In defense of free speech

Sean Plunket 14/10/2019

University of Otago emeritus professor Jim Flynn joins Sean Plunket on Magic Afternoons to discuss his book, ‘In Defense of Free Speech: The University as Censor’, being turned down by a UK publisher due partly to legal concerns around the inclusion of scholars with inflammatory views.

Flynn describes to Sean how his book was accepted for publication "in all but name" by UK publisher Emerald Press. He tells Sean, "the book defends free speech in the sense that it points out that virtually every person who has a powerful position is tempted to suppress free speech.

They want to turn what should be a battle of ideas into a battle of force.

He continues, "If there is anything that is a bad road to truth it is that might makes right." Flynn then details to Sean the process he went through in getting the book published having gone through all the procedures "all that remained was to search it for typographical errors."

He then receives a letter saying it would not go to publication, despite being listed in their September catalogue.

The reason was, although it was not my intent; some malicious person might extract portions of my book and use them to incite racial hatred.

Flynn tells Sean that the book has subsequently been picked for publication by an American publisher and should be available at the end of the year.

You can listen to the full interview above.