Tuesday, July 10, 2018

The courageous left comes out in support of free speech

I wasn't going to comment on the business of the mayor of Auckland banning visiting speakers Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern from using council venues, other than what I did on Twitter:

However, I've been surprised and immensely encouraged by the response in this country that is overwhelmingly in support of free speech, particularly from those on the left like bloggers Chris Trotter and IdiotSavant. I don't agree with their views that Molyneux and Southern are racists and Nazis, but perhaps that mistaken impression makes their support for the free speech rights of the two Canadians all the more impressive.

The left has been the traditional bastion of free speech, seeing it as an essential weapon in their war against entrenched privilege, but in recent years their newfound cultural relativism and identity politics has trumped all else and led many left-wingers to abandon their support for what is arguably the foundation of all individual rights. The change in the left's position is surely all the evidence anyone needs that it is the left, rather than the right, that is now the dominant political force in the West, because only those in entrenched positions of power would see the right to voice one's opinions as a threat.

Then we have the views of certain people on the right wing who choose not to support free speech when it is two 'extreme' right-wingers who are being denied this right - people like this fellow:

Well, Mr Hooton, I don't buy it. It takes much greater courage to defend those beyond the pale on your own side than those opposed to you. You are obviously far too concerned with maintaining your carefully-cultivated 'reasonable right' position than standing up for the principles you claim to support.

A group of New Zealanders from across the political spectrum have established the Free Speech Coalition to challenge the Auckland mayor's decision in court. I would urge you to support them by donating on their website here.


Kiwiwit said...

I have read a few blog posts and comments today that state that Stefan Molyneux believes that individual intelligence is primarily a factor of race. The one time I listened to him he didn't express any such views, but if he does believe that then I agree he is a racist (although not necessarily a Nazi, which also requires a belief in nationalism, the infallibility of the state, and a centrally planned economy). But of course, the right to free speech exists for the views we detest, not those we support.

paul scott said...
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