Sunday, February 04, 2018

Equality can make democracy harder ("How Democracies Die"); Then a book mixing affirmative action with the First Amendment

There are a couple more important books coming down the pike, at least from my own perspective, on democracy and free speech.

One of these is “How Democracies Die” by Steven Livitsky and Daniel Ziblatt.(Crown).  The media have circulated an interview with the authors that suggest that the bipartisan consensus, behavioral norms and tolerances necessary to overcome tribal partisanship have somewhat been predicated on keeping some institutionalized racism.

The authors argue that people are more polarized over race, religion, and culture than on taxes and spending, because the former confer a lot more meaning in their lives. The urge toward equality has made some groups fear expropriation or sacrifice.  Elitism has failed to recognize the practical problems that remain for many people and how easy scapegoating is.

Here’s a typical interview.

I would say, however, that in my own DADT III book, equality generally supports stability, as long as people believe everyone plays by the same rules.  This book may disagree. 

The Alan Dershowitz offers a criticism of Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic is, "Must We Defend Nazis: Why the First Amendment Should Not Protect Hate Speech and White Supremacy". an apparent rework of the 1999 book “Must We Defend Nazis?: Hate Speech, Pornography, and the New First Amendment” (NYU Press).   Dershowitz criticizes the book for offering a kind of negative affirmative action with regard to speech, because “there is no correlate, no analog, for hate speech directed at whites.”   The authors claim that free speech cannot be free without equality between the speakers. 


There seems to be another problem, a lack of an ability for abstraction among readers.  When I publish my own perspective on some issues without more of my own skin in the game, some people see my even meta-speaking as a form of bullying. 

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