July 10th, 2019



I'm using the term in the cosmological sense of so massive a phenomenon that it collapses upon itself.  The motivation for this post is two recent books, Derek Hunter's Outrage, Inc.: How the Liberal Mob Ruined Science, Journalism, and Hollywood; and Robby Soave's Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump, which I shall combine as Book Reviews No. 5 and No. 6.

The pairing might strike observers as flawed, in that Mr Hunter is an older polemicist with previous experience at Daily Caller and Heritage, while Mr Soave is a younger Reason columnist whose tone is sometimes more in sadness than in anger at the work of his co-cohorts.

Taken together, though, the two books provide a response to the trendy thinking of many young people and leftist radicals of various stripes, and this review will take the form of a mini-dissertation attempting to provide the intellectual foundations of a more rigorous rebuttal to the trendy thinking.  I'm going to take the ideas out of the order in which they appear in either book, but when we're done, we might see that fifty or sixty or a hundred years of bad ideas have culminated in what traffics in the rubric of intersectionality.
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Meanwhile, we're in an inverse-Casablanca world in which the problems of a few people suffice to turn everything upside down, without any thought to what comes next.  Come to think of it, that's the problem of the original Marxism as well, isn't it: misguided critique followed by chaos.

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)