System justification and politics

After his thought-provoking podcast discussion with David Roberts, I will need to read John Jost’s two books on how our psychological needs for stability and respected position in the social order drive us to defend the status quo political, legal, and economic order as natural and just, regardless of our personal position in that social order’s specific distribution of burdens and benefits: Why social change is so excruciatingly difficult

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

One thought on “System justification and politics”

  1. Most media retrospectives of the 1960s celebrate the marchers, the protests, the peace signs along with the compulsory Buffalo Springfield lyrics (“There’s something happening here/ But what it is ain’t exactly clear”). The reality is those upheavals were an enormous in-kind contribution to the political fortunes of the right. And if history comes even close to repeating itself, then the latest episode will redound to Donald Trump’s benefit.

    Begin with this, unfortunately accurate, generalization: Protests of any kind, even those most justified, produce a sense of unease among the public. Even when the civil rights movement was entirely peaceful, a plurality of Americans thought they did more harm than good. A 1963 Gallup poll found that shortly before Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington, only 27 percent of people believed mass demonstrations were likely to help the cause of racial equality, with 60 percent saying the protests would hurt it.

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