At an event hosted by Brandeis Conservatives last Tuesday, TruthRevolt editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro gave students advice on how to combat the left.
Shapiro approached the subject by laying out the four principles of liberalism and then presenting conservatism’s counter-arguments. Shapiro explained that leftism was based on the following premises: 1) “equality of outcome is more important than equality of opportunity,” 2) “group justice is significantly more important than individual justice,” 3) “truth absolutely does not matter,” and 4) “force itself, when used in the service of these other things, is praiseworthy.”
Regarding the left’s principle of “equality of outcome,” Shapiro explained that the left assumed that “if you’re successful in America or anywhere else in the world, you must have exploited someone.” Calling the premise a “denial of cosmic justice,” Shapiro gave a few contemporary examples to illustrate his point, including the left’s idea that African Americans are constantly experiencing racial discrimination by law enforcement, while ignoring disproportionate criminality in black communities, and the left’s view of Hamas as victims, saying Palestinians are perceived as “always good” and Israelis “always bad…because [Palestinians] are poor.”
In his discussion of the left’s second principle, Shapiro declared that “social justice is evil,” which The Justice points out was followed by applause from the audience. Shapiro’s argument was that the left’s commitment to “social justice” was “fundamentally opposed to individual justice,” adding, “any modifier to the word ‘justice’ perverts what it is.”
Shapiro discussed the left’s disregard for truth by saying that the left’s vision of “utopia” requires that they shut their eyes to unpleasant realities. He pointed to Ferguson as an example, saying, the left’s “entire campaign” proved to be “based on an outright lie," citing the completely discredited myth of "hands up, don’t shoot." Another example, he said, was the alleged sexual assault at the University of Virginia reported and then retracted by Rolling Stone, which he said fell in line with the debunked “statistical lie” repeated by many on the left about the shockingly high percentage of women raped.
Some other lies Shapiro highlighted from the left: that “a baby one minute before it enters the birth canal is not a baby,” that there is no difference between a man and a woman that can’t be changed with surgery and hormone therapy, that sexual activity (as opposed to "drive") is “dictated” by birth, and that the Fourteenth Amendment necessarily applies to same-sex marriage.
As examples of the left's belief that it was legitimate to use “force” to protect its other principles, Shapiro highlighted universal health care, politically correct speech codes on college campuses, and the increased government infringement of religious rights in business practices.
The four conservative principles, Shapiro suggested, were the answer to combating the left’s failed ideology: 1) “there is a basic nature to mankind,” 2) “individuals actually have rights that come from God or nature,” 3) “if you reject individual consequences for individual actions, you end up denying other people’s rights,” and 4) “the government was created to protect those rights, and the minute it invades those rights, it loses its legitimacy.”
Shapiro explained that those principles guided the Constitution’s balance of powers and promotion of “negative rights,” that one’s rights come from what others (including the government) cannot do to you, rather than the left’s view that rights are what one must do for another.
Shapiro also had some advice specifically for students at liberal universities: take the political conversation deeper than the standard “shallow” analysis offered at the college level and “define the parameters of the conversation.” Instead of discussing why “I like gays, you don’t like gays,” ask “what is the purpose of marriage?”
Shapiro also recommended using some of the left’s tactics against them, including telling donors to withdraw funds from universities pushing the far-left agenda, and eventually using their academic credentials to promote conservative principles. Shapiro, however, argued that students should not retaliate against discriminatory professors, saying, “if you’re a conservative, you’re here to use all those great liberal credentials and [later] turn them against your former masters.”
Brandeis and TruthRevolt have a connection, as TruthRevolt contributor and pro-Israel activist Daniel Mael attends Brandeis. Mael was recently embroiled in a controversy over a TruthRevolt piece concerning another Brandeis student leader’s anti-law enforcement online posts.
In response to a question from the audience. Shapiro addressed the controversy. “I have no regrets whatsoever about posting that sort of thing, and, in fact, would do it again in a heartbeat,” said Shapiro, “and I’m very proud that we did it.” The Justice reports that Mael told them afterward he believed Shapiro made a “compelling case for the intolerance of the Brandeis community.”
Partial transcript via The Justice.