11 episodes

Christopher Rufo is a conservative journalist who specializes in critical race theory, gender ideology, and the capture of America’s institutions. In this podcast series, he’s taking a deep look at the revolutionary changes consuming the United States—and what conservatives can do to fight back.
For more, sign up for his free Substack: https://rufo.substack.com.

Christopher F. Rufo Christopher F. Rufo

    • News
    • 4.9 • 38 Ratings

Christopher Rufo is a conservative journalist who specializes in critical race theory, gender ideology, and the capture of America’s institutions. In this podcast series, he’s taking a deep look at the revolutionary changes consuming the United States—and what conservatives can do to fight back.
For more, sign up for his free Substack: https://rufo.substack.com.

    How the Anti-Woke Movement Can Take the Moral and Linguistic High Ground

    How the Anti-Woke Movement Can Take the Moral and Linguistic High Ground

    Sign up for my free Substack: https://rufo.substack.com

    I recently hosted a summit on anti-woke public policy and, beneath all of the legal and technical details, I realized that there is an opportunity for a significant shift in rhetoric for the political Right.

    For decades, conservatives made their arguments primarily through a statistical frame, using the language of finance, economics, and performance metrics. Think “running government like a business.” But in recent years, the rise of left-wing racialist ideology—BLM, CRT, DEI—has created an opportunity, even the necessity, for conservatives to make their arguments through a moral frame, speaking to the conflict of values that underlies the division between Left and Right.

    This linguistic shift is already happening—and paying dividends. At the summit, we discussed two specific examples. First, on education, the activist Corey DeAngelis noted that the school choice movement suddenly started winning when it stopped making statistical arguments about performance metrics and started making moral arguments about parental rights and the content of the curriculum. Second, on the federal budget, Wade Miller of the Center for Renewing America has engaged in a similar strategy, moving the debate from the language of large-firm accounting to the language of moral conflict, arguing that Congress should defund the “woke and weaponized bureaucracy.”

    Yes, we should improve test scores and balance the budget. But the deeper purpose of government is to secure the rights of the people and to establish a principle of justice. Conservatives must speak to the ends, not simply the means. And, in our advanced managerial society, this will require a new moral language that appeals to the interests and emotions of the common citizen, who wants to be protected from the institutions and ideologies that have arrayed themselves against him.

    • 10 min
    “Trans Kids” Are the New Totem of the American Left

    “Trans Kids” Are the New Totem of the American Left

    President Biden wants to codify child sex change operations into federal law
    —revealing a disturbing new metaphysics. 

    President Biden has announced that he would support federal legislation
    requiring states to administer hormone treatments and sex change
    operations for “transgender kids.” He blasted recent restrictions on such
    practices in Florida as “close to sin” and said that so-called gender-affirming
    care should qualify as a basic civil right.

    The president’s message is dystopian on its face, but, at a deeper level of
    analysis, reveals the disturbing new metaphysics of the American Left, which
    has elevated the “transgender child” into a totem. In primitive societies,
    tribes in places such as North America and Aboriginal Australia would use
    totems to connect with nature, mediate their relationship with the spirit
    world, and honor the categories of the masculine and the feminine. In
    modern America, political activists use the “transgender child” as a post-
    modern totem to connect with a utopian, technologically-perfected future
    and to create a new category beyond man and woman. Through chemical
    and surgical intervention, they believe, they can smash the patriarchy and
    transcend the limitations of human nature.

    In truth, however, these procedures will not usher in a utopia. As we are
    beginning to see with the first cohort of “detransitioners,” so-called gender-
    affirming care denies biological reality and often results in horrific
    complications and regrets. The American doctors who are performing double-
    mastectomies on healthy young girls and penectomies on healthy young
    boys are not the saviors of the future—they are the butchers of the present,
    enacting a benevolent form of child sacrifice.

    • 8 min
    “The Great Feminization of the American University”

    “The Great Feminization of the American University”

    Subscribe to my Substack: https://rufo.substack.com My colleague Heather Mac Donald has published a provocative new essay in City Journal, titled “The Great Feminization of the American University.” Mac Donald points out that women now constitute the ruling majority on campus: 75 percent of Ivy League presidents, 66 percent of college administrators, and 58 percent of recent graduates are now female.  And the consequences, Mac Donald argues, are troubling. “Female students and administrators often exist in a co-dependent relationship, united by the concepts of victim identity and of trauma,” she writes. “For university females, there is not, apparently, strength in numbers. The more females’ ranks increase, the more we hear about a mass nervous breakdown on campus.”  In my new video essay, I analyze this cultural shift and explain how the modern university has become a “therapeutic institution,” characterized by the following trends:  -The left-wing victim narrative has moved from an economic axis to a psychological axis, with “traumatizer” and “traumatized” replacing “oppressed” and “oppressed” -Individual pathology is valorized as a form of marginalized identity -This new social system incentivizes trauma, disorder, and emotional displays -The university has created a therapeutic bureaucracy that operates on political ideology  This video program is sponsored by Manhattan Institute. Subscribe to City Journal here: https://www.city-journal.org

    • 30 min
    Why the IDW Fell Apart

    Why the IDW Fell Apart

    Subscribe to my Substack for more: https://rufo.substack.com/.

    In 2018, the journalist Bari Weiss crowned a heterodox group of writers and cultural figures as the “Intellectual Dark Web.” The promise of the IDW was that it was generating a substantive critique against left-wing orthodoxy that could not have emerged from the traditional Right. These new figures were also using new media, especially the podcast, to reach younger audiences and generate buzz for their intellectual movement.

    But now, five years later, the IDW has become a spent force. As the group was confronted with a series of real-world political decisions—the rise of Trump, the COVID crisis, and the anti-CRT politics—it fractured, splintered, and decomposed. With some notable exceptions, such as Dave Rubin, Jordan Peterson, and Bret Weinstein, the “centrists” of the IDW could never move from the domain of criticism to the domain of action. They acted as if they could solve political problems through podcast debates and failed to offer a viable theory of change.

    Consequently, the IDW was overtaken by events. Although the movement deserves credit for pointing out the problem of left-wing overreach in America’s institutions, this critique is now part of conventional wisdom and is no longer sufficient. As I explain in my new video essay, the lesson of the IDW’s disintegration is clear: opponents of left-wing orthodoxy must grapple with the reality that, in a two-party democratic system, the path to reform must go through politics. If they want results, they must be willing to get their hands dirty.

    • 19 min
    Against Curtis Yarvin’s Self-Fulfilling Pessimism

    Against Curtis Yarvin’s Self-Fulfilling Pessimism

    Subscribe to my Substack for more: https://rufo.substack.com.

    The writer Curtis Yarvin recently posted a criticism of the conservative takeover of New College of Florida, where I serve on the board of trustees.

    Yarvin, who has built a cult following on the “neoreactionary” Right and the “post-Marxist” Left, is best known for advancing the thesis that the progressive-managerial state, which he calls the Cathedral, is so powerful, that any action to challenge it will end up reinforcing its power. The better solution, Yarvin counsels, is to adopt the posture of a prey animal, find satisfaction through aesthetics, and wait for the American Caesar.

    I disagree. Yarvin’s philosophy is an expression of self-fulfilling pessimism. To a certain extent, the conservative takeover of New College has already been successful. We immediately fired the former president, abolished the DEI bureaucracy, banned coercive and discriminatory “diversity” programming, and brought in former education commissioner Richard Corcoran—a man of great tenacity and courage—to lead the turnaround effort.

    Furthermore, our initial campaign at New College has already had a ripple effect: multiple states, including Florida, have introduced legislation to abolish DEI bureaucracies at all public universities, and the higher education establishment has expressed fear that a conservative counter-revolution has begun. At a minimum, we have proven that the political commissars are not inevitable, not invincible, and not untouchable.

    This video is sponsored by Manhattan Institute. Read more here: https://www.city-journal.org.

    • 11 min
    The Corruption of the Institutions | Ep. 5

    The Corruption of the Institutions | Ep. 5

    Elon Musk and Sam Brinton reveal the rot—and potential for renewal—in elite America.
    Subscribe to my Newsletter for more: https://christopherrufo.com

    Intro 00:00-00:17
    Musk's Twitter Takeover 00:17-20:09
    Non-Binary Luggage Thief 20:10-39:27
    Cambridge Redefines "Woman" 39:28-46:07

    For the past few years, I have been fascinated by the relationship between ideology, bureaucracy, and power. In my view, the most important story in American life is the capture of the prestige institutions by left-wing activists, who have transmitted the ideologies of critical race theory and Queer Theory from the universities into every management structure in the country.    

    This week, there have been two news stories that have illustrated this theme with great drama. First, the unfolding narrative of Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, which has revealed tremendous ideological corruption in the domain of politics, speech, and tech. And second, the rise and fall of Sam Brinton, the Biden Administration’s non-binary nuclear waste administrator who became famous for publicly flaunting his kinks—and has since fallen from grace after allegedly fabricating his backstory and stealing women’s luggage from multiple airports.   

    I also discuss Cambridge Dictionary’s decision to redefine the word “woman” as “an adult who lives and identifies as female though they may have been said to have a different sex at birth”—or, in other words, to redefine woman as inclusive of men.

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
38 Ratings

38 Ratings

JDSmet ,

An awakening

I listened to Mr. Russo’s interview with Jordan Peterson and I was in astonishment that someone of his age and background could be so incredibly insightful and informing the… It was amazing and quite the eye-opener

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