Michael Anton at Machiavelli’s tomb.

This special bonus double-episode tests the proposition that a good podcast format is a conversation among friends at a bar—because that’s exactly what the first segment of this show offers.

Last week I was overseas on the joint cruise of the Claremont Institute and the Pacific Research Institute, both celebrating their 40th anniversary this fall. Following a day tromping around Florence taking in the scenes of various locales for Niccolo Machiavelli, I decided to repair to the smoking lounge with Michael Anton (“Decius”), along with Ryan Williams and Matt Peterson of the Claremont Institute, for an extended cigar smoke over brandy and a chat about Machiavelli’s republicanism.

From there we take up the curious phenomenon of the pseudonymous writer “Bronze Age Pervert” and his underground best-selling self-published book Bronze Age Mindset that is said to extremely popular with “alt-right” young people. Anton recently reviewed BAM here, but in our conversation he addresses the rumor that he is in fact the author behind it. After all, he’s done it before as “Decius,” as we all know. To find out the answer, you’ll just have to listen to the episode. (And then let is know if we were just a bit too boozy for this experiment to be judged a success.)

Then I briefly converse with our own Scott Johnson, who attended President Trump’s big rally in Minnesota last Thursday, met in private with Trump, and then received an extended shout-out from Trump during the rally for his persistence in covering the various and multiplying scandals of Ilhan Omar.

Since this is a special double-episode, you may want or need to take it in chunks, or take an extra-long walk.

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Published in: Culture, Education, Politics

There are 6 comments.

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  1. jammer248 Member

    Very enjoyable. More like this please, particularly over cigars and drinks.

    • #1
    • October 13, 2019, at 9:09 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  2. Kephalithos Member

    Right-wing members of my cohort have a massive cynicism problem. They know that what the left’s offering is poppycock; they know that civilization is going to pot; they know that the old civic and religious teachings contain some deep truth. But they’ve been marinated in the same stew of ironic postmodern detachment as everyone else. Try as they might, they can’t quite force themselves to believe in anything. Their attitude is something like this:

    “Leftists are hysterical; conservatives are cucks. Socialism doesn’t work. Capitalism doesn’t work. Everything is terrible, and there’s nothing we can do about it. So, let’s amuse ourselves with memes, video games, and 4chan trollery. And marijuana brownies, too. YOLO!”

    What can the conservative establishment say to such people?

    • #2
    • October 13, 2019, at 10:23 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  3. Jim Beck Member

    Morning Kephalithos,

    If I am understanding you, the current culture/political structures aren’t working as you would like them to. What would a better working culture/politics look like. I am 72, so the part of the culture/politics that seems broken to me is that the common definitions of a good life have been set aside, fragmented, or found to be a sham or unworthy. The common path used to be, go to school, get a job, get married, have kids. The job was a vehicle for paying bills. One may have identified with one’s job but one’s friends, colleagues, came from different parts of society. The boomers did have their revolutionary idealists who believed in “Imagine nothing to kill or die for”, but in the end I think many thought “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”, was more accurate, and our expectations that life would have a sunny future were set aside. And some thought “Eve of destruction” wasn’t absurd. Thinking about the post WWII generation, I think that they felt that life had gotten better. So do you feel our cultures best days are past, and what were the causes of this decline?

    • #3
    • October 14, 2019, at 7:46 AM PDT
    • Like
  4. Richard Easton Member

    Good podcast. In the 1960s, I knew well Capt PVH Weems who was one of the pioneers of airplane navigation. He taught Lindbergh celestial navigation. He also was strongly into physical exercise. Here he is with the Lindberghs and with my parents.

    • #4
    • October 14, 2019, at 9:03 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  5. Taras Coolidge

    Kephalithos (View Comment):

    Right-wing members of my cohort have a massive cynicism problem. They know that what the left’s offering is poppycock; they know that civilization is going to pot; they know that the old civic and religious teachings contain some deep truth. But they’ve been marinated in the same stew of ironic postmodern detachment as everyone else. Try as they might, they can’t quite force themselves to believe in anything. Their attitude is something like this:

    “Leftists are hysterical; conservatives are cucks. Socialism doesn’t work. Capitalism doesn’t work. Everything is terrible, and there’s nothing we can do about it. So, let’s amuse ourselves with memes, video games, and 4chan trollery. And marijuana brownies, too. YOLO!”

    What can the conservative establishment say to such people?

    You can start by telling them capitalism does work, having in recent decades engineered the greatest lifting of millions of people out of poverty in the history of the world.

    If they refuse to believe you, beat them over the head with Steven Pinker!

    • #5
    • October 14, 2019, at 10:18 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. rdowhower Coolidge

    Best podcast ever, even better than the Ricochet Podcast…

    • #6
    • October 15, 2019, at 6:02 AM PDT
    • 2 likes