145. Greg Lukianoff — How Free is Free Speech?
In this wide ranging conversation focused on Greg Lukianoff’s co-authored (with Jonathan Haidt) book The Coddling of the American Mind, and his new documentary film Mighty Ira: A Civil Liberties Story, about the free speech champion Ira Glassner, who headed the ACLU for decades, he and Shermer discuss:
* the state of free speech today,
* how coddled today’s students are,
* the data on rates of depression and anxiety in students today,
* possible causes of the coddling of the American mind: social media, screen time, culture of safetyism, culture of victimhood, helicopter parenting, the decline of unsupervised, child-directed play,
* cancel culture and its effect on self-censorship and silencing speech,
* current rates of deplatforming and canceling in academia,
* the polarization of politics,
* when self-censorship is healthy,
* default to truth theory vs. default to skepticism theory,
* How gullible are we, really?
* how to combat the negative influencers on social media,
* a brief history of free speech in the 20th and 21th centuries,
* why people in power want to silence dissenters (even free speech advocates in power), and
* the value of viewpoint diversity.
Greg Lukianoff is the president and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Lukianoff is a graduate of American University and Stanford Law School. He specializes in free speech and First Amendment issues in higher education. He is the author of Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate and Freedom From Speech. Read about his new film: Mighty Ira: A Civil Liberties Story.