Russia's War on Ukraine: Current Events with Hicks and Tracinski

March 02, 2022 01:00:56
Russia's War on Ukraine: Current Events with Hicks and Tracinski
The Atlas Society Presents - The Atlas Society Asks
Russia's War on Ukraine: Current Events with Hicks and Tracinski
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Show Notes

Join The Atlas Society Senior Scholar Dr. Stephen Hicks and Senior Fellow Robert Tracinski with host and Student Programs Manager Abbie Berringer for an Objectivist perspective on the war between Russia and Ukraine on the 94th episode of The Atlas Society Asks.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Hello everyone. And welcome to the 94th episode of the Atlas society asks. My name is Abby Beringer, student programs manager here at the Atlas society. The leading nonprofit, introducing young people to the ideas of vine, Rand, and creative ways through our Atlas university seminars, graphic novels, and creative social media content. Today, we are joined by Atlas society, senior scholar and renowned philosopher, Dr. Steven Hicks and Atlas society, senior fellow and objectivist writer. Robert who will be discussing two potentially three. If we have time current events topics, we will save time at the end of each topic to take some audience audience questions. So throughout the discussion, please put your questions into the chat here on zoom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube. Our first topic will be, uh, the Russia Ukraine war. Uh, what should the us roles be? Who are Putin's philosophers and, um, traditional Russian geopolitical situation, ideological support. We're going to discuss it all. So I think I'm handing it over first to you, Stephen. Speaker 1 00:01:00 Uh, it started with me. Okay. That's nice. Well, let me then immediately go to my share screen option. I want to run a few pictures by you along with some quotations, I'm going to be focusing less on the geopolitics and the history and so on and, uh, sticking to my knitting as a philosopher, a probe a little bit into, uh, the, the, the philosophical thinking that factors into interpret poop in his own thinking, but then more importantly, the intellectuals whom he is drawing upon. So I want to do one more thing, which is to say from the beginning go and there we are. So here's our situation. Um, I am a philosopher, but I also like to look at data once in a while. So, uh, first thing I did was I went to look at some standard business ethics, indexes, and political ethics indexes. Speaker 1 00:01:51 So, you know, the question is this is the other side of the world in one respect. And of course we need to pay attention, but is there a clear, good guy and a bad guy here, Ukraine, Russia, and so on. And we know that they are both, uh, mixed, mixed nations politically and economically, but what is the social science have to have to say about this? So this is from transparency international. It's a very good index, measuring perceptions of corruption, politically and economically. Uh, particularly when those are, are intertwined. There's about 180 nations that are covered in the index. And this last year, uh, Ukraine was ranked 120 seconds. So, uh, this is in the bottom half. So it's not a particularly healthy regime in terms of, uh, of, uh, of, uh, of, uh, of corruption of political health. Russia is a, is even worse. Speaker 1 00:02:41 It's got to comes out 136. So it's getting down closer into the, you know, the bottom quarter, not only the, the bottom bottom half, uh, the other thing I had to look at is the economic freedom indexes of the world. So it might be, as we know, some countries are better economically in terms of principles compared to their politics, others, the other way around. And it turns out in this case, uh, uh, not much to be happy about in either country, but in terms of 2022 economic freedom index, Russia is ranked 113th still in the bottom half, but Ukraine is even worse. So, uh, my initial reaction then is to say, you know, we've got two countries, you know, they're in the middle of the pack at best, or they're tending toward the bad, both on important political measures and an important economic measures. So, uh, why get too worried about a war on the other side of the world? Speaker 1 00:03:37 And we might have some generalized sympathies. And I do say think though that that's not the right attitude to take, we do have two mixed economies and they are similar in some respects, but there are some important differences between these two countries. And those differences should matter to those of us who are Western broadly liberal. One is that one of the nations is expansionist and it has been expansionist for quite a while. That's a morally significant difference between two nations. Ukraine has no signs of that. It wants to take over a Moldova, it's a neighbor to the west. For example, it seems like it wants to be independent, do its own thing. It's Russia that is clearly expansionist. One is aggressive and has a track record of aggressiveness on the world stage. The other does not have a similar, a track record of, uh, of expansionism. Speaker 1 00:04:24 And it's also, I think, important that, uh, the size of the nations matter, uh, if this was to relatively unimportant nations from our north American perspective, uh, then we might, uh, you know, have some generalized sympathies and say some things diplomatically have so few sanctions here and there, but one of these nations is a major world power. If you look at the standard rankings of the most powerful nations in the world, it's always the United States, or it has been this way for a long time. And then it's Russia and China who are sometimes flip-flopping for second and third place. It's also a nuclear power. So Russia is in the big leagues. And when we have a big leaks nation that is expansionist and aggressive, then we have to take, uh, pay attention. And, uh, I think more serious response is called for now lots of subsidiary questions there, uh, about Putin, uh, his psychology, his politics, his economic thinking, his philosophy, his religion, and so on. Speaker 1 00:05:22 So I do like this propaganda poster. I just threw it in there, but I'm going to focus on just a little slice of this for us for a few more minutes. And this is the focus on the people who are recognized as philosophical intellectuals in the Russian Pantheon, and not only that, but ones whom, uh, Putin has cited explicitly in his speeches or people who are in his advisory circle or people who also are spokesmen politically, who will, will mention. And I'm just going to mention three names, uh, that, uh, that do come up, uh, after this other not so cheap shot posted. I found this one on Twitter and retweeted it the other day, there is standard church state integration in Russia, in the modern world to a fairly high degree. Eastern Orthodox is a highly mystical, highly collectivist and highly interwoven with the political fabric of the nation. Speaker 1 00:06:18 So you have to use Rand's language. We do have a standard Attila and the witch doctor dynamic being played out in, in Russia. That's a serious matter to, uh, to take into account. It's not clear to what extent, uh, you know, the religious authorities are using politics to their advantage, to what extent the political authorities are using religion to their advantage, but it is an unholy and illiberal mixture that that's going on. Whether we think of the people who are senior in the Eastern Orthodox Russian Orthodox establishment as philosophers, that's open for grabs, but this is a kind of operationalized philosophy, uh, that is, uh, it's part of the working psychology of, of Russia and culture. And so we do need to take it seriously, but here is a philosopher whom, uh, has been cited explicitly by Putin in, in one of his speeches. This is going back to the 1920s. Speaker 1 00:07:11 Uh, and this was a time when, on the world stage, there was widely seen as a three-way debate between basically liberal democracies in the west, uh, various forms of communism slash Marxism, uh, internationalist collectivism in the, in the east, and then in central Europe, uh, the, the, the, the rise of fascism national socialisms and so on. And so Ilian was positioning himself as a major Russian philosopher of the time. And it's also interesting that ran would still have been in Russia at this point, uh, saying explicitly that what we need is a, is a third way not to go the Western liberal democracy direction, not to go the, uh, the, the, the, uh, the, the Bolshevik direction as well. And so here we have the major Russian philosopher whom Putin has cited approvingly in his speeches, uh, uh, identifying an affinity with national socialism and fascism. Speaker 1 00:08:10 So in his views from, uh, a scholar of, uh, of Ilion Hitler's national socialism, miscellaneous fascism, and the Russian white movement were very similar and spiritually close. I did a, uh, uh, an Atlas intellectual session on, on fascism a couple of weeks ago. And this emphasis on spiritualism in contrast to the materialism of bullshit is, and the materialism of the Western liberal democracies as well, this idealistic spiritual fervor, uh, as being a central, this is a, this is taken seriously. And then we go on to see what are the themes of this spiritualism. And it's a mix of, uh, personal morality and political morality, and it's all highly collectivized. So we need to have a common end United enemy, right? It's us versus the rest of the world. And politics should divide itself into us versus them. So none of this cosmopolitanism or the idea that we can have peace among nations and all live and let live, and ultimately become citizens of the world and so forth patriotism, a sense of honor, voluntary sacrificial service attraction to dictatorial, discipline, spiritual renewal of the revival and rebirth of the country and the search for a new social justice. Speaker 1 00:09:30 So these are all heavily charged, philosophical, buzzwords taken seriously. And, uh, uh, uh, Putin is, uh, explicitly, uh, hearkening billion, uh, in, in, in his themes. So, uh, going back a little bit, uh, Leante of, uh, late 18 hundreds of thinker, uh, billed himself as a conservative as a Monarch, uh, as a monarchist in the, in the Saurus sense. Again, what we have here is the idea that we need to see Russia as not at all, uh, allied to the west, or that even in its cultural and philosophical and ideological outreach is trying to forge bonds and keep the lines of communication open with the west. Instead, Russia is of the east, that's a completely different intellectual, philosophical, moral, and religious culture. And it sort of see itself as aligning itself with the further Eastern countries. And then the targets, uh, that are, that are identified philosophically here, uh, as bad as the egalitarianism by which he means some sort of equality of rights. Speaker 1 00:10:41 You reverse ality of rights, the utilitarianism, which is in this context, meaning emphasis on what works on material success on scientific and engineering progress in the world, those utilitarian concerns, and being willing to change things, and sometimes change things dramatically, you know, getting rid of slavery, getting re uh, getting rid of women as second and third class citizens extending the franchise. All of these things seen as revolutionary. Those are all dangerous. We should be opposed to them. Putin has also cited Leante of, uh, uh, approvingly in his speeches as, as well. And then one more figure whom, uh, uh, Putin to my knowledge has not cited explicitly. But what is interesting is that if you read Alexander Dugin and many commentators have pointed this out, and then you read, uh, uh, w what Putin is saying in his speeches, or what's being released in various sorts of press releases and so forth in many ways, at many times, rather, it seems like a week later, or a month later after Dougan publishes an article or a book, you find that various phrases repeated almost verbatim and certain sentiments repeated. Speaker 1 00:11:52 Uh, and so there seems to be, uh, an echoing of this contemporary thinker as well. So this is going back to a 2012, his first one, identifying a very strong conservatism in the Russian sense, family values, the importance of religion and church, then more broadly and attack on modernity in all of its manifestation, science values, philosophy, art society, uh, everything understanding of being that's a in for contemporary philosopher, almost always means you're listening to a or a Heideggerian. So, uh, that's a philosophically charged tuned time and space all is dead with modernity. Now we're familiar with that with some of our own national conservatives and liberals conservatives who will attack the enlightenment and, and modernity in the Western context, it's stronger and more virulent in, uh, in Dugan's writing as well. So we are going to end it in a somewhat, uh, aggressive form. Uh, there's an explicit mention of Heidegger, uh, and Doogan does see himself as a height of Gary and philosopher. Speaker 1 00:12:58 So I would recommend that you brush up on, on Heidegger, particularly since Heidegger ended up being, uh, declaring himself as a national socialist, as a Nazi and becoming a kind of court philosopher for Hitler and the national socialists Dougan wants to position himself in the exact same role with the pretty much the same ideology in Putin's court as, as well. And then this is a quote that's getting thrown around quite recently from his 2014 book as directly relevant today. We cannot rule out this is a philosopher. Now we need to go to war in a sec. So we can't rule it out means basically we're in favor of this. Uh, it's going to be a fight. We're going to take, uh, Crimea back and Ukraine, uh, as, as well. Now, just one closing question here, and then I'll turn things over over to, uh, to Rob thank you for your patience. Speaker 1 00:13:48 I know you've got a lot to say as well. It's one thing to, uh, then to say, uh, that, uh, poutine says all of these things, and it is possible that he is just throwing this out as a, kind of a red meat for the, the masses of Russians, uh, to give an ideological overlay into it, to cite the hallowed names in Russian philosophical history. And of course the other possibility is that he actually believes these things and this forms his, uh, his ideological, uh, undergone in one case you might say, he's just kind of Bacchae of Ellie. And he just says what he wants to, and he's just an authoritarian power lusting kind of guy. Uh, and, and the ideology is just an overlay in that case, I would say, uh, we still need to do a lot of philosophical work, because then it's a question. Speaker 1 00:14:32 Why is it that a a hundred million or more Russians, this is the kind of red meat that they want to hear, uh, in. And if it's the case that he actually believes this sort of stuff, then we have philosophical work among the elites. Why is it that these are the buttons that are being pushed among the elites, such that let him reproach and the, who was sent it to the top in Russia is approved believer in these things. And either way, we've got our philosophical work cut out for us. So that's it from me on this. Speaker 2 00:15:07 Okay. Yeah. Some of y'all, I got a lot to say. I like great stuff, because I really was very interested in going back to the philosophical influence. I think that's, that's really important. And yeah, I think, you know, there's a big question of does Vata repute, uh, um, actually believe any of this as justice. There's a question. Does Attila believe anything? The witch doctor says the point is not, whether he, I actually talked to somebody who was, uh, uh, his wife was, uh, her parents were diplomats in Russia in the nineties. So they, uh, a lot of recruiting was a family friend that he was considered a reformer at the time. This is in the late nineties. So he's considered a safe harmless guy, a reformer, and then of course went off in this other direction. So it's clear that this is not necessarily that he was a true believer, but that's the whole thing about the Attila and the witchdoctor relationship is that Attila wants power. Speaker 2 00:15:53 And he goes to the witch doctor to say, tell me what incantations I have to repeat in order to get power. And that's the thing is that they needed the point is that they need each other. If you want total power, you need somebody who's going to give you an ideology that will justify that power. And these nationalists, these conservatives rushing conservatives, that Putin goes to are the ones that he believes will rally the Russian soul behind that. Uh, the goal of him having absolute power. So it is relevant to me, even if he doesn't believe it, the fact that he feels the need to pretend to believe it. And then of course, I think there's also the fact that dictators have this tendency to believe their own propaganda after awhile. Uh, now a couple of things I want to add, I think that's definitely the case. Speaker 2 00:16:34 You know, that with, I mean, he, he, this whole debacle of his invasion of Ukraine is clear that he, you know, he's been saying Ukraine's an artificial nation that doesn't really exist. Nobody's nobody's gonna fight for it. And he clearly believed that was the case. Cause he went in thinking he was going to knock the whole place over in a day and obviously was out of touch with the actual reality of events. But there's that one thing I'm going to bring out there, as you mentioned, patriarch Carol. So Carol is the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox church and they have had a very close relationship for a long time. And there's definitely this sort of, uh, church state thing that's going on there. And they had to share a name for it. There's this old doctrine called the third Rome. And this is the idea of Moscow. Speaker 2 00:17:16 It was the third Rome. Now the first Rome was Rome. It was the Roman empire, which was the original center of Christianity. And then the second Rome was the Byzantine empire, which was the center of the Eastern Orthodox church. And where you had this, this, uh, a service sometimes called CSRO paganism where the, the, the, um, the Caesar or the, you know, the, the, the king was also the high priest also in charge of the religion, where there was this merger of church and state. And then the under this doctrine, they view Moscow as the third room. It's going to be the third center of Christianity, where the state and church are fused together. And there's a long history of, um, especially in recent years of more and more laws being passed, for example, persecuting or discriminating against a religion other than the Eastern Orthodox church. Speaker 2 00:18:10 So, you know, one of the ironies that's going on right now, is there a lot of conservatives in America, some of these nationalists conservatives in America who are very sympathetic to Putin because they have that same goal that church and state should be more closer together that the government should be, uh, should be promoting religion. But the thing is that at the same time, uh, evangelical Christians are discriminated against and persecuted. They're viewed as a cult in Russia because they're outside of the Orthodox church. So there's definitely this whole church and state thing going on another long piece of the history here. So, um, there's been a part of the debate that's come out of here is, and part of the reason Putin says, uh, this isn't, you know, uh, uh, Ukraine isn't really a separate country, is the origins. The historical origins of Russia are in, uh, uh, Ukraine. Speaker 2 00:18:58 There, there, it was the Kevin reus, uh, who were the original sort of, uh, the group of Russians that then expanded out eastward. And, and, and there's a lot of discussion about the origins are, but the, the history seems to be that they were Vikings who came down the rivers from the Baltic sea. It came down the rivers into Russia, making a trade routes down to Constantinople in the middle ages. And they, so the Vikings who established the first settlement along the key of reus, and then that spread out. But the interesting part of this history and I recommended a book on this ever Quint is called property of freedom by Richard pipes is a fascinating sort of historical overview over the relationship between property rights and freedom. And he says, what happened is the original Viking settlement of Russia was eventually conquered by the Mongols. Speaker 2 00:19:47 The Mongols came through and, you know, the golden horde came through and they conquered all of Ukraine and they conquered Russia, all the other Russian settlements. And they brought them on GoLean political system to replace the Viking system. So you have, uh, and the Mongolian political system was called, I think it's called a patrimonial system. And it's the idea that the, the, the leader, the king owns all the land and all the people in the land that he rules. He is the owner of everything. Everything is his property, and it's a very centralized dictatorial. Uh, uh, it's, it's the, the, the, uh, system that judicial system does the exact opposite of any glimmer of individual rights. And this is something that has deeply shaped Russian culture and Russian political institutions. And that's part of what's going on here is that, you know, there's this, you know, after throwing off Soviet, after throwing off this ours, they went to the red czar, uh, Stalin and the Soviet rulers. Speaker 2 00:20:43 And then after throwing off the Soviets, they go to a new sort of fascist leader dictator in terms of Latin repute. And there's this deep need in Russian history and deeply embedded in Russian culture. This love of a need for a strong man to rule everyone. And a cast has deep historical roots. Now that brings us to the current crisis with Ukraine. And you mentioned that corruption, indexes and all of that, and yes, you crane and Russia are very similar in those respects in part, because Ukraine has been under Russian control for a long time, even after in nominal independence in 1991, it had a lot of leaders who were sort of Russian style, strong men, uh, had a leader, Victor Yaakov Covich, who was, who was basically a Putin crony, who was backed by Putin and the real issue that's driving. This is that what set this all off, especially in 2014, when they had a sort of a street protest and a rebellion that, that kicked out Viktor Yanukovych, it was over the quo at the fact that the Ukrainians wanted to join the European union and V and COVID just trying to push them towards a treaty that would basically put them in a union with, with Putin and Moscow. Speaker 2 00:21:54 And that's the real issue is that Ukrainians, they may, they may have, they have a society that has lots of problems, lots of corruption, but the question, but what they're basically saying is, as they've made a decision that they want to become more like the liberal societies of Europe, they want to become part of the European union. They want to make the reforms and get rid of the corruption. Um, Volodymyr, Zelensky that the president of, of, uh, uh, Ukraine was actually is a funny story because he was a comedian and an actor. He had, he produced and created a TV show in which he played an ordinary guy who gets elected president of Ukraine, and Ukrainians loved his role so much that they decided we should make this guy actual president of Ukraine. Um, and, but the whole center of that show that how this guy gets elevates himself is he gives us rant against corruption, official corruption that gets picked up. Speaker 2 00:22:45 It goes viral on the internet, and that's how he becomes president. And that sort of, you know, life is imitating art, that the whole point of what they're doing and the reason they don't want to be part of Russia, or part of Russia's sphere of influence is that the Ukrainians are making this decision that we want to be a country like the countries of Western Europe. We want to be part of the European union. We want that kind of government where you have political freedom and you have the ability to vote, and you have, you know, a last corrupt, you have the rule of law. We don't want to be basically surface of Adam Vladimir Putin, which is the Putinism system. So I think that's the real thing. And that's, that's what kicked this all off is their decision that we would want to be on the European model and not on the Putinism model. Speaker 2 00:23:30 And that was what Putin really couldn't accept that you have. And it's a real danger to him, really, because I know that Kev for years has been a center of Russian dissonance. That if you're somebody who opposes the Putin regime, you can go to Kiev and you can still speak Russian, and you can have all this in, you know, and it's so closely tied geographically and historically, and culturally to Russia, that it's become sort of a Haven for dissidents who could operate independently from the Putin regime and outside his control. And that's one of the reasons he's trying to shut it down. So I think what's really going on here is you have the deepest level is you have two different opposed models of government, a sort of a Western, a European, a liberal and liberal, and the philosopher sensei pro-freedom model of government versus a sort of, Putinism a Mongolian, uh, strong man , uh, model of government. And that's really what the two things that are being contested in Ukraine in this war. Speaker 0 00:24:31 Uh, well, I think you guys have both just said more about the, you know, real geopolitical situation, the philosophies and the history than I've heard, um, in the last three days on the news. Speaker 2 00:24:42 So, um, Kamala Harris, didn't let you Speaker 0 00:24:44 Know on that note, unless you have a quick response here, Stephen, I wanted to jump into some questions. Speaker 1 00:24:50 Uh, well, I have lots of questions myself to put to Rob, but let's go to the other questions and I'll smuggle mine in when they, Speaker 0 00:24:57 Yeah. All right. Well, our first question, and I think this kind of touches on what we just mentioned, um, about the news. And I think a lot of people are asking themselves this, uh, Jeremy writer wants to know, um, what do you both make about the difficulty in knowing what news? And he puts that in quotes, quote, unquote is true coming out of this conflict. Speaker 2 00:25:17 Yeah. Well, that's the perennial problem these days is that there's a lot of propaganda, a lot of propaganda out there. I mean, I think actually a lot of the mainstream sources that I follow, I mean, there's been a, uh, a tendency in recent years say, oh, the mainstream media is terrible, but the actual international reporting of the New York times, the Washington post is generally pretty good. Um, I've been following some stuff from a couple of, uh, Kiev journal journalists in Kiev. That was a, I didn't start following them when part of the problem is if you start following them when the conflict is in the news, it's very confusing. These are people I've been following since 2004. Uh, uh, one of the ones I recommend is the key of independent, which has a, it's a relatively new one, but it's evolves people. Who've been commenting this for a long time. Speaker 2 00:26:03 Uh, I also have some friends with the cosmopolitan globalist, which is, uh, Claire Berlinski has, uh, run, uh, run and, and Vivec, uh, um, yo car, I think his name, uh, run this. And it's, it's an attempt to try to have this network of foreign journalists who they bring the news back to the Americans audience, because, you know, we tend not to pay any attention to it until there's a war. Uh, so, you know, it's always a problem to find out who you can trust. And, and there's always the case of a war. There's always the fact that there's, you know, they call it the fog of war. You'll hear reports about this tap under that happened. And it turns out it wasn't true because nobody really knows what's going on. Um, but I'd say, you know, there are some good sources, New York times and Washington post have, have good coverage. And there's some good, uh, uh, Ukrainian sources as well, once that, you know, if you're following them from before, you know, that they, they have good sources. Um, and obviously don't listen to anything on RT because that's, that's a literal state propaganda organization from a run by, uh, run by the Russians, promote their side of things. Speaker 0 00:27:13 Steven, do you have any thoughts on that? Speaker 1 00:27:15 No, I agree. It's the standard problem I would say is just have read widely, give yourself some time. Part of the problem is that we're trying to absorb a thousand new pieces of information and our brains can only handle certain amount of, uh, information digestion per hour. So just be patient with the process and use the usual vetting and comparing Speaker 0 00:27:36 Very good advice. Um, Scott on YouTube wants to know, and you, you touched on this a little bit, Robert, um, do you, how big of a role do you think the third Rome, um, had is that that idea has in the con in the current aggression that we're seeing? Speaker 2 00:27:51 Yeah. I mean, I think that it's one of the things that's behind this, it's one of the propaganda things that, that, that Putin uses do create this sense of, of a, the, the manifest destiny of a, of a Russian empire. Uh, uh, and, uh, now th the thing about it, the ironic thing about it actually is that, uh, for people I've seen covering Russia, they say that very few Russians are actually all that religious, you know, it is, uh, and of course the country is horribly corrupted. So, you know, Christian, you know, the, the idea that it's a bastion of some elevated Christian morality is also, uh, very highly implausible, but, um, you know, it, it also has to do with the fact that I was talking to a friend of mine, uh, uh, shaky materia, young, Iranian American, uh, he actually escaped from Iran during the green revolution. Speaker 2 00:28:39 And he talked about how there are certain countries in the world that tend to view themselves as naturally, uh, being Imperial of naturally being entitled to an empire. And he says, he talks to, uh, you know, friends back in, in, in Iran. And they said, well, we have to get rid of the Mulas, but after that, we should definitely have an empire that it's just like part of the national identity. And I think that's, that's part of Russia's problem is they have this national identity that yes, we should, we are entitled to be at the center of an empire. And it's one of these things, you know, it goes back hundreds of years and as part of the national psyche and part of the danger we have right now is sort of the, the right of the reason that Russia, there's so much anger and so much sort of, uh, audience for a aggressive policy in Russia is that, that mismatch between the idea that we are entitled to an empire, but in reality, there this country with this little tiny economy with it, which as we're seeing now, an old broken down military, that's highly ineffective and very, very little respect on the world stage. Speaker 2 00:29:41 So it's the mismatch between, you know, it's like the guy who thinks he ought to rule the world, but he's living in his mom's basement. It's that mismatch that creates creates the anger, um, uh, that, that fuels a lot of this. So I think that, that the third Rome part is all just part of that mosaic of this mismatch between the grand Imperial world domination ambitions, and the actual reality of, of what the Russian economy and military and its position in the world. Speaker 1 00:30:08 Yeah. Jump in with one of my questions. Um, here, we're trying to read the national psyche of Russia and then the psyche of Putin in particular. Uh, what if we tried to deemphasize the religion? I don't think this is the right road to go, but there's an argument here that it's really ethnicity that is more important than the religion. You might fold the religion into the ethnicity, but, uh, that it really does get under Putin skin that you, crane wants to go in a different direction. And we think of Ukrainians as part of us, but at the same time, we're not especially worried that, uh, Putin is going to take over Estonia or Lithuania, or they're going to go after the fins again, or Kazak Stan and reabsorb it into the Russian empire. And the difference there is that those are kind of different peoples if you take the collective as nationalistic perspective, but Ukraine is different. And the only difference then is this ethnicity. So what do you think about the argument of elevating the ethnicity issues over the religious ideological issues? Speaker 2 00:31:19 Yeah, so I think, well, I think that's all part of a mosaic we're sort of in a bad cultural neighborhood, so to speak where like multiple pathologies are interacting. So, you know, even, I think it is especially intense with Ukraine because of that ethnic connection that they're viewed as though they're not really a separate people. They're part of us. Although on the other hand, they're gonna say the fins are worried. Uh, and I know that the Baltic states, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, those they're very worried because they think Putin's still thinks these are national, their possessions. Yeah. Um, but yeah, I would also wouldn't discount the religious element because it adds to, it adds a whole other elements on top of this. And there's actually been a histori behind this where a few years back, I can't remember exactly how long ago, but the, the patriarch of the patriarch of Constantinople is one of the, you know, the, the, the Eastern Orthodox religion doesn't have one single center, like the Pope, it has these patriarchs, but the main patriarchs are, uh, there's one in concepts in Oakland. Speaker 2 00:32:15 There's one in, in Moscow. And the one contents in Oakville gave his permission and his blessing essentially to form a separate patriarch for Ukraine. Then it was like officially separating the Ukrainian Orthodox church from the Russian Orthodox church. And that's part of this whole conflict is that there's that religious element of saying the Ukrainian saying, we are not going to be part of the Russian Orthodox church. We're not going to be under the Russian, the patriarch and Moscow, we're going to be independent of him. So again, that religious element, there is not incidental to it. It's a crucial, but, you know, it's, it's, it's not that it's one thing that's at the center of everything. It's at this, it's this constellation of factors all working together, the ideological, um, the thing that looks at the ideological versus the ethic, this whole thing of Putin having the did that we have at Eastern system as opposed to a Western system, right? Speaker 2 00:33:07 So he has a fascist, essentially a fascist ideology, but what part of what makes them embrace that is this perception that this fascist ideology is distinctively Eastern. And I think it's instinctively Eastern because basically it's compatible with the Mongolian model that Russia has had since it says the golden horde invaded. Um, and, and so he views that as this is the Eastern model, as opposed to the Western model. And there's all sorts of levels of irony. Like the fact that, you know, a lot of these fascist ideas were basically invented in Italy and Germany and, and what are now liberal Western countries. Um, but, you know, so you see how the ethnicity that says if east versus west ties into the ideology of liberal versus liberal. So, um, you know, it's, it's this, it's this confluence as, as a lot of history, it's, it's this confluence of a bunch of different factors coming together and coming together in a very intense form in Russia, as opposed to other countries. Speaker 1 00:34:03 I think they make a suggestion with Abby's indulgence looking at the time that we're definitely not going to get to three issues that maybe since this is such a rich topic, we just carry on with the remaining 10 minutes and talk about Russia, Ukraine, I've got more, uh, observations and questions here. We'll save the Canadian trucker protests for, for another time. What do you guys think? Well, Speaker 2 00:34:25 I think, I think that's fine. It's the Canadian thing has been sort of kicked from the news. Um, by, by Ukraine, I have some things I had some, uh, I would just put a pitch. I, we had a little discussion about it and I think a clubhouse yesterday, and I think it's recorded somewhere where I went over, not so much about the Canadian protest, but about the ethics of protests it's all about. Speaker 1 00:34:43 And that's a, that's a risk topic. I think we should come back to that one. Yeah. I've got some things to say about that one as well. Uh, are there questions coming in Abby, Speaker 0 00:34:53 We do have questions coming in. We can go to some more questions if you guys want to stay on this topic, or if you have a few comments, Speaker 1 00:34:58 Let's stay with the, with the war and I'll save also some of my other questions and observations for later. Speaker 0 00:35:03 Okay. Well, let me go to a few more questions then. Um, so we talked about, okay, so Maria Mendoza on Facebook wants to know if the situation were reversed. Would the United States act aggressively if Russia were trying to per se, get Mexico to join it, join a quote unquote Warsaw pact. I've heard people pitch various versions of the same question. Um, what do you guys think? Speaker 1 00:35:26 Right. Uh, you know, that ties in, let me just say one preamble and I'll turn it over to Rob, because he's more of a politics commentator guy than I am. Uh, but yes, I like this idea of, uh, trying to get outside of Putin's brain and what's going on in Russia to the question of why it should matter to us on the other side of the world. And then the question about alliances and Mexico and Cuba, and so on becomes relevant there as well. So, uh, yeah, I just don't want to stick a pin in the question of whatever's going on there and our best understanding of why should this war matter to us in north America or in the rest of the, of the world. So, uh, but you take up the Mexico thing, Rob. Okay. Speaker 2 00:36:08 So the question would be, you know, if Mexico wanted to have a free society and we were a dictatorship, you know, th the problem is with taking this as if, you know, you could, you could say, well, what effects sicko were to try to join some other, uh, some other countries, uh, uh, joined with some other country and they're on our border. You can't take that out of the context of, are we a free society or not? Right. So there's this, uh, uh, video that goes along. It said, uh, I can't remember their names. It's a, uh, uh, vigilant web. I think it was the name of a group of British comedians. And they did the skit with these Russians soldier, Russia, oh, sorry. Nazi troops in world war two. And the one transgender that said, Hans, I've been thinking, are we the baddies? You know, when they had this moment where they realized their skulls, that our uniforms, we must be the bad guys. Speaker 2 00:36:57 Uh, and you know, there's sort of that moment where you have to, the first question you have to ask is, are we the baddies? You know, are we the good guys or the bad guy? So, you know, if, if, if China were forming an Alliance with Mexico, the problem wouldn't be that a foreign country is forming an Alliance with Mexico. The problem would be that it's a dictatorship forming Alliance in order to spread dictatorship, uh, on the border of a free country. Whereas in this case, the situation is completely reversed. This is a free country, or this is, you know, this is a, a mixed country, but a relatively free country Ukraine, uh, one that actually elect can elect its rulers. It has certain, it has a large degree of freedom of speech. That's wanting to join with other free countries in order to protect its independence. And then it, you know, it's, they're trying to stay out of being absorbed by a dictatorship. So, you know, you can't take that moral, that fundamental issue in politics. The most fundamental issue is, are you a free nation or not? You know, freedom is the fundamental. So you can't talk about these things in, in, you know, in this sort of abstract way without dressing that fundamental issue. Speaker 1 00:38:06 No, I wouldn't say that. That's exactly right. Ultimately you do have to make the moral judgment, what is good politics and what is bad politics and the spread of bad politics is something you have to find if you are the spreader of the bad politics, then, uh, then, then you're out of the, you're out of the moral game. Uh, so I'll just leave it at that. Speaker 2 00:38:26 Um, do you have a question because I'd like to talk about what is, what America's role in this country? Speaker 1 00:38:31 Yes. Right. So, uh, yes. So my, my thinking on this is to say, yeah, it's a war on the other side of the world, there is a cost risk benefit question. Uh, if Russia were to take over Ukraine successfully, would it be sated with that? Uh, are there going to be further dominoes and so on? So I think there is a natural and important question about why, uh, Americans or Canadian Americans like me should worry about this war on the other side of the world. And I think part of the answer is a general answer is to say that since the end of world war two, we've done a pretty good job of establishing the principle that the major powers are going to abide by certain norms, aggressive wars are going to be a thing of the past. And, uh, that is clearly being violated in this case. Speaker 1 00:39:19 And it's being violated by a major power. And so, uh, the, the establishment of an international order that's worked pretty well for almost 70 years is at risk. And we're going, uh, possibly to go back to an old style of politics. And so it's not just a local war, it's a local war that has international implications. At the same time, there is a politics and political theory question for advocates of constitutional republics. We say, uh, you know, suppose that, uh, Abby, you are the president of the United States and then would say, well, what is your job as the president of the United States? And the people of our ideological persuasion say that your job is to protect the rights of American citizens. And then you say, well, okay, that's fine. But in what way are the rights of American citizens being violated when Russia tries to take over Ukraine? Speaker 1 00:40:12 And is it then inappropriate for you as the president of the United States? Do you use your political power and economic power and devote resources to something that's not obviously a threat to citizens of the United States? And you say, well, maybe then they're going to also take over Finland. And then maybe they would also take over, you know, the Baltic states and so on, but it's really going to be a long, long time before they get across the Atlantic. And so the threat is, is generational. And so it would be inappropriate. So I think that's an interesting argument to, uh, to, to, to take, uh, to take up. So then we might say, suppose you're not the president of the United States, suppose you're the president of Argentina. What should your role be? And you better have some issues about Argentina, but it's still a basically decent country in a lot of respects. Speaker 1 00:40:57 And you would say your job as president of Argentina is to protect the rights of Argentinian citizens. And the war seems even farther away. And it's going to take a long time for Putin and his forces to make his way all the way down to the Southern cone of south America. So what is the rationale for, for getting involved? And I don't want to say there's a couple of things. One is this issue of, uh, your rule in, uh, contributing to the international order that is going to be a peaceful, uh, international order. And the other though, I think is unique to the United States and that's its stature as a great power. And we start using, you know, uh, you know, world policemen types of language, and I'm not very comfortable with that language, but there is something special about the rule of the United States, given its stature in contemporary times. And that I think we need to tease out a little bit more, what is the United States is at least first among equals, uh, among the leading liberal, democratic, peaceful oriented nations in this particular context. Speaker 2 00:42:01 Right? So one of the things I want to add here is that the, the people who are taking the most leadership on this much to my shock, the people who've taken the most leadership on this are they are the Europeans. I mean, I've actually, I've had the, you know, actually learn how to spell , which is she's the who you, your commissioner of the European union, who has been central to the leadership of this and the European union is showing bold and decisive leadership is not something I think the world was prepared for. Um, and the Germans have, you know, tripled their defense budget and the Swedes have broken their neutrality. And the fins are talking about joining NATO, which is something they've been in ambiguous ambivalence about for a very, very long time. So the thing is that if you look at this from a European perspective, this is not something out there on the periphery. Speaker 2 00:42:48 This is knocking on the door, right? So they're looking at this and saying, wait a minute, we had this, you know, after, since world war II, and especially after the fall of the Berlin wall, they had this whole project to say, let's, let's have Europe be at peace. Let's not have Europe have any more wars. You know, cause we had two giant devastating ones in the 20th century. They almost had a third in the 20th century and they basically said, let's not have this anymore. And what they're seeing now with Russia breaking as you call it, well, th the three-year term usually used for it as the rules-based international order by Russia then saying we're just going to vape because we feel like it. And we don't care about the rules. We don't care about the, uh, the precedence that opens the whole Pandora's box of we are now going to have people, you know, having contests of forced to see who rules territory in Europe. Speaker 2 00:43:36 And that was exactly what Europe was trying to get rid of after the great devastation of world war II. So for them, this is not something happening, you know, 5,000 miles away. This is something happening at, you know, less than a thousand miles away. It's something happening in their backyard. Also, um, the interests of the European countries have been more closely involved like, uh, uh, one of the, you know, United Kingdom has been extremely active in supporting the Ukrainians. And one of the reasons is because over the last 10 years or so, uh, uh, Putin has carried out a whole series of assassinations in the United Kingdom assassinations of, uh, Russian dissidents who were there, but there were also some just ordinary bystanders, British citizens who were killed by by nerve agents, uh, and, and these other poisons. So this idea that, that Putin seems to think that he can not only extend his tyranny to Ukraine by controlling and occupying it, but he can extend it to any European country by sending assassins and engaging in acts of violence to suppress dissidents in, in those countries. Speaker 2 00:44:40 Or another case that happened, uh, in the last year is there was a, uh, it was a Ryan air flight. Ryan air is a sort of a discount airline in Europe. That's run out of, out of Ireland. And the flight was going from Athens to Astonia. I think that maybe there are a lot fewer Estonia, but it was forced down over Belarus in aerospace so that the Belarus and police could come on and grab a Belarus dissident who was on the plane and imprisoned him and torture him. Right? So this is a case we have is you three year three, Western European free nations, Ireland, Greece, and, and you know, one of the Baltic states that are involved and if they can't protect somebody whose is under their protection, if that person could just be snatched off an airplane, again, the, the flood gates of chaos and tyranny are opening for, for the Europeans. Speaker 2 00:45:29 And that's why they are so United in this unprecedent. Somebody said, I don't think the Europeans have ever been since this has that have ever been this United ever in their entire history. You know, if you think of all the different wars and divisions in Europe throughout its history, I don't think the Europeans have ever been this United in all their history, because they all see that as an immediate danger to, you know, what's going to happen to the Baltic states. What's going to happen to pull on that. If it happens there, what happens Germany and what happens in the UK, they all see it have as having an immediate effect on them. Now, from the American perspective, I want to say two things on that one is that whenever there's a battle between freedom and dictatorship, if you, as a political leader, don't know where you stand, or if you don't care, if you're a different, that says a lot of bad things about your political leadership, right? Speaker 2 00:46:19 So I hear when I hear Tucker Carlson saying, why should I care? What I hear is Tucker Carlson saying, I don't care about the differences in freedom and dictatorship. And he's been demonstrating that for a long time on his show. Um, so, you know, you can't be indifferent. You at least at the very least, you have to wish the Ukrainians well and their attempt to create a more liberal society and not be absorbed into a dictatorship. And the plan by the way, the plan that's come out is it was very clear that having ceased Ukraine, Putin was going to, uh, have this declaration that, uh, uh, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine were all going to be United together, but forcibly into this greater Russia, uh, empire, uh, so politically United. So, you know, it was very much the idea that they're going to be big part into part of a dictatorship. Speaker 2 00:47:05 So you at the very least have to wish the Ukrainians well and wanting to not be absorbed into a dictatorship. Now, the question then of course, is what do you do? And the more remote you are, the less you are actually required to do in terms of support. And when it comes to America, we have, aside from the distance, doesn't matter so much because we are very closely related to the Europeans. There are dispensable allies, we benefit so much from the international peace and order and trade that was made possible by having this rules-based international order. We have a lot of interest in this, and I think we've, we, we forget that because we've enjoyed that benefits of that for so long that we forget what it was, what the world would be like, if it were all just, um, if it were all might makes, right, which is really what's going on here. Speaker 2 00:47:50 If, if the international order was simply might makes right, we would be in a much worse world, and that would be bad for us because all our trade relationships, all of our, you know, we need a larger military to maintain our own defense. Everything would go would get much, much worse if we didn't have that relatively peaceful international order we've had for the last 70, 30 to 70 years, uh, especially in the last 30 years, but there's one other issue wishes that there is a limitation to what the United States can do, because we have the old, certainly going back to the old cold war rules, right? Cause we're a nuclear, we're a major nuclear power. Uh, Russia is Russia is not a major conventional power anymore. I think they demonstrated that they, their, their invasion has showed there a paper tiger in conventional forms of forces, but they are a nuclear power. Speaker 2 00:48:39 And there's that, you know, in two nuclear powers are facing up against each other. You're going back to the old cold war rules. And there's been a lot of jokes going around about how, you know, us gen X-ers have to take the millennials and the zoomers under our wing and say, okay, this is what it was like to, to live in a world where you had a permanent state of standoff of nuclear powers. And we lived under this constant threat of, of a possibility of nuclear war. So we go back to the old cold war rules, which is we could supply weapons to Ukrainians and smuggle them across the border, but there've been some people saying, oh, we should create a no fly zone over Ukraine. We should tell the Russians, you can't fly your military jets, but the problem is you, you do that. Speaker 2 00:49:18 What do you have to do? You have to have an American jet shooting down a Russian jet, and then suddenly you have a hot war, a shooting war happening directly between two nuclear powers. That is, you know, the rules say, you can't do that. So we can provide lots of indirect support, um, and especially helping the Europeans support the, um, I think we've got some, uh, AWAC planes, uh, I'm doing circles in Southern Poland providing, uh, radar and, and intelligence monitoring and providing lots of information to the Ukrainians. We can fried huge amounts of indirect support, but we can't get directly involved. And those are just, you know, it's the old cold war rules. So sometimes, sometimes, you know, people ask, well, how could we supply them weapons, but we can't actually come in and pull the triggers ourselves. Well, it might not make that sense, that much sense, but the rules, those like the agreed applaud ground rules hammered out over 40 years during the cold war. And that sort of gives the limits of what, of what we can do Speaker 1 00:50:15 Also from the American perspective, uh, China is watching and, uh, China's another major world power. And so the question about what the rules of the game are going to in the international order, uh, has an additional significance if it is interesting that the world is United against Russia and in favor of Ukraine, uh, in a way that it was not United when, uh, China was flexing its muscles with respects to Hong Kong, just, uh, just a couple of years ago. Uh, but, uh, maintaining the right kind of rules in place and in rules might be too strong, at least the practices in place on the international order. So if Russia can successfully set a precedent here, then China will feel, uh, emboldened to act in certain ways. And then, you know, what happens with, uh, Taiwan, for example, and other peripheral states. So the state, Speaker 2 00:51:11 I think, I think actually I think the Ukrainians may already have saved Taiwan because, uh, you know, by showing that look just because you're the grid larger power with this big army doesn't mean you can walk in and take over in a day, it's going to be a lot more difficult than you think. And it probably changed a few calculations, uh, among the leadership and, and that also seeing the international response changed. Some have probably changed some calculations in Beijing because they're looking at it and saying, well, wait a minute. You know, if we evade Putin's calculation was I'll invade, they won't really fight back. We'll take it over within a day or so. We'll put on our puppet. Governments will declare this union and we'll, you know, we'll be in control. The world will get angry at us and they'll post some sanctions, but it will be temporary. Speaker 2 00:51:54 It'll be week, it'll be ineffectual, it'll be temporary and they'll get over it. And then we will have one and he was wrong on every single one of those calculations. So I think Beijing, you know, the government in China has probably been making a lot of the same calculations about what would happen if they took Taiwan. And so now they're there, they're really doing all those calculations saying, wait a minute, you know, we could see our economy collapsed, right? Shape, trade being cut off. We could see extended resistance. We could see our army not being anywhere near us, despite all the money we put into building it up, you know, Putin put a lot of money to build up his army. It wasn't nearly as effective as he thought. So they're, they're redoing all their calculations in a way that I think is going to be very beneficial for us because it's going to mean a less aggressive China. Speaker 1 00:52:38 I did also want to put in a plug for the capitalist peace thesis as it's called in, uh, in scholarly circles. And, uh, what's been happening as a response, uh, in a response to the Russia, Ukraine war is further support of the capitalist peace thesis. Of course, on the left. It's a standard document that capitalism is imperialistic and warlike and capitalists are always frothing at the mouth, uh, wanting to get the next war to happen. But, uh, once again, when more happens, it's the capitalists who are using their tools to go after the aggressors and isolate the aggressors and to boycott the aggressors and to cut off their access, uh, to, uh, various sorts of financial routing things and so forth, but in the interest of peace and the vast majority of capitalist institutions are on the side of maintaining the peace, not urging on the war. Speaker 2 00:53:27 And, and, you know, there's, uh, the last, uh, basically since world war two, there's been something called the belong piece, uh, where the number of major wars, the number of deaths from wars has been going down and it went down specifically even more in 1991 after the breakup of the Soviet union, that once the comment, once communism was removed from the scene, the number fours would weigh down. The number of deaths from wars went way down. And I think that ought to have buried the whole capitalist, you know, the, the, the whole capitalist imperialism as the cause of that whole theory of capital superiors of the cost of war. That's all been buried completely by the history of the last 70 or 80 years. Speaker 1 00:54:04 Yeah. And then on the kind of cost benefit calculations, uh, you know, again, a standard doctrine on the left that it's all about short-term profits. Uh, what the reaction here shows is that most capitalist institutions are willing to forgo lots of short-term profits in terms of trades and boycotts and so forth. And that they do very much have their eye on the long-term and maintaining a certain kind of international order. That's going to be mutually enriching for everyone Speaker 2 00:54:29 Peace in the rule of law. Good for business. Speaker 1 00:54:31 Yeah, absolutely. Speaker 0 00:54:33 I'd like to jump to a few more questions while we have a few more minutes. If you guys are already take some more questions. Um, and this question here comes from Chris baker on Facebook. I think a lot of people are thinking this kind of to jump off of this question. He says, um, regarding, you know, when you guys talking about whether it's a free country or not, that's doing the action that calculation of when you should invader or take action on what about the U S invading Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya. I mean, we can add a number of other, um, countries to that list. It seems like the calculations are a little different when it's, you know, the middle east versus Europe, it seems like people react differently where those were, those invasions justify, where those actions, obviously those are a bunch of different situations. So maybe you feel differently about each of them. Uh, what are your thoughts for those situations? Speaker 2 00:55:16 Well, I'm going to throw in Afghanistan, I think, is an ambiguous because they were harboring at a terrorist attack that directly attacked America. I mean, even if you said the idea that, well, we shouldn't be the world's policeman, we should get involved in things that don't affect us. Well, you know, the Taliban having a base in Afghanistan affected us in a very, you know, in a very, in a very big way. I mean, one of the biggest, uh, probably the biggest attack, uh, on the actual mainlands United States, uh, ever. Um, and so, you know, we obviously had to get involved in Afghanistan and the Taliban calculus of free nations versus unfree nations. The Taliban couldn't play any, uh, uh, and now that they've taken it over again, they still can't claim it couldn't claim any high ground on that, on that score. Um, uh, and actually that that's getting worse currently right now, because while everybody's paying attention to Russia, that the Taliban are doing a crackdown in their, uh, political enemies. Speaker 2 00:56:08 Um, and the same thing to some extent with, with, I know you can talk about the justification for the Iraq war. You know, the, the idea that he had weapons of mass destruction being, uh, turned, turning out to be an invalid one. But if on the issue of free nation versus dictatorship, there's no question that Saddam Hussein had one of the most famously brutal regimes. So his regime per se, had no rights to be ruling, uh, Iraq. And, you know, I think Iraq, even now, it doesn't have a great regime, but it's somewhat allied with Iran, but there's the, the Rocky people are way better off with the current regime they have, uh, than they were with Saddam Hussein. But so, uh, the idea of America as always being what's wrong with the world, I think is one of the things that is really being refuted here. Speaker 2 00:56:53 You know, that America is not the source of, uh, of all aggression and, uh, and, and, and war in the world. And like I said, you know, when we had an American led international order, uh, you actually had far fewer wars and far fewer conflicts and far fewer deaths from wars. Um, then, then we, then we had before that, and then more than we might have, if, if that order is not, is not continued. I mean, it's a kind of a weird, it's a weird sort of leftist talking point that sometimes gets picked up on the right to that. America is imperialist. Speaker 0 00:57:31 Stephen, do you have any response to that? Speaker 1 00:57:33 No, I think that's well said. Okay. Speaker 0 00:57:35 Okay. Well, we are kind of nearing, and maybe we can do one more question real quick, and then we've got to, um, plug some other events and, uh, unfortunately come back for a conversation at a later date. Um, real quickly, Andy on Instagram wants to know shouldn't we be worried about the mass psychosis of people signaling blind support for the Ukraine on social media and the persecution of even Russian students and businesses, um, that are guilty of being Russian or only being Russian as he put it. Speaker 1 00:58:02 Well, yes. Uh, for sure, to the extent that people are just signing on because everybody else is signing on. That's a, that's, that's a problem. It's not a very big problem in the scale of the problems we're facing right now, but it is a standard problem. You know, a lot of people are social butterflies and me tours and virtue signalers, uh, even if they're not sure what virtues are are, are at stake. So I wouldn't worry too much about that. Speaker 2 00:58:26 Well, also I was going to say that, and this is a case where the reason why there's a broad consensus in favor of Ukraine is because Ukraine is so clearly in the right that Russia is so clearly the aggressor in this case and that mass psychosis thing. So this is a talking point that's come on the right and has come through Facebook and through social media. And they use that in about COVID that COVID has mass psychosis, that we all believe there was a pandemic only because we're blind followers who are being, having mind control manipulation, being done to us. And it's basically a way of whining that other, that everybody disagrees with you, right? So anytime somebody disagrees with the mass psychosis, it's, it's a psychology, it's a term from psychology that's thrown around with absolutely no consideration for what it actually means as, as a psychological term. It's just a, it's a, it's one of these catchphrases use to imply that, uh, everybody who would exists, agrees with me is psychologically psychologically disturbed, and I'm being persecuted. And this is weird sort of conspiracy theory mentality. Um, you know, I think the reason why sometimes the reason why everybody's in broad agreement is because the facts are so clear and the justice of the case is so clear and it's, it's not a conspiracy of mind control to make everybody, uh, uh, believe, uh, to ever make everybody disagree with you, hopefully, Speaker 0 00:59:43 But on that note, I want to thank you, Steven and Rob, this is a great conversation, but I want to thank all of you for joining us today. If you've enjoyed this video and want to see more of our conversations, um, I hope you'll consider making a tax deductible [email protected] slash donate also in a half an hour to an into Steven's clubhouse, which is taking place. Um, ask me anything about philosophy, correct. Um, if you have the app yet you can secure your [email protected] backslash events. It should be the very first event on the page since it's coming up next. Um, also Rob has a clubhouse next Tuesday, topic TBD, but, uh, you can also, Speaker 2 01:00:18 I have a topic, but they got, they got shuffled recently, so I'm not sure which one is next is next week. Speaker 0 01:00:23 All w we will definitely have emails and social media posts going out with that topic very soon. Also, if you enjoy talking about, you know, the philosophers that Putin is interested in, maybe you'll want to join us for Atlas intellectuals, where we're talking about anticapitalist philosophers and thinkers, uh, their ideas and who they've influenced. It's been an amazing course so far Atlas intellectuals. Again, you can find it on Atlas, society.org, backslash events, uh, and with that, uh, be sure to tune in next week when the founder of color us United Kenny zoo will be our guest on the Atlas society asks, thank you everyone.

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