Free Speech Discourse on the Dark Web

Bari Weiss of The New York Times has a long opinion piece on “The intellectual dark web,” meaning a collection of intellectuals, left, right and center who are amassing large audiences outside of the collection of liberals who preside over the suffocatingly conventional opinions in politics, journalism, and academe. Jordan Peterson is there, along with Christina Sommers, Ben Shapiro, and Sam Harris. And Bret Weinstein, the liberal professor who refused the orders of tiny student fascists for all whites to quit the Evergreen campus for a day. Many more as well.

All challenge the alleged openness of what passes for intellectual life in the U.S. They think, among other things that there are fundamental biological differences between men and women, that free speech is under siege, identity politics is a toxic ideology and many other forbidden things you can’t say at a cocktail parties in NY or LA without being labeled an Islamophobe, a heterophobe or a Nazi. Too early to say that the frozen waste of approved thought is beginning to melt. But we can hope.


  • John Leo

    John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

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One thought on “Free Speech Discourse on the Dark Web”

  1. Glenn Greenwald’s attack on Bari Weiss’s free speech credentials accurately exposes her dishonesty, but creates a false dichotomy. It suggests that, because she is against academic freedom for critics of Israel, her criticisms of leftist attacks on freedom are false. This is not the case.

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