Many people have commented that the recent cancellation of a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of California at Berkeley was an exercise in censorship, a movement against free speech. I think that it is in fact, far more serious. The violence witnessed at the University, was a demonstration against the right of various people to have a public existence.
Many of Milo’s fans and other ticket holders who may have been curious about or even critical of the speaker, found themselves and their property under physical attack merely for assembling at a common place for the common purpose of trying to hear what Milo had to say.
What’s more though, is that people who express or are assumed to be expressing various beliefs, come under attack from the hard-left/Soros opposition even when alone and not remotely participating in any kind of public event, whether it be a speech or a rally.
The dangers of such a precedent are manifold. It threatens not only to close down the marketplace of ideas, but it threatens to close down public thoroughfares and other public spaces for certain people based on their actual or perceived political views.
This is sectarianism at work in a country that had traditionally prided itself on the inclusive notion of Americanism, a belief system and indeed a way of life, strategically designed to avoid the potential powder-keg inherent in any multi-cultural society, which by definition America is and always has been.
At present, the issue is less a sectarianism based on ethnicity or religion, than the sectarianism of ideas. It represents a total inversion of the American ideal that in order to minimise ethnic and religious tensions, it would be advisable to encourage people to define themselves by individual beliefs rather than ancient identities.
Now though, the identity politics pursued by the Democratic party, has created a perfect storm in which flying the flag of ancient identity in place of a political argument is not only accepted but encouraged, whilst having individual political or social views, irrespective of ancient background is now met with illegal violence.
How ironic too, that such violence is expressed against Milo Yiannopoulos, a Greek-born, British citizen whose religious background is both Catholic and Jewish. In every sense, he represents a minority in the context of American demography. Yet it is his views which are under attack by identity obsessed neo-liberals.
It does not bode well for America.