My new piece in The Atlantic remind folks that free speech has been in crisis on campus for a long time now
It would be nice to think that the campus authoritarians are being embarrassed to their senses, but the human capacity for hypocrisy is unlimited, alas.
Look forward to reading your Atlantic piece. And of course this McCarthyism 2.0 is coming not from right to left like in the 50s but left to right (although since October 7 everyone has got in on the censorship action.) We're very much in the Upside Down. I wrote a fairy tale / poem about this when I first launched my substack two months ago. Here's a relevant excerpt:
"[...]is not odd that the dissenters
of the Cold War
hysteria, the critics of this
McCarthyism Red Scare 2.0 are now
named, shamed and defamed
as being right.
right not as in righteous
nor as in might makes right
(for in the Upside Down
might makes left)
but right as in
The full story for anyone interested is at: https://www.mostlymyth.com/p/rip-van-winkle
1) Cancel Culture dates from? Well it was certainly well established by 2017: "Evergreen State College, a biology professor had his class invaded by a frenzied mob hurling ‘Fuck you, you piece of shit’ type abuse. The professor, ironically a lifelong progressive, “had refused to obey an edict from Evergreen’s Director of First Peoples Multicultural Advising Services that all white faculty cancel their courses for a day and…white students were also ordered to absent themselves from the school to show ‘solidarity’.” Evergreen’s president expressed his “gratitude” for the mob’s “passion and courage”. In 2015 an orgy of foul-mouthed student self-engrossment took place at Yale: “Who the fuck hired you?!...You should not sleep at night!’ screams a black student at her college master Nicholas Christakis. “You are disgusting!” screams another." https://grahamcunningham.substack.com/p/how-diversity-narrows-the-mind
2) Full-of-shit Western intelligentsia dates from? Well established by the Bloomsbury Set in the 1920s - plus Stalin-groupie academics in the 1930s; plus Mao-groupies in the 1960s.
Western Liberalism's self-destruct has been long in the making
Genevieve Lakier, who is quoted in the politico piece as being concerned that private consequences for unpopular opinions is McCarthyism, has been actively looking for ways to shut people up she disagrees with. The hypocrisy of these people approaches infinity.
Campus intolerance and cancelling is normal and permanent, both among students and among faculty competing for grants and tenure.
I remember reading Max Shulman's 'Barefoot Boy with Cheek', describing the squabbles among campus leftists in 1948. Nothing has changed.
The only difference now is that the ADMINISTRATORS are amplifying the normal student intolerance instead of trying to damp it down.
I am a Gay American who was prevented from serving my country in both the Military and the Foreign Service because of legislated bigotry that declared that I, and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people like me, were unfit to serve our country because of the beliefs and discriminatory intent of social conservatives - yet these are the same people who are screaming to high heaven about "Cancel Culture".
I hope they all get cancelled - would serve those hypocrites right.
To me, employers vowing to not hire someone who voices story the unprovoked slaughter of innocent Israeli citizens is different from trying to actively expel them from their universities.
Ilya Shapiro has a great piece in The Free Press discussing if the different situations of this type are "First Amendment" protected or not (spoiler: voicing support for the Hamas may be, but harassing, menacing or chasing Jewish students is not).
So... I hardly feel sorry for the"doxxed" students. It is their right to voice horrible opinions. And it the right of their potential employers to ensure they won't hire such people.