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Authoritarians Still Need Free Speech Advocates

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posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 02:28 PM
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Those who pooh-pooh free speech and argue for this or that form of censorship give hint of their authoritarian tendencies. They would much rather the state authorities determine the boundaries of discourse than themselves.

But when the authorities finally encroach on their speech, who do they turn to? They’ve already spurned free speech and willingly handed their human rights to the authorities.

We should be careful of these unprincipled defenders of censorship. Fear, not principle, guides their reasoning, and therefor their choices on the matter. Whether it is the truth, offence, retaliation, or simply mean and ugly words they fear, their desire for censorship and the willingness to hand over their rights may have repercussions that linger well beyond their own existence.

But we should forgive them their authoritarian impulse and resist the desire to give them a taste of their own stupidity. Unlike the despisers of free speech, the principled defenders of free speech realize that in order to defend their own human rights and the human rights of generations to come, they need to stick up for the rights of the unprincipled, including the authoritarians, the censors, the offensive and the obnoxious.




posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 02:42 PM
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free speech is not absolute. if your alone you can talk to yourself till blue in the face. when your in a community your not just talking to yourself. if you yell fire or rape in a crowded movie theater you certainly have the right put it will cause alarm for others. also some people have aszbergers or other neurological disorders.



posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 03:21 PM
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a reply to: Tartuffe

Those who pooh-pooh free speech and argue for this or that form of censorship give hint of their authoritarian tendencies. They would much rather the state authorities determine the boundaries of discourse than themselves.

But who are the ''authorities''. In the case of a child it is the parents who are the authorities who regulate, or at least try to set the parameters of the ''free speech'' of the child.

Likewise, is it not society which determines what is and what is not acceptable speech? Those who follow the parameters of social standards do not garner aspersion from the rest of society that sticks to the norms already established.

So right there I think we have two examples of ''limitations'' on free speech. There are more that seem acceptable to most of us, but in many cases what some of us conciser ''our right to free speech'' is considered an abuse of speech by others.

Are parents considered authoritarian? Some might say. How about society, that to has authoritarian aspects by many standards.


''But when the authorities finally encroach on their speech, who do they turn to? They’ve already spurned free speech and willingly handed their human rights to the authorities. ''

But here we discuss ''authorities''. When the authorities encroach on free speech they have already spurned free speech and willingly handed their human right to the authorities... The authorities have handed over their human rights to who? The authorities?

There are boundaries to free speech that far exceed what the ''authorities'' are willing to allow. It is our right to push those boundaries but we should know that in that exercise that ''some'' of those boundaries are the limits that large swaths of our fellow citizens have developed as ''their'' standards and in our expression of our free speech these bountaries should be respected.

Form my perspective, when our government, and I say ''our government'' tries to enforce those boundaries that most people find acceptable it is not authoritarian, it is the will of the people.

All that said, I agree with the final paragraph completely.



posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 03:28 PM
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originally posted by: Tartuffe
Those who pooh-pooh free speech and argue for this or that form of censorship give hint of their authoritarian tendencies.


Well, some (me) would argue that they do a little bit more than just hint. I mean, they're not exactly subtle about their tendencies. If you know who they are, you know exactly what they're about. Right?

On the other hand, I would also say that people who deliberately take freedom of speech and abuse it are actually sabotaging it, whether they know it or not.

Because, you see, unfortunately, the average person if a flippin moron. They just are. When they see some redneck waving a confederate flag and shouting racist slurs, all their higher brain functions shut down and they basically become cavemen. This happens (generally) to most people when their emotions are stirred. They can't help it. It takes actual discipline to defeat emotional impulses and most people have not got an ounce of it in that department.

So. What happens when you turn on the TV every day and you see a bunch of idiots pushing the boundaries of free speech? Well, You can pretty much be sure that there are millions of morons getting really pissed off. And more and more pissed off by the day. And what are they gonna do when they're fed up? They're going to want to make it stop. Right there, they're ripe for authoritarianism. And they will not spend a microsecond thinking about it rationally or trying to weigh the pros and cons or thinking about the future. Nope. They will just mindlessly demand "justice".

So, if you really believe in free speech, my suggestion would be to exercise it with care and really think about whether or not whatever it is you have to say is worth the price. If you have something really super unpopular to say, you WILL do some damage.



posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 03:36 PM
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a reply to: TerryMcGuire


Form my perspective, when our government, and I say ''our government'' tries to enforce those boundaries that most people find acceptable it is not authoritarian, it is the will of the people.


I think someone is missing the point of the Bill of Rights.

The government has no place Constitutionally to regulate free speech. In fact, it is expressly forbidden to do so.

That has of course changed over the years, to the detriment of the citizenry.

We have allowed those in power more power.

The more powerful the government over thier citizenry, the less freedom citizens have.

To the OP, S&F.

The First Amendment was not written to protect speech that is popular.

Exactly the opposite, in fact.


edit on 29-4-2019 by Lumenari because: (no reason given)

edit on 29-4-2019 by Lumenari because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 03:37 PM
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originally posted by: Firebrand1105volunteer
free speech is not absolute. if your alone you can talk to yourself till blue in the face. when your in a community your not just talking to yourself. if you yell fire or rape in a crowded movie theater you certainly have the right put it will cause alarm for others. also some people have aszbergers or other neurological disorders.


Free speech is absolute. It isn't until someone comes along to silence you that your speech becomes unfree.



posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 03:44 PM
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originally posted by: TerryMcGuire
a reply to: Tartuffe

Those who pooh-pooh free speech and argue for this or that form of censorship give hint of their authoritarian tendencies. They would much rather the state authorities determine the boundaries of discourse than themselves.

But who are the ''authorities''. In the case of a child it is the parents who are the authorities who regulate, or at least try to set the parameters of the ''free speech'' of the child.

Likewise, is it not society which determines what is and what is not acceptable speech? Those who follow the parameters of social standards do not garner aspersion from the rest of society that sticks to the norms already established.

So right there I think we have two examples of ''limitations'' on free speech. There are more that seem acceptable to most of us, but in many cases what some of us conciser ''our right to free speech'' is considered an abuse of speech by others.

Are parents considered authoritarian? Some might say. How about society, that to has authoritarian aspects by many standards.


''But when the authorities finally encroach on their speech, who do they turn to? They’ve already spurned free speech and willingly handed their human rights to the authorities. ''

But here we discuss ''authorities''. When the authorities encroach on free speech they have already spurned free speech and willingly handed their human right to the authorities... The authorities have handed over their human rights to who? The authorities?

There are boundaries to free speech that far exceed what the ''authorities'' are willing to allow. It is our right to push those boundaries but we should know that in that exercise that ''some'' of those boundaries are the limits that large swaths of our fellow citizens have developed as ''their'' standards and in our expression of our free speech these bountaries should be respected.

Form my perspective, when our government, and I say ''our government'' tries to enforce those boundaries that most people find acceptable it is not authoritarian, it is the will of the people.

All that said, I agree with the final paragraph completely.



The authorities are those who hold power. Yes, parents are the authorities of a family, but their duty is to raise and educate their children, which requires some sense of obedience.

II suppose we have a different view of government. Government, to me, must defend the rights of its citizens, not enforce the "will of the people", which could easily lead to a oppression of minorities.



posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 03:47 PM
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There are those who will use freedom of speech to brainwash people to follow a path that restricts their freedom of speech eventually. Freedom of speech is a tool, used by both good and bad people.



posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 03:48 PM
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originally posted by: BrianFlanders

originally posted by: Tartuffe
Those who pooh-pooh free speech and argue for this or that form of censorship give hint of their authoritarian tendencies.


Well, some (me) would argue that they do a little bit more than just hint. I mean, they're not exactly subtle about their tendencies. If you know who they are, you know exactly what they're about. Right?

On the other hand, I would also say that people who deliberately take freedom of speech and abuse it are actually sabotaging it, whether they know it or not.

Because, you see, unfortunately, the average person if a flippin moron. They just are. When they see some redneck waving a confederate flag and shouting racist slurs, all their higher brain functions shut down and they basically become cavemen. This happens (generally) to most people when their emotions are stirred. They can't help it. It takes actual discipline to defeat emotional impulses and most people have not got an ounce of it in that department.

So. What happens when you turn on the TV every day and you see a bunch of idiots pushing the boundaries of free speech? Well, You can pretty much be sure that there are millions of morons getting really pissed off. And more and more pissed off by the day. And what are they gonna do when they're fed up? They're going to want to make it stop. Right there, they're ripe for authoritarianism. And they will not spend a microsecond thinking about it rationally or trying to weigh the pros and cons or thinking about the future. Nope. They will just mindlessly demand "justice".

So, if you really believe in free speech, my suggestion would be to exercise it with care and really think about whether or not whatever it is you have to say is worth the price. If you have something really super unpopular to say, you WILL do some damage.


I agree with you. Those who abuse their freedoms sabotage them for the rest of us. That's why I prefer manners and so forth, not because I am mandated to talk a certain way, but because I wan't to, I choose to, because I don't want to risk sabotaging our freedom by giving ammunition to those who would take them away.
edit on 29-4-2019 by Tartuffe because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 04:45 PM
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I don't know if it's relevant here but I used to do some public speaking in the past . I often used to take and brandish a bible to the high street of town with all the tourists and everyone there shopping on saturdays and then rant on at random about anything which came into my head , loosely based on judgement day , God's retribution , but i got into all sorts , criticizing nearly every religious organisation and trying to tell the real storys to the general public instead of their versions , things like that .

It's maybe of no interest but I did this quite a lot and learned quite a few things about how the public reacts to free speech . Nearly everytime I saw police approaching I'd change the tune to saying things like all you people be sure to not commit any crime because life says these uniformed servants of the law may arrest you and if you are tried and found guilty then the judges shall send you to prison, and then you shall learn your lessons the hard way . This used to make them laugh most of the time and it always helps to smile and be friendly .

Sometimes one or two randoms would try to shout me down to say shut up and so what and go away etc , and these got short shrift i'd be saying do one or get lost or slide away down the sides of the pit , fear god or go to hell effectively as it was spiritually meaningful stuff which was coming out quite often , and this reaction to people not wishing me to speak freely didn't really have any comebacks . One guy tried to whack me but i dodged it when I'd said take oil in your lamps you 100 virgins of mine ( a biblical quote ) as it was just before the time of the iraq invasion he was a newspaper seller but what happened there was that apparently some men came along afterwards after i'd gone and beat him up and he didnt sell anymore newspaper there after that . Some large men came up behind me and tried to nick my bible i used to hold for defense of free speaking as much as anything else - used to vilify pedos and ahve a go at mcdonalds bad practises all sorts of things , anyway they tried to snatch the book but i'm a gardener with a strong grip and it was a humiliating moment for them they had to walk away having failed and i got respect for that and once facing off a group a blokes who were saying dont call us brothers we're not your brothers and they got something they didn;t like hearing can;t remember what but they had to suck it up as well .

So I suppose if you want to stand up for actual real free speech you have literally stand up and talk the talk for real . In a way I suppose i was like an authoritarian about the retention of free speech in those , i was there saying , you will be hearing what i have to say , but i was polite most of the time , it helps to not start speaking loudly enough to be heard when theres a lady with a pushchair walking by . None of them or their kids were bothered , they accepted that i was there for a harmless purpose even though there was often a quite edgy message for the times . I met a cross section of the population including many personally who stopped to chat directly and lots of uber religious folk , often evangelicals telling me there was only jesus , and that i was wrong for mentioning the others , but that's another story . I got arrested only once I think , and asked to stop about three or four times , which i did . I mentioned Jewry street and how it was relevant to the books and someone got a bit confused and then offended , probably didn;t realise it had become a sort of signature to point out religiously named roadsigns and other symbols about town while , enjoying myslef quite often i'd have to admit , but when i look back now i often think , did i really do all that ? Yes i did but it didnt do me much harm i feel quite glad that i got it all off my chest or so to speak and that id done something which was often met with support understanding and even praise and thanks for having broken ice for some or something like that , it wasn't socially isolating most of the time . Had the odd argument perhaps and told off one or two grandees and warned just about everyone to simply behave themselves properly , so all in given the era post 911 speaking freely did a good thing for everyone to be standing there against the idea of clamping everyone down including their open speech and various reilgious views under new anti terror remits and offsetting the warlike states of mind of the worlds politicians at the time
a/c the discreditation committee



edit on 29-4-2019 by DoctorBluechip because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 04:59 PM
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a reply to: Tartuffe

I'm really starting to like you.



posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 05:02 PM
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originally posted by: Tartuffe
Those who pooh-pooh free speech and argue for this or that form of censorship give hint of their authoritarian tendencies. They would much rather the state authorities determine the boundaries of discourse than themselves.


Sort of like you did in our other conversation? You're all for restricting free speech in certain instances as well so I'm not sure what you're on about.



posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 05:03 PM
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originally posted by: Tartuffe
I agree with you. Those who abuse their freedoms sabotage them for the rest of us. That's why I prefer manners and so forth, not because I am mandated to talk a certain way, but because I wan't to, I choose to, because I don't want to risk sabotaging our freedom by giving ammunition to those who would take them away.


I would/will argue that not only do people often unintentionally sabotage rights - Some people also INTENTIONALLY sabotage them. Think about that for a moment. There are people who would not hesitate to deliberately sabotage a right. There are probably even people who would die to sabotage a right. Extremism knows no limits. Radicals will stop at nothing to get what they want. This is a problem that may not have a solution. You can respect your rights and you can exercise them responsibly and thoughtfully and rationally.

And that's great. It really is. Unfortunately, I think some people have figured it out. They know that doing bad things on purpose will influence how people feel about freedom in a negative way. In other words, there are people who are doing things because they know it will screw up other people's rights. That's flippin scary but that's how messed up people can be. I'm even a little hesitant to say it but I don't really think I'm saying anything that people don't fundamentally know. They just don't want to admit this is what's happening.
edit on 29-4-2019 by BrianFlanders because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 05:11 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

originally posted by: Tartuffe
Those who pooh-pooh free speech and argue for this or that form of censorship give hint of their authoritarian tendencies. They would much rather the state authorities determine the boundaries of discourse than themselves.


Sort of like you did in our other conversation? You're all for restricting free speech in certain instances as well so I'm not sure what you're on about.


No I'm not. You pretended I was speaking about speech when I clearly said I was speaking about conduct. This was immediately after you revealed that you do not believe in the 1st amendment at all, even if you regularly use it when you lack any other argument.
edit on 29-4-2019 by Tartuffe because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 05:14 PM
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originally posted by: BrianFlanders

originally posted by: Tartuffe
I agree with you. Those who abuse their freedoms sabotage them for the rest of us. That's why I prefer manners and so forth, not because I am mandated to talk a certain way, but because I wan't to, I choose to, because I don't want to risk sabotaging our freedom by giving ammunition to those who would take them away.


I would/will argue that not only do people often unintentionally sabotage rights - Some people also INTENTIONALLY sabotage them. Think about that for a moment. There are people who would not hesitate to deliberately sabotage a right. There are probably even people who would die to sabotage a right. Extremism knows no limits. Radicals will stop at nothing to get what they want. This is a problem that may not have a solution. You can respect your rights and you can exercise them responsibly and thoughtfully and rationally.

And that's great. It really is. Unfortunately, I think some people have figured it out. They know that doing bad things on purpose will influence how people feel about freedom in a negative way. In other words, there are people who are doing things because they know it will screw up other people's rights. That's flippin scary but that's how messed up people can be. I'm even a little hesitant to say it but I don't really think I'm saying anything that people don't fundamentally know. They just don't want to admit this is what's happening.


That could very well be true. Do you have any examples?



posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 05:26 PM
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`So having read what you're saying I've been like a case in point , recklessly taking up a right which might have , unintentionally , done some damage to the rights of others to do the same . Though I think the point of me doing so was because I felt that the truth as I saw it needed to be spoken aloud , to have an airing in public . It's a facts based universe and subtler facts are being presented . So a counter argument then is that it doesn';t matter what you say if you want to say it just say it , my opinion is that people will always make up their own minds they're not sheep they're used to turning off as well if someothing doesn;t float their boat it doesnt matter what it is it just gets blanket ignored . that's the problem with nany supernannys and nanny states we're not all young impressionable and easily radicalised, thats even a typeset that doesnt exist unless it's actually the nannies like educators who make them into snowflaky sheeple .
Are you scared of offending and upsetting lawmakers let me tell you youd do better to make an impression a t all they've seen you're types coming too . Have the courage of your convictions and then something called respect follows on . Being scared to damage the future rights of others to speak up for themselves never got or gets a message across .

eta although that could matter depending on circumstance so i agree you've a fair point to think before you do speak
edit on 29-4-2019 by DoctorBluechip because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 05:35 PM
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originally posted by: DoctorBluechip
`So having read what you're saying I've been like a case in point , recklessly taking up a right which might have , unintentionally , done some damage to the rights of others to do the same . Though I think the point of me doing so was because I felt that the truth as I saw it needed to be spoken aloud , to have an airing in public . It's a facts based universe and subtler facts are being presented . So a counter argument then is that it doesn';t matter what you say if you want to say it just say it , my opinion is that people will always make up their own minds they're not sheep they're used to turning off as well if someothing doesn;t float their boat it doesnt matter what it is it just gets blanket ignored . that's the problem with nany supernannys and nanny states we're not all young impressionable and easily radicalised, thats even a typeset that doesnt exist unless it's actually the nannies like educators who make them into snowflaky sheeple .
Are you scared of offending and upsetting lawmakers let me tell you youd do better to make an impression a t all they've seen you're types coming too . Have the courage of your convictions and then something called respect follows on . Being scared to damage the future rights of others to speak up for themselves never got or gets a message across .


One can get a message across without being offensive or iconoclastic. One can choose his words wisely rather than recklessly. People react to offensive speech probably because they think they have to, and people will use offensive speech as examples as to why we should curtail free speech.

Someone mentioned yelling fire in a crowded theatre. Even though that isn't the litmus test for whether the speech is protected or not, it still gives those prone to fear an excuse to go after free speech.



posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 05:41 PM
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originally posted by: Tartuffe

originally posted by: BrianFlanders

originally posted by: Tartuffe
I agree with you. Those who abuse their freedoms sabotage them for the rest of us. That's why I prefer manners and so forth, not because I am mandated to talk a certain way, but because I wan't to, I choose to, because I don't want to risk sabotaging our freedom by giving ammunition to those who would take them away.


I would/will argue that not only do people often unintentionally sabotage rights - Some people also INTENTIONALLY sabotage them. Think about that for a moment. There are people who would not hesitate to deliberately sabotage a right. There are probably even people who would die to sabotage a right. Extremism knows no limits. Radicals will stop at nothing to get what they want. This is a problem that may not have a solution. You can respect your rights and you can exercise them responsibly and thoughtfully and rationally.

And that's great. It really is. Unfortunately, I think some people have figured it out. They know that doing bad things on purpose will influence how people feel about freedom in a negative way. In other words, there are people who are doing things because they know it will screw up other people's rights. That's flippin scary but that's how messed up people can be. I'm even a little hesitant to say it but I don't really think I'm saying anything that people don't fundamentally know. They just don't want to admit this is what's happening.


That could very well be true. Do you have any examples?


That I can prove? No. Obviously not.



posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 06:03 PM
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a reply to: TerryMcGuire

Actually, in many cases, especially with "hate speech" it is nothing more than the "Tyranny of the majority". Or Tyranny of the "Cry Bullies" who are loud.


For example:

Say that maybe I think teaching babies in kindergarten about transgender-ism and having drag queens teaching children about and promoting being a drag queen is completely inappropriate and WRONG.

Feeding kids hormones that will cause permanent damage because you have conned your little boy into thinking he is a girl is wrong and is child abuse.

Is that hate speech? Well, many on the left think it is and I should be in jail for saying it.




edit on 29-4-2019 by infolurker because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 29 2019 @ 06:03 PM
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a reply to: Tartuffe

I re-read the op, I did this thing in the name of defense of the freedom of thought and action an act of conduct it was to tie off a piece of light plastic hazard tape and very quickly unroll it across the main pedestrian area in town and tie it off the other side . This is what happened all the pedestrians stopped becuas there was tape blocking their way . They literally stood there stopped looking at this tape which was blocking all their paths onwards . And I was stood there yelling at them still, up to 60 seconds later , saying 'break the tape break the tape , somebody anybody just break the tape . And they were all stood there like hypnotized giraffes for ages . It was wierd . Only did it once . That said a friend of mine at the time early naughties went to the indoor shopping centre wearing a cut out cardboard box on his head saying he was on tv so people could get his version of the news lol .
And I like what you're saying we should stand up for people who don't yet know that they'll need their rights in future just so they can see to to bashing the idea of other people keeping their rights , so we and crucially they , are not destined to be cowering in corners covering our collective ears . Is that sort of the idea ? MAybe a thread for someone in particular not me though , theres some high foluting arguments go on here (is that how you spell that hmm )



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