Intellectual credibility is the most valuable currency

A couple days ago Scott Adams gave a Periscope congratulating the Democrats for their midterm House win, and praising America’s democratic-republic system. He also gives some ideas regarding healthcare and ‘the wall’. He also says people tend to overestimate the size and severity of problems. The last five minutes, however, of the broadcast is kinda cringe-worthy. It almost sounds like something the left would say. I mean, if the left are purveyors of fake news and want Trump to fail, why wish them well. I’m sure there are diminishing returns to diversity, as Europe’s migrant crisis has shown.

Yet in spite of Scott Adams praising diversity and congratulating Democrats, his video would likely be well-received on various right-wing forums and communities, such as /r/the_Donald. How is that possible. Why would they want anything to do with someone who praises the left and diversity (and pretty much a centrist), when there are plenty of conservatives.

The answer is, Scott Adams conveys much need intellectual credibility, that the ‘right’ is sorely lacking, and such credibly is so important and uncommon that special allowances are made. That is why Jordan Peterson is still held in high regard by /r/the_Donald and other far-right subs despite Vox Day’s multiple take-downs and Peterson’s poorly-received tweet imploring Kavanaugh to step down. All over Twitter, left has tons of intellectuals and social scientists among the ranks (it’s not that the right is not as smart as the left, but perhaps the left is more drawn to the social sciences than the right). The right has far fewer. It has Charles Murray, and at times has co-opted Steven Pinker. It also has Nassim Taleb, although Taleb shuns intellectual credentials and the social sciences.

As discussed in the post Intellectual Laziness, Jordan Peterson gives the ‘right’ the intellectual weight, nuance, and credibility it needs, especially as it pertains to political issues:

Jordan Peterson is not right about everything. Some of his ideas, such as lobster hierarchies being analogous to human hierarchies, have not been vetted. As Vox Day points out, Dr. Peterson likely overestimates the IQ of Ashkenazi Jews, which is probably closer to 103-105 (for Ashkenazi Jews residing in the U.S.) than the 115 score given by Peterson, who makes no distinction between Israeli Jews and American Jews. The ’100 million deaths under Communism’ figure he often cites likely overstates the actual total by 40-60 million. The style of discourse he employs is as important, if not more so, than the veracity of content of his lectures and videos, because he conveys intellectual credibly through the somewhat high-pitched tone of his voice, his ‘scrappy professor’ appearance, his quick-witted extemporaneous style of speech, and this is a major reason why he is so effective. But the left does not know how to handle someone like Jordan Peterson, who, unlike mainstream conservatives such as Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh, conveys much more intellectual credibly and appeal to young people. It’s easy to dismiss National Review and Fox News as being out-dated and washed-up ,which they largely are, but JP infuses new energy and ideas into the ‘right’, so the left’s tactic of labeling the ‘right’ as anti-intellectual no longer work as well. Unlike TV pundits, Dr. Peterson engages in constructive dialogue rather than shouting-down his opponents and resorting to name-calling. Jordan Peterson’s ideas are presented as self-evident and axiomatic, rather than him trying to push an ideology, further adding to his effectiveness. It’s like yeah, gender differences are real and are biological.

Someone such as Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh cannot do that. Their style can be described as anti-intellectual. In order to counter left-wing intellectuals, the right needs its own intellectuals (or at least someone that conveys intellectualism). Furthermore, such intellectuals are useful for converting (or as some say “red pilling”) the undecided.

Scott Adams fills that role. Although some of his view are left-wing,as the Periscope video shows, he occasionally drops enough ‘red pills’ that he is still a net-positive for the right. Scott praises ‘Enlightenment’ democracy and diversity, yet consistently challenges left-wing narratives as it pertains to epistemological certainty; for example, many on the left are certain Trump is a racist, a fascist, etc., and Scott gives examples of how Trump’s actions refute this narrative.

Same for Sam Harris, who is also, somewhat surprisingly, respected by the high-IQ right despite ostensibly being liberal, because, like Jordan Peterson, through his monotone delivery, his attire, and academic credentials (philosopher, a PHD in neuroscience) conveys intellect, and he rejects the left’s ‘biological constructivism’, arguing that things such as IQ, race, and gender differences are immutable and not merely social constructs and that such differences manifest themselves in many facets of society, such as the STEM gender gap. Dr. Harris, in his criticism of Islam, rejects moral relativism, a view many on the right can agree with.