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Related Categories: California | Government & Elections
Shellenberger - An IDW Candidate Running for CA Governor
by Trace
An avid supporter of the so-called Intellectual Dark Web (IDW) is running for governor of California.
Michael Shellenberger ran for California governor in 2018 as a Democrat. He is running again in the 2022 gubernatorial election, this time as an independent candidate aligned with the Intellectual Dark Web, or IDW for short. The term IDW was coined by Eric Weinstein, managing director of Thiel Capital. [More on Eric Weinstein and Peter Thiel later.] The IDW is essentially opposed to progressive politics, and the changes progressives have made to the cultural landscape. It's a movement in opposition to the dual specters of 'wokeness' and 'cancel culture'. The movement has become so extremist that even former IDW icon, Sam Harris, has said that members of the IDW movement are "sounding fairly bonkers.”

You might be familiar with IDW being associated with the rightwing publication 'Quilette', a magazine funded in part through Peter Thiel [See, I said he'd come up again] and Thiel adjacent investors. As an author, Michael Shellenberger has written for Quilette. You might have heard of Quilette because of the propagandist Andy Ngo, who has been an editor and writer for the publisher. To get material for Quilette, Andy Ngo has worked directly with the extremist organization called Proud Boys. Ngo also edited an article featuring a list of journalists who Quilette labelled as being Antifa activists. The journalists in the list were the subject of a threatening video made by the fascist group Attomwaffen. The Quilette article and Attomwaffen video came out in May of 2019. Months later, Michael Shellenberger and Andy Ngo appeared on the same Sky News Australia 'Friday Show' program, on the same day (November 29th of 2019). Sky News Australia is part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, as is Fox News --- another ultra-conservative network which also promotes IDW people like Shellenberger and Ngo.

Andy Ngo and Michael Shellenberger communicate to a shared audience. The both like to write about homelessness and crime. As part of his campaign, Shellenberger believes that no homeless person with a drug addiction should be given subsidized housing. He peddles a conspiracy that Gavin Newsom, the ACLU and George Soros are responsible for a rise of crime in California.

Joe Rogan had Shellenberger as a guest on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. The podcast is a platform for IDW guests such as Eric Weinstein [See, I said he'd come up again]. Shellenberger's interview was posted on March 30th of this year. During the show, Shellenberger promoted his 2022 gubernatorial campaign. In the lead-up to his campaign, he began making the rounds to get interviewed by IDW streamers. Shellenberger appeared on Dave Rubin's show last year. On Oct 20th of last year, he was on Tim Pool's show.

When it comes to describing his platform online, Shellenberger's chosen buzzword is 'heterodox'. It's also a favorite buzzword of Peter Thiel [He's back again], who is funding a publishing platform called 'Heterodoxxx' for IDW authors. It is unknown at this time if Shellenberger will write for Heterodoxx. Another similarity between Shellenberger and Thiel, is that they both have controversial views on climate change. Peter Thiel funds a publication called 'Inference', which has been criticized as being a magazine of junk science. Shellenberger has published a series of books on the issue of climate change and climate policy, which have been criticized by various scientists and environmentalists. His writing on climate has been called "bad science and bad arguments", "excesses and harmful baggage", "fast and loose with the facts", "misleading, and patently false", and "concerned with showing climate-denying conservatives clever new ways to own the libs".

Shellenberger has been a witness for the Republican Party in climate hearings in Washington DC. His associations with the GOP pre-dated his 2018 electoral attempt. Politically right-leaning people running as Democrats is not uncommon in California, where running as a Republican can be difficult. Part of Shellenberger's presentation is to play the part of reformed leftist. It's a lucrative grift in the IDW.

About a quarter of California voters are registered as being politically independent. Another quarter are Republican. IDW venture-capitalists and media groups are backing Shellenberger, as he plays on people's fears of crime and economic anxiety, while confusing people about climate change. Even if he doesn't gain enough support to win, he could shift California politics and policy-making further to the political right. The Democratic Party in California is certainly not committed to progressives. Shellenberger is a grifter who writes disinformation on climate change, he has planted himself in the same socio-political movement as people like Tim Pool and Andy Ngo, and is adjacent to the the venture-capitalists who are funding a nationwide neo-fascist agenda.
§Shellenberger, Bari Weiss, IDW and the Dark Enlightenment
by Trace
Bari Weiss brought attention to the IDW in her mostly positive article 'Meet the Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web'. Written in 2018, for the New York Times, the article is seen as influential in bringing awareness to and increasing the growth of the Intellectual Dark Web. Bari Weiss addressed the question: is she "a member of this movement?" She responds by saying "I get the appeal of the I.D.W.". In 2020, Bari Weiss quit the New York Times, after numerous New York Times staff criticized the paper's decision to print Senator Tom Cotton's op-ed calling for Donald Trump to use the US military against protestors and rioters. Weiss referred to those critical staffers as "social justice warriors" who were causing "civil war" inside the New York Times. She resigned.

On Twitter, Michael Shellenberger has referred to Weiss' 'Meet the Renegades...' article as being "foundational". Shellenberger is a writer for Bari Weiss on the Substack platform. On March 1st, Weiss published Shellenberger's article blaming the invasion of Ukraine on environmentalists. On Twitter, Shellenberger called the article his "most important piece", since his book 'Apocalypse Never' --- a book which was panned by scientists and academics, as was labelled as being "based on inappropriate use of evidence, outdated or cherry-picked science". Also on Twitter, Shellenberger called Bari Weiss "the best editor [he's] had in 30 years of journalism". He gave her credit for helping to create his essay which blames Putin's invasion on people like Greta Thunberg.

Bari Weiss is in the process of creating a new type of university that has no degrees. The unaccredited university is called the University of Austin Texas, or UATX for short. Initial funding for this university comes from Peter Thiel and Joe Lonsdale, both of whom co-founded the surveillance corporation Palantir. Thiel and Lonsdale are proponents of the Dark Enlightenment, which is a technocratic, neo-reactionary, anti-Democracy philosophy. Along with funding UATX, Peter Thiel is spending money to back far-right politicians in various elections in the US, and is backing Trump's reelection campaign. For the Dark Enlightenment, Trump is the ultimate candidate: a President that would be satisfied with ending the electoral process and replace our Democracy with a neo-Monarchy.
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by Trace
IndyBay Editors, Can this article be promoted to the header of "Local Newswire"? Shellenberger is a Bay Area resident, and it is important for local readers to get information about what his campaign represents, and the types of circles he runs in. He has a slick PR strategy, and is well connected, which has gotten him access to news media.

This article is part of a counter-narrative that needs to develop in response to the IDW. Shellenberger is a junk-science grifter, allied with a rightwing network of people.This article was well researched, and the information within is verifiable through internet searches.
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