In The Coming of the Third Reich, historian Richard J. Evans explains how, in the early days of National Socialist Germany, Stormtroopers (Brownshirts) “organized campaigns against unwanted professors in the local newspapers [and] staged mass disruptions of their lectures.”
To express dissent from Nazi positions became a matter of taking one’s life into one’s hands.
The idea of people of opposing viewpoints airing their disagreements in a civil and mutually respectful manner was gone.
One was a Nazi, or one was silent (and fearful).
Today’s fascists call themselves “anti-fascists.”
Just like the Nazis, they are totalitarian: they are determined not to allow their opponents to murmur the slightest whisper of dissent.
Forcibly suppressing the speech of someone with whom one disagrees is a quintessentially fascist act.
Stanford professor David Palumbo-Liu, who is so angry and hastening to claim victim status over an article about him appeared at Jihad Watch here, is a prime example of this new fascism. Much more below.
“Why we have free speech on university campuses, and why I will never take a call from the Stanford Review again,” by David Palumbo-Liu, Stanford Daily, January 18, 2018:
…As Professor Joan Scott has argued, there is a distinction to be made between free speech and academic freedom in this regard: “Free speech makes no distinction about quality; academic freedom does.” I am one of the organizers of the Campus Antifascist Network. One of our basic premises is that many, if not all, of the speakers whose ideologies are aligned with the alt-right — including the ideologies of white supremacy, hetero-normalcy, misogyny, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry — are using campus groups to invite them to speak at their universities not to debate, test, advance knowledge, which is the purpose of education, but to have the legitimacy — and in the case of institutions such as Stanford, Berkeley, Middlebury and others, the luster of these institutions — rub off on them. They want to be taken seriously, as having some knowledge that is important to know. But their fundamental desire is for attention. The debate over free speech for them is merely a pretext to gain publicity for themselves. They care little or nothing about free speech — hence their campaigns to dox, stalk, harass and silence critics, affixing misleading and mendacious labels to them. You will see some examples of that in the second half of this essay.
The bottom line is, whether they are allowed to speak or not, they make headlines and sell books. Those on the alt-right have absolutely no interest in debating the quality and substance of their ideas — they wish a showcase for their bigotry on university campuses simply to appropriate intellectual repute. They abuse free speech precisely in pretending to be entering into a contest of ideas, when their real intent is simply academic theater. Unfortunately, campus administrators fall into this trap over and over again….
Leaving aside his propagandistic use of the smear term “alt-right,” which should be unworthy of any professor who is actually interested in the free exchange of ideas, the question arises: how does David Palumbo-Liu know all this? He doesn’t, of course.
I myself would be happy to travel again to Stanford again at my own expense in order to debate him on the concept of “Islamophobia,” but he, of course, will not accept, because, he claims, I and others like me are not interested in debate.
This exposes Palumbo-Liu as a propagandist: he defames those whom he hates by claiming they’re not interested in debate, or only wanting to wrap themselves in the luster of his university (that one made me laugh), or just wanting to sell books, but here I stand ready to meet him in a fair and open discussion, and there is no doubt whatsoever about the fact that he will refuse.
What he is saying here about the alleged purveyors of “Islamophobia” is true of himself, not of them.
Note also his insidious totalitarian heart. He wants Stanford not to allow a platform to those whom he accuses of “white supremacy, hetero-normalcy, misogyny, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry.”
Who will get to decide whose ideas are acceptable to be aired at Stanford and whose aren’t?
Presumably, in David Palumbo-Liu’s little world, this supreme judge will be none other than David Palumbo-Liu, or someone who shares his narrow views.
Out the window is the very mission of a university, which is to allow for the consideration of all ideas and their acceptance or dismissal based on their merits alone.
David Palumbo-Liu would have been quite at home in the KGB or Goebbels’ Propaganda Ministry, deciding which ideas could acceptably be disseminated to the masses and which could not.
But the fact that he is a professor at a major university shows what a disgrace to what its very guiding principles should be Stanford University, and American academia in general, has become.
Palumbo-Liu then goes on to complain at length about the Stanford Review piece that I excerpted at Jihad Watch here, which enraged him: “Like any good piece of right-wing propaganda, that piece is now on Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch, bracketed by a few sentences by Spencer himself so he gets the byline.”
He goes on at great length to explain why he named his group the Campus Antifascist Network, despite supposedly disavowing violence, unlike the Leftist thugs of Antifa.
With a grandiosity and arrogance unusual even in a college professor, he proclaims: “We named ourselves the ‘Campus Antifascist Network’ to claim an alliance with the anti-fascists who fought Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and other fascist leaders.”
Yeah, yeah, if Hitler, Mussolini, or Franco show up, I’ll call you, Professor, but in the meantime the question that really should be asked of you is not whether or not you endorse violence against those whom you hate, but whether you want their ability to speak and be heard forcibly suppressed.
And the answer is abundantly clear from what you have written here.
And then comes his claim to victim status:
When the Review writes: “Do we really want to bring this type of vigilante thuggery to Stanford by enabling a professor who promotes it?”, it puts words I did not speak into my mouth, arrogantly ignores the facts, engages in McCarthyist guilt by association and attributes motives and behaviors without any proof whatsoever, and then its lies and distortions appear on Jihad Watch, they open the door to the hate mail, phone calls, threats and harassment that not only I, but also my family, am now subjected to.
Here, I am going to call your bluff, Professor.
Generally, it’s the Left that traffics in violence and threats these days, not its opponents.
Also, anytime a Leftist is criticized these days, he or she claims, in turn, to have received threats.
It’s a tired act, and it’s noteworthy that these claims are never supported with any actual evidence.
By contrast, I have over the years published on this site the actual text of hundreds of death threats that I have received — and of course, I also turned them over to law enforcement.
Has Palumbo-Liu called the police? Somehow, I doubt it.
These claims from Leftists of having been threatened after getting criticized is just a clumsy tactic trying to ensure that they don’t get criticized in the future.
By contrast also, Professor, I have been told by an Antifa member that he would have murdered me if it hadn’t been for all the police standing nearby.
When I spoke at an outdoor event shortly after receiving that threat, Antifa members threw bottles, rocks, and manure at those of us up on the stage.
In Iceland, I was poisoned by a Leftist and spent the night in a hospital, where a Leftist doctor took a course of benign neglect, failing to perform basic procedures, such that I might never have gotten out of that hospital.
That’s what it’s like to be subjected to “threats and harassment.”
Has anything like those things ever happened to you, Professor? I doubt it, and I hope it doesn’t.
You are the very definition of the demogogue in a position of power that you decry.
You’re a cosseted propagandist at a propaganda mill, hailed by those you’re busy brainwashing, and never even having to expend the energy to refute intellectual challenges, which you dismiss by name-calling and false claims.
If Stanford wanted to take the first step toward becoming a university again, it would fire you (and your fellow fascists in its administration and faculty), but don’t reach for the Xanax just yet: your job couldn’t possibly be more secure.