by Chauncey Tinker – 31 Aug 2018
George Sanders with Hedy Lamarr in “The Strange Woman”
I’ve watched a few videos lately by this rather suave chap called The Academic Agent (he bears a striking resemblance to that Hollywood actor George Sanders). Actually I mostly just listen while I’m doing something else as it’s mostly just talk. He has nearly 17,000 subscribers to his Youtube channel – this seems to me to be the sort of number where you are reaching a significant number of people but it’s probably unlikely you will become a household name (you never know though).
In some ways he seems like a bit of a lost cause. He says he voted Remain for his own personal reasons, something to do with the price of his house (you can imagine some of the characters George Sanders used to play doing something like that). He says he’s an academic (a bad sign, though I’m not sure what his subject is), and he likes hip-hop music (I think I like some hip hop music here and there myself although I don’t go out of my way to listen to it).
What got me returning to his channel however is that he is talking about a lot of the subjects that are of special interest to me and our readers here – Brexit, politics, economics, immigration, that sort of thing. He is also having a lot of debates with people he disagrees with on these subjects, in one video he even debates with a Marxist. He seems to be fairly right-wing although not er in an extreme sort of way shall we say. He says he believes in the free market and small government, he describes himself as a “classical liberal” in this introduction (you have to ignore the annoying background music):
The Academic Agent – Channel Introduction
People have suggested that he should drop the background music altogether and they are right.
He does some short response videos such as this response (about 6 minutes long) to Sargon of Akkad on a very topical subject, regulation of social media companies:
A Case Against Social Media Regulation (Response to Sargon of Akkad)
On this subject I wholeheartedly agree with The Academic Agent (AA), we don’t need regulation we need competitors to emerge, give them time and they will. If you legislate to for example prohibit social media companies from banning the likes of Sargon himself, this will just make it hard for competitors to emerge. It might even affect us here at The Participator, because we might be unable to block annoying trolls who just disrupt and add nothing to the debate (this has been a serious problem in the past, you don’t notice it now because we banned them). “What about free speech?” I hear some people asking, but this isn’t a freedom of speech issue, you are free to speak elsewhere. As AA himself says, regulation always tends to lock the big companies in place by making it a lot harder for competitors to emerge. Imagine a world where Facebook and Twitter had de facto monopolies (they only seem to have that today, there are rivals such as gab.ai). Government regulations invariably start out as well-meaning attempts to stop the wrong sort of thing happening, but very often end up affecting all sorts of other things (thanks to the law of unintended consequences). This is a topic we should definitely come back to at some point to debate at length as I suspect the demands are only going to get louder, and I believe regulation in this area could actually pose a very serious threat to the freedom of speech.
The Academic Agent has engaged in the debate about race and IQ, for example:
Data Devastates the Race Realist Hypothesis
I take a keen interest in this subject (although it’s obviously very controversial) in large part because I think so-called “positive discrimination” policies are very damaging and race and IQ data is one way of arguing against these policies. The effects of these policies are yet another example of the law of unintended consequences in action in my opinion. Also this is a very important debate in relation to the current migration crisis – if the average intelligence of Africans and Middle Eastern people is much lower than that of Europeans (as the only studies done on the subject suggest), then these migrants are going to be unlikely to contribute much to Europe. The Academic Agent argues against the so-called “race realists”, i.e. he believes that average differences in IQ test results between races do not reflect racial differences in intelligence. He quotes Thomas Sowell on this subject, but unfortunately there is one very glaring error in Sowell’s analysis which is that the “British” people today are invading people who to a large extent replaced (and mixed with) the “British” inhabitants who lived here during the Roman period. Thomas Sowell had pointed out that the British were considered to be not very bright by the Romans, and he argued that the apparent change in intelligence leading to Great Britain subsequently dominating so much of the world could not be due to genetics. I will try to get AA’s attention and see if I can persuade him to correct this error.
Thomas Sowell on Race and Intelligence
Again this is a subject that I will probably come back to, AA’s arguments need looking at in a lot more depth (or if readers want to volunteer a post on the subject it would be very welcome). The fact that intelligent people can have such widely differing views on this subject reveals the complexity of the subject I think.
He also does some regular videos, for example he hosts a sort of panel talk show called Unpopular Opinions where he debates with the panel on any subjects that they want to talk about, in these videos he takes questions from the audience via online chat. By the way if you want to make a little money out of this sort of thing, this might be a way of doing that – the audience members pay a little to get their questions heard (a process apparently called “superchats” at least that’s what AA calls it). These Unpopular Opinions videos are rather long (around 3 hours) and tend to be quite chatty so if you’re not a regular listener they might not be so interesting (there’s a link to the channel at the end if you are interested however).
He also appears on other channels e.g. he appears in this debate hosted by Sargon of Akkad (over 3 hours long):
The Macroeconomics of Distributive Justice. An Austrian Vs. a Keynsian
I may do a short write-up on some of these above mentioned videos individually in future posts, this post was just to give you an idea what this vlogger is about. Many other topics are covered in his other videos, the above are just a few examples.
In conclusion although I disagree with some of his opinions, The Academic Agent is getting involved in some interesting debates with people right across the political spectrum and I feel encouraged that these discussions are taking place. With the increasing tendency of the MSM and most popular internet companies (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Google) to shut out right-wing voices, to see debates occurring across the political divide I think is a very positive development. In fact the numbers of people who are getting involved in similar debates, though small today, seems to be growing rapidly and we might just yet see a change in thinking in the West as a result of this process. We can help the process along by sharing our thoughts and linking to good debates as I have done above.
The Academic Agent’s Youtube Channel
George Sanders tended to specialize in playing cads and bounders. Here is an example of his work, a good old black and white film about a Czech immigrant in America:
Death of a Scoundrel
From The Telegraph, an article about a study done on the DNA of the modern-day British:
How British are you? Mapped: DNA testing shows the most Anglo-Saxon regions in UK
Protestors assaulted a professor on a college campus in the US in 2017, she suffered concussion. Sam Harris changes his mind after reflecting on the reasons for the protest:
A Mind Is Changing – Part 1
A short introduction to this series:
People Are Talking
What do you think? Please leave a comment below.