Lew Rockwell interviewed Tucker Carlson about his book, Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution. The interview appeared on lewrockwell.com as a transcript. We’ve edited out Mr Rockwell’s questions and we publish the transcript below, editing out some “you knows” , “I means”, and other conversational diversions, because Mr Carlson has an interesting point of view.
Why does the ruling class hate the American working class so much?
Why do they want to replace it with immigrants? That’s kind of the central question.
This is the only revolution in anyone’s memory waged against the working class, not on its behalf. Typically, you know, revolutions are supposed to be for the unemployed. But they’re inconvenient. They complain. They’re living proof that the power schemes of the people in charge have failed. If you’re running a country and your middle class is dying, you’re demonstrably a failure. And so you want to get rid of that evidence as fast as you can.
But I also think there’s something deeper going on, which is that technology has eliminated a lot of the value in labor. So in 1947, no politician could attack the working class. That was the heart of the country. Our industrial base needed workers to build things. And now we have an economy based on finance, and technology promises to replace a huge percentage of those people who still work with their hands. So actually, labor isn’t worth much anymore. And so you can attack people you don’t need. It’s disgusting because the point of leadership is not simply to reap its benefits but to rise to its obligations. And the first obligation is to the people beneath you. If you’re a parent, your obligation is to your kids; if you’re an officer, to your troops; if you’re a CEO, to your employees; and if you’re the U.S. government, it’s to your citizens. So there’s something not just unimpressive but something immoral about their failures, in my opinion.
When we look at Silicon Valley, it seems like the government, maybe for the first time in history, has outsourced the police state to these private companies. So that we have to worry about Google and Facebook and the rest of them.
Google Is A Bigger Threat To Our Liberty Than The US Government.
If you’re a kind of conventional conservative, like I have been for most of my life, you’ve been trained to believe that the singular threat to our liberty was government. That’s what Reagan said. He was probably right at the time. And it takes a while, if you’ve grown up believing that, to readjust to the new reality, which is now the singular threat to your freedoms, to your freedom of association, certainly to your freedom of speech, to your ability to think, is technology. It’s the big tech companies. It’s Google primarily, but it’s also Facebook and Twitter and the rest. Simple question: Who knows more about you, Google or the Social Security Administration? There’s no contest.
And Google is the biggest company in the history of the world. I’m not really surprised that conservatives still defend it because they’ve been so trained by Libertarian economists and the Chamber of Commerce to kind of bow down to any company because that’s capitalism, the free market or whatever the slogan is. But I’m really surprised and horrified that the left has given up its long-standing position that concentrations of power, corporate power, are a threat to a democracy. They were right, absolutely. I laughed at them. I shouldn’t have; they were right. And now they’ve decided to enter this bargain with corporations, where the companies fund left-wing activism in exchange for suspending all criticism of their greed and power. It has completely changed my politics, I’ll tell you that, because I think it’s real; it’s a threat.
They’re embracing what they euphemistically call the European tradition. And, of course, that’s a tradition without a Bill of Rights, without a First Amendment. And there’s no greater threat, I would say, to our democracy than these companies.
They’re Not American.
We’ve been trained to believe that these are American companies because they’re primarily staffed by Americans, they were incubated partly at taxpayer expense on the campus of Stanford. They could only have grown in a country with a legal system, with a patent system like ours. So America made these companies possible. But they’re not American. They’re multi-national corporations that have no loyalty to our country or our government. They are, in fact, owned by foreign countries in large part by the sovereign wealth funds of nations that hate us or are our rival. So, in fact, they’re foreign entities in our midst, which control almost all information in English. So, by definition, why is that not a terrifying reality? It is. And I’m not sure why more people aren’t saying that, but they should be.
On your show, if you accuse somebody of a crime, you are liable. You could be sued. Google cannot be. If we planned some crime on G-mail, they can’t be held accountable. That’s because they have an exemption under the Decency Act, which gives them immunity from that. In exchange, they say, we’re not a media organization; we don’t edit the content; we’re a conduit to this information because we’re a neutral platform. And that’s how they describe themselves. That’s a lie. And now we have documents showing it’s a lie. They edit content. Google, among other things, is a news organization. It edits content. It decides what you can see and what you can’t.
Government Is Complicit.
The Republicans are in charge of the Congress. They should be protecting the population from this obvious risk but they’re not. Mike Lee, Senator from Utah, is the chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrusts. Google is obviously a monopoly; it’s got a monopoly on search. So I brought this up to him, why aren’t you doing something about this, and he looked kind of embarrassed and muttered something about the free market or capitalism, neither of which applies, of course, to Google, but whatever. That was the talking point and he kind of moved on. The truth is the public is not being protected from the threat because there’s a bipartisan agreement that Google’s interests are more important than those of the population. That kind of tells you everything right there.
I know that government has intersected with the growth of the tech sector at every turn. There’s a reason that Amazon might move to northern Virginia and that’s because the U.S. government, after 9/11, expanded the information-carrying capacity, the pipeline in northern Virginia, at public expense, in order to protect the country from terrorism. So there’s many examples of these companies piggybacking on federally funded military projects, defense projects, and turning a profit. I mean, this is a long-spanning kind of tradition, of course, of where does government begin and where does the company end, it’s not always clear. It’s not clear at Raytheon or Boeing and it’s not clear at Google.
And yet, again, these are not American companies. Google has, just yesterday, pulled itself out of the running to work with DOD on a project because it said working with the American Defense Department is inconsistent with its corporate values. And yet, they’re full speed ahead on catering to the government of China, the Fascist government of China in its efforts to suppress free speech within China. Their loyalty is not to our government. This is a foreign entity and I think we should start to see it that way.
We’ve Disaggregated Risk From Benefits.
If you’re in charge of something, again, whether it’s a family or a company or a country, you have to be all in. That’s why the captain goes down with the ship, because that’s an assurance to the rest of us. He’s the captain, he’s got his quarters, got better food, but in the end, if something goes wrong, he takes full responsibility for it. And that’s the way human society, successful ones, have always been organized. If you reap the benefits, you have to take the risks. And we’ve disaggregated risk from benefits all up and down our society, the banking sector, most famously, but also in our political sector and our tech sector. So in other words, these guys are running companies that hurt the country, our country. And yet, if our country goes south, how many of them have foreign passports, how many consider themselves as American, how many of them think nationality is even a legitimate category? None.
They’re not loyal to America and yet they have enormous power over America. That’s a system that cannot continue.
Why do they hate Trump so much?
Trump’s main sin is the fact that they can’t control him and he’s likely to say anything. Trump’s one gift is being able to smell what’s true, the obvious truth, and say it out loud or ask a question about it. He asks questions like why do we have NATO. Wasn’t the point of NATO to keep the Soviets from invading western Europe; they don’t exist, why do we still have it? Why are we still in Afghanistan? We’ve been there 17 years, we’re not succeeding, why are we still there? So the threat that Trump poses is really simple – he calls them out on their failures. He asks questions that, for some reason, no one has asked. The most obvious of all questions, why are we signing trade deals and not making the other signatory live up to them. That’s not a complex question. I don’t understand much about trade, but I recognize that as a legitimate question. We’ve got troops on the Korean peninsula. They’ve been there since 1950. The Koreans are not paying us for that. We’re protecting them from being invaded but they’re not paying in. Why is that? Maybe there’s a good reason. I don’t know. Why are we still in Afghanistan? I don’t know. Maybe there’s a good reason. Speak slowly so I can understand what that reason is.
They won’t engage because they don’t have an answer. Their answer is, shut up, Racist. So Trump’s main threat to them is he’s the one guy who doesn’t care if you say, shut up, Racist. He says, yes, whatever, what’s the answer? And that quality of his, above any other, is why they hate him.
I think you’re absolutely allowed to hate Trump or any other politician. I think it’s OK. I don’t like politicians but I’ve spent my life covering them. They’re horrible. So I think it’s totally legitimate to dislike a politician, for sure. What’s not legitimate is to ignore the concerns of your fellow Americans and attack them for asking to be represented or asking to have their questions answered legitimately or for voting for a candidate. If you find yourself truly hating half the country, the problem is with you, not with them.
This originally appeared on the Lew Rockwell Show on October 12, 2018.