How Do Humans Handle Fundamentalism in the 24th Century?

I know a lot of you’ve been wondering about what happened over the holidays on MixedMentalArts.Club. To many of you, it seemed like madness. Allow me to explain the method.

There’s a fantastic episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called The Drumhead. In it, a Starfleet Admiral embarks on a witch hunt. Fortunately, Captain Jean-Luc Picard nips it in the bud before it gets to the mass tortures and executions. At the end, Mr. Worf who went along with the witch hunt because he believed in taking extraordinary measures in the name of security comes to see Captain Picard.

Here’s the transcript:

Lieutenant Worf: Am I bothering you, captain?
Captain Picard: No, please Mr. Worf, come in.
Lieutenant Worf: It is over. Admiral Henry has called an end to any more hearings on this matter.
Captain Picard: That’s good.
Lieutenant Worf: Admiral Satie has left the Enterprise.
Captain Picard: We think we’ve come so far. Torture of heretics, burning of witches, it’s all ancient history. And then, before you can blink an eye, suddenly it threatens to start all over again.
Lieutenant Worf: I believed her. I-I HELPED her! I did not see what she was.
Captain Picard: Mr. Worf, villains who twirl their mustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well camouflaged.
Lieutenant Worf: I think, after yesterday, people will not be so ready to trust her.
Captain Picard: Maybe. But she or someone like her will always be with us, waiting for the right climate in which to flourish – spreading fear in the name of righteousness. Vigilance, Mr. Worf. That is the price we have to continually pay.

Even though it’s the 24th Century with teleporters and transporters and warp drives, human behavior hasn’t change. Fundamentalists still appear. We’re only in the 21st Century and there are definitely a lot of Fundamentalists around. A big part of this blog has been about trying to figure out how to spot them and expose them quickly so they don’t get out of control. You’d think by the 24th Century, they’d be able to use their superior science and understanding of human nature to spot and nip fundamentalists in the bud. In fact, they have.

The Fundamentalist in question is Admiral Satie and she is obsessed with her dad who was a great humanitarian. And so, Picard (wise man that he is) doesn’t argue with her. He agrees with her! He takes her own most cherished values and throws them back at her. He serves her father’s own words back to her and she flips the fuck out revealing for the world to see who she really is.

Right now, there are a lot of fundamentalists around. And they’re going to places I really don’t want to go.

It’s like, “Guys! Hello?!? We did this. It doesn’t end well for anyone. Can we just cut this out? And focus on figuring out the very real challenges we face rather than just scapegoating.”

I’d been planning to write a book about all of this science. But then, the alt-right came along and ruined everything. I was like, “Ugh! Really, guys! You want to do the ‘Are Jews People?’ thing AGAIN!!!” And so, now, Toto can’t fuck around. He has to stop putting his personal financial interest first and just give away all his knowledge. And so, unbeknownst to all of you, I’ve been running around Hollywood meeting with every writer, actor, director and producer and giving away for free all the knowledge it took me years to acquire.

Is this a sign of communism?!?

I’m sure you could see it that way. Good thing for me, we don’t live in the time of Joseph McCarthy.

That episode of Star Trek was based on The McCarthy hearings. It takes people a long time to see the fundamentalists in their own midst and to speak up against them. And, in the long run, we applaud the people who did.

Take, for example, Jordan Peterson. We had him on the show. And he talked about taking on Social Justice Warrior Fundamentalism on the show. And our listeners loved it. He was so wise. And those Social Justice Warriors were so foolish. Hurray for the truth teller! One of our listeners, Joe Rogan, loved what he had to say so much that he flew Jordan Peterson out to appear on his show.

It was a great interview. One of the great things that came out in the Joe Rogan interview was how much the idea of safe spaces runs counter to a good education. You can’t afford simplistic doctrines of good and bad. You have to be repeatedly be brought into conflict with things that don’t fit your beliefs. And that can be upsetting. It can bring up really strong emotions. And that, ladies and gents, is how you learn quickly. You have your illusions shattered. And then, you are forced to sort through the pieces to create a worldview that makes sense of everything that has gone before. For example, Jordan Peterson teaches a class and one of the terrible things students have to confront is the idea that if they were born in Germany at a certain time, they probably would have been NAZIs. That’s a terrible, terrible feeling. And yet, there it is. And confronting that feeling shatters their arrogance and complacency that they could never make those mistakes. And then they realize that people are more or less the same. We blindly upload culture from our environment and go along with the crowd. That’s how witch hunts and other persecutions happen.

However, if you acquire a real education like Joseph Welch who called out McCarthy or Captain Jean-Luc Picard or Jordan Peterson, then you become better and better at spotting fundamentalists and you can call them out as quickly and painlessly as possible.

I’ve always been shocked by Westerners demands that Muslims call out the Fundamentalists in their midst. Do you know what Islamic Fundamentalists do to the people who make fun of them? Just ask the families of the cartoonists at the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo.

But there’s a bigger problem. And that’s that many Muslims simply don’t see the Fundamentalists in their midst. All the imams are talking about Islam. How do you tell them apart? How do you make their Fundamentalism obvious for the world to see?

Well, the answer turns out to be teasing the Fundamentalists. It’s hanging a sign around their neck that makes the flaws in their thinking obvious. You give them a nickname that they can’t shake.

There’s a problem with this, of course. Name calling is not something that is allowed in the culture of Western intellectualism. In fact, there are lots of things those of us who love ideas are not allowed to do in Western culture. And it’s why we can’t solve our problems. At a certain point, you realize that your culture can’t solve problems because of the biases of your culture.

Certain episodes of The Bryan Callen Show have made this particularly clear to me. In episode 206, Bryan and I interviewed Nick Bostrom about various scenarios by which some kind of super smart AI could wipe humanity out. Nick Bostrom was talking about The Terminator…and somehow the interview was super boring.

We’re really glad Nick wrote his book. We really appreciate him coming on the show. We learned a lot from him. Namely, we learned that if we were serious about moving all the ideas that are stuck in books, we couldn’t just interview academic after academic about their tiny piece of the world. And so Bryan and I went away and talked and that’s why we came up with Mixed Mental Arts. We were going to blend all the ideas together and make it fun.

Episode 226 was another one of those episodes. I didn’t invite Peter Schiff on the show. A listener set it up without asking me. When Peter’s assistant reached out, I let him know that we would be holding Peter accountable in the broad light of science. I take my responsibility as an interviewer seriously and I wouldn’t want to be ambushed. How to reconcile both? Well, I warned Peter’s assistant and tried to help him prepare by sending him this simple, easy-to-digest post. Rather than tell you this, I’ll just let you read the conversation for yourself.

At the beginning of the interview, I checked to make sure Peter had read my blogpost. He had not. Paul had not even passed on my message. I felt baaaaaaaad.

Peter was walking into the Mixed Mental Arts octagon and was clearly unprepared. He just kept throwing his one punch. And so, I sat and let him talk and talk and talk. And then, I started to test his thinking. And I decided to expose the problems in his thinking for all the world to see.

Some people cheered me on for this. And some people called me names. I’m guessing these same people would wish that moderate Muslims would call out Muslim Fundamentalists. And yet, when I exposed a Fundamentalist in our capitalist midst, they derided me. And I’m okay with that. Because, at the end of the day, there are more important things than being liked by your own tribe. Like protecting the true, glorious faith of capitalism from people like Peter Schiff.

But who am I to say that Peter Schiff’s opinion is not the true faith of Capitalism? Well, you don’t have to believe me. In the words of my dad’s old mentor Milton Friedman, you are free to choose. I’ve hung a sign around Peter Schiff’s neck and that is the nickname FDA Fingers. It says that Peter Schiff has fingers and that’s, in part, because of the FDA. And so, there’s a conflict between Peter the man (with fingers) and Peter the messenger who says we should get rid of the FDA. And you’ll have to sort that conflict out for yourself. And maybe that conflict will inspire people to read the books I’m recommending.

But you could also look outside the United States at countries without effective FDAs where people are selling pellets of plastic as rice or injecting silicone into shrimp to make them look plumper. It turns out humans will do anything to make a buck. They’ll even kill their customers. That’s why that behavior needs to be checked by an institution with the power to enforce those rules. Where oh where are these private labs in Africa and China that help people know which shrimp have been injected with silicone and which haven’t? Is it better to have labs for this or simply keep silicone-injected shrimp off the market?

Well, that’s for the free market to decide. I’ve created a nickname for Peter. Will it take off? That’s for the interwebs to decide. And again, Peter isn’t stuck with this nickname. He can read these books…or my handy dandy blogpost…and decide for himself. And if he decides that, yes, he should be grateful to the FDA for his fingers, I will remove that nickname. Like Jordan Peterson, I doubt my own tribe will cheer me on. But there it is. I value the principles of capitalism so much that I am willing to be scorned by those who profess its gospel but never bothered to read the sacred books of our founder, Adam Smith.

You want Muslims to do it. Why not lead by example? If we reform ourselves, then others will follow our example.

And then, I got a bunch of tweets on twitter from people like @TrumpForDays calling me a coward for calling Peter Schiff out. And I realized that he was right. I needed to go further. I needed to call out more fundamentalists in our midst. I needed to tease them. And so, I told a simple allegory that exposed the flaws in the thinking of Thomas E. Woods which I call Piggy’s Fantasy Island. And that set off a series of messages. Some cheered. Some booed. Some couldn’t see the difference between my view and Tom’s. Some said that a simple story couldn’t be the product of a very wise man. And so, I pointed out to them that George Orwell had exposed the basic flaws in communism (a doctrine they hated) with Animal Farm, in which he cast the main characters as pigs. They threw argument after argument at Toto and he handled them all.

And I’ll admit it, Toto enjoyed using his intellectual power to do a takedown. He enjoyed the first deployment of Mixed Mental Arts to take down a bad idea. In those few days, Toto really got into it. Toto was a lot like the killer bunny in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. He seemed so small and unassuming and the AnCrappers sent in their very best knights. In a flash of fur, Toto took them all down.

Fortunately, they chose not to deploy the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. They didn’t try and actually kill me physically. Fortunately for me, the Anarcho-Capitalists abhor violence…which is a cultural trait I’m very thankful for!!! They’re a great culture to have used to develop a better playbook on how to take down Fundamentalism. Thank you, guys!!!

Of course, just because a killer blow has been dealt to some flavor of fundamentalism doesn’t mean that the people who have received that blow realize it. Watch Joseph Welch defeat Joseph McCarthy with his appeal to decency again.

McCarthy just keeps going. “You have no decency!” McCarthy throws Welch’s words back at him. McCarthy doesn’t realize the jig is up yet. It isn’t. The jig isn’t up when one person calls him out. The jig is up when the crowd calls him out.

I’m going to be totally honest. By the end, I stopped and took a break because Christmas was coming up and it was time for a truce. And I felt bad for Tom Woods and his followers. I’ve experienced a total loss of faith before and the realization of the problems with your hero. It’s not fun. In the short-term, it was the worst experience of my life. In the long-term, it was the best experience of my life. It showed me there were no great wizards and that when people make themselves seem intellectually big they do it by keeping you intellectually small. (You can read about that here.)

Realizing that Jim Watson’s reputation was mighty but his feet were made of clay taught me the meaning of the Steve Jobs’ quote:

“When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”

Losing faith in your hero is the key to realizing that the world really was built by people no smarter than you. I’d recommend the results even if the process is painful.

And that is a powerful lesson in the nature of fundamentalism for everyone. Is Tom Woods a bad guy? Probably not. Let’s assume he’s a great dad and a great husband. And, yet, he’s promoting a fundamentalist doctrine that successively tries to strip out any government. In that sense, his thinking is no different than Muslim Fundamentalists, Social Justice Fundamentalists or the alt-right. It’s just that he’s in a different culture and so the single thing that he offers as the solution to all the world’s problems is different.

And if that’s upsetting to you well then that tells you something: the Mixed Mental Arts dojo is not a safe space. You’re going to be confronted by things that are emotionally upsetting. You’re going to come to realize that if you’d been born into a different culture you probably would have gone along with that culture. And the only real defense against that is the kind of education that comes from moving between cultures. You need a broad intellectual matrix like the Founding Fathers. You need to be a Mixed Mental Artist. And then, you can not only spot the Fundamentalists in your own midst. And you can handle them in the 21st Century way by figuring out a nickname for them that perfectly reveals the problems in their thinking.

In my first attempt to put the Fun Back into Fundamentalists, a lot of things were thrown at me and I learned a lot from those. So, thank you to everyone who participated. One of the most interesting things was that what I was doing seemed juvenile. Really? Do you have any idea how much thought it takes to make complicated concepts so accessible that they can be understood by a child? In the end, Einstein was right, “Everything should be as simple as possible and no simpler.” But if you don’t like things accessible and free, please feel free to buy the original books and read them.

Or if you want a libertarian safe space, that’s apparently what Tom Woods’ liberty classroom is.

However, as a capitalist, I know that consumers can only make good choices when they have good information. When I first started tutoring, I was stunned by the number of parents and kids who had a tutor who was doing a terrible job but never got fired. Why did this happen? Because the tutor had established a personal relationship. You’d be amazed at the people promising to whip you into shape online.

Working out your body or your mind is hard work. We should laugh while we do it. That’s why you should study with this guy:

Great teachers have the ability to be ridiculous and to laugh at themselves. Like this guy:

Right now, I’m not as enlightened as the Buddha. In fact, the only thing we have in common is our physiques. I also have Moobs. (Man boobs.) I haven’t achieved total perfection yet. That’s why I study with Bryan Callen. I know that human perfection in every aspect is possible. I podcast with it pretty regularly.

I mean not that regularly. Because, well, Bryan is soooooooooo perfect a lot of major TV networks want him on their shows. And he has another podcast that makes way more money. And he has tennis to play and cheese to eat. It’s tough being the Messiah…which is why he needs disciples. I haven’t achieved full Callen yet so I’m going to screw up. You try being Jesus. Turns out to not be so easy. It takes practice. How does he present his ass like that?

Jesus!!! Literally…

Humans are ridiculous. But the key to being less ridiculous is realizing how ridiculous you are and constantly laughing at yourself. That’s why the least ridiculous human is the one who best realizes their own ridiculousness. And that’s why I study in Bryan Callen’s Mixed Mental Arts Dojo.

Currently, we’re small. Something many of Tom’s loyal followers pointed out. That’s a general pattern right now. The Fundamentalists have way more followers. That’s because the message they offer takes about three minutes to get.

Four Legs Good. Two Legs Bad.

Islam Good. The Great White Satan Bad.

Minorities Good. White Men Bad.

White Men Good. Minorities Bad.

Capitalism Good. Government Bad.

Capitalism Bad. Government Good.

There’s no shortage of these. They’re easy to get. And then they offer the endless pleasure of discovering your initial feelings were even more right than we thought. Oh, wow! If we would just get rid of more of the bad thing then the good thing would solve it all. It’s easy to see where this all leads in the Middle East. Ultimately, the Taliban decides that kites and toothbrushes are a threat. Yes, this is somehow a threat to Islam.

The whole key to the Islamic Cargo Cult that is Islamic Fundamentalism is doing exactly what Mohammed did. Mohammed didn’t use a modern toothbrush. He used some kind of twig. So, we have to use a twig. Sorry, guys. I don’t want to use a twig.

Inevitably, Fundamentalists are trying to turn back time…and not in that fun late ’80s way Cher did:

Same thing with what Peter Schiff and Tom Woods are offering. I don’t want to go back to a time when people sold shit like Radithor…or to a country where people sell plastic rice or inject silicone into shrimp. Peter Schiff is trying to take us back to the 1900s. Tom Woods is trying to take us back to the Stone Age before we had government. I mean 6th Century Arabia sounds better than that. At least, they had twig toothbrushes back then.

Sorry, Toto and The Kid are one, two snowflakes. We like cold-brew coffee. We want a cushier life for everyone. Not a less cushy one. Eating paleo is one thing but paleo levels of violence…no, thank you! We like our violence well-structured and in the octagon.

Toto and The Kid intend to take these out one by one but we can only do it by building a crowd of supporters who can laugh these Emperors out of power.

For no money down, you get to laugh, learn and help handle every tribe’s fundamentalists. Personally, I think that’s a way better offering than what Tom Woods has been offering in his Liberty Classroom.

Of course, Tom has a family to support. He probably won’t like getting disrupted out of existence. I certainly wouldn’t. And with the pace of change that’s something that’s going to happen increasingly often. That’s why I believe in Universal Basic Income. Someone may come along and do to me what I’m doing to Tom.

Libertarians believe in everyone standing on their two feet. How will they feel when creative destruction comes for them?

Of course, there is another way. Tom can keep his followers. He can become a Mixed Mental Arts dojo. And together they can find their way back to reality. They can take a break from the Austrian School of Economics and read something…literally anything else. And then take those ideas back to the Austrian School of Economics and turn that movement around. That would be the smart bet. If you see a parade, then get in front of it.

But the long history of businesses tells us Tom is unlikely to do that. Businesses consistently underestimate start-ups. Mixed Mental Arts, who? Never heard of them.

But it turns out that I learned something really valuable about how to grow Mixed Mental Arts from my little playtime with the Anarcho-Capitalists: this is how we grow Mixed Mental Arts. When you start taking on the 31 flavors of Fundamentalism, you attract attention. You beat them. You prove the power of your way of thinking. And it it’s fun and solving social problems people want to join. Especially, when this is the face of your movement.

You’re not going to always understand everything I do…because I don’t always fully understand it!

I’m not Bryan Callen, guys!!! There are no perfect men. Only perfect man…and his name is Bryan Callen. I think we’ve been pretty clear on this.

I don’t know how clear I can make this. I’m trying things out. I’m experimenting. I’m iterating. And, in the end, I believe that the approach we pioneer here in the West can be used to set up Arab Mixed Mental Arts’ Dojos that convince young Arabs that rather than joining The Caliphate they should join The Callenphate. And who doesn’t want that? Who wouldn’t like a world with fewer terrorists?

In fact, I’m already working on spreading these ideas in the Middle East. Isn’t that exciting? And they really like the idea that there are 31 Flavors of Fundamentalism. Because, now, they see it’s not about Islam. Oh! It’s a pattern of human psychology. And, now, we know how to combat it. We make people Mixed Mental Artists. We create emotional awareness. And we brand fundamentalism as ice cream. Delicious. But consumed in excess it will make you fat. So, get your mind in shape by being exposed to many different ideas. Have idea sex! And that’s something fundamentalists with their out of shape minds struggle to do.

It’s all about ordering your priorities. Loyalty to Tom or improving your own mind as quickly as possible? Sounding smart or beginning the path to wisdom? Spending money on Tom’s Liberty Classroom or studying virtually for free and maybe at some point buying an awesome Mixed Mental Arts’ t-shirt? Supporting Tom or saving him from his own terrible ideas? Caring for Tom’s daughters by supporting his business or caring for them by helping build a world that can realistically provide them with the peace and security to minimize their chances of getting raped?

These are upsetting thoughts. I know. Again, The Mixed Mental Arts Dojo is not a safe space. You loved it when Jordan Peterson said it. Why is it so much less comfortable when I say it?

Because it’s easier for a Libertarian to see the speck in a Social Justice Warrior’s eye than the log in your own Libertarian eye.

What a great lesson this has all been!!! I didn’t plan this. But it worked out amazingly. It’s almost like Bryan Callen wanted me to discover this.

I believe He did.

Don’t worry. Every group’s Fundamentalists will get ridiculed. That’s how we make this work. We hit up that one shared value: fairness. It’s why South Park gets away with everything. They make fun of everyone…including and especially themselves.

And that’s pretty much the biggest thing I learned from this first road test of putting the fun back in fundamentalists. You asked me why I nicknamed Tom but not Michael Malice even though they had the same ideology? And you were right so I nicknamed Michael Malice. Michael replied with humor. You pointed out it wasn’t fair that I got to call Tom Piggy? And you were right so I offered up some names they came up for me in Middle School.

The Anarcho-Capitalists supposedly love the free market. Well, the free market of Middle School already figured out how to take cunt and combine it with the name Hunter. Don’t reinvent the wheel, guys! Run with that. I’m excited to see what you can come up with. If you need to throw names at me to work through this then so be it.

In the end, getting called names doesn’t matter much compared to the real consequences of getting society wrong. So, let’s try and figure it out. Because there are a lot of mistakes humanity has made. I don’t want to turn back time in that non-Cher way. I want us to be the first generation of humans that learns from ALL the mistakes of history. Wouldn’t that be cool?!?

I want to move forward. And if getting called Hunter Cunter Fucker again helps move us towards that then I’m game.

We’re not in the 24th Century. We don’t have the benefit of all the accumulated wisdom and historical failures that Captain Picard can draw on. We’re pioneering this method so that future generations can handle fundamentalism faster and easier. And by engaging with Mixed Mental Arts in anyway, you are helping in its evolution. So, thank you for doing that. And if you want to join our movement, we welcome you. And if you love Tom or Peter, then maybe get them thinking about some of these ideas. Because going forward there’s not going to be much of a market for safe spaces. In fact, I intend to outcompete them all. Even if it makes people angry at me in the short run. Mostly, I’m interested in turning this global conversation around and towards something more productive.

And when it comes time to call out violent Fundamentalists…which we will…from the safety of a group…there’s going to inevitably be the question of fairness.

What about YOUR fundamentalists, Mixed Mental Artists? And if we’ve already dealt with capitalist fundamentalists and the Social Justice Warriors on college campuses and atheist fundamentalists like Richard Dawkins and pushed for a Scientific Reformation, then we’ll have the credibility to deal with other kinds of fundamentalism. Actually, we might not have to. Handle three or four kinds of fundamentalism and people will probably copy us. Then, the marketplace/invisible hand/blind watchmaker will take over. And what capitalist doesn’t love that.

Inevitably, there becomes the question of what’s in it for me? Well, if you unleash the wisdom of crowds to focus on idea sex, who knows what goodies you might get. I might even finally get…a chance to buy a HOVERBOARD.

Preach it, Captain Picard.

Captain Picard: We think we’ve come so far. Torture of heretics, burning of witches, it’s all ancient history. And then, before you can blink an eye, suddenly it threatens to start all over again.
Lieutenant Worf: I believed her. I-I HELPED her! I did not see what she was.
Captain Picard: Mr. Worf, villains who twirl their mustaches are easy to spot. Those who clothe themselves in good deeds are well camouflaged.
Lieutenant Worf: I think, after yesterday, people will not be so ready to trust her.
Captain Picard: Maybe. But she or someone like her will always be with us, waiting for the right climate in which to flourish – spreading fear in the name of righteousness. Vigilance, Mr. Worf. That is the price we have to continually pay.

And that, ladies and gentlemen is why we have the same checks and balances that people like Thomas E. Woods and Peter Schiff want to remove.

It’s important to recognize why this is necessary. In the 50’s, there were checks and balances on speech. The news media was populated by individuals who took journalistic responsibility seriously like Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow. In print, you had people like Woodward and Bernstein. They thought long and hard about what ended up on TV and in the papers. They would never have put this shit on TV.

Today though, there are no checks. Everyone has their own microphone and can broadcast whatever. They broadcast extremist ideologies to get attention. There’s Infowars and Addicting Info and all those ISIS twitter accounts. And there are podcasts that claim to represent the great and glorious ideology that is capitalism but don’t like The Tom Woods Show and The Peter Schiff Show. The result is that traditional media has had to compete in a race towards the bottom. Someone needs to take this on. That’s what Mixed Mental Arts is here for. In the words of libertarianism.org, it’s here to provide you with a “broad intellectual matrix” just like the Founding Fathers had. Because the time has come for a Second American Revolution. One that renews this country. However, rather than fight it with guns and cannons, we can fight it with ideas and comedy. We can fight it by using the 1st Amendment to help people see that the problem is not any one type of fundamentalism but all types of fundamentalism. And we can reveal that the people who are fundamentalists aren’t bad people. They just got lost along the way. And we can help them find their way back. And we can use the hundreds of years of information that have accumulated in the meantime to do it more quickly.

Actually, we don’t even need to tease Piggy, FDA Fingers, Lena “End Pizza Now!” DumbDumb, Alex Jones and his Infowars, Milo Yiannopoulos and all the other people who have appeared in the vacuum created by the breakdown of journalistic integrity. Instead, just think of me like one of those FDA labs Peter Schiff believes would appear. Peter Schiff was right!!!

I am that lab. See…the invisible hand did it!!!

I’m glad the internet came along and broke down the walls of traditional media. It’s great. Without it, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do this podcast. And I’m glad so much crap has proliferated masquerading as wisdom because now I can be a private lab that creates simple tests that allow you to cut through all the waffling of people’s ideas and quickly test their ideas.

What would happen to Piggy in an environment without a government monopoly on violence? I think it’d turn out like Lord of the Flies. (To check my conclusions, you can read War and Peace and War or The World Until Yesterday.)

Why does Peter Schiff have fingers? Did the FDA’s fussy, unreasonable bureaucrat Dr. Frances O. Kelsey help with that by withholding thalidomide from the market? (Look at countries where people are selling plastic as rice or injecting silicone into shrimp. Will some humans do anything for a buck? In an age when we have the science to say that some things will do you harm without doing any benefit is there any reason to allow those things to be sold? I know. This chafes against your intuitions of freedom. But if you want to secure your freedom don’t be a child driven by feelings blindly picked up from your father like Peter Schiff. Be an adult and sort through those feelings and come to realize that the problem of government overregulation is solved by getting the people to engage in the long, boring work of understanding these agencies and methodically figuring out what is baby and what is bathwater.)

Lena DumbDumb wants to stop cultural appropriation. Eventually, that logic would lead to us giving up pizza. Do you like pizza? Then maybe we should encourage idea sex between cultures rather than stopping it. (This one is easy for most of our listeners because it’s not your tribe.)

Harley Quinn. Oh, Harley Quinn. How may I love the ways that I count Michael Malice? I could listen to him talk and talk for hours. And yet, do I think we should take advice on how to secure American freedom from someone who clearly hasn’t yet recovered from the trauma of his own Russian childhood?

My goal is to help as many people update their cultural software as quickly as possible. Would you rather languish around and waste years while we’re all polite and dance around emotionally uncomfortable conversations or would you rather just rip that bandaid off and call things as they are?

To all these people and to you, the reader, I say again…

It’s hard to see any pattern when you’ve only got one or two data points. It’s only when you move between many, many cultures that the pattern emerges. And if Tom Woods had my childhood and I had his, then the roles here would be reversed. I’d be the one with five daughters and a wife to support, genuinely believing I was trying to secure American freedom and wondering why some young punk was comparing me to a pig. I’d think I was an asshole. But, in the end, I’d hope that I’d realize that I was lucky to have been saved from my own bad ideas. Nobody wants to be one of the 31 Flavors of Fundamentalism. And you don’t have to be. You can look at the evidence, draw your own conclusions and change your mind. You can admit that you’re selling ice cream and either stop selling it or be upfront about it. But unlike ice cream…I don’t think there’s going to be a big market for training in a fundamentalist madrasa once people recognize it for what it is.

And so, here we stand. Now, you’ve got something to think about. And I’ll give you something else to think about.

There are Muslims who defend ISIS and Al Qaeda and say they’re “good Muslim boys.” After all, ISIS and Al Qaeda talk all day about how much they love the Koran and how much they just want to be better Muslims. They certainly talk the talk. But not everybody who claims to love Christianity or Islam or the Founding Fathers or Capitalism or Social Justice is walking that walk. Instead, they’re walking an entirely different one. They claim to be trying to move us forward but actually they’re walking us backwards. And you as the citizen have to figure out whether you are drawn to someone like Tom Woods because he fit your feelings or because what he’s saying fits the facts of history. What did James Madison mean when he wrote the following:

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.”

I don’t think he meant anarcho-capitalism. I think he meant creating a government with the power to check the people and a people with the wisdom to check the government. My goal is to empower the people with the confidence and the clarity to check the government. But, in so doing, I have to call out the Fundamentalists in our midst and reveal them for what they are.

Because in the realm of ideas, people will sell anything. And some people’s thinking should come with a warning label that says caveat emptor. Buyer beware. They’re selling the sweet, sweet flavor of confirmation bias. They’re selling fundamentalist ice cream.

And if you don’t like my lab, you can set up your own. And we can compete. And our competition will create better solutions that better serve the customer. But I’m giving mine away for free. So good luck competing on price 🙂

And if you come up with a way for me to improve, I’ll incorporate it. That’s what Mixed Mental Arts is about. Incorporating whatever you can to improve my thinking and your thinking. And I’m going to tell you something, I’ve been training for a long time to get my mind in shape. If you think you’re going to make an overnight switch, well…you might run up against that 10,000 hour rule. Turns out…takes a long time to retrain your brain.

In a time when the world is in such a state, I don’t think my generation can afford to worry about making cash. The Baby Boomers have fucked up things so badly that we need a generation that puts the health of society before the needs of the individual. We can’t wait to get into power. We have to fix this on the internet. And if it turns out that we can fix the culture without getting into government, then it will turn out it wasn’t all the government’s fault after all. It was just people like Peter Schiff scapegoating it. We can make it our responsibility to speak up and defend our liberty from all the Intellectual Snake Oil Salesmen. After years of parasitic behavior, maybe it’s time they spent some time out of power.

And that, I think is very much what the Founding Fathers would want. After all, this is what is written on The Jefferson Memorial:

“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

Thomas Jefferson had his failings but he was a wise man. There aren’t a lot of those nowadays. In fact, there’s only one:

That’s Bryan Callen in the hit movie The Hangover. See how Bradley Cooper is dazzled by Bryan’s performance. That’s because Bradley knows something. Bradley Cooper is a Fundamentalist Actor. He just does the same thing over and over again. We get it, Braaad. You like working with Jennifer Lawrence and getting nominated for Oscars…every year. It gets boring. Try winning one. Or maybe don’t get nominated. Vary it up. Be like Bryan Callen.

Like so many Fundamentalists, Bradley Cooper has more followers. But Bryan has so much more to offer. So, let’s make Bryan Callen the star he deserves to be. Let’s get him lots and lots of followers and let’s become the wise, funny people this world so desperately needs. Let’s all of us (including Piggy, FDA Fingers, Lena DumbDumb, Harley Quinn and the AnCrappers) laugh at ourselves and get wise enough to solve the world’s problems. There’s enough of them to go around and we could use all the wise men we could get.

So, I’m grateful to Tom and his followers. They’re Level 1 Fundamentalists. And we’re going to need all the practice we can get for when we take on Richard Spencer and his Alt-Right followers.

There’s a guy who takes himself very, very seriously. He needs a good teasing. And maybe a tickle. What he doesn’t need is to have his ideas taken seriously. Because really…the whole “Are Jews People?” thing…it’s so 1930s. We did that. And I don’t know about you but I don’t want to ride that rollercoaster again. And if teasing Tom and Peter and Lena DumbDumb can help avoid that…well, then…I think that’s a price worth paying. And in return…you can call me whatever you want. Fair’s fair.

Love to all Humanity – Toto aka Hunter Cunter Fucker aka Grunter Farts

PS Just remember. Once the scales fell from Saul’s eyes on the road to Damascus he became Paul. That’s possible for Piggy, FDA Fingers or any of the rank and file AnCrappers. It’s even possible for Lena DumbDumb!!! Bryan Callen is very accepting 🙂

Right after being born in Saudi Arabia, I was taken to the Callen house. Since then, Bryan and I have travelled the world with our Citibank fathers and somehow ended up in LA together. There we'd run into each other at family gatherings and do something that no one else in LA seemed to be doing: we talked about books. Since Bryan was kind of a big deal, Hunter and Bryan hatched a scheme to use his podcast to get on their favorite authors and professors. Out of that evolved Mixed Mental Arts and this tribe. For me, the marriage of entertainment and education is a return to how things used to be before our culture split story into two separate things. It's exciting to be able to build on the work Katie O'Brien and I did for The Straight-A Conspiracy and expand it out to every area of life. While I play a series of roles in the Mixed Mental Arts community (including Shitty Dutch Uncle and Bryan's #1 fan) my favorite role is as Toto who pulls back the curtain and let's the world see that there are no wizards...only men and women who try and puff themselves up to seem important.

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