Failed Dream of Liberalism, the Failed Dream Here
Has this project failed? It seems to me that in many ways we’ve broken along the exact same fault lines as society at large, for exactly the same reasons. People farther on the right insist on unrestricted free speech, people on the left find this offensive and (ironically, since I’m often told that lefties can’t handle this environment) both sides eat bans or leave on their own. Seems to me like we’re mostly left with the moderates.
In a sense, sure. Why wouldn't it? Suppose I wanted to start the ultimate Star Wars Free Speech project where people of any opinion could come and talk about star wars.
Success is people who love star wars, hate star wars, and are apathetic about it all come to talk about Star Wars.
Well first the apathetic Star Warsers are going to leave. Why would they want to stay?
Next you'll have some good early times with Hate vs Love, but you won't actually build a community culture until they find things to bond about, and then the community will whittle down along those lines
For example The loves could all rally so hard against the hate, that it ends up sorting out voices that think some parts of star wars are better than others. It will become a superfan site. and the discussion s will center around "Do you love all of star wars or think it sucks?"
Or maybe the loves and hates will bond over their hatred of the prequels. It will become a prequel shitting site, and the conversation will center around "Is star wars more good than bad or more bad than good?"
You will end up with debate settled around a narrow set of view points with a few outsiders, while nobody else will feel its worth their time.
Finally, everyone forever will bitch in meta topics about why is it the only divisive takes on a narrow scope that get discussed.
My point is that a site that encourages multi-viewpoint discussion can avoid a hegemonic position, but in trade-off, it will settle into a hegemonic debate frame and more distal positions will feel diminished incentive to participate.
This is because culture involves hegemony and culture in necessary for community. That problem hasn't been solved and (here comes my hobby horse) more liberalism doesn't solve it!
I think you are wrong to suggest that Schism and CWR succeed in their split off because of takes on free speech or offendedness.
I think it is because the hegemonic debate culture here is more narrowly anti-progressivism with debate around liberal skepticism.
CWR is all in on liberal skepticism and centers its (much narrower) debate hegemony around trad-reaction vs BASED reaction (I'm taking pains to oversimplify)
TheSchism is all in on liberal enthusiasm and centers its debate hegemony around progressive-light liberalism or progressive-free liberalism.
But getting back to the meta-discussion about liberalism and my hobby horse. Liberalism doesn't create democratic unity, they must be balanced in tension. Liberalism begets pluralism, which begets division, isolation and illiberalism. Democratic unity means having a hegemonic center that all inside of can participate in, but which incidentally excludes, repels, or assimilates outside perspectives.
The dream of this place is subscribes to a very specific belief in the power of liberalism, which itself is allowed to be openly contested here and I think demonstrates its own limitations by doing so and failing its dream. The failed dream of liberalism is the same as the failed dream here: that enough of it will create unity through pluralism.
Now, I don't personally think theMotte has failed, and I don't think liberalism has failed because I like the idea of strong traditional hegemony while providing deep freedoms. But IMO the liberal-liberal has failed in their fantastic ideals and continuing to pursuit of it is what has created progressive illiberalism as a Frankenstein monster.