The cool kid’s Philosophper


Ben Shapiro’s fans apparently think he is very smart. It is not clear why.

It’s easy to laugh, as some of us do, at the phrase “conservative intellectual.” When the most prominent public spokesmen for the right’s ideas include Milo Yiannopoulos, Charles Murray, and Dinesh D’Souza, one might conclude that the movement does not have anything serious to offer beyond “Feminism is cancer,” “Black people are dumb,” and “Democrats are Nazis.” (Those are, as I understand it, the central intellectual contributions of Yiannopoulos, Murray, and D’Souza, respectively.)

But according to the New York Times, it would be a mistake to write off Conservative Thought so hastily. For we would be overlooking one crucial figure: Ben Shapiro. Shapiro, we are told, is “the cool kid’s philosopher, dissecting arguments with a lawyer’s skill and references to Aristotle.” The Times quotes praise of Shapiro as a “brilliant polemicist” and “principled gladiator,” a quick-witted man who “reads books,” and “takes apart arguments in ways that make the conservative conclusion seem utterly logical.” Shapiro is the “destroyer of weak arguments,” he “has been called the voice of the conservative millennial movement.” He is a genuine intellectual, a man who “does not attack unfairly, stoke anger for the sake of it, or mischaracterize his opponents’ positions.” He is principled: he deplores Trump, and cares about Truth. Shapiro’s personal mantra, “Facts don’t care about your feelings,” captures his approach: he’s passionate, but he believes in following reason rather than emotion. Shapiro, then, represents the best in contemporary conservative thinking. And if the cool kids have a philosopher, it is worth examining his philosophy in some depth.

Shapiro once explained his actual preferred solution to the problem of the dark Arab hordes: mass expulsion. As he said, bulldozing Palestinian houses and subjecting them to curfews are insufficient “half-measures”: the only solution is to drive every last one of them forcibly from their homes and take their land:

The Arab enmity for Jews and the state of Israel allows for no peace process. The time for half measures has passed. Bulldozing houses of homicide bombers is useless. Instituting ongoing curfews in Arab-populated cities is useless… Some have rightly suggested that Israel be allowed to decapitate the terrorist leadership of the Palestinian Authority. But this too is only a half measure. The ideology of the Palestinian population is indistinguishable from that of the terrorist leadership. Half measures merely postpone our realization that the Arabs dream of Israel’s destruction. Without drastic measures, the Arab dream will come true… If you believe that the Jewish state has a right to exist, then you must allow Israel to transfer the Palestinians and the Israeli-Arabs from Judea, Samaria, Gaza and Israel proper. It’s an ugly solution, but it is the only solution… It’s time to stop being squeamish.

(Odd that the NYT didn’t choose to quote this passage in its profile.)

Current Affairs for more

via 3 Quarks Daily

Comments are closed.