Who Gets a Platform on the College Campus?

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When I was an undergraduate, the Cambridge Union invited Jean-Marie Le Pen – then Leader of the National Front Party of France – to debate immigration. Le Pen is a highly polarizing figure: a darling of the French right wing, and a demon to the left. Seen (rightly, I think) as a race-baiting, foreigner-hating, anti-semitic, [Read More...]

Red Smoke, No Fire

Acrid red smoke fills the room, and you are told to evacuate the building. Around 100 people cram the doorways, some anxious, others laughing, most confused. The smoke bomb comes after loud and rambunctious protests, some calling out “You have no right to speak” as the center of this controversy takes the podium.

And what is the tendentious subject which has generated so much ire, leading a mob to disrupt the free exchange of ideas in one of London’s most famous bookstores?

A philosopher dared to open a university. [Read more...]


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