Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Battle For Freedom Of Expression

     The real freedom of any individual can always be measured by the amount of responsibility which he must assume for his own welfare and security. – Robert Welch

     God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it. – Daniel Webster

     The Tree of Liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. – Thomas Jefferson

     It would be easy to say “Freedom of expression? Yeah, we’ve got that already.” The First Amendment, don’t y’know. The Left would purely love that. It opens the door to word-mincing of a sort they’ve made their specialty. The legislative-political campaign against freedom of expression is based on reinterpreting the plain language of that amendment to omit protection of “hate speech:” i.e., anything the Left dislikes.

     No, they haven’t gotten very far with that approach in the legislatures or the courts. That’s why we’ve been reading about open street warfare. “Antifa” and “Black Bloc” thugs haven’t been attacking persons of a conservative, libertarian, or otherwise pro-freedom inclination because we’re breaking some law; they’re doing it because we aren’t — and they purely hate it that other Americans are listening to us.

     Up to recently, the thugs have had their way. Those they’ve attacked have scurried meekly away, tails between their legs. Speakers they’ve disliked have been forced to cancel scheduled appearances for fear of their lives and the lives of their supporters. Only in the most recent encounters have the scales begun to tip the other way.

     But they are tipping the other way. It’s not only a heartening, positive development; it’s a reminder of a basic truth about freedom of any sort: It must be exercised as frequently as possible, lest simple neglect cause it to pass into desuetude.

     They who have taken up cudgels against the thugs are not “securing” our freedom of expression. Freedom cannot be secured; it can only be exercised – and the most important exercises of any specific freedom occur when it’s being violently opposed. We are regaining our freedom of expression, reasserting it by exercise, for one overriding reason: the willingness of patriots to do physical battle in the streets against those who would silence us.

     This morning, Kurt Schlicter declaims thus:

     Liberals should be ashamed of themselves, but then they wouldn’t be liberal if they were born with shame genes. So, since we patriots are the only ones who actually support free speech, what do we patriots do to protect it?

     Whatever it takes.

     We fight peacefully in the political arena, in the courts, and in the shrinking marketplace of ideas while we can, but we must also be ready to fight in the streets when those punky puffboys try to shut us up. No quarter, no compromise, no surrender – we fight and win, or they shut us up forever.

     Look, the left has told us what it wants – the power to force us to be silent and submit. That’s not wacky supposition; that’s not fevered imagination. They are open about their agenda, and it’s happening before our eyes. To pretend that our republic is not facing an existential threat from progressives who would use violence to silence their political opponents is to willfully ignore the evidence, just like a climate cultist ignores cold weather. And the violence has already begun: in fact, it is key to their plan for a free speech-free future. Today it’s gangs of masked thugs attacking us. Tomorrow, it’s uniformed men with guns – or at least those few spineless cowards among our security forces will ignore their oaths to defend the Constitution in exchange for a paycheck and a pension – dragging us off to jail for illegal speech. Or worse.

     That’s as plainly as it could possibly be said. Nor is there anything about it to repel the man of unclouded mind. Every freedom comes with an associated responsibility: the responsibility to defend the exercise of that freedom, by any and every available means. If violence should be required, violence must be used.

     The implications for the immediate future are grim. There will be bloodshed. Indeed, blood has already been shed, though as far as I’m aware no one has yet been killed in one of these street encounters. There will be reams of angry rhetoric and numerous calls for governments to “do something.” Families will be divided as they were at the time of Christ (Cf. Matthew 10:34-35). And the clashes will get worse, possibly much worse, before they get better.

     Only two outcomes are possible. Which one you prefer will depend upon how much you value the freedom of expression. Ponder well whether you might have a personal interest in exercising it some day.

     When I wrote that:

     A man is free if, and only if, he has the unchallenged right to do as he damned well pleases with his life, his property, and with any other responsible, consenting adult, provided only that he respects the equal freedom of all other men. That clearly includes the right to buy space for a political ad from any newspaper or broadcast organ willing to sell it to him.

     ...I was thinking only of challenges to freedom of expression from a government or governments. Today’s “privatized” struggle over who may speak and be heard is of a different color, yet the issues are exactly the same. If a preponderance of force is all that will preserve that right, then we who love freedom must choose between mustering such a preponderance or surrendering. That our opponents are “private” thugs makes no essential difference.

     Mobilized, violent minorities have reduced other nations to totalitarian tyrannies. We fought a hot war against one such nation and a cold war against another. Now a violent minority has mobilized to snuff out freedom of expression in our own land. It has financial backing and political protectors. We don’t yet know how far its street troops are willing to go to have their way.

     It’s time to rise to the challenge.


Christian Mountaineer said...

In Matthew 10:34,35 the Greek tense says that the division is ongoing and will be until Christ returns. The gospel still divides as it did 2,000+ years ago. Powerful indeed! Good column by the way!

Christian Mountaineer said...

I agree, but how do we bring this resistance into being? To be victorious without (much) violence, our numbers must overwhelm them. We just can't show up with less, equal, or slightly more folks. To end the struggle quickly, they must be decisively crushed and stampeded into their safe spaces for the remainder of their lives, never to entertain another stupid thought about protest. Is this rational? Satan never gives up. I think it is going to take someone on a national level such as our president or Rush or Sean to get it organized. Most conservatives have jobs and responsibilities that make it difficult to leave on a moment's notice and they use this against us. Whatdoyathink?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately families will split over these ideas. Some already have if reports of Thanksgivings unattended after Trump's election were accurate.

I suspect these 'private' thugs are only private to the extent that their ties to political persons and/or parties (Clinton/DNC??) has been purposely obscured. A little RICO action might be just the ticket to bring some light to these connections. Some truly investigative journalism couldn't hurt either.

RichJ said...

Matthew 5:43 “You heard that it was said: ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good and makes it rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those loving you, what reward do you have? Are not also the tax collectors doing the same thing?

Can you imagine what it would be like if all of those who foment the violence and strife in this world were not there? Take a look at the prophecy in Psalms 37 (36 for the Dhouey Rheims I think). Take a look at Isaiah 65:17 and following.

It is only because of the undeserved kindness of God that we have any shot. The world governments of man are going to perish (see Daniel 2:44).

commoncents said...

BOOM! The Trump Bump displayed in graphs


ps. would you consider adding CC to your blogroll?

Jimmy the Saint said...

They may have been Lefties themselves, but The Clash got it right nearly 40 years ago: "You have the right to free speech - as long as you're not dumb enough to actually try it."