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"New York Philosophy" Message Board › Free Speech Meetup Pre-discussion.

Free Speech Meetup Pre-discussion.

Bill
user 2341848
New York, NY
Post #: 189
So, Marc, you feel a conservative objects to being called "liberal" as much as a liberal objects to being called "racist"?
Bill
user 2341848
New York, NY
Post #: 190
> "I see a similar result happening with the "racist" label. Liberals are over-using it, and they are wearing it out."
>
> Free-market type dynamics operating to quash efforts to censor . . . . How good is that!

I didn't say it was bad, any more than I feel it was a bad thing that conservatives lost the ability to terrorize the landscape with the name "communist" after the '50's.
Bill
user 2341848
New York, NY
Post #: 191
@Kevin,

The line "But we're not allowed to talk about dysfunctional behavior, because if we do we'll be called names." was inspired, as was the whole blog entry, by my reading of the book "Coming Apart.".

In "Coming Apart", the author talks about differences in behavior between upper and lower class whites. He limits the discussion to whites to avoid the conversation getting sidetracked by race.

He observes that among whites, most intellectuals are among the upper classes, and are quite out of touch with what life is like among the white lower classes. Throughout the book, he gives a lot of statistical evidence to show how behavior among the white lower classes has changed over the last 50 years.

Among the white lower classes, 30% of births are out of wedlock. And these women aren't like "Murphy Brown"; most of them are high school dropouts, and the consequences of their trying to raise kids alone are catastrophic. The percentage of people on disability has been steadily increasing over the decades, in spite of advances in medical technology, and there seems to be a large class of white males who are long-term unemployed and not interested in finding work. The book fails to explain how these people support themselves.

In short, the book paints a portrait of dysfunctional behavior run amok in the white lower classes, and the white upper classes are largely insulated from, and unaware of, these trends.

The author doesn't say so, but it was clear to me after reading the book that the reason for this increase in dysfuncitonal behavior, that has gone on during my lifetime and of which I have been largely unaware, is that anyone trying to talk about it, while addressing the population as a whole, will quickly be interpreted as discussing certain minorities, castigated as "racist", and silenced. We are observing a decline in civilization in progress that is largely not discussed due to liberal censorship via name-calling.

Does the statement make any more sense now?
William C.
user 16367121
New York, NY
Post #: 5
A couple of people have said that the political right engages in name-calling and attempts to censor the left. Could anyone make clear what names, in particular, they feel the right is using, and what speech on the part of the left that the right is censoring?

"I quit paying for cable for awhile, so the problem may be that I haven't been watching much Fox News. When I was, I remember Glenn Beck talking a lot about how much he disliked "progressives". However, liberals generally LIKE being called "progressives" -- it's not really "name calling" every time you use a noun. "Name-calling" is when you're trying to shut someone up by calling them a name they don't like being called.

I will agree that saying you "dislike" someone is not name calling.

However:


A tiny(?)minority of Repugniican Convervatives have claimed that Pres. Barrack HUSSEIN Obama is not a U.S. citizen.

A tiny(?)minority of Repubnican Convervatives have claimed that that Pres. Barrack HUSSEIN Obama is a CRYPTO-Muslim.

A tiny(?)minority of Repubnican Convervatives have claimed Pres. Barrack HUSSEIN Obama and godless left-wing Demoncrats are out to destroy America.

So while this my not be "name calling" it is very similar.

I recall that when I was a young Jedi a long, long, time ago I said to someone whom I was angry at that he was "the son of a female dog without a father". While I did not call him a son of a bitch and bastard, he still seemed to take offense. In hindsight it was not a good idea for me not name him a SOB because he was much bigger than I was and reacted....inappropriately.

Bill Chapman

I think most people would agree we would all have been much better off if someone had put a bullet through Hitler's brain in 1928. This does not extend to political assassinations generally being acceptable behavior.

Bill Carter

I think most people would agree we would all have been much better off if someone had put a bullet through Lenin's brain in 1917 and Stalin's in 1928, or Mao's brain in 1948. This does not extend to political assassinations generally being acceptable behavior it might extend to acceptable behavior in some situations.

I think that most people would we would all have been much better off if Hitler's mother, Stalin's mother, Mao's mother, Sadaam Hussein's mother, the mother of Osama bin Laden had abortions. That if they had abortions we would all be better off. However among Conservative Republicans having abortions in almost all occasions is NOT acceptable behavior.

However having the benefit of 20/20 hindsight does help.

Bill Chapman

A filter on hate speech might have prevented the Nazis from coming to power, though this is highly debatable. if Hitler had been prevented from saying anything anti-semitic, but restricted himself to saying how badly screwed Germany had been by the treaty of Versailles (now accepted as being true), and promoting pro-German nationalism, he might have come to power anyway.

Bill Carter

I will certainly agree that before that Nazis came to power he engaged in "offensive' speech which was both anti-semitic and anti-democracy. But I am not so certain that it rose to the standard of "hate" speech. If such a standard is "kill the Jews" and "conqueror" and "invade" make war on democracies.

The holocaust was never directly spoken of in the speeches of Hitler or other Nazis.

Right up to the invasion of Poland, Hitler and the Nazis in their speeches claimed that they wanted peace.

Even in his will Hitler wrote that he had always wanted peace but he was "forced" into war by Zionist-controlled democracies.

I will agree in hindsight most historians will that the Treaty of Versailles was a significant cause to WWII.

However it was not the only significant cause to WWII. Germany before WWI did not have a lot of experience-history with Democracy. It tended to be...authoritarian.

It has been suggested-theorized that the Armistice was also a factor in the rise of German Patriotism-Nationalism. Germany was not defeated militarily but economically. Germany did not have the resources or the money to continue the "Great War-The War to End All Wars". The German Army was still in France and other countries when the Armistice was dictated to Germany was forced to sign.

There were Allied military who opposed the Armistice. They thought that the war should continue until Germany was invaded. I believe it General Black Jack Pershing predicated that Germany would start another war within thirty years.

I recall a scene from the Godfather movie in which one of the gangsters told Micheal that "We should have stopped Hitler when he invaded the Rhineland." Which in hindsight was true. There were however politicians in England and other countries who agreed that it was unfair and excessive to take the Rhineland from Germany as reparations.

The taking back of the Rhineland which was un-fairly taken from Germany was a big political coup for Hitler and the Nazis. It was very, very popular that the injustice was eliminated.

Bill Chapman

In fact, to discuss Nazi Germany further, when Hitler, after assuming power, clamped down on free speech, it didn't result in an uprising against him because Germans at that time didn't have a strong tradition of free speech. The Nazis' ability to restrict debate to what they thought deemed acceptable was instrumental to their being able to get away with horrible excesses.

Bill Carter

Not only that but he also clamped down on gun control which also prevented an uprising against.

He clamped down on abortions, at least for Aryan-Germans because Germany needed Aryans to....acquire living space.

Bill Chapman

For this reason, we should tolerate free speech with as few exceptions as possible, so that should a belligerent government someday attempt to suppress dissent, there will be popular outrage against them.

Bill Carter

But should we or even can we clamp down or suppress dissent in foreign governments who engage in "belligerent" speech. And what how should we clamp down foreign governments?

If you mean that our government should someday clamp down on "belligerent" then you run into the same problems of where to draw the line between "belligerent" speech and "hate" speech. There is the problem of who and what the standards of "belligerent" speech.






A former member
Post #: 4
So, Marc, you feel a conservative objects to being called "liberal" as much as a liberal objects to being called "racist"?

The phrase "as much" introduces a different element into the discussion, which is possibly but not necessarily related to your original topic: censorship.

When talking about censorship, we're talking about things that inhibit speech. Some such things are harsher than others. Example 1: "Saying that makes you a racist." Example 2: "Saying that makes you a liberal." Example 3: "Saying that makes you a less sympathetic individual than many assumed you were." Example 4: "If you would say this instead of that, you'd be widely admired and achieve much more happiness." Etc., etc., etc. Censorship is a way to control expression; whatever works in the context. So accusing someone of being a liberal can, in certain contexts, be as potent as calling someone a racist, notwithstanding that in other contexts, they can have differing impacts. In a local election held in Manhattan, calling someone a liberal could be construed as a gesture of support. In a local election in Staten Island, calling someone a liberal could be seen as an insult. Context, context, context.

Separately, this does say something about the level of debate nowadays, mainly the lack of willingness to stand up for one's convictions. Frankly, if a candidate for office were to respond the the charge "You're a racist" by saying something like "And you're an idiot for saying that," I think he or she would automatically win my vote (and I suspect such a candidate would win a heck of a lot more votes than just mine). But that's not the world in which we live. Sigh . . . .
A former member
Post #: 5
"I think most people would agree we would all have been much better off if someone had put a bullet through Lenin's brain in 1917 and Stalin's in 1928, or Mao's brain in 1948. This does not extend to political assassinations generally being acceptable behavior it might extend to acceptable behavior in some situations."

Adherents of the "great man" approach to analysis of history would agree. But adherents of the "environmental" approach might want to probe further and assess the potential for largely similar events to have unfolded anyway. It's one of those fascinating topics that can be argued ad infinitum but never resolved.

"I think that most people would we would all have been much better off if Hitler's mother, Stalin's mother, Mao's mother, Sadaam Hussein's mother, the mother of Osama bin Laden had abortions. That if they had abortions we would all be better off. However among Conservative Republicans having abortions in almost all occasions is NOT acceptable behavior."

Then, perhaps, conservative republicans might want to consider whether it might be worthwhile to re-evaluate certain long-held views (i.e. doctrinaire opposition to abortion). I would strongly encourage people of all political beliefs to read this recent New Yorker article: http://www.newyorker....­. After reading it, you'd see that it could be quite reasonable to assume that if Obama were to suddenly and vehemently advocate right-to-life, and to persuade hi s political allies to do likewise, it wouldn't take long for pro-choice to become a standard plank in conservative republican party platforms.
A former member
Post #: 6
And we're off . . .

Mitt Romney, who had been twisting and turning in order to avoid the charge of being a liberal has now taken to using that word as a weapon. Almost immediately after the Supreme Court announced the upholding of Obamacare, I got an e-mail from the Romney campaign that contains the following: "It was always a liberal pipedream that a 2,700 page, multi-trillion-dollar Federal Government takeover of our health care system actually could address the very serious problems we face with health care. "

Whether Obamacare will be good or bad is a matter of opinion that has been debated hotly before and will, undoubtedly, continue to be the subject of intense debate.

What is NOT debatable is that the flash point, the individual mandate, is a conservative-republican policy crafted as an antidote to the single-payer leanings of the old Clinton plan. For details, see the NewYorker article I linked to in another post, and also http://www.bloomberg....­.

So here we have yet another instance of the word "liberal" being used, not to accurately or even tenuously describe someone or something. It's been adopted by Romney purely as a verbal weapon. We live in interesting times.
Bill
user 2341848
New York, NY
Post #: 192
Marc, you have established that conservatives sometimes use the word "liberal" pejoritavely. You have also meantioned that the major Republican primary candidate most hounded by the term now has the nomination virtually sewn up. When was the last time we saw a Democratic presidential candidate who was hounded by the term "racist" win the Democratic nomination?
Bill
user 2341848
New York, NY
Post #: 193
Marc, you're really being ridiculous. "Liberal" does not carry anywhere near as much weight as the term "racist". When the impact that a label of "racist" is as little as that of "liberal", which I predict eventually will happen, the problem will be solved.

I am NOT saying that anyone should be prohibited from calling anyone "racist". I've talked about the issue with a number of liberals, and I find that many of them have contorted their perception of reality so ridiculously that they feel that "racism" is the cause of most of society's problems. Telling them they're not allowed to call anyone "racist" is telling them they're not allowed to speak, and I am vehemently against telling anyone that they can't speak. What I am advocating is that people who make this charge not be taken very seriously.

In the late '60's, my uncle was a John Bircher. They had an elaborate view of the world where nearly everyone was a communist conspirator. My uncle believed, pre-Watergate, that Richard Nixon was a "communist". My uncle had a right to say that. However, by that time the name "communist" had been worn out and the John Birch world view was rightly ignored by most Americans.

When the policitically correct world view is taken no more seriously than the John Birch world view, we will have a achieved a lot of progress over where we are now.
William C.
user 16367121
New York, NY
Post #: 6
Howdy Bill

Marc, you have established that conservatives sometimes use the word "liberal" pejoratively. You have also mentioned that the major Republican primary candidate most hounded by the term now has the nomination virtually sewn up. When was the last time we saw a Democratic presidential candidate who was hounded by the term "racist" win the Democratic nomination?

So you agree that "sometimes" conservatives use the word liberal to disparage, derogate, and belittle liberals. I and I think Marc would agree with you. However I think that "most " when conservatives use the term liberal the use to disparage "liberals". I think that liberals also use the word 'conservative" to disparage them, but less frequently than conservatives.

I am sure that both liberals and conservatives take offense at being "disparaged".

I would agree that Rick Perry took offense,and felt he was being disparaged at being called a racist by some if not most liberals. I think that it is fair to say that the reason Rick Perry took offense is because he does not think or believe that he is a racist. Liberals have their reasons as to why they think-believe he is a racist, Rick Perry-conservatives has their reasons why he is not a racist. Both claim and counter-claims on both sides are rooted in political ideology.

I do recall that conservative have accused liberals of "reverse" racism. Conservatives have made the claim that "affirmative action" is "reverse racism".

Some conservatives did claim the Pres. Obama was a crypto-secret Muslim. Most Liberal would say that this was "racist" or at least crypto-racism.

Both before and after Pres. Obama was elected some conservatives made the claim that Pres. Obama was not legally qualified to be president because he was not "born" in the United States.

Some if not most liberals thought-believed that this was if not openly racist then covertly racist.

I think it is fair to say that at least a minority of conservatives still think-believe that Pres. Obama is not legally president.

When the impact of being labeled a liberal has as little impact as being labeled a conservative then I think the problems between liberals and conservatives will be solved. In light of the contemporary political climate I have me doubts that the problem will be resolved anytime soon.

I think it is fair to say that "racists" who happen to be white will be more likely to vote for a white conservative candidates then candidates who are liberal and happen to be black.

In the presidential election Pres. Obama won at least 80% of the votes of Americans who were black.

I think it is fair to say that at least some of African-Americans vote for Obama because he was African-American.
I think it is fair to say that at least some Liberal white Americans also voted for Obama because he was African-American. I think an argument can be made that this is racist.

However this thread is not specially about "racism".

So far as I am concerned both sides have the right of express whatever they want in the battle for the hearts and minds of Americans.

Bill Chapman

"In the late '60's, my uncle was a John Bircher. They had an elaborate view of the world where nearly everyone was a communist conspirator. My uncle believed, pre-Watergate, that Richard Nixon was a "communist". My uncle had a right to say that. However, by that time the name "communist" had been worn out and the John Birch world view was rightly ignored by most Americans."

I would agree that your uncle had the right to so anything he wanted so long as he was not openly advocating violence. I think you agree that there should be at some limits on free speech and that openly inciting violence against anyone is a fair limit.

While your uncle certainly had the right to claim that "nearly everyone" was a communist including pre-Watergate Nixon, I think it is was also his responsibility to give reasons and evidence as why he thought he had these thoughts-beliefs.

Since the demise of the workers paradise-Soviet Union the labeling-naming has lost its impact.

However I would argue-claim that it has been re-placed with the "labels-names" of liberals-socialist.

Muslim-American would argue-claim with at least some merit that they are the "new black" i.e. overtly black racism has been re-placed by over Muslim racism.

They would argue-claim with what I think has some merit that this racism comes primarily from conservatives who are Christians.

In closing, for now I would like to tell a story.

I was a NYCA Meetup a few weeks ago. It was about the hiring of a Republican(conservative ?)named Edwina Rogers who had been hired as a lobbyist Secular coalition For America. She gave a pretty good talk about what she had planned to do.

At the end of the talk there was a question and answer period.

One of the atheist there commented that 'I am against fag marriages. I was abused by them when I was a child and I am against them getting married.'

I think it comes as no surprise that most members of the NYCA....lean to the left, who were offended both by the use of "fags" as well as his opposition to same-sex-fag marriages. Almost all if not all of the other atheist there wanted to respond to his belligerent-offensive comments.

Ms. Rogers response that she was hired to advocate for Secularism not to advocate for same sex marriages.

Ken Bronstein the president of NYCA since made it policy that comments and or questions be phrased in a less polemically-political correct.

As to Politically Correct speech, being old I had to reboot my brain as to what it is.

I asked god-Wikipedia and she told me:


http://en.Wikipedia.o...­

After reading the Revelation I have come to the conclusion that there is use and mis-use of the concept.

It is a double-edged sword that can cut both ways.
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