Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Nadine Strossen Blames Liberal Faculty for Decline of Free Speech On Campuses

I'd say:
1. PC silencing campaigns on campus seem to be conducted primarily by students, not faculty.
2. These efforts are supported/not opposed by a fair percentage of faculty, almost certainly the leftier ones
3. Faculty are likely the ones introducing students to the mixture of left-wing politics and recent continental philosophy and quasi-philosophy that lie at the heart of all this.

   On a tangentially-related note, my guess is that, what with the internet and all, there's a decent chance that the U.S. is now stuck with a permanent crazy left fringe just as it seems suck with a permanent crazy right fringe. This fringe is not liberal, but American liberals basically won't criticize the left, so this form of illiberalism is under the protection of liberals. Furthermore, if we believe what many people are saying, it turns out that many "liberals" aren't liberals anyway--their primary political values are (at best) kindness and empathy rather than freedom. (At worst, it's primary political values are ressentiment and pseudo-righteous vengeance.) So if the free expression of ideas hurts someone's feelings (someone from the right sort of group anyway), they will sacrifice freedom to shield feelings.
   I've long thought that we occasionally come to such crossroads, whereat we find that we've only had accidental agreement with many of our fellows--something changes, and suddenly we find that, at the level of principle, we actually just don't agree at all. That's what I think is happening now. And the sooner liberals can distinguish themselves from the pseudo-liberal left, the sooner liberals will stop protecting them. We'll find out that the crazy fringe is bigger than we thought--but at least the threat will be out in the open.


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