Shankar's claim about the US Constitution being based on Iroquois political organization is nonsense. There isn't the slightest shred of evidence to suggest the Founders "used the model of consensus governance and the exemplar of a written constitution taken from the over 800-year history of the Iroquois in framing their own drafts of the United States constitution." No serious historians think that's true. https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/12974

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At first thought you were interviewing this man ...


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Franklin and Jefferson had almost nothing to do with the federalist papers. Jefferson was in France and Franklin was elderly.

Madison, Jay and Hamilton wrote the federalist papers, which are known by political scholars, even today, as the greatest theoretical construction of good governance ever created.

When Hamilton and Madison wrote the majority of those papers, they were not thinking about some ancient tribe in India or the native americans; they were thinking about Montesquieu and Locke, and the failures of Greece (tyranny of the majority) and Rome (fiscal failures and cultural degradation).

And American exceptionalism, is not rooted in the idea that American people are better than everyone, or that we have some deterministic destiny handed down by God; rather, it's predicated upon the fundamental truth that America is the only nation built upon an idea: ideas borne out of the enlightenment: namely, lockean and kantian ethics, which valued natural law, inalienable rights, and individualism. These are not myths. All you have to do is read the correspondence between Jefferson and Adams, and Madison and Jefferson.

There is also the term "British exceptionalism" which often refers to the fact that the UK is one of the only countries to have no codified constitution. It is certainly the oldest country to have never codified a constitution, and that is pretty remarkable. Indeed, one might call it "exceptional".

There is nothing wrong with a little patriotism; in fact without patriotism you cannot have a country.

I think people who misrepresent history are destructionists. These are people who want to destroy the culture, and replace it with some half baked conception.

Furthermore, Chomsky's ideas are a derivative of Rudolph Rocker. He's just promulgating anarcho syndicalism which actually goes all the way back to Bakunin. And I think anarcho syndicalism is worthy of discussion, but you don't need a revolution to achieve anarcho syndicalism. There is nothing in capitalism that prohibits large cooperatives from forming. There is nothing stopping Elon or Bill from permitting workers to vote for their salaries. So why havent these cooperatives been popular outside the one success story of mondragan, which is the only thing Chomsky ever points too.

Presumably because investors dont want to take on risk without a large reward.

Many cooperatives also fail because the people working there are unproductive, and because democratizing industry with internal regulation and policy procedures generally makes it difficult to operate the company. If the workers at a cooperative value their salaries more than research and development, then it won't be long before they are out of business.

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I would like to ask Ravishankar to justify his statement that democracy in India is being compromised by Prime Minister Modi's nationalism. May I remind him that his election is actually living proof of the democratic system, where he was democratically voted in, by the overwhelming majority I might add, and not once but twice, and confidently expected to win a third time? And no election shenanigans either time, I might also add!

I've found it curious that supporters of democracy somehow limit their support only to times when it suits their narrative, a la Sam Harris (when he stated that there is justification for subverting elections if it is for the common good, and of course what constitutes "the common good" is not determined by the voting public, but rather intellectuals like Sam who, in their infinite wisdom, know what's best for everyone). We are apparently too ignorant to know this, and must needs look to the likes of Mr Harris to guide us.

And if that isn't hypocrisy, I don't know what is.

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Jan 22·edited Jan 22

Glenn, I always enjoy your talks and opinions. Whoever Ravi Shanker is though, I couldn't finish it. Your answers are great, but Shanker's self-righteous mode of questioning irritated me too much.

One bad faith question after another (most of them stated as a manifesto of its own) kept me wondering, if what you are saying even registers with him. Will he change even one of his prejudices? Unlikely.

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