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Quick Test: Are You Post-Progressive?

Are You A Developmentalist?
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Take a 2-minute test of your political developmentalism, and see your “transcendence and inclusion score.”

This simple test asks you to select your level of agreement or disagreement with twelve political statements. The test results will indicate your inclusivity score, your transcendence score, and the overall extent of your developmental perspective.

Worldview Questionnaire

Worldview Questionnaire

What is your worldview? Take this 7-minute test and find out which “values frame” describes you best.

By answering these 17 questions you may learn more about your own worldview, as well as about the worldviews of others.

Character Development Exercise

Character Development Exercise

Become a better person through this brief exercise in character development—create your personal portrait of the good.

Answer 10 questions to create a personalized chart of what matters most to you. This chart—your Portrait of the Good—will be sent to your email address as a pdf file.

Community Comment

“I am grateful for the post-progressive way of thinking. It was totally new to me, and now that I have been exposed to it, I think it is the way forward. It is the future. If there is a way out of this terrible culture war, I think it will be something along these lines. I love the idea of taking the best of the different worldviews and bringing them together into a more inclusive post-progressive worldview. This is a brilliant approach, and I am going to try to share it with as many people who are willing to listen to me as possible.”

– Lucas Chasin

Community Comment

“Progressivism doesn’t work without a foundation of modernism and traditionalism. Post-Progressivism allows modernists and traditionalists to feel significant, to feel needed, and to have a foundational seat at the table. The reason I don’t identify as a progressive, even though I am a vegan, spiritual, conscious, burning man guy, is because I feel its rejection of these previous worldviews …”

– Thomas Waterman

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21 hours ago

If there was ever an issue that begs for new thinking it’s the continued gun violence in the US. Polls show that a majority of Americans support gun control but that support wanes inbetween mass shooting incidents. How would Developmental Politics engage to break the ‘do nothing’ inertia that holds back this generation? ... See MoreSee Less

If there was ever an issue that begs for new thinking it’s the continued gun violence in the US.  Polls show that a majority of Americans support gun control but that support wanes inbetween mass shooting incidents.  How would Developmental Politics engage to break the ‘do nothing’ inertia that holds back this generation?

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Write a position piece that seeks a "both/and" approach - retain the 2nd amendment right for gun ownership, but include public safety measures to control, monitor and enforce safety standards, like as done with driver's license. The operation of a motor vehicle causes ~ 50,000 deaths annually, and it is heavily regulated but is also a "right" for most, but not all people 16 years of age that qualify. The key is a standard of qualification. The 2nd amendment absolutists think that any breathing human has the "right" to own, carry and use a gun anywhere indiscriminately. In what other aspect of living in civil society is that right given?

I agree, Jim Loving. It would need to acknowledge, explicitly or implicitly, the polarities involved between important values - e.g., individual rights vs. responsibility to others, liberty vs. freedom from harm, preserving what's good vs. fixing what's wrong, profit motive vs. public good, etc. - and also highlight the common ground that already exists (most Americans favor gun safety measures). Beyond that, it would need to find a way to address the power of the gun lobby and also of misinformation.

Kevin Mahoney, thanks for initiating this question. Here's my passionate take: I may modify the following assessment based on others' responses, but it seems to me that gun violence in the U.S., compared to issues like climate change, AI, mass migration, and liberal democracy (many of which are connected...I know), involves far less complexity. The policy solutions are clear; Democrats have been proposing them for years; and Republicans have been blocking/filibusturing them. This is not one of those issues where policy solutions require integrating partial truths from both parties. On gun safety, unlike many other issues, the Democrats have it covered. To me, this is what makes the lack of congressional action so heartbreaking. Consider all the countries that don't have our gun violence problem. None of them have developmental politics, and they don't need it. On a policy level, modernist solutions will work absolutely fine. That's why so many other countries have solved this problem. It's not that complex. Cultural evolution matters in the U.S. to vote into federal office more people who will agree to these very simple modernist solutions. It's not needed to create better policy solutions themselves. To me, unlike climate change and those issues, from a pure policy perspective, the Democratic Party's position would work absolutely well. It already has integrated into its gun safety policies 2nd amendment rights and other liberty values. It has done the both/and thing. It distinguishes between different types of firearms, offers reasonable gun safety measures, etc. There is little to nothing that the GOP (or the traditional worldview) has to offer in terms of partial truths to integrate into this policy picture that the Democratic Party hasn't already included. Again, cultural evolution matters for this issue, but not the same way it does for more complex issues. Folks, if you have a dissenting view, I'm open to hearing it.

Here’s a pretty fascinating and radical look at the history and how the gun issue has gotten distorted over the years. fb.watch/de20wfis2q/

Worthwhile read on this from James Fallows: fallows.substack.com/p/the-empty-rituals-of-a-gun-massacre?s=r

We've managed to avoid telling our now 10 year old son about any of the school shootings since he's been alive. They didn't talk about it at his old school in Oregon nor did he hear about it from other kids. We thought he might hear about it today from his teacher at his new school, so we told him after dinner. He rarely reacts strongly to any news, but he was in tears. He happens to be in fourth grade and just celebrated his tenth birthday, like one of the girls whose lives was lost and whose sister posted a photo (none of which he knows about).

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13 hours ago

Daily Evolver Live

A developmental take on the news,
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Thanks for all your contribution to moving me/us forward in integral perspectives. See you again in the fall. Love, Trudy Tallarico Quinn

Grateful for your perspective and thoughts on this, Jeff Salzman

Oh, man. I so needed this today, Jeff.

Grief is so tricky. Devastating.

This is why I love Wednesdays

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2 days ago

Has anyone done polarity work with the abortion issue or have a good resource recommendation? I identify as fully pro-choice and fully pro-life, which tends to ruffle the feathers of everyone dug into their positions on either extreme. I am struggling to put choice/life into polarity with each other. Maybe I’m missing something obvious. It seems like ‘choice’ is part of the liberty/equality positive-positive polarity, but I am stuck on how to categorize ‘life.’ It feels more like a law of existence or emergence, not so much a value, per se. I know this is a touchy issue so if you prefer to take it offline I’m happy to chat over messenger. Either way is fine with me. ... See MoreSee Less

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It is definitely a touchy issue. I would be happy to discuss it offline with you more if you like, especially the problem of different definitions of life, but will share a link here from a substack article by Calvin College professor Kristin du Mez. She discusses the complex history of the abortion issue in the United States and how she discusses it in her class and has students discuss challenges each of the different views has to grapple with. kristindumez.substack.com/p/abortion?s=r

So appreciate that you are trying to hold this with grace through a polarity-of-values lens. Barry Johnson has a wonderful book called Managing Polarities in Congregations. Can't recall if he uses abortion as one of the examples, though the book is filled with examples www.thriftbooks.com/w/managing-polarities-in-congregations-eight-keys-for-thriving-faith-communit... Braver Angels just did what they call a debate (which is really a deliberative conversation) about abortion the other night. They didn't use a polarity lens though the convo was pretty nuanced. They record those so I will send it if I can find it. Maybe something will emerge for you as you listen? Had a colleague who worked with the Public Conversations Project where the leaders of pro-life and pro-choice met under cover (couldn't even tell their families) for 6 years of dialogue. Deep relationships developed, people protected each other, though no one's mind changed. I don't think polarity management was much on the scene then--it was in the early 90s. Laid some deep tracks for complex conversations, though. Thank you again🙏

Here is the Braver Angels "debate." It's the one on the left side of their media page (newest) braverangels.org/media/

One thing I learned 15+ year ago when our daughter, Christine, was born at 23 1/2 weeks and died a couple hours later is that the law defines loss at 20 weeks or before as miscarriage. After 20 weeks, if the baby is born dead, we call it stillborn. If born alive and then dies shortly after, that's a live birth and then a death. Based on advise from the grieving community, we had a memorial service for her and buried her in a cemetery. None of this changed my view about abortion law, but it certainly shifted my experience of life and death. My sense is that the community of people who have been through this experience, which is way larger than most people think, would be valuable to an integral/developmental conversation about this topic.

I think the link I sent was to an older abortion debate. Here is the latest youtu.be/TE1CcuKFvNg

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2 days ago

Yascha Mounk's "challenger ideology": unhealthy vs healthy (in comment) progressivism?
> Variously identified as “woke,” as an applied form of “critical race theory,” or as a likely “successor ideology” to liberalism, this movement vows to remake society in a radical manner. To do so, many of its most vocal advocates are willing to rethink fundamental principles, like the focus on individuals over groups, on which liberal democracies have traditionally been built.
> As is true of any political or intellectual movement, the adherents of what I propose to call “challenger ideology” do not necessarily agree with each of the claims that are commonly associated with it.[*] And yet three interlocking ideas are central to its vision for the future of diverse democracies: a set of claims about the role that ascriptive identities like race should play in them; a set of claims about the extent to which members of different groups are able to understand one another and what this means for the kind of political solidarity to which they should aspire; and a set of claims about what the culture they collectively build should look like.
> 1. Strategic Essentialism: In the 1970s and 1980s, many social scientists began to argue that racial categories were “socially constructed.” Labels like white or black, they argued, did not track biological reality; rather, they were artificial constructs that had been invented for political purposes. And in nearly every case, the goal of that invention had been simple: to find a justification for elevating members of some groups while subjugating those of others. This theoretical emphasis on the ways in which most categories of identity are socially constructed could imply two very different courses of action for those who oppose the racism they had long underwritten. According to the first, it seemed to suggest that they should de-emphasize the importance of race. If categories like white or black are artificial, and have always been used to nefarious ends, scholars like Karen and Barbara Fields argued, then it would be for the best if people made as little hay of them as possible. A true emancipation from racism would also require an emancipation from the concept of race.
> Especially on the left, this interpretation once held significant appeal. But in most parts of the academy, a diametrically opposed way of interpreting the political implications of social construction has since gained the upper hand.
> Many people suffer severe disadvantage because they are widely seen to belong to a subordinate group. If categories like Latino or African American have real-life consequences for how their members are treated, scholars like Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak argued, then they have every reason to band together to fight for justice. For all intents and purposes, those to whom these artificial labels have traditionally been applied should act as though they were grounded in objective reality. In the language of social science, their strategy should consist in acting as though essentialist accounts of race and identity were true.
> Over the course of the past decades, this form of strategic essentialism has won a resounding victory on the Anglo-Saxon left. It is now making rapid inroads in the social and political mainstream of countries from Australia to the United Kingdom.
> The result has been a remarkable reemphasis on race and identity. Whereas leftist politicians once preferred to cast their goals in class terms, they now tend to emphasize the need for racial equity. Whereas leftist policy makers once favored a universal vision for the welfare state that would offer key benefits to all citizens, they increasingly favor the introduction of “race-conscious” policies that make the receipt of specific forms of aid conditional on membership in a particular ethnic group. And whereas leftist writers and artists once tended to emphasize the universality of the human condition, they now think it more important to represent the “lived experiences” of the identity groups to which they belong.

2. The Impossibility of Mutual Comprehension: From the great works of literature to the most viral posts on Instagram, a lot of art insists on the universality of the human experience. In the most famous monologue from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, Shylock, the Jewish protagonist, insists that he is as capable of joy and suffering as his Christian contemporaries. (“If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh?”) And in the stories posted by Humans of New York, residents of the city who hail from every corner of the world tell stories of love and loss, of adversity and unlikely triumph that resonate with millions of readers of every faith and color.
> For many writers, this kind of mutual comprehension is a core goal of literature. As Salman Rushdie once put it, fiction comes to life when it sets out an “idiosyncratic vision of one human being, in which, to our delight and great surprise, we may find our own vision reflected.” Some scientists have even tried to prove the benefits of literature by demonstrating that people who read fiction become more capable of empathizing with people who are very different from them.
> But many proponents of the challenger ideology are deeply skeptical of such universalist claims. They don’t, of course, deny the importance of compassion or the existence of shared human traits. But the differences between groups, they claim, ultimately go deeper than these commonalities. Those who have a comparatively privileged position, they contend, will never understand the harrowing experiences to which members of underprivileged groups are subjected. Men do not understand what it is like for women to go through life fearing sexual harassment. And white Americans do not recognize what it is like to worry that a cop may target them for unfair treatment due to the color of their skin.
> Insofar as it goes, this observation is—or should be—uncontroversial. Clearly, people who haven’t experienced a particular form of injustice are more likely to be ignorant about it, and may never fully “get” what it is like to do so.
> But many advocates of the challenger ideology go on to draw a more radical inference from this observation. If members of comparatively privileged groups do not have any direct exposure to certain forms of injustice, then they are—even if they carefully listen to stories about them—supposedly incapable of relating to the lived experiences of underprivileged groups. And if they are incapable of relating to the lived experiences of underprivileged groups, then they cannot judge what is needed to remedy those injustices. Instead of forming their own opinion, they should simply defer to demands made by the more oppressed.
> In this way, a highly plausible account of what people can see or understand based on their own experiences often culminates in a far more controversial set of claims about what political solidarity should look like in diverse democracies. To be a good ally, on this vision, goes beyond listening to one another or trying to find common ground. For members of advantaged groups, true political solidarity demands nothing short of “decentering” themselves, giving up their insistence on making their own judgments, and “privileging” the demands of the oppressed.
> 3. The Danger of Cultural Appropriation: In decades past, the humanist left used to celebrate the idea of different cultures mixing and influencing one another. From hippies who loved to don Indian saris to aid workers whose apartments were (as one satirical poem put it) “full of carvings, curios and draped with batik,” an engagement with the fashion, music, and food of other cultures was seen as an indication of openness to the world.
> Today, this demonstrative cosmopolitanism is increasingly giving way to concerns about the ways in which mutual cultural influence can lead to all manners of injustice. Understandably worried about the history of white artists stealing the work of black singers or the way in which some people have donned the clothing of minority cultures in order to mock them, advocates of the challenger ideology have increasingly embraced a blanket prohibition on “cultural appropriation.”
> In many progressive milieus, it is now seen as a serious faux pas for members of the majority group to wear clothing that is typically associated with the historically disadvantaged. And while it remains acceptable to cook another country’s cuisine at home, white restaurateurs from Portland to Toronto have gotten into serious trouble for “appropriating” the cuisine of Asian or Latin American countries. Far from being a sign that diverse democracies are building a more inclusive everyday culture, the incorporation of cultural influences from minority groups is increasingly seen as inherently suspect.
> * None of the existing terms to describe this movement are satisfactory. “Woke” is too loaded. “Critical race theory” is overly focused on its academic origins and fails to capture that it is also deeply concerned with related topics like gender or religion. What Wesley Yang has called the “successor ideology” is the most promising: It has the virtue of being morally neutral and calling attention to the ways in which the theory aims to supplant many of the principles that have traditionally governed western democracies. But since it falsely implies that the fight is already over, with the new movement sure to win, I will instead use a term of my own: “challenger ideology.”

Mounk, Yascha. The Great Experiment (pp. 178-181). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
... See MoreSee Less

Yascha Mounks challenger ideology: unhealthy vs healthy (in comment) progressivism?
> Variously identified as “woke,” as an applied form of “critical race theory,” or as a likely “successor ideology” to liberalism, this movement vows to remake society in a radical manner. To do so, many of its most vocal advocates are willing to rethink fundamental principles, like the focus on individuals over groups, on which liberal democracies have traditionally been built.
> As is true of any political or intellectual movement, the adherents of what I propose to call “challenger ideology” do not necessarily agree with each of the claims that are commonly associated with it.[*] And yet three interlocking ideas are central to its vision for the future of diverse democracies: a set of claims about the role that ascriptive identities like race should play in them; a set of claims about the extent to which members of different groups are able to understand one another and what this means for the kind of political solidarity to which they should aspire; and a set of claims about what the culture they collectively build should look like.
> 1. Strategic Essentialism: In the 1970s and 1980s, many social scientists began to argue that racial categories were “socially constructed.” Labels like white or black, they argued, did not track biological reality; rather, they were artificial constructs that had been invented for political purposes. And in nearly every case, the goal of that invention had been simple: to find a justification for elevating members of some groups while subjugating those of others. This theoretical emphasis on the ways in which most categories of identity are socially constructed could imply two very different courses of action for those who oppose the racism they had long underwritten. According to the first, it seemed to suggest that they should de-emphasize the importance of race. If categories like white or black are artificial, and have always been used to nefarious ends, scholars like Karen and Barbara Fields argued, then it would be for the best if people made as little hay of them as possible. A true emancipation from racism would also require an emancipation from the concept of race.
> Especially on the left, this interpretation once held significant appeal. But in most parts of the academy, a diametrically opposed way of interpreting the political implications of social construction has since gained the upper hand.
> Many people suffer severe disadvantage because they are widely seen to belong to a subordinate group. If categories like Latino or African American have real-life consequences for how their members are treated, scholars like Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak argued, then they have every reason to band together to fight for justice. For all intents and purposes, those to whom these artificial labels have traditionally been applied should act as though they were grounded in objective reality. In the language of social science, their strategy should consist in acting as though essentialist accounts of race and identity were true.
> Over the course of the past decades, this form of strategic essentialism has won a resounding victory on the Anglo-Saxon left. It is now making rapid inroads in the social and political mainstream of countries from Australia to the United Kingdom.
> The result has been a remarkable reemphasis on race and identity. Whereas leftist politicians once preferred to cast their goals in class terms, they now tend to emphasize the need for racial equity. Whereas leftist policy makers once favored a universal vision for the welfare state that would offer key benefits to all citizens, they increasingly favor the introduction of “race-conscious” policies that make the receipt of specific forms of aid conditional on membership in a particular ethnic group. And whereas leftist writers and artists once tended to emphasize the universality of the human condition, they now think it more important to represent the “lived experiences” of the identity groups to which they belong.

2. The Impossibility of Mutual Comprehension: From the great works of literature to the most viral posts on Instagram, a lot of art insists on the universality of the human experience. In the most famous monologue from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, Shylock, the Jewish protagonist, insists that he is as capable of joy and suffering as his Christian contemporaries. (“If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh?”) And in the stories posted by Humans of New York, residents of the city who hail from every corner of the world tell stories of love and loss, of adversity and unlikely triumph that resonate with millions of readers of every faith and color.
> For many writers, this kind of mutual comprehension is a core goal of literature. As Salman Rushdie once put it, fiction comes to life when it sets out an “idiosyncratic vision of one human being, in which, to our delight and great surprise, we may find our own vision reflected.” Some scientists have even tried to prove the benefits of literature by demonstrating that people who read fiction become more capable of empathizing with people who are very different from them.
> But many proponents of the challenger ideology are deeply skeptical of such universalist claims. They don’t, of course, deny the importance of compassion or the existence of shared human traits. But the differences between groups, they claim, ultimately go deeper than these commonalities. Those who have a comparatively privileged position, they contend, will never understand the harrowing experiences to which members of underprivileged groups are subjected. Men do not understand what it is like for women to go through life fearing sexual harassment. And white Americans do not recognize what it is like to worry that a cop may target them for unfair treatment due to the color of their skin.
> Insofar as it goes, this observation is—or should be—uncontroversial. Clearly, people who haven’t experienced a particular form of injustice are more likely to be ignorant about it, and may never fully “get” what it is like to do so.
> But many advocates of the challenger ideology go on to draw a more radical inference from this observation. If members of comparatively privileged groups do not have any direct exposure to certain forms of injustice, then they are—even if they carefully listen to stories about them—supposedly incapable of relating to the lived experiences of underprivileged groups. And if they are incapable of relating to the lived experiences of underprivileged groups, then they cannot judge what is needed to remedy those injustices. Instead of forming their own opinion, they should simply defer to demands made by the more oppressed.
> In this way, a highly plausible account of what people can see or understand based on their own experiences often culminates in a far more controversial set of claims about what political solidarity should look like in diverse democracies. To be a good ally, on this vision, goes beyond listening to one another or trying to find common ground. For members of advantaged groups, true political solidarity demands nothing short of “decentering” themselves, giving up their insistence on making their own judgments, and “privileging” the demands of the oppressed.
> 3. The Danger of Cultural Appropriation: In decades past, the humanist left used to celebrate the idea of different cultures mixing and influencing one another. From hippies who loved to don Indian saris to aid workers whose apartments were (as one satirical poem put it) “full of carvings, curios and draped with batik,” an engagement with the fashion, music, and food of other cultures was seen as an indication of openness to the world.
> Today, this demonstrative cosmopolitanism is increasingly giving way to concerns about the ways in which mutual cultural influence can lead to all manners of injustice. Understandably worried about the history of white artists stealing the work of black singers or the way in which some people have donned the clothing of minority cultures in order to mock them, advocates of the challenger ideology have increasingly embraced a blanket prohibition on “cultural appropriation.”
> In many progressive milieus, it is now seen as a serious faux pas for members of the majority group to wear clothing that is typically associated with the historically disadvantaged. And while it remains acceptable to cook another country’s cuisine at home, white restaurateurs from Portland to Toronto have gotten into serious trouble for “appropriating” the cuisine of Asian or Latin American countries. Far from being a sign that diverse democracies are building a more inclusive everyday culture, the incorporation of cultural influences from minority groups is increasingly seen as inherently suspect.
> * None of the existing terms to describe this movement are satisfactory. “Woke” is too loaded. “Critical race theory” is overly focused on its academic origins and fails to capture that it is also deeply concerned with related topics like gender or religion. What Wesley Yang has called the “successor ideology” is the most promising: It has the virtue of being morally neutral and calling attention to the ways in which the theory aims to supplant many of the principles that have traditionally governed western democracies. But since it falsely implies that the fight is already over, with the new movement sure to win, I will instead use a term of my own: “challenger ideology.”

Mounk, Yascha. The Great Experiment (pp. 178-181). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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A BETTER MODEL ...Those who want the great experiment to succeed must offer a vision that is both realistic about today’s challenges and sanguine about the possibility of a tomorrow worth fighting for. The way to do all this is to follow three core principles. Diverse democracies should aspire to a form of political solidarity that is based on greater empathy between its citizens. They should celebrate when the cultures of their members influence one another. And, most important, they should try to build a future in which race and religion matter less—not because more people will deny the role they now play in the real world but because fewer people will suffer disadvantage on the basis of their ascriptive identity. 1. More Empathy and Deeper Solidarity: It is naive to think that humans naturally understand one another’s experiences. If you have never gone hungry, you will find it hard to imagine what it is like to live without reliable access to food. And if you are part of a dominant majority group, you may be oblivious to what it is like to fear that others will treat you with derision or hostility because of the color of your skin. Advocates of the challenger ideology are right to say that there are serious barriers to mutual understanding in a diverse democracy—and that many of their compatriots are naive about the difficulties this raises. But though a member of one group may never be able to perceive the world in exactly the same way as a member of another group, it is a mistake to give up on the promise of effective communication. A man need not have experienced sexual harassment to recognize its injustice. Nor does someone who is white need to have “lived experience” with racism to recognize how vile it is. This is why, far from giving up on the idea of mutual understanding, diverse democracies should double down on inspiring empathy. The citizens of diverse democracies should be highly attuned to the ever-present possibility that they might be ignorant about one another’s experiences, or mistrustful of one another’s motives. But they should insist that they can, if they do the hard work of actually listening to one another, come to feel a deep compassion. That also implies a different vision of political solidarity than the one that has, of late, been embraced by many activists. Men are capable of fighting for a society that treats women fairly because they believe that anything else would violate their own moral standards. Similarly, many whites want to make their democracies better for members of ethnic minorities because of their own aspirations for the kind of country in which they seek to live. Citizens are unlikely to stand up for the interests of an out-group because they have been told to defer to its views. But they are capable of acts of real courage and altruism when they believe that their own ideas about what is just are being violated. And that is precisely why diverse democracies must insist on an ambitious model of political solidarity. 2. The Virtue of Mutual Influence: It is a long tradition for writers and politicians to denounce the ways in which their nations change because of immigration or other forms of contact with the outside world. In the late nineteenth century, Richard Wagner inveighed against the deleterious effect that French culture was supposedly having on his home country. In the early twentieth century, many Americans grew concerned that the influx of Catholic immigrants from countries like Italy would change the country for the worse. And today, politicians like India’s Narendra Modi are lambasting outside influences, from Halloween to Valentine’s Day, as dangerous attacks on the cultural integrity of their nations. If the great experiment is to succeed, diverse democracies have to reject this form of cultural purism. Cultures are fluid constructs that reflect the ever-changing choices and predilections of their members, not static entities that, like a butterfly display at New York’s Museum of Natural History, must be preserved with chloral hydrate. Newcomers can’t be expected to integrate into existing cultural practices without having a chance to make their own contributions. Diverse democracies will not, and should not, turn into homogeneous societies in which every citizen has come to embrace the same set of tastes and preferences... 3. An Emphasis on What We Share: Even in a diverse democracy with a meaningfully shared culture, many citizens will strongly identify with their own subnational groups. For the most part, they are likely to continue practicing the cultural rites of their ancestors or to worship the gods of their parents. A liberal society that recognizes what sociologists call the “meaning-making” role that cultural and religious communities play in the lives of most people should celebrate, not oppose, that pluralism. Similarly, categories of ascriptive identity like race are likely to retain real significance for the foreseeable future. In countries that have a long history of domination, a racial lens will remain important for examining to what extent present conditions perpetuate these injustices. And even once the conditions that brought them into existence no longer persist, groups that have long been discriminated against on the basis of their race are likely to retain forms of political solidarity and cultural cohesion. And yet diverse democracies should never waver from a vision of the future in which ascriptive identities play a smaller, not a larger, role than they do now. They should aim to construct societies in which people of different groups have sufficient contact to understand one another’s concerns and care about one another’s fate. And they should try to remedy historical injustices to such an extent that a racial lens becomes less important—not because people ignore its continued relevance, but because it really does structure reality to a lesser degree. Mounk, Yascha. The Great Experiment (pp. 187-192). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Very interesting. It sure reads that way to me. Does Mounk have a name for the "better model?"

Darren Shetler, this is wonderful, thank you. To Mounk's "Better Model" we can add the value of developmental scaffoldings for each developmental stages from childhood through adult development. The Bildung concept that Lene Rachel Andersen writes about is instructive and inspiring in this regard. It provides a HOW

3 days ago

Just read Mark Lilla's short book from 2017, The Once And Future Liberal: After Identity Politics. Lilla tells a familiar story of how the Democratic Party, after 1968, splintered first into single-interest groups and then into identity groups. Two observations that made me think:
1. "You might have thought that, faced with the dogma of radical economic individualism that Reaganism normalized, liberals would have used their positions in our educational institutions to teach young people that they share a destiny with all their fellow citizens and have duties toward them. Instead, they trained students to be spelunkers of their personal identities and left them incurious about the world outside their heads."

There's a lot going on in this paragraph. Lilla's basic case is: with Reagan encouraging what we might call liberty values, liberals could have responded by emphasizing citizens' duty toward each other which are, what, a mix of heritage and fairness values? To me, the concept is an appealing way of describing a missed opportunity, yet it doesn't full account for the emergence of progressivism and its critique of liberal modernism. Or, to put it differently, when we see progressivism as a distinct worldview with positive and negative poles, it allows us to make a different interpretation of the Reagan years and the Democratic Party's response to them.

2. "our young student accepts the mystical idea that anonymous forces of power shape everything in life, she will be perfectly justified in withdrawing from democratic politics and casting an ironic eye on it. If, as is more likely, she accepts the all-American idea that her unique identity is something she gets to construct and change as the fancy strikes her, she can hardly be expected to have an enduring political attachment to others, and certainly cannot be expected to hear the call of duty toward them...Only those with an approved identity status are, like shamans, allowed to speak on certain matters."

What's intriguing in here for me is Lilla's take that identity politics is actually a withdrawal from democratic politics. Because you're so caught up in your own authentic identity and what it gives you the privilege to say (e.g. "as a gay Asian woman, I think..."), you lose curiosity about your fellow citizens.

He thinks of this as highly individualistic. Yet this seems to conflict with the idea that sorting people into groups denies individuality. How to reconcile these?

With our background in moral development, we might say it differently. If moral development goes from Me to Us to All of Us, Reaganism was about Me and a nostalgic version of Us. Identity politics isn't about Me—it's about Us: my gender, ethnic group, sexual orientation. It's neither individualistic (Me) nor about the common good (All of Us).
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Wow, yes

I think that what we now call progressivism - as with any political idea - is going to naturally address individuality and community by 4Q default. But I would say it this way: I think the idea in identity-heavy progressivism is that 1) One's unique and lived identity is the ground of all political positions and 2) We (progressives) are united in this elevation of our lived identities, and that shared understanding and commitment is what makes a group of "I"s into a "We" because we try to create the ideal conditions for the flourishing of our unique, lived I's. In theory, it's not a bad position, excepting the part where you get myopic about the world. But I could see a progressive utopian community organized around the sacredness of the individual and the sacredness of the group in that we can all agree on the individual and his or her identity - that actually sounds like a great 1960s or 70s social experiment. It's just that people are simply not that good as people - we are all a mixed bag - so a nice idea like that can and has been easily hijacked. My unique identity quickly can devolve into "I want, give it to me!" or "We want, give it to us!"

Amiel Handelsman great that you’re bringing this text in the conversation; I read it a couple of years ago just as Trump was taking power. I think one of the issues you raise can be explained by the fact that green is in part an attempt to yoke the individualism of modernism—while transcending the narrow confines of how the individual is there conceived—and the collectivism of traditionalism—while transcending the ethnocentrism. I think one of the mutations that emerges here is that, because Pomo is aware of how social forces shape individual consciousness, and because it emerges in part to address the atomism and alienation of dark modernism, the capacity to glom on to a group identity is very high. And because the group identities proximal to a particular individual will vary—and because, unlike traditionalism, there is a value ascribed to diversity—you’ll get lots of fragmentation and factionalism. The group identities often being glommed on to are those that don’t register on the modern or traditional radars, so the binding function doesn’t have an opportunity to kick in at the national/civic level. As a result, you get a profusion of “communities” not tied to territory, history, or a legal system—they are just “cultural communities.” So while Pomo does represent a tack back toward the collective, it’s not a unified one, but many collectives that are chosen rather than inherited, not tied to geography, history, or law. It resembles, in other words, the collective meme prior to traditional—tribal. This can help us understand the appeal of autocrats in a Pomo world; just as you needed a big alpha daddy leader to “unite the clans to defeat the other tribe” of tribalism, people crave a strong leader to restore a sense of coherence in a world where traditional and modern sources of order are weakened. I think the key is that this is not intrinsic to green, it’s not what green actually wants, but it is a predictable result of green ideas and values reacting with the extant worldview stack. Hope that is clear.

1 month ago

This is the latest adfontes media bias chart for those who might be interested: ... See MoreSee Less

This is the latest adfontes media bias chart for those who might be interested:

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I really wonder about the outlets that score lower than InfoWars.

Are there any meaningful shifts that you notice?

I get an AP feed which I like a lot.

Interesting chart. Wonder how and who decides what goes where.

Up near the top middle you'll find KVVU FOX5 which is a local news station in Las Vegas, NV - of which I was a director in the early 2000's. lol Pretty cool.

So misleading. As if everything in the center/middle is "safe" without bias. The bias of the middle is almost as dangerous as that of the so-called "right." Truthfully, nothing they place on the "right" is really rightwing. It's manufactured, designed to make the viewer feel afraid. That's not "conservative." That's manufactured outrage.

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“I really appreciated the use of gay marriage as an example of win-win-win policy solutions because it shows how people with different approaches to political issues can still align on values. In speaking to my friends about using this value integration technique I realized that it can be helpful to use value as a verb, rather than a noun. When you look at value as a verb, as in ‘what do we all value?’, it really does become possible for traditionalists, modernists, and progressives to value a lot of the same things.”

– Scott Kirby