If you can deal with the baroque and self-indulgent writing style, it’s a thought provoking analysis.
* Some of his most valuable content is about explaining the progressive mind, because he has one. All of his stuff is very specifically written for those who were raised as good-thinking atheist Brahminate progressives who fully absorbed their received value system.
This quote comes not from his blog, but one of his random comment-thread-bombings elsewhere on the web. I think it elucidates the appeal of his writing to the right sort of reader:
“As for “K. Marx and F. Engels,” our perspectives differ in one critical regard. Because I was born in 1973 and graduated from Brown in 1992, I am completely marinated in your perspective. No intelligent person can pretend to be unaware of progressive doctrine, still less one whose zip code is 94114! You, however, appear to have only the sketchiest and most distorted knowledge of any perspective to the right of yours. If you lack the inclination to change this, I cannot make you drink.
My misfortune, I suppose, is that I took all the horseshit that was jammed up my young ass seriously. That is: I was told I was supposed to be tolerant, keep an open mind, and above all never hate anyone. Being foolish enough to take these principles seriously, I could not remain on the reservation. I still feel they are good principles, in theory. It is certainly never too late to apply them.”
So UR is very different from what you might read from writers who converged on similar ideas through different life trajectories. Somebody who, say, went to the same elite institutions but was a member of their college Republican group wouldn’t have cut it for me; my ideological immune system would have set off antibodies at seeing particular buzzwords, shibboleths, or just subtle stylistic flourishes that give off the wrong vibe. For instance, Ross Douthat. If you develop your traditionalist thinking within progressive institutions, you’ll acquire a noticeable Outer Party patina, which makes you easier to dismiss, even by people who like to think of themselves as open-minded.
Part of what makes UR such fascinating reading is the “OMG get out of my younger self’s head” moments — touching on a lot of things you remember from your school years that you always noticed were a little bit… off, little circles you couldn’t square. But you didn’t have time to figure it all out, so it was best to just write it off as “hey, the world is complicated” for the time being. As an adult, what really keeps me eager to explore outside the Overton window is filling in some of those missing pieces while being reminded of how I felt when I first noticed them, like teasing out the root of some trauma in a therapy session. There are dots that are hard to connect unless you see how somebody else followed a similar path. That’s what makes it worth slogging through some of his book-length blog posts.