Cancel Culture Is Not the Problem; Conformity Culture Is

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For every high-profile cancellation, there may be dozens who are intimidated into self-censorship.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE G reg Patton — a business professor, for now, at the University of Southern California, who committed the outrage of repeating a Chinese expression that sounds similar to a racist slur in English — is the latest scholar to fall prey to campus cancel culture. His case also serves as a warning that, while cancel culture is a real phenomenon that presents a clear and present danger to academic freedom, a more insidious peril lurks: the soft despotism of presumed conformity.

Patton’s name is now known, and should be, to defenders of academic freedom. His case illustrates the bizarre entanglements to which

Greg Weiner is a political scientist at Assumption College, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and the author, most recently, of Old Whigs: Burke, Lincoln, and the Politics of Prudence.

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