I appeared on Aryeh-Cohen Wade’s “Culturally Determined” program, on BloggingHeads.TV, where we discussed my essay, “Adolescent Politics.” Along the way, we talked about Donald Trump, Joan Didion, and the impact of social media on politics.
by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ The political battle over sex and gender continues to escalate, with increasingly consequential results. Adolescents and pre-teens are finding themselves confronted with opposite-sexed bodies in changing rooms, toilets, and other places where they undress. Female athletes are watching their potential fortunes dim in competition.  Homosexuals are being criticized and often berated for being same-sex, […]
by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ The sub-heading of the late-Christopher Hitchens’ book, God is Not Great, reads: “how religion poisons everything.” Now, maybe that’s true and maybe it isn’t. I really don’t know. But one thing I do know is this: Politics poisons everything. And the reason it does is that we are not serious or mature enough to engage […]
By Daniel A. Kaufman ___ Middle age is widely believed to be challenging, because it is the point at which we become uncomfortably aware of our mortality. I turned 50 this year, and my own experience has been that the hardest thing about middle age is that it is the time when one simultaneously has to manage one’s children’s adolescence […]
by Mikhail Valdman The Walking Wounded People’s physical wounds are sometimes visible. Their emotional wounds are hidden from view, sometimes buried so deep that not even their bearer can spot them. But imagine that it was all visible. Imagine that you had a pair of magic glasses with which you could see people’s physical and emotional wounds just as clearly […]
by Bharath Vallabha ___ Why did Donald Trump win in 2016? Many on the Left have settled on two answers: white anxiety and economic anxiety. No doubt poor whites, especially in middle America, are a big part of Trump’s base. Still, this explanation doesn’t ring true to me. For a simple reason. I was tempted to vote for Trump. I […]
by Mark English Unless we postulate an all-seeing, all-judging God, there is no one true narrative about any person or sequence of social events we care to specify. For each case, there are countless possible narratives or variations of narratives which could be seen to fit the facts. Much of the variation is value-framework related. Different assumptions regarding moral priorities […]
by Mark English Past and present If we ignore the past, not only do we forego the opportunity to understand our own social and cultural situation in more than a superficial way, but we disrespect ourselves. We are to future observers what past generations are to us, and, if we have no interest in the lives or achievements of our […]
by Daniel A. Kaufman My discussion with Crispin Sartwell of Dickinson College, on Representation in Politics and Art.
by Mark English 1: The dangers of relativism 1.1 Some recent discussions about the French far right got me thinking about narratives, morality, rhetoric and reputations. 1.2 It was suggested that moral relativism was an insidious force that opened the way for collaborationism in the past and threatens today to return us to a depraved moral condition. These notes constitute […]