With ever increasing astonishment I read this piece in The Atlantic. It’s about the self-censorship applied more and more extensively at US campuses to prevent students from becoming offended. Students become offended even by the sheer questioning of the policies that are put in place to prevent them from becoming offended. I guess I should apologize in advance for the “microagression” at the end of this sentence and give a “trigger warning” but I couldn’t help chuckling quietly over the absurdities described in the article. I’m not alone; several comedians now refuse to perform on campus.
The article goes on to very thoroughly describe how the new policies harm critical thinking and may even be psychologically harmful (like in avoiding everything unpleasant in one’s life). I can’t agree more.
Innovation thrives in an atmosphere where old truths are questioned, not in an atmosphere where everybody is feeling cozy. I believe that the lack of respect for established truths, norms, hierarchies and conventions is one of the factors that makes Sweden such a successful society. (This sometimes includes the lack of respect for laws like in the case of Pirate Bay.)
Maybe I should look at the bright side of this and thank the United States for handing the free-thinking, out-spoken, thick-skinned Swedish students a competitive advantage.
Exactly how the US campuses prepare the students for Donald Trump, I’m not sure.