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Michael Malice: Totalitarianism and Anarchy | Lex Fridman Podcast #200

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Key Ideas/Notes

::: It is the job of writers to keep civilization from destroying itself. The family is the unit of society. A totalitarian regime (such as the one in North Korea) goes after this family unity, and your future generation will suffer for your sins. This is almost incomprehensible for western people. It is easy to be brave when it's only your skin in the game. But when you have a family, it can be hard to be courageous in a totalitarian state. Life is meaningless, but that means that it is _you_ who have the power to create your own meaning. Imagine being a parent and watching your kids without food and knowing they won't get the food. Pyongyang looks like a Russian city with Korean people. (Michael went there) Human beings are animals. Animals are capable of great degrees of empathy, but there's also cruelty. A mediocre person having power and standing between you and your daughter - in need of medicine - and abusing that power is far more common but darker and far more disturbing than a soldier who has orders to shoot people. The day-to-day activities of a totalitarian regime kill you slowly. Take the leap of faith out of mediocrity. A lot of people are not capable of that. Loving getting a bad meal at a restaurant. Pacifism is something really easy to make fun of, but people underestimate how powerful it is. Joy is easier to obtain than love. Turning the other cheek is underrated. Do you want to turn the other cheek? Or stand on the ground firmly? It can be more lucrative trying to find the middle ground. Sometimes, when you are kind to someone, that someone might find you less attractive. Humans are weird. Anarchism is not a location, is a relationship. As technology improves and its wealth increases, which is a function of free enterprise, you will have more choice even within a monopoly. The anarchist view is that the Government is like a subscription service. Anarchism can be summed up in the following sentence: _You do not speak for me. Everything else is application._ War is the state of its worst. We teach children in school that war is the last resort. The media punches this whole thing back, takes the concept of war, and makes it sound like a commonality. Politicians have done more evil in the war on drugs than did the people that are supposed to be the criminals. Animal Farm by Gorge Orwell is one of Lex’s favorite books. An allegory (Lex thinks) about the Soviet Union and the Russian Revolution of 1917. Animals overthrow the humans and become as bad or worse than the humans.

Question

If we lived on this farm, which animal would you most rather be? The bigs? Horses? Donkey Benjamin? The Raven Moses? The humans? Mr. Jones? The dogs or the sheep? Michael Malice’s answer: _the pigs, he’d be a cop._ The book works for most totalitarian dictatorships, not only for the Soviet Union.

Relevant Mentions

[[Emma Goldman]] [[Albert Camus]] [[George Orwell]] [[Nicolae Ceaușescu]] [[Kim Il-sung]] [[Kim Jong-il]] [[Kim Jong-un]] [[Martin Luther King]] [[Leo Tolstoy]] [[Gandhi]] [[Jeff Bezos]] [[Alexander Berkman]] [[Johann Most]] [[Noam Chomsky]] [[Herbert Spencer]] [[Randolph Bourne]]

Books, essays, papers, videos

::: Reflections on the Guillotine written in 1957 by Albert Camus Five Chimneys: A Woman Survivor’s True Story of Auschwitz Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl The Anarchist Handbook by Michael Malice Video: Nicolae Ceausescu - Last Speech, Trial and Execution - History Channel (ENG subtitled) The War on Small Business: How the Government Used the Pandemic to Crush the Backbone of America Anatomy of the State by Murray Rothbard unfinished work "The State" by Randolph Bourne --- "War is the health of the state.

Philosophies, concepts, misc.

::: Existentialism Anarchism The Peter Principle Absurdism Machiavelism Game Theory The Prisoner’s Dilemma Anarcho-communism Progressive-economics Decentralization Blue Pill Politics

Quotes

“Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it.” “Rather be naive than a cynic, because the cynic is a hopeless man who projects his hopelessness to the world at large.” “Better to rule in Hell than serve in Heaven.”

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