T158. Democracy and War

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Project Save the World Podcast / Talk Show Episode Number: 158
Panelists: Marc Eliot Stein
Host: Metta Spencer

Date Aired: 11 January 2021
Date Transcribed: 11 March 2021
Transcription: Otter.ai
Transcription Review and Edits: David Millar

 

Metta Spencer

Hi, I’m Metta Spencer. Do you think we can solve the problem of war? Do you think we can abolish war? Well, I’ve been working on it a while. And we’re going to talk to somebody today who’s also working on that. He’s working in an outfit called World Beyond War. And this is Mark Eliot Stein. Hi, Mark. How are you?

Marc Eliot Stein

Great… thanks for inviting me here.

Metta Spencer

Well, we’re both of us peace workers, or in casual terms, peaceniks. And you’re in New York, I think, and I’m in Toronto, and we met a couple of years ago, or maybe three at a conference that… our board put on here in Toronto… your organization’s the most effective peace working outfit I have seen. You’re really good at it.

Marc Eliot Stein

Well, we’d all be thrilled. Well, it’s —

Metta Spencer

And I really respect the extraordinary organizational capacity. And I don’t exactly know what your role in it is. But I think that you handle a lot of communications things for the organization, right. So I think we need to eventually get to talking about our mutual concerns about trying to bring peace to the world. But really, I don’t think we can start the day as if nothing had happened yesterday. Because yesterday was the day when Biden was certified as the next president of the US. And I was busy on zoom with other things until quite late in the evening, when I first discovered that there had been that there’d been a domestic terrorist attack against the US Congress. And so in a way, I’m just getting caught up on that news. But I was shocked beyond belief. Maybe we should start off by talking about what has to be a threat to human security and peace. Globally — when we have… what even nice people would call a madman in…. power, and with control over… nuclear weapons… from the US, as well as all the other military units. I think we are talking about: How the hell did people get ourselves into a predicament like that? Where we are… the world … human civilization could be put to an end? … he could he could push a button… And that would be the end of civilization. And human beings have set it up to be that way. I think that’s something we ought to give a little thought to. What do you think?

Marc Eliot Stein

Oh, for sure. Yes, it is… quite a morning to be talking to you. I’d like to… reference what you said about World Beyond War. That’s very nice to hear that you think highly of this organization. And there are several peace organizations… one thing that I really like about the peace movement is none of us are competitive with each other, we’re all on the same team. And you know, World Beyond War has many affiliates, and many partners. But it’s nice to… hear you say that you think we’re doing great. We are… growing at a fast rate; the organization was founded in 2014. I think… But you know, we’re not an old organization. And we’re growing at a great rate. And I just want to say first about the Trump ordeal, the Trumpist ordeal is that I feel lucky that I joined World Beyond War. Only about three years ago, I joined by going to a conference just like the one where you and I, Metta, you and I met in Toronto, where I think you are now — that was a wonderful conference, September 2018. That was my one-year anniversary, in September 2017. I just walked into their conference, didn’t know anybody there in Washington, DC. And said, I want to get involved. I want to help. And luckily, I’m a web developer. So to answer your question, what I do is I’m a web developer. That’s what I do for a living — I am the technology director for World Beyond War. I’m very gratified to have spent the Trump years not just bemoaning how horrible everything is, but… working on what I think is the most important activist cause in the world, which is ending war. And I certainly consider Trump to be the prototypical warmonger. The idea that he’s antiwar, I consider it laughable. He started a war in Iran. He’s escalated the war in Venezuela. He’s created a new war on our Mexican border, and he’s created a civil war right here in the USA. So… I am very agitated about what we saw yesterday, I did watch, you know, I work from home as a software developer, so that means I… have my TV on way too much. So, I watched all of it. You know, you said you tuned in later, maybe I’d be feeling better today, if I tuned in later. But it was just absolutely shocking to see. You know, the first thing that I’m appalled by is that the DC police who beat heads when it’s BLM, when it’s Black Lives Matter, who react to black people protesting with tear gas and sticks… just get these white supremacists into the Capitol. It’s shocking everybody I know.

Metta Spencer

I heard some of the pundits, late night people saying that they suspected that there was some sort of inside support for it, because apparently there were police officers or somebody in charge, opening the barricades allowing in and… I saw one guy… taking a selfie with this officer, as if, you know, they’re buddies, you know, and that this kind of cooperation occurred rather than a proper defense of the Capitol? I don’t know. I don’t know enough about it. Did you see enough to give you the idea that maybe they’re… I read even this morning that that this event had been planned… by the Proud Boys or something for months? Maybe other groups as well? I don’t know. But… this had been planned. It couldn’t have been a complete surprise. In fact, Trump himself… somebody asked him a while back, do you commit to a peaceful transfer of power? And he said, Well, all depends. So, this is a pretty good indication that he had intentions to support something of this kind. So, I don’t know what can be done. What do you think, given the first one?

Marc Eliot Stein

Oh, I agree with what you said there. I also saw the video of the DC police simply letting … the rioters enter the Capitol… building, you know, I’m not talking about the capital city, the Capitol building, let letting them actually end. I also saw what you saw, the picture of a cop taking a selfie… with one of these people. And… you said this was this was planned by Proud Boys. I believe this was planned by the Trump administration, because… I lived in DC, I lived in Virginia for a while I know DC very well. And… at 12 o’clock in the Ellipse, which is just across the park, a direct path from the Capitol … it was completely known… they were certifying the electoral results. It was a very key event in the capital. So, they interrupted the certifying of the election [in the joint session of Congress]. And, you know, basically, when the Trump event ended, it was simply a matter of walking across the Mall. The Mall is this long rectangular park in Washington DC, walking from one side of the park to the end of the park, which is the capital. So, it was it was very… the risk that there would be a riot at the Capitol was completely known to everybody, and yet there was no preparation.

Metta Spencer

Okay, so would Trump himself have been… orchestrating it? I mean, that is saying more than I had, I know that everything indicated that he was encouraging it, but to actually have been engaged in, you know, creating a space for them to meet in and… then giving the order that the police should let them in. Was there is there any reason to believe that there was an actual directive supporting this? I mean, I think maybe we don’t know yet. But have you heard anybody say that… could have been the case?

Marc Eliot Stein

I don’t think — electoral results, the whole context here is, is that Trump is is going to lose office and be subject to criminal prosecution. And he’s doing everything he can to, you know, to subvert the transition of power. So, the key event was that there was this certification going on in a joint session of Congress, which is very rare, when the Senate and the House are both gathered together. This is what was happening. Trump planned an event very close to this at the Ellipse in the park. So yes, I don’t think there was a directive. I think there was a setup… by putting this big event so close to the Capitol, it was clearly being… orchestrated, that there would be some kind of riot. I do not think … anybody anticipated that the DC police would let the rioters right into the Capitol. I don’t think anybody could have expected that. That was inexplicable. But you know, I also, I’m, I don’t want to focus just on yesterday, because I want to get back to the question, you’re asking what can be done — I mean, I have been seeing that Trump ordeal… through the lens of fascism. That’s how I view this. And I also understand, Metta, you are… a sociologist and a peace scientist, and you may have your own framework for understanding what’s going on. Many — you know, some people think Trump is… just a dumb, dumb, racist? I don’t think so.

Metta Spencer

I think he is a genius at what he does —

Marc Eliot Stein

— a large white supremacist. But, you know, I think… the way we interpret what happened yesterday probably has to do with how we interpret the last four years and maybe the last 200 years. So, there’s so much to say, I don’t even know where to begin.

Metta Spencer

You know, here’s my dilemma. And not so much a personal dilemma, because, in fact, I don’t know, and I have no contact with any Trump supporters at all. Living in Canada, and especially living in isolation, I don’t go out much because of COVID. I don’t have any reason to meet people except my own network anyway. So, I literally do not know a single human being who supports Trump, and it’s completely unfathomable to me. So, my speculation is… in a way all hypothetical. But I do have a sense of what it’s about that I think differs from the typical analysis. And that is, and one of the reasons I’m pretty confident of my judgment on this, although it was [not] my predisposition to believe this because I’m kind of an anti-Marxist… Marxists are very, very oriented… toward class analysis, explanation of things in terms of social class-struggle. And so maybe that’s my bent, but what the exit polls for the November election indicate to me is that and I spent some time looking at them. The usual demographics that you would expect to explain these variations in voting results have very little effect, if almost negligible, that is particularly education and income, which are the big drivers of, of social class and social activities, mostly. And it turns out that income is not related to support for vote for Trump, according to the exit polls, except when you get to above $100,000 a year. For people who earn that much… They are the ones who support Trump. So, it’s not… the usual explanation is that it’s poor disadvantaged people who’ve been shut out of the labor market by globalization and they live in the rust belt, or they live in Appalachia or… they’re underprivileged, and… it is poor people supporting Trump. Well, no, it’s not. The people who supported Trump, if anything, had a higher income, slightly higher on average, but the real break, the noticeable difference occurs only among people who are quite prosperous, and they are more likely to support Trump than poor people.

Marc Eliot Stein

Okay.

Metta Spencer

On the other hand, you’d say that education, mostly it’s a matter of under-educated people, believing Fox News or something. And I don’t think that either, because it looks like education in the exit polls didn’t make much difference, except among people with postgraduate education, master’s or professional degrees, that kind of thing. And those people were much more pro-Biden. So, you see professional people, who presumably would be the people with good incomes, but it’s they go in opposite directions — income, if anything richer people vote for… Trump, but education, if anything, uneducated people vote for Trump, and those two just cut, you know, where do you find uneducated millionaires? Well… not even really education that… varies particularly, it’s only among the most, what they call elite, you know, people with professional expertise, training, that kind of thing that you see any variation by education, so I think it’s not social class. Now, what is it then? Well, the results that I have seen from people who actually spend time with these ruffians, these neo-Nazis and so on, are saying that it’s primarily a sense of the… feeling that their dignity is being compromised, that they should… have a higher social status than all these immigrants, and… Muslims and all these people… so it’s a competition… for status as opposed to money. And… therefore, what is the solution? Well, the solution — if it really is a matter of feeling offended, because you’re… not given proper deference and proper politeness and, and prestige, and so on, the answer would be, just go give them more prestige, be nicer to them, show that you really appreciate them? Well, that’s what Trump did yesterday. He said, “We love you” to these guys. Yeah. And that’s interesting, because I don’t love them. And I can’t disguise the fact that I have real contempt for these people. So, in a sense, yes, it’s elites looking down on them. And yet… it’s not. What can you do about it? How can you pretend otherwise? I mean, can you try to make up to these people by going and saying, you know, come to dinner at my house, I think you’re such a good company, I want to invite you over. You see what I mean? Well,

Marc Eliot Stein

yeah, I have so much to say… First, I want to say that I… do know many, many Trump supporters. And there are several reasons. One is that I am into social media. As you know, I I’ve been very involved with World Beyond War’s social media, and I also do my own social media. And I do consider that social media is a serious place for discussion of these topics. So, I interact with Trump supporters, not jerks… not … ruffians. I do. I do want to turn that around. I hope… us peace activists are ruffians sometimes in the good sense, but… I believe that all people are good. I am very much a believer in that everybody is good, but when we are stupid or when we are ignorant, we make mistakes and when we are poorly led, we make mistakes. So and by the way… right before talking to you, I’d been talking to a friend of mine in Indiana, Columbus, Indiana… because he told me he voted for Trump. And I’ve been… berating him for it and trying to ask him, how does it feel?… because I know this, this friend of mine, and maybe he’s even watching, he knows, because I was just arguing with him. You know, he voted for Trump. And I said, do you feel ashamed? Now that you see what’s happening … in the Capitol? Do you feel ashamed? And what — By the way, what I find for many of these… types of people, is that they are dealing with what’s going on right now by shutting it out. This… particular friend of mine… doesn’t watch the news anymore… shutting it out, simply being in denial… of how odious and murderous and evil your government is — is a way of dealing with it. I want to say —

Metta Spencer

during about yesterday, what was his answer when you asked him, Do you feel ashamed?

Well, this was very funny. His answer was he didn’t know it happened. Do you know that there are a lot of people who only watch Fox News or who only listen to —

Marc Eliot Stein

…Fox…

Well, they have a very, very different way of presenting this stuff. So even — and this particular friend, I believe, doesn’t watch televised news at all. But he is… basically on a no-news diet. And I believe the answer is because “he can’t handle the truth” to quote Jack Nicholson, you know, some people who, a lot of people who… are on the Trump team have gone into a no-news diet, because it’s the only way to… handle the guilt. You know, the fact that they’ve… cast their lot with white supremacists, fascists, that they are on the Nazi side… because… I live in Brooklyn, New York now, but I grew up in Suffolk County, Long Island, which is only 30 miles from here, but very red, very Republican… It’s a sort of Irish-Italian working-class neighborhood. I’m Jewish myself, but you know, growing up there has led me to have many other friends who are Trump supporters. And… the county, I’m from Suffolk County, voted for Trump, and what people don’t know about New York is that we have a lot we have a lot of red as well as blue districts here. So, I do believe that the reason we are in this disaster is… that the news sources that they are watching are polluted by… corporate fascist propaganda. I’m talking about Fox News and Rush Limbaugh Oh, by the way, so you know, some people don’t even know that like the influence of the Rush Limbaugh type talk-radio, Mark Levin, etc. is vast… these voices are very influential.

Metta Spencer

I haven’t even heard them; I don’t think I would watch. I never heard Mark Levin. Have you listened? Well, at some point? And I don’t know, what is it? How can you characterize what —

Marc Eliot Stein:

I consider it my goal to talk to Trumpers. And as an anti-war activist, I consider it my goal to talk to people who believe that war is a positive force in the world, which is unfortunately more people than… you and I… there are more people who think that war helps the world, which I think you and I both know is just such a sad, sad misconception. But I again, I believe people are poorly led… it’s the leadership and it’s the community. It’s the media. So, when, you know, I want to sort of tie it back to what you were talking about class and education. I don’t I don’t think the voters are the problem. The voters in America are not the problem… our media… feeds us to two contradictory narratives: the MSNBC narrative and the Fox News narrative… basically choose one and hate the other… And I think you and I probably are way to the left of MSNBC. So, it’s very sad for people like us that we don’t we don’t even have a channel —

Metta Spencer

 Well, yes, but that, that’s, that’s where I get in trouble. Because my friends say, or people who really, you know, there’s kind of the notion that if they’re people who are hurting because they’re lost, they’ve lost status and they feel under-recognized and under-appreciated in status, then the thing to do is reach out and talk more. I admire people with that point of view, Van Jones on CNN has that point of view, he really is extremely good at talking to people he disagrees with. Okay, I am not, because I really think when they’re telling a lie, I’m gonna call it a lie. I can’t help that. And I… yesterday, I did a talk show with a dear friend who said, I use the word “backward”. And she said, don’t use that word. I guess the logic is, if you use more respectful terminology, you don’t call people backward that’re insulting you, what do you call them? I don’t know. I call them backward. And that’s, you know, that’s the problem. How can I lie enough? To pretend that I respect people that I simply don’t?

Marc Eliot Stein

Great question. I mean, my answer is to dive in and engage with them. You know, I told you the story of my friend in Columbus, Indiana, but I would say I have about 5-6 of these running conversations. And by engaging with them, I think I understand what… So that is my answer. But I also —

Metta Spencer

If you think you understand them, do you really have respect for their point of view? I mean, do you really think they are right, in any sense of the word?

Marc Eliot Stein

Oh, great question. First, I, I would have to say, when I’m engaging with them, I’m working on them. I’m working on each of them. So, I do have respect for the fact that they are willing to talk to me, because anybody who’s… a Trumper, or a white supremacist, who… doesn’t want to examine their deepest beliefs isn’t going to… spend their time talking to me. So now, you know, with that said — I have to point to… the most important word here, which is tribalism. So… a person who’s in the deep South, their heritage is… the heritage of the of the deep south. And, and by the way, another thing I believe, now I know you’re in Canada… I do believe that heritage of the Civil War… is still with us today. And so, if you’re, if your tribal feelings are that Black Lives Matter is evil, and therefore the cops who are busting heads at Black Lives Matter riots must be good — if that’s your tribal… sort of configuration, then you are doomed to have that as a starting point. And the best you can do is, is build up from there. So, I’m thinking about cultural legacies. I mean, you and I are both people, but we come from families that that taught us — I feel lucky that I was born into a progressive… open-minded multicultural family… I feel lucky that I have many different ethnic groups in my family, and that I meet many different types of people in in my world, but people who have more limited exposure and maybe don’t have as much diversity in their lives, I think they default to white, (I’m talking about Americans here) default to white supremacist tribalism, which is what Fox News and Rush Limbaugh are pouring into their heads. And no, I don’t want to overemphasize the importance of media. You know, it’s not like I think, I think media, pushing the white supremacist narrative is the only problem. But if I had to… pick out the single cause of Trump, I would say… Fox News and talk-radio, the single — that’s my opinion, maybe, ah, you but you and I know how powerful it is. I know how influential it is…

Metta Spencer

We believe in freedom of speech, where you and I are both democrats in the lower-case sense of the word… so one of the important things I believe in is is free speech. And if that’s the case, we are giving a blessing to people who want to say lies, who want to distort reality and so on. So I know what do you do about that? I find it a real dilemma. I can’t actually… because as I say, I don’t meet any of these people. If I did, I would … have a difficult time pretending to be respectful. Let’s say that.

Marc Eliot Stein

Well, what if what if we map this back to the fact that you and I are both peace activists? Because the fact is, neither the Republican or the Democratic Party in the United States is aligned with what I believe, and I’m guessing not fully aligned with what you believe? Because the United States has problems that go beyond, you know, what we’re dealing with? So, I feel that… the big answer, and this is why I’m a peace activist, the big answer is to fix our most fundamental problems. And that involves dealing with America’s immoral foreign policy, and our fossil-fuel abuse and our corrupt capitalism. And… the crimes of Wall Street which go unpunished year after year… and trickledown —

Metta Spencer

Are those the things that you talk to when about when you talk to your Trump-loving friends? Do you talk about

Marc Eliot Stein

Yes…

Metta Spencer

and, and foreign policy and militarism and so on? And how far do you get with that? I mean, you know, to be honest, there was a time when, when Hillary and Trump were debating, and… I thought, I’m just not going to vote, because I can’t vote for either. Well, I didn’t, thank goodness, I I realized that not voting for her was in effect voting for him… and because I thought about what he would do to the Supreme Court, etc. And then, but I didn’t really feel that it was going to be any move toward peace, either way. Because, you know, the Democrats are just as tough on that as anybody, I guess.

Marc Eliot Stein

Well… can we can we take a step back and think more idealistically about the fact that if we were to manage to end war, and I know… that’s a far cry from where we are, that maybe by resolving… the root causes of the misery in our society, and the guilt in our society and the trauma and the… fear? You know, how much fear is caused by… fear of foreigners, fear of invasion, fear of war… we know how many billions of dollars we spend on weapons, that’s how afraid we are — if we can address the root causes? You know, I… actually believe… that the human race is, is changing at a fast rate. And, you know, I know some peace activists are like, oh, back off this… cosmic stuff. But… sometimes I can sound like Marianne Williamson, who I actually think is quite brilliant. I don’t know if you know her, who she is –.

Metta Spencer

I know… I don’t really know her work much. But I know, she’s kind of… pie in the sky sort.

Marc Eliot Stein

But, I come from a pie-in-the-sky background too you know, I studied philosophy in college, and my intro to peace activism didn’t come from being on the streets, it came from reading books, you know, so… I actually think it is our project, to fix our biggest problems and our biggest problems are war… racism, violence, greed, and to not… shrink away from fixing our big problems. And then the types of people Van Jones, they’re talking about… not living these lives of fear and trauma and self-hatred. I mean, it’s my belief that war generates trauma and fear that echoes and reverberates in our life. I certainly wouldn’t disagree with you… only by solving our most fundamental problems, can we have better politicians and better governments!

Metta Spencer

… I certainly agree with you, but I would have a little bit of different angle on it because I think… war is not the only threat to humankind and human survival. And we’ve got global warming, as you know, we have the possibility of famine, we have pandemics… we have cyber risks. Everything from… Chernobyl… to having your government offices hacked and all of your secret plans revealed. And, and our electric grid may be blown up if they want to. So there’s everything… all of those things. And I see them as something that we can handle best, not separately, but all together as a system, because I think they’re all interdependent causally. And probably the linchpin of the whole thing is militarism. Because it isn’t just the fear that people have as a result of war or the anticipation of war, but also the effects of investing in and maintaining a … huge arsenal of weapons and arms, armed forces, and all of that, that… misdirects, our funds and our energies away from the solutions that we need to give… into really bad, bad.

Marc Eliot Stein

well, I would also add the more practical fear of the many people who are part of the military-industrial complex of losing their livelihoods. Unfortunately, the military-industrial complex is a big, big part of our economy. And that’s no small fear. So sadly, by putting weapons manufacturing at the core of our economy, as we have, along with fossil-fuel abuse, we make it the fact that solving our biggest problem would actually be economically disadvantageous. So… the gun to our head is the military-industrial complex — and work… Eisenhower said it, you know, we’re gonna destroy ourselves with war profiteering and look at the damage we do overseas… I do recognize the privilege I have of sitting here in a comfortable apartment in Brooklyn, when my country is waging war in Yemen… and supporting… Netanyahu in Gaza… the various things we’ve done in Latin America, that we’re still doing in Venezuela… this is, again, why I feel like we have a chance to fix this. You know… I’m not an antiwar activist, just for the sake of doing it, I believe we’re going to end war, we have to end war, either we end war or we die, you know, or our planet disappears.

Metta Spencer

Well, yes. And —

Marc Eliot Stein

Go ahead. I just wonder how you react to something like that?

Metta Spencer

Oh, absolutely. I think we’re on the same page completely. The only thing that I’m now focusing more on is the notion that just telling people to stop investing in military, if –it’s not enough, because… not only investors would lose profits (and… I believe in telling them… take your money and put it someplace else) but also the jobs would be lost. And, you know, here in Canada, we are funding… an industry that’s producing armored personnel carrier vehicles on a big scale for sale to Saudi Arabia. And the government has not wanted to stop doing that, although the public sees this as a shameful thing to do. But the government continues, because they will have a huge number of jobs… suddenly lost if they stopped it. So I think that as peace workers, we have to not only say stop doing this, but rather show where we should put the energies and jobs… building, green infrastructure building, and don’t use the word green, because that turns people off sometimes, but at building, creating job… that are good… that we need to have solutions to, that would be contributing a real good answers to things, Say, Stop this, but also create this, and we have to be doing the research on what needs to be done and how to actually take the same people who are working in this particular area, who are going to lose their job and say, “Now, when we shut this down, we’re building a plant that’s going to do this instead. “And you’re all going to be hired and here’s what your jobs are going to be, that kind of closeness of showing the linkage needs to be done more, I think then we’ve been doing it.

Marc Eliot Stein

Well, there’s a, there’s a three-word phrase for that: Green New Deal. And I’m very much behind it… I’m concerned that you said the word green is… I use the word green a lot —

Metta Spencer

… find everything, but I’m, belong to everything. But at the same time, if what you’re saying is, we got to be able to speak with Trumpists and right-wing people in a way that they can hear, then there’s the dilemma. If you use the word green, that’s the end of it, they don’t want to hear it. But if you use jobs, or you know, health care, or education, or improving their highways and bridges, so they’re safe, etc., then they may be able to hear it. But there’s certain words like green, that may, in fact, be counterproductive for… I can’t talk to these people. You say you do? Well, I don’t talk to them.

Marc Eliot Stein

Well, you know, maybe some of them will listen to… your podcasts and your videos… and hear you, even though you don’t — because I want you to talk to them. But I want to say that when I talk to them, I do a lot of the talking… I feel sorry for some of my friends because… I don’t… take a take a tentative stand on these issues. If somebody says they think the environmental movement is wrong about anything, they will have to listen to me explain why they are stupid. And you know, when I say I talk to Trumpers, I don’t coddle them. I talk… reality to them. And… I do think that the environmental movement, the green movement is a winner right now. We are we are winning with that one. And we need to lead with that. In fact, one of the one of the goals of the peace movement, I think right now is to better explain how the military is the biggest offender in the world of environmental —

Metta Spencer

Well, except that, as I understand, if I look at the green New Deal documents, they don’t talk about militarism. That’s the one thing that they actually don’t mention that. Yeah, take money out of the military and put it here.

Marc Eliot Stein

Yes, no, I know… I also sometimes have to argue with people who might consider themselves… further on the spectrum, from… conventional politics than me because some people don’t even like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and the Squad. And you know, what I consider to be… and Bernie Sanders, you know, our only good politicians, in my opinion, these are our only good politicians. But even these politicians — simply because they are officeholders, and they are in the Democratic Party — they’re certainly not mainstream in the Democratic Party. But you know, many people… who are progressive will reject even Bernie Sanders or Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. So, the word “green” will cause problems on both sides, but we just have to keep persisting… I don’t take it from them… they will hear me explain why they’re wrong.

Metta Spencer

You know, I deal with it. But go back to my original dilemma. If you’re going to explain to them why they’re wrong… does that work? I mean, arguing with people, I don’t think often works. I’ve rarely seen anybody say, “Oh, yes, you’ve just convinced me that I’ve been wrong all my life.”

Marc Eliot Stein

Yeah, I know what you mean. You know, maybe you can the question between us here is, do we solve the problem of fascism or Trumpism by addressing the voters or by addressing… the ringleaders? And I actually, again, I think the voters are… I don’t think the voters are the problem. I think the problem is the crap that we that we shovel out to voters, you know, give them give them these choices. You know,

Metta Spencer

What are you gonna do to stop it? I have no idea how, how to stymie it. I don’t even listen to Fox News. I don’t know. But any of those right wings, you know, theorists if you dignify them… with that term… they’ve got a right to speak. I believe in freedom of speech.

Marc Eliot Stein

Oh, yeah. But I believe… the answer is we have to fix our problems… if we don’t end war, we will never have a good government. That’s what I believe. I believe war and democracy; the institutions of war and democracy are incompatible. How can we possibly call ourselves a democracy when we’re inflicting violence or profiting on inflicting violence in other countries, and, you know, the world has not been connected for that long — 100 years ago, it was possible for a person in the United States or in Canada, to not realize the effects that militarism is having around the world. We don’t have that problem anymore. Now we know… how guilty we are. So again, this is why I’m an anti-war activist. This is why I don’t you know, I have some friends, by the way, and I respect them, who spend a lot of time calling people for elections… vote for Joe Biden vote for… this Congressman. I don’t spend any time on electioneering. I spend time on anti-war activism, because the election is… downstream from the problem. The problem is more fossil fuels, greed, capitalism… Does that kind of answer your question? I mean… the questions you’re asking can’t be answered easily, of course. But that’s how I would do —

Metta Spencer

well, you’re absolutely an ally, I am delighted to have this conversation with you. And our hearts are exactly in the same place. Whether… our operational priorities are how you schedule your day, and where you’re going to write checks to cover this or that fund. Whether you’re covering the same things that I’m — I don’t know, but we are, they’re certainly compatible… the organizations that you support, and the ones that I support are certainly compatible. And working in the same direction? I think… there’s value in really noting that… people who are working on pandemics or people who are working on… food security… people who are working to try to solve cyber risks, those are people who are working on the same system. Yes, that we’re all working against. We’re all trying to solve the same set of problems that are interrelated. And I think we ought to know each other a little better and, and be in touch and if anything, find ways of collaborating more, you know, I’d like to, I do have good contacts in the World Beyond War. I’d like to have more. I mean, you know, let’s find ways of helping each other. So, terrific.

Marc Eliot Stein

Let’s do this. I’d love to have you on the World Beyond War podcast, which I host I do one episode every month. So, let’s, let’s do more of this. I mean… we’re both putting out messages here. So, let’s, and I agree, we are allies, and I’m glad to know you.

Metta Spencer

Great. Good to make a new friend. Thank you so much, Mark… Take care.

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