“What reluctance is that?” I hear you ask. Patience, Gentle Reader. We’ll get there. First, have a few links:
- When Protests Obstruct Free Speech
- Hating hate speech
- “The Only True ‘Safe Space’ is Liberty and Freedom”
- Arizona Shuts Down College Campus Free Speech Zones in the Name of Free Speech
- Bill Kristol Announces That ‘There Will Be An Independent Candidate’ To Sabotage Donald Trump
Now before you start humming “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong,” allow me to assure you that I know what I’m doing. All five of the above stories are about freedom of expression and attempts to shut it down. It only takes a moment’s reflection on story #5 – specifically, on the reasons for Donald Trump’s meteoric political rise and why Kristol and his establishment cronies want him stopped – to see the connection.
There is legal freedom of expression in these United States. What there isn’t is practical freedom of expression. They who have decided that some things must not be said have selected means other than overt government censorship to deter them from being said, or to prevent them from being heard. Unfortunately, the nominal guardians of our rights have elected to allow them to use those means.
They who employ those extra-legal, “informal” means of censorship are no better than Hitler’s Brownshirts. Here I shall make the assumption that we’re agreed on what Hitler’s Brownshirts deserved but didn’t get. So I will ask:
- Why didn’t the Brownshirts get what they deserved?
- Why don’t their progeny among us get what they deserve?
Let’s pass over the cases in which the supposed enforcers of the law actually side with our contemporary Brownshirts (e.g., this outrage). In other, nonviolent instances, isn’t it quite clear that only a smashing rebuke, delivered at maximum volume, would suffice?
So why is such a rebuke so seldom delivered?
Despite appearances – and the efforts of the Legacy Media to make these thugs appear larger and more menacing than they actually are – the good people are still a substantial majority. We understand true tolerance. We appreciate the importance of permitting “freedom for the thought we hate” (Oliver Wendell Holmes). And we’re very nearly unanimous that the Gestapo tactics of those who endeavor to suppress viewpoints with which they disagree are vile, unacceptable. Yet by our inaction we accept them. Why?
One segment of popular opinion is that we’re “wimps,” afraid to take a chance on becoming targets ourselves. Then why aren’t the Left’s thugs afraid of being made targets?
Another segment holds that as long as the laws permit such behavior, whether de jure or de facto, we’re powerless to do anything about it. A hefty majority lacks effective power over law and prevailing customs of public conduct? Hm. That’s a first for these United States.
The third segment, to which I belong, holds that we’ve allowed the Left to define what constitutes politeness, and we’re reluctant to be “impolite.” Of course, the Left’s concept of politeness is that they can do whatever they please, and we must shut up and take it. Convenient, eh?
Our reluctance is on the verge of costing us our nation.
I’ve mentioned the “Public Choice” effect in previous writings: the disproportionate command of influence possible to a small, highly motivated group with a short, coherent agenda. The reason it works that way is the dilution of responsibility felt by persons who oppose such a group. Knowing themselves to be many, no individual among them feels it’s “his job” to take up cudgels with the special interest that seeks to cow, mulct, or chain him.
But it is every man’s responsibility to defend his own rights – and when another man is deprived of that right, the responsibility to come to his defense should be equally strongly felt. For as Ayn Rand wrote, “When you violate the rights of one man, you violate the rights of all men, and a public of rightless creatures is doomed to destruction.”
Our rights, whether explicitly cited by the Constitution or merely implied by our common human nature, must be defended wherever they’re attacked – and there’s absolutely no hope that “our government” will do the job for us. The task is forever ours, individually and severally.
Just now, identity-activist movements are in the ascendant. Black activists. Feminist activists. Homosexual activists. Transgender activists. Great God in heaven, illegal alien activists. All of them are straining to suppress or deter the expression of opinions opposed to their own. Some explicitly threaten their opponents with violence. Others rely on campaigns of defamation and hate mail.
All must be opposed, and it is the duty of every man with a shred of self-regard and even an iota of personal capacity to take part in opposing them.
Speak out against them.
When they “protest,” organize counter-protests.
Rush to the defense of those they threaten and harass.
Should violence be on their agenda, prepare defensive forces to meet them.
And under no circumstances let their voices be unopposed, or let their slanders and demands go unanswered.
This is especially imperative for those who “share the identity:”
If you’re black and oppose the racialists, extortionists, and thugs, become active in disciplining them.
If you’re a woman and oppose gender-war feminism, defend men and marriage.
If you’re homosexual and want only peace, speak against homosexual activism.
If you’re “transgender,” endeavor to “pass” quietly and inconspicuously.
If you’re an illegal alien, go back to where you came from.
But all of those could do as I’ve said and it wouldn’t reduce the responsibilities that weigh upon the rest of us to do our part. That vicious reluctance to speak or act must be shoved aside before we lose our country.
Have a nice day.