1. AYISHAT AKANBI: The Problem with Wokeness
Ayishat Akanbi discusses the problem of “reactionary” behaviors in the modern social justice movement and how it’s hurting us all. Although some of the popular fundamental belief systems in this movement encourage aggressive behaviors in activists against perceived enemies, Akanbi’s theme of practicing open-hearted immediacy and embracing the humanity of people who belong to groups we have deemed “the enemy” is as timely as ever. This theme is similarly expressed in the essay, “In Praise of Allies: Wherever we’re going, we’ll only get there together”. Since this video has gone viral, Akanbi has given talks around he world about the importance of discovering our commonalities alongside our differences.
2. BENJAMIN A. BOYCE: The Complete Evergreen Story
In this The Complete Evergreen Story serial documentary series and in his vast collection from the #ExposeEvergreen YouTube series, Benjamin A. Boyce captures the disturbing cult-like behaviors and an atmosphere of forced ideological conformity, bullying and mobbing that has been occurring at Evergreen State College since 2015. In this video, he explores a clip showing an Evergreen State College professor introducing students to a mystical world-wide conspiratorial, malevolent force labeled as “white supremacy” that is believed to structure all of reality. Boyce is currently working on an authoritative documentary about the Evergreen State College breakdown that took place in the spring of 2017. For another powerful document of the Evergreen breakdown, we recommend the first installment of a documentary by Mike Nayna. For a breakdown of one of the most influential theories that fueled the mobbing attacks at Evergreen, we recommend this piece on Robin D’Angelo’s White Fragility Theory.
3. WENDY McELROY: Individual Prepetrators, Not Groups
In her opening remarks to a debate with Jessica Valenti, Wendy McElroy speaks about treating perpetrators as individuals rather than as members of an identity group. In this powerful speech, McElroy describes her own experiences with violent sexual assault (content warning) and reminds us that it was these particular individual men who are to blame, not the demographic group that that these individuals belong to.
4. CASSIE JAYE: Meeting the “Enemy” in The Red Pill
In this watershed Ted Talk, filmmaker Cassie Jaye talks about the transformational process she went through as she set out to “expose” the Men’s Rights Movement in her film, “The Red Pill”. In this talk, and through her other work, Jaye reminds us that inter-gender hatred and stereotyping is not the way to liberation or equality, and that in spite of the often-true narratives around women’s oppression, boys and men suffer, too. Rather than treating women’s issues as a zero sum game, she asks us to consider the possibility that we can embrace the rights of all at the expense of none.
5. COLEMAN HUGHES: Evolving on Race Issues
Dave Rubin interviews Coleman Hughes about race issues and emerging new heterodox perspectives on racism that question the narrative of systemic bigotry. Part 2 of this series can be found in this link. Hughes is currently studying at Columbia University where he met linguistics professor, John McWhorter, who teaches there. Both of these black writers are formally connected with the Heterodox Academy. This interview features refreshingly open dialogue without ideology, rhetoric, or image-making.
6. JANICE FIAMENGO: Institutions of Indoctrination
In this YouTube Series, The Fiamengo Files, University of Ottawa, Professor Janice Fiamengo deconstructs the orthodox world of intersectional ideology on the college campus and its strong influence on recent generations of young people. In this particular video, Fiamengo speaks of the shame orientation of privilege theory and the adversarial, almost-cult-like behaviors of new converts. Another concept that is discussed in the series is the imbalanced narrative of what each gender has contributed to the world throughout history.
7. JONATHAN HAIDT: Two Incompatible Values
In this video, the moral psychologist and founder of Heterodox Academy, Jonathan Haidt lays out in great detail the power behind inquiry, investigation, and open-mindedness. This way of approaching reality, knowledge, and truth, Haidt exhorts, is in stark contrast to ideologically fixed -and unchangeable- truths of modern social justice ideologies. The competing values referred to in the title are: Truth (open inquiry) and Social Justice Ideology (a programmed, restrictive view of seeing and responding to reality in a predetermined way). While this particular talk focuses on the “telos” of institutions of higher education, Haidt has also studied and lectured on the the ways in which Congress and the American public have become polarized in recent years. have led more in-depth discussion about the variables that have impacted the strength of Western democracies can be found in Haidt’s take on “Why America’s Finely-Tuned Democracy is Running Down”. For a talk on the “Three Terrible Ideas” that are weakening younger generations, discourse and democracy, click here.
8. JOHN McWHORTER: How Anti Racism Hurts Black People
Linguistics professor John McWhorter, a founding member of Heterodox Academy, discusses the influence of the specific ideology known as “Anti Racism” on victimhood culture and on the accuracy of popular beliefs about the prevalence of racism—including police-related racism. Some of the specific data McWhorter speaks about has been addressed in other appearnces, including a 2019 CNN appearance in which McWhorter discusses the benefits of victimhood culture. In the CNN segment, and the alleged hate crime hoax that Jussie Smollett, an openly gay, black actor on the television show Empire, who later was found to have engineered a false hate crime for the purpose of advancing his career. A major theme of these and other interviews (and other McWhorter writings) is the need for Black advocates to question victimology as a permanent stance. For an in-depth discussion of this issue with McWhorter and Glenn Loury, click here. A shorter version of that discussion can be found here. It’s interesting to note that an increasing number of black writers and academics have written and spoken along similar lines. Harvard professor, Dr. Cornel West questions the victim narrative and the bleak and racialized world view of Critical Race Theory in a piece called “Ta Nahesi Coates is the Neoliberal Face of the Black Freedom Struggle“, and Christina Dit Sully echoes some of the same concerns in a piece called “Universalism and the Courage to Change Society”.
9. WARREN FARRELL: The Future of Boys and Men
In this interview, social psychologist and author of The Boy Crisis, Warren Farrell speaks of the need for a more humanized and balanced approach to conversations about sex and gender, and in particular, the topic of masculinity. Emotional vulnerability in boys and men is a shared value between advocates for women’s rights and men’s rights, and this interview covers this and the many other overlaps that ultimately tie all movements for equality and mutual respect into a single whole.
10. CHRISTINA HOFF SOMMERS: Beyond the Culture Wars
Dr. Christina Hoff Sommers taught philosophy for more than twenty years and is the author of The War Against Boys. She has been a consistent critic of what she has the adversarial stance against males in contemporary feminist culture, theory and practice. As she has often noted in public talks and in her YouTube series, The Factual Feminist, Hoff Sommers supports what she considers the original foundation of feminism and other movements, which is about true equality rather than gender chauvinism and identitarian hostility. Like other public figures who have spoken out on the harmful effects of misandry and the denial of biological differences between the sexes, Hoff Sommers has met with passionate opposition. For more insight into her work, here is an interview with Joe Rogan.
11. BILL MAHER: The Denial of Distinctions
Here, Bill Maher reminds us that there are distinctions in the world of abuse and violence and that there is a spectrum of behaviors that require different measures of our responses. Put more simply, destroying lives is not a proportional response to every mishap, sexual or otherwise. Psychologists and social science researchers are also discovering the apocalyptic cult of “cancel culture”, and a recent New York Times piece questions “The Cruelty of Callout Culture” among similar lines.
12. JOE ROGAN & TIM POOL: Twitter, Media and Censorship
Joe Rogan discusses Twitter bans with Twitter executives Jack Dorsey and Vitaya Gadde and independent journalist Tim Pool. Accuracy of information and the culture of contempt in mainstream and alternative media are discussed. One of the interesting examples pointed out in this conversation is the 2018 Data and Society report on what the study called the Alternative Influence Network. Interestingly, that report mislabeled many YouTube content creators as “alt right” or “far right”, when a majority of them, including Tim Pool are actually left and left of center.
13. KEN WILBER: Jordan Peterson and the Evolution of Thought
In this clip, transpersonal theorist Ken Wilber is interviewed by David Fuller of Rebel Wisdom about the comparisons between Jordan Peterson’s views around personal development and biological evolution and the Integral Theory model of developmental human growth on the individual and civilizational scales. Vengeful and tribal elements of social justice movements are discussed, as well as the dangerous impact of these elements on the development of the West. An important developmental task for the next stage of human progress, according to Wilber and other integral and developmental theorists is to fully integrate previous stage developments rather than to repress them and to embrace the difference between dominance hierarchies (which we should be wary of) and growth hierarchies that need to be acknowledged, awakened and encouraged. For an in-depth essay on Peterson himself, this piece is a worthy read.