From the editor.

Author:Epstein, Nadine
Position:Editorial
 
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On occasion, tectonic shifts occur that break apart continents of political thought and reshape them into new ones. A series of these shifts are underway right now, mostly arising from campuses, and they remind me, in their perplexing fierceness, of the movements of the 1960s and early 1970s that upended this country's post-World War II equilibrium. At its heart, this upheaval is a crusade against privilege and bigotry. At its crudest, it views the world through the oversimplified lens of oppressed versus oppressor, which makes it an easy target for interest groups of all kinds to manipulate. At its best, it seeks to adjust the balance of power by opening the conversation to include people who have traditionally been excluded. The importance of this still-inchoate vision should not be discounted: In it may be the beginnings of the next few generations' contributions toward transforming society.

Of course, society doesn't change under laboratory conditions, and these shifts are partially driven by demographic and economic forces, with which they interact in myriad ways, causal and not. The most important one is the advent of instantaneous and targeted digital communication, which has dramatically altered how change itself occurs. (For better or worse, the Arab Spring was just a taste of this.) The fact that we now live in bubbles that allow us to filter out information we do not agree with is transforming how we think. By the way, this not always a matter of choice: The search algorithms that web behemoths such as Google and Facebook use guess what information we would like to see based on our past search history and click behavior. That means that today, each one of us can always be right--and righteous.

My role as an editor of a magazine is to watch, carefully report and inject perspective and nuance, and I believe it is important for us to explore the phenomena that are part of the current realignment. In the last issue we examined the relationship between the Black Lives Matter and Palestinian solidarity movements. In this issue we ask, "Is Free Speech on College Campuses Under Fire?"--an expanded version of a live symposium we held at Washington, DC's Newseum in March. The divides among the respondents are palpable. I suggest reading this symposium with an open mind and seeing it as an opportunity to explore new viewpoints and perspectives. These voices are well worth listening to. You'll learn about new orthodoxies and old ones from...

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