Russian politician, communist theorist, and founder of the Soviet Union
This week we talked about the mid-term results, and the return of Caleb Maupin...Cars & Comrades Podcast media.rss.com/carsandcomrades/feed.xml instagram.com/cars_and_comrades_podcast/ twitter.com/CarsAndComrades facebook.com/Cars-Comrades-Po…-101908671824034Collective Action Comics Podcast: podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/coll…cs/id1573028630 podbay.fm/p/collective-action-comics www.patreon.com/collectiveactioncomicsCosper's weekly Kant lecture discord.com/events/873020220380…1016486757405040713 discord.com/invite/GuvnFcgVzqDecolonized Buffalo on Instagram: www.instagram.com/decolonized_buffalo/ twitter.com/decolonizedbp open.spotify.com/show/5HNK0mWbkbxoynVEKwgvVC podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/deco…lo/id1530454129RadLeftDad: www.instagram.com/radleftdad/ twitter.com/radleftdadRootin' 4 Lenin youtube.com/channel/UC8rptl6HjNotk-2PAwrkfWwThe Intervention Podcast: theinterventionpod.buzzsprout.com/ instagram.com/intervention_podTransXBombshell: www.twitch.tv/transxbombshell twitter.com/transXbombshell www.instagram.com/transxbombshell/Turn Leftist Podcast linktr.ee/turnleftist instagram.com/turnleftist twitter.com/turnleftistpod
TIR and LR team up to talk about the aftermath of the US Mid-Term elections. What happened to the Redwave? About LR Merch store is live: leftreckoning.com/store Get our booklist here: https://bookshop.org/lists/left-recko... Left Reckoning goes live Tuesdays @ 7 Central. Along with the main show, there is a Griscom stream every Tuesday afternoon. To get access to all the bonus episodes, including more Hitchens conversations & deep dives into radical US history, Lenin, James Connolly & more support the show at patreon.com/leftreckoning - for just $5 you help make the public show possible and get double the bonus content. Support us on patreon.com/LeftReckoning Twitter: @LeftReckoning - @mattlech - @davidgriscom Instagram: @LeftReckoning Check out our Twitch streams at Twitch.tv/LeftReckoning About TIR Thank you for supporting the show! Remember to like and subscribe on YouTube. Also, consider supporting us on Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/join/BitterLakePresents Check out our official merch store at https://www.thisisrevolutionpodcast.com/ Also follow us on... https://podcasts.apple.com/.../this-is.../id1524576360 www.youtube.com/thisisrevolutionpodcast www.twitch.tv/thisisrevolutionpodcast www.twitch.tv/leftflankvets https://www.facebook.com/Thisisrevolutionpodcast/ Instagram: @thisisrevolutionoakland Follow the TIR Crüe on Twitter: @TIRShowOakland @djenebajalan @DrKuba2 @probert06 @StefanBertramL @MarcusHereMeow Read Jason: https://www.sublationmag.com/writers/jason-myles Read Pascal: https://www.newsweek.com/black-political-elite-serving...
In this episode of the Explaining History Study Extra, we explore Lenin's death and the consequences for the power struggle to succeed him. We examine the legacy of the New Economic Policy and War Communism and the divisions in the party they led to. Become a member at https://plus.acast.com/s/explaininghistory. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Personality and Power: Builders and Destroyers of Modern Europe by Ian Kershaw How far can a single leader alter the course of history? From one of the leading historians of twentieth-century Europe and the author of the definitive biography of Hitler, Personality and Power is a masterful reckoning with how character conspired with opportunity to create the modern age's uniquely devastating despots—and how and why other countries found better paths. The modern era saw the emergence of individuals who had command over a terrifying array of instruments of control, persuasion and death. Whole societies were reshaped and wars were fought, often with a merciless contempt for the most basic norms. At the summit of these societies were leaders whose personalities somehow enabled them to do whatever they wished, regardless of the consequences for others. Ian Kershaw's new book is a compelling, lucid and challenging attempt to understand these rulers, whether those operating on the widest stage (Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini) or with a more national impact (Tito, Franco). What was it about these leaders, and the times in which they lived, that allowed them such untrammelled and murderous power? And what brought that era to an end? In a contrasting group of profiles—from Churchill to de Gaulle, Adenauer to Gorbachev and Thatcher to Kohl)—Kershaw uses his exceptional skills as an iconic historian to explore how strikingly different figures wielded power.
In Vladimir Putin's warped view of the past, Ukraine was only able to seek independence in 1991 because of a mistake made by another Vladimir nearly 70 years before. In his zeal to obscure Ukrainian national identity, Russia's dictator blames the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin for “creating” an independent Ukraine in 1922 “by separating, severing what is historically Russian land.” These two events – the Bolshevik revolution and Russia's invasion of Ukraine – are not connected only in Putin's imagination. They are linked through a history of appalling violence and destruction. The place names of battles of the Russian civil war a century ago are familiar to anyone following today's news of Russia's military fiasco in Ukraine. In this episode, the esteemed military historian Antony Beevor discusses the parallels between the civil war that birthed the Soviet Union and Putin's drive to turn Ukraine into a client state – a plan that has, thus far, failed. Moreover, the Bolshevik coup d'etat of October, 1917, far from an obscure bit of history, shaped the course of the twentieth century as few other events did. Antony Beevor is the author of "Russia: Revolution and Civil War, 1917-1921."
Episode 114:This week we're continuing Russia in Revolution An Empire in Crisis 1890 - 1928 by S. A. Smith[Part 1]Introduction[Part 2-5]1. Roots of Revolution, 1880s–1905[Part 6-8]2. From Reform to War, 1906-1917[Part 9-12]3. From February to October 1917[Part 13 - 17]4. Civil War and Bolshevik Power[Part 18 - 22]5. War Communism[Part 23 - 25]6. The New Economic Policy: Politics and the EconomyNew Economic Policy and AgricultureNew Economic Policy and IndustryNew Economic Policy and LabourThe Inner Party StruggleThe Party StateInstituting Law[Part 26 - This Week]6. The New Economic Policy: Politics and the EconomyGoverning the Countryside - 0:31Foreign Policy and Promoting Revolution - 13:39Nation Building - 29:31The Limits of NEP - 37:48Discussion - 41:26[Part 27 - 30?]7. The New Economic Policy: Society and Culture[Part 31?]ConclusionFootnotes:92) 2:02Priestland, Stalinism, 150.93) 2:13Velikanova, Popular Perceptions, 138.94) 3:08T. V. Pankova-Kozochkina, ‘Rabotniki sel'skikh sovetov 1902-kh godov: nomenklaturnye podkhody bol'shevikov i sotsial'nye trebovaniia krest'ianstva (na materialakh Iuga Rossii)', Rossiiskaia istoriia, 6 (2011), 136–46.95) 3:40Golos naroda, 215.96) 4:11Olga A. Narkiewicz, The Making of the Soviet State Apparatus (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1970), 61.97) 4:42I. N. Il'ina, Obshchestvennye organizatsii Rossii v 1920-e gody (Moscow: RAN, 2000), 72.98) 5:02A. A. Kurënyshev, Vserossiiskii krest'anskii soiuz, 1905–1930 (Moscow: AIRO-XX, 2004).99) 5:35Velikanova, Popular Perceptions, 158.100) 6:01McDonald, Face to the Village, 104–5.101) 6:30Diane P. Koenker and Ronald D.Bachman (eds), Revelations from the Russian Archives: Documents in English Translation (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1997), 38.102) 7:24Gill, Origins, 113.103) 7:56M. Ia. Fenomenov, Sovremennaia derevnia. Opyt kraevedcheskogo obsledovaniia odnoi derevni, vol. 2 (Leningrad: Goz. izd-vo, 1925), 39.104) 9:09Litvak, “Zhizn' krest'ianina', 194.105) 9:30D. Kh. Ibragimova, NEP i perestroika: massovoe soznanie sel'skogo naseleniia v usloviiakh perekhoda k rynku (Moscow: Pamiatniki istoricheskoi mysli, 1997).106) 11:47Litvak, ‘Zhizn' krest'ianina', 194.107) 14:24Tooze, Deluge, 11.108) 22:09Alexander Vatlin and S. A. Smith, ‘The Comintern', Oxford Handbook of the History of Communism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), ch. 10.109) 23:55John Riddell (ed.), To See the Dawn: Baku, 1920—First Congress of the Peoples of the East (New York: Pathfinder, 1993), 45.110) 24:12Riddell, To See the Dawn, 70.111) 24:39H. G. Wells, Russia in the Shadows (New York: Doran, 1921), 96.112) 25:01Stephen White, ‘Communism and the East: The Baku Congress, 1920', Slavic Review, 33:3 (1974), 492–514 (501).113) 25:25Riddell, To See the Dawn, 204–7.114) 25:46E. H. Carr, The Bolshevik Revolution, vol. 2 (London: Macmillan 1952), 265.115) 27:11S. A. Smith, A Road is Made: Communism in Shanghai, 1920–1927 (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2000).116) 28:01Jon Jacobson, When the Soviet Union Entered World Politics (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1994), 50.117) 29:29Velikanova, Popular Perceptions, ch. 1.118) 30:35Lewin, Lenin's Last Struggle, ch. 4.119) 32:49Francine Hirsch, Empire of Nations: Ethnographic Knowledge and the Making of the Soviet Union (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, 2005), 229, 331.120) 33:39Terry Martin, The Affirmative Action Empire: Nations and Nationalism in the Soviet Union, 1923–1939 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001).121) 35:43Yuri Slezkine, ‘The USSR as a Communal Apartment, or How a Socialist State Promoted Ethnic Particularism', Slavic Review, 53:2 (1994), 415.122) 37:05Michael G. Smith, Language and Power in the Creation of the USSR, 1917–1953 (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1998), 125, 134.
At one point in Episode 25, Jane and I were talking about keeping the plates spinning while drinking and I said something to the effect that being an alcoholic requires you to be leading at least two lives at the same time. That got me thinking about spies.Paul McCartney wrote one of the greatest spy movie themes ever. When I first heard “Live and Let Die,” I was 10 or 11 and I thought it was just the coolest song. One of the advantages of having an early morning paper route is that you can sing and hum and no one can hear you. I can remember softly singing this as I delivered papers in the dark:When you've got a job to doYou've got to do it wellYou've got to give the other fellow hell.I don't think the Des Moines Register was necessarily looking for that level of commitment from their carriers, but I was ready. So, like I said, Paul McCartney wrote one of the great spy movie themes of all time and then he wrote this:I've always been obsessed with spies and espionage. I was a lonely, shy kid and spent a lot of time watching everyone else. I had a difficult time connecting with people and always felt very awkward. Consequently, I tried to be a really keen observer of other people, why did they do the things they did, what were the appropriate reactions? I was a little like the young boy at the school befriended by Jim Prideaux in “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy”: “You're a good watcher, aren't you? You notice things.”Like every good spy story, mine evolved from being simply a “good watcher,” to realizing that I had tracks to cover, secrets to keep. I'm not sure when thoughts like that began to creep into my consciousness, but I quickly determined that my success in life, my ability to make friends, connect with people, generally get along in the world, required me to keep an awful lot of stuff secret. I came to believe there was a part of me that was so shameful, humiliating, wrong, bad, defective, that it could simply never be shared with other people.I'm pretty sure that narrative was a big part of the reason I saw such a bright light when I started drinking at 15 or 16. The strain of carrying around all of those secrets was already a lot. I'm sorry, don't get the idea that I drank because I liked the taste or just wanted to be popular at parties. By 17, I was sitting by myself at a bar in the afternoon. That's how deeply ingrained it was in me, how deeply cut that groove already was. I needed to drink—that question was already settled.I've told the story about the night I realized I was an alcoholic: The sudden realization, of course while drinking alone, that drinking was way too important to me, occupied way too big a part of my life, was really already beyond my control. The icy churn in my gut came from knowing that I couldn't even conceive of a situation where I could or would stop drinking. Now I had a real secret to keep:I was an actual teenage alcoholic.This was not a game to me, what was at stake was the most important thing in my life: My drinking. If I couldn't keep this secret, I'd lose it and that simply couldn't happen. It was a huge secret to keep and I did. I was a pretty f*****g awesome spy.By my Junior year of high school I was a pretty ferocious everyday drinker and weed smoker. I also played basketball, had a part-time job after school at the local newspaper and was the state debate champion. I think my debate coach was the only person who knew I was drinking, and he had no inkling how much. He walked past the scene of a Beach Party I had staged in my room at the Cedar Rapids Marriott and came to my very hungover breakfast table the next morning expressing concern, but suggesting that he knew it had been the work of "older kids." That was another important piece of the puzzle for this budding spy: I realized that people really didn't want to believe I was an alcoholic or had a problem. That was very, very useful knowledge and helped me keep drinking for the next four decades.I managed a pretty successful career, raised a family, had what looked like a pretty idyllic life and no one really suspected anything until it all finally blew up in 2011. My alcoholism came as a complete surprise to everyone, that's how well disguised it was. Well, I knew it was coming. I had known since that night at Magoo's in 1981. I knew there would be a day of catastrophe, when everything finally got discovered—I just didn't know when that was going to be.I'm fascinated by the story of how the British and Americans ultimately broke the German and Soviet codes in World War II. I think about Kim Philby and the Cambridge Five, who reached the highest levels of British society and the intelligence establishment, all while spying for the Soviets. Philby, who had risen to head of Counter Intelligence at MI6, had to know the Americans were steadily decrypting all of the intercepted Soviet communications from the war and that there was inevitably going to be a day when he would finally and inexorably be exposed as traitor.Back when I was 17, I listened to the Beatles, a lot. I loved the medley on the B side of Abbey Road, but I used to think it was weird that the words that resonated with this 17-year-old were from “Golden Slumber”:Once there was a way to get back homewardOnce there was a way to get back homeBoy, you're gonna carry that weight,Carry that weight a long timeI didn't understand why those words always hit me so hard until I read about Kim Philby and the Cambridge Five, then I completely understood the feeling of being incrementally crushed, a little every day, by the knowledge of the impending catastrophic discovery. The other thing that really struck me was the story of how the British, aided by the ULTRA decrypts, intercepted almost all of the German spies sent during the war and then doubled them back to provide false intelligence to the Nazis. The British literally hired an army of writers to concoct the back stories and fake intelligence and managed to keep the Germans thinking they had an intact ring of spies for most of the war. I thought that was brilliant and took careful note.I started trying to get sober in 2010 and quickly realized that I wasn't interested in actually giving up drinking. It occurred to me that most of my problems came from people knowing that I was drinking. If I could just do a better job of hiding it, well, that would be way better than having to give it up. For the next 10 years, my life was a mix of actual attempts to get sober interspersed with fictional periods of sobriety. It was a horrifying, wilderness of mirrors way to live. I'm not sure I knew myself when I was trying and when I was pretending.I dated someone for 18 months and pretended to be sober the entire time. I drank almost every day and even though she lived only three blocks from my house and we saw each other nearly every day, well, she had no idea until the very end. When she broke up with me, she asked if I had been drunk on the night of our first date. The first date where I told her that I was a “recovering alcoholic” and had been sober for “ a while.” I fooled everyone, friends, wives, colleagues, bosses, my kids, everyone, and for a long, long time. That doesn't really generate any feelings of pride in my tradecraft.Like CIA agents working in Moscow, I needed to generate time in the “Black” to do my drinking. Since my drinking occupied several hours a day, every day, it became necessary to generate an entire fictional life to cover over the fact that my real life was mostly spent on a collection of carefully located and concealed bar stools. I told my girlfriend I was seeing friends, going to church, going to a meeting, going to a game, whatever lie was necessary to generate an hour or two when I could peacefully drink without fear of being discovered. I was exactly like the British writers conjuring up lives of actually-imprisoned spies.There's always a whiff of romance and intrigue and elegance in spy movies. But that is a fantasy. The actual life of a spy is small and dark and lonely and limned with fear. I lived that way for 40 years and did it in service to what I thought was my most important strategic interest—my drinking. That's not a pleasant realization.Kim Philby drank away the last years of his life in Moscow and though he had the Order of Lenin pinned to his jacket, I'll bet he also realized that he had given his entire life in the service of a monstrous lie. When my very elaborately-conceived deception operation finally collapsed, I realized the secret I had been protecting almost my entire life was the thing actually destroying it.“Spies Like Us” was a terrible movie and Dan Ackroyd and Chevy Chase were horrible at even acting like spies. I wish I'd been more like them. I wish I had been a shittier spy, a less accomplished liar, a little less skilled at sowing doubt and confusion. I wish I hadn't made people believe me so much. I wish I'd been hapless and bungling and hadn't been able to keep my stories straight. That would have saved a lot of people a lot of heartache. I look back on big chunks of my life and wonder whether it was really ever me or was all it just an operation? Was it all just a cover I was building? Those questions are sort of academic at this point. That water is well past the bridge.The adult version of me took complete responsibility for my decision to live life like a spy. The choice I thought I had made to conceal and protect what was most important to me: drinking. I've never really told that part of my story before and revisiting that young secret agent really stirred up a lot in me. I usually speak very matter of factly about the origin story of my alcoholism. If I qualify at a meeting, I typically just say that I started drinking at 15 or 16 and was a “white light drinker.” That's my pet phrase, Dr. Ruth Fox, who wrote an amazing book in 1955 titled simply, “Alcoholism: Its Scope, Cause and Treatment” describes someone like me as a “Primary Addict:”The primary addict, from his first introduction to beverage alcohol, uses it as an aid to adjust to his environment.Alcoholism, p. 142She goes on to describe me a little more thoroughly:The primary addict is one in whom the predisposing traits are so developed and so sharply marked that his first recourse to this socially approved narcotic is only a matter of time..In the case of the primary addict, the decisive symptom, loss of control, appears early in his drinking history. Thereafter, his own sense of self-esteem, depreciated to begin with, will take a merciless pounding…If he thought he was unworthy before, now he is given proof.Alcoholism, p. 143-44The process of recruiting agents, “assets,” usually involves identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities. It's not a very pretty or kind process and it often involves luring someone to cross a line they may not have even known was even there. That's pretty much how alcohol worked on me. Once that line is crossed and the subject realizes they are now complicit, how much they now have to lose, well, that's when the trap closes and no one has too much of a choice after that. “Choice” is the funny word. People often like to describe addicts and alcoholics as people who make “bad choices.” For sure we do, lots and lots of them. I am coming to see those “choices” as symptoms of my addiction, not the cause of it.Sure, I made that choice to drink that first drink, take that first hit of weed way back in 1977 or 1978. I had no real idea back then, that “choice” meant enlisting in a lifetime of deception in service of a terrible secret. I only knew that from the time I first started drinking, it was something that was “necessary” for me, not something I did for fun. Drinking for me was kind of how I imagined eating without taste buds would be. It's something I had to have. I was convinced I couldn't navigate the world without it.The Big Book talks about alcoholics reaching the point of no return, for me, that happened frighteningly early. I had no idea where I was headed or how long I would struggle. I had no idea there was even a line to be crossed. The horrible thing is that I think, even if someone blessed with foreknowledge of all of the pain and struggle and heartbreak that was waiting in front of me had been siting in that awful black vinyl booth with me at Magoo's that night back in 1981, I'm pretty sure I would have still ordered that third drink. I see now that I never had a choice. I did what I thought was necessary and once I crossed that invisible line, well, it became an imperative. Already weighed down with the crushing shame and fear of being an alcoholic, that 17 year-old didn't make a choice, didn't really have a choice. He just knew he had to keep the secret.It turns out the secret wasn't so terrible and wasn't much of a secret by the end. What was terrible, was living that way for 40 years. It's heartbreaking to look back. The sadness is for someone who took on the burden of an overwhelming secret way too early. Keeping that secret for so long cost him a lot and was a very, very lonely business. I know him pretty well, he never meant to hurt anyone, and that's still the hardest thing he carries around. He just knew he didn't fit in the world as is and he did the best he could. I have a ton of respect for him; he took on that pretty heavy burden and carried it for a long, long time. He was resourceful, never quit and was so brave. And despite it all, all of the failures to come, the losses, the relapses, everything, I realize now he never gave up believing there was a way back home.In real life, espionage is a capital crime That's why, in the real world, being discovered as a spy is typically a pretty unfortunate thing. Me finally being discovered as a spy? I think the end of my career as a spy is probably when my life actually began again.Thanks for Letting Me Share This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit thanksforlettingmeshare.substack.com
„Kapitalisti sami nám prodají provaz, na kterém je my pověsíme,“ věštil údajně Lenin už před sto lety. Dnes to vypadá, že sledujeme v přímém přenosu, jak se jeho slova naplňují. Fakt, že Vladimir Putin zavřel Evropě kohoutky s plynem a ropou, je přitom jen slabý odvar toho, co chystá čínský prezident Si Ťin-pching.
David was joined by Fatima Iqbal-Zubair (@fatima4assembly) who is running for Assembly District 65 in Los Angeles California - she spoke with Dave about what inspired her to run, her platform for working people, and her relationship with the Democratic Socialists of America. You can find more info on her website here: https://fatimaforassembly.com/MERCH STORE IS LIVE - leftreckoning.com/store-------Get our booklist here: https://bookshop.org/lists/left-reckoning-big-book-list/Left Reckoning goes live Tuesdays @ 7 Central. Along with the main show, there is a Griscom stream every Thursday afternoon. To get access to all the bonus episodes, including more Hitchens conversations & deep dives into radical US history, Lenin, James Connolly & more support the show at patreon.com/leftreckoning - for just $5 you help make the public show possible and get double the bonus content. Support us on patreon.com/LeftReckoning Twitter: @LeftReckoning - @mattlech - @davidgriscom Instagram: @LeftReckoningCheck out our Twitch streams at Twitch.tv/LeftReckoning
This week, Julie Bogart is back to talk all about changing our minds in parenting and homeschooling. Fall 2022 Season Sponsors We are so grateful to our Fall 2022 Season Sponsors. Use the links below for their special offerings: Blossom & Root and use code HSUnrefined15 for 15% off your purchase Outschool and use code Unrefined for $20 off your first class Night Zookeeper for a 7-day, risk-free trial, as well as 50% off an annual subscription LTWs Maren: Good Inside by Dr Becky Kennedy Angela: Calm Aid Connect with us! Visit our website Sign up for our newsletter and get our Top 100 Inclusive Book List We are listener supported! Support us on Patreon Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and see video episodes now on Youtube Angela on Instagram: @unrefinedangela | Maren on Instagram: @unrefinedmaren and @alwayslearningwithmaren Email us any questions or feedback at email@example.com Complete Episode Transcript [00:00:00] Angela: hi, we are Maren and Angela of Homeschool, Unrefined. Over the past 25 years, we've been friends, teachers, homeschool parents and podcasters. Together with our master's degrees and 20 years combined homeschooling. We are here to rethink homeschooling, learning, and education with an inclusive and authentic lens. [00:00:29] Maren: At Homeschool, Unrefined, we prioritize things like giving yourself credit, building strong connections, respectful parenting, interest led playing and learning, learning differences, mental health, self care, and listening to an EL elevating LGBTQ plus and bipo voices. [00:00:48] Angela: We are here to encourage and support you. [00:00:50] Whether you are a new homeschooler, a veteran, you love curriculum, you're an unschooler. Whether all your kids are at home or all your kids are at school or somewhere in [00:01:00] between. Wherever you are in your journey, we're the voice in your head telling you, you're doing great, and so are your kids. [00:01:07] Maren: This is episode 1 98, Changing Our Minds with Julie Bogart. [00:01:14] We had such a good conversation and we're so excited to share this with you, and then we are going to end like we always do with our l t Ws Loving this week. [00:01:26] Angela: Before we get going, we did wanna let you know about our Patreon classes. We are starting a new series. on Thursday and it's our what We don't do series. Mm-hmm. , if you have been around a while, you probably have listened to one of our, What we don't do messages, we're turning them into a class and we're gonna talk about what we don't do as a, in a class format. [00:01:48] And that is gonna be Thur this Thursday at one o'clock central time. And if you are interested in that, you can join us on, on Patreon for our super squad. That's the $10 level. We [00:02:00] will have links in the show notes for you there, but we'd love to see you if you can't come live. You can get it recorded and video and audio. [00:02:07] We will be putting those out and then, The day or two after that. [00:02:11] Maren: Absolutely. And you know, we are passionate [00:02:13] Angela: about what we don't do. we are and spreading one of our favorite things. . It's important. It is. Mar and I both love new and innovative ways to make reading and writing fun. That's why we hope you've tried Night Zookeeper. [00:02:28] Is your child a reluctant writer? Do they struggle with. If the answer to either of these questions is yes, the Night Zookeeper may just be what you've been looking for. Night Zookeeper is an online learning program for children, ages six to 12 years old that uses a gamified and creative approach to help keep kids engaged and focused on developing awesome reading and writing skills, all while having fun at the same time. [00:02:51] Some of the features we love include the educational games, the personalized feedback on writing from Real tutors, the Super Safe Community pages where [00:03:00] children can work with each other and learn together. If night Zookeeper sounds like the perfect learning program for your child, you can try it for free by clicking on the link in the show notes. [00:03:09] When you register, you'll get a seven day risk free trial, as well as a huge 50% off annual subscription. That's a great deal if you ask. When it comes [00:03:20] Maren: time to decide on whether or not to use a curriculum, we think you should check out Blossom and Root. Blossom and Root is a nature focused secular homeschool curriculum focusing, focusing on creativity, science, nature. [00:03:35] Literature and the arts. Blossom and Root has been gently encouraging in supporting homeschool families around the globe since 2016. Blossom and Root currently offers curricula for pre-K through fifth grade with new levels being added in the future. Additionally, a three volume inclusive US history curriculum told from a variety of viewpoints is [00:04:00] currently in development as of August, 2022. [00:04:03] Volume one is available for purchase and volume two is available on presale. All profits from this history curriculum. A River of voices will be used to support storytellers and artists from historically excluded communities. You can find samples, scope, and sequences and information about each of their levels online at www.blossomandroute.com. [00:04:29] You can also find them on, I. [00:04:31] Angela: At Blossom and Root, [00:04:33] Maren: Blossom and Root has created a special discount for our listeners. Use the code Hs. Unrefined 15 at checkout for 15% off your [00:04:43] Angela: purchase. Over the years, our kids have taken many out school courses that they have loved. Have you given out school a try? We know that kids who love to learn don't just prepare for the future. [00:04:56] They create it. That's why Out School has [00:05:00] reimagined online learning to empower kids and teens to expand their creativity, wonder and knowledge. Empathetic, passionate teachers encourage learners ages three to 18 to explore their in. Connect with diverse peers from around the world and take an active role in leading their learning out. [00:05:16] School has created a world filled with endless possibilities for every schooling journey. Explore over 140,000 fun and flexible live online classes to find the right fit for your family. And join us as we set learning free. Sign up today at Out schooler.me/homeschool unrefined. And get up to $20 off your first class when you enroll with a code Unre. [00:05:42] Maren: All right. We are so excited to introduce you. [00:05:46] If you don't know Julie Bogart Bogart yet, here she is. Julie Bogart is the creator and owner of Brave Writer, the online writing and language arts program for kids and teens. She's written two books, The [00:06:00] Brave Learner and Most Recently Raising Critical Thinkers, Julie Holy Supports Homeschool Parents Through Her Social Media Channels. [00:06:08] Her podcast, her books and her community. We have always absolutely loved talking to Julie and we're just so glad that she is back. Enjoy this conversation. [00:06:20] Thank you so much, Julie, for joining us again on our podcast. We've had you on a few times and we love having you every single [00:06:27] Julie: time. Well, the feeling is mutual. Mar, I love being here. [00:06:31] Maren: Thank you so much. Okay. So I really wanna talk about your book that actually came out quite a while ago, but you and I have both been so busy that we haven. [00:06:41] Able to make time to talk about it, but I'm so excited to talk about your book Raising Critical Thinkers. And we talked a little bit about it maybe on your podcast last time. Yes, yes, Yep. But I just, this was before, I think we read your book though. You were still writing it and we've now since read it and love it. [00:06:59] And I'm just [00:07:00] wondering what made you wanna write this book right [00:07:03] Julie: now? Specif. Yeah, that's such a fun question for me to answer because you have to go all the way back to the 1990s to answer this question. Mm, okay. Yeah. It really started with the dawn of the internet . So in like 19 95, 96, when the worldwide web was crawling out into the space, homeschool parents in particular were. [00:07:25] We're like the first people to barge through those doors. We were so isolated. Yeah. , there were about 800, right? There were about 800 Absolutely. Thousand families who homeschooled back then in the United States today there's 3.2 million, so that's, That's amazing. A sizeable growth. And we did not have a means. [00:07:41] Of connecting except in local communities. Mm-hmm. . And so you can imagine the numbers were small. You know, you might, in your community have five or 10 people you know who homeschooled. Right. Some people had no one. So we all hopped online. Yep. In these couple of major sort of homeschool watering holes. [00:07:58] And to be fair to [00:08:00] the movement, the truth of the movement at that point is that it was. Yeah, we were white. Yep. Mostly conservative. Politically and religiously. Yep. And heterosexual and married. Right. So that was the demographic, like 98%, 99%. So I imagined we would get on these discussion boards and we would really like each other. [00:08:21] You know, I, I had been to park days. People are friendly, you know, occasionally they mention your child misbehaved, but nobody's getting into big fights about politics at a park day. Sure. And yet I get on these discussion boards and while there's plenty of friendliness, plenty of good advice. Mm-hmm. , there was also a shocking willingness. [00:08:43] Mm-hmm. to really go to battle. Mm-hmm. over things like oxy Clean, whether or not to breastfeed, Oh no. Whether or not you should potty train your child by age two. And that's the tip of the iceberg. When we got, When we got near [00:09:00] religious discussion, like doctrinal issues or theology, the gloves came off. [00:09:05] Wow. People [00:09:06] Maren: get really brave, don't they, on [00:09:07] Julie: those sites? Oh my gosh. And this is before we knew about trolls, so I jokingly say homeschoolers and bena trolling. We used to call it flaming, but it was really just a lot of fighting. And so here's the question that sort of grew inside me at that. . Why does everyone think they're right? [00:09:26] Mm. And why do they assume that all they have to do is state their belief and everyone will agree with it. So there was very little curiosity. It wasn't like, Wow, you're a five point Calvinist. I'm only a three point. I wonder why that is. . No, that is not what happened. It would be things like, you know, Julie, I just think you're wrong here. [00:09:46] The actual true theology is X. Mm-hmm. . And so for me, at the time when I was expecting sort of this homogeneous. Kumbaya experience. It was not that. And in fact, I was [00:10:00] so intrigued by this problem. I started my own discussion board. We called it at the time the Trap Door Society. And the reason it had that name Yeah. [00:10:10] Was that I felt like all these women were performing roles on a stage, you know, parent, wife, educator, spiritual or non-spiritual person, whatever you were. And we had no way of. To nurture the individual person that we were. So I wanted a trap door so we could go beneath the stage and like try on different costumes. [00:10:33] Imagine other points of view, read books that were for our pleasure, not for our children. That's amazing. Yeah. And it was, it was amazing. It was. So that was the. [00:10:44] Maren: You created that safety. That's that's what it sounds like to me when you're talking about that trap door. That's a place of safety where you can try things on without getting completely reprimanded. [00:10:57] Well, [00:10:57] Julie: that was the goal. Yeah. It did [00:11:00] not go that way. Oh, [00:11:01] Maren: okay. [00:11:01] Julie: So I started this community. Mm-hmm. . There was a lot of love. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . And there were some, I mean, phenomenal discussions that were life changing for me. I will say that right out of the gate, my parenting, my home education, my outlook on the world was shaped profoundly by that community. [00:11:17] But there was also some battles that literally took me out, like days of crying obsessing over responding, trying to craft the perfect words so no one would be mad and still, Oh, I feel that lacking anger. Early days of the internet. Mm-hmm. the early two thousands. And so that persistent experience of why does everyone think they're right? [00:11:43] Right. Stayed with me. And it got me curious about how we form our thoughts. Why we think, how we do, what we believe about other people who think differently. And I, I just got on this serious mission. I've been studying, thinking for over 20 years. I've been so [00:12:00] fascinated by it. I even went to grad school to try. [00:12:02] Understand how we all think so differently. So yeah, that's really what led me to it. So ironically, it came out during the Covid period, , which is a, an important time to think critically. Oh my gosh. It's almost like, you know, we hit the Zer of trolling and flaming and everything else. [00:12:22] Maren: And it continues. And it continues. [00:12:24] Like for sure we need to, we need this skill. So what is your definition of critical thinking? Why do you think, Well, I mean, we already talked about why we think it's important, but if you have any other thoughts about that, but just what is it to you? What [00:12:37] Julie: does it look like? Yeah. Critical thinking for me starts in an unusual place. [00:12:41] Like if you go into the education world and they talk about critical thinking, it's always about analyzing something over. , like a piece of literature, a scientific discovery, a mathematical problem. Yes. But I think critical thinking starts closer to home. [00:13:00] It's self-awareness. It's the capacity to notice your own bias as it kicks into gear, right? [00:13:06] To pay attention to what triggers you to be curious, for instance, about why you think you're right. Yes. And it's doing all that before we extend a similar. Attitude, I guess I would say. Yep. To someone else. So if I know that I have these inherent triggers, biases and proclivities, right? That's also true of the person I'm chatting with. [00:13:30] Mm-hmm. , the cuter. And my job is to at least get to a place of understanding how the jigsaw puzzle of their experiences, education, thoughts, socioeconomics, and identity created safety right for them through this. Because that's what our beliefs are. They are a safety protective shield that keeps who I am free of anyone harming me. [00:13:58] Maren: It sounds to me like you're [00:14:00] talking about self-awareness as being one huge key. Totally of critical thinking it is. And then being aware that this other person is also has this other set of aware, you know, self awareness and maybe not, may not be as aware about those is of those things. And then, oh, it's just the, a higher level thinking here. [00:14:21] You know, I just think when you get in those situations and the. The ability to understand yourself, understand this other person and how you work together, and how it, how it's okay that they're thinking differently and it's okay that I'm thinking differently and we can work together in this way. I mean, it's just. [00:14:38] This is what's so needed in our world today. Can you imagine if E the most powerful people in the world, can't even do this, Julie? No. No. Can you train them ? [00:14:52] Julie: Well, the problem, the problem I really think comes down to the fact that. There are dangerous [00:15:00] thoughts. Mm-hmm. thought worlds that exist, but the criteria for danger varies community by community. [00:15:06] Mm-hmm. , person by person. So a lot of times when I've done these interviews, people have said, So you're really focused on critical thinking, leading to empathy. And my rejoinder is actually, no, this book isn't about empathy. You may gain some empathy. Sure. Come to a place where you look at your child, for instance, and have more insight into why they hold a view, and it creates a feeling of warmth or compassion towards your child. [00:15:31] Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . But mostly it's about understanding because for instance, we love true crime, right? We're all listening to podcasts. We all do movies, and we are doing it because we are fascinated to understand. Why a person imagines that the best solution to a problem in their life is murder. We're not and and we want to understand it. [00:15:56] That's why we watch. Right. We don't just judge it. We're like, [00:16:00] Well, what factors led that person to thinking, I will have a more beautiful life if I off this other person. What we end up feeling at the end is horror, not empathy. Right. Right. It actually engages our deep morality. We. Wow, these factors are problematic. [00:16:19] This person saw the world in a way that is so different than mine. And then it leads us to ask what I think is a very important question, What is it about that person's perspective that we haven't accounted for? Mm-hmm. in the public square. Yep. So if we think about someone like, you know, just to go for the extreme Hitler and go for it. [00:16:40] Yep. Right. What we have, were an entire population. Of German Christian, middle class churchgoing people. Mm-hmm. becoming persuaded that the solution to their economic crisis was genocide. Yeah. And the question we [00:17:00] have to ask ourself is how did that happen? How did that happen? Yep. Because they were persuaded. [00:17:08] There was a structure and a belief system that they were able to inc. That made them think they were on the moral high ground. And so for me, critical thinking is all of that. It's not just empathy, it's accounting for those factors that may possibly lead us into very immoral and scary thought worlds. [00:17:31] But we do it from a place of. Actual desire for a better world. Right. We're not doing it because we're inherently evil. We're doing it because we think life will be better for us and our people. [00:17:43] Maren: Right, Right, right. And that's why we need to think critically about our history. That's right. So that we can change it. [00:17:50] does not repeat itself. True. Yep. So true. One of our favorite chapters in your book is probably the last chapter, The Courage to Change Your [00:18:00] Mind. We love this idea. We talk about it a lot as parents. So just sitting with that for a minute, changing your mind. Why do you think that changing your mind is important? [00:18:10] Julie: Well, first of all, the capacity to change your mind shows a certain agility in your own ability to process information. So psychological research shows that psychological flexibility is a key component to a healthy ego. Mm-hmm. and healthy relationships. So if we are hardened or rigid, we actually start to eliminate the capacity to relate to a variety of people, right? [00:18:39] Then what we do is we start shrinking the group until we're in a very small corner of the world, well defended against all the attackers. We become victims, right? Of our own ideology. Mm-hmm. . So the courage to change your mind says, I'm actually related to all of humanity. There isn't [00:19:00] the in group, in the out group. [00:19:01] I'm here to hear experiences, data, research, information that is not like the kind I have and understand how it's shaped these people that I am connected to simply by being a human being. I don't think we think that way very often, but one thing I have not, Is that parents are the most likely to change their spiritual, political, social value beliefs when a child. [00:19:32] Tax them. So you have a child? Oh yes. That's me. Example. Right? Totally, totally. All that story, because I think it's so powerful. Well, there are, [00:19:40] Maren: there are actually, I mean, there's a lot of things I can't even share right now until my kids are grow, grown up. Yes. Until they've given me permission. But I mean, definitely politically, spiritually so many things. [00:19:51] I actually, I wrote down a few things, things that I've changed my mind on as a parent recently, probably hair color. Tattoos [00:20:00] piercings. Not that I'm letting my kids pierce their or get tattoos, but , like, I've changed my mind on it because just talking about it ha has created this big rift and I'm like, I, Why am I so against the, I mean, why am I so I against this? [00:20:18] I do not know. I honestly don't know anymore . So I had to rethink that. Food choices, TV and movie choices, clothing. What body parts can be shown and not shown. You know, these are things and ultimately school choice. Yes, school education choices. Because, you know, if it were up to me, we'd probably, you know, be doing something very different school-wise right now. [00:20:41] And I'm listening to my kids and they're telling me what they need and I'm like, Wait a second. I you. For a while I was like, No kids, we're doing school this way. This is what I see as the best way . And they're like, Mom, listen to us. We're telling you what we need right now. And I'm, and I had to really [00:21:00] go inside myself and evaluate like, why am I, why are my ideals the boss of. [00:21:08] Their education right now, it's their lives ultimately. And I can, That's right. Yeah. So I can make, Obviously I wanna make safe and good, you know, good choices for them. But there are lots of safe and good choices. I [00:21:22] Julie: think so. No, that is so beautifully expressed. Mm-hmm. . Because part of what happens is we've already lived through those ages. [00:21:31] We were teenagers and young adults. We have regrets, choices we made that we think, Wow, that was a bad decision. Or I wish my mother had stopped me from doing X. Right. And so we come in with this perspective that somehow we can protect our children from right. Regret, mistakes, getting in car accidents, whatever it is. [00:21:49] Mm-hmm. . And yet it is those very experiences that formed and shaped us into the adults we are today. Right. And when we don't give our children the [00:22:00] agency over their choices to some extent, obviously you have some, some room there, but to some extent, Then they feel the need to react that much harder. Yes. [00:22:11] Because they are testing, not you, but the world outside of your home to find out, am I qualified to be admitted as an adult? Yes. And if they don't have the opportunity to make some of those calls and fail. They will not discover what resources they need. I, I did a podcast interview recently with a mom who was raised in the obedience model as a child. [00:22:36] Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . And she told me she got to young adulthood and thought, But how can I know if I'm making a good decision, where's the authority that's gonna tell me I'm doing the thing? Yep. And so our kids need the, the right. I remember Johanna, she had red. She decided to die purple and the culture, not me. [00:22:57] I was like, That's fine. Yeah. Yeah. , the culture told her, [00:23:00] if you're a redhead, you're not allowed to dye your hair because your hair is too beautiful. You're not allowed to get rid of red hair. Yeah. Yeah. And I remember supporting her and saying, You know, it's your hair. Pick a color. So she went in to get it dye, and even the hair stylist was like, Are you sure? [00:23:18] Yeah. And so the hair stylist refused to bleach the hair. She's like, We'll just put purple on top of it. And it came out black. Okay. No. So she didn't end up with her purple hair. She had red hair and black hair, and then she decided to go full goth to support the black hair, you know, early two thousands, [00:23:36] And I look back on that and I think what an interesting moment for her. Yeah. To assert a desire and have the whole culture oppose her and to keep fighting for it anyway. Like this is what we want. How will they build their self confide? If they never have a chance to encounter opposition, to stand up for what they want, [00:24:00] to find out if it matches what their hopes and dreams were. [00:24:03] They need some of those chances, don't they? [00:24:05] Maren: They absolutely do, and I think our traditional educational system is teaching our kids to obey, yes, meet the standards, do the thing, and perform and not really think critically about themselves. They, it might be thinking critically. One small topic here, one small topic here, but it's not this all-encompassing critical thinker that, that we're raising, you know, in our education system. [00:24:32] And it's, it's tough because then they go to co, they go to college and, and you know, they might not. Go find the resources they need to do well in college because they haven't been taught to be proactive about those things or to figure out what they need or even to find their passion to find the thing they love to do in the world because they've just learned to go through the hoops. [00:24:53] Go through the hoops, do it, get a job, make [00:24:56] Julie: money, , a hundred percent. In fact, when I taught at Xavier [00:25:00] University, one of the most glar. and obvious lacks in the incoming freshman was a sense of agency about their own thoughts. Mm, mm-hmm. . So they came in having been trained to write essays and how to even do research online or use the, you know, the library correctly. [00:25:18] Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . But they were always trying to find out, but what did I really wanna hear from them? Yeah. What was the angle I hope they would take? And so we. All kinds of writing activities and writing on the board and small group sharing because my goal, Was to hear something genuine from each student. [00:25:35] I needed to hear how did this idea land for you? And if the idea hasn't landed for you yet, I don't wanna hear from you. Like, don't just turn in an essay. Yes. And so part of the training in high school, especially if you've got homeschoolers in this audience, but even in regular high school mm-hmm. . To give agency to a child's voice, and one of the few ways they can feel [00:26:00] they have a voice is opposing your voice. [00:26:03] So even though you think to yourself, This is a dangerous idea, , I want you to step back and think how cool that they felt that they could take the risk to tell me this crazy idea that I would never want them to believe. Because what they're saying to you is, I'm entertaining. The thought world that counters the moral center of this family. [00:26:27] Maren: Yes. I love that. And actually, that's one of the things I was just gonna ask you about, Julie, because I just watched one of your. Instagram reels about encouraging parents to argue with their kids. [00:26:36] So this, I think this is a great example of [00:26:40] Julie: encouraging critical thinking. Oh, it totally is. And I wanna give credit to one of my staff members because this morning I was having this meeting with Ramona and Ramona said, Julie, one of my kids is in your brave writer movie class on dystopian movies, and she. [00:26:56] The dystopian genre . And I told her, [00:27:00] Take that class cuz it's gonna have your best writing. Yeah. And so she's in there just hating these movies. They're watching them as a family and having huge arguments about them. And I was like, That totally reminds me of when my kids' dad and my kids argued about Nacho Libre for two long, Oh my gosh. [00:27:18] In the middle of summer, on our back deck after a barbecue, just dissecting the characterizations, arguing over whether or not this was a good movie. And so I think we sometimes forget that kids, they love that idea of being an. They love the feeling of being able to take an adult model of something and then shred it. [00:27:38] My son, Jake, totally, as a great example, he today, just to give kind of context, he's a human rights lawyer who works for the in Central Africa Republic. [00:27:47] Maren: Wow. So you need to be a critical thinker for, for that job. [00:27:49] Julie: Oh heavens yes. Went to Columbia Law School. Right. So he, he knows how to think, but I remember in junior or in, when he was a junior in high school, he watched this one movie, Some of [00:28:00] your, your listeners could even look it up. [00:28:01] It's called Zeitgeist. It was a thing in the mid two thousands. Okay. It's basically a massive critique of capitalism and it really does promote sort of a communist worldview and you know, eradicating the monetary system, et cetera. And I remember he came to my ex-husband when we were married, my husband and I at the time, And he's like, Mom, this is how the world needs to be. [00:28:23] But we watched it and his dad was saying to me, Oh no, Jacob's gonna end up in this horrible ti world of weird conspiracy theorists with the Illuminati, you know? Oh, totally. And I said, You know what, Actually, John, this is amazing. Not only is he watching it, he's telling us he's watching it, and he is critiquing the system that feels. [00:28:47] Air, like water. Like he didn't know this was a system Yeah. To critique until he heard there was a critique. Like you can criticize money. What, what a thought. Right. He had never known Right. [00:29:00] To do that. Yeah. And so we just leaned in. We just asked more questions, watched the movie, agreed with what we could raise questions about what seemed inconsistent, but we didn't like attack it. [00:29:10] It was more like, Is that working anywhere in the world? You know, like ask kinds of questions. And he evolved through it. He didn't stay there. Of course, yes. It was like a starting place for critique. [00:29:22] Maren: I think we have to remember that our kids aren't, aren't going to stay in their thoughts for the rest of their lives. [00:29:28] They are, their, their brains continue to develop and it's really the practice of critical thinking. It's the practice of learning. It's the, the, the practice of curiosity and synthesizing and having conversations and growing. That's what they take. To the next level of their lives. A thousand percent. Yeah. [00:29:49] They don't take this one topic and just, you know, think this is life [00:29:55] Julie: for the rest of their lives. Well, it's easy to do that experiment with yourself. Yes. How [00:30:00] many of your really hard one positions that you took at age 15 or 18 are still identical with how you think about the world today? [00:30:09] Maren: I'm so glad they're. [00:30:10] No, [00:30:11] Julie: No no. And in fact, how many I, I ask this in conferences all the time. So if I have a room of a hundred people, I say, How many of you hold the same exact beliefs as your parents in the areas of sex, politics, education, parenting, and food and exercise? And out of a hundred people, only 10 raise their hand. [00:30:31] Wow. So what you need to know is that same ratio is gonna be true in your family. There might be one kid who. Agrees or aligns with you generally, but there are gonna be a whole bunch who don't, and that doesn't mean you can't have a relationship with them. And it doesn't mean they've abandoned their morals. [00:30:49] It means they're thinking deeply. [00:30:52] Maren: That is so, so, so true. And I I just think what a skill. What a skill to learn and to not have to be [00:31:00] perfect at when you're 15 or 18 or even probably 21 . I mean, this is gonna take a while. This is not a perfection. This is not something that's gonna get perfected. [00:31:09] Early on and it, it, it might not ever, I mean, this is, yeah, this is a process. I was just thinking today, you know, I , you know, made a few mistakes. I'm 46, so, [00:31:19] Julie: Yeah. I mean, yeah, I'm, I'm 60. I, I've changed my mind countless times and if, and you will continue to, will continue to, and also you can't anticipate what will become an. [00:31:32] So none of us knew what a pandemic was. None of us knew how to respond to a pandemic. We were all jumping into our communities to tell us, these people are trustworthy. These people are not. This information's reliable, this information is not. Yeah. And we were using our blind loyalty to community to guide us because none of us has the expertise to evaluate. [00:31:57] Pandemics epidemics, vaccines, [00:32:00] public health economics, that are the result of this, you know, guidelines for how you run a company. All of that was suddenly up for grabs. Yeah. And when that happens, we stop thinking critically. We actually jump in with both feet to our safest communities. And what I've had to train myself to do, and this is something I write about in the book, Is notice that, Yes. [00:32:25] So when I'm scrolling through Facebook and some high school person I haven't talked to in 35 years, post an article and I think, Oh my gosh, that is the dumbest article I've ever seen. When I feel that smugness come up, yes, I know. I'm not critically thinking, Yeah, I am self protecting in that moment, critical thinking at that moment is, Oh, this is from someone I don't typically trust. [00:32:48] This is a person I haven't thought about in 30 years. Right. I don't really know what she's like anymore. She thought this was worth posting on Facebook. That's interesting. Mm-hmm. . I wonder what that says about her. I wonder if I've ever read this [00:33:00] article with this writer through the lens of this other person. [00:33:03] What, what might there be to learn? In reading it. Now, to be honest, I can't do that a lot. I, it takes so much energy to do that. But to keep myself honest, I try to do it fairly regularly. I try to give myself access to viewpoints that make me cringe. Mm-hmm. and I don't do it to deconstruct them. Yes, I do it to understand them. [00:33:29] Maren: That is so good. And it's also alternatively, when we, I think read, read articles or listen to something that is from somebody we normally do agree with. Like we, I think we also also have to think critically like, Yep, do I agree with this? Or what part of it is, Do I do I think is, you know, real or you know, is there part, are there parts I. [00:33:49] Push back on a little bit or something. So I think it's so good to do both. Absolutely. [00:33:54] Julie: Great point, Miller. Yeah. [00:33:56] Maren: Yeah. Okay. So I wanna go back to some of your work, Julie, because I [00:34:00] know Ev, everything you've always put out there, you've always encouraged us to make it our own. And I think you've, from the beginning, have encouraged us all to think critically. [00:34:09] You've inspired. Us all to do poetry, tea, time, , and I'm not kidding you. I have my oldest reads poetry by herself now all the time, and I, I attribute it all to poetry, tea time. I really do. So that you so much, but I know that you also encourage everyone to make. Their own special thing. So what is, What do you think is the key to those magical learning moments like poetry, tea time, or something else that we [00:34:41] Julie: have come up with? [00:34:43] I think when we're talking about learning, what we're actually talking about is a meaningful connection or relationship. To what is being learned. And so just to deconstruct poetry tee time for a moment. Yeah. I knew that adults hated poetry , [00:35:00] and for some reason my whole life I've loved it. I think because I'm innately a writer, and so any manipulation of language has been interesting to me. [00:35:08] My mother also gave me a a rummy card game that was all. So when I was young, I knew all the names of poets, which then later made me wanna read their poems. My father, my grandfather, gave me a poetry book that was a, I'll read to you if you read to me book. So I would share it with my brother or a friend who came over, or my mother, and we'd read poems to each other cuz of the nature of this book. [00:35:30] Awesome. So my early childhood was really warm towards poetry and then song lyrics became my obsession. Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Brown, Tom Petty, they all write such great storytelling and such great lyrics. So as I was raising kids, I was disturbed to discover that adults didn't like poetry. Oh. And I was so afraid that would happen to my children. [00:35:53] And I was on this email list back in the day in the nineties, and somebody shared that she was teaching geography to [00:36:00] her kids, but they didn't like geography. So she started making tea and cookies for when they studied geography. Yes. And suddenly they all liked geography. And I was. Well, I can do that. [00:36:11] We, I drink tea every day. Exactly. And so I created this whole British tea time and added poetry to it. And so I think really what we're saying is when something seems opaque or difficult, we want to tie it to something that automatically creates a sense of warmth and pleasure and openness. So I wish someone had done that for me with. [00:36:34] That that did not happen with Math , but with my kids, because it never happened to me with math. Mm-hmm. , I put so much more energy into manipulatives and games and cards and dices. That's so great. Yes. And even though my kids would all say, and they will say this openly, that math was not my strong suit. [00:36:54] What is ironic is all five of them have been very [00:37:00] successful in math and they, they came out, two of them are programmers and three of them did calculus and I mean, that's amazing. You did that. Good job, Julia. I take credit, it doesn't matter what they think. No, but honestly, the early years to me are what were the foundation for that. [00:37:18] And then I hired tutors and they did take some math at school. But my point is, I think what you're asking. How do we create the meaningful sense of connection that makes me warm and open this something that feels intimidating. And for me, that would be a great criteria for creating magic in learning. [00:37:37] Maren: That sounds amazing. I mean, I, I could think about that in every scenario. Like, what is gonna cause this to be a warm. Cozy or warm and safe [00:37:48] Julie: environment. Yes, and and stimulating enough to be interested, right? So, right. You might make tea and cookies to go with math, but if your child's already resistant or sees no purpose in it, they'll eat the [00:38:00] cookies, drink the tea, and still hate math. [00:38:02] Part of what made poetry special is that poetry's easy. You just read it out loud and everybody finds pleasure. But for something that's more of a struggle, I think part of what we wanna do is admit that it's going to be challenging. Provide a lot of support, create as many real life connections as possible, and then do it in small doses so that we don't create a toxic relationship where we're dreading and it feels tiring and I don't wanna do it. [00:38:31] Maren: I love that. Yep. So, so, so true. Okay, so another thing that we, both Angela and I both love about your book. So many other things that you've created is just the activities, but this specific, this book specifically just has so many practical ideas. And a whole book can be intimidating, honestly. Yes. [00:38:50] Sometimes, you know, but if, if you sprinkled out in, you know, throughout the book so many activities that if we. Just pick a few of those activities. I [00:39:00] mean, it would, it could change our home school and I just love that you did that. Did you, did you know you wanted to share practical activities Yes. And ideas when you wrote the [00:39:10] Julie: book? [00:39:10] Because I just feel that way about everything. Right? Like, I just feel like. We spend so much time reading nonfiction books for information and ideas, but the practical implementation is where transformation occurs. Yeah, Yeah. And for me, a lot of these practices are things that sort of, I stumbled on with my own kids because I was obsessed with thinking. [00:39:32] Yes, I was obsessed with it. So, you know, in that very first chapter where I'm talking about viewpoint and says who, and you know, are we hearing the fairy tale from the Wolf's point of view or the narrator's point of view, or the protagonist point of view? Yes. The reason that I am obsessed with that is that that is the foundation of all critical thinking. [00:39:52] Whose viewpoint Yes. Am I listening to? And what is the criteria by which they create that viewpoint? Mm-hmm. . So we can start that [00:40:00] at age. Totally. Yeah, of course. We would watch these Disney movies and we would analyze the characters to death. Why do we love Ursula? Even though she's the bad character? What is it about her that's compelling? [00:40:13] Why is she more interesting than the good characters? And why would Disney do that? Right? And then you just get into this conversation. What is her sob story? Do we believe it? Does she have some justification for being this angry? Ooh, that's so great. These are great questions. And honestly, they sort of forecast what they'll be encountering in college when they're analyzing. [00:40:35] Absolutely. Lenin versus you know Decart. . [00:40:39] Maren: I was just gonna say, because it's really easy at five and. To any age, but especially at five or younger where there's this dichotomy, like you said, bad and good things aren't bad and good, and it's, it's really easy to push that thought through, you know, And it's, that can be very scary. [00:40:59] And to [00:41:00] understand that the bad. The bad guys or bad people in movies may have some underlying things going on. What a great discussion and deep thinking for a five year [00:41:13] Julie: old that Yeah, and you know, they're, they can do that. They're dealing with siblings. Right. How much bullying happens in a family? [00:41:19] Just an absolute ton. Mm-hmm. . Yep. And so if we are only ever treating people in binaries as bad and good, we can easily harden our own families into the good kids, the not good kids. We start scapegoating a child for being disruptive or picking at each other or being loud, and we start treating that child differently because we see them not through a. [00:41:42] Prism of factors, but only through this lens of obedient or cooperative or, you know, creating pleasure for the adult at ease. Right. Versus the child who's taxing and hard. Right? Totally. Yes. And so that's another reason we do this. We want siblings in particular to see a [00:42:00] 360 degree picture of this child. [00:42:02] They have to share a table with, watch a movie, with share a computer, with go on vacations with Right [00:42:09] Maren: or parents too. Their view of their. Good parent, bad parent, right? Yeah. And it's easy to just say that [00:42:14] Julie: you're the bad parent. [00:42:16] Maren: Yeah. You make me do these things. And there's a lot around that too, that they can, they can think criti critically about, which is awesome. [00:42:23] So if there's one thing parents could implement today right now in regards to raising a critical thinker. What do [00:42:30] Julie: you think that would be? Oh, I love this question. So I'm gonna give you a little story by way of example. This is a practice that you can try. So a lot of people think critical thinking is like opinions about social issues and politics, but that that is just one feature. [00:42:46] Critical thinking is literally every decision you make all day. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. , Which, you know, which way is the fastest to get downtown without traffic is a critical thinking decision. Absolutely. What to eat for. Do I dessert? First, critical [00:43:00] thinking decisions. What we want to do is invite our children to make more of those judgment calls using their own research and data, rather than usurping that role for them. [00:43:13] So I'll give you a a very clear example. Imagine you have an eight year old, it's time for dinner. Mm-hmm. , you say to that child, Hey honey, it's time to wash your hands. It's time for. And this child who has cooperated with this, you know, command for a year sure. Suddenly says, Yeah, I'm not going to, I don't want to [00:43:30] Most parents have one of two ways they respond. There's the authoritarian model which says you have to cuz I said so, right? Mm-hmm. . So you don't really, you could even give a reason, but mostly you're just like, Dude, I'm the mom. You're not. Go wash your hands. The second way is what I call the manipulative obedience model. [00:43:49] What most periods today call cooperation. And what they do instead of requiring obedience is they manipulate it. So what they say is, Oh honey, you must wash your hands. [00:44:00] They're these things called germs and they live on your fingers. And when you touch the food and then eat it, it will go in your body and make you sick. [00:44:06] This is what science tell tells us. Therefore, you must wash your hands right now. In that second model are very proud of that model. Yes. , they're always like, Oh, I would never ask them to do something. I don't explain , but basically what they're doing is they're giving a bunch of information the child doesn't care about. [00:44:25] Nope. And then requiring the child to accept that as better information then the personal experience they're having right now, which is, I don't wanna wash my hands. Exactly. So what I recommend is this. You can't do this every day. Some days you gotta throw 'em in a car seat without an argument and strap 'em in and go. [00:44:41] Mm. But once in a while, go down the rabbit hole. So when your child says, I don't wanna wash my hands, you say, Oh, well that's interesting. Tell me more about that. Why? Why don't you wanna wash your hands? I don't know. I just don't wanna, Is it the temperature of the water? Let me get a thermometer. [00:45:00] Let's measure the temperature, see which temperature is most comfortable for you. [00:45:03] Ooh, I love that. So you start doing that and the child's like, I still hate it. Oh, okay. So it's not the temperature. Is it the wetness? Yeah. I hate how it feels on my hands. Should we try hand sanitizer or it dries faster? Oh no, that's sticky. Well, that's interesting. So here's where I am. I have this belief about germs, but you don't like washing your hands. [00:45:26] I wonder if there's any other information out there about germs and hands. Mm-hmm. . So you do a little research together online, show 'em, and maybe you discover that heat kills germs. And so you say to your child, How would you feel about not washing your hands? And we just blow dry them with a hot blow dryer, , and the child's like that sounds good. [00:45:43] And so you do that or the child still doesn't want to because here's what might be underlying it, your belief in germ. Is actually not a belief. It's propaganda. You've accepted and here's how I know. Didn't your child just eat Cheerios off the [00:46:00] floor without washing their hands? Right? Didn't you at Target watch the baby, spit out the pacifier? [00:46:05] It landed on the floor of Target, you picked it up, sucked the germs off , and then put that pacifier in your baby's mouth. Do you actually believe in germs or you just doing the parental propaganda program where you pass on information, right? Designed to coerce my child. So what I recommend at that point, Either one of these accommodations. [00:46:27] Okay? We're gonna measure the temperature you like it at, You know, 72. We're always gonna wait till it's that temperature or hand sanitizer, or the blow dryer. Or maybe you just roll the dice. You say, You know what? You're right. I don't even know if I believe my own rhetoric. Should we find out if you get sick? [00:46:44] Are you willing for that to be a possible outcome of this? Let's try it for a week. See what happens. Sure. And then see what happens. Right? Right. Give your child meaningful opportunities to collect data, to ask better questions, [00:47:00] to evaluate their experience. To roll the dice and see what the outcome of their hypothesis is. [00:47:07] Now at the start of covid, could you have done this? No. Right, Because we were terrified and we had information our kids didn't have. So at that point, going online, showing them the germs, explaining how people are in the hospital, giving them a meaningful understanding of why you have this level of fear is a great idea, right? [00:47:26] But on the day to day, That's really not what's animating you. Right? And so I think that's where we have to do a better job of interrogating our own positions and our kids give us a chance to do that. [00:47:38] Maren: Right. And we have to be also, I think careful about imposing our own expectations on their critical thinking. [00:47:46] That's right. Because a five year old may not, even after all that information and all the testing and all the, everything you've done, they might. Yeah. I still don't wanna wash my hands . Right? Because they're not ready for that critical thinking at in that [00:48:00] moment. That's right at for that thing. And that's just where they're at. [00:48:02] You can't force their brain to develop anymore than where they're at right [00:48:06] Julie: now. No. And that's where, like Dr. Becky Gooden side, Dr. Becky was, is so right on. I'm reading that book right now. Oh, oh, so good. So good. So when. , ask a child to cooperate with your better judgment. Mm-hmm. , you are spending capital in that relationship. [00:48:26] Maren: You are spending capital. Absolutely. [00:48:28] Julie: And so that's why we want to make some of these demands fewer, you know, we want minimal demands. Yes. And then we want to explore when we can. A child's opposition because maybe it's just that the child was really engaged in a movie and dinner happened and they don't wanna take the time to wash their hands. [00:48:47] Exactly. And dinner delayed. Can we pause the movie? There could be factors here that have nothing to do with critical thinking about hand washing and just convenience that you are tempted to [00:48:59] Maren: overlook. [00:49:00] Absolutely. And it it, like you said, it also requires us to do our own critical thinking. That's right. [00:49:05] On washing hands or. Eating at 6:00 PM Why does that have to happen, ? That's right. You know there's so many things we can think critically of, and we can be an example of critical thinking. And while our kids might not be like, Oh, mom, you're such a great critical thinker today, , I'm going to follow your example. [00:49:27] The, the consistent, critical thinking every day is going to pay. Them, You know, witnessing that every day and seeing how you are transforming and learning from your own critical thinking. You, our kids can't really help but do that because [00:49:46] Julie: that's their example. In fact, I have a great story about this. [00:49:51] My son, Jacob, that I mentioned before, when he was in high school, he got very interested in this one social issue that was on the ballot. I'm not gonna name which one it [00:50:00] was just to keep everyone neutral. Mm-hmm. . And so he came to me and he is like, Mom, I can't vote yet, but I did all this research and I wanted to tell you why I think you should vote pro. [00:50:09] So he went through almost a PowerPoint level presentation. He had data and research in his computer was open. Yeah, it was really ad. He was like 16 and it was really good. And at the end I was like, Jake, that makes a lot of sense. I totally get where you're coming from. Thank you for sharing all that with me. [00:50:26] He says, So are you gonna vote pro? I said, No, I'm still voting Con. Yeah. And his eyes squirted tears. And he said, Mom, I count on you to be logical . And I said, Wow. Well, I appreciate you saying that, and I don't wanna discount what you just shared with me, but you, what you shared with me didn't account for all of my concerns. [00:50:51] It accounted for a lot of concerns you have. It didn't account for mine. But don't worry about that because this is my. And I don't have to agree [00:51:00] with you to appreciate the strength of your argument. And I think over time your side's gonna win. But I haven't personally been persuaded yet. Yep. And it was a very difficult moment for him. [00:51:12] Fast forward, you know, he's 30 and I'm older, and interestingly enough, We have just the best conversations. He ended up being the research validator for this book. I let him look. Wow. I paid him to do it. He went through and made sure that my arguments were actually built from solid foundations of evidence and, you know, make sure I wasn't quoting some spurious researcher who mm-hmm. [00:51:38] who happened to find their way onto a webpage I didn't vet. And so just to show. He saw me as a logical person, first of all. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. , which I think is a beautiful credit. Secondly, we had to learn to live with the tension of disagreement, even when we were both being logical. Yep. And then third, we've built a relationship over time that makes it possible for both of us to [00:52:00] respect our capacity to do research and find answers. [00:52:03] And I think if there's anything I would want for parents, that's what it is. It's not agreement, it's not a. It's this dialogical respect for each person's capacity to show up with their own viewpoint while respecting the other person. [00:52:20] Maren: It's beautifully said. Julie. Thank you so much, and I think that's a perfect place to stop for today, even though I could talk to you for another hour as usual. [00:52:29] But I just appreciate your insight and your encouragement that, you know, we've always, I've always relied on your encouragement through my whole parenting and homeschool journey, so I just thank you [00:52:41] Julie: so much. Well, you do a great job both on this podcast and with your family, and so I. That you are continuing to put out such good information to your people as you [00:52:52] Maren: as well. [00:52:52] All right. Take care. [00:52:54] Julie: Thank you. Bye. [00:52:56] Angela: All right. Let's move on to our lt [00:53:00] Ws. Yes. Marron. What are you loving this week? Okay. I am [00:53:03] Maren: loving a book that I actually happen to talk with Julie about Very Oh, very shortly. I mean, we just like, I think Julie just kind of mentioned it in our conversation. You may have. I picked up on it, but I'm actually reading it right now. [00:53:18] And so it was fun to hear Julie mention it. And it's called Good Inside A Guide to Becoming the Parent You want to Be. And it's by Becky Kennedy, Dr. Becky . And it is just a [00:53:32] Angela: great it is [00:53:34] Maren: confirming. All of the, all of the healthy things we want to do in our parenting. [00:53:42] And I wanna say homeschooling too. Yeah. I think this is a great book for homeschoolers. It's just a great book. So I just, I, I can't say enough good things about Dr. Becky. She's my new favorite. . Yeah. I feel like she says things first. I was gonna say Angela, she says things that we. [00:54:00] Yeah, I was first gonna say maybe better. [00:54:03] Mm-hmm. , But actually I'm giving ourselves credit, Angela, and I'm gonna just gonna say, she says it in it with a twist, you know, that's, Yeah. On with her specialty, you know, as a doctor for, And I think we have this twist as a specialty, you know, as parents and educators and you know, we [00:54:17] Angela: have, but we're, we're really share, We [00:54:20] Maren: really share so much of the same message. [00:54:22] Yes. [00:54:23] Angela: And so Good. I'm loving. Yeah. You know, people need to hear things in different ways and from different people and I, so I fully support like different people, books and podcast and whatever. Yeah. But she I have not read her book, but I do want to mm-hmm. because what I've really liked about her is you know, she doesn't profess to. [00:54:45] Always do it right, . Exactly. Yep. And she describes that in the book too for sure. Yes. Like she's just coming from a place of like, Look, I'm in the trenches with you too. Like, I get it. Yeah. Things are triggering, things are hard. And [00:55:00] so she's really Supportive in that way. It feels like it feels reachable. [00:55:04] It feels attainable. Yes. [00:55:06] Maren: And it is good to hear from, you know, a, a, a doctor, a psychologist, you know, who really understands the brain and how it just very intricately. [00:55:16] Angela: Yes. And so it is, it's, it's science [00:55:18] Maren: that this is really good parenting and, and it's effective and it's just healthy. Mm-hmm. , it's just healthy for. [00:55:26] Physically, mentally, emotionally, [00:55:27] Angela: it's all healthy. . Yeah. And her premises, it's called Good Inside because Good inside. Yeah. Because we are all good inside. Yep. Kids too. We're all like wanting to do our Yes. Do good and do our best, so. Yep. Yeah, so I love that. I love that. Yes. Thank you for [00:55:42] Maren: sharing that. [00:55:43] Yes, of course. I'm, I'm excited for you to read it. I know you will, [00:55:46] Angela: and it'll be fun. I'll probably listen, Are you listening? I'm listening. Yeah. Yeah. Does she read? Yes. Okay. Yeah, that'll be what I'll do. All right, Angela, what do you loving this week? I am loving something that I think I may have talked to you about in private, [00:56:00] but now I would like the whole world to know about it. [00:56:01] Yes. It's called Calm aid. Oh, yes. And this is a natural supplement for anxiety, overwhelming stress. And you can get it on Amazon and you can get it cheaply. So we have subscribed and saved to it. . That is [00:56:16] Maren: amazing. You know, it's a, you know, it's a winner. You know, we need it. Subscribe and saved . Yes. [00:56:21] Angela: And the reason why I like it is because I was. [00:56:25] You know I've been on medication for anxiety and depression. Some of my kids have been on things at different times. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. for different things. And so we have a psychiatrist that we talk to. Yeah. And the psychiatrist was telling me that this calm aid is over the counter, right? Mm-hmm. [00:56:42] it's an over the counter thing, but. In many countries, like European countries, she said it's their first line of defense. For something like anxiety or depression before you, they try other medications. Wow. And so this is just their first go [00:57:00] to. It's real. It's a real, It really works. Yeah. All it is is lavender. [00:57:04] It's lavender. It's a lavender pill. That's all that's in. It is lavender. It's concentrated. It's concentrated. Right. Small capsule that is easy to swallow. Okay. That's what I would need. Yep. Right. So it's in a small, easy to swallow capsule. It's just lavender so you can feel good knowing mm-hmm. , that that's all you're taking. [00:57:22] Yeah. But it really does help. Like I have been taking it every morning. And on the days that I take it, I can tell that I feel much calmer, much less stressed. On the package it says you should take it twice a day. So I think if you were you know, really wanting to be more serious, you could take it twice a day if you were unsure about trying medication. [00:57:42] This could be a good place to start. If you were unsure for one of your kids, this could, this could be a good place to start for one of them too. I just think we more people need to know about it because I had, I had never heard about it until the psychiatrist recommended it, and I just think like, and it gets all these great reviews, so I just think, why [00:58:00] don't, maybe more people already knew about it and I just didn't. [00:58:02] Yeah, right. But. It has really been helpful for me and some of my kids. I was gonna say maybe [00:58:08] Maren: it's everybody in Europe who's, who's given it all those high stars. I mean, that's, that's amazing. [00:58:13] Angela: Yeah. So, Well, I'm [00:58:16] Maren: so glad that you, have you found something for, you know, for Totally. There's so many of, I mean, there are so many of us I think that who could use. [00:58:23] Something like that without a prescription would be [00:58:25] Angela: great. Mm-hmm. so great. So thank you. And it's just, it's a first, It's, I know it's hard to try medication if you haven't. It is before, it's a hard first step. And so like this, this is something you could try before that if you Yeah, [00:58:37] Maren: yeah. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . [00:58:39] We wanna thank our three sponsors, Blossom and Root Out School and Night Zookeeper. Be sure to check out their links in our [00:58:49] Angela: show. This podcast is created and hosted by Angela Se and Marrin Gors. [00:58:55] We are listeners supported to get extra content and the Back to School Summit free with your [00:59:00] membership. Go to patreon.com/homeschool on refined. Subscribe to our newsletter and get our free top 100 inclusive firstname.lastname@example.org slash newsletter. You can find Marron on Instagram at unrefined marron and at Always Learning with Marron, and you can find Angela. [00:59:18] Unrefined. Angela
This week TR and LR team up to talk about some of the hot topics of the hour: Lawmakers to give MORE power to the Pentagon, Housing in SF, and Alan Moore is done with comics! Pentagon https://www.defensenews.com/.../lawmakers-seek.../... Housing in SF https://www.sfchronicle.com/.../Why-did-S-F-supervisors... Alan Moore https://www.theguardian.com/.../watchmen-author-alan... About LR Merch store is live: leftreckoning.com/store Get our booklist here: https://bookshop.org/lists/left-recko... Left Reckoning goes live Tuesdays @ 7 Central. Along with the main show, there is a Griscom stream every Tuesday afternoon. To get access to all the bonus episodes, including more Hitchens conversations & deep dives into radical US history, Lenin, James Connolly & more support the show at patreon.com/leftreckoning - for just $5 you help make the public show possible and get double the bonus content. Support us on patreon.com/LeftReckoning Twitter: @LeftReckoning - @mattlech - @davidgriscom Instagram: @LeftReckoning Check out our Twitch streams at Twitch.tv/LeftReckoning About TIR Thank you for supporting the show! Remember to like and subscribe on YouTube. Also, consider supporting us on Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/join/BitterLakePresents Check out our official merch store at https://www.thisisrevolutionpodcast.com/ Also follow us on... https://podcasts.apple.com/.../this-is.../id1524576360 www.youtube.com/thisisrevolutionpodcast www.twitch.tv/thisisrevolutionpodcast www.twitch.tv/leftflankvets https://www.facebook.com/Thisisrevolutionpodcast/ Instagram: @thisisrevolutionoakland Follow the TIR Crüe on Twitter: @TIRShowOakland @djenebajalan @DrKuba2 @probert06 @StefanBertramL @MarcusHereMeow Read Jason: https://www.sublationmag.com/writers/jason-myles Read Pascal: https://www.newsweek.com/black-political-elite-serving...
Party business got serious after the 1905 Revolution, as the regime struck back against its enemies and the Socialists turned to every source of funds they could. Stalin possessed organizational skills and a lack of scruples, so he began a hybrid life of politics and crime that got him noticed by both Lenin and the authorities. Bibliography for this episode: Montefiore, Simon Sebag Young Stalin Vintage Books 2007 Kotkin, Stephen Stalin: Paradoxes of Power 1878-1928 Penguin Books 2015 Questions? Comments? Email me at email@example.com
Episode 113:This week we're continuing Russia in Revolution An Empire in Crisis 1890 - 1928 by S. A. Smith[Part 1]Introduction[Part 2-5]1. Roots of Revolution, 1880s–1905[Part 6-8]2. From Reform to War, 1906-1917[Part 9-12]3. From February to October 1917[Part 13 - 17]4. Civil War and Bolshevik Power[Part 18 - 22]5. War Communism[Part 23]6. The New Economic Policy: Politics and the EconomyNew Economic Policy and AgricultureNew Economic Policy and IndustryNew Economic Policy and Labour[Part 25 - This Week]6. The New Economic Policy: Politics and the EconomyThe Inner Party Struggle - 0:30The Party State - 25:46Instituting Law - 40:20[Part 26?]6. The New Economic Policy: Politics and the Economy[Part 27 - 30?]7. The New Economic Policy: Society and Culture[Part 31?]ConclusionFigure 6.1 - 4:33Soviet leaders in 1919. From left, Joseph Stalin, Vladimir Lenin, Mikhail Kalinin.[see on www.abnormalmapping.com/leftist-reading-rss/2022/2/15/leftist-reading-russia-in-revolution-part-25]Footnotes:54) 1:33V. P. Vilkova (ed.), VKP(b): vnutripartiinaia bor'ba v dvadtsatye gody: dokumenty i materialy, 1923g. (Moscow: ROSSPEN, 2004).55) 2:05.56) 2:53Gimpel'son, Formirovanie, 177.57) 5:38Moshe Lewin, Lenin's Last Struggle (London: Faber, 1969).58) 11:05For an interesting interpretation of the inner-party conflict that sees it as rooted in an underlying difference between ‘revivalist' and ‘technicist' types of Bolshevism, see Priestland, Stalinism, ch. 2.59) 12:06Richard B. Day, Leon Trotsky and the Politics of Economic Isolation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973).60) 13:07Stephen F. Cohen, Bukharin and the Bolshevik Revolution: A Political Biography, 1888–1938 (New York: Knopf, 1973).61) 14:31David R. Stone, Hammer and Rifle: The Militarization of the Soviet Union 1926–1933 (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2000).62) 15:24G. L. Olekh, Krovnye uzy: RKP(b) i ChK/GPU v pervoi polovine 1920-x godov: mekhanizm vzaimootnoshenii (Novosibirsk: NGAVT 1999), 92–3.63) 18:08Stephen Kotkin, Stalin: Paradoxes of Power, 1878–1928 (London: Penguin, 2015), 432.64) 18:31Harris, ‘Stalin as General Secretary, in Davies and Harris (eds), Stalin: A New History, 63–82 (69).65) 20:!2Excellent biographies of Stalin include Robert Service, Stalin: A Biography (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2004); Oleg V. Khlevniuk, Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2015).66) 22:14I. V. Stalin, ‘The October Revolution and the Tactics of the Russian Communists', .67) 23:27James Harris, ‘Stalin and Stalinism', The Oxford Handbook of Modern Russian History, Oxford Handbooks Online,1–21 (6).68) 24:18Alfred J. Rieber, ‘Stalin as Georgian: The Formative Years', in Davies and Harris (eds), Stalin: A New History, 18–44.69) 24:34E. A. Rees, Political Thought from Machiavelli to Stalin (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2004), 222.70) 25:17 ‘Stalin i krizis proletarskoi diktatury', .71) 27:09R. W. Davies, The Industrialization of Soviet Russia, vol. 3: The Soviet Economy in Turmoil (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 1929), xxiii.72) 27:55Heinzen says 70,000 were employed in the Commissariat of Agriculture by the end of the decade. Heinzen, Inventing, 2.73) 29:13Michael Voslenskii, Nomenklatura: The Soviet Ruling Class (New York: Doubleday, 1984); Harris, ‘Stalin as General Secretary', 69.74) 31:15Shkaratan, Problemy, 272.75) 32:00Golos Naroda, 199.76) 32:50Graeme Gill, Origins of the Stalinist Political System (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), 118.77) 34:28Sheila Fitzpatrick, Education and Social Mobility in the Soviet Union, 1921–1934 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1979).78) 38:31E. A. Wood, The Baba and the Comrade: Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Russia (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1997).79) 39:10Wendy Z. Goldman, Women, the State and Revolution: Soviet Family Policy and Social Life, 1917–1936 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), 111.80) 39:35Olekh, Krovnye uzy, 90.81) 40:09Golos naroda, 152.82) 41:19Nikita Petrov, ‘Les Transformations du personnel des organes de sécurité soviétiques, 1922–1953', Cahiers du monde russe, 22:2 (2001), 375–96 (376).83) 41:47S. A. Krasil'nikov, Na izlomakh sotsial'noi struktury: marginaly v poslerevoliutsionnom rossiiskom obshchestve (1917—konets 1930-kh godov) (Novosibirsk: NGU, 1998), table 4.84) 42:33V. K. Vinogradov, ‘Ob osobennostiakh informatsionnykh materialov OGPU kak istochnik po istorii sovetskogo obshchestva', in ‘Sovershenno sekretno': Liubianka- Stalinu o polozhenii v strane (1922–1934), vol. 1, part 1: 1922–23 (Moscow: RAN, 2001), 31–7685) 43:42Roger Pethybridge, One Step Backwards, Two Steps Forward: Soviet Society and Politics in the New Economic Policy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990).86) 44:44Solomon, Soviet Criminal Justice.87) 45:38Neil B. Weissman, ‘Local Power in the 1920s: Police and Administrative Reform', in Theodore Taranovski (ed.), Reform in Modern Russian History (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center and Cambridge University Press, 1995), 265–89.88) 45:59Neil Weissman, ‘Policing the NEP Countryside', in Sheila Fitzpatrick, A. Rabinowitch, and R. Stites (eds), Russia in the Era of NEP (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991), 174–91 (177); R. S. Mulukaev and N. N. Kartashov, Militsiia Rossii (1917–1993gg.) (Orël: Oka, 1995), 43.89) 46:48Joan Neuberger, Hooliganism: Crime, Culture and Power in St Petersburg, 1900–1914 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993).90) 47:09Tracy McDonald, Face to the Village: The Riazan Countryside under Soviet Rule, 1921–1930 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011), 90.91) 47:41David A. Newman, ‘Criminal Strategies and Institutional Concerns in the Soviet Legal System: An Analysis of Criminal Appeals in Moscow Province, 1921–28', Ph.D. dissertation, UCLA (2013), 183.
This is the continuation of our conversation with Winston James about his latest work Claude McKay: The Making of a Black Bolshevik. In part 1 we talked about McKay's origins in Jamaica up through the Red Summer of 1919 when he would pen his famous poem “If We Must Die.” In this conversation we talk about McKay's time in Harlem, his relationship with Hubert Harrison, his support of - and political differences with - the Garvey movement or the UNIA. In that vein we also talk about McKay's theorization of the relationship between class struggle, anticolonial struggle, and anticapitalist revolution. And relatedly his support of movements for Irish nationalism, Indian independence, and Black Nationalism. James also shares McKay's experiences as a worker, as a member of the Wobblies or the IWW, and as a member of Sylvia Pankhurst's Workers Socialist Federation in the UK and some associated discussion of syndicalism and leftwing communism. We close with some reflections on McKay's attitudes towards Bolshevism over time, especially after Lenin. We really enjoyed Winston James book and highly recommend it to people who are interested in McKay's life or just in history including debates of the Black left - and communist left - in the early 20th century. You can pick up Winston James' Claude McKay: The Making of a Black Bolshevik which is currently on sale from our friends at Massive Bookshop. A final reminder as this is likely to be our final episode of this month. October is the 5 year anniversary of Millennials Are Killing Capitalism. We had set a goal of adding 50 patrons this month. And with 2 days left is attainable. We need just 4 more patrons to hit that goal. You can help us hit that goal for as little as $1 a month or $10.80 per year at patreon.com/millennialsarekillingcapitalism. A new post will be up on patreon about it this week, but our Black Marxism study group will start up in November, and our 5 year anniversary episode is still on its way.
Episode 108 The radicalization of the American Democratic Party has made it so that anything right of Lenin is Conservative and anything left of Lenin just isn't Left enough. How can a country withstand such extreme polarities in its politics? Many Christians who would identify themselves as conservative suddenly find themselves in the agreement with centrists, liberals, and progressives, an obviously problematic position. Does it have to be this way? Are Christians bound to conservatism when it has come to compromise on clearly established biblical principles? Is conservatism the appropriate Christian response to the current political landscape, or is it a dangerous counterfeit worldview lulling Christians into sin and apathy? Join us in this episode of the Removing Barriers podcast as we explore these tensions in an interview with recurring guest Edward Thal, the successful businessman and politician who left it all in search of Christ and was gloriously saved by Him. Listen to the Removing Barriers Podcast here: Spotify: https://cutt.ly/Ega8YeI Apple Podcast: https://cutt.ly/Vga2SVd Google Podcast: https://cutt.ly/Rga25WD Stitcher: https://cutt.ly/GgP1L46 YouTube: https://cutt.ly/mga8A77 Podnews: https://podnews.net/podcast/i4jxo See all our platforms: https://removingbarriers.net Contact us: Leave us a voice message: https://anchor.fm/removingbarriers/message Email us: https://removingbarriers.net/contact Financially support the show: https://removingbarriers.net/donate Affiliates: SWAPP: https://theswapp.io/ Book Shop: https://bookshop.org/shop/removingbarriers Answers in Genesis Bookstore: https://shrsl.com/2tu8i Design It Yourself Gift Baskets: https://shrsl.com/2m64o Ivacy: https://shrsl.com/2jz3c Share a Sale: https://shrsl.com/2jz4f See all our affiliates: https://removingbarriers.net/affiliates Notes: https://edwardthal.wordpress.com/ Soulwinning videos: https://www.sharonbaptisthamptonva.com/wwsed.html --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/removingbarriers/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/removingbarriers/support
“We have to understand neoliberalism as a particular phase of capitalism dominated by US imperialism. So let's start with the last point I mentioned: regime change operation. Any country around the world, any government that tries to have state oversight over the economy opposing neoliberalism was overthrown through regime change.”Ben Norton's journalism, according to his bio, focuses primarily on US foreign policy and geopolitics, but that description doesn't do him justice. If any of our listeners are under the illusion the US government serves a purpose other than making the world safe for neoliberal monopoly capitalism, this episode is for you. If you believe neoliberalism is driven by bad ideas, this episode is for you. Ben and Steve discuss Lenin's prescience in ‘Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism,' writing about the predatory nature of finance capital a full century ago. But finance capital in 1916 was a far cry from that of today: “No one in 1916 could have imagined the level of financialization of the economy, especially the US economy – and also deindustrialization. Let's not forget that deindustrialization is something quite new in the history of capitalism. This is something that really emerges with the rise of neoliberalism, especially starting in the '70s, going into the '80s forward and this neoliberal phase of globalization.” As the mainstream media is getting our minds prepped for war, we would do well to revisit some of the other ‘enemies' in our recent past. They all had one thing in common. It had nothing to do with some crazy evil dictator threatening US national security. Ben Norton is a journalist, writer, and filmmaker. His journalism focuses primarily on US foreign policy and geopolitics. He is based in Latin America and speaks English and Spanish. @BenjaminNorton and @Multipolarista on Twitter
El “Palabralibrismo” como movimiento, la campaña “Adopte un fotuto”, la “FBIofobia” y la campaña de un grupo dentro del Partido Popular Democrático para asestarle un golpe político a José Luis Dalmau. ¿Qué es ser popular? ¿Para qué existe el PPD? ¿Qué representa el PPD? La alianza electoral entre el Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño y el Movimiento Victoria Ciudadana, la ortodoxia de la izquierda como instrumento de la parálisis, la ingeniera Ingrid Vila Biaggi y el abogado Rafael Cox Alomar como parte de la alianza, mirada histórica a Lenin y Fidel Castro, la guerra entre Rusa y Ucrania, la situación política y social en Haití, y el papel de República Dominicana para enfrentar la crisis. Conducido por Néstor Duprey Salgado y Eduardo Lalo. Síguenos en las redes: Twitter: @PalabraLibrePR, Facebook: Palabra Libre PR Página web: Palabra Libre – Más allá del bipartidismo (palabralibrepr.com) -- Colaboradores: Librería El Candil (www.libreriaelcandil.com), Música: Cafêzz (www.cafezzmusic.com) y Bambola Juguetes (bambolajuguetes.com)
Un interviu realizat de Cosmin Blasciuc pe data de 22 august, 2022 în casa dramaturgului Matei Vișniec din Rădăuți. ▶LINKURI RELEVANTE: Videoul original: https://youtu.be/gXMWG943jic ▶DISCORD: – Comunitatea amatorilor de filosofie și literatură: https://discord.gg/meditatii ▶DIALOGURI FILOSOFICE: – Română: https://soundcloud.com/meditatii/sets/dialoguri-pe-discord – Engleză: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLLnaYpeWGNO8IdPaNYNkbJjNJeXrNHSaV ▶PODCAST INFO: – Website: https://podcastmeditatii.com – Newsletter: https://podcastmeditatii.com/aboneaza – YouTube: https://youtube.com/c/meditatii – Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/meditatii/id1434369028 – Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/1tBwmTZQHKaoXkDQjOWihm – RSS: https://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:373963613/sounds.rss ▶SUSȚINE-MĂ: – Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/meditatii – PayPal: https://paypal.me/meditatii ▶TWITCH: – LIVE: https://www.twitch.tv/meditatii – Rezumate: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK204s-jdiStZ5FoUm63Nig ▶SOCIAL MEDIA: – Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/meditatii.podcast – Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meditatii.podcast – Goodreads: https://goodreads.com/avasilachi – Telegram (jurnal): https://t.me/andreivasilachi – Telegram (chat): https://t.me/podcastmeditatii ▶EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org ▶CRONOLOGIE: 0:00 – Intro 1:24 – Între Franța și România 5:08 – Procesul comunismului prin teatru 9:17 – Războiul din Ucraina și renașterea ideologiilor toxice 16:27 – Un secol de ceață 19:06 – Lenin, Tristan Tzara și dadaismul 23:11 – Relația dintre teatru și societate 28:05 – Revoluția din 1989 și miracolul democrației
Prof. Matthew Kapell joins Paul and I to talk Andor, episode 8. We get into light topics like anthropological readings of the characters, the nature of rebellion, & what Lenin would think of the show. We even find a few things to quibble about! (though they are very small quibbles).Matthew Wilhelm Kapell has taught everything from human genetics to film studies at universities and colleges in California, Michigan, the UK, and now New York City at Pace University. Currently he edits an academic book series on the study of digital and tabletop games. You can find out about his books and other stuff at matthewkapell.com. He never forgets that too many “Hero's Journeys” are also “Heroine's Ordeals.”
Guest: Richard Becker is the Western Region Coordinator of the ANSWER – Act Now to Stop War & End Racism – Coalition, and the author of Palestine, Israel and the U.S. Empire, and The Myth of Democracy and the Rule of the Banks. He is also co-author of several books Storming the Gates: How the Russian Revolution Changed the World, Revolution Manifesto: Understanding Marx and Lenin's Theory of Revolution. Feature photo: Noah Brooks on Wikimedia The post Left Perspectives on the War in Ukraine: A Conversation with Richard Becker appeared first on KPFA.
Svetlana Iosifovna Stalina, the most famous defector of the cold war, was born in luxury, in the Kremlin and led an extraordinary, tumultuous life. She died destitute at a care home in Wisconsin.In this episode we tell the incredible story of Stalin's daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva, born Stalina and later known as Lana Peters. If you like our content, please become a patron to receive our two exclusive premium episodes each month, as well as our public episodes ad-free. Born on February 28, 1926, in Moscow, Svetlana was Stalin's favorite child and The Princess in The Kremlin. Her mother Nadezhda was a secretary for Lenin and played an important role in Stalin's rise to power. She committed suicide when Svetlana was just 6 years old. Her brother Vasily was 11 and her half brother Yakov was 25. Artyom, her adopted brother and the only one of her siblings who reached old age, was already a young man. Svetlana had a lonely childhood, very few friends and was interested in literature and poetry. She was the only one that could influence Joseph Stalin. During the Great Purge, she managed to save the lives of many people just by pleading with her father to commute their sentences. She was 10 years old at the time. As a 16 yo teenager, she fell in love with filmmaker Aleksei Kapler, who was 20 years older. Stalin sends him to the Gulag because he was Jewish. Joseph Stalin himself married Nadezhda when she was just 16 years old and he was 39. Svetlana rebelled and married another Jewish man, but their union was short lived. Her first son Josef was born. Her second marriage disintegrates just as fast, but now Svetlana had a daughter too, Yekaterina. During WW2, Her brother Yakov was captured by the Nazis and Stalin refused to exchange him for Field Marshall Friedrich Paulus. Yakov commits suicide by throwing himself on an electrified fence. Vasili dies of alcoholism induced cirrhosis at just 41. After Stalin's death, Svetlana, now a single mother of two, fell in love with Indian translator Kunwar Brajesh Singh. When he dies, she traveled to Delhi to pour his ashes in the Ganges. In Delhi, Svetlana walked into the US Embassy and defected, bringing her first manuscript– 20 Letters to A Friend – to America. She publishes it and earns almost $1M. Most of her money was spent by William Wesley Peters, the world famous architect and vice president of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation after their marriage and years living together at the Taliesin Fellowship. Her marriage to Peters ended, but they had a daughter together, Olga. She now goes by the name of Chrese Evans and lives in Portland Oregon. 1 In 1978, Svetlana, now Lana Peters became a US citizen. 2 Her older daughter, Yekaterina, is a volcanologist in Kamchatka Penninsula in Siberia. Her firstborn son Iosef, a cardiologist, died in Russia in 2008. She was never able to see them again after she fled from Russia. On November 22, 2011, Svetlana died of colon cancer, at the Richland center, a care home in Wisconsin. 3 Episode #Dubimeter: 20 1. Nicholas Thompson. My Friend, Stalin's Daughter. The New Yorker. March 2014. ⇤2. Steven V. Roberts. Stalin's Dauhter Confirms Marriaje to Architect. The New York Times. April 1970. ⇤3. Get.factual youtube channel. Stalin's Daughter - Escaping the Shadow. Youtube. July 2022. ⇤
It was a fantastic pleasure to welcome Bryan Caplan back for a third time on the podcast! His most recent book is Don't Be a Feminist: Essays on Genuine Justice.He explains why he thinks:* Feminists are mostly wrong,* We shouldn't overtax our centi-billionaires,* Decolonization should have emphasized human rights over democracy,* Eastern Europe shows that we could accept millions of refugees.Watch on YouTube. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Read the full transcript here.Follow me on Twitter for updates on future episodes.More really cool guests coming up; subscribe to find out about future episodes!You may also enjoy my interviews with Tyler Cowen (about talent, collapse, & pessimism of sex), Charles Mann (about the Americas before Columbus & scientific wizardry), and Steve Hsu (about intelligence and embryo selection).If you end up enjoying this episode, I would be super grateful if you share it, post it on Twitter, send it to your friends & group chats, and throw it up wherever else people might find it. Can't exaggerate how much it helps a small podcast like mine.A huge thanks to Graham Bessellieu for editing this podcast and Mia Aiyana for producing its transcript.Timestamps(00:12) - Don't Be a Feminist (16:53) - Western Feminism Ignores Infanticide(19:59) - Why The Universe Hates Women(32:02) - Women's Tears Have Too Much Power(46:37) - Bryan Performs Standup Comedy!(51:09) - Affirmative Action is Philanthropic Propaganda(54:12) - Peer-effects as the Only Real Education(58:46) - The Idiocy of Student Loan Forgiveness(1:08:49) - Why Society is Becoming Mentally Ill(1:11:49) - Open Borders & the Ultra-long Term(1:15:37) - Why Cowen's Talent Scouting Strategy is Ludicrous(1:22:11) - Surprising Immigration Victories(1:37:26) - The Most Successful Revolutions(1:55:34) - Anarcho-Capitalism is the Ultimate Government(1:57:00) - Billionaires Deserve their WealthTranscriptDwarkesh PatelToday, I have the great honor of interviewing Bryan Caplan again for the third time. Bryan, thanks so much for coming on the podcast. Bryan CaplanI've got the great honor of being interviewed by you, Dwarkesh. You're one of my favorite people in the world!Don't Be a FeministDwarkesh PatelIt's a greater pleasure every time (for me at least). So let's talk about your book, Don't Be a Feminist. Is there any margin of representation of women in leadership roles at which you think there should be introduced bias to make sure more women get in, even if the original ratio is not because of bias?Bryan CaplanNo, I believe in meritocracy. I think it is a good system. It is one that almost everyone sees the intuitive appeal of, and it works. Just looking at a group and saying, “We need to get more members of Group X,” is the wrong way to approach it. Rather, you need to be focusing on, “Let's try to figure out the best way of getting the top quality people here.”Dwarkesh PatelIf there's an astounding ratio of men in certain positions, could that potentially have an impact on the company's ability to do business well? Perhaps the company could just care about increasing the ratio for that reason alone. Bryan CaplanRight. I mean, one can imagine that! I think in our culture, it really goes the other way. People are more likely to be trying to get rid of men, despite the fact that the men are delivering value. If you really pushed me into starting to think, “Suppose you're running a bar, would you have ladies' night?” well yeah, I would have ladies' night in a bar because that actually works, and it's good business! However, if what you're doing is trying to actually get correct answers to things, if you're trying to go and make something run effectively, and if you're just trying to make progress and you're trying to learn new things, the thing to focus on is what actually leads to knowledge and not focusing on just trying to get demographic representation. I think what we've seen is once you go down that route, it is a slippery slope. So besides defending meritocracy on its merits, I would actually also say that the slippery slope argument is not one that should be dismissed lightly. There's a lot of evidence that it does actually fit the facts. When you make an exception of that kind, it really does lead you to bad places. Dwarkesh PatelOkay. But changing topics a bit, I wonder if this gives you greater sympathy for immigration restrictionists because their argument is similar, that there's no natural shelling point for your keyhole solutions where you let tens of millions of people in, but you don't give them welfare or voting rights. There's a slippery slope when you let them in because, eventually, the civil rights argument is going to extend to them. There'll be adverse consequences that these keyhole solutions can't solve for.Bryan CaplanFirst of all, I would say maybe. That is one of the best arguments against keyhole solutions. I'm also guessing that a lot of your listeners have no idea what keyhole solutions are, Dwarkesh, so maybe we want to back up and explain that. Dwarkesh PatelGo for it. Sure.Bryan CaplanSo I have a totally unrelated book called Open Borders, the Science and Ethics of Immigration. One of the chapters goes over ways of dealing with complaints about immigration that fall short of stopping people from actually excluding or kicking out people that are already there. So just to back up a little bit further, most of the book talks about complaints about immigration–– saying that they're either totally wrong or overstated. But then I have another chapter saying, “Alright, fine, maybe you don't agree with that, but isn't there another way that we could deal with this?” So, for example, if you're worried about immigrants voting poorly, you could say, “Fine, we won't extend voting rights to immigrants or make them wait for a longer time period.” That's one where I would just say that the focal point of citizen versus noncitizen is one of the strongest ones. So I think that it actually is one that has a lot of stability. This line of, “Well, you're not a citizen, therefore…” really does have a lot of intuitive appeal. Although, yes, I do think that keyhole solutions would probably not work multi-generationally, so to go and say this is a keyhole solution where you're not a citizen, your kids are not citizens, and their kids after them are not citizens, that's one that I think would be hard to maintain. However, again, at the same time, the problems people are worried about, if they ever were severe, are also getting diluted over time. So I wouldn't worry about it so much. That is one of the very best objections to keyhole solutions that I know of.Dwarkesh PatelOkay, so going back to feminism. Over time, doesn't feminism naturally become true? One of the things you can say is that the way that society is unfair to men includes how they fight in wars or do difficult and dangerous jobs, but society, over time, becomes more peaceful (or at least has in our timeline), and the difficult jobs get automated. At the same time, the gains for people who are at the very peak of any discipline keep going up fairly, but the implication still is that if men are overrepresented there, even for biological reasons, then the relative gains that they get go up, right? So over time, feminism just becomes more true, not because society necessarily discriminated against women, but just because of the trends in technology. Bryan CaplanOnce again, I feel like we should just back up a little bit. What is feminism anyway, because if we don't know what that is, then it's very hard to talk about whether it's becoming more true over time. In my book, I begin with some popular dictionary definitions that just say feminism is the theory that women should be political, social, economic, and cultural equals of men. I say that this is a terrible definition, which violates normal usage. Why? Well, we actually have public opinion data on, first of all, whether people are or are not feminists, and second of all, what they believe about the political, social, economic, and cultural equality of women. And guess what? An overwhelming majority of people that say they are not feminists still agree with the equality of women in all those mentions, which really makes you realize that really can't be the definition of feminism. That would be like saying feminism is the theory that the sky is blue.Well, feminists do believe the sky is blue, but that isn't what distinguishes feminists from other people. So what distinguishes them? What I say is that the really distinguishing view of feminism is that society treats women less fairly than men. The view is that society treats women less fairly than men or treats men more fairly than women. This definition fits actual usage. It would be very strange for someone to say, “I'm a feminist, but I think that men get terrible treatment in our society, and women are treated like goddesses.” Then you say, “Well, then you're not really a feminist, are you?” That doesn't make sense. On the other hand, for someone to say, “I am not a feminist, but God, we treat women so terribly, we're awful.” That, again, just would not fit. So I'm not saying this is the one true definition, but rather that it is much closer to what people actually mean by feminism than what dictionaries say. So to be fair, every now and then, there'll be a better definition. I think the Wikipedia definition in the second sentence adds that it also has the view that women are treated very unfairly. Dwarkesh PatelIs another way of defining feminism just that we should raise the status of women? That's slightly different from the fairness issue because if you think of a feminist historian, maybe their contention is not that women were treated unfairly in the past. Maybe they just want to raise the status of women in the past who are underrepresented. If you think of somebody today who wants to, let's say, raise the status of Asians in our society, and they want to acknowledge the great things that Asians are doing in our society, then maybe their contention is not even that Asians are treated unfairly. They just want to raise their status. So what would you think of that definition?Bryan CaplanSo first of all, it could be, but I don't think so. Here's what I think. There could be a few people like that, but that's not what the word means in normal use. If someone were to say, “Women are treated absolutely fantastically, way better than men, and I want it to get even higher.” You say, hmm. Well, that's not what I think. Somebody might say, “Well, I can still be a feminist and think that,” okay, but that's not what the word actually means. It's not the typical view of people who call themselves feminists. The typical view is precisely that women are treated very unfairly. They want to raise that and alleviate that in a way that's almost by definition. If you think that someone's being treated unfairly, then to say, “I think they're being really unfair, but I think it's great that it's unfair.” It's almost self-contradictory. Dwarkesh PatelI guess I was making a slightly different point, which is not even that these people don't want to raise the status (the actual living standards of women) in some way. It's just that they want to raise the rhetorical status.Bryan CaplanYes, but again, if someone were to say, “I think that women are treated absolutely fantastically in society, way better than men, who we treat like dogs. But I also want women's status to be even higher than it already is.” That would be something where you could argue that “Well, that person may still be a feminist, but that is not what the word means.” Because hardly anyone who calls themselves a feminist believes that weird thing that you're talking about. Dwarkesh PatelLet me make an analogy. Let's say you or I are libertarians, right? And then we think we should raise the status of billionaires. Now, it's not like we think society mistreats billionaires. They're pretty fine, but we think their status should be even higher.Bryan CaplanYeah, I mean, this just goes to the definition. In order to find out whether a definition is correct, you just have to think, “Well, how is the word commonly used?” Logically speaking, it's possible to have a different view or two things that are compatible. The whole idea of a definition is that, ideally, you're trying to find necessary and sufficient conditions such that everybody who satisfies the conditions falls under the category and that everybody who doesn't satisfy the conditions doesn't. In ordinary language, of course, it's notoriously hard to really do that. Defining a table is actually quite difficult in a necessary and sufficient-condition sense, but we can still say, “Well, a table is not by definition something that people sit on, right?” Someone could say, “Well, I suppose you could sit on a table, but that's not the definition in ordinary use in any language of which I'm aware.”But why don't we actually go back to your real question. Which was..Dwarkesh PatelOverall, the left tail of society is being compressed, and the right tail is being expanded. Does feminism become more true over time?Bryan CaplanThe answer is that we really need to look at all of the main measures to get an idea of this. With some of the ones that you're talking about, it does make more sense. As jobs become less physically dangerous, then at least you might say that things are less unfair to men. Although in the book, what I say is that even that is a bit more superficially complicated, at least on the surface. The immediate reaction is that society's less fair to men because they do the most dangerous jobs. Although I also say, “Yeah, but they get monetary compensation for that.” So, all things considered, you probably shouldn't think of it as unfair. It's something where it's reasonable to say, “Hey, wait a second, how come men are the ones that are enduring 90 percent of the workplace deaths” and say, “Well, because they're getting 90 percent of the combat pay.” Broadly construed it's not mostly actual for combat. So anyway, that's one area where you should be careful. But I can see the possibility there. I do have a section in the book where I go over what's happening over time. What I'll say is, well, one big thing that's happened over time is that people have become very hyper-concerned with the mistreatment of women, which means that feminism is becoming less true as a result because when people are really hyper-concerned that they might be unfair to someone, they are even less likely to be unfair to them. So I think that's one thing where society where feminisms become less true over time. Another area that I talk about and which I think really does tip the scales, although again, you really need to go through the book because I do try to work through a lot of different margins…I think the one that really does settle it against feminism in today's age is precisely the level of false feminist accusations about unfairness. When we go over all the objective measures, then you say, well, it's close to a wash in terms of which gender is treated more or less fairly overall. But then you realize, “Yes, but there's one gender that has to endure a whole lot of grossly exaggerated hyperbolic accusations and unfairness and another gender that gets to make those accusations.” The gender that has to endure the unfair accusations is men, and the gender that gets to make them is women. Obviously, not all women make them, and not all men receive them. But still, if we're talking about the average fairness of the treatment of men and women or society, I say that this climate of false accusation and intimidation is what really tips it. It didn't have to be this way, Dwarkesh! [laughs] We could have just had conditions change without a whole lot of flinging of wildly inaccurate accusations, but that's not the world we're in. Dwarkesh PatelWhen would you say was the flipping point? Was there a particular decade that you thought “unbalanced things are equal now?”Bryan CaplanYeah. So one of the things I say in the book is that there are a bunch of ways where you can say that women were treated less fairly in earlier decades, but there are aspects that are probably more important overall where women are treated worse now. The main one is paternal support for children. In 1940, the odds that you could count on the biological father of your children to help you to raise them was maybe 90%. Now it's probably more like 60%, 70%. So that's one of the main ways that I say that women probably are treated less fairly than men. And the unfairness has gotten worse over time. Again, just understand this is not the kind of book that most people are used to where someone argues like a lawyer and they just say, look, I've got 20 arguments for why I'm right. And everyone who disagrees with me is stupid and doesn't have a leg to stand on. This is the kind of book that I liked to write where I really say, let's just calm down and just go through every issue separately, weigh each one on its merits. There are a bunch of points where someone could say, “Why do you concede that? That makes your argument weaker.” Well, I concede it because it's true! Then in the end, I have my overall judgment. I will just say that there are a number of books that are written in this terrible modern style of lawyerly reasoning, where you basically have a thesis that you just try to defend in every possible way. I don't write books like that. I try to write books that are honest and self-reflective, and where if there's some weakness in what I'm saying, I don't just acknowledge it if someone points it out; I try to be the first person to reveal it so that people feel like they can trust me. It's my own conscience. I don't feel right when I say something not really quite right. I feel like I should've always said the other thing. So I try to just write with candor. Dwarkesh PatelNow, would you say that feminism in the United States is overcorrected but that it's still true in the global sense? In the way that, on average, across the world, women are treated more unfairly than men. Because if that's the case, then if the US is at the center of global feminism, then, of course, they're going to overcorrect here, but overall they're making the world a better place. Bryan CaplanSo that is a much better argument. I would say that if we think about most areas of Europe, then I think that it's very similar to what's going on in the US. In the book, I do go over this especially. I start with Saudi Arabia, where it's really obvious what's going on and how poorly women are treated. But then I go over to India and China and just think about plausible rates of female infanticide. I think it is very likely that overall the treatment of women in India and China is more unfair than that of men. In Saudi Arabia, I'm almost sure that it is. In terms of “Is the US providing a useful corrective for the world while messing up things in the US?” It's possible. I think the problem is that it does discredit a lot of the reasonable points because the US just doesn't focus on the really big issues. The amount of time that American feminists spend on female infanticide in China and India… I don't think it would even be 1% of the rhetoric. It's just not something that they care about.So I would say that there's more harm being done by the sheer distraction of putting so much emphasis upon small, exaggerated, or reverse problems that bother feminists in the first world while ignoring and indirectly causing people to forget or neglect actual serious problems in some other countries. Positively shifting the Overton WindowWestern Feminism Ignores InfanticideDwarkesh PatelBut let me apply the argument you make in Open Borders that you can effect change by shifting the Overton window. So advocating for open borders just shifts immigration policy slightly towards the open end. Can American feminists make the same point that through making the crazy arguments they make in America, they're making Saudi Arabia more liberal for women? Bryan CaplanI would say that when the arguments are crazy, then it's not clear that shifting the Overton window actually happens. That may be where you discredit the other view. In particular, I think what I say in that part of the book is that people generally confuse being radical with being unfriendly. And most of the harm that is done to radical causes is due to the unfriendliness rather than the radicalism. So in that case, I would say that feminism has a definite friendliness problem. It is not a movement that goes out of its way to go and make other people feel like they are respected, where even if you disagree with me, I want to be your friend and listen to what you have to say, and maybe we could go and come to some understanding. I think it is a movement where the main emotional tenure of the elites is, “We are totally right, and anyone who disagrees had better watch out.” So I think that there is a discrediting of it. The other thing is just that I think there's too much cultural separation between the feminist movement as we know it and places like China and India, where I just don't see the attitude of being really angry about exaggerated or false complaints about unfair treatment of women in the United States is going to do anything for infanticide in India. Correct me if I'm wrong, Dwarkesh. Do you see much influence of Western feminism on infanticide in India?Dwarkesh PatelI don't know, but maybe yes. More generally, one of the common arguments that libertarians make about India and its elites is, “Oh, all of India's elites go study in Oxford or something, and they learn about the regulations the West is adopting that make no sense for a country with $2,000 GDP per capita.” I feel like some of the things could be true of feminism where all these Indian elites go to American universities and UK universities where they learn about radical feminism, and they go back, and they adopt some of these things.Bryan CaplanYes, although you might remember what Alex Tabarrok says about these very things. You can go to India and have people pushing paper straws on you, and yet the streets are still totally covered in trash. In fact, the pushing of the paper straws probably actually distracts people from the much more serious problem of the horrible trash, right? Again, I don't know enough about India to speak with any confidence here, but if you go and learn radical feminism in Western universities, come back to India and start complaining about how we need to have more female CEOs in a country where you have millions of female infanticides per year, I think it probably is like the paper straws problem where you are so focused on a trivial problem that maybe is not only a problem, is not even a problem at all. At the same time, that anger really blinds you to an actual, really serious problem that's going on. But you know India better than me, I could be wrong. Why The Universe Hates WomenDwarkesh PatelI believe rape within a marriage is still legal in India and is still not recognized. Maybe it was just recently changed. Let's say this is an interview, and a feminist says, “Oh my gosh, okay Bryan, maybe you're right that society as a whole doesn't mistreat women, but maybe the cosmos mistreats women.” So women are forced to have children. All of these things combined make women's lives worse on average than men's lives. It's not because society mistreats them, but in some sense, there's still unfairness geared toward women. What do you make of this argument?Bryan CaplanSo unfairness, where there's no human being that does it, seems like a very strange idea to me. Just from the get-go, well, so who was unfair to you? “The universe is unfair.” Then I mean, the correct term there is unfortunate, not unfair. So that aside, I would say it's a really interesting question. Who actually has better lives just as a matter of biological endowments, men or women? I mean, in terms of demonstrated preference, I think the overwhelming result is that most people just want to remain in whatever gender they're born in. So this is not actually transgenderism. This is like a genie wish. If you could change your gender just with a wish, costlessly, perfectly, I think a very large majority of people would still want to stay with whatever gender they have because it's part of their identity. It's some kind of endowment effect, status quo bias, or whatever. But then if you say, “Okay, yeah, right, fine. Like you, like you just want to stay whatever you were because that's your identity, but if you could put that aside, what would you want to be?” It's a tough question. You can say, “Well, women have a harder personality to deal with because of higher neuroticism, and they've also got higher agreeableness.” But that gives them some other advantages in terms of getting along with other people. For example, men's disagreeableness makes it hard for men to just bite their tongues and shut up when someone's saying something they don't like. I think that is easier for women to do. You may have noticed that having to shut up and bite your tongue while someone around you says something stupid you don't like is actually a big part of life. That is one thing. Now, in terms of things that I feel that I would get out of being a woman, just being able to have as many kids as I wanted would matter a lot to me. So I only have four kids right now. If it were totally up to me, I would have had more kids. I think, as a woman, it would have been easy to do. [laughs] So again, you know, there is the issue. How are you going to find a guy that wants to have a lot of kids? This is one where I've looked at the data on family size and what determines it. While both men and women seem to have a say on family size, it just looks like women's traits have a much larger effect. Men are more likely to say, “OK, fine, whatever. We'll do what you want to do on family size.” Whereas women seem to have much more pronounced preferences, which they then tend to get. I think that if I were a woman, I could have had more kids, and it would have been easier for me to do it. That would be something that matters to me. It's not something that matters to everybody, but that's something there. Again, there is just the nice fact of people caring about your suffering. In the book, I do talk about the ethos of women and children first, which is very pronounced. It's a modern society where we can simultaneously have something like “women and children first”, but then also have a lot of rhetoric about how people don't care about women. It's like, “Hmm, that's not right.”Dwarkesh PatelWhat do you think of this theory that maybe society cares a lot more about women suffering, but it sympathizes a lot more with men's success? If you think of a default character in a movie or a novel, at least for me, then the default is a man. Then maybe there's some victim that defaults as a woman. But I'd rather be the sympathy of some sort of success than get it for suffering.Bryan CaplanI mean, do you need sympathy for success? Or do you want admiration? I mean, I guess what I would say is that everybody's got suffering, and only a small share of people have any notable success. If all that you knew was you're going to be a man or woman, I would say, “Well, gee, if I'm a woman, then people will sympathize with my suffering, which is almost definitely coming because that's the human condition.” Whereas to have admiration for your success is something where it just affects a much smaller number of people. I know that hanging out in Austin among hyper-successful people may be biasing your sample a bit, but I do think it's believable that men get more unmitigated admiration for their success. Of course, there are also differences in the mating opportunities that you get for being a successful man versus a successful woman. So that is there too, but again, this is something that really is only relevant for a very small share of the population.But then the argument is, “Well, that small share of the population matters so much in terms of the story we tell ourselves about our civilization or just in terms of who controls more resources overall.” So if being a woman billionaire is harder, maybe for biological reasons, maybe for the reasons of our society, you can say, “Well, that only affects a small percentage of women in society.” But on the other hand, billionaires matter a lot.In terms of what life is like for most people, the main way they matter is that billionaires just provide awesome stuff. In terms of the stories that people tell, it's true that if you go and look at most classic movies or novels, the main characters are male. Even in cartoons, actually, the main characters traditionally have been male. But on the other hand, that's just fiction. In terms of daily life. I'd rather have people be really concerned about me in real life but have my perspective underrepresented stories than the other way around. Dwarkesh PatelSo what do you make of the argument that employers hold defects in women's personalities much more against them than they hold defects in men's personalities? I think Tyler cited some of this research in his new book on talent that being too agreeable or being too aggressive harms women more than it harms men. Bryan CaplanI would say that it's complicated in terms of willingness to fire. I think employers are much more willing to fire men. For defects and for insubordination. Another thing on the list is a small one, but I think that it is indicative of a broader trend. For people working at workplaces with dress codes, men are much more likely to be dinged on dress code violations than women because for men, there's a definite thing men are supposed to do. If you're not doing it, you are in violation. For women, on the other hand, it's like, “Well, gee, I mean, it seems kind of like that's not what you should be wearing, but I don't want to be the person that says anything about it. And who knows? Who am I to judge what a woman ought to be wearing on the job?” But a man, on the other hand, needs to be wearing a suit in 110-degree weather. What was the high this summer over in Austin? [laughter] Dwarkesh PatelWhy do you think that women have gotten less happy since the sixties in America?Bryan CaplanRight. So the main thing I know about this is Stevenson and Wolfer's research on this. The main thing to remember is the magnitude. If I remember correctly, they find that in the sixties, women had about a two percentage point advantage relative to men in terms of their odds of saying they're very happy. 25% of men said they were very happy, then 27% of women in the sixties said that they were very happy. Whereas now, it seems like women have a two percentage point deficit relative to men. So now, if 25% of men say they're very happy, then 23% of women say they're very happy. It's always important in these papers to look at those magnitudes because the media coverage is going to say, “Oh, women are miserable now.” It's not that women are miserable now! We're talking about a two-percentage point difference. It's a data set large enough for this to actually be meaningful, but we do want to keep it in perspective in terms of what's really going on. The paper probably actually goes over a bunch of stories and says the obvious ones are all wrong. That would be what Justin Wolfersustin especially would normally do. I think he's usually right that simple stories about something like this are wrong. In terms of what I would pursue if I read through the paper and reminded myself of what they found and then said, “Okay, well, what will work?” I think I would, on one end, focus on single moms because they'll become much more common, and their lives really are hard. A rise in single motherhood is coming. I would guess that's one important part of it. Then, I would also be wondering how much of it is actual feminism telling women that they should be unhappy because the world is unfair and that causes unhappiness. Again, I'm not saying that these are right. It's plausible to me. The main thing I would say about feminism causing unhappiness in the adherents is that it probably doesn't matter most for most self-identified feminists because most people just are not that intellectual and they don't think about their ideas very often. So it's one thing to say, look, if you believe you're going to hell, you'll be unhappy. It's like, well, if you believe it once a year, does it make you unhappy? If you remember, “Oh yeah, once a year, I think I'm going to hell.” The rest of the time, you don't think it.On the other hand, the person who is always thinking, “I'm going to hell, I'm going to hell,” probably will be unhappy. So I think feminism is very likely to reduce the happiness of people who are feminist elites and take it really seriously, where they're talking about it all the time. That is likely to cause unhappiness. I'd be amazed if it didn't. But on the other hand, for the vast majority of people who say, “Yeah, I am a feminist. Moving on…” I don't think it's too likely to be messing up their lives. Dwarkesh PatelThat raises an interesting possibility. This is not my theory, but let's run with this. So feminism has actually gotten more true over time, but it's precisely because of feminism. Maybe it's made elite women more unhappy. As you said earlier, the amount of single mothers has gone up. Maybe part of that is the reason, and part of that is because of feminist trends in terms of family formation. Maybe women prefer to be at home caring for children on average more, but then feminism encourages them to have careers, which makes them less happy. So if you add all these things up, plus mentorship, which men are less likely to give because of #metoo. So add all these things up, maybe they're the result of feminism, but they still make feminism more right. Would you agree with that?Bryan CaplanYeah. If we go back to this definition of feminism and this theory that our society treats women less fairly than men, then if the story is that women have made a lot of false accusations against men and then men have responded by changing their behavior, that would seem to be a strange example of saying the society is treating women less fairly than men. It would seem to be a case that society is treating men unfairly, and this is having some negative side effects for women as well. But it's one where if you really were trying to draw the line… Well actually, here's actually one of the weaknesses of the definition that I proposed. So foot binding in China. From my understanding, the main drivers of foot binding in China were women. So women are binding feet, and they're also telling their daughters they have to have their feet bound. Men seemed to care less, actually, it was more of an intra-female abuse. This is one where you could say that in China, women are treated less fairly than men, even though the perpetrators are women. I think that does actually make sense. I would just say that the definition that we use in our society isn't really calibrated to deal with that kind of thing. When it comes to what the right way to describe it would be, it just gets a bit confusing. It's useful just to say, all right, well, if women are mistreating women and that's what's making women's lives hard, how do we count that? I think I would just say that we don't have any really good way of counting it, and might be useful to just come up with a new word to describe this kind of thing. Women's Tears Have Too Much PowerDwarkesh PatelWhat do you make of Hanania's argument that women's tears win in the marketplace of ideas? Bryan CaplanYeah. So we might want to back up a little bit and explain what the argument is. So Richard Hanania on his substack has a very famous essay where he points out that in fiction, when there is a mob of angry college students, it's very demographically diverse. But when you look at actual footage, it seems like women are highly overrepresented. He generalizes this by saying that a lot of what's going on in terms of cancel culture and related problems is that women are the main ones that get angry about these things, and people don't know what to do about it. So he, if I remember correctly, says that a man can, in a way, actually enjoy an argument with another man. Even if you lose or even if it's a physical fight, he says, you can sort of feel invigorated by it. We got through this. We resolved something. Whereas no guy feels this way about an argument with his wife. “What do I need to do in order for this argument to end as soon as possible” would be a more normal reaction. This sort of generalizes to the majority of social arguments, specifically ones that involve someone being offended or angry, or hurt. He says a lot of what's going on is that it is mainly women that are presenting these complaints and that it's hard to deal with it because men don't want to argue with angry women. It just makes them feel bad. It's sort of a no-win situation. So anyway, that is Hanania's argument. Overall, it seemed pretty plausible to me. I haven't thought about it that much more, but it's one that does seem to make a fair bit of sense in terms of just what I'm writing about feminism. You know, one really striking thing is just how one-sided this conversation is. It is a conversation where women have complaints, and men mostly just listen in silence. Ofcourse, men will sometimes complain amongst each other when women aren't around. It's not a real dialogue where women have complaints about men, and then men are very eager to say, “Oh, but I have something I would like to say in rebuttal to that.” A lot of it is what he calls “women's tears.” It's sadness, but mingled with or supported by intimidation: “If you don't give me what I want, if you don't pretend that you agree with me, I will be very angry, and I will be fairly sad.” So you should be afraid. I think a lot of what's probably going on with the rhetorical dominance of feminism, is that people are just afraid to argue against it because, in a way, it does sort of violate the women and children first ethos. If women complain about something, you aren't supposed to go and say, “I disagree. Your complaints are unjustified.” You're supposed to say, “Look, what can I do to make it better?” Dwarkesh PatelBut that seems like a good description of race issues and class issues as well. Bryan CaplanI mean, the main difference there is that there are a lot of people who have a lot more firsthand experience of intergender relations, and they spend a lot more time in intergender relations than they spend in all of the other ones. So I mean, the dynamic is probably pretty similar, but in terms of the really negative firsthand experience that men have, Hanania probably is right about that. Then that generalizes to bigger issues. Dwarkesh PatelYou have an essay about endogenous sexism. Could this just not be the cause of society being unfair to a woman? We start off with men being in power, they get sexist just because they're around other men and they like them more. So then, the starting position matters a lot, even if men aren't trying to be sexist. Bryan CaplanSo let me just back up and explain the argument. The argument says to imagine that in reality, men and women are equally good in absolutely every way, but people are more likely to have close friends with their own gender, (which is totally true). So if I remember the essay, I think that for close male friends, the male-to-female ratio was 6:1, and for women, it was 4:1. So most people's close friends are of the same gender. When you meet these people, and they're your close friends, you know them really well. Furthermore, because you have handpicked them, you're going to think well of them. So then the question is, “What about people of the opposite gender? What will your interaction with them be like?” What I point out is that a lot of the opposite gender you hang out with will be the spouses and partners of your friends. On average, you're going to think worse of them because you didn't pick them. Basically, there are two filters there: I like you because you're my friend, and I put up with your partner because that person is your partner. So this means that the women that men are around are going to be the partners of their friends. They're not going to like them less and think less of them than they think of their friends. On the other hand, the partners of women's friends will be men, and women will get to know them and say, “Wow, they're not that great. They're at least kind of disappointing relative to my same-gender friends.” So anyway, this is an argument about how the illusion of your own gender being superior could arise. Now, as to whether this is actually the right story, I leave that open. This was just more of a thought experiment to understand what could happen here. Could this actually explain the unfair treatment of women in society? Especially if we start off with men being the gatekeepers for most of the business world? It's totally plausible that it could. That's why we really want to go to the data and see what we actually find. In the data I know of, the evidence of women earning less money than men while doing the same job is quite low. So there's very little gender disparity in earnings once you make the obvious statistical adjustments for being in the same occupation. Again, the main area that probably actually has gotten worse for women is mentoring. Mentoring is partly based on friendship. I like this person. I like working with them. So I will go and help them to go and acquire more human capital on the job. This is one that feminism has visibly messed up, and many feminists will, in a strange way, admit that they have done it while not taking responsibility for the harm. I've got an essay on that in the book as well.Looking at the evidence, it is totally standard now for male managers to admit that they are reluctant to mentor female employees because they're so worried. When I go and track down a bunch of feminist reactions to this, they basically just say, “I can't believe how horrible these guys are.” But it's like, look, you're asking them for a favor to get mentorship. They're scared. If someone's scared, do you really want to yell at them more and offer more mostly empty threats? It's really hard to scare someone into doing something this informal, so you really do need to win them over. Dwarkesh PatelTactically, that might be correct, but it seems to just be a matter of “Is their argument justified?” I can see why they'd be frustrated. Obviously, you want to point out when there's a sexual harassment allegation, and that may have the effect of less mentorship. Bryan CaplanWell, is it obvious that you want to point that out? Part of what I'm saying is that there are different perceptions here. There are differences of opinion. If you want to get along with people, a lot of it is saying, “How does it seem from the other person's point of view?” Obviously, do not assume that the most hypersensitive person is correct. So much of the problem with mentorship comes down to hypersensitivity. I've got another piece in the book where I talk about misunderstandings and how we have so much lost sight of this very possibility. When there's a conflict between two people, who's right and who's wrong? Ofcourse, it could be that one person is the conscious malefactor and the other person is an obvious victim that no one could deny. That does happen sometimes. But much more often in the real world, there's a misunderstanding where each person, because of the imperfection of the human mind, has the inability to go and get inside another person's head. To each person, it seems like they're in the right and the other person is in the wrong, and one of the most helpful ways for people to get along with each other is to realize that this is the norm. Most conflicts are caused by misunderstandings, not by deliberate wrongdoing. This is the way the people who keep their friends keep their friends. If any time there's a conflict with a friend, you assume that you're right and your friend is in the wrong, and you demand an immediate abject apology, you're going to be losing friends left and right. It is a foolish person who does that. Friendship is more important than any particular issue. This is not only my personal view, it is the advice that I give to everyone listening. Keep your friends, bend over backward in order to keep your friends, and realize that most conflicts are caused by misunderstandings. It's not the other person is going out of their way to hurt you. They probably don't see it that way. If you just insist, “I'm right, I demand a full apology and admission of your wrongdoing,” you're probably going to be losing friends, and that's a bad idea. The same thing I think is going on in workplaces where there is an ideology saying that we should take the side of the most hypersensitive person. This is not a good approach for human beings to get along with each other.Dwarkesh PatelYeah. That's very wise. What do you make the argument that a lot of these professions that are dominated by men are not intrinsically things that must appeal to men, but the way that they are taught or advertised is very conducive to what males find interesting? So take computer science, for example; there are claims that you could teach that or economics in a way that focuses on the implications on people from those practices rather than just focusing on the abstractions or the “thing-focused stuff.” So the argument is these things shouldn't be inherently interesting to men. It's just in the way they are taught. Bryan CaplanThe word inherently is so overused. It's one where you say, "Well, are you saying that inherently X?” Then someone says, “Well, not inherently X, just you'd have to bend over backward and move heaven and earth for it not to be. So I guess it's not really inherent.” That is a lot of what is worth pointing out. So if you're going to put the standard to that level, then it's going to be hard to find differences. You could say, “There's absolutely no way under the sun to go and teach math in a less male way.” On the other hand, maybe we should ask, “Is it reasonable to expect the whole world to revolve around making every subject equally appealing to men and women?” That's an unreasonable demand. If there's a subject like math that is male-dominated, the reasonable thing is to say, “Well, if you want to get in on that, you're going to need to go and become simpatico with the mindset of the people that are already there and then push the margin.” You can say that it's “so unfair that male ways of doing math are dominant.” Or maybe you could say that it's unfair for someone who's just shown up to demand that an entire discipline change its way of doing things to make you feel better about it. Obviously, there are large areas that are very female-dominated, and there's no pressure on women to go and change the way that flower arranging is done, or cooking in order to make it more welcoming to men.So this is one where if you had a really high bar for how things are fair, then unless the rigorous conditions are met, you're going to see a lot of unfairness in the world. Although even then, as long as you have an equally high bar for both men and women, I don't think it's going to make feminism any more true by my definition. I also just say, I think these really high bars are unreasonable. If a friend had these bars of standards saying, “Look, why is it that when we meet for food, we have to go and meet at standard hours of breakfast, lunch, and dinner? I actually like meeting in the middle of the night. Why can't we have half of the time be my way?” You respond, “Well yeah, but you're only one person, so why should I change?” It depends upon what subfield you're in as well. There are actually groups of people really like hanging out in the middle of the night, so if you ask, “Why is it we always have to meet in the middle of the night? Why can't we do it my way?” You are entering into a subculture that works this way. You could demand that we totally change our way of being to accommodate you, but it just seems like an unreasonable imposition on the people who are already here. Now, when you sort of go through the list of different things that people think of as making something a male or a not-male field, sometimes people will treat things like acting like there's an objectively correct answer as a male trait. If that's a male trait, then we need to keep that trait because that is vital to really any field where there are right and wrong answers. I mean, that's an area where I am very tempted rhetorically to say, “It's just so sexist to say that it's male to think that things are right and wrong. I think that is a trait of both genders”. In a way, I end the essay stating, “Yes, these are not male; not only do they not make a male monopoly, but they are also not uniquely male virtues. They are virtues that can and should be enjoyed by all human beings.” At the same time, you could ask whether virtues are equally represented by both genders and well, that's an empirical question. We have to look at that. Bryan Performs Standup Comedy!Dwarkesh PatelWe're shifting subjects. You recently performed at the Comedy Cellar. How was that experience? Bryan CaplanYeah, that was super fun and a big challenge! I am a professional public speaker. Standup comedy is professional public speaking. I was curious about how much transfer of learning there would be. How many of the things that I know as a regular public speaker can I take with me to do standup comedy? I'm also just a big fan of standup comedy– if you know me personally, I just find life constantly funny. Dwarkesh PatelYes, I can confirm that. You're a very pleasant person to be around. Bryan CaplanLife is funny to me. I like pointing out funny things. I like using my imagination. A lot of comedy is just imagination and saying, look, “Imagine that was the opposite way. What would that be like?” Well, actually, just to back up again: during COVID, I did just create a wiki of comedy ideas just on the idea that maybe one day I'll go and do standup comedy. Comedy Cellar actually has a podcast, kind of like Joe Rogan, where comedians go and talk about serious issues. I was invited to that, and as a result, I was able to talk my way into getting to perform on the actual live stage of the biggest comedy club in New York. The main thing I could say about my performance is that it was me and nine professional comedians, and I don't think I was obviously the worst person. So that felt pretty good.Dwarkesh PatelIt was a pretty good performance.Bryan CaplanI felt good about it! There were some main differences that I realized between the kind of public speaking I was used to doing and what I actually did there. One is the importance of memorizing the script. It just looks a lot worse if you're reading off a note. Normally I have some basic notes, and then I ad-lib. I don't memorize. The only time I have a script is if I have a very time-constrained debate, then I'd normally write an opening statement, but otherwise, I don't. The thing with comedy is it depends so heavily upon exact word choice. You could go and put the same sentence into Google Translate and then back-translate it and get another sentence that is synonymous but isn't funny at all. That was something that I was very mindful of. Then obviously, there are things like timing and being able to read an audience (which I'm more used to). That was what was so hard during COVID–– not being able to look at the faces of a live audience. I can see their eyes, but I can't tell their emotions or reactions to their eyes. I don't know whether I should talk more or less about something. I don't know whether they're angry or annoyed or curious or bored. So these are all things that I would normally be adjusting my talk for in normal public speaking. But with comedy, it's a bit hard to do. What successful comedians actually do is they try it in a bunch of different ways, and then they remember which ways work and which ones don't. Then they just keep tweaking it, so finally, when they do the Netflix special, they have basically done A/B testing on a hundred different audiences, and then it sounds great–– but the first time? Not that funny. Dwarkesh PatelIt didn't occur to me until you mentioned it, but it makes a lot of sense that there are transfers of learning there in both disciplines. There are a lot of hypotheticals, non-extra events, and putting things in strange situations to see what the result is…Bryan CaplanA lot of it is just not having stage fright. So I probably had just a tiny bit of stage fright at the Comedy Cellar, which normally I would have basically zero, but there it was a little bit different because it's like, “Am I going to forget something?” I actually have a joke in the set about how nothing is scarier than staying silent while thousands of people stare at you. So that was a self-referential joke that I worked in there.Dwarkesh PatelI can't remember if it was Robin Hanson who said this, but didn't he have a theory about how the reason we have stage fright is because somehow, you're showing dominance or status, and you don't want to do that if you're not actually the most confident. Bryan CaplanYou're making a bid for status. In the ancestral environment, we're in small groups of 20-40 people. If you go and want to speak, you're saying, “I'm one of the most important people in this band here.” If you're not, or if there are a lot of people voicing that that guy is not important, then who knows? They might shove you off the cliff the next time they get a chance. So yeah, watch out. Affirmative Action is Philanthropic PropagandaDwarkesh PatelI wonder if this explains the cringe emotion. When somebody makes a bid for status, and it's not deserved. Okay, I want to talk about discrimination. So as you know, there's a Supreme court case about Harvard and affirmative action. You might also know that a lot of companies have filed a brief in favor of Harvard, saying that affirmative action is necessary for them to hire diverse work for ourselves, including Apple, Lyft, General Motors. So what is the explanation for corporations wanting to extend affirmative action? Or are they just saying this, but they don't want it? Bryan CaplanIf those individual corporations could press a button that would immunize them from all employment lawsuits, I think they would press it. When you look at their behavior, they don't just give in whenever they get sued. They have a normal team of lawyers that try to minimize the damage to the company and pay as little as possible to make the problem go away. So I think really what's going on is public relations. They are trying to be on that team. As to whether it's public relations vis a vis their consumers or public relations vis a vis other people in the executive boardroom is an interesting question. I think these days, it probably is more of the latter. Although even under Reagan, there were a bunch of major corporations that did make a similar statement saying that they wanted affirmative action to continue. I think that the real story is that they want to get the status of saying, “we are really in favor of this. We love this stuff.” But at the same time, if it just went away, they wouldn't voluntarily adopt a policy where they give you a right to go and sue them for mistreatment.I think there would still be a lot of propaganda. I mean, here's the general thing. You think about this as a species of corporate philanthropy sticking your neck out in favor of a broad social cause. Some people disagree and say that it's self-interest. They say, “Look, the odds that even Apple is going to change the Supreme Court's mind is super low.” So I don't think it's that. Basically, what they're doing is a kind of philanthropy. What's the deal with corporate philanthropy? The deal with corporate philanthropy is you are trying to go and, first of all, make the public like you, but also, you're trying to look good and jockey for influence within your own company. One really striking thing about corporate philanthropy is when you look closer, normally, they spend way more resources marketing the philanthropy and letting everyone know, “Oh, we did all this philanthropy!” Then they actually spend on philanthropy. So I had a friend who was a marketing person in charge of publicizing her company's philanthropy. They gave away about a thousand dollars a year to the Girl Scouts, and she had a hundred thousand dollars salary telling everyone about how great they were for giving this money to the Girl Scouts. So I think that's the real story. Get maximally cynical. I think without denying the fact that there are true believers now in corporate boardrooms who are pushing it past the point of profitability. The cost of philanthropy is just the production budget of the TV commercial. A rounding error. The donations are a rounding error, and then they go, “Hey, everyone, look at us. We're so freaking philanthropic!” Peer effects as the Only Real EducationDwarkesh PatelOkay. So this question is one that Tyler actually suggested I ask you. So in The Myth of the Rational Voter, you say that education makes you more pro-free market. Now, this may have changed in the meantime, but let's just say that's still true. If you're not really learning anything, why is education making you more free market? Bryan CaplanIt's particularly striking that even people who don't seem to take any economics classes are involved. I think that the best story is about peer effects. When you go to college, you're around other peers who though not pro-market, are less anti-market than the general population. The thing about peer effects is that they really are a double-edged sword from a social point of view. Think about this. Right now, if you are one of the 1% of non-Mormons that goes to Brigham Young University, what do you think the odds are that you'll convert to Mormonism? Dwarkesh PatelHigher than normal. Bryan CaplanYeah. I don't know the numbers, but I think it's pretty high. But suppose that Brigham Young let in all the non-Mormons. What would Brigham Young do for conversion to Mormonism? Probably very little. Furthermore, you realize, “Huh, well, what if those Mormons at Brigham Young were dispersed among a bunch of other schools where they were that were a minority?” Seems quite plausible. They'd be making a lot more converts over there. So if you achieve your peer effects by segregation (which is literally what college does, it takes one part of society and segregates it from another part of society physically when you're in school, and then there's social segregation caused by the fact that people want to hang out with other people in their own social circles, your own education levels, etc.), in that case, in terms of whether or not education actually makes society overall pro-free market, I think it's totally unclear because, basically, when people go to college, they make each other more pro-free market. At the same time, they remove the possibility of influencing people of other social classes who don't go to college, who probably then influence each other and make each other less free market. I think that's the most plausible story.Dwarkesh PatelWhat about the argument that the people who go to elite universities are people who are going to control things? If you can engineer a situation in which the peer effects in some particular direction are very strong at Harvard (maybe because the upper class is very liberal or woke), they make the underclass even more woke, and then it's a reinforcing cycle after every generation of people who come into college. Then that still matters a lot, even though presumably somebody becomes more right-wing once they don't go to Harvard because there are no peers there. But it doesn't matter. They're not going to be an elite, or it doesn't matter as much. Bryan CaplanIt could be, although what we've seen is that we now just have very big gaps between elite opinion and mass opinion. Of course, it is a democracy. If you want to run for office, that is a reason to go and say, “Yeah, what is the actual common view here? Not just the view that is common among elites.” However, I will say that this is a topic that deserves a lot more study. Now the other thing to question is, “Wouldn't there be peer effects even without college?” If elites didn't go to college and instead they went and did elite apprenticeships at top corporations instead, I think you'd still wind up getting a very similar elite subculture. I think that this kind of social segregation is very natural in every human society. Of course, you can see it under communism very strongly where it's like, “I don't want my kid going and playing with a kid whose parents aren't in the communist party.” So every society has this kind of thing. Now, if you push the dynamics enough…. let's put it this way. If you were the prophet of the Mormon religion, what would be the very best thing for you to do to maximize the spread of Mormonism? It is not at all clear to me that trying to get all Mormons to go bring them young is a good strategy.Dwarkesh PatelI wonder if there are nonlinear dynamics to this. Bryan CaplanYeah. Well, there's gotta be, right? But as soon as you're talking about nonlinear dynamics, those are truly hard to understand. So I would just say to keep a much more open mind about this, and if anyone is listening and wants to do research on this, that sounds cool, I'll read it. Dwarkesh PatelRight. I remember you saying that one of the things you're trying to do with your books is influence the common view of elite opinion. So in that sense, there are elite subcultures in every society, but they're not the same elite subcultures, and therefore you might care very much about which particular subculture it is. Bryan CaplanNotice that that's one where I'm taking it as a given that we have the current segregation, and I'm going to try to go and take advantage of it. But if it were a question of if I could change the dial of what kind of segregation we have, then it's much less clear. The Idiocy of Student Loan Forgiveness Dwarkesh PatelStudent loan forgiveness. What is your reaction? Bryan CaplanOh, give me a freaking break. This is one subject where I think it's very hard to find almost any economist, no matter how left-wing and progressive, who really wants to stick their necks out and defend this garbage. Look, it's a regressive transfer. Why then? Why is it that someone who is left-wing or progressive would go and favor it? Maybe it's because people who have a lot of education and colleges are on our team, and we just want to go and help our team. Obviously, the forgiveness really means, “We're going to go and transfer the cost of this debt from the elites that actually ran up the bill to the general population.” Which includes, of course, a whole lot of people who did not go to college and did not get whatever premium that you got out of it. So there's that. In terms of efficiency, since the people have already gotten the education, you're not even “increasing the amount of education” if you really think that's good. The only margin that is really increasing education is how it's making people think, “Well, maybe there'll be another round of debt forgiveness later on, so I'll rack up more debt. The actual true price of education is less than it seems to be.” Although even there, you have to say, “Huh, well, but could people knowing this and the great willingness to borrow actually wind up increasing the ban for college and raising tuition further?” There's good evidence for that. Not 100%, but still a substantial degree.Again, just to back up–– that can be my catchphrase [laughter]. So I have a book called The Case Against Education, and my view is much more extreme than that of almost any normal economist who opposes student loan debt forgiveness. I think that the real problem with education is that we have way too much of it. Most of it is very socially wasteful. What we're doing with student loan forgiveness is we're basically going and transferring money to people who wasted a lot of social resources. The story that you are on the slippery slope to free college for all is, in a way, the best argument in favor of it. If you thought that free college for all was a good idea, then this puts us on that slippery slope. It's terrible because the real problem with education is that we just spend way too many years in school. It is generally
Flobo chats with "Dogs of Lenin" and "Nobody's Angel" author Linda Freeny as she discusses what it means to be a self-taught author. Knew Amsterdam Radio is partnered with SeatGeek, use promo code "Flobito" for $20 off your first purchase. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/knewamsterdam/support
A discussion of the concept of opportunism as it developed in the international communist movement, and a close reading of the self-critical portion of the resolution of the Border Area Party Congress of October 4 to 6, 1928.Further reading:Lenin, “Opportunism, and the Collapse of the Second International”Cheng Yen-shih, ed., Lenin's Fight Against Revisionism and OpportunismMao Zedong, “On the Correct Handling of Contradictions among the People”Lynn White, Policies of Chaos: The Organizational Causes of Violence in China's Cultural RevolutionSome names from this episode:Du Xiujing, Inspector sent to the Jinggangshan by the Hunan Provincial Committee in May 1928 and who returned in JuneLiu Zhen, Secretary of the Yongxin County Party CommitteeSupport the show
Last fall, a video went viral that was from a prestigious university. In the video, students felt socialism was a good thing. They would abolish private property rights, although some indicated that they didn't want their own private property rights taken away.--This is just one example of how a brainwashing, deconstruction and battle is taking place for the minds of students.--Returning to Crosstalk to outline this trend was William Federer. William is a nationally known speaker, historian, author, and president of Amerisearch, Inc. He's the speaker on The American Minute daily broadcast. He has authored numerous books including, America's God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations, Who is the King in America-, and Socialism- The Real History From Plato to the Present. It has the subtitle, How the Deep State Capitalizes on Crises to Consolidate Control.--As William noted right from the start, this attempt at controlling the minds of young people is hardly new. Hitler, Stalin and Lenin all made their attempts. Even Plato -380BC- noted how democracy was doomed to fail because it was based upon the idea of people having virtue. So if you give them the choice of either giving up their life or giving up their virtue, they'll give up the latter to save the former.--Plato believed that eventually democracy would crater and people will want someone to come along and fix things. Some governor comes along claiming he can fix everything, he just needs some emergency powers. --But how did Plato believe such an individual could stay in power- He'd do so by taking children so they will be unaffected by the habits of their parents.
With power finally in Bolshevik hands, state terror arrives in Russia. The Soviet Union is born. But, installed in Red Square, Lenin's health is ailing. Will his creation live on beyond his death? And which of his lieutenants, jostling for position, will take up the baton? A Noiser production, written by Dan Smith. This is Part 4 of 4. For ad-free listening, exclusive content and early access to new episodes, join Noiser+. Now available for Apple and Android users. Click the Noiser+ banner on Apple or go to noiser.com/subscriptions to get started with a 7-day free trial. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Last fall, a video went viral that was from a prestigious university. In the video, students felt socialism was a good thing. They would abolish private property rights, although some indicated that they didn't want their own private property rights taken away.--This is just one example of how a brainwashing, deconstruction and battle is taking place for the minds of students.--Returning to Crosstalk to outline this trend was William Federer. William is a nationally known speaker, historian, author, and president of Amerisearch, Inc. He's the speaker on The American Minute daily broadcast. He has authored numerous books including, America's God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations, Who is the King in America-, and Socialism- The Real History From Plato to the Present. It has the subtitle, How the Deep State Capitalizes on Crises to Consolidate Control.--As William noted right from the start, this attempt at controlling the minds of young people is hardly new. Hitler, Stalin and Lenin all made their attempts. Even Plato -380BC- noted how democracy was doomed to fail because it was based upon the idea of people having virtue. So if you give them the choice of either giving up their life or giving up their virtue, they'll give up the latter to save the former.--Plato believed that eventually democracy would crater and people will want someone to come along and fix things. Some governor comes along claiming he can fix everything, he just needs some emergency powers. --But how did Plato believe such an individual could stay in power- He'd do so by taking children so they will be unaffected by the habits of their parents.
***Sign up as a supporter at fans.fm/everybodylovescommunism or Patreon.com/everybodylovescommunism to unlock the full version of this episode, tons of other bonus content and our Discord community!*** Jamie and Aaron read an article about the most cursed tendency yet, "MAGA Communism." What is it? What does it want? Is it in the room with us right now? Includes a primer on Prussian military theorist Carl Von Clausewitz and his influence on Lenin, because the guy who wrote the article decided to throw that in and we needed to see if he knew what he was talking about (spoiler alert: no). "Lenin and Clausewitz: The Militarization of Marxism, 1914-1921" by Jacob W. Kipp: https://www.clausewitzstudies.org/bibl/Kipp-MilitarizationOfMarxism.pdf Follow us on Twitter: @ELCpod Follow us on IG: everybodylovescommunism Like what you heard? Be sure to give us a 5 Star Rating on Apple Podcasts :)
My guest on this episode is Stefan Dercon - author of the recently published and most excellent book ‘Gambling on Development: Why Some Countries Win and Others Lose'. Development scholars have produced many explanations for why some countries did better than others after the Second World War. Factors like geography, quality or type of institutions, foreign aid, and protective trade policies, have been argued as what explains this divergence in national prosperity between countries. Dercon's contribution will no doubt be plugged into this long-running debate - and in my opinion, he comes closest to having a ‘‘first principles'' explanation than anyone I have read on the subject. Other theories leave you with nagging questions - Where do good institutions come from? Are countries condemned by their histories? Why do some countries use foreign aid better? Why are some countries with rich geographic endowments doing worse? Why does protective trade lead some countries toward becoming industrial exporting giants, and some others into a macroeconomic crisis?Dercon argues that countries that have done better do so by working out a ‘development bargain'. This comes about when the people with power and influence (elites) in a country find a cooperative agreement (bargain) to consciously pursue economic development and national enrichment. Development bargains are not simple, they are often messy. And elites are not a bunch of altruistic do-gooders. Rather, through many complicated networks of intra-elite competitions and cooperation, they decide to gamble on the future by betting that economic development will deliver the biggest win. Dercon does not claim to have found the holy grail of development - and there are still many questions to be answered. But his argument does lead to one inevitable conclusion. Countries and their people will have to figure out what works for them and how that delivers prosperity.Stefan Dercon is Professor of Economic Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University. He was the Chief Economist of the UK's Department of International Development (DFID).TranscriptTobi; Was your experience really what inspired you to write the book?Stefan; Well, you know, what inspired me definitely is just the contrast that I've had in terms of things I do. Because I've been an academic for a long time, I have more than 30 years writing and studying and, you know, I was one of these academics who like to, as one sometimes puts it, you know, like, likes to get mud on their feet, you know, mud on their boots. I used to work mostly on rural households and in most countries, these are amongst the poorest people, and you just get to know what's going on there. I have a policy interest, and I was just lucky 10 years ago, a bit more than that, I got a job as a Chief Economist in the UK aid agency, and it's just that contrast of having had the chance and the opportunity to get involved on the policy side, on meeting all the more senior people...and it's just that contrast between still enjoying being surrounded by people and what they do and understands livelihoods of poorer people, combined with being in the policy space, I felt like, you know, I have a unique perspective that I wanted to communicate. And it was just a quest to communicate, actually. If anything, I wanted just to tell more of these stories because I think, from all sides, we tend to misunderstand a lot of what's going on and how things work in practice. And that's definitely the case on the academic side. We're so far sometimes from reality that I wanted to tell that story a bit more.Tobi; And I mean, after you wrote the book, and after publication, I presume from some of the feedback that your book is actually quite successful. I gave so many copies away, right, I can't even count. I think at some point, I temporarily bought out Roving Heights' entire stock. So how has the reception been generally?Stefan; I mean, look, what you just told me makes it much more worthwhile than if white kids in Oxford are buying the book. So what I'm really pleased with is that it appealed to a much broader group of people. And actually, you know, if I'm really honest, I hadn't expected that people like you or I was in Bangladesh last week that young people there would actually appreciate the book, you know, that you would actually get people that think about these problems in these countries are actually interested in it. And I'm very pleased that people find it both worthwhile to read and quite interesting. Of course, I get some academics. One story last week in Bangladesh, I had a question, you know, how Lenin fitted in my book. Now, I had to struggle with the answer of how Vladimir Lenin would actually fit into the book and thinking, you know, that's an academic typically responding to, you know... I don't know, I'm not a deep theoretician but it was written out of a kind of pragmatic sense of what can I learn from economics and politics that actually is worthwhile communicating. So it's well received. And if I'm really honest, I don't mind that there are pdf copies circulating as well and things like that. Actually, as long as it's read, you know, you write a book, not because you want the highest sales, but you actually want it to be read, and that actually makes it really interesting that people seem to be able to relate to it. Another group that, actually, I found really interesting that can relate to it is people that are either civil servants working in governments like - in yours, as well as maybe aid officials and International World Bank officials, IMF officials, who actually find it helpful as well. You know, and there's usually a huge bridge between them, there's a huge gap between how in Washington when we think about these things, or in London or in Abuja, and so that's pleasing as well. You know, I don't give a solution to the things but I think I touched on something of where a big part of the problem of development lies is that actually, we are, unfortunately, in quite a few countries, still with governments that fundamentally are backed by elites that don't really want to make the progress and do the hard work. And that's an unfortunate message. But at the same time, you have other countries that are surprising countries that make the progress. And so clearly, there is a lesson there that it's not simply like the problem is simple. Actually, the problem is to some extent, simple. It's about, fundamentally, do you want to actually make it work, make this progress work? And I think that echoes with quite a lot of people - the frustration that many of us have, that some countries seem to be stuck and not making enough progress and we need to be willing to call it out for what it is that it's not entirely the fault of those people who are in control, but they could do far more for the better than they actually do.Tobi; For the purpose of making the conversation practical and accessible, in the spirit of the book itself, I'm going to be asking you some very simple... and what I consider to be fundamental questions for the benefit of the audience and people that probably have not read the book. So there have been so many other books on development that have also been quite as popular as yours, Why Nations Fail comes to mind, and so many others, The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs, some of which you actually reviewed in the opening chapters of the book. And at the heart of most of them is some kind of fundamental concept that then defines how the body of work itself or the central idea itself works, whether it's institutions, or culture, or industrial policy, or whatever. For your book, you talked a lot about the development bargain, what is the development bargain? And how does it work?Stefan; So the way I look at any country in the world, and I mean, any country, rich or poor country is that one way or another, there is a group of people, which I call for convenience, ''the elite.'' It's not like a pejorative title or a title to applaud them, but simply as a descriptive title. The group of people, in politics, civil service, in business definitely, maybe the military, maybe even civil society, key universities, public intellectuals, I talk about the group that I refer to as the elite, these are the people that have power, or they have influenced one way or another, that can be quite broad. Now in every society, I think it's that group that tends to determine what politics and the economy will look like, what the direction of a country will look like, in any society. And I call that underlying idea [as] they have essentially a form of an elite bargain, a bargain between the different people, they don't have to agree on everything, but to have some kind of an agreement that this is the principle by which, you know, my country will be run in politics and in the economy. Now we could have lots of these elite bargains. We could have an elite bargain that, for example, is based on: if I happen to have power, then everything that I'll do is to reward the people that brought me to power. I'll give them jobs in government. I'll give them maybe contracts, I'll do something, you know, technically, we call this Clientelist. You could have another one where he's saying, Look, no, we're going to run this country, totally, where everybody gets an equal right or equal opportunity, and in a particular way. And so you could have political systems that are around this. Now you could have all these things coming together. You could have also regimes that basically say, Well, the main purpose for us is to keep us as a small group in power, you know, he could have a particular way of doing it. Or indeed, to make sure we use it entirely to steal anything we can get and we'll actually put it in our own pockets, you could have a kleptocracy. You could have lots of these different things, you know, you could have different societies. Now, what I mean by development bargain, is actually fundamentally where that underlying elite bargain values, the underlying idea is that we want to grow our economy, and we want to do this in quite an inclusive way. We want to have developmental outcomes as well. And we make this a key part of the elite bargain. So basically, I define a development bargain as an elite bargain - the deals that we have in running our economy and our politics, that fundamentally, one big way we will judge it is that when we make progress in the growth of the economy, and also in development for the broader population, and I call that the development bargain. And I want to actually go a step further and say if you don't have this, you will never see growth and development in your country. You could have leaders talk about it. They could make big development plans, but if underlying all this there is not a fundamental commitment by all these key players that actually it's worthwhile doing, we're not going to achieve it. And maybe I'll make a quick difference here with say, how does that difference...(now, you mentioned Why Nations Fail.) Now, that underlying elite bargain, of course, the nature of your rule of law, your property rights, all these things, they clearly will matter to some extent, but Why Nations Fail puts this entirely into kind of some historical process. And a lot of people that talk about getting institutions right, they say, Well, you need to get institutions right before you can develop, and they seem to come from a long historical process. In my concept of elite bargain, I would actually emphasize [that] even if your country is not perfect in these institutions, even if there's still some corruption left, even if there are still some issues with the political system, even with the legal system, we actually have countries that can make progress if, fundamentally, that commitment is there amongst the elite. So you don't have to wait until perfection starts before you can start to develop. And that actually [means that] I want to put much more power into the hands... sorry, agency is the better word, I put much more agency in those who at the moment are in control of the state. History may not be favourable for you, there may be a history of colonialism, there may be other histories, factors that clearly will affect the nature of your country at a particular moment in time. But actually agency from the key actors today, they can overcome it. And in fact, in the book, I have plenty of examples of countries that start from imperfection, and actually start doing quite interesting things in terms of growth and development, while other countries are very much more stagnant and staying behind. Tobi; You sort of preempted my next question. I mean, since say, 1990, or thereabout, when the results of some of the ''Asia Tigers'' started coming in, maybe also through the works of people like Wade, Hamsden and co., countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, have become like the standard for economic development, and subsequent analysis around issues of development always look at those countries and also their neighbours who have actually made some progress, maybe not as much as those specific countries. But what I want to ask you about in your book is, you talk about some of the works on development trying to reach for some kind of long history or some kind of historical...I don't want to say dependency or determinism, but you get my point. So my point is, if we go outside of these Asian Tigers, if we go back to say, Japan, or even the second industrial revolution, America, Germany, the Netherlands, can we observe the development bargain as you have described it? Is it also consistent through history?Stefan; I would say Absolutely. I mean, one of the things with when we look at these countries with longer-term success, you mentioned correctly, you know, the Koreas and also Japan, or going back in time to the Industrial Revolution, the second industrial revolution and so on, actually, we take for granted that actually they really wanted to succeed. And it's actually one of these things, and especially in recent history, [South] Korea came out of deep conflict, of course, it was also called War so they got certain support as well. But it was really important for both Japan and Korea after the Second World War, for Japan to re-emerge and for Korea to emerge. It was a form of also getting legitimacy towards their own population. So it was a real underlying deep commitment by that elite in these countries to try to make a success of it. We take it for granted, if we go back in history, take England in the 19th century...I mean, it was a very strong thing, it's like, you know, we wanted to show that actually, we are ruling the world on commerce and all the kinds of things, there was a deep motivation. And of course, also the pressures, you know, remember, the society was being very fractured, and we can't call growth in the 19th century in Britain very inclusive. [There was] a lot of change happening, and indeed, you know, very poor people I think actually initially didn't manage to take up. But especially if we come to the early 20th century became this kind of thing surely [where] development in the form of growth was also when it's a little bit broader shared, became quite part of it. And it's one of these things that when you look at politics, whether it's in the 1930s or 40s or 50s or now, whether it's in England or in America, actually growth and development, I won't take it for granted. People are voted out of office because they are not managing the economy well. There is a lot of political pressure in Europe now. And it's really political because ''oh you're not dealing with the cost of living crisis right or you're undermining the real income increases.'' You know, the US election, we ended up interpreting Trump as an election that actually [served] people [who] had stayed behind in the process of growth and development. Actually, in the politics of most richer countries, it's so much taken for granted that that's a big part of the narrative. So it's an interesting one (maybe, if I may) just to [use] China, I find it a really interesting one. Because, you know, the historical determinism is problematic there. And of course, some people would say, China should never have grown because it has the wrong institutions. But of course, it is growing fast. But if you think of a bit of what would be historical institutions that are relevant? China has had centralized taxation for 2000 years, a centralized bureaucracy for 2000 years, a meritocratic bureaucracy for 2000 years, you know, it actually had a history that actually acquired strong institutions. But funnily enough, when did it start? Just at the moment of deep weakness in the 1970s. When the Cultural Revolution had destabilised the legitimacy of the state, ideology was totally dominating, Mao died in the early 1970s and mid 1970s the Gang of Four came up, which was his widow, it was all turbulence. And actually lots of people thought China would disappear. It's at that moment, it picked up that kind of thing, you know, and actually, fundamentally, if you read all the statements of that periods, they became fundamentally committed, ''we need to make progress in our economy, that's our source of legitimacy.'' So even there there, that's where you see that actually really emerges and this became something that they needed to achieve - a fundamental commitment to growth and development as a form of getting legitimacy to the population. So in a very different way, as some of the other countries, but it's the same principle. Legitimacy of a lot of countries is equated with progress and growth and development, which is essentially a feature of a development bargain.Tobi; Obviously, all societies have some form of elite bargain. Not all elite bargains are development bargains. That's the gist of your book, basically. Now, what I'm trying to get at here is elite bargains that are not for development, that do not benefit the rapid progress of a society, how do they emerge? You talk about the agency of the people that are running the country at a particular point in time. To take Nigeria as an example, a lot of people will blame Nigeria's problems on colonialism. And I'm also quite intolerant of such arguments, at least up to a point. But what I'm trying to get at is that how do elite bargains that are not for development, how do they emerge? Is it via, also, the agency of the elites of those societies? Or are there features of a particular society that kind of determine the elite bargain that emerges? For example, sticking with Nigeria, a lot of people will argue that our elites and our institutions will think and look differently if we don't have oil.Stefan; Yes. Tobi; Right. The state will be less extractive in its thinking, the bureaucracy will be less predatory, right? A lot of people would argue that. So are there other underlying factors or features in a society that shape the kind of elite bargain that emerges, or this is just down to the agency of the people who find themselves with power and influence? They are just the wrong type of people.Stefan; So, Tobi, you make an excellent point here, and, so let's take this a little bit in turn. Leonard Wantchekon, the economic historian at Princeton, from Benin… he gave a nice lecture not so long ago, at Yale, it's on YouTube. And he made this very helpful statement, and he said, you know, if it's between history and agency, I would put 50% history 50% agency, okay. And I will actually add to it [which] is that depending on where you are, history is a little bit more or a little bit less. And so clearly, and he was talking about Africa in general, colonialism will matter. It has shaped your institutions and, you know, the way countries have emerged and the way they decolonized, all these things will have mattered, and they make it harder and easier and so on. But you alluded to it as well [that] at some level, it's already a long time ago now. Of course, it's still there, but it's a long time ago. So over time agency should become much more important. The point though, that you raise about oil makes a lot of sense. So the problem with a development bargain is that actually for a political elite, and for a business elite, dare I say for a military elite, the status quo is, of course, very convenient. Status quo is something that is very convenient because it involves very few risks. So the problem with growth typically is that, actually, new elites may emerge, a new type of business elites may emerge, they may question the economic elite that exists. As a result, it may change the politics. And in fact, if you go back to history, as we were saying, of course, that's the history of Britain where all the time, you know, there has been a shift of who is the elite, there's always a new elite, but it's shifting. So growth is actually a tricky thing. Because it actually, in that sense, changes relative positions in society. Now, that's obviously the case in every society. But it will even more so if the status quo is actually quite of relative affluence, if the status quo is actually quite a comfortable position to be. Now if you have natural resources, you don't need growth, to be able to steal. You can just basically control the resources that come out of the ground. And so your supply chain for stealing money can be very short, you don't have to do a very complicated game. If you need to get it from growth in the economy, it's much more complicated, and it's much more risky. Okay. And so it's not for nothing, that actually clearly, more countries that didn't have natural resources in recent times, over short periods of time, managed to actually get development bargains and basically leads gambling on it. Because actually, the status quo was not as lucrative as the status quo can be if you have a lot of oil or other minerals. And so you're right, and it makes it just really hard...and it actually means in fact [that] even well-meaning parts of the business elite in Nigeria will find it very hard to shift the model entirely. Because you know, you are a business elite, because you benefit from the system one way or another. I'm not saying that you steal, but it's just [how] the economy is based in Nigeria on a lot of non-tradables, is helped with the fact that you have so much to export from oil and so you end up importing a lot, but you can also keep your borders closed or anything you feel like keeping the borders closed for. And that helps for a lot of domestic industries, because protectionism, you know, you do all the things. So the system self sustains it. And with oil, there is not that much incentives to change it. So yes, it is actually harder if you have natural resources to actually reengineer the system to actually go for growth and development. So yes, it is the case. But it hasn't stopped certain countries from not going that route. You know, Malaysia has oil? Yes, it's not a perfect development bargain. But it has done remarkably well. Indonesia, in its early stages, also had oil in the 1970s as an important part, it managed this kind of relationship, and then maybe come the agency in it, you know, do we get enough actors that actually have the collective ability to shift these incentives enough to start promoting more outward orientation, try to export some new things from your country, all that kinds of stuff? And that is indeed what happened in Indonesia. There in the early 1970s, they had oil, but they also learned to export shoes and garments early on, they took advantage of good global situations. And Nigeria didn't, you know, and then agency comes into it, you know, the managers of both the politics and the relationship between politics and business, including from the military, they went in a particular route, and they had choices and they didn't take them. I'm pretty sure if you go back and, you know, there will be moments of choice and we went for another - as people call it - political settlement... another equilibrium that actually didn't involve development and growth as the key part. So yes, it makes it harder. But the agency still, still matters.Tobi; From that point, my next question then would be, what shifts an elite bargain more? That's kind of like do question, right? What shifts an elite bargain? These questions do sound simple. And I'm sorry, but I know they are incredibly difficult to answer. Otherwise, you wouldn't have written an entire book about it. Right. So what shifts an elite bargain more towards development? I mean, you talked about China, we've seen it also in so many other countries where the country was going in a particular direction that's not really pro growth, pro-development, and then there's this moment where things sort of shifts. So it may be through the actions of particular actors or events that inform those. So what... in your experience as a development practitioner and looking at all these places...What are the factors that have the most influence in shifting the elite bargain? Is it just luck? I mean, when I think about China, what if Deng Xiaoping and his colleagues had actually lost that particular power struggle after the death of Mao? So did they get lucky? Is it luck? What's going on?Stefan; You know, I wouldn't use title of gambling but there has to be a little bit of luck involved as well, you know, the circumstances have to play in your direction. But it's not just luck. Okay. So it's an interesting thing when you look at a couple of the countries, what were the moments that people within the elite managed to shift it in another direction? So. China is interesting because it was going through conflict, not deep conflict or violent conflict, but there was a lot of instability in China at the time, at the end of the Cultural Revolution in that period. Other countries like Bangladesh came out of conflict. And so conflict, definitely, or coming out of conflict creates a moment. But of course, there are lots of countries that come out of conflict that make a mess of it. It's a window of opportunity. And it probably is linked with something related to it, which is legitimacy. When you come out of conflict, most of the time, leaders need to reestablish legitimacy. This is clearly something that happened to Rwanda coming out of the genocide, Kagame clearly had to establish legitimacy, you know, he represented a very small group of people within the country and he needed to get legitimacy overall and he chose growth and development to doing that. I think Ethiopia is similar, that actually Meles Zenawi coming from Tigray, he needed, you know, post 2000, coming out of the Eritrean war at a time, and all kinds of other crisis that he was facing in his own party even, he needed to get legitimacy, and they thought he could get legitimacy for his regime through growth and development. So legitimacy-seeking behavior can be quite important. Now it has another side to it. If there's a crisis of legitimacy, that's the moment when the leader can actually take advantage of it. A crisis of legitimacy is actually saying, ''Well, look, we better go to something that begins to deliver to people.'' And why I'm actually suggesting it is that actually, there are in certain countries, a bit of pressure from below also seems to be quite useful. But there is a role there and I find it very hard to define exactly because I'm always scared of autocrats and so on. But the point of leadership is there. So I don't mean it as the strong leader, but more to do with the kind of group of people that manages to take other people along and convince them that is the kind of thing that they need to do. So if you go to Indonesia, I don't think it was Suharto personally, who was the great thinker there that did it. But he clearly surrounded himself with a group of people that included technocrats and also other people from politics, that actually managed to push this in a particular direction in doing it. So how do we get it? While it is actually people taking advantage of windows of opportunity to actually nudge towards it? Okay. But it's hard. We're talking Nigeria, other people have asked me questions about Brazil, about India, you know, large countries like yours with very complicated elite bargains that have national and state level things and so on... it's really complicated. Rwanda in that sense is well defined, you know, we have one well-defined problem and, you know, we could go for a particular model. It can be quite complicated to have some ideas on that on Nigeria, but maybe we can come to that a bit later.Tobi; So, I'm curious. I know you didn't cover this in your book. So let me let you speculate a bit on the psychology of elite bargains or development bargains specifically now. Given that I've also tried to look at some of the societies that you described, and even some others that you probably didn't mention, I don't think there's been a society yet where this is a gamble true, but where the elites have sort of lost out by gambling on development. So why don't we see a lot more gambles than we are seeing currently?Stefan; Actually, unfortunately, we see gambles that go wrong. I mean, for me, and I've worked a lot on Ethiopia, Ethiopia as a gamble that went wrong at the moment. And Ethiopia... you know, just think a little bit of what happened and maybe typify a little bit in a very simplistic way the nature of the gamble. You know, you had a leader under Meles Zenawi, under the TPLF - the Tigray and rebel group - where in the end the dominant force in the military force that actually took power in 1991. And they stayed dominant, even though they only represent, you know, five 6% of the population, they remain dominant in that political deal. Though other groups joined, but militarily, it was the TPLF that was the most powerful. So it also meant that the political deal was always fragile because in various periods of time, you know, my very first job was teaching in Addis Ababa University so I was teaching there 1992 93... you know, we have violence on the streets of students that were being actually repressed by the state, they were demonstrating against the government. You know, over time, we have various instances where this kind of legitimacy, the political legitimacy of that regime was also being questioned. Now, one of the gambles that Meles Zenawi took was to actually say, look, there's a very fragile political deal, but I'm actually going to get legitimacy through growth and development. So he used development as a way of getting legitimacy for something that politically and you know, just as Nigeria is complicated, Ethiopia is complicated with different nationalities, different balances between the regions, that he actually wasn't quite giving the space for these different nationalities to have a role, but he was gambling on doing it through growth and development. How did this go wrong? You know, I kept on spending a lot of time, but in the 2010s after Meles Zenawi died, very young from illness, the government still tried to pursue this. But actually, increasingly, they couldn't keep the politics together anymore. They were almost a different nationality, they were always on the streets, there was lots of violence and so on. And then in the end, you know, the Tigrayans lost power in the central government, and then, of course, we know how it escalated further after Abiy. But in some sense, the underlying political deal was fragile and the hope was that through economic progress, we could strengthen that political deal to legitimacy. That gamble is fine. Now it's a very fractured state and unfortunately, all the news we get from the country is that it's increasingly fractured. And I don't know how we'll put it together again. So that's a gamble that failed. Now, we know more about it. And it was very visible because it lasted quite a long time. Many of these gambles may actually misfire if they don't pick the right political moments. You know, if you don't do it at the right moment, and if you're a little bit unlucky with global circumstances, you fairly quickly could get into a bit of trouble politically, and whatever. For example, with the high inflation we have in virtually every country in the world now, it is clearly not the moment to gamble. It's extremely risky, [and] fragile, and your opponents will use it against you. So it's another thing like, you know, we don't see them gambling, you know, there are relatively few windows of opportunities at which you can gamble. And there are some that will go wrong. And even some that I described as successes, you know, we don't know whether they will last, whether they will become the new Koreas. I'm cautious about that. So, we need to just see it a little bit. Although I don't see Nigeria taking that gamble. So that's another matter.Tobi; No, no. I mean, that's where I was going next. Let me talk to you a bit about the role of outsiders here. We're going to get the aid discussion later. So currently in Nigeria, obviously, the economy has been through a lot in the last several years, a lot of people will put that firmly into the hands of the current administration. Rightly so. There were some very terrible policy choices that were made. But one point that I've quite often made to friends is that, to borrow your terminology, I don't think Nigeria was under the influence of a development bargain that suddenly went astray seven years ago. We've always been heading in this direction, some periods were just pretty good. And one of those periods was in the mid to late 2000s, when the economy seemed to be doing quite well, with high oil prices and also, the government actually really took a stab at macro-economic reforms. But if also you look carefully at the micro-history of that period, you'll see the influence of, should I say, outside legitimacy, you know, trying to get the debt forgiveness deal over the line and, you know, so many other moves that the government was making to increase its credibility internationally was highly influential in some of those decisions and the people that were brought into the government and some of the reform too. And my proof for that when I talk to people is to look at the other things that we should have done, which, we didn't do. We had the opportunity to actually reform either through privatization, a more sustainable model of our energy policy - the energy industry, generally. Electricity? People like to talk about telecommunications and the GSM revolution, but we didn't do anything about electricity, we didn't do anything about transportation. Infrastructure was still highly deficient and investment was not really serious, you know. So it was not... for me, personally, it was not a development bargain. Now, my question then would be, could it have been different if some of the outside influences that are sometimes exerted on countries can be a bit more focused on long-term development, as opposed to short-term macro-economic reforms on stability? You know, institutions like the IMF, the World Bank, I know they have their defined mandates, but is it time for a change? I think they actually have a lot more influence than they are using currently.Stefan; You make extremely valid points. And I think I will broadly agree with you with what you just implied. And I'll take a stance on it now. So the first thing, of course, and you correctly saw that something very misleading in Nigeria's growth figures is that periods of high growth are not at all linked to much action by economic policymakers. But it's still largely linked to oil prices. And we have this unfortunate cyclical behaviour in policymaking. Where the behaviour when prices are really good, is just always missing taking advantage of the opportunity. While when things are bad, we're talking about all kinds of things one ought to be doing but then saying, ''we can't do it because the prices are low.'' And so there is this kind of strange, asymmetric thing about policymaking that we always have the best ideas when we can't do them, and then we don't have the ideas we should have when the going is good. And this is in a way what you're alluding to. Of course, the role of outsiders that gets very interesting is what these outsiders were focusing on, actually, I think it was in the interest of the, call them, semi-outsider inside government...some of these technocrats that were brought in. And I can understand it entirely, you know, there were some really sensible finance ministers at various moments and so on. They were focused on actually things that were relatively easy in that period. So they were actually relatively easy, because the going was quite good. And so actually you created that strange impression, and it's a little bit like together with the outsiders, with World Bank, IMF, but actually, we're dealing with something really dramatic but, actually, we were not at all setting a precedent because it was actually, relatively... relatively politically low cost to do these things at that moment. Okay. So it was progress of sorts, you know, getting the debt relief, and so on. But arguably, you know, it's not a bad thing. But this actually was quite a low-hanging fruit and many of these organizations like these ideas of low-hanging fruits, because actually, politically, it played well, it increased the stature internationally of Nigeria...but, actually, it didn't really cost the elite much. It wasn't really hard for the elite to do these things. [If they did] the difficult things, they would really have started to change Nigeria. And so there is something there that I'm struck by the last sentence you said that some of these outsiders may be focusing on the wrong things. I think it has to be the insiders wanting to focus on these things, on these more difficult things. And then I do agree with you, the outsider should be smarter, and better able to respond to this. There's a problem with the outsiders here as well, take something that clearly you still struggle with and struggled forever with - electricity reform, the electricity sector. It's so complicated, and it's set up so complicated in all kinds of ways and whatever. So much inefficiency, so much waste that then it doesn't function and everybody, you know, complains about it. But it becomes politically very sensitive because there are definitely vested interests linked to it now and it becomes very hard to unravel it. Now the problem is if you ask typically a World Bank or an IMF for advice, they will make it very simple and say, Oh, just privatize the whole thing and do the whole thing. Now. You know that in a politically sensitive environment, you just can't privatize everything, so you privatize a little bit, but anything that's really with vested interests you won't touch. But these are the inefficient bits. So the easy prey, you privatize, and that's someone else making even more money off it because it's actually the efficient part of those systems that gets privatized, and then the inefficient part is still there and costs even more money. And so what I think these outsiders could do better is to have a better understanding of Nigeria's political economy, which is complicated at the best of times, but really understand, where can we start actually touching on something that we are beginning to touch on something vested interests that we begin to unravel a little bit some of the kind of underlying problem of, you know, politically connected business, you know, all the way to party financing or whatever...that you need to start unraveling somehow, where actually the underlying causes of inefficiency lie. Because the underlying causes of inefficiency are not just technical, they're actually not just economic. The underlying causes are these kinds of things. So I think why the outsiders did what they did at that time, it actually suited the government at the time, the technocratic ministers, that's the best they could do because that was the only mandate they had. Together with the outsider, they'd say, Well, that's certainly something we could do. But actually, fundamentally, you didn't really change that much. You don't still have then wherever it goes a bit bad, I'll get six or whatever exchange rates, and I'll get all kinds of other macroeconomic poor management, and, of course, nothing can happen when there's a crisis. There's no way we can do these more micro sector-specific reforms than doing it. So yeah, you're absolutely right. But let's not underestimate how hard it is. But starting to do the things that you refer to is where we need to get to to doing some of these difficult things.Tobi; The way I also read your book is that the two classic problems of political economy are still present, which is, the incentive and the knowledge problem. So I want to talk about the role of knowledge and ideas here. Let's even suppose that a particular group of elites at a particular time are properly incentivized to pursue a development bargain. Right? Sometimes the kind of ideas you still find floating around in the corridors of power can be quite counterproductive. A very revealing part of your book for me was when you were talking about the role of China. Also, I have no problem with China. The anecdote about Justin meme stood out to me quite well, because I could relate to it personally because I've also been opportuned to be at conferences where Justin Lin spoke, and I was slightly uneasy at how much simplification happens. I mean, just to digress a little bit, there was a particular presidential candidate in the just concluded primaries of the ruling party, I'm not going to mention the name, who is quite under the heavy influence of the China model. Right? Always consults with China, always meeting with Chinese economists and technocrats. And my reaction when he lost the primaries was ''thank god,'' right? Because what I see mostly in development thinking locally, I don't mean in academic circles, a lot of debates are going on in academics... is that the success of China and Asia more broadly has brought the State primarily into the front and centre. If you look at this current government, they will tell you seven years ago that they meant well. You know, judging by the Abba Kyari anecdotes where government should own the means of production. He may not believe that, like you said, truthfully, but you can see the influence of what has been called ''state-led development.'' In a state where there is no capable bureaucracy. The government itself is not even optimized to know the problem to solve or even how to solve that particular problem. Right. So broadly, my question is, if an elite chooses to pursue a development bargain, how does it then ensure that the right ideas, which lead to the right kind of policies, and maybe there might not even be the right policies - one of the things you mentioned is changing your mind quickly, it's an experimental process - but, you know, this process needs people who are open to ideas, who change their minds, who can also bring other people in with different ideas, you know, so this idea generation process in a development bargain, how can it be stable even if you have an elite consensus is that chooses to pursue development?Stefan; Look, it's an excellent question. And last week, or 10 days ago, when it was in Bangladesh, I was very struck that, you know, as a country I think that has the development bargain, there was a lot of openness. And you know, I was in the Ministry of Finance, and people had a variety of ideas, but they were all openly debated, there was not a kind of fixed mindset. And it is something that I've always found a bit unfortunate dealing with both politicians and senior technocrats in Nigeria. Nigeria is quickly seen as the centre of the world, there's nothing to learn from the rest of the world, we'll just pick an idea, and then we'll run with it and there's nothing that needs to be checked. And, you know, I love the self-confidence, but for thinking and for pursuit of ideas, you know, looking around and questioning what you hear whether you hear it from Justin Lin, who by the way, I don't think he's malign and he means well, he just has a particular way of communicating but it is, of course, a simplified story that you can simply get, and then you'll pick it up. And of course, if you ask the UK Government, the official line from London, they will also tell you there is only one model when they're purely official, but privately they will be a bit more open-minded, and maybe Chinese officials don't feel they have that freedom to privately encourage you to think a bit broader and so you have maybe a stricter line. So how do we do that? I think we can learn something here from India in the 1970s and 1980s. So when India after independence, it had a very strict set of ideas. In that sense, India was as a child of its time as a state, you know, state control, state-led development, there were strong views around it and India ended up doing a lot of regulation. They used to refer to India as the License Raj. Like a whole system based around licensing and everything was regulated by the state. So the state had far too much say in terms of the activity, despite the fact that the underlying economy was meant to be very entrepreneurship and commerce-led, but you had a lot of licensing rules, and so on. And of course, its growth stayed very low in the 1970s and 80s, it was actually very stagnant. It changed in the 1990s. Partly came with a crisis - in fact, a balance of payments crisis - it needs to reform and Manmohan Singh was the finance minister, then, later on, he became maybe a less successful Prime Minister. But as a finance minister in the early 90s, he did quite amazing things. And then during the 90s, gradually, every party started adopting a much more growth-oriented, more outward-oriented type of mindset. Now, why do I say this? Because actually, during the 1970s, and 80s, you had think-tanks, all the time pushing for these broader ideas. It took them 20 years. But there were really well-known think-tanks that kept on trying to convince people in the planning commission, economists in the universities and so on. And to critically think, look, there must be other ways. So actually, funnily enough, in India, it has a lot to do with the thinking and the public debates, that initially the politicians didn't take up, but actually found the right people to influence... you know, you actually have still in the civil service some decent technocrats there, they don't get a chance. But there are decent people, I know some of them and so on. But there needs to be a feeding of these ideas. And actually, this is where I would almost say there's a bit of a failing here, in the way the public discourse is done [in Nigeria] and maybe voices like you, but also more systematically from universities from think tanks and so on to actually feed and keep on feeding these ideas. There is a suggestion [by] Lant Pritchett - you know he's a former Harvard economist, he is now in the UK - [who] wrote this very interesting paper and he said, some of these think tanks who are actually getting a little bit of aid money here and there and he said, that's probably the best spent aid money in India ever. Because the rate of return and he calculates this number is like 1,000,000%, or something. Because he basically says the power of ideas is there. And I do think there is something there that I'm always surprised by that there are some very smart Nigerians outside the country, they don't really get much of a hearing inside the country, then there are some that are actually inside the country, the quality of debate is maybe not stimulated to be thinking beyond. It has to do probably with how complicated your country is, and of course, the Federal status plays a role. I just wonder whether maybe this is something that needs to start in particular states. You know, there are some governors that are a little bit more progressive than others. Maybe it is actually increasing and focusing attention over this on a few states to get the debate up to a high level and to actually see what they can do and maybe it's where the entry point is, but you need ideas I agree with you and I do worry at times about the kind of critical quality... there are some great thinkers in Nigeria, don't get me wrong, but the critical quality of ideas around alternative ways of doing the economy and so on, and that they get so easily captured by simple narrative, simple national narratives that are really just too simple to actually pursue. I mean...yeah.Tobi; That's quite deep. That's quite deep. I mean, just captures my life's mission right there. It's interesting you talked about Lant Pritchett and the question of aid, which is like my next line of question to you. There was this brief exchange on Twitter that I caught about the review of your book in the guardian, and the question of aid came up. I saw responses from Martin Ravallion, from Rachel Glennerster, I'm not sure I'm pronouncing her name right. So it's sort of then brings me to the whole question of development assistance, aid, and the way intervention has now been captured by what works. One fantastic example I got from your book is on Bangladesh, and how both systems work. You know, there's a broad development bargain, it's not perfect, nothing is, no society is. And there's the pursuit of economic growth. And also, it's a country where aid money and all forms of development assistance is quite active, and is quite huge, and it's actually quite effective. Now, my question is that basic insight from your book, which is for aid spending to be a little bit more biased, not your word... a little bit more bias to countries that have development bargains broadly? Why is that insight so difficult for, I should say, the international NGO industry to grasp? Why is it elusive? Because the status quo, which I would say, I don't mean to offend anybody, but which I will say is also aided by development economists and academics who have sort of put methodology and evidence above prosperity, in my view... because what you see is that, regardless of how dysfunctional the country is, broadly, the aid industry just carves out a nice niche where they do all sorts of interventions, cash transfers, chickens and, of course, you can always do randomized control trials and you say you have evidence for what works. But meanwhile you don't see the broad influence of some of these so-called assistants in the country as a whole. And these are institutions who proclaim that they are committed to fighting extreme poverty and we know what has vastly reduced poverty through history has always been economic growth and prosperity. So why is this elusive? Have those agencies and international development thinking itself been captured?Stefan; Look, I think I should make you do my interviews in the future. Yeah. So I've got to hire you to give...Because, look, I've been inside the aid industry and, in fact, the two people that you mentioned, you know, I would call them my friends, although one of them clearly is very cross at me at the moment. But you know, these are people I've worked with, and so on. And I am worried that there is such an obsession within the aid industry to prove their effectiveness. And I kn