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April 2, 2024 85 mins
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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Also media.

Speaker 2 (00:06):
Oh, welcome back to Behind the Bastards, a podcast that
is just disastrously hungover. Right now, I am. I am
not doing well everybody. It is the day after or
around my birthday. Happened at some point in the last
forty eight hours or perhaps right now. Hello Dave, how

are you doing?

Speaker 3 (00:29):

Speaker 1 (00:31):
Could I read the text message you set me at
four or five of the morning. Yeah, I have alarms,
but if they don't wake me, you can call me.
You not spelled out like you normally do, which was
my favorite part.

Speaker 3 (00:47):
Was like, ewe you call.

Speaker 2 (00:52):
We did just have another U yesterday, so that would
make sense.

Speaker 3 (00:56):
I can't believe it was your birthday. Happy birthday, lovely Dave.

Speaker 2 (01:00):
It was a birthday until I had to wake up.

Speaker 3 (01:04):
Well yeah, I mean that's yeah, it's life, man, you know,
just pummeling, just pummeling us.

Speaker 2 (01:09):
But HiT's keep coming.

Speaker 3 (01:11):
I don't know. I'm going to celebrate today, yeah.

Speaker 1 (01:13):
Just to say I'm really glad you were born.

Speaker 2 (01:15):
Good job, thank you. If anyone at home wants to
celebrate my birthday, just uh, I don't know, send me
some of your fingernails. Fingernails, I want as many fingers,
No you're right. Someone will do that. Someone will do that.
We probably shouldn't, Dave.

Speaker 3 (01:32):
Yeah it bell. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (01:34):
Oh yeah here hi co co host co impresario of
the Gamefully Unemployed network network, Mark my former co worker
at cracked dot com. Uh man about town at some
more news. How are you doing today, Dave?

Speaker 3 (01:54):
I'm good. I'm living the dream. I'm wheeling and dealing.
I'm uh, I gotta figure out. I got to schedule colonoscopy.

Speaker 2 (02:01):
Ooh, you're doting that just doing you.

Speaker 3 (02:03):
Know, just doing the things, you know, just just live
in it, living life.

Speaker 2 (02:08):
Yeah, that's good, that's good. You know, I uh do
you have? Is this a recreational colonoscopy or a necessary one?

Speaker 3 (02:16):
It? Can it be both? Yeah?

Speaker 2 (02:18):
Okay, that's fair ye fair enough. I know.

Speaker 3 (02:20):
I mean I probably have nothing wrong with me. I
just uh, you know, I'm hitting forty. I I have
like a slight family history. And and I talked to
my my. I got a new I got a new doctor,
and I was like, what about them colonoscopies? And They're like, yeah,
let's do it. Let's fucking do it. And then we're
we're doing it, doing a colonoscopy. Yeah, excellent. Yeah, it's

exciting stuff. You know.

Speaker 2 (02:44):
Well, I have not had a colonoscopy yet, although soon.
But you know, what is the the moral equivalent of
having a camera shoved up your ass?

Speaker 3 (02:54):
Ooh what?

Speaker 2 (02:57):
Living in the United States? Uh? In an election twenty
twenty four. And a big part of why it feels
that way is because of a little concept that you
might be aware of, Dave, the think tank? Ooh yeah,
what do you know about the think tank as a concept?

Speaker 3 (03:18):
I mean I always picture like a SeaWorld style tank
filled with brine and just a giant floating brain that
a group of scientists sort of circle around, and that
brain is hooked up to computers and then the data
gets printed out, and they take that data and then
they use it or ignore it, and then they just

do whatever they want to do politically.

Speaker 2 (03:42):
Wow, it's it's amazing. That's nearly the opposite of what
it really is. So what a think take really is
is a way in which to generate paper, and then
that paper convinces journalists that your policies are real policies,
and then you take over the Supreme Court. Right now,

I know this is going to sound convoluted. We're talking
about how the Republican Party kind of won and specifically
how they turned around the situation that existed in this
country in the United States, So we don't talk about much.
It's very especially because on the right there's this need
to believe that the fifties and sixties were this like

era where everything was better and like the whole country
was more conservative. And then there's this need among liberals
on the left to believe that like they have kind
of been ascendant lately and sort of the last couple
of years of resurgent right wing stuff has been a
severe disruption of the norm. And neither of this is
really accurate because the reality of the situation is that

in the fifties and sixties, basically any commentator who was
looking at it honestly would have told you that, like, well,
liberalism has clearly won, and we talk about liberalism, I'm
not talking about, like what the way we kind of
talk about liberals today, or the way liberals often like
to see themselves as progressives. I'm talking about like an

economic and kind of social set of political beliefs that
was the dominant way in which people viewed politics by
the nineteen fifties, liberal economic policy and social orthodoxy reigned
supreme in the post war era, and it was it
was like it had such a degree of capture of

the system that literary critic Lionel Trilling wrote in nineteen
fifty in the United States at this time liberalism is
not only the dominant, but even the sole intellectual tradition.
He claimed, there are no conservative or reactionary ideas in
general circulation only And I love this term irritable mental
gestures which seek to resemble ideas. Now a bunch of

people are going to be like thinking about all the
fucked up shit that they knew the government was doing
in the fifties and sixties, like overthrowing governments in Latin
America and getting it Vietnam, and being like, well, how
can you say that liberalism was dominant in this period?
And I can say that because, like what it was
liberals doing a lot of that, right, Like it was
JFK who got our asses into Vietnam, and LBJ the

great society guy, who accelerated it.

Speaker 3 (06:14):
So I'm not, yeah, right, And like, I don't know
what's considered liberal or leftists, Yeah, you know, fifty.

Speaker 2 (06:19):
Years not leftist, Yeah yeah, But it's.

Speaker 3 (06:22):
Always going to be different, right, Like what you know,
I I you look at Star Trek, which is considered
pretty progressive, but then you go and look at TG
and you're like, man, they're almost there, but they still
don't quite you know, like I don't know.

Speaker 2 (06:35):
They wouldn't let Ryker kiss a dude, right, yeah, yeah,
exactly like he wanted to. Jonathan Frakes was in of course.

Speaker 3 (06:41):
Yeah, I mean he he fucked everything and that My
favorite is the non binary aliens.

Speaker 2 (06:48):
Yeah yeah, where.

Speaker 3 (06:49):
He immediately like upon meeting them, is like, oh, I
have to fuck one of these. I don't care which
I got to check off this box.

Speaker 2 (06:58):
Mm hmm, poor Reich. But yeah, so when we're talking
about this, we're talking about the idea that like, and
it makes some sense if you think about like what
happened to the right is as a result of World
War two. Both like in the pre war period, you
have this kind of like isolationist, reactionary strain that really

has to retreat because we go to war with the
Nazis and they're like, oh shit, we have to we
have to get very careful about how we talk about
some of the things we believe. Suddenly so it's it's
just this this very like fundamentally different period. And one
of the few things that is kind of similar in
sort of how we look at liberalism from then to
now is that it was it was, and actually much

more so back then, defined by this kind of embrace
of public spending and huge public works projects, right, that
was pretty universally accepted as what the government ought to
be doing, to the point where I can look at
like Dwight D. Eisenhower, famous Republican president, builds a massive
interstate high system, right, which is not a thing that

you would you would get a Republican supporting today, like
a public's works project on that scale. It's it's kind
of inconceivable now. But that's what I'm talking about when
I'm talking about how like people, a lot of people
in public policy at the time were like, well, yeah,
this kind of liberal trend towards what the role of
the state should be in society has clearly won, and

there's not really any other game in town.

Speaker 3 (08:26):
It's funny you should talk frame it this way because
I've actually I've talked about this with friends and stuff before,
and like people always frame it kind of not like, oh,
you know how they used to be liberal. It's more
of like, you know how what's considered quote unquote leftists
or liberal used to just be the norm. Yeah. It's like,
you know, we used to fix our highways up and

that wasn't seen as a political thing. Yeah, it was
just it was just a thing you have to do
when you run a government. Like would you would you
agree with that or would you say that they were
they were? It was seen at the time as very
liberal because I feel like these are things that other
kind do too, Yeah, that aren't seen as political leaning
at all.

Speaker 2 (09:04):
Yeah, And part of the story today and why we
have think tanks is to make all that seem more
political than it used to. But it's also just a
matter of like when you're when you're looking back to
that period of time, you're looking at a period of
time in which, like the Republicans we had a very
strong liberal arm of the party. There were like Rockefeller

was a liberal Republican. There were like that was like
a dominant part of the Republican party. There were liberal
Republican presidential candidates who did pretty well, right, And that's
a really different situation today like now, and again I'm
not saying none of these people you would call like
a leftist, although they are all people who, if they
ran today, would be called leftists by Republicans.

Speaker 3 (09:50):
Right Like. That's the thing. It's so hard to like
separate these words anymore.

Speaker 2 (09:55):
Yes, yes, And I know that's a frustrating part of this.

Speaker 3 (09:58):
I think I've I like, I don't even know what
to call myself. I certainly I don't think I'm a liberal.
I'm very left leaning and very progressive. But like, I
think I've accidentally called myself just a liberal because they're
all like like leftist, liberal, they're all l words that
are just like, eh, I don't know, but it's just
interesting because like the idea of a liberal Republican, I'm

just like, I don't know how that works. But then
I think about, like, you know, Nixon. I think it
was Nixon created the EPA.

Speaker 2 (10:26):
That's a great example of how things have shifted. Were
like a guy like and Nixon went to China and
normalized relations with MAO, right Like, another thing that you
wouldn't really I mean, Trump kind of tried to do
his version of it with North Korea, but it was
not really the same deal, you.

Speaker 3 (10:43):
Know, no, not at all, and like, I don't know,
a lot of this stuff to me just seems like
just things you have to do right where it's like
we need to protect our like forest innational parts. Yeah,
it doesn't feel like it needs to be political at all.
But it's just funny when you start trying figuring that
out those labels.

Speaker 2 (11:02):
When I'm when I quote these guys from the fifties
and sixties saying, were like, liberalism is clearly won. That's
kind of what they're referring to, is right, So much
stuff that is now seen as political. Spending any amount
of public money on anything to help people is deeply political.

Speaker 3 (11:16):
Right. It sounds like to some people it was political then,
So it was.

Speaker 2 (11:21):
There was a tiny number of those people who thought
of it that way, and they were mostly very very
wealthy business owners, primarily people who had inherited businesses and
whatnot from their families. And they're going to be kind
of the folks who actually wind up creating the network
of think tanks like that is the story we're talking
about today, because this was all started as a way
to shift public consensus away from the idea that like,

the government can do things to benefit people and towards
the idea that like any public spending is communism, right, Like,
that's that's a big part of what we're talking about today.
And there's a number of reasons why we went from
like FDR being the most beloved president in American history
to like, I think he's still broadly people have fond

memories of him. But if anybody pushed policies today like this,
you know, like FDR did, they would be called a dictator, right, Like,
it would be like unimaginably controversial. And there's a number
of reasons why the status quo he started to change.
One of them was the Vietnam War, right, and how
much fucking money it cost. And by the time you
hit like the mid to late seventies, you've got, you know,

the economy sort of grinding to a halt, inflation rising
stuff that will never happen again. And there's there starts
to be this awareness among like public policy people in
the United States that like, oh, the unlimited money train
from after World War Two isn't going to keep going
on forever, right, And so yeah, we're going to talk
about that because like getting us from FDR to LBJA

to Ronald Reagan and then the Trump was in part
the result of a concerted effort to shift the culture
by building a robust system for generating conservative thought and
then pumping them into the culture at scale, so they
looked like they had scholarly support and public support, and
they kind of did that until they made it true.

And I think a good place to start is with
the development of the concept of the think tank. These
are not a uniquely American institution, but they are uniquely
influential and powerful in the United States. There's not any
other nation on earth that has its public policy or
political culture shaped so much by think tanks, which are
basically dark money sinks. We're intellectuals who are bribed generate

the illusion of consensus in exchange for money. Right, that's
what they are there for people.

Speaker 3 (13:39):
Who don't like reality. Right, Like it's the idea of like,
I have a thing, I want to get richer doing
this thing, or I want to support these people, but
like reality, like studies and facts are showing that, like
it's bad to do this, so let's recreate studies and
facts to look like they're pushing this thing.

Speaker 2 (14:00):
And one of the ways in which because you have
think tanks, that are more intellectually rigorous, and they all
charge for their shit, and a lot of the shitty
think tanks that are like funded by the oil and
gas industry give out their papers for free. So you'll
have like journalists writing articles and they're like, wow, I
need I need two different opinions on whether or not
we should frack the oil fields in fucking Texas. And

one you know think tank that actually does real research
will say you have to pay us twelve hundred dollars
for our papers on what will happen, And the Heritage
Foundation says, here you go, here's a thousand pages of
shit that you can cite in your articles and it's
all free. That's like a simplified version of the game
that's going on here.

Speaker 3 (14:41):
Right. It sounds a lot like studies, Like there's study
studies where like you start looking into them and you're like, wait,
this doesn't actually say the thing that the headlines are saying.
And again sometimes it's done insidiously.

Speaker 2 (14:54):

Speaker 3 (14:55):
Sometimes I think it's just people misinterpret things or like
they're trying to like you're saying like actual, actual like
work takes money because it takes people, and that's not
very sexy no, I mean you can.

Speaker 2 (15:10):
You can have a fancy name for an organization and
just put out papers that say whatever you want them
to say. And if you do it with like a
good letter ahead, people will trust that there's there's something
to what you're saying.

Speaker 3 (15:21):
It's amazing how how far a good font will get.

Speaker 2 (15:25):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So the idea that like we would
have and it's kind of worth going back of it
and talking about how like the field of public policy analysis,
which is kind of where think tanks has a concept
come out of, how recent it is because for most
of the history of governments, you didn't have professional people
who like analyzed policy and looked into how it was working, right,

like progress was. Sometimes you'd get a king who was
like reasonably smart, and sometimes you'd get an inbred royal
king who would either like take things back a couple
of decades or be weak enough that like a couple
of smart guys can move things forward you get it
dead or two you get a couple of world wars.
And then in the twentieth century, after we finally invented cigarettes,

people got smart and that's when we start doing actual
policy analysis. It's really not until like the nineteen hundreds,
that we actually start in kind of a concerted way,
like looking at a lot of where you have these
guys who are like, I'm an expert in urban planning, right,
I'm an expert in like energy policy. Right. You had

like guys who were kind of doing that in the
eighteen hundreds, but it starts to actually become like systematized
in the nineteen hundreds.

Speaker 3 (16:40):
Right. Yeah, it's a bunch of people who is like,
I'm a pervert for this one thing. Yes, oh, yes, yeah,
and I can exist that way. Yeah, it's like cool,
you weird little freak. That's great. Well, we'll consult you
when we need questions about that thing.

Speaker 2 (16:53):
M hm. And that's kind of like that is kind
of a quietly revolutionary concept because it implied like, well,
whatever our society is doing right now might not be
the best way to do things, and so we should
always be looking at doing them differently. And most that
hasn't always been like a thing you could expect from
a society, right. And there's a really fun nineteen ninety

one doctoral dissertation by doctor Susan Marie Willis I found
that notes that in the period leading up to World
War two, there was this kind of turning point in
the federal government's willingness to solicit expert advice in solving
the nation's problems, and as a result, quote, the country's
intellectual magnet shifted from New York City to Washington, d C.
During that time. The shift is placed on reliance on

policy experts earlier during World War One, when many businessmen
and academicians played key roles in wartime management on the
War Industry's board. It is certainly true that Roosevelt had
the help of his famous Brains Trust in formulating some
new Deal policy, and also that Woodrow Wilson took selected
scholars with him to the Versailles peace Conference. In both cases,
these were individual consulting scholars and economists, many drawn from Harvard,

but not siated with any formal senses a group or
policy research body. So this is kind of when you
start to get the idea that, like, the president would
not just bring in his own people specifically, but might
like actually pick experts who were at least ostensibly independent,
and they would advise him on stuff. Right. That's when
this starts to become more common, right.

Speaker 3 (18:20):
And that just seems like good leadership.

Speaker 2 (18:23):
For the most it seems smart, right Yeah.

Speaker 3 (18:26):
Yeah, I Like I remember in film school talking about
or like being a manager, right where it's like part
of being a good manager or a director is to
consult the people who are very ultra into specific things
and hear what they have to say. I mean, now
we got Wikipedia, so yeah, well, don't.

Speaker 2 (18:42):
Need any of that, but you can see how there
could be a good and a bad side, right where
if the president's trying to, like, I don't know, deal
with the aftermap of World War One, yeah, you should
probably bring an academic who knows something about like fucking
Austrio Hungary, like, and it's different political factions and whatnot.
That makes sense, seems like that guys should be there.

Speaker 3 (19:00):
Yeah, but they shouldn't necessarily. I mean, it's only as
good as the person, right person. If your expert is, say,
a racist, then everything they're going to do is tinted
that way.

Speaker 2 (19:11):

Speaker 3 (19:11):
I mean, I think that's why people look to like
the idea of computers as being impartial. But then also
you need someone who has instincts on something as well,
like being an expert and something should also mean being
able to interpret that information in a good way.

Speaker 2 (19:28):
And also kind of the problem with this is that
when it's just seen as like, well, yeah, we elected
this president and he and all the people in his
administration are all like, you know, members of the same team,
when you start to see like, well, no, some of
the people giving him advice are like independent experts and
they're just trying to do what's best based on the facts.
Well are they right?

Speaker 3 (19:47):

Speaker 2 (19:48):
Like, they won't always be. Sometimes they'll be just as
political as anybody else the president might hire. But if
you start thinking about them as like possessed of some
sort of objective wisdom that's above the fray, you can
also wind up not being critical enough of like what
they're actually doing.

Speaker 3 (20:02):
Yeah, they also become it's that thing. It's we've seen
it a million times where someone's really smart about one thing. Yeah,
that doesn't mean they're smart about everything. And so like
you have to know how to use that person and
that information, yeah, and like know what to do with
that information that the broader consequences of that because experts,

I mean, there's a reason why there's that weird stereotype
of like, yeah, these snooty college type yeah, right, where
it's like, yeah, I sort of get it, like, you know,
and we get to having a lot of authority in
one thing, you start acting with that authority on everything sometimes.

Speaker 2 (20:40):
Yeah, and I'm kind of on the other side of things.
If you're like some scholar who's a weird wonky expert
in different kind of obscure European political conflicts and shit,
and the president comes to ask you to help him
at a peace conference, you might just kind of try
to figure out what the president wants to hear and
tell him that, you know, because you know, it's noteworthy

that Wilson took all of these scholars with him to Versailla.
But like we all know that didn't go well. That
wasn't a good peace treaty, right, Like that was It's
like a famously bad peace treaty. So this is sort
of the prehistoric era in think tanks, if you're thinking
about like your evolutionary chart, this is when like the
fish gets on to land, right, and the fish is

eventually going to be named the Heritage Foundation.

Speaker 3 (21:24):
It's a good fish name.

Speaker 2 (21:25):
But this period you start in, kind of the period
after Wilson, you get this groundwork laid for what's going
to come after it becomes the norm that private economists, lawyers,
and experts will be brought in to advise presidents in
Congress about like you know, just over time during like
their entire periods in office, but also about specific issues. Right,
it becomes more normal. And again this isn't like a

clean break. You could find examples of this, you know,
in earlier decades and centuries, but it becomes normalized that like, well,
we're debating this bill on like setting up I don't know,
fucking phone infrastructure for the country. Let's bring in an
expert on that, right, like an actual like policy expert
to like talk about how this should go or what
they think will happen with this thing. And it becomes

really desirous for experts to get positions like this, and organizations,
specifically corporations who have a lot of vested interest in
some of these like different bills being put for building
infrastructure start to realize that like, well, if we fund experts,
if we like have experts that we have paid to
get to that position in society, that could really help

us out when it comes time to like we want
to make sure that these laws are written in such
a way that we get some of these government contracts, right,
you know, you get all of this happening at once.
Both this positive benefit of like, yeah, we actually have
people who know what they're doing being consulted about laws,
and also these people are often deeply corrupted because they
need money before they hit that point. And there's always

corporations willing to pay for people to become experts as
long as they know who buttered their bread.

Speaker 3 (22:57):
Right, Yeah, I mean so money, money's a real problem.
Like it involved it shouldn't be involved in everything we do. No,
there should be things we do that don't have to
be motivated by money.

Speaker 2 (23:10):
But you no, that's the that's the beautiful dream of
Star Trek that sometimes we could just act purely based
on whether or not Will Riker wants to fuck something.
And Will Riker always wants to fuck something.

Speaker 3 (23:21):
His dick is its own currency, that's.

Speaker 2 (23:23):
Right, Speaking of Riker's dick, these ads, Oh, we're back now.
Before you can have someone who's an expert in like
any kind of policy field, you have to have I mean,
I guess you don't have to have this, but it

really helps. You have to have like the ability to
get degrees and stuff like economics and political science and
that wasn't always specifically like graduate degrees, and that was
not always a thing like it was kind of a
process of consolidating these broad feelings of knowledge into discrete
fields of studies, and it was sort of a thing
that kind of happens along kind of the late eighteen

hundreds early nineteen hundreds where you actually start to get
like graduate schools and a university system that looks like
the one we have today. Right, and we'll be talking
about like what happens to the university system because this
is really going to piss off a lot of people.
But you start to get the very first like kind
of modern looking colleges that aren't just you know, among

other things, aren't just a place for rich kids to go,
right where it becomes more normal for like regular people
to go and get degrees and then they can become
experts in fields and influence public policy. And that is
kind of a quietly radical change. It has a lot
to do with why, around the time of the Great
Depression and the New Deal you get all of these
to us seemingly radical policies is because you have all

of these people who were educated at a time in
which like there wasn't really education wasn't politicized in the
kind of way that it is now. It's still obviously
had plenty of biases, right, it reflected the biases of
the culture that it was in. But you did not
have like right wing schools. You did not have like

this kind of like culture warship over schools. And so
as a result, educated experts tended to overwhelmingly be progressives.
And again, these are people who, in a lot of
ways we would consider deeply reactionary today, but they were
all pretty supportive of, like widespread the idea that like, yeah,
you should use the government's money to help people, right

to do things, to have a society. You know, that
was the normal view of this kind of group of people.

Speaker 3 (25:38):
I mean, yeah, it's that feels like that's the point
of a government. It's a group that basically has taken
control of land and went like, all right, we're going
to make it easy for everybody to live here, and
you know, in exchange, you won't chop our heads off.

Speaker 2 (25:53):
Yeah we should have roads. Oh, everyone is starving. We
should give people jobs and just have them build stuff
for a while until this great depression thing shakes out.
I'm not trying to be like and all of the
experts were progressive, so the world was perfect because no,
everybody was still racist as hell. We did all sorts
of fucked up stuff back then. Progressive then did not
entirely mean the same thing it does today. But there

were certain things that just like weren't controversial back then, right.
And among the first great think tanks of American society
was the Russell Sage Foundation, which had been established in
nineteen oh seven from a ten million dollar donation. And
I'm going to quote from and that was a lot
of money back then. That's like in about twenty something
a year. To me, it's a lot of money for
a dude. Yeah, that's not a lot in think tank

terms back then. But I'm going to quote from Willis again.
It brought together amateur social investigators and charity volunteers with
professional social scientists for the purpose of applying new research
methods in the permanent improvement of social conditions. There was
a particular concern with child labor laws, child and family
and health services, and education. The staff of educators, sociologists,

and settlement house veterans comprised few academicians, but they compiled
statistics and other pertinent information on social problems and abuses.
These data were made available to the general public as
well as to state and local governments to guide them
in practical policy formation. This pamphlet was the most typical
publication of the Sage Foundation at the time, and traveling
exhibitions which visited county fairs and schools were also sent out.

So this is you can see some similarity in that
a lot of these today, these kind of like particularly
more political think tanks, will put out stuff that's meant
to be widely consumed, information that like you know, is
meant to be sort of disseminated via social media or whatnot,
are be like widely quoted in the news. The Russell
Sage Foundation is taking a more direct route because there's

not as many organs for people to get that kind
of stuff out, So they're just like handing out they're
looking into like, hey, how should we actually like educate children?
Is it bad for little kids to work? We put
together a pamphlet on this, like let's all look into
the And again, these people were extra And when I say,
I said earlier it wasn't really controversial to be against

child labor or be in favor of public spending. It
was among like very wealthy people. Obviously the business owners
in America are going to stage a coup against FDR
in the early thirties, right, but not among these educate
like these academics and stuff.

Speaker 3 (28:20):
It's controversial, like controversy, you know, it's is the implication
that there are multiple competing views, and it's weird when
we count the views of the people who directly stand
to gain, you know, like it's weird to be like
it's it's weird to say, like there's controversy amongst like

the victims and the criminals that did this, Like like
there's controversy amongst the bank robbers and the bank.

Speaker 2 (28:49):
Crime haters can't agree about on robbery.

Speaker 3 (28:52):
Yeah, it's just like, I mean, it's just a group
of people doing something bad and then a group of
people saying like, yeah, what you're doing is bad, and
they're like, I just and oh, there's controversy.

Speaker 2 (29:02):
We'd like to keep doing it. When it comes to
the term think tank, which again kind of the Russell
Sage Foundation is one of the first organ like institutions
you could call a think tank. They weren't using that
term back then, and I wanted to look, like try
to figure out like where the phrase comes from, because,
as you noted when we started this, it sounds like
it should be a big tank full of Brian with

a brain in it, and that's actually pretty apropos to
the history. One historian traces it back to the forties
as a just a slang term for brain, like someone
like my think tank's not ticking do well today.

Speaker 3 (29:34):
That's such a good slang for brain. Yeah, but I'm
kind of mad that they took that away from us.

Speaker 2 (29:41):
We can take it back, Dave, we can take it back.
Pour some poor some knowledge into your think tank, folks
with this podcast. I've heard another history and trace it
to World War Two, where it referred to like a
war room, right, like you get all of your military
experts together into your think tank and they figure out
how to do a normandy. It's like a tank for yeah,
that too. Yeah, it makes sense. And it's also possible

that it comes from a guy named Burton Pines who
was a historian who wrote about the traditionalist movement in
the early nineteen eighties, and he used the analogy gathering
different fish into a tank and concentrating the brain power, Dave.

Speaker 3 (30:16):
Yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and say that's that's the dumbest, right,
that the dumbest.

Speaker 2 (30:20):
I wanted to try it because whenever I hear like
an insane analogy like that, like this is just a
book about like traditionalists by this historian, and I'm like,
why the fuck would you use that analogy. I haven't
been able to get a copy of the book that
he says this, and it's not like online in a
way that I was able to find it. That's like,
I don't know what the context meant here.

Speaker 3 (30:40):
Was this person a child? They were they? Because that's
the sort of thing like when you're a child you
hear about like earwigs, you assume it's a wig on
an ear, Like that's that's what a child would think
when they hear think tank, It's like, oh yeah, like
a bunch of fish are thinking you need to track
down this person, Robert I do.

Speaker 2 (30:59):
I kind of think maybe he was making fun of
the traditionalists by being like they're as dumb as a
bunch of fish in a tank. That's also an insane
way to call someone dumb, Like what would you do
it that way? Just say they're silly man.

Speaker 3 (31:12):
Yeah, you need to track this person down and find
their family. Yeah, and have them on the show, and yeah,
make them answer for themselves.

Speaker 2 (31:20):
See usually, Dave, when I suggest finding someone's family, someone
then posits something that's a crime. You're the first person
to just say we should have them on the show.

Speaker 3 (31:29):
I'm appraise you could do a crime while they're on
the show. It doesn't be a crime against that, but
like they'll be crimes, you know.

Speaker 2 (31:37):
See, this is why you're a pinch hitter, Dave. You're
able to swing left and right.

Speaker 3 (31:42):

Speaker 2 (31:43):
So I don't know what the fuck, Why the fuck
he used this phrase. It's baffling to me. But the
development of what become known as think tanks, you know,
really starting in the eighties, primarily happens before we have
a name for them, and a big like a guy
who's kind of influential in development of this concept is
Frederick Taylor. If you've ever heard of Taylorism. It's this

thing that in kind of the mid century is going
to become increasingly common in every different field of endeavor.
We tailorize police forces, which is we're like, well, what
if we standardize police training and what if we try
to have like metrics for police officers and see if
we can make them, you know, work better and more.
And we do the same thing with factories. We're going
to tailorize this factory. It's it's scientific management, right. Frederick

Taylor is that guy.

Speaker 3 (32:27):
You're talking about standardized?

Speaker 2 (32:29):
Absolutely that all is in that same tradition. Yes, yeah,
it's optimizing organizations and workflow for efficiency. Taylorism is going
to be a big deal every It's where we get
Deloitte and McKenzie, these consulting firms, right, Like, they all
have Taylorism in their DNA. And one of Robert Taylor's
friends is this guy named Robert Brookings. And does the

Brookings sound familiar to you, Dave, It does, Yeah, he's
this is the Brookings Institute guy, right, And the Brookings
Institute is from this earlier generation of think tanks that
actually think about things right. They're not just going to
put out stuff to like make one politician or the
other happy, among other things. The Brookings Institute are the
people who like help put out the Vietnam papers or

the Pentagon papers. Like they're the guys Elsberg is working with.
And that doesn't make anyone in the government very happy, right,
Like that's just actually something that needed to get out.
So we're talking kind of about like the pre evil
days here, although they're also not purely good either. Robert
Brookings had spent time in German colleges in the early

nineteen hundreds, and like a lot of Americans who did this,
he came back with a thought that those Germans are
onto something, right. Surely their mechanistic obsession with pushing the
limits of efficiency will only lead to good things for Germany.
It's nineteen thirteen, and I'm very optimistic, like.

Speaker 3 (33:52):
Those Germans are doing something over there. Exactly.

Speaker 2 (33:58):
So Brookings, unlike most of Americans who come back from
Germany with ideas, he just gets into the dry goods business,
and he does well enough in dry goods that he's
he becomes very rich, and he gets a position on
the war industry's board in World War One, which ironically
puts him directly opposite Germany. The whole process of having

doing a world war and of advising the government through
a world war because we had never had to mobilize
the milidy. The closest thing was like the Civil War.
But you know that had been quite a while before.
So this is like a big deal, and it convinces
him that like having the government bringing in experts like
me really helped the process of doing World War One,
So maybe we should make that normal across the board. Right,

Maybe when the government wants to face when mean, when
Congress is voting on what the national budget should look like,
they should talk to experts, right, And so he decides,
I'm going to put a bunch of my money, this
wealth that I've got into building an institution that can
provide the government with the best possible information so it
can make at our choices.

Speaker 3 (35:00):

Speaker 2 (35:01):
That's that's his dream. And that's where we get the
Brookings Institute. And he gets a bunch of his rich
friends together and he's like, put some money into this thing,
and it's important. This is going to be basically the
same way think tanks work in the modern era, where
you get all of these think tanks that are paid
by a company. Hey, we're exon Mobile. We want you
to put out a bunch of research saying that gasoline

is great for the environment. Right, The Brookings Institute looks
like the same thing. It's not quite because at this
point there is not really the expectation that by putting
money into this thing, it will only publish information you
want it to publish. That's not really the case yet,
and people are going to get pissed about this as
time goes on. But yeah, yeah, it.

Speaker 3 (35:43):
Seems like, sorry, this seems like a good idea on paper, right,
and you can immediately kind of see like what if
we do this like direct channel to the government through experts,
like that won't get corrupt or like yeah go bad, right, Like, yeah,
accept the information we give them, even if the information
is like let's not do a war, like they'll listen
to us.

Speaker 2 (36:04):
We keep going back to star Trek. It's kind of
like the borg, right where you shoot at them once
and you can fuck them up, but the second time
their shields will have modulated. So for a little while,
the Brookings Institute actually works the way it's supposed to.
Rich people fund it and it puts out information and
it's usually just information based on like what these experts.
They're not perfect, they make mistakes, but it's what they

actually think is best in these different fields of endeavor. Right,
it's actual like attempts at analyzing policy and impact, and
it's not Again, this is not always good. For example,
the Brooking is an institute is going to oppose much
of the new Deal because they're really market driven, and
Roosevelt is saying, we need more central planning.

Speaker 3 (36:45):
Right. Oh interesting.

Speaker 2 (36:46):
Yeah, but by the time Nixon's in office, you know,
they are seen and derided a lot by Republicans as
the liberal think tank. Right. And again, by the time
Nixon's in office, these are the guys who published the
Pentagon papers. So like they are this symbol of like
liberal progressive like ethos by the seventies. And the fact
that they switch like this is not because like there's

much of an ideological capture. It's that they're they're actually
the people here are actually generally trying to do what
they think is right. Again, that doesn't mean they're always right,
but like they are actually trying to analyze policy here.

Speaker 3 (37:20):
For sure, there's always that like I I mean when people,
you know, there's been a big push about like you know,
colleges and schools and being liberal and stuff where it's
that weird situation where you're like defending this thing, but
you're like, I'm not saying it doesn't have problems. Yeah,
it's that weird in between where it's like, yes, it's

more just that the criticism goes so over the top
that you're is like, no, they can be criticized, just
not for this shit you're saying. Jesus.

Speaker 2 (37:50):
Yeah, it's like when we talk about like, oh, the
good old days when progressives were a sin, and it's like, well,
people called Woodrow Wilson a progressive and he was like
maybe our most racist president. Yeah, we had presidents who
were slave owners, and Wilson might have been more racist,
Like he was a terrible man.

Speaker 3 (38:06):
There's a lot of nuanced that gets lost in these conversations.

Speaker 2 (38:09):
Yeah. Yeah, I'm not trying to paper over like oh,
to go back to the good old days of the
progressive fifties. Yeah. Yeah. Anyway, So in the UH, it's
one of those things where like the partly like after
World War Two in particular, like the Brookings Institute is
kind of a little bit more what we might call

conservative prior to World War Two. In the post war years,
like half of the world's money, literally half of all
of the wealth in the world is in the United States, right,
And so for a period of time, debates over stuff
like the budget and fiscal policy, like part of why
Eisenhower is able to do these massive public works projects.
Part of why there's not that much organized resistance to

the idea of public funding is that we have all
of the money there's ever been, right, and so stuff
like you don't get a lot of people worrying over
the budget so much in the fifties. You know, one
article I found from The Atlantic in nineteen eighty six
by Greg Easterbrook describes the economy in like the mid
century as a dead issue and writes social justice in Vietnam.

And this is by the sixties dominated the agenda. Brookings
concentrated on those fields, emerging as a chief source of
arguments in favor of the Great Society and opposed to
US involvement in Vietnam. In the Washington swirl, where few
people have the time to actually read the reports they debate,
respectability is often proportional to tonnage. The more studies someone
tosses on the table, the more likely he is to
win his point. For years, Brookings held a monopoly on tonnage.

It's paper supporting liberal positions went unchallenged by serious conservative rebuttals.
And so that's part of why there's not much counter
weight to like a lot of these liberal ideas about
like how money should be spent, is that the only
people researching them as the Brookings Institute. So if you're
going to like look at, well, what's the evidence on
whether or not we should you know, engage in this policy,

where you've got like three hundred pages of shit from
the Brookings Institute and nothing else, So I guess, I
guess it's easier to make that case right right now.
This is going to start to change by the period
of the Nixon administration. And part of what changes it
is that this first wave of think takes and expert advisors,
a decent chunk of them, had been intimately involved in

like convincing the government that it was the right time,
that Vietnam was a good thing to get into, right,
this was going to go well. And these are not
Brookings Institute people again, they're they are pretty much pretty
consistently like this is a dumb idea, we're like fucking
ourselves over by sending troops to this war. But it's
another think tank that's going to be heavily involved in

US getting into Vietnam, and that thing tank is called
the Rand Corporation. You hear these guys, these fund did
these cool guys.

Speaker 3 (40:48):
Were they right? Were they right about Vietnam?

Speaker 2 (40:50):

Speaker 3 (40:51):

Speaker 2 (40:51):
Well, yeah, I just read Biden just signed a treaty
with Vietnam, so it must have gone well, yeah, I
haven't this is this is the last piece of history
about Vietnam I read until a week ago. So it
seems like it.

Speaker 3 (41:01):
All went well in the end, it all went well.

Speaker 2 (41:03):
Why would we be at peace with them otherwise?

Speaker 3 (41:05):
Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 2 (41:08):
So the RAND Corporation is founded right after the big
dub dub dose, and they're like a defense industry think
tank and their initial obsession. They come out of this period.
We've just nuked Japan, the Russians shortly thereafter get their
own nukes, and we're like, we should probably have some
smart people figuring out what might happen as a result
of the fact that we all now have these these weapons. Right, Yeah,

that's a good idea. It's not it's not a bad idea.

Speaker 3 (41:34):
Right, we all have doomsday devices. Maybe get some of
them brainiacs to.

Speaker 2 (41:38):
Same you think about this, Is this a good idea?

Speaker 3 (41:41):
And what's gonna happen is the brainy acts are gonna
be like, no, everything's bad and they're like, cool, thanks.
I mean we're not gonna do it, we're just gonna
keep them, but thanks.

Speaker 2 (41:48):
Yeah, that is if they'd had This is kind of
The RAND Corporation is kind of the first really influential
think tank that is funded by a deep because they're
they're funded by the US Air Force, so they are
not in fact going to be like, perhaps we shouldn't
have these things. You know.

Speaker 3 (42:04):
What this is all reminding me of is when you
go out with like friends, I'm sure you can relate
and you're making a series. You're like you're drinking or
you're doing whatever, and you're tuned too your friend and
go like, I can have more drinks, right, and the
friend goes, oh yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2 (42:18):
Yeah, Well you're like good, look, you're.

Speaker 3 (42:20):
Looking to someone to just justify the bad decision you
know you're gonna make. Yeah, And that's what friends are for.
And these things thinks are like they're they're good friends. Now.

Speaker 2 (42:29):

Speaker 3 (42:29):
They go to them and go like, it's fine that
we're doing this right, and the thing too is like yeah,
it's fine, man, the experts say it's fine.

Speaker 2 (42:36):
Escalating our involvement in Vietnam is like me saying last night, yeah,
I can get up at ten am to do this podcast.

Speaker 3 (42:42):
Yeah why not?

Speaker 2 (42:43):
And you did?

Speaker 3 (42:44):
You did it, So Vietnam was fine.

Speaker 2 (42:47):
I have felt like this is my Vietnam since about
when I ran out of coffee.

Speaker 3 (42:52):

Speaker 2 (42:53):
So the initial obsession of the Rand Corporation is thinking
the unthinkable. That's kind of like their unofficial tagline, right,
which is planning for a nuclear war? Right, the idea here?
And it's interesting, like they're sore. They're right in near
where we used to work, Dave. They're kind of in
between like Santa Monica and Hollywood.

Speaker 3 (43:12):
Oh, we should have went and seen them.

Speaker 2 (43:13):
We should have gone. I don't know if they're still there,
but they were for a time. That the fact they
were across the street from Mary Pickford's beach house. And
one description I've read at the time said that they
quote did little but sit, think, talk, right, pass around memos,
and dream up new ideas about nuclear war, which sounds
like a fun life.

Speaker 3 (43:33):
It kind of does.

Speaker 2 (43:34):
Yeah I could do that, yes, Jerwa, bring me on, guys,
And again, like everything here, it's easy to see how
it's like, well, yeah, that could be a good idea, right,
you probably want someone thinking about this for a living.

Speaker 3 (43:48):
It's yeah, there's this romantic idea of like the quote
unquote like scholars, right, this idea of like, Okay, there's
so many humans and we have so much money, and
we've built the civilization. People don't have to worry about
just how to survive day to day. Yeah, what if
we have a building where just a group of people
get together and think about stuff and just like like

read all the books and like then when we need
an expert, we go to them and go, like, what
do you think if.

Speaker 2 (44:15):
We put all of the smartest boys in a room?

Speaker 1 (44:18):

Speaker 2 (44:20):

Speaker 3 (44:20):
It's a romantic idea. It's just that people are always
going to be people too.

Speaker 2 (44:25):
Yeah, and that's the problem day've number one, they're funded
by the Air Force, and number two, the kind of
guys who are both interested in and able to get
a job thinking about nuclear war all day. They're the
kind of people today we would cording these people off
from the rest of society by getting them into Warhammer
forty thousand right right.

Speaker 3 (44:44):
By the way. Instead of expert or enthusiasts. I often
say pervert because I think really breaks it down, which
is like they're a weird little sick freak who's into this. Yeah,
I think of there's nothing wrong with that. You just
have to remember that, right.

Speaker 2 (45:00):
Yeah. I love that idea, Dave, because think of how
different decades of like nuclear weapons policy would be if
instead of bringing like nuclear weapons expert, it was like
nuclear weapons perverts on CNN.

Speaker 3 (45:11):
Yeah, well, they would make a organization and thank you.
I mean, we're all aware that you're a weird pervert
about Yes, we're going to take it with a grain assault,
but thank you for your advice.

Speaker 2 (45:20):
Yeah. Yeah, So the RAND guy wants to jack off
on the MORI CBMs. Let's let's now talk to him
not getting murdered experts.

Speaker 3 (45:28):
Yeah exactly, No, not getting murder and murdered pervert.

Speaker 2 (45:31):
Yeah, perfect pert. You're right here, right. We got to
be we gotta be consistent, Dave, otherwise we have nothing.
So the RAND guys are a bunch of their war gamers, right,
like a lot of them literally are. But that that
is the kind of guy that is drawn to this job.
These are like game theory nerds, yeah exactly, And they
didn't have anything better to do in the fifties and
sixties because there weren't many good war games then give

the president bad advice about Vietnam. Secretary of Defense and
a list war criminal Robert mac namara got most of
his top aids from the RAND Corporation, and they provided
more recommendations on US policy in Vietnam than any other organization.
In fact, RAND reports were critical in influencing every stage
of the war in Vietnam. And this is where we

really get into the think tank evil. By the mid sixties,
LBJ was trying to decide should we escalate US involvement
in the war or not At this point, like sixty
four or something like that, the US could have backed
out right, we could have left. We could have said like, sorry,
this regime is bad, we made a mistake, let's go.
And North Vietnam probably would have been like, hey, that's great.

That's all we ever wanted, Like like we're good. No,
no more conflict is necessary. This is not what happens.
Because a researcher named Leon Gower, who was a project
headed RAND, published several papers on morale among North Vietnamese
soldiers and civilians. He spends months traveling around the country
talking to captured North Vietnamese soldiers, Viet Cong militants who

had been like captured and stuff during like actions, and
also just a bunch of like villagers living in kind
of around the line of contact at the time. And
his conclusion based on these interviews is that Vietnamese morale
is right around the corner from collapsing. If we just
stick it out a couple more months, victory is inevitable.
That we've got them on the ropes now, no, weal

they talked.

Speaker 3 (47:24):
To prisoners and was like, I talked to all these
people that were captured, and I predict their morale is low.

Speaker 2 (47:30):
They're really sad. I think we're winning.

Speaker 3 (47:32):
I talked to all the people who would be said
that's ridiculous, of course not.

Speaker 2 (47:37):
Yeah, if you talk to the talk to the British
people who were captured in nineteen forty, Yeah, they're probably
pretty bummed about the way the war's going.

Speaker 3 (47:45):
And this is the thing about experts or sorry perverts,
which is that like it's so tunnel vision right where
it's like it's also academic that a lot of the
time the big thing they're missing is like the big
obvious thing or the human factor, and that that happens,
you know, that's like I think a legit criticism of
like colleges and shit like that off.

Speaker 2 (48:07):
Yes too, it's just a legit criticism of the way
human beings analyze. Like there's a famous study of like
World War Two. They're looking at like all of their
planes that get damaged, like where are they getting damaged?
Those are the parts of the planes we should reinforce.
You can see that diagram that's got like here are
all the areas that planes are most often damaged in.
And then they like realized later like, well, but we're
just counting the planes that actually made it back. So

actually those aren't the damage. That's not the damage to
focus on. It's the planes that went down we should
be paying attention to.

Speaker 3 (48:35):
That's such a good example of me.

Speaker 2 (48:37):
Yeah, that's what's going to happen with all of Vietnam.
And I'm going to quote from a report in Ramparts magazine,
which is a thing that no longer exists, but was
fucking dope for a very long time, And this is
their report on the Rand Corporation in Vietnam. It was
Gower's analyzes that provided the scientific underpinning for the light
at the end of the tunnel mentality that were so

crucial to the escalation of the war and the devastation
that followed. In nineteen sixty six, his work was identified
by Carl Rowan as the study which lies at the
heart of President Johnson's strategy. The implications of the Gower
study are profound, for they indicate yet another aspect of
the erosion of democratic decision making process that has attended
every phase of the present conflict. For both the Rand

interviews of the nlf cadra the most complete portrait available
of the other side in this war, and the reports
from Leon Gower were classified and kept securely within the
contact between the within the contract between the war bent
executive and the private corporation, and thus and thereby unavailable
to the American people. In fact, to this day, Gower's
reports are unavailable to Congress and will have to be

written and you will have to read them in ramparts.
And it's like so this is the by far, like
the best collection of information that we had at that
point on North Vietnamese people's thoughts on how the war
was going. And it was entirely filtered through the lens
of this very biased man who was being paid effectively

by the US Air force, but was in a private
corporation and so none of his worker methodology was open
to being scrutinized by the public, and his analysis that
we were right around, right around the corner from winning
in Vietnam had the biggest impact on Elbajay's decision to
escalate of any like individual factor.

Speaker 3 (50:21):
That's bleak.

Speaker 2 (50:22):
It's really bad, right, and you probably shouldn't do it.

Speaker 3 (50:25):
Like that, Right. It's like according to this expert who
literally like it's asking an expert to look into whether
or not they should continue to pay this person, and
you should have the job too. Like it's that's like
when when one of the possibilities of like your study
means that you no longer get to do the thing
you're doing, you shouldn't get to do that study, right, Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (50:47):
It's the same thing with like police departments like inspecting
each other, investigating each other over crimes. Yeah, probably shouldn't
let it because it is it is like as the
as rampartson, it's really anti democratic, right, because you've got
a bunch of people saying, I don't think we should
be involved in Vietnam, because why in the fuck are
we sending soldiers to Vietnam, and then you've got the

president saying, well, look, you're all a bunch of casuals,
a bunch of Yahoo's who don't know anything. I've talked
to the experts and they say, we're about to win.

Speaker 3 (51:15):
You know. Yeah, this is it's such a tricky. This
is where nuance comes into play, because there's this idea, like,
you know, very recently we had something that happened in
this country where a bunch of experts were saying everybody
needs to do this thing, and people are like, ah,
screw the experts. Yeah, and there was sort of this
battle over it where it's like sometimes experts, like when

it's very when it's very black and white, is just like, yeah,
you know, you should probably just do what they say, right,
Like you know, if someone says, you know.

Speaker 2 (51:48):
Don't lick toilet seats, wow, I probably won't.

Speaker 3 (51:51):
Yeah, it's very tricky because I understand why over years
and years there are people who are like, h fuck
the experts, because then you get these cases where it's
like you're saying undemocratic, where everybody's sort of saying like
we should do these I should have the freedom to
do these things, or I believe we should do this,

and it's like, no, we're going to consult this handful
of people to make the decision. Feels very undemocratic, And
for the most part, it's just like it's there's no
right answer across the board right where it's like I
wish we were undemocratic about like climate change, Like I
wish governments would just go listen, this is what we're doing,

because otherwise we'll all die. But that's very dangerous thinking
across the board. So it really is like a case
by case situation.

Speaker 2 (52:42):
Yeah, I mean, the overwhelming lesson of history is that
there's actually no good way to do things. Yes, but
the right way certainly isn't the one we're doing. I
think we can all agree on that. And you know
what else we can all agree on, Dave what products
and services? Oh, we're back Dave, the Rand Corporation. When

we left them off, they had just told LBJ. Hey Man,
just a few more guys, just a few more one
hundred thousand US troops and it'll win us the war.
We're right around the corner, like the Vietnam's on the ropes.
Nor the Vietnam can't hold out much more. They're just
about to give up, right.

Speaker 3 (53:27):
Right, and then we won. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (53:29):
Yeah, As we all know, nineteen sixty four was the
last year of the Vietnam War before our glorious victory,
and we started air dropping McDonald's into the jungle. So
when you look at like the kind of analyzes the
RAND Corporation was providing the US government, the Johnson administration
during Vietnam, they kind of dispassionately advised this kind of ladder,

A ladder of escalation is how it's usually described, right,
where like, if the enemy does this, then you add
more troops. If the need of it is this, then
you carry out an offensive. If the enemy does this,
then we launched another bombing campaign. Right.

Speaker 3 (54:03):
This was the ladder of escalation.

Speaker 2 (54:05):
Yes, yes, escalator, an escalator. I don't know if they
had them back then. It was the sixties. It was
the sixties. We hadn't invented science yet.

Speaker 3 (54:13):

Speaker 2 (54:14):
They were throwing spears out of planes. That's how the
air force worked. Yeah, and all of this this like
ladder of escalation that RAND advises, it's based off of
their belief about what Vietnam would do in response to
US ordering a bombing campaign right of the north through
of like you know, of their capital, right, and it

was based on their understanding that this is what an
opposing government would do in this situation. So they're thinking,
if our capital was bombed, how would we act, Right, Well,
we would probably seek to super peace or whatever, because
like Americans would not put up with the capital being bombed.
You know, there would be a real issue for us.

Speaker 3 (54:52):
Yeah, we'd freak out, we'd call French fries freedom fries.

Speaker 2 (54:55):
Yes, we would lose our minds.

Speaker 3 (54:58):
Yeah, things would get very yea.

Speaker 2 (55:00):
Yeah. The I actually, I mean the idea was that
I think you've actually you've actually predicted what happened here,
which is that like, well, when they bombed our capital,
we went insane. We didn't, we didn't seem to. We
didn't go for negotiations. But the RAM Corporation is like, well,
if we bomb the capital Vietna, North Vietnam will want
to come to the negotiating table. They'll make concessions to us.

Speaker 3 (55:20):
Then, right, Yeah, it feels like we were we were
riding high on nukes, which is that, like I get why, Like, well,
I mean Japan had already surrendered, right, I'm pretty sure
or like no, no.

Speaker 2 (55:31):
No, I mean that's that's a whole separate.

Speaker 3 (55:37):
But like it's all to say that, like nukes was
a new thing, and so seeing a new and not
knowing what it is, I can imagine the government being like, oh, okay,
we're done here, you know, like I don't know what
that is.

Speaker 2 (55:48):
Yeah, it because like the nukes are such a you know,
we dropped two nukes on Japan and the government sues
for peace. Right, that's the reality of what was going
on is a bit more complicated than that. But because
that's like kind of the last thing that happens, you
do get this attitude that like, well, we can bomb

our problems away with enough bombs, and the reality is that, yeah,
we bomb the shit out of Japan prior to that,
and they didn't surrender until the nukes, And we bomb
the shit out of Germany and they didn't surrender because
of the bombing. Right, Bombing doesn't make people surrender usually,
and it doesn't in the case of Vietnam. Right, the
RAND Corporation has utterly misread North Vietnam, like they are

not going to respond to the latter of escalation the
way we expect they are. As David Landau wrote in ramparts.
Underlying almost all of Rand's work on the war in
the late sixties and early seventies was the unquestioned assumption
that the enemy in Vietnam would behave just like any
other sovereign power at war, that he could be lured
by attractive negotiating offers which fell short of his stated position,
or that refusing to negotiate, he could be brought to

the peace table with the threat and use of force.
It was a universal failure to grasp the unique nature
of the insurgency Vietnam. In other words, the kind of
guys who work at RAND, who are like war gamers,
who were obsessed with their own careers and like rational thought,
could not accept that, like, well, there's people over there
that believe in things, right, The people running the war

effort in North Vietnam might not just come to the
table because they get scared because of a bombing. They
might actually have principles that they're holding too, you know.

Speaker 3 (57:24):
Yeah, that seems like an oversight that's common, which is
like looking at them like NPCs, you know, where it's like,
if we do this, then they'll get scared. Yeah, it's
dehumanizing the enemy, right, and the thing about doing that
is it often screws yourself over where it's like if
you're not thinking about them like human beings, yeah, then

you don't actually know how to deal with them.

Speaker 2 (57:49):
That's exactly it. And it's the same thing you get
with like we're seeing with the houthis right now right
where it's like, Okay, well we sent we started bombing them.
Oh that hasn't changed what they're doing. They're still still
throwing cruise missiles at ships.

Speaker 3 (58:00):

Speaker 2 (58:01):
I also as if yeah, yeah, no, you.

Speaker 3 (58:03):
Could even scale it down, Like I think like that
that whole Libs of TikTok interview where she just froze
up to me has that stinks of like, yeah, they
have this idea in their head of like a liberal journalist,
this straw man, and then when you actually sit down
with these people or like Elon Muskin don Lemon, where
it's like then you realize like, oh, they're completely unprepared

for this situation because they had this straw man in
their head that they thought like, oh, this will be easy.
And then so like it's this, yeah, you can scale
it up. It's a war too, where it's.

Speaker 2 (58:37):
Yeah, it is like the same psychological like the Rand
Corporation in Vietnam are in the same position as like, yeah,
Elon Musk in that interview, or the libs of TikTok
lady when she get like this happens repeatedly. I mean
it's the same. You could go back to like Nazi
Germany right when they invade Russia, being like, because they're
very much if you look at like the Rand Corporation

is telling ob they're right around the corner from collapse.
Just push a little harder and they'll fall apart. Hitler
invades the USSR being like, yeah, if we just kick
in the door, everything's going to collapse. It's like, now,
it never quite works that way, does it, Guys.

Speaker 3 (59:13):

Speaker 2 (59:14):
Anytime you're true And you should think about this when
people talk about like, oh, you know, the Republicans, you know,
don't have any real strip, Like we outnumber them by
so much. You know, Trump is on the ropes, right,
All we have to do is push a little harder
and we'll beat them forever. Yeah, anytime anyone's telling you
that about your enemy. No, people believe in things. It's
hard to actually win a fight like this.

Speaker 3 (59:35):
It's wild how we keep doing it. Because like this
not to deviate too far, but like the Oscars this year,
they like read a Trump tweet on stage and everybody
had a good laugh, and it's like a member like
the static election, Like you guys gotta start like they're
such humorous and it's like when does this ever worked

out for you? Jesus Christ.

Speaker 2 (59:58):
Part of it this reveals something like fundamentally like kind
of horrible at the center of a lot of the
human experience, which is that a huge number of people
don't want to think that there can be other people
who believe wildly different things from them and really believe it.
They're just like doing it to be like evil or
like try to like get but like actually have are

like that is the center of their being. Like the
idea to a lot of these guys, the idea that like, yeah,
in Vietnam, there are actual committed communists nationalists who are
willing to die, lots of them for a cause and
are not willing to compromise on that cause. Right, Yeah,

you almost can't believe that because then you have to
kind of accept that, like people can live in a
way that is wildly different from how I do, and
there's they're just as much people they're not like brainwashed
or anything like. This is actually just a deeply held
set of beliefs.

Speaker 3 (01:00:57):
Right right, And even if you think they're doing it,
like they don't fully belie leave it or they're doing
it in mouth. I mean, we have like what sunken cost
fallony or a fallacy, or I call it being pot committed,
which is like that idea that when you've put so
much into it, you're not going to back out.

Speaker 2 (01:01:11):
Yeah, And that's that's really where we're headed here, because
the Rand Corporation is very, very much integral in the
US getting pot committed to Vietnam. Obviously, you can trace
a lot of people's deaths back to the Rand Corporation's
work there. And this has two major effects on domestic
politics in the United States. One is that think tanks

and experts, the concept of expertise you brought up sort
of like the way in which everyone a lot of
people reacted to experts talking about like what we should
do with COVID. A big part of why there's such
a rapid backlash to like very basic public health shit.
It all kind of starts with the backlash to Vietnam.
All of the experts say we're about to win, throw

some more shit in here, right, throw some more money
behind it, and they're horribly wrong. And that kind of
that helps sort of fuel this anti expertise backlash in
American popular culture, right, and it is you have to
say that this is a big part of conservatism today.
It's not wrong for there to be that backlash, right,

You should be really skeptical about people who claim to
expertise in this shit.

Speaker 3 (01:02:20):
Absolutely, yes, yeah, but yeah, it's yeah, all about the
nuance where it's like, yeah, being able to think critically
about these things is a good idea. Yeah, it's just
that that's not often what people do.

Speaker 2 (01:02:33):
Yeah. Unfortunately, the response for some people is like, well,
since all the experts are crooks, I'm just going to
vote for the angriest man I've ever seen. You know, Well,
that's not really a good idea either. The other equally
important takeaway, though, and this is kind of it might
seem like it's separate, but a lot of people recognize
both these things is that think tanks have power. Right.

A bunch of eggheads writing policy papers helped provide support
for an insane escalation v Vietnam, and that means there's
a lot of power in having eggheads write policy papers, right,
and if you pay for those policy papers, maybe you
can get eggheads to support any insane policy you want
to push an American society, right, And this is deeply

attractive to the oligarchs who had fought like hyenas against
the New Deal. These people had been infuriated by the
Great Society as well. That's lbj's right. Alongside escalation of Vietnam,
LBJ is pushing some of the most like substantial social
welfare programs in the history of our country. And these
people who had kind of who had fought against the

New Deal but had given up, were like feeling kind
of hopeless at like we can't stop the anti war
movement from rising. That's continuing to frustrate them in like
the mid sixties, and also we couldn't stop this raft
of social reforms from going through. But what they sort
of start to realize is that because the liberal establishment
has gotten so in bed in Vietnam and with this

kind of like cadre of experts who backed their stupid
ideas for what to do, there there was an opportunity, right,
an opportunity to actually reverse this kind of feeling that
conservatism is always on the back foot and start taking
strides forward to become the dominant ideology in the country. Right,
this is like the thing that's starting to happen in

the mid sixties. You could be forgiven if you had
thought that like the ideological battle between conservatism and like
liberalism was still had still been won by liberals in
the sixties, it would have looked that way, because nineteen
sixty four is when we get the candidacy of Barry Goldwater,
and Goldwater is he's like the craziest person anybody has
ever seen in nineteen sixty four in politics I talk

about people will always point out on the subreddit, well,
actually he was like pretty pretty moderate on a lot
of things. By the end of his life. He was
like pro gay marriage and pro weed and stuff, and
like all of that's true. But in nineteen sixty four
he is the guy who is He's coming up on
stage and he's saying, like, extreamism and defensive liberty is
no vice. Let's lab a nuclear bomb into the men's

room at the Kremlin. Lazy dole. Happy people want to
feed on the fruits of somebody else's labor right. He
comes up when he gives his speech at the RNC
in sixty four. He talks about how like the Democratic
Party and the network news programs are into the direction
of Marxist ballet dancers, that like their god is Mammon, right,

like who is money? Like money is the god of
the liberal establishment. He is kind of a maniac, right, Yeah,
he's very reasonable compared to like modern Republicans. But this
is how people think about him at the time, and
Goldwater like, this is a very scary moment for anyone
paying attention because what they'll notice, people who are at

the Cow Palace, which is like the place in San
Francisco where the RNC is happening, then will note that
like his followers are, they're proto trumpists, right, They are
into him and excited about him in a way that
nobody was for p Residence, right, Like it was like
this weird hitlarian kind of cult of personality that he had,

and it was small, but the extremism with which he
was embraced by these kind of what will become known
as the new Right was really concerning to a lot
of people for good reason. And it might have looked
because Goldwater loses badly. LBJ gets sixty one percent of
the popular vote. So you can see how you some
conservatives were like, well, this means we're fucked forever, right,

this guy Goldwater has set us back generations. You know,
we we went too hard, too fast, and we lost badly,
and like we we have to go to the middle. Right.
That's certainly what like if this were reversed, if you
had an actual like hardcore leftist presidential candidate get defeated
that badly, the Democratic Party's lesson would be we can

never ever do anything again, right, Like.

Speaker 3 (01:06:51):
It's back to the future. I guess you guys aren't
ready for that yet.

Speaker 2 (01:06:55):
Yeah, I guess that is what happens here. Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 3 (01:06:59):
I mean this this plays into like I've talked to
like punks who were sentient in the eighties when Reagan
was elected, and they talk about this idea of like,
when Reagan got elected, I thought, oh, the world's gonna end,
and then it didn't. And this is kind of what
they did that movie Oppenheimer, that idea of like, yeah,
it kind of did. Like That's the thing we don't
realize is when we say, like, oh, Trump's gonna fucking

destroy the world or whatever. It's like, not immediately. It's
more about the fact that these people are going to
set us into this direction that's just going to keep
snowballing where we've now said, oh, it's okay for this person, yeah,
to have to even run, even just running for president.
We're basically saying like we're now entertaining this idea and

maybe it wasn't maybe people didn't go for it this time,
but okay, let's just slowly roll it out a little
slower next time.

Speaker 2 (01:07:51):
You know, there's some people on the left who are
like actual, like like Lewis Lapham of Harper's when we're
to quote from seems to recognize what goldwater means. Yeah,
you know, you get a bit of that. Hunter S.
Thompson is kind of one of the people who sees
Goldwater and is like oh fuck, oh fuck, because he's
just got a pretty good understanding of like American culture
and like, Okay, this is going to keep being a thing.

It's only going to get bigger. A lot of the
people who had been Goldwater backers, a lot of these
these guys were talking about this cadra of like super
conservative multi millionaires most of them who had inherited their money.
They are like they kind of have this brief flash
of hope, a lot of them for Goldwater, but there's
also like this deep crashing, like frustration when he fails

in this sense that like, well, we've lost forever. We
just can't We're not gonna be able to stop communism
for taking over the country. And in his article for
Harper's Lewis Lapham describes a meeting of these guys at
Bohemian Grove in nineteen sixty eight, which sets the mood
of this particular cast well. In the hearts of the
corporate chieftains wandering around the redwood trees and the Bohemian

Grove in July nineteen sixty eight, the fear was palpable
and genuine. The croquet lawns seemed to be sliding away
beneath their feet, and although they knew they were in trouble,
they didn't know why. Ideas apparently mattered, and words were
maybe more important than they had guessed. Unfortunately they didn't
have any. The American property holding classes tended to be
embarrassingly ill at ease with concepts that don't translate promptly

into money, and the beacons of conservative light shining through
the liberal fog of the late nineteen sixties didn't come
up to the number of clubs in Arnold Palmer's golf bag.
The Company of the Commercial Faithful, gathered on the banks
of California's Russian River could look for Sucker to Goldwater's
autobiography The Conscience of a Conservative, to William F. Buckley's
editorials in National Review, to the novels of Iron Rand.

But that was kind of all they had, right, was
this kind of like utopian conservative fiction, because it seemed
like the situation was so bleak, but salvation was not
far away. Nixon is going to win, right, Sure, yeah,
he's going to become the president, and that's going to

be like kind of a fucking disaster. But they couldn't
really see that coming. It didn't seem likely until a
bunch of other shit falls into place later that year.
So it's a desperate time for these guys, obviously, though
shit starts to go their way pretty soon after this moment.
In nineteen seventy one, a Richmond corporate lawyer named Lewis
Powell wrote a confidential memorandum. He had been an intelligence

guy in World War two. His whole thing. In World
War Two, Lewis Powell had been like he'd written loughingly
about the bombing of Dresden, like this is we did
a great job with Dresden. This is really like the
finest hour of our air power, you know, really murdering
all of these civilians and not getting the Germans to surrender.
After the war, he'd chaired the Richmond School Board where
he Richmond, Virginia, where he had fought like hell against

the attempts to desegregate public schools. And then once he
failed at stopping schools from desegregating, he took a job
representing the Tobacco Institute during the height of its evil.
So this is like a guy, this is a man
whose business is being the devil, right.

Speaker 3 (01:10:58):
That's what do you do. And he's like, you know,
like evil stuff, I mean.

Speaker 2 (01:11:01):
General evil, Yeah, yeah, sundry evil. So this is like
a pretty pretty impressive bastard memorandum. And so after Nixon
gets into office, you know, a couple of years in
conservatives are like happy about some things, but there's also like,
especially the hard right, the Goldwater right, doesn't really trust

Nixon because even though he made his bones as an
anti communist, he's like going to be friends with Mao,
you know, he establishes the EPA. So there's still this
feeling that like, even though this guy's a Republican, we're
still losing the ideological war. If a Republican is doing
all this stuff, right, we need to get a real dick.
Nixon is too sane and even handed. We need a

real maniac in there.

Speaker 3 (01:11:44):
Yeah, you know.

Speaker 2 (01:11:46):
And so Lewis Powell in nineteen seventy one writes what
becomes known as the Powell Memorandum. So this is to
kind of provide some additional context. Powell is this He's
it's a very prominent lawyer. He gets asked by Nixon
in sixty nine to join the Supreme Court, and he's like,
I don't really want to be in the Supreme Court, right,

And so a couple of years later Nixon asks again,
and in seventy one pala is like, yeah, I'll join
the Supreme Court. And in kind of the period before
he actually takes that job, one of his friends, who's
the education director of the Chamber of Commerce, is like, Hey,
before you become a Supreme Court justice, I need you
to like write a memorandum on how we can win

the culture war in the United States. And so Powell
writes this thing titled attack on the American Free Enterprise
System that gets distributed to the Chamber of Commerce is
like the body and the government that interfaces with all
of the corporations, Right, that's the basic idea of what
the Chamber of Commerce is. So he writes this memo
and it goes out to all of the people running

the biggest companies in the United States. This memo from
this guy who's going to become a Supreme Court justice,
and he is not going to disclose that he's written
this mimo when he's being confirmed to Supreme Court justice
because of as I just describe the memo, it will
become obvious why he didn't want to talk about this.

Speaker 3 (01:13:03):
Wait, so nobody knows he wrote it or he.

Speaker 2 (01:13:06):
Just the rich people know. He'd forget it.

Speaker 3 (01:13:08):
That's a public doesn't Jerry maguire all the rich people?

Speaker 2 (01:13:12):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So the memo starts with him talking
about like Ralph Nader, you know, as this like boogey man.
He's like, we have a bunch of demons stalking the
property in classes in America, and chief among them is
Ralph Nader because in sixty five, Nator had published this
book called Unsafe at Any Speed, which forced the automotive
industry to include seat belts and shit. Right, Like, he

writes this book, everyone is dying in their cars. There
are no safety features, and everyone has one. We should
probably make it mandatory that there be safety features in cars.

Speaker 3 (01:13:43):
This seems to be what he was known for, yes
before he ran for presidente.

Speaker 2 (01:13:49):
Yeah, and it was a great thing to do. And
it's this is part of this whole like sense of
doom they have that there's no stopping progressivism because this
book comes out in immediately, like there's not like this
massive counter punch to it where people are like, we
need to cancel Natter for being too woke. Everyone's like, oh, yeah,
we should have seat belts. That seems like a good idea,

and automotive companies are like, but this is going to
cost us a lot of money, right, And powell Is
describes himself as terrified about the reaction to Nator's work
because he sees it as like evidence that socialism is
inevitably taking over the country. Right. The first thing's corporate
power is a pillar holding up American greatness, and they're
eroding it. You know, that's how he describes it.

Speaker 3 (01:14:33):
It's wild this attitude we have about corporations that we
see them as like a deity, because this idea of saying,
you've made something that's unsafe, we need you to make
it more safe, and then corporations go, but that's going
to cost us a lot of money. The proper reply
to that is okay.

Speaker 2 (01:14:52):
Yeah, like Vine would still have to.

Speaker 3 (01:14:55):
Do it, Like we're still gonna make you do it.
You know, you don't really have a choice. You're making
a product that's going out into the public. It needs
to be it has to meet these standards that we've
deemed safe. That's it, end of discussion. And so it's
wild that there's an entire political party who's like, no,
we can't do that to corporations.

Speaker 2 (01:15:17):
Well, and that's a And these guys up to this point,
they still they had felt that way the whole time.
Is the New Deal and Great Society and all this
shit is going on, they had felt like, we shouldn't
let them do this to us in our sweet, sweet money.
But they didn't have a concerted way to counterattack, right.
And what Powell says in this memo is like, we
the corporate class in America, the people with money who

run our businesses, need to be attacking people like nat
We need to build a mechanism to go to war
with Ralph Nader, right, otherwise they're going to inevitably bring
this country to communism, right right. Another guy that he
rails against is William Kunzler, who's a civil rights lawyer.
He had a hand in everything from the Freedom Writers

to Wounded Knee, very influential guy. And guys like Kunsler
and Nator are the enemy, right, They're these sinister forces
aligned to create a world in which people have access
to food and medicine against such foul enemies. The only
response Powell wrote was the ideological equivalent to war. And
I'm going to read a summary of his memorandum from
a speech in the Senate by Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.

The language in the Powell report is the language of battle, attack,
frontal assault, rifle shots, warfare. The recommendations are to endcompromise
and appeasement. His words compromise and appeasement to understand that,
as he said, the ultimate issue may be survival, and
he underline the word survival in his report and to
call for the wisdom, ingenuity, and resources of American business

to be marshaled against those who would destroy it.

Speaker 3 (01:16:47):
Man, there's something about when we talk about all these
think takes and experts and stuff, I really think for
the average person, the best metric really is like who's
always wrong or who's always right? What is actually the result?

Speaker 2 (01:17:04):
You know?

Speaker 3 (01:17:04):
Like this thing take with the Vietnam stuff, It's like,
how did that work out? Does someone consistently and so
with this stuff, it's just like we did we slide
into communism to have seatbelts? Did this cause? Like? What
is actually going on right now? Do you think do
you think you know, deregulating everything and making corporations get

to do whatever they want? Has that made things better?
Are products better? Do things cost? Perhaps a lot?

Speaker 2 (01:17:32):
Is it?

Speaker 3 (01:17:33):
You know? Like look at today and be like what
is the problems today? What do you think caused that?
And then perhaps should we listen to the people or
the institutions that caused that problem and continue to cause problems?
It's just so obvious, that's all. Yes, it's very silly.

Speaker 2 (01:17:50):
It ought to be but you know the thing is,
it's silly to like pretend that this is good for
anyone but the people with money. But power isn't doing that.
Power is saying, hey, people with money, you are a
threatened class in America and we have to organize to
destroy the majority of the country who wants your money
to buy medicine, which we.

Speaker 3 (01:18:11):
Still we see this today, right that the billionaires is
a slur.

Speaker 2 (01:18:16):
Or something like that, exactly exactly.

Speaker 3 (01:18:19):
Or it's just weird that there is. It's not just
a class, but it's like a weird culture right where
we're rooting for corporations, we're rooting for rich people, where
like Elon Musk is a figurehead, or like people go
like Yo Disney versus Sony, and it's like, fuck all.

Speaker 2 (01:18:34):
Of that you're talking about, Dave, is the result, like
that state of affairs is the result of the Powell
memorandums success because he is laying out a battle plan
for these guys, for these rich fail suns and the
companies that they run. And Palell's vision here is nothing
less than a plot to take over the US government
from the inside, to damage its institutions so severely that

no one would ever be able to take them back.
He directed this letter at the oligarchs in American society,
people who are frightened of any limit to their wealth
and power. He wrote to them, strength lies in organization
and careful long range planning and implementation, and consistency of
action over an indefinite period of years, and the scale
of financing available only through joint effort, and in the

political power available only through united action and national organizations. Right.
And his attitude is it's the job of men like him,
like me as as the thinker here, My job is
to be like the Rand Corporation in Vietnam, to plot
out a path to victory. Right, it's the job of you, guys,
the people with money. All you need to do is

put money in my pocket and the pocket of other
people like us. Right, and we will finance. Like if
you finance think tanks and like pay for intellectuals for
lawyers like us, we will put out public policy and
will get judges in place. And what of Powell's big
insights is like, because again he's about to become a
Supreme Court justice, his attitude is like, conservative need to

take over the courts. Right, that's the best way to
shift policy because these are lifetime appointments. The more conservatives
we get in the courts, we can actually take the
reins of culture and steer them.

Speaker 3 (01:20:12):
Right, it's not wrong.

Speaker 2 (01:20:13):
He is not at all wrong. He's very smart.

Speaker 3 (01:20:16):
Yeah, it's almost as if we designed it badly.

Speaker 2 (01:20:19):
Yes, yes, it is where it's weird that.

Speaker 3 (01:20:21):
We were like, Okay, we'll have this branch to government,
this branch and they get you know, it's like every
few years, and then we'll have these like lifetime kings.

Speaker 2 (01:20:28):
We should have some god kings. Probably some godkings. Yeah,
definitely want a couple of god kings in there.

Speaker 3 (01:20:32):
Would we do that?

Speaker 2 (01:20:34):
That's so I don't think we need godkings. Pal's attitude
is that every American business should donate ten percent of
their advertising budget towards propaganda, towards think tanks, towards funding
this stuff. Right, Like every corporation, Exxon and whatnot, they
should all be putting money into think tanks and consider
that advertising right to lobby the government and publish papers

that push their agenda right, right, which is you know
what happened. A big central part of his obsession is textbooks.
One thing he wanted is he wanted oligarchs to pay
right wing pundits to critique and attack textbooks for being
insufficiently pro capitalist. He wanted to pay for there to
be organizations to monitor TV networks. He believed that like

television should quote be monitored in the same way that
textbooks should be kept under constant surveillance. The goal of
all this was to make sure that corporate America got
equal time with like, you know, the interests of human beings.
He's basically saying, the next time a guy that like
Ralph Nader publishes a book about how cars are killing people,
we need to make sure every news agency gives equal
time to the car companies, saying, but we don't want

to put seat belts in cars, it'll make them too expensive.

Speaker 3 (01:21:43):
Yeah, both sides.

Speaker 2 (01:21:45):
Yeah, it's really good stuff here. And it's like, there's
a lot of very modern stuff here, right Like. Powell
writes that like business owners should use political influence and
money to stem quote the stampedes by politicians to support
any legislation related to consumerism or to the environment, and
he puts the environment in quotation marks political power is necessary,

it must be assiduously cultivated, and when necessary, must be
used aggressively and with determination. It is essential to be
far more aggressive than in the past, with no hesitation
to attack, not the slightest hesitation to press vigorously in
all political arenas, and no reluctance to penalize politically those
who oppose corporate efforts. So you know, not great, not great,

but it all happens.

Speaker 3 (01:22:35):
Yeah, oh yeah, no, they get it. You're right. Yeah,
we're now in a situation where it's not even like abnormal.
We don't think of it as weird like it it's
it's it's weird that like these things have to be
debated or explained. They have divulged the conversation successful.

Speaker 2 (01:22:55):
Yeah, you know where like they follow Powell's march, Yeah.

Speaker 3 (01:23:01):
Right where we're we're getting people who are saying, like
you know, who are who are just publicly like this
is gonna hurt corporations and that's gonna hurt you the worker,
and people are just believing it. Uh, it's kind of wild,
Like it's wild that trickle down is a thing that's like,
oh yeah, it'll get to you. And why would anybody

vote for that, Why would anybody an average person go like,
you know, we should we should totally. Just let it
go to the rich people and then it'll get around
to us. It'll trickle down to us like piss Like.
It's just like, that's so weird that we that people
were able to sell this idea that the upper class,
that the corporate owners are people that need to be

protected or need to be represented politically.

Speaker 2 (01:23:50):
Dave, I love so much that you brought up trickle
down economics, because that's where we're heading in part two
right now, let's trickle down your plug aubles to our audience.

Speaker 3 (01:24:04):
Mmmmm I can? I mean you mentioned Gamefully Unemployed g
A M E f U l O Y Unemployed. That's
a podcast network I do with Tom Ryman where we
talk about movies. Mostly we do reviews and we talk
about movie news, so and and so forth. We have
a Patreon you can check out, and then I am

the head writer for Some More News, which is a
political show that I'm sure a lot of people are
aware of if they're listening to this, but if you're not,
you should google it. I don't know when this is
coming out, but we just did a two parter on
Lady Ballers. You know, the important stuff.

Speaker 2 (01:24:42):
Hell yeah, Well everybody this has been a podcast I
have been Robert Evans. Lady Ballers has been a bad movie,
but listen to what Dave thinks about it and go
to hell. I love you.

Speaker 1 (01:25:00):
Through. This is a production of cool Zone Media. For
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or check us out on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts,
or wherever you get your podcasts.

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