Recall, the new owner, fired Leon Wieseltier, who has now published an essay reflecting on the importance of permitted dissent. says,
The Jewish tradition—the tradition of the argumentative Jew—is a long and great challenge to the consensualist mentality. It repudiates, sometimes in theory, always in practice, the cult of unanimity. It displays an almost erotic relationship to controversy. (Like all erotic relationships, this one sometimes devolves into decadence, which in the early modern centuries was known as pilpul.) In the Jewish tradition, disagreement is not only real, it is also ideal—at least in the unredeemed world, which is the only world we know. In its millennia of disputations, even mistaken opinions are not without legitimacy. Minority opinions are not obsolete opinions: They are preserved alongside majority opinions because their reasoning may one day be useful again. Arguments that are adjudicated practically remain alive theoretically. More.
Note: We don’t know whether the purge had anything to do with Wieseltier’s use of the phrase Darwinist dittoheads (“Here was a signal to the Darwinist dittoheads that a mob needed to be formed”). And it is true that there are other dittoheads out there.
But it is curious how people who actually start to think about these things tend to wind up getting purged in the quest for unanimity.
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