First a mea culpa:
Forgive me, readers, for I have sinned. I was once a partisan. I was even (and I mean this literally) a card carrying member of the Democratic party. I used to run around in some extremely liberal circles too. Please forgive me, for sin has brought knowledge. I am by no means a conservative either, not now or before, but I have since eschewed political labels of any kind. No political alignment is free of attacks upon free speech either, but one in particular represents its main enemy now: liberalism.
Perhaps I should write that as “liberalism”? I looked upon the idea of liberalism as standing opposed to racist and sexist concepts, that people have the right to live their personal lives without the interference of state or private actors. It shouldn’t matter what color I am, my ethnic or national heritage, my sexual orientation, any of that. In other words, I viewed it as being meritocratic. How very wrong I was.
Don’t misunderstand me, I still believe in merit. More than anywhere else, this notion was best instilled in me by the Army. I joined the combat arms as a 19K (armor crewman) and went through training (in my case, OSUT, or “One Station Unit Training”, a combo of Basic and AIT) at Fort Knox, KY (which is where armored units and cavalry trained at the time). I’m not sure what’s become of training there since armor training was moved to Fort Benning, but at the time (during some dark days, I might add, as I was in reception when 9/11 occurred) it was male only trainees. Once I went to my proper unit (the 126th, then an armored unit – yes, a National Guard unit), I still rarely dealt with women in uniform. You might think this would make me disinclined to have women in combat arms roles, but no. In an interview (the video since removed from the website) with WZZM 13 at my old battalion headquarters, I took the opposite view. I’d like to think that women making it through Ranger School backs up my position. More than this, throughout my enlistment, the Army actively opposed people associating with each other based on race (at Fort Knox, for example, I couldn’t help but notice when black trainees tried to associate only with each other, it was black drill sergeants most inclined to force desegregation, as we were “all green”). I would have thought adhering to such principles might put me in opposition with conservatives more than anything, and to an extent that’s sometimes true. I did not expect that I would have to fight for meritocratic ideals against liberals. (I could speak of other ironies too, such as the political persuasion of most military members versus the political structure of the military itself, but that’s another article for another time.)
If you’re still with me (I tend not to be terse), I’m groping towards a point, and my point-of-view helps inform it. There are many freedoms under attack by the political left now, especially in it’s ironic alliance with far right reactionary (militant) Islam, but the one I’m concerning myself with at the moment is that of free speech.
If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. – George Washington
Perhaps you are aware of Salman Rushdie, or perhaps you aren’t. If you aren’t, you should familiarize yourself with his story. Despite his being a “Born Again Christian” (a point of scorn directed by the Left against the likes of George W. Bush), liberals tend to revere President Jimmy Carter (forgetting how awful his administration really was). Carter’s response was typical liberal double speak. He waxed on about the West needing to protect Rushdie’s life, and yes we have free speech (a defense he seems to offer so begrudgingly) , but the chief crime here was the offense, and that Rushdie should have seen it coming. When one looks at who reacted to the situation and how, one sees the seed of the war (both cultural and real) we now find ourselves in.
If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. – George Orwell
George Orwell has been abused by obnoxious liberals, such as Michael Moore. One of my favorite quotes of his, in defiance of Nazism, is “Pacifism is objectively pro-fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side, you automatically help out that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me’.” One should refrain from taking that out of context as well, of course, but it carries weight against the liberal cause. Furthermore, George Orwell was militantly anti-Stalinist (from 1984 to Animal Farm) . In the fight against Islamic Fascism, stands against freedom of speech.
More recent examples of the Left’s aiding and abetting Islamic Fascism come out of Europe. Theo van Gogh was brutally murdered in the streets of Amsterdam for the creation of the film Submission: Part 1 (there is no part 2). A note was stabbed in his chest naming Ayaan Hirsi Ali as being next (and speaking of her, if you have the time to read her book “Infidel” you should).
Then there’s the “controversy” over Jyllands-Posten. The response of the Western media, and especially of the Left, was capitulation. The primary crime was blasphemy. Liberal god (and serial criminal and rapist) Bill Clinton firmly placed the blame on the victims. Middle Eastern publications reposted the cartoons, of course, while the Western media largely refused to (claiming “respect”, but really out of fear). The full response in the Middle East ranged from the idiocy of renaming the danish to rioting.
Freedom is always, and exclusively, freedom for the one who thinks differently. – Rosa Luxemburg
Most likely, every reader here is already aware of Charlie Hebdo and the Jihadist response to its publication. What you may be less aware of is Garry Trudeau’s own reaction (excellently responded to here). This the way in which liberal’s cries have become pro-fascist. Perhaps you remember how he treated those troops who lost their lives in the Iraq War? Why, he co-opted their deaths. Apparently, he thinks he in some sense owns my brothers and sisters in arms, much like the equally vile Cindy Sheehan.
Most readers here are likewise already familiar with SJWs and third wave feminists. I saw much of it rising in both my personal interactions and in places like Facebook. I found myself quickly banned from many pages, or otherwise prevented from commenting, if I ever dared disagree with a post. I wasn’t being an ass, and neither were many others. Our dissenting opinions were (for most of us at least) expressed respectfully, and in the spirit of open debate. When I think of how admins responded, this image comes to mind:
It’s certainly how they see themselves, though I imagine some pussy little bitch thinking he (or she, as the case may be) has real power because they can (sort of) stifle other people’s speech. It’s rather pathetic, isn’t it? At the time, I was pursuing an MBA at a private, conservative university in a religious, conservative area. I felt the need to find people who had opposing views to these things. What I discovered is that liberals love an echo chamber. When one of my feminist (former) friends posted a man hating photo that strongly suggested women should always fear any male partner as a potential murderer (I’ve forgotten the wording used), I responded using statistics that rather undermined her point. I further mentioned the murder of Phil Hartman. Apparently, this was a “bad example” and “didn’t count” because of his murderer’s intoxication at the time. I guess every time a man gets drunk and beats his wife or girlfriend that’s okay, because he was drunk. Well, we know that wouldn’t fly because of feminist double standards (it seems obvious to me that both things are wrong, but whatever).
I started to see what many of you have seen. As an Atheist (of the Christopher Hitchens type), I had been active in various Atheist circles (circle jerks?) Then came “Atheism+” and “Elevatorgate“. Atheists, whose politics are broad (as are their beliefs outside of simple disbelief in religion), had only just started to come together, which is about as easy as herding cats (to use a cliché). Now Atheism was to be a third wave feminist SJW movement that tolerated no dissent. It wasn’t just absurd agendas like banning “fake jewelry“. Anyone who might have any kind of different opinion on anything ever, from websites Skepchick to FreeThoughtBlogs, had their comments removed and/or accounts banned. In a case of eating their own, Matt Dillahunty (who once threatened to block anyone who disagreed with him on Facebook) found himself on the wrong end of the ban hammer.
My own reasons for having nothing to do with CFI, for example, comes down to Melody Hensley. You know, this woman:
If you’re unfamiliar with where this comes from, look no further. PTSD from fucking Twitter? Because people disagreed with you? And you’ll try to screw anyone in the military who simply finds your assertion absurd? Wow, go fuck yourself. She can say whatever she wants, as far as I’m concerned, but her actions beyond her words are, to use the feminist term, “problematic”.
Then there’s Anita Sarkeesian‘s little trip to the UN. Never mind that her videos are entirely specious. She can be as wrong as she wants, and if she makes money off of suckers all the worse for them. Trying to get free speech banned is a red line (you know, the kind President Obama instantly backs away from). Yeah, Pakistan tried to ban free speech at the UN too, yet Richard Dawkins is an evil misogynist that should be deplatformed for tweeting what’s an obvious truth?
I don’t mean to imply that third wave feminists are the only leftists to attack freedom of speech (and surely you’ve seen plenty of other examples yourselves). There’s Black Lives Matter. BLM insists they mean “black lives matter too”, but their conduct shows them to believe that only black lives matter (or rather, only some matter, those “some” being those lives that can be race baited). I think TL;DR (Teal Deer) has some excellent video responses to them (here and here). Their college agenda is always ridiculous (and Oberlin was already masturbatory in its liberalism, that somehow being insufficient for BLM), and hostile to freedom of speech. Even when they’re not actively trying to ban it, their response has been childish to say the least. The desire for “safe spaces” is likewise an attack on freedom of speech, as is political correctness (otherwise known as “Newspeak”), wonderfully argued against by Gad Saad.
What’s the proper response to these assaults upon freedom of speech? I suppose one could simply be angry or cynical. There’s the Joel Murray approach in God Bless America, though I wouldn’t recommend that approach. Personally, I find it exhilarating. What better fight is there than to reaffirm the value of freedom of speech (and other values besides) against the fascists who would seek to eliminate or enslave us? It’s like my own contest with cancer. I’ve survived it before, and (as I write this) I’m having to fight it again (though, I have to say, the actual process is annoyingly passive, as best defined in this interview). It isn’t enjoyable. It comes with costs (I’m now missing various body parts). Yet, I feel far more defiant than ever. I refuse to not enjoy life, and for the same reason, I refuse to shut the fuck up.