Saturday, July 22, 2017

Ulrich Baer Justifies Stifling Absolutely Free Speech

From the NYT "The Stone", back in April:
What ‘Snowflakes’ Get Right About Free Speech
Ulrich Baer

What is under severe attack, in the name of an absolute notion of free speech, are the rights, both legal and cultural, of minorities to participate in public discourse. The snowflakes sensed, a good year before the election of President Trump, that insults and direct threats could once again become sanctioned by the most powerful office in the land. They grasped that racial and sexual equality is not so deep in the DNA of the American public that even some of its legal safeguards could not be undone.
The issues to which the students are so sensitive might be benign when they occur within the ivory tower. Coming from the campaign trail and now the White House, the threats are not meant to merely offend. Like President Trump’s attacks on the liberal media as the “enemies of the American people,” his insults are meant to discredit and delegitimize whole groups as less worthy of participation in the public exchange of ideas.

As a college professor and university administrator with over two decades of direct experience of campus politics, I am not overly worried that even the shrillest heckler’s vetoes will end free speech in America. As a scholar of literature, history and politics, I am especially attuned to the next generation’s demands to revise existing definitions of free speech to accommodate previously delegitimized experiences. Freedom of expression is not an unchanging absolute. When its proponents forget that it requires the vigilant and continuing examination of its parameters, and instead invoke a pure model of free speech that has never existed, the dangers to our democracy are clear and present.
We should thank the student protestors, the activists in Black Lives Matter and other “overly sensitive” souls for keeping watch over the soul of our republic.

Free Speech might well include speech that attacks the characteristics of minorities which are self-disabling and counterproductive to their own best interests. That is the type of speech which Baer wants to kill. Minorities are necessary to the egos of the Messianic savior class of the Left. It the minorities found that they could excel without the oppressive "help" of the Progressives, the Left would have no case against the Oppressor Class. That would be terminal to the Leftist elitist Messianic Class.

What Baer leaves out, is the elephant in the room: who gets to decide? Baer obviously believes that the students and their Leftist agitators get to decide, since that is what has happened, and who he thanks for their "vigilance". So, Leftist mob rule is the arbiter of who is morally qualified to speak to people.

Let’s think about the results of Leftist mob moral adjudication of Free Speech.

First, the student mobs and antifa are the functional and moral equivalent of the Robespierrean “Reign of Terror” in the French Revolution, where justice is an opinion, not a principle.

Second, they are violent and blood thirsty in the manner of the Democrat Ku Kux Klan and the Leftist "Society for Public Safety" under Robespierre and the Jacobins.

Third, their putative “morals” are purely class-oriented in the fashion of Marxism. Their tactics are those of Leftist Satan worshipper, Saul Alinsky, who declared all tactics to be equally moral in pursuit of a “moral” objective. Thus terror, mayhem, murder – all in the pursuit of some objective declared “moral” – are all moral tactics, having been sanctified by the morality of their objective.

Fourth, their wards for protection - minorities supposedly without a voice - are viciously at war with each other. Muslims kill Gays, oppress and abuse women, allow pedophilia (in the image of their pedophilic Prophet), refuse to participate as part of the Left’s multi-culti assimilation, except to stab, shoot, run over and throw acid on, their benefactors. Feminists (anathema to Muslims) oppress both black feminists and transwomen feminists. Blacks are their own worst enemies, killing their own class as well as other classes far beyond their demographic ratio. This all is the result of the Leftist insistence upon valuing people according to their class rather than the content of their character.

Fifth, all internal cross-Victimhood-Class aggressions and name-calling are excused. The minorities have the right to speak, and they cannot be racist, cannot be sexist, cannot be misogynist, cannot be homophobic, no matter what vile epithets, denigrations, identity marginalization and silencing of sister minorities erupts during their internecine wars.

Sixth, in Left world there is no internal contradiction which is not and cannot be embraced at a moment’s notice. Hate Comey/Love Comey; Love Russia/Hate Russia; Love Gays/Feed them to the Muslims; women's rights only for feminists. It’s all part of the “rational” and “moral” basis upon which Progressivism is built.

Seventh, under "absolute" freedom of speech, the minorities have the identical rights to speech as anyone else. So Baer's point is not to elevate the Rights of the minorities. The point is to eradicate the Rights of those who Baer and ilk wish to silence. The Left cannot stand up to any attack from the point of view of freedom, which is classless and universal. They cannot succeed in a free society, they must stamp out voices which endanger their "Progress".

So it is with Baer. It is not moral, according to Baer, to allow “absolute” free speech (which might well demonstrate the immorality of the totalitarian lock down on thought and speech), but it is moral to decide who can speak, vs. who cannot speak. And Baer chooses himself to be The One Who Decides. When he silences a class of people (morally, under his own morality of course) it is done for class justice… according to himself. So he is the “Justice Adjudicator”, "The One Who Decides".

So it becomes absolute, anyway: It is absolutely determined by The One Who Decides.

Given that, then what is the punishment for speaking if one hasn’t the permission of The One Who Decides? Well it is obvious: that would be decided by The One Who Decides.

And it is also obvious that this system is now very popular with Fat Boy Kim “The One Who Decides” Jong Un in North Korea. His punishment includes a few rounds to the torso from an anti-aircraft battery.

Eliminationism also was popular with Robespierre, who was The One Who Decided(1) who kept their heads attached and who did not. Perhaps Baer sees himself as the new Robespierre; he can’t be the new Kim, since Kim still has that title wrapped up. Baer should beware, though, because Robespierre was guillotined within a year by the rebels generated in the chaos he had unleashed himself. Intolerance seems to breed intolerance. Relativity in freedoms turns fatal and Robespierre is poster boy for that.

Note 1: Robespierre and his committee:
Encyclopedia Britannica: Committee of Public Safety, French Comité De Salut Public, political body of the French Revolution that gained virtual dictatorial control over France during the Reign of Terror

1 comment:

Steven Satak said...

Baer's definition of free speech is "speech *I* permit you to have".

And nothing more.