October 2

Ep. 0120: DHP Heroes: Major General Smedley Butler

In this episode, CJ profiles Major General Smedley Darlington Butler of the United States Marine Corps, probably most famous for being a very highly decorated Marine (the most decorated at the time of his death in 1940), and for writing War is a Racket.  Butler was a very complex man to say the least, and CJ covers the good, the bad, the ugly and, of course, the dangerous about his life and legacy.

Join CJ as he discusses:

  • A brief look at Smedley’s family history & childhood, to his joining of the Marines in 1898 during the Spanish-American War
  • Subsequent services in places as wide-ranging as the Philippines, China, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, Quantico, Philadelphia, San Diego, and China (again), as he rose through the ranks from Second Lieutenant all the way to Major General
  • Smedley’s increasing disillusionment with the ulterior motives of American foreign policy and military interventionism
  • His retirement in 1931, and the last 9 years of his life, during which he became an ever-more radical, outspoken critic of American militarism and imperialism, right up until his death in June of 1940, including his exposure of an alleged Wall Street plot to overthrow the FDR administration, and his authorship of War is a Racket
  • A little bit about Smedley’s legacy and why CJ considers him a DHP Hero

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External Links

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November 20

Ep. 0086: DHP Heroes: George Carlin

George Dennis Patrick Carlin (1937-2008) was not just one of the greatest comedians of the last 50 years, he was also one of the most intelligent and, ultimately, dangerous.

Join CJ as he discusses:

  • George Carlin’s life & career
  • Some of the major and/or recurring themes in his work
  • Carlin’s significance & influence

External Links

[Photo of George Carlin: By Bonnie from Kendall Park, NJ, USA (Jesus is Coming.. Look Busy) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)]

Prof CJ’s Picks (buy anything from Amazon via these affiliate links to help support the show at no additional cost to you)

August 28

Ep. 0025: DHP Heroes: Lysander Spooner

For the second installment of Dangerous History Podcast Heroes, Prof CJ takes a look at the life and ideas of nineteenth century American individualist anarchist Lysander Spooner (1808-1887.) Spooner had a huge influence on many prominent anti-state intellectuals and activists, including Murray Rothbard and Karl Hess (subject of the first DHP Heroes podcast back in episode #11.)

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  •  A brief overview of Spooner’s life
  • An examination of his ideas, including:  his opposition to slavery, but even more vehement opposition to the Union’s conquest and subjugation of the South in the not-so-Civil War; his belief in the inherent criminality of any coercive state; his rejection of any notion of a social contract; his rejection of the supposedly morally sanctifying effects of democracy; his economic ideas, including his belief in private property and preference for self-employment; and his vehement dislike of banksters, especially those who bankroll the state

Prof CJ’s Picks (buy from Amazon via these links to help support the show at no additional cost to you)

 

 

July 10

Ep. 0011: DHP Hero: Karl Hess

From time to time, I’m going to cover some people I see as Heroes and Villains.  These will be individuals whom I find very intriguing (and therefore think/hope you’ll find them intriguing as well), either in a good or bad way.

In the case of Heroes, I think it’s important to mention that I don’t believe in fawning hero-worship type stuff.  I also think that “hero worship” can be very dangerous, because it can prevent you from being your own hero.  It’s very easy (I know because I’ve been there) to start deifying your ‘heroes’ (I don’t think it’s a coincidence that many people use the word ‘idol’ in this context), and in so doing feel that you are not and never could be their equal, let alone their better, when the reality is that you can equal or better almost anyone in almost any regard, provided you have the will to put in the work in whatever field it is that you want to be a hero.

Nonetheless and all that said, I think it’s important to have some positive examples of individuals whom you admire for some reason(s).  History is so replete with villains that every now and then you have to stop and smell the roses, by which I mean read or listen or learn about a Good Guy or Gal.

Our first Dangerous History Podcast Hero that we’ll cover is Karl Hess (1923-1994), who I think is a strong contender for a real-life Most Interesting Man in the World.

Join Prof CJ as he discusses:

  • Karl’s early childhood, and how his mother put him on the path to being an autodidact
  • His early success as a writer and entry into politics, including work as a speechwriter and platform writer for the Republican Party
  • His involvement with the ill-fated 1964 presidential campaign of Barry Goldwater, and how Karl left the GOP in its aftermath
  • Karl’s involvement with the New Left and Counterculture, and his ultimate embrace of libertarianism and anarchism, during which time he wrote an influential essay entitled “The Death of Politics” and became a tax protestor, hounded for the rest of his life by the IRS
  • His involvement in the early phases of what today we think of as the prepper/self-sufficiency movement, including his relocation to a self-made home in rural West Virginia
  • Karl’s love of tools, including guns
  • Some parting thoughts from Prof CJ on Karl, including Karl’s DIY ethic, and his embodiment of three of Prof CJ’s ideals:  the Autodidact, the Polymath, and the Renaissance Man

Prof CJ’s Picks (buy via these links to help support the show)

External links:

  • Karl’s famous 1969 essay, “The Death of Politics”
  • An excerpt featuring Karl from the 1983 documentary (which is definitely worth watching in its entirety) Anarchism in America
  • A playlist of segments from the 1981 short documentary Karl Hess:  Toward Liberty (not sure if/where the full film can be found, but I think these clips cover most of it, as the full film is supposedly under 1/2 hour long.)  BTW, clip #6 is in my opinion the best — it’s where Hess talks the most about alternative technology & liberty, and also sounds the most Zen/Taoist.