EDITOR OF REDSTATE
The Epistemic Nonsense of Vegetarian Philosophers
I’ve never used the word epistemic until last week and I bet you have not either.
There has been a circle of the mundane percolating up on thoughtful websites most people don’t read that finally made it to the New York Times. I’d say go read it, but then you would see that RedState is mentioned and the point made at RedState is taken wholly out of context. To be fair, the New York Times did not do it. The culprit was one of the vegetarian philosophers who doesn’t like red meat rhetoric.
And that’s what this all boils down to. There are some center-right vegetarian philosophers out there who are upset that Mark Levin can sell a popular book, we can use words like socialism to describe Barack Obama’s policies, and these vegetarian philosophers have trouble dealing with red meat rhetoric.
Of course, it is our fault, not theirs. As the New York Times notes, “[Epistemic closure] is being used as shorthand by some prominent conservatives for a kind of closed-mindedness in the movement, a development they see as debasing modern conservatism’s proud intellectual history.” It is important to note that we wouldn’t even have this conversation about the left because the left is not really proud of and tries to ignore its intellectual history.
We conservatives are just not serious enough according to the vegetarian philosophers. Note too that a lot of the handwringing is by vegetarian philosophers that no conservative thinks is actually a conservative, but these vegetarian philosophers will fight to the death if you dare suggest they are something other than a conservative. Their friends and fellow travelers are all on the left, but with the ranks filled up there, they pose as conservatives, or at least right-of-center intellectuals who reject all the intellectual history of the right while perversely crying that those faithful to the history are ignorant of it.
In reality, what this whole discussion is over is simple. Everyone being attacked by the vegetarian philosophers is being so polite dancing around the core issue here. Smug 20 and 30 somethings who don’t relate well outside NY-DC-LA are not interesting, do not sell books, do not get TV talking head contracts, and generally hack people off by their inability to relate to anyone other than smug 20 and 30 somethings in NY-DC-LA who think they are cool because they like “drinking beers at Solly’s or Local 16 or The Big Hunt,” in one of these guy’s own words.