Of course free speech doesn’t mean you have a right to not be criticized or a right to occupy every forum. But the way in which contempt for the very term “free speech” has become one of those cultural signals that are the glue of today’s bourgie elite progressivism can and will lead to actual, no bullshit suppression of speech. A liberalism that claims that rights are only denied if tanks are rolling through the streets is a pathetic liberalism and one that stands in direct and stark contrast to the history of the principled left.
As if on cue, XKCD provides the conventional wisdom in picture form. Look, I’ll just say that, as in many other instances, there’s a letter of the law and a spirit of the law, and I’m pretty sure that all these disingenuous, loophole-seeking motherfuckers know the difference.
April 21, 2014 @ 2:37 pm
I get the point about double standards, but there will be many gray area cases. If I'm an employer and I find out that one of my employees is a racist because of something he said, shouldn't I have the right to fire him because he is a racist, not because I don't believe in freedom of speech, which is what Fox News would say? And calling speech that incites discrimination or violence against others "unpopular" is disingenuous; advocating harm to others is not the same as other kinds of speech and I would certainly do everything I could to curb it, short of making it illegal. It's not a tribal thing; I would not not feel the same way about conservatives spouting other kinds of nonsense, and I do not approve of any actions by liberals which involve force or coercion, or, more symetrically, advocating any one elses rights being diminished.
April 21, 2014 @ 8:56 pm
Those are all fair points. I just agree with Freddie that there seems to be a disturbing trend on the left side of the spectrum toward increased sympathy for censorship. I read a lot of people who seem to just be looking for a chance to rationalize silencing or ostracizing their opponents. It strikes me as similar to the "if you have nothing to hide, why do you care about surveillance?" mentality — if you aren't saying something obviously offensive or wrong, why are you so obsessed with 'freeze peach'?
April 22, 2014 @ 1:23 pm
To be clear, I am also seriously pissed at those "liberals" who say and do the kinds of things you and Freddie are talking about. They make the rest of us look bad and give amunition to our opponents. I will look into having their membership cards revoked.