President Trump, America, Arthur discussed on EconTalk



President's american enterprise institute his latest book on the topic today's episode is love your enemies how decent people can save america from the culture of contempt arthur welcomed econ talk thank you rush great to be with you and congratulations on such a great show oh thanks a what is the what do you mean by the culture of contempt great phrase well when when i started doing work on political polarization politically bitterness i thought the problem with anger because people certainly act like they're being angry with each other a lot but i was clued in by somebody that myra lot he's a social psychologist john got and then probably the world's leading experts in marital reconciliation he has the the gotten in marriage laboratory in in seattle and he he he says the problem and marriages when you're going to divorce is not anger anger is a hot in motion it's a hot cognition says i i care what you think it's when you take anger and mix it with disgusted turns cold and it it it it turns people who love each other in the enemies and and that's a anger plus disgust is the show power how recalled the conviction of the other worthlessness of another person that's contempt and when you get the habit of contempt it's a it's a kind of a a communications check when you talk to other people as if they were worthless their ideas were worthless and has they're worthless people you'll drive them apart that that habit when it spreads around the culture can become what i call the culture of contempt which i believe is what were suffering from in america today you mentioned the problem with the ira lying and we've talked about that before this program it's really bad for marriage and it's very destructive to a constructive political conversation absolutely i rolling is one of the the physical signs of that you have contempt for another person sarcasm derision dismissive is all these things tell other people that you think that what they say is worthless and enhance that you think the the person is worthless and it's kind of incredible because most people who treat each other with contempt they don't hate the other person they're just in the habit of behaving that way so john got often point out that the couples can be brought back together because they actually love each other they just are weirdly acting as if they hated each other and reacting to that the contempt of other with contempt of their own so you have to break that cycle and this is one of the things i talked about a lot the book and in my research these days is that we can build community how we can weaken break cycles of bad communications habits in american politics in one of the challenges of that part of the struggles i have was you know i have similar feelings issue do about our culture and similar recommendations to what we might do about it a part of the problem is is that tech that tech of contempt of ira line that habit we get into a after molly come to enjoy it i experience a we we become a little bit addicted to the superiority it it it it genders inner selves are feeling of self worth because were better than the people around us or those at least who disagree agree with us a how do you fight that and how do you a encourage people to break that habit that's a really great observation and by the way what you personally i've written about this in in about loving warm heartedness has been very moving it's you know people don't think the you guys like us economist we actually have heart heart and soul yeah try try you've written really wall about this in the problem is when i say there's a habit of expressing contempt that is very that is very close a psychological ended the phenomenon of addiction that's the reason that people use addiction inhabits anonymously anytime there's in addiction or virtually any addiction that we have whether it's behavior early or anything chemicals involves the neuro transmitter called dope i mean a dope is produced and it's a it's a it's a very rewarding to get a little shot up they'll see light a cigarette you dope i mean you take a drink you dope i mean when you treat somebody with contempt and feel like you are right you could open to it it's kind of amazing how ubiquitous doping isn't are learned behavior that reinforces rewards involved in.

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