<thread> I think @michelleinbklyn and @NGrossman81 are on the right tack but missing the forest for the trees. We are on the other side of a *massive* cultural change *and* we also crossed an inflection point around ten years ago.
As @profmusgrave is fond of reminding me, public opinion on same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization shifted at an unprecedented rate. I suspect if U.S. pollsters had consistently included opinions on trans rights we’d see even faster change.
If you look at almost any aspect of the “cancel culture” wars, you’ll find almost nothing that wasn’t a live issue in the 1980s – or even earlier. I was in college during the “PC” wars of the early 1990s, and the script feels very familiar.
What’s changed is the context. There’s nothing mysterious here. Humans are social animals. The major way we enforce social norms is by stigmatizing and otherwise punishing norm transgression. We use instruments that range from shows of personal disapproval to legal sanction.
Those norms have shifted to the point where attitudes and behaviors that used to be normatively appropriate aren’t just passé or retrograde, they’re now increasingly subject to (usually much weaker versions) of the social and legal sanctions that reinforced them.
It turns out that it kind of sucks to worry that ‘expressing yourself’ can trigger social or legal sanctions; realize that the popular culture you identified with is – either by your own or community standards – deserving of stigma; and generally see your relative status erode.
Yes, some of that is just about generational change. But the rate of generational change varies a lot; some of the social hierarchies that are under serious threat have, more or less, maintained themselves for multiple generations.
They’ve beaten back previous challenges (and they still might; the forces of reaction are strong). But for now we’re really talking about *inflection* – at least at the level of norms and values if not at the level of practices – and that’s a big deal.

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More from @dhnexon

21 Sep
Remember the "Color Revolutions" are antidemocratic argument that started to appear in right-wing media close to the election? There would have been mass protests, of course. Trump would have ordered their suppression, at least in Washington, DC.
Remember the White House installing loyalists – or at least people it believed would be loyal – in the Pentagon? The security services would have split; decent odds of an attempted military coup d'état.
Read 4 tweets
8 Aug
Since I've been quite critical of Dan and John, I guess the tl;dr is that I just don't care much for the terms of debate.

So, anyway, this is a thread about some things that bug me about Shidore's reply to D&I.
Do they👇though? John's written two books arguing that liberal-internationalist hegemony is more stable than illiberal hegemony; but he's also argued that unilateralism and the imprudent use of force undermines that stability.
Does any of that mean that a US in relative decline should rely on military instruments to *preserve* the primacy it acquired via the implosion of the USSR? That's less clear, especially when we move beyond security relations with core allies to the matter of "global dominance."
Read 25 tweets
7 Aug
I’ve seen nearly a dozen highly-praised but, in truth, “adequate” threads on the D&I attack on QI. This reply to @ProfPaulPoast comes the closest to understanding what D&I are actually about.
D&I misfire by trying to excavate a coherent core to realism + right-libertarian.

There is no core.

Realist-libertarianism exists largely because of the idiosyncratic intellectual interests of billionaires.
Instead, D&I should have argued that when you throw realism and right-libertarianism into a blender you get a result that many realists & all progressives should be uncomfortable with; said realists and progressives should think hard if they want to forward that project.
Read 8 tweets
3 Jul
This is a ++ important piece by ⁦@profmusgrave⁩. He focuses on the big examples of how the use (clash of civilizations) or misuse (democratic peace theory) of political-science ideas have shaped bad policy. But that’s only one part of the problem. foreignpolicy.com/2021/07/03/pol…
The rise of digital media greatly expanded both the opportunities and possible styles of public-facing scholarship. For most of the 2000s, the field was, at best, ambivalent about this.
The breakout 1st-wave bloggers, such as @dandrezner were subjects of both praise and scorn. Some of this was driven by principled concern. Some if it was driven by resentment.
Read 32 tweets

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