We can’t select the truth based on offensiveness. First of all, the world is an offensive place naturally, and secondly, most anything can be construed as offensive. Offense is subjective by nature and largely determined by individual temperament. A claim of subjective emotion can hardly be invalidated. This means that scientific hypotheses are being rejected on claims of subjective emotion instead of meticulous checking.
I’d almost characterize the IDW as Radical Centrists—which alloys ideas from both liberals and conservatives into a kind, practical, and unconventional middle. I’ve listened extensively to the work of all these core members—with the exception of the conservative Ben Shapiro who I’ve only watched as a guest with Sam Harris—and in my view the unifying characteristic was the willingness to honestly discuss controversial topics in Good Faith™. The New York Times piece had a different take, saying it was about going against your own in-group.
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He is also the editor of Tocqueville 21, a blog devoted to democratic politics and ideas in the 21st century. The intellectual dark web appears with each passing day to be earning itself a place in the American conservative tradition. The fact that many of these figures have no links to the conservative movement or denounce the Republican Party is hardly evidence to the contrary. Allan Bloom was a member of the Democratic Party, and the campus war debates he helped to start provided the opportunity for many younger writers to gain national notoriety as conservatives for the first time. Despite some of the novelty attributed to the dark web intellectuals, perhaps the signs of their belonging to the right have always been there.
- There’s a difference between wanting to have a good-faith conversation about a controversial topic in order to further humanist ideals, and wanting to use a guise of openness to spread racism, sexism, and nationalism.
- His critique come from a deep well of hatred, fear, resentment and paranoia.
- It’s kind of funny is to put people like Steven Pinker/Sam Harris on the same page as the 30% of religious intellectuals .
- As Peterson has stated regarding his explosion in popularity, “They came for the scandal and stayed for the content.” This was certainly true for me, as it was for so many others.
- As Brooks writes, the IDW “brand themselves as unclassifiable renegades even as they all share elements of an unmistakable anti-left agenda”.
- This, of course, is the nature-nurture debate in modern guise, a debate the extreme left is loathe to engage in because, if they lost, it would undermine their entire ideology.
They lived through World War II, the great depression, the Holocaust. They know what true suffering looks like, and it doesn’t look like being called by the wrong personal pronoun. Of course if the standard meaning were applied, the author would find it much harder to trash. It is precisely this kind of intellectual dishonesty that has made today’s Left so repellent to people like me. In other words, your critique of “power” is lacking. However, I agree that Ben Shapiro seems like an insufferable twit.
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But one unfortunate irony is that the more hotly contested the great issues of the day, the more you need such a thing, yet the harder it’s going to be to create and sustain. Maybe the best we can do is try hard (harder than Quillette, I’d say) to avoid cheap attacks on people and to address their arguments on the merits. Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with a magazine having a foreign policy ideology, even if it’s an ideology that I personally don’t like. And there’s nothing unusual about a network of people who tend to agree on certain issues and, as a result, are insensitive if not indifferent to certain kinds of thought policing. All I’m saying is that we shouldn’t pretend these things aren’t the case when they are.
Then again, I don’t claim to stand in constant vigilance against thought police of all kinds. Lots of observers, including the ACLU and such progressive Jewish groups as J Street, are worried about this apparent threat to free speech. You’d expect members of a non-ideological tribe devoted to the defense of free speech to share that concern. Eric Weinstein coined the term ‘The Intellectual Dark Web’, to describe a group of heterodox thinkers who have risen to prominence on the internet. When autocomplete results are available use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. Touch device users, explore by touch or with swipe gestures.
Well, in bubble wrapping the world, we disguise its reality, and that is a surefire way to cause catastrophe. We can’t put blinders on certain corners of the world and expect to come out with a proper understanding of how it functions. The political climate is not hospitable to truth-seekers. The only reason the Intellectual Dark Web is “dark” is because it is controversial to be an open inquirer. I get the appeal of the I.D.W. I share the belief that our institutional gatekeepers need to crack the gates open much more.
The intellectual dark web is perhaps a silly name for the group of thinkers it describes, but the search for a novel term does point to the radical transformation of American politics in our current moment. Donald Trump’s election has set off a chain reaction that has caused a great many Americans to rethink their ideological commitments and the place of those commitments within the broader society. For the people like Harris, Peterson, Rogan, Rubin, Sommers, Shapiro, Maher, and Weinstein, the noxious effects of political correctness on American society was the central lesson to be drawn from this recent history.
Indeed, this sort of Socialist wish-thinking was once likened by the Polish philosopher Leszek Kolakowski to trying to cook a “dish of fried snowballs”. Leninism leads to famine, terror and forced labour camps — even if Jordan Peterson and the IDW say so. This remains an important distinction, however, especially in Donald Trump’s America. The cloying self-regard of much IDW debate is bad enough, but it seems especially self-serving to pose as a purveyor of ‘unorthodox thought’ when taking on the comic turbulence of campus politics — all the while saying very little about the moral abominations of the Trump Presidency.