15 threats to free speech from 2015

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“Never before in our history have enemies outside the United States been able to propagate genuinely dangerous ideas on American territory in such an effective way—and by this I mean ideas that lead directly to terrorist attacks that kill people. The novelty of this threat calls for new thinking about limits on freedom of speech.” Link

Eric Posner
Professor, University of Chicago Law School

Does Posner have an explanation for how we managed to survive a couple of decades of simultaneously facing enough thermonuclear warheads to blow us into a smoking crater and unfettered access to copies of Das Kapital?

What is it about some old people that causes their brain to just shut down when ‘the internet’ enters an otherwise utterly non-novel situation?


Would he make the same argument about white power groups and their use of social media? Does he plan to shut down the websites of organizations that advocate for the murder of abortion doctors? Does he think we should shut down the twitter accounts of sexist men who call for physical violence against feminists? Because all of those are far more likely to commit violent acts here in the US.


To be fair, there was a pretty large wave of censorship during the Cold War, and people lost their jobs for doing things like being gay and reading Das Kapital… HUAC did some real damage in the 1950s.


Oh, certainly, I don’t want to minimize the degree to which we conspicuously failed to cover ourselves in glory during the cold war(RE: censorship, questionable choices in international friendship, etc.); but it seemed a salient comparison in the sense that this idiot is hyperventilating about a nasty but not terribly novel group whose body count is almost entirely confined to the poor bastards who share geography with them(have they even broken 1,000 ‘western’ kills?) as though they are some kind of novel, existential threat; despite the fact that we have seen ‘actual existential threat’ and that isn’t what it looks like.

I’d also be curious as to whether the only ‘genuinely dangerous ideas’ are the ones that cause ‘terrorist attacks that kill people’ or whether ideas that directly cause people to be killed by other means can qualify as well. If so, we are going to need a lot more prisons; and he should probably watch his back when one of his colleagues in the econ department is around.


Sure… You can also see my litany of questions aimed at the quote in my response to @M_Dub. I see no one getting worked up about white supremacy and violent misogynists, who actually do pose a (slightly) more significant threat.

As for the CW, the biggest threat was to the Third World, which we and the Soviets armed to the teeth and then backed various sides in bloody wars. In fact, the consistent undermining of third world governments by us and the Soviets led to this current state of affairs…

Private corporations and judges in their pockets got you covered, I think. They’ll expand as much as they need to in order to line their pockets.


A reminder.

Speak up even for those you disagree with.
The next suppressed voice can be yours.


so wait a minute, they think that Palomar is child porn and the superintendent keeps it in their desk, but they want to get rid of the book - not the superintendent?


I didn’t answer/respond because your questions are directed at Mr. Posner, not me.

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Sure, that’s fair enough. I assumed you posted it as more of an indictment and less of an agreement? It’s certainly a telling quote on his mindset.

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I posted Posner’s quote because he/it should be on the list.


So an indictment for sure, then.

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Free speech is probably a good thing, but only when practiced by responsible people. It is no secret that people are decreasingly responsible. We elected Mr. Obama. We are going to elect either Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton. All of the psychological damage done by pedophilia is soon going to be a “right”, spearheaded by schools forcing sex literature onto children. You may disagree, but I think that that is a bad thing.

The problem is, I don’t trust anyone but myself to determine what “responsible” free speech is. I certainly don’t trust politicians to do so.

I’d like a citation on both the story where “schools [are] forcing sex literature onto children” and a reputable study showing that said literature will inflict “[a]ll of the psychological damage done by pedophilia.”


“Responsible” is usually a code word for “agrees with my set of biases”.

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And, who gets to decide who should “wield” free speech? You, with your “superior intelligence”?

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You are not practicing responsible free speech. Please shut the fuck up immediately.

(Nice troll, dude!)


Meh, I’d only give him a C-. Gave himself away in the first sentence with the “probably” and the “but…” and then going straight to Obama and pedophilia. Good trolling is a little more subtle and teasing.

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