Noam Chomsky

Jim heartfield jim at
Mon Oct 26 17:52:18 PST 1998

"In order to combat freedom of the press, the thesis of the permanent immaturity of the human race has to be defended."

Karl Marx, Rheinische Zeitung, 1842

In message <XFMail.981026134938.cgrimes at>, Chuck Grimes <cgrimes at> writes
>Well, absurd or not, banning their speech and then having to listen to
>their civil rights moaning, also trivializes the concept of civil
>rights in its moral configuration, by handing that ground over to a
>corrosive inversion, a mirror of farce whereby the nazis lay claim to
>their civil rights as a currently discriminated against group on the
>basis of race! (Ah, the master race that is).
>Chuck Grimes

I agree with Chuck.

Further, the right of free speech is often misunderstood to mean solely a right extended to the speaker. But just as, if not more important, is the right of the audience to judge upon the words spoken.

When the state acts to 'protect' the people from hearing things that might harm them it suggests a people that have no ability or will of their won to judge. Free speech is the best condition in which to fight prejudice and racial ideology, because it is the one that puts the judgement of the mass of people at the centre.

By contrast, the state regulation of speech leaves such judgements in the hands of the courts, police and other elite institutions. It is precisely because you want people to reject prejudice that you embrace free speech. Where there is none, people never have to decide for themselves, and are never in a position to break from reactionary ideas.

-- Jim heartfield

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