Colin Wright is Managing Editor of Quillette, an evolutionary biologist, and an outspoken critic of the ideology he calls “the new evolution denialism.”
Colin joined me to talk about the increasingly mainstream movement to deny basic biological facts in the name of ideology. We also discuss his story of why he left academia, what he would say to others who may be thinking of speaking up, and the act of going against the crowd to speak the truth even when it would benefit you to stay silent.
This episode is special because we hear from a teenager who goes against the grain, who is a true independent thinker. Amy describes the culture of her some of her peers as one of silencing and thought-policing:
“People would be messaging you privately like ‘this kind of sounds sketchy,’ so maybe you should not say that, otherwise you’ll get in trouble. I was like, who is going to get me in trouble? It’s that kind of conversation where you have to watch yourself because if you’re not watching, then someone else is.” -Amy, @crimeofcupid
Mary Kate (M. K.) is a feminist writer, activist, and engineer. She is the Founder and Editor in Chief of 4W and the Co-founder of Spinster.xyz. M.K. joined me to compare our experiences of being fired after expressing our gender critical views. We also discussed censorship, radical feminism versus liberal feminism, the left’s problem with class and free speech, and more!
The North Complex Fire is still burning in Butte County, Northern California. It's one of the worst wildfires in California history and has ravaged a vast area, some 40 miles long and 20 miles wide. My two days there were a visit to a different planet. We were part of a K9 search and rescue team, sent to look for dead bodies. Our team consisted of 4 humans and 2 dogs, a German shepherd and a Malinois. We were part of a larger search and rescue operation that had teams from almost every county in Northern California, several hundred individuals. Each morning, we were sent out to our assignments after signing in, listening to a 7 am briefing and after checking out various pieces of equipment which included a radio, a gadget called a nano that would track our whereabouts all day and through which we could send an emergency signal if necessary, a can of red spray paint to mark areas that were searched and a complete K9 first aid, trauma kit.
"They are trying to redefine us out of existence and that does make me rather angry. And they’re denying that they do it. So I am just going to keep repeating myself that this isn’t ok. And if they hear that as aggression, which they seem to, well that’s their problem not my problem. I will remain non-aggressive but just saying ‘no.’ No is a complete sentence.” -Helen Joyce
Albert Speer: His Battle With Truth by Gitta Sereny is a psychological and historical profile of Albert Speer. Speer was Hitler’s architect and later, Minister of Armaments and War Production. At one point, he was groomed as Hitler’s successor. In the Nuremberg Trials he was one of the only Nazis to admit some responsibility for the war crimes of the Third Reich and to renounce Hitler. This admission saved his life and he was sentenced to twenty years in prison.
Right-Wing Populism in America: Too Close For Comfort by Chip Berlet and Matthew N. Lyons presents a thorough understanding of various manifestations of right wing populism in the United States. It traces the history of this socio-political movement from before the American Revolution until the year 2000. Berlet and Lyons go beyond caricatures to explore how right wing populism gains strength first by exploiting real economic, social, and political grievances, but then goes on to scapegoat perceived shadowy elitist puppet masters, typically Jewish bankers, ‘PC Police’, etc-- and perceived ‘parasites’ from below--welfare recipients of color, recent immigrants, etc. The authors show that right wing populism is often an alliance between disaffected members of the elite and the working and middle class. These movements tend to emphasize their shared “whiteness” and sense of victimhood in order to bond together.
Murat Kurnaz was nineteen years old when he was arrested by Pakistani authorities and sold to the United States for a bounty. It was 2001 and the United States had distributed fliers in Pakistan promising money in exchange for suspected terrorists. Murat was a civilian who had not committed any crime. He ended up at the United States prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where for five years he was denied the right to due process and subjected to torture. His attorney, Baher Azmy, fought the Bush Administration to help get Murat and others released from Guantanamo.
Harriet Fraad, a Mental Health Counselor and Hypnotherapist, joins us to discuss feminism and class. Dr. Fraad writes articles and has a podcast on the intersection of politics, economics, and personal life. Her podcast, Capitalism Hits Home, is produced by Democracy at Work.
In this episode of Crossroads Dr. Fraad speaks about the history of the feminist movement, capitalism, and how identity politics have hurt attempts at a unified social justice movement. We also discuss current events such as the prosecution of Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinstein, and the historic Bernie Sanders campaign.
It's Women’s History Month. But flags flying the definition of the word woman (“noun / adult human female”) for International Women’s Day were removed with an apology from town council buildings in Sefton, England after accusations that the flags represent hatred against transgender people. In December, when a woman named Maya Forstater was fired for tweeting that sex is based on biology and not internal identity, an employment tribunal judge said that her speech is not “worthy of respect in a democratic society.”
Strangers In Their Own Land by Arlie Hochschild is a must-read for anyone interested in going beyond conventional political analysis and exploring the “deep story” worldviews that shape thinking on both the left and right of the political spectrum. Hochschild describes “deep stories” as emotional images that shapes the essence of a person’s worldview, and this book was her attempt to understand the deep story that forms the ideology of the right wing. Hochschild is a UC Berkeley sociologist who spent five years in Louisiana in an attempt to break through the “empathy walls” that divide the political spectrum in the US. She worked to overcome her own biases as a member of the left-leaning political spectrum by forming human connections with conservatives in Louisiana, many of whom were Tea Party activists.
Vincent Mignerot is an independent researcher located in Lyon, France. He is founder of the organization Adrastia, dedicated to studying and spreading awareness about the collapse of the environment and human civilization. He is a frequent speaker in front of university audiences in France where his views on capitalism and human nature get him into hot water with some on the left. Whether you agree or disagree with some of Mignerot's arguments you will see that he is a careful, logical thinker who builds his arguments brick by brick. He compares what humans have done to the earth to a burned cake in the oven, which can never be reconstituted into its original ingredients. The damage is irreparable but there are ways we can prepare and adapt ourselves to what is coming.