The Real Clear Podcast with Dr Lucas Klein is the in-depth analysis and commentary on current political events through a psychological lens. The Real Clear podcast covers a wide range of topics, from the latest election results to policy debates, to exploring the impact of current events on the political landscape.
Okay, folks, welcome back to Real Clear Podcast. With your host, Dr Klein, and I have once again Wilford Riley, professor at the University of Kentucky and very well-published author of some great books, including Taboo and a forthcoming book that we will address at some point. He is a well-known political commentator and political scientist and, by his own admission, one of the smartest men of his generation. I'll also add credibility to that. I really think he is. That's why I had him back on here tonight to talk about something so ridiculous that I think it might even surprise you, Wil, how you doing.
I'm doing really well. I'm good to be back on the show. I will say I teach at Kentucky State. By the way, oh, did I mess that one up? Yeah, not a huge gap, but yeah, I'm like the two or 20 miles away from each other. University of Louisville is right down the road in Louisville, got it. But I'm glad you think I'm one of the most brilliant men in the world.
Well, hey, you know it's been a long time that's actually been on Amazon.
I don't know if you know this, but there's this whole thing where, if you upload a book I did some of the promo for one of my books there's this very strict form that says we'll have a human read and vet everything you say. And my opinion is just that most government warning text is complete bullshit. So in my bio I said Will Riley is viewed as one of the most prominent intellectuals in the world and other things like this. And just it was all screened, it was all rated as 100% true. So I've every so often just said that, going forward like viewed as one of the most smartest men in the world by himself and so on. But at any rate, yeah, glad to be here. Whether or not I am the smartest man in the world, I doubt that's a man, hey listen.
You got major props this past week from Victor Davis Hansen, who people should know, who I listened to just about every day, and he seems to think that there's some credibility to the idea that your authorship is impressive. And he reads you. So that's wonderful. And, professor, I'm a psychoanalyst. I'm a psychologist and psychoanalyst, as my audience is tired of hearing me say and apparently my field is incredibly racist so I wanted to have you on number one because you're not steeped in the passive, masochistic field of analysis. You're not some muted voice who's going to sit here and grovel in some equivocating manner, like so many of my colleagues will, and so refreshing to talk to you and others. For that reason, let me catch you up to speed on this. The American Psychoanalytic Association is the governing body for psychoanalysts in the United States. For the international, it's the international IPA and APSA, along with the rest of the world, as far as I can see, ventured into mass hysteria in 2020 with George Floyd, and they've never recovered. They now have released this report. There was a committee that was developed from one, two, three, four main chairs and then several other contributing authors about racial equality in American psychoanalysis in 2023. And they've been working on this for a few years now, since 2020. And they met every week and so forth. From what I can gather and went through Maoist struggle sessions, I mean quite literally. If I go through this report and read you some highlights, these are Maoist struggle sessions produced from what I can see is a very paltry research effort on all of this and came out with a final report of the Homes Commission on Racial Equality in American Psychoanalysis. Okay, so Will, professor. I'm going to read you some excerpts from the first executive summary of this report and then we might laugh through some of the content and the appendix which they use as approximations for measurement. Okay, our final report is our invitation to the entire field of psychoanalysis to join this work of making psychoanalysis equitable regarding race and other identities that are subject to oppression. Okay, so there's the beginning, there's the lead up. Now they encourage whoever's reading this 450 page document by the way, very concise research, I might add to reflect on the report, to engage in dialogic engagement fancy phrase for talking about the material and then letting your organizational leaderships know what you think about the report and what you believe needs to be done going forward. I would argue that's what I'm doing right now, and also you should commit, dear reader, to doing the difficult work of making psychoanalysis diverse, equitable, inclusive, open and vibrant. At the end, the main author urges everyone to act now, before it's too late, before racism roves through the structure of psychoanalysis to create what I believe they kind of intimate throughout this report will be a structure of white supremacy. Okay, and I continue, this is the opening statement and these are excerpts. The continuing racial atrocities occurring in the United States in 2020 became an immediate catalyst for this paper and so forth, and they go on to list the various members. We developed the practice of beginning each commission meeting with a roll call and inspirational music or text message. We further recognized the fruitfulness of conducting our meetings as think tanks in which we commissioners and consultants would find our way to purpose and methods by sharing our own personal and professional stories about systemic racism. The purpose of the committee was to appraise systemic racism in American psychoanalysis and, where found, to offer recommendations and a path forward to reduce its pernicious effects. Now, this is where I think you're going to get interested, professor. These are the conceptualizations for race used in the commission study and, again, this is to ferret out white supremacy systemically found in the field of psychoanalysis which, I might add, has been bending over backwards to find candidates who are not white for the last several decades, bending over backwards. So the commission's work recognized several aspects of race. One, we considered race as a social construct, invented and perpetuated to support systemic racism. Two, we recognized racialism as the exposure of all members of a society to ideas and narratives that influence individuals' thoughts and perceptions about members of racialized groups. You like the circular definition. Three, we defined racist acts as behaviors performed by individuals or small groups that reflect prejudice, discrimination, stereotyping or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, particularly a minoritized or marginalized group. 4. We acknowledged racial enactments as how ideas around race and racism unconsciously play out in group processes and interpersonal processes. Close to last, systemic racism was the main interest of the study, which we understood to be a system that produces advantages for some people in a dominant racial group through the oppression of people in non-dominant racial groups. Lastly, these structural elements of racism are embedded in individual psychies, in your own mind. People and institutional practices can be ubiquitous, operating outside the conscious awareness of the individual or institution carrying or practicing systemic racism. Yada, yada, yada. This leads to Euro-white normativity. Okay, I'm going to stop reading for now. Everyone's blood pressure is getting up. I just want to get your reaction.
I mean my reaction is that it's all just pseudo-scientific bullshit. I mean it really is a problem that a bunch of people with what's the average in psych IQs of 132 are wasting their time on this kind of thing, like it really doesn't even get me mad. I had a good coffee debate with a buddy of mine who's a theologian today and I think what he thinks is bullshit. He happens to be of the Mormon faith and I don't mean to insult that great religion, but I mean I do mean literally I don't. I'm a Catholic, my background I'm quite lapsed in that field. I don't believe that what he's saying is true. So I'm sure he's read a great many treatises on what the nature of sin is, but I'm not sure I believe sin exists, if that makes sense. And this is the same kind of thing. You're not really talking about measurable, quantifiable phenomena. In fact you're ignoring most of science. I mean we're now doing the GWAS research on race and IQ. I actually think I've been pretty supported so far. I mean most of these fairly small racial gaps don't seem to be genetic in nature, but we're finding out their physical differences between racial subpopulations. I don't think it surprises anyone to know skin color, facial shape, that's all genetic. So I mean, it looks like there actually are races. There's fascinating work that's being done in biology, anthropology, all over the academy about this kind of stuff and people who do the kind of writing you just described. You're just ignoring it and using the sort of language, like minoritized populations that comes out of, you know, the equivalent of a gender studies textbook. So I think you're hearing the theology of a new and rather useless religion. That's my reaction to it. I did take some notes and, by the way, I actually did read this. We bantered a little bit before the show and I was like, honestly, probably didn't read this. It sounds like they're before the page of the line. I did read some of this. I got about to this point I think it was 18 pages and where they were summarizing everything that did. It was like this is just a bunch of BS and I didn't read the rest of the report. I didn't. I didn't look to see whether they I didn't stargaze through their equivalent of methods, tables or anything like that. It's so bananas. A couple of serious points. First of all, I do think that when you talk to upper middle class whites about these issues, there tends to be a very long bumbling introduction before someone says what I just said is a black businessman that tends to be a lot of well, you know, this is what I think of as the Ezra Klein, sam Harris kind of stuff. I don't hate either man, but like well, you know, as a white guy, I come from a place of privilege house and the suburbs. You know, joe Rogan, I really don't feel like the two of us should be having this conversation. Some people might say these are a bunch of IQ 96 idiots, but other people might say they've really suffered. I think you can just cut through all of that and say this doesn't sound like it's falsifiable or supportable, and those are the two points that make one logically say it doesn't sound scientific at all. A broader point that I would make about a lot of this kind of racial analysis is that even when it does get quantitative, when it does get quant, it tends to be just purely univariate. So I mean and we've talked about this before but so you'll look at something in my field it's often as simple as police homicides, I mean. So you'll look at the rate at which people are shot by the police and you'll find that even though this is grossly exaggerated by activists. About 26% of the individuals shot by cops in a typical year. African American men, that's 6% of the population roughly. Are we seeing racism? Well, there's at least an argument for it if you leave the model there. But if you add in variables like age, the average black man's more than a decade younger than the average white man. Blah, blah, blah. We've both gone through this on papers. How is that possible, though?
As a result. How is, yeah, how is that possible? Young?
moms, oh, okay, yeah, it's because it gets into a lot of social pathologies. But if you look at the mode, the modal black man I actually stopped saying that because I thought it was a little bit dishonest, but like the mode, it's a perfectly fair. Average for blacks is 27, whites is 58. For Hispanics the mode is like 12. So I mean, like, when you look at, like if you looked at the same age, hispanic and white, so neither the alt right or the hard left will ever admit this, but I would bet that there's less Hispanic crime. I'm not going to crunch all those numbers, get the census out. It's not my next publication, but I mean I think that's very likely to be supported by the data. But I mean you have to look at age. You have to look at crime rate. I'm not going to make any excuses about that half or more. That's still there If you're just for age. You have to look at urban residency. You have to look at the fact, if we're looking at men, that men commit 90% of the crime. So you can't break out black men whether you're on the left or the right, blah, blah, blah. But this is almost all univariate and for what I read at the psych report, it's the same kind of thing. American patients are more likely to report negative experiences with treatment. So on, how much experience do they have with treatment relative to white individuals?
You know are they more likely to Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. You can't be saying these things, you can't be asking about these moderating and mediating variables. You sound like science, you sound sciency.
Yeah, I mean, as a black guy, I would say white people are more likely to be crazy, just like. On average, we have a higher crime rate. There has to be a nicer way to say that.
Hey, but like I, would assume I wore a shirt that said some of my best friends are white people and I thought that was rather graciously to come on my podcast that way. Now you come on insulting me and telling me that I'm crazy.
You're not crazy. I'm not a criminal, I mean, but no, these patterns do exist I mean. So obviously, 46% of young white women you might correct me by a point or two but are diagnosably mentally ill. I mean, I've been diagnosed with a major mental condition within whatever it is, the past five years. Our in therapy are on treatment with fairly hardcore psych meds. So it's fair to assume that population is more used to the therapeutic environment than the African American population and you'd have to adjust for all of this before you can really find that racism has anything to do with negative reported outcomes from black patients. And this gets on. Certainly, therapy at the level of a top psychologist or psychiatry is a form of medicine, a form of treatment. But you get into this with what many might think of as normal medicine or core medicine as well. I mean, obviously the infant mortality rate for blacks is both are miniscule but compared to most other countries, including white countries, but is about twice the rate for whites. But racism will know you have to adjust for obesity you have to adjust for if you're currently not working, are you more often, by choice, are you more likely to be using a lower quality state funded hospital which you could easily avoid by getting a job bringing some more money. All of this is wildly politically incorrect. The statement get a job will defend many people, even in my my Academy, which is the black university, but it all has to be taken into account and it just never is. And when it's not, you get these crazy statements like the the psychological profession in 2023 is a hot bit of white supremacy. Last comment on this you you tend to find not just a focus on the univariate, but a tendency to ignore everything else. That you or I would think is normal. If we're reviewing a social science research paper, when you look at this sector, so there are no counterfactuals. For example, there are no comparative analogies. So when someone says we we risk psychology being taken over by white supremacy in 2023, relative to what I mean, professional, academic psychology has been around for decades. Are you saying the fields more racist now that it was in 1962? How? By what metric? You know it's never said, and so on down the line. And that's why you wind up in this almost religious space where you find these unverified complaints from anonymous black people that had a therapist somewhere, who say that the country today is more racist than it was 50 years ago and this becomes the basis of a book. How do I respond to that? I don't. I mean, I would do a different, somewhat better survey and I would try to find out what the real numbers are. This stuff is so far away from what should be the academic mainstream that I don't think it's really all that useful.
I couldn't agree more. So well put. Since it's my profession, I can't decide whether I want to laugh or cry or do both. I have to go in a sort of malevolent direction, wondering about how this is all concocted and and to what, for what end. I think that these people, who are often this critical social justice narrative, they are looking to overtake the field of psychoanalysis and psychology, because in a sense we could be looked at as the programmers of the other human computer systems, and if they infiltrate our ranks then we're off programming the other people. I think that might be one of their aims, although it sounds a little conspiratorial on my side, although when I worked in prison, because the inmates had higher elevations of the paranoia scales doesn't mean someone wasn't trying to shank them. So some of the other notable findings in this opus of a paper were that many people, many faculty, did not feel adequate personally to even begin addressing the issue of systemic racism. So that was very important. Some people felt tokenized. Every single one of the measurement tools was a feeling. It was simply surveying people and asking what they felt. That's it no actuarial measurement, no chart measurement, nothing. And I searched the document and here's something rather interesting. They simply say in a very small note of passing that one of the limitations was that they regretfully and after much consideration, decided to chunk all non-white subjects in the sample into BIPOC. They had a very tough decision to do that, but that was a small number and they never specify what the actual sample size of BIPOC people is. So that's two or 2,000. I'm assuming it's not two, looking at some of the survey items in the appendix and let's go there because this is really going to impress you as a serious psychometrician of sorts. So here is an example. I'll just go randomly somewhere in here. Do you believe the criteria used during the admissions process may unintentionally advantage or disadvantage applicants with any of the following background characteristics candidates who attended a highly ranked undergraduate college, university Advantage, disadvantage. Neither advantage nor disadvantage. So that is supposed to be evidence of systemic oppression. I assume if you come from a highly ranked undergraduate college of university, the person rating that who says yes, I believe other people who went to better colleges than I may have gone to may have an advantage in the admissions process. You see the several unmoderated loops going through that cognitive process, that labyrinthine internal process relating to that question, as poorly worded and as lacking of content validity as it is, loads into something regarding racial inequality. That's one of the more benign items on this let's see here. Well, I'm gonna keep searching for one, but do you have a reaction to that item?
Yeah, I mean again, there are a couple different things. So, first of all, one of the most notable things about the tools used to find subtle discrimination across fields like list experiments and political science, where you send people to apply for jobs and you put some hint on the resume as you know that some of them are black Last name is Freeman or you went to a black college or something like that and you find that there's 5% more discrimination against blacks In the past couple decades. It's been quite low. Those are never done in the context of institutions like affirmative action positions, academic positions, hbcus, government jobs, where there's open discrimination in favor of minorities. So I mean this can cut in both ways, but I mean like, if you're looking at something, if you're asking a group of people, do you believe that there are situations where policy acts can benefit or harm minority or Caucasian applicants? The most obvious question would be the systemic affirmative action edges at every institution and at every Fortune 1000 company. So I mean we've recently seen that trim down a little bit by the fair admissions case brought against Harvard and North Carolina. But the major universities in the USA are simply responding by saying, well, we're not going to ask about race anymore. We're going to ask about traumatic experiences with racism, so we'll probably see a little bit of a slim down on that admissions edge. But what fair admissions revealed is that, relative to an Asian guy, the average black guy in a top 200 college gets a 345 point admissions boost. A Hispanic guy I think it was relative to a white, because the overall advantage versus Asians about same as for blacks, but 165 point boost I mean. So when you're looking, creeping around, trying to find this kind of discrimination, did someone go to a better school that has a legacy program that prioritizes whites, which I'd agree is a problem? You're ignoring the giant elephant in the room. So that that's one thing. You could normally structure questions of this kind to show bias against either blacks or whites, or men or women. Another thing that I think is deeper, though, is the. Do you feel that X is an advantage? This is kind of what you were pointing out early on. Yeah, but this is a problem. We see this all the time in politics too, like the, the feeling questions absent any actual data thrown in there to test how valid the feelings were.
So, for example, and will and through what instrument are those feelings being processed? Is something completely unaddressed. So no moderating variables of paranoia, nothing.
Yeah, you guys would probably be better on that, but, like the over, the issue itself is like a real problem. So the Journal World Population Review ranks the most racist countries in the world and it's considered completely reliable. They ask a really simple question about how opposed to you would be would you be to having a next door neighbor with whom your son and daughter would interact of a different race? And it sometimes phrases cast faith group with a different skin color, whatever the local variant might be, but in your community next door to you, some kind of bumble, that for some reason. But they asked this across 192 different countries. The USA has always been one of the four least racist countries in the world. We're up there with Britain, uruguay, a few other states, some of which don't even count. I mean, puerto Rico is a US territorial possession. So a couple of years ago I looked at WPR and I was surprised to see that the USA was now the 57th least racist country in the world and I was curious enough about how that had happened. We still weren't the worst. But to actually dig up their methodology and what I found is that they had adopted a different question Instead of using the actual question on the World Value Survey, like are you a racist? Would you do this? Where they had these reams of empirical data, they instead asked Americans. They used a different, lower quality survey that asked people how racist do you think the USA is in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, left and right fighting in the streets, and so on. So Americans felt the country was very racist. The apropos of nothing the actual figure that they should have been using and that they've now brought back apparently said that we were as racist as we'd ever been. We finished fourth that year. So this kind of idea of do you think your people are evil? It's becoming more and more prevalent because if you just ask people, or if you either just gather the data on how frequent something that would indicate racism like why don't Black crime is, or you ask people white or black, are you yourself a bigot you're never going to get answers that indicate a major problem. So you move further and further afield and you're getting to what sound kind of like the questions that in my field would be like do you feel that other whites or blacks are bigots? And that's where you start hitting on the gold, because people will say, well, yeah, sure, some of them have to be. I mean, alabama exists and that's when you can go out and you can guilt other people. But the problem is that that's just garbage, it's just ass cheeks. You've ignored two better questions to do that.
Here is a wonderful item. In this item they split the answers down between white and BIPOC. If you were to experience or witness an action you considered racist, how comfortable are you raising the issue with leadership at your Institute? Answers range from very comfortable, somewhat comfortable, somewhat uncomfortable, very uncomfortable, and then they have a 10-point difference in very comfortable between white and BIPOC. Almost no difference in somewhat comfortable and a 5-ish point difference between somewhat uncomfortable and a 9-point difference between very uncomfortable. Now I'm sure that those numbers can be made to appear significant in a statistical analysis, especially if you're using, you know, non-parametric statistics to try to fudge this. But we'd be putting the cart before the horse if we were to go that far. Look at the question If you were to experience or witness an action you considered to be racist. There's chunk number one, massively, unbelievably subjective how comfortable are you raising the issue with leadership in your Institute? The second part don't you think we would want to gain a sense about this person's general psychological makeup, whether they're avoidant, whether they're paranoid, whether they have perceptual distortions and so forth, in other words, actuarial measurements about the person's psyche that would somehow intercede between vision and an objective appraisal of the vision. This is stuff my field's doing. These are PhDs, mds, I mean, and they had a methods consultant on this project. Interestingly enough, there were some people very high up in this committee who objected to the methods being used to produce this report. As far as I can tell, they were roundly kicked out or resigned and chastised as being unconsciously racist, and they include in the appendix a detail of that which is like a public caning in writing. I mean, this is unbelievable. So, professor, the scariest outcome of this is that it smacks of kendism. They actually say in here just what Kendi says in his book and, for the audience's reminding, he wants an anti-racist institution to monitor all other elements of government in the United States. And these folks want an anti-racist institution or a governing body in the American Psychoanalytic Association to observe racial equality and equity all through every level of American psychoanalysis, including supervision, including reports of people's own analyses. This is unbelievable. Now that's terrifying, don't you think?
Yeah, I mean. So they're again, and I know this is one of my cliche dinner party line sometimes where I'm just like hanging out with a partner and waiting for a wine bottle to open beer. There's levels to that, but in this case it comes from a serious analytical perspective I mean. So. First, the red guard aspect of leftism is frightening and it's one reason I view the extreme left as scarier than the extreme right, you know and I by that I mean not like the Hitler extreme right we can discuss whether that would be rightism at all but like sort of the American thrown and alter green mountain boys, alt right stuff, I don't think that poses the same systemic you know lawyer in your toilet or your bedroom threat as the DEI, you know FOL, capital X if they get their way. So that that definitely is there. It's something to watch out for as a free man or free citizen. But the the basic idea that what they want to implement at the point of a gun or at least an attorney's pen, is candy angelism. Yeah, that's just correct. There really is no more sophisticated theory here, just like radical. Radical feminism basically comes down to men bad Like. There are differences in personality between men and women. Men have higher prey drive, and so men are bad, that's what it really breaks out evil. Yeah, it's there's. There's not a lot of sophisticated dialectic to a lot of this, even as versus traditional Marxism, but I mean so like Ibram Kendi is almost everyone that would watch a podcast like this knows basically argues that the only reason for statistically significant differences between large groups not Australian aboriginals in Europe or something, but like West African descent blacks, whites and Asians is racism. The only other option is basically genetic inferiority, although he never quite comes out and says that. And so if you see something like black kids struggling with the SAT even more than southern whites, posting these, frankly, abysmally bad scores average of 940 and so on, although that's up quite a bit over the years the reason for that has to be some prejudice somewhere. Are you looking at subtle bias from all teachers, including black teachers? Are you looking at discrimination from other professionals that work with kids, including therapists? Are you looking at prejudiced wording of the test or something like that? That's what he's arguing. The options pretty much are, and the alternative there would be, like I said, black people are genetically less developed than whites. The reality in quantitative social science is that this was considered a joking French theory until about five years ago. I mean people like Tom soul, juno, neil William, julius Wilson, so on down the line. A lot of the younger methodologists at Goldberg have pointed out that large groups that differ in terms of major characteristics like race and sex tend to differ in terms of a hundred other things. We've gone through age. When you look at whites and blacks on tests, you're looking at study time. That's the predictor of about 90% of the gap. You can maybe argue genes or racism for the rest, but just charter schools that make kids study close the gaps substantially. I'm thinking of Catherine, berbels things and Michaela, for example. You're looking at income, which is due to racism in the past but not today. Father absence blah, blah, blah. None of this has anything to do with racism or genetics. So you really don't need to pick option one, which is offensive to whites, or option two which is offensive to blacks at all. You can say due to complex factors which both whites and blacks play a role in having created, you have this gap. Now we're all leaders I mean, we're all academics, psychologists, politicians, so on let's work on fixing the gap as opposed to yelling at each other, and that was the consensus position until about 2013, 2014. So kind of end is the kind of angelism is, in my opinion, close to nonsensical, or more than close, but it is what's become the default explanatory theory in these fields, and I think I pretty much summed that up. There's really no reason to keep talking about that. It's like every one of these theories will come back to that, and I guess last line it can approach the absurd. I mean, you now hear the feminist saying this as well, and I actually get along well with many feminist thinkers. I don't mean to make them a target through this whole segment, but when people say things like, well, trans women are dominating in sport because the systems that we create discriminate against girls when it comes to picking out the best athletes, what you're seeing is kandianjilism. Like the only reason that women are underperforming men is prejudice against women. We don't want to think that it is genetic, although it obviously is, and for some reason we don't even want to think that it is cultural. All that was the basis of traditional feminism, so there must be some bigotry somewhere. Some bigotry somewhere sums all this up, and then these people go to heroic lengths trying to find out what it is which is when. The more good faith they are, interestingly enough, the more good faith and rabbit like they are the harder they try. So that's how you wind up with these weird spectacles, with white liberal female psychoanalysts with black husbands that they adore throwing themselves onto the fire trying to find the least segment of racism in their words. I mean excuse my language the number one sign the country three years ago was a my nigga by YG. So in reality people can tolerate quite a lot. I heard that and I was like, yeah, that's offensive a little bit. This brother called it something else, but there was just no. Like I've danced to it at parties. There was nothing that's going to hurt you about that as an adult human male. So this deep attempt is based on a theory that's false essentially.
You said so much and I'm sure everyone is just consuming it all because it's so reasonable and breath of fresh airy. I have a question, maybe odd for me to ask you, given our respective professions, but do you think we're at a point of national psychosis?
Yeah, I think it's. You know, it's kind of like I'm a lawyer by background, but I would ask a number of smart friends, including you, if you know, not the question itself, but for a penguins fight, a legal question, fool for a client and all that. I think we're approaching it and I think that academia in general and psychology in particular do have a lot to answer for here. There's a lot of variables that go into this, actually. One is just that we have a for-profit healthcare system and mental healthcare system. This is one of the few things I'm liberal on, actually, when I talk to friends from France or China, I mean and it's hard to think of two more near peer countries than those they'll say you know, you're not a doctor, you know, don't go online and tell people to stop taking their meds one by one. But I can't help but notice and this one includes some mental health people, some mental health people that teach at peer institutions in the state, by the way but I can't help but notice when I go back to my country, we have about one twentieth the number of people on serious psych meds that you do in the USA, I mean the United. States. We have an Adderall shortage here because we consume something like a third of the world's Adderall, maybe more. So it's obvious objectively that we are diagnosing a huge chunk of the population again half of the young Caucasian women with fairly severe mental conditions, conditions which require addictive drugs to treat. This goes along with a general predisposition in society to see oneself as sick. You hear the language of the, not just the academy but the therapist's couch in upper middle class, dating and social life, very much like you hear the language of the prison in the working class, like the basketball court and so on. So past girlfriends have used terms like you know be aware that I'm a trauma survivor referring to things like having been in a car crash, because I eventually asked like okay, a violent sexual assault or something happened, tell me that so we can say what's off the menu, like what happened, and it was always like cat-bied car wreck. We've gotten used to describing the world in these terms. Half of us are technically sick and this plays into this. We're doing the opposite of CBT in my opinion the only training I've done that ever worked. We're doing the opposite of toughening people up. We're not doing the resilience training sort of therapy to the population. So when disasters or troubling times hit, covid comes to mind, many people respond with extreme hysteria. They respond like sick people who are being told they can't see their doctor or get their drugs and that they're not very good at adjusting in real time. And that neurotic avoidance of risk was, to me, the main thing that stood out about the COVID-19 pandemic. I actually had no problem wearing a very serious mask around seniors. I got one early on. I looked up what actually worked. I had no problem shopping for seniors in my neighborhood, this sort of thing. But I also realized I wasn't going to die Like I'm fat but I'm still a pretty good athlete. I'm just now 40. You know, I mean, like I asked my doc, who's a friend of mine, like be real, none of this politically correct stuff. I just had my actual chance of dying and his comment was something like one in 8,000, get out of my office. You know, it was just a good, quick back and forth conversation and so, being aware of that, I was able to continue on with my own life and even help others, and I saw very, very little of that. So I think that that sort of thing, this P under the mattresses. Hysteria is a major problem in our society. I may rephrase my earlier line I don't know if we're all mentally ill yet, but we're certainly encouraging that. You regularly see things on Twitter and Instagram today viral posts from a young female account. Never date a man that doesn't go to therapy at least once a week, so this is something that's really being pushed. You're all crazy, you're all ill. Everything from not liking oral sex to being troubled by the color blue is a sign of some past abuse. You should do exactly as you feel in either of those cases. You know that is not traditionally how adults have behaved.
It's uncanny the way that you just typographed major shifts in the field of psychotherapy. Freud's entire tradition was to help people live better in reality. It was to make the unconscious conscious. It was to help people be less hysterical and stop suffering neurotically, and to do that they had to be essentially more realistic about common suffering and more enduring of it, amongst other things. And one major shift in the field of psychoanalysis as well as psychotherapy came from the radical subjectivists, as I'll call them, and they brought about the field called intersubjectivity, and I used to have a momentary romance with that field and I learned greatly from it. What it largely brought into focus, which was a value, is that, hey, dear analyst, you're not observing from a completely objective standpoint when you're analyzing patients. You have your own history, your own context. You should take that into account. Patients notice something about you. It may have some tinge of reality to it and maybe you think about that and use it as part of the treatment. That's very valid. What it turned into was this radical subjective embrace where the sorts of things that you just described are commonplace now. Everything's trauma. I've heard people notable people in my field, giants in my field say that trauma is just overwhelming emotional experience. What? What do you mean? A five-year-old is overwhelmed by natural developmental tasks that are too challenging for him. That's not trauma, that's a terrible definition of trauma that lacks specificity and pragmatism. My field has been gripped by that and I think inner subjectivity became the Trojan horse through which reports like this complete travesty called the Homes Commission on Racial Equality in American Psychoanalysis has been able to pass into the walls of an otherwise serious and very laudable profession. And I don't know, maybe it's just an aberrant condition. It's something we're going to eventually all scoff at and laugh at through the absurdity of its claims. But I more so think in observing my colleagues and some of them have been trying to timidly talk about this that they're so timid and so scared that they're not going to stand up to this, that these people are going to take over my profession. They've started to take over. Really, the academy is no longer a place that aspires to discover truth, it's no longer an Aristotelian project. So it frightens me, to be frank.
Yeah, I mean. So I think that critical theory has a useful place in a society where most people know traditional theory and that, by the way, was the original point of it. I mean, like Gloria Anzaldua, when I mentioned the feminist earlier on, judith Butler, bell Hooks, all these people, they were writing in response to what in the 50s and 60s and 70s, 80s, was kind of a two-jingo take on American history or the traditional gender roles or something like that. So they were saying here's another perspective. But I mean at least two of those people regularly cited earlier writers, anzaldua, like Shakespeare. So the idea is you'd read everything else, you'd get a healthy grounding in your society and then you'd hear the critics. And there's nothing wrong with that at all. So if you read Freud and you read quantitative psychologists and you hear, well, this is what insanity has generally been thought to be, and then you read Foucault or something and you hear, well, some of this is contextual, then you read the psychological analyses of that. Okay, but I mean the simple reality is that critical theory alone is pretty much useless. So if someone just says being insane is whatever you think it is, because the man is the person that tells you you're crazy that that's actually not really accurate. I mean, if I've done some reading in anthropology as an undergrad, I mean I took courses there up through, I believe, the 400 level and they're actually about 12 human universal behaviors. I'm pretty amoral in business actually. I don't mean evil or anything, I mean the literal sense amoral. I think rules are made up, but there are 12 things that non-sociopathic humans whatever the number is generally don't do incest, cannibalism, child right and I realized that I would not consider doing any of them. I mean, so that seems like a good baseline bedrock for there's an empathic sense. This is what we normally view as odd, and within each society there are other society-wide behaviors that are likely to be seen as nuts. For example, we have cars in the society and we drive them fast. In America we're a country of big roads, so if you like jumping into the road at random, we might describe you as mentally ill. If you see people that don't exist and I'm sure this is all 101 stuff to you, but I mean you'd be crazy. It's not all simply contextual. The person that sees Moonman floating around him is not in the same mental place as the person that doesn't see Moonman floating around him. So the idea you need to recognize context as a scholar or a therapist, yeah, that's great, but that can't lead you to believe that people who are having hallucinations or randomly attacking women on the street are absolutely normal. And a lot of this is just measurable, like perception as versus reality. I reread that old skeptic research center study on police perceptions and neuroticism. Today the average liberal believes that 1,000 to 10,000 unarmed men annually are killed by the police and this causes a great deal of fear. That was kind of the less discussed part of the study. They think they're all black. They're little discussed part of the study. So that's just not true. I mean, if you believe sincerely that there are 10,000 unarmed brothers shot by the police every year and this is enhancing your underlying condition of neurotic obsessiveness or whatever it would technically be called that is in fact mentally unhealthy because your belief is inaccurate. So not only are there things that are seen by almost all humans as being unhealthy and irrational, there are many ways we can use in the modern era of quantitative methods to test someone's behavior and ask does that make sense? So I mean in terms of the things I mentioned half jokingly earlier, as you know, people are describing things they dislike, and I mentioned, like, I fear, cats, oral sex and fast driving. People are describing these sort of mental conditions. It's totally fine not to do things you don't like, although a couple of those are really going to affect you in like dating market and a normal life, if you're riding around on a bicycle and dislike a variety of options in the bedroom. But I mean, that's not some unique mental condition, that's just a personality. So one that that is a point. Not everything about you is a unique or B at the level of trauma or anything similar. And two, we can define what insanity is, what trauma is, so on down the line. So subjectivism, postmodernism, is useful in its niche, but it's useless outside it, and it's best when it comes to designing buildings.
Yeah, I think it's worse when it comes to designing buildings, but I'll give you that personal taste, then give you that point so well stated. Oh, professor, you know my, my field APSA, held a brief response not one that brief, a couple hours long, and it's on YouTube if anybody wants to watch it where all the old analysts got together on Zoom and they didn't really know how to work the technology, God bless them. So it's like 8000 different little thumbnails of each analyst. I found that to be adorable. But you know, also a commentary on where we are in terms of viability to take on the threat. And they all got together and spoke about a reaction to the Holmes report here and, more broadly, to the critical social justice takeover attempt to take over psychoanalysis, which is, if I could put it very globally, a way of making analysis all about positionality.
Okay, there it's going, it's recording.
So I'm just going to ask one sort of tie up question here and I'll try to make it succinct. So, professor, my institution got together, my governing body got together to try to address and push back against the critical social justice attempt at a takeover of our field. When I watched their convention, they were so careful, so ground giving, so timid. They had really not very sharp teeth in the way that they were trying to engage in this fight. And I thought to myself, if this is what we have and I'm quite verbose, I think me Richard Craydon, maybe a couple others, but I can't think of really any other psychoanalysts actually, one I met recently through the critical therapy, anadope, but just a couple are out fighting rather straightforwardly. And so my point is the, the there's no vanguard, there's no, there's no phalanx line, against which, yeah, or against the, you know upon which to that these forces can crash. Do you think that this is going to end well for Western civilization or do you think things need to crumble and rebuild?
No, I don't want things to crumble and rebuild at all. As a political scientist, so as a Poly side guy and especially and you can hear me right, yeah, okay, cool, I just wanted to make sure like everything is going through, but I'm sure that'll get cut out. But okay, as a poly side guy, and especially as someone who leans toward the conservative side of things, I'm temperamentally opposed to revolution. I Think the idea of every revolution, especially on the left, but with us too, when you look at the idea like we'll come down from the hills and we'll clean house with the Richmond north of Richmond, this sort of thing, you're assuming that after the bloody war, or at least the comedy destroying, academic conflict or whatever, things will in fact become better. And that's. That's not always true. In fact, usually, if you look at the history of revolutions the French rather than the American and so on that's very much not true. So, in General, if you can avoid that apex conflict, like the collapse of the field of therapy, moms and dads and the burbs and the city is just no longer taking that seriously, tens of thousands of people out of work I mean you you do want to avoid that rather than trying to quote-unquote build from the ashes. I mean that that's something I think should be obvious, as Somebody's been in a number of leadership roles. Somebody teaches about politics, but I do think there are a lot of people that are just so tired of the constant racial and political fighting that they become Acceleration. It's like why the hell? Not what could be worse than this, but a lot could be worse than this. I think that said, like if within the field, within the still respected field of academic Psychology, you want to stop a negative trend line Whether that's hard eugenics in the past or whether that's the woke nonsense now, you do. Yeah, you need to have some guys with pikes, pike and sword who are ready to go at the other guys with pike and sword. I mean, if there are people screaming trans women are women Literally today boycotting the front doors of the New York Times, you know, and the response is something like well, I'm willing to use pronouns, but not neo pronouns. Even that might be what you think at a dinner party or something, but that's not, as a public press release, gonna be a very effective response. So the problem, the great thing with competing against the woke people is that what they're saying is just nonsense, like I wouldn't put this so bluntly two years ago. I'm not a hater, I don't really dislike anyone, but the problem with trans women in terms of a lot of the claims that are being made right now Entry into women's sport and so on is that they're biologically men. It really is that simple, like if someone asks how can you be against trans female inclusion, the answer from our side is well, because trans women are male. You know, gender is a category that comes out of Judith Butler and John Money's Interesting but kind of deranged Analysis of the human personality. It might be fun to talk about this with your girl over a bottle of wine, but it's not. That's not something that's equivalent to biological sex. If you're talking about competitive sport, if you're talking about the fighting arts, if you're talking about dating, if you're talking about sex, you're talking about jail.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, and and professor the, the evidence that gender is not real is In is in their examples of what it is. If you can be a minotaur, gender, gender isn't real.
Yeah, and you, you actually went a little more hardcore than me there where you just said gender isn't real. Yeah, I think that that's what. If you really wanted to argue against the trans movement, what you would say is Sex is biologically real, gender is not real. After we win this battle, I'm probably going to be as prepared to respect you as I am to respect my Catholic buddies. Sincere belief that an angel called Mike fights behind him on diamond tipped wings every time he goes to play softball. But in terms of actual day-to-day life that this concept is, it does not exist. It's just personality, the things you're describing. I think you were about to list them, but as examples of what gender is. You know I like pink. You know I like toy trucks. Those are characteristics that about 35% of both boys and girls, as you know better than me, have as Mild, irrelevant opposite sex tastes. We used to call them Tom boys and so on. So the idea that this makes you In practice a member of the other sex strikes most people as just non-sensical. So that's the response, like why don't I think you're a woman if you have a nine-inch penis? Because you're not. Because woman to almost Everyone means female that might be a more technical way to put this. And so if you're not female, to 91% of people last I surveyed, you're not a woman. So I mean Saying that, and none of that was at all hateful, it's just a biological breakdown of what male is as the small gay meat producing sex and so on. Is the response if someone says why don't you want I don't mean to keep being this dead horse but why don't you want full trans inclusion in the prison? The answer is not. Well, I'd consider that, but these surgeries aren't appropriate for children. The answer is because you strike me objectively is saying crazy nonsense. You are saying that men who share the tastes that are associated with aggressive women rather than with men, should go to prison with women because they say they're women. I don't think that makes a whole lot of sense, sir, you know I mean so that that's the response. And until that kind of response is made to the woke, yeah, normal people are gonna keep giving ground. And the reason that this is happening so much in these polite, left-leaning, lower upper-class Academic fields is that no one there is a bigot and that that part is good. But almost no one leans hard to the right. Almost no one is a racist. So when someone comes forward and says I think you're engaging in racist or sexist behavior, are you ready to explore that? Even my bro friends in Kentucky would just say no, you know, this is the way things are. I'm willing to do a few baselines, you know, in terms of consciousness raising or whatever, but that's not a big focus of mine. If you don't like me, don't hang out with me. That's a pretty normal reaction. It's what most men certainly would say. The people in the fields most willing to say, okay, I'll explore my consciousness with a probable enemy for three hours are also gonna be the people that are least likely To be able to effectively defend themselves. And that's how you get this internal Kind of digger wasp stuff, where these poisonous ideas are injected into these fields and where people start asking how can I defend myself? Is it immoral to defend myself against someone weaker than me? So on down the line and you know, unless you say and tell with this, morals aren't really all that real. Even if they were, you're not advocating anything at my faith, tradition or whatever taught me. You obviously don't like me. Get the hell out of here. Your ideas are stupid. Until people make that point, this is gonna be very pervasive.
Professor, why aren't you on the nightly news nationally more often?
Well, in terms of being a host, one reason is that I have a job and I'd also, like I've actually talked to the TV people and they're bluntly brutal, like, yeah, we'd probably hire you, but you have to quit teaching job, lose like 30 pounds. You'd have to do move. So I mean that like, if you ever talk to people from television, I can't imagine what they say to the female hosts, but they'll, they'll very specifically say things like leave your wife. Not that that I haven't quite heard, but I mean it's. It's just that would be that would prevent a career in media. I mean I don't mind the weight loss advice and all honesty, but yeah, I enjoy teaching as a guest. I mean I would expect that you're gonna see me quite a lot in the near future when my next book drops. I'm generally willing to go on Major national television, fox, a CNN, if they want me to have friends and in that business, and I always love podcasts like this with other people in the academic world For a lot of other media. I just kind of don't want to do it. I feel I'm pretty well known by this point. I mean I have to get some academic writing out. You know it's got a dean and a chair still. So I can't just, you know, argue on OAN all day. So I think that when the book comes out and there's a reason for me to kind of come out of my office and talk about a range of topics in a way that'll hopefully Produce some money and some notoriety, you'll see more of me. But I don't think I'm gonna have a media job anytime in your future.
Okay, when's your next book coming out and what is it called?
My next. Well, all my books, when they come out popular presses are gonna have some highly provocative title. This one is called lies, my liberal teacher told me, and it actually the book itself has quite a serious theme and it's coming out. The major publisher it's coming out Harper Collins, although I think with their broadside division. But the, the question asked in the book is something that we hear very rarely, surprisingly rarely. In the 1970s, 1980s there was this whole cadre of books that came out and that said, fairly enough, I mean, you're talking about bury my heart at wounded knee, lies. My teacher told me the real Columbus, this kind of thing. That said real, a truth about Columbus. That said Accurately enough, you know, the history that you learned as an American in the 1950s isn't quite true. You know there weren't just a few hundred thousand Uncivilized Native Americans here when we got here. You know the pilgrims and the Indians didn't always get along, that kind of thing. But we've been telling the same story For the past 50 or 60 years, with the American Center left in power, and that's always just really struck me. I mean, the New York Times still runs in it till stories every two months, but the narrative hasn't changed. And I started asking a long time ago, before I even started leaning right Are the people now telling the truth anymore, often than the boys back then did? And the answer just clearly no. So for this book I look at a whole bunch of different things. Like you know, we're there actually a lot of Russian spies active in the USA during the Cold War? And I find the answer. I mean, and I kind of knew this because the political scientist you look at the Venona cables, of course, but like, yeah, of course there were tens of, there were thousands of them. Beyond that would be an exaggeration, but there were quite a few active Russian agents in the USA, including people that were highly placed in the State Department, you know, the predecessor to the CIA. Why don't we know about this one? Because a lot of academics are communists, which I document at some length in the book. You know I do one chapter on slavery and the Native Americans and so on. I didn't want to make that too much of a focus, but you know, natives weren't particularly peaceful either. They're the greatest light cavalry in history. One reason the wars between the whites and the natives were so bloody is that the native nations kept breaking the treaties Rating across the border and mass occurring, you know, several hundred people then winning a big battle with the soldiers, and that very often is what led to the retaliatory Violence that involved, unfortunately, massacres and so on. So I talk about the the nature of war and slavery for all of history. We very often apply kind of a modern dorm room standard of morality Only to not even whites no one does this in Russians or something like that but only to Westerners Only throughout the past 300 years or so, and it doesn't make a great deal of sense. So I try to expand that lens a little bit, but I look at whether the narrative on history and politics that's been given during the modern era of Quote-unquote woke control has been any more accurate than what we heard before and if not, how? Not that's a lives. My liberal teacher told me it'll be dropping with HC the release date. It looks like it's getting pushed up to around Christmas. From rumors and murmurings it's currently listed as early, very early Next winter, so January or February, but I mean you always want to do a holiday release for books.
Sure, it sounds fantastic. I'm going to buy a crate of them and send them all to the American Psychoanalytic Association Committee on racial equality. I'm sure report a hate crime.
Yeah, I wonder if would. If someone sent like a crate of Thomas soul books to like Nicole Hannah Jones, would she immediately go on Instagram and say she'd been hate-crammed? I don't know. I'd say the odds are pretty high.
Well, we didn't even get into something you're leading toward, which is psychological harm. Oh, my god, you've psychologically harmed me. But that could lead us into a whole other hour of discussion, and we're already so fortunate to have heard you speak tonight on what you have discussed and brought forth to us. Thank you so much, professor Wilfred Riley, and we hope to hear from you soon and see you all over the place talking about your new book and many other things.
Sounds good. Look forward to coming back here and to being being more of a public presence in the in the near future, indeed