Some time ago, a Political Science professor, Bruce Gilley, wrote an article, The Case For Colonialism. It was published by Third World Quarterly after a “double-blind peer review.” The article is a well-researched critique of modern historical revisionism and hard left academic bias as concerns colonialism. One bon-mot:
It is hard to overstate the pernicious effects of global anti-colonialism on domestic and international affairs since the end of World War II. Anti-colonialism ravaged countries as nationalist elites mobilized illiterate populations with appeals to destroy the market economies, pluralistic and constitutional polities, and rational policy processes of European colonizers. In our “age of apology” for atrocities, one of the many conspicuous silences has been an apology for the many atrocities visited upon Third World peoples by anti-colonial advocates.
Little is more sacred and foundational in the dogma of progressives than their assertion that colonialism by western countries was uniquely evil and destructive. Their only recommended solution is for uniquely good Marxism (its for the benefit of the workers!!!) to tear it all down and then replace it, root and branch. Thus, it was inevitable that the progressive left would go moonbat insane over the publication of the article. To even hint that colonialism left good in its wake while Marxist anti-colonialism failed was impermissible wrong-think. This was beyond legitimate argument for them. The books must be burned and those who who would speek such blasphemy punished.
What followed was a torrent of petitions to have Prof. Gilley and the Board of Third World Quarterly (TWQ) fired, as well as threats of violence against the editor. Third World Quarterly caved, taking down the article. Now, after several months, the NAS, to their lasting credit, has posted the offending article:
NAS President Peter Wood condemned the attempts to censor Gilley, praising the scholar for communicating “a well-reasoned and humane perspective” in his work.
“The efforts to censor Bruce Gilley’s article and the attacks on him personally were outrageous,” he said in a statement. “Gilley published a well-reasoned and humane perspective on the political and economic challenges that face many Third World nations. Anyone who actually reads the article will see his thoughtful tone and good will.”
“But we live in a time when many in the academic world believe they have the right to prevent the expression of views they disagree with,” Wood continued, adding that “the intolerance and anti-intellectualism displayed in this instance reached a new extreme.”
Good for the NAS, NAS President Peter Wood, and Prof. Gilley.
Correction: I originally wrote that the article was published in the first instance by NAS. That was incorrect. It was Third World Quarterly that published the article, then retracted it due to “credible” threats of violence. Third World Quarterly has not reposted the article. NAS took it upon themselves to post the article in respect of efforts to combat censorship.