Cato: The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure

Cato Institute

Something has been going wrong on many college campuses in the past few years. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising. Speakers are shouted down. Students and professors say they are walking on eggshells and are afraid to speak honestly. How did this happen?

First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt show how the new problems on campus have their origins in three terrible ideas that have become increasingly woven into American childhood and education: (1) what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker, (2) always trust your feelings, and (3) life is a battle between good people and evil people. These three Great Untruths are incompatible with basic psychological principles as well as ancient wisdom from many cultures. They interfere with healthy development. Anyone who embraces these untruths—and the resulting culture of “safetyism”—is less likely to become an autonomous adult able to prosper in a free society.

Lukianoff and Haidt investigate the many social trends that have intersected to produce these untruths. They place the conflicts on campus in the context of America’s rapidly rising political polarization, including a rise in hate crimes and off-campus provocation. They explore changes in childhood, including the rise of fearful parenting, the decline of unsupervised play, and the new world of social media that has engulfed teenagers in the past decade.

Cato: The Hell of Good Intentions: America’s Foreign Policy Elite and the Decline of U.S. Primacy

Cato Institute

“Featuring the author Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, and Contributing Editor, Foreign Policy magazine; with comments by Stephen Wertheim, Visiting Scholar, Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, and Visiting Assistant Professor in History, Columbia University; moderated by Christopher Preble, Vice President of Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute.

At the end of the Cold War, the United States was confident that it stood on the precipice of a new era of peace and prosperity as the world’s sole superpower. U.S. leaders adopted a strategy of primacy, aimed at discouraging others from challenging American power, and they sought to spread democracy and liberal economics within an American sphere of influence that encompassed most of the world. Today, relations with Russia and China have deteriorated, nationalist movements are on the rise, and the European Union seems unsteady at best.

In his new book, The Hell of Good Intentions, Stephen Walt traces many of these problems to the flaws inherent in primacy. U.S. power has allowed policymakers to pursue ambitious foreign policy goals, even when those goals are unnecessary or doomed to fail. And yet, despite many setbacks, an entrenched foreign policy elite retains its faith in liberal hegemony. Join us at noon on Wednesday, October 17, as Walt explores these ideas and outlines the case for a fresh, new approach to American foreign policy based on realism and restraint.”

Ben Swann: 3 Constitutional Reasons Why Kavanaugh Should Not Be On Supreme Court

Reality Check

“The circus that has surrounded the Bret Kavanaugh nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court has been drowned out by36-year-old, uncorroborated accusations of sexual harassment. But the truth is that Kavanaugh’s record demonstrates that he is not a constitutionalist and has acted as an enemy to the 4th and 5th Amendments. Let’s give it a Reality Check. Be sure to check out our sponsor SmartCash at smartcash.cc