June 25, 2018

"'No one is disputing how the courts have ruled on this,' john a. powell, a Berkeley law professor with joint appointments in the departments of African-American Studies and Ethnic Studies, told me."

"'What I’m saying is that courts are often wrong.' Powell is tall, with a relaxed sartorial style, and his manner of speaking is soft and serenely confident. Before he became an academic, he was the national legal director of the A.C.L.U. 'I represented the Ku Klux Klan when I was in that job,' he said. 'My family was not pleased with me, but I said, Look, they have First Amendment rights, too. So it’s not that I don’t understand or care deeply about free speech. But what would it look like if we cared just as deeply about equality? What if we weighed the two as conflicting values, instead of this false formalism where the right to speech is recognized but the harm caused by that speech is not?'... In the nineteen-seventies, when women entered the workplace in large numbers, some male bosses made salacious comments, or hung pornographic images on the walls. 'These days, we’d say, That’s a hostile workplace, that’s sexual harassment,' powell said. 'But those weren’t recognized legal concepts yet. So the courts’ response was Sorry, nothing we can do. Pornographic posters are speech. If women don’t like it, they can put up their own posters.' He drew an analogy to today’s trolls and white supremacists. 'The knee-jerk response is Nothing we can do, it’s speech. ‘Well, hold on, what about the harm they’re causing?’ What harm? It’s just words. That might sound intuitive to us now. But, if you know the history, you can imagine how our intuitions might look foolish, even immoral, a generation later.'"

From "How Social-Media Trolls Turned U.C. Berkeley Into a Free-Speech Circus/Public universities have no choice but to welcome far-right speakers seeking self-promotion. Should the First Amendment be reinterpreted for the digital age?" by Andrew Marantz (in The New Yorker).

Is "self-promotion" a special right-wing motivation? Is there some idea that a left-wing speaker promotes his ideas, but a right-wing speaker promotes only himself — that left-wingers are earnest and sincere and bring substance to the campus milieu but right-wingers are demagogues who belong in the hinterlands, braying to some mob?

There's a lot about Milo Yiannopoulos in that article, by the way.

As for john a. powell, he's saying things that are scarcely new. They were standard fare in the legal academy a quarter century ago. That is, it's already "a generation later." His sarcasm at "It’s just words" sounds straight out of "Only Words," the book Catharine MacKinnon published in 1994, and "Words That Wound: Critical Race Theory, Assaultive Speech, And The First Amendment (New Perspectives on Law, Culture, and Society)" a collection of essays some Critical Race theory lawprofs put out in 1995.

These ideas have been pushed for a very long time, and there's still an intense effort to clear the campus of competing ideas about freedom of speech. I was utterly surrounded by those left-wing views back in the early 90s, and I find it wonderful that they're still so outré that a lawprof today presents them as intriguingly new. What a miracle that Americans still believe in freedom of speech!

ADDED: The NYT has a very similar article today, "The Ignorant Do Not Have a Right to an Audience" by a philosophy professor, Bryan W. Van Norden. He wants elite institutions to embrace forthright viewpoint discrimination — justified by portraying the ideas he finds offensive as "ignorant":
Jordan Peterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, has complained that men can’t “control crazy women” because men “have absolutely no respect” for someone they cannot physically fight. Does this adolescent opinion deserve as much of an audience as the nuanced thoughts of Kate Manne, a professor of philosophy at Cornell University, about the role of “himpathy” in supporting misogyny?...

There is a clear line between censoring someone and refusing to provide them with institutional resources for disseminating their ideas... What just access means in terms of positive policy is that institutions that are the gatekeepers to the public have a fiduciary responsibility to award access based on the merit of ideas and thinkers. To award space in a campus lecture hall to someone like Peterson who says that feminists “have an unconscious wish for brutal male domination”...  is not to display admirable intellectual open-mindedness. It is to take a positive stand that these views are within the realm of defensible rational discourse, and that these people are worth taking seriously as thinkers.

Neither is true: These views are specious, and those who espouse them are, at best, ignorant, at worst, sophists. The invincibly ignorant and the intellectual huckster have every right to express their opinions, but their right to free speech is not the right to an audience. 

116 comments:

Bay Area Guy said...

"What a miracle that Americans still believe in freedom of speech!"

The Left -- a big portion of America -- doesn't believe in freedom of speech.

They SAY they do, but with one big exception, "hate" speech. And then they define "hate" speech broadly and situationally, so that the exception swallows up the rule.

They actually believe that free speech allows them to disrupt or shut down speech they find offensive.

Unknown said...

Not all Americans believe in free speech.

There is a concerted effort to put limits on speech, one that has serious traction.

The danger lurking behind this movement is hard to overstate.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Normal Americans still believe in free speech but our moral and intellectual betters do not.

Unfortunately, they control the media, popular culture and academics. Right now the normals control the Supreme Court. We'll see what the future brings. Thank God for Trump and Gorsuch. With 5 liberals on the court they'd be looking for campaign speech restriction and hate speech cases.

dreams said...

We're rapidly losing our free speech rights. Already at our universities. Consider Amy Wax of Penn Law.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?446568-1/qa-amy-wax

Bilwick said...

"Is 'self-promotion' a special right-wing motivation? Is there some idea that a left-wing speaker promotes his ideas, but a right-wing speaker promotes only himself — that left-wingers are earnest and sincere and bring substance to the campus milieu but right-wingers are demagogues who belong in the hinterlands, braying to some mob?"

That is the common leftist mental set.

dreams said...

And this.

"laid out the script we all were supposed to follow: Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.

These basic cultural precepts reigned from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s. They could be followed by people of all backgrounds and abilities, especially when backed up by almost universal endorsement. Adherence was a major contributor to the productivity, educational gains, and social coherence of that period."

https://www.newenglishreview.org/Christopher_DeGroot/Standing_up_for_Good_Sense%3A_A_Defense_of_Amy_Wax/

Freder Frederson said...

Is "self-promotion" a special right-wing motivation? Is there some idea that a left-wing speaker promotes his ideas, but a right-wing speaker promotes only himself — that left-wingers are earnest and sincere and bring substance to the campus milieu but right-wingers are demagogues who belong in the hinterlands, braying to some mob?

It would help if you could provide some examples of left wing speakers that are as provocative and obnoxious as Milo Yiannopoulos or Ann Coulter.

As for believing in Free Speech. Conservatives are all for it except when it comes to burning the flag or taking a knee for the National Anthem.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

Do left wing ideas cause the same type of physical harm that these right wing ideas do? When the left calls, for example, Jewish Americans who support Israel Nazis and murderers, isn't that causing emotional and physical harm?

If these words cause emotional and psychological stress that damages a person's physical health, does it matter whether the person is receiving right wing hate or left wing?

Apparently it does. I never - and by never I do mean never - hear someone on the left who believes that hate speech causes harm worry about the suffering of those on the receiving end of left wing attacks.

This is not an oversight; it's deliberate and it reveals the agenda behind these calls for suppression of speech.

Paco Wové said...

"If I let you speak, 100 years from now we'll both look foolish!" is not a persuasive argument for trashing the Constitution.

Freder Frederson said...

these basic cultural precepts reigned from the late 1940s to the mid-1960s.

What a crock of shit. Blacks in the South were not allowed to vote, were regularly lynched, and were prohibited from most aspects of mainstream life. It was also the golden age of organized crime.

Freder Frederson said...

When the left calls, for example, Jewish Americans who support Israel Nazis and murderers

If you are going to make such a outrageous claim, please provide a link.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Why are his inials in lower case. Pretentious twit.

rhhardin said...

You can't have tit pictures on the wall because women at work are extraordinarily weak emotionally, in spite of such pictures being a forceful fuck you political statement to human resources. Women over politics.

The advance since that mistake has been that all protected groups are extraordinarily weak emotionally.

Unknown said...

When I was in college quite a while ago, I NEVER heard a woman say "fuck", and it was considered boorish and ill-mannered for a guy to do so. (and no, I didn't go to Bob Jones University or Brigham Young.)

"Liberals" liberated that word, and now we hear it everywhere.

Yet they say conservatives are a regressive force on culture.

Snort.

Gahrie said...

As for believing in Free Speech. Conservatives are all for it except when it comes to burning the flag or taking a knee for the National Anthem.

In other words, conservatives are for free speech, they just oppose actions pretending to be speech and designed to cause outrage.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Freder dont be intentionally stupid to make a partisan point. Just read the news today of Maxine Waters. She's not only a speaker but a high ranking politician.

David Hogg ring a bell.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gahrie said...

What a crock of shit. Blacks in the South were not allowed to vote, were regularly lynched, and were prohibited from most aspects of mainstream life.

By Democrats.

It was also the golden age of organized crime.

Because of the fucking Progressives and prohibition.

rhhardin said...

I don't recall any cunt pictures on the wall from the good old days, from the auto repair bays. There were standards. Just tits and ass.

Freder Frederson said...

When I was in college quite a while ago, I NEVER heard a woman say "fuck", and it was considered boorish and ill-mannered for a guy to do so. (and no, I didn't go to Bob Jones University or Brigham Young.)

But I bet you frequently heard people referred to as wops, dagos, chinks, polocks and niggers.

Jim at said...

Conservatives are all for it except when it comes to burning the flag or taking a knee for the National Anthem.

Throwing a temper tantrum at your place of employment is not covered under the First Amendment, Freder.

Francisco D said...

"It would help if you could provide some examples of left wing speakers that are as provocative and obnoxious as Milo Yiannopoulos or Ann Coulter.

Freder,

I find your written views to be obnoxious and provocative, but I will defend to the death your right to express them.

RNB said...

"When any government or church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, 'This you may not read, this you must not know,' the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives." -- Robert A. Heinlein

eddie willers said...

But I bet you frequently heard people referred to as wops, dagos, chinks, polocks and niggers.

You must have been raised in Boston.

Freder Frederson said...

Throwing a temper tantrum at your place of employment is not covered under the First Amendment, Freder.

Either is being an asshole at a private university (public universities are, however, subject to the first amendment).

Steve M. Galbraith said...

If you are going to make such a outrageous claim, please provide a link.

You actually are ignorant of the many incidents where left wing protesters called pro-Israel Jewish speakers Nazis and fascists? Really?

You are unaware that the state of Israel isn't regularly compared to Nazi Germany among leftwing activists?

Are you pretending to be this ignorant?

Farmer said...

Freder Frederson said...
It would help if you could provide some examples of left wing speakers that are as provocative and obnoxious as Milo Yiannopoulos or Ann Coulter.


Pretty much every standup comedian and talk show host working today.

Steve M. Galbraith said...

Universities don't have to invite radical left speakers: they give anti-American radical left individuals tenure and control of entire departments.

Mr. Frederson needs to go outside every now and then and stop only going to liberal/left websites for his information.

Freder Frederson said...

I find your written views to be obnoxious and provocative, but I will defend to the death your right to express them.

But I bet you would be pissed off, and would throw your death wish out the window, if I was getting paid five figures to be obnoxious and provocative at a university where you were paying tuition.

dreams said...

Also.

"If her critics were serious, they might see that Wax addresses the changes in American ideology from the mid-1960s to the present. Like that great man of the Left Christopher Lasch, she emphasizes the abandonment of noblesse oblige. For Wax, things took a bad turn when “those adults with influence over the culture, for a variety of reasons, abandoned their role as advocates for respectability, civility, and adult values.” She does not say “white culture was under incursion from lesser races,” though, unlike opportunists such as Hilary Clinton, she sensibly deplores the divisive “identity politics that inverted the color-blind aspirations of civil rights leaders like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. into an obsession with race, ethnicity, gender, and now sexual preference.” Again, Wax is interested in ideas, values, beliefs; here race is incidental, although it’s true, to be sure, that far more black children are born out of wedlock than Asian children, to note which fact hardly makes one racist."

https://www.newenglishreview.org/Christopher_DeGroot/Standing_up_for_Good_Sense%3A_A_Defense_of_Amy_Wax/

Freder Frederson said...

Are you pretending to be this ignorant?

Again, if this is so prevalent, provide a link.

Jim at said...

Either is being an asshole at a private university (public universities are, however, subject to the first amendment).

Which has precisely nothing to do with your claim.

Paco Wové said...

I am fascinated by this dystopian hellhole America that Freder inhabits. Tell us more.

rhhardin said...

I'm conservative and don't care about taking a knee for the national anthem. But I think the national anthem is stupid, and so is taking a knee by inheritance.

For some reason never clear to me starting as a youth in the band, a part of the population has developed a flag fetish. It's easier than patriotism, I decided was the reason.

Francisco D said...

"But I bet you would be pissed off, and would throw your death wish out the window, if I was getting paid five figures to be obnoxious and provocative at a university where you were paying tuition.

Life is all about dealing with stupid things that piss you off, whether it be a left wing ideologue as a professor or a retailer that cannot get your order right.

Michael said...

It is a miracle that we still have free speech. For now.

Caligula said...

" But what would it look like if we cared just as deeply about equality?"

And the speaker is just so sure he and his political allies will get to define the meaning of "equality" and "caring" means, and thus what speech may be forbidden by force of law.

Just as he understands that he represents the powerless against the powerful, even though even a little bit of reflection would reveal that when speech has been regulated it's always been those with power who did so (if for no other reason than, who else would have the power to do so?).

Lewis Carroll obviously understood this far better than this "educated" lawyer does.

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean- neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master- that's all."

Steve M. Galbraith said...

A simple search engine search: "anti-Israel protests on US campuses" will give you hundreds of hits.

Here are several involving former Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren: Oren Protests.

But go ahead, believe that leftwingers would never call Jewish people Nazis or fascists. That would be beneath them.

Freder Frederson said...

I am fascinated by this dystopian hellhole America that Freder inhabits.

Me?! I'm fine with the way things are on this issue. It is conservatives who are living in a dystopian hellhole where their free speech rights are being trampled and they are oppressed.

I am just pointing out that the first half of the last century wasn't the Eden many of you believe it was.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Didn't the Palestinians' leader write a whole book comparing Israelis to Nazis.

Freder you're doing the trolling wrong. You're supposed to throw out stray voltage that sends the other side on a goose chase so they stop talking about the issue that hurts your side.

RobinGoodfellow said...

“As for believing in Free Speech. Conservatives are all for it except when it comes to burning the flag or taking a knee for the National Anthem.”

Some conservatives disagree with according the protections of the first amendment to flag burning because it’s not, you know, speech.

Some consumers dislike spoiled millionaires’ taking a knee during the national anthem because they dislike what it does to the product they are buying. That is a workplace issue, not a first amendment issue.

Gahrie said...

I will defend to the death your right to say anything I agree with.

Francisco D said...

"I am just pointing out that the first half of the last century wasn't the Eden many of you believe it was.

Great. Have you been listening to Jordan Peterson lately?

He makes the point that life in the past was horribly oppressive for most people and their is little value in asserting that your tribe was more oppressed than mine.

rcocean said...

Like "Civility", or "the rule of law", "free speech" is a fine concept -

except when it conflicts with the Left imposing its will.

Then it can be overridden and ignored.

Priorities.

Rick said...

It would help if you could provide some examples of left wing speakers that are as provocative and obnoxious as Milo Yiannopoulos or Ann Coulter.

Paul Krugman. A decade or so ago someone ran a study of the most partisan political commentators and he "won" by a mile. He gets a little woody from letting his hate out. And I do mean little.

Particularly revealing was his immediately blaming conservatives for Jared Loughner shooting Gabby Giffords, a young girl, and others. Meanwhile when an actual left winger acted on the left's hateful rhetoric and targeted Republican politicians his only concern was that it not hurt his political preferences.

At least the left's nuts are relegated to minor positions like NYT columnist, University faculty, and members of Congress.

rcocean said...

Free Speech doesn't mean you can say what ever you want when you want it.

Everyone believes in Limits. You've never had the right to yell fire in crowded theater. And what you can say and do in someone's home or workplace is up to them.

And everyone has the right to disagree with your "free speech".



Matt Sablan said...

When the left deplatforms Ayers for promoting actual genocide over Milo being a jerk, I'll believe them.

Freder Frederson said...

Some conservatives disagree with according the protections of the first amendment to flag burning because it’s not, you know, speech.

Well, then, "some conservatives" don't understand what the first amendment is about.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rick said...

Freder Frederson said...

Me?! I'm fine with the way things are on this issue.


Of course. "Liberals" are all for blacklists as long as they make the lists.

buwaya said...

Its all a desperate search for rationalizations with which to justify a caste war.

rcocean said...

What we really have in the USA is a Government - Big Business ban on anything the Left doesn't like.

Everyone else is free.

Its like Twitter. Fonda can call for Barron to be raped for Pedophiles. And that's OK - to CEO Dorsey. But go on Twitter and call Fonda too many bad words, and you'll get banned.

Say to hell with the Jews, and you might get banned. Say to hell with White America and you won't.

YoungHegelian said...

@Freder,

It would help if you could provide some examples of left wing speakers that are as provocative and obnoxious as Milo Yiannopoulos or Ann Coulter.

Jesus Christ on a cracker, Freder. You're better than this.

How about Black Lives Matter? Oh, the darling of the media, going around talkin' about young black men getting cut down in the prime of their lives by racist cops. You know what the press didn't tell you, Freder?

BLM "toured" with Malik Shabazz, one of the founders of the New Black Panther Party. The NBPP is a black racist & supremacist organization in the mold of the Nation of Islam from which it sprang, as is Shabazz.

Next question.

buwaya said...

Its not even slightly about anything that could pass for a principle.

Its all simply tribal markers - by these signs they shall know their own.

YoungHegelian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
YoungHegelian said...

Corrected link for Shabazz.

buwaya said...

"Provocative" is an emergent quality that depends less on the provocateur than on those who feel provoked. Hence Milo could speak uncontroversially at Cal Poly but not at Berkeley.

Gahrie said...

Well, then, "some conservatives" don't understand what the first amendment is about.

We would argue that there are some former justices of the Supreme Court who didn't understand the First Amendment.

Bill Peschel said...

"What a miracle that Americans still believe in freedom of speech!"

From my reading and life experience, I conclude most Americans don't believe in freedom of speech.

They do believe that laws should be enforced and the Constitution is the basis of those laws.

Now we have liberals saying that laws shouldn't be enforced and the Bill of Rights should be called the Bill of Suggestions.

This will not end well.

Michael K said...

It would help if you could provide some examples of left wing speakers that are as provocative and obnoxious as Milo Yiannopoulos or Ann Coulter.

Freder is so young he has not heard of Angeles Davis, a committed communist still being invited to be commencement speaker.

No surprise.

Freeman Hunt said...

Does this adolescent opinion deserve as much of an audience as the nuanced thoughts of Kate Manne, a professor of philosophy at Cornell University, about the role of “himpathy” in supporting misogyny?...

Was the counter example selected for comedic effect?

The reader pauses, unsure for a moment whether the writer supports or opposes Peterson's speaking on campuses.

Lexington Green said...

Once the Democrats are back in power they are going to move very, very fast to crack down hard along these lines. Count on it.

Matt Sablan said...

How are Milo or Coulter provocative?

Matt Sablan said...

Note: I'm not asking if they're mean. Or if they're vocal. Or if they're loud. I mean: How are they in any way trying to provoke violence?

Freeman Hunt said...

The fall of the ACLU is tragic.

How could they.

Matt Sablan said...

And -- if they ARE provocative... what does that make the likes of Stewart and Colbert?

Matt Sablan said...

But. Seriously.

I'll start considering limiting free speech when the left violently attempts to silence people who promoted actual genocide, like Bill Ayers and other "reformed radicals."

mockturtle said...

Is "self-promotion" a special right-wing motivation? Is there some idea that a left-wing speaker promotes his ideas, but a right-wing speaker promotes only himself — that left-wingers are earnest and sincere and bring substance to the campus milieu but right-wingers are demagogues who belong in the hinterlands, braying to some mob?

I assume you ask this only rhetorically as you [and all of us] know the answer.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Powell is making a category mistake. Free speech is a procedural value liberal democracy needs to function; equality is one of many terminal values we hope to get out of liberal democracy. We don't balance the value of free speech against the harm that can result from free speech, for the same reason we don't balance the value of free and fair elections against the harm that can result from the wrong guy getting elected.

rcocean said...

BTW, the Left is out of there "cotton-picking mind".

Go over to "https://www.bustle.com" and you will find that:

Cotton picking minute
I was gypped
Off the Reservation
Peanut gallery
No Can Do


Are all "racist" phrases that should be banned. They are insane!

Paul Zrimsek said...

Is "self-promotion" a special right-wing motivation? I don't know, but I'm planning to ask Colin Kaepernick.

buwaya said...

The not-often-enough stated reason for all this speech suppression is to control the mass of the people, that they suppress heretical thoughts out of fear, and moreover that the like-minded be unable to find each other, being unable to communicate, and not only render them unable to organize, but also to demoralize them through the feeling of being outnumbered.

The phenomenon of a preference cascade is when a critical mass of suppressed people realizes that they are many. I was once gifted with the sight of this, emerging physically. It can be a tremendous thing.

If genuinely free speech is permitted in universities, unconstrained by, especially, career threats, the intellectual hegemony of the dominant system will die quickly.

buwaya said...

I am convinced that modern Americans have, mostly, had the idea of free speech beaten out of them.

In Asia last year I felt I was breathing the air of liberty.
Which was very strange.

Two-eyed Jack said...

"What a miracle that Americans still believe in freedom of speech!"

Americans believe in a lot of things that are in conflict with each another (e.g. justice and mercy). Americans believe in free speech and in civility. Politics is about negotiating as a society between these two poles. Absolute commitment to either is foolish, and no one honestly holds to either pole who is not a crank. Instead people argue that we should move a bit farther from or closer to one or the other.

Dismissing everyone pulling in the opposite direction as extremists or hypocrites is the common mode of argument, but not very astute.

YoungHegelian said...

Honestly, it's not the PoMos & the Critical Theory people who drive me up the wall. The PoMos are perfectly upfront about how they want to destroy the legacy of the Enlightenment, including liberal capitalist democracy. For them, the Enlightenment is simply one more discourse of white Eurocentric hegemony. I understand their reasons. I completely disagree, but I understand.

Who drives me up a fucking wall are the squish, bourgeois liberals & lefties who do not understand that these PoMos are driving the intellectual train on the Left now. No one at a major university X-Studies dept believes the bourgeois liberal pieties, like free speech, or feminism is "equal pay for equal work".

Modern liberals see their movement from the trenches like someone who stands outside a Catholic Church and asks the parishioners their opinions as they leave the Church. Modern lay Catholics hold percentage-wise pretty much the same views on abortion or SSM as their secular counterparts. It's just that there's an institution with clergy & doctrine that don't quite see things that way. The laity's views are not really "the views of the Catholic Church".

So it is with most aspects of the Left. The average liberal in the trenches is like the laity that holds views diametrically at odds with the "Church", in this case the cultural edifice of modern PoMo leftism. The modern "secular" Catholic at least knows he disagrees. The modern squish lefty doesn't.

Jeff said...

Jordan Peterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, has complained that men can’t “control crazy women” because men “have absolutely no respect” for someone they cannot physically fight.

I have seen several of Peterson's conversations on video. What he says about physically fighting is that if one man verbally attacks another, he always faces the possibility that if he goes to far, the man he's attacking may respond physically. That potential for violence is always lurking there in the background, and it usually keeps disagreements between men from becoming completely unhinged. When a woman attacks a civilized man, that potential for a violent response is not there. Most men will not respond violently to a woman even if she attacks physically. That's what Peterson is talking about, and he does not say men do not respect women because of this. In fact, this situation comes about only because civilized men have so much respect for women that they do not respond to them they way they would to a male-on-male attack.

It is not possible to have listened to or to have read Dr. Peterson and not understand what he's saying here. I think Prof Van Norden knows very well that Dr Peterson is not anti-woman, but he wants to pretend that he is to advance his political agenda. Van Norden is not making an innocent mistake here. He's just lying.

Rabel said...

"I find your written views to be obnoxious and provocative, but I will defend to the death your right to express them."

Fuck that shit. It's a new day. There are new rules.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Freder,

The person to whom you responded wasn't talking about "the first half of the 20th century." I think the words were "late '40s to '60s." That wasn't the heyday of lynching, or of organized crime either (the latter was mostly Prohibition-fueled), and it was the era when civil rights protections, through the courts and Congress, came into being in a serious way. IOW, your timeline's all screwy. The late 60s began a precipitous slide which we are, IMO, still not close to arresting, let alone reversing.

As for obnoxious people with big speaking fees, I second Maxine Waters, who just called on, er, right-thinking people everywhere to drive anyone connected to the Trump Administration from all public spaces, congregate in front of their homes, "push back on" them:

“And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.” So, great, we have a new generation of untouchables. Presumably she's hoping for a few more Bernie Bros to have a second crack at Steve Scalise; I mean, last time it was, what, only a year and several surgeries? You people can do better than that.

I have listened to Yiannopoulos and Coulter, and they are not in the doxxing business. (Milo, FWIW, is a gay ethnically-Jewish Catholic immigrant, which I would've thought was enough boxes checked, but what evs.) Charles Murray's entire life's work has been reduced to part of a chapter of a book written about a quarter century ago, and his visit to Middlebury resulted in the woman escorting him (not a fan) being sent to hospital. Yiannopoulos at Berkeley brought out the usual crowd, of course; their response, as usual, was to set stuff on fire and throw rocks through the windows of the ASUC Store and anywhere else they could reach.

Seeing Red said...

by a philosophy professor, Bryan W. Van Norden.

My response is, as it ever was, Who died and left you boss?

buwaya said...

The people to worry about aren't the nutty professors.

It is the HR departments and hiring managers running checks on the kids before offering internships, etc.

Seeing Red said...

Or, you don’t control my thermostat.

Rabel said...

"Why are his inials in lower case. Pretentious twit."

He spells his name in lowercase in the belief that we should be “part of the universe, not over it, as capitals signify.”

No less than the trees and the stars, he has a right to be here.

Seeing Red said...

The phenomenon of a preference cascade is when a critical mass of suppressed people realizes that they are many. I was once gifted with the sight of this, emerging physically. It can be a tremendous thing.

T...R...U...M...P!!!

Seeing Red said...

I am just pointing out that the first half of the last century wasn't the Eden many of you believe it was.

It was for Americans. We surpassed European living stands around 1900.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Freder... dude... stay on the meds!

n.n said...

Asses bray. Elephants trumpet.

chuck said...

> Does this adolescent opinion deserve as much of an audience as the nuanced thoughts of Kate Manne, a professor of philosophy at Cornell University


Wow, the writer really hates women and is only too happy to expose their dirty secrets. Shame!

stan said...

The mischaracterization of Peterson is so egregious I can only conclude that the professor is (to use his description) ignorant. Or simply too stupid to read with comprehension.

Bay Area Guy said...

The thought of hitting a woman was literally an impossibility, when I was a kid. If done, 20 guys would probably beat the guy's brains in, for violating that code.

Also, there was a good code against 2-on-1 fighting. Generally, 1-on-1 fighting was the standard

Also, there was a code that verbal insults, if they went too far, would lead to 1-on-1 fighting.

There was a pretty good code of conduct when I was a kid.

Michael K said...

he wants to pretend that he is to advance his political agenda. Van Norden is not making an innocent mistake here. He's just lying.

Jeff, good comment. My leftist daughter loved Peterson's book.

Jeff said...

Thanks, Michael. If you're ever in Northern Virginia, let me know. Maybe we can get together for a few beers.

rhhardin said...

Jordan Peterson, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, has complained that men can’t “control crazy women” because men “have absolutely no respect” for someone they cannot physically fight.

Egyptians had a word meaning woman or child. Wm. Empson, wondering about it, thought perhaps it meant something like "no good for fighting."

Birkel said...

I heard a person just last week say "verbal violence" as if that were a thing.

I was too polite to correct the nonsense and it wasn't a crowd that was ready for a differing opinion. Totalitarian speech that might make the Soviets blush, is what all this speech regulation is.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Anyone who is anti free speech is an a-hole.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

If your holier than thou leftist views are so sacred, why are you such pussies when it comes to hearing what someone else has to say?

dbp said...

"Bryan W. Van Norden. He wants elite institutions to embrace forthright viewpoint discrimination — justified by portraying the ideas he finds offensive as "ignorant":"

Okay Bryan, with a y. Elite institutions can embrace viewpoint discrimination, but then so can those who fund them. Most universities are partially or even mainly funded from taxes. If you want to discriminate against half the public, you had better watch out when that half controls the purse strings. Especially, if they control the state house long enough to appoint most of the regents.

Suddenly, respect for opposing viewpoints will be utterly necessary; now that the left wing viewpoints are in the minority.

Karen said...

Bryan W. Van Norden has a fiduciary responsibility to actually listen to and read someone's words before judging him based on the caricature of news media reporting. Jordan Peterson never said anything of the kind. His actual comments were twisted beyond recognition.

Here's a new video of him explaining why we must resist the "hate speech" arguments. If you don't have time for the whole hour fifteen minutes, just listen from 55 to 1:05.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZMIbo_DxJk

Henry said...

windmills everywhere.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Leftists are burning animals and leaving them on federal agents door steps. That's leftwing free speech.

Amadeus 48 said...

Catharine MacKinnon, jonathan a. powell and that whole itchy crowd of crits would be eagerly pushing the condemnation of Socrates for impiety and corrupting the youth of Athens, making the worse appear to be the better cause.

Let them all talk. I want to hear what they have to say. I remember going to hear Tom Hayden when I was in college. He didn't persuade me that he had anything figured out.

Fernandistein said...

I have a nuanced thought right here hangin'.

‘Well, hold on, what about the harm your’re causing, john a. powell?'
"Shutup" explained john a. powell

Rabel said...
He spells his name in lowercase in the belief that we should be “part of the universe, not over it, as capitals signify.


I thought it was because he wrote with a broken typewriter from the Salivation Army, what with the oppression and all.

robother said...

The "Salivation Army" conjures images of hangry homeless sniffing out fresh-baked apple pies on window sills. Between that and Inger's "Balers" refusing to serve gays, this has been a red letter day in typos.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

The left should have mind crime prisons. And we should kill off the electoral college so that Hillary can have her rightful access to the throne.
One person one vote! (We have one person one vote now, but Hillary is spinning and lying again on other shores. Smaller states can STFU for her highness. got that?)

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Free speech, leftwing style

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Leftwing free speech, Maxine Waters style

Not Sure said...

Van Norden's very name is triggering, and doubly so. The "Von" thing is pretty Nazi, and the other part is the name of the bombsight used in the bombing of Hiroshima. This old white guy should just go away.

Char Char Binks said...

Now that the science is settled, we have no more need for free speech.

Sebastian said...

"their right to free speech is not the right to an audience."

The issue is not whether anyone has the "right to an audience." The issue is whether anyone has the right to prevent others from becoming an audience.

In its unbound lust for power, the left wants to prevent other people from listening to other people.

Now that their march through the institutions is nearly complete, they sense the opportunity to scorch the academic earth once and for all.

Strictly as a matter of argument, not that it matters to progs, the Peterson example is, of course, absurd: universities present many wrong ideas, and factual errors, precisely so that people can learn.

Rob said...

spelling his name in all lower case makes him a giant asshOle.

Greg P said...

Sorry, but when it comes it idiotic, ignorant, and / or utterly worthless, someone who unironically uses the word "himpathy" takes first place

Greg P said...

Paul Zrimsek said...
Powell is making a category mistake. Free speech is a procedural value liberal democracy needs to function; equality is one of many terminal values we hope to get out of liberal democracy. We don't balance the value of free speech against the harm that can result from free speech, for the same reason we don't balance the value of free and fair elections against the harm that can result from the wrong guy getting elected.

I saw what you did there

Since we've all seen "libs" arguing that we should dump the "racist Electoral College" (you know, the one that gave Obama is "Blue Wall") because Trump won using it

Kevin said...

There is a clear line between censoring someone and refusing to provide them with institutional resources for disseminating their ideas...

Who are these people drawing these imaginary lines without distinction?

Can't they see it doesn't take long before oxygen is recognized an institutional resource, one necessary to disseminate one's ideas?

Kevin said...

Free speech is a procedural value liberal democracy needs to function;

Everyone notices the inequality in the Hunger Games between the Capital District and everyone else, but the real liberals noticed how equal everyone outside the Capital seemed.

Half the players in the Hunger Games were men, and half women.

And white people got no advantage in the lottery.

stlcdr said...

Most Americans do believe in free speech.

However, you can’t use free speech as an excuse (sic) to harass others: the problem at hand is that the left don’t actually understand common decency standards - along with other aspects of life that are aptly enumerated in the constitution - and that people can hold different opinions and that is ok. They don’t believe it’s enough to not be an audience, but they must actively prevent differing views from being put forward.

Paco Wové said...

Paul Zrimsek said...
"Powell is making a category mistake. Free speech is a procedural value liberal democracy needs to function; equality is one of many terminal values we hope to get out of liberal democracy"

Good point, though I would modify it thus:

"equality before the law is one of many terminal values we hope to get out of liberal democracy"

...because "equality", unqualified, is a will-o'-the-wisp, an illusion fatal to liberty and to an open, free society.