In this episode Toby Young joins me to discuss his organization, The Free Speech Union, the process of being canceled by an outrage mob on Twitter, and why the value of free speech for all must be protected and defended. Toby is a journalist and founder of the Free Speech Union. He is an associate editor of the Spectator, the Critic and Quillette. In January 2018, he was “canceled” when some of his old, provocative Tweets and articles were circulated on Twitter and in the news. You can read his detailed account of that experience here.
I don’t always agree with my guests on everything they say or have said in the past. I also reject the sentiment that people must always be tarred by their provocative or unpopular statements. My opinions differ from Toby’s in some regards, but his contribution to the discussion of free speech is very valuable. In this interview, he makes a sharp and compelling case for protecting speech we don’t necessarily agree with.
Check out the Free Speech Union here: https://freespeechunion.org/
“Free speech benefits people of all political persuasions. Anyone who wants to speak their mind, say what they think in the public square, can only do so if their speech rights are protected. Protecting their speech rights shouldn’t be contingent on their having a particular point of view that you find acceptable or you happen to agree with…If you don’t have free speech, who’s going to decide what you can and can’t say? It’s going to be the privileged and the powerful. So if you restrict speech rights and transfer those powers to various authorities, you’re going to entrench privilege, and entrench centralized power, you’re not going to advance the cause of social justice.” -Toby Young