Liberalizing Liberalism

I hesitate to use the word “intellectual” because those that comprise the list below (a) don’t conform to the usual “professional” thinker profile and (b) derivatively, wouldn’t want to be tarnished by this now cheapened label (i.e. The Intellectual Yet Idiot). The names listed below are insightful and most are very funny and entertaining. These people are distinguished first and foremost because of their quality of mind, each coming at a given topic with surprising insights inextricably linked to the fact that they are independent thinkers not beholden to some ideological reservation or other. If you want a nuanced view of the issues of the day, then collectively these people offer the best opportunity — but of course it requires one to spend literally hundreds of hours listening to their podcasts, interviews and talks, reading their essays, books, articles and opinion pieces — and if you do eventually wake up, please support their respective projects financially however modestly. If you are looking to break out of the malaise of the institutionalized bullshit and fuckwittery that is plaguing us, then it’s not too late — “If not now, when?” And if you have any self respect, don’t fall for the lazy and now totally meaningless conversation ending labels the regressives will typically throw at most of these folk — a sign that they are really rattled and are verging on the brink of intellectual bankruptcy. If we don’t have the disinfectant of free speech, however unpalatable, we’ve got nothing.

To loosely invoke a cricketing metaphor, here is my first team lineup taking on team authoritarian-illiberal-regressive Left. As those familiar with cricket will know, a batting lineup is broadly divided into three groups — the openers (typically devil-may-care, tip of the arrow provocateurs, often flamboyant), the middle order (“steady Eddies” that are still very solid run-making machines) and the tail-enders (often wild cards, all-rounders) who have the ability to surprisingly squeeze out unlikely runs/buy time when absolutely needed. And yes, I know that there are only 11 plus 12th man in actual cricket (or if you prefer two rugby union teams of 15 each), but isn’t it fortunate that we have so many really tough (skin-in-the-game) minds with innumerable others informing their respective networks. As a whole the group offers meaningful diversity of life experience and ideas and an absolute commitment to liberality. And the best thing about this bunch of people is that I have every confidence that after a heated discussion they could still head out for a rip-roaring good time, though one or two are probably still under boozing age! (Potential students who want to learn how to think, not what to think (i.e. academics looking for disciples), I suggest if at all possible, to seek out the still practicing academics marked * below).

P.S. The cricket-themed album cover featured below refers to a very interesting band that made some waves in the early seventies but faded — their masterpiece is Argus. Well worth a listen here.

  1. Nassim Nicholas Taleb*
  2. Steven Crowder
  3. Larry Elder
  4. Sargon of Akkad
  5. Maajid Nawaz
  6. Michael Malice
  7. Ben Shapiro
  8. Joe Rogan
  9. Douglas Murray
  10. Gad Saad*
  11. Bosch Fawstin
  12. Tommy Sotomayor
  13. Kay Wilson
  14. Jordan Peterson*
  15. Jonathan Haidt*
  16. John McWhorter*
  17. Christina Sommers*
  18. Peter Boghossian*
  19. István Aranyosi*
  20. Sam Harris
  21. Glenn Lowry*
  22. Alice Dreger
  23. Diana Santos Fleischman*
  24. Jesse Norman
  25. Deirdre McCloskey*
  26. Yanis Varoufakis ‏
  27. Roger Scruton*
  28. Ben Cobley
  29. David Sirota
  30. James Kirchick
  31. Eric Weinstein
  32. Scott Adams
  33. Camille Paglia
  34. Dave Rubin
  35. Chloé Simone Valdary
  36. CJ Pearson
  37. Yeyo
  38. Blaire White
  39. Noor Dahri
  40. Victor Davis Hanson