WATCH: Michael Knowles explains how to defeat big tech, political correctness
Campus Reform sat down to discuss political correctness on college campuses with Michael Knowles, author of “Speechless: Controlling Words, Controlling Minds” and host of “The Michael Knowles Show” at the Daily Wire.
Knowles told Campus Reform that the issue surrounding political correctness is not merely a battle between free speech and censorship, but of two competing standards.
[RELATED: Fla. Gov. DeSantis, Fmr. Sec. Summers represent bipartisan support for more free speech on campus]
“[Political correctness], I believe, is a purely negative campaign to destroy societies traditional standards. I do not believe, as many people do, that it is a debate between free speech on one hand and censorship on the other. Rather, I think it's a battle between two competing sets of standards: the traditional standards, and the anti-standard of the left”.
By abandoning standards in the name of free speech, Knowles says that conservatives “are giving the left exactly what it wants”.
Knowles then took aim at Big Tech, urging conservatives to assert the “political power” given to them to preserve their liberties.
“[Big Tech controls] 90% of speech — the flow of information around the internet… If you control speech, you control politics… There is nothing illegitimate about using political power to stop that… I don’t think there’s anything dignified about permitting those woke Oligarchs to [censor].”
[VIDEO: Students say Big Tech is too powerful]
In order to win back the culture, Knowles said that conservatives must learn to “say no” to the left’s idea of “academic freedom”. Citing William F. Buckley Jr’s “God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of Academic Freedom,” Knowles points out that Buckley referred to the concept as a “hoax”.
“It’s just a silly slight of rhetoric that the left uses to destroy traditional standards in academia,” he said. “You’ll notice, academic freedom only goes one way: It’s only ever to let a bunch of communists in to teach a bunch of nonsense”.
Knowles then explained that ideas such as "The 1619 Project" and Critical Race Theory are prime examples of why academia ought to be limited.
“We don’t really defend ‘academic freedom’. We don’t think every idea should be taught in the classroom… Liberal education requires limits… Is a student’s education really improved by teaching Critical Race Theory, which, in part, denies objective reality… Is an education improved by denying truth and reality? I don’t think so… Conservatives need to embrace limits and recognize: the battle between free speech and censorship; that’s an illusory battle — it’s a fictional battle. The real debate is between competing standards, and [conservatives] need to be able to articulate some.”
In closing, Knowles encourages conservative college students to “have integrity” by speaking out in defense of their values.
“You will get a lower grade and you will not be invited to certain parties or to join certain clubs, and that’s just the cost, but you’ll sleep like a baby grinning ear-to-ear.”
Watch the full interview above.
Follow the interviewer on Twitter: @_addisonsmith1