Plato’s allegory of the Chariot has been extremely influential and is, in my opinion, responsible for creating the current image of a reasonable and pleasant human being today. That being said, in recent years, it seems as though society has been putting less and less emphasis on being a reasonable person. I am speaking mostly within the domain or politics and sociology. In the last few years – especially on college campuses – feelings and safety seem to have surpassed logic and intellectual advancement. Here I am referring to what many people call the ‘Regressive Left’; the ‘professionally offended’; or most commonly, ‘Social Justice Warriors’. I think Plato would have been extremely disappointed with this group of people.
With the introduction of ‘The Safe Space’ comes the unavoidable consequence of ignorance and intolerance. The reasonable person – the person with his or her chariot in harmony – would always be willing to hear the other side of the argument, or the opinions of someone else, no matter how offensive they may be. Young people today seem less interested in discussing actual points or propositions and would rather discuss the character of their opponent. For example, Ben Affleck calling Sam Harris (a well know atheist and critic of all religion) a bigot and a racist for suggesting that perhaps the doctrine of Islam should be criticized is, quite frankly, embarrassing. All ideas should be subject to criticism. To say otherwise demonstrates a disharmony amongst your chariot and horses.
This is a very important subject since the most unreasonable people seem to be the ones that are our age and in university (i.e. the future of our society). Social justice is a noble cause and is, without question, needed in today’s society. But this does not give anyone the right to then become completely unreasonable and to attack people’s character in order to get his or her point across. I would argue that it is because of these extreme PC, social-Marxists that Donald Trump, and others like him, have become so popular. People are tired of the classical political rhetoric that is highly censored and delicate for emotional listeners. I by no means endorse Donald Trump as a candidate for president but I do believe it is the far-left’s fault that he is even relevant. We are even starting to see far-right groups in Europe gain power for (I would argue) the same reason. Sweden, an incredible liberal country, currently has a far right (almost fascist) party climbing to second place in the polls. If one side lacks reason, then the other side will respond with equally unreasonable ideas.
It is time for everyone to put their emotions aside and to let logos carry their chariot to a place of understanding and reasonable discussion. Complaining about jokes or getting decent people fired does not help any cause. All it does is demonstrate how unreasonable your side is and how unattractive your ideas are to reasonable people.