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An argument in favor of censorship in the american society

  • We do this as a matter of instinct as well as from a sense of moral obligation;
  • As noted earlier, if there is one constant in the history of free speech, it is that the censored of one generation often become the censors of the next;
  • Criticism of the government, political dissatisfaction, and advocacy of unpopular ideas that people may find distasteful or against public policy are almost always safeguarded.

If you believe you can ban your way to victory by mounting heresy hunts against all who veer from the true faith, you will not only deserve to lose by some airy moral reckoning.

You will lose whether you deserve to or not.

Art and argument protects us, not censorship

As losing is no longer a trivial event in the age of Brexit and Trump, it is worth understanding the consequences of going beyond the old liberal principle that only demagogues who incite violence should be banned.

The moral arguments against censorship are so old I can recite them in my sleep. They see no reason to treasure free debate. No argument will persuade Donald Trump or Nigel Farage to hold up their hands and admit they are wrong. Their dedicated supporters, meanwhile, are no more likely to change their minds than fanatical believers in any other political ideology or religious creed.

Censorship Is Not All Bad

These are good points that are beside the point, because they are based on a deep ignorance of how debates work.

You argue to persuade the undecided audience watching on in silence, as it judges which side is worthy of support. I doubt that waverers nod their heads in approval when universities, of all places, do not allow speakers to appear on platforms, or when the state capitalists of Virgin Rail refuse to stock the Daily Mail. Look at them, and maybe look at yourself too.

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The alt-right wants to provoke liberals into showing they are repressive. Why play the part it has allotted you? For all their bombast, censors give every appearance of being dictatorial neurotics, who are so frightened of their opponents that they cannot find the strength to take them on in the open.

First Amendment and Censorship

The alt-right is as much a satirical as a political movement: It is at its happiest trolling liberal culture rather than governing, which is why Brexit and the Trump administration are so shambolic. The alt-right wants to and needs to provoke liberals into showing they are repressive, so it cast itself in the role of transgressive rebel. We are in a contradictory culture. On the other, they run away from the chance to confront them.

There is no more effective way for the superior to blind themselves to the world around them than by refusing to argue with it.

  • Both sides agree that free speech is an important right, and that censorship should only be done in very compelling situations;
  • Despite the protections of the First Amendment at public universities and the powerful statements of commitment to free speech and academic freedom at most private liberal arts colleges and universities, many campuses still promulgate speech codes;
  • The most successful capitalist societies have strong welfare states rather than unregulated markets, for instance;
  • These cater to our basest human inclinations, and it is difficult to see where a higher truth might be discovered through an unrestricted outpouring of these views and images;
  • Until the American Revolution in 1776, free speech in the American colonies was regulated by British law, which was evolving to allow for greater liberty of public expression.

As a matter of practical politics, you had better be very sure that you will win before pandering to inquisitorial desires. Nor do they question whether their repression will work. His unpalatable propositions included: Pinker said that if only universities had the courage to face awkward facts they could make perfectly good rejoinders against the apparent justifications for racism and anarcho-capitalism. The most successful capitalist societies have strong welfare states rather than unregulated markets, for instance.

Most American terrorists are white supremacists. Inevitably, creepy American leftists cut his explanation out when they edited a video of his talk to present him as a fascist.

They should have thought harder about the failure of US campuses to impose their taboos in a setting where liberals have power. It is a warning that authoritarian liberalism is an impossible project. Vet candidates for office to make sure they conform to your desires? Stop your opponents voting? The motivation behind much modern censorship is essentially religious: It is an egocentric and frivolous emotion to indulge at a time when the stakes could not be higher, and every opponent of the populist status quo ought to be concentrating on winning converts rather than driving them into the arms of their grateful opponents.