Category Archives: Authoritarian and Regressive Left

Another weak argument against the Harper’s letter

Eve Fairbanks is a journalist from South Africa, and her national origins play a substantial part in this rather weak essay on free speech in the Washington Post (click on the screenshot). Increasingly, I find long-form op-eds in both the New York Times and the Washington Post—the two sources I’m subscribed to besides Andrew Sullivan’s […]

Social justice, then and now

UPDATE: Reader Daniel Sharp has a positive review of Cynical Theories in the New English Review. ____________ I’ve now finished Pluckrose’s and Lindsay’s new book, and can recommend it to readers (it has a pretty good position on Amazon though it won’t come out till August 25). Click on screenshot to go to the Amazon site: […]

Reading Matt Taibbi

A reader recommended that I read some stuff by Matt Taibbi, a podcaster, writer, and contributing editor for Rolling Stone. I was advised that I might find Taibbi ideologically compatible (indeed, he appears to specialize in calling out the excesses of the Left), although you’ll have to pay if you want to subscribe to his […]

Think “cancel culture” is a fabrication? Think again.

This letter in Areo (click on screenshot) gets the point of the Harper’s letter in a way that many outraged people and offended intellectuals didn’t. The author, who asserts that he’s a “nobody”, isn’t really: his Areo bio says this: Angel Eduardo is writer, musician, photographer, and designer in New York City. He has been published in […]

Bari Weiss resigns from the New York Times, citing hostile workplace climate

This now seems to have been inevitable, but it’s very sad, especially for the NYT, which has lost a powerful voice and a counterweight to the paper’s fulminating wokeness—an ideological groupthink that has so degraded its quality. Click on the screenshot to read the CNN report: Weiss did not go gentle, either. From CNN: But […]

Slate obliquely criticizes the Harper’s letter, blames Twitter for everything

I used to think of Slate and Salon as brother sites, with Salon being the slightly unhinged and woker younger brother and Slate being the more serious elder.  Well, Salon has gone down the drain of wokeness, and Slate is no longer nearly as interesting as it used to be, full as it is now […]

Two approbations for The Letter, and a summary of the critics’ views

I thought I wouldn’t write any more about “The Letter”, which of course refers to the Letter in Harper’s and four other international venues decrying “cancel culture” and promoting open debate and free speech. That piece,”A letter on justice and open debate“, with 153 signers, now sports its own Wikipedia page! Over the past few days […]

HuffPo denies that “cancel culture” exists

HuffPo, one of the biggest exponents of “cancel culture”, now has published one of its longest articles claiming that such a culture doesn’t exist. The piece is a long and unconvincing response to the letter published last week in Harper’s (and four other international venues). That letter was simply a call for open debate, and […]

Five timely readings for the day

I have nothing to say, but it’s okay (Good morning!).  Actually, duck duties in the pouring rain (yes, I got soaked, but in a good cause), combined with overdue grocery shopping, has put a crimp in my day. But, mirabile dictu, I have five—count them, five—pieces that are worth your time to read. I’ll give […]

Pushback from Sean Carroll and others against the Harper’s letter promoting open discourse

UPDATE: In a New York Times article, Thomas Chatterton Williams, a Haper’s writer who helped organize the letter, got specific with some of the incidents that inspired its creation: He said there wasn’t one particular incident that provoked the letter. But he did cite several recent ones, including the resignation of more than half the board of […]