Democracy is Good, Actually | Very Important Docs²⁵

Democracy is Good, Actually | Very Important Docs²⁵

– Democracy is great, I mean it would be if
only people were smart. but the problem is that
people are just so stupid. If you try and tell people the facts they just fart right in your face. They use non-specific words
like “stuff” and “things” and they wear pajamas to Walmart. Morons! Allow me to hallucinate
the perfunctory manner in which the quintessential every day people perform their general malaise. Big words! The average person gets
up every single day and goes to their bad job that they picked because of some “you problem” and maybe they’re biologically stupid,
maybe they’re just too lazy to be smart, whatever I
don’t know, they do it. They choose to be lazy and
the only kind of person who would do that is a stupid one. And you know what? It’s not Maybelline, they’re born with it. Then these biologically stupid
and lazy people meet these other biologically stupid and
lazy people and they breed. Ew! Breeders! Moving on, I think democracy is stupid because everyone who isn’t me is stupid, I’m smart, let’s bring
in the lefty to debate. – Hey, what’s up? – Moralist. (upbeat music) – [Narrator] Democracy
is where the citizens of a society make decisions
about that society by voting. It comes in a few different flavors like direct democracy is
when citizens vote directly on each issue and
representative democracy is when they elect representatives
to vote on their behalf, pretty self explanatory, right? I mean, there’s a lot of nuance and lot’s of different ideas about it, but for the most part we know
what it’s supposed to be: the ability of the people to
make decisions for themselves. That in mind, did you know that over 70% of Americans believe in climate change? That’s a lot, isn’t it? 63% of Americans believe
that climate change is due to humans too – only a 7% drop off. Only 14% of people in the United States specifically believe that
climate change is not happening. To put that in perspective, Americans that believe in climate change
outnumber those who do not, five to one, or at least
they did in the Yale study that came out earlier in the year. While I was editing this, more polls came out and
apparently it’s more. – Yeah, so? I mean who cares? This is about democracy
not climate change. I mean, I was talking about how much better I am than everyone because I know what’s
right and that, if left up to other people, nothing would be good! I don’t wanna hear about “other people are also right and how.” That’s incongruent. – No, it might just end up a little bit more related than you might
think, meander with me. – Oh, so you mean,
you’re gonna Gish Gallop? (laughs) – [Narrator] Keeping in mind the assertion that 70% of Americans
believe in climate change, imagine that a politician won an election with 70% of the vote or
hell, 63% of the vote. In even the most cautious media narrative, that situation would have
to be called a landslide for characterization to seem credible. What I’m saying is, if there was a democratic vote among the American public right now, it would be a landslide
and we would probably be working in a more unified manner to combat climate change. That’s all well and good
but that’s now in 2019; it wasn’t always like that. Studying climate change
actually goes way back, the green house effect was an idea that first came about in the 1800s but it specifically the 1970s
and onward I want to focus on. In 1977 Exxon scientist
James Black reported to the companies executives with an internal report
asserting that fossil fuel usage was changing the climate. This same year, the EPA
released a technical report that reached a similar conclusion, Exxon began investigating
climate change pretty heavily and in 1982 they distributed
an internal primer on climate change which
sounds positive until you find out that Marvin B. Glaser, the environmental affairs
manager at Exxon, directed that it “should be
restricted to Exxon personnel and not distributed externally.” Until about 1989, the Exxon scientists were not outright ignored, even so their information
was never disseminated at mass scale. Some of their information was disseminated in scientific journals but the audience for that is
extremely narrow and specific, much like EPA reports. In 1988, NASA scientist James Hansen spoke to the US Senate about climate change. This was broadcast to the public and was presented in a manner that required less prior
knowledge to understand. – [Announcer] Global
warming has reached a level such that we can ascribe with a high level of confidence a cause
and effect relationship between greenhouse effect
and observed warming, it is already happening now. The greenhouse effect has been detected and it is changing our climates now, we already reached the point where the greenhouse effect is important. – [Narrator] This testimony
was many peoples introduction to climate science and only months later an Exxon tanker spilled 11 million gallons of oil into Alaskan waters. The public, or at least the public that reads scientific journals and watches senate hearings,
was becoming alarmed. In response, Exxon along
with Shell and BP, founded the Global Climate Coalition which again, sounds positive at least until
you find out what it was. The Global Climate Coalition
was a lobbyist front for oil companies to
specifically appose any action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To accomplish their goals, the GCC disseminated an
abundance of information designed to undermine public perception of the science behind global warming, but regardless of why, our society isn’t currently treating climate change as an all hands on deck global crisis. I believe there’s two reasons for that: first, the information
and attention economies around the subject have been
strategically manipulated to prevent peoples
familiarity with evidence and second, even if people were familiar with the evidence there is no mechanism to force meaningful change
in ending the vast majority of carbon emissions. It was around the mid 2000’s that these oil companies
started advertising their alternative energy divisions and it has been since then that public opinion has changed the most. So is society under-reacting
to the climate crisis because people are stupid, is
it really just about knowing? I don’t think so. In fact, I think it’s because the information
in attention economies are effectively owned –
just as every company, factory, refinery and machine that are putting carbon
into the air are also owned. The every day person is being kept away from that information and, to this day, has no real control, democratic or otherwise, over what is done
with the means of production. – Well people are stupid for letting them own
the means of production. – Would you agree that
a socio economic system where the means of production are owned by the workers in an attempt to socialize both the labor and product could very well be an improvement then? – No, that is not what I mean. I think they should not buy anything from those companies causing them to go bankrupt and disappear forever. – So you think that the
every day person’s usage of say gasoline is
statistically comparable to industrial usage but you think everyone can
just up and stop buying, they’d get fired from their
job for not showing up. – Good, there’s too many idiots anyways, it might clear ’em out. – So you’d rather have the majority of people starving to death
because they can’t work to earn money which is necessary to eat in this system instead of consider a different
organization method for power and mode of production? – Well, like the problem is, we could fail if we tried
something like that. – Are bits money? ‘coz you get a lot of them. – I mean, improving
society sounds really great and all but it isn’t how my
audience lives right now, so the status quo has to
feel comfortable enough to give me money, meaning
I flat out can’t take you, your criticisms of current conditions or your ideas about a
future society seriously or they’ll stop paying me. Do you want me to starve? – No, but that is exactly the problem, you’re financially incentivized
to support the world as it is today. Coerced and that if you
don’t you’ll not be able to support yourself anymore, do you see how that’s a kind of ownership? The current order of things has over the information
and attention economies? – I know, I know it really
does sound like an example of what you’re trying to
say prevents systemic change and improvement but like who cares? Minecraft! Yeah! Yeah! Oh yeah! Uh-huh. – [Narrator] Let’s say there’s
a 100 worker cooperatively owned factory where 70, that’s 70% the same percentage of people in the United
States who understand that climate change is real, 70 of this factories workers are white, the remaining 30 workers are black. For a moment, let’s assume
the white majority is also racist in his hypothetical. And it continually votes against the black minority’s interests. I bring this up because recently
this hypothetical situation has been used to discredit
even a preliminary change in the relations of production, namely the co-op. So why
are these workers racist? – Because they’re stupid and white and that is why people are racist. It’s because they’re white
and stupid and white. Slavery was awful! Godd*mn, this mean is golden isn’t it? – [Narrator] It was people in institutions with centralized power
which actively withheld and propagandized climate
information in previous decades. Race has been propagandized
in mostly the same ways, albeit much more heavily and for centuries rather then decades. So to repeat the question
when we’re talking about a co-op in a
hypothetical socialist world, where no one has any kind of capital to unilaterally control
the information flow, why are these workers racist? So let’s assume that Exxon was a democratically organized co-op. No obscenely powerful individual is able to simply decide that their
interest takes priority over everyone else’s lives. In this situation where power is democratically
distributed in the factory, Exxon most likely could not
have unilaterally decided to withhold or manipulate
information on climate change, Why? Because the decision isn’t
just left to one rich f*ck, or a few rich f*cks with ownership of the means of production
and a profit motive thanks to commodity production. If I worked at Exxon and saw a report that provided evidence
that Exxon’s activity was contributing to killing the planet, I’d want that to be made public ASAP. While I do understand
not everyone is like me and it is theoretically
possible people would vote against releasing the
report. But the point is that Marvin B. Glaser, the
environmental affairs manager at Exxon at the time, could
never have unilaterally directed that the report should be restricted to Exxon personnel and not
distributed externally. – Well you just acknowledged
the biggest problem, people can vote so that
no one outside sees it! Checkmate leftist! You moron! You idiot! – Sure, but the point is
that structurally speaking no one person or small group
of people would have the say on whether or not the
report is made public because no one person or small group of people has direct control
over the information economy surrounding it. And if someone
did have that authority, it would be revocable
and they would of had to have been voted into that position. – Yeah well I don’t wanna talk about this factories origin story, I just wanna make up a
factory that makes me right. – [Narrator] If Exxon was a co-op with democratic accountability, withholding a report like that
would be an obvious misuse of a position’s power assuming a position like “Environmental Affairs
Manager” even existed in the first place. The situation isn’t stationary; it develops as people think critically. The context in such a situation is that Exxon – and most likely
everything else – would have to be set up entirely
different from how it is now. So if the pretend factory
were set up democratically, if the voters voted on a charter and agreed upon standards intended not to centralize power among
anyone specifically, I think it’s fairly unreasonable to assume the entire 70% majority of white workers are racist, because they voted to
enter into that agreement with 30 black people, whether or not it’s implemented perfectly, the ideal of democracy
these people subscribe to would imply they don’t want to racially marginalize
the 30% black minority of workers as they are entering into a democratic arrangement
where black votes count as much as white ones,
which is not even the case with the US presidential election. But let’s generously say that
55% of the 70 white workers in this factory are prone to make consciously racist decisions. That’s more than half, about
39 racist workers to be exact. So when the racist votes come up, the 30 black people combined
with the 31 white people who are not racist will
win with 61% of the vote, a pretty comfortable margin. A question I think should be asked is, “why would 70 racist white workers say ‘I really don’t like the blacks but I would really like to start a factory where everyone gets equal
say in the situation including the blacks who
I consciously consider to be sub-human?'” That is to say, what set
of conditions would lead to the creation of this factory? I feel like this hypothetical situation would require circumstances
that are extremely unlikely, you could make the case
that subconscious bias would manifest in vote results sure, that’s true they definitely could. But we’ve also already made the point that this happens in the status quo where they way power is
arranged specifically incentives it now. It’s already a problem so why shouldn’t we try
to do it a different way? I’m sorry, but the idea a worker
owned co-op, an enterprise where it has been
democratically agreed upon that black workers individually have exactly the same ownership and power as white workers who supposedly
hate them, is probably not something that would
happen in the first place. This hypothetical doesn’t
really make sense. Racism, assuming it is rampant enough that every single white
person is consciously racist to the point where they
will explicitly vote to harm black people
would have to be dealt with during the founding of this factory for it to progress to the
point the hypothetical assumes. That is to say, it’s
extremely unlikely anyone could actually negate the contradictions of this premise because it seems like
no realistic sequence of events could actually lead to it. – Ah, so you don’t have an answer. I win because I made a problem that isn’t gonna happen
and you couldn’t solve it. Besides, one word can untie
your little democracy knot. One word no one likes, no one wants and yet enough
people were stupid enough to vote for, the word is a a portmanteau of Britain and exit, it’s
Exitain, er… Brexit. – [Narrator] Anti-democracy arguments seem to inevitably mention the
supposed ultimate failure of democracy, Brexit. The thing where every
day people had control and it f*cked everyone over, apparently. – Check mate, tard. – Whoa, hey, that’s an ableist slur, I mean you’re an
oppositional character saying the opposite of what I think
but why would you say that? – Because as a character, I represent the kind of
person who would say that, I mean you, Peter Coffin
wrote everything I’m saying and you’re playing me as a character, you using aesthetic imitation to highlight the difference between what this character represents and what the overall video represents. One of the people who inspired this cold smug asshole
regularly uses neuroatypicality as an insult and this
acknowledges it while also functioning as a
juxtaposition to emphasize the kind of person this video is arguing against. – No, I’m gonna have to concede to that ‘coz you right, context does specifically create
the point of a punch line, I mean I totally forgot
a lot of statements and satirical fiction like these segments aren’t really made to
be taken at face value. – So, Brexit was a failure
of democracy, tard. – [Narrator] To qualify, I won’t be engaging in
a general value judgment of the European Union here,
deciding if the EU is good or bad requires significantly more context than I can give in a section of a video that isn’t about the EU. The position I’m working from is that the EU embodies a lot of the problems of neo-liberalism but
there also some things which might make it a
preferable situation to Brexit. Not only is there a real
possibility of shortages of basic necessities like
food, gasoline and medicine, but there are also a number of EU supported laws regulating
labor, social rights, business and finance which would just no longer effect Britain anymore. Leaving would also ensure
further privatization in the economy, welfare
and probably most scary for those on the margins, public services. – I think we’re gonna have to
think about healthcare very, very differently and I
think we’re gonna have to move to an insurance
based system of healthcare. Frankly, I would feel more comfortable that my money would
return value if I was able to do that through the market place of an insurance company
than just us trustingly giving a 100 billion a
year to central government. – [Narrator] Part of the
reason for that would be that the EU would require Britain to negotiate a new trade
deal with the United States and if you know anything about us, you know that a whopping 17% of our gross domestic product is private healthcare spending, over 3.5 trillion dollars a year. We don’t have a public healthcare system, we have a private one – and
that’s why it costs so much. The people and institutions
that own that industry have the kind of the money that can lobby pretty well
and the dipsh*t running this place is on their side. Do you think that with a Brexit, NHS would survive in
it’s nationalized form? Well I’m skeptical. – [TRUMP] Look, I think everything
with the trade deal is on the table when you’re
dealing in trade everything’s on the table, so NHS or
anything else are a lot more than that but everything will
be on the table absolutely. (laughs) – Can you imagine all
those stupid idiots losing that just ‘coz they voted
to screw themselves over. – I mean, that not what
they were voting for though, as a broad message they
were told Britain was going to get to decide it’s own destiny and more specifically they
were told things like, the NHS was going to get access to 350 million pounds
Britain would otherwise send to the EU every week, when in reality a highly regarded and indispensable public
service like the NHS would be become more vulnerable
than ever before. – F*ck off, tankie! – [Narrator] I think it’s reasonable to assert at last part
of the point of Brexit is to undermine a number
of public institutions to force one or more national crises that can be exploited to undemocratically push
through controversial policies while people are too occupied by disasters to mount any kind of effective resistance. This concept is the basis of Naomi Klein’s “The Shock Doctrine, The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.” – [KLEIN] Ten years ago I
published The Shock Doctrine an investigation that spanned four decades from Pinochet’s US backed
coup in 1970s Chile to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. I noticed a brutal and recurring tactic by right-wing governments. After a shocking event, a war, a coup, a terrorist attack, market crash or natural disaster exploit
the public’s disorientation, suspend democracy, push
through radical policies that enrich the one percent at the expense of the poor and middle class. – [Narrator] Given that
there were a number of wealthy business people
involved in the promotion of Brexit – everyone
from Sir James Ratcliffe, they were just manned in Britain as of this writing, and Big Papa
Suck, James Dyson himself, The Vacuum Man, it’s reasonable to assume there is financial
incentive to back Brexit. Where Sir James Ratcliffe
owns a company called INEOS, a privately owned UK
multi-national chemicals company. – And volatile chemicals. – And has constantly moaned about EU taxes while The Vacuum Man has complained for years that he has had to put a label about how energy efficient his Dyson cleaners are
on the Dyson cleaners. Less specifically, whether
or not you love the EU, the likely wave of
privatization that renegotiation of trade deals would enable would effectively hand publicly owned and accountable services and institutions to the highest bidder, which would often mean US capitalists, ironic as though that would be as Britain was the original empire. Now the government fully owning and undemocratically operating these things isn’t democracy either, it’s obviously also an instance
of centralization of power, however, if laid out plainly, most would probably agree
it’s less objectionable to centralize that power
in the UK government which again is at least
partially accountable to everyone on the electoral role, rather than centralizing
it with an individual or a small group of people
with a profit motive who are mainly accountable
to themselves – for now! Not only do wealthy capitalists
have significant power in the financial economy, but it is that economic power specifically which affords significant power
in the information economy which is, for some reason,
operating as a market place. That reason is neoliberalism. On this channel, I’ve
said about a million times that attention is currency
in the Marketplace of Ideas. Following that, the marketing industry is, in a sense, a currency exchange where people put fiat money in
and get attention money back. When we fill in the details here, we see how undemocratic
Brexit actually is. Robert Mercer is a American billionaire who made his money with artificial intelligence
driven investments. Up until May first 2018, he also co-owned Cambridge Analytica, a now-defunct subsidiary of now-defunct UK influence
operations firm called Strategic Communication Laboratories. SCL had previously contracted for militaries operating in the developing world
doing elections management. – And volatile chemicals. – [Narrator] Note that didn’t mean provided infrastructure for elections but rather it meant engaging
in psychological warfare to manipulate elections in countries that were likely under duress due to, oh I don’t know, maybe a military occupying the country or something like that. WYLIE: My names Christopher Wylie, I’m a data scientist and I help
set up Cambridge Analytica. It’s incorrect to call Cambridge
Analytica a purely sort of data science company or an
algorithm you know company, it is a full service propaganda machine. If you can control all of the streams of information around your opponents, you can influence how they perceive that battle space and
you can then influence how they’re going to behave and react. – [Narrator] Mercer and Steve Bannon, head of Breitbart, a right-wing propaganda
organization which has been shown to repeatedly print false information and use biased framework and
is co-owned by Robert Mercer, both became heavily involved and or invested in the US branch of SCL. With their involvement, the company as well,
as sub-contracted firms such as Aggregate IQ,
employed machine learning and data obtained through Facebook to target voters in the UK with highly-individualized
physiological operations similar to that of the
elections management it had done as SCL in developing nations albeit more technologically advanced. Their machines used an
incomprehensibly large amount of personal data harvested from millions of peoples Facebook profiles to find individualized emotional triggers. – [WYLIE] We would know what
kinds of messaging you would be susceptible to,
including the framing of it, the topics, the contents, the tone, whether it’s scary or
not that kind of thing, so what you would be susceptible to and where you’re going to consume that. Websites would be created,
blogs would be created, whatever it is that we think
this target profile will be receptive to, we will
create content on the internet for them to find and then they see that and they click it and they
go down the rabbit hole. Instead of standing in the public square and saying what you think
and then letting people come and listen to you and have
that shared experiences to what your narrative is, you’re whispering into the ear of each and every voter and you may be whispering one thing to this voter and another thing to another voter. – [Narrator] This was
achieved in multiple ways but one that was particularly dicey was creating a personality quiz that just flat out asked people questions about their emotional triggers. You know, questions along those lines. The quiz was branded in a innocuous way, implying data wasn’t being recorded for a firm engaging in
elections management. – [WYLIE] Imagine I go
and ask you, I say hey, could you fill out this survey for me, just do it on this app
and you say fine right? I don’t just capture
what your responses are, I capture all of the information about you from Facebook but also this app then crawls through your
social network and captures all of that data also, and
so that means I only need to engage 50,000, 70,000 or 100,000 people to get a really big
data set really quickly and it scaled really quickly, we were able to get upwards of 50 million plus Facebook
records in the span of a couple months. – 50 million? – Yeah, over 50 million records. – [Narrator] The quiz went viral with over six million
people handing over answers to questions specifically
about their personality. Keeping in mind that projects like PragerU for instance spend 10s of thousands of dollars a week on Facebook advertising, it’s reasonable to assume
the same thing happened with this quiz given the
money and purpose behind it. Using the physiological profiles they obtained in this and other ways, personalized propaganda
was disseminated and that includes everything from
stand alone Facebook posts to links to sites like Breitbart. Can you do that? Like sure, you can post
things on Facebook, you can lie to hell you
can even tell the truth in your posts but do you have the money to directly target millions of people? Do you have decades of experience manipulating elections in developing nations and the data to individualize your
psychological warfare? Have you considered it’s not
just about getting people to vote a certain way? Like, it may be about
discouraging the people who will vote against you
from voting all together, and you can’t do any of that, you don’t have the means to, is that an actual democratic
distribution of power? I don’t think its absurd
to say “no, it’s not.” It is– – [Announcer] An extraordinary scandal that this should be
anywhere near a democracy. It should be clear to voters where information is coming from, and if it’s not transparent or open where it’s coming from, it raises the question of whether we are actually
living in a democracy or not. – [Narrator] If just 9.9% of people who are registered to
vote but didn’t vote, had voted remain, then remain would have
won the Brexit referendum. To emphasize how few people that is, it’s less than two percent
of the British population. – [WYLIE] If you want to
fundamentally change society, you first have to break it and
it’s only when you break it, is when you can remold the pieces into your vision of a new society. – [KLEIN] Ten years ago I
published The Shock Doctrine. – [Narrator] People
see physical billboards much less than they
see their Facebook feed and it’s not individually tailored to them and yet the utility of a physical billboard is somehow obvious while manipulating how
people see the world via their Facebook feed is often looked at as less influential than it likely is. What Cambridge Analytica
and various sUb contractors did was not static billboard ads designed to be seen as people drive
past them on the freeway, if you can visualize Facebook as glasses, it was basically drawing
stuff on the lenses. Robert Mercer and Nigel Farage, leader of the political
party advocating for Brexit, UKIP at the time, the Brexit party now, were buds from before
the big Britain break and Mercer literally donated
Cambridge Analytica’s services to Farage and his party. Why? I sure don’t know but it
seems to have something to do with being a successful capitalist. I don’t need to repeat to you the kinds of things Cambridge Analytica does, just imagine all the sh*t I just said but in the US presidential election but it gets even more undemocratic than totally dominating
the environment people make decisions in; additionally, the way voting works in the US is often dubious. In the US there’s a system
called the electoral college, to explain simply, what you’re ultimately actually voting for is not president but to which candidate your
states electoral votes go, states with smaller
populations are represented with more electoral votes per person, this is represented as something done to protect these states, but what really needs to be emphasized is that this allows a person
to lose an election by three million votes
and win the election. A couple of years ago I did the math to demonstrate how much more weight any individuals vote technically
has in any state, given how they actually work. California is the most populous state with the most electoral votes however there were the least per person, to compare, votes in
Pennsylvania are with 1.08 times as much what a person in California’s are. Michigan votes are worth 1.119 times as much and Wisconsin votes
are worth a whopping 1.2 times as much as votes in California, not officially of course but when you work out
their actual effects. And that’s not even the most egregious, Wyoming votes are worth 3.6 times as much. That is not democratic. Using this methodology you
can find that nation wide, white peoples vote is worth about five to six percent more than
everyone else’s which by the way is not even the case in that hypothetical racist
factory that doesn’t exist. Black votes are equal
to white votes there. So speaking at at least as
far as the voting system in what is billed as the
most important election in the country, America is worse than a
straw man hypothetical used to discredit the idea of co-ops. Other parts of the American system that are also billed as some kind of democracy really don’t work in a manner that I think is appropriate
to describe as democratic. Voter disenfranchisement effects the poor, hurting marginalized groups the worst, gerrymandering effects
basically every election and the first past the post voting system discourages conceptualization
of real alternatives. 62.9 million people voted for Trump, that sounds like a lot but it’s only 31% of registered voters in 2016, perhaps even more strangely
it’s only about 19.5% of the US population in 2016. No matter how you slice
that, it’s not a mandate, it’s not the will of the people, it’s not even the will of
one fourth of the people. – Yeah, but if 70 of their
workers and 100 worker co-op were white and racist that
disproves everything you can say about democracy being good. Also look how bad everything
is, it’s all due to democracy. – Dude, come on you’re straight trifling, that’s nonsense. Okay let me propose you a hypothetical. – Sure, I mean it’s gonna
give me cancer, but whatever. – Right, imagine your spouse or partner is cheating on you, if you don’t have a
spouse or partner imagine your porn is cheating on you, something. Actually just imagine you have a spouse or partner and that your monogamous and that they’re cheating on you. – Would never happen, not to me. – There is no real way for
you to know about it is there? There’s no evidence, there’s no friends and
family that know about it, your spouse has no
intention of telling you, you’re never going to
find out and hopefully they don’t decide to murder you because they’re apparently very good at the whole evidence game. So how do you make a decision
about your spouse cheating? – Well, I can’t. – That’s right, you can’t, when someone controls the information that you use to make decisions in order to get a specific
outcome that they desire, it’s not really your decision, is it? We can say we’re living
in a democracy all we want but when someone is doing
that sh*t we really aren’t, at a societal scale whoever owns the means to disseminate information
and culture owns the means of production of reality
for a lot of people. Of course it gets more complicated, but you can and should
read Manufacturing Consent on your own time. Point is, powerful
people own the air waves and the websites, you don’t. Powerful people own the companies that do the vast majority of polluting, you don’t. You can say that withholding information, releasing false information
or using a flood of true, false and irrelevant information to obscure the facts about
say climate change is wrong, but you don’t have a say in what happens. 100 companies are producing 71% of world wide carbon emissions. Does that number change based on how many Americans
believe in climate change? Well, it would if people
had democratic control over these companies but people don’t. So, no. Currently that kind of thing only changes when the people who own
and control these companies make the decision to change it. These companies have, up until this point, unilaterally chosen not only to continue to harm the climate of our earth but to heavily manipulate the
information economy around it. I’m not saying it’s totally impossible that people could vote their way to a similar result if given equal control over Exxon. However, if
the decisions regarding the studies Exxon did on climate change were democratically
made, it seems unlikely that everyone having heard
the internal scientist saying this will eventually
make the earth we all live on unlivable would go ahead
and do everything they can to hide the information and delay action by nearly half a century. And no, you can’t just
vote with your dollars, the market isn’t democracy.
Demand doesn’t drive supply. Don’t believe me? They made Atlas Shrugged a trilogy. They spent 35 million dollars to make all three Atlas Shrugged films and together, these movies only made about eight million Dollars. Total. More than half of that
coming from the first film, with the third film not
even making 860,000 dollars. The trilogy didn’t even make
back a quarter of it’s budget. People who like Ayn Rand
don’t even like these movies, and still the resources were located to make all three. the decision is ultimately
made by an individual or small group of people with capital. Power is why someone got
to say doesn’t matter to me that we can’t
make a profit from this, we’re gonna finish this
sh*tty trilogy come hell or high water. They had 35 million Dollars
and everyone else doesn’t. That imbalance sucks, regardless of what system it happens in. But the reason people attack capitalism is that capitalism is today’s world and that imbalance exists in it fundamentally. Now, if ownership and control of the means and therefore distribution of power was democratic, I can’t promise you
everyone would definitely make better decisions. I can’t even promise everyone would definitely make different decisions. However, I think if no person or institution could unilaterally own the information economy, there’s a good chance seven out of 10 Americans would have believed in climate change earlier and would of had the ability to
do something about it. There’s a big difference
between what we have now which is the privilege of wielding a vote for the consent of a higher power and what we could have which would be maybe a democratic
distribution of power. The quasi democracy we engage in now is because they let us and not because we genuinely own and
control some part of the world. We don’t own the means and,
therefore, we don’t actually have the power. Just permission. State power happily manipulates the means to do democracy while
private power owns everything you see and can present it to
people however they want to. With this arrangement, we
don’t have democracy now. So now that we’ve cleared that up, would it not be possible that it might be a little bit better if things were more
controlled by the people, a little more democratic. – No you shut up you tankie! – Dude you have no idea what tankie is. (upbeat music) Hey it’s Peter! Thanks
for a lot for watching, becoming a patron is what makes this kind of thing possible so please
consider becoming one. Hope you enjoyed it and I’ll see you on Twitch or YouTube soon.

Posts created 26404

100 thoughts on “Democracy is Good, Actually | Very Important Docs²⁵

  1. One of the problems with the "racist cooperative" scenario is block voting. Cooperatives allow people to block a vote from even coming up. So if they were to block the vote, if the rest of the 70 racist white people force that vote through, 30 of the black people that blocked the vote leave the company, and they get to take their share of the company. So that is a 30% loss of labor and capital of a company overnight, and on top of that get bad PR for being a racist company. There no way that scenario is reasonable, and even absurdly if it happened, there are still plenty of good countermeasures.

    As for the "polluting cooperative" scenario, it is even more absurd. There is no reason why a cooperative would not diversify to clean technologies. Even the profitable capitalist oil companies have diversified. So they will survive the end of oil. I can only see that a cooperative would have diversified more and coordinated more with society for the change. I really don't see the problem here.

  2. I liked this video. It was better paced and more friendly vocabulary wise than some previous videos of yours.

  3. Ok first LOL at this character, v accurate depiction of a certain collection of people. Top notch acting and scripting. Love.
    Secondly, there are so many gross uncharitable interpretations of this video, it was funny and cleverly done imo, as well, I literally took notes on the rich information you provided. Awesome peter !

  4. Shock doctrine + brexit was a startlingly good insight which I hadn't even considered Seems so obvious now, the private companies absolutely love our collective confusion and chaos

  5. Man guess we better show all the people Destiny's taken from fascists and the right and got them into left-wing and progressive politics this video so they can go back to being Nazis. better than being helped by this fuck amiright? Excited for the sequel feat. Vaush^^

  6. I liked the part after you made this where you backpedaled all your points then ran away from Destiny for a SECOND time when he tried to talk to you. Quality content.

  7. I can't believe Peter is a grown-ass man who claim to be a leftist and owns a Mario shirt…

    …I'm not alone.

  8. This is amazing!, after watching your videos i've completely altered the way i think about the way i think. Now i'll find myself talking about a fascist channel like Red Ice TV and i'll say "god these people are stupid" and then i'll think "well…no…they're probably not stupid…they're probably beind told lies from the minute they're born…they're brains are no more smooth than mine but they've been sold an evil ideology

  9. Just considering your hypothetical worker-owned Exxon – worker cooperatives are less bad than hierarchical corporations (especially in the instances that least resemble those corps), however, they still have the incentive to bury evidence of negative externalities in a market socialist scenario. We need to incorporate broader social accountability over mere change in productive relations. Arguably broader social accountability implies changing not only productive relations, but also reproductive.

  10. I love you Peter, but it would be a lot easier to follow your videos if you had title cards for each section of your argument. Your points are good, but I feel like they kinda spill all over each other at times and I get confused.

  11. U guys should really thumb this comment up THE CHARACTER WASN'T JUST DESTINY CHILL OUT FANBOYS WE'RE NOT SAYING DESTINY IS AN INCEL just a liberal

  12. I super support the message of this video, but I gotta be honest. I wish you had just taken out the streamer character.

  13. While many leftist ideas such as the complete democratization of society & every human relation being socialism and coops being socialist are mistaken and unhelpful/distracting with respect to the proletariat's invariant program (because commodity production, private property ownership, labor exploitation, etc. are the real, systemic class issues here), I appreciate this video greatly in its elucidation of just how captured human society is by capital currently and how fragile its mirage of fairness (through bourgeois democracy) is. Thanks Peter.

  14. Dest made a response to this and the title is hyperbole. I'm trying hard not to watch it because it would just be dumb.

  15. Judging by the comments Destiny has responded to this and only focused on the mockery and made himself out to be a victim. Destinys fans have just as much of a fragile ego as he does lmao.

  16. What is true, just, and beautiful is not determined by popular vote. The masses everywhere are ignorant, short-sighted, motivated by envy, and easy to fool. Democratic politicians must appeal to these masses in order to be elected. Whoever is the best demagogue will win. Almost by necessity, then, democracy will lead to the perversion of truth, justice and beauty.

  17. I’m so sorry about the follow up debate. Destiny was a nightmare. He just couldn’t get it and I don’t get that.


    Destiny and Coffin had a debate about this video, in case anyone is interested

  19. I think going over a previous debate you had and trying to make more cogent responses to questions you previously struggled to answer meaningfully is a fine idea.

    I don't, however, think this characterization is good at all. Many of us watched the previous debate. You spend most of the video kind of ascribing positions to this fictional "gamer" that Destiny has never held, giving positions that might sound 'vaguely' similar to someone who doesn't know anything about him. But entirely losing any nuance and taking up a completely different meaning.

    I'm reading comments below and they seem to claim you combined them with ben shapiro arguments which is, really weird… because the parts of this video that I consider good, kind of read like you re-making your responses to questions in that debate with your best arguments, that you were unable to make in the debate because thinking on the spot is actually really hard. Which makes this entire thing come off like some fanfiction of how the debate could of gone that you had later on in your head. That's fine, we all do that, or at least I understand because I do it constantly. But ascribing a completely different persons arguments to somebody at the same time makes it look like that's what you actually imagined their positions to be because the optics of this really makes it look like you're trying to portraying that person.

    I don't like it, it feels pretty disingenuous and I really value how genuine all the lefties I watch are. I valued where you described your intentions in having the debate in a previous video, I think its pretty cool to be open about stuff like that, but I don't value the characterisation of your opponent in this video at all, knowing who it portrays.

    I thought that part where you showed us parts of a documentary describing voter manipulation during brexit was pretty cool though, I didn't know that before and yeah it really shows the degree at which you can leverage propaganda when you have large amounts of money and tons of personal data at your disposal.

    — after watching his response to this —

    I'm pretty sure both him and his audience are pretty receptive to good faith arguments and new data that shows certain things, there are some potential constructive dialogues somewhere between you two, but the approach in this video has potentially damaged your character to his audience and left them far less receptive.

    Potential dialogues I'd be interested in are following up on what issues that structures like co-ops are and aren't capable of tackling, like destiny acknowledges that it'd probably help with climate change and I'm wondering if it could help address issues of propaganda too because, even if as destiny would argue, a co-op is capable of it too. Co-ops would be less likely to want to gather and use peoples personal data because now they're included as a part of those people, they're no longer above it.

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