Bret Weinstein on the Peculiar Genius of Social Justice Ideology


Bret Weinstein is a former Evergreen State College evolutionary biology professor who became the focus of a witch hunt on campus when he refused to participate in a 'Day of Absence' for white students and faculty. In this interview recorded in October 2017, Weinstein discussed the wisdom of the post-modern ideology of social justice.

BRET WEINSTEIN: To the extent that the academy is producing people who are talking utter nonsense, and imagining that it is sophisticated and enlightened -- that system is a failure.

I don’t think that we can say that the entire educational apparatus is a failure. But we can say that the part of the apparatus that is a failure is taking over more and more territory.

The number of classes in a university that are immune to this extremely broken way of thinking is ever smaller. And I think we can even see from here the day in which there will be no classes that are immune because every class is going to be subject to some set of rules that is built around this very naive notion of privilege and white supremacy and all of that. So that day is coming...

If there's one thing that people fail to appreciate about the social justice movement where it interfaces with the academy is that just because what is being said is crazy to the point of absurdity does not mean that the strategic plan is absurd. The strategic plan is far more effective than you would expect based on the sophistication of the ideas that are being promulgated...

Heather and I encountered the post-modern stuff in 1992 at the University of California Santa Cruz. We took an anthropology class that described itself as about evolution, and it took a post-modern take on evolution.

Those ideas have been morphing and bubbling through a quadrant of the university system since that point, and of course a bit before.

Each cohort that has encountered them has wielded them in some circumstances. And those arguments that were hard to defeat persisted, and those arguments that were easy to defeat have perished. Which means that the new crop of students shows up and they're handed this toolkit of argument that are incredibly hard to confront -- not because they’re true but because of the way that they’re structured, they're built.

Each of these definitions can’t be pinned down. You can’t figure out what they mean be 'equity.'

On the other hand, if you start asking questions about equity you’re going to run afoul of a booby-trap that’s gonna have you portrayed as a white supremacist. So that is a very potent combination. It is brilliant, but it isn't brilliant on the part of those wielding those arguments, it is that selection has weeded out those parts that didn't work.

I think that is what we are up against, and it is very frustrating, I would argue it is a mistake to, just because that movement looks so full of foolishness, to dismiss the structure as foolish, it is much stronger than you would imagine... it is wise in the way that a dragonfly is wise.

Full interview courtesy of Bret Weinstein:

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