Sunday, December 10, 2017

The radical right is using 'free speech' to help them destroy democracy (?)

The big Zapper (Chris Zappone) argues below that some speech can destroy democracy.  But he fails to identify a single anti-democratic utterance coming from those he disapproves of.  What, for instance has Milo Yiannopoulos said that undermines democracy? Nothing that I have heard.

So Zappone relies on mischaracterizations in the routine Leftist way.  He says the "Alt-Right" groups he disapproves of advocate racial superiority.  Yet the most prominent spokesman of such groups -- Yiannopoulos -- is married to an African man.  Not much white supremacism or racism there!

He also refers to restrictions on immigration from some Muslim countries as undermining democracy.  How?  How does that prevent the existing population from voting?  Most countries have immigration restrictions.  Are they all undemocratic? 

Perhaps most amusingly, the Zapper says that "actions to divide and drive wedges into society overall" are an antidemocratic  conspiracy.  Some of  the wedges driven into American society by Obama (as seen in the upsurge of black crime under Obama) must therefore be antidemocratic conspiracies too.  I am inclined to agree that Obama has been anti-democratic -- but not for reasons quoted by the Zapper -- Obama's reliance on regulations rather than law, for instance

Basically, the zapper seems to be defining democracy as "arrangements that I approve of".  He shows no connection at all between current alt-Right public utterances and any threat to selective voting. He just asserts it. He has no intellectual depth whatever.  But what do we expect from a Fairfax journalist?

The great destroyers of democracy have been socialists such as Lenin, Hitler and Mao -- and the Alt-Right are enemies of socialism

Somewhat lost in the chaos of the past year is a shift in language that has profound implications for open democracies.

Fringe extremists, nationalists and racist groups have tried to portray their cause as a battle for "free speech."

The most famous example, so far, has been the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in which alt-right and other extreme right groups gathered, in an event that turned violent, leaving one counter demonstrator dead.

Some of Milo Yiannopoulos' most provocative events have been staged under the banner of "free speech," a claim repeated to defend his visit to Australia.

Part of today's political crisis stems from this cultivated confusion that conflates freedom of expression with extremist ideas such as racial superiority, or blanket bans on people based on their religion (as long as it's Islam).

Ideas, in other words, that are frankly incompatible with a modern democracy.

People are free to argue whatever idea they please – that's free speech. But if they're using the idea of free speech as a shield for actions to divide and drive wedges into society overall, it's conspiracy.

More here


Bird of Paradise said...

Zappone use the Phone and just moan

Stan B said...

So Zappone is all for freedom of the RIGHT KINDS of speech....typical fascist.