June 21, 2021
In the years since Weinstein left Evergreen, the American cultural and political establishment has undergone a change in thinking, tracking with the warning Weinstein delivered to congress. The Trump election inspired a loss of faith in democracy, Charlottesville defamed speech rights, and Russiagate was an ongoing argument against due process, with many of the same people who opposed Dick Cheney’s spy state suddenly seeing themselves as aligned with the FBI, the NSA, and the CIA in the war on Trump.
Weinstein in his testimony talked about a movement that targeted the liberal concepts that traditionally bound us together, one being the “marketplace of ideas.” By 2021, the “marketplace of ideas” was regularly being portrayed as a trick, a tool for repression designed to conceal the fact that, as the New York Times put it last year, “good ideas do not always triumph in a marketplace of ideas.”
Thus instead of argument and debate, many now believe we should use force and influence to achieve objectives. This is just what Weinstein described at Evergreen: eschewing argument, accumulating power for its own sake instead. It’s in light of this cultural shift that we’ve seen a movement in favor of censorship, with erstwhile opponents of corporations posturing as libertarians, filling social media with arguments about how private companies should be free to do what they want.