Free Speech

Joe R. Golowka joegolowka at
Fri Mar 17 11:38:09 PST 2000

The arguement to outlaw racist speech is basically this:

(1) Racist speech is extremely undesirable. (2) Speech that is extremely undesirable should be outlawed. (3) Therefore, Racist speech should be outlawed.

The debate on this list thus far has been with the truth of (2). With good reason, no one has challenged the validity of (1). Let us assume, for the moment, that (2) is true. There are many people who view those of us on the far left in a manner similar to how we view racists. Hence, a right-winger could make this arguement:

(1a) Radical leftist speech is extremely undesirable (2) Speech that is extremely undesirable should be outlawed. (3a) Therefore, radical left speech should be outlawed.

Of course, all of us on this list know that, even if (2) is true, the conclusion isn't true because premise (1a) is false. However, as I stated earlier, numerous people would disagree with that. These same people have much better access to the airways then us and would therefore be much more capable of convincing a large number of people that they are right then we will. Of course, such an arguement would only work if the majority of people agree that (2) is correct. In order to implement (3), outlawing racist speech, we would have to convince people that (2) is true. Therefore, it is not in our best interest to convince people that (2) is correct. Historically, the bourgeois state has always had a strong tendency to direct it's censorship powers against the far left. Increasing those powers will come back to haunt us when the state decides to censor us in addition to the racists.

-- Joe R. Golowka joegolowka at

"When you are right, you cannot be too radical; When you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative" --Martin Luther King, Jr.

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