The death of democracy? Why unintelligent protest may wreck society

Published on Apr 26, 2018

Evolutionary biologist Heather Heying rose to prominence as a member of the Intellectual Dark Web after she and her husband, Professor Bret Weinstein, spoke out against a planned “Day of Absence” at Evergreen State College, where white students, staff and teachers would vacate campus and only minority students would remain. Their opposition to the event led to accusations of racism and a string of protests, threats, and violence, leading The Seattle Times to call the college a “national caricature of intolerant campus liberalism.” Democracy depends on protest, Heying asserts above, but a new strain of unintelligent protest on the Left may damage the very values liberals are trying to protect. “Increasingly we have groups who are claiming to be emerging from this age-old culture of protest who are actually tamping out dissent, who are saying there are things that cannot be said, there are things that cannot be thought, there are research programs that cannot be done,” she says. “… But they don’t tend to be armed in the way the extreme Right is, and so it’s easy for people to imagine that they’re not as dangerous—but shutting down dissent, shutting down the ability to discuss ideas, is actually the beginning of the death of democracy.” In this video, Heying looks at tribalism and dissent from an evolutionary perspective, and highlights how technology has hijacked our ancient brain to create a more polarized society than ever before. Follow Heather on twitter: @HeatherEHeying and on Medium and through her website,

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