April 13, 2021, 6 p.m. Watch the Daniel J. Mahoney Webinar
Part of the Benson Center's 2020-21 "The Canceled" lecture series.
About the Webinar
This webinar explores how what Roger Scruton so suggestively called “the culture of repudiation," the willful and indiscriminate rejection of the Western intellectual, moral, and civic inheritance,in the form of pathological self-loathing, has led to a “cancel culture" where the wisdom of the past is dismissed out of hand, where liberal education gives way to censorious repression, and where whole groups of people are judged guilty not because of what they have done but because of who they are. Mahoney will call for authentic liberals and conservatives, and of all men and women of good will, to reaffirm what is valuable in our civilizational inheritance and to resist efforts to silence the life of the mind and free pursuit of truth.
About the Speaker
Daniel J. Mahoney holds the Augustine Chair in Distinguished Scholarship at Assumption University and is, for the 2020-2021 academic year, the Garwood Visiting Fellow at the James Madison Program at Princeton University. He has written and edited fourteen books, the latest of which is The Idol of Our Age: How the Religion of Humanity Subverts Christianity (Encounter Books, 2018). He is presently completing a book entitled The Statesman as Thinker: Ten Portraits of Greatness, Courage, and Moderation.
About the Series
In recent months, social coercion has become a more effective means of restricting political speech than legal coercion. Opinions that were once common are now anathema, and campaigns to de-platform or even “cancel” proponents of these opinions are increasingly frequent. These attempts at "cancellation" are not merely fair-minded criticism. Rather, they involve efforts to punish those with heterodox views by banishing them from social media, pressuring their employers to fire them, harassing them in public, or threatening their families. These new methods of social coercion have curtailed the range political views that can be expressed publicly without fear of social sanction. This series considers the implications of the new cancel culture, the norms it imposes on thought and expression, and the conformism it attempts to compel.