John Stuart Mill said, if all in society were agreed on the truth and beauty and value of one proposition, all except one person, it would be most important — in fact, it would become even more important — that that one heretic be heard, because we would still benefit from his perhaps outrageous or appalling view.
Rosa Luxemburg, who said the freedom of speech is meaningless unless it means the freedom of the person who thinks differently. My great friend John O. Sullivan, former editor of the National Review, and I think probably my most conservative and reactionary Catholic friend, once said — it’s a tiny thought experiment — he says, “If you hear the Pope saying he believes in God, you think, well, the Pope’s doing his job again today. If you hear the Pope saying he’s really begun to doubt the existence of God, you begin to think he might be on to something.”
To whom do you award the right to decide which speech is harmful or who is the harmful speaker? Or determine in advance what are the harmful consequences going to be, that we know enough about in advance to prevent? To whom would you give this job? To whom are you going to award the job of being the censor? Isn’t it a famous old story that the man who has to read all the pornography, in order to decide what’s fit to be passed and what’s fit not to be, is the man most likely to be debauched?
Eh who were John Stuart Mill, Rosa Luxemburg, and Christopher Hitchens compared to Kate Knibbs the woman who knows which ideas are worth debating anyway?
This is why I don’t read any of The Ringer’s political stuff. The basketball is decent. I’ve decided that their political ideas aren’t even worth poking holes in.