Thought is not “free” when legal penalties are incurred by the holding or not holding of certain opinions, or by giving expression to one’s belief or lack of belief on certain matters...
Bertrand Russell, Free Thought and Official Propaganda (1922)
Why Should You Care?
As of this writing, most people on realize that the Left is against free speech. And tons of Rightists are writing mega-tons of pages about the issue of FREE SPEECH, and how the Left is taking ours away. Why should you be interested in what Rightful Freedom has to say on the subject?
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When PayPal announced on October 7, 2022 that, beginning on November 3, the company would fine its users up to $2,500 for speech that PayPal deemed "objectionable", no mass media outlet reported the story. Nothing to see here. Just another day in 1984. It was not until days later, after someone tweeted about it, and PayPal’s stock fell 6%, that any major news outlet said anything about the new censorship, when Bloomberg published (and Reuters repeated) PayPal's press release claiming that it had all been a "mistake".
Then a few weeks later, on November 2, after having promised that the $2,500 penalty to be instituted on November 3 was a mistake, PayPal officially added it to its Acceptable Use Policy. The mainstream media which had reported PayPal's press release claiming that it had all been a "mistake", failed to notice that PayPal really will fine users for their speech after all.
Did you know that Leftists are trying to use the Commerce Clause of the Constitution to restrict your right to free speech?
But First, How About Some Whataboutism?
Because isn’t it also true that the Right has tried to outlaw speech that they didn’t like?
Leftists bemoan proposed laws against teaching Critical Race Theory in public schools, and laws to restrict the dissemination of information about getting abortions where abortion is illegal. But in the past, when the Right were “the Establishment”, they frequently sought to limit the speech of some groups. Bertrand Russel was himself a socialist, and when we quoted him above, we cut him off. The words that follow the ones in the quotation are, “In America no one can enter the country without first solemnly declaring that he disbelieves in anarchism and polygamy...” Ouch.
True, Rightists’ commitment to free speech has never been complete, but free speech is a Rightist principle, and installing it in the Bill of Rights was the Right thing to do.
As with so many of the Leftist untruths, if you reverse them, you find a truth; a truth that the Leftists want to hide, as we discuss at length in the book Flipping Leftist Untruths. In fact, flipping whatever Leftists claim is an epistemological trick that you can use to find the truth easily. When people lie to hide the truth, the easiest way to find that truth may be to reverse the lie.
Defeating Leftist Lies
Much conservative ink has been wasted (by me among others) in rebutting such views, which can be believed only by people who are unable to perceive realities and who therefore will never be persuaded by argument.
Roger Scruton, Conservatism an Invitation to the Great Tradition (2017)
Just arguing with the Left and proving them wrong — i.e. showing their ‘beliefs’ to be untruths — will not be enough. The 21st century Leftists’ assault on free speech is intended to create government control of all speech, and to take away our right to oppose Leftism. The Left’s assault on free speech goes way beyond things like requiring foreigners to swear that they aren’t anarchists or polygamists before they are let in to the country. Or blacklisting ten Communist Hollywood screenwriters. Way, way beyond that.
Whatever Happened to Mario Savio?
The name “Mario Savio” probably means nothing to you. People born in the 1950s or before may recognize it, but even those oldsters may have to take a moment to place him. In the 21st century, Mario is little remembered. But he was once world famous.
In the 1960s and 70’s, Mario Savio was a Leftist media superstar, along with the likes of Abbie Hoffman, Jane Fonda, and Tom Hayden. Like all Leftists, Mario Savio wanted to take down the institutions of American society and replace our system with Communism.
The Free Speech Movement (FSM) was a massive, long-lasting student protest which took place during the 1964–65 academic year on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. The Movement was informally under the central leadership of Berkeley graduate student Mario Savio… The Free Speech Movement was influenced by the New Left…
And Wikipedia describes the New Left as, “…consisting of activists in the Western world who campaigned for a broad range of social issues such as civil and political rights, environmentalism, feminism, gay rights, gender roles…” In other words, Leftism. And the article way tones down the New Left, who were prone to wearing paramilitary garb and committing acts of violence.
Savio himself advocated extreme measures, including famously calling on FSM members to “throw their bodies on the gears” of the Establishment machine of free speech suppression.
Then when Leftists got into power, they completely reversed their position on “free speech”, to call for the censorship and eradication of speech expressing opposition to the establishment. I.e. the Leftists.
Leftists for UnFree Speech
Today’s Leftists want to retract or rewrite the First Amendment’s right to freedom of expression, and to outlaw many kinds of speech, such as speech which is "hurtful" or which opposes certain government/Leftist policies, or which criticizes Leftist government regulators.
So in the 21st century, Leftists were probing our free speech protections to find weak points and ways around our defenses.
"The expansion of the commerce power to include regulation of speech is therefore worrisome," wrote legal scholar Philip Hamburger in a Wall Street Journal article titled "The Constitution Can Crack Section 230: Tech companies think the statute allows them to censor with impunity. The law is seldom so simple."
He warned of "...the constitutional reality of lost freedom. The expansion of the commerce power endangers Americans’ liberty to speak and publish."
Philip Hamburger, "The Constitution Can Crack Section 230: Tech companies think the statute allows them to censor with impunity. The law is seldom so simple." Wall Street Journal (2021)
The Leftists really were making inroads into the defenses of free speech.
The online publication Advocate for Rights and Knowledge of Americans has a series of articles — “Censorship and Shadow Ban” — documenting censorship by big corporations, how they are controlled by government regulators, and how those government regulators use taxpayer money to establish and fund a whole community of (seemingly) private-sector — Counter-Violent Extremist (CVE) — organizations to censor the speech of the Right.
In November of 2022, non-mainstream, non-BigTech, non-BigSocialMedia media reported that the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI had been, since 2020, directly ordering, BigTech, and BigSocialMedia, and other companies to censor news that opposed or diverted from the official government narrative.
For example, in March 2022, FBI officials called in senior executives from Twitter and JPMorgan Chase to warn them that, “we need a media infrastructure that is held accountable.” For years, the government regulators had been secretly ordering social media and other companies to censor whatever information that the government wanted censored, on a story-by-story basis.
Is This Really Happening?
In 2011, 71% of Americans thought the government was doing a good job protecting freedom of speech. By 2013 that fell to 66%. In 2015 it was only 59%. By 2021 the percent of Americans who felt that government was properly protecting their right to free speech was only 45%. And those people were, of course, mostly Leftists. And among Republicans in 2021, only 27% believed that their freedom of speech was being protected.
“Americans less positive about civil liberties” AP-University of Chicago Nationwide Poll (2021)
Americans believed that something had changed, and they were right. Only about one-fourth of the Rightists in America believed that the First Amendment was still being enforced by the U.S. government regulators. So, you may ask, why would Leftists need to rewrite the First Amendment, when all the government regulators really had to do was to stop enforcing it and start attacking speech that the Leftists didn’t like?
The Right and the Fight over Free Speech
The U.S. government regulators are behind the censorship and deplatforming of the Right. Corporate censorship, by social media, big tech, and big finance is government censorship, if the corporations are acting as unofficial deputies, to carry out the censorship policies of government regulators, as when top-ranking Biden administration officials ordered Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story. Or when government agencies use $billions to fund and establish seeming non-governmental entities, such as the Center for the Analysis of the Radical Right and many others to deny freedom of speech to opponents of the Left, as documented by ARKA. https://advocate-for-rights-and-knowledge-of-americans-arka.ghost.io/grand-manipulation-facebook-and-the-puppet-masters/
While the Right discuss the fine points of whether or not the right to free speech can be infringed upon by the “private” corporations that control the "public square", the Left and Leftist government regulators are using those corporations to silence and deplatform the Right. Arguing about free speech with the Leftists while they take ours away is not going to work, for us. It will work great, for them.
When we lose the right to free speech, what we will say to get it back? The Right will not keep our freedom of speech by arguing with the Left about it, and the Left are not going to give up their illegal, destructive control of speech just because it is the right thing to do.
The Truth About What Leftists Are
Leftists are consequentialists.
The Left do not believe in individual rights, or in the rule of law, or in free speech. To Leftists, the end justifies the means.
“By any means necessary” is a Leftist slogan.
And that is a fundamental truth about the difference between Leftism and Rightism.
Flipping Free Speech
You cannot be a Leftist without lying, and lying about the most basic strategic facts of who you are.
David Horowitz, speech on the Black Book of the American Left, Heritage Foundation, YouTube (2013)
That Leftists reversed their position on free speech is just one piece of evidence that Leftists really don’t have principles, or even beliefs. Leftists say and do whatever will help them to get power, keep it, and get more.
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