Left and Right

Freddie DeBoer On The Left Eating Itself

Appears in this episode

Andrew Sullivan

Freddie is a writer and academic. He’s been a prolific freelancer at publications such as the NYT, the WaPo, Harper’s, The Guardian, Politico, and The Daily Dish. His first book was The Cult of Smart (reviewed on the Dish as “Bell Curve leftism”), and his new book is How Elites Ate the Social Justice Movement. You should also follow his writing on Substack. A longtime friend of the Dish, Freddie is someone I felt I knew from his writing. He’s somewhat different in person.

You can listen to the episode right away in the audio player above (or on the right side of the player, click “Listen On” to add the Dishcast feed to your favorite podcast app). For two clips of our convo — on the hypocrisy of helicopter parents on the left, and the relative evil of US foreign policy — pop over to our YouTube page.

Other topics: Freddie’s upbringing in NYC as a Red Diaper Baby; coming from a long line of communists; his father was a theater professor who took him to Indonesia; his mother, an environmental activist, died suddenly of brain cancer when he was 7; his father died of alcoholism when Freddie was 15; his bipolar diagnosis at 20; the shame of mental illness and Freddie eventually owning it publicly; his 2017 scandal that “killed my career for understandable reasons” and put him in a psychiatric hospital; the awful side effects of meds; Freud’s view of relative happiness; how performative identify politics is destroying the left; Freddie renaming BLM “Black Professional-Managerial Class Lives Matter”; the loss of black lives skyrocketing after the summer of 2020; how cops disproportionately protect black Americans; how we need better policing and more police; why cops need to do their job even in the face of stigma; how middle-class blacks are more advantaged than white counterparts, especially in academia; how elite colleges “harvest” rich blacks from other countries; how black communities had less crime and more nuclear families before the 1960s; how the introduction of crack and the Drug War in the 1980s exploited black neighborhoods; how the left sees success as zero-sum among the races; white people who denounce themselves; how black Dems have always been a conservative force within the party; the positive changes of MeToo; the online posturing of “MemeToo” and how it has no effect on street harassment; and the dishonest criticism of Freddie’s book by the WaPo.

Browse the Dishcast archive for another convo you might enjoy (the first 102 episodes are free in their entirety — subscribe to get everything else). Coming up: Vivek Ramaswamy on his vision for America, Leor Sapir on the treatment of kids with gender dysphoria, and Ian Buruma on his new book The Collaborators: Three Stories of Deception and Survival in World War II. Later on: Spencer Klavan, Martha Nussbaum, Matthew Crawford, David Brooks and Pamela Paul. Please send any guest recs and pod dissent to dish@andrewsullivan.com.

Here’s a listener on last week’s debate with Sohrab Ahmari over the free market

Categories: Left and Right

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