"I believe in a Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the harmony of all that exists, but not in a God who concerns himself with the fate and actions of human beings."
--Albert Einstein, 1929
Free speech is not just useful for politely ironing out intellectual disagreements. It is also how we enforce moral norms, how we shame the vicious, how we enforce minimum standards, etc. Free speech is not the right to have one particular kind of speech in one kind of way. It is the idea that government should just stay out of the whole sphere of speech. It's the idea that if you just leave people to their own devices, they will work this stuff out between themselves better than government could.
1. That is not accurate andThe reasoned debate on questions like "is racism ok?" were resolved literally generations ago. The people advocating those positions have nothing to do with reason, they just have emotional problems that they're trying to vent by attacking minorities.
2. That is also not what the discussion of PC is about. PC today says very little about the KKK and quite a lot about whether or not you should be free to state that you, personally, do not want to serve a gay wedding, or think that perhaps we should secure our border against mass illegal immigration. PC today is not about fighting off Progressives Eugenics (though in it's day it was brought to bear in support of that program), it is about ever-more-byzantine rules of seeking out and finding offense in the mundane. PC today is not about a wide majority opposing a vocal, angry, violent, and small minority, it is about punishing the 50% of our populace who dares to hold different beliefs when they prove willing to state or stand on them. It is about hounding heretics of the Received Wisdom in order to avoid public debate, not engage in it.
PC does not encourage Speech - it actively discourages it through threats and coercion.
Well, firstly, government shouldn't stay out of "the whole sphere of speech". Like all our rights, speech is not limitless - when you use speech to threaten someone else, or to falsely advertise, or to put others at risk, that is a portion of speech that Government has a right to intervene in. We have laws against slander, and laws protecting privacy as well.Free speech is not just useful for politely ironing out intellectual disagreements. It is also how we enforce moral norms, how we shame the vicious, how we enforce minimum standards, etc. Free speech is not the right to have one particular kind of speech in one kind of way. It is the idea that government should just stay out of the whole sphere of speech. It's the idea that if you just leave people to their own devices, they will work this stuff out between themselves better than government could.
Secondly, PC =/= Free Speech. It is simply a non-state coercive means to reduce the exercise of free speech through the threat of the power of the mob. "Better than having the government do it" does not mean "well". Nor do I see anyone here arguing that what is needed is state repression of PC. What people are arguing is that PC has gotten stupidly out of hand, and needs to be dramatically restrained, in order to allow for actual reasoned public debate. Whipping up mobs to attack opponents and threaten the lives of their children for thought crimes is not that
“If we must have an enemy at the head of Government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible, who will not involve our party in the disgrace of his foolish and bad measures.”
- Alexander Hamilton. Spiritual father of #NeverTrump
And, no, I don't think that is at all true that 50% of the population gets attacked by PC. Most Republicans never get called racist or anything like that. It is a certain segment of the GOP that draws all the criticism. Generally, they're white supremacists or anti-gay hatemongers or and-Muslim nuts or whatever. But then, when they're attacked, they try to hide behind the GOP and the GOP gives them cover, so then other Republicans perceive it as if they have been attacked or accused or something.
That is the whole point of it... to "crush" what the "politically correct" tell society what is correct and what is undesirable.Free speech is a powerful tool for crushing things like racism.
Again... to expose "evil and stupid ideas". Subjective oppressive intolerance designed to "crush" dissenting views. Sure, it is easy to point out racism but there are a myriad of terms, ideas, words, etc. that are targeted to be crushed that are not slavery or racism. It has moved away from pointing out racists to making white people racist simply due to their colour. I have seen very few, very few, call those people racists. Whiteness Studies... that is just one example but there are many others that are just as oppressive.That's the whole point of it- to expose evil and stupid ideas and move society past them
Judge to Bakers: No Free Speech for You - Rachel Lu, The Federalist
By decree of the great state of Oregon, the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa must pay $135,000 to the lesbian couple whom they “mentally raped” by refusing to bake their wedding cake. This was expected, but the final judgment, handed down last Thursday, came with another twist. Aaron and Melissa Klein have also been given a “cease and desist” order, which effectively decrees they must refrain from stating their continued intention to abide by their moral beliefs.
Land of the What-Was-That?
Let’s be clear on why this is so sinister. There are times when speech rights conflict with other legitimate social goods. The public’s right to know can conflict with individual privacy rights. Sometimes threats to public safety warrant keeping secrets. There can be interesting debates about intellectual property rights. These cases can get tricky, and we should all understand that speech rights necessarily do have certain pragmatic limits.
None of those concerns apply here. The Kleins did not threaten public safety. They violated no one’s privacy or property rights. Rather, the Oregon labor commissioner, Brad Avakian, wanted to silence them because the content of their speech. Presumably he was angry that the Kleins’ defiant stance had earned them a potentially profitable reputation as heroes for religious freedom. They were meant to be humiliated and cowed; instead there was a real chance they would land on their feet. So they had to be gagged to prevent that from happening.
If the First Amendment doesn’t apply to a case like this, it is meaningless. . . .
"It's always reassuring to find you've made the right enemies." -- William J. Donovan