Our Contentious Culture Explained

Jonathan Haidt Explains Our Contentious Culture from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

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  1. Thank you for posting Haidt. His perspective is so helpful for these troubled times.

    I’d also suggest the documentary “Accidental Courtesy” about black musician Daryll Davis—he finds that KKK members leave when he treats them kindly, listens, gains their trust while warmly sharing his own perspective. He’s taken them to the very place where MLK gave his dream speech. Now Davis has a collection of about 20 robes from those who’ve resigned from the KKK. He—like MLK proves that we need not become a violent hate filled person ourselves to fight hateful ideas.

    If we wish to use violence, we can join the police and respond within a framework of the rule of law. By ignoring that framework we undermine the state’s monopoly which is exactly what any violent extremist group wants. The mafia, nazis, stalin wants you to trust them to keep you safe—not the state. Until they become the state. Then they ruthlessly crush critics with the force of the state.

    Since both the nazis and Stalin used force and rule of law to silence their critics—the increasingly popular assumption that free speech is fundamentally a nazi idea is woefully misinformed.

    If one wishes to defeat an enemy, they must first listen to them so that one’s arguments can be effective against their actual position. (Rather than against their imagined one.) By not listening to an enemy, you give them the advantage of having the element of surprise on a greater scale than they otherwise would. The Americans misunderstanding the Vietnamese, Japanese or the middle east is at the root of many of their most grievous errors.