What Price Will Your Children Pay For Our Mistakes? | John Anderson | POLITICS | Rubin Report

What Price Will Your Children Pay For Our Mistakes? | John Anderson | POLITICS | Rubin Report

– Prudence means being sensible,
thinking carefully through what will this mean
for the community, what will it mean for
the next generation? See, what the West
has really done is robbed its children
and its grandchildren of the things that
we’ve taken for granted. (intense gentle music) – I’m Dave Rubin and this
is “The Rubin Report.” As long as you’re here,
don’t forget to click that little subscribe button
and tap that bell over there so that you actually see
our videos, crazy, I know. All right, joining me today is the former Deputy Prime
Minister of Australia, a relentless fighter for freedom and the host of “Conversations
with John,” John Anderson. Welcome to “The Rubin Report.” – Great to be with you,
Dave, it really is. – I am very happy
to have you here because I’ll start by
saying that something that I’d never have
told you in person even though we’ve met
a couple of times, you reached out to me
about three years ago, right when we built this studio
and the show was taking off. There was a nice little
bump in what we were doing. And you reached out to me or
your people reached out to me and said, “John Anderson,
former Deputy Prime Minister “of Australia would
like to chat with you. “He’s coming to LA.” And it was really the
first time that I thought, whoa, this thing is
seriously international, that the conversations
that I’m having are seriously important,
and we had a great breakfast where we talked about freedom.
– Yeah, we did. – Conversation and
all of those things, and since we’ve done a
couple of events together. So I guess my first question is, you’ve been in this
fight for a long time. When did you start
becoming aware that there was
something worldwide around having decent
conversations, that was sort of
becoming the new way of going about discourse? – Well, in my initial
sort of concerns around freedom were
largely economic. So, I was part of a coalition
government in Australia from 1996 to 2007, and we
were a reforming government. Our emphasis on freedom
was economic freedom so that we would not
pass on debt burdens and lack of opportunities
to young people, and that was my focus. I think for me it was after
the great financial crisis and you saw the blame game
started to really play out, and I started to
see that we needed to make major adjustments to the way we run our
economies in the West. They’re all hopelessly indebted, with the exception of a
few places like Australia, but we wouldn’t do it, we
wouldn’t own what we’d done. And you started to see the
shouting become very shrill. Now it hadn’t started then, but you asked when
I started to realize this is a real problem. It was about that point
because I started to see that actually understood
properly in democracies, government’s downstream of
culture and so is economics. And the whole Lehman
Brothers collapse was about a
collapsing standards, but again you didn’t
have a grappling with what had gone on in
terms of the ethics of it. Bankers instead of
saying what should I do, how should I behave, rather
what can I get away with, how can I build a
bigger bundle for me and for those around
me, and hang the people who bank with us and who
trusted us and rely on us. I started to think this
is getting really serious, but then it was the
nature of the debate, because it wasn’t
a debate anymore. Now you can’t get
good public policy without a good debate, and
you can’t have a good debate without a reasonable
degree of respect for the other person’s
dignity and standing. – So, it’s interesting, because
I was a struggling stand-up when Lehman Brothers crashed, and I used to work
at a comedy club handing out tickets in Times
Square right on the corner. I think it was either
50th or 51st and Broadway. That’s where the Lehman
Brothers building was. It was this huge lit up massive
digital display building. And I remember
when it went down. It seems like
another lifetime ago. But what’s it like to be
one of the guys going, “Hey, everybody, we’re about
to go off a cliff here.” I mean, that’s not what
politicians wanna do. They wanna always give everybody all the things that they want. – That’s part of the problem. There is no doubt we
need to understand that a lot of this rot
started in the 1960s. We gave up talking about the
big sort of metanarratives. Who am I, what am
I, where do I fit, how does the world work? It’s all too hard, and you
can understand that in a way. We’ve seen horrific wars, we’ve
seen the Great Depression. Let’s live for us now. And in an age of cheap credit, we started to rack up debt
right across the Western world. It’s not as if I’m
singling out one country, your country or my
country, we’re all into it. – We’ve all done it.
– We’ve all done it. And here’s the rub. In a democracy, so you can
say to Mr. Congressman, “Now listen, I’ll
give you my vote “if you promise me X, Y, or Z.” And Mr. Congressman
might know instinctively if he knows his stuff. You wonder how many of them, well, I shouldn’t single
out American congressmen, but a lot of politicians don’t
know as much as they should. They might if
they’re honest, say, “Look, that is not
a good way to do it. “We can’t afford it. “It’ll come against
your children and
your grandchildren.” Unfunded liabilities have
turned out to be a nightmare, but we’ve said, “No, no,
you don’t get out of it. “All right, I’ll give it to you “’cause it’s on
the never never.” And kings from of old have known that until the credit runs out,
you could live pretty well. But when the credit
does run out, it’s a very different story. So it really I think it
has its genesis in the ’60s and this idea that
it’s all about me, I will do what I
like with my life, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. We abandoned the Golden Rule, do unto others as you’d
have them do unto you. It’s all about me. Now of course, most people
don’t live like that, but that became the sort
of prevailing ethos. – Right, we would
never live like that in our own lives, right? I mean, sometimes you do. Most of us have been
in debt at some point or racked up too much credit
card stuff or whatever it is, but you would never
just, well, you can’t. I mean, that’s the thing. As an individual, you can’t
just keep getting more credit as you keep not paying things, but somehow in governments,
we seem to be able to do that. – Well, I think that
it takes two to tango. I think the electorate,
the voters if you like, have demanded too much, but politicians who
should have known better right across the West have not
been prudent enough either. And there’s an old-fashioned
word called prudence. It was a classic virtue. It went along with
integrity and courage and all of those other ones,
and prudence disappeared. And the story of Lehman
Brothers in many ways is the disappearance
of prudence. Prudence means being sensible,
thinking carefully through what will this mean
for the community, what will that mean for
the the next generation? See, what the West
has really done has robbed its children
and its grandchildren of the things that
we’ve taken for granted. Look, I don’t know
what privilege is because you can adjust
it a thousand ways, but as I understand it, I
think you and I would both say we’re very, very
fortunate people. We’ve grown up in free society, we’ve never really
wanted and and so forth, but those things should
never be taken for granted. – Do you see a direct
connection then between a stop, no longer asking the big
questions in the ’60s, to then directly to, well,
politicians then just say, “Here’s more, here’s more,
here’s more, here’s more,” because the people no
longer have the tools to understand why that’s
actually not good. That actually really explains what’s happening here
in America, I think. – Yeah, well, I do think that. I really do think that. I think we are paying
a terrible price, as my personal view,
for washing out. You see, I think
for a long time, I don’t think, and
particularly in my country, it was ever
particularly religious, but there was an idea
that broadly speaking, the Christian view of the
world, love your neighbor, you’re accountable to
a higher authority, you may dislike your neighbor, but they still have value
and worth and dignity and I have to respect
that, broadly seen as true. Then it just became seen
as one of many truths. Now, of course, we know
there’s open hostility to traditional underlying
beliefs in the West on the part of, I don’t
know what you call them. Do you call them a lot
of the intelligentsia, or the politically correct, or the people who have the
microphones, or the elites, or whatever word
you want to use, there’s enormous
hostility there that says, “This stuff is dangerous, “and you shouldn’t expose
your children to it.” But what’s the substitute? What are we putting up instead? The idea of radical autonomy? I will hazard a guess
that you would understand exactly what I mean
if I said to you I don’t think you ever
find yourself in yourself. You actually find yourself by
relating to and serving others and being considerate,
and in looking to see where you can make a difference, not just for yourself
all the time. Self-centeredness just destroys. – Well, that’s the, I guess,
real irony of the situation. As we’ve removed some of
these traditional beliefs, we’ve replaced them with
authoritarian movements. They don’t seem to be
replaced by freer movements. If there was something so wrong
with them, you would think, all right, well, then
freedom will replace them. But no, it seems to
always go the other way. – Well, very much so. I’m a great believer
in the freedoms, so I don’t think you
can ever unbundle them. We’ve had a debate in Australia,
what’s the first freedom? And people say,
“Well, obviously, it’s
freedom of speech,” they say, “because
that’s the one “by which you defend
all the other freedoms.” But I think I want to
join with Frank Furedi. And that’s an interesting
story in itself. I would be seen as
broadly speaking classic liberal
stroke conservative. He would not, he was a
student radical in the ’60s, wonderful, delightful man. If you’ve not had him on, sometime you should get him.
– No, I haven’t. – Frank Furedi, Kent University. But he would say,
if I said to him, I did, I said to him, “Do
you think freedom of speech “is the the first freedom?” He said, “No, no, no, no.” He said, “You should understand, “with your Christian
convictions, “that actually it was
freedom of conscience.” Our forebears were burning
one another at the stake, a dreadful, cruel,
appalling thing to do to another human being, because
they had a minority view. And after a while,
people sort of said, “Well, this isn’t
very consistent with
Christian charity, “and it’s pretty
barbaric, and it’s stupid, “because a person with
a minority view today “that we burn at the stake “may in fact be part
of a movement tomorrow “will be in the majority.” – Do you sense that’s sort of
where we’re heading right now? – That’s where I’m going. It really worries me. There’s an aura of triumphalism. I think Douglas
Murray’s these is right. You’ve had a whole series of
movements to correct things that have needed
correcting in the West, and by the way, what
system delivers the ability to peacefully correct
things that are wrong better than liberal
participatory democracy? And you think of the
civil rights movement and that incredible speech. I look forward to the day
when my children are judged by the content of
their character, not the color of their skin. So all of these movements, I
mean, I have three daughters. It’s incredibly important to me that they’re paid
properly for their work or whatever it happens to be. As Douglas Murray says,
that train has moved with a lot of cabooses in its
carriage under the platform. It’s starting to slow down. We’ve made tremendous progress. If you like, in Martin
Luther’s language, those who have been
marginalized and sidelined have been allowed to
join the citizenry, and all of a sudden the
train, the governor’s let go, and just when you’re getting
close to the station, it’s taken off. – So how do you untether
people from that then, right? So I’ve heard Douglas
talk about this, I’ve discussed it with him, but how do you then
untether people from the idea that
they’re still oppressed when they’re no
longer oppressed, if oppression can be
used to control people? That’s a pretty addicting
feeling right there. – Well, this is the
great problem I think of victimhood politics. Now a way a good friend of mine
from the left in Australia, a very noble old classic
sort of Australian socialist, and I’ve always regarded him
as a man of noble intent, and he said, “Look, we were
about in the labor movement “universalism, so if someone
was oppressed or sidelined, “or not being looked
after properly, “the idea was to
elevate their status “so they were part
of the citizenry.” That’s what Martin Luther King was trying to do
in this country. But now we’ve created a new
caste system, a new aristocracy. So a victim often
self-proclaimed, will say, “I’ve got all
of these grievances, “and I’m owed, and I
need those addressed.” And society’s left saying,
“Well, if we say sorry “and try and meet them, I hope
you’ll appreciate it, but no, “they’ll say, ‘We were owed,’ “if you don’t then you
confirm their victimhood “and you’re a hater or
a racist or a whatever.” But here’s the rub, if your
power comes from being a victim, you have every
interest in ensuring that your victimhood
is never addressed, that you remain a victim. – And that’s why you can’t
untether it from that train. – Well, I actually
cannot say to you I think this is proving to
be such an unsatisfactory philosophy for people
who find themselves… The rush for a
university student, “Oh, I’m a victim, I’m owed, “but as I think it
through, I think,” and you and I have seen this, I think there’s a lot
of people realizing that’s not very sustaining, and in the end, “I don’t
want to be a victim. “I want to be a full
member of a community “and I wanna pull my weight.” And we’ve got to play
to the better angels. – Isn’t it funny that
we know in real life when you’re around
friends or family, people that you socialize with, nobody wants to be
around a victim. Nobody wants to
be around someone endlessly complaining
all the time. You want to be around
people that impress you, that inspire you,
that make you laugh, that have joy in the world, that can share
something good with you. And yet somehow a
movement has been created that somehow seems
sexy based on something that is so anti how any of us, if we really thought
about our lives, would ever really want to be. – Let’s be clear, and I think
you and I would agree on this, there are people who have
very legitimate grievances. – Absolutely, absolutely. – The people Martin Luther
King was talking about, if I can say this
in your country as somebody who’s not American, those grievances were deep
and real and raw and horrible, for anybody who has studied
Jimmy Crow and what happened, and then it’s extraordinary. I hope you don’t
mind me saying that in your country as your visitor. – No, of course, well,
you’re saying the truth. – But do you stay there? I mean, the whole point is
to lift yourself out of it and join the rest
of the community. Again, they’ll hack me to death, I know everybody talks about it, but Kennedy asked not what
your country can do for you, but what you can do
for your country. We’ve reversed it. We’ve reversed the
idea of citizenship. So now we say, “I demand
my country meet my needs.” But as you say, you
don’t wanna stay there. One of the most remarkable
men in Australia, he’s just retired, he’s
a very old man now, was the man Frank
Lloyd, behind Westfield, I see them even here in
America, shopping centers. – [Dave] Huh, yeah we’ve
got one right here. – Now his whole family,
he escaped the Holocaust, but his family was wiped out. He was a little boy one day, watched his father go off to
work and he never came back. And he talks about how
he sat in the window day after day after
day, sat by the window waiting for dad to come home. Dad never did.
– Geeze. – And the whole Holocaust
thing, and that was appalling. I mean, how any
human being could do what the Nazis did
to other human beings is beyond my comprehension. But if a man like that had
spent the rest of his life saying, “I am a victim, I’m
owed, fix up my victimhood,” now I feel deeply for
what he went through, but I respect him
hugely for saying, “I’m not going to
play the victim card.” And he’s gone out
and created jobs for goodness only knows
how many Australians. I see shopping centers
here in America, and so it’s been
a success story. And we can sympathize
with what he went through, but we can delight in the fact that he has chosen to be a
positive forward-looking person, and if you like has
confronted those demons by rising above them
and denying them oxygen, if I can put it that way. – Yeah, before we go too far
down the political rabbit hole, because I can sense
where the richness of this conversation is, I just want to talk about
your story a little bit. You come from a
sixth-generation farming family, and somehow went into politics. Can you explain a
little bit of that? – Yeah, Scottish ancestry,
which is very common in rural Australia,
and in rural Australia, farming and grazing
was the way to go. It’s a rough country to farm in because of the
unreliable climate. Scots were very good at it because Scotland is poor
land and a rough climate. And so my family’s had… If I’ve done one
brilliant thing, I chose my parents well
though in Scotland. – (laughing) Good
move, good move. – The thing is, so I’ve
been very fortunate. I’ve seen them go through
terrible ups and downs. My family was decimated by both the first and second World War because Australia was
deeply integrated in both. Double the number
of Australians died in the first World
War as did Americans. It was extraordinary
the level of engagement. International affairs
of Australia’s taken up even when it was very young. But yeah, I went to school
and University in Sydney, and I had never contemplated
a political career, although I was always
fascinated by the great debates and a voice in our society
as a result of fierce debates that are not personalized
at their best. We’re the result of a
clash of great ideas. Look at the debates
that went into the independence of
America, the thinking, the depth of understanding, the belief in the worth
and dignity of all, which is where
your freedom motif I believe comes from
in this country. But I was literally headhunted
by a retiring federal member at the precocious age of 27. (Dave laughs) He said, “I’m going to retire, “and I think you should
have a go in my place,” and I said, “Well, that’s a…” – What did he see in
you, if you were coming from a farming family? What did he know about
you that he thought this guy could do it? – Well, that’s an interesting
question in a way, and I can answer it honestly. I’d been at a public meeting where he’d said something about, he was from the conservative
side of politics, he’d said something about
the left side of politics, and I thought he’d
completely missed the point. So I stood up and remonstrated
firmly but not personally, and he actually said to me,
“I think you should have a go “because you said something, “I said something
you disagreed with, “and you took it up
in a good-humored, “but effective way,
without attacking me.” That’s what he
actually said to me. – And that’s basically
what your guiding principle has been throughout politics
and now even out of politics. I mean, you’re
having conversations. Jordan and I sat down
with you for your show, which was in front of
a live group of people, and it was exactly this. It was exactly let’s
work through this stuff instead of breaking
each other’s backs. – Well, I’ve just always
deeply, deeply believed, and it stems from
my Christian belief, that it’s not for
me to judge others. It is for me to engage
in the contest of ideas, and I oughta believe
passionately in a
vigorous debate. Our Parliament in Australia
is very adversarial, and people often
complain about it. And I say, “Look, let’s split
this into its two components. “You actually want
your parliamentarians “to believe in things deeply, “and there ought
to be a great clash “over people’s
versions of how best “to take the place forward. “What you’re really
objecting to, I hope, “is not that clash of ideas,
but when it’s personalized, “when people give
or take offense.” I’ve just never seen
the point of it. I’ve never seen that it’s
taken anybody anywhere. – Do you sense that
one side of the aisle is better at that than another? – Yeah, absolutely, I’m
really starting to sense– – Do you think there’s
a reason for that, like a deep reason for that? – Yeah, I do, I
think Douglas Murray may have tapped
it again as well, and I think it’s getting
worse, not better. A very clear thinking
person from the left said to me quite
recently, he said, “I was quite deep into
my life before I realized “conservatives could
be nice people.” He said, “I’m from the left,” and he just looked me straight
in the eye and he said, “John, understand there’s
a fair bit of truth “in the old saying that
the right thinks the left “is misguided, but the left
thinks the right is evil.” – Dennis Prager, I
quote it constantly. – Actually, it wasn’t
him who said that to me. – It wasn’t?
– No, it wasn’t. – I’ve been quoting
his quote forever. – No?
– Yeah. Oh, someone else said it to you. – And he might have been
reflecting what Dennis said. I don’t know, but I hadn’t
heard that connection. No, it was another another
person and he said it to me. Then I think you look at David
Goodhart’s work on Brexit, he brings that out again. He says the families
from the left will do almost anything
to stop their children relating to and
marrying somebody from the other side of politics, whereas someone from
the conservative end tends to be quite
relaxed and accepting of somebody of different views. And here’s where I think, and I don’t want to
misrepresent him, but I think Douglas
Murray makes the point that in the current context, the lack of logic
and intellectual
sort of underpinning for the positioning that much
of the left now dots on issues means that they have
to demonize others rather than get into
a debate about them. – Well, it’s pretty easy if you can just
say they’re a Nazi. That’s a lot easier than
going into the philosophical underpinnings of what you think. – Isn’t it fascinating the way people bandy the
word fascism around? Now, I’ve studied
enough in university. I’m not a bright bear,
I don’t pretend to be. As I said, the only
really smart thing I did was choose Australian parents. (laughing) But I do know what a fascist is, and I do know its origins
and its underpinnings, and so the left pin
this label of fascism on people in a way that reflects that they’re not
interested at all in any exactitude in language. In fact, I would say
ambivalence in language has emerged as the
postmodernist best friend. It’s becoming very
hard to have a debate, not only because of the labels
that are bandied around, but the way in which
words no longer mean what they should mean. So our national broadcaster
never stops talking about the importance
of diversity. The trouble is they
don’t believe in it, so they’ll make sure
that, yes, you can go, that they’ve got every gender. How many are there? – Well, it depends what
time it is, I’ll check. – And if they haven’t
found one to fit, and I don’t want to
be flippant about it, and I shouldn’t be flippant,
but in all honesty, what you will find
is that diversity means anything except
difference in perspectives, in political perspectives. So diversity, what does
it really mean now? And this is a great problem,
very hard to debate, when not only is language
used to demonize others, it’s used to
confuse the argument to make sure you’re not able
to talk on a liberal platform. – So I know we could
probably spend all day talking about the
the frustrations that say classical liberals or conservatives
have with leftism. – We’re falling into the
trap of the great fun of reinforcing one
another’s grievance. – I know, so exactly, so I’m
gonna move us out of that. Watch what I’m gonna do
here, watch the move. The move is, well, then
what what can conservatives, say Christian conservatives
or classical liberals, people that are more
liberty-minded in general, what can they do
right now to make sure that they don’t
lose those ideals? Because we are agreed that
we are facing something that is pretty bad, and it’s
not really rooted in reality or a consistent
philosophical outlook. So I think there’s
a tendency sometimes to go to our worst side, too, to fight that.
– Yes, oh, there is. – What do you think we can do, maybe from a
religious perspective, you could give me
an answer on that? – Look, I think the
first thing I’d say is that we need to
practice what we preach in the sense that we
shouldn’t demonize others. Demonize the ideas,
that’s different. I think we should probably
try and see civility as not just meaning Dave
and John talk politely, and I don’t criticize the way you hold your knife
and fork when you eat. (laughing) At least not publicly.
– Not publicly. (laughing) – But it means much more–
– That’s not a knife. (laughing) – It was gonna get in here
somehow one way or another. – Yeah, I should
tell you one of… I’ll come back to that.
– We’ll get to that. I’ve got several Crocodile
Dundee questions here, don’t worry. (laughing) – I think we need to
see civility, actually, as a tough-minded
virtue that says, picking up on the old
Evelyn Beatrice Hall idea, that I may disagree with you, but I’ll defend to the
death your right to say it. It implies two things,
I’ll respect you enough to say you have a right to
put your ideas on the table, and then the ideas are the issue because that’s where we’ll
get the best way forward. It’s not for me to demonize you. I don’t like your ideas, but
absolutely you got the right to put them on the table. Let’s thrash those out. Now, it’s an unequal
playing ground because that’s not the way
the game is being played at the moment, but I
don’t see any option, and even people like Gandhi
kind of got that, didn’t he? I mean, it’s about forgiveness, that’s something’s washing
out of our culture. I don’t know how
relationships ever work if we can’t forgive, and I
think we have to be prepared to practice that, and say,
“Look, it’s okay, I’m sorry. “I was offended, but that
doesn’t matter, let’s move on,” rather than this perpetual, “I will carry the
offense to the grave.” And that’s the other great
problem we’ve got in our culture because even if you can
try and forgive now, you can’t forget
because social media has stored up
absolutely everything. – So that’s also the
interesting part, is that the asymmetry
of the rules I think is what’s becoming harder
and harder for conservatives. So for example, Justin Trudeau
can show up in blackface. I don’t think most people
think he’s a true racist by any stretch, he
did something stupid. Times change, all
of those things. We’ve had the governor
here, Ralph Northam, also blackface 30 years
ago, but he’s a Democrat, and the point is that they
are both still in power. Well, we know if these
were conservatives or Republicans or whatever,
they would be destroyed. – They would be, I think
that’s a really good example. – Well, because of that then
we see the conservatives going, “No, we have
to destroy them, too.” I think that’s the impulse
that you’re saying, no, we have to
fight that impulse. – Yeah, I believe that’s right. I mean, I think there the
point would be to go to the, frankly, the hypocrisy
of it and highlight that, but to try and avoid doing… The triumphalism,
remember the lessons when we stopped burning
one another at the stake. At the heart of
this unique model of Western harmony
where we learn to live with one another’s
deepest differences was a willingness to respect
another person’s conscience and let them live truly
to that conscience as long as they are not
damaging other people, and I don’t mean by that
occasionally offending people. This idea that you
can’t give offense, that is a way to shut down
debate if ever there was, and if I’m honest about my life, the times in which I’ve
grown have been the times when I’ve been grossly offended because somebody else has
told me something about me I haven’t wanted to hear, and
I’ve had to grow out of it. Jonathan Hart makes that point. We tell our kids, we
bring them up to believe that what doesn’t kill
you will make you weaker. He says actually we
need to build resilience and when we get the setbacks, we’ve got to learn from them and not just be
like a plastic cup that you drop on the floor
and recovers its shape. We actually need to be people when we’ve had a
setback who grow. He calls it anti-fragility, and
our parents and grandparents believed that and look at
what the great generation is, as you call them in this
country, went through. – So is that then just all
then a function of our success? You’re right, our parents and
grandparents went through it, grandparents particularly, at
least in an American context, and because of that, because
of that grit and fight, that then they sort of got
us to unprecedented wealth, a growing middle class
in the United States, and what happened? Well, we got
participation trophies. – Yeah, I think
you may be right. I mean, I grew up with a father who had a horrendous
Second World War, and I was born quite
late in his life, and so I always lived
with a man had seen war. He volunteered, hated it,
could never talk of it, was almost killed in the
campaign against Rommel in the Western Desert,
and that’s shaped me. But then I’m conscious
that I had a desire with my four children to
want a snowplow for them. The tendency was there, I
wanted to remove every obstacle in a way that my father
didn’t try for me. He knew instinctively
that a few challenges were a good thing for
me, and I knew that, too, but I had to pull myself back. It was the instinct all the time was to make it soft and easy. And I think Jonathan Hart’s
right, it doesn’t work, and he goes on to say that
we either encourage children to trust their feelings, your
feelings are always right. We know that’s not right. You have to think
things through. Your feelings must
accord with reality. It’s just dangerous
to feel something. I feel that water would be nice and that the signs saying
that there are sharks in there shouldn’t get in the way
of me having a good swim. And then the other one, this
problem that gets to the heart of what we’re talking about, we teach our children
that the dividing line between good and bad
is between people or that life is a battle
between good and bad people. That’s a disaster,
it’s a disaster. – Yeah, most people
on the other side believe that they are good, too. They may be wrong. – Well, not only that,
we’re all a mixture. And why can’t we
go on a journey? You write quite a bit about how you’ve been on a
journey politically. Well, isn’t that a good thing, to think things through and
to learn from your mistakes? Forgive me, it’s
not for me to say that you’ve made mistakes or
whatever, but I know I have. – I have absolutely made
mistakes, I promise you. – Yeah, but you’re not allowed
to know in the lexicon, of those who hold the
microphones in our society. And you see that
with social media. – Yeah, the thing we were
talking about earlier, you make a mistake and
it’s brought up against you 30 years later to keep
you out of public office, when you might have grown
enormously as a human being, and you might have asked those that you hurt or
that you misjudged, whatever mistakes you
made, for forgiveness. You’ve grown enormously and you’ve come to
a different place. Why should we not respect that? – Do you think oddly though
that the end of secularism leads us to that place
of unforgiveness? Do you think that is sort of what you were talking
about earlier, that if you remove
all of whatever traditional belief there is, that you will end up in a place
that will be so subjective that how would forgiveness
even make sense in that world? That sort of seems to me where
we’re sort of at the moment. – I mean, this is
a great thing now. It’s all about power,
everyone talks about power. It’s very inadequate. Douglas Murray says this. If you’d walk up to most
people on the street and say, “What matters to you
most,” they won’t say power. They’ll talk about love, they’ll talk about
relationship and so forth. But I think relationship
in the Western model draws an enormous amount
from our understanding of that thing called the cross, and the central message
there was a death, a life surrendered
for our enemies out of love, loving
your enemies. We can’t even love our
friends half the time. (Dave laughing) We need to learn to
love our enemies again, which is why I think I’m
all for vigor in debate. I love what you do, I love
what Jordan Peterson does. I mean, this is a big
part of the picture. You’ve got enormous
intellectual vigor coming back into Western life, and that’s tremendously
encouraging, and it’s an enormous privilege just to play a tiny
little bit, I hope, in facilitating that
with my own website, for example and so forth, but I say this is
tremendously encouraging. But we’ve got to
break the very model that’s brought us to that
place in the first place, which is the
rejection of the idea of the respect and recognition of the worth and
dignity of others. – Are you amazed
how this is a truly worldwide phenomena right now? So that’s why I
started the interview by saying that you sent me
this email three years ago, and then flash-forward
basically two and a half years, and I’m in Australia and I’m
doing this event with you, and everyone in that
room knew who I was, and now most of them
were there for Jordan, I can see that point,
but the basic idea that what we’re talking
about in America is the same thing you’re
talking about in Australia, it’s the same thing they’re
talking about in France, they’re talking
about it in Mexico. It’s not purely a Western
society idea anymore. It’s everywhere now. – It is, it is indeed, and
a couple of observations. The wealthiest
countries in particular where it’s been very
easy for a long time have lost sight I think
of the idea of suffering. And suffering can
be very instrumental in determining
character and resilience and compassion for others
because you understand. We’ve got rid of the idea that
suffering is part of life. We try to pretend we can
build a perfect society, which is why people make
unreal demands on government. We don’t need God anymore,
none of that stuff. We don’t need suffering anymore, so Mr. Congressman, I expect
you to solve every ill. – Give me everything.
– Give me everything. And Mr. Congressman has been
unwise enough too often. If there’s a
congressman listening, please say I could say exactly
the same about what I was in the House of Representatives
or a senator in Australia. We have senators
just like you do. We have a Washminster, and
our House of Representatives is based on the British
House of Commons, and our Senate is modeled
exactly on your Senate, so we call it a Washminster. We’ve just got to
break that cycle again and rediscover some roots. A conservative doesn’t
believe that the people who have gone before
them were lesser, but our culture
now seems to think that those who went before
us have nothing to teach us. That is a fatal flaw. I’ve just been reading
a remarkable story about Alexander Hamilton,
one of the founding fathers who doesn’t get a
lot of recognition because he died early in a duel, and he was a mixed
grill of a man. He was a noble,
highly intelligent, imbued with what might be
called Christian principles, who because of his cleverness
I think became vain and got into silly disputes
because of his vanity, and he died in a duel. But you read his writings
and what have you as he played his part, “The
Federalist Papers” and so forth in establishing the
land of the free, it’s brilliant stuff, and to
dismiss the wisdom of the ages because somehow we’re
cleverer and they were lesser, no conservative should
ever adopt that line. The wisdom we can
learn from those, we’re mad to reject it. We need to rediscover
a lot of it. – It also strikes me as
deeply personally flawed. So you asked me this when
we were in Australia, but I’ve been in the last year, I’d say I’m having a bit
of a religious awakening, or at least a
spiritual awakening, or an awakening let’s say
about belief in general, the importance of belief, because the idea that
somehow I know something so much better or more wittingly than than my parents
or my grandparents or my great-grandparents, all these people who
lived through so much more than I’ve lived through, but
somehow I figured it out, and it has something to do
with all of our technology and everything else,
it’s actually absurd. It’s an erasure of
the people before you, and it feels very
weak and thin to me. – Well, terrific,
that’s wonderful. (laughing) – I guess that
wasn’t a question. You’re happy with
my own answer there. We’ll discuss that on your
podcast, how ’bout that? All right, how about let’s
shift a little bit all together. Can you just talk
a little bit about what an American watching this should know about Australia
that we have no idea? There’s sort of this
idea, there’s okay, we know Crocodile Dundee,
we know boomerangs and kangaroos and koalas,
okay, blah, blah, blah. I absolutely, for the 10 or
so days that I was there, I loved every second,
every moment I was there. I thought people were
absolutely joyful and fun and interesting. Now I know I’m traveling
in certain circles where I’m gonna meet a
certain type of person, but people that were
coming up to me everywhere, and the weather was great, and just the events
we did were fantastic. But what do we not
know about Australia, besides you’re a big
landlocked country, and there’s kangaroos
running down the highways? – Well, it depends
where you are, right? – Well, when we were
going from Canberra– – Canberra to Sydney.
– To Sydney, yeah. – You saw kangaroos?
– Yeah, yeah. – Yeah, yeah, you would. That’s an interesting
question, isn’t it? ‘Cause sometimes Americans
I think probably don’t know a lot about Australians. – No, I truly don’t think we do. – I got lost in the middle
of your country once. You were talking about knives, This is a true story, and
I had a little rented car which had Missouri plates
on it, but I was in Kansas. I was looking for a
good friend of mine who lives right in
the middle of Kansas. I got lost on Sunday afternoon. I pulled up outside a
little weatherboard house, timber house, and
there’s a lady there with a pet raccoon
on her shoulder. (laughing) A pet raccoon standing outside. – Welcome to America. – And three children,
so a girl about 15 and a boy about 12,
and a younger lad. And I pulled up and
I was frustrated. I don’t about you,
but when I get lost, and this is pre-bandwith days, this is in the mid ’90s. I wind down the window
of this little car. I say, “Excuse me, ma’am,
I’ve got myself lost. “Can you show me where
I am on this map?” Well, the boy here,
he’s about 12, he looks straight up at
his mother, and he says, “Hey, mama, this dude talks
just like Crocodile Dundee.” (laughing) Well, she grabbed those kids
like a hen gathering her chicks and pulled them back
out of danger’s way, as if to say he
might have a knife. – He was the good
guy in the movie. (laughing) – And she pulls him around
the front of the car. He had one eye on
me, the other one, I think she said, “Look
at the license plates.” Well, she sees them and all the
tension goes out of her body and she says to the kids,
“It’s all right, you can relax. “He’s not from Australia,
he’s from Missouri.” (laughing) – That’s a strict
Missouri accent he’s got. – I said, “Actually,
your boy’s right. “I am from Australia.” And she said, “Did
you drive here?” – That’s hilarious. – Yeah, it’s a true story. I got to tell George Bush that
and he laughed his head off. (Dave laughing) – That’s a hell of a drive,
’cause that flight ain’t easy. So, you know, come on, the
drive is really gonna be… – That’s right, it took a while. – The drive’s really
gonna be pushing it. But what should we know
about Australia really? – Well, Australia was settled after America
became independent. The traditional wisdom is
that the Brits were looking for a new place to
dump their prisoners. In fact, it was nowhere
near as simple as that. They knew there was a
big land down there. They wanted to put
their flag on it before the French or the
Spanish or the Russians, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. It’s the same size
as continental USA. It was a prison settlement. Interestingly, the convicts,
of course, were pretty wild, and there are all
sorts of enlightenment and Christian thinking went into how can we turn
these people around? How can we rehabilitate them? There were those
who didn’t want to. They wanted to treat
them like slaves. Interestingly enough, the
signing order said no slaves in the new colony, one of the
first places in the world. When slavery was still legal right throughout the British
Empire and in America, it was banned in the
new colony from day one. – Was there a big
fight about that there? There must have been. – No, I don’t think so. It was very quiet.
– Really? – Yeah, there wasn’t,
and then there were those who wanted to see it as
a place of rehabilitation and very sensitive issue,
about arguments too, about could we bring
enlightenment and education and salvation to the
Aboriginal people, and of course that
became very vexed because we have our own great
difficulties in that area, as you do with slavery. – Yeah, I wanted
to ask about that. – And the amazing thing was
that an incredible effort was putting into encouraging
those convicts to marry, and many of them had
illegitimate children, regularize their arrangements, and what emerged were known as
the currency lads and lasses. The first generation
of Australians born
on Australian soil turned out to be model citizens, and in some ways with some
parallels with your country, they built a nation. Now, it’s only 6 or 7% of
Australian agricultural land is high-quality, for example. A lot of it’s desert. So although it’s the same
size as continental USA, it’s nowhere near as productive, although we’re very resource
rich on the other hand. So it’s still only
26 million people, much smaller than America. That’s smaller than
California, it’s fair to say. But it’s one of the so-called
Five Eyes countries, America, Britain, Canada,
New Zealand, and Australia. They share everything. There’s enormous trust,
they’re democracies. Traditionally, we’d look
to Britain until 1941, Pearl Harbor, Australia was
in the direct line of fire, so to speak, and an
unashamed pivot was made to seeing America as the
sort of senior friend to whom we would relate, and funnily enough my mother
married during the war an American serviceman and
lived in America for a while. It was one of those
marriages born at war that didn’t work out. She went back and
married my father, who had been her real childhood
sweetheart, apparently. So I do have some
connections with the place. Our own home was
modeled on a house that she lived in
and loved in America. – Wow, huh.
– Yeah, a little bit of a linkage there. I think the bonds
are quite close. The left in Australia demonizes the Republican
movement in America, and I think misunderstands
the nature of the alliance, but I think in the
current context. Australians look on with concern with the way the world is going and recognize the importance
of America’s strength. I certainly do. We are very committed
to the alliance. – Do you sense that there
is something different in terms of, we’ve been talking
about the left a lot here? I spoke to several classical liberal organizations
in Australia. I sense that liberalism
in and of itself was still kind of
strong in Australia. Now it’s self-selected
group of people I guess that I spoke to.
– Yeah, self-selected. See, I say the same
in your country. – No, no, no, I know, so right, you probably come here
and feel the same thing, and go, “Whoa, it’s
not nearly as bad.” But it depends
who’s inviting you. – It does. – Am I completely off in that? – No, not completely,
I don’t think, but I think it’s a
bit like your country. When I look at America,
and I love this country and I love its can-do attitude, and funnily enough when
I was a constituent, I had about 60 expat Americans who lived right in
the middle of my area and they’d brought
the cotton industry from the West Coast of
America to Australia, and they were terrific citizens. I love their can-do
attitude, they’d have a go, where Australians
can have a little bit of the old British, you
know, the world is miserable. (laughing) We’re out here living, and the government should
sort it out, these Americans. I learned a lot from them
just about a positive attitude and having a go,
because I suppose they were greatest
generation products really. And it’s very
important to understand that Australia didn’t fight for
freedom, it was given to us. A lot of Australians would say, “What the heck are you
talking about, John? “Think about our past, we
had to forge a life in a…” All that is true and
Australians have fought hard to defend freedom, but
our Democratic traditions and the institutions of freedom were really bequeathed
to us by the British with a fair bit of
input from America. So when the Australian
Constitution was being written, we had the best perceived wisdom from what I would
say was a great protestant stream of thinking, filtering through the
best of the Enlightenment, and the Australian
Constitution proven to be a very robust document
that secured our freedoms. We don’t have that same
strength of commitment that’s still in this country in certain strands
of your public life
that’s richly endowed with the deep
commitment to freedom that came out of the
independence struggles, because it was, as I say,
we largely inherited it. We’re very fortunate
in that regard. We’d been prepared to defend it, but we didn’t have to fight
to get it in the first place. This is particularly
evident in our universities where there’s a remarkable
lack of commitment to the Western canon, to an
understanding of our culture. Here you still have great
liberal arts schools. – It’s starting to teeter
here, too, for sure. We have major–
– It’s still stronger than in Australia.
– Yeah. So it’s there in Australia,
but it’s not as strong. However, the the public debate has become much more engaged
and vigorous in recent times and the recent
election in Australia was very, very clear cut. The coalition which is a
sort of center-right grouping was not expected to win. They’ve been in a bit of chaos. They’ve chosen a new leader,
but Australians were sick of the revolving door
leadership stuff, but they decided this leader actually represents
the Australia that we still have a
great attachment to. And I think in a way
that last election two or three months ago was
a giant hit the pause button. It wasn’t just about the two
parties economic policies, important as they were. It was also Australians saying, “We’re getting a bit
sick of being told “what we can say and
therefore what we can think. “This stuff’s
getting out of hand, “and the other side’s too
keen on it for our liking.” – So are you enthused
then that obviously the election basically
went in the direction that you want it to, but
that’s seemingly also happening in other parts of Europe.
– Yes. – There’s been a couple of
surprise elections lately, and even if you were to look
at the Canadian election, which is obviously not
Europe, although Trudeau won, it’s going to be a
minority government. So there is something when
people are looking for hope, that’s one of the
questions I get the most. It’s like I have all
these conversations, and people go, “All right,
Dave, we can start understanding “the ideas now, we can
have these conversations “a little bit better,
but where’s the hope?” But the hope is
that there have been in the last two or three years a couple of elections that
have been sort of center-right sort of sensible governments. – Well, I think that’s right, and the other thing, I think
the great danger there though is particularly
in Europe I think, and I don’t want to sound
anti-environmentalism, but I think what’s happened
with the environment movement is it’s moved from the
scientists and from academia and from solid policy thinking into the area of emotion
and populism itself. And so you’ll see
knee-jerk reactions, which may instead of helpfully
decarbonizing the economy in Europe will
de-industrialize it, and then with their levels
of indebtedness and so forth, I’m not sure that’s
going to be very helpful. I mean, the issue if you’re
worried about climate remains frankly India and China. When you look at
the cleanup here– – Right, no matter what
we do to clean up here– – It’s never enough. No, that’s right, and you’ve
made enormous progress. Your emissions per
head is really, it’s quite a remarkable story. It doesn’t get much credit, but as I understand
it, it’s quite a story. To turn it back and ask
you a question of this, you’ve been to Australia, you
were with Jordan Peterson. I don’t wanna put
words in your mouth, but there are a lot of
young people turning out. They seem to be saying,
“The empathy culture “doesn’t really offer
us what it promised, “there has to be a better way.” Was that your impression? – My main take was that
people were desperate, and this this was worldwide. I definitely saw
this in Australia, but everywhere that we went, in Europe, in the
States, and Canada, I saw the same thing, which
was people desperately wanted to think about
their lives seriously. That was the overriding theme. So even the way, I mean
I always reference this, but I was amazed it took me a
couple of shows to realize it but suddenly I started going, the amount of people, the way
they dress at these shows, they’re kinda dressed like
us, most of them, young guys, And I have told this story
about how when I was in Sweden, I was at H&M, and I was
buying just a baseball cap, and I’m standing on line, and the guy in front of
me is telling the cashier he’s buying his first suit because he’s going to see
Jordan Peterson tonight, and then the cashier says, “I’m going to see Jordan
Peterson tonight,” and then he looked at me
and he goes, “You’re Dave.” And it was like this is crazy. I’m on the street in Stockholm, I’m just at a
store in Stockholm, and here are young people,
these guys were 22, 23. All they wanted was to just, I mean, to quote the
book right there, they just wanted to
get outta the chaos. So that was the overriding
theme that I felt. – I think there’s
an element too, a lot of young people
feel rightly I have to say insulted by the modern debate, that divides them into
victims and oppressors, victims and victim makers. – It’s such a simplistic
way of looking at the world. – Look, both you and I
could invent a narrative that says we’re victims. – You’ve got a cough. (laughing) – That’s right, that’s
what I got in England. – I’ve got a bum
knee, we’re both… (laughing) – That happened in
Australia, I suppose. – Oh, I was running
from a kangaroo. (laughing) Actually, I was running
from a syphilitic koala. I did not know that the koalas
all have syphilis basically. – Yeah, it’s very tragic. It really is, it’s quite
a sad story, chlamydia. – Oh, is it chlamydia,
not syphilis? – Yeah, same sort of thing. Both of us could be
painted as oppressors. I’ve done things that
are wrong, I know that. But to divide us in that
way and to set us at enmity, this incredible
desire in the West, it seems now to set
women against men, race against race, and
generation against generation, now we’ve got this sort
of despising of adulthood. We’ve got to listen
to the children. Some academic in
Britain the other day proffered the children from
six on should have a vote because they have
wisdom that adults… Have we taken leave
of our senses? But you see, we’re all
at war with one another, and I actually think a
lot of people are saying, “I don’t want to be
at war with everybody, “and I know I’m
not always perfect “and I’ve done the wrong thing, “but basically I want
to be a decent person.” And I saw Jordan talk to an
audience of 1,000 in Chatswood. Oh, it’s changed my
outlook on things a lot. It was enormously
encouraging in some ways because there were a
heap of young men there. He walks onto the stage, they
give him a standing ovation. Now he’s not a celluloid hero, he’s not a global celebrity in
a sporting sense or anything. He’s there to say, “You’re
not the people you oughta be. “Life can be tough and terrible. “Go back to your bedroom,
sort yourself out, “then go out and be noble.” “And an empathy culture
or a victimhood culture, “it’s not going to
solve your problems.” And they responded. In other words, he’s calling
out their better angels at the very time as he’s telling
them they’re not as good… We all need to hear we are
not as good as we think we are nor are we as bad
as we think we are. That’s the great
irony, isn’t it? We’re lost in a
lack of self-esteem. We’re over-bloated with pride. We’re such complex beings,
we’ve got it all wrong. But here are people
looking who are saying, “This isn’t good enough, “and I want to
rebuild relationships. “I want to be a
responsible citizen.” I’m enormously
encouraged by that. – Do you think some of this
is just the nature of the fact that the internet exists,
I can put this video out and someone in
Australia can watch it. – Yes, absolutely.
– The same moment someone in America can,
and because of that, that’s great, obviously,
at some level, but the negative of that
is that we’re constantly exporting ideas, good
and bad, all the time. We’re commenting on everything. Everything’s going faster
than we can possibly imagine. We have no idea how this
is all affecting us. So perhaps for the first 20
years let’s say of the internet, it was good, it was bad, it was causing tumult,
it was fixing things, it started revolutions, it
sort of ended revolutions, I mean, all of that, and
now maybe we’re sort of, I mean, this would
be the hopeful part, is that we’re sort of
maturing to the point that some of the things
you’re talking about, it’s like, okay, we can have
that battle of ideas forever, but now maybe the the
global conversation has to be how do
you fix all that? – I think there’s a
lot of truth in that. Niall Ferguson talks about
how the greatest parallel from the internet age is
probably the printing press, and it resulted in a
lot of chaos initially, but in the end, of
course, it was responsible for the spreading of wisdom
and of learning and of ability to, if you like, share, that
transform the way that we live. And so this thing
called social media that in some ways has
been so disastrous, and I think has
unquestionably helped spread the victimhood
culture by the way not just to wealthy countries, but even to a lot of
developing countries. And frankly, here we are on
the West Coast of America, I think Hollywood’s had
a bit to do with this. A friend of mine pointed out
look at the two Supermans. The first Superman was your
simple, pure childhood dream of the perfect, all-capable,
powerful person. The second one still
pretty effective and pretty impressive,
but he had issues. He was a victim.
– Uh-huh, huh. – That spreads, you
see, it goes everywhere. Everybody watches Superman,
and so now to be a Superman, you’ve gotta have issues, too. And we all have issues, but
it’s how you deal with them. And so I do think that,
yeah, this turbocharging of our ability to take
forward our best thinking and highest ideals
at the same time as we can take forward
the worst is very lumpy. Maybe it’s encouraging that
Mark Zuckerberg has now come out and said that he will
ensure that his platform does allow for political debate, and I see the Democrats
are very upset because they think it
gives Trump an advantage. But the fact that Mark
Zuckerberg is now seeing that free speech
is really important for minorities and
for the oppressed, he said that as I understand
it, and he’s right, that surely is a pointer that’s
encouraging, do you think? – I think it’s
basically encouraging, and I mean you know
my feelings on this, I would prefer
that the government have nothing to do with
the tech companies. We know that there’s
high-level conversations and we know that there’s ways
that they’re tied together that maybe aren’t as
pure as as I would like. They just are. But where do you fall
on that, actually? Because when I was watching
the congressional hearings where they’ve been grilling
Zuckerberg over and over, I’ve basically always
been against intervening and I would hope that
competition and human ingenuity can solve some of these things, and I’m working on
some of that myself, but I thought as
I was watching AOC and and some of the more
far-left Democrats grill him, I thought the people that
are calling for intervention are saying those are the people you want to hand the power to. Are you nuts? So in a way, they’re
just outsourcing
their tyranny to him. – Well, I’ll tell you
exactly what I think. I hope America displays
the common sense and the leadership on
this that Europe hasn’t, because all of their
emphasis has been on, “Oh, you terrible
platform providers, “you clean up your act or
we will do it for you.” – Yeah, and of course they
don’t have the protections around speech that we have here. – That’s right, a
very important point. Everyone forgets
that about America. Your defense of free speech
is robust, second to none. It’s the American motif. – So you guys, as great as the
Australian Constitution is, there’s nothing in
the Constitution that it directly enshrines
absolute free speech, right? – Not the way that yours does. It assumes it more
than states it, I think would be
the way to put it. Yeah, and there haven’t
been the amendments. Australian people have
been very reluctant to amend the Constitution,
incredibly reluctant, and the mechanism is set up to set the high bar
quite high as well. – So when you see these
laws, the hate speech laws, and then you see
social media crackdowns that happen in Europe, and then sometimes
people’s Twitter accounts, American people’s Twitter
accounts get deleted because they’re violating
a Pakistani blasphemy law or something, how
worried are you that some of that could
get over the ocean and get to you guys? – Well, it’s always a concern, but to come back to
the essential point, my great hope is that
America calls this right. See, the problem and where
you get caught, of course, is we do expect them
to pull down stuff that might be facilitating
child pedophilia or instructing kids
in how to make bombs. And so you gotta
draw a line somehow between protecting free
speech and open debate and getting over this
issue of hate speech. I mean, it’s just used
to club everything. – So how do you actually
draw that line though? Because, of course,
those two examples, nobody wants child porn online, nobody wants Isis propaganda, or how to build a bomb,
something like that. – That’s why I’m so
encouraged by what I understand Zuckerberg said. Surely in this country, if we can just get above the
personal and the acrimony and appeal to the better angels with America’s tradition
of commitment to freedom, you get people to do what
Mark Zuckerberg’s done, in saying let’s sit down and talk about this
properly and maturely, so that we can protect
robust free debate at the same time
as we deny oxygen to things that are
truly dangerous, because the free
exchange of ideas, even if many of them are
offensive, builds freedom. There’s a sharp
difference, we know that. Let the sun shine
in on bad ideas. Don’t push them underground. Different matter altogether
when you’re talking about facilitating evil people who are intentionally
going out to blow people up or to subject them to
sexual harassment damage. – Are you hopeful, would
you say that you’re… How would you describe your
general outlook on life? – It’s a race against
time, and as I would say, see, the world has
changed dramatically in strategic terms as well. We’re very conscious
of that where we live. And so the idea that somehow
or other democracy has won out, that Francis Fukuyama,
the idea end of history, that we’ll all be free,
open, democratic, capitalist societies led by America is really over already, and
it happened very quickly. The world is now a center of
competing power constellations. I remain hopeful that America, because of its pivotal role, it was an interesting comment made in the Australian
Parliament by Tony Blair. He said, “Sometimes
we like to criticize “our American cousins,
but the reality is “that no great global challenge “can be managed without
their full involvement.” So I remain hopeful that
America will rediscover a higher degree of
unity and purpose for the sake of humanity, if I can make that
appeal to Americans. I’d put aside some of this
terrible polarization. I think Arthur Brooks now talks
about it’s not just anger, it’s an anger plus
disgust equaling contempt, and that destroys relationships. We’ve got to end this business where we’re tearing
ourselves apart and not focusing on
our common citizenship, and we need to do
that globally as well. The leadership role
is really important because as I say I
think it is a race, anything could go wrong
strategically globally, and in that case,
people who love freedom, led by the Americans,
will be critical in whether the world
breaks the current stalling of the opening up of
democratic freedoms that followed the falling
of the Berlin Wall, or whether it retreats,
and more and more countries see through the
restrictions on freedom and the winding
back of the progress that was being made
democratically. And then the other side
of the foundational issue is we’ve gotta avoid eating
ourselves out from within at the same time as it’s
a race against making sure that we’re ready to
defend freedom globally. I don’t think it’s a
lay down misere at all, but there are good
people everywhere I think who see the dangers
and are stepping up. Let’s hope they’re in time. – That’s a solid closing
statement, my friend, and you’ve been doing
this for a long time from the political side,
and now you’re doing it with all the conversations
that you’re having, and as you mentioned, you
had many of the people, that their books are right
here, have been on your show. It’s been a pleasure, and now
we’re gonna flip the script, and are you gonna
sit in this chair? – Well, that would be good fun. (laughing) I don’t have to.
– We’ll see. That would give me
a position though, a feeling of great
power and influence. – There you go, all right. We’re gonna flip the
script in a moment, and I’ll be doing
“Conversations with John.” And for more on John, you can
go to JohnAnderson.net.au. If you’re looking
for more honest and thoughtful
conversations about politics instead of non-stop yelling, check out our politics playlist. And if you wanna
watch full interviews on a variety of topics, watch
our full episode playlist, all right over here. And to get notified
of all future videos, be sure to subscribe and
click the notification bell.

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100 thoughts on “What Price Will Your Children Pay For Our Mistakes? | John Anderson | POLITICS | Rubin Report”

  • I remember witnessing the no discipline you are better than everyone over protected generation. Seeing these horrable weak entitled brats let me know a horrable generation was comming. No surprise here. The dems & millennials are void of decency & deserve no more compassion than any other marxist communist or authoritarian.

  • Now Dave you just gave Trudeau a pass and yet he won't give anyone else that same pass.
    He is an evil man plain and simple. He is trying just like his father Pierre to make Canada a communist country. His father wrote in his book that Liberals would be in power when Canada becomes a third world country.

  • I agree with him about the modern world not believing that the past world had anything wise to offer us. With all due respect Alexander Hamilton was a statist though and a minority of the founding fathers. Most of them were statesmen which is what conservatives should study.

  • One of the great lessons of life is learning that no-one cares about you, really. That's liberating.
    It must be a terrible burden to believe that other people owe you if the idea that no one really cares is lurking in one's mind. It might make you want to dye your hair, wear a black hoodie, and beat up old people.

  • Is this the full interview or another piece? I'm not interested in snippets, I want to put on a whole podcast and do things about the house….

  • @therubinreport If you are prepared to go down the real rabbithole: ask yourselves 'who do 'we', we as in the public, the governments, owe this debt to?' I dare you.

  • "To dismiss the wisdom of the ages because somehow we're cleaverer" really sums-up the thinking of the Leftists that have been driving the U.S. into the ground for the last 50+ years.
    Well said.

  • The right demonises the left ideas and those on the left think they are being personally demonised. The left demonises the right personally and those on the right think they are not listening to their ideas. Right = Politics is communication. The Left = Politics is personal.

  • I'm sick of the lefts stupidity, immaturity and hatred.
    BTW CO2 isn't a pollutant! CO2 is to plants, trees, vegetables and fruit as Oxygen is to people and animals.
    P.S. CO2 is at the lowest 10% than it's been for the life of planet Earth.

  • The problems begin and end with fiat money powered globalism. Any suggestion we can remedy this with philosophical meanders into culture is delusion.

  • My problem is I'm becoming what I hate about the left! I'm so sick of their emotions running over facts, I don't want to listen to any of what they are saying from the middle.

  • Diversity is no strength by default. "No one is more hated than he whom speaks the truth." The youth should not be indoctrinated into passivity at their own behest. They should do whatever necessary to maintain, including gulag'ing the elders and minorities if they continuously attempt to ignore reality and force societies of civilization to replace themselves with others. Let it self destruct if the sons must pay for the sins of the fathers and the daughters must whore themselves out. No more lies and fun times ahead.

  • Sad he didn't properly critize the current "right" in America. What has the "right" done to indicate that they care about throwing away our children's future. They have blown out spending and not even attempted to touch entitlements.

  • Thats why spidermans the greatest. Has issues, lets em get the better of him, uncle ben dies as a result. "With great power comes great responsibility"

  • I listen to John Anderson on his YouTube channel and I always enjoy him and his guests. It was great to see him being interviewed by Dave this time around.

  • It really doesn't seem like hypocrisy matters at all as long as one has a clever retort to change the subject. We've built a post-modern ADHD culture.

  • But how much are we paying for our parents mistakes? How much did our grandparents pay for their parents mistakes? If we performed as well as we could all through history, we would be at least 1000 years further advanced than we are today.

  • I like and have respect for both of these men. But this is the single stupidest video title I have seen in a while. No one gives a shit about the future or in particular their children. Ten minutes of paying attention to popular media and current culture norms makes that VERY obvious. There is almost no truth taught in schools and definitely no common sense. Whatever, I will be dead by my own hand soon enough.

  • John Anderson 2024! Come on US, we can relax the idea of "natural-born" only for presidents.

    I do imagine he was born in a natural way 😉

  • Isn't it obvious that Mr Andersen is right but still wrong? The World's economy worked well, (for some), while there were a few wealthy nations all trying to annually increase their productivity to outdo the other wealthy nations but that required a whole lot of poor nations to exploit in order to get cheaper raw materials.

    Now, though, those poorer countries are driving to increase their economies and outdo their previously predatory wealthy overlords and Australia, which Mr. Anderson notes, has little national debt, was one of the not so wealthy nations being robbed of its raw materials. Previously nations providing cheap labour, in many cases slaves, are now seeking to join those nations annually increasing their economy and there are fewer cheap/slave labour nations to provide the labour and raw materials are getting ever more scarce.

    So bring on the robots and A.I. but that leaves a lot of previously rich nations will full employment with a whole population of unemployed and we see even cities bursting with wealthy idle rich like Los Angeles with the ever expanding, "Skid Row". So how do you deal with, "Skid Row"? Well you don't do it like Los Angeles does. If you have homeless you must provide more homes. You do not provide those homes in the State Penitentiary, you must build them. Who, though, must pay for these new homes? Heaven forbid that the wealthy people just a few hundred yards away in Los Angeles should pay and, after all they have an extreme right wing government who want to be re-elected .

    We now see Westminster with a similar extreme right wing government exiting the World's biggest trading block and they will hope to get preferential deals with the other World economies, (including with the EU. I believe the totally ignorant and rabid Brexiteers will in the not so distant future finally wake to reality.

  • Ricky Gervais and Joaquin Phoenix both gave the Hollywood elite something to chew on during the golden globe. Ricky told them and tech giants to shut the F up about politics and that they are so "woke" that if ISIS started a streaming service their (Hollywood elite) managers would be onboard instantly. Joaquin said to stop preaching about the environment and then take your private jets to parties.


  • As an Australian I had forgotten John Anderson for some reason. Listening to this has reminded me that we actually have had decent politicians in Australia. He is well worth the listen and as an Australian of old school liberal and centrist bent I know what he is speaking off. Many of the most intolerant people I know are on the left of the political spectrum

  • Great interview Dave. John Anderson is one of my favourite Australian politicians and he has such good quality conversations on his channel too.

  • Deuteronomy 5:9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

  • I'm sure I heard John Anderson say that countries in the west were hopelessly indebted 'except Australia'? Not sure what definition of 'hopelessly' indebted he is using but Australia, by 2017 figures, is 101 on the list of countries with external debt at 46.1% of GDP (accoding to EconomicsHelp.org). Not the highest and maybe not hopeless but not good either!

  • John Anderson just explained what has happened to my beloved Scotland.
    All the 'good' Scots were either deported or escaped to Australia and the U.S.!

  • A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the Public Treasury. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the Public Treasury with a result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy always followed by dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence:

    . From Bondage to Spiritual Faith

    . From Spiritual Faith to Great Courage

    . From Courage to Liberty

    . From Liberty to Abundance

    . From Abundance to Selfishness

    . From Selfishness to Complacency

    . From Complacency to Apathy

    . From Apathy to Dependency

    . From Dependency back into Bondage

    ~ Alexander Fraser Tytler

    18th century Historian and Jurist

    Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.

    ~ Ronald Reagan

    If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals. if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.

    ~ Ronald Reagan

    Confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism. Free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence; it is jealousy, and not confidence, which prescribes limited constitutions to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power.

    ~ Thomas Jefferson, condemning the Alien and Sedition Acts

    Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare but only those specifically enumerated.

    ~ Thomas Jefferson

    I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

    ~ Thomas Jefferson

    A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.

    ~ Thomas Jefferson

    I sincerely believe that banking institutions are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity… is but swindling futurity on a large scale.

    ~ Thomas Jefferson

    The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

    ~ Thomas Jefferson

    The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.

    ~ Thomas Jefferson

    That government is best which governs the least, because it's people discipline themselves.

    ~ Thomas Jefferson

    When all government…in little as in great things…shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power; it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.

    ~ Thomas Jefferson

    Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

    When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

    I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.

    ~ Benjamin Franklin

    If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one….

    ~ James Madison, letter to Edmund Pendleton, January 21, 1792

    America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.

    ~ Abraham Lincoln

    Men are born ignorant, not stupid; they are made stupid by education

    ~ Bertrand Russell, A History of Western Philosophy 1945

    I feel this country is being destroyed by it's philosophy. Specifically, by it universities. The most dangerous thing in this country today are the universities, because of teaching the kind of ideas that would necessarily have to lead to the destruction of this country.

    ~ Ayn Rand

    Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.

    ~ Margaret Thatcher

  • The Liberal Govt under John Howard did not set up the future generations to be debt free. The Howard govt made budgetary changes that were only affordable with the highest terms of trade in Australia's history.

    Much of the budgetary largess is slowly being wound back .

  • Towards the end of the conversation, when he was talking about how America has freedom of speech; and Australia doesn’t necessarily (and by the way neither does England really or Canada): it reminded me of the scene from Independence Day where they finally figured out how to take down those big alien ships and a transmitted via Morris code to the rest of the world how to do it. and either a Brit or Australian person who is receiving the code said something like; finally the Americans figured it out. As if the rest of the world was just kind of impatiently sitting on their hands expecting America to come in and save the day like a superhero. It kind of feels the same way in the situation. like the rest of the Western world kind of fucked up and forgot to add in protections for things like speech and self-defense etc. and so now they have to rely on America to swoop in and save the day. It’s like if the justice league was captured by a villain named Dr. Tyranny; and they’re all in some kind of politically correct prison, watching the last superhero who is free, a.k.a. America. and they’re hoping to God that America can somehow save the day because we’re fucked unless they do

  • John Anderson. what a likeable, sensible guy, he is.

    I would disagree only on one of his points based upon PLENTY of first hand experience. Anderson has been deceived by Mark Zuckerberg's forked tongue. What Zuckerberg SAID is not what Zuckerberg DOES. Truth is NOT a leftist value.

    Neither he nor his scam company "respects" alternate viewpoints, at all. Worse, he has fully ramped up his censorship to an absurd, surreal, Chinese level. He actively bans purely factual content. Zuckerberg is a two faced, weaselly little, booster seat sitting, LIAR.

  • Total U.S. asset value = $225T; total U.S. debt of $25T (Federal debt = $21T plus State and local debt of $3.8T); total U.S. annual GDP = $20T. If the U.S. could magically pay off all its debt today the real value (not necessarily the market value) of a U.S. dollar would decline overnight by about 9 cents. Progressives are convinced that the 9 cents is an insignificant price to pay for equality through social programming.

  • When government pays for its spending by creating money out of thin air, it is a form of embezzlement of wealth by dilution of value. It is theft. It creates moral hazard for society. It gives people the idea that money is nothing. That spending is disconnected from work, creation of wealth and from private assets.

  • Great to hear reason still lives in Australia, though it seems hidden from the world. The idea of freedom is universal, and I hope that both our countries keep that alive.

  • The decline did not start in the 1960s. It accelerated in the 1960s, but it got it's start in the mid-to-late 1800s, with major bumps in the 1910s and 1930s.

  • 25:00 This is the reason Trump won, conservatives were tired of taking the abuse and attacks from Dem during presidential races. You can't fight be Marquis of Queensbury rules if your opponent won't. You will lose every single time. Victor Davis Hanson talked extensively about this, and is much more articulate than I. Love the content.

  • They call everyone "nazis" because they are communists stuck in that leftist in-group fight dichotomy. Looking at world war 2 they fail to see the non-authoritarian party – the free world.

  • "The fact that so many successful politicians are such shameless liars is not only a reflection on them, it is also a reflection on us. When the people want the impossible, only liars can satisfy.
    " – Thomas Sowell

    JA's comment at about 5min mark

  • Probably too late to fix this but audio levels on this seem lower than other interviews… his mic is just too quiet to work with my bluetooth earpiece…

  • I've been friends with a number of Aussies over the years and I love the fact that they still to a large extent take pride in their tough background. AFAIK they have a culture of "the sooner you express that you are offended, then you fail at this conversation." Always admired them for that, even if it also pissed me off!

  • The problem with not having prudent politicians who tell the hard truths, is that they never get elected, so the problem comes back down to the electorate. Then again, those kind of people are not spineless sellouts so rich people who own the media establishment have never given them exposure other than to smear them(if no one knows about you, no one can vote for you). Even in this age of alternate media, where people could actually find out about the candidates, let's face it majority of voters are never going to make that effort, so in the end it revolves right back to lazy/stupid/uninterested/tribal/selfish electorate.

  • Children?! What are those? We want gas, petroleum and money! And to bomb others, laugh and get drunk. Let's go Muricka!

  • The distortion of language (combined with neuro-linguistic programming: NLP) is one of the left's most powerful sociopolitical tools.

  • John Anderson used to be the local member for my home town – electorate of Gwydir.

    He talks about the Americans bringing the cotton industry to Australia ("Auscot") = a facility I've passed many times.
    One question I would have asked about was the Australia Gun Ban – which was rushed through when he was a Minister in the Commonwealth Govt.
    He talks about civil discourse and not having contempt for people we oppose, but as one of those who owned firearms, I have bitter memories of that time.
    I watched the whole interview, but seeing him again was confronting.

  • Perpetual victimhood as a means of empowerment. Freedom of conscience. What's the right thing to do vs. what can I get away with. So many pearls of wisdom. And I'm not even half way through. Thank you!

  • How does it go?
    Hard times make strong men
    Strong men make easy times
    Easy times make weak men
    Weak men make hard times

  • PM Howard, Deputy PM Anderson and Treasurer Costello were the last good leaders we had in Australian politics. I think Mal would have been good if party politics didn't cripple him too though.

  • My children paid the ultimate cost for the 60s generation's fractricidal abortion ideology. Their lives.

  • The right think the left is misguided but the left thinks the right is evil.
    The left is naive about evil and the right is naive about the left.
    Great Prager quotes.
    I now know willful ignorance from the left is just as evil as any other malevolent force. Probably worse.

  • i'm an australian and remember john anderson from the howard years of government. but had no idea, until watching this episode of the rubin report, of what an amazing human being he is and how lucky ~for the country~ he rose to the ranks of depty PM. i can only hope that the next crop of polititians share his genuine moral fortitude and intelligence. maybe long form conversations via the internet could be a good indicator of potential worthy politicians?

  • How do you untether people from their sense of victimhood? FORGIVENESS! It's what the African-American people have never done, forgiven those oppressors from the past. They still carry a big chip on their shoulder against whites in general who had nothing to do with it personally. They get together in groups and spark their anger and hate and have negative glue holding their Brotherhood of Pain together. They need to collectively forgive the caucasian race for the past just as the Jews have forgiven Germany.

  • Thoroughly stimulating interview. John Anderson is underrated, in my opinion. You could do another five interviews with him, each probing a different angle. Thanks for sharing.

  • The part this misses is that this 'Marxism' is HUGELY funded and pouring in through the internet – social media and hate blogs, through Big Tech, Big Media and Big Business- these people and what must be countries hostile to the West are intentionally FUNDING this radicalisation in young idiots what tap screens all day.
    It is not ending up in their empty Twitter-heads by accident or by consideration. It is a brand they join without thinking – like past children would have followed bands. They are following videos and blogs. Nothing more.