Regrettably, the childish, immature excuse for a university otherwise known as Berkeley, recently sought to censor free speech, with the college banning the speaking appearance of Ann Coulter due to mounting student pressures.
Fortunately, Berkeley lifted its ban on Coulter speaking, but the issue of an increasingly totalitarian movement aiming to repress free speech remains.
It seems that the traditional righteousness of the Left has morphed into a self- appointed, supreme mantle representing the sole purveyors of truth.
And if anyone disagrees with such sentiment, they are silenced as being “Fake News”!!!
Consider the modern actions of social media juggernauts, and these grubby acts against free speech become clear.
But what is the stimulus behind this madness, inspiring the forces who wish to reverse free- thinking concepts of enlightenment, which have served Western Civilization for so many centuries?
Obviously, a tremendous intolerance of differing opinions contributes to these Orwellian tendencies.
However, more broadly, given our extremely polarized political environment, a loss of basic civility underpins these attacks on free speech, with different minded individuals often incapable of agreeing to disagree.
Political agendas are now in the forefront of virtually all arenas of public life, and in response a tribalistic, warring establishment has emerged.
Conservatives are on one side, with progressives on the other. Any collaborations with these opposing sides can lead to a breakdown in acquaintances, friendships, and even marriages.
In order to rise above this unproductive, segregated atmosphere, whether we politically identify as alt- righters, conservatives, libertarians, progressives, Marxists or otherwise, a widespread admission is required: it is ok for people to believe in different things, and for different reasons.
What a person believes politically should not be primary mark of character, and this holds true for both regular civilians and politicians.
For instance, Trump, Farage, Le Pen and Hanson are not by in large motivated by hatred of brown people, or a desire to oppress Muslims. Instead, their attempts to secure borders and national sovereignty, is often justified under the banner of patriotism, and the deep care each of these figures have for their fellow citizens. Meanwhile, while some racists certainly did vote for these politicians, it is intellectually dishonest to wholly equate ‘Australia First’ or ‘America First’ with outright bigotry. And anyone who pays genuine, credible attention to the political reality will recognize this.
And whilst I disagree fervently with self- described progressives on most issues, we should recognize that predominant voices on the Left also have good intentions. Sure, there are certain wackos who would love to see white people oppressed and inherently intend to do wicked things, but as is the case in misleading representations of Trump supporters, such characterizations do not reflect the majority’s will. As while Islamic immigration has proved disastrous for Europe, the bulk of Left activists advocate for refugee intake citing humanitarian reasons, rather than intending on bringing down the West. Of course they have particular Islamist connections amongst their ranks, but this does not mean that every person or even most who voted for Hillary Clinton, are intrinsically hateful people.
Conservatives and populists should have no hesitation in arguing their perspectives, because in most cases, they appear to be right.
Similarly, proponents of internationalism, open borders and Left identity politics would argue their opinions to be more right.
And while this can provide a source of frustration, it is these same intellectual confrontations, challenges and discussions which have ensured the constant progress of democracy and civil society throughout the ages.
Fundamentally, we all need to recognize that we as humans remain imperfect by some measure, and given this, no idea should ever be blacklisted from existence.
As from the perspective of Greek tragedies, “there is nothing more corrupting than self- righteousness and nothing more intolerant than an ardent man who is convinced he is on the side of the angels.”