July 11th, 2013
Hey JKPodcast fans, it’s time for another Throwback Thursday! This time, we travel back, way back, to one our earliest conversations. The date was Sept. 19. 2012–I remember it like it was yesterday . . . actually, I had forgotten most of this conversation and very much enjoyed bumping into it again. I was especially amused that, in our second recording, I mention how often Kevin and I come to the same conversational crossroads–you’ll know it when you hear it. It’s the same one we’ve encountered like, 1,000,000 times since then, or using the Kevin Ludlow no-hyperbole filter, like 38 times since then.
So kick back, relax and enjoy this trip down memory lane, to a simpler time when kevin was still ranting about 9/11, Barack Obama was in a neck-and-neck presidential race with . . . somebody, McCain? and Alex Jones still sounded crazy when he said the NSA was recording every piece of electronic communication in the United States
Kevin: You can’t have a party and expect that something good is going to come from this because the second you have a party, now you’ve involved the establishment, and the establishment is in fact the problem.
Jad: Hey JK Podcast fans, it’s time for another Throwback Thursday. This time we travel back, way back to one of our earliest conversations. The date was September 19th, 2012 – I remember it like it was yesterday. Actually, I’ve forgotten most of this of this conversation and very much enjoyed bumping into it again. I was especially amused that in our second recording I mentioned how often Kevin and I come to the same conversational crossroads. You’ll know it when you hear it, it’s the same one we’ve encountered like a million times since then – or using the Kevin Ludlow no hyperbole filter, like 38 times since then.
So kick back, relax, and enjoy this trip down memory lane to a simpler time when Kevin was still ranting about 9/11, Barack Obama was in a neck and neck presidential race with somebody – McCain? And Alex Jones still sounded crazy when he said the NSA was recording every piece of electronic communication in the United States. Let’s get that sound effect again [sound effect].
Well and that’s the thing, this kinda goes back to something that we were talking about before and I don’t want to derail this conversation, but I really, honestly think that when you’re talking about the two groups of people that are shouting at each other you know, just the making – that’s like really, literally 10% or 20% of the population.
I mean really, almost everyone I know – even if they’re going to vote for Obama – they’re totally unhappy with the entire state of affairs, so I find not that much of a cognitive dissonance, I find it’s more the thing where they’re like, “well, I hope Obama wins so this happens”, and then you’re like, “well, how do you feel about all these things?” And they’ll be like, “well yeah, it’s actually terrible but you know, what other choices do we have?”
Kevin: Right, and that gets me into a topic that I talk about all the time and it’s the whole notion that everybody’s so goddamn interested in federal politics, national politics – and I’m perhaps no exception – and really, we all need to be acting in a local level and I dare say that people who are you know, libertarian in nature really need to be acting at a local level because that’s exactly what they’re advocating for in the first place. So I guess to be fair, I’d have to pick on them a little bit more than perhaps the other two groups, but I think some of the concern – at least from my experience is in some local politics – is that you’re right, you’ve got out of the two large groups, maybe you’re only looking again say, 20% of the population – let’s just use that number.
The problem is though is that that 20%, those are the people that are participating in all of the elections all the way down to your local level, screaming at the rooftops and you know, Austin city council and mayoral elections for example, think they garner like 8% of the population, I mean something just obscene.
Jad: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.
Kevin: And so if that doesn’t change at that level you know, for the way that our government’s designed to work where you have to have the local influence, the state influence, the federal – if you can’t get that system to work you know, what do you do because you need those people, and unfortunately, it really only seems to be the loud mouthed radical people – be it left or right – that are participating at that level and it’s much to our detriment, in my opinion.
Jad: I think local government is just – it’s incredibly the amount of power and evil it commits is just way under stated and misunderstood. You ever seen that thing where all Wikipedia pages ground out in philosophy? If you pick any Wikipedia topic and click on the first link –
Jad: – after like five links, you’ll always be at philosophy.
Jad: Yeah, it’s just because you know, things are stated in a very general way, so like you know, what is adding – it’s part of mathematics. What is mathematics – mathematics is some kind of learning. What is learning – well, the philosophy of learning is blah, blah, blah. Anyway, point being, I wonder if all our conversations are going to go back to this rift between you and I – which is not a big rift at all and doesn’t really bother me one bit – but the city council like you said, you were telling me the other day that it’s made up of like – half of it – is made up of like one neighborhood association and it’s got a total lock on everything.
Kevin: That’s a little overstated, but yes.
Jad: Alright. And then there’s a handful of people that are trying to you know – I’m just making this up – let’s say no to bond issues or something, no to further government debt, some libertarian-ish issue –
Jad: – it’s always going to be overwhelmed. And if it’s not overwhelmed then the bond issue’s going to be brought back up the next year, or they’re going to pass it as an emergency something at the city council – and I’m sure there are counterexamples and I’m entirely willing to accept that. But if you look at 100 issues that have been fought and fought hard, say smoking ban, the domain, Wal-Mart on whatever –
Jad: – they always lose. And the reason is because you can engage some, but it turns out that the opposition is only engaging as much as they need to. Like their loud mouth people, if 10% is enough to win an election, they’ll muster 10%. If they sense in any way that there’s any public opposition to what they’re doing, they’ll dump a few million dollars and muster 20%, and they have unlimited resources in that respect.
Kevin: And it’s happened time and again and it’s – Austin’s an interesting place and why I talk about it all the time with you and other people I mean, I’ve experienced a lot of it from having spent money in the building process, the development process, and you know, I sat on a [?] a couple of years back so I saw how that worked and I’ve just spent a lot of time in the council chambers and meeting with council members.
But yeah, you’re absolutely right and there’s small, small factions of people – and they’re the same people unfortunately – can do whatever they want essentially, and you know, somebody told me, “so you know, ACL[?] next year is going to be two weekends in a row” –
Kevin: You’ve heard this – well there was a friend of mine, big into ACL and all that, and you know, he knows I participate in some local governance here. When it first started getting talked about, he’s the one who pointed it out to me. He said, “hey, did you know that this was a discussion of city council”, and et cetera, et cetera, really hoping that they do that, I’d love to see it twice in a row. And I said to him I’m like, “oh, that’s a done deal”, and he’s like, “well how do you know?” He’s like, “did you hear something?” I’m like, “no, you literally just pointed it out to me.” I had never heard it before, but I can tell you as a guaranteed fact, if it’s already been discussed, there are just a few entities in this city that the second they come up, it’s just for show – and I hate to say that, but it’s true.
That’s the sort of thing that the politicians and the powers that be in this city, that’s something that they want because it’s a huge revenue generator for them, so there’s not actually going to be any real discussion about it in my opinion. There’s just going to be a showy sort of theme to say they discussed it in public forum, but the second that that came up as an option, it was already a done deal, they just needed to play the game to show everybody that there was public involvement in the process.
Kevin: And I just don’t believe there really is because I just think Austin’s very skewed in that way.
Jad: Yeah, yeah.
Kevin: Definitely an opinion there because I mean, I don’t have any facts to back that, but I’ve just seen it a number of times, so –
Jad: Sure. Well the recent one being – and I don’t know how much we’re going to do with local politics – but the racetrack thing – the Formula One thing – I mean like, everything was against it, every popular anything was against that.
Jad: Kevin will explain this racetrack issue that I’m babbling about shortly.
And it still got – it required like four levels, four agencies jumping in and overriding you know, concerns, and dissents, and environmental studies and all that, so just everything got put by the wayside.
Kevin: Oh, right.
Jad: I mean, it’s just a show. Any democratic aspect of it is just a smoking mirrors so stuff can happen and people can be like, “well you know, you chose this.”
Kevin: You know, I don’t want to get too caught up on local politics either, but I do think that there’s a bigger topic there to be made with the racetrack. So you know, if we want to use this as a topic, for people I suppose who don’t know, in Austin there’s going to be a you know, F1 racetrack. Apparently it’s going to be kinda the crown jewel racetrack in the united states all of a sudden, so it will be a pretty big deal. I’m sure the economic impact is going to be pretty substantial. I haven’t seen the actual numbers, but I’m sure it won’t be a terrible thing in the long run.
But that’s not really the point when it comes to governance right, because governance isn’t supposed to just be able to do whatever it wants with other people’s money, that’s the problem. And I often make the point to say you know, it’s no wonder we can’t fix anything at the federal level because we can’t even fix or control things at the smallest form of government, and I think that one of the good examples that the racetrack poses with just how encourageable, and how corrupt the government has become just all over the country is to look at their whole explanation for this is that they’re talking about it making jobs, and that’s one of the big reasons that this is a good thing for the city is it’s supposed to create X thousands of jobs and et cetera.
But nobody will talk about the fact that you’re not creating jobs, you’re creating the most deplorable of a position for somebody who is never going to escalate anywhere beyond you know, the $6 dollars an hour that you’re going to pay them to shuffle hot dogs around a place a couple of times a year, and that’s a far cry from a company that actually comes in and is going to create legitimate middle class jobs that sustain growth and life, and help people. So I’m truly bothered by the way the government in Austin just kind of cavalierly went about this whole thing with the racetrack.
Jad: Right. And I guess – to push it – I guess it links back to the second half of episode two, when I think of the voting versus – and I guess this is the downside is I don’t do anything else per se – but like this, I think when I imagine a hopeful future – like you say – like with that spark of hope that you just – you know something has to get better or you’re not willing to give up on looking for things that make it better, it seems like it’s got to be outside of that state structure. I don’t know what it’s going to be and I don’t know how it will gain a sendency, but given that there is a widespread – whatever you want to call it – austerity measures and budget overruns, and the state itself is kind of disintegrating in many places, I mean like Detroit for example is leading the way.
But I think the things that need to grow up out of those places, the communities and the social structures that need to grow up need to not be on the state model, need to not have a hierarchy in violence built into them at the very fabric, and I think to a degree that they do, we’ll have sort of a repeat of history. To the degree that they don’t, we’ll have a fundamentally new social structure to build on.
Kevin: Right. Well and if we go back to using – we talked a little bit about Ron Paul last timeas well – if we use Ron Paul as an example for that, one of the things that I like that he did after the fact is that he talked in some depth about how he – he didn’t go against his constituency of the liberty movement, but he certainly was clear to say, “you can’t have a party.” You can’t have a party and expect that something good is going to come from this because the second you have a party, now you’ve involved the establishment and the establishment is in fact the establishment – that is the problem. So he said, “you need collective intelligence, you need individuals who are interested in talking about it or discussing it, who are interested in understanding it”, and if you have enough people like that, if you’re able to somehow reach that group of people without trying to form some sort of entity around it, then you’ll have something that actually changes for the positive.
And I think that’s very similar to the position that you take – you pose the question well, let’s just say that we were somehow able to overcome this anti-authoritarianism, wouldn’t it just repeat itself? And I don’t disagree with you – I don’t know what the good solution is, but using kind of Ron Paul’s own words there, that was his take as well I think and at least in a nutshell is to say, you’re right – if you actually do fix anything – or let’s say you fix everything – if you go right back into trying to create the structure around it, you’ve just lost again, it’s just a matter of time before you lose.
Kevin: That’s not the way to freedom.
Jad: Then to go the conspiracy step further, it’s almost as if if you look at like – and I’m not saying that the Ron Paul thing is a total loss because I mean like you said, he has led probably more people into the sort of, down the labyrinth of you know, or down the rabbit hole I guess, right?
Jad: Of libertarian thinking than anybody else in the last you know, 50 years or something like that – well let’s say 30 years, I really don’t know what happened. But the time, and effort, and energy of electoral politics that were all tied up in that campaign, the hours that people spent in that political process rather than taking that same energy and those same resources and doing what Ron Paul essentially said right, which is you know, to ignore the party, to carry out the ideas of liberty, to participate in free marketplaces, to outreach to your neighbors and the people around you to create these sorts of pockets of freedom – all of that, all those resources were hoovered up into this national thing that just kind of you know, vanishes in a puff of smoke.
Jad: And at the end it doesn’t have an effect besides having a bunch of dispirited people who think that it’s not worth the time to do that again.
Kevin: You might be right.
Jad: I think on the other side, like the Ralph Naders, is that kind of guy for the left you know, and Obama to some degree. You know, all the talk about community, and solidarity, and good working conditions and all those sorts of things, all of that time, and attention, and effort is spent on this ephemeral conversation at a federal level, and then it just goes away – it’s just gone and nothing has happened.
And I know that’s sort of a – I understand I’m overstating it to some degree or at least I’m presenting the case as bleakly as possible – but it does seem kinda strange that like all of this energy has been spent over the course of you know, the history of the United States fighting for liberty, fighting to grab the control of the government to bring about liberty while for the same amount of time, there are people you know, Throeau’s and Emerson’s, and Benjamin Tuckers and all those guys who are saying, “you gotta leave that shit alone, it’s awful.”
Jad: Just do it, just ignore the state and do what you’re going to do, and eventually it will fall and you’ll be there with a sustainable model.
Kevin: You know, I don’t get angry very often and the reason I don’t get angry very often is because I just – I don’t really see much of a purpose to it, and sometimes there’s a certain type of person who will do something to me – whatever it is – and when they do that thing, I tell them I don’t like that, and they’ll apologize for it. But then ultimately they’ll do it again –
Jad: No shit.
Kevin: – and they’ll apologize for it. And then they’ll do it again and they’ll apologize, and eventually I have to tell them, “at this point, I am getting angry and I’m getting frustrated”, and they always ask, they’re like, “why are you” – “well I’m sorry, like, I apologize for you”, and I have to explain to them like, “I don’t give a shit, you don’t ever have to apologize to me. In fact, don’t apologize to me, just don’t fucking do the thing that breaks what you did again”, and I guess I kinda see it as parallel and again, going back to your point, you’re right – everybody wants to create a structure. Everybody wants to get involved in creating the law, in creating the system rather than just saying, “you don’t need the fucking system in the first place”, just be good to other people and help other people emulate that, and the society just works magically – that’s actually what a free society is all about.
Jad: No yeah, yeah. I totally agree, and I think that there’s another example of something that – and this is actually a joke somebody made that I really thought kinda hit the nail on the head and don’t a personal offense to this, but people were talking about the model of the Ron Paul blogger being you know, living in his parents’ basement or whatever, you’re not worried about the tyranny, the federal government, you’re worried about the tyranny of like, your overbearing mother, you know? If you’re investing all this energy in this external thing and you’re ignoring the fact that you’re like a slave, and you’re you know, to your job or to you know, your awful friends who keep torturing you, or your you know, whatever it is –
Jad: – then you’re fundamentally missing an opportunity at freedom.
Jad: And I think though the step beyond that is if you don’t know your – and I’m in this boat entirely – if you don’t know your neighbors and you’re not engaged in a way that we imagine people should be engaged horizontally, not authoritatively or in a position of authority with the people around you then you’re missing an opportunity. You’re missing – that’s what freedom should be, that’s what free markets are is exchange in that group, that’s with all these sorts of things. So anyway, I totally agree with your point.
Kevin: And I agree with that too, I think that’s the problem with big governance in general is that it actually dissuades people from being a part of those day to day systems that we should be a part of, and another one of them of course is the corporate structure. I mean beyond belief, and it took me a few years to figure it out, but I hold that one very dear to myself, and that’s specifically why you know, I remain my contractor status and frankly, I’m just kind of an asshole when it comes to the interviewing process because – I mean I’m not disrespectful – but just the last thing I’m going to do is concede that I’m going to spend my life in some sort of debt to a corporation, that’s just completely antithetical to the notions of liberty that I’m going with in the first place.
I’m not saying being employed is a bad thing – that’s perfectly fine and I’m not making a case against corporations even, just saying to blindly accept that the corporation or this entity somehow has control over my life for no particular reason, that’s just not something I’m willing to tolerate.
Kevin: And I guess for the right amount of money, perhaps I would. But as a general structure, I’m just not and it saddens me how many people you know, really are.
Jad: Absolutely. Yeah, yeah, no, for sure.
Kevin: I think they just don’t know that there’s other options.
Jad: That’s true, and that’s part of something else we should talk about sometime, education and the structure of the way a child is brought from kindergarten on to obey, look to somebody else for direction, and so forth because I think it has a lot to do with that.
Kevin: Oh, absolutely. And it’s been talked about God knows by how many people in this country.
Jad: Yes. [?]
Kevin: That’s a big deal.
Jad: And yes, some day we did talk about education and more about local politics, and a million or 57 other things that you can download, listen to, and ponder, and get back to us about. You’ll find our new episodes, entire archive, and contact information at www.JKPod.com, or you can reach either of us individually at our personal websites – Jad is at Jad-Davis.com, and Kevin is at KevinLudlow.com. What can I say, we are creative[?] motherfuckers.
I want to give a special thanks to our brave and fearless transcriptionist. I had no idea just how incoherent my speech patterns were until I tried to follow the written text of what I’m saying, so a very impressed kudos to Deidra Alexander of Galaxy Creative Media – I will try to speak more clearly in the future so that you don’t hate me. Seriously, we appreciate all your hard work. Thanks again for listening, and until next time, take care.