Free Speech in the Era of Political Correctness

free speech

There’s an old saying which goes along the lines of “love your fellow hater”, but in the era of political correctness and the Social Justice Warrior (SJW for short) movement, the 1st amendment is getting strangled by ideology on a daily basis.For those of you who did not read the US Constitution, the 1st amendment is all about free speech, political speech mostly and especially unpopular speech.

The latter is in clear and present danger nowadays and it has to be protected at any cost. If you’re wondering why, just remember that old quote:

I do not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.

There can be no freedom if one doesn’t have the liberty to speak truth to power, or as George Orwell put it in his dystopian novel 1984, freedom is when you can say that 2+2=4.Long story short, freedom begins with the people’s right to express their perception of reality, i.e. if one can state reality openly whilst retaining the ability to think for himself.

The problem is that we’re living in a day and age when political correctness enforced by the ubiquitous SJW movement is culling free speech in a very concerning manner, both on the INTERNET and “off-line”.Just consider the very recent attacks on popular alt-right/conservative figures, and I am talking about literal/physical attacks on Steven Crowder, Milo Yiannopoulos or Ben Shapiro, but I’ll get back to that in a moment.

In America, we believe in free speech, or at least we used to believe. If it occurs on a mass scale in the society, this belief is fundamentally the difference between a totalitarian regime/a dictatorship and a free democracy or a Constitutional Republic, such is the case with the United States.

Believing in free speech means that you are ready to listen to people you disagree with, even if their words or beliefs may sound repulsive. What political correctness zealots and people enrolled in the SJW movement don’t understand is that old adagio about “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”.

Even if safe spaces in universities are the latest rage, people don’t actually need to be protected from words. Unfortunately, in many universities from all around the Western world, political correctness (read intolerance to free speech) has repressed any willingness to hear unpopular speech.

Just try to organize a debate at a, let’s say British university, featuring Israeli speakers and see what happens. You’ll be confronted with threats of disruption and you’ll most definitely stir up trouble. If you think I’m exaggerating, you probably don’t pay attention to the news. Just a few weeks ago, we had the Berkeley riots and Milo Yiannopoulos had to cancel his speech in the aftermath of well organized outside agitators wreaking havoc, beating people up and burning stuff.

The familiar leftist line is that hate speech is not protected speech, regardless of how many legal experts and constitutional scholars tell them that they’re dead wrong.Facts are not necessarily pleasant, yet the pro censorship arguments pedaled by the SJW movement fall into 2 main categories: hate speech equals physical violence and hate speech is incitement.

Both so called arguments are fallacious, especially when considering that it’s always the politically correct left engaging in physical violence against “sexist racist Nazis” on the right side of the political spectrum. Politically correct zealots infer violent threats from mere words and they believe that they can strike you first, literally, in what they believe it’s self defense, because according to their dogma, hate speech/free speech is itself violence per se.

According to the leftist SJW argument, anything deemed to be hate speech will inflict violence upon its victim, no less than a baseball bat or a gun would.In the SJW/politically correct world view, hate speech equals real physical violence, literally, not figuratively. And if mere words equal violence, the speaker then becomes a legitimate target for physical violence in “self defense”, see?

According to this spurious argument, engaging in unpopular free speech (hate speech in newspeak) means that you’ve initiated violence, i.e. you’ve already hit first and you’ve lost the moral high ground and what happens next is entirely your fault.This is pathetic and the question is, how have we come this far that, for example, students are thought to require trigger warning notices during their literature classes, which alert them about the presence of “disturbing materials” in their books?

Reading and education only have value when they teach you to engage in critical thinking, thus bringing you to the point of questioning your own beliefs. Nowadays in the universities, this is an anathema and young people are treated like infants. Unfortunately many of them are happy to be treated in this way, just think about safe spaces.

And the cult of political correctness is to blame for the sorry state in which free speech is today. Political correctness has gone berserk, certain opinions must never be expressed, certain words never used because you know, someone may get offended sometime, somewhere.A society becomes decadent and stupid when people are not prepared to listen/debate views they find disagreeable, or when they’re not ready to respect the right of free speech for others, nor they are willing to be open to persuasion.

And we’re almost there.