The Difference Between French’s and Ahmari’s Visions for the Right
In May 2019, the op-ed editor of the New York Post and recent Catholic convert Sohrab Ahmari published “Against David Frenchism” in the religious magazine First Things. It led to what Ross Douthat called “a full-employment bill for conservative pundits.” The topic, as the title of the antagonists’ first of two in-person debates put it, was which of these “two visions” should guide the conservative movement and its political party, given the nature of the modern left. Ahmari and his troops endorsed and did apologia for Trump’s reorientation…
Eric Weinstein coined the name “Intellectual Dark Web” for his group of friends with heterodox views in alternative media. Last year, he added his own podcast, The Portal, to this “alternative sensemaking network.” This month he released a conversation with Andrew Marantz, a staff writer for The New Yorker. It was recorded last November, shortly after the release of Marantz’s Antisocial (which I review here, and Nicholas Clairmont, for Arc, reviews here).
Reflecting on their conversation, Weinstein reports that he found it:
rather shocking … to have watched us be increasingly divided by how we are processing recent events. For…
In his recent trilogy of articles for Quillette, Uri Harris argues that the Intellectual Dark Web isn’t truly politically diverse. To count as “genuinely non-partisan,” according to Harris, the IDW would need “to open itself up to new left people and ideas.”
Dave Rubin, Eric and Bret Weinstein, Tim Pool, and Lauren Chen all adamantly rejected Harris’s analysis. Libby Emmons, Blaine Bowden, and Garrett Butler have published responses to Harris, arguing that his claims are untrue.
I want to defend a version of Harris’s claim that the IDW isn’t politically diverse. But first I need to spell out the difference…
(First) Response to Uri Harris
A long time ago, in a PragerU video with a view count far, far away (from zero), Dave Rubin explained why he left the Left: while he has remained classically liberal, the Left has not. He acknowledges quite plainly, “defending my liberal values has suddenly become a conservative position” (3:41–5). His timeline shows him cozying up to conservatives because, as things are now, it’s they who defend the liberal values of freedom of speech and of religion. He relentlessly attacks democrats because that’s where the attacks on these values are coming from.
Philosophy Professor at Hunter College/CUNY, NYC