There is nothing I hate more than “centrist” intellectuals who think they are the only one with the guts to speak truth to our neo-Marxist, post-modern overlords. What I most about these fuckers is that they play themselves up as cool, bad-boy outsiders — Steven Pinker with his hair, Jordan Peterson with his cowboy boots, etc. If you’ve never heard of any of these people, count yourself lucky. If you have, just read this. I’ve picked a long excerpt but read the whole goddamn thing.
Radical centrists believe everyone else is politically motivated, while they occupy a space of inhuman, cyborg neutrality. Everyone else has impaired abilities to use reason and judge evidence because of their emotional attachments to certain values, while radical centrists are scientific beings of pure logic. If any of this were remotely true I might have some respect for radical centrists, but in reality they are people who are moderately informed about politics, don’t have any personal reasons to dislike the status quo, and are blinded by the Dunning-Kruger effect from seeing their own motives. For example, they like to believe that they know anecdotes are not evidence, but they will share literally every anecdotal story from WSJ-NR-Q about a campus SJW controversy. They switch between the systemic/statistical and personal/anecdotal as it fits their purposes, just like everyone else. They cherry-pick. They conflate sex and gender because they personally happen to like the traditional gender roles in their society, while simultaneously acknowledging social construction as it applies to other things. They believe economics is a sound science (it’s not) that forms the basis of their policy preferences (it doesn’t), but all other social sciences are hopelessly biased by the devoted Marxism of their practitioners (there’s no reason to believe they are any more biased than economics). Evolutionary psychology, perhaps the least scientific, least experimental branch of psychology, is given credence above all other types of psychology, simply because it can help them justify their own preference for traditional gender roles. Humanities are worse than worthless, unless we’re talking about the histories of certain communist countries, then they can suddenly take on a mythological level of importance (in the sense that nobody has actually read them but they still believe they know the moral of the story). I could go on, but this is getting boring even for me.
Radical centrists also tend to be naive about the nature of anyone’s actual political motives. They think everyone else is conspiratorial, but the truth is they just really can’t put two and two together or follow the money, ever. For example, even though Charles Murray’s ideas are absolute junk science on par with phrenology, radical centrists still think it’s irrelevant that he’s funded by a literal eugenics think tank that was started by a nazi sympathizer. They still think he should be invited to campus to share his garbage ideas so students can critically evaluate those ideas- meaning they should also ignore who funded Murray and focus only on his words. Similarly, when the same Koch-funded astroturf student groups keep inviting controversial speakers to campuses, and the Murdoch-owned WSJ keeps reporting every resulting controversy, radical centrists respond every time with the same disappointment, condescension toward students, and alarm over the death of free speech and inquiry, never recognizing any pattern about how the story was generated or ended up on their screens.
I think I need a cigarette.