Is it new, though?
Well — it’s new that the left is now facing (checks notes) “Consequences Culture.”
Politico cried about this a couple of weeks ago:
‘It Feels Like the New McCarthyism’: How the Israel-Hamas War Is Redefining the Limits of Free Speech
In the age of social media, do employers have the right to fire employees for their political views? Free speech expert Genevieve Lakier says the rules are changing before our eyes.
Did they talk to a single conservative before writing this? Apparently not. We just don’t count. We’re meant to be speech-patrolled, they’re meant to be free.
The New York Times, meanwhile, claimed that first it was college campuses, and only now are corporations firing people over wrongspeech.
Only now, New York Times? Really? The New York Times itself has fired people and forced people to resign over wrongspeech! And now they’re pretending this is a “new” feature of corporate life?
Again, what they mean is: The new thing is that the wrong people are being cancelled.
Greg Lukianoff, author of The Coddling of the American Mind, is amused by campus speech police suddenly decrying “the New McCarthyism” now that they’re being canceled for genocidal antisemtism.
According to pieces in Politico and the New York Times, as well as countless posts across social media, we are seeing a “new McCarthyism” in the form of speech crackdowns and viewpoint discrimination on campus and elsewhere. Indeed, donors have threatened to pull funding; employers have blacklisted students for their views; and student groups have faced backlash for their statements.But this atmosphere has been “situation normal” on campus since at least 2017. The only thing different about our current moment is that the tables have turned. Critics who once claimed either that Cancel Culture doesn’t exist — or that it is just “accountability” or “consequence” culture — are lamenting the problem now that it’s their side suffering those consequences.
But rather than say, “I told you so,” I’d happily welcome this new awareness. That is, if it weren’t for some critics’ seeming determination to act as though Cancel Culture is essentially new, reflecting their complete ignorance of the stark evidence of how long it’s been around and how bad it has been.
I’m not surprised. If these people had to acknowledge that something has been wrong on campus for a very long time, they’d also have to admit they’ve been wrong to deny the existence of Cancel Culture. Now that they’re on the receiving end, it may be dawning on them that if the consequence of stating your opinion is being fired or expelled, that’s going to repress thought and chill speech.
Thankfully, these champions of “accountability” may finally be recognizing that the punishment does not fit the crime. What they should also admit is that it never has.
He has a full article about the not-new McCarthyism at The Atlantic.