Quillette

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Quillette makes tired alt-right talking points sound erudite.
—Gaby Del Valle[1]

Quillette is a right-wing online magazine that tries to present itself as centrist and libertarian when in reality it serves to legitimise many views shared by the alt-right. For example, it regularly publishes articles from a strong conservative viewpoint that are anti-feminist, anti-immigration, Islamophobic and anti-transgender, with some articles more controversially supporting racialism and HBD ("human-biodiversity") pseudoscience, popular among white nationalists. It has published an article defending Noah Carl, a pseudoscientist who writes Islamophobic papers in the OpenPsych pseudojournals.[2]

In the media, Quillette is often described as "intellectual dark web".[3].

Predictably, Quillette has jumped on the Jordan Peterson bandwagon and has published several articles supporting him.[4][5][6]

Controversy[edit]

HBD ("human-biodiversity")[edit]

Having now spent time arguing with various Quillette writers and learning more about their intellectual circles, it's become more and more clear to me the extent to which Quillette and Claire Lehmann are fronts for race realists and eugenicist psuedo[sic]-science. They all circle around the more hardcore, Nazi-adjascent[sic] outlets and people like The Unz Review, Steve Sailer, and the Ulster Institute/Richard Lynn circles (see: bringing in Toby Young as an editor).
—@stevenmklein[7]
Claire Lehmann used to write on the 'human biodiversity movement', which is the new term for 'race realism'. Most of the info was scrubbed off the internet once she started Quillette, but there's a blog or two that still references her work, e.g. Hbdchick.
—@nathanoseroff[8]

Some authors and editors of Quillette are proponents of HBD, i.e. hereditarianism and racialism:

Articles published by Quillette supporting HBD include "On the Reality of Race"[19] and "No Voice at VOX: Sense and Nonsense about Discussing IQ and Race" by Richard Haier[20] who has controversially defended the The Bell Curve. Quillette has published an article defending Charles Murray by Brian Boutwel[21] who has associated with the alt-right, for example appearing on Stefan Molyneux's YouTube channel in 2017 for an hour long discussion about "human-biodiversity and criminality".[22] In 2018, Quillette published an article by HBD pseudoscientist Adam Perkins.[23][24]

Lehmann, in a 2017 interview, has said Quillette was founded to offer an "alternative to the blank slate view of human nature that appears to be dominant within the media ecosystem".[25] In other words, Quillette identifies with hereditarianism, and sees itself as standing against social justice warriors and postmodernists who think that all differences between genders and races that they view as detrimental to non-white-males are at root caused by hate, oppression and "privilege".

Banning Neo-Nazis is oppressing conservatives™[edit]

In February 2019 Quillette published so-called "research" which was supposed to "prove" that "Twitter Treats Conservatives More Harshly Than Liberals"[26]; the data includes many shining examples of modern conservatism:

There are some other conservatives with views that might raise an eyebrow or two (though to be fair, one can argue this for conservative thought in general); this list is just the literal neo-Nazis (over half the list!) with whom no reasonable person, regardless of political affinity, should ever side with. And conservatives wonder why they're called Nazis when they cite THE AMERICAN NAZI PARTY as an example of Conservative Censorship™…

The list also excludes several prominent banned liberal accounts even though the author had been alerted to them.[30]

Bullshitting with craniometry and physiognomy[edit]

Accusations[31] about Quillette's publishing phrenology started near the plausible-deniability territory when they published racialist and dubious craniometry-related statements that "researchers can classify human variation by continent quite accurately using only data from the human skull."[32] It didn't help when one of their "progressive" eugenicists Toby Young published a puffpiece of Boris Johnson and mentioned his "Germanic forehead".[33] They have quoted a 19th century racialist Cesare Lombroso to support the claim that criminality has some "biological origin".[34] They also appear to agree with critics that deemed Lombroso's practices as racist sociopolitical agenda, but they also argue that he is revolutionary in investigating the biological factors of criminality. They additionally lamented about the orthodoxy and hysteria of the mainstream science for not accepting "new" ideas, which usually is an indicator of bullshitting.

Ecomodernism[edit]

Quillette has published a number of articles by Michael Shellenberger, a critic of mainstream environmentalism who argues that environmentalism is conceptually and institutionally incapable of dealing with climate change and should "die".[35] Schellenberger has spearheaded campaigns to keep nuclear power plants open and to attempt to counter opposition to them. His organisation Environmental Progress has published misinformation about the Fukushima I nuclear power plant disaster, specifically that no-one will die due to the increased cancer risk caused by the radiation exposure, and describes its UK director as a "radiation expert" despite the fact that he has no scientific qualifications and pushes discredited ideas on the subject of radiation exposure.[36]

Quillette contributors of interest to RationalWiki[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. https://theoutline.com/post/2307/quillette-claire-lehmann-conservative-snowflakes
  2. https://quillette.com/2018/12/07/academics-mobbing-of-a-young-scholar-must-be-denounced/
  3. The Intellectual Dark Web an Alternative to Partisan Gridlock
  4. https://quillette.com/2017/12/01/defence-jordan-b-peterson
  5. https://quillette.com/2018/03/22/jordan-b-peterson-appeals-left
  6. https://quillette.com/2018/05/22/jordan-peterson-failure-left
  7. https://web.archive.org/web/20190524002635/https://twitter.com/stevenmklein/status/1026576699344007168
  8. https://twitter.com/nathanoseroff/status/943938663393759234
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5th8DFnH3c
  10. https://hbdchick.wordpress.com/category/what-is-human-biodiversity/
  11. Toby Young spoke alongside Nazi who argues raping unconscious children is fine.
  12. Shamed Toby Young attended secret eugenics conference with neo-nazis and pedophiles. RT.
  13. How Toby Young Got Where He Isn't Today. The Guardian.
  14. All the sexist tweets deleted by Toby Young, the guy chosen by the government to advise on universities. Business Insider UK. 3 Jan 2018.
  15. Nine Of The Worst Things Toby Young Has Said. Huffington Post. 9 Jan 2018.
  16. Toby Young’s views on eugenics at least raise a much-needed debate. The National. 13 Jan 2018.
  17. My 2017 Constance Holden Memorial Address on Liberal Creationism.
  18. https://quillette.com/author/adam-perkins/
  19. http://quillette.com/2016/06/23/on-the-reality-of-race-and-the-abhorrence-of-racism/
  20. https://quillette.com/2017/06/11/no-voice-vox-sense-nonsense-discussing-iq-race/
  21. https://quillette.com/2017/06/02/getting-voxed-charles-murray-ideology-science-iq/
  22. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQBKn_GNHa4
  23. https://quillette.com/2018/05/24/come-attention-institutional-complaints-procedures-weaponized/
  24. https://twitter.com/chrisiousity/status/1029714941803208706
  25. https://clairelehmann.net/2017/10/07/an-interview-with-clay-routledge-at-psychology-today/
  26. It Isn’t Your Imagination: Twitter Treats Conservatives More Harshly Than Liberals
  27. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2015/12/03/george-zimmerman-was-suspended-from-twitter-after-doxing-an-alleged-ex-girlfriend/
  28. https://elink.thedailybeast.com/view/5bae99853f92a46ecbcf5b739rlr3.15s/0f27da77
  29. https://www.newsweek.com/alt-rights-first-real-political-candidate-went-too-far-right-even-many-white-843664
  30. https://www.thedailybeast.com/quillette-ben-shapiro-and-the-myth-of-conservative-facts
  31. Jeet Heer. (June 14, 2019). "Quillette is terrible. Let's go over how and why. There's the stuff discussed in this article, but also more....". Twitter. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  32. Wineguard, B., Carl, N. (June 5, 2019). Superior: The Return of Race Science—A Review. Quillette. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  33. Young, T. (July 13, 2019). Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Man: A Profile of Boris Johnson. Quillette. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  34. Forster, S. (May 12, 2018). Biosocial Criminology and the Lombrosian Paradox. Quillette. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  35. Michael Shellenberger. (October 2004) The Death of Environmentalism. Grist. Retrieved August 23, 2019
  36. Exposing the misinformation of Michael Shellenberger and 'Environmental Progress'