Episode 38: Marianne Williamson
Guest Name(s): Marianne Williamson
Matt sits down with Author Marianne Williamson and chats about her books, government, environment and politics.
Marianne Williamson Learning Center >>
Episode Audio Links:
#38 – Marianne Williamson – A Climate Change with Matt Matern (formerly Unite & Heal America with Matt Matern)
You’re listening to Unite and Heal America and KPC 790. This is Matt Matern, your host. Today, I’m broadcasting from a 14th century monastery in Avignon, France.
So we have a bit of a spiritual vibe, which is perfect for our guests today. Well, I’m delighted to have our guests Marianne Williamson, join us on the show today.
I first saw Marianne do an event at a church in Santa Monica, regarding the “Course in Miracles” when Marianne was eight months pregnant with her daughter, and I think that must have been 31-32 years ago, and radiating an angelic energy that evening.
And then fast forward 20 years later, and I saw you a number of times at the Sorbonne Theatre in Beverly Hills doing your weekly workshop there on the Course in Miracles, probably over 10 times in like 2011, 2012, which were always very powerful.
And one evening, you came up to me and said, Do I know you? And I said, Well, maybe 20 years ago, we met or other events, but it’s been a while. And then we both ran for president in 2020. You as a Democrat, me as a Republican, and I remember being interviewed for by a radio guy in New Hampshire. And he said, you know, you sound like the Republican Marianne Williamson.
Because I was talking to teamed up you in May? Yeah, we should have, I should have called you. Well, it’s never too late. So you know, I was talking about health care and incentivizing good health and things like that. And, of course, I took it as a nice compliment. And so it’s been about a 31 year arc of storyline to set up this conversation. But eventually it did happen.
So there’s so much to talk about, and you’ve spoken and written on so many important topics, it’s challenging to ask you kind of where to start. My inclination is to have you talk about how you realize you were a powerful person, and how you were going to use that power for good in the world. So with that long winded intro, welcome, Marianne, great to have you on the show.
Well, thank you, thank you. And I love hearing that story. Knowing that we’ve known each other for a long time, and I didn’t even know it. So that’s great, thank you.
Well, I was kind of harkening back to what you had written in, I think one of your books about recognizing people’s spiritual power, and that one of the things that many of us do, or all of us do is kind of shirk from that a bit, and kind of live a bit smaller, because we don’t want to kind of take on that challenge of growing to the next level and to use that power that we have been given for, for good.
And I kinda like you to talk about that. Because I think you’ve talked about that really powerful and love to have the audience hear that message. Because as far as I’m concerned, we can’t kind of hear it enough.
Well, I think that you’re right. I think playing small as a kind of perverse comfort zone. It’s the default we go into, having been told that we’re limited having been told we’re not good enough and various ways, by the society by parental figures to member having been told were not as good as having been told whatever illusions that we’ve been taught. we internalize those things and keep ourselves playing within a very narrow field. It’s becomes our default becomes our mental habit.
If we are to say I don’t want to live within that narrow those narrow parameters, I think that I have because of a God who lives with me unlimited capacity and potential to become strong or have been weak to become loving, where I’ve been harsh, to become forgiving, where I’ve been judgmental, to start soaring above all these small minded neuroses and wounded, wounded places, and sense of victimization, I want to I want to go for freedom. That is a big challenge to the ego. First of all, we get a lot of resistance from our own programming that we’ve internalized, and in many ways, we get a lot of resistance from the society.
You know, if you if you say I’m wounded and I victimize 1,000 people will join you in the support group. If you say I’m wounded like everyone else, but I choose not to live from the wound, I claim my power, you’re going to have a lot of people gathered to tell you who the hell do you think you are? So to truly stand on the idea that we live at a time, where the grownups better show up now, because that’s really what we’re talking about.
We’ve had a post longest post-adolescence in the history of the world. In our society, we have too many men running around like little boys and too many women running well, actually girls. And one of the things that we all know is that this is very serious moment. And we better rise up and we better show up and we better grow.
And that I think, is the zeitgeist of this moment. inhabiting the space and expanding to the openness and the willingness for level of maturity and emotional psychological sobriety, and real social and intellectual and emotional adulthood, that is required at this time, for enough of us to come together and turn things around in a society that has become very fraught with very detailed.
Well, I’d say an amen to that. I guess the question is, how does that occur on an individual basis and collective way? How do we turn things around? Well, it has to begin on an individual basis. Now you can talk about it in secular terms, you can talk about character, we can talk about integrity, we can talk about it, and spiritual and religious terms about forgiveness and generosity and mercy.
But whether we’re seeing those things in secular or religious or spiritual terms, it has to do with our realizing that something has gone wrong at the center of things, the way people treat each other in a society, the way we have made somebody making a quick buck or huge multinational corporation making a quick walk more important in way too many cases than just people treating people we all get, I think that very few people are not recognizing something has gone wrong, we’re off the rails in the society.
But I think that we also realize those who are taking a sober look at all this, that the change has to begin with me. Now, because I come from a religious and spiritual faith position, to me, that change is very difficult to come by without a serious relationship with a higher power, prayer, meditation and so forth. But I know many wonderful people, certainly playing a lot the Game of Life at full wingspan, who don’t contextualize it from a religious or spiritual perspective. But they they know that what matters is their character, their honesty, their integrity.
So however we name it, it’s the idea of personal improvements that goes way beyond getting what you want into the field of being the people that that we should be on this planet. We know that we are not we were not whether you see it as we were not created by God, or we’re, you don’t see it as rather being created by God. For those of us who do see it as created by God, we were created to love one another. Not to hate one another, to be peacemakers.
I don’t believe we were created to destroy the Earth. We were not created to just put so many chemicals in the water that people get cancer at high rates. We were not created, but so many toxins in the food that the chemicals are, are destroying our health.
We were not created to make guns more important than kindness. We were not created to withhold from each other on the levels that we are. And I think everybody knows that. That’s the good news. The good news is I’m not saying anything anybody doesn’t know at this point.
Now the issue is for all of us, I think to begin by looking in the mirror, and asking how we can be the men and women that we need to be to play the biggest part in contributing to the collective like you said, What do you start with the collective other personally start with the personal but you know that there was collective emergence going on here, that if you feel what I just said, don’t forget, so the millions of other people as well. And if we all stand up, as best we can, we will find ourselves we will find ourselves meeting with people and circumstances, relationships, situations, where all of us have a greater opportunity to show up for the grid.
Well tell us a little bit about your spiritual journey, where it started and what were some of the spiritual awakenings you had. In particular, I like you to talk a little bit about Project angel food and how that story was part of your journey as well.
Well, first of all, I think everybody’s on a spiritual path. Most people just don’t know it. Being on a spiritual path. Spirituality is just the path of the heart. Everybody is learning, either to wisdom or to pay to become a better person, because life’s going to nudge you there one way or the other. I don’t subscribe to the Eureka theory of spiritual transformation.
To me, we’re all just doing our best, and life is nudging us in the direction of being better today than we were yesterday. That to me is the spiritual journey. I stay away from any grandiosity about it. i Oh, I didn’t see it. Now I do see, you know, it’s more like I did. I saw it last night, I didn’t see it as more, right. Like I say, now that I don’t know, I’ll be tonight.
So you know, let’s all keep it grounded and keep it humble. And that’s what the spiritual journey is. It’s just a life of maturation. Now, for me in terms of project angel food, I was given lectures on A Course in Miracles in Los Angeles, as you know, when I started, I started lecturing in 1983.
By the mid 80s, AIDS was exploding onto the scene, and you couldn’t be in Los Angeles and not feel the impact of that disease which ravaged it. And it took a while it wasn’t like Western medicine wasn’t trying, there was certainly try, but it was like with COVID, there is no cure yet. They’re rushing them to urgency. I haven’t found a cure yet. That’s how it was with AIDS. Sure, you remember. But it wasn’t just that the medical authorities kept trying and coming up empty on tour and treatment. Another challenge was the quietude of the organized religious institutions, I assume because they were working through their own issues of ambivalence about gay people or whatever.
Mary, let me just stop you for a second there, do our station break and we’ll be right back. You’re listening to Marianne Williamson on Unite and Heal America on CAVC 790. We’ll be right back.
You’re listening to Unite and Heal America with Matt Matern, your host and my guest, again, Marianne Williamson. And we’re talking about Mary Ann’s work with Project angel food. And if you could just jump back into where you were. And in telling that story about how that evolved.
I was just saying that I was giving lectures on A Course in Miracles. And there was a lot of desperation in the air. And a lot of gay men started coming to my lectures in LA at that time, because I was talking about a God who loves you no matter what, and miracles that can happen.
And so gay man in LA really gave me my career. And I was lecturing several times a week. And there was great suffering that was occurring. So I began doing these support groups. And then we thought, you know, this week, we’re at Johns and on Thursday, we’re Aidans. And Monday, we’re going to be at David’s. And then we thought, well, let’s rent a house. That could be a place where people could come, you know, they can’t work any longer. We would rent a house. And they could, we would make food there. And they could have support groups, and they can watch movies, and they could have therapists come and massage all kinds of non medical support services, free support services to people who are dealing not only with AIDS, but other lifetimes and illnesses.
And then one day, I walked in to the house and I said, Where’s John? And these will John didn’t come in today. So why didn’t they come in? I said, Well, he’s too sick. It can’t get he couldn’t get him. I said, Well, how how’s it going to eat lunch? Because John would usually be here for lunch. And they said, well, Oh, no. So I love to drive. When somebody is taking lunch, we’ll take a munch. And this just started happening more and more.
And I realized how many more people would be at home and we could not come to the center anymore for those services. So we started doing fundraisers, and we started Project angel food, which was a, a, a project of the Center for Living. Where the idea was that homebound people with AIDS would still feel I love, they would receive our food, but they will also receive on love and people were so many people at the lectures would say I’m getting it this is as much as service to me, you know, people felt as people do now with COVID, although the differences are interesting, as well as the similarities. People were like, What can we do to be of help?
And so I think people who are volunteering in the kitchen and people who are volunteering as drivers felt like this was a way that they could, in the midst of this horrifying situation be of service to others, which made all the difference. It was born of a very beautiful spirit. And I’m so admiring and impressed and happy and satisfied and all those good things to see how generation upon generation and board membership and executive leadership has carried on the best of traditions of project management. served over 13 million meals now.
I feel like the grandmother who brought down from the attic every once in a while, you know, to talk about the beginnings of it to talk to the board members, I’m very honored that they seem to have carved out a little space and you know, found I want to hear from the founder. And they want to hear about that, that spirit out of which it was born, and which they have so beautifully, year after year kept moving forward. It’s a beautiful organization. And I hope that it’s something although Santa lands can feel very proud of.
Well, absolutely. And I think it’s just such a great story of of starting. It’s such a small and modest beginning. And then building out from a business plan. There was no, like I said, I said to David Kessler, I said, we need to do this. Is that what’s your business plan? What do you mean business plan? What’s your business plan? We need to do it we’re gonna make we’re gonna make food and we’re gonna deliver it to people, we didn’t make the business plan. People might right now be saying it can’t be as simple as that. But it actually was as simple as that, right? I like that Goethe quote, that boldness has genius, power and magic. So I think that was a bold move, and obviously had genius power behind it.
Well, I think a lot of it has to do with youth. It doesn’t, you don’t know what there is to be scared of? Yeah. Well, it was it was kind of funny that I was talking to a friend about interviewing you. And she was saying, Oh, I volunteered for that when I was in UCLA, and they, one of my cool professors brought us down there. And you know, we got to do this and how it was such a great experience for her. So the ring of effect that it had on so many people is something you can’t even measure. It’s it’s one of those things that goes on and on and on. Sure, you’re proud of it. And it’s just, it’s such a great example of just throwing your hat over the wall and saying, Hey, I’m gonna go get it. And I’m not sure how I’m gonna go get it. But you know, here I go.
I didn’t even know there wasn’t a thing to go gap. I just thought, Oh, we’re gonna do this. It was we’re like, hey, Nikki. Hey, Judy. I there was one conversation that I have not forgotten, because I think it was very significant. I said to my mother, this was about founding the the original Center for Living. I’ve heard from my mother, well, you know, I want to start this nonprofit organization. But I just don’t know if I should. She said, Well, what would the organization do?
I said, Well, you know, these people may or may not have AIDS, and they’re really sick and other people who are really sick. And I thought if we just had a place that they could come every day, you know, a lot of people would volunteer to do therapy with them. And they can watch movies, and we could have massages, and a lot of these people feel very unloved and we could make food, I just think it’d be really good. And she said, Well, that sounds wonderful.
Why wouldn’t you do it? I said, Well, Mommy, I mean, if I did that, I think that I could only do it in integrity. If I assumed I would be here for at least five years. I mean, you can’t start something like that. And then just know I might leave next year. I mean, you’d have a real responsibility be raising money, you’d be doing this.
So I would really owe it to people to stay for at least five years. And my mother’s response has stayed with me. She said, I feel so sorry for your generation, that you’re so afraid of someone needing you. Wow, you said you’re old enough that you should show up for being needed by others.
Powerful stuff. So a message I think indicts all of us a bit and something that we can all work on it just like you had said earlier that these spiritual awakenings are not always eureka moments, they’re pieces of progress that we make along the path.
Absolutely. The small epiphanies, the small what is called a moments of clarity, moments of forgiveness, moments of just showing up in a different way than you did yesterday and realizing that the new way really does work better. Life is a series of lessons and the lessons are rehearsed until we get them right.
Let me ask you a bit about writing books, because you’ve written a number of books. And it kind of relates to some of the things we’ve been talking about, in that you take a powerful message and sharing it not knowing how it will be received. And I assume there’s some fears attach to it. Are people going to like this? Or is it going to be accepted? Am I going to is it going to fall flat? So there are at least those be some of the fears I have. I don’t know if you had any of that. But tell us a little bit about that journey and what it looked like?
Well, when I wrote my first book, you know, the kind of commodification of the spiritual journey had not occurred in those days. So there was Nothing to be ambitious for in my career, you know, now with an industry that wasn’t, wasn’t like that, then I had nothing to be ambitious for.
And when I wrote my first book, I was just hoping it would sell enough copies. And I wouldn’t be embarrassed. I didn’t know what it meant that Oprah Winfrey called. I didn’t know she didn’t have a book club yet. I knew she had a successful show, I knew she was a nice lady. I knew it was really nice that she invited me to be on her show. But I didn’t know she’d get up and say it was a favorite book and get the 1000 copies away. And it would be the fifth largest selling book that year, and my life would never be the same. I didn’t know that. And I think the fact that I didn’t know it is what facilitated, it’s happening.
She gave me my career and the day, I had a career as an author as of that day. But you write enough books, and you’re at a point where people, and especially since other people start writing books about the same kinds of things. It’s not just this magic where you have, you write a book and you’re on Oprah and you become a best seller. It’s not like that, it’s you have to work a little not that you work hard on writing the books, because we work hard on all that. But it’s it’s not a short thing that you’re going to get promoted. It’s not a short thing. Anybody is going to read it.
That’s not a short thing, that it will be a best seller. But I think the older you get, the more mature you get. Some people are mature when they’re young, some people are never mature. But the more mature you get, if you do mature, you’re not in it for sales, you’re not in it for ambition. You’re in it to write one true word. And if you know, the more you read about great writers, you know, you read about Tolstoy, you read about Hemingway, you read a bout the great writers in the world.
They were acting so bestseller lists didn’t exist in their deck. They were waiting for the ages. And I think that that’s what we are as a society, we’ve cheapened everything so much by imposing on it the capitalist mantra, how much did it sell? And I think everybody’s yearning for the deeper meaning that comes from was it good? Was it true was a beautiful? And did I in some way add to that?
So if I write one paragraph that might one sentence even it might give someone some insight that goes, Yeah, that’s what you write for it. Like somebody might read that sentence ago? Yeah, that’s exactly. I see that excitement. Bucha. If I do that, and that was a good day, and it was a good book.
Well, I appreciate that. And I think that answers my follow up question, which was like, why should others do this? Because so many other books are written? And I guess the the answer, I guess, is you’re writing to take get that beautiful thought and to, and it doesn’t matter if a million people read it, or if it’s read by fire, it still has your face.
Nobody has your face. Nobody has your experience of life. Nobody has your particular view of the world. And if you find your particular view of the world, and you find a way to speak it to say a Truman, and simply, there was a line that always meant a lot to me from gosh, I forget his name. Oh, I feel terrible. And I forgotten his name, a writer who said, if you genuinely have something to say, there is someone out there who genuinely needs to hear it. Can’t remember his name. I thought that was a great point. Well, it’ll be something for our listeners to Google to find it genuinely has nothing to say there’s someone out there who genuinely need to hear and I believe that.
You’re listening to KBC 790. This is Matt Matern and host of Unite and Heal America. We’re talking to Marianne Williamson and we’ll be right back after the break to talk about a number of other issues.
You’re listening to Unite and Heal America. This is Matt Matern. CAVC 790 And my guest today, Marianne Williamson.
Marianne, I wanted to kind of shift gears a little bit here and talk about what I see is the number one problem facing humanity today, which is the environment and how do we address this set of problems that requires global action, National Action, local action, individual action? How does the citizen engage with this, given the complexity of the issues that we face? I mean, it’s, it’s a lot of science out there that maybe challenging for kind of the average person, I know it’s challenging for me to get my head around it. There’s, there’s a lot of it out there.
I think at this point, the most profound truths are not complex at all, are very simple. The fossil fuel companies are destroying the world. That’s not really very complex. And while I’m not a huge fan of either major political party these days, one is a lot worse on this conflict than the other. And that’s as simple as it gets.
Yeah, I completely agree with you. And I recognize that Exxon did a study back in the 80s, saying that the CO2 levels would get up to the 400 parts per million level. And if they did, they were doing, they knew what they were doing. And even today, the big fossil fuel companies are lobbying against the climate action aspects of the infrastructure bill. I don’t know what these guys are thinking because don’t I know they want their grandchildren to breathe.
At this point, we can analyze it all we want, their tyranny must be stopped. Their tyranny must be stopped. Even now, given the horrific climate crisis that we are in as we speak, this is not something that’s coming. This is something that’s here, even as we speak, the fossil fuel companies are lobbyists doing everything they can to stop the infrastructure bill of the climate mitigation aspects. And these people need to be called out and it needs to be seen for what it is.
And everybody needs to show up in the 2022 midterms, and vote for the party that you feel will give you some climate change mitigation, as opposed to the one who will resist it tooth and nail. And we can talk about how it’s complicated. But what I just said is not complicated. They want you to think it’s complicated. It’s really very simple. We need to shift Yeah, majority economy to a clean economy, we need a just transition.
And if we do not make that if we do not make that transition from a dirty economy to a clean economy, we’re going to continue seeing something that to me is so sad. You know, I’m seeing names here for people working on your team. I see Kyle and Sasha and Harry, I don’t know if this is true of any of them. But I think it’s possible that least one of them are young in childbearing years. And everywhere I go in this country, when I say I would say to audiences when I was running for President, I would say how many of you either are a young person or had had heard a young person say, under normal circumstances, I would probably want to have children.
But given the world that they would probably inherit, I’m not going to. And everywhere I went in large towns and small enough people would raise their hands and I’d say please look around the room. Please look around them. Everybody would look everybody was kind of astonished because they thought it was only them.
And I said something is very wrong, that you have this many young people now that everybody’s supposed to have kids, that that you have this many young people who under normal circumstances would at least consider it who are afraid to bring someone into the world because of this. I don’t know how much more of a code red we know that the IPCC report said we’re on Code Red, we all know we’re on Code Red. We all know the economic forces that resist dealing with this.
We know their names, we know its Exxon, we know it, shall we know everything we need to know, at this point, we still need to stop pretending we don’t know, and do everything possible to stop them in their tracks. And the midterms in 2022 will have will be a large part of that.
I guess the question is on a on a micro basis, or kind of the step by step path to decarbonize our economy. What does that path look like to you, I realized that we are taking steps on that path. And we’ve made some strides here in California. But we’ve got we’ve got quite a long way to go.
Yes, and on a micro level, I think many of us are awakened to things we weren’t awakened to before whether it has to do with no longer eating animals, whether it has to do with as simple as driving an electric car, which is not that simple. There I do, you know, in this area, as in so many mat the problem is not the consciousness of the American people.
We’re not stupid. And you see issue after issue including climate, people want the government to take strong action. The government is not taking strong action because they are corporate force, because the undue influence of money, particularly corporate money on our governmental systems, is such that they are consistently in this area as in others as well voting against the will of the American people rather than representing the will of the American people.
The reason people are so frustrated is because we know a micro level is not enough. might have an electric car, it’s not enough, my recycling is not enough. My even my, my going vegan is not enough even though we’re all like moving towards these things as best we can the multibillion dollar fortunes that are made by these fossil fuel companies that as you said yourself know, what they’re doing. And even though what they’re doing with the infrastructure bill and how they’re, they’re doing everything they can to strip the climate mitigation pieces out of it. At this point. We’ve got to show up in such massive numbers in 2022, or I think we’re kind of done.
Well, I guess the other question related to that is, we in the United States can take effective action, assuming we can, that’s, that’s any if we still have to convince other parts of the world, particularly China, India, and other areas to clean up their environment, because we are a, whatever 10, 12% of the global emissions now or something like that. It’s, we’re part of it, but we’re not the sole problem. So how do we get back?
Yeah, but that’s such a classic displacement technique. We do it as individuals. Well, what about other people? You know, we call ourselves a man. I mean, that’s so ridiculous. And and every men at this point at this point, particularly after Afghanistan, and everything else, the United States is so in no position to say we do the right thing, but they don’t if we just take care of our own house and do what we can.
That’s a that’s a spiritual principle right there. And I do believe, I mean, look at the look at the Paris Climate Climate Accords, we were the ones who withdrew. So I think that there are climate activists pretty much all over the world and the part of the garden that we’re asked to attend to is our own.
Okay, focus on our own problems. First, that’s always a problem. Obviously, the climate change is a global problem. But we can certainly deal with the with the part of the problem that is created by the United States, and do what we can to end that. And we do need to end it, this step is just got to stop. We’re, we’re beyond Code Red, we’re in act of self destruction at this point,
I certainly have seen it coming for a while I had an electric car, and I’ve had now my second hydrogen car. And I do feel like, hey, my, my contribution is a bit of a drop in the bucket. And that it does, we do need government action on here to regulate things because, hey, without government action, individual action, will not be enough or will not occur quickly enough to resolve the problems.
I mean, when we had really super dirty air in Los Angeles, we had to have a set of regulations to reduce the amount of pollutes, and even with all of that, we still have some of the dirtiest air in the country. So we still have, we still have work to be done here in LA, it’s it’s not like we’ve somehow solved the problem at all. And there’s no doubt that the fossil fuel industry, it has to basically die. It’s it’s some point in time in the fairly near future, because it’s, it’s just too dirty. And the science says that that’s what we need to do. So I think we can do it.
And I think we can have a lot of good things come out of it. But economically, there are hundreds of companies that are engaged in cleaning up the environment, and all those companies are going to profit. If we encourage that direction, our economy will will shift to adjust to make those changes and we will all profit by having cleaner energy. We’re gonna gonna go to our break, but I will take up your response. As soon as we get back from the break, you’re listening to unite and heal America and KBC 790 My guest, Marianne Williamson, and we’re talking about the environment and a lot of other problems that we’re all facing. So stay tuned.
You’re listening to unite and heal America and CAVC 790 This is Matt Matern, your host and my guest today. Again, Marianne Williamson and Marianne right before the break, you were about to jump in and make a point about some environmental issues before we went to the break.
Well, I wanted to echo something that you had said that I think is so important, you said There was a lot of money to be made in green energy. And what I wanted to point out was that the guys who are promoting the dirty energy and making so much money off the dirty energy know that they could and should be leading the transition to green.
But these guys just want to, they just want everyone it squeeze every last dollar out of the old before they go there. And it’s unconscionable, we need a just transition from dirty energy to clean energy. There are many people who have jobs working in the deep and dirty energy industries, but we need their same skill set, we need their their manufacturing skills, their engineering skills, their development skills, and creative skills, this transition could occur, it should not have to be in contradiction to the big fossil fuel companies, they should be leading this, they should be leading this it should not even be oppositional they are showing such an ugly face of capitalism.
And I don’t blame the young people who are who are just so cynical about all this at this point. It’s, it’s, it’s just terrible. And and, you know, there is such a thing as healthy shame. And these people should be ashamed of themselves, or no doubt that it’s it’s just bad business, on top of the fact that they’re destroying the planet, which from a moral standpoint, it’s absolutely, completely wrong.
And you would think that somebody would think that that was despicable to destroy the planet that you live on. I, you know, it’s hard to hard to think of something much worse than that. But just if even if you were such a person that could put that aside, you might at least look at the profit of changing your company so that you would be engaged in an industry, you know, essentially, they’re going to destroy their companies because they refused to transition to healthier, greener energy.
But I wanted to pivot a little bit and talk to you a bit about foreign policy, because I know you’ve talked a lot about Afghanistan in the last few weeks. I wanted to talk about totalitarian regimes, in particular, China, Russia, North Korea, and kind of what’s the best mindset that we can have as Americans in dealing with this rising totalitarianism that we see across the planet. And they seem to be, you know, dead set to take away freedoms that we hold near and dear, so well, China and Russia and North Korea, this is not a new phenomenon.
This is this has been true for a very long time. The rising authoritarianism that is a new phenomenon. And so scary because it has its adherents here in the United States, or countries like Poland, Hungary, the Philippines, we actually have some very, very, very far right, Neo fascist elements with the rising authoritarian elements and countries like France, and let’s not kid ourselves, we have them here. That is what’s so scary. We’ve known about China for a long time.
We’ve known about Russia for a long time. We’re known about North Korea for a long time. And that sense not that much has changed. Except, obviously, some things have stepped up about China. What concerns me so much is what you need is a strong counter force to Russia, China and North Korean models of dictatorship and, and oppression.
And that has historically been a passionate embrace of liberal western values of freedom, what it means to have a free society what it means to have a multicultural multi help desk society, what it means to have equality of rights and opportunities, what it means to have a balance of individual liberty with concern for the common good. That’s where you know, it’s offense. It’s it taking a strong stand for freedom. That’s where the rising totalitarianism is.
So it’s so scary right now, where it’s so scary. The new appetite that some people have for authoritarian models is here in the United States is the appetite for Donald Trump is the appetite for Marine LePen in France, and of course, the embrace of people of of the the, such as Orban and others, Hungary, Poland, etc. This goes back match what you and I were talking about at the beginning of your program, we all have to grow up and stand up really, really fast and recognize this. Not only is there this rising tide of of authoritarianism, including the one of its worst faces around the world, which is a new rise in anti semitism, but to recognize it here in our own country.
And the way you you route it out is by being far more attentive to the kinds of factors particularly economic hardship, economic despair that creates a kind of petri dish out of which the societal dysfunctions are more likely to emerge. And to take a more vigorous and passionate stand for the forces politically, socially, and psychologically, which, which are the real counter force and embrace of what America is supposed to mean? What it means to be a free society.
We can’t just fight forces that are against freedom, we have to remember why freedom matters, why we’re passing it on to our children, and work with others who feel as strongly about it as we do. I’ve been saying you were talking about my books. I was talking about 1998.
I wrote a book I published a book called healing the soul of America. Back then I said, the country that needs a pro democracy movement is the United States. Well, now if I may just say so I just want to add one thing to that. You want to talk about rising totalitarianism? If ever there’s rising totalitarianism, it’s those voter suppression laws that have been passed around the country, even voter nullification laws that have been passed around the country. Once again, if like we were talking about before, our own garden on home?
Well, certainly, there are elements in the United States that, you know, supported the January 6, the attack on the Capitol, which was a horrendously anti democratic action, and I think George W. Bush, recently called it terrorism. So I don’t know if the same fellow spirit here so.
Right. So I think that we’ve got to recognize that, that that type of action which Donald Trump was a master at fanning the flames of of that type of destruction, because he, he truly did not care about America, what he cared about was himself. And he, whatever was good for him was primary if it happened to be good for the United States. That was just secondary. Unfortunately, fortunately, he’s not in office. And I think that a shift has been made.
But I do think that China and Russia have to be watched very carefully in that they are, they are very committed to damaging our democracy, through many different methods, whether it be through disinformation and all types of propaganda that does reach people through the internet and pollutes their mind with basically garbage. It isn’t the sole cause of the problems that we have, but it certainly is a systematic attack on our on our democracy. I don’t disagree with that.
So I guess, you know, where do we go from here? How does the power of love neutralize this, this hate and forces of darkness that, you know, are trying to kind of smother and attack the rights that we hold dear, whether it’s freedom of religion, or freedom of speech, or, you know, our four basic freedoms?
Well, the most important things that we need to do are to protect the freedoms that we do have. I mean, I agree with what you said about Russia and China. But when you look at some of the forces at work here in the United States, we, I agree with George Bush, we have to be just as vigilant in rounding out those forces here as we are and making sure they do not have power coming at us from other countries.
But let’s talk for a moment about the defense budget. And how we have a defense budget, it was already at about 763 billion even since evacuating from Afghanistan, we have added another 24 billion given what the real dangers are in the world today that you yourself mentioned. Shouldn’t a lot more of that money be towards cybersecurity.
We’re not even preparing to fight the right war at those points. I mean, uh, you know, if you look at the thing about Afghanistan, it wasn’t even just that they did it. But they did it so badly. Wasn’t even just the problem that they did that stupid invasion of Iraq, they did it so badly. And that’s because it was never it was never thought through in terms of the goal.
That was the too radical mission. It were 2.3 trillion spent in Afghanistan. 2 trillion of it was defense contractors. So on one hand, we talk about what are we going to do about China? What are we going to do about about Russia? What are we going to do at North Korea, but if you actually look at the dominant mentality of our foreign affairs, our foreign affairs functioning governmentally, it has more to do with how we’re going to what are we going to do about getting Raytheon its profits this month? What are we going to do by getting Boeing its profits this month? What are we going to do about getting north of Grumman its profits this month.
So you you know, you and I, we’re not going to invade China. We’re not going to invade Russia. But I’ll tell you this much. I don’t think it was good for us that debacle in Afghanistan. I have I have a deep concern that people in the Kremlin, people in the Chinese Communist Party and elsewhere who are not actors that we appreciate your chuckling to see. What absurdly negligent and what a spectacular failure we were in Afghanistan?
Well, I certainly was concerned about going in there from the beginning. Because I being a student of history, you’ll look at Alexander the Great the British Empire, the Russian Empire, all lost in Afghanistan. So it was one of those things, you’re looking at history, the deck was stacked against us going in there from the get go. And the generals foisted this idea that if we just put more and more personnel there more and more troops, we would somehow, you know, win this war, but obviously that that didn’t happen.
Certainly a lot more to talk about with you, Marianne, I appreciate having you on the show. It’s great getting a chance to talk to you. And I’d love to have you back some other time.
So you’re listening to KBC 790. This is Unite and Heal America with Matt Matern and we had a great guest on Marianne Williamson and we’ll hope to have all your back listening next week.
As you may know, your host Matt Matern of Unite and Heal America is also the founder of Matern Law Group, their team of experienced employment consumer and environmental attorneys are dedicated to leveling the playing field by giving everyone access to the highest quality legal representation. Contact 844-MLG-4yYOU, that’s 844-MLG-4YOU, or 844-654-4968.
(Note: this is an automatic transcription and may have errors in formatting and grammar.)
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