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This episode is a bit of a curveball.
While not a health or fitness topic per se, the subject of this episode is tangentially related. Specifically, the topic is privilege and the idea that it’s wrong for some people to enjoy advantages that others don’t get to enjoy, and that equal outcome should be our goal.
In other words, inequality should be corrected through government policies and societal norms.
According to some people, equality of opportunity isn’t enough. The only way to have a fair society is to have equality of outcomes. That’s the real sign that you have a system that works for everyone.
Privilege is at odds with this idea. And while many people have heard of “white privilege” in recent times, that’s just one head of the hydra that needs to be lopped off to slay the beast of entitlement.
Is that the right frame of reference, though? Is privilege really at the core of our socioeconomic and racial dysfunctions here in the West?
Is it something we should systematically mitigate or eliminate altogether for a better world? Should you feel guilty and ashamed for any privilege you enjoy?
Everyone has different privileges relative to one another and almost anything can be viewed as an advantage if you compare to the right subject.
So what’s the proper response? Should we dispossess our advantages or feel pride?
Should we “cancel” people with privilege, or use those advantages to help others?
These are just some of the questions I chew the cud over with my guest Sal Di Stefano, a good friend of mine and one of the co-hosts of the number one fitness podcast in the world, Mind Pump.
Now, you may be wondering why two fitness guys are talking about privilege on a fitness podcast, and the simple reason is that we love chatting about politics, culture, economics, and history. Plus, a lot of the non-fitness content I’ve sprinkled into my podcasts over the years has generated a lot more positive feedback than negative and we don’t subscribe to the “stay in your lane bro” critiques.
So with all that said, let’s get to the show and let me know your thoughts!
7:34 – The skill of being objective and logical
10:10 – Two roadblocks to objectiveness
16:04 – Can I act in ways that are going to produce a desired result even though the action doesn’t feel right?
19:19 – What is privilege?
24:21 – What is Intersectionality?
Mentioned on the show:
The Mind Pump Podcast
Legion VIP One-on-One Coaching
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Mike: Oh, hello. Welcome to another episode of my podcast, Muscle for Life. I’m Mike Matthews. Thank you for joining me today. And in today’s episode I have something a little bit different, a curve ball, something that. Is related to health and fitness indirectly, but is not a health and fitness topic per se, and that is privilege.
The idea that some people enjoying advantages that other people do not enjoy is somehow wrong and should be corrected through government policies and cultural norms, ultimately to get closer to an equality. Outcome. You know the idea that equality of opportunity is not enough, if it is producing equality of outcome.
That is the only real way to know that you have a fair society, that you have a fair system that works for everyone. And one of the great enemies of fairness is supposedly privilege. And yes, that means that we also get into white privilege in particular, but according to many people, that is only one head of the hydra of privilege that must be locked off to finally slay the beast.
Is that the right frame of reference though? Is privilege really at the core of our socioeconomic and racial dysfunctions here in the west? Is it something that we should systematically mitigate or even. Eliminate together in any place. We can find it. In any form we can find it should you and I feel guilty and ashamed for the privileges that we enjoy.
And although we may enjoy different privileges, we certainly enjoy privileges in comparison to someone else. The fact that you can hear me speaking means that you have the privilege of a functional auditory system. Many people in the world do not have that privilege. They are deaf. If you are in good shape, you are enjoying tremendous physical and psychological privilege because your body is healthier, you have a stronger immune system, you’re able to be more productive at work.
You’re able to be more present in your relationships and give more to those relationships. You are going to be perceived as more attractive, and this inclines people to want to do you more favors and pay you more money. And so what is the proper emotional and behavioral response to enjoying privilege?
Should it be shame, regret, and even dis dispossession, dis discouragement of privilege? Or should it be maybe pride if it’s something that you have worked for, or gratitude if it’s something you have been given and humil. And instead of lessening or even canceling that personal privilege, should you use it to help others?
Should you use it to make the world a little bit of a better place in some way because you can have more of an impact than other people? These are some of the questions that my guest and I chew the cut over in this episode. And if you’re not familiar with my guest, it is the one and only Sal to Stepo, good friend of mine one of the co-hosts of the number one fitness podcast in the World Mind Pump, which I highly recommend you check out if you have not already.
If you like my podcast, you will certainly. Mind pump. Now, the reason why Sal, who’s mostly a fitness guy like me, is coming on a mostly fitness podcast like mine to talk about something like Privilege is like me, Sal’s, just into this stuff. Politics, culture, economics, history. Those are some of our favorite hobby horses outside of our health and fitness gigs.
And as really all of the non fitness commentary that I have sprinkled into the show over the last several years has generated a lot more positive than negative response. And often the negative response is often some form of Stay your lane, bro, as if being a health and fitness expert disqualifies me from talking about anything else.
And my response is always the same, and it is always the end of the conversation and it is. Are you a moral philosopher? Oh, you’re not. Maybe you should stay in your lane. Then what qualifies you to make a moral judgment on what I can and can’t talk about or should and shouldn’t talk about? So if you don’t like what Sal and I have to say, and you want to disagree with me, I would love to hear your thoughts, but you’re gonna have to do better than that.
All right? I think that’s enough by the way, of introduction. So let’s get to the, I. Also, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my v i p one-on-one coaching service because my team and I have helped people of all ages and all circumstances lose fat, build muscle, and get into the best shape of their life faster than they ever thought possible, and we can do the same for you.
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Mr. Deso, it’s a great privilege to have you back on the show, .
Sal: Yeah, it’s awesome, man. I always enjoy talking to you. It’s always a pleasure just talking about any topic with objective, logical people, and you’re definitely one of the most objective, logical people that I’ve encountered. So any conversation with you is always stimulating fun.
Mike: I’m flattered. That’s a compliment. That actually means something to
Sal: me. Dude, that’s huge. I think the ability to be objective and to try to be logical is a skill that is extremely valuable. Maybe not so prevalent, but it’s very valuable because it allows you to examine yourself to grow, to progress.
And to also question your own actions, which is super important cuz oftentimes we’re blind to the actions that we take, that are driven by emotions and are driven by non logical ways of thinking and feeling. And those things tend to hurt us. And we see this as a trainer, just taking it to fitness.
You see this all the time with people’s health. The choices that they make for themselves, can be pretty illogical and cause people a lot of problems. But if you expand upon that, I mean we do that across the board. So logic and objectivity, those are very important skills and I think
Mike: that one of the reasons, probably one of the primary reasons, those skills are rare is not stupidity.
It’s not, oh, people are just stupid. I’d say it’s more ignorance and it is not necessarily their fault. The apparent cause would be that they’re not taught these skills. There was a time when early on in your. Education, you would be taught the basics of language and how your language works. You would be taught how to think rationally, like you’d be taught about logical processes, logical fallacies, like some formal training in logic.
And you’d be taught how to communicate persuasively, how to use now, your ability to think rationally to make persuasive arguments, rhetoric, right? And that’s no longer the case. So you can have people who actually are very educated in one field. You can have people who go as far as they can possibly go and get a doctorate in something who have never actually learned how to think critically.
So you’ll see some of these people who have maybe. Impressive bon of fee days, say some very unimpressive things that are so obviously wrong. It can be hard to understand like this person is not stupid. If you were to have them do an IQ test, they’re probably above average. Yet they will think in very stupid ways and say very stupid things.
And again, I think it comes back to what you were just talking about is a skill that needs to be learned. Maybe some people come with it a bit more than others and like anything, right? Some people may have a knack for logical analysis, but to get good at it, you have to learn about it and you have to practice
Sal: it, right?
And to my best observation, there’s two big roadblocks to that. One is ignorance, right? One is just simply not know. The right information. And so children obviously can act in very illogical ways and oftentimes it’s because they just don’t know any better. But the second roadblock is actually much bigger and much more difficult to overcome.
And that is what I consider to be one of the biggest faults, or I say biggest challenges of humanity, which is arrogance. And that’s where people are very informed, are very intelligent, and their arrogance prevents them from self-examination and prevents them from critical, logical thinking. They’re so arrogant in, in fact, that they believe they have all the answers.
This is where you get, the great planners of society, people who think the best way to run society is to control all of society. To dictate people’s actions to control markets. Cause I’m so smart and we’re so smart, we could do it better. Yeah.
Mike: We can centrally plan everything better than all of the peasants ever could.
Sal: And this is historically why you see academia, historically opposing merchants. There’s always been this bit of this fight between the merchants who run commerce and business, and this is historical, this has always been this way and you still see it today and it’s really arrogance. It really is.
And today arrogance is at all time highs. It’s too old wisdom cuz Oh, that’s what people thought thousands of years ago. Totally negating the fact that wisdom literally has stood the test of time. It’s evolution of ideas. I don’t think there’s any better test of an idea than thousands of years and millions of people, No, I know better.
I’m so arrogant. Maybe not realizing arrogant. And so it’s your logical thought process. Your ability to be objective is gone. And it’s because. You are arrogant with your intelligence and that is a very difficult block to overcome. I had to really forcefully, examine myself years ago and continue to do every single day.
Cause I think one of the first steps is realizing that you are not above being manipulated and you are not above illogical. Non objective actions or thought. I think that’s the first step, is to know that you’re not immune to it. That’s number one. And then number two is, okay, how can I look at this from an objective point of view?
What information is the most objective I can use and how can I apply that in the most valuable, effective way? And then you move from there. That is definitely a skill. You’re a hundred percent right Mike. You gotta practice it for sure. And
Mike: when you say arrogance, I don’t think you’re just talking about thinking that you’re better than other people, or maybe you are.
That is only what you’re referring to. But if that’s the case, then I would also add to that, and this is something you alluded to a couple of times now, that maybe it’s a matter of trusting your feelings and your intuitions too much, or it could just be intellectual laziness. And this is how a lot of people fall into confirmation bias and then support it with disformation bias is you have this maybe too, Fundamentally different ways of coming to decisions or coming to attitudes or conclusions about things.
Worldviews, ideologies. You can have feelings and have intuitions, and then make decisions based on them, and then go search out information to confirm that you feelings and your intuitions are correct, or you can have feelings and intuitions. We’re all gonna have that. However, temper them and look to the objective reality and allow that to now inform your.
Attitudes, inform your feelings and maybe disconfirm them, that you have to be willing to go against what you feel is right. It may not be right. It may be completely wrong. And so that process is just uncomfortable. Nobody likes to be wrong. Nobody likes to feel stupid. Nobody likes to feel like they can’t trust their feelings and their intuitions.
And unfortunately though, where do feelings and intuitions come from? Nobody knows. We may never know. And some people. Have better intuitions and more accurate and practical and logical feelings and intuitions than others. But no matter how logical we are, no matter how well we try to live in accordance with the things that we’re talking about here.
And I say this myself like I, this is something I’ve, I don’t know if I’ve really talked about much on the podcast, but it’s just one of these things I’ve definitely discussed in person, just random conversations that I generally. I wouldn’t say I don’t trust my feelings and my intuitions, I’m just always skeptical of them.
It’s trust but verify. The old KGB motto, I apply that to myself, very much and I catch myself sometimes where I question, I have an idea about something and I question myself. Why do I think that? What evidence do I have for that? What is that based on? And sometimes I don’t have a great answer and I think I’m over the maybe defensiveness that can occur just internally when that happens.
And I’m okay with that. I’m not. A person who tries to assert my rightness to a fault, I’d rather actually be right than feel right. But that’s a process though, that I feel like I’ve gotten better. I certainly have gotten better with it as I have gotten older. I don’t think age is the reason, but in time I have gotten better with it, but it’s still something that I don’t struggle with.
But I think it’s gonna be something that I’m going to have to consciously work out my entire
Sal: life, I think. And here’s the challenge, the big challenge, Okay. The big challenge is, can I act in ways that are going to give produce a desired result even though the action doesn’t? Oftentimes we do things that feel good, that are completely counterproductive or even damaging. I’ll give you a couple examples. Okay. I’ll give you a simple example, right? And by the way, I’m not talking about being a robot, right? We are human and feeling an emotion is part of what makes us human. I think it’s important to check it, however, because feelings and emotions are powerful.
They’re much more powerful in instinctual drivers than logic. Logic is what makes. Intelligent, self-aware, beings, it’s emotions in combination with that makes us human. You gotta examine it. You have to examine it. So I’ll give you a simple, stupid example, right? So if I was based off of just pure feeling, I would eat food that tasted good, I’d have sex with everybody and I’d never work out, right?
Working out would hurt my body. And take every drug. And take every drug, right? So that’s a simple silly one, but I’ll take it a step further. When you look at people who enable other people to harm themselves, like parents who enable their drug addict children or alcoholic children, for example, who provide them with a place to stay, continue to give them money.
Sometimes even buying them the alcohol and drugs, because it feels good to know my kid is with me. Oh, at least they’re not out in the streets. I’m gonna keep ’em saying, not realizing that they’re actually enabling the behavior. This is a very classic example of parents acting or people acting in ways that feel.
That are actually producing the exact opposite result. Now, why is this important? This is important for two reasons. One, you can do things that are very bad for you and people around you if you don’t develop the skill of logical and objective thinking. And number two, and here’s the big one, Mike.
Your inability to do this is exactly what’s gonna get manipulated by advertisers, or even worse by government and politicians and people who wanna manipulate you to do certain things and want you to feel good while you do the things that they want that are counter to what you actually want. What you actually are fighting for what you actually believe in.
It’s very easy to manipulate you through feelings of fear, anger, and then the most powerful feeling to manipulate is empathy. If I can manipulate somebody with a false sense of empathy, they will oftentimes never question the actions that they take because the actions that they’re taking are based. The feel good feeling of empathy.
Cuz empathy’s a good, that’s a, you’re supposed to be empathetic boy if you get manipulated by empathy is a very difficult thing to come out of. And so being able to think critically and objectively, you better develop that skill or you are gonna be floating in the wind. Being taken advantage of, manipulated and you will be the cause of your own destruction and the pain and suffering of the people around you and not even realize it.
I think that’s a
Mike: great segue to get into the crux of what we wanted to talk about today. I think we’ve done some good stage setting cuz all of that is relevant to this idea of privilege and we can get to white privilege, but to get there, we have to start. Privilege. Now, what is privilege? We can start with a dictionary definition, which would just be a special right, or some advantage or some immunity that’s given, or it’s only available to a certain person or a certain group of people.
And these days, of course, it’s a pejorative and it’s considered bad. And in any kind of discussion like this, I always like to question everything. And that’s a given for many people. Of course, privilege is bad, but is it actually bad? That’s where this discussion we need to begin. Is somebody having a special right or a special advantage of some kind that other people don’t have?
Is that undesirable? Is that something that we need to fix? And it is always bad. It is always unfair.
Sal: Yeah, that’s a really good question. But I wanna take it a step further and I think I wanna start with the. Understanding that advantages and disadvantages are very real. That’s for sure. In fact, most people can look within, look around and identify potential advantages or disadvantages even within themselves.
This is totally normal. Nothing wrong with it. And then you could take it a step further and then you could say, I feel blessed because whatever, I feel blessed because I have two parents, or I’m healthy, or I live in a wealthy country, or I have the ability to speak my mind, it’s a protected right. Or whatever.
I could go down an infinite list of reasons why someone may feel blessed. And by the way, we’ll get into this as well, I think is that my mindset around my situation can switch something from being a disadvantage to advantage or vice versa, right? So that’s obvious. Could also be very strongly manipulated, especially if you take somebody who wants to be em.
And helpful because if somebody feels blessed, I could take that and say now that you are blessed, what about this other guy over here who isn’t
Mike: blessed? You can judo that into guilt and
Sal: shame, now again, there’s nothing wrong. In fact, this is probably a good thing for you to say to yourself, Man, I feel blessed and with this blessing, I think I’d like to help other people.
Actually, not only is there nothing wrong with that, it’s actually a good trait
Mike: Right now you’re talking about ju doing that into humility and I would agree. I would say it’s universally good. I can’t think of any scenario where being humble, not self denigrating, but being humble is a disadvantage.
Sal: Exactly. One thing we have to understand is that politicians in particular, but people in power or people who wish to sway you or change your views or your votes or your dollars, You gotta understand one thing. They understand how to use marketing, but it could be propaganda. It could be political ads, it could be news articles.
It could be AI that is directing you down these rabbit holes of articles and things to read and whatever. It could be posed as information. Their goal is to sway you and they’re very good at it. We gotta remember that the science behind influencing people has existed for thousands and thousands of years and is lots and lots of money spent on the most effective way to do this.
Okay, so now number one, the most effective way to manipulate someone is to not create something at a thin air. But rather to use a very real human emotion with some truth. And that’s the greatest starting point. So the starting point is you feel blessed, you observe advantages and disadvantages in your life and perhaps and others.
Let’s start from there. And so from there, what we have is the philosophy. And
Mike: not only that, but I think it’s worth adding that most people want to help other people. They want to see other people do well. They don’t like to see other people not do
Sal: well. Hundred percent. Again, nothing wrong with that’s a very good thing, right?
And some from there, spraying the philosophy that we’re using today. When you talk about privilege, or at least how it’s used today when we speak about privilege known as intersectionality, which is also based generally on the philosophy of Marxism. Okay? And we don’t need to go deep into Marxism because we’d have to really explain it, but philosophy of Marxism, generally speaking is a worldview of oppressors and oppressed.
It’s a worldview of class and groups. You belong to groups, that’s definitely more valuable than your individual value. People are oppressed, there are oppressors, there are oppressed, and it is the job of the oppressed. To rise up and overpower the oppressors because the world is all about power. And so from there spring
Mike: and it’s a zero sum game.
Correct. For them to win, you have to lose.
Sal: To be objective now. Okay. Be very objective. I don’t care if you’re a Marxist, if you’re whatever. Objectively speaking, historically, the batting average of Marxism as applied is 0%. It’s always resulted in terrible tyranny, destruction, death in its people.
That’s a hundred percent. There is no example of Marxism ever working very well. But anyway, let’s move away from that. Let’s move into intersectionality. Yeah. Let’s define
Mike: it first, just so people know what the term refer to. So
Sal: I’ll read the definition straight out of the dictionary, which is the interconnected nature.
Of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group regarded as creating overlapping interdependent systems of discrimination and disadvantage. Okay, so let’s break that down a little bit further. Intersectionality, aims to look at every. Advantage and disadvantage.
So every possible advantage and disadvantage, and when I’m done saying this, I think let’s, you and I have a fun time listing all the ones we can think about. Although we’re gonna have to stop, otherwise we’ll be here for, I don’t know, 10 hours, ,
Mike: all the different identities that one can assume,
So what they’re trying to do is they’re trying to look at all of the possible disadvantages and advantages that exist in the world, and then rank them in order of which one is more of an advantage than the other, and which one can potentially give power over another one. For example, if you look up a chart on intersectionality, you’ll see white woman, she has the advantage of being white, the disadvantage of being a woman.
And if you compare her to a black man, disadvantage of being black, advantage being man, which one has more power? And then you can list an infinite number of these. And then they aim to describe the world. In this way. Now here’s the huge, massive flaw in that way of thinking. It is a very arrogant, it’s ignorant at best, arrogant, at worst way of looking at the world and trying to rank people who are, I think we can all agree that individual humans infinitely complex.
In fact, humans are the most complex thing that we’ve ever observed in the universe, okay? In terms of our behaviors, why we think and act in the ways that we act, the things that make us up, the different groups we may belong to are mindset, surrounding all these things. We are extremely complex, and so intersectionality at best is ignorant, and at worst is arrogantly ranking people.
Based off of their observed advantages and disadvantages. So that’s what that philosophy looks at. So now
Mike: there, there is some validity to it though, at least there certainly was. So if you were black in the 1950s, you were gonna have a harder time of things than today, right? Yes. What period, regardless of how great of a person you are now, it doesn’t mean that your black skin was going to doom you to a life of abject poverty and misery, but you were gonna have a little bit of a harder time getting ahead.
Sal: However, now number one, what you’re talking about, our real disadvantages imposed upon people by law, and throughout history,
Mike: Women were certainly at a disadvantage in some ways, and that is not the case anymore, But of course, women were systematically discriminated against in certain ways for
Sal: a long time.
Yes. But again, I am not saying that we cannot observe advantages and disadvantages throughout history or even today, but to look at someone who is extremely complex and say, based off of looking at them, even that person is privileged or that person is underprivileged or disadvantaged, Is extremely arrogant.
I’ll give you an example.
Mike: So just to be clear, and again, I’m gonna jump in sometimes with these devil’s advocate Yeah, I love it. Positions because I think it’s useful. So what you’re saying is that it’s more the weighting of these things. How are you to say that this element of your identity like this gives you a plus five to your advantage score and Oh, this element though gives you a negative two.
And so it’s as if we can just do this calculus to get your privilege score.
Sal: It’s even worse than that. It’s even more challenging than that, Mike, because we’re not including. A person’s mindset and behaviors. I’ll give you a couple examples. Oh, that could be included
Mike: though. We could be like, Ooh, we’ll factor in your iq.
We’re gonna have you take a big five personality test. We’re gonna look at certain key elements of your personality. Oh, you’re a gregarious person. That’s privilege. Oh, you have an above average IQ privilege.
Sal: Again, I’ll give you a few examples. Okay. I’ll give you a personal example. I’ll give you a famous example and then maybe one that, people might not be familiar with.
But here’s a personal example. My co-host Adam. Okay. He grew up his father committed suicide when he was seven. His mother remarried and had an abusive relationship, and he lived in poverty for most of his life. Now, Adam, the way that he interpreted that, or at least his mindset around that situation, drove him to never live in that situation again.
It drove him to be one of the hardest workers I’ve ever. It drove him to learn and grow and study. And today, by most measures, Adam is a very successful person because of his mindset around what easily could be considered disadvantages. Would Adam be who he is today? Had he grown up in a completely different situation?
Who knows. Who knows? Okay. I’ll use a famous example. Oprah Winfrey. She grew up in terrible circumstances, was abused as a child, was trying to be a, a news anchor and a media personality when there was a very clear discrimination both from the market and from the powers of be against women, especially minority women.
She’s the wealthiest woman in the world. Would she be that person today? Had you not grown up under those circumstances? I don’t know. I’ll give you another example. There are people, off the top of my head, I can’t think of the gentleman’s name. I’ll try and find it while we’re talking here, but there are people who have climbed Mount Everest who are double amputees.
Okay? They don’t have two legs or an arm in a leg or something. These are real people who’ve done this, and some of these people, when you ask them what motivated them, what drove them to climb Mount Everest, they will tell you it was being born without legs or it was being in that car accident that caused me to lose my limbs.
That drove me to do what many people think to be impossible. Their mindset around a widely perceived disadvantage or underprivileged is what drove them to do incredible things. When you look at people who are volunteers, Who dedicate their lives to helping people. Oftentimes, these are people who are trying to help other people who grew up in similar, challenging, difficult circumstances.
They took their disadvantage, they took their under privilege as would be perceived, and it drove them to be incredible people.
Mike: Now, some people skeptics might be thinking yeah, okay, but maybe they wouldn’t be exactly where they’re at now. But some people might think they would be in an even better place if they would’ve had a better childhood or would not have had these disadvantages because they would’ve had to, They would’ve been able to apply themselves to overcoming a more external obstacles instead of internal obstacles.
Sal: Of course, because that’s arrogant. That is arrogance. There’s complete arrogance. One of the guys that climb out Everest double amputee, Mark English, that was the guy I was thinking of. Of course, people are gonna think that because it’s super arrogant for us to say that. Now, of course, generally speaking, you probably want people to grow up.
And you want to put them or have them be in a situation that we consider to be ideal and healthy and all that. And there’s nothing wrong with that. And
Mike: that would be another cynical take, right? So Sal, what are you saying? You’re saying that it’s good that some children are abused because it then puts this big chip on their shoulder so they’re, They feel like they have to prove themselves.
Sal: Not at all. What I am saying is that the power of mindset and just how you perceive your life can turn disadvantages into. Advantages or privileges, and that is inarguable. I
Mike: immediately think of Marcus Arres. I goes, go back to stoicism. The obstacle is the way, right? You’re not harmed unless you think that
Sal: you’ve been harmed.
Look, take it back to, my profession of exercise and fitness. One of the questions I get asked sometimes is, what do you think would happen if scientists invented a pill that would make everybody lean and fit? And I’d say they’d get some benefit, but definitely not even close to all the benefit.
Because much of the benefits you get from exercise is the journey is learning. The discipline is learning to develop a good relationship with activity and with nutrition. If you’ve been working out for a long period of time and you’ve, this is something you’ve focused on, you know this, again, going back to Mount Everest, I could take a helicopter that could drop me off on the top of it.
Am I gonna be at all the same person as if I climbed the damn mountain? So my point with this is that mindset can shift. The whole thing could throw wrench in the whole philosophy. But again, if we take a step back, try to list potential advantages, disadvantages, or privileges. Being tall, being thin, having lots of muscle, being athletic, being intelligent, having good skin, having good eyesight, having all your limbs work, having two good parents, being in good schools,
Mike: Shit, you can go as far as sleeping well that privileges you, cuz it actually affects all of these things.
Like you are more attractive when you sleep well. You are healthier, you have a better immune system, you are able to exercise more. You are able to control your calorie and take better,
Sal: right? So we can make this infinite list, literally, of privileges and just with that, try to match ’em up with other individual privileges, which, good luck.
But here’s what it gets impossible stack. On top of each other because there isn’t a single human being on earth that has one privilege or one under privilege or disadvantage based off of this intersectionality philosophy. You’re a complex human. You are a combination of a lot of different potential privileges and under privileges, and then you throw mindset on top of it, which, good luck trying to put that in a box.
Psychologists have been trying that forever. Impossible. Again, we have very complex ways of thinking. Context matters. Today might be an advantage, might be a disadvantage tomorrow depending on my emotions and my mood and my mindset and the context and whatever. So you throw that all into the blender, and now what you’re trying to do is you’re trying to look at someone and you’re trying to say you’re privileged.
Okay. That has to be the most. Insane thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life. It’s impossible to look at someone and say they’re privileged. And just to
Mike: put a point to that so take someone like Adam and somebody might say, Adam, you’re privileged because of your white skin. And they would look at some black person they don’t know and think that person has enjoyed a lot less privilege than Adam because they have black skin.
But what they may not know is that black person might have grown up with multimillionaire parents who loved him, and that black person might have graduated from Harvard, essentially now has a meal ticket to make six figures, seven figures for the rest of their life. They might be smarter than Adam, they might be better than Adam in many objective ways.
And so to your point, you can’t know. Just looking at somebody.
Sal: Yeah, and also, again, even doing that is impossible and arrogant. And ignorant. Of course, but
Mike: I’m just making the point. We’re gonna get to white privilege in particular. But white privileges, of course, predicated on the assumption that simply being white gives you so many privilege points that no amount of under privilege can possibly put you in the red.
You know what I.
Sal: So let me just put an exclamation point on all of that. Okay. You look at celebrities, these are the people that, for all intents and purposes, are modern day royalty, right? So we don’t have kings and queens anymore, but we have celebrities, and they’re often worshiped, or at least the actions of people worshiped these people, know, King Kardashians and the Kanye West, and the Beyonces and the whoever.
And we look at them and we admire them, and they live just extraordinary lives within bubbles that most people can’t even comprehend, right? Lots of admiration. Everybody loves them. Access to tons of money. All the drugs they could ever use, have sex with whoever they want. It really
Mike: is, do whatever you want.
The world is your oyster. You have access to literally
Sal: everything okay, Now look at their suicide rate. Look at the suicide and drug abuse rate among celebrities. Far higher than the average population. We hear about celebrity overdoses and suicides all the time. Like, why would that person kill themselves?
Or why is that person so tormented? And so we’re sitting on the outside looking at them and saying, You’re rich. You’ve got all this, you’re super privileged, being totally arrogant to whatever mental or internal turmoil that person may be going through to the point where they kill themselves. Okay? So you cannot, My point is this, you cannot look at somebody.
We can objectively on a piece of paper rank privileges and say yeah, this in the world probably in whatever, but it’s impossible to apply it to a human, and it’s impossible to break the world down that way. And it’s, Im. To to judge people based off of these things because it’s far more complex than anybody could even articulate or quantify.
Totally impossible. Okay, so now we go to the powers that be in politicians. Okay, What a wonderful power. I’m a bit of a nerd for politics and propaganda in history, less in economics, but in particular politics, in political strategies. And I tell you what, Mike, brilliant. What a brilliant way to manipulate people because here you are in America, collectively speaking, we have a few wounds.
We have a few original sins. If you all to use the biblical term of original sin, right? Where historically we could say that you. People have done bad things, which by the way not to minimize it at all, but if you go back enough time, everyone’s ancestors and every country and every place in the world has done lots of terrible things.
In fact, to take it personally, if you’re listening to this podcast right now, if I went back in time and looked at all your relatives and anybody connected to you, I’m sure I could find an uncle that did some terrible shit, or a aunt or a cousin. Or whatever. Let’s just talk
Mike: quickly about slavery.
The Middle Eastern region of the world has engaged in far more brutal slavery, and you still have slavery in certain areas there now than whites ever have in slavery, Of course was rampant in Africa. You had slave owners selling people to
Sal: You still have slavery in Africa.
Mike: as well. And you had merchant classes who owned all the ships that brought the slaves over of different ethnicities. What about those people? Shouldn’t they be held accountable? And as far as whites go, Whites were actually the first to end slavery over in England. ADD is that factor in.
And then there was a civil war here where over 600,000 people died, which originally the war was not about slavery, but that did become the rallying cause for the north and that is what it resulted in. So how does that get factored in? So if we’re supposed to feel guilty for the sins of our ancestors, can we also feel some pride?
We also get some credit for the good things that they did and being the first people to end slavery in England and sacrificing over 600,000 lives to end it here in the United
Sal: States. That’s a very slippery slope. You could be proud of your own actions. The way I look at it, and you can look at the past actions and admire them or say that they’re.
What are you doing? How are you acting? Is the way I like to look at it. And my point with that, I understand that
Mike: I’m just talking about if we’re trying to weigh, cuz I know we’re gonna get to this cuz that’s one of the big I’d say sticks that is being used to beat whites with, in particular is how bad they should feel for what their ancestors did and slavery in particular.
And so I was just commenting on that. I know we’re gonna get to that, but Oh
Sal: Yeah. No, and then again, if you go down that rabbit hole again, You’re right. Slavery’s been practiced on every continent on earth. It’s an old practice actually, humans have done it for longer than they haven’t. It’s existed for thousands and thousands of years and it was the West that at large, it ended slavery before anybody else.
And really it had more to do with the philosoph. That came outta the west. In particular, the philosophies of liberty that people are born with inable rights, and that is what drove the progress that ended slavery. And that’s something that I think we should all really admire and stick to because that’s a philosophy that’s ongoing.
It’s one you can adopt, right? That people are individuals that all people deserve. To be treated with dignity, that all people own their own lives. And that’s the philosophy that ended slavery at large. It is a western based philosophy, but with America in particular, we do have this, wound That we had slaves at the beginning of our nation.
I suppose the
Mike: original sin, it really started with the colonization, right? And this is the narrative and then we compounded it with slavery. Correct.
Sal: So you look back and you’re like, man, there was some stuff that people did that was really bad and these same people founded or started our country.
And so Wow, that’s, that’s terrible. And we look back and we say, Wow, that was really bad. I’m glad we don’t do that anymore. And if you learn about it, with modern context and modern understanding, and we have progressed in the way we look at people. I couldn’t imagine humans owning other humans.
It’s appalling. And again, I’m not gonna take for granted for the fact that my understanding now is more progressed and it is based on a philosophy of individual liberty and maybe that a lot of people didn’t have that, or at least express it appropriately back then. So we have this understanding, and so here’s what politicians do is they take that and they manipulate it, and here’s how they manipulate it.
Now, what they’re not trying to do is hammer white people into submission. In reality, what they’re doing is they’re trying to make them feel terrible and guilty for things that they didn’t do. And they’re trying to get them to feel empathetic about this and then manipulate the way that they vote and then the way that they act.
So this is how that’s applied toward. People who may identify more with slave owners because of the same skin color, which I think is silly. I have as much in common with a slave owner as one of my good friends, Larry, who’s African American, who was born right around the same time I was. Neither one of us ever owns slaves, people tend to identify, or it’s easy to get someone to identify with someone that looks like them.
White people are like, Oh my god, slave owners were white even though I never owned a slave. This is terrible. My
Mike: ancestors came from Ireland and Portugal, so I should be able to claim quite a bit of grievance actually, because the Irish have been shit on by first the English and then even here in America for hundreds of years.
Sal: Oh yeah. And I’m first generation America. You go back one generation and my, quote unquote ancestors weren’t even here. But nonetheless, you could take that and you can manipulate it, and you could tell people with this philosophy of intersectionality, which again is Marxist philosophy and the reason why Marxisms so powerful, it’s got some religious undertones.
In fact, one of the core, parts of the playbook of Marxism is to eliminate religion because you can’t worship anything above this philosophy. So you eliminate religion, eliminate people’s belief in God. Now they worship this defunct religion of Marxism, which it says that, group is more important than identity and it void is that philosophy lead to some pretty terrible actions.
But anyway, so now you have intersectionality that says very arrogantly and ignorantly. You are privileged, you are underprivileged based off of this one factor and totally ignoring the complexity of humans. And then they take that a step further and say, Now what we need to do, Is we need to equalize society.
But what they’re not talking about is equalizing society based off of opportunity, which is the only way that you can accomplish any semblance of equality. It is actually, that’s funny because the very act of observing advantages and disadvantages, the very act of even being aware of the fact that some people are tall, some people are short, some people are born with strong bodies, some people are born with weaker, unhealthy bodies.
That very act right there shows you it’s impossible to ever produce. Equal outcome. We’re not ants, we’re not bees. We don’t live in a hive. In fact, even ants and bees aren’t equal. You have worker, ants that sacrifice themselves for the queen and that stuff. I If you want
Mike: take it to its logical extreme, just read Harris Berger on the Little, It’s not even a short story, usually just an essay, but it’s like a fictional essay.
So I guess it is a very short story by Kurt vga. Anybody listening, just read that and that quickly illustrates where quality of outcome gets you when you double, triple, quadruple
Sal: down on it. Oh, Or you could, listen to the song The Trees by Rush. That’s a great song. Or just look at what happens in societies that try to accomplish this and how the people are treated and what actually happens in those societies.
We have ones that are happening now. You can look and see how Chinese citizens are silenced or how they should act, or the camps that they reeducation. Camps, they look at Venezuela. Look at how they try to allocate resources. I The Soviet Union had thousands of acres of rotting fields of wheat.
Meanwhile, people starve in certain parts of the Soviet Union because they couldn’t figure out or plan how to allocate resources like markets could. And so anyway, my point with all this is it’s easy to manipulate and here’s what it creates. It creates a few different scenarios or feelings. So if you buy into this because of the obvious observation that things are not the same.
There is no real equality in the sense that there’s so many changes and differences in mindset and the way we’re born and all these circumstances. The very real thing compound that with, past things that humans did that were terrible which is real. Now you take that, manipulate it and say, Okay, now today we’re gonna attempt to categorize people based off of individual privileges or perceived privileges, and now we’re gonna attempt to make everybody equal based off of that.
Here’s what that causes. That creates, it creates strength in feeling like a victim. That’s number one. So if you are in the category, Of people that politicians, or the powers that be decide to make the underprivileged right now, it happens to be being a minority. In 2016, it was about being a woman. Of course, incidentally, that was when Hillary Clinton was running for president.
That’s when it was all about, pay, gender, pay gap, and it was all about toxic masculinity and all that stuff. So that was very advantageous then. Showing that women are underprivileged. Of course right now it has to do with minorities. So if you’re in that category and you hear this message, it can start to make you feel powerful through feeling like a victim or another way
Mike: to look at it.
That is interesting. So let’s say life is just not going your way, things are not going well. And of course it is mostly because of your behaviors and your habits and your attitudes, but that would require self-reflection and personal responsibility, and those things are completely repugnant to you. So you can live in that or you can look to what other identity you might be able to glom onto.
That allows you to claim grievance, to claim victim status, and that in a perverse way can feel
Sal: empowering. It can, or even look, I’ll even give many people the credit. The benefit of the doubt. Maybe you are born in terrible situations. Maybe you do have major physical impairments. And so now what you’ve done is you’re focusing on the very things you literally cannot control.
That has become the center of your grievances again, I’ll take it back to fitness. You know what I love about fitness, Mike? It’s objective. It’s black and white. It’s nonpartisan. So I can talk about fitness and people, no matter where they come from. It oftentimes makes sense. But when I’m training clients, the last thing you do as a personal trainer, focus your client’s attention and all the stuff they can’t control.
Oh, oh yeah, definitely. You’ve got a bad bone structure. Yeah, you definitely got some genetics that mean you can’t be Mr. Olympia or a super, Let’s just focus on that. What’s the result of that? Person never progresses and feels terrible. What do you do as a good trainer? You say, yeah, those things are real.
You can’t control. Let’s focus on the stuff you can control. It’s empowering, and you can actually impact those things, right? So here’s where the power from feeling like a victim. Here’s your evidence of. You actually see people talking to each other and bringing up their underprivileged status as a way to either silence other people or as a way to claim superiority.
So you have, for example, a gay white man, like this is a real thing. There was a L G B T parade. One of the people leading the parade was a gay white man. They took him down because he’s a white and male. So no. Because you’re white and male, even though you’re gay, you take a step down or you people talking and they’ll say you’re, Oh, I see your privilege talking, or My opinion is more valid than yours because of these under privileges.
So what it does is it gives power to feeling like a victim. Very dangerous. Now here’s what it does to other people. It prays on. Empathy. So now you’re telling somebody, Hey, you’ve got all these privileges. These are all these things give you tremendous advantages, which by the way, is the same. The irony of this is it’s the same thing that white supremacists say.
It’s the same thing. A white supremacist says they’re superior because they’re white. The intersectionality champions say you’re privileged because you’re white. It’s so funny. They should all eat lunch together. They would get along phenomenally if they just spoke about their philosophies. But now you’re telling someone because of these factors, you are privileged.
You should feel terrible about it. You should feel guilty about it. Through that empathy, through that guilt and empathy we’re gonna have you vote. And it’s very, by the way, it’s very condescending if you really look at it. For a person to not feel grateful or blessed, that’s totally different. That’s humble, but rather feel privileged and then go to somebody, look down on them and be like, Man, I’m, I feel so sorry for you because of your under.
I feel so sorry. Imagine if I went up to somebody who was overweight as a trainer and I said, Man, I. Feel real bad for you because you’re fat. Oh boy, that’s a really underprivileged life must suck for you because you’re, you’re fat. So here’s what I’m gonna do. You need me to give you this free stuff.
How condescending, if someone came up to me and said that to me, I’d be like, Fuck off. Excuse my language. I’d be like, Who are you to say that to me? So that’s what it creates in some people, is This guilt and this false misplaced empathy, and then here’s what it does in other people and other people.
It creates massive resentment. Just
Mike: to jump in quickly, cuz it goes bit further than just manipulation for the purpose of voting, it actually, really what is being pushed is that you should be dispossessed of anything that might give you privilege. So if you have been deemed overprivileged, you should not only feel bad about it, but you should give up these things.
You should look through your life and find where you have achieved a better outcome for whatever reason. And you should dis dispossess yourself of those things because that is unfair. We need to level the playing field.
Mike: you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my v i p one-on-one coaching service because my team and I have helped people of all ages and circumstances lose fat, build muscle, and get into the best shape of their life faster than they ever thought possible, and we can do the same for you.
Sal: Here’s the deal. I love charity. I love people who volunteer and wanna help other people. If you’re doing it because you feel guilty and bad for someone because you feel superior to them, that’s also very condescending. Now, if you feel like you wanna help people because you wanna be a good person, that’s different.
That’s totally different. But again, it’s like me walking up to someone looking at them and scanning them, and being like, Oh, I noticed three under privileges. Imagine walking up to someone in the store. You look at someone, you’re like, Oh, there’s a trans person. I think that’s a trans person.
You walk up to ’em and you go, Hey. Here’s 10 bucks, and they’re like, Why you gimme 10 bucks? You’re trans. That’s what they’re manipulating. That is the emotion that they’re, And it sounds silly. That’s exactly what ends up happening. But in other people, Mike, it causes resentment because you have people who are being told how privileged they are.
They in fact know their own lives. They in fact, know the circumstances in the context of our lives. And you tell somebody like, Adam, Oh my, he’s so privileged because he is white. You’re gonna develop some resentment because the dude’s gonna be like, Hey man, you have no idea. The stuff that I’ve been through, you have no idea.
The challenges I’ve had to overcome that is stop telling me this. That’s not cool. You are discrediting all the hard work and effort and stuff I’ve had to do to accomplish some of the stuff that have accomplished. There’s three things there. You’ve got the power in being a victim. What a terrible message that is.
Especially imagine if you’re a child, by the way, you’re a child and you’re growing up in an environment that tells you that you’re constantly underprivileged. Imagine what kind of mindset? Oh my God. If I had a kid who was born blind, for example, or born disabled, I would not tell them, Man, you’re screwed.
I would say, Yeah, you definitely got this challenge, but guess what? Son or daughter, you’re gonna have to make up for another ways. You gotta overcome that. Let’s focus on the stuff you can change. Let’s not looking at like a disadvantage. In fact, here’s the way, it would be a different conversation.
But imagine if you were being hammered as a kid, that because of one factor, whether it be skin color or gender or sexual orientation or whatever, that you are just screwed. That is a terrible, unbelievably terrible message. So you create those three people and then there’s a fourth category, Mike, that nobody wants to talk about.
You confirm some people’s superiority beliefs in themselves. They talk as if the intersectionality crowd talks as if they’re anti-racist or bigots. They are creating more of them every single day. Cause you are confirming to somebody how superior they are because of their skin color or their gender. Or they’re, whatever you are confirming this belief that they are superior, that they have this incredible privilege that’s so powerful that makes them better than everyone else.
It’s a terrible message. It’s also, by the way, this message can be changed. Okay? I can make it about gender, I can make it about class, I can make it about other circumstances, right? This is the philosophy of Marxism. This is how Marxism takes over and destroys countries. And what they do is they grab onto a real grievance or a real issue and they manipulate the shit out of it.
In America, that just so happens to be race, and that’s a very powerful one. It’s a very effective one to use here in America. Gender to a much smaller degree can also be manipulated and used. And so this is exactly what it is. And when people look at me and say, You are privileged, it’s incomprehensible how arrogant that is for someone to say that to me.
And it is so counter to the philosophy that has led to the most. Equal societies, these societies that have first and foremost listed as part of their governance, protecting individual liberties, even above and beyond a majority vote. That’s what the Constitution does, right? We have certain liberties that are protected.
For example, speech is one free, and I’ll use that one cuz most people like freedom of speech. Freedom of speech doesn’t exist to protect popular speech. Popular speech requires no protection, everybody likes it. Freedom of speech explicitly exists to protect unpopular speech. So in other words, you say something unpopular, even though the majority disagrees with you, you can still say it.
These concepts that have led to the ending of slavery, the ending of segregation, giving women the right to vote, that led to this concept of individualism. In other words, looking at someone and saying the only fair way to judge that person. Is off of their actions and their character. It is not fair.
Yeah. Allow them to
Mike: operate freely under laws and let’s see how they do .
Sal: That is a concept that has led to the best outcomes we’ve ever seen. It is a radical concept. People don’t realize how crazy it is. It is counterintuitive in human intuition. And here’s where logic and objective thought come into play.
So what we started the podcast with human intuition has led to historically for 99% of human history, dictators, rulers, monarchs, peasants, and slaves. That’s how, That’s human intuition. You let humans run. Things intuitively. That’s what you end up getting. So this radical concept that, okay, yes, groups exist, yes, we could put ourselves in different categories.
However, let’s judge people as individuals. Let’s protect their individual liberties, which are inable and are self-evident, meaning they don’t require anyone else to produce. For example, you have freedom of speech that doesn’t require someone else’s labor to give to you. Just means you can speak your mind.
Let’s value those things. That has led to what we have today, which, if you’re a minority, if you’re a woman, if you are gay or lesbian or transgender, if you are Muslim, the best places in the world to live today are societies that are based off of this concept of individual liberty and not on collectivism, which is judging everybody.
Skin color or gender or class or whatever, those have led to the best outcomes,
Mike: which of course is a grand irony in all of this. Where would you rather go a oppressed person to make a life for yourself? North Korea or South Korea?
Sal: Why? It’s insane to me, because here’s the thing, okay, this is also true. It is not perfect.
And yes, this concept of liberty that was the origins of which, you could say, came from a combination of some Greek philosophy, stoicism, and then really pushed forth by the Juda Christian. Religions that, talked about, man being created in the image of God and all that stuff, and really being put in place first as a form of government in the West America, Europe, in America particularly, we have protected liberties that no other country, that are quite special to us, for example are right to speak, is quite special to America.
Our right to bear arms as very special to America. So this very radical idea that we had, that we started with definitely was not applied. Perfectly or universally initially.
Mike: And does create quite a bit of dysfunction at the state level. You could look at the polar opposite of China and you can go, Wow.
As far as a state goes, as far as a government goes, being able to enact its will, it’s pretty efficient. However, this is the radical opposite of the ideology that is the spirit of America. In China, the individual is nothing. These people are considered ants, and it is the colony that matters. And so that does give them certain advantages that people who are in power, for example, they can plan, they could plan almost generationally or even MultiGen generationally because of that dynamic.
But here we’re saying that the individual matters enough to. The
Sal: value to protect. To protect by law, but also, and the point that I
Mike: making it’s that individualism matters enough to make that unconscionable. That we really should not be able, like a government should never operate like that because there’s something fundamentally evil about it.
And something fundamentally almost inhuman about it. It’s
Sal: tyrannical and look. Okay. And my point with this is this. This concept led to the founding of America. It was not applied universally from a government standpoint. This is true. If we had slaves later on, we had segregation. Women could not vote.
However, it is this concept that drove us to progress that drove. To free slaves. Segregation was ended by white people. It was ended largely by the Republicans who were the original individualists, right? The right to give women the right to vote was given by men, but it was driven by this concept of liberty.
Liberty is why America beats herself up. Liberty is literally why we have arguments, debates, why we fight, why we because we push to progress. It’s this philosophy that although not applied perfectly at all, definitely not in our early days of America, although today far more perfectly than ever before, it’s what drives us to progress and lead the world in equality of opportunity and protection under the law.
And then culturally, what does this lead. Now culturally, there’s lots of factors. There’s your spiritual practices, how you are with your family, all that stuff. But there is some influence here by this government philosophy of this, the spirit of America. What has that led to? Interracial marriages continue to rise and grow when they do independent polls or studies America, number one, the most diverse country in the world, any way you slice it.
Also, the most tolerant country in the world. Any way you slice it, not perfect, but better than everybody else and always progressing. If you look at these things, it trends in a wonderful direction to where, the dream of Martin Luther King of people being judged not by the color of the skin, but the content of their charact.
This is driven by this philosophy and concept of liberty intersectionality, and this privilege philosophy as used by politicians is the opposite of that. It is collectivism. It will drive us in the opposite direction. It’ll drive policies that are explicitly collectivists and racist. Today, these today modern times, there are no laws that are explicitly racist.
And what I mean by that is there are no laws that have race listed in their legislation except for laws that are driven by this collectivist attitude. There’s affirmative action laws, which are explicitly racist, explicitly, and there are hate crime laws, which are explicitly racist. Now I understand what drives them.
Again, it’s that good feeling that wanting to help others based off of this defunct kind of philosophy, but on their face, they are actually the only racist. Sexist or discriminatory based off of those things laws. Other than that, there are no laws that explicitly late list race in their legislation
And just to comment on those things, especially in the context of white. Privilege, this idea that it’s prejudice plus power and that’s what racism is, and that whites have all the power and so therefore non-whites can’t be racist. I consider that a conspiracy theory because if white supremacy. Is real.
Why do we have affirmative action to benefit non-whites and non-Asians? It’s not just discriminatory against whites. Also Asians. And why is every major college and every university committed, openly committed to, and this is reflected in their policy and in their actions, social justice and racial equity.
Why does every major corporation have major diversity initiatives? They have diversity officers. They have diversity departments. Why is there a major political party that is fully committed to social justice and racial equity ready to go all the way? Where is the white supremacy and power? All of the major levers of power in academia, media, pop culture are 100% in the tank for social justice and racial equity.
So I don’t get it. And the same goes for most of the Western multimillionaires and billionaires. They put their money behind. Social justice and racial equity. So I can’t wrap my mind around this element of the supposed white privilege and the institutions that are benefiting whites so
Sal: much. There’s lots of ways you could argue that.
The clearest way that I like to look at this is if you. Look at groups, which I don’t like to necessarily do. You can definitely learn things from looking at groups. But you gotta look a lot deeper. You can’t just take it at surface value. I like to look at people as individuals, but if you look at groups, the most successful groups in America are minority groups Asian Americans, Indian Americans.
They’re also African immigrants actually perform high better in terms. Wealth and incarceration rates and, satisfaction. There are Middle Eastern immigrant groups that also perform better than, let’s say, white Americans, which I hate saying that because that’s also a very general, my gosh, there’s so many different cultures and.
And when you talk about white people that it’s silly, but nonetheless, and same thing with black or brown. There’s so many different cultures within them. It’s so silly. It’s not
Mike: that groups don’t exist. Of course they exist and you’re talking about statistics. And when you come down to an individual level it’s the old stereotype cliche that yes, there’s a reason why stereotypes exist because certain groups of people exhibit certain types of behavior patterns on average.
But of course you have bell curves. You have people who are outliers in one way or
Sal: another. And even if you break that down, Mike, and we could try breaking it down, it’s extremely complex. But as of right now, the best science that we have, the best studies that we have a few factors that will determine, that can predict a child’s future success as measured by wealth.
Education incarceration rate, medical or health I should say. There are a few factors you could look at and what those factors. The most, the best predictor, single predictor, it’s not a hundred percent, but it’s the best single predictor is whether or not you grew up with two parents.
That’s the best single predictor of that. And, we listed I, Asian Americans are the top performing group in America. They also incidentally had the lowest. Of single parent household. There you go. But my point with all of this is not to say that on its face single, you can try to list one thing as a potential privilege or disadvantage.
I think we can make arguments that are compelling in one direction or another. We can use obvious examples like, disabilities. But my point with this is when you look at a complex individual and their behaviors and the addition of all these other potential privileges that person has in their life or whatever, you cannot look at someone.
And say that they’re privileged and you should definitely not, I don’t entirely
Mike: agree because on an individual level, somebody could say I’m privileged. And yes, that is very true. The dictionary definition of privilege applies to me. I do have special rights rights, depends on to define that.
But I do have advantages. I certainly have advantages in several ways, but to that, I say, So what I say, Why don’t you go get some privilege as well. There’s a fundamental hypocrisy here for anybody who would criticize me for being privileged, I would say, Yep, you’re right. And I’ve worked hard for most of those privileges.
Some of them were related probably to my family and my upbringing, and that’s fine. But I wasn’t given as much of a hand up as some people would assume. But yes, I’m at a point in my life now where I certainly enjoy privileges. And if you or me you would feel the same way. And you want privilege as well.
So th there’s a disingenuous about aness, about a lot of this in that we’re giving, I think, or some people give these types of arguments in these claims too much respect and too much consideration. They’re not authentic observations. These are not positions that people came to through Socratic rational, unemotional thinking, No, these people are not arguing in good faith and they are hypocritical because they just wish they, and I’m speaking generally, but this is going to generally be the case.
They just wish that they had more privilege and they are envious that you have more than they have and they want some of it.
Sal: You could say that. But honestly, I the crux of it really is which philosophy, which ideology is gonna lead to the best. Progress and outcomes. Is it a, an ideology that says All of us should be protected equally by the letter of the law?
Now of course, it’s administered by people and people are not perfect. But the best thing we could do is put it in writing in the law. So there, And how do we do that? Identifying people as individuals. And which philosophy should we adopt? One in which we look at people and judge them by their actions and their character and their behaviors.
Or one in which we judge people off of factors that are their skin color or their gender, or their sexual orientation or whatever else category you wanna place them in. Which one is gonna lead to the better outcome? And we know which one it’s, we know
Mike: which, and these are very abstract, convoluted models dreamed up by intellectuals in ivory towers.
Sal: Yeah. Oh yeah, no, the, that’s a hundred percent. And I think you’re speaking
Mike: to an important point here is what outcome are we actually trying to achieve? And that’s a question I’ve asked is what are people who are denigrating privilege in trying to use this as a psychological weapon? What is, what are they trying to achieve?
What actually is the end game here?
Sal: They want you to vote or buy a particular way. That’s really what it boils down to. They want you to feel bad or empathetic or victimized, and they wanna use that as a way to manipulate you into, hurting you into the right corral so that you make the decisions and that they want you to make.
Because individualism is empowering. It’s, it also is the antigo. To manipulation. It’s this, it’s the, it’s looking out and saying, I am responsible for my own thoughts and
Mike: actions. And that’s the key, is a personal responsibility to, to use the title of a book that I recommend everybody read if they haven’t.
Extreme ownership, right? To refuse to accept any outside interventions to refuse to accept that anything is responsible for your condition or your situation or an outcome that you experienced except for you. And if that immediately turns you off Dear listener, if that immediately sounds wrong, if that feels wrong, I challenge you to read that book and see if you.
Think about it otherwise, to see how you feel when you can come to a place where you refuse to be a victim. No matter what. No matter what has happened to you, even if it is factually true that you were victimized by the dictionary definition again, to talk really is right. How you perceive it and how you interpret it and how you act on such a victimization is the key.
It’s the key. It’s not objectively what has happened or not happened. It is subjectively what you do with it. And so even if it is a fact that you have received some harmful action that you cannot conceive of any. Reason why it should have happened to you. You can still take extreme ownership of what comes next, and in some cases, even what has happened, if you’re willing to expand your level of responsibility and maybe, for example, look at how the sequences of events led to this fiasco and what you could have done differently along the way, but didn’t.
And this is something that is, is part and parcel to leadership. Good leaders, this is the crux of the book. There are a couple of other key principles shared in the book, but of course they chose that title for a reason. And this is the make break actually for leadership is can you take responsibility for everything under your downstream, if we’re talking about a chain of command and good leaders or great leaders, Do they never blame others for undesirable outcomes, even if they didn’t directly have anything to do with the leader, even if it was one of their juniors who went rogue and did something wild and crazy. A good leader doesn’t blame that person and say, Hey, I had nothing to do with that.
That guy’s an idiot. He looks at it as, what did I not do? Did I not train this guy enough? Did I put him in a situation where he couldn’t win? Did I not see that he was under way too much stress and he should have never been there in the first place and so forth.
Sal: Yeah, it’s was it the mirrors and windows, right?
If something goes wrong, Look in the mirror. If something goes right, look out the window to the people around you and, give them credit. A good, another good book to, to look at would be Victor Frankel’s, Man, Search For Meaning. It was a man that was in the Nazi death camps, and then he wrote, he survived.
And, some quotes from him. Everything can be taken from a man. But one thing, the last of the human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any GI given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. This is very empower. Thought process. It’s in a very empowering way of being. And, I wanna I want to and it leads to
Mike: good outcomes.
Again, just coming back to something that you were talking about. And that’s very important because it allows us to go from the realm of the abstract and the academic to practical reality objective outcomes. And if we’re talking about us individually, the ability to flourish in our life,
And really just to hammer this home, there’s nothing wrong at all with wanting to help other people. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make the world a better place, but the most effective person that’s gonna do that is you. When you are healthy, strong, empowered, and effective, you are not an effective person.
If you’re trying to fix the world, meanwhile, your life is in shambles. You are not, you don’t have any discipline. You’re unhealthy, you’re not helping anybody. You can’t innovate nearly as well. You can’t produce nearly the same result. So be the best version of yourself, number one. By the way, just doing that, just trying to be the best person you can, you will affect more change than anything just from doing that.
But then take it a step further. Now you’ve accomplished that. Now you help other people as an effective human being and be careful with your feelings, because your feelings can drive decisions that actually result in the opposite desired outcome. And I’ll give you one simple basic, easy example.
There, there’s def, there’s lots of legislation that we passed based off of feelings that actually produces the opposite result. One simple easy example of that are laws that fix the price of labor. For example, a minimum wage law, a law that says nobody can make less than, I don’t know, $10 an hour.
Which the feeling behind that is people deserve to make at least $10 an hour should nobody should be paid less than $10 an hour. But in effect, and in reality, if we take out our feelings and emotion, what we’ve effectively done by passing a law like that, for example, is. We have made everybody whose skills and experience in life context that is less valuable than $10 on the open market.
We have made those people now unemployable. The very people that we think we’re trying to help, we have now relegated them to the system. We’ve knocked them outta the market that can never work because they have a felony or because they have no experience. Now they go to an employer and they wanna get a job and the employer has to pay them at least 10 bucks an hour.
And the person’s skills and experience and passed doesn’t make them worth $10 an hour on the market. That employer’s I can’t employ you if you took that law out, which feels good, but actually produces the opposite result. If you took that out, now that person con code to wherever and say, Look, I know you’re paying some people 10 bucks an hour.
I know my skills are lacking. I know I have a felony, but let me work for $4 an hour. Let me build some skills. Let me show you what I can do. Now you’ve got some. Leverage and now you’ve made them employable and you’ve given them a path to help themselves. And here’s the, this is a sad, not a sad, it’s an unfortunate fact, I think because it doesn’t feel good sometimes.
But the unfortunate fact is the best way to help people’s is to empower people to help themselves. This is true in fitness and health. I cannot get somebody to lose 50 pounds of body fat unless they, they themselves wanna do it and make those changes. It just doesn’t work. It’s impossible. People, we have to empower people to help themselves.
And oftentimes, what does that mean? In terms of legislation, you just get out of the damn way. You just get out of the way. Stop placing all these barriers in front of them that prevent them from doing things, and stop telling them that they’re so underprivileged that they need everybody to give them things and that they’re screwed and there’s nothing they can do about it.
Stop saying that. Get out of the way. Give people the opportunity to help themselves and then when you, if you wanna go out and help. Now do it outta the goodness of your heart. Give them opportunities to help themselves. Hand them a ladder. If they need something to climb to get to another spot, that’s totally fine.
There’s nothing wrong with that. But look at the end result of these insane political philosophies that are used to manipulate you. Intersectionality privilege leads to the attempt at equalizing result, which leads to tyranny and destruction. And the irony of this is the people who are most tyrannized and most destroyed under governments that follow this philosophy are minorities, are the smaller groups.
It is not the majority. Look up the term if you’re listening right now. Useful idiots. This is a part of the Marxist playbook. They will take a group, use them once they get what they want, the first group that they execute are those useful idiot. Now you’re out. Now we’re in power and majority rules
Mike: and that’s when the ideology no longer matters.
Once power has been seized, it does not matter what ideas were used to get there because the end result now is, and this is just human nature and it may never change, but is tyranny really just comes in one flavor. When it’s all said and done, it
Sal: does. And so you know, you can definitely feel blessed.
Definitely feel gratitude and
Mike: use the privilege. Just to put a cap on that is having privilege is not a bad thing. What you do with it is what matters. And it comes to, again, your character and your actions. Take philanthropy, everybody who donates money to philanthropy, the fact that they can do that means that they’re privileged to some degree.
And the vast majority of philanthropic giving comes from, of course, the ultra rich who are extremely privileged. There. There’s a lot of good philanthropy. And then there it has been abused like John Rockefeller Senior pioneered the abuse of philanthropy for the purpose of accruing power.
However, that’s not the case with most individual people who give time and even give or give money or even time to charitable causes. So
Sal: it’s how they use it and what I said earlier about being the best version of yourself oftentimes results in the best outcome for other people. I’ll give you like, here’s a simple example.
It’s when pisses people off, but it’s totally true. Who saved more trees? The innovators who invented the zip drive, that , that they did because they wanted to make themselves successful Now, resulting in the drastic reduction in the use of paper, right? Who helped, more people Bill Gates, the entrepreneur, or Bill Gates the philanthropist.
I I can make a very strong argument that the entrepreneur help more people through his his innovations. And so I’m not compar. And saying it’s bad to, I don’t know. I know. I’m, All I’m saying is
Mike: privilege itself. It’s how you use it, right? Are you in a privileged position? You’re using it to be arrogant and condescending and to put other people down and to put harmful products and services out into the world, like Cuties or or the sag, what is it?
The ser family who’s been embroiled in
Sal: the cra. It’s so crazy to me that, and it’s funny. This is how, Look, what a great example of mass manipulation, the rage and outcry. Over a Native American image on Lando Lakes butter that caused them to remove it. No prob by the way, I don’t mind. It’s a market response.
Okay. Take the, And that’s how
Mike: they felt about it. They’re like, whatever. And if the market in 10 years, if they, if it indicates that this will increase sales, putting it back on the packaging will put it back on the packaging, whatever. My
Sal: point with that is, Yeah. The mass rage, everybody’s pissed off.
Take Aunt Jemima off the syrup and take the Native American woman off the butter. Okay. Everybody’s pissed off. Then we literally, and this is just an example of mass manipulation, then we literally have a documentary. On Netflix. That is literally sexualizing 11 year old children.
Literallys Exactly. Only to it shows make you understand how repugnant that is. . Yeah. But there’s some outrage from there, but then there’s a lot of people trying to prevent it from being taken down and it’s a lot of the same people that wanted the Native American woman to be taken off the butter.
Now does that mean that these people are bad people? No. It just means that they’re manipulated. They’ve been manipulated to be mad at what they are told to be mad at and not mad, what they should be mad at. And so it’s insane to me. It’s happening right now. This underlying philosophy, this collectivist Marxist philosophy is powerful.
It is insidious, it has religious power behind it. It’s like a defunct religion. And it can take many forms. And what we’re seeing right now is this use of this philosophy to manipulate the masses and. Pay very close attention. Pay very, And again, one. One last point. Okay. If you’re one of these people that is like so distrustful of other people, oh my God, everybody’s so evil and they’re trying to have power over me, and people can’t be trusted, why in the hell would you give more power to people in government?
They’re still humans. In fact, I would even say this, there’s a bit of a self selection bias with people who seek power. You probably have more power hungry people seeking power. Why in the hell would we give ’em more power to censor our speech, to censor our meat, to our social media, to control us and tell us what we can and can’t do?
Why don’t we adopt this philosophy instead, which is. Protect my individual liberty. I have personal responsibility. I’ll be a good person. Let’s judge each other by our behaviors and our actions, not by the group that we may potentially belong to, which be based on skin color or gender or sexual orientation or religion or whatever.
Let’s just look at how other people act. Let’s look at their character and let’s take it from there. That’s the philosophy that’s grown and progressed us. It’s what’s led to some incredible changes in very short periods of time. When you look at things from a historical standpoint. Let’s not throw that out.
Let’s continue to use that the way we’ve been using it. To progress us and let’s continue to block and throw out these collectivist ideas, however they present them, however alluring they present them. Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated by this garbage at all. People who think
Mike: their politicians have their best interests are like guys who think their strippers are into them.
That’s so true. That’s so true. There’s always that guy. No. Did she really like me? I
Mike: remember one. I remember he was, I don’t know, 19 or 20. I used to play volleyball with some friends when I was younger, living in Florida. And there was a guy that this stripper had sunk her hooks into him. He blew through thousands and thousands of dollars and he would tell us how into him she is, and he thought that they were gonna be a thing.
And when he ran out of money, all of a sudden her legs
Sal: closed. So this is a great example. No politicians today are, It’s the same game as always. It’s no different than the fifth grade. The kid that runs for fifth grade president. That says, Vote for me, and you get free pizza on Wednesdays, , it’s really no different vote for me.
I’ll give you more free stuff. Vote for me. I care about you. I’ll help you out by passing these laws that, whatever. Really vote for them to get outta the way and then be a good person. Make yourself a better person. Try to grow and do the right thing, which is often the difficult thing to do.
Embrace the struggle and the challenge and the discipline that it takes to being a good person. Working hard, going to bed early, eating being logical and objective. Do those things. And watch what happens and stop placing your trust in these strippers that pretending like they like you
Mike: and take responsibility for mistakes and make amends if you need to.
Sometimes mistakes require that, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes you just have to try harder next time. Sometimes you have to apologize. Sometimes you have to do a little bit more than that and that’s okay. But I totally agree man. Thanks for taking the time as always. This was a great discussion.
Is there anything you wanna let everybody know about as we wrap up? I Obviously people are gonna know about Mind Pump and everything that you guys are doing. Do you wanna talk about your book at all or is that too
Sal: far out? No, too far out And, Okay. So you know, the podcast Mind Pump, we mainly, we do talk about current events, but it’s mainly a fitness and health podcast.
So what you heard me just talking about, you probably won’t hear me talking a lot about this. And the same goes for
Mike: mine. It’s just both of us are into this stuff. This is a bit of our side hustle I guess.
Sal: So I love having these discussions or wonder and I love debate. I love debate. I love discussion.
Here’s a practice that I’ll recommend to your listeners, regardless of your opinion on what we just talked about. Do this. If you have a strong opinion about something, you feel very strongly about something, find somebody on the opposite side that is very good at articulating their argument, has great information and is open for discussion, debate, and then debate them.
Open-mindedly, not don’t argue with them, but debate them and allow yourself to have your mind changed if they do a better job. It’s a wonderful feeling. And then the second piece of advice I’ll give is this. This is awesome by the way. This is so much fun. When you’re on the internet or your phone, open up CNN and then open up Fox News and toggle between the two of ’em and you’ll get a very clear.
Of the narrative of both political parties. It is awesome. A
Mike: good news aggregator for that is Drudge Report, which used to be a conservative leaning outlet, but I would say at this point he certainly has gone anti-Trump. So it’s not a pro-Trump, it’s not like what it was in 20 15, 20 16. But that also is an easy way just to see both sides of the narrative and how the same events and the same well situations can be spun in different
To, full disclosure, just for me, I identify, I’m not a hundred percent with the Libertarian political party. I’m a libertarian ish, so I definitely am pro free markets. So that means you’re.
Mike: A little bit into
Sal: kitty porn. Ah, geez, God, Mike, don’t sound terrible that’s the libertarian plane.
No, it’s not. Dude. Geez, we need to have a free market. No, you believe in, that’s the anarchy. Jesus. That’s like anar capital. That is not me. I libertarian ish, I would say. And full disclosure, 2008 I voted for Barack Obama, mainly because he opposed the, the Patriot Act and ndaa. These were liberty destroying acts.
He was anti-war, at least in his rhetoric. And of course when he was in office, he just acted just like Bush did. In fact, he was Bush on steroids and with a nice bow cuz he spoke so well. 2012, I voted for Gary Johnson. He teleprompter
Mike: well when he is off script. He’s not very impressive, but he is an impressive order when he’s reading a teleprompter.
Sal: Very likable, very charismatic. 2012, I’ve over for Gary Johnson. I’m not a Republican, I’m not a Democrat. I will say this though. I identified a little bit more with the left. Back in 2000 and one in 2008, back when the right was the pro war, pro mega
Mike: corporation, ship all the jobs overseas, ship all the cheap labor in nafta, tpp.
Sal: Yes. Now, these days, I cannot believe how far the Democrat party has gone left. I cannot believe that they had. An open socialist running in the primaries. I can’t believe who
Mike: really should be their candidate if we’re going by enthusiasm.
Sal: Oh yeah. No, he’s not the establishment. They got rid of him real quick.
He’s not the puppet. Yeah. Biden’s the puppet and the modern Democrat party has gone so far left in insane and they have so much power right now. Or at least people behind them, they pose the biggest threat. To our liberties and freedoms and way of life and our philosophies, the modern, there’s definitely things I disagree with them on, but I identify more with them these days, and I’m sure that’ll change in the future. But right now
Mike: also the modern right has been fragmented. It’s like in this chrysalis, it’s in this transformative state where we don’t, it hasn’t crystallized yet into something new because Trump came in and basically destroyed the status quo for the G O P.
I don’t know if they can ever go back to politics as usual, if they can ever go back to their old NeoCon ways. Imagine if after Trump, the G O p ran jet bush again. Yeah. Insane. It would be the lowest G O P turnout ever.
Sal: Here’s what happened is you had libertarian Republicans strongly influencing the Republican party.
I Look, here’s the deal. Republicans used to be anti gay marriage. Now neither party is antiga marriage. The Republicans used to be pro extreme drug war. Policy, keep all the drugs super illegal, Throw people in jail if they just possess ’em. They were more that than the Democrats were for sure. Was that h w Oh, all of ’em up until Donald Trump actually.
And it really it’s because you had people like Justin Amash and Rand Paul and, other Republicans pushing the showing, talking about how the drug war has been a massive failure. We need to revisit it. Apparently
Mike: it started with Nixon just Googled
Sal: it. Oh, you mean who started the drug?
The war? Yeah, the war on drugs. Oh Nixon, just first context, the scheduling of drugs had nothing to do with the drugs, had everything to do with being able to jail the counterculture. That’s what it was all about. The counterculture at the time, at the time that we had the Cold War and we ramped up our CIA and, everything was a threat and they saw the counterculture, which openly protested the Vietnam War and protested the establishment.
They viewed them as a threat. And we were hyper vigilant, especially at that time because of the Cold War. And how the hell do you use your government force against people who are protesting? Protesting is a protected right. And so brilliantly. And also Despicably Nixon took their favorite drugs and listed them as Schedule one.
So if you look at all the Schedule one drugs, it was all the drugs the hippies used and they including marijuana. And now they had a wonderful way to throw them all in jail. And then it became public policy. And then, Reagan enforced any of a more, and then we had the. Minority coalitions that supported it because of the crack epidemic in these urban neighborhoods.
And it just ramped up this drug war to the point where possessing, a little bit of crack cocaine would throw you in jail for longer than if if you raped someone or something like that. Just insane. And
Mike: CIA was involved in creating the crack epidemic, right?
Sal: Oh yeah. There’s conspiracy theories around that.
Mike: That term just needs to go away because conspiracies are the dominant theme of history. I used it earlier in this podcast, ironically, but when you have very strong, circumstantial evidence for something and you have way too many coincidences, it’s no longer a conspiracy theory again, especially when by definition.
People have been conspiring since the beginning of time and will continue to conspire rich and powerful. People will always work together behind the scenes, doing things they probably shouldn’t be doing to stay rich, stay powerful, get richer, get more powerful, destroy their enemies. Like what you’re talking about, like what you are sharing is a conspiracy.
That’s a conspiracy
Sal: theory. No, that’s not conspiracy. That’s actually no. That
Mike: is a conspiracy by
Sal: definition. Oh, I hear what you’re saying. No. Yeah. , yes. That’s how the world works. Yeah. No, but it’s real. It’s it’s out. This is now public information and knowledge that was the policy behind Nixon and what they did and all that stuff.
And you gotta be careful when you go down as defined by, modern, I guess lexicon conspiracy theory because we are now in the age of social media and AI algorithms that has now been proven to radicalize people through. This rabbit holes of conspiracy theories as defined now, and so you gotta be very
It’s more just a matter of if you are going to look into that type of stuff, you have to have a high standard of evidence. You can’t go about it willynilly. You can’t be lazy and just look at Instagram or Facebook memes and think that you’re learning things like it takes actual. Study and it takes vetting of sources of information, who’s reliable, who’s not, and understanding the importance of primary documents and Yeah,
And yes. And we do have real like for
Mike: conspiracy, a book I write, if you haven’t read it, you should read it, Conspiracy in America, written by he’s a professor. I forget his name, but that’s an example of somebody who I consider a reliable source. And the book is well researched, it’s well cited, primary documents, and you can learn about particularly the phrase conspiracy theory and how the CIA was involved in weaponizing that phrase.
They didn’t come up with it, but they weaponized it. And it is now, it’s now used of course, to discredit anything that the establishment does not want. Talking about or even thinking about. And that book does a very good job just showing you how we have gotten to that point. And there are many other such good books.
If you want to learn about the quote unquote conspiracy theory of nine 11, check out David Ray Griffin’s work very well researched, sourced well sight things you actually can go verify for yourself. There are many strange coincidences and many very strong pieces of circumstantial evidence that would indicate that our government may have known something.
This, the official story is probably not the whole story. Another book Day of Deceit if you wanna learn about Pearl Harbor. And I’d say, I mean that primary document compelling, almost red handed evidence that not only did our government know that Pearl Harbor was going to happen, they actually helped instigate it.
They took indirect. Machiavellian actions to bait Japan into doing it and then allowed it to happen as a pretext for
Sal: you don’t even have to go that far. You can read the Creature from Jackal Island, which is all true. You can look at how the Gulf of Tonkin, which was a, an event,
Mike: another good example, One of the two supposed attacks actually never even
No. And that’s all declassified. We also know the c you know, Operation
Mike: Northwoods. Go to archive.gov and read that.
Sal: That’s real, that’s unclassified. Or the, the Tuskegee experiments that they now officially apologize for. So I get the whole
Mike: i, the American Eugenics movement, which was over in California and some of the experiments they
Sal: did with Planned Parenthood.
Look at the founder of Planned Parenthood and her history
Mike: and Sanger and some of the things that she had to say about black people in
Sal: particular. Oh, it’s terrible. It’s absolutely terrible. This is all real documents. This is the factual part. Okay. Cause you could go down a pretty crazy rabbit hole, but here’s the fact, whether government or people in power cause.
Things to happen or not? It depends on the situation and the evidence and that stuff, but one thing’s, for sure, something happens, they’re gonna take advantage. They will use it for political gain. That is a fact. If there is a terrorist attack, you better believe politicians are behind closed doors and thinking, how can we use this to motivate people to Yeah.
The slot machines, they start ringing loudly. Oh, oh, we have a video of a, of an officer killing a minority in a terrible way. How can we use this to manipulate people? Or we have a video of this. How can we use it to, manipulate people to act in a particular way? Look at the Patriot Act and d if we, if September 11th never happened, no way in hell, Americans would’ve supported an act that gives the government the ability to not just spy on you without any judge or jury or warrant, but they actually have the power if they want.
To throw you in a cage forever and tell nobody about it as long as they declare that you’re a terrorist, which requires no proof. These are all things that we passed because of events, and so we get, Again, this goes back to what I said earlier, fear, anger, empathy. They will use those to manipulate the shit outta you, to make you act in ways that are not in your best interest or in the best interests of others, which is why you need to practice the skill of objective, logical thought.
It’s not perfect, but it’s the only antidote to that kind of manipulation, and we are in a unprecedented time. We have a pandemic. We have, So it’s worldwide pandemic fears at all time highs. We’re also in the era of social media, which does a phenomenal job of driving those behaviors through your own clicks and the things that you wanna read and what you give attention to.
And then on top of it, we are in an election year where they’re gonna spend record amounts of money on the books, off the books. Who
Mike: knows? And did you see that Mike Bloomberg just announced yesterday or the day before that he’s putting a hundred million into Florida?
Sal: Yeah, he’s also very ineffective. How much money did he spend to, to win the primaries and he got trounced?
Mike: about as likable as an evil, so that’s not surprising. But money has been the primary driving factor in presidential elections until 2016. And I don’t remember where I heard this from. I did file it into my reliable source drawer. So I’m gonna share it, although I can’t say it is accurate with complete certainty.
But if I remember correctly, apparently 2016 was the first instance where the presidential candidate who spent the most money lost. That’s true. And she spent what, about five or 600 million more than Trump? It wasn’t a small amount
Sal: more, No, she did spend more. I know what it was. Is that the Trump administration?
There was a, There’s a lot of factors. Okay. Let’s be honest. I think the main factor. That gave Trump the win. And if he wins, again, will give him this win is less to do with his advertising and his campaigning, and more to do with the how far left the left has gone. And now they’re pushing everybody in that direction.
Trump won less because he’s Trump and what he says and more because Hillary Clinton and the left was so unlikeable. They just drove people like into that direction. They’re doing it again. If Trump wins again, you should give the trophy to the left for pushing everybody in that direction with how extreme they’ve gone.
I know people personally, I know at least a dozen people personally who are lifelong blue blood democrats who are gonna vote for Trump, not because they like Trump. They’re literally pinching their nose while they’re doing it, but rather because the extreme left, push ’em in that direction. And then the other reason is that the Trump campaign spent their money quite effectively.
They were actually the first. They used social media in brilliant, in really brilliant ways, and Trump in some ways is a brilliant politician. If you just study the art of politics, he’s not charismatic like Obama or Reagan or Clinton. He definitely doesn’t, he doesn’t have that same likability factor.
But as somebody that knows how to use the media, Trump is brilliant. The guy will, he’ll do a tweet that and he’ll misspell a word on purpose knowing full well all the media’s gonna share it. And people are just gonna read his message. He knows very well how to troll the left, get them to react in ways that are in his favor.
He’s brilliant at the way he. Know uses media. It’s not presidential. It’s in no way like past brilliant politicians, but effective nonetheless. Yeah. It’s a different playbook. Yeah. And I don’t know how effective he would be if the left wasn’t so extreme, to be quite honest. I If the left, if they were running tos, Gabbard, Oh, it’d be tough.
It’d be so she would’ve beat him to Gabbard. I could not imagine her on a debate stage with Trump. A former veteran fought in war, very moderate, strong, confident woman. You can’t shake her. Also attractive, which matters a lot. And he would screw Trump. He would have a tough time being a bully to her because she fought in war.
Mike: To be fair, he probably wouldn’t even want to bully her in the way that he wanted to bully Hillary because she’s a very different person. There’s a reason why the DNC quickly washed their hands
Sal: of her. Yeah. But I don’t think he knows how to not, He’s a bull anywhere he goes. Yeah. He acts like a bull. And that works very well in under certain circumstances, a healthy.
Vibrant, cognitively functioning properly, Biden would actually pose a threat to Trump on the debate stage. 10 years ago, 15 years ago, Biden was a pit bull and he would’ve fought back against Trump on the debate stage, and it would’ve been a great battle. But Biden is so obviously cognitively, he’s got some serious deficient Yeah.
That he’s gonna look terrible. And then of course,
Mike: Hillary, could you imagine him four hours on Rogan with Trump? It would end in the first hour with him unconscious
Sal: on the floor. And to be fair, I’m sure in a four hour conversation, Trump would give his political opponents like hours of political fodder because Sure.
He says all kinds
Mike: of, He’s, yeah he only knows how to shoot from the hip and seems to have very little sense of tact when it comes to playing this game. The bully, when you give him the bully pulpit, he just, you just never know. You never know what’s gonna come out of his mouth or out of his Twitter account.
Sal: not the leader that, unites everybody and makes him feel good and all that stuff. He just, like when these riots happened, he got up there and he just, ugh, he’s angry and pissed off, and I’m like, Oh man, that is the opposite what you should. Sound like when this happens? Your actions behind the scenes sh totally could be different.
I That’s like Obama, when those riots happen with Obama, he was on the stage and, stroking everybody off. And then behind the scenes he’s, national guards coming in and shooting rubber bullets and tear gas at everybody, so Trump does not play that side of politics very well at all.
But boy does he use media in ways that is, if you step, I don’t care if you like him or hate him, you take a step back and you see how he plays the left like a puppet. He gets them to react and then they realize what happened when it’s too late. It’s pretty interesting.
Mike: Yeah. I saw a study that estimated that he got over a billion dollars in free media back in 2016
Sal: I just, it’s just hilarious. It’s this hilarious to me. He’ll do is you know these, What’s that girl’s name that does his press briefings? The blonde lady. Oh, Kylie Kayley. Yeah. She’s brilliant, right? But goes up there and I don’t remember what video it was that she played on Loop. While she’d answered questions, it was some just hilarious video of, I don’t remember what it was, but of the left doing something stupid or whatever.
And while she’s answering questions, it’s playing on loop on a TV behind her. This is the kind of shit that he does cuz he’s gonna get air time. Because it’s a press briefing. Oh, I think it was the peaceful
Sal: Yeah. Yes. Writing looting . And it was just on loop, right? I was just, Oh my goodness.
Mike: grew up on the internet. So I appreciate stuff like that. I
Sal: have to and to be objective, the right memes way better than the left
Mike: does. I’m sure you know this. There’s actually research on this. Was it a, it might’ve been the University of Montana. But there was a university study that was done to assess the effectiveness of me, and they concluded that the right is overwhelmingly more effective in terms of virality.
And it’s not hard to see why. Your average leftist meme is completely unfunny and has way too much text. It’s like a wall of fucking ruins that you’re supposed to decode .
Sal: It’s so bad.
Mike: And I think part of that comes from at the heart of good humor is. What you’re trying to say. What is your observation?
Yeah. What is your unen coded message? And once you have that, then you can work it in different ways to make it funny. But if your message is fundamentally wrong, for example, if it doesn’t accord with reality or if it is not interesting, if it is not edgy, if it’s just conformist, normy, what everybody thinks, it’s very hard to take that and make it funny.
Sal: And part of it is that just how extreme they are. So it’s hard to make a funny, quick viral meme with an extreme,
Mike: which is an overreaction, right? So when your fundamental message is just A silly little piece of hysterical nothing burger, it’s hard to make that
Sal: funny. It is. And again, these days I just do not identify at all with the left anymore because they’ve gone so extreme.
But I will say this, Mike. Okay, here’s my fear and my fear. This fear is based off. What I think to be the real risk that is posed to us right now. So a bit of a risk coming from the left in their policies, in their socialist policies, in some of these collectivist ideas that they’re promoting. So there’s, I do have some fear there, but here’s where I really fear.
What I really fear is the strong, inevitable reaction from the opposite side that they’re gonna cause, which is gonna be equally tyrannical, but it’s gonna be wrapped in an American flag. It’s gonna sound and look very patriotic. It’s gonna be nationalism. And this one I fear more because Americans like nationalism.
It feels good, it feels uniting, but it can be just this tyrannical. And so I’m waiting for that. And in fact, Trump with his authoritarian tendencies, hints at it sometimes. I He made a comment not that long ago where he, We should throw people who burn the American flag in jail for a year. That’s a nationalist.
And I know part of me is yeah, because I hate when I see people do that. But then, the logical side of me is if you own that flag, if it’s your property, you could do whatever the hell you want with it. I don’t care. It just, it hurts my feelings that you burn the American flag cuz you don’t understand the ideals it stands for, but whatever.
But he talked about throwing them in jail and he threw it out there. Not his actual policy, but as a comment, I think he’s testing the waters and then just recently he passed this law that’s gonna, or this act or whatever that’s going to, compel public schools to teach children about how great America is.
And of course it feels like a justifiable counter to the message of how bad America is that we get sometimes in public schools. But it’s propaganda really is what it is. So what I’m afraid of is that the left push is so damn hard and gets so extreme. And keeps up these, this insane ideology that promotes these riots and whatever that we get like a federal police force, that we get these laws that are like, if you’re not a company supporting America, then you can’t conduct business and these kind of literal fascist policies, that’ll be the reaction and that I’m afraid of because Americans will vote that in.
They like that. You wave an American flag and you say it’s for us, and then people will vote in their own, actual, literal oppression. So that’s the thing I wanna keep an eye out for, but it’s not happening. Right now what we see is the extreme left that’s causing all the problems. Yeah. I,
Mike: If we don’t end, we’ll probably never end.
So we should probably just wrap it up. And one last little comment I wanted to make just cause I think it’s useful if you, and not you Sal, but I’m sure you agree with this, Sal, but if you, Mr. Or Mrs. Listener, are wanting to decide where you fall on, I think any matter really consider this, and this comes from Charlie Munger, but if you can’t.
Make your opponents argument if you can’t summarize their argument better than they can, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Oh, brilliant. Absolutely. It doesn’t matter what you think and what you’ve researched and how long you’ve sat in your little echo chamber and walled in your confirmation bias and dis confirmation bias, you can only really say you are informed and you’ve really taken the time to come to an informed decision when you know the other side’s argument just as well.
I For the sake of eza of exaggeration, better than they do, where you could go to somebody who is your ideological opponent and you could say, Let me make sure I understand. Here’s the crux of your position. Here are the big three pillars that you stand on. Correct? Yes. Okay. Now let me explain why I disagree with those things and that’s the level of conversation that I’m interested in.
I like debates as well, and I look for that in myself too, where I’m. Quick to say, this is where I’m at currently. This is where my feelings and intuitions and maybe a little bit of research has led me. However, I have not looked into it enough. I have not looked into the other side enough to have a strong opinion.
There’s nothing wrong with saying that. You don’t have to pretend like you’ve figured everything out. And like you were saying this, you know much earlier that you’re right, period. And changing your mind is essentially impossible because you are infallible.
Sal: It’s very arrogant. And I’ll add one more thing to that.
Rather than thinking your opponent is evil, which will make it impossible for you to have a discussion with cuz who talks with an evil person, consider that maybe their motives, although maybe their outcomes or their opinions are wrong. But consider that what’s driving them. Maybe that they really do.
Better for themselves and better for other people because if you think everybody’s evil, all debate and discussion is over. That’s very
Mike: good. I like that as well. All right, man, thanks again for doing this. I look forward to the next one. We’ll have to brainstorm. Maybe we should talk about democracy.
We could talk about democracy
Sal: as a form of government. Dude, I’ll talk about anything. Maybe you should ask your audience what they want us to talk about cuz I’m down. Okay,
Mike: man. Thanks again and I look forward to the next one. All right, brother. All right. That’s it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting and helpful.
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