Twitter recently suspended journalist Andy Ngo for tweeting facts about murders of black transgender women. Social media giants are no longer even pretending to allow anything that violates their own politics. If the facts tell politically incorrect truths, then the facts are labeled hate speech, and their speakers convicted of hate offences and disciplined. I was permanently banned by Twitter on grounds of Hate Speech for saying that Pakistan is running a Jihad against India that benefits from efforts to alienate Sikhs from Hindus.
Its an interesting experience to be unpersoned in the modern world by being expelled from the Global Public Square. I’ve been asked to create a fake handle so that I can be present and participating even if from the shadows. It’s like sneaking back into the crowd, wearing a cloak and hiding in the alleys, because you can’t change the reality that you, personally, are no longer allowed to continue to speak as yourself and be seen in the Global Public Square.
I am not going to do that. But it did cause some soul-searching. Am I really hateful? Have I been brainwashed and twisting into supporting everything that I hated? It is deeply troubling to be confronted with the possibility.
But even if I allow every possibility that I have been twisted from genuine Liberal into a hateful bigot, I can still see that those who are fighting my sort of “hate speech” are the ones dictating what is hate speech and who’s speech is hate speech. Moreover, they are not obeying the rules of Liberalism, and they are not upholding liberalism, in how they are deciding what and whose speech is hate speech.
When I identified with the Left, over and above my opposition to Zionism, the religious right, war mongering nationalists, and my support for immigration, women, people of color, gays, was my commitment to Freedom of Speech, Free Thought, Free Inquiry, rationalism.
It was these ideals that allowed people to think freely and to say what they thought, to ask the hard questions and seek the truth because the search for truth was the most righteous path. The Truth, sought out and disseminated, destroys the power of Theocracy, Monarchy, Tyranny, Dictators, and Totalitarians by liberating the minds of the people.
To me, Liberalism was, above all, the pursuit of Free thought and Free Speech in the arts, in the sciences, in the press, in philosophy, in literature, in politics. This is the very foundation of Liberalism. This is what lead to the Scientific Enlightenment, the Renaissance, The American Republic, Civil Rights, Women’s rights and Modern Democracy itself.
But the “Liberals” of today are not for Free Speech. They are not for the seeking and telling of blunt Truths. They don’t want people exercising Free Speech to have a conversation about the state of the world today. Having achieved their Liberal Utopia, they are now for the shutting down of minds and mouths that have hard questions to ask and difficult things to say.
After a youth spent hectoring everyone who’d listen about the Evils of the Right and Progressive Values of the Left, it dawns on me to pause and reflect what I believed. In the 170 years since Marx published The Communist Manifesto, The Left has overwritten the entire systems of social values and culture of every society that has adopted Marxist “Liberalism”. The traditions, culture and social make up of British, Russian, Chinese, and Hindu societies is no longer what it was before The Left had its way with them.
Till recently, I believed that it was right and proper and necessary for progress. I never stopped to think about the arrogance presumed by people who think that they, of all people who have ever lived, have the wisdom and understanding, to rewrite the nature of human society and do well, discarding all of its ancient truths and replacing them with new “Better” truths.
The Left is, in fact, the politics of claiming the exclusive moral high ground, the same as any religious or political ideology in history which claimed that only it was right, demonized everything opposed to it, and erased pre-existing cultures and value systems by reprogramming society with its own DNA. The Left is a Godless Religion. It is not Liberal at all.
True Liberals, the ones who seek and promote freedom of speech and freedom of thought for all, are all being labled hatemongers today and being de-platformed on grounds of “hate speech”. “Hate Speech is not Free speech”, they say.
So what a Free Speech Liberal to do? There are only two choices. Shut up and disappear. Or continue to speak, and invite amplified hate, censorship and persecution.
It might be liberating to choose the latter. For 170 years, the Left has told us how to think and what to think and what must never be said because its wrong. We’ve accepted most or all of it. Now we can ask some hard questions. Questions to which the Left has no answers except to scream “bigot!”.
I’ve always summarized the value of Free Speech as the only tool that we have to challenge the power orthodoxies that rule society and keep us ignorant and unfree. In my mind, I always had the persecution of Galileo, and persecutions by Stalin and Mao, when I said this. It was logical to me that authoritarian rulers, ideologies and states never allow Free Speech, indeed cannot allow it.
It is ironic to realize that now Free Speech challenges the Power Orthodoxy of The Left, that exercising free speech brings persecution and censorship from the phoney liberals, just as it did in the past from the Catholic Church or the Soviet State.
The Church called it Heresy, Apostasy, Blasphemy. In the language of the Soviets and Communist Chinese, its “Treason against the State”. The Left calls it “Hate Speech”. In each case, it was a violation of the “Truths” Imposed upon the minds and lives of the subjects.
As Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, the BBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC and others amplify their control over what can and cannot be said, there will be more and more people insisting on having their say on what they think is true, regardless of whether it passes the corporate political correctness filters of the Silicon Valley Tech Giants, the Left News Media establishment, and the bureaucrats and humanities professors at Universities.
The discourse will get bolder and more blunt on a variety of issues that have been Holy Cows of the Left, including immigration, multiculturalism, Islam in liberal democracies, Feminism, the patriarchy, class equality, secular values, imperialism, the welfare state and so on.
Those daring to speak up will come expecting to have the Global Left fall upon them, knives drawn and screaming about hate speech. It will extract a huge toll from their personal lives. But so long as they treat the search for truth as sacred, without regard to whether anyone likes the truth, they will be heard.