Accepting Capitalism?

The following interview was conducted over Skype between Michael Albert and Michael Galli who teaches a class on media and is Dean of Students at Rivendell Academy, a 7-12 interstate public school on the Vermont / New Hampshire border, and his students.

Michael Galli: Thank you so much for making yourself available, I really appreciate it.

Michael Albert: My pleasure.

Galli: I’m going to start with a quick hypothesis. I was trying to get these students up to Dartmouth to talk to the Dean of the business school about capitalism before we got your perspective, trying to be fair and balanced like Fox News [Albert laughs], and he’s too busy to meet with us, but someone in the economics department will. So we are going to follow-up with that. But I have a theory and I would like to know your thoughts on this. We opened this class looking at left/right dichotomies, political ideologies left/right.  We looked at conservative magazines, liberal magazines. My hypothesis is that it’s easier to contact someone who is considered left and have interviews like this, then it is to contact people on the right. Would you agree with that?

Albert: Well, I’m not entirely sure what you mean when you use the words left and right because different people mean sometimes very different things.

Galli: Exactly.

Albert: Part of the reason why you would have a harder time contacting people on the right is because they are busy running around TV studios. In other words it isn’t simple reticence about communicating, it’s that they are communicating through channels that reach millions and typical leftists are communicating to much smaller audiences for an obvious reason. The people with the means at their disposal, the media, the funds that are required to reach that kind of huge audience, are on the side of the right. So I think that’s part of it. Also, you couldn’t say, for example, that Bernie Sanders isn’t reaching a wide spectrum of the population, and yet it is much smaller than what Trump reaches, and Sanders has to do it with an incredible amount of effort whereas Trump just has to get on the phone and call somebody at the TV studio and say “I want to do an interview.”  So it’s a little different in that sense. I think what you’re driving at is probably that people on the left are a little more willing to talk to folks who don’t have all kinds of credentials and wealth and power and I think that’s true, you know, for most people on the left, probably not all of them regrettably, but it certainly should be true and I think it probably is for many.

Galli: So Michael when people research you you’re often described as a leftist or someone on the left. Are you comfortable with that term?

Albert: Yes, sure, it doesn’t bother me at all. The only problem with the label is that it can be confusing. So for instance, if Joe Biden is on the left or Barack Obama is on the left, and often times they will be described that way in the mainstream, I and they have virtually zero in common, except that we’re humans, but that’s about the end of it.  Certainly regarding politics and economics and concerns about social affairs, there’s just nothing similar about us at all. So using one label for both can be very misleading. Same thing applies the other way. If I call Obama “right wing” and then I call one of these crazy Republican wingnuts “right wing,” are they really the same thing? No. And so that too can be confusing.

Galli: Are you familiar with The Political Compass dot org?

Albert: No.

Galli: It’s an online survey. You take a series of questions and it graphs you on a grid, a left/right horizontal grid and an authoritarian/libertarian vertical grid. I have all my kids take it every year. I’ve done this for the last fifteen years and all students are libertarian left. All the candidates that they project, Democrats and Republicans are authoritarian right. So what they have been exposed to is that the Democratic and Republican party position on this grid show very little difference.

Albert: Right. Yes, I think that’s accurate, so the site is doing a good job. I don’t think this is quantum mechanics. I don’t think there is anything very hidden about it. The reality is its true for much of the population, almost all of the population.  It isn’t just by virtue of being eighteen that one finds oneself toward the libertarian left. It’s rather quite common across the country when you talk about something specific, even with people who will vote, say, Republican at times, that you will discern those similar kinds of values. So the question arises, “Well if everybody thinks that way … why don’t these values win?

Here’s a way I like to address this. Suppose there is a God for the sake of discussion, and God comes down to earth and says, “OK, we’re going to run an election. The election we’re going to run is Bernie Sanders, or even better, let’s say, I don’t know, Noam Chomsky.  I don’t know if you folks know him [students nod], or even me, somebody who is really left, against whoever the other side wants to put up, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, whoever. And God is going to oversee the election. If anybody tells a lie God is going to turn them to stone on the spot. There will be no lies. If anybody proposes something for the future, if that candidate wins, God will make it the case that it happens. So there are no lies, there is no misleading. We are going to do this for a four month campaign, God guarantees that there is widespread discussion. He will give people income and food to enable them to take the time to think through the issues. And then we’ll all vote and God will protect the winner and the winner will be able to implement the winner’s program with God ensuring it is enacted. I think Chomsky would win 8 to 2.  I think I would win 8 to 2. It would be a massacre. The left would win. But that isn’t the world. In the world instead of God running the elections, the rich and powerful run the elections. Instead of God guaranteeing what people get to see and talk about and think about, the rich and powerful determine that via the media. Instead of God giving each side equal means, the rich buy the election by owning the candidates.  So if you are asking me what the underlying values of the country would be, given that kind of real choice, I think that chart [Political Compass] that you show would prove accurate. But in the situation that we endure, things are very different.

So, if two candidates run and one says I’m against abortion and I’m for guns, and the other one says all sorts of stuff about the economy, and about war and peace, or whatever, and the voter now has to decide, well the voter’s not an idiot. This is a big mistake on the left, thinking everybody is stupid except oneself.  Everybody’s quite reasonably intelligent. Even very sharp. And so the population confronted with a choice of that sort knows something very interesting. If the right winger who is against abortion and gun control wins, antiabortion and pro-gun policies will be implemented. If the liberal, who says they want more equitable wealth distribution, and whatever else they might say, is elected, those things will not be implemented. So why not vote based upon where something is at stake because there is a difference and it would be implemented after an election. And then if you happen to be against abortion you vote for the thug, if you happen to be for guns you vote for the thug, and that’s the way elections operate.  So to a large extent it’s the sophistication of the electorate in understanding that the liberals are just mouthing rhetoric, with the possible exception this time of Sanders, maybe, we hope, and that makes the election something very different than it appears to be.  There is nothing complicated about this, and it’s perfectly sensible. It’s not crazy behavior. The outcome is crazy, however, and incredibly painful.

Galli: All the kids are supposed to be jotting down stuff for questions. I hope they’ll have some questions for you, but this was my first question. We talked about the concept of socialization, education, and indoctrination. Can you speak to that in terms of capitalism?

Albert: Sure.  Let me make a slight analogy first and then we’ll come right back to capitalism. Suppose that you have a peculiar society in which adults – once you become a functioning member of society rather than part of a family which is operating in part separately – have certain tasks and responsibilities – and let’s say they’re weird. Whatever they are, though, it is very important that education yields a new generation that can fill those slots. That’s not complicated. Suppose instead education yields a generation of people who are not prepared for or willing to fulfill the slots in society. Then the whole thing goes to hell. There’s either chaos and failure or that new generation changes society. It’s like a truism. If things that are important are out of whack, something has got to give.

So, now what? Well, in capitalism about eighty percent of the population functions in jobs, in tasks, that require no decision making, and that are basically stultifying and disempowering. Twenty percent will in contrast become managers and engineers and doctors and lawyers, they have a very different situation. They’re involved in activities which require a degree of thought and of involvement and confidence and so on.

Galli: I think Chomsky calls those twenty percent the political class. Do you agree with that?

Albert: No, I call it the coordinator class. I think it’s not something that’s mainly political, rather it is mainly economic. It’s economic because capitalism isn’t just that some people own the means of production, though it is certainly partly that. Donald Trump owns capital and that gives him tremendous wealth and tremendous power that accompanies it, and that’s the problem or the attribute that most leftists focus on, and they focus on it rightly because it is incredibly important. But there’s another issue, and that’s that about twenty percent of the population monopolizes all the empowering work and eighty percent of the population does essentially rote and tedious and repetitious and disempowering work.  And if you look around you will see that that’s true. It’s not only true for capitalism however, it was also true for the thing that was called socialism in the Soviet Union, and in China. So one class division is owners and everybody else – Donald Trump, and us.  That’s one class division and it’s a clear-cut division that’s humungous, and rooted in the fact that Trump has a different situation in the economy than we do. He owns the means of production. But there’s another class difference between what I want to call the working class, which is people who are engaged in typically rote, disempowering work, and what I want to call coordinator class, which is people who are engaged in empowering work. So there are assembly workers and short order cooks on the one hand, and doctors and lawyers and engineers on the other hand.

OK, now we can go back to your question. School has to prepare a very tiny number of people to be owners. It’s not very difficult lot of it is done in their families because the reason they’re owners is mostly because their families are owners.  And so they learn a whole lot of their special values and behaviors there. We’ll come back to some more of what they learn.  Then the school system has to get eighty percent of the population ready to be bored, ready to be subordinate.  And it has to get twenty percent of the population prepared not only to be able to think through stuff, but to use those thoughts and to use that capacity partly on behalf of themselves and partly on behalf of owners in capitalism. OK. What does that mean for school? What time does your day end?

Galli: 2:50

Albert: OK. At around 2:45 you’re sitting in class and I’m guessing most of you are champing at the bit to get out [a few students nodding their heads].  Some of you may not be. That’s a very important distinction.  Let’s take those who are, and I don’t know you all. Most schools have tracking. Most schools have, for instance advanced placement courses and different characteristics in their courses.  So some people are in those kinds of classes and other people are in other kinds of classes.  One kind for working class outcomes as compared to another kind for coordinator class outcomes.  Now, in the coordinator class classes, classes that are preparing people to become sub-masters of the universe, where Trump is the master of the universe, there is often a lot of interest and engagement and students are aroused and involved. In the other classes, students just want to go home because they’re bored and they’re tired and they’re beat-up. Right? Now what happens at the end of the day? Well, in those other classes, and sometimes for everyone, you’re watching the clock and you’re praying for the damned hands to move faster so you can get out. You want to go home. If I’m wrong just tell me. But, if you were to get up and walk out, what would happen?

Galli: They would get sent to me, the Dean of Students…

Albert: All hell breaks loose [laughter].  If you rebel against boredom, or you rebel against obedience, punishment is swift and sure. If you get a bad grade, teacher may say, “Not so good Joe.” It is just a different priority.  What schools teach eighty percent of the students, and this is related to your socialization question, is to endure boredom and take orders.  It is very hard to get people to do that.  It takes years.  You may know what hazing is, like in the army or when you’re going to become a doctor and you go through it as an intern, it exists in most areas.  It is basically doing what you’re talking about, educating, altering the inclinations and the desires and the attributes of the person to fit a waiting slot, not altering the slots to accept the people.

Let me just tell you one interesting story. I don’t know how much you know about the 1960s but obviously there was a gigantic upsurge of activism and dissent and rebellion and so on. And when this came to its resolution and was prevented from going as far as it wanted to go, although it accomplished a lot, the government sponsored a very high level study to investigate why the hell this happened. Why did this mess occur? Because from their point of view it was the scariest thing that happened in a long, long, time.  And they didn’t want it to repeat in any form what-so-ever.

Galli: Are you talking about the Trilateral Commission?

Albert: No. It was a Carnegie commission, but mainly it was an investigation of this. So they investigated and they actually came up with a report. Unlike most such investigations it was pretty interesting because this is what it said. It said the problem was that students who were getting out of high school and entering college wanted to have a life and thought they could. What we did, in other words, is we started to over-educate people. They came out wanting more than they could have. Think about that concept, “over-educate people.” We started to give people aspirations and hopes which they quickly discovered were not going to be met, and they exploded into anger. There is a lot of truth to that analysis. What was the Commission’s solution? Their solution was to change education. It wasn’t to change the society so that it could use and benefit from people who were confident and had education and had desires.It was to change education, and this is your question, so that students would be more compliant and fit.

If you have a society that has attributes which are contrary to the natural inclinations of people, you have to change the people to at least accommodate it, to at least fill the slots. And that was true for at least eighty percent of the population. And so there’s education for that purpose. Now it’s actually arguably much worse. I know you probably love Twitter and Facebook, and many on the left do, too. But these institutions are incredibly pernicious. They are horrendous. Why? Because they foster the idea that what matters is the most succinct brevity imaginable. I mean there are all sorts of reasons. A friend is somebody whose name you put on a list. There are all sorts of harmful implications, but the really harmful one is people’s attention spans are being destroyed. So people have a hard time focusing for an extended period. They become very good at multitasking, it’s called, which is basically switching from this to that, very quickly, and repeatedly, but very bad at focusing and pursuing a topic to its full conclusion. This becomes almost impossible when folks flip from thing to thing. Alright, we’re getting a little off the track.

Galli: Well, so I want to do an experiment right now. First of all, you’ve got some juniors and seniors here and they’re good thinkers. They’ve been through the traditional education system that you talk about. So they’ve been either educated, socialized, or indoctrinated to have a worldview and think a certain way. You just opened up a lot of ideas and a lot of material. I’m going to ask them now, and this is the experiment, they don’t know that this is coming, for them to follow-up with any questions they have.

Albert: Sure.

Galli: Now, I’m going to throw this out. My prediction is they’re going to struggle to ask you a question. Let’s see if that bares out. If that’s the case, I want to explore why that’s the case. [To students] So, do you have any questions? He put a lot of stuff on the table. Did anything reach you, touch you, that you want to talk to Michael about?

[Nervous laughter. Whispering. Twelve seconds. No question]

Galli: Alright. So, this is kind of a set-up. Now if I told them to write, Michael, they’d be able to do it. They’d be able to write for fifteen minutes about some thoughts they have. What do you think is going on right now right here? They’re not dummies.

Albert: Very few people are. My guess is wanting to avoid embarrassment, wanting to avoid looking dumb, wanting to avoid being characterized in a certain way. So for instance there was a time, and it still exists to a certain extent, where in many black communities the desire to have a community identity, and to have a degree of solidarity, took a wrong turn.  And the wrong turn it took was to view a black student who worked really hard and who spoke up in class as being white. So in other words the society sort of imposed a cultural norm by all sorts of subtle dynamics which was incredibly harmful. Because it basically said to this group of people in the United States, highly oppressed, highly subjugated, that to think and to develop the one tool that you actually have and hasn’t been taken away, you mind, is wrong. And it’s understandable because in most classes any confident, verbal person who would pursue studies would be white, so the claim seemed true, but they weren’t exerting for school because they were white, many whites weren’t, of course, they were doing it because they grew up in an environment where they had the time, the resources, the circumstances, and the expectations that promoted that – coordinator households. That background made relating strongly to school a perfectly reasonable way to behave. So what I am trying to get at is there are numerous reasons why a particular individual or group might or might not pursue some intellectual course.

Let me take another example that’s close to home. I happen to think that the left, meaning the people who want to change society fundamentally for the better, around things like race and gender and economics, class, that that group of people needs very, very much to propose solutions, to offer vision, to clarify what a society would be like to be much, much, better, why we should believe it’s possible, why should we believe it would work. That’s essential. Now let’s look at left writers. How many write about that? Almost none. Very few. So that’s sort of like you raised a question and people were silent. I think current circumstances raise a question, “What do you want?  What are you for? Why would it work? Why would it be better?” and yet the left doesn’t answer. I’m not sure it’s very different. My guess is that the reason why leftists don’t answer that question is because they may be wrong when they do. I’m serious here. In other words when the question is, “Why do we go to war? Why are people poor?,” all kinds of questions you can ask about what is wrong with the system, the leftists will rush to answer at any length you want. But ask this question [what would a better world be like?] and they leave the room.  I think they’re afraid to be wrong. I think they want to walk on familiar turf so to speak. Now if your turf that is familiar is writing little jots on Facebook pages or in Tweets, that’s where you want to walk, that’s where you’re comfortable, that’s where you don’t feel threatened. Right? So, one answer is that you don’t want to look like teacher’s pet, or you don’t want to look like you’re trying to be a doctor and separate yourself from everybody else. And another answer would be you don’t want to look stupid, you don’t want to look dumb. These are all reasons, and there is one last reason. The stuff that I was talking about might have sounded to people like it was being said by somebody from Neptune, because you just don’t hear this stuff. And so it isn’t easy to immediately rush in. And you harbor a suspicion that the person who’s talking, me, is crazy [student laughter]. They must be crazy. The kind of stuff they are saying is so far from what anybody else is ever saying, they’re nuts. And since I don’t see them all over the TV I’ve got more verification that they’re nuts. So, there’s all these reasons.

Galli: So our Head of Schools got his PhD at Harvard in education. His mentor was Eleanor Duckworth. Are you familiar with Duckworth?

Albert: No.

Galli: Her thing is about critical exploration. Which is you don’t lead kids, you ask them to observe, what do they notice, and ask them to form their own opinions. And for five years he’s [Head of Schools] been sort of coaching us in our professional development to carry out our classes in that way. What he says is that the reason why students won’t spontaneously engage is that they’ve either been educated, socialized, or indoctrinated that the teacher already has the right answer and is asking them to share, but is only going to validate the right answer. It’s very authoritarian and top down and so no one wants to take that risk.

Albert: You know, I suppose there’s some truth to it. Here, I don’t know the names of the people there. There’s somebody sitting immediately to your right [Tali Gelenian]. How much is seven and fourteen?

Tali Gelenian: What? [She laughs]

Albert: How much is seven plus fourteen?

Gelenian: Uh …uh … thirty one.

Multiple Students: Twenty-one!

Gelenian: Twenty-one.

Albert: Twenty-one. But you answered.

Gelenian: Sure.

Albert: Not so dangerous because you don’t … I mean, I flustered you I guess. How much is …over here in the white jacket [Heather Dexter]. How much is three times six?

Heather Dexter: Eighteen.

Albert: How much?

Dexter: Eighteen.

Albert: OK. Were you nervous?

Dexter: A little.

Albert: Why?

[Student laughter]

Dexter: Because I was put on the spot.

Albert: Well … see … I mean … what the hell does that mean?

[Student laughter]

Albert: What has your school system … and you’re what [Galli]? You’re the Dean of this thing?

[Loud student laughter]

Galli: I’m a teaching Dean, but yes.

Albert: I’m going to be a little critical here. What has your school system done that would cause you [Dexter] to feel tentative about answering the question “What’s three times six?” You’re in high school. You are tentative to answer any question in this environment because this environment is designed not to have you able to answer questions. It is designed to have you shut-up, to have you obey, to have you endure boredom. Right? Now maybe if this was an advanced placement class in physics and I asked you “What’s the formula for gravity?” you’d just answer right away. Everybody’s hands would pop up. I mean you can think about it as well as I can. Better, because you’re there. But I don’t want to belabor it too much. I want to go back to … you asked if they had any questions about what I had asked.

Galli: Yes.

Albert: Fine. I am willing to explore that with you a little better. To your right, I think it’s a person with a checkered shirt.

Galli: Jacob Perkins.

Albert: OK. When I described that there were doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc., who I called the coordinator class, and people who are doing rote and obedient work, about eighty percent as compared to that former twenty percent, which do you expect to be?

Jacob Perkins: I expect the majority of us to be in the eighty percent.

Albert: What do you expect to be?

Perkins: Probably in that.

Albert: OK. If you expect to be in there, what’s the implication of that? In other words, does that say to you, “What I want to do is maybe try and get out, get in to the twenty percent,” or does it say to you, “What I want to do is change it so that this distinction doesn’t exist so that we’re all better off?”

Perkins: Wow. Why can’t I get three times six?

[Student laughter]

Perkins: Um, I don’t know. It …the twenty percent seems kind of out of reach which makes changing it so that everyone is better off to be like, I don’t know. It sounds good.

Albert: Well, what if I said to you “We’re going to change the country around.  Eighty percent are going to be slaves and twenty percent are going to be wealthy. Really wealthy.” Now what?

Perkins: Well…

Sam Kamel: Probably start a riot.

Perkins: Yeah.

Albert: They’d start a riot?

Kamel: They’d start a riot because the eighty percent out numbers the twenty percent.

Albert: Because everybody would want to be in the twenty percent?

Kamel: It’s just unfair.

Albert: This is the world you live in.

[Student laughter]

Albert: Right? Slave and wage slave are different. Right? But they are not dramatically different in some respects. In some respects they are, but in others they aren’t. Going back to you [Perkins], if you are in that eighty percent and you work a forty-five, a fifty, or even a sixty hour week, which you will, how much control over your life during those hours will you have?

Perkins: Not much. I think you have more control …

Albert: Let’s clarify. None.

[Student laughter]

Albert: None. I’m going to tell you one more story. When I was in college and I was a senior, I lived in Somerville Massachusetts in a working class area with some other students. I was at MIT and some of them were at Harvard. We had a Volkswagen bus. And we used to be very friendly with the working class kids in the neighborhood. And we were young college students and they were high school age. And one day we discovered that they had been in the bus overnight.  This is in 1968/69, so tumultuous times. And after a while we realized something, they were using the van to get high at night. So we asked them about it. And we asked them what they were using. You know, we were using marijuana. Some people were using LSD etc. They were using glue, because they couldn’t get anything else or afford anything else. So they were sniffing glue. Now it’s important to realize that sniffing glue is sort of like playing Russian roulette except with an accumulating effect. When you sniff glue you are literally demolishing brain cells. It is devastating. So we started trying to convincing them to stop doing this because we liked them and we wanted to try to convince them. And we’d say, “You’re hurting yourself,” and they’d just chuckle and say, “Yeah, right.” On and on and on. And finally we said, “You’re just not hearing.” And they said, “No. You’re not thinking. You’re not listening. You’re telling us that we shouldn’t sniff glue because it will stunt our lives. It will reduce our capabilities. And we’re telling you that our life is to be a box-boy in a food store. Our life that is in front of us is to do stuff that doesn’t require a brain. And so when you tell us that sniffing glue is going to curb our capacities, you’re telling us it’s going to curb something we can’t use anyway. And it gives us a moment of relief. It gives us some respite. It gives us some pleasure. So think about that you wise-ass college students.” So we went home and we thought about it. And we did something that was actually pretty authoritarian. I was the one who came up with it. I still wanted to get them off this shit. So I came up with something to tell them, and it was a lie, or I think it was a lie, that would get them to stop. Anyone want to hazard a guess?


Albert: What could I tell them that what this was going to do … what effect was it going to have that was going to get them to stop?

[Some whispering]

Albert: Some of you are beginning to smile, I think you beginning to get an inkling.

[Student laughter]

Albert: But you’re embarrassed.

Galli: Oh.

Albert: To your immediate right [Tali]. Holding the back of your neck, do you know?

Gelenian: Well, is it something that I might be embarrassed about?

Albert: Go ahead. Say it.

Gelenian: Yeah, it was going to harm something else.

Albert: What?

[Student laughter].

Galli: You can do it.

Gelenian: Well … [Laughs].

Albert: God lord. You people are adults. What is it about your circumstances and everything else that would cause you to be so embarrassed to say something like this? Come on!

Gelenian: OK.

Gary Ackerman: All together now.

Dametres Perry: You’ll get a small penis?


Albert: Who said that?

[More laughter]

Albert: Oh my gosh.

[Even more laughter]

Albert: Yes. It would make them impotent. Not going to shrink.


Albert: But it tells you something. It tells you a lot, right? Because it tells you that they understood their situation better than the sophisticated leftists, by far. And that they would make the choices that they felt made a difference. It gets us back to the example of God coming down. The minute God comes down everything makes a difference because he’ll guarantee it. And now everybody behaves completely differently. But until then, not so much.

A famous French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre used to take speed. You know what speed is, right?  A drug that speeds you up and increases your attention and so on. He used to take that to write a famous book that he was writing. And one time in an interview a leftist said, “What the hell are you doing? You’re cutting off years at the end of your life.” And Sartre said, “Yeah, I know.” And the leftist said, “Why are you doing that?”  He said, “Because I’d rather have focus now that lets me write this book than the extra year or two at the end.” He was making a conscious choice. These kids were making a quite similar conscious choice. “I’d rather have the glue now, and the pleasure that it brings, then the capacity, which I will not be able to use in any event, to think better later.” That’s our world.

Galli: Michael the bell has rung, but before I let these kids go, do you believe that students have been indoctrinated to accept capitalism? This is related to your acronym TINA [There is no alternative]. Can you speak to that?

Albert: You should have me back to talk about that. Not why people are doubtful, but what the alternative might be. But in any case, yes, I think the reason why we don’t think about an alternative is the same reason that in some sense, why fish in a  fish bowl take the fish bowl to be all there is. It’s because everything around us says there’s nothing else. There is buying and selling people and things with no eye to the implications for anybody else, in a totally self-centered way. There is obeying and having a job to get an income, and on and on, and the various things we can mention. And that’s just the way it is. Tough. That’s life. And that’s the idea that there is no alternative. It is the most powerful bulwark for protecting a system. During slavery, slaveowners said there is no alternative if we want cotton, if we want output. That was a powerful rationalization. The other powerful rationalization is that there is no alternative because the set of people are incapable of doing anything else. Total nonsense. But the minute you believe it, it protects the system. Fifty years ago, forty, thirty years, ago there were no female doctors. Virtually none. Why? Well, because they can’t do it said al concerned at the time. If you then accept that, the debate is over. If you don’t, then there is something to do and the feminist movement did something. So the same thing applies regarding the economy. If you say “Well you have to have markets because you have to have markets,  you have to have private ownership because you have to have private ownership, because you can’t have output without it, because you can’t have production without it, you can’t have well-being without it,” if you  accept it, then it’s all over. Then Trump gets to be Trump, the doctor gets to be the doctor, and most people get to do rote and obedient work and to pray for the weekend, and during the weekend to have their time horribly constricted by what’s available for consumption. And so we try to get pleasure out of what we can get pleasure out of.

Galli: Would you be surprised, this is sort of a loaded or silly question, that in certain circumstances in a public high school just having students skype with you and hear your point of view could actually cause negative repercussions for the teacher. Would that surprise you?

Albert: No. Not at all. And in fact I was going to suggest something which you may not like. I would like to come back and do this again. But only with the students.

Galli: I would like to take you up on that. Thank you very much.

Albert: Sure.

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