Jun 6, 2020 • 1HR 29M

Bonus: Jesse Interviews Ben Burgis, Author Of "Give Them an Argument: Logic for the Left"

Jesse Singal
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Journalists Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal scour the internet for its craziest, silliest, most sociopathic content, part of an obsessive and ill-conceived attempt to extract kernels of meaning and humanity from a landscape of endless raging dumpster fires.
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For this, the first-ever patrons-only Blocked and Reported interview, Jesse interviewed Ben Burgis, a philosopher, prolific writer for Jacobin and other outlets, and the author of Give Them an Argument: Logic for the Left. Among other subjects, the duo discussed self-sabotaging messaging on the left, the flaws in Jordan Peterson's conception of 'post-modernism,' and the class element missing from the police-reform discussion. At the end, Jesse tried to get Ben to turn him into a socialist. Did it work? Only one way to find out.  

A few articles by Ben: "Socialism and Human Nature," "Capitalism Isn’t Working. But What Would a Viable Socialist System Look Like?," and "Why Jordan Peterson Is Always Wrong."   

Below you'll find a guide to what is discussed at which points in the podcast. Enjoy!

12:15 - Ben on the problem with Oxford-style debate

20:30 - Jesse and Ben discuss the dangers of assuming people who make ‘bad’ political choices are fundamentally evil or broken

26:15 - on “if you criticize U.S. foreign policy, you are pro-al-Qaeda” - style argumentation, and the frustrating extent to which the left is now adopting it

29:00 - online, staying chill is the best revenge

31:45 - IT’S JORDAN PETERSON TIME

49:20 - the silliness of the fight over ‘platforming’

52:38 - the problem with making maximalist positions like “abolish the police” the face of leftist movements

56:50 - “DURING PRIDE?????”

1:02:00 - NYC DSA’s deplatforming of Adolph Reed, who stands accused of “class reductionism”

1:04:45 - another DSA controversy, this one over “white saviorism”

1:08:00 - Ben on the overlooked class element of the police-reform debate

1:15:20 - you don’t want to broadcast the myth that white people, particularly poor ones, have nothing at stake in police reform

1:19:55 - Jesse wraps things up by saying, “It’s better to be a wussy liberal than a socialist — CHANGE MY MIND”