FULL STORY: I joined a class @ThaddeusRussell and @ConceptualJames were teaching called "Critical Theory and Postmodernism" because I knew it'd likely be the only chance I would ever have to confront James about the bullshit in his book (he's had me blocked since my review). 1/n
There were three courses. The first two covered Gramsci and the Frankfurt school philosophers, the last covered Lyotard, Beaudrillard, a bit of Derrida and a bit of Foucault. To my surprise, almost none of Cynical Theories' nonsensical depictions of the postmodernists came up. 2/
Further, we spent 2x time on the Frankfurt school as the postmodernists, the opposite of Cynical Theories, where the former were relegated to endnotes. I asked James if he could explain this at the end of the course; here's his answer (though you can see first minute cut out) 3/
Idk why that happened, seems to have been an honest mistake. What I remember from that is James saying Helen had greater authorship and they split royalties 33/67. If we take him at his word then only Helen is responsible for the outlandish depiction of pomo in Chapter 1. 4/
As you see in the previous tweet, James is now cool with postmodernism--the OG postmodernists, at least. Maybe he can write something publicly clarifying this for his fans who have read Cynical Theories and were instructed to think those ideas are destroying civilization? 5/
Finally, @ThaddeusRussell thanks me for an "amazing question," says he wishes we could spend a whole hour on it. I want to take you up on this, Thad! Me, you and @ConceptualJames: let's do an hour or two. Let's do 3! You know I'll be polite and civil, as I was. What do you say?

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More from @deonteleologist

20 Feb
Here's James Lindsay introducing himself, in his testimony in support of a bill that would effectively ban the teaching of systemic or institutional racism in NH schools, as an expert (eventually even "recognized as a world-level expert"!) in critical race theory. 1/n
This clip is in fact a perfect distillation of his entire grift against CRT. He takes a somewhat controversial claim from critical race theorists, that racism is ordinary rather than aberrational in American life, and literally reduces it to a Robin DiAngelo quote. 2/n
"Other scholars." Nice, James. Didn't want to name drop someone who's increasingly being disavowed by academics, did ya now? 3/n
Read 8 tweets
18 Feb
Alright, since "Jeremy" wants the smoke, it appears I'm going to have to roll out a thread about how his team's sophistical posturing on topics like intersectionality engenders just enough confidence in their fanbase to prevent them from fact-checking. 🧵 1/
So we start here: "Intersectionality, at its core, is a *critique* on universal claims of other rights-based analytical frameworks and movements." - @SarahTheHaider

Because Crenshaw coined the term 'intersectionality,' and this does not at all describe her view, I objected. 2/ Image
Sarah doesn't like the implication she hasn't read Crenshaw; she has! Great, I hope she can show me where on Earth Crenshaw critiques universal rights-based analytic frameworks.

Turns out I had made another mistake: interpreting 'intersectionality' as Crenshaw defined it. 3/ ImageImage
Read 12 tweets
25 Jan
Greetings, comrade! Heard the delightful news? Helen Pluckrose--AKA the Mary Wollstonecraft of the 21st century--has just given Western civilization a lifeline. If Critical Race Theory kills us all, at least we'll know our queen did everything she possibly could to stop it. 1/
Ever the philosophical juggernaut, look how she resolves the company's paradoxical commitments.

Not everyone who works with Counterweight is a liberal humanist; they're merely mandated to support the tenets of liberal humanism, though they obviously don't have to. 2/
Pluckrose venerates liberalism, her metanarrative of choice, not as a philosophy grounded in equal rights and freedoms for individuals, but as "a system that allows us to disagree without turning to violence"--as we know, fascists have never risen to power in liberal contexts. 3/
Read 9 tweets
13 Jan
THREAD ~ Charles Mills v. “Master’s Tools”

This strategy—the “master’s tools” must be abandoned/destroyed—can be applied at will to generate a new radical thesis, e.g. OP’s “black people can’t be healthy.” Mills (2009) gives us compelling reasons for resisting this rhetoric. 1/
Just to address the obvious: Mills technically gets the quote wrong; it should be "the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house." The most they can do is "allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game," Lorde writes. Mills' first critiques are clear & direct: 2/
He continues by pointing to the intuitive truth that some of the master's philosophical/conceptual tools will be irredeemably racist or otherwise oppressive--such as, e.g., essentialist racial hierarchies--but some have only been used for evil contingently. 3/
Read 9 tweets
7 Jan
Mobb Deep - Hell on Earth (1995)
Talib Kweli - 2000 Seasons (2015)
A Tribe Called Quest - Baby Phife's Return (1996)
Read 4 tweets
4 Jan
Another excellent, incredibly prescient quote from the 1996 book, The Opening of the American Mind, by UC Berkeley professor of history, Lawrence Levine: “It is exactly this understanding of how things do *not* happen that the leading critics of the contemporary university lack…
Thus they freely spin their facile theories of how the survivors of the New Left lost the political wars but won their ultimate triumph by capturing the university and transforming it from an institution of culture and learning to a high-handed and inflexible purveyor of...
Political Correctness. The problem with such notions––aside from the fact that they are promulgated, to borrow Carl Becker's memorable phrase, without fear and without research––is that they are telling examples of how things do not happen. Universities in the United States...
Read 7 tweets

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