"The so-called “free speech crisis” is actually an anti-political
correctness campaign waged by particular groups of conservative
intellectuals. French’s review shows some Australian conservatives
looked to the success of such campaigns in the United States and the
United Kingdom in increasing the political right’s power. They
manufactured a similar “crisis” in Australian universities to achieve
the same ends here.
Anti-political correctness is a philosophy that is not the same as free
speech. Anti-political correctness claims that conservative students,
lecturers and visitors to university campuses are unfairly limited in
what they can say. Often this relates to so-called “politically correct”
subjects such as race, gender or sexuality.
The difference from free speech is obvious. Anti-PC advocates want to be
able to say what they like, but they do not want to be called “racist”,
“sexist” or “homophobic” in response. Anti-political correctness is
always earned at the expense of someone else’s free speech.
Anti-political correctness is connected to libertarian philosophies,
which value individual freedom over collective well-being. However,
anti-political correctness typically does not grant everyone the same
This is because anti-political correctness is linked to a conspiracy
theory known as “Cultural Marxism”. Cultural Marxism is an imaginary
left-wing movement that some conservatives believe deliberately
coordinated a take-over of cultural institutions, including
universities. Political sociologist Rachel Busbridge and her colleagues
describe the transfer of this conspiracy theory from the US to
Australia, where what was a far-right fringe theory has taken root in
more mainstream conservative movements."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics