Views that challenge the left are seen as secular heresies to be silenced. Argument is replaced by smears, name-calling and character assassination designed to stifle dissent. As with all heresies, however, the fundamental motivation for silencing them is fear — fear of even hearing contrary arguments.
This is because at some level such “progressives” fear that their arguments are built on sand and they might be persuaded that the contrary view is correct. Since to such people anything contrary to leftism is not just wrong but evil, they are terrified that this would destroy their entire moral and political personality.
Universities are the crucible of free and open intellectual inquiry and debate, or they are nothing. Yet an increasing number have allowed themselves to become weaponised against rationality. That’s why Niall Ferguson’s initiative is too important to be derailed.
To read my whole Times column (£), please click here.