Recently, the issue of “free speech” has become a huge topic of debate. Should all speech be allowed? Is there a limit to what we should be allowed to express? Who should be in control of what speech is and isn’t allowed? These are the questions that are floating around as people of different opinions attempt to balance between freedom and order.
On one side, we have those who argue for free speech, saying that they should not be limited to what they say based on whether it offends others or not. On the other hand, there are those who say that while free speech is a valid right, there should be a limit to what they see as ‘hate speech’ that could lead to discrimination and violence directed against certain groups of people. So when the latter group tries to shut down anything that they see as an exception to freedom of speech, the former screeches about censorship and the never ending political drama starts.
Personally, I think the whole debate is rather meaningless and outright silly. I will explain why.
To start with, free speech, and the entire notion of “freedom” in general, is nothing but a metaphor used in political rhetorics. It is a completely imaginary concept that exists only as an idea—It does not exist.
So, instead of viewing this world with the social and political conditioning that you’ve been brought up with, I challenge you to take off the lenses and view the world with naked eyes. I want you to see the world as it is, in reality.
In the real world, you are allowed to do whatever you want. You can think whatever you want, you can say whatever you want, and you can act and behave in whatever way you want. There is no metaphysical thing called “freedom” that allows you to do them; you do them because you can and want to. You do it because you have power.
And what is power? Power is your will and ability. You do what you want as far your ability allows and as long as you have the will to do it. The only thing that can stop a man’s expression of power are limits to his power which can be either internal or external, with the external usually being other men and Nature itself. So, in this view, the only thing that prevents a man from expressing himself however he wishes to (ie. “free speech”) is an opposing power.
Whenever someone brings up “free speech,” it is to highlight the counter force that either prevents him from speaking to an audience or a consequence that follows whatever expression of his. Now, remember that whatever justification for the speech or the method of censorship doesn’t matter—the only thing that matters is power.
The main reason people cry about “free speech” is because they think it’s something that should be granted to them by those in control. They don’t want to fight for it, so they repeat their rhetoric about the importance of “free” speech in hopes that someone from the top will grant them unrestricted access to a platform or a guarantee from facing the consequences of whatever opinion they wish to state. In that sense, they are no better than their opponents who cry for “safe spaces.” As much as they disagree with one another, they’re the same when it comes to begging the powers be for what they perceive as their natural right.
But I say, if you want freedom of expression, you should be the one responsible for creating the conditions for it. You don’t like that someone with more power is limiting your free speech? Too bad. If you don’t have power and you don’t have the guts to fight back, you deserve it. You deserve to be oppressed for your weakness. Don’t complain about censorship, don’t expect someone to allow you to exercise your speech, and don’t beg for the rules to be changed. If you want something from this world, you have to battle for it. If they remove you from a platform, get a new one for yourself. If they attack you for your opinions, be prepared defend yourself and push back. If a government decides to censor you, go underground or resist and overthrow that government. But whatever you do, don’t fucking cry about your “right” to free speech because those who silence you don’t care. Fight back with the only language they understand: force.
But this is exactly the problem: people don’t want to fight. Instead of accepting this principle of power, the modern-day free speech advocates try to stick to the principle of “freedom” only to find themselves tangled in logical contradictions based on their flawed idea of free speech. It’s always fun to watch these (usually right-wing) free speech warriors tell others that their feelings don’t matter only for them to get offended when their nation or religion is insulted, going on to say that it crosses the limit of free speech. Hilarity also ensues when these advocates for free speech run an event or a group only to ban and shut down anyone that says something they don’t like. They do this by creating a loophole in their mind to make an exception to their precious ideal of “free speech.” In their twisted worldview that defies logic, they themselves are not the monsters who are against free speech, but they’re doing whatever is necessary to keep their organization intact and running. These unwitting hypocrites don’t seem to have a clue that that’s the exact same excuse used by everyone who engages in censorship.
It is for this exact reason that this site is not declared as some “free speech” zone where anyone can post any comment they want. I don’t claim to fight for some magical “freedom of expression” which is bestowed upon me by some benevolent government. I will allow whatever comments I think are constructive and block or delete ones that I think contribute nothing to the site. It is not a matter of freedom, but my will and ability to keep this site clean.
Last, instead of campaigning to defend free speech, people who zealously guard their desire to speak their mind should ask themselves what they hope to achieve by being able to express themselves freely. Because when it comes down to it, the end goal itself matters a lot more than the means. In other words: create the change you want to see instead of just talking about it.
To conclude, all is struggle for power, the only guiding principle of this world. Whether you are struggling to exert your own power or doing your best to suppress those who try to undermine your power base, all that matters is your will and ability. Let the petty fools waste their time throwing tantrum over “free speech.” Those who understand the world with unfiltered clarity will do whatever it takes to achieve power.
If you want to learn more about the nature of freedom and power in our world, read ‘Man’s Fight for Existence‘.