Well, Levine is. I’m not sure what Gladwell is up to, apart from being Gladwell. The “will you admit that another view is possible?” approach has an important place in discourse, but Levine has bigger fish to fry.
I haven’t committed to side in my thought life yet, because I’m still reading through the issues at hand. Must I take a side? How peculiar that we really are called to be peace-makers and side-takers. God’s preferential option for the poor has all kinds of things to say to public intellectuals who may or may not being shilling for Big Tobacco and Big Pharma.
The thing is, it’s not about sides. It’s about discerning the preponderance of injustice and responding faithfully. Easier said than done.
On the surface, the answer to “should journalists who cover Wall Street take money from Wall Street firms for speaking engagements?” questions seems clear. And then you think about the ability to be prophetic and take their money, and it doesn’t. Then you think about who’s money it really is, and you think about the intellectual cover and outright moral capital someone of Gladwell’s stature gives to Big Anything, and it all seems clear again.
From Levine’s perspective, the ball’s in Gladwell’s court. Do you expect a piquant jump shot or some action in the paint?
- Yves Smith takes aim at Malcolm Gladwell (businessinsider.com)
- Flawed But Indispensable Take Down of Malcolm Gladwell (izabael.com)