Writing in New Socialist, Pete Mitchell does a thoroughly entertaining demolition of two books making the culture war argument that “the left” is somehow silencing free speech. The whole thing’s worth a read but I particularly liked these bits:
In Lukianoff and Haidtâ€™s account, college students arenâ€™t distressed because theyâ€™re facing unprecedented debt and insecurity, because those safety nets they had are being stripped away from them, because they can no longer look forward to a recognisable future – or indeed because white supremacists keep trying to gather on their campuses to intimidate them, while their parentsâ€™ generation stands around finger-wagging about the importance of robust debate – but because theyâ€™re decadent, attached to their phones, full of self-pity, over-indulged and lacking in will.
The well-worn argument here is that millennial snowflakes refuse to be exposed to opposing views from people who disagree with them.
As anyone whoâ€™s spent any time around these debates knows by now, those â€œopposing viewsâ€ usually turn out to be some variation of exactly the same one, and the â€œpeople who disagree with youâ€ are always some variation of the same person: a well-paid white man who isnâ€™t sure where all these women and brown people and queers came from but has some ideas about where heâ€™d like to send them.