Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Free Speech Under Assault

Free Speech is Under Full Assault

Increasingly, we see people holding unpopular views being attacked and refused a forum in which to speak.  Through the threat of force and censorship to control people's speech, free speech is under full assault.   History is replete with others using similar tactics.  As in the times before the Nazi rise to power, the Soviet gulag era, and Mao's revolution, similar trends are prevalent today.

Freedom of speech is engaging in unrestricted speaking of one's mind without fear of retaliation or censorship.  It is the freedom to use one's natural rights to engage in complex thought and speech.  This is not a new concept. Freedom of speech has a history centuries old, long predating the founding of this country.  Some want to control these natural abilities.  This is where the dispute lies. 
One does not have to look far to find multiple examples of the threat of violence and censorship.  This ranges from online mobs to technology company and media censorship and peer attacks.  Those with differing opinions are blackballed, blacklisted, attacked, and censored out of existence.  
Take, for example, distinguished University of Chicago professor Harald Uhlig, attacked by his professional peers and online mob for writing that Black Lives Matters "just torpedoed itself, with its full-fledged support of #defundthepolice." And, "Time for sensible adults to enter back into the room and have serious, earnest, respectful conversations about it all... We need more police, we need to pay them more, we need to train them better." 

The mode of operating is the same: disapprove the words someone uses, sensationalize the awfulness of it, then use every method of force available to attack them.  As with Dr. Uhlig, threaten to take away their livelihood, discredit their work, and then, by proxy, incite mobs to physically attack them and their property.  They are treated worse than the violent criminal who can at least work when released from prison.  Even the radicals of the 60s had the decency to honor freedom of speech.  One would think today's academics would be the champions of free speech, not adversarial critics. 

Then there are the technology giants like Twitter, Facebook, Google, and others, pretending to have an open platform but leading the charge for censorship and tyranny against free speech. This is like selling a microphone, then taking it away when the buyer uses it to say something the seller does not like.  Or like selling a pair of shoes but taking them off someone's feet when they do not like where they walk.  These platforms are not free, people pay for them through advertisements and other fees.  As allies of government, these companies enjoy special protections and regulations, platforms, privileges, benefits, and partnerships.   

All enemies of free speech are similar; they control the free expression of speech, the words people choose, and change the meaning of words when it suits them.  They attack those who disagree, take away their income, and do whatever harm they can get away with toward those who disagree.  It is a violent philosophy. 

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