Rethinking Free Speech

I’m rethinking my stance on “free speech.” What does that term mean?

In libertarian theory, it means you get to say whatever you want, on your property or property where the owner permits you to speak as you please. In the real world, the push for free speech concerns either public spaces, the ability to say things without losing your job and livelihood, or opposition to censorship on social media platforms.

I appreciate the right of people to speak their mind. But do you really want to be in an environment where anyone can say anything? I’m not talking about prohibiting those spaces. I’m talking about whether you would choose to spend your time there.

If any kind of talk is allowed, it resorts to the lowest common denominator. The worst, most vile things are said. Think of the dumbest, ignorant, and uncouth humans on the planet. Do you want to be around them? To you want to listen to them or talk to them?

Private clubs are not just for smoking cigars. They’re for people to gather amongst like-minded individuals and have conversations suited for their status, intelligence, class, and education. It is a form of peaceful segregation regarding who you want to speak with and listen to.

If you think about it, free speech becomes a problem the same way open borders become a problem. Should a homeless person be able to say vile stuff in front of a family with toddlers because they’re in a public park? Is that an accurate reflection of the private sector?

No.

I don’t have an entire philosophy or ideology around this yet, but it would seem that whoever owns the property needs to have clear, unambiguous rules about what is allowed. Those rules ideally will be tailored to attract the kind of people they want frequenting it. I concede that this means social media platforms can ban people for political or religious reasons, but I would say that they need to be specific and consistent about it.

I guess that’s the thing. I don’t think people should be able to run roughshod over someone else’s property, but don’t lie about the rules you set for the kind of speech you allow and don’t allow on your property, either. If Twitter and Facebook want to censor right-wingers and religious views they don’t like, then they need to state it clearly. And if they’re going to discriminate on the speech they allow based on the demographic of the person who said it, then so be it.

But don’t claim you’re being objective and consistent about it. You don’t get to be arbitrary and capricious about who you censor (unless you state so to anyone who enters your property), because you’re engaging in fraud.

Free speech is almost a form of multiculturalism in which everyone is forced to compete for which culture will be the most dominant. There should be opportunity for everyone to be able to speak their mind, but that doesn’t mean they need to share the same space or venue to do it, and people should be free to form spaces that restrict what can be said in order to maintain true freedom of association.

(h/t to Davis Aurini and Matt Forney for their prior commentary on the issue that inspired this post).

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Why Knowledge “Is” Power

Real Power is the degree to which a person has control over their own circumstances.

Rollo Tomassi, Rational Male

“Freedom” and “liberty” are not directly tied to anarchism or libertarianism, but let’s be honest: Most people interested or enthusiastic about the ideology are drawn to the notion of greater control over their lives. They don’t like how government, and others, tell them what to do and use coercion or aggression to make it happen.

Much time and thought has been given to implementing libertarian principles in the political realm. My quick thought is that it is also where libertarians run into the most trouble trying to maintain their beliefs while actually achieving something meaningful.

Recently I contemplate the many ways in which people can live their lives outside of state control or regulations. What are productive things people engage in that don’t put them at risk?

Another way I looked at it was this: if you lost everything tomorrow except your life, what would you have left?

The answer: knowledge.

Knowledge “is” power because it’s all in your mind. To be sure, you need a place to store the material you use to learn, whether it’s a bookshelf or a Kindle. But beyond that, your knowledge is yours and yours alone. Learning a valuable skill gives you greater control over your circumstances, because you rely less on others. Neither the government nor others can take take it away.

The only way for them to deprive you of knowledge is by killing you, and by then it’s a moot point.

I would suggest that perhaps less time should be spent theorizing about situations that will never arise and obsessing over the latest decree issued by government; instead, devote one’s efforts toward obtaining relevant, worthwhile knowledge that will guide you and aid you, even if the worst should happen. If nothing else, it offers something to comfort us if that happens. Our greatest wealth and treasure cannot be stolen or “redistributed” to others.

Imagine you lost it all, except the clothes on your back and the knowledge in your mind: What would you want to know?

Start there.

 

 

 

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Breaking Up American States

Courtesy of Fox News, there is an alternative Calexit movement emerging – an exit of rural California from urban California.

There is another secession movement in California, and elsewhere in America, that is getting genuine attention from political pundits. While it may be unlikely to succeed, the idea of intra-state secession—a section of a state splitting off to form its own state—has been growing in popularity. And there’s even a Constitutional procedure for doing it.

In recent decades, the political differences between rural areas and metropolitan areas seem to have become more severe. This has caused political splits in certain states, where, often, those rural areas, with lower populations, feel stifled by their city brethren.

This is why there’s a movement in New York for upstate to split from downstate.  As Republican state senator Joseph Robach puts it, “We’re completely overwhelmed…by the policies of New York City.” In 2009 and 2011 he introduced bills to hold a referendum on secession.  And in 2015 there was a rally in favor of carving out a new state, supported by more than a dozen groups frustrated by the policies of Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.

I’m working hard to refrain from making political predictions moving forward, so I want to heavily pad this observation as something strictly within the hypothetical possibility.

We could possibly see intra-state secession movements like California and New York reach a fever pitch once Texas and swing states turn blue due to demographic changes. The electoral college still determines the presidential winner, and so if red parts of a blue state can break up, it means their votes still count, while the impact of a large state turning blue has been diluted.

This won’t happen as long as many Americans still believe the system as is can be fixed, reformed, or co-opted. Only when they accept that there can be no coexistence in the same political jurisdiction will they act desperately, without permission or explanation.

There is a constitutional procedure, but it’s highly unlikely to occur that way, for obvious reasons. Blue states have no desire to see their red regions leave, no matter how much they tell you about how they hate them. They may not like them, but they need them under their political control.

If these movements succeed, it will be due to outright or de facto secession in which the people in those counties or communities ignore the laws coming out of their state capitols and instead adhere to their own institutions and self-created governments.

Out of all the scenarios out there, this may be one of the most practical, the most effective, and frankly the most peaceful way of addressing the situation we have on our hands. Decentralization can diffuse tensions, reduce anxieties, and perhaps bring back a “live and let live” mindset that’s not possible when people 3,000 miles away have power over your local school’s bathroom.

Even if these movements do not ultimately happen, the perception that people will resort to them if feel compelled to may deter lawmakers and others from pushing divisive and hateful policies in order to avoid that kind of crisis.

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The Foolishness of Identity Politics

Davis Aurini at Stares At the World explains the foolishness of identity politics better than I could in so few words:

You need to understand what Identity Politics is: it is the cheap, plastic, high-fructose corn syrup replacement for identity.  It takes things like culture, identity, ethnicity, and nationality – bleaches them until they’re threadbare – and then dyes the cloth in dayglow colours, turning the adherents into mindless zombies.

The anti-White animus engendered in the Black community does nothing to create genuine culture; in fact, it could only be properly instilled after the Black family had been destroyed by socialist policies.  The same animus is being promoted by many in the Dissident Right, only this time for White – atomized White with no more heart, hearth, and home than the Blacks living in the inner city ghettos.

Identity politics is the mind killer.  It stops thought, and prejudges all individuals with a bad heuristic.  If you’ve ever noticed how White Nationalists tend to spend more time attacking other White people – usually the Whites closest to them, rather than the traitors in Washington – this is why.  Their simplified heuristic demands “If you’re not for us, you’re against us!” You must 100% agree with everything they say, else you’re a race traitor, and those who stand out most prominently as ‘villains’ in this heuristic are those who are most loyal to their co-ethnics.

Identity Politics is a toxic ideology used to destroy the people it infects, while simultaneously turning them into a useful army of zombies.  It has no place in our circles.

This among many other reasons is why despite legitimate points raised by Vox Day’s definition of the Alt. Right, the actual movement fell apart.

Identity politics puts the cart before the horse when it comes to association with cargo cult way reasoning as to why. I tend to associate and befriend those of a specific age, ethnic group, and religion because their values are similar if not the same as mine. However, I don’t associate with people according to these qualities, necessarily, and I’m more than happy to call someone a friend of a separate background if we have common values that make our relationship mutually beneficial.

One of the things I’ve always detested about identity politics is it more or less says you can only befriend certain people and can’t associate with anyone outside of that group.

I will never let anyone or any entity tell me who I can and can’t call “friend.” It is easy to get caught up in the identity politics game provided to us by our wise overlords, and I certainly have not been immune to it.

But we have to break free from that way of thinking and turn to a modern form of tribalism in which you choose who will be a part of your “tribe,” to so speak. It may consist of people from different ethnic backgrounds, but the members are chosen based on who they are, not “what” they are. Meaningful community needs to be personal, real, authentic, and not tied to superficial commonalities that says nothing about the character and integrity of the person in question.

Never let others try to force a collective identity on you against your will. Decide for yourself who you want to identity with based on whatever traits and qualities you think is important. Find people you can trust, are reliable, and who will have your back, not those who just happens to agree with you on some political views.

Not everyone is going to choose the same criteria, and that’s fine. It’s all about what you want to accomplish.

I would add further that it needs to be organic and not explicitly political. Obviously you’re likely to see eye to eye with your friends on much of the same topics, but it shouldn’t be a specific dogma,and the purpose of the tribe should be interdependent of politics.

As long as everyone in the tribe agrees that only those within it should decide what the tribe should be about, not those outside of it, you should be fine.

 

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Tradthots And Open Borders

Regular readers of this notebook blog are aware that I have no love for the tradhots. But Lauren Southern’s detainment and denial of entry into the U.K. offers us a chance to see how ideologically consistent open borders advocates are.

Since news of her detainment has spread, what has their response been? Has it been sadistic glee or amused irony. Or have they come out in defense of her “freedom of travel”?

Remember, these are the same people who believe that one million “refugees” from the Middle East had the right to enter Europe, even if that meant they had their needs and living space provided via the welfare state.

I’ll make two points.

One, being of ideological consistency, I’ll state here and now that Lauren Southern has no “right” to enter Great Britain. Any opposition of mine to the U.K. government’s decision is based on prudence and the idiocy of their reasoning, not her “freedom of travel.” This same government lets in self-professed ISIS fighters and overlooks mass child rape, but somehow a 22-year-old Canadian thot presents a clear and present danger to national security.  Clearly, their border policy does not reflect the sensibilities we see in the private sector concerning private property open to the public. But since Great Britain is not common property, neither I nor Southern have freedom of movement to travel there (I’m putting aside the invitation-scenario for argument sake).

Second, the only acceptable comment from an open border advocate is that the U.K. government had no right to deny Southern entry into the country, regardless of her political views or activism.

After all, that is what they claim to believe.

And yes, “secure border” advocates who argue that Lauren Southern’s rights were violated (aside from perhaps her Orwellian-style detainment) are not being consistent.

Whatever one thinks of the ACLU, their claim to support free speech is proven genuine when they defend individuals from all political backgrounds, even those whose speech they wholly detest. They are ideologically consistent.

Open border advocates who sit back and chuckle at her situation would be like anti-war activists finding “poetic justice” in the atomic bombings of Japan.

I’ll be on the lookout, but if anyone reading this happens to find examples of open border proponents defending Southern and other laydees kicked out of the U.K., post them in the comment so they can be recognized.

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Libertarians Should Not Enable Progressive Agenda

Libertarians should resist the urge to say anything positive about Walmart’s discrimination against people younger than 21 regarding firearm purchases.

Yes, they have the right to discriminate all they want; but so do Christian bakers.

Let’s put aside philosophy for a second and look at strategy and the absence of reciprocity. Libertarianism says that you respect my rights and I respect yours. If you don’t respect my rights, I don’t have the duty to respect yours.

Progressives want to have it both ways; they want bakers to bake the damn cake, but Walmart can tell 20 year olds to take a hike when they want to purchase a product. By advocating that Walmart should be allowed to do this, libertarians are playing into leftist hands and letting them – pardon the expression – have their cake and eat it, too.

Don’t be a fool; Progressives aren’t interested in the rights of private businesses to discriminate. It’s all bullshit. They’re interested in whatever fulfills their Vision for society. They want to restrict firearm ownership as much as possible. Businesses refusing to sell to those under 21 is all part of a strategy to raise the legal age to own a firearm. The end goal is total firearm restrictions to where the right to keep and bear arms has no practical application.

One of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals is to make your enemy live up to their own beliefs. It’s a form of power, something libertarians better get comfortable with.

Don’t say Walmart should be able to discriminate against 20 year olds. Instead, ask if businesses can discriminate? Isn’t discrimination wrong? Better yet, say “tough, let them bake cake.” Place the moral burden for justification on those who advocate this policy. Don’t virtue-signal how ideologically consistent libertarianism is to people who don’t care and will gladly violate your rights if it benefits them. Don’t affirm or condone their behavior, no matter how “libertarian” it seems – their intent is anything but individual liberty and freedom.

People are already suing Walmart over their policy. The lawsuit should certainly move forward and force the issue; do businesses (not acting as agents of the Deep State, that is) have the right to discriminate? Either they do, or they don’t. This buffet of rights needs to end. You don’t get to pick and choose who has the right to do what, and I’m not interested in providing moral support to those who are pushing that kind of agenda.

Libertarians who advocate for this better be prepared for the day they run afoul of Progressives and get deplatformed from every private sector edge provider, as we’ve seen with members of the Alt. Right.

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Muh “Private Companies!”

This Wikileaks piece on the relationship between Google and the U.S. government should make all those who support or condone – or even look the other way – at Google’s mass censorship of right-wing dissidents on the basis of “muh private companies” feel completely disgraced. Though let’s not pretend they were wholly ignorant about what was going on.

Google is not a private company engaging in legitimate business. It is a pseudo-branch of the Deep State.  And like all government, official or not, it should be controlled by the people it exerts coercive authority over. Its uncontested ability to utterly destroy business and individuals, in conjunction with its collusion with the feds, justifies restrictions and rules.

On top of that, many social media companies also enjoy federal legal immunity for any content posted on their site, a “privilege” not granted to other traditional news sources who are held legally responsible for what others may publish there.

At a Senate hearing last month, Sen. Ted Cruz called out YouTube’s alleged ideological bias, highlighting Prager University’s lawsuit against the company over censorship of conservatives. Cruz told a YouTube representative that if the platform did not remain politically neutral, they could lose legal immunity for user content under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Without this protection, social media companies would be legally liable for all content posted on their platforms – an existential threat to their business model.

When these companies remove themselves from the Deep State or from federal protection and fully embrace the “free market,” then we can talk about “muh private companies” and their right to politically censor those using their services.

Until then, anyone who claims to support freedom and individual liberty but rationalizes or offers mealymouthed excuses for government-colluding corporations silencing dissident on that government’s behalf only expose themselves for the charlatans and worm-tongues they are.

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