When I first saw the Twitters light up about the “Intellectual Dark Web”, I thought they were talking about the “dark net” – the fabled part of the internet where hackers and child pornographers and 409 scammers and the like all hang out. (Not that the internet works that way, but why ruin a good metaphor?)
Turns out it’s not that. It’s a collective of pundits whose main mission in life appears to be coming up with extreme ways to make liberals hopping mad by proposing non-PC ideas and opinions: Sam Harris, Dave Rubin, Jordan Peterson, Christina Hoff Sommers, Ben Shapiro, Milo Whasisname, etc and so on. Whether they really believe their own schtick or not, they’re basically “professional controversialists” (as The Guardian puts it) who make a living promoting conservative/libertarian views about race, gender, religion and other sensitive topics that appear practically designed to offend liberals.
Which is nothing new, of course. What is new is that they’ve somehow united under this “Intellectual Dark Web” concept, which is basically: intellectuals who have been oppressed and silenced by liberals and their mainstream media for the crime of saying non-PC things.
And, you know. LOL?
I don’t take them seriously, of course, for a couple of reasons:
1. As mentioned above, these people are being intentionally provocative. Or at the very least they know what they’re saying is provocative, and they seem to thrive on it. So does their fanbase, which is considerable. Which brings us to:
2. For people who have been “oppressed” and “silenced” by the liberal mainstream whatever, they sure seem to have a huge audience.
So to me, this whole IDW thing looks like market positioning where one of the selling points is “the liberals are out to silence us all!” It’s an incorporation of the Bill O’Reilly Free Speech Defense, in which criticism of speech is exactly the same as denying yr right to free speech.
It’s also from the same branch as this whole conservative victim mentality that everyone hates them, mocks them and insults them for simply speaking their mind – which happens to involve hating, mocking and insulting everyone who isn’t a Trump fan with the knowledge that every branch of govt will pretty much back them up, which I already covered here.
The latest version of this: simply wearing a MAGA hat is like being openly gay in 1950. Which just goes to show how much MAGA hat wearers know about the LGBT experience in America all the way up to (checks notes) now.
Anyway. Ha ha. No.
The “Intellectual Dark Web” is a marketing stunt and nothing more. Not a single one of these people are being denied the right to say what they want, and none of them are having trouble finding an audience to hear what they have to say, or making a living by saying it.
As for the PC liberals shouting at them for saying provocative and offensive things … well, look. When you say provocative and offensive things, they tend to provoke and offend people. It kind of goes with the territory. You can’t reasonably expect provoked and offended people to not call you on that. Because would you?
I know some IDWs say: “Of course I want a response, but I want them to debate my idea intellectually, not scream at me that I’m evil.”
Which is fair. On the other hand, there’s not a lot to debate about when when yr intellectual proposition is that women should be hanged for having abortions, or that black people chose slavery and are intellectually inferior, or that the Holocaust didn’t happen (or wasn’t as bad as the Jews make out), or that liberals should literally be arrested and tried for treason, or the way to deal with incel violence is to redistribute sex so these guys can get laid, etc and so on.
To be clear, I do think one of the problems with PC culture is that too often it’s a kneejerk response with no debate at all. I still believe that if yr against racism, sexism, homophobia, etc, you need to be prepared to articulate why, because there will always be people who don’t understand what racism is and why it’s a bad thing – and if they’re being courted by the IDW or other demagogues, it’s good to be able to effectively counter their arguments.
Then again, it’s admittedly a pointless exercise, since the IDW has a whole alt-reality information bubble to fall back on to make its case – things that are not true but they choose to believe are true. You can’t effectively debate someone when you can’t even agree on the basic sociopolitical reality in which you live. So why waste the energy?
I’m not going to debate you, Jerry,
This is dF