I'm not sure I'd say that either left or right are eating themselves, and I'm not sure that's what LF meant. I think he might have just meant that people on each side accuse the other of it? He can clarify I'm sure. I do think alongside ideological polarization we are seeing a potential realignment around populist/nationalist movements, especially on the right. There are some battles between otherwise "conservative" thinkers on the right about this, e.g. the so-called #NeverTrump'ers and the populists. Say for example the difference between David Frum and Pat Buchanan. But rather than the right "eating itself" it's more like just that the nationalists are winning.
I think it's interesting that from my perspective most of the issues you raised above are more conservative criticisms of liberals than they are important arguments between people on the left. I'll grant that I have read plenty of debates between liberals about the scope of criticisms involving Islam. But the rest are mostly topics conservatives raise, rather than being the source of strife on the left. I think there are disagreements between different parts of the left on how to prioritize different issues, e.g. between what I might call the Sanders/Warren wing of the Democratic party and the Clinton wing. But they wouldn't frame any of those debates in the way you have. Your framing is essentially a conservative one.
Also interesting: I don't think of Sam Harris as being on the left. I think he would identify as something of centrist/moderate. He has always had some more conservative views. You could say that his position within the Democratic party is more tenuous now because of ideological polarization: it used to be that political affiliation was not as closely connected with ideology, so there were some liberal/moderate Republicans and some moderate/conservative Democrats. That is less the case now. Harris may have been a conservative Democrat based in some large part on his views about religion and the religious right. Now he doesn't fit as easily into the Democratic party. But he was never really a "leftist", per se.
I know you were just trying to think of examples, but I think your parenthetical is inaccurate and since this is a topic I've read a lot of research on, I hope you'll forgive me for going down this rabbit hole for a minute. You can skip this if you don't care
It's a complicated topic, but as stated I think the above is inaccurate. To be very brief:
- You can just look at BLS data. This statement is true: "In 2018, among full time wage and salary workers, the median weekly salary for women was 81% of the median weekly salary for men." That number has been pretty consistent for a while. The 77c number is from older BLS data.
- What's not as straightforward is that this statistic represents (only) discrimination. In fact it certainly is not only a consequence of discrimination. The causes are pretty complicated. There's a really good 2016 NBER article that talks about a lot of the factors in some detail, which is recommended to anyone who is interested.
- Some of the gap is because of differences in chosen occupations, hours worked, and some is a penalty paid for taking maternity leave (although interestingly men pay no similar paternity penalty)
- Some of it is likely to be discrimination; estimates vary, but probably less than half. Discrimination becomes likely just by ruling out other potential explanations, but there are also other studies that look for more direct evidence. The NBER paper discusses a few
"Left-splaining" is a new one to me. Would you call the above "left-splaining"? To me, it is what I said I tried to do before: focus on explanations that establish the existence of meaningful social problems. "The gender wage gap is a myth" is a conservative talking point that I think is inaccurate. "Women make 77c on the dollar" can also be pretty misleading with no context, where the implication is that the gap is entirely caused by discrimination. I think we could have more productive debates about these issues if we understood them better, so I try to explain them. Also, the time I've spent trying to explain them to people has forced me to spend a lot of time researching, which I think has been helpful for me. For example my research led me to studies that suggest that gendered occupational preferences are unlikely to be explained by discrimination. Women in countries with more gender equality show stronger preferences towards different occupations than men. This is relevant to the wage gap given the different salaries for different occupations. I think research like that is probably under-appreciated on the left, although I would also point out that we should ask why we value some occupations more than others.
In any case, if "left-splaining" is supposed to be analogous to "man-splaining", then I think it would have the connotation of "explaining" something to people who actually understand it better than you do. That's kind of the point of "man-splaining" as a complaint. I think the problem with all of these concepts can be that they deftly side-step the important part where its established whether any particular claims are right or wrong. Not every instance of a man trying to explain how they view something to a woman is illegitimate. Not every instance of a conservative/liberal trying to explain their position on an issue to the other side is inherently wrong either. We can't have useful debates if we can't explain ourselves. We could always be better at debating though, and listening better.
Sure, I think sometimes they point out actual examples of over-reach or over-radicalization, like with Evergreen. I also think there are legitimate difficulties associated with balancing identity-related issues between different groups in a multi-cultural democratic society, and there is some need to find ways of addressing group-specific complaints in a universally-fair way. There's definitely such a thing as too much identity politics, or such a thing as a politics too oriented around grievances. I don't often agree with the way conservatives approach these topics, but I agree that there are legitimate issues that are tricky to balance. This is something where I appreciated Obama's approach, actually.
I believe that I can be wrong in all sorts of unanticipated ways. I strongly believe in the value of empirical research because it's a useful check on that. At the same time, I don't think it would make sense to think that all judgements are equally likely on all subjects. I think there are topics where I'm quite confident in my knowledge, and others where I'm not (an example: economics). There are topics where I'm confident I've worked harder to understand them than others, and topics where I'm blissfully ignorant. It's kind of like dealing with religious arguments. I'm not really persuaded by Pascal's wager, i.e. the whole "what if you're wrong?" approach. I wouldn't be impressed by a Christian accusing me of atheist-splaining their religion to them, because I think I have good reasons to be an atheist. I also think I have good reason to believe at least a few other things. And then of course some disagreements are more about values than facts.
I skipped over your post about narratives for a bit. I'll come back to it though. This is long enough (sorry)