US College Free Speech Rankings 2020

This interesting and seemingly comprehensive survey of free speech attitudes at US colleges was posted a few weeks ago: 2020 College Free Speech Rankings (also reproduced here). Useful complement to the FIRE Disinvitation Database.

Although it’s well known that there has been a large-scale shift against the concept of free speech on the Left over the past decade, marking a change from when conservative SJWs were instead more active in repressing Palestine activists, there is still a lot of college-to-college variation.

You can fiddle the rankings yourself by different demographics (e.g. liberals, conservatives, Trump approval, sex, etc.) or by separate criteria of “free speech” (e.g. tolerance of controversial speakers, admin support).

Not many clear patterns, but some are obvious:

  • Universe of Chicago way ahead of everyone else.
  • The University of California system does reasonably well (UCLA is 4th, even UCB is 28th/55). As I said, some reputations are not well-deserved.
  • But some are: Harvard is 46th/55.
  • Which is similar to conservative SJW Brigham Young University at 49th/55.

One additional interesting table from the report (h/t Ben Winegard):

This is not a side issue given 21st century demographic realities.

The combination of such attitudes amongst budding elites – not merely blank slatism per se, but strong opposition to even questioning it – coupled with the delegitimation of state borders amongst a significant component of it makes One Billion (African-)Americans a near certainty, with all the civilizational regression that entails. You’d need a “darkly enlightened” dictatorship to prevent that. Or hardcore Communism (complete with Iron Curtain), or transhumanist silver bullet. Else, idiocracy.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  2. The Big Red Scary says

    Universe of Chicago way ahead of everyone else.

    One of my scientific connections works at the University of Chicago. Maybe this is why I have been unable to convince him how dire the situation is becoming.

  3. Bragadocious says

    “conservative SJWs”

    That’s a funny way of saying “Saturday people.”

    Honestly, this report seems like an exercise in intellectual masturbation. You want to know the colleges that value free speech, do a google search of schools that have invited Ann Coulter or Charles Murray to speak and have not allowed leftists to assault them. That should answer all questions.

  4. Jim Bob Lassiter says

    Remarkable the difference between Univ. of VA (Charlottesville) and Univ. of SC and Clemson Univ.

    I’m skeptical of it all.

  5. I am under the impression that the Univ of Chicago student body is overrepresented by Jewish homosexuals! Is that correct? If so, surprising free speech result since this student cohort are quintessential SJWs. Only explanation would be that the UoC administrators are super cohonies endowed!

  6. When I saw “DePauw” at the end of the list, I thought of “DePaul”, which denied tenure to Norman Finkelstein after Dershowitz had him canceled.

  7. I dunno.

    The people associated with the University of Virginia tend to have a great deal of pride about the school’s heritage.

    South Carolina has been desperate for corporate money for decades. They cuck for bucks.

    I think that the rankings look pretty reasonable.

  8. At first I was surprised about LSU doing poorly; but the case against LSU looks pretty solid.

    So, the rankings look pretty reasonable so far.

  9. E. Harding says

    What would be wrong with one billion Africo-Americans? Most Americans surely appear fine with it, and such countries as Uganda, Rwanda, and Ghana (all with less coronavirus deaths than South Korea) appear to have done fine with tackling coronavirus, which no European countries of a similar population have. Even Zimbabwe and Malawi have been lightly hit, if you believe the official statistics. Afrotriumph is the corollary to Asiatriumph, and if 2020 has been anything, it has been the human development equivalent to the Russo-Japanese war. Civilizational regression my foot.

  10. Almost Missouri says

    So you’ll be moving to Kampala? Or at least to Detroit?

  11. Universe of Chicago way ahead of everyone else.

    Chicago is indeed its own universe. 🙂

    University of Chicago though is not far from the South Side, the gunfire on the weekends over there will make you want to move to Baghdad for some peace and quiet. Talk about your based and red pilled.

  12. Arguably, the marketplace of ideas is a fiction, and it only matters what the establishment thinks. So, more the partisan affiliations of professors and administrators, than the free speech environment.

  13. E. Harding says

    I know very well what Detroit is like. I’m assuming the one billion Africo-Americans will not resemble current lead-addled post-industrial slave descendants too closely. A risky bet, but not a ridiculous one.

  14. How much freedom of speech is there in the Imperium, as much as in Harvard? What will happen to someone who advocates for AI?

  15. Jim Bob Lassiter says

    Upstate SC (i.e. Clemson) has not been desperate for corporate money for a long time. The metro Colombia area (USC) on the other hand probably has been desperate, as it is a niggra infested serial crime scene throughout.

  16. Almost Missouri says

    It is heavily Jewish, but my impression is that the Jews there have always been somewhat deracinated compared to coastal Jews. Perhaps because U of Chicago never had the WASP pedigree of Ivy League schools, there was no Jewish ethnic triumphalism in dominating it. Instead, Jewish overrepresentation was merely a consequence of Jewish cognitive outperformance. So perhaps its an actual case of that oft cited but seldom seen phenomenon: a meritocracy.

    Or maybe being further from traditional Jewish centers like Brooklyn and Beverly Hills, Jews in Chicago just drift more towards the American middle.

    If the Jews there are more homosexual than average for Jews, I can’t say.

    As for why it is so far ahead of everyone else in freedom of speech … there definitely is a cultural tradition in that direction. When “safe spaces” and cancel culture were first becoming a mania, the dean sent a letter to incoming freshmen saying, in effect, forget about safe spaces or canceling rhetorical opponents, you’re coming here to think, not to evade.

    I think what underlies this tradition is that U of C prides itself on intellectual acumen much more than the traditional Ivy League-style “well rounded” gentlemen-scholar institutions do. At Chicago, intellectual truth is everything. Social class, athleticism, wealth, etc. count for naught. No self-respecting professor, or even student, wants to admit that his intellect cannot withstand someone else’s argument. Cancelling an opponent is really just admitting you’re too dumb to compete. No U of C-er wants that shame.

  17. Is there not data that Episcopalians score higher or as high as Jews, and that there are a lot more Episcopalians around in the US than Jews? So there should be no basis for Jews dominating any academic institution on the basis of IQ alone. But then IQ does not account for such things related to as competitiveness, and that could account for that. Incidentally, what would an intelligent, but highly nepotistic group look like anyway?

  18. As for the haredi and orthodox, is there any proof that they are dumber? Maybe they are just not interested in taking the type of intelligence tests that non-haredis take.

  19. My original statement about overrepresentation of homosexuals of the Jewish variety at the U of C was a one-off repeat of what someone at UR once said. Perhaps I should not have repeated it without further checking it out. BTW, once again thanks for your thorough and welcome response. And VIVA the U of C!

  20. It is easy to complain how the Imperium is a bunch of stuck ups not allowing people to say what they really want to say when you live in an agri world or a medieval world surrounded by 100 chapters of Space Marines whose only job is to guard your agri world?

  21. Hyperborean says

    Afrotriumph is the corollary to Asiatriumph, and if 2020 has been anything, it has been the human development equivalent to the Russo-Japanese war. Civilizational regression my foot.

    Jinruikan Incident (Humankind Pavilion Incident) (人類館事件)

    Jinruikan Incident, also known as ‘Gakujutsu-Jinruikan Incident’ or Osaka Exhibition Incident,’ occurred at ‘Gakujutsu-Jinruikan’ in the fifth National Industrial Exhibition held in 1903 at Tennoji, Osaka, at the exhibition, living people dressed in their ethnic costumes and their ethnic houses were exhibited, those people were from Okinawa, Korea, India, Malaysia, Java and Africa as well as the Ainu tribe and the Takasago tribe of Taiwan.


    Osaka Exhibition

    In the Meiji period, products of culture and systems were introduced to Japan from Western in various ways and exhibition was one of them. As Japan had participated in international exhibitions since the end of the Edo period, it began to actively hold ‘the National Industrial Exhibitions’ as a means of fukoku kyohei (fortifying the country, strengthening the military) in the Meiji period. The initial purpose of the exhibitions was to serve as a place to introduce the products of culture and learn the techniques from the Western, and to work on them. The fifth Osaka Exhibition revealed its negative side of ‘point of view of Imperialism’. This was because Japan started to gain self-pride as one of the world’s powerful countries after winning the Sino-Japanese war.

    The ‘human exhibition’ was conducted in Gakujutsu-Jinruikan (Academic Humankind Pavilion) and Taiwan Pavilion at the Osaka Exhibition.
    In “Fuzoku Gaho” (Manners and Customs in Pictures) no. 269 published in 1903, Gakujutsu-Jinruikan Pavilion was described as follows:
    On the other hand, Taiwan Pavilion, which had a richly-colored romon (two-storied gates) and yokuro (side structures), featured 15 sections such as farming, horticulture, and manners and customs. This was set up to make public the actual condition of Taiwan, which had already been colonized by Japan for nine years. Taiwan Pavilion was constantly set up in the subsequent exhibitions, and became a model for additional ‘Colony Pavilions,’ including Sakhalin Pavilion, Manchuria Pavilion, Takushoku (Colonizing) Pavilion and Korea Pavilion in accordance with increase of colonies.
    Spread of backlash

    In Japan many people from southern and northern part visited the exhibition thanks to improved domestic transportation such as railways and ships, in addition, after the Sino-Japanese war more and more people in China and Korea wished to come Japan to study and those foreign students also visited the exhibition. They simply admired what was exhibited and had no choice but to recognize the achievements of the Meiji restoration. However their admiration was turned into a sense of opposition when they visited the Gakujutsu-Jinrui Pavilion and Taiwan Pavilion. This triggered the incident. Because people from the regions where introduced in those pavilions strongly opposed to the exhibition and this became a diplomatic issue.
    Okinawa Prefecture

    In Okinawa, the people opposed against the display of the prostitutes who were taken from Okinawa as ‘Ryukyu Women’. For instance, “Ryukyu Shinpo” dated April 11, launched a fierce campaign against it, claiming it was like ‘seeing us equal to the Seiban tribe (Taiwan’s indigenous people who were incorporated into the Han people) or the Ainu tribe.” In particular, Chofu OTA, a media figure from Okinawa, led the protest movement, raising a chorus of complaints throughout Okinawa Prefecture, which put an end to the display of the Okinawa people.

    At that time, the people in Okinawa were increasingly more conscious that those who lived in Okinawa, including Chofu OTA, were citizens of the Empire of Japan and are in the same ethnic group as the people on mainland Japan, so the protest was also meant to complain about being treated equally to the other ethnic groups.

    Some fierce protests came from Qing in the same manner. First of all, the students staying in Japan and the Qing consulate officials in Kobe who found out in advance by advertisements that the people of the Han race were to be displayed at Gakujutsu-Jinrui Pavilion protested against it, and the Japanese government cancelled the exhibition in response. This was because it quickly became a diplomatic issue as the Imperial family and high officials had been invited from Qing before the opening of the Exhibition.

    A man taking opium and a woman with bound feet were to be displayed at Gakujutsu-Jinrui Pavilion.

    The second wave of protest came over the exhibition at Taiwan Pavilion. This was because the students from Qing suspected that the Taiwanese women on display were actually from Hunan, China. The matter was settled when they turned out to be from Taiwan in fact.
    Structure of Opposition: between ‘Civilization’ and ‘Barbarism’

    It should be natural that opposition was generated in the regions whose people were ‘on display’. Those protest movement was directed to Japan in Meiji period that tried to make those regions symbol of ‘barbarian’and Japan symbol of’civilization’. It is not to be denied that Japan in Meiji period, which represented itself as being ‘civilized’, desired to assimilate into the powerful countries of Western Europe, and it has been pointed out that this attitude was discriminatory. However, those who opposed, such as in Okinawa and Qing, were not anti-discriminatory, as a matter of fact.

    For instance, Kaoru KINJO points out that while the display of the Okinawa people were successfully cancelled due to protest movement by residents in Okinawa, the exhibition of other ethnic groups continued to the last, and he insists “Even some of the people in Okinawa felt humiliated to have people from Okinawa displayed with other ethnic groups and they were also in a position to discriminate”.

    Also, the students from Qing lamented, saying, “India and Okinawa have already been lost countries, being slaves of Britain and Japan. Korea used to be our vassal state, and now they are a protected state of Russia and Japan. The Javanese, the Ainu tribe and the Seiban tribe are all lowly races and no better than beasts.
    Even if we Chinese are despised, why should we be treated in the same way as them?” (Issue No.2, 1903 of “Sekko-cho” [monthly Chinese magazine])
    This suggests that the reason of their opposition was being treated equally to the other “barbarian” ethnic groups. This also reveals their desire to be equal to Japan and Western European countries by sharing a discriminatory view point of the same nature.

    These discourse of civilization vs. barbarianism as stated above involved not only Western Europe and Japan, but those regions discriminated by them. Both powerful and non powerful countries shared a mindset to accomplish fortifying their country by measuring the difference between being civilized and barbarian by comparison, and inciting a desire to minimize or expand the difference. It should have been very difficult to think and make statements from outside of the civilization vs. barbarianism logic when social evolutionism swept the world as the latest scientific theory. It can be said that this played the role of reproducing discrimination while moving toward the goals of fortifying the country. Jinruikan Incident showed a side of the discourse of civilization vs. barbarianism.

  22. Well at least Mormons have managed to create well functioning societies? Libertarians? And no, US society before 1960 was not Libertarian.

  23. Almost Missouri says

    The archetype UofC Jewish homosexual was Allan Bloom. In fact, he is the only one I know of. He was about the opposite of an SJW.

  24. Much of the frontier West was libertarian. The contrast between the libertarian, ramshackle non-Mormon American West and the orderly, clean, well-organised traditionally Mormon parts of the Old West is striking.

  25. Daniel Chieh says

    Even Zimbabwe and Malawi have been lightly hit, if you believe the official statistics.

    The rewards of bad data.

  26. Canada and Australia are able to combine blank slatism with cognitively elitist immigration policies, no? Thus, in theory, why can’t the US do the same thing?