Left-Wing McCarthyism at the University of Hawaii

 

HawaiiAs a graduate student at Texas A&M, and later at Princeton, I studied how unfair allegations and unfair investigative practices had chilled freedom of speech in the United States during the McCarthy era in the 1950s. Having suffered from the political repression of China’s Cultural Revolution, I can testify to the collective madness that destroyed the lives of millions. I consider McCarthyism a similar political horror, though generated by the American Right and less destructive than the Chinese nightmare.

Yet today, more than half a century after the death of McCarthy (and, we had thought, his method of waging politics) Left-wing McCarthyism dominates the discourse of too many college campuses, supposedly the home of learning. Unfortunately, the campus where I teach, the University of Hawaii, is among them. With collective identities of gender, race, and class dominating practically every discussion, both in and out of classes, professors seek to protect themselves from attack from the politically correct through ritual obeisance. Liberal arts education is no longer even slightly “liberal,” (a word derived from the Latin “libertas,” or liberty, subsequently resurrected by the civic culture of early modern Europe). Students are systematically discouraged from questioning the new orthodoxy, sometimes through bullying and sometimes through the threat of ostracism, enforced by “speech codes.” Administrators have at best become apathetic in promoting a free exchange of ideas and have signed on as sensitivity police.

 Consider Rutgers, “The State University of New Jersey.” Condoleezza Rice had been scheduled to give the commencement address this spring. An African-American success story, Dr. Rice has served the academy as a professor of Political Science and Provost at Stanford University and has served America as both National Security Advisor and Secretary of State. Who can doubt that, having risen from modest beginnings in the hothouse environment of the 1960s South, she would have much of value to impart to the graduating class at Rutgers? And yet, the faculty approved a resolution calling for the university to disinvite her. Dr. Rice gracefully withdrew from the graduation ceremony in order to preserve the harmony of the celebration. It should have never come to that.

It was even worse at Brandeis University. There the administration withdrew an honorary degree to be awarded to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-born critic of Islamic Sharia law and Islam’s treatment of women. While the Brandeis “community” was busy protesting and harassing an individualist feminist who does not adequately embrace its identity politics, radical Muslim groups such as Boko Haram were committing real violence against women in West Africa. Founded in 1948 as a Jewish community-sponsored (though nonsectarian) university, Brandeis was named for Justice Louis Brandeis, a notable advocate of free speech. The intolerance exhibited by the university dishonors its name. “Feminist” faculty are once again opposing real champions of women’s rights by opposing recognition for a rare voice from Africa willing to speak out against religious oppression of women at the cost of her personal safety.

I have had my own encounters with Left-wing McCarthyism in the Political Science Department at the University of Hawaii. I have refused to accept the norms of political correctness, which require both criticism of capitalism and oversensitivity to the concerns of whichever minority group happens to be favored at the moment. I assign readings with diverse viewpoints, and have invited Republican, Independent, and Democratic politicians to speak to my students. As a result, some years ago the then-department chairman first asked me to leave the department, then, when I refused, made baseless accusations of anti-semitism against me. Finally, he tried to block my appointment as a full professor by refusing to send my second book to outside reviewers. Thanks to the help of a supportive dean, none of this worked — though it is a sad fact that only one of 22 departmental faculty members came to my defense. You see, my ideas were considered immoral and deserving of suppression. I have fought against all forms of discrimination throughout my life, from the time I was a child and my parents were imprisoned during Mao’s Cultural Revolution and throughout my time in America. The sandbox authoritarianism of university politics is far different in degree from Red China but similar in its disposition.

A particularly egregious instance of Left-wing McCarthyism occurred at the University of Hawaii on May 6. Two finalists for the position of president of the university system had been invited to speak at the Manoa (Honolulu) campus to share their respective visions for the future. About 50 faculty and students (mainly from the English, Ethnic Studies, Political Science, and Hawaii Studies departments) staged a protest, targeting one of the candidates, retired Army General Frank Wiercinski. The protest banner held by one of my colleagues made it difficult to enter the auditorium. Constant rude comments, insults, and shouts made it impossible to hear much of what General Wiercinski had to say. It was less a legitimate protest than an attempt to shout down a voice with which the protesters disagreed. It reminded me of the bullying tactics during the Cultural Revolution, when Red Guards “struggled against” teachers, administrators, and anyone considered an “enemy of the State.” This disgusting performance was far from the Aloha spirit of Hawaii, although, ironically, there were signs in the auditorium proclaiming the need for “Hawaii Values.” It was also destructive of the spirit of any institution of higher learning worthy of the name, where rational deliberation and respectful mutual discourse are to rule the day.

A petition has been circulated in opposition to the appointment of General Wiercinski, ostensibly due to his lack of academic credentials. Of course, considering the fact that recent UH presidents with sterling academic credentials have failed to effectively lead the university, perhaps a degree from West Point, plus 34 years in the military — including 8 years as the head of Pacific Command in Hawaii — might provide the relevant leadership skills our community needs. I am encouraged that only 600 signatures were obtained (students, faculty, and alumni were all solicited). Perhaps, in that sense, a silent majority has spoken. That such a paltry number of the university community (consisting of more than 20,000 students and 1,200 faculty) could be roused to formally sign up for the political repression of divergent ideas perhaps indicates that it’s only a tiny minority of bullies cowing the vast majority. Might this be the case elsewhere?

Things don’t seem to get quite as ugly when the source of controversy is on the left. In 2004, the Political Science Department and the University of Hawaii invited a certain Ward Churchill to speak to our community. Churchill had achieved notoriety by calling the victims of September 11 “little Eichmanns” because such “technocratic corps” had worked in the World Trade Center. There were local protests then too. But there was also a civilized response that spurned censorship. Churchill was allowed to present his views without disruption. Dissenters were told not to speak until the question and answer period, a stipulation they respected. There was, as there always should be (though it seldom occurs when politically incorrect ideas are expressed), an orderly exchange of viewpoints.

Today, a faculty well aware of the fallout from the “red scare” of the 1950s seems unconcerned about the dangers of political correctness to academic freedom and to the lively exchange of ideas that is supposed to characterize liberal education. There is little value placed on intellectual diversity, and UH, as is true of many universities today, is in danger of becoming a univocality, a monotone of the righteous (just as Mao Zedong’s 1956 call for a “Hundred Flowers” of diverse ideas turned into 99 weeds and the communist line).

In 2009, outside academic auditors had this to say about my department: 

The department’s singular epistemology ignores a range of approaches that have proven valuable in the discipline. It ignores large segments of the discipline. We know of few departments of this size…that have staked out as narrow a focus within the discipline as the UH department has….The department’s niche strategy has resulted in a narrow undergraduate curriculum….The individual comments revealed concerns about tolerance for different points of view.

It has only grown worse since then. There are no Hundred Flowers in the Aloha State’s centers of learning, just a single set of politically approved ideas and a conviction that all contending points of view are evil. What must be the message delivered to young minds from such an environment? Recently, a Harvard student wrote chillingly to the student newspaper that “academic freedom” should be sacrificed for “justice.” To a growing extent, that goal has already been achieved in America’s universities.

One wonders how much longer students and their parents will tolerate the ever-increasing costs and ever-decreasing intellectual diversity of today’s politically correct campuses. How much longer will Left-wing McCarthyism be allowed to dumb down higher education in the liberal arts? The politically correct professoriate may well be signing its own death warrant. Alternatives are arising in the “MOOCs”—massive open online courses—and other internet offerings. People who prefer education to indoctrination can now find it outside the confines of the traditional classroom. Those of us with the best interests of the university in mind suggest the time for reform is now. The university must once again become a place where students can encounter and express diverse viewpoints, where differing ideas are celebrated rather than suppressed (or disinvited, or shouted down). Decades from now, the university may survive. But today’s univocality most assuredly will not. If the spirit of liberal learning is to be resurrected, it must not

Editor’s note: Please welcome a special guest contributor to Ricochet — Kate Zhou, professor of political science at the University of Hawaii and author of the book “How the Farmers Changed China: Power of the People”

Members have made 30 comments.

  1. Profile photo of Roberto Member

    Professor Zhou welcome to Ricochet.

    Given that the original arguments in favor of granting faculty tenure were that such would promote academic freedom do you believe it would be fair to say that tenure has failed in its purpose?

    • #1
    • June 5, 2014 at 3:49 pm
  2. Profile photo of James Of England Moderator

    Just to clarify, when you say that you consider McCarthyism to be a similar horror to the Cultural Revolution, do you mean that in the sense that a stubbing your toe and being skinned alive are similar, in that they both cause pain? 

    Do you think that the mid century and current phenomena are similar in that the threat to the country from Communists in the government was trivial, or in that the threat to the country today from Condi Rice and her fellows is significant?

    • #2
    • June 5, 2014 at 5:27 pm
  3. Profile photo of Kay of MT Member

    Welcome to Ricochet Professor Zhou.

    • #3
    • June 5, 2014 at 6:06 pm
  4. Profile photo of Sandy Member

    This serious and otherwise valuable post is written with a strange (to me) condescension, as if readers here were liberals who needed to be shown that these academics are behaving like McCarthy. But they are not imitating McCarthy. Rather they are behaving like the vicious communists that McCarthy, in his clumsy and ineffectual way, tried to expose.

    Welcome to Ricochet, Professor Zhou.

    • #4
    • June 5, 2014 at 7:28 pm
  5. Profile photo of A Beleaguered Conservative Inactive

    Welcome Professor.

    • #5
    • June 5, 2014 at 11:19 pm
  6. Profile photo of Al Kennedy Member

    Welcome to Ricochet Professor Zhou.

    How much has the introduction of special study and degree programs (such as race, gender, and homosexuality) contributed to this? Should these programs be scaled back or eliminated? How much has the lack of good Civics education in secondary and high school contributed?

    I am concerned because I think each generation needs to understand why Western Civilization has been successful and what the moral, societal, political and economic norms are that have made America great and will keep it great. I seem to be meeting too many recent graduates who are totally incapable of thinking for themselves.

    • #6
    • June 6, 2014 at 2:31 am
  7. Profile photo of MMPadre Inactive

    As I just wrote to a nephew -a high-school grad on his way to university- I knew Party members in the PRC (when I was teaching there) who had more intelligence and integrity than most American university professors. They knew how to play the game, and play it they did. But they also knew it was a game.

    • #7
    • June 6, 2014 at 3:25 am
  8. Profile photo of Sunbelt red Inactive

    Welcome to Ricochet –

    Appreciate the insight into your corner of the world. I have a feeling that your experience with the attempted bullying to fall in line happens a lot more than we are aware of. Appreciate that we have folks out there fighting for truth and exposing the lunacy that ‘tolerance’ has become!

    • #8
    • June 6, 2014 at 5:23 am
  9. Profile photo of Tim Kowal Inactive

    Excellent post, Professor Zhou. It is always thrilling to discover another of the few brave conservative academics who openly resist the thick culture of leftism they inhabit. I look forward to more dispatches from the front.

    • #9
    • June 6, 2014 at 8:59 am
  10. Profile photo of Pelayo Member

    The very fact these groups have to resort to shouting and other rude behavior implies that they are incapable of arguing their views in a rational way and winning a real debate. Be true to your values Professor and continue in your attempts to fight censorship.

    • #10
    • June 6, 2014 at 11:51 am
  11. Profile photo of Douglas Member

    With respect, Mam, “McCarthyism” is mostly a bogeyman. McCarthy was overzealous, and even at times unethical, but he was also, to a greater extent than any of us should be comfortable with, correct about just how much the Federal bureaucracy was infused with ideologues sympathetic to the aims of the Soviet Union. FDR’s administration, in particular, was filled with them.

    • #11
    • June 6, 2014 at 1:15 pm
  12. Profile photo of Kay of MT Member

    Douglas:

    With respect, Mam, “McCarthyism” is mostly a bogeyman. McCarthy was overzealous, and even at times unethical, but he was also, to a greater extent than any of us should be comfortable with, correct about just how much the Federal bureaucracy was infused with ideologues sympathetic to the aims of the Soviet Union. FDR’s administration, in particular, was filled with them.

     
    True, even Churchill was critical of FDR and his socialist ideologues prior to WWII, and said so in his “Histories.” Churchill stated that the 30’s depression and WWII never should have happened except for FDR’s policies.

    • #12
    • June 6, 2014 at 2:31 pm
  13. Profile photo of James Of England Moderator

    Kay of MT:

    Douglas:

    True, even Churchill was critical of FDR and his socialist ideologues prior to WWII, and said so in his “Histories.” Churchill stated that the 30′s depression and WWII never should have happened except for FDR’s policies.

     I think that there’s a distinction between “New Dealer” and “Communist”. There’s a lot of overlap but most Communists weren’t New Dealers and most New Dealers weren’t Communists. Some of the spies that McCarthy went after were merely wrong about policy; they thought that left wing ideas should replace American policies, Constitution, and culture. More concerningly than merely supporting, eg., Social Security, many of the spies were active traitors, whether passing nuclear secrets or guiding negotiations to support the Soviets over American interests. This was a problem Churchill was no better at dealing with than was FDR. 

    • #13
    • June 6, 2014 at 5:17 pm
  14. Profile photo of Jennifer Johnson Inactive

    Welcome to Ricochet, Prof. Zhou.

    • #14
    • June 6, 2014 at 8:51 pm
  15. Profile photo of Kate Zhou Contributor
    Kate Zhou Post author

    Roberto:

    Professor Zhou welcome to Ricochet.

    Given that the original arguments in favor of granting faculty tenure were that such would promote academic freedom do you believe it would be fair to say that tenure has failed in its purpose?

    Yes. It does not protect those who need protection. Sometimes it protects mediocrity instead of freedom.

    • #15
    • June 7, 2014 at 2:16 am
  16. Profile photo of Kate Zhou Contributor
    Kate Zhou Post author

    James Of England:

    Just to clarify, when you say that you consider McCarthyism to be a similar horror to the Cultural Revolution, do you mean that in the sense that a stubbing your toe and being skinned alive are similar, in that they both cause pain?

    Do you think that the mid century and current phenomena are similar in that the threat to the country from Communists in the government was trivial, or in that the threat to the country today from Condi Rice and her fellows is significant?

     The left-wing McCartheyism I witnessed recently reminded me of similar scenes I witnessed in China when I was young. Fortunately it did not become violent. It disturbed me, and I am concerned that universities have become closed minded.

    • #16
    • June 7, 2014 at 2:32 am
  17. Profile photo of Kate Zhou Contributor
    Kate Zhou Post author

    Sandy:

    This serious and otherwise valuable post is written with a strange (to me) condescension, as if readers here were liberals who needed to be shown that these academics are behaving like McCarthy. But they are not imitating McCarthy. Rather they are behaving like the vicious communists that McCarthy, in his clumsy and ineffectual way, tried to expose.

    Welcome to Ricochet, Professor Zhou.

    Forgive me, I was raised by Communists and make my living among postmodernists. Maybe I don’t know how to address ordinary people.

    Readers seem to have reacted negatively to the phrase “left- wing McCarthyism. ” I took this phrase from Bloomberg (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/06/03/bloomberg-s-surprising-harvard-commencement-address-attacks-campus-ideologues.html) and DeWeese (http://americanpolicy.org/2010/04/15/left-wing-mccarthyism/).

    • #17
    • June 7, 2014 at 3:18 pm
  18. Profile photo of Kate Zhou Contributor
    Kate Zhou Post author

    Al Kennedy:

    Welcome to Ricochet Professor Zhou.

    How much has the introduction of special study and degree programs (such as race, gender, and homosexuality) contributed to this? Should these programs be scaled back or eliminated? How much has the lack of good Civics education in secondary and high school contributed?

    I am concerned because I think each generation needs to understand why Western Civilization has been successful and what the moral, societal, political and economic norms are that have made America great and will keep it great. I seem to be meeting too many recent graduates who are totally incapable of thinking for themselves.

     I don’t object to inclusion but to exclusion.

    • #18
    • June 7, 2014 at 3:33 pm
  19. Profile photo of James Of England Moderator

    Kate Zhou: Maybe I don’t know how to address ordinary people. Readers seem to have reacted negatively to the phrase “left- wing McCarthyism. ” I took this phrase from Bloomberg

     In this instance, normal people might react more positively. In writing for Ricochet, it seems like a sensible rule of thumb that one should not uncritically adopt Bloomberg’s positions or language, although there are times when he is a friend of the right (and that speech was lauded on Ricochet because we have lower standards for Bloomberg than for each other). 

    Kate Zhou: and DeWeese

    The John Bircher using McCarthyite as a slur is a little more surprising, since they are generally highly supportive, for obvious reasons. I honestly don’t know how Ricochet as a whole feels about the John Birch Society, but I suspect that views trend strongly negative with a significant keenly supportive minority. Ricochet is, after all, somewhat derived from National Review, the chief vanquisher of the JBS. 

    Quite a lot of Ricochetti describe Whittaker Chambers’ Witness as playing an important part of their intellectual growth. While Chambers personally disliked McCarthy, their efforts were clearly somewhat aligned. Ann Coulter has, of course, also written extensively in support of McCarthy. 

    • #19
    • June 7, 2014 at 9:45 pm
  20. Profile photo of James Of England Moderator

    Kate Zhou: The left-wing McCartheyism I witnessed recently reminded me of similar scenes I witnessed in China when I was young. Fortunately it did not become violent. It disturbed me, and I am concerned that universities have become closed minded.

     While I am glad that the scenes of your youth were not violent, the scale of violence elsewhere seems to me to have been so great that it might be said that violence, physical abuse, and destruction were elements essential to any phenomena appearing similar. I certainly cannot think of an event with a comparable death toll to which one might reasonably compare a non-violent form of oppression.

    Once the casualties exceed the population of a small state, it seems that analogies become appropriate only when there is a chance that the phenomena may become quasi-genocidal. Not only does this not seem possible in terms of power (fringe left-wingers hold only niches of this kind of dominance), but it does not appear to be even an aim of significant numbers of the thugs. Awful though they may be, we simply haven’t seen significant numbers of murders and rapes of conservatives. 

    McCarthy was rude in a noble cause, and the contemporary thugs are rude in an ignoble cause, but neither seem comparable to one of the Twentieth Century’s more terrible tragedies. While I was working and studying in Beijing, I would frequently be told by people of their experience of the Cultural revolution, and people on TV joined the chorus. It was clearly universally the defining feature of the decade, and for many the defining feature of their lives (I mostly spoke to people too young to recall the Great Leap). I’d be surprised if many Americans in 2054 felt the same way about commencement speeches and guest lectures in the 2010s. 

    • #20
    • June 7, 2014 at 11:13 pm
  21. Profile photo of Instugator Thatcher

    James Of England:

    Ann Coulter has, of course, also written extensively in support of McCarthy.

    I confess that I believed the narrative until I read Ann Coulter’s well researched (and footnoted) chapters. Color me a McCarthy fan following my conversion.

    Take a look Prof. Zhou. I believe the chapters in question are in Ann’s book, Treason.

    • #21
    • June 8, 2014 at 7:35 am
  22. Profile photo of Kate Zhou Contributor
    Kate Zhou Post author

    Is DeWeese a Bircher?

    • #22
    • June 8, 2014 at 7:14 pm
  23. Profile photo of James Of England Moderator

    Kate Zhou:

    Is DeWeese a Bircher?

     It certainly appears that way. 
    https://www.facebook.com/events/364412693590121/?fref=nf
    http://www.jbs.org/videos/mediaitem/297-tom-deweese-agenda-21

    http://www.nolanchart.com/article5838-a-question-of-accuracyshall-the-john-birch-society-decide-the-constitution-html
    http://www.newswithviews.com/Timothy/baldwin209.htm

    Those all link the man and organization without much proof. Here is a lengthy list of articles by him in the chief JBS media organ, though. This is an interview between the JBS President and DeWeese. I don’t know if there’s an institutional link between DeWeese and the JBS, but the articles show that his views closely align with them on a variety of subjects, and he’s clearly socially close to them. I feel as if this is a close enough relationship to make the description of him as a Bircher legitimate; regardless of his position or lack of position in the organization, he’s clearly a follower of the ideology. 

    • #23
    • June 9, 2014 at 12:43 am
  24. Profile photo of James Of England Moderator

    Instugator:

    James Of England:

    Ann Coulter has, of course, also written extensively in support of McCarthy.

    I confess that I believed the narrative until I read Ann Coulter’s well researched (and footnoted) chapters. Color me a McCarthy fan following my conversion.

    Take a look Prof. Zhou. I believe the chapters in question are in Ann’s book, Treason.

     If you haven’t read Coulter, or if you’ve only read selected Coulter, you should know that she’s quite variable, and is somewhat prone to inserting occasional red meat sentences into otherwise pretty thoughtful books, but her less reported substance is worth skimming the apologetics for. I’d recommend reading Mugged before Treason, but I’d be surprised if you didn’t discover information in either book that you found interesting and surprising, and that you can easily confirm with a little independent research. 

    • #24
    • June 9, 2014 at 12:49 am
  25. Profile photo of James Of England Moderator

    Your book sounds fascinating, incidentally. Are you going to post about it? Would you describe yourself as an optimist about China?

    • #25
    • June 9, 2014 at 12:53 am
  26. Profile photo of Grendel Member

    “Left-wing McCarthyism” is typical leftist tu-quoque rhetoric. Mention any Communist atrocity–from Ukrainian Genocide, Katyn Forest, the Gulag to Castro, Ortega, Chavez–and the leftist tries to divert the discussion to Negro Slavery, the Trail of Tears, and “McCarthyism”.
    There really wasn’t much ism to McCarthy. He was concerned with one sub-Cabinet department (the Army). His opponents ranged from some anti-Communist liberals to anti-anti-Communist liberals to Greenwich Village Stalinists. They objected to his premise that loyalty to Communism, i.e., to the USSR, in a public official was not consistent with acting in the best interests of the USA. He was right, but theirs became the regnant meme.

    The thuggish acts of our PC campus Liberal Fascists do not compare with the state-sponsored atrocities of the Cultural Revolution, tho I’ve no doubt our academics regret the restraints. “Left-wing McCarthyism” is sheer slander: anti-Communists never so much as disrupted a Pete Seeger concert.

    • #26
    • June 9, 2014 at 2:12 pm
  27. Profile photo of Kate Zhou Contributor
    Kate Zhou Post author

    Sandy:

    This serious and otherwise valuable post is written with a strange (to me) condescension, as if readers here were liberals who needed to be shown that these academics are behaving like McCarthy. But they are not imitating McCarthy. Rather they are behaving like the vicious communists that McCarthy, in his clumsy and ineffectual way, tried to expose.

    Welcome to Ricochet, Professor Zhou.

     As someone whose grandfather was starved to death by the Mao regime, I was worried that the McCarthy outreach gave the liberal excuse to silence the dissent. I hope to reach to more people about the importance of free speech.

    • #27
    • June 19, 2014 at 6:21 pm
  28. Profile photo of MJBubba Member

    Dr. Zhou, welcome to Ricochet.

    I hope you are keeping up with F.I.R.E.; you might find supportive or informative materials there:

    http://www.thefire.org/

    • #28
    • June 19, 2014 at 6:57 pm
  29. Profile photo of Sandy Member

    Kate Zhou:

    Sandy:

    This serious and otherwise valuable post is written with a strange (to me) condescension, as if readers here were liberals who needed to be shown that these academics are behaving like McCarthy. But they are not imitating McCarthy. Rather they are behaving like the vicious communists that McCarthy, in his clumsy and ineffectual way, tried to expose.

    Welcome to Ricochet, Professor Zhou.

    As someone whose grandfather was starved to death by the Mao regime, I was worried that the McCarthy outreach gave the liberal excuse to silence the dissent. I hope to reach to more people about the importance of free speech.

     I understand why you used the phrase, and your terrible personal experience must make you unusually and rightly sensitive to the behavior you describe. However a more accurate way to describe these miscreants might be “Stalinists.” It was the Left that did the chilling during the McCarthy period–after all, McCarthy himself was silenced–but that is not the way the period is viewed by most academics.

    • #29
    • June 19, 2014 at 7:31 pm
  30. Profile photo of James Of England Moderator

    Kate Zhou:

    Sandy:

    This serious and otherwise valuable post is written with a strange (to me) condescension, as if readers here were liberals who needed to be shown that these academics are behaving like McCarthy. But they are not imitating McCarthy. Rather they are behaving like the vicious communists that McCarthy, in his clumsy and ineffectual way, tried to expose.

    Welcome to Ricochet, Professor Zhou.

    As someone whose grandfather was starved to death by the Mao regime, I was worried that the McCarthy outreach gave the liberal excuse to silence the dissent. I hope to reach to more people about the importance of free speech.

    I think Sandy’s criticism was less about the need for mildly condescending articles calling for free speech than for their need on Ricochet. I, for one, appreciate any and all efforts undertaken in the fight to beat down the domineering ideologues of academia and their suppression of speech, but believe this fight to be almost entirely won on Ricochet. Here, preaching to the choir, your argument was interesting to me primarily for the personal section, for which the widely known material was useful context, but I agree with Sandy that the context didn’t seem to imply an assumption that the context was familiar, probably because you had not spent much time on Ricochet and were not briefed much before you were asked to write. Writing here on free speech may be useful (Ricochet is widely read), but it is probably more useful it if is pitched as if the audience was somewhat familiar with the issue and needed neither to be instructed, nor persuaded, regarding the fundamentals. 

    • #30
    • June 21, 2014 at 5:12 pm