Sunday, July 30, 2017

'Hate speech' protected after all

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for June 28, 2017)

Mark your calendars-- the Supreme Court got something right! Amazing, I know. What occurred on this notable occasion? They admitted the First Amendment protects "hate speech".

Of course it does! It's absurd to think there was ever any question.

They didn't go far enough and still managed to miss the important point, though. It's not because the Bill of Rights creates any rights-- it's because it recognizes that no government has the authority to violate rights, including limiting speech. It is a barrier which binds government, not a permit which applies to the people. As cogs of government, the Supreme Court Jesters don't like to face this painful reality, preferring to frame the issue in a way which preserves their feelings of grandeur. But truth is truth.

You have a right to say whatever you want, even to falsely shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater, regardless of legal opinion. No law can ever change this reality. However, you have no right to avoid the consequences of exercising your rights in an irresponsible way-- especially if people are harmed. Even if you are a president or a congresscritter.

Yes, I have the right to call members of congress "critters", and they have a right to call me whatever they want.

Freedom of speech is meaningless if it doesn't include the right to say offensive, potentially hurtful things. But, if you lie about someone, or try to talk someone into attacking an individual, or advocate for a law which would violate anyone's rights, you open yourself up to restitution or even rightful self defense. Don't speak unless you are prepared to face the music.

The other side of this right to free speech is your right to shun anyone who says hateful things. In turn, you also have the right to say what you think of them, even if it offends. Even if you have no real argument, but focus on their skin color, their religious beliefs, or their lack of intelligence. You have the right to express your opinions, and no one has the right to force you to stop.

While you have a right to say whatever you want, even beyond the right recognized by the Supreme Court, no one is obligated to let you use their soapbox to be heard, and no one is required to listen to a word you say. Rights don't work that way.

So be careful of your words; they can end up hurting you more than those you were aiming at.

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Statist projection

Anarchy doesn't preclude working with others; only ruling others or letting them rule you.

Yet, I can't begin to count the number of times a statist has said something to the effect of "anarchy is anti-social" or "anarchists can't get along with others".

As if statism-- telling others to do as you say or you'll have your armed thugs kill them-- is in any way civilized!

A huge part of getting along with others is living up to your responsibility to not force yourself on them. Government is based on the polar opposite. Government is the height (or depth) of anti-social behavior.

Statists claim that anarchists would fail because they would rely on contracts with each other, and people are unreliable. That we can't get along with each other, much less with those who want to violate us through government and "laws".

What an odd claim.

I make mutually agreed upon contracts just about every day with no problems. I get along with people very nicely. Partly because I don't try to force them to live as I choose to live. It would be nice if they extended the same courtesy to me, but that's not the nature of those who behave in a government-like fashion; muggers, government employees, rapists, kidnappers, etc. I don't expect bad guys to act as anything other than what they are, even as I give them every opportunity to do so.

So, yeah, anarchy works just fine in my personal daily life. I see no need to archate against others, regardless of how they choose to act toward me.

But what if some people can't handle anarchy-- i.e., being self-responsible people?

Well, if someone isn't suited for anarchy-- if they can't deal with others voluntarily-- they'll either learn and grow up, or they'll turn back to statism where they feel "safe".

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