Just watch this clip.
He starts out by explaining that the alt-right are
highly literate, highly intelligent people who have been
radicalized by exposure to
true statements that have never been voiced on college campuses. You see, once Leftist dogma has been exposed as a falsehood, these bright young people just take the red pill and veer way off in the opposite direction.
You might be wondering, as I was, what were these True Facts that have triggered the defection of these brilliant students from progressive causes? Give me specific examples! He obliges.
Capitalist societies are better than communist ones. How odd. I don’t see anyone insisting on that: instead, I see a lot of academics who point out the flaws in capitalism, which, apparently, are lies and don’t exist. Then he makes it worse by using as more specific examples the difference between North and South Korea (I’ve never met anyone who thinks North Korea is a better place to live than South Korea.) or between East and West Germany before the fall of the Berlin wall. You will rarely encounter a more pure and absolutely dishonest straw man.
How about if the comparison is between, say, a ragingly capitalist country like the USA, and a socialist democracy like Sweden? It gets a bit less obvious.
Men & women are not identical in their life priorities or sexuality. Again, who is arguing that men and women are identical? He says there is someone on the Harvard campus who argues this, but doesn’t bother to name names. Generally what I’ve seen on the left is approval and encouragement of differences — that men and women are different, but that the bigger differences are between individuals, and that those differences should be respected. We do object to being compelled to fit into the straitjacket of just two stereotypical gender roles. We also don’t think you can go from a karyotype to a flawless description of life priorities or sexuality.
Different ethnic groups commit violent crimes at different rates. Oh, yeah, he went there. Look at crime statistics and all those violent black criminals! We’re done, that’s all the analysis you need to do (and, by the way, those leftist college professors do not deny the statistics at all). But why do black communities have higher crime rates? It wouldn’t have anything to do with poverty, or discriminatory policing, or the existence of laws that basically criminalize being poor, would it?
And of course he brings up that always-useful distinction, that Islamic people are more likely to be suicide bombers, as if that were the sole kind of violence that one ethnic group can perpetrate on another. How many Muslims have been killed by Christians? This is not to excuse either kind of violence, but to point out that playing selective games with the statistics to ignore institutionalized violence is profoundly dishonest.
I’m just going to have to say it outright: Pinker is lying here. These are all ideas that are routinely discussed at universities. The leftist positions he is caricaturing are far less dogmatic than he is claiming, and the alt-right positions far more so. There is no censorship that prevents addressing them; there is an expectation of greater, more evidence-based rigor in any discussion of such complex social, economic, and historical issues, and trying to pull the kind of misrepresentations and naive assertion of stereotypes that Pinker is babbling about here will get your arguments slapped down hard. I am shocked that a Harvard professor would promote such ignorance and falsehoods.
Here’s a longer clip in which Pinker goes on to say the same sort of things that are routinely said in classrooms, all while doubling down and saying the “politically-correct left” is not allowing them to be said. He is completely un-self-aware. I guess it only counts if a politically incorrect person like Pinker says them as if they were his own novel idea, rather than the mundane substance of typical classroom discussions.