(Frontpage) -- Since ancient Athens free speech has been at the heart of political freedom. “Free men have free tongues,” as Sophocles said, for freedom depended on citizens empowered to speak freely in the public deliberations about policy and the laws through which they governed. That’s why the Founders wrote the First Amendment, to prevent force from trumping law by silencing dissent. That’s also why the enemies of political freedom always try to destroy free speech.
Violence or force has been the usual instrument for controlling speech, whether by murder, torture, incarceration, burning books, or shutting down presses and Internet sites. Today a more subtle form of censorship is being practiced, especially in American universities. By succeeding in their “long march” through higher education, today’s progressive professors and administrators have created an academic environment, abetted by vaguely written anti-discrimination laws, that internalizes censorship through shaming, intimidation, and threats of legal sanction. The effect is the same as the more brutal techniques of totalitarian states: dissent is driven off campus, making it easier for progressives to indoctrinate and mold to their own ends the susceptible and undeveloped minds of students.