The Curdling of the American Mind

Below, Jordan Peterson interviews the two authors of the recently released book “The Coddling of the American Mind:”

Watch the first ten minutes of the interview above, and you will understand why I suggest substitution the word “curdling” in place of the more benign term “coddling.”

In their recently published book, Haidt and Lukianoff reveal the key to understanding why university students seem to have gone insane over “trigger warnings,” micro-aggressions, and why visits to campus mental health centres for treatment of anxiety/depression have spiked over the past few years: Universities are actively programming students to be anxious and depressed by teaching them self-destructive modes of thought.

If you are not convinced by their well-documented prose, perhaps their hard data will sway you a bit.

First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt show how the new problems on campus have their origins in three terrible ideas that have become increasingly woven into American childhood and education: What doesn’t kill you makes you weaker; always trust your feelings; and life is a battle between good people and evil people. These three Great Untruths contradict basic psychological principles about well-being and ancient wisdom from many cultures. Embracing these untruths—and the resulting culture of safetyism—interferes with young people’s social, emotional, and intellectual development. It makes it harder for them to become autonomous adults who are able to navigate the bumpy road of life. __

The quote above reveals why the authors chose to call the modern university perversion “The Coddling …”. And yet what colleges are doing to students goes far beyond overprotection. These youngsters have brains that are still developing, forming lifetime pathways. If they are taught to see themselves as weak, fragile victims — and to focus intensively upon their fragility and victimhood as the core of their identity — their minds are not only being “coddled,” they are being actively curdled and destroyed.

When seen in a clearer light as active sabotage of the student’s ability to think clearly for himself and a crippling of his ability to overcome adversity, the sinister nature of this continent-wide movement cannot be ignored. This crusade penetrates deeply into government agencies, the news and entertainment media, all of academia and education, and numerous foundations/activist groups/NGOs.

In other words, while “coddling” sounds almost warm and fuzzy, “curdling” more aptly describes the destructive nature of the ongoing agenda that dominates most institutions of higher learning (and many secondary and primary educational institutions) in North America.

Reason Magazine features another video interview with the authors of the book.

A person has to work hard in order to see beneath the surface facade of the mainstream delusion. Learning to see clearly is worth the effort.

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