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Free speech is a fundamental value of the left.

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Animal Rights and the Challenge of Activism

Animal Rights and the Challenge of Activism

GUEST ARTICLE

Painting by José Jiménez Aranda at The Walters Art Museum

“How do you know someone is vegan?” “Don’t worry, they’ll tell you!” We all know it. Animal Rights activists are annoying and pushy. They will ‘shove their beliefs down your throat’ when you are just trying to enjoy your lunch. Whether How I Met Your Mother or South Park is your show of choice, you will have seen this notorious creature represented on screen, and given the recent growth in the movement, you probably know someone in your own life who always ruins a dinner party. Maybe you, like me, are the annoying vegan.

In Defense of Climate Protesters

In Defense of Climate Protesters

Article

“Emblem 45” by Michael Maier (1617)

Acts of civil disobedience often emerge out of a sense of desperation in which citizens feel they are not being heard by decision makers by other means, and so they are forced to seek alternative ways to be heard and to affect change. The very function of civil disobedience is to protest against injustice—a requirement for any democratic society, though it is often portrayed as a foolish, juvenile activity reserved for people on the lower rungs of society.

How to counter Holocaust denial–a particular type of hate speech

How to counter Holocaust denial–a particular type of hate speech

Article

Treblinka train station sign

What does it mean, to ‘counter hate speech with more speech’?

Hint: it doesn’t mean 5 minutes for the Jews and 5 minutes for Hitler.

In 1971, over the course of several months, historian Gitta Sereny trudged regularly into a prison in Dusseldorf, Germany to sit across a small table from Franz Stangl, former commandant of the extermination camp Treblinka. Between April and June of that year, Sereny collected over 70 hours of interviews with Stangl who died on June 28–within hours of her last visit. For the following 18 months Sereny continued researching details of the stories Stangl had told her and to speak to people who had known him when he was in charge of killing operations at Treblinka.

recent ARTICLES

A Story of Fake Photojournalism: The Book of Veles, Real Euros for Fake News

A Story of Fake Photojournalism: The Book of Veles, Real Euros for Fake News

ARTICLE

The city of Veles, Macedonia This fake news story begins in Veles, a small city of 40,000 people in Macedonia. Veles became widely known in the Trump election of 2016 as a production center for false information websites. Presumably, there were hundreds of fake news websites developed by some people in Veles that generated income from ads.

The Underground Episode 8: Why Do Mainstream Journalists Hate Free Speech

The Underground Episode 8: Why Do Mainstream Journalists Hate Free Speech

PODCAST

The Underground Episode 8: Why Do Mainstream Journalists Hate Free SpeechIn this episode Sasha, Nesim and Rozali look at a Tech Crunch article about Substack's recent acquisition of the platform Letter, and the critiques of Substack for allowing certain views to be expressed on the site. They discuss the way free speech is portrayed as a dirty concept, something which militants use to hate monger, and how little or no evidence is provided for claims such as accusations of transphobia.

Lessons from the 2nd Wave with Women’s Liberation Leader Harriet Fraad

Lessons from the 2nd Wave with Women’s Liberation Leader Harriet Fraad

PODCAST

In this episode, Sasha is joined by Harriet Fraad, feminist activist, psychotherapist and hypnotherapist, for a discussion on feminism and class. They talk about how class needs to be at the basis for all social justice activism, her thoughts on the failures and successes of the 2nd wave, debates within feminism like trans activism, Gloria Steinem and the corporate and government sabotage of feminism and the racial equality movement, and the destructive mindset feminists should avoid if they want to be successful in the movement.

Surveillance has been Normalized but so has Self-Censorship

Surveillance has been Normalized but so has Self-Censorship

ARTICLE

Presidio modela - panopticon prison in CubaRevelations like those from Snowden and the Pegasus Project have this same unexpected and counterintuitive effect. Instead of rejecting the control, we increasingly learn to adapt and self censor. The panopticon effect lies exactly in this acceptance of the new normal. Afraid to say the wrong thing, we self censure our discourse and the allowable range of ideas becomes more and more narrow. Those who fail to ‘check their words’ are cancelled and provide an example for the rest.

Breaking up the Tech Giants is not Enough

Breaking up the Tech Giants is not Enough

ARTICLE

MonopolyMonopoly used to be understood in a kind of one dimensional space, how a company may have gained dominance in its industry. However, today’s tech monopolies exist in multidimensions; they monopolize and control our data, they decide when and if to censor our speech, and they purchase government officials, the same ones charged with reigning them in. But our old conception of monopolies is totally inadequate to describe or understand the significance of today’s big tech companies.

Free Speech is a core value of the Left

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Genuine support for free speech means it must apply to speech you don’t like

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Pro Free Speech Doesn't Mean Absolutist support for all speech

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Blasphemy–a notion that crystallizes so many of the issues around free speech

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marginalized groups benefit the most from free speech protections

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If leftist values have actual moral standing they can and should stand up to scrutiny and questioning

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Speech is not physical violence, it’s an alternative to violence

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Successful challenges to power build on a foundation of free speech

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Free thought depends on free speech: censorship leads to a culture of fear where people learn to hide their real opinions

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Free Speech protection for all is inherently anti-authoritarian

Let’s hear the Arguments against free speech

 

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free speech isn't free, someone always pays a price

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Banning certain speech prevents harm, is in a good cause and therefore the ends justify the means

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There is no Truth but My Truth (stay in your lane)

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speech is LITERAL violence and can kill

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free speech is a tool of oppression by the powerful and a gateway to fascism

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The first amendment is protection against state censorship but is irrelevant to social media

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Free Speech is actually just license for Racists and bigots to spew hate

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Laws against Hate Speech Reduce Intolerance and prevent the rise of fascism

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READ the Paradox of Tolerance to understand why some speech needs to be suppressed

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