Harper’s Magazine has A Letter on Justice and Open Debate signed by a lot of famous names (and many non-famous) mostly from the left.

The letter starts with pathetic Trump Derangement Syndrome, as if Trump and the “right” are the original great threat to free speech (emphasis added):

Our cultural institutions are facing a moment of trial. Powerful protests for racial and social justice are leading to overdue demands for police reform, along with wider calls for greater equality and inclusion across our society, not least in higher education, journalism, philanthropy, and the arts. But this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity. As we applaud the first development, we also raise our voices against the second. The forces of illiberalism are gaining strength throughout the world and have a powerful ally in Donald Trump, who represents a real threat to democracy. But resistance must not be allowed to harden into its own brand of dogma or coercion—which right-wing demagogues are already exploiting. The democratic inclusion we want can be achieved only if we speak out against the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.

This is complete BS.  Restrictions on speech and canceling people for wrongthink are almost entirely from the left, and have been for years. The nod to Trump Derangement Syndrome is the type of leftist virtue signaling that weakens the message of the letter, which as set forth below, concerns intolerance from the left

 

Here’s the rest of the letter (emphasis added):

The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty. We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters. But it is now all too common to hear calls for swift and severe retribution in response to perceived transgressions of speech and thought. More troubling still, institutional leaders, in a spirit of panicked damage control, are delivering hasty and disproportionate punishments instead of considered reforms. Editors are fired for running controversial pieces; books are withdrawn for alleged inauthenticity; journalists are barred from writing on certain topics; professors are investigated for quoting works of literature in class; a researcher is fired for circulating a peer-reviewed academic study; and the heads of organizations are ousted for what are sometimes just clumsy mistakes. Whatever the arguments around each particular incident, the result has been to steadily narrow the boundaries of what can be said without the threat of reprisal. We are already paying the price in greater risk aversion among writers, artists, and journalists who fear for their livelihoods if they depart from the consensus, or even lack sufficient zeal in agreement.

This stifling atmosphere will ultimately harm the most vital causes of our time. The restriction of debate, whether by a repressive government or an intolerant society, invariably hurts those who lack power and makes everyone less capable of democratic participation. The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away. We refuse any false choice between justice and freedom, which cannot exist without each other. As writers we need a culture that leaves us room for experimentation, risk taking, and even mistakes. We need to preserve the possibility of good-faith disagreement without dire professional consequences. If we won’t defend the very thing on which our work depends, we shouldn’t expect the public or the state to defend it for us.

Several of the signatories have been targets of this cancel culture, including Prof. Steven Pinker, who is the subject of a petition signed by over 500 academics calling for the Linguistic Society of America to strip him of honors for his allegedly wrongthink tweets:

This is an open letter by members of the linguistics community calling for the removal of Dr. Steven Pinker from both our list of distinguished academic fellows and our list of media experts. We, the undersigned, believe that Dr. Pinker’s behavior as a public academic is not befitting of a representative of our professional organization, that the LSA’s own stated goals make such a conclusion inevitable, and that the LSA should publicly reaffirm its position and distance itself from Dr. Pinker.

Induction into the list of LSA fellows is one of the highest signals of prestige in the linguistic community. Often, fellows are seen as the first line of academic linguistic authority, and trustworthy sources of linguistic knowledge. Lay people and members of the press reach out to fellows and media experts for official statements. We feel that fellows therefore have a responsibility that comes with the honor, credibility, and visibility allotted them by their distinguished appointment. Dr. Pinker does not live up to this standard.

As we demonstrate below, Dr. Pinker’s behavior is systematically at odds with the LSA’s recently issued statement on racial justice, which argues that “listening to and respecting [the experience of students of color] is crucial, as is acknowledging and addressing rather than overlooking or denying the role of the discipline of linguistics in the reproduction of racism.” Instead, Dr. Pinker has a history of speaking over genuine grievances and downplaying injustices, frequently by misrepresenting facts, and at the exact moments when Black and Brown people are mobilizing against systemic racism and for crucial changes.

This blog post takes apart the pathetic attacks on Pinker, The Purity Posse pursues Pinker:

The Woke are after Pinker again, and if he’s called a racist and misogynist, as he is in this latest attempt to demonize him, then nobody is safe. After all, Pinker is a liberal Democrat who’s donated a lot of dosh to the Democratic Party, and relentlessly preaches a message of moral, material, and “well-being” progress that’s been attained through reason and adherence to Enlightenment values. But that sermon alone is enough to render him an Unperson, for the Woke prize narrative and “lived experience” over data, denigrate reason, and absolutely despise the Enlightenment.

JK Rowling signed, and is attacked for signing because of her tweets and statement affirming male and female differences:

Vox writer Matt Yglesias signed the letter. Now he is the subject of a complaint to Vox from one of his co-workers based on his signing:

The left is eating its own now.

How many of these signatories cared when conservatives were being purged? How many of them participated in those anti-conservative purges at least indirectly? How many fed the cancel culture alligator hoping it wouldn’t eat them?

That said, it’s better that even the left is realizing that the monster they created is out of control.

 

 
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