Free Speech and the Paradox of Tolerance
Julia Serano

>and the people who promote intolerant ideologies.

Yet you had no problem tolerating intolerant ideologies of former Communists (e.g., Van Jones) and cultural Marxists appointed by Obama. I get it. You tolerate the intolerance of the political left because you agree with its vision of Utopia — and because you approve of physical force and coercion against individuals if used for “good” purposes (“good” = “that which you like”); but you’re intolerant toward the tolerance of the political right (comprising “conservatives”, “libertarians”, and “classical liberals”)—because you disapprove of the concept of individual rights.

I get it. Basically what you want is not freedom “of” speech, but rather, freedom “from” speech — speech (i.e., expression, in general, whether spoken or written) you personally find offensive.

“People all over the globe are coming to expect emotional and intellectual comfort as though it were a right. This is precisely what you would expect when you train a generation to believe that they have a right not to be offended.”

Freedom from Speech, Greg Lukianoff, the president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and tireless free speech advocate

“We now hear on a regular basis of campus outrages involving a controversial speaker or perceived injustice, and the ‘offended’ parties responding with a frenzied social media crusade or a real-world attempt to shame, bully, browbeat, censor, or otherwise punish the offender.

A small sampling from this season include attempts to ban screenings of American Sniper at the University of Michigan and the University of Maryland, resolutions to create a Stasi-like ‘microaggression’ reporting system at Ithaca College, and the controversy involving AEI scholar Christina Hoff Sommers speaking at Oberlin College.”

I would also add the recent outrage at Middlebury College regarding invited guest speaker Charles Murray, and the outrage against rightwing talk-radio host, Michael Savage, who was physically assaulted at a restaurant in Tiburon, California, by someone who doesn’t like his radio show, as well as objecting to the fact that Savage was an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump.

Sorry, but you don’t get to physically assault people who express ideas you dislike.

The proximate cause of the left’s intolerance is its Utopianism (cultivating an attitude of Ends Justifying the Means); the proximate cause of the left’s Utopianism is its belief in the foggy concept of “social justice”. As Nobel Laureate F. A. Hayek (a friend of Karl Popper’s at the London School of Economics, by the way, where they both taught) wrote in Law, Legislation, and Liberty:

“What we have to deal with in the case of ‘social justice’ is simply a quasireligious superstition of the kind which we should respectfully leave in peace so long as it merely makes those happy who hold it, but which we must fight when it becomes the pretext of coercing other men.

And the prevailing belief in ‘social justice’ is at present probably the gravest threat to most other values of a free civilization.”

Summing up Hayek’s implication toward the 1st Amendment (see above link to FEE, the Foundation for Economic Education):

“Hayek did not predict that ‘social justice’ would be first used to silence dissent before moving on to its long-term agenda [NB: i.e., egalitarian socialism, planned economies, planned societies, etc.], but it would not have surprised him. Weak ideas always grasp for the censor in the face of sustained criticism — and feeble ideas made strong by politics are the most dangerous of all. . . .Humanitarians with guillotines can be found from the French Revolution to present day. Modern day defenders of individual liberty would do well to heed Hayek’s warning and resist the Siren song of ‘social justice,’ the rallying cry of collectivists who cannot realize their vision without coercion.”

Indeed. “Humanitarians with Guillotines” will probably only have the effect in the US of increasing the number of “Libertarians with Carry & Conceal Permits.”

So I’m willing to bet your next essay will be on the necessity of abolishing the 2nd Amendment. Makes sense. I get it.

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