Ryszard Legutko has written a book, The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies, which I highly recommend. The editor of Solidarity’s journal of philosophy, he was one of the heroes of Poland’s struggle against the Communist regime imposed on the nation by the Soviet Union. He is currently a professor of philosophy at Jagellonian University in Krakow. His book records how liberal democracies lately have been aping some of the intolerant aspects of the old Communist regimes:
Even a preliminary contact with the EU institutions allows one to feel a stifling atmosphere typical of a political monopoly, to see the destruction of language turning into a new form of Newspeak, to observe the creation of surreality, mostly ideological, that obfuscates the real world, to witness an uncompromising hostility against all dissidents, and to perceive many other things only too familiar to anyone who remembers the world governed by the Communist Party.
The relevance to our country is obvious where the Left, wherever it has control, attempts to silence dissenting voices. Critics of Professor Legutko have recently given a demonstration of what he is talking about.
The scheduled appearance of a conservative European politician Wednesday evening at Middlebury College was canceled for safety purposes.
Ryszard Legutko of Poland is considered a “far right member of the European Parliament,” according to the school’s student-run newspaper The Middlebury Campus.
The college made the announcement hours before the talk, according to the The Middlebury Campus.
An email from the school, according to the student-led publication, said, “this decision was not taken lightly. It was based on an assessment of our ability to respond effectively to potential security and safety risks for both the lecture and the event students had planned in response.”
Go here to read the rest. More detail:
At a meeting last week at Middlebury College, students upset and angry that conservative Ryszard Legutko had been invited to speak on campus were calmed and reassured by three administrators who apologized to the students for their feelings of discomfort, agreed that they had every right to feel aggrieved, and assured them there’s steps underway to ensure controversial right-wing speakers are not easily invited to campus in the future.
That according to a 40-minute recording of the meeting recorded surreptitiously by a student in the room and provided to The College Fix, who said the three administrators at the meeting were Sujata Moorti, the incoming dean of the faculty, as well as Dean of Students Baishakhi Taylor and Renee Wells, director of education for equity and inclusion.
During the meeting, students voiced frustration at the fact that Legutko was invited to campus and at “white male” professors for the so-called educational violence they inflict, among other topics.
In response, the three administrators did not tell these students that college is a time of hearing differing opinions or having difficult conversations, but rather agreed with and apologized to the students and pledged to work to address their concerns.
“I hear you, and you should be outraged, and we should acknowledge that and apologize, because that’s the least we can do right now, because we can’t make it right in the moment. But in the future we will do everything we can to make it right,” an administrator told the students.
The controversy stemmed from the fact that Legutko, a prominent Polish philosopher and politician, had been invited to speak at the behest of the university’s Alexander Hamilton Forum series, the Department of Political Science and the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs.
His April 17 appearance was abruptly cancelled hours before he was set to give his speech, with administrators citing vague “safety” concerns. Student protestors had planned a “celebration of queer identity” counter-protest to take place outside the lecture hall, complete with the shuttling-in of protest participants.
Legutko ended up giving his talk in semi-secret in a political science professor’s class, and it sounds as if students at the crisis meeting were unaware at the time that the speech took place, as the meeting and talk occurred on the same afternoon.
Go here to read the rest. This is an example of the heckler’s veto where a speaker is denied free speech due to threats of violence from those who wish to shut the speaker up. An excellent support for the warning that the Professor is giving of a growing desire in liberal democracies to sacrifice free speech on the altar of Leftist dogma.