VDH warns of the end of an age:
History is not static and it does not progress linearly. There was more free speech and unimpeded expression in 5th-century
Athens than in Western Europe between 1934-45, or in Eastern Europe
during 1946-1989. An American could speak his mind more freely in 1970
than now. Many in the United States had naively believed that the
Enlightenment, the U.S. Constitution, and over two centuries of American
customs and traditions had guaranteed that Americans could always take
for granted free speech and unfettered inquiry.
That is an ahistorical assumption. The wish to silence, censor, and
impede thought is just as strong a human emotion as the desire for free
expression — especially when censorship is cloaked in rhetoric about
fairness, equality, justice, and all the other euphemisms for not
allowing the free promulgation of ideas.
George Orwell devoted his later years to warning us that while the
fascist method of destroying free expression was easily identified
(albeit only with difficulty combatted), the leftwing totalitarian
impulse to squelch unpopular speech was far harder to resist — couched
as it was in sloganeering about the “people” and “social justice.”
He’s right. The descent into the Dark Ages will not end well. It never has in the past. We must fight the barbarians at every step, within and without, because even though we will probably lose, we will preserve the seeds from which future civilizations will grow.