Greg Lukianoff is a journalist, an attorney, the co-author of "The Coddling of the American Mind," and the President of the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE). During our conversation, Greg talks about freedom of speech in America, how social media has affected our propensity to speak openly, and the threats to free expression on modern university campuses.
As Greg mentions, while the legal support for free speech is strong in the U.S., it isn't in our culture. A citizen's right to free speech is the counterintuitive exception to the rule in human history. Free speech societies tend to be societies that are peaceful and prosperous. Cancel culture societies seem to be societies that lead to self-censorship, a zeitgeist of fear and suspicion, and an inability to rigorously pursue the truth.
The work of people like Greg and organizations like FIRE are crucial to the continuance of our sacred inheritance: a free civilization and a free people. And their noble mission reminds me of two quotes to be considered, one from James Hollis, the other from Václav Havel:
"Wherever there is a hysterical certainty, and there is much in our land, it is because doubt has already planted its black flag inside the soul and the ego is running away like a child."
"In everyone there is some willingness to merge with the anonymous crowd and to flow comfortably along with it down the river of pseudo-life."
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