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A New York Times piece grouped Ben Shapiro with the likes of Jordan Peterson, Sam Harris and Dave Rubin in the so-called Intellectual Dark Web left with nothing but celebrity, wealth and long-form profiles. Peterson introduced the harsh, dissonant energy of online debates: a sort of intellectual cage-fighting in which, in the language of the YouTube clips that have replaced the nice man with a British accent, the aim is to DISMANTLE, DESTROY and OBLITERATE your opponent. It’s theatre, it’s a brand-building exercise, it’s a business model, but it’s not debate. Debate is valuable only when free speech means listening to the speech of others, venerating facts means acknowledging the ones that don’t suit your case and there is good faith on both sides.

https://www.newstatesman.com/world/north-america/2019/01/how-peterson-shapiro-and-online-right-would-rather-attack-left-debate