Breaking free of the “herd”

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Glenn had Dr. Keith Ablow as a guest on radio today and they continued their discussion about The 7, this time focusing on the wonder of “faith” – and of courseGlenn found a way to tie it into Edward Bernays.

Glenn started off the interview by asking if Freud, who along with Bernays believed that man was led by base instincts and animalistic motivations, was still popular or if he had been discredited.

“I think he has his detractors.  But after all we’re talking about a guy who really plumbed the unconscious and gave us a lot of the tools that continue to help people heal,” Ablow said. “I would say some of his thoughts are discredited in the way that, you know, someone invented math and some of the outer reaches of calculus seemed rather esoteric or even just dead wrong.”

Ablow also pointed out that a lot of the themes of The 7 go against Freud’s beliefs. “One of the things that we noted as we created The Seven is that we were keeping afoot in spirituality and religion at the same time as in psychology.  Something that drove Freud nuts.  He really resisted the notion that religion was a sensible thing.  So do totalitarian states.  They don’t want people connected to their best instincts. They don’t want people to find individual courage.  It’s dangerous for the herd.”

Glenn also asked Dr. Ablow about the libertarian viewpoint and how, even though a person may not be deeply spiritual, they can still focus on the individual. He used his relationship with Penn Jillette as an example. According to Glenn, Penn Jillette strongly disagrees with Glenn’s belief in God, but still respects Glenn as an individual with the right to choose, and Glenn feels the same way towards Jillette.

“When libertarians, they listen to my message and they say, well, he’s so God,” Glenn said. “I don’t have a problem with Penn Jillette.  Now, he has a real problem with me because of my faith, he really is somebody who really despises religion and thinks that, you know, you’re a moron if you’re part of religion.  But I don’t have a problem with him saying that because he’s an individual.  He believes in my individual right to choose.  And so as long as you’re a libertarian, as long as you’re somebody who says, hey, it’s not a herd; we’re all individuals.  So you do what you do, and I’m not going to try to control your life, then it works.  Correct?”

Ablow responded, “Correct.  That’s exactly right.  What ‑‑ we know this across the board.  We know that until an alcoholic decides for him or herself to make a change, for himself to make a change, that nothing’s really going to make that change for that person.  That person needs to find solid ground.”

“We’re going to let you find your way.  Sure, if you fall down, will we try to pick you up?  Sure.  But not to the extent that we hobble you,” Ablow added.

Tomorrow, Glenn and Dr. Ablow will be appearing on The Today Show to talk about their new book. Glenn asked Dr. Ablow, “What do you think the odds are that we can even get one person on the Today Show, let alone the country to understand that the answers to our problems in the country really come from the individual and empowering the individual?  Because that’s the solution.”

“I always believe there’s hope.  You know that I think that people are worth fighting for.  They’re worth reminding that they’re good and decent and they have autonomy and power,” Ablow said.

The duo will appear on The Today Show tomorrow at 7:40am and again at 9:00am to talk about The 7.