May 10, 2015

STAY QUIET AND YOU’LL BE OKAY:  Mark Steyn defends free speech by calling out the “I love free speech as much as anyone, but” crowd, which includes all progressives, and some prominent self-proclaimed conservatives like Bill O’Reilly.  Steyn observes:

Free speech is necessary to free society for all the stuff after the “but”, after the “however”. There’s no fine line between “free speech” and “hate speech”: Free speech is hate speech; it’s for the speech you hate – and for all your speech that the other guy hates. . . .

Alas, we have raised a generation of But boys. Ever since those ridiculous Washington Post and AP headlines, I’ve been thinking about the fellows who write and sub-edit and headline and approve such things – and never see the problem with it. Why would they? If you’re under a certain age, you accept instinctively that free speech is subordinate to other considerations: If you’ve been raised in the “safe space” of American universities, you take it as read that on gays and climate change and transgendered bathrooms and all kinds of other issues it’s perfectly normal to eliminate free speech and demand only the party line. So what’s the big deal about letting Muslims cut themselves in on a little of that action?

Why would you expect people who see nothing wrong with destroying a mom’n’pop bakery over its antipathy to gay wedding cakes to have any philosophical commitment to diversity of opinion? And once you no longer have any philosophical commitment to it it’s easy to see it the way Miliband and Cotler do – as a rusty cog in the societal machinery that can be shaved and sliced millimeter by millimeter.

Yep.  As George Orwell said, “So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.”  The progressive pursuit of “diversity” is playing with the fire of intolerance.  Free speech is its first victim.