Posted on November 30, 2022

The Fight for Free Speech Is a Fight for Civilization

Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, November 30, 2022

Some may think this is an overstatement:

I don’t.

James Burnham and the Machiavellian tradition show that the truth doesn’t always, or even often, win in politics. However, having the truth on your side does come with tactical advantages. It means white advocates can defend free speech not just from principle, but for political advantage. If we can speak, we win. It’s our opponents who are spreading dangerous misinformation of race denial and the huge conspiracy theory that is known as “white privilege.”

Even (especially) if we were in power, I’d be a free speech absolutist. The 2015–2016 presidential campaign was an example of what free speech can accomplish.

Our opponents seem to think it was, too. They are afraid that Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover will mean more free speech, and unlike in 2015–2016, they are pushing repression right away.

Mr. Musk has tweeted frequently about the importance of free speech:

We will see if “The Twitter Files” tell the story of Jared Taylor and American Renaissance.

Oddly enough, journalists aren’t writing stories about a brave immigrant from Africa who is defending democratic values. Instead, they talk about Mr. Musk as if he were a threat to the Republic. There are three directions of attack: from government, corporations, and from “activists.”

Elon Musk (Credit Image: © Brendan Smialowski/La Nacion via ZUMA Press)

The latter are the most outspoken. The Anti-Defamation League, after reportedly meeting with Mr. Musk on content moderation policies, evidently decided he didn’t grovel enough. It and the NAACP are promoting a boycott. “Any remaining advertiser that cares about brand safety should join the exodus of major companies that have already pulled their ads off Twitter,” said one activist quoted by CBS News. The Washington Post’s Taylor Lorenz warned that Mr. Musk was about to open the “gates of hell,” and quoted an activist who demanded that Google and Apple consider “booting Twitter off the app store.” Conservative Seth Dillon alleged that the activist in question had previously called for the justices who overturned Roe v. Wade to “never have a peaceful moment in public again.” Claims about “safety” are thus hard to take seriously. It’s a power play.

“Good for Apple” has been trending for about two days, even after it was shown Apple helped the Chinese Communist Party crack down on anti-lockdown protesters. Apple pulling advertising might be a blow to Twitter, but the true threat would be banning it from the App Store. That is what destroyed Parler. Governor Ron DeSantis said such a move would be a “really raw exercise of monopolistic power that I think would merit a response from the United States Congress.” However, while some in the GOP-controlled House might tweet or fundraise if Twitter were banned, action is unlikely. The GOP and Donald Trump did nothing but grandstand about free speech when they had power — even when social media kicked off their most dedicated supporters.

Political activism often leads to economic blackmail. Mr. Musk has said that Apple pulled its advertising and is in fact threatening to close Twitter out of the App Store. The Tesla TecnoKing tried to shame Steve Jobs’s old company on free speech grounds.

It didn’t work. Progressives love censorship, and there will be more of it. According to Pew, 62 percent of teenagers think “being able to feel welcome and safe online” merits censorship, while only 38 percent think it’s more important that people are able to “speak their minds freely online.” The poll also reported that 50 percent of adults put “safety” over freedom and only 47 percent don’t.

Free Speech Is Killing Us” wrote a New York Times columnist in a 2019, arguing that extremist speech online leads to real-world violence. “Musk’s Twitter amnesty raises new fears over online hate,” said Axios yesterday: “Civil rights groups” are outraged. “Critics of Musk’s approach say that he is asking for civil debates where the starting point is inherently un-civil, as when people express white supremacy or equate LGBTQ identity with child abuse.”

Of course, claiming certain views are inherently “uncivil” shows the flaw of liberal democracy. Carl Schmitt showed that the state can never be “neutral.” Those who run democracies make value judgments and show bias, even if they deny it. Who defines “white supremacy,” if that is to be banned? Maybe it has no real definition, just like “racism.”

Defending free speech is not just principled, it’s practical. It’s how we question assumptions and find the best ways to solve problems. If we can’t discuss things honestly, we’ll never find solutions — especially to racial problems.

“We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it,” said Thomas Jefferson. However, the System enshrines error about the American Dilemma. If anything productive, good, and beautiful is “white supremacist” and a challenge to “equity,” we won’t have a society that values those things. It will be a society of professional victims, dependent on the cowardice of whites who feed them.

We are right on race and our opponents are wrong. “The science,” is on our side. However, it’s not clear if American society would survive frank discussion of race. Too many powerful interests depend on Americans’ believing things that are not true. The desire to censor the truth about race seems more important than the fight for “democracy” we’ve been lectured on so much in the midterm elections.

On the heels of political activism and economic threats will come government action from the Left. At a White House Press Conference this week, a reporter asked a question that sounded more like a plea for censorship.

You know, there’s a researcher at Stanford who says that this is a critical moment, really, in terms of ensuring that Twitter does not become a vector for misinformation. . . . Are you concerned about that? And what tools do you have? Who is it at the White House that is really keeping track of this?

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre answered:

So, look, this is something that we’re certainly keeping an eye on. And . . . when it comes to social media platforms, it is their responsibility to make sure that when it comes to misinformation, when we — when it comes to the hate that we’re seeing, that they take action, that they continue to take action. . . .

And the President has been very clear on calling that out. He’ll continue to do that. And we’re going to continue to monitor the situation.

Who is inciting violence against whom? The latest National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) showed the black share of black/white violence is so great that black person was 35 times more likely to attack a white than the other way around. Anti-white attitudes in government, media, and online are mainstream; we chronicle outright anti-white incitement on Twitter almost every week.

The implicit (and occasionally explicit) argument from so-called civil rights activists is that free speech causes violence against “marginalized” groups. Those are precisely the groups that get privileges in hiring and education. Progressives would probably ignore both crime and affirmative-action data altogether — and still keep telling us to “follow (their) science.”

The demands for censorship and claims of danger are coming from those who are stirring up anti-white animus. If “civil rights” activists truly believe that negative speech leads to blood, the blood of countless whites is on their hands.

Free speech is a free society’s way of avoiding violence. However, if our right to speak is taken away while others are free to say inflammatory (and false) things about us, that crosses a fatal line: Political opponents become existential enemies, and that’s something no one of good will wants. Let’s hope there are still enough Americans who want to protect the rights every other generation took for granted.