Saturday, January 5, 2008

Which Needs Protecting:
People's Feelings, or Freedom of Speech?

"First They Came for the English Bloggers" discusses what the author calls blog censorship.

The title is evocative of a poem that starts, "They came for the Communists, and I didn't object - For I wasn't a Communist; " (Martin Niemoller - there's another version, too - more at "The Holocaust History Project"). It isn't quite accurate, though, since bloggers have been detained before, in other countries. For example, Fouad al-Farhan (or Fuad Ahmad Al-Farhan) in Saudi Arabia.

Now, a disclaimer: I'm not so much defending what Lionheart, the English blogger, is writing, as defending his right to post it. "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,"* would be putting it a bit strongly: but I do believe that what is happening in England, and in Europe, is very disturbing.

Mr. "Lionheart's" legal status seems to be a very real threat to free speech.

Back in the 1930s, the national socialists in Germany used appeals to national pride and ethnic biases to control their opponents.

It's ironic that "hate speech" laws, intended in part to prevent such appeals to prejudice, may now be used to control opponents of an established order.

Related posts, on censorship, propaganda, and freedom of speech.
*" 'I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,' was his attitude now." S. G. Tallentyre (Evelyn Beatrice Hall), describing the attitude of Voltair toward someone who had, presumably, wronged him.


Always On Watch said...

I'm not so much defending what Lionheart, the English blogger, is writing, as defending his right to post it.

That's the point, isn't it?

Either a society has free speech--or it does not.

Brian H. Gill said...

always on watch, thanks for taking the time to comment.

The point is, indeed, preserving the right of people to express ideas. However, free speech does not appear to be an either-or concept. I'm aware of no culture, since records have been kept, that had absolute free speech.

The trick is to determine where to draw the line. For example, in today's America,
* There seems to be broad agreement that the creation and distribution of child pornography should be controlled, if not banned (1)
* Attempts to limit who is allowed to speak on behalf of political candidates have, for the most part, not succeeded

Both are "speech," at least in a sense, but while kiddie porn has few supporters, freedom to support a political candidate seems an obviously-necessary right.

There's an interesting discussion of free speech at

((1) I'm aware that child pornography has its advocates: otherwise it wouldn't exist.)

Anonymous said...

Good post on this. We can't stop, WE MUST NOT STOP fighting for Free Speech and Justice! We will fight for Lionheart!

The 'Bushies' would never advocate these legal shenanigans but some of the PIAPS people and Dhimmicrats do and would.

This 'Racial & Religious Hatred Act' is a load of crap. Hopefully it will be scrapped someday when the lawyers start being pressured to use it against Islam's obvious and much more virulent hate speech.

This planned arrest is terrible news for Lionheart, Britain and the world.
Probably the Luton Pakistani Muslim Heroin and crack gang (which is also involved with forcing non-Muslim teen girls into sex-slavery) who he has helped expose pressured the dhimmi pigs to arrest him.

Too many in the dhimmidiot government in Britain are pathetic and corrupt.
The EU is showing itself to be very evil in practice as well as most misguided and extremely stupid and ignorant of reality.

This suppression of free speech will actually cause more violence and hatred of course.
This case will also serve to educate the masses even more about the evils of Sharia and the importance of standing up to Islam.

This must be made very public, we should all tell all our friends about this. Spread the word! God bless Lionheart, I believe he will prevail.
The lawyers on the Right MUST be supported to start fighting this BS more.

Both 'The Left' and 'The Right' should be ticked off about this.

We should tell all the Radio Gods about this. Maybe they'll rant about it on their shows.

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
outlaw most bloggers

license all the rest
monitor their writing

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
eliminate FREE speech

the truth may not be spoken
if criminals are exposed

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
outlaw self-defense

exposing violent crimes
shall be deemed hate speech

absurd thought -
God of the Universe loves
corrupt politicians

offer immigrants welfare
get their votes to keep your jobs

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
be traitorous garbage

just destroy your country
screw your great-granddaughter


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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.