Haidt and Lukianoff: The Polarization Spiral

This reflexive, overzealous defense of Trump, especially at his worst moments, is part of a growing monomania on the right. Monomania means an exaggerated and unhealthy obsession with one thing. One strand of it is that Trump must be defended in all situations from criticism. The other strand could be simply stated as “anything to own the libs.” This becomes apparent on college campuses as well. Let’s consult the Scholars Under Fire database collected by Komi German and Sean Stevens at FIRE that was released in September (but is regularly updated, most recently on October 15). Of the 471 incidents we found of attempts to get professors fired, about 164 of them (35%) were from the right.”


It’s a good article, and it makes a valid point- it is far easier to state that Trump has an unfortunate habit of opening his mouth before he knows the facts on the ground, as well as in taking his queues from the likes of Fox and Friends- who also aren’t in the habit of doing their due diligence at all times. It also doesn’t help that he is a narcissist who has real problems with admitting when he makes an honest mistake.

But equally, a more polished and articulate voice in service to its own base can be just as harmful. I deeply admired President Obama on an individual and personal level, but he made a couple of terrible errors which were incredibly harmful as President. The first was bowing to the educational theorists belief that all disparities in levels of schools discipline relating to African American pupils or students must be the result of racism or implicit bias- despite the fact that every environmental life indicator would tend to suggest that African American students or pupils should be more disruptive in class and more prone to disciplinary needs.

To understand the impact of this catastrophic misstep in education, one only needs to contemplate the fact that even moderately disrupted classrooms can result in two years worth of lost education by the end of K-12. Further, if the goal was the weaken the school-to-prison pipeline the activists not only failed, but actually accomplished the reverse- there are downstream consequences to churning out a specific demographic which is now structurally far more prone to being both functionally illiterate and innumerate, because of Leftist interventions.

The second flaw was feeding the Ferguson myth. If you haven’t watched Shelby Steele’s What Killed Michael Brown? then I would recommend it (I wouldn’t bother with the HD, the production values aren’t worth the additional expenditure), because it explains exactly how Ferguson was a model of integration, rather than prone to structural racism within its policing. The statistical disparities were caused by Ferguson being a shopping and leisure hub for a whole larger demographic of smaller communities which were almost exclusively Black.

I really don’t want to go into the dynamics of American policing, but sufficed to say that American Criminal Justice is a pendulum that swings violently from one extreme to the other, harming all below its scythe. By adding to this highly flawed availability heuristic Obama contributed the momentum which swung the pendulum towards the extreme. Police are at best janitors in this perverse system, and at worst may be subject to a horrible form of experience acquired racial bias created by routinely dealing with a small percentage of the worst individuals within poor high crime African American communities.


Haidt and Lukianoff provide persuasive evidence that cancel culture is not unique to the left. When they have the power to do so, people from all across the ideological spectrum will attempt to punish and suppress voices that they find offensive. Supporters of free speech and Enlightenment values need to stand firm in their defense of free expression, no matter whose ox is being gored.


Put another way, 35% of the complaints were against the greater than 90% of the credentialed and liberal to progressive indoctrinators employed as lecturers in US in tertiary education while 65% of the complaints were against the less than 10% of the lecturers just trying to keep their jobs.

Progressive indoctrinators can call for the out of hand murder and suppressions of all white people and alleged white supremacists while the small minority of unprogressive lecturers get fired for any sort of bad speak that that might possibly reveal bad think.

I guess Haidt and Lukinaoff have just given up on the idea of finding common ground and are themselves trimming their sails to conform with organizations like the American Association of University Professors.


There’s no evidence for that at all. Right-wingers often try to cancel other right-wingers and left-wingers often try to cancel other left-wingers.

In my experience, it’s usually the moderates who come under fire from the extremists on their own side.


The Haidt/Lukianoff thread-piece is referenced.

The problem is illiberalism. There may be more of it from one side than the other, but it is most certainly not a one-sided problem.

The troubling thing is that the language of cancellation by the right sounds the same as from the woke left. To paraphrase, these books contain historical photos of racism that make our kids “uncomfortable”, so these books should be banned. So yeah, the woke left needs to be pushed back…but it’s also what they say about 2 wrongs…


Too true. The far Left loathes the Centre Left more than they hate conservatives, just as far right ethnonationalists will do whatever they can to discredit conservatives, who they see as the movement which blocks their ability to recruit.

“Yes, the person that has influenced me above all was Candace Owens,” Tarrant wrote in an answer to the question, “Is there a particular person that radicalized you the most?”

“Each time she spoke I was stunned by her insights and her own views helped push me further and further into the belief of violence over meekness,” he continued. “Though I will have to disavow some of her beliefs, the extreme actions she calls for me are too much, even for my tastes.”

The New Zealand shooter speaking about Candace Owens. Spot the hidden motive, anyone?

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It’s all about perspective!

Just in what universe is Candace Owens a moderate conservative or not advocating anti Muslim sentiment? And they say the moderate left carries water for their extremes…

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I wasn’t claiming that and admittedly she isn’t much to my taste, but where do you find proof of her anti-Muslim sentiment? The closest thing I could find was an unfortunate tweet quoting Gaddafi, meant to hint at sentiments very similar to those expressed by more thoughtful commentator, Douglas Murray. She has also had Iman’s on her show.

Wait, don’t tell me you actually take the New Zealand comments as anything other than an attempt to smear the greatest obstacle to white nationalism worldwide- American Conservatism (which white supremacists have themselves tacitly admitted by specifically aiming to discredit speakers like Ben Shapiro, Den Crenshaw and Donald Trump Jr)!

Just because she happened to support Donald Trump and led the Blexit campaign doesn’t mean she is an extremist. As I said she is a polemicist and highly controversial figure- but that just makes her a younger version of Larry Elder, not a far-right hate leader.


Well there’s the religious part of Islam, then there’s the Sharia law bit. Can I respect one and reject the other, without being labeled extremist?


That’s really reaching right wing conspiracy style Geary. Conservatives aren’t exactly putting up a fight against ethno nationalism. In fact their noises are very much the other way.

You obviously don’t follow her on twitter.

The two are chalk & cheese. Elder is a genuine conservative. Owens is a culture war grifter that survives off controversy & exploits conservatism to make a living. She’s actually a liability for conservatism but they look the other way because of their hatred for the left.
Her gushing at Dave Chappelle’s revulsion & many very crude insults of her including the ‘articulate idiot’ routine says it all:
“Dave Chappelle is one of the greatest comedians of all time and I made it into one of his specials. That’s POWER!”

See twitter…

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Jeeze, Gary, I’m having trouble spotting the hidden motive; what is it?

The only extreme actions I recall Candice advocating is rejecting the Democratic Party’s race baiting and voting your conscience.

I also suspect the very disturbed New Zealander in question didn’t know much about Candice beyond pictures of her very attractive face he might have come across on the internet.

You’re doing too much pigeon holing here what with your ethnonationalists and all. You really do not have as good a hold on American culture and politics as you think you do.


The source you cite points to her laughing at the absurdity of the claim that she in any way influenced the New Zealand Shooters thinking or motives- he claimed it because the global ethnonationalist movement sees American Conservatism as the biggest threat to its growth.


Otherwise why would the groypers continuously target American Conservative speaking engagements? Why does Ben Shapiro continue to be the single greatest target for death threats from Far Right extremists in America? Why would Stormfront continuously target and defame Ben Shapiro, Dan Crenshaw and Donald Trump Jr.?

Admittedly I don’t. I don’t spend much time on Twitter and there are more influential and considered thought leaders I would follow if I did. I skimmed through recent posts, and there was nothing particularly controversial. Whether or not children without comorbidities should be vaccinated is still hotly contested within the scientific community- especially now there is growing evidence that although vaccines are good for personal protection from risk, they do little to stop the spread of Delta- with new cases per 100,000 pretty similar, regardless of vaccine status.


See my comment about how white supremacists and groypers have continuously targeted conservative speaking events, with a view to discrediting American conservatism. Look up Nick Fuentes while you’re at it. He’s a tech-savvy next gen version of David Duke and he has been targeting American conservatism with information warfare techniques.

It appears he might have given Democrats and the Lincoln Project a few ideas:

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I’m not convinced that pointing out that Muslim immigration is changing the nature of European culture qualifies as anti-muslim anymore than arguing against the US having an open Southern border is anti-hispanic or arguing for self-determination for the former colonies of the European powers is anti-European.

While there are very disturbed and disturbing New Zealanders he wasn’t one of them.


You will need to read the entire article not just the headlines to see her tweets prior to the NZ shooting.

That doesn’t prove that her clearly alarmist muslim immigration rhetoric didn’t influence him.

Nice watering down/apologist of her alarmist & extreme rhetoric Geary.
Here’s a taste of the real Candy:

But then you don’t get to be informed of the totality of influence.

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That’s not her framing of the conversation though. Using Gaddafi quotes, implied take overs with the necessity of war requiring American’s to bale them out again is quite something else.

I read what you posted, if you’re basing this claim:

On the Gaddafi quote you’re reading way to much into it.


But it’s how those vulnerable to such rhetoric read it that matter…