This millenarian struggle has continued ever since. Revolutionaries have touted liberation and liberals, liberty. Ever on the wrong side of history, revolutionaries have since blackened the name of liberty in favor of liberation. Even more effectively, they have created a false political spectrum—from left authoritarianism through social democracy to right authoritarianism—on which liberty doesn’t even exist. By such means, classical liberals are accused of fascism (for espousing such well-known fascist doctrines as free speech). These spectacular inversions forced—and still force—onetime liberals back into the space vacated by conservatives. For evidence, look no further than Britain, where the massive growth of the Labour movement all but eradicated the old Liberal party. There is no better example than Churchill, now remembered as an archconservative—yet who started his political life as a liberal.
Which brings us back to the Intellectual Dark Web, where “conservatism” and classical liberalism freely commingle in the face of assault by the authoritarian—and regressive—left. Yet the Times article also showed an emerging discomfort among the left’s inquisitors, and offered the grudging conclusion that such views “should be heard.” Why, thank you! This gives hope that—for all its recent vocal outings—the anti-free-speech movement has peaked. I’m told that the postmillennial generation—with nothing else left to rebel against—is now flocking to Jordan Peterson & Co. If anything is going to make them flock faster, it’s a verbal confection as delicious as Intellectual Dark Web. So maybe we have something to thank the Times for after all.
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