The why and what of our Free Speech and the Left virtual conference
March 20, 2023

Free speech and the left conference 2023

Momentum is building for our Free Speech and the Left virtual conference scheduled for June, 2023.

The conference participants include some of today’s most interesting voices, coming together to discuss the most divisive issues of the day.

We’re in active collaboration with the New Zealand site Redline, India & the Global Left and acTVism Munich.

What is the left?

Panelists will consider whether leftist thought offers relevant and useful ways of thinking about capitalism and exploitation, empire and forever wars, cancel culture and identity politics, environmental destruction and degrowth, social justice and universalism, animal rights and morality, and of course free speech.

Conference participants will debate whether the concept of left is even still relevant or if it has been replaced by other ideas, perhaps by heterodox thinking or woke ideology.

Woke is easy to define

It is not difficult to define ‘woke’ in spite of widespread claims on social media to the contrary. Woke is a distinct ideology that parts from traditional leftist values in the most important ways. We created a little chart to make the differences clear.


The Raytheon, Goldman Sachs left is not the left.

Traditional leftism is confused by many with identity politics. Woke ideology has pushed aside traditional left values and rejects its most core principle of all– free speech.

Cancel culture is real

We know that the more who speak up…the more who will dare to speak up.

We recommend the book, Left is not Woke, by Susan Neiman, director of the Einstein Forum and we’re proud to say, one of our upcoming conference participants.

Left is not Woke, by Susan Neiman, director of the Einstein Forum and upcoming conference participant.

The signature behavior of identity politics is policing speech, one’s own and that of everyone else as well. The genuine and important aspirations of social justice, universalism and other leftist ideas have become hijacked by divisive identity politics. Instead of challenging power, the left has been neutered and become the staunchest pillar of the status quo.

Free speech and open exchange

Free speech will be represented in the conference in two ways–in conversations explicitly about free speech and in conversations about all the other important topics, demonstrating that it is the principle of free speech that makes it possible for us to sit down and engage in this open and vigorous exchange of ideas.

It is clear to us from the response we have received already, that there is a committed group of thinkers on the left who understand, value and are willing to put their names alongside the words ‘free speech’ and to step up to make the larger case that traditional leftist views are, in fact, more relevant than ever.

Ongoing conversations

The June conference, organized by Plebity along with our collaborators at Redline, India & Global Left and acTVism Munich is just the beginning of what we hope will be a series of ongoing thoughtful conversations that we look forward to hosting.

Send as a note if you want to get conference updates – [email protected]. We’ve begun pre-recording sessions and are actively organizing panels as June approaches.

We’re inviting submissions of articles around some aspect of the question ‘What is the left?’ Feel free to send us a note for specifics. These will be posted on Plebity in the lead up to and during the conference.

We could use help – volunteer help to organize the conference itself, and financial contributions, however modest.  We’re a non-profit, and we have no other form of revenue.

You can stay up to date and also support this effort materially by subscribing to us on Patreon.



Conference 2023Free speechFree speech and the left conference 2023
Reflections on Covid: One of the Most Elaborate Propaganda Campaigns in Modern History?

Reflections on Covid: One of the Most Elaborate Propaganda Campaigns in Modern History?


Reflections on Covid: One of the Most Elaborate Propaganda Campaigns in Modern History?

Panelists: Max Blumenthal, Christian Parenti

Description:  An exploration of the Covid propaganda from March 2020 to the present day; how the official Covid Narrative is unraveling (or not), the left’s support for authoritarianism, democratic societies’ descent towards authoritarianism, the rapid adoption of digital tech under the guise of public health, inequities created by Covid, capitalism and the wealth disparity, the psychology behind conformity, the conflation of ‘freedom’ and far-right beliefs, the state of health care, and more.

Max Blumenthal is a journalist and editor of the independent site The Grayzone. He is the author of several books and documentaries and is based in Washington, DC.

Christian Parenti is a professor at John Jay College and a journalist. He has written a number of articles about the pandemic, including How the organized Left got Covid wrong, learned to love lockdowns and lost its mind: an autopsy. Christian is author of the book The Soft Cage: Surveillance in America, from Slavery to the War on Terror.

Conference 2023Free speechHate SpeechFree speech and the left conference 2023
Holocaust Denialism and the Limits of Free Speech with Norman Finkelstein and Daniel Ben-Ami

Holocaust Denialism and the Limits of Free Speech with Norman Finkelstein and Daniel Ben-Ami


Holocaust Denialism and the Limits of Free Speech with Norman Finkelsein and Daniel Ben-Ami

Panelists: Daniel Ben-Ami, Norman Finkelstein

Moderator: Sasha White

Description: Norman Finkelstein and Daniel Ben-Ami exchange opinions about Holocaust denialism, hate speech laws and the boundaries of permissible speech.

Daniel Ben-Ami runs the Radicalism of Fools website, which is about rethinking antisemitism. In over 30 years as a journalist, he has written for many publications, including The Australian, The Economist, Financial Times, The Guardian and Spiked. He has also written two books and contributed to several others.

Norman Finkelstein is a long time scholar and author of numerous books, including the Holocaust Industry, which generated significant controversy when it came out in the year 2000. Norman has written and spoken extensively on the Israel Palestine conflict, and his latest book is called I'll Burn That Bridge When I Get to It! Heretical Thoughts on Identity Politics, Cancel Culture, and Academic Freedom and can be purchased here:'ll-burn-that-bridge-when-i-get-to-it.

Sasha White became a free speech advocate in 2020 after being fired for her personal comments on transgender ideology. She has written for Spiked online, Tablet Magazine, and 4W. She co-founded the Plebity Free Speech Fund and hosts interviews on the Plebity Youtube channel.