"Young Democracy" (Perhaps the name should be "Young Bolshevism"), a new radical sheet published in New York, has revived the whole wretched business of the hazing of our Freshman Bolshevik under the caption "Hitting Heresy at Harvard." The article tells the story of the hazing, the stand of the Harvard Liberal Club, and quotes the CRIMSON's editorial which said "Freedom of conscience is one of the principles for which Harvard has always stood." So far these youthful gentlemen have no fault to find. They continue by stating the steps that the University has taken to safeguard free speech in general and this Freshman in particular. But they are not satisfied with these. For no apparent reason that we can see they come to the conclusion that "The incident brings out very clearly the subjugation of College Administrations to the moneyed interests." Perhaps they would like to see the College Office organized as a committee of public safety with the dean as a sort of academic Marat guillotining the offenders from the University. But the "Young Democrats" also claim that "Nobody would care to see these benighted Knights of Capital punished, least of all . . . . . the victim himself." But certainly when there is nobody with the desire to prosecute, one has little basis for even an academic Reign of Terror. We wonder just what our young friends would like to have us do. And by the way it strikes us that our Freshman friend by making this molehill into a mountain may have been attempting to make personal capital by advertising the College in a false light.
After all the record of the University, as regards freedom of thought, has not been so bad. In the days when Professors Francke and Munsterburg sought to justify the German Imperial Government, no one prevented them from saying what they pleased. At the first hint from anywhere that "They should be shut up," the CRIMSON or the Illustrated would reply with a passionate appeal for free speech. They were not "shut up" and the University's mind remained unpoisoned.
We should recommend that the author of this article examine carefully the records of the University for the last five years and then make a fair statement of his opinion of free speech at Harvard.
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