Ep#94 – Matt Dillahunty – Free Speech & Violence

It’s a great pleasure to welcome the return of Matt Dillahunty (@Matt_Dillahunty) to The #GSPodcast. We talk about the ethics of punching Nazis, free speech, violent protests at UC Berkeley, Donald Trump, trigger warnings, safe spaces, racism, labels, Milo Yiannopoulos and much, much more!

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  • Apart from “banning” the word “cuck” (whatever that means – I have no idea), how about “Roll back” and all its variants? I never thought I’d be a fan of “Back track” but it has happened. Where did “Roll back” come from, and why does everyone now use it? It is the new “Going forward”.
    Perhaps you should do blue-sky thinking and touch base with this in a future podcast.

  • I’m not sure exactly what Matt means by saying that Socially Liberal and Fiscal conservative are contradictory positions. When most people say that they are socially liberal they mean that are opposed to discrimination or the enforcement of conservative social norms, i.e. that they are in favor of gay marriage or that they support drug legalization or in some cases that they are in favor of more immigration, policies that generally aren’t terribly expensive to implement.

    • Rodney Ryan Rogers

      To be able to demonstrate either at their ultimate conclusion, you need to hold a position of equity. How do you guarantee equity among marginalized groups? One way is to guarantee them access to food, shelter, and medical care because those are the three things that guarantee some form of normalcy; but how do you do those three things while also being fiscally conservative?

      Now, he isn’t saying fiscally responsible because that has a different connotation. Conservative in this context is when you spend less than your means. Consider the definition of ‘conservative estimate’ & typically is defined as an estimate below an average or what have you. When you are fiscally conservative, you’re typically spending below your means for a result.

      Is it fiscally responsible to give everyone a universal basic income? Yes. Is it fiscally conservative? No. It is responsible because you’re guaranteeing a basic living for 100% of the population and also guaranteeing a consistent stimulation of local economies and people will spend more; if people spend more, more things will be produced, more things produced means more people will be required to build, service, or sell those products. It isn’t fiscally conservative because you’re still going to run a deficit. Less deficit the following years, however, because people will be purchasing more goods which means businesses will profit more & will pay more in taxes.

      Drug legalization, your example, runs the risk of increased hospitalization for certain drugs (you said it in broad terms, but if you mean just Marijuana, then I concede the point I am making) Hospitalization will be costly as most drug-related hospital visits are emergency-related and are less likely to push the the full financial burden onto the patient. You also may need to increase education which costs money, too.

      The only thing I can come up to remotely deal with the gay marriage thing is a decrease in taxes due to marital status. People who are married tend to pay less than those who file seperate forms. This is an irrelevant point but I thought I’d include it because I thought it was hilariously stupid.

      Immigration tends to be a fiscal net positive as long as there isn’t an increased police presence that may cost more to implement than the given immigrants are paying in additional taxes; be they local, state, or sales.

  • I have to say my opinions of Mr. Dillahunty have changed a bit after listening to this conversation. I was really put off with his continued defense/support for free thought blogs even after his sock puppet experiment and really misjudged his character for it. I will also admit to thinking of him as a typical SJW “everything is sexist” type. I am glad my views of him have been corrected.

    I don’t think I could agree with him on his position that being a white, cis, man makes him privileged based solely on those traits but he at least holds a position that instead of denigrating white, cis, men to level the playing field he advocates for empowering the less privileged, but I would probably disagree with him on the criteria for what exactly qualifies someone to be less privileged.

    I also disagree with him on the point he made about people being right in using the term racist towards a trump supporter as if using it in a broad sense of the word justifies labeling that person without evidence that they are racist.

    That being said I really enjoyed the conversation.

  • “I don’t think I could agree with him on his position that being a white, cis, man makes him privileged ” — the truth is that it is just the opposite, in reality.

  • Lots to disagree with Matt here. I find the omission of a position on Islam and Islamism in his output on religion frustrating but I’m sure I will find it somewhere. Did Stephen and Matt agree to not talk about it?

    I think that when you have a diversity of friends whom you might lose as friend if you expressed what you believe in certain topics is at play. But I can’t claim to know. I don’t.

    • No, Matt was open to talk about anything. I didn’t ask about Islam because I invited him on to talk about free speech/Spencer/Berkeley. Given the podcast talks about Islam every week, I thought this would make for a welcome change….

  • Dillahunty appears to be steering a course of defending free speech, except for a quibble or two, but also supporting some of the aims of the more ‘SJW’ side of things, and wanting to keep them on side.
    I think that he largely succeeds in approaching this honestly, but it is notable that, for someone who sets so much store by precision of language in some contexts, he is prepared to settle occasionally for vague and obfuscatory statements such as “free speech has consequences”, and that his rather selective application of precision of language always seems to tilt towards accepting the restrictions favoured by the ‘identity’ side.
    If Stephen wanted this to be a three-hour podcast instead of two, I think a good question would be “Exactly what consequences for exactly what sort of speech are you proposing, and who is in the position to decide them ?”.

  • “triggering” & “content warning” has become signifigant in the sense of “rising incident frequency” media coverage

    the cultural perception of the impact of these phenomena ,whether statistically accurate or not, has become a national everyday concern.

    in the university setting the advocation of the scholarly responsibility towards revealing “real world social risks”
    warrents a balanced antithetical practice ,ie.”grow-up” , against the over empathic stance for triggering – safe space – content warning etc.

  • That was a very fast two hours and time well spent. It enabled me to frame things in different ways and enjoy some insights. The most significant part for me was in the discussion of empathy, in regards to content warnings and safe spaces. Although I don’t think the free speech issue should give an inch when it comes to limiting it in general, using it for the intent purpose of shocking, hurting, causing offence to an intended target simply is being a bully. And that’s not cool.

What do you think? Leave some comments!