Random Thoughts

Is Speech Free?

I support free and open speech … yes, for all!

While online, so many don’t. There is no longer any option for debate in an online world. There is no longer any option to talk freely and discuss ideas, or have opinions in the online world, not anymore. The minute you say something the ‘woke‘ crowd doesn’t like, BAM!

You’re cancelled.

You are cancelled LOUDLY, IN CAPS, by complete strangers hellbent on enforcing THEIR viewpoint, with only THEIR viewpoint seen as the absolute HOLY TRUTH.

Whether you like it, or want it or not, people who speak out are being destroyed online. And the idiots doing it do not even seem to realise they being used by a radical section who want to make THEIR RIGHTS the only their rights matter or count. Giving you the impression, when you read their meandering discourse that THEIR RIGHTS supersede all other rights, including women’s rights.

My rights.

My rights mean nothing to them, because they have decided these rights—rights women have fought centuries for—are not on THEIR rights. Their rights are unique and therefore more important. Their words not mine!

And so, we come to the online world and the right to free speech … or the lack thereof given how vicious, loud, vocal, and demeaning this boulder rolling down hill has become in annihilating all descent against their one true belief.

And it’s not just me who thinks this, some of the world’s greatest writers and minds living today, also feel this way. Stating in an open letter to Harper’s Magazine—A Letter On Justice and Open Debate—to the effect they are worried about the loss of free speech and what it might mean for us all, in the future.

The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted. While we have come to expect this on the radical right, censoriousness is also spreading more widely in our culture: an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism, and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty. We uphold the value of robust and even caustic counter-speech from all quarters.

Yes, J. K. Rowling is among them, along with Noam Chomsky, Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Gloria Steinem and Malcolm Gladwell, to name a few.

If you don’t believe the threat to free speech is real, then I feel sorry for you. Because, when you need it most, in your time of need, you just might find it’s no longer available to you.

Remember, it’s not the likes of me, trying to sustain free and open dialogue who is being vehement, dismissive, cruel, vitriolic and abusive online, but the very people who say they’re the victims.

The way to defeat bad ideas is by exposure, argument, and persuasion, not by trying to silence or wish them away.

Be wary what you wish for … it just may come true!

2 comments on “Is Speech Free?

  1. Avatar

    Sadly I completely agree with you Alex. Yesterday I posted on IG a post featuring something from the Harry Potter franchise. I said that I don’t agree with what JK Rowling said (because I have other beliefs and hers are her own) but I would also never tolerate people telling others what they should do or not do because that’s just bullying. I am old enough that my skin is thick and I am not afraid of people attacking me. That does not discourage me to speak. But others are afraid and don’t dare speak anymore. I am all for a good open and respectful debate. I can understand that others have other ideas. After all I think that I am right. But who has ever said I am “more” right than the other? It’s just a question of perspective. But people feel so “safe” on social media that they go to extreme measures and behaviors to have others cower and shut down.

    • Alex

      It’s just gotten totally out of hand, Sophie. That once again, I felt the need to post about everyone being allowed to have an opinion.

      And sorry to hear that you too have been attacked for something as silly as an IG post because it didn’t conform to their expectations.

      It’s infuriating, because they do not know the person they are attacking, they don’t know what people believe or think. They just react to something almost like a trigger, and pounce.

      Well, you, like me are older and wiser, and yes, have thicker skin. But I think of the number of people who I followed over on Twitter who have now left because they said something (in all innocence) and then, were the subject of harassment, plain and simple.

      Tolerance, and, dare I say, intelligence, has gone the way of the proverbial Dodo. It’s dead. And if you don’t believe as they do, then you are fair game.

      They really do not understand exactly what’s going on here, and then, when it’s all too late, and every last breath we take has been legislated under law, and penalty, then, then will they get it?

      I doubt it.

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