Articles by: Robert Jensen

What is really radical in sex/gender politics?

What is really radical in sex/gender politics?

The political left, and much of mainstream feminism, is characterized by an analysis of how systems and institutions shape our choices, a critique of capitalist media, and a commitment to a scientific/materialist worldview. But when faced with radical feminism’s compelling critiques of patriarchy, leftists and many feminists routinely abandon those principles. Radical feminist critiques of prostitution, pornography, and transgender ideology[Read More…]

by July 29, 2020 Patriarchy
 ‘Cancel Culture’ Cannot Erase a Strong Argument

 ‘Cancel Culture’ Cannot Erase a Strong Argument

In the current squabble on the liberal/progressive/left side of the fence over so-called “cancel culture”—in which one open letter in favor of freedom of expression led to a rebuttal open letter in favor of a different approach to freedom of expression—I can offer a report on the experience of being canceled. Several times over the past few years I’ve been[Read More…]

by July 13, 2020 Patriarchy
 Apocalypse, Now and Forever: Review of Notes from an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back

 Apocalypse, Now and Forever: Review of Notes from an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back

Notes from an Apocalypse: A Personal Journey to the End of the World and Back is a thoughtful, engaging book that ends in failure. But Mark O’Connell shouldn’t take that assessment too personally. His book fails in the way that his culture—the modern, cosmopolitan, left/liberal, individualist culture—routinely fails in the face of multiple, cascading ecological crises. That said, I’m still[Read More…]

by March 30, 2020 Book Review
 Disagreeing Reasonably in a Complex World: A review of The Case Against Free Speech

 Disagreeing Reasonably in a Complex World: A review of The Case Against Free Speech

  The Case Against Free Speech: The First Amendment, Fascism, and the Future of Dissent by P. E. Moskowitz (Bold Type Books, 2019) In my last couple years of university teaching before retiring, I repeated two catch phrases as often as possible—“reasonable people can disagree” and “if two things are both true, then both are relevant.” The first assertion—which I[Read More…]

by October 28, 2019 Book Review
The Danger of Inspiration: A Review of On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal

The Danger of Inspiration: A Review of On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal

Naomi Klein’s new book, On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal, has one crippling flaw—it’s inspiring. At this moment in history, inspiring talk about solutions to multiple, cascading ecological crises is dangerous. At the conclusion of these 18 essays that bluntly outline the crises and explain a Green New Deal response, Klein bolsters readers searching for hope:[Read More…]

by September 14, 2019 Book Review
From the Royal to the Prophetic to the Apocalyptic: The Case for a Saving Remnant

From the Royal to the Prophetic to the Apocalyptic: The Case for a Saving Remnant

A version of this essay was presented at the “Is the Future of Agriculture Perennial?” conference, Lund University, Sweden, May 8, 2019. The royal, prophetic, and apocalyptic traditions in the Hebrew and Christian bibles provide a compelling framework for understanding progressive intellectual and political work today, as we face the task not only of struggling to create a just and sustainable world[Read More…]

by August 12, 2019 Counter Solutions
Photo by Malik Earnest / Unsplash.

The Real Difference Between Men Who Rape And Those Who Don’t

I am not as abusive as Harvey Weinstein, nor as narcissistic as Bill O’Reilly. I’m more respectful to women than Donald Trump, and not as sleazy as Anthony Weiner. Judged by the standards set by these public reprobates, most of the rest of us men appear almost saintly, and therein lies a danger. The public disclosure of these men’s behavior—from[Read More…]

by November 11, 2017 Patriarchy
When Will The United States Transcend White Supremacy?

When Will The United States Transcend White Supremacy?

  Now that the violence in Charlottesville has forced “white supremacy” into our political vocabulary, let’s ask an uncomfortable question: “When will the United States transcend white supremacy?” My question isn’t, “What should we do about the overt white supremacists who, emboldened by Trumpism’s success, have pushed their way back into mainstream politics?” I want to go beyond easy targets[Read More…]

by August 17, 2017 World
Beyond ‘No’ And The Limits of ‘Yes’: A Review of Naomi Klein’s ‘No Is Not Enough’

Beyond ‘No’ And The Limits of ‘Yes’: A Review of Naomi Klein’s ‘No Is Not Enough’

Naomi Klein understands that President Donald J. Trump is a problem, but he is not the problem. In her new book, “No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need”, Klein reminds us to pay attention not only to the style in which Trump governs (a multi-ring circus so routinely corrupt and corrosive that anti-democratic practices seem normal) but in[Read More…]

by June 21, 2017 Book Review
If We’re Honest, We All Know Trump’s America

If We’re Honest, We All Know Trump’s America

When a local organizer for a new adult education project in Austin, Texas, asked me to teach a course on politics in January, it was tempting to focus on the potentially disastrous short-term consequences of the election. Instead, I decided to frame the course around the disastrous long-term forces that shape the contemporary United States, no matter who is in[Read More…]

by January 19, 2017 World
What Is The World? Who Are We? What Are We Going To Do About It?

What Is The World? Who Are We? What Are We Going To Do About It?

We are better people, individually and collectively, when we reject hubris and embrace humility, and we stand a better chance of making real progress — defined by Rowe as “whatever is conducive to sustainable participation in Earth’s ecosystems” — when we better understand the world and our place in it

by July 23, 2016 Life/Philosophy
Can The United States Transcend White Supremacy?

Can The United States Transcend White Supremacy?

Facing what seems like an endless stream of news about racialized conflicts and violence, many people call for us to get beyond our history and find solutions for today, concrete actions we can take immediately, ways of expressing love right now to help us cope with the pain. This yearning is understandable, but it’s just as important that we grapple[Read More…]

by July 13, 2016 World