You remember back in the day when white people were so upset that they couldn’t say the n-word, but black people could? Now they’ve grown up a little bit, I didn’t say matured, and decided that this is a free speech issue, and it is the single greatest threat to modern society. Everyone knows, or at least has the confidence of blind zealotry, that free speech is an unalterable human right. Human rights are funny things. They’re conceptual ideas that are basically made up, their only justification being that they sound nice, and then it’s claimed that everyone is entitled to them. Free speech can be a human right, sure, but so can healthcare. So can collective bargaining. If the entire basis of your demand for free speech rests on the fact that it’s a human right, wellllllll maybe look into the distinction between negative rights, positive rights, and collective rights, because odds are you’ll abandon the entire foundation of your argument, go back to saying the n-word, and just give up on trying to justify your racism. The tricky thing about human rights is that they are usually conceived in such a way as to benefit everyone, not just those with the loudest voices.

However, free speech is often seen as a human right even by those who roll their eyes at the Milo Yiannopoulos’ of the world, and so let’s look at free speech as a human right. If you’ve had access to literally any news source within the last few years, you’ll probably know that it is under attack… from the left wing of the political spectrum.


I’m here for your speech to redistribute it so that everyone has an equal share.

Everyone knows how the right cracks down on free speech. They use violence to enforce their rigid ideology, cracking down on any dissent. This turns into censorship, and fascist propaganda is used to replace alternative perspectives. Today, the tables have turned, and now you can’t even say women are chromosomally inferior at computer programming without some SJW calling you sexist. Antifa beats up journalists! Both sides!

So what’s the difference between universities not allowing certain speakers from lecturing, or Twitter users dog-piling on someone for a bad joke, or protests popping up against companies that discriminate against gay people, and the government torturing and killing journalists and academics? According to some, nothing. They are exactly the same. The smug self-righteousness of “centrists” claims that the left and right, after a certain distance from the reasonable centre, become identically insane. They both want to crack down on our free speech!

Let me stop you before you start talking about Stalin and his purges and pogroms, because a university declining a platform to someone whose claims are as dubious as a Flat Earther is not anywhere near the same thing. That’s what is known as a false equivalency. Don’t do that.


Stalin claimed to represent communism. Communism is on the left. Those who act on leftist principles must be harbouring Stalinist urges. See? Like that. It’s dumb.

Let’s look at an example of free speech. Imagine a company that has one black employee, and the rest are white. Within this company, there is a group that loudly makes racist jokes and comments. Whenever the black employee contributes at a meeting, this group laughs and derides whatever they contribute, regardless of its merit. The group can’t be silenced since any attempt would be censoring their free speech, nor can they be fired for the same reason. Reasonable discourse regarding the illegitimacy of racism goes nowhere because these people are buffoons. How long do you think before this black employee either stops contributing, or simply leaves the company? My guess is not that long. You can replace the black employee with female, homosexual, or whatever you like. When a majority group is allowed unregulated freedom to trammel the minority under foot, the minority will be silenced or excluded.

Free speech, as demanded by centrists and the right, is simply the demand to silence the speech of minorities by creating environments where they are not welcome. If a university allowed racist and sexist commentators, would ethnic minorities and women really be able to claim a place there? How safe would they be if those whose violence is only tempered by its social stigma are suddenly given legitimacy by reckless, but free, speech? When leftists claim that speech can be violent, they mean the violence of social exclusion, and actual, literal violence that is its logical consequence. Inciting a riot is an uncontroversial crime, as is uttering threats. When the violence is social, its causal network is more complex and the results are more ambiguous, but the link is there.

not welcome

A white supremacist who openly recognizes the link between speech and social consequences? Must be a utopia.

Free speech cannot be universal because unregulated free speech censors the speech of the less powerful, which means, ultimately, that it fails as a human right. You know how allowing the super rich to contribute as much money as they want to political parties essentially means that the average person’s voice no longer means anything in a democracy? That happened in the States, and the argument of “free speech” was the driving force behind it. This means that when the left challenges the “free speech” of racists and misogynists, they are not attacking a human right, or censoring a dissenting opinion, they are fighting for the voices that this “free speech” silences. They are promoting democracy, not defying it.

Is the solution to violently attack those who take advantage of their role as social censors under the irony of free speech? Is it morally permissible to punch Nazis, basically. Unfortunately, it’s a narrative that drives these attitudes, not facts and figures, which makes discourse a difficult endeavour. Disallowing that narrative to spread is one way to combat it, but it also needs to be replaced with a better one or it will lash out as it is backed into a corner.

Post-Script: Twitter is just fucking stupid at its foundations. It has real life consequences that are depressingly inane across the spectrum, and social media in general should be abolished. That’s my view of Twitter censorship.