Nick Cohen Nick Cohen

A culture of fear has taken over academia and the arts

At the end of the second world war, George Orwell went to an event organised by PEN, a campaign dedicated to defending freedom of expression. He walked into a scene we encounter everywhere in 2022.

The meeting was meant to celebrate the tercentenary of John Milton’s Areopagitica, one of the earliest and still one of the best defences of freedom of thought in the English language.

Institutions are not censoring because they are true believers but because they are frightened

Journalists, novelists and poets depend on that right.

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