Mass Democracy and the New Populist Challenge

– I’m Dr. Laura Cohen, the
KHC’s Executive Director. The Kupferberg Holocaust
Center is situated on the traditional land
of the Mantinecock people who continue to live here today. We offer gratitude and respect
to all the Indigenous people of Turtle Island, past,
present, and future, including the Lenape
and Shinnecock peoples. What I just read is what we
call a land acknowledgement, a statement recognizing
that the land we all occupy in the course of our daily lives, including our schools,
jobs, parks and homes, as well as the names of towns and roads was first inhabited by
another group of people who were forcibly expelled and murdered. Today, we identify those
crimes for what they are, mass atrocities and genocide, the horrors of which
continue to have negative social, cultural,
political, psychological, and economic impacts within
and upon their communities. The KHC’s mission is to educate current and future generations,
you, about the ramifications of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping using the lessons of the Holocaust. In doing so, we teach and empower citizens to become agents of positive social change in their lives and communities. This colloquium, in tandem
with our newest exhibition, Survivance and Sovereignty
on Turtle Island: Engaging With Contemporary
Native American Art, have both found their home here at the KHC because it is through
studying the Holocaust that we develop the vocabulary
to inspect and acknowledge other genocides and nationalist movements, as well as contemporary reactions to them. This year’s colloquium
explores current manifestations of authoritarianism and public responses voicing both complicity and dissent. It includes a year-long program of events drawing upon the community
of scholars here at QCC whose work addresses themes
pertaining to the psychological, ideological, political,
and aesthetic conditions that undergird authoritarianism. The colloquium is organized
by Dr. Julia Rothenberg, the KHC’s current scholar-in-residence. Dr. Rothenberg is an associate
professor of Sociology in QCC’s Social Studies department. Her pedagogy and publications
focus on overlapping topics within urban sociology,
and the sociology of art, race, and ethnicity, as well
as social and cultural theory. This series was made
possible due to the generous financial support of
the National Endowment for the Humanities, as well
as the New York City Council. I would also like to thank the KHC staff including Marisa Hollywood, Joel George, and Victoria Fernandez,
as well as Jessie Perez, sorry Jessie Pena, Ray
Perez, and Ryan Ricnot from QCC Media Services, and
Phil Roncoroni, Leo Correa and Carrie Blank from
the marketing department. Finally, just a few housekeeping
notes before we begin. First, please silence your cellphones. Let’s take a minute, everybody,
silence the cellphones. And also, when you walk in the hallway, the gallery is narrow, so
please take off your backpacks. And now, without further
ado, please join me in welcoming Dr. Julia Rothenberg. (audience applauding) – Thank you Laura, and thank you everybody for coming to the first
in our series of events. We’re gonna begin our series with two really wonderful speakers, first of whom is Adam Luedtke who is an associate professor
of political science here at QCC. His 2017 book “Migration and the Crisis
of the Modern Nation State” is co-edited with Frank Jacobs and analyzes the politics of immigration in the modern world. His talk is gonna focus
on recent developments in comparative politics in Europe and their relation to past phases of populist authoritarianism so he’s kind of setting up the themes of the talks to come during the series. And he will be followed by Belinda Cooper, who is an adjunct professor at
NYU’s global affairs program and Columbia University’s
Institute for the Study of Human Rights, where she teaches courses on international human
rights law and women’s rights and war crimes and prosecution. Her experiences included working
with East German dissidents before the fall of communism, assisting the lawyers for a
German Guantanamo detainee, organizing a project on
memorialization of the past in Turkey, and researching
and coauthoring reports on domestic violence in Tanzania,
Armenia, and Uzbekistan. She’s gonna discuss the
postwar human rights framework and how it’s developed to be concerned with what happens within
the borders of states with particular focus on
atrocity crimes and free speech. She’s also gonna discuss Germany, Rwanda, former Yugoslavia, whatever
time permits, lot of stuff, from the perspective of
dealing with their pasts and how this affects
their present potential to prevent a renewed rise
of authoritarian rule and possible atrocity. So the way that I’m thinking
we’re gonna structure things is first Adam will speak,
and if there are a couple of burning questions
afterwards, we can ask them right away, but otherwise
I think it would be best if we moved right into Belinda’s talk, and then afterwards, so
if you have questions, write them down, and maybe we can even hopefully engage both of our speakers in a kind of a dialogue on these topics. And by the way, they haven’t met before so this is new for them as well. So, thank you Adam, let’s
welcome Adam Luedtke. (audience applauding) – I initially thought, I
went over the Science 111 because that’s where the
past events have been, and I was happy because that’s
a room I teach in every week and I thought I’d be less nervous. But this is a better venue, and it’s okay. I’m nervous about a lot
of things these days, including democracy, and
the fate of our country, other countries, and a
lot of that nervousness has to do with the factors
that I’m gonna talk about in terms of the rise of populism. And I’m mostly gonna focus on Europe, which is really what my research and my expertise is on, as you can see. Oh, is that your feed? Sorry. Our president on the phone
with a fellow populist, and I’ll explain what
that means, but basically this president of Ukraine,
the new president, is a comedian, no political experience, came in using the same
message and type of appeal that Trump and many others have. And of course, as you may have heard, possibly offering US
military help or other favors in exchange for dirt on Joe Biden’s son and his business dealings in that country. Today we had the British
Parliament sitting for the first time since the
prime minister Boris Johnson another populist, very
Trump-y, even the hair, since he suspended Parliament
and the Supreme Court of Britain just ruled that
that was an illegal move, so they’re debating a very populist plan, which is to leave the European Union. So I’ll talk about those things, I’ll explain what populism is. Here we have some of
the logos of the parties I’m gonna talk about, and
we have right down here the famous, or infamous, Brexit Bus that was driving around in
the run up to the UK’s vote to leave Europe with you
could say misleading messages is a nice way to put it. So, populism, you may
have heard a lot of labels thrown around, political labels. You’ve probably heard the
terms socialist, communist, conservative, liberal. Populism’s a little different
because nobody really says, no voter or average citizen
really says I’m a populist. It’s more about the style,
the message of the leader, who they often have a
very personal loyalty to. And so a lot of people aren’t gonna admit well I like this guy because of who he is, plenty of people will
admit, but it doesn’t sound it doesn’t have a scary connotation the way Nazi or communist
does to a lot of people. Sounds like a nice word,
population, popular. And it’s true there
have been good populists who were benevolent, who
have done good things. But it’s a dangerous message
and a dangerous style because Hitler, among others, is populist in the classic mold. And of course we know where that can lead. And even the good populists,
Teddy Roosevelt there, doing one of the things
he loved to do most which was kill, not just animals, which he really loved
doing, the famous teddy bear was a picture, he always
had press with him, cameras, just like every good populist. You wanna be in the public
eye, and he was out hunting and found a bear cub, the
legend goes, and held it, and so all the kids in America
said I want one of those, I want a Teddy bear. That’s literally how the
stuffed animal was born. But he didn’t only enjoy killing animals, he loved war. He talked often about his time
in the Spanish-American war fighting the Spaniards in Cuba, the thrill of that, the glory of that. He was an imperialist, took Panama, took Puerto Rico, took
Cuba, took the Philippines, for the first time America has an empire. He was a racist. And he had some pretty
harsh views about immigrants who weren’t from northern Europe, and yet this guy did so
much to break the power of people like Rockefeller,
that basically controlled this country, bought
off all the politicians, he took them on. So populism can be a force for good, but even when it is, you’re
dealing with often someone who’s not gonna be
considered a saint, let’s say to put it nicely. Populists aren’t necessarily
left-wing or right-wing. They exist all over history,
all around the world. There’s not one way to do
it or one type, really, but they all share five things. Populism is always personal. That is, it’s connected to
the charisma, the personality, the force of one man, usually. We haven’t really had many
women populists in history which is interesting to
think about, why that is. Always authoritarian, meaning well I’ll explain what that
means on the next slide. Nationalist, taking on what we
could call the establishment, the status quo, the powers that be. Those professors who are
trying to fill your head with critical ideas, those
journalists who are writing lies, judges who are biased against me, cops, mainstream politicians who lie to you and get nothing done, I’m gonna take them on. I’m gonna drain the swamp,
I’m going to uproot this and start over. And they usually come to
power when there’s some sort of crisis going on. So let’s go more into
what populists share. We got 40 minutes, Julia? – [Julia] Yeah, I mean you
don’t need to take all of it. – Yes, I will try to go on the short side. So number one, personalized as I said. It’s based on one guy. And this is often why
populist movements don’t last, because once that leader dies,
or is kicked out of power, there’s usually nobody ready to step in and be that person. You think of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, a classic populist of
the left-wing variety. People love him even though
there’s issues in the country. When he dies, his successor
Maduro has the charisma of an empanada that’s
been left out three days, and you see what happens. The movement sort of falls apart. Think of Trump, once Trump
goes one way or another, can you see Mike Pence stepping in and sort of filling that role? There’s no obvious
successor that has that grip on the supporters that would
get the loyalty he needs. Authoritarian, I’m a
different type of politician, you gotta trust me. We have to do things top down. I’m gonna give the orders,
and I’m not gonna compromise. I’m not going to play by the normal rules. And I need that authority,
because I’m gonna be the one fixing this. I’m gonna be the one helping you, I’m gonna be the one getting
the country back to greatness which is nationalism. Restoring national greatness. And this is usually directed
against foreign powers global elites, often
though domestic enemies are accused of working
with these foreign forces. So college professors are communists, they’re in league with
the international bankers which is often code for Jews. There’s an imagined or in some cases real when there’s a country
that’s been aggressive towards them, taken
territory, but either way it doesn’t really matter
if it’s imagined or real because it works when
it’s done strategically and by someone with this ability. Anti-establishment. You know, voters love an outsider. They don’t want the same
faces, the same parties. And what’s funny is populists will say I’m for the little guy. I’m looking out for you, the
average person, against them, who’ve been weakening
our nation, who’ve been telling you lies. I’m gonna be on your side even though what’s funny is they often
come right out of the wealthy, the elites, the military, they’re already part of the status quo, but they also wanna
play the outsider role, and it works really well. And all of this often isn’t enough because really they only really succeed when they country’s already
having some sort of a crisis whether it’s a crisis that’s
in people’s perception or whether it’s an actual
war, or losing a war or an economic depression. Things have to get bad
for people to consider this type of a change,
and populists thrive off the fears that happen in these type of situation. As I said, there’s left-wing
right-wing populists, but let’s go a little deeper than that. Let’s not just stick with
the simplistic left right. I’m gonna, stay with me here,
because before you think about the boxes or the
labels, let’s just imagine an X axis, left right. This is how we measure a government or a voter’s
position on the economy. On the right, if you’re
right-wing economically you would say get the
government out of the economy. Let the free market work,
let private businesses, private companies, pay their
workers what they want, move jobs where they
want, pay fewer taxes, put less rules on what they can do. That’s the right. The left would be get
the government involved in the economy. Raise taxes on the rich, make
more rules telling companies what they can and can’t do. So that’s left right. But let’s imagine a second axis, a Y axis, and this will be not economic
issues, but social issues. The top we would say authoritarian. On social issues this would mean I’m going to crack down on homosexuality. Which is a big platform of
Brazil’s current president populist Jair Bolsonaro. I’m going to crack down on drugs, like the populist running the
Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte who advocates killing drug dealers without bothering with a
trial and stuff like that. I’m gonna crack down on
social behavior, bad behavior, that’s the upper side. Lower side, liberal,
we’ll leave you alone. You wanna smoke weed, you
wanna be gay and get married, that’s fine. Not our job, not the government’s job. So all of us as voters can be placed in one of these boxes, and sometimes more towards the center, sometimes more towards the extreme. You could say this was
the Republican party before Donald Trump. This would be people that
just want the government to do nothing. Leave me alone to make money and to live my life how I want. The classic left liberal
would be in the US the Democrats, or most commonly socialist or social democratic parties. So up here would be our populists. Almost all of them are somewhere in here in this corner of the
grid, because they want more government in both issues. They’re gonna say the
government should get involved in economics, so in
Trump’s case, cracking down on free trade. I’m gonna tell companies
that they can’t do business with China without paying these costs. I’m going to spend more on well I was gonna say infrastructure, but that keeps getting put off, but generally a populist would say I want the government to
be bigger and doing more, whether it has to do with cracking down on your social behavior, or stepping in and regulating the economy. And when there’s a
crisis, this often really works, it appeals to voters who are scared who are nervous, and who think the country is out of control or under threat. And they are anti-establishment. They do say don’t trust the elites, don’t trust the politicians, I’m your guy. And often in a crisis, the status quo, the powers that be, are weak. Think of Hilary Clinton
and how whatever issues you might have about
her, there was a period of de-industrialization in certain states and worries in people’s minds, and a lot of distrust
of the Democratic Party and the Clintons in particular. So that is good ground
for populists to come in, but realistically they can’t,
they need some of those powerful forces to be on their side. So when Hitler came in,
the army, the aristocrats, the capitalists, the
church didn’t like this guy but they said well,
people seem to like him, maybe we can use him. And often, whether it’s
Republicans in the US or conservatives in Germany, they think I don’t like this guy, I don’t like his style or his ideas but he seems to be the man
the voters want right now and so maybe we can work with him. And sometimes that
works, often it doesn’t, as a lot of Republicans are finding out who don’t like Trump and
are quitting politics for now anyway. So sometimes you just have to
start a new political party. In a system like ours, it
works better to just capture an existing party, push it in a direction and sort of purge it. Okay, I’m gonna get to some visuals and more interesting stuff. Sorry for all the text,
but one last summary quickly before I move on
to the European countries. There’s many labels for
the parties you may have heard about in Europe,
the new authoritarian populist parties, sometimes they’re called the far right, the radical right, and they have different
platforms, elements, some are all about anti-Islam. Some are more about let’s
restore our national greatness. But whatever platforms they have, they all do share those five things I mentioned earlier. They’re under the control of one person who has charisma, and who
followers are intensely loyal to. They’re authoritarian,
they don’t want to go by the regular rules of the
game, judges, et cetera. They’re nationalist. They don’t like the European
Union, they don’t like the United Nations,
they don’t like the idea of international law, as our next speaker will talk about,
populists are very hostile to this idea that some foreigner or some international group
is gonna tell our country what to do. Anti-establishment, these are new parties, challenger parties, outsider parties, and often they happen during a crisis again, doesn’t matter
if the crisis is real, it’s what the voters believe. Like the refugee crisis, where more than a million
refugees came to Europe from conflict zones in
Africa and the Middle East, and sort of overwhelmed the
voters’ feelings of security. Or economic crisis, de-industrialization, the things you’ve heard about here. Jobs being automated or outsourced. The middle class losing
its standard of living. You’re willing to gamble on a populist if you’re feeling like we
were at this place before, but now things are getting bad. Some European populists
get their motivation from a past, like in
Germany, like in Italy, like in France as a colonial empire, or fascist or Nazi roots. Some are more against globalists, whether that’s free trade, or the rule of experts,
international experts who are telling you the
planet is heating up we’re all gonna die, oh don’t believe them. That’s just lies. Usually, immigrants, refugees, minorities, are part of this, and for
some of these parties, it’s specifically Muslims
that is the threat, and that is the motivating
issue for them to gain power. So I’m gonna just finish
up, and I can take a few questions as Julia said if you don’t wanna wait. I’m gonna go through three types of European parties. These are countries
with populist movements that are strong and get a lot of support, but have never yet won power nationally, gone into government nationally. I say nationally because in some cases both of these parties have won elections for mayors, and things like that, but they’ve never been part of
the national government yet. Let’s start with the
country I know best, France. Their far-right anti-immigrant party was called the National Front. La Fronte Nationale. Founded by that lady’s dad. Jean-Marie Le Pen and
that’s the current leader’s daughter, Marine Le Pen. He had a more traditional platform of France never should have
never given up its empire. We are a great nation that is now weakened by others telling us what to do. And his daughter really tried to modernize by getting, for instance,
members who are immigrants to say no, no, no, no,
we’re not about the past, we’re not about the Catholic church, or something like that. We’re about just making
France work for everybody. So it’s a very much more
tame sounding message than her dad. They had to change the
name of National Front to National Rally when they
lost a hate speech case. A lot of European countries
don’t have protections for speech as strong as
the First Amendment here, so there are laws for instance in Germany you can actually get arrested for saying the Holocaust didn’t happen. Same thing in France, there
are certain types of speech that are illegal. They were found to be violating that and so they just changed
the name of the party. So that’s the National Rally in France. Germany is a trickier one,
because as you can imagine, Germans have seen this before, if not literally than they know
their own country’s history. So the far right hasn’t had
much success till recently and they’ve had to be very careful, but they found a good issue
that makes people forget well these are the same
things that are being said about Jews, and that is Islam. You notice here, I don’t speak German, so I’m pretty sure I know what that, but you can see what’s going on there, even if you don’t see the words. It’s a lady in a burka,
and that’s their main focus is Germany is becoming Islamacized. We’re being taken over. What’s that? [Woman] Women’s freedom isn’t negotiable. – Women’s freedom, there you go. So it’s we’re not anti-Islam,
it’s not that we hate Muslims, we’re for women’s rights, and they’re not. So they’re very clever
at framing the message in a way that’s appealing. Second category. Populist movements that
have actually been in power, but right now are shut
out, but in the past have been part of the national government. I don’t have time to go into
how in a parliamentary system unlike our system, often
you have a government that’s made up of several parties in a coalition. But none of these parties
alone had a ruling majority but in each case, there’s
been other parties of the right, usually that work with them, form a government. Italy, and actually all
four of these countries, the populist right-wing
party was in power, in three of the cases
until recently this year in one case since 2017. Let’s start with the
biggest country Italy. The Northern League started as a party that said let’s separate
Northern Italy and make it a separate country,
because there’s a saying among Italians of the north,
a very racist saying, really, they say Africa begins at Rome, meaning basically to them, Southern Italy is a third world country,
and Northern Italy being much wealthier. That’s how they started,
but they quickly realized we can appeal to voters in the south, too if we shift our focus to immigration and specifically refugees. Think of where Italy is. You know, that boot coming
out into the Mediterranean when boats come from Syria, or wherever, that’s often where they end up. And Italy felt like it was
getting swamped, overrun, and they said to Germany and
other countries up north, hey, take these guys or give us money, and in their mind, the richer
countries of northern Europe didn’t help out, and
that was a powerful way to get them in power, but last month the coalition collapsed, and this guy here, their
leader, Matteo Salvini was kicked out of government, and there’s gonna be new elections. What’s that? – [Woman] Doesn’t that
happen all the time? – Yes, Italy’s famous. They’ve had something like 60 governments in the last 50 years. So sometimes people are
voting two, three times in a single year for a new government because the party system’s very unstable. And that can help a
populist, but often you crash as quickly as you rise. A lot of European countries had elections this late spring early summer, and there was a sort of prediction, the far-right’s gonna win big if you’re against them, we’re in trouble because they’re gonna crush it. They’re gonna run the table. Didn’t happen, actually. The results showed that a lot of voters came out for green parties,
for left-wing parties. So two of these parties lost power in June and in May the Danish People’s party was in government, but they
were completely wiped out, not completely, but they
lost a lot of their seats in parliament. In June, yeah? – [Julia] You just might want
to explain really briefly because some students might not know how parliamentary systems are– – Right, so basically in the US we have what’s called separated powers. We have the Congress that’s
the legislative branch, and we have a president
who we elect separately who’s the executive. Most European countries
though have what’s called a parliamentary system where there’s not an executive branch and
a legislative branch, you simply just go vote
for your local politician who represents your neighborhood or state or whatever in the national parliament, and that allows for a lot of
smaller parties to compete, because usually no party
ends up with a majority. It’s not a two-party system. There’s many choices. It’s nice for a voter
because you have a big menu. But then nobody gets a majority, so two, three, depending
on how many shares of the vote you have,
parties will talk and say okay let’s govern together. My party got the most votes
so I’ll be prime minister. Your party came in second,
so we’ll give your people the job of defense minister,
or other important jobs in the executive, so it’s a different way to do government because the executive is coming out of the legislature. The prime minister, the
leader of the country, is also just an elected guy
from a district somewhere. Like a representative here would be. This is interesting, got
another Russia link here. The Austrian Freedom
Party was in government and in May, a journalist pretending to be a Russian millionaire,
billionaire I guess, on tape got the leader
of the party to admit for favors in exchange for bribes. He didn’t know this guy wasn’t
an actual Russian billionaire and the tape came out
and it was a scandal, the government collapsed,
and they’re out of power now. Okay just to finish up. These are the ones who
are currently in power. I’m gonna start with Switzerland so we can end with our close
friend and ally, the UK and Brexit. Switzerland, not gonna say much about it, but the far-right does very
well there on anti-Islam, anti-immigration, mostly. The people’s party is
actually the largest party in the Parliament. They have the most seats, the most votes, but because it’s a coalition government of right-wing parties, they
only get two out of seven seats but that still means
they get a lot of power in terms of what’s gonna
happen in the country. The UK, this is an interesting one. It’s different because it
didn’t start with a person or a party, it actually started with a pro-Europe leader
of the Conservative party also known as the Tories, who
said okay I wanna put this Europe issue to bed once and for all. People are always complaining, oh the European Union tells us what to do. We give them too much money, we’re losing sovereignty,
and that’s distracting, we should be a part of the EU, so he said I’m gonna once and for
all settle the argument by putting it to the people,
and of course the people know how much we get by being able to travel all around Europe and trade with Europe, so they’re gonna vote to remain in the EU. Well, he gambled big, and failed big. 52% of Brits voted to leave,
and so his career was done, David Cameron, he left,
and we’ve sort of stumbled through prime ministers
and crises and negotiations until really the last guy standing was this guy, Boris
Johnson, the current leader of the UK who suspended Parliament, and then today, the
Supreme Court forced him to let Parliament meet
again so they could debate, because there’s an October
deadline for them to leave the EU, even if they don’t get a deal from the EU for what’s
gonna happen afterwards, and so people are panicking. There may not be food on the shelves, there may not be a train
or truck or bus service. It’s really a chaotic situation with a lot of unknowns, and this guy’s popular,
charismatic, funny, very smart, but really
built his political career by sort of attacking people especially in Brussels,
the capital of the EU, he was a disgraced
journalist because he used to he had a job in the European Parliament, he’d fly to Europe from England and write these crazy columns about oh they’re gonna make rules
on the size of ladders, or they’re gonna make rules
on the size of bananas that we have to follow,
and a lot of it wasn’t true or misleading, and he’s a great politician in terms of getting support. People find him entertaining,
like our current president, but he hasn’t shown that he’s really able to deal with this
crisis, and so they’re in a very dangerous situation right now because that deadline to leave the EU is only weeks ago. – [Man] Is there any populist movements responding to the crisis
that he’s developing? – Great question. Yes. So the interesting thing is we do see often a backlash, or
once the system crumbles, the political system, that is, you have parties of
different stripes coming up and you could say the president of France currently, Emmanuel Macron,
the French president right now you could say is
one of the good populists because he started a new political party, he had really no political experience. He took on the established
parties that have been running France for 50 years. Out of nowhere, he recruited
his candidates for Congress by having them send in video interviews, basically via YouTube. If you wanna be in my
party and be a politician, send me a three minute video pitching me, so it was this new wave
of populism that came in, and he’s very pro-EU. And he’s very much of
the idea that countries should work together, and that free trade is a good thing, and
immigration is a good thing. And you could say Bernie
Sanders is a populist, he’s got that following, that loyalty, that force of his persona,
and the perception that he’s not one of
them, he’s not bought off, he’s not part of the system, and that plays well, and
often brings us good things, but it can be a very
dangerous tool to play with. As the room we’re
standing in commemorates, it can often have ends that are some of history’s
greatest tragedies and disasters. Other burning questions? Yeah? – [Julia] I’m just wondering if you could very briefly address parallels in, so you say there’s a rise
in populist leadership now, and we’re kind of
comparing that to the dawn of the Second World War, and you said well sometimes the crisis
conditions are manufactured, they may or may not be real. But let’s just assume that
some of them are real. What are some of the
parallels in the conditions? – Right, great question. So as I said, times of
crisis are when these guys are able to get their voice
heard, and get a following. Teddy Roosevelt came out of the end final end of the agricultural
era, and the rise of the industrial revolution. So people were having to leave the farms, move to the cities, conditions
in the cities are bad, there’s no laws protecting
factory workers, there’s no minimum wage, there’s no law against child labor, pollution everywhere, no rules on what can be in the food, society’s in transition
and people are scared and don’t know what’s happening. We have to go to the city and get a job, we’ve been living on this
farm for generations. Populists appeal to that, because they bring a
sene of I’m gonna make things all right. I know you’re scared, but stick with me we’ll get it done. Then we have an even bigger
wave, the Great Depression, of the 30s coming after
the First World War, and of course the 1930s,
the horrible, the worst economic disaster in modern times, combined with the punishments
put against Germany after they lost World War One. The hyper-inflation is a classic case, where Germans had to in some
cases push a wheelbarrow full of money just to buy groceries because the currency was so worthless. This is fertile ground for populists. This is when they can
say I know you’re scared but I’ve got the answer, don’t worry, I’m gonna restore law and order and make us great again. So what’s going on now, why populism now, it’s the same. It’s a change from an industrial economy where people have good
paying jobs making things, mostly that’s the middle class ticket, right, for most people. But those jobs are going away. And we’re seeing a growing income gap, just like in Teddy’s
time, and the middle class is shrinking, and the rich
are accumulating more, and you have a lot of
people underemployed, afraid of their jobs,
and there’s automation. Amazon and driverless cars, and it’s a time of huge change, which is very scary for people. And then it’s easy to
say well it’s the Jews or it’s the immigrants
or it’s the bankers, or the globalists. So the waves of populism come with these transitions, I call them crisis because that’s how the voters usually feel when something big is
changing in the economy or the conditions of the country in terms of losing a war,
or something like that. Or a bunch of refugees coming
from a war somewhere else. Other? Yeah? – [Man] I don’t think you
really need a real crisis today with social media. It could be manufactured. – Absolutely, and if I had time I was gonna get into that, but I’m so glad you raised that point,
because the key right is the relationship between the leader and the supporters, and that depends on the means of communication. Teddy Roosevelt didn’t have Twitter, he didn’t even have radio. He needed photographers to come with him and he had them everywhere. I kind of feel like
him right now, you know he would go hunting and
there’s photographers. He was the first president
to ride in a car, there’s photographers,
first president to ride in an airplane, et cetera. His fifth cousin Franklin was lucky enough to have the radio, because
Franklin wasn’t quite as charismatic, but Americans
could hear him speak and that was very reassuring. But yes, nowadays with say Twitter, you don’t need a team of photographers or a national broadcast, you know? You could just be on your phone at three in the morning, and boom. And that’s obviously a huge advantage. And to people who say
well, it’s a disadvantage because he tweets these crazy things and people don’t like that,
but it gets us talking about them, it shifts the conversation, and if there’s one thing populists hate it’s being ignored. And with Twitter, you
can just stay relevant for as long as you want to. So I’m glad you raised
that, because as you said it doesn’t have to matter
how many immigrants there actually are, or how many jobs are actually going to China. If you’re getting the message
from someone you trust that that’s the problem,
then that is powerful for the human brain, in
terms of fears we might have. Yes sir? – [Man] When you started
you said that very few women have gone into that kind of position with authoritarian populism.
– Absolutely. – [Man] I’m thinking of one exception, would you say Evita Peron? – Yes, definitely. – [Man] Can you think of any others? – I was thinking Margaret
Thatcher to a degree. Perhaps Dilma Rousseff
in Brazil, but she often like Evita Peron, they followed, if not a spouse, a political
mentor who was a man, and they’re sort of carrying that on but with a unique personality. Like Evita had. So there is an element
of a woman could take what a guy before her
did and take it further and be even more beloved by the people. So it is a great point. It’s interesting to think about. To what degree is it sexism or
different leadership styles, but yes there have been examples, Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan to some degree, although the current guy
running Pakistan Imran Khan former cricket player and Playboy with no political experience is an even more classic
example of a populist. – [Julia] I was gonna say
one more thing about that and then I think I’m gonna
use my authoritarian power to move us along.
(laughing) But one think I was thinking about first of all, there have many
fewer women leaders, so– – Right, so we have a
much smaller sample size. – [Julia] But the other
part of the populist style as you sort of suggested is
this kind of paternalism. Like this kind of, it is
fundamentally patriarchal, because the idea is,
Daddy’s gonna take the wheel and fix the problem. – Absolutely, and in fact
people sometimes joke that the Democrats are the mommy part because they’re gonna take care of you, give you healthcare, et cetera, that Republicans are the daddy party because they’re gonna be tough, whatever that means on whatever issue, so it’s a useful analogy I think. And I think yes, part of
the appeal of populists is that there is very much the need for that strong sort of father figure. We can’t deny that that’s an
element of what’s going on. Yeah? – [Woman] Okay, so I
know that you’re talking about European populists, right? But what would you say about
the United States populists, because I heard you mention Joe Biden, so … – I mean I think, yeah, yes. To answer your question, short answer yes. I think that Trump is a classic populist. He’s different from a lot of these others in many ways, but he shares
a lot of the elements of it’s his personal style that matters. – [Julia] Wait, this is only
my class that’s supposed to be leaving, not the
other people’s classes. – Yeah, you’re encouraged to stay. – [Julia] For extra credit, or whatever the assignment is from your professors. Only SOCY 125 students
have the green light. Just saying. So I think we can save some
other questions for the end when we have both presentations. – Yup. – [Julia] And we should
thank you very much Adam. – Thank you. And just to finish up on your question, I think on the left
Bernie, and you could say maybe Marianne Williamson,
are people that would be more in the populist mold, speaking of a female populist. – [Julia] What about Ocasio– – Ocasio-Cortez yeah, I was thinking presidential candidates, but
she’s a great example too. Yeah, not yet. She’s not old enough. Six more years and AOC
can run for president. So Belinda, you’re not using slides right? So I guess we’ll bring the lights up and yeah, we’re going old school. – [Julia] Old school. – Okay, so first of
all thank you very much for the invitation. It’s lovely to be
invited by my old student Laurie Cohen, who was
my student and then did amazing work, among other
things, on former Yugoslavia, genocide in former
Yugoslavia, not a happy topic, but amazing work. And thank you to Julia, and
it’s great to meet Adam. So I wanted to do was sort of pull this towards my interests,
and to sort of relate the topic to my interests. The first part I’ll talk about the rise of the human rights framework
after World War Two, which really was a direct
response to authoritarian populism, Nazism, and to
some extent Stalinism, and then if there’s time talk a little bit about another response to that phenomenon which is what’s called historical memory. The way countries deal with their history of authoritarianism and usually the crimes that often come out of that. When populists attain full power, they’re authoritarian and
that’s when we fear them because that’s when they start oppressing their opposition,
oppressing their opponents. And the post World War Two rise of the human rights
framework, legal framework, international framework,
again is a direct response to that, and I’m glad you
gave those five points because it made me think that human rights is really almost a direct
response to the five points or at least some of the
points that Adam named. The personal nature of authoritarianism is replaced with the
human rights framework which is, it’s institutions,
institutionalizing values, those values are protection
of the individual, so nationalism is replaced
in the human rights framework by non-exclusionary universal values that protect everyone. So institutions, universalism, and what was the other one? Crisis, human rights is
a stable set of values, so whether there’s a crisis or not, human rights values,
human rights are constant. The basic human rights
you can’t derogate from. You can’t suspend them. So in a way it’s sort of the antithesis of those five points that you made. So I’ll just give kind of a brief overview of that human rights system,
and how it developed. For one thing, I have to sort of give you a little bit of a kind
of theoretical idea. The Holocaust and World
War Two basically marked a sea change in the way
the international system thought about the individual,
in international law. So international law had
two operative components really sort of bases before, in the past. International law was about relations between states, sovereignty
was fundamental, every state is sovereign,
every state is equal. And what that means, if every
state is sovereign equal, there’s nothing above them, you can’t look within the borders of a state. You can’t intervene in the
domestic affairs of a state. Which means if a state is
harming its own people, you may feel morally upset about it, but you can’t do anything
legally about it. There’s no legal conception that you can somehow pierce that veil of sovereignty, that’s the wording we use in law, and intervene in those domestic affairs. So international law only
operates between states. It doesn’t protect individuals,
it has nothing to say about individuals,
particularly within the borders of a state. So the example I always give my classes is the Armenian genocide. The Ottoman Turks massacre Armenians during the First World War, massacre their Armenian citizens in what’s now considered a genocide, and the whole world knows about this. It’s not a secret. People are really upset about it. This is where you get kids being told eat your dinner because
the Armenians are starving. Everybody knows, everybody’s outraged, but there’s no conception, legally. There’s no legal way, I
mean states could intervene if they wanted, but legally
there was no concept that made that an
international legal right of states, or something that had international legal foundation. There just wasn’t a way
to conceptualize it. And that’s what changed
after the Second World War. In fact, even after the First World War, there was some pressure
on Turkey to hold trials, but they were abortive,
they didn’t really last, they were short-lived. So nothing really happened
after the First World War. World War Two really changed things, and starting with the Nuremberg Tribunal, which I’m sure you all know about. But you may not know what
kind of effect it had. And by the way, we’re talking
about the Anglo-Americans, you know Johnson, and Trump,
and all this populism. United States and Britain
were the catalysts of this post World War Two
human rights development. I mean, it was a universal development, it was across cultures,
many people participated, but the United States and Britain were really so much the catalyst of it, which sort of makes today’s
situation particularly sad. So at Nuremberg, Nuremberg was a tribunal organized by the Allied powers, Britain, France, the United
States, the Soviet Union, which made it rather flawed in some ways, which is something you
can ask questions about, but what it did was the Allied
nations tried Nazi leaders. They tried Nazi leaders
in an international court under international law. This is brand new. This is revolutionary. The idea that you can set up
an international tribunal, use some conception of international law. War crimes, crimes against humanity, and at the time, crimes against peace. Genocide wasn’t yet an idea. And try the leaders of countries for things they did as the
leaders of their countries under international law, in a way that is essentially saying we are
protecting your citizens. It wasn’t quite as simple at the time, they didn’t quite frame it that way, but that was essentially
what came out of it. International law is protecting
citizens of countries against their leaders,
and trying their leaders as individuals, not as
representatives of their country. International law, remember I said it’s about countries’ relationships? Treaties about trade, relations
on the high seas, whatever. No, this is international
law trying people for crimes, and executing them, or
putting them in jail. This is new. So I sort of always have to emphasize what a huge revolution this is, because my students, and
most people generally who are younger, generally don’t remember that there was a time
when leaders weren’t being maybe not put on trial, but indicted by international tribunals. You know, that didn’t happen
40 years or 30 years ago. So at Nuremberg these criminal defendants were hanged or jailed for war crimes, crimes against humanity,
crimes against peace, and there was a lot of discussion about the retroactivity question, were these crimes when
these people committed them? If they weren’t actually defined as crimes can you try people for that? That’s sort of a basic principle. You don’t try people for
things that weren’t crimes when they committed them. All these discussions. That is not what we
remember about Nuremberg. What we remember is what
I was talking about. So all of these concepts
are new after the war, and the Holocaust also
crystallized the idea of genocide. Raphael Lemkin is the name
usually associated with that, he was a Polish Jewish
refugee and a lawyer who really created the idea of genocide as a concept, as a legal concept, lobbied for the genocide convention, and Lemkin was really inspired by both the Armenian
genocide and the Holocaust. One of the architects of
the Armenian genocide, Talaat Pasha, was
assassinated in Berlin in 1921 by a survivor of the genocide. And Lemkin is said to
have remarked on the fact that the assassin could be tried, of a single person,
assassin of a single person was tried for his crime, he
didn’t get much of a sentence because people knew sort of why, it was clear why he had
done it and so forth, and Talaat Pasha was not
obviously an architect of the genocide. But the people responsible for the murder of hundreds and thousands went free for lack of a legal framework, for lack of a legal concept. So you have one murder is a crime, hundreds of thousands of murders are not. So Lemkin worked to create
part of this framework. He coined the word
genocide, and again drafted and lobbied for the genocide convention, which went into force in 1951. So again, institutionalizing, institutionalizing this
framework of rights and protections for individuals under international law. Postwar period also sees
the creation of the UN which is primarily a
collective security body, but with provisions requiring
or talking about support for human rights, and UN
every state is a member of, so this idea of support for human rights applies to everyone. And the adoption by
the UN General Assembly of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, which was a very ambitious project of distilling down universally shared human rights principles. There were people from
many different cultures who participated in
drafting this document. Eleanor Roosevelt is the name
often associated with it, so women’s rights were also part of it. So these are human rights
principles that would apply to every human being everywhere. So again, institutionalizing
rather than based on the charisma of a dictator,
but institutions that will stay and remain and have power, and universal principles. And these were followed
by two binding treaties, the International Conventional
on Civil and Political Rights the International Convention
on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. Binding treaties that
again sort of flesh out these basic rights. So the trajectory since World War Two has been international recognition that human rights are a
value requiring protection, even when this means
looking within the borders of a state. And for major atrocities,
this goes further. There’s been discussions of the idea of humanitarian
intervention, whether states usually with the UN’s authorization can actually intervene
to stop atrocity crimes. This is all again, with a legal basis not just because we
morally are opposed to it but there’s some legal framework within you can do this. Nuremberg’s more recent successors, the international tribunals
for Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and the international criminal court, the permanent court, have
prosecuted leaders of countries for atrocity crimes. And no one today would
argue that these are domestic acts that
international law can’t touch. I shouldn’t say no one would argue it. There are still countries,
you know China talks about sovereignty, there are
countries that won’t sign many countries that won’t
sign on to the ICC statute because they don’t believe this, but I don’t think, there’s
certainly no lawyer today no international lawyer who would say, and really it would be
hard as a human being to say state is committing genocide, we have nothing to say about that. They might quibble about
how we should deal with it, how we should approach
it, but really the idea that these are of interest
to the entire world, that the entire international community wants to have something to say about it, wants to do something about it, and that there’s some legal
way of dealing with it, that’s not really so in dispute anymore. There’s even been a concept
of universal jurisdiction so-called that allows
any state to try people accused of atrocities in
certain limited circumstances even if those people and the
crime had no relationship to that state. So a Spanish judge decided at one point that he was going to see if he could try Augusto Pinochet who was
the dictator of Chile, and had been amnestied,
and that’s universal. He never actually managed to, because complicated,
but he never managed to, but the principle that you can try someone who has nothing to do with your country you wouldn’t normally
have jurisdiction over but if they’ve committed genocide, you have the right as a state
have a right to try them. That is even, has developed. So because of this international interest in punishing atrocities. So more and more, those
who support international human rights are finding ways to hold perpetrators accountable. And of course, these
developments haven’t ended human rights violations. That’s not gonna happen, any more than murder laws stop people from killing people. These things are gonna happen. And also, they haven’t
existed long enough yet for there to be a consistent practice. This is all really new. The war is only, what World War Two is not that long, it’s
within people’s lifetimes. The development of this framework, a lot of which started getting teeth after the end of Cold War,
because there was all this during the Cold War there was all this mutual blocking by the Soviet Union. You have the Soviet
blocking the United States so really developments in human rights have really snowballed since the end of the Cold War, and that’s 30 years ago, so that’s nothing in
international history. That’s no time at all. So there hasn’t been that much time. And also there’s no
international police force to enforce any of it, so figuring out how to enforce some of this stuff is something we’re always thinking about. But the days when a brutal dictator and I remember Idi Amin leaving Uganda and others, or Mobutu of
Zaire, could simply resign and live out his days
enjoying his stolen fortune in comfortable exile, those
days are largely over. They may not all be tried. They may not all even be indicted, but the possibility of
prosecution has become real, and it prevents them from resting easy. And so that’s, it hasn’t
solved everything, it hasn’t eliminated atrocities, it hasn’t made the world perfect, but it’s a huge step, even from my youth. And I’ll just, yeah? – [Man] It’s interesting that you mention the Nuremberg Trials,
because with the good that they do in establishing the precedent of trying the leaders, but there’s also a considerable amount of hypocrisy. The fact is, I know this for a fact, the French committed
atrocities, some of which were as bad as the Nazis or
worse, and yet because they were the victors, they
were not charged with– – Absolutely. – [Man] They brought in
a black cannibal troops who ate German prisoners. – I think that was propaganda, actually. I think that was propaganda. That I don’t think actually happened. That was good propaganda. There was a lot of propaganda. Yeah, that I’m a little
skeptical about, but but, that propaganda. But you’re absolutely right, of course, the Soviet Union, their
hands weren’t clean. Oh my god. Nothing that the Soviet Union did was considered at the trial. The United States, Hiroshima, as possibly a war crime, and in war every side commits war crimes. This is not– – [Man] And last but not least, when Germany regained its full sovereignty and joined the European
Union, they quietly commuted a lot of the German– – Yeah. That was domestic
sentences, and that was both domestic trials and also
the Americans held trials after the Nuremberg trial, kind of military trials
that were then also a lot of sentences. So that was, yeah, that’s important. I was gonna talk a little bit about that, do I have a little time left, maybe? – [Woman] Oh, I had
another question though, have there been any high profile cases that have not resulted in that have failed, I mean where somewhere the leader was not– – In what venue do you mean? – [Woman] In this UN
human rights framework. – There’s, I mean leaders
go free all the time. This isn’t, like I said, this is not, there’s no consistent practice here. But the fact that you
can do it is what’s new. Of course, so many leaders go free, but all I’m saying is
that they can’t rest easy and assume that they’re
not gonna be touched ever, because there are forums,
fora, in which you can actually do something about it. There are ways of addressing it, and whether it happens or not, you can’t assume that
you’re gonna, you know Bashir in Sudan was indicted
by the ICC years ago. And nobody really, he
didn’t take it seriously. He couldn’t travel as much
because some countries would have sent him to the tribunal, but a lot of countries just didn’t. He’s now out, and he’s gonna get tried. Years later, years after his, it’s sort of like with
German war criminals, you know, where years and years
and years nothing happened, but they’re still being followed. They still can’t rest easy. So this is kind of the same thing on a larger scale. So I’m not saying, again,
this isn’t a panacea this isn’t gonna happen overnight, but it’s a huge change
from what we had before. Let me see. I was gonna talk really briefly
about freedom of expression because that was brought up a little bit. One thing that authoritarians
do is manipulate resentments and hatreds, and one of the, among the rights protected
by human rights treaties are the sometimes competing values of freedom of expression and
protection from discrimination. And you talked a little bit
about freedom of expression so I just wanted to mention it. You said internationally,
freedom of expression can be limited to prevent
incitement to discrimination. That’s not the case in the United States. The United States only speech
that directly incites violence can in some cases be limited. So places like Germany bans
the swastika, as you said, some places ban denial of the Holocaust. And these raise interesting questions. In the United States
we had the Skokie case in the 70s where Neo-Nazis wanted to march through a Jewish suburb,
a suburb where many Jewish survivors lived, and
they were allowed to do it. The Supreme Court said yes, you can. People don’t have to listen to you. They can go indoors, they
can close their doors. But the right to expression
is really important. And I think that’s an important, it’s important to think
about these issues, because authoritarians claim the majority. Populists claim majority support. Human rights are about,
this is another thing I was gonna say, human rights in response to your points, human rights are protections from the majority. Human rights protect you from majorities. They protect individuals, minorities, from the majority. And we generally,
authoritarians, people in power, even non authoritarian governments, the desire to ban speech is generally the desire to ban unpopular speech. I mean, we all hate the
Westboro Baptist Church, I assume we all hate them. I hope we all hate them. Banning their speech, their speech would totally be banned in Europe, in any European country. But they’re a minority,
everybody hates them. So you have to really
think about what it means to give a government the
power to ban expression. Even though that might protect
certain other minorities from discriminatory, maybe
not discriminatory treatment, but the idea being that
discriminatory speech can lead to discriminatory treatment, and we see in the United States the way speech is now, the kind of effect talking about the
internet, and social media, the way that speech can really influence the political discourse. It roughens the political discourse and it can be dangerous. Especially if it’s an
authoritarian system, this is again why we fear authoritarians when it starts to dominate. When you don’t have alternative
sources of information. Those are two different situations. In a democracy, you generally
have alternative sources. In an authoritarian country you don’t. So there’s different issues around that. But I just wanted to mention that, because I think it’s an important there’s a tendency often to, yeah go ahead, sorry. – [Man] Just to connect
the violence and speech, videos are included
under free speech, right? So when these mass shooters
upload, not just a manifesto but like the actual
video of them shooting. You know, private
internat companies can try to do something about that. – Right, private companies
can but the government can’t. Right. And again, there’s pros
and cons to both ways of dealing with it. There’s dangers to allowing the government to tell you what speech is good speech. My father was a Holocaust survivor, and so being in Germany is
always very interesting to me. And Germany tends to
limit speech that it feels is dangerous speech. I had a Jewish friend in Berlin who called a policeman a Nazi and he got in trouble, he got fined. And he’s the child of
Holocaust survivors, too. So he called a German cop a Nazi and got fined. So there’s paradoxes around that. There’s also the fact that
it’s very paternalistic. It means you don’t trust your society, which may be justified, you know, things have happened in Germany. But there are really pros and cons to the idea of limiting speech. Yeah? – [Julia] Do any of the
German populace movement I mean, Neo-Nazis and so forth, I don’t know what their standing is today, I just remember 15 years ago or so when I traveled to Germany,
I mean they did exist they were visible especially
in the former east and I’m wondering how those
groups position themselves on this issue of freedom of speech. I mean, do they use that in Germany, do they use that in their– – They get around it. I mean, they get around it. Of course they oppose limits
on swastikas and so forth, but they get around it. Like you were saying, just change the name of the party. This is another downside
of limiting speech, it makes it seem cool. It makes it seem interesting. Like it must have something to it. And it’s easy to get around. They don’t use the
swastika, they use something that looks kind of like a swastika. – [Man] The lightning bolt. – Yeah, I mean all of
those kind of things. It’s not hard to get around these things. And the argument is it
pushes it underground, it makes it less visible. And you can argue both sides. It’s not an easy question. Yeah, and I just wanted to maybe if I have a little more time, get
into a little bit of a slightly different question, but also one that isn’t about how you
combat these kind of movements and what you to do
protect people from them. I’m very interested in the
idea of historical memory and how countries deal
with, maybe also because I lived in Germany, my
father’s a Holocaust survivor, I spent a lot of time in east Germany and I’ve spent some time in Poland, and I’ve been in Rwanda, Yugoslavia, how countries deal with
the bad things they’ve done in the past. And this is coming back
to the United States, too obviously, I mean those of us who’ve dealt with this issue abroad
are all starting to talk more and more about transitional justice is the broader term, in the United States. How do you deal with the past? We haven’t dealt with
the past, look at what that’s led to. And the different countries
have dealt with it differently. And I think there are again questions around different ways of doing this, but I think the idea that
most of us who deal with this feel that if you don’t as a society honestly address your history, you are not necessarily
going to repeat it, but it’s going to come out in weird ways. It’s gonna come out to haunt you, and we’ve seen this in different places. So Germany you talked about this a little bit. In Germany, we have the
idea that Germany has done this amazing job of dealing with the past, and it has, it really has. But this wasn’t always the case. The early years after the
war, somebody mentioned, many people, few people were
tried, many were released. There was no real discussion. They didn’t like Nuremberg. For years, the German legal system didn’t recognize the Nuremberg judgment because of the retroactivity issue, because they felt it was using law that didn’t exist at the time. They didn’t denazify. My dad lived in Germany for five years after the war, after he got
out of concentration camp, and he always said in 1947, when the Cold War began, he
realized that the United States was not gonna be putting any
pressure on Germany anymore because they wanted Germany on their side during the Cold War. And so denazification basically ended. Not only that, there were
almost affirmative action programs to bring people
who’d been denazified back into their jobs. I mean, it’s a very interesting history. A lot of Germans have
written about it now, and it’s really fascinating. Trials were not particularly extensive and not very good. Denial, denial is a big
part of every country’s way of dealing with a not very nice past. Every country has this. Denial, we were the victims,
not the perpetrators, they’re accusing us of
things we didn’t do. Even with Nuremberg,
there were two reactions, with any of these tribunals,
either you identify with the perpetrators, and
so you reject the tribunal, or you say had nothing to do with me. I didn’t do anything, I was the good guy. And the Americans actually
encouraged the Germans to feel that way after the war, because they wanted good Germans. You know, they wanted
to create good Germans. So it was okay for Germans
to say I had nothing, that was this whole thing where the Nazis were aliens who just came
down, occupied Germany, and then left. You know, there’s a lot of people who’ve, it’s been described that way often, that nobody was a Nazi
in Germany after the war. Nobody had ever supported the Nazis. And that’s basic denial. It wasn’t really until, in Germany it’s a little bit
different from some other post-atrocity societies,
because there really weren’t any victims left. It was almost all perpetrators. There was a small Jewish
community, but not a lot. And so you really have the
perpetrators among themselves in a way that’s not the case
in many other societies. By the time I got to Germany, of course this had changed completely. In the 60s, I got there in the 80s, but in the 60s the next
generation had started dealing with this, and started asking their parents questions, and there really was
the beginnings of this what is now a much more
extensive discussion. And that’s huge. I mean Germany really has,
there’s a lot of problems with it, there’s still some denial, there’s still resentment. And the AFD of course plays on that, feeds on that, but Germans are still almost inoculated against
a lot of this stuff because they’ve talked about it so much. They’ve confronted it so much. The evidence is so clear. And it’s ongoing. Not that long ago, the Wehrmacht the German military was considered the one good
institution in Germany. They hadn’t committed any bad things, and then I think in the mid-90s there was a big exhibition
about Wehrmacht crimes and all of a sudden, people
are confronting the fact that even the Wehrmacht committed crimes, the German military. So it’s ongoing. And again, Germany has problems, but there’s a very strong counterforce to a lot of this AFD
stuff because of that. The current question in Germany actually which I think is fascinating is how do you convey that history and feeling part of that history to an immigrant generation
that actually often comes from anti-Semitic backgrounds? This is this issue of
immigrants from Turkey, from the Middle East who,
you know not to generalize, there’s a lot of exceptions,
and there’s a lot of variation in the population. But there’s also some
anti-Semitic content there. And how do you get kids who, and also Germany’s not the
most immigrant friendly place. I mean they’re still wrestling with how to absorb immigration in a way that I have to say we do with all our problems we do a lot better. Trump is an exception,
but we do that very well. And so how you get kids, like I grew up even though a child of an immigrant, I never questioned the fact that slavery is part of my history. It’s never even been a question
that that’s my history. But for a Turkish kid, or
a kid from Syria in Berlin that’s not as clear. And how you get that across to children. So that’s what they’re kind
of struggling with now. Teaching the Holocaust to immigrant kids. But that’s where they are. I mean, that’s pretty
far advanced, you know. They’ve done a lot of work. East Germany was interesting. It was a little bit different. East Germany was a
different type of denial. The East Germans said
we were not the Nazis. We’re the communists. We were the good guys. We fought the Nazis. And I spent a lot of time in East Germany before the wall came down, and even though that kind
of denial was frustrating, the fact is, a lot of
my East German friends did have communist grandparents who were in concentration camps, and the fact is also
that seeing themselves as the victims, having been
told they were the victims and not the perpetrators,
gave their response to Holocaust stuff more
emotional content, I felt. This is very anecdotal. But I always felt that
the West German response was more rational, and
the East German response was somewhat more emotional
because they weren’t telling themselves they
were the perpetrators, they were telling themselves
they were the victims. Even though it was wrong,
even though they weren’t. But it was an interesting phenomenon. And again, it’s just my personal, that is just my personal feeling. You can argue with me about that. There is the argument that
there is an authoritarian mindset among some East Germans, I resist that a little
bit because I’ve spent a lot of time in East
Germany, and there are many, many East Germans, in fact, unfortunately she couldn’t come, but I have a friend coming
to stay with me today who runs an anti-racism
initiative in East Germany, you know, she’s from East Germany, she runs an anti-racist,
constantly getting death threats and so forth, but she’s run
this anti-racism initiative for years and years. So there’s a lot of
discussion we could have about East Germany. Yeah? – [Julia] And they also had relationships with Vietnam and Cuba so in a certain way, I mean
I don’t know how much this, well in a certain way there
were less homogenous right? I mean– – No, they had immigrants,
they had students in East Germany from there,
but they were very segregated. Although I have friends who were children of students from Africa,
students from other countries. But there was, after the fall of the Wall, surveys were taken and it was found that there was less
anti-Semitism in East Germany, but more racism. So a lot of it, it’s just a
very interesting phenomenon. Yeah? – [Man] Can you see a
difference between West Germany and East Germany in the way they tried (rustling)
Semitic acts? – The way they did before? The East Germans claimed
to have denazified more thoroughly than West Germany, which didn’t really denazify
at all for many years. It’s not that clear. I mean, their propaganda
minister was a former Nazi. They kind of blackmailed former Nazis and kind of used them and manipulated, so I wouldn’t say, I mean some
of the East Bloc countries did do significant, Poland
did a lot of trials. I mean, Poland was a major Nazi victim so they did a lot of trials of Nazis. So there were, and more of
that is being talked about and written about now, the trials that, not always maybe as fair in
procedure as western trials, but there were a lot of prosecutions. Yeah? – [Woman] I grew up in
Austria during the Nazi era. – Oh man. – [Woman] I’m a Holocaust survivor, although I was never in
a concentration camp. And I have tried to
determine what can be done to eradicate anti-Semitism which I witnessed from early childhood even before the Nazis came to Austria, and I have sort of come to a conclusion. One of them is the education
that we’re getting right here, and the second one is that
the education must be done must be required in the
earliest childhood grades understanding various religions. Comparative religion must be
taught in early childhood. – I also think that contact
is really important. That just exposure,
you know, knowing Jews. My experience in Germany
was always, oh you’re a Jew, I don’t know any Jews. And then talking to people. And German Jews that I knew
were kind of sick of it. They didn’t want to be
educators all the time, they didn’t want to always be the ones who had to, you know, read a book. I don’t want, I can’t answer that. But for me as an American,
I didn’t have those kind of, I hadn’t grown up with all
that nonsense in Germany so I was sort of like, fine
you wanna ask me questions? You know, not a problem. So contact, I think is important. And also you gotta remember
there’s a difference between state-sponsored anti-Semitism and just popular, not popular, but anti-Semitism as a minority view. This is not, I mean
most countries are not, the United States, European countries, there’s no state anti-Semitism. There may be views that you may not like that you feel are anti-Semitic, you know whether they question Israel, that kind of thing. But there’s not state
sponsored anti-Semitism. And that really makes
the difference, I think. That’s the difference between what we had in World War Two and now. Or even before the war. When my dad was growing up in Poland, there were actually anti-Semitic laws. So there’s a difference there. Yeah? – [Julia] I’m just wondering
how familiar you are with those education programs
that you were talking about, the question of how to
teach more recent immigrants or how to get them on board
with this understanding of the past, but the
specific question I had about it, or how much do you know about the actual programs that– – I’m not an educator of that sort, so I don’t know. I have friends who work in it, but I don’t know specifics. I mean, a lot of it involves the usual bringing them to memorials,
explaining what happened. Making sure that they
understand the facts, first of all, but I don’t
know exactly how they– – [Julia] Because I’m just wondering if, you know, Islamophobia is something that’s pretty real, I guess. – Oh certainly, making those comparisons. I think of course. I’m sure. I’m absolutely sure they do that. Yeah? – [Man] Just to relate to
your historical memory point, I mean school textbooks
are really important. Just the curriculum, and
that gets fought over in the US states. – Yeah, oh yeah. – [Man] And Germany’s textbooks are better than say Japan’s about acknowledgement. – Well also in Germany
education is centralized. Here we have every state,
if Texas wants to have a textbook that’s full of racist nonsense, they can have a textbook
that’s full of racist nonsense. And because they’re one
of the biggest states, biggest markets, textbook
companies will cater to them. Germany is centralized. As a state you don’t get to
decide how your textbooks are gonna look. But a lot of my friends in Germany, my friends who grew up in the 60s have told me that when they were in school the textbooks ended right
before World War Two, and picked up in the 1960s again. They were like, we didn’t
really learn this stuff. Yeah? – [Woman] You say that the education here like Texas has one textbook
and Europe has another, but right now– – They can decide what, yeah. – [Woman] But aren’t they
like switching to common core? – I think it’s very, we
have a very decentralized education system, so I
mean I’m not an expert on education in the United States, but our educational system
is extremely decentralized, and states insist on that. I mean the idea of centralized education is kind of an anathema, or it’s centralized curriculum. – [Woman] I have a doctorate in education. – Go ahead. – [Woman] We’re going
against common core, now. It’s shifted back. – Yeah, it’s very hard in this country to do anything educational
in a centralized way, because parents want
control, states want control, local boards want control. And that makes a huge difference. European education systems I think are all pretty centralized, in most ways, not entirely, and a state
can get across a message in a whole different way, and yeah. Did you have your hand up? Oh sorry. Yeah, so I just maybe wanted
to point to one or two other countries, I mean in
this question of denial, former Yugoslavia’s denial is huge. The Serbs, Croats and Muslims
all consider themselves the main victims, they
live in separate entities pretty much, although there’s some, it’s complicated, but they
have completely different narratives, there’s three
different narratives of the history of the war, and one problem is that Yugoslavia as a country, there was very brutal
inter-ethnic conflict in the Second World War in Yugoslavia. And Tito, although he was
in some ways a good leader and admired in some ways,
he suppressed the debate. There was no real discussion
in former Yugoslavia of who did what to whom. There was trials, state
trials, and that was it. And so that discussion
goes on in families, families pass this stuff down,
but if it doesn’t happen, forced reconciliation, we’re all brothers, we’re all Yugoslavs,
didn’t work in Yugoslavia, in an amazing way, I
mean in a horrifying way. I mean really, Laurie may disagree with me in some of that, but I
think that had something to do with it, the fact
that there wasn’t a public and long running and ongoing debate about responsibility,
guilt, who did what to whom, what happened historically. Yeah? – [Laura] I would add to
that, because I agree with you in interviews that I would
do with Bosnian Serbs they would always go back
to in the conversation what happened to their
families in World War Two, automatically, and so
to even have credibility with that group you needed to understand how far that conflict goes back. And a lot of the people that were affected in the last war and who
fought in the last war had relatives and grandparents
who were also involved in World War Two, so that
memory just transforms. – Yeah, it doesn’t go away. If you repress it, if you
don’t talk about it publicly, people will talk about it privately. I can tell you about
really interesting research in Germany, about how things
are passed through families. I mean, if it’s not public
it’s gonna still happen and that’s why I said
these things bubble up. You can repress them, but they bubble up. You can not talk about
slavery in the United States honestly, but it’s gonna
come back up in Trump. Rwanda is, and there’s
always people trying to confront denial. In former Yugoslavia,
it’s not a dictatorship, they’re not dictatorships now. People are trying to
confront it, young people, older people even. It’s happening, but
it’s a difficult process and the hope is that it’ll happen enough, it’ll catch on the way it
did in Germany, hopefully. In Rwanda you have a little
bit of a different situation, the victims are in power
in Rwanda, the Tutsi, and it’s a dictatorship. It’s an interesting dictatorship, I was there for the first time in January, fascinating place, but
the way they’ve dealt with their past is essentially to move on. We are reconciled, reconciliation
is such an odd word, because the perpetrators
are usually the ones who use that. In Rwanda it’s a little different, but the victims don’t usually
want to be reconciled. They want to talk about the
stuff, they want justice. They want something different. Reconciliation is kind
of the perpetrated– – [Man] They want revenge. – Well, they may want
revenge, but they certainly, not always revenge. They don’t always want revenge. Sometimes they want justice, which is what these tribunals are about. Justice personalizes it, not
revenge against everybody but just the person who actually did it, so it’s mixed, but my
dad didn’t want revenge, he wanted reparations, he wanted justice, he wanted to see people tried. He didn’t want to kill
Nazis, he wanted justice. But it’s the perpetrators who kind of say let’s reconcile, let’s put it behind us. But Rwanda’s doing it,
they’re really trying to move forward, but
they’ve sort of imposed a memorial culture, and
then reconciliation. There are things you can’t talk about, you aren’t really supposed
to, I mean they do talk about Tutsi and Hutu in the past, but nowadays there’s no Tutsi and no Hutu, we’re all the same, we’re all Rwandans. You can’t question the genocide. You can’t question whether
the victims committed crimes, because the RPF, the Tutsi
military that eventually liberated Rwanda and stopped the genocide, they committed crimes, war crimes. But you don’t talk about that. You know, you don’t talk
about what Tutsi did to Hutu. And so this idea of genocide
denial in that sense, you can’t deny the
genocide, you can’t talk about the genocide, in any
way but the prescribed way, I think there’s no right
way of doing post genocide. There’s no right way of bringing together people who have murdered each other and have been murdered by their neighbors. But I’m not sure this is gonna work. I’m not sure in what ways Rwandan families are gonna pass this down, and
if it’s gonna bubble up later. I would like to think not. I would like to think something
about what they’re doing is more sensitive, but it’s hard to say. So that’s really all I had to say, and happy to take questions. (audience applauding) – So in the central
African country of Rwanda that Belinda was talking
about where one million people were killed,
it’s basically a record for the most people killed
in shortest amount of time. – Three months. – Three months, a million people killed. – By their neighbors with machetes. – By their neighbors with machetes. But the interesting thing
there was that these were not two tribes or ethnic
groups, it was a distinction created by the Belgians who colonized them who said you guys who are cattle herders, you’re taller and you look
a little more like us, so they came up with this theory that you’re different people
now, we’re gonna give you ID we’re gonna give you an education, and so then the Hutu who were
farmers sort of resented them, so you don’t have any inherent difference of religion or language,
which may be something that works in their favor. Yeah, Rwanda’s got a lot of problems and pitfalls down the road, but that was just something
that I wanted to point out. If we look at difference,
race is socially constructed, it’s not scientific, but there
are religious differences, there are cultural differences,
language differences, those can be artificial or. – [Julia] And of course also
it goes the other way too that the state is also a construction, and that was the problem
with Yugoslavia, right? In the case of the Belgians,
they created difference but I guess in the case of … – Right. – [Woman] Soviets, they created sameness. – Yeah.
– Yeah. – Yes, we’re all– – I was also gonna address
the economics question. You know populists do
really well, as you said in times of crisis. Authoritarians do very
well in times of crisis. So economics is really important, and one thing Rwanda’s really doing is establishing a strong economy. Whereas former Yugoslavia the
economy is in terrible shape. Bosnia is in horrible shape. Germany also, after the war
because of the Marshall Plan and other reasons developed
a very strong economy. When you have a strong economy,
you’re less susceptible to authoritarian
infiltration, and you have more of a cushion to talk
about some of these things. You’re not just worrying about survival. So that’s an issue as well. – Did anyone have other questions? Something you might have thought of. Yeah. – [Man] I just have a comment. You were talking about Germany,
how they did a better job of dealing with the past. I think one of the other issues was that Konrad Adenauer and Ben-Gurion developed a good relationship,
and in the beginning Germany helped to a certain
extent put Israel on its feet. They gave individual reparations, but also they gave economic help, significant economic help to Israel in its early years, even though there were demonstrations of Israel,
you know the initial railway system in Israel with German trains, and the Jews they vowed never to ride on trains built in Germany, and of course Ben-Gurion had enough credibility
to overcome that obstacle. The ZIM lines had ships built in Germany and the trains, and Volkswagen
was the most popular car, the Beetle bottle car
was the most popular car in Israel in the earlier years. – Germany still has a good
relationship with Israel, because they see it as the– – [Man] Right, as this moral … – Yeah, right. – [Man] Necessity, to defend Israel when other European countries are not so friendly to Israel. So I think that helped also. – There’s somebody who waved behind you. – [Woman] The young lady
who grew up in Moscow, I have a very, sorry,
negative view of mankind. Holocausts are always denied,
and there are holocausts going on all the time. North Korea has concentration camps, Myanmar, which was Burman
concentration camps, and very few Nazis were punished. Are you kidding? We have more Nazi scientists
here than a dog has fleas. In an incredible book about anti-Semitism which I’ve read twice, is
it’s called Anti-Semitism: “The Anguish of the
Jews” by Father Flannery. And I’m surprised the Vatican didn’t. Because the Vatican helped a lot of Nazis, with the Red Cross. But anyway, there are
passion plays that go right on here in Queens. I don’t know where I read
this, so I can’t document it. 22% of Americans believe that
the Holocaust never happened. There are little old ladies in Japan stand there with clipboards that the Rape of Nanking never happened. – I’ll just say again, I mean things– – [Woman] With all respect to you, you can have all these
universal principles, and I loved Eleanor Roosevelt. – But it’s better to have
them than not to have them. I mean, you can do some good with them. You can do some good with them. You’re not gonna solve all the problems. – [Woman] Maybe 1% of the
time they’re effective. – Well, I think it’s more than 1% but the people who are helped are helped. I’m not gonna, yeah of course
it’s an uphill struggle. Anything with civil rights
is an uphill struggle. Women’s rights is an uphill struggle. We don’t have full women’s rights yet. We don’t have full civil rights. You know, it’s all an uphill struggle but you don’t give up because of it. – [Julia] Sometimes it goes downhill. – Sometimes it goes
downhill, but you don’t give up because of that. You don’t say, oh it’s not gonna work and kind of throw up your hands. You have to do something. And I think we’ve done
a significant amount giving the history of the world, we’ve done a lot. Yeah? – [Woman] When it is
said that very few Nazis are like, punished, I kind
of find that agreeable because in a YouTube video
I watched about Auschwitz it says that 750 staff from Auschwitz were actually punished. – Yeah there were Auschwitz,
I don’t know about 750 but there was a major
Auschwitz trial in Germany, and that was later on. That was after the postwar period. After the immediate postwar period. Yeah, there were trials sure later on, and more and
more as time went on, but not in the early, and
that wasn’t until the 60s, the Eichmann trial really
catalyzed a lot as well. Israel captured Eichmann and tried him and that was heard in Germany. And law students, law
professors who were law students at the time, really
catalyzed their thinking about law listening to the Eichmann trial, and the Auschwitz trial. So, yeah. – [Man] We’re talking
about Yugoslavia and Rwanda and how Yugoslavia seems so unstable by denying, or by saying
they’re unified as one and Rwanda by saying they
won’t talk about their past how do we see different rises in … – Populism? – [Man] Populism in both countries, like would Yugoslavia have a rise or would Rwanda– – Yugoslavia has, former
Yugoslavia in the different areas there are populist leaders, actually. No question. Rwanda you can’t, because it’s
a dictatorship, basically, an authoritarian country right now. But you do see it in former Yugoslavia, and that’s, you know. It’s a difficulty. – Yeah. – [Woman] Golda Meir was
a charismatic leader. – Yes. – [Woman] But benevolent, could she be considered a populist? – That is a great question. She did come into my
head because in many ways she was obviously a staunch defender of Israel’s sovereignty, right to exist national defense, public loved her. She didn’t have the sort
of, I mean Israeli politics is interesting, because you have a lot of parties and factions. She didn’t have the sort of, you could blame it on technology, but she wasn’t known for
making big blustery speeches. A lot of why she was so effective was closed door stuff. She could get a lot done in meetings, but I mean my Hebrew’s not very good but I don’t think she’s
known for her rhetoric which is often how these
populists fire people up. – Just–
– Yeah. – I would just say, just
because a leader’s popular and charismatic doesn’t
make them a populist. – Right. – I mean, she wasn’t anti-establishment, she wasn’t authoritarian. You do need those other factors I think. – [Julia] Did you come
up with that typology? – I did. I’m probably not the first
to, well I don’t know yeah, I just came up with
that last night, actually. (audience laughing) – I like it, I like it. – [Julia] But you weren’t
drawing on any other, I mean I’m sure– – Not for those five categories. Some of the other stuff, like the typology of some populism in Europe
comes out of fascist or colonial past, and
the difficulties of that whereas others is about
targeting one group. Or globalists that is from a source that I love and reread,
but this is my own work is on immigration in Europe, and the politics of immigration, and so I was really honored to do this for many reasons, but it also forced me to think more clearly about things I write about. And so, thank you. – [Julia] Thank you. – [Man] Do migrant children
and migrant parents do they carry both histories with them? Like do they have to
learn about the history that they’re entering and the history that they came from? – I think you kind of
answered your question. Of course they do. – It’s a really interesting one, though. Because as a scholar of immigration, I think about things like
that, like if we consider a Mexican who comes to Texas, the fact that Texas was Mexico until 1853, but you know, as Belinda alluded to, this stuff gets filtered through families, but we’re told by the schools, and you know a lot of people in America just don’t want to think about history, so you know. There’s probably a lot of
Mexican Americans out there that don’t, I don’t
know, but I haven’t seen research on this, but
reckoning with the past is difficult, and I think for a migrant it does put you in a tough space, because you’ve got this
heritage, this legacy, an immigrant parent who
maybe you have to be translating for, but there’s a culture where you respect your parents so it’s tough for the family, and then for the
generations that are trapped between those two different
experiences, it’s complex. But I think yes. You’ve gotta reckon with both. – I wanted to actually make a comment on Laurie talking about the
Native American history here. I think very often, I think
because of these things I’ve done in Europe, when I pass a sign or the name of a bridge
that’s a Native American word, or a place that’s a Native American word, I think what would we feel like in Germany if all of the towns had Jewish names, and all the road had Jewish
names, and all the bridges had Jewish names, I mean what do we, even now, every now and
then I’ll see a street sign and in Germany they’re
often like Jew Street, Judengasse, which the Jews used to read, and it’s always a little unnerving. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a Native American
living in this country and constantly seeing names of places and nobody really thinks
about this, you know. None of us think about it,
I mean Native Americans think about it of course. I had a Native American
young woman in a class once and I said this, and she
was like yeah, you know. It bothers, I’ve never thought about it. It took me a long time
to even think about that. So yeah. Yeah? – [Woman] We also don’t think
about how Trump is trying to kick immigrants out, or just people that don’t belong here, but– – I think we think about
that a ton, actually. – [Woman] Well I guess,
I didn’t think about it before too, so I talk about it in class, but we weren’t even the
first ones to be here. – Right, we’re all immigrants. – [Woman] Exactly. – Exactly, yeah.
– Yeah. – [Julia] Which I guess
sort of makes the New World, there is a big difference you know, in that Europe has,
although Nativists here have done pretty well at inventing a cohesive sense of what American culture, but I mean it’s a whole
different set of tools in our belt to do that,
as compared to Europe. – Yeah, and in the immigration literature we talk about the uniqueness
of the settler countries, sounds nice, right? Settling. So Australia, New Zealand, Canada, US. And a lot of it, it depends
on the type of genocide and how extensive it was,
and the way you did it, so Australia, what? – [Woman] Is Latin America considered– – Well that’s, in some
ways yes, but in terms of developed countries
that speak English I guess, just so I have comparability. New Zealand made a deal with
the Indigenous leadership, so their culture continues
to thrive, relatively, whereas in Australia, like
the US, mass slaughter, reservations, second class status. Canada is an interesting
one, because in some ways just as bad, but more populations survived and because there are not
many people living in Canada, they in many ways have
more representation, and Canada I think has done a bit better to reckon with that past. – I think that Canada and Australia have actually made efforts, apologies, reparations to some extent, in ways that we really still haven’t done. But in this country,
even immigrants manage to separate themselves, I mean I’ve had amazing conversations
with Trumpian friends who are Italian immigrants. Their grandparents were
Italian immigrants. And they manage to tell me that
they were legal immigrants, and these people are illegal. Of course they, you know. And these people are criminal. I’m like, mafia? What about the mafia, you know? Do you remember your Italian
immigrants bringing crime? I mean, there’s no difference. And there was no legal
immigration back then, as you know. – Yeah. Yeah. – If you got to Ellis Island, you got in. Just all these ways that we manage to even in the United States
with our huge immigrant, the fact that we’re all still immigrants, but the fact that we still
manage to make distinctions. – [Julia] Well also maybe
one thing in the typology of this populism, I
don’t know if it’s there in some sense, but the
idea of defining outsider and insiders, us and them, and having an enemy. Although I guess you could say you could call this populist discourse. – Sure, but it’s a part of the appeal and a part of the message. You need demons to go after. Whether they’re real or imagined. Yvona? – [Yvona] I think the more we’re shown the generations before us
or the generations after us, the most important thing
is to advertise how if you go back far
enough, we’re all related. You know, like we all come from the same– – Yeah, it’s tough with that
one because you’re gonna find people that are gonna use that to say well, I’m not racist
because I’m an African too, or whatever. But no, I think you’re onto something because the idea of race
as we’ve defined it here, you know, color, and Obama’s black because one of his parents is from Africa, but scientifically, we
did a DNA study here, it was fascinating, and I had more DNA in common with a black colleague than he had in colleague
with another black colleague. In other words, your DNA has nothing to do with the color of your skin, or it has .0000, you know, so scientifically, we’re not defined by the ways that we define our
differences in our head, and then also the migrations,
people have moved forever, so we’re all more mixed
at least than we realize. Which, I do try to get across to students. We think of I’m this
or I’m that, you know. And no. I was brought up saying you’re
Polish on your dad’s side and Danish on your mother’s side, well what does that really mean? – On the other hand, I have
to say that’s a strength of the United States,
because when I went to live in Germany, what I discovered
was that when I asked people about their backgrounds,
they were always the same. They were either German way back or maybe from Poland, or
there were a few differences, and what I love about the United States is when you ask people what are you, that question you always ask, you get all these different responses, and people are from
everywhere and it’s fine. You know, in Germany
if I said I’m part of, well if I said I was Jewish
it would be like wow, any kind of distinction
was so exciting and weird and exotic, and I really
came to appreciate the American variety, I guess. Obviously I know what
you’re talking about, but there’s something very nice about it. – There’s an acknowledgement, at least. Yeah. Did you have a question? – [Woman] What you were
just saying, it’s true on the east coast and on the west coast, but in the middle of the
country if you ask somebody their ethnicity, they’ll say I’m American. – I don’t know, they’ll say I’m German, they’ll say Scandinavian. – [Woman] But in my youth,
I worked for a marketing company, marketing research company, and one of the questions
was what is your ethnicity. If you were speaking
to somebody in New York they’d say I’m Italian, I’m
Jewish, I’m German, whatever. If you spoke to somebody in
the middle of the country more often than not,
they’d say I’m American. – Interesting. – [Woman] And then you’d
have to rephrase the question to from what country did
your ancestors come from? – Interesting. – [Woman] In their minds
it’s two different things. – [Julia] I also had that with students who were white students who were not either Jewish or Italian,
are also much more Anglo-Americans, is
that what you would say? Anglo-Americans are much
less likely to identify. – Although, when I lived out in Ohio for a few years, there were
lots of German festivals and people who were like,
yeah this is my ancestry or something, so there was some of that. – [Julia] We call that symbolic
ethnicity in sociology. – [Woman] As someone
who grew up in Illinois, I don’t think that would be
the case at all in Chicago, where there’s so many
different neighborhoods, and so many huge amounts of
different ethnic communities, and certainly where I
grew up, not in the city, but like kids were very
invested in, they’re Lithuanian, I mean, everyone’s American, but there’s– – Yeah, I think it’s a phenomenon. I think it’s cities. – [Woman] I think people
on the coast really forget or try to pretend that
Illinois and Chicago are not the middle of the country. I mean, we also forget how multicultural the whole country is, you know? – Yeah, I don’t think
it’s a question of coasts, I think it’s a question of cities, and more people live
in cities now than not, and I think cities are very multicultural. – [Woman] I don’t know, just
having spent a lot of time in rural Ohio, not everybody
is really invested, but lots of people are very, like I’m 1/32– – Right. – [Woman] You know? – Yeah. – [Man] Well we can see
the impacts of where people think that they’re
American, and where they identify more of their countries is where nativism took more root. – That’s a great point. And often what the interesting thing about the history of whiteness is, is that the definition
has changed over time, so that we didn’t really
start saying white until really the Irish came here, and in many places were considered lower on the totem pole than African Americans. – And they weren’t considered white. – And they were not, well there was really no white, and so there’s an argument made by our colleague at John Jay who wrote “Gotham: The History of New York” that the Irish, in large
part are responsible for constructing whiteness by saying well you look like us, don’t fear us because we’re Catholic,
we’re poor, we’re dirty, look we’re both same color. Those guys, they’re the problem, and really black white takes off in at least the north more with that. I mean, I could go on
and on about whiteness as a concept, and how there’s
never a fixed definition. Even committed white
terrorists can’t agree on who’s actually white. – You guys will have to come back for our, I can’t remember the
date at the top of my head, it’s one of our events,
in which we will … – Well, that’s good.
– Which event? (laughing) – Wait, wait I have to advertise. Well, please come to all of them. The next one is on October 7th and that event we’re gonna have one of the artists
featured in this exhibit. Cannupa … – [Laura] Cannupa Hanska Luger is a Native American, an
artist of mixed descent, and this is the last time he’s showing his Mirror Shield Project,
so he’ll be coming here to be in conversation with Greg Sholette, which will be wonderful, and yes, so we encourage you guys to come. – Yes, so that will be really good, that’s October 7th, four to six. And then the event I
was just talking about, Native Nationalism, I’m sorry, well two that are, I mean
you guys were setting up really the dynamic for
the rest of the semester, or the rest of the year, but
on Wednesday November 20th, Ideologies of Racism Past and Present, so we’ll discuss that in more detail, and on December 4th,
Nativism, Nationalism, and Immigration Policies, so that will come up again, and I hope to see everyone at the rest of the events,
and thank you so much for coming to our first event. (audience applauding) Thank you to our fantastic
features Adam and Belinda.

1 thought on “Mass Democracy and the New Populist Challenge

  1. Open Borders for israel and tear down israel's wall's for all refugees and economic migrants can find a better life.

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