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democracy

Ronald Lindsay on How the Left’s Dogmas on Race and Equity Harm Liberal Democracy and Invigorate Christian Nationalism

Shermer and Lindsay discuss: identity politics: identity or politics? • woke ideology • overt racism vs. systemic racism • liberalism vs. illiberalism • woke progressive leftists motivations? • Critical Race Theory (CRT) • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) • What is progressive? What is woke? • standpoint epistemology • equality vs. equity • race • class • cancel culture • Christian nationalism.

Jens Heycke — Multiculturalism and Lessons From the Rwandan Genocide

Shermer and Heycke discuss: • melting pots • culture • multi-culturalism • identity politics • cancel culture • cultural appropriation • Critical Race Theory • Affirmative Action • why group preferences tend to last forever • human nature and factionalism • how official recognition and group preferences exacerbate group divisiveness • how group identification is fluid and contextual • the future of democracy • the rise of anti-Semitism in recent years.

Dannagal Young — How Media, Politics, and Identity Drive Our Appetite for Misinformation

Shermer and Young discuss: how do you know if you are wrong, or that someone else is wrong • the evolution of reason: veridical perception or group identity? • the 3 “Cs” of our needs: comprehension, control, community • open-minded thinking • intellectual humility • political polarization • echo vs. identity chambers • social media • lies • disinformation • Donald Trump • democracy • science and morality • solutions to identity-driven wrongness.

Yascha Mounk — Identity Politics and its Discontents

Shermer and Mounk discuss: the identity synthesis/trap • Israel, Hamas, Palestine • why students & student groups are pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel • the rise of anti-Semitism in recent years • proximate/ultimate causes of anti-Semitism • the rejection of the civil rights movement and the rise of critical race theory • overt racism vs. systemic racism • the problem of woke ideology • Trump and the 2024 election • the possibility of another Civil War • What should we do personally…

Behnam Ben Taleblu — The Role of Iran in the Israel-Hamas Conflict

Image in background by Fars Media Corporation, CC BY 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons. People in Iran burning the flags of the United States and Israel

Shermer and Taleblu discuss: • Iran and Hamas • Hamas and Israel • Does Iran really want to wipe Israel off the map? • Islam, Islamism, Jihadism • Sharia Law • Hamas, Hezbollah, and terrorism in the Middle East • Would Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) work with Iran? • Do economic sanctions work against Iran? • Trump’s strategies in the Middle East: what worked, what didn’t and why • the Iran Deal, and why they support terrorists • U.S. support…

Greg Lukianoff & Rikki Schlott — Cancel Culture and What to Do About It

Shermer and Lukianoff and Schlott discuss: • the definition of Cancel Culture • The Henny Youngman Principle: “Compared to what?” • Cancel Culture as imagined moral panic • Cancel Culture on the political Left/Right and on social media • free speech law vs. norms • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) • sensitivity training • bias hotlines and silencing of speech • pluralistic ignorance • The 4 Great Untruths • Jean Twenge’s theory of generational change • solutions to Cancel Culture.

Lee McIntyre — Disinformation: How to Fight for Truth and Protect Democracy

Shermer and McIntyre discuss: default to truth theory • RFK Jr. • whether reason evolved for veridical perception or group identity? • How do we know what is true and what to believe? • worst case scenarios if Donald Trump wins in 2024 • trans issues, race issues, GMOs, nuclear power, climate doomsdayism • What went wrong during the COVID-19 pandemic? • disinformation about masks, vaccines • social media and disinformation.

Timothy Redmond — Political Tribalism in America: How Hyper-Partisanship Dumbs Down Democracy and How to Fix It

Shermer and Redmond discuss: why we have political duopoly (Duverger’s law) • parties vs. policies • Are we living in a post-truth, fake-news, alternative facts world? • How do we know political polarization is worse now than in the past? • acquiring, perceiving, and evaluating political information • evaluating: false political information, political numbers and arguments, claims of rigged election • whataboutism • cognitive responsibilities of citizenship • cognitive biases • political polarization • myside bias • numeracy vs. innumeracy…

The Case for Nationalism: 12 Arguments

By the end of World War Two, nationalism had been thoroughly discredited. Critics charged that national self-interest had prevented democratic governments from cooperating to end the Great Depression, and that nationalist passions had led not just to war, but also to some of the worst crimes groups of human beings had ever perpetrated on others. In this defense of nationalism the renowned scholar of politics William Galston presents twelve arguments in defense of the importance of national identity.

Yoram Hazony on Traditional Conservatism vs. Enlightenment Liberalism

Political theorist Yoram Hazony argues that the best hope for Western democracy is a return to the empiricist, religious, and nationalist traditions of America and Britain. Shermer makes the case for Enlightenment liberalism, with its focus on science and reason, as the primary driver of moral progress over the centuries.

Batya Ungar-Sargon — Bad News: How Woke Media Is Undermining Democracy

Michael Shermer speaks with Batya Ungar-Sargon about her new book Bad News: How Woke Media Is Undermining Democracy in which she reveals how American journalism underwent a status revolution over the twentieth century — from a blue-collar trade to an elite profession.

eSkeptic for April 5, 2022

Is there vigilantism in science? Was the renowned Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson wrongly convicted of racism and promoting race science in the court of public opinion? Yes, says his long-time collaborator and world-class scientist Bert Hölldobler. PLUS: Michael Shermer speaks with Batya Ungar-Sargon about her new book Bad News: How Woke Media Is Undermining Democracy in which she reveals how American journalism underwent a status revolution over the twentieth century — from a blue-collar trade to an elite profession.

Jennifer Sciubba on Putin, Russia, Ukraine, National & Global Security, and How Population Demographics Shape Our Future

Michael Shermer speaks with political demographer, former demographics consultant to the United States Department of Defense, and author of The Future Faces of War, Jennifer Sciubba, about her new 8 Billion and Counting.

eSkeptic for February 22, 2022

Michael Shermer speaks with Barbara F. Walter about how civil wars start and how to stop them, including in the United States.

Barbara F. Walter on How Civil Wars Start and How to Stop Them, including in the United States

Political violence rips apart several towns in southwest Texas. A far-right militia plots to kidnap the governor of Michigan and try her for treason. An armed mob of Trump supporters and conspiracy theorists storms the U.S. Capitol. Are these isolated incidents? Or is this the start of something bigger? Michael Shermer speaks with professor of political science, Barbara F. Walter, about her increasing worry about civil conflict in the United States.

Jacob Mchangama on Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media

In this episode, based on the book Free Speech, Michael Shermer and Jacob Mchangama discuss the riveting legal, political, and cultural history of the principle, how much we have gained from it, and how much we stand to lose without it.

eSkeptic for February 8, 2022

In this episode, based on the book Free Speech, Michael Shermer and Jacob Mchangama discuss the riveting legal, political, and cultural history of the principle, how much we have gained from it, and how much we stand to lose without it.

Tom Nichols — Our Own Worst Enemy: The Assault From Within on Modern Democracy

Democracy is in trouble. Why? In episode 214, Michael Shermer speaks with Tom Nichols about his book Our Own Worst Enemy: The Assault From Within on Modern Democracy challenges the current depictions of the rise of illiberal and anti-democratic movements in the United States and elsewhere, placing on the people themselves, the growth of unchecked narcissism, rising standards of living, global peace, and a resistance to change.

eSkeptic for October 2, 2021

In episode 214, Michael Shermer speaks Tom Nichols about his book Our Own Worst Enemy: The Assault From Within on Modern Democracy. PLUS, don’t miss our digital subscription sale: $14.99 for 7 issues, until October 9, 2021!

David Potter — Disruption: Why Things Change

In episode 199, Michael Shermer and David Potter take a deep dive into disruptions. What are the conditions in which radical change happens? Is democracy in trouble? Not all radical groups are the same, and all the groups that the book explores take advantage of mistakes that have challenged belief in the competence of existing institutions to be effective.

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