The Progressive Voice

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The Progressive Voice is a progressive YouTube channel hosted by Sahil Habibi.[1] Habibi is also a writer at HuffPost[2] and The Progressive Army.[3] As of June 11, 2020, the channel has 71.1k subscribers.

YouTube career[edit]

The Progressive Voice's original YouTube name was "xUnlimitedMagz" before he changed the name to something more professional. PV is well-known for his many videos praising Kyle Kulinski,[4] as well as his clickbaity video titles (likely in response to conservative channels that do the same thing).[5][6] Many YouTubers (including a lot of his own viewers) regard PV as the "TMZ of YouTube politics".[7]

Feud with Bearing[edit]

YouTuber Bearing, who had subscribed to The Progressive Voice as of May 17, 2018, decided to make a video about PV's several videos criticizing Jordan Peterson for his making money off of donations from Patreon.[8] This started drama where PV expressed a light level of annoyance at the response video during a livestream (that Bearing didn't include the link to in the description).[9]

Discussion with Sargon of Akkad[edit]

After exchanging blows, Sahil Habibi hosted a live discussion with Sargon of Akkad on various issues back in May 17, 2018.

Sargon of Akkad elaborated on what aspects of progressivism he had a problem with.[10]

Sargon of Akkad: …the problem is in my opinion that the Progressive left has become a disempowerment movement, and I can't stand that.

Progressive Voice: Okay so, the progressive/liberal divide you're talking about I would describe as much different than you would.

Sargon of Akkad: Okay.

Progressive Voice: So, I'm just kind of curious so we could kind of define these terms specifically, because like I would say that you know Kyle Kulinski and David Pakman, they would both call themselves "progressives". Are you placing them in the same category that you're saying is kind of pushing you away from being part of the left?

Sargon of Akkad: Um, I think, um… I think that David Pakman and Kyle Kulinski… uh, they… they want to be progressives, but they're too liberal at heart. They can't get themselves to get on board with identity politics. Which means that they're kind of on the outer fringes of progressivism. I think they've got a sort of moral desire to go down that road, but their principles won't let them carry on, and eventually they're going to have to make a choice between collectivism and individualism. And hopefully they'll make the sensible choice. I'm sure they will.

Progressive Voice: So what specifically do you mean by "collectivism" and "individualism"?

Sargon of Akkad: Well… exactly… exactly how those words are literally used. As in "do they think that the protection of the individual is more important" or do they think that the protection of the group is more important? And at some point they're going to have to make that choice.

Progressive Voice: But could you be more specific though? Because I feel like it's more that's sort of ambiguous because I mean… would you consider certain policies to be good? I mean you're claiming universal healthcare is for the collective, right?

Sargon of Akkad: No universal healthcare is for everyone.

Progressive Voice: Right.

Sargon of Akkad: It's an individualist policy. It doesn't pick and choose a certain demographic or group in society to privilege with a certain set of… privileges. Um, but I mean if you're talking about something like affirmative action, that absolutely is a collectivist policy that specifically chooses a target demographic and says "these people and not the rest". And usually based on an arbitrary factor like race or gender, which I mean-I-I just can't support racial or gender discrimination so…

Progressive Voice: Okay, so-but you've also said that you're for what you would call a sort of "affirmative action for poor people" essentially, right?

Sargon of Akkad: Yeah, because being poor isn't an immutable arbitrary characteristic. It's a description of a life circumstance you find yourself in.

Sargon also explained why he obsesses with left-wing SJW's more than policies that get passed.[11]

Sargon of Akkad: ...I'm not like The Young Turks, I don't have a research studio or anything like that. I'm just a guy with a computer and a microphone, and so… I spend all day every day studying and researching specific things that I'm trying to talk about Washington DC politics all day every day. I wouldn't get anything productive that I'm trying to achieve, so… I'm not like a "policy" guy in that regard I'm afraid.

Progressive Voice: So okay… I sort of see what you're saying, but I would consider things that are super important, and very forefront, and not really what I'd necessarily consider super "policy wonkish" even though you would consider it that way. Like things that Trump proposes I would like to see some criticisms of them because you say you're left wing.

Sargon of Akkad: …do you know what's very interesting? I actually like-I actually use, um, Kyle Kulinski and Ben Shapiro as my "Trump reporters"… um… I find them very reliable in that regard. Because Kyle is a fundamentally honest man and I really respect that about him. So even when he's being biased, he's still honest. And Ben Shapiro hates Trump. But he hates the left even more, and so he doesn't — he can't help but have to defend Trump sometimes when it's appropriate, and he also doesn't when it's not appropriate, you know. And so um I get quite an entertaining and balanced view of that, but for me to be honest… Trump at this point… like it's just the fact that he pisses off the right people that I support Trump over. Well I've gotta say his international diplomacy was, uh, surprisingly effective. This is another thing that drives me crazy about the left is they don't… oh, the left has become very obsequious, you know? Like, like, like Kim Jong-un, right? He is a dictator. There is only one thing a dictator understands and that's strength. They are the sole point of force in their country. All power comes from them. And people just started freaking out when Trump just started trash-talking him on Twitter. That's the best way to do it!

After the stream was over, PV posted a comment after fact-checking a Daily Caller article Sargon sent him about New York City criminalizing intentionally misgendering with fines reaching up to $250,000.[12] The actual law in New York City punishes employers and landowners for intentionally misgendering someone with fines reaching an upper limit of $125,000 ($250,000 if there was "willful, wanton, or malicious" conduct).[13] Progressive Voice said that even though he disagrees with the actual law, the inability to fact-check claims in real time demonstrates why debates are ineffective for honest presentations of people's views.

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