Tag: self-esteem

The Multi-Front Attack on Free Speech


Free speech…free expression generally…is under attack in America and throughout the Western world to a degree not seen in a long time. I think there are specific phenomena and (partially-overlapping) categories of people which are largely driving this attack, to wit:

The Thugs. As I pointed out in my post The United States of Weimar?, illegal actions against political opponents, ranging from theft of newspapers to direct assault and battery, have in recent decades become increasingly common on university campuses, and now are well on track to being normalized as aspects of American politics. Incidents of political thuggery are reported almost daily: just the other day, pro-Trump women at an upscale DC hotel were verbally attacked and apparently physically assaulted by members of a wedding party that was heavy on Democrat attendees; including, reportedly, some top officials from the DNC. A pro-free-speech film was reportedly interrupted by two men wearing masks. Interruption of movies they didn’t like was a tactic used by the Nazis prior to their obtaining official censorship powers. The film “All Quiet on the Western Front” was plagued by Nazi disruptions when released in Germany in 1930. And attempts to shut down dissident speakers on college campuses, such as this, have become so common as to now be almost the default expectation.

Amy Alkon, Advice Goddess and author of “science-help book” Unf*ckology, drops in for a fascinating conversation with Bridget about living in the modern age with Stone Age brains, the evolutionary importance of social status and why “thirstiness” is such a turn-off, and how her career giving advice began as a joke when she stood on a street corner in New York holding a “Free Advice” sign and people began to line up. They cover the social importance of guilt and shame, getting comfortable with discomfort, that self-esteem is a monitoring system to help you figure out where you stand socially, and the fact that we’re living under mob rule and we don’t even realize it. Finally, don’t miss Amy’s theory that if you imagine the worst thing that can happen to you is your kitchen appliances coming to life at night and hacking you to death, you should be able to put small things like feeling awkward and looking stupid in social situations into perspective.