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  • You

  • Well, I'm pleased today to be talking to Ben Shapiro

  • Ben I think really doesn't need an introduction at least not to most of you who will be there watching or listening to this given

  • That he's now one of the most recognized individuals on the american political

  • journalism scene in any case

  • Ben's an American Lawyer writer journalist and political commentator. He's written 10 books

  • The latest of which is the right side of history a reason and moral purpose made the West great

  • Which has become a number one New York Times bestseller. I think it's at number four right now

  • I

  • think Ben just mentioned to me that he sold about a hundred and fifty thousand copies since it was released and that was only a

  • Couple of weeks ago so that's going very well. He became the youngest nationally syndicated column in the u.s. At age 17

  • he's also one of the most recognized current commentators on the new media YouTube and

  • Podcasts serves as editor in chief for The Daily wire which he founded and is the host of the Ben Shapiro show

  • which runs daily on podcast and radio

  • He's managed to transform himself into a one-man media empire and it's quite the accomplishment done

  • He's also an extraordinarily interesting person

  • I think to fall Omaha to watch in his interactions with people publicly because he's an unbelievably sharp debater and one of the

  • Fastest verbally fastest people that I've ever met. So it's good. We're gonna talk about his book today

  • That's the right side of history. How reason and moral purpose made the West great and I can tell you right there

  • there's four reasons for social justice types to be irritated just if the

  • Just at there

  • What would you call it the daring of the title? So let's talk about it

  • Tell me about your book

  • The reason that I wrote the book is because in 2016, I kind of looked around and

  • For the record I didn't vote for either of the presidential candidates in 2016

  • Neither of them met my minimum standard to be President based on the evidence and I looked at

  • The sort of attitude that had changed in America used to be that we'd have elections and they were really fraught people were angry

  • Other people were upset each other but the rage seemed almost out of control in the last election cycle in 2016

  • I was personally receiving enormous number of death threats for my positions on

  • Politics I was receiving enormous amount of hatred from the the alt-right

  • I know that there are some of the media like the economists who have falsely labeled me outright

  • Which is hilarious to me since I've been their most outspoken critic for several years at this point and that year in 2016

  • I was their number one target according to the anti-defamation league

  • One of those tricky enough to be part of the alt-right and also their enemy, right? No we Jews man

  • Various

  • Yeah

  • In any case. Yeah, I was receiving all sorts of blowback for that at the same time

  • I was going on college campuses and being protested to the extent that I was requiring hundreds of police officers to accompany me on

  • At certain college campuses and I started to think

  • There is something deeply wrong here and it's not just that we are disagreeing with each other

  • it's that there's a certain level of hatred and tribalism that's building up in American politics that I hadn't really seen before there was a

  • feeling like

  • Even back as late as 2009 that America was moving in the right direction. You post Obama's election

  • There was a feeling like, okay. Well, we have the same fundamental principles. We're trying to perfect those principles

  • We may disagree over the ramifications of those principles. Some of us may want more government involved in health care

  • So must want less some of us may want more regulations in markets

  • Some of us may want less or redistribution ism or non or non redistribution ISM

  • But the the fundamental principles things like free speech things like the inherent value of the individual

  • Things like the idea that I'm supposed to

  • Generally respect your right to your own labor

  • these these were all things that we sort of agreed on and then we were trying to broaden that out to encompass further groups and

  • As time moved on it seemed like we were moving away from a lot of those fundamental assumptions

  • He started to see rises in the opioid epidemic in suicide rates

  • He started to see a general level of unhappiness crop up that was reflected in the political tribalism

  • I was feeling but wasn't reflected more general as more generally in

  • actual lowered life

  • Expectancy in the United States for the first time in decades and I started to think there's an actual deeper problem wrong here

  • Than just we disagree on politics. There's something deeply wrong here. We don't trust our institutions anymore by poll data

  • Most of us don't know or trust all of our neighbors all of this stuff speaks to a dissolution of the social fabric

  • So why is that happening? What's and this is nearly unjustifiable. I mean if you look at us just from a material prosperity level

  • It's unjustifiable. If you look at us from a political freedom level it's unjustifiable

  • We are the freest most prosperous people in the history of the world and yet we're totally pissed off at each other all the time

  • and we're filling that that hole with anger and with social mobbing on online and with woke scolding and

  • And where's all this coming from?

  • and that led me to to write the book which

  • essentially argues that

  • We've forgotten the foundations of our civilization the principles we used to holding calm and have deep roots

  • and when we forget those roots we tend to move away from the principles themselves, and this is

  • Manifested in what I think is the great debate over Western civilization right now one side

  • Which says Western civilization was rooted in good eternal immutable truths that were not always perfectly realized and that over time

  • We have we have moved toward greater realization of and that's why the West is great

  • That's why the West has provided material prosperity to the vast majority of the globe

  • It's why 80 percent of people have been raised from abject poverty since 1980

  • It's why you've seen this this massive increase in the number of people who are living in decent conditions

  • It's also why you see a rise in democracy a rise in political liberalism. Small small-l kind of classical liberalism

  • all of this is the results of the West and so we ought to thank the West and we got to look back to the

  • roots and see what is there worth preserving and then there's a that seems I would say to be a viewpoint that would have broadly

  • characterized both

  • Conservatives and classic liberals as far as I'm concerned no research. That's right

  • and

  • then there's the second point of view and the second point of view has cropped up and become very prominent in the West in the

  • last

  • couple of decades

  • Particularly since the 1960s and that perspective is that Western civilization is really just a mask for hierarchy that basically there's a bunch of power

  • Hierarchies and subjugate sub and not natural hierarchies

  • forcible oppressive hierarchies white people against black people rich people against poor people

  • the powerful against the non powerful the 1% against the 99% and all of these institutions things like the

  • Things like the things like free speech itself things like free markets

  • These are actually just excuses for domination and subjugation. They're not actual principles. We hold to they're not important principles

  • in fact

  • those principles have to be

  • rooted out so that we can have a better humanity bloom in the wake of all of this now in my perspective this takes for

  • granted all of the prosperity

  • It seems to assume that the natural state of man is

  • Prosperity and freedom when in fact the natural state of man is misery and short life

  • Okay, so that's an interesting thing right there that I've been thinking about quite a bit. It's as if the radical left I

  • mean there's denial on the radical left of let's say

  • Biological differences between men and women right? Everything's socio-culturally constructed that seems to me to be rooted in an even deeper

  • denial of biology and nature in a more fundamental sense

  • I mean the left worships nature as something intrinsically positive

  • you see that reflected in the more radical forms of

  • environmentalism and some of the more toxic anti humanism that goes along with that like the idea that

  • We're a cancer on the face of the planet or that the world would be better off if there weren't human beings on it

  • but what seems to not be part of that which is quite surprising to me is any recognition that although

  • Nature is let's call it at least or inspiring

  • Which also includes the positive it's also now unbelievably deadly force and the the truth of the matter

  • is that the natural state of human beings is privation and want right from birth and

  • to blame

  • What and what seems to happen so often on the radical left is that that's ignored entirely

  • it's as if the natural state of human beings is

  • Plenty and delight delight in existence and that all of

  • The terrible things that happen to people in their lives are actually can be laid at the feet of faulty social institutions

  • it's like three is such a strange position given that the

  • evidence that nature is trying to do us in on a regular basis is

  • Overwhelming I don't know if the if the left is so

  • positively inclined in a romantic manner

  • towards the idea of nature because that strengthens their position that all of the pathology that

  • characterizes the world can be laid at the feet of

  • institutions and particularly capitalist institutions

  • But it still seems to me to be

  • It's a strange phenomenon. Well, it's it's strange and it's and it's obviously

  • Ignorant, but I think there's something else that that really is going on here. The Marxist of today are

  • Arguing many of them are arguing that what they're really wanting is greater shared material prosperity

  • I don't think that that's actually what's capturing the minds of people right now

  • I think what's actually capturing the lines of people was the spiritual promise of Marxism the idea that Marx lays out

  • even in the communist manifesto

  • When he is talking about the transformation of man in his initial argument is that markets war people that people who have become?

  • Meaner and cruder and ruder and more terrible because of markets because they are self-interested in that the markets emphasize

  • Self-interest as opposed to altruism and therefore if you got rid of markets

  • Then you could exist in greater peace and prosperity and plenty

  • Because human beings themselves would transform so it's not that the system itself would create greater material prosperity

  • It's that in the initial run. It probably would create more privation

  • It's that in the long run

  • Human beings would be transformed in their souls by all of this and then they would feel greater

  • Bonds to the people around them. That was the spiritual promise of Marxism

  • I think that that's I at root what a lot of people in the West are resonating

  • ok, so that's that's a hope for something like

  • Well, it's almost like a religious Redemption. Yes

  • It's a strange thing to you know, I'm preparing for this debate that I'm going to have with Slava g-shock on April 19th

  • and I've been trying to think it through and one of the things that's really struck me is that

  • Not only are the solutions that Marxist

  • Marxism offers

  • Error ridden to say the least given the historical evidence and and I just don't see how anybody can deny that

  • Although people certainly do but that the problem that the Marxists originally identified seems to actually to be vanishing

  • I mean as you already pointed out

  • There's unparalleled increase in material prosperity among

  • Not only among the rich which you could complain about if you were concerned about inequality

  • but among the poorest people in the world like we have

  • absolute material privation based on UN standards by 50% between the year 2000 and

  • 2012 and the cynics say that's because we set the standard for material privation too low, which is dollar ninety a day

  • But if you look at the curves

  • that you can generate at

  • Levels of three dollars and 80 cents a day or seven dollars and sixty cents a day

  • You see exactly the same thing happening and you see rapid increases in

  • Economic growth in sub-saharan Africa, like, you know 7% growth rates

  • which are more typically characteristic say of China or India and and

  • And that's manifested in

  • unbelievably positive

  • statistical evidence such as not suggesting that now the

  • Child mortality rate in Africa is the same as it was in Europe in 1952

  • And so the Marxists original complaint was that you know

  • the rich were going to get richer and the poor were going to get poorer and

  • that that would that could be laid at the feet of

  • capitalism just like the fact of hierarchy itself could be laid at the feet of capitalism and a

  • It's clear that capitalism although it does produce

  • Hierarchical inequality just like every other system that we know of it also produces wealth and that wealth is actually being very effectively

  • distributed to the people

  • You know, perhaps not primarily to the people who most need it

  • But to the people who most need it in ways that are truly mattering and so to me the entire the entire

  • Structure of Marxism is is it's it's an anachronistic. The problem is no longer

  • appropriately formulated and the solution tends to be deadly if

  • Counterproductive if not deadly. So it's it's

  • Maybe here here's something I've been thinking about too. You tell me what you think about this

  • You know

  • Some of it still has to do with the

  • Innate human emotional response to inequality, you know

  • When you walk down the street, you see a runed alcoholic schizophrenic who's obviously suffering in 50 different dimensions

  • It's very difficult to feel positive about the state of humanity in the world, and it's very easy for a reflexive

  • Compassion to take over and say well wouldn't it be something if we could just retool society so that none of that was necessary

  • It must be someone's fault

  • It must be something that we're not doing right and you know

  • There's some truth in that because of course our systems could be better than they are and and it seems to me to be that

  • unreflective

  • Compassion that drives whatever residual attractiveness that Marxism still has apart also from the darker

  • possibility which is that it really does appeal to the jealousy that's characteristic of people in the envy and

  • Which manifests itself as hatred for hierarchy on the basis that some people are doing better than me

  • You know

  • so I

  • think there's also there's also a

  • Failure on the part of advocates of the free-market to point out that free markets are good for what they are good for meaning that

  • the two things that are important to recognize about free markets 1

  • Free markets are there to create a generalized level of cheaper goods and better products at cheaper prices more widely available

  • That's what markets do and they do it brilliantly

  • Well, that doesn't mean that that that markets are there to take care of the person who is unable to work

  • I mean that's not something that markets are there to do it's something I talked about in the book the need for a social fabric

  • If you want a free market

  • You also have to have a social fabric that helps pick people up

  • Now people on the Left have said the government should be the air SATs social fabric

  • the government should pick those people up and in large-scale cases, maybe that needs to be the case, but

  • Usually it was religious communities and informal social fabrics that actually filled those gaps beyond that

  • there is a

  • Second problem and that is I hear a lot of populist on both left and right make the statement that we just need to

  • Make markets work for us and all I can think when I hear that is your funder Lima. You have fundamentally misunderstood

  • What a market is so Marxism is a set of values and then a system of economics crafted atop the set of values

  • so the set of values as you said before is that

  • Equality should trump prosperity and equality should from freedom that equality should trump everything

  • So if equality Trump said then the only way to make everyone equal is to turn them into in

  • Indistinguishable widgets controlled from above until we create an economic system to do that

  • There are principles that undergird free markets free markets are not a human

  • Construction free markets are a recognition that you are an individual human being in control of your own labor

  • That's simple understanding means that you cannot support any other form of a market now

  • You can support some form of redistribution ISM at the local level

  • You can try and urge people to be more moral by giving to their fellow man

  • But markets themselves are a recognition of a basic truth that Marxism rejects