Keeping up with the FITs, No. 9
Coleman Hughes discusses critical race theory with Christopher Rufo. The soft-spoken Hughes and the animated Rufo sort out the issues very effectively.
Noah Smith says that it’s time to put 9/11 behind us. The schisms within Islam are more salient than its clash with the West. For us, it is the technology environment that matters.
Eventually somebody was going to use the internet to conduct a spectacular terrorist attack, and governments and societies were going to realize how vulnerable new technologies had made them.
And at the same time, the internet has enabled surveillance of a finely crafted type that the totalitarians of the 20th century could only dream of. Hitler couldn’t track Anne Frank’s phone, nor Stalin scan Solzhenitsyn’s metadata. It remains to be seen whether digital totalitarianism will be gentler than the industrial-age variety (because it can afford to be) or far more cruel and insane (because it can be).
He also writes,
Another future that 9/11 brought forward was an American reckoning over race and nationhood. The nation was becoming more diverse and more culturally liberal, and that was always going to provoke some sort of a conflict. As it happened, it was 9/11 and the War on Terror that precipitated that conflict, causing a wrenching and contentious debate over whether America was still a Christian country (a debate the Christians increasingly look to have lost). But already, there was a feeling that this struggle over religion was a proxy for a deeper struggle over race — when people on the Right insisted that Barack Obama was a Muslim, it was widely understood that his religion was not what was making them uncomfortable.
And so the true battle came — the Woke Era and the Trump Era.
In this overly smug formulation, Wokism is the forward-looking approach to a multi-racial society. Instead, I see the Wokists as the provocateurs in the culture war. Those of us who oppose Wokism believe that the best approach for a multi-racial society is to treat people as individuals.
Along these lines, a new substack called Journal of Free Black Thought was started by Adam Coleman, who was unknown to me previously. He writes,
Over the past few years, I’ve soured on being impressed simply by someone’s academic status, and now I care more about the content of their rhetoric. I’ve personally pushed back on black intellectuals’ narratives, ideas, and theoretical presumptions about reality. I’ve realized that there is a possibility of overthinking something to the point of having your theory escape reality. Many of these people have an Empire State Building-sized hubris, so once they adopt a theory, they ignore any challenging counterargument, much like the conspiracy theorists that I mentioned earlier.
Glenn Loury contributed an essay to JFBT.
Martin Luther King had the right idea with colorblindness, yet today it’s regarded as a microaggression to say one doesn't see color. Of course, it's impossible literally not to see color, but despite pressure from cultural elites, we needn’t give it the overarching significance we now do. In fact, if we’re going to make our experiment in democracy work, we mustn’t give it such significance.
Loury’s essay is inspiring, and I have subscribed to the JFBT substack (I already subscribed to Loury’s).
Razib Khan offers recommended reading. I promise you that at the margin spending time on his links is worth more than spending time on Twitter. I’m talking to you, Tyler.
Lewis Edward talks with Heather Heying about the Heying-Weinstein book, released this week. I am eager to read it.