Free Speech and Hate Speech
Yonatan Zunger
679118

“The First Amendment was created with a specific, deadly threat to this marketplace in mind: the state using its power to pick and choose ideas. But to create a thriving marketplace, we need to ensure that other methods of suppressing speech don’t destroy it, either.”

So, in order to “ensure that other methods of suppressing speech don’t destroy it” you propose that “the state use its power to pick and choose ideas”?

“…there’s no meaningful argument to have around hate speech.”

I imagine you would appoint yourself as the ultimate arbiter of which speech qualifies as “hate speech” and which arguments are “meaningful.”

“…the dehumanization of others as a debate benefits one group only: those who wish to dehumanize.”

The act of expressing any opinion benefits the one expressing it over those who disagree with it.

“…silence the weak and amplify the powerful.”

Why are “the powerful” powerful? It is possible that “the powerful” are powerful in the first place because they have a natural aptitude for effectively taking advantage of the tools of amplification and “the weak” are those with less aptitude in that direction.

Those who are able to suppress the speech of others are by definition powerful. It is the powerful who silence the weak, rather than the other way around. If you are in a position to regulate speech and to choose which speech will have the term “hate speech” applied to it then you are one of the powerful. The people to whose speech you would apply the term “hate speech” would be the weak. You would be one of the powerful silencing the weak.

Suppressing a message amplifies that message, as I have explained previously:

What penalties would your hypothetical law apply to a convicted Hate Speaker? If execution were the prescribed penalty the condemned would become a martyr to the cause for which his Hate Speech was advocating. However, I doubt that the law would demand the execution of a convicted Hate Speaker. If incarceration were applied a living martyr would be created. Each day the Hate Speaker was incarcerated his followers would be inspired to greater activism in pursuit of the cause for which his Hate Speech was advocating. If offenders were ordered to pay a fine then Hate Speech would become the purview of the strong, who could afford the fine. The result would be to silence the weak and amplify the strong.