Should Lectures Be Censored? Watch

nulli tertius
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#21
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#21
(Original post by Observatory)
I smell a little hindsight bias here. Do you think it was incredible to suggest in 1975 that the USSR might win the Cold War? Communism wasn't the emasculated strain it is today.

Even today I consider a communist revolution much more likely than a Nazi one.
MI5 would have been keeping a watch on Ralph Miliband but we were depriving him of the right to teach or locking him up in the Tower. The steps taken to curtail his freedom were modest ones because at no time during his actual career did he pose a significant enough threat to the state. Tibbs the Nazi vicar was detained during WWII That wasn't because the establishment were biased in favour of the left or because he was a more convincing advocate of his cause from his pulpit than Miliband from his lectern, but because the threat posed by him in summer 1940 was far greater than the threat posed by Miliband in 1955 or 1975.

These rules have of course existed in all societies, and have been different in the past, e.g. it was once not done to criticise the catholic church, to criticise the reformed church, to advocate atheism or legalised homosexuality, etc. One can defend the GULAG as just punishment for breaking the civilised ties that bind society, etc.

I think there is an academic ideal - which is to an extent a social ideal also - that academics should be allowed to say and think anything. If this is not true it is difficult to justify a state-funded academia as being different to an official propaganda apparatus.
I am not sure that this is a position that has ever been widely held outside academia.
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