Freedom of speech is THE most important right. Without free speech, there is no ability to communicate. There is no ability to think. There are no markets without free speech — because businesses function and profit according to consumer demand, NOT according to what the government wants. Without free speech, all markets break down. Mankind becomes impoverished, as under socialism, Communism and all other forms of economic tyranny. Worse, mankind becomes intellectually and psychologically impoverished. He becomes soulless, without the capacity to speak (and therefore think) freely. Civilization is over; life becomes merely about existence.
Free speech does NOT mean the ability to force another to hear what you want to say. There is no force in free speech. If someone wishes not to listen, they are free not to listen. You don’t have the right to empower government to force someone to let you onto their property so that you can be heard. It’s up to you to pesaude another to hear what you have to say; the final choice is up to them. But by the same token, they may not stop you from saying what you have to say, on your own property or in the space of anyone else willing to listen to you.
When government aligns itself with private companies, indirectly or directly telling those private companies what they may or may not permit to be said on their property, airwaves or websites, those companies are no longer private. When Twitter acts at the behest of the FBI, it’s not a private company; it becomes, at that moment, an agency of the government. Ditto for any other previously private company. Government should be kept out of all private, noncoercive interactions such as speech. The moment it steps in — even once, even a little — is the moment your Bill of Rights and Constitution are no longer in operation.
Speech is never violence. The diatribes of a Hitler, a Mao or a Stalin are not violence. Violence comes only when the concentration camps and political prison camps are opened. If one commits fraud to manipulate others into violence, then the issue is fraud — not speech. If one shouts “fire” in a crowded theater where there is no fire, the issue is fraud, and the violation of the theater owner’s property rights. Fraud can be against the law; speech never is. Neither you nor I get to decide what “hate speech” is. “Hate” is merely a projection. If you don’t like what I’m saying — if you hate what I’m saying — this doesn’t give you the right to arbitrarily label it “hate speech” and stop me from saying it. You are free not to listen.
Free speech has always been under attack in human history. That’s nothing new. The ideological twerps censoring today think they’re “progressive”, advanced and sophisticated. They’re no such thing. They’re simply what humans, at their worst, have always been. What’s new is the outright censorship taking place in America. America was always the one exception. Yes, censorship existed even in its earliest days. But it’s only now that censorship is now promoted as morally justified. Once you get most people feeling too guilty to practice free speech — which has happened — then the First Amendment is really now irrelevant. Once people are afraid to speak, they won’t defend their First Amendment rights. Today’s censors broke most of our spirits — and the physical coercion will not be far behind.
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