Eventually That Animal Is Going To Turn On You, And You're Going To End Up The Victim!

Law

You have 13 minutes to spare. Do yourself a favor. Waste 13 minutes with Harvey Silverglate.

Many people write for this blog. We disagree about a great many things. But we all agree, I dare say that if this blog has a fundamental idea, it's that eventually, that animal is going to turn on you.

Last 5 posts by Patrick Non-White

37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. SeanD  •  Dec 5, 2013 @2:58 pm

    Does this mean our albescent Angus will turn against the Man?

  2. Jack B.  •  Dec 5, 2013 @3:02 pm

    I was going to listen to Orchid's Heretic EP, but chose to watch this instead. Glad I did.

    I have a friend who currently teaches in the California university system and he was unaware of FIRE. Not anymore.

    If I ever had a chance to interview someone from FIRE, I think the one question I would ask would be this: Is the growth of specialized civil liberties groups (FIRE, EFF, The Institute for Justice, etc) a Good Thing?

    It seems to me that donating $20 to FIRE goes a lot farther than donating $100 to the ACLU, but that's just me.

  3. lazyhorse  •  Dec 5, 2013 @3:22 pm

    I'm not sure I agree with the conclusions of people like Larry Summers or Richard Sander, but I am glad that they had the guts to tackle very hot button topics head on, and that there are organizations that will fight for their free speech. If we don't agree with their ideas then more speech is the cure, but in a University environment expression of controversial ideas may also lead to not only more speech, but also more research and more questions and more rigorous thought, which I had always thought was the point of college in the first place. I'm sorry Summers is no longer at Harvard. I'm glad Sander is still at UCLA.

  4. Zach K  •  Dec 5, 2013 @3:43 pm

    I would generally consider myself very "right" wing… I guess libertarian is much closer to the mark. Love this guy!

  5. Ben Long  •  Dec 5, 2013 @4:17 pm

    "eventually, that animal is going to turn on you."

    Especially if that animal is a pony.

  6. sly civilian  •  Dec 5, 2013 @4:21 pm

    I guess I don't buy the idea that if Pres. Summers isn't free, ain't nobody free. A good debate is not "free and open" because the moderator expresses strong views, or disparages some participants. It is so when the participants are strong minded, and given space by a fair moderator.

    President Summers carried the weight of the image of the whole institution with him. And he not so subtly "just asked" if the reason he'd failed at being fair in recruiting participants to his debate was that those excluded were idiots. A prof or a student is a participant in the debate. The admin has the burden of ensuring broad and equitable participation in the debate. Both serve freedom of inquiry in *very* different ways.

    A bad gatekeeper isn't "expressing their own freedom" they are compromising the whole endeavour.

  7. Ivraatiems  •  Dec 5, 2013 @4:37 pm

    @Ben Long

    Don't be silly. No pony is ever "with" you to begin with. Any pony which appears to be your ally is doubly dangerous.

    @SeanD

    Is there even a Man? There is grass, and sky. No Man.

  8. TJIC  •  Dec 5, 2013 @5:14 pm

    "I'm a civil libertarians liberal…who believes in freedom!" (5:52)

    I want to give that guy a (very macho) man hug.

    Awesome video; thanks Patrick.

  9. HamOnRye  •  Dec 5, 2013 @6:04 pm

    @sly civilian

    If the President of Harvard can be run out out of office for expressing a theory, with all the authority that is entailed to the office of the President, then no one is safe from the totalitarian machine of PC thought.

    Additionally he was not ran out because he did not follow debate etiquette. He was ran out because the content of his speech was offensive to the facility body.

  10. naught_for_naught  •  Dec 5, 2013 @6:24 pm

    I love that guy. He makes me want to go to law school, and I would if it weren't for my many convictions as a notorious purveyor of goat porn.

  11. slycivilian  •  Dec 5, 2013 @7:15 pm

    @hamonrye

    What I'm saying is that "President" in this case does not mean "powerful." It means "moderator, organizer, rule maker."

    I don't think a football match is well served by asking any player to try less than their best to win for their team. But you can ask the referee not to try to win the game for their team.

    Summers showed up in a team uniform to officiate the game. Firing him for that is not silencing him, or his team.

  12. lazyhorse  •  Dec 5, 2013 @7:49 pm

    @ sly civilian with all of the hot button issues relating to higher education, including the underrepresentation of women and minorities in certain disciplines, it's hard to imagine how admins could provide leadership without expressing any opinions they knew to be divisive. And in Larry Summers' case *of course* it was the content if his speech. Let's face it, if he had worn the uniform for the other team instead of the ref shirt, would anyone have batted an eye?

  13. ysth  •  Dec 5, 2013 @8:52 pm

    Pockets are there to be used.

    That is all.

  14. Fasolt  •  Dec 5, 2013 @9:17 pm

    That was some of the finest 13 consecutive minutes I have ever spent doing something. :)

    I have often thought of the irony of what he describes after those 60's student's grew up. From free speech to PC speech.

    And that sentiment is right on the money. That animal will turn on you, always.

  15. Bob Becker  •  Dec 5, 2013 @9:52 pm

    1. More evidence, as if more were needed, that the best people come from Brooklyn (though from Flatbush, of course, not Bensonhurst).

    2. Often, when I asked students in my history courses (at three different Enormous State Universities) about their reluctance to question or disagree with me in class, even when I was playing devil's advocate, they repoted that questioning or challenging teachers in high school was often punished, so they learned not to do that, ever. I used to be skeptical about that, but I've now heard it often enough, and from students whose veracity I've reason to respect, that I think it may well be so.

  16. Sly civilian  •  Dec 6, 2013 @5:58 am

    Let's say summers said something pro-censorship. Would that be a reason to fire him? If not why? it clearly harms the free-speech of the school.

    He said called into question whether or not all participants were welcome in the academic debate. Again president does not mean all-powerful it means gatekeeper. Does a city clerk get "free speech" in which protest permits to grant? Nor does a school admin get to limit who participates, not in the name of academic freedom.

  17. HamOnRye  •  Dec 6, 2013 @6:53 am

    @ slycivilian

    I have read a multitude of articles that covered the topic of Larry Summers fall out at Harvard and his eventual leaving. While most articles point to his poor standing with the faculty of Harvard prior to the speech in question, I have yet to see any mention of what you describe.

    Furthermore almost all the articles I have read have his theory on "men vs women on the subject of achievement" as the central point of discussion. If what you say is indeed fact, then Larry Summers was fired for using his office for intimidation. Do you by chance have any literature that we could reference to explore that charge?

  18. JdL  •  Dec 6, 2013 @7:35 am

    Silverglate is a liberal in the original sense, which is very close to what we now call libertarian. I applaud his work on behalf of people whose views he disagrees with; this is the sign of a truly mature human being. Seems like most people today are so frightened that they think the sky will fall unless it's forbidden to say anything non-PC.

    It's a real shame that the modern "liberal" has co-opted and corrupted the word.

  19. naught_for_naught  •  Dec 6, 2013 @7:46 am

    "Silverglate is a liberal in the original sense, which is very close to what we now call libertarian."

    I would disagree. At the heart of the liberal philosophy is the belief that a society should be structured in such a way that it does the best for the most, accomplishing this through a variety of government policies and programs in support of the collective good. This often entails levying taxes to support programs that serve the common good of flesh-and-blood persons. It's based on the central notion that a nation's resources belong to it's people. That has been the philosophical core of liberalism since FDR. Libertarians are pretty much diametrically opposite that in my view.

  20. Patrick Non-White  •  Dec 6, 2013 @8:30 am

    naught_for_naught:

    History did not begin in 1932, and the word "liberal" has quite a history itself.

  21. jtf  •  Dec 6, 2013 @8:31 am

    FIRE is next on my list of donation recipients, but I'm still working on boosting my contribution to the EFF…

  22. Lizard  •  Dec 6, 2013 @8:56 am

    I think that may have been the only 13 minutes of YouTube that actually added value to my life.

    Two comments:
    a)He was *surprised* that the oppressed, once they gained power, become the oppressors?

    b)He believes that the inherent contradiction between the current puritanical fundamentalism of academia, and the intellectual mission of the university, will eventually lead to the return of free speech as a value. Marxists have been waiting for the supposed inherent contradictions of capitalism to destroy it for an awfully long time, too. "This can't go on for long, because it's too darn silly!" has been the source of many a failed prophecy and many an embittered old cynic. (No, not me. I never had a non-cynical phase. ("What's this, Mom? Milk? And you're just giving it to me? Yeah, right. What's the catch?"))

  23. CJK Fossman  •  Dec 6, 2013 @9:11 am

    @Patrick Non-White

    Okay, I see that you take issue with Naught for Naught's definition of liberalism.

    For the sake of discussion let's call it something else, like smelly-longhairism.

    Do you agree with Naught that smelly-longhairism is pretty much the opposite of libertarianism?

  24. naught_for_naught  •  Dec 6, 2013 @9:14 am

    @Patrick:

    "History did not begin in 1932"

    Never said that it did. Yes, there are many planks within the liberal platform, leading to any number of interpretations about what liberalism is. I like what he said about how underneath the surface their is much less homogeneity that indicated on the surface of things.

    However, American liberalism as it has been practiced in this and the last century is fundamentally irreconcilable with libertarianism. They have fundamentally different paradigms and ask fundamentally different questions about the nature and role of government.

    This notion that liberalism is actually a good thing, but it's just been corrupted by modern liberals who don't understand it is another instance in a long line of crackpot theories that share a common trope:

    Things were better back then and they can be again if it were not for the manifestation of some corrupting influence.

  25. HamOnRye  •  Dec 6, 2013 @9:38 am

    @naught for naught

    "Silverglate is a liberal in the original sense, which is very close to what we now call libertarian."

    I would disagree. At the heart of the liberal philosophy is the belief that a society should be structured in such a way that it does the best for the most, accomplishing this through a variety of government policies and programs in support of the collective good.

    A point of clarification with regards to Mr. Silverman. He does lay claim to support a society that supports it weakest members. However I did not hear him advocate use of the government to do so.

    The reason I think we should make this distinction is I know many Libertarians who are active in providing money and time to improve the lives of the poor.

    They have the same view that society should help the poor, but do not want government to be the vehicle for doing so. Based on that I am hesitant to make a distinction between "old school" liberal and libertarian.

  26. naught_for_naught  •  Dec 6, 2013 @10:10 am

    @HamnRye:

    "The reason I think we should make this distinction is I know many Libertarians who are active in providing money and time to improve the lives of the poor. "

    I absolutely agree with that statement.

    Mr. Silverman makes another important observation, saying that the 60's "Free Speech" movement wasn't really about Free Speech at all. It was, IMO, about correcting the social wrongs (institutional racism, sexism and the war in Viet Nam) that run counter to the liberal philosophy. The freedom of speech issue emerged as a consequence.

    A Libertarian, I believe, would see that as the primary issue regardless of the content of the speech. This illustrates pretty well how the two philosophies seemingly share common beliefs when in fact there is a real difference between them, laying below the surface.

  27. mud man  •  Dec 6, 2013 @10:11 am

    Humans are not saved by Law, but by Grace. There never will be a Government that succeeds in forcing people to be nice to each other. Don't know whether that's liberalism or libertarianism; don't care. I try not to do things by labels so much.

  28. pharniel  •  Dec 6, 2013 @10:55 am

    So Summers got fired for flirting with Human Biodiversity (a/k/a Scientific Racism/Sexism for the 2k+ era) and gets pushed out of an institution of higher learning? Quelle Horror.

    The students have different views and don't like the 'diversity' of Harvard? I totally want to hear what complaints they have about how their views and feelings are being suppressed. Because I can only imagine what kind of nonsense is getting passed around as being 'suppressed'.

    For more on Neo-Fudalists http://techcrunch.com/2013/11/22/geeks-for-monarchy/

    For the reaction (http://anarchopapist.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/geeks-for-monarchy-so-thats-what-they-think-of-us/) , which quotes "Given the empirical facts of culture and HBD, the anti-rationalist idea is essential to neoreaction, in terms of public policy. " In short Summers looks to have cribbed some notes from people who think that Racism should be part of the law because, y'know, those people just can't help themselves. It's a scientific fact.

  29. Red Tonic  •  Dec 6, 2013 @12:05 pm

    Actually, I'm pretty sure the real reason Summers was pushed out was because of how he squandered over $2 billion of the University's endowment on really, really stupid gambles. Why anyone decided he'd be good as an economic adviser is beyond me.

  30. CJK Fossman  •  Dec 6, 2013 @12:58 pm

    @mud man
    +1

    @HamOnRye

    I know many Libertarians who are active in providing money and time to improve the lives of the poor.

    No doubt this is true. Blessings to them.

    It's just that the problem is too big. The combined giving of all the individuals, charities and religious organizations is not sufficient to provide every hungry person in the United States with three meals today.

  31. J  •  Dec 6, 2013 @2:25 pm

    I do like this guy, but isn't the case of the head of Havard being driven out of office a social consequence, rather than an institutional consequence? The effect is of course also chilling to such speech, but how can you stop such social consequences without censoring the contraspeech?

    If I was a student and had to listen to such a speech, I'd be all over it and the only way to stop that from happening would be to censor me. He can give that speech, but he needs to live with the consequences of other people speaking against it.

  32. Rob  •  Dec 6, 2013 @7:54 pm

    The combined giving of all the individuals, charities and religious organizations is not sufficient to provide every hungry person in the United States with three meals today.

    That might be because the government, on all levels, takes a very large chunk of what might have gone to charity and squandered it on various silly things and a massive administrative overhead.

  33. Don Kenner  •  Dec 7, 2013 @9:24 am

    CJK Fossman: "The combined giving of all the individuals, charities and religious organizations is not sufficient to provide every hungry person in the United States with three meals today."

    Glad you have that data just sitting in your head! Is there a chip in your brain that constantly updates it? Funny how macroeconomic "truths" always point to catastrophe, and never because of government policy. A few points:

    1. It's not government's job to feed people
    2. Spend your money on the poor; leave my money alone
    3. The problem is "too big" because of government (some explanation below).
    4. You are partially right: Government expands welfare, creates dependency, subsidizes sloth and breeding, punishes work and innovation, and endorses theft. Therefore, the problem is too big. Solution? Only one has EVER existed. A robust and free economy. You want a job? Someone has to create it. Charity comes from the disposable income of producers and earners.

    Thus endeth the lesson.

  34. Jules  •  Dec 7, 2013 @10:13 am

    Pharniel: so what other types of speech besides "flirting with scientific racism" should be considered verboten in an "Academically free" setting? Or are you denying academic freedom altogether?

  35. princessartemis  •  Dec 7, 2013 @10:32 am

    It's just that the problem is too big. The combined giving of all the individuals, charities and religious organizations is not sufficient to provide every hungry person in the United States with three meals today.

    And quite obviously, the problem is too big for the US government to solve either. Hence it isn't solved, and frankly, never will be. Thus it is better to mitigate it in a way that doesn't involve putting guns to the heads of ordinary people.

  36. MBI  •  Dec 9, 2013 @2:21 pm

    "And quite obviously, the problem is too big for the US government to solve either. Hence it isn't solved, and frankly, never will be. Thus it is better to mitigate it in a way that doesn't involve putting guns to the heads of ordinary people."

    Citizens can be overtaxed, and tax burdens are a thing to consider, but taxes is not a "gun to your head." That's completely asinine. And I dare say that while the government has not solved the problem of poverty, they've done a lot more to mitigate the damage than the alternate option of doing nothing. I feel like the weight of evidence weighs firmly on that side, although if you have an example where less safety net has actually worked, let me know.

  37. TPRJones  •  Dec 11, 2013 @3:31 pm

    CJK Fossman: "It's just that the problem is too big. The combined giving of all the individuals, charities and religious organizations is not sufficient to provide every hungry person in the United States with three meals today."

    Are you proposing that the government itself should be made to be larger than the grand sum total of all the rest of the nation in order to solve this one problem? That somehow the government itself if made large enough could be able to provide more than all the individuals in the nation added together? I see no other potential take-away from your summation. I also don't see how that could be at all sustainable.

    MBI: Citizens can be overtaxed, and tax burdens are a thing to consider, but taxes is not a "gun to your head."

    On the contrary, taxation is the removal of wealth from the citizen by the government on the pain of punishment. It is by definition a sanctioned mugging. Anyone who disagrees with how the money is spent and decides not to capitulate is going to be physically restrained and have their freedoms and liberties removed.

    You can talk about the duties and responsibilities of citizenship all you want and I may even agree with you to a large degree, but you can't deny the fact that the fundamental basis of taxation is potential state violence against the individual citizen.