Paris commune

‘Wokeness’ and the collapse of intellectual freedom in the West

When observing the state of our academic life and public culture, I have an uneasy feeling of déjà vu. When I started life as a historian, going to France to do a PhD in the 1970s, French universities were held in a tight ideological grip. The subject I was working on — the Paris Commune of 1871 — turned out, to my naïve surprise, to be a hot topic. Two older French academics who became my mentors were both convinced (I think with reason) that their careers had been blighted because they had written things that the then mighty French Communist party disapproved of. The Commune was the party’s pride