Thursday, June 13, 2019
Pakman: some ideas (and their crazy proponents) don't belong in serious public discussions with "the big boys"
I wanted to share another David Pakman Show video today, “Crazy People Don’t Deserve a Seat at the Table”. This video relates to a video he made on February 11 which I reviewed here on April 3.
But is this comment based on the people, or the ideas?
During the video, he switches (from the "crazy people") to the their ideas. He does say this comment only applies when we are actually figuring out policy at the “Big Boy” table; he isn’t calling for deplatforming of extreme ideas. He gives a couple of examples and then discusses “The Hegelian Dialect”.
He gives some examples with extreme libertarian positions on taxes and extreme religious right positions on gay people (no they won’t be at the table) but the most interesting example he gave was on the success of Republicans in passing very extreme abortion laws in a few states with the explicit intent to challenge Roe v. Wade (which he didn’t specifically cite, but Jeffrey Toobin says this on CNN all the time.)
David is right (accidental pun), Republicans know how to move the Overton Window so that the end policy result is likely to be more conservative. The Left doesn’t do this the same way, since the Left is more “communitarian”. Well, you could ask if a position of “Abolish ICE” belongs at the Big Boy Table.
Jordan Peterson, for all his philosophical libertarianism, said there are extremes beyond what can be considered. For the Right, it’s probably wanting an ethno state. For the Left, it is less clear, but he suggests “equality of outcomes” as off the table (Tim Pool has suggested this).
I think there is another spin on this that affects bloggers like me. My model is to consider everything so that I connect all the dots and consider all perils. But if policy makers and extremists know this, they are incentivized to continue to present extreme ideas in public, even in protests and demonstrations, if they know a gratuitous speaker like me, however journalistic his intentions, will have to give them attention. (That reminds me of how, for one spell, AOC would make one outrageous statement every day knowing full well that Tim Pool would have to spend time making another video about what she said and giving her ideas even more circulation, however unfavorable). If a state actually passed an extreme anti-abortion law, I have to pay attention to it. Maybe, as a gay male, I don’t have “skin in the game” to even talk about it. I could turn the narrative around, and say we should discuss ending Selective Service Registration if we are absolutely faithful to the sanctity of all human life.
This observation even affects the news coverage of extremist demonstrations and speeches in public spaces, particularly to show how extreme and sometimes violent some people are. This issue has come up very recently with the YouTube monetization (“Voxadpocalypse”) issue. Now monetization may imply the journalist is making a living with the content, that it is not gratuitous. That may affect how we perceive the value of the journalist’s speech. But there is the idea that knowing that indie reporters want to film them may give some extremists more incentive to demonstrate in public, and maybe the reporting moves the Overton Window. Is this good?
I personally am very reluctant to take topic off the table, because it tends to lead to censorship. But I get where David is coming from. I want to re-emphasize his previous comments on anti-intellectualism, which has grown on both the far right and far left.