2004 : WHAT'S YOUR LAW?

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Professor of Linguistics and Western Civilization, Columbia University; Cultural Commentator; Author, Doing Our Own Thing
McWhorter's Law of Social History

In a context of widespread literacy, easy communications, and a large class of people with ample leisure time, the social movement that begins by addressing a concrete grievance will, after the grievance has been largely addressed, pass into the hands of persons inclined for individual reasons towards the dramatic and self-righteous, who will manipulate the movement's iconography and passion into a staged indignation difficult for outsiders to square with reality, and with little actively progressive or beneficent intention.