For all the times we’ve heard the words ‘literally Hitler’ these last four years, it’s ironic to see which side is doing all the censoring, isn’t it?
One particular leading intellectual the left loves just as much as our side loves Thomas Sowell must be scratching his head wondering what the hell just happened to his party.
Since the left have already gotten to the point where anyone from our team is dismissed as having nothing worth hearing simply by the (R) after our name, let’s remind them what one of their own heroes, Noam Chomsky had to say about what a defense of free speech really looks like.
Leftist professor Noam Chomsky always defended free speech for all… knowing it’s a slippery slope.
How far we’ve fallen.
— An0maly (@LegendaryEnergy) January 9, 2021
The topic he was answering a question about was a volatile one — it was about how one handles Holocaust Deniers. And despite being just as committed to the left’s ideology as any of his ideological comrades, he STILL made the following point:
“I do not think that the state ought to have the right to determine historical truth and to punish people who deviate from it. I’m not willing to give the state that right”
After a brief interruption from a questioner, he continues.
“…but I’m saying if you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don’t like. I mean, Goebbels was in favor of freedom of speech for views he liked, right? So was Stalin. If you’re in favor of freedom of speech, that means you are in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise. Otherwise you’re not in favor of freedom of speech.
“There’s two positions you can have on freedom of speech, now you can decide which position you want. ”
The clip changes scenes to a lecture he was giving where he explains his position more precisely.
“With regard to my defense of the utterly offensive, the people who express utterly offensive views, I haven’t the slightest doubt that ever komissar says you are defending that person’s views. No I’m not. I’m defending his right to express them. The difference is crucial, and the difference has been understood outside of fascist circles since the 18th century.
The last portion of the clip even (indirectly) covers the left’s new favorite bugaboo of ‘science deniers’, which is interesting considering the role opinions on COVID or climate change have played in cancel culture and public discourse of late.
At a moment in history where vindictive d-bags like the Lincoln Project are going out of their way to make Public Servants permanently unemployable, Forbes is pre-emptively denouncing any company that may choose to employ Kayleigh Mcenany, and Amazon is blacklisting Parler for no other reason than it had become one of the few safe harbors remaining for Conservative thought in the social media ecosystem, we need to give some serious thought about what we, as Americans, fundamentally believe about speech.
When Obama pledged, just a few short years ago, that he wanted to ‘fundamentally transform’ America, he led many to believe he meant it as a promise of redefining the relationship between the public and their access to certain economic or medical opportunities.
But by then he was already weaponizing government against the conservatives who stood in his way, both with the IRS, and his abuse of government surveillance powers against journalists, sitting Senators, and the Republican Presidential nominee.
It shouldn’t really surprise us that a President who literally launched his campaign in the living room of an unrepentant Weather Underground leader was responsible for helping to entrench thinking that would, when fully matured, establish Americans as permanent rival identity groups, locked in an endless battle of grievance and blame.
From there, it is a short and easy step to dehumanizing a political rival, justifying just the sorts of nasty ways the aforementioned vindictive d-bags love to flex their power.
So much for the ordinary Americans’ right to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’. We have elected officials who will gladly look for ways to personally involve themselves in depriving you of even your most basic rights to put food on your table.
Which is it, folks? Are we going to allow speech that makes us uncomfortable? Speech that opens up Pandoras’ box? Speech that forces us to face facts or ideas we’d rather not even acknowledge, let alone grapple with?
Or are we accepting the left’s New Normal for silencing political discourse — using the force of the left’s free-market political BIG TECH bodyguards, which allows them to make an end-run around direct accusations of ‘state censorship’ of speech?
For anyone choosing that second option, Chomsky was good enough to remind us who ELSE takes that approach to censorship — Stalin and Goebbels. He explicitly used the word ‘fascist’.
So for anyone taking that route, you don’t get to flatter yourself as the defenders of America from fascism. Quite the opposite, you will be ushering in a new generation of fascism.
Of course, most of these same jackboot authoritarians will have lofty conversations over cocktails, wondering how such a fine, progressive, and educated people as the Germans became the hotbed for fascism. If they had any self-awareness at all, they could easily answer their own question.