Steven B. Smith (An introduction to Political Philosophy)
In this episode of the Judgment Call Podcast Steven and I talk about:
- What led Steven to become a student of philosophy?
- How his lecture ‘Introduction to Political Philosophy‘ made its way to Youtube.
- How Steven decides about which books are included in the introduction course?
- What cult leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians and philosophers have in common?
- Are we creating an ever more polarizing political philosophy currently?
- What role does postmodernism play in Political Philosophy right now?
- What is the ‘philosopher’s curse’?
- What is the role of patriotism in the US now?
Steven B. Smith has been teaching at Yale since 1984. Steven’s lecture series ‘Introduction to Political Philosophy‘ has been viewed 700,000 times on Youtube. Steven also has been a prolific author including Hegel’s Critique of Liberalism , Political Philosophy (2012) and the Modernity and its Discontents .
Welcome to the Judgment Call Podcast, the podcast where we bring together some of the most curious minds on the planet, risk takers, travelers, adventurers, investors, entrepreneurs, or simply mind barbers. To find all the episodes of this show, please go to iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, or go to judgmentcallpodcast.com for more resources, including how to become a guest, how to advertise, and to see all the lectures, podcasts, and books I would like to you, would like you to listen to or read. Please also go to our website at judgmentcallpodcast.com. Like this show? Please consider leaving a review on iTunes or like us and subscribe to us on YouTube that will make it easier for other users like you to find us there on. This episode of the Judgment Call Podcast is sponsored by Mighty Trouble Premium. Full disclosure, this is also my business. What we do at Mighty Trouble Premium is to find the best travel deals for you as they happen. We do that in economy, premium economy, business, and first class, and we screen 450,000 new airfare deals every day just for you and present the best based on your preferences. Thousands of subscribers have saved up to 95% of their airfare deals. In case you didn’t know, Americans and Europeans can already travel to more than 80 different countries again, South America, in Africa, and in Eastern Europe. To try out Mighty Trouble Premium for free, go to mightytravels.com slash mtp. That’s too much for you to type, just type in mtp4u.com, mtp4u.com to start your 30 day free trial. I’m here today with Stephen B. Smith, and Stephen has been teaching at Yale since 1984 and has been the director of graduate studies and political science and director of the special program for humanities during his tenure. Stephen is a very prolific author and he’s been writing a bunch of books, including Hegel’s Critique of Liberalism, Political Philosophy in 2012 and Modernity and Its Discontents. His latest book is Reclaiming Patriotism in an Age of Extremes, which is now available for preorders. It’s coming out next month on Amazon. Welcome to the Judgment Call podcast. How are you? It’s a pleasure to be here, Torsten. Thank you for that lovely introduction. It’s a beautiful day in New Haven, so I’m delighted to be with you. We are very happy to have you. We had some technical issues, but we finally resolved them and you look very nice and now, so I’m glad we got this to work. I found you through your YouTube lectures, part of your lectures, or I think all of them. You have to help me out with this about political philosophy had been published about 15 years ago or recorded, maybe later on published on YouTube. I was wondering, first of course, how does it feel to be a YouTube star? And second, how did that process happen? Was that a decision that you took, was it a decision that Yale took to put your lectures on YouTube? Thank you for asking me that. First, I certainly don’t consider myself a YouTube star by the standards of what YouTube stardom seem to be. But that being said, I’m very fortunate that those lectures came on board online, and I’ll tell you a little bit how it happened. I had been giving my intro to political philosophy course for some time, can’t quite remember how long, and I was approached by a friend who was in the administration, who was in charge of doing these Yale courses online. And she approached me about putting my intro course online. And I said to her, maybe not in quite these words, I said, you must be out of your mind. Who would want to listen to this course online? I mean, it just, who would care? But she said that they were taking some popular Yale courses with lecturers and putting them online for not just Yale alumni and graduates, but for the general public. And I was uneasy about it. I thought, first of all, if I put my course online, then no one would take the course again. They’d watch it online, who would enroll, why would anyone want to enroll in the course? But okay, I decided to do it, and it was filmed a number of years ago. And I have to say, it was one of the best things that’s ever happened to me as a teacher. First of all, it didn’t deplete the enrollment at all, it had, if anything, positive effects on my enrollments. But more importantly, much to my surprise, people did watch it. And I still continue to hear from people all over the world of all ages, high school kids, college students, recent college graduates, senior citizens who are just looking for some a little bit of lifelong education. I hear from them, they write me, sometimes it’s just, you know, thank you for your course, other times it’s to ask questions, sometimes it’s to pick a fight with something I’ve said. But it’s just been wonderful. And I’ve, if it’s had positive influence on people who want to study some of the great texts of political theory, then I think it’s really been worthwhile. And I have to thank my colleague who suggested it to me to put it online because it really has been for me and I hope for others a very beautiful thing. Yeah, no, it’s, I think it approaches about a million views now. And it’s the one I found to political philosophy is a number one hit if you just type in political philosophy on YouTube. So that’s pretty stunning because your metrics in terms of engagement must be also matching this. And it is a 24 hour lecture series, right? It’s 45 minutes, about 45 minutes. And I tremendously enjoyed it. I’ve been listening to it last year and it really opened my eyes to the works of ancient and some more recent authors that I have heard of, but I never really knew what it meant, what they actually say. And I think I have to thank you for taking that step. It definitely was a very eye opening experience. And one thing that is hard, I feel, with these texts because they are typically on the more complicated side, philosophy and political philosophy is hard to make sexy. It’s hard to bring into everyday people’s minds, especially on YouTube, 90% of the YouTube traffic is not like philosophy, as little as possible to do with it. What do you feel is your take? Is there a way to, there’s obviously an audience for this, right? But is there a way to make philosophy more sexy? That’s a good question. I’ve never quite thought about it in those terms. My approach is to, and the course changes, different versions of it were a little different. I do different books, but what I try to do is engage with serious books. Always some Play Doh. There are certain figures who are always there. I would say Play Doh, Machiavelli, and Tocqueville are definitely always there. And others come in and go out, depending on what’s happening or what I’m thinking about. But I really think the best way to engage people is to engage them with looking at serious authors and serious books. And here is a book. Trying to get people to engage with a book is, I think, the best way of approaching education. One of the things I would say, one of the things I said that seems to produce more letters to me and more emails than anything else is in my intro to Play Doh’s Republic, which is not at the very beginning of the course, but near the beginning. And I tell the class, there is someone sitting out there in the class. You don’t know who you are at the moment. I certainly don’t know who you are. But sometime in the future, in five years, 10 years, you are going to look back and you’re going to discover that Play Doh’s Republic was the most important book that you’ve ever read. And it is the book that you go back to again and again to enrich yourself, to answer certain questions, to examine things that are going on in your life or in politics. I say something like that, and I’m shocked at how many people get back to me and say, I’m that person you just spoke about. That’s what the Republic has meant to me. And I would say that’s something of the spirit in which I approach all the books, all the authors in the books that I do, that this book that we’re reading could end up being a life changing experience. It could be the book that shapes the way you look at the world, the way you look at life, the way you, and so on. And I think if you just show students that these are serious works to live with, to engage with, they’re written, many of them, long, long centuries, even millennia ago, but they still have the ability to speak to our situation today and to help us understand ourselves. And I think that, to me, is the best way of, as you put it, making political philosophy sexy, letting people engage with it in a very existential, real way. Yeah. I think that’s quite the prophecy that you did. You always said that. And I thought back about that the same time when I listened to you the first time, and I’m like, well, this is quite, you’re building it up quite a bit, right? You’re making people curious on one hand, but you also raise the expectations. And I actually just read Plato this year, the Republic, and I felt what I was stunned about is a lot of, as you say, a lot of the questions that we every day see out there, moral questions, mostly, right? They’re basically on the same level as what Socrates and Plato talked about, like we feel of ourselves, and that is kind of the common theme, you’re so advanced, I talk to my children, they think everything that’s 50 years old is from the Stone Age, and they can completely discard it and makes no difference to their life ever. And then they are not in an age where they can discover this, but the amazing prophecy, and as you say that, is in moral terms, we are basically at the same level as the old Greeks and basically the same level as the Old Testament. And before we go into this, I think this is a very interesting topic. Maybe this also would attract you into political philosophy, or what was it that made you choose initially to take on this really difficult topic and be what made you become a professor and teach at Yale? Okay, that would, Torsten, again, thank you for that question. If I were to answer that, or try to answer it, it would take probably all the time we have left. Your lecture is only 45 minutes, we have that much time. So I’ll just say a little bit about how I got into this field and what it was that drew me into it. Political theory, when I started college, I started college in 1969, so you and your listeners don’t have to do the math to figure out how old I am now. So anyway, I started in college in 69. It was during the height of the Vietnam War. I was, you know, college age, 18, people were going to the army, people were being drafted. It was a time of intense political debate and controversy. I had no background to speak of in political philosophy in high school. I didn’t have anything like that. Even the term political philosophy was largely unknown to me. I took a class, just sort of at random, called Introduction to Social Theory, where we started with the Greeks, and we did a number of things, and, you know, the Greeks and Machu… I remember in the first day of the class, the instructor said, introduced himself and described himself as a social and political theorist. And I remember thinking at the time, I had no idea what those terms meant. They didn’t mean anything to me, a social and political theorist. But by the time the semester was over, for whatever reason, I felt for the first time in my life that was something I wanted to do. That was… In class, you know, I remember very little about the class, but I do know it spoke to me in a way that other things really hadn’t in that way before. The first philosopher who really spoke to me in a very powerful way and continues to do so, who I continue to teach often, was Rousseau. Don’t ask me why, exactly. I think it was not so much the politics of Rousseau. In many ways, it was his language, it was almost the poetry of Rousseau. He’s one of the most… If anybody knows who’s read Rousseau, he’s a vivid writer, he’s a brilliant, he was a novelist. You know, he had a novelistic flair when he wrote, a vivid and novelistic imagination. And I had originally been thinking about being a literature major in college, so maybe that was partly it too. But Rousseau was the one who most spoke to me. And again, it’s hard even to say why, exactly. But that’s sort of what drew me in to political theory. Of course, at that time, being a professor was something I knew nothing about, I really didn’t know. You know, being a professor, it was not something I thought about becoming. And like most things in life, we find out, and this is also something a good novel can tell you, that most things in life kind of just happen by happenstance in a certain way. Very little in our life gets planned out in the way we expect it to. So what happened? I did something that a lot of people did. I went to college and I studied what I did, and then I thought people sort of encouraged me with it. And I was interested in it. I went to graduate school. And you know, after a while, you get a PhD, and then you end up… I was very fortunate. I’ve been very, very fortunate in my academic life, I mean, I’ve had some… But I’ve been very fortunate. I landed a couple of good jobs, and I ended up at Yale in 1984, I’ve been here ever since. And I’ve been very, very grateful to my teachers, to those who have helped me, you know, move up and move ahead and learn what I’ve done. And now I’m in the position where I can pass some of that over to students. So there’s a lot more, but I don’t want to bore you or your listeners with just talking about my own biography here, or my own autobiography, about how I got to where I am. But one of the things I do tell students when I advise them is, I mean, you never know what a class is going to do for you. If I hadn’t taken that class, you know, if I hadn’t walked into that class, that introduction to social theory class, who knows, I might very well be doing something completely different in my life. It was a kind of randomness in a way, but it was also something that touched me and spoke to me in a way that really ended up shaping my future and career and direction where I’ve gone. Yeah, I think that’s a great advice to keep that power of being curious, that power of being able to discover things. And to an extent, I mean, I think young people struggle with this. They can’t discover your lectures, but there’s so many other things for them to discover, right? They struggle with just the amount of knowledge that’s out there. And I think it’s great advice, but they do this for a year, and then they’re like, oh, man, I just ended up in this kind of rabbit hole or flat earthers. How do I get out of this? Because I’ve seen things I shouldn’t have seen. Let’s put it this way. And not that we should not talk about that, but you get so interested and you go further into this rabbit hole, it kind of, the reality kind of zooms out a little bit. One thing that I was really curious, and you mentioned that earlier, there’s a certain canon that you use, right? You start with Plato, then you go on to, I haven’t written down, because I don’t know all of them, Aristotle, Machiavelli, and then you go to Hobbes, which I really like too, or just read that as well, you go to Locke. And there’s Rousseau and Tocqueville and the one diversion that I saw, and you just said earlier, you changed that up a little bit. There’s a couple of other philosophers or important works, I feel, like the Old Testament, like Karl Marx’s writings, that made a big impact on what people think of political philosophy. I think in day to day work, we still have really formed, and this country was formed under the works of the Old Testament and the New Testament, even if Locke had shaped that. There’s a bunch of things that are pretty famous that you accept from the canon. Why is that? Why aren’t they a part of that? Well, the easy answer to that question is that the semester is only 13 weeks long, and there’s only so much you can do in it. So every course is naturally going to be a matter of not only inclusion, but exclusion. Many of the texts you mentioned, Marx and others, are, in fact, texts I teach in other classes. So I mean, my intro class isn’t the only class I teach, and I certainly don’t want to give the impression that the books I’ve selected for that course and any one version of it are somehow the only ones worth reading. I mean, the selection, I wouldn’t say is arbitrary because they are, in many ways, key and important books, but there are more key and important books to read than you can do in one term. I can’t remember now exactly which version of the class you saw online, but I actually do use, or I have used before, sections from the Bible, especially from the Hebrew Bible, is an important political text. I use the life of David. We’ve read up to that point, for example, Plato’s Republic, where students read about the famous Platonic idea of the philosopher king. Later on, they will read Machiavelli’s prince, his idea of the prince. Well, the Bible has a couple of extraordinary political figures in that I wanted to throw into the mix, and one of them that I focused on, particularly, is David, and the story of David, whose rise to power, whose exercise of political power, whose the establishment of a kind of kingship in ancient Israel, has elements of both Plato’s philosopher king and also Machiavelli’s prince. David is a complex and interesting study of leadership, and there are very interesting moral and political struggles that he engages with both to achieve and to maintain power. I do use that, I do use the Hebrew Bible as, in many ways, a kind of interesting case study of political theory. Since you mentioned Marx, I want to say because I did not use Marx in the class. The class ended with Tocqueville, and that was a decision, I mean, that was a decision. Why did I decide to end the class with Tocqueville? In part because it seemed to me that, and this again is a decision, and we could argue about it, that in modern, in our times, in our times of democracy, the theory of democracy has become the dominant, at least in the Western world, the dominant form of political organization. We’re obviously at a moment where we’re deeply, deeply concerned about the future of democracy, its fragility, it seems far more, in many ways, democracy seems far more fragile than it did even say 10 years ago when I put this course online. So if I were to offer it again, I’d maybe have to think a little bit more about how to end it. But at that point, at least, democracy and its future seem to be, again, the dominant and most important kind of politics that we aspire to. And I didn’t think anybody captured the democratic experience better than Tocqueville. His Democracy in America is not just a book about America. It’s a book about democracy and what the democratic experience means for, I mean, he was not writing a book for Americans. He did not think it was written in French, it was written for French people. Where democracy had had a very rough beginning in the French Revolution, Tocqueville’s writing in the 1830s and 40s. And he’s asking the question that, what form will democracy take in France and in Europe? And he’s looking at America to find what can the French learn from the American experience and also what is there to be avoided. So I didn’t think Tocqueville was sort of the philosopher of the democratic experience. And that’s why I ended the course with the last text I used. I mean, you could have used Marx, you could use Nietzsche, many of my friends and colleagues elsewhere love Nietzsche and put Marx and Nietzsche in the mix or certainly Hanhara or some 20th century political theorists. But I’ve tended to use those for later classes. Yeah, I’m asking, you know, one hand, and I learned that from you, Tocqueville’s experience in the U.S. as a way more religious way of experiencing life and using this as the underpinnings of daily life that then bubble up into a bigger structure. I think, and I fully agree with the Odevils, kind of our understanding of democracy for so long, but it’s been going away. And, you know, I grew up in Germany and I grew up a lot with Marxism, I grew up in eastern Germany, and I probably never understood what it was at the time, but I saw what it did to people and I saw what happened to a totalitarian state. And it is something that people, I think emotionally, without knowing what it is, kind of, they look towards it, right, they see if this is something they can attach themselves to it. And it would be great for people to actually understand, A, what Marx has been saying, and I probably have to find out, you are the lecturers, what he has been saying, and how is that what happened with the country that was built on this philosophy, right, it wasn’t built on economics, but it was built on a political philosophy from the ground up or from the bottom, from top to top down, but still, it was a completely redrawing of how people organized themselves, and it ended, as we all know how it ended, but it is this idea of totalitarianism that may or not be attached to Marx, actually, I have no idea if that’s true. Do you think a Marx like country will always end up being totalitarian, or that’s kind of a fluke? That’s a deep question. Let me say, it was more than an accident, it was more than a fluke. I think the fundamental, when I think about Marxism and the way it became institutionalized in Soviet Russia and in Germany and places like this, it’s flaw, which I think is something that runs deep, in many ways, runs deep in the Western tradition. I mean, Marxism is not some weird aberration, it is a political philosophy with deep roots in the tradition of political philosophy. But its flaw is its belief that, its flaw is in its perfectionism, which is to say, it believes that somehow the perfect society, the just society, the equals, the free just and it can be realized on earth. You might say that that’s a fallacy that goes back to Plato, or at least to a certain reading of Plato, that how to create the just society here and now, and the belief that all of the, how to say, that the just society will answer, all human questions can be satisfactorily answered if society is just organized in the correct and proper way. I think that is a powerful impulse in philosophy, I called it perfectionism, but it’s an extremely dangerous impulse at the same time. I think the philosophers who attract me more, and I think in many ways are more, whose political philosophies are more humane and less prone to sort of tyrannies and totalitarianisms, are those that are more attuned to the imperfections of human nature, who recognize the fallibility of human reason, the fallibility and the imperfection of human beings, and that not all good things can be brought together and reconciled. And it’s an awareness of the plurality of values, it’s a recognition of human imperfection, and the limitations of our own reason and rationality that I think are at the core of the liberal and democratic theories that I would oppose to Marx and other forms of political perfectionism. Yeah, I think it happens, and I see this now, I live in San Francisco, I’m not here full time, and what I see is that the way people see the Old Testament primarily and the New Testament, I wanted to say the Young Testament, that would be interesting if someone comes up with that, the way how far people are away from their perception of the Old and New Testament, especially the Old Testament and the reality, because they never open the book, they never even look into it, and it took like Jordan Peterson, another YouTube professor, to really open that debate a little bit, but I think it’s still far away from people’s daily reading list, because as you describe it, it’s full of imperfect people who make a lot of mistakes, and as they go along, kind of find that higher calling, or at least it’s being described in a very interesting way, let’s put it this way. But most people don’t even get that far, they only know about a few rules from Deuteronomy, and that’s where they close the book. But they don’t even get to Deuteronomy, they don’t even read the chapters before that. So I found that a massive disconnect that may actually exist with Marxism too, that’s why I’m asking so openly, my parents were Marxists, Leninists, but they weren’t, you know, the hardcore, as you would expect, the very intellectuals, and trying to find out is that system, or can we create a system that’s that close, obviously they came from the other end, today they were like, okay, this is the theory, and now we kind of push people into this chain. One thing, and that’s a little more to what you said earlier, and I feel we said it goes back to Plato, what people think about Marx, when I read Plato, there’s this, and his idea was the philosopher king, right, this is the perfection of life, we don’t need laws, we need a philosopher king. But isn’t that a little bit every philosopher, because a lot of times philosophers, they’re not like software engineers, they can’t just code it and make a billion dollars, right? And every philosopher kind of is a secret philosopher king, and he wants like, dictate other people what to do in their life, because you know, that’s how the world would be a better place. I always feel it’s, if you get philosophers in a room, 90% of them want to be the king. Yes. I think you’ve put your finger on a really important issue in political philosophy, which is the desire to rule. I would put it a slight, yes, it’s not exactly that they want to be the king, but the philosophers want to educate. You might say they want to educate the king, they want to be the, as it were, almost the power behind the throne in that respect. This is an old genre, it used to be referred to in the historical literature as mirror of princes. Machiavelli’s prince is probably the most famous example of this, a philosopher giving a kind of advice book about how to rule to a political ruler. But in a certain sense, all political philosophy is something like that. It’s addressed to, if they don’t, there’s not a desire to rule themselves, to educate a future generation of rulers. Yes, absolutely. And I think it is this connection between philosophy and politics, philosophy and political power that makes it not just an academic discipline, but we see how ideas actually and philosophical ideas actually enter the political world and take marks. We were talking about Marx just a moment ago, he said, here’s a textbook case. Here’s a man who spent 30 years of his life virtually unknown, scribbling away in the British Museum, writing a book that when it was published in 1867, Coppital, had very few readers. And yet in the next century, Marx’s ideas are dominant in a huge portion of the globe. Who would have predicted that? How did that happen? And what’s true of Marx is true of many other philosophers as well, whose ideas sort of enter the discourse, the popular discourse of politics and shape truly do in many ways shape the landscape of political ideas. Take another kind of example, John Locke’s influence on the American constitution and the American democracy is very evident. He’s not the only one, but certainly idea of rights. Locke is the one who puts the idea of natural rights, human rights on the table and talks about the importance of the right to property and the preservation of a certain kind of regime of rights. I mean, this is so central to the American self understanding. It’s not the only piece of it, but it’s a huge piece of it. And in that way, you’re absolutely right that philosophers are right, not just to get tenure at some college or university, obviously not. These are people writing with ideas of truly shaping the future, and many of them, many of them did. Yeah, I feel like there is maybe an unspoken, what you say, that’s been around for a long time, but there’s an unspoken power thirst, so to speak, and in the age of polarization where we are right now, where you just need to be extremely polarizing, extremely aggressive on Twitter and social media. And then if you build a social media or philosophy on top of the social media, it will not be one that is kind to the other side. Let’s put it this way. If you create a philosophy in this day, and we have a bunch of people on YouTube who are philosophers or really good at this, and we have people in the political parties, do you think the outcome of this current process where we are by definition, because otherwise you don’t get the traffic on social media, we will end up with a very polarizing philosophy that will eventually take over, or do you feel we will go back to what is more like middle of the road, what Locke said, what Hayek said, that are tied into economic principles where you need the other side, where you need the other side, you need sellers and buyers. But I feel like in today’s age, you kind of don’t want the other side. You mend them from Twitter, like kind of what Plato said, right, you just don’t even talk to people about other ideas, just give them the right ideas. Do you think that’s something that happens with social media, or it’s just too fractured and will never take off? It’s a great question, and I have to admit I’m not really sure I have anything approaching an answer to it, social media, it’s all over the place, it’s sort of foreign to me, frankly. I don’t really have a media presence, it’s not something to seek out, and there’s something perhaps, as you say, about the nature of the medium that attracts the most extreme platforms. It seems to reward the most extreme. It’s a buck in the system, right, and social media, the way the engagement algorithm runs and the way the AI is trained means you need a lot of engagement that’s often coming from the Olympic system. So in order to be successful, and you see this with brands now and social media, political brands, they are extremely aggressive towards the other side, so perceived other side, whatever that means in that extent, and that’s the only way to really get these engagements going. So there’s a reason they have become like that, and that’s the reason the algorithm was written, and that’s the only thing the algorithm can look at. So it isn’t that these people are going crazy, they’ve just used here from a lot of crazy people. In many ways, we talked about Marx a moment ago. In many ways, the philosopher who speaks more directly to the social media world that you’re describing is, in fact, another German philosopher named Karl Schmidt, a 20th century figure, who wrote an important little booklet, and it was really very short, sort of like a long essay or a very short book of a concept of the political, in which the central concept of politics, he argued, was the distinction between friend and enemy. Politics is always about defining an enemy, someone who you’re against. It was an extremely aggressive and militaristic idea of what politics is, that politics is always against somebody in an engagement of struggle, conflict, and war. There’s elements of Nietzsche in this, certain elements of Heidegger in it, too. He was an almost exact contemporary of Heidegger’s. And that philosophy of friend and enemy, us and them, the other, the existential other, that very much describes, I think, the kind of social media world that you’re talking about here, Torsten, and captures a lot of what’s going on, unfortunately, in our modern democratic politics. It’s less about these kind of liberal virtues of toleration, compromise, and awareness of our own fallibility, as it is determining who is the existential enemy, and mobilizing all of our resources and all of our forces against that enemy, whether the enemy are foreign nationals, whether the enemy is considered to be ethnic minorities, immigrants, migrants. There has to be an enemy. And that seems to be the philosophy of the social media world that you’re describing. Yeah, when you look at Twitter, you get the emotional impression. Obviously, you can think about it, but you get the emotional impression the world is going to come to an end every single day, twice. And you tell yourself, okay, next time I look at Twitter, I’m not going to be swayed by this. And you will be. I mean, I am, at least, right, and I consider myself voluntarily educated. So I feel like the way the authors on Twitter and the AI in concert are so convincing in that theme that it’s hard to withstand that. I mean, you eventually get tired and you just block it out, but then you take a break six months later and you’re like, whoa, I’m still thinking tomorrow is going to be the end of the day. It’s just, there’s not much you can do. One thing I wanted to ask you about, and I know this is a difficult topic, I’m not sure you’ve been looking into this, but there’s this ongoing debate, Jordan Peterson brought that up about the postmodernists, right, about Derrida and Chuck Foucault that brought these ideas, very socialist ideas of any outcome is good and we have to really, we don’t have to worry about what is a good outcome, what helps us morally, what helps us politically. Those and the kind of liberal idea that you let other people live, those are all bad ideas because there is an enormous amount of outcome, we just have to steer people. It kind of sounds like Marx, but the debate is, and that’s what I wanted to get at, is those were actually not an, I can’t find this in Derrida or Foucault. I wrote a couple of books, it’s being described to the Frankfurt School more or there or no. Another German nut, so there’s a lot of stuff that came out of Germany that doesn’t have the best impact in the world. We can start with Karl Marx and then we can start about the first and second world war. I feel there’s a lot of, Germany was ahead of its time in the last century and exported a lot of, how do I say, really mean stuff. That’s kind of my own perspective, obviously we can, that’s probably a big generalization. What do you think about the postmodernist debate? Have you thought about that? Is that something you’ve researched? I have, yes, I have, and it was, I would say actually I find it a bit passe right now. Postmodernism was a big theme of the 80s, the 90s, maybe even the early 2000s. You mentioned Derrida, Foucault, I mean, their names were everywhere, especially Yale. The Yale School of Literary Criticism and Deconstruction was, Derrida used to be a frequent visitor, a guest here at Yale. I never met him, but I know he was here frequently, and yet it seems to have, I would say a bit, it seems like kind of rust has settled in on the deconstructionists and the excitement of the challenge that it had, is now rather tired, I think. If you call your book postmodern, I think you’re now sort of, I think it would be considered rather passe in a way, it’s been overhyped, overextended. Critical theory, I mean, which you might say you mentioned Adorno, that’s had a kind of revival in a lot of different ways. Critical theory, what’s sometimes called critical race theory, which is a big issue today in college campuses, as well as in public policy circles, has been influential. I don’t really care for it, but I would say thinkers like Adorno and Habermas and others have retained a kind of, what to say, credibility, more than those like, we’re talking about Foucault and Derrida, who I do think are now rather tired. Others would disagree with me, I’m sure, but I find their views very, very tired and passe now. Yeah. Yeah, I mean, that’s probably good to hear. I’m not a fan of the postmodernism itself, do I feel like there is a lot of good bits in their books itself, and I read them, and I think it’s very interesting. I don’t think if the whole idea as a general concept is something that I can work with or that is even that what’s being described to the postmodernist on a political level, that maybe it’s there, maybe it’s not. I can’t deduct from what I read it, but then there is a lot of people talking about that. Maybe you’re absolutely right, it’s a little over, it’s got overhyped, and now it’s just coming down from this general hype. One of the things that does impress me, though, after I was just rather very dismissive of their views, occasionally, I will look into, I’ll just pick up a book, I have books by Foucault and others in my office, I’ll pick them up, and I’m impressed with them. In many ways, they’re far more, it’s perhaps not surprising, they are far more impressive intellectually than the hordes of people who’ve gravitated and taken and popularized his ideas or their ideas. There is a serious core to Foucault’s thinking about domination, about institutions, about total institutions, and various kinds of early, early work had to do with the creation of insane asylums, this kind of total institutions. I mean, it was brilliant, in many ways it was brilliant, and you look at some of his stuff on this, and the history of sexuality, it’s very powerful, you can see why it’s important, but it’s been so trivial, it’s been so vulgarized and trivialized, that I’m afraid that it’s just now seems rather, it all seems very passe. Yeah, that’s what I meant earlier with make philosophy sexy, I think when you think of Nietzsche and what happened to him during the Nazi time, right, I mean, he had a certain view on the Übermensch, and that was something that came out of his own thinking in the way he perceived himself, being isolated in society, that had learned how he saw the Renaissance, right, he felt like the Renaissance were only a couple hundred or a couple dozen people that he really needed, and the rest of the people, well, we can forget about them, because frankly, we have no history of them, right, so maybe he had a point, obviously it’s very arrogant to say that, but from his point of view, from his ivory tower, it made a lot of sense, let’s put it this way, but nobody understood him in Germany, nobody understood him later on either, you probably have, but I mean, most people don’t have the ability, and what I tried to say, people find these themes that they can break down, literally they can put in 140 characters, 280 characters, and then this is the label that a philosopher gets, so I feel like a philosopher, if he doesn’t become king, he often becomes the king of the next revolution, but out of context quotes, out of, because if you go back and say, oh, Plato even said that, then you kind of shut down the conversation with pretty much anyone who’s never read Plato, and that’s 99% of the population, right, that’s what I mean, so philosophers can either rule, or they can rule the next revolution, and it’s quite powerful, so to speak, even if maybe that’s not something they can, they can’t steer it, but they can stir discontent, let’s put it this way. No, that’s true, and I think it seems to me one of the things that distinguishes the political philosopher from other kinds of political writers, is they’re not just writing for their moment, there’s an important school of political theory that believes that all political thought is, in one way or another, a response to the immediate concerns of the moment, their writing in response to their immediate context, so the purpose, the way we study political theory, they say, is that we need to contextualize it, show that it’s a response to the problems or the issues of the author’s own time. There’s truth to that, that’s certainly true in some respects, I mean, when we take a figure like Hobbes, of course, Hobbes is writing in response to the Civil War that’s going on in England in this time, and how to reestablish political order, absolutely, he’s writing in response to a moment, but also Hobbes and these other writers are not just writing for their time, they’re writing for the future, and they’re writing to shape the future. One of the greatest influences on Hobbes, in fact, was a Greek historian, Thucydides, a slightly older contemporary of Plato, Thucydides who wrote the history of the Peloponnesian War, before he wrote Leviathan, Hobbes translated Thucydides, and Thucydides said in the preface to his book, in the opening paragraphs or chapters of the book, he said, I don’t write for the moment, I write this book, he said, as a possession for all time, I mean, what a claim, you know, he’s writing this book as a possession for all time, guess what? Clearly, he’s clearly Greek, yeah, he turned out to be right in a certain way, we’re still reading him, just like we still read Hobbes, so these guys are not just writing for their moment and to address the issues of, they take the materials of their moment, and they look at them and their view is to shape the future, to shape people who will be doing things long after they’re gone, but whose words will live on and shape future for good or all I have to say, so yeah. I found the Leviathan really interesting, you know way more than me, but what I found most interesting was actually the second part, where he kind of, it’s kind of almost like a mathematical proof for the New Testament, right, he goes through like really small sections of the New Testament says, okay, this is true because, and I’m like, whoa, and a couple of entrepreneurs on the show, when I asked him about religion, they obviously say, well, you know, it’s not proven, but it’s a self fulfilling prophecy, so we can assume it works and let’s see what happens, right, that’s kind of the practical guidance to religion, and Hobbes was like, no, I can prove it’s true, and I know what happened, and this is how it works, and I was really stunned, this is like almost a bigger section of that book, of Leviathan. Hobbes, one thing you can say with certainty about Hobbes is that he did not lack for confidence, he was absolutely sure that he had the key to getting it right about politics, human nature, and when he turned his attention, as you point out, the last half of Leviathan is about the Bible, it’s about religion and the Bible, he had no doubt that he could provide us with an airtight understanding of what Scripture meant, and how it can be used or should be used to come to the support of political order. The danger was always for Hobbes that Scripture would be used to be a source of disorder, of encouraging people to disobey, and he wanted to disobey the laws of the kingdom, of the kingdom to which they belong, and he wanted to show that correctly understood biblical truth and political order were actually compatible with each other, in a certain sense even required each other. There’s an extraordinary work of, again, it speaks to the confidence of the man, you can’t read it without smiling in many ways with Hobbes’s beliefs about how we can reinterpret the Bible to come out the way he wants it to, it’s really an extraordinary feat. I thought so too, it reminded me of the Talmud, you know, you take a text that you take as complete, perfect, and divine, but you obviously want, for certain sections, you want kind of the opposite interpretation, and you go through these two years of logical ideas and then at the end you’re like, oh, the opposite is actually true, I just showed you in these 5,000 pages, but the text is still correct, right, it’s just meant differently. I think this is what Hobbes kind of tried there, I think it was from my contemporary view and I don’t know enough, but it was very, excuse me, it was very literal, but as you say, it makes you smile and you’re like, whoa, he goes into, I don’t know, where was the location of Mary on a certain day, and I’m like, whoa, this is really, you have to go into this after just writing about how the whole society should be organized. That seems, it kind of took for me, it took away the credibility a little bit, because he took something that I felt like is open to interpretation, like the New Testament especially, and he took it so literal, I’m like, that kind of shows me that you don’t have the whole picture, but maybe I’m seeing it wrong, maybe he just wanted something else and kind of wanted to show his contemporaries that you can keep the Bible, but still see it in a different way. One thing that always strikes me, and I hope that is the last question I have for the philosophers, but I have more, I have other questions, you know, I always feel like if you either become a philosopher or politician or a cult leader, like you start in your religion, those are the three career choices you have, and it’s kind of, you said that earlier, it’s kind of random, which one delivers you an opportunity, right? You start Mormonism, or you become Karl Marx, or you become a politician with actual real power, right? But I feel like the personality for all these are relatively similar. Has this struck you before? You felt like that’s true, or that’s not correct? That’s interesting, I would also add entrepreneur is something we, you know, he’s another area of, you know, for ambitious, we’re ambitious people, light out. I see your point, definitely. I think these all require, though, different personality types in a way to be a cult leader requires a certain degree, I suppose, of charisma that you have to have to hold the cult together. Teacher needs to have a certain degree of charisma also, but maybe not in quite the same way, it calls for different set of skills, too. You need to be careful, thoughtful, you know, things that are not necessarily translatable into being a politician, you know, being a politician is something that I admire in people, the ability to lead the ability to, not only the ability to lead the ability to serve in public life and what draws people to public life. Certainly people are attracted to power, but they also are attracted by a desire to serve, and in their own ways, perhaps make, sounds naive, maybe, but to make the world better in some way, we may disagree with what they think is better, but I think there is a kind of, often, if not always, a kind of idealism that leads people into choose a political life. So I think these are, they draw on certain features, common features, but each one is, draws out distinctive, makes distinctive personality types. I’m not nearly extroverted enough to be a politician, for example, I mean, you really do need to be somebody who, I’m more of a bookish person in a lot of ways. So I’ve maybe found the thing that works best for me. Other people just love the give and take of public life, and they want to be with other people all the time, and be challenging, and be challenged, and I admire that, but it’s not really, it’s not really me, in a way, and definitely not cult, definitely not cult leader. Yeah, that seems a bit of an upgrade, but you can see this how it displays on social media now, right, the mechanism has changed, and I always felt like if the old Greeks had real technology, like digital technology, a lot of the Greek writers would have become entrepreneurs, and they would have built technology, and they would have landed on the moon, right, but they didn’t have that. So what do you do if you have all these ideas going on your head, like Nietzsche, you know, you have these people talking to you, and then the EU, he wrote Tharosostra as a way to kind of, it’s his personal cult leadership Bible, right, it’s his way to write the Quran in a poetic way, to attract people to his train of thought, extremely complicated, but he was hoping for a bigger audience, I’m just saying if you don’t, we wouldn’t have technology these days, we would be in more trouble, because we would have more people go bringing these ideas in philosophy out there, and some of them, you know, would get a huge following and might be pretty aggressive. So maybe technology saves the day again, because it makes technology, it makes philosophy more mellow, that’s what I’m trying to say, we have social media which makes it polarized, but the whole technology makes it more mellow, more people have time to, you know, become what they do, and they don’t have to be called Marx, they don’t have to make everyone miserable, just because they want to live their life with the public attachment of their name. Well, one of the things, just to build on something you just said, or thought that I had in response to it, is that one of the things that impresses me very much about Socrates, if you want to go back to Plato and Socrates, Socrates was always deeply aware that teaching was always something that was directed to individuals, and would have resisted the idea that he would have a big public megaphone that would address huge crowds and mobilize people and to lead them. Teaching was something, that’s why you see in the dialogues, he’s only just talking to sometimes just one person, sometimes a handful, like in the Republic, you know, maybe there are nine or ten people, only a handful of them actually speak, because he understood something that philosophy was something that was very personal, it was something that could only be, Socrates never wrote anything, he thought it was something that could only be carried on in conversation and speech, and it was tailored to, his speeches were always tailored in a way to the people he was speaking to. There’s an entire platonic dialogue called Fegris, which is about writing, and the dangers of writing, because you write something and then it’s out there, you have no control over it anymore, you don’t know whose hands it’s going to fall into, what use will be made of it, but Plato wrote, Socrates didn’t, and of course Plato’s writings are out there, we still read them, but Plato seems in writing the Fegris to have been aware about the dangers of writing, where his own teacher Socrates refused to write, there’s nothing written by Socrates, it was all in conversation, because he knew something about philosophy was something deeply private, maybe not just something you carry on in your own mind, but with a handful of people, a few friends, a few people, it was something that you cultivate in this way, and in many ways the culture that we live in today of media technologies and speakers and megaphones and so on, the kind of thing I did for my class, putting it online, very much goes against, I mean there are many benefits to it, but it sort of goes against the spirit of Socrates, who thought that philosophy is something that really is, has to be done sort of one on one, almost in the way that an analyst, an analyst deals with one, you know, you deal with one patient, I guess there’s something called group therapy, but you know, for the most part, analysis is one on one, and I think Plato was very much of that opinion. Yeah, that’s interesting, and I never really thought about that, that’s an enormous foresight that Socrates had at that point, I think there’s a lot to it, but as you said earlier, the experience, you know, we wouldn’t be able to, I mean as a philosopher I think it’s hard enough because you start from scratch, I feel like if you go into software, I code a lot of my own software, it’s so much easier because I can use the last 100 years of work, and I don’t have to pay for it, right, it’s right there for me, I buy my Macbook and then I download a bunch of software frameworks and then I go into GitHub, and I have millions of other people’s work that I can use for free, and it’s right in that stack, right, I can just layer something on that last stack of technology, and it can still sell it as my own, and nobody will even worry about that this is 99% not mine, it’s been done by people doing the last hundreds of years, maybe with a patent, very often without a patent. In philosophy I feel is you kind of start from zero, like you cannot assume that everyone, maybe that’s what software is already new, you cannot assume anyone knows the books you are inspired from, you cannot say, maybe the Bible you can reference, but even that becomes a real problem these days, there’s nothing that other people really know when you start from scratch, right, you have not these other layers of 2,000 years of human civilization that you can rely on because most people don’t have any exposure to it, maybe they have some implicit exposure, and I always felt this is the philosopher’s curse, the good news is you can just out of your own God, you can create the world and you can put your lens of philosophy on it, but you start from scratch and you have to educate people below, I mean what soccer has even achieved, right, and that was such a long 2,500 years ago, I think there’s some implicit learnings, but still 99% of when you go to a random person on the street, I don’t know if you do this experiment, so just go out and greet random people on the street and try to give them like, I don’t want to say the lecture, but the five minute philosophy introduction, most people will say okay, thank you, walk away and never think about it again, I feel, maybe you have a different impact on people, but that’s my impact. This is the philosopher’s curse, and maybe Socrates knew it is, and I said, you know, it really doesn’t matter if you write it down, because nobody will, people will read it, but the chance that you randomly find people who read your work, even if you’re very successful and it’s more smart that you get, probably as small as your audience, that is, I call this the philosopher’s curse, do you think that’s true or that’s the next iteration? I think there is a lot of truth in it, again, let me just, your comment made me think, because Socrates famously conducted his philosophy in public, he’s, I wouldn’t say he just went up to random people on the street, but most of his conversations were not with other philosophers, they were with people who were not just ordinary people, but they were not philosophers, and that’s the way it was philosophy done in public, and it wasn’t based on, have you read this, have you read that, how learned are you, it was based on just directly confronting a problem, a question, what is justice, what is courage, what do you mean by, when you talk about courage, what do you mean by that, what do you mean by beauty, what do you mean by love, the dialogues have a kind of directness where they will just take a real issue and just sort of explore it from many different sides, and with different kinds of people, each one of the characters and the platonic dialogues, everybody, even the dullest ones, bring something to the table, you know, they have an opinion, a point of view, a perspective we might say, they bring it to the table and it gets examined and often discarded, but it’s something important, so there is a kind of democratic side to what Socrates understands by philosophy, it’s actual engagement with people who want to converse. Yeah, I was about to say the other people in Plato’s Republic don’t really get to say much, I was like, well, where does this monologue actually start and where does it end, I couldn’t read it, maybe I’m just not good enough a reader or not like specific enough, there’s one more thing, that’s maybe a technical question, but I think it’s really relevant and I read this from Hayek or Hayek, he makes a lot of these references to the rule of law and I studied law and when I asked people what is the rule of law, they say, well, those are the rules that became law, right, those are the laws of the United States or these are the laws of Germany or whatever country you’re in, and when you go back and I had a couple of interviews with politicians, they would say, well, democracy and the rule of law, these are the most important things in the world, right, beyond that, if you don’t have that, we don’t even have to think further and two things that I immediately noticed and I couldn’t talk about them is, A, Hayek has a very different idea of the rule of law from my point of view, you know better and B, what I always feel this is very strange, we assume democracy in lots of countries who had no experience with democracy, they’re not Greeks, they don’t have Greek heritage, they don’t have the New Testament, Old Testament heritage, we assume, well, rule of law in the way we define it, which is I think wrong and then democracy are the two things they need before we can even talk about developing this country, I think we have it wrong, what do you think? Well, I do think your right or your interlocutor was right about the centrality of rule of law, we’re very, very fortunate to live in a society in which rule of law has been, I want to say, sort of baked into our political DNA, even from earliest times, why? It comes in part from the English tradition of common law, which was an important part of the American founding experience, but it also is you know, our conception of rights and privacy and private rights are also central to these ideas of law. And if you don’t have the rule of law, we could talk about what is the rule of law, I’m not sure my computer is going to last long enough for that, but I think, you know, I’m not really sure about Hayek, but I just don’t know him well enough to have an idea of what exactly he means by the rule of law. They are the conditions, the kind of conditions under which we live. Yeah, his reference was, it’s kind of a meta law, so it’s not just that the formulated law, it’s this understanding of there is, we define rules of laws, and it was about mostly about the rules of the protection of minorities, right? That’s always a problem with democracy and the rule of law. If you have more than 51%, you just make, that’s what happens like in Africa a lot, you make the laws that are basically good for you and everyone else, so you just define out of the problem that these people never get anything and they can’t do anything. And he was like, so this understanding, this meta rule of law is what people have to learn first, otherwise it’s no use to make any laws and there’s no use of democracy because the majority will just drive away the minority and this will continuously be a battle forever. It hasn’t really happened in the US, but I feel we see this right now that we have these states that extremely go polarized and once you have someone from the other side, he basically rolls up his sleeves and just disadvantages, so to speak, the other side, which I don’t think was the idea of democracy in the first place. Maybe it is. To me, and I’ll just go back to sort of where we began the conversation when you asked me how I got interested in this business and I said that Rousseau was one of the first thinkers that came to me. Now, it may not be self evident to everybody when you think of Rousseau and rule of law, but I think when Rousseau, in his most famous political book, The Social Contract, talked about what he called the general will, which is the most important concept of his most important political book. He’s really talking about what are the conditions for the rule of law. When he speaks about the general will, he says any law to be a law must be able to pass the test of generality. What does he mean by that? A law can’t just specify particular individuals either to exempt them or to indict them in some way. The law must apply impartially to everybody. Generality suggests impartiality. Law must be impartial. It must be applied to everybody. You cannot make yourself, that’s why we think nobody’s an exception to the law. Trump sort of thought he was clearly, but the law to be a law must apply to everybody, to the rulers as well as the rule. Rousseau was deeply aware of this in his conception of the general will with its emphasis upon impartiality. The laws are forms. That is to say, they don’t specify specific things, but they just specify the conditions under which we act. They specify the formal rules under which we act. They don’t tell us what to do, but they specify the rules under which we act. And I think he in many ways gave one of the most profound insights into the rule of law in his famous book, The Social Contract. I know that’s not always the way the social contract is read. People often think of Rousseau and they think he’s the precursor of the French Revolution and a lot of very bad stuff. Maybe, maybe not. But I tend to think of Rousseau as a great philosopher of law and we talked about the importance of the rule of law. So that’s where I would go. I guess I have to read Rousseau finally. I haven’t undertook that. I haven’t undertook that venture. Before you go and in your phone is out of battery, tell us more about your book. And I know you’ve just had an essay in the Wall Street Journal. Well, you’ve been thinking a lot about patriotism and the role of patriotism, what it will be like. Because patriotism is this ward now. The first time I really heard this is suddenly I got, early January, got a lot of messages, are you really patriot? This is what the patriots are up to. And this was a big thing about the capital. What does patriotism, I guess, mean and what is the book about? Thank you for asking me that. Yeah, the patriotism book actually, well, I won’t go into the whole story about how it came about. But it’s an attempt to reclaim, it’s called reclaiming patriotism in an age of extremes. It’s an attempt to explore what this term means for us today. And if I can put it, I’ll put it this way. Patriotism, I argue in the book, one of the central arguments that runs throughout the book, is we need to understand patriotism. Let me stand back a second. Aristotle, who figures in my intro course, Aristotle famously argued that all the virtues, he says, are midpoints between an extreme, between two extremes. So, courage, he says, is a midpoint between cowardice on the one side and being excessively rash or bold on the other side. It’s finding the right point. And I want to argue that patriotism is a virtue much like that. Patriotism stands between two conflicting and competing alternatives, which I talk about briefly in that Wall Street Journal piece that you referenced. On one side is the tendency towards what we call cosmopolitanism. There’s a lot of talk about being citizens of the world, that the state is now being transcended by new forms of political organization like the EU and other kinds of transnational forms of organization. And that the old idea of being a citizen of its state is now we are now citizens of the world. We are now a cultured cosmopolitanist on the one side. On the other side, which is closer, is nationalism. The idea, which is increasingly dominant in many parts of the world, including the U.S., is that our national identity shapes who we are. It shapes our minds, our hearts, our souls. And we are a little bit like in that world that I described with Carl Schmidt. You are a member of your nation, and to be a member of a nation is to be put in opposition to members of other nations. It’s a world of antagonism and conflict and war. And these are the two extremes. Patriotism is a kind of love of country, but it’s different from both the nationalist who sees him or herself in opposition to all others, and the cosmopolitan who says, well, I’m not, I’m just maybe here, but I’m really my loyalties are to humanity at large, not my fellow citizens. The patriot’s love of country is a form of loyalty, but it’s loyalty based on a kind of love. It’s loyalty based on a kind of respect and tolerance for others and for a belief in the dignity, I guess I would call it, the dignity of one’s own and the value of one’s own country and way of life. It’s a little bit like being a member of a family. You love your family. It doesn’t mean you believe your family is better than any other family. It doesn’t mean that your family is going to be in conflict with other families. No, you love your family sort of because it’s yours and your family is a special part in your in your heart and your mind. And I try to and in the book is trying to defend patriotism is something like that love of family that I’ve just described and distinguishing it from both the nationalist disposition as well as from the cosmopolitan. That sounds really interesting. I think the real identity, the real meaning of the word patriotism is something that hasn’t been probably abused by both sides, so to speak. It hasn’t been something that you can’t align people behind anymore. Maybe that was true 20, 30 years ago. And I always feel like the real patriotism, if it is becoming redefined, as you say, and that that would be that would be a great advancement, I feel. I think America is looking for a crisis. That’s kind of my gut feeling where America is looking for a crisis to come together at or maybe split apart, whatever the solution is. But we didn’t have enough of a crisis to define ourselves. There’s no Soviet Union anymore. There hasn’t been a big challenge to us anymore. And we kind of we are we are hacking ourselves apart in this mini civil war that we are fighting right now. And maybe patriotism is what really binds us all together. Maybe we can we can use this as a as this binding clue if we still have it, right? Sometimes I’m not convinced it’s still there. Well, that’s the aspiration of the book. And I would say if I can quote Tommy Lee Jones from the great movie, no Cohen Brothers movie, no country for old men. If we’re not in a crisis now, it’ll do till the crisis comes. Yeah, let’s let’s hope not let’s hope we can avoid it. Stephen, thanks for doing this. I know you have to go. I know you have to go. Thanks for doing this. I really appreciate it. Thanks for your time. It was it was my I’m sorry we got off to a rocky start with the technology, but I loved it. Thank you for your questions. And I really appreciate you what you’re doing, the work you’re doing. Thank you so much. Absolutely same here. It was really my pleasure. And I hope you see you again with my pleasure. Bye. Bye. Have a good one. Bye.