Hundreds of publishing officials, professors, and scholars have signed a petition to blacklist Trump administration alumni from receiving book offers. This is the latest step in a rapidly growing anti-free speech movement in the United States. Following the Capitol uprising, Democrats and others are calling for crackdown on freedom of speech and punitive action for those seen as accomplices of Trump. What is striking is how censorship, blacklists and language controls are repackaged as just and virtuous. Indeed, failing to sign such anti-speech screeds is a precarious choice for many. It’s as simple as asking for tolerance through intolerance. Why burn books when they can only be effectively banned?
We are emerging from the most divisive and consistent political period in modern history. Academics would typically want insider accounts, even of those blamed for excess or misconduct. You didn’t have to like Nixon to want to read his account. This is part of the intellectual mission of our profession. However, academics face silence or bar access for anyone considered a fellow traveler at Trump. They try to clear books of conflicting views or reports. The letter describes a black list of individuals who “facilitated, promulgated and covered up crimes against the American people.”
Hundreds signed a letter That compares former Trump employees looking for profits to those banned under the Son of Sam Act, a law named after a serial killer. The letter states: “We are writers, editors, journalists, agents and professionals in various forms of publishing. We believe in the power of words and we are tired of the industry we love enriching the monsters among us, and we will do everything in our power to stop them. That. “Of course, all but a handful of these enablers, promulgators and conspirators have not been charged with crimes. Nevertheless, they are all supposed to receive Son of Sam treatment and be banned from bookshops. These academics and writers are unwilling to give readers the chance give themselves to decide whether to read the first person accounts of the controversy over the past four years.
We have been discussing the increasing threats to Trump supporters, lawyers and officials from Democratic members calling for blacklists for the Lincoln Project, which is a national effort to harass and abuse lawyers representing the Republican Party or the President Trump represented. Others are calling for a ban on “accomplices” from college campuses, while others are calling for a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” to “hold Trump and his makers accountable for the crimes they have committed”. Rick Wilson, editor-in-chief of Daily Beast, has added his own call for “humiliation”, “incarceration” and even ritual suicides for Trump supporters in an awkward, vulgar column.
This is part of the most dangerous anti-free speech movement in modern history. The Red Terror was largely rejected by the media and universities. This movement has the support of both. The left shows itself far better than the right during the McCarthy period. They use companies to achieve what anti-communists only dreamed of in the 1950s. As I wrote earlier, we are witnessing the death of free speech on the internet and on our campus. Of particular concern is the bypassing of academics and reporters that this is not a real freedom of speech issue as they are private companies. The first amendment aims to address government restrictions on freedom of expression. Private companies like Twitter or publishers are not subject to this change. However, private companies can destroy freedom of speech through private censorship. It’s called the “Little Brother Problem”. President Trump can be punished for turning a “little brother” into a “big brother” problem. However, this changes the fundamental threat to freedom of expression. This is the denial of free speech, a principle that goes beyond the first change. Indeed, some of us consider free speech a human right.
Consider racial or gender discrimination. It would be wrong for federal law to prohibit such discrimination only by the government. The same goes for freedom of speech. The first change is limited to government censorship, but freedom of expression is not limited in the same way. Those of us who believe in freedom of expression as a human right believe that it is morally wrong to deny it as a private or government entity. This does not mean that there are no differences between public and private measures. For example, companies can control freedom of speech in the workplace. You have a recognized right to freedom of expression. However, the social media companies were set up as language forums. Indeed, they sought immunity from false claims that they were not making editorial decisions or regulating their positions. Nobody says these companies are breaking the law by denying freedom of expression. We say they deny freedom of speech as companies that offer language platforms.