The student left’s broken moral compass

I’m taking the liberty of reblogging this post about the dire state of student politics – and of the far left generally. The problems described within the post are not confined to Goldsmiths College, nor indeed to Islamists, but I’d encourage you to watch the video here, which shows the disruption of the talk referred to in this post and which gives you an idea of the contempt some people have for the idea of free speech. Goldsmiths Student Union have asked for the video to be taken down. I hope it stays.


To anyone sufficiently familiar with the politics of the contemporary student left, attempts to censor speakers for the alleged crime of bigotry should not come as a surprise. Neither should the endorsement of Islamists and their list of grievances. Nevertheless, the endorsement by young progressives of a society that promotes regressive speakers in the service of suppressing the voice of a feminist ex-Muslim still has the capacity to shock. It is especially shocking because the groups who have endorsed these attempts to bully a progressive ex-Muslim are the feminist society and the LGBTQ society.

On Monday, November 30th, Maryam Namazie, a plain-spoken critic of Islamism and tireless advocate for ex-Muslims, gave a speech organised by the Goldsmiths Athiest, Secularist and Humanist society. Earlier that day, the Islamic society at Goldsmiths University objected to her right to give the speech, citing that her alleged Islamophobia is in violation of the safe…

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7 Responses to “The student left’s broken moral compass”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    We also saw the same tension within the Left between (a) free-speechers and (b) politically correct types who wish to gag critics of human rights abuses that are worse in some communities, in the response to the Charlie Hebdo murders.

    • telescoper Says:

      A similar phenomenon in a different context was the attempt to stop Germaine Greer from speaking at Cardiff University. I think it would have been wrong to ban her, although I would not myself have gone to her talk as she hasn’t said anything interesting in decades…

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        After some reading and reflection, I think that what is going on is this. The Left has an agreed form of society but differences about how to reach it. There are communists who wish to reach it by violent revolution. (That is the only way that Marx himself believed was feasible.) There are socialists who want to reach it via the ballot box, since the traditional working class easily outnumber the rest. And there are Gramsci/Marcusians (the “Frankfurt School”) who want to progressively subvert the organs of capitalist society. Political correctness is a child of this third group, and what we are seeing is a tension between them and more traditionalist leftists.

        That is perhaps an over-simplification and more could certainly be said, but I think it is a reasonable first approximation.

      • After some reading and reflection, I think that what is going on is this.

        I think some of the alleged left are just plain stupid. 🙂

      • she hasn’t said anything interesting in decades…

        About a decade and a half ago she infamously defended FGM, claiming that criticizing it was a form of colonialism. That should be reason enough not to invite her. This is the same sort of bullshit which the so-called politically correct so-called left has been spouting of late: Any crime is permissable, nay, praiseworthy, if it is committed by someone who, or whose ancestors, were at any time harmed in some way by a white Anglo-Saxon protestant.

        Two wrongs usually make a much worse wrong.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        It’s not about stupidity, Philip. It’s about the heart rather than the head. Peter was right about the broken *moral* compass.

      • Depends on the definition of “stupidity”, I suppose. (And note the smiley.) But it is certainly contraproductive, if not stupid, if one adopts positions which are not consistent with one’s own philosophy.

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