Buck is joined by guest co-host PJ O’Rourke to discuss the uproar in Silicon Valley over the Google “anti-diversity memo”…and what to really make of the idea that there are innate leadership differences between genders. PJ reveals the apparent “lemming run” of the Democratic party and what the lack of current leadership means going forward. Buck recalls his “jaw on the floor” moment when he met Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci and how this reflects on the Trump administration. Special guest Dinesh D’Souza, conservative thinker and author of America, Imagine a World Without Her is out with a new book, The Big Lie, since he survived a prison scare with Obama’s Justice Department in 2014. “Arianna” makes an appearance in the mailbag to respond to listener comments.
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Leading Political Satirist & Best-Selling Author and Editor-In-Chief American Consequences
Buck: Welcome everybody to the Stansberry Investor Hour. I am Buck Secton and with me this week is P.J. O'Rourke to cohost at the helm. P.J., great to have you, sir.
P.J.: Great to be here. How are you doing?
Buck: Yeah, you know, I'm all right. It's a crazy world we live in, P.J., which is what we're going to be talking about, at least in part today, on the podcast. For regular listeners, you may know this already, but just a reminder that our fearless leader and CEO, Porter Stansberry, is in fact away this week. He is fishing in the White Marlin Open. I told him to come back with the prize-winning fish or on it or whatever the Spartans used to say, right? Like, he's got to get first place.
P.J.: And I told him that dough balls on bent pins always worked very well for me when I was a kid in the Midwest. Of course, I was fishing for carp.
Buck: There we go. So we've got our good friend and colleague here with us, P.J. O'Rourke, editor of American Consequences. He's going to enlighten and entertain you. Also, author of How the Hell Did This Happen, which is a question we should probably just ask at some point today, P.J.
P.J.: Yeah, and how long will it go on and in which way, you know.
Buck: That, you know, as they say on social media, that's a title that has aged well. How the Hell Did This Happen, from 2016, is a title that aged well. So we also, by the way, are going to be joined by Dinesh D'Souza, who is an author, scholar, political filmmaker. He's got a new book out, The Big Lie, which he'll be talking to all of us about here. And if you haven't already, please do subscribe to the podcast in iTunes on Google Play, or wherever you find the podcast. Leave us a review, by the way.
That's very helpful and also, you can tell us what we can do to better serve you here on the show. It helps us grow and discover the best ways to do this. And for those of you who like to kick it old school with e-mail, [email protected], investorhour.com. If we use your question, we send you some swag. So with that, P.J., let's get it going here. What is on your mind, sir?
P.J.: Well, one of the things that's on my mind is – is the Google diversity, anti-diversity thing going on. I understand that there's an employee, a male employee, and I'm guessing here, but a male white employee that published in an internal e-mail – e-mails – if publish is the word to use. But anyway, ranting about this concentration on diversity. Now, I'm a little skeptical of this guy, because it's a 10-page rant and if you've got a point to make and it takes you 10 pages to make it, that's always a little bit of a worrisome sign.
Buck: He could have done a bottom line up front or given an executive summary or something at the very beginning and it would have been the following, I think, P.J. This guy's suggesting, and he's a Google employee, and for those who are wondering, I mean, this has caught fire in Silicon Valley and now, of course, it's getting a lot of attention across the internet.
You've got this guy who is suggesting, and goes into some detail, as P.J. eluded to with 10 pages, that there may be fewer women in engineering and tech leadership roles in Silicon Valley and across the technology sector, because women choose not to go into those sectors and there may even be some gender differences in interest and leadership style. This is some too hot to handle stuff, P.J., so I'm going to toss it to you.
P.J.: Yeah, well, first place, when it comes to gender differences, I just consider that a bunch of bologna. I mean, the – maybe there are. You know, obviously there are gender differences or I wouldn't be married to a woman. But when it comes to any given person and their talents, it's a complete tossup. And I serve on the board of directors of the Space Foundation, which is this nonprofit that promotes space activity and gathers all the people in the sort of astrophysicist space exploration, space industry together once a year and there are some powerhouse women on our board involved in that.
Why there aren't more women in this? I think it's a little bit kind of a boy's club atmosphere. I think that not every woman with the talents for this stuff wants to get engaged in the old boy network and put up with some of the, you know, usual BS from men. I mean, being a man, I know that one of our great features as a male is being full of BS. And, there's – men can't have babies and leaving all that aside, I think the guy has his finger on something, though, which I that we are paying way too much attention to diversity in outcome when what really matters is diversity of opportunity. It doesn't really matter what percent of women are at the leadership level in Silicon Valley.
What does matter is that if they so choose, they have the opportunity to do that. And we've got to quite measuring outcomes. Who knows why there are more Asians in this business, more blacks in that business, more whites in this other business, more Protestants here, more Jews there, more – Wall Street's very Irish Catholic. There's a whole aspect of Wall Street is very Irish Catholic. As long as everybody's got the opportunity, the outcome is sort of nobody's business.
Buck: You know in this – it's called a screed by some. I don't know what we officially – they're calling it an anti-diversity screed on some of the sites that I see. Are you familiar with Jerry McGuire, P.J.?
P.J.: No, I'm not.
Buck: Oh, okay, a movie with Tom Cruise. He circulates at a talent agency where he works, what he calls a mission statement and other people call it a memo and he gets very frustrated. That's part of Jerry McGuire, the movie. I don't know what this guy would call this internal 10-page analysis, but I will say that to your point about there are fantastic women, you know, from the Space Foundation who are incredibly qualified, he's not making the case that women aren't qualified.
He's not saying that men are good at engineering and math and tech and women aren't. He's saying that in the aggregate, if you look at what happens in the overall male and female population, there are differences that when played out lead to disparities of the representation when it comes to leadership; engineering specifically, the more sort of hard sciences aspects of running a tech company. And that it's not based in old boys' club bigotry or anything like that. So this is a – this reminds me of Larry Summers.
P.J.: I hate the social sciences. I think the social sciences are kind of an enemy of human liberty, you know. Because that kind of thinking – I had a big go around with Charles Murray, who's a very good friend of mine, about the Bell Curve. And I basically, there's one chapter in the Bell Curve, which postulates that there may be inherent IQ differences between ethnic groups and -
Buck: Well, aggregate – aggregate differences, right? I mean, I read the Bell Curve, I remember. It's not – yeah.
P.J.: Aggregate differences. And actually, it was another friend of ours, another close friend of Murray's who said if that were true, why would I want to know? If there is some inherent difference between men and women, why would I want to know? As long as everybody has got the freedom to pursue what they do best and that's not hindered by law or, for that matter, by custom. You know, I wouldn't pass laws to make people give up their customs, but, I would ask people to be, like, a little aware and polite about this stuff.
If you happen to be in an industry that has a tremendous number of, say, gay people in it, I would ask those gay people to be polite and kind and – and encouraging to a straight person that got into that business. And so on and so forth. I care about human liberty and I am deeply suspicious of the social sciences, which tend to, you know, concentrate on aggregate differences between people. And I say what's aggregate difference got to do with any given individual?
Buck: So what do you think about the Department of Justice now launching an investigation into discrimination? Because the aggregate differences rubric or approach has been used for decades, in fact, to the benefit of minorities. The idea being that in the aggregate, certain minorities are discriminated against and therefore, should have privileges in the admission process for schools and also in hiring.
So Trump's DOJ is now looking at this and this is going to have effect, I think, not just at the university and college level, but also in government hiring first and then you'll see it filtering out in the private sector looking at discrimination against any group. And that includes, most notably, at the university level, Asian Americans.
P.J.: Yeah, I'll be able to bring a suit on my own behalf, because I smell bad because I smoke cigars. There's odorous prejudice against me, because I stink of large, Cuban -
Buck: Well, that's only if someone thinks cigars smell bad. I think a lot of the listeners, P.J., probably are with you on cigars are delicious.
P.J.: Yeah, I don't want to live in a society that segregates itself and I don't want to live in a prejudiced or bigoted society. But there's such a weird limit to what the law can do about this stuff. I mean, a lot of these problems are class problems. People who are poor, and it doesn't matter what color or what sexual tendency, or whether they're transgender or anything, people who are poor have a much rougher time making it in the world than people who aren't poor.
Well, the first thing there would be to fix our public schools, possibly by making them unpublic and not just charter schools, but vouchers so that people can send their kids to good schools, as long as the kid behaves pretty well and doesn't hit anybody in the head with a brick. But a black person who grew up as the child of university professors, astrophysicists, Neil deGrasse Tyson's kid is going to have as many advantages as a white or an Asian or whatever kid who comes from that socioeconomic background. So if you want to concentrate on discrimination, it's really discrimination against the poor. And by the time you get to college admissions or job interviews and stuff, it's too damn late.
Go back and fix that public education system that allowed millions and millions of dirt-poor immigrants with all sorts of prejudice going against them, starting with the Irish, starting with my family arriving illiterate in a potato famine… but certainly Jews from Eastern Europe. These people face enormous prejudice, certainly more prejudice or as much prejudice as there is on the basis of skin color in America today and they were able to move forward and why were they able to move forward? It was a decent public education system. So I think they're grabbing diversity at the wrong end. Again, they're looking at outcomes, they're not looking at inputs.
Buck: Speaking of outcomes, the White House is supposed to be a little quieter now or a little bit more efficient since they brought in General Kelly to right the ship. I have to say the week of the mooch was one of the craziest weeks that's I've ever been covering.
P.J.: Oh, I love the mooch so much. I mean, because I just thought he was – the White House really needed a lightning rod other than the President and the mooch looked like he was just perfect for the job to stand on the roof and attract all sorts of thunderclaps.
Buck: I have friends who say that the theory here all along may have been that you bring in the mooch as a cleanup crew to get rid of Reince Priebus and force out some of those guys and then you – either the mooch will self-destruct quickly. So it sort of takes care of everything. And in the process, you make the President seem -
Buck: Even keeled and – well, you know, it seemed like he's – he's a cool customer.
P.J.: I know you and I differ on this a little bit, but yeah, you make him seem calm – cool, calm, and collected.
Buck: Speaking of differing on this, so you got Kelly in there now. He's supposed to calm things down.
P.J.: I met General Kelly one time. You wouldn't remember. It was like some Washington black tie dinner, but I sat down next to him and I said – I think he was like a three-star back then or something. I said sir, in one respect, I outrank you. My mother was a sergeant in the Marin Corp. He said yeah, you do all right. And my mom was, she was a control tower operator down at Cherry Point in the women's marines and the first or second, one of the early units of women's marines. She went to college in Lake Forest, Illinois and the whole Kappa Kappa Gamma house signed up when World War II broke out. And, if General Kelly can bring the kind of order to the White House as mom brought to my house, we'll be good.
Buck: There we go. You could send him a note and say hey, mom is watching, just FYI.
P.J.: Mom's watching. Mom's watching from heaven.
Buck: Yeah, so now let's get onto the latest with Jeff Flake. I know this is something you wanted to talk about, P.J.
P.J.: Well, I'm just wondering what Flake is up to. You know, he's a guy whose ratings are not all that high in Arizona. I don't know, but everybody that knows him seems to like and respect him. But boy, he's come out as one of the highest-ranking voices of the anti-Trump republicans. And I have no idea what his motives are or whether this is tactical or strategical.
Buck: Right, he just released a new book.
P.J.: Yeah, he just released a new book and he really lays into not only the president himself, but the president's supporters and various ideas that they've had along the way and is – is he positioning himself for some sort of change with the experts within the republican party, a return to a more goal like conservatism or is he just mad? What's your take on that?
Buck: I think unfortunately it's not going to work as a resistance to the wave of Trumpism, just because Flake is already a guy – first of all, just doesn't have the name recognition at this point to be somebody that's going to change the narrative in any meaningful way. I think that he has the -
P.J.: No, he's not. I mean, he's fairly important in the Senate, but no, he doesn't have that – and of course with his last name, name recognition is – may not help.
Buck: Yeah, it's not necessarily the easiest name to carry if you're going to be the guy who's the steadfast hand on the wheel of the Senate, right? Jeff Flake, but anyway.
P.J.: Right, vote for the Flake.
Buck: Yeah, but he's trying to do what others have been trying to do, I think, for a long time. I mean, you've seen all the different members of the GOP, whether it was Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz going back into the thick of the primary and they were making the same arguments that Flake is making. I just think the problem here is that I watched a video that he – and by the way, I'm sympathetic to a lot of those on the issue of style. I mean, I would not approach – were I to be the president, P.J., which, you know, is never going to happen, I would certainly -
P.J.: Yeah, me either.
Buck: …that President Trump does, but all that said, he's the president, I'm not, and no one thought he would be the president, so I do give him some degree of leeway, but here's the real place that I think it's still too early for there to be a real republican political revolt against this president and I think Jeff Flake is kind of hoping to get that started. If you look at what has actually been done and implanted this far, whether you think it's a lot or a little, it's been pretty good from the perspective, I think, of a lot of republicans and conservatives. I'm talking about the stuff that he's done. Not how he says things, not how he approaches people. Forget about Russia, all of that.
P.J.: Right, not what he tweets.
Buck: Right, not what he tweets. I just mean on a policy level, and some of these arguments right now are compelling. He's saying, look at the stock market, highest it's ever been. Look at unemployment, 4.1 percent. We're revamping the immigration system to make it skills-based, assuming that goes through, right? I mean, a lot of this is policy that still hasn't been implemented. But, assuming that they actually get something done on Obamacare, which I don't even think republicans want to do, but the president's at least been trying to push whatever. You know, he's basically saying give me something to sign. On the regulatory agencies, though, he's done a good job with fracking, with coal.
P.J.: I definitely agree there, yeah.
Buck: So this is where I think there's a disconnect, because understand all of the process and personnel and style criticisms of the president and, in fact, I agree with a lot of them and I think people that try make them all sound like they're 4D chess. Do you come across this, by the way? This is the – whenever somebody wants to testify anything that Trump does, it's 4D chess. When people take 4D chess -
P.J.: I was going to make that point where we were talking about the mooch was that if it was a plan, that presumes that there is a plan over at the White House and I haven't – I mean, there are some very basic fundamental ideas, but there doesn't seem to be a plan. Trump doesn't rate high, in my mind, as either a tactician or a strategist.
Buck: I will say that I interacted with the mooch once over at Fox News and I was – I was jaw on the ground when I was told this guy was running Trumps transition team. I was like you have got to be kidding me. And this is after Trump had won. This was January, this was when the Trump miracle or Trump catastrophe or whatever you think it was had already incurred. And I said no, come on, this guy's not really running a transition team sure enough, he was, so we'll have to see. The Pence 2020 rumors, though, that I've seen recently are pretty funny.
P.J.: Yeah, I've got another take on this. Why does Trump retain this core of support and why are, like, rebellious republicans going to have trouble with it was that first place that Trump core of support is bipartisan, it's not particularly republican. But if you are convinced, as many Trump supporters are, and I sympathize with them.
If you're convinced that the entire elite structure of America; political, economic, and intellectual, is hates you – hates you and loathes you and your trailer park and your, like, blue collar job, looks down their nose on you, treats you with contempt, if you feel that the whole system is against you and I would argue when it comes to skilled blue car labor and on down the line from there that there's more than a little truth in that. In fact, quite a bit of truth in that. If you feel that that system just loathes, despises, or at best ignores you and you want to disrupt that system and you elect a disruptor and he is disruptive, are you going to be disappointed?
Buck: Yeah, I've been told that Trump – people need to stop thinking of him – and this is from some pretty astute journalists that are not on the Trump train, but have seen it coming and have been – you know, Salena Zito is one who comes to mind. I think she's also the one who is attributed with saying that the media took Trump literally, but not seriously and his supporters took him seriously, but not literally, which is one of the better -
P.J.: Perfect. That is a brilliant analysis.
Buck: Yeah, it's one of the better encapsulations of Trumpism in the political wave that I've heard and she was saying that all along in this whole process, the recurring theme that she would hear, because she did this whole trip across the country to talk to Trump people and I've had her on my radio show a bunch of times to have her talk about this, because I think it is so interesting. You know, P.J., it's this crazy idea. For journalists, instead of assuming that they know what people in West Virginia think, sometimes maybe it's good to go to West Virginia and talk to them. You know, this is like a novel idea...
P.J.: Or, in the case of rural New Hampshire where I live, just go downtown. Stop by – I've got a bunch of old cars, so I spend a lot of time at the mechanics, you know.
Buck: Yeah, ask people who are making a living in these places, what it's like, and what it feels like and one of the recurring themes – this is just to your point, was that Trump wasn't – they weren't voting for him because yeah, he was entertaining and they liked that and he would say things to the media that they liked, but more than that, it was about being a weapon against the system. And they don't really care if the weapon is precise.
P.J.: Absolutely, I interviewed a guy during the New Hampshire primary and he was a really funny guy and I just really liked the guy. I'm talking to him and he's talking to me about – he owns a car repair garage, towing service, doing really well. He said I can afford Obamacare. He said, we're doing well, but he said those idiots in Washington, they never realize when they come up with some bright idea, a giant pile of paper lands on my desk. I'm a mechanic, I don't have a legal department.
I don't have a human resources department, I don't have an EPA compliance officer. It's me and my wife that run this thing and now there's, like, some endangered toad in the junkyard behind my place that's been – it's been a junkyard since the 1920s and now there's an endangered toad in there, and I can't – I mean, he had a long list of basically regulatory complaints. Many of them state and local and so he and I got to laughing. I turned to him and I said okay, so electing a maniac fixes this how? And he just laughed, he said I don't know, I just want to rip down the whole system.
Buck: Yeah, it was an extended – as I was explaining to you, P.J., it was for many voters just an extended digit at all the people who said you can't do that, you can't vote for him.
P.J.: Yeah, this guy and I are talking, he says it's not like I want – yeah, do I think Trump is vulgar? I don't want him in my house, you know. That's not the point.
Buck: With the way things are going right now, I'm wondering if anybody really thinks they, including the administration, know what the trajectory of all this is going to be. I have my concerns. I think the special counsel. All along here, I've been saying no one knows where that's going including the people who are investigating it and so the White House -
P.J.: Well, yeah, if you think about White Water.
Buck: Yeah, and it extends over for years and years and all of a sudden you get Monica Lewinsky in testimony about a dress and all that stuff and it started out with a land deal in Arkansas.
P.J.: That's right, right, and I've been there. I actually went out to White Water. It's a nice little dumpy joint on the river in the middle of nowhere, a bunch of lots that nothing got built on.
Buck: We got Dinesh D'Souza joining in a few minutes. P.J., I mentioned your book, What the Heck Happened. If you were to do a precis of an addendum chapter at this point, what would it be?
P.J.: Oh, well I'm – for the paperback edition coming out next year, I'm doing an addendum chapter.
Buck: Well, there we go.
P.J.: You know, how the hell did this happen and how the hell long will this go on? It's basically my addendum chapter. I agree with the Trump supporters that the system really needed a good shakeup, but when you shake things up, you never know quite what's going to fall out of the tree. You hope it's some delicious apples, but it might be a prickly porcupine.
Buck: Yeah, the Jeff Flake, the John McCain, the Marco Rubio you know is, well, maybe better than the Trump you don't know. They'll have to find out.
P.J.: Yeah, we'll have to see and also, does this result in a kind of a pendulum swing back to a more sort of technocratic kind of attitude toward government or we want people who like cool heads and clear eyes looking to see whether things are a problem and what do you do to fix the problem, if there really are problems.
Buck: I think it's so interesting that the democrats, P.J., have been running with this idea of the resistance. You know, #theresistance, and it's fascinating to me.
P.J.: Yeah, what do they think this is? France in 1944?
Buck: Les Resistance. No, they think that they're resisting Trump and they're clear that they want to do that, but I don't think there's any sense as to who the leadership is right now of the resistance, meaning, you know, they haven't coalesced around a few top democrats. But more to your point a second ago -
P.J.: It's hard to tell when they're all lemming like, running off the clip to the left.
Buck: They've gone way too far on this whole Russia thing, just whether it's all true or none of its true doesn't really matter. They haven't been making enough of a case about the economy, about everything else that the Democratic Party should be focused on. And I think that your point about technocratic leadership, that they can either go in that direction and say we need a calm, cool, steady mind here, a hand that will come in and steady the ship.
That's one possibility for the democrats, I think, and they get somebody with name recognition, but also some real credibility and political chops in office. The other option, though, and I'm being – you know, The Rock runs. Kid Rock is supposed to be running for senate in Michigan. Maybe you have – people have always talked about Mark Zuckerberg or Oprah. These are real possibilities. I mean, it does help, when you're running – I mean, ask Blumberg if you have – if you have unlimited resources, it's helpful.
P.J.: Well, Mike wouldn't be a bad president, actually.
Buck: Oh, actually, it's funny. There's some parts of policy that I vehemently disagree with Blumberg on, but as a lifelong pretty much New Yorker and someone born and raised here, the city was clean, it was safe, the government worked pretty well, the trains were on time. Good governance is a seductive – is a seductive thing regardless of someone's ideology.
P.J.: Yeah, no, it really is. But the democrats don't seem to be going in that direction. They seem to be on the lemming run.
Buck: Yeah, well they prefer the let's have one party government of every major city in the country, pretty much, and let's just run it into the ground and turn around and say well, we just need more tax dollars and we'll fix it.
P.J.: That's right.
Buck: All right everyone, it's time for the guest interview here on the Stansberry Investor Hour. We've got Dinesh D'Souza on the line. He is a best-selling author and filmmaker. His films are 2016 Obama's America and America, Imagine a World without Her. He's also got a whole bunch of books, but we're going to talk about his latest today, which is The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left. Dinesh D'Souza, great to have you.
Dinesh: Hey, good to be on the show.
Buck: P.J., first question to you, sir.
P.J.: Well, Dinesh, for listeners that haven't followed carefully the history of totalitarianism, give us a little background about how these two supposedly antagonistic philosophies; fascism and communism – explain for us a little bit how they're linked at the hip.
Dinesh: Fascism and communism are two sister ideologies that are both committed to the centralized, powerful state. Fascism actually grew out of communism. It grew out of something called the crisis of Marxism. Marx had made a whole series of predictions basically expecting revolutionary overthrows to occur in England and Germany and so none of this really happened.
And so in the early 20th century, some very smart people who were on the left sat down and thought what's wrong with Marx? How can we come up with the revision of Marxism that will actually work and out of that came two things. The first is Leninist Bolshevism and the other is Mussolini and Hitler-style fascism and both of those came right out of the left and they were in a sense – you may say bastard children of 19th century Marxism.
P.J.: Yeah, that's great. Let us never forget that Nazi stands for – that the word socialism is right there in the – and Mussolini, of course, started out as a socialist.
Dinesh: Yeah, he didn't just start out as a socialist, he was a lifelong socialist. He never rejected socialism. His point was that socialism, in its kind of classic form, was merely about class. In other words, the working man is loyal only to his profession. Whereas Mussolini goes wait a minute, the working man is also loyal to his country. In World War I, Mussolini saw a lot of French socialists die for France and German socialists die for Germany. So what basically Mussolini did is he tried to marry nationalism to socialism. That's how we get national and socialism… but they're not. It's a compression of that.
Buck: Dinesh, in your book, you make some connections to the American Democratic Party and some of the ideological crossover. Please – there's going to be some spicy parts of this, I'm sure. I'm assuming that you'll get all kinds of college campus pushback when you go to talk about the book. What are some of the connections?
Dinesh: Well, you know, I started the book by just noticing some very interesting similarities. For example, in the 1920s, you have two racial terrorist organizations, one on each side of the Atlantic. In Germany, you have the Nazi brown shirts, and in America, you have the Ku Klux Klan. If you think about it, look at these guys. I mean, first of all, they both wear ridiculous costumes. Second of all, they both carry weapons. Third of all, they both target a kind of racial minority. In the case of the Nazis, it's Jews, in the case of the Klan, its blacks.
And so they're both racial terrorist organizations and yet they are an extension of a political party. In Germany, the Nazi party, in America, the Democratic Party. So I started out by just noticing these similarities, but I didn't realize that the Nazis actually got some of their most destructive and homicidal ideas from the progressive democrats. And in the book, I mentioned several of those, but here, I'll just mention, for example, that the Nazis got their blueprint for the racial state, the Nuremburg laws, which essentially made Jews second-class citizens.
Forbidding marriage between Germans and Jews, keeping the Jews out of certain professions in the form of segregation, allowing racial terrorism against the Jews, and then later confiscating Jewish property. The Nazis got this blueprint directly from the democrats of the American south. They thought that they were starting a new racial state and then some of the Nazis who had said, basically, wait a minute, in America, they've already done this. The democrats have already figured it out, we don't have to invent it from scratch, we just need to take their laws, cross out the word black, and write in the word Jew and we're home free.
P.J.: That is scary stuff and then also, there was a perfectly respectable strain of 19th century thought about drawing on Darwinian theory about genetic improvement of the world and it extended not just to races, but also to people with disabilities and an otherwise respectable person is Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes, allowed sterilization laws to be permitted in states.
Dinesh: Yes, the word we're looking for here is eugenics, which actually just means sort of an improvement, being well born. (Out of Darwin's survival of the fittest.) On both sides of the Atlantic got the idea that gee, we can actually improve the human gene pool and we do it by encouraging or maybe even forcing very successful people to multiple and reproduce themselves and we've got to get rid of what they call disposable or unfit people. These are the worthless people that contribute nothing to society. So in America – American eugenics took off and became the world leader and Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, for example, was a member of this group.
Not the leading member, but just a member. And these eugenicists in America argued for sterilization. That was – Sanger was right on board with that one, but some of the other guys also argued for euthanasia and one California eugenicist called for what he called lethal chambers. He goes, we can't kill people one at a time, it takes too long. We need to figure out a system for killing them and he proposed these kind of gas chambers to do it. Now, again, this concept of the lethal chamber was lifted by the Nazis directly from the American progressives.
The Nazis used carbon monoxide gas. They euthanized a couple of hundred thousand people and this was, by the way, long before Hitler's final solution for the Jews. The original people who were killed were the sick, the disabled, the ill, the, what Hitler called "imbeciles." And then later that program was expanded using not just carbon monoxide gas, but hydrogen cyanide gas, so called Zyklon B. That was then used in Auschwitz and other places for the final solution.
P.J.: You know, we should probably interject here that the American progressive movement, it wasn't just democrats. There was a whole major progressive wing of the Republican Party, which also bears some blame for this. And then I don't think we want to tar all the mid-century American democrats with a blame that goes mainly, I think, so the southern democrats, the segregationist democrats.
Dinesh: In that case, yes, I agree completely. But I do want to point this out and that is that in the 1930s, the mainstream of the progressive left was very fascinated by Mussolini's fascism. Not so much by Hitler's National Socialism. FDR is a really good example. President Roosevelt sent members of his brain trust to Rome to study Italian fascism, because he saw it. He knew that fascism was on the left. He saw fascism as sort of more progressive than the new deal and so he thought they may have some great ideas over there that I haven't thought of and so all these FDR progressives came back from Italy full of praise of Italian fascism. And by the way, Mussolini, for his part, adored FDR. He reviewed FDR's book in an Italian magazine and he basically concluded this stuff is fantastic, this guy is one of us, he's a fascist.
Buck: I know that's the kind of stuff you hear, P.J., and all of a sudden you're like they don't teach this in schools, do they?
P.J.: We're not talking about conspiracy theories here, by any means. What we are talking about is broad, intellectual, political trends. It's like a broad, intellectual net that gathered up some kind of improbable and, to a certain extent, otherwise admirable people into some very bad ways of thinking.
Dinesh: After World War II, fascism and, of course Nazism, became completely discredited and stained with the reputation of the Holocaust, the emaciated figures coming out of the concentration camps. Obviously, the progressives who congratulated each other for their impact on Hitler's sterilization laws in the 30s; obviously, the American progressives who looked to Mussolini in the 30s, they didn't know that it was going to end up this way. And so one of the things about history is we have the benefit of hindsight, but obviously, they didn't.
Buck: Where are you seeing, Dinesh, these days, a connection – I mean, there's obviously anti-fa, right? There's this anti-fascist groups that pop up across the country that say that they are fighting Trump's fascism and they do this all dressed in black threatening violence against people, engaging in violence against people for their speech. And they are the only ones, it seems, these anti-fa, anti-fascist groups that don't see the irony here.
Dinesh: I know. These are the guys who I would say are the closest resemblance today to say Mussolini's black shirts in the 1920s. They look like them, they carry weapons like them, they use threats, intimidation, and violence like them, and yet they claim to be fighting Trump's fascism. Well, part of Trump's so-called fascism is they've redesigned fascism to something that it's obviously not. Just being a demagogue doesn't make you a fascist. There have been demagogues throughout history.
Even being a nationalist, it doesn't really make you a fascist. I mean, Gandhi was a nationalist, as was Mandela, as was Winston Churchill and de Gaulle in France. All the anti-colonial leaders were nationalists. So Castro was a nationalist. Obviously, it makes no sense to call all these people fascists. So nationalism, I would call it a bogus definition of fascism. The real meaning of fascism is the strong, centralized state.
P.J.: Right, which necessarily is a leftist idea.
Dinesh; Exactly. Now, another thing is that the Nazis in the 30s had a phrase called gleichschaltung, which actually means coordination. But what the Nazis meant is that we have to bring all of society into line with the ideology of Nazism. Nobody can march out and I say this because this has a chilling similarity to what we today call political correctness. I'm not just talking, obviously, about getting words right or using words in a sensitive way. I'm talking about the fact that in the media, in academia, in Hollywood, if you don't toe the line, they will brutalize you. I mean, they'll drive you out. They'll destroy your career. This kind of intolerance, institutionalized intolerance, is also a similarity between Fascism then and now.
P.J.: There's a great Hitler quote. I think it was from a speech… that we don't socialize industries, we socialize people.
Dinesh: Yes, and I think what Hitler means by this is that fascism or Nazism – Hitler really didn't call himself a fascist just like Mussolini never called himself Nazi. There are some distinctions even there, but the bottom line is Hitler saw that fascism was more than just government control of industry. Ultimately, the government control of your life and so that subordination of the individual to the state is the core meaning of Nazism.
P.J.: Now, Dinesh, I've got a more personal question to ask you. You do a lot of speaking and debating on college campuses and have you been subject to the Charles Murray treatment of harassment and abuse?
Dinesh: Happily, I have not. Now, I will say that it is customary for leftists on campus to do things like tear down my posters and even something that seems so innocuous and simple is actually very, very bad. It's bad in part because the point of view represent is simply disappeared from the college campus. When I was a young Reaganite in the 80s, we had these debates and the campus is maybe liberal, but they were at least exposed to what a conservative is or was. Now –
P.J.: I agree with you, I was doing quite a bit of speaking on college campuses back then, too. And yeah, I absolutely agree.
Dinesh: Whereas today, if you go on a campus like Yale or Princeton and you ask, what do conservatives believe? What is that they want to conserve? The typical student will give you a completely gaping, slack jawed, confused look and what it means is they don't reject conservativism, they just don't know what it is.
Buck: Yeah, they're all about the fashion. Progressivism is a fashion on campuses. It's what the cool kids believe. It's what the nice kids believe. It's what the good people believe.
P.J.: Yeah, but there's always been a lot of that. I think there's been a real sea change. You know, I'm a product of the 60s and even at the height of campus radicalization, there was a considerable counterweight. In fact, I think me and my fellow campus radicals actually represented a considerable minority. There were lots of conservative professors and sort of middle of the road professors. There were active libertarian and young republicans, young Americans for freedom. Timothy Leery spoke on our campus, but so did Bill Buckley.
Dinesh: Exactly, and you mentioned, part of what drives progressivism today is the idea that what the professors tell the young people is you are on the side of progress. You are the good guys and the other side are the bad guys. And the real point of writing my book is not just to vindicate Trump. I devote just really the first chapter to dealing with Trump. But then I examine this deeper question about whether fascism is on the left or on the right.
What happened is after World War II, the progressives who were coming to power in academia and the media, also Hollywood, they were the ones who moved fascism from the left wing column to the right wing column and they did it partly by redefining fascism in things like it becomes nationalism, it becomes demagoguery. They stripped away, you may say, the socialism out of National Socialism. So this is the big lie. That's why that's the title of the book is The Big Lie is the idea that fascism is a phenomenon of the right. It's not.
Buck: And everybody listening should check out the book, The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left. The author is Dinesh D'Souza, who was kind enough to join us for this Stansberry Investor Hour. Dinesh, always a pleasure, sir. Thank you so much for hanging out.
Dinesh: My pleasure.
P.J.: And been too long since I've seen you. I hope we'll get together soon, Dinesh.
Dinesh: Look forward to it.
Buck: So we got a few odds and ends to pick up here. First, before I get into our mailbag, P.J. American Consequences. What's coming up this month in the issue?
P.J.: Okay, this month is – boy, you got me confused, because I'm all thinking about September, which is the innovations issue. But the August issue is mutant capitalism. Some of the most successful companies in America today either aren't making a profit or they aren't distributing that profit to the shareholders and they seem to have a model – a corporate strategy and corporate tactics that really put the old robber barons of the 19th century to utter shame, make them look like a bunch of wimps. Jeff Bezos' campaign to take over the world and so we take a long look at whether this is a good thing, what does it mean to investors, whether – and what extent it's a creepy thing. So the new mutant capitalism is our theme.
Buck: And where can people go, by the way, to subscribe, download, check out American Consequences magazine?
P.J.: Their computer. I mean, you just Google it in and it pops right up at the top.
Buck: Fantastic. Just Google American Consequences.
P.J.: But let me say one important thing that I understand and that the old – every listener will understand no matter how tech challenged you are. It's free.
Buck: I know, a fantastic addition to it. It is in fact free, everybody. So now with that, we've got – I've got P.J. O'Rourke here, of course, the editor in chief of American Consequences. Also, author, raconteur, writer, analyst, man about town, cigar aficionado. We could go on for quite some time. But I want to get into our mailbag just real quick, because we ask everybody. And if you want to send us e-mail, Investor Hour is where you go, where you send that stuff. [email protected]
So first, we've got "Hey guys, love this week's episode with Richard Mayberry, which is episode 11. I'm laughing hysterically just like Porter. Thanks for bringing the horse laugh back, Buck. Richard Mayberry's always a pleasure to listen to. How come Porter hasn't acquired Richard's publishing business yet? I'd love to see some sort of lifetime offer for Richard's newsletters come out of Stansberry or better, included with The Capital Portfolio.
Ariana Huffington's unexpected commentary was even more thought provoking than Richard. You must have her back regularly." That's from Matt. Well, Matt, we appreciate that and I'm happy to help bring back Porter's laugh. Pleasure's all mine on that one. You know, P.J., I don't know if you're familiar. We have a special correspondent, because Ariana Huffington is running Uber. So we bring her on the show and she tells everybody that she can maybe bring them to work with her at Uber, I don't know. She pops in sometimes. She has so many companies to fix and make pretty. Yeah, she's a -
P.J.: I'm willing to do some Uber driving.
Buck: I was – in a sense, I'm amazed. The woman seems to be an expert in nothing and yet has expertise in everything. I don't know – it's an amazing skillset to pull off.
P.J.: And has made a lot of money from it.
Buck: Only in America, my friends. So anyway, we got our second piece of mail here from – this is – well, oh, Gary. "Porter and Buck, thank you very much for putting the Investor Hour on YouTube. Spread the word. Thanks again." Thanks, Gary. That's correct, we have a YouTube channel for the podcast. You're going to find all the episodes plus any of the exclusive extra video content we post, like Porter's stock valuation video, which everybody, it is really popular. You can check it out there. Just go to YouTube.com and search for Stansberry Investor Hour.
One more bit of mail here. "Hi Buck and Porter, and P.J., obviously, the Investor Hour is absolutely fantastic. You keep getting the best guests and there's so much to learn. I can't wait to hear from my lifelong favorite, Bill Bonner, and what he has to say. Sorry, Porter, you're up there, too. I'm most appreciative of the transcripts. Please keep them coming, Buck, Porter, P.J." That's from Michael. What do you think, P.J.?
P.J.: Well, I think that's great and I definitely think we should do a transcript of that – that interview with Dinesh. First place, because it'll be easy for me as an editor, because Dinesh speaks in complete sentences, as you may have noticed. And so you don't have to -
Buck: Yeah, he speaks in essay form.
P.J. Yeah, yeah, he really does. You know, whenever you render something into a transcript, if it's not for, like, police or court work or something, you have to clean it up a little bit, because people don't talk in the – quite the same way that they write. And there's a certain number of you knows, like I just said. You know, you knows, which you take out. Otherwise, like, it gets very irritating in print. And I was really impressed with Dinesh.
Buck: I agree and thank you, Michael, by the way, for that e-mail. We'd love to see you post those comments up on iTunes or Google Play, wherever you listen to the podcast. It helps us out to rate it, to post some comments, and obviously to share it. And speaking of Bill Bonner, yes, he will be on the show next week and Porter will be back in the saddle as well. We are assuming, P.J., that he will be basking in the glory of first place in one of the biggest prize fishing tournaments in the world. That's what I keep telling him, first place.
P.J.: Yeah, yeah, hope he gets a big carp.
Buck: That's right and only with your – aren't carp the ones you get with your hands or is that catfish?
P.J.: That's catfish. They're good, too.
Buck: Yeah, they're good, too. So for the transcripts of the show, everybody, just log onto your Investor Hour account at StansberryResearch.com website. You can get transcripts of the show there and for current Stansberry subscribers, you'll find Investor Hour on your subscription menu once you log in. If you need a free Stansberry account to view the transcripts and access all the extras from the podcast, just go to InvestorHour.com and enter your e-mail.
Have you – have we delighted or inspired you today, as Porter likes to say? Let us know. Write to [email protected] If we use your question, we'll send you some Stansberry Research swag. Love us or hate us, just don't ignore us and with that, P.J. O'Rourke, editor in chief of American Consequences and author of – your latest, right, is What the Heck Happened?
P.J.: Uh, How the Hell Did This Happen?
Buck: Sorry, I get – How the Hell Did This Happen? There we go. Which is – which is a more accurate way of putting it, given what's going on. We're way past hack, P.J. We're at what the hell's going on.
P.J.: Yeah, we are, we are, yeah.
Buck: Any closing thoughts, P.J.? Anything you want to tell the folks listening to the Investor Hour for this week?
Buck: All right, buy P.J.'s books and, by the way, do download American Consequences. Read it online. It's free, it's great, and I'm hoping P.J. will take an essay because I like to write.
P.J.: And Buck's in it. Buck has the closing page.
Buck: Very exciting stuff and by the way, we are at many times some of the long-established journals of political opinion that are out there. I mean, I think we are at four or five times with the new republic subscription base was, when I last heard what it was a few years back. So it's growing rapidly.
P.J.: It is indeed, yeah. I mean, we've had a very gratifying response to this and I had a great e-mail from two people; one person upset that we supported Trump and the other upset that I had voted for Hillary. And I said you're both right. I said basically, you've reached some sort of perfect compromise when everybody is mad at you.
Buck: That's right. In the current political climate, if people are mad at you from both sides, you are being thoughtful and probably being honest, so there you go.
P.J.: And you're probably right.
Buck: And with that, we're closing out. Thank you everybody, this is Stansberry Investor Hour. P.J. O'Rourke and Buck Secton. Oh, by the way, before I go, Buck Secton, With American Now is the radio show. Download it on iTunes and you can also listen on the I Heart radio app five days a week, 6:00 to 9:00 eastern. Download the I Heart app, it is free, it is three hours, it is me. P.J., thank you so much, Sir.
P.J.: Oh, you're very welcome, Buck. Always a pleasure.
Buck: All right everybody, that's Stansberry Investor Hour. See you next week.
Thank you for listening to the Stansberry Investor Hour. To access today's notes and receive notice of upcoming episodes, go to InvestorHour.com and enter your e-mail. Have a question for Porter and Buck? Send them an e-mail at [email protected] If we use your question on air, we'll send you one of our studio mugs. This broadcast is provided for entertainment purposes only and should not be considered personalized investment advice. Trading stocks and all other financial instruments involves risk. You should not make any investment decision based solely on what you hear. Stansberry Investor Hour is produced by Stansberry Research and is copyrighted by the Stansberry Radio Network.
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