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Post 0

Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 7:10amSanction this postReply
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Good article. You might be interested to know that politically correct'ers have been on Usenet as far back as 1982. 

As far as the characteristically American drive to outlaw words deemed "offensive," it could very well have its roots in America's irrational side: the use of 'he said fighting words' as a successful, and somewhat legitimate, defense against a charge of assault.  The postmodern add-on is this:

1. Certain words "breed violence."
2. The way the assaulter is treated when their assault follows being insulted in a hateful way indicates that they are "negating the negation."
3. Hence, "verbal violence" is a negation of the community's tranquility.
4. Since negations should be outlawed rather than be dealt with at "street level," the most appropriate way to deal with these verbal negations is to illegalize them. The blind-eye approach tolerates violence on the streets, which is not preferable to using the power of the law to stop the violence at the source.
5. Therefore, "hate speech" laws are justified.

The outlawing of "hate speech" is a measure consistent with Hegelainism.


Post 1

Saturday, July 24, 2004 - 7:41pmSanction this postReply
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Thank you for this well-written article.

People who argue that government needs to bridle free speech lest malevolent words do damage to others need to read and digest Nathaniel Branden's book The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, particularly the pillars called "Self-Assertiveness" and "Self-Responsibility".


Post 2

Sunday, July 25, 2004 - 7:48pmSanction this postReply
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Jonathan --

Your article addresses very well the issue of hate speech as related to the object of hate speech, whose feelings can allegedly be hurt. Indeed, the state has no business to protect an individual's feelings. However, I would like to bring up the case of those who not only incite with hate speech, but actively recruit people.

Recently, the director of the Internaional Solidarity Movement, George Rishmawi, explained to the San Francisco Chronicle that the recruitment of American student volunteers is useful to the Palestinian movement because "if some of these foreign volunteers get shot or even killed, then the international media will sit up and take notice." Indeed, the media was all over the deaths of American student Rachel Correy and British student Tom Hurndall in Gaza in 2003.

The question is, should the ISM be allowed on American campuses in the name of free speech? What about the parents who pay tuition for their kids to learn, not to be recreuited as human shields?



Post 3

Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 5:12pmSanction this postReply
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Interesting, well-written article, Jonathan. I think the case of Bridget Bardot, the French actress, is an example of what you refer to, in that she is being harassed legally under laws against racism for speaking out about the Muslimization of France. Here, I sense the intent is support the multicultural agenda, and silence all criticism of any type of culture.
 
However, free speech in regards to political liberty means the advancement of life, and not the destruction of life. Calling for black slavery or another holocaust is a negation of life. Would you support the right of a man to advocate killing you, and destroying your family? Would you support a man that wanted to enslave you? And if you did, wouldn't that implicate you in your own destruction?
 
Also, free speech and slanderous speech are two different things. In a rational society, libel laws would be clearly defined so as to afford the slandered to easily prove his or her case, and financially damage the slanderer. I remember a Civil Rights organization in the South using the courts to heavily damage the KKK.
 
In other words, if a group asserted that Jewish doctors were infecting the black population with AIDs they would be open to extreme financial damage through the courts.
 
By making individuals and groups responsible for what they say, through the courts, one would be able to refrain from censorship but at the same time, strike back at groups that thrive on slander.
 
Alan Tucker
 


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Post 4

Tuesday, July 27, 2004 - 10:01pmSanction this postReply
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Isn't it strange that the ACLU now advocates the restriction of hate speech? That is a 180 degree reversal of their position stated in the 1994 references in Jonathan's article.

Instead of preventing statist crackdowns on obnoxious speech, the ACLU now lobbies to impose state censorship. What happened to their unequivocal defense of our First Amendment?  Why did they abandon principle and go and go to the other side?

Professor David Bernstein (George Mason University), in his new book, “You Can’t Say That!," offers some answers. The focus of the book is the threat to the First Amendment presented by the anti-discrimination laws now espoused the by ACLU. These laws are rapidly expanding in their regulation of workplace speech, artistic expression, political speech and campus speech. They claim to protect women and minorities from whatever oppression such speech conveys. And, while this nation would be a more pleasant place if no one ever spoke a harsh word, government control to assure that is an unacceptable totalitarian solution. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was written to protect us from such government involvement when it states: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech...” Unfortunately, the ACLU—an organization founded to preserve First Amendment rights—now advocates such abridgement.

Clearly, the ACLU has drifted away from concern about individual liberty and adopted a collectivist “social equality” agenda. And, they've accepted government as a partner in that effort.

Post 5

Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 6:42amSanction this postReply
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Good point about the ACLU, Larry. I bet that if the International Solidarity Movement was banned from recruiting on campus grounds, the ACLU will be there to defend their first amendment rights - after all, they are a minority. Saying that they support terrorism is hate speech against them.


Post 6

Wednesday, August 4, 2004 - 9:49amSanction this postReply
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Just to clarify that my previous post on the ACLU was sarcastic, or so I hope.

Post 7

Thursday, August 17 - 3:27amSanction this postReply
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Interesting in light of recent events.  We want the broadest range of freedoms and liberties consonant with natural rights. That said, some limitations do exist, and perhaps should. For one thing, you cannot be a member of the Texas Military Department if you advocate reactionary, revolutionary, or secessionist ideas.  The question is at what point are you opening a discussion against any of those without actually discussing them in the first place?  Myself, I took an oath of loyality to the United States and to the constitution of Texas. But I also know of a science fiction story, The Texas-Israeli War, set in an alternate future in which the South was successful in its secession and Texas then left the Confederacy. When does science fiction become illegal?

 

We used to call homosexuality "the sin that dares not say its own name."  

 

Moreover, the "fighting words" doctrine is based on the very real fact that at some point when someone says something, you have to believe that they mean it and intend to do it. There may be no rationalist, idealist definition of that, but may always come down to the wisdom of "12 good people."

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 8/17, 3:28am)



Post 8

Thursday, August 17 - 10:54amSanction this postReply
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We want the broadest range of freedoms and liberties consonant with natural rights. That said, some limitations do exist, and perhaps should. For one thing, you cannot be a member of the Texas Military Department if you advocate reactionary, revolutionary, or secessionist ideas.

 

Marotta is being fuzzy... again.  Individual rights, by their nature, are actions without limitations.  If I have a right to some property, then, by definition, I need no permission to take the actions that form that property - they are mine to take without anyone's permission.  If the property, for example, is my life, an action I get to take without any permission is to breathe.

 

That doesn't mean I don't forfeit some rights if I murder someone, because simple logic says that I cannot claim a moral santion to be free of violations of my rights when I willingly violate the rights of others.  Contraditions don't exist, and that would be a contradiction.  So, if there are any such things as rights, they cannot include a contradiction such as a 'right to violate a right'. 

 

Or, you can look at it a bit differently.  You can say, the right to live does not include the right to initiate violence.  However a person chooses to conceptualize it, an individual right has a sharp border and no limitations inside that border, and no right outside that border.  When people say otherwise, they just don't have a clear concept of rights.

 

Marotta talks about the Texas Military Department and the freedom of speech of an individual who has voluntarily joined that organization.  That is a voluntary association.  The organization, and the individual can each have conditions under which they will no longer continue the association.  That is about freedom of association which includes the freedom to not associate with a given person or organization. 

 

Marotta, or anyone else, would be free to speak their mind.... who would stop them?  And then there may or may not be a decision by other parties to end an association.  That is NOT a violation of the first amendment or the individual (moral) right to speak or not speak.  Government is not stopping some one from speaking.  I am free to yell "Fire" in a crowded theater, but then I may pay a stiff penalty for the harm that my fraud caused.  I am free to use lies to trick someone out of their property, but then I will be liable under the statutes governing fraud.  Someone is free to call another a racist, even if if they know it is not true, but they would not be free to avoid the civil consequences of a defamation suit.

 

With the first amendment we see the words, "....shall make no law..." (in the section dealing with religion).  In the entire constitution the context to hold in mind is that the document is attempting to restrain government as one of the means of protecting individual rights.  Political correctness is a part of the cultural Marxism that goes with 'gradualism' - transform the culture by getting people to adopt progressivism as a moral code unto itself.  Then people can be shammed into thinking 'bad' thoughts, or saying 'bad things.  They will police themselves and others using peer pressure to herd society into totalitarianism.



Post 9

Friday, August 18 - 6:57amSanction this postReply
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The problem of "fighting words" may be resolvable only in a social context. The Mario Puzo novel, The Fourth K, had an interesting scene that underscored social context. America is being attacked by Red Brigade terrorists. They are foreigners and they are communists. On her way to make or plant a bomb, one of them is confronted by a group of "gangstas in the hood." They just want to hassle a pretty woman dressed expensively with an upscale shopping bag. It might not go well for her, that's likely. But she has no time for this. "Get out of my way, you black bastard," she says. The author's intrusion via her insight is that she intended no racism. Ideologically, as a communist, she was not a racist. She was totally misunderstood. In Italian, when you confront someone, you face the whole person. Puzo says that if the man had been a hunchback, she would have said, "Get out of my way, you hunchback bastard." But the damage is done. He is pissed off and so he attacks her and she kills him. 

Jonathan R's original post said: Specifically, where words are nonphysical, deeds are physical. Deeds entail consequences over which one has no control; the harm is not a matter of one’s volition. By contrast, one can control one’s reaction to words; to what extent an epithet harms one ultimately depends on how one evaluates it.[3] Sure, our emotions often get the better of us, but in the end, we always retain the capacity to check, and to exaggerate, their force. After all, taking responsibility for one’s feelings—thinking before speaking or acting—distinguishes adults from adolescents.

 
Banning hate speech, then, as the legal scholar Zechariah Chafee puts it, “makes a man a criminal simply because his neighbors have no self-control.”[4] Moreover, with torture chambers in Iraq, genocide in the Balkans, and suicide bombing in Israel, equating words with violence is odious.

 

But I found that to be an illogical leap. The problem is not that other people, third parties, will be incited to act. The problem is that the speaker is stating intentions. President Trump took a lot of criticism from within the Republican Party for moral equivalency when he referred to violent actors on both sides in Charlottesville.  But we know that among those on both sides are individuals who would not stop at violence, who in fact, plan and execute it.

 

How do you know?  What are the intentions of an angry person yelling "Eat the rich!"? We too easily assume that they do not intend that because we find cannibalism so repugnant that we have a hard time believing that anyone advocates it as a political goal.  Maybe they just intend to kill the rich, and not eat them... or just jail them, and not kill them... or just tax them and not jail them (unless they evade taxes).

 

Do you have a right to strike back first against someone who declares their hatred for earned wealth... or unearned wealth...?

 

And, alternately, how should those looters and moochers view our intentions?  In what way was The Taggart Tunnel not a gas chamber?  Now, literally, in the novel - and it was only a novel, which too many mistake for a manifesto - Galt's agenda was only to leave, to withdraw, to take no actions.  As he said, punning on both the secret to his motor and to his strike, the secret is to do nothing.  But as a result of the Atlas Shrugged movies many within Objectivist social media, such as Galt's Gulch Online, bring alt right ideas about killing people back first because those looters and moochers are threats to economic freedom, and therefore threats to political freedom, and therefore threats to life.

 

The Internet of Things and two-way televisions in the home may be a good thing. The government could at least track people who say violent things to see if they are planning violent actions.  After all, by Objectivist political theory, the government's only responsibility is to protect the rights of its citizens.  The right to stop and frisk a known felon outside of a jewelry store is clearly established. (Terry versus Ohio in Wikipedia.)  If instead of guns Terry and his comrades were carrying signs that read "Rob the rich" would the policeman's actions have been wrong?

 

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 8/18, 7:08am)



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Post 10

Friday, August 18 - 11:08amSanction this postReply
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The problem of "fighting words" may be resolvable only in a social context.

 

That would only be true if you believe that moral values are relative to a culture or subculture - e.g., in some cultures it is alright to kill and eat people from a different tribe and in others it is not.  Does the fact that some cultures choose to treat values as subjective make them so? 

 

Or, is Rand right, that there exist objective, and therefore universal moral values?  We know what side Rand made clear.... Marotta? Not so much.  He wants to measure value by the standards of social context.  The social construction of morality is a strong component of progressivism.
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The issue in his post is where can words violate individual rights?   Because if one's rights aren't being violated, then there is no moral justification for the use of force in defense or retaliation.  If words can never constitute the initiation of force or a collerary, then there is no rights violation.  Fraud can consist of words, but they are words engineered to deprive someone of their property - they are in fact part of the act of taking of property in a way that violates the individuals capacity to choose.  The charge would not be about hurting a person with bad words.  If a two party team were engaged in stealing, where one of them used words to distract the owner of some property while the other snuck it away, they would both be guilty - of theft.  Those are the only cases I can imagine where words could be mistaken as properly criminal, but in fact are just part of the overall scheme to take property from an owner without the owner's permission.

 

The "Fighting words" docctrine established at the Supreme Court in Chaplinsky v. New Hampshireare in 1942 was simply a bad decision.  It made the claim that some words are so hateful that they are the equivalent of force.  Bull shit.  Had one asked any of those justices if they'd rather be hit in the legs with a baseball bat, or even a vigorously wielded willow branch insteaad of the worst of hateful words they could think of, what do think they would have answered (if they were honest)?  That decision was like some of the other really bad decisions made by the Supreme Court Justices of the time and we can hope that later courts will do more than just narrow that prescedent, but overturn it all together.  The proper cure for words that are extreme insults (and untrue) is in the civil courts under defamation statutes.
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The problem is not that other people, third parties, will be incited to act. The problem is that the speaker is stating intentions.

 

Marotta seems to be comfortable with government going after people who have 'bad' intentions.  I have said again and again, the man is NOT an Objectivist.  Going after people because they have what an elite decide are 'bad intentions' is the end goal of political correctness - to criminalize 'bad' thought.

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In what way was The Taggart Tunnel not a gas chamber?  

 

Only Marotta might believe that Ayn Rand was advocating the excution of people for their bad beliefs.  The tunnel was a literay device that showed how bad choices by different people led to bad outcomes.  NOWHERE was there an implication that Galt, or Dagney, or anyone else was choosing to kill these people because of their beliefs.

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Now, literally, in the novel - and it was only a novel, which too many mistake for a manifesto - Galt's agenda was only to leave, to withdraw, to take no actions.  As he said, punning on both the secret to his motor and to his strike, the secret is to do nothing.  But as a result of the Atlas Shrugged movies many within Objectivist social media, such as Galt's Gulch Online, bring alt right ideas about killing people back first because those looters and moochers are threats to economic freedom, and therefore threats to political freedom, and therefore threats to life.

 

Too many things wrong with that statement to address them all.  But, there is one of the meme de jours of today's progressives: That hidden under the surface of the Political Right a dangerous domestic terrorist that will start killing blacks and the poor.  They paint a picture of people on the Right with murder on their minds, using any incident (real, imagined, or staged).  Then they smear that picture over all of the opposing political party - it's a way of inflaming their base, demonizing their opposition, and encouraging emotionalism in place of thinking.

 

For years, Marotta has been offering his sense of being superior to Rand and Objectivism and just disguising each tidbit.... as he did above.  Obama showed contempt for the fly-over parts of the nation, Hillary had contempt for anyone who didn't support her, and one day, we may well see Marotta be more forthright about his contempt for Rand, Objectivism and Objectivists.

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The Internet of Things and two-way televisions in the home may be a good thing. The government could at least track people who say violent things to see if they are planning violent actions.  After all, by Objectivist political theory, the government's only responsibility is to protect the rights of its citizens.  

 

Here is Marotta advocating a fulltime policing of all the people all of the time - with zero probable cause - and just because it might uncover a person saying something that government mind-readers could construe as intent to do crime, and then they could use that to intervene with force.  Again, this flows from the idea of an elite who feel justified in imposing political correctness.  And Marotta really thinks that this coincides with Objectivism?
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Progressivism - with its political correctness - should be listed as a mental/emotional disorder. 

 

Once again I'll say that progressivism - with its political correctness - is more than an ideology, more than a political movement. It is also a mind-set and can become a part of the believer's sense of identity and can, under certain circumstances, lead from there to what should be listed as a mental/emotional disorder. 

 

This is because of the way it will inevitably lead to repeatedly choosing to support beliefs that contradict reality in some way, instead of rejecting a belief that abandons that sense of a politically correct personal identity.  And when the person repeatedly chooses the virtue-signalling, the standing on a moral highground without good reason, the sense of moral righteousness, the excuse to vent an irrational rage, the sense of safety of being the part of the 'acceptable pack', and for some, a felt-need to feel superior... when those are the choices a person makes - again and again - what follows is an ever-increasing distance from reality and a corresponding need for defense-mechanims (rationalization, denial, projection, emotionalism, etc.) and they live in their angry, superior, utopian, tribe-shared mental world.  This is a process of repeatedly abusing their consciousness.  It is that repeated failure to exercise consciousness properly that is the root cause of the disorder.  By the way, that disorder, it is often characterized by lots of floating abstractions.

 

(Edited by Steve Wolfer on 8/18, 8:32pm)



Post 11

Saturday, August 19 - 4:41amSanction this postReply
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Do you guys have any thoughts about the recent case of Michelle Carter?

Do you agree with the verdict of involuntary manslaughter?

What about just a civil, tort liability?



Post 12

Saturday, August 19 - 6:10amSanction this postReply
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Steve,

Based on your comments about progressivism I decided to re-read your book.  Also decided to purchase your primer on Government to support your effort.  Thanks again.



Post 13

Saturday, August 19 - 8:56amSanction this postReply
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Thank you, Tim.  I appreciate that. 

 

The Nature of Government book hasn't had a professional edit yet, so there are a few rough edges, but I hope you'll enjoy it.  I have a couple other books that are underway, but they are still some time off.  I have also been posting on a Facebook page created to support the book: https://www.facebook.com/LibertysHome/



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Post 14

Saturday, August 19 - 9:15amSanction this postReply
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Hi Stephen,

 

I disagree with the criminal charge. 

 

And I would disagree with a civil proceeding as well.

 

The only way I could see any justice in a civil proceeding would to show that the woman held some responsibility for the victim that was based upon knowledge that he wasn't competent to make his own decisions AND that she did have some established legal responsibility for him relative to the incompetence.  This would have been the case if she were his therapist, or doctor, or lawyer, or his parent or guardian.... and it could be shown that the professional/legal relationship was such as to convey a responsibility to intervene or at the least, to warn authorities that a person who might not be capable of exercising enough reason to keep himself safe was threatening to take his life.  But she was none of those things and no such relationship existed.

---------------------------

 

Here are the thoughts I had after reading the article:

 

The judge, "Moniz, ... focused on Roy’s [the victim's] final moments when he wavered, stepping out of the truck — and Carter [the accused] told him to “Get back in.” The judge said that although Carter knew Roy was in trouble, she took no action.

 

“She admits in a subsequent text that she did nothing — she did not call the police or Mr. Roy’s family,” Moniz said in court. “Finally, she did not issue a simple additional instruction: ‘Get out of the truck.’ ”

 

It is clear that nothing Carter did took away Roy's choice.  He chose to kill himself.  She used no force, no threat of force, nor even fraud to trick him into killing himself (she said "...you’re about to die.")

 

He was legally an adult, and had not been declared to be incompetent.  Under state and moral law he held the responsibility for his actions. 

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Carter's first crime, according to this judge, was to do nothing.  When it is a crime to NOT render aid, then we are slaves so some strange system.  We would be on call to render altruistic aid as, when and where society decreed. 

 

And this is a case of treating speech as potentially lethal - not just harmful or hurtful or hate speech, but akin to a gun or knife that is used to assault a person.  What kind of speech will be declared to be assault with a deadly weapon?  That will be up to the judge or prosecutor and their subjective beliefs.  First amendment rights will no longer be a legal deterent to the government criminalizing some kinds of speech.

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They are talking about involuntary manslaughter.  Manslaughter usually means without malice aforethought.  No prior intention.  No premeditation.  And involuntary usually means that death wasn't intended during the act.  But law isn't what is being considered here.  This is progressive ideology attempting to make speech into a possible weapon - a potentially lethal weapon, which therefore must be regulated.

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The state supreme court found that her "virtual presence" at the time of the suicide and the "constant pressure" she had place on Roy, who was in a delicate mental state, were enough proof for an involuntary manslaughter charge.  The fact that she wasn't even there, and was 'pressuring' him with phone and text communications simply proves that she could not have initiated or threatened to initiate force in an effective way.  Only those who have been declared incompetent to make their own choices, or are still children, or are under a believeable, imminent, and inescapable threat of initiated force, are not expected to be responsible for their actions.  This is a court that has decided to ignore the law - not a good thing for the judical branch and its part to protect our rights.

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The cultural jihad against bullying is really not the anguished cry to protect sensitive children that we might think.  Yes, bullying is bad, but this is another case of progressive ideology hijacking a valid cause.   It is yet another application of political correctness which must first establish speech as a weapon, before it can begin to easily start banning those weapons.  It is another tool in the progressive tool-kit to move towards cultural, political, legal thought control.



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Sunday, August 20 - 4:16amSanction this postReply
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Thanks, Steve. I'm fairly sure you're right. I see there is going to be an appeal. 

 

On the civil side, I studied many years ago Richard Epstein's "A Theory of Strict Liability," including his follow-on paper "Intentional Harms" under his general theory. I found his theory attractive. It was based on causality, did not rely on negligence-reasoning for tort, and included the bringing of harm by creation of dangerous conditions. But I'd need a big refresher in his theory to figure its application to this case. Thanks, again. 



Post 16

Sunday, August 20 - 10:30amSanction this postReply
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SW: Or, is Rand right, that there exist objective, and therefore universal moral values?

 

Ayn Rand never said that. Ayn Rand knew the difference between objective and universal. You do not. (Or if you do, you just misspoke.) Your declamations to the contrary notwithstanding, I am an Objectivist. I understand Objectivism and I live by Objectivism as a personal philosophy.

 

If you were to threaten me, Steve, I would not pass it off as mere words or harmless hate speech. I would take it seriously as your rational intention with malice aforethought. I would alert the authorities. I would do everything in my power to help them find you and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. Until now, you have said nothing like that. You call me names - "progressive" and "anarchist" - but have not issued any fighting words. You have not yet threatened me with physical harm. That is the essential distinguishing characteristic on which you are blanking out.  

 

"Hate speech" is prosecutable because it carries with it the threat of harm.  Ayn Rand has said that we do not have to wait for someone to be physically harmed in order to act under law to protect them from their violator.  Again, whatever you think Objectivism is, apparently you stopped reading in 1971, and you do not know the later published works of Ayn Rand.



Post 17

Sunday, August 20 - 4:01pmSanction this postReply
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The basic question is whether and to what extent freedom of speech can limited by law.  From 2005-2008, I attended Washtenaw Community College and fr0m 2005-2006, I was a campus safety patrol officer.  At that time, it was expressly stated in the policies that WCC was not a free speech zone. This meant, in particular, that the incumbent Congressional representatives had no unrestricted right to come to campus to ask for ballot petition signatures. It applied to everyone, of course, but I cite that example as just one limitation. WCC was and is a public institution, paid for with tax dollars, that are voted on and raised to pay for bonds issued by the county. 

 

Recently, there has been a change. The policies now (2017) include a "Free Speech Space" for non-students, limited to 15 individuals. That is the only space open to non-students for any expression including the signing of petitions.  (See here http://webfiles.wccnet.edu/activities/web/use-of-college-facilities.pdf )

 

I point out that the First Amendment only limits Congress, not the Washtenaw County board of commissioners or the trustees of WCC or anyone else. As a writer, one reason that I was happy to live in Michigan is that their constitution specifies that in suits of law involving liable, the truth shall be a defense. Other states do not have that guarantee. When I was a newspaper editor in Ohio, we were issued the Associated Press Style Guide and Liable Manual. It is a general legal principle that you cannot say whatever you want about someone else, even if it is true.

 

MEM in Post 7: We want the broadest range of freedoms and liberties consonant with natural rights. That said, some limitations do exist, and perhaps should. For one thing, you cannot be a member of the Texas Military Department if you advocate reactionary, revolutionary, or secessionist ideas.  The question is at what point are you opening a discussion against any of those without actually discussing them in the first place?  Myself, I took an oath of loyality to the United States and to the constitution of Texas. But I also know of a science fiction story, The Texas-Israeli War, set in an alternate future in which the South was successful in its secession and Texas then left the Confederacy. When does science fiction become illegal?

 

SW in Post 8: Marotta talks about the Texas Military Department and the freedom of speech of an individual who has voluntarily joined that organization.  That is a voluntary association.  The organization, and the individual can each have conditions under which they will no longer continue the association.  That is about freedom of association which includes the freedom to not associate with a given person or organization. 

 

The Texas Military Department is not just some association like the local garden club. It is a state agency. We certainly do want our public servants to be loyal to the government. Yet, at the same time, in Atlas Shrugged is a minor scene in which a soldier is warned that he has no right to a political opinion.  Rand was speaking clearly from her own time and her own experience. Today, we view that somewhat differently, though we do, again, properly limit such speech when it contravenes the oath of office.



Post 18

Sunday, August 20 - 6:00pmSanction this postReply
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Marotta, how can you not understand what a universal value is.  If life is an objective value for humans, then it is universal to humans.  What is hard to understand about that? 

 

We often hear academics (and progressives) say that values are cultural - which of course means they are not universal.  We often hear academics say that all values are subjective, not objective.  

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There is a distinct difference between "threats" and "Hate speech."  Think about it.  Threats of bodily harm were illegal long before people starting talking about "hate speech."  Hate speech is always about identity politics, political correctness and 'protected groups.'   Given your deep sympathies for progressivism, you should know that.

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Here is the definition Wikipedia gives for Hate Speech: "Hate speech is speech which attacks a person or group on the basis of attributes such as race, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, or gender."  That does not include calling someone a "progressive" or an "anarchist" which, at least not 'protected groups' under the law... at least not yet.  Nor does "hate speech" require a threat to do harm.  

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Here is what Wikipedia says about "Threat": "A threat is a communicated intent to inflict harm or loss on another person. A threat is considered an act of coercion."

I'd say that you are the one 'blanking out' on the differences. 

 

You seem to want to accuse me of both threats (not true) and hate speech (also not true).  Have you lost your mind?

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Hate speech prosecution varies from country to country.  Laws differ.  Try being specific.

 

Ayn Rand did not say that that people should use violence in the absence of a threat, nor did she talk about "acting under the law" - what law?  Are you incabpable of separating moral rights from legal rights?



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Sunday, August 20 - 8:32pmSanction this postReply
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Marotta tells us that he was a campus safety patrol officer at Washtenaw Community College.  And, he says that, "At that time, it was expressly stated in the policies that WCC was not a free speech zone."

 

Leave it to Marotta to use his background as a crossing guard, or whatever, to provide an in-depth understanding of the moral and political philosophical principles underpinning our freedom of speech.

 

The founding fathers set out to create a government for the express purpose of protecting individual rights.  Our freedom to speak our minds was a moral right long before it was discussed in the constitution or defined in law.  "Freedom" means a condition free from coercion.  The constitution was a pact among states whereby they granted limited powers to create the new federal government.  They could not have succeeded in getting that pact ratified by the states without including a bill of rights.  Too many of the founding fathers were fearful that unless a number of those rights - including some seen as critical to a free people - were mentioned explicitly.  If they were not spelled out, it was feared they would be lost over time.  That is the origin of the restriction on the federal government's power to constrain speech. 

 

Good little patrol officers of that community college might think they have a right to tell others what they can or cannot speak, and progressives who dearly seek to shut up all opposition by using political correctness will agree.

 

Marotta says, "Rand was speaking clearly from her own time and her own experience. Today, we view that somewhat differently, though we do, again, properly limit such speech when it contravenes the oath of office."  In other words, according to Marotta, Rand wasn't describing timeless moral principles and what she said was only relevant to her time and her exprerience.  Pure subjectivist bull shit.  Progressives are united in their opposition to any speech that might conflict with whatever is seen as politically correct.  And most important is their basic principle that speech can be limited - with the specific details of what the exact limits are to follow.



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