Get ready for a lot of screeching over Alan Dershowitz’ blast at the Stanford Law School and its recent disgrace as a sort of neo-McCarthyism. That would have more resonance, however, if the media and Democrats hadn’t turned themselves into industrial-level purveyors of McCarthyism themselves in their Russia-collusion and “mis/disinformation” crusades. For the past seven years, all we’ve read and heard from both is that there’s a Russian under every bed, and every dissenting voice is either a traitor or a shill.
Besides, Dershowitz’ accusation has a more rational basis. The main organizers of the Stanford shout-down were associated with the National Lawyers Guild, which has sponsored and organized similar campus disruptions against conservative speech. And what exactly is the National Lawyers Guild? Dershowitz explains:
It turns out that the disruption by several dozen Stanford University law school students of a speech to be given by federal judge Kyle Duncan was not a spontaneous exercise of freedom to protest.
It was a well-planned and carefully orchestrated effort to prevent other Stanford students from hearing the judge’s conservative views. The disruption was organized by the local chapter of National Lawyers Guild as part of a nationwide effort to suppress conservative speech. Although not all the participants were associated with the NLG, the main organizers were. The Guild praised “every single person” who participated in the disruption, and called it “Stanford Law School at its best,” suggesting it would confront “judicial architects of systems of oppression” with “social consequences for their actions.” Here the consequences went beyond “social” to censorial.
Let us understand what the National Lawyers Guild is. Begun in the 1930s as an alternative to the American Bar Association, its original membership consisted of traditional left-wing liberals and communists. After Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union made the notorious Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939, most of the liberals resigned. Adolf Berle, a prominent “New Dealer,” quit because it had become obvious that the Guild “is not prepared to take any stand which conflicts with the Communist Party line.”
That was decades ago, however. What have they done for us — er, to us — lately? Dershowitz has some receipts on that, too:
The Guild has never abandoned its Marxist-Leninist provenance. It supports Antifa, (see here, here, here and here) which also employs violence to disrupt speakers. …
The National Lawyers Guild seemingly despises America, and in 2020 passed a resolution declaring:
“The United States government is based on and dedicated to preserving white supremacy, hetero-patriarchy and imperialism… US uses its various government agencies to implement its policies and crush political resistance.”
It sounds like the legal arm of International ANSWER.
Dershowitz has more on the NLG, including its reliance on “useful idiots” who may not agree with them or their aims but whom they can exploit to achieve those goals. The NLG has plenty of opportunities for that exploitation; they currently have over 100 chapters in American law schools, and as Dershowitz explains, no small number of faculty as members either. The NLG’s Marxism is actively shaping the education and training of the next generation of American lawyers, and as the disgrace at Stanford shows, in a worrisome manner.
“Useful idiots” explains some of the students at the shout-down, but what about Stanford’s administration? There are two explanations for those who stood by during the event and weasel-worded their way out of it. One: They are too cowed by student demands for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to push back against the outright exclusion of other viewpoints and the threat of mob violence to enforce it. Two: They explicitly favor the NLG and its goals and Stalinist methods of achieving them.
I’m not sure which is worse.
Power Line’s Scott Johnson has repeatedly pointed out the NLG’s role in the shout-down almost since it happened. He also noted that they’ve been quiet about it ever since:
Students of ancient history may recall that the National Lawyers Guild is an old Communist front group. It should have wrapped things up with the fall of the Soviet Union. Like the post-polio March of Dimes, however, it marches on. The Stanford NLG chapter is stirring the pot. Its board members, which helped organize the protest, praised “every single person” who disrupted Duncan, characterizing the protesters’ conduct as “Stanford Law School at its best.” Everything old is new again.
Sibarium adds the usual nonresponse: “The group—whose board of directors includes Nathan Tauger, David Cremins, Lily Bou, Mohit Mookim, Marin Callaway, Oona Cahill, Bella Cooper, Esau Ruiz, Kiran Chawla, Jacob Maddox, and Asher Morse—did not respond to a request for comment.”
The NLG lands on the side of thugs and thuggery to advance its Marxism and has no respect for civil rights. And that brings us to Dershowitz’ final point at Gatestone Institute: where is the American Civil Liberties Union in all this? He argues that the ACLU’s silence amounts to sotto voce support for the NLG and its tactics. And given the partisan politicization at the ACLU over the last few decades, it’s tough to argue otherwise.
Addendum: Adam Baldwin and I will have more on Marxism, especially relating to DEI and trans issues, in Monday’s episode of The Amiable Skeptics.