Dave Rubins recent Dont Burn This Book: Thinking for Yourself in an Age of Unreason documents the YouTube personalitys intellectual journey from a Young Turks firebrand to a self-described classical liberal and an unlikely hero of the political right. Rubin hails from what has been termed the intellectual dark web, made up of individuals from the left and right who have found themselves on the wrong side of current political whimsmost notably in regard to free speech, race theory, or gender politics.
These individuals include Jordan Peterson, Brett Weinstein, Sam Harris, and Ben Shapiro, all frequent guests on Daves wildly successful YouTube channel and podcast, The Rubin Report. Rubin prides himself on giving a platform to diverse viewpoints, championing a classical liberal perspective he differentiates from the newer regressive left.
While Rubin agrees with many of the issues conservatives are most vilified forfree speech, freedom of religion, Second Amendment rightshe continues to term himself a classical liberal. In Dont Burn This Book, Rubin shows us why he and others who have left the left still consider themselves liberals, lending itself to a broader conversation about liberal and conservative thought.
Dont Burn This Book isnt a dense treatise. Much of what Rubin is discussing are ideas are both conservatives and liberals have been hashing for centuries. The book isnt a manual of new ideas, but an entreaty to return to the old ideas of the left before it turned, as Rubin puts it, regressive.
Chapter 3, entitled Think Freely or Die, spends more than 40 pages outlining a middle ground on hot topics of the day, decrying the vilification of those who hold the slightest different view from current woke trends, discussing free speech, Second Amendment issues, abortion, American exceptionalism, immigration, and more.
According to Rubin, todays liberals, no longer accept that all men are created equal. He writes, While liberalism aims to produce hard work and pride around a common cause, our new, negative worldview spawns only jealousy and grievance. By contrast, classical liberalism returns to the roots of liberalism, rejecting authoritarian leftism.
Before his political awakening began, Rubin says he was, solidly pro-choice, but has recently begun describing himself as begrudgingly pro-choice. While hes upset with the way the left has fetishize[d] abortion, he still supports the right of women to have an abortion before the 12th week of pregnancy. However, Dave concedes that the unborn child is a human life and argues, What may seem to be a logical inconsistency is a well-thought-out position.
Daves reasoning for his position on abortion skews liberal. He says the 12-week cutoff point for abortions is the optimal compromise between observing the rights of the individual (primarily the mother, then the baby) and the necessary role of public policy, which protects our freedoms in the first place. Dave ranks the right of the mother to choose her destiny above the right of the unborn child to live his or her life.
Liberals arent immoral, but they typically place individual freedom over other moral considerations. In this case, a womans right to free herself of responsibility and the physical and mental toll pregnancy and subsequent motherhood leaves her with trumps the fact that life is sacred. At the same time, Rubin tries to balance this position with the recognition that taking an innocent life is immoral.
In the pro-life debate, conservatives and liberals often talk past each other. Liberals see an individuals potential for self-actualization infringed upon and nothing else. Conservatives see the murder of a human life and nothing else. Rubin recognizes this classic conflict between the liberal and conservative mind, saying, My libertarian side says that government should have nothing to with this decision, Rubin explains, but my realist [or perhaps his conservative] side says the state has a duty to protect the life of the unborn.
Abortion is not the only aspect where Daves classically liberal positions highlight the age-old differences between conservative and liberal thought. Dave, a married gay man, doesnt see why someone who cares about individual liberty would be against same-sex marriage.
While he tolerates religious positions on the issue, an individuals right to act in accordance with that position, he makes a too broad sweep over why some of these individuals also believe the government would be remiss in recognizing same-sex marriages as such. But according to the classical liberal tradition, if individual liberty is all that principally matters, then why would anyone care if a same-sex couple may marry?
If you believe in individual rights, he puts it, then, great stuff, youre on the right path. Rubins explanation of the classical liberal, or libertarian, reasoning for gay marriage is woefully simplistic. Its not that Christians and other religious individuals think their religious beliefs should be foisted upon the rest of the nation, but that up until very recently most agreed that government plays a role in shaping the moral compass of the nation through families.
The idea that the state has a role in protecting moral ends is inherent to conservatism. In the case of abortion, to the conservative this means protecting human life at the expense of a womans claimed right to choose. In the case of gay marriage, this means protecting a certain model of the family as the most conducive to a virtuous society, at the expense of homosexual couples ability to marry.
Liberals have often been ridiculed for being so open minded their brains fall out, which, while unhelpful as a serious point of political argument, makes a salient point. The liberal tendency is to look to the future and the new to such an extent that they forget the roots that have held together Western Civilization for so long. Thankfully, Rubin has the good sense to avoid that pitfall, dedicating a whole chapter to praising American excellence and the values of Western civilization.
As Rubin finds that the left has abandoned true liberalism, Rubin, who is by no means a conventional conservative, has found an intellectual home on the right. While the principles of free speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of thought arent exclusively conservative or liberal (both sides have their bittersweet histories), its also no accident conservatives have been the ones doing the conserving of age-old civil liberties.
In Chapter 5, Rubin recounts the story of how conservative radio host Larry Elder changed his mind on systemic racism on his YouTube show and podcast The Rubin Report. Instead of digging in his heels, Rubin used the interview as an opportunity to open minds, including his own. [W]hether I liked it or not, he writes, this devastatingly embarrassing moment was everything The Rubin Report was meant to be aboutpushing personal and political growth through conversation.
Maybe conservatives could learn from this. Just as liberals tend to look towards the future and the new to the detriment of the tried and true, conservatives tendency to focus on what has been rather than what could be, often blinds them from considering differing viewpoints. Rubin and The Rubin Report are a testament to how people of goodwill on both sides can stand up for the other sides right to say what they think, even when they dont agree.
Sarah Weaver is a graduate student at Hillsdale College. You can read more of her work as well as contact her through her website at sarah-weaver.net. Find Sarah on Twitter @SarahHopeWeaver.
See the article here:
Dave Rubin On Where Liberals And Conservatives Can Agree, And Can't - The Federalist
- Confessions of a jaded NZ bookseller - The Spinoff - August 2nd, 2020
- Dont bank on Britains foppish, lazy elites to save us from deep fakery - The Guardian - August 2nd, 2020
- Will the real fascist please stand up? - Fallbrook / Bonsall Villlage News - July 31st, 2020
- Hess Jr. claims third win in a row at Eriez | News, Sports, Jobs - timesobserver.com - July 31st, 2020
- 5-year-old boy severely injured after being run over during camping trip - East Idaho News - July 27th, 2020
- Peterson: Last call for the Top 120 of 2020 - The Topeka Capital-Journal - July 27th, 2020
- MALCOLM: Fair coverage of the Conservative leadership is missing - Toronto Sun - July 27th, 2020
- 'Your inner voice will need to be your compass': Turners Falls High School says goodbye to Class of 2020 - The Recorder - July 27th, 2020
- Taibbi, Harper's and the Intellectual Dark Web - CounterPunch.org - CounterPunch - July 27th, 2020
- This Week in Podcasts: feat. Big Shiny Takes, Oats for Breakfast and more | Ricochet - Ricochet Media - July 5th, 2020
- TCW's top ten blogs of the week - The Conservative Woman - July 5th, 2020
- Nietzsche meets Netflix: the killer philosophy behind The Sinner - The Telegraph - July 2nd, 2020
- Bishop Robert Barron on Internet ministry, Black Lives Matter and the art of dialogue - America Magazine - June 30th, 2020
- The fall of Cambridge University - TheArticle - June 30th, 2020
- Sorry, not sorry: How Muay Thai taught me to stop apologising for everything - The Spinoff - June 30th, 2020
- Jordan Peterson: The activists are now stalking the hard scientists - National Post - June 24th, 2020
- Joe Rogan Is Asking For Heat With Latest Comments - TheThings - June 24th, 2020
- Alpha brains but beta minds: Tory culture is the main worry for true conservatives - The Conservative Woman - June 24th, 2020
- Amia Srinivasan He, She, One, They, Ho, Hus, Hum, Ita: How Should I Refer to You? LRB 2 July 2020 - London Review of Books - June 24th, 2020
- Clergy kneel to those who'd trample over them - The Conservative Woman - June 22nd, 2020
- Five defensive players the Arizona Cardinals need to live up to expectations in 2020 - Revenge of the Birds - June 16th, 2020
- NFL stars deliver a message to the league: Admit you silenced us wrongly - Sporting News - June 6th, 2020
- On the Limits of Dave Rubins Cultural Politics - National Review - June 6th, 2020
- Jordan B. Peterson Health Update: Author Is Recovering ... - May 27th, 2020
- Jordan Peterson is back at work on his next book - May 27th, 2020
- Jordan Peterson on the Resurrection | Adrian Warnock - Patheos - May 27th, 2020
- Why Hungarys Viktor Orbn is the American rights favorite strongman - Vox.com - May 24th, 2020
- Patrick Peterson says 2020 Cardinals are, on paper, best team he has been on - Cards Wire - May 24th, 2020
- Graduation 2020: Westby Area High School - The Westby Times - May 24th, 2020
- Jonathan Kay: It takes a true artist to find new ways to shock the conscience. Kent Monkman has done that - National Post - May 24th, 2020
- The Irrelevance of the Intelligence Debate - Merion West - May 18th, 2020
- There are great stories about U.S. Open qualifiers; too bad we won't have any in 2020 - GolfDigest.com - May 18th, 2020
- Bob Holliday talks about the fun day when MJ and Buzz Peterson went golfing - WRALSportsFan.com - May 15th, 2020
- Mohamed and the Mountain | Annette Poizner | The Blogs - The Times of Israel - May 15th, 2020
- What Hating Jordan Peterson Tells You (about yourself) - The Times of Israel - May 6th, 2020
- Former Vol head coach appears in ESPNs The Last Dance - Vols Wire - May 6th, 2020
- What if Michael Jordan had signed with Adidas? He very nearly did, and it haunts Gary Stokan to this day - WRALSportsFan.com - May 6th, 2020
- Why is it always the white NFL players who get a second chance? - The Guardian - May 6th, 2020
- Another Piece on How Feminism Has Ruined Men - RushLimbaugh.com - May 6th, 2020
- Dave Rubin is out of ideas - Business Insider - Business Insider - May 6th, 2020
- Justin Amash could lead conservative reformation - Spring Hope Enterprise - May 2nd, 2020
- May Day! May Day! Is Government Out of Control? What It Means to Investors - Stock Investor - May 2nd, 2020
- Jordan Peterson and Carl Jung's Worldviews Have Been Greatly Oversimplified - Merion West - May 1st, 2020
- Dave Rubin Talks To Shapiro About Learning From Jordan Peterson On Tour - The Daily Wire - May 1st, 2020
- The one player Michael Jordan was scared of in college? Buzz Peterson details it - The Athletic - May 1st, 2020
- Russell Brand And Ricky Gervais Are Just What Your Brain Needs - The Federalist - May 1st, 2020
- The Problem with Edmund Burke and Defenders of Tradition - Merion West - May 1st, 2020
- FreedomFest Urges People to 'Catch the Vision' in Las Vegas - Right Wing Watch - May 1st, 2020
- Seminal Words and the Pregnant Pause | Annette Poizner - The Times of Israel - April 22nd, 2020
- Too Hot to Handle on Netflix is undeniably Sexy in Quarantine - The TeCake - April 22nd, 2020
- What Skeptical Scholars Admit about the Resurrect... - ChristianityToday.com - April 13th, 2020
- Michael Brooks' New Book Hits the Mark - Merion West - April 13th, 2020
- How Joe Rogan and Eric Weinstein Sinned - Thrive Global - April 7th, 2020
- Understanding the Viciousness of Jordan Peterson's Critics - Merion West - March 27th, 2020
- Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Has Mastered The Art Of Waist-Up Dressing - British Vogue - March 27th, 2020
- Five hours to change your life with Jordan Peterson - Patheos - March 27th, 2020
- If people stand up in the face of the things they are afraid of, they get stronger - The Indian Express - March 27th, 2020
- Prof still fighting school's demand to call he a 'she' - OneNewsNow - March 18th, 2020
- Patrick Peterson: Cardinals 'all in' this year and 'not done' - Cards Wire - March 18th, 2020
- Tips, links and suggestions: what are you reading this week? - The Guardian - March 18th, 2020
- What Happened to Jordan Peterson? - The New Republic - March 15th, 2020
- Inside the Treatment of Jordan Peterson - InsideHook - March 15th, 2020
- Christopher Booker: Groupthink review an uncritical history of political correctness - The Arts Desk - March 15th, 2020
- 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos: Jordan B ... - March 9th, 2020
- The best recent poetry review roundup - The Guardian - March 9th, 2020
- Jordan Peterson Checks into Rehab Following Wife's Cancer ... - March 9th, 2020
- Jordan Peterson Wife: The Truth About Tammy Peterson - Who - February 28th, 2020
- Podcast giant Joe Rogan coming to Tampas Amalie Arena - Tampa Bay Times - February 28th, 2020
- Is Wall Street on the Brink of Disaster? - Stock Investor - February 28th, 2020
- The Travesty of Comparing Jordan Peterson to Hitler - Merion West - February 25th, 2020
- What Douglas Murray's Book Does Well (And Where It Falters) - Merion West - February 24th, 2020
- Jordan Peterson: the One Who Helped Me When I Most Needed It - Merion West - February 20th, 2020
- 'He could've killed somebody': Victim in Boise 11-car hit-and-run crash reacts to wild video - KTVB.com - February 20th, 2020
- A Controversial Study Claimed To Explain Why Women Dont Go Into Science And Tech. It Just Got A 1,113-Word Correction. - BuzzFeed News - February 20th, 2020
- Feb. 18: The story of Bombardier could have been easily avoided. Readers react to Bombardiers fortunes, facial recognition, Jordan Peterson, plus... - February 20th, 2020
- Meet the Petersons: the controversial family plagued by ill health - Telegraph.co.uk - February 20th, 2020
- Ex-benzodiazepine user relating to Peterson says withdrawal 'hell' needs awareness - The Chronicle Journal - February 20th, 2020
- Jordan Peterson enters rehab after wife's cancer diagnosis - February 9th, 2020
- Jordan Peterson recovering from tranquilizer addiction in Russia - New York Post - February 8th, 2020
- He nearly died several times: Controversial academic Jordan Peterson seeks to recover from addiction, daughter says - Toronto Star - February 8th, 2020