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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

The Rat Cap Podcast: Episode 5

The Rat Cap Podcast: The Psychological and Cultural Roots of Cancel Culture Madness (libsyn.com)

Critical Theory and Postmodern philosophy underlie the authoritarian left's movement to destroy Western liberal democracy, but there are also devastating psychological, technological, and cultural factors at work.  We use Haidt and Lukianoff's fascinating book "The Coddling of the American Mind" to analyze and explain these factors.  


Carl said...

Doug, two (somewhat disjointed) thoughts on your discussion. First, you mentioned that college students could control their reactions to words by leaving the immediate situation. But, the college students are feeling the stress of the "aggressive performances to earn a living" by having to put in effort to get good grades, which means they have to stay in the class. Unfortunately, most of them have never had to actually gut out a situation. This leads to the second thought. The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy issue you discuss actually began when these college students were in elementary school. I think it was you who mentioned the trend to, instead of directly dealing with conflict in a social setting, these same kids have only been taught to appeal to authority ("I'm gonna tell"). They don't know how else to react. So, we get the current cancel culture dynamic in the colleges. But, the nexus of this is these kid's childhoods and primary/secondary educations.

The Rat Cap said...

Carl, thanks for the comments. I wouldn't say that they can control their reactions only "by leaving the immediate situation" but rather, I'd argue they can, in general, control their reactions to words. Words can be interpreted and feelings modulated through reason, analysis, or simply ignoring. Of course, actual imminent threats of violence are not in this category, but they're not saying that - these academics are referring to any words that cause "stress" of any kind. Haidt/Lukianoff then argue that teaching kids to interpret arguments in the least charitable, most hostile manner (e.g., as "micro-aggressions") leads to cognitive dysfunction by training their minds to be as fragile as possible. I would think educating this way can only lead to depression, anxiety, or some form of psychosis as anyone who disagrees with you is cast as a literal attacker. And yes, this is compounded in childhood by helicopter parenting where kids are trained to seek out authority figures to settle disputes rather than engaging in normal social relations.