3 Comments

I feel cranky this morning, so I'll make two points related primarily by crankiness.

1) Restricting discussion of de-platforming to campus events makes it look like a predominantly blue activity. Censoring books in schools and public libraries doesn't happen on college campuses; neither those defunding public libraries and mandating that certain ideas must not be taught in public schools - or perhaps in any K12 schools at all; I haven't checked the details of all the legislation and proposed legislation in this area.

2) If we decide that attempting to restrict free speech on partisan grounds is basically a good thing, being a sign that the people involved are politically engaged, should we also decide that attempting to beat up or assassinate one's political opponents is a good thing - for essentially the same reason? If not, why not?

Yes, I'm something of a free speech absolutist. I'd prefer a lot less public lying, but can't imagine a good way of enforcing honesty without in practice merely enforcing orthodoxy. I draw the line at inciting violence and the traditional yelling "Fire!" falsely in a crowded theater.

Expand full comment
author

1) Indeed Red does its own censorship. We discussed their differing strategies here https://www.betterconflictbulletin.org/i/138950618/blue-bans-speakers-red-bans-books

2) One of the essential principles of better conflict is making up rules about what sort of tactics are legitimate. For me, protesting is usually ok while violence is usually not.

Expand full comment

You have a good point here. Indeed, I may have gotten the idea of juxtaposing the two from reading the article you cited.

Expand full comment