ALL INQUISITIONS ARE LIKE THIS | 2003-05-17
Nazism depended heavily on selective breeding, race and genetics in general.
Communism depends just as entirely on the idea that genes mean nothing and a Communist world will make everybody equally smart and productive.
So when the Medicogenetic Institute of Moscow did the mother of all identical twin studies in the 1930s and found, as all such tests do, that heredity is vital, Stalin killed them.
To quote Soviet sources, the head of the Medicogenetical Institute, "confessed his ideological error and was shot."
In the Middle Ages it was pretty routine for someone on the losing side of a theological argument to end up being burned alive for his error. Even if half the experts believed one way and half believed the other way until the final decision, the half that was wrong was Evil and deserved punishment.
In 2001 a Polish court - a court in post-Communist Poland -- determined that a particular concentration camp had been part of the Holocaust.
It is a felony in Poland to deny any aspect of the Holocaust. So the minute that the court decided that that concentration camp was part of the Holocaust, it became a felony to say it was not.
So the Polish lawyers who had argued against that concentration camp being in the Holocaust came into the building arguing one thing, but they could and WOULD have been arrested if they had said the same thing when they walked out after the decision.
Several French scholars who did research on the World War II period came to conclusions that ran afoul of the Holocaust law. They were threatened with imprisonment. The professors who oversaw their research were also threatened with prison.
These researchers and their professors actually cried and professed their complete orthodoxy. In other words, they acted like anyone facing Heresy charges under any Inquisition.
But this was not the Middle Ages and this was not the Soviet Union. This was Western Europe in the 1990s. Not one single liberal, American or European, saw the slightest problem with this. No academic, European or American, made the slightest objection.
Academic freedom is one thing. Heresy is another.
Academic freedom protects leftist professors from the political right. But you cannot allow Heresy in the name of academic freedom.
Questioning the left on campus is not academic freedom. Questioning the left on campus is Heresy.