In Defense of Free Speech

The idea of hurtful words having more power than we first thought in 2019 is real and relevant. But it’s important we allow even the vilest of words in Western and non-Western societies around the world. Otherwise we build political machines and societies that become judge and jury against the rights of free speech. We then go down the slippery slope towards societies like Communist China that control speech and even ideas, using unlawful enforcement to punish offenders.

It’s a horrible and crippling world once we all become servants to the will of a few rich government officials like that. Because it no longer is just loss of freedom, it is enslavement to the will of a few financially advantaged corrupt officials.

I think some celebrities online are raising an important point….today it’s great we are more sensitive to the hate speech around us that condemn groups of people. But are we brave enough to let their words float free in books, film, and internet? If we are not, what type of society are we secretly building for future generations, one free of uncomfortable ideas or one that controls the imaginations and ideas of others?

Are we willing to rewrite books and history, or deny any beauty found in the works of people who might have fell victim to ideas we disagree with in the past, for example? There is a huge push to punish racist authors or condemn politically incorrect voices just because of a few words or flawed ideas in a novel or speech. I vehemently disagree with such words but I defend their rights to express them.

Are we that terrified of even the lies or flawed beliefs of men and women we once admired that we are willing to silence their voices forever?

Do you stop loving your own parents or family members for false beliefs, hate, or ignorance? No. So why are strangers any different?

In 2019 many statues have been torn down and many names removed from libraries and public places. Change is good as long as it doesn’t erase words. But now library books are being removed or rewritten or are feared. Are we going to be like Nazi Germany in 1940 and burn books and dismantle libraries next? Are we going to let our hurt feelings erode the rights to words and build a society that now sets up narrow minded people to tell us what’s appropriate to see and do and think in America?

That then begs the question….who decides what’s moral? Who plays God?

I think it’s ok to elect officials by majority that decide the laws we all agree to. But Speech laws should be limited forever. We already condemn anyone in the public sphere if they make the slightest mistake in misplaced words online or in the media. But it has gone too far. We have come from a recent past where many bad ideas were not helpful and have held back others. Yes those that use such ideas to change laws should be stopped. But should that include anyone from having the rights to express those ideas?

What will happen when YOU say something that offends someone online and millions attack you and destroy your life, career, and your family? In that sense you have become the hate speech that hurts another in public and influences their ability to work and live free.

We are slowly turning into a high school popularity contest online, disrespecting the rights of others in free expression, and voting up those who most conform. This “exotic repression” then slowly erodes Creativity and the Arts, forcing many to hide their flaws in the arts, their misplaced words, their challenging ideas from the world. We then end up with a Communist Society by attrition, most dropping out of the online world in fear of condemnation.

The rest then create Conformity in a culture that rewards those seeking consensus versus those open to good and bad ideas and who challenge the status quo. This then is the end of Humanity. Because in a confirming society where fear exist in natural expression there are no true ideas or authenticity left, just fake pretty confirming people online and fake personas on social media.

We then become like China or Russia, ruled by the dictators online that control information and subvert ideas that challenge them to change. And we all die from the lack of connections to who we are as Natural and Flawed Human Beings, but imperfect zombies existing as forever silenced and subservient robots to more perfect Machine.

That is where we are heading America if we do not stop attacking others online for their views, no matter how broken or hateful they might be. Think about the bleak future and the destroyed imaginations of millions of inspired and creative people who yet might hold a dark center to themselves that you don’t admire or agree with. Are we ok silencing imperfect but imaginary people so we can all Groupthink our world into being a safe harbor?

Or are we willing to let our Humanity breathe and be filled with its own rich, flawed, creative, hateful beauty…..hateful

beauty that might just save us from ourselves someday?

– the Author



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