In the left’s definition of “fascism” Musk is making Twitter fascist by “allowing hate speech.”
The problem, really, is that there is no hate speech. There is only speech. “Hate speech” or “misinformation” are terms used by people who hate free speech.
As you can tell from my post yesterday, I’m very fond of the first amendment which I hope will keep us from having to put the second to the purpose for which it was intended (the prevention of tyranny.)
But there’s other reasons for free speech.
Most importantly, to hear things that hurt.
Look, I don’t like being hurt or in pain any more than the next person, and the next person cries when threatened with being beaten with a wet sock.
And I have an older brother, and am the youngest of a group of cousins, then went into school as a bookish girl whose mother quite literally dressed her funny (there’s an entire series of posts on this. It was well-intentioned, we’ll just say that.) If you think I don’t know that words can hurt, you probably haven’t thought things through.
In my case, words really can hurt. Why? Well, because I have a tendency to take every criticism to heart even when totally crazy. Like you guys know my tendency to not go to the doctor till almost too late? As in, Dan throws me in the back seat of the car when I’m passed out and drives to ER? (At one time without rinsing the soap off me. They didn’t let me get up for two days. It itched. He just wrapped me in a blanket and threw me in the back of a car.)
This is because when I was a kid, faced with my bewildering (even to me) autoimmune, mom just assumed I was making it all up. So I tend to assume I’m making it all up, until I collapse.
And don’t get me started in on how much stupid criticism delayed my development as a writer. Because I believe everything said against me. (For people like me, it makes sense to have at least ten first readers, and take a problem as such only when three people who don’t otherwise know each other independently come u with it.
So yeah, “bad speech” with intent and malice OR NOT can hurt. It can hurt feelings, it can hurt people’s understanding of the world, it an hurt the development of entire countries that go careening down “green energy” illusions, when no such thing is possible and the result is their own people freezing in the dark.
Yeah, there is real disinformation abroad, a lot of it foreign. There’s a reason both Chinese and Russians invest more money in propaganda than in their vaunted (paper tiger) military. Because disinformation particularly when supported by the local satraps (his serene majesty Vice Roy Zhou Bai-Den, emissary of Xi the Pooh is all in on the Russian idea that we should not under any circumstances drill our own oil.) And don’t get me started on the Chinese nonsense with the Covidiocy.
But you know what the remedy for disinformation and hate speech is? More speech.
Because when there’s a big argument, people bring forth the reason they think that, and other people get to see both sides. While when government can run around suppressing “disinformation” it ends up being the idea of some crazy coot who simply told everyone that was the way to think. Like, at one point Fauci had recommended MASKS to stop AIDS, he was just riding his hobby horse, again. And no one even knew this, because the “expert” said to mask. And everyone who went and looked up the history of masks got silenced as “misinformation.”
Is there speech that is objectively bad/calls for bad things? Sure there is. And the best thing for it, unless they are credibly planning harm (and if they’re doing it in the open I question their sanity) is to tell them it’s crazy and explain.
The problem when some speech is considered beyond the pale (Some speech in some places or to some audiences is always beyond the pale. No, you don’t need to read or show porn to young kids, etc. But that’s different.) to all audiences, at all time, is that THAT speech might be what you need as a course correction for seriously bad stuff.
Look, we’re social apes. As such we tend to want to agree to the consensus. We’ll want to be on the side that “everyone agrees with” — which is how you get stuff like deciding cats must be killed because they cause the plague, and thereby unleashing the rats that really cause the plague, or the idea that the best way to counter a respiratory virus is to lock people down in their houses, or the idea that socialism is a great idea and everyone needs a little bit in their economy — but sometimes you need to hear the dissident opinion. The one that says “Yeah? then why do all socialists eventually starve in the dark?” Or “Socialism kills, fast or slow, depending on whether it’s the fast form (communism) or the sow one (“democratic” socialism.)
It hurts to hear that, because well, everyone “agreed”. But when speech is abridged, when saying something on a public forum, something wholly unrelated to your employment, can lose you your job, your house, your kids, your ability to bank, you end up doing truly stupid things as a civilization. Great Leap Forward stupid. Ban the internal combustion engine stupid. Shut down the economy for two years stupid.
And yeah, I know, the first amendment only covers what the government does. However, as we’re finding from the twitter mess, there isn’t as much of a separation between government and big corporations as one would think. Once it became possible for government to give big corporations everything they want, why would they not obey the sugar daddy?
So, yeah, here, on my blog, which I pay for, and where I allow comments simply for the entertainment of myself and my commenters, I do ban commenters, though not nearly as many as I could or perhaps sometimes should. This because RES told me if you let the drunken uncle take over the wedding, you’re ruining it for everyone else.
I do not, however, run around preventing people from writing blogs that disagree with me. Many do. I don’t seek them out, and frankly I don’t much care what they say, unless it’s funny. (The white Mormon male thing never gets old, that’s all.) And I’ve been personally banned on some blogs, including some on the right, because I don’t have any kind of monopoly on communication.
But But But “your words could hurt the vulnerable.” Yes, they could. And if the vulnerable are going to be on the internet, they’ll have to grow a tough skin sooner or later. And if they can’t, their loved ones or friends are going to have to protect them, just like my husband doesn’t let me read bad reviews for my books. Because I’ll believe them.
But you don’t get to declare who is vulnerable and who gets to be protected. Treating someone like a tinpot god who can’t be questioned turns them into tinpot gods.
At some point we all say painful things, or hear painful things, and at some point we’re all vulnerable. It doesn’t matter.
Life is pain, princess. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something. And trying to silence those who tell you that that gold bar is just yellow painted mud.
The truth often hurts, it’s still the truth. Lies are often pretty while being lies. The fact that vice-versa is also true just means you can’t get lazy.
If you can, if you’re not going to lose your job, your home, your bank: TALK. Make a loud noise. Counter what you view as lies.
It’s the only hope the Republic has left.