The IDW convenor explains how the group became ideologically divided
The group of thinkers now known as the “Intellectual Dark Web” — Jordan Peterson, Sam Harris, Bret and Eric Weinstein, Ben Shapiro — were convened in Dave Rubin’s garage and on his YouTube channel, The Rubin Report. And yet he has always suffered the accusation that he wasn’t a ‘real’ intellectual.
“What I thought and believe now that I am good at is that I can sit with these people and take a lot of that stuff and distil it into something that the average person can understand enough of. I love that space,” he tells me in a wide-ranging and philosophical discussion on LockdownTV.
He sees the old IDW gang as divided now along a crucial ideological split. There are those who believe the tools of liberalism can still be deployed to persuade the Woke Left to change their mind (he includes Bari Weiss, Sam Harris, Bret Weinstein in this group); and then there are those, like him, who have decided that it simply isn’t possible, and they’re better off building bridges with the Right:
What I’m seeing, and I would say this is more me, Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, is that there’s all sorts of bridges to be built the other way. If you would have told me five years ago that I would consider Dennis Prager and Glenn Beck and Larry Elder and many other conservatives not only friends but the type of intellectual that I want to be — I would be shocked.
His hope is on the Right, and the long-term vision is of building parallel institutions to those controlled by the liberal Left:
This vision of two parallel societies may be dispiriting for early fans of Rubin — after all, this was the host who promised to bring together people of all different political stripes. There was something genuinely counter-cultural about the way in which figures from the Reaganite Right all the way through to the progressive Left gathered under Dave’s roof to exchange and debate ideas. But Rubin insists that there are still “bridges to be built in the other way” — we’ll be watching and hoping so too.
Our thanks to Dave for a fascinating conversation.