What? Are you fucking kidding me? New York Times posts an article advocating against free speech.

lil devils x

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Undoubtedly some of the angst about free speech is about a relative lack of elite control over it; the existence of well-funded and far-reaching misinformation by obvious bullshitters is a great way to justify shutting up everyone else.

This also achieves the goals of those pushing the misinformation; well-funded misinformation in a capitalist society is meant to divert political energy away from effective political thought and toward convincing people to pin their political identities on falsehoods. Well-funded and curated information, on the other hand, tends to be about the rationalization of being nasty toward some other set of relatively powerless people-- examples include how the media frames immigration, poverty, crime, or even Russiagate. If well-funded misinformation can justify forcibly shutting up poorly funded voices-- because after all, they aren't the 'credible' media either-- then the latter is all that remains and the ultimate goal of the misinformers is achieved: protecting the existing social hierarchy.
The angst about freedom of speech is things like Pizzagate, Sandy hook truthers, and other idiots out there causing crazy shit to happen because they promote lies for money and people believe them and act on those lies. The people at the pizza parlor "elites"? The families who lost their children in a school shooting? These are the people who are hurt by this. the people spreading these falsehood cause real world actions, Truth is important here otherwise we just have chaos and innocent people hurt due to people not having a clue what is really happening at all.
 

Cheetodust

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There are reasons why not many advocate changes to the constitution. Ofcourse there is a fine line between free speech and inciting to violence or hate. The latter could, and should, be disallowed. But that is up to the courts not the legislator.
You do realise that the first amendment was a change to the constitution? That's what an amendment is.
 

Seanchaidh

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The angst about freedom of speech is things like Pizzagate, Sandy hook truthers, and other idiots out there causing crazy shit to happen because they promote lies for money and people believe them and act on those lies. The people at the pizza parlor "elites"? The families who lost their children in a school shooting? These are the people who are hurt by this. the people spreading these falsehood cause real world actions, Truth is important here otherwise we just have chaos and innocent people hurt due to people not having a clue what is really happening at all.
You're not arguing against anything I wrote.
 

lil devils x

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You're not arguing against anything I wrote.
You are saying there is an intent by the "elite" of shutting everyone else up. I don't see that happening at all. I see even saying that in the first place as just as bad as the rest of the conspiracy pushing BS happening right now. Saying something like that is no better than the flat earthers, Pizzagate and school shooting truthers saying the stupid things they do.
 

Seanchaidh

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You are saying there is an intent by the "elite" of shutting everyone else up. I don't see that happening at all. I see even saying that in the first place as just as bad as the rest of the conspiracy pushing BS happening right now. Saying something like that is no better than the flat earthers, Pizzagate and school shooting truthers saying the stupid things they do.
Here is one:
 
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Iron

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The angst about freedom of speech is things like Pizzagate, Sandy hook truthers, and other idiots out there causing crazy shit to happen because they promote lies for money and people believe them and act on those lies. The people at the pizza parlor "elites"? The families who lost their children in a school shooting? These are the people who are hurt by this. the people spreading these falsehood cause real world actions, Truth is important here otherwise we just have chaos and innocent people hurt due to people not having a clue what is really happening at all.
It's my god-given right to say the earth is hollow and populated by nazi lizard-people and you shouldn't be allowed to stop me from doing it.
 

Seanchaidh

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It's my god-given right to say the earth is hollow and populated by nazi lizard-people and you shouldn't be allowed to stop me from doing it.
It can be a short step from killing that off-- which should be achieved in some fashion, ideally without it even being necessary to directly censor-- and only allowing the widespread propagation of the views of billionaires as understood by millionaires.

The wealthy ruling elite's interest in promoting misinformation to defuse class consciousness would disappear if there weren't a wealthy ruling elite to begin with.
 
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SilentPony

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I dunno about the rest of you but my speech is totally free. Haven't paid a red cent, ain't got no Speech Toll Booths out here in St. Louis, no Speech Tax, Wal-Mart isn't doing a buy one Speech get one Free event.
If ya'll are actually paying to talk then I got some news for you, and it'll only cost you a dollar.
 

Agema

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The core values don't change. Separation of powers, equality under law, free speech etc these aren't interchangeable values. It's either this or, at best, enlightened despotism. It's either liberal democracy or something like China.
Yes, but what if enlightened despotism is the best way forward? Many libertarians (e.g. Peter Thiel) have already got to the point they think democracy will always infringe on indiviual rights, so for a libertarian society to function democracy needs to be ended. The trend of "illiberal democracy" in Russia some of Eastern Europe suggests that lots of people think liberal democracy is overrated. Is authoritarianism better than a dysfunctional democracy? Freidrich Hayek thought so, heaping praise on Pinochet as the dirt was shovelled onto the unmarked graves of the disappeared.

That sounds like a contradictio in terminis to me. If society is just 'people interacting' there would not be a need for an abstract organizational principle which is exactly what a 'society' is.
I get your point, I just took it as an inbuilt assumption that any group of interacting individuals will have or create conventions for how they organise.

Perhaps so, but it will end liberal democracy and it's enlightenment ideals. You can wonder what is worth saving at that point.
Maybe nothing. Maybe what we end up looking at is that liberal democracy has had its time. Or rather, that it has had its time in certain societies, because shifting circumstances, new technologies and ideas have eroded what it needs to function effectively and those societies do not have the right attitudes and institutions to adapt to keep those values. Let's imagine China spends the next 50 striding on to strength after strength, and the USA, with its "values" descends into division, disorder and decadence. Who then had the stronger society? The answer would be China. What use are "values" unless they produce more beneficial results than not?
 

Iron

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It can be a short step from killing that off-- which should be achieved in some fashion, ideally without it even being necessary to directly censor-- and only allowing the widespread propagation of the views of billionaires as understood by millionaires.

The wealthy ruling elite's interest in promoting misinformation to defuse class consciousness would disappear if there weren't a wealthy ruling elite to begin with.
inb4 banned books in Soviet Russia by Bulgakov and Nabokov. You can't even read Master and Margarita, why even live.
 

dreng3

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It can be a short step from killing that off-- which should be achieved in some fashion, ideally without it even being necessary to directly censor-- and only allowing the widespread propagation of the views of billionaires as understood by millionaires.

The wealthy ruling elite's interest in promoting misinformation to defuse class consciousness would disappear if there weren't a wealthy ruling elite to begin with.
And it can be a short step from permitting it to suggesting that people take up arms and kill alleged lizard-nazis. The slippery slope goes both ways. There is a need for oversight when it comes to speech. And besides, are you certain that free speech and the ability to propagate views isn't something only billionaires and millionaires have at this point? Look at the number of local television and radio networks in the US, look at the number of newspapers not affiliated with some larger organization owned by a millionaire or billionaire. The airwaves and print is already out of the control of the common people.

And social media is even worse, they already. selectively enforce policies to benefit select individuals.

Besides, if the rich truly wanted to rob people of free speech they'd never attack the right to free speech, but the tools needed to spread the speech.
 

Seanchaidh

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And it can be a short step from permitting it to suggesting that people take up arms and kill alleged lizard-nazis. The slippery slope goes both ways. There is a need for oversight when it comes to speech. And besides, are you certain that free speech and the ability to propagate views isn't something only billionaires and millionaires have at this point? Look at the number of local television and radio networks in the US, look at the number of newspapers not affiliated with some larger organization owned by a millionaire or billionaire. The airwaves and print is already out of the control of the common people.

And social media is even worse, they already. selectively enforce policies to benefit select individuals.

Besides, if the rich truly wanted to rob people of free speech they'd never attack the right to free speech, but the tools needed to spread the speech.
Yes, that's why they're having Twitter and Facebook do it.
 

Houseman

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Let's say I want to influence people to vote the way I want them to.

So the first thing I do is I found a "news organisation". We don't have any actual facilities or ability to do any journalism, it's just a website, a youtube and twitter account, but we call it something like "Truthful News". Maybe make it Latin so that it sounds really fancy and sophisticated.

So the next thing I do is, I find an issue which is divisive, and I make up a lie which makes the position I want people to adopt seem reasonable. Let's say I want people to vote for a candidate who has a hard anti-immigration stance. I could lie and say that there is currently nothing to stop anyone crossing the US-Mexico border. Maybe I could videotape myself outside somewhere in a spooky mask and then claim I'm crossing the US-Mexico border even though I'm not, then post that video with SCARY MUSIC.

Then maybe that video gets shared and reacted to millions of times, and maybe the candidate I'm supporting uses their own social media to spread it to their followers.

And then, to avoid legal consequences, what I do is I issue an extremely soft retraction buried somewhere on my website saying "oh no, we got a few things wrong and this entertainment video didn't meet our rigorous journalistic standards". Obviously, that retraction isn't shared or publicized by any of the millions of people who shared the original claim, so the vast, vast majority of people who were exposed to that deliberate lie never saw me admit that it was untrue.

And then I do the same thing again... and again.. and again.. because again this is an intentional scam.

Is this the intended functioning of free speech? Did the troops risk their inexplicably important and precious lives so that I could be free to scam people into voting against their own interests?
Yes, yes it is.
 

Agema

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Yes, yes it is.
I'm not sure it is. A lot of the political and philosophical literature on rights suggests that with rights implicitly come responsibilities: failure to uphold those responsibilities sufficiently will result, one way or another, in loss of those rights.
 

Iron

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I'm not sure it is. A lot of the political and philosophical literature on rights suggests that with rights implicitly come responsibilities: failure to uphold those responsibilities sufficiently will result, one way or another, in loss of those rights.
Aren't human rights inalienable? citizen rights?
 

Schadrach

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Okay.

Let's take a hypothetical that free speech is weaponised against your country (or simply runs out of control), where a rash of mass disinformation threatens to send your country spiralling into chaos and failure. Should you stick with it?

I would argue that the primary function of societal rules is to make society run as smoothly and beneficially for its people as possible. If the rules fail to do so and become excessively detrimental, they need to be changed. Even things we consider incredibly important, rules that we have elevated to special status and called "rights", need to be changed if they end up doing substantially more harm than good. Don't get me wrong, it would be a very dark and sad day if freedom of speech were abused to the point where it had to be canned for the preservation of society, but canning it would be the right thing to do. On the bright side, the wheels turn, things change, and it would almost certainly eventually come back.
So, speech that is harmful to the country (aka speech that is harmful to the government) must be silenced.

Maybe we can then get specific political views or positions on individual issues also deemed "harmful" so that there is one, unified set of acceptable canon beliefs and it is illegal to dissent too far? Maybe assign people a number based on their loyalty to that canon and have it impact their credit score...

Or was I too on the nose there?
 

stroopwafel

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I'm not sure it is. A lot of the political and philosophical literature on rights suggests that with rights implicitly come responsibilities: failure to uphold those responsibilities sufficiently will result, one way or another, in loss of those rights.
That is the mere definition of tyranny by the few. How Democracy ends by David Runciman is a good read on the matter.


''Strong democracies have all the advantages over weak democracies except one
, weak democracies know when they have failed. Failure looks like Greece in 1967. It doesn't look like that anymore. Now, if we have coups, they arrive without the coup de grace. There is not before and after. There is only the murky space between.''