Fellow Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web. Today’s Meme of the Day from the Daily Meme Wars.
Weinstein: So, first, let me just say, “Intellectual Dark Web” is a term coined by my older brother, Eric Weinstein, and it’s a term that makes some people uncomfortable, including me a little bit, because the Dark Web itself is obviously a place where lots of stuff happens, some of which is perfectly horrifying….
What Eric was saying in coining the term Intellectual Dark Web is really that this is an intellectually unpoliced space, that it is a space outside of what he calls the “gated institutional narrative,” which are the stories that we are supposed to believe. It is a very interesting conversation precisely because nobody involved in it believes in those rules. In fact, I think everybody associated with the Intellectual Dark Web is sort of constitutionally resistant to being told what questions they’re allowed to think about or what answers they might be allowed to advance. So, in any case, the idea of the Intellectual Dark Web is a space that is intellectually free, at a moment in which the mainstream intellectual space is increasingly constrained by things like what we were talking about before.
In terms of the association, there is a very clear focus amongst all of the folks who are associated with the Intellectual Dark Web about the free speech crisis or whatever the proper term for that would be if we were to re-figure it, right? There’s a reason for that, which is that we’re all people who would tend to be shut down by the mainstream that wish to maintain control over the narratives that are central to the way we govern ourselves and the way we interact. So it’s not surprising that, A) people in the Intellectual Dark Web would be prone to being de-platformed, and B) that we would be particularly sensitive to the danger of ruling certain opinions beyond the pale.
As for the political complexion of it, it isn’t at all what people think, and this has been something that Heather and I have discovered in a very odd way. What happened to us at Evergreen felt and was almost literally like being kicked out of the political left. We had spent our entire lives [there], right? The left told us “You’re not welcome anymore.” In fact, you’re not even left—you’re right, or, you know, if it’s really pissed at you, you’re alt-right, or you’re a darling of the alt-right. These are the things that were said.
None of this was true, right? I’m still as far left as I was before. I’m skeptical that the left knows what to do, I’m very skeptical of what the left advances in terms of policy proposals, but in terms of my values, they haven’t changed at all. The interesting thing, though, is having been effectively evicted from the left, we ran into all sorts of other people who we thought might be a bit right of center, who it turned out were actually also left of center and had also been similarly evicted and then misportrayed. So there is a way in which everybody should think twice about why you expect the people are on the political spectrum where you think they are, because maybe they aren’t. In each case, you ought to just check whether or not you think that for a good reason or you just think that because you’ve heard that somebody’s over there.
The Intellectual Dark Web involves me, it involves Heather, it involves Eric. We’re all left of center. It involves Jordan Peterson—he’s a little bit right of center, but if you actually listen to him, there are certain topics on which he sounds downright conservative, and then there are other topics where he really doesn’t. He’s a little bit hard to peg.
Correction: Apparently that was left-wing Dark Web thought criminal Bret Weinstein, not left-wing Hollywood sex criminal Harvey Weinstein.