‘Do universities actually believe in the concept of diversity of opinion?’

April 20, 2017

SEARCHING QUESTION: Brexit campaigner and Clacton MP Douglas Carswell asked a Parliamentary question on freedom of speech on university campuses after being “no-platformed” at the University of East Anglia.


CRITICAL THINKING: According to Stefan Molyneux, the philosopher Aristotle, once said:One of the great marks of an educated mind is the ability to entertain an opposing opinion.”

DOUBLE STANDARDS: Stefan Molyneux of Freedom Radio discussed political correctness with Dr Duke Pesta and one of the claims he made was that left-leaning university campuses in the UK and US were banning conservative voices from visiting whilst publicly proclaiming they were in favour of diversity of opinion. Yet in the UK pro-life groups and veteran feminist Germaine Greer were banned from Newcastle University for their stances on euthanasia and abortion and questioning whether transgendered women could be considered real women.

BEST PRACTICE: Jo Johnson, universities minister and brother of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who said: “Policies and codes of practice are crucial to demonstrating to students that free speech should be at the heart of our university system. They need to be meaningful documents that students and staff understand and, crucially, respect.”



IS censorship of content on university campuses across the South coast and the rest of the country detrimental to free speech or needed to protect hurt feelings?

Universities minister Jo Johnson responded to a parliamentary question from Independent MP for Clacton Douglas Carswell asked whether guidance can be given to ensure students were allowed to express their views without censorship.

Back in December 2016 I transcribed a video from 2011 featuring an exchange between the late Andrew Breitbart and a female student of La Raza studies with him telling the student that her university had her “thinking in terms of race” and this would not help her get a job.

In February this website shared part of the information of a program explaining the history of the Frankfurt School of Social Research, and whose founders were the architects of modern-day political correctness.

Mr Carswell asked the minister whether he valued the importance of freedom of speech and, and that universities were still places where students could be challenged with alternative trains of thought. He was “no-platformed” by students at the University of East Anglia when invited to speak there in 2016.

According to Hansard, Mr Carswell, asked the minister: “Will she (Justine Greening) make it her policy to issue guidance to higher education institutions on ensuring freedom of speech for students on campuses? Notwithstanding the obligations under section 43 of the 1986 Act, does the Minister believe that action is needed to safeguard universities as places of free speech and challenging ideas?

There is a clause in the 1986 Education Act that makes it clear that education establishments must take “reasonable practical steps” to secure freedom of speech.

Mr Johnson said: “Indeed. Policies and codes of practice should not simply be allowed to gather dust; they are crucial to demonstrating to students that free speech should be at the heart of our university system. They need to be meaningful documents that students and staff understand and, crucially, respect.

The intervention was made after it emerged that pro-life groups were told by student union leaders they were not welcome to come to Newcastle University and when prominent feminist Germaine Greer faced fierce protests when she questioned whether transgendered women could ever claim to be “real women”.

The university claimed the pro-life group was “harmful to students” and “discriminatory” whilst Ms Greer, the veteran broadcaster and journalist, faced a petition from the students saying her views had “no place in feminism” despite the fact she has fought for women’s rights throughout her professional career.

Amateur philosopher and public speaker Stefan Molyneux claims there has been a campaign of censorship to disinvite conservative or alternative voices onto US and UK campuses and whilst those on the left proclaim they value “diversity of opinion”, they do everything they can to thwart it.

In this exchange with Dr Duke Pesta, the academy director of FreedomProject Molyneux discusses the suffocating and censoring effect political correctness is infecting the entire education system.

Molyneux said: “So political correctness, social justice warriors, safe spaces, micro aggression, what seems to be claustrophobic gas seeping through the vents, of American and European academia is a topic that really needs to be discussed more.

“As Aristotle once said, one of the great marks of an educated mind is the ability to entertain an opposing opinion, even to argue it without being swayed by it.

“When you are confident to use evidence in a confidence and appropriate manner, you have nothing to fear from opposing opinion or arguments, you can dismantle them. A lot of the problems they have is the ability to process arguments and separate the good arguments from bad which creates a fascistic and paralysing approach to censorship.

“The left claims that they love ‘diversity’, challenging viewpoints, multiplicity of perspectives. If that is the case, why don’t you have a giant outreach program to reach more conservative voices onto campuses, but no they say they are not smart enough, they are not interested, what other demographic groups would you apply those same terms to? Err, short-circuit.”


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