I noticed that most of the radical leftist academic bloggers such as Crooked Timber, Corey Robin, and Fredrik deBoer are debating whether their movement is more or less supportive of free speech than it was in the past. Totally ignored in this debate is that fact that when the radical left has seized power whether in the USSR, China, Vietnam, Ethiopia, or even Cuba there has in fact not been any freedom of expression, but rather state control and censorship of the media. This control was usually enforced by the use of state violence, particularly in the form of incarcerating people dissenting from the official communist party line. Also it should be noted that this annihilation of freedom of expression did not eliminate racism, sexism, or homophobia in these states even though many in today's left uphold restrictions on speech as a way of permanently solving these problems. The complete and total unwillingness of the radical left to ever come to terms with the results of their control over the USSR, China, and other countries is something that I doubt will ever go away. Contrary to the opinions of the radical academic left in the US today, the reason most Americans opposed actually existing socialism was not because these states had universal state health care and education, but rather because they put dissidents and poets in concentration camps.
Update: It has been pointed out to me by Dr. Robin that his post does indeed contain a sentence criticizing Soviet restrictions of freedom of speech. So my statement "Totally ignored" above is too categorical and should be changed to "Almost totally ignored" or "Largely ignored" to be accurate. I am going to leave the original error up, however, to avoid confusion when reading the comments.