This conversation is too good to paywall, so I’m sharing it with the world. My last discussion with Amy Wax, which focused mostly on immigration, went viral (see podcast and video and transcript), and since she recently reviewed my book for The American Conservative we decided it was the perfect time to talk again.
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We of course begin by discussing the review, which focuses on the question of how honest we should be about the sources of racial differences in achievement. At the beginning it looks like we disagree, but I came to realize that we both in practice advocate what Amy calls “soft realism,” that is, the idea that we should denounce the theory that racism is the source of group disparities while stressing that government cannot change them.
This leads to a discussion of birthrates more generally, and the problem of fewer people having babies, particularly the most accomplished among us. I bring up the issue of biotech, and it turns out that we think about these things in different ways. I don’t get the sense that Amy actually disagrees with me all that much on issues like surrogacy, but it seems that she’s much more forgiving of delusional egalitarian impulses coming from her own side, and finds reasons to give social conservatives the benefit of the doubt on assumptions that I’m pretty much willing to dismiss completely. I ask her about the possibility of getting around uncomfortable questions about group differences by putting our faith in things like genetic engineering and embryo selection, which would require supporting the left. We also discuss how the influence of Christianity on the right reinforces the left’s faith in blank slatism.
Recent events made me eager to discuss Amy’s own experience with the Penn bureaucracy, and whether the resignation of Liz Magill makes it more or less likely they will go ahead with firing her. There are two potential models here. One might think that, because they’ve been bullied into embracing more restrictive speech policies, that’s bad for Amy. Alternatively, one might say that they’re afraid of being accused of political bias or hypocrisy, so that means she’s safer. This gets down to a fundamental question of whether you believe elite institutions follow a kind of ideological logic or they’re just responding to political pressures.
In the process, Amy paints a picture of the kind of people who run universities. I would argue that she provides an overall hopeful message, since if they respond to incentives, it means that those who control the purse strings can push them in a different direction. This is what I argue originally happened with civil rights law, when race- and sex-consciousness were forced onto elite universities, along with the private sector.
You can listen to the podcast here, or watch the video below.
Amy is a delight to talk to, and I think that our last conversation went viral for a reason. In many respects we see the world similarly, but we differ in ways that are interesting enough to focus on and build a conversation around. We’re both secular and right-leaning, with a strong belief in the importance of heredity, but Amy nonetheless finds some room for agreement with social conservatives even as I am unable to hide my contempt for some of their views, particularly those that touch on reproductive freedom. We both hate wokeness of course, but she sees the only potential salvation as coming from conservatives, while I see the theocratic right as another radical egalitarian monster that needs to be dealt with, and is in many ways worse.
Below is the transcript of our conversation, lightly edited for clarity.
Is Honesty the Best Policy?
Richard: Hi everyone. Welcome to my podcast. I’m here once again with Amy Wax. Amy, last time we talked it was I think one of the most listened to podcasts we’ve had, if not the most listened to. I think it was you, and there was one with Tyler Cowen that got a lot of attention, but it was up there. People really, really liked that. So yeah, I saw that you reviewed my book in The American Conservative and I thought it was a great opportunity to talk once again.
Amy: Well, good.
Richard: And you know your critique is something I’ve thought about. It’s funny, have you seen the Atlantic review of my book?
Amy: There have been a number of them. I cannot claim to have read them all. What? Was the Atlantic one positive? I wouldn’t expect that from the Atlantic.
Richard: No, it wasn’t. Well, there’s been a lot of Atlantic pieces about me generally, but there was only one book review in the Atlantic. And it was this guy named Tyler Austin Harper, he’s some black college professor who is anti-woke, but his thing is like, he’s very angry that I didn’t denounce race realism in the book. So his thing is like, “oh, his arguments about where wokeness came from, those are you know, those seem more correct. That’s right. But I am, you know, deeply disappointed that he seems to accept racist ideas.” And then yours is like the opposite, which is like I don’t talk about race realism. I do cite you for a lot of the IQ stuff. He’s right that I don’t run away from it but the question that you raise, right, and it’s a good question, is like how much do you need to get into the sources of group differences?
Richard: And your view is, you know, we’ve talked about this before, your view is you have to get into it. And my view is, I don’t know if you need to because people, you know, it’s do we need that much honesty like in the world of ideas, do honest arguments win or is it just sort of rhetorical ploys that win, right?
Amy: Mm-hmm. Well, did you see the Aporia debate? Bo Winegard sets up these kind of debates on his Aporia website. And he did one on this question of, can we just avoid talking about group differences? It’s so upsetting and kind of rude, and it’s very divisive, and really undermines social harmony.
Richard: Well, who should talk about them is the question, right? Like me and you could talk about it. Aporia could talk about it. I don’t have any problem with that. I don’t think everyone should. Right. Yes, but go ahead and finish about that symposium.
Amy: Well, I mean, the question is what we mean about “we,” right? You know, in the corners of the internet, people do talk about it quite openly with their own little coterie. There are debates, the data is there, but when you get out into the real world, the wide world of, you know, social life among the elites or even ordinary average people, and then of course, you know, in academia, in the media, anything like the mainstream media, in our institutions, it’s really a verboten topic. So I think when Bo Winegard is asking the question, should we talk about it more, he’s asking, you know, do we need to be more open about it generally in school, in universities, in intellectual centers of debate, etc. And I think, and I’ve become convinced of this, that, and Nathan Cofnas, who’s a very smart guy, has in part been, you know, an agent in convincing me of this, that wokeness really cannot be defeated until we do that. And I guess...
Amy: …the reason I think that is summarized by the phrase I use in my review of your very interesting book, which is it takes a theory to beat a theory. That’s what the philosophers say. If you ever go to a philosophy seminar, whatever, “it takes a theory to beat a theory,” right? So you can criticize wokeness all you want, but until you have sort of an alternative explanation account of why things are the way they are, you will slide down towards wokeness. And I think, let me just add one point here, and I made this point in my review of Charles Murray’s book, Facing Reality, which actually faces up to these differences, but avoids speculating about where they come from. I actually think that, you know, these sources have to be confronted once you implement race blindness, meritocracy, all of these defaults that the anti-woke crowd wants to see, their ideal universe is going to be colorblind. It’s going to be meritocratic. And I think you would sign on to that from your book. But what will happen when we have a true meritocracy?
What will happen when we have real color blindness? Well, what will happen is there won’t be hardly any blacks in positions demanding very high cognitive ability. And here I’m talking about, you know, 130 IQ plus. So we’re talking about academic medicine, academic law, academia, generally, a lot of business positions, high tech positions, anything kind of technical and scientific, it’s going to be hard to get almost any blacks in those positions on a pure meritocracy. And you could say, nah, that’s not true, but actually the IQ numbers are really stark. They are really, really stark. So how are we going to sell that to the public?
Amy: How are you going to sell that to minorities? Why are there no black oncology professors or whatever, cardiology professors or people in prestigious tech positions? Why are there so few blacks at Google, etc? What’s our explanation for that?
Richard: Yeah, yeah, that makes sense. But let me ask you this. So why, so we do see group disparities that we don’t care about all the time. So we see Jews in positions of elite power and influence. How do we explain that? You know, we don’t talk about Jews….
Amy: Well, I’m not sure we can say people don’t care about that, but leaving that aside.
Richard: Well, people on the internet care. Yeah. Right. Well, if you bring it up, the answer is not, well, they just have higher IQs. That’s not the mainstream answer. The mainstream answer is, you are an anti-Semite, and you’re going to lead us to the Holocaust, basically, if you start talking about Jewish power. We have black over-representation in sports. People generally don’t care. So it seems like it’s socially constructed whether we care about these disparities or not. It doesn’t seem like it’s something in nature that we have to care about it. We could, or we could ignore it.
And 90% of disparities, we just ignore. So I say we just ignore the rest and defame anyone who wants to start pushing for government... Because this is the median position of the American voter. They’re not into behavioral genetics, and they don’t like racial preferences. Seems to me people maybe are not, it’s not a philosophy seminar. People can hold things in their mind that are sort of contradictory, right? And so maybe you don’t need this sort of honesty that you would need in a philosophy seminar. Maybe you just need regular politics and raising the salience of some arguments and decreasing the salience of others.
Amy: Well, I mean, I’m not going to disagree that it’s “socially constructed” in the sense that you can imagine another society that is much more accepting of group differences and hierarchy, right? But our society, for whatever reason, has evolved and this has been going on for a very long time and even de Tocqueville noted it as I said in my review, our society is obsessed with issues of equality. Now, of course, we have inequality all over the place that produces all sorts of cognitive dissonance. But when it comes to group inequality, this is a third rail. And I think with respect to black specifically or black and brown people, for a very long time, there has been this idea abroad that they are quote unquote less smart.
And so people are very, very sensitive to that. They are very reluctant to talk about that. They’re very reluctant to face up to it. And it’s moralized. You are considered a bad person if you notice these facts. Now, with Jews, quite frankly, Richard, if you go out there into the real world and talk to people about Jews, they will say, yeah, Jews are smart. Jews are smarter than other people. That’s something that people have been saying about Jews forever. The evidence is all over the place. It’s only when you get up to the elites that it’s somehow impolite or suspicious to talk about how Jews are smarter and, frankly, born smarter. That’s considered an outrageous thing to say. Well, anybody who doesn’t think that is deluded, quite frankly, in my humble opinion.
But then to say another group is not as smart, that just seems really so much worse, okay? But once again, I know that this is not a popular or fun thing to talk about, but if we don’t explain the paucity of blacks in certain positions that way, how are we going to explain it? You’re saying we just have to get people used to it. They just have to accept it, they have to get used to it, that people from different groups are not going to be evenly distributed throughout all positions and all statuses.
Well, how are we going to get them used to it? I mean, you go into any school, any educational institution, K-12 up, this is, it’s pounded into kids’ heads constantly. All groups are equal. All groups have the same latent ability, the same talents, the same interests. If society were right, they’d essentially be cookie cutter mirrors of each other. Of course, the irony here is if that’s true, like why do we need diversity? Since every group, you know, is going to be the same.
It’s odd, but no one would ever, ever teach kids that groups are not the same. That just isn’t done in 20th, 21st century America. So I don’t know how you move the needle on that.
Richard: So do you imagine a world, maybe, where in the Republican primary debate, Nikki Haley, they ask her, what are you going to do about racial inequality? And she says, well, [laughs] the black IQ is one standard deviation below the white IQ, so we’re never going to achieve equality. How do you want them to approach the subject?
Amy: Well, that’s, yeah, I think that’s probably asking for a lot, right? I guess this has to be, you know, stepwise. And the first step would be a kind of sense of resignation that this is not something that we as a society can do much about. We’ve tried very hard. We’ve tried all sorts of things, all sorts of services and programs and initiatives, etc. And it hasn’t really moved the needle. In my book, Race, Wrongs, and Remedies, I basically take the attitude that there are some things people can only do for themselves. So I think it would be a big step forward if someone like Nikki Haley, or Ramaswamy is the more likely person to say this right?
Richard: Did you see what Vivek said? Well, he actually went in the opposite direction. He said a few times, there’s no black kid I grew up with who couldn’t accomplish everything that I have as long as they had two parents. It was something, it was something, it was really, he went way in the other direction.
Amy: Yeah, oy vey, that’s all I can say. No, two parents would definitely help. So I’m not against that part, but for him to essentially take it to the mat and say, once again, everybody’s equal. If things were right, if conditions were right, if we could just jigger the knobs and push the right buttons, everything would be the same. That I think is taking the public in exactly the wrong direction.
But your question is a very good one. You know, what would be the rhetorical approach that would move us towards where we need to be? And I think you have to start with what I term in my review, soft realism, right? So soft realism doesn’t commit on nature versus nurture. It sets that aside. Nathan Cofnas has said that that’s never going to be a bulwark against wokeness, but I’m not sure about that.
You say, look, you know, different cultures, people have different cultures, different habits, different mindsets, behaviors, groups have different behaviors, for whatever the source may be. And we refuse to concede that racism is the source of these differences. But one thing we have to understand, and I think even Nikki Haley could say this, although I’m not sure, because she’s kind of a RINO. She’s not my candidate. But we don’t know how to change the culture. We don’t know how to change the culture as a society. And frankly, we probably are incapable of doing it because these changes have to come from within. And that was sort of what I said in my book. And if we could at least get there, that would be a big step forward, I think. But can you imagine a Republican candidate saying that? Can you imagine any politician saying that?
Richard: Yeah, you have to be, I mean, you have to sort of, yeah, I mean, they’re not big ideas people usually. And you’re right, I do think what you call soft realism is the sort of approach I take in the book, I talk about differences in IQ scores, I talk about you’re going to get these differences, I say at some point, I think government can’t fix them. So I think I do go sort of, you know, in the direction that you want. And this is what I see Charles Murray do too. I agree. So you’re not calling for... I think we both think the genetic argument is extremely strong, but you’re saying you don’t have to lead with that. You don’t have to. And maybe you never get to that. I mean, you just say government cannot fix it. Maybe that’s all you need. Right? Is that...
Amy: Well, you certainly don’t lead with that. I mean, I think soft realism is a two-step argument. The first step, and as I suggest in my review, many people don’t even take this step, is to acknowledge the mere fact of group differences, right? I mean, the fact of these overall pattern differences, differences in, let’s say, crime rates, differences in behaviors like crime rates or family formation. And then of course, academic achievement. Well, academic achievement is a proxy for ability or intelligence. Once you get to ability, intelligence, that’s when people start to get very nervous, right? But the fact is that we do see these IQ differences, right? So just acknowledging these differences is a big first step, which a lot of people are not willing to take. I mean, some people are and you do in your book unquestionably take that step. The second step is to try and identify sources or causes. So then the soft realist would say, well, these are cultural differences, these are behavioral differences. We don’t really know why they’re there, but they’re there. They’re very intractable, they’re intransigent, they’re hard to manipulate from the outside. Society can’t really change them. They’ve tried, we’ve tried and tried. If they get changed, it has to be through some organic process from within, right? That is mysterious and spontaneous or whatever. And that’s the second step of soft realism.
And what Nathan Cofnas would say is, well, the problem is when you say that, go in front of any, you know, do-gooder or conservative audience, and they’ll say, well, we have to do, we have to try, we have to fix it. We have to change the culture. What about this? What about that? Have we tried this? What about charter schools, you know? And you’re going down that road. I’ve talked to Heather Mac Donald about this because when she talks to audiences, mostly right leaning, she always gets this.
They don’t say that we can’t solve this problem. We will solve this problem. The moralistic fallacy, we have to solve this problem because we caused this problem. Well, that’s the other hypothesis. We caused this problem. Therefore, we have to solve this problem. But at least to have that discussion, that’s a bridge too far for most people in the political sphere. And it is a discussion that is rarely had in academia, I would say actually at this point, it’s never had. All of the conversation is outside of academia. But of course, if you take the next leap and become a hard realist, then you have to acknowledge the growing evidence, which I don’t claim is conclusive or definitive, but it is growing and accumulating that there are innate differences of various kinds between groups. And of course, the academic establishment is hell bent on ensuring that we don’t investigate these questions. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to an International Society of Intelligence research meeting, but it’s quite a surreal experience. You’ve got a community of very, very smart and teched up human genomics research types who are effectively trying to keep their head down and hide what they’re doing, right? Because they’re afraid that the progressive woke police will come after them. So it’s going to be very hard to sort of nail down these differences, but the suggestion is there, I’m sure you’re well aware of the data on this.
Richard: Yeah, of course. I probably think it’s even more conclusive than you do. You need a theory to beat a theory and I don’t think there’s any other theories that explain this sort of universality of the differences that we see. Yeah, I agree. I do see sort of, I think the mainstream conservative sort of position…. I think that what my sort of impression is that if you talk about culture, like that really takes off with right-wing people. They really do like it. Even like, you know, like Free Press, Barry Weiss, intellectual dark web sort of centrist types really, really will like slab onto that and they love it. They’ll share it. The genetics really, really starts to make them uncomfortable. And I don’t think it’s just race. I think if you go to a racially homogenous country and you talk about class differences and you say some people, you know, the children of some classes do better than the children of other classes because they’re genetically smarter. I don’t think there’s many societies that acknowledge this. I don’t know if there’s any societies that really acknowledge this to any great degree. And so, it seems like it is really, really an uphill battle to just get anyone into genetics. Even if we didn’t have these racial divisions in this country, it would still be hard just because people don’t like it. People don’t like the sort of deterministic nature of it.
Amy: Yeah, no, I can’t disagree with you. I absolutely can’t. I mean, I do not know how to get people to not just accept because accept is, you know, pretty far along, but even think about this, right? To even think about, I mean, you know, the fact that we’re having this conversation and doing this podcast. I mean, this just marks us out as really dangerous and evil people, that we would talk about this at all. But I just am wondering about the post-woke world and how are we going to get to a stable post-woke world in which the people who have achieved and are tested and shown to have achieved are the ones who are elevated by and large. I mean, of course, it’s never perfect. The meritocracy is never perfect, but, you know, it works pretty well, more or less. Take something like air traffic controllers, right? There’s been something written by Steve Sailer about that. I guess he’s taking off on a piece by Jared Taylor. Jared Taylor, who obtained all of this rather frightening data about how the federal government has thrown out the test results for air traffic controllers because too many whites and Asians do well and too few blacks and Hispanics pass the test. And this pattern is of course repeated in lots of different spheres. But for air traffic controllers, that’s when we all really get nervous because if we don’t have the best air traffic controllers as they like to say about COVID, people will die. I think it can be predicted that people will die. And it’s sort of an accident that’s waiting to happen. So, how do we get to the point, let’s have a very kind of low bar here. How do we get to the point where we convince the government to give up on diversity as an independent goal for air traffic controllers? And you cite the NBA. In the NBA, there isn’t a big push to get more whites or more Asians or more Jews or whatever. People don’t seem to care. Can we accomplish that for air traffic controllers? How do we do that?
Has the Internet Changed Things?
Richard: Yeah, I mean, I think most of our history, I mean, even after the civil rights era, it really, it sort of waxes and wanes, right? It sort of I think in the 1980s, I don’t know like how much we were thinking about air traffic controllers. You know, it seems like it goes through waves, because it seems like the government jobs come first. It seems that was like that’s the first, that’s just a racial distribution system, just direct stuff at the local level. And then the federal government comes later and then sort of the private sector comes later.
Do you think, is there a sort of just, on the right, a resistance to genetics? Well, first of all, do you think it’s crumbling a little bit because I think your average smart, young conservative, they’ve come across, they’ve grown up with the internet. You don’t just have to read National Review or whatever. So they’ve come across HBD. They’re not, you know, they’ve read this stuff often.
My experience, and I’m talking to a highly selected group, and maybe you have a different experience here, my impression is that young, smart conservatives understand this stuff. Is that your impression or not?
Amy: I, you know, we live in a very rarefied world because the young, smart conservatives who are, you know, overwhelmingly male, by the way, who are aware of this stuff, they’re a very rarefied group. That’s true though. I’m sorry to have to say it, right? Women really resist this. When I talk to students, well, in my university, which is an Ivy League university…
Richard: Just throw that in there for bonus, Amy. [laughter]
Amy: …the ones who want to learn from me, the ones who take my class, you know, they’re not necessarily conservatives, but they only, they want to know about conservatism. They are curious. They have gotten red pilled to some extent. They lean right. And when I talk to them about this, which I, I don’t do very much, I mean, it’s really only one or one and a half sessions of my year long course, where we talk about this stuff.
Boy, they are, first of all, they know nothing about it. Okay, they are the product of our indoctrinating K-12 and elite college system. And they can go through that entire system, you know, 16 years and the idea that there might be even behavioral differences, that’s the first step.
Okay, they literally don’t know that there are crime rate differences or they think this is just some kind of right-wing conspiracy theory. They have no idea what the out-of-wedlock birth rate is for blacks. If you ask them, they’re off by like several orders of magnitude. Okay, when you tell them it’s more than 70%, they are shocked and amazed and incredulous. They don’t know.
Richard: What do they think the white rate is? I would think they’re just in a bubble overall.
Amy: Okay, they’re just, they study race, inequality, sociology up the wazoo, but they’re never exposed to this stuff. Right. And the idea that there might be even IQ differences that are measurable. I had one very sincere, very intelligent student say to me, do you really believe all this IQ stuff? Like, do you really believe that there are these differences?
Amy: And do you believe that they have any significance? So what can I say to him? I said, well, do you think that some people are smarter than other people? I mean, let’s start with the basics here. We have to really start with the basics here, right? The whole idea that some people are smarter than other people is one that they’re having an aversion to, even though their everyday common sense experience is telling them that. There’s also a huge amount of cognitive dissonance because, you know, your day-to-day experience exposes you to the fact that there are stupid people and smart people. But in school, that idea is not just absent, but discredited. So you know, apart from this tiny, tiny faction of sophisticated right-wing guys who are curious about HBD, I honestly, I wonder how many people are even aware of this stuff. I honestly do.
Richard: Yeah, I think you might have convinced me because you’re getting a better, more representative sample of young smart people than I am. I’m not teaching students who happen to go to a university. I’m just on the internet and people are finding me and people who find me are unusual. And it sounds like you’re talking to people at Penn. Yeah, it doesn’t sound very hopeful. That sounds terrible. Yeah.
Amy: And this is the elite. I mean, you know, you, the guys I know who are outside the education system, they either never entered it professionally or they have avoided it. Think about the people who think about this stuff and talk about this stuff, who debate it, right? Cofnas, well, Cofnas actually is now, ironically, at Cambridge University. Bo Winegard, this guy, Warne, who’s written a book about intelligence. The people, you know, most of the people who are on the internet debating HBD, they’re not in the academy. Emil Kirkegaard, here’s another example for you, right? The people in the academy, the whole world of formal schooling is the world that these young people are going to come up through and what they’re indoctrinated with through their schooling is what you’re going to have to cope with.
I mean, this is actually the broader challenge of wokeness in general, right? Which is very much the subject of your book. How can you get kids who come up through this propaganda machine, how can you move them away from these woke attitudes? I know you recently wrote about how you think Jews are going to become more conservative and Republican. I mean, boy, from your mouth to God’s ear, I don’t think it’s going to happen because these kids are being churned through our school system, our education system. And they, wow, it takes a tremendous amount of independence of mind and kind of skepticism and almost rebelliousness to resist that.
Richard: Though I wonder how much, I mean, how much the school, you have the school system, but you also have the internet. And I just think that maybe the average person is just maybe not reading the news on the internet, but young people are getting all their news from social media. Twitter is now basically a free-for-all. You know, the race and IQ stuff is interesting because 10 years ago, before they really started messing with the Google results, you Google “race and IQ,” you get Richard Lynn and the maps right away.
Around 2015, I think 2016, they start messing with it. And you used to be able to go to Wikipedia and just get a straightforward presentation of race and IQ. You can’t do that anymore. So they really went, but at the same time, Elon Musk buys Twitter, people can basically say whatever they want on these topics. And so, yeah, it’s very interesting. I think young people wouldn’t even believe, you know, that someone like Arthur Jensen could be a professor at Berkeley, you know, 30 years ago, right? Like one of the most, I just want to sort of tell young people who are listening that like 30 years ago, there was a professor at Berkeley who would testify before Congress, who was one of the most famous psychologists, well-known academic psychologists in the country, who argued that the black-white IQ gap was genetic. Herrnstein was at Harvard too before he died, right? Amazing.
Amy: Right. Well, I don’t think Herrnstein ever really came down definitively one way or the other on nature versus nurture. But I think you’re making a very good point. You make an excellent point that, yeah, I say they are controlled by the school system and you’re saying, no, there’s the internet. I mean, the internet can’t be controlled by these institutions. So why aren’t they getting this kind of counterweight of, you know, other opinion from the internet?
And what I find, and I can’t explain it entirely, is that these kids almost immunize themselves from even looking at this stuff on the internet. There’s almost a kind of anti-inquisitive, anti-curiosity ethos that you just don’t go there. I call it this kind of PC zapper.
Amy: These kids have this fence around their brain where if anything that’s un-PC even approaches their brain, they zap it until it’s dead. I say to them, five minutes of snooping around on the internet and you’ll find all of this IQ stuff, all of this HBD stuff, it’s all there. Take a look at it. But it’s almost like they won’t even take a look at it.
Amy: You know, because they’ve been told so many times that it’s evil, that, you know, it’s right wing, that it’s white supremacist, that it’s made up, they shouldn’t go near it. That that’s the only way I can account for their ignorance.
Richard: You know, yeah, I mean, this makes sort of sense from a sort of human psychology perspective, right? People are judging arguments based on their prestige rather than their merits, right? So a low prestige argument that is only found on the internet, but your Ivy League university won’t tell you about it, right? That is a sign that this is an argument you stay away from.
I remember I had this one student when I was teaching at UCLA who was very smart. And he would, you know, he would curiously talk to me about politics or whatever. And whenever I would recommend he would read some things on whatever topic, he often wouldn’t read it. But if I ever mentioned anything that was in the New York Times, like he had read it already or he would go and he’d read it. Right? And he was just very familiar. Most people are not like sort of this, like sort of obvious in the extent to which they’re sort of prestige driven. But I think people just have this to some degree. If it’s in the New York Times, if it’s some major newspaper, then they’ll take it seriously. Those of us who just will go to the internet and find whatever idea seems to best explain the fact patterns and the data that we see in the world, that’s just rare. So yeah, you’re making a good case for sort of, it has to come from the top down. It has to be kind of, we have to make these ideas prestigious somehow.
Richard: Which I guess is one reason you can’t… We had this debate last time. You can’t just throw away the university. You need something. Something has to have prestige, right?
Amy: Yeah, and otherwise there’s self-policing. And the word prestige, yes, absolutely. It has a lot to do with prestige. But in the current era, prestige has become moralized. See, that’s part of what woke has accomplished is it has moralized these ideas or demoralized them so that they’re either good or evil and it’s contaminating somehow to even go near them. It’s a genuine taboo.
And I am continually fascinated by the outsized influence of the New York Times, which is just, you know, such a propaganda rag, so totally dishonest, you know, so full of falsehoods and half-truths. And yet there are a very significant number of incredibly influential people who, you know, whatever the New York Times says, that’s the truth. That’s what they believe, and that’s the source of all their knowledge. The New York Times is still incredibly powerful.
Christianity and the Denial of Heredity
Richard: Yeah, I think that’s right. Among conservatives, do you see sort of, with the recent sort of what’s going on in politics, we talk about racial differences and wokeness, what’s really influencing politics recently is abortion. And it just, I think really since Dobbs, it’s sort of really brought home to me how much people like me and you are in a coalition with these theocrats, basically, who are losing elections. And I just find this amazing where they use the same arguments as the left. They talk about anyone who’s pro-choice or who believes in surrogacy or IVF is a eugenicist. “We’re the people who are the true egalitarians. We believe everyone’s equal and everyone has worth.” Do you see sort of, how do you think about sort of the influence of the Christian right, this philosophy on the right and how it reinforces sort of the leftist resistance to genetics and, you know, race realism, all this stuff….
Amy: Well, yeah, absolutely. I think that the right falls into the trap of borrowing the playbook of the left and the language of the left and the paradigms of the left. Absolutely. They do it when they talk about emotional harm and upset and trauma. I mean, the whole anti-Semitism debate is, you know, straight out of the playbook of the left. Absolutely.
Amy: You have to understand that there is a very, very strong strain of egalitarianism in Christianity, right? I mean, a lot of these ideas come out of Christian belief, and so, you know, it’s in the air that if you tout equality and promote equality, you’re a good person, you’re a pious person, and only evil people defend hierarchy and inequality. So it’s very tempting for the right to borrow those concepts and that language.
Amy: And of course, once again, there are very important strains of Christianity that borrow that language. I think it’s a mistake, well, I mean, I think politically and pragmatically, it’s a mistake for Republicans to be hardline on abortion. But what they really ought to be doing is defending their positions on abortion and surrogacy and conventional sexual morality and the traditional family, they ought to be defending that from true conservative principles, which is that tried and true understandings and paradigms and practices and habits and institutions are the ones that ought to be defended and that we shouldn’t be changing things drastically because they are untested and likely to go wrong. I know that you’ve written extensively lately about surrogacy. I am sympathetic to your point of view to some extent, but the fact is, Richard, that taking a child, producing a child who will deliberately be separated from their mother is something that causes me to bristle, call it a prejudice. But I think that, you know, children need to be with their mother and they want to be with their mother and they’re entitled to be with their mother. Now, you know, that’s a primitive kind of fundamental propensity. Burke would call it a prejudice, a belief…
Richard: Are you just talking about gay surrogacy here? Because you could have a surrogacy with a heterosexual couple.
Amy: Yes, I am talking about gay surrogacy, right? But even heterosexual surrogacy, you are removing a child from its natural mother, its natural born mother and giving it to someone else. Now the problem with that argument, and I don’t want to get into this because it gets rather philosophically difficult is when you’re dealing with surrogacy, you’re dealing with the so-called non-identity problem. The alternative to creating a child through surrogacy is for that child not to exist at all. And then you have this problem of, you know, which is worse, to not be born or to be born into imperfect circumstances.
Richard: Well, especially since they’re disproportionately high IQ and they’re selecting for health. I mean, so the child also has a lot going for it, even if, you know, you’ve had children, you have a son, Amy, I don’t believe they suffer trauma at the birth, the lights are barely on. My experience is the lights seem barely on for the first five months or so. So it’s just hard for me to believe that there’s trauma for being separated from a mother.
Amy: Well, trauma is too strong a word. When they turn, when they get to be older, why do they start asking, who’s my mother? Who’s my father?
Richard: Well, you just tell them, you explain it to them, kids. So you explain the birds and the bees to kids, you explain to them in an age appropriate way. I didn’t know what sex was. I mean, nobody knows until they get older anyway. So what’s the big deal?
Amy: Yeah, but they still go searching. They still go looking. They still want to know, and they still want to find that person. And the question is, can you talk them out of that? And where does that impulse come from? Now you could say, you know, it’s not that important. I mean, part of me understands that argument. Wait, you’ve had two great parents. You’ve had an ideal upbringing. What are you complaining about? Why are you going searching for your mother, your birth mother? Your birth father, sperm donors, they have the same desire to know, right? Where does that come from? I mean, it’s, frankly, if you’re a conservative, you give the benefit of the doubt and the credit to those impulses, and you don’t try to argue them away. That’s really the difference, I think.
Richard: Yeah. Well, I mean, I just read Hayek’s, actually for the first time, I should have read it a long time ago, “Why I Am Not a Conservative,” and I think I’m with Hayek. I think I’m not a conservative, which is why I’m not enamored by these kinds of arguments. On a related topic…
Amy: But Hayek ended up as a conservative. I read that essay too.
Richard: He ended up conservative in what sense? Like he was still a liberal.
Amy: Well, I think at the end of his life, he embraced the sort of benefit of the doubt to traditionalism and traditional institutions a lot more overtly if you actually read the biography of Hayek and read some of his writings. The main reason he wasn’t a conservative in that essay is he was a rootless cosmopolitan. Circumstance created that situation. So he was not high on nationalism. He was sort of an internationalist. So that was one of the big reasons he gives, right? He gives other reasons. He thinks conservatives don’t want to change anything. They can’t innovate. They’re too rigid. Well, that turns out to be a misunderstanding of what conservatism and Burkianism is all about. So, you know, at the end of the day, I think here’s the thing about being conservative. It’s not a monolithic thing.
There are many different facets and aspects to conservatism. And you can buy into some of them and be skeptical of others, right? I think that if you teach a course on conservatism, as I do, you soon realize that. So don’t say you’re not a conservative. Please.
Richard: Yeah. In the American context, I mean, I say it’s close enough. Yeah, it’s close enough. You’re right. But I do agree with Hayek’s idea that basically, I’m not afraid of change. I mean, if conservative means… Hayek says, let’s have spontaneous order, and let’s have change, and conservatives often don’t like this. And I’m fine with it. And I think this will make me different from a lot of conservatives on biotech. But look, I know words are what they mean in the context. So in the American context of 2023, it’s probably not inaccurate to call me a conservative.
Amy: I think you’re more what Russell Kirk would call a chirping sectary, which is a libertarian. You should read that essay.
Richard: I don’t know. You’ve got to show me. Well, yeah, I mean, I would love to see your syllabus after this on American conservatism. I’d love to get some gems from that.
Amy: Anyway, getting back to race realism. When I wrote the review, I didn’t really mean it as a kind of anything that was chiding you or criticizing you even, because I think that it is just super, super hard to be a race realist. I mean, even if at the end of the day, woke is not going to be vanquished without some ilk of race realism, and I really am convinced of that at this point. I think that what that means, and it’s very scary to me and very discouraging to me, is that wokeism is going to dominate our institutions for a very long time to come. And all of this gyration about anti-Semitism and what’s happened in the Ivies and, you know, the president of my university being forced to quit and all that stuff. I just really think that is a surface blip because these institutions are just going to revert to their old ways. They are in the grip of these DEI bureaucracies. They are firmly entrenched and they are firmly entrenched for a reason because the default ideology is what I call delusional egalitarianism. You could turn it around and call it the egalitarian delusion. We are all in the grip of the egalitarian delusion. And what it means is we are not ready to accept the consequences in a “diverse society” of where meritocracy will take us.
Lesbian Couples and Aryan Sperm
Richard: Yeah, Amy, let me ask you, let me ask you this on race realism and related to sort of these reproductive tech issues. There’s a very smart liberal, I won’t say who it was, but I’ve heard that he has the private opinion that you don’t talk about race realism because you are going to get embryo selection and genetic engineering at some point, and you will eliminate racial gaps because everyone will want their children to be as smart as possible, which I don’t know if he says that this is the corollary of that, is that the people who are more pro-biotech are on the left. So is there perhaps a race realist case for just accelerating the biotech, letting liberals win and just, you know, you’ll solve all these problems at the end.
Amy: Well, I mean, you won’t. I don’t think we have the capacity right now to engineer away these group differences. I mean, the suggestion, the kind of naturalistic suggestion was intermarriage. If you mix all these races together, you’ll settle on a kind of, you know, average, gray average for the whole population. Now, people aren’t doing that. There’s a tremendous amount of racial segregation. And our society…
Richard: Yeah. Well, it doesn’t work anyway, because you have this class bifurcation, right? Where the highest class, smartest white people, the white people who tend to have children with blacks, I think I’ve seen data on this actually, tend to be lower educated anyway. So it’s not going to be a random mixing of the races.
Amy: Right. And it’s not a big trend in our society. I just think being able to embryo select, that isn’t really immediately on the horizon. And even if it is, people will still be selecting from among their own embryos, right? So that will necessarily limit the range that you can select from.
Amy: Because smarter people will have a smarter range of embryos to select from. There is a certain amount of eugenic selection that is going on. I know lesbians who go shopping for sperm donors, I call it shopping in the eugenic lesbian catalog. And when they do that shopping, they pay a lot of attention to, actually they pay some attention to SAT scores and IQ, not as much as you think. What they’re looking for is tallness, right? Height is very valued. Blue eyes, fairness, all these Aryan characteristics. I mean, athleticism, very big. Those are the traits that are favored. Oh, totally.
Richard: Yeah. And these are leftists usually, these lesbians looking for the Aryan sperm?
Amy: Yes, yes. And I mean, they don’t even see what they’re doing. Right? If you confront them with it, they kind of stare at you. So this is definitely going on, but it has to go on at a very vast scale to really make a difference. So I’m not really looking there for the solution to our problem. I think what I envision as the ideal, right, would be something like passive acceptance, you know, if most prestigious doctors are Indian or Asian, by the way, South Asians are basically taking over academic medicine from the Jews. Right? If most tech people are, you know, white males or white and Asian males, and that’s just how it all sorts out.
My ideal would be that people would just accept that. I mean, we’d get rid of D.I.E., we’d get rid of the agitation for parity, for representation of all races and all positions. We just, we would stop that whole runaway train and derail it entirely. And frankly, that’s a big ask. I mean, take the Wall Street Journal, which is supposed to be a conservative newspaper, Richard. Last Saturday in the review section, they had this full-page puff piece about Google’s diversity officer. Why the hell are they profiling Google’s diversity officer? Why does Google even have a diversity officer? Google should not have a diversity officer.
Amy: Nobody should have a diversity officer. What was this person doing? Oh, making sure that the screen on the computers was adjusted so people with different skin color will look right. Well, you know, they could get an ITS person to do that. All right, they don’t need to hire someone, a separate individual. God knows how much money to do that. So, you know, my ideal society is no diversity officers, no talk about diversity.
Richard: It sounds like a legitimate job. I mean, it sounds like good, useful work. [laughter]
Amy: Nobody pays attention to diversity. We just all sort ourselves out based on our interests, on our abilities, our performance, and that’s that. Okay. So I guess I would say to you, you know, think about how do we get there? I know your book tries to be about that. Okay. But I don’t think you really close the deal by saying, okay, now we have this society. What do our politicians say about it? What do our elites say about it? What does the mainstream media say about it? What do the influential pundits say about it? How are we going to talk about it? How are we going to not talk about it? That’s really the question.
Richard: I mean, but there’s so much that’s broader besides the race question, because I don’t know if you’ve seen the recent paper by Emil Kirkegaard and some others about dysgenic fertility. And this is the thing about like, you know, we talked about immigration last time, you know, you might worry about IQ going down. It’s you know, worldwide, we’re getting dumber. I mean, we’re getting dumber within the country. And you know, it’s just a trend. And it’s quite a frightening trend. Right. So, you know, do we…
Richard: This is why I think that the right-wing opposition to biotech, which I think is a much bigger deal than a lot of people, it’s not just that it loses Republicans elections, it’s actually bad. Because I do feel like a lot of our solutions to this stuff is going to be smart women freezing their eggs, paying for surrogates, embryo selection. I think the solution is going to be like, Israel, for example, has the highest birth rate in the developed world and also is the most open to this kind of, apparently not even the Ultra-Orthodox oppose this stuff. So is there just like, if we’re worried about IQ, if we’re worried about sort of the broad, we believe in human differences, about the broad sort of trend of humanity, it’s more than just saying, stop worrying about racial differences. It’s more about like, we’re all on the downhill slope and we have to find a way to reverse this.
Amy: Well, there’s a couple of things to say about that. I mean, the first is, as a good conservative, my impulse is not to go straight to the sort of high tech, you know, what is it, technological, futuristic solution to the problem. Let’s go back to sort of the old fashioned solutions to the problem, which is do something about the antinatalism that’s built into our culture, that has come to be built into our culture. When I talk to young women today, I am really upset and discouraged by how they talk about motherhood, how they talk about pregnancy, that it’s some awful, hideous experience that, you know, it’s a horrible form of exploitation, not some joyful, wonderful human thing, which you know, I, even though I’m a total bluestocking careerist, that’s my attitude because I’m 70 years old and I was brought up at a different time when women had different attitudes about being women and doing the stuff that women did. Like having babies and being mothers, you know, this is a wonderful, terrific, honorable and celebrated thing or ought to be celebrated. So we have a real attitude problem, I think in our society that especially infects elite women. How do we get elite women? So the question is, how do we get elite women to have more children? Feminism and women moving into the workforce, it makes that very, very difficult. The fact that everything is much more expensive. There are a million different factors that are redounding, that militate against that. So I would like to see people think about that more.
It is dismaying that high IQ people are having fewer children, lower IQ people are having more children. But at the end of the day, I’m not sure how concerned I am with that. I am more concerned about the fact that high IQ is so beneficial in our society that ordinary people, average people can’t create a decent life for themselves, that we don’t honor ordinary people in ordinary roles doing ordinary jobs, and that’s somehow considered to be a sort of failure. I think that is really a moral problem in our society.
Richard: How do we not honor them? I mean, I see politicians, they go, “I meet a regular truck driver, it’s great. I meet the waiter at the diner,” and they sort of disparage elites. It seems like to me, we do honor these sort of blue collar professions. Where do you see this idea that we don’t?
Amy: Well, we do and we don’t, okay? I mean, sure, there’s a lot of lip service paid to it, but I think at the end of the day, the elites are focused on themselves and their own status. I mean, there is this tremendous Yale or jail attitude among the elites that they’re completely oblivious to the sort of middle of the pack. I had occasion recently to go into a fancy private school to see a performance and the walls were just plastered with, of course, the usual diverse contingent of people. What is it like to be a scientist? I am a scientist. Tell me about your life as a scientist. Well, it’s almost as if being a scientist is the only thing you can be. You’re not going to see walls plastered with tell me about your life as an electrician, tell me about your life as a bricklayer. All of those sort of middle jobs, middling jobs, they’re just not even on the radar screen. There’s a school outside Philly called Williamson College of the Trades, which is just a wonderful place where boys are educated in all of these sort of hands-on trades and skills and the like. And I give very generously to this school, when I suggest to my elite friends, some of whom are quite monied, forget about giving Princeton money. God knows they have enough and they’re madrasas that you don’t even want to support, right? They’re destructive anti-Western institutions. Give to the Williamson College of the Trades. That’s where you ought to be putting your money because these are ordinary average people who need skills and jobs and they need to be able to build family life and communities, they don’t do it. They won’t do it. They’re not interested in doing it. Right? And that, I find it very hard to understand that.
Richard: Yeah, I mean, I don’t know. I think that these, you know, I think people who work hard and blue color jobs are doing fine. I mean, low class wages are doing very well in America compared to other places by historical standards. I don’t know if it’s the attitude thing because the fertility collapse is, you know, universal in basically all countries. Nobody has figured this out except really Israel. And so it’s just people are secular and they, I don’t know, they’re distracted. I think there’s just something here. This is why I sort of go to the technology thing. I don’t want government to do this, but I think a free market where people see the options available to them and can design babies and if they’re afraid of pregnancy, give it to a surrogate. I guess this is the liberal versus, or libertarian versus conservative thing where me and Hayek, I assume Hayek would be like, okay, and somebody else would be a little bit more scared of this future.
Amy: Maybe the solution is outsourcing. I mean, I don’t know. I know more and more highly educated women…
Richard: Well, we do that with childcare, right? Like highly educated women do hire people to watch their children, right? So, you know, just hiring somebody to be pregnant, it seems like just not that different, right? I think a lot of people would have been, conservatives would have been opposed to, some probably are, paid childcare. So yeah, this is all great stuff.
Amy: Correct. I have to tell you though that pregnancy and giving birth is the least of it, all right? I mean, your trouble starts after that. So the outsourcing of that phase of it, I mean, maybe it would encourage more women to have children, but the outsourcing of childcare is really, I think, where the action is. And of course, that’s been going on for centuries and centuries among the elite.
The Latest at Penn
Richard: Yeah. Well, it does depend on the woman because I have talked to women close to me who just, some women they just go about their lives when they’re pregnant. And I’ve known some who for months are just nauseous and are just in really, really bad shape. So it does seem to depend on the woman. You might be right for the majority. I don’t know. Someone told me actually East Asian women have much harder pregnancies. And I don’t know if that’s true. I haven’t seen it studied, but it could potentially explain the rock bottom fertility rates in some of these countries.
But yeah, that’s all. The last thing I wanted to ask you about Amy, so you’re at Penn, you have some drama going on with the Penn administration. They just fired the, I think her name was Liz Magill, the president of Penn for her supposed anti-Semitism or unwillingness to confront anti-Semitism. I saw Aaron Sibarium on Twitter saying they’re making changes, which will make it actually easier to fire somebody like Amy Wax.
So what are your thoughts just observing Penn and what do you think the relevance is sort of for your situation? What is your situation? What is the status of that?
Amy: Well, there have been some developments in my situation that I can’t talk about. I can say this, that my case is now going through layers of appeal at Penn. And there should be a decision in the next few months. I think that my guess is that they’re going to want to delay it, because the last thing they need is another dumpster fire, especially one that might involve a penalty for a conservative professor, which is precisely the sort of hypocrisy that, you know, will attract attention.
Richard: Well, that’s the question. Is it because they don’t want to fire a conservative professor now, they want to show they’re not biased? Or because now they’ve gone more in the anti-speech direction, now they’re more likely to fire you? You see there’s like a different sort of models of how they might think here.
Amy: Well, actually, I’m not sure they know which direction they’ve gone in, all right? So on the one hand, you’ve got these presidents saying, we follow the First Amendment voluntarily, which of course as a private institutions, would be voluntary. We believe in free speech. Of course, they did all this expediently to allow these pro-Palestinians to come to campus and to protect the pro-Palestinian faction. But now that they’ve got all these people on their case for anti-Semitism, the pendulum seems to be swinging the other way, and they’re going to have restrictive policies, which they’ve had all along, of course, except they’re just going to add Jews to the protective category. So it really depends on whether they stick to their commitments, their initial commitments to strict protection for speech and academic expression, free expression or whether the pendulum swings back to, oh, we have to be very, very careful that no one is upset or no one is offended and no one feels threatened, but if they retreat back to safetyism, right? If they retreat back to safetyism, that’s not good for the Jews, in my opinion, and it’s not good for conservatives, all right? That is not going to help me at all, except of course they will be open to the accusation of hypocrisy, regardless of what they do, because they have treated different people differently.
So the bottom line here is Richard, it’s really impossible to know how this is going to shake out for me. The one thing I will say though, is that in dealing with the Penn administration for the last couple of years with these charges against me, I cannot tell you what a clown car, and here I’m borrowing your expression, what a clown car Penn is, all right? It is run by a bunch of midwit gynocrats, these people are as intellectually mediocre and undistinguished as you could possibly imagine. All right? I mean, the notion that they care about consistency or coherence or, you know, objectivity, principles, that’s a joke. They don’t care. It’s all about spin. It’s all about PR.
Let me tell you a short anecdote that just sums it up. Okay? When my lawyer, David, was dealing with the general counsel’s office trying to get a settlement in my case, which wasn’t going to happen because I wasn’t going to accept any penalty of any kind, David said, you know, we will take you to court and we will challenge any penalty and then we’ll have the subpoena power and we’ll be able to show that the dean lied about this and that you’ve been inconsistent about that and all that dirty laundry will come out. And the general counsel, the guy in the office said, you don’t understand, we don’t care about any of that stuff. We don’t, we could be shown to be hypocrites, liars, you know, fools. We will get past it. All we care about is the students apply and the money rolls in. And when they say the money rolls in, they mean federal money. That’s where they get most of their money. He said, and as long as those two things happen, we’re good. And that is the attitude of the Ivies. And if you think about it, it makes perfect sense.
Richard: Yeah. So what I’m hearing is, and what this would suggest is don’t worry about the precedent being set by firing the president because they’re just being bullied. And so what they’re going to care about is the PR and spin. So they don’t want to, what they’re going in the direction of, they’re not moving more pro-free speech or more anti-free speech. They’re just maybe on the defensive. You’re a Jewish professor. They don’t want to fire a Jewish professor and seem hypocritical. And so maybe this all just sort of helps you. Is this a sort of a reasonable interpretation?
Amy: The only thing that helps me, I think, is that they don’t want to kick up another fuss by some kind of PR debacle where they’re going to have to explain why they fired me, how that’s consistent with what they’ve done in the past, what about free expression, what about this, what about that. They don’t want to have to explain themselves in any way. And so that, I think, at best is going to put off what they do to me.
Amy: You know, think about it, Magill was fired. The person that they brought in to replace her, Larry Jameson, who was the dean of the medical school, this guy is like Mr. DEI, Mr. Anti-racist. He has back under his watch, the whole medical school has gone completely, totally woke. They have a program, for example, of admitting students from historically black universities to the med school without taking the MCATs. They actually created this program while he was dean and they think it’s the greatest thing in the world. I mean, this is an overtly racially discriminatory program and they’re proud of it. These people just, I don’t know whether they don’t think, or whether they’re cynical or whether they just don’t get it. I don’t know what the problem is, but he is no improvement on Liz Magill, no improvement whatsoever. So it’s business as usual.
Richard: That’s, yeah. It’s funny. Yeah, that’s funny. You said Larry Jameson. That made me think, okay, could he be a black guy? Is that a black name? No, he’s a very, very scrawny sort of looking white guy. It had to be one of the two. It had to be a very, very white or a black guy. Okay. So, actually what it does sound like though from you is also it sounds to me like…
Amy: He’s very white, extremely white. Yes. Right. [laughter]
Richard: They care about federal money. So it just, this is sort of my origins of woke sort of view of the world too. If they’re ideological militants running these universities, then it’s a problem. They’ll forgo federal money. They’ll do whatever it takes though, just to keep pushing DEI and diversity. And this is my view, and I think it sounds like your view too is no, they’re sort of, you know, they’re not ideologically driven. They’re just trying to sort of, you know, avoid trouble, trying to bring in as much money as possible, which means potentially legislators, the people who control the purse strings, people who could stir up a media storm, they could potentially change things. Is that your understanding of the idea that there’s these midwit gynocrats, as you call…
Amy: Well, when you say they’re not ideologically driven, I think they are ideologically driven by this entrenched, woke, DEI mentality. That is there, that subsists. But there is a sort of another thread that comes, you know, bubbles to the surface and disturbs them, which is some of the things they’ve said that commit to free inquiry and free speech protections. Now, those two are totally in tension.
Alright, they cannot be reconciled. And so they kind of swing wildly between the two of them. Alright, they twist themselves in knots trying to reconcile these two elements that are present. But I think at the end of the day, they’re going to have to choose. And they’re so confused about what they’re committed to. I think in part because the notion of stepping back and saying, you know, what are our principles? Let’s go back to basics. They just haven’t done that for so long. It’s all just kind of short-term PR spin, you know, keeping the money flowing, keeping the students coming, all of their goals are these sort of short term goals.
And once again, it can be traced back to their being run by these midwit bureaucrats. I mean, in the good old days, universities were run by real scholars with real principles. I mean, if you look and read the Woodward report or the Calvin report, or kind of all the old statements of principle, you just want to weep because, you know, the junk that’s coming out of the universities now, that’s, you know, written by these jargony, woke bureaucrats is so incredibly inferior to what used to be issued by these white males, right, that it’s, there’s no comparison. I mean, there’s just no comparison. But what that means is that it’s impossible to predict what they’ll do because they don’t even know what they’ll do. Right? They have no idea what they’ll do. They just wildly vacillate from day to day.
Richard: Yeah, yeah. So I mean, it does sound like, well, they might be committed to DEI. But that I mean, that’s a hopeful message. It’s a hopeful message in that you legislators, you are the ones sending them money, from what the model is you’re giving me, like if you have somebody serious like DeSantis at the state level, like you would expect the University of Florida system to change. Well, do you have an opinion on that?
Amy: Yeah, I mean, a couple of things. The fact that it is federal money does make them vulnerable. And I actually mentioned that in my book review, right? I said, we really need to do a whole lot more with Title VI and with the conditions placed on federal money for these schools, because I think there’s potential for leverage there. DeSantis is my man, because DeSantis really takes seriously the importance of changing these institutions, which form the minds and opinions of our future generations. I mean, really, what’s happened to the education system is just so incredibly important to the success of woke. It has been vital to the success and the grip of these DEI notions and wokeism. So, I would like to see someone like him succeed and really get serious about trying to use money to leverage a move away from woke.
Then there’s someone like Stefanik, who frankly, I think, was engaging in a lot of grandstanding and bullying at this hearing.
Richard: Yeah, I agree.
Amy: But she, I know people who are trying to influence her to investigate cases like mine. There’s a move afoot to get some subpoenas out to Penn of the records in my case. And we’re talking about thousands of pages now, the star chamber hearing they had. I won’t even go into the details of what they’ve done to me and what they’ve put me through. But it’s such a clown car what they’ve done to me and what they put me through that maybe that might be a way in to reform these institutions.
So what am I saying? They care a ton about federal money. They get hundreds of millions of dollars for all sorts of programs and initiatives, a lot of it going through the medical school and the scientific establishment.
And if that was jeopardized, if that was cut off, that would be a very, very big deal. Donor money is not inconsequential, but it is dwarfed by the money that taxpayers are paying to support these lavish, private, anti-American, anti-Western institutions. It’s really a scandal. I mean, what’s going on? But people have to wake up to it.
Richard: Yeah, yeah. And like on that point, let me just plug my own book because it originally went in this direction, right? The universities were relatively colorblind. The federal government was the one that used civil rights law, that came and said, Columbia, Berkeley, you have to adopt racial quotas for all practical purposes. Yeah.
Amy: And that’s in your book. Your book is really good on that. I mean, the ways in which a lot of this stuff came top down from the federal government initially, I think they’re the ones that pushed these universities in that direction, just like they pushed all these other institutions in that direction. But then it took on a life of its own.
Richard: Exactly. And that’s the hopeful message that if it was top down from beginning, it can potentially be top down to push it in the opposite direction. This was great, Amy. I think this is going to get, like our first conversation, a ton of attention.
Amy: Can I just say one more thing? I tell people, they say, what can we do? I say, never vote for a Democrat. The Democrats are 1000% behind this shit, okay? They will never do a thing to reform education on any level. You know, will the Republicans? Well, I mean, the Republicans are, you know, mainly useless, but there’s at least a hope, right?
That Republicans could get serious about this. And, you know, obviously there are many flaws in the candidates. I won’t say a word about Trump, who’s in some ways, he’s standing in the way, but that is our sort of last best hope, is to get the Republicans interested in and serious about getting rid of woke.
Richard: Yeah, I guess I’ll take that as you are not endorsing my plan of supporting the Democrats because they’ll go all in on reproductive technology and eliminate racial gap. I guess that’s not the…
Amy: Not my party, not my party. Yeah. [laughter]
Richard: It’s a thought. It’s something that I sort of just flirt with in my mind a little bit. Is there anything you want to plug, Amy, your book? I don’t think you’re on Twitter. Do you have a GoFundMe up, anything?
Amy: I’m not on Twitter. Once I get this Penn thing behind me, one way or the other, I do plan on have some writing in mind, some things I want to write about. Curriculum reform is a big project I’m working on. I’ve given a couple of talks about it. Basically, my idea is we should go back to Troy, New York in 1962, which is when and where I was educated and adopt all of the rules that applied then, including sex is never even mentioned in school, okay, stuff like that, current events were not talked about, no LGBTQ clubs, so I think the older model is the better model. But stay tuned, I will write about this.
Richard: Uh-huh. Interesting. Yeah, I’ll be interested to hear that. Against sex ed. I can see it. Okay. Thanks a lot, Amy. This was great.
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