Friday, November 29, 2019

AAUP: "A Tale of Two Arguments About Free Speech on Campus"

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) offers a long article by Michael C. Bahrent, “A Tale of Two Arguments About Free Speech on Campus”, link
The article talks about the alarm risen by a group called FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

The article develops the idea that the current generation of professors and students don’t value free speech they way people did around the time of Y2K. 

They see personalized speech is more useful to the already well-off, who generally don’t like to “take action” and have no shame in demonstrating. Furthermore, the distraction of individualistic speech makes it very difficult for campuses to become inclusive of groups of previously less desired people.

There is also a way the political climate on a typical campus compounds this.

The Left is demanding relief from a hypercritical attitude that classifies individuals as simply winners and losers and tries to justify a superficially meritocratic hierarchy. Yet, within the intersectional groups the Left tries to form, they would find they have to set up their own hierarchies.
But they insist it makes some sense, that if you can shut down all speech that simply seems critical of someone for not being as competitive sexually as someone else, you could stop bullying and sequences that have horrific results.  In their view, my own William and Mary expulsion was the result of this talk, rather than from morally legitimate claims I could myself become a mooch on the larger group.

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