With Jocko Willink: The Catastrophe of the Utopian Soviet State

With Jocko Willink: The Catastrophe of the Utopian Soviet State


This is Jocko podcast number 155 with me Jocko Willington On the island The dead were piling up In the mission report the head of the convoy wrote At 2 pm. On May 20th. I went to the island of Nazino with commander Tsepkov There was a terrible scramble people crowding and fighting around the bags of flour Dead bodies everywhere a hundred or more and Lots of people crawling about and crying give us bread boss. It’s been two days since we’ve been given anything to eat They’re trying to make us die of hunger and the cold They told us that people had begun eating the dead bodies That they were cooking human flesh The scene on the island was dreadful appalling On May 21st alone The three health officers counted 70 additional dead bodies in five cases, they emphasized The liver the heart the lungs and fleshy part of bodies had been cut off On one of the bodies the head had been torn off along the along with the male genital organs and part of the skin These mutilations constitute strong evidence of cannibalistic acts in addition they suggest the existence of serious Psychopathologies On the same day May 21st, the deportees themselves brought us three individuals who had been caught with blood on their hands and holding human livers Our examination of these three individuals did not reveal any extreme emaciation And there’s an elderly local peasant woman who reported the things we saw People were dying everywhere they were killing each other There was a guard named Costilla Viniq off a young fellow. He was courting a pretty girl who had been sent there. He protected her One day he had to be away for a while And he told one of his comrades take care of her But with all the people The comrade couldn’t do much People caught the girl tied her to a tree caught off her breasts her muscles everything they could eat They were hungry They had to eat when costia came back She was still alive he Tried to save her but she had lost too much blood. She Died That was the kind of thing that happened When you went along the island you saw flesh wrapped in rags Human flesh that had been cut and hung in the trees And that right there is from a book called cannibal Island by Nicolas Werth Who’s written books about communism I think his most famous is the black book of communism and cannibal Island specifically breaks down one of the small individual nightmares of the Soviet gulags But the nightmare Was not small And it certainly was not specific. It was a widespread and it was broad and It was almost incomprehensible And very little about it would be known or not for one man Alexander Solzhenitsyn Who? not only survived the gulags but lived on to write incredibly detailed and Very well researched two books about the gulags. Some of them were fictionalized Like a day in the life of Ivan Denisovich and for the for the good of the cause, but most comprehensively in his three-volume tome The Gulag Archipelago and This series is is a massive series and it’s been cut down to an abridged version that was actually approved by the author himself and The abridged version has just been re-released in Europe with a foreword by a man that I think Repopulated a to discuss that book and among other things. I’m sure a man That I needed to give an introduction to the first time. He was on this podcast, but now who needs no introduction whatsoever a man by the name of Dr. Jordan B Peterson Jordan Thank you for coming back on How does it rough beginning chuckle Jesus Yeah, I Remember when I started listening to you? You would say something along the lines of that you know, we are quite capable of creating hell for ourselves as human beings and That Clearly that situation. I don’t know. I mean that’s that’s that’s hell. Yeah, and Close enough Yeah, and it’s it’s it’s created by us. It’s created by us, which I think is Obviously horrific and the Gulag Archipelago You know you talked about that book a lot and and one of the things that on that book hits you hard, obviously For me, there’s a book called about face by by colonel. David hackworth. I’m from a different World, I guess that you in many ways The book that hit me hardest in my life was was that book? about face and it’s it’s one of those things that when I read it, I started putting it together as like things started to fit and I Remember that and I was wondering I guess from my perspective at what point did you Read the Gulag Archipelago. And at what point did you start to say? Okay, there’s something really really important here for me to try and understand well, I read it back in the 1980s early I would say I’d read some Solzhenitsyn before that I read the ley de Dave day in the life of Ivan Denisovich when I was about 13 or 14 and Then I read the Gulag Archipelago in my early 20s when I was reading a lot of psychological material too when I started reading Jung and Freud and the great clinicians and I was reading a fair bit about what had happened in Nazi Germany at the same time and also Victor Frankel’s met man’s search for meaning and Solzhenitsyn’s book is in some ways like an elaborated extension of Frankle, Frankle Of course described what happened to him in the Nazi concentration camps and it’s a relatively short book and it’s a great book but Solzhenitsyn’s book is it’s it’s much broader and and I would say deeper and the thing that affected me Most particularly was the psychological take on the on the totalitarian states, you know I had been studying political science up to that point and The political science scientists and the economists who I would say were Under the sway of Marxist thinking although not nearly to the degree that they are now were convinced that the reason that people engaged in conflict was basically a consequence of Argumentation over resources, you know, it’s basically an economic argument and I never bought that it never made sense to me I mean, obviously there are circumstances where that’s true But it didn’t seem to be fundamentally the case like tribal warfare isn’t precisely about resources It’s maybe it’s about territory, or maybe it’s about identity, but it never seemed to me to be simply about resources partly because Well a resource is something that people value But it isn’t obvious why people value what they value and so it doesn’t solve the fundamental problem anyways when I was reading Frankel and Solzhenitsyn, I started to more deeply understand the relationship between the individual and the atrocity and That’s what I found. Most interesting was that Frankel’s claim and Solzhenitsyn’s claim as well that it was the moral corruption of the citizenry that allowed the totalitarian catastrophes to occur and that that in some sense was the responsibility of every individual in the system who looked the other way or who participated actively I mean even in the gulag camps Themselves they were almost all run by the prisoners there wasn’t enough Administrative manpower to run the prison system without the cooperation so to speak the prisoners So it is it is a surreal sort of hell where? You imprison yourself and Solzhenitsyn’s fundamental claim and this was true for Frankel as well and also for vaclav havel who eventually became president of Czechoslovakia, or at least of the Czech Republic? I don’t remember which you know, they believed that it was the individual proclivity to accept lies that Fostered the ability of tyrants to destroy the state and then Well, and that also led to complicitous with regards to all the absolute atrocities that were occurring in both the Nazi state in the and In the Soviet state and I think that’s true when I read like I read Solzhenitsyn’s books and a lot of the books I read about Nazi Germany – not as a victim and not as a hero, but as a perpetrator, you know Which I think it’s really important It’s something that’s really important to do when you read history is that it’s easy to cast yourself as a victim It’s easy to cast yourself as the person who would have been heroic in the circumstance But it’s also unbelievably useful to understand that there’s a good chance had you been in those Situations that you wouldn’t have been on the side of the good guys, you know, and that’s a terrible it’s really a terrible realization, but it’s It’s necessary realization Again just going back to this idea of what you get out of reading because people ask me how cuz I read books all the time on my podcast and what you just said it struck me as something that’s People have told me I read that book before but I didn’t really get out of it what you got out of it And when I heard you read it I said I was saying wow How did I need to go reread this book? And I think one of the key things is you looked at these books as you were not the victim But the perpetrator one thing that when I read books, I know I read a lot of books mostly about war for me I Always think about the the peep. I don’t know we see myself as the Person that goes and heroically storms the beaches and survives Every you know in a war book there’s these people that get mentioned for a for up for a half a paragraph or for two sentences and They sometimes they don’t even have a name because you know You’re the battalion commander storming the beach at Normandy. You don’t you you’re not gonna name every single person but for some reason and Maybe it’s just my experiences of being in combat when I read about that two sentences of that guy That that gets shot that gets killed that gets blown up. I completely Understand and relate to that person like I don’t just see it as me being the guy that is always winning and always doing okay and always surviving I Feel and relate to those guys that didn’t and and part of that is just because of my friends that I lost in combat like those guys that they’re they’re people and and I think that Key thing of of reading it and going man every single person like when you read about these girl You’re talking about millions of people that were tortured died murdered Every one of those people key word is people every one of those people is a person and to your point every single one of those executioner’s every single one of those murderers is Also a person, you know, there’s a great book called Ordinary men. Oh, yeah. We we reviewed that on this podcast. Right, right and so, you know It’s it’s it’s one of the greatest books written about what happened in the Second World War I think on the end of on the atrocity end because the author does such a lovely job of while it’s a strange way of putting it in this context, but you know it’s about this police battalion that was moved into Poland after the Germans went through and and occupied the country and they were there to Establish order like police do but also to participate in the mopping up. Let’s say That was part and parcel of the war and you know, these were ordinary policemen middle-class guys most of whom had been educated and socialized before the Nazi Propaganda machine really got rolling. They weren’t like Hitler Youth types Mm-hmm. They were ordinary men and they were Brought and they had a commander who? had made an explicit case that if they weren’t able to tolerate the Conditions in Poland that they could go home. So there was no top-down order that you had to do this or else and Then they were you know first of all, they started rounding up while mostly Jewish people men between 18 and 65 and then you know, They started to participate in the entire atrocious mess and they were they ended up many of them taking naked pregnant women out into fields and shooting them in the back of the head and What the author does is outline how that happens to you? you know one step at a time and so it’s a really horrifying book and it’s a brilliant book because There’s no attempt to make the perpetrators Like some creatures that aren’t human like just pure Psychopaths and of course in in a situation like Nazi Germany and and in the horrors of the communist States there was no shortage of places for Psychopaths to prevail But that’s not really the issue. The issue is Well, how does an ordinary person? Come to participate in a global horror. Let’s say and what does that mean about being an ordinary person? And then the next question is well, what does it mean about how you should? Conduct your life and one of the things that I mean I think what happened to me when I read all this material in the 80s was that I became Convinced that there wasn’t anything more important to do in the aftermath of what had happened in the 20th century then to try to build people who were responsible enough as truth-telling courageous responsible citizens, so that the probability would Increase that if they were in a position to make a terrible choice that they would make the right one and I would say this lecture tour that I’m doing which is now Extended over more than a hundred cities Is an extension of the same thing? well I think it’s the same thing that you’re trying to do with your book like we were just looking at My key in the Dragons book, right and you’re trying to lay out a psychological pathway that guides people towards responsibility and courage and truth and all of that and that is the bulwark against tyranny, and it’s Actually the in debts actually at the individual level and we kind of know that Like we we know that in the West I think that’s part of the core ethos of well Certainly the of the English common law system certainly of the American way of looking at the world Is that each citizen is the bulwark against tyranny? And that’s actually true It’s and and that’s a terrible thing to think through because it means that you are Responsible for the integrity or lack thereof of your state and it’s it’s on you, you know And and there’s something great about that because it means that your existence actually matters To you and to your family and and to the broader community in a really major way in a way. That’s much more significant than you might think and that the your proclivity to abdicate your moral responsibility Echo’s way farther than you might consider especially under some circumstances you know in Solzhenitsyn one of the things that’s so amazing about the Gulag Archipelago is his stories not only of the absolute bloody catastrophe of the Soviet state and his Incredibly astute Documentation of the role that the utopian political and philosophical Assumptions of Marxism played in creating the system right? It wasn’t an aberration. It was a direct logical consequence of that Collectivist viewpoint and to document all that but also to tell endless stories about people who were able at least to some degree to not become corrupted even under Unbelievably horrific conditions, you know, and that’s something you also get out of Victor. Frankel’s book man’s search for meaning you know on it and so The the Gulag Archipelago is a story about horror in some sense, but it’s more a story of the triumph The fundamental triumph of the human spirit and perhaps no more Perhaps most evident in the case of Solzhenitsyn himself because he Memorized this book in some sense while he was in the camps and then wrote it under extreme duress Afterwards and it’s an immense undertaking and it’s unbelievably emotionally intense the entire book It’s like one, you know seventeen hundred page scream of outrage Did he just can hardly believe that someone can write at that white-hot? Intensity for such a long period of time and you know, his book had an unbelievable Global impact, I think it sold 30 million copies and it definitely for at least a reasonable period of time made it completely untenable for Utopian resentful utopian intellectuals to ethically justify their Radical leftist collectivism it just blew the slats out from underneath any ethical credibility that communism That that remained of the Communist doctrine by the 1970s and that that’s a hell of a thing for someone to manage on their own It’s a pretty big task So while you were going through that I was thinking myself So I was talking to I still talk to Military folks and I was talking to some military leaders the young leader So like platoon level and company level leaders. So these are guys that are in charge of you know, 40 guys or maybe 150 guys And and you know you can have some real ethical problems and and one of the things that I said to this group was I said Hey in your in your platoon You’ve got a murderer in your platoon. You’ve got someone in your platoon that as a sadist and They were kind of looking at me Suspect, you know a little bit like oh, come on now, come on. What are you talking about? How big is the platoon a platoon is forty guys? Oh, yeah Yeah and he’s got someone in there like that and I was I was actually gonna ask you how accurate I was and then I was Gonna actually say that no matter what you say how accurate is Even if it was even if it wasn’t one out of every thousand you have to act as a leader as if in your platoon You’ve got one of those guys. That’s the way you need to well you look and there’s another book Mmm called The Rape of Nanking we’ve covered that. Yeah well so one of the things that was really horrifying about that book is so imagine that there’s Maybe let’s say that there’s one in a hundred just for the sake of argument that’s really got cruel and psychopathic traits What do you think professionally? What do you think? That number is? Oh, I think 1% isn’t unreasonable. It could be higher than that. I mean it there’s gradations. Right? Right. Yeah, there’s probably a group of 40 people there’s gonna be one guy in there whose Proclivity in that direction is sufficiently strong so that you better keep an eye on them That’s for sure and this is a group of people that joined the military, right? So they’re already you know, you’ve already gotten you’ve already got a group. That’s ok with With theoretically having to kill other people, right? So this is probably you know, so if it’s 100 That’s likely an underestimate. So I think your estimate is perfectly reasonable and it might be conservative what happened in Nanking was that the most sadistic people became the targets of imitation and emulation and That’s when things really get out of hand. Yeah, right so and that’s the same thing with Emil I massacre and and that was so when I was talking this group and I’m getting and I said to him I said you’re looking at me like right now like I’m like I don’t know what I’m talking about like I’m crazy. Mmm Who knows about the meal I mascar and and you know All of a sudden it got quiet because if you know anything about the meal I’m asked her It was a normal group of guys. It was a normal Group of guys there’s a normal company of American soldiers and you know what? They’ve been through some stress. Mmm They’ve been through you know, they’d had their friends killed and it was in Vietnam there was no one really to react against or to Take your aggression out on because the enemy you couldn’t see him. They would hide and it was But then they turned and they snapped and the same thing you had the leader A guy named lieutenant Calley who was the platoon leader who? I’d love for you to do a psychological profile. Maybe you he’s one of these guys. It was kind of like It was it totally insecure about everything right? And so he got those shoulder boards on which is the way the way sultanate Yeah, right, right his his experience beautiful tune leader Yeah And what it did to him and he goes through that this boy Fantastic to hear when he talks about what he did. He know he was looking back saying Oh, I did this and I didn’t listen to this little rampage of things that he how he acted as a commander Yeah I ate the food the good food right in front of my guys when they weren’t good in for I was getting the good food And he took advantage of all the little all the little comforts that you got being in an officer. Yeah Well, what yeah, well, he was trying in the in the whole book and especially in that section Which I think is in vol ii which I think is the greatest of the three volumes, especially the last half of it Which is just absolutely It’s it’s genius level right income Unbelievably compelling and brilliant and yeah I mean he he said that when he was in the camps that one of the things that he did Especially once he started to identify people that he truly admired was to go over his life with a fine-tooth comb and try to Try to remember everything that he did wrong by his own Estimation and then try to set it right in some manner and so there was a that’s a repentance and then a redemption right? There’s there’s a real there’s a real fundamental like a medieval christian undertone to all of that But it what one of the things that’s quite interesting. Is that when you talk about issues that are this serious you’re almost inevitably in a situation where you’re going to find yourself compelled to use some kind of quasi religious language because you end up discussing good and evil and issues of redemption and issues of repentance and issues of conscience and and Sin, and all of that there isn’t language that’s deep enough to get at it. Otherwise and what Solzhenitsyn did was Scour his conscience and try to put himself together Partly because he was shamed he was ashamed of himself in the face of these extraordinarily extraordinary people who seemed to be able to keep their moral compass under circumstances where No one should ever assume that they would keep their moral compass Because certainly like I said when I was reading this the Gulag and other books like that I never assumed that if I was in those Situations that I would have been one of the people who kept their head and we’re able to withstand the temptation to become a trustee for example And to take things the easy way and to lord it over the other Prisoners and to and to adopt that position of authority, you know, it’s like it’s like a head slave among slaves but You know you could say well better to be the head slave than to be the bottom slave and well that’s true in some sense With regards to creature comfort but as Solzhenitsyn point out points out it might be a little bit hard on your soul and that actually turns out to be something of crucial not only crucial importance psychologically, but crucial importance sociologically and politically because if you sacrifice that then you warp the structure around you which is exactly what happened in in the Establishment of these camps, you know in the the soviet union was just one big lie What was their old joke, they pretend to pay us and we pretend to work. It’s like the whole the whole book and The whole soviet union when you when you read about it now It seems like it’s it it seems like a bad joy, it seems like a bad movie You couldn’t move with just the way the way that Stalin would do something and in the way that that order were coming out it seems like one of those cheesy. Um, You know comedic movies about these decisions that they’re making and yeah, it’s surreal It’s it’s completely it’s completely insane You know at one point he’s talking about the there was a new penalty for when they call it clipping corn or or yeah They’re basically a twelve-year-old kid would be starving and go into a field. Yeah and clip a cure of a corn an ear of corn Yeah that happened in the Ukraine during the decolonization, right? It was against the law to go out after the fields were were harvested It was against the law to go out and pick grain off the ground to feed your family Right and the prison sentence was like a tenner which is there a little word for ten years so you’re gonna get you you steal a piece of corn or you pick up corn off the ground and You’re getting ten years. Yeah, you can’t comprehend That that is very hard to machine that yeah work. Yeah, and they were They you know, he’d in the earlier parts of the book when he start going through the trials that they were doing on people. Yeah it’s Completely crazy I can grind Kalka. Yeah Well, that’s why I hate to see the kangaroo courts emerging all over all over the West you know And and and with the university sort of at the forefront of that so we’re building these alternative court systems constantly that don’t follow standard legal procedure and it’s really I Mean we’re messing with things that that we shouldn’t be messing with and yeah the whole that I mean there are there are accounts I believe it’s in the gulag of Applause after ass tell in a speech right where people would stand up and applaud and and they and they’d applaud until until literally the old people were falling over because if You were the first person to stop applauding then you were well, it was off to the camps with you know He absolutely outlines it. So that’s that sounds so crazy to say and he outlines a specific thing that happened It’s that right there these no one will stop applauding him because they’re afraid they’re gonna get ratted out you know, I there but by everyone else, yeah, well been manned by the people who are in fact watching and I mean you know what by the end by the by the collapse of East Germany one third of the people were in for informers for the state and so if you had a family of six people Two of your family members were direct government informers, you know And it’s it’s so it’s it’s creepy in some sense and it’s a very weak word to use in this situation But okay when I was at New York University talking to Jonathan hight about I don’t know it was about a few months ago he just wrote that book called the coddling of the American mind, you know and He took me into one of the men’s washrooms there and there’s a poster on the wall asking students to turn each other in for instances of bias or offensive speech and they have a whole bureaucracy that’s designed to do nothing else, but Adjudicate these instances of biased speech and these posters are up on the walls as if this is something to be proud of You know and the same thing is happening now in Scotland where the Scottish police are doing exactly the same thing They’re asking citizens to turn each other in for for hate crimes, you know and the problem with that is the fundamental problem with that and the the Unsolvable problem is well who defines hate and and and where’s where’s the line drawn? It’s like well anything that upsets me that you say is hate that and then it’s worse than that. It’s like What happens is the people who define hate end up being those who are looking? To take offense so that they can find someone they can define as a victimizer so that they can persecute them morally and justify that inner sadism and those are the people who end up defining the laws and then they mask this with the morality saying while We’re doing this to make our society a safe place. It’s Absolutely. It’s it’s absolutely dreadful and to see that happening in the UK was just it’s just awful because I mean, you know The UK is a centre Assent the center point of the idea of free speech I mean a lot of America Obviously a lot of American ideals America is a great center of free speech but I mean it’s a variation on the English system So to see that happening in the UK is just it’s awful and to see the police doing this and being you know Encouraged by the politicians and and and and to see this put forward as some sort of moral action. It’s just Well, it’s it’s an echo of this kind of catastrophe that that we’re discussing So I think about that sometimes and I also have a tendency to Look at things and let not be too worried about it. Like hey, come on. Yeah, what’s really good? Yeah right And that’s yeah that’s actually part of my personality and part of that comes from my old job. Where Hey, I can’t worry about these little things. Oh, there’s some little problem going over there That’s that’s not gonna be that’s not gonna fact us it’s not gonna and you got to pay attention a little bit Make sure it doesn’t get out of hand But that thing about speech and and you just mentioned the the kulak that sorry still lacks. Yeah. Yeah They were the Ukrainian. They were the Ukrainian farmers who were good at farming when I Read this part it got me worried about my own personal laksa days ago attitude Towards things that I think all that’s not a big deal let me let me read this little section about the about the escalation of the Word kulak. Yeah, and and where it started and We’re dead. Yeah, that’s good. So here we go In Russian a Kulak is a miserly dishonest rural trader who grows rich not by his own labour, but through someone else’s In Every locality even before the Revolution such cruel acts could be numbered on One’s fingers and the revolution totally destroyed their basis of activity Subsequently after 1917 by a transfer of meaning the name kulak Began to be applied to all those who in any way hired workers even if it was owned Eve, even if it was only when they were temporarily short of working hands in their own families, but And that doesn’t stop there the inflation of this scathingly term of this scathing term cuckoo lock proceeded relentlessly and by 1930 all strong peasants in general who were being so-called all peasants strong and management strong in work or even strong merely in convictions the term Kulak was used to smash the strength of the peasantry and I gotta I gotta go a little bit further because Hell of a thing for the Workers Party to do ain’t crazy Yeah They went further though Beyond this in every village there were people who in one way or another had personally gotten in the way of the local activists This was the perfect time to settle accounts with them of jealousy envy and insult These are the people you were just talking about a new word was needed for these new victims as a class and it was born By this time it had no social or economic Content whatsoever, but it had a marvelous sound pod kulaks, Nick and That meant a person aiding the kulaks in other words. I Consider you an accomplice of the enemy Yeah, and that’s all it took. Yeah. Well one of the things I tried to outline in my forward to the abridged version was I was thinking about this idea of oddly enough about Intersectionality, which is uh, like social justice idea you know that the social justice idea is that we’re best defined by our collective identity and that The proper narrative in relationship to our collective identity is one of victim victimizer Which is a replay of the old Marxist doctrine of bourgeois z and proletariat. It’s just in its new guys I mean and that new guys developed at least in part in response to the Gulag Archipelago because the old proletariat bourgeoisie distinction became morally untenable so it just went underground and underwent this transformation the intersectional theorists point out that your Status as a victimizer or a victim is actually the intersection of your multiple identities. And so and that’s actually the Achilles heel of the collectivist notion and we can get into why that is but There’s a horror that goes along with that that people that’s that’s not obvious that I think contributed to exactly why the Russian Revolution went so horribly wrong and that is that So imagine that I could characterize you along five or six different dimensions of group identity It’s pretty easy and while your mail your mail of a certain age your mail of a certain age and economic class Your you have a certain sexual orientation. You have a certain ethnicity You have a certain race that’s six groups right there, and we could continue, you know, your parents had a certain socio-economic class and so did your grandparents and and then your ethnic group had a certain privilege or lack thereof and you’re Attractive or you’re not attractive and you’re intelligent or you’re not intelligent and there’s templeman Temperamental variability like there’s all sorts of ways of characterizing you according to your group. Okay Now we might say that if we were Compassionate people that we would take one of those group identities or more and look at where your dispossessed and victimized Okay And we’re gonna find some dimension along which you’re less privileged than some people like maybe you come from a working-class background Despite the fact that you’re like a straight male and so you can be a victim on that dimension And so and that’s kind of that’s at least in part An element of intersectional theory right? And that may be your your your oppression is the product of your multiple victim like identities But that can easily be reversed because it’s absolutely the case that I can take any person and I can do add Multi-dimensional analysis of their group identities and I can find at least one dimension along which they’re the perpetrator not the victim They’re the victimizer not the victim and as soon as I can identify a dimension along which they’re a victimizer then that justifies their Persecution and so one of the things that you saw happening in the Russian Revolution and it’s very much akin to what you just described was that the the borders of who Who was validly accused of being a victimizer? Essentially expanded to include everyone and and that’s actually right in it’s it’s in a perverse sense It’s right because if you position yourself properly in in the historical flow Then you should see yourself as a perpetrator and a victim equally. Well, it’s not the right way to see yourself at all but if you’re gonna play that game you’re gonna be on both sides of it and Then that issue is and this is related to your idea about you know in your platoon. You’ve got one person who’s sadistic It’s like, okay well let’s even assume that at the beginning of the Russian Revolution that the vast majority of the people who were motivated by communism were actually Compassionate with regards to the dispossessed peasantry now. I don’t believe that but we could say that that was even a significant minority Well, the question is did you just say on it? Mmm-hmm. What was your what was your Hypothetical percentage. Well, well, let’s say well let’s say it’s 20% or let’s even say it’s 50% of people who are genuinely motivated by compassion for the dispossessed, but then there’s another minority Maybe we could even say it was only 10% to begin with who weren’t motivated by that at all they were motivated by the jealousy and the spite and the and and the resentment that Solzhenitsyn describes and they were the ones who were after those to be persecuted The thing is they got the upper-hand really rapidly and it might be because the carnivorous types the predatory types are Much more dangerous and powerful than the compassionate types. Like they’ll take them out instantly We’re we’re willing to step up and smash someone. Yes, most of the people that are saying. Oh, we just want to help Yes, exactly. Well and there’s someone I actually cited a guy named. I think his name was Walter Lots us in the foreword Who who wrote wrote in a journal called Red Terror that if you were interrogating an enemy of the state? You didn’t bother with niceties like their individual guilt. That was a burrs huazi Conceit and that’s that’s a really important thing to keep in mind What you wanted to do is to do a class-based analysis and find out well Are they a member of let’s say the Kulak or the affiliates of the kulaks which is a lovely way of expanding your list of potential victims and then you you Execute accordingly and that would mean well the person that you’re interrogating right or the class member that you’re interrogating and then their children and perhaps also their grandchildren and Latsis himself was eventually executed by the Stellan as somebody wrote to me after I wrote the foreword and told me that that was his eventual fate and I thought well talk about Standing on a chair and putting the noose around your own neck and kicking it out from underneath you it’s like, you know He basically he murdered himself Fundamentally and and you know, you could say in some sense That was the story of the Soviet Union to it to a tremendous degree. Yeah, there’s one part going back to the the ever-expanding people that need to be destroyed There’s a point in the book where he starts he’s saying. Hey, look there’s insects Stalin’s just described or maybe was Lenin was describing these Certain people as insects. You don’t need to be destroyed and then he just that that just starts off with Hey people that are rabble rousers Yeah, they’re insects and and then it just expands and expands and it’s got priests and then it’s got engineers Oh, yeah and physicians and physicians everyone in wreckers. Yeah records That’s that’s the word that they use there that he uses in the book for first basically saboteurs Yeah, and that expands beyond comprehension Yeah, because at every scene problem that there is is the fault of some person out there that sabotage Yeah, and and they they do this show trial and he talks about in the book For I think that I think the phrase that he uses or that they use at the Russian that the Soviets used was Organizers of the famine huh meaning like oh, yeah, you’re starving and these people over here They’re the reason you’re these are the people that organized the famine They’re the Wreckers of production of food, and you bet you bet well, it was either that you know, you imagine that you you you adopt a worldview and that worldview enables you to at least in principle organize yourself with other people and to provide you with a certain amount of Psychological stability and then things go dreadfully wrong, and then you have a choice which is to reevaluate your worldview which is of course what Solzhenitsyn does in the Gulag Archipelago in a very deep ways reorganize his entire worldview or You can look for reasons why you’re right And and these things are happening and Solzhenitsyn talks a lot in the Gulag Archipelago about see he had a moral conundrum When he was in prison, and he started his moral awakening Let’s say and he was trying to figure out how to treat other people who were imprisoned He had a real moral conundrum when a committed communist was dragged into the gulag system which happened all the time he said those people were in particularly dire straits because Not only had they been subject to the entire tyrannical weight of the deceitful state but it was at the hands of their own comrades and friends and then the the the committed communists would enter the gulag and they would still be in there morally superior phase right that that their incarceration was a mistake and that things would be set right and that there was nothing wrong with the system and they would attempt to justify it and Solzhenitsyn was never sure how to react to these people Ethically because on the one hand well They were you know devastated because now there were political prisoners and maybe they got a 20-year sentence and they were in terrible You know stripped of their family and just ruined but on the other hand they were still avid supporters of the very fist that had crushed them and so his eventual conclusion was that until they broke and repented they they weren’t to be allied with they were still essentially on the side of the Wall of the perpetrator and it seems to me that that that’s right. That’s that’s unrepentant. Sin. Let’s say and it isn’t until you What what would you say until you take responsibility for your own complicit? ‘no sin, you’re in your unfair interrogation that you get to join the ranks of of Valuable and suffering humanity again, and so Yeah, it’s that the the extension of the persecution is really something that’s horrifying to see how Who constituted the victimizer the ranks of who constituted victimizer just grew and grew and grew or one of the most shocking groups of? People that ended up in the gulags were the damned Soviet soldiers then it just got back. Oh, yeah That’s the thing you can’t make up you can’t make that up a giving Solzhenitsyn who who was like in close combat with the enemy and He wrote a letter to one of his buddies and said yeah, this doesn’t seem like to be a great decision by Stalin Yeah, and next thing, you know, he’s he’s in yeah and prison. Yeah Well, the stellen stellen decided that yeah, this is something that you you you can’t you can’t believe this Well it is there is this like it’s like, you know, if there’s something satanic at the bottom of this, you know Mythologically speaking. There’s also something that’s like a cosmic. It’s like cosmic black humor It’s like the the sign on auswitch that said work will set you free, you know, and that’s a joke, right? it’s a whole it’s a terrible terrible dark joke and so much of this has the element of of exactly that kind of Surreal, I hate to say humor, but it’s it’s right. I mean Stalin decided that the okay So the Soviet prisoners of war were not covered by the Geneva Convention for the treatment of prisoners of war castellan refused to sign that agreement So like if you were an allied prisoner of the Germans It wasn’t like you were having a great time it like food was in short supply and you were treated pretty brutally But the Soviets were kept separately and they were doing so badly That the Allies used to throw food packets over the fence when that was an option. So the Soviet prisoners of war were treated absolutely dreadfully and and now and Stellan didn’t care about that and then when they were released and went back to the Soviet Union his dictum was that because they had been exposed to the capitalist West or even the Nazi West for that matter that they had now been Intolerably corrupted on ideological grounds and had to be put in the prison camps So that was the that was your destiny as you know, I mean, first of all you were a frontline Russian soldier Which was just brutal beyond belief Their army was completely unprepared for Hitler’s invasion because Stalin trusted Hitler in in his strange way And so they were completely unprepared and of course then fighting in the Soviet Union with its winters I mean you just you just can’t imagine what that must have been like and then to be thrown in a prisoner of war camp at the bottom of the rung and then to be brought back to your country and Then to be imprisoned as a traitor because as a class you’d been exposed to the wrong ideology. It’s like you just it’s it’s it’s unimaginably Vile and surreal at the same time and it is shake your head for me Well, it’s such a shock to read the Gulag Archipelago it you just can’t It’s it’s like it is it’s like Dante’s Inferno it’s like a trip into hell, yeah Yeah, and I guess your that’s what I was trying to say when we started this conversation I was trying to say that it’s like you’re watching this Like like you said, it’s like a bad Comedy movie and you’d think well, that’s that’d be really that way you’d think you know when you take a comedy well One of the things one of the ways you can make people laugh is to take something ordinary And maybe make it much more extreme in the more extreme. You make it the more funny it becomes That’s what like happened here. You’re looking at this thing going. Hey Oh, yeah They seem to be trying to make this funny because who in could ever conceive that you could take your frontline soldiers. Who were Captured and in misery and when they return home instead of treating them like heroes Instead you put them back into a prison the worse one Even you can’t even you can’t even that’s just that’s no no, you can’t make this stuff up can’t make it up No, did you see I believe that movie was the death of Stalin. Did you I did not Oh, yeah but that’s worth seeing because it’s it’s very interesting because one of the things about that movie is that it captures that surreal element because it’s a black comedy, you know, and and There are comical things happening in the movie in that terrible dark way constantly at the same time that in the background Genuinely, terrible things are happening. So it’s that horrible It’s that it’s it’s got that horrible satirical flavor that runs through books like The Gulag Archipelago where you think well There’s just no this is so absurd that there’s no possible way It could have occurred and yet that’s not only did it happen There was like a contest to top the absurdity, you know to to to consider the engineers for example Wreckers is well These people were building the Soviet system to the degree that it was built and then to turn around and accuse exactly Those people of being the ones who destroy and undermine it it’s it’s part of I really think that what’s what underlies this whatever this is and I think this is what manifests itself in the worst of the leftist collectivism is A real hatred for anything that smacks of competence at all Like I I tried to imagine those Russian villages because that come from a small town a small northern town, too so I kind of I tried to imagine so imagine that you’re in an isolated village and It’s a peasant village and the peasants weren’t freed that long ago Right, they were basically serfs until until about the the middle of the second half of the nineteenth century and so they had been emancipated and then some of those people who were Emancipated got a little bit of land and started to have a life you know started to be successful peasants and they were also the people that grew the bulk of the crops because What you see happening in any productive domain is that a small percentage of people do almost all the productive work? There’s a small percentage of productive farmers who grew all the crops, right? And then there’s all sorts of farmers who were only farmers by name and they weren’t successful at all So you have and then there is a certain relationship between being productive as a farmer and developing some wealth They’ll maybe you had a house and maybe you could hire a person or two, you know And which you think would be actually be a good thing, especially if you were also growing food Okay So you imagine you you get a village and now there’s a bit of a socio-economic? pyramid And there’s some people that are doing well and they’re really and they’re and it isn’t the crooked people that are really annoying Though people who like the genuine cool acts. Let’s say that that small percentage of psychopathic types. Who were basically Profiting criminally off the efforts of others. Those aren’t so annoying those people because they’re rich, but they don’t deserve it And so they don’t stand Towards you as a moral ideal that shames you but the really annoying people are the ones who are doing well and deserve it Especially if you’re someone who’s doing nothing and is bitter Okay, so now so there’s the village and you’ve got your people who are doing All right, and then you’ve got a huge strata of people who aren’t upset about the people who are doing well They might even admire them and be happy that they’re around because they’re making the community thrive and growing some food then you have this little this little Strata at the bottom of people who are near do wells and on the more psychopathic end of things and they are bitter and resentful and and Waiting for their bloody opportunity and then the communist intellectuals come into town and say, you know those people that are doing well they actually everything they’ve got is ill-gotten and they They stole it and they stole it from you from you like and look at how badly you’re doing And the reason you’re doing badly is because these these people who are lording it over you and who have all this creature comfort They they took that from you it’s yours by right and so then all that resentment and jealousy and hatred and rage Alcohol-fueled as you might well, imagine has this moral reason to go with pitchforks and and in a mob and surround those houses and to strip them of everything they have and to rape the women and to kill the occupants or to ship them off to the middle of Siberia when they’re where they froze to death because there were No or died of dysentery or or whatever other plague managed to you know Weave its way through these camps and so you have the you have the intellectuals providing the moral rationale for the worst Ethical actors in these small villages doing the worst possible things under the guise of compassion, right? And that’s part of that victim victimizer narrative It’s just an engineering like you could imagine that you can imagine a dark night. You can imagine the winter You can imagine the alcohol you can imagine the rage that Fuels these people who are drinking too much in the pub’s that have been sitting there for the last 20 years like what would you say eating up their own Souls with resentment and bitterness and then someone comes in and says You’re the true victim here and here’s the people that you can go after and then like if you play that on your Imagination you get some real sense of exactly what sort of horror that would produce you know you think about the rape for example or or just the theft or but but it’s the rape that you can really think about us as absolute revenge for all that bitter resentment all fueled by the fact that you know, you’d sat there for the last twenty years being completely goddamn useless and bitter and and and and angry and and and and Fantasizing about the day that would come where you’d have your opportunity God and then the whole country and that was the whole country. Oh It was just unbelievable. Yeah, and I think He spells that out very clearly and he says it’s you know what he’s saying, you know I’m saying that you got a psychopath in your platoon He’s saying that psychopath all that psychopath needs to flip is Is the is someone to tell them that that’s the right thing you do and that’s exactly what happened what you said That’s it those guys that were slightly psychopathic. Yeah, and then it becomes okay I’m the on the head psychopath and you’re in my village and you’re let’s say you’re one of those people that are in the middle Well whose side you’re gonna be on I’m a psychopath if you if you’re not on my side, I’m gonna kill you next Yeah, so you go, huh? No, I’m on your side – yeah, and that’s well. It doesn’t tailor kits not like it takes much pressure On people to have them fold I Mean one of the things you see you see happening right now in our cultures that’s happening to people all the time with these twitter Wars, you know Someone will say something they’ll express an opinion and then they’ll get mobbed by and but only abstractly right It’s not like there’s pitchfork wielding mobs at their house, and I’m not making light of it it’s no it’s no pleasant thing to be mobbed on Twitter, but That’s that’s an abstraction compared to these people showing up at your house, you know And yeah, and what will happen is that people will go through an abject apology, you know And they’ll say well I really didn’t mean it and then now I understand what my privilege is and I see how what I said could have been very hurtful to people and you know, They they wander through that entire apology and fold almost instantly and and that’s under almost almost no pressure compared to what real pressure is and Real pressure is when the Wolves are actually at your door rather than just barking off in the distance But people will fold just when they’re barking in the distance So there’s one lawyer that he talks about in here is the same thing as the DES story the new scribe I forget the guys name, but this guy was like the premier prosecuting lawyer For the Soviet government and he just rips people apart over and over again And as you read about what happens to him sure enough He’s one of the guys that that ended up on the on the defensive and yeah being executed Yeah, like yeah, I see style they built they built a place of butchery and then threw themselves into it, you know, that’s and now and you see Social nets and documents this very carefully. I mean Stalin killed all the people who who were foremost actors in the Russian Revolution Right. So I mean everyone was fed into the great grinding machine, so and and Stalin himself, I mean it looked to me like See, he got himself into something approximating a positive feedback loop, which is a very dangerous Thing to have happen and I think Solzhenitsyn does a lovely job of detailing this as well so it’s like imagine that I have a fair amount of contempt for people to begin with and then I find that people are I’m not a trusting person and I find that I’m Very paranoid about the fact that people are lying to me and then I develop a certain amount of power and a reputation Well, then people really do start lying to me all the time in every gesture, you know because every time they come near me they’re Absolutely terrified and they’re gonna tell me anything that I want to hear and of course then all that does is Validate my view of how pathetic and contemptible everyone is and so and the more that view gets validated the more I think that it’s okay to destroy people because look at how pathetic and contemptible they are how they always lie and all that means is that they lie even more and so this whole thing just spirals out of Control and you know Stalin basically started out as a as the brutal Enforcement henchman for henchman for Lenin right the the killer for hire and not like Lenin was above that sort of thing himself But but he trained Stalin and and then Stalin’s Proclivity to be murderous just kept expanding without limit, right? first of all It was individuals and then it was groups and then it was nations and then well by the end of his life well What was it the plot to destroy the entire world to to to to? to initiate the third world war to wipe out Europe to maybe destroy everything and And like there’s no limit There was no limit to that, you know and there’s some evidence that that’s perhaps why he was killed, you know Because Stalin himself even went too far for the horrible for the horrible What semi? The corrupted compadres that he had he’d arranged around himself he went too far even for them and thank God for that, you know, but yeah, it’s it’s it’s Absolutely. I mean the thing that that the Gulag Archipelago Gulag Archipelago did for me and this was also in keeping as a consequence also of reading young at the same time But but it was certainly the GU like in in large part that did it I would say that in some sense it scared me Straight I thought oh, I see the the consequences of unethical behavior Deceit the willingness to to turn a blind eye so even sins of omission rather than sins of commission just to turn a blind eye the consequences of that are so absolutely dreadful that It’s not Acceptable and I think that’s the right lesson from the 20th century It’s that you you you you you have a much more important moral role to play in keeping things straight Then you want to believe you know, people think well, my life is basically meaningless. It’s like well, that’s quite terrifying It’s like yeah, it’s kind of terrifying but it means you don’t have any responsibility So there’s a big advantage to thinking that you know now if nothing you do matters Then nothing you do matters And so you can do whatever you want and and that’s horrifying Anna nihilistic sort of way, but there’s another kind of horror That’s more associated I think with the horror of hellfire that was characteristic of the medieval christian view is which is something like And if you strip it of its metaphysics It’s something like no you don’t get it The things you do actually do the things you do or don’t do they actually do matter and they tilt the world towards You know something approximating good Let’s say or towards something that very closely approximates hell and that’s actually on you It’s literally your fault. It’s literally your responsibility It’s like man, that’s a terrifying I that’s a terrifying idea, but I can’t see how you can read this literature without Coming to that conclusion, like it wasn’t one that I wanted to leap to You know it’s like as it sits it’s sort of the ultimate in horrifying conclusions that that everybody who Participated in this system was at fault for all of it in and Dostoevsky made the same sorts of claims in in in the last part of the 19th century I mean, he was a very weird mystical sort of person, you know And he he made claims or some of his characters did but on his behalf that you know Not only are you responsible for everything you do? But in some sense you’re responsible for everything that everyone else does too and you think well Obviously there’s a way in which that isn’t true you know, it’s delusional in some sense, but there’s another way in which it actually is true, you know, and so Well, I I wrote a book called extreme ownership and it’s it’s very inner soul. Also all this is a whole Thought here, so, you know when I read the book about face, which is not about leadership. It’s not a leadership book It’s a it’s a book about a guy that was in the leadership position, but he doesn’t say here’s how you lead Here’s what you do here. It’s a book about his experience and what I took away from it, especially because I was in leadership positions In in the military in combat situations that I started seeing all these leadership things that he did and there’s all this crossover because For instance and so for me the crossover was well I Started learning about tactics when I was a young kid because I was in the military and the SEAL Teams and you had to learn about how to fire and maneuver like that’s what you do and Then so you start learning about leadership and then I started training a lot of jujitsu And so those things kind of all fit together and it’s very strange how those things started to weave together in my head that oh if on the battlefield if you want to attack the enemy you don’t do it head-on you you flank them you distract them and then you Flank them you come in from the other side in jujitsu If you want to submit your opponent, you you don’t just grab their arm no, you start to choke them and while they’re defending the choke then you get their arm and As a leader if you want somebody to do something you just don’t bark that order at them you flank them and you let them understand why it’s happening and and you know when I started this podcast that I do I I started off by saying in the beginning I’d say that’s a podcast about leadership viewed through the lens of war and atrocity and The more I did it it didn’t take me very long when I was in waltz It’s actually a podcast about human nature really is what it’s actually about because the better you understand human beings the better you’ll be able to do as a leader because you’ll Understand what’s happening with those dynamics, which I guess is now leading me into some sort of Psychology of just kind of where you ended up with of you read this book and you said you were studying political science when you read this book and then you said oh you looked at the psychology of it and an example that you just brought up and this is just what you learn when you read and when you understand history and when you understand the way people think stalin’s surrounded himself with People that would say yes to him And anybody that didn’t say yes to him. He killed them and I’ll say this again. I’ll talk to military She also killed you if you said yes Yeah, the UH I’ll talk to military for sure but also any business leader we talk to business leaders all the time and You don’t want people you don’t want your subordinates or your superiors When you tell them what to do to just nod their head and say yes You don’t want that now the the the immediate fought especially for a military guy they think they’re Nothing would make my job easier Then if I bark an order at you Jordan you work from you’re a private and nama captain and I bark an order You know, you just shut up and go do it and that seems like the best thing in the world It’s absolutely not true because there’s things that you know on the front lines that I don’t know and if I really want to be a good leader I Want you to push back on me and say hey boss. We don’t want to do that. Here’s what’s going on Let me tell you the situation and instead of men you want to be able to do that You want to be able to teach your subordinates to do that without being insubordinate right? Because then it’s not a power play It’s that your your interests are aligned Our interests are aligned and I actually when I talk to the subordinates cuz I talked to subordinates – yeah And I say listen, would you say something to your boss? You don’t say why the hell are we doing that because You actually have to be very tacky. Yes. Yes exactly. Hey. Hey. Hey boss Um, I want to make sure I’m executing this exactly how you want it. Can you explain to me why we’re doing this? So I can really really make it happen out there in the field, you know, and that’s a key thing. So so these ideas of You know psychology I guess now is I Hate to use that word, but because I was just calling a human nature, but these ideas they all kind of come together And so now you’re talking about Ownership right extreme ownership and this idea that hey I’m responsible for everything. And and so here’s what I’m getting from a leader. Hmm They’ll say well whether it’s a business leader or or it’s it’s very easy to use a military leader So I’ll get a platoon commander my machine gunner shot in the wrong direction How can that be my fault? Mm-hm because my machine gunner shot in the wrong – I’m not I’m not holding his weight and I’m not pulling his truck How can that possibly be my fault? That’s not my fault wrong Who’s in charge of that machine gun who’s in charge of making sure he what is fields of fire? Who’s in charge of making sure he understands when and where he’s allowed to shoot you are you’re the boss This is absolutely your fault had it another interesting example of the weather The weather is bad. We couldn’t execute our mission. That’s why we failed because we couldn’t launch our helicopter. Yeah, it’s not my fault. Yeah That’s a hard one to argue against. Yeah, except for the fact that if you’re a good leader, you’ll say hey, here’s our plan We’re gonna use these helicopters and here’s our contingency Yeah, right if there’s bad weather, you know If you don’t take that ownership of what’s going on, if you don’t take responsibility for it, you’re not gonna change it you’re not gonna fix it and That means you’re never getting any better. You’re not gonna win, right but the minute us end this and obviously This applies to you know people to purple in you and you know, you tell people to take responsibility I’ve you know, tell them take ownership, but what’s going on in your world? it’s this it’s the same thing, but at the end well It’s also it also seems to me to be the case and I think that this is part of the ethic that’s embedded in in it’s deeply embedded in Christianity with the idea that The idea that the ultimate sacrifice that you can offer to the world is the sacrifice of yourself It’s like well imagine that you have to sacrifice something to set the world right while you do Obviously because you have to give up things now in order to make things better in the future So the sacrificial idea is a very deep one then the question might be well, well if you’re gonna sacrifice something is it going to be someone else or is it going to be you and I really think that’s the fundamental question and the right answer to that is that it’s going to be you it’s your fault Right you take that on or at least you take on that responsibility and it is it’s a weird thing weirdly Difficult to distinguish fault and responsibility, I think Responsibility is the better way of thinking about it, but it’s tied in with the idea of fault If it doesn’t go right if it isn’t going right it’s because you’re not good enough now that can be crushing there is a problem with that like and you see sometimes people who develop like psychotic depression and they they they suffer from a delusional condition in some sense that the entire moral catastrophe of the world is literally their fault and that’s not There there’s an element of that that’s that’s not productive. There’s a truth in it as well, you know, and and it’s hard to It’s hard to find the balance so that you can take on that responsibility without it simultaneously being a crushing weight because there’s a lot of things in the world that are really not good and if they’re your fault well That’s rather hard on you I mean one of the things that the Catholic Church does to help people with that is that it gives them the opportunity To sort of wash their sins off themselves, right? You can go to church and you can say well look here’s a bunch of ways that I’ve been Being not who I could be and the church authorities say well, you know That’s not good and you should straighten up and all of that and fly right, but human beings are fallible and you’re fallible and and and we can’t just crush you because of your insufficiency so we’ll wash the slate clean and you can go out there and try again and and It’s very hard to get the balance between those things right so that you can take the responsibility on without being crushed by it but but it’s still the case that it seems to me that it’s either your fault or it’s someone else’s and as soon as it’s someone else’s then you better be careful because that idea that it’s someone else’s is definitely going to appeal to the worst in you that’s definitely going to happen and if you don’t see that then you’re Naive or willfully blind and and all that. It’s gonna do all that’s all that that is going to do is make the situation worse Yeah, especially because if it’s not my fault and it’s your fault and I can’t control you. What do I do about it? I sit there and it just suffer the consequences of the situation as opposed to okay, here’s what’s going on I’m gonna take responsibility and ownership for it. I’m gonna change it you make it happen you talked about turning a blind eye and earlier you talked about turning a blind eye to The truth to a situation and I know There’s a point in this book where? He talks about the he’s got a buddy that says amnesty is coming right amnesty is coming Let’s just keep our mouths shut. Let’s do what we’re told to do and we’ll get, you know, we’ll get out and coming and you know Solzhenitsyn says He’s an okay. Yeah, and then he says to himself. Wait a minute if I’m not if I’m not living in order to live Then is it worth it? Mmm-hmm. And This is a question that I get asked a lot because people get themselves into situations Where they’ve lost some kind of control whether it’s they’re in a crappy job or they’ve got a bad boss yeah or whatever Maybe they’re in a bad relationship Maybe their families met but they’re they’re in a situation and they and they don’t know what to do and Part of them. I think anticipates the answer from me to be listen Hey, listen, if you’re not if you’re not living in order to live than you, that’s wrong But what I actually tell them universally almost and there’s a couple situations where it goes outside this but you it’s like what I tell them is What you need to do right now is you need to play the game You need to play the game to get the situation to a point where you can act right? So if you’re you got a bad boss, right? Yeah. Oh you okay. You got a bye boss I want to tell this guy to go screw himself. Yeah. Yeah. Hey, guess what? I’m gonna do when my boss tells me something to do that. It doesn’t make much sense. You know what I’m gonna do I’m gonna do it and I’m gonna do it well and what am I doing? I’m building that relationship with him He’s starting to trust me and he’s gonna tell me up to do something else. Now these things aren’t Massive Qatar’s catastrophes. It’s like he’s telling me to do something. Maybe there’s a better way to do it You don’t know how to do it that way. Mmm-hmm and I’m gonna play that game and I’m gonna build up that relationship now when eventually he tells me to do something that is Totally stupid or it’s gonna cost you no lives or money then when I say hey boss That’s not a great way to do it. I think I know a better way couldn’t we try something else? He actually will listen to me. So I’m gonna play the game a little bit and I’ll tell you my gut instinct if now I guess it’s it’s easy to look from the outside and say hey if I was in this prison camp my gut instinct is like Okay, Jacque would you know you’ve been through these kind of things before play the game? You’re gonna play the game Which is horrifying Mm-hmm, because part of playing that game to the fullest extent here or in a Nazi prison camp would become in a capital. Yeah Oh, you’re playing the game. Yeah. Yeah, you’re playing the game Yeah, so and that’s really the outlying that the things that I said that are outlying I always make the caveat that if you’re getting asked to do something that’s immoral illegal or unethical Then you actually have a duty to say no. I’m not gonna do that No, that’s the that’s the line which you know, which you reach that line in the sand with Bill c16 But which is hey, I’m not going to do this but the idea that sometimes You got to play the game and yeah, well, that’s even from you when you just said to me you said well you know, sometimes you it’s not right to turn a blind eye on things and it’s like Sometimes you have to if you want to get yourself to a position like my well, it seems to me that you’re making a distinction between Discipline and strategy like and and and and like impulsive moral responding You know Like let’s say that you are in a situation where you have a boss who’s intolerable and maybe what you’d like to do? You know the resentment has built up over five years and you’d like to go in there and and Yell at them and tell them everything you think and you think well, that’s the truth It’s like well, it’s actually it’s not a very sophisticated truth because you’re doing as shallow and the impulsive analysis of this situation like it would have been the case that you’ve already compromised yourself in 500 ways and I’ll get back to the playing the game issue because you do have to discipline yourself to and and you have to discipline yourself to some degree by allowing yourself to do arbitrary things that are part of the system, right that’s necessary part of discipline and discriminating that from Compliance with unethical activity is very difficult. So that’s a hard situation but let’s say You’re you’re you’re going to counsel someone who has an intolerable boss and they come in and they’re right at the end of their tether Because maybe that’s why they come for counseling they say I really want to tell that son of a bitch what I think of him And you think well, wait a second here. Okay, first of all you’ve already Eradicated from the list of reasonable possibilities that decision by Failing to say small things That you could have said all the way along and it’s not like you can just all of a sudden blurt all of that out Now and that wipes the slate clean and that constitutes truth, it’s too Unsophisticated, so let’s think okay. So what is it that you want? Well, I don’t want this job anymore It’s like okay now, let’s actually have a strategy about this then you don’t want this job anymore. Can you get another job? Well, I don’t think so Well, so you can’t just quit. Well, no, I can’t because then I don’t have any money and my family depends on the job It’s like, okay so you can’t just stop this that that’s not a viable solution you go out of the frying pan into the fire or You know, you suck you you substitute one set of unethical actions for another set of unethical actions that are even worse That’s not helpful. All right, so let’s start thinking about what exactly it is that you want It’s like well, maybe I want a better job. I want to work for someone who’s more reasonable. Ok. So what’s stopping you? Well, I don’t have my CV in order. My resume isn’t up to date. Well, why is that? Well, I haven’t done it for five years and I don’t like doing it Well, why is that well because I’m kind of embarrassed about it because it has holes in it then it shows where I’m Lackadaisical and where I’m not prepared it’s like ok. How many things are there like that? Well, there’s a bunch of things and they’re all associated with how I procrastinated in the past. It’s like ok What are we going to do to rectify that so I’ll say to people why don’t you update your CV? That’s what we’ll do first. Because if you’re going to look for a different job, I’m not saying you’re gonna look for a different job But if you’re going to look for a different job You’re not going to unless your CV s updated one is not going to unless you can get a good recommendation from this boss That’s a Terran and so that’s right. There’s you gotta play. There’s Tanis strategic actions that you’re gonna have to take in order to make yourself able to move laterally or up and the truth is Isn’t going in and yelling at your boss and telling them everything you think about them the truth is trying to figure out the very very Difficult process of how you put yourself in a better position and that out like one of the things that’s quite fun about this lecture tour Is the letters that I receive or the stories that people tell me about switching jobs Because they do realize that there and I often talk to people about Consulting their resentment Resentments are really useful emotion. Like it’s really dangerous It’s one of the most dangerous psychological states I believe but it’s unbelievably useful because resentment usually only means one of two things it either means quit whining and and Take it on because you’re immature or it means you’re allowing yourself to be taken advantage of and you have something to say or do and so you want to sort out the first part and find out if you’re just being immature and you can think that through and you can talk to people And but in that but if it’s the second it’s like no you’ve Compromised yourself in a variety of ways and you have to figure out how to get out of that. And if you’re resentful that’s Evidence that you have in fact done that okay So now that issue would be well, how can you set your life up so that you can be without that resentment? And so that’s when you start to develop a strategy for you know, and and it there’s actually an adventure in this tool I mean, I’ve had a number of clients who have been in jobs that they didn’t like at all and you know They were terrorized by someone for example, and they were also working below their hypothetical level and we’d put together a plan It’s like okay, you’re gonna make three times as much money in in five years That’s the plan but like that’s not gonna be simple So you there’s education you got to educate yourself maybe formally because you’ve got holes you got to fix up your resume You’ve got to you’ve got to overcome your fear of being interviewed You have to start sending out like 50 resumes a week on a regular basis and be prepared for a 99% Rejection rate you. You’re going to look for a different job It’s probably going to take six months to a year and almost all of that is going to be rejection You got to steal yourself from for that and prepare and maybe this is going to be a three year process. It’s no trivial thing but you know It’s almost inevitably I can’t remember a single example where the consequence of that very careful detailed strategic thinking wasn’t massively substantive improvement in socio-economic positioning and a great movement towards a an improving trajectory and and and there’s advantages even along the way because even before that happens the fact that you’re taking Genuine steps to put yourself in a better situation Immediately starts to reduce your resentment Even if it isn’t having positive Consequences to begin with but you have to be realistic about it’s like look it’s gonna be hard to update your CV because you’re embarrassed About it, and you should be. Alright. It’s no wonder you’re embarrassed about it And then well, of course You don’t want to go be interviewed because you’re not very good at it and there’s holes in your story And and your and you can be made nervous easily and you’re not a very good advocate for yourself so there’s a lot of improvement that needs to be done there and and then you have to withstand the the The punishment of being constantly rejected when you apply for jobs because the baseline rejection rate You know for the for the typical job applicant is like 99 percent. It’s like the rejection rate for everything is this gonna work? No, but if you do it a hundred times, it might work once that’s all you need That’s exactly it You you you only need that once and so the truth There isn’t to yell at your boss the truth there is to get your life together. Yeah Play the game. You gotta play the game sometimes to to get a strategic win to me And that’s and another interesting thing Here is as I say you don’t want to surround yourself with yes-men when you’re a leadership position You also don’t want to be your own Personal yes-man that just thinks you’re great and agrees with everything that you’re doing and and won’t tell yourself the hard truth You know You can’t lie to yourself everything every little one of those things that you just listed off are The kind of things that people just lie to themselves and say yeah, you know what? Well you Don’t really need that that person didn’t learn anything and that in that course Why should I go to it that you know, it’s like if you don’t tell yourself the truth about your what your situation is It’s gonna be problematic just like if you don’t have people on your team Above you or below you in the chain of command that tell you the truth that’s gonna be problematic as well Which is something here, which is something that’s easier So the playing the game thing. So are you thinking about that as a consequence of necessary discipline? you know like because they’re weak because it seems to be You’re making two cases at the same time right one is that you should obviously not undertake unethical actions But then by the same token and and you have to subordinate yourself to the realities of the situation And and I think that that’s psychologically true because you’re always in a situation where if you’re in an organization there’s kind of an arbitrary and tyrannical aspect to it because it’s never working perfectly and then and then there’s the the Positive aspect to it too. And so whenever you’re doing a job it could be that you’re you’re called upon to do things that What would you say that are a necessary part of the operation of the machinery? I guess that would be particularly true in military situation. Yes and let me give you well, just a broad example, right? you know my personality and my reputation is That you know when I was in the military, it’s like oh, it’s Jocko hey, he’s not gonna you know, he’s if someone tells him to do something doesn’t want to do he’s just gonna you know, say screw you yeah, we’re not doing we’re doing it my way, you know, um I got the nut butt And that was kind of the impression people would get from me if they didn’t know me from the outside They think oh this guy’s a knuckle dragger. He’s gonna go forward He’s gonna make things happen and he’s not gonna listen anyone else. That was the impression from the outside The reality is a you you can’t do that and and be the reality is What my actions right I’d have, you know a young lieutenant would come to me and say hey, you know My bosses do tell me to do this this and this and what they think I was gonna say is like, bro You don’t do that right end up You tell him screw you that doesn’t make any sense and maybe they get this look in their eyes of surprise Yeah when I’d say, oh your boss wants you to do that do it do it. Well play the game That’s what I’m telling to do is play the game because these things are meaningless It’s something you know is something is patheticness like oh you got to fill out a form a certain way It’s like hey, shut up and play the game. Look even Maya So is that a Madol matter of picking your battles? it certainly is a matter of picking your battles and you as that’s part of strategy right like everything can’t be the war a exactly and It’s exactly what it is, but you know a good example and we wrote about it in in Dichotomy leadership, which is, you know, my friend my guy that worked for me Lafe babban. We were getting told to do all this paperwork You gotta you gotta fill out these forms. You’ve gotta you gotta have a serialized inventory of everything It’s gotta be signed off this many days we need to know the the qualifications of each and every person and when their qualifications come up due and all these just Ridiculous paperwork and Lafe came to me And with with the other platoon commander guy named Seth that came to me and said ah man this is bullshit Why do we got to do all this paperwork? We’re we’re here training for war we’re getting ready for war why we got to do this and you know life will tell you his and Expectation was that I was gonna be like you’re right I’m gonna go to the commanding officer and tell him screw this we’re not doing this stuff. This is crap We’re trying to prepare because we were in training getting ready to deploy to Iraq. This is crap we’re not doing this and I looked at him and said Oh, we’re doing all of this paperwork and not only were you gonna do this paperwork? we’re gonna do it better than anyone else and we’re gonna turn it in before it’s even do You know, we both him and Seth were kind of taken aback then the fact that I wasn’t standing up and saying we’re not doing this crap and Then I explained him. Here’s what we’re doing. We’re building a relationship with my commanding officer with our commanding officer We’re gonna do these little things for him We’re gonna play the game because at some point two things are gonna happen. Number one. We want to build trust with my boss I want my boss to look at me and when he tells me to do to fill out paperwork He knows gonna be filled out if he wants me to take down a building He knows it’s gonna get taken out if he wants me to execute up a larger mission. I’ll go and get it done We’re built if I can’t fill out paperwork correctly How can you trust me to go on and on a real operation and have guys lives at risk? So the idea is like hey, we’re gonna play the game and I think sometimes people start to hear me They start to listen to me and their first instinct is Jaco wouldn’t put up with them shit. Yeah, and That’s why these you know, they’ll hit me up the same thing. They’ll write me an email They’ll write me a letter and say here’s the situation. I’m in on Whether it’s a boss, whether it’s a military, it’s any of them whether it’s their wife like like my wife It’s me not to change it to something as stupid as that like my wife won’t let me train. It’s driving me crazy It’s really starting to bother me, but why won’t she well, what’s the problem? Hey, have you taken her out for dinner? You mean like play the damn game a little bit so that you can win Strategically and it’s the same thing I think with your with the 12 rules We were like, hey, tell the truth or at least don’t lie it’s like I Get it but there’s a dichotomy in that statement and that is if you run around telling the absolute truth that everyone it’s gonna be like that Jim Carrey movie where he can’t say anything that’s not 100% true and You know Gert woman says good morning, and he says you look fat, you know, it’s like one of those like very not good And so you gotta learn to play the game and and I guess again going back to this book. It’s like That’s a tough call to make in these situations. How much do you play the game? And there’s an ethical line that you could cross at some point if I become a capo Hey, hmm, you just you played the game and you went too far with it and just like in a leadership situation If Ike if you’re my boss, and I’m just kissing your ass and do wonder every to my guys lose respect for me Yeah, my team will lose respect for me If you tell me to do something completely stupid and I say hey guys, that’s what the boss says We’re doing it my guys will lose respect for me and I won’t be I Won’t be able to execute missions the way I should if when the pushback is proper I say hey. Hey boss Yeah, that doesn’t make any sense. We shouldn’t do that and I go to the guys and say listen I told I talked to him we’re gonna see what he says, but trust me if we have to do this We’ll we’ll figure out a way to make it work because if you’re just the guy that’s totally on board if you’re a brown-noser, right? You’re Pete your guys will lose respect for you 100% They will they’ll lose respect for you If you don’t play the game at all and you push back on everything that your boss says You’re gonna you’re not gonna get fired. Yeah, that’s another DEATH achill situation Like if my mom if you’re my boss and you tell me to do something that’s I don’t believe in or it’s like a bad plan and I may I draw the line in the sand and say screw you Jordan. We’re not doing it You can fire me. You’re like, okay fine. You fire me you get some yes-man to come in He takes my guys out on the mission and get some all killed He didn’t mitigate the risk properly it better for me. Ethically to say. Hey look Jordan. I don’t agree with this plan I really wish we could do it another way. Is there any way I could flex on it? You say nope You’re doing it this way. It is better for me in many situations to say, okay. Oh, I got it an indication of the complexity of the truth I mean one of the rules of thumb that I think is worth abiding by and I guess this is something that makes me somewhat conservative in some ways is that you should do what everyone else does unless there’s a very good reason not to and and I think that’s I think that’s the same idea that you’re putting forward, which is that If you if you do fight back against everything then you’re just too rebel without a cause right and you and you discredit yourself entirely And if you accept everything well, then you’re not even there. And so there’s some judicious Analysis of the situation that helps you understand when the time for action is right and most of the time What you’re doing in life is you’re doing what other people do and that’s going along with the game That’s part of being socialized but there’s going to be times when the right thing to do is to break a rule and to do it very carefully and so and there’s a There’s a there’s a there’s a scene I think this is a New Testament scene, but it might be in some of the apocryphal right apocryphal writings I don’t remember so Christ is walking down the road on the Sabbath and there’s There’s a ditch by the road and it’s very hot and in the ditch There’s a hole and in the hole. There’s a sheep And so the Sheep is stuck in the hole and this guy Shepherd is trying to get the Sheep out of the hole and Christ walks by and he says if You don’t understand what you’re doing. You’re a transgressor of the law and you’re cursed But if you do understand what you’re doing then you’re blessed So it’s it’s it’s a perfect example of that a because it’s it’s like if you’re okay now, here’s your situation You’re a shepherd and you’re supposed to be taking care of that sheep, right? But it’s the Sabbath day so you’re not supposed to be working now if you have Decided you’ve thought this through you think it’s the Sabbath day This is something that everybody needs because everybody needs to take a rest and this is a rule I shouldn’t break because everybody needs to take a rest or things degenerate and I understand and I have a lot of respect for it But I think that in this situation It’s still morally appropriate for me to break that rule in this slight way and get this poor sheep out of this hole then While Christ’s judgment was well, then you’re exactly on the right track But if you’re doing it carelessly and stupidly you’re breaking that rule then You’re a transgressor of the law and you’re cursed and I think that’s exactly at the essence of what you’re describing It’s like you play by the rules but then there’s a meta rule which is now and then you break the rules and you do that very very carefully because when you Break the rules you’re breaking the rules and the rules are what keep? Peace They’re what keep peace and order and so you break them only in the service of a higher peace and order and so that seems to be and I think that’s you see this in in well the sorts of stories that are influencing even the things that you’re writing like in the Harry Potter series, for example Harry’s Friends and campaig treats are quite disciplined Hermione in particular because she’s an absolute master of her craft but they still break rules when it’s necessary only when it’s necessary and that’s what makes them more than the people who are just breaking rules all the time the villains so to speak and also makes them more than the people that are just being good by being conformist so you need that that Touch of rebellious nut. It’s got to be a flavoring and not the whole diet. Absolutely. I’ve actually talked about that on this podcast before the there’s people in the military that they are like Meta rule-followers. These are people that have been following rules or whole lives. Yeah, they’ve got perfect grades and they were the team can do all these things and They’re gonna make really good solid leaders like they’re gonna be great leaders Yep, but then there’s this like one group above them Yeah have that same thing, but they also have that little bit of rebellion that they’ll say You know what? We’re not doing that. It doesn’t make any sense and that is really an important Factor to have yeah, but you know, that’s one of the reasons I like this guy Colonel. David, hackworth This guy was the ultimate rule follower for his whole career at the end in Vietnam He did an interview and said if we keep fighting this way, we’re not gonna win this war Mm-hmm, and they drove him out of the army. Mhm, but That’s that’s the thing that because all along the way there was other times where he do that, you know His guys weren’t getting taken care of. He’d break a rule and bring him beer or he do, you know? Yeah He’d do that along the way not not So far outside the bounds that it would jeopardize his career because if he would do that Then you’re not in charge of these guys anymore. Yeah now you’re not gonna have any impact. Yeah, so let’s not get fired Right, right. Let’s not get stupidly fired. Right? That’s not an improvement Exactly. Well, that’s a awesome I guess we I know you got to go so I can’t think that we could get to a better little crust of the Little capstone of the conversation than right there Thanks for coming on again. Hey, my pleasure, man. I’m glad we got a chance to talk about this book this is a book that everybody should read and And you you I ordered the I ordered a copy of yours with a Ford yet from Europe. Yep You can’t buy it from Amazon here, you know yet from Amazon So it’ll be here when will it but I don’t know We’re still negotiating the rights cuz the rights holders differ in North America And so that’s the issue at the moment sofa so I Worked with an English publisher penguin in in the UK that that put out the I think it’s Vantage books if I remember correctly I should just check and make sure that that’s exactly right Harper Perennial modern classics That is not that’s not the British one. Oh, that’s no that’s not the British one hasn’t gotten to my house. Yeah. I’m so shit. Yeah, it has to be ordered It has to be ordered through Amazon UK and we’re working on a couple of things maybe two also Maybe get the audio rights to the abridged version because I’d like to read it Nice, and that would be good so that people could listen to it. And so because it’s it’s an absolutely necessary book Yeah, and it’s written actually what I like because it’s written very conversation I mean he’s cracking jokes in there and he’s making it’s a brilliant piece of literature as well as I mean It’s a very readable book. Although it’s unbelievably harsh and and and demanding and and draining to read but it’s it’s brilliantly written It’s an unbelievably Engrossing read and in the most horrible possible way but and and it is the case it’s written at this white-hot pace, you know, it’s like talking to someone who’s Righteously not self righteously angry, but righteously angry four four ball Four four four dozens of hours and you just can’t believe the levels of outrage that are that are being That are being So incredibly well expressed and so effectively expressed and and and again, I think it’s also worth emphasizing the fact that you know Solzhenitsyn’s real contribution in many ways was to lay the catastrophe at the feet of the doctrine and not to say no this is this wasn’t an Aberration because of Stalin or you know, Lenin being the great leader and then Stellan being the monster because Lenin was plenty monster himself And Stalin was the logical conclusion to Lenin not not an aberration but to say that no the horrors of what happened in the Soviet Union were were implicit in the collectivist system utopian system that gave rise to the Philosophy to begin with and that that’s also an explanation. Why the same? Catastrophes occurred wherever the Soviet system was applied everywhere else in the world. It’s something we really need to know I mean, we fought a whole Cold War over that we put damn near put the world to the torch because of this and the idea that these ideas are the fact that these ideas are creeping back is really it’s unbearable as far as I’m concerned, so Hopefully people read in this book and the the re-release of this book with your ford will prevent that from happening In the Other people can put drops into as well And so i’m hoping I mean, I think the book has sold 15,000 copies since the beginning of november Which is pretty good for the reissue an old classic But like it it it’s required reading for an informed citizen of the 21st century It’s not optional. You need to know this material You’re not you’re not you don’t understand your position in society as an individual or a citizen without Knowing this material so it’s like not knowing about what happened in Nazi Germany. It’s not acceptable to not know Read the book thanks for coming good. Really. Good. See again, man. Absolutely. Yeah be better appreciate it and with that Jordan Pederson has departed the recording studio and if you noticed that Echo Charles was not present during the recording with Jordan Peterson, but through the miracle of technology and recording Echo has now joined us for the support Neil portion of this podcast So good evening echo. Good evening alright, so if people listen to this podcast Which we appreciate and you want to support this podcast and support yourself. There are ways to do that Echo can fill you it sure So first way is when you’re doing jiu-jitsu because we’re all doing jiu-jitsu. Yes, it might sound a little bit repetitive. But to me When you do just gonna be doing it every single day Every single week at least even if you’re doing the two times a week treat I get it either way You’re gonna need a key and a rash guard. So There is no question. Which kind of gear you get you get an orange in game straight up made in America. I Watched one of their videos yesterday And it’s kind of a older one too, but it made me like love origins even more because it’s like you’ll see you know the people that make them and all the ladies there and then Pete like he has like longer hair and stuff like that as I Called man that’s kind of one of the beginnings of origin, you know. Anyway, I thought it was good. Unless again made in America quality stuff for jiu-jitsu It’s not like a blankie they get from over wherever some other place and then slap a Embroidered patch on it. No say that. No, this is made for jiu-jitsu in America Yeah Everything made in America from where where we grow the materialist grown in America woven in America Woven in Maine as a matter of fact custom woven by origin We weave it up there and make the best keys in the world also got some other stuff for you know you got t-shirts you can get sweatshirts and Also coming in 2019 jeans Yeah Denim origin denim. Yeah, I just call them jeans though. Yeah Yeah, I dig yet that starts to like I don’t know move towards a fashion thing. What if you see dent in denim? well, I feel oh, yeah, I Guess I’ll just steal that material. Yeah, I feel like it’s like Origin denim they make it you know, yeah, and then yeah, they make origin jeans for sure But what if they make like a jean jacket? Like a denim jacket. No, I’d be true, but it’ll be a jean jacket. That’s true. Yeah, I dig it cool either way Yeah, that’s – and I don’t get excited for jeans in general in life. Oh, no Yeah, like you know, you see it on TV. I don’t know JCPenney has a sale, you know black fryer whatever and you know, some jeans I don’t get excited do you prime assuming you don’t either maybe do I don’t know but when people’s little like videos of the clothes, you know close-up of the buttons The jeans come on grab that’s that’s kinda exciting. I’m just saying either way. Yeah, either way the Also, we have supplements to affirmative origin labs, which is expanding. Yes Lee. Yeah. Yeah, we bought another building up there But yes, so they’re making we are making supplements joint warfare. Krill oil super krill oil, by the way Discipline. Mmm the try Effect. Oh, yeah. Yeah the my wife Went on the trip Didn’t take join warfare with her. Yeah She’s there for 3-4 days her knee starts bothering her it bothers her the rest of the trip. She comes home She goes back on joint warfare for 3-4 days. Nice fight again. Yeah. See let me that’s just that’s a scream Yeah, that’s just a reality of it. So join warfare good for your joints Krill oil also good for your joints and good for your good for your whole life system. Is that a thing life system life? Yes. Okay. Well, yeah, it’s good for that too Discipline when you need that focus and also discipline go. Yeah, which is my three Cognitive enhancement Tool go to go to here. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, the it’s funny the krill I had the same situation too by the way oil and joint Warford didn’t bring it yeah, by the way in Hawaii, which is the reason why I didn’t appear on this episode of the podcast, you know why so my father-in-law came I told him the story about how he’d always talk about krill oil and he’s just sort of looking at me like whatever And um, you know, he used to tell me oh, yeah, krill oil is good good for you all this stuff and he said not listen cuz you know He’s more of like little health, dude And then when you started talking about it, like literally the day you start talking I start taking it And he was like he didn’t care. It kind of went right over his head and I was like, oh So did you feel the difference? You know, like that’s what he was concerned about Also on top of that you got Moke which is Which is mulk basically that’s what it is. It’s a it has protein in it. You mix it with milk I got a man I to make that statement if you mix it with well You can mix it with almond milk. You can mix it with coconut milk. You can mix it with regular cow milk If you mix it with water it’s not I’m not jumping up and down about it and telling you it’s the most delicious thing in the world if you mix it with milk whole Milk, especially I will tell you it’s it’s a it’s a dessert straight-up. It’s a dessert that you will make you stronger If so, you know like hot cocoa you ever make. Oh, yeah. Okay, so I’m a fan that you can put in water Right. What do you put in water in milk? Mmm. That is not hot cocoa to me. Okay I know what you’re talking about. You eat the little the little packet that you’re supposed to mix with water It’s got the little crappy marshmallows in it. Yeah, that’s not this a non-starter for me. Yeah, so that’s kind of the point there Yeah, it’s sorta that you know along the same lines where it said cool do it and it’s okay you can do it Yep, and in there’s probably many many many people who do that and I’m not mad at them But you put the milk that stuff Is my thing and by the way, you can’t have you can’t have hot chocolate milk? Yeah It’s er, it’s right up there special work Edelen. Yeah, the sir got mint chocolate peanut butter chocolate vanilla, gorilla and the darkness and Then there’s the the warrior kid milk, which has a little bit less protein in it. Unless you double up on your scoops Like I do for the strawberry because the strawberry is ridiculously good. So give that a shot and by the way, all these things are available at origin main calm and that’s That’s the state of Maine. Yeah Yeah, not just Maine like the main spot even though it is the main spot check cool So, yeah, also if you want to represent, you know get a discipline equals freedom shirt or a rash guard You know get after it any way you want to represent the path Go to Jacko’s store.com That’s where you can get all this stuff hoodies, you know, hey christmas is coming up. Let’s face it There’s no avoiding it. It’s coming up, you know, so you want to grab something. That’s a good place to grab something Some new stuff on there, too But yeah, if you’re gonna represent while on the path jaw closed or calm good stuff. Also, Chaka white tea so these claims of Deadlifting 8,000 pounds. I haven’t dead lifted in a while so I was like You know what? I’m gonna dump in a test it Cans right and he drink it straight up deadly deadlift at 8,000 pounds just like that just like that No warmup even know you don’t need it. You know, it’s really the warm-up is drinking some chocolate. Yeah When you’re warmed up and you’re good 8000 pound deadlift Yeah, that’s you know, this is the only product in the world in any capacity that guarantees 100% 8000 pound deadlift minimum. Yeah But yeah, so yeah you get them one in the dry eBags if that’s your thing when you see Paul C, that’s the word Yeah, yeah, he’s deep Steve. Okay, boom if you like that gig, huh? Hot cold whatever and then the cans which I recommend I recommend they can actually I don’t know if I’d recommend it But I prefer they I like them both. Yeah, depending on the scenario Emira. Boom. There you go Also subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and stitcher and Google Play wherever you listen to podcast There’s a lot of new ones out there. There’s no apps. Yeah And there’s a lot of podcasts out there. Yeah and listen to a bunch of them. Yeah Yeah, and one of them you can also listen to in addition to this one If you want, you can check out the warrior kid podcast That’s basically directed at kids But I’ll tell you that uncle Jake has lessons for everyone in that podcast And also we got the YouTube channel the YouTube channel where you can watch this podcast in its full length And you can see what people look like if you don’t know what Jordan B Peterson looks like if you don’t know what Eko Charles look like or if you don’t know what I look like you can watch the YouTube channel and you can see all of us if you never heard if you’ve never seen echo before but you’ve only heard him he probably Doesn’t look Like what you think he looks like Yeah And I don’t know if that’s good or bad enough. That’s a backhanded compliment or a backhanded like derogatory statement about you. Yeah your voice Yeah, a little bit of both yeah, but but will will suffice it to say that he’s not what you expect when you see him in reality and He also makes videos that are enhanced by imagery and music. Yeah And those are on there too, so you can check those out you can subscribe to that YouTube channel also, we got the psychological warfare album and that has tracks on it of Well, they’re of me telling you pragmatically why you should or should not Do something like skip a workout. You should not skip a workout Eat donuts. You should not eat donuts. So just some little things like that. You can check that out psychological warfare Echo claims that it has 100% effectiveness. Yeah, it does Should you go to the gym? Yes, you should and if you listen to the track, you will go to the gym Yes, 100% effective. And actually, I mean a lot of claims being made about effectiveness on this. Yes an Arial right now Hey, it’s if it’s real it’s real, you know this mmm double-blind Placebo tested. Yeah, well, you know single-blind maybe okay. No that means but And it is official When okay, and I kind of tried to psychologically and I’ll analyze psychological warfare Like why does it work every single time and here’s part of it, even you, you know Like when you get hypnotized, I’m not saying you’re we should have I should have asked I should have asked Jordan this question Yes, and you’d agree with this I think okay. I think that goes bro fear So, you know like being hypnotized for example, yeah you I’ve never been hypnotized. Yeah me neither So what but then again, it’s real what happens – so have you ever said a volunteer did not get that? Okay me neither same thing. So hypnotism from what I understand is you have to like be what he call like successful Open to it. Yeah open to it. Yeah, so if you’re a Suggestible person that’s like you have a certain kind of mind and then on top of that even more consciously You have to volunteer to be hypnotized a guy I mean, I’m sure there’s methods that you can sort of hypnotize someone without them knowing it or something but usually Even say I’m sure but oh, yeah, that’s Right, you can even there’s Owen and then or not nonetheless usually the hypnotic Sequence goes through. Hey you volunteer like consciously. Yeah. Sure I’ll be hypnotizing you sit there and you’re up to ten and you’re closing your eyes and Breathing anyway, so you consciously volunteered to be hypnotized So you’re open to being hypnotized and then blah blah blah. So psychological warfare. It’s like hey you recognize. Okay, I have this weakness I’m about to skip this workout right now. You’re basically saying hey, I need a help. I need nothing You know, I need a little spark volunteering for help Well in Tyrian, yeah, it’s not like I’m like sitting in my rooms not completely against your will Exactly, right you’re not just busting in the door You know insane. Hey don’t skip the workout meanwhile in your mind. You already committed to keeping the way it’s different So you’re like you’re not committed to keeping the work out. You just like are running the risk of Skipping the work, you know that weakness just creeps in and you’re like, hey, I see you weakness you’re creeping in right now I’m gonna get I’m basically I’m gonna tell Jocko that you’re in here and He’s gonna you know make you leave and you play the track whatever you have it on your phone Right because you had you have all your playlists on your phone anyway you just play the psychological warfare one and you but you won’t skip to work out soon saying because you don’t want to skip the Workout in there. No one wants to skip the work on no one’s thinking Tomorrow I can’t wait to skip this workout It’s not like that, you know, so it’s you come in and you just give that little nudge. That’s why it works so good It’s true. Absolutely true. I like it Psychological it’s very effective hundred-percent. Also while you’re working out and if you’re bored with your squats bench Get some kettlebells from on it in my opinion on it calm. /jo good stuff on there jump rope battle ropes Kettlebells clubs may be careful with the clubs. Mmm Kasia I was watching a video of a guy doing this Club routine I was like dang heat it took a lot of coordination Like I’m looking at it and I was like 40, I think like a big one Yeah, I can’t even imagine trying to do anything coordinated. Yeah with the 40. Yes, cuz I only have 220. Yeah, and Yes, and they come off real a lot more heavy than they look Oh, yeah, like when you grab them at the end of the day if it’s 20 pounds 20 pounds no, there’s no getting past that physically but when you pick it up, it’s like it’s like You know when you pick up your friend, yeah, you know or your kid freaking and they weight 70 pounds It’s like Shh, I pick up 70 pounds with one hand. It’s no problem when it’s a dumbbell Try pick up your kid when there’s 70 bucks with one hand can’t do it. It’s hard Unless that’s all these clubs are anyway, so watch out for those anyway Go to on it, calm flash drop they can get some really cool stuff on there. Really cool Awesome a we got some books as well first off miking the dragons I know Jordan and I talked about it a little bit today and it was actually sold out For a little bit. It is now back in stock and have Many many many thousands and thousands of copies that are inbound that are being printed. So if you want Mikey and the Dragons Go to Amazon and order it there’s a little video on there if you want to know what it’s about go put together and it’s a it’s a Solid video from what? I understand the like kids like to watch the video. Oh you like it’s like a little mini short It’s super fast Is two minutes even in even my kids, so we’re in I watched the video if you are send it to me, I watched it like 14 times Elements in it a lot of things going on. Yeah to my son It’s like a micro cartoon kinda. No, it’s like a micro movie Yeah, I don’t know why. Well, it’s a cartoon because there’s the illustration illustration. Yeah, but yeah, it’s fun We put on the TV when I was in Hawaii, you know You have a smart TV and there you can put YouTube on there Oh you thought I put on the TV and my kids are all jumping over them like in this, you know It’s two minutes long. Yeah, no, I you know Jordan and I were talking about it and You know, obviously it’s about facing your dragons and there’s obviously a metaphor there and it’s a there’s real true Pragmatic simple to understand lessons of how to stand up and confront the world and confront your fears that little kids will clearly and easily understand and It’ll leave an impact on anybody that reads it. So miking the dragons you can get that book on top of that if you got Kids, you can also get them the way of the warrior kid, which is another book about a young kid. Who’s going through the problems that normal kids have and Luckily his uncle Jake who was a seal and the SEAL Teams shows up for the summer and helps him overcome those problems And then that series carries on another book called Mark’s mission. You can pick those two books up and give me day Whatever kids you those look those books when you read those books You’ll wish you had that book when you were kid I know I Absolutely. Wish I had that book when I was a kid and I wish I had that book when my kids were kids. Yeah Because it teaches them what it is. They need to know period that’s it the discipline equals freedom Field Manual that book That’s how you do. That’s how you is. It’s just a field manual of how to be on the path of discipline That’s what it is. Look the path of discipline is not easy and there’s no Field Manual for it. Oh wait, there is now But there didn’t used to be there didn’t you speak look, I know someone will help me. How do I get discipline? Where does discipline come from this none of that information was assembled anywhere? Hmm I made a field manual for it It’s called the discipline equals freedom Field Manual it’s Not it’s it’s not like any other book you’ve ever seen or read period it’s not But it’s very popular. It’s great if you want there’s another thing Creek christmas is coming This is a Christmas scenario, right? This is a Christmas scenario. Give this book to somebody that needs help or Needs to stay on the path or get on the path This book will be extremely beneficial to them or people that are on the path Getting after it. This will keep them there. So that’s the Field Manual if you want the audio version that it is not inaudible It’s on iTunes and Amazon music and Google Play as an mp3 Also the first book I wrote with my brother Leif babban. It’s called extreme ownership But that is a book taking the leadership lessons that we learned on the battlefield and translating them to your business and to your life and then the follow up to that book is the dichotomy of leadership which takes those lessons that we learned in combat and goes granular in Teaching you how to balance the various dichotomies that you experience as a leader so both and all those books are available On Amazon or wherever else you might to buy books. Also. We got a salon front which is uh my leadership consultancy We solve problems through leadership. That’s what we do and we work with companies all over the country and internationally if you want us to come and Align the leadership at your company for victory then go to a salon front calm the we are do we have a Leadership Conference called the muster and We’ve done six musters. We are doing three in 2019 we’re doing one in Chicago in the spring. We’re doing one in Denver in The fall and we’re doing Sydney Australia in December So if you want to come to one of those events all the events that we’ve done have sold out all of them These are all absolutely going to so sell out so if you want to come go to extreme ownership calm and Register and as quick as you can and then lastly we have EF overwatch. We are connecting Special Operations veterans and Combat aviation veterans that are looking for Work that are proven leaders that are experienced leaders and we’re connecting them with companies out there in the civilian sector that need leaders So if you want to come at that from either side whether you’re a vet or whether you’re a company go to EF overwatch comm to Get in the game. And if you have any more questions for us or answers for us We are available on the interwebs on Twitter and on Instagram and on the face book e echo is adequate Charles and I am at Jocko willing and I Started out this podcast today Pretty heavy pretty rough. And I think it’s important to remember Something that I always refer back to and that is that evil does exist in the world. It’s out there and With that I’d like to thank all the military personnel throughout the globe That stand up to evil in the world and thanks to police and law enforcement and firefighters and paramedics and EMTs And correctional officers and Border Patrol and all the first responders that stand up and face evil here at home And to everyone else out there If things are tough and I know they get tough life is hard But there’s still reason to be thankful Be thankful. You’re not in a gulag Be thankful that you’re not being tortured be thankful that you have food to eat be thankful. You have a bed to sleep on and Then do your best to watch out for those? Little seeds of evil that are planted around you and plant it in you and Keep those seeds of evil in check By going out into the world and doing good And until next time this is echo and Jocko

100 thoughts on “With Jocko Willink: The Catastrophe of the Utopian Soviet State

  1. There’s an interesting movie about a serial killer in the USSR. He’s considered the “most successful” serial killer on human history. Part of why it took so long to catch him is because it was explicitly impossible for a serial killer to exist in the USSR. They had decided that in a communist nation a serial killer could never be a thing. When it turned out that you can’t wish away reality, instead of stopping the killer, they punished the people who were trying to stop him….

  2. Intellectuals providing a moral reason for murder. Sounds like Islam: a supposed holy man sacralizing our proclivities for war. Any wonder why Leftist Totalitarians and Islamists sleep together?

  3. If you want to see heaven, all you have to do is everything.

    If you want to see hell, all you have to do is nothing.

  4. This is such a healthy podcast. I love joking as much as the next guy, but it kinda bugs me the repeating of memes under Peterson's videos. I wish instead of 80% memes – the comments was mostly about the topic of the video or a personal antidote in relation to the topic. Sounds kinda prudish, sorry I know, but I wish more viewers would not be discouraged from being serious and open up deeply. But.. lobsters.

  5. Of all of the lefty SJW types, I wonder who is the best at deconstructing dominance hierarchies…..and like, I wonder if Soros pays them a little bit more than the slackers who aren't so good at it…….

  6. Sheila Fitzpatrick’s The Russian Revolution is a “short” 120-page or so book that succinctly goes through the basis of the USSR. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get the history of the Soviet Union under their belt.

  7. A podcast made in a time, when the last days of the utopian united states were getting more and more obvious as being present.

  8. A King may move a man, a father may claim a son, but remember that even when those who move you be Kings, or men of power, your soul is in your keeping alone. When you stand before God, you cannot say, "But I was told by others to do thus", Or that, "Virtue was not convenient at the time." This will not suffice. Remember that.

  9. And by waging illegal offensive wars in Iraq, you didn't cause any hell at all? Give me a break you Jarhead hypocrite. You spent your whole life enriching private defense contractors and oil barons behind a false mask of patriotism, just like every other American soldier since world war II ended. You have nothing concrete, rational, logical, statistical, or fact-based. All you have is fear-mongering and jingoism.

  10. I do not like 'play the game' statement, as it has a tiny amount of deceit. Being strategic is a much more subtle way to put it. You do not want to deceitful, but that does not mean you will be stupid. Choose your battles, be strategic.

  11. I'm getting The Gulag Archipelago for Christmas. Time to learn about the other half of the 20th century that my school failed to teach me.

  12. Major Winters was a rule follower in the entire Band of Brothers series until he did break the rules one time, in the last patrol. He even followed the bad order and did it right the first time.

  13. i like this discussion. Especially when Jocko pushes back on the "tell the truth all the time" thing. I've noticed that by following this advice of Peterson's I've felt overwhelmed and almost incapacitated. Sometimes you have to play the game to get by.

  14. “I see [the] long ranks of the new oppressors who have risen on the destruction
    of the old, perishing by this retributive instrument, before it shall

    cease out of its present use….I see the evil of this

    time and of the previous time of which this is the natural birth, gradually

    making expiation for itself and wearing out."

    I always think of this quote (from Sydney Carton's last un-uttered thoughts at the end of a Tale of Tow Cities) when Jordan discussed the Gulags. How fierce enforcers of the communist party often ended being executed by it. There is something that lies deep within the human heart that is not just capable of creating Hell, but actively desires it. This desire transcends time and culture…no society is immune. Perhaps the most interesting thing Dickens does here (and he did nothing by accident) is to personify both the instrument (Guillotine) as "retributive" and the "evil of the time…gradually making expiation for itself.". These things take on a life of their own, seemingly beyond even the actions of the individuals and groups involved. It's really not that far a leap into Frank Peretti territory. There seems to be something outside of our Newtonian world that is given life when people bring on these types of Hell–a true personified Evil, if you will. Not necessarily supernatural, in fact, there seems to be something all to natural about it. And like many things, it grows until it is impossible to vanquish, but must GRADUALLY wear itself out.

    If you're not terrified of this sort of thing, you are not paying attention.
    '

  15. A very rare quibble I have with Jordan Peterson. It is easy to distinguish between "fault" and "responsibility." It's about NOW. Look backward from now and it's fault, look forward from now and it's responsibility.

  16. Regarding what Jordan said about getting mobbed on Twitter: An actual mob really did show up at Tucker Carlson's house a few weeks ago, so it's not just abstract. This kind of thing can so easily escalate and spill over into the real world.

  17. Lets imagine every Sociopath is just a Psychopath in waiting… & and then say Psychopathology wasn't the problem…?

  18. We are constantly told Evil is terrifying, even thrilling by the #msm… True evil is cold & benign… & always watching..

  19. Dr. Peterson look at what is unfolding in pro Marxist South Africa. This very utopia you warn about is going down right now. Farm lands taken away from those that feed the nation and genocide. Political parties ( communist ) bolstered by the western left, are now openly calling for the murder of white people. I'm not asking that you do anything other than look into it and comment on it.

  20. Trump supporters should really listen to what he is saying at 9:50 mins. It's scary how Peterson nails Trump supporters.

  21. My first time watching a Jocko video (saw a small clip of him with Joe Rogan) and I really like what I'm hearing and seeing, keep up the great work. I can sympathize with what both of them start talking about at the 1:11:00 mark, it is a fine line you have to walk between doing what your boss wants vs doing what is best for the overall mission. Like Jocko, I spent a couple of decades in SOF units (SOF aviation instead of NAVSPECWAR) and I saw more than my share of incompetent leaders, ridiculous orders, all that stuff. But you have to pick your battles, like the Man says, because if you get that reputation (and your reputation is a big thing in the SOF world) for being a whiner or a non-mission hacker, no one will listen to you and you'll be shunted off to the side. I saw it on the operational side and even on the staff during my 2 year stint at HQ AFSOC. It's all about the mission and getting the mission done and you better have a damn good reason for saying "No".

    On the flip side, you have to know when it is time to put down your foot, especially if there are serious moral or ethical issues involved. If a CO loses his cool and tells you to make a couple of AQ detainees "disappear", you gotta do the right thing and refuse, even though it is very easy to just say "Roger that" and make 'em disappear. It won't end there, though. Because once you start breaking rules like that ("Don't kill helpless prisoners"), then other rules will quickly follow, and things can quickly get out of control, just like they talk about in the podcast. I don't know if Jocko is going to talk about the stand-down that USSOCOM is having over ethics and moral behavior, but I will definitely tune in if he does.

  22. We have witnessed the very definition of the purpose of civilization. Jocko Willink, one of the most physically dangerous warriors living today engaged in a deep and meaningful (and most of all incredibly respectful) conversation with probably the most dangerous–by current political standards–intellectual living today.

    The warrior-poet puts his life between culture and physical harm. The intellectual puts his integrity between culture and moral/philosophical harm. The individuals who comprise/create the culture have the responsibility to exist in an ethical state that is worthy of such effort.

    In the balance between forces, art flourishes, humans prosper, souls have the opportunity to become luminous, and chaos is held at bay. In the absence of balance, you get what we are living.

  23. what peterson describes as how the mob and the psychopaths come to power is exactly what FA Hayek spelled out in Road to Serfdom.

  24. I hope JP does get to do the audible version of the abridged Gulag Archipelago. I had a look for it on Amazon Audible for it and can't believe it's not on there. I'm hesitant to get the physical version because the only time I usually read is when I'm in bed, and I get the feeling this isn't the last thing I want to be thinking about before I go to sleep!

  25. It's gulag time bitch what di I do I spy and report to our glorious leader Starlin lol Russian alexa. Hey let the world burn I say and people like Jordan will be martyred after things go south.

  26. Basically what communism is: get rid of the people who can hurt our chances for utopia, and the list of people just grow constantly because in the end its just the person in charge of it all who is "perfect" for this "utopia".

    This is why the left eats their own. Because they ALWAYS find another "problem" – even among their own people. This is why communism never worked, and will NEVER work.

  27. You are always talking about how you should own responsability for your own mistakes and not blame everyone else. How come jews have been kicked out of 109 countries but you still think it's reasonable that everybody else is an anti-semite and not that they are anti-goyim?

  28. I went to the soviet union in 1977, it was nothing but an oppressive hellhole. Like living in a prison. Communism does nothing but oppress people, culture, everything.

  29. Bu..bu..but the next incarnation of Communism will not be like that which plagued the USSR…….or so Communist propagandist would have us believe!

  30. Stalin: saw certain people as insects.
    Hitler: saw certain people as insects.

    Get it yet, identitarians? Understand why we dont like your little game? Not a good game to play. It will end in pain and tears.

  31. Has Prof. Peterson read "The Doctrine of Decent and Darwinism"? It was written by Oscar Schmidt a few decades before World War 1.

    Schmidt noted that socialists oppose Darwinism, but used it to add force to their arguments.

  32. The Rape of Nanking was a haunting read… I got to visit the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall on two separate occasions, which in part inspired me to produce my own video on the subject. We should never forget the voices of people like Iris Chang and Alexander Solzhenitsyn who shed light on horrors of the twentieth century that would otherwise have been obscured and tragically forgotten

  33. Just finished reading the Archipelago on 31st of December. Took me 2 years to read it and I was very adamant to finish it before the New Year. It is a book everybody should read!

  34. There should be an advisory notice before the start of the video. Contains descriptions of horrific savagery. Very disturbing. Having said that adults should hear this and try to understand the history of communism.

  35. 55:38 – 56:35 "these people who built themselves a place of butchery and throw themselves into it".. Almost as if jbp is describing the case of haman and mordecai there..

  36. I'm watchig this and can't help to think how history repeats itself over and over and people don't seem to – or at least not willingfully- realise it. Here in Latinamerica there's still people actually defendig Maduro's dictatorship and crying over the fact that his regime might soon come to an end in Venezuela, saying stuff like "no, that was 't REAL socialism" or "It's all 'the US empire's fault'", or "their (socialist) system works, it's only a power-move from the USA that's ruining the country". People need to reed these books, they need to listen these kind of talks and discussions and think for themselves, engage in real dialogue and see the terrible, terrible consequences of ideologies and socialist politics, which are all over Southamerica right now.
    P.S: great video, Dr. Peterson, it's always wonderful to hear you talk. Thanks for all the good you're bringing to the world

  37. Jordan Peterson is so F-cking deep, I'm in awe, admire him so much, I hope he's not a singular outlier; if anyone can direct me to someone who has his intellectual ability, and ethical moral direction, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks!

  38. Jocko, your real world analogies are amazing, I love how you challenge Jordan Peterson, good for you!
    Your SEAL world problems, are the best example of business real world problems.

  39. That is a big problem -a huge problem. It is always easy to see yourself either as the heroic survivor, or as the fated loser -but none of us ever want to think of themselves as being the bad guy. But any and all of us can fall into that roll so easily. And in the course of our relationships, all of us actually do. We are only sinners saved by grace. Sometimes i was just naively wrong in the past -that helps me a little bit against making those wrong decisions again. It is not a proof of invulnerability, but at least my eyes were opened to the mistakes i had made, so i could start making a more responsible choice between right and wrong. And yes, there is such a thing as right and wrong! But too, once i realize this, i become more morally accountable for my actions.

    But sometimes too, i just plain made the wrong decision, and i knew it was wrong when i made it, and i still did it anyway. This is where Jesus Christ counts. I would rather absorb this guilt that Jesus Christ died for my sins against my relationships with fellow man, and against God. I have the Ten Commandments to guide me with that guilt. But what about my perceived sins against the environment or social justice? It does not matter how repentant you are -you will always be among the condemned. You do not have a similar savior figure when you subject yourself to their guilt against political ideologies. It is purely a way of condemning/controlling people rather than liberating them.

    I will take Original Sin any day! 😉

    Jocko brought up something that resonates with me. Damnit, i grew up in a household of know it alls -of course being the youngest in the family, you could only imagine how many well meaning "know it all" voices i had lecturing me. It took well into my forties before i finally started to realize -i actually don't have to be the one who is right all the time! There is plenty of room for me to step back & scratch my head, & admit -"i'm sorry, i guess i got that wrong!" FFS, we don't have to be right all the time. For me that was a huge life revelation that i a have still never gotten past the initial elation over. Hopefully for most people they realized things much bigger, but for me it was just the humble fact that i didn't always need to be right! 😉

  40. I was always curious about the exact cause of the manufactured famine in the Ukraine. When they relocated all the productive successful farmers and started to export the crops to cities. Was the cause of famine simply because 100% of food was taken or was it due to those who replaced all of productive farmers were far less productive and unable to grow anywhere close to the same amount of food that created a nationwide food shortage. It was always unclear to me what the specific reason was, every time I've heard the history of the famine explained it always mentions the removal of the farmers, the shipping of food to the cities for factory workers but never explained the specifics of what the cause was.

  41. Amazing podcast. I would suggest watching this documentary after watching this video… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynufd09d8Lw

  42. – who will go to serve in the KGB voluntarily after the Gulag Archipelago and the Kolyma Tales were published?
    – Putin went to serve voluntarily in the KGB

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