"Critic" sounds so negative, bossy, even finicky. You might think I go around all day and yell things at people like, "Hey, you! Who dressed you today? And stop that slouching!"
No, I don't. Let me explain what social criticism is really about.
I'll be blunt: the USA, the West, and the human world as a whole are, collectively, a hot mess. Here are just a few highlights:
In the United States:
In the West:
In the world at large:
There are ways out of our current circumstances. We can build an American society that gives a fair economic chance to everyone, a society with both liberty and peace in our own land. The West can rise restrengthened. Humanity can not only survive, but thrive.
This is no utopian fantasy. It requires that we see our challenges for what they are, do the hard work of rebuilding ourselves, and recommit to the values that made America a powerhouse in the latter half of the twentieth century: fairness, compassion, innovation, and the opportunity to work.
For years, I used the process of principled reasoning to address a wide array of problems, from the defense against terrorism (the subject of my address to NATO) to helping individuals set their personal and emotional lives in order (the bulk of my 16-year practice of psychotherapy).
Now I apply principled reasoning to the problems that face us in society. I describe ways to build a better world in my writing and in my public speaking. (You can read more about principled reasoning at the tab on the Social Issues menu, above.)
That is the work of a social critic.
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