Quote du Jour

Via Crooks and LiarsArthur Silber addresses rightie reaction to the Muslim cartoon controversy —

To be absolutely clear: you unquestionably have “the freedom to foster hatred,” if that is what you choose to do. But if that is indeed your choice, don’t dress it up as a noble and valiant fight for freedom of speech and for “Western values” — unless, of course, you think that accurately represents “Western values.”

Read Arthur’s whole post. Good stuff.

8 thoughts on “Quote du Jour

  1. Wow, that pretty much nails it for me. Very interesting that the “freedom to foster hatred” insight came from a writer for Ha’aretz. (I had a friend from Boston who introduced me to the satirical songs of Tom Lehrer in the late 1970s. My favorite was “National Brotherhood Week”: “Oh the Protestants hate the Catholics/And the Catholics hate the Protestants/And the Moslems hate the Hindus/And everybody hates the Jews.”)

    I know some of the good folks from Canuckistan are visitors to this blog. (Btw, bummer about the men’s hockey team, guys.) As I recall Canada had an anti-hate speech law on the books some years back, the 1980s perhaps? I believe in a fairly short time it was repealed. I’d be interested to hear some Canadian views on that law and its effect on their society. Was it well-intentioned but unworkable? A bad idea all around? I’m not advocating any such thing anywhere, mind; I’m just curious.

  2. Arthur Silber is someone who should be more widely read. He’s done some great work on the psycho pathology of the right, based on the work of the reknown therapist Alice Miller, for example.

    A few months ago, he stopped writing because of ill health and an inability to make the rent. It’s the unfortunate nature of the blogosphere that there are geniuses out there who are starving. I was thrilled to read that he recently resumed writing again. Go see.

  3. This insistence on the right to publish hate speech as being part of freedom to speak one’s mind is odd to me. Freedom of Speech, Constitutionally speaking, means OUR government cannot forbid this, right? So what point is being made by repeating and repeating the action of publishing something obviously so offensive?

  4. Lynne,

    You will be pleased to know that, according to results of a poll conducted by Vanderbilt Univ’s First Amendment Center, 2/3s of Americans agree with you (assuming that the word “odd” equates opposition to ‘hate speech’) and would support banning ‘hate speech’. Oh man how BushCo is gonna play this. You are giving them the chains with which they will bind you. Its incredible! Go at it! Don’t insist on a right to publish ‘hate speech’. Oh man, watch how the govt will play this to stifle freedom. You will be surprised by what comes to be seen as ‘hate speech’. And you will get what you deserve. Sadly, so will the remaining 1/3 of us.

  5. Excuse me, Jonst. You are misunderstanding my note. You have to have responsibility with freedom. This is our real struggle.

    And don’t think that you are able to place me in one category of Americans or another based on what little you know of me -“get what I deserve”, indeed.

    Read Orcinus occasionally. It would do you good.

  6. I read, enjoy, and respect David’s work. And I did not place you in any catagory. Based on your own words you placed yourself there. I pointed out the logical implications of what you wrote. And further, I qualified my opinion by noting: “(assuming that the word “odd” equates opposition to ‘hate speech’)” That is the logical premise, I suggest, behind a sentence like you wrote; “This insistence on the right to publish hate speech as being part of freedom to speak one’s mind is odd to me.” You offered no explantion of what you meant by the word “odd”. You simply offered a pithy suggestion to go read a blog that I read anyway. As if simply the act of going to David’s blog would make me slap my head and say “boy, Lynne sure had it right!”.

    So how are you employing the word “odd” here? I would argue in fact one most emphatically does NOT need “responsibility” with free speech. Except that is the ‘responsibity’ to not yell fire in a crowded movie house and such. This has all been argued before. The 1st Amendment gives one the write to be as irresponsible as hell if you want to when it comes to offending people. One certainly may HOPE that people behave in a responsible manner. I try to do as do most people I believe. But to demand it we would have to have a universial agreement as to what was, and is, “responsible”. The Founding Fathers said “forget that”. Because it will be the govt that will decide. So….BushCo is simply sitting up there rubbing his hands together saying “the fools…their going to be ask US to define “responsiblity”! So, yes, you will get what you deserve, if, in fact, that is what you ask for. Whether you ask for it implicity or explicity.

  7. jonst, I find you more than a little odd. “Obnoxious” and “lamebrained” come to mind, also. Please refrain from picking fights with the regulars until you have a clue where we’re coming from here. At the moment, you clearly don’t.

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