In this episode of the podcast, Sam Harris speaks with Jesse Singal about a variety of controversial topics. They discuss fragmentation in the media, bad incentives in journalism, Jesse’s encounters with cancel culture, transgender activism, the case of J.K. Rowling, the capture of cultural institutions by the far Left, racism, class inequality, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, whether Jesse should try psychedelics, and other topics.
This thread is for listeners’ comments
I really liked the guest’s cautious approach to the subjects, while I must say that I feel Sam’s analysis was often way too simplistic. For him, the Palestinians are just genocidal maniacs, because Islam. For Sam, there doesn’t seem to be a difference between the Islamic State, Hamas and and ordinary inhabitants of Gaza. Sam says that “Israel has left Gaza”, ignoring that it is still in full control of all its borders, that it has destroyed Gaza’s airport and blocks its seaport. So Gaza is just (as Sam actually says) a prison camp, and there are occasional mutinies by the inmates.
The daily experience of many Palestinians is that they are denied very basic dignity, that even within the Westbank they cannot move freely. Their experience is quite similar to that under South African apartheid. With the aggravating factor that Israel is doing all it can to change the population structure of the Westbank. This is not a genocide, but it is an ethnic cleansing in slow motion. And that’s no secret. Right wing Israeli politicians are quite open about this.
And I feel, the solution also has to be similar to South Africa, given that Israel is not going to give up control over the Westbank: A single democratic secular state for everyone living between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, no matter their ethnicity, religion or language. When Apartheid ended, South Africa was not partitioned into a myriad of ethnically homogenous banthustans, and the same wouldn’t be a viable solution for Israel/Palestine either. This may sound utopian, but this utopia may be the only option left.
Great podcast to listen to two interesting like minded people discussing their own views about current events, which isn’t necessarily fortified by a fixed institutional backing. My one thought about the Israeli / Palestinian conflict which may or may not have been brought up somewhere along the line in the history of the conflict in searching for viable solutions is; if by enlarge the International political climate unilaterally agrees on the Humanitarian inflictions to Palastianian civilians then why can’t some sort of asylum be offered for all Palestinians who want it, and become refugees to a long list of preexisting countries ready to receive them to avoid unnecessary bloodshed the moment conflict breaks out?
And my second comment on this episode is in regards to Sam’s statement about psychedelics as there is no real assurance against having a bad trip. From the studies I have read and from my own personal experience cannabis when consumed with CBD, as an additional supplement, is scientifically proven to mitigate many negative side effects like paranoia, if not actually counteract certain aspects of the THC’s -psychoactive properties thus reducing the likelihood for a bad trip -especially to some HSP’s (Highly Sensitive People) out there who may be predisposed to it (a bad trip) happening.
if by enlarge the International political climate unilaterally agrees on the Humanitarian inflictions to Palastianian civilians then why can’t some sort of asylum be offered for all Palestinians who want it, and become refugees to a long list of preexisting countries ready to receive them to avoid unnecessary bloodshed the moment conflict breaks out?
So you suggest solving the conflict by relocating one of the parties? That’s what we call “ethnic cleansing” and it should be a big no-no in the 21rst century. Unfortunately, what we see playing out is already an ethnic cleansing in slow motion with Israel slowly changing the population structure of the West Bank, which is clearly something an occupying power is prohibited from doing under any circumstances.
What’s more: If someone suggests that the Jewish Israelis just leave and go back to Europe, that’s usually labelled anti-semitism (probably rightfully), and even genocidal. So we shouldn’t make the same suggestion in the other direction.
Any solution to the conflict must be a just one, striving for truth and reconciliation. There is no law of nature prescribing that the conflicting parties may never come together, but to do so, both sides have to accept that the other side is there to stay. And a sustainable end result can only be a single democratic secular state with equal rights for all, regardless of religion, ethnicity and language. It may be a long way until this becomes even remotely possible, but all other solutions have already become impossible altogether.
At about 36:00 Sam’s proposal to the oligarchs he was speaking to/with is for them to (illegally?) collude to blackball people that express troublesome political views. It’s funny that he brought up the Star Chamber in this section, given that
The term star chamber refers pejoratively to any secret or closed meeting held by a judicial or executive body, or to a court proceeding that seems grossly unfair or that is used to persecute an individual.” - https://www.mtsu.edu/first-amendment/article/820/star-chamber
I don’t find his position here very compelling, and in conflict with “the solution to bad speech is more speech”
At about 36:00 Sam’s proposal to the oligarchs he was speaking to/with is for them to (illegally?) collude to blackball people that express troublesome political views. It’s funny that he brought up the Star Chamber in this section, given that (...)
Since he gave no hint as to when this meeting took place and who participated, I honestly doubt that it took place as he recounts it.
It is quite hard for me to imagine that Google, Facebook, Twitter and co are just so intimidated by the incredible economic power of the woke mob. I doubt that this power exists.
Also, if he sees craziness mainstreaming on the left but being totally fringe on the right, he seems to have missed that we just had 4 years of the craziest right wing conspiracy nut in the highest office in the land and that Lauren Bobert and Marjorie Taylor-Greene are no longer fringe but republican mainstream, while those who used to be mainstream such as Liz Cheney are now fringe.
Sam’s total fixation on the woke mob is a bit weird, I have to say, totally out of proportion.