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David Brooks speaks at the Center

Last Wednesday, we were pleased to host David Brooks, Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times, for the inaugural lecture in the JHU Leadership Lecture Series.  Mr. Brooks spoke about "Philosophy, Politics and Policy."

He argued that there has been a major moral and cultural shift in American culture in general--and political culture more specifically--over the past several decades.  This has been a shift from modesty and humility to a culture of self-confidence (often over-confidence) and entitlement.  Mr. Brooks shared survey data and gave fascinating examples of how this shift can be seen on both personal and public levels.  

In public life, a major consequence of this shift is diminishing trust in government and less tolerance for other points of view.  The reason for this, according to Mr. Brooks, is that "everybody thinks they are better than everybody else, and better than those who rule them."  The clip below showcases this part of his argument:


Mr. Brooks spoked to a packed lecture hall, captivating the audience with a wonderful mix of humor and substantive commentary and explanations.  He also fielded many questions from the audience.  Here is one question (posed by faculty member Dr. Mark Stout) and Mr. Brooks' fascinating (and disheartening) answer, about truth in political campaigns: 

(Videography by Shayne Weyker-- weykervideo.com)


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Reader Comments (1)

I agree with you about the change of the politicians they are now less modest and full of confidence. Today every man thinks he can run the country and it really is a strange thing happens, thanks for the wonderful article.
Confidence Little change brings big changes

October 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLIOR

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