Friday, 20 July 2018

So-called 'Hate Speech' is the death of Free Speech. By the non-objective standard of 'hate speech,' any idea can be banned. The entire sphere of thought, in other words, becomes politicised.

"'Civilisation depends on reason; freedom means the freedom to think, then act accordingly; the rights of free speech and a free press implement the sovereignty of reason over brute force. If civilised existence is to be possible, the right of the individual to exercise his rational faculty must be inviolable.' ... Freedom of speech is a rational principle. Like any rational principle, it is an absolute; which means: within its context it admits of no exceptions. Apparent exceptions like a man yelling “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater represent a misunderstanding of the principle. As I’ve said, the principle of freedom of speech states that you can use your own property to express whatever ideas you choose—not that you can use someone else’s property. When on another’s property, you must abide by the conditions he sets...
    "Because freedom of speech is a principle, any 'exception' to it actually means its destruction—which brings us to laws against 'hate speech.' ... What does this amount to in practice? It means that whenever a member of some group finds an idea 'offensive' or feels that it will produce hatred against his collective, the government has the power to ban the idea. This is the death of free speech. By the non-objective standard of 'hate speech,' any idea can be banned...
    "The entire sphere of thought, in other words, becomes politicised...    "Under the principle enacted by 'hate speech' laws, the individual is no longer free to think and express his thoughts. Instead, he must seek every collective’s permission before speaking, making sure that no one is offended by his ideas and that no one takes his ideas as reason to hate anyone or anything...
    "What people must grasp is that the only way to combat irrational ideas is to advocate rational ones—not to reach for the gun of the government. 'Hate speech' laws, however, are not the creation of the public but of academics and intellectuals. The reason such laws are becoming more and more widespread is that Western culture is losing its knowledge of why free speech is a value. As I’ve indicated, free speech rests on the idea that knowledge is a value and that to be reached, it requires a sovereign, independent mind choosing to exercise its powers of reason. The value of free speech, in other words, rests on a specific view of the human mind. The dominant voices in the humanities today uphold an opposing view."
~ Onkar Ghate in an interview with The Undercurrent, collected in the book Defending Free Speech. Quote excerpt at the head by Leonard Peikoff.

1 comment:

  1. I disagree. I think the Left's view is that free speech is a value when it comes to discovering the truth; however, we have now reached it, and therefore can abandon anything that disagrees with our current understanding. It's like in math: no one would give an advocate of 1+1=3 a platform. They view social and political issues in the same way. Always, of course, with their views as the ultimate big-T Truth.


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated. Links to bogus news sites (and worse) will be deleted.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say it, it's important enough to put a name to it.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.