Academic Bravery and The Epistemology of Political Division
ON THIS EPISODE OF THE BEST MEDICINE PODCAST
Our Guest: Dr. Gregg Henriques
Our guest this week is Dr Gregg Henriques! Dr Henriques is a tenured professor of psychology at James Madison University.
He is the founder of the Theory of Knowledge Society.
Gregg is the author of “A New Unified Theory of Psychology”
Finally, Gregg hosts his own podcast here.
[01:15] — How is the transition to the Digital Age effecting our ability to think and communicate coherently in political contexts?
[18:30] — Why are Progressives using idenitarianism to destabilize American society?
[34:20] — Has the Overton Window split in half? What can be done to maintain the social fabric?
Shattering The Overton Window
Ask any American what they think of our collective social fabric. 9 out of 10 Americans will say our social health is bad and getting worse.
We can all agree it’s getting worse, but we can’t agree at all on who caused the decline or what policies might save us.
It’s as if there are two completely different worlds that share the same georgraphical and mental space.
In this article and podcast episode I explore with Gregg Henriques why the left wing of American politics seems to be unable to self-police.
(The right certainly has it’s fair share of issues, which we’ll get to in due time.)
Why Progressives Can’t Self Police, a Problem of Ontology?
Derek Chauvin has been found guilty on all charges in his trial for the killing of George Floyd. After one entire year of chanting “no justice, no peace” will left wing activists finally allow for peace? Of course not!
Many people believe when the left gets what it wants that it will stop wanting. This is foolish. “Wanting” is not rational — especially not the want of power. It is bottomless.
Those who “call the shots” in the woke crowd have a limitless thirst for power. Those who comply are their slaves. Infact, as Gregg points out in this article — Political Correctness (wokeness, social justice, CRT) is the exact manifestation of Nietzsche’s “slave morality.”
This stems from a problem of ontology between the left and right. Ontology is the study of what basic structures and categories the universe (and knowledge) fall into. The left and right clearly have fundamental differences in their philosophy.
Our differences are manifesting now as “political” differences but the true roots are psychological and philosophical in nature.
The left claims to care about equity across the inter-subjectivity of humans. The right tends to care about universal moral duty regardless of individual circumstances.
We must create a world view that maintains the objectivity of the right while integrating the subjectivity of the left. Every day we divide along political-tribal lines, this will become harder to do.
Progressives can’t self police because their insistence on focusing on subjectivity of experience serves as a facade for power-hungry ones to control the naive ones. Unless the right can create a better ontology, this problem may go unsolved.
What is Happening in the Ideological Civil War within the American Left?
Gregg Henriques pointed out on the podcast that the civil war in the left has left many “traditional liberals” without a home. Progressives have exiled them as also being “conservatives.”
There is a common belief that the center-left can re-claim the culture of the party and “save” the academy, government and media from itself. I diverge from this opinion. Progressivism grew like a mutation out of centrist liberalism due to failures in the design of liberalism.
Dr Henriques, like many, has vouched for the moral integrity of Jordan Peterson for standing up to the mob (as first seen here). The idea is that Jordan is a true liberal with courage and if only other true liberals had his courage, their system could be defended.
On a recent podcast, Dave Smith and Michael Malice pointed out: If true liberalism, and it’s institutions were defensible… why is only Jordan Peterson defending them? Dr. Peterson is certainly a moral exemplar for all of us to learn from — but his efforts might be misguided on saving the academy.
I believe the “civil war” in the American left is the power hungry leftists within the bunch over-extending their power against the right. The angry right-wing is now so loudly in opposition that cognitive dissonance is ringing through the heads of the “center left.”
Liberalism was always meant to fail this way. Otherwise it wouldn’t be failing in the same way in all liberal countries.
The conservative response is of course to “go back” (or as Alex Kaschuta says, to “RETVRN”). Liberals claim you can’t “go back.” I question that claim with no way of testin the hypothesis, unfortunately.
The left’s current civil war is predictable. When Stalin took over from Lenin, the claim is that the USSR stopped being “truly communist,” but we understand that to be a lie. Communism is murderous and dangerous once it takes power. Until it has the chance to take power it merely plays underdog. Liberalism is no different and the power shift is in-progress.
You might now understand how the left is spiraling out of control due to it’s own ideological failures.
I certainly tried to cover it adequately here, but for a more in depth discussion check out the full podcast episode
I hope you enjoy it, subscribe, and stay tuned for the next episode.