Charles Brown CharlesB at CNCL.ci.detroit.mi.us
Thu Mar 23 06:57:22 PST 2000

>>> Doug Henwood <dhenwood at panix.com> 03/22/00 06:17PM >>>
Charles Brown wrote:

>CB: If all they did was talk, there would be no problem. The problem
>is the talk causes action. So, yes quite, it is freedom from racism.

So if you want to ban or prosecute something, ban or prosecute the action. Leave the speech alone.


CB: The action is already banned. It is murder or assault. That criminal prohibitioin is not doing the job. We need to nip it in the bud, while it is still just speech and not an act. The speech by itself has no value for society if it doesn't result in action. The protection of abstract "pure" speech as the most important political principle in our system is bourgeois liberalism, a lower level of analysis than Marxist materialism. Only a philosophical idealism treats speech as sacred and untouchable. On balance , it is worth it to society to ban this narrow area of SPEECH. It has had its day in the marketplace of ideas, and we can safely ban fascistic racist SPEECH AND ORGANIZATION without damaging what political value there is to the general principle of freedom of speech and assembly. Freedom of speech and assembly is not more important than freedom from racism and genocide.

To repeat, as we put freedom of fascistic racist SPEECH AND ASSEMBLY on the scales of justice with freedom from the racist acts that are likely to result from fascistic racist speech and assembly, the scales tip on the side of outlawing fascistic racist speech and assembly. The "pure" speech and assembly is not that valuable to society that we need tolerate it given how often said fascistic speech and assembly result in violent and repressive racist ACTS. There is too close of a connection in general between the speech and the acts. Abstract protection of "freedom" of speech and assembly is NOT the highest political value of democracy. Freedom from racism is as important or more important than freedom of speech and assembly.

Treating speech and assembly as the number one poltical value of democracy, more important than all other political values is liberalism, not materialism. Freedom of speech is a political value, but not number one, absolute, more important than other political principles. We are beyond the American Revolution, though we sublate it, preserve and overcome it. The First Amendment is no longer number one.

So, absolutely not. Do not leave the speech alone. Stop fascistic racist speech by any means necessary, including laws against it.


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