Donald Trump, Silicon Valley., Egypt discussed on The Good Fight
In which the Cold War was the reality and they didn't want they couldn't win themselves off of that. I'd like by what normally interrupt the commission investment because as a helicopter flying in the background. But I feel like it's nicely. Excuse the background noise but it is a black helicopter monitoring what modern media sniper on it too so I think the biggest mistake but historians been make is that they look at those moments off radical disjuncture that nobody at the time predicted l.. Perhaps it's free for people predicted for her own reasons because they were crying. who were always on something and they say well you know what this is obvious and here are all the reasons why was inevitable that this was happening so I think it's amazing when you look at these moments of dysfunction history and you'll be history books about them? Everything is leading towards them. All the strands are going there. And it seems that everybody must have known many look contemporaries and none of them had an inkling that this was about to happen. And there's something thing in the distance between those two intellectual worlds which should concern us. I think yeah I think scholars and government analysts are very nimble so if they said one or two words that could they could point to and by the way they write their reports and their studies. This way just so that you can say well used this word kind foreshadowed. What happened so you know you could always say well I I knew it was obviously knew it was coming and everybody got shuffled to the side from? I have no clue who of course we all saw it coming. You know and you listen to the this course. Today by the Soviet Union collapsed. Everybody could see it coming well. Nobody saw it coming. So so you see that increasing I think for a lot of very helpful intellectual ground can be covered not by predicting things confidently but by going against the dock seats full certainty. Sooner in my own work I warned about the threat to democracy from the rise of populism integral controversial. Things and people sometimes say that I sort of you know I'm predicting with all of these democracies collapse or anything like that. Certainly when I started writing about this before twenty sixteen people for this is crazy. View how can you predict all of this and my position was always well. I'm not predicting you read the Orthodoxy in political science and it didn't in public discourse was we know that these democracies are going to be stable for the next hundred years and I was not saying I feel collapse. I was saying I think you certainly certainty is absurd. We cannot know that unless I'm good reasons to visco problems so I I was projected. They were project and and so I said be a lot of the times visit on electoral ground to look for. Where is everybody assuming a particular continuity and you could could a stove apart a little bit and actually make ourselves more? Not that you're going to be able to predict the specific discontinuity but you're able to make us is prepared for one of a range of discontinuities by saying hang on a second. That's Catholic consensus yes. There were handful considerable number. I would say in my corner of the kind of advocated vacated that approach the problem is this if your government of course is if you're advocating kind of counterfactual and off the obvious possibilities each time so then you have to have a system like say the Silicon Valley System where failure and being wrong. It's just part right of doing business and government is not that right. Government is risk averse and so everybody clusters around the obvious. What I think it's about whether you're wrong in the same way as everybody else right in a place like government if you'll wrong because he didn't see this continuity coming everybody else? What are we going to do fine? Everybody who was wrong Paul and be left with nobody so knee. As a matter of organizational logic you have to forgive people for being wrong limber way with everybody else was wrong was view wrong on your own is. It's very easy to say. Well you're an idiot crank and we should probably marginalize. You'll get rid of you in government. Being wrong is deadly. You don't ever want to be tagged as a you can make a call and you failed so you basically there's stuff you're right you're right it very much chilly. So you can always claim some some part of that stepped into what actually happened. And then cluster around the obvious and immediate and the Morris like yesterday and don't take leap out a friend now dead sadly brilliant guy who when the information explosion in the digital age began to blossom all over the world started to see in a country like Egypt where all you had silence silence if it wasn't government mandated. You didn't hear it all right. And suddenly there's all these voices all these voices mocking Hosni Mubarak angry at hostile back and it was startling and he wrote a paper and he couldn't get anywhere he had it back and kept it for the rest of his life because it looked like somebody has slashed. The risk of they had so many red marks on it that it was like one deg antic block of red and number one that you're not an Egypt analyst which is true but number two do it was like who are these people who are. Why should I care about these people? And this is completely off of what we were watching. Mubarak is basically passed on the presidency to Asanga Mal. And this is heath ferro. He's thirty years. And you cluster around the safe and obvious and if you do what my friend. Did you read mark to the death pretty much yeah. Well that's depressing so you started writing a book about how Swimming all politics and I want to get into the broken in a moment I have to say it is one of the books. I was most exhilarating to read in the last years it has deep inside and critic and very engaging style L. and You know it's been a long time since I've read as sort of book of Series Analytical Nonfiction and felt like I was drawn to annex pages in a novel business suicide every word that I also. Sometimes I'm puzzled by argument unsure about what we argument actually is towards protects the few times and sometimes struggle to actually be very clear feel lost at certain points so so I want to detect the book little bit but before we get there. It hasn't publication history so you self published it in Venice. Venice toxin making the rounds somehow in Silicon Valley. and well actually what happened. was I mean you were talking about predictions. This is a funny. The Golden One instance of this. Yeah I felt published in twenty fourteen mainly because I didn't want at first I just felt like this is what I have to say. We can go into the genesis of the idea if you want to but basically basically this is something that has been stirring not just with me with a number of my colleagues had left. CIA for many years. When I wrote it but the thought remained with me I I self published and it did? Okay did okay and then your friend. Donald Trump got elected donald. Yes I know you love him so basically Siklie. I'm a trump profiteer. Everybody said this is the man who predicted Donald Trump. There isn't a word about Donald Trump in the book. Isn't the word. So let's get intellectually honest. I I did not predict Donald Trump. I basically put frameworks in place that if you follow points yes. There were several people silicon valley. I'm a hero there Kaziro in Washington. But I'm a hero in Silicon Valley and this new stripe press started by a twenty nine year old billionaire the principal. Imagine that Patrick Calls. And who's also a certified genius was looking for books to publish. And so what I did for the second edition this I updated it. Trump is there all the way to like two thousand eighteen so I updated it from two thousand fourteen to twenty eight eighteen. It was published late late in eighteen. And it's been doing pretty well so the title of your book is the revolt of the public and you know when he public in that context. It's tempting to think we're talking about one unified public seeing some West today and Hong Kong or perhaps in Bolivia and Chile you know the is is consensus opinion on the society vague at really pissed off people in power. They come out sort of as one. They revolt read. That's very different from what you mean. Red You have a sort of technical definition the definition of what you mean by the public. What in your mind does the revolt of the public actually mean? Well let me think what I try to capture is the always the reality on the ground around and I always try a starting out by saying what the public is not. It's not the people of which of course the public always wants to claim it is. That's just a category of political philosophy. And it's not the masses which is kind of an old fashioned twentieth century term. It's not even the crowd on the streets. Even though I I would say in a day of the digital device the crowd and the public have a very intimate relationship as you would say the facebook Showbiz complicated. The reality on the ground is quite the opposite of what you said that the public is not one. It's many it's many as highly fracture. The public Described is what remains after tidal wave of information took away these large institutional mass organizations as sort of homogenize. Martin is the public into making one of very few choices right and never was that they went with the choices it was given. Once you remove those institutional forces when you allow the public voice realize is dozens hundreds many many voices right the dynamic as I see it is that therefore four whenever you are trying to gather around any positive program you have a lot of disagreement whenever you try to gather around around negation of the system. He tried to gather around. The feeling of this does the nation from power but that's just power also for many other institutional a little media for example you can gather people for many different beliefs and opinions just on that point of negation Asian battering away at the institution of power in information and so forth. So right I mean when you think of something to rea- square and the way that bat revolution in Egypt Developed you can distinction very easily. It's easy for people to come together and say this guy hasn't Markaz Rudas for decades. Things are going very well. Let's let's get rid of him once he's gone and you have to agree on how society be ruled. And what do we want to do now. It becomes much much more difficult than officious. Come out out in a way. That's true of nineteen thousand nine in Central Eastern Europe as well right it was easy to say we hate this regime and we gave one kind of interpretation to what the revolution was but actually has many different strains of what people wanted. And that's playing out in the kind of fight between liberals and over Italians and more secular and religious people Poland nationalists and European Fraud Region. Now but when you're talking about this revolted the public. So what does it mean. I think that's a phrase you have in your book. Credits will be self. Assembled assembled different groups. So why are they more powerful now than they used to be. I mean they always existed in a certain kind of way. Why is it that a public because as multiple publics and your understanding right to public like the people who really care about acts about veganism more about they strict protection of Islam or about getting getting rid of immigrants or whatever it is why is it but they have become more powerful through these technological changes? We've seen part of it is that they have become a powerful and the reason it's pretty straightforward. I think now have access to infinite amount of information for all practical purposes and which they can only consume but they can produce so they have a voice and to have informed voice insofar as they're interested in that but I think equally as important if not more so that the institutions that they seem to be any rebellion against have been crippled by this soon Nami of information that the began with the digital age. They were essentially predicated on owning little monopolies of information for their domains of you are in the government that guy was you. Had you part of information that nobody else could look at. If you were the New York Times you had your owned part of information that nobody else could look at so you. An information provider had a lot of prestige. Because you're handing out a valuable commodity right and if you happen to be wrong you could always fudge it and if you happen to be really really wrong you could be disgraced. The system was fine. You were just a bad egg and a good system go right today with that information sweeping across the institutions every error every blunder. Every misstep every failure every bad bad call in terms of. What's going to happen next as we were talking about before is not only out in the open but a center stage? It's center stage. The public is watching in this. So these people who opposed as platonic guardians. We know best we have the access to information will manage the institutions and you will be rewarded with a good government and could media. Suddenly you realize you've seen the sausage being made and you have a sense of these. People are clueless as you are so I'm hearing to slightly ninety different points here which goes together. I didn't attention between them is. The first is that was just not the same information advantage that media media and political elites have compared to ordinary people who might be interested in a topic right. It used to be but if you The John Lewis on that beat of New York Times Times or if you analyst you had a ton of access to.