Kristalnacht for radicals
America was never great.
- The Founders were wealthy white men and as such, guilty as charged.
- Successful people got that way by robbing unsuccessful people.
- Alger Hiss was framed.
- Every white man is a closet racist
- Socialism works if only the right people could be found to run it, etc. etc.
These shibboleths fuel the progressive-socialist enterprise championed today by A.O.C. and her “squad.” Three of the four front-runners for the Democrat(ic) party’s presidential nomination are missionaries.
Add to that the latest: “Everything You Think You Know About ‘Free Speech’ Is A Lie.”
So reveals The Nation magazine in yet another scoop rivaling most lurid space alien sightings recounted in supermarket checkout line. (Dig the snarky quotes surrounding ‘Free Speech’!) The eyebrow raiser in the current issue promises to reveal “How far-right operatives manufactured the ‘crisis’ of free speech with books, think tanks and billions of dollars.”
Yep, the First Amendment, that touchstone of our democratic process, is yet another tool of Trumps, Kochs, and various tiki torchbearers. Who knew?
Author P.E. Moskowitz is who knew. The felicitously named Mr. Moskowitz is responsible for a new screed titled The Case Against Free Speech.
Surely “The Case” deserves an honored place on every radical’s book shelf alongside Rules for Radicals and the Communist Manifesto. It comes along at a most propitious time for Leftists, being that wherever opposing views are allowed to be heard, their side comes up short.
Go ahead heckle; they’re only Nazis
The solution, then, is to choke off free speech. Something that Freedom Inc., YGB, and Progressive Dane here in Madison learned long ago. Now they have intellectual permission. Because anyone who disagrees is a Nazi, a Klansman, a racist cisgendered gun nut. The Nation writes:
Nothing in the First Amendment prevents citizens (members of Antifa or otherwise) from interrupting someone’s protest. Nor does it guarantee police protection for white nationalists. It only limits the ability of Congress from passing laws that interfere with speech. …. Most leftists I talk to … wish that police departments would not spend vast amounts of resources protecting Nazis, something that they have no legal mandate to do.
Are … Antifa tactics a violation of free speech? We limit protest all the time, and give the state permission to limit the speech of countless people without much of a fuss. I’d argue, for example, that mass incarceration and the disappearing of immigrants is a much bigger threat to free speech than the confrontation of Nazis on the streets.
“Nazis on the streets.” There it is, Mr. Moscowitz. We will defeat the Nazis by being more like the Nazis.
Antifa without the masks
More chilling is officialdom’s tacit approval of censorship, especially on campuses like the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The suppression of free speech on campuses today isn’t a reaction to Trump or some alleged systemic injustice, at least not really, says Ross Douthat.
The New York Times columnist is promoting a book by former Yale Law School dean Anthony Kronman, The Assault on American Excellence.
“In endless pronouncements of tiresome sweetness, the faculty and administrators of America’s colleges and universities today insist on the overriding importance of creating a culture of inclusion on campus,” Kronman writes.
Feelings, whoa oh oh, feelings …
They stress the need to respect and honor the feelings of others, especially those belonging to traditionally disadvantaged groups, as an essential means to this end. In this way they give credence to the idea that feelings are trumps with a decisive authority of their own. That in turn emboldens their students to argue that their feelings are reason enough to keep certain speakers away.
- Before an idea can be evaluated on its intrinsic merits, it must first be considered in light of its political ramifications.
- Before a speaker can be invited to campus for the potential interest of what he might have to say, he must first pass the test of inoffensiveness.
- Before a student can think and talk for himself, he must first announce and represent his purported identity.
- Before a historical figure can be judged by the standards of his time, he must first be judged by the standards of our time.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: If a conservative speaker somehow does manage to trespass the public square, you have The Nation’s permission to stone that him into silence. Probably a Nazi.
What part of Free Speech is hard to understand?
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The part where you might hear someone who disagrees with you. Also the part where a POC might have his/her feelings hurt.
“SJWs want safe spaces for themselves, but they want everywhere to be a very unsafe space for people who disagree with them.”
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The assault on free speech, which has achieved unparalleled success in America’s colleges and universities, is now poised to launch at the rest of the country. It has its roots in the toxic ideology of identity politics, the number one article of faith among Democrats and others who delight in dividing the citizenry along racial/ethnic lines. The vanguard consists of guilty white liberals who seems to think that their ordained mission is to enable POCs to life their lives free from even a minute’s worth of discomfort or hurt feelings, and if sacrificing freedom of speech is the price to pay, then so be it. When was the last time you were able to get through an average day without being upset–even outraged–by something you saw, heard, or read? Was your instinctive reaction to demand the silencing of whomever upset you? If not, it’s likely because you subscribe to one of the most fundamental of our Constitutional freedoms. Enjoy it while you can.
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“The government isn’t involved, so it’s not a free speech issue.”
[This] means, in effect, that free speech is a legal right against the government, but not a spirit or value that the broader society should honor.
For advocates of free speech as a “spirit” or cultural value, an important distinction exists between disagreement and retaliation. Obviously everyone should feel free to criticize anyone else, even in harsh terms, because that’s necessary for robust debate. If the “spirit of free speech” were supposed to render every speaker immune from criticism, then the concept would clearly be self-defeating.
The real threat to free speech comes not from harsh words, but from social and economic punishments that go far beyond the initial disagreement. A culture of free speech says that Ken White and I can have a vigorous debate over some issue of the day, but when it’s over we can both go back to our private lives without fearing retribution. I should not have to worry that White will lobby my employer to fire me, or encourage a mob to protest outside my house, or threaten my friends and colleagues with similar treatment unless they disconnect.
Of course, the First Amendment restrains only the government, but if we take the wisdom of it seriously we should value its principles more broadly. After all, if open debate is truly desirable, we should be concerned not just about government suppression of unpopular views, but about non-governmental suppression.
When responding to speech we don’t like, a useful guideline is to ask ourselves, “Am I disagreeing, or am I retaliating? Am I trying to persuade, or am I trying to silence?” If retaliation or silencing is the goal, remember that such techniques will ultimately be used not just on “bad” speech, but on “good” speech, as well. And when people refrain from speaking because they fear personal retribution from corporations, the media, academia, or an unruly Twitter mob, the value of their speech is lost—lost in the same way it would be if the government threatened them with punishment.
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Lemme tell you a little story about a fledgling political party with delusions of grandeur, and how they intended to take their…um…appeal to the masses.
*Government provided health care, guaranteed jobs, and generous pensions for the elderly, would be funded by the confiscation of inherited wealth.
*Vast sums of money would be spent on public education, universities has strict racial quotas, and speech codes were wildly popular.
*The church/traditional religion would be purged from public policy, replaced with a new form of pagan spirituality.
*They were anti-smoking, anti-capitalism, anti-big business, anti-free markets.
*They were pro-abortion, pro-euthanasia, and advocated strict gun control.
*They led the world in organic farming and alternative medicine; their leader was a strict vegetarian whose second-in-command was an ardent animal rights activist.
*The authority of the state would be injected into every aspect of daily life.
Sounds like a secular Lefty Heaven on Earth, am I right? Ask yourself; how many of the Lefty Clown Car Caravan Cavalcade of 2020 POTUS hopefuls are offering up their version of the same thing?
Anywho, one problem; their name, the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, was too long for those that found the prospect of more More MORE high quality/quantity free $#!T irresistibly alluring.
What’d they do? Welp, they changed their name, (and this is where it gets GOOD!) to the NAZI Party.
Perhaps you’ve heard of them?
Sounds like a compelling story about good hearted people,
“They led the world in organic farming and alternative medicine; their leader was a strict vegetarian whose second-in-command was an ardent animal rights activist.”
How does it end?
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“Sounds like a compelling story about good hearted people”
It is; because like Jabberin’ Joe, they cared more about truth (the ”emotional” kind), than facts.
“How does it end?”
Ironically, with gun violence; something he abhorred as a DEVOUT, if selective, gun control advocate.
I’m not the most discriminatin’ reader; I can peruse just about anything regardless of perspective. Doesn’t mean I agree w/ the compositor’s conclusions… But IMHO this is One of the most obviously circular/confuddlin’ essays ever constructed, and (somehow) ever published… Makes no sense, has no continuity, hence no meaning. While It pulls in every negative connotation associated with Free Speech since the 1960’s (or backwards to the 1930’s, who can tell?), it eventually ascribes the blame to guess who. Further RE: “The Nation” itself: Somehow liberals never see their dangerous hypocrisy of AntiFa support, or the inflammatory rantings by The Squad, or the many other ways they execute/promote violent words, actions and the results there of -Ultimately our freedom… Not sure whether to laugh or cry….
That’s OK….. THEY will tell you what it means. There are camps for that… voluntary for the moment. White Privilege, 1619, Systemic Racism etc.
Buddhists say you turn into what you hate. Our Prog friends are complete Reactionaries. Think about it, the point of President Trump’s statements is to provoke reactions of alarm, anxiety and doubt in his opponents who take him literally and seriously every time. They gather and cling to one another and amplify the angst time after time and again. Complete Reactionaries.
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What’s astonishing to me is the free speech issue was one of the things that made me a leftist when I was younger. Growing up a punk/metal kid in the the Moral Majority 80s, the support of the left for free expression (and the religious right’s opposition to it) helped shaped my political thinking. The defense, by the ACLU, of the nazis in Skokie, defined what principled believe in fundamental rights look like.
Now I look at the left and I’m disgusted. It’s defined by pampered, college educated, bourgeois, wankers who’ve lived their lives catered to on every level, to such an extent that the very notion that someone holds views in opposition to theirs is cause for for a screaming toddler on the supermarket floor level of meltdown. The rage you see on the left, especially those who tacitly or explicitly endorse political violence, is that of people who believe they are entitled to force the world to conform to their ideal. They don’t want the freedom to live their lives as they see fit. They want the freedom to force you to live your life as they see fit.
We all know if mobs of Trump supporters were smashing up towns and rioting to prevent leftist events, the media would be DEFCON 1000, screaming about the nazis taking over. However, since it’s communists shutting down conservative events, it’s apparently not a problem. Being cynical, I don’t believe the normalization of political violence or the labeling of everyone to the right of Lawrence Tribe as a nazi white supremacist is an accident. The left and it’s friends in the media are building a foundation to suppress their political opposition.
I wish the left luck on that. It probably won’t work out as well as they’d hope.
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