Toward a Consensus on Free Speech


The defenestration of British philosopher Sir Roger Scruton based on a deceptively presented interview may be of limited relevance to Rhode Island politics.  The lesson, however, is worth presenting in every venue of our modern age:

But while certain Conservative politicians seem set on appeasing what they take to be the spirit of the age, they might have misjudged the turn. … Those who were most angry were young people, who have grown to loathe this social media hate-mongering.

Their instincts are right. Our world is replete with complex matters that need discussing. We need philosophers, thinkers and even politicians of courage to help us find our way through this. We live in the age of character assassination. What we now desperately need is a counter-revolution based on the importance of individuals over mobs, the primacy of truth over offence, and the necessity of free-thought over this bland, dumb and ill-conceived uniformity.

People across the political spectrum must rebuild the consensus that everybody has a right to express their views, that we should give each other wide latitude to err (whether in fleeting words misspoken in an instant or more-fundamental flaws in a way of thinking), and that punishing people for the ideas that they express, to the extent that it should be an option at all, should be done only with full awareness of the context and intent of their speech.  Knowing what they actually said is only the first step of that process.

  • ShannonEntropy

    As the former Josiah S Carberry Professor of Linguistics, Semiotics & Psychoceramics — the latter being the study of cracked pots — I can assure you that you are least a decade too late to this fight, Justin

    If Sir Timothy Hunt or James Watson winning the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology cannot shield them even a bit from these SJW idiots ruining their careers, nothing can protect mere mortals like you or me if The Left sets their sights on us. The Culture Wars are truly over and The Left has won
    [ The RaHoWa is just getting underway tho ]

    Here’s a review written by the incomparable Roosh V of a book that should help bring you up to speed on the 21st Century:

    Being a longtime denizen of The Manosphere, I took the Red Pill and I am woke — to reality, not to the delusional fantasy planet the Libtards live on. It is depressing & sad to see the accelerating rate at which our civilization and society crumbles. But I am not depressed and nihilistic enough to take the Black Pill yet [ I like to say my Red Pill has Black Stripes ]

    The solution is to LAUGH at the absurdity of the circumstances we find ourselves in. That is taking another pill entirely. Ask your doctor if The Honk Pill is right for you !! Google ” Honkler ” for more info.

    Meanwhile, here is a lighter and then much darker look at the psychodynamic effects this new sociopharamaceutical agent can bring to any despondent heterosexual white male:

    • Rhett Hardwick

      Everything seems permanent, until it isn’t. Consider how rapidly the relatively liberal Weimar Republic fell to Nazism. While certainly communist, China has come along way since Tiananmen square. Maybe something as simple as votes for felons (should I say “constituents”) could turn things around. I have liberal friends who seem to think that “micro aggressions” might be going to far.

      • ShannonEntropy

        All SJWs are liberals but not all liberals are SJWs, and it’s the SJWs who are causing all the prablems

        A Liberal Democrat Jewish pal of mine — fellow faculty member at Brown — crossed an SJW and got booted off the campus with barely a hearing after a vague “sexual harassment” complaint was lodged agin him

        How a Jew can be a liberal is beyond me… at Brown the students just passed a BDS resolution about the school’s endowment; and being pro-Palestinian & anti-Zionist is an integral part of the liberal mindset

        I used to tell him that a Jew being a liberal Democrat was like a chicken voting for Frank Perdue… but that a subject for another day

  • Rhett Hardwick

    “The defenestration of British philosopher Sir Roger Scruton”
    They threw him out the window, is this figurative?

  • Christopher C. Reed

    If you measure Scruton by the stature of his enemies he’s a giant.
    Dalrymple over at Taki’s has an appropriately acidic take on the tawdry affair.

  • bagida’wewinini

    Justin asks us to find a consensus across the political spectrum. I would have thought that should have came as Donald Trump was running for the Republican nomination for President, but since that did not work out at the very least I think we should find some common ground to oppose efforts by foreign powers to interfere with the 2020 election. Twitter and other social media platforms as illustrated by the example that Justin has given us in this post have an oversized effect on influencing opinion , so we as Americans should be on our guard against those who engage in disinformation be they foreign or domestic.