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The Shadow of the Cold War, Identity and Socialism – Paul Jay

Paul Jay is interviewed on Parallax Views with J.G. Michael on a wide range of topics including his political formation, pro wrestling, the Soviet Union and Russia Gate, U.S./China rivalry, hyper-capitalism, climate change, and what to do now. Yea, it’s a lot.

Transcript

J.G. Michael

Welcome to Parallax Views, Paul Jay of theAnalysis.news. How are you doing today, Paul?

Paul Jay

I’m doing fine. It’s surreal being stuck in front of the computer and everything going around, but we’re doing really okay compared to the suffering we’re seeing.

J.G. Michael

So before we dive into some current events and the work you’re doing with theAnalysis.news. For my listeners that may be unfamiliar. I have a lot of younger listeners that are just starting to get more politically active, maybe you could tell us a little about your work. You’ve done a lot. You’ve done wrestling documentaries, Wrestling with Shadows. You’ve also been involved with the real news network. What’s your background? And is there a connective tissue behind the documentaries and journalism you’ve done?

Paul Jay

It’s a good question. There was never any grand plan for what I did, because, partly, I quit high school when I was more or less legally able to at 16, and I went to an experimental school. But that was for a year. But that wasn’t too serious in terms of formal education. So I didn’t have a normal trajectory, where you might go to university and have a specific expertise and then go into that field. When I left school, I was going to go to film school and then I didn’t, because the year I was supposed to go to film school was the year the Front de Libération du Québec, kidnapped first the Quebec cabinet, the British high commissioner and then the Quebec cabinet minister. This is 1970, known in Canada as the October crisis.

Paul Jay

And Trudeau declared martial law across the whole country, although it was mostly effective in Quebec. It was all nonsense, because there was no, “apprehension of insurrection”. Anyway, it was so tumultuous that I just couldn’t imagine going off to film school in the middle of all this. So I drove a truck for the post office for three years. I fixed freight cars on a railroad for five years.

Paul Jay

And then I got into film making, documentary filmmaking, and then eventually into journalism. I guess I am led by my curiosity and I’m led by a drive to try to change the world in whatever way I can. And so, I was executive producer of the main political debate show on CBC for 10 years, a daily debate show. Just fell into that. I just had an idea and pitched it. So there’s never been a grand plan, but the connective tissue is probably a good way to frame it, which is a striving to understand what’s going on and striving to change what’s going on.

Paul Jay

And because over time I developed a filmmaking and media expertise, I went down more of that road. So I guess that’s the short answer.

J.G. Michael

I wanted to ask really briefly to and I know it’s a documentary did years ago, but I did want to mention that Wrestling with Shadows documentary, not so much to get your thoughts on wrestling, but rather was there anything you learned about culture and maybe the way people believe in certain things through working on that documentary? I’ve heard you may be referenced it a few times on the analysis. What do you think he got out of that experience?

Paul Jay

Well, the film was never about wrestling as such. I wasn’t a wrestling fan before I made the film, and I wasn’t, frankly, much of a wrestling fan after I’ve made the film. It interested me, because I read an article by Roland Barth, who’s a French philosopher semiologist, as I was thinking about doing the film. And he talked about wrestling as being like a Greek tragedy and melodrama, where wrestling characters play very powerful, strong emotions. Somebody plays hero, somebody plays the villain, and so on.

Paul Jay

And it interested me why that was so appealing to such a large audience at the time I made the film. The audience around the world may have been more than a billion people a week. And I think understanding the appeal of wrestling in retrospect now and a little bit then helps me understand a little better the support for someone like Trump, who actually was in the wrestling. He actually was a character in WWE fighting Vince McMahon and so on. And I think that helped to teach Trump something about how to get pop from an audience, which is what wrestlers try to do.

Paul Jay

The main theme of the film is, are you naive if you think there are values more important than just making money.

Paul Jay

And to a large extent in real life, as we made the film, was so involved in his character, the hitman who was a hero and stood for good things, that he didn’t want to diminish that character, that hero and the values the hero stood for. And so in a sense, he chose those heroic values over what might have been better for his career. In the long run, you could say it worked out for him career-wise, because he got a contract with the WCW and made a fair amount of money.

Paul Jay

But it was still an idea of are you naive if you think there are values above money-making and people can watch the film and decide. So what I got out of the film was a chance to tell a story with pop culture about what I thought was going on in society. And Vince McMahon represents, his wife was actually in the Trump cabinet, so they represent this hyper-capitalist politics and economics because they used to treat these wrestlers, as a line in the film where Brett says, “they treat us like circus animals”.

Paul Jay

And that’s how they see workers broadly throughout the society. They’re expendable. They’re disposable. And I got to tell that story as well through the wrestling film.

J.G. Michael

I think that’s a really powerful aspect of that documentary, because really I grew up on pro wrestling, I will be honest about it. They’ve never been allowed to unionize. They’re considered independent contractors, even though they’re not allowed to do any work outside of the wrestling promotion they work for. And it seems to almost be a microcosm of this bigger problem we see with the type of capitalism we have in our society today. I guess that leads into the question of what was your political awakening on issues related to things like capitalism, the war state, national security state and economic issues, like inequality?

Paul Jay

Well, our identities and political formation obviously start, where you grow up. So your parents are the first transmitters of culture to you and then school. My parents were lefties and had left, my father was Canadian mother American, but they’d gone both for different reasons and met in Los Angeles in the late 1940s. And as McCarthyism and House of un-American Activities Committee sets in, my father was active with a progressive lefty trade union called Minemill. My mother was an actress, but she got involved in the circles of the Hollywood Ten.

Paul Jay

And they left around 1950. Because one or both of them were probably going to get targeted by the House of un-American Activities Committee.

Paul Jay

So they came back to Canada. And then as a result of that, I was born in Canada. I grew up in a household and I can’t say a household that was super political like they were. I don’t know why, but they didn’t propagandize me, that’s for sure, if anything it was the other way around. But they also didn’t transmit Cold War ideas to me. So if anything, I picked up some progressive values from them. When I would come home from lunch, sometimes from school, my mother would read me Izzy Stone’s newsletter, muckraking left-wing journalist.

Paul Jay

And I know when we’d watch Canada play the Soviet Union in Hockey, my father was always, he was obviously rooted for Canada, but he always had some positive things to say about the Soviet team, although he got very disillusioned with the Soviet Union, early in the 50s, actually. Anyway, the point is, I grew up without having been injected with Cold War mentality. And maybe I got a little bit of vaccination against it. I can’t say I was super political, but I was always interested.

Paul Jay

I started reading newspapers as soon as I could read newspapers.  And when I was eight years old or seven, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Diefenbaker, because I read a story in the newspaper how the Inuit, those days it was Eskimo’s were starving, literally starving in the thousands, complaining why didn’t the Canadian government do something about it? They wrote they wrote me back a letter. I can’t say he, somebody who works for him, wrote a letter back saying, go donate to your local church as if the Canadian government, didn’t have any responsibility for the people starving.

Paul Jay

And it hit me. Anyway, to make it short, I would say the main awakening for me was the Vietnam War, as so many people of my generation it was. That’s when I really became very clear to me what that war was about, Canada’s complicity. And it impacted me in ways that resonate today because I never grew up feeling any illusions about the Democratic Party.

Paul Jay

For me, the Democratic Party was always the party of the Vietnam War, which also means I’m not like a former smoker, when it comes to the Democratic Party, because some people that were smokers, become the craziest anti-smokers. And so, I’m not a crazy and I shouldn’t say crazy. I don’t exaggerate some visceral hatred for the Democratic Party. For me, it’s part of this imperialist empire and needs to be understood as such. But anyway, the Vietnam War, then of course, the FLQ crisis, and I got into some activism around the Vietnam War.

Paul Jay

And other kinds of leftie anti-poverty activism and that sort of stuff. So, I’m formed during those periods and then I got involved in my filmmaking, which was not very directly political, but I always had that gravitation.

Paul Jay

And then as I got into doing the debate show and my films and then later with Real News, I felt like I was in a position that was unique in a sense. Because of the show I did on CBC for 10 years, the debate show, I had real mainstream journalistic credibility, but I had pretty left-wing progressive politics. And not many people with my politics had that mainstream experience, both in television producing and in documentary.

Paul Jay

Because my documentaries were on all the big networks. I was on A&E and CBC and BBC and Arte and Turner. I was in that circle of documentary filmmakers that could get their films sold to the big networks. On the other hand, my politics were quite radical and still are. But I don’t like using the word too much radical, because it means 100000 different things to different people. But anyway, that’s short for, if you want, my awakening, let me add one thing. The most important persons in my awakening are two old guys with big gray beards.

Paul Jay

Marx and Engels for me were and still are the best way to form one’s analysis of the world. Clearly, they were analyzing the late 19th century and the beginnings of the 20th century, but the methodology of dialectical and historical materialism and what one can learn from Marx and Engels analysis of capitalism, I don’t think is in any way been diminished by time.

J.G. Michael

I’d love to get into that a little bit more later on in the conversation. But something I wanted to come back to was you mentioned that era of McCarthyism and the Hollywood 10, and now we’re seeing a lot of concerns about an extremely or virulently, paranoid style of the American right. Things like QAnon, the Sovereign Citizen Movement, Stop the Sale People that did the capital insurrection or riots. And I think that we suffer from this problem that Gore Vidal referred to as the United States of Amnesia, where a lot of people talk about this as if it’s a completely new phenomenon. But I think there’s a line between things like QAnon and that McCarthyism of so many years ago.

J.G. Michael

I wanted to get your thoughts on that.

Paul Jay

Well, there’s a direct line. I’m doing now a series of interviews with Matt Trynauer, who produced the series The Reagans on Showtime. And it’s hard to find something in the Trump campaign that isn’t a copy of the Reagan campaign. On the other hand, the Reagan campaign was given birth to by McCarthyism and that whole era. 1946, is a critical year for the United States, it’s the year with the most strikes by workers, I believe, before or since.

Paul Jay

The workers have been asked to suppress their wage demands during the war, and in 1946 it just burst out. Soldiers were coming back from Europe and Asia saying, we were told we’re out there fighting for democracy. Well, now that we’re home, we’d like some of that. And people understood democracy meant economic democracy, not just formal vote every two years or four years. And even Roosevelt understood, and he actually had developed with his vice president Wallace and some others an Economic Bill of Rights, that would guarantee employment and other sorts of things.

Paul Jay

Frankly, things that I believe are quite impossible under capitalism. But it showed that in 1946, people really wanted economic rights, not just formal political rights.

Paul Jay

And there was another very, very important factor, which is the popularity, prestige of the Soviet Union was very high. Later, people found out more that it was far more repressive than people thought. And it’s a long conversation, which I don’t mind having, but the Soviet Union in the long run was not sustainable as a model. And to a large extent, because I don’t know how you have a complicated planned economy with a pencil and paper, pre-computers, it was more than utopian to think you could do it.

Paul Jay

But anyway, go back to the 1946. This year 1946, Roosevelt is dead, and the New Deal is now something that was a compromise with the American working class, that a lot of the elite thought was no longer necessary. America is now the big, powerful, only superpower in the world. And okay we don’t mind sharing some of the plunder of this expanding American empire with some sections of the working class. But in the long run, that New Deal was a deal, because of the 30s.

Paul Jay

And we’re not in that anymore.

Paul Jay

So over the next decades, they try to undo the New Deal, not try to a large extent, they do undo the New Deal. But in the cultural sphere, the educational sphere, it was very, very important to the elites. And they did this to a large extent consciously. To smash, crash, undermine the very powerful influence of the left, not just in Hollywood, first and foremost in the unions. There was a big campaign to purge the left-wingers out of the unions and the leadership of the ALCIO cooperated with that purge. They purged teachers out of schools and universities and, of course, Hollywood.

Paul Jay

They try to fire people in positions of government and alongside of that was the Cold War.

Paul Jay

And I’m working on a project now with Daniel Ellsberg based on his book Doomsday Machine. They needed an existential enemy. They really needed it. And even when the Soviet Union got the bomb. They knew that Soviet Union was actually not an existential enemy, at least not in military terms, but they were very afraid in ideological cultural terms, that this model of a worker’s state was possible. Now in the longer run, it wasn’t what people believed it was, but in 1946, everyone knew the Soviet Union was the one that broke the back of Hitler.

Paul Jay

And it was the Soviet Union, when people were doing victory rallies in Europe after the fall of Hitler, they had pictures of Stalin everywhere. This was scaring the elite shitless.

Paul Jay

So a big campaign unfolds. And the way these things, I don’t think it’s necessarily some smart people in a room plan everything, but there is a certain amount of conscious planning to it. Certainly, McCarthy saw an opportunity to push this Cold War craziness to advance his career. The House of un-American Activities Committee similarly saw ways to advance their own political careers. But the elites, they do have think tanks. They had to have academics. They do have people that do think through these sorts of things.

Paul Jay

They saw they needed to crush this enthusiasm for socialism and for this progressive politics. So, at along with it went “Leave It to Beaver” culture, this idyllic white families in the suburbs. And the biggest problem they ever had is Beaver fell off his bicycle and stubbed his toe. This world that never actually existed gets portrayed on television in the media, and then it’s accompanied by virulent crazy shows like “I was a communist for the FBI”, which is that the Soviet Union is this evil empire that’s going to come and invade the United States. They even had “the Russians are coming; the Russians are coming.” They’re infiltrating your government. They’re infiltrating everywhere. And they’re going to use this missile advantage they have and blow us up. That culture of complete fabrication of what America was, gave birth to Reagan and is a direct line to Trump.

J.G. Michael

I wanted to comment really quick and this may seem out of the blue. Have you ever read the Kurt Vonnegut short story, Harrison Bergeron?

Paul Jay

No.

J.G. Michael

It’s an interesting short story, because it’s about this society where there’s a handicapper general who’s trying to make everyone equal and he’ll shoot people, make them equal. It’s a very odd story for him to write because he was a Marxist. And the way we were taught in school is that it was anti-communist. And later on, as I learned more about Vonnegut and his leftism, I thought, oh, this is actually him making fun of William F. Buckley style paranoia about, oh, if we do anything progressive, it’ll turn into this communist dictatorship.

J.G. Michael

It’s like he’s making fun of that paranoia. We’re taught things, like that story, or even when we’re taught Orwell, we’re not really taught about Orwell’s Left-Wing orientation, when it comes to how we learn about the Cold War.

Paul Jay

As the left, we need to be honest and balanced about what happened. It’s a long story about the Soviet Union, but a single party rule and ownership of the means of production concentrated into that single party rule gave rise to what was to a large extent a police state. Now, people had more economic rights, in fact, than they did in the United States. And the right to a job, and health care, and education, and higher education, it was all there.

Paul Jay

And in fact, in today’s Russia, there’s a lot of nostalgia for what existed in the Soviet Union. But there’s no doubt that the Soviet Union at the time to try to build socialism in those conditions, gave rise to this extremely bureaucratic form of state. And eventually it all implodes. It could become so bureaucratized, because the conditions just didn’t exist for it to do it the way it did it, that speed of which they socialized, we can get into that. But it’s a long story.

Paul Jay

So the problem too, was a lot of the left for a long time didn’t know or just wouldn’t accept, and I’m talking during the you know, the 40s, the 50s, for some people even into the 60s, didn’t want to accept how bureaucratized and how repressive the state had become or maybe was for a long time, not so much become, it was for quite a while. And sometimes for good reason, in the sense that, because of the socialist revolution, the West invaded the Soviet Union, there was always attempts to overthrow the government there. So, it’s a combination of repression, because it’s a one party state.

Paul Jay

But it’s also what happens when you’re so threatened by external powers. It’s a complicated conversation.

Paul Jay

But we grew up with this notion, that socialism is a repressive state that represents only those people that control the government and the left, to a large extent failed to deal with the truth, that there was some truth in it, which helped create room for the right to say, well, that’s socialism. That’s always going to be socialism.

Paul Jay

And so it’s very important now. Like you started you were mentioning this quote from Gore about the United States of Amnesia. Later he started calling it the United States of Alzheimer’s. Apparently, Studs Terkel came up with that. But the lack of a real understanding of history, although I would have to say to a large extent, the vast majority of the population now has zero understanding of history, period, never mind a realistic one. It’s one of the most important things we need to do now.

J.G. Michael

In that regard, how do you think the Cold War, what’s the shadow of it? Because I think it casts a shadow over us. I think we see an almost cold, warlike mindset with certain Democrats now with the whole Russia Gate thing. And I think we definitely see it with Trumpism. There’s this us versus them mentality, where anything to the left of Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump is socialism and they’re coming to take us away.

Paul Jay

Well, you got to break it down. There’s no doubt there’s a shadow. This great quote from Marx about the, I can’t remember the exact words, but it has to do with these things of the past weigh like a nightmare on the brains of the living. But the Democratic Party corporate cold warriors. It’s not quite the same as the Republican. And the Republican are a little more obvious in the sense that most of the Republicans are just venal, carry the water for the military industrial complex.

Paul Jay

And I think to some extent they know the things they call such threats are not really. And I just don’t think they to a large extent, this leadership of the of the Republican Party doesn’t actually believe much in anything, but making money. It’s like Chomsky says, there are criminal gang and criminal organization.

Paul Jay

The Democrats are a little more complicated. One has to remember that take someone like Daniel Ellsberg. In 1949, I’m sorry, into the later 50s, but including late 40s and into the 50s, right up until 60 or so, Daniel Ellsberg was a real committed cold warrior. He believed in his heart of hearts, as did most of his colleagues, that the Soviet Union was a threat to militarily dominate the world. And they were preparing to do so, they saw the Soviet Union as the same threat as Hitler. And there’s a whole generation of Democratic Party politics, starting with Truman. That you get this convergence of a belief that the Soviet Union is an existential threat militarily, and the rise and necessity for the military industrial complex.

Paul Jay

Because after World War Two, the economy was temporarily, you could say, out of the depression, because of the war. But they were very afraid that without that government social spending on the war and it’s really a form of Keynesianism such stimulus, right? All that war spending. That the economy would go back into the depression of the 1930s. So, they needed to keep the militarisation going. In fact, Ellsberg says that he thinks the nuclear war ICBM strategy, the whole nuclear plan, war strategy, was based on being, he calls it “a subsidy for the aerospace industry”.

Paul Jay

That the aerospace industry would have collapsed after the war, if they’re only going to make domestic aircraft. So there’s an economic motivation here and a political ideological motivation to crush aspirations for socialism, for anyone to think that something socialistic is possible to achieve, they needed to crush that. A lot of these factors converge.

Paul Jay

And again, it’s not like necessarily anyone sitting there consciously understanding all this and making a perfect plan. But these realities reflect themselves in people’s minds and consciousness, and they see opportunities. And it’s the way the system works. So the militarization was and is a critical component, to the strength and expansion of the American economy, an unnecessary one. They could do the same social spending without it being military and people like economist Bob Pollin and others have modeled that it’s probably 10 times the economic effect, if you were, say, put the money into education rather than into the military, in terms of stimulus spending.

Paul Jay

But because it’s military and because it’s such a bloody boondoggle of criminal criminality, of profit-making, and the Republicans are so into that and corporate Democrats, for that matter, because they all get funding and donations and whatever, that informs a lot of their view.

Paul Jay

But where I was headed with this is, for many of the Corporate Democrats and even Liberals, who you might not even call corporate necessarily on domestic issues, their thinking is rooted in that idea that the Soviet Union and now Russia want to take over the world. And only this United States, with all its faults, stands in the way. It’s not real, but it’s convenient to believe in. It gives you a raison d’etre to support the military-industrial complex and to their shame and how wrong they were, the Democrats thought they could dredge up the demons of the Cold War and use this in the Russiagate stuff to bring down Trump, and to their shock, found out that nobody gave a shit.

Paul Jay

My line about Russiagate. I wasn’t quite in the weeds on this stuff as some of my colleagues were. My take on Russiagate always was, I don’t care if Russia did everything they were accused of doing in terms of social media to support Trump. And maybe they did some, maybe they didn’t. I honestly don’t care, because as a threat to American democracy, what the American oligarchy has done to undermine American democracy is so much worse that who cares? And the Russians did us a favor.

Paul Jay

If they really were the ones that hacked WikiLeaks and exposed the undermining of not WikiLeaks, Clinton’s emails and the DNC. And we found out about the sabotage of the Sanders campaign, well, we should send them a thank you note.

Paul Jay

Anyway, there’s a lot of the corporate Democrats and even more liberals, I would say Bernie Sanders for quite a while, had a foot in this old Cold War thinking. I think he’s more and more out of it now. But I remember, when he was running against Hillary, he was talking about strengthening NATO. So even people like Sanders. When you’re formed in the Cold War, you’re thinking your worldview. It’s very important, the issues you’re raising right now, the shadows of the Cold War, because the generation of leaders we have, their very identities were formed in believing about these existential threats and in spite of all its weaknesses, that the United States stands for something else, it’s very hard to let go of that.

Paul Jay

Like I interview Larry Wilkerson all the time.

Paul Jay

You can’t get a better critic of U.S. foreign policy now. But Larry volunteered to go to Vietnam to fight communism and fought there, he was in the military for decades, fully believed the Cold War mythology. And only during the time of the Iraq war did the coin really drop for him. Holy shit, this is just about money making. These people actually don’t believe in anything. So it’s got to be understood that it’s not just this conscious manipulation to serve the military industrial complex, there’s a piece of that.

Paul Jay

But it also is right in their belief system for many of these people, and it has to be fought, which is one of the reasons I’m trying to do this documentary with Ellsberg.

J.G. Michael

I know that we’re talking in terms of the leadership, but I also think there’s this issue where I think a lot of voters, especially ones who may have lived through the Cold War, were so propagandized into this “us versus them” paranoid style of American politics mindset, and I think we even got more of that with the war on terror, that it’s created this whole almost cultural phenomena, where I think you’ve almost referred to it as like the the fascistization of a culture. Could you discuss that a little bit?

Paul Jay

Yes, sure. Well, let’s go back to the wrestling film, because it’s not a bad metaphor. A lot of people that watch wrestling, frankly, before my film came out, which showed how much theater it was, it went past suspended disbelief. A lot of people thought wrestling was real. And you could emotionally get into it, if you didn’t believe it was real, but it’s meant to look real, it’s very realistic looking fighting.

Paul Jay

The Cold War mythology narrative of this phony America that never existed. Now it’s not just the Cold War. You can talk about a false consciousness, a false identity. Let’s go back to the Slave Society and then let’s talk about the American Civil War. I mean, how many poor farmers who did not own slaves, and workers joined the Confederate Army and died in their thousands and thousands for an identity based on, “well, at least I’m white”.

Paul Jay

And I have to fight for the south, which meant white supremacist culture. Even though these poor farmers and workers did not benefit, except to walk around thinking, “well, at least I’m not a slave”. Well, that’s true. From an economic point of view, to some extent, they probably had more in common with the interests of slaves than with the plantation owners. So this false consciousness of Americanism. You can see it right from there and in many ways, what we’re seeing today has its roots there.

Paul Jay

A new narrative emerges. Oh! We freed the slaves now, you can all be free workers and you can choose your own job and you’re not a slave anymore. So what’s the new narrative? The new narrative is wage slavery is freedom. You get to choose your job, well, of course, you don’t get to choose to be unemployed, you don’t get to choose that your family is going to starve, because you can’t get a job or your wages are so low. But it’s all dressed up as freedom, America’s freedom.

Paul Jay

I mean, this is an old piece of American mythology to get workers to believe that formal political rights are more important than economic rights. So they can look down at Cuba or for a time, even the Soviet Union or whatever China, and for that matter, even these more social democratic capitalist countries like the Nordic countries. You can look down at anything that looks like socialism, because I’ve got the right to vote. This false consciousness just gets on steroids during the Cold War.

J.G. Michael

I wanted to add to that real quick. I’ve always said to people what I look at these figures like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Bernie Sanders. I actually think what they’re advocating for, it’s really not as far Left, is like some full on communist side. It seems like they’re more in favor of a social democracy model, like the Nordic countries you’ve mentioned. And to me, it’s really telling, because it seems, as if we’ve gone so far right, that now even the idea of social democracy is seen as the farthest thing to the left.

Paul Jay

Well. Bernie Sanders. If he had the politics he has, the policy, I should say, he has here, would be a Center Center Right Social Democrat in Europe. Now, I’m not saying he is a Center Center Right, because in those conditions, he would probably be far more to the Left, because I just think that’s who he is. I think the left has to start actually believing its own language, because some of the left people that are very prominent talk about fascism and fascistization and they talk about the empire and this and that. But in some ways, I don’t think they actually believe it.

Paul Jay

What I mean by that is we got to be realistic about what’s possible in the heart of the empire. Lenin had this thesis about weak links of the imperialist chain. This is the whole, one of the biggest paradoxes, dilemmas of the 20th century, and I think Lenin was right about this. He said that, where the conditions for socialism exist in Western Europe, United States, exist because there’s advanced capitalism. You actually can’t get the workers to become revolutionary, because there’s so much money to be thrown around that they can actually bribe the leaders of trade unions and even whole sections of the working class, like in the United States, workers in the automobile industry and in the transportation sector could make such good livings, that they just would not be revolutionary in terms of their aspirations.

Paul Jay

Whereas in Asia, Africa and Latin America, where the conditions were so terrible and the and the capitalist classes and the ruling elites were weak and fractured, where revolutions were really possible the conditions weren’t ripe for socialism, because the economies were just too backward. And so it was a real paradox, and, I don’t know if you want to get into it, but, Lenin at first thought that you could do it with a revolution and revolutionize things very quickly. And then he started to realize, no, you needed more capitalist development.

Paul Jay

And then he dies and Stalin comes in and thinks you can just force the whole thing.

J.G. Michael

There’s this thing that I think has happened where, as Thatcher put it, there is no society, only individuals. And I feel like that mindset has become utterly entrenched in our culture in a way that has led to a fascistization.

Paul Jay

It’s very hypocritical in a sense. While people are told all the time to be individuals and are told all the time, if you’re not doing well, it’s your fault and pull up your bootstraps. And social solutions are socialist and big government and that’s going to be terrible and all that.

Paul Jay

On the other hand, what is the thing that’s idolized most in America? NFL, NBA, team sports. And now everything’s for the team. And if one player has a big ego, LeBron James, I don’t say he has a big ego, but he gets accused of it. Maybe he doesn’t. It doesn’t matter. You’re not a team player. I mean, it’s such a joke, the most successful sports ventures in the country are the teams that play with each other best.

Paul Jay

And everybody knows it, and so and every business you go to big corporations. You’ve got to be part of the team, got to be a team player. All the values are about team, when it comes to actually succeeding in something.

Paul Jay

But then they promote this crazy individualism, when it comes to actual problems people are facing. It’s just another one of these crazy contradictions of Western and American culture, particularly. Most of the other advanced capitalist countries get, there has to be social solutions. And, frankly, US gets it, too. It’s just that most of their social solutions are social solutions to benefit the rich. 

J.G. Michael

I think the left a lot of times in this country and I think the left has been really damaged in a lot of ways, it is in a difficult place, I think. How do we break through a lot of the propagandization and this sort of fascistization of our culture, because I feel like any time you push back, people get upset when you mention the contradictions. How do you break through that cultural propaganda?

Paul Jay

Well, if I knew, I’d be.

J.G. Michael

That’s not an easy question.

Paul Jay

Well, I know how to do it. I know how to do it, but how do you do it?

Paul Jay

So what I mean by that is. Well, let me do the big picture first. You want to talk about Gore Vidal. Why in 1968 will ABC News do a debate with William F. Buckley Jr. and for your younger viewers, he’s like the smarter Tucker Carlson. Not that the Tucker Carlson isn’t smart, he is, but he is not as smart as Buckley.

Paul Jay

But why do you get a debate right in the midst of the Democratic Party National Convention, when thousands of people are in the streets, storming the place? The Democratic Party is up in arms. The anti-war part of the party, how do you get a debate between William Buckley Jr. and Gore Vidal? Can you imagine that on television now, where Gore Vidal will denounce the national security state? I’m not sure he used quite those words back then, but it was still more or less the same critique. Someone with that stature and voice.

Paul Jay

Even somebody like Thomas Frank, who wrote “What’s the matter with Kansas”? He’s not as famous as Gore Vidal was, but he you know, he had a big book. He was very well read. You don’t see him on MSNBC or CNN anymore. Why? Because he was critical of the Democratic Party and he started to get shut out. In the political sphere and the cultural sphere, especially political discourse, there’s been a real degeneration. It’s not just because something happened in the culture that made something happen in the culture, it’s not like Reagan somehow won the argument and became president because his Right Wing ideology convinced people or something.

Paul Jay

The determining power is finance, and that’s been the case, the banks and finance essentially became the most dominant part of the economy and politics, even by the late 19th century, J.P. Morgan was already structuring the economy in the 1890s, telling the railroads they better merge because they’re getting too competitive with each other. His role and the banks gets even more powerful. The Fed gets created by the big bankers because they see the need for some level of external regulation of the banking sector.

Paul Jay

By the 1920s the banks are absolutely dominant. Why?

Paul Jay

Not just because they’re smart and they become dominant. Because when you have large scale industry developing, you need massive amounts of capital. Thousands of workers and thousands of machines, this objective development, which partly just spontaneously developed out of a scientific technical revolution, mass production, machines, understanding the natural world in terms of electricity and chemistry. This gives rise to modern industry, modern industry gave rise to the need for massive amounts of capital and the role of banks started to change. They’re not evil bankers.

Paul Jay

It was a natural progression of how capitalism unfolded, that banks and the finance sector became so critical and so dominant. And as they become more dominant and of course, their only interest is to make money, they start wild speculation in the 1920s, everybody should join the stock market. Don’t worry by one hundred dollars of stock, one dollar down, we’ll loan you the other ninety nine. Everyone, workers, everybody’s asked “go buy stock, go buy stock”. And it gives rise to crazy bubbles and manipulation.

Paul Jay

It’s one of the factors that leads to the crash in 29-30.

Paul Jay

The financialization of the society, which means the growing dominance of the banks, where exporting money and getting countries around the world in debt and paying interest back to the banks, getting people in the country in debt, paying interest to the banks, getting everything into short term profits for the financial institutions that more and more own everything.

Paul Jay

Even Roosevelt talked about this, and I think it was a speech he made on monopolisation in 37, I think it is. He talks about how, we talk about the captains of industry and he says, well, it’s actually now becoming the bankers, who are the only real captains of industry, something like that. This is back in the late 30s. This’s already happened. So when capitalism, when America is expanding Germany’s laid waste, Japan has laid waste, the Soviet Union’s laid waste. The opportunities for productive investment in the US economy is unparalleled.

Paul Jay

So American industry shoots like a rocket. Of course, it needs massive amounts of capital to do it, so along with the rocket of really productive industry filling the void, because it’s practically the only one left that can manufacture stuff, massive amounts of capital, finance starts to retake its position as the most powerful.

Paul Jay

I say retake, because during the 30s it was in trouble. And during the World War Two, the government was spending so much money, that the finances banking share of the GDP was going down. Take a look at the share of GDP after the war is over, it goes up like a rocket. And when Reagan comes in, there’s a second revolution, takes place. And it’s not the Reagan revolution. That’s the real thing. Reagan’s a face of something else that’s happening. It’s the digital revolution.

Paul Jay

And the digital revolution, amongst other things, but to my mind, two of the most important byproducts.

Paul Jay

Number one, globalization on steroids. You start to have the Wal-Mart phenomenon. Somebody goes in and buys a tube of toothpaste off a shelf in Wal-Mart somewhere in China, they know to make another tube of toothpaste, like the global supply chain. It wasn’t new. Jesus, colonialism in the seventeen, sixteen, fifteen, eighteen hundred’s. Colonialism was already a global market. Global labor, cheap labor, raw materials, etc. But what happens with the rise of the digitization, computers, it is globalization on hi-tech steroids. This is the birth of hypercapitalism. It’s not like oh let’s have neoliberalism. I really don’t like the term. It all over sudden sounds like neoliberals won an argument so it’s going to be their policy that wins.

Paul Jay

Neoliberalism is just the reflection in the minds of capitalists how to take advantage of digitized globalization, meaning how do you play off cheap labor in China against more expensive labor in the United States? How do you weaken the American worker and weaken the unions and not just the United States, Canada, Europe as well? So part of that process is because the workers get weaker and the unions get weaker, it strengthens the balance of power between labor and workers in the United States and elsewhere, but most pronounced in the United States.

Paul Jay

Then something else starts to happen. And this is another product of digitization. Wall Street, where most, you know, the lion’s share of the profit of this productivity, quote-unquote, meaning forcing American workers to take less money and increasing profits, so there’s new tremendous amount of wealth created, more and more goes up to that one percent. And we’ve all heard the stats that Bernie’s talked about and all the rest.

Paul Jay

Tremendous increase in the gap between the wealthy and everybody else. Well, you get to a point, and this is one of the great irrationalities of capitalism, which is insanity. That by weakening the American workers, what do they accomplish? Well, yes, they make more money at the top, but they are undermining their own consumers. Who the hell’s buying the stuff when they don’t have wages? So they get to this craziness that they have so much wealth at the top. Demand’s been weakened throughout the society. So what are you going to do with all this money?

Paul Jay

Speculate, gamble, derivatives, subprime mortgages. All these fancy, fancy structured investments, that hardly anybody can make any sense of what the hell they are. But guess what? You think you could do that with a pencil and paper? Digitization did something else, it created a whole nother level for shenanigans on Wall Street. High speed quantitative traders, it goes on and on. So the thing that’s important is that we all too much focus on the neoliberalism of Ronald Reagan. These are objective things that happen within the economy, within the society reflected in people’s minds, who see ways to take advantage of opportunities that arise like computers and getting cheaper labor.

Paul Jay

But the key I’m getting to here, sorry for going on so long here, but what happens is finance not only becomes dominant. Again, it becomes even more parasitical. It gets more and more delinked from productive investment into bullshit, casino capitalism. And with that mentality, you have to rationalize it. And the rationalization is, you know what? I don’t give a shit what happens to the society. Look how much money I’m making. And that’s the real kernel of how fascism and financialization are essentially the same process today.

J.G. Michael

I guess in that regard, I wanted to stick on that point you made earlier, it seems as if this increasing inequity, this increase in financialization, it’s sort of, you know, sows the seeds for everyone’s self-destruction, including the people that are doing all of it.

Oh, yes. I’ve said that many times. They’ve become so irrational, that they can’t even defend their own interests. What I mean, longer term, like the climate crisis is clearly a threat, existential threat to global capitalism, clearly. They can’t recognize it, deal with it, because the only solution is socialistic in character, you need government regulation, you got to ban fossil fuels. You can’t rely on market mechanisms.

So you look at BlackRock, the big asset manager, 8 trillion bucks. You read their documents on climate stuff. They actually do recognize it as an existential threat. But they absolutely can’t get out of their model. So I’ll give you an example. BlackRock says they’re going to stop investing in companies, who have more than 25 percent of their revenue in coal extraction. Two things here. First of all, they’re biggest investments are an index fund where they buy an entire index, which is filled with fossil fuel companies. Somebody once asked the Larry Fink from BlackRock “well you’ve got such clout. If you really want to get out of fossil fuels, why don’t you tell the indexes to remove fossil fuel companies from the index?

You got the clout. He didn’t have an answer to that one. Then they have another type of investment. BlackRock invests in what’s called discretionary investments, which is a lot of money, too. They’re not just index investors. So there they can pick and choose what stock they want. So they say in our discretionary investments, we wont to invest in any company with more than 25 percent of coal in their revenue source. Well, there’s two pieces to this which are bullshit. First of all, the second largest coal producer in the country is also very multitiered and invests in many, many things. So while they are the second largest coal producer in the country, it doesn’t represent 25 percent of their revenue.So BlackRock can keep investing. The second thing is, let’s say BlackRock did pull out of them. Someone else is going to go buy their shares. BlackRock knows that without government intervention and regulation and actual phasing out coal, through the market mechanism, even as powerful as BlackRock is, it would have no effect that the BlackRock pulled out because, like I say, other people will just buy it.

Paul Jay

But as much as they understand that there is an existential threat, that their own system is at threat, their own children are going to be growing up in a world that is going to be unlivable. You know the story of a centipede or something on the back of a fox trying to cross a river and it says.

J.G. Michael

The scorpion in the frog.

Paul Jay

Yes. Give me a ride. And he has the poison. And he says, because that’s who I am, I will never forget this. If you want to understand the mentality of these kinds of capitalism. Apparently in tobacco companies, who knew for years that tobacco cause cancer, if you wanted to rise as an executive in those companies, you had to smoke. You had to be part of that culture. Okey, you smoke, but they let their kids smoke, knowing that it would likely cause cancer.

Paul Jay

 But to rise as an executive in the company. You start to embody the values of the institution you are, they used to say “you are what you eat”. No, “you are how you make your money to eat”. So when it comes to climate, even though they get it and you can see it reflected in the Biden administration now. They are finally at least acknowledging it’s a real threat, its existential. They’re using all the right language. They stopped the XL pipeline, but they’re still relying on market mechanisms primarily, and they’re still talking about carbon capture as if it’s reliable. Which everyone knows, it certainly isn’t in any foreseeable future that would mean something. But it is who they are. And let me just end by saying maybe there’s one hopeful moment here, because people like Larry Fink and some others really are starting to get the danger of climate. They seem to really be getting it. Maybe there is a space now, where they’re going to say, “you know what, we hate the idea of it, but maybe we actually do need some government regulation here”. They did it with what is it, the stuff that used to be in refrigerators that had.. Not hydrochloride (ED. Fluorocarbons). I can’t remember, the chemical they used as a cooling agent.

Paul Jay

I just did an interview with Patrick Bond. He was referring back to the Montreal Accords, where they actually did ban these chemicals, and it was very effective. The acid rain in the lakes started to go away. Maybe there’s a moment here, where it’s possible under tremendous pressure. But their natural gravitation is, they’re the scorpions and it’s who they are.

J.G. Michael

Well, the logic of the market and you know, the institutions themselves, in a way, they have more sway over individuals in positions of power than the individuals have over those institutions and  that logic of the market at times. I think that’s maybe the point. And I think that’s what sets the left apart from the far right, everything is like a cabal or a conspiracy. I think it’s more structural, how we look at these problems.

Paul Jay

Well, it’s both. The structure is dominant, but within the structure, people are conscious and plan and conspire. But they only can do it within the structure, they exist within what’s possible within those structures. I’ve really started to think, Ralph Nader used to say only the billionaires can save us, which I think was a bit of an exaggeration. But there’s no doubt there is going to have to be some sections of the elites, who really do get the danger of climate and understand that the market is not going to do it.

Paul Jay

The problem is the time frame. This is the problem we’re facing here. I have no doubt over time, the logic of socialism will win, because the logic of capitalism is that capitalism is out of speed. It’s out of solutions, and over decades, more and more people will become conscious of that and it will assert itself.

Paul Jay

The problem is we don’t have time for what would be a normal evolution of the human society. I’ve always thought of where we’re at. We’re out a long journey. From ape to human. And we’re only part way there, we ain’t hit real human society yet. And capitalism is a stage towards a more real human society. But we got like 10 years not to hit one point five degrees. This is this is the dilemma. And if you work back from how do you get not to hit one five by 2030.

Paul Jay

You can’t do it without sections of the elites. So to me, it’s a two pronged strategy we have to be thinking about, and I’m sure many people are. One is the elites won’t do much of anything without mass mobilization. There really has to be a powerful people’s movement. But we also have to be mindful of trying to fracture the elites and get the more saner elites to get more dominant, stronger, both in terms of allies with the people’s movement, and unfortunately, it’s going to have to happen within the Democratic Party.

Paul Jay

There is no way a third party is going to emerge. I don’t think anyone, I’d love to see it. I just don’t think it’s possible within 10 years. The mass base of fascism is very strong. 74 million people voted for essentially a fascist movement. I’m not saying they’re all fascist, the 74 million, far from it. But a large portion of that 74 million have been really fascicized. And the rest of the people that voted for Trump, were willing to vote in that direction, out of desperation, out of cynicism, nihilism, you name it, or religious fanaticism.

Paul Jay

So what is possible within this decade and I don’t mind, it’s not like I object to people organizing third parties, especially at city and state levels and especially in states that are dominated by the Democratic Party. And you’re not going to elect Republicans anyway. So I’m all for third parties, although I prefer to primary Democrats, because that’s where the battle is. I’ll go back to what I said really earlier. Let’s be realistic about what’s possible when you’re living in the heart of the empire.

Paul Jay

The think that you’re going to have some great socialist revolution here, it’s just  beyond utopian. The weak links are where maybe, there’s a possible breakthrough in India, Brazil. I don’t know. The state seems too powerful in China for that kind of breakthrough.

Paul Jay

Maybe some other places, I don’t know. But the ones that would matter that could change the course of history are India and Brazil. And right now, the Left’s pretty weak. Very fractured.

J.G. Michael

In closing, the way I wanted to wrap this up, we went in multiple different directions. We’ve looked at the Cold War, we’ve looked at financialization, we’ve talked about the war state and the national security state and the climate crisis. It seems like all of these things are coalescing. I feel like we have this rising fascist Right, that in part may be influenced by the really, in my view, horrible failures of the Iraq war. I think that really changed a lot of people.

J.G. Michael

And also I think the increasing inequities. So we’re seeing a destabilization happening in our culture and our political arenas, where people are sort of fed up with the establishment. We have a climate crisis. The inequities between people are increasing. It really does seem like in some ways we may be seeing, I don’t know, maybe it’s the decline of the empire. And that’s the point I wanted to end on. You interviewed famously Gore Vidal, and I feel like Gore Vidal view of where America is headed, going from a republic to an empire and now maybe it’s on the decline, had something to it.

J.G. Michael

What do you make of Gore Vidal’s analysis?

Paul Jay

Well, I think he was a little unrealistic about how quickly the decline would take place. And he was prone to exaggeration, like he didn’t think there’d be an election in 2008. Bush would find a way to carry on sort of what Trump wound up trying to do. The American empire may be declining, but it’s going to be a long (process).  Left as it is without something transformative happening amongst the people’s movement, which I hope is possible. It could be decades and decades of decline. And we don’t have decades and decades. So, what I think needs to be done, but I’m this little voice off in the wilderness here, I think the Biden administration should be urged by progressives to viciously attack the far right, with the state and I don’t mean by violating constitutional rights, because they’re breaking laws all over the place, they don’t need to have new censorship laws, they don’t need a new Patriot Act. I wish we could get rid of the Patriot Act we have, they don’t need big tech companies deciding who gets to speak and who doesn’t.

Paul Jay

But right now, I believe members of Congress, Mitch McConnell, committed sedition and treason, of course Trump did. Charge them with sedition and treason, treat them as criminals, crush this Republican Party as much as possible, legally.

The 20 percent, they should absolutely go after with great force. The militias and the far-Right are armed militias and such, viciously clamp down on them. They should purge the police forces of the racists and the fascist. And then they should bribe, I used that word to be provocative, every worker working in the fossil fuel industry, in every Republican state, promise them their wages will continue at the same rate they’re getting paid now. If the Fed can just manufacture trillions of dollars to float the stock market. It’s a pittance how much it would take to guarantee fossil fuel workers, and because you’re guaranteeing them wages, all the spillover effect in the towns and the stores and the shopkeepers and all the rest that feel so threatened by decarbonisation.

Paul Jay

 Tell every fossil fuel worker in Pennsylvania or Kansas or wherever, Texas, you will not lose a penny in wages as we start to transform the society to one of sustainable energy.

Paul Jay

So send money into the red states. Let the workers say “holy shit, they actually care what happens to us here” and clap and crash down on the far right political structure. And say to the elites,  like I wouldn’t take on the elites on some things, for example, the wealth tax. I asked Tom Ferguson once if the elites, the political economist, if the elites had to choose between a Bernie Sanders or a Trump, who would they choose? As crazy as Trump is, he said Sanders tried to advocate a wealth tax of any seriousness, they’d rather have fascism, they’d rather have Trump.

Paul Jay

So there’s actually some things we need to be strategic about right now, especially at a time. And this is where we’re in a weird moment of history. The elites don’t seem to care how much money gets created. You’re hearing critics on Bloomberg radio saying that the Biden package isn’t big enough. I heard a banker saying it should be more like four trillion dollars, not one point nine. So we know why they want this, because they know they’re going to be able to get a big slice of it.

Paul Jay

But they also see the problem of a complete collapse in consumer demand. So as much as they’re into speculating, it’s not like they don’t want any consumer demand, they don’t want the economy to crater.

So it’s an interesting moment now, where there actually might be some space for a real green infrastructure plan and enough money to subsidize sections of the working class that have been taken in by Trumpian politics.

J.G. Michael

Just to add to that and then I promise to let you go, because I’ve kept you over, what’s your opinion with regards to the wars abroad going forward? Because I’ve been thinking about that a lot more lately. Sometimes I think we on the left haven’t talked about it as much as maybe we did when I was growing up, first discovering my leftist political inclinations during the Bush years. Sometimes I feel like we don’t talk about foreign policy as much.

J.G. Michael

What is your take on where foreign policy is headed? And I want to thank you for having people like Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson on your program to discuss those matters.

Paul Jay

Well, as you know on theAnalysis, I probably do more foreign policy than I do domestic stuff. Well, partly because it’s needed where there’s other people doing a lot of the domestic critics. Well. Wilkerson once put it in a good way, I thought, a realistic way. The elites, the American elites have to either, well, they’re going to do one of two things. They’re going to accept the decline of a single superpower world, that it’s a multipolar world.

Paul Jay

Accept it and in a conscious way, transition to it, and obviously that’s primarily about how to deal with China, which I’ll talk about in the second. Or and there’s a section of the elites, the most overt spokesmen for this section is Steve Bannon, who talks about a bloody war to defend Western Judeo-Christian civilization. He used to focus on Islam, but now the focus is really on China. And Steve Bannon has actually advocated a military confrontation of some of the South China Sea.

Paul Jay

But Banon’s not way out there. Richard Haass, the head of the Council on Foreign Relations, he’s advocating that Biden should take a strong position, that if the Chinese ever militarily move towards Taiwan, that the United States will absolutely intervene.

Paul Jay

Right now, that’s not the American position. The American position is it’s a real bad thing if China intervenes in Taiwan, don’t do it. It’s going to make us really mad. But there’s no promise of military intervention. And the crazies out there from John Bolton’s, the Neocons, including all the Neocons that supported Biden, not just the Neocons around Trump, they they’re willing to risk going to the edge with China for several reasons.

Paul Jay

There’s always the reason of you need an existential enemy for the military industrial complex. But that’s a propaganda feature of the issue, a real one, but not the only one, and perhaps not even the main one. China is a growing state capitalist power. That already, in terms of the size of its economy rivals, the United States and will surpass it. The Americans are very concerned that China will so dominate Asian markets, at least to begin with, that they might start getting shut out of them.

Paul Jay

And it’s a terrible quandary for the U.S. because as much as they want to push back on China, American corporations can’t give up access to the Chinese market. So what do they do, no good answer to it. China has a massive, massive, disciplined, cheap workforce. How do you compete with that? China’s brilliantly picked off intellectual property rights and technology knowhow and now are developing their own, that is surpassing the Americans in some spheres. So without question, every foreign policy question right now for the United States comes back to China. Why does the United States give a damn what happens in the Middle East? I mean, the United States doesn’t even need Middle Eastern oil anymore, but China does. So as a strategic asset, the Middle East matters in terms of the rivalry with China.

Paul Jay

 It is in the nature, the fundamental nature of modern capitalism or call it imperialism, to strive for as much global dominance as you can get. It’s the same problem, we’re talking about with climate, it’s kind of is who they are.

Paul Jay

On the other hand, Larry Wilkerson says and this is what’s different about this era of capitalist competition, every war game that the Pentagon that Larry knows about, was ever conducted, about what happened if there is a military confrontation in the South China Sea that grew into some level of conventional military confrontation, every single one of them, ends up in a nuclear war. The war game. They had to stop. They have to cancel the war games because, the world’s over. There is no point doing it any longer. We’re into nuclear winter.

Paul Jay

So we’re in a weird moment here where the normal moves that the elites would normally make, which means forget about climate, pursue the rivalry with China, even if it means war, because it was conventional war, they wouldn’t give a shit. What do they care? So tens of millions of people die? Well, these are the same people that firebomb Japan and firebomb, drop nuclear weapons. Vietnam, they killed millions.

Paul Jay

They don’t care about killing millions of people, and that’s Democrats and Republican leadership. So it’s not some moral shift. But they’re in a position now where there’s real existential threats, climate and nuclear war, which means they can’t do, they can’t keep doing business as usual. And if there’s a powerful enough people’s movement, maybe enough for the elites, get it. Or to be really honest, or we’re doomed.

J.G. Michael

Well, that’s that may be a darker note to end on, but I think it’s also an honest one. Is there anything else you want to say? I try to end on a positive note, and I also want to give you a chance to let listeners know how they can check out your work at theAnalysis.news.

Paul Jay

Go check out theAnalysis.news. It’s on the web. Go to the website and see what you think.

And on a positive note. I’ve got to honestly think about how to end on a positive note, but I’ll do it the way Ellsburg does. We got to act, though, we might be on the Titanic, I’m quoting Ellsburg here, only three compartments have filled with water and a crucial one or two are left. There is still time actually in this story to turn the Titanic away from the iceberg. We have to act that way. Because if you give in to despair, then we’re definitely hitting the iceberg. And do I think we can avoid the iceberg and the answer is I don’t know, but there’s no choice but to act as if we can. And I’ll just say one final note. One of the ways I think we need to act, especially on the Left, is we really got to stop all the attacks on each other, the sectarianism. It’s one thing to argue over policy, which we should.

Paul Jay

But to start attacking people. And using these names. The objective has to build a broad united movement and everything has to be judged. does it help build that broad movement? And if it doesn’t, it’s very negative. Do I think we can? I work backward from this point of view. Humans have always gotten through the worst of stuff. Who would have thunk if you were in a concentration camp in World War Two, that humans would ever have gotten out of World War Two, but we did.

Paul Jay

So far, humans do pull through. So we better act as if we will and try to make it so.

J.G. Michael

Well, thank you again, Paul Jay, for coming on Parallax Views.

Paul Jay

Thank you. I’m going to run this interview, too, so give yourself a plug, so people know how to find your piece.

J.G. Michael

Parallaxviews.podbean.Com. I think Paul and I have a lot of overlapping guests. I’ve actually got a few guests from you like Lawrence Wilkerson and Thomas Ferguson, I discovered through your show. So I’m very thankful for that.

Paul Jay

Well, thanks for doing the interview.

J.G. Michael

Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Keep up the great work, too.

Paul Jay

Thank you.

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