Monday, 5 June 2017

Why progressives hate freedom of speech

I've noticed a transmogrification of free speech. The violent protests at the University of Berkely, California, the historical bastion of free speech and open debate, was a major example of speech being confined to the Official Truth or the Big ShutUp, as Mark Steyn says. Something has shifted.

People seem confused that progressives want to ban free speech when they championed it only a handful of decades ago. Yet from a framework of postmodernism, the debate is a tool of oppression. Accepting free speech risks "normalising" opposing ideas, creating a default assumption that because both sides are speaking, therefore the ideas are worth talking about. In the culture wars, this sneaky reasoning was necessary to undermine the establishment. But now that the progressives own government, free speech is "problematic." Hmmm.

Simply put, free speech is no longer useful for the "correct side of history." When the various revolutionary movements began in the 18th century, they held a single goal of deconstructing the existing order to replace it with a more equitable regime.

The establishment at the time was broadly monarchical and clerical, in which status is conferred by birth, breeding and personal character, with wealth serving as a prerequisite but not a mark of actual distinction. Oh, and it was heavily Christian.

In fact, precisely because the establishment system was built from Christian assumptions, the revolutionary ideologues (who were themselves built from Christian assumptions) employed the Christian concept of truth above all else as a major weapon. Other Christian or Greek concepts such as freedoms of assembly and speech, humanitarian ideals and the "last will be first" were integral to the messages of the Jacobins, Georges Eugène Sorel, Karl Marx, etc. The fight was between traditional Christians and progressive Christians from day one, competing for control over the Christian machinery of power.

In a monarchy, most people just get on with their lives. Power politics occurs between elites in the capital. Sure, sometimes people are drafted to fight in a king's war. But no monarch goes to war because he wants to, he goes to war because he has to. Anything remotely resembling total war for ideological domination is out of the question. The Treaty of Westphalia and Classical International Law limited those horrors even further. Every king must stick to his own patch.

But in a democracy, a peasant may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in him. It's not who you support, but which version of democracy. And so it goes. A democracy is only secure when the entire world bends to its will. Today, the most successful mainline Protestant sect today is the Unitarian progressives, aka state-transcendentalists or socialists.

There are few doctrinal differences between secularists, nontheistic Unitarians, theistic Unitarians, and for that matter all the Protestant sects described as “mainline.” But, since I am not a Christian but a dead Chinese philosopher, the divinity of this or that, or the validity of ritual X or Y, does not really concern me. What concerns me is following Stalin's principle: Who? Whom?

The best way I can describe what's going in is that the progressive version of Christianity is in near total control of the system of Western Christian power constructed over 2000 years. How did this happen?

After defeating the other two major forms of Christian democracy -- German fascism and Soviet Communism -- the American progressives were the last ideology left standing in 1991. They were so close to achieving total psychological capture over the planet. For ten years in the 90s, they stood unopposed using the official press (mainstream media) to align every country on earth.

But then the internet was invented.

This created a parallel information organ the progressives could not control. Not because they didn't want to, but because the machinery of government the progressives had just taken over lacked the access and tools to capture and utilise this new internet structure. The only moves it has are attempts to introduce oversight and regulation. Progressives want to abolish online anonymity, forcing their enemies into the offline world where their government power still exists. Following the recent terror attacks in London, UK Prime Minister Theresa May is trying again to do exactly this.

Put it down, Boromir
"We cannot allow this ideology the safe space it needs to breed. Yet that is precisely what the internet and the big companies that provide internet-based services provide," she says.

Mrs May is not stupid. She knows success in a democracy depends on who controls the information organs. The Gutenberg press in 1440 started a trend to undermine the information dominance of divine-right monarchs and clergy and usher in a world of democratic totalitarianism in which the newspaper organised everyone (acting in the required direction).

The internet is simply a natural evolution of the Gutenberg press. Mrs May's attempt is futile, but at least it's comprehensible and rational from a perspective of power. She knows the internet is undermining democracy itself.

But anonymity is a feature of the internet, not a bug. It will never be expunged. So the next best tactic is to equate the use of free speech with Nazis. People have been trained well enough not to miss the significance of this. Everyone learns at school, written and directed by progressive true-believers, that fascism is the embodiment of evil. Not necessarily because Nazism was uniquely horrifying but because fascist democracy is a direct competitor to progressive democracy. Rule number one for rulers: crush your enemies.

So today, anyone who defends free speech is considered a threat to the progressive regime and must be silenced. The ring of power called "free speech" wielded by the progressives to undermine their historical enemies.

But as Tolkien predicted, the problem with forging rings of power is they tend to slip from one's finger. While it's tempting to organise special powers to benefit a cause, no one can be in power forever. And the modern state is a virtual jewellery shop. The progressives didn't learn Tolkien's lesson: the thing to do with power is to destroy it, not wield it. And now their enemies have the ring.

The revolutionaries started out with a righteous goal of changing the status quo to be more equitable. Weapons were assembled and rings were forged. But they didn't want change, only power, just like any hominid. They were tricked by their own greed. And all their supporters believed real change was coming, only to find themselves back under subjugation by new rulers.

Yet the internet has exploded a white hot ball of power into a million pieces. Those who can scrape up a piece will never have to scrape again. Where once freedom of speech was a weapon to achieve victory, it is now a threat to that victory. The progressives have no one else to blame but themselves. They threw away their ring as they climbed onto the throne.

“And some things that should not have been forgotten were lost. History became legend. Legend became myth. And for two and a half thousand years, the ring passed out of all knowledge,” warned Galadriel.

Now it has been found.

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