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tv   After Words Vivek Ramaswamy Woke Inc.- Inside Corporate Americas...  CSPAN  November 28, 2021 10:00pm-11:01pm EST

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we arestarting to knock down one by one . >> it is painful and i think i thank you so much for writing it and thank you for joining us to talk about it. >> thank you angie for your thoughtful engagementand thank you to everyone who chose to spend the night with me. it's been a pure joy to be here . >> thank you from doubleday and kepler's books in menlo park. in santa cruz california, all of which have plenty of copies so avail yourself of them now. i am wishing you a grand good night, happy health, be well. good night. >> up next on "after words", entrepreneur vivek ramaswamy argues corporate america is
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signing on to woke culture only to increase profits. he's interviewed by harvard university economics professor greg mankiw. "after words" is a program with relevant guest hosts interviewing top nonfiction authors about their latest rv work. >> so vivek ramaswamy, welcome. it's a delight to be here to chat with you . congratulations on the book. i know how much work it is to write a book and congratulations on its great success. i've been watching its sales rise on amazon and obviously you hit a chord. it's a great book, very readable, very provocative. and on a very important topic so i'm delighted to be here to chat with you before we getto the book , i would like you to talk a little bit about your biography because i think your biography shaped the things your writing about and you have an interesting biography that obviously i didn't know. it's so tell us a little bit
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about that. >> i appreciate that. i was born and raised in ohio which is where i live today and my parents were immigrants, my dad came over in the late 70s and my mom in the early 80s . side story, i had to ask my dad why did you come halfway across the world to cincinnati ohio of all places and he says his sister had come over to fort wayne indiana which of course caused me to ask her why she came halfway around the world to fort wayne indiana and it's the only us state with the word indiacontained in the name of the state . but we were raised in ohio. we didn't come from much money but they did have an education and that's one of the valuable things they gave us.i went to public school till it grade, went to a
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catholic high school and graduated in 2003.9/11 took place in high school and was something thatshaped my worldview as a young american and i then went to harvard . i did take the class that i believe you teach now, so i was a biology major and studied molecular biology and i was mostly a nerdy science guy from college and when i graduated i got into the world of biotech investing in the fall of 2007 before the 2008 financial crisis which i will say also dramatically change my view of not only capitalism but fthe merger of capitalism and politics . i did that for several years and i did it for seven years that i told my boss as i was going to leave and go to law school because i have this it at the intersection of law and political philosophy i had never scratched and it turned out that got me some career mobility said you could manage a portfolio, the forward mail so that's what i did and i said three years there . my wife, she was my next-door yneighbor but when i graduated i came back to my job as an
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investor cand realized i was much more interested in getting hands-on in addressing some of the inhibitions in big pharma i couldn't address as an investor so i lost my left my job as an investor and started a biotech company which idols chfrom 2014 to 202 . i served for seven years as company ceo and i stepped d down this january to give myself the latitude to street freely in an uninhibited way and not only rolling out this book addressing some of the contentious issues that are now speaking openly about as a citizen so i have to say the company was a challenge, probably one of the most challenging things in my professional career but i felt i may need to speak freely in a way that can only harm the company but needed to exercise newhat i had seen behind closed doors and i wasn't born into elite america that i have lived
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with it for the last decade and some of the things i learned i think were experiences and insights and perspectives i felt i needed to share to be able to shape the conversation about where we go from here and i think that's what the heart of this discussion about the relationship with capitalism he and democracy. >> you did a great job in the book, summarizing the theme but i take it that when capitalism and democracy are mixed up too much, both suffer for it. it's very clear what each of those two pillars are, what they can do so you experience as a ceo even before you're running a major company, even as a student so you have this great story in the book about your summer atgoldman sachs, you want to tell us about
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that ? >> goldman sachs is one of the architects i keep coming back to my book about the relationship between the private sector and governments, between capitalism and democracy. i think goldman sachs for better or worse and in my opinion or worse provides that relationship. goldman sachs was originally an investment bank but it's one of the financial institutions that's considered elite. getting a job at goldman sachs, that's like the pinnacle. better or worse. there's things i would like to have been good at was getting myself into the corridors of elite america back on that over the last 15 years. it's one of the better skills one can have. and have repeatedly practiced . i did that in the summer of 2016 when i took an internship at goldman sachs
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it was something i learned that summer but it wasn't the thing i expected to learn. i expected to learn about evaluating monies but i didn't learn much about that i did learn a lot about how to aggregate power. how to aggregate power away that wasn't actually appearing to smack of the aggregation of power. one of the ways to do it was goldman sachs hallmark event that summer which was a service, you go to harlem and you plant trees and whati noticed when i showed up at harlem's nobody was interested in planting trees . everyone showed up except for the boss but nobody was planting trees. they were telling investment war stories andnobody was planting trees . the thing we went to harlem to do and of course the boss shows up an hour late and by the way goldman sachs wore temperatures but they don't wear rolexes, they where these cheap black rubber wrist strap digital watches
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as a show of sort of false humility but he shows up with that watch and says a, we're going to take pictures and get out of here and that's what we did. we went to the bar and started drinking. b i said if we wanted to call it a social day we shouldhave called it back . in his response stuck with me. he said have you ever heard of the golden rule? i said treat others the way treated and he said no, the golden rule is this. he has the gold makes the rules. i call it the golden rule and i turned out i did learn something valuable that summer after all it's the golden rule i followed 10 years later when goldman sachs declares that they would not take a company public if it's board was
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insufficiently diverse and they didn't mean ideological diversity, payment racial and gender diversity. that abuse of market power to be able to exercise power in the marketplace of ideas is something i felt needed to be decided in our democracy large that was the basis for the largest corporate overreach of all. and that's lab of the book 's through the story you tell the beginning of the book about this girl. the famous statue in front of the wall street but you tell us about the fearless girl. >> fearless girl was supposed to be an icon. she makes the difference is what it says on the statue. she's supposed to stare down theiconic wall street bowl at the male power vested for . that was commissioned by the street global advisors. and it turns out that she
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stands not just for cheap but it's the of the exchanged phone. the well connected couple of stocks that embodies the progressive social values and of coursethey charge a fee in the process . they don't the statue around the same time they were facing a lawsuit for efrom female employees who alleged date they didn't get paid as much as their male counterparts so being accused by female employees of not paying them enough as much as their male counterparts of course the firm did what they expected them to do. they built a statue even better and you can't make this up, the creator of the statue created a few more copies of the statue because she was proud of what she created. the state sued her for creating unauthorized reproductions of the statue they had commissioned so it comes fullcircle . it's the magic trick i talk about in the book. you pretend you care about nothing other than profits and power.
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a good magic trick is not just making the money disappear, you have to bring the money back . it's a joke i tell in the book. you might remember this shortly after we met you interviewed a professor at law school who had taken an interest in some of these issues and he subsequently invited me to his class to get an early draft of the book . as the workshop that we worked out with this corporate law class and one of the things that happened to be the chapter that contain the fearless girl story and it was a girl in the class who raised her hand and said you know, i hated the story you told fearless girl inspires me and nobody can take that away, even state street can't take that away and that is something that went deeperinto my story . an early edraft and god knows the early draft looks nothing like the final book. i think that there's something to be said for really exploring the way in which maybe woken this can stand on its own two feet.
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a big part of what i taking in the book isn't just the woke ideology and end of its own right but its merger capitalism which takes both the progressive values that corporations are asked to be stewards of as well as taking purpose in and of its own right so that's what the heart of the book is about more than criticizing one side of the spectrum or the other class one suspects the artist may have had different motivations then state street . >> exactly. invited this uncomfortable marriage between the progressive left. it's in an arranged marriage but is not an american love. is more like mutual prostitution side gets something out of the trance action . state street got cover for their lawsuits of female employees and the same thing is happening i think rick
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large in the post-2008 era and occupy wall street where if you're a big back occupy wall street is a tough pill to swallow. you can hire an occupant wall street lecturer and you wouldn't like what they have to say. so what i think you effectively had happened was a generation of think tanks got together with a generation of millennial's to gather woke capitalism and that allow them to occupy wall street up for adoption. that's worked so well everyone else getting in on the act. they effectively censor or moderate content that the woke agenda doesn't want to see online but they don't do it for free because their unspoken ask is that the new democratic party looks the other way when it comes to their monopoly power. and i think that trade is working and whatever you think of whether or not their monopoly power is a good thing or bad thing, it is the
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trade that's working masterfully and oneof the goals of this book is to shine some sunlight on that reality . so that citizens can make their own objectives about whether it's a good thing or a bad thing. but step one is seeing the phenomenon itself with clear eyes and that's part of what i tried to do with the book. >> the example with state street and goldman we talk about where the companies were deeply cynical, they were still using a progressive agenda to further their own goals which were political at all. instead of getting more profit. but what about stakeholder capitalism more generally . can a ceo or a board on clinically embrace stakeholder capitalism or a ceo to say my shareholders have other goals other than maximizing profit so as that ceo i'm going to help achieve that goal whether it's increasing diversity or
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whatever. >> i'd like to take this opportunity to introduce ideas which are worth unpacking which are a few different kinds of woke capitalism or stakeholder capitalism, it's at least three different things. first you have the problem of the executive ultimately you think it's a problem or phenomenon of the executive that decides he's going to use his position as ceo to advance his conception of the social good even if that means using the shareholder resources as part of his platform. there telling the shareholders of the victims and allegedly people who don't like him feel the ceo may be breaching his fiduciary duty. like the ceo makes a multimillion dollar donation to his high school or to his temple where he worships . most people would agree that was the thing that would be a breach of fiduciary duty of
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being a shareholder of resources. part of this youcan debate is that same ceo writes a check to a different temple called black lives matter , why is that treated at any differently but that's the executive as culprit. the second is actually different. the shareholder as a victim but it might be the perpetrator or you say as ceo you work for us and we demand that you actually advance these particular ousocial values or your breaching your duty to us, the boss of shareholders. that's what blackrock tried to pull off in its capacity as shareholders where they have ssustainability accounting standards board that says if the company doesn't meet its standards they will disinvest with that company. now, i do have a problem with the woke executive at blackrock which has a phenomenon where it's not blackrock as investor but there's 1 million or more people who are investors have the money with blackrock and it's their ceo .
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and it's the woke executive all over again butáaside you have a number of investors saying that you as executive have to advance these values . both of those are different from the third phenomenon of what i call woke consumerism which is the consumers themselves demanding that the ceos of the companies that they buy products from and body the values that match their own values as consumers. i think we'd argue that's capitalism working. what i offer in the book is more cultural commentary to say that's a system of deeper cultural malaise where we as consumers and more importantly as citizens are hungry for a cause and hungry for a sense of purpose but we have resorted to superficial means like mixing morality withcommercialism to satisfy a moral hunger that demands more substantial things . that's one of three types of woke capitalism.
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there's a different axis ii and you touched on this as well. i think goldman sachs and state street have examples of financial systems more broadly that fall into that category . i think that's a big part of what i lay out in the book but there's a minority of cases in which corporations and their executives and boards and investors are pursuing it more authentically who believe in the values there ultimately using their platform to push and there's a place where i changed my mind in the course of writing this book. i began taking aim at the scanty kind of woke capitalism and by the end i was more convinced the bigger kinds of democracy was the more authentic kind where you have somebody using their corporate platform as a way de of sidestepping public debate and using force, economic
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force but forced nonetheless to settle the questions that want to be settled through free speech and open debate in a political democracy in the public square where everyone's voice and everyone's vote is equally, not adjusted by the amount of dollars they control and to me that was the biggest threat of all and one of the biggest realizations was my own perspective . >> another way in which it manifests is employees, not only consumers but you have an interesting story where you were ceo of what happened in the aftermath of the black lives matter movement. can you tell us about that? >> i think what i learned was my experience as ceo was nearly identical to that of many others in similar positions so in the wake of george floyd's death and it was a tragic death which was decidedly a murder but there was a national recognition about race relations. but there was also a demand that companies somehow play a rc role in rectifying that problem and i have an issue
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twith that. i certainly take issue with the blanket claim of systemic racism as a term without actually defining more specifically what that means . that's on the content of the demand that was being made but i do not think corporations should be using their market power to subsidize the debate thatwant to be taking place in the public square in our democracy . a lot of my employees feel the same way. they said we came to work in a corporation that did more than just pursue profit. we were in the business of developing medicine for patients who needed them and many patients including myself would say it's higher than that but in the eyes of my younger employees there was a new expectation that the business played a role. that business broadly play a role in other types of social
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injustice that was a system that led to a deep level of reflection and introspection for me wondering not only whether i was going to make the right counterargument but was i wrong and not only with my own employees but some of my investors and board members felt the same way or raised similar questions made me question whether i was willing to be the slave of some intellectual philosophy i have learned in places like economics at harvard and whether i was actually in the wrong in failing to think about the unique challenges of modernity where government was, or corporations did need to address social issues that they weren't addressing. i came out on the other side with a stronger conviction in my own position of why it was important for democracy and capitalism to separate each from the other but it was on the other side of a journey that i'm grateful for and i'm
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grateful to my own employees for taking me through a personal journey of deconstructing fat and building it up with i think greater and more solid foundations . >> you eventually stepped down. in part to write the book. and there were these continuing pressures coming from the board and your employees . how do you think you would respond? >> it's funny, i went through that journey of introspection th and one of the ways it and it was months later when i realized i came full circle that typically unlike the ceos who have a different worldview who are perfectly comfortable using their seat of corporate power, i never did that or at least i believe i never did it during my time as ceo. however i had begun speaking out regularly writing in the wall street journal and appearing on cable television on media expressing my own views on the very topic of
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woke capitalism, the spread of critical race theory and academia and the spread of ideas! by critical theory . these are condensed topics and i had to do is that back and in some ways it's what i preached. i walked the walk recognizing any ceo while i did my best to avoid using the corporate platform as a way of forcing my views on others the topic i was talking about was such that that was impossible to do perfectly so in order to actually protect the company from my own perspective to protect my own ability to speak freely without having to think about what the stewardship role of the company was . how important it was to separate my role as ceo my role as a citizen. and you know, to be candid i wouldn't have been free to write everything i was writing the book if i had to run it through the lens of deciding the path i was going to have on the extrapolated
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to be the business voice on these issues to i separated myself from my voicing that in the company and i elevated a new person to the role of ceo and i realize i could speak freely as a citizen and i hope everyone would find of what i had to say was right. >> i wonder if you had continued on whether youwould have felt forced to do . that's maybe a cynical kind of woke capitalism, if you felt your job was to maximize shareholder value in this strange alliance between the progressive left and corporations, they then need to maximize shareholder value is saying that this woke capitalism maybe what goldman sachs was doing is pursuing an obligation to shareholders . it's possible.
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>> i openly explore that possibility in the book. that's the argument of the third philosophy of woke consumerism, it's a symptom of a deeper cultural malaise and a moral vacuum we need to fill and wokeism if you're thinking that as a given in certain sectors it could be true that there's a temporary market inefficiency and there's a greater opportunity in that direction where you have half the country that is right frustrated with nike killing its virtue and alliance with black lives matter when there are alternatives that could be an opportunity for somebody to create a right-wing alternative version for example to the left-wing version that is ultimately pursuing the consumer sector today . that's black rifle coffee is
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an av copy for republicans. i talk about this in the book. if this were shark tank and i was betting on it and there's a continent entrepreneur there is an opportunity to use the different set of values, not progressive values but more conventionally conservative values and commingle that with the pursuit of profit in a way that appeals to a different kind of cause . i don't think that's good for us as a people or a country though because the private sector used to be places that brought people together irrespective of whether they were black or white or democrat or republican . but what was then? we actually lose the possibility of solidarity itself with our economy and our companies and our sports to become politicized as they have i worry if we lose those apolitical sanctuaries use to bring us together across divisions we may be closer to a trajectory towards civil war than when we are towards achieving solidarity in our own life and once we have to
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economies, either republican or democratic companies that may be the end of the american experience aswe know it . or at least the version that you and i grew up idealizing that we can each pursue in the economy but again the backdrop of economic solidarity is still bound together as citizens. if that fractious policy invades this fear of the economy that actually brings people together as you talk about in the early part of the book about how the spread of capitalism else break down the caste system capitalism has the ability to bring people together across culturally divided categories . once we lose that that makes capitalism a source of further division i would argue that's the beginning of the end and maybe it's where we're heading absent some kind of cultural intervention and i hope this book serves as one of the cultural interventions.
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>> you mentioned a moment ago some shifts that you had about the idea of civic racism. i want to explore that a little bit. you mention that in the book but don't go intoa lot of depth about it .th it's the case the legacy of slavery that african americans today on average experience worse economic outcomes and more difficulty in life than other racial and ethnic groups. to what extent do corporations have a responsibility for thinking about that and to what extent if not the corporations what other institutions do you think should bestepping up and what should they do ? >> i have issues with the modern dogma of systemic racism. one of them is a claim of descriptive clarity . it is unclear what the term even means. racism means it is taking
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action on the basis of some type of pernicious prejudice. that's racism. i think it's wrong and i think it exists and we should come back it. it exists in a much smaller scale today than ithas in prior american history . we've made any progress to reduce the problem that racism represents that racism represented a pressing problem decades ago and i don't think it represents a pressing problem than the way it did 50 or 60 years ago. anybody who claims it does which is part of the progressive left claims today is disingenuous to say that we are in the same place we were in the jim crow era or where we were in the 1960s horse 70s or in the area of the 1860s when we had slavery is a pretty preposterous claim so first of all i think systemic racism is a sloppy way of defining what the
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problem itself is. i understand what racism is. i don't believe the narrative of systemic racism has even been defined as a phenomenon . i have a different problem too. the same force that gives us the verbiage of systemic racism gives us a set of solutions that demands writing racism with more racism and i personally am of the john roberts school of thought which is the best way to end discrimination is to stopdiscriminating on the basis of race . >> .. >> ic that's a big part of my view that dogma of systemic racism effectively co-mingled with a set of solutions that demand furtherol racialized and solutis which are to be counterproductive in every direction including in the direction of actually serving poorly the black community andmu
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some brown communities that i think are supposed to have been helped by this dogma. the third thing i really reject is the idea that we should ask the bring a prism race to evaluating struggles that could equally or more powerfully be evaluated through the lens of class instead. underpinnings which a black woman will always be disempowered relative to a person who might live 10 miles down the street from me here in ohio that might be going through the opioid epidemic, rustbelt version of white america that involves a load of poor people that may be having struggles of their own but may not be black or a woman and i reject the idea that opera winfrey and her struggle as a black woman ought to have more of the concerns than somebody that might be a poor white man. i think that 90% of what we could agree on is the people
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that are more economically disempowered access to a feared education and access to capital and to participate in the equal participants in the economy, that is a universal message for the left to embrace that lifts everyone up from the disempowerment that everyone shares in the same way. part of the issue obfuscates what could empower everyone but instead of obsessing over the characteristics like race, gender, orientation which is what the movement is focused on today. the narrative is sloppy and lazy and ought to define what we need for the inequities we do need to address that affect people that has nothing to do with race.
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>> you might be rethinking affirmative action. >> i want to give my nuance position. affirmative action is a disservice to the people it's supposed to help in part for the simple reason when you look at a black pilot once they have a quota system based on those of color that have to get rid of the test for with a previously used, there's no way that any human being can be faulted for having a moment or instinct of questioning whether they would have passed the same tests in order to create this new system and i think that fosters a new
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brand of judgment that no pilot deserves and that is something that is unjust not only to those excluded is so that might be one but the injustice that can't be distinguished that creates a new wave of racism on its own reinforcing the idea that they could not excel but for the elite intervention. this idea that has gained popularity the to the discipline of math and of the idea of two plus two equals four because of the inequitable outcomes in the achievement is it to solve a racist idea and one of the things we risk doing when it's reached an all-time low we are throwing kerosene on it and that
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is part of it. as it pertains to harvard, there's something to be said in a liberal arts university to create the conditions for students to have an opportunity with every strike and banner. i as a kid that came up as a first-generation kid would never have interacted with. it was a totally different culture just as my kids from the inner city that grew up in a different circumstance than i did and i think i benefited from all of those things. there is five times as many that could have been qualified as
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though the ability to use an idea of composing a diverse class on the basis of diversity experience is what i would say for the diversity experience is for the diversity of the experiences and the best way for the thought. the idea of using race or gender as a proxy commits the very transgression that racism was committing in the first place and i think we should reject it in the corporate sphere as it pertains to the liberal arts universities at the end of the day we would be better off there and elsewhere with the product of affirmative action and begin an earnest process and diversity of thought and we would end up
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with classes or corporate workforces that don't look that different that was a much more vibrant process. >> let's change topics a little bit. you talk about the woke capitalism and on the managerial class who do you mean and how do they benefit? >> the entrepreneurs, the founders, the investors, the employees that follow for the three legs of the stool. it is hired management, people paid by the shareholders to run the company that then created bureaucratic layers between those other stakeholders. the problem is this, the more people you are accountable to,
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the less accountable you are to any given one of them and then you are accountable to no one. the managerial class and powers itself by increasing the number of not only shareholders but stakeholders to whom they are accountable and one of the things that allows them to create power is an infinite set of people that can claim they are serving somebody else's interest when they could never communicate with one another. it's one of the failures that you discuss in the economic class or law schools to be a steward for the person that is the ultimate owner but this is the principal agent problem at large when you ultimately say not only are they responsible for the shareholders but also people that are not shareholders at all that might be so-called
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stakeholders and this is one thing progressives miss like systemic racism, stakeholders is poorly defined. anyone could be a stakeholder and the political implications once the corporations become vectors they become vehicles to advance any values and no one has managed to make themselves a quiet stakeholder more effectively than the party of china and now flexing its muscle as a stakeholder to do some dangerous things even in the future of the free world as we know it. how does china take advantage of it? >> by turning on the head of the philosophy of the democratic capitalism in the 1990s and
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1980s where we began in my opinion on the misguided premise that we could use capitalism as a victor to spread out our own political values like democracy. we thought we could use our money to get them to be more like us and instead, china has turned that on its head and have used their economic muscle to get us to be more like them. they thought that would spread democracy but instead they loaded up the horses that are undermining american interests in the global state and i will tell you what, i mean. when you meet the demands of the stakeholder capitalism, part of the demand is the companies criticize injustice even micro aggressions like systemic racism or misogyny or bigotry yet as
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they continue to do business in china they said they could not shoot a film in the state of georgia if georgia and the equivalent of an antiabortion statute like a heartbeat will. they didn't say a peep as they filmed mulan last year with over 1 million in concentration camps subject to forced sterilization, communist indoctrination. one of the human rights abuses with of the third reich of germany as he doesn't say a thing in fact at the end if you look at the credits they quietly thanked the local authorities including some of those that are responsible for committing the human rights atrocities. so it isn't just about hypocrisy.
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it's about the standing of the united states by creating a false moral equivalence between what i think of as chinese nihilism and i think that erodes the greatest asset of all it is our moral standing on the global stage and once we lost that, i think we lost our status as a great power in what i think is the defining cold war of the next century. >> we need leaders. do we need to change our cultural mindset? who is supposed to change their behavior? >> the biggest solutions are in the culture and that is where i'm the most focused on the legal solutions in the book policy solutions that could make a difference. some of it is the on even work for us right now a lot of people are afraid of expressing their
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beliefs on their own time is the number of people over the course of the last couple of years for what they said at home or on social media is staggering and that is a good list of examples in the book and i think that is the policy that is not applied. for the race and gender and sexual orientation and origin altogether we apply evenhandedly in a way that reflects the discrimination that we see in the workplace today on the basis of the political speech so add political speech or belief in the category right there for national religion and you can't be fired for being black, jewish, white, whatever or not spoken liberal for that matter. those are the kind of solutions
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where i spend it at a time. among other things it immunizes private companies, internet companies in particular for removing content that is otherwise constitutionally protected and it's one of the statutes that says otherwise in the text of the statute itself. even if you don't get the special protection from the states or you do get the special federal protection bound by the same constraints in the federal government itself including the first amendment of the constitution of the united states and that is one of the arguments i make they are working hand in glove to censor hate speech information and my basic principle if it is a state action in disguise then the constitution still applies.
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you can't have it both ways. we have to apply policies in an evenhanded way. the backdrop that we do not need to those policies in the first place or the protected classes at a civil rights statutes, everybody else seems to think they are necessary but we need to modernize them in ways that actually request the unintended consequences of the political discrimination that they've created today. what i think we really need in this country is a cultural cure and revival of the shared identity is. hard work, the kind of things that use to fill the void, those have disappeared and what we need to do is not to cancel the woke miss and return or the capitalism but the irrelevance by building the shared identity of what it means to be an american in 2021 that makes the
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other philosophies look irrelevant by comparison. the impact beginning to move the ball forward where we may not be celebrating our diversity as much or let's define this together as one people. what's harder in some ways is much more grassroots sort of phenomenon. there may be some, but i agree it's hard. by definition there's unintended consequences of the policy i propose in the book and ones i didn't consider. but at the end of the day it's a surface level. we need the revival of the shared american identity. it's one of the most important things to talk about.
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we've lost a sense of the pursuit of excellence as an end in itself and personally when americans rally around the cry to make america great again, i don't think they were rallying behind a donald trump, i think they were rallying behind the unapologetic pursuit of excellence and we live in a moment where there is a new anti-excellence culture of this victimhood and heights from victory that one of the defining ideals is the shared pursuit of excellence i see a lot of it in minority communities who may be blaming second generation rather than me who have a practice towards their excellence with
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the mediocrity and i was worried about that culture of mediocrity affecting the public life and i wanted that pursuit of excellence as a shared american idea that can bring us together and lift up the people along with it. that isn't something i touch on in the book but it's an undercurrent. if i write a sequel, that is what it would be about but it's the cultural revival that i'm talking about here. you've had an amazing career and have written a best-selling book. i'm curious what does the future hold? >> i started thinking about
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that. to be able to speak in an uninhibited way at least the beginning to what it could be and one of the things i quickly started learning as i started thinking about what it could entail is that you become a presenter of your own plans end of the things you say have to become the means to an end of achieving what you want to go after next and i found a way for me that was most liberating for the defined end for the time being. that's new for me. it's something i've been blessed with what that's given me. at the end of the day i wanted
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to take a year at least. i hope people benefit from it and probably this time next year i will have to figure out what plan comes after that. it wasn't something that appealed to me this year in the context of writing this book. with a pull string of numbers or sort of understanding of how the focus group reacts to it.
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i wanted to finish that process and see it through. looking at the possibility for myself is it is not something that you should do for any reason other than a thinking about it as a service and if i ever did go into politics it wouldn't be for a long time it would be with a predefined stint i was going to get off after i served and did my part. a big part of the change we need to see is in our culture and lawmaking can't fix that. do i think they are rare drivers of change in culture, sure. ronald reagan did it but i think that there are a lot of ways a lot of which come outside of
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politics to see where we could have the most impact personally,. >> did you see any moving out in the direction? >> not to that immediately come to mind i will be honest with you. you explicitly endorsed the shareholder capitalism and he is explicit in moving the direction you are advocating. >> i still rooted for his success. he said he wanted to unify the country. i took him at his word and was rooting for him to succeed because that had been something that was probably what the
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country they need now more than anything else. i'm not sure how committed he was or is to that idea. look at the struggle with driving back the nation in the country and the single thing he could have done when taking office was to give credit to the administration. forget about whether you think it was deserved or whether you like the guy or not if your goal was to bring the country together to end the pandemic where you have a lot of lipservice the greatest way to build trust around that and solidarity would have been to give credit to the predecessor or someone to your cells. i'm worried that even the president that made at the the platformunified in the couns already fallen short of the occasion to do the opposite of that. is there anybody that icn bodying that idea.
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it's going to be somebody i'm thinking of right now may not even be in the front pages of the newspapers. i'm sure that that person or those people exist i just hope they step up and do what the country needs. >> i love your book and i think it is a very readable important issue. i don't think anybody would have trouble -- if you look at your own intellectual development, it
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was very influential. is there anything that you recommend? >> somebody that writes about the psychological need created by capitalism itself, one of the books i wanted recommended was a story that i quoted in the book but i think that it is one of the books that captures the human experience in a way that only literature can. there's a story that didn't come from the bible titled the grand inquisitor where christ comes back to earth in the middle of
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the spanish inquisition and the grand inquisitor he has him arrested and puts him in a prison cell and of the dialogue of the chapter is what the grand inquisitor says to christ in that prison cell. we the church don't need you anymore. being here is an impediment to the church and then he sentenced christ to death. in the book what i talk a little bit about is that parallel diversity with true diversity of thought all the while keeping up the diversity. there are so many different layers that i take away from what is written. a couple more books that are not bad either our senegal theories which i discussed in the book
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that talk about the postpartum philosophy that i gathered from the social media commentary but i quoted them in my book and i think there is a book that came out recently that doesn't focus on the corporate but focuses on academia. the parasitic mind fits that description as well. i don't know a lot of the ideas that they had developed in the spheres of public life but i applied them to my analysis and went in a different direction altogether so that is a few things that stuck with me off the top of my >> host: thank you. does a great recommendations. vivek ramaswamy, thank you very much and congratulations onn yor book thank you, thank you. i appreciate that.
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>> "after words" is available as a podcast. to listen visit or search c-span "after words" on your podcast app and watches in all previous "after words" interviews at just click the "after words" button near the top of the page. >> weekends on c-span2 are an intellectual feast. every saturday american history tv documents america's stories, and on sundays booktv brings you the latest in nonfiction books and authors. funding for c-span2 comes from these television companies, and more including comcast. >> comcast is partnering with 1000 community centers to create wi-fi enabled lift zones so students from low income families can get the tools they need to be ready for anything. >> comcast, along with these
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television companies, supports c-span2 as a public service. >> here's a look at some publishing industry news. former president trump is releasing a book of photos from his time in office. the book title our journey together is being published a winning team publishing cofounded by donald trump, jr. and will go on sale december 7. the "new york times" has released their annual list of the 100 notable books of the year. issues nonfiction titles include on juneteenth, the american war in afghanistan, woke racism, on freedom, and the chancellor, just to name a few. a memorial to the late english novelist virginia woolf is being criticized for its planned location. the statute of the novel is seated on a park bench was to be position overlooking the thames river. critics argue for suicide by drowning in 1941 is a reason to reason to move the memorial to another site. according to npd book scan,
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print book sales were up close to 12% for the week ending november 13. adult nonfiction sales had another strong week and are up almost 7% for the year. booktv will continue to bring you new programs and publishing news and you can also watch all of our past programs anytime at >> good evening virtual audience and welcome. thank you for joining us tonight. my name is hilary carr and a half of harvard book store i'm pleased to introduce sheryll cashin with a new book "white space, black hood: opportunity hoarding and segregation in the age of inequality." joint and conversation by tomiko brown-nagin. thank you for joining uss tonight. through virtual events like tonight harvard book store brings authors and the a work to our community and our new digital community. of the week will host events on our zoom account as always our event scheduled appears on her where you can signrs up. this evening


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