There are different positions around Free Speech, positions that normally because of our desire to simplify things remain in a group that we colloquially call “For” or “Against”. However, there are people whose positions have very important details when considering whether to have Free Speech or not.
We all know the “Free Speech Absolutists” who are usually characterized by wanting to have freedom of expression without any kind of limit, in the same way we all know those Authoritarians who are simply not in favor of you having the right to express yourself freely by considering it “Dangerous”, “Hate Speech”, or simply because they want it to be only their narratives and lines of thought that can be “free” to be expressed… Take a minute to analyze what it would be like to live under one of these two societies, an absolutely free society on the one hand and an authentic dictatorship on the other.
Let’s start by saying that Absolute Freedom of Speech has a problem that is relatively serious: If we consider Freedom of Expression or Free Speech the fact of defaming someone without any proof, the fact of inciting physical violence, inciting terrorism, that the press reserves in one way or another the right to “lie” or simply not have some regulation with the ways of speaking or language when children are present… Indeed, this is a problem, fortunately, this is a very weak argument to attack those of us who defend “Free Speech” because most of us agree that there have to be certain regulations that have a logical and moral basis.
Certainly defaming freely is inadmissible and has to be condemned, the lies of the press in the same way as well… Not to mention Terrorism and Violence, in this all of us who respect and see the law for what it is can agree… So, these people who are not absolutists with the Free Speech issue, understand that there must be certain limits so that a storm of problems is not unleashed, however, who would determine for example “Speech of Violence or Terrorism”, this could be the most debatable point because today we see movements that deal with calling “Hate Speech” everything they consider offensive and that should be censored in one way or another.
And it is that despite the fact that Defamation or the Lies of the Press are easily demonstrable at the legal level for their correct and transparent judgment, and that we can all have decency not to “throw the Bible to the ground” when there are children present, when it comes to apologizing for Terrorism or Violence is not as easy as one might think… Violence can mean many things to many people, and it is precisely for this reason that movements like the ones mentioned above that seek to limit freedom of expression to absurd points have become so strong, it is extremely complicated to give a solution, and we are forced in a certain way to give one because one madman cannot be allowed to publicly ask others to kill others… To give an example.
This, in a certain way could be fixed considering something important: “Any speech that does not make a DIRECT apology to violence, should not be considered as such”, which seems to me to solve the problem to a great extent… But others probably don’t agree, because as I said before, violence means a lot of things to a lot of people… Either that, or they just want to push a particular agenda, and that’s when we talk about the other side of the coin.
People who believe that few limits to Free Speech or that Free Speech exists in any measure could be harmful to society or individuals normally rely on an argument that could be summarized as “The defense of the physical and mental integrity of others as well as the defense of rights that have been achieved through respect and advances in society,” which could explain why certain people pretend to silence those who argue something considered “Politically Incorrect” regardless of whether they do it with data in hand or not.
These people, whom I consider in a certain way the most “innocent” because many of them really think they are doing something “Good”, recognize that Free Speech has to have limits so that other people are not able to harm others through words and that you can not, in the worst case, induce some kind of rejection of certain groups.
To the naked eye it seems like a good cause, as you avoid psychological violence and possible bullying… But at the same time it is something tremendously horrendous to put into practice. We are talking about not being able to criticize someone else, not being able to show differences between certain groups either in performance or behavior, not being able to use words in certain ways for fear of offending someone… We are, in a way, creating a society of prisoners of thought, with weak minds and access to truth limited by constant censorship.
Many people who understand this would rethink their thinking to the point of considering that more freedom is something just and necessary. But many others, unfortunately either maintain their line of thought or even turn out to be more radical than we thought. Those Authoritarians who seek to eliminate all kinds of dissident thinking and who consider “Wrong” either because it is offensive or in their negative opinion, are an even greater problem, we speak of people who disguise themselves behind an apparent “Good Cause” to gradually put their agendas and narratives to make them hegemonic and then the only ones that are questionable and accepted through censorship and criminalization of the dissident.
This is something that many people do not pay as much attention to as it deserves, yet it is becoming more and more evident. Recently we saw a company like Facebook censoring right and left people that the platform began to consider “Hate Characters” as well as anyone who dared to support them in one way or another and who had similar ideas. People who, objectively speaking, were doing nothing wrong, nothing illegal, nor violent. It is here that the average citizen can see the power that certain media have and the desire that certain characters have to make opinions contrary to their own disappear.
Have you thought about what would become of the world if a few politicians or millionaires told us what to think, what to say and how to behave, it would be absolute madness, right? Well, I don’t want to sound alarmist, but it’s happening, and this is something absolutely reprehensible from the political position that comes… “I may not like what you say, but I will fight so that you have the right to say it” is one of the most important phrases that all of us should defend regardless of our positions… For the simple reason that if my Free Speech is taken away from me tomorrow… What would stop the politician on duty from taking it away from you? Thank you for reading…
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