Free Speech

The World Loves Free Speech—Except When They're Offended

Americans oppose restrictions, but report feeling less free to speak about political matters.

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Freedom of expression wins strong endorsements around the world when people are asked, say researchers, so why have protections for speech consistently slipped for over a decade? Part of the problem is that many of those surveyed embrace a convenient attitude toward the issue: they support protections for speech of which they approve, but not of speech that offends them. Unfortunately, a right you're willing to extend only to yourself and your allies is no right at all and leaves freedom available only to those who wield power.

"Support for free speech is generally expressed by great majorities in all countries when people are asked their opinion," finds Who Cares About Free Speech?, a report recently published by Danish think tank Justitia, Columbia University's Global Freedom of Expression, and Aarhus University's Department of Political Science. In February of this year, researchers surveyed an average of 1,500 respondents each in 33 countries to come up with that seemingly encouraging result. The devil is in the details, though. 

"While citizens in most countries think that criticism of the government should be allowed, many people are unwilling to allow statements that are critical or insulting of particular groups, their religion, or the nation," the authors add. "Moreover, citizens do not always prioritize free speech when there is a potential trade-off with other things they value, such as national security, good health, and the economy."

Some of these exceptions are stark. Majorities in 14 countries say that governments should be able to prevent people from making "statements that are offensive to your religion and beliefs." Most of the countries on that list aren't a shock; is anybody surprised to discover that majorities in Egypt, Russia, and Turkey think that free speech protections shouldn't extend to criticism of their own ideas? But Brazil is on that list, too. And even Germans are divided, with 47 percent agreeing that governments should be able to muzzle expression they find offensive.

Germany is similarly divided when it comes to insults to the national flag, with 48 percent supporting government restrictions—the same share as in Australia. But 56 percent in France agree, placing that country among the 21 countries where majorities say that governments should be able to prevent people from insulting the national symbol.

Germans and Australians, along with Britons, rank among the majorities in 22 countries who think that governments should be able to prevent people from saying things that are offensive to minorities. (Germany, by the way, is the birthplace of a new wave of Internet "hate speech" censorship laws sweeping the world.)

Majorities in Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, and Tunisia say that governments should be able to prevent people from making statements in support of homosexual relationships.

Majorities in 19 countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, say that government should be able to prevent media organizations from publishing information about "sensitive issues related to national security." Will we have to just take officialdom's word for it that suppressed articles were national security-related? The survey doesn't say.

Given the exceptions that many people carve out in their generic endorsement of free speech, and that "public opinion about free speech (popular demand) tends to go hand-in-hand with the actual enjoyment of this right (government supply)" according to the survey, the consequences are no surprise.

"Global freedom of expression is in decline, now at its lowest for a decade" according to the 2019/2020 report from Article 19, a British organization named after the portion of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights addressing free speech protections. "More than half of the world's population – around 3.9 billion people – live in countries rated in crisis."

The slide has been accelerated by the worsening condition for liberty in countries with large populations, including Bangladesh, China, India, Russia, and Turkey.

People suffering creeping censorship may gain new appreciation for shrinking liberty. Among the top ranked countries in Justitia's Free Speech Index are Hungary and Venezuela. They rank well not because of their protections for citizens' rights—Hungary has an elected but increasingly illiberal government while the totalitarianism of Venezuela's socialist regime is limited only by its decaying resources—but because their residents voice strong support in the survey for the freedoms they're losing.

Offering some comfort is that Americans are also highly ranked, at third place after only Norway and Denmark. Even on the contentious issue of social media, 29 percent of Americans say there should be no regulation, while 37 percent say any regulation should be done only by the social media companies themselves; only 34 percent want to government to play even a shared role in social media regulation.

On the other hand, 43 percent of Americans say their ability to speak freely about political matters in this country has worsened in the past 12 months, compared to 17 percent who think it has improved (40 percent say it is unchanged). That may foreshadow a long-term shift, since, as other researchers have found, younger Americans are less supportive of free speech. The consequences can be seen, in part, in the erosion of the ACLU as a civil liberties advocate, as younger staffers push it away from its traditional emphasis on freedom of expression.

Variance in support for free speech extends beyond age differences. "In the US, young people, women, the less educated, and Biden voters are generally more restrictive regarding free speech," notes Who Cares About Free Speech? That said, while the strength of support varies in the U.S., majorities of men and women alike, and across ages, education levels, and partisan affiliations, still favor free speech.

Free speech isn't the only quality of free societies eroding in recent years. 

"[D]emocracy has not been in robust health for some time," The Economist's Democracy Index 2020 observed earlier this year. "In 2020 its strength was further tested by the outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic… Across the world in 2020, citizens experienced the biggest rollback of individual freedoms ever undertaken by governments during peacetime (and perhaps even in wartime).

Other sources report similar erosion of liberal democratic norms, accelerated by government power-grabs during the pandemic. Now we can add free speech to the mix, with populations in some places skeptical of core protections for expression. Government officials surprise nobody when they reach for expanded power; defeating them and reasserting fundamental freedoms will be difficult without popular support.

NEXT: Rose Island

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  1. Actually not everybody loves “free speech.” In fact the definitive case for First Amendment restrictions was written by a Reason contributor. I’m referring, of course, to Noah Berlatsky’s Is the First Amendment too broad? The case for regulating hate speech in America.

    #BringBackBerlatsky

    1. The First Amendment was written to protect the speech of those whom some would find offensive, vulgar, profane, hateful and even treasonous.
      It was written to protect the rights of the people who would do so.
      It was not written to ensure proper speech or to prevent anyone’s feelings from being hurt.
      The idea a government or university can inflict punishment by silencing anyone who dares speak outside the accepted narrative, should be repugnant to everyone.
      No one in their proper mind should ever consider such attacks on freedom of speech as just or proper.
      If they can do it to one group of people you despise, sooner or later they will get around to you.
      Those of whom are so offended so easily need to get over themselves. They need to grow up and mature.

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  2. As longtime Reason.com magazine Hit’n’Runners will know, I have a long history of writing posts that people do not like at all. Often, they say that my posts hurt people’s (eg, libertarians) feelings. More often, they complain that my posts are straight up insane — a product of mental illness. With that as background, here is how it usually works.

    Me: *says some controversial thing in regard of an emotionally sensitive topic*

    Internet: you shouldn’t say that, it is bad.

    Me: Free speech!

    Internet: generally yes, but you have no clue how bad the bad thing you are saying really is. You need to get woke so you know to shut up when people are having a public discussion.

    1. so you know to shut up when people are having a public discussion

      In woke liberal dominated spaces, “Discussion” has been reframed to “a set of comments that exactly matches my point of view”.

      Outside of woke liberal spaces, I haven’t seen that so much. I deleted my Twitter account a year ago and will never go back. Cesspool. But many Substacks I follow, these here Reason forums, and other spaces are still discussion friendly. It’s the woke liberal spaces that don’t tolerate dissent.

    2. Calling you a dumbass is other people using their free speech. It is in no way infringing upon yours.

    3. Holy FVCK that was stupid

    4. Oh, hell, it’s not even just about being woke. I’ve got a commenter on YouTube saying s/he’s trying to act as a gatekeeper (not that the user whose channel it is grants any such authority) so people won’t look at my comments or that I’ll stop commenting just because my understanding about “Lost” is so at odds with everyone else’s. The irony is that I was friendly with the show runner since he was a teenager, so I think I have a lot better understanding of that show than most people.

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    5. Who are you? Never hoid of you.

      1. Same here. Sounds like he thinks his posts are important.

    6. There is a difference between free speech and vulgar/profane/stereotyping/intentionally insulting /derisive name-calling speech. Perhaps if people were more civil, this wouldn’t be big drama. But no, there are some who cannot carry on a conversation without demeaning another or using a narrative their Momma would have slapped them into tomorrow if she heard it.

      Why is simply being nice, or alternatively, keeping your mouth shut and walking away so difficult?

      1. Awwww…… you mad, bro?

      2. And just who decides what constitutes such speech?
        You? Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey? Or maybe some sniveling little bureaucrat in D.C.?
        Unfortunately those of you who believe that everyone else should be censored for fear of hurting someone else’s feelings have the emotional maturity of a five year old. ten years at the most.
        These are the people who are still children emotionally. It’s not necessarily their fault, after all they are the products of a rancid, Marxist public miseducation system that intentionally retards their emotional maturity down to the level of a child.
        In short we now have an entire generation of twenty something adolescents. Immature, semi literate, filled with self loathing and indoctrinated into believing the world owes them a living.
        The world owes you nothing, it was here first.

      3. So, are you saying you keep your mouth shut and be nice and walk away in the face of child abuse?

  3. younger Americans are less supportive of free speech offensive speech, hate speech, and violent speech.

    FTFY

      1. Shut up, hater.

        1. (ie. anyone who says that.)

      2. Exactly. Just who decides?

    1. Your reply illustrates the author’s thesis.

    2. Younger Americans search for offense and find it everywhere, applying the lens of today to yesterday’s behaviour.

      FTFYou

    3. sometimes facts and the truth can be offensive to the woke younger crowd. Just disagreeing with their view is considered hate speech. Having any discourse with them is impossible. I just read an article discussing what is being taught in schools and even to executives in corporations that was astonishing. If you have any of these traits you are offensive. “roots of white male culture” include traits such as “rugged individualism,” “a can-do attitude,” “hard work,” “operating from principles,” and “striving towards success”—which are “devastating” to women and minorities. It advocates overcoming these devastating traits to become partners with women and minorities and to be inclusive. This sounds like they can’t compete and want to dumb down and weaken White males. I am offended by their speech.

    4. No, you fixed it for you. And if all younger Americans share your view, it is because they were miseducated by ignorant and/or cowardly adults who didn’t teach them that the way to respond to bad speech is better speech, ignoring bad speech, or refusing to support bad speech, not by forcibly supressing speech or delegating that force to government.

  4. I think the general problem is that people think locally and inadvertently act globally. My mother had a favorite saying, “Some people just ought to be taken out and shot” and it was quite clear it was only an expression of disgust, and she never would have wanted anyone to actually do that.

    But politicians think only in terms of votes and have zero sense of proportion, and government enables them to carry out wishes, real or not; so we end up with drug wars, racism, regulations out the wazoo, and more and more problems caused by government which only government can fix.

    And that’s not counting the small portion of people who see an opportunity to take control, because they are control freaks, because they can, and because they have nothing better to do.

    The core problem is the existence of government.

    1. Americans (at least) seem to think that our form of government is truly a democracy, ie mob rule. If asked, many people would say that our rights come from the Constitution, or some such government document. When you believe that rights come from government and that government is best served when it is “majority rules” you end up with no rights outside of the mainstream. The attack on free speech is nothing more than that; you have free speech as long as a majority of your countrymen agree with what you’re saying.

      I would say that the vast majority of people worldwide don’t understand what liberty really means. We have rights because of our humanity, not because some government allows them.

      1. They only believe in mob rule when it’s their mob. They don’t really believe in democracy. In a democracy, the last one percent rules. Senator Manchin is the last one percent and the dems are hating on him.

        1. Same goes for property rights and free speech. Hence the debate over social media.

      2. Cant argue with that! If only we taught such ideas to our children, or in school…. or…

      3. That’s true, Leo, except American citizens really are protected from being punished by the government whenever they say something unflattering about the government. First Amendment. In other respects there is government guarantee of free speech. Your boss can fire you for something you say that is offensive to him or her. The government won’t help you. The question is should we not have a culture that unequivocally allows for free speech. I say yes, in the spirit of true liberty.

      4. “Democracy are two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for lunch. Liberty is the lamb objecting to the vote with a loaded rifle.” Benj. Franklin.
        Or: Democracy is when 51% of the people make life miserable for the other 49%.

    2. Small portion? Evidence suggests that between ‘because they can’, ‘because they are control freaks’, and ‘because they have nothing better to do’ consititues 95-99% of the electorate.

    3. The core problem is more accurately incivility. People were formerly socially shunned for vulgarities and insulting behaviors. Now it’s practically fashionable because it’s also called art, free expression, free speech, and not sanctioned even when it rises to a criminal level.

  5. Ah the mob.

    Satanists and the vulgar multitudes.

    1. The thing is, Rob, you have the right to spew your hatred. We have the right to call you out on it every time. Neither of those is a violation of free speech, in fact it’s a natural extension of free speech in the marketplace of ideas.

      1. What do you mean “calling you on it,” Leo? Do you mean punishing? Cancelling? Job termination? If so, then I don’t see how the speech is in any general (non-legal) sense free. Yet I think it should be.

      2. Calling people insulting names and stereotyping is not a ‘natural extension of free speech’. Apologizing for unintentional slights is seldom done and exacerbates the problem. Children aren’t even taught table manners any longer, much less not to use 4 letter words or disrespect others.

        1. So…Do you support slapping children until they practice what you consider proper table manners…such as maybe not eating their pudding before the eat their meat?

          Do you even favor setting a good example to children by using courteous language yourself and not getting what you want from others by initiation of force?

    2. And stormfags, Misek. Don’t forget the stormfags.

    3. Ah, the Nazi!
      Notice no one here has tried to get your steaming pile of lies banned; you’re welcome to continue making a public ass of yourself, you pathetic piece of shit.

      1. He also claims that lies aren’t protected by 1A, completely ignoring the first five words of the amendment.

        1. Yeah, that one is just plain nuts.

        2. “He also claims that lies aren’t protected by 1A, completely ignoring the first five words of the amendment.”

          And, laughably, his lies about the holocaust would stick his ass in jail first!

    4. None of you fuckwits has ever refuted my statements.

      If they were lies, couldn’t at least one of you have, ever?

      Hahaha.

      1. Thats your biggest lie right there

        1. Cite that fucktard.

          Provide the link to the article and describe where I was refuted.

          None of you ever has, because you are humiliated liars who can’t refute what you deny.

          Go ahead, prove me wrong. Hahaha.

          1. Hint, slimy piece of shit:
            You have zero “proof”; your best inference is a Brit intercept where the Nazis aren’t bragging about murdering Jews and to anti-semtic scumbags like you, *that* constitutes proof.
            Stick your head in a gas oven, asshole.

            1. Cite that fucktard.

              Provide the link to the article and describe where I was refuted.

              You’d do it if you could but the facts demonstrate that you’re full of shit.

    5. That’s how it is. They line up and I knock them down.

      1. That’s how it is; you bullshit and pat yourself on the back for it.

        1. Cite that fucktard.

          Provide the link to the article and describe where I was refuted.

          You’d do it if you could.

          1. Your opinion is the Holocaust never happened? So who are in the mass graves at the concentration camps that US troops took part in liberating? Are you saying all those American soldiers were lying? In April 1945 US troops liberated Buchenwald, where they found piles of corpses, torture cells, a crematorium and emaciated survivors. The Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D Eisenhower said: “Nothing has ever shocked me as much as that sight.” They found over 56,000 bodies buried in mass graves which implied they were killed in large groups.
            So what is your theory for the millions of missing Jews after WWII?

            1. There is zero physical evidence of a holocaust.

              In fact it is a crime to share evidence that refutes the holocaust narrative in every nation where it allegedly occurred.

              In such an environment, their can be no official forensic investigation. Not when the findings are illegal.

              Even so, being reality, the evidence refuting the bullshit holocaust narrative exists and has been shared, though illegal in every nation where it originated.

              I have shared some of it many times here and none of you fuckwits has ever refuted it.

              If you suggest you have, cite it. Provide the link to the article and describe how my statements have been refuted.

              You would if you could, but you are a humiliated liar who can’t refute what you deny.

              1. I’m not sure I understand the Holocaust denier point of view. Can you clarify?

                If there was no Holocaust, that means we get a free Holocaust on the house, right?

                1. As. your self stated objective for understanding is only 40%, why would I waste my time explaining anything to you?

                  If you decide to try harder I might consider it.

              2. I’m curious, Rob…Do you think the Holocaust was some massive frat-boy prank where millions of people–who don’t believe in tattooing or scarification of their bodies–got together, took ink needles, and permanently scrawled numbers on their arms?

                Do you think that these millions of people–who don’t support mixing fabrics–put cloth patches on their bodies without knowing what the content was, all for a frat-boy prank?

                Do you think that millions of people–who avoid contact with menstruating females–would ride packed like sardines in cattle cars cramped in with untold numbers of menstruating females–all for a frat-boy prank?

                Do you think that millions of people who don’t believe in working on the Sabbath from Sundown Friday to Sundown Saturday–would subject themselves to even the appearance of working on this day for this frat-boy prank?
                Did Slavs, Romani (“Gypsies,”) Poles, Homosexuals, “asocial types,” the mentally infirm, the handicapped, the elderly, business leaders, labor leaders, political opponents, and sundry and various “examples” all participate in this massive frat-boy prank too?

                And while, granted, frat-boy pranks can go horribly and fatally wrong, would a frat-boy prank produce millions of deaths?

                Do you think that some of these people in Auschwitz-Birkinau would go so far as to put their own God on trial and convict him–all for a frat-boy prank?

                Remember before you answer that lying is a capital offense in your own worldview and words.

                1. For the most part you’re describing any prison camp.

                  Tattoos, forced labour and some deaths.

                  The holocaust narrative requires that millions of Jews were systematically murdered with cyanide gas and diesel exhaust. That never happened.

                  The story of gassing Jews began as British propaganda to turn popular opinion against Germany. It also served global Jewish interests to create undeserved sympathy for Jews who had publicly organized boycotts of Germany driving Germany to war.

                  Jews had been publicly claiming a holocaust of 6 million Jews in various nations hundreds of times since before WW1. Only for sympathy to raise money and coerce those nations.

                  There is a documented letter from the head of British propaganda to the head of the war office recommending that they cease the gassing Jew holocaust propaganda because there was no evidence for it and if found out would work against their propaganda efforts. This is irrefutable evidence of the hoax. Hardly characterized as a prank.

                  The bullshit holocaust story serves Jewish interests to this day.

                2. This is how it is.

                  Fuckwits engage, hurling insults or feigning curiosity.

                  I provide irrefutable evidence proving the holocaust narrative is a lie, then crickets.

                  I’ve heard that it’s much easier to believe a lie than accept you were lied to.

  6. “On the other hand, 43 percent of Americans say their ability to speak freely about political matters in this country has worsened in the past 12 months, compared to 17 percent who think it has improved (40 percent say it is unchanged). ”

    Probably because it seems everything has become political (even a damn virus) and because people’s political opinions are just very unpopular at times. Is it any surprise that when people start “speaking their mind” that other people might find it offensive, bigoted, etc. etc. and dislike that and have it reflect on that person?

    1. This has nothing to do with people being offended. This has everything to do with offended people thinking that the remedy is to ban the offender.

      1. And Karen thinking it’s his/her/its business if you’re not being obedient to whatever totalitarian task/narrative has been handed down this week.

        How often do you see white supremacists or flat earthers post or publish something on any forum?
        Yet Karen knows they exist, are prevalent, and is offended by their existence and reach… despite Karen never actually seeing them for his/her/its self.

        1. Karen is the reason for the new push against “misinformation” or “disinformation.” It’s the new “hate speech.” All it really means is “speech I don’t like.”

          1. NO … i think you’re wrong. Karen isnt the reason it is the tool.
            Karen was created in a lab, [progressive lab] carefully bred to be released into the environment to terraform the cultural landscape to make it more amenable to Progressives [democrats and media etc] and less hospitable to conservative and libertarian thought. Karen doesnt know anything larger than her own concerns… like a bacteria that eats oil.

            1. The world of most Karens extends only as far as the cul de sac.

      2. It does indeed reflect a new obsession with being offended, both in the scope of what people find offensive, and in the priority more people put on feelings.

      3. There are actually two reasons that some people want to ban other people from expressing their political opinions. One is that they are personally offended, but the other reason is they don’t want anybody else to hear a wrong opinion and be influenced by it.

        In the latter case, the person who wants to ban opinions believes he himself is smart and not susceptible to bad information, but other people aren’t. It is a condescending attitude.

    2. Probably because it seems everything has become political (even a damn virus)

      Right. It just makes sense that we should turn people with HIV away at the border rather than grant them special privileges based on outdated traditions. These aren’t political discussions, just common sense based on scientific consensus.

    3. We could discuss politics if people remained rationale and didn’t fly into fits of rage degenerating in expletives, stereotyping, and demeaning name-calling. But no, it’s free speech. People feel free to insult, degrade, lie, misquote, and threaten another over their religion, political affiliation, sexual identity, gender, place of birth, race, or immigration status. Intelligent and civil discussion has gone by the wayside.

      1. Everything Is So Terrible And Unfair! ™, mick. Haha.

        1. No fits of rage, expletives or demeaning name calling. Summed you up in six words.

          Damn, I’m good. Haha.

  7. You don’t need a constitutional amendment to protect speech that doesn’t offend anyone.

    1. That’s right. We already have the 2nd Amendment for that.

      1. “That’s right. We already have the 2nd Amendment for that.”

        Well, for me, that is a little bit “over the top.” But, at least in theory, yep.

        One of my favorite quotes, attributed to Woody Guthrie, when asked by the HUAC if he “would carry a rifle for his country,” he replied, something like: “Yes sir, but I won’t guarantee you which way it will be pointed.”

        1. It was Woody Guthrie, but not to the HUAC. He was improvising verses to Pete Seger’s song “Acres of Clams”.

          1. Ahh. Thanks. I heard that attributed to him about forty years ago, but could never positively pin down the circumstance in which he uttered the phrase. I guess the HUAC thing was “misinformation.”

            1. And henceforth banned from Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.

    2. Wrong. Thats the usual lie..that the Constitution creates rights.

      It doesnt. It FORBIDS Government to Infringe on those rights

  8. Free speech has not been eroding lately. Good grief, look at all the things you couldn’t say and do 100 years ago. Now you can openly discuss LGBTQ issues, support BLM, espouse pro-Socialist positions and so on. Now go read the history books and look at how women, gay people, people of color, and suspected communists were treated. In some ways we are in a golden age of free speech. The difference is that now the internet amplifies and highlights every little violation of free speech.

    1. OBL worthy. Except he’s aware of what he is doing.

    2. You had me up until this point… The difference is that now the internet amplifies and highlights every little violation of free speech.

      How can you violate free speech?

      1. Again, were it OBL that would be the tell.

        But, laughably, he really meant it. Because, after all, he is a Marxist.

        1. “…Because, after all, he is a Marxist.”

          Seems to be the case…

          1. Yep. While his comments are usually constructive and reasoned, they are also wrong. At least from an actual libertarian perspective.

            1. S/he’s sort of cleaned up the act. Used to be full-Marx, first sentence.
              Now it’s blah, blah, blah, (violating free speech) blah, blah, blah.

      2. How can you violate free speech?

        Step 1: Build a search engine.
        Step 2: Aggregate comments.
        Step 3: Profit.

        1. This type of misunderstanding of what free speech is isn’t helping the problem either.

          1. Either way, I agree. Professionally curated speech, especially in bad faith, is not free speech.

    3. That’s a fair point. But I’d say it’s a very mixed bag. Yes, some topics that were unacceptable some decades ago are now commonly discussed in public. But I think that has more to do with cultural acceptance of those things than a cultural value of free expression. We can talk about those things because they are socially acceptable now, not because the right to free speech is respected more. For all the topics like you mention that are now OK, there are others that are very difficult to bring up publicly without being viciously attacked.

      1. See my comments above about the general acceptance of mainstream speech.

        That being said, there’s a bit of a chicken and egg thing going on here. Certainly you could say the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement, etc have all been enabled and accelerated by free speech. Would we be as accepting of racial equality today without the expression of MLK or Rosa Parks? Doubtful.

        1. The racially blind equality espoused by King and Parks has been decided and suppressed for quite some time now. A decade, if not longer. And by much the same woke crowd who are doing the shunnings and bannings today.

          1. Derided not decided. Fucking autocorrect.

      2. By the way, free speech also prevents mandated speech. People who believe in it would never cry foul if you called them the wrong pronoun.

        1. Correct. This was pointed out last year by Dr. Jordan Peterson at the hearing at the Commission on Human Rights to which he so eloquently took apart the governments authority to mandate certain speech.
          https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Jordan+peterson+vs+Commission+on+Human+Rights

      3. Silence is violence. You better talk about these things.

        Better?

    4. Free speech for thee but not for me.

    5. It all depends on what venue you are speaking in, the context of what you say and who you are saying it to. Just try discussing gay rights with clan members. Bring up racial inequities in a bar full of exclusively white people. Women just got denied the lawful right to equal rights under the law by Congress. The WH can’t make headway with Congress and a GOP controlled Senate. Where is the civility? The middle ground? The Win-Win, versus the greed and gross vilification of the opposition?

      1. God damn, you’re boring.

      2. You must hang with a really strange crowd. I have never met a member of the clan and doubt many people have. I have never been in a white only bar that denies speech about racial equality and have actually discussed it at times with no problem. Who ever the handmaiden women you know that think they don’t have equal rights under the law are they are lying to you. If the American people wanted ol Joe to make headway they would not have elected more Republicans to the House and would have given Democrats a 60 seat majority in the Senate. The government is working exactly as designed. Americans that still know how to think knew ol moderate joe would make a hard left once in office.

  9. Would Reason host a “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” contest today like they did in 2010?

    https://reason.com/2010/05/18/get-ready-for-everyone-draw-mo/

    If not, why not?

    That could be the subject of a great article. Interview some of your older or ex-staff questions about free speech in the context their opinions on Everybody Draw Mohammed Day in 2010, and then ask your current staff the same questions about whether Reason should host another event like that today. I bet the support for free speech, even on Reason’s staff, ain’t what it used to be, much less the rest of society.

    1. P.S. As recently as 2015, Ron Bailey was still writing articles about how, “Hate Speech is Free Speech”.

      “No one has the right to a world in which he is never despised.”

      https://reason.com/2015/05/07/hate-speech-is-free-speech/

      Can you imagine a younger staffer writing an article like that today?

      If they wouldn’t, why not?

      Is it because they don’t believe in those principles? Is it because they’re afraid it would ruin their careers after Reason?

      1. “Can you imagine a younger staffer writing an article like that today?”

        Yes. I could imagine that.

        Your two comments above about how cowardly and illiberal current Reason staff are is pure speculation on your part.

      2. I think “Braggs, Heaton, and Remy? Yes. Otherwise? No.” sums it up pretty well.

      3. I agree, no one does have a right to a world where he is not despised. However, people do have a right to being treated in a civil and reasonable manner. Words matter – and seldom is the mass slandering and libel of others addressed by the law any longer.

        1. “People do have a right to being treated in a civil and reasonable manner.”

          Actually, rights are the obligation to respect other people’s choices, which is why everything from rape to theft is morally wrong and legitimately illegal. Your moral obligation to respect other people’s rights arises naturally from agency, the ability to make choices itself, and the legitimate purpose of government is to protect our rights.

          Using the coercive power of government to violate other people’s rights to speak freely, likewise, is morally wrong, because it violates our obligation to respect other people’s choices, and in our case, anyway, it’s properly illegal because protecting our free speech rights from other people’s feelings by way of the First Amendment is a legitimate purpose of government.

          No one is obligated to be civil towards you or respect your feelings. You’re free to choose your own feelings, and other people are free to choose their own speech. You’re actually morally obligated to respect the choices of those who hurt your feelings with their speech, and the government is obligated to protect the rights of those who choose to hurt your feelings with their speech.

          The only time neither you nor the government is obligated to respect the speech of others is when they violate your rights with their speech in some way, say through fraud, perjury, defamation, or in the commission of a robbery. While you have a right to choose whatever you want to feel, neither you nor the government has any legitimate justification for violating anyone’s right to freedom of speech–certainly not because of how you choose to feel.

          P.S. Fuck you!

          I hope that hurt your feelings.

          1. My argument in this case, specifically, is that government contractors willingly forfeit their right to defamation claims when they willingly take on government contracts.

            People are and should be free to oppose any politician for any reason they like, and they should be free to voice that opposition. Part of the legitimate job of a politician is overseeing contractors, and people should be free to criticize the choices politicians make in that regard.

            There are societies, today, in which people are not free to criticize politicians and the government contractors they oversee without fear of retribution, and any society in which people are not free to criticize politicians and the contractors they oversee is not a free society for that reason.

            If you don’t want to open yourself up to the kind of criticism politicians simply must be subjected to, legally, in a free society, there’s an easy way to avoid that–don’t run for public office. If you don’t want to open your company up to the level of criticism that is and should be allowed when opposing public officials in a free society, there’s an easy way to avoid that, too–don’t take on government contracts.

            Simply put, we have a right to say whatever we want about the way our votes are counted and whom counts them, and those who willingly choose to enter the market for counting our votes, willingly open themselves up to whatever anybody wants to say about them.

            And the inaccuracy of the accusations against this company may be a good reason to dismiss them in the court of public opinion, but government courts have no business deciding what can or can’t be said in the public square when someone is voicing opposition to politicians or the contractors they oversee.

            1. And this is one argument against big government. As government gets it’s fingers in almost everything it becomes virtually impossible to have a business of any size that doesn’t “do business with the government” and thus become subject to new more authoritarian diktats

        2. “…However, people do have a right to being treated in a civil and reasonable manner…”

          You’re full of shit.

        3. When it comes to things that are the products of other human beings, such as respect, you only have the right to earn:respect, no a right to possess it or take it from others via initiation of force. And since you haven’t earned it, to quote Keith Richards on SNL…Mick, you ignorant slut!

    2. Or even host a Put a Face on the Kamala Cookie Day.

      Here at Reason the brave woketarians are not so much about what can be discussed as what should be avoided.

      Say, the now established fact that Trump didn’t order the tear gassing (military grade!) in Lafayette park.

      1. “Is it because they’re afraid it would ruin their careers after Reason?”

        They are all pissed off and bitter. Jeffrey Toobin spanked the monkey live on a video stream and he gets his luxe job back. Meanwhile they cannot even get a contract gig at Vox. It’s just not fair.

        1. Well clearly the males at reason don’t measure up to toobins package and the females at reason all have more hair on their balls.

          1. The preceding is and excellent example of crass commentary. Could this be rephrased so it is not so incredibly vulgar that it brings to mind the ugliest of visuals? Are you so challenged by a limited vocabulary that you are unable to express yourself without rude, distasteful verbiage? Did your mother teach you to express yourself in such guttural terms?

            1. So……… no to free speech then?

            2. Did your mother slap you the way you want to slap us? And do you take offense at the thought of male packages and male packages on females? How sexist, homophobic, and transphobic of you! You offend me!

        2. Toobin’s just rejoining the other jackoffs.

          1. “golf clap”

          2. Like Don Lemon, Brian Stelter and Chris Cuomo.
            Stelter may not have any balls anyway. If his voice becomes any shriller, dogs will start howling.

        3. Well, you know what they say……. ™

          It’s catching on, trust me. Haha.

  10. reason koch liberaltarians keep equating free speech and social media. They are not the same. Social media is a criminal enterprise that supports other criminal elements, rogue nation states, and terrorist orgs, and whose execs need to be arrested and tried for sedition among other more serious crimes. These companies are multinational and respect no laws, including those supported by reason koch writers.

    1. Seek counselling fir your conspiracy theories.

  11. Some of these exceptions are stark. Majorities in 14 countries say that governments should be able to prevent people from making “statements that are offensive to your religion and beliefs.”

    This sensitivity is certainly growing in the US, especially if we include rabid political ideology as religion. With a nod to Lukianoff and Haidt, call it The Great Coddling.

    Far too many Americans now expect a public life in which they are never offended or have their beliefs challenged. And far too many of those are eager to use government to create and enforce an offense-free society. Its a tired cliche, but these deluded people really do want a nurturing, nanny government and a managed proscribed society.

    1. Declaring that government should be able to prevent people from making statements offensive to people’s religions or beliefs is offensive to my religion and beliefs.

      1. Unless your religion is Critical Theory

        1. Then they will force you to bake the cake.

          1. Or tell a girl wrestler that she has to wrestle against the other ‘girl’ who just happens to have testicles.

            1. With Jacob Blake’s name on the back of her singlet.

    2. And when “government” is populated by cheats, drunks, drug users, sex offenders, deadbeats, and thieves, how does society enforce reasonable behavior on the part of the “rabble” then? Remember when Congress addressed each other as “The Honorable Gentleman?” Few deserve the salutation any longer.

      1. Yet you want to give these Dishonorable Gentlemen (and Women and Trans if there are any,) the power to suppress free expression you don’t like? Were you dropped on your head as a kid?

  12. Our state religion today is Our Most Holy Anti-White Church of Political Correctness, which is by far the most powerful religion being practiced — committing public heresy against it can cost you your job or your business. Free speech takes second place to the requirement of not committing blasphemy against Our Most Holy Church of PC, whose hidden core dogma is White Genocide.

    1. Ah the mentally ill White Genocide Troll.

      Meds wear off too soon?

    2. The White Genocide shtick is pretty stupid, but I do see them wanting the traditional and stereotypical independent “white” male crushed, ridiculed, and emasculated. The irony is that “whiteness”, that independent spirit and love of liberty, is represented across all colors or “races” in this country. It doesn’t matter if you’re black and want freedom. They’ll cancel you and call you an Uncle Tom.

      1. “…..crushed, ridiculed, and emasculated….”

        Still too far. Contrite? Required.

        Fuck that.

    3. It’s not confined to any given race. White genocide indeed: when Asian hate crime is at an all-time high and indiscriminate mass shootings are daily occurrences. Even legal immigrants and naturally born citizens of color are reviled for their appearance or the way they are attired. Defiling people you don’t know is reprehensible.

      1. well, you know all those violent anti Asian hate crimes are being committed by black , white supremacists.
        Funny how the press always gets it so confused.

      2. And yet you would fine, jail, imprison, and possibly execute any of these people if they expressed anything you don’t like? Who is the real hatemonger right here?

  13. “But people shouldn’t be allowed to say that!” is the rallying cry of free people everywhere.

    “People shouldn’t be able to mock Elizabeth Warren!”
    “People shouldn’t be able to mock Josh Hawley!”
    “People shouldn’t be able to mock my Bible! Or Torah! Or Quran!”

    But the ability to mock the mainstream and wet sticks and the orthodox is what free speech is all about. The First Amendment doesn’t exist so we can have the freedom to say nice things that have been approved by right thinking people. It exists so we can piss people off without going to jail or paying a fine or get our livelihood taken away.

    I sort of have to agree with Nick and Black Jacket here. Free speech should be more than just the law. It should also be the culture. Because “cancel culture” is not a set of laws, but merely the demand that people get fired. And that’s cultural. We need a culture that says “We won’t fire someone because you don’t feel ‘safe’ because they uttered some words you don’t like.” It can be a fuzzy line between boorish behavior and political opinion, especially in 2021, but at least we should have the culture that errs on the side of caution rather than to make everyone who said a bad word be permanently unemployable.

    1. Laws only work if they match cultural values to some significant degree. Without a cultural value of free speech, laws protecting it aren’t worth much.

      1. Ya see? burning a flag is a cultural issue. We can’t have ANTIFA burning the American flag the next time the United States launches a hegemonic war in the ME. That would potentially demoralize all the troops murdering third world peasants. We can’t have that in any free society.

        1. Notice we can have piles of lefty shit like this dragging strawmen all over the place, yet again making a public ass of himself.

          1. Also notice that for 16 yrs. of Bush/Obama, we didn’t have ANTIFA burning the American flag. It wasn’t, effectively, until Trump showed up and ended the war in Afghanistan that the ANTIFA flag burning started/became widespread.

            1. Haha. Amsoc hardest hit.

            2. They weren’t protesting the war. They were protesting the fascists. It’s right there in their name.

              You folks make plenty of pro-fascist arguments here lately that you don’t really need to come out and say it, but I appreciate that you do.

              1. I appreciate your assertion that Trump was a bigger fascist than Bush, Obama, and Clinton combined. You unsurprising adoration of anti-fascism is duly noted.

        2. Burn the flag all you want, I don’t give a fuck.

          1. I do. But I don’t think they should go to jail for it. Maybe just a good ass whooping.

      2. +1

        Especially so given the all to obvious way that prosecutorial “discretion” gets employed. Or the way it gets a pass from so called ‘libertarian’ writers.

        Hunter Biden
        Ashli Babbitt
        John Kerry and the Logan Act

        The list is endless because if it were not for double standards Reason would have no standards.

        1. (really should have included the tear gassing of ‘mostly’ peaceful arsonists in the list

    2. “But the ability to mock the mainstream and wet sticks and the orthodox is what free speech is all about. ”

      All about? No cupcake. It is equally about all those you seek to other – the mainstream, the wet sticks, the orthodox, along with the traditional, the religious, and the educated to speak their peace as well.

      I get that you became enamored with leftism when you were a juvenile, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay a juvenile.

    3. Talk abour strawmwn. No one has ever said you cant mock Josh Hawley, especially not Hawley.

      But mocking Lieawatha is sexist and racist and hate speech

    4. I am against fining, jailing, imprisoning, assaulting, torturing, or murdering anyone for expression of any viewpoint. But not firing them? No.

      That in itself is an employer’s expression of views of what his business supports and opposes.

      The only way to stop firing over viewpoints is:
      #ConservativesAndLibertariansForGuaranteedEmployment

      #ConsistentLibertarianSaysHellNo

  14. Come on! The proper opinion in libertarian circles has been expressed literally hundreds of times and is axiomatic. Free speech requires the regulation of social media companies— preferably by the Toppest of Top Men— to ensure Racist QAnon Guy is heard right along with Jon Oliver. OTOH, because burning a flag is such a sensitive issue and is likely to inflame, it needs to be prohibited by the government— maybe even by the same Tippity Top Men as with my Twitter example. God, so many people have said this here I’m surprised there needs to be any more debate.

    WTF is wrong with you, Mr. Tucille? Don’t you read the comments here by all these Trumpian buttholes sincere libertarian intellectuals?

    1. Nobody’s trying to get this steaming pile of lefty shit banned; like the Nazi up-thread, he’s welcome to spew his idiocy and continue making a public ass of himself

      1. Yeah, this place is pretty cool. Go over to Breitbart though and start telling everyone that Dear Leader sucks and see what happens. I’ve been banned… 569… times. True story. Do I bitch about it like you guys? Nope. They have every right to boot me. They run their website and it’s their dime.

        1. Good: You deserve it.
          Fuck off and die, asshole.

          1. Ya see? Everyone has their breaking point when it comes to free expression. It just depends on whether you want that free expression to end at the whims of a moderator on Twitter or a bot on Disqus.

            1. Ya see? Lefty shit has no idea what “free speech” means, and immediately proves it.
              Fuck off and die, asshole.

              1. Free Speech means nobody is free to call him names or criticize hIs inane dIscredited toxic positions

                1. That distinction seems lost on you. Not on me. See, I’m fine with an employer firing people for being dicks. If you whipped out your dick at that insurrection we all saw in January 6th I’m fine with an employer giving you notice. That has zero to do with the 1st amendment.

            2. Fuck off slaver.

          2. Another with nothing but obnoxious 4-letter words, name calling and a death wish to express their opinion. Informs a great deal about the author.

            1. So what are you going to do, wish him death for expressing himself?

        2. How did you get back on 568 more times if you were banned?

          And I think you did just bitch about it. I mean, keeping count alone….

      2. If public forums were build around “Mute User” and other forms of user selectable filtering, none of this would be an issue.

        1. Hopeful, but doubtful. There really are people who want to control others.

        2. It is a good idea. Because reason does not want to moderate it lets you become your own personal moderator.

          Forums like this are a relic anyway. I don’t do social media so this is kinda it for me.

          1. Yet here you are with your typing in your 2-cents and pressing “submit.”

            1. Haha. So?

        3. Unless you’re The President. Then the ‘mute user’ button is a violation of the 1A, apparently (that is to say, I disagree).

    2. I agree that John Oliver typically spews more bullshit disinfo than Racist Qanon guy, but I still dont want him banned

  15. Reason should know better than to pander to the delusion that a person who wants his own speech to go unrestricted is a supporter of “free speech”.

    The most oppressive, restrictive tyrants in history opposed restraints on THEMSELVES. The only area where distinction exists is attitude towards the rights of others.

  16. The truth of the issue is as follows:

    The government ## ###### ### ######### ## # #### is ##### ### ####### #### ### great #### ###### ## ######. ######## ###### ## ##### black ####### #### #### ####### lives ####### ### ####### ## ##### matter #### ######. Furthermore, ##### ### # ## ############ ##### white ########. ####### sup######### re####m# ##acy ####### is ###### ##### ### ###### the ####### ###### great #######est ##### ## th# re##### ####at### #### we ####### ####f# ##a###c# ###e####. It’s all so obvious.

    1. So how long has itbeen OK with you to murder black people?

      You might do with some free speech with a psychiatrist.

      1. Your programming seems to malfunctioning.

      2. You forgot the capital B.

      3. Yikes. You okay, buddy? Ranting at chestnuts?

  17. “”Moreover, citizens do not always prioritize free speech when there is a potential trade-off with other things they value, such as national security, good health, and the economy.”

    I sat beside a man at a Ron Paul rally who was all Rah Rah Ron Paul UNTIL… It was about cutting DOD spending. He wanted money to stsrt a business.

    Hypocritical Welfare State Sponge, not Free Speech advocate.

  18. I’ve made some adjustments that have helped keep my sanity and still get my thoughts/speech out. No one that engages me has a doubt where i stand on any issue. Here it is. Stop debating/arguing. If a flat earther from the left make a ridiculous statement in my presence. I merely say “your wrong.” If it’s an obviously stupid position, that’s the end of it. If there’s an objective and obvious correct answer/position I may offer it. If it’s an attempt to trigger me i end it. For example. 2+2=5. Response. “Your wrong, it’s 4” that’s it. The end. We don’t need to engage these idiots. Oh,one more thing never ever apologize

    1. “Your wrong.”
      English your second language? Pass issued.
      Public-school “education” also counts, in whatever language.

    2. Used this. Add walking away after saying “You are wrong/misinformed.”

      1. But you would walk away and go call some government censoring authority right?

    3. Amazing. You totally preclude the possibility that you’re wrong. You’ve missed the point of argument/debate entirely.

      Your comment is like hearing the description of a routine at the bigoted feeble minded gymnastics olympics.

      1. The world isn’t flat.

        1. Are you talking to me?

    4. 2 + 2 = 4 is a mere tautology, a precise equivalence between definitions of arbitrary symbols.

      It’s also not necessarily true, depending on how you define “+” and the qualities of the things being counted.

      But progressives can, in theory, be wrong on the facts about stuff. Would that their critics pointed some of those facts out instead of spending all their time whining like children over cultural progress for people who don’t share their culture.

      1. Funny stuff, and i know funny. Thanks

      2. Progressives give up on the facts the minute the facts don’t fit the narrative. At which point they say, “everything’s subjective… who’s to say what’s right and wrong?”

        For example:
        The consensus of science is that global warming is largely manmade, and if you question that, you’re labeled a fool for not listening to the experts. You’re a science denier.

        On the other hand: the consensus among economists is that MMT is bullshit. And suddenly, to a progressive, everything is subjective fiction we tell ourselves from our own perspective. MMT makes perfect sense to the progressive, and who is expert enough to say one way or the other, really? No worries of being an economics denier. It’s not like Austrian economics, which is obviously wrong exactly because it’s heterodox. But heterodox MMT is completely different; it goes with the progressive narrative.

        Same with history: the Lost Cause is self-centered revisionist history. It’s just not supported by historic facts, which we know are true from studying history. Case closed. Objective facts must be accepted.

        However, the 1619 project says America was founded on slavery, and suddenly, to the progressive, history becomes subjective. Who can say that America wasn’t founded on slavery? Isn’t that good enough? And, even if it wasn’t, isn’t the conversation we have after claiming that America was founded on slavery justification enough? Isn’t our perspective really most important?

        When the facts come and go, when reality is selectively objective and subjective, you’re not talking about facts anymore. You’re throwing out narratives. Sometimes the facts match, sometimes they don’t, and a the progressive has to choose, the narrative always wins. In their mind, they’re always right, because they’re either fact-based, or the facts don’t matter, and they choose which is which for maximum self-convenience.

        You can’t really have an honest conversation with that.

        1. You are making an awful lot of assertions about what facts are that sound like a lot of conservative security-blanket bullshit to me.

          History is not what they happened to teach you when you were in 4th grade. That history might possibly have been flawed, and not in the direction of being too mean to the white people in it.

          You don’t get to keep questioning global warming, despite the face-tsunami of evidence available to you, until the earth is no longer habitable. Keep being petulant insincere freaks on this issue, and I don’t really care about your rights, because you don’t care about the survival of the species.

          You’re awfully proud of the fact that MMT isn’t orthodox (yet), for a libertarian or Austrian school clown or whatever hilariously disproven horseshit you believe.

          As a human, I do have a narrative. We can hardly do any different, since the human part of our brains thinks in narratives. I strive to make my narrative “rigorously uncover evidence and judge it with a clear head.” On my best day, I’m about 40% there, I think.

          You think you’re 100% there because you believe that facts are things you’re told by some trash talking head or some Russian fascist bitch with a fairy tale or your teacher when you were 12.

          When was the last time you even read current history? Or current economics? Or current climate science? You seem to have it all figured out, so I presume it hasn’t actually been decades since you cracked open the cutting edge of anthropology texts.

          1. No longer habitable? Survival of the species? Crap like that is why you and your fellow apocalyptic doomsayers will never be taken seriously. Walking around with an end is near sandwich board is old news. The hubris of man is unlimited. My Lord, lighten up Francis

            1. Indeed. You seem to think man is so special it can’t cause its own extinction.

              It has done so many times, on the local level. You so sure you know what science says on this? Or are you going to dismiss it all away with an assumption about how the universe must be particularly hospitable to human beings, despite the fact that roughly 0% of it is.

              1. Man has caused his own extinction…on the local level. It’s that like something is partially surrounded? The apocalyptic doomsayers that think man can effect the weather to the point of extinction is the hubris i speak of. I think you know that. Ok, it’s time for me to leave.i forgot the great advise i just got. Bye

          2. I’m sorry but “you’re history teaching may have been flawed” is no excuse for “I get it to make up whatever bullshit I want now to advance a different fact-free narrative”, and the fact that you think it does is making my point for me.

            1. You haven’t ever said one thing you object to. You’re fighting a concept some trash rightwing talking head shoved at you. Say what’s wrong about what’s being taught, if you even know anywhere it is.

          3. This kind of hand-waving ad hominem straw man silliness isn’t very compelling.

          4. Anyway, I can go on about progressives and their cognitive dissonance with MMT. You believe that:

            1. Taxes are not tied to spending.
            2. Taxes are used to mitigate inflation by reducing spending in the private sector.
            3. The rich don’t spent their surplus income, so tax cuts on the rich don’t boost private sector spending. Instead, the rich invest tax cuts.

            We’ll, 3 above also implies that tax increases on the rich don’t reduce private sector spending; they merely reduce private sector capital investment.

            It must follow that, to the progressive who tries to believe all of this simultaneously, tax increases are only effective at performing their function (ie, reducing private sector spending) when they are applied to people with low and middle incomes, since they are the only people who would have spent it in the first place.

            Therefore, if you really think MMT is the future, and the rich don’t spend their money, then you are specifically calling for regressive tax policies.

            Now, do you actually have a sensible explanation for that? Or are you just going to randomly bitch about Russians and Fox News some more?

            1. This just points out the difference between you and me: I’m a thinker, and I evaluate policies with facts and evidence. You’re an ideologue, who advances a narrative and protects it from enemies.

              To me, if I were to assume that tax cuts for the rich don’t boost the economy because the rich don’t spend it, then I would need to satisfy a few things:

              1. That there’s actual analysis of data that supports that
              2. That my policies incorporate that fact into their design

              That’s how fact-based policy works. This is how I deal with facts that I know.

              But, not you. You’re different. These are “facts” that you “know”. What you mean is, you’re a progressive, you hear progressives say this, so it’s part of the narrative, and you will advance it, too, to signal your tribal membership and oppose those who don’t belong.

              It’s of no concern to you whether or not there’s data to support it, and you certainly feel no compulsion to incorporate that “fact” into your embrace of MMT, because that’s not fact-based, either. MMT is true and good because progressives say so, increasing taxes on the rich reduces private spending immediately follows, rich people don’t spend tax cuts because progressives say s. They can’t be wrong, because they’re in the tribe.

              So, of course, when you think like this, “everything is a bullshit fiction we tell ourselves,” because it has to be. It certainly can’t be a coherent, fact-based way of viewing the world. It’s really not even trying, though it desperately pretends it is.

              1. It’s weird, though. I don’t know how you people go through the world. I’ve done more to analyze the fact-based coherence of your ideology and policies than you have.

                1. I guess you’re too busy looking for Russians?

              2. MMT doesn’t really distinguish between tax cuts and spending. It’s just a ledger. Keynesians get into the weeds more about which actions result in more productivity, and there’s plenty of data and common sense about how money sitting in an offshore account does less production for the US economy than money being spent at Costco.

                But we quickly get to policy matters, and MMT doesn’t really offer laws to pass. Policy is what we do as a democratic society based on our values. You’re the only one here demanding that everyone have shitty values, including an obnoxious disrespect for scientific fact, because some authority you liked as a teenager told you so.

                1. MMT distinguishes taxes (including tax cuts) and spending, and does not treat them as a ledger.

                  A ledger is what you would use if you cared about balances. The entire point of MMT is that the balance doesn’t matter.

                  MMT says that taxes are used to pull dollars out of the economy and manage inflation and unemployment. Private spending is thereby controlled in that management.

                  If you’d like, I can explain more of what you believe to you.

            2. 1. So when was the time tax rates were tied to spending?
              2. Taxes are used to take money from some people. Spending is used to give money to other people.
              3. I don’t care what the rich do with their surplus income. I care that if we’re a society that uses taxpayer services to protect the yachts of the rich, then they can damn well make sure there are no starving children too.

              MMT doesn’t really prescribe, it describes, but I am not trained in this field, although I do wonder why so many who are believe such ridiculous nonsense.

              Actually I don’t wonder. An entire academic school was underwritten by the same rich lunatics who underwrite libertarianism and half of Congress. If the had a deity with a name, you’d notice the fuckedness of it all.

              1. “1. So when was the time tax rates were tied to spending?
                2. Taxes are used to take money from some people. Spending is used to give money to other people.”

                Your item 2 ties spending to taxes, because taxation defines the “other” who receive the spending.

                You can’t even stay consistent with MMT while trying to explain it.

                Do you want to try again in a manner consistent with MMT?

              2. “ 3. I don’t care what the rich do with their surplus income. I care that if we’re a society that uses taxpayer services to protect the yachts of the rich, then they can damn well make sure there are no starving children too.”

                That’s all fine and good, but for serious people who care about effect of policy, you need to care about facts that impact policy.

                Progressives have spouted off for decades about how tax cuts for the rich don’t get spent.

                Now progressives propose that the entire point of taxes is to reduce private spending.

                You don’t care about putting 2 and 2 together, but that’s exactly what serious minds need to do when evaluating policy, as you’re making my point yet again.

                1. Anyway, for someone who thinks morality is bullshit from the sky gods, it sure sounds like you support moralistic crusades.

          5. “I strive to make my narrative “rigorously uncover evidence and judge it with a clear head.” On my best day, I’m about 40% there, I think.”

            Luckily for you the inalienable right to life isn’t contingent upon a working mind.

            If I thought I could discern truth no better than 40% of the time, I’d off myself.

            Maybe you just aren’t trying hard enough.

            1. Maybe you don’t understand just how fallible the human brain is.

              1. You’d think, with such an understanding of how fallible the human mind is, you would be seeker hesitant about the use of massive systemic violence by the federal government to force one-size-fits-all policies on controversial social problems.

      3. A tautology is always necessarily true. Relearn your logic, Tony.

  19. I’m a free-speech fundamentalist.
    I’d prefer a firing squad, thank you.

  20. “Majorities in 14 countries say that governments should be able to prevent people from making “statements that are offensive to your religion and beliefs.”
    Hitler’s Christian nationalsocialist program enjoyed just such a majority: “c. every non-German investment in or influence on German newspapers be legally forbidden and be punished by the closing of the publishing house and the immediate expulsion of the non-Germans involved.
    Newspapers which conflict with the common good are to be forbidden. We demand legal measures against any tendency in art and literature which has a subversive influence on the life of our people, and the closing down of any meetings or organizations which do not conform to those demands.
    24. We demand freedom for all religious denominations within the state as long as they do not endanger the state or violate the ethical and moral feelings of the Germanic race.
    The party as such subscribes to a positive Christianity without binding itself to a specific denomination.” Both halves of The Kleptocracy whine and pine for that very coercion.

    1. Remember the Spanish Inquisition?

      1. Of course not. Nobody expects The Spanish Inquisition. 🙂

    2. Get ’em, Hank! You always have the real and unspoken answer to the question: “You know who else?…”

  21. You do not have the right to not be offended.
    Unfortunately, this latest generation doesn’t believe so. So they now believe free speech is hate speech.
    Well, you know what you can do with your hate speech and being offended……you can shove it where the sun doesn’t shine.
    I’ll say what I wish and if you don’t like it F***you!
    As for these mealy mouth little narcissists who, unfortunately populate so many college campuses with pus for brains and the castrated feminized soi bois the feminist land whale lesbians with green and pink hair, a dozen pieces of metal sticking out of their face and some ugly as piss tats, can wallow in a deep pile of dog shit for all I care.

    1. Universities? Aye no. now they now habit corporate America. its way beyond just schools. Theres a whore in the white house. The presidents a child molester. Boris Johnson of Englands a Fairy who wants the world to turn Queer.

      The Courts caved to the queer agenda. What gender, or none, would you like to be this week? A Judge will make it so!

      1. Correct. Now go and enjoy a can of Woke A Cola.

      2. Who would you prefer enforce gender norms?

    2. Correct, you don’t have a right not to be offended. That includes you, who are offended by culture incorporating the interests of disfavored minorities. And you, who are offended by college students having opinions you don’t like. And you, who are offended by the scourge of excessive politeness.

      Complain about private parties being excessively polite to each other if you like, but as long as Congress isn’t passing any law to force you what to say or think, you’re just a coot on a porch.

  22. In my personal experience, the people I’ve met who have the strongest feelings about both freedom of expression and economic freedom have been from Venezuela and former USSR countries.

    It’s more around here that most people leave me shaking my head about their insanely naive levels of trust in government. It goes to show you that experience (in this case negative experiences) is the best teacher.

    1. Calling you a dumbass is other people using their free speech. It is in no way infringing upon yours.

  23. Reason loves free speech, until mega-corporations decide to crush it and destroy any and all businesses and individuals that support it. Then at that point they decide the First Amendment no longer matters because government-subsidized corporate power is more important than individual freedom.

  24. ‘Majorities in 14 countries say that governments should be able to prevent people from making “statements that are offensive to your religion and beliefs.”’

    That ones nuts. So we pass a law that bans documentaries on Scientology?

    Freedom!

    1. I’m the founder of the religion of I Hate You and Everything You Stand For.

      I take donations in lieu of calling the cops.

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