Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The ABCs Of Social Fascism

The wake of the Charlie Hebdo atrocity has dragged along a development that will surprise many Americans: a fresh drive to eliminate freedom of speech.

Sara’s article is worth reading in its entirety, but the part that simply demands to be excerpted is the video she embeds:

Jonathan Turley is a self-described liberal. Indeed, he’s stated openly that though he disapproves of many of Obama’s moves on Constitutional grounds, he favors the policies involved. That marks him as unusually honest and candid for someone on the left of the spectrum. When he criticizes politicians whose orientation and policy preferences he shares, we should take him seriously.

What odds would you give, Gentle Reader, that this new campaign for censorship will become the letter of the law in Europe? How about here in America? As Turley notes in the video, Canada has already crossed that line. Ezra Levant and Mark Steyn notwithstanding, a Canadian can get into a lot of legal trouble by openly criticizing Islam or any of its major figures, past or present.

It’s even worse than you might think. A few years back there was a vilification trial in Victoria, Australia. The complainants were, of course, Muslims. The defendant tried to make his case by reading directly from the Koran:

What is car-wreck fascinating here is Judge Michael Higgins’ conclusion that simply pointing out what the Koran says now constitutes outlawed speech in Victoria. During court proceedings, when Mr. Scot began to read verses from the Koran that denigrate women, a lawyer for the Islamic Council of Victoria, the plaintiff, cut him off, explaining that reading such verses aloud is itself an act of vilification. “How,” wondered Mr. Scot, can it be vilifying to Muslims in the room when I am just reading from the Koran?”

Note this well: Presiding Judge Michael Higgins agreed with the plaintiff’s lawyer that to read certain verses from the Koran constitutes the vilification of Muslims. To the best of my knowledge, our brethren Down Under have yet to contest that “hate speech” regime.

Some patterns take longer than others to become obvious.

I wrote a few days ago that:

Islam is massively useful to our political class. The powers that be are grateful for the threat it presents, and for the repeated evidences of that threat it provides. It serves to justify all manner of intrusions on Americans’ rights, and all manner of incursions upon our privacy. Thus, to expect that the State will ever act against Islam, regardless of how its atrocities proliferate, is a foolish notion.

A new campaign against freedom of expression, in the name of the non-existent “right not to be offended,” fits that paradigm perfectly. You may rest assured, Gentle Reader, that that campaign will have plenty of special-interest backers. The more important question is why the great majority of the rest of us will bow before it.

In his book Liberal Fascism, Jonah Goldberg points out that laws Americans of a hundred years ago would have denounced as intolerable incursions on the rights and prerogatives of a free people are widely accepted today. Today’s Americans generally tolerate, even welcome “liberal fascism:” the unlimited use of coercive power as long as it can be framed as “for a good cause.” There are three components to this phenomenon:

First, thanks to the use of the mass media and the educational infrastructure, a great many of us have been conditioned to deem virtually everything the federal government decrees, whether enacted legislatively or decreed by regulation, as acceptable on practical grounds. In other words, as long as the overt end strikes us as a good one, we’ll bow to the means. This complete effacement of the nature of a republic – a country in which the rei publicae are constitutionally defined and governments are forbidden to meddle in any other matters – has essentially nullified the constraints of the Constitution.

Second, the media and the schools have also widened the range of government activities generally deemed beneficial. Note how this couples to the above consideration: if you’re against “hate speech,” “discrimination,” or “pollution,” how could you possibly be against laws that penalize them? The emergence of vocal, even militant special interests dedicated to such causes (and allowed de facto to go far beyond what was once considered acceptable in promoting them) puts “private muscle” at the service of government’s guns.

Third, even when an interest group was not part of the originating force for some fascist law, it might afterward deem that law convenient for its own purposes. The result is a continuing enlargement of the aggregate support of such an enactment as more groups find ways to exploit it to their own advantage.

Politicians strain to give lip service to freedom and limited government while encouraging all three of those attitudes and their consequences.

I’ve written before that the Left will not leave us free to speak our minds:

Just how are freedom of expression and the electoral process faring in the Land of the Formerly Free?

First, freedom of expression:

  • The McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act has partly abrogated the right to free expression around election time.
  • Given the new Administration and the enlarged Democrat majorities on Capitol Hill, we stand in immediate danger of the revival of the Fairness Doctrine, which is aimed at quenching conservative talk radio.
  • The use of tax law to silence conservative and libertarian opinion is growing, especially as regards voluntary associations such as churches and charitable groups.
  • Several liberal luminaries, among them both Cass Sunstein and Hillary Clinton, have argued for the censorship of the World Wide Web.
  • Lawsuits attempting to silence a commentator who has merely stated established facts or accurately quoted an adversarial opponent are rife, and are usually allowed to go forward by the courts.
  • Conservative public officials are continuously derided, assailed, and slandered, both by the Mainstream Media and by activist groups.
  • Lectures and presentations by libertarian and conservative figures are heckled, massively protested, and often terminally disrupted by liberal activists. The speakers who dare to appear at such events are at continuous risk of physical assault.

The legal impediments to free expression are bad enough. When one adds the "chilling effect" of the extra-legal mechanisms used to silence pro-freedom views, the pile reaches an alarming height.

Yes, Europe has gone further down this road than America...but Obama and his brethren on the social-fascist Left are determined to follow it if they must, sprint past it if they can. As with mass shootings, they’ll use any “crisis” brought about by someone’s violent response to a spate of plain speaking as a justification for further infringements on the freedom of expression.

How far will we let this go before the musket comes down from the mantel?


Anonymous said...

This may explain why Frau Merkel said "Islam belongs to Germany" and others of her ilk are parading around. How can they take two positions on this, protecting those journalists right to say what they want, but not offend "the religion of peace"? Also coincidental Net Neutrality is coming up again at the same time Barry is parading around talking about Cyber Security.
It all smells. We know who this is directed towards. Part of me thinks they're setting us up for some type of financial cyber compromise. Sony ring a bell? We don't really know who these actors are, just because they tell us who it is doesn't make it so.

Mark Matis said...

Note that is the Only Ones, on BOTH sides of the Pond, who enable our "Leaders" to do this. The Elite stand behind the Blue Wall and laugh.

Or do you not yet understand that EVERY "Law Enforcement" officer in this country swears an oath to the Constitution before they pin on that badge, yet NOT EVEN ONE OF THEM will bother to honor same. Even though that oath is the SOLE source of their authority.

PJ said...

I agree, although calling this an attack only by the left is incorrect. The right's candidate for President some years back was cosponsor of the McCain-Feingold law after all. Conservatives routinely attempt to ban flag-burning, and go along with military attempts to get return of dead soldiers' bodies out of the public eye, and other attempts to enforce secret government laws or attack whistleblowers. There is no institutional defender of the right to free speech. There are only individuals who will have to decide to ignore all such laws, and to respond to any arrest attempt the same way they would respond to a firearms confiscation.

Anonymous said...

Now you know 40(plus) supposed
"world leaders" attended the islam love march.
They all want to be Marie, having their cake and eating it too.

anonynomnomnom said...

Payment processor Patreon recently established new Terms of Service at the behest of Canadian radical feminist Chloe van Valkenburg alias Zoe Quinn for the purpose of banning a wheelchair-bound man Frederick Brennan from using their service to accept donations. The basis for banning him was that other people were using his website to violate Patreon's ToS, the DMCA's safe harbor clause be damned.

When evidence was provided to Patreon of radical feminist Rebecca Watson violating the same ToS herself (as opposed to providing a platform where others did so), Patreon's response was, and I quote, "If a creator account is in violation of our Terms of Service, the creator in question will have a 7 day grace period to remove their page or comply with the Terms of Service. If it's appropriate, we'll take the page down."

That was 8 days ago. Her blogpost which violates Patreon's new ToS is still up: https://archive.today/6w9BK

Her Patreon page is still up.

These people will use selective enforcement of the law, IRS ordinances, and their own rules in order to silence the opposition. They have made their position very clear.

We can either fight or die. Which will you choose?

PJ said...

Cav Med, go to https://twitter.com/borzou and look down at his Jan 12 tweets. You will be amused at the photo op (sorry, I don't know how to post it here directly).

Anonymous said...

The "left" and the "right" joined hands some time ago and have been raping our future generations for a long time. At the top of our "political" system here in FUSA they have been in collusion for a VERY long time. It's only recently that they have failed to pull off a credible skit or three. That said I'm consistently amazed at the fluoride, SSRI, Pot, Booze, Nicotene, GMO, addled masses ability to see nothing but their own stupid TV screen. Go Pats. Go Buckeyes. Go f yourselves. Our children are being imprisoned before our very eyes and yet we do not act.

Jimmy the Saint said...

"How far will we let this go before the musket comes down from the mantel?"

There might be one or two who remember that they had a musket above the mantel, right after they've been forced to strip and kneel at the edge of the pit.

That's the best case scenario.

Reg T said...

As PJ said, it isn't only the Left.

McCain wasn't only responsible for the McCain-Feingold debacle, he and Lieberman pushed for the NDAA (by several other names) for a number of years until it was finally passed as the NDAA. He has openly scorned American citizens - his own constituents - as "yokels", ignorant masses who need to be controlled by those who know what is best for them.