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Freedom of speech

Discussion in 'General political debates' started by NickF, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. NickF

    NickFMember Forum Member


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    Jun 2, 2015
     
    Am I correct in thinking that anarchists are against it? If so why? Personally, I'm for it, but I'm willing to take any arguments into consideration. I've had a long day and don't have the energy to type out all my reasons, but I'll post back when I do. I'm not trying to start shit I'm just looking for a friendly debate. I'd appreciate either some enlightenment or a respectful disagreement.
     

  2. n1x

    n1xNew Member New Member


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    Mar 27, 2016
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    Well it really depends on what you mean when you say, "free speech". It's kind of a tricky issue that tends to be treated far too black-and-white. You're either for free speech 100% for everyone, including fascists, or you're a filthy gommunist (or Statist among anarchists) traitor who hates ameriga and muh freedumbs.

    I don't think anyone here would disagree that it is directly in our interests that the State is supposed to not jail people for speaking their minds. Thank you liberalism, right? Or not, actually, considering that the State has never followed this ideal when there are any political entities that threaten the State's authority. In reality, power (and domination in hierarchical societies) are what defines politics. Any given anarchist organization or affinity group or whatever that is worth the State's time to COINTELPRO will get COINTELPRO'd, regardless of what the Bill of Rights says about free speech. This shouldn't be news to anyone though; it's happened plenty of times to anarchist and left-wing groups, most notably the Black Panthers. But you never see the FBI COINTELPRO'ing far right organizations, because they've always been thugs for the ruling class.

    The fundamental problem with free speech is that it is considered to be a right, and as I understand it anarchists are opposed to the concept of "rights" because it's a liberal concept wherein it is assumed that there are certain things that all humans are just supposed to have... because reasons. And these "rights" are guaranteed by a State power that says, officially, that it shall not infringe on them. So what a "right" is, is whatever the ruling class says it will let the ruled have unless they abuse their rights too much - in which case they'll be silenced. As Kropotkin said in some words, rights are taken, not given.

    Anyways, again I think most people here would agree that anarchy would involve letting people have the right to speak their minds without getting beaten up or lynched by the mob, and I don't think anyone who would do this would even be an anarchist to begin with. But who would do this? Fascists and other far right groups like them, whose ideology is basically, "We hate certain identities/classes and want to exterminate them". So what are you supposed to say to POCs or workers or queers or whoever else is targeted by far right groups? "Yeah, I know that these people are saying they want to kill you, but what about free speech?"

    Nah, fuck that. Kill all fascists before they kill you.
     
  3. JolleyPunk

    JolleyPunkActive Member Forum Member


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    Aug 5, 2015
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    I agree with n1x, freedom of speech is a very loose term and it can be translated differently depending on the context. I, personally, don't agree with the present representation of freedom of speech, it being "say what you want no matter the consequences" because that is unrealistic and false. Freedom of speech should be as follows: the ability to say what you want without censorship, but not without consequence. If you say something stupid, prepare to receive some backlash. You can't run around saying what you want and not expect someone do disagree. America's concept of freedom of speech is freedom of speech without consequence. They want to be able to say whatever the fuck they want without anyone saying anything against it. That's not how it works.

    How freedom of speech works is that you have the ability to say whatever you want without the government being able to censor you. This website is a prime example. I feel that it was created as a "freedom of press" piggy-back, but what it has turned into is a liberally-mutated creature of what it used to be. Now liberals are insisting that it is a "right" and making it so that no one can argue what someone says, not just keeping the government from censoring our opinions. Now, I feel that everyone should be able to say what they want, yes fascists should be able to stand up on some steps and spew their nonsense, but it is the duty of all decent humans to stop their nonsense from making it out of their mouths. If I see a fascists about to start spewing propaganda, you better believe I'm gonna stick a brink through their teeth and listen to them mumble through their broken bloody lips. We should be able to say whatever the fuck we want without any "higher power" getting in the way, but were are also completely tied to the consequences of our words.

    So freedom of speech is something that I believe anarchist should stand by, but we should not standby and let people get away with saying anything. If a fascists speaks, put a boot through their teeth. If a racist speaks, put a fist in their lips. If a homophobe/zionist/right-wing-butt-fucker/military-supporter/pro-government/any form of hater speaks up, it is our duty as anarchists to make sure their consequences are swift and merciless. We are not censors, we are activists.

    And hell yeah, kill all the fascists before they kill you!
     
  4. CroydonTouristOffice

    CroydonTouristOfficeMember Forum Member


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    Apr 4, 2016
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    Freedom of speech is something I wholeheartedly support. That doesn't mean freedom from consequence, though.

    You can say what you want, whenever you want to - nobody should really be able to take that away from you.

    However, you need to expect a backlash some of the time.

    Freedom of speech also doesn't mean freedom to a platform. And if a platform is free, then it can always be taken from you. Someone paints a swastika - you can paint over it.
     
  5. CroydonTouristOffice

    CroydonTouristOfficeMember Forum Member


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    Apr 4, 2016
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    Sorry, dude- your post didn't appear until I reloaded the page. I basically just echoed what you said.
     
  6. NickF

    NickFMember Forum Member


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    Jun 2, 2015
     
    Hi everybody! I haven't had a chance to sit down and reply to this, and I don't really have the energy to make a detailed argument right now, but I'll check in when I'm less tired. You all make some good points, but you lose me when you conflate violence and speech. Violence has a place, but when does it stop being ok to punch someone for saying something you don't like? Everyone here is against racism, but if an anti racist can punch a racist for saying a word, then why can't I, as an atheist, punch a theist for telling me I'm going to hell? Aren't all religions inherently bigoted? What about and artist who's attempting to start a dialogue? If someone comes in the middle of the show and sees it out of context, can they start throwing bricks? Everyone's pain is legitimate and when we try to protect certain groups from having their feelings hurt, doesn't that dismiss the pain of anyone who's feelings we don't protect? Anyone can be offended or hurt by anything. I have friends with mental health issues who are triggered by things that seem completely innocent to everyone else.
     
  7. JolleyPunk

    JolleyPunkActive Member Forum Member


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    Aug 5, 2015
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    Its all good mate, you have good stuff to say. Repeat the good words till the fascist's ears bleed!
     
  8. Sillysixpin

    SillysixpinActive Member Forum Member


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    May 11, 2016
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    A big problem of freedom of speech is of course offensive that information may be, regardless of how true or politically incorrect it is.

    Depending of how liberal or right wing the state is where said person is drawing the swatika the result may be a different reception or meaning. A liberal would see it and think of minority genocide, while some one on the alt-right would see a becon in a dominated subverted world.

    Liberal and Anarchism themes are in movies, in music and television shows, radio, they're out in the open in the media (V for vendetta, the dark knight rises's battle against the state, all the leftist themes of independent city women in sitcoms and movies.) and publicly in leftist states in American. While alternative right themes are heavily censored and unchallenged.

    When your ideologically (no, not mine because i'm a minority) isn't given a chance because it's quickly deemed as dangerous (Does this remind you of anarchism?), they have no reason to take a large group's opinion on their ideology seriously. While spending decades being unchallenged (or falsely/onesidedly challenged), missrepresented and proven right.

    My point is freedom of speech needs to be free for all ideologies, but can't be public. The people who deem one ideology more dangerous than another have too much power.
     
  9. NickF

    NickFMember Forum Member


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    Jun 2, 2015
     
    I agree. I wish I could have articulated it this well Haha I suck at debates.
     
  10. Paczilla

    PaczillaExperienced Member Experienced member


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    Jun 28, 2012
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    Freedom of speech, in the usual context, revolves around being given the right to speak ones mind, meaning that someone has the right and the ability to take this away. Anarchist of all kinds should be against this interpretation of freedom of speech, however, that is not to say we are against what people have to say in any context, merely that we dont see it as a right to be given or taken away but a fundamental part of being a free human being. saying you have freedom of speech is like saying you have freedom of taste or sight, its not a right, its something you are born with, not something that can ever be truly taken away from a free person.

    Everyone should have be allowed to say what they think, how else are we to determine who we are against exactly? If you take away a fascist right to speak, they're still going to be a fascist, now they just have to do so in private or with other fascists where they cant get any real critical responses to what they are saying or what they are doing, meaning that once you get drawn into the kind of thing you cant really get any opposing viewpoints because no one knows your view.
     
  11. CHARX

    CHARXMember Forum Member


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    Apr 18, 2015
     

    You're misinterpreting their statements. They aren't saying it's "right" or "okay" for anyone to do or say anything. They're saying that that's how they'd react in such a situation. Think about that brick-throwing scenario. If an asshole just went up in the middle of your punk rock show and started throwing bricks cuz he though the bald dude was a skinhead, it would be kinda nice to deck the guy. There is no repression of free speech because there is no free speech. There is no right or wrong action because there is no morality. There is only the humans' freedom of action. If that means throwing bricks, do so if you wish. But don't say I didn't warn you when you get knocked out.


    Of course, most people take these types of anarchist statements and conflate them inot meaning that anarchiism advocates chaos and violence. I'm not advocating that. Violence only works in an authoritarian situation where one party is immune from violence. When both parties can initiate violence, there is an incentive from both to avoid it in order to avoid being hurt. Think about the Prisoner's Dilema - it is most logical for both parties to work together and avoid being rational actors in order to avoid being hurt.

    This type of altruism is a prime tenant of anarchism. It does not stem from any notion of "rights". It is a simple product of humanity's freedom of action, and yes, it may lead to some violence over hateful remarks. What did you expect from a punk community?
     
  12. The Hat

    The HatExperienced Member Experienced member


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    I think Abbie Hoffman said it best: TRUE free speech is to be able to shout theater in a crowded fire!
     

2 members have read this thread this month

  1. The Hat
  2. punkmar77
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