U.S. Colleges: Freedom of Speech Free Zone


As American college students begin to take their summer break, George Will for the ‘National Review’ writes (30 May 2015), that this “brings a respite from the sinister childishness rampant on campuses.”

These “childish” attacks on American campuses are attacks against freedom of speech by the progressive intelligentsia which has largely taken control of Western education and media institutions.

Will writes that the “attack on free expression is sinister because it asserts that such freedom is not merely unwise but, in a sense, meaningless.”

He elaborates, stating: “Free speech is more comprehensively and aggressively embattled now than ever before in American history, largely because of two 19th-century ideas. One is that history — actually, History, a proper noun — has a mind of its own. The other is that most people do not really have minds of their own.”

Progressives frequently disparage this or that person or idea as “’on the wrong side of history.”

Anyone who disagrees with this progressive orthodoxy (or who dares to have a mind of his own) is swiftly labeled as being on the “wrong side of history” or to be critically impaired by “false consciousness”

“Free speech”, Will explains, has been “supplanted by an entitlement to what Greg Lukianoff of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education calls a right to freedom from speech deemed uncongenial.”

Lukianoff, argues that “sensitivity-based censorship” on U.S. college campuses reflects “a broader social phenomena.”

In conclusion, Will states that in “the social milieu fostered by today’s entitlement state, expectations quickly generate entitlements. Students are taught to expect intellectual comfort, including the reinforcement of their beliefs, or at least those that conform to progressive orthodoxies imbibed and enforced on campuses.”

Read more: Progressivism on Campus Takes a Summer Vacation