Therapeutic Universities and Soft Despotism

The safe-space’s heart of darkness.

The phenomenon of rich, privileged “snowflake” college students demanding “safe spaces” from “microagressions” rightly provokes derision and scorn from normal people. Those who live among the slings and arrows of the real world, where actions have consequences and one’s delicate self-esteem is a matter of indifference, can only shake their heads at such childish tantrums. But the roots of this degradation of the university’s traditional mission to cultivate critical reasoning rather than narcissism run deep in our therapeutic culture, and threaten the virtues and qualities of mind necessary for self-rule and political freedom.

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