tv After Words Vivek Ramaswamy Woke Inc.- Inside Corporate Americas... CSPAN November 11, 2021 3:50pm-4:50pm EST
innovations and interviewed by doctor emily gourley epidemiologist at johns hopkins university, watch book tv every sunday on "c-span2" and find a full schedule on the program guide or watch online anytime at booktv.org. >> up next on book tv's author interview program, afterwards suwanee argues that corporate america is holding onto both culture only to increase progress and is interviewed by harvard university economics professor greg matthew and afterwards is a weekly interview program with relevant guest hosts interviewing top nonfiction authors about their latest work. >> well, it is a delight to be here to chat with you and congratulations on the book.
an congratulations on success and watching us out on amazon and obviously a lot of people are buying yet in this way because it is a great book.oo it's very provocative and on a very important topic so i'm delighted to hear to share it with you before we get to the book, i wonder if you could tell us a little bit about your biographies, think they shaped things your writing in this book and very interesting biography on something i didn't know. a year ago or so, tell us a little bit about this pretty. >> so it is and raised in ohio which is actually where i live today and my parents were immigrants from any and my dad came over the late 70s and a in the early 80s and is funny sad story, weight sediment at why did you come halfway across the world to cincinnati ohio of all places they said that actually a sisterhood,si from
india to indiana which of course had prompted us to ask why did she go there and the joke of the family is the only u.s. state with the world india contained in the name i of the state prety but we were born and raised in ohio and they had an education d that was on the most valuable thing to give up and i went to public school through eighth grade i went to a privatent catholic high school in the roman catholic and in 2003 a and 2911 took place when i was in high school and really shaped my own worldview is not young american and then i went to harvard it i did is take the class that i believe you teach now predict i was a biology major and study molecular biology i was mostly in early science guy from college then when i graduated i got into biotech investing in the fall of 2007, just before the 2008 financial crisis and also dramatically shape my views not
only capitalism but the merger of capitalism and politics, where the core themes in the book and anyway, i did that for several years seven and three years and actually told my mom but i was going to leave and debbie yell law school because i had the stage at the intersection of law and political philosophy that i never scratch but that got me a career mobility and they said that you could have a portfolio for us and go do it from yale so that is what i did and spent three years there he met my wife probably the most my next-door neighbor invincible but when i graduated i came back to my job as an investor and i realized that it was much more interested in getting hands on involved in addressing some of the inefficiencies in pharma that he cannot address as a bystander or an investor son of my job as an investor and started a biotech company. i built from 2014 to 2021 and i are seven years as a company's ceo and i stepped down in january to give myself the latitude to really speak freely
in an uninhibited way and rolling out the book but addressing some of these issues that are now speaking openly about as a citizen and handbill the company was a challenge one of the most gratifying things that i've done in my professional career but it did symptom because i felt that i wanted to speak freely in a way that did not harm the company and it is my civic duty and spring spotlight and what ansi behind closed doors. over the last 15 years and i was into elite america but i have lived it the last decade and a half and some of the things i learned i think work experiences inside perspectives that i felt i neededgh to share to shape the conversation but we go as people from here about the relationship between capitalism and democracy. >> you did a great job last chapter. when capitalism and democracyta
too much, will suffer for it. the role in our society is unclear what each of those two pillars are and what they can do so you and the ceo but even before you were ceo from as a major company or even as a student. she did a great story early on in the book. can you tell us a little bit about that. >> goldman sachs is one of the archetypes and keep coming back to in my book about the relationship between in the private sector and government in between capitalism and democracy pretty for better or worse in my opinion far worse typifies that relationship. >> is now commercial bank but as for the financial institutions consider really late in the
money is top harvard students printed like you and for better or worse. >> turns out one of the things and i was good at was getting myself into protected core doors and on andme on the last 15 yeas in their better skills one can have but it turns out that was the skill that it was an accident or purpose.ha i have repeatedly practice and i did that into the summer of 2006, one of the student at harvard and took an internship at goldman sachs is something that i learned, i thought it would learned about evaluating companies but i didn't learn very much about that however i did learn a lot about how to aggregateho power and how to aggregate power in a way that was not actually the. to the aggregation of powers so goldman sachs had a hallmark that summer which was service
day, you go and you plant trees in the things i notice was that nobody was really interested in planting trees and everybody showed up except forwh the boss, nowhere to be found but nobody is really planting trees they were telling stories and and the thing that we went to do nobody was doing and then the boss showed up an hour late who by the way little known secret, they were explicit suze taylor ensures that the delaware rolex they wear these cheap visibly cheap black wrists drop digital watches this show of false humility predict and they say hey guys, were taking pictures so get out of here that's exacty what we did we started to drink and so i asked one of the older as such as nearby as any, we wanted to call a social day, we should just call it that instead of service day and his response stuck with me pretty said have you ever heard of this rule, of
course had, i would catholic high school and he treat others like you want to be treated and he said, no, the golden rule is this. he who has the gold makes the rules and that stuck with me. it turns out that i did learn something valuable rule that i saw on display ten years later when goldman sachs declared from the mountain tops that they would not take a company public in the united states. it was insufficiently diverse they didn't mean ideologicall that racial diversity enemy, that abusive market power to be able to exercise power in the market place ofle ideas and dece that i felt needed to be decided in our democracy at large from is actually the greatest corporate overreach of all an act with a big part of right entered by our rent the book. >> in the story, the famous
statute put in front of the wall street posting can you tell us about this. >> she makes a difference, and staring down the iconic male powered but it turns out that was commissioned by advisors and after then and it turns out that sat had not just for she, but also the exchange traded funds that was so-called diversity index. stocks that embodied some of these progressive social values and of course we charge a fee in the process. they built the statute for the time they were facing a lawsuit from their female employees of the firm who said they didn't get paid as much as their male counterparts of course when they were accused of this, the firm
did exactly what they would expect them to do, and put statutes of four-minute name better, to make this up, the creator of the statute created a few more copies of the statue because she was a feminist and proud of what she created basically super for creating unauthorized reproductions of the statutes they had commissioned predict ... tell th book but you mightremember this , shortly after we met we you introduce me to a professor who had taken an interest in some of these issues and he invited me to his class . he had been an early draft of the book or at least the chapter as a workshop that we worked out with his corporate boss and one of the things that one of the things that happened to be the chapter that contained that story and there was a girl
on the cross, i still remember this, she raised her hand at the end exact i hear the story you told but this still inspired me and nobody can take that away from me. that is something that took me deeper into my exploration in an early draft god knows that something like the final book because i was able to go deeper. i think there is something to be said for exploring the way in which maybe woke can stand on its own 2 feet intermingled with capitalism. a big partan isn't just woke ideology in its own right but it's merger with capitalism which contains both progressive values corporations are asked to be stored up as well as changing corporate purpose in its own right as well so that's at the heart of the book more than criticizing one end of the spectrum areos. >> there were motivations by the
artist. >> exactly. it embodies this uncomfortable marriage between the progressivs left. it's an arranged marriage, not a marriage of lust, more like usual prosecution, each side getting something out of the transaction. s artist got the money, mainstream truck cover for their lawsuit for female employees and the same thing happening at large in the post 2008 era occupy wall street where occupy wall street is a tough pill to swalwell. you could hire and occupy wall street leader from acute not like what they have to say. right fragility, no problem. effectively what happened for the generation of big bankrupt together with the generation of woke millennial's together capitalism and that allows them to put occupy wall street up for
adoption and it's worked so well everyone else started replicating getting in on it. there's a version of it where the effectively center or moderate their language, contact the woke movement doesn't want to see online but they don't do it for free because there unspoken part is the new democratic party looks the other way it comes to completing their monopoly power and it's working, whatever merit is a bad thing or not, it's working masterly both sides. a goal to shine some light on that reality. they at least make their own judgments whether it's a good thing or a bad thing. step one is the phenomenon itself with clear eyes and part of what i tried to do in the book. >> example with been talking about, the company's equally cynical using a progressive agenda to further their ownwn
goals to generate more profit but what about capitalism more generally? can somebody, a ceo. reporter: on cynically embraced capitalism? does it make sense? >> my shareholders have other polson maximizing profits, whether it's combating climate change, increasing diversity orr whatever. >> i want this to be an opportunity, probably already opappreciate but worth unpacking in thehe discussion, a few different kinds of wokeyo capitalism, it's at least three different things so first you have a problem of the executive who ultimately think it's a problem of the executive who decides he's going to use his
position as co2 advance social critic even if it means shareholders, resources part of his platform to do it. people who don't like the behavior the ceo the precinct using their resources, ceo makes a multimillion dollar donation to the hospital or his temple where he worships, most would agree that was something of a breach of being custodian of resources. part of what you captivate is writing a check to different temple called black lives matter, why is a question treated any o differently? with gone back to that but that's the executive part. it might be the perpetrator or you have a shareholder who says ceo, you work for us and we demand you advance these social
values. you are preaching your duty to us,, the shareholders. that's what's tried to pull off as a shareholder they have sustainably accounting standards for us as if the company doesn't meet the standard, they will divest from that company. i think youou have a problem whe the first phenomenon that an investor product 1 million or more who were investors, it is there ceo that is the executive all over again but you have a number of investors certainly saying executives advanced values. both of those are different from the third phenomena of what i call woke consumerism, many of them generally progressive consumers demand the ceos of the company's they buy products frm actually embodied the values that match their own values as
consumers and i think you could argue that's just capitalism argue. what i offer is more cultural commentary to say that is a symptom of a deeper cultural place where we and our culture and more partly as citizens are hungry for it cause and sense of purpose but we've resorted to superficiale means like mixing morality with commercialism to satisfy a moral hunger that demands more substantial ways so that is one access, there's three types of woke capitalism from executive, workers or consumers. there's a difference you touched on, those who pursue it authentically, goldman sachs and their only financial services is morere broadly in that category. vast majority of cases. i think there's a minority of cases in which corporations ando executives and boards and investors sometimes are authentic for they believe in their values and using their corporate platform to push.
i began taking aim at the cynical scamming kind. by the end of the book, i was more convinced the bigger part of democracy was the authentic kind we have somebody purposefully using their platform as a way of sidestepping debate using force, economic force but force nonetheless to settle a question that ought to be settled through free speech and open debate ina political democracy in the public square where everyone's voice and vote equal unadjusted by the number of dollars controlled on the market and that was the biggest threat of all i realized in one of my biggest realizations in my own perspective. >> thepe way that will answer employees not only further consumers demanding it but employees. you had an interesting story you were ceo in the aftermath of
black lives matter movement. can you talk about that? >> i think what i learned in my experience was nearly identical to that of many other ceos and similar positions. in the wake of george boyd's tragic death and we could say decidedly, it was a murder there were protests across the country, national reckoning about the use of police force but also a demand that companies somehow play a role in rectifying that problem. i have an issue with that for all the reasons i lay out in the book, i i certainly take issue with the blanket came claim of racism without defining more specifically what that means. that's the content of the demand being made but i had a principles issue, i do not think corporations should use market power to u substitute free-speeh open debate that ought to be taking place in the public square in ourth
many people arguably, very few callings higher than that but it also meant there was a new expectation for business played a role, business in our country probably plays a role in other social injustice as well that something that led to a deep level of introspection and reflection for me wondering not only whether i would make the right counter weight but was i wrong? some of my investors and port numbers felt the same or raised similar questions and made me question whether i was misguided being a slave of a philosophy i've learned and whether i was
in the wrong failing to think about unique challenges where government was failing, maybe corporations that need to wrap up. i cameto out on the other side f it with a stronger conviction in my own position of why it was important for the psaki of democracy and capitalism to separate each from the other but i think was on the other side i'm grateful for being able to take meh through personal joury deconstructing that view before constructing and building up greater more solid foundation on the otherre side having thought through. >> you eventually stepped down. continuous pressure from your board and employees, how do you think you would have responded? >> i went through that journey
and one place i ended seven months later i realized my philosophy had taken me full circle, unlike ceos who have a different worldview were perfectly comfortable using their corporate power to voice their social views, i never did that or i believe i never did during my time as ceo of our company. however, i have become speaking out in the "wall street journal" regularly appearing even on cable television in the media expressing my own views about the veryy topic of woke capitalism, the spread of critical theory and academia from the spread of ideas in the corporate sector, i had to take amp step back and in some ways, practice what i preached, walk the walkh, recognizing while i d my best to avoid using the corporate platform to force my view on others, the nature of the topic talked about were such
that it was impossible to do perfectly in practice so to protect the company from my own perspective and my own ability to speak freely without having to think in the back of my head but the role is i was playing p for the company, the best thig to do was to separate myself as a role as citizen, had been ceo for seven years and i wouldn't have been free tove write everything i was writing in the book if i had to also run it through the lens of deciding what impact it would have on think extrapolated to be the businesses voice on these issues, too so i separated myself the voice of the company, i stepped down as ceo elevated a new person to the role of ceo and it allowed me to speak more freely as an ordinary citizen and i hope everyone supports find a bit of what i had to say long i wonder if you would have continued on what you would have
felt to do. the cynical woke capitalism, your job is to maximize shareholder value with this strange alliance between the progressive left and corporations, the way to maximize shareholder value is this woke capitalism, maybe goldman sachs was producing for shareholder obligations. >> it's possible to openly explore that possibility in the book. the third phenomenon of people cultural weight in our country, a moral vacuum we need to fill with the merger of progressive values and consumerism but you take as given, maybe companies are doing the right thing. there's also another term of thought, it's a temporary market efficiency and a great
opportunity for the other direction we have half the country quietly frustrated with nikent signaling virtue and alignment with black lives matter in the way it is, a good sneaker alternative, there could be opportunity to create an alternative to the left-wing version pushed through the consumer sector today and that's what you see coffee, starbucks for republicans. i have an issue with that though. my main issue is i talk about this a little bit in the book, if this works shark tank denies anbetting on it, and many cases, there's opportunity to use a different set of values, notiv progressive values but may be more conventionally conservative values with the pursuit of profit in a way that appeals to a different kind of hunger foror cause. i don't think it's good for us, the private sector, sports stadiums used to be places that
brought people together whether they are black or white, democrat or republican but once we lose that in a divided democracy like ours when it's divided, we lose the possibility solidarity in our economy and companies and are sports become politicized as they have and i worry if we lose thosect sanctuaries used to bring us together, we may be closer to her trajectory toward civil war than toward achieving solidarity in our own right. once we have two economies for democratic base follow our democratic coffee, that may be the beginning of the american experience as we know it or at least the version you and i probably grew up idealizing acknowledging individualism and the americanyop dream we can eh pursue in the economy but the backdrop solidarity that bind us together as citizens, i think if k that invades the economy that
brings people together, the spread of capitalism breaks down theow capitalism, the ability to bring people together across otherwise culturally divided categories. once we lose that, it makes capitalism a source of furtherr division. that may be where we are naturally headed, a serious cultural intervention and i hope the book serves as a form of cultural intervention with abo different way to go forward. >> you mentioned a moment ago in emphasis you have about the idea of systemic racism. i want to explore that a bit, the legacy of slavery of african americans today on average experience worst economic outcomes than other racial or ouethnic groups.
to what extent is it a problem and what extent do corporations havewh responsibilities thinking about that if not corporations, but other institutions you think should step up and what should they be doing? >> i have a few issues with the dogma of systemic racism. one is claim of clarity, unclear to me what the term even means. racism heavenly means something, taking action on the basis of prejudice effects racism. i understand without us, it's wrong, i think it exists and we should combat it. it exists at a smaller scale today than in prior eras in american history, i think we'ven made it steady progress over the decades to reduce problems racism presents and racism represented the pressing problem in america decades ago, i think it represents in the same way it did 50 ors 60 years ago. anybody who claims it does is a
big part of what the left claims today, i think it's disingenuous to say we are in the same place we were in the jim crow era in the 60sal or 70s or jim crow era or the era of the seas or 50s slavery. it's a preposterous claim so systemic racism is a sloppy way of defining what the original problem itself is. understand what racism is, i don't believe the narrative systemic racism is flushed out to be evene defined as a phenomena. i have a different problem with it, too, the same force that gives us systemic racism gives us a set of solutions that demand fighting racism with more grace and i personally john roberts school of thought were the best way to end this clinician on base of race is stop this woman on the base of race. takenhe from the best musts articulate proponents of the
alternative view from how to be antiracist, the only remedy to past determination is present discrimination the remedy is future discrimination. i disagree i think that's a big part of my view the dogma of systemic racism commingled with a set of solutions that demand for the rationalizing solutions which i think are likely to be counterproductive in every direction including the direction of serving the black community and brand communities that i think are helped by this dogma. >> i think i reject is the idea should bring a prism of race to evaluate struggles equally or even more powerfully be evaluated through the mindsds of class instead. a theory of intersection allie, there are ways in which a black woman like oprah will always be
disempowered relative to a person who might live 10 miles down the street for me here in ohio who might live in the opioid epidemic version of white america that involves poor people having struggles of their own for me may not be black or a woman and i reject the idea oprah winfrey her struggle as a black woman to have any more of our concern in somebody might be a poor white man in the upgrades. 90% of what both sides could actually agree on people who are economically empowered. access to fair education. lack access to capitol from a participating from youthful participant in the economy. that's a universal message for the left to embrace that i think could be more in this disempowerment everyone shares in the same way. part of the issue is the kinds
of solutions that can economically empower everyone but instead, obsessing over genetically inherited like race, gender, sexual orientation which i think the world where he is focusing on the. it's sloppy, lazy term wee ought to define exactly what we mean for inequities we need to address and affect people in areas that have nothing to do with race. >> you might suggest rethinking affirmative action. >> i would who would you recommend university president? >> i want to give you my actual nuance position. i am against affirmative action, i think affirmative action is a disservice to the people it's supposed to help. in part because you now look at
black pilot in the cockpit of united airlines, 50% women or q private, women or people of color in the cockpit and had to get rid of the tests they previously used, there's no way any human being could be faulted for at least having a moment or instinct of questioning whether a femaleme pilot or nonwhite pit in the cockpit what has passed the same test because united airlines told us they had to get rid of the test to create this new system and i think it fosters an unfair new brand of judgment no black pilot or female pilot deserves and that is something that's unjust not only to white pilots excluded from it that might be one way we care about but injustice to the people who may have earned their position can't be distinguished. i think it actually creates a new wave of racism on its own, reinforcing the idea minorities
of certain racial categories could not excel but have intervention. this new idea that math is racist the idea two plus two equals four, that discipline is racist because of the inequitable outcomes in mathematical achievementbl, a racist idea and i think one think we are doing is racism has reached an all-time low in the united states, the final burning embers, we are throwing calcium on it and creating something on its own. you asked me a precise question, i think there is something to be said a liberal arts university to create the conditions for students to have the opportunity to interact with people of every stripe and banner. some from legacy students who came -- as in this myself but i
was exposed to kids who did come from multigenerational families, planar families that i as a kid no money and how would never have interacted with and in some ways able to benefit from because i was a different culture just as much as i interact with rockets from the inner-city who grew up inan a different challenged circumstance that i did and i think i benefit the student from all that. probably about five times as many students just as qualified to attend so the ability to use an idea of composing a truly diverse class on the basis of diversity of expenses is something i'm sympathetic to but i would say the best way to screen for diversity of experience is to screen for the diversity of their experience. the best way to screen for diversity of thought, the diversity of their thought. the idea of using race or gender as a proxy, i think it commits
the transgression that racism committing in the first place, to conflate the content of some in stock with the color of their skin, many of which are rejected especially in the corporate sphere. i have a software corner as it pertains to the university's in the first class but at the end of the day would strictly be better off if we abandon affirmative action and instead began screening for diversity of experience and read and v up corporate workforces that don't work that different than they do today but a more vibrant diversity of thought and experience in the process. >> you talk about beneficiaries of what capitalism one chapter on the managerial clip, who you mean and how do they benefit? >> companies havee different
classes entrepreneurs and founders investors who back the founders, employees who follow from the three legs of the store. fourth leg, hired management. people who are paid by the holders in the port to run the company creates bureaucratic later intermediates those relationships. the problem with being a member that. the more people you are accountable to the less accountable you are to any given one of them. once you are accountable to everyone, you are accountable to no one from that's part of the story in the book the managerial class empowered itself increasing the number of not only shareholders, so that, to but stakeholders to whom they are accountable and i think one of the thingshe that allows them to have power is creating people accountable toat this so they cn
merely claim they are serving someone else interests when those two parties could never communicate to one another. it's a failure we discussed an economic loss close, problems arising from a steward for the present as the ultimate owner but i think that principle problem at large on steroids when you ultimately say not only are the ceos responsible for thousands of different shareholders but also people who aren't shareholders at all they might be stakeholders of the business and here is one thing that's missed like systemic racism, stakeholders, it's poorly defined. anyone could be a stakeholder in one think i lay out the book from the first book that plays out geopolitical implications of trend, once corporations become vectors advanced present values, they become vehicles to advance any values and nobody
managed to make themselves a quiet stakeholder on the list more effectively in thehe communist party of china and flexing its muscle as back stakeholder to do so, dangerous the futureonly for of the u.s. but also the pre-world as we know it. >> so that was my next question, how does china take advantage of this? >> i think by turning on the head of philosophy we called democratic capitalism in the 90s and 80s and the rest were we began, in my opinion from a on the misguided preference that we could use capitalism as a vector spread out political values like democracy. we thought we could use our money to get them to be more like us. instead, china has turned it on its head, they used their economic muscle and money to be more like them.
we sent big macs and happy meals thinking it would spread from but they got sneakersnt interesting movies and sent them back undermining american interest of the public stage. when you meet the demand of the stakeholder capitalism and especially wokepe capitalism, pt of the demand is companies criticize injustice, even micro- aggression. systemic racism transfer via or misogyny or bigotry or whatever today. yet, they do not take a peak as they continue to do business in china. they praised the chinese communist party from a couple of years ago they said they could not shoot a film and george drove to have the equivalent of antiabortion the heartbeat bill. yet, they didn't say a peep as they filmed on in china last year were over 1 million euros in concentration camps subject
to forced sterilization communist indoctrination from one of the t great rights abuses committed, disney doesn't say a thing. the end of the film if you look at the credit of mulan, and the credit, wiley thanked the local authorities including some of the authorities responsible for committing those atrocities. that's not just about hypocrisy. it's about the moral standing of the united states creating a false equipment between what i think is chinese challenges him and idealism and i think it erodes our greatest asset of all, it's our moral standing on the global stage. once we have lost that, i think we've lost our status as a great power in the defining cold war of the next century.
>> what do we do? we just need to change our racultural mindset? who is supposed to change their behavior? >> i think the biggest solution is in our culture, lay out a series of legal solutions that i think could make a difference, i think some of the problem traces back to an even application of public policy. what you see in the workforce right now, a lot of people are explain afraid only at work but even on their own term, people have been fired the last couple of years for what they set a home or on social media or wearing a trump hat to work, it's staggering and there are examples in the book, i think it is a product of application of applied.t either we get rid of protected classes like race and gender and sexual orientation and religionn altogether or we apply it
evenhandedly in a way w that reflects the real form of determination we see in the workplace today which i think is political perspective and political speech so political belief is a protected category right therefore race and sex origin. you can't be fired for being black or gay or jewish or christian or white or whatever, you shouldn't be able to be fired for being outspoken conservative or liberal for that matter solutions for section 230. section 230 is a statute that among other things, immunizes private companies on internet companies in particular state for removing content otherwise constitutionallyta protected. a statute that says otherwise constitutionally protected in the text of the statute itself. again, you can't have it both otways.
either you don't get the special protection for you do but if you are bound by the same constraints as the federal government itself including first amendment of the constitution of the united states and that's an argument i make companies like google, they are working hand in glove with the government hate speech or misinformation as the government defines it, is the government at the backboard but could not directly due to the front door on the constitution and my principal is, if it's state action disguised in the constitution still applies so high policy solutions and legal solutions come down to the principle that you can't have it both ways, apply policy if we apply them at all in an evenhanded weight against the backdrop thing we didn't need the sections in the first place. everybody else seems to think are necessary but they need to modernizehe them in a way to reflect unintended consequences of political determination it's created today and symptomatic
therapies. i think what we really need is a oftural appear, revival shared identities that marks americans today. i think we've lost that and patriotism is on theot decline n faith has nearly disappeared from hard work is absent, the things that used to fill moral rights woke has failed, they have disappeared. have to cancel progress in return capitalism i think diluted relevance by rebuilding a shared identity what it means to be an american in 2021 that makes these other philosophies look irrelevant by comparison. that's what i started in the book and i hope the book has an impact and beginning to move the ball forward toward a new decade will remain celebrate diversity as much but we will celebrate what binds us together. >> that's what i took from the book, if you're trying to educate the culture, it's harder in some ways you could get up politicians changing culture.
there may be some but i agree, it is hard. there's always unintended hunter princess of policies. unintended consequences on policy exposing the book, once that i didn't consider because that's the definition of unintended symptomatic from a surface level. what we really need is revival of shared americanri identity i haven't talked about this in other interviews but i think is probably one of the most important things to talk about, we lost of the pursuit of excellence as an ende in itself and i think america's rally had to make america great again, i don't think they were rallying behind donald trump, i think it was the unapologetic pursuit of excellence in and of itself and part of what american exceptionalism is all about we live in a moment where there is
a new into excellence culture that ionizesat victimhood hides from victory one of the defining ideals that's unifying is the shared pursuit of excellence itself and i do see a lot of that the progressive left and minority communities and white communities, to maybe blaming immigrants or kids in the generation of my kids rather than me have practiced nonchalance for their excellence in math and science with mediocrity set and i'm worried about that culture of mediocrity affecting public life. i would like to see is a revival of the pursuit of excellence as a shared american ideal that can bring us together and lift up the people who want to lift up along with it. a sequel for that but that is part of the a cultural revival here.
>> you mentioned the sequel and one question i asked, what is next? you've had anyo amazing career d created a pharma company and wrote a best-selling book and you are still a very young man so i am curious, what does the future hold for your? >> i made a commitment to myself earlier this year, i started thinking about that, my mind was in a number of different directions this spring the commitment i made to myself more than anyone else was to roll the cap and speak in an uninhibited way about what i actually thought the problem was and at least the beginning of what they solution could o be and one thig i quickly started learning as i started thinking about future possible paths from a prisoner of your own plan and the things tyou say and a means to an endf achieving whatever it is yound want to go after next and i found the way for me thought was
liberating was to not have a defined and at least for the time being, that is new for me. i've from the time i started my company, it was one big sequence like the alembic you watch people jumping over track and field, they jump over a hoop after another and that's a lot of what my adult life has been like for the better. i enjoyed it, it's been successful and i've been blessed with what that's given me but at the end of the day i want to take a year at least where i was prisoner in any way of what came next by figuring out what i want to say and say it in an uninhibited way and i believe i've done that in the book may help people benefit from it i feel thiss time next year i will figure out what plan is after that. >> a public intellectual having done all these other great
accomplishes in your life, can you see yourself getting involved in the political process? smith. >> people have really thrown back on my lap and a couple of different capacities, understand how its focus group reacts to it, it's hard to figure out what you got to say in your y own way. the last year end a half evening out for myself and i wanted to finish that and see it through before getting trapped in a political career. that being said, is in effect people can have going into politics, one thing i've learned from friends who have done it in the possibilitieses myself, it s not something you should do for any reason other than thinking
about it as service and if i did go into politics, it wouldn't be for a long time it's a brief defined stint art get out after i have served and done my part but i have become convinced as you said earlier a big part of the change we need to see his inner culture and lawmaking can't fix that. i think political leaders are drivers of change in culture? sure, i think so. ronald reagan did it but there are a lot of ways to drive cultural change within politics. a lot of what has come outside, i'm keeping my mind open to see where i can have most impact and selfishly along the way doing it. >> you see leaders moving in the right direction outio there? >> not that immediately come to mind. i'll be honest with you.
>> you explicitly endorse stakeholder capitalism, the idea capitalism is key. he's very explicit wanting to move in the opposite direction. >> it's not the direction i'm advocating here, i still rooted for his success for when he took office, he said he wanted to unify the country. i took him at his word and i was rooting for him to succeed because that would have been something probably brought our country need not more than anything else. i'm not sure how committed he is or even was that idea. look at the struggle with vaccination in the country, credit for the trump administration, forget about whether you think the guy, you like the guy or not, bring the
country together in the pandemic where you have vaccination, you put chester on my front of the greatest way to build solidarity credit to your predecessor other thanan yourself, that's what the great leaders do and i'm worried the president made his top unify the country, it's already fallen short to do the opposite of that. i think the full political spectrum, i see embodying that ideal, not right now if i am being honest but if we've learned anything from it somebody we are not thinking of right now and may not even be in the front pages of our newspapers. i'm sure that person or those people exist, i just hope they step up and do what our country needs. >> oftentimes they come out of nowhere and capture the imagination. we only have a few minutes left
and i wantt to move away from your book andd ask what other books you have written. i think it's a very readable, these are important issues and you present them inn a readable way, i don't think anybody would have trouble getting through. i read some of yours, to by the way. but if you look at your own intellectual development, i read on liberty, -- >> is there anything you would recommend for the reader? >> i read a bit of pieces, somebody who writes about the psychological way created by capitalism itself, the brothers
is a story i quoted in the book captures the human experience he come from the final title where christ comes back to earth in the middle of the spanish inquisition in the church price and he had him arrested and he puts them in a prison and the dialogue is what he says to christ in that prison tell, we, the church don't need you anymore. you being here is an impediment in the church and he sentences
price to death. when i talk about in the book is how to parallel the church of whdiversity where in the name of diversity with sentenced to death diversity of thought the while keeping up the appearance of diversity in multiview to my book but there are so many different layers beyond what i take from that lesson i took from there. more recently published r books that are not that are simple theories which i discussed in the book that d talks about philosophy on its own terms. james lindsay and helen from recent social media commentary, it's in my book as well but i quoted in my book and it's a corporal that came out recently that doesn't focus on the corporate sphere but more on academia. the parasitic mind academia, nobody had in corporate america,
some of these thinkers had developed in spheres of life beyond corporate america but i applied it to corporateme ameria and went to a different direction so those are a few things that stuck with me off the top of my head. >> thank you, great recommendations. thank you very much and congratulations on your book. >> thank you. i appreciate it. >> "afterwards" is available as a podcast listen, visit c-span.org/podcast or search c-span "afterwards" on your podcast up and watch this and previous "afterwards" interviews booktv.org. click the "afterwards" button near the top of the page. with the senate obsession, join us this week for book tv. today, a look at recent
"afterwards" programs. we start with a conversation congressman adam schiff about his new release title midnight in washington. then woke inc. later, lizzie johnson and her latest paradise is starts tonight 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. also, watch our programs on one booktv.org or follow on c-span now. our new video app. ♪♪ >> weekends on c-span2 on an intellectual piece. through saturday, he finds it exploring our nations pass on american history tv book tv that brings the latest in nonfiction books and authors. television for serious readers. learn, discover, explore. weekends on c-span2. ♪♪
♪♪ >> book notes plus. >> edward mozer is a historian, tour guide and author. his latest book is called lost history of the capitol, an account of many bizarre tragic and violent episodes around the u.s. capitol building from the founding of the federal city in 17902 contemporary times. many publishers in his career, he's been a speechwriter george herbert walker bush at a writer for the tonight show jake mental. >> the c-span now mobile app or wherever you get your podcast. ♪♪ >> next on "afterwards", journalist lizzie johnson folks at the root causes of california's 2018 campfire from the base u.s. wildfire and is country. society of american foresters ceo.
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