Ederik Schneider Online

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Liberty Pen: Christopher Hitchens: In Defense Of Unpopular Speech

Democratic Socialist Defending Free Speech
Liberty Pen: Christopher Hitchens: In Defense Of Unpopular Speech

I don't agree with the late great writer Christopher Hitchens all the time. I'm a Liberal, he's more of a Progressive/Socialist. A bit left to me on economic policy, to put it mildly, but we do tend to agree on some of these key social issues, like civil liberties, War on Drugs and yes free speech. But Freedom of Speech is exactly that, the freedom to speak, to go along with our property rights, are the most important freedoms and constitutional rights that we have in America. The freedom to speak is exactly that, the right to speak whether its popular or not.

That since we are a liberal democracy, we've decided long ago, that we are good enough and intelligent enough as a nation, that we can have good intelligent tolerant thinkers. But that we can also have haters and ignorant people as well, because we are a good and intelligent enough as a people to figure out what's hate and what's not and what should be taken seriously and what shouldn't be. That we don't need big government to make these decisions for us. What we should and be able to listen to and what we shouldn't listen to. This is something that Liberals, Conservatives and Libertarians figured out a long time ago, but that today's Progressives and Neoconservatives have never grasped. Who believe government needs to be strong enough to be able to protect its people, even at times from themselves.

The Islamic film, that was perceived very negatively a few weeks ago by Muslims and Progressives, but of course Neoconservatives view the film as free speech, because they like and agree with the film, but thats a different story, is a perfect example of what free speech is designed to protect. The right for people to be able to speak their mind, even as small as their minds and intelligence level may be. As long as they are not labeling people, threatening people, or inciting violence. What this movie essentially does, is layout what the creators of this movie feel. "Islam is bad and so-forth, that Muhammad was a bad person and so-forth." But it wasn't calling for Muslims to be killed and beat up and so-forth, it was a negative if not bigoted view of Islam, but not calling for violence on Muslims. And thats the difference between free speech and threatening speech. Something we don't put up with as a nation.