The following is a rough transcript which has not been revised by The Jim Rutt Show or by Jack Murphy. Please check with us before using any quotations from this transcript. Thank you.
Jim: Today’s guest is Jack Murphy, writer, speaker, and podcaster.
Jack: Hey Jim, how are you doing? Glad to be here.
Jim: I’m doing pretty good, all things considered. Glad to have you. I think this is going to be an interesting conversation.
Jim: Jack is the author of Democrat to Deplorable: Why Nine Million Obama Voters Ditched the Democrats and Embraced Donald Trump. He’s a podcaster and he’s a founder of the Liminal Order. Jack’s got a BA in economics from George Mason University and a master’s from Georgetown School of Foreign Service.
Jack: That’s pretty high tone.
Jim: At Georgetown, he studied international finance and international affairs. How many international affairs did you manage to have> over the last 20 years, Jack has built homes, schools, institutions, and communities. We’re going to explore Democrat to Deplorable in some depth. And then we’re going to talk about the Liminal Order and other work that Jack is doing in the area of social change.
Jim: But what links it all together, at least to my mind, as I spent my usual 10 hours getting ready for this interview, is the life Jack has led. In some ways typical, some ways untypical. I don’t often do this. I usually skip over the bio, but I think in your case, five minutes, I was a tiny baby born X and bring us up to the current day, might actually be helpful.
Jack: Well, that’s a tough question because part of my whole job and my whole sort of experience is telling my personal story over and over and over again. It seems to have new twists all the time.
Jack: The short story is that I have been an entrepreneur generally in my whole life, started businesses when I was a young kid, worked as a real estate developer and independent sort of construction and building expert in the 2000s here in Washington, D.C. And then after that, when the real estate market turned in 2008 and nine, I had been working with charter schools in D.C., helping them find their own real estate facilities. I actually leveraged, or not leverage, I pivoted into charter school leadership. I started off as a real estate consultant for charter schools, then a COO, a CFO, and then eventually I was the executive director, and then I became a turnaround expert in charter schools.
Jack: In fact, I would be hired to turn around some of the worst performing education institutions in the District of Columbia and we had a tremendous success. In fact, I didn’t do it just one time. I did it twice. Some could say I even did it three different times and I had a great career there.
Jack: I ended up moving up to the regulator in Washington, D.C., the District of Columbia Public Charter School Association. I worked there, and while I’m working there, I’m also discovering my writing side, my political commentary side, my investigative side. I had been writing, I had a blog and was tweeting and I was working on my book Democrats are Deplorable at the time. I ended up getting caught up in Antifa Alt-Right, an online network wars and Antifa decided that I was a racist and a Nazi, and so they got me doxed and fired from my job at the Public Charter School Board.
Jack: It was all done in a very public way. They ran a public campaign on me where they revealed my pen name and pointed to my crazy writings about questioning whether sanctuary cities were a good idea or questioning some of the more radical elements of feminism and intersectionality. They said I’m a Nazi. They said, they saw me at a Alt-Right rally one time, when in fact, I was just there taking pictures of the Antifa and Alt-Right fighting each other. They use that to say that I was an associate of Richard Spencer and a bad guy, Jason Kessler friend, all of which was completely untrue.
Jack: I got caught up in this online network conflict, this sort of 4G war that’s ongoing all the time. I got canceled, docs, shamed, fired from my job, reputation torn up and set a fire in front of my eyes. I got banned from coaching little league with my son because the Antifa contacted my little league board. They basically went through every element of my life and tried to destroy it.
Jack: My sort of normy career got nuked and I was working and writing at the time, so I just decided to double down on that. I published the book, did a speaking tour around the country, even went to Evergreen State College to present my book and talked to students there. And then a year ago in June, I started the Liminal Order.
Jack: The Liminal Order is, well, I’m sure we’ll get to it, but it is an all men’s organization designed to be a response to the crazy social justice, intersectionality, critical theory warfare that’s going on out there, but not in a overt public way, but rather in a let’s live well and dedicate ourselves to our own shared values kind of way.
Jack: That’s what I’ve been dedicated to now full-time for the last couple of years and things continue to grow and expand. We’ve got members, 200 members from all over the world actually, and things continue to grow and the interest is very high. This is my full time job now, Jim, talking to people like you, doing my podcast, working with the membership and trying to advance the cause of truth and sense-making and understanding while also promoting just basically like a traditional sense of positive masculinity. That’s what I’m doing every day and I’m loving it.
Jim: This is this modern world both you and me are playing in. Nobody gave either of us permission to do what we do. That’s the amazing thing about this world. The traditional gatekeepers don’t necessarily like it.
Jack: No, definitely not.
Jim: But they can’t do anything about it fortunately, or at least not directly, but as you point out, they can make you pay the cost. But hey, if you’re a tough person, what do you care?
Jim: One thing that I noticed when I was reading your book was your D.C. area connections. I resonated with that. I grew up in the D.C. area. When I was a little kid, we lived in Anacostia, Southeast D.C., over on Texas Avenue. And then when I was two, we moved to Prince George’s County. My dad was a D.C. cop, worked his way up. One of the things you mentioned in the thing that I just grinned about with some of the local D.C. isms, like gogo music and mambo sauce. I was remembering one of the things we really loved was getting fried shrimp with mambo sauce at the Shrimp Boat, Northeast D.C., back in the days, right near the 14th police precinct back in the day when my dad had his first command job as shift commander over there. It must’ve been about 1965, something like that.
Jim: And D.C. is an interesting place. We think of it as the seat of government, et cetera, but it’s also a city that has its own culture, which is kind of cool.
Jack: People forget that Washington, D.C. is a city with its own culture and its own permanent residents. There’s people come in from out of town all the time and they’re like, “Oh, D.C.’s so transient,” and whatever. And I’m thinking to myself, “Everyone that I’m friends with, everyone that I know here was basically born here and I’ve lived here.” Maybe it’s no surprise that most of my local associates are real estate agents, hair salon operators, local lawyers, people, real estate developers, people that build the city that all of these transient people come to. There is definitely history and roots here in D.C. I’ve loved living here for the most part, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to justify it in my mind, really.
Jim: Mighty expensive for what it is these days. Part of PG County, I grew up in, it was mostly solid working class folks I think in our little neighborhood. You think about electricians and plumbers, meat cutters. We had a Baker. We had a couple of cops, a couple of school teachers, et cetera. The demographics later, somewhat to my surprise, I realized that half the adults were high school dropouts, but they were all solid and respectable folks. I think the divorce rate might’ve been 10%, something like that, maybe lower.
Jim: A lot of my old friends who I’m still in regular contact are just like the kind of people you talk about. One’s a surveyor, another one had a bread route that he owned where he delivered bread to grocery stores. Several were small scale, home improvement contractors. A couple of them made it into the larger side of construction. Another one was a heavy equipment guy. So yeah, those kinds of people, those are the kinds of people I grew up with and I think they’re kind of the bedrocks of America.
Jack: Well, it’s interesting in Washington, that sort of middle class has been hollowed out in the city, for sure. It’s really polarized. On one side of the park you’ve got to very wealthy, the 1%, the top 1%, your think tank people, your McKinsey people, your government lobbyists and defense contractors. And then on the other side of the park, there’s a lot of poverty and there’s definitely a lot of hunger and a lot of poor educational outcomes for our students as well. It’s a city of polar opposites and dichotomies of black and white. It was predominantly an African-American city up until just recently. It is like the first time in its history that it’s now a majority non-African-American.
Jim: At least since, for a long time, for sure. Let’s jump into your book, Democrat to Deplorables. I’ll put a marker on the ground and before we hop in and say I personally kind of did a reverse journey. I started out in life in a pretty conservative cop, military family. And we had some other reasons we were politically conservative. My parents were radicalized, in favor of Goldwater. I was myself, a pretty radical Republican up until 1991 with the fall of communism, which was my number one issue.
Jim: I’ve gradually drifted towards a much more radical view. In fact, I’ve now drifted way past the Democrats into a space of thinking about how to radically reconstruct society on a much more bottoms up localist and egalitarian basis. So it’d be very interesting to explore your journey in the opposite direction.
Jim: But anyways, I started reading the book and I always do read the books here fairly carefully. It seemed to me that one of your initial radicalizing experiences was your experience with family court, family law and the difficulties fathers in particular face in the impact of those institutions. Maybe you could tell us a little bit about that.
Jack: In 2009 I got divorced and it was the most difficult decision I ever made. I look back on it and try to analyze it actually quite a bit. It started me down a path of discovery of understanding that male-female relationships, the family unit, the perception of fathers, the perception of masculinity, all of these things were in question. I had no idea really.
Jack: I got married in 2002, divorced in 2009, and a lot changed in that time period from 2002 to 2009, not the least of which was internet, social media, dating apps, et cetera, but also was the increasing rise of a sense that masculinity was something that needed to be dealt with not embraced. It was around that time that there was an increased activity in the sort of critical theory, intersectionality social justice world that’s began to interject this idea into our society that masculinity was a bad thing that needed to be eradicated, because male power, masculinity is a source of male power, male power is the source of the patriarchy, the patriarchy is oppressive. Every society has been patriarchal. In order to free the people, we must end the source of male power and that’s to attack boys and masculinity and male behavior.
Jack: I hadn’t even known about that until I got divorced and started to experience and read the stories of other men all across the country who had just been battling and fighting for the chance to just be a father with their own children. I began to understand what it meant to have no fault divorce and how that became a one-sided contract that was only obligation for the man, but benefits for the woman. It just became increasingly obvious to me that there was a real issue and a real disconnect and a real battle that was being waged against men.
Jack: It sounded crazy to say that at the time, and I’ll be honest, and I did sort of populate sort of a darker, more extreme, well, it seemed to be extreme, sort of conspiracy, just the corners of the internet. We sounded like radical, crazy people saying that there was an attack on masculinity.
Jack: But now fast forward to 2019, when the American Psychological Association comes out and basically pathologizes masculinity. They say that competition and risk taking and an attempt to control your emotions, all these things are actually toxic behaviors and they need to be eradicated from little boys. They made a public declaration that there is actually an attack and a war on masculinity.
Jack: And now in 2020, I just did a podcast with James Lindsey who wrote a book recently called Cynical Theories, where he explains how directly in the literature coming from postmodernism to today, the attack on masculinity is not only something that’s real, but it’s actually a central part of the strategy of the people that have taken over our institutions, taken over corporations, human resources department, media, et cetera.
Jack: What started for me through a painful experience of getting divorced, sent me down a rabbit hole or started pulling on a thread, and I’ve been pulling on that same thread ever since, Jim. That’s led me to this conversation right here. I wanted to learn more. I wanted to understand what was disrupting our mating and dating markets, what was disrupting the bedrooms of America, what was disrupting the family unit, what was disrupting marriage. I kept pulling on that thread and pulling on that thread and here I am today, still pulling on the same thread, but now talking about issues that are critical to humanity, to society, to the future, historical ideas, the most important conversations that we can have today, I think.
Jack: It’s been a fascinating journey for me. Some people would call that being radicalized, but for me, it was really just opening my eyes and beginning an investigation and a process that’s now gone on damn near 10 years. And there’s still more to go and there’s still more to do.
Jack: I’m actually, on one hand, it’s silly, it’s a weird thing to say like, “Oh, I feel vindicated now that the war on men is publicly stated and vindicated that there’s obvious evidence that intersectionality and social justice critical theory and stuff is an infection that has corrupted our system,” because there’s no joy in that. But at the same time, it does give a little bit extra wind behind my back to keep going because things that people once thought were crazy now are just plainly obvious to the eye. I feel like it’s my mission and duty to keep pulling on that string and to see where it goes.
Jim: Our game B world, we talk about that first experience where you start to see through the matrix and you realize that this world that’s been presented to you in which so many people just follow their nose through life day-to-day, well guess what people, it’s kind of manufactured bullshit. And with effort you can see through it. It sounds like that was your radicalizing moment.
Jim: Let me read a quote to you and then I’ll give you a followup. You said, “Marriage is good for babies and women, but for men, it’s a risky deal with enormous downside. Choose your partner wisely.” My take on that is as any good social operating system has to be good at taking care of women and babies, one of my touch points for my ideas, particularly when I was younger, was Robert Heinlein. Ever read any Heinlein?
Jack: Not that I can recall at the moment, sir.
Jim: You should. I’ll give you some lists, but he’s a kind of libertarian. Some people would call them right wing science fiction writer from the ’50s and the ’60s. He always made the huge point that the first duty of any society is to take care of the women and children.
Jim: However, to your point, if it’s now tremendous downside risk for the man to do his moral duty, which is to take care of women and children, then what do you expect that the marriage rates are way down. In my mind, one of the most screwed up parts of our current society, I’m sure I’ll get some complaints about this, I don’t really give a damn, is that the majority of births to mothers who don’t have a four year college degree are now out of wedlock, that’s across all races, even doesn’t matter that much by income, as it turns out. Unless you’re a four year college graduate with really, really good career opportunities, the downside of marriage has gotten so big that people just aren’t doing it, and even in the four year college graduate world, marriages are happening later and later or not at all. And if we don’t have that basic family unit, how the heck are we going to raise children correctly?
Jack: Well, obviously I don’t disagree with the notion that we need to take care of our women and children. That’s something that’s been part and parcel to being humanity and humanity forever. And that’s also part and parcel of being a man and masculinity. That’s what we’re built to do. We’re bigger and stronger and more aggressive and more likely to take risks. That’s our job is to protect.
Jack: What I want to see is to have the incentives lined up to motivate both men and women into the proper outcomes. So like when a guy like Jordan Peterson starts talking about culturally enforcement monogamy, which when he brought that up it just set off a firestorm because people couldn’t comprehend that culturally enforced is something entirely different than government enforced. But there were distinct advantages to having a very secure and predictable family life. It’s good for the parents, it’s good for the children, it’s good for society.
Jack: And then the incentive structure changed. When men are disincentivized from creating families and from leading families, this is a bad thing. This is a bad thing for society in general. And over time, the negative effects of that will be compounded, I think. I think it’s a good analogy also for our political system, our economic systems, globalization, et cetera, the systems that we had in the past are broken. And as we continue to feed into the same system, we keep getting increasingly larger messes and more broken outcomes. Instead of wanting to get the outcome that we desire, we’re actually doubling down on these systems and getting more negative outcomes, but yet we haven’t taken the time to revise the system or change the incentive structures or to make structural changes. We just keep hoping that the outcomes are going to be different, even though we keep doing the same thing.
Jim: Isn’t that the definition of insanity, doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome, right?
Jack: Indeed it is.
Jim: One of the things that were part of your journey, I’ll actually read a quote, “New tribes can be found online. When I began learning about the new dating scene, how to meet someone and what to do afterwards,” that is one of the very interesting ways that the response is coming to some of these dysfunctional social trends is because we’re free to organize online, we are able to find the others and start doing things.
Jim: You and I both know Peter Limberg, for instance, who runs The Stoa. But before he started that, he wrote one of the most influential essays to my mind of the last couple of years, The Mimetic Tribes of Culture War 2.0. And as usual on the show, we’ll have links to that and to Jack’s book and to his Liminal Order and to various other things on our episode page, so be sure to check that out at jimrutt.com. But anyway, in his Mimetic Tribes, and this was in 2018, so it’s a little out of date now, two of the ones he listed were the [manosphere 00:19:51] and the men’s rights movement. Would you describe those as the tribes you found online or was it something a little different?
Jack: First of all, that essay by Peter is fantastic and I really like working with Peter. I was myself on The Stoa one time and had a tremendous experience. I really respect what he’s doing there. And that essay was certainly influential and will go down as an excellent piece of historical documentation for the time period that we found ourselves in 2015 to 2018-2019 or so.
Jack: Yes, manosphere is what I discovered, which shorthanded people will say it’s men getting together to share notes. It was a time, a chance for men to come together online and to actually share the little secrets that they’ve been keeping inside, little issues they’ve had with their wives or experiences that they had in dating or how they figured out how to take care of themselves or make self-improvement. It was a chance for men to congregate in a way that offered them privacy and a non-anonymity and an opportunity to actually share and be a little bit more empathetic and vulnerable than they would have been ordinarily because there’s no real online community without sharing. You have to actually put yourself out there and communicate. And that takes a little element of vulnerability, which is an interesting thread to actually consider when it comes to masculinity in man spaces.
Jack: But yes, that manosphere area was where I started to learn about all those issues, which have led me to decentralized networks and online communities, et cetera. Men’s rights activists, not exactly my cup of tea, because I find that there’s a sense of victimology within that sphere. But I’ll be honest. I haven’t spent too much time with them.
Jack: My ethos has always been in the people that have followed me and have evolved into the Luminal Order are people that are willing to be independent, auto regulating, self-improving, constantly reforming themselves, constantly improving themselves, people dedicated to self-improvement, people dedicating themselves to adding new tasks or new talents and new skills and new capabilities, people who are dedicated to quieting the mind, strengthening the body, figuring out ways to give back and contribute and build community.
Jack: That was what I took away from the manosphere, which was all those things, plus just an understanding of male,-female dynamics that I had not ever considered because no one’s passing that knowledge down. My dad didn’t sit down and teach me about evolutionary psychology and evolutionary biology. My dad didn’t sit down and explain the real nature of relationships between men and women, perhaps because he had no idea, but because the world had become so radically different through technology, the problems in relationships were exacerbated and the solutions also became available online.
Jack: It was a really fascinating dynamic place to be. And I will always look back on that time where I wrote and spent time in that sphere as valuable and important. But for me, that was just like a weigh station. That was just a momentary pause where I figured out how to get myself back together after the divorce, how to get my mind right, how to get my body right, how to build a community of people that saw the world similarly, how to form new relationships, how to build healthy relationships with your love interests.
Jack: And then, I have definitely moved on. It’s been a few years now since I think I’ve really spent too much time in that arena. And now we’re reaching just an entirely new audience by talking about these universal themes like you and I have in common, decentralized networks, game B, what’s the future going to look like, and all of these things are tied together with critical social justice theory and intersectionality and vocalism and all that, because we’re trying to get down to a sense of truth. We’re trying to get down to a sense of what works.
Jack: That’s been the same ethos for me coming out of the manosphere and into this, which is like, what’s going on, what are the problems? How can we fix it, what do we know that will work currently, and what can we do in the future to make things better? I think that that’s the common ground where you and I have right here, and other people like Jordan Hall and John Rob that I talk to quite a bit, all of us have the same sense and the same goals. It’s another interesting decentralized network theory, which is we have a common goal, we have different backgrounds, we may have other goals that aren’t aligned, but we do have a common goal and figuring out these emerging networks, how to design for them, how to design for emergence, how to participate in them, how to foster them, what is the power, understanding what the power of networks are going to be in the future.
Jack: That’s pull on the thread from the manosphere and I end up here talking to you about these issues. I know that they’re related and I know that they’re connected and I know that they’re important and I’m happy to be having these conversations with folks like …
Jack: … And I’m happy to be having these conversations with folks like you and others, so that we can keep pushing the ball forward.
Jim: Yeah, it’s very interesting how these various vectors are coming together, and to what I broadly call, “What comes next?” We’re not really sure, because the nature of emergence, if it’s really an emergence, you can’t predict it. But I think there’s a growing number of us that realize that the current game, game A, is corrupt from top to bottom. It’s also on a self-destructive path, that’s going to kill us through ecocide, if not through some other means, and it might find some other means that do us in quicker. I also liked you used the word alignment. Bruce Kunkel, one of the old gangsters from the original game B, often likes to say alignment beyond agreement, which I find to be hugely powerful, that those of us that are on this mission of building a, self-organizing, network centric, decentralized, metastable world, don’t have to agree on everything people.
Jim: And in fact, that has provided a huge clue to me on how to build, which is from the bottom up, from the locality first. Rather than big ideas, top-down make people do it at gunpoint, the old Nazi Communist approach. And, we don’t have to agree, as long as we’re aligned generally on a better way to be, we can disagree about a number of things, as long as we have a coherence, what I call coherent pluralism. There’s a core of things we agree to agree on, and then everything else we agree that we can disagree honorably with, right?
Jim: Nothing wrong with that in the slightest. And I see that as the way forward. Let’s get back a little bit to your journey.
Jim: Now this is one I happened to agree with you on, you mentioned that traditional, and you’ve mentioned the words already. Traditional masculinity is now considered toxic, and all that business. Funny, I was returned to an old online community of mine yesterday. I’ve been away from for a year, it’s kind of gotten taken over in parts of it, at least by what I would call goofy, woke leftists. I got greeted by, “Wow, the toxic masculine guy is back.” And I go, “Fuck you.” I like to take their own rhetoric and do a little rhetorical judo, which is, “In my opinion, toxic masculinity is hate speech. I’m offended.” And then of course that sends them in a tizzy, because Oh, damn it, I use a judo move on them, because it really is. Toxic means poisonous. Let’s look it up in the dictionary, toxic means poisonous. So how can being a normal man, with normal masculine values and history, be labeled toxic and not be hate speech?
Jack: Indeed, it is. It’s important to what you did, which is to turn of rules around on them, which is to use their rhetoric and to use their standards, and to turn it around. It usually doesn’t lead to anything super productive, but it does take the air out of some of the attacks that they have. And there are people online who dedicate their lives to following, that rule of making the other side live up to their own standards. But the subject that you up toxic masculinity, is that where we were headed with this? Because, we can dig into that.
Jim: Yeah, let’s talk about it a little bit.
Jack: Yeah. It’s like I said before, it felt, weird and weak almost to, say out loud, that there was an attack on masculinity, or that there was rhetoric around masculinity, that was meant to diminish it. That seems like a weak position almost. It’s like, I’m not a victim here, I’m not going to say that these people are harming me, I’m not going to cry and say, “Oh, these poor people are making fun of masculinity.” But the more I learned about it, the more I realized that it’s actually fundamental element of the strategy of the takeover, by postmodern, fused with intersectionality, fused with critical theory. That is a fundamental strategy, because at the core of all those philosophies, what has… I’m saying, James Lindsay, his latest book, Cynical Theories, you should get, really lays out in a scholarly way, the literature and how it led to, where we are today. White male power is implicit and understood, as a direct quote from a 1989 essay by Kimberly Crenshaw, which helped kickstart the intersectionality movement. And their whole concept is that every society has been patriarchal and oppressive.
Jack: And that comes from masculinity, and male power. And male power, masculine, mostly white, straight, hetero male power, is basically the root of all evil for their philosophy, which is now a religion. Because the way that social justice and critical folks have set up their philosophy, it’s unchallengeable, because there are no tools by which you can analyze their philosophy. There’s no tools by which you can critique their positions, because they have snatched out the foundation for all of them, by saying, science and reason, are white supremacy, logic and math are white supremacy, a reliance on data is white supremacy. And the only thing that matters is people’s lived experience, or what they call their standpoint theory. And that, that’s their truth. And then all speech is, political power, and power is about oppression, and white males are the only ones who can be oppressive. Once you figure all that out, and then you see it in practice, and you see it in practice in the implicit association test, that has been forced upon large parts of corporate America.
Jack: When you see it in the American Psychological Association’s, statement on masculinity, and how they need to actually treat masculinity as a pathology. When you see the way that masculine, and men in general get treated in family Courts. When you see all of this added up, when you hear ‘believe all women, and forget about rule of law, or assumed innocence until proven guilty, or due procedure or any of that.’ When you see people willing to throw away our constitutional rights, in the midst of this battle against, male power and masculinity, at some point, you just have to admit that it’s happening, and that it’s real. And as dirty, and as disgusting, and as shameful, and as almost embarrassing, as it is to admit it, it’s true, and it’s real, and it’s a war based in religious zealotry, and it’s ongoing, and it’s continuing to happen. And it’s literally tearing the fabric of our society apart.
Jack: Because we are abandoning our values of science and reason, and we’re embracing a religion that cannot be challenged. And if you are not a participant in that religion, and if worse, you have ejected yourself from that religion and become an apostate, then you are somebody who in their mind is lacking a clear moral compass, and is almost less than human. So we’re seeing all this actually filter from the lowest parts of our independent relationships, all the way up to the presidency of the United States, to Supreme court hearings with Brett Kavanaugh, to the pass that Joe Biden is going to get on his accusations about rape and sexual assault, to the way things are being handled on college campuses, and the philosophies and instruction that are being put into our children’s heads.
Jack: It’s a total war, it’s everywhere, and their goal is literally to destroy Western society. And they’re explicit about it, and we have to just start taking them at face value. And I didn’t want to, because you sound like a crazy person when you talk like that. But the events of the last few years have finally beat me over the head enough to where, I can say that, that’s true, and I don’t feel stupid saying it, and I can point to a whole list of evidence that backs up that assertion, including the explicit stated goals of the folks that are now taking over our institutions.
Jack: So, that was a long answer, but it’s important stuff, and I’m glad that I came to these conversations, with my background in male female relationships, and understanding what it’s like on the ground. Because, it gives me a very clear sense of what’s happening from the trenches. And now I get to engage with guys like you, and James, and others, on theory, and on public policy, and on practice. So I’m ready. I’ve been fighting and preparing for this moment for a decade or more. And so today, I’m built for today, in all these elements. And it’s actually kind of exciting, even though it’s depressing, but I’m pressing forward every day.
Jim: Yeah, that’s very interesting. And of course, I think you and I would both agree is men of good faith, and honesty, that the way women were treated in America and the West for a long time was suboptimal.
Jim: It wasn’t that long ago where women, couldn’t own property, couldn’t vote, where the kids automatically went to the father in a divorce or separation. And there were a lot of both legal and cultural problems that didn’t need to be addressed, and started rolling after world war two, and it seemed to me for quite a while, it was on the right path, and gathered momentum around 1975. In fact, hopefully one of my quotes that will survive is that I say, “When historians look back at the 20th century, it may well be that it wasn’t the world Wars, nuclear energy, landing on the moon, or the internet, that was the biggest event, but rather, after 10,000 years of patriarchy, let’s use the word, women were finally starting to become free in a real sense, around 1975.
Jim: In fact, later in the book you talk about, and identify yourself as an equity feminist. I use slightly different language, I called myself an equality feminist, which is that women should be legally free to do what they want, but we should not expect that they’ll want the same things as men.
Jim: And it seems to me, that that form of feminism, I call myself a feminist. And I think I was well ahead of the curve, frankly, particularly in corporate America, hired women in all kinds of nontraditional jobs, because I said, I don’t really give a shit if you’re a man or a woman, if you’re happen to be interested in being an assembly language programmer, and you’re female, and I actually did hire such in 1986, you got the job. But now the idea of what feminism has become, has become, many people have been overloaded with post-modernist theory, that as you laid out rather eloquently, takes us down the rabbit hole into a world of complete nonsense.
Jim: The idea that some which doctors view on how to cure, polio is on par with Jonas Salk’s is just ridiculous. Or that astrology should have the same standing as astronomy. What could be wrong with such people. But those people unfortunately have hijacked feminism, and turned it into this bizarre thing, that’s not recognizable, as equity or equality feminism, at all. I actually was talking with a very good friend of mine, very smart not long ago, and we were talking about feminism, and she has unfortunately drank the bath water, and she says, “I won’t believe that feminism has triumphed until, the number of programmers in Silicon Valley are exactly 50 50.”
Jim: And I go, “Well, Ms. P, you’re going to probably have to wait a long time, because frankly, I don’t believe that’s congruent with human nature, or the differences on average. Keep it on mind, on average, these are statistical curves with big overlaps. Ain’t never going to happen.” I gave her the case of Sweden, which she didn’t know, you probably are aware of this, that Sweden probably the most gender egalitarian, in fact, I would say, certainly the most gender egalitarian society in human history so far, at least since the invention of agriculture. The ratio of male, female in engineering is more skewed towards the male, than in the United States.
Jim: That male female ratio in nursing in Sweden is more skewed towards female, than it is in the United States. And so here’s a country I think by any standards has gone as far as any other country has gone or is likely to go, in an ethos and an aid structure, for gender egalitarianism, and yet there are differences in the interests, of people on average, not to say that there aren’t female engineers, there’s plenty of them in Sweden, but it’s maybe 15 or 20%. Or are there male nurses, maybe it’s 10%, it shouldn’t be zero, but we should not expect equal outcomes. It’s just unrealistic.
Jack: Yeah. I think that’s the main issue, is getting, well there’s a number of things there, but yes, one for sure, as I wrote in my book, the fight for equal legal conditions, under the law and the opportunity to do whatever you want, is a righteous and justice war that was fought and won. And I support that 110%. Now what I also support are women, making decisions that other women, other feminists don’t agree with. And it doesn’t seem to be the feminists that today that are allowing, and they don’t believe in female agency. And in fact, writing about female agency was, one of the things that got me in hot water a few years ago. Because I see out there, in this exact example you’re talking about of, we need to have 50, 50 gender equality in every profession, but that doesn’t jive with biology, It doesn’t jive with reality, it doesn’t jive with what women want.
Jack: So effectively what you’ve got now are, radical third and fourth wave feminists, who don’t believe in female agency, and don’t believe that there are any differences between men and women. And then also believe that we should regulate, legislate, and bureaucratize, compelling women into professional situations that they don’t want to be in. Basically the solution to their problem, their 50 50 problem, are authoritarian, they are basically torture, they’re basically slavery. It’s basically compelling people to do things that they don’t want to do. And when women don’t conform to whatever notion the radical feminists have in their mind of how women should behave and live, then they get all crazy and insane too. And in fact, the whole thing… Again, I’m making the same problem that the others make, which is trying to apply rational thought to irrational behavior.
Jack: There’s just no way to do it. And the more you try to analyze it, and the more you try to apply a rational lens, the more frustrating it becomes, because it is just a mucky gobbly, gook of nonsense, that really lacks at a fundamental level and appreciation for liberty, and appreciation for personal agency, and appreciation for the individual. All of these things which are fundamental to our society, to our Western way of life, and people who consider themselves today, still feminists who still fight these wars. I don’t know, if most of them understand that they’re actually working towards an erosion, of the enlightenment values, and the Western values that founded our nation, that gave them the position to be in, that they’re in today. And so there’s a huge information campaign that needs to go on, an education campaign, national education campaign, which is going to be very difficult to do because, the folks that are pushing these ideas that, like I said, it’s a religion now, there’s no questioning these concepts, there’s no questioning these ideas.
Jack: And as soon as you speak up, you’re just a racist, misogynistic asshole, and you can be discarded and thrown to the wayside. And now all of these folks are embedded in our institutions, in the media, in the government, in our corporate HR departments, academia, everywhere. And they’re now in every other field on top of it, law, critical law theory, critical fat shaming, fat studies, disabled studies, et cetera, where they’re literally getting in the way of people becoming healthy. And they’re literally getting in the way of people’s Liberty. And the opposites of these are dis-health, unhealth, slavery. Authoritarianism, lack of liberty, lack of freedom. And these things are antithetical to the United States, and we’re having an internal civil war, on these ideas. And then Claremont Institute folks, they’ve identified that this is actually a separate system of justice, that has been established within the United States, that doesn’t allow for everyone to seek their own outcomes in their own benefit, but rather you have to take from one person to give to another.
Jack: Which is again, not part of our traditional justice ideas. And so, there’s a real struggle for the future of the United States, and all Western societies right now. It sounds dramatic, but it’s absolutely true. And if you track other political movements, you can see that they have in the beginning, didn’t really start with an art aesthetic. And, the postmodernism started as an art aesthetic, and then it evolved into an application of that art aesthetic, politically speaking. And now it has moved into what James Lindsey called the reification stage, where it’s God like, its religion like, and now it’s in our institutions. So this is a long path that has taken, decades to get to where we are now. And unfortunately, it’s going to take decades to unwind this, or to build something that can be a competitor, that’s going to force these ideas out of our art, music, consumption, corporations, health insurance, healthcare, education care.
Jack: And it’s an every subject that we deal with. And it’s going to take something revolutionary, either to get it eradicated quickly, or it’s going to take decades like it did for them to grow, for us to grow something that’s going to be a counterbalance. And I don’t know, Jim, if we’ve got time, do we have decades before, before our game A system, just spirals out of control, and disintegrates right in front of our face? I don’t think so.
Jim: It’s an interesting question. And in our game B world, there’s a big discussion on the game B group on Facebook, for those that are interested also, you can check #gameb all one word on, Twitter and follow these discussions. There’s those who think that we do have time, and that we can out compete, and out evolve over the next 50 or 60 years. And there are others who believe that game A, has so many internal self contradictions, and is leading to ever increasing polarization, that will have a rupture at some point, reasonably soon. I must say, as a person who studied complexity science, I try to maintain the epistemological modesty, about the unfoldings of complex systems. We can know a bit about it, but to actually call your shot, I think is a little over ambitious. Rather, much like a good prepper does, and I’ll admit to being a semi prepper, which probably cost me a certain amount of social credit the last 30 years, but I’ve earned it all back in interest over the last two months, I can tell you, God damn it, that I think have an ensemble of trajectories.
Jim: That’s a good prepper, does. As I tell my prepper friends, don’t prep for the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs. If that happens, just put your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye. But pick a series of scenarios which are plausible and prep for those. And so I think the same way about the collapse of game A, that could happen tomorrow afternoon might not happen until 2100, where we gradually eat it up from the bottom. So I’m open on that question. Another comment about postmodern cancer that you’ve described as kind of eaten the brain of many of our elites. And I recently had a discussion, a very good discussion with Hanzi Freinacht, one of the leading lights of Meta modernism, in fact I had a second one very recently as well. And one of the things I pushed back on him, he’s now actually is agreeing with me, I said, “Hanzi, you estimated that 25% of people in modern societies like Sweden or the United States are postmodernists, and I’d say horse shit, I think it’s more like 1%.
Jim: And he said, “How do you get to that number?” And I said, “Here’s how I got to that number. Basically take those who went to a top 10% elite university, which will get you down to your Georgetowns, your university of Michigan’s, et cetera, the university of Virginia. So that’s 10% of college grads let’s take the 30% of them that are humanities or social science majors, that gets you to 3% and college graduate about a third of our population, that gets you to 1%. So only 1% of people have actually been infected with the disease. The problem is that way, as you pointed out in passing, is that these people are absolutely grossly over concentrated, in the higher levels, of media, the law, academia itself. So I would argue that the deep disease, post-modernist theory is way thinner than we think, but these people have unfortunately seized levers of power on our institutions. So the fight might be not as bad as we think, as long as we realize that it’s this 1%, that is our opponents, not the institutional ramifications that these 1% have caused. That makes sense?
Jack: Yeah, it definitely does. And you’re right. It makes me think of Nassim Taleb’s theory, the Tyranny of the Minority. So it doesn’t really matter if you have a majority, you just need to have high leverage power, which they definitely have. But as, as in context, with our current social media environment, the pomo guys, the critical guys, they don’t have to… It’s not who studied in college and who has power over the levers, now it’s their ability to inject these memes and ideas into our society, which then getting swallowed uncritically. And so I would argue that most of America, at least blue America for sure, has swallowed all of these concepts and ideas without even questioning it, and don’t even realize that they have been Trojan horsed as in a way. For example, my aunt, ardent feminist from the sixties, who fought for all the things that we agree on are good things, still calls herself a feminist today, and now touts and spouts, the pomo critical party line uncritically, because in her mind, she can’t see that her movement has been hijacked.
Jack: And then it happened all of these kids today, with the movies, and social media, and the memes, and, the television shows that just uncritically, spread these notions. That’s the real struggle is the memetic struggle. And I don’t know how long it’s going to take to wash that out. Also when your 1% or 3% you talk about, are established in bureaucracies, and in corporations and tenured positions in academia, it doesn’t matter, there’s only 3%. You can’t get rid of them. They’re embedded, and they’re there. And so, I understand what you’re saying, but I think that when you look at it from that perspective, it may minimize the struggle, and it may minimize the impact that the ideas are having on our society, especially when most of the frontline soldiers, are just spouting these memetic ideas, without any critical thinking or understanding of where they come from or why.
Jack: So when you try to have a conversation with them, they’re instantly triggered. Mostly, I think because when they begin to examine their own thought process, they can’t come up with something logical, because there is no logic. And so it, them great frustration. And there’s no way to have a conversation with somebody. I find that, you mentioned The Matrix earlier, I find, that in order to shake people from those thought patterns, and that thought model, it takes a crisis, it takes something external to them, it takes like a big fucking club over the head, where it gives them a moment to reconsider. Because if you’re just going about your day to day life, you have no real reason to question these ideas. And then, someone questions you and you get angry and you’re like that guy’s an asshole. What a Nazi. And then you just move on, you don’t really reconsider. It’s only when, life forces you to reconsider things, that people are going to take a good hard look. And I just don’t know how long that’s going to take.
Jim: It could be interesting to see what comes out of this COVID-19 thing. Some people for the first time ever in their life, they’ve been living in the hammock of American luxury, have to actually make a few serious decisions about their life. Maybe that’ll start some of them to be more empowered. We’re moving along here in time, fast. So let me jump back into your book a little bit, and maybe you can tell us a little bit about, your education work and how all that ended. And that will take us into a whole nother direction, where your eyes sort of changed how they saw.
Jack: Yeah. So unfortunately I’ve had more than one negative experience in education, and-
Jack: Unfortunately, I’ve had more than one negative experience in education. In fact, my whole doxing experience with Antifa and whatnot, it’s not even in the book because that all happened after the majority of the book was written. So there was, I document an experience in my book, Democrat to Deplorable, where I was the white male leader of basically a hundred percent African American school, staff was 95% African American. I had been working very hard and diligently to improve the standing of the school. We had tripled our score on the scorecard that was issued by the regulators. We had improved all of our scores. We had designed a plan to turn the school around. I saved the school millions of dollars. I hit all of our projections, all of our trajectories, all of our scores, way above schedule. And eventually though, I got ousted because my board became populated with social justice warriors who could not stand the sight of having a white male masculine figure in charge of an education institution that serve predominantly African Americans and hired predominantly African American women on staff.
Jack: They just couldn’t stand for it, no matter the fact that we had achieved every goal that we had set forth, literally, literally refinance the entire organization, saved millions of dollars, built a huge fund, raised scores, tripled our report card score. You know, I saved that school, and they came and they took it away. And the way that they took it away from me, I was executive director. This was the board’s action. The way they took it away from me is they said that there was a complaint against me that said that I had created a hostile work environment for women and for African Americans. Now, this is such an insane thing to say, because I had 85% staff retention. I had hired and promoted nothing but African American and women. I had developed all these professionals. I had empowered them. I gave them a chance to succeed. I let them do the initiatives they wanted to take. Everybody was returning. I mean, I made the retention rates as stipulated by my performance agreement. And yet, they said that there was a complaint against me for creating a hostile work environment for women and African Americans.
Jack: And so I was being suspended while that was being investigated. I said, “Okay, all right. That sounds crazy to me, please send me the report. Send me the complaint.” Guess what? No complaints. They were never able to turn over any complaint. There was no complaint. They completely fabricated it. I hired an attorney. The attorney kept hammering them for the complaint, there was no complaint. There was no accusation of racism from my staff, no accusation of sexism from my staff. In fact, they all voted with their feet and returned at something like 85%. And yet, the board wanted me gone. There was no way they could get rid of me. They literally paid me my bonus because I hit all the numbers. There was literally nothing they could do so they concocted a story about me being a racist and a sexist and they voted me off. And the board split five to four and the four people, it was split down female and male lines. And then the centers resigned afterwards because it was such a ridiculous thing that had happened.
Jack: And I’m sad to report now that those same people that ousted me from that school in 2015, 2016, they ran that school into the fucking ground and the thing got closed. So they kicked me out when we were doing great things, and then they ruined the thing and the school’s now closed and completely shut down. And all I have to show for it is a chapter in my book where I get to outline the fact that social justice warriors can’t even get out of their own way to allow African American students to obtain better education outcomes. They have to inject everything with their philosophy and with their perception of the world. They can’t rely on data, they can’t look at numbers that are telling them the truth right straight in their face.
Jack: And what is their go-to weapon? “You’re a racist, you’re a sexist, and you got to be kicked out of here.” And had I done that, that’s fine. But I am a complete opposite of that. And there’s evidence that there was absolutely no report ever filed, nothing they could ever turn over to me, I [inaudible 00:54:24] it and everything, it wasn’t there. There’s just no excuse. And it was just a prime example of social justice warriors getting in the way of actually positive outcomes for the people that they’re purporting to help. And it’s a sad story that ended with the school closing just like a year or so ago. And they took it over and ran it into the ground and they ruined it. It’s just something, those are the kinds of things that we have to look out for all across the country.
Jack: And now it’s not even just in education, it’s in healthcare, it’s in disability studies. Health, being healthy now, saying, “Healthy is good,” is bad, right? That’s oppressive now. Social justice are literally getting in the way of people educating themselves, getting in the way of people liberating themselves, getting in the way of people’s personal agency, getting in the way of people becoming healthy or less disabled or obese. I mean, it’s just insane. And that was a moment in which I realized that no matter what I did, I would be called a racist and a misogynist. No matter what, even though I basically hired all minorities and women for almost 10 years, trained them, promoted them, gave them bonuses, rewarded their good performance, gave them free leeway to do what they wanted and to implement their own ideas, and it translated into higher test scores for basically a hundred percent poverty stricken kids in the District of Columbia, none of that mattered. The only thing that mattered was that I was a white dude and they had to get rid of me. And if they ruin the whole thing because of it, so be it.
Jim: Yeah, this social justice warrior obsession on race, and let’s put it on the table, there is still systemic racism in our country. There is still residual implicit racism in everybody, including black people interestingly. The psychology lab tests on implicit racism show that majority of blacks actually have negative attitudes about blacks, in addition to some negative attitudes about whites, and whites do too. And so these things are real. I mean, you’d expect after 500, 600 years of racial discrimination, much of it legal institutionalized horrors like slavery, there’d still be some left, but there’s not as much left. It seems to me as the insanity of the kind you just described represents something, let me quote a statistic from the Gallup poll, this is a question I find to be the question about real racism, people who really hate other people for their race, which is, do you approve or disapprove of marriage between blacks and whites?
Jim: If you were a real racist, think that the other race is inferior, then you’re going to be opposed to people close to you being married to them. In 1959, how many disapproved of marriage between blacks and whites? 96% disapprove, 1959, and 2015, 8% disapproved. We went from 96%, who I would say could be called on the surface literally racists thought marriage between black and white was wrong. It’s now down to 8%, over a relatively short period of time. Seems like a remarkable progress, and yet social justice warriors seem more spun up than they’ve ever been. Not to say that we should give up the fight. We still have to get rid of that last 8%. But it seems to me that the intensity of the foaming has gotten way stronger as the amount of racism has actually declined.
Jack: Yes, that’s absolutely correct. And part of the reason for that is because as a society becomes flatter, instances of unequal outcomes become more prominent. And so when… This is the real rub, Jim. There has never been a time in America where minorities and women had more rights, more opportunities, more people rooting for them to win. There’s never been a time in America where there was more money spent on education, more of a focus of closing the education achievement gap. There’s never been a time at which the corporate America wanted to hire more minorities, more people of color, more women, et cetera, et cetera. Never, never has there been a time at which the whole society was working towards that. And yet we find there are persistent differences in outcomes, there’s differences in the education outcomes or differences in professional outcomes.
Jack: And so now, because most of the limiting factors have been peeled away, now people are left to become who they are basically because of who they are and of their personal choices and the choices of their families and such. And if there’s not a hundred percent equal outcome in that environment, then it has to be only because there are racists out there. And so as long as there is a persistence and a difference of outcomes, the left, majority left now will only be able to point to a mythical fabricated sense of racism that’s out there. Because I want to push back a little bit on this, the remaining element of core institutional racism in America, that’s all assuming that there are actually people sitting in a position at a desk somewhere that’s deciding to act in a racist capacity. When we talk about there being a gender gap in wages, that’s not just like some… To the extent that it exists, which it doesn’t, that’s not just like some big figure, etherial femoral figure out there that you’re pointing a finger at.
Jack: No, you’re actually pointing a finger at a guy at a desk, or a woman at a desk, who’s looking at a resume and looking across the table at somebody and being like, “Well, we usually pay men a hundred grand for this job, but because she’s a woman, we’re going to pay her 70 grand.” That’s what that means. When people talk about institutional racism or discrimination, to me, it’s a cop-out, because that’s avoiding actually zeroing down on the specific instances on the margin at which discrimination allegedly is taking place. And so when you really begin to think about how is it actually happening there? There have to be people who are making these decisions. And frankly, I just don’t see that happening out there at all. And unfortunately, there are going to be differences in outcomes across all groups of people.
Jack: We know this to be a fact, we know we can study it. Science shows us that men and women at large have differences in preferences and psychological makeups that are going to lead to different outcomes. Men being men and women being women free to be who they want to be, are going to have different income levels. That’s just something we all need to accept, but nobody can seem to accept that fact. And that is going to apply to tall people being better at basketball and smart people being better at physics and whatever the case may be, there’s going to be differences in outcomes. And as you pointed out rightfully, in the Swedish model, when people are given the maximum amount of freedom to be who they are and who they want to be, they end up picking things that are different from other people and they end up having different outcomes.
Jack: So as a society, we have to accept, and we haven’t gotten there yet, especially in terms of education, we have to accept that there’s going to be different outcomes. And until we can accept that there’s going to be different outcomes. There’s going to be this ongoing war on racism, and war on oppression, and war on masculinity, and war on white people. Because today, now it becomes the only explanation, rather than accepting the fact that there’s going to be different outcomes. Now, as my experience in education has shown me, there are two factors which almost a hundred percent correlate with student outcomes. It is the education level of the mother and the income level of the zip code that the student comes from. Those things, which then actually have a relationship to race because of our history and because of the way that the cities work and a welfare state works and this whole system works, which can also argue that that is one element of the institutional racism. It’s not racism per se at this point because it’s help, right? It’s like the welfare system is meant to be helpful, but it’s actually causing problems.
Jack: And so when the outcomes are unequal, which they are, the achievement gap is persistent and consistent by those factors all across the country, we have to accept that throwing more money at that is not going to solve the problem. Calling more people racist is not going to solve the problem. In fact, I think accepting that there are going to be different outcomes is a humane and empathetic way to go about your life. And this is where it gets difficult to have these conversations. I had a conversation like this with an evolutionary psychologist Bo Winegard, and he got in trouble for talking about this kind of stuff. Because you can accept that there are differences, there are innate differences, biological differences, psychological differences, differences in outcomes without all of the sudden taking some great leap into supremacy and oppression and eugenics and shit. It’s like, we just need to look around and accept a reality so that we can do the things which are going to improve it. And right now I just don’t see that happening at all and it’s a little bit frustrating.
Jack: And so to tie this all back together, when a society is flat, like ours is, instances of differing outcomes are going to be assigned the racism tag until we can accept that there are actually going to be differences in outcomes based on preferences and based on abilities. And until that time, I don’t know what’s going to happen and I don’t know how to get people to accept that, to be honest.
Jim: Yep. I want to push back just a little, which is, it was actually with respect to race, I think so-called systemic racism, which I like is a better term than institutional racism. One can argue that the effects of past racism must still be substantially impacting the African American community. I bought a house in 2002 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and right in the title, it said as a covenant, “You may not sell this house to a black person.” Right? And that became unenforceable maybe in 1968 or thereabouts, but I mean, there was absolutely rigid racism in housing. There was redlining in banking. It was illegal for a black person to marry a white person here in Virginia till 1967. And that has had to have longterm systemic impact on the culture, on the family fortunes, on all kinds of things that it’s still negatively impacting African Americans.
Jim: The other one is implicit racism is real. I mean, labs psychology tests show it clearly. And there’s even much more pragmatic real world testing you probably read about. You send a resume and it’s identical except the name is Jamal Robinson on one and Chip Smith on the other, and Chip Smith is going to get 20 or 30% more replies from employers than Jamal Robinson will. So that’s still there, and I think it’s way premature to say the fight against racism is over, but we’ve made a lot of progress. And then the other one that you did not mention, which unfortunately gets to be a third rail in discussions about this is partial the impact of past racism and random evolutionary drift has produced some subcultural issues that I believe are a fair amount of what is keeping the achievement gap between blacks and whites there.
Jim: For instance, 70% of black children are now born out of wedlock. I mean, sorry, that’s not a formula for average statistical success. Amongst black males in many places, not everywhere, but many places, there’s a meme that doing well in school is acting white and therefore hateful. And you remember what being a junior high school kid was like, being out of touch with your local culture is a tough thing when you’re 13 or 14 years old. And so the attitude is doing well in algebra is acting white, an awful lot of black kids who have the ability aren’t going to do it.
Jim: And then finally, there’s a very odd one which academics refuse to study because of political correctness, which is that black children at the time they enter preschool have a very substantially smaller vocabulary than white kids, probably caused by different styles of parenting in the two communities. And it doesn’t matter what the income level is. A neurologist’s and a lawyer’s black child will have a lower vocabulary and than a white neurologist’s and lawyer’s one, and probably a culture, how the children are raised. But no one will study it because they’re afraid of being called racist. So anyway, there is still some reality and there is still some work to be.
Jack: I just want to interrupt one thing, sorry. The implicit-association test is bullshit, I have to say that. And in fact, the actual author of the implicit-association test has come out and said publicly that that test is not meaningful to use as a behavior modification system or as a way to actually accurately assess whether or not people are inherently racist. And the IAT, if you want to do the research it’s out there, and I suggest looking up Jesse Singal, he’s a leftist journalist who has dogged down super deep on this and revealed the implicit-association test to be a bunch of shit. I’ve taken the implicit-association test myself, and I was able to gain the system. I was able to just do it and make the outcome whatever I wanted it to be.
Jack: So the idea that there’s some sort of implicit racism within us that is uncontrollable, that we cannot resist and we cannot fight back against it influences all of our behavior every day, I think is actually a very nefarious and negative idea that the actual author of the study would say is not true and does not come from the study itself. I mean, the study is like… The test is you have to… they time your ability to associate positive words with white or black faces. And what they’re saying is that it’s easier, and as evidence in a shorter duration that it takes you to assign a good word to a white face than it does to a black face and vice versa. Negative words, it takes longer to associate them to a white face than it does to a black face.
Jack: If that test he says is inapplicable to analyze society at large, and that it should not be the basis for behavior modification programs, which it is now, basically in every corporation in America, every institution, every university, the implicit-association test is assumed to be gospel. And there is a billion, billion, billion dollar industry built around it, where people come to your school, your institution, and they teach you how racist you are and that you can’t help it, except we’re going to brainwash you and brainwash you and brainwash you through all of these different programs and workshops and whatever, and beat you over the head with the fact that you’re a racist, even though the study itself is flawed.
Jack: So I strongly suggest that you take a deeper look on that and look at Jesse Singal, because that guy is totally unbiased. He’s not a Republican, he’s totally egalitarian. He just was able to suss out the fact that that test does not have any scientific merit, in the same way that whatever study that they did to say that there’s like one in four women on campus gets raped or sexually assaulted, that too completely bunked. Even the people that created the tests say that it’s not universally representative, can’t be extrapolated. It was a survey. They twisted the words around. However, that test, just like the implicit-association test, that survey became the foundation for the 2011 Dear Colleague letter that modified Title IX which then corrupted our entire academic system and put off men in the cross hairs and called everybody a rapist.
Jack: And so there are these zombie studies that float around that even though the creators themselves say they shouldn’t be used for how they’re being used, they’re continuing to be built to budge in people over the head and build entire huge billion-dollar industries around them. And these are the things that we need to destroy. So I don’t mean to harp on that, but the IAT is one in particular that requires deeper investigation.
Jim: Well, send me the link and I’ll put it up on the page and people can make the decision for themselves. Let’s turn to the next part of your journey, which is, it sounded like you grew up as a Democrat, right? Probably a pretty progressive one. But after all these experiences and the research you did and the road you took, you did the unthinkable. Talk about your previous political views and then where you ended up in 2016 and both intellectually and emotionally about that journey. I think that people find that very interesting,
Jack: Well, I’ll say this, I have not changed, so that’s the issue. I haven’t changed, the world around me has changed dramatically. Now, I always believed that I support gay people’s rights to get married and have guns and grow weed, right? Gays, guns, and drugs was what I always said, even as a kid, as a shorthanded way to describe my views on liberty, right? Let people do what they want to do so long as it doesn’t impact other people. And I still have that same position. What happened was is that the Democrats, as we’ve discussed, have created a new system of justice that’s not based on liberty. It’s totally unjust. It’s about taking from other people, it’s about blaming other people. It’s about an aggressive act to diminish other people in order to “provide justice.”
Jack: And so once Obergefell happened, gay marriage was solidified and ruled to be the law of the land, and once it appeared to be, to me that the cannabis legalization movement had reached the tipping point, once those two issues came off the table, because I support them both, my allegiance to the Democratic Party was severed. At the same time as the Democrats seem to be spiraling farther and farther away from me to the left into this very, very ultraprogressive social justice shit which isn’t based on any sense of liberty at all. So I have stood still while the world around me has just gone crazy. The Democrats of [Corrine’s 01:12:38] to the left, the Republicans are supporting cannabis and gay marriage. Donald Trump was the first presidential candidate ever in the history of America whose platform position was that gay marriage was settled in the law of the land. Not even Barack Obama, not even Hillary Clinton, not anybody else. It was Donald Trump was the very first presidential candidate to support gay marriage.
Jack: So when now I can say, “Okay, drug legalization looks like it’s on its way, or at least cannabis, gay marriage has been ratified and is the law of the land, now I don’t need the Democrats. I don’t need to support them because that was achieved.” And in fact, now they have stopped being the advocates for liberty and advocates for this injustice and this bullshit way of distributing prestige and merit and resources among people who claim to be victims and have created a whole new victim culture, and who had abandoned any notions of due process and justice for boys and men on our college campus, which thank God was just remedied just yesterday by Betsy DeVos in the education Department of Education. So I would argue that I personally haven’t been on a journey. The country has been on some crazy journey.
Jack: The country has gotten drunk and fallen down and they’re in the alley and I’m still standing there like, “What the fuck are they doing?” And so now that Donald Trump’s on stage with a rainbow flag, and he’s been very clear on his position on cannabis legalization, that opened the door for me to consider other things. And so it was easy for me because the Democrats, they, left me, I left them and we were done, we were done. And so now, whatever candidate is going to acknowledge that we’re facing an existential threat from critical and social justice theories. And personally, for me, a candidate that understands that China is a major competitor and that we’re actually in a war with them already, that candidate is going to get my vote.
Jack: I’m not beholden to Trump. In fact, I wrote very clearly in the book that supporting him is awesome. Oftentimes very distasteful and smells bad and you got to plug your nose and just swallow hard, but he understood or at least signaled that he understood the core issues that mattered to me. And this Title IX modification that was ratified just the other day-
Jack: And this Title IX modification that just was ratified just the other day, May 5th and 6th, was a complete vindication for me, a complete and total justification for supporting Donald Trump. I wrote in my book, I wrote as early as 2016, before Trump was even the candidate, before he was even the nominee, I said that Donald Trump as president will remedy the Title IX crisis. And if he does it, it will all be worth it to me. And guess what, Jim, just two days ago in the last 24 hours, he actually did that. He restored due process and justice to our universities and restored free speech and protection of rights to our universities and to our college students.
Jack: And so I’m feeling very good about my choice. Also, he understands that we’re in conflict with China. So now again that those social issues have been resolved and the Democrats went all haywire and nutso, it makes me open up my mind to other candidates. And I have to fight not only for the positions that I believe in, which I’ve already stated, but I also have to fight against the positions which I believe are harmful. So I can’t vote third party and let a Democrat win because a Democrat is going to carry with them the social justice coalition that does not believe in actual justice, does not believe in science, does not believe in reason, does not believe in the enlightenment, does not believe in Western civilization, who in fact have as their mission to destroy it.
Jack: Why in the world would I vote someone into office who has part of their coalition a desire to destroy our country? That makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. And so not only do I have to vote for Trump, to vote for the things that I believe in, but I have to vote for a viable candidate that will defeat the Democrats because the Democrats currently have in their political coalition people that want to destroy Western civilization. That seems like an absolutely fucking no-brainer to me. And it’s sort of my mission to get that out there in the world, because if people really truly understood what it meant to vote for Democrats, especially to put them in power of the Senate and the House, in control of our courts and control of even seemingly mundane things like the National Labor Review Board and other jurisdictions and other bureaucratic bodies that have the ability to enforce laws and bureaucratic edicts across the land.
Jack: If people really understood what they were voting for, or if they voted for the Democrats, I don’t think any of them would, because they don’t understand. And it goes back to what we were talking about before about only 3% of the world are critical theorists or whatever, but doesn’t matter when half the country has swallowed their memes and believes them and espouses them. Then we have to educate. We have to change their minds. We have to show them what’s actually happening. And that’s basically been part of one of my missions the last few years is just try to pull back the covers. I use a metaphor in a book often about the sanitizing effect of daylight. We just need to expose these things because if you talk about them enough, the logical conclusion to talking about them is that they will go away because there’s no logic there. And so that’s my mission.
Jack: And again, this is to wrap it all up, but like the Democrats left me, I left the Democrats at the same time because the Democrats aren’t who they used to be. It’s not the Democrats of the nineties. I voted for Clinton, Bill Clinton. I voted for Barack Obama. I was a lifelong Democrat, but once a few of those social issues were resolved and combine that with them careening wildly to the left, it became an absolute no-brainer. And I believe, no dis on anybody, but if you dig deep into their platform and the philosophies which underpin their policies, there’s no logical way, if you believe in America, if you believe in Liberty, there’s no way you can vote for a Democrat, period, full stop.
Jim: So you adhere to the, I think the guy, I don’t remember the author, but wrote an article before the election calling this united Flight 93 Election.
Jack: That’s right. Michael Anton. Yep.
Jim: So you view that the Democrats have become so corrupt and so potentially pernicious that it’s a matter of life and death to prevent them from getting power.
Jack: Yes. And not corrupt in a corporatist sense, like taking money from lobbyists, because Republicans do that obviously as well. No, it’s corrupt in the sense that their underpinning political philosophy is not based in justice, nor in liberty, nor rooted in the enlightenment, nor a fan of Western civilization. It makes no sense to me, if you really can explore and understand those things, how you could vote someone into office who is beholden to people that want to destroy Western civilization. I don’t get it. Makes no sense to me.
Jim: Do you think maybe you might be overreacting to a fringe of nutbags in the Democratic coalition? I mean, yeah, AOC, she might believe some stuff like that, but Joe Biden seems unlikely.
Jack: No, Joe Biden is the one that believed in the rape culture who did the 2011 dear colleague letter that took away do justice and due process and liberty from boys across the country, who prohibited accusers of being cross-examined, who threw away evidence-based decision-making. No, Joe Biden is the worst one of them all. Joe Biden has no idea what he’s doing. And he has no… Apparently either he’s completely ignorant or he’s evil. I’m going to probably go with a combination of them. But Jim, back up for a second, we’ve already established that the postmodern critical folks have taken over every institution in America. They’re already in power and they’re already doing their thing. We have our education system K-12 is going to fully adopt wholeheartedly the 1619 project, even though the people that wrote the thing had to come out and say that it was flawed.
Jack: They just gave themselves a Pulitzer Prize. It’s now going to be part of our curriculum to teach us that our kids, that our government was created and our revolution was had in order to protect, encourage slavery. Come on, get the fuck out of here with that. Now, they have taken over. They have power everywhere. They’re in all the key positions of leverage and that political coalition is part and parcel. Every Democratic candidate on the stage in the debates said some version of this, “America, country, racist from top to bottom. Racism getting worse every single day, misogyny getting worse every single day.” All of them, they can’t even say, “I’m going to pick the best candidate for vice-president.” They all have to come out and say, “I’m going to pick a woman” because she’s a woman because she’s got magic ideas because she has boobs.
Jack: None of that makes any sense to me. And they’ve become completely plain about it. There’s no hiding it anymore. And so, no, I don’t think I’m overreacting. In fact, I think I’m shining the light in the exact key position where it needs to be, showing everyone the evidence, discussing all the philosophical underpinnings, showing the clear scholarly work that has led us to this moment, showing the lack of due process on campus, showing the infringement of rights, showing the hypocrisy of the Kavanaugh stuff versus the Biden stuff. I mean, I don’t know, I think I’m the only one speaking the plain truth and that’s partially because this is hidden and it’s insidious and it’s pernicious and there are carriers, there… Okay, this is a good analogy. They’re like asymptomatic carriers of COVID. They don’t know that they’re spreading the virus.
Jack: They’re just walking around coughing on people, but they don’t know it, right? And so when people will say things like “believe all women,” they don’t understand that that’s a denial of reality and justice and science and reason and liberty. They just think, Oh, that’s cool. We should defend all women, right? But no, it’s deeper than that because it’s creating a parallel system of justice that is totally antithetical to the Founding Fathers’ visions and to the constitution and to the enlightenment and to everything else. So maybe I sound like a crazy radical. I don’t think so. I have reluctantly come to these positions through thorough investigation and analysis.
Jim: Okay. Well, I would say you make your point of view very clear, and I commend you for that. You’ve done the work. And you admit the fact that Trump is a bit of a prime fucking asshole, right?
Jack: Totally, dude.
Jim: I mean, and I could not vote for the man, I must say on the grounds of character. He’s a liar. I’m not even sure he’s a liar, because I think he’s sufficiently mentally deranged that he does not understand the difference between truth and a lie. On Monday, he’ll say X, on Tuesday he’ll say Y, on Wednesday he’ll say X again and won’t even be slightly embarrassed about it. And he’s a narcissist on a level that I’ve never seen. And I’ve had a pretty high profile business career. I met many of the famous tech gods of the nineties and double aughts and other major dudes on Wall Street and such. I never even came close to seeing a narcissist on a level of Trump. And we’re paying the price for his narcissism here in this COVID-19 stuff. If he wasn’t always trying to make himself look good, we might have actually taken the thing seriously back in February when there would have been time for us to have squashed it like Taiwan did.
Jim: But instead, because Trump is… He’s the deranged individual, the guy’s mentally ill, literally, in the level of narcissism and how everything has to make him look good and is disconnected from reality. I don’t know. I mean, I’m with you on a fair amount of the philosophical stuff. I am an enlightened man above all else. And in fact, my version at least of Game B is an enlightenment 2.0, and this is something that [Anzi Franek and 01:24:19] I agree on, that the enlightenment needs upgrade and improvement, but it did indeed enlighten the world, so very important. But there are days I think that Trump is suffering from tertiary syphilis. I mean, how could somebody say to the shit that the man says, right? How do you respond to that?
Jack: I hate being in a position to carry water for Trump, but one thing to remember is he’s trained… His whole life is dealing with the media and the media has never been straight about anything. So he plays to the media, the media plays with him. I have no idea what he says behind closed doors. I do remember his interviews with like Oprah Winfrey in the eighties, very clear thinker, always had America at heart, always interested in protecting America from foreign competitors, always interested in taking care of American worker and preventing the Chinese or Japanese takeovers. If you read his interviews in Playboy and stuff from the eighties and nineties, he’s still talking about the same things he’d been talking about back then. And his whole world was shaped mostly by real estate in New York City in the eighties where he saw how the Japanese had been taking our lunch in the industrial world, then taking our dollars, coming back to the United States and buying up precious assets. And he saw that and he lived it.
Jack: He remembers when Rockefeller Center was purchased by a Japanese company. That really left a big impact on him. And he’s been singing the same notes basically for 40 years. Now, does he lie and twist and exaggerate and be all hyperbolic and shit? A hundred percent. Can I listen to him talk all the time? No, I certainly cannot. But I think that there are some broad general strokes that makes some sense to me. And again, he is the one that’s pushing back against these things which are fundamentally a conflict of interest with Western civilization. Does he do it in a way that’s unsavory and kind of gross? Sure. But you know what? I’m focused on existential threats. I’m not focused on being offended. And by the way, what president, what person who aspires to be the leader of the free world doesn’t have some element of narcissism built into them?
Jack: In fact, I think it’s a precondition for the job because who the hell would want to be president? It’s a worst job in America, but you got to do it and there’s got to be reasons for it. And on this issue about COVID, I would argue that the networks chose when to shut down the country, not the president and not CDC and the World Health Organization. Both of those institutions were themselves behind the curve. And in fact, the WHO and CDC both were giving totally contrary opinions… or sorry, giving advice that ran contrary to what we ended up thinking was the right thing to do, as late as late February and early March. So I push back on this too. I think that he’s handled COVID as well as any of our leaders could possibly have done it. And in fact, he shut down the economy and killed the stock market, which if you think about it, those are the two things that he holds most important and dear to him.
Jack: So he did that, even knowing that it was going to destroy his economy that he had built, it’s going to destroy the Dow Jones, which he is taking claim for, credit for. So he did that and knowing that it was going to be a problem for him. But I would argue anyway, no matter who the president was, the network of sense-makers of which we were a part in The Liminal Order, for sure, decided on our own when it was time to shut down. I don’t think for one second, that in late February that the country itself was ready to accept closures. Hell, the country isn’t ready to accept closures today. So I’m not sure what more could have been done.
Jack: All of the stuff about the ventilators, totally overblown. They didn’t even need the ones they sent in New York City, all this stuff. I don’t know how much better it could have been handled. And I don’t know, in our current system, to what extent he even has the control or the capability of doing things “earlier” or doing things in a more significant way. The networks are in control now, and it’s the public information networks that drew us into the closure. And they’re going to be the ones that draws out into whatever the final resolution is going to be.
Jim: That’s well said. I think I could disagree about some of the details about Trump’s handling, but let’s move on the last section here, which is about the new masculinity or what is some positive models for masculinity going forward. And I was doing my prep and as you know, I do a lot of prep for every episode. I read a wonderful essay that you had written sometime back called Smashing Kids in the Face and Other A+ Dad Tips for 2020. I was just reading this and I was just going, “Yes, this is wonderful.” To refresh your memory, it’s about a dodgeball game you had with some kids in a park. Tell us about that.
Jack: Yeah, that’s a great piece. And I appreciate you bringing that one up. I had a lot of fun with that. So basically what happened is my mom was in from out of town and I’ve got three kids. And so our whole family, the girlfriend, everybody, we went to a dodgeball park. And while we were there, we were playing and having fun and the kids wanted to play… or it was a trampoline park rather, and the kids wanted to play trampoline dodgeball. So we went and we started playing, just our little family. And before I knew it, there was like a whole crew of like 8 to 10 to 12 year old boys that just showed up out of nowhere to start playing in our dodgeball game. And the more aggressive that we got and the more fun and the harder we went, it seemed like the boys are even more and more into it.
Jack: And one time this kid hit me with a ball. And my first reaction I looked at him was, “Where’s your dad?” And he goes, “I don’t have a dad.” I was like, “Oh.” Then I looked around and I started to observe. And I noticed that there were no fathers there. The ones who were there had their nose buried in their phone. There were moms there without their husbands. There were boys there who didn’t have dads, and the dads who were there weren’t engaged and they weren’t involved. And none of them were being physical or aggressive or smashing kids in the face with little Nerf balls on a trampoline net, where the kids absolutely flipping loved it, right? The boys loved it so much I had to like send them away after a while because I wanted to get back to my own family.
Jack: And it just became, as I was writing about it, it just became a great example to me of like, where is the male leadership in our society today? Where are the dads out there leading our families? Where is the aggressiveness and competition and physicality, especially physicality between dads and boys is important, right? Kids have to learn what boundaries are. They have to learn how aggressive they can be without making other people upset, how to play. Play is such an important part of childhood development. The whole story just became an allegory, or I don’t know, a metaphor or whatever, I’m not a writer, oh, wait, I am, that was sort of emblematic of society. The dads just weren’t there and the dads weren’t doing their thing. And that’s what we really want to try to do as our response to all of this social justice, crazy leftist stuff.
Jack: You know, you mentioned the word localism and I’m just beginning to explore that subject. In fact, I’m going to be talking to Joe Norman about that in a couple weeks. And my understanding, or at least our intention with The Liminal Order, is we want to fight this fight from the ground up. We want to put down roots and build a community that focuses on and is gathered around ideas of positive masculinity. And the way that we’re formulating our response to the culture war is not by writing policy papers or protesting or trolling people online or whatever. No, our approach is to build community and relationships, start by focusing on improving ourselves, become capable of being leaders, then lead our families. And then if we can do that, we can help lead our communities. And then if we’re capable of doing that, then maybe we can end up leading the nation.
Jack: And so that’s basically the general gist of what The Liminal Order is. It’s a community of men who believe in the power of masculinity and understand that in order to change the world, we have to change ourselves and we can do that. And then we can change our families, lead our families, lead our communities. And hopefully eventually either change the nation, lead the nation or be what’s standing when everything else comes crashing down around us. The thesis for The Liminal Order has been proven in that when people of likeminded interests get together, they can become happier, healthier, and wealthier and safer. That has been proven. When we combine the old sense of communities with the nuisance of network sense-making, then you have a hybrid product, which is us, which is The Liminal Order. We’re an old style community in the sense that it’s like a mutual aid society, we help each other when we’re in crisis, we do professional networking, personal development, social events.
Jack: We have in-person meetings. We’ve had in-person meetings at I think almost nine cities across the country now. And then we combine that with network sense-making and perception and discernment. And so we’re both an old line community, plus a 21st century sense-making apparatus that has allowed us to be ahead of the curve on things like COVID and corona. We knew that there was going to be a total shutdown, meat shortages, all of these things that are happening now, we knew back in, I don’t know, in January. We put out a position paper in the middle of February to all of our members, warning them to get prepared, warning them to stock up on meats or get Hydroxychloroquine or do a number of things, but basically just be prepared. And some of our members’ families said, they report to us that their families thought that they were crazy. But then a few weeks go by and all of a sudden, they’re prophetic in their advanced knowledge of what was going to happen.
Jack: So that’s our response. All of these things are tied together. That’s why that essay is on my website. That’s why my book is congruent with the work that I’m doing, The Liminal Order that I’ve created, the community that we’re building, all of these things are tied together. I’m tired of people whining about shit on social media. Policy papers are totally ineffective. Revenge is not worthwhile for me with Antifa and all that. The smart and only rational thing to do is to build a community that’s based around the values that I hold important, to frame it and to gear it up in a totally 21st century way, and to live the best lives that we possibly can so that we can build a community that’s either going to be a role model for society or, in the event of a cataclysmic event, which I know a lot of people that you and I talk to think is coming in the next few years here, then maybe we will be an entity that is left standing amidst the rubble and ready to lead the way then too.
Jack: So I’ve put my money where my mouth is. I believe everything that I say sincerely, I’ve put it into practice. I’m at once a product of all of the shit that’s going on and I feel like I’m working on a solution to everything that’s going on. And there’s a congruency to my personal experience, my personal narrative, the world around me and the work I’m doing that’s very fulfilling and it’s giving me energy. It’s inspiring to others and to myself. And so I’m just continuing to move towards that energy and to move towards these positive solutions. Because despite the criticisms that you’ve elicited from me, despite the shit talking that I’ve done in this episode, I am generally very focused on how to move forward positively in a constructive manner that is good for me, my family, my community and my nation. And this is how I’m doing it. And this is the reward that I’m getting. And it feels good, man. To be honest, feels great.
Jim: Well, very well said. I think we’ll end the session there. I think you explained where you’re coming from and most importantly, what you’re trying to do. You’re certainly part of this 4G war that we’re all fighting or we’re building our own independent, but interoperating entities that’s exploring the space of what comes next.
Jack: Yeah, absolutely. And I’m happy to talk to you again later about more explicitly Game B strategies, Game B communities, decentralized networks, emerging networks. I’ve had ongoing conversations with Jordan Hall and John Robb and others that are working in this space. I’ve reviewed Jordan’s new covenant document as well. So I’m very up to speed on where the thought process is. And we’re just trying to do our part, right? We want to build this community in a 21st century way that focuses on emergence. We’ve designed the community itself for emergence. We’re starting at a very localized level on individual relationships. And we’re trying to build something that’s going to grow in a decentralized way that’s going to have a very powerful effect.
Jack: So happy to continue that conversation. Very happy to have been with you, Jim. I’ve been a fan of yours for a number of years. I know that you’ve been involved in some very interesting and important work all over the country and just for many years now. So when you asked for me to come on, I was very pleased and excited to do it, and I’d be happy to come back and talk to you anytime.
Jim: Yeah, that’s great. Let’s do it. Let’s have a What Comes Next, big change coalition, Game B plus plus conversation.
Production Services and audio editing by Jared Janes Consulting. Music by Tom Muller at modernspacemusic.com.