November 17, 2023 Reading Time: 2 minutes

Why are so many in our generation brainwashed to see the world in a terrible way? And what is it about their mindset that makes them so susceptible to this kind of manipulation?

In his recent article for AIER, Barry Brownstein writes, “Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay wrote in their book Cynical Theories, the contemporary social justice movement “is a worldview that centers social and cultural grievances and aims to make everything into a zero-sum political struggle revolving around identity markers like race, sex, gender, sexuality, and many others.”

On this episode of Liberty Curious, I was joined by Barry Brownstein, professor emeritus of Economics and Leadership, to discuss how our personal grievances are a threat to liberty.

“In his 1976 lecture, “Socialism and Science,” Hayek argued that socialism requires a “government with unlimited powers” to give groups with grievances what they think “they are entitled to.”

Barry explains that our individual mindset has a ripple effect that shapes the society around us. When we build our identities around our personal grievances, we play into the hands of illiberal politicians and ideologies that promise to solve all of our problems for us, at the cost of our inner and outer liberty.

Read Barry Brownstein’s article: To Live for Grievances Risks Liberty 

You can use these timestamps to navigate the podcast episode:

0:00 – intro
0:31 – everyone has problems
2:20 – being defined by your circumstances
4:08 – Greta: you have stolen my dreams
4:42 – how does social justice take hold?

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Barry Brownstein

Barry Brownstein

Barry Brownstein is professor emeritus of economics and leadership at the University of Baltimore.

He is the author of The Inner-Work of Leadership, and his essays have appeared in publications such as the Foundation for Economic Education and Intellectual Takeout.

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Kate Wand

Kate Wand is a content creator. Her focus is social commentary and filmmaking. She is the host of AIER’s Liberty Curious podcast.

You can follow her on Twitter @katewand.

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