Zero Squared #145: Thaddeus Russell against Rationalism

Mar 8th, 2018 | By | Category: Articles, Zero Squared

Thaddeus Russell is a historian, author, and professor. He has taught history, American Studies, and the history of philosophy at Columbia University, Barnard College, and the New School for Social Research. He is also the host of the Unregistered Podcast and the guest on this week’s podcast. While we start off discussing the anti-SJW industry and Russell’s own encounters with it, we quickly veer off into a conversation about Capitalism, Foucault, whether rationalism is necessarily imperialist, Sam Harris, Noam Chomsky and a variety of other topics. The pull quote from this episode is probably near the end of this first half of the conversation when Russell says something like, “Wait, I’m not finished. I’m building a total refutation of the entirety of what you think, Doug.”

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If you haven’t already you might pick up a copy of Marx Returns by Jason Barker or get ahold of Angela Nagle’s Kill All Normies which was recently selected as one of the top ten books of 2017 by the novelist George Saunders. Or, if you’ve had enough of Nagle and want to re-embrace the call out culture you can get yourself a copy of Shaun Scott’s Millennials and the Moments that Made Us which was published by Zero Books in February.

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10 Comments to “Zero Squared #145: Thaddeus Russell against Rationalism”

  1. Justin Wagner says:

    Looks like a good one, but the download & embedded player links are broken. The download link points to “” and if I try to navigate there it gives me a “nothing found” page, and if I try to use the embedded player it does nothing. I was able to grab it from “” though, via the post.

  2. Jp says:

    Guess I should know who this guy is, but I don’t. So I’m not getting his point; it seems assumed. Rationalism bad, ok. However, rationalism good ok also. All depends on what you do, and to not see that born out in history is problematic.
    To me ethics is first philosophy; de Beauvoir ‘s ethics of ambiguity required reading. Kant’s Kingdom of ends is to me equivalent to the ethic (yes it is) of to each/from each.

  3. Bunny Rabbit says:

    Have learned from your podcast and generally look forward to it, but couldn’t make it past about 10 minutes with this guy despite your disclaimer that it gets more interesting. Sloppy definitions, ignorance of terms, a Roganite perspective—WTF? As if I have any interest in his painfully non-revolutionary “total refutation” of whatever straw man he’s constructed anyway.

    A little concerned by your tendency to provide a platform to people who have an opinion on “SJWs”, as if that’s a legitimate category which merits discussion and analysis. I know you published Kill All Normies so not even sure why I’m bothering to type this, but come on, let the conservatives in sheeps’ clothing stay in their 99.999% of the world where they can continue to think that being an unmarried man is somehow at odds with “bourgeois norms.” Ugh. Cheers.

    • Douglas Lain says:

      I’d point out that what we were talking about wasn’t SJWs as a real category, but the anti-SJW industry as a category of media. Also, it’s important to understand the Russell is not a conservative in sheep’s clothing, but a quasi-libertarian of the American style who rails against authority based on his interpretation of Foucault.
      If you listen past the point where you tuned out you’ll find the real disagreements arise.

  4. Bungartz says:

    Is this how the episode ends or is the rest somewhere else?

  5. Alexander Turnbull says:

    At around the 30 minute mark, my understanding was in the case of Virginia Planters Like Washington and co their Imperialism and the creation of the US Army were products of their speculative investments in disputed territory along the borders of the original 13 colonies.

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