While looking at the current challenges to our natural right of free speech, we ran across more nastiness. Consider this recent mainstream media, which said in part,
“Tech titans often have a different understanding of speech than the rest of the world because most trained as engineers, not as writers or readers, and a lack of a humanities education might make them less attuned to the social and political nuances of speech.”Time Magazine, Charlotte Alter
This is, of course, an attack on Elon Musk. But…
It has finally sunk through. The Price of Liberty, like many other organizations, is nothing more than a putrid extrusion of racism, white supremacy, chauvinism, and hatred of virtually everything. At least to the social justice warriors, the Woke, the so-called “progressives” who are really just regressivists.
Not that we’ve ever figured differently, of course.
But now we know why! Because we are not trained writers or readers. Because we lack a “humanities education.” Because we are less attuned to the “nuances” of speech. (Hmmm, does that include “writing?”)
This condemnation of TPOL seems to be the conclusion of more and more media, celebrities, politicians, political appointees, bureaucrats and their increasingly-slavish followers. Not TPOL specifically, of course. We are far too small, too easy to overlook. It is the entire libertarian press and online presence that is condemned.
Clearly, many of us fall into the same category as Musk. That has always been the case: Mama Liberty (Lady Susan to us) was no “trained reader or writer.” She was a nurse: a technical person just as much as any IT person or scientist (but with a much better bedside manner). Certainly the rest of us are “tech” types if not “tech titans.” Agriculture and financial specialists, environmental and IT technicians, and a licensed professional engineer.
In fact, I have NEVER met an engineer (and never been an engineer) who did not know how to read and write. (Although I DO admit that I am finding more and more engineers, graduating and licensed in the past two decades, who are substandard in their writing skills and product.)
(Am I being an elitist of some kind for noting that the deterioration in writing skills among engineering graduates seems to be directly correlated to a reduction in the number of semester-hours in technical subjects in order to increase the mandated semester-hours in humanities subjects, including mandated diversity and tolerance and cultural appreciation classes?)
Let us continue, though.
Obviously, The Price of Liberty and many other publications depend on constitutional protection of the divinely-given right of freedom of speech. Not just political and religious publications, but engineering and technical and scientific publications – and general news sources – that are essential for civilization – have the same need. Our right, as individuals and even as groups, to speak freely, to write freely, and to obtain information from others easily, should be one matter in which there is general disagreement.
Yet that is not the situation in 2022. Not in the Fifty States, and not in much of the world.
In TPOL, we’ve already talked about the recent attacks and defending this right of free expression. That quote above is from a column denouncing free speech as the “obsession” of white men, on which Jonathan Turley wrote extensively.
We here at The Price of Liberty find this attitude, this position, disgusting. But as Jonathan points out, it seems to be embraced and promoted by Democrats here in the States. Democrats at all levels, but especially at the top of the federal pyramid: White House, Congress, and the courts.
But it is NOT new here in the States. Indeed, we can see that such trashing has been a regular (and depressing) event back to the Foundng Fathers themselves.
Here are some of the worst:
- President John Adams’ Alien and Sedition Acts were, at their heart, an attack on freedom of expression.
- During the War Between The States, Honest Abe himself (and his minions) cracked down on the free speech of Copperheads, other Democrats, and even forced the Chief Justice into hiding while he detained “disloyal” Congressmen.
- The Panic of 1873 and its aftermath saw numerous examples of suppression of free speech by unionists and others, as violence peaked.
- The half-century war on (or suppression of) the Latter-day Saints (Mormons) was accompanied by obvious violations of free speech and free exercise of religion.
- During the Great War (WW1), the Wilson regime and its propaganda machine pushed well beyond Lincoln’s efforts. Not just those who failed to be enthusiastic enough about the war against the evil Huns, but anyone who wrote or spoke German.
- Of course, the FDR regime took nearly the same approach to trash free speech during the Second World War, and not just against the Japanese-Americans.
In each of these cases, government seems to have initiated the process, although always with enthusiastic support of a sizeable chunk of the population. I am sure astute readers and historians can find other examples. And in each of these, once “sanity” was restored, there was a whole lot of “mea culpa” – much of which seems (looking back) to have been hypocritical. Freedom was restored.
But the point I want to make in this commentary is simple. WE CAN DEFEAT ATTACKS ON FREE SPEECH. We have in the past.
Let us do it again.