Theory Gang
17. Old-School Marxist Academia w/ Freddie deBoer

17. Old-School Marxist Academia w/ Freddie deBoer

I was certain this episode was going to be a disaster. I cracked a joke right away and Freddie didn't even smirk.

And then for the next few minutes, it got worse. My entire opening question hinged on what I thought was the absurdly funny way Freddie kinda dragged Agnes Callard on his Substack, and he didn't seem amused at all. So then, I'm thinking, these fuckin' Marxists, so damn serious... and of course, then my dog escapes from the place where I put him, but the reset was welcomed. Anyway, I cut that whole bit because it was so awkward and while I was cracking up watching it, I'm sure you would be cringing. Luckily, things got better.

One point of clarification I want to make is that towards the end I said I think we need to stop taking big swings as individuals and be happy with what we have...listening back I wondered if I was agreeing to close the episode because that doesn't seem like something I'd say. I mean, I can agree to a certain extent, but it’s a balance. Maybe it's a ‘good for the goose, but not the gander’ situation, because Imma keep taking big swings and very large bites that I might not be able to chew. I remember a friend, the friend who helped me make my board game, Denesa, saying that she just wanted to teach her kids to be mediocre and happy. What's wrong with that? Why should they strive for greatness? I tried to wear her perspective, but it really didn't fit me, and I think the major issue is that society seems to believe in some Kantian Imperative. We ALL need to agree on a shared perspective, even though we pretend to espouse the benefits of liberalism and diversity. Ya'll be at peace with mediocrity, but Imma bust my ass cuz I like it. So do you boo, boo. Just wanted to make that clear.

Otherwise, I enjoyed Freddie. I don't agree with him on everything, but that's not my job. My job is to bring out a different perspective on interesting thinkers. I think I did a mediocre job here, but maybe he’s rubbing off on me because I’m ok with it. From me according to my ability, to you according to your need. Or some shit like that.

Do you know that I read philosophy every weekday on Discord for my paid subscribers? I do real-time translations, too. It’s a hoot, you should upgrade.

Time stamps

00:00 Intro

2:16 Agnes Callard and the interrogation of philosophical perspectives

4:31 The Case Against Travel

6:00 The elite academic perspective and the enjoyment of travel

12:33 The caricature of the left vs. an actual Marxist perspective

19:35  Marxism as a teleological philosophy - aka prophecy

24:16 Marxist “science” vs descriptive/prescriptive value of Marxism

27:45 The rise of the hybrid owner/working class/petit bourgeois

29:48 Freddie’s position on the political compass 

34:26 The issue with anarcho-communism and the withering of the state

38:18 Send your kids to school?

46:22 If everywhere were like Denmark, nowhere would be like Denmark.

54:24 Why Leftists hate Freddie

56:24 College as a social justice engine

1:00:00 Motivating people to do something bigger

1:05:16 Have we achieved something like equality?

1:10:03 Who will be the leaders of the future and how will they be selected?

This BIg Nerve Question:

What could be a new role for the University moving forward?

This episode is possible with support from ya’ll (thank you), and also BigNerve. Big Nerve is pushing hard to get thinkers funded and recognized. You should be one of those thinkers. To enter my idea tournament, win money, AND help me answer some really tough questions click the linked question and start playing!

More resources:

Video episode

Freddie’s new book

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