Podcasts/Sacred Tension-ST Conform or be cast out8xi1c

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ST_Conform_or_be_cast_out8xi1c SUMMARY KEYWORDS people, book, conversation, libertarian, human, individual, political beliefs, world, agree, demonized, podcast, demonization, called, listening, tension, satanist, satanism, nonconformist, absolutely, streisand effect SPEAKERS Logan Albright, Stephen Bradford Long, Matt Langston

Matt Langston 00:00 You're listening to a rock candy podcast. Hey guys, my name is Matt Langston. I am a music producer, a mix engineer and an avid unicorn enthusiast and I would like to invite you over to my podcast 11 D live on eleventy life we get to talk to your favorite artists, producers and creators about what makes them tick. We take deep dives into where they get their juiciest inspirations from and how they keep from being cynical about all of it. We even get to pull back the curtain on my band eleventy seven and share some fun insider tips and tricks for our fellow bandmates and creators out there. So be sure to check out eleventy life right here on the rock candy Podcast Network and wherever you get your favorite shows.

Stephen Bradford Long 00:59 This is sacred tension, the podcast about the discipline of asking questions. My name is Steven Bradford long and we are here on the rock candy Podcast Network. For more shows like this one, go to rock candy recordings.com. All right. Well, as always, before we get to the show, I have to thank my patrons. My patrons are my personal lords and saviors. And I really couldn't do this show without them. So for this week, I have to thank Justin Paul and rabbit Waller, thank you so much. You're making the show sustainable for the long term. I believe in bringing this show to the public for free. I think that now more than ever, we need long form interesting conversations with people who have disagreements. But in order to do that, I need some help. So my patrons make this sustainable. And if you would like to join their number, go to patreon.com forward slash Steven Bradford long for $1 $3 $5 a month you get extra content every single week, including my house of heretics podcast with the Salvation Army officer Timothy McPherson turned Christian heretic, and we talk about everything from film to politics, to religion to whatever's going on in the world that day. Also, this show is sponsored by the satanic temple.tv. If you're into weird new religious movements, if you are interested in the occult, if you're interested in philosophy, definitely go check out the satanic temple.tv You can use my promo code sacred tension all caps, no space for one month free. And finally, I understand if you're not able to give financially in any way the economy is still on fire. And I need you to look after yourself first and foremost. So if you would like to support the show, but you're unable to get financially, the best way to do that is to just go leave a five star review on Apple podcasts a single review goes a really long way it helps our digital overlords discover the show and recommend the show to others. So if you believe in the work I'm doing and if you love the show, if you you know wake up every Saturday morning or Sunday morning eager to listen to that week's episode, then please go to Apple podcasts and leave a five star review. I'm going to read a quick five star review here. This is from M 389. from Great Britain. They say I love this podcast. I like the gentleness, kindness and openness in it. And the guest speakers are always really interesting, short and sweet and very kind and I so appreciate it. Whoever left that review. And for everyone in my audience, please consider leaving a five star review. It really, really helps. All right, well, with all of that finally out of the way I am delighted to welcome Logan Albright to the show. Hi there. How are you?

Logan Albright 04:20 Hi, thanks for having me. It's a pleasure to be with you.

Stephen Bradford Long 04:22 Yeah, so you were suggested to, to me by our mutual friend, dash fan keys dash also happens to be the moderator of my Discord server. And they are fucking awesome. So anyone that dash likes is is is clearly awesome. So tell us some about who you are and what you do.

Logan Albright 04:47 Okay, of course, my name is Logan Albright. I'm primarily a writer, although I've dabbled in many different fields and I've had to kind of a tangled path to get where I am today. But I have a new book out that I wanted to share with the world called conformer beat cast out the literal demonization of non conformists. And it's sort of about how, you know, it's about the persecution of people who are different throughout history. But that's such a huge topic that I couldn't cover all of that. So I decided to narrow it down to something that I was specifically interested in, that I don't think many people have written about before, which is the way that society tends to identify nonconformists with like supernatural evil, either comparing them to devil worshipers or you talking about demonic possession, or anything like that, which I thought was an interesting topic, and I hadn't seen it covered before. So that's sort of where I am. I've been studying the occult for about 15 years. I've also studied music and economics and worked in a variety of industries and fields. So I've been around lots of different types of people. I was educated at home for my entire childhood until I got to college. And so I spent my youth around lots of wildly different people who were Nonconformist, and who were not obeying the educational establishment. And so I've always kind of had a fondness for people who are a little bit different, and I liked them. And I think they're interesting. And it's a shame when you see people like that who have a hard time because of their differences.

Stephen Bradford Long 06:02 I completely agree. Also, you you have some libertarian instincts as well, you come from more of a libertarian background. Am I right about that?

Logan Albright 06:10 That's correct. I describe myself as a libertarian anarchist. And what that means in kind of less scary terms to people, is that I think that human interaction should be voluntary, rather than coerced to the maximum extent possible. I think it's always better when we can agree voluntarily to deal with each other, rather than being forced to deal with each other.

Stephen Bradford Long 06:29 I think you're the second libertarian that I've had on the show, in the four years that the show has been running, so it makes me think that maybe I should have some more on and just, you know, piss all of my audience off. But the last libertarian I had on was, say, Good night, Kevin, the YouTuber and he was great. So you, in your book, you talk about the literal demonization so you don't mean demonization in a figurative sense. You mean, you're talking about the very literal actual demonization saying that when, when people who are outsiders are cast as literally being demonic, give us some examples of that give? What what does that mean, in practice? What are some salient examples in your mind of that happening?

Logan Albright 07:26 It's something that's happened kind of all throughout recorded history, which I find interesting. And it's something that it's a little bit on the decline right now, which is nice, largely because I think a belief in Demons is on the decline. But it's something that's happened all throughout history. And it's always scary when you see and there's obvious examples like the Inquisition, or the Salem witch trials. One of my favorite examples is the Satanic Panic of the 70s and 80s, where people who were dressing differently listening to different types of music, you know, engaging in different behaviors were accused of being Satan worshippers, and being double worshippers. And there was all these fabricated allegations of child abuse and ritual abuse that were going on. And a lot of innocent people went to jail and had their lives ruined over this, because people just got hysterical, and they were listening for backwards messages and Rock Records. That's one of my favorite examples. I'm also really interested in the history of mental illness, and the way that people who have you know had different thoughts or different behaviors or who have just not conform to the norm, the normal way of thinking have been persecuted for that, and a lot of times it's been attributed to, to demonic possession or anything of that nature.

Stephen Bradford Long 08:33 Could you give some examples, particularly of that last one of mental people with mental illness being accused of being demonized? Are there any particular historic examples that you can think of that that are of particular interest to you?

Logan Albright 08:55 Sure. There's a lot of them in the Bible. Interestingly enough, all accounts of demonic possession in the Bible, if you read the symptoms of the suppose possession, they sound like either physical or mental illnesses, and they are attributed to demons because there was such a small understanding of disease at the time. But even more recently, you know, there's a example I like to cite, which is, you know, a little bit not quite as literal of the demonization but the example I like to cite is how homosexuality was described as a mental illness, up until 1987, and the official, official Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, and people were regarding it as this sinful thing, this thing that was inspired by the devil instead of just a normal parameter of human behavior. So that's really scary. And then another example I like in the book is sort of the origins or potential origins of some of these ideas of things like werewolves and vampires. If you read historical accounts of people who are accused of these things, their symptoms sound remarkably similar to various illnesses. So for example, there's a disease called porphyria where some of the symptoms are sensitivity to light, very red gums or teeth. You know, Harry, excessive being her shoe to lots of hair growth, sallow skin, things like that. And you can easily imagine how someone walking around at night to avoid the light, with red teeth with yellow skin with hair on their hands could be accused of either being a vampire or a werewolf and could have given rise to these myths and these ideas that these are unnatural things that are products of pact with the devil or anything like that. So there's lots of examples of those throughout history. And it's, it's a real shame because I think that the, the parameters of human behavior are so broad, and we need to have compassion for people and we need to understand where people are coming from. And to just ascribe any kind of non conforming behavior to something evil automatically is, you know, a very dangerous tendency, although I would also hasten to add that just because someone is a nonconformist, I'm not per se defending them in this book, there's obviously good ways to not conform in bad ways to not conform, you know, being a murderer is not conforming, but that's not something that's good or should be celebrated. But there's plenty of ways to not conform, that are either just completely benign or actually beneficial to mankind, that we should be very open to,

Stephen Bradford Long 11:04 you know, listening to you talk, it makes me think of my experience of being a gay guy in the conservative Christian world. And I was very literally demonized. I mean, the number of a what they called deliverances, which is basically like a Protestant exorcism, the number of times that I went through that process because homosexuality was a deviancy, and that deviancy was obviously a source of what was obviously rooted in some kind of demonic activity, it was obviously demonic in some way. And the because it deviated from the created order that God intended in Genesis. And so I remember hearing descriptions of homosexuality as uncreation as an unraveling as a demonic unraveling of God's original order, almost as if it were like a genetic mutation that was kind of unraveling the cosmic DNA code that God had originally intended. And so I'm, I'm really relating to a lot of what you're saying here and I think that's probably what one of the first things that led me to Satanism was this outsider experience this this experience of being demonized because of something that I had no control over. And, and that has really reshaped that's really shaped how I see the world in very significant ways of it has shaped how I see how I see populations, how I see people how I interact with people because like, I know what it feels like to be demonized. So I'm really relating to a lot of what you're saying here. There's a there's a how do I want to frame this next question? It's, it's there is this continuous tension? I feel like within Satanism itself and I don't know if you identify as a Satanist or not, but I definitely feel like you're satanic adjacent like, you know, you. You You seem to embody a lot of satanic ideals and care about a lot of satanic ideals, like the humanization of the outsider, being a champion of the outsider and that kind of stuff, radical individualism, all that kind of stuff right

Logan Albright 13:44 there slowly i i don't i don't specifically identify as a Satanist identify as a pagan, but I have a lot of sympathy for the tenets of Satanism. And I think there's so much misunderstanding and confusion that goes around with it, but it's, it's clearly stands for a lot of things that I believe in. So I have a lot of sympathy for it, for sure.

Stephen Bradford Long 14:01 Awesome. And, you know, in my opinion, and I know that this is a controversial opinion. I personally think that Satanism is a subset of paganism. I think that that Satanism is, is a kind of, it's a form of, of the broader pagan tradition, but I know, but we don't have to get into that right now. Hold on my cat Watson. I have six cats. So they're constantly coming and going I'm so within the satanic community. And I feel like within community at large there is this tension and you you hit on this some in your book, there is a tension between individualism and collectivism. Right. And there's kind of this this never oh my god, hold on. My cat wants attention. There we go. Um, this is that's Eli. You want to say hello.

Logan Albright 14:57 I love cats, so I'm happy to be interrupted.

Stephen Bradford Long 15:00 As we, we love, we love pets here. So there is this perpetual tension between collectivism and individualism. And I, and you hit on this and in your book and I just find it's such an interesting tension where on the one hand, we are communal creatures, we, I think we're evolved to be intensely social, to survive in tribes. And which means that we we experience social ostracization, as, as intensely painful. I think we we're probably evolved for the approval of our peers, to to attain the approval of our peers so that we will so that we won't be cast out of the tribe and die, right? That's a very, you know, simplistic evolutionary psychology don't quote me, but but then on the other hand, it's like the most important unit of being is the individual, the most important unit that that is deserving of care and consideration is the individual. And oh, my god, cat, he has he is desperately vying for attention right now. How do you, how do you navigate that tension? As someone who is someone who is a libertarian, but also as someone who thinks about the issue of conformity and community and individualism? How do you navigate that? That tension?

Logan Albright 16:52 There's yeah, there's a lot there. That tension definitely exists within the libertarian community as well. And there's a stereotype that libertarians are all want to be these mountain men who live out in the woods by themselves with a shotgun and say, Get off my land. And don't value community, which is not true, because communities are incredibly important. And that's how we do great things is by cooperating and doing things together. But the only way that works is if you respect the rights and the dignity of the individual. And I want to talk about in the book, a little bit of sort of the history of this and how how we got to this place, and I tried to be a little bit easier on the people who are, are, you know, hostile to non conformists because I understand where they're coming from, I think it's important to understand that, that this is a deeply ingrained evolutionary instinct in us to want to get people to conform. Because if you are, you know, a primitive society living in a tribe or a family or something, and you're barely squeaking out in existence, from nature, and if you have one of the members of the tribe suddenly defect and do something completely different, it could cost everybody their lives. And it's understandable why that pressure to conform is there. And that's sort of an ingrained instinct in us. But it doesn't really apply in the modern world, because we have so many other safety valves in place that like, if one person goes off and does something different, it's not going to hurt you, it's not going to affect you. So I think we need to try to adapt to that and overcome that instinct, because it just doesn't apply in the modern world. But it's understandable why it's there. But I mean, the the other thing I want to the point I want to make about that is that we have to understand that the nonconformist is the only thing that makes progress possible. If everybody always did the same thing and conform to the norm, and did what was expected of them. It would just be the same thing generation after generation over and over again, whenever you have any kind of discovery or innovation or technological breakthrough or societal breakthrough, for that matter. It has to be someone thinking outside the box and doing something differently first. And so if you don't allow that to happen, and don't encourage that, you're going to really stagnate as a society, even though it's understandable that you could see too much of that as being risky to your society if it's a small society. You know, in our in our modern world, it's all the nonconformist, you are doing great things and coming up with new ideas.

Stephen Bradford Long 18:58 Is there a point at which individualism or a certain type of individualism becomes toxic to society? Is there a point at which it backfires?

Logan Albright 19:13 I think it just depends on what you mean by the word. And I would say yes to that. If you mean like, not having any respect for communities and not feeling like you need anybody else and wanting to be completely self sufficient, something like what Henry David Thoreau claimed to have done, he actually dependent on people a lot more than he admits and Walden. But like he just wanted to go out and live by yourself. I think that can be dangerous and toxic, because like I said, it's the communities working together, there's a division of labor, the ways that we all specialize and come up with new ways to do things that have created all the advances in our standard of living that it made things so great, but I don't think that's what I mean by individualism. When I talk about it, what I mean is respect for individual sovereignty and individual rights and regarding the individual as the basic unit of society. conservatives often like to say that the family is the unit of society. And I disagree with that. I think families are made up of individuals, and the individuals matter. And if the minute we stopped saying individual matter, I think you go down a very dangerous path where you can have see lots of oppression or even like mass deaths.

Stephen Bradford Long 20:16 Yeah, you know, I think that I'm probably maximally collectivist and maximally individualist, and what I mean by that is, I think that the most important shared communal identity is human. And with that comes the universal human universal human rights, the shared values of, of, you know, basically being utilitarian of saying, you know, whatever causes another human being to suffer. I can, I can look past race, creed identity, to the degree to to, to such an extent, and just focus on a shared human identity, and that allows empathy to flourish. And I think that if we narrow that too much, then disaster just ensues. Right. So, so I think that I'm like, maximally, I'm maximally communal, in that sense. And then, maximally individualist in in that, I think that the the most important unit is the individual. And then it's like, we have an end route, you know, recognizing and honoring the autonomy of every single individual, of course, we probably have some, you know, differences about what that looks like, and that's okay. But, and then, you know, there's like that, that broad swath of identities in the middle, it's like, I'm also gay, I'm also an American, I'm also male, I'm also white, I'm also just, you know, all of I'm a Satanist. You know, it's like that. And then there's that. There's that whole spectrum in the middle between individual and human, that are important. But whenever those things overshadow those two necessary poles, then I think we get it backwards. Does that make sense? Yeah,

Logan Albright 22:28 that's, that's where I'm at. Yeah, all those identities you mentioned are important, and they're all meaningful. And I don't want to take those away from anybody. Absolutely. But when you elevate one of those things to be the most important thing, and you're willing to subjugate the others do it for example, let's say, you know, you mentioned that you're white, if you said, my being a member of the white group is the most important thing in my life. As, you know, other things like being male or being a Satanist, or being human or being an individual are secondary to that. I think you get extremely bad outcomes. Yeah, type of thing. That's when you

Stephen Bradford Long 23:00 get, you know, white nationalism. That's when you get racism, that's when you get, you know, just all of all of the worst impulses of humanity is when we and you know, the right doesn't just do that the left also does it. The and that not because there's anything inherently, these aren't trait traits inherent to the right or to the left. These are traits inherent to humanity, of, you know, demonizing of, you know, dehumanizing anyone who is different from us that's like a universal human trait, regardless of what political side they are on. So you're also a pagan? And because this is a show about religion, in part, I'm really curious to hear how the how these values of that that you've been talking about through this episode, so far, of valuing the individual, the outsider, universal humanity, all of that kind of stuff. How does that play out in your own individual religious practice?

Logan Albright 24:08 I think there's a lot of overlap. Honestly, I've been fascinated by religion for many years, and I've studied all the major religions, well, not all the major religions, but I've studied many of the major religions and been trying to like, you know, figure out where I fit in the world. And I came across kind of ritual magic beliefs about 15 years ago and became obsessed with them and started studying them and I, I guess, I only started identifying as a pagan about three or four years ago, but I just find there's so much there for me, I like I like the eclectic nature of it. I like the the acceptance of it. I like the heterodox nature of it. I like that there's it's so non authoritarian. One of the things that really turns me off about monotheistic religions is the authoritarian nature of it where they say there's a boss in charge and you better do it the boss says or else that really bothers me. paganism doesn't have that you're much more free to explore the your, your spirituality on your own terms. So there As a lot of things like that, that I think are very compatible with my political beliefs and my spiritual beliefs, although I do try to keep them separate, because one of the things that sort of drives me crazy is when people try to co opt religion by a political political group tries to co opt your religion or vice versa. I think that, you know, our politics and our religion should remain fairly separate. Because, you know, we can all be pagans and agree with each other on that. And we can have different political views, you mentioned that you're a socialist, and I'm a libertarian, we obviously have different political beliefs. But, you know, that shouldn't interfere with our ability to practice our religions as we see fit and come together and enjoy celebrations together and ceremonies and rituals and things like that. So it always bothers me when people try to combine those things too closely. Together.

Stephen Bradford Long 25:41 Yeah, absolutely. And also, just a quick clarification. Yeah, I mean, I, I would say that I definitely was a socialist, I would say, now I am, I'm more of just like a Social Democrat. That's, that's more right, that that's more where I am. But you know, that, in America, a lot of a lot of people don't know what socialism is. And so social. So being a Social Democrat is often you know, lumped under being a socialist.

Logan Albright 26:07 And it's also gotten to the point where, like, we can't have a civilized discussion about these things anymore, because people get so angry on both sides. And like, I'm absolutely happy to talk with anybody about their political views, and my political views, or their religion and my religion, I'm more than happy to have that conversation. But I've always worried to do it. Because I'm afraid that if I say what I think people are going to unfriend me, and you know, hate me for it. And so I try to be careful about that. But, you know, I wish we can get back to a place where we can have these conversations and not hate each other.

Stephen Bradford Long 26:35 Well, you know, yeah, that's really interesting, because one of the things that I worry about conversation is a substitute for violence. I cannot imagine a greater innovation of human society than replacing words, or replacing violence with words. Right? And that's why that's why free speech is so important. Right? And so I wish I'm like you, I wish that we could have that we could reframe the way we see conversation. And that conversation does not necessarily mean you know, coddling your enemy, it which is so often how it's seen on the internet, you know, just just extending an olive branch to to your enemy almost, or that that's the wrong framing, to, you know, compromising with the enemy. And it's like, no, it's it's deeper than that. This is like a deep this is, this is one of the greatest civilizational innovations that humanity has ever come up with, to actually sit down and use our fucking words. And, you know, I so I live in the south, I live in Appalachia. In North Carolina, I work in an industrial district, I manage a grocery store, and I had to reframe things really quickly, in order just in order to survive. And the what I decided this was years ago, and was one of the best life choices I've ever made in my life was I, unless a person has unless a person is trying to limit my freedoms, or unless they're trying to hurt me in some way. I do not give a fuck what they think. I don't care, they can think I'm going to hell, I will choose not to care. Unless they are trying to physically hurt me. Or limit my ability to live in this world. I don't care. That is like one of the best life choices that I've ever made. Because it's actually allowed me to be comfortable. Around in the real world. I mean, it's it's allowed me to, to work side by a I don't have a choice. I have to work with these people. It's very classist to when I see people on Twitter, say, Oh, I will never talk to anyone who supports Trump. And I'm like a bitch. I bet that's nice. I like working people don't have that option we have to. So one of the best life choices I've ever made was to basically say, unless this person is malicious, I will not care what they think and I will be willing to have a conversation with them. And it has reframed everything in and it means that I can actually function at my job, does it anyway, that was a rant but that it's something that I've been thinking about quite a bit and there are a lot of people out there who They don't wish me harm. They just disagree with me. Right?

Logan Albright 30:05 Well, yeah, that's a great way of looking at it. And it's something that I had to come to terms with a long time ago because as a libertarian anarchist, literally nobody agrees with me. So smallest minority ever, and so I have no political power, I have nobody on my side. So I have to get along with everybody. Because otherwise, I'm just going to be overwhelmed. And I think there's this irony that like, as we've started to move away from this binary thinking in terms of like gender and sexual orientation and things like that, we've become more binary and are thinking about people. And it was either good guys or bad guy is right. And it's just such a simplistic way of looking at, that's really interesting. People are very complicated. And people can have views that you really strongly disagree with and think that's a terrible view. How can anybody think that? And then they can have other views that are extremely kind and generous and nice. And you know, just it's No, nobody's either? 100% bad or 100%? Good. And I think it's a shame when we, you find someone that you agree with on 100 things, but you disagree with them on one thing, and you're going to sever their relationship over that? That seems a little silly to me.

Stephen Bradford Long 31:05 Yeah, it's also so have you read the great divorce by CS Lewis?

Logan Albright 31:10 I have not read that one. I

Stephen Bradford Long 31:11 need your Yeah, so So, um, CS Lewis had a huge influence on me back when I was still a Christian, but he wrote a book called The Great divorce. And the basic idea is that there's a bus that goes between heaven and hell. And hell is like vapor. It's like immaterial, everything. It's full of ghosts who are like immaterial, and that the house is just this like endless, foggy London, everything is vaporous, and it's transparent. And then heaven is like viscerally real and solid. And when the ghosts get on the bus to go from hell to heaven, they are so immaterial. And heaven is so real and so solid, that the grass cuts their feet, the grass are like knives, and just slices their feet. And I often feel that way. I often feel like that's a pretty good metaphor for the online political landscape versus living and working IRL, where I am surrounded, I have no choice but to be surrounded by people of all different types of political affiliations. And I mean, everything from you know, tanky, to crazy Trump supporter, and everything in between, right, though, these are working people. We're all making shit. We are. We, we work in an industrial district in the Asheville area. And then I'm exposed to all different types of people with the public because I work with the public, right? If trying to survive with real friends, and real co workers in the real world. If we go from the internet to that, that is like going from CS Lewis's hell, to CS Lewis's heaven, and, and it will. And if what we're used to is the hell, then reality will just slice us to pieces, because people are exactly what you said. They're complicated. And that and this gets into, you know, what you were just talking about the literal demonization of, you know, the whole point of your book and the whole point of this conversation, the literal demonization of those who are different from us, demons don't exist. And monster, you know, monsters don't exist. At the end of the day. We're all actually just people, we're just human beings. And even if I think that someone is horrifically wrong to demonize them and say no, and to call them a monster, to call them a ghoul to go to call them to, because of their political beliefs, that is incredibly dangerous, because ultimately, they are just like me, they're humans, who I think are wrong, and whose beliefs have terrible could have terrible consequences in the world. But calling someone a monster, because of their political beliefs, is a way of, of avoiding the fact that they're human just like me.

Logan Albright 34:38 It also is ineffective. If you want to change people's minds, it just caught extremities and makes them even more dug in and saying, oh, everyone's out to get me I'm going to dig into my beliefs instead of I don't think anyone who said, Oh, I'm a monster. Let me change my views. I don't think that's ever happened in the history of humanity.

Stephen Bradford Long 34:54 Yeah, I mean, my own example is a perfect example of that if I you know, I was called Have a monster and then I became a Satanist. Just double down.

Logan Albright 35:04 That's something I think is really interesting too is like this kind of embracing of the names that people call you, you know, if you if you absolutely, I think people long enough, they're gonna say, well, I might as well be a demon if you're gonna keep calling me a demon. And that's something I actually do touch on in the book a little bit is like the Hellfire society and things where people are decided, you know, if everyone's going to call me names, then I might as well just run with it and be as evil as I possibly can. Or at least have the appearance of that, like, put on the trappings of someone who's evil, which it's kind of like a Picture of Dorian Gray kind of thing in reverse. But I find that really interesting, too. And that's just goes to show how ineffective these tactics are as you just had people dug in.

Stephen Bradford Long 35:41 I mean, we've we saw the exact same thing with Trump supporters. Absolutely the exact same thing. And it's almost like, I'm not going to say that, that liberals are at fault for this, because ultimately, everyone is responsible for their own actions, right. And so Trump supporters are responsible for their own actions and how they responded to liberals. Right? The basket of deplorables thing, you know, at the time, I was like, Oh, ha, ha, ha, that's super fucking funny. But But looking back, seeing how people seeing how Trump supporters and again, I'm not saying I'm not blaming the Liberals for this, everyone was responsible for their own actions. But seeing how Republicans, you know, Trump, Republicans took that on as like a badge of honor. And, and just doubled down and used these these insults that the left hurled at them, and that the establishment center left hurled at them. It we see we see this all the time.

Logan Albright 36:54 Yeah. And it's, you're right, it's people who are responsible for their own actions, but the consequences are predictable. If you understand the psychology, or if you read history at all it is it's like, highly predictable. And it's like both of you, all right, you know, and all the racist stuff coming out of the All right, like, I think there's a lot of it was people who thought, if you're gonna keep calling me a racist, no matter what I do, I might as well just be a racist. And so yeah, those people are bad, and they're racist, and they should be condemned for that. But it's understandable why that happened the way it did, because people got so tired of being called racist over things that weren't racist, that they ended up becoming real racists.

Stephen Bradford Long 37:29 It's bad strategy. Yes, it's that that's often how I look at it. I'm like, you know, I see a lot of stuff that my fellow lefties say, online. And I'm like, that is the most human and understandable thing to say, I get it. I totally get it. I get calling. I get why you're saying all men are trash. I get it. After what men have done to you. That is the most human and understandable thing ever. I get it. And you might even need that emotional catharsis and release as strategy. It is terrible. Like as strategy for for, especially online on a global platform. It's terrible, terrible, terrible strategy, because you're alienating people who could otherwise be allies to you. And I also 100% Totally understand it. I so I've called straight people trash. I've, I've called you know, I've had to rage against, you know, straight people, clueless straight people. But the moment but when that goes into the public discourse, it becomes weaponized, really disastrously. This is more kind of a selfish question. Go for it. How do you how do you? And I asked this because I'm trying to figure this out. How do you navigate online? Just online? How do you do that? How do you do it? How do you how do you survive? How? How do you because I feel like the internet is rife with rage and dehumanization? Yeah, it's really hard. So how do you how do you go about it?

Logan Albright 39:29 I have lots of different types of people in my Facebook feed, and some of them are extremely far left and some of them are extremely far right. And some of them are extremely libertarian, and some of them are fairly authoritarian. And I try and a lot of them are my friends, and I try not to piss anybody off too much. So I when I do say something controversial that I noticed is going to be controversial. I try not to do it too often. I try to keep politics largely out of my feed. But when I do feel the need I have to say something I try to frame it in such a way that I'm not generalizing about People, and I'm not attacking people. And I'm just explaining where I'm coming from and my point of view, because I like my friends, I want to keep my friends. And, you know, sometimes I feel I need to point out where they're saying something that I think is wrong, but I try to be as respectful as possible. I try not to make fun of anybody, and try to just explain, like, here's another way of looking at this that you may not have considered. And it's really hard to do. It's just so tempting to kind of join in with all the mockery and the memes and everything that go on, when I see something that I think is really stupid. It's hard not to do that. But I try not to I try to just be a good person and be nice to everybody, and not alienate people. Because I see it done to me, I see other people who I know, who are just vicious online who say the meanest things, and they probably don't realize how much it's hurting my feelings what they're saying. Yeah. So I try not to be that person. And it is really difficult. It's so much easier when you're having a face to face conversation like this when you can be respectful, because you just you don't really realize that the people online are real people, they just their name and an avatar and you don't think about it, but they are.

Stephen Bradford Long 41:00 And like, all of us are, all of us are having to pay bills and deal with depression and burnout, like everyone is struggling. And yeah, so that's, that's just like, what I constantly try to remember is everyone is everyone is fighting, everyone is trying to make sense of the world, the best way they know how probably the most radical thing I can do is just be compassionate, like, probably the most radical thing I can do is, is be kind and compassionate, because I genuinely and maybe this is me just being too idealistic. I genuinely believe that people are doing the best they can with what life has given them. And you know, the world is incomprehensible. And so we're trying to figure out the best way we can.

Logan Albright 41:54 Yeah, absolutely. And it's, you know, it's nice when you say that reciprocated, I did a podcast yesterday with a friend of mine, who's pretty conservative Christian. And, you know, I put Lucifer on the cover of my book. And he managed to have me on and have a civil conversation with me about it, even though we disagree on many, many things. But, you know, it's nice when you can have those conversations.

Stephen Bradford Long 42:11 Absolutely. So is there a point at which conversation is useless at do get? Do you ever get to the point when it ideological difference is so extreme that you do feel like you are making an unhealthy compromise by having a conversation with this person?

Logan Albright 42:34 Yes, I think that does happen. And it comes from when you have such core root values or root premises that are different. Because I think this is the mistake we make, we argue like surface level policy with people who we have deep value level differences with. And that's just a pointless exercise, you're never going to agree on something that's 10 stages down from what your you know, basic morality is, if you don't agree on the basic morality in the first place. So if you find someone like that, who has such a different concept of morality or ethics than you have, then it may be hard or unproductive to have a conversation with them. And like you said, if it's someone who's actively trying to do you harm, or to do other people harm, then maybe, you know, conversation is not not the way to go on that. But I think that should be a last resort. And you should try to get to the root of the problem first.

Stephen Bradford Long 43:20 Yeah, I agree. Yeah, that's interesting guy. I just find it so interesting. How online, the when people think of having a conversation with a, quote, unquote, problematic person, the first thing they go to is Nazi. Yeah. And it's like, everything is framed in terms in terms of Nazi and I'm everything, which, yes, they do exist, and they are terrible people. And I wouldn't have a conversation with a Nazi. Well, it depends. It depends on the mood, you know, it depends on the day. It also depends on how on the person and how confident I would be and being able to maneuver that conversation Well, right. But people, I've noticed this trend of you know, when we talk about ambiguities in belief, differences in belief conversation across difference, the go to the immediate knee jerk reaction is to frame it in terms of an extreme minority, rather than the ambiguous majority. And I think that that is a another form of dehumanization, because it is lumping the ambiguous majority of people who disagree with you, but who are very complicated, politically complicated, ethically complicated, doing the best they can that saying, No, they are above conversation. I think that I on a, I get it. Sometimes we just can't have conversations. Sometimes we just don't have the spoons, and that's fine. And other times I find it deeply dehumanizing. It's saying you are not a human being worthy of of my engagement.

Logan Albright 45:16 Yeah, you're putting people in boxes, you're, you know, it's this collectivism thing we were talking about earlier, you're, you're identifying someone based on their group membership, or maybe not even a group that they belong to, but one that you want to ascribe to them. And then you're writing them off as that instead of addressing them as an individual. I mean, I agree that there's people we can have conversations with. But I remember there's a great interview on YouTube with Christopher Hitchens interviewing a neo Nazi, and he barely has to do anything, he just lets the guy talk. And the guy, the neo Nazi looks so stupid, and so ineffectual, and so pathetic and so bad. I remember that. That's the best anti Nazi ad, you could have run, you know, it's just let the guy talk also. So that's why I'm so skeptical of this deep platforming argument is like sometimes, you know, I want to hear what Alex Jones has to say. So I can know how crazy he is not because I'm going to agree with him, you know. And if you if you start deep platforming people, then people were gonna think, well, that guy must be saying something really important. If they don't want to let him talk. I better go find out what it is. And so you can have the backfire effect we were talking about earlier, too.

Stephen Bradford Long 46:15 Yeah, it's almost as if people have never heard of the Streisand effect. There was this situation last year, where a Portland bookstore was going to sell Andy nose book unmasked. And needless to say, I am not an anti no fan. But there were these gargantuan protests, protesting the bookstore for selling and Dino's book, just just these massive protests. And the bookseller, refused. The bookseller was like, No, we're going to sell his book online. And here's why. As a partly as a result of this, Andy nose book skyrocketed to the top of the bestsellers list. Because it brought so much attention to it, this dweeb, who you know, and I actually read the book, in part because of this whole fucking thing. I was like, Oh, shit, well, this is interesting. It's like, I cannot resist the the effect of the Streisand you know, the power of the Streisand effect. I was like, Oh, shit, you know, he's this book is being super protested. I guess I have to go read it now. And it's almost as if people have never heard of the Streisand effect. It's it's bad strategy.

Logan Albright 47:38 Yeah. And we need to know what people we disagree with our thinking and talking about so that we can guard against it and be on the lookout for it. And you know, it, absolutely, still sell mine comp. And it's good that they sell mine comp, because we need to know what Hitler was thinking so that we prevent another Hitler from coming into power. You know, those are important things. And I think just trying to pretend that stuff doesn't exist is really dangerous, because then we're blind to it when it manifests in our own society. Again,

Stephen Bradford Long 48:02 there's there's a sense i don't know i i, you know, I had Adam Goldstein on from the fire the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which I'm a big fan of he he's a free speech lawyer. And one of the things that we were talking about were, were neutral services, like, you know, back before COVID, I was a yoga teacher. And it didn't matter what someone's ideology was, I was very deliberately not an activist. When I was in the yoga studio, I was very deliberately, I very deliberately had one purpose. And that purpose was to help people with physical pain, and it didn't matter what their political beliefs were I, I put all of that aside, and, and I sometimes feel like, there are fewer and fewer neutral spaces like that. And it's like a bookseller is a bookseller, a bookseller shouldn't necessarily be an activist, write a book. Does that make sense?

Logan Albright 49:00 Yeah, I totally agree with that. I mean, first of all, it's bad business, because like, half your customers are going to disagree with you. And you're going to do poorly at that. But the more important thing I think, is that, something I always say is that you can't change people's minds, people can only change their own minds, they have to be ready to listen to you. And they have to be ready to think about what you're saying. And they have to be ready to kind of embrace that change on their own. So if you just start throwing out your political opinions in a yoga studio, or in a bookstore, when people aren't ready for it, you're not going to change anybody's mind, you're just going to piss people off. And so what you need to do if you really want to convince people is like, befriend them, be nice to them, show them that you're a human being and you're a person and they like you and then they'll think well this guy I like disagrees with me on this. Maybe he has a point but it was so much to what he has to say. And I like there's that guy who I can't remember his name, but the guy the black guy who goes to kk k rallies and well, like, that's such a great strategy because like once you relate to someone as a human, then you have to listen to them and understand them. Whereas if you're just shouting slogans at them, they can just tune you out and ignore you.

Stephen Bradford Long 49:59 An example of that that, actually. So I have a really great friend, he is a listener of the show. And then he reached out a couple of years ago, and we've actually become very good friends. He is super conservative. But he loves my show. And I'm like, great, that's cool. And, you know, over the years, he would call me when, like, he was having issues with his wife, like, when he and his wife were having a conflict, he would, you know, I was he because, you know, I wasn't, I'm on the other side of the country, I could just be kind of a neutral listening ear. And I'm like, Yes, of course, I will do this, of course, you know, you're in pain, you're suffering, you know, you're and then the election happened, and 2020. And he was 100%, on the Trump, or on the Biden stole the election, Trump actually won. And, you know, he, he just kept sending me this stuff, he kept sending me these, you know, these, these ridiculous claims of, you know, here's a truck full of shredded ballots, and here's a, just all of this stuff. And, and I was like, okay, that's big, if true. But you know, here's what, you know, here, here's how I would think about this. And here are some principles of healthy skepticism that I personally try to follow. And here's how I would apply that to this situation. And it just took months of that back and forth. And then finally, earlier this year, he texted me and was like, I've been wrong this whole time. This is just a conspiracy. And I won't say that I was responsible for that he was the one who put the dots together. He's He's the one who connected the dots. Right. But it also the same thing happened with him, you know, eventually, kind of beginning to get trans people, you know, like, you know, kind of beginning to get LGBT stuff. And I again, I won't take credit for that, because he's the one who put the dots together. But I'm, but I do think I probably played a role in just being a nice human who didn't, who didn't accuse him of anything. You know, who didn't? I didn't say you're a monster.

Logan Albright 52:26 That's why I think the country got on board with the gay marriage debate so quickly, is like everybody had a friend who was an LGBT person. And they said, Oh, my friend isn't a bad person. They're in love the why shouldn't they be allowed to be married? And you know, it came from personal connections, it did exactly, exactly political propaganda or shouting at people. But that change happened so rapidly, because it was all done on a friendship level. And I think that's the best way to try to relate to people, it's hard because it doesn't scale very well. Like it's hard to do that online to millions of people, you kind of have to go out and meet people and talk to them one on one for that to happen. So it's, it seems daunting and slow. But I think that's the way you really affect that kind of hearts and minds changes that you want to do.

Stephen Bradford Long 53:05 Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it goes back to what Harvey Milk said in the movie milk where he said, everyone must come out is back in the you know, 70s Because he knew that suddenly, if everyone had a gay son or a gay sister or a gay grandfather or whatever, then it would change the world. And he was completely right about that. Well, I wish that we had time to talk to him about libertarian anarchy, but but we're running out of time. Maybe we can do that another time.

Logan Albright 53:32 Happy to anytime you want. Awesome.

Stephen Bradford Long 53:35 Well, this has been this has been a lot of fun. Thank you so much for coming on. Where for people who are interested in your work in your book, where can they find that?

Logan Albright 53:46 The book is available now or it's available for pre order now it actually launches on December 1, you can get it on amazon.com or wherever fine books are sold. It's called conformer be cast out. The literal demonization of nonconformist. There it is the book I think is out now. So if you want to book rather than a physical copy, you can get those and if you want more of my stuff, I also do writing and music and video production. You can go to my personal website, which is Logan albright.com

Stephen Bradford Long 54:10 Perfect. I will put all of that in the shownotes This is a reminder that this show is a conversation this is not the final word. So if you have thoughts on anything that I have said anything that Logan has said if you think we're right if we think if you think we're wrong, I really want to hear back from you. The best way to do that is through my Discord server there will be a link in the show notes, Discord servers, the best way to join in the ongoing conversation every single day. There's new stuff going on there and lots of fantastic conversation about each episode. All right, well, that is it for this show. As always, the music is by eleventy seven the theme song is wild. You can find it on Apple Music Spotify, or wherever you listen to music This show is written, produced and edited. by me, Steven Bradford long and is a production of rock handy recordings, as always Hail Satan. And thanks for listening