A lot of our institutional arrangements are up for renewal, undergoing serious stress tests; open to much scrutiny. I’d like to think: When you allow radicals and revolutionaries to become key drivers of change, your civilization can unzip; including more normalized violence in the public square against political enemies (downstream of protest), less civility, and a more personalized politics.
There are and will be marginalized people, of course, and they will often organize into groups, full of complex individuals, competing factions, and conflicting aims. Typically, the reaction to a particular injustice or grievance (removal of direct harm and fear of direct loss) tend to be the strongest motivators.
Heather MacDonald At The City Journal: ‘Making The Right Move On Racial Preferences‘
It’s hard to hear true things about ourselves, because they hurt, but the hurt is often the only way any one of us gets better. This is best done by family, friends and loved ones, in supportive environments.
Many people saying true things at/about us don’t have our best interests at heart, but some of those things may still be true.
‘Preferences are not the most effective way to create diverse classrooms; raising the academic competitiveness of minority students is. That will happen only when the education establishment and the media stop concealing the problem.’
Radical chic becomes Communist chic? The logic was always there, but the drift tends to be slow: Today’s low buy-in grievance and attention-getting activism become tomorrow’s deeper beliefs and voting blocs.
As I see the world, if the logic used to guide any group becomes radical and revolutionary, seeking to destroy all institutions of ‘the oppressor,’ or perhaps remaking the world through visions of collectivist utopianism full of perfectible human beings, then we’ve all got problems.
These are generally very inefficient and costly ways to address problems, and generally they lead to horrific outcomes.
There will always be closed-mindedness and narrow-thinking within academic and political institutions, as well as some nepotism and favoritism, because that’s what each one of us is: Closed-minded at times, potentially conflicted within our hearts and often conflicted in our heads between old and new ideas, profound truths and passing trends. I suspect each of us should easily be able to recall a time we’ve been wrong, hilariously misinformed, or subtly transformed by the people and ideas around us.
If thoughts become actions, and actions become habits, and habits become character, there’s really no effective way to incentivize individuals from the outside through collective and group identity; through political projects and bureaucratic committee, without incredible costs, downsides and dangers.
Idealists usually invite you to join in their idealism, not the consequences of their idealism.
From The Liberal Bastions-James Baldwin, Often
Slight Update And Repost-From The New Criterion: Theodore Dalrymple Reviews Ta-Nehisi Coates ‘Between The World And Me’