While I disagree with Camille Paglia on a number of issues, her criticism of the left’s intolerance of free speech is spot-on (as have been both her criticism of leftist misandry and her commentary on Hillary’s fictitious battle with sexism during the 2016 presidential election). Some excerpts from her recent book Free Women, Free Men:
The plague of political correctness and assaults on free speech that erupted in the 1980s and were beaten back in the 1990s have returned with a vengeance. In the United States, the universities as well as the mainstream media are currently patrolled by well-meaning but ruthless thought police, as dogmatic in their views as agents of the Spanish Inquisition. We are plunged once again into an ethical chaos where intolerance masquerades as tolerance and where individual liberty is crushed by the tyranny of the group….
How is it possible that today’s academic Left has supported rather than protested campus speech codes as well as the grotesque surveillance and over-regulation of student life? American colleges have abandoned their educational mission and become government colonies, ruled by officious bureaucrats enforcing federal dictates. This despotic imperialism has no place in a modern democracy.
(Excerpts originally published by Time Inc.)
Today it is exceedingly rare to find someone on the left who sees the problem so clearly and is seriously concerned by it. Coming from the left, Paglia’s criticism cannot be dismissed as the self-interested and specious ratiocination of an opposing political force with no claim to truth, as the left is wont to do. It should, therefore, resonate more powerfully. Let’s hope it does.