Sunday, January 16, 2011

Attention Guardian: the only possible response

is 'No. HELL no. And screw you.'
Free speech can’t exist unchained. US politics needs the tonic of order<>
Didn’t guys named “Benito” and “Adolph” say much the same thing in the last century?
Why yes, they did. I think Lenin and Stalin & Co. were big on it, too.

You want some really good EUnuch values?
Foreigners are always surprised by the US's capacity to speak right but somehow not do it. Washington must contain more wisdom and talent than anywhere on earth, yet it contrives the disaster zone that is American foreign policy. This is normally put down to such impediments as the US constitution, the silent majority, sheer bigness and freedom of speech.

Today's culprit is freedom of speech, or at least the speech of the American right and its broadcast cheerleaders
Let's put it more bluntly: fuck you, you statist asshole. That Constitution you hold in such low regard, we're rather fond of it and part of the reason is the restrictions it places on the government, which is why we- unlike you- still have actual freedom of speech. Of course, YOU consider that a bug, not a feature.

Free speech is a Hobbesian jungle. It requires a marketplace where the trade in information, ideas and opinion has a framework of rules, including rules that maintain fair and open competition. Most will be voluntary, but others need enforcement.
Translation: we should, like the Brits, have government censors telling us what speech is allowable.

I repeat: Screw you, Jenkins, and your little dreams of government control of speech.


Sean D Sorrentino said...

I am always amazed that anyone can stand up and make such a stupid argument in a major newspaper. It doesn't surprise me that they'll publish it, it surprises me that he even thinks that restricting free speech is a reasonable thing to do.

SordidPanda said...

We already have enough shackles on free speech. Don't need any more. Could do with a few of them being repealed.

Phelps said...

Free speech can’t exist unchained. US politics needs the tonic of order


Keith said...

The Grauniad's main readership consists of state sector employees.

They're used to believing that only their views are worth hearing.

It's a bit of an echo chamber, and one which is going to go very quiet, as the money for "vital public services*" dries up.

As "blert" who comments at Belmong Club says:

"Peak Government"

* Oxymoron alert

Anonymous said...

I've a couple of Brit. ex-pat friends who took some time to come around to the American way of things. The hardest for them to understand was our federalist attitudes where as many things as possible are taken care of at home, then City, then County, then State, then Federal Gov't. all with increasing distrust as we work our way up the ladder. Eunuchistanis have been conditioned for hundreds and hundreds of generations to depend on their "Betters" to make life decisions for them, so knowing one's place and staying there is what most of 'em were and are comfortable with. The ones who weren't came here.

To my Norwegian and English grandparents, who came here in the early 20th century, a deeply felt thank you, and I love you from me.

Gerry N.

Sigivald said...

I'm just trying to imagine what rules about free speech he can even think of as "maintain[ing] fair and open competition".

(Unless, of course, "fair" means "making sure his side wins", in which case the rules are obvious.)

The significant difference between markets in goods and markets in speech is that there is essentially no limit or cost to producing speech.

Price signals (based on scarcity) control the use of capital and raw materials in a physical market for objects.

In the purely metaphorical market of "Free Speech", the only capital is the time and effort of the author, and those aren't in short supply, I think we can all agree.

It is not so that there is only so much "speech" to go around and that if I "overconsume" it there's less for other speakers.

(It's not even so that merely by speaking I can "crowd out" anyone else, especially in these days of search engines and social networks to spread the word...)

(Now, there are still price signals on those; if someone will pay Joe Author $1000 a day to not speak, or to speak on the topic they choose, they're likely to accomplish that.

Or if Joe Author decides that speaking on a topic is boring, he'll find his time more valuable elsewhere.

But no "rules" are needed to regulate that.)

I can't tell (and given that it's the Guardian I'd give roughly even odds) if this guy is evil and disingenuous or simply has no idea what markets do, or how and thus has no idea how completely inapt his metaphor is.

(And, post-scriptily, the simple assertion that American foreign policy is uniformly and consistently disastrous in some unspecified way is so wonderfully Guardianish that it requires no more comment than a pointing finger.)

Keith said...

I think that to most journalists (all the lefty ones, anyway),

America must be seen to fail

Then that failure can be blamed on "Capitalism" and the follies of a free market,

and we can all live happily ever after under the benign and enlightened socialist rule of modern day Lenins, Trotskys, Stalins, Maos and Pol Pots.

I just found out the other day that Trotsky praised the principal of chattel slavery, and introduced unpaid forced labour for the soviet proletariat.

such enlightened folks the lefties.