Monday, April 24, 2017

NYT Published Anti-Free Speech Column

Remember the old saying, "I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it"? I'm old enough to remember when that was taught to children as a show of how important the concept of freedom of speech is to the American civic body. If the author of this NYT column has his way, not only will your speech not be valued, it might need to be suppressed or even punished.  National Review says to be afraid, be very afraid:
These are dangerous times for free speech in the increasingly less free Western world. In Europe and Canada, one can be fined or jailed for expressing views that those in power find odious or “oppressive.”

Here in the USA, we see such authoritarian speech suppression increasingly embraced on college campuses. But in the New York Times?

Alas, yes. The paper that rarely publishes positions that materially diverge from its own editorial positions, has published a vigorous defense of speech suppression. The idea is that speech deemed antithetical to the “public good” can be squelched...

I have been thinking for some time that on issues of speech, we are watching a contest between the American Revolution–that guarantees the right to express unpopular social and political views–and the French Revolution that unleashes Jacobins to suppress heterodoxy.

But after reading Uhlrich, I think we face something even more dangerous to liberty: A full-blown Mao-style Cultural Revolution is gestating on college campuses. If we don’t restore American ideals of speech freedom to those “snowflake” enclaves, we could well see a violent avalanche materialize that threatens the peaceability of our broader social discourse.
I'll admit that I'm amazed at how quickly it's happened.  I never thought I'd see it in my lifetime, and I'm surprised to see such an anti-First Amendment piece in a newspaper.

1 comment:

Pseudotsuga said...

It's been a long, slow march through the institutions, as the Conservatives never actually fought back. Instead, they kept trying to show the other side how their ideas were better, and how they were nice folks who were willing to compromise.
But that only works if the other side is willing.
The left has never been willing to compromise.