Sep 14 • 11M

FIRE/Free Press Debate, the Sexual Revolution, Fame Versus Influence, and More

Clown Car: 9/14/23


Appears in this episode

Richard Hanania
Inez Stepman
Discussion of politics and current events, with a special focus on the 2024 election.
Episode details

This week, Inez and I talk about my impression of the FIRE/Free Press debate I attended last night on whether the sexual revolution has failed. I don’t know how much we disagree. We both believe that telling women to live like they’re characters in Sex and the City has been a mistake. I’m just an extreme skeptic with regards to questioning people’s choices, at least in their personal lives. Inez asks whether there’s a contradiction here between trusting the masses to make personal decisions and distrusting them on politics, and I refer to my recent piece on this.

I was recognized by many people at the debate, and this stirred a discussion on how we each feel about being public figures. Inez hates fame, while I enjoy it, and she prefers influence. I think it certainly sounds better to want to change the world, but I can’t help it. I just love attention, and will indulge in it as long as I can get it on my own terms. This made me think about how many writers and public intellectuals clearly want fame based on how they behave, but you rarely hear any of them admitting it. It seems to be a kind of taboo. This is certainly a bad trait if it comes at the expense of telling the truth. Still, I feel like fame is so clearly a motivator in the world of ideas that it’s probably not good to leave the impulse unexamined.

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