force multiplier. It's a lot extra to deal with, and I suspect **** like that has been part of why you have seen. Cities like Mariupol resist so long under overwhelming force is that there's a pretty wide comprehensive amount of of resistance going on in those areas. And yeah, a single person if they're not like the only person engaging with the enemy, and that in that area can make it a lot harder for them to effectively respond to contact. I think the the last thing I wanted to kind of get into today is the whole, I mean this this kind of ties into the weaponized on reality aspect of being like all of these people who are giving you know all this solicited advice on Twitter.com, whether they be John Spencer, whether they be, you know the wife of a former marine, whether they be there we go tank mechanics, whatever. Like everyone's everyone's doing this now and it's all seen as like completely valid, right. We're giving instructions on how to do urban insurgency online and this is totally fine. Yet when you know, when information from Hong Kong gets used in protest kind of propaganda for urban insurgency instructions, then it's like international like organized, like terrorism. Yeah. Yeah. If you're telling people how to use ******* laser pointers, yeah. So like the the selective thing help, you're like, OK, we're allowed to tell people how to do urban insurgency right now, but when this is over or in the past, it's it's it's not allowed. Right. You have John Spencer, who I doubt would be giving. I I doubt it was a big fan of any Black Lives Matter demonstration of just I don't know personally but but I mean I certainly doubt was giving people instructions on how to disable Bearcats. Yeah I don't think he was giving instructions on how to ambush police officers or anything like that. So you had this whole like coalition of people on Twitter.com giving all this advice out how to do urban insurgency and whatever. While also you know whenever something is is happening like that, where they live it is that that is obviously bad and obviously not a good thing. Whether you know for you know, you could talk about whatever, like ideological Dr people have. But I think this is just an interesting thing worth talking about in terms of, yeah, how we will, we will view, you know this type of discussion of urban insurgency is always like a bad thing, right. It's always this thing that like terrorists do, you're helping, you know, you're you're always, you're rooting for the destruction of civilization or whatever. Then it just takes a few things for you to get, you know, an instructor at West Point to start, you know, posting threads to help sell his new book on these very same topics. Yeah. I mean there there's I think a little degree to which I might push back on some of that, not necessarily with Spencer, but I can't remember during like the Fed War in Portland, which was the the probably the part of Portland that like most people are aware of when you had a bunch of federal agents snatching people, it was the most warlike part of the summer you you had for this brief period of time a lot of folks because I I took that was giving out advice on Twitter to respond to and handle police munitions that went, I think that certainly went more viral. Then it would have gone in a different sort of situation. That's true. And and I think you do have, I think, part of what you're saying in Ukraine, and this is just sort of a general thing that happens online, is when something, a a news moment blows up in a way that is like big enough, it disrupts the norms. And suddenly, for a while, you can talk about things like how to disable government armored vehicles and fight like, yeah, you know, reality suddenly becomes so much bigger and what is, what is acceptable discourse suddenly expands. Out much bigger than what it usually does, it becomes a lot more permeable. And I I do think broadly like we're sitting on Spencer here because he's frustrating to me, but I I do think that like really, really broadly, it's good when stuff like it's good for people to think about. Even if I don't, I I certainly don't. I certainly do not want there to be. I don't want anyone listening to this who has not experienced urban Warfare 2 experience urban warfare. I will, absolutely, I will. I will say that right now, but it is not bad for people. To be thinking about and talking about the ways in which a civilian population can do damage to an invading, organized military force, that's not a bad discourse to exist, and it's not bad for people to be thinking in this way. And it's not bad for the. People who are potentially in power to have that in the back of their heads, you know. Yeah. I mean like the one of the first things you sent me when I started working for it could happen here was the was the city's not neutral piece on on what urban combat is is hard. So yeah it's horrible. It's definitely it's the thing that. Yeah. It's it's always, it's it's worth thinking about, but you don't want to. It's we're not trying to wish it on anybody. And I think you can you can look at all of like the weirdos on the Internet who have like, you know this. You know there's some degree of like not seems to have done this, but also just like random other people who've like flown to Ukraine to help join fight off the Russians because they think it's going to be cool and they'll be able to work with the Assad battalion or something who then get stationed to basically be cannon fodder because they're this like 20 year old from America who's never actually held a gun before. I I hope that one's true. It it it is just like a post. Because if it's true, then it means that someone in the Ukrainian government is consciously making the choice to use Onabe Azov veterans as cannon fodder. Which is very funny, funny, extremely funny. If it's happening right, we don't that's not, that's not confirmed. Certainly a a percentage, probably not an insignificant percentage of dudes who have done shown up to do this have like been like, Oh my God, what the ****? Some of them I'm sure just didn't have much experience. I'm sure some of them were dudes who had experience being on the side. With overwhelming air power and we're like, oh **** but you also do. It's fair to note, like, the the stories of people like having, like, freaking out, go viral. There's plenty of videos of, like, mixed foreigner units in heavy combat, including a bunch where you can hear US and British dudes like, finally Russia. Like, because a lot. There's a lot of people who have legitimate, like, hard combat experience who have have volunteered to go do this. Yeah, the the one thing I also do find kind of uncomfortable is, I mean. Not it's not super unlike what we're doing now, though we're trying to come at it from a more like critical standpoint. But like Americans who maybe have gone to a protest or two, but no real experience, just going on Twitter.com and talking about how they think beating an army is best done, how that works. Yeah. Yeah. Well and like you know, if if you look at like the OK like. The the times that like, the US has actually attempted to fight its own army. Right. Like the the last time this happened was the LA riots in 92 and they got their **** pushed in like it it it went really, really badly for the people on the street. Really ugly. There was a lot of bodies. Yeah. And like and you know, and part part of what, you know and I, I will say like part of what's I guess useful about this is like, yeah, this is I mean this is a thing that is, I mean I wasn't alive for it, but like a boat like Robert. Who are alive for that? Like, like that, that that is a thing, like in living memory. The army has been deployed, Ohh yeah, on American soil. And one of the things that went wrong is that the people on the ground had basically no tax. And this is something you can read from, from, like, the Army's accounts of this is that, like, the the people that they were dealing with had no practical experience whatsoever. They did. They had no conception of tactics, and the army was able to very quickly crush them. Yeah. And, you know, if if you don't want that to happen to you. Yeah. Like there, there, there, there is a way in which this stuff. Is important to be thinking about, but also like, dear God, that is the worst ****. Like, yeah, you're gonna put that here. Here's what's what's important to understand about that anytime you are dealing with. Any kind of conflict like physical conflict that involves violence and and that can be as narrow as like a protest. You know where people are squaring off with the cops or an actual like full on military conflict. The winner is the person who is most disruptive to the enemies autoloop, right, observe, Orient, decide, act. That's the loop that you go through when you are trying to decide how to act in any kind of a kinetic situation on the streets in protest. One of the things where I where we have all seen people be the most successful against cops is when you change the rules on them is when they are in a situation they did not anticipate being in because they tend to freak out and they tend to respond. Effectively, right, you do not want to, if you see them preparing to act in a certain way because they believe you are doing a specific thing, you ideally do not then do the thing they are preparing for because that is a situation in which you're going to end up battering yourself against a riot line, right. That's what the, that's the core of the move, be like water thing from Hong Kong is the idea that do not engage them in a way they are prepared for and that that that is a that is a piece of advice. Broadly speaking, that's just as true in a war as it is in a protest situation. Do not make them on their own terms. What this also means is that. You don't want to be playing by a set of rules that are ineffective in the situation you're getting into. So like when you had protesters in 93 in LA engaging with the military, they were playing by the rules of how do you deal with cops? And suddenly they were dealing with soldiers. And boy howdy, are the rules different, you know? And likewise, the Russian military was trained and blooded to a large extent in conflicts in places like Syria, where again, they had air supremacy, they had artillery supremacy, they were backing the state that was fighting against these insurgents, and so their soldiers gained the combat experience they had with every advantage in their pocket. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military, if you're talking really about like, because we've talked about a lot of little things that have. Maybe had an impact on the conflict here and there. One of the things that had the biggest impact on how the Ukrainian military has responded and and comported itself in this war so far versus the Russian is 4 years. Eight years since this conflict started, the Ukrainian military has developed a posture of having soldiers sign up for these brief contracts, sending and rotating them through the battleground in the Donbass, so that when this war started they had a huge number, more than anyone else in Europe, of combat veterans. Who got their experience fighting against a peer adversary when they did not have supremacy and artillery or air support when they engaged them? And then the Ukrainian military very intelligently spread these guys out amongst their, their, their units, which is what you wanted. Any military is going to want to like, spread out your veterans among units because you're not everyone's not going to be a combat veteran, but you want some guys who know what it's like to be shot at and every kind of unit that might get shot at because they stiff in the back of everybody else. And this is what so again, when when the war started to get back to what I'm saying, the Russian military entered preparing for a police action like the ones they carried out in Chechnya, like what they did have done for Assad in Syria and they got a war and the Ukrainians came into that fight prepared for a war. So you you. I think one of the things that is important when you look at consider any kind of possibility of being involved in a conflict is you want to know what are the rules your opponent. Is going in, ready to abide by, right? What are the things they are expecting to happen? What is kind of the rubric with which they are looking at, what they expect to occur in this conflict? And by God, you want to be going in there with a different one, you know, and that again, depending on how you do it, that can go badly or that can go really well. Because like I said, if you're if you're going and prepared to fight cops and you wind up dealing with soldiers, that's not great, but if you have prepared, if you are. Able to kind of lock your enemy into the kind of conflict that they're not ready to face, then generally speaking, you'll win. We have 20 years of experience in the War on Terror of more or less that going down. Yeah, there's a, there's a, there's a good example of this also with. The like, with the Idfs are war against Hezbollah in 2006, where it's like the IDF is a really good army. But they've spent like, I don't know, like, they spent like 40 years basically just sort of like, you know, there's been about 40 years doing police actions. Yeah. And then they run into Hezbollah and they expect Hezbollah is going to just, you know, they made Lebanon trails and six. And their expectation is that Hezbollah is going to go to ground, they're going to do a guerrilla war. And instead Hezbollah, like, you know, they go into bunkers, they stand and fight and the IDF gets smashed and like, you know, they they. They. Pull out and they spend much time just like murdering people from the air, but like they don't win the war and like that, that happens a lot, especially with these armies that are used to dealing, used to doing these sort of police action things and they lose to enemies that like. The, the, the the fact that the IDF lost, awarded the Hezbollah is like. By like balance of forces, it's like, this is inconceivable. Like, how on Earth could they possibly lose this? But it's like, yeah, this stuff happens because they weren't. Like, yeah, they they they were, they were they were doing this police action thing and they weren't used to, they hadn't fought an enemy that was actually going to stick and fight them since, like, the 70s. Yeah, I mean, a lot of the great defeats in military history are because of a force. Came into a situation expecting a different kind of fight than what they got. That was a part of what happened to Napoleon when he invaded Russia, right? And the Russians did not respond the way that he expected a state to respond to having their capital occupied and effectively kind of starved him out. There was other **** going on there. Attrition had really depleted the the the French military before it got there. But but yeah yeah how how would how I would want to wrap up? This is basically saying like. I mean, all of that stuff regarding how this war is really prompted a lot of things that were seemingly more unexpected and seemingly thought to be previously more impossible in terms of how fast both rhetoric around these types of conflicts can spread and morph. And the role in which, like disinformation and misinformation is used for, you know, both both sides to to to gain, to gain ground on the other and how. You know, relating back to it could happen here is term in terms of like the urban crumbles or like, you know, the small, small, like urban collapses and, you know, escalating, escalating, like inter intercountry conflict in various places around the world, how fast certain things can happen that we once thought are kind of more impossible or improbable. At the very least. You know how, how fast you can get people giving advice on how to take out armored vehicles on Twitter.com, how fast you can get, you know, people like people who are, you know, seemingly. Are part, you know, seemingly not, not tied to certain to certain, like ideas or ideologies giving out, you know, information on types of types of ways to resist invading or oppressing forces. It is a. It is an interesting kind of. It's like case studies the wrong word because it is it's it's obviously having horrible effects with, you know thousands and thousands of people being slaughtered. But it it is it is intriguing to watch how, you know in terms of like the microcosm and macrocosm idea of of eventually you know conflict. If conflict breaks out in other places around the world in the next in the next few years. How our current like social media landscape how are going to rolls around. Like urban conflict, like urban conflict and all of these things kind of interact with each other and how we view. Yeah what is? What is likely and what we you know who who you're gonna predict's gonna do X thing based on people invading a city that is not theirs. Yeah. I mean, I think in terms of stuff that that people can take out of this. You know, without necessarily needing to prepare to fight an urban insurgency, one of them is that anytime big **** happens and and more big **** is going to keep happening for us, you have a window of opportunity through which you can get things across to people that they would not normally listen to. And that is a really important time. And it helps to think about the kind of situations that might occur and the kind of things that you want to push out into the world, because this is this is true. Climate change, as it is with war, right, we're going to have more disasters. And when those disasters hit, it will be easier to get people to talk about radical solutions to things like climate change, and it will be easier to do things like get out in the ******* streets and get large groups of people agitated. You know, we're we're at some point ******* God willing, we will have the climate change equivalent to what happened in 2020, where something so terrible and ****** ** happens that a lot of people take to the streets. And hopefully we will succeed to a greater extent in forcing actual change than maybe we did in 2020. Yeah, but but that's that's something like that could very well happen. And so that's one of the lessons I think you can take out of this again, without sort of obsessing over military technology or getting into gunfights with ******* soldiers, is Ukraine, is is hard evidence that that is the way the media environment works. You get these moments where you can really push some wild. **** to people. That's that's why I like the whole uprising or insurrection model more than the revolution model because the uprising model posits that basically you have, you know, base based society based reality, you know, always at like the baseline level. Then uprising happens. It's like it's like shooting up onto a graph suddenly so many things that are just outside the normal way that we view, you know, systems, the governance systems of, you know, social control. So many things become so much more possible in this like heightened place and that's what the uprising does. It gets things that were suddenly. That were once so far away and once just only in the imagination. It almost it makes them so much closer, right? Yeah. There was this feeling in like July of 2020 during the height of the Fed War being like so many things feel possible in this one moment, nothing is true and all is permitted like you can. You can get away with some ****. Yeah. And so using the uprising model, yeah, it can really and or or the OR the instruction model, like, it can really. It can really make things feel so much more possible than what they usually feel like. And then there's, you know, brief moments in time where massive social change can happen. And, you know, you have to learn how to recognize when this moments are happening and then organize effectively when they do happen. Yeah. Yep. Well, I believe that does it for us today. Yeah. I we've been, we've been wanting to, you know, talk about this topic for a while in terms of, you know, one of the very first things that sort of happening was various. Governments giving guides out on where to attack armored vehicles with small tops. You're like, oh wow, this is this is intriguing to have a government giving out instructions. This is probably has some implications on how we view you know, collapse and in a in a general concept. So yeah, ever since that's what happening we wanted to talk about it. So yeah, it certainly leaves us with a lot to think about and I I didn't get to go on my rant about the structure of the Russian military visa vie their lack of an NCO corps. But maybe we'll talk about that in the future. I'm sure we'll have. Have time to stuck with this in the future. Well, everyone. I don't know. Do do something productive. Yeah, do something productive. I don't charge armored vehicles. Don't charge armored vehicles with paint. But maybe think about the different things you would like to get a bunch of people suddenly radicalized on Twitter to do in the immediate wake of a horrible climate disaster in which large numbers of folks are suddenly willing to take to the streets seemingly overnight. Maybe be thinking about that and and trying to. Talking with your buddies about it and being like, hey, if everybody gets out in the streets again, what kind of information do I want to spread? What would be good to get people talking about in that instance when they're suddenly listening for, I don't know, about two weeks. Feels like you get about two weeks, too. Honestly. Yeah, about two weeks. Yeah. Well, and in the wake of the new IPCC report we have, we certainly have a lot to think about. No. All right. Bye. Bye. It's goblin mode. Welcome to it could happen here, a podcast that is today in Goblin mode. You know what it's about. You've heard us say it like about 20 million times. But yeah, I I'm your host, Christopher Wong, and with me today we have Juniper, who is a. Really? Twitter shitposts extraordinary extraordinaire. On to discuss language, media, cultures and nature of reality and goblin mode. Jennifer, welcome to the show. Hi, how's it going? It's going good. It's going much better since Goblin wrote. Ceased control of the world. We are now living in the age of the year of Goblin, though as the Drew Barrymore show said this morning, apparently. It's been quite a time I didn't realize just posting would like just posting would influence so much around me. I guess. I don't know. It's been an interesting time for sure. Yeah. So so I wanted to talk to you about sort of the absurdity that is goblin mode. And I I want to hold off on talking about what goblin mode like is or isn't for a bit, because I think that's actually weirdly the less interesting part, and I want to start with instead the story of how goblin mode became like a thing. And why I am reading? I I I keep, I keep like every every time I look for more goblin mode headlines, there's more goblin mode headlines like there is. Yeah, I think my favorite so far is from Bloomberg. It's a diesel. Diesel prices have gone goblin mode. Forget crude oil. This could be the real energy emergency. Yeah, that that is by far one of my favorites too. People have like to, if you search for that one is it's what you said, but then it adds on thanks to the Ukraine war. An official Bloomberg headline with Goblin Mode and the Ukraine War. I got to say that that's just by far my favorite one for multiple reasons. The other part of three that's extremely funny is that I so the people who are doing these articles, I keep getting asked someone if someone is asking like an intern to find a picture of a goblin and they keep posting pictures of Orcs, which is like enormously funny to me. OK, so I'm not sure if they're searching to get those. Yeah, I don't know. It's it's really incredible. OK, so yeah, I guess I should. So we should start from the beginning of this story, which is? Yeah, can you talk about your shitpost and, uh, what you were thinking at the time when you made a **** post that randomly like has has had months long ripple effects on the world? Sure, I think you were right though. Like the the the post itself. And that's like the least interesting part of all of goblin mode in my opinion. As well, like just seeing the ripple effect is what's been super interesting and really funny to me. But sure yeah, the post. Basically, I think it was like the day that. Kanye West and Julia Fox, which just a quick note. I I've never heard of Julia Fox before any of this so I just like sometimes if like you know if Twitter is all talking about one thing, the most recent thing being like the Will Smith slap like everyone's talking about that. So whenever like some like big event like that is happening and everyone's posting about it, I try to like think of some creative different post I can do you know just to get in on the the discourse or whatever you want to call it. So I just I I really don't know what compelled me to make a fake headline. Basically, I just, I just decided to search. I think I was driving home from work and I just decided to search like Kanye West, Julia Fox, and I just found the first headline and I just edited it to say Kanye West doesn't like it when Julia Fox Goes Goblin mode basically, and that's why they broke up. That was that was the whole essence of the of the post itself and I really didn't think too deeply about it beyond just making the post and it just it caught fire with like, I I guess what we would probably call normy. Normally Twitter like people that aren't even like necessarily leftists or anything like us. It's just really caught a hold with. The whole of Twitter and pretty much like most of the people that saw it, you can you can go back and check their replies. Most people think it's real at the time, like people quote. Lying about it. I'll think it's real. And no one, like, hardly anyone verified it. It was like kind of insane to see. Yeah. And it could just. You could just. Yeah. I think it's funny because you could, you could you could just Google this, right? Like, you could just Google it and it would be like, oh, wait, hold on, this isn't real. But like, no one did that. And it was like. Yeah, you could have just easily searched out the the main part of the headline like Kanye West, Julia, Fox. It was literally the second or third headline search. You could have found the same website, same author, but seeing that it wasn't the the correct headline. Although that does remind me when there was an initial article about my post. I forget who wrote it at this point. Yes, that's right. It was the focus they they they for some reason it made the assumption when they decided when they decided to talk about my tweet that the the website. Like the headline that I made made-up the original website, like edited that part out. So they thought that my headline was real, but it was just added and taken away and changed. So that also affected what some people thought about it too. Like, they thought a lot of people thought it was really real. That's that's what's insane to me about this. And like and like, like vogue, like picked this up. This was just like a thing that that, like everyone believed was real. Everyone was just reporting on it. As news, and there's so much like. There's so much like incredible stuff about this. Like part of it, you know? So. What, what? One of the articles that that gets published about this, like, after. So like, there's this initial. Where everyone is running around going like, Oh my God, it was goblin mode. And then Julia Fox has to make a statement that's like, no, there's there was no goblin. No, no one said this. Yeah, yeah, that's that's the interesting about, like, the evolution of goblin mode, like stemming from my post specifically is at first the coverage was talking about whether my post was real or fake and talking about that aspect of it. But as time has gone on, it's kind of evolved away from that. Like you, you won't see any gobbling mode article talk about the original like Julia Fox tweet. That jump started this whole thing anymore. It's kind of like shifted away from that initial, that initial post, which I found really interesting, that that's what's sustaining this. I feel like I wanted to read a I wanted to read a passage from one of the I don't know why I'm calling it a passage. It's just like a sentence, but read part of one of the articles that that came from the the initial surge, which is from the street where a company called Highsnobiety. I don't tell me if I'm pronouncing that wrong. I well, OK, that's not true. Twitter. If I'm pronouncing that wrong, my Twitter is at irido. OK, yell there. Yeah, but yeah, I, I want, I want to read this quote because it's interesting. So the article they had this whole thing that's like, OK, they they get to the denial. They post your tweet about like, Oh my God, I can't believe Julia Fox had to respond to this. And then they say, I'm not saying Fox was lying, but wearing a borderline not suited for work dress, a purse trimmed in human DNA and DIY eye makeup to an Oscars after party is goblin mode to a tee. And and I think this brings up an interesting question, which is to what extent was goblin mode real in the 1st place before your sort of meme two went went viral? So, so, like, the phrase itself, you mean like, yeah, yeah. Like at what part of the phrase existed before my post? Yeah. And I think it was also like, what? What were you thinking? Like, did you have, like, a conception of what goblin mode like was before you made the post? So, so the only thing I had in my mind at that point, it's stems from specifically do you know the the user on Twitter? Hottie pants? Do you happen to know that guy? I don't think so, no. He goes by. I think his ad is like punish pants or something like that. But anyways he around that time he was posting a lot about like goblins. He was he would post a lot about like goblin time and like it's oh it's goblin time and he would just make like a bunch of just like posts like that. So goblins were on my mind at that point and then I forget his username, but his I think his username is. Uncontrolled. I forget his user. I'll have to tell you afterwards or something. I I don't remember off the top of my head, but he he made a post that went viral. Something to the effect of like, Your Honor, I was going goblin mode at that time. You know that format that's like you're in court. But yeah. Excuses like, oh, I'm going goblin mode it really in in my head that's really the only reference I had so I didn't make up the phrase. A lot of people think I I made-up the phrase goblin mode, which I I definitely did not. But I I think just there was a lot of people posting about goblins around that time, like early mid March. And I just in my mind I was like, oh, you know, I'm just going to say goblin mode on this, this **** post about Julianne Fox. I don't, I really don't know why. It's just the first thing that popped in my head and whenever something pops in my head like a tweet idea and I laughed to myself, I'm like, OK, I should post it. I don't know. And it seems to work. Did you end up so one of the things, one of the things I think is really interesting is that right? So OK, so you you have you have your first wave of like it's the goblin mode thing, and then you have your second wave of articles that are trying to explain what goblin mode is. And I was wondering if if you'd see if you'd actually even seen the post I just I'd linked to. The chat there was like like the the the the thing I'd seen from Goblin mode before dislike all started was dislike Reddit was someone on Twitter had a tweet that went viral about goblin mode and it was about just like someone. It was about this Reddit post if like someone creeping around their house and pretending and acting like a goblin. Yes. So I didn't see that until I made my post, like in my initial government post because I think someone linked it under my post and I was like, oh **** is this like a thing? Like, this is actually like a thing. And then it started popping up more because people saw that reply and we're like, oh **** this is like, actually a thing. And to my surprise, that like, totally worked out for me. Like everything kind of just came together and it really insane fashion. Oh, that's another tweet to the one that you launched. The, the. That's what I was going. That's when I was in goblin. That that came before my tweet too. Yeah. Had you, had you seen that one before you made it? I follow her. I I followed belgore. I might have seen it. I don't remember. I remember the the other one I was referencing before. I I might have seen this one now. Yeah. Like I think like that was what was interesting to me about this. Was that like. The moment it went viral, there was this whole sort of like. Attempts because there was an attempt to figure out what it is and then there was an attempt to like back project a history on it. And so you get a lot of these articles. You get a lot of people like, I don't know, like I talk to people about this and they would like. You know, OK, so they do this thing and it's like, OK, so they they, they go to know your meme, they look at the the Google trends and then like the people sort of like. You know, OK, like there was an urban dictionary thing from like 2009 that was like a completely like a weird sex thing was a completely unrelated to. This, but it was interesting to me the way that people like. OK. So you you have this thing that goes viral, right? And like, you're just ******* around like there's no act. Like it just sounds cool, but then. Like, yeah, there's the extent to which it becomes this, like, you know it it it gets into the sort of, like, virality machine. And so you have all these journalists who like, have to cover it, right? Because, like, you know, the way the journalism bottle works is, OK, so you, you, you you have this trend, right? People can see it trending. You see something on Twitter, you do like four sets of Googles and you write an article about it. And it's like, well, OK, because they're trying to capitalize on on the clicks as fast as possible. So when someone Googles what is goblin mode, it's like, OK, your thing comes up. But it's interesting because it's like, it's like they they have to fill the content in because there isn't any. Yeah, yeah. That's what was interesting about the specific that that first one, the focus article, it was just a lot of like filling in where there was really nothing. Yeah. Yeah. And then and then like after that, like all the other articles are like, like you, you get to see this proliferation of sort of of how the media works where it's like, OK, so you have the initial article, the initial article, Google some stuff and it's basically just making it up. Because they're trying to like, give coherence or like give a meeting to an empty signifier, and then after that it's like all of the other articles are just copying off of the first article, and you get this like oroborus of like. Everyone just is repeating the same thing over and over again and none of them seem to understand that like it was not the thing that they originally talking about was just kind of. I mean, I could say that was funny friends, yeah. Like that's really all it was and it's it is interesting to see how it is just able to proliferate off of as you as you were saying they just Google search urban they find an urban dictionary and it's like, I'm putting that in my article Urban dictionary is A is a good source. Like, I I think this is. I mean, I think there's like a few interesting things here, one of which is about how, yeah, like, I I had this before. Like, I'm not sure if she talked about this on the show. So the day of the Atlanta shooting at Garrison, and I spent a lot of time trying to like track down the shooter. And there was there was like, fake Facebook post that was going around. And, you know, Garrison, I had spent, like, a lot of time looking for this guy. And we realized this guy just doesn't have a Facebook, right? And so we were like, it's like, I was like, look at this. Like, I saw this fake. The person was like, oh, this is fake. And then, like, a bunch of a bunch of, like, a bunch of, like, actual journalists like, found, you know, people like, journalists have been passing around the fake Facebook post as like, oh, this is a post alleged to be a thing. And then and then suddenly they were like, oh, hey, this is fake. Hey, you can see all these things. Like, oh, look, it's like. You know, like there was like the the. It it was pretty clear of it, like his face had been copied and pasted into like a thing that's it was supposed to look like, a Facebook post said there was all these like minor details about that were just wrong. It was like, OK, so this isn't real. But the the media cycle of it was like, all of these people saw my Twitter post that was like, this is fake and then they just wrote a story off of it and like never mentioned that. They literally got it from like me ******* around on Twitter like it was like. And and it's like and it's like you look at this stuff and and. The the extent to which these people are just like these people who are journalists, who are you supposed to be a journalist, are just like woefully unprepared. Even people, even who people who are extremely online, like, wind up being woefully unprepared to deal with. Like anything. Like, they're woefully unprepared to deal with anything of any complexity or deal or like. Figure out that they're being like hoaxed. Yeah, no, you're you're you're really right about that. I mean, I mean, I think this it's, I don't know what I would call this phenomena, but it it it there's definitely something there where it's like they will see something like, I don't know, I don't know what it is about. Specifically Twitter. That like, I feel like that's where a lot of people get news, just in general. But I feel like a lot of journalists just assume anything that they see. Maybe I'm over generalizing, but if they see something on Twitter, even if it's like a joke, like they'll just assume it's real or something I'm not. I'm not entirely sure. Like it's super easy to make a fake post. I do it all the time. I make all sorts of like fake fake things. Most of them are more obvious than goblin, but I guess, but I don't know that there. I don't want to say journalists are too trusting. Yeah, well. I will say like there are times when it's genuine. Like when you first started posting the headlines of like the actual Twitter articles that were about goblin mode. I'd like. I didn't even bother looking because I just assumed they were fake. Yeah. A lot of people told me like. I think specifically that the the one that like the most of my followers realized that they weren't fake anymore was the one that was like. As a disabled woman Dublin mode, this goblin mode trend is really problematic. And people, people decided to look that one up and were like, oh, it's real. And then everyone was like, wait, where all these other ones that you were posting real and I'm like, yes, they were all real. Julia Fox 1 all of them have been real. Agencies have been, or all these news organizations have been writing all this and saying **** about. Nothing. Yeah. And there's there's, you know, I think this one is funny just because like, yeah, I mean like it's goblin mode, right. Like it's it's it's it's just funny like there's no like you know but but I mean I think there's an interesting thing that happens with with the the the specifically the disabilities because disabilities 1 isn't like it's basically about something completely different that the goblin mode thing spawned which is that like like the the other thing that happened with Goblin mode was that. OK, so people saw goblin mode and then particularly on like Tik T.O.K. I I don't, I don't know if they knew where it came from, but like people like people turned goblin mode into an actual thing where like it became this thing about like, I like I I think I think this is also influenced by like. Some of the like shitpost answers that you gave the media people that were like Gogglebox could be whatever you want. It's when you aren't awake of the pet debt, or like you're not doing your makeup in the pandemic or whatever like. Yeah, but but but it's interesting that, like, feels like that. I really don't know if the tick tock thing came before or after. I only really heard about after Tick Tock. From what I've seen, it's. It seems like it actually became a thing after, and that was really interesting to me too, because it was like. It's this way in which like. You know, OK, so you start running into these sort of like fundamental problems about the nature of reality where it's like, OK, so we made this thing that is fake, right? But then it became real because enough people, enough people believed it was real that it it turned into a thing that people actually used to describe stuff. And then, you know, that's how you get to, like, you get a bunch of people complaining about how, like, there was an article that was like, the great resignation and go and Goblin mode are like the two great threats to employers as they try to. Yeah, people back to work like. Yeah, it's it's it's like the goblin mode like self manifested into reality. Like I feel like a lot of journalists are saying like people being lazy and like you know how the whole meme of like, Oh no one wants to work anymore. I feel like a lot of people are trying to like attributing like, oh, not wanting to work and being lazy to goblin mode and it's it's self manifested through the media or tiktok or whatever. Whatever it might be. I actually don't know, but it's it's become a thing now and in a really strange way. Yeah, yeah. And I think, I think this is like, this is an interesting way of looking like, you know, like, this was the whole sort of like. Like in, in, in, in terms of like. OK, in insofar as posting can actually affect reality, which it can, but not as much as people seem to think like there are. There are. There are people who like, seem to think that, like, the three letter agencies care what they post on Twitter, which is like, it's like, no, no, hold on, hold on. If if we post correctly, interventions won't happen. It's like if you seen the CIA like, like, like there's there's this whole thing where it's like, you know, I mean this, OK, this, this is going to be the like. Someone's gonna pull this out of context and be like, oh, hey, look at our debt crisis. But like, you know, like, this is kind of what happened with Trump, which, like, this is this is like what the meme magic was. Like if if you just meme something long enough, you can kind of turn it into reality by just sort of convincing enough people that it's real, that it and and, you know, and once you've done that, like you, you have effectively made the thing real. Right. It was interesting about this one is, is this like, it's like a lot of people like do that on purpose, right? Like this is how like this is like a lot of propaganda stuff that works like this. Or like, you know, this is like what the the the meme like 4 Chan Trump ******** was like, you did this like completely like as a joke on accident. Yeah, I didn't I didn't attend this. I just, I just wanted to make a one off joke. I didn't think that would happen, but you're you're you're totally right about the whole like I don't know how much like the Trump meme magic was really a self manifestation of him kind of just winning the election and becoming popular with a certain group of people. But it definitely feels like like that self manifestation of like posting to certain extent really can become real if it just like hits a certain zeitgeist of some sort and like they just get. I I think a crucial part of it is it needs to get. Picked up by the media and taken seriously by journalists specifically because the, the, the thing that really I feel like broke the camel's back for goblin about. Specifically was the first journalist that reached out to me because she wanted to interview me about the whole the whole experience like and and her coverage of it was about the whole fake main thing and then how it became sort of a thing and in that aspect. And then from there they all a lot of different journalists and websites referred back to that article and that seems to be the the one that everyone's referring to now is the The Guardian article about it. That seems to be like the media's favorite piece about it, which is the one that talks more about it being like a lifestyle trend. And I I I think that's where it really went off is when like some people. Took in the Tik T.O.K aspect of it and kind of manifested it that way. I think there's a couple of interesting political consequences of this, one of which is that like. Like Twitter as a platform isn't really. I mean, since Trump got banned, it's kind of like it hasn't really been where most like. Stuff is happening like Tik T.O.K is exploding. I mean, you still have like, the boomers on Facebook. Like, it hasn't, like, it hasn't been the sort of, like, driving force of politics that normally is. But the one thing that it has is that all of the journalists are still on there. And that means that, like, yeah, like, there's all these weird political consequences. Like, yeah, you can sort of like, like, you can just sort of will things into existence by convincing journalists that it's real. And that's. I think really scary in a lot of ways because you know, like the people who are really, really good at this sort of manipulation or right wingers and right wingers could have sort of like, like, I don't know like I I people probably mad about me for this. Like one of the things that I remember from like. God was 2016. Was like there was this whole discourse about like, uh, like. There's a bunch of, like, all a bunch of people are really mad about, like they're being a black Stormtrooper in Star Wars. And God, yeah, the whole the whole thing was interesting about. It was like, yeah, I think it was. Yeah, yeah, there, there there's. The thing was interesting about. It was like. So I know people who, like, who, like, looked into it beforehand, and it was like, the only people who were talking about this, it was like people who were confused because they thought that storm troopers were all clones and were like, wait, why wait, what? And then and the other thing, the other people who were mad about this was Stormfront. Right. And storefront was able to like, turn this into like like a a discourse like, they able to, they able to convince journalists like, this was a real thing that like a significant number of people mad about. And then it like actually turned into a thing that a significant number of people are mad about because you can sort of just like. Like you, you can start these like panics and like. This is one of the things we were talking about in our trans episodes where. You know, a a fairly small network of well funded people can cause like enormous swaths of the US to just lose their **** and get extremely violent and get like, you know, and and and this specific thing they're mad about changes like. Pretty frequently, but you can just sort of like. If if you're able to manipulate the media well enough and you know that there's other ways to do this, like, you know, you could do it by, like, weird memes. You could do it by, you know, being the cops. Or just like having press releases that you send out. You can you can do it through like, sort of like astroturf, like. I know you have like an Astroturf intellectual. Like what's his name? Barbara info? But it it's it's it's interesting to me that like they they all seem to work, like the the pathway through it all seems to be very similar, which is you. What you do is you convince about your media people if something is real and then once once they start taking it seriously it sort of manifests itself into reality. Yeah, no, that that is what I realized. What was happening. Like I one of my initial points that I was trying to make after the whole goblin mode thing. After the first article came out, I was like, it really made me realize, like how potent. Fake I I hate saying this phrase just because it's become such like a nothing sort of phrase, but like fake news how how easy it is to just like, what if what if instead of goblin mode, I decided, like maybe let's say I'm like a crazy right winger and I had this weird zeitgeist moment just causing a panic about like, trans people and I I made like a fake tweet like that. You would we see that happen all the time? Like trans people, people, a lot of people hate us and it would be super easy to put it in the right community. Make this fake tweet or a fake headline and people right wing or specifically will go wild and it'll really influence the discourse. I mean look at the the current I mean it's it's kind of over now but the the the last thing was last week the swimmer the the trans swimmer that won the women's competition. I mean the amount of vitriol that was able to be created over that just like imagine what like as you said like a well funded tight network of but I don't know but I. For lack of a better phrase, like fake news creators, just all they need to do is put something on Facebook. The boomers see it, and then it's over. One of the things I learned about, like, well, I was doing research for, weirdly, an episode about Reverend Moon, was that, like, people figured, so this is sort of like, this is like how the Republicans came to power. Like, they figured out you could do **** like this and like, Robert Fieri, like in in, like, in, like the 60s figured out that, like, if you just, if you sent. Like, you could just send letters to like, like they were, I guess weren't boomers. That way if you just send letters to old people that would say stuff like, I Planned Parenthood is harvesting baby fetuses, you could just get the really mad. And it's like, and it's funny, you know, in the 60s, like he's doing this like by mail, right? Like he he, he is mailing you a chain letter. Yeah, it became just like. Yeah, yeah. It's like, just like, it's like, it's because you can watch them invent this. And then it's like, Oh yeah, this guy was funded by, like, a weird cult guy who was trying to take over the world, who was being backed by the Korean CIA. And it's like. I don't know. It gets into this. Yeah, it all sort of comes back into this weird thing where. Yeah, I mean, I I like one of the sort of political transformations I've had. I started working here was like, I didn't take like sort of a similar what you were like. I didn't take the, like weaponized unreality, like fake news stuff like that, seriously. And then it was like. Right, you you cover it every day and it's like, Oh my God, like the like the the weird. Like like watching like 4 Chan, like invents the. I don't know if it was. I one of watching like just weird right wing like message boards and events, like the The Whole. Ukrainian bio lab thing, which like Greg Glenn Greenwald, now tweets about and like like like like the official state media of Russia and China are like talking about these bio labs and it's like. It's turned into this weird like thing where like, yeah, like actual countries with like nuclear weapons are like basically. Using shitposters as like, as like a way to do propaganda. It's it's like really weird. I don't know, it's just really weird and incredibly disturbing media space to live in. Yeah, it's it's like it's a weird synthesis of ship posters just posting online to like whatever audience and I guess like media of some sort and that maybe not like in the in the case with the the the bio lab. I don't know too much about that. Especially I'm blocked by Glenn Greenwald, so I don't see a lot of this stuff. Yeah. But yeah, no it's it's interesting how how kind of interlocked there and and to your point about earlier about the the whole Trump meme magic thing like, I I didn't take that too seriously at the time. Like in 2016 I was like oh, all these silly right wingers making these dumb memes like this isn't going to do anything. Like I I don't. I truly don't know if it really had an effect. But I mean, it's we can't really ignore the power that just simply manifesting something, even if it's artificial, can actually have a hold on certain people. As you're saying, with the mailing letters, I mean. If if you just say enough, if if you say something enough to the right type of person, they'll just believe it. I mean it's it's not hard to lie to people, as horrible as that is to say, it's really not that hard to lie to people. Yeah, like, I mean that's the the, the whole sort of like everyone yelling groomer, like, constantly about trans people. It's like, yeah, they just lied over and over again and like half the people who were like saying this stuff are actually pedophiles. And it doesn't matter because, you know, if you just like do this **** over and over again, you get these, you get just. Get these like hate bobs and it's. Yeah, no, the right wing, right wing, or specifically are phenomenal at creating hate mobs. Kind of incredible to witness. It's it's really scary, but it it's it's an incredible thing to see. There's not really an equivalent, I would say, on the left and in the way that. Even maybe in liberals there's an equivalent, but like on the on the left, there's not really like an equivalent to like some, like a mob. In that way, yeah, noticed. Yeah, I mean, I I think that's, you know, like, OK, there's always an extent to which like these stuff, the stuff has like material constraints. Like, you know, I talk about, like, constantly on this show, the fact that, like, this is like, this is the stuff that the deacons believed. And then they ran into the material constraints of the Iraq war and their entire project imploded. And, like, I mean, I think one of the reasons why this is easier for the right is that, like. There's there, there there's, there's, there's there's a, there's always a a political base for them that is there that they can access fairly easily, which is OK, they they, they they have access to like. You know that they have access to. Like it a a vast swath of petite bourgeois. They have access to a bunch of white business owners. They have access to like this. Sort of like. This, like white professional class, they have access to the sort of like white Gentry E Class and like those people can very easily be sort of like whipped into a frothing rage and like part of it is because like that, that's essentially that's what that's what their class interest is. That's what the sort of like, like their status of the racial, racial hierarchy like. Brings them to due already and you could sort of like. You know, if you just shuffle a bit of coal on it, you can you could make the fire go. Absolutely. And I mean it's talked about a lot I'm sure. But like the the the one thing that is really powerful is Fox News. Fox News will pick up literally anything. Like I saw I saw a post on Twitter just the other day a screenshot or just a just a picture of Fox News and they they cited the the libs of Tik T.O.K Twitter account. Yeah talking about school classrooms, it's like what is that like no like right wingers will just take the source of a random Twitter user that has a. That takes messages from random people that message them and then that's their news like that is just insane to to to to to to be fair to Fox News, which is not a thing I will ever say again. It it it wouldn't it wouldn't surprise me if that whole thing like so the the I don't know if you saw this. The lipstick talk person is like is is that that thing is run by an old Bush administration person. Really? I did not know that. Yeah. So it it wouldn't. I mean OK like there, there there's probably A3 and four chance that they just saw someone who's like trying to own the libs on Tik T.O.K. But there's like a one in four chance that like all the the old like Bush network people like know each other and that's why they're promoting it, which I know that's that's a good point. That's a good point. I mean they have to know that maybe, I don't know like it's it's it's one of those things where it's like it becomes. I don't know, it becomes really difficult to. To know the extent to which. They're gonna leaves. Yeah. Well, how organized they are into the extent to which they believe what they're saying because part of that like that becomes like, you know, if if if you know who's behind that, it becomes easier to sort of be like, Oh yeah, we're just sort of playing a game, but it could also just be like. No, this is this is content that we like. We were all too lazy to Google or just message the person to see who they are like. I mean, they they had the specifically, in this case, the the lives of Tiktok lady. They had her, like, on Fox News once talking. Oh yeah, yeah, I referenced her multiple times. So they they have to know her. Yeah, they do. Yeah, they. Yeah, that that's that. That's another technique that they do a lot, which is that they they they take someone who is like, you know, like in like an old part like who's literally a Republican operative. Right, and just launder them as an actor. It's actually the funny part is you you see like, like the New York Times and **** like, all the Main Street outlets do the same thing too, where it's like, oh, right. Yeah. Well, well, like at any time you see an article that is like, I was a Democratic voter, but I'm going to vote for the Republicans. I-9 times out of 10, that person is a Republican operative. And if you Google their name. And look hard enough, you can just find it. And it's like it's. And that's everything. You're right. Yeah, that's everything was like, I don't know whether they, whether they're just lazy and don't check or whether they're just sort of like doing this kind of like. I don't know what what what whether they're doing this on purpose because. I mean that, you know, that's the thing with journalism, like it's it's difficult to like when someone screws something up, it's it's difficult to determine a lot of times whether it's malice or whether it's they're just the only research they did was they googled something. Yeah. I feel like in the the the realm that we're talking about right now is like right wingers. I think a lot of it obviously is pretty malicious, a lot of the time at least. But in terms of like the whole Goblin mode situation where that that stemmed off just from like random like Guardian, whatever articles, I think, I think that was just more of like, oh, let's kind of try to explain this thing that is apparently now a trend and we're manifesting it in real time. I I do think there's a distinct, like a distinction between that. Except I feel there's no like like with gobbling mode there's there's no nefarious aspect of it, but it that like technique can be used in a very nefarious way. And I I think that manifests in in the most easy to waste, easiest to see ways in right wing media. I I do want to also mention that like the. Yeah I I think I said briefly like the people who do this the most often are cops, like the cops. And if you if you see a story about the police in a major newspaper and you see the same story in another paper, it's because they're basically printing a press release. And, you know, I mean this this gets used to like launder just straight up police lies about shootings they manufactured like the entire crime wave thing, like the whole thing. About people taking boxes off of trains. It's like, yeah, you look into it and it's like, yeah, there's these like the, there's sort of like shadowy police networks of people who are basically running. I mean, they have enormous budgets to do this, too. Like, they they have these enormous. Like departmental like public outreach budgets and those public outreach budgets are basically them running information OPS on us, which is incredibly fun. You know that that is absolutely like a real phenomena. I, I, I don't know too much about it, specifically in cops, but I know, I know. The White House does that all the time. They've done that forever, too, where it's like, oh, there's a White House leak and it's like, Oh no, they wanted people to see this. This is entirely intentional. Yeah. They they try all balloon stuff a lot. And that's, I don't know. And like, this is, this is. Goblin Mode is like the fun version of looking at how all of this stuff works, but this stuff happens with stuff that is extremely deadly and has real world consequences and. Yeah, it's it's some, it's something we need to be thinking about and trying to. I don't know if used for good is the right thing, but like it it it's something that we need to be really conscious of as we're dealing with. You know, a bunch of fascists trying to murder everyone? Absolutely. I mean that that's been the most interesting thing about this to me, is watching like, I I hate calling it this, but just for lack of a better word, kind of like goblin mode is like being manufactured, like manufacturing consent in real time, like from the genesis of my post, watching it in real time, seeing all these articles come out and kind of all tie into each other and refer back to each other. It's been, it's been kind of eye opening about this topic that I. I think a lot of leftists kind of know a lot about like in terms of like media manipulation and you're it's you're right. When you said it's like the fun version of that. Yeah. And it has been the fun version of it. But deep down it's like, oh, this is kind of like watching like how they did like the this might be dramatic, but like how they did the Iraq war in real time. Like this is on some level a very similar strategy, like media strategy. And I think, I mean, I think, I think there's. We specifically goblin mode. I think there's cause like the Iraq war there was a lot of malice there and but in this one it's like yeah like the you know not all of the media like all of them. Like OK, in order for something that's completely fake to get traction it it doesn't require everyone involved being malicious. What it requires is one person saying a thing and then a bunch of journalists being too lazy to actually look into something and then just you know basically reprinting the article but like rewriting a few things which happens constantly. And yeah and and that like you know the the the thing I think that's scary about that is it reduces the number of actors who actually have to be involved in a thing for it to just sort of like take off like this. Which yeah because like I think like there's there's an extent to which. OK, like Iraq's like something on that scale is pretty rare because it requires like in an enormous amount of buy in from a lot of people, but there's lots of small examples of this stuff that just happens sort of constantly and that stuff. Like, yeah, I mean, you know, as we've been talking about like that, that that kind of thing with small numbers of actors and then people just sort of lazily reprinting articles like that stuff, right. I mean, I think the best example of this is currently, at least just in my mind because I am trans, the whole trans panic that's happening right now, I I think that's a really good example of it was just where like some website will print this certain thing and then it becomes a hysteric panic. People keep talking about it. Yeah, like I think the the most recent example that was that that spa where it was like some person claimed. Like made it made a bunch of claims where they were like they they might have seen a trans person maybe. And it turned into just like literally mobs showing up at this spa like anti trans bobs just like a bunch of fascists showing up a bunch of like. And like, yeah, and that kind of stuff. Yeah, that affects reality. That really affects people. Yeah. And and like the the the other one, the other one that that we've talked about in the trans episodes is people to people are starting to do these kind of stuff with gender clinics and it's, you know, yeah, it's like, yeah, like that. That's only a matter of time before they start killing people. Like, yeah, as hard as that is the same. Media can easily whip someone into frenzy to do that. I mean, we've, we've seen that in the past with, I think, as you referenced before, like the whole like abortion, the whole like it was in the 90s and early 2000s, the whole abortion panic. Yeah. I mean, we saw we we saw people die over stuff like that. It's insane. Things like and you know, and the other thing is that like they're winning, like they are on the verge of after this like half a century long battle like they they are on the verge of overturning Roe V Wade they are. And yeah and like you know that and that's. I think a really grim thing for the left where it's like. Look what one of the asymmetries here is that like? If if a leftist like assassinated the head of ice, right, like, there were like, I, I would be in prison in like a day and 1/2, there'd be like 15 people who'd be shot in police raids. Like, yeah, yeah, but, you know, but like when the right wing just like, what does terrorism, like just murders abortion, right as it works. And that's a really grim asymmetry. But it's sort of the reality of of the situation that we're in. Right. And, yeah, that reminds me of the this is a while ago. This was during the Black Lives Matter protests. I don't even remember why he was on the feds radar, but there was the dude, I think, in Portland, and there was like a there was like a raid, and they just shot the dude in the street. You happen to remember that? Yeah. Yeah. I mean, it happened again. Yeah. They just murdered him. And then, like, it happened again with Winston. Miss in in Minneapolis where like, the like, the cops were mad at him because he was like he was one of the leaders of this happening in Minneapolis and they just walked up and shot him. Yeah. And that's insane. Yeah. And it's it's. It it it is a really bleak look at. You know how this country actually works, which is not really what I expected this episode to be ending up when I was like, we'll do a fun episode about Goblin boat. And now it's like, yeah, here's the state just assassinating people, and they're going to keep doing it. And also they're going to like to start bombing abortion. Not, well, I mean, keep bombing abortion clinics, start bombing gender clinics. And it's like, let's hope that doesn't actually happen. But yeah, I think, I think it was our point was that it was like, we've seen that happen in the past by, by the arm of the the reactionary media. Filling this hysteria through it doesn't even matter if it's real or fake stories, that's that's the main issue is it can be totally fake and it'll it'll just fuel hysterics against anyone, any any target and it's just that easy. Like yeah like what the we should probably close out but like the the the one that's been fun for me and I by fun I mean dear God has been the the the the ******* the Wuhan bio lab **** which was like literally like like literally this this this like literally this whole thing was a psyop by Steve Bannon who was like this is how we can have Trump win the election by by by uniting everyone in like Anti Asian hate and like it worked like want me to OK he he lost the election but like you know all of like eventually this this. It was just like, completely crank, like, absolutely bat ****. All the people who are advocating for it are like, like, they like, they're like mushroom scientists or they're like people who like. You know, like like they're they're like weird ivermectin truthers, like all these people. You know like we're we're we're legitimized by the media and like that has that had an enormous impact on the last sort of two years of anti Asian violence like that's like that that's the thing to get as bad as it did and again it's just completely fake. There's nothing. It's it's they're just they're just you know like a bunch of fascists made-up a lie about. A plague. So that they could try to win an election by, like, murdering Asian people and. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And it's it's that's the interesting thing is that if you look at, like, polls about like, oh, how do you feel about China? Like, you go back even just four years ago, most people were like, I don't have exact numbers on my head, but most people it was like, maybe split like, oh, like China's kind of scary or like, China. China's. OK. But like most Americans at this point, even, like a lot of liberals do not like China. Like, it's like, deep in the red. Not like China. It's like it was just manifested through the whole, maybe not all through the whole Wuhan lab but just the last few years and years of both Biden's government and Trump's government ratcheting hard against China. And just like anti China or even anti Chinese like people sentiments, there's an interesting thing there too where it's like, OK, so for the 1st about. So this pivot starts in like 2018 when this when Trump starts a trade war, right? And there's this. Interesting thing where it's like for the 1st about two years of it, it was like the views about China were changing but the actual level of anti Asian violence wasn't doing much. But then when COVID hit it was like, you know, it was, it was it was kind of like an abstract thing, right. It was like, OK, well we don't like China, but like there was nothing. That there wasn't like a a super strong like. Thing you could point to, to directly tie it to Asian people. And then the moment, the moment the pandemic started and then the moment the like, Wuhan **** started, it was like suddenly there was like a concrete thing that you could point to and it was that was like, hey look, it's the Chinese people that they're there, they're spreading the plague, they benefactor, the plague, the lab. It's because they're dirty. And like the moments became that was when everything just like all the attacks skyrocketed like that. That's that's that's when like everything just sort of like really. Like, kicked off. And that was like, that was like the targeted hysteria of 2020 and that most of 2021, I would say, yeah, yeah. And it's, you know, the, the, the the fun thing I'm bracing for is like, yeah, this looks like it's going to be democratic strategy in 2022 as well as Republican strategy. And it's like, oh, hey, more of us are going to die. This is going to be fun. So yeah, gosh. Yeah. Not yeah. It's kind of scary. Yeah. This, this started out as a fun episode, but yeah, that's how God was fun. So I guess it was still a lot of fun. Yeah. Yeah. Do you have anything else that you want to say or do you want to tell people where to find you? I don't really have anything to say necessarily. All I really do on the Internet, at least, like my whole, my whole Internet private presence right now is just on Twitter. If you want to follow me, it's at Meow, Meow, Meow. I don't know if you'll have like that. Linked or anything, it's kind of hard to spell with the last, the the whole you. It's MUW. But that's really all I have is just my Twitter. That's all I really do online. I mean it it it it is extremely funny and every once in a while you'd create goblin modes. As an actual thing, which is yeah, it's fun and I have a good time on Twitter. People, people complain about that website a lot, but I since I joined in like 2019 or whatever, I haven't looked back. It's it's it's a lot of fun. I've got a lot of cool people. I yeah, I've, I've known of you for a while, but it's nice to actually talk to you and you too. Yeah, yeah, it was it was a good time. I yeah. So I go goblin mode. I don't let the fascists murder trans people. I. Yeah, this this has been it could happen here. You can find us on Twitter and Instagram at happening here pod. Yeah, have fun. Find cool trinkets, suppress the turfs. Gotta you gotta have the trinkets, you gotta find the that's what goblin knows all about getting trinkets. That's right. Alright, bye bye folks. 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 and cool Zone Media, visit our website coolzonemedia.com, 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 coolzonemedia.com/sources. Thanks for listening.