Bret Weinstein Saw Civil Unrest Coming, Where He Thinks It Will Go | Joe Rogan


4 years ago



Bret Weinstein

9 appearances

Dr. Bret Weinstein is an evolutionary biologist, podcaster, and author. He co-wrote "A Hunter-Gatherer's Guide to the 21st Century: Evolution and the Challenges of Modern Life" with his wife, Dr. Heather Heying, who is also a biologist. They both host the podcast "The DarkHorse Podcast."


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If anybody sounded the alarm that all this madness was gonna come to fruition in the real world, it's you, sir. You were the guy. Like, you were the one who was saying this is what's happening at Evergreen. And if you don't know, go Google it. Brett Weinstein, Evergreen. And now it spills out into the real world. Just like I said it was gonna. You did. I did. You did. Mike a big deal. They think you're much ado about nothing. You're making a big deal about some kids that are voicing their opinions on things. But what you recognized early on was that there was an authoritarian aspect of it, a forced compliance aspect of it that's very dangerous. Yeah, it's all about force. And, you know, I've started to get calls in the last week or two. The people who mocked me and others, including you, for making too much of what appeared to be college kids going wild on college campuses, some of them have started to call and say, I got it wrong. What do we do now? And actually, I appreciate those calls and those contacts because really that is the question. Yeah, what do we do now to pull it back? Yeah. How do we get the genie back in the bottle? Or as Douglas Murray says, how do you put the brakes on this thing? How do you put the brakes on this thing indeed? Well, I have to tell you, I'm not optimistic. I think that this is actually the people who are catching up to the fact that Evergreen has now spilled over into the world have not caught up to the fact that this is unstoppable at this point with the current configuration. The absence of leadership is going to prevent us from doing what we should do. And that means that the next set of predictions are far more dire. What is your next set of predictions? Well, I would say we are headed for a collision course with history. I mean, we're really staring at many scenarios that end in some kind of civil war. And while I do think it is still possible to avert that outcome, I don't know the name of the force that gets in its way. It's really troubling. What do you think these kids want? Not just kids. What do you think the people that are facilitating chaos, what do you think they want? Well, I think there's some danger in casting them as one thing, because I think we have several things fused together. And that until you understand what has joined forces with what, you're not going to, there's no way to answer the question. All right, let's break it down. Okay, so one thing that we're seeing is, and we really have to take this back a number of years to understand why it happened, but we are seeing Occupy 2.0. Now, I participated in Occupy. Originally, Occupy made a lot of sense. It was a complaint about the TARP program and Too Big to Fail and the fact that the American public was not protected when those who had created the financial collapse were. And that was a legitimate gripe, and it was also a legitimate gripe at the beginning of the Tea Party movement. Occupy then morphed into an anarchist movement that was just simply hostile to civilization and it became absurd. And so when I say this is Occupy 2.0, this is the anarchist version of Occupy that has now reemerged and it has fused with Black Lives Matter, which as I've said, lots of different places. If Black Lives Matter just simply meant what those words imply, I'd be on board with it. It doesn't. It means a great deal more than that. And we're beginning to see that in the last couple of weeks. What else do you think it means? Well, let's put it this way. For some reason, it means abolish the police, which is possibly the stupidest proposal I have ever heard. And it's not like we haven't seen what happens when you do that. Don't you think that that's just a fearful response to the obvious police brutality that we saw in Minneapolis? What's the best response? We have to do something. We need to defund the police and then everyone's like, good job. Great, great first step at least. Well, no, it's a dishonest presentation. And I'm concerned that there, as I've also said in many places, the proposals that are coming out of this movement are quite foolish. The strategy is incredibly smart. And so that is confusing to people because when you hear folks in the street demanding that we abolish the police, you think, well, okay, that's never going to happen. If it even started to happen, it would be so complex to make it happen that it can't possibly be. They just need to blow off some steam. Nope, that's not right. The fact is the police in some places can effectively be halted in their tracks. And really, if there's one most important lesson out of the whole evergreen fiasco, it's that the police can be withdrawn from a situation and chaos takes a matter of hours to emerge, which we're also seeing in Seattle. Yeah. The defunding of the police, which is happening in Minneapolis, what are they doing in replacement of the police? Well, I don't know. And I will say that the thing that is trotted out as the example that tells us that defund the police, which doesn't really mean defund the police, it means abolish the police, we are told that that's safe on the basis of something like the Camden example. Camden just, they sort of broke the police down, but then built up a new version of the police, right? Yeah, they shifted it to a different jurisdiction. And look, I'm not arguing that we don't need massive police reform. And frankly, I'd be up for a discussion of a total rethink of the way we do policing. But the idea that you could withdraw the police first is absolutely insane. Mark Lamont Hill had a very good point about the guy who was killed, what is the gentleman's name that was killed in the drive in the drive through fast food place? Richard, so they say his name, who was just drunk, and compliant, and peaceful until they were telling him they were going to arrest him, even said, Get me an Uber. And what his point was, it was a very good point. Why were the police even called for that? This is a non violent person who just happened to be drunk. Was he doing something he shouldn't have been doing? Yes. But obviously, compliant, polite, speaking, just like very reasonably until it escalated into this tussle. And then he lost his life. If they had just had some sort of a program, where they could we're going to park your car, sir, or we'll have someone drive your car to your house, we're going to call you an Uber, or we're going to take you home. And we're going to just write you a ticket and work this out in court, you're not going to go to jail, you don't have to be arrested, you don't have to be handcuffed, you're gonna be treated like a monster, you fucked up, you made a mistake, but you're not a bad person, you're not a person who's trying to hurt people. The police should be there for robbers, murderers, rapists. That's that's what we need the police for. And this is another none of those things. This is just a guy who fucked up and he got drunk. And then as they were speaking to him, clear, real clear, not a bad guy, like the way he's talking to the cops, just talking to him very reasonably, even asked for an Uber. Well, look, I am no fan of this aggressive style of policing, I'm not a fan of the militarization of the police. I've actually, I mean, I've had run into the police, I've been hit twice by cops. So it's not that I happened. Well, one of these is a long story that goes back to my first research gig in Jamaica. And the other one was, I was participating in a protest. I mean, I was very young, I was probably 20. And there was a protest about homelessness in Berkeley. And frankly, it happened without my awareness that there was going to be a protest, but I happened to be nearby and I was sympathetic. And so I joined it. And I was coming down the street with the protest and the cop hit me with a baton. Knocked me down. So anyway, I'm no fan of this stuff. I'm not defending it. But that's not what this movement is really about. And even if it is, to the extent that it is what this movement is really about, it doesn't deal with the root cause. We're dealing with a symptom and it's not a symptom that you can treat in isolation. Well, I had Jocko Willink on the podcast on Monday and he had a great point. Obviously Jocko was a Navy SEAL commander and worked with the Navy SEALs to create programs for training. And what he said is that these cops have the minimal amount of training. It's the tiniest amount of training and then they send them on the street. He goes, 20% of their time should be spent training. 20%. It should be de-escalation drills, simulation drills, educating them on how to communicate with people in various situations, educating them as if one cop is in a confrontation with someone, the next cop should step in and say, let's calm down, Mike, why don't you go deal with this over there and I'm going to handle this. And sir, let's take this from scratch. Let's work this out. And that having higher qualified police officers, better trained police officers, better compensated police forces, so they're not taxed out, is really the answer to all this. And these people are, nobody wants to be a cop right now. So who's doing this, right? The new generation from now out, when people sign up to be a police officer, who's going to do this? You have a few that are going to answer that call because they feel like they have a duty, but you're going to have a lot of people that just, they can't get other jobs. And so they choose that. And maybe they're not the cream of the crop. And that's very bad for people with guns that tell other people what to do. I hear two things in what you're saying. And one of them, I fully agree with the implication of what you just said is that less funding isn't the solution. If anything, more funding is so that we get better qualified people, better training, train them, right? We get people who are better suited to the job in the first place, and then we train them better so they know what to do. And I agree with that. The part that I'm worried about is that I also, I think I hear you grasping at straws and frankly, they're familiar. I hear everybody grasping at straws here. And what I think is not getting said is that brutal policing is a feature, not a bug, right? This is part of a system that is about something else. And to the extent that I think we can all recognize that there is something absolutely organic about the anger that has caused people to spill into the streets in large numbers, that anger is the result of a process that does not begin with policing. It begins with economic phenomena and political phenomena. And one of the things that spooks me is this movement, in part because it is leaderless and I would argue rudderless, it is not correctly addressing the actual problem. It is lashing out at things that it can see. It's lashing out at anecdotes. But the only solution here, the only proper solution that actually saves the Republic is a solution that addresses the core problem. Economic despair, communities that are filled with crime and violence and gangs, and the people that come out of these communities with very little hope, and all the models that they operate under, what they model themselves on is what they see around them, which is all this crime. And they don't have this sense that there's a very clear path out of this. Well, I want to step back to something that will sound too remote to be useful, but I'm sure it isn't. I would claim that this actually goes back to a shift in the Democratic Party during the Clinton administration. During the Clinton administration, the Democratic Party effectively switched, it took up the Republican Party's business model, moving away from defending the interests of common people as its reason for gaining power. And that created a problem. So during the Clinton administration, we saw the end to aid to families with dependent children. We saw NAFTA. We saw basically an abandonment of the core resoundetra for the Democratic Party. Now, the Republican Party at that point was the party of business, but that doesn't really mean the party of business. What the Republican Party was, was the party of well-established large businesses, which frequently meant, as it was catering to their interests, that it was preventing small businesses from rising up that would threaten its constituents. Now, the Democrats took up this model. They went into influence peddling as well during the Clinton administration, and they became the party of other businesses. So now you have two parties that are basically dealing with competing business interests vying for power. But what that does is it excludes the interests of regular folks. And so regular folks have been getting the shaft ever since. Nobody is representing their interests. They're getting wise to it, and they're feeling the effects on the street. They are feeling the system is rigged. It's rigged against them. It's not even evenly rigged against them. So, you know, in black communities, there's a perception it's specifically rigged against us. And you know what? It is, but the way it is, is very subtle, right? It's not a matter of racism being ubiquitous inside every white head. It's not like that. This has very little to do with modern racism. But what it has to do with is a property of our system. So, you know, there's a cybernetic principle. The purpose of a system is what it does. It means that don't listen to what somebody says that the system is for. Look at what it accomplishes. That's what it's for. And our system basically has two things that it accomplishes. It basically keeps real change from happening. And the reason it keeps real change from happening is because people who are winning in the present system will continue to win if the system continues to do what it does. And they may lose if the system changes and starts doing something else. So it creates what I would argue is a kind of organic conservatism. Those with power don't want change because it threatens them. And the other thing that our system does is it reproduces present patterns of distribution into the future. And what that means is racism that has almost died out is still alive and well in a sense, because all you have to do is take people who are born into a neighborhood that is devoid of opportunity and continue that pattern. If no opportunity shows up, then people who were oppressed are now going to continue to be oppressed. And so it feels personal, but it isn't. It's just reproducing an existing pattern. Steve McLaughlin And a lot of that emanates from these communities that have been disenfranchised and economically distraught from slavery, like literally from that where we're dealing with the echoes of slavery, and it doesn't get addressed. And when people do bring it up, and they start talking about reparations, people roll their eyes and people go, oh, so long ago. But the results of that are still alive today in the South. They're still alive today in many communities that were redlined as recently as the 1960s, right? Paul Jay That's exactly right. And so we basically have set ourselves up for a confused response, because there is a subtlety. The fact that ancient racism, people who are dead, their racism still haunts us today through mechanisms of the reproduction of patterns of distribution. And mind you, when people hear distribution, they freak out because they think you're talking about wealth. I'm not talking about wealth, and we can talk about why I wouldn't bother. But what we're talking about is opportunity. Opportunity has been hoarded. It has been concentrated in some zip codes and almost totally excluded from other zip codes. And so you're right, the patterns of slavery moved into Jim Crow, and now they've moved into a phase where they are very subtly infused into our system. And so it is causing people to have the sense that there is an enemy and it is out to get me when it's not exactly an enemy that's out to get you. It's a pattern, right? It's a pattern that definitely needs to be addressed. And so the natural place would have been the Democratic Party. But the Democratic Party, because it has taken up with big business, is not going to do it, even though it would be a winning political strategy. The Democratic Party is more interested in serving the economic interests of its actual constituents than it is serving the interests of its nominal constituents. And so why are you seeing something that looks like a communist revolution beginning in the streets for the natural reason, which is that people are feeling excluded from their share, and they are being excluded. But this revolution that is beginning in our streets is no more coherent or desirable than Maoism, and it's going to be brutal in the Maoist way or possibly the way that it unfolded in the French Revolution, or maybe it'll be some unique version and it'll get its own name. But if we want the Republic to survive, we're going to have to prevent this from happening. And because it's a leaderless movement, who do you even talk to? Who do you reason with? Yeah, that's what's fascinating about it, right? Because it's emerging not just in America, but it's also in England. It's in all parts of the world. People are protesting. And in many ways, I think that's it's probably because love it or hate it, America sort of takes the cultural lead for the world in a lot of ways when it comes to movements and particularly art and expression. And I see this leaderless movement, and it seems so attractive to young people that do feel disenfranchised by the system. So I watched them, I mean, I've seen so many videos of these people out there screaming and cheering and chanting, and they feel like they're a part of something, right? And they are, right? But what is that thing that they're a part of? What's the end goal? That doesn't seem to have been really clear. Still, like there's kids out in, they were out in Woodland Hills out there chanting, no justice, no peace. And I'm like, Okay, what justice are you talking about? Are you talking about George Floyd? Well, that in that case, it seems like that guy's gonna go to jail for the rest of his life. And I don't know if that's justice or not. That police department has been disbanded. I don't know if that's justice or not. But what is justice and what is peace? It's just a slogan, but they feel good saying it. No justice, no peace. But what, I don't know what you're saying, but you feel very passionate about what you're saying. And I think if you pulled one of those kids aside and said, What's your message? And what are you trying to do? I think a lot of them would have nothing to say. And that's what that's very concerning to me. I'm very concerned about that, because it seems like they're very enthusiastic and passionate about an invisible enemy, and an enemy that they can't, they can't put on a scale. They can't tangibly describe it in a way that I understand it completely. It just seems like the structure of things they feel like is unjust. It is unfortunately a zombified collective fighting a boogeyman that they have invented, which again, doesn't mean that their frustration is not about something very real that does require a solution. But to the extent that these people have deindividuated, and they've become a true mob, and they are pushing policies that make no sense and endanger us all. I mean, there is no neighborhood in the US that is going to be safer for the absence of the police. And it really doesn't even matter how corrupt the police are. The absence of the police is going to create a power vacuum, and we're going to get warlords, as we're already seeing in miniature in Seattle, as we already saw at Evergreen. So it's not a coherent proposal. But I have a concern that the reason that this is leaderless is that something that I think is unrelated, I really think it's unintentional, but there is something about the way that influence happens in this era that has taken all of the would-be leaders, and it has trapped them in the gig economy. And so we have a lot of people who would be in an excellent position to steer this justifiable anger at an enemy that is actually worth attacking, to curb the violence and to make this a moment of useful and necessary change. I would argue overdue change. But those people are, instead of being leaders, what they are is influencers. And influencers don't have the kind of power necessary to shape a movement, and they don't have the position to negotiate on its behalf. And this is very dangerous. Where do you think this escalates to? Do you have a map in your mind of where the territory is? Yeah, I mean, I would say there are several ways it could go. But unfortunately, the dynamics look almost unresolvable if somebody does not speak for the movement. And with it being unresolvable, you've got a conflict between rural people and urban people. You have a conflict between blacks and those who are self-declared allies. And ally doesn't really mean ally, but foot soldiers on behalf of this movement and people who won't go along with it. And what I'm trying to raise people's awareness of right now is that there's something in us, being raised in the US, there's something in us that thinks that the great leap forward in China cannot happen here, that what happened in Cambodia cannot happen here, that Nazi Germany cannot happen here. And the Soviet Union couldn't happen here. I don't know what characteristic it is that people think makes it impossible. I don't think it's impossible. I think if there is a characteristic that makes it unlikely, it is the structure, it is the constitution, which I would argue is showing its age, but nonetheless, the values that America aspires to, the reason that the world does pay attention to us, and still, even with all of our brokenness, allows us to lead it. That reason is that the values that were described were honorable, even if we didn't meet them. But what we aspired to be was great. And I resent Trump's Make America Great Again because there are populations for whom it has simply never been great. So I think that last A in MAGA is just a finger in the eye for people, and it was designed to be. But the structure, what it aspires to be is great, and heading in the direction in which it could be great for everybody is obviously the right thing to do. But what we are now doing, and the thing that troubles me...