The epic, two-part Comment of the Day by Steve-O-In-NJ spawned a another Comment of the Day of perception and edge, this one by Humble Talent. His topic is the slogan “Silence is violence,” another example of a deft Comment of the Day saving me time, for I was going to have to post on it if someone else didn’t. That bumper-sticker line irritates me almost as much as “No justice, no peace,” “Black lives matter,” “Believe all women,” Give peace a chance,” “Better Red than dead,” and “Go Yankees!”
Here is Humble Talent’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Comment Of The Day, Part 2: ‘Ethics Warm-Up, 7/19/2020: And The Hits Just Keep On Coming!’”:
One of the tropes coming from the left in this latest bout of medical withdrawal guised as activism is that “Silence is Violence”. This in the latest variation on the theme of the left’s stretching to unrecognizability the definition of violence. No, silence is merely inconvenient for people looking to uproot the status quo.
Similar to that is speech. “Free speech” is one of the most commonly misused terms on the internet. The first amendment doesn’t protect you prom private individuals. A principled free speech position doesn’t require the right to an audience. There is no duty to listen. I actually think that “Free Speech” would be better understood if it were also approached from the inverse: Free speech includes the right to hear what someone wants to tell you.
Alizia made a comment recently, predicting that I would eventually speak in favor of the suppression of free speech because I wouldn’t speak out against Viacom firing a fellow after said fellow spouted anti-Semitic rhetoric on the air. I don’t think I’ll ever get there. But I do think we all need to take a step back and re-evaluate what things mean.
For instance, a “counter protest” is speech, but if the counter protest is designed not to respond to speech, but to drown it out and to prevent people from hearing the speaker they want to hear, not only does that violate free speech principles, but hiding behind free speech to conduct a counter-protest is hypocritical. A principled position is not a suicide pact. I don’t think we have a duty to humor the calls for free speech from the people actively violating yours. Sure, a protest is speech, but what’s going on here isn’t simply a protest, and it’s not just speech. Continue reading