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Vassar Prof: Media, Universities Should Refuse to Host Unpopular and Offensive Speakers

Vassar Prof: Media, Universities Should Refuse to Host Unpopular and Offensive Speakers

“the systematic moronization of children and adults alike by publicity and propaganda”

Professor Jacobson gave a talk on free speech at Vassar last year which almost didn’t happen because he became the target of a smear campaign. So it’s hardly surprising to hear this coming from a Vassar prof.

The College Fix reports:

Philosophy prof: media, universities should refuse to host unpopular and offensive speakers

A philosophy professor from Vassar College argued recently in The New York Times that “institutions” should deny “access” to speakers that the professor deems “ignorant.”

“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,” Bryan W. Van Norden wrote in The Times yesterday.

Norden, who also teaches at Wuhan University and Yale-NUS College, argues that the concept of free speech advocated by John Stuart Mill, which argues for unfettered public discourse, “supports the tyranny of the majority.”

Americans are experiencing “the systematic moronization of children and adults alike by publicity and propaganda,” Norden argues, in part because media outlets allow speakers like Kirk Cameron on television to argue against the theory of evolution.

Norden dismisses the possibility of censoring “right-wing perspectives” in part because “it would be impossible to do without the exercise of terror.” He argues, however, that “we could take a big step forward by distinguishing free speech from just access. Access to the general public, granted by institutions like television networks, newspapers, magazines, and university lectures, is a finite resource.”

“Justice requires that, like any finite good, institutional access should be apportioned based on merit and on what benefits the community as a whole,” he continues.

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


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A philosophy professor who declaims the “tyranny of the majority” but also believes certain voices should be censored? So objectively pro-tyranny, but he prefers the tyranny of some woke minority?

Neither intellectual coherence nor discursive logic certainly appear his strong points. How does someone like this become a philosophy professor of all things?

He may be correct. The problem lies in who decides what benefits the community and what is not. And therein lies the heart of all political speech and opinion.

It’s why politics exists. Neither side of any debate should have unfettered ability to stifle the other whatever there claims about it or how many they can muster to support the denial.

And there’s NO clear line at that level on who can limit the speech of another. It’s why the 1st amendment exists.

That is why the First exists. Primarily to protect political speech. Recall the authors of the Federalist Papers wrote anonymously, out fear of reprisal. The left is actively acting to silence their critics and political opponents because their argument has failed and all they have left is intimidation. Thing is, it’s not just some drug-addled hippy. It’s members of congress, prominent media figures, well recognized actors, bussiness leaders… all advocating for and doing their part in pushing the progressive narrative and silencing or intimidation and sometimes beating, their opponents. Certainly calling for their murder. Maxine’s rant was not far from “will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?” While she can play lawyer semantic games, her meaning was clear.