Google
 
Web rhymeswithright.mu.nu

April 20, 2015

What Is The Purpose Of Free Speech?

A lot of folks have gotten involved in the whole Sad Puppies/Rabid Puppies slate controversy involving the Hugo Awards. Ditto “Gamergate”. For my part, I’ve stayed out of both – in the case of “GamerGate” because I don’t care about gaming and in the case of the Hugos because I’ll read what I like and don’t really care about who gets the awards. If that means I finish reading Sad Puppy Sarah Hoyt and then move on to the latest by SFWA oligarch John Scalzi, so be it – even though I love Sarah’s blog and consider Scalzi’s to be a cesspool of progressive intolerance.

Today I’ve seen a number of my fellow conservative bloggers note Hoyt’s latest post, “Take Your Nose Off My Fist”, and in particular quote one particular observation from it, as amplified by Glenn Reynold.

SARAH HOYT: Take Your Nose Off My Fist. “If your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose, what if I move my nose and rest it on your fist, so you can’t move?” Well, that’s the whole point of “safe spaces,” “trigger warnings,” and the like.


A good point – since the entire premise of those demanding “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings” is to paralyze anyone they don’t agree with by insisting that their opponents injure them by expressing a contrary view, by being present where they might be noticed, or even by just having the temerity to exist.

But frankly, that isn’t the part of Sarah’s post that struck me. No, I’m particularly fond of her explanation of the purpose of protecting freedom of speech, and exactly which speech it is that needs protection.

The right of free speech is meaningless when you only have the right to say that which society approves of.

No one has ever tried to ban speech that lauds mother and apple pie (well, maybe now, but that’s a long story.) No one has ever had a fit over your complimenting their lawn.

The right of free speech is by necessity a protection for unpleasant, unpalatable speech. It is the right to call someone in power a right son of a b*tch. It is the right to say things that are hurtful, whether they’re true or not. It is the right to proclaim that the king goes naked, even if it hurts the self esteem of everyone who has been lying to herself and telling herself he wears clothes of the finest silk.

Sometimes the metaphorical nose of the listener needs to be pounded with the metaphorical fist of mean words. Because it’s the only thing that can stop tyrannical actions or misguided but widely accepted ones.

Absent the right to say what hurts others, a society can careen head first into an abyss. Because it’s always easy to claim you’re offended at something you don’t want to hear, and that therefore the speaker shouldn’t be allowed to say it.
And that speech-stopping power is never evenly distributed. It’s always higher on the part of those who have connections in the press, friends in the bureaucracy, and who can amplify their teary cries and stop what they want stopped.

The right to stop speech you don’t like is ALWAYS an act of punching down, an act of speaking power to truth. (Or lies, but it’s amazing how often it is the truth that those self-selected, connected elites want stopped.)

Which is why the idea that my right to speak is stopped by your right to take offense is an open door to totalitarianism and censorship. If claiming that speech “offends” someone is enough to stop it, you’re giving those who already have the power to defame, destroy and character-assassinate more power and preventing those who would talk against them from speaking.



And there is all too much of that sort of “I’m offended” censorship going on in this country. Consider the recent “American Sniper” controversy on campuses around the country. Look at the controversy at UNC about David Horowitz being invited to speak by the College Republicans. Remember that the Supreme Court just refused to review a California school’s punishment of students for daring to wear American flag shirts on a minor Mexican holiday. Look at the attempts to delegitimize speech favoring traditional marriage. All of it has been justified based upon the “offensiveness” of the sentiments expressed and that it might make others feel “unsafe” that such views are allowed to be expressed.

And we see it in our politics today – opposition to Barack Obama is presumed to be based upon the color of his skin and not the wrongness of his policies. Hillary Clinton’s supporters have already begun to compile a list of words that are putatively “sexist” and therefore not to be used by the media or her opponents on pain of public condemnation.

Indeed, the notion that one can invoke a right to freedom of speech as a defense is under attack. For example, a teacher friend of mine shared that in his school district teachers were informed that if anything they said on social media or a blog provoked a complaint, invoking the right to free speech would be deemed an admission of wrongdoing. Too many, on both the right and the left, have decided that while freedom of speech may be enshrined in the Constitution, the government should be allowed to impose consequences for the exercise of that right

Sorry, folks, but Sarah Hoyt has it right – it is the speech that is unpopular, provocative, and offensive that most needs protection. And if such speech isn’t protected, we are left with bland discourse that never challenges the assumptions of the orthodoxies of the day or the





|| Greg, 04:18 PM || Permalink || Comments (12) || Comments || TrackBacks (0) ||

Trackback Information for What Is The Purpose Of Free Speech?

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://blog2.mu.nu/cgi/trackback.cgi/286126
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 'What Is The Purpose Of Free Speech?'.

Comments on What Is The Purpose Of Free Speech?

Rhymes With Right - What Is The Purpose Of Free Speech?
[url=http://www.gs7sfo2p73o295280e53b9arsn5ae9m2s.org/]uykzkxliwhg[/url]
ykzkxliwhg http://www.gs7sfo2p73o295280e53b9arsn5ae9m2s.org/
aykzkxliwhg

|| Posted by ykzkxliwhg, February 21, 2017 04:57 AM ||

Renfro firmly believed Campbell was the best player in football, going all the way back to the running back's dominant state championship run in high school.
Cheap NFL Jerseys China

|| Posted by Cheap NFL Jerseys China, March 9, 2018 11:32 AM ||

For Jordan and gregg popovich comments James never hit back, but just yesterday in the knight's basketball stadium set aside a James training video, far look like illusions emerged both Owen, a carefully look just know is James
adidas zx flux

|| Posted by adidas zx flux, March 9, 2018 02:14 PM ||

Then create and send custom "thank you" notes when your clients pay.
China NFL Jerseys

|| Posted by China NFL Jerseys, March 9, 2018 04:58 PM ||

For Jordan and gregg popovich comments James never hit back, but just yesterday in the knight's basketball stadium set aside a James training video, far look like illusions emerged both Owen, a carefully look just know is James
nike air presto

|| Posted by nike air presto, March 10, 2018 04:32 AM ||

6 percent of his passes with a 2-3 TD-INT ratio and 73.
Cheap NFL Jerseys China

|| Posted by Cheap NFL Jerseys China, March 10, 2018 07:25 AM ||

The Nashville-based baby boutique has been business for two years and inventories approximately 500 unique product types.
Jerseys NFL Wholesale

|| Posted by Jerseys NFL Wholesale, March 10, 2018 12:28 PM ||

The NBA playoffs now for today, have determined the warriors in the western conference and will compete for a spot in the finals quota, knight still don't know who his opponent was.However, even in the face of the celtics or the wizards, presumably knight will be
kyrie 2

|| Posted by kyrie 2, March 10, 2018 09:06 PM ||

The NBA playoffs now for today, have determined the warriors in the western conference and will compete for a spot in the finals quota, knight still don't know who his opponent was.However, even in the face of the celtics or the wizards, presumably knight will be
kyrie 4

|| Posted by kyrie 4, March 10, 2018 10:09 PM ||

"As we look at comparison shopping engines, there are a lot of them out there.
China NFL Jerseys

|| Posted by China NFL Jerseys, March 10, 2018 10:43 PM ||

Yeah bookmaking this wasn't a high risk determination great post!
balenciaga sneakers

|| Posted by balenciaga sneakers, March 11, 2018 04:10 PM ||

Recently, the Fansided to knight main rotation player in the first two rounds of the playoffs, the performance of the Owen only C +, love there is only a B.
calvin klein

|| Posted by calvin klein, March 11, 2018 05:33 PM ||
Post a comment

Remember personal info?


 

 





AnotherMunublogSmall.jpg





Winner - 2014 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards
Winner - 2014 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2013 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2012 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2011 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2010 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Winner - 2009 Fabulous 50 Blog Awards

Posts by Category

Abortion (posts: 2)
Announcements (posts: 14)
Blogging (posts: 188)
Border Issues & Immigration (posts: 422)
deferred (posts: 4)
Education (posts: 686)
Entertainment & Sports (posts: 483)
Guns & Gun Control (posts: 65)
History (posts: 329)
Humor (posts: 88)
Israel/Middle East (posts: 44)
Medical News (posts: 54)
Military (posts: 273)
News (posts: 1571)
Paid Advertising (posts: 234)
Personal (posts: 110)
Politics (posts: 5273)
Race & Racism (posts: 283)
Religion (posts: 820)
Terrorism (posts: 885)
Texas GOP Platform Reform Project (posts: 4)
The Courts (posts: 310)
Watcher's Council (posts: 482)
World Affairs (posts: 345)

Archives

December 2017
August 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
December 0000



MuNuviana



Licensing

Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Powered By

Powered by
Movable Type 2.64
AnotherMunublogSmall.jpg

Administrative Stuff

Email Me
Syndicate this site (XML)

Advertising Disclosure

adpolicy.gif

About Me

NAME: Greg
AGE: 50-ish
SEX: Male
MARITAL STATUS: Married
OCCUPATION: Social Studies Teacher
LOCATION: Seabrook, TX
DISCLAIMER: All posts reflect my views alone, and not the view of my wife, my dogs, my employer, or anyone else. All comments reflect the view of the commenter, and permitting a comment to remain on this site in no way indicates my support for the ideas expressed in the comment.

Search This Site


Support This Site



Recent Entries

A Word Of Repentance
To Conservatives And Republicans Of Conscience
Reflecting On Charlottesville
On Fake News
Who Cares About The Emoluments Clause?
If It Doesn't Bother You, It Should
Bromance Turns America Into Russian Satellite State
Because Many Americans Would Findf The Biblical Plagues To Be Preferable
Because When A Minority Wins An Election, The Majority Must Shut Up
Hope For The Future

Blogroll


Watchers Council
  • Ask Marion
  • Bookworm Room
  • The Colossus of Rhodey
  • The Glittering Eye
  • GrEaT sAtAn"S gIrLfRiEnD
  • The Independent Sentinel
  • JoshuaPundit
  • Liberty's Spirit
  • New Zeal
  • Nice Deb
  • The Noisy Room
  • The Razor
  • Rhymes With Right
  • The Right Planet
  • Simply Jews
  • Virginia Right!
  • Watcher Of Weasels

  • Political & Religious Blogs