Category Archives: Freedom of Speech (Censorship)

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.

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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.”

Trigger Warnings and Safe Spaces: The Campus Counter-Revolution

Once upon a time (not that long ago), the west’s colleges and universities were its centers of political dissent and incubators of cultural change.

From dress and speech codes to musical trends to the defining issues of the day, students — often with the support and encouragement of more “liberal” faculty — fashioned their own new civic religion out of the catch-phrase “subvert the dominant paradigm.”

The politically active among today’s generation of college students seem hell-bent on turning that religion inside out, maintaining its outward image, form and tactics while working diligently to negate its substance.

From “trigger warnings” ahead of controversial readings or class discussions to “safe spaces” within which potentially traumatizing elements are banned altogether, the goal is conversion of campuses into hothouses, with students as delicate flowers ensconced within and protected from any hint of challenge to their cherished preconceptions.

We’ve been here before. Be it Thomas Bowdler’s “family-friendly” butcherings of Shakespeare, Anthony Comstock’s crusade against delivery of “obscene, lewd, or lascivious” materials via the US postal system, or Tipper Gore’s demand for “Parental Advisory” labels on music, the neo-Puritan impulse cuts across our history as response to anything new, anything different, anything challenging.

Such movements are inherently conservative, and the 21st century campus version is no exception. Conservatism isn’t about the particular content of any set of ideas. It’s about protecting the established, enshrining that which exists now and protecting it from challenge or change at all costs.

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Freedom of Speech: A Very Brief Defence against Tanya Cohen (2015), by Sean Gabb

Freedom of Speech: A Very Brief Defence against Tanya Cohen
(23rd March 2015)
By Sean Gabb

I have been directed to this article, published today: Australia Must Have Zero Tolerance for Online Hatred, by Tanya Cohen of something called The Australian Independent Media Network. It is a very long article, and I will begin my response by quoting the passages I find most objectionable. Read more

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