There are some exceptions, but “political correctness” has gone wild on American college campuses, where university administrators now tolerate — or encourage — acts of physical violence on the very, very rare occasion that a student group comes up with (usually private) money for a conservative or libertarian speaker. University administrators no longer even defend academic freedom and freedom of speech (the president of the University of Chicago being a high-profile exception). They behave in this way because universities have long been taken over by the radical, communistic Left. I can recall attending a Liberty Fund conference in 1990 where the late Henry Manne said “We’ve lost the universities.” That was twenty-seven years ago.
The stamping out of academic freedom has long been “justified” by university leftists who are followers of the German communist Herbert Marcuse, who is considered to be the “godfather” of “cultural Marxism” or political correctness. Having failed to get his native country to adopt communism, Marcuse and some fellow European Marxists came to America to infect our universities with their poisonous, totalitarian ideas. The “60s radicals” ate them up, and their intellectual progeny now run American universities. Here’s how Marcuse rationalized the stamping out of all non-communistic ideas on college campuses in particular, and in society in general:
“Liberating tolerance . . . would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left. . . . if . . . tolerance had been withdrawn when the future [Nazi] leaders started their campaign, mankind would have had a chance of avoiding Auschwitz . . . extreme suspension of the right of free speech and free assembly is indeed justified. . .”
He also advocated “intolerance even toward thought, opinion, and word . . . that is, toward the self-styled conservatives, to the political Right.”
The ideas of European liberalism had destroyed chances for communism in Italy and elsewhere, and Marcuse and his fellow “cultural” Marxists did not want that to happen in America; hence, their ideology of censoring all dissenting opinions, including the use of violence if “necessary.”
So it is a waste of time to appeal to the principles of free speech with the UC-Berkeley administration, the Middlebury College administration, or any other college or university that is run by cultural Marxists, which is to say, almost all of them. Telling them to support free speech is like telling an arsonist that he shouldn’t play with matches.10:18 am on April 21, 2017