Against Illiberalism – Meet the Author

The Fifth Principle Project is sponsoring a Meet the Author forum on the new book Against Illiberalism A critique of illiberal trends in liberal institutions with a focus on Unitarian Universalism by David Cycleback.  The forum is scheduled for Friday, September 16 at 8:00 pm Eastern. To receive a link to this Zoom forum, please register below.

Register for Meet the Author Forum

All are invited. However, if you wish to participate in the discussion, make a comment, or ask a question you will be required to turn on your device camera and directly speak to the forum. In order to foster a free-flowing conversation, we have opted not to use the Chat feature for questions.  In short, we ask that if you have a comment or a thought to share, please engage in the conversation and not use the Chat feature.

Follow this Registration Link for the Meet the Author Forum September 16, 2022 8:00 pm Eastern, 7:00 pm Central, 6:00 pm Mountain, 5:00 pm Pacific.

About Against Illiberalism

Against Illiberalism Book CoverThis book examines recent illiberal trends in traditionally liberal American institutions. It focuses on Unitarian Universalism, a historically liberal church whose national leadership has adopted an extreme authoritarian version of anti-racism as a “theological mandate,” causing strife and division.

Inequalities, unfairness, and prejudices are problems in all societies throughout human history. Stereotyping, unconscious bias, and tribalism are innate in human psychology and society. There is no single or objectively correct answer to addressing disparities. There is also no single or objectively correct way to organize societies, communities, and organizations.

While the various racial injustice models offer important insights into race and society, the author believes in classical liberalism, freedom of speech, and the free exchange of ideas, things that many extreme social justice movements and activists groups oppose. Freedom of speech and expression and the respectful exchange of ideas inherently support diversity and multiculturalism. Illiberalism, dogmatism, censorship, and authoritarianism are oppressive of all groups, minority and majority, and should be rejected wherever they appear.

As there are no simple or objective answers, this book encourages discussion. The most intolerable aspect of recent illiberal trends, and a key reason for the author writing this book, are the attempts to suppress the open exchange of ideas.

About the Author

David Cycleback, PH.D. is Director of the Center for Artifact Studies and a member of the British Royal Institute of Philosophy. He is the author of ten university textbooks in cognitive science and philosophy, including Cognitive Science of Religion and Belief Systems, Nature Limits of Human Knowledge, and Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence. 

Review of Against Illiberalism

The Nefarious Doctrine and Praxis of ‘Woke Culture’ a review from Dick Burkhart of Against Illiberalism: A critique of illiberal trends in liberal institutions with a focus on Unitarian Universalism By David Cycleback (2022)

Cycleback is a no-nonsense kind of guy, a scholar who digs in wearing a skeptics hat, alert for injustice masked by beguiling mantras. Thus, this concise and well-documented book begins with an expose´ of Critical Race Theory (CRT). This is because CRT has played a key role in the cultural wars, radicalizing formerly liberal institutions to mirror their antagonists on the far right. Cycleback examines the case of Unitarian Universalism (UU) in detail since the damage has been recent, dramatic, and not widely known, even among UUs (stealth and deceit are key CRT, or woke, strategies).

Later in the book he cites authors, such as John McWhorter, who’ve been impressed by the religious nature of CRT – it operates like a fundamentalist religion. In the UU case there has been a coup, with new leadership determined to replace UU liberal principles (especially rights of conscience, expression, and democratic governance) by domineering practices based on the beliefs of CRT, but in a surreptitious manner. Read More. . .

Other Books

David’s book is the fifth in a series of books written by UUs crtically critiquing UU leadership use of authoritarianism to reshape the liberal values of Unitarian Universalism.


Two Important Things

Join the Fifth Principle Project. It’s free. The Fifth Principle Project is an organic grassroots initiative to gather into community Unitarian Universalists who want to reinvigorate the right of conscience and renew the democratic process in the governing of our denomination.

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Mark Perloe
Mark Perloe
6 months ago

The kids are alright. Are the UUs?
This article in Persuasion offers hope and shares how tough normally polarizing issues can be discussed so as to bring people together. It appears that the UUA would prefer a purge over finding a common language to discuss and appreciate our diversity of opinions.

6 months ago

Please replace the coma after “multiculturalism” with a period, in the third paragraph in the About Against Illiberalism section.

Linda Stenholm
Linda Stenholm
6 months ago

I think Anne Schneider actually has 2 books out about the UU proposed 8th principle. Has anyone researched how many BIPOC have become UU since DRUMM and various other newer groups have been established?

I appreciate the concerns about ‘white supremacy’, systemic racism, and things like microaggressions, but we must be able to hear and listen to all concerns without censorship.

K. Lusignan
K. Lusignan
6 months ago

Your requirement for engaging eliminates anyone in David’s area (this is at 5 p.m. in our time zone) who would be accessing from a library shortly after work, as our public library computers do not have mikes. Author’s prerogative, of course.

Last edited 6 months ago by K. Lusignan
6 months ago

Hi all,
Just a small typo on the registration confirmation page…

6 months ago

Just ordered the book. I am a great fan of David’s lucid and insightful writing. Look forward to reading it.

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