On the Imagine Athena podcast I had the great pleasure of speaking to the Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens, one of my go-to writers and thinkers.
We discussed how simplistic moral narratives are used in political discourse to conceal harder, more complex truths about the world.
Did Britain really attain the victory it set out to in WW2? Is Britain’s relationship with the US a lot more adversarial than the two countries like to admit? And can Trump really make America great again?
The two books he mentions in the podcast are The Deluge by Adam Tooze and The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan
Professor Jordan B. Peterson on why sunlight and air is the best disinfectant for hateful speech:
“You want to drive the people who hate underground?
We know what happens, psychologically, when you do that. It’s a very bad idea. Anything you drive underground thrives. It thrives.
It partly thrives because it isn’t even allowed to express itself. And then it festers and turns into hatred that far exceeds the original. The idea that you make society safe by not letting horrible people say terrible things is not a good proposition.”
Best of Enemies (2015) A sharp and cerebral documentary about the adversarial relationship between arch-liberal Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley the conservative founder of The National Review magazine. The two men were enormously influential intellectual figures in American political life during the 1960s. Best of Enemies centres around a series of famous televised debates that took place between them in 1968 in which their fierce rivalry was on full vitriolic display.
It is common knowledge just how widespread intolerance and anti-intellectual groupthink has become on university campuses. One of the most worrying things about this phenomenon is how it is aided and abetted by academics and university lecturers, whether by their active encouragement or conspicuous silence.
There are, however a few who have risked their careers to speak out against political correctness on campus. I’ve put together a short list of some of the most well known ones: Read More…
The Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has been much teased on Twitter for his anodyne tribute to the late Cuban ruler Fidel Castro, who passed away on Friday. Trudeau issued a statement in which he referred to the controversial Castro as a “remarkable leader”.
In response, Twitter users have been riffing all weekend on his words. I’ve put together a compilation of some of the funniest ones.
It’s a sign of how blurred the lines between our online and offline lives have become when a “real-life” disagreement over politics results in being unfriended on Facebook.
That happened to me a couple of weeks ago. An acquaintance with whom I’d mildly (or so I thought) clashed with about feminism, whilst we were out for a few drinks, later went and removed me from their friends list on Facebook. I was a little bemused to have been unpersoned in this way because it wasn’t like we’d had a blazing row and I wasn’t rude to them at all. We had simply disagreed. Read More…