In recent years hundreds of high-profile ‘free speech’ incidents have rocked US college campuses. Milo Yiannopoulos, Ben Shapiro, Ann Coulter and other right-wing speakers have faced considerable protest, with many being disinvited from speaking. These incidents are widely circulated as examples of the academy’s intolerance towards conservative views.
But this response is not the spontaneous outrage of the liberal colleges. There is a darker element manufacturing the crisis, funded by political operatives, and designed to achieve specific political outcomes. If you follow the money, at the heart of the issue lies the infamous and ultra-libertarian Koch donor network.
Grooming extremist celebrities, funding media platforms that promote these controversies, developing legal organzations to sue universities and corrupting legislators, the influence of the Koch network runs deep. We need to abandon the ‘campus free speech’ narrative and instead follow the money if we ever want to root out this dangerous network from our universities.