Applied Postmodernism: How "Idea Laundering" is Crippling American Universities

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Submission Statement: In 2017 and 2018, as a part of a whistleblowing effort, James Lindsay, Peter Boghossian, and Helen Pluckrose wrote ideologically-driven, morally horrific papers and submitted them to leading peer-reviewed academic journals. Seven of these were published, and seven more were under review before their project was uncovered and subsequently revealed by the Wall Street Journal. The trioโ€™s intention was to expose a kind of academic corruption (idea laundering) that puts radical social and political agendas ahead of scholarship and a dispassionate search for truth.

๐Ÿ‘๏ธŽ︎ 22 ๐Ÿ‘ค๏ธŽ︎ u/knockingsparks ๐Ÿ“…๏ธŽ︎ Oct 02 2019 ๐Ÿ—ซ︎ replies

This is a great video. I can't help but feel a more hyperbolic title would increase interest.

idea laundering: how radical social and political agendas have infiltrated and taken over academia and subverted reality?

๐Ÿ‘๏ธŽ︎ 10 ๐Ÿ‘ค๏ธŽ︎ u/MichaelRabbit ๐Ÿ“…๏ธŽ︎ Oct 02 2019 ๐Ÿ—ซ︎ replies

"asking for evidence is racism" - This almost sounds like the definition of a cult. Why are we funding this with taxpayer dollars

๐Ÿ‘๏ธŽ︎ 6 ๐Ÿ‘ค๏ธŽ︎ u/furry8 ๐Ÿ“…๏ธŽ︎ Oct 02 2019 ๐Ÿ—ซ︎ replies

It occurs to me that this meme that states "he who controls the language controls the debate" is actually correct; it's just being misused.

Our choice of language does, to a large part, govern how we work together in a group to solve problems. The maxim rings true: describing the problem is half the work.

The issue here is goals. In a political discussion, language is chosen and certain words approved or proscribed for political reasons. We are going to debate or otherwise struggle using rhetoric. The winner gets political power.

But science is not supposed to be like that. In politics, you already have your end goal, power. In science you don't know where the hell you're going to end up. In that situation, any kind of language construct is arbitrary. Not only that, it can be quite damaging to the work, for the same reasons it makes so much sense to the political wankers.

Language is a tool we use for various social purposes. It's just one tool for one thing. We can't think that all we need is a bigger hammer when in fact what's actually required is a precision screwdriver. There's a crossover between politics and science that's happening here that's quite detrimental to both of them.

๐Ÿ‘๏ธŽ︎ 4 ๐Ÿ‘ค๏ธŽ︎ u/ExistentialismFTW ๐Ÿ“…๏ธŽ︎ Oct 02 2019 ๐Ÿ—ซ︎ replies
I am a literature and history student I was interested in the late 14th century and 15th century how women was the social conditions for women and in particular women's religious writing now I found it extremely difficult to address this because of the increasing pressure to read women's experiences through a very narrow ideological framework after I had been penalized for saying sexual selection exists and for saying race is less significant than shared goals and it was made very clear to me that I could not pass my masters I could not do a PhD if I were to keep insisting on liberal principles and on biology actually being a reality so this is what has really driven me I would like to go back I would like to study history literature sociology all of these things rigorously without having to read it through an ideological framework and one of the outcomes of the ideology that has sort of made its way in to lots of different fields is the inability for people to be pushed back on right yes you saw this with Brett Weinstein Pete you want to talk about what his experience was it's very difficult I see how old am I I'm 53 and I graduated from high school 84 in college and 88 and it was a universe of difference let me give you a flavor for what happens on the campus today trigger warnings safe spaces microaggressions there are a suite of institutionalized factors that are designed to protect people from ideas and let's let's not kid ourselves that's exactly what this is these these policies have been implemented to protect people from ideas that they would find offensive well the consequence of that there are many consequences of that one of the consequences is that people become brittle so when they hear an idea that they don't like they can't handle it they can't take it they need puppies or rooms to go into with coloring books another consequence of that is that they literally never hear the other side of an idea so and I'm I'm not saying this as a conservative because I am NOT a conservative but I do think that conservative voices need a place in the Academy in the same way that every other voice needs a place in the Academy and those voices aren't allowed by institutional design and one more thing asking for evidence for any of this stuff what is your evidence for them what is your evidence for the fact that microaggressions are gonna make people more cognitive room cognitively resilient or whatever the claim is well there is no evidence and not only is there no evidence there's actually evidence against it but we have now created the cultural conditions under which asking for evidence for an institutionalized policy in the Academy is considered racist that's the story of Brett Weinstein at Evergreen State College which maybe you've heard about that made a lot of news it was a small super liberal college in Olympia Washington it completely melted down I mean you had kids patrolling campus with bats trying to drag people out of their cars they took control of the faculty they took control of the administration in particular in the video there was a kid yelling at somebody and it very near the end of the video if you notice that I remember that that was a student who was caught up in this aggressive like riot that took over the campus yelling at the president of the college telling him to shut up and all things are terrible they made him hold his hands to his sides and so a friend of ours Brett Weinstein was a professor there and they talked to this was all embroil around him and he was standing up against it more or less with no help no one will stand alongside anybody who tries to push back against us but but let me finish the the racist issue was they said that the campus had become unfixable racist even though it's one of the least racist campuses in the country and Brett said what's your evidence for that and they said asking for evidence is racism if you are willing to even ask the question well how do we know that this that there's racism on this campus that's evidence of your own racism and that's the literature that you cited in the papers that you wrote so can you talk a little bit about first let's talk about what what when you started writing the papers what did you learn and what did you expect when we first started writing the papers we didn't expect much Peter was very optimistic and thought that we might be able to get a couple of papers in in a year and kind of lower tier mid tiered academic journals you know there are better and worse ones and I said no we're gonna get zero and we're gonna just torpedo our own careers and make fools of ourselves and then we thought well maybe we can just write kind of gibberish and see if they can tell something that it'd be it's beyond nonsense it's just completely worthless words on paper with random citations attached and it turns out that they were able to detect that they did not let us do that that's where we failed and we realized okay these people can't be tricked it's not any kind of nonsense that they're publishing it seems to be a very specific kind of nonsense so that's when we decided oh wow we need to learn this stuff let's actually see what this literature and the and the Academy says let's understand it ourselves and let's start to reproduce it by you say we sighted their papers we didn't just cite them we used the ideas faithfully we understood the arguments the concepts the the entire project that they are engaged in fed it back into their system and let them validate that we had understood it correctly by publishing our papers at the highest level of academic credibility and maybe Helen could you speak to some of those papers one thing that people are often often say to us is how how can you say that this is coming from the universities the average person isn't reading Foucault they're not reading Judith Butler but the problem is that these ideas some very specific ideas which center around the idea that knowledge is not something that exists and is to be found and it can be correct and it's the same for everybody but it's something that is made it's constructed by humans with the way they talk about things and at the moment white straight Western men are considered to be the powerful groups in society who have constructed knowledge artificially with language so women because we've got this kind of conception of society if you don't understand how it works this just looks mad but if you if you can get into the framework that they're trying to that they're working to you can see a kind of internal consistency it's it's radically anti evidence anti reason but there is a consistency in there so we see this idea that everybody is born and then dependent on their race gender sexuality religion they're plotted into a certain position on this grid of human beings and they learn to speak in relation to power so if they're a white man they will speak with power if they're a woman of color they will speak to power so we've got this very complicated understanding of going on and this is where we get the ideas which probably a lot of you have seen where we talk about punching down and punching up has everyone heard these expressions punching up and cutting done now note so this is this is when it's considered to be allowable to discriminate against people who have less power than you or to criticize them and not allowable to criticize the other way around not allowable to put aside people with sort of less power than you so we see this kind of but sometimes people have called reverse discrimination but it really is just a form of discrimination we see prejudice against straight white men we see very hostile attitudes towards knowledge understood to be Western and we see a very sort of conciliatory and encouraging attitude towards knowledge which is understood to be women's knowledge people of colors knowledge people from the east so this is where you get the idea not that there is truth but that there is your truth and someone else's truth and you know the lived experience is primary and objectivity is no longer preference yes I mean it's really quite extreme you get you get claims that science itself and reason are straight white male knowledge that they are intrinsically oppressive you get the concept of research justice in which they want to include in in research in knowledge production they want to include experiences feelings religious or cultural traditions and they want it to be on the same level as is that truths which have been established provisionally by science there isn't any need for a reasoned argument there isn't any need for evidence and the other thing that you've written about and talked about is the loss of the individual mmm so can you say just a little bit about that and then we'll talk more about idea laundry yeah when this this has been going on for about 30 years now so when these disciplines started coming up that intersectional feminism post-colonial theory critical race Theory queer theory the first thing that they attacked was what was known as liberalism now that's on the broadest sense it's not doesn't mean left as often people assume in the u.s. it just means that sort of broad aim for equality and freedom for everybody so they argued against this they argued against the idea that we should see everybody as an individual regardless of their race gender or sexuality and we should make sure that every individual has the same access to everything that our shared society has to offer now this requires requires a commitment to understanding people as individuals and understanding us all as humans of the universality there there's a humanism there so these these schools of thought they they immediately attacked this they said this was essentially a myth that the individual is really just straight white men putting their values onto everybody else and saying this is how you should be so they want you to look at people instead as demographic groups and they tied knowledge into this so there's women's knowledge and there's people of colors knowledge and there's trans people's knowledge and these have been unfairly denigrated and disparaged so now we need to elevate those and so these concepts about having different rules for different identities and you know that that being a person of some marginalization allows one to be a victim of racism but if you are in the dominant class you you can't be a victim of racism yep the idea that that words are harmful that words are violent this is the stuff that has gotten into all kinds of areas outside of the Academy and within that's the idea wandering so can you talk about how what exactly the idea laundering is how it happens and what you uncovered yeah so everybody has a sense I think I don't know because that movie that was quite funny in the 90s office space movie maybe everybody doesn't know how I have money laundering works but with money laundering the idea of courses that you obtain money and some illegitimate fashion you put it through some channels so that it comes back to you and now you have a legitimate paper trail that makes it look clean and now you can use it so it's a way of making dirty money look legitimate ideal laundering is this parallel concept our friend Brett Weinstein gave us to describe what we had uncovered an ideal laundering is where you start with something like opinion or prejudice and you write down a scholarly looking paper that looks very authoritative and then you get it published as scholarship that the Academy verifies it gets used to set educational curricula and and gets taught as truth as fact once you take these ideas and prejudices and then you can you can push through get them published as though they're scholarship people will refer to those as though they are legitimate knowledge and so how we know that what we uncovered is a process of idea laundering is that we wrote our papers in pretty much the same way we wrote 20 papers over the course of 10 months and aside from those joke papers we started with once we started doing it's very seriously the program was consistent we started with the conclusion we wanted for example that that men should be trained like dogs to stop rape culture use dog training methods to stop men from participating in rape culture we started with the conclusion and we used the existing scholarship faithfully and accurately to build a nonsense argument to get to that conclusion that's not how you do knowledge right you can't do it backwards you don't start with what you want to be true and write a bunch of bullcrap and then send it off so you would hope that the peer reviewers the editors of these academic journals the people who validate yeah this was good scholarship it should be published we should take this seriously this is knowledge and one of our reviewers did call one of our papers an important contribution to knowledge as a matter of fact what hook threw me off completely the paper cracked me up so uh when you have this kind of a situation where you can pass that stuff off at the highest level and it becomes something that people teach and people can say there's a study and we're going to follow what that says this is true you have the situation where people don't question it you have the highest level of rigor saying this is the fact of the matter but when you start from your conclusion there's no trust in that you could write anything so that's what I'm saying we thought that we could fine we that they would catch this right that they'd say wait a minute this is these papers don't make sense they're about awful things they're crazy sometimes the data that we made up for them are literally impossible and instead they didn't they had no idea and as Helen was just saying there's a reason for that it's not that they were asleep on the job it's the peer-review system was working as intended the process was working as intended but the people operating that system fully buy into the idea that if you say something bad enough about men like that they should be trained like dogs or that you say something bad enough about white white men in college that like that they should consider it an educational opportunity to be chained to the floor to experience reparations and that you shouldn't comfort them for this because there have to be left to sit in their own discomfort so they'll learn what privilege really feels like being on the downside of privilege really feels like they think these are great ideas so of course they validate them that they have become lost by having swum in this kind of academic inbreeding pond for maybe what 50 60 years now can I just quickly I just want to add to that is to say if you really think about it my son is off to college this year if you really really think about that a bunch of people have some moral impulse they get together they find someone else who's an academic this person sets up a journal they have some idea that's total sum total freaking lunatic nut job idea they get together they write this up they go to their buddy their buddy makes a journal they take these articles they publish them they get seven of these in and seven years they get tenure which is a job for life they then get together in communities with other people who have published in this and let's make no mistake but these are purely ideological ideas coming from a fringe section of the far left so we then have individuals based on idea laundering we have created an entire culture in the Academy and whenever they're asked about something well how do you know that they just point to them to the piece of information well I know that because it's here yeah but that whole thing is made up one particularly good example of this because this is how knowledge is meant to work it's meant to build but if it's starting from an ideological premise in the first place and then building on that we're just getting towards increasing insanity so one very popular text within feminist studies it's called doing gender now this one starts with the assumption that men and women are psychologically and cognitively exactly the same and that the reason that different gendered behaviors exist is because a society has socialized women into being subordinate men into being dominance so this is the thesis of this since this paper there have been at least a dozen which explicitly draw on those same concepts there's now undoing gender and redoing gender and doing gender in the workplace and and so it looks as though it has begun with this one solid idea and then built upon the knowledge but it is ideology building on ideology until you end up with some completely bizarre conclusions and such as that heterosexual men are only attracted to women because they've been been taught to be there's you know the idea that we are a sexually reproducing species isn't something that can be considered doing genders not some fringe paper it's been cited over 30,000 times over 30,000 times and is what people is just saying I just did a case study I was asked to review a book about critical dietitian studies and critical nutrition studies and in the book the the the the the authors try to lay out the history of critical nutrition studies and explicitly say well we tried to publish this stuff in existing nutrition journals and they wouldn't take it they said this isn't nutrition so we made our own journal called critical nutrition studies it's in the book and so we made our own journal to validate our own ideas and now we're seven years down rohde were growing we're now having books published we're having conferences it has all the appearances of being legitimate academic stuff that people take very seriously and yet it's I mean the whole book this book just to give you some idea is not just a political track this is chapter 9 of that book I was shocked is the remember this is a book about nutrition and it's about food distribution and it calls upon Lenin as a model for how he should do food distribution I mean there's few characters in history who you maybe would cite less vigorously than Lenin for a successful nutrition regimen which i think is really important is when when you take a step back and when you see what's going on here we're not the first people to point this out sure letter Stern wrote a paper pointing this out many people have pointed south nobody knew what to do about it and those people who maybe had an idea what to do about it they were either being investigated under title 9 violation or they had been they didn't get tenure because if you don't have an idea that's morally fashionable you can't publish in a journal and even if you do like Rebecca to Val and Hypatia in the Q&A we can talk about that even if you do your argument Bruce Gilley oddly enough is a professor in my university from Portland State University wrote a paper in defense of colonialism well the paper he just coined to the realm he played the game he published the paper people went crazy like literally berserk deference death threats to the journal letter not the these folks do not play by the rules of engagement the problem is that there's no counterweight to this nobody is doing anything against this and it is metastasizing and we have to do something about this let's just briefly talk about where we see these ideas outside of academia for example in The New York Times or The Washington Post for example in business for example in k-12 education there was an article in The Washington Post that was written by one of the editors of one of these journals that we were investigating that was titled why can't we hate men in the Washington Post it's a national daily newspaper I get contacted I mentioned at the beginning that's lawyer that reached out to me from something like the Canadian equivalent of the Bar Association but I get emails we all get emails from people in college students professors who how do I stop what's going on in college the law thing I mentioned we got contacted by the Parliament of the European Union this stuff's rampant how do we stop it I get content net you so that's big stuff Google it's all over the news the stuff this isn't happening with with Google it's important they control how we access information but then I get contacted also or we even makes the news there's a knitting forum a knitting forum online people go post their patterns that they knit I don't know if somebody posted like knitted a Mogga scarf or something I don't know but somehow this turned into a political meltdown in the Knitting forum is now completely eaten up with this political thing outdoor hiking group I one thing after another after another lawyers calling me saying we're suing a school system this discriminating can you check over what we've done to say you know this is why the science doesn't work this is absolutely everywhere it's top it's bottom it's left it's right it's inside outside it's affecting your life it's on TV it's everywhere and it's amazing just recently the the superintendent of school district down Valley wrote a piece entitled something like it's time for us to examine our privilege it's something like that and he cited Peggy McIntosh's and King that can you just talk a little bit about that Helen because this is your and this is something probably relevant to people here who have children or grandchildren in that school system where does that come from what what was that paper that he's drawing on and is that good scholarship right that that one was yeah peggy mcintosh unpacking the invisible knapsack so in this one she has an image of oven that site in which lots of privileges are those white people have certain privileges and we're not even aware of them so she lists things that we might not recognize this privilege such as you know with rarely white people rarely experience being the only white person in a room and it can be as as vague as this or it can be more sort of statistical looking at different balances of different people in different jobs but it starts with the assumption that simply having white skin is a privilege so this is a very sort of simplistic categorical look it's one thing that is very notable about this type of scholarship is that economic and educational privilege is not really an issue it's very much about sex gender race sexuality they're not really looking at the possibility that perhaps a black millionaire could have a more privileged than a white homeless person so it gets very very messy like that and then this idea of Macintosh's has been then problematized further and they've said well if you you can't just take off your map ii say i recognize i have privilege now you have to accept complicity all white people are complicit in racism mrs. barbara Applebaum because they have been born into this system and they are speaking within it and they are perpetuating it without even knowing that they're doing that if probably noticed the really neurotic focus on language at the moment the really uncharitable readings of anything that could be considered racist or any kind of criticism well that's because of race that's because of gender and this is coming from this conception that there is always a power imbalance one of the rules of the which university it was there anti-racist rules was the question is not did race and racism take place its how did racism manifest in this situation so we are as as Jim was saying we're starting with the conclusion and then you have to look at the interaction and when you found a way to say that it is racist then you've got it right so just one two more questions and then we'll open it to the Q&A the pushback that you get a lot when you talk about grievin studies first of all is the terminology graven studies and second of all is that it sounds or can sound to people like you're asserting that there isn't racism or that racism isn't a problem and that grievin Studies is a way of making this stuff up so can you just say what your what you really mean by grievin studies what it's distinct from and what you believe about the academic fields that need to have this routed out yeah I mean we've we have been criticized for the idea of grievant studies and that that we're saying there are no legitimate grievances but we have been very clear from the beginning that the kind of scholarship that we're looking for is the kind that assumes a grievance to exist before it begins and then it finds it so we're looking very much at specific branches of scholarship which come from those postmodern ideas of knowledge and power and language that they don't want evidence they don't want reason there's this sort of focus on language there's this blurring of categories of things that are generally accepted as true there's a profound cultural relativism this is right for you it's wrong when you do it because of the group you're in there's no sign of the individual there's no sign of the universal it's all about identity so we with one of the main reasons that we are criticizing this and for me particularly in my job hopefully as I have a feminist historian is that I want to be able to look at gender issues sexuality issues at racial issues rigorously and not through one particular ideology which doesn't accept that biological differences exist between men and women which doesn't allow for a sort of universal knowledge that anybody can access regardless of their identity so we are the last people who would want to stop rigorous scholarship into social justice issues but that movement that scholarship now known as social justice is really counterproductive to any aims for a just society and so that leads right into the last question before we go to the Q&A which is what's next for the three of you what are you working on and how can everyone here and anyone who wants to help so since the since we came out and told the world that we had done these fake papers we've each put a lot of effort we haven't just kind of rested on our laurels or hidden away we've put a lot of effort into trying to understand the scholarship as Helen can articulate very very clearly how this mindset works how these views are able to be understood and how they differ from what you might consider to be that universal liberal when we say universal liberal here again like she said not left-wing we mean like the Constitution okay so that which is in the Constitution you know we believe everybody's created equal and so on that's Universal liberal that the values that were in the American Revolution are what we're talking about and so we've tried to learn what's going on so we can explain this and we want to be able to explain it clearly we're gonna be able to provide resources for people like these lawyers who keep reaching out to me even the hiking club that reaches out to me to say that this is how you can say look this is political it's not science this is the difference this is very clear we want to be able to articulate an alternative we want to give people one of the things that we've brought up a few times is that this ideology doesn't like disagreement it doesn't allow it it shouts it down so Peter and I wrote a book almost simultaneously with writing the other papers that's called how to have impossible conversations how to talk to people you disagree with Helen and I are writing a book together mostly Helen about how to explain what's going on with this scholarship where it came from how it developed what its core ideas are so people can understand look this is not what you think it is meanwhile we're also trying to build a media site so that we can get our ideas aggregated out there in one place where people can come and see and access those resources we want to eventually even build a foundation to where you can give grants and really grow into something that can can push back at this while there's a chance the beginning he's created a future of length documentary that we would like to go into the belly of the beast and universities in the english-speaking world show the film and then be there for the QA and then build a movement while we go I'm also writing a book the tentative title is teaching in an age of ignorance excuse me and right now the dominant orthodoxy and every single teacher education program in the entire english-speaking world is based upon a book called Paulo Freire's pedagogy of the oppressed that has then morphed into an industry of grievin studies where folks are constantly obsessively looking for sexism and bigotry and racism at the expense of learning what do we do a physicist reference to how do we talk about great so it's going to be a counterweight that's accessible to teachers and people teaching professors and those pre-service teacher education programs to know you have options you do not have to go along with the party line there are other things that you can focus upon one thing that is really essential now is a lot of the reason that we're not seeing enough pushback on these ideas from liberal academics is because there isn't articulated a good alternative so people don't want to oppose what seems like social justice it's called social justice it's called gender equality racial equality LGBT equality people don't want to be seen to be acting against this what is really important is that we break down how this is working that we show that it is not liberal it is extremly illiberal and that we can counter it those of us on the left or the right who believe in equal opportunities in an affair level playing field for everyone and general freedoms to express beliefs we can point out that this is running against that great because let's end with people yeah I think for me I am I'm an independent writer I have nobody can fire me I work for myself so I have a certain amount of freedom that academics and universities don't have for me there has been just extreme misrepresentations of my views there has been this is how fascism works hashtag attached to my name I have people making accounts cloning my family members accounts in order to abuse me online but this is you know this is abuse I am I am not in the same amount of danger as Peter is I just have to log out quite a lot I've had very similar I'm also independent which gives me the the freedom of not having one of these diversity boards over my head like what you know I was I was I was so I was free from that what I've experienced nearly everything the same as Helen has on social media but I've maybe because of my context in the United States I don't know I've lost a lot of friends people who have looked at what we've done even tried to hear our motivations know we want the scholarship to be better to help solve these problems if racism is a problem and there's no reason to say that it's not we should know the most about it the most accurately and and try to get it right so we can actually solve the problems that are associated with it if sexism is a problem the same thing and so on we should get this right and I try to articulate this to my my fren and sometimes my family and they say things like I don't think I can share a room with you anymore I don't think I can come to Thanksgiving if you're going to be there I'm almost hesitant to give my response because it's just so fantastical no normal sane person would believe anything I'm about to say I have been the target of a persistent harassment and smear campaign it actually predated this one of the things that launched it off he flowed with James d'amour the Google memo is everyone familiar with the Google memo not everybody is well quick so I've been the subject of people have followed me into restrooms to beat me up they've beaten you up nobody has beaten me up yet I fortunately when they followed me into a restroom I was happened to be have been with my jujitsu training coach who's a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu so I don't think that would have gone well for him unless he had a gun and Portland is hard to get a concealed carry my my fact my colleagues the faculty members I don't think it's an exaggeration to say they have a pathological hatred of me the Vanguard yet so they've been a hit piece on me with quote/unquote anonymous scholars in the newspaper I find my mind Mike Manas YouTube channel shows us I find pictures of myself over a campus with the big nose saying that I'm a trump supporter which is false I'm pro-life I'm Republic whatever craziness that they want to say my family has been targeted I've been the subject of repeated title nine violations one big title nine violation title I advise the federal federal rules so you've been accused I've been a cute I I challenge anybody in this room to come up with something I have not been accused of I was at one point I was walking around and people would come up to you and says hey what is this about you beating your family i've been called on a regular basis i'm called a nazi a grifter a i put in it but the point of this is you know it's not about what was me you know look i'm living a good life I'm in Portland I'm taking a year off from my work this next year to work on this I could be in a refugee camp this is not what this is about this is about fighting this nonsense this is about my kids in school your kids in school and we have to do something about this I'm telling you there is an urgency of this and if nothing is done this problem is not going to solve it something this is not going to be like Oh tomorrow we're gonna wake up it's gonna go no it's only gonna get worse I was like in your kids at the class that what was it your history class was all some kind of like feminist geography or something yeah it so my son is just mentioned he's going to college here he is kid is an expert in the civil rights movement which is great he's an expert in that the Black Panthers which is probably pretty good I don't know what he could find on a map I don't know if he knows anything else Aaron's geography class oh yeah in every class all it is is it's literally every class even his English classes it's not the the literature that was produced during the short period it is pushing a moral point of view on people and if you do not ascribe to that moral point of view you get graded down and even math even math I was a when I did teach in the University a number of years ago I taught mathematics and I was recently asked to take a look at I haven't delved deeply into it yet I haven't had the chance it was just a few days ago to look at a book that's recently come out that's getting a lot of attention that's urging math instructors to make class time be about social justice issues instead of say algebra as fascism this is basically a bunch of people that are propagating fashion and they've taken a different way to go about it that they that this is the far left that started this over a hundred years ago and they're there their goals were to take over academia they've succeeded and then to take over the media and to basically use those as a way to basically control our country or the world they called that the long march through the institution's political affection I don't think that we need to see this as the whole of the left I think there's a lot more pushback coming from the left for this there's particularly the economic left who is it's quite opposed to the identitarian left that's the old socialists they're not very happy about this the liberal left is also pushing back at it there's the the centrist and of course the center-right who are all making legitimate arguments against it it isn't that this is a huge faction that half of the world believes in it is that it has undue institutional power which can affect the kind of judgments that people are making of things so it isn't you could probably go through your life without ever experiencing this but then you might not because if it comes to a point where somebody wants to accuse you of having said something sexist something racist if they want to problematize what you've done there is no way to legitimate ly counter that yeah if we if I could say one other thing is about what we're hoping we can do with the work we've taken up since this project came out is there's clearly this chilling culture where people can't speak their minds and they get shouted down or they're just afraid they're gonna get shouted down or accused of some horrible thing if they speak their minds and push back and discuss and so we know that despite very few people being willing to put their name to it and say you know what I disagree we know they're out there because they tell us and then they say don't tell anybody I told you and so we want to we want to create enough of a wareness of what's going on and enough people who are willing to say you know what I don't want to go along with that to where those other people who we know are a lot of them will stand up against it because if this is fascism that is the only way to stop it is to get to where people feel confident to say no I'm not going along with it before it seizes control so there's a concept it's called preference falsification this is the idea that people pretend to have a preference pretend to think something that they don't think because they think everybody else thinks that thing and that's what happens on college campuses that it's likely that the faction that actually believes these notions is very small but they're very loud and they're vicious and so people are afraid to speak up and they will then not just be silent but in some cases will say that they go along say things that go along with it even when they don't actually believe it become enforcers in one case somebody wrote a paper that got published in the in a journal and then she was just lambasted for it and she got emails from people who said I'm sorry I signed the letter condemning you for this but I had to you know kind of a thing so that's the sort of environment that we're in and the work that they're doing is geared toward providing support and resources and alternatives and an alternative but also knowledge that other people are out there so that there becomes a tipping point so that people don't feel like they need to be silent Alexis you wanted to any institutions the University of Chicago did well recently didn't think I think that there's this seem to be a pattern in which the most elite universities are having the biggest problem so in the UK where I am we see the big protest at Oxford and Cambridge whereas the the more and sort of what what's I think you would call community colleges here are much more full of of working-class people who are trying to achieve a certain knowledge base and they're less inclined even though they're more often a higher degree of minority groups they're less inclined to get theoretical about ideology they don't have the luxury of being able to kind of waste an education by doing that we've recently because this is a strange strange turn of our lives let me assure you that but we are all three I know this isn't maybe not the room to say that liberal atheists and we're not abashed about it we're quite open with everybody about it and we've become quite popular with the religious right they've reached out to us in droves and they tell us even at the Baptist seminaries the Southern Baptist Convention seminaries this is taking over this is becoming what's taught at the Southern Baptist Convention seminaries that folks know about but on one side of the schism there's whoa Christianity we can talk about that this is the Q&A this is your Q&A so if you have any questions who knows what woke means raise your hand if you know what woke means not everybody show the word born again okay so woke means born again where you see things through this lens where everything's racist you woke up and realized our society underneath the surface as Helen was describing just under the surface manifest imminent is the word they that's for it just under the surface there is racism it's not did racism occur its how did it manifest in the situation now let's look for the evidence in sexism and homophobia you name the bigotry it exists permeating throughout the entire society and it just every time it manifests up it's like if you have the measles for example right you get a lot of bumps all over your body you can't look at this bump in that bump and say those bumps are from something different you have to say there's a systemic disease under the surface and every time there's a bump that's evidence so they see every instance of racism we have one guy who loses it and starts calling people words and nobody should say and all of a sudden that's proof that our society as a whole and every white person is racist when you've come to realize that that's how it really works your woke let's look back 30 years ago no internet could this have evolved this way I don't think so personally I don't think that this could have taken off to the level of cultural hegemony that it's achieved without the internet to spread it and to allow people to gather and like-minded enclaves and share these ideas and develop these ideas without any kind of pushback that said it was certainly gestating in the universities and the 1990s were primarily when this the these kind of wacky ideas you hear the word postmodern that something to do with these French philosophers going back to the 60s 1968 May riots and France in particular has something to do with it these ideas they had this idea of reekin sieving of the society in terms of power relations and and the way that language constructs power as Helens described and then in the 90s well this idea was to deconstruct how that power works in the kind of pulled everything apart so that's self-limiting but then in the 90s you had a new crop of scholars who accepted those ideas because they've been idea laundered for 20 or 30 years and they said you know what we need to make this applicable we need to find ways to use this to solve the problems and this is these have always been ideas that were associated with fringe left-wing politics the original post modernists were disaffected communists for example and they were trying to find ways to read ascribe how power holds people down in society who cheat certain people and then you had these people coming along in the 90s and saying you know what we've been doing this liberal project this would be a scholar named Kimberly Crenshaw is an enormous amount of clout and she's a very very famous scholar huge amount of influence and she says things like up until now we've been using liberalism and trying to erase significance from from racial categories so you're a black person so what you know you are a person who happens to be black that's the liberal idea and this got replaced with no we're going to use I am black I'm going to lean into my blackness and make it an identity category that's very important to me so that we can do identity politics and the methods we'll use are these truths from postmodern thought that's what happened in the 1990s so maybe because the the universities were were going that way even by then somebody had a question over here first by the Academy of eight and is their counterbalance that can be created people of your lifeline can we certainly hope so I mean when we're talking about the Academy we're talking about the universities we're talking about academic publishing we're talking about all the courses and papers and ideas that are being considered legitimate by the academic system so this doesn't mean that everybody in the universities is buying into those it means they're somewhat constrained by them I particularly have some hopes of student groups that have been writing to me asking me if I can come and speak to them if I can send them information and I think this is where we need to focus a lot of our attention is on students now who are saying we're not we're not going along with this so I'd like to spend some more time in the coming year into thinking about how we can support them I think the counterbalance exists in it they can't speak it's lost its voice it's afraid to speak and so to create the counterbalances to answer the hard questions that prevent people from being able to speak and provide them with the resources and the awareness of other people who are willing to speak to speak out I do not actually think that this is a wide majority of people that are taking over the institutional parts of the universities for example I think that it's a relatively powerful fringe who's been enforcing their rules with with something like the cultural equivalent of a bludgeon and that if people are allowed to actually start speaking freely about this that the counterweight exists it's us it's you guys as part of the culture it's everybody who's talking to their kids when they go to go off to college or when they're in high school and they're hearing this stuff it's the professor's who actually believe in the liberal ideals who do sometimes criticize these ideas but many more want to and don't feel like they can if they can be made to feel comfortable then I think there would be a big pushback a very prominent left-wing psychologist reached out me he doesn't buy into this whole really hard line almost borderline fascist approach and said here's where I get caught I believe that there are issues relevant to social justice and I think everybody should be concerned about them issues concerned with racism sexism and so on as they still manifest in society and I don't think that this very radical revolutionary agenda that sees things in these very peculiar ways has it right but what do I do and so if somebody can articulate an alternative I think there's an army of people on the left certainly across the entire spectrum of the right throughout the center who would be more than ready to start speaking up and to frankly marginalize these fringe ideas that are very radical and and that I was gonna say that they're kind of positioned against reality but they reject the idea that we can know anything about reality anyway so they're against reality if you will so part of this is the ID is the ideology yeah but the other part the majority of it if people fear to speak out against it yeah and and what you're doing and what you're initiating here which is probably going to take some time but seems like our last best chance to do this is to bring on one person at a time in the academy or small numbers of people who begin to speak up and then join you and effect the change because I don't see any college presidents who are gonna be willing to get on this bus dude until we get more people we have a teacher I think back here who wanted to know okay children in 2013 and they happen to be in that in the army one school district which is the salt Thursday 1234 this not a liberal conservative but anyway so I'm just as a parent well I'm I'm the parents of a 15 year old so I'm I'm having to look at this quite a lot at the moment as well they just had diversity week and I'm I could obviously there's always talking to children there's my daughter and I we we talk about what does freedom mean what does equality mean she's understanding that what is known as reverse racism or reverse sexism it doesn't suddenly become okay so I think if you can understand these ideas yourself if you can understand what social justice how that sees the world to work and how this is in opposition to general liberalism and and sort of fairness then I think you can inoculate them to a certain extent another thing that I am doing is every time we get a message back from the school which says we're going to be looking at diversity or equality then I asked to see exactly what that is and I asked them to justify why they are teaching it in this way and I'm hopeful that I'm a real pain in the bum and that they're they're doing less than that they know that there are people out there who are going to object if this is too ideological and I have said because we in the UK we don't have a separation of church and state we have Christianity in schools but generally we have a rollin and it's stronger in America that you should not be teaching children in a publicly funded school any explicit religious or ideological dogma as truth so I think taking that tact is important there are certain trigger words or certain words that you can hear that embeds a trigger there are words that you can hear that when you hear those those are Trojan horse awards for ideologies they're smuggling in an ideology with those words one of those words is equity equity doesn't mean what you think it means what do you think equity means what does it mean stocks that's very good because that's what that's what one of the strategies is to either change the meaning of meanings of existing words are smuggling terms equity means that equity is not equality equality is treating everybody equally equity is making up for past injustice it's adjusting shares so that there is the semblance of equality yeah that's why we were able to get the idea in that Jim mentioned about putting white people white heterosexual males in particular on the floor and change as a form of experiential reparations and then having the teacher not answer their email and just as is worth noting I said to well I think was Jim when I read through it there's no way they're gonna put this paper in there's no way they know except this so why don't we soften this and I think I put in the first version with something like oh we need to be compassionate so they said no we don't need do not be compassionate that would recenter the needs of the privileged if you were compassionate to them I was just gonna say to Rachel because your two boys that twelve and thirteen they should be able to understand and take in jonathan ray she's kindly inquisitors and that is a wonderful book which i think is absolutely perfect for young people who don't really know how the system of liberal science our liberal secular democracies have worked and why we should support and defend freedom of speech it sets about brilliantly yeah we'd better try and be concise I think we should have Brigitte just pick people here now stand up so um well thirty years ago a change happened where the original postmodernist their ideas they couldn't really be used so there was a shift thirty years ago just on the end of the civil rights movements to try and keep pushing for gender equality racial equality and it took on these ideas of power and knowledge and language so they've that was a really sort of intellectual change but what that did was it made it more user-friendly it made it more accessible to activists and to the general public they could they could use these ideas this has developed over the last thirty years even more and it's become even simpler and more more solid so a good example of this is Robin D'Angelo's white fragility that was a best-seller for over six months it's got very very clear tenets in it that anybody who doesn't accept that any white person who doesn't accept that they're racist is just fragile and needs to address this rigidity so this this has just continued growing and its continued building on itself getting more and more certain more and more simple until now at least we do have these statements of absolute certainty which we can argue with which we can disagree with so they are also to say who are these people there's no need to rattle off a list of names I can start doing one if you want but they are people who are working in the one sector of the Academy that can be called the theoretical humanities which most people call cultural studies so this would be stuff like post-colonial studies queer studies critical race studies fad studies disability studies all these things that in the video at the beginning you saw were studies studies studies studies this is an improv broadest umbrella terms it's cultural studies fields which approach social science issues from a perspective that doesn't use science at all and the other area is education and education schools are absolutely rife with this which then means that the people who then go into k-12 teaching have been taught this kind of pedagogical method also it means the the student facing Dean's and other administrators like Resident Dean's etc those are they're not really they don't report to anybody so they're able to create if your child goes to college a resident Dean can create an entire culture in the dorm that's based on this note non science no no I wouldn't be back to that pessimistic but I think they can certainly get exposed to those ideas before then and of course another another place where a lot of this sort of powerful social justice stuff is coming from is the is the social media it is the internet it's where you are quite likely to be publicly shamed if you say something that's that's considered problematic it's kind of know when they're being lied to so this is one of the big risks if they know they're being lied to repeatedly about issues about sexism or racism or whatever that's all the more likely that they're just going to ignore that which matters about those subjects right so there's it's not just that oh no that's there's this ideology crept in and it's gonna you know change the way people think there's also the possibility that there's going to be a backlash that comes that's not sensible but that's throwing the baby out with the bathwater as I say so maybe we should just take one or two more questions and then let people just talk to you after not the ones we're criticizing know that they they are not they are skeptical of science as a valid methodology but they are studies but they're not scientific so we're sort of picking up on them on concepts and theoretical truth claims really give an example like talk about the main comp one was a social work so in the one paper we took the twelfth chapter of mine comps Hitler's autobiography and political manifesto and we the twelfth chapter is is where Hitler saying this is what our movement which later became the Nazi Party should stand for and this is what it will require of its members and this is the sacrifices that that we want and so we took the phrase our movement out and replace it with intersectional feminism and then we massaged the wording and added in scholarship that said that any kind of approach to feminism that's not sufficiently intersectional and that's not based in being intersectional for exactly the right reasons is absolutely the wrong way to go and needs to be stopped and there's only one thing is if we need to not quite unify but we get solidarity across feminism that always points to to whoever the most oppressed is and always pick up the oppression of others otherwise you're terrible and we just followed Hitler lays out in the net chapter a series of something like thirteen points which we condensed to eight of how this is to be achieved and it was just Hitler's plan for making a Nazi Party boom boom boom this is you must endure many sacrifices if people try to criticize you that means you're doing it right and you should punch back even harder I mean just this stuff that's rooted in the politics of grievance and in politics of anger if you have a question the key issue in the thing confusion like when you think you here so it's just a social justice right when you hear a critical like this is not the same critical as in critical thinking it's too much a few questions but if you have some time why don't you come up and ask ask about that because that I really think that will help clarify your question it's one of those Trojan horse words yeah generally though this is the theoretical humanities so it's it's arguments primarily and not not rigorous data-driven studies Oh they've all been retracted as if that's what you were asking yeah I mean some of them we think they shouldn't have been because we we've used exactly the right ideas that that were already out there but they have retracted them all now and we weren't we wouldn't have allowed anything with full states or to get into the domain of knowledge anyway with teenagers and we're through this I like so experienced discriminant discrimination in urban America and then we have the other thing going on at the top of the food chain the president are you guys going to be Eve are you looking towards simplifying some yes that's exactly what sit there thank you for that because that's exactly what we're we're trying to do now my book is going to be accessible to anybody without a background we're also looking at producing sort of educational resources which come at a really beginning level an intermediate level in an advanced level so that people can just grasp the ideas and then there is Mike Manor now he is our best hope on this because he is capturing everything in action he's showing people what's happening and he's sort of explaining it as he goes along so this I think is probably the best resource of all for young people so yeah I'm going to write turnkey syllabi for professors and instructors so they know that this ah here's the clot you want to teach your class in this here are the text that you can read here is the video here so it's just trunky boom right there free and available online and there's some sheets of paper back there within from bridget is raising her hand she has them there that have some information about how to be a producer or a supporter of the film and the film projects that Mike nina is doing and it also has directions to where the dinner is tonight yeah Browns a great example as our Oreo cookies just released pronoun cookies actually that even happens to people I have people are compelled to do to name their pronouns for whom it makes them feel vulnerable and uncomfortable for instance I have a woman that spoken to me about this who's a rape victim and does not feel comfortable sharing any kind of information like that in a room full of people or even feeling people who feel like this is this is a game that's being played where I have to like identify that I'm participating in this or I'd rather keep it private and then they're forced to do it almost as kind of a signaling thing so yeah that's one of the best examples I want to speak to the pronoun thing for it briefly and you know just said to me said to me that when you see someone's pronouns and their email that's not a question of identification that they want you to know that's a political statement that is that is a way to virtue signal what one's politics is and the very fact that first I know virtually all of my colleagues have that on their emails I don't know I mean you just started emailing people randomly and see if they have it and way in which this is affecting well which people don't seem to see so much is within disability studies in fact studies so there's been a lot of pressure on organizations like Cancer Research not to say that obesity is a risk factor for various kinds of cancer they've called this fat phobic and it's sort of creating a culture of hate we've seen as well people try to get in the way of information about autism and about hearing by arguing that it is ablest to not want your child to be autistic or to make a deaf child here so there's an awful lot of pressure from activists at the moment who are challenging and disagreeing with medical consensus and even trying to prevent important information so that people will need to make informed choices get to them this is a good a good place to sort of wrap up because this is a an example of how deep the ideology goes there would be no other effort that could influence medicine to say things that are not true right there there was there would be no other no other effort that could but that was the point that we made in the video right and said if we knew there's a corruption going on from industry that's using money to screw around with with results we'd all be outraged and say that's got to stop like Big Pharma or like the big sugar scandal where they got all this bogus research that says that fats bad for you and sugars good for you and this has possibly caused lots of problems but when you have money involved everybody sees that it's a kind of problem but it's a political ideology that's doing the corruption instead it's for some reason weirder for people to understand but but this pressure is being put on industries of course you also have industries like cash in on it but if they do these things the wrong way they put out some kind of a sneaker this was a big thing a few weeks you Nike put out some kind of sneaker it didn't do the thing right there's a gigantic uproar and outcry about but all this Nike is now a big problem so this this really has become pretty pervasive and if you spend much time talking to young people they speak this language almost fluently because they get they run into it so frequently so there really is is this this concern and as you were speaking to that there needs to be resources provided as Helen said in basic intermediate and more advanced levels to help people understand what's going on and realized the thing that the people that are talking this way are asking for is a lot more than what it seems like they're asking for their there they're selling selling the dream and somebody's going to service this nightmare as they say in in customer service that's a very good way to put it all right well let's thank our speakers you [Applause] you
Channel: GrassRoots Community Network
Views: 160,774
Rating: 4.9085093 out of 5
Keywords: Aspen, Colorado, aspen jewish community center, right wing, Fascism, trump, woke, trigger, postmodernism, whistleblower, idea laundering, conservative, nazi, james lindsay, helen pluckrose, wall street journal, politics, left wing, liberal, grassroots tv
Id: XeXfV0tAxtE
Channel Id: undefined
Length: 71min 46sec (4306 seconds)
Published: Thu Aug 08 2019
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