Arthur Brooks & Simon Sinek

Matthew 5.43-48:

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

From The Arthur Brooks Show for 29 March 2019, starts at around 18.00.

Simon Sinek: You have a wonderful phrase in this book that I absolutely love: the “Outrage Industrial Complex”, which is this business of contempt to sell advertising.  And contempt breeds contempt.  And there are a few people who are profiting from our contempt, both financially but to benefit their elections as well.  Tell us more about this “Outrage Industrial Complex”.

Arthur Brooks: There’s a non-profit group called More in Common, that does outstanding original surveys, polling of people’s attitudes, because they want to bring the country, the world together, which is the ultimate meritorious cause in my view.

They find that 93% of Americans hate how divided we are as a country.  Here’s the problem: that means 7% like how polarized we’ve become as a country.  That’s because they’re profiting from it.  They might not be profiting in money–although they might; lucrative television contracts, and money, and fame, and power, and influence, and prestige, and clicks, and popularity, and attention.  You know that 7%.

But we here–virtually all of you, I hope, join me and Simon in the 93%.  So we’ve gotta fight back.

The Outrage Industrial Complex is using us, they’re bullying us, they’re terrorizing the country by driving us to be against each other.

We have differences politically; that’s GREAT, that’s the fruit of democracy, that’s the promise of this country.  That’s the reason the Sineks and the Brookses, as ambitious riffraff, that they made their way to America.  So that they could work hard and rise to the top and disagree and not have a knock in the night and a jackbooted thug at the door.  We have to protect that.

And we have the world on our side, or at least 93% of the country on our side.  That’s a really great thing.  The Outrage Industrial Complex right now is driving the bus.  But it’s time for us to take the wheel.

SS: How do we?

AB: We take the wheel by recognizing that it’s a big problem for us.  Recognizing that we’re being torn apart and we cannot reconcile and we can’t make progress as long as they’re in charge.  And the first thing that you do is deprive oxygen [from] those who need it, who need the attention, who need the clicks, who need the money, who need the views.

SS: Except they’re the car accident that we’re slowing down to watch, so we can’t simply speed up.

AB: But knowledge is power on this.  We have to make a moral choice about what we want to give our attention to.

And most people are scratching an itch, there’s a habit of contempt.  If we don’t like the habit, we have to be conscious of it and break the habit.  So you have to substitute something for it.

You will find that if you expand the space between stimulus and response, and if you put warm-heartedness in it, you will not be interested in the Outrage Industrial Complex any more.

SS: So does that mean that Fox viewers should turn off Fox and MSNBC viewers should turn off MSNBC?

AB: Whatever is scratching your itch; your favorite columnist, your favorite news network, whatever: if something is really ideologically biased, and it’s firing you up; anybody who is saying, “You’re right, and they’re stupid,” MUTE IT.

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