Free Speech

Nick Cave Slams 'Woke' Culture as 'Self-Righteous' and Suppressive

"Antifa and the Far Right," he adds, are "good for nothing."

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Australian musician and writer Nick Cave—best known as the genre-bending Goth heartthrob leader of the Bad Seeds—has had enough of "woke culture." A fan recently asked the 62-year-old Cave about his political leanings, and another inquired: "How 'woke' are you?" His answer, posted at his blog The Red Hand Files, is as lapidary and memorable as the theme song he composed for Peaky Blinders.

I tend to become uncomfortable around all ideologies that brand themselves as 'the truth' or 'the way'. This not only includes most religions, but also atheism, radical bi-partisan politics or any system of thought, including 'woke' culture, that finds its energy in self-righteous belief and the suppression of contrary systems of thought. Regardless of the virtuous intentions of many woke issues, it is its lack of humility and the paternalistic and doctrinal sureness of its claims that repel me.

Antifa and the Far Right, for example, with their routine street fights, role-playing and dress-ups are participants in a weirdly erotic, violent and mutually self-sustaining marriage, propped up entirely by the blind, inflexible convictions of each other's belief systems. It is good for nothing, except inflaming their own self-righteousness.

Cave reminds his readers that

Some of us…are of the generation that believed that free speech was a clear-cut and uncontested virtue, yet within a generation this concept is seen by many as a dog-whistle to the Far Right, and is rapidly being consigned to the Left's ever-expanding ideological junk pile.

Indeed. One of the most amazing things about the current moment is the rapidity with which hard-fought battles to clear a space for free speech have been forgotten and replaced by a new censoriousness. It was only 50 years ago that we really won the right to talk and speak freely about all sorts of topics and ideas. Do we really want to return to an older time when speech and culture were constipated?

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108 responses to “Nick Cave Slams 'Woke' Culture as 'Self-Righteous' and Suppressive

  1. Do we really want to return to an older time when speech and culture were constipated?

    What do you mean return? We are less free now to speak than we ever were. The only thing that changed was the topics we were prohibited from speaking about.

    1. We really are free to speak. But there are always consequences to all actions. We speak stuff other people don’t like, and other people won’t like us. But we are still free to speak.

      Anywhere BUT colleges, however.

      We have YouTube and Twitter and Facebook to our heart’s content. They are private platforms and sometimes de-fund some numbnuts like Alex Jones, but we are still free to post there and create our own platforms. The idea that conservatives aren’t allowed to speak is bullshit.

      Anywhere except colleges, that is.

      When it comes to colleges, 99% of whom are funded by the government, free speech is only allowed if a committee allows it. That’s where we need to focus out efforts. Stop handwringing over YouTube when the real threat to free speech is still, and always has been, the government.

      1. Bullshit. Posting on Twitter/Facebook while conservative is as much a thing as driving while black. You deny it only because it hasn’t affected you or anyone you know personally, aka Pauline Kael syndrome.

        1. Even if you’re right…

          One of those puts initiates an encounter with police, which significantly raises the risk of being shot†.

          The other means you can’t use someone else’s toys.

          Not really sure they’re comparable.
          ________
          †Most studies I’ve seen indicate that, all else being equal, cops aren’t significantly more likely to shoot a black man then a white man. The problem is, they’re much more likely to initiate an encounter with a black man, which is what leads to the disproportionate cop-murders of black men.

      2. “We have YouTube and Twitter and Facebook to our heart’s content. They are private platforms and sometimes de-fund some numbnuts like Alex Jones,”

        Take them out of the equation. They don’t matter as much as you think. You have always had the ability to start your own website where you can say what you want. We need to defend that because once private companies shut down all speech they don’t like they’re going for that next. The big tech companies are already a lost cause in that regard. Forget them.

        As for consequences to all actions, that’s relatively new. Growing up if someone said “nigger” outside of work no one cared. This seems to be the heart of the issue. If I were an employer and I learned that an employee said that outside of work I would look at who told me and say “why do I care”. Now, those people will cause a problem because I don’t care. Then I’m viewed as a bad person for not firing them.

        The only answer to this problem that I’ve come up with is to be a piece of shit from the start so no one expects much of you.

        1. As for consequences to all actions, that’s relatively new.

          You’re kidding, right?

          Take any small town before Social Media, and you find that gossip and the grapevine were more then sufficient for shunning and ostracizing (and yes, getting people fired) for non-work actions.

          In cities getting your face in the front page for something shameful (even if not criminal) could get you fired.

          The difference is not that people expect employers to have standards. The difference is the prevalence of information.

      3. Twitter/Facebook/Youtube aren’t really “private platforms”, given the regulatory and legal environment they operate in.

        And in most of the world, you can be thrown in jail merely for offending people.

    2. You’re just as free to speak as you ever were. More than ever, actually.

      You’re just stupider than you ever were, thus people call you out for it more. And then you whine. You whine and whine.

  2. I need to know, what does he consider the ‘far right’? I am a classical liberal and many would say I am on he ‘far right’

    1. When lefty Boomers talk like this, they mean the Religious Right and neocons.

      1. They don’t seem to realize that the threat to our freedoms was never the imaginary Republic of Gilead, but the very real Committee of Public Safety.
        Your freer in Beulahland, than any “citizen” in Portland.

    2. If you are willing to stand in opposition to antifa thugs you simply must be hard right…

    3. I’m going to give him a pass on that because he’s Australian, so he’s like every other non-American westerner who thinks they know way more about our culture than they do. But at least he’s on the right side of hating woke culture.

    4. I can’t believe you have to ask something so simple. Anyone to the right of me is ‘far right’.
      (This definition holds true for all values of ‘me’.)

    5. I suspect he means the “alt-right” which aren’t really right at all.

      1. All, the old “No True Scotsman” defense conservatives hide behind whenever someone politically in their vicinity does something even they can’t defend. I remember it well in the Aughts, early in that decade so many conservatives were all “rah rah, let’s invade Iraq!” and accused anyone who criticized Bush or questioned why we were there of being unpatriotic….until later in the decade it became undeniable that Bush used a false justification to get us into what proved to be a budget-busting morass, then these very same conservatives were all “I was never really in favor of going to Iraq” and “Bush is not a REAL conservative.” It’ll be the same way once Trump leaves office and his disastrous legacy is undeniable, all the conservatives who knee-jerk defend him now will be disavowing him. Ironically in this instance they’ll be right for once (even a stopped clock is right twice a day), Trump is not now nor has he ever been a conservative, but again that doesn’t stop conservatives from leaping to his defense, even when he curries favor with the Alt Right.

        1. The alt-right (or as I prefer to call them, alt-wrong) have never been conservative, period. George W. Bush, as mushy as a conservative as he was, is more conservative than anyone on the alt-right.

          Donald Trump has never been, is not, and will never be conservative in any form whatsoever, and every conservative that likes him sickens me. I’ve taken a metric fuckload of flack for refusing to vote for him, and I’m not going to take any shit from some whiner like you.

          Also, we found WMDs in Iraq, ignorant fuckhead. Even the New York fucking Times admitted that after Bush wasn’t in office any more and there was no longer a political advantage in denying it. You’re stuck on fucking stupid.

          1. Also, we found WMDs in Iraq, ignorant fuckhead.

            Not functional ones. Not weapons that posed a threat to us, or anyone else (except maybe people who handled them). Decaying chemical weapons from either the first Gulf war, or the Iran-Iraq war before it. If they were from the Iran-Iraq war, then the U.S. effectively paid for them, since Saddam was our boy back then.

          2. “Ignorant fuckhead”, “you’re stupid on fucking stupid” “I’m not going to take any shit from some whiner like you.”

            Wow, looks like you got triggered, little snowflake.

            And what WMDs did we actually find in Iraq? Some yellow cake that had been documented, stored in sealed containers and subject to supervision by the International Atomic Energy Agency since 1991. A single out of date, ineffective mustard gas shell. Some chemical weapons warheads buried in the desert during the Iran-Iraq war of the 80s and long forgotten by the Iraqi army. Some ancient sarin-filled rockets that had been so poorly stored for so long they were largely degraded and would have been ineffective. As Dan S. said, nothing that posed a threat to the US, that would have justified an invasion.

  3. So is Nick Cave important enough to have tweet storms descending upon him, or will he just be ignored.

    1. Given that his “comeback” was 25 years ago, I’m gonna say this passes unnoticed.

  4. I disagree. Woke culture is very useful to us Koch / Reason libertarians, especially with respect to our open borders agenda.

    Just look at the transformation of the Democratic Party over the past couple decades. Democrats used to define themselves as opponents of “the rich.” Bill Clinton actually bragged in the State of the Union about how many people he deported. Today, in contrast, Democrats are embracing the policy of unlimited, unrestricted immigration promoted by Charles Koch and other billionaires.

    How do we account for this paradigm shift? Easy — it happened because Democrats and progressives became convinced that border enforcement is racist. And according to woke culture, anything labeled “racist” must be vigorously opposed.

    #VoteDemocratForOpenBorders
    #ImmigrationAboveAll

    1. The principles you use to draw your conclusions matter more than the conclusions themselves.

  5. Nick, I don’t believe you or Nick.

    “I tend to become uncomfortable around all ideologies that brand themselves as ‘the truth’ or ‘the way’.”

    Other than, you know, that one.

    Neither of you display the humility you espouse. Inflamed self-righteousness if it weren’t so comical coming from seventh decade of life geezers.

  6. It was only 50 years ago that we really won the right to talk and speak freely about all sorts of topics and ideas.

    Seriously? You could be arrested for speaking freely about some topics and ideas in 1968?

    1. “… topics and ideas in 1968?”

      Curiously related anecdote.

      So last weekend I’m doing the very middlebrow thing of shopping at the outlet mall outside of Gatlinburg Tennessee, and a guy walks by me looking rather similar to Nick Cave. In that he is obviously in his sixties, maybe even seventies, and he has mostly the same haircut, and an identical dye job. The differences are that he’s wearing faded jeans, biker boots, a sherbet orange University of Tennessee jacket, some serious mutton chop sideburns (same dye job), and Elvis style sunglasses.

      Now this is a look quite common to the South maybe about 20 years ago. But you rarely see it anymore, and I realized that he’s actually too young to be a contemporary/youth fan of The King. He’s rocking a style that predates him by at least one generation. Even if he’s in his seventies he’d still only be a young teenager when Elvis died – never mind when Elvis was really a thing and actually had that look.

      Meaning this guy got his look, not from the source, but probably from some sort of father figure. Maybe his real dad, maybe an uncle.

      Not sure what it all means, but thought it interesting none the less.

      1. (either that or he really was a darn spry eighty year old…)

      2. Yeah, or maybe an older brother. I have a brother who’s 10 years older than I am, and he unintentionally introduced me to a lot of pop culture that didn’t really fit “my generation.”

        1. I’m similar. I was a teenager in the 1980s but I’m more of a classic rock fan because between my two older brothers, it seemed like they had a stereo on 24/7 from 1975 to 1980 when they were in high school.

      3. Meaning this guy got his look, not from the source, but probably from some sort of father figure. Maybe his real dad, maybe an uncle.

        Because nobody would imitate The King of their own free will?

        1. Thanks! Now I want to go play FNV.

          1. Obsidian (same studio) is releasing the Outer Worlds this Friday if you’re into their games. Looks like a space/sci-fi western RPG.

            1. And it looks like they’re bringing back the make your own story aspect that made FO3 and NV so amazing. I have to wait at least a year because I’m not using the Epic Game Store. Maybe I’ll grab a complete edition like I always do.

      4. Maybe he grew up behind the Soviet bloc. They were always 10 years behind.

      5. Check your math there, buddy, Elvis died 42 years ago, a 70 year old would have been 28 back then.

  7. I think everyone is being too hard on him about the “Far-Right” comment. He’s an entertainer, for god’s sakes. They are in the slow learner class of political opinions. At least he has the gall to criticize wokeness. Give him a break. (also I like his music, so maybe I’m biased)

    1. I should clarify that comment was about Nick Cave. Everyone should continue to pile on Nick Gillespie, as he should know better.

      1. Nick could’ve been in the slow learner class of political opinions but he wound up here.

        1. He just has to look good, he doesn’t have to be clear.

      2. So what do you really think of Nick Gillespie’s music?

        1. Vogon poetry with a backbeat.

    1. Sarcasm?

      1. No. Again and again, we’re seeing major (and some minor) culture figures openly rail against woke culture and even include a refusal to apologize.

        1. Until they’re forced to apologize.

          1. I’m not saying people aren’t getting hurt. What I am saying is the people fed up with this shit is reaching a critical mass and there’s a lot of evidence of pushback.

  8. He’s no Lux Interior, but he’ll do.

  9. “One of the most amazing things about the current moment is the rapidity with which hard-fought battles to clear a space for free speech have been forgotten and replaced by a new censoriousness.”

    I see this on both the left and the right!

    So many people on the right seem to imagine that social media would be a safe place for their views if only someone like Donald Trump were in charge of policing social media. Not only are they not thinking about what it would mean to have Elizabeth Warren in charge of policing hate speech (as she defines it) on the internet–they’re ignoring her promises to eliminate “hate speech” from social media if she’s elected president.

    Meanwhile, the left’s definition of hate speech is becoming so broad that practically envelops something said by nearly everyone in middle America. If supporting building a wall on the border is xenophobic, does that mean everyone’s who’s supported it on social media is guilty of hate speech? Is everyone who argued against gay marriage guilty of hate speech? If opposing affirmative action is racist, does that make arguing against it a form of hate speech?

    The stifling popular image of the nuclear family in the ’50s wasn’t wrong because it forced people to live that way. The truth was that no one acted like the Cleaver parents on Leave it to Beaver in real life. In real middle class life, people’s daughters were getting pregnant, their cousins were gay, there was a heroin epidemic, and not only did people beat their children way too much, they also drank too much. The Leave it to Beaver image of the nuclear family didn’t disappear from the airwaves because people stopped living that way. That image fell to images more like Married with Children and Roseanne because hardly anyone ever actually lived like the middle class family on Leave it to Beaver or The Andy Griffith Show. It was an unrealistic ideal that was never really the norm.

    People were afraid to seem nonconformist in the 1950s, so they’d try to play up this image–and that’s exactly where we are with “woke” culture. There may be a few people who are willing to project your ideals in public back at you out of a desire to conform, but that’s not reality. In the real world, people snicker when a guy gets on the subway wearing a dress. People still have prejudices. If the world you’re trying to build won’t allow for real people, then your world doesn’t have much chance of lasting for long. Make a world where the government can’t persecute people for being a minority, a woman, or different–okay! Make a world in which people pretend to be tolerant, and you’ll end up with is phony tolerance.

    1. is anyone really calling for Trump to be in charge of social media. some may be wanting to do something about media silencing the right but are they trying to shut anyone down?

      1. For some reason, they seem to believe that someone will protect their “hate speech” and their support of Trump–if the government gets involved. I don’t know of anyone else in the government who’s likely to defend the deplatformed, the hate speech purveyors, and Trump’s tweets. The fact that putting the government in charge of what’s acceptable on social media isn’t likely to have the effects Trump’s supporters want is my point.

        The part of our government that wants to defend the social media posts of pro-Trump “trolls” doesn’t exist if it isn’t the Trump administration, so they’re carrying wood for woke brigade when the woke brigade is building a gallows with which to hand their free speech rights. Whether they should want Trump to do that for them is an open question, but the fact that no one but Trump is likely to do that for them probably isn’t. Pro-Trump people on social media are about as unpopular with average people as 8chan fans of mass shootings.

        1. I don’t see people calling for government control, merely pointing out the entanglement the left has with the tech providers, and government’s culpability for some of the inherent monopolies.

          1. I see people who seem to support antitrust over issues like deplatforming.

            1. Ok. But antitrust is hardly equivalent to ‘putting Trump in charge.’

              My concerns over antitrust action is the fact that it takes on a life of it’s own and that the whole landscape is changing faster than any court based solution could hope to address.

              1. Well said. FTC complaints (something I support right now in regards to YoutuberLaw) can take years to resolve, long after the landscape has changed.

                1. “FTC complaints (something I support right now in regards to YoutuberLaw) can take years to resolve, long after the landscape has changed.”

                  How does this counter the argument that what we get from the FTC and the Justice Department today might be even less sympathetic to free speech rights of people on the right side of the political spectrum in the future?

                  That was my point!

                  “So many people on the right seem to imagine that social media would be a safe place for their views if only someone like Donald Trump were in charge of policing social media. Not only are they not thinking about what it would mean to have Elizabeth Warren in charge of policing hate speech (as she defines it) on the internet–they’re ignoring her promises to eliminate “hate speech” from social media if she’s elected president.”

                  —-Ken Shultz up yonder.

                  Giving the government the power to regulate social media to whichever way the winds blowing. The First Amendment starts out, “Congress shall make no law” to avoid that kind of regulation of speech for that very reason, and putting the president in charge of that regulation by way of pressure brought by the Justice Department or the FTC doesn’t make that kind influence any better.

              2. “Ok. But antitrust is hardly equivalent to ‘putting Trump in charge.’”

                I don’t believe that’s true.

                Trump is in charge of the Justice Department. When the Justice Department opens up an antitrust probe against Facebook, yes, the Trump administration is involved. If and when Facebook settles with the Justice Department on antitrust, it’ll involve enforcement by whomever is in the White House. Liz Warren is promising to eradicate hate speech online–and it’s through the mechanism of the Justice Department, the FTC, and antitrust that she will do it. Facebook itself is begging to have its speech codes regulated by the government. Why would we think this has nothing to do with putting the president in charge of social media?

                Sure, Facebook, we won’t force you to spin off WhatsApp and Instagram, but we need to talk to you about letting people post disinformation, racisim, homophobia, xeonophobia, and Islamophobia first. This is the gallows for free speech people on the right are helping Liz Warren build when they cheer on the Justice Department and the FTC using antitrust against social media.

                Incidentally, the point of repealing Section 230 would be to do the same thing to social media that a flood of lawsuits did to the tobacco industry. Want protection from all these lawsuits? Okay, but first, we need you to willing sign away your free speech rights! The difference here is that Zuckerberg and Company actually want to sell free speech short through regulation–even without the flood of lawsuits.

      2. Yeah, that strikes me as something of a bogeyman.

  10. There is no “far-right” equivalent to Antifa.

    1. Knights Templar?

    2. The 7 remaining members of the KKK?

    3. Proud Boys (whatever they are)?

      1. Proud Boys strike me more as the conformist version of Hell’s Angels – some dudes who think that beating people up is manly and a good way to signal their virility (that they are in no way insecure about). They like antagonizing Antifa because the black-clad (anti? hardly) fascists are stridently opposed to having to win an argument and are willing to oblige them with the fight they want, while allowing both sides to pretend it’s somehow about principles.

        In short, if they wandered onto my property (unlikely) I’d be happy to pepper them all up real good with some birdshot until they regret their life choices.

        1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but unless the Proud Boys have changed don’t they worship the trash heap from Fraggle Rock? I thought that was in the lore to the bullshit fraternity thing they made up.

  11. Some of us…are of the generation that believed that free speech was a clear-cut and uncontested virtue, yet within a generation this concept is seen by many as a dog-whistle to the Far Right”

    I Don’t know of anyone on the right talking about dog whistles, what is he referring to?

    1. “this concept is seen by many as a dog-whistle to the Far Right”

      I don’t think the actual “Far Right” is among this “many.”

    2. What he is saying is that people _ on the left _ have, in the generation since the 60s, come to associate defense of “free speech” as a dog whistle to the far right. Instead of seeing free speech as a universal good, it’s a tool of white supremacy, blah blah blah. The “logic” is Marxist historical determinism: because some prior advocates of free speech weren’t sufficiently universal about it and didn’t give full voice to everybody, the problem is with free speech itself, not with its inconsistent application, so they can be justified in dismissing the value of or actively suppressing free speech (no-platforming, etc.)

      “Dog whistle” in my experience is a term used almost exclusively by the left, like if you flash an OK sign or have a certain haircut it’s racist symbolism. As a metaphor it seems completely upside down to me in that only the leftists are hearing a thing that as often as not isn’t there.

      None of the above should be construed a claim that dog whistles don’t exist at all. All movements have their shibboleths. Nonetheless my take is most of the time the ones we hear about are complete hallucinations, often provoked or promoted by trolling.

      1. the left _ have, in the generation since the 60s, come to associate defense of “free speech” as a dog whistle to the far right.

        Seems like it’s mostly happened in the last 10 years or so. I think social media has had a lot to do with all of this bullshit.

      2. I’m not hearing any dog whistles, but maybe that’s because I’m not a dog…

  12. I don’t believe in an interventionist Gov (ernment)
    But I know, darling, that you do
    But if I did, I would go to the polls and ask Them
    Not to intervene when it came to you
    Oh, not to touch a hair on your head
    Leave you as you are
    If they felt they had to direct you
    Then direct you into my arms

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02k-obmDw2Y

    1. And I don’t believe in Russian agents
      But looking at you I wonder if that’s true
      But if I did I would summon them together
      And ask them to spy over you
      Both to each burn a candle for you
      To make bright and clear your path
      And to walk, like Obama, in grace and love
      And guide you into my arms

      1. almost forgot the chorus!

        Into my arms, dear leader
        Into my arms, dear leader
        Into my arms, dear leader
        Into my arms

  13. The Birthday Party>The Bad Seeds

    1. ^ This.

    2. Junkyard is a great album!

  14. Side note but Nick Cave didn’t compose Red Right Hand FOR Peaky Blinders. That song came out 25 years ago.

    1. And it was on x-files first

  15. Some of us…are of the generation that believed that free speech was a clear-cut and uncontested virtue

    Yeah, that stopped about the time the Boomers hit their thirties and started becoming “the man”.

    1. One man, one vote, one time has always been the modus of the hard left.

      1. I thought it was “Vote early, vote often”.

        1. Both are true.

  16. If that’s a heartthrob you may need bypass surgery.

  17. “It was only 50 years ago that we really won the right to talk and speak freely about all sorts of topics and ideas. ” Unless it constituted libel.

    Maybe Nick supports property rights in ones reputation. He already supports coercive monopolies like government.

    1. He already supports coercive monopolies like government.

      As do almost all libertarians.

      1. It’s so hard to keep up with where the vitriol is getting slung from around here. Given all the non-libertarians around here (OBL, por ejemplo) I’ve gotten used to the most nonsensically aggressive comments coming from red team semi-trolls, but it seems the bitter ancaps are back?

        News flash, my fellow ancaps – it’s not happening in our lifetimes, and, quite probably, ever. This has always been the case. If you feel it is a moral imperative to oppose the state, categorically, in all things, you’re welcome to start bombing government buildings or evading your taxes and see how far it gets you. You do possess that natural right, but that doesn’t make it a good idea.

        If you’d like to be less oppressed, there’s plenty of folks working on the problem that you could make common cause with. Or you can play the part of the Soviet commissar, criticize them for being insufficiently revolutionary, and shoot as many of them as is necessary to stop them impeding the Great Glorious Destatening. If reality refuses to conform to ideological purity, then we shall choose a new one, tovarisch!

        1. The problem with Reason is not that it is “insufficiently revolutionary”, it’s that its editors are actively arguing for policies that lead to more statism and more socialism.

  18. “BOTH SIDES!!!”

    1. Where you like it from?

  19. So… I didn’t get past the first sentence where he’s not only some celebrity who’s opinion means less than mine, but he’s a FOREIGN celebrity who’s opinion on American politics means less than nothing. Come on Reason, you’re better than this.

    1. I think there’s only a piece on this because Gillespie is a personal fan.

  20. Cave is a white cis-gender male so his opinion is worth an Antifa milkshake to the head

    1. I bet it doesn’t even bring the boys to the yard.

  21. What does Lou Reed think of all this?

  22. I couldn’t care less what a musical has-been skippy thinks of US culture or politics.

    1. Has been? The man has been writing and producing music consistently for over 35 years.

      1. Never heard of the guy. Couldn’t care less about what most artists think of politics.

  23. B est part if the crying bitches among the commentariat who can’t stand a non-‘Merkin voicing an opinion on your country’s state of affairs.
    Myopic losers.

    1. That’s because most non-Americans are bigots who have no idea of what’s going on in the US and whose understanding of US society derives from watching network TV drama reruns on their local state-owned networks.

  24. And grammar Nazis, they are the worst am I right?

  25. Oh dear Nick, some projection going on here with the “self-righteous” accusations… time to work a few steps, maybe call your sponsor? Chill out man, lower the intensity level. Those around you will appreciate it.

  26. He might have a more valid point if he had not injected multiple false equivalence fallacies.

    “This not only includes most religions, but also atheism…”

    Atheism is neither a religion nor an ideology. If atheism is a belief system, then “Off” is a TV station.
    ——
    “Antifa and the Far Right, for example, with their routine street fights, role-playing and dress-ups are participants in a weirdly erotic, violent and mutually self-sustaining marriage, propped up entirely by the blind, inflexible convictions of each other’s belief systems. It is good for nothing, except inflaming their own self-righteousness. The New Atheists and their devout opponents are engaged in the same dynamic.”

    Another false equivalence. People who fight Nazis/white supremacists are not the same as the Nazis/white supremacists. If he is going to criticize Antifa, he needs to make a coherent point beyond some generic platitude. For all its faults, no one else aside from Antifa is on the front line against these white nationalists. Also, the “New Atheists” are only distinguishable from earlier atheists in how much more vocal they are in opposing religious dogma, repression and dominionism. There is no comparison between religious extremists and what is called “militant atheism.” A militant atheist might… *gasp* …hurt someone’s feelings. A religious extremist will kill you barbarically. Imagine where we would be without open opposition to religion and its repressive authoritarianism.
    ——
    “Some of us…are of the generation that believed that free speech was a clear-cut and uncontested virtue, yet within a generation this concept is seen by many as a dog-whistle to the Far Right, and is rapidly being consigned to the Left’s ever-expanding ideological junk pile.”

    Free speech has limits, including restrictions on yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater or other forms of speech that incite others to impose their will violently upon others. While some of the more kooky factions on the Left merit plenty of criticism on various points, there is no comparison to the malevolent fuckery coming from the right.

    1. Is this a joke? No buddy. This madness comes from one side: the illiberal left. Also go brush up on the story about ‘fire in a theatre’. Nice try.

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