SVers outraged over this letter promoting free speech signed by Noam Chomsky and others

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    • #334827
      • Total Posts: 254

      “J.K. Rowling, Bari Weiss, Noam Chomsky, and more than 100 other writers, scholars, and academics signed a letter in Harper’s Magazine calling for “open debate” and an end to cancel culture, sparking backlash from both liberal and conservative pundits.

      The letter addressed the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests and calls to defund the police — acknowledging that the demands are over due while warning against cancel culture and being intolerant of differences.

      “But this needed reckoning has also intensified a new set of moral attitudes and political commitments that tend to weaken our norms of open debate and toleration of differences in favor of ideological conformity,” the letter read. “The democratic inclusion we want can be achieved only if we speak out against the intolerant climate that has set in on all sides.”

    • #334834
      • Total Posts: 3,446

      ..for people you personally happen to like.Cancel culture happened when the baby boomers on campus would shout down speakers they didn’t agree with.

      All these years later,they’re still doing it.And thinking themselves so fine and so advanced for so doing.

    • #334835
      • Total Posts: 4,062

      I think we have to exclude from window of open discourse the questions that have been decided by major wars.  Anyone who promotes slavery (ended by the Civil War), the divine right of kings (ended by WWI), and the superiority of the Aryan race (ended by WWII) needs to find it very difficult to disseminate their opinion.

      That said, I would probably sign the letter too.  I’ll let somebody say offensive shit once, just to know where they are coming from.  It’s when they start repeating their message and attracting some followers that the larger civilized society needs to pull the plug on them.

      Corporate America consists of totalitarian entities laser-focused on short-term greed.

    • #334836
      • Total Posts: 8,843

      SV has never been for open debate anyway. They explicitly rule out anything that isn’t the accepted Vichy narrative. Dissent is not allowed.

    • #334848
      • Total Posts: 3,029

      amusingly enough the signatories are being shredded for being overwhelmingly ultrazionists who’ve gotten people fired for what they wrote

      Chomsky and Haidt at least can talk to people

    • #334851
      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 21,304

      Why should I care what an author of children’s books thinks? So long as they’re good books, I’d buy them for my kids.

      And ooooh…Noam Chomsky and someone from the American Prospect sign the same letter and that does not compute for them. They love their cancel culture because that makes them feel morally superior to others. These are the same types of people who won’t buy a book by JK Rowling or watch a movie because Kevin Spacey is in it but praise Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs because those two sociopaths made their lives more convenient.

      And liberals wonder why so many people hate them.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #334858
      • Total Posts: 5,091


      I would like to remind you that U.S. health insurance companies do not contribute anything to health care. They are only a PARASITIC middle man receiving an undeserved cut of "FREE MONEY".


    • #334865
      • Total Posts: 2,483

      Because that’s not what I saw, and here, I confess I looked at that thread last night.

      The salient point is that someone noted that J.K. Rowling is attempting to run from accountability for her patronizing views on gender identity, that only J.K. Rowling knows what your gender is, and you don’t.  I agree that she went too far.  These people are major cultural figures, and they must accept they will be criticized for their personal views, and sometimes, people will try to ‘cancel’ their books.  It goes with the territory of being a public figure and multi-millionaire.  That is not censorship.  You might not like being criticized.  Tough.  Criticism is protected First Amendment speech.

      Double down, and you will be doubly criticized.  OR, apologize, change course, and move on – people will eventually forgive.

      The opinions and personal views expressed herein are solely those of the author, and should never be taken seriously.

    • #334871
      • Total Posts: 3,446

      ..for their hypocrisy and moralizing.They’re as bad as a bunch of Church Ladies.

      Do this,don’t do that,watch only movies with people we approve of,(according to ever-changing standards),tear down statues,rename schools ,wipe away every trace of history with which they weren’t involved,call you every name in the book if you don’t conform…and then they wonder why people are dropping out of their ranks by the day.

    • #334872
      Red Cloud
      • Total Posts: 1,532

      We need a different phrase. If my wild definition many years ago rings true. “Culture is what 70% of the people do 30% of the time.” On other days “Culture is what 30% of the people do 70% of the time.” Just make sure it adds up to 100 and people agree with the math!!

      PS: SV cancelled me with no explanation, most likely too much free thinking.

    • #334874
      • Total Posts: 2,892

      People who are worried about hate speech have no trouble accepting pornography.  In some people’s views (Chris Hedges for example) pornography is hate speech against women.  Very difficult to draw hard lines for the whole society.  You can draw hard and fast lines for yourselves and make sure not to associate with those who cross those boundaries.  That is the best you can do.

    • #334884
      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 21,304


      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #334886
      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 21,304

      @salemcourt That’s in the First Amendment. As American citizens, we have the right of association, which also includes refusing to be associated with someone. It’s an individual choice, not one to be mandated by government.

      I guess this is where my social libertarianism comes out, the same libertarianism that says women have the absolute right to control their own bodies.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #334903
      • Total Posts: 1,254

      Why is it a surprise that a website that engages in obsessive group think and dislikes individual thinking would be against a letter promoting the freedom of speech? It’s like a cult over there (I’m not joking. If you were there during Hillary’s run you know what I’m talking about).

      There are some on the Democratic side that feel that “hate speech” should be banned. That there is no place for it in a civilized society and should be just accepted fact that it should not be permitted. The problem is when you go to try to define it. Hate speech is one of those things where you know it when you see it. But it’s more difficult to pin down in a legal definition without suppressing other ideas or opinions or opening the door for a future government to use it for their own benefit.

      It’s also important to point out that the censorship is not coming from the government. So the government is not necessarily the issue here. The first amendment doesn’t allow you to ban “hate speech.” The Supreme Court has already established that. This is about censorship from a social-cultural standpoint. You can still achieve censorship enforced by the media, publications, and the society as a whole. If people begin to fear social and economic retribution because of their political beliefs, that’s just as dangerous as censorship by the government. And it runs counterproductive to a democratic society. And that is what the letter is criticizing.

    • #334908
      • Total Posts: 2,225

      I know many hypocritical and moralizing conservatives. Why pick on liberals?

      The Big Lie: "Make the lie big, Make it simple, Keep saying it, And eventually they will believe it." AH.

      "Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect." JG

      National issues (slavery/racism, income inequality, pandemics and pathetic health care, weak unions) are not solved with more states' rights. Global problems (climate change, migration, trade, war, pandemics) are not solved with more nationalism.

    • #334914
      retired liberal
      • Total Posts: 4,109

      because of something I had posted some two years previously. That’s a long time to be carrying a grudge on a political web site.


      We are an arrogant species, believing our fantasy based "facts" are better than the other person's fake facts.
      If you are wrong, it will be because you are not cynical enough.
      The older we get, the less "Life in Prison" is a deterrent.
      Always wear a proper mask when out and about. The life you save could be both yours and mine.

    • #334953
      • Total Posts: 730

      His contention is that some speech (e.g. white nationalism, extreme homophobia, extreme misogyny, etc.) transcends simple exchange of ideas and becomes a direct assault on the psychology and well-being of oppressed people.  Therefore, such speech should be disallowed because of its debilitating effect on the people it targets.

      I agree in principle with his do-no-harm idealism, but like others in this thread I have to ask:  who decides what is extreme or harmful enough that it needs to be banned?  One thing that liberals often fail to appreciate is that the measures taken to throttle one’s enemies can easily be turned toward those one supports (cf. Russiagate and Bernie Sanders).

      Do I want Mike Pence or Lynn Cheney deciding what speech is “harmful?”


      His body recovered from his torment and became hale,
      but the shadow of his pain was in his heart;
      and he lived to wield his sword with left hand
      more deadly than his right had been.

    • #334980
      Ohio Barbarian
      • Total Posts: 21,304

      @peacecorps Probably because they say they support the issues of the left, but they always find some excuse as to why it can’t be done if there’s any chance it will impact their pocketbooks or stock portfolios. Conservatives don’t make that pretension as often.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #335094
      • Total Posts: 3,496

      I used to watch Fox News in the 2000s mostly to argue with the TV and Bill O’Reilly constantly called for boycotts. Remember Susan Surandon during the Iraq war? She was cancelled by the right wing for opposing the war and they didn’t cry at all.

      JK Rowlings only signed it because she has been facing criticism for transphobic comments.

      Let this radicalize you rather than lead you to despair - Mariame Kaba

      Like many public systems, GOP want to rip the battery out + say the whole car doesn’t work, so they can sell it for parts - AOC

    • #335201
      • Total Posts: 3,446

      @peacecorps,check out that Phil Ochs classic as to why I’m so rough on liberals.

      Liberals pretend they aren’t hypocritical and moralizing..and then they are.

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