Intellectual Brown Web

Sarah Haider, Shadi Hamid, myself and Murtaza Hussain recorded an impromptu podcast that we titled the “Intellectual Brown Web.” These are basically people I know well (I am good friends with both Sarah and Shadi) or who got involved in Twitter threads repeatedly (Murtaza). But there is no “Hindo-origin person.” Since I don’t give a shit about representation or affirmative action I don’t care too much…but this got me thinking, what based Hindu Americans would you have on? I know plenty of based Hindus from India…but most Hindu Indian Americans are Rho Khanna at the most based.

I mean think about this: why the fuck am I having to write long pieces about how the anti-caste discrimination stuff is bullshit? I’m just a tech entrepreneur who isn’t even from a Hindu background. Suhag at HAF does stuff and others, but where are the big hitters? Instead you have public Hindu Americans proudly pushing this stuff.

Note: there are plenty of based Hindu Americans who are doctors, engineers and business people. They just aren’t public people. Which is fine, but if you don’t speak for yourself, at some point Razib Khan is going to get tired of doing so.

13 thoughts on “Intellectual Brown Web”

  1. There’s a lot of people within these types of communities that go out of their way to cuck for other race movements like BLM and Defund police shit and all the cancel ICE stuff but won’t do a thing for their own communities. They’ll attack their own people when they make points about their own issues for external validation. Very cringe. I am ofc talking about them diaspora Indian folks but make no mistake diaspora Banglas and diaspora Pakis and diaspora Lankans also do this.

    They’ll protest for other issues but never their own.

  2. Vishal Ganesan, Saagar Enjeti, Adi Sethi, Pratik Chougule, Akhilesh Pillalamarri, Anang Mittal

  3. What about Vivek Ramaswamy?

    Also, weren’t you planning to talk to Rajiv Malhotra at some point? Not sure he belongs to your IBW category but he is a public figure and Hindu, so perhaps he could fit in.

  4. why the fuck am I having to write long pieces about how the anti-caste discrimination stuff is bullshit?

    Unfortunately, Marxist thinking has completely permeated the left at this point. “Who, whom” is the watchword. Hindus of an upper caste background (as most Indians in America are) will just not be treated as honest truth-tellers and instead assumed to have an axe to grind (i.e., maintain their caste privileges) if they push back against the narrative.

    Just like if any white person pushes back against BLM and Defund narratives. There’s a reason why the likes of John McWhorter, Glenn Loury, and Coleman Hughes are the most (probably only) effective critics of the left’s identitarian activism. It’s an unfair burden, but only if you are seen as having no axe to grind or potentially have something to lose will you be treated as an honest broker.

    1. this is a good point.

      but we on the right also need to dispute this principle. white men should defend meritocracy. even if it favors them. high caste hindus should defend truth, even if it’s uncomfortable for them.

      1. I think another reason for why a based Hindu Voice will not gain mainstream prominence or be tolerated is the same reason why a based Russian/orthodox or Chinese/Confucius voice will not. And this makes sense and is justified. The amount of latitude afforded to any alternative perspective will be inversely proportional to how powerful/independent the state/civilization is .

        1. On the other hand, based Hindus get it from all four quadrants of the political circle, left, right, authoritarian and libertarian, whereas Americans received backlash mostly from the cultural right and the lib-left. Both the authoritarian right and left is actually weak in America in comparison. The Conservatives are more rightist in the economic sense, and the Left is mostly cultural. So we have a different positionality and also face more severe blowback.

  5. firstly, about time, i appreciate razib, i said this before. among the very few people who can speak meaningfully about different issues. So, IBW is good place to start. But more importantly, how to keep different ideological people on same platform will be very difficult if not impossible. In which case, it is important to define boundaries and make explicit that it is an exchange forum for brown folk to speak for themselves and not be others agenda peddler spokespersons for others. Not an alliance so to speak, but of backing each other on the value of speaking for themselves and having own point of view on the world at large.

    On hindu side, vishal ganeshan should be fine. He did do some work on H’s in america. The issue is to find honest people, who know how to disagree respectfully and atleast try to resolve backdoor before going forward. Also, one might need to learn from IDW failure as well.

    some basic value of meritocracy should be the common political position to agree upon.

  6. I have spent (wasted) a lot of time on Twitter discussing caste in the diaspora with Whites who assume the worst about us. I am not skilled in rhetoric or activism, but I think I present myself better than the average Indian uncle.

    I discuss the cosmopolitan and mercantile disposition of the Indian diaspora, data on high exogamy rates, the implausibility of stratification in a place (America) where everyone’s caste and socioeconomic background is fairly homogenous, the issues with the caste activists’ data (snowball sampling from activist circles), etc.

    I do not expect to outright change anyone’s mind. That never happens on the Internet. Still I had hoped someone would say something like “hmm, that is interesting.” Instead, I have had nobody even acknowledge my points, I only get ceaseless, unremitting hostility. Meanwhile the caste activists jump from victory to victory.

    It saddens me that so many Americans want to assume the worst about us. But at this point, I’m done with this issue, and am fortunately well-placed enough that it will not affect me (southerners don’t even know I’m Indian, some have literally asked me if I’m Cherokee, I wish I was making this up). Someone else can take up the torch if they want.

    1. envy is harder to beat, the more successful, the jews were targetted for a reason.

  7. Razib is asking for “truth” , doesnt matter from which group you demand truth, but in a world where no one cares for it, asking for truth is a difficult thing to do. It is better to aim for one principle that unites everyone. Meritocracy. Division of scholarship from activism. As johnathan haidt said, universities can care for truth or activism, not both. That way, they can ignore friendly fights, else not possible.

    secularism should be upgraded to take into effect these new non religious cults. Find the basic common minimum one can all politically chamion and get behind, avoid public friendly fire on each other, make that the principle for joining the group. Truth with capital T will win eventually anyway, what one needs together is to create a network of trust.

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