The Second Time as Farce: The Right's New McCarthyism


  • Christopher Phelps



Education, Political Economy


Suddenly, it seemed, a deluge was upon us: a torrent of magazine articles, newspaper columns, books, talk shows, even a presidential speech, all claiming that "political correctness" (PC) has run amok on campus. The university, if we are to believe these sources, is dominated by tenured radicals. Guided by "well-intentioned" aims of eliminating bigotry, PC faculty and their student allies are zealots in charge of a repressive and censorious culture stifling investigation and discussion. Students and faculty who say the wrong thing, however innocently, are branded racist, sexist, or homophobic and sent packing. It requires real courage to speak out against the "tyranny of the left," and a massive violation of free speech is underway in higher education. The campus, in short, is afflicted with a "new McCarthyism."

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