One could not avoid noticing that in addition to the specific objections to the Harper’s letter, its critics were animated by an unusually strong, almost personal, animus to the letter-writers. They constantly brought up the fact that they were wealthy, popular, liberal, and non-minority — even when they weren’t. Much of it was ideological hostility, of course, but it seemed also to be allied to a kind of class hatred, and perhaps to a sense of inferiority of some kind too. There’s a long and impressive tradition of rhetorical viciousness on the Left; Marx himself had a real talent for invective, and Brecht too. And eventually I thought I sensed what they were saying behind the formal arguments:
The more talented they are, the more they deserve to be silenced.
Monday, July 27, 2020
… Harper's Letter: The Left Attacks Defense of Free Inquiry & Debate | National Review. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)