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Free Speech Absolutism Killed Free Speech

Conservatives calling for more free speech as a way to push back against campus cancel culture are trying to repair the stable when the horses bolted long ago. It may seem reasonable to think academic diversity and open debate can counter progressive groupthink, but the intolerance prevailing on college campuses isn’t the result of too little speech. It’s a consequence of too much speech.

Older conceptions of free speech are present in texts stretching back to Plato, but the modern form of the idea is the creation of John…

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