« Commentary Magazine Podcast

What It Means to Be Courageous

2021-10-22 | 🔗
Bari Weiss joins the COMMENTARY podcast to discuss her article in the new issue: “We Got Here Because of Cowardice. We Get Out With Courage.” She outlines the threat posed by wokeness, and how dissenters against this authoritarian dogma can reverse course.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Some guy. Welcome to the commentary magazine podcast today is Friday October, twenty second, twenty twenty one, although I must confess in fact, as we I'm talking to you,
actually Thursday? No, it doesn't like when I do this cause, I'm like showing you the mechanics, it's actually Thursday afternoon October, twenty first TWAIN's, whom, as I'm talking about this the reason I mention this as in case something happens between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning. When you listen to this, you will understand why I guess it down and you'll never Howard gets taken down and that's one of the things we need to talk about here with today's guest author joining yes, yesterday's guest David Sucker and the private the guests, territory, em and Wilfred Riley contributor to our walks. The threat special issue, the pride of squirrel hill. Very. Why set at Highbury hi guys, I'm excited here so very wastes of course, made herself national figure by her through her residence from there
our times on the grounds that the New York Times had become a stultifying and increasingly totalitarian, rising institution active. seeking to suppress, rather them suppressing It is rather than allow multiplicity of views, and this has now led her to her. publishing business, which you can find on substance. Where apparently, two hundred billion people are now subscribing to nine hours. It still had enough It's never enough for you, it's network enough for you common stance, your sub stack in which you write and then you have increasingly are our it's kind of online magazine in which people who are being cancelled, people were threatened with being cancelled. People who have had the experience of trying to fight against being cancelled and all of that our finding a place and a voice, and with me to talk to you about this. Of course, as ever, are the irritated
associate editor nor Rossman? I know I just know it just doesn't like it. When I talk about the mechanics of putting together the podcast, it is theatre of the mind. We must keep the curtain drawn at points of the audience there. We go Senor Writer, Christine rose and high Christine. I do have to make one correction on your introduction of areas. Some of us discovered buried for her excellent work. did pieces in writing in the New York Times, and then she happened to then leave the top up with a lot of us like her. Before that I don't wanna kill Christine. I dont want another one, and I am not Michael Amazon. I don't wanna Trump, you Christine, I mean I knew bury when she was in college yet so when she was, activists in college, fighting against the encroaching anti Semitism of the Oriental Studies Department at Columbia University which she attended in, and that was that, where it became
clear that she was full of the quality that is central to the peace that she wrote, for us and a quality. That is a difficult one to two to assert that others need to have a which will talk about the quality of urge and one of the editors of that piece. Of course, our final pod, castor today executive editor Amory Waldheim. I John my voices but a lot was very. That was very clearly with their self bury in your in your the article that you have written for our issue is titled, excuse me: we got here because of cowardice. We get out with courage and I want to talk to you a little bit cuz, it's a real overview of the entire world of welcome this. And the imposition of its increasingly, as I said,
retaliatory amazing doctrine that a first year after go first compared to the Chinese Cultural Revolution. You mention you also caught a comparison the cultural revolution in your eye ways. Yet really informed by AIDS article to the point that I found myself using his phrase. I think, the apes, the great unravelling- and I hadn't even like remembered that that was his phrase. That's how much that article affected me I was only influential that we created in category four great unravelling articles you haven't, can see your evening glean. That's how I know it's legit. Yet we have some march, but I'm the mergers, mostly March that data is, is it says you know crushing morality and stuff like that, not like not like March, that might help us. It's also a self critical march, but I do want to talk about this quote because I think it's a very
The point that you're trying to make the point that you are focused on is that the the Vance on free speech and free thought, and all of that has only been made possible by the caving, of the heart of the leaders of the high water mark of our institutions. You don't talk about times, but obviously very much informed by your experience at the times and moving for to all these universities and things like that. The case that you really highlighted in the last week or the last couple of weeks is the case Sesar Abbot at the University of Chicago a mathematician who's, going to give a mathematics lecture at MIT and was cancelled because he question he had question whether or not
people should be hired on the basis of their race or on the basis of merit, and that alone- and I made him right for cancellation and was an mit, withdrew, its invitation for him to deliver this lecture so you are you lay out cowardice in a brilliant way in the peace, and your answer is that courage is the answer to cowardice. Can you sort of explain why you think? That's why you think it was so easy for this too to march why people are so cowardly again. I think there
lordly. You know, I'm not a psychologist, I'm not a sociologist. I'm sure that one of those types could give you a deeper answer about human nature, although I think has, as has become obvious over the past few years, we are a herd like species in a lot of ways, but I think that the reason that people are scared is not a rational, we're living through a technological revolution in which every other ends every sing along to a five second tik Tok video. When your thirteen years old, every tweet, every Facebook post everything is captured for eternity forever and until we have some futurists that comes along, and maybe it's pelagic Sweeney Boston or maybe it someone else that creates a different way of being on the internet. Maybe it's avatars, maybe it's some blockchain technology, it's at all, but my pay great. But until that happens we are living
reality. Every single one of us with an internet connection where everything is captured forever and because of that thing, which I don't it's so big. I don't even think we can fully grasped the change of it. Every one is sort of in a state of permanent surveillance and when you're combined, not with the fact that there is this ideological movement coming out of the left and coming out of the most elite powerful. sense making institutions in the culture which are trying to sort of forcibly remorse lies us and redraw the bounds of what is taboo and what is not what is acceptable and what is not we'll all of a sudden before thinking in themselves. Fifty five years ago that I use a wrong pronoun once because I know I can lose my job because of that. But when my parents.
My parents ever do something bad, because I know now in this world I can be judged by the sins of my parents and held accountable for four that what about you know he had in no the word. You know latin necks, maybe a set Hispanic, maybe maybe I could get in trouble for that and on and on and on, and so the Dorian abbot example is quite a powerful one, because you know he said something. Essentially, we should hire people on the basis of their merit. That was considered I'm still considered by most Saint people, it completely legitimate and in fact, immoral position. But in this new moral framework, it's considered beyond the pale so insisting you know that there are differences between men and women, so is suggesting that you know defending the police is a bad idea. There's there's new sort of orthodox
sees that are added to the list every single day and because the changes happening so rapidly and because the way that the the new orthodoxies in forest is by KEN people and smearing them and serve causing a kind of social death, Can we their jobs taking away their reputation, maybe even harming their family as collateral damage reputational or professionally? Well? What's the rational choice, the rational choice is understandably, especially for people that you know have children. a mortgage need their job is to say you know what not dying on this hill
going to shut up. I'm going to sign the statement, I'm going to put the whatever in the signature of my email and I'm just going to go along because anything else is foolish and they can point to be examples of what it means to stand up to it, because often what it means to stand up to it is to get rolled now. My my suggestion is, I believe that you know right now. We can blame the pain, professors or whatever they're standing up to this. What is tomorrow, that became mm professors all at once. I think higher culture would change. And so I think that is what I'm trying to get at is the self silencing people in this country are the majority of the country and what would it look like for all of us to sort of collectively step out of the car set, meaning come out is saying what would? How would that change the country
culture and that's what I'm trying to encourage people to do, because, once that happens in a more collective way, I really do believe that it is past bull for things to change the retro actions you're, describing the enforcement of these very fluid and is the propriety for infringements that that weren't infringements the time imposing these standards that otherwise in making people when they were made is itself directive in a way that I think it is heartening. You mention, for example, like latin acts. Like did I use the word Latin X and didn't I you can see it at the seeds of the destruction of this current hysterical moment. Is it easy to envision a very near future in which that word is anathematised in part, because it is genuinely offensive to people of hispanic background hispanic urgent and if they were to mobilize to that effect, then the very people who perceive themselves to be so
so too to cultural sensitivities were before to abandon this really bizarre construction that is basically told anybody who speaks a romance language. So you can see that being anathematised really quickly and then everybody who did the retro action against people who use the word, put improperly doing a retroactive against lad, necks and themselves up into this into the self destructive frost that I would be extended very much welcome. But if you can also see that framework applied to half a dozen other precepts of the modern social justice movement, I wish there were True I mean I think I think we think it's true because I am not saying that we live in a bubble of people who you know who thinks sanely, but I am struck by the fact. that might Michael power. The New York Times did a piece, the doorway abbot controversy, and there is a quote here from the deposit the chairman of the GEO Sciences Depart.
and at Williams College Phoebe, a Cohen one of the many who expressed anger on Twitter at MIT decision to invite Doktor abbot to speak. So she says Powell says Doktor Cone agreed the Doktor abbots views reflect abroad current in american society, ideal is she said in a universe. They should not invite speakers who do not share its values, on diversity and affirmative action watch, I was asked of the effect on academic debate. Should the academy serves a bastion of unfettered Speech- and this is what Phoebe coincide quote this data, intellectual debate and rigour as the pinnacle of intellectual ism? comes from a world in which white men dominated.
This is the chairman of the GEO Sciences at I think the most prestigious more liberal arts college in the United States, saying that intellectual debate and rigour exist only as values it may work the white men and that this is not a value for her and for people like her she's, not just an ordinary slap. You know called you know. Bernie is great with thirty four followers on twitter She is a leading american scientist educator. the major American University, the debate part of that is what struck me in a points is something I think buried buried. They well in? Your piece knew just alluded to earlier, and that's it there's nothing.
wrong and conservatives I think, get this wrong alot. There is nothing wrong with the self doubt that is prompted when you offend somewhat right to be. Like oh geez, I get, I say something wrong: that's actually a good, useful human impulse to question whether what you're, saying and doing is appropriate and and what, in the context or in I think, it's been so worrisome is that that should lead to the question should lead to a disk. a debate, not a definitive answer and what I think the self censorship comes and is it there is no space for people to say will is latin exit good term mummy. But let's talk about, let's debate it and that lack of debate is is also being shut down at just a moment when people are questioning a lot of things, some of which I disagree with, but I would love to listen to the other side. It into that kind of empathy and willingness to have a discussion is over, is well done. in reference to your initial question to bury, but why so many we'll have been drawn so quickly to all this stuff. I think part
answer is- and this is also the bear you you. You explain well in your peace at some point- that large groups of the Americans and others no longer cling to the systems and connections and institutions that had said us and reinforced a kind of shared ethics and approach to the world, an approach to one's fellow citizen taking things like religion in community and family and and the lack of trust and interest in those things and institutions. Made so many people ripe for fully investing in this new paradigm and so part of my feet. about the question of how we get out of it is due. There need to be some other, some next sort of all encompassing
Or largely encompassing paradigm or institution, to give to do so that we can serve leap to in mass from this Because this this answer so many questions and you know Scr, is so many issues that were left behind by by our changing sense of things I mean this is where I think five years ago I would have had a really different answer to this question, which would have been something like you know. We need to reform the old institutions. You know we can't live without them. This is a huge you know I. I grew up crook, this, the daughter of a commentary reader, who became a NEO conservative it. Kenyan college, like I, have no illusions about the bases of the New York Times, but I believe that the right way to approach that was to sort of go in and be my full self and sort of train reform it from within
I still think you know with institutions that are sort of trembling, but generally still solid or wanting to remain that way they should be reformed from within. They should be sort of buttressed and that's worthwhile, but I think people are sort of deluding themselves about how dead a lot of these places already are because it's so painful to- and it so scary, to face that. But that's where I've arrive It's a much more radical position, then, where I was a few years ago, I really believe that the task ahead of us now is to build parallel institutions, to the old ones that are rotted out and build ones that genuinely reflect the world as it is genuinely reflect. You know, liberal values. Broadly,
fine. It's an exhausting answer. It makes me tired to think about it. I'm living that answer right now: I've I've whom my box about to get thrown out, but that's what I think I need to do, and I am quite curious actually to hear from you. As about where you fall on the question of sort of reform or build a new. I, I think think reform as possible in the in the way that, in the way that. we think of it in no way in serve evolutionary terms like ok, there's a crazy moment. This too shall pass saner Our heads will prevail. This is just the kind of spasm, moral panic and it's going to pass on, I don't want a sort of like your turn, you into a character on this on this podcast, but your own experience I mean is it is. It is maybe higher dogmatic one readiness to say you went to the near
times from the Wall Street Journal. You in part left the Wall Street Journal due to discomfort with the journals willing, the kind of make us certain cart common cause with Donald Trump tromp administration that you and and Bread Stevens, your colleague and other, were not willing to make a new bowser went to the New York Times with the idea of the I'm. So there was a kind of while there, while the Take it for entry might have been an understanding that it Trump was not a defensible figure that within the world of people think the trumpets nodded defensible figure there could there could there should there needed, be a multiplicity of views. Precisely in order to create a larger coalition? That would say that there is beyond this. That isn't, just as you know, we ve trumps way or the highway
and then you ran into the buzz saw of the times own evolution, its own political and economic, It's an circulation and staffing revolution. There were hundreds of new people working there, none of whom were raised in the world in which getting to the times are being employed by the New York Times and following at least the kind of myth myth those of the New York Times men. a bad achieved, the summit of their careers and that they were at the top of the top and they had struggled to get there and there were certain types of guard rails, Being at the top and having been season did all this, you had a lot of people now in their twenties who came to the times because they have web experience. They never even read the pay for they knew nothing about it. They didn't care about it. They read Buzzfeed more than they read the New York Times
in their world and their college their high school everything like that when you got upset about something that was unorthodox. Your emotion about it was said to be very important and that emotion could be this emotion that you were frightened. That you were somehow being made unsafe with the great irony that your crucible immediate crucible came about as a result of the publication. That by Tom Cotton. six months earlier that that the staff said made them feel unsafe. Since Tom Cotton had said the boy Then, should call out the National Guard to make sure that cities don't burn right or governors whatever they know it military figures should cut should prevent the national government National Guard and six months earlier
New York Times, or maybe was earlier than that there are times have published a piece about how Afghanistan should face its future written by the number. Person the Taliban Allan Macartney somebody who had actually killed hundreds or help to read before the arranged for the killing and murder of hundreds of people? including american soldiers, and who was now at senior figure
Taliban government, while their Americans behind finds it, was ok to publish a colony, not ok, to publish Tom caught. It proved that's because this is an extremely parochial worldview and it's a luxury worldview. It's a worldview in which jokes by Dave Chapelle are literal violence. You know in which an Ipad causes literal lives to be put in danger, in which you know calling some one by the wrong. Pronoun, you know is, is a capital offence and yet has you know absolutely nothing to say, or in fact apologises for things like female genital mutilation. So it's it's in a way. It's it's an ideology that could only be embraced by people who are living in.
positions and in situations of unbelievable privilege, security and safety to watch as Netflix employees with paid put family leave an amazing health care and probably stock options March with their little signs you know about. How do you Dave Chapelle is is causing them violence. I mean it's it's it's the perfect emblem of this entire movement that I don't think you can rule out reform at their absolutely has to be parallel institutions that will take advantage of a backlash, but I do see a backlash. Materializing organic one, not now not an engineered one, a top down one, but the primary. the station that this thing takes, and would you your first most likely first encounter with this area. energy is going to be when something you will like has been taken away from. You were
my ties with now and then what happens so so, let's, like let's take ship, let's keep going Chapelle. So on rotten tomatoes, everyone has seen the kind of side by side. Amazing image of the critics in a rating at fourteen percent and the public rating at whatever ninety percent. So we know the public likes this special. We know they like Dave Chapelle, and we know that they think it's ridiculous what's going on, but then what happens? What's the mechanism for? backlash right. Well, it's what you described as a mass outpouring, or at least a smaller influential outpouring that breaks through a breach and makes it safe for everybody else to come out and talk about sort of thank you. I've spent a bunch of time talking to people on the left who resent the constraints created to resent the constraints that they are being imposed on them by it,
at the end and a much larger host by a small local minority. Now they own share any of my politics. They will share my preference for extroverted foreign policy or reforming the social welfare system or any a half a dozen other policy prescriptions, but they do share. My frustration but they censorious, moralising, cast that has assumed far more power than Numbers warrant and all they need. Is commission structure. All I need Is it cover to say what they tell me in private and you in private? No, but that moves that moves to the point the berries making, which I think is the the union must not be allowed to take advantage of inorganic phenomena. Those people are the people. Barriers talking to the peace, bury saying, show courage, open up a mouth, What's the matter with you, people their suppressing you they're, trying to make sure that you can produce original work that will be important to people they are trying to prevent.
who, from publishing important academic work from writing important articles from speak or interest for an ordinary life. From talking at US the board meeting from participating in a local elections. However, it is you want to slice it and so be have courage- and this is the problem that I think they're in, which is why I think we need new institutions- is that big, ask it turns out in human nature. It's it's a huge it's. Actually. This is one of the great serve Things that I'm learning that I've been just so deeply wrong about, which is, I really thought most people were more independent minded and like freedom more, and it turns out that that's really wrong on a lot of levels and that, if it like a big existential shift that I'm experiencing right now and one of the things
First of all, I want to acknowledge that it's a really big ask, because even this morning you know, I'm I'm trying to commission a bunch of comedians to weigh up Chapelle thing twice on my mind and every single one of these comedians thinks what's being said about him and done. Him is absolutely ridiculous, and yet they say to me. I don't want to sound like a coward, but I'm scared to put a target on my back and they're not wrong, because they see what happens when people do step out and that's real and that's why you know. That's why I think that in some someone was sort of me gently- and I think rightly criticising the peace that I wrote for you guys missing. Yet courage is good. Courage is an important ingredient, but will you also need? Baby. I didn't articulate this quite well enough. You need to be extreme the anchored in rooted and articulating to yourself and to people that you trust around you about Frank, they, what your life is about and what you're willing to sacrifice for
and there's also, you don't have that then you're, never ever and I get to the stage of being able to express courage and take the risk of that requires others. Also very practical hurdle here for people who work I mean sometimes in some sense of euro. If you're well known comedian are lucky or then say, women or men who works in an office who wants Say the water cooler hair? I liked the Dave Chapelle Special There's a real real world material price for ordinary people to pay, which is part of what makes it such a huge task, and you know part of that. The commission structure no is talking about it. It strikes me that this is the great tragedy,
of whenever a large institution or a famous performer or public figure breaks under the pressure of the mob, because it wouldn't take that many of them in succession to stand up for what they truly think and believe, and they are the ones who can endure yet sure they were there Some fall off. You know on their fans and they would get some pushed back. But I'm talking about the people who already, for example, multimillionaires. They have great six they have fame the end they could they could inside for what they believe in go on to have sort of army of support of millions. like regular people who will just sort of get fired, and you know shunned in their community, and you know if we are talking about asking them to take a kind of hit, but if they did, the cast
aiding affect the trickled down effect of of what that would do for ordinary people who can't because they have things like mortgages hook, who are just choose afraid to do it. What will this is? This is sorry? Jungle had run out story in this two thousand and three in the run up to the Iraq war, Having dinner with somebody who happened to be one of the biggest stars in the world, a very intelligent and very soon a didactic, a person who had turned out was a supporter of the decision to go into Iraq, or was a support as we were moving in exile Lee toward it had been reading. The paper understood- was able to name. You know the: U N, resolutions that Saddam Hussein is violated all of this to monitor what this man, the other thing, we're safe,
at a very fancy restaurant at Balthazar in Soho having, conversation and then he said to me: you don't you you can't do you understand that this is a very private conversation. And I said well, of course I am. He said something like. look. I just want to make people laugh like might that's. What I do is I just want to make people laugh, and I am I don't wanna get To a position where I become a figure of controversy that's not who I am or what I do or what I built my life doing that I I'm telling you I believe, I'm telling you what I think, but that's that's not Who who I am now I understand that we think about the Hollywood? People is being out there all liberals and are all doing they all get preachment knowledge this, but
similarly the world a popular culture as a world filled with people who aren't all that educated who get out I've been hired much of their life for their looks or because they have particular believe well before a camera. If you don't write them a script, they dont know what they're talking about and what they, what they ve been here, but they ve drunk in or what they ve suck. There is kind of the commons it. Server The common conventional wisdom of the world in which they travel and expecting them to tribunes, J K. Rollin was, of course you know the most successful writer on the planet earth and who is a right her and therefore, who can be expected. say whatever those that she wants to say they are not equipped in
lecture we in their name so equipped emotionally, they just want to be loved. That's what they do, but that's why collectives and institutions and organisations are so important that the there, if you're, asking someone to leap you have to give them a lily pad to land on and right now. That's what I think any of us who want to preserve sanity, any its deeper than even preserving liberal, is Just sanity need to be doing. We need to be giving that to them. We need to be giving them language to use. We need to be creating new institutions, new organisations. I really believe that that's the name of the game, but I will say that the people that I truly have no patience for anymore, you know- are the people with the well springs of literal capital, of social capital, of political cap,
who were billionaires. You know sometimes or multi. Multi multimillionaires who can afford university goes to shit to get on a private plain and moved to new one, those kind of people. It was kind of people who love to text me about what's going on in their kids private school, for which there pang seventy thousand dollars a year. Whatever stand up stand up, I find it just morally reprehensible that the people that are- and maybe that maybe there's something to this too- that I guess I felt- and this is another place where I was just so wrong- that getting to the top allowed you the privilege or the standing to have the freedom to say whatever the hell you want. You know that's why they called it a few money, but actually it's the opposite. It's the people that are nineteen and twenty years old, who are exhibiting more courage. These days, then the people at the top, up and maybe that's always been true, and I just had a totally wrong. I mean look
The whole point about institutions is that when, when the world was governed by institutions, institutions had not the obligations, but they they. They were why, it on pre existing standards that were that were, as is true when we talk about the rule of law, the rules have to be clear to everybody, and they have to be observed. Impartially by everybody and there you're supposed to know them for the great secret of welcome this is the crimes are often positive terms, he had been crimes after the fact, cracked and then p, Say I mean I was sitting in the case of Alexey Mccammon, who was I had to be the editor of teen vulgar triggered the she was twenty seven years old, triggered the rage and jealousy of other journalists who went back Doug through her past and discovered that
the age of seventeen as a freshman, the universe you Chicago she had made some joke about an Asian as it seventeen year old first year student in her first quarter at the University of Chicago ten, later is forced to step down by Condi nasty which had fought it had a gimme in hiring Alexey Mccammon and would get praised hurry legacy mccammon because she was african american woman. So that was one of them. Does that they hired her and then I think in part there like. Well, you know what you're no good to me now, like I'm, not gonna, get I'm not getting any extra points for my tougher affirmative action. Credit here.
so go away. Let me find somebody else who isn't gonna caused me, this kind of trouble and under those circumstances everybody stands potentially convicted at any point. If your election haven't, I you you, if you're anybody who followed that story in journalism in your young journalist, either you're gonna, go back through your your social media history and literally leave everything that you ve ever said that it
deep, which should go ahead beyond just deleting your bad tweets. Guess who knows what bad is? It's like? I talked of middle school students who are telling me without necessarily using this language, but that their self censoring in middle school. Like that's a part that I don't think people are fully appreciating. Is you know you just need a few of these instances to send a powerful message to everyone watching and the messages and has been received. and its clear and all the poles who know what some which eyesight and peace, but it's it's really. I don't think I can overstayed how deeply its penetrated into the lives of young people who are thinking to themselves, If I say you want a chance of getting into that private school, like I better start treating the right things, now and seventh grade, I mean it is so dark. Well I mean so that's why
not sure that the institutions that we have can be saved on your talking about building new ones and by the way some this happens organically we're tongue. Before we started the package, you run Joe welcomes podcast who is Joe Robin Jargon, was a stand up. Comedian, here, I must here was for four and the fear factor before is on the fear factor. He was on show called knows. Radio, which was you know, sort of like a workplace said, come in the late I'm these. According to the data that surfaced when I was at school, If I were bought the rights to his park, I came over which are of a spot right, so I guess, but if I was more than he was there, a hundred mill hundred ninety million downloads of months of Joe pod cast, which is, I don't know. Sometimes it's three, hours long day or some like that hundred ninety million
how modes among friends, that's right, the Cairo! Why right? But these these institutions are being built around your common sense. Sub stack is an effort or end its Ghana, which is important, because what people have said to me, we ve published pieces but there's a couple days about this over the course of my editorship. You know we need a new university. What would the new university look like? Will? First, you would have to do this would be buildings have that this than build this department, all that and you look at it, you think. Well, that can never happen like this is a ten billion dollar investment to create one college that has a library function. Dorms in this not everything you little never happen like riddle, how it they'll be one case of it and in fact the dominoes pizza guy built, university in Florida called Ave Maria. That's like the only case I can think of, but Joe rodents can start a pod
as the organically turns into something that he sells for a hundred million dollars and then show Rogan to take, can take that money and donate to a new university and I'm on the board of one. That's gonna be announced in the next few weeks, ok, I gotta talk about that. Ok, so rights. All I'm saying is that these these new institutions have to be created organically the problem with your because I know I'm I'm I'm monopolizing here, but the problem with the Courage with the declaration that are our escape is courage. Is that expecting ordinary people who have to put food on the table To display the kind of courage that will get them fired now right now, that's not so terrible is wherein job labour shortage and you can lose a job and another job pretty easily. But for the last twenty years that hasn't been the case and people have been terrified to lose their jobs
for twenty. In a way that was really different from when I was growing up, people were work, you know where incomes growing workplaces, shrinking opportunities were shrinking. It was very frightening and terror to do that. But you know expecting people who live in our basically paycheck to paycheck Breton. Their existences is very difficult. One two different thing when you are Jeffrey Goldberg, the contemptible editor of the Atlantic, who high Kevin Williamson knowing who Kevin Williamson is, and then fires and the day before he starts because as the staff revolts, and he is You know kowtowing to his. You know Idiot billion heiress patron who's that we can have a person like that on staff. Thoughts, like you know, you don't get to play with other people's lives like this with Kevin's life, you Jeffrey Goldberg, unlike other people, unlike these, we lowered patient to take-
you as a matter of intellectual honesty, are obliged to resign if you are forced to fire Kevin Williamson being the person you hired him to be, if you don't quit For that the way you bury quit over the insistence- That is, you know what you took to be, whatever insistence was being made, that you were supposed to kowtow and make a public How apology for your actions in your views he's required to have courage, but yet that middle cooler, it's a little it out that middle school or a little now we ask yeah my PETE yes It is not directed at its true. I know the directive at the principle of the Middle school is directed at the editor of the magazine is directed at the head of the university, the head of this to do the people that actually have the power to shape the the climate inside the institute.
to make it an environment that is free and not based on fear that suits directed to, and I completely agree we shouldn't expect. We shouldn't twelve year old in thirteen year old, should not be expected to exhibit courage like this. It's from the people that have the standing and who are spineless in the face of this ideological revel. I'm sorry Christine noises concept, but for this to work the optimistic way just to see this future, it is going to require something that again Nata not to criticise I own team here, but he's gonna require conservatives to do something there not generally happy with doing they love of Maria University Cause, it's a closed system right, but in order for genuine powerful cultural institutions to develop to all alternatives to the ones that exists now that have gone woke you have to bring old school liberals in
who disagree with you on a lot of moral, cultural and social issues. You need those people in and not to field of dreams this. But if you build it, I do think those middle school principles will come. I think that students will display courage simply in their consumption habits, they will go to the sites that Joe Romans listeners, or not just a bunch of crazy right wingers. It is a broad spectrum of people from different class and geographical backgrounds that is as power is the sheer number of people who go to him too since the interesting topics they might not have heard it before. He doesn't. You doesn't drape himself in the in these sort of elite classes Sanctions, either subtly or or in a straightforward way, like a lot of other institutions do, but we need. We need coalitions with groups that that traditionally
and culture wars. We haven't been good at making peace with a little further. I don't think you'd prefer for this to work out. The good will come from conservatives at all. Actually, I think I think at all has to come from somewhere within the liberal sphere, because conservatives on this question, but woke boldness have been there already, and I think there being involved in this in the in the in the sort of the fight for liberals, balls, adds an unnecessary wrinkle. I think in the process. I think it's, I think it's a bit. I think it's about what happens within liberal presently, liberalism itself that that brings about the change I can ask you to get a little autobiographical here, because I think what aid and Christine are talking about. Is you Do the recycling ever want journal and flew unwrapped. The Wall Street Journal as I've
I've known you, I'm not sure that I would ever have characterized you as a conservative, you didn't characterize here. That was a conservative I would say, and that that's not you weren't, you were an activist. on issues that were deeply important to you that aligned you with the ride, in particular Israel, because the left particular campuses was moving so far radically, the other direction, but you would not have described yourself as a conservative right now. I've always been. Did I mean I've always been described, assume that when the time I started opening my mouth, I was at Columbia. On the issue of Israel, I was called every horrible name. You could possibly be called so I have long since, given up trying to like play defence on what my proper identity should be. I think that every online survey I've ever taken listen: Greenaway categorize me as someone on the centre left, maybe the centre. Definitely when I was at the Wall Street,
Oh, they did not think who is a conservative, so yeah, but I think that, because I am a liberal and because I generally sort of swim in those waters, I, but also meant that I too mix a metaphor was like in the teeth of the ideology like, I saw what it was about, and I saw the way it was politicizing everything, even relationships and love and art and music, and I just saw the totalling aspect of it and for whatever reason, I think it's a personality thing like I hate that I really really really hate that, and I don't know I think it's also being jewish. To be honest, I really think that there is something about being jewish. That made me allergic to this and smell. It may be before some other people who came around to the view.
But ass for it. You know going to a Christine was saying about strange new alliances. I mean guys, like I published Glenn Green Walled on my substitute the other day and he's defending the against people than trying to fetch me on Twitter. Yesterday, it's a strange new world now, obviously I couldn't disk with him more vehemently on some issues like Israel that are incredibly dear to me, but I also see his positioning and matter lobbies on this as being right, and so I think it's important moment too to say I am willing to sort of Not lay down arms on the other issues, but make alliances with people sounding sane on this one, at least for the time being, and I hope that I'm curious actually, but I think that you guys would agree with me. I know that you will use apes. as this is a revolution, peace adding ends. And we did very much on the snow right, Abe you'd be here.
I think I said, and I continue to think that even more so it does something like the most hopeful spot on the horizon is that is the spot occupied by berry. And a few others it is. This is going to. Come down to this is gonna, be on the shoulders of those liberals who look at work because there I'm sense, as I put it in the end, in the peace Europe, because kids, Let us have been saying these things for while saying other things at levels one agree with, but but you know in terms of a bid, the anti pc position. Europe were already preaching to the choir on the right it. It is the liberals, especially those with a large readership, like like you, bury when you write about these things and write about them. So well. They
the force of a penny on Larry S. Liberals rewrite, as you know, it's the rhetoric and we would be easy for you know. Conservatives bark can get geike outrage like what's the big deal, saying this for twenty years, but that's not important the imports. My dad's reaction. Writing. I ain't nobody! It's it's so funny because I went on. I went on Brian Stealth, her show on CNN last weekend, and I thought it was fine and, I said, things that I always say it. But I've been saying for a while, and it was like. Oh my god it like total veracity. Why exactly. The thing you're saying is that, in the context of the environment of CNN me saying things like you know, violences violence and silences and violence has the or of epiphany. But that's fine. I'm unrolled it to take on the new subscript efforts, but you know that vote appearance was what was fascinating because stealth? Your play this game with you, where he said you say that they don't allow people
say Ex Wires Z, whose stopping you, whose stopping you from saying whatever it is, you want to say, and it's like Michelle oh bargain the New York Times, who who then tried to codify how many cases is of silencing. There had been on campuses and she came up with a number of around four hundred and eighty seven and then said. Well, that's not a lot really. I mean there tens of thousands of people on college campuses. Four hundred and eighty seven cases of having your speech suppressed is not a lot. It's just that I'll bet a trees. It ran it's no m m M and that's where you know it's funny that by the way, because even Michel, Goldberg Sophie become and I quoted earlier today saying this thing about intellectual, rigour and debate, you know are basically some kind of war male privilege actual
this morning said on twitter? Well, that's more was that's mortifying, like it turns out Even for her. There are things you shouldn't say because, like then on the bench will find a way, I'm not the her. Whoever too, like now. Ok, now that's gonna be acceptable in at a certain point. It's like stopping shocked, it's really hard to say because there's like a new low that we experience every day in its hard not to be shocked and in a way it's like. We should be shocked because it deserves shock because it's wrong, but it it's kind of like at this point we gotta get over the shock visit. Would it is it's going to continue to eat liberal institutions
and good people, and so now that we ve seen it now that we know the nature of it like. Let's build new things in the face of it, let's build the things we want to see in the world because we could spend all day grieving for the old, and you know we sending little links around to our what's happened. Signal grossly like have you seen this machine is abusing this or we can just say yeah. We ve seen it because we ve seen the story a thousand times now. I think we ve seen enough any move on all what you're trying to rebuild, isn't just institutions but a counter culture, because you're talking about a dominant culture now in institutions and entertainment, media, academia and what you're going to build something sexy that attracts like mines, and that makes mocking these peoples that's cool, just a cool thing to do, makes you a hit person and that's where comics in life Become the instruments of this sort of
backlash from whether Dave Chapelle thing, I think, is far more momentous than we recognise yet imperfect, it has the capacity to mobilise an entire industry of people whose job it is to make mockeries this kind of self seriousness in what funnels them towards particular direction. That the way that they were so well, my resent whence it materia I'm exactly on the opposite side of you hear me till I could. I think those chapels story is no sane comic is going down that path that the word all of the comedian in the United States is framed by a desire and a wish right now to get an hour long, special on Netflix, they go in there, because it's one thing to be Dave Chapelle until the end we, the most popular committee in the world, but if you were a nobody, nothing you're trying to get on stage a catch arising, star and you're gonna get food and then no
Jim is gonna want to represent you and no one is going to buy your special. I think that's the end of your where does not cattle culture? That's my answer. Yes, he I think it just leads to the increasing. I never know if this words right by frustration. Does that mean cutting into which is like look at TIM Dylan's career? Ok, timberlands in ever gonna get a special netflix at least right now, but he's filling it he's hugely popular like the they're. Just I just think it's going to continue to be kind of two worlds. The wrong sink thought crime, people that are actually representing the main stream and then, if I can use like a hundred game for reference like the capital people and, like very luxury, believe
and very little fun new words that they used to describe things and the little fun world of like fantasy. They create they burying the kind of spaces driving is just not what even your living through your living through remarkable dynamism around this issue and a shifting a very full that cultural landscape. Setting that that's where my optimism comes from the my optimism comes from the fact that I have not put out a single add if you type my name into Google, this is subs. Subjects got a long way to go guys, there's no discover ability, I think that comes up for me in Google NEWS is the New York Times. Ok again, Ochre graniteware describing are very high stakes. Familiar looking, you know. What's on our terms where stakes would be lower. If engaging in it didn't make you hetero our heretic apostate it made you keep it made you a tune.
cultural sensitivities that have brought all virtuous than leaving the executives of these networks. Understand. I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. I believe it is the counterculture it's just. Its culture, but no other problem is- and this goes to the urge issue, people don't want to be in the counter culture, it is a certain type of personality that craves either craves. agriculture or accepts, as I think is the case with bury that the war One of the larger culture is toxic or or orb suicidal for them to attempt to make a home in but for your ordinary person, who has been sitting at home since he was five listening to comedy records once be a comedian wants to do well, oh and wants to be, as famous as the people that he loved Lenny Bruce, is not the model.
I know the model. Are you ok go ahead now? I just think that there's different kinds of comedians right, like there's the Chelsea handlers? Ok, you want to be like that. You go clearly in one way, but Joe Rogan leading a pretty awesome life and, if you're, a nineteen twenty twenty one year old, you're thinking, I wanna be like that. There is a part, for you to be successful? Council load yeah? Absolutely, but that's where the building of the new institutions comes, and the problem is that there is a bridge time, there's a bridge time and the days chapels effort to suppress at an unsurpassable person, Dave Chapelle, canopies rest for one very simple reason, not just that he successful not just that he's beloved not, so he's gonna like at the top of his craft. He has some but he walked away from fifty million fifty million dollars in two thousand Threeg. As he said, I don't want to live in your system and was like invisible for more than a decade
When a way can he didn't want to be part of a cog in the comedy central means, in comedy machine, and he returned entirely on his own terms. The problem is that there can only be one of the boats. People at any given time really get you can't fire, Jackie rallying, because Jake your is the most successful author an earth. They tried and different persons, other than Jackie Rolling might not have been able to survive the assault on her, but that doesn't mean that you know I wanna be Jake Rolling can dare try to be Jackie rolling without risking.
dreams that she had does a kid to be Jack irrelevant and that's where the courage problem comes out because they want to have to be courageous, like nobody wants. It's like Aristotle's definition of courage is doing the right thing to die nobody in a war. I mean that that is actually in the neck. A mocking afflux, like courage, is not recklessness foolhardiness. It's not like charging into battle unprepared with no armor and then getting yourself well, that's recklessness and foolishness, nor is it standing on the sidelines. While your city is loaded, it is per severe in the face of danger in a way that might lead to a death, and that that will be noble and it will be noble because you were courageous and it is by definition something that cannot be expected of people because
requires qualities. Of moderation in a we're way that people often done him. I just want to make a point about this culture counterculture debate. I think part of China here is that there are so many millions of people out there who actually see what we're talking about the culture and the counterculture completely inverted. They think they're being involved in welcoming makes them part of the counter culture that the dominant culture Is this stiff buttoned up one that has not recognised individual? identities, and that you know what it's. Why? Why? Why privilege and galleries and arrest of an exact exactly right and discipline? no do comedians to me that I was reminded this when the great nor Mcdonald died recently, some put up a clip of him. Judging
talent show a comic got up before him and made there is a joke by anti christian jobs and the judge next the norm, so that was very brave and the enormous said. I don't think that was grieve at all. You know. Every every other comedian in the world makes that makes joke they, the expensive of of the care of the christian faith. You know- and you don't know anything about it and all the rest of it, and I think this is why there is point about seeing more courage. Young Americans then establish older Americans on this explains apart because I think a peep I'm out into youth politics at all, but I but I'll give them credit for this. Young people are in better position to recognise what is truly the counter culture dance than adults. Try and to put their finger on what it eggs locust is exactly right itself is,
so I so look forward to the vat younger generation getting older and and and going if moving through the world, with the understanding that the counter culture is, is the one that pushes back against boldness. Although Travis Approach, which is what you do with counter cultures like you, try to suppress them and and the common this and that's what makes it sexy. Nobody tells us exit attractive, nobody for sixty, here is: there was no danger to account or culture figure like once a week. There was a time when Lenny Bruce was hauled into jail for obscenity right that stopped and then suddenly being in the counterculture with something where you violated all the rules and regulations and the structures, and nobody came out you for it, but but the blue noses and MRS grandes in the world because you were talking about literally, is a world in which they come after you. that's. What cancellation is
I'm enduring abbot obviously was kind of a night. if I may, which is understandable. This now is realised how you wasn't the knife and I'm sorry, that's so inspire. Ok, ok, that he was watching his this disease, the GEO physicist that we're time up before he I'm sorry, mathematician that was too it's God, Sardinia. He was on watching all this for a while and told me, because we ve been corresponding for well said. He really thought hard about standing up for years before he did. He made the choice to do so that what I think. so amazing about his example. He didn't like stumble into it and to be fair to him and to the institutions not to not to not to trumpet my my alma mater, but I'm he is a professor at the university or Cago and President Zimmer of the University of Chicago this one's a two or three leading
Here is in universities in the United States, who has been at the forefront of this being free speech, so he was, he was costs. It did or he was surrounded in some fundamental sense in an institution in which he knew that when push we came to shove, the guy at the top was gonna have as back, which is something Nobody knows anywhere practically, I mean that's part of the story here. So it's wonderful article! Please, please read it! Please go and be one of them. Three hundred and seventy five million people who have no subscribe to bury subs that its very wise that sub stacked that come. We ll have a pod cast called honestly with very wise, materially honestly, pod, Berry sister Susie is hilarious. Writer
her are even I wish writing says me, wisest she's, right, we're here with me. anyway, she says she's. She said she's a superstar in the making, is. This is the very low the wisest your wife Nellie Balls has a fantastic. stuck on converting to Judaism that I commend everybody. I is that Nellie Balls, that substandard doesn't have an artist. Odin by choice. Stutter ozone, blogger com, it's she is also now she has been officially liberated. She no longer works of the New York Times as, if you as of a few weeks ago, so look for her writing lots of places. But including comments,
I mean the whole journey of you in Nellie itself. We could do with their. They should be a mini podcast running like I want us to write a shell anyway. It's me that's kind of an amazing and am I gonna do. I will always be grateful to the New York Times ahead anyway, so Her substack is break your subsidies. Great, we don't have a sub stack, we have passed and we have a rose coming up on November. Twenty second, with rabbi, our salaries salivate check, please go to cometary. Doubt work slashed rose twenty one to find out more. Very thank you very much for joining us and for aid Noah and Christine. I'm John put hordes keep the candle burning.
Transcript generated on 2021-10-22.