tv After Words Ben Shapiro The Authoritarian Moment CSPAN August 21, 2021 10:02am-11:02am EDT
relevant guests host nonfiction authors abouttheir latest work . >> i have the privilege and joy of interviewing ben shapiro about his new book, it is called "the authoritarian moment" i've got to ask you the most obvious question but it strikes me as not unimportant . your title , the authoritarian moment. it strikes me as a chilling, what is your book titled the
authoritarian moment. >> the reason is titled the authoritarian moment is because what we are experiencing is this moment in time which is sort of unique in american history. the rise of a militant authoritarian movement inside the united states that seems to have taken over all our institutions. i wanted to tackle the institutional takeover because when you think of authoritarianism they think of government taking control of everything but the point i'm making the title is we are all experiencing it together. it's not just the big government taking control over our all our lives because obviouslythat's not true . the government doesn't control every aspect of our lives. it's more about social authoritarianism that we see all around us . it's the water were all swimming in and we can all feel on the day-to-day level from our peers, from our bosses , but that sort of mail you has created a feeling of repression and
oppression in the united states and is being felt by a broad majority of americans again i think it's a unique productof the time we live in . >> i think the older one is, the more horrifying moment is the more obviously un-american it is to feel the way many people feel. i think a lot of younger people just because they don't, they don't have the history that this may seem normal or they don't understand how unprecedented it is for such a wide swath of americans to suddenly feel as though they have to be careful whatthey say . in the book you talk about how some people have tried to silence what you call the majority. i want to ask you about that but before that, in the beginning of the book you thought about how we haveto
first of all the fine for the authoritarians . a lot of people on the political left or in the mainstream media which has become the left mostly, they say that the authoritarian impulse is exclusively on the right. they cite what happened on january 6. how do you answer those faults? >> i'm not going to then there are authoritarians on the right. there are clearly people who don't like democratic processes on the right and they represent a small minority of right-wingers and they also have no institutional support. when i do find authoritarianism there's a well-known phenomenon the left talks about which is the idea that if you have a party rule following person and you wish to compel others to follow those rules that is what makes you an authoritarian but there's a lesser-known phenomenon . for a long time social scientists suggest there was such a thing as left-wing authoritarianismknow people on the left , it was not connected in authoritarianism
. you might say that doesn't make any sense, there are plenty of left-wing authoritarians . it's in china and the soviet union but because there's only social scientists leaning to the left there was an attempt to avoid defining authoritarianism wrongly enough to allow for the possibility of left-wing authoritarianism but after several decades of this was a political scientist defined and even three basic components. one was this idea of an anti-conventional is an, the idea that everybody who is not of high moral standards is inferior and lesser and this exists on the left and the idea is if you don't believe like many members of the left this makes you a big and this means that you're protected is somehow you don't belong, your not the company for anyoneelse and there's a second element that is top-down censorship , the idea that you want to be censoredbecause of this . going to use the mechanisms of power to shut you up to
protect everybody else. we definitely have to shut you up and there's an element of revolutionary aggression that is sort of connected to to authoritarianism, the idea being it's the institutions are responsible for all our elements that need to be formed down. the sort of infusion of all these things into the national democratic party ideology and now these institutional captured establishments, old institutions have to be remade and you have to reset. the idea you needed to be whisked into the cornfield if you believe the way they do. the notion we have these institutions of power and they need to fire you or take you off of facebook or reduce your reach in order to set that good decency may thrive, all these are aspects of left-wing authoritarianism . >> is fascinating that cultural memory is so important and anybody who's aware of happens with these blacklist hollywood automatically and i think through the decades we tend to think of this kind of
behavior of blacklisting as fundamentally un-american and typically used against anyone on the left. but it seems what you're describing in the book and what many of us have observed in america the last few years, it's precisely the opposite . there is scarcely any references to the mccarthy us blacklisting that happened in the 50s. it's as if that's just wiped away. but there are parallels . >> for sure. the reason for that goes back to what i say about this intellectual at berkeley, who suggested that in order to preservedemocracy, decency and liberalism there had to be something called repressive tolerance . it allows bad opinions to be tolerated and if those bad opinions might win so what we really require is repressive tolerance . you have to repress certain views to forward tolerance .
right-wing views are intolerant and terrible and therefore you need to be repressed and when you repress them you're doing that on behalf of tolerance. that may seem an orwellian twisting of thelanguage but that's become a go to arguments that in order to protect from the evil predation , we have to silence you. the reason you don't offend somebody or micro address them so their feelings are hurt we have to silence them in some way. what identity amounts to, it used to be that identity was formed in coordination with the body politic. it was formed in coordination with the rules of society the way you set alive a child . from society's institutions they became a civilized member of society but now the idea is when you raise a child you have to fight a way to help them find their authentic self.
that authenticity, citizenship, all that is to be done within and there's a group of people that say we don't like the way you're acting and this is an infringement on the identity. it's in french by the way some people disapprove of the things they're saying so different approval becomes an act of violence and then you require institutions to protect some acts of violence by cramming down this sort of censorship. >> what you're talking about for people who aren't listening to every syllable is this idea that somebody might today say because of my religious use, because i'm a serious christian or a serious jew or a serious muslim i have certain views about sexuality or forexample . what has changed the way you're describing is that that kind of this defense is not only something that somebody on the left or social left my crown on but it feels the need to cancel. it feels the need to force people to be somehow unable
in our civil society to all those views somebody has suddenly characterized as outdated and offensive. >> we live in an era of expressive individualism where human beings feel that they are owed a certain amount of applause from the world for our really choose to live their life people refuse to give that to them and those people have progressed upon them and that aggression in turn five the authoritarian measures be seen, that people have to be silenced or forced into compliance. sometimes it does take the form of government pressure. we've seen high-profile cases of people who simply say i don't wish to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding because i'm a religious christian . i'm not going to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, this person phillips has been persecuted by colorado and he's been takingto the supreme court . there's an overt attempt to suppress his ability to live life as he sees fit.
if were going to a country together a certain point where going have to say you think what you want and i live my life how i want. and we're going to have to take the perspective that sort of john stuart mill perspective that you can wave your fist around until you hit me in the face of the definition of actual harm has to be revivify. actual harm is if i harm you. it's not that make you feel bad or how ithink about the world . unfortunately i think that distinction has gone away. >> is my contention and i see it on my own radio program and in public speeches that i believe most americans know what you describe. they understand that it's preposterous in america to be able to try to get people to think a certain way, to force them to think a certain way. most americans understand this but it's what we might call the cultural elites that have had great success in enforcing this new idea which i would say is not only un-american but somehow
anti-american. so how do you define freedom and in other words what are the parameters here for somebody sitting in right now would say i don't know, if somebody has views i don't like white and i be able to persecute them or marginalize them. what are the parameters, what are the limits of that kind of behavior, where is it civil in americans and when does it become authoritarian. >> when we talk here really what we're talking about is when is cancellation appropriate, when is cancel culture. and my basic idea of when it's appropriate is when somebody should lose their jobs when the perspectives they hold impact the job they're doing in a direct way. if you're a plumber, you really don't have to or you shouldn't as a moral human being say that your plumber doesn't yet to be a plumber because he voted for a person different than you. it's however let's say for example you work in the political sphere the way i do and let's say your perspective is your alexa
premises . it's fair for people to say i don't wish to engage with that person is of their viewpoints that impacts what i'm doing. because we got rid of that decision there's now this quest to turn everything private in terms of viewpoint into something public so now we dig out the facebook post your plumber and try to ruin his life and career and his business if you don't like what he has tosay on facebook . at a mistake in going to lead to dark results because most people post something that is cancelable on facebook or on twitter. this becomes egregious when you see institutions of power doing this sort of stuff especially because it's not as sort of i would say neutral, morally neutral as i make it out to be what you often have corporations that have a specific point of view they wish mirror and if that's not nearer, then you could find yourself in serious trouble so if you're working a corporation and it's the middle of the black lives matter movement and everyone around you is posting a black square on the
integrated page and you don't post a black square some of your colleagues go to your blog and say it's offensive that you didn't post a black square you could findyourself in the bosses office losing your job because you didn't mirror the priorities of the people who work atyour company and usually it's a small minority of people care . this is the point that is most relevant here is that when you look at the institutions of how it changed , the renormalization of the institutions which is a term that use by again social scientists and the idea that you can take an institution and change the orientation of the institution with basically 20 percent of the people who work there doing all the work and everybody else just surrendering, that's led to radical results. >> this brings to mind at least2 things . the first thing, when people started talking about hate speech, i'm not sure when it was for the crimes. that to me was the dividing
line. i thought to myself if i murder you ben shapiro because you're a jew and i hate jews, how is that different than if i murder you because you're like for because i was just crazy and i wantedto murder someone . does that have to do with anything when were talking about the law. that struck me as a odd moment in the culture when why someone committed murder or committed a crime matter. obviously it matters to some extent in some ways but really in terms of just the legality of it. it just struck me as fascinating that that somehow i don't know how would enter the law. and it seems that kind of crossing the lines a way for what we're talking about. >> that's right.
one of the things that happened and you can see it particularly with regard to actual legal basis there's a real good first amendment case that he crimes should not actually be a category. that the government should not have a specific level of prosecution for a murder based on hatred of race because again, that kind of goes to individual perspective that may be ugly but is not barred by the first amendment there are reasons why that was succeeded and why it's been accepted and that is because people have the adopted the perverse view that if somebody misuses rights, the right itself is bad. if an individual right is misused that means the individual rights is to blame so we haveto subsume the individual right so people shouldn't miss use it . you see this happening with regard to social media . people are posting stop maybe some folks on the left don't like or maybe they're abusing it by pulsing posting false or racist information. there's a rush to curtail your information on social media because the idea is the
individual right itself is the problem that a core component of left-wing authoritarianism. this goes to the top down censorship, the idea that individual rights are the threat. the idea that individual rights are a threat to the utopian regime we want to bring about therefore individual rights have to go away. individual rights are a guys for hierarchal power designed to discriminate against other people . that is an anti-american philosophy. >> we're talking about cultural marxism. you referenced the frankfurt school. what strikes me as fascinating is these ideas which are pretty much relegated to the academy have finally over the decade trickled down into mainstream culture. in other words the idea that if i don't post a blm square
on my social media the idea that somebody might look at me funny. in any other generation that would have struck people as fastest. the kind of thing the nazis did. if you don't sayhow loud enough for suspicious . that's the kind of thing most americans knew instinctively. they knew instinctively that was deeply un-american. what do you think has changed that many americans particularly younger americans don't seem to recognize that as a threat to americanself-government ? >> there's a lot of americans because they've grown up fat and happy with these rights in their back pocket failed to understand the importance of the rights that is why evil, young people are talking about whether they would complain to administration or perhaps a professor or fellow student that something was offensive for certain speakers should be barred on the basis of perspective. these are basic first amendment notions and yet a
huge number of young americans don't believe in them for the economic rights which are individualin nature don't i hear people . their collective is in charge of how economics distributes particular resources. i think some of that comes from ignorance of any other system and if you grew up in america and you've never seen how many other system works you have a warmer view of other systems when you been taught from you the flaws of america and let very little of its witness but beyond that i think most americans have been taught is this idea that their duty in life is to find the authentic self anybody passing on the back about authentic self is good andanybody who does not as bad .what we need more than anything else is validation from the people around us. so if people don't validate you, if the economy doesn't validate you, that is the problem with the systems of power, it's never a problem with you is your authentic self is you were meant to be anybody who threatens that has to besilenced . it's not that we were guaranteed life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
we were guaranteed guarantee happiness as defined by us so we agreed upon economics to meet this are now redefining the natureof government and free speech . and it's really dangerous. >> the book of course is titled the authoritarian moment. and there's something chilling and yet hopeful in the title the authoritarian moment because it strikes me authoritarian moment can be sort of the high point of the way. there's a moment and then suddenly by god's grace enough americans wake up to the significance of what's happening and begin to move against it. i can't help thinking not least because i wrote the book on the nazis by parallel that we're experiencing now. there was a moment in germany in the 30s when people had the freedom to push back against what they saw. but they didn't recognize where it was going. they hadn't had, they didn't
have a historical reference to understand where it might go. german leaders have been basically good so they didn't ask when they had that moment to act. i wonder if that's the same today in america. when somebody starts putting cultural pressure you don't realize how horrific it is and how anti-american it is and where it's going until you say nothing for now. and then the question is will you be able to say something tomorrow or will you be totally silent so when you say the authoritarian moment in the title, you have that some americans are waking up to where we are. >> a lot of americans are waking up and what you're making is an important one because obviously if you look at german history the consolidation of power in the central government predates his hitler but the enabling
act was the final step in his takeover of power but germany was essentially operating in a quasi-dictatorship until 1930 and because people were notas threatening or dangerous as hitler it was given the go-ahead by a huge swath of the population and all the major political parties . that sort of thing is common in human history that the instruments of destruction is made available and it's only when somebody dangerous mix it up to make clear. the instruments of this option are being made available at all of the institutions are being westernized on behalf of a particular point of view . there's nothing that says the left is going to get the wheel that power and so even left i think should be a little bit scared of sort of the power that's being wielded as far as the blowback i think that's begun. you're seeing it in the broad national movement against critical race theory.you're seeing it in the newfound willingness to push back against corporations that are involving himself in sort of the political predation and political crackdowns. i think there is a burgeoning movement even among sort of traditional liberals against
some of this stuff. i think the future of the country is not going to rely on the hard work that conservatives do. the future of the country lies with the radical left, the question of the country where it lies going forward is going to lie with traditional liberals who may disagree with the right on goals but agree with the right on means and may agree with the radical left on their utopian goals disagree with the left on the radical left willingness to subsume individual rightson behalf of power . if liberals they we agree with you on things like nationalized healthcare and taxes, we agree with all those things but you don't get to destroy individual rights or get people fired for no reason . you don't get to destroy people's lives because they disagree and we can still have a country . if the liberals they you guys are so long wrong are going to move on because it's so important that we reach utopia that we preserve anything like an open society
things are goingto get ugly fast and it's not going to end with the complete subjugation of the right . it's going to end with separation by the right and you're seeing more talk about this over time as people for example there's a recent poll that showed people in southeast states which tend to be more red 56 percent of republicans in the state are saying we be happy to see if you guys keep pushing this that that sentiment is only going to get more widespread the more the middle collapses. >> your first chapter is calledhow to silence the majority .talk about that because a lot of people are wondering how this happened. he can hear about things like the long march through the institutions which has been happening but suddenly it seems recently people are feeling we arebeing silenced now 10 years ago, 20 years ago . that was not something we had to take seriously in mainstream america, what happened ? >> the answer is the rudest and loudest can triumph with a small minority of anyone.
studies demonstrate if you have a group of people, it takes about 20 percent to re-normalize the group . let's say you have a family of four and one of the kids, the daughter decides she's a begin. she says to mom you can cook whatever you want but i need a separate vegan meal. now mom has a decision to make. she can cook three meals and ev can meal for the daughter or cook one vegan meal for the rest of the family and she says i don't have time for this, we will go begin for tonight. she goes begin for the family so now you have one daughter who helped held to a particular position and everybody else is going along with that particular position. now let's say there's a neighborhood barbecue and the barbecue involves five families in each of these families as for members so now this family since our daughter is beginning, we've been eating the because it's important so we just going to
need a begin option and the host says i understand people want to meet but isn't that big of a deal, do i really want to schlep over the to the market, let's just do it allbegan so they do begin so now you have 20 people who have been re-normalized by one person . all it takes is this sort of move you take an intransigent and loud minority who is unwilling to move and a lot of people whoare willing to go along to get along and that's what happened through so many of our institutions . a very loud minority acyclic threatens people in the middle by saying we're going to come after you. we will call you racist and sexist and try to destroy you if you don't just go along and you're just being nice, if you go along you're being nice. you really should just be quiet. there's that process hereto and you can see it on college campuses. it went from the cordial, be nice on matters of any political debate, there are going to be things that offend people. if you're talking about race and you talk about crime
people on campus will say don't mention that, it offends people when you talk about that or if you talk about sexual values and you happen to be a traditionalist , just don't go there because it offends people and why can't we have a nice dinner? turns quickly into peaches violence. your form of speech is not just offending me, it is progressing me. you're doing something that harms me now is not just a reflection of being nice, why can't you be nice to? obviously you're an aggressive person in yourform of speech is violence . when i spoke about the first amendment people were chanting speech is violence and you get to the third step which issilence is violence . here the idea is that it's not enough. you're supposed to shut up and listen, step one was just be nice, step two is shut up and listen . in step three was you must mirror what we are saying or
you become part of the mom and part of the opposition. either you are going to mirror what we say or we are going to take you from the opposition and we are going to destroy you and it's a step-by-step process but each step doesn't feel particularly egregious, each step doesn't feel like a lot is being asked but just like boiling a lobster by the time you hit the end of it the lobster is boiled. >> i think the reason so many americans voted for trump and why so many americans really loved him and had this emotional connection with trump is he seems in his way to fundamentally understand what was happening and was willingto fight against it . that to me is the problem today is that a lot of the people who want to be seen as civil, they don't understand there is a time when somebody's shooting at your head and you need to take that seriously. trump seems to have taken that at least somewhat seriously, more seriously than most in the republican
party. where do you think this goes today? where are our politics today because i think your average american is maybe not listening to a conversation like this or doesn't have the time to worry about who was her mouth was up, they just know this is horrifying . this is fundamentally un-american. maybe they can't explain why but if somebody's fighting for these basic values whether in a ham-fisted way or not, they want to champion the person as a leader. >> there's a lot of truth to that and i think to a certain extent, trump was basically a lot of americans pulsating middle finger to an elite establishment that said you need to sit down and shut up and i think you're a bunch of rubes and idiots. not only that trump is punching a lot of people they want punched and many times over the course of the trump era trump would hammer and when he hit the nail was satisfying.
sometimes it hit a kitten and it wasn't as satisfying but there were a lot of people thrilled with that that trump would hit the nail where so many politicians had said you're right, i'm going to concede the argument and at least i won't be perceived as a not nice guy. what the party needs to do and what americans need to do more generally is not make the mistake of identifying civility with conciliation. not the same thing . you can be civil and stand your ground. you can say i'm not going to insult you, what i'm going to do is stand my ground and say no. i'll say no and i don't acquiesce and if you are calling me a racist maybe it's because you're a fool. maybe it's because you have no evidence and is the last resort of a scoundrel. if people begin to do that whether politically or socially that will make an awful big difference and you're starting to see this reflected in the politicians are rising to the floor on the republican side of the eye. the one that comes to mind is ron desantis who's been
militant in standing up to the media. he's not rude or vulgar, he just stands up to that . >> .. >> let's talk about the media is complicit in this. again i canceled my subscription to the "new york times" because i always knew that it leaned left that during the trump era i was genuinely horrified to see the front page become editorial. but the whole or of course is not that it's an editorial but that it is pretending still to
be journalism. what do you think happened in american newsrooms? is this exactly what happened in the culture at large? it's strange to me just so few dissenters because in the journalistic class you would expect people who really understood that there are on the mental values about how we do journalism, how we do democracy. i see almost no one in the mainstream media come in the mainstream journalistic classes who really have talked about this issue at all. >> the dissenters i've heard. the people who talk about these issues in the losing their job or quitting the "new york times" i've essentially being persecuted, and one of the great mistakes made by the country, by conservatives was 20 years ago, 30 years ago when people were warning about this but when they hit the real world that will go away. they will have to pay taxes,
engage with the rest of society what if they left the universities and problems values and normalized all these institutions? that seems to what happened at these major newspapers. the "new york times" is the fact overrun by nikole hannah-jones which seeks to get the people routinely which lies about american history and when's pulitzers. everybody is supposed to genuflect at the altar of nikole hannah-jones and if you don't you might find yourself out. if you cross the mildest line which that like like a move then you find yourself out. you can be the editor ede editor and finders of out of a job because you write a pretty generic op-ed by a united states senator. you can be donald mcneil and be the science writer for the "new york times" and finders of out of a job because on a school trip a while ago you said to a student there were certain uses of the inward not the same uses
of the inward and newspaper campfire you over that after the groundswell. this comes to the nature of a bunch of little some of these institutions. the "new york times" was a liberal and has been for decades. the problem is liberals didn't have the courage in saying to the radicals we have may agree with you on a lot of these policies but you don't get to destroy individual rights and individual freedoms and freedom of the press and the ability to think broadly. you don't get to destroy that in the name of your agenda but liberals are embarrassed. they have gone along with the woke because they decide the woke have a point which is ie are the beneficiaries systems of power. i did inherit this newspaper, i am privileged so how can i a privileged white person safe to nikole hannah-jones that my standards of individual rights are correct while she's arguing those standards are merely be enshrinement of hierarchy that
keeping might vanish in the first place. there is this deep level of guilt. it is linked to white guilt that has pervaded so much of our institutional life and it means there's almost a waiting and ready surrender caucus inside these institutions the woke up taking advantage of. >> you believe in god. i believe in god. the biblical god. do you have hope that we can get through this as a country and as a culture, and is your hope strictly limited to the sphere of this world, is your hope anchored in your faith? >> i think my hope is always anchored in my faith because god makes promises and keeps those promises from a point of view. as far as a hope for the country i think americans are getting tired of this. it is boring, annoying, irritating. and so far there hasn't been a mass movement to reject it. the vast movement is kind of
comment and i can't tell you how many people who disagree with me on nearly everything about politics i have talked to lately who will resonate to the messages i'm saying. will say it is weird we can't have it open conversation. it is weird that if they invite me on their show that their own audience will get so angry that they will cancel them. that's untenable and he can't be carried forward. the problem is they need to state openly. i've had this experience many times where people on the left who i am a friendly with let's say, what i call the happy birthday problem. on my birthday i often receive happy birthday messages from prominent people for liberal or left leaning. no one was happy birthday publicly intuitive. the reason is this a bit technology a person they disagree with was born a woman. you acknowledge the community some who disagrees with your politics or all of your fans might think you are sympathetic to their political positions. this really is a form of --
pretty dramatic and astonishing. what we need is for people to consider themselves goodhearted liberals to say this stuff out loud. i talk about in the book i talk about in the introduction the situation that is a perfect example of this. there's an actor, writer and producer, director in hollywood. made a bunch of indie films and e-mail our company maybe three years ago and he wanted to do some sort of documentary or show having to do with the second amendment. he set of what you talk to someone so i can get the perspective. that's nice, nice someone in hollywood cares enough to talk to someone who likes the second amendment. he came in, spent about an hour half, talked, very nice guy and as he's leaving i said listen for your own good don't tweet you were here. as a friendly piece of advice. you tweeted you get a bunch of nonsense. there's no reason to do. you got what you needed and it's nice to meet you and all the rest. a couple weeks later he decided he would be a nice guy and so we
went on twitter and tweeted at something like i might disagree with what most of what ben cheever has to say but he's a goodhearted person. he got hit so hard by the left that he pulled down the tweet and instead to up upper new t thing i did not realize my own sin in doing this. i didn't realize, i don't side with racism and bigotry and i'm still in the process of mourning. this sort of stuff happens all the time. all he had to say is right, so? when people can add trim that's old had to do was say and? so on from there with him. i just said don't agree with everything but so what? there are people and left brave enough to do that. lots of leftist guess who, , my sunday special which is a hour-long interview show and i i have warned virtually everyone on the the left will get blowback. the one to come on the show said i don't care. they get the blowback and it's over. that's the thing that so amazing that all this is it's a mirage.
it's a mirage. the notion these people, small group of people should be able to cancel anybody or broad majority of americans care enough about your old facebook post that you should lose your job or put your business in danger is insane and all it takes is somebody shouting that the emperor has no clothes particularly summer from the left come for this in pretty quickly. >> i was think of reagan at the brandenburg gate when he gave the famous speech and the line mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall. the reason i think of that is it strikes me as a moment of real leadership in that the folks at foggy bottom told and over and over and over again you cannot say that, you must not say that. and he said it. in other words, he didn't listen to them even though they tried very hard and simply did it. there's some blowback and then it's over and then is recognized as a hero and a leader in the
demons trouble because when you have a leader like that, a leader like that can defeat communism, can defeat the evil totalitarianism that was in the world of soviet empire. seems to me individually we used to have a class of americans who understood that and to live like that and that the reason where we are is where we are as because most people today i think would say if the folks at foggy bottom say i can't say this, i better not say it. what do you think has changed fundamentally? i guess let me say, i think it is the 50 years of hollywood singing a different song. we don't have frank capra films or john wayne films. we have different kind of film that exalts the antihero and on and on and on, and that has had a powerful cultural effect on
what people think it means to be an american. so that's my guess. what do you say? >> two factors. when is something you mention which is the decline of religion. there were these objective moral standards and so long as you were not actively harming somebody then you should consider them a member of your community. you should use things like forgiveness. what we are talking about now and with the left is engaging in this authoritarian movement is a religion without god, it has been for a long time. it's a pagan form of religion in which you must be answerable to a never moving mob that changes the lines that will and you must make sacrifices otherwise you'll be declared a a part of the m. the religious impulse with his shifting authoritarian politics that truly ugly. on a cultural level that's a huge problem. the decline of family has been a serious issue because families tend to be behind and when you have collapsed the families that tends to fragment. social media has exacerbated this because social media used
to be if you want to put together a mob of terrible people you had to go out and seek them up, door-to-door, this thing happen, let's go take advantage of this into the terrible thing. let's go into the attic is what horrible people. you would have to coalesce around a particular cause. now you basically have a mob online waiting to coalesce. it's a mob waiting. it's a lot easier to mobilize because it's all international and national in scope. all it takes is only to tweet one bad thing and there's 10,000 people tweeting at them about how terrible they are and calling of the boston telling the not to lose their job. that is a major factor. when you talk about hollywood and moral narrative there something there but i don't think it is a focus on quote-unquote antihero. it's the nature of what hollywood considers a roll cast change. heroes and her films it's not that they're so much at the here's it's that their victims. the people who were supposed to feel for our victims. normally in sort of a heroes
journey joseph campbell paradigm if you're telling a story you is a person who might be victimized by circumstance, an obstacle and then they overcome it. but they're supposed be fighting something higher and a value. in our society because as a keep coming back to authenticity is the key value, a person victimized anytime they are threatened which means them living for most authentic life is a make some heroic. this has bled over into our politics to the extent every hero from our past and we are turned down statues of george washington erecting statues of george floyd. i think what happened to george floyd is authenticity of what he thinks what happened to george floyd is awful but the notion that george floyd was a civil rights you like rosa parks or mlk is insulting to him okay and rosa parks. the man was a victim of police brutality. that does not mean you build a statues of victims of police brutality while tearing down statues of george washington who apparently they are all significantly better than. that contest is telling you if you believe in the sketch of
george floyd the contrast is pretty telling. >> i have to ask, it seems to me the reason so many people are foolishly drifting along with the zeitgeist so to speak is because they don't seem to have the knowledge, they were not educated to understand where this always goes here when you think about what happened to the french revolution you can look at the cultural revolution in china under mao. it's so horrific when you see where it goes, what it does to human beings. anybody with any knowledge of those things which see where we are now that is exactly where it goes. why do you think people, adults, many of them ivy league educated adults, seem to have no idea of these parallels? >> so first of all a lot of them think they are the good guys. true good authority as has never been tried is sort of the ideology on campus. in the past these things up in
use for bad. we're not in favor of struggles but our kind of struggles are different and those are good. >> but does anybody believe that mao thought he was evil or that the people prosecuting his agenda were evil? hitler thought he was a good guy. the nazis thought of doing good. is there any question now? >> no. that's the point, the people doing this now think they're doing this on behalf of the angels. that's part of it. for people in the middle the notion the free and prosperous life we've been granted because we've been building on the shoulders of giants for generations, that free prosperous incredibly blessed life that we all live, the greatest privilege in the world is to be born in america. that's an unbelievable privilege. that's true historically, true contextually right now and for all time in all places. this is an amazing place to be
and a place to live. but because we take them for granted the verse from the bible comes to me from deuteronomy that you sure got fat -- that really is what it is. we are fat, happy, lazy, with all the things we want at the click of a button and that's the way normality is. normally does what we have right now which means any movement from normal can only be good. it can only be towards utopia. this is the baseline, this is the natural status the thinks is. you get this from folks on the left or isac quote from nelson mandela one of the dumbest quotes have ever seen where he said something like prosperity is a national state of maine. poverty stuff the national active natural statement. that is the lawsuits are many people people living in the united states that all the good things that we have in the united states are not the product of the systems they despised it is not the product of individual rights we hold dear. it is a natural state of the world. it's individual rights and is is assistance at a brought us all the bad things. all the things that are uniquely good about america are not unique, universal to all the things that are universally bad and also play in america are unique to america.
that seems to be upside down philosophy. >> everywhere i i go i bump io people from cuba or from the former soviet union, they see what we are talking about with crystal clarity. the only reason i think i see it may be more clearly than my friends because my mother grew up in east germany, by father grew up in greece when the communists tried to take over after the second worker a raise be without trying very hard to know how particularly wicked and cruel communism is and, therefore, even without thinking, to love america simply because freedom is the antithesis of that. but i am kind of amazed at what you say, that americans somehow are so myopic, so blessed that they think this is normal. they think what we have always had here is normal, rather than a wild idea that almost shouldn't logically have succeeded but did and so we
should be grateful that we should keep the republic. do you have hope that because of where we are now people are waking up to this who have been asleep to? >> i think they are. the other day i was speaking with somebody who widely disagrees with me who is a professor at a major university campus and came up to me is that i disagree with everything you say but i want to have a conversation with you about it. i think my student should have a conversation with you about it. i was shocked. i'm getting notes from people who are saying i used to really disagree with all the things you're saying and i still disagree with a lot of your politics but i have to tell you i am living in fear. a lot of people living in fear and when you realize people living in fear are the majority that the minority, every single american political group and exception of people who consider themselves far left says they're uncountable uncomfortable to say what they think it public. every single political group. that means there is a proper julia people who are feeling really uncomfortable at this
moment and there only two ways out. one is complete surrender and the other is consolidation and a pushback. i hope the consolidation and pushback comes in a positive and useful way. one of the big problems with the authoritarian push we're seeing from the left is politics is extraordinarily reactionary and reactive and you could get a reaction that looks uglier than the restoration of classical liberalism and a sort of adherence to individual rights. you could see something that looks more like you using the auspices of government to grant and your values. we will go directly other way. all the tools you created for yourself we will now use against you. that would end simile come with the breakup of the country. there may be people who are happier on the right at that prospect that people on the left of people and left are happy with the prospect right now. the question for a lot of americans ask is do you wish to live in the schedule with these people? if the answer is yes then you have to make the concession that neutrality to be the default when it comes to institutions as
opposed to the specifications being weaponized the heart of the left pushes the heart of the right will push back and it will, in some pretty underweight. >> talk about your chapter on how science defeated actual sites. you have atm next to the first signs. i was at that size quote-unquote defeated actual sites? >> normal science is a process. scientific process. every scientist will tell you this. there's a institution called the science. there's the person who is the repository of the sites. there's just a scientific process that comes up with the conclusion that are either verified or not and subject to being overturned as we gain new knowledge in dita. that's normal science. then there is the size. every time you heard listen to the science, or every time you heard during the global warming, although global warming debate you to follow the science. bigamy follow the data. they don't mean follow the process that site making her with the meanest there's this guy you need to agree with them
and if you don't then you are assigned to deny. you saw that out so the crystal clear when he came to covid for example, where the science originally said you're not supposed to get together in large numbers. shouldn't go to church, should have at your church can go to lockdown protest. this is dangerous because this is passed in her profession. okay either that's true or it's not. let's assume it's true and then within a couple of weeks they switch to as long as you're protesting for george floyd you can be in very large numbers of people, pretend there is no risk. in fact, you're the public health duty to go in protest for george floyd in the middle of the pandemic, 20 million strong. it's necessary and yet scientist saying this, it is a public health duty to do all this. you sought with regard to vaccines. it was obvious to anybody who follow the date of the best way to trot out the vaccine was to give did all the people first, there was no other. people who are older with the people most at risk and yet the west they pushed inside the
biden administration to instead trots out the vaccine on the base of racial equity which by the way would've ended with more debt black people because you up and giving vaccine to young black people not as many to all black people and they're much more likely to die. all of this was a hijacking of the process of science and legitimacy we all feel. site is great because its objective, terrific because it has results. but the transition away from science as a process to science as a body of people must be listened to at all points leads to a couple of very specific problems. one is called sciences speaking outside the area of expertise, scientist saying i and epidemiologist but not have real thoughts of racial injustice. that is really silly and undermine science and a leads to a converse bleed over fact which is where you have people who are political speaking about scientific issues and assess impact where scientists infuse politics into their own sites. this leads to weird things like
nature magazine declaring that there's the such thing boys and girls. or that you have "scientific american" declaring their only going to publish papers bits on impact of the papers which is totally anti-science or when you have great scientist declaring for certainty that there's no such thing as biological sex and gender is all in the mind. none of this is back by anything remotely resuming science and if you don't listen to the site then this means you a science denier and some sort of backwards person. >> is as always, well, it's horrifying when you think this is happening in america and in the west, and again because i wrote bonhoeffer and unfamiliar with that time, is exactly what happened in germany. there was a reagan science, national socialists insisted there's this new science and we don't want to listen to the old science anymore. we don't want any jewish science. science. we want pure aryan science and
so they started pushing preposterous racial theories and so on and so forth. how is it possible that this is happening in the west right now? i mean, it's astonishing to me that science is undermining science, scientists are undermining scientists, journalists have undermined journalism. how do we get back to any sense of objectivity in either of those? >> the power is unbelievable aphrodisiac and scientists because it understand they are the most respected people in america that science is the most respected institution in america dentist and this gives an extraordinary power to wield behalf on the social change they want to see. that's really dangerous point they're acting outside their area of expertise and outside of their actual purview and that is dangerous stuff it as first journalism you see the same thing. you'll see generals say it's our job to hold the powerful to account for effect social
change. your job is to explain the facts happening right now. that's literally your job. and yet journalists have taken it upon themselves with instruments of social change, instruments of making the world a better place. you can make the world a a ber place by doing your actual job. once you decide your actual job is not to do your actual job comes your actual job is to affect social change and a real job like telling facts that come second to begin in the same weight for sites kim yong chol job was to follow the scientific process but that you will decide your real job is to court in court change the world on a social level. you can start perverting things to make that. as you said this is happened in totalitarian regimes in the past. the willingness to overlook basic laws of economics leads to the great famine. the willingness to destroy science in soviet union leads to a downfall. there's precedent for it but just because there's precedent does anyone people feel the ring of power instead of casting it in the mountain dew, i wear this
around and see how it does. >> it's way too much fun to talk to. congratulations on the book "the authoritarian moment" but let me ask you to my question figure five seconds. first question what's the capital of north dakota? >> bismarck, right? >> correct. second question, when you enter with me on my tv radio program very soon? >> i would be happy to do that. >> that was so easy. ben shapiro congratulations on "the authoritarian moment" and on-call that you are doing.