Trotter on the latest left-wing fad of silencing those they disagree with

It looks like having a good dose of the same sort of stuff I suffer every day from the left-wing has caused a bit of an epiphany with Chris Trotter.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION has long been regarded as the cornerstone of liberty. Indeed, without the ability to speak our minds freely the whole notion of liberty begins to unravel. Freedom of expression is vital in at least one other respect – it helps us to arrive at and recognise the truth. This is important because, as many philosophers and religious leaders have observed, it is the truth that sets us free.

And it is always the left-wing that tries to silence that. Look at Dirty Politics. Nicky Hager’s aim was to silence the most effective voice from the centre-right. He stated that clearly. He wanted sources silenced, he wanted journalists silenced and he even threatened them. They all just did his bidding and it was in collusion with political players from within Labour. They are still there.

Only last week, in Berkeley, the birthplace of the “free speech movement” which touched off the student revolt of the 1960s, the world was treated to the spectacle of furious students doing everything in their power to prevent the Alt-Right provocateur, Milo Yiannopoulos, from exercising his right to (yep, you guessed it) free speech.

Ironic isn’t it? Mind you it was Helen Clark’s government that implemented the Electoral Finance Act in a bid to silence critics and media.

In discussing these sorts of incidents with contemporary leftists, I have been staggered by the consistency of their responses. “What you’ve got to understand, Chris,” they reply, “is that while people have the right to express themselves, they have no right to expect that the things they say will not have consequences.”

Just what those consequences look like can be seen every hour of every day on social media. Relentless incivility; extraordinary personal abuse; the issuing of threats to attack (and even kill) those whose expression is deemed offensive to, or transgressive of, the great revolutionary “truths” of the once “new” social movements; this, sadly, has become the norm on what passes for the “Left” in 2017.

What it looks like is all too familiar these days. You have left-wing journalists like Rachel Stewart wishing violence on people like David Farrar. You have left-wing book writers working with criminals to illegally disseminate private communications. You have discussions on places like The Standard about how people whose views you disagree with need a punch in the face and how they actually deserve it. Just today someone was hoping Chris Trotter was also punched in the face. The political violence we experience is almost always from the left-wing. Look at the violence in the USA after the result of a democratic election didn’t go they way they wanted.

The liberal tradition of responding to the expression of ideas with which you disagree with a reasoned, evidence-based argument in rebuttal no longer seems to fall within either the ideological of intellectual repertoire of today’s left-wingers. The only form of argument they seem capable of deploying is the abusive and circumstantial “Argumentum ad Hominem” – attacking the person rather than his or her ideas.

They don’t want a political debate, they want silence…and it is the same rationale that three troughers are trying to silence me for daring to oppose their wishes for higher taxes and state control of what we eat. If they can’t physically punch you in the face, they use the law and the legal processes for collateral and improper purposes hoping to destroy you financially. They orchestrate boycotts, bans, and blocks to affect your business and they think nothing of it, justifying their actions by saying that you”deserve it” for daring to have a different opinion to them.

In his celebrated treatise, “On Liberty”, the nineteenth century English philosopher, John Stuart Mill, states: “If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.”

In the ears of far too many contemporary leftists this oft-quoted passage will sound either incomprehensible or offensive. (Mill does, after all, use the sexist noun “mankind” rather than the more appropriate and gender-neutral term, “Humanity”.) To their way of thinking it is entirely right and proper that those who give voice to offensive or hateful opinions should be silenced. If they would rather not endure the consequences of exercising their freedom of expression, then they should STFU.

“Those who defy the self-evident truths of the new order,” thunder its uncompromising defenders, “must endure the consequences – humiliation and pain!”

What tyrant king or totalitarian dictator could possibly disagree?

The left-wing has forever been the tyrants and totalitarians. More people have died and been silenced under communism and socialist regimes than any other. Almost all the mass murderers and dictators of the twentieth century were communists or socialists. Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, Josef Stalin, Nicolae Ceaușescu, Mao Zedong, Ho Chi Minh, Kim Jong Il, Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong-un…all communists and socialists.

Chris Trotter is clearly feeling a bit bruised. I know how he feels.

 

– The Daily Bog

 


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