From The Point, a symposium on “What are intellectuals for?”, including Jon Baskin on D.C. think tanks, NYC magazines and the search for public intellect; Jesse McCarthy on American intellectuals and the black radical tradition; Anastasia Berg on “Cat Person” and the dark pleasures of empathy; Jonny Thakkar on being an arsehole, a defense; and Rachel Wiseman on Joseph Brodsky and the moral responsibility to be useless. The centrist grievance against “victim politics”: Moderate liberals and conservatives complain about the contemporary focus on suffering — but such activism is central to American democracy.

The free speech grifters: Why are some of the biggest public intellectuals so fixated with a small minority of liberal college students? The professor of piffle: The dangerous underside of Jordan Peterson’s crusade against the humanities. The ideas industry meets the intellectual dark web: What happens when thought leaders cannot exercise leadership? David Atkins on shaming the deplorable dark web. Michelle Goldberg on how the online Left fuels the Right: Trying to silence conservatives just makes them louder. This column will probably change your mind: New research shows op-eds really do persuade.

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