Armchair Historians

Tobi Olowe, Impressions of America, 1960's Human Potential Movement

March 31, 2021 Tobi Olowe
Armchair Historians
Tobi Olowe, Impressions of America, 1960's Human Potential Movement
Show Notes Transcript

Anne Marie talks to Impressions of America (IA) podcast co-host Tobi Olowe. Tobi talks about the Human Potential Movement of the 1960s, who were its proponents, where do we see its effects today and the magnificent pop culture that came out of it.

Tobi is a London based History Graduate with a deep and evolving interest in American History and popular culture. He is particularly fascinated by the history of US conservatism, its key characters, and where it may be going in the future.  He is one of three cohosts of the IA Podcast.

This is the third in the Impressions of America series in which Anne Marie interviews each co-host of the podcast. You can find Anne Marie's interview with IA co-host Vaughn Joy here: https://bit.ly/3aAaRer, and IA co-host Simon Hepinstall here: https://bit.ly/3ebrcK6


Where you can find Tobi:
Impressions of America Podcast: https://impressionsofamerica.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/impressionsofamerica/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/usaimpressions

Resources:
Werner Erhard; Founder of est (Erhard Seminars Training):
     Wikipedia: https://bit.ly/39rOE2l
     
Interview: https://bit.ly/3rAlxQL
      Movie:       https://bit.ly/2PCKduG
   
                     

Surveillance Capitalism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surveillance_capitalism
     Shoshana Zuboff: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshana_Zuboff

Ayn Rand: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand
The Feminine Mystique: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Feminine_Mystique
Malcolm X: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malcolm_X
Abraham Maslow: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Maslow
Norman Mailer: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Mailer
Jackson Pollock: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackson_Pollock
Albert Camus: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Camus
David Riesman: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Riesman
Harvey MilK: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey_Milk
Negative Rights: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_and_positive_rights
The Graduate: https://youtu.be/6cKafIqhEvk

To Support Armchair Historians:
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/armchairhistorians
Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/belgiumrabbitproductions


Anne Marie Cannon:

hello my name is Anne Marie Cannon and i'm the host of armchair historians what's your favorite history each episode begins with this one question our guests come from all walks of life youtube celebrities comedians historians even neighbors from the small mountain community that i live in there are people who love history and get really excited about a particular time place or person from our distance or not so distant past the jumping off point is the place where they became curious that entered the rabbit hole into discovery fueled by an unrelenting need to know more we look at history through the filter of other people's eyes armchair historians is a belgian rabbit production stay up to date with us through twitter facebook and instagram wherever you listen to your podcast that is where you'll find us i'm chair historians as an independent commercial free podcast if you'd like to support the show and keep it ad free you can buy us a cup of coffee through coffee or you can become a patron through patreon links to both in the episode notes a couple of weeks back i chatted with toby lauer impressions of america co host this is the third episode in our impressions of america podcast series if you haven't done so already i recommend you listen to my interviews with toby's fellow co hosts vaughn joy and simon heppenstall fascinating stuff today toby tells us about the human potential movement of the 1960s can i tell you a little secret when toby pitched the topic i knew nothing about it or so i thought turns out i actually lived in and or studied the works of many of the movements identified proponents think carl rogers abraham mazda and charlotte bueller according to toby the human potential movement is an all encompassing one driving and or driven by our psychology and social justice movements like civil rights i'll tell you up front this is an intellectual philosophical journey with pitstops at some of the major historical figures in pop culture references of the period so buckle up crank on your lab lamp and enjoy the ride toby allawah welcome and thank you for being here today my pleasure so we just get right off into the races and i asked you the question how what is your favorite history that we're going to be talking about today

Tobi Olowe:

my favorite history that we're going to be talking about is the human potential movement that really took off in the in the 1960s and 1970s it was a product of the emerging counterculture in america that many of the leading lights of the human potential movement like abraham maslow sort of throughout the conformity of the 1950s and tried to create a kind of a way of living a way of being that was really in line with with the counterculture so that's the my favorite history i'm coming here to talk about i think it's super interesting because this really didn't used to be my favorite history i'm someone who loves the french revolution and you know the incidents and the events of the french revolution these big events you know robespierre take care of the fall of dance on or you know big events in america like the presidency of fdr the attack on pearl harbor things like that but i think as i've grown older i developed an interest in in history that is usable history that is actionable because in my work as a lobbyist and formerly working on some political campaigns i find that understanding the past is really really valuable for understanding where we're going what people want now what people wanted before and why governments and people have made the decisions that they've made and i really think that the human potential movement is so central to the to the story of now and the problems and the issues that we're having right now and the culture and and i don't think many people understand the real change that happened in the culture in the 1960s and 1970s and i think it's essential it's really important and it's really actionable information as well so yeah that's why i'm white that's why it's my favorite history

Anne Marie Cannon:

well it's interesting because when i i was born in 63 so you know when you suggested this topic i wasn't really sure what it was i just didn't know that that was the name of it so when i was going to school for college for social work we studied a lot of the stuff you're talking about, you know, self actualization, but that was not too far in the past. So about 3040 years, oh my god, so 40 years. And then whatever. So I'm really interested in, I just have to say, like, I love that you guys, all three of you on impressions of America, that you're so well versed in what you talk about, and your understanding of, you know, US political history, and whatever it is that you choose to talk about. But you guys are younger, and it makes me so hopeful that you're taking your, you know, your great wisdom and your great ability to think and you guys are all great thinkers, and that you're, you know, you're filtering in, you're looking at and you're, you know, re establishing from the perspective that you're at

Tobi Olowe:

there. And it's it certainly isn't stuff that I learned at university when I was there. I mean, I did a bachelor's degree in history majors are just a bunch of different things, contemporary medieval, different things. And then I specialize that Ma, in sort of the Progressive Era. And some work on Theodore Roosevelt and anti trust, because I thought that that was really important for some of the stuff that happened with Brexit, some of the anti stash trust stuff in America, and really the Trump phenomenon as well with populism, I thought that was really, really important. But the human potential movement is something that I've only come to understand the gravity of, from really doing the podcast. And in my own attempt, not as a scholar or an academic, I only have an MA. But in my own attempts to understand the political winds and to understand why things are the way they are, I've had to go back from reading the podcast, and then finding out why things are the way they are. And it's really important that every generation goes back in order to try to reinterpret things in the past, because I feel like in Gen X's would have looked at the human potential movement in a very different way from millennials had. And boomers, certainly they they were at a max that survey had a perspective on it. And older generations would have looked at sort of older Freudian psychology and in different ways. So we keep going back to reinterpret things into to get what we need from from the past in order to create our own futures. I think.

Anne Marie Cannon:

So, backing up, you said, and I'm not sure how you worded it, but the relevance to now you were talking about the the movement and the relevance to Now, can you talk a little bit about more about that, and why, what the relevance is,

Tobi Olowe:

I would say that the human potential movement for me, is a real, really the connection between the right and the left in the 1960s and 1970s. Like, obviously, on the face of it, you know, the the rise of William F. Buckley and Goldwater, you know, they were stumping for, like libertarian economics, you try to lower the minimum wage to try to attack the Soviet Union, to try to weaken labor unions and things like that. And that's very different from what the left was fighting for the left was fighting for civil rights, anti war and for passion, authenticity. And his personal authenticity was the right to be one's own true self, the right to find one's own true self, the right to be actualized, to love the person that you want to love to be where you want to be, to not be constrained by social conventions. And that's really what sprang up in the hippie movement, which was not so political, that was tied to this sort of cult of youth, the nature associated with many people like jack Kerouac and other individuals who wanted to believe in America but wanted to be free in a culture that they found that was deeply conformist. And then, and that's not really close to what the right wanted. And most people look at these two movements and they don't see any interconnection. But I think historians have gone back and they really seen some connection between these two movements because what the conservatives were saying is like the economy was is constraining you. You know, William F. Buckley was talking about the constraints of the economy. Goldwater was talking about even with regards to civil rights. He was saying that if you go into a store, why should the store owner Have to serve anyone, like if a black person goes into a store, why should a store owner serve him? If the store owner doesn't want to find his face, this seems like a racial argument. But in the construction of the argument, what Goldwater was saying was that people should be free to do whatever they want. And what William F Buckley was saying, in the economy, as people should be free to do whatever they want. And then the last was saying, people should be free to do whatever they want. So what you had is sensor connection, physical connection, which is a broad movement that I see in the 1950s and 1960s. And it's really a reaction to the war, you know, really your reaction to authoritarian regimes in Russia and Germany, and intellectuals both on the right and the left, trying to see that freedom was really what they wanted, you know, iron, Rand used to say that, because I can think I should be happy, I should have the ability to because I know myself, I can think and because I can think I can actually act in the world. And because I can act in the world, I can change things. And so the only crime is coercion, the only crime is the government putting a gun to your face and saying, you have to do something, you have to give off your taxes, or you go to jail for doing this and that, and I ran system. She couldn't say that, you know, being gay was wrong. She might have thought personally, but she always said that being gay was just what you wanted to do. And so you had people on the right and the left advocating for this freedom that was really a reaction to the war, and really a need broadly in the culture from iron Rand to Goldwater, to William F. Buckley, and then on the other side, with Jean Paul Sartre, with Abraham Maslow, with the the hippies and the hippies, everyone was saying this thing that actually we need to get away from the constraints of the period. And and I think the human potential movement really puts this together in the distinction between floydian psychology and an Abraham Maslow's, we'll, we'll construction because Freud in psychology was used in 1950s, really, to try to pathologize behavior. So people would go to therapists, they would sit in these, in these rooms with these psychoanalysts, and the psychoanalyst would say that the kinds of behaviors that you were you was exhibiting that were against the norm, were these kinds of pathologies, you know, and people who were against the norm should be given psychometric drugs or they should be sent to sanatoriums to change. And it was really about changing and, and, and it was really a metaphor, but also a realization of the constraints of 50 society, you know, women weren't allowed to go to go into work if they weren't allowed to live, how they wanted to live, to love the people that they wanted to love. And they were they were really constrained and they would go to the therapist and the therapist was saying that, well, the, the the feelings that you have have, whether it's neurosis or pain, that's selling you exhibiting something that you shouldn't be feeling and that we're going to help you not to feel bad to be fine with the conformity that you that you live under. And so you had a culture broadly that was really conformist. But breaking out of this culture was these writers, people like Norman Layla, Abraham Maslow himself, Jean Paul Sartre in France. canu writers like that they they focused on this sense of conformity and it was epitomized in this writer called Wiseman, David Wiseman. Wiseman wrote a book called The Lonely crowds, and in lonely, crowded Wiseman and this was about 50 societies, he was saying that the Americans used to be in a directed and in a directed people live by their own principles and chase the things that they want. And he had this metaphor about going out into the frontier and being in the directing and finding the things you want and living how you wanted to live. But now and then, the other people were tradition directed. So they lived how within the constraints of this tradition, but American society in 1950s, he felt was a consumerist conformist society where people sort of, they didn't really live by their own inner direction they lived to see what the man in the gray flannel suit next door is one of those was like a Flanders character that lived everywhere, and you look to see what he was doing and then you just copied him. But what this created was a sense that people really weren't doing what they wanted. And it created a generalized The need for psychology needs therapy and the and the and the, the field of psychology burst out and became really, really popular that people were getting degrees and they could get good jobs in psychology because there was this need for psychology need for therapists but the syrup isn't really curing the thing that ails the people. But once you want Abraham Maslow has developed his Maslow's hierarchy of needs. He and it was really was influenced by Jean Paul Sartre was influenced by a lot of these sort of existentialist thinkers who focused on you know, the internal and what, what, what was the internal driving people actually wanted, he came up with this idea that there was this hierarchy of needs, and at the base, you had your basic needs, your survival needs, and then you get those top two self esteem, to love. And then you get to self actualization. And it was the self actualizing people that he saw on the campus that he was working on these, these young people, young, smart people who seem to live by their own principles, they, they, they weren't constrained by the old conformity, they, either they were into civil rights, or they were into sort of libertarian thoughts. And they make decisions based on their own internal compass. And they and they were at he saw them as psychologically healthier than their parents or than people in the general society. And he really thought these people were going to be the future of society basically. And, and but from that in these people, what you start to see as you start to see a connection between the what the right is saying what the left is saying, the right was saying that, okay, we have, you know, so there should be social conformity. But in the market, you have the right to do whatever you want. And the left is saying that you should have the right to do whatever you want. You know, that's what Kerouac is saying on in on the road. That's what Allen ginsburg is saying, you know, and how that's it's what writers were saying. And so there's this connection point. And I think that I find in the human potential movement, this is why I think the hill is casual movement is my favorite history right now. And I will talk later on about why I think it's important for today,

Anne Marie Cannon:

that was a lot of information to take in. It's an interesting concept. And I would have never thought of it that way. yet. Your argument is very logical. And I can see that the right and the left or saying the same thing, but in different ways about different things. It wasn't all encompassing, either. Because obviously, if it was, then we would have social justice, let me just put it out there as a big lump. So it's always metamorph, the saying this movement and the energy from and what's happening from it. And you've taken it to the political realm, you've taken it to the personal realm. You talk about art, and it's almost like what you're saying is art came, art started putting those ideas out. And then the movement came? Is that what I heard?

Tobi Olowe:

Yeah, I think I think it's, like I used to think of history is about great men, you know, you know, as I grew up, you know, you get into Mao and Stalin, and all these great men have, then I sort of started to think about history more sociologically. And I think I was trained in social and economic history to think about, you know, big groups. But I think anytime I would do that, I would end up thinking about ideas, and how ideas take root and how ideas germinate into the culture and bubble up and come from the top. downwards or down up, I think, I think that's what I'm thinking about what this human potential movement, I really think it's about ideas. It comes from art. The Whitechapel Gallery late there was recently a Jackson Pollock exhibition. And Jackson Pollock was doing all these action paintings and he would, you know, put all the paintings on the walls. And really, it was it was a crazy American invention, because the MoMA art gallery that was started by the Rockefellers. Usually they were just put on art from Europe. art was considered to be a European thing, you know, but Jackson Pollock made this abstract expressionism an American phenomenon. It was the first view I think American art form in that you know in the palette art by jackson pollock's work had been used by the cia in soviet countries to try to inspire revolt against the conformance default conformity of soviet countries and i think that what you find the jackson pollock is a self expression allowed battling riveting self expression years it's so so so dense it's it looks like almost like a psychological story that's it circularity is very hard to get you know to interpret to really doing the art to understand porticos being an individual and i think you'll see that in the work of jack kerouac as well you know kerouac on the road he's he's going through san francisco he sees the jazz he sees the black people he sees the art he sees the women he meets one woman he's not interested in her anymore he goes to another woman are really putting together what this kind of new world is going to be it's it's it's more partial it's not you're not rooted in your nuclear family as much you get to go where you want to go and be who you want to be and it's allowed and thunderous call that i think is happening and and you mentioned the social justice i think on the left they really did care about social justice they really did like the black panthers they would have community meetings where they would give people food they were genuine socialists they they're inspired by the battle of algiers and they were inspired by marxist movements in the vietcong and marxists movements all over the world but i think what they were reacting to in the society wasn't necessarily capitalism in a way i mean it was capitalism but it wasn't capitalism because a lot of people don't really think about it but in the the economy in the 1960s in america was was was great yeah it offered people a social compact between especially people in the the emerging middle class upper middle class i don't mean like people in the pmc i just mean people who who had good regular jobs you know they had access to health care they the economy was booming at six 7% every year although you know there's the korean war the vietnam war but the reason why you had this big baby boomer generation who were attracted to hippie than retractor rock music and had this time this free time to become hippies or it was because the economy was so strong you had such a strong economy and so they turned away from economic issues to more existential issues to more ideas about personal freedom and i think that's really the context for the human potential movement especially as it relates to normal people but it did come from the i came from poet who came from kambou it came from kerouac and i think normal mail is probably the person who best expresses it because mailer in the 50s he had written a novel about the war in the 40s and it made him quite famous but he was sad that the american no longer produced you know pulitzer prize winning novels you know steinbeck wasn't doing it anymore hemingway was old and he saw this this vacuum and the culture and he wondered why he existed and he felt that it was the conformity that was creating it and obviously he was also reacting to the authoritarianism of the soviet and german countries and i think many of them felt that that kind of managed society managed by people in the corporate sector managed by freudian psychologists managed by even the architectural conformity of you know urban renewal was was really caging people you know it was caging people there the conformity around sexuality was caging people and i think the artists were really reacting to this and they were the first ones to express it and they really sold young people on their ideas and the boomer generation really took that on and and i think it's a large social time it's really the legacy of the boomer generation but it came from artists from the greatest and silent generation i think the music was was was definitely savage and people like jimi hendrix were silent generator in the early beatles magazine the beatles the silent generation you know there's so many slow generation artists but it was really the boomers were the first giant sociological group to really take it on and make it meaningful for themselves and they didn't have like some fantastic successes, you know, I mean, with civil rights really came a little bit earlier in 1964 civil rights act by 265 Voting Rights Act. But in terms of women's rights, the feminist mistake was really based on Maslow's, you know, in the feminist Mystique, she writes that women in the home who don't go to work, and many of these were upper upper middle class women that they weren't actualizing themselves, you know, a lot of them had depression, they would go to therapists for depression. And she wrote that, according to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, they have their basic needs, they did have some sense of belonging, because they had a, you know, sort of easy access to love. But they didn't have the responsibility. They, you know, they did too much emotional labor, then have to labor from the shelves, they didn't work for themselves. They weren't learning, they weren't actually actualizing themselves in the world, and they weren't becoming the people that they wanted to be. And they were having real psychological problems because of it. And I think that this movement really helped women and alienated and helped, you know, germinate the gay rights movement, and it helps with African American rights, certainly negative rights, not necessarily positive, you know, more social justice rights, but I think it really helps. And it's an Can I

Anne Marie Cannon:

stop you there, just for a minute, because you guys talk a lot about the negative rights. I've heard that in your pipe pack? Can you just kind of I'm not sure I know exactly what you mean, when you say negative rights.

Tobi Olowe:

I think it's a concept that I didn't really understand myself until I heard about this guy, this guy called Isaiah Berlin, who was a, who was I think it was a philosopher at Oxford, he tried to come up with the two kinds of rights, they were positive rights and negative rights. And negative rights were basically the rights of be left alone and do what you want. And then positive rights with the rights that you asked for from other people in terms of security, and food and shelter, and taxes and roads and things like that. So yeah, as negative rights and positive rights and in terms of these rights, to just be left alone and do what you want and be who you want to be. There was some tremendous success from from the artists, the broadly in the culture, I think, from the human potential movement, and from the 60s and 70s generation. That's what I think. And I think it's borne out by some of the legislative successes, they had some some took very long, I mean, you still had don't ask, don't tell in the military, and there was terrible discrimination of gay people, and African Americans. But by the time you get people who are politicians who were born in the 19, early 1960s, you start to get conservative options who push through gay rights laws, and you had it in England, with David Cameron, he, he was the one who really pushed through the, the, the Marriage Equality Act. So I think that, that in the long arc, that's the positive, I would say, impact of the human potential movement, which you know, which was a good thing. individualism, I think, has broadly been been a good thing for society. But it's also why we have some of the problems that we have today, I think,

Anne Marie Cannon:

you seem to really connect to this movement, like, emotionally, maybe even spiritually, it seems to really speak to you. And you're, you're really saying all the positive things about it. Nothing's always positive, though. So it seems like you're naturally segwaying into, you know, maybe some of the backlash. I keep thinking about the baby, the baby boomers, which I fight with my boyfriend about this all the time, because I'm writing on the line. And he's, he's younger than me. So he's like, not that much hungry. There's so many things that the baby boomers also, you know, they were such a part of like, seeing the art and expressing themselves and everything you said, but then how do we get the artifice of the 80s from the same group of people? And then my boyfriend always says, and I said this on the podcast several times that that, and I don't consider myself one of these people, but that Trump was the baby boomers last hurrah. But does seem when you look at the people who did support him, not may not be one of them. That there was a lot of white male and female baby boomers who supported him. So how did That happened, you know, when they were at the forefront of this movement?

Tobi Olowe:

You know, why would say fastest start with the 80s? I think on the podcast we came to, we did Reagan. And we had Peter Robinson, who was a speechwriter for Reagan, he wrote the tear down this wall speech. And he's written, you know, he's a boomer, he, you know, he, he's very connected to Reagan, the same Reagan, you know, the same Reagan artifice, I would say, and I think in 1984, we had an episode in 1984, on the election in 1984, instead of doing it in a, and I think what we had in 1984 is the reagan one, this all mighty landslide, you know, he won, almost every state. It was the biggest election landslide since FDR in 1936, was huge. And it showed that there was a basically a dominant voice in the culture, from from boomers from the silent generation that wanted this conservative politician. And I think much of what I think how Reagan sort of saw himself and why he presented himself, he really presented himself, you know, when we talk about the moral good, right, but I think you really presented himself as a, you know, get government off my back politician he was, you know, this is why government is bad in this present crisis, government is not the solution, government is the problem. And I think that that thing was broadly a sociological shift towards the right, that is really a product of the human potential, because the product of individuals not wanting their taxes to go to a poor people wanting to be able to spend money on sells, you know, some people wanted to go to college who he will either lower middle class or working class, the parents never gone to college, and he wanted to go to college, some people who, who are from new class backgrounds, wanting to be rich wanting to be yuppies, wants to go into finance, want to go into Wall Street, you know, you see that in movies like Wall Street. And some other people wanted to not live in the cities anymore. They didn't want to have to pay black people. You know, they're, you know, they're fighting, they want to bust their children in schools. They want the government to force them to bust their children in schools, they want to live in the suburbs out of the cities, they started to hate New York, New York drop dead, things like that. And on some level, this is right wing, like it's conservative, right? It's thoughts and but it is individuals, it's people wanting to better themselves wanting to live what they want want to do, or pay whatever they want. The reason why Mondale lost so terribly in 1984, was it people felt positively like they wanted more things in their lives, just wanting to feel more positive about the economy, wanting to make more money, you know, want to be richer, the middle class wanted to be upper middle class, the working class people wanting to be middle class, you know, I think if reflected negatively on other communities, and the African American communities were ravaged in this at this point, you know, Reagan had the welfare queen thing.

Anne Marie Cannon:

So what I don't understand is, how did these people who were really concerned about social justice and you know, and whatnot in the 60s, how do they become so selfish?

Tobi Olowe:

I think it's really hard, I think, because of how Stark the social justice thing was, you may like, you know, like the Black Panthers were a social justice group, the, the Weather Underground, the the SDS, the anti war movement, all of these movements that were really that you were they were individualistic, but they were collective. And the thought process was always like, speaking out against and against racism is authentic, you know, you're speaking or you know, that this is wrong and you want to authentically speak out against it. You want to join groups, you want to fight against it. But I would say that the strength of those movements was tied to the events themselves. I think the 64 and 65 act, toxin the air out of the anti racism movement, the end of the the Vietnam War, took some air out of All took the air out of the anti war movement. And I would say that people went from trying to change the world to be individuals to changing themselves. And I think it's because the the the civil rights movement really ended, Nixon first and then some other politicians instituted some affirmative action movements. So people like Huey Newton, who had been part of the Black Panthers, he, you know, a lot of their resentments and a lot of resentment. People like Malcolm X was that they were really smart million and two young African Americans who wants to live great lives, but but the social system of the 50s and 60s meant that they couldn't, they couldn't go to university, they couldn't go to Harvard. Even if they had the grades, they couldn't go to Yale, they couldn't go into into law firms. Their parents were even however smart. They were, they were dishwashers. The people who upper class in the African American community were actually people who had you know, those status jobs, they were bank tellers, they, they weren't, you know, they weren't being actualized or living how they want. And then you had these massive social crisises like, you know, the civil rights movements in the south, the anti war movement, the gay rights movement, all these movements that help these, these marginalized people try to actualize themselves and try to fight against the system. But I think that they were successful in some of that, in the civil rights movement, they were successful. To some extent, the, the women's movement was successful, to some extent they got into the jobs, they became actualized, some African Americans who were from sort of more educated backgrounds, were able to do the things they want, they, they were able to work in the government, they were able to do some of the things that I wanted. And as the the real social crisises, receded into the 80s, then you started to see people move away from trying to change the world by being authentic to themselves to try to be authentic for themselves, and then to try to change themselves and feel that if I change myself or change the world.

Anne Marie Cannon:

Wow, that was quite a roller coaster ride you just took me on? That was a really good thoughtful answer. So where, where do we see this? Today? Is it still? Is there still a threat of this? Has it turned into another movement? Is it latent? Is it what do you think?

Tobi Olowe:

It's, you know, I think we see it in the self help culture a lot. Yeah. And listeners like asked movers like Scientology, actually. Yeah, there's these the thing that Abraham Maslow's came in with and the aslin Center came with, ended up with movements like ash, which were about, you know, like, I think it went from, you know, changing the world, changing yourself, changing the world through authenticity, you changing yourself. And in the changing yourself, people started to not only believe that they could change themselves, but that they could do anything. So. So it was all about self actualization, and it was against victimhood, which is something that that Iran was supporting. So if you can think if you can act, if you can feel yourself, then you should be able to do the things that you want and change the things in your life that you don't like,

Anne Marie Cannon:

were they a big component of transcendental meditation,

Tobi Olowe:

I would say it was the New Age movement. And I think Transcendental Meditation is within the New Age movement. But then, you know, there wasn't, there was history, but in the movement, you would go to these seminars, and there are hardwood, you know, tell you about St. And how to actualize yourself, and they will put you through a danger zone process where you know, you would go up on a ladder, and then you would fall off the ladder and expect that that someone would be there to catch you. It was all about, you know, feeling that you could you could do whatever you want. And so that even if you put yourself in danger, you you'll, you'll be able to save yourself in a way. And then there was other things that people would go to these essences and you will see that it went from the conformity of the 50s and 40s journalism, to people actually not only thinking that they could change the things in their eyes, but that they could control everything. So some people distraught people would go there some people who had experienced the Holocaust, you know, because at this time Holocaust survivors are still alive in the 70s and 80s. Some people experienced the Holocaust would go there, and the people would tell them, that they were responsible for putting themselves In a situation where the Nazis would send them to the Holocaust, which is crazy, like, How could you think that someone could do that, but what the people were really saying is that you have control over the world, you can control anything, you know, if something happens to you how you feel victimized by it, you're not a victim, you control that situation, you're never a victim in any any kind of situation. And you can see how this is part of untethering, the social justice point, because what it was saying is that people who were in difficult situations, you know, single mothers or people were present, or all these kinds of people, they had made the choice to be in those situations, they have made the choice to make these bad decisions, you have choices. So with these choices, you name the bad decision, you put yourself in a bad situation. And then they were taking that so far. And you can see this asked, but you can see this reverberating into the self help culture. So in popular psychology, it is in the bookstores, everywhere, everywhere in England, to be honest, you read the stuff, and it tells you and it's really a product of the human potential movement, but it tells you that you have control for everything in your life. You're not, you can't be nudged in a particular way, say,

Anne Marie Cannon:

so basically blames a victim. It's basically blaming

Tobi Olowe:

elites to elites, the victim blaming, you can see how part of that was empowering for people. And then when it got to a different extreme, it became disempowering. And I think there's almost like a spectrum where on on one side, and you often find that actually people who think this way, you know, like, they also tend to be religious as well. Because if you're religious, you think that if you can control the world, in some situations that you can't control, God can control those situations. And you control those situations by praying, so you also control the situation.

Anne Marie Cannon:

So what I keep on thinking of as you're talking, as, you know, I went to therapy in the 80s, and did all these different things. And, for me, what I've evolved into is that anything that is dogmatic, I don't care what it is, if it's Scientology, if it's even something that you wouldn't look at and say, well, that's like, very dogmatic, but it's just that thinking. So it could be religious, it could be anything. So once you get to the point where you're looking at something, and you're swallowing it, hook, line, and sinker, period, and that's how you that is your frame of reference for life. That to me is when you get into dangerous territory, you know, you become a conformist. And within that thing, whatever it is. And so when you were talking about how those were the expressions later on Aston Scientology, that's kind of where I see it. It's like it ended up in a parking space that there was nowhere else to go with.

Tobi Olowe:

You're seeing like, Tom Cruise's behavior cuz Tom Cruise will, you know, he'll go in scale skyscrapers and piping and he's, you know, all powerful and somewhere and then becomes almost like a pyramid cult around the Tom Cruise. Yeah. And yeah, and I think it's not just the cytology, or AST. It's also in a lot of the self help culture that we have today. It's I mean, you could even see an Oprah you know, Oprah Winfrey, you know, when when people go on Oprah, she gives people books, like the secret or self help stuff for them to get out of the situations that they're in. Again, it's more victim blaming, it's, it seems like it's empowering. And some on some level, it is empowering. But it gets to an extent where you can't ask for anything from society. You can't ask for anything from your social networks, you become an atomized individual. You're the one to blame for that situation situation. So that and I think that reverberates throughout the culture. And I think, I think that's the social sector. But I think, politically, I think it all comes together. And then politically, it's less directly connected, like it was in the 60s where, you know, Maslow was reading Sartre and Goldwater was reading backway. And, you know, all these politicians were reading each other, and then people were, you know, getting into it and learning and stuff. But in this in the 1990s, the democrats had moved, you know, right. And they moved right because of suburbanites who had grown into individuals. I mean, a lot of the polling they did, by people like Stanley Greenberg and And all Clinton's pollsters they found out that people who, you know, their parents had been democrats for social needs, their parents, good labor Democrats. But now they were no longer Democrats. Because, you know, they were self actualizing. They were individualists, and now they wanted to be Republicans. So the democrats reduced their their policies for socialists, they increased policies for education, you know, that can because education meant that equal opportunity that everybody seemed to want at that point. But they reduce their welfare, they had welfare reform, they had a crime bill, they had, they wanted to have a grand bargain on Social Security. So they were taking away people's positive social rights, because they felt that people wanted to be individuals, they wanted to control their lives, and that they had this human potential. I think, Bill Clinton would always say that, you know, he was looking at spam. And Bill Clinton is a really good example of this, because this was a guy who came from nothing. Basically,

Anne Marie Cannon:

I just want to interject one thing here. So I was just listening to your bill clinton episode, which you're covering some of that stuff in here. But I'm really enlightening. And I recommend my listeners to listen to it. There's is that what was that the

Tobi Olowe:

first of a three part? We did the New Democrats episode, then the second one we did on the Clinton presidency. And the third one's going to be with microphysical, who covered the Monica Lewinsky scandal for

Anne Marie Cannon:

Newsweek. Newsweek really listened to and it's really worth a listen, I just wanted to interject that.

Tobi Olowe:

Yeah, yeah. So you Bill Clinton becomes almost a representative of this because he was a hippie, you know, he was a draft Dodger. He listened to all his music. His brother was a musician. You know, he listened to Cleveland. Creedence Clearwater Revival and all these great bands, and it was a hippie was a Rhodes Scholar, then became a politician. And he became a politician for this middle of the road, who wanted to better themselves and wanting to be self actualized, and stuff like that. And so he wasn't really like a paternalistic democrat of the old style, that FDR, who just wanted to give people positive rights. He sort of wanted to empower people, based on the things that he had learned, you know, these sort of human potential things that he had learned, because you always say, you know, Bill Clinton would go to a drugstore, and he would be like, you know, this guy at the drugstore. You know, like, he's probably smarter than I am. And he could be in my position, if only he was given the opportunity to be in the position. And that's a positive thing to think that, you know, but but is that necessarily the case? You know, is everyone going to have the opportunity to do all the things that you that you've done, but they felt that way, because they were much more positive about the possibilities of the human being. And in some ways, it's it's a nice sentiment, but in other ways, it crowds out the ability for social, for social groups to come together and do things for each other in a more sort of communitarian way, like like, was envisioned by all the politicians like FDR or clamming in England, you know, so they changed from political parties based on positive rights to political parties based on this sort of, obviously, this human potential thing.

Anne Marie Cannon:

So how does this moment spill over into other countries you're in England?

Tobi Olowe:

Well, I you know, I like to say that America is really where you see it the best because America in the 60s and had the music, and it had the intellectuals. So it had the doors deals. And then it also had the Maslow's and Norman Mailer. And all these guys. England didn't really have the intellectuals budding will have the music, you know, Beatles, Rolling Stones. And then France didn't really have the music. And no one really wants to listen to French guys saying because they're not saying in English. But France had the intellectuals France had Sartre and Camus mu and Foucault. And so I think it was, I like to say it was the opening of the American mind, but it's really a Western movement that happens. It takes root politically in different ways. But in England and America, it's the same thing. You know, you go from clam and FDR to right wing politicians like Reagan and Thatcher. And then middle of the road, sort of more human potential politicians like Tony Blair, and Bill Clinton. In front end, Francis a little bit different, because people like the goal were, you know, they were from the right, but they did you know, expand social rights. You have the geometry pumping out. And then you have Mitra and who was kind of a socialist really was more left stand the politicians that have come in, in America and England, I think is probably, I think that I think that realization makes it more of an Anglo movement, an Anglo phenomenon than a French phenomenon. The French have seen parts of it in some of the right wing politicians, but France, no, France, still has a huge government a huge social safety net, especially for citizens. Even people like lapan, and right wing politicians in the past have had to, you know, basically say that, you know, social rights are inviolable and we just want to be racist. So yeah, it is a little bit different in France, and in theirs from the Anglosphere. I think it's really, the at the biggest level is really an Anglo phenomenon. But it is a worldwide Western phenomenon, I think.

Anne Marie Cannon:

So when I lived in England in 2012, I noticed that England just seems so much ahead of where we are social justice, wise, and acceptance of same sex relationships. And even because I did go to France and Belgium, my mother was born in Belgium, she was raised in France, she her family fled the Germans from Belgium, and she ended up being a refugee in France. And so that's her story. There's a documentary coming out about it. I don't know when it's coming out. But that's awesome. Yeah, it's called last train leaving Belgium. But I don't know who it was probably my boyfriend that we were talking about. This is just a theory. Okay, this is the only sidebar I'll do I promise. So this is just kind of a theory, what we were talking about is that, it seems like, like my mother was raised Catholic. And when I get back together with her side of the family, now, they're all atheists. Like, my cousins are like, No, I don't believe in any kind of God or anything like that. And, and also, like, I'm fine, kind of feeding all these different ideas into it. When I lived in England, and what it was like, there, I just felt like, you know, we were so far behind, and, you know, our thinking and how we do things and how we treat people. My boyfriend said, You know, I think it's because of World War Two, and the people who were in World War Two, like they lost everything, you know, they and so this idea of a god like he is that, you know, my, my family over there doesn't believe in God. It's almost like, they realize the futility of this religion. I'm not saying anything good or bad about religion, regarding that, but so when you were talking about which Prime Minister was it that past the same sex marriage?

Tobi Olowe:

David? David Cameron? Yeah. And I would say that it is, it is true, most, I would say that in Europe, there was almost as I say, in Europe, nature was almost like a historian. And some people don't like me. Sure. But I think he's really, really great historian because he basically figured out that religion was no longer the organizing connection between people in Europe, you know, off the 1880. And you do see this. I mean, you see in the 20s in America, but it never really happens, I think in America. I, you know, I think probably your word renews. Right, you know, because of the war. Because you said, so much death, you know, the experiences they had that really changed them, but America was never really touched by the kinds of bombing campaigns, the, you know, the Britain and things like that. But also I think America provides people with their own isolated communities, and different kinds of communal religious experiences that never provided people with it's, it's, it's, yeah, it's more, it's much more of a secular culture. And, I mean, in to some extent, to it to the detriment because I feel like people hear a more I don't know They, they're more pessimistic than than Americans tend to be. And they're, they're less self reliant in a way that the Americans are for, for for next, some positive and some negative reasons, but he is definitely true. It is. It's just Yeah, it's a strange strange thing. But then it's also strange because America gets the the two sides of the human potential movement it gets it gets its its irreverent secularism. And it also gets its music. But then it didn't really change didn't really change religion, and not really no. In fact, America became more religious in the in the 60s in the 70s, and 80s.

Anne Marie Cannon:

Do you think we can change the future by understanding this movement?

Tobi Olowe:

I definitely think we can change the future by understanding this movement. Because I think that I think that the individual message of the human potential movement is really run out. And maybe it might be a boomer thing. But I think that what Brexit with Trump, you can see that people were sort of this integrated society with negative rights is becoming a little bit difficult for people. I think Marine Le Pen is dangerous this years. She's articulated a kind of communitarian philosophy, that's very, very racist. But it's also something that, you know, people look back on the the negative rights that they received, you know, in the 60s and 70s, in that country. And they don't necessarily feel like they've benefited as much from it, they, you know, there's almost like a hollowness they feel in the culture and, and you can see in, in America, in the revival of intellectuals like Christopher lash, you know, there's a lot of young academics or academic curious people like myself, you know, the people in my demographic who were, who ice me a little bit, you know, the the great social movements of the boomer generation are really respected. But in terms of their utility for creating a better society, from white now, people don't really feel that anymore. The Conservatives, like I said, like David Cameron, really brought in, you know, the equality Marriage Act, conservatives seem to not no longer really be focused on moral issues that really focused on individual rights. And the end, McConnell, when the Senate is focused on the economy and trying to make sure the poor people don't have anything highlighted. I really think that because of that, one, that people are starting to see that both on the right and the left. It's quite secular, and it's quite secular, because of the human potential movement. You know, people want it to be free, they got to be free. Some people like being free, and they want power, both on the right and left, but I think that on the right, you're saying with you, Senators, like Tom Cotton, like Josh Hawley, you're seeing conservatives who actually want increased economic rights. Now. You're seeing, you know, movements like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, you see, really seeing this human potential focus on individual rights, really relapse, relapse, and people were much more focused on community and trying to have communities in a digital age with micro focus on isolation, or loneliness. They're much more focused on you know, the economic rights, like the minimum wage, like labor rights, collective rights, and I think so the human potential movement, really one out, but the reason we had the society that we had, the reason we had almost this, this center, why Reagan Clinton condition that we had was a product of the human potential movement. And the reason that it's no longer satisfying is because the human potential movement is really run out. So there's a space I think, and it's an it's a tricky space to really work in, but there's this space for a kind of emboldened positive rights movements.

Unknown:

You know, the

Tobi Olowe:

conservative parties are moving to the left on economics a little bit, you see it with the Boris Johnson administration. You know, they're trying to increase corporation tax, they're following people and giving people money. You're seeing it with the senate right now in the house right now with mitt romney trying to pass a minimum wage bill with, you know, Marco Rubio trying to pass new tax credits, you're sort of seeing a drift away from the individual to the collective, it's dangerous, because it's, it's come out as racial and community and quite identitarian in many ways, which is why I brought up Marine Le Pen. But I do think that people are sort of have gotten tired of the freedoms that the human potential movement brought to them. And it there's a real space right now, I think, for talented politicians, fatality organizers, retirement policymakers, talent, philosophers, artists, to try to curate communicate a new kind of message that is going to bring everyone together, and is going to create a future that has many of the great qualities that the human potential movement gave us this great sort of flowering of individual creativity and personal effort, but also is more communitarian. And I think, by understanding the history by understanding why people wanted what they want, by understanding why they left the world of, you know, authoritarian, socialist in fight fascist regimes, and the white picket fence world and the 50s that was crushing and in, met, the people couldn't live in valve and do what they wanted. Why that was powerful, why ended up in great swayed victories for libertarian conservatives and created a new New Democrat movement that was more to the right and economics but more to the left on social issues. And why people don't actually want that as much right now. I think by understanding that you can, you'll be able to create a new, a new political, a new political sensor, and I think in my own life, I recently was an organizer on the London mayoral campaign, Rand Paul, the South East Division of the campaign for an independent candidate. And he was a conservatives in mind, my politics and much more, you know, liberal left, but he was trying to articulate a message of you know, communitarianism, as you know, on the campaign trail, he would talk about atomization, he was talking about loneliness. He would talk about, you know, collective rights, he would talk about communities. And he was really articulating a message that I understood, from what the conservatives in the Labour Party were offering, in the past, and, and I really think, to to our future, which will be more much more positive, you know, try and create positive rights for people try to find out what worked in the 60s and 70s. You know, what people will write about in the in the day, I could, I could talk to you about the 1920s and 1930s, and talk about, you know, why there was left economic movements, what people write about mid 20s 1930s, what people write about in the 1950s 1960s, and how to bring those two, those two poles together and create something that's better, that's newer, and that's really aligned with what people want today. So it's almost like a marketing thing, like you've studied the past, to understand to understand how you sell, you know, new ideas to people.

Anne Marie Cannon:

So that's what you do. You're a lobbyist. Guy,

Tobi Olowe:

I'm a lobbyist, but it's more for business. But I and campaign work is more intermittent. But yeah, I have worked on political campaigns before, and intend to, you know, gotta be honest and tend to in the future. And I think this kind of message that's left economically gets rid of that socially, but is trying to create a more community based politics is really what I'm interested in doing. And I get that being a human potential movement, and I also think, like, my own life, you know, when I was teen, like, I read Kerouac, I thought it was great. That's really nice. That was great. And I wanted to be Kerouac. But I think as I got older, I started to realize that this wasn't everything that a human being could be. And it was just the human being as himself. But what could a human be human being be, you know, in a community, and I think I think it's really important that I think it's what we're missing. I think it's the reason for things like Brexit and Trump and other people will say different things. But yeah, and I think it's, it's, you know, bridge the future. That's a,

Anne Marie Cannon:

that's an optimistic view of the potential future. You know, it's, it seems like, in my life, you know, I've been extreme in different ways, even in the 80s. Like that. You were talking about that. You know, if it's in your life, it's because you brought it there. I went through that whole thing. But um, it's for

Tobi Olowe:

young people, and I think I wouldn't in 1984 episodes, young people between the ages of 18 and 30, voted for Reagan, they voted for Reagan, because they wanted, they don't want to be rich. They want to be appeasers. So what happens? People who were younger than the boomers, they vote, because he was optimistic, it was individual it was, it was freedom. It was what freedom felt like them.

Unknown:

Okay.

Anne Marie Cannon:

I didn't vote for Reagan, I didn't vote. I don't even know if I was old enough. Let me think what year was that? I was not even involved in politics yet. But my I lived in a very conservative house, my dad was very conservative. He voted for Nixon. But I think what I was trying to say before is, everything is about balance. You know, it's and I liked that about you on the show. I can sometimes I think you're conservative because of the way you you measure things out and you weigh things against each other. And I I like that you do that I'm not that person. I'm more like Vaughn, I get very emotional about things. And sometimes get stuck in that where I can't see the forest for the trees. But I've learned over time to listen to other people talk and do what you do, because you guys have a lot of really good points. And I like that you look at both sides of an argument. And I don't you guys, you're always like, well, who is your favorite politician? And you're kind of like against that whole idea. That concept? You are I think you said that. I don't know if it was your assignment. But it's interesting, because I would say like Obama was Obama and Jimmy Carter, but then I listened to one of your episodes. And I was like, yeah, you know, there. That's like, having like a rock star kind of thing. I don't know, I, you guys are swaying me, you guys sway me back and forth, you make me think, and I really appreciate that. Because, you know, if I just stay with the choir or the congregation, that's all I'm going to hear. And my brain is not going to be, you know, it's not going to move forward with different ideas. And I do really appreciate that about your show and about how you present things. So thank you tremendously.

Tobi Olowe:

And I would say that, you know, I'm not in any way. But I would say that I often look at people as systems in a broader narrative. And I think that the ideas that people have, although they're their own ideas, and they thought through them, I think they're reflective of where they are, who they are, where they find themselves in. And I think that it's allowed me to develop a sort of empathy. It doesn't come out as emotional, it comes out as you know, analytical and stuff, but I think I have a deep empathy for people, whoever they are, however they feel about the world because I sort of see them as part of a broader system. And I think, you know, like, even with characters that I thought that I would, you know, hate like, I'm Rand and my faculty because he was funny, and you know, interesting, but even characters like I thought I would despise I, I see why they felt the way they did, why that formative experiences gave them that view of the world. And maybe it means that I'm a bit of a relativist. And then that's probably true. And someone someone like Vaughn probably thinks a bit more morally. And, you know, she probably thinks that people have the same way of thinking to think the same way or that moral when you get through the questions by thinking about them, but I don't either. I mean, maybe she's right, but it's the way I I kind of have always thought about people

Anne Marie Cannon:

Well, I know for the past four years, I have basically felt like you were either an enemy of the state. And, you know, I never felt that way about, you know, I'm, obviously, I'm obviously liberal. I used to be independent, but this last election forced my hand and made me become a registered Democrat. But I, for self preservation, I really just had to cut myself off from any kind of debate about politics, with the people that were in my life that were supporting Trump. It was it was ugly. And so this this way, that you're talking this way that you're thinking, it's my only hope, to bridge that again, and to try and not, you know, just honestly hate people. And that took a emotional and physical toll on everybody, I think, and, and so kind of plodding along listening to the way you reason things out. And, you know, I'm, I don't like that. We're so polarized. You know, I don't like, and honestly, in the past, I have voted Republican. So but you know, there was, like, you know, and then when my guy lost, it was like, even when gore lost who I voted for who should have won who really did win, you know, it was like, I wasn't exactly mad I, I he definitely one. He would have been an interesting president. And I, I really liked what you were saying about and I didn't know this about how he was telling Clinton that he should not sign this Don't Ask, Don't Tell. I think it was, was it the Don't Ask, Don't Tell. And I thought that was really interesting.

Tobi Olowe:

I think always more like the New Democrats, when they saw his his speech at the convention, they weren't very happy about it. You know, he had that, you know, big climate change thing. He was more. I mean, he had joe lieberman poll read, because back then the party was more to the right. But yeah, you know, he was more of a genuine liberal than I think Clinton was concerns much. Yeah, I mean, you listen to his speeches, he much is very, I would say, idiosyncratic, is really, really as big human potential. politician is very, very different, I think, from the standard.

Unknown:

So

Anne Marie Cannon:

yeah. Is there anything else you want to tell us about this movement? That you haven't touched on?

Tobi Olowe:

No, no, I think I've kind of covered, covered the basics of it.

Anne Marie Cannon:

I want you to kind of think about the movement in that time period that you talked about? Where do we see this in pop culture?

Tobi Olowe:

I would say maybe in movies like Wall Street, I would say the pop culture, you have to really go to the, the interviews that their Earhart gave or interviews around Scientology, it's much broader than specific pop culture moments, because I think it's what people have come to believe together. And I don't think there are big pop culture, movie moments or bathrooms, sort of interviews with that, yeah, I don't think big pop culture, moments that you can say, really capture it. You know, in the 1970s, you had filmmakers, like Polanski and Scorsese making these movies about sort of individuals and that much more dark and much more self reflective. But that was a reflection of the left take on society. You had movies about the Vietnam War, there were much more rah rah, and they know the deer hunter and in the 1980s, had movies like Wall Street, which were actually about access in Yuppiedom and that didn't really deal with moral grades. It's all successes, you know, basically, the goal of life, financial successes, the goal of life, things like that. But I would say that I think it's much more in the reason why those things were made. Right. So I'd say like a movie like the graduate is a guy who's it's quite it's difficult for audiences to really watch the graduate at the time because there was a guy who was left University and he didn't know what to do, right? He goes home. And he has a relationship with this girl who is age relevant, and then her mother starts to develop a relationship with with him. And it's very self reflective movie. It's a movie about transitioning, change and not really knowing what you want to do. But at the time, people who would be graduates don't really have that kind of experience, they were just expected to just become men in the gray flannel suit and just go off to work and why these movies were made was because these, these directors wanted to be more self referential and self reflective and to try to take the structures of movies that were, you know, ABC 3x movies and make them more reflective more, you know, about understanding yourself about more about thinking more about doing things that don't necessarily lead to an ultimate end. And I think it's the it's the reason why they did things they did, it might not hit graduate is quite explicit, but it's not always very explicit. I think it's the reason why these things were made, is the product that they have the human potential movement, as opposed to, you know, this big giant scene in the movie you're seeing on television is a product of the human.

Unknown:

Interesting.

Anne Marie Cannon:

So do you think that it was a failed experiment, a successful experiment, or somewhere in the middle of

Tobi Olowe:

the rights era of surveillance capitalism, is a lady who's a business writer, as recently wrote about how the human potential movement is almost like, a movement in the history of the mind can lose us from conformity to try and be ourselves. But now with the internet, the internet, the algorithms on the internet, whether you're shopping or you're collecting data for COVID, or it's your videos on Tick tock, it's collecting all this data. And the algorithms are saying, Why this person wants to be an individual. But this person is like, this person is like this person, let's sell them this to them to these kinds of adverts to them, these kinds of people to them that just like them. And it's so that the the algorithms notice in the connections that people are very similar. But we think we're individuals, and maybe Her name is Shoshana Zubov. And she thinks that there's going to be another kind of opening in the human mind, that the human potential movement really created to a future that is more about positive rights, who have not got the benefits of the human potential movement to become more individual, and then to this new human potential movement. But the the way the internet works, the way the data companies work. They are trying to stop this happening, and they're trying to make us all into sort of like atomized. Individual think they're individuals, but caging us off from other people caging off into vacuums, where you're talking to anyone who doesn't believe what we believe, when we don't know anyone who doesn't believe what we believe. Do you

Anne Marie Cannon:

think that they're doing that on purpose, or it's just a byproduct of what they're doing? And

Tobi Olowe:

that's a byproduct of capitalism. No one is doing this on purpose. If you got Mark Zuckerberg here to do interview with you, he wouldn't say that he was doing that. The head of Amazon wouldn't say that they were doing that. I think the intention is just to sell things to people. But I think, you know, whether it's Yeah, or whether it's some other policy, like we have to kind of get control over these things. But I think that the human potential movement led us to this juncture, where, you know, we think we're individuals, but the system's not necessarily think that we're individuals. And where do we go? Where do we go from here, you know, but it was really dealing with a time where that first, as Suzanne Zubov calls it the sort of first individual period is kind of waning in terms of its benefits for us. And what do we do? And what we do from here is, is a complicated question. But before we, we go into the future, we need to ask how we got here. And why Yeah, some of the things were positive, that led us here, but why some of those things were negative and how do we fix those things? And how do we take different things from different periods? I mean, it's it's what I mean it's what they did in the French Revolution, you know, the French Revolution. They were obsessed with the with the Roman Republic. Now, they They also talk about things that happened recently in America. And they were trying to create a society, you know that that took things from the past that understood why they got where they were, and try and create solutions. And I think this is the thing about history, you know, history is really valuable for people who work in politics. I mean, the historical methods is valuable for everyone. But it's really, really valuable for people in politics. And trying to create a future as it is, it is a difficult thing. But it's everything that we we can't ignore, like, it's a problem that we have to deal with. And we can only deal with it by knowing how we got to where we were. And also not being so cynical about the motives of the people that brought us here, feeling knowing that they were people who wanted things, they wanted things to be better for themselves in some way, even if they ignored other people. But knowing that it might not have been great for for society, you know, the main point I really want people to know about this history is when they study the history that of the 50s and 60s and the 70s is to look less at the confrontation, that is obvious between the left and the right, between the goal wars rights and, and the SDS student movement, the gay rights movement, or Harvey Milk, or the Black Panthers, Fred Hampton, he rippy Newton, or the feminist movement, you know, to to not lock so much in the confrontations, but to look at where they were agreeing. And to find that, that created a consensus. You know, I think a lot of people, a lot of people look at hit leaders and think that the leaders were the ones that sort of made the worlds the way it was, you know, if there wasn't Reagan, then McCabe this, this and this wasn't facha because, you know, England will be this, this and this, I think, really, really need to look at artists. I look at thought leaders on some level and then look at what people are saying to themselves, you know, how they're rationalizing life, look at the social history, look at, you know, what people want and what people were doing, how they spent their money, where they were going, who they love to love, you know, what music they listen to, you know, what clubs that they go to, and to find out, you know, what people share and what people think and how people feel about society. And because I think that's the only real way to do history. I think history is I think its history is endlessly valuable. On the level of the stories that you can learn. I think it's it's my favorite subject by by a mile really. And it's it's really valuable for creating a future for ourselves, because how do we know where to go if we don't know where we came from?

Anne Marie Cannon:

Agreed. Agreed. I really enjoyed talking to you today, Toby. Thanks for being here.

Tobi Olowe:

A great pleasure. I love to talk about this. This topic. I'm really happy that you invited me here. I really like that you you appreciate the patterns of America.

Anne Marie Cannon:

There you have it, Toby allow it and the complex all encompassing history of the human potential movement. To find out more about Toby the human potential movement and the impressions of America podcast, be sure to check out our episode notes cause so just a reminder handle requests. If you like the content of armchair historians, there are several ways that you can support us and believe me in the mysterious world of the internet. Any one or a combination of these things will help to improve our algorithms and increase listenership. First you can like subscribe, and wherever possible, leave a review wherever you listen to your podcasts. Next, you can follow and interact with us through your social media accounts. We're on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Finally, if you really enjoy the show, and earn a place to do so, you can also become a patron through Patreon. For buy us a cup of coffee through cofee every little bit helps. Thanks for listening and have a great week.