Category Archives: Freedom of Speech (Censorship)

Theresa May: The Mummy Dissolves?

NB – This essay is an entirely personal view. It does not constitute an endorsement or condemnation by the Libertarian Alliance of any candidate in the present General Election. SIG

Theresa May: The Mummy Dissolves?
by Sean Gabb
7th June 2017

Now it is a generation since his more orthodox followers were pointing nuclear missiles at us, it is safe to admit that Karl Marx was rather a good writer. His journalism, in particular, is always worth a read. Here he is, on the fate of the Chinese Empire as it emerged from the first Opium War: Read more


Censorship: Tech Firms Should Abandon the EU to Its Madness

Thomas Knapp

Censorship: Tech Firms Should Abandon the EU to Its Madness

The European Union has a censorship addiction, and a desire to inflict the costs of indulging that addiction on the world’s top tech companies.

Vera Jourova, the EU’s Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, complains that Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft respond too slowly to demands that they delete posts deemed “hate speech” from their platforms. Read more

Смотрите как это происходит: превращение Британии в полицейское государство (2009), by Sean Gabb

Смотрите как это происходит: превращение Британии в полицейское государство Шон Габб Оригинальное эссе было опубликовано 27 января 2009 года в Перевод Романа Фролова [Питер Браймелоу пишет: Почти сорок лет назад, я был очень впечатлен «Новыми Тоталитаристами» Роланда Хантфорда, великолепным исследованием шведской политической культуры, аргументирующим, что тоталитаризм, в смысле полного политического контроля общества, может быть создан […]

Source: Смотрите как это происходит: превращение Британии в полицейское государство (2009), by Sean Gabb

It Takes A Village Idiot To Vote For Hillary

By ilana mercer

If you strapped Bill Clinton to a polygraph (or some lie detector that can’t be fooled or shorted by the Clintons)—I suspect he, too, might confess to a preference for Vladimir Putin over Barack Obama.

Mr. Clinton had been appropriately scathing, in 2008, about Obama’s mythical status in the media. A “fairy tale,” he called the current president.

Read more

Arguments for Freedom of Speech (2016), by Sean Gabb

Arguments for Freedom of Speech:
A Talk Given at the London School of Economics
to the Hayek Society
on Tuesday the 16th February 2016

On Tuesday the 16th February 2016, Sean Gabb, Director of the Libertarian Alliance, travelled to the London School of Economics, to talk to the Hayek Society about freedom of speech.

The London School of Economics is developing a scheme to police all speeches to student societies. This is partly to comply with the British Government’s “anti-radicalisation” laws. The academic who sat in on this meeting was an entirely friendly presence. Even so, Dr Gabb decided at the last minute to give a speech of studied moderation.

He argued:

  • That freedom of speech means the right to publish without legal hindrance on anything that does not breach some private right or involve an act of treason – both of which conditions are to be tightly drawn and continuously monitored;
  • That our only confidence in the truth of propositions outside our immediate knowledge rests on a scholarly consensus, openly reached and openly maintained in the face of open challenge;
  • Without open consensus, knowledge becomes a matter of prudential faith, attended by some degree of private doubt;
  • That the exceptions made for the various kinds of “hate speech” are both arbitrary and inconsistent;
  • That anyone who wants universities to be a “safe space” for the sensitive is arguing not for a university as traditionally known in our civilisation, but for a nursery school.

There was a lively set of questions and answers.

The contracting space for free speech

By D. J. Webb

To what extent blogs and media outlets ought to allow comment on their articles is a hotly debated topic. As is well-known, the Libertarian Alliance prefers not to censor comments, but may occasionally have little other choice than to ban a commenter or censor a posting. Typically, comments that could open the way to legal repercussions for a website, even a passive or reluctant host of such comments, can hardly be encouraged. These would include calls for violence. Read more

Karl Popper and “Intolerance of the Intolerant”

Sean Gabb

In the abstract, Popper’s claim is arguably valid. However, it’s routinely used as an excuse to censor disagreeable opinions that have first been demonised. When I was at university, and I argued for the toleration of racial prejudice, the quote was rolled out, and I was asked if I’d have argued for the toleration of the NSDAP in 1932. The answer, of course, was that a few dozen NF intellectuals and their skinhead followers were not in the slightest position to take over in England: the main threat to liberty was proto-PC. The same argument is now used to shut up anti-gay evangelists and whatever has become of the BNP.

The argument should always be turned into who is a clear and present danger to a liberal constitutional order, not who may or may not be “intolerant.”

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