Transcript: Dark Age Ahead: Andy Barrie interviews Jane Jacobs | Jun 26, 2004

Andy Barrie and Jane Jacobs sit at a small table on a stage, as an audience of approximately 50 people watches.
Andy is in his fifties, clean-shaven, with short white hair. He’s wearing a black suit, gray shirt, and green argyle tie.
Jane is in her eighties, with short white hair. She’s wearing glasses and a beige cardigan.

Andy says JANE, YOU WANTED
TO TALK ABOUT THE BOOK JUST
GENERALLY BEFORE WE START
TALKING BACK AND FORTH.

Jane says UM, ALL RIGHT.

She clears her throat and continues
AS ANDY RECOGNIZED, THIS SOUNDS LIKE A
VERY PESSIMISTIC BOOK AND THERE
IS--THERE ARE A LOT OF
PESSIMISTIC FACTS IN THEM.
UM, AND I DO NOT THINK AS A
WHOLE THAT THIS IS A PESSIMISTIC
BOOK.
UM, THE REVERSE.
NOW THIS MAY BE BECAUSE I'M
TEMPERAMENTALLY OPTIMISTIC.

(Audience laughing)

Jane continues AND, THAT ISN'T
WORTH MUCH.
BUT UH, I ALSO HAVE A FEELING
THAT I'VE HIT ON SOME THINGS
THAT ARE GOOD REASONS TO BE
OPTIMISTIC.
IF WE HEED THEM IN TIME AND IN
TIME IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE WE
HAVEN'T PASSED THE POINT OF NO
RETURN WHERE WE HAVE SO RUINED
OUR INSTITUTIONS AND SO LOST OUR
VALUES THAT THERE'S NO WAY OF
RETRIEVING THEM.
THAT CAN HAPPEN IF WE ARE NOT
AWARE OF MISTAKES WE'VE MADE...

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Jane Jacobs. Author, ‘Dark age ahead.’ The Berkeley Church, Toronto. May 25, 2004."

Jane says AND UH, HOW DO
STOP MAKING THE MISTAKES AND
RECTIFY ALL THIS.
THE--THIS SEEMS
LIKE A FORMIDABLE IMPOSSIBLE TASK.
UH, SO MANY THINGS HAVE GONE
WRONG.
UH, SUCH A BIG RESPONSIBILITY TO
FIX THEM UP.
UH, THERE'S SO INTRACTABLE THAT
PEOPLE GENERALLY ARE APT TO FEEL
HELPLESS AND WHAT CAN THEY DO?
UH, THIS IS TOO BIG FOR ME.
UH, WE READ A LOT ABOUT WHAT WE
HEAR, ESPECIALLY PERHAPS FROM
WELL MEANING ECOLOGIST IS UH, I
WAS ASKED THE OTHER DAY BY ONE
OF THEM AT AN INTERVIEW, UH, TO
TELL THEM IN FEW WORKS WHAT
SHOULD BE DONE ABOUT THE PACIFIC OCEAN.

(Audience laughing)

A man says something unintelligible.

Jane laughs and says
WELL THAT'S A LITTLE BIT TOO
LARGE FOR ME, BUT SOME OF THE
THINGS THAT I THINK ARE HELPFUL
ARE THAT EVERY THING DOESN'T
NEED TO BE A HUGE PROBLEM AND A
HUGE INTRACTABLE PROBLEM AND WE
ARE NOT HELPLESS, WE ARE
DEFINITELY NOT HELPLESS.
THESE TROUBLES ARE NOT
SUPERNATURAL.
THEY DIDN'T HAPPEN UH,
SUPERNATURALLY AND THEY DON'T
NEED SUPERNATURAL CORRECTION.
THESE ARE HUMAN MISTAKES THAT
CAN--THAT HUMAN INGENUITY AND
INTELLIGENCE CAN UH, UH,
CORRECT.
THERE ARE TWO CHAPTERS IN THIS
BOOK THAT PARTICULARLY DEAL WITH
WHAT I THINK UH, OFFERS HOPE.

Andy says THERE ARE MANY
DARK AGES, WE TEND TO THINK OF
THE COLLAPSE OF, OF WESTERN ROME
AS Mrs. JANE REFERS TO IT.
BUT THERE HAD BEEN MANY DARK
AGES, MANY CULTURES, MANY
SOCIETIES EVEN BEFORE ROME OF
COURSE, MINOA LOST TO US
TOTALLY.
CAN YOU DEFINE YOUR
UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT A “DARK
AGE” IS?
BECAUSE IF WE'RE HEADED FOR ONE,
WE OUGHT TO KNOW WHAT IT IS.

Jane says YEAH, ABSOLUTELY.
UH, WELL, GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
ONCE SAID, EVERY STORY STARTS--
EVERY STORY HAS A BEGINNING, A
MIDDLE AND AN END, BUT NOT
NECESSARILY IN THAT ORDER.

(Audience laughing)

Jane continues AND THAT'S THE
WAY DARK AGES ARE.
THE STRIKING THING ABOUT THEM IS
THE FORGETFULNESS AND THAT'S
MASS AMNESIA WITH WHICH THEY END.
PEOPLE LOSE THEIR CULTURE.
A WHOLE--THE WHOLE SOCIETY IS
LOSE THEIR CULTURE AS LIVING
WAYS OF BEING AND UH, NEVER GET
IT BACK AGAIN.
NOW WHY WOULD PEOPLE FORGET
THEIR CULTURE?
AFTER ALL, PEOPLE ARE VERY
PROTECTED OF THEM.
YOU KNOW HOW PEOPLE ARE ABOUT
THEIR LANGUAGES.
UH, THEY DON'T WILLINGLY FORGET
THEM.
UH, THEY DON'T, UM, EVEN FORGET
WHAT THEY HAVE LOST WHICH
HAPPENS IN DARK AGES.
SO, THE VERY FACT OF MASS
AMNESIA IS NOT DIFFICULT TO
UNDERSTAND.
WE ALL UNDERSTAND THAT HARSH
PRINCIPLE, “USE IT OR LOSE IT.”
AND THAT'S WHY MASS AMNESIA IS
WHEN PEOPLE UH, STOP USING THE
CULTURE THAT THEY HAVE, THEN THE
MEMORY OF IT IS LOST TOO.
UM...

Andy says CAN WE TALK ABOUT...

Jane says WHY WOULD PEOPLE
STOP USING THEIR CULTURE?
UM, SOMETIMES IT'S IMPOSED FROM
THE OUTSIDE AS WHEN A CONQUER
COMES ALONG AND TAKES THE LAND
OR TAKES THE DEMANDS THAT PEOPLE
BEHAVING IN CERTAIN WAYS AND
GLOAT WITH WHAT THEY HAVE.
UH, SOME TIMES IT COMES FROM
THEIR OWN MISTAKES.
THEIR OWN WILLINGNESS TO GO
ROTTEN BECAUSE OF SOME DELUSION
THAT SOMETHING IS BETTER.
THAT THAT'S WHAT THE DARK AGE
IS, IT'S A DEAD-END FOR A CULTURE.

Andy says I LEARNED THIS
MORNING OF SOME OF YOU MAY KNOW
THAT AT ONE TIME, KINDERGARTEN
TEACHERS, EVERY KINDERGARTEN
TEACHER IN ONTARIO HAD TO KNOW
HOW TO PLAY THE PIANO.
THAT WAS A REQUIREMENT FOR BEING
A KINDERGARTEN TEACHER AND OF
COURSE THERE WAS A PIANO IN
EVERY SINGLE CLASSROOM.
THERE WAS REPORT RELEASED THIS
MORNING TALKING ABOUT THE
CULTURAL DEPRIVE--DEPRIVATION
OF, OF KIDS IN ONTARIO SCHOOLS
THESE DAYS AND IT BEGAN WITH THE
DAY THAT I WAS TOLD THIS
MORNING, THE KINDERGARTEN
TEACHERS NO LONG HAD TO LEARN
HOW TO PLAY THE PIANO.
MOST OF US DON'T' KNOW THAT.
IF IT WAS INTRODUCED TODAY, IT
WOULD BE CONSIDERED A RADICAL
IDEA.
COULD YOU TELL US THAT THAT
OBLIVION, THAT FORGETFULNESS
WHICH JANE CALLS THE “FIFTH
HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE.”

(Audience laughing)

Andy says FAMINE, WAR,
PESTILENT DISEASES AND
FORGETFULNESS.
THE FACT THAT WE FORGET WHAT WE
AT ONE TIME KNOW, DEPRIVES THE
CULTURE.
THAT'S ONE LITTLE THING IN OUR
CULTURAL THAT HAS DISAPPEARED
AND MOST OF THE PEOPLE IN THIS
ROOM PROBABLY KNOW--DIDN'T KNOW
THAT IT EXISTED AT ALL.

Jane says MMM-HMM.

Andy says SO HOW DO WE--
WELL, LET'S, LET'S GO BECAUSE
YOU TALK ABOUT GOVERNMENT.
WE TALKED ABOUT THE, THE
DESCRIPTION OF WHAT HAPPENED IN
CHICAGO.
“GOVERNMENT RUNNING THEMSELVES
AS BUSINESSES.”
SO COULD YOU ENLARGE ABOUT THAT
A LITTLE BIT BECAUSE IT'S
SOMETHING THAT UM, YOU TALK
ABOUT, THE PHRASE IS, “EACH
PUBLIC SERVICE OR AMENDMENDITY
HAS BEEN TOLD THAT IT MUST
DIRECTLY EARN BACK ITS OWN
COSTS.”
THIS IS WHAT UH, JANICE
GOLDSTEIN CALLS THE “CULT OF
EFFICIENCY.”
DO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT THAT A
LITTLE, A LITTLE BIT?

Jane says YES, GOVERNMENT
AND BUSINESS ARE NOT SIMILAR AND
THAT HAS BEEN KNOWN BY THE HUMAN
RACE FOR A LONG, LONG TIME.
IT'S VERY ALARMING THAT IT'S
BEING FORGOTTEN.
IT'S BEING
FORGOTTEN IN THE FORMS OF THESE
UM, 3-P'S, YOU KNOW?
PARTNERSHIP,
PUBLIC, PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS.
THERE WAS IN ANOTHER BOOK I CALL
“MONSTROUS MORAL HYBRIDS.”

(Audience laughing and clapping)

Jane says WE KNOW THAT
IT'S VERY BAD FOR A PRIVATE
BUSINESS TO ACTS AS IF IT'S
GOVERNMENT, UM, AND IT'S WORSE
OR ALMOST IT'S WORSE.
IT'S UM, UM, IT'S UM, COMPANY
TOWNS GOES IN FOR THIS.
THE COMPANY TOWN, UM, THE
COMPANY, THE COMPANY TOWN RUNS
EVERYTHING IN THAT PLACE, AS IF
IT WERE THE GOVERNMENT AND IT
DOESN'T DO IT FOR THE GOOD OF
THE PEOPLE IT'S SERVING.
IT ISN'T SERVING THEM.
IT'S, IT'S RULING THEM.
ANYWAY, BUT UM, THAT IS NOT A, A
RECIPE FOR A GOOD GOVERNMENT.
A COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENT WHOSE
PRIME PURPOSE IS TO BE A
PROFITABLE COMMERCIAL
ESTABLISHMENT RUNNING ALL THE
AFFAIRS, GOVERNMENTAL OR NOT.
WITH SCHOOLS, UM, MAYBE THEY
WILL SAY UM, “OH, THOSE LITTLE
BRATS DON'T NEED THE PIANO.”

(Laughing)
(Audience laughing)

Andy says I'M INTERESTED
IN THE FACT, THIS IS 4-YEARS AGO
WHEN THE NATURE OF ECONOMICS
CAME OUT, YOU SAID “I THINK I'M
LIVING IN A MARVELLOUS AGE WHEN
GREAT CHANGE'S OCCURRING.
THIS IS VERY EXCITING.”
AT SOME POINT OR ANOTHER, JANE
JACOBS MUST'VE EXPERIENCED SOME
SORT OF TIPPING POINT.
FROM THE EXCITEMENT YOU WERE
FEELING 4-YEARS AGO TO THE
PESSIMISM, ALTHOUGH NOT
TOTAL THAT YOU'RE FEELING
TODAY.
UH, UH, I JUST WANT TO
PICKUP ON SOMETHING ELSE YOU
SAID, WHEN LOSERS--WINNERS,
WHAT TURNS WINNERS INTO
LOSERS?
LOSERS ARE CONFRONTED WITH
SUCH RADICAL JOLTS AND
CIRCUMSTANCES THAT THEIR
INSTITUTIONS CANNOT ADAPT
ADEQUATELY BECOME IRRELEVANT
IN THEIR DRAW.”
WAS THERE SOME SHOCK TO YOUR
SYSTEM, WHICH MADE YOU IF NOT A
LOSER THEN TO BEGIN LOSING FAITH
IN THE ENTHUSIASM YOU FELT JUST
4-YEARS AGO?

Jane says UH, YES IT
WASN'T A JOLT TO ME.
UH, I'VE BEEN GETTING--MAYBE
THIS IS WHY I'M OPTIMISTIC AND
I'VE BEEN GETTING ALONG OKAY.
BUT IT'S A JOLT TO THE UH,
ENVIRONMENT AND ECONOMY THAT I
LIVE IN AND, AND THE CITY AND
ITS AMENITIES, AND I FELT THIS
JOLT VERY STRONGLY AS I'M SURE
MANY OTHERS OF YOU HAD.
UH, SO MUCH SO, I THOUGHT, “GEE,
IT'S LUCKY MY CHILDREN ARE GROWN
UP.”
UM, IT WOULD BE SO HARD TO RAISE
THEM NOW AND WE HAD A REALLY
GOOD PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM,
MARVELLOUS IN, IN TORONTO.
AND LIKE THE PIANO, ITS BECOME
DEBASE, FORGOTTEN TO A GREAT
EXTENT.
IT'S BEEN STRIPPED OF LIBRARIANS
AND LIBRARIES.
IT'S BEEN, HUNDREDS OF
NEIGHBOURHOODS SCHOOLS HAVE
BEEN DISPOSED OF.
UH, AND THESE WERE TRULY
NEIGHBOURHOOD SCHOOLS BUT THEY
WERE TOO SMALL FOR THIS
REINVENTED GOVERNMENT.
THE PEOPLE AFFECTED ARE THOSE
WHO GIVE THE FIRST FEEDBACK AND
THERE WERE LOTS OF PROTESTS BY
PARENTS, UH, BY CHILDREN
THEMSELVES, AND BY TEACHERS.
BUT THE FEEDBACK WAS NOT HEATED
AND IT WAS NOT HEATED BY THE
PUBLIC AT LARGE EITHER.
THE, THE PARENTS AND THE
CHILDREN AND THE TEACHERS WERE
ALL TREATED AS IF THEY WERE
(Unclear)
OF APPARENTLY, AS IF
THEY WERE UH, SPECIAL INTERESTS.
UH, WELL I GUESS THE FUTURE IS A
SPECIAL INTEREST.

(Audience laughing)

Andy says COULD WE JANE
'CAUSE I THINK WE HAVE A LOT OF
UNIVERSITY STUDENTS IN THE
AUDIENCE AND IT MIGHT INTEREST
THEM TO KNOW IT COMPRISES A
WHOLE CHAPTER IN “DARK AGE
AHEAD” ABOUT THE REPLACEMENT OF
EDUCATION WITH WHAT YOU CALL IN
CREDENTIALISM.
CAN, CAN WE TALK ABOUT
CREDENTIALS VERSUS EDUCATION?

Jane says MMM-HMM.
WELL HIGHER EDUCATION IS ONE OF
THE STABILIZING PILLARS UH, FOR
A LONG TIME, HAS BEEN, UH, IN
OUR SOCIETY.
BUT THIS HAS--WE'RE LOSING IT OR
IT'S GOING WRONG.
UH, BECAUSE WHAT USED TO BE
REGARDED AS SOMETHING TO CARRY
ON THE CULTURE, UH, IN THE
FUTURE, AS SOMETHING NECESSARY.
IT'S NOT, UH, IT'S NOT ONLY
EDUCATION IN A FAX, IT'S ALSO
EDUCATION IN VALUES, UH, WHICH
ARE EVEN MORE IMPORTANT THAN FAX.

(Clearing her throat)

Jane continues UH, THE OBJECT
NOW IN UNIVERSITIES IS TO BECOME
GROWTH INDUSTRIES AND THE WAY TO
BECOME A GROWTH INDUSTRY IS TO
BE A FACTORY OF CREDENTIALS AND
THIS IS EASIER AND QUICKER, UH,
AND MAYBE LESS CONTROVERSIAL IN
SOME WAYS THEN EDUCATING PEOPLE,
GIVING THEM LETTERS AFTER THEIR
NAMES.
UH, I HAD THOUGHT THAT WHEN I
WROTE THIS CHAPTER THAT, UH, IT
WOULD BE VERY DISLIKED BY
UNIVERSITY PEOPLE, BUT I FOUND,
AS I HAVE FOUND WITH MOST OF MY
WORRIES THAT PEOPLE CLOSELY AND
INTIMATELY INVOLVED IN THEM ARE,
WE'RE EVEN MORE WORRIED THAN I
AM.
UH, THE FIRST EXERT THAT WAS
SOLD
FROM THIS BOOK WAS SOLD TO A
UNIVERSITY, IT HAPPENED TO BE
THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA AND
IT WAS THAT CHAPTER, ABOUT
CREDENTIALS AND ABOUT HOW THEY
TRUMP EDUCATION NOW.
BECAUSE YOU CAN'T RUN AN
EDUCATION AS IF YOU WERE A
MANUFACTURER OR A PANTYHOSE.

(Audience laughing)

Jane continues UH, WITH
ESPECIALLY THE ONE-SIZE FITS ALL.

(Audience laughing and clapping)

Jane continues HUMAN BEINGS ARE
NOT LIKE THAT, EDUCATION IS NOT
LIKE THAT AND OUR FUTURE IS NOT
GOING TO BE SERVED LIKE THAT.
BUT THAT'S THE KIND OF
UNIVERSITY EXPERIENCE THAT
PEOPLE ARE GETTING NOW AND IT'S
WORRYING THE UNIVERSITY PEOPLE
THEN IT IS ME BECAUSE THEY HAVE
TO LIVE WITH IT ALL THE TIME.

Andy says ONE OF THE
CREDENTIALS THAT JANE DESPISES
MOST OF GOING AS FAR AS TO
SUGGEST THAT IT'S BOGUS
PROFESSION IN THE FIRST PLACE
AND IF WE HAVE OF THESE PEOPLE
IN THE ROOM, YOU MAY OBJECT
AFTERWARDS, IT'S THE TRAFFIC
ENGINEER.

(Audience laughing)

Andy says PEOPLE WHO YOU
TELL US COME TO GRAND
CONCLUSIONS, WITH VIRTUALLY WITH
NO EVIDENCE AND THOSE
CONCLUSIONS HAVE SHAPED CITIES
FOR THE WORSE IN WAYS THAT YOU
MIGHT LIKE TO DESCRIBE.

Jane says WELL I THINK WE
ALL KNOW HOW THEY HAD SHAPED
CITIES FOR THE WORSE, BUT WHY
HAVE THEY, UH, AND IS THERE
EVIDENCE THAT THEY HAVE?
AND THERE IS INDEED.
UH, A LOT OF IT IS EVIDENCE.

(Audience laughing)

Jane continues BUT NOT ALL,
SOME OF IF IT STATISTICAL.
UM, WHERE DID OUR LIMITED ACCESS
HIGHWAYS, OUR MAIN KIND OF
TRANSPORTATION FACILITY COME
FROM?
THEY CAME FROM LIMITED ACCENT--
ACCESS RAIL CORRIDORS, UM,
BETWEEN PLANTATIONS IN THE
DISAPPEARING AGRARIAN AGE, UM,
AND SEAPORTS.
UH, THEY WERE ABSOLUTELY LIMITED
ACCESS EXPRESSWAY THAT
ABSOLUTELY MODELED ON THOSE RAIL
CORRIDORS.
UH, AND THEY HAD BEEN APPLIED
FOR--TO, UH, FOR TRUCKS THAT
NEED TO MAKE UNLIMITED LOCAL
DELIVERIES, UH, FOR COMMUTERS,
FOR IN CITY TRAFFIC, FOR
INTERCITY TRAFFIC.
FOR ALL OF THESE THINGS THAT,
THAT NEED UM, UNLIMITED ACCESS
TO UH, LOTS OF MICRO-
DESTINATIONS, COUNTLESS MICRO-
DESTINATIONS INSTEAD OF
RELATIVELY FEW MACRO-
DESTINATIONS.
BUT THE, THE TRAFFIC ENGINEERS
AND THE ROAD DESIGNERS HAVE
NEVER RETHOUGHT OF WHAT KIND OF
ROADS WE NEED NOW.
WHEN THEY ARE--JUST THINK HOW
LONG THESE THINGS HAD BEEN BEING
BUILT.
UH, WELL THEY BEGAN GETTING
THEIR GREAT, BIG, PUSH TO
LIMITED ACCESS HIGHWAYS, UH, AT
THE END OF THE 1930s.

Andy says AND THE
ALTERNATIVE JANE, JUST TO--
BECAUSE YOU PAINTED A BEAUTIFUL
PICTURE, THE ALTERNATIVE IN
VIRTUALLY EVERY WORLD CITY THAT
YOU LOOK AT...

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Andy
Barrie. Broadcaster."

Andy says IS SOMETHING
CALLED A “BOULEVARD,”
NOW WE USE THAT
WORD “BOULEVARD,” WE MIGHT THINK
WE KNOW WHAT IT MEANS, BUT...
TORONTO COULD
USE A FEW OF THEM.
DO YOU WANT TO EXPLAIN WHY WE
DON'T HAVE THEM AND HOW WE WOULD
PROFIT FROM THEM?

Jane says YES, THERE'S A
VERY GOOD BOOK.
THIS IS QUITE AN EXPENSIVE BOOK
SO YOU HAVE TO GO TO THE
LIBRARY, IF YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY
HAS NOT BEEN CLOSED.

(Audience laughing)

Jane continues AND READ “THE
BOULEVARD BOOK.”
IT'S BY ALAN JACOBS, WHO IS NO
RELATIVE OF MINE.

(Audience laughing)

Jane continues BUT HE'S A, HE'S
A FRIEND AND UH, I HIGHLY
RESPECT HIM AS A DESIGNER AND
PLANNER.
UH, HE HAS BEEN THE CHIEF
PLANNER FOR SAN FRANCISCO AND
UH, NOW HE'S A PROFESSOR AT
BERKLEY AND HE HAS WRITTEN THIS
BOOK WITH HIS WIFE WHO IS ALSO
UH, A, IN THE SAME LINE OF WORK,
ELIZABETH McDONALD IS HER NAME
AND SHE IS A PROFESSOR AT
BERKLEY ALSO.
UH, THEY, WELL THEY NOTICED AS
DOES EVERY PLANER, I GUESS,
WHOEVER HAS ANY ABILITY TO
CONNECT THE DOTS THAT UH, THAT
OUR ROADS ARE SO MUCH ALIKE,
LIKE EACH OTHER, UM, THAT, AND
WHY?
IT'S BECAUSE THE TRAFFIC
ENGINEERS UH, ALL PROPOSE
STANDARDS, WHICH ARE ALL
ACCEPTED BY PUBLIC WORKS
DEPARTMENTS AND EVEN MADE IT
INTO BY-LAWS AND LAWS BY VARIOUS
OTHER GOVERNMENTAL BODIES.
UH, SO THESE ARE VERY POWERFUL.
THE BELIEFS, EVEN WHEN THEY
AREN'T DESIGNING ROADS, THE
BELIEFS THAT THEY'RE PUTTING
INTO OTHER PEOPLES HEADS ABOUT
HOW OUR ROADS SHOULD BE
DESIGNED.
THE--THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR,
WHAT NOW?
MORE THEN HALF A CENTURY AND
BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, JUST IN
NORTH AMERICA HAVE BEEN SPENT ON
THESE RECOMMENDATIONS.
UM, AND YET, EVERY ROAD THAT,
THAT IS BUILD IN THIS WAY MAKES
TRAFFIC WORSE.
IT DOESN'T IMPROVE IT.
SO THAT'S THE FIRST THING TO NOTICE.
THAT'S THE ANTIPODAL EVIDENCE; I
GUESS THAT SOMETHING IS WRONG HERE.
UH, IT YOU READ
“PARIS 1918,” ABOUT THE VERSAI
TREATIES, YOU MUST HAVE BEEN
STRUCK BY HOW SERIOUSLY THE
TREATY MAKERS OR WOULD BE TREATY
MAKERS WERE TAKING THESE RAIL,
UH, ROUTES THAT RAN TO THE SEA
PORTS FROM THE COMMODITY
PRODUCTION PLACES.
UH, AND WHAT TROUBLE THAT THEY
MADE.
THEY REALLY BUSTED UP THE WHOLE
SENSIBLE AND, IN SO FAR THAT IS
WAS SENSIBLE, UH, ATTEMPTS TO
MAKE, UH, CONSTRUCTIVE TREATIES.
THEY RUINED THE WHOLE PROCESS.
THEY COME INTO IT AND ALL THE
OTHER IDEALISTIC OR UH, WISH FOR
RESULTS GO OUT THE WINDOW.
UH, NOW I'M SOUNDING ALMOST
SUPERNATURAL HERE ABOUT AS IF
THEY ARE THE CONTRIVANCES OF THE
DEVIL.

(Audience laughing)

Jane continues WELL, UH, THEY
OPERATE AS IF THEY ARE.

(Audience laughing)

Andy says JANE TAKES THE
TASKS, MANY OF THE SOURCES OF
AUTHORITY IN OUR CULTURE WHO ARE
RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INITIATION
OF WHAT COULD BECOME A NEW DARK AGE.
WE TALK ABOUT GOVERNMENT, WE
TALK ABOUT PROFESSIONAL GROUPS
WHO ARE POLICING THEMSELVES
ADEQUATELY FROM A COUNTLESS TO
THE POLICE, UH, WE TALK ABOUT
THE CREDENTIALED PROFESSIONS,
WHICH PERHAPS HAVE THE
CREDENTIALS BUT NOT THE
WISDOM TO GO WITH THEM.
AND YOU TALK IN THAT CHAPTER
ABOUT SOMETHING CALLED
PLAUSIBLE DENIAL.
PLAUSIBLE DENIAL
IS WHAT
ALLOWS THE CHAIRMEN OF THE BOARD
OF A COMPANY THAT'S BEEN CAUGHT
WITH ITS HANDS COLLECTIVELY IN
THE COOKIE JAR TO CLAIM THAT HE
DIDN'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT.
HE MIGHT ACTUALLY INSTRUCT
HIS SUBORDINATES NOT TO TELL
HIM CERTAIN THINGS LATER, SO
THAT HE CAN LATER MAKE A
PLAUSIBLE DENIAL.
GOVERNMENTS DO THE SAME
THING.
BUT I WANTED TO TALK, I
WANTED YOU TO ADDRESS
SOMETHING THAT YOU DON'T GO
INTO IN THE BOOK, BUT SHOULD
INVOLVE US ALL, NOW THAT WE'RE
IN MIDST OF AN ELECTION
CAMPAIGN.
AND THAT IS HOW IS THE
CULPABILITY, IF I CAN PUT IT
THAT WAY, OF VOTERS AND THE
POLITICAL CULTURE OF THIS CITY
AND THIS COUNTRY RIGHT NOW.

Jane says WE ARE UH,
LOSING IT INSTEAD OF USING IT.
OUR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS AND OUR
DEMOCRATIC ABILITY TO SUPPLY AN
EFFECTIVE AND NECESSARY
FEEDBACK, UH, IN SEVERAL WAYS.
ONE WAY WE'RE LOSING IT IS BY
NOT VOTING AT ALL.
IT KEEP GOING DOWN THE UH, YOU
KNOW, THE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE
VOTE--VOTING.
UH, SO IF YOU DON'T VOTE, UH, I,
I, FULLY RECOGNIZE BECAUSE I'VE
BEEN PLAGUED WITH--BY THIS FOR
YEARS.
UH, ALL TO OFTEN, YOU HAVE NO
BODY TO VOTE FOR THAT YOU'RE
ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT.
UH, IT INVITES YOU TO BE REALLY
CLINICAL.
OH, THEY'RE ALL ALIKE.
UH, AND HOW IS ONE BETTER THAN
THE OTHER?
DO THEY ALL BREAK PROMISES?
UH, WELL, ALL THE NASTY THINGS
YOU COULD THINK OF THAT
POLITICIANS DO.
SO, THE ANSWER TO THAT IS TO UH,
PROBABLY VOTE EVEN IF IT'S THE
UH, FOR THE LEAST OBJECTIONABLE
EVIL.

(Audience laughing)

Jane continues WHICH IS OFTEN
THE CASE.
UH, OF COURSE, ANOTHER MORE
CONSTRUCTIVE THING IS TO UH, UH,
GET INTO POLITICS YOURSELVES.
OF COURSE, THAT MEANS GIVING UP
WHAT YOU REALLY WANT TO DO AND
MAKING YOUR LIFE OBSCURED.

(Audience laughing)

Jane continues SO I'M NOT
SAYING THAT PEOPLE OUGHT TO DO
THIS OR RATHER YOU DO NEED TO DO
THIS.
UH, BUT THEY DO HAVE, AS ANDY
WAS IMPLYING, A DUTY TO NOTICE
WHO THEY'RE VOTING FOR AND TRY
TO HOLD THEM TO STANDARDS THAT
THEY, THEMSELVES WOULD UH, WOULD
LIKE TO, UH, HOLD ON TO IF THEY
WERE ELECTED.
UH...

She clears her throat and continues
BUT, EVEN IF YOU
START TO BE CONTENTIOUS ABOUT
CASTING YOUR VOTE AND SUPER
CONTENTIOUS UH, ABOUT, GETTING
SOMEHOW INTO POLITICS, UH, BY
WORKING IN CAMPAIGNS AND
WHATEVER, TALKING TO THE
CANDIDATES WHEN THE COME ALONG
GLAD HANDING YOU AND TELLING
THEM, TELLING THEM WHAT YOU
REALLY THINK AND WHAT THINKERS
THEY ARE SOME TIMES.
UH, YOU HAVE TO ARGUE WITH THESE
PEOPLE AND IF YOU'RE AFRAID TO
ARGUE WITH THEM, IF YOU ARE
AFRAID TO FALL OUT OF THEIR
FAVOUR, THAT'S A KIND OF
FEEDBACK TOO.
THAT IS NOT THE WAY A DEMOCRACY
SHOULD WORK.
UH, YOU OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO
FEARLESSLY TO UH, ARGUE WITH THE
AUTHORITIES AND TO FACE YOUR OWN
FEARS IF YOU FEEL IT AND REFUSE
TO BE AFRAID.
AND AS ANDY SAID, YOU HAVE A
DUTY TO NOTICE WHO YOU ARE
VOTING FOR AND WHAT THEY STAND
FOR AND YES, UH, PEOPLE ARE UH,
FORGETFUL, I SUPPOSE AND
FRIVOLOUS ABOUT THE CANDIDATES.
UH, THAT'S NO FAIR.
THIS IS SERIOUS STUFF AND UH,
JUST BECAUSE SOMEBODY CALLS HIM,
THEMSELVES A NICKNAME THAT'S
CUTE, THAT'S NOT REASON ENOUGH
TO VOTE FOR THEM.
UH, YES, PEOPLE there’s this
LONG, LONG, LONG TIME THING
ABOUT PEOPLE GET THE GOVERNMENT
THEY DESERVE.
UH, I DON'T AGREE WITH THAT.
I DON'T THINK PEOPLE ARE THAT BAD.

(Audience laughing)

Watch: Dark Age Ahead: Andy Barrie interviews Jane Jacobs