2018, 2019, Podcasts


This is an excellent podcast, initially about the Bundys, a ranching family in the American West, and more generally about the so-called “patriot movement”.

The first season of the podcast concerns The Bundy family, a group of Mormon ish ranchers in Nevada whose conflict with the Bureau of Land Management and apocalyptic beliefs attracted supporters from various extreme movements, leading to the Bundy Standoff in 2014 and the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in 2016.

The second season concerns the effects caused by the shooting of LaVoy Finicum by Oregon State Troopers at Malheur. I found the second season better than the first, but both are worth your time. (And you need to listen to the first to have context for the second.)

This is an excellent podcast. They do a great job of trying to understand their subjects rather than just condemn them. You might feel like they go far out of their way to empathize with them, especially in the first season. (Of course, if you’re a sovereign citizen type, you probably think this whole thing is biased.)

What most impresses me is how they look at these people as people, and try to find out the reasons why some of these people are committing violent acts. They also try to find out who the people are who are not committing crimes themselves, but who are perpetuating the ideas underlying the acts of violence.

It’s far from perfect and I don’t always agree with their take, but I appreciate the angle they are approaching it from, and I think it’s an approach that is necessary for this subject matter. And if you’re not sure they are committed enough to the morally correct side of the issue, just listen through to the final episode, as they make it clear where they stand.

Anyway, highly recommended if you want to understand extremism.


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