January 8, 2016
‘If free speech dies out in this country, I truly doubt it will be because of a law’
David Cole writes:
It will die because the number of Americans who wish it dead will reach critical mass. And once that happens, laws won’t be needed. In India, the sale of beef is still legal in several states. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone who lives in those states feels free to fire up the barbecue. “Cow lives matter” vigilantes have proved every bit as effective as state laws at ensuring that potential beef eaters are sufficiently cowed (sorry).
Broadly speaking, in the past, American society could count on the young to push the boundaries of free speech and to test the limits of what’s acceptable. The current generation of college students and twentysomethings has effectively reversed the roles.
Related to his earlier remarks…
I went to hear Dennis Prager speak to a Jewish group in Toronto about 7 or 8 years ago.
Among other things, he said he and his fellow Jews needed to acknowledge (not keep freaking out about) their role in developing and promoting socialism and communism; figuring out why this happened — two words: tikkun olam — might help them undo the damage.
He mentioned Marx, et al, then Trotsky.
“Whoo! Trotsky!!” hooted an old Jewish guy in the audience.
Prager dryly responded, “Well, there you have it. A vote for Trotsky. Need I say more? Thank you for making my trip to Toronto so memorable, sir. I shall be telling this story forever…”