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Dave Rubin on Political Correctness, the Need for Civil Discourse, and Why He Became a Libertarian

The YouTube sensation headlined Students for Liberty's LibertyCon and embodied the tolerance and good humor he espouses as an interviewer.

On Friday, March 2, I interviewed the popular YouTube commentator Dave Rubin at the start of Students for Liberty's annual gathering, LibertyCon.

The Q&A was streamed live by C-SPAN and covered a wide range of topics, including Rubin's transition from a hardcore progressive to a moderate libertarian, the rise of political correctness on college campuses, and why people who disagree need to stage civil conversations.

Watch by clicking below:

LibertyCon, C-SpanLibertyCon, C-Span

For more information on Students for Liberty, including how to find or start a campus branch, go here.

For more information about LibertyCon 2018, go here. For a list of Reason panels that took place, go here.

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Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • John||

    The whole point of PC is to control thought by controlling language. It is also about humiliating people into submission by forcing them to say things they know are lies in the name of politeness. And it never ends. It is like a shark. Once everyone is brought into conformity on one issue, another must be created so that the cycle of humiliation and control can continue. Even two years ago there was nothing controversial about saying there are two genders. Today we have this.

    http://www.lifezette.com/momze.....o-genders/

    Lake Ingle, a religious studies major, is being singled out for his binary and biblical views on gender. The college student, in other words, is facing severe academic punishment for being politically incorrect.

    Ingle was barred recently from attending a religious studies course called Self, Sin, and Salvation — a graduation requirement at Indiana University of Pennsylvania — after he questioned an instructor about white privilege and asserted there are only two genders, as Campus Reform noted.

  • Microaggressor||

    after he questioned an instructor about white privilege and asserted there are only two genders

    Undermining the faith. There is room for only one religion it seems.

  • chemjeff||

    It is also about humiliating people into submission by forcing them to say things they know are lies in the name of politeness.

    So your complaint is about the standard that others have for what constitutes "polite"?

    You can't control how others will respond to your speech. That is what "anti-PC" is really about - trying to force listeners to respond to speech in a manner that the speaker approves of.

  • John||

    Good god, you are a fucking moron. No. Anti PC is about my being able to say what I want. No one says you have to like it. You just can't claim I can't say it. PC is about controlling what can be said. Otherwise, what is the point? You can always be offended.

    Realy, it is staggering how stupid you are sometimes.

  • chemjeff||

    You just can't claim I can't say it.

    Who is arguing this position? Yes there are some people who want to "ban hate speech". Which is stupid and wrong. But in the rest of the cases where the anti-PC whiners get their knickers in a bunch, no one is prevented from speaking their mind. Even in the case of the article you cited, no one stopped this student from speaking or publishing her op-ed. The anti-PC crowd wants it both ways: they want to be able to say whatever they want, including all manner of offensive shit - which I support their right to do so - but they also want to control how their audience responds to the speech, which I don't support.

  • John||

    Even in the case of the article you cited, no one stopped this student from speaking or publishing her op-ed.

    They just told him he had to apologize for his wrong thnk or he would fail the class and not be able to graduate. The fact that you don't see a problem with that says everything anyone needs to know about how stupid and horrifyingly ignorant and authoritarian you are.

  • chemjeff||

    John, first, your article is very thin on details on what this student did. Here is a better account:

    http://dailycaller.com/2018/03.....-feminism/

    It appears that this student was disruptive in the classroom and did not follow the instructor's rules for discussion about a particular film. He's not being punished for "wrongthink". He's being punished for being an argumentative ass and not obeying the instructor's ground rules. The student is the one turning this episode into an anti-PC crusade. And you are falling for it hook line and sinker because it fits with your worldview of course.

    But even still, John, let's even suppose that you are right - that even if this student wasn't being a jackass in the classroom, that the instructor was punishing this student for his "errant" views. Was this student denied the right to speak? NO. What you want to do is take away the instructor's right to disagree.

  • JoeBlow123||

    I would be pretty annoyed if I was paying a couple hundred per credit hour and then forced to:

    "Ingle told TheDCNF that he objected to the discussion because Downie allegedly prompted the class to talk about "the reality of white male privilege," systemic male sexism, and concepts like "mansplaining" based on Williams' talk."

    That whole premise is a bunch of bullshit. But then again this is a good reason to never take a class titled such a ridiculous title or pursue such a ridiculous major. Then again, however, my brother was a religious stidies major before he was a doctor, he just needed a degree and premed wasn't any better than anything else. So there is that too.

  • JoeBlow123||

    Dude did you read this article and what you got out of this is that the student was disruptive?

    "Downie asked that Ingle agree to write an apology to her for "behavior which has significantly damaged the learning environment of this course," begin class on March 8 by reading an apology to the class, and then listen silently as Downie opened up the floor for herself and Lake's classmates to share "how he or she felt during Lake's disrespectful and disruptive outbursts.""

    Know what this is? It's a fucking "Struggle Session" and the Chinese Communists used to do this shit. I have read he results of these sessions often broke people mentally into mush. Is this practiced in academia now?

  • chemjeff||

    PC is about controlling what can be said.

    Let me put it another way. Any well-functioning society is going to have some sort of taboo or customs proscribing certain behavior. For example, it is generally regarded as impolite to discuss gross or disgusting subjects while people are eating. There is no law however forbidding it. You have every right to discuss in gory detail your latest colonoscopy while dining with your associates. But if your dining partners get offended by your speech, they ALSO have the right to respond to your speech with speech of their own, and actions of their own (as long as they don't violate your rights of course). If you want to avoid this scenario, the solution is not to try to control the responses of your associates, but for you to choose your associates more carefully, ones for whom this particular social taboo does not apply. You and the rest of the anti-PC whiners are just upset that the *mainstream* social custom has become more accepting and tolerant of ideas that you reject. Well too bad. You don't have to associate with those social conventions if you don't want to, and if you want to change social conventions then start persuading that your vision for how others ought to be treated should become more prominent, instead of whining that not everyone agrees with you.

  • John||

    Let me put it another way, PC is using manners to make certain things verboten. If they can't be said, they can't be debated or ultimately spread. I don't have to refute you. I just declare your position against the rules to utter and I have won.

    It is using societies conventions against it. Go fuck yourself you miserable totalitarian bastard. Put your foot on someone else' face.

  • chemjeff||

    PC is using manners to make certain things verboten.

    Welcome to civilized society! Yes, there are social conventions and taboos. What is your plan, that there shouldn't be any? I doubt it. You are upset that the mainstream social conventions are not ones that you agree with. Well too fucking bad. No one forces you to adopt mainstream conventions in your own life.

    Go fuck yourself you miserable totalitarian bastard.

    You are the one who wants to subjugate the moral judgment of listeners to whatever the speaker deems appropriate.

  • hello.||

    No one forces you to adopt mainstream conventions in your own life.

    Other than forcing you out of the work force, forcing you out of academics, and then shouting you down or beating your face in if you complain.

    You are the one who wants to subjugate the moral judgment of listeners to whatever the speaker deems appropriate.

    Good little Alinskyite. Keep projecting.

  • chemjeff||

    Other than forcing you out of the work force....

    Suppose I'm a communist and I interview for a job at your firm. I open my interview with "Hi, I'm a communist, will you hire me?" Would it be permissible in your world for you to refuse to hire me for this job based on my ideology alone? The answer is yes - you as an employer have association rights and property rights and you may exercise those as you see fit.

    Now suppose I disguise my communist sympathies, and I'm an otherwise qualified employee so you hire me. But then you find out that I really am a communist (the hammer and sickle flags gave it away) and you fire me on the spot. Would you be justified in doing so? That would still be yes - property rights, freedom of association, etc.

    Now suppose I am *not* a communist, you hire me, and you discover that an online Twitter mob has denounced me for being a communist, and complained to you demanding that I be fired. Since you are very anti-communist, your company's reputation is based on anti-communism, and having a suspected communist working for you would damage your brand, you decide to fire me, just to be safe, even though I may not be a communist. Would you be justified in doing so? That would still be a yes - you still have your freedom of association rights and your property rights and you may exercise those as you see fit.

    At what point is the answer "no, employers should be forced to hire employees they don't want to"?

  • chemjeff||

    Other than forcing you out of the work force, forcing you out of academics, and then shouting you down or beating your face in if you complain.

    Are you entitled to a job?

    If no employer will hire you because - hypothetically speaking - your views are so noxious that no sane employer wishes to have anything to do with you, then what in your view is the remedy for this situation? Force an employer to hire you anyway?

  • JoeBlow123||

    "Let me put it another way. Any well-functioning society is going to have some sort of taboo or customs proscribing certain behavior."

    Perhaps a certain society might have a taboo against individuals who reside in certain locales in an illegal manner, off the grid one might say?

    :)

  • hello.||

    That is what "anti-PC" is really about - trying to force listeners to respond to speech in a manner that the speaker approves of.

    Good little Alinskyite. Keep projecting.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    From the New York Times Twitter: A majority of students in every demographic drew a line for hate speech, saying that it does not deserve First Amendment protection.

    This is a promising development. See also Is the First Amendment too broad? The case for regulating hate speech in America by Reason contributor Noah Berlatsky.

    Civil discourse is better served when some ideas are considered so revolting, expressing them is against the law.

  • John||

    Nothing promotes discourse like restricting what can be said and thought.

  • SIV||

    See also Is the First Amendment too broad? The case for regulating hate speech in America by Reason contributor Noah Berlatsky.

    Good catch

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    It's a little disappointing he only had one Reason piece in 2016 and one in 2017. He should be featured more often.

  • John||

    Berlatsky is a real piece of work

    Free speech advocates also overstate the benefits of free speech, Delgado and Stefanic argue. The ACLU and its adherents claim that marginalized people who ask for restrictions on hate speech don't understand the importance of free speech to civil rights movements. But that argument is paternalistic, and also incorrect.

    In reality, free speech rights have rarely protected black people in this country — especially activists of color. "The First Amendment co-existed quite comfortably with slavery for nearly 100 years and was never thought to cover abolitionist speech or speech deemed adverse to American interests," Delgado told me in an email.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    You were kind of fun in the beginning, but now you're barely trying.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    How dare you question my commitment and sincerity. Drumpf and the white nationalist movement he represents are even scarier now than they were a few months ago when I started posting here, and my passion for left-libertarian advocacy is at an all time high.

    Plus when I post links, I make the effort to use the preview feature so I know they actually work. Unlike some people.

  • John||

    You are just boring. D- You need to develop a personality. For example Tony and Shreek have created fake personas that go beyond the bland talking points they put out. You haven't done that. You just have the bland talking points. And those are never that interesting. You need the human element to be a good troll.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Not a troll. A spoof. The distinction is unimportant, but it does exist.

  • John||

    I guess. Whatever it is, it is very tiresome and not very entertaining.

  • Microaggressor||

    Tony and Turd are genuine - and that's why it's so much more satisfying to watch them squirm.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Although I am having a fun time with this: Tension between free expression and inclusion

    A tension with being really inclusive and being sort-of-kind-of inclusive.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    You are getting predictable and boring, but I'll play along for a while longer.

    One of the hallmarks of a "good" rule is whether that rule is compatible with itself. If that rule were enacted, could its merits be debated?

    Another hallmark is whether a rule's proponents have considered a rule's enforcement under the enemy administration?

    Restrictions on speech fail both. Hillary lovers would hate to have Donald Trump deciding what is hate speech. Trumpistas would hate to have Hillary deciding what is hate speech.

    And by definitions, debating "what is hate speech?" is hate speech itself, according to all the people who want to outlaw hate speech.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I've been really enjoying the Rubin Report as of late. If you want to hear guests speak for an hour and a half, unedited without a Harpy continually interrupting and saying, "So what you're saying is..." this is the best platform for it.

  • Microaggressor||

    He should make some 10 minute highlight reels. Ain't nobody got time for the full video. Except when I'm spending the evening alone. Dave makes me feel included and diversified.

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