Momentum Podcast: 692
We Are Being Radicalized Against Each Other
by Alex Charfen
There's no question in the last year, people have become much more reactive, it also feels that people are actually looking for a fight and there's a clear, logical reason why so many good people are fighting against one another.
In this episode of the Momentum podcast, Alex is going to talk about how to understand what's really going on and how we can adjust our behaviors to prevent ourselves from being manipulated. I hope you enjoy.
I am not a conspiracy theorist, I’m a realist. In the past year, it’s shocking just how much more reactive people are, and how many people are looking for a fight.
There is a clear, logical reason, why so many good people are fighting with each other. The more we understand about what's going on, the more we can adjust our behaviors and prevent ourselves from being manipulated.
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Full Audio Transcript
[00:00:01] This is the Momentum podcast.
[00:00:04] There's no question in the last year, people have become much more reactive, it also feels that people are actually looking for a fight and there's a clear, logical reason why so many good people are fighting against one another. In this episode of the Momentum podcast, Alex is going to talk about how to understand what's really going on and how we can adjust our behaviors to prevent ourselves from being manipulated.
[00:00:31] I hope you enjoy.
[00:00:33] I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the momentum podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazer, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds, those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop. And we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate. There could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real.
[00:01:29] We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution and we always will be.
[00:01:42] This weekend, I actually sat down and wrote out some notes around how you and I are being radicalized against each other and how people on social media are being radicalized against each other. And it's such a massive challenge. So here's what I've seen recently. I'm 48 years old and I'm very observant and I pay a ridiculous amount of attention to details, probably too much. Sometimes it's distracting. I'm very sensitive and also empathetic. And when I look at what's happening right now, today in the world, I see a I see a population that is more ready to fight and attack each other and go against each other and insult each other than I've ever seen in my entire career and life as a coach, as a business person.
[00:02:31] This is this is more at a fever pitch than I've ever seen.
[00:02:35] Now, that being said, it's also because where I'm seeing that is the places where fighting and anger and anything that that creates reactivity or anything that sensational gets the most attention. I'm going to talk about that in just a second. Now, I want to make something very clear. I'm not a conspiracy theorist. I don't I don't think there's some group of people somewhere that are trying to radicalize us against each other and doing all of the things I'm going to talk about. But I here's what I do believe.
[00:03:01] I think that the things that I want to share with you individually are adding up together to be kind to become the perfect environment, to create radicalization in the United States. You know, radicalization is something that in other parts of the world is is something that that is is has been around forever.
[00:03:22] You know, we know about this. Radicalized, radicalized religious groups are radicalized armies radicalize militaries and places where people have been pushed over the edge to acting in ways that are not incongruent and they're unintelligible and. They're frightening, you know, so I'll share with you what prompted me putting this together. I made a post on Facebook on January 23 that says, is it just me or is anyone else shocked at how quiet the world got in the past week? Now, I want to share a perspective. I don't watch a lot of news. I actually I don't ever watch regular news. I don't have cable TV. So if I'm ever going to watch something, it's in retrospect looking it up on Facebook or YouTube, usually to see something specific. And I get on and I get off and I do not spend a lot of time in the mainstream media of any kind or the alternative media of any kind. You know, the what media has become is so difficult to understand and difficult to follow and difficult to comprehend. And you have to know who's talking about what and why they're talking about it. I'm not I just I don't follow any of that stuff. And so my post, is it just me or is anyone else shocked at how quiet the world got in the past week? Was my reaction to being on calls for weeks with people and having people be agitated and anxious? And I'm empathic. I can feel it. I would get on member calls and people would be wound up and agitated. I get on calls with my daily to with my team and people would be wound up and agitated. And what I noticed was beginning around January 20th is Biden's inauguration, where everybody felt like a lot of people let out a sigh of relief that everyone I talked to seemed calmer and more regulated and more in their bodies. And I want to make something very clear out. I talked to Republicans and Democrats. I'm not from the United States. I'm not a Republican or a Democrat. [00:05:10] I'm an independent or a libertarian or something. But just I don't declare any of that stuff because the parties are so weird. But I have serious challenges with Democratic policy and serious challenges with Republican policies. And I think most logical people do. But in the United States has become this pick a team thing and then people want to identify what side of the team you're on and then they start yelling at each other. I wasn't trying to do any of that. I was just saying that people around me seem a lot quieter and there's a lot less nervous energy in the air. Immediately people started like attacking on this post. It was, you know, what about this? And we all know why. It's quiet and we all know what happened in the mainstream media, this and this and that. And I'm like people are literally walking around looking for a fight. And so that's why I'm doing this. That's why I wanted to do this live. [00:05:55] And here's here's what I want to like. I just want all of us to understand what groups do to radicalize people. [00:06:03] So we've all heard of radicalization, right? We unfortunately, United States, it's almost like immediately tied to radical Islam. But let's get real. There's such a thing as radical Christianity. There's people in the United States who have been radicalized, who have acted in ways that's nuts based on their belief in Christianity. So you can radicalize around any religion. And here's how radicalization normally works. No. One, radicalization and radicalization takes the stripping down of an identity. You know, the military uses this. That's how they get people to, like, go and fight. They stripped down identity first. So you stripped down identity. Any military in the whole world uses this, but militant groups do, too. So first you strip an identity and then and that usually comes with the change of clothing or the change of habit, the change of routine, the change of hair, something some massive changes in people's lives. And then you install a new one step by step. You start feeding them information that at first is not too radical and believable, and then you just go a little further and a little further and a little further and a little further and a little further. And that's how you create a radicalized human being. [00:07:08] And when you look at what's happened in the United States, I think what we all need to be aware of and like start breathing around and meditating around and calming down around is that there doesn't need to be a conspiracy for these things to exist. See, the coronavirus has has created this environment where so many people have had their identities challenged or lost. Millions of business owners have gone out of business and they've lost their identities. Tens of millions of people have lost their jobs, they've lost their identities. And and a lot of people who who had a routine and a process have lost that routine and process. Everyone I know has had relationships effective, affected or damaged. And people are walking around more preloaded, more in Firefly and in overwhelmed than than I've ever seen in my entire life. Most likely due to coronavirus, but due to a lot of partially, but due to a lot of other things as well. And so here's why this is so important for us to understand. Did we go through massive change that removed identity? Absolutely. There were a lot of us like bewildered and shocked and confused and overwhelmed and disoriented, 100 percent. You know, I feel lucky that I've worked out of my home. I homeschool my kids like we haven't experienced that massive change. But even without the tactical daily changes, we've still felt all of those things. And then when you look at the world around us today, there's like a perfect environment to take us with our stripped down identities totally disoriented. And then we get on these things called social media for news. And I want to talk about these individually. So social media, one of the biggest issues with this is that we create an environment that we think is reality. What we all have to understand is based on what we like, based on what we look at, based on what we add to our social media base, what we post on social media, every one of the social media companies, 100 percent of them have artificial intelligence that is running, watching us and understands what to give us next, to do the following, to make us feel validated, to make us feel like we're heard, to make us feel like we have compatriots out there that are supporting us and behind us and then to piss us off, that's literally their pattern. Show you that you're among friends and then get you angry because anger is the most viral emotion online. And again, this is not a conspiracy theory. Artificial intelligence has figured this out. And so it's literally exactly what's happening to us. Everyone that we pick this every time we pick this up and every time we go on social media with every action we take, that artificial intelligence is getting smarter at radicalizing us and feeding us more. And here's why it radicalizes us. A.I. has figured out that if it feeds increasingly radical information, increasingly extraordinary information, increasingly out on the edge information over time, people will keep watching. There was a month where on YouTube there was a flat earth video that was served up over 32 million times because the artificial intelligence realized that if they slip flat earth into all the other stuff, people would keep watching. We have to be aware of this if we're on social media. And then it's not just I look at the news networks. When I was a kid, News was on ABC, NBC and CBS. There was the Fairness Doctrine. Everything had to be equal. Everybody got fair time. So most people were arguing about who were arguing about the news, were arguing about the same story lines. Today, we have so many news networks that not just are we creating this very custom environment here on social media that validates us, that radicalizes us more. We then add it to a news network. And, you know, it used to be MSN or CNN or MSNBC on the left, then CNN and then Fox. Now we have Ohan and Newsmax. And I think there's a couple more that are starting or have started. And then when you look at the niche not just news networks, but newspapers and magazines and adver, there are not advertorials, but editorial sites. There are so many that we're getting more niche down and more niche down, Mohnish down. And so not only are we being radicalized by social, but also by news networks. And just so you understand how out there the networks, how much they're not sharing news anymore. Fox News has been sued, I think, twice for not reporting the news in a factual way. And both times they were able to defend the lawsuit based on that. They were an entertainment network, not a news network. So I'm not making this up. This is actually how it is. And so we now have these entertainment news networks that when we're done here, we look at a news network or we look at a site that is, again, niche down and more radical. And so when you look at how people are behaving right now or how people are not behaving or how people are getting by right now, a lot of us, because of what's happened in the environment, this virus is going around. We're in our houses more we're on screens, more on these social media sites more. And it's like somebody turning up the heat on the dial. [00:12:11] And then here's the last thing that is is radicalizing us, man. You know, as somebody who sits in the middle of both political parties in the United States. The politicians in this country on both sides of the aisle are so challenging. [00:12:29] I listen to a podcast and Tulsi Gabbard and the reason I listen, I don't listen to a lot of Joe Rogan podcasts. I listen to a few now, and I'm actually realizing just how good some of them are. But this one was extraordinary. Tulsi was my favorite presidential candidate. I thought she was amazing. She's this incredible woman from Hawaii. She talks about the real issues. She gets logical, she gets deep, like on the Democratic side. That's who I really thought was amazing. And she was dismissed due to like being accused of being a Russian agent or something. And when they were talking, she was talking about her time in the Senate where that it was like high school and that they pick sides and that she had a groundbreaking landmark legislation for prisoners who are in prison for a crime that's been decriminalized to be released. I think about that there are hundreds of thousands of people in the United States behind bars for a crime that's now been decriminalized. Selling weed in Colorado is now completely legal. It's over the counter leaders legal possession or no, sorry, not selling is not legal, but possessions legal. And there are people who who in I think Colorado already did this. But in other states where possession is now legal and they're still behind bars for possession, she had groundbreaking legislation to put that out there. It didn't pass because the Democrats, which she was part of the party, were worried that it would make Trump look good. So they're going to wait and try and do it again. That's the type of politicians that's a type of political system we have right now, and I've often heard people say that the best thing about the United States is that the political system doesn't really work. So not a lot gets done. And, man, that's really what we have. But when you look at politicians, they are radicalizing us as well. Record fundraising. Here's what here's what politicians know, that the more divided we are, the more money they raise, the more partizan we are, the more job security they have. That's just real, that's just how it works in the political game and in the United States every four years, the president has to run every two years you have election in midterm elections like this is a incredibly political society and environment that now with the tools I just talked about, with the news media, with social media, we are becoming that much more radicalized and then against each other. [00:14:41] And. [00:14:43] Part of the reason I wanted to do this video is that. [00:14:47] Throughout history, entrepreneurs, regardless of how they started out, have turned towards democratization and equality for everyone. And if you look at movements, social movements throughout history, what has succeeded is social movements that create democratization and freedom for more people, for more of the population. And right now, we have this environment where we are being so radicalized against each other that I don't know if that's going to happen. I know good people, friends of mine, people that I've spent time with in person, and I've seen things that they've said and done on social media. And I'm blown away. I've had close friends of mine, logical people that that I really appreciate and I've known for a long time fall into these conspiracy and conspiracy theory loops that are so crazy that that it's hard to have conversations because. [00:15:39] Like the whole thing, guys with voter fraud, like I'm so blown away that anybody still talking about voter fraud and that the election was stolen, there was. And this is, again, as a middle of the road. I was not a huge fan of Trump's, but I'm not a huge fan of abidance. I think some of the stuff he's doing so far is good, but I don't think we had really great choices. [00:16:03] Forgot my point. [00:16:05] Oh, but this thing about voter fraud, it's you know, when you think about this logically. What we're saying is that judges appointed by Trump, Republican judges in Republican states, people who supported Trump all over the country, somehow were flipped and decided that they weren't going to accept any evidence about voter fraud anywhere. And all these lawsuits were dismissed and the entire world was against one person. That's the only explanation left for voter fraud because there was more attention on voter fraud or on the possibility of voter fraud in the from January, whatever it was, to January 6th than there ever has been in the history of this country. [00:16:49] In my forty eight years, I've never heard such a discussion on voter fraud. There was, what, 40, 50 lawsuits brought and 100 percent of them were dismissed for lack of evidence. If they're so, every single judge, every single person involved, every single investigator, every single person was out there trying to find the fraud. Every single person involved with the fraud was part of this massive conspiracy. [00:17:12] The only way to believe something like that is if you have become totally and completely radicalized because it's illogical. It doesn't make sense. And so. The other reason I did this video is that I am vision and I pray for it and I think and breathe into existence a world where we all accept each other for who we are and where we lower our guards as human beings and where we spend more time with people who are not like us, and where we have discussions with people who have opinions that are different than other viewpoints that are different than us, that help either solidify ours in a way that's respectful or help us get a broader view of the world. [00:17:56] And 48 years. Here's what I know for sure. Without the other human beings that I've encountered along the way that had opinions of mine, I would not be the human being. And I am today. I wouldn't be the business owner. I wouldn't have the success that I have. I wouldn't have the following I have I wouldn't be able to help people like I do, because a lot of that has come from meeting people that were different than I was. And they changed me. They had a profound effect on me. They changed how I look at the world. They they made it so that I have a bigger view of of people and of humans and a possibility and a potential and what we can all do together. And today, I'm afraid we are losing that, I'm afraid we are giving that up, I'm afraid we are putting ourselves in a situation where we're not going to have that because of the radicalization that's happening. [00:18:44] Every single day, and we're all seeing this, and so here's here's the best advice that I can come up with is get off the news like you will not be at the end of your life saying, man, I wish I had watched the news more often. [00:19:00] I used to be a news junkie. If you're if you're somebody who's saying, I need to see it, I have to say I know I was able to break the habit. And it is incredibly peaceful not having the background dialog on the news. And when I want you to know is if something important happens within minutes, you're going to hear it like I remember. I don't watch the news. I found out that Kobe Bryant had passed away within five or ten minutes of it happening. The thing that was happening at the Capitol actually got a text message from a friend in the middle of a webinar I was delivering. And so I always find out, just don't watch the news, you don't need it. And then this is a big one, which is so ironic that I'm on Facebook delivering this message. [00:19:34] But be aware of your time on social media, limit your time on social media, but limit your nonproductive time. [00:19:42] You know, when I go on social media, because it's connection for me and anyone who knows me knows that I go out and comment on people's stuff. And most of the time what I do is go out and try and, like, compliment somebody or spread positive vibes or or share with somebody or see what one of my friends is doing or go specifically to check in on someone that I know. But the more time that's that, that might be productive time. That might be some serotonin and oxytocin time. That might be time where I'm actually connecting with humans. [00:20:08] But limit your time on social media, arguing with people. [00:20:12] And fighting with people and trying to win the logical argument, because what you see all the time is entrepreneur spending so much time fighting and becoming more radicalized and not hearing each other and not focusing on their businesses, that it actually like it hurts my chest. I'm like sad that so many entrepreneurs are in this place where they're not, like, focusing on their growth and join some communities of people that are like you. And so here's an invitation. If you are someone who's not into the drama and into the news and you you accept people for who they are and you want to be part of a community with people from all over the place and all different types of views and black and indigenous and people of color from all over the place. And LGBTQ join our group, join the Charfen community here on Facebook. And once a week I go in there and I record our podcast and we have a pretty good discussion afterwards. And my team supports that group and. [00:21:12] And it's a place where it's positive, but we can have real discussions, too, so I'd love to have you check it out. And for those of you who made comments, I wanted to stay really focused on this one. And so thank you for your comments. I really appreciate it. [00:21:26] And I'll go read them. And if I see any of that, I feel like I need to I'll reply and do me a favor. [00:21:34] Share this with someone you know that has gotten so caught up in this negative loop that has now become a spiral of checking in on the news and fighting with people over it and solidifying their argument and becoming more radicalized. If we pull back, that just doesn't happen. Thanks for being here and thanks for listening.