Leftists are proud of being able to shout down the opposition. They are willing to go to extremes to keep opposing voices from being heard. This makes leftists rather unique among modern political movements -- except perhaps among Germany's "ultra-rightists" skinheads.
In fact, leftists have made such arses of themselves for so long that they are due for something of a backlash. No, not like the American "Tea Party" movement. Those folks are far too civilised to be considered a backlash movement. The tea partiers simply want their government to return to its minimalist roots, socially, and to spend within its means, economically.
No, when I say "backlash," I really mean backlash, in a very painful and effective sense. The left leaves itself open to attack from many directions. It is fortunate for leftists that the media largely covers for their misdeeds and contretemps. That is not likely to always be the case, of course.
While academia is generally full of leftists, occasionally a more rational and honest intellectual will persist through the deadly obstacle course and become well-known and popular enough that academic and media institutions cannot deny them a voice. Such a person is Niall Ferguson, historian:
The historian has been living back in the UK for almost a year, the first time since leaving for the US in 2002, where he now teaches at Harvard. From the outside, it's looked like quite a successful stay; his Channel 4 series, Civilization, was broadly well-received, and the accompanying book is another dollop of vintage Ferguson history, devoted to the superiority of western civilisation. While here he's also been advising Michael Gove on the history curriculum in secondary schools, and now that the Tories, of whom he approves, are back in charge of the country, he must have found the political climate more to his tastes. But when I ask him for the single biggest change he's observed since leaving Britain, he replies with a kind of theatrical despair,The dimwitted bimbette from the Guardian who interviewed Ferguson was clearly unprepared to face a non-leftist of Ferguson's articulateness and "in-your-faceness."
"I think the situation in British universities has gone from being parlous to being catastrophic. When you look at where British universities are going, and where Harvard's going, you'd have to really love other things about England to take the hit."
...He is forever insisting he is not rightwing – so could he offer some examples of his thinking which would demonstrate that he isn't?
"Ask me not are you rightwing, but ask me are you a committed believer in individual freedom, the values of the enlightenment? Then, yeah, if being rightwing means believing Adam Smith was right, both in the Wealth of Nations and the Theory of Moral Sentiments, then I'm rightwing. If being rightwing is thinking that Karl Marx's doctrine was a catastrophe for humanity, then I'm rightwing. If you think that it's rightwing to say that the welfare state has trapped 10-20% of the population of western Europe in a dependency culture, an abyss of social failure, then I'm rightwing." _Guardian
Not that Ferguson is representative of the backlash I mention. No, he is just that niggling little feeling in the back of the minds of leftists, which makes them wonder if perhaps their little academic monopoly game might not go on forever.
No, they wish that Ferguson represented the backlash, just as they wish the Tea Party movement were as bad as a backlash might get.
The backlash which leftists deserve is far worse than they can imagine, but it is unlikely they will receive the maximum sentence they are due. Yet they are such whining pathetic creatures, that anything except complete capitulation to their catastrophically dysfunctional and destructive plans is seen as a hellish punishment, through their eyes.
The thing that is coming will be somewhere in between what they deserve, and the taste of internal hell they are receiving as a result of the need for governments to reduce their disastrous levels of debt. And that particular adjustment of spending priorities is likely to go on for a long, long time, and to cut many of their pet causes very, very deeply.
Not the backlash, no. But it is coming all the same. And although it will not be particularly violent, it will be devilishly clever and effective.