The Power of Intolerant Minorities

Committing Sociology

There are those who maintain that there’s no free speech crisis on college campuses, that it’s all just a moral panic. Jonathan Haidt’s response to this charge in the latest edition of the Likeville Podcast is nuanced and thoroughly convincing.

He first concedes that this is in fact a moral panic. Conservatives are freaking out and the right-wing media habitually exaggerates the significance of the problem. But that doesn’t mean that the problem isn’t real. Real problems lead to moral panics with some regularity. The crack epidemic is a case in point.

Haidt then observes that most of those who claim that there’s no problem on college campuses point to surveys that show that most students are in fact rather moderate. Whilst true, this observation is beside the point. Because average students aren’t the problem; it’s the intolerant minority. They’re the ones who make life hell for everyone else.


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About Jim Rose

Utopia - you are standing in it promotes a classical liberal view of the world and champion the mass flourishing of humanity through capitalism and the rule of law. The origin of the blog is explained in the first blog post at

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