A new study conducted by Pew Research came out on Friday, revealing the depressingly sorry state of today’s youth and the respect that they have for the 1st Amendment and freedom of speech in general.
When asked whether the government should intervene if citizens say something that might be considered offensive to minorities, 40% of millennials agreed. This is, of course, still a minority of respondents, but when compared to those of the previous generations (even just the last), it is still an incredibly significant figure.
Only 27% of Gen Xers, 24% of Baby Boomers, and 12% of Silent Generation respondents agreed that the state should control and limit potentially offensive speech, so the comparative increase among the youth of disregard for the 1st Amendment should be a major cause for concern.
This is simply the result of what most journalists on the right have been saying for years. Freedom of speech is under attack, not by direct legislation, but by erasing the value of freedom of expression in schools and colleges. Just 10 to 20 years ago, college campuses were places defined by their open debates, easy access to learn new things, and free student discussion. College campuses are now defined by “safe spaces,” authoritarian student unions, and bourgeoisie middle-class-but-I’m-down-with-the-poor protesters. Students of today do not want a free discussion if anything said could hurt someone’s feelings (unless you’re straight, male, and white; then fire away).
The study also revealed that nearly twice as many Democrats were in favor of limiting free speech (35%) in comparison to Republicans (18%).
Despite the worrying increase in those against free speech, the United States of America turned out to be the most freedom-loving country on its own, with only 28% in favor of government regulation on speech, while Germany had a troubling 70% in favor, the most out of the all countries in the study. The United Kingdom was the most freedom-loving country in Europe, with 54% favoring free speech.
The results of the study should worry the general public. It has been obvious for a while now that as a society we have been becoming less tolerant of freedom in general, particularly freedom of speech. This research should serve as a visual representation of the threat to our rights.
The new generations are being radicalised to a great extent by the trusted authoritarian-left figures and guardians that hide within our own institutions. Many teachers, lecturers, and professors in particular have been known to frequently shove anti-freedom rhetoric down students’ throats, so it should come as no surprise that the results of this study are as blindingly horrible to look at as they are.
Charlie Nash is a British libertarian writer, memeologist, and child prodigy. When he is not writing, he can usually be found chilling at the Korova Milk Bar, mingling with the elite of society. You can follow him on Twitter here @MrNashington.