Friday, February 05, 2010

When Free Speech is Ruled Hate Speech

"I admire Michel Serres' effort to avoid polemic, and I acknowledge the fact that truth cannot emerge from it. But I have to say that, personally, polemic does not trouble me much. If I am treated polemically I will respond accordingly. It is true that it is a phenomenon of doubles, but I think it preferable to total silence." -- René Girard
I, too, would prefer gentile expressions of political and moral disagreement, but if someone yelling "fire!" gives the impression of being emotionally overwrought, it may be because their is actually a fire. So it is that I offer this video by the former British comedian and internet cultural commentator, Pat Condell. In the stifled politically correct atmosphere that is so prevalent today, Condell will seem shocking. In comparison with the lively give-and-take that once characterized western political discourse, however, he's indignation wouldn't be at all out of the ordinary. However you may react to his indignant rhetoric, the argument he makes, in my view, is sound.



If the West's hard-won principle of free speech existed only to protect the politically popular, it would be the political equivalent of falling off a log. The principle is important precisely because it protects against the imposition of the kind of speech-codes which usher in tyranny.

Hat Tip: Brussels Journal

4 comments:

asdfsadf said...

This in a sports column about the Super Bowl today. "Violence Unveiled" came to mind. Just finished it a couple months ago. What a great work. Thanks!

"It has all the trappings of a religious event: special garments worn by the faithful, magic incantations delivered in a chant, familiar rituals: The coin toss, the kickoff, the two-minute warning, the halftime show, the second half, the instant replay delay, the trophy presentation."

asdfsadf said...

This in a sports column about the Super Bowl today. "Violence Unveiled" came to mind. Just finished it a couple months ago. What a great work. Thanks!

"It has all the trappings of a religious event: special garments worn by the faithful, magic incantations delivered in a chant, familiar rituals: The coin toss, the kickoff, the two-minute warning, the halftime show, the second half, the instant replay delay, the trophy presentation."

asdfsadf said...

This in a sports column about the Super Bowl today. "Violence Unveiled" came to mind. Just finished it a couple months ago. What a great work. Thanks!

"It has all the trappings of a religious event: special garments worn by the faithful, magic incantations delivered in a chant, familiar rituals: The coin toss, the kickoff, the two-minute warning, the halftime show, the second half, the instant replay delay, the trophy presentation."

asdfsadf said...

More from the sports column.

"This is why the Super Bowl cuts across all social boundaries, the one event whose fans do not divide along boundaries of religion, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or political affiliation. It is the one day in which the tea bagger can sit down with the ACLU member and both can thoroughly enjoy each other and the game."