Sign in  |  Register

The New Criterion

Quite simply, the best cultural review in the world
- John O’Sullivan

Notes & Comments

April 2011

Groves of depravity

Academic freedom debased.

Longtime readers of these Notes will recall our fondness for Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s essay “Defining Deviancy Down,” which appeared in The American Scholar back in 1993, before that magazine descended to its current state of politically correct irrelevance. In that essay, Senator Moynihan outlined some of the manifold ways in which our society has attempted to deny deviancy by redefining it as normal or even, in some instances, as glamorous. In case after case, he showed how behavior that would have been considered unacceptable just a few years ago is excused or championed as normal. The result has been a blunting of our sensibilities and an increasing impotence in the face of social breakdown. Inured to the outrageous, we can barely recognize deviance as such, much less take effective action against it.

Senator Moynihan was concerned primarily with such glaring urban pathologies as illegitimacy, drug abuse ...

This article is available to subscribers and for individual purchase

Subscribe to TNC (Print and Online editions)

Subscribe to TNC (Online only)

Purchase article credit and clip this article

If you already have an account login first

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 29 April 2011, on page 1

Copyright © 2014 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com

http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/Groves-of-depravity-7001

E-mail to friend


The New Criterion

You might also enjoy

Shut up, they explained

On the "disinvitation" of commencement speakers, trigger warnings for classic literature, and privilege

A word of thanks

A special message to our supporters

Illiberal liberalism

Brandeis' treatment of Hirsi Ali shows just how repressive the "free-speech movement" truly is.

Most popular

view more >

Subscribe to our newsletter!

* indicates required

Webcasts

The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity
On May 5, 2014, The New Criterion and PJ Media presented the second Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity. The award is given to highlight egregious examples of dishonest reporting. Also awarded this year was the Rather, a new award for lifetime achievement in mendacious journalism.
The Duranty Prize is named after Walter Duranty, the New York Times Moscow corresponded in the 1920s and 1930s who whitewashed Joseph Stalin’s forced starvation of the Ukrainians (the Holodomor) and many other aspects of Soviet oppression. Duranty was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his efforts. It has never been revoked.
Audio copyright Ed Driscoll, www.eddriscoll.com.


Introduction to The Kennedy Phenomenon
Roger Kimball introduces The Kennedy Phenomenon, a conference presented by The New Criterion on Tuesday, November 19.


The Kennedy Phenomenon: "Watching the Kennedy Train-Wreck"
Roger Kimball reads Peter Collier’s paper on oft-overlooked unsavory details of the Kennedys' lives. Much of the paper is drawn from Collier’s book, coauthored with David Horowitz, The Kennedys: An American Drama.