By Brandon Smith
I think one of the most bizarre social developments of the past 10 years in the US has been the slow but steady shift of the political left as supposed defenders of free speech to enemies of free speech. The level of mental gymnastics on display by leftists to justify their attacks on freedom and the 1st Amendment is bewildering. So much so that I begin to question if liberals and leftists ever actually had any respect for 1st Amendment rights to begin with? Or, maybe the only freedom they cared about all along was the freedom to watch pornography…
One can see the steady progression of this war on speech and ideas, and the end game is predictable: Is anyone really that surprised that the Biden Administration is implementing a Ministry of Truth in the form of the DHS Disinformation Governance Board? Can we just accept the reality at this point that leftists are evil and their efforts feed into an agenda of authoritarianism? Is there any evidence to the contrary?
Before I get into this issue, I think it’s important to point out that it’s becoming tiresome to hear arguments these days suggesting that meeting leftists “somewhere in the middle” is the best and most desirable option. I see this attitude all over the place and I think it comes from a certain naivety about the situation we are facing as a country. Moderates and “normies” along with people like Bill Maher and Russell Brand are FINALLY starting to realize how bag-lady-crazy leftists are and the pendulum is swinging back slightly. But, it was conservatives that were calling out the social justice cult and their highway to hell for years.
While everyone else was blissfully ignorant, we were fighting the battles that stalled the leftist advance. This is not to say I’m not happy to have moderates and reformed liberals on board, it’s a great thing. However, the time for diplomacy and meeting leftists halfway is long dead.
There is no such thing as a “center” in our society anymore, either you lean conservative and you support freedom, or you lean left and support authoritarianism. There is no magical and Utopian in-between that we need to achieve to make things right. We are not required to tolerate leftist authoritarianism because of “democracy.” Sometimes certain ideologies and certain groups are mutually exclusive to freedom; meaning, they cannot coexist within a society that values liberty.
We need to be clear about where the lines are drawn, because sitting on the fence is not an option. Walk in middle of road? Get squished like grape.
To understand how leftists got to the point of enthusiastic hatred of free speech rights there are some psychological and philosophical factors that need to be addressed. These include specific ideals that leftists value that are disjointed or simply irrational:
Hate Speech Is Real And Must Be Censored?
First, as I have argued for many years, there is no such thing as “hate speech.” There is speech that some people don’t like and speech they are offended by. That is all.
Constitutionally, there is no hate speech. People are allowed to say any offensive thing they wish and believe however they wish as long as they are not slandering a person’s reputation with lies or threatening them with direct bodily harm. If you are offended by criticism, that is your problem.
Leftists believe the opposite. Instead of growing a thicker skin they think that “hate speech” should be illegal and that they should be the people that determine what hate speech is. This is a kind of magical door to power, because if you can declare yourself the arbiter of hate speech you give yourself the authority to control ALL speech. That is to say, as the thought police all you have to do is label everything you don’t like as hate speech, no matter how factual, and you now dictate the course of society.
No one is capable of this kind of objectivity or benevolence. No person alive has the ability to determine what speech is acceptable without bias. Like the One Ring in the Lord of The Rings, there is no individual or group capable of wielding such power without being corrupted by it. Either there is no hate speech, or everything becomes hate speech.
Free Speech Is Negated By Property Rights?
This is in direct reference to social media websites and it’s an oversimplification of the issue of free speech and large social media platforms. Here is the conundrum or “false paradigm” if you will:
Leftists argue for private property rights, but only when it comes to vast corporate big tech platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. They like private property rights for companies that they think are on their side politically; they hate private property rights for everyone else. Just look at their response to Elon Musk’s recent Twitter buyout; the leftists are demanding that Musk be stopped at all costs, and they demand that the SEC and FCC step in to disrupt the sale because they claim Musk’s purchase is a “threat to democracy.”
The media itself is clamoring to disrupt Musk’s takeover of Twitter. Whether or not you trust him, Musk’s acquisition of the platform has at least exposed the totalitarian attitudes of mainstream journalists for everyone to see. They are now even admitting on air that THEY control public discussion; that it is “their job,” and they see Musk as a threat to that monopoly.
Why are Elon Musk’s private property rights less important or protected than the original shareholders of Twitter (Vangaurd, BlackRock, Morgan Stanley and a Saudi Prince)? Because Musk does not claim to represent leftist designs and interests? Leftists have no principles, they only care about manufacturing consent. Their method of winning requires that they never restrict themselves within the boundaries of values or morals. Again, this is the epitome of pure evil.
Beyond that irony, though, is the deeper issue of government intervention vs business rights. Many people seem to think that government power is supposed to balance out corporate power when the truth is that governments and corporations work hand in hand; they are often one in the same entity.
Twitter and other Big Tech platforms receive billions upon billions of dollars in government stimulus and tax incentives every year. Corporations as a concept are essentially a socialist creation. They enjoy limited liability and corporate personhood along with other special protections under government charter. With all these protections, incentives, bailouts and stimulus measures it is almost impossible for small and new businesses to compete with them. They represent a monopoly through cartel; they control the marketplace by colluding with each other and colluding with the government.
A perfect example of this would be the coordination between multiple Big Tech companies to bring down Parler, a conservative leaning competitor to Twitter. This required some of the biggest companies in the world working in unison along with the blessing of government officials to disrupt the ability of a new company to offer an alternative, and all because Parler was getting too big.
In the case of a private person’s home or their small business or small website, it’s true that there are no free speech rights. They can kick you out and they don’t have to give a reason. But when it comes to massive conglomerates that receive billions in OUR tax dollars in order to stay alive, no, they do not deserve private property rights. They have now made themselves into a public utility, and that means they are subject to constitutional limitations just as public schools and universities are.
This is a concept that leftists just don’t grasp. They view corporate power as sacrosanct…as long as it serves their interests.
Consider global corporations like Disney and their open intention to undermine the passage of Florida’s anti-grooming bill; this represents Disney’s vocal support for the sexualization and indoctrination of children in Florida schools. Leftists cheered the announcement and claimed that without Disney, Florida’s economy would be wrecked. Instead, the state turned the tables and took away incentives they had been giving to Disney for decades. Leftists responded by accusing Governor DeSantis of being a “fascist” and attacking free speech.
But let’s break this down: Leftists happily supported Disney, a massive conglomerate, and their efforts to undermine the will of the voters in Florida. The state government stops them from undermining the voters by taking away the money and special incentives that belong to the voters. In turn, leftists claim this is a violation of Disney’s rights?
The disparity between leftist arguments on Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter vs. Disney’s attempted sabotage of Florida law could not be more confused. When it comes to Twitter they love the idea of censorship and react with panic when the mere prospect of free speech (within the confines of US law) is presented. When it comes to Disney, they say they love the idea of free speech, and anyone that wants to limit the corporation’s influence within Florida, no matter how criminal, is accused of fascism.
The difference is obvious – Musk appears to be an uncontrolled element, while Disney is an “ally.” Free speech and property rights are only allowed for one side of the cultural divide. Leftists attacking freedom is free speech; defending ourselves against those attacks is a threat to democracy. It’s absurd.
Disinformation Is A Threat And Censorship Is The Solution?
The holy grail of censorship is not website filters and algorithms, because as we have seen with Twitter, those platforms could be built or purchased by someone that does not share in the leftist agenda. Instead, government intervention and the ability to define what is proper and improper discourse is the ultimate goal. The end game of authoritarians is always to write mass censorship into law, as if it is justified once it is codified.
Corporate elites and political puppets like Biden pontificating about the threat of “disinformation” is hilarious for a number of reasons, but mainly because it is the power brokers and the media that have been the main purveyors of disinformation for a long time. Suddenly today they care about the spread of lies?
I think it is obvious that such people are far more worried about the spread of facts, evidence and truth. They cannot debate on fair ground because they will lose, so, the only other option is to silence us. The institution of the Disinformation Governance Board is a clear indication that the establishment and the useful idiots on the political left are becoming DESPERATE.
Their grip on the public mind is slipping, and we saw this during their recent attempts to enforce medical tyranny across the country in the name of covid. Luckily, conservatives in at least 20 red states fought against the implementation of covid lockdowns, mandates and vaccine passports which would have annihilated our constitutional rights forever.
For years I heard the argument that when the jackboots arrived conservatives would do nothing, and now we know this is nonsense. Some of the few free places in the world during two years of pandemic fear mongering were red states in America, which coincidentally also have the highest concentration of conservatives.
If you want to know what our country would look like had conservatives not stopped the tide of tyranny, just take a gander at China today. They have some of the strictest covid mandates on the planet and yet they are once again locking down millions of citizens due to “high infection rates.” Not only that, but they are starving their own people in the process.
It’s madness, and it’s exactly what leftists were arguing in favor of just a few months ago. The US is mostly open today, just as red states like mine have been free for almost the entirety of the pandemic, and what has changed? Half the country is still unvaccinated – Is there mass death in the streets? Nope. Nothing has changed in terms of covid. The mandates made no difference whatsoever, other than to disrupt the economy and reduce people’s freedoms.
Not long ago, pointing out this fact was considered “disinformation” that needed to be silenced in order to “save lives.” The Hunter Biden laptop story was called disinformation. The Wuhan Lab story was called disinformation. Fauci’s gain of function research on covid at the Wuhan lab was called disinformation. The fact that vaccinated people still contract and die from covid was called disinformation. In other words, what the government and corporate oligarchs call “disinformation” today is eventually called reality tomorrow.
I would be happy to enter into a fair debate with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on any of the above issues and her views of what constitutes “disinformation,” but she would never do such a thing because she knows she would be crushed like a bug. It is not the government’s job to protect the public from information, whether real or fake. It is not their job to filter or censor data or ideas. They are not qualified to do this. No one is.
Leftists operate from a collectivist mentality and this makes them believe that society is a singular entity that needs to be managed and manipulated to achieve a desired outcome. They have no concept of individual responsibility and discernment, but that is a side note to the real problem. They support information control because facts and ideas outside of their narrative could possibly damage that narrative. And, if the narrative is damaged they lose their feeling of power, which is all they really care about.
If your narrative is so fragile that it does not hold up to scrutiny or alternative viewpoints then it must not be worth much of a damn. If you have to force people or manipulate people into believing the way you do, then your ideology must be fundamentally flawed. The truth speaks volumes for itself and eventually wins without force. Only lies need to be forced into the collective consciousness. Only lies require tyranny.
Eventually reality wins over propaganda, unless total censorship and totalitarianism can be achieved. Nothing has changed in the 200+ years since the creation of the Bill of Rights. Free speech is still integral to a functioning society. Without it, society crumbles. They will claim that today things are different and that society needs to be “protected from itself.” This is what tyrants always say when trying to steal power.
Most people reading this know by now that this is a war. It’s not a political debate that requires give-and-take, but a full-bore winner-take-all conflict. A DHS faction which is mandated to monitor our speech and propagandize the public is unacceptable and must be eliminated. Leftist and globalist monopoly of social media communications platforms is unacceptable and must be eliminated. The imposition of leftist and globalist ideology into the media narrative while censoring any contrary information is unacceptable and must be eliminated. This is about saving the remaining embers of American culture. If we do not take an aggressive stand now, the next generation may never know liberty. Everything we hold dear is at stake.
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