Victimhood culture metastasizes

One of the most important papers for understanding the political climate we live in is “Microaggression and Moral Cultures” by Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning (The article made a splash–it was covered in The Atlantic, among other places–and we covered Jonathan Haidt’s reaction to it here at Difficult Run back in September of last year. You can download the full paper for free, however, and you should do that). In the article, Campbell and Manning explore three stages in the evolution of moral culture: Honor culture Dignity culture Victimhood culture The…

Star-Spangled Clamor

“And where is that band who so vauntingly swore, That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion, A home and a country, should leave us no more? Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.” —from “The Star-Spangled Banner”, by Francis Scott Key. On many occasions I have proclaimed my visceral disdain for the national anthem of my country. There are few songs that suck worse than “The Star-Spangled Banner”. When I attend events where I know the song will be sung, I do my best to skulk…

About the University of Chicago and Free Speech

Let me give you some background: I’m one of those guys is very skeptical of the impact of contemporary social justice activists1 on free speech. One of the most-read posts I’ve ever published to Difficult Run was my manifesto on the topic: When Social Justice Isn’t About Justice. I stand by it. So when news broke that the University of Chicago had sent out a letter to students warning them that there’d by no “safe space” or “trigger warning” shenanigans, you might think that I’d feel a little sense of triumph,…

The Mero Moment: White Privilege – June 16, 2016

Discussing today’s topic is a no-win situation – like when your wife asks you if her new dress makes her look fat. The term “white privilege” is fraught with rhetorical disaster. I’m foolish for even raising the issue, and more foolish still for a variety of substantive reasons in raising the issue. Frankly, I don’t know the meaning of white privilege but feel compelled to raise the issue because, evidently, I’m guilty of it. So, let’s begin with the politically correct meaning of white privilege. The radically liberal Southern Poverty…

The Mero Moment: The Open Society and the End of Freedom – June 9, 2016

If there is one redeeming aspect of his character – if any at all – people seem to like that Donald Trump says what’s on his mind. People who like Trump often say that they like how he speaks. People like candor. I, too, often “think out loud,” just say what’s on my mind in the moment. But, unlike Trump, my candor can get me in trouble. Trump, it seems, is made of Teflon for many voters. But this commentary is not about Donald Trump. It’s about thought and speech…

Use government to silence viewpoints? Let’s not

By Dave Buer Utahns can set their watches by several worn-out themes that are repeated each and every legislative session. One such example is the influence that the state’s dominant faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has on public policy. Note that you will rarely, if ever, hear progressives complain about meddling from another faith, as when the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City weighs in on immigration, Medicaid, social services and so on. That’s because, critics argue, the LDS Church has an outsized influence in Utah…