Chicago Boyz

                 
 
 
What Are Chicago Boyz Readers Reading?
 

 
  •   Enter your email to be notified of new posts:
    Loading
  •   Problem? Question?
  •   Contact Authors:

  • CB Twitter Feed
  • Blog Posts (RSS 2.0)
  • Blog Posts (Atom 0.3)
  • Incoming Links
  • Recent Comments

    • Loading...
  • Authors

  • Notable Discussions

  • Recent Posts

  • Blogroll

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Is Free Speech Too Exhausting?

    Posted by David Foster on October 25th, 2020 (All posts by )

    A group of Duke Law students, demanding the disinvitation of visiting speaker, used the phrase ‘we are tired.’  Jonathan Turley remarks:

    Those three words sum up a great deal of the anti-free speech movement growing on our campuses. Students and faculty have grown tired of free speech. Opposing views are now treated as threats and intolerable for students.

    It does seem that a lot of people these days–especially, perhaps, people of college age–find it incredibly wearying and even threatening to be presented with any views that contradict their own.  Reading the above, I was immediately reminded of a remark that a young woman made (to writer Ida Wylie) during the Nazi era:

    We Germans are so happy.  We are free from freedom”

    There definitely seems to be a reaction against free expression going on in America today…how strong it is and how deep it goes remains to be seen.  But as one indicator, a survey by YouGov shows that 43% of those who identify as Liberals favor firing an executive who *privately* donated money to Trump, and 22% of those who identify as Conservatives favor firing an executive who privately donated to Biden…the numbers are 50% and 36% for *strong* liberals and conservatives respectively.

    What are the causes for the apparently-growing hostility toward free speech in the US?  Part of it, perhaps, is a hankering for security.  David Brooks suggests that:

    The values of the Millennial and Gen Z generations that will dominate in the years ahead are the opposite of Boomer values: not liberation, but security; not freedom, but equality; not individualism, but the safety of the collective; not sink-or-swim meritocracy, but promotion on the basis of social justice…Distrustful people try to make themselves invulnerable, armour themselves up in a sour attempt to feel safe… start to see threats that aren’t there.

    I’m not generally much of a fan of Brooks’ analyses and conclusion, but even a stopped (analog) clock is right twice a day.  Perhaps he has a valid point here?

    Another factor, I suspect, is changes in family structure.  Kids who are put in a day-care situation at a very early age may develop a lifelong or at least long-term tendency to identify with the group…whatever that group might be…more than those who are raised in a traditional family situation, and especially so if there is only one parent in the home.  As one data point, here’s an interesting article by someone who was raised in a collective situation in an early Israeli kibbutz.

    And perhaps the threats and realities of Islamic terrorism have also had an influence…for 20 years now, there has been a constant (if low-level) sense that ‘if you say anything that the radical Islamists don’t like, they may kill you.’  Has this led to a habit of speech-guarding that has been generalized into many aspects of life?

     

     

    38 Responses to “Is Free Speech Too Exhausting?”

    1. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

      Brooks is correct, but you are even more correct in your additions.

      We forget that the generations after us were socialised differently. In particular, those of us who did raise our children with two parents and little or no day care often overlook that this was not universal for those who came after. We see their lives as a continuity with past generations. Their peers were severed from that continuity, and it has a cumulative effect.

    2. raven Says:

      Why wouldn’t they want crowd security? We have coddled them from birth to their 20’s, and never gave them the chance to take a risk. Consequently they now “feel” a conflicting opinion is tantamount to an actual assault.

      How many kids ever get to play outside till dark anymore?
      Ride a bike without a helmet? Drink out of a hose? Insert old guy examples by the lot. People don’t have the faintest idea anymore of how to assess risk, because they have been so insulated.

      The “safety first” programming is killing us. It is used as an excuse to take away life’s pleasures, and soon, all liberty. The covidian’s edicts being a prime example.

    3. Mike K Says:

      The bike helmets brings up to topic of car seats. My daughter has an 18 month old and was talking about coming over to visit. That brought up the topic of car seats. If I picked them up at the airport, where I get a car seat? She could probably bring it as luggage but that would mean checked luggage and more time at the airport.

      \Now, I understand there is the issue of multiple car seats for older children. How many car seats must she buy ? I hear year olds have to be in some sort of car seat.

      My kids grew up successfully in the ages before car seats. How did they do it ?

    4. Jay Guevara Says:

      A group of Duke Law students, demanding the disinvitation of visiting speaker, used the phrase ‘we are tired.’

      Then you should seek less demanding employment. Working at Starbucks leaps to mind in this connection.

    5. Jay Guevara Says:

      How many kids ever get to play outside till dark anymore?
      Ride a bike without a helmet? Drink out of a hose? Insert old guy examples by the lot.

      Will do.

      When is the last time you saw kids playing touch football in the street?

      As kids, we used to do that all the time (“go down to the Buick, cut right, and I’ll hit you with a pass”).

      Periodically interrupted by calls of “car coming!”

      Or pickup baseball or basketball games? Instead, the moms all arrange – and drive their kids to – “playdates.”

      Back in the day, it was customary to get on your bike (literally and figuratively), go over to a friend’s house, and ask, “Can Timmy come out and play?” All with the understanding that all were to be home by nightfall.

    6. PenGun Says:

      You are living in the past, your glory days. Those kids see a banal, trivial and dishonest culture being forced on them, and kids are very sensitive to that kind of thing. Some surveys reveal that fewer than half of younger Americans believe in American exceptionalism any more, and its not hard to see why.

    7. Jay Guevara Says:

      Those kids see a banal, trivial and dishonest culture being forced on them, and kids are very sensitive to that kind of thing. Some surveys reveal that fewer than half of younger Americans believe in American exceptionalism any more, and its not hard to see why.

      Communist penetration of education?

      Look on the bright side: the Democrats are doing their flat level best to educate the young about American exceptionalism, albeit they are doing so inadvertently.

      I lived in Europe for many years, and only then came to grasp the full import of American exceptionalism. As a youth, I used to laugh at old conservative codgers inveighing against something as “un-American.” Once after living in Europe, I understood their point. And they were right.

    8. Brian Says:

      I’ve heard that a lot from radical racialists the last few years. It’s a keyword they’ve learned from their X Studies classes as a way to bully their way to power, and not have to actually make an argument.

    9. Xennady Says:

      I suspect free speech became too exhausting for leftists once they noticed they were losing too many arguments. In my experience, right-wingers are generally quite happy to debate leftists, both online and in real life. Back when I used to debate leftists for fun, on leftist sites, very often they would simply ban people who disagreed with them. Very often when I see leftists on conservative sites, they are usually unable to offer up any sort of coherent argument. I suspect many of them are simply paid by the word and don’t care.

      The remainder- having never been faced with opposition, they have no idea what to do or how to handle it. Panic ensues, along with demands to make it stop. These are the sort of folks churned out by the American educational system, which for all practical purposes is run by communists for the sole purpose of spreading communist dogma. They’re hardly going to introduce their students to the arguments against communism, for what I think are obvious reasons, and they certainly don’t want them to know how to think for themselves, either.

      But as one indicator, a survey by YouGov shows that 43% of those who identify as Liberals favor firing an executive who *privately* donated money to Trump, and 22% of those who identify as Conservatives favor firing an executive who privately donated to Biden…the numbers are 50% and 36% for *strong* liberals and conservatives respectively.

      Hence, this. If you know you can’t win an argument your best bet is make sure it can’t happen. Intimidate your opponents into silence, and later, just kill them. That’s the communist way. Many people will go along with it, in an attempt to save their own skin. Others will figure it out, and decide to do unto others before they can do unto you. My guess is that eventually conservatives will approach the liberal percentages, simply as a matter of self defense.

      Or it will simply result in open violence before the percentages can equalize. There’s an old saying that liberals belief conservatives are evil, and conservatives believe liberals are stupid. We can tell it’s old because it was before “liberals” decided to rebrand themselves as “progressives” but I digress.

      Anyway, my take is that the “liberals” have spent the last several decades convincing conservatives that they are not only stupid, but evil as well. When the both sides of such a political division decides the other is evil, ugly times are ahead.

      And David Brooks remains a fool.

    10. Jay Guevara Says:

      But as one indicator, a survey by YouGov shows that 43% of those who identify as Liberals favor firing an executive who *privately* donated money to Trump, and 22% of those who identify as Conservatives favor firing an executive who privately donated to Biden…the numbers are 50% and 36% for *strong* liberals and conservatives respectively.

      Consider the difference in attitudes toward Rush Limbaugh and Air America.

      Liberals wanted the government to kick Rush Limbaugh off the airwaves, because reasons.

      I’ve never heard a conservative wanting the government to do the same to Air America. Sure, we were thrilled went it off the air – because of market forces, not because of government coercion. I myself would have opposed any effort by the government to intervene.

      The mechanism for leftist coercion, I suspect, is that leftists/liberals are constantly told that theirs is the moral viewpoint, in fact the only moral viewpoint, so they feel justified in taking any steps necessary to silence those with other viewpoints. In this respect, they resemble Muslim fundamentalists.

      In an effort to understand the psychology of these groups, I’ve considered how I would react to someone justifying, say, child pornography or something equally odious on which there could be no compromise whatsoever.

    11. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

      An older psychiatrist mentioned, when the topic of bicycle helmets came up “Yes, the children who got brain injured got sent away to special schools, you never saw them again and forgot about them. I trained at one of those places.” Don’t let selection bias control your decisions.

      In fact, never let what you think you remember from your childhood control your opinions, because it’s never accurate. Memory is faulty. Yes, even yours. Facts, not feelings. It used to be a hallmark of conservatives, but in the last generation that has slipped away.

    12. MCS Says:

      I can remember at that age having a great many opinions and still do. The difference is that the few I still have that coincide with my earlier ones are much less emphatic. A lot of them were mugged by reality and no few are too embarrassing to contemplate. I think this is a normal process for non-pathological individuals. It’s called growing up.

      As these youths go out in the real world, most will come to terms with the fact that most people really don’t care what they think. They’ll be forced to take a job from or otherwise work with imperfect people. They’ll, mostly, come to realize that it isn’t even that bad to share a lunch table with someone that believes there are really only two sexes, they can always talk about the Cowboys instead. Those that won’t can try to make a living as poets or panhandlers. Where there was the academy for these misfits of my generation, this generation stands a better chance of winning a lottery than tenure.

    13. Mike K Says:

      Back when I used to debate leftists for fun, on leftist sites, very often they would simply ban people who disagreed with them.

      I used to read and comment on Huffpo and Washington Monthly. I followed Kevin Drum, who is a rare honest leftist, from his own blog. About 2004, the the Bush TANG forgery, the commenters there all went nuts. Kevin actually did some research and concluded the memos were fake, much as he wished them to be real.

      Aster that I was banned and my comments were deleted. Amusingly, the comments by others attacking me were not.

      I noticed comments being deleted on Huffpo and quit bothering,

    14. raven Says:

      An older psychiatrist mentioned, when the topic of bicycle helmets came up “Yes, the children who got brain injured got sent away to special schools, you never saw them again and forgot about them. I trained at one of those places.” Don’t let selection bias control your decisions.

      Well, there is your example of selection bias…..!

    15. MCS Says:

      I’m with AVI on bicycle helmets. I also spent a little time at a rehab facility that specialized in neurological injuries, strokes and auto mostly but likely bikes as well. Thinking about it is enough to make me pause to be sure my seat belt is cinched up right. I think helmets are progress, some of the rest, not so much.

    16. raven Says:

      My concern is not with helmets nor seatbelts- those are markers, just two of hundreds. My concern is with coercion- once you accept the state can dictate actions that only affect an individuals own well being, the door gets opened wide-
      And whenever someone objects and says, “It is MY life”, they turn around and come up with a “cost to society” excuse. They do it as a standard when they want to limit a right.
      I am not talking about actions which clearly do pose risks to others- like texting and driving.

      My belief is that life has risks- and that the effort to suppress risk, while it may save the lives of some, imposes a cultural cost to the society- we did not get where we are by avoiding all risk.

      It starts early. One day years ago my 6 year old daughter came out to the shop, frustrated and crying. She had some school work involving cutting paper with scissors.
      The school supplied scissors were a cheap plastic molding with a couple of pieces of metal pop riveted on for “blades”. The POS was so poorly made and so dull as to prove completely incapable of cutting anything. So I got her a sharp pair and told her the school was so obsessed with “safety”, they gave her a tool that would not cut, and that if she cut herself , to come get me and we would bandage her up. Risk, reward, consequence.

      And a favorite story of consequences or the lack thereof-
      Legends, fairy tales etc. used to have a parable wrapped up in them, educational for the kids. – so her school puts on a play. Three little pigs. House of straw, house of sticks, house of bricks. Better build a good house or you will get eaten!! Only in the school version, the little piggies in house of straw and house of sticks just ran over to live with their brother piggie who had put out the work to build a house of brick- I could hardly believe it- a microcosm of socialism in action. It just left out the fact that piggies get tired of building brick houses for others. Or like someone said once, they shrug.

      Just got a new tool catalog. Every item, on every page, has a asterix and a California Prop. 65 warning. The funny thing is, there might actually be a few things that are hazardous to your health in it (not just cutting off a finger, that is sort of standard in my industry.) But if you did not know, you could not determine what is really dangerous, and what has a warning to deter the vultures. Classic case of boy and wolf.

      I guess in short my comment is this- if we train people to be infantile sheep, they will seek a flock to live in and hope they get eaten last. It is what sheep do.

    17. Bill Brandt Says:

      I think the group-think might be genetic. I can remember in the early 50s – first going to a day-care center in LA, then a pre-school. I had one good friend that I remembered and cared for more friends. Wasn’t looking for anybody. Only time I did something as a group was to have graham crackers and milk then enforced “nap time” ;-)

      But as to the getting tired” arguments it simply means to me they are tired of being challenged for ideas that are opposite their beliefs.

      In “schools of higher learning” of all places.

    18. Xennady Says:

      I used to read and comment on Huffpo and Washington Monthly. I followed Kevin Drum, who is a rare honest leftist, from his own blog. About 2004, the the Bush TANG forgery, the commenters there all went nuts. Kevin actually did some research and concluded the memos were fake, much as he wished them to be real.

      The good old days internet commentary. This is exactly the sort of thing I was thinking of. I haven’t heard the name Kevin Drum in years, which I suppose is easily explained either because he is honest and thus has no place in the modern left or simply because he now writes for a publication or website that I will never read.

      …I was banned and my comments were deleted. Amusingly, the comments by others attacking me were not.

      Ditto. It used to be said that everyone the right to their opinion but not their own set of facts.

      I think an important reason we now have people who don’t believe genitals have anything to do with gender, or think that 2+2=4 is a lie of the patriarchy, is because they never had the benefit of having someone laugh at them and tell them they were full of beans.

      A notable portion of that came about because leftists decided to simply ban people who told them hate facts instead of admitting they were wrong about something and moving on.

      Shrug. Reality won’t go away to spare their feelings.

    19. Xennady Says:

      Only in the school version, the little piggies in house of straw and house of sticks just ran over to live with their brother piggie who had put out the work to build a house of brick- I could hardly believe it- a microcosm of socialism in action.

      In the children’s book version I skimmed over in horrified disgust, the piglets all ran over to live with mamma pig, who then had a barbecue with the wolves. I don’t recall mention of a daddy pig, of course.

      I find this version both vile and insane, which is typical of the evil nonsense spewed out by leftists.

    20. Christopher B Says:

      AVI – Facts, not feelings. It used to be a hallmark of conservatives, but in the last generation that has slipped away.

      My memory is probably faulty but I can remember a time when *everybody* felt that presenting factual claims was the proper way to do things, and even liberals claimed they were the ‘reality-based community’ as opposed to conservatives who based everything on their biased view points.

    21. MCS Says:

      Xennady,
      The version you decry may be closer to real life than the fairy tale. What creature were they barbecuing? I think a wolf would have to be very desperate to tackle a sounder (had to look it up) of feral hogs. I’d expect the hogs to come out on top. They’d be more than happy to eat the wolf.

      I find a lot more to take exception to in modern education than the lack of wanton butchery in a school play.

      Of course college students are tired, many have just discovered alcohol and sex without parental interference. Thinking for many is more effort than they have energy remaining. Thinking is more than some will ever be capable of.

      I wouldn’t want to have to supervise 20-30 six year olds with the sort of scissors I have in my shop. A one on one situation is a little different, bet you took some time to show her how to be careful. It’s good to learn young that good tools are a privilege and will bite you. You have to start somewhere to work up to the iron worker and chop saw. Scissors are a good place. I still have all my fingers and both eyes and a few scars as well.

    22. James the lesser Says:

      Raven,
      Isn’t that 3 Little Pigs story the old Disney version? Maybe the blame lies elsewhere…

    23. OBloodyHell Says:

      }}} I’ve considered how I would react to someone justifying, say, child pornography or something equally odious on which there could be no compromise whatsoever.

      You mean, like, say, “Cuties”?

    24. OBloodyHell Says:

      }}} They’ll, mostly, come to realize that it isn’t even that bad to share a lunch table with someone that believes there are really only two sexes, they can always talk about the Cowboys instead.

      No they won’t.

      “The Cowboys” will soon be under attack, just as all the teams named after Amerindians are.

      After all — cancel culture is going after Woody, from Toy Story (YES: “Huh?!?!”):

      https://www.dailywire.com/news/disney-under-pressure-to-remove-woody-from-toy-story

      Joanne Davis, a 33-year old mother from Ithaca, New York, tweeted:

      “Flipping channels and this murdering piece of [expletive] plastic comes on. Literally in tears rn. How do I explain this to my daughter?”

      Until we just fucking all get disgusted with these assholes and start bitchslapping them every time they open their pieholes, it’s just flat out not going to stop.

      Our greatest hope is that the 911 generation is going to start getting offended along with the older gen, and see the nihilist end result we are headed towards, and break free.

      This does have a hope of happening. As Paul Joseph Watson has noted, PostModern Liberalism is “The Man”. If you want to rebel, as each generation does, there is only one direction you can go — towards conservativism and/or libertarianism.

    25. OBloodyHell Says:

      }}} “Flipping channels and this murdering piece of [expletive] plastic comes on. Literally in tears rn. How do I explain this to my daughter?”

      “I dunno? Stick your head in a gas oven and blow out the pilot light?”

      By all means, please do so. Don’t delay. It’s the only hope your child has of a future.

    26. David Foster Says:

      The link to the story by the guy who grew up in an early kibbutz was messed up…fixed now.

    27. David Foster Says:

      Ran across something relevant in the memoirs of writer Edna Ferber:

      “Countless children, born during the war years, had been known to Social Services workers as Door Key Children. The mother was absent from home during the day, being otherwise engaged in ammunition factory employment or other war work; the father was absent being otherwise engaged in war. The door key, attached to a longish piece of string, worn around the children’s neck, beneath the clothing. Between 1941 and 1948 these bewildered and self-raised children were well on their was to forming the nucleus of the night-blooming Beatnik Generation. Bewildered children, brash, resentful, disorganized; grown now into bewildered adults.”

    28. OBloodyHell Says:

      }}} I’m with AVI on bicycle helmets. I also spent a little time at a rehab facility that specialized in neurological injuries, strokes and auto mostly but likely bikes as well. Thinking about it is enough to make me pause to be sure my seat belt is cinched up right. I think helmets are progress, some of the rest, not so much.

      This IS selection bias in action. There are millions — LITERALLY MILLIONS — of kids who rode bikes without helmets and never had anything massively serious happen to them. How many kids, in the last 100 years, have suffered brain injuries? Is it even 10,000? Out of how many BILLIONS of “bicycle-hours” of boy (and girl) -hood?

      I broke my arm on a bike when I was 12. I tried to do something stupid on the bike, and paid the price.

      I had another friend, in college, who attempted to skateboard down a large hill. Got about a third of the way down and discovered that the board got particularly unstable after a certain speed. He was still pulling gravel out of the wound weeks later.

      Shit happens. It’s how you learn caution, instead of timidity.

    29. raven Says:

      “Isn’t that 3 Little Pigs story the old Disney version? Maybe the blame lies elsewhere…

      Beats me, I am not familiar with Disney, for the most part.
      Mom raised me on sci-fi and American History. Heinlein and Kenneth Roberts and so forth. And the Bros.Grim…

      It is not just the Piggies, not just the helmets,
      the coddle-rot is everywhere- the singleminded obsession with safety-rules is stifling our country. Kids need to grow, and they cannot grow without some freedom and consequence.

    30. OBloodyHell Says:

      OK, Disclaimer — the townhall piece is a spoof.

      But the real problem, here?

      It’s all too believable for it to be true.

      The current gen is really that insane.

    31. Ginny Says:

      I’ve known well two people whose lives were more narrowly confined than otherwise because a sibling had a severe head injury and the family chose to shelter them for the next 70 years – those head injuries in youth can end much of one person’s life and some of many. One of those was on a playground, the other a barn mishap – both have more regulations today than then. Their families made choices that were loving, responsible, and the siblings learned much about these virtues, but their lives were constrained a good deal more than helmet-wearers are. (And the siblings have never spoken to me of that constraint – they have assumed that was the nature of life, both have a gentleness mixed with fatalism. Maybe that is a good lesson in life, too; one that later generations who seem (with the help of litigators) to always feel there is blame to be assigned at less than perfect situations.
      It seems strange to me, too, to see people in helmets – we were free and young and turned loose early in the summer to ride all day – a mile out in the country to a friend’s house, downtown to the library, etc. I don’t like the idea, either, of constraints. But that risk is neither minor nor rare.

    32. Ginny Says:

      Cognitive dissonance is hard to live with. If you tend to believe what you are told, then holding the two opposing views doesn’t lead to analysis but frustration. No wonder it is tiring. And rising above – making it intellectual and looking at true evidence – is harder to do when our minds are filled with covid fear, children’s needs, financial problems, racial guilt – whatever goes on in leftist minds. It is no wonder that citizens of locked down blue states are more distressed. Unfortunately.

    33. Jay Guevara Says:

      And whenever someone objects and says, “It is MY life”, they turn around and come up with a “cost to society” excuse.

      Which couples right into socialized medicine.

      “We’re paying to patch up people who made decisions we consider bad.”

      “More fool us, for getting involved.”

    34. Anonymous Says:

      In the children’s book version I skimmed over in horrified disgust, the piglets all ran over to live with mamma pig, who then had a barbecue with the wolves.

      Question: what were they barbecuing? Was there perhaps a maximum of three barbecues on offer? Or is that an indelicate question?

    35. Jay Guevara Says:

      Sorry, that was me.

    36. Jay Guevara Says:

      I wouldn’t want to have to supervise 20-30 six year olds with the sort of scissors I have in my shop.

      Chemistry faculty now are expected to personally supervise their grad students and postdocs in the laboratory. Charges have been brought against some faculty whose subordinates have sustained injuries in the laboratory. (I left academia before finding out the resolution of such charges.

      It is utter madness, for a variety of reasons. It is not as though chemistry faculty have nothing else to do but serve as glorified lifeguards. There is the small matter of teaching, administration, writing and reviewing grants and papers.

      But on top of that, grad students and a forteriori postdocs have more chemistry experience than practically any high school chemistry teacher. Are all high school labs dangerous? If a department has a Nobel Laureate, should he be supervising ALL laboratories?

      Should MDs be looking out for nurses 24/7, and the head of medicine personally supervising the MDs 24/7?

      Madness.

    37. Xennady Says:

      Question: what were they barbecuing? Was there perhaps a maximum of three barbecues on offer? Or is that an indelicate question?

      I don’t recall, but I suspect it was a cisnormative heterosexual who identified as a caucasian male.

    38. Anonymous Says:

      Brooks is a bed wetter.
      He is living proof over and over that a blind pig can find an acorn every now and then.