Links to Consider, 5/22
Lorenzo Warby on Transformational Ideology; Matt Goodwin on the cultural revolution in Britain; Ross Douthat concerning weed (rather than me saying Douthat on weed); Auguste Meyrat on kids today;
As part of group self-valorisation, feminism became the first movement in the Emancipation Sequence not to seek to generalise dignity, but to redistribute it so women have more than men. Seeking an unequal redistribution of dignity—of presumptive social standing—is now standard across social justice progressivism.
Bradley Campbell and Jason Manning describe a sequence starting with honor culture, moving to dignity culture, then to victimhood culture. In a traditional honor culture, people may have unequal status. What Warby calls the Emancipation Sequence was the effort over centuries to reform in the direction of giving everyone equal dignity. What Campbell and Manning call the victimhood culture and what Warby calls the transformative future are reform efforts that create unequal status, with membership in a historical victim class elevated above a historical oppressor class, especially the white male. By conferring on white males less dignity, the transformative future makes the arc of history bend backward, toward inequality.
Note also that Christopher Caldwell locates the turn away from equal dignity in the way that the Civil Rights movement evolved into a system of racial preferences and a sort of anti-racist police state.
the revolution reshaped the country around the values of a socially liberal and increasingly radically progressive new elite, it reshaped the institutions around the voice of this new elite while actively excluding, silencing and stigmatising the voice of millions of others, and it reorganised society around a new and profoundly divisive moral hierarchy in which, today, the only people who are seen to have social status, esteem and social honour are racial, sexual, and gender minorities or their supposedly enlightened white elite graduate "allies".
the broad downside risks of marijuana, beyond extreme dangers like schizophrenia, remain as evident as ever: a form of personal degradation, of lost attention and performance and motivation, that isn’t mortally dangerous in the way of heroin but that can damage or derail an awful lot of human lives. Most casual pot smokers won’t have this experience, but the legalization era has seen a dramatic increase the number of noncasual users. Occasional use has risen substantially since 2008, but daily or near-daily use is up much more, with around 16 million Americans, out of more than 50 million users, now suffering from what is termed marijuana use disorder.
In the 21st century, marijuana legalization has been one of libertarianism’s few “wins.” Perhaps nothing to be ashamed of, but certainly nothing to be especially proud of.
According to a recent report in the New York Post, many members of Gen Z (Zoomers) are lousy employees. A majority (65 percent) of employers say that they’ve had to fire them more often; one out of eight Zoomers were fired from their jobs in the first week; and three out of four employers “say Gen Z is hardest to work with.” Most of the challenges of working with Zoomers are attributed to their general lack of professionalism, excessive sense of entitlement, and most of all, their addiction to smartphones.
…Instead of waiting in vain for the perfectly trained employee to work for them, these executives may want to look in the mirror and see if the perfect employee would even be enough for what they have in mind.
He speaks from the vantage point of a teacher. I had a similar vantage point. I did not expect high school seniors to be perfect, but the immaturity that emerged around 2014-2016 caught me off guard.
Substacks referenced above:
"In the 21st century, marijuana legalization has been one of libertarianism’s few “wins.” Perhaps nothing to be ashamed of, but certainly nothing to be especially proud of."
A good summary.
Legalized pot may pass a utilitarian cost/benefit analysis in a vacuum. I'm less interest in that then its effect on the libertarian party which I would summarize as thus:
1) It shifted the libertarian focus from freedom to be the best you can be (start businesses, invent inventions, explore ideas) to freedom to be the worst you can be (pothead).
I may have my disagreements with Ayn Rand, but at least she was putting forward a positive vision of human accomplishment in a world of freedom. The pothead in my apartment building was not a Randian hero.
2) The popular libertarian view on crime has been majorly distorted by War on Drugs rhetoric.
I know you can find a few libertarians that are tough on crime, but the popular libertarian view on crime is that its entirely caused by the War on Drugs and that if the War on Drugs ended crime would virtually disappear. This has led to a very pro-criminal anti-police stance amongst you average libertarian.
Most people who have looked at the data know this probably isn't the case.
3) Going beyond that, the War on Drugs is like the one libertarian trick that will solve everything. Blacks aren't performing well? It's because the War on Drugs is keeping them down. Etc.
The War on Drugs became the great excuse to not really understand societies issues or take them seriously. Hence, libertarians didn't become a serious party.
4) I feel like the libertarian obsession with pot could be best summed up by the Libertarian Part 2016 nominating process. Faced with a once in a generation chance to be relevant it descended into a farce. All of its leading candidates, including the leading candidate that was supposed to add normalcy, had to talk to interviewers about what kind of marijuana they smoked.
Auguste Meyrat has kind of the perfect "I have never worked in industry" content.
"It may be important to communicate ideas clearly, follow deadlines, and show respect to others, but is it really important to use processes that are obsolete, complete tasks that are unnecessary, or deal with needless inconveniences that inhibit one’s wellbeing and potential? Is it fair to demand that younger employees respect the corporate hierarchy when older employees routinely flout it?"
Because fresh graduates are great at identifying what processes are obsolete, what tasks are unnecessary, or which inconveniences are needless? I am certainly the last to say that corporate processes are great; especially large businesses are inefficient across many margins. However, that is par for the course, and people have dealt with it for hundreds of years, and continue to do so without being whiney entitled brats.
If you don't want to do the job, quit and get a different job. If you find that every job is unworkable, maybe the problem is you, not the jobs.