Friday, June 29, 2018
#180 / The Procedural Approach
I believe that Ross Douthat's column in the May 27, 2018 New York Times advances an insight worth considering. The column is titled, "Free Speech Will Not Save Us."
Douthat calls free speech a "procedural approach," pointing out that free speech is necessary but not sufficient as we struggle to find solutions to difficult problems. Douthat's column specifically addresses issues of race relations, big-time sports, and failures in higher education. Free speech is being challenged in connection with public discussion in each one of these areas. We need free speech, says Douthat, but just talking about problems will not "save us."
The problems are real. We need to discuss them. To do that free speech is vital. But Douthat is right; "free speech" is a means to an end, not the end itself. Creative action to make real changes is required!