167 Comments
Jan 29Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

I agree that you had the upper hand and better argument. My impression was that while you saw the reality of human interactions, he had more of what I once heard called, "the hand-wavy, it'll be fine" perspective, where if everyone just assumes good faith on everyone's part everything works out for the best. I just rolled my eyes.

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Jan 29Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

The salient point you're all missing is this isn't academic- they're using Alinsky's tactics as well as taking a page from Islamism : lying about your motivation is perfectly acceptable because the ends justify ANY means.

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Jan 29Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

1 prevent misinformation - destroy free speech

2 stop the meritocracy - DIE

3 climate crisis- high energy prices

That's what they want but they will start ldom admit the truth.

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Jan 30Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

A friend is a prominent academic. A fellow academic had been fired for having sexual relations with a student. And raked over the coals. His life was nearly destroyed. However....in fact she wasn’t a student. She was an older student at the university and had taken a course with him a year earlier. They had a consensual relationship. They were roughly the same age. He broke it off with her and she accused him of horrible things. Their emails showed she was lying. She had done this before at another University with a prof. Who had dumped her. Same pattern. Chases a prof. Gets laid. Gets dumped. Attack. I heard of the story as it was unraveling. The university eventually had to settle with the prof and paid him $167,000. I asked my friend if he had known him. He said ‘yes he is a good friend of ours. He has been here for dinner many times.’ I asked which version was correct and he said the prof was 100% innocent. It had been a travesty set against a really decent guy. I then asked ‘how is he doing now?’ ‘I haven’t talked to him since this whole thing happened.’ Whoa, what? He abandoned his friend, whom he knew was innocent. He hadn’t even phoned him! He explained being the head of his department he felt it best to distance himself from the attacked professor. Some friend. So, Yasha Mounk can talk all he likes about how discussion can bring about the requires changes but it can’t. The Academics fight for tenure. Not anything else. Mounk hasn’t fought DEI. Just as my friend wouldn’t support his friend in his time of need. If we count on the academy standing up for justice we are fools. The academy fell the first and easiest because the academy is filled with weaklings.

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Jan 29Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

I truly enjoyed this column. Thank you for having the discussion, thank you, Bari W. for moderating this important conversation!

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Jan 29·edited Jan 29Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

" ... all of the ideas from the radical left of that era—the late 1960s, early 1970s—have infiltrated universities and then started to move laterally through bureaucracies in the state sector, in K–12 education, in HR departments, and even the Fortune 100 companies," and may I add the media and the churches. They have done exactly what the Italian communist Gramsci instructed, and some of them knowingly. "In the new order, Socialism will triumph by first capturing the culture via infiltration of schools, universities, churches and the media ..." -- Antonio Gramsci. We know exactly what they have done and why, and why it must be reversed. They need the cultural hegemony, which they have achieved, in order to impose their historically disastrous economic system. They are also well on their way to achieving that, as well, if they are not stopped.

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Jan 29Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

Prof Mounk lives in a “bubble”, he sounds elitist and I would never allow him to “teach””/indoctrinate anyone in my family. I have learned.... Professors such as this have a SHELF LIFE. Time for him to go live in the real world!

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Jan 29·edited Jan 29Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

Very worthwhile effort by all three participants.

The early discussion of Marxist influence upon/roots of Social Justice ideology is an example of productive discussion which yields what seemed a good and common understanding.

Most of the later discussion of the gestation of Social Justice ideology is comparable in value and, surprisingly, Mounk returned to the theme of Marxism which seemed to me earlier properly addressed, albeit in a summary way. The return of this theme does add to the prior discussion; as it turns out, Mounk was not satisfied with the initial treatment, and so properly reopened that initial line of discussion.

Weiss properly brings the discussion to the practical question, and Christopher, you sharpened (in mid-stride) what you were already saying in response to her prompt, and connected your reply to the differences in approach and understanding between yourself and Mounk - which in-turn prompted Mounk to make a comparable case for his own argument, which then led to a good differentiation.

My own understanding of Marcuse is that he attempted to renew Marxism ("pick up the pieces") after the empirical failure of Dialectical Materialism - which leads us also to Foucault, etc. Mounk is correct to say that Marcuse is mediated (my term) by Foucault in this latest iteration, but you correctly observed that this is not merely an academic debate, and that Marx via Marcuse and Gramsci is the real-world manifestation of this movement. This corresponded with your insistence from the start of the discussion that we must understand the phenomenon in-question as a fully-real phenomenon - as more than a set of ideas.

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Jan 29·edited Jan 29Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

DIE is the undertow that is destroying everything!! It doesn't matter if it's Marxist, Gramscian, or whatever. It's another way to say black undertow.

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Jan 29Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

I like how it’s finally admitted at the end that our institutions are ideologically captured by Marxists and they’re only backtracking now because of the sunlight being shone. Thank you, Chris and Bari

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Jan 29Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

Great debate. Both Yascha and Chris have great merits. It reminds me of the great debates between Jefferson and Hamilton on how to start and sustain a republic with both high ideals and effective governance. Chris clearly has a better sense of the imperfect reality that our country is living through right now as Hamilton did in his time. The presidency of Jefferson shifted him significantly from the idealist towards the pragmatist direction. We need more leaders like Hamilton to plore through the rut but also Jefferson to remind ourselves why we are doing it.

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Jan 29Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

I don’t think this is - currently - a winning argument. But I think it might be true. This goes way beyond politics and economics. There is something evil in the world. We are in a God vs Satan, angels vs demons, moment.

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Jan 31Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

They’re coming for you Chris, but this is pretty weak! When they can’t beat your arguments they try to attack your character. Stand tall when you’re standing on truth!

https://apple.news/A0AtYyLWxSnO1TW_YzWeBng

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Jan 29Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

"The world is not a debate society." Perfect description of the difference between the two perspectives. It was hard not to turn it off when he started with that drivel, but knowing that you are skilled in arguing for Team Reality I stuck with it to hear you tactfully dissect the issue and the problems with his perspective. He was also rude, IMHO.

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Jan 30Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

I also thought you had the upper hand, Chris. Mounk was tiring to listen to - his entire approach is geared toward appeasement.

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Jan 30Liked by Christopher F. Rufo

Hi Christopher,

I agree that you won the debate. What other option is there than to try and legislate against this vengeful, neo Marxist ideology? The radicals have captured the institutions. The long march has paid off. Thank you for all that you do.

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