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The Age of Outrage: What the Current Political Climate is Doing to Our Country and Our Universities

Jonathan Haidt writes: Here is the fine-tuned liberal democracy hypothesis: as tribal primates, human beings are unsuited for life in large, diverse secular democracies, unless you get certain settings finely adjusted to make possible the development of stable political life. This seems to be what the Founding Fathers believed. Jefferson, Madison, and the rest of those eighteenth-century deists clearly did think that designing a constitution was like designing a giant clock, a clock that might run forever if they chose the right springs and gears.

Thankfully, our Founders were good psychologists. They knew that we are not angels; they knew that we are tribal creatures. As Madison wrote in Federalist 10: “the latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man.” Our Founders were also good historians; they were well aware of Plato’s belief that democracy is the second worst form of government because it inevitably decays into tyranny. Madison wrote in Federalist 10 about pure or direct democracies, which he said are quickly consumed by the passions of the majority: “such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention . . . and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

So what did the Founders do? They built in safeguards against runaway factionalism, such as the division of powers among the three branches, and an elaborate series of checks and balances. But they also knew that they had to train future generations of clock mechanics. They were creating a new kind of republic, which would demand far more maturity from its citizens than was needed in nations ruled by a king or other Leviathan.

Here is the education expert E.D. Hirsch, on the founding of our nation:

The history of tribal and racial hatred is the history and prehistory of humankind. . . . The American experiment, which now seems so natural to us, is a thoroughly artificial device designed to counterbalance the natural impulses of group suspicions and hatreds. . . . This vast, artificial, trans-tribal construct is what our Founders aimed to achieve. And they understood that it can be achieved effectively only by intelligent schooling. (From The Making of Americans)

Thomas Jefferson wrote, in 1789, that “wherever the people are well informed they can be trusted with their own government;” he backed up that claim by founding the University of Virginia, about which he wrote, in 1820: “This institution will be based on the illimitable freedom of the human mind. For here we are not afraid to follow the truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error as long as reason is left free to combat it.”

[Read the full story here, at City Journal]

So, how are we doing, as the inheritors of the clock? Are we maintaining it well? If Madison visited Washington, D.C. today, he’d find that our government is divided into two all-consuming factions, which cut right down the middle of each of the three branches, uniting the three red half-branches against the three blue half-branches, with no branch serving the original function as he had envisioned.

And how are we doing at training clock mechanics? What would Jefferson say if he were to take a tour of America’s most prestigious universities in 2017? What would he think about safe spaces, microaggressions, trigger warnings, bias response teams, and the climate of fearfulness, intimidation, and conflict that is now so prevalent on campus? But first, let’s ask: How did we mess things up so badly? Read the rest of this entry »

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BREAKING: New York Times Confesses to Causing Starvation in North Korea


That Time You Wanted to Burn an American Flag, But Couldn’t Find One

crying college student


[VIDEO] SHUT UP: You’re On The Wrong Side of History



Pope Benedict XVI: The West’s Pathological Self-Hatred

Pope Benedict XVI arrives to lead his weekly general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican June 28, 2006. REUTERS/Max Rossi (VATICAN)

“There is a self-hatred in the West that can be considered only as something pathological. The West attempts in a praiseworthy manner to open itself completely to the comprehension of external values, but it no longer loves itself; it now only sees what is despicable and destructive in its own history, while it is no longer able to perceive what is great and pure there.”  

— Pope Benedict XVI


[VIDEO] Muslim Religious Leader: ‘Saying Merry Christmas is Worse than Murder’


Why Does the Left Green Light Anti-Semitism?

 writes: Why do leftists care more about Muslims than they do about Jews? If that sounds confrontational, consider this: this week, the Met Police released the latest hate-crime figures for London. They show that offences against Jews have risen by 93% over the past year, while offences against Muslims have risen by 70%. And guess which story the BBC, Guardian and Independent, those voices of the British liberal conscience, have chosen to flag up? Yep, the 70% hike in Islamophobic attacks, not the nearly 100% hike in anti-Semitic offences.

“Pretty much every liberal newspaper in Europe continued thundering on about the potential for an ‘Islamophobic backlash’ following the Charlie killings, even as Jews were being killed.”

The BBC’s headline is ‘Islamophobic crime in London “up by 70%”‘. The Guardian‘s is ‘Hate crimes against Muslims soar in London’. The Indie opts for ‘Hate crimes against Muslims in London “up by 70%”‘. What about the crimes against Jews? Sorry, no room for those. They aren’t mentioned. Whether as a result of how the cops chose to press-release their new figures or how editors chose to interpret them, or maybe a bit of both, someone down the line has taken the decision that a bashed-up or verbally abused Muslim is more newsworthy than a bashed-up or verbally abused Jew.

“On the morning the four dead Jews were being put on a flight for burial in Israel, George Clooney was telling fawning hacks how worried he was about anti-Muslim fervour’ in Europe. It’s surreal.”

This is becoming increasingly common. For some reason, so-called progressives, especially those of a leftist bent, are made more upset by hatred of Muslims than they are by hatred of Jews.

“Some people seem more worried about possible attacks on Muslims than by actual attacks on Jews.”

It’s why the very people – Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Diane Abbott, every leftie on Twitter – who normally rail against racism, and against the people who rub shoulders with racists, could in essence say ‘What’s all the fuss?!’ when it was revealed Jeremy Corbyn had been hanging out with Holocaust deniers.

[Read the full story here, at Spectator Blogs]

It’s why every bovine attack on a mosque is held up as hard evidence that Europe is descending into a cesspool of anti-Muslim hatred, whereas you have to scour the media to find mentions of attacks on synagogues. In recent days, a Manchester teen was beaten up in a suspected anti-Semitic assault; a Jewish Spanish teenager was physically attacked; and two Holocaust survivors in Amsterdam were assaulted and called ‘dirty Jews’. Read the rest of this entry »