Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mark Steyn: On Free Speech

I'm going to put a short quote from Mark Steyn regarding free speech. Because I really want people to get this. It is so vital:

It's not a right/left thing, it's not a conservative/liberal thing, it's a free/unfree thing, and that's what these guys don't always seem to appreciate

It is true that I generally tilt to the right on politial matters, although I'm not completely "orthodox", ideologically speaking.

But that's just the thing.

You should have the absolute freedom to be unorthodox.

You should have the absolute freedom to say what is on your mind.


How can people be expected to think outside the box if what they say, is in effect, criminalized?

And I know the rejoinder: we should repress "hate".

The word "hate" has been so politicized, it has been re-defined as anything that is contrary to political correctness.

Take, for instance, criticizing homosexual behaviour.

How is criticizing behaviour "hatred"?

People can criticize without being hateful. People can say: hey, this behaviour is detrimental to one's moral,spiritual, physical and psychological health.

Pointing out what one believes to be a detrimental behaviour should not be "hateful".

But the glibberati in this country do not like hearing this criticism.

What other criticisms don't they like?

Are they going to re-define everything as "hate"?

Is encouraging consumption hatred because it means condemning the planet to environmental destruction and therefore leading people to mass poverty and starvation?

Is discouraging debt-spending hatred of the poor because they should be able to have access to the technological benefits of our society?

Is telling union workers that their contract demands are hateful because it shows an utter lack of solidarity to the working person?

These seem far-fetched, but that's where we're going.

The political discourse is being manipulated in this country to re-define words to effectuate the greatest political advantage on the left.

It's almost like the left is taking control of the language, making it means what it wants it to mean, and thereby cow people into silence.

We cannot allow that happen.

And I know that it's not a left/right thing, but it will only come back to bite at least some lefties in the behind, because there will come a time when some left-winger will want to criticize something taboo (that is the mark of a good leftist, right?) and he will be shunned as a "hater" for suggesting certain behaviour and attitudes are less than beneficial.

I use "hate" as an example, but other words are being re-defined. "Harassment" and "violence" are two other words I've seen misused. The resonance of these words is hijacked in order to further a political agenda.

We cannot allow liberty to be curtailed because some people are too ignorant or to lazy to convince the public with logic and arguments that their point of view is the correct one.

But coming back to my original point. If speech is redefined as "hate", "harrassment" and "violence" and these are criminalized, we will not be free to have a political discussion-- or any kind of discussion in this country. You will not be able to have and express an innovative thought that dissents from the glibberati's group think. You will question the glibberati, and they'll accuse you of "hate".

That's where it's going. That's why it's not a left-right thing. It's a freedom thing.