Speaker 0 00:00:00 Hello everyone, and welcome to the 126th episode of the Atlas Society asks, My name is Jennifer Anju Grossman, but you can please call me Jag. I'm the CEO of the Atlas Society. We are the leading non-profit organization introducing young people to the ideas of Iron Rand in fun, creative ways, like graphic novels and animated videos. Today we are joined by Dr. Rainer Zeman. Before I even begin to introduce our guests today, I want to remind all of you who are watching us on Zoom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube. Go ahead, start typing in your questions on any of those platforms, and we'll get to as many of them as we can. So I'm really thrilled to have this guest with us today, Dr. Rainer Zeman. Uh, you are going to hear a bit, a lot of overlap between some of the topics that, uh, he researches and writes about as well as I Rand. Uh, he is a German historian. He's a sociologist. He taught in academia before transitioning to the private sector as a successful entrepreneur, real estate investor, and of course, a world renowned author of 25 books, including The Power of Capitalism, the Rich in Public Opinion, The Art of a Successful Life, and Hitler's National Socialism. We're also gonna talk about his upcoming book in Defense of Capitalism. Dr. Iman, thank you for joining us.
Speaker 1 00:01:43 Thank you for inviting me. It's a pleasure. I'm Nian Miami. The United States are not so far away as usually because I've based in, in Berlin in Germany.
Speaker 0 00:01:53 Well, that fantastic. We, we love to have you here. Selfishly, we'd love to keep you, uh, but, uh, know you're a traveling man and, um, our audience is always interested in origin stories. So tell us a bit about you. What in influenced your early interest in political science and sociology? I understand, for example, your father was a preacher, so I'd be interested in how his views on money, uh, may have, um, influenced you or whether you kind of rebelled against them.
Speaker 1 00:02:28 I have a very good contact today with my father. He's 93 years old and he's still writing books, but he's more left-leaning as of course I was, and when I was young, uh, to have a left-leaning father and then to go in opposition, you have two possibilities. The first would be to go very extreme right wing. This was not my way or extreme left wing. This was my way. So I was very left leaning when I was 13 years old. I found a Maoist group at my school, and I had a newspaper. I edited newspaper, red banner and, uh, and always this contact with, uh, Beijing. And they sent me their newspapers and so for Beijing. So I was really, um, left wing extremist, and I read all these books by Marks, ENGs, Lennon, Stalin, ma, uh, every, uh, if even I got, uh, when I was 14 years old, uh, I, I gave seminars to students that were 10 or 50 years older than me about Marxist theory and all this stuff.
Speaker 1 00:03:39 So this was how I, how I started. And of course, later on it's, uh, it changed. Then it was a period, maybe 10, 10, 10 years in my life that I was so very, very left, left leaning. And then later on I started history and political science, and I wrote my first doctoral visitation about, uh, Adam Hitler's worldview. You now, this book, it was republished now some month ago in English language, uh, as Hitler National Socialism. And, um, yes, then I was, uh, I, I was assistant, uh, uh, at the free University of, uh, Berlin. And after this, I was in the leading position of one of the leading term newspapers. And then I, I founded my own company with, I was older, with 43 years old. And, um, it was a very successful topic relation company. I made a lot of money at this time, and I made a lot of very good investments at this time.
Speaker 1 00:04:56 And 15 years later, I sold the company, and then I returned back to what I do today, writing my books, doing my research, traveling all over the world. And I can do it because I'm financial free because my research is very, very expensive, and you don't get it back from selling books. I can tell you for my next book in Defense of Capitalism, the costs for the, i i I, I have, we, we do polls in 27 countries. If I, if I add what I, the expenses for the polls, then I give some money for translation costs, and then for this traveling expenses, it'll be more than $1 billion. Uh, and of course, you can't get it back from, from selling the books, even if they sell goods. So, but I can do it now. Uh, other relative people, they buy maybe a new car or so have the same car since 15 years. And so I, I don't need another car. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But, uh, I love to do my, my research and, uh, writing my books.
Speaker 0 00:06:06 Well, we're, we're really very grateful for that. Now, uh, thinking back also in the era in which you grew up, I think you were probably about four years old when the Berlin Wall first went up. And then you talk about this time in your thirties of being in Maoist. Uh, but that was also a time when the wall came down. I wonder if any reflections on that time, uh, what it was like to live in Germany with the wall and then without the wall, uh, your experience during the time of transition and reunification?
Speaker 1 00:06:46 Yes, it's, uh, correct what you said. I was, um, I was four years old, uh, old when they built the wall, but I was not the Marxist with my, but as a teenager. So I was between 30 and 23. So when the wall came down, it was, uh, much, uh, a very long time ago. But then I, I, I wasn't Marxist or something like this, just to, to remember, even by the way, I can recommend everyone can Google it on the internet. I produced a film live behind the Berlin Wall together with a free to choose network, and you can find it, uh, for free on the internet. And I'm proud that we got an award for this film at the Anthem, um, uh, film festival at Freedom Fest and in July. And so, uh, yes, uh, uh, at this time, Germany was divided in east and west, and I lived in, in West Germany.
Speaker 1 00:07:49 And this was maybe the reason why I became Maed because this was so close to us, east charm, charm, uh, uh, and, and we know that it was bad there, and we know that it was bad in Eastern Europe and in Russia, but China was far away and we could project all our, uh, young utopian fantasies about perfect society to China, because of course, I wasn't there in China. It was so far away. And the only thing that I knew about China at this time was what I read, um, every week in, uh, uh, Beijing refu, that the stand German language to us and this propaganda and, uh, we, we didn't like, uh, East Germany, the political system and Soviet its union, these were also our enemies as at the same time as capitalists. So we believed in this, uh, ma system today, of course, I know how, how really terrible it was, and that, uh, yes, in the time when, when I was, uh, one or two years old, this greatly forward chapter in China, and a lot of people don't know about it.
Speaker 1 00:09:05 I speak about it all over the world because my book, The Power of Capitalism starts with the chapter about China and with the so-called greatly forward where 45 million people died. And I ask everywhere in the world, young people, Have you ever heard about this at school? And only very few people raise their hand. Most of them haven't heard anything about it. And I think it's terrible because it's one, the biggest socialist experiment in history. And 45 million people died, and they, they don't teach them at school. I I had a controversial on Twitter in Germany with someone left-leaning, and he said, No, I don't think that people should, uh, learn this at school. And I said, Why? Why not? Yes, it happened in China, and this is far away, and why should we be interested in this? But would ha would, would he say the same thing if it is about slavery in, uh, United States or something like this? And it's not far away. So
Speaker 0 00:10:06 Of course, of course, national socialism, your scholarship and your books have made you perhaps a world's leading expert on, out of Hitler and national socialism, including your book Hitler's National Socialism, which as you mentioned was just, uh, republished. How much did the egalitarian ideals of socialism inspire Hitler's project, and what are some of the ways in which the conventional views of Hitler should be revised according to your perspective? For example, you know, people say, Oh, Hitler was a fascist, not a socialist. How, uh, how did he view it and, and what's your take?
Speaker 1 00:10:53 So he called himself a socialist. And of course, he was not a socialist in this way as communists are, because he was against nationalization of all private property, the first class. But this doesn't mean, uh, that he introduced, uh, private property. He had another idea. So to, in, in some of his speeches, he, he explained it this way, We, the state tell the entrepreneurs, you have to do this and that, and if they do it, we are fine with this. Everything's okay, then we don't have to do that. But if they really retract that we, we'll tell them you have to do it. And if they don't do it, then we will do it. The states will will do it. So this was his, uh, philosophy and, um, so he wasn't, uh, in, in no way or of, uh, private property. And for, and one of the results, what I showed my book, that starting in the beginning, in the middle of the thirties, and especially in the beginning of the, you become more and more an admirer of the plant economy in Soviet Union, and even Evener admirer of styling.
Speaker 1 00:12:13 Uh, of course, uh, in his public speeches, he, uh, he was very anti-communist and anso union. But if he spoke in his inner circle, and we have, uh, we have a lot of notes about his so-called table trucks, his monologues in the Fluor headwater, he spoke very positive about Stalin and Soviet Union. He said they, there were no people sharpless as the United States, and he thought that the plant economy in the Soviet Union is much superior to, uh, capitalism. And, uh, this was what he thought. And so, uh, this idea was, and he said it several times after the, after the war, uh, the SHRM economy should be more and more transferred. He started to transfer it in a planned economy. But this was only the beginning. He said in one of his table trucks, in this process of restructuring the SHRM economy, uh, as a planned economy, we are only at the beginning. And so this way, um, he was, he wasn't a socialist in the Marxist way with nationalization of, of our private property, because he be, he was a social darwinist. And so he believed in competition. And his, uh, he was afraid that if you nationalized everything, that there is no, no more competition. Because as a social s competition was very important for them, but more important for him was what he called the privacy of the politics. So that, uh, that the, uh, that the state has to tell the entrepreneurs what, what to do.
Speaker 0 00:14:03 Interesting. All right. Well, let's get to your study, uh, the Wealth Elite, a groundbreaking study of the psychology of the super rich. Tell us a bit about what you hoped to set out to investigate, uh, your methodology and some of your findings about the psychology of the super rich.
Speaker 1 00:14:31 Yes. Uh, by the way, we speak now about my second doctoral dissertation. I have two PhDs. The first one was this about Hitler, and the second one was this, but it's only now seven years ago, the second one. And at this time, I was an entrepreneur and I was rich, so I did it. Um, in my, in the time when I was entrepreneur, I started to write in the evening or the weekend in my vocation, I, I worked on this, and what, what did I do? There are a lot of books, uh, how to Get Rich, and this, some of them are, uh, good, but a lot of them are, are, are bad. And what I found out that there is almost no scientific research, especially in the topic about, um, the connection between personality traits on the one hand, and financial success on the other hand.
Speaker 1 00:15:28 And in all of the cell books, you, they're not science based. And this is the different that I'm a scientist, You know, I, I I believe in, uh, scientific research and a quantitative research about this group is not possible. Cause this group is so very small that you can't have something, you can't find that if you do a poll like you, like for you do it with other research. So what I did to call it the sociology qualitative research, I, I had 45 interviews with very wealthy people. The poorest of them had a net worth between 10 and $30 million. It's about more than $30 million. Most of them were between 30 million and 1 billion. And some of them were multi billionaires. And I spoke with 45 of them with everyone, uh, between one and two hours. And in the end I had 1,700, uh, pages with transcriptions.
Speaker 1 00:16:42 Uh, so a lot to analyze. And, uh, in addition to this, everyone, uh, completed a psychological test. This is a so called, uh, big five, uh, test about, uh, five, uh, personality traits. So, so I had a lot of things to analyze. And what I wanted to find out, um, whether there's this, any relationship between their personality traits and, and their, and their financial success. And, uh, I found some patterns to everyone wanna find what do they have in common. And first, to be honest, not all rich people are the same as, not all poor people are the same, but this is correct on the one hand. On the other hand, you can find something that they have in common in that biography, in their attitudes, in their psychology. And yes, this was a topic of my doctoral dissertation.
Speaker 0 00:17:43 Yes. So I, I, I think I recall conscientiousness was a high prevalence personality trait. Um, also self confidence, believing that you can do something, a bit of a trail blizzard, not necessarily always, uh, feeling like you had to follow the, the beaten path. One of the other, uh, striking findings I found in your study was that many of the super rich were competitive athletes in their youth. And I thought that was interesting because, uh, by contrast they weren't necessarily academic overachiever. And that certainly contradicts popular stereotypes about dumb jocks versus, you know, the nerds. And, uh, it brings to mind some of the people that, uh, we have profiled like Chip Wilson, founder of Lululemon. What are some other examples that you've found?
Speaker 1 00:18:42 No, this is absolutely correct. Um, and maybe I go more in detail about this topic. Uh, I asked every one of them whether how, how they were at school about their performance at school and university, and through result, there was absolutely no relationship between their performance at school or university on the one hand, and their later financial success on the other end, some of them were very good at school or had induced degree. Other, other others. They even had no high school decree and, and nothing. So this, this was not important. But then I asked them, uh, about the activities outside school, alongside school, and, um, two things were striking. One thing, whilst you mentioned this, half of FBR competitive athletes, and I think they learned a lot, especially how to win, but much more important how to lose mm-hmm. <affirmative>, how to deal with, with setbacks and with crisis.
Speaker 1 00:19:43 I think this was very important. And the other thing was a lot of them earned money with early entrepreneurial activities. So when I was young as a student, the other students, they earned money, For example, taxi driver working in a restaurant or even in a factory. So they worked for an hourly wage, but the rich people, they earned money in sales, for example. They sold, they had so many ideas what to sell, and early entrepreneurial activities. And I think these experience were much more on part than this. What they learned at school, at university, and this is a very important thing, uh, intellectuals don't understand it, that there are two different ways of learning in, um, the psych. Uh, in psychology, we distinguish between what we call implicit learning and explicit learning. Explicit learning. It's like, um, what you learn at school or university book wisdom.
Speaker 1 00:20:45 And, uh, this is one way to learn important, of course, but there's another way we call it implicit learning. This is learning by doing. This is what they did. You, you, you, you don't, uh, realize that you learn at this moment, but you learn something. And this is the, this implicit learning results in this is what we call implicit knowledge. Uh, another word is intuition or gut feeling. And this was also one of the results. I asked every one of them, How do you make your decision? Of course, every one of us, we need both. We need our intuition, gut feeling, and we need analysis. And I, I asked them, What, what is more important for you when you make decision business? And most of them said, Okay, I've used both, but gut feeling is more important. And then some people think gut feeling is something irrational or even mystical, but this is nonsense.
Speaker 1 00:21:44 It's not gut feeling is only another word. This is the result. What from this implicit learning process, and this is what intellectuals don't understand, I read this very good book for by I ran about, uh, intellectuals, and, and she grabbed it also. This is what intellectual, they, they don't understand the way how entrepreneurs learn. They only understand her book wisdom. And for intellectuals, this way, if you read a lot of books, then you should have the highest position in society and la and this is what teachers tell them and what they learn at university. This was also my background. My father was priest, but he was also academic. Very well read, man, regular books. And what I learned and what we all this academics think as small books you read, the higher should be your position society. And later they learn. Then if they leave university, oh, maybe they're my former school neighbor who has now maybe five McDonald's franchise or something like this.
Speaker 1 00:22:52 And he has the bigger car, the, the bigger house. And what's the worst thing? The the prettier, uh, woman or prettier wife. And then you think this is something is not correct with the market. We, something's not correct with capitalism because, uh, I should have the pretty wife and the better car because I read much more books than this stupid entrepreneur that has now only five McDonald's. And he was bad at school. And so this is the thing, because I don't understand intellectuals, uh, why, uh, this, this, uh, uh, why implicit learning is so important. And in, in my other book, in my book about the, uh, the Power of Capitals, I have one chapter, This is my favorite chapter, why intellectuals don't like, uh, capitalist Men. This is one of the reasons
Speaker 0 00:23:49 We're, we're gonna get to that. And I also thank you for bringing up Iron Rand. Uh, cuz I understand that, uh, you have read, uh, quite a bit of her nonfiction and I know that you quote her extensively in your book, so we're gonna get to that. But we also have quite a few people who, who are popping in with questions, and I wanna keep that conversation going. So, uh, I'm going to reach in and grab a couple of them, uh, that I think are interesting, maybe a little bit off the topic, but relevant to particularly what you were discussing before with your early Maoist roots, my modern GA on Instagram is asking, from a sociology perspective, do you think that the current cancel culture in the West is a version of the struggle sessions in communist China?
Speaker 1 00:24:43 Uh, sure it started like this. And, um, I I, I wouldn't say it's the same because it's, it, in the end, it makes a difference whether you are, uh, canceled and you are outside, or whether they, they kill you or they torture you. And this is what happened in China, But don't forget, words can become beats. And it's, it always starts at this way without, um, stare, without canceling people hate speech against rich people, for example, This is one of my topics, or with against people who have only a different opinion, it starts with hate speech. And in the end, words can become dear. So I, I wouldn't say it's the same, uh, but, uh, it's the beginning and we should, uh, we should be very sensitive because there's always the, the danger that it becomes more and more extreme. I give you one example.
Speaker 1 00:25:47 Um, they, um, protestors in was DC they positioned a gear team in front of the house or Amazon Founder, Chief Basos, a Guo team. So some people find, left people find it funny, huh? A gear team. It's funny, but I think it's in no way funny because it's like people were killed in their French revolution, and they would show that that's what we should do with Chef Bazos. And, and, uh, you have this t-shirts on the, you can, uh, bite on the internet, kill the rich or eat the rich, uh, something like this. And it starts with this and they find it funny maybe. But for me, uh, if, if I see things like this, for example, in, in Berlin, we had a big, uh, uh, um, demonstration protest, and they had this slogan, uh, Kill Your Land Drop. And when I saw it, I, I thought, what would people say?
Speaker 1 00:26:50 If there's a, if there's a poster like kill black people or kill Muslims, everyone would be outraged and, and rightly so, but with rich people seems to be okay. No one. And so, uh, we should be very, very careful because we know it from history with, with Jewish people. You know, it's antisemitism. So it started with, uh, crazy idol ideology. It started with, uh, hate speech. And so, and later on it became very, very dangerous. So I, uh, I, I would say yes, it's the, it's the same kind of thinking, and we should be very careful that it, it can always become worse. This is what, what people sometimes don't, don't understand. I come now from a conference from Students for Liberty in, uh, here in Miami. And there, there were refugees from Cuba and Venezuela, and they reminded the audience for one thing, Venezuela borrow 50 years ago, one of the 20 richest countries in the world. And it was a democracy and everyone not there. It couldn't happen. Here we are democracy and one of the richest countries, and it happened there. Now, 25% of population flat there, people have in hunger, there's a dictatorship. And she said, Don't think about United States. It can't happen here. Cause it is the same what people thought in Venezuela. It can't happen there.
Speaker 0 00:28:19 Absolutely. And it all begins with envy, and we're gonna get to that. Um, Candace Jones on Facebook is asking about the terms left and right. She is, uh, saying that, weren't those terms originally used by communists and socialists when they were fighting each other in the twenties and thirties? Why do we continue to use the, the terms left and right today?
Speaker 1 00:28:48 I think in, in every country, in some countries, uh, it has no meaning at all. But in United States and Europe, most people think of themselves in a way like left and right, and a course, it has different, different meanings today. But, um, um, and of course there's a more important differentiation between collectivist approach and individualistic approach. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, um, some people on the far left and, uh, far right have some things in common there collectivistic approach. But of course, um, as an intellectual, you can think about it. And I know every intellectual tells me it's not in part and right and left. It has no meaning. But for most of the people they know whether they most
Speaker 0 00:29:41 Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:29:42 Position themself. Anyway. And, and I, later on, I can tell you about my latest poll. I I commissioned a poll now in 29 countries about the image of capitalism. And one of the questions was, we asked everyone to position himself on the left right scale, what zero would mean far left and 10 far right, and five in the middle. And most of the people could persist themselves, uh, on, And then we, we, uh, looked whether there's a correlation between left and right wing, uh, thinking on the one hand and pro and capitalism approach, uh, on the, on the other hand. But of course, uh, of course, uh, it's, it's correct that that right has much different meaning. There are some people, for example, I would describe myself as a moderate, right? If you're on this, on this, uh, uh, from, from zero to 10, I would position myself, for example, with, with seven, uh, uh, uh, today.
Speaker 1 00:30:49 But what does it mean for me? It means small freedom is more in part than equality. Uh, for, for example, this is very important for left people always. Equality is the most important thing. And, but of course, there are right wing nationalists like, uh, some Trumps supporters and so who don't like economic freedom in any way. And so, right, right wing can mean a lot of different, uh, things comes to topics like, uh, like, uh, um, and, and there are some topics, of course, where, uh, where it's not so easy to differentiate between left and right. For example, now at this conference, there were a lot of advocates for, uh, uh, uh, abolish, um, or I don't know how to say it for free track use. You, uh, cannot present and also other trucks. And in, in a way, in Germany, it's more like, uh, left, left leading people support and conservative peoples are against it. But
Speaker 0 00:32:02 Yeah, one of the things I thought was so interesting about your work was, um, particularly your 2020 book, The rich and Public Opinion, which as you mentioned before, sprung out of this observation that of all of the groups, uh, that, uh, are, were, were not supposed to have any prejudice against. And we are hypersensitive to not, uh, having any bias against any preferred minority. Um, but we, we, uh, kind of look the other way, or it's, it doesn't raise any eyebrows. Uh, with regards to, uh, what of course, you know, I Rand talked about as, um, the most persecuted, uh, minority. Of course, she was referring to big business rather than the, uh, financially successful per se. But I was really fascinated by your social envy coefficient, which, if I get it right, indicates the ratio of social envys to non enders. Uh, you looked at different countries, you looked at France, I think Germany, um, Spain, Tell us about you. You looked at the US and the uk. So tell us about your methodology. Yes. And also what did you find? So I thought that was just fascinating.
Speaker 1 00:33:22 Yeah. Yes. Uh, absolutely. So, uh, I commissioned to Paul, uh, first for this book, but now it's, it's ongoing. We, we, uh, after the book was published, uh, I, uh, uh, we did it in a lot of other countries, and it was about the attitude toward rich people, and especially about, uh, envy. And first, if we speak about envy, there's almost no one who admits being envious. I'm not envious. These are the others we know. There's a research, we call it, uh, envious research. You find a chapter there in my book, uh, I, I didn't know it before, that there's a really, a field of research about envy. And one of thes is that people can admit almost all emotions, even hate or whatever, but not to being envious, because it means, uh, that if you admit to being envious, it means you admit that there's someone who has something that you wanna have and that you would like to have.
Speaker 1 00:34:27 And then this leads to the question, why do I not have it? And this could be very uncomfortable for your self conscious. So and so people don't. And so you have to find a way. If you wanna find out whether someone is and or not, you can't ask them, Are you envious or not? You have to find to ask some questions that we, we call it indicator questions, where you can find out, for example, what means envy. Andy means you, you wanna choose the gap between you and someone who's rich, for example, not by improving your own situation, but by tearing the other person down, by, uh, making his situation worse. Not make your situation, uh, better, but make his situation worse. And so we had some questions as, for example, I would favor drastically, um, um, uh, more that, that, that millionaires should pay much higher taxes, even if I have no personal advantage.
Speaker 1 00:35:34 Another, uh, statement was, I'm in favor of trustfully reducing, uh, the, the compensation CEO compensation of top managers and distributed more evenly, uh, among their employees, even if everyone has only $2 more. The same principle to make situation worse for someone, even if everyone has not real advantage. Or another question was, we called it the char for the question. It was this question, If I hear that, uh, um, uh, millionaire lose a lot of money due to risky business, I think it serves him, right? So if people, you know, have time read some, it's bad for others. And so we had a lot of questions, and in the end, we could,
Speaker 0 00:36:21 And you also had questions about, uh, attitudes towards millionaires or attitudes towards wealthy people, right? Yes.
Speaker 1 00:36:30 There were a lot of questions. And in the end, we could distinguish between two groups, the Avis and the non Avis, as you mentioned before. And in the middle there are some, we call them the ambivalent, where not really, really clear. And the social, uh, and the coefficient that you mentioned, it's exactly, uh, you, you up. That is the ratio between nvis and non Avis in the country. And to make it a little bit easier, uh, the, the purpose was to find one number to compare different countries, how nvis are people. So every number bigger than one means that there are more nvis than non nvis. And every number is smaller than one means that there are more non endless. And that, and now we did it in 12 countries, uh, uh, and, um, the most envious people are in France.
Speaker 0 00:37:31 Not a huge surprise there, but
Speaker 1 00:37:33 <laugh> not a really surprise, I tell you a funny story about, about France. No, I, I mentioned my next book will be published in 27 countries all over the world. But I was not successful to find only one publisher in France. It's, it'll be even published in Napal and Mongolia, and it'll be published in Japan and Korea everywhere. But there was no, not one single publisher in France. I tried very hard to publish only one of my books. Sos it's easier to publish not all some of my books in China than in France by, by the way. And we had another survey, uh, only at a footnote. I can tell you later something about this in defense of caps for this, my next book, we had another, uh, analysis survey about the attitudes brought capitalism. And one of the results was that the most anti capitalist people you can find in, in France. So it was not a surprise followed by Germany,
Speaker 0 00:38:31 Right? So, so France was very, was very, uh, had a, I think think it was a 1.6 ratio of Nvis, um,
Speaker 1 00:38:38 One, 1.26, uh, of,
Speaker 0 00:38:42 And then Germany, also high Nvis, Spain, high nvis, what? And then, uh, UK was low enders right after that,
Speaker 1 00:38:52 UK lower and United States much lower. But in United States, there's a big difference between older and younger Americans. Older Americans were exactly the way as we Europe, think about Americans in favor of, uh, private, uh, business capitalists, rich people, and the younger were more critical to rich people and capital. So they've also a huge difference, By the way, in Italy, it was the other way around. The younger people were more pro rich and the wormer, and it's different in, in every country.
Speaker 0 00:39:27 Yeah, that I thought it was interesting that it flipped that in France and in Italy and in Germany, uh, even though that they were higher in their coefficient, had more nvis, you saw that flip a little bit, that if you found non nvis, they tended to be younger than in the United States, higher percentage of non envys, but very disturbingly, uh, that also flip that the, the young were more likely to, um, have negative views about rich people and negative views about, uh, about capitalism. So,
Speaker 1 00:40:02 And, and the most positive attitude and the least envious people are in Japan. Japan and Vietnam. I, I, I did. Now you, you can find it on the internet if you Google, I, I published a paper about, um, about social envy in, um, Asian countries, uh, economic affairs. It's a British, uh, libertarian journal. And I, I published an article there, uh, you can find it, uh, free on, on the internet. And there you see that people in, in Vietnam, especially in Japan, are least ens. And I was now in Vietnam. It was very interesting, um, because this is the only university who grabbed my idea and they do now their own research about envy against rich people. And they invited me at the Foreign Trade University in Illinois. They invited me to a workshop about, and be against rich people. And what can you do against and be against rich people? Imagine such a workshop in sociology in the United States or in Europe. It's,
Speaker 0 00:41:11 Yeah. Well, one of the takeaways that, that I have is that since knowing a millionaires, uh, greatly reduced the amount of envy that you had, right? So that I thought was interesting. And that's one of the reasons that the outlet society, um, among the subjects that we dramatize in our animated drama life videos are entrepreneurs like Chip Wilson, like Peter Diamandas. Uh, we do interviews with Michael Sailor and other, uh, billionaires, uh, and, and hear their stories because, hey, we might not all be able to meet or get to know personally a millionaire or a billionaire, but at least we can give you a little bit of insight in, into their worlds. So what do you, uh, make of the, um, what are the factors that are contributing to a society with greater prevalence of nvis? What are some of the implications, uh, for the kinds of policies, policies and governments that they invite?
Speaker 1 00:42:13 Let's, let's allow me first to come short back what you mentioned, because it's a very important point. Um, we, we asked also everyone in our survey, whether they know a millionaire or some millionaires in person, and most people do not know in really, in, in, in person. And then we asked this group, What do you think about personality traits of millionaires? For example, we, we, we present it to every one of our respondents with a list of fortune personality traits, seven positive and seven negative, for example, positive person, honest. And in most countries, it was this way. For example, one or two or 3% of the channel population said, Rich people are honest. And then we asked only those people who knew a millionaire person about his personality traits. And then there were much more people who said he's honest, for example, 20% instead of 1%.
Speaker 1 00:43:19 It was in all countries where we did the survey, there was a huge gap. And so, uh, I appreciate very much that you, uh, that you give people the opportunity when it's not in per, but even there to, to learn little by more about, uh, rich people and successful entrepreneurs. Because this is the big problem that most of the people know them only from media, like Hollywood movies. And we, we have, I have one chapter in this book. I, I did a research about the image of rich people in, in Hollywood movies. And I think it comes not as big surprise that it's an oral, uh, negative image, rich people in Hollywood movies. And I can tell you maybe a funny story. I I had an interview with, similar to our interview, but the interview was very left leading. But in a way, he liked me and I liked him as a person.
Speaker 1 00:44:12 And in the end of the interview, he asked me, Please be honest for a moment, isn't it this way that the rich people are in, in reality the same way as we know it from the chains bond movie? So this was his question, and I asked him, Okay, one question. How many, many multi billionaires do you know in person? Zero. How many billionaires do you know in person? Zero. How many people who have some hundreds of millions? Do you know in person zero. How many millionaires do you know in person? Zero, He knew, not even one millionaire. And then I said, Okay, there's a difference between you and me. You know them from chain font, movies, <laugh>. I know them, for example, from my interviews, from my doctor visitation. So he had, if he had to laugh a little bit, because this is about prejudice, you speak about people that you don't know, you, uh, you hear only in the media or something about them. But sorry, this was only
Speaker 0 00:45:14 Another question I think that, Well, I, I wanna, because we've got about 15 more minutes, and I don't wanna neglect all of these people that are popping in with their questions. Um, some of which actually has specifically to do with Germany. So I would wanna try to get to King Fisher's question from Facebook. Uh, thoughts on the recent economic insolvency happening in Germany?
Speaker 1 00:45:38 In Germany, It's a very bad situation. It's,
Speaker 0 00:45:42 I mean, it's that, and there's the energy crisis and there's,
Speaker 1 00:45:47 There's, there's a lot. The proud thing is that since years since the time of, we go more and more the direction of a plant economy, they don't call it a plant economy, but in fact it is. And the energy, energy policy is only a perfect example. It has nothing to do with our market. Uh, um, there was a very good, uh, article three years ago in Wall Street Journal. The headline was the Dumbest Energy Policy in the World. And it was about Germany because first we faced out nuclear power plants, we forbid fracking. We then made the decision to face out coal power plants, uh, in the hope that we can do all with solar energy and with windmills. But they are not there. It's like the same. You are not happy with your house and you tear down your house the first even before you have the key to another house. And even you don't have the billing permission for another house. This is exactly what's happened. Now, of course, it's very crazy. It's ideology driven. And in, in term newspapers, there are every day in our article how to prepare for black out. That can happen maybe in a few months black out. But I made a joke on Twitter said, Don't call it black out. Call it green out because this fits better. Call it green out. That's
Speaker 0 00:47:13 Great. That's
Speaker 1 00:47:13 Great. By the way, by the way, if you say black out, maybe some people can think it's racist. Cause you shouldn't do something with black, with negative connotations or how its free out, it's one.
Speaker 0 00:47:27 But I just got my Tesla power walls <laugh>. So even living in California, hopefully no more green outs for me. Um, also getting to Europe. I got a question here. Ison on Facebook or actually Instagram asking, Are European countries primarily socialist countries with capitalist elements? Or are they capitalist countries with socialist elements?
Speaker 1 00:47:54 I think all over the world, there is nowhere pure capitalism, there's nowhere pure socialism. It's all, uh, a mixture between both elements. Uh, uh, today I compare it also, I, I call it the test tube theory. I have it in my book, The Power of Capitalism. Imagine you have a test tube with two ingredients, market and state or capitalism, socialism. And then you see what happens if you add more market as they did in China or on Vietnam in the last 40 years. Or if you add more state at the d al for example, in the last 20 years. And so, uh, I think this is important to understand economic development, even if there is, the, the great thing is with capitalist, you don't even, you don't need pure capitalists. Even a little bit of capitalism can help a lot. As you saw, give your example from before I speak about Europe.
Speaker 1 00:48:56 Give your example from Vietnam. Cause I was there, A lot of people don't know this. 90 93, Vietnam was a poorest country in the world, even poorer than all African countries. And 80% lived in poverty. Today's less than 5%. Why is that? Because they started 90 86 with pro market reforms. And of course, it's not a pure capitalist country. They call themselves socialists. But I can guarantee you, you can find more Marxist in United States than you will find in Vietnam. But, um, but you see what happened. And in Europe, for me, it's, it's, it's a mixed system. For example, in Germany, after Second World War with, uh, this policy of not fish, air hat, airhart, this was our success story with, uh, uh, market economy. And this was the secret. And then they added more and more state. And in the beginning of the 2000, we had some Promark reforms in Germany.
Speaker 1 00:49:59 Then situation became better. And now we go back again in the direction, more plant economy. Poland another example. Poland is the most successful European country in the last 25 years. You have to know, they were the poorest country in, in, uh, in the east eastern block in socialist times, poorer than Ukraine. And they had only half of GDP per capital than Czech Republic. And then they started with their economic reforms, pro market. But now again, they go, they go back to moral state. And so it's always a thing that develops and a big problem. Not only Europe, almost everywhere in the world, if you compare the situation in the beginning of the eighties, we had a lot of Promark reforms. We had manufacture in the uk, we had Toronto Reg in the United States. We had dense ing in China. We had the so-called Domo reforms in, in, uh, Vietnam. Even in Argentina at this time on Italy, you had a little bit of pro market reforms. And now it's the opposite. Everywhere where you look in China, they go back to more state in the United States of France, they go back more state in Europe, they go back to more state. And this is the reason why it's so important, what, what you do with your work, because it's a, it's a really consideration now.
Speaker 0 00:51:28 Yes. And you know, politics they say is downstream from culture, but culture is downstream from philosophy, which is why we believe it's so important to convey the philosophy and the ideas of I rand, uh, to a public that is largely, completely oblivious, uh, to who she is and to, to what her ideas stand for. Uh,
Speaker 1 00:51:52 By the way, I can tell you a funny story. I know Anne Rand Fra fan here in Berlin, and he has a small group, and I made him as a chess, but he didn't do it. I don't know why. We have in, in Berlin a lot of street names with Karl Marks and British angles, a lot of them.
Speaker 0 00:52:11 Wow.
Speaker 1 00:52:12 And I suggested him, Please go there the night and make their in ran street in
Speaker 0 00:52:19 Red. Yeah.
Speaker 1 00:52:20 And, and make some photos. And of course people will not know who's this, that I heard of them, but then you have, uh, I idea how to talk about it. Yes, there you go. Do it. But I think it's
Speaker 0 00:52:31 A good thing. Iran Street, John Gat Street, uh, the Gulch Avenue. So tell us a little bit about your Iran discovery. And I know you're a nonfiction guy, but, uh, obviously she had, um, some of the best essays on envy. The way that she talked about it really was not about coveting what somebody else has, but about, uh, wanting others not to have it, wanting others to, to suffer and to die. It was the, the hatred of the good for being good. So tell us a bit about what her work means to you.
Speaker 1 00:53:09 Yeah, the last thing that was very important, uh, maybe I mentioned this because this was very important. Um, I, for my next book, in the Hands of Capitalism, I have one chapter about monopolies. And I read some papers or essays that they wrote about, uh, monopolies and about this antitrust policy. And it was so amazing for me because if some people who call themselves pro free market or classic liberal today, they have always this crazy things about against monopolies. Even I don't speak only about left-leaning people, of course, they, they always tell, Oh, how dangerous is the, the, the, the mono, the monopoly, the same time they are in favor for state monopoly. What is <laugh>? I I will never understand how to fight against monopolies to, to have them the absolute monopoly, the state. But I don't speak about, I speak about about people who call themselves classic liberal or libertarian.
Speaker 1 00:54:14 And they're, yes, we have to do something. They have this emotion against big business and against monopolies. And so this was, for me, very important to reach her answers because this was exactly the same as I thought. I found it, uh, from her and from few, only from a few others. I I found it also from, I have a friend at Beijing University, his name is, and he, he had the same, he wrote the same as a red date about monopolies. And you can never make it right. If you make, uh, the price is too high, then they say it's like, uh, uh, monopoly price. And if you make it too low, it's not. And I believed what she wrote, that it's that, that it's crazy to say the state should do something against the monopolies because the biggest enemy of monopolies is free market and is capitalism.
Speaker 1 00:55:13 And you, and now today we see that, that she was right. I give you only two or three, uh, two or three examples. If the monopoly is on the height of their power, always people, they, it'll never go aways ever last in monopoly. But this is not true. I found an article two, 2007 in Guardian, those British news people with a headline, Will MySpace ever lose its monopoly? Who knows my space today? And there was, uh, in the same year on the cover of Robs magazine, it was about the, uh, Nokia that they will never lose them. Monopoly, who, who knows about Nokia today. And you know, in the United States, it was, it happened with Kodak, it tapped with C for example. And you had a lot of companies that you called, um, Monopoly. And, and today there are invention. They have only minor market share. And this proves that she was right because this happened all f that she wrote her papers about monopolies, but reality proved her right that, uh, because, uh, all of this monopolies I mentioned now or so called monopolies like, uh, Kodak or a lot of others, they were not ended by antitrust policy, but by capitals,
Speaker 0 00:56:43 Yeah, by upstart competitors.
Speaker 1 00:56:46 Yes.
Speaker 0 00:56:48 So, um, we're about at time. Um, I know sounds like you've got a bunch of your books planned out and your travel, uh, schedule planned out. Tell us the best way to keep track of you and, uh, hopefully hear about announcements of your upcoming books and the upcoming adaptations of your books into audio format as we discussed. Uh, should we follow you on Twitter or sign up for newsletter? What's our,
Speaker 1 00:57:17 Oh, I, I, i, to, to be honest, I do not enough on Twitter, in in English language a little bit, but not enough. And of course, I think most of, uh, audience cannot, uh, understand germs or have to, to change it may no, the best is to read my books. And, and, uh, I now, I I, I wrote, uh, 27 books, and of course, I cannot expect everyone to read every book, but I think I can recommend to everyone my book, The Power of Capitalist. We haven't spoke about this today, but this is a very important book. This is with a chapter about the intellectual. So it's good that we didn't talk about it. So people are maybe a little bit more curious to
Speaker 0 00:57:57 No spoilers
Speaker 1 00:57:58 To, to, to to, to order it. And, um, and, uh, my next book will be published in January in Defense of Capitalism. And this is maybe my most important book, and I'll tell you why. It, I, I haven't read, uh, written it for anti capitalists, because I'm sure they will not buy any book like this. They prefer to buy book number 35. Why Capitalist Medieval, then Only To Touch One Pro Capitalist book. Sure. But I wrote it for, for our audience, for people who are pro capitalism, but of course they don't have all the facts. You know, for this book, you find in the biography, I used 360 scientific papers and books, and I did the poll. And, and a lot of this, and I have chapters, 10 chapters about all this popular myth against capitalism. For example, Capitalism is to play for hunger and poverty.
Speaker 1 00:59:02 Capitalism is to play for inequality. Capitalism missed to pay for climate change, environmental degradation, capitalist missed to pay for monopolies for greed in the chapter about greed and egoism of cross. Also, you find in some peop some chapters, lot of a range quotes there in the book. But my idea was that if you have discussion with anti capitalists, you can't be good on all of these topics, you know, like monopolies or inequality to, to, to really have all the facts. And even you don't have three to the whole book. But if, you know, for example, next week in your university there will be a discussion about inequality or about climate change, then read only one chapter. And I guarantee you have all the facts that you need. And so this is maybe my most important book.
Speaker 0 00:59:59 We are looking forward to it. And, uh, perhaps you'll come back and join us for, for when it's published. So thank you so much, Dr. Zeidman. I really appreciate, this was fascinating. Thank you for your work. And I wanna
Speaker 1 01:00:14 Thank you very much. It was a pleasure to speak to you, and I hope, uh, first we will meet in person, very important, hopefully. So the next, if we don't meet in proud the next few months, hopefully in January, we will have our next, uh, conversation. Or if you invite me to some of your conference, I would be very happy to come there. I can guarantee I'm very happy to come there.
Speaker 0 01:00:37 Fantastic. Thank you so much, and I wanna thank all of you who joined us today. Thanks for all of the excellent questions as well. As always, if you enjoyed this video, um, you and you don't feel comfortable being, uh, a free writer and just enjoying something and, uh, not exchanging something of value, then consider making a tax deductible donation to the Atla Society to support our work. Um, please consider tuning in next week as well. I'm going to be interviewing Walter Isaacson, of course, the Great American biographer, so I'm looking forward to that.
Speaker 1 01:01:21 I read his, I read his books, so about Albert Einstein, for example. Yes, his book about Steve Chops. I, I I, I read a lot of his books. Amazing that you, that you have the privilege to speak with him. It's
Speaker 0 01:01:32 Amazing. You know, you're gonna be a hard act to follow, but, uh, we're looking forward to it and hopefully you'll tune in as well and ask some of your questions. So thank I can thank
Speaker 1 01:01:41 You. Guarantee you one thing, his English will be much better than
Speaker 0 01:01:45 Mine. Oh, no, your English is fantastic.
Speaker 1 01:01:47 No, no, I, you know, here I tell you funny story. I had this discussion with this free to choose people, and they're Yes, but you have this chairman accent. I know, but imagine, you know, Anna Schwar, you know, I'm a little bit like him. Yes. Also this chairman accent, and he became very successful. So hopefully <laugh>
Speaker 0 01:02:06 Yes, I know. I, I, I agree. Lay it on thick, it sounds, uh, sounds very Deb Air to these American ears. So thank you, Dr. Diman. Okay, thanks everyone. We'll see you next week. Thank
Speaker 1 01:02:16 You. See you. Bye.