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(1,666 posts)
Sun Mar 13, 2022, 08:00 AM Mar 2022

Does free speech come with a side of irony?

This is NOT a thread about “we need to change our free speech laws now”. This isn’t going to happen. Forget it.

This is a thought experiment.

Many other countries have limits on free speech; hate speech laws. Of course the fear on hate speech laws, is that it becomes an open-ended definition (those in charge know it when they see it and add it to the list for their own purposes).

Does free speech have an ironic dark twist that allows the seeds to be sown, many many decades in advance, that will always or likely ultimately lead to a country’s collapse? In other words, does free speech ultimately guarantee eventually a segment of society will be able to snowball problems because they can say what they want?

Or is it a combination of free speech and technology? In other words, half of the disaster recipe is free speech and the other is instant communication. Combine the two and over time it always snowballs?

For instance, Canada has hate speech laws, as well as many European counties. Can they avoid having a Fox News similar rightwing takeover based solely on limiting what can be said publicly?

Again, I am not advocating anything here, I happen to like our Constitution and our 1st Amendment. This is simply a discussion on how the United States became so politically damaged and if our shining star of the 1st Amendment might have ironically played a part in it. And if so, does that mean a civilization’s best chances, when they reach wide spread instant communication, is to put limits on what can be said publicly to stop things, such as The Big Lie, from gaining ground and causing disfunction in government?

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Does free speech come with a side of irony? (Original Post) LiberatedUSA Mar 2022 OP
I don't know the answer to this. Claustrum Mar 2022 #1
People make too much of the "problems" with free speech and technology, unblock Mar 2022 #2
This message was self-deleted by its author jfz9580m Mar 2022 #3


(4,845 posts)
1. I don't know the answer to this.
Sun Mar 13, 2022, 08:37 AM
Mar 2022

But I think a big portion of the blame is on the party leaders (Trump and other republican leaders) for feeding on the conspiracy theory wing of the party. I think both parties have our own conspiracy and they were always there even before Trump, the internet or the social networks. But before Trump, we had party leaders who are responsible and rejects these conspiracy part in the party. One big example is McCain for shutting down the white lady who tried to say her racist BS toward Obama. And on our side, we have sane party leaders who are still staying away from those conspiracies.

Trump, not only allowed those conspiracy wing to exist, but basically made his campaign on those conspiracies. I have hope that once Trumpism disappears from the republican party, we might have a chance to go back to normal when cooler heads in the republican party gained back prominence. But I just don't know how long it will take for Trumpism to die. It only seems to be growing in the republican party.


(51,801 posts)
2. People make too much of the "problems" with free speech and technology,
Sun Mar 13, 2022, 08:41 AM
Mar 2022

and not enough of the problems of corruption.

Any political system tends toward corruption and eventually collapse as a result. Therefore any political system just constantly fight against corruption to avoid that fate.

America has largely stood by as money became more and more important in politics; as journalism stopped being an arbiter of reason and fact; as businesses stopped valuing the social good; as some in the Supreme Court decided they were simply 9 people who could vote however they wanted and write any excuse they wanted (or not even both); as the republicans decided all that matters was a big return on investment for their biggest donors, throwing red meat to their rank and file, and extending their own power; etc.

Free speech and technology didn't make any of this inevitable, it's merely the road corruption traveled on. But had our attitude toward free speech and our technology been something else, corruption would simply have taken a different route.

Note that the idea of free speech has been corrupted as well. Right-wingers now believe it entitled them to zero consequences for their speech, and it entitles them to be offended by opposing speech.

Response to LiberatedUSA (Original post)

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