The New Founders America Needs | Honestly with Bari Weiss

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Key Takeaways

  • “The battle for the survival of the United States of America is upon us. It has not come in the form of traditional civil war. There are no uniformed armies, competing flags, or alternate constitutions. The great showdown is not being fought within the physical limits of a battlefield. It is instead happening all around us and directly to us. It defines our culture, sustains our media, and gives new shape to our public and private institutions—it is remaking the nation before our very eyes.” – Bari Weiss quoting Abe Greenwald
    • The forces of justice and progress are in a war against backwardness and tyranny
  • Cancel culture is the justice system of the Un-American Revolution: “step out of line, and you could be next”
    • Tools of oppression that the Un-American ideology uses to deplatform, disinvite, and discredit: Facts replaced by feelings. Excellence is replaced by equity. Rule of law was replaced with the rule of the mob. Continue reading for more examples.
    • The Coalition of the Sane” – an allegiance where disagreement doesn’t result in cancellation
  • Preview of the 10 points of advice Bari Weiss gives to the Future Founders of America:
    • Defend freedom of speech – The tool that guides us in the search for truth. Be public and vocal in rejecting claims you know to be false. Cowardice is contagious, but so is courage.
    • Use your own eyes and ears – Narratives work because they are easy and digestible. Facts are just too stubborn to neatly fit into narratives. This is why you must seek out your own truth, and do your own research. You don’t need to be an expert to form your own opinion.
    • Refuse to submit your friendships and relationships to political litmus tests – The beauty of America is that there are so many realms of life (love, art, friendship) located outside of politics. Don’t submit to totalitarianism. Don’t forget what it means to be human. Not everything is political.
    • SEE THE 7 OTHER CALLS TO ACTION BELOW

Intro

  • Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) is a journalist, writer, editor, and now a board member of the University of Austin or UATX, which looks to fix everything wrong with the current and broken college system.
  • “While the brand name schools have the money, they no longer have the mission. They have fundamentally abandoned the point of the university, which is the pursuit of truth. The good people at UATX, where I’m proud to be on the board, are not waiting for the broken status quo to change. They’re not sitting around criticizing or whining. They are doing.” – Bari Weiss
  • This podcast episode is Bari’s lecture to the inaugural class of UTAX students, where she gives 10 points of advice to the New Founders of America as they attempt to derail the Un-American Revolution and reinstall bedrock principles of virtue and value.

Un-American Revolution

  • Disinvitation or de-platforming has become a regular feature of American life
    • Forced conformity and ideological obedience are the biggest driving factors
  • We all feel pressure to pay lip service to somewhere or someone…lip service that we don’t believe in
    • We’re told to “tow the party line” or “keep quiet” because it will “be better for your career
  • “The battle for the survival of the United States of America is upon us. It has not come in the form of traditional civil war. There are no uniformed armies, competing flags, or alternate constitutions. The great showdown is not being fought within the physical limits of a battlefield. It is instead happening all around us and directly to us. It defines our culture, sustains our media, and gives new shape to our public and private institutions—it is remaking the nation before our very eyes.” Bari Weiss quoting Abe Greenwald
    • This revolution has tried to resist description, labeling anyone who noticed it as a tinfoil-hatter
    • And if you don’t step in line, you are called a bigot or a bad person

Tools of Oppression

  • The forces of justice and progress are in a war against backwardness and tyranny
  • Tools of oppression used by the Un-American ideology:
    • Persuasion replaced by public shaming
    • Moral complexity replaced by puritanism
    • Facts replaced by feelings
    • Rule of law replaced with the rule of the mob
    • Ideas replaced with identity
    • Forgiveness replaced with punishment
    • Debate replaced with deplatforming
    • Diversity replaced homogeneity of thought
    • Inclusion (“a word they love”) replaced with exclusion
    • Excellence replaced by equity
    • Equality of opportunity replaced by equality of outcome
    • “How to think” replaced by “what to think”
    • “I think, therefore I am” replaced with “I am, therefore I know”
    • Victimhood confers morality
    • The need to feel safe trumps the need to speak truthfully
    • The past must only be understood in the present, not in the prior context
    • You are not you—you’re guilty of the sins of your race, religion, etc.
    • Disagreement is recast as trauma = speech is violence
    • Information that doesn’t conform to the narrative = disinformation
  • Cancel culture is the justice system of the Un-American Revolution: “step out of line, and you could be next”
    • And it’s working…
    • 62% of Americans are afraid to voice their true views out loud and in public
    • Roughly 25% of American academics endorse canceling a colleague for having the wrong opinion
    • Nearly 70% of college students admit that they want to report a professor if the professor says something they find offensive

The Coalition of the Sane

  • The Coalition of the Sane” – an allegiance where disagreement doesn’t result in cancellation
  • “Any American that is truly alive to the moment we are living in, we don’t have the luxury of steady ground. The moment that we are living in requires something different and seemingly paradoxical. It requires us both to build totally new things, but also in the same moment, conserve very old ones.” – Bari Weiss
    • Look for new allies, but strengthen old loyalties
    • Listen carefully to new voices, but head old wisdom
  • We must ditch left and right in favor of virtue and values (freedom, innovation, acceptance, etc.)
    • “After the Un-American Revolution that we’re still living through, a new generation of founders will lead us out by revisiting and renewing those bedrock principles” – Bari Weiss

Call to Action for the New Founders of America

  • To be a Founder in 21st century America means you must:
  • 1. Reject the politics of resentment and recognize our privilege – There is just no better place to build a life than in America. Build on gratitude, not grievance.
  • 2. Defend the rule of law – There can be no political inference in defining what violence is just. Wrong is wrong.
  • 3. Defend freedom of speech – The tool that guides us in the search for truth. Be public and vocal in rejecting claims you know to be false. Cowardice is contagious, but so is courage.
  • 4. Break your addiction to prestige – What is essential, is usually not popular. Stop the lip service.
  • 5. Reject moral relativism – Some cultures are better than others, and it’s OK to say that. Not all cultures are equally good or humanitarian.
  • 6. Defend witches – Very good people are being scapegoated or judged for their worst moment. Don’t be quiet about the unjust cancellations. Find more hills to die on.
  • 7. Use your own eyes and ears – Narratives work because they are easy and digestible. Facts are just too stubborn to neatly fit into narratives. This is why you must seek out your own truth, and do your own research. You don’t need to be an expert to form your own opinion.
  • 8. Refuse to submit your friendships and relationships to political litmus tests – The beauty of America is that there are so many realms of life (love, art, friendship) located outside of politics. Don’t submit to totalitarianism. Don’t forget what it means to be human. Not everything is political.
  • 9. Resist nihilism – Don’t lose perspective on how good things are, “being a founder doesn’t mean killing what you hate, it means saving what you love” – Bari Weiss quoting Grimes (from her appearance on the Lex Fridman Podcast—check out the Podcast Notes)
  • 10. Build new things – Gratitude doesn’t mean settling for the status quo, it means fighting for a more perfect union. Make this place a better place to live. Building is the only thing we can control.

Honestly with Bari Weiss : , , , , , ,
Notes By Drew Waterstreet

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