Free Speech for Me, but not for Thee

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Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts notes the hostility that much of the contemporary left has to freedom of speech for those who have the temerity to disagree with them:


Is illustrated here:

Yep.  My older boys have already run into this.  The idea that ‘you don’t have a right to offend me.’  Uh, yes I do.  That’s freedom of speech.  Or let’s just whittle it down to mere ‘freedom.’  Sure, I can not listen, disagree, argue the point, or even show you to the door if I deem you rude or obnoxious.  But violence or, worse, calling for officials and institutions to punish wrong speak?

Growing up, Voltaire’s famous quip was the John 3:16 of American liberalism:

I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.

If I heard that once, I heard that a billion times. It might be worth digging it back up and using it again.  Or more of us you might end up getting caught up in the storm, as professor Allison Stranger discovered all too well.


Go here to read the comments, which, since Dave blogs at Patheos, has contributions from clueless leftists underlining Dave’s point.  My own position on freedom of speech was well put by the character Stephen Hopkins in the musical 1776:



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  1. Fruits of the Dictatorship of Relativism: Our right to speak depends on truth, a thing higher than opinions, but there is there is no truth, and therefore no commonality or reason to allow speech.

  2. The funny thing is, I posted that as a throw away. Things are busy right now, and I’ve been backing down on ‘hot button’ posts. I assumed this would be a ‘yeah Dave, duh’ post. And yet we have a bold defender of the dream of censorship and intolerance we’re seeing from the modern Left.

  3. I believe the notion of “repressive tolerance” can be traced back to Herbert Marcuse in the 1960s.

    “Withdrawal of tolerance from regressive movements before they can become active; intolerance even toward thought, opinion, and word, and finally, intolerance in the opposite direction, that is, toward the self-styled conservatives, to the political Right–these anti-democratic notions respond to the actual development of the democratic society which has destroyed the basis for universal tolerance. The conditions under which tolerance can again become a liberating and humanizing force have still to be created. When tolerance mainly serves the protection and preservation of a repressive society, when it serves to neutralize opposition and to render men immune against other and better forms of life, then tolerance has been perverted. And when this perversion starts in the mind of the individual, in his consciousness, his needs, when heteronomous interests occupy him before he can experience his servitude, then the efforts to counteract his dehumanization must begin at the place of entrance, there where the false consciousness takes form (or rather: is systematically formed)–it must begin with stopping the words and images which feed this consciousness. To be sure, this is censorship, even precensorship, but openly directed against the more or less hidden censorship that permeates the free media. Where the false consciousness has become prevalent in national and popular behaviour, it translates itself almost immediately into practice: the safe distance between ideology and reality, repressive thought and repressive action, between the word of destruction and the deed of destruction is dangerously shortened.”

  4. It’s easy to be a liberal. One doesn’t need to think. All one needs do is memorize a number of false assumptions/axioms/equivalencies/calumnies/non sequiturs/slogans and have the lungs to scream them.

    ‘Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” William F. Buckley, Jr.

    I avoid interaction with liberals. However, the simple formula of how to deal (from Ann coulter) with a liberal, if you must. One, ask the numbskull to provide data, evidence, facts. Two, ask the idiot to compare the lie to rational alternatives (Compared to what?). Three, ask how much it will cost; not only fiscally, also morally, demographically, etc.

  5. T.Shaw and MPS…… Thanks for the quotes. I’m actively involved in public square testimony. Our gathering last Saturday was 150 for the national Trump rally. The opposition can’t look in the mirror. William F. Buckley “they are the other views.” Spot on.
    And “word of destruction and deed of destruction.” Being played out before our very eyes. Thank you both.

  6. We live in a world where much of political discourse is a species of self-congratulation and where you have an accumulation of bourbons with privileges enforced by law or guild rules. Both sorts of people tend to resent it when you present them with questions to which they cannot respond. Note, this is happening at academic institutions. The progressist conception of public life is derived from secondary school social relations.

  7. I believe the notion of “repressive tolerance” can be traced back to Herbert Marcuse in the 1960s.

    What the ‘notion’ amounts to is a complaint by Marcuse that the man in the street doesn’t give a rip about Herbert Marcuse’s social fantasies.

  8. Thank you all for these very important insights giving voice (giving a name) to our cultural condition. Only TRUTH has freedom of speech. Lies, half truths and perjury must be identified and countered to maintain a balanced society and freedom itself.
    “Voltaire’s famous quip was the John 3:16 of American liberalism:
    “I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.” “They will stand up to be condemned.”

  9. Atheistic communism denies God and God’s image in man: free will. Atheistic communism denies freedom. Slavery denies freedom but not necessarily God and God-given free will.
    LBGT denies freedom of conscience and free will. LBGT guilts God for creating the sexual orientation of same sex attraction. LBGT guilts God for the free will choice and freedom to act out the same sex attraction through sodomy, the addiction to sex through lust and the addiction to sodomy and lesbianism. LBGT guilts God for God-given free will and the freedom to exercise free will into addiction to sodomy and lesbianism. Who can prevail in a court of law with God as his witness; with God as his judge, when the prevailing sentiment has indicted and guilted God as the cause of every evil in the world?
    Who can prevail in a court of law when God given free will and freedom are found to be the cause of addiction to sodomy and lesbianism?
    LBGT are gnostic communism. Gnostic communists are worse than atheistic communists because they take subterfuge in civil law without regard for anyone’s civil rights. Gnostic communists guilt God for their civil rights and tyrannize the people by imposing atheism on the people.

  10. ‘Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” William F. Buckley, Jr.
    Love that one, T. Shaw.

    I’m quite intolerant to bad ideas…but that doesn’t mean I try to silence them, it means that I try to destroy them, and for that to happen they’ve got to be exposed and torn to bits. You shove’m down, all you do is make ’em stronger.

  11. I’m thinking about starting a line of Aaron Burr Slapping Gloves for folks what don’t take kindly to other folks what take offense at what folks have to say.

  12. Ernst Schreiber……

    The gloves will lead to dueling pistols.

    The problem with the pistols is that the swine whom you just challenged can’t be trusted to walk away fifteen paces before turning around to fire.

    Back then there were gentlemen.
    Today it’s uncertain if you’re challenging a gentleman, woman trapped in a man’s body or a man who was a woman but decided to change into a man.

    Better leave the white gloves in the dresser.

  13. That’s what seconds are for Philip. .Although, I suppose we could always just rough and tumble with Arkansas toothpicks

  14. I like the “talk softly and carry a large stick,” approach. Buford Pusser had the right stuff. Sometimes a 4×4 speaks louder than words.

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