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Should evil be free to speak?

Posted by  $  Solver 8 months ago to Philosophy
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“The communists and the Nazis are merely two variants of the same evil notion: collectivism. But both should be free to speak—evil ideas are dangerous only by default of men advocating better ideas.”
- Ayn Rand


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  • Posted by ZenRoy 8 months ago
    I consider Obama to be about as evil as they come, but I would shout from the rooftops his right to speak, even to speak his evil.

    I do not believe that he would extend me the same courtesy and right. He seems to be one that likes to silence what he sees as evil. It seems to me that most collectivist of all flavors would like to remove this right from those that are not their flavor of collectivist.
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    • Posted by  $  8 months ago
      History shows that those who feel they are [Morally] superior tend to want to silence those they believe are their inferiors.
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      • Posted by  $  blarman 7 months, 4 weeks ago
        Correct. Those who know they are on the side of right ask others to investigate and prove out their claims because they know that their positions can only be vindicated. As soon as someone starts questioning the need for further investigation, you can bet that they aren't nearly as sure of their position as they posture.
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    • Posted by strugatsky 7 months, 4 weeks ago
      Agree with you, except for a minor difference - I would not “shout from the rooftops” for Obama’s right to speak. I would not impede him, but not help him either.
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      • Posted by ewv 7 months, 4 weeks ago
        I would not help him either, only defend the principle that would be open to him with his own effort, not mine promoting his destructiveness.
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    • Posted by term2 7 months, 4 weeks ago
      He sure didnt offer that right to Snowden. After he ordered the president of I think Bolivia to land and be inspected, I lost all respect for Obama and called him an arrogant, petulant brat of a person. I am still waiting to stick with my doctor after the obamacare debacle.
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      • Posted by strugatsky 7 months, 4 weeks ago
        Why did you have respect for Obama? Actually, this is a serious question. What actions of his caused you to have respect for him?
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        • Posted by term2 7 months, 4 weeks ago
          I would say that I had positive respect for Obama at anytime. He was an unknown and promised to get us out of external wars. He was black, which I admit I didnt care about really. I suspected he was elected BECAUSE he was black, which I didnt like, but I didnt pay too much attention to him I was busy with my life and thought I would give him a chance to see what he was like. By the time he rammed Obamacare down my throat, didnt get out of Iraq, pursued war in Afghanistan, spent huge amounts of borrowed money, and came out so violengly against Snowden, I was completely done with him. At that point I had no respect for him at all, and thought he was an evil, arrogant, petulant brat. I think he was the worse president I have seen in my time. I suspect FDR was even worse, but our presidents have done mostly bad things, with the possible exception of Reagan and Trump. Both political parties are really bad. I would vote again for Trump, but I doubt I will get the chance in 2020.
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          • Posted by teri-amborn 7 months, 3 weeks ago
            He promised to end the wars.
            Instead, he did his best to end our military.

            His wickedness was (and is) only matched by Hillary Clinton who twists and manipulates reality continuously.
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            • Posted by term2 7 months, 3 weeks ago
              Hillary is a self centered power hungry bitch coved over by a thin veneer of civility and a phony smile
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              • Posted by ewv 7 months, 3 weeks ago
                What veneer of civility? You over rate Cackles.
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                • Posted by term2 7 months, 3 weeks ago
                  The veneer got her 60 million votes in 2016
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                  • Posted by ewv 7 months, 3 weeks ago
                    Her ideology got her the votes. The country is not directed by a "veneer".
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                    • Posted by CircuitGuy 7 months, 3 weeks ago
                      "[Clinton's] ideology got her the votes"
                      I supported her because I thought she was less statist than Trump, by far the best at managing a bloated empire, not an attention-seeking clown like Trump, and the most responsive to me and people I work with. I did not think she or Trump had an ideology, so that was not an issue for me.

                      I do think Gary Johnson had a clear anti-statist ideology, unlike mainstream candidates, and I would have voted for him if there were instant runoff. But as it is, I don't think ideology is an issue with mainstream politicians. I think many voters are even less ideological than I am, so it just isn't an issue for them. They're politicians.

                      This notion of candidates as communicators of ideology is an ideal model that does not happen in the real world, in my experience.
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                      • Posted by term2 7 months, 3 weeks ago
                        Do you still think Hillary would have been a better president than trump?
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                        • Posted by CircuitGuy 7 months, 3 weeks ago
                          Clinton would have been better far-and-away, no comparison. No mainstream politician, though, would have any effect on the underlying problems.
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                          • Posted by ewv 7 months, 3 weeks ago
                            Clinton was to be a continuation and increase in the progressivism of Obama, implemented by radical socialist and viro ideologues and their power mongering manipulations. That is far worse than Trump, for all his weaknesses.

                            You didn't support Clinton because of Trump. You liked her well before the primaries. You liked her because you liked her welfare state policies posing a superior "liberal" intellect.
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                          • Posted by term2 7 months, 3 weeks ago
                            Hillary is a crook, plain and simple. She is power hngry, and her foreign policy sucks, not to mention she would have tried to go for single payer health care. Fortunately, she would have gotten nowhere with either of the houses of congress. How you could even think she would be better is a bit of a mystery to me.
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                            • Posted by ewv 7 months, 3 weeks ago
                              Of course Clinton intended to impose socialized medicine. She first tried in the 1990s when Slick put her in charge of the politics. The insurance companies, with no principles and no courage to fight it, had already signed on in secret meetings as they maneuvered to carve up among themselves the government spoils taking over what had been a market. It was stopped only when the draconian details Clinton tried to keep secret leaked out.

                              If she had become president she likely would have imposed it. If she had won she likely would have given the Democrats a majority in the Senate, too, and they expected to have it all by now.

                              Obamacare was intended to lead to "single payer" socialized medicine. They knew it would not work; it was not intended to work. Even Obama was caught on a leaked tape promoting "single payer" socialized medicine with his scheme as a step to get there, acknowledging that they couldn't do it in one step.

                              With the Democrats controlling both the House and the Senate they jammed every statist precedent they could into Obamacare as a base to build on, expecting that it would cause such chaos that people would be begging to 'fix' it by going the rest of the way. That is what Clinton expected to do. Her personal corruption and lack of ethics is the least of what she intended to do to us.

                              Clinton's lack of ethics and hard left collectivism dates back to her college days as an admiring fan of Saul Alinsky.
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                              • Posted by term2 7 months, 3 weeks ago
                                I think you are 100% right in everything you said in this post. Obamacare was a secret plot to get Medicaid for everyone. I saw that at the time. The insurance companies, in their greed, didn’t see it was a trap and soon they would be put out of business.

                                You hit this one on the head
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                                • Posted by ewv 7 months, 3 weeks ago
                                  Obamacare was not as much a "secret plot" as the usual Democrat political pursuit of their agenda for socialized medicine every time they have the power to advance it. Nothing happens in Washington by accident.

                                  The insurance companies knew exactly what Obamacare and the previous Clintoncare plan meant. As Ayn Rand put it, big business has been the last to defend freedom. They are Pragmatists who go along with the socialism hoping to influence the rules to be something they "can live with" -- until next week.
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                                  • term2 replied 7 months, 3 weeks ago
                      • Posted by ewv 7 months, 3 weeks ago
                        Candidates run to have power in office, not to spread their ideology. They are motivated by their ideology and appeal to popular acceptance of it.

                        Clinton is notorious for her collectivism and corruption. Trump is a Pragmatist with unacknowledged collectivist premises, but not a collectivist ideologue like Clinton and Obama who want to make it worse on principle. He ran to make the country what he thinks is better (mostly by the standard of "deals"), not to get attention; his antics are his means, not the ends. Johnson was a confused, ignorant subjectivist fool who was a clown, not a serious candidate.
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                        • Posted by CircuitGuy 7 months, 3 weeks ago
                          "Candidates run to have power in office, not to spread their ideology. They are motivated by their ideology and appeal to popular acceptance of it. "
                          This is an apparent contradiction. Are you saying the use ideology to get popular appear, to get their end goal of power?
                          I think of politics as show business for ugly people, and power's part of it. You know I think you're wrong about ideology because I don't think people are as ideological or philosophical as you do. I'm cautiously optimistic that if they did think about philosophy, they'd be for liberty.
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                          • Posted by ewv 7 months, 3 weeks ago
                            No it's not a contradiction. Political candidates, like everyone else, are motivated by their own philosophy of life as a way of looking at the world. Some of them are overt collectivists, such as Marxists or progressives; some of them are viro nature worshipers; some of them are other kinds of religion, etc. Some have little more than a gangster mentality to a greater or less degree, getting their sense of self-worth, such as it is, from their role in influencing and acceptance by a group, and living off others as a normal way of existing.

                            Except for rare individualists, implementing their world-view requires the power to control other people. They want and need political power to do that. They seek office to exercise power for that purpose, not to preach. There are many other ways to spread an ideology other than running for office. But to get power they have to appeal to enough voters. They do that by appealing to what they thing the voters' philosophy of life is. If it's not exactly the same as their own, then they publicly suppress some of their own beliefs and emphasize others, distorting and employing ambiguity to aid their own dishonesty.

                            That is not a contradiction and it is not "show business". It's deadly, and if you don't expose the ideological aims, explain what they mean, explain what is wrong with them, and explain what is right it will continue. People need the principled explanations because most of them are not philosophical, do not have much of a source of such ideas, and do not think about it, as, contrary to your assertion, I have said many times here.

                            They have absorbed their philosophical world-view from whatever was around them in a hodgepodge of unthought out fallacies and contradictions mixed with what they were indoctrinated or told to believe beginning at an early age and continuing through school and beyond. Others, like educated Marxists, progressives and viros, have thought about their ideologies and consciously accepted wrong and malicious ideas.

                            But if you don't understand it yourself you can't explain it to anyone. People do not automatically favor liberty if they happen to think about the concepts, and there is much more to it than political concepts like an isolated "liberty". You cannot endlessly appeal to what is left of the implicit philosophy of the American sense of life (which originally came from the Enlightenment) and expect that the wrong ideas and premises bombarding the population from the schools, universities and media will have no effect on the course of the nation.

                            A philosophy identifying correct principles required in all the branches of philosophy is an intellectual achievement; it is not automatic and not a frivolous sideline. It is what Ayn Rand accomplished and illustrated in her novels, where she portrayed her view of the ideal man, and her subsequent non-fiction. It is the opposite approach of the anti-intellectual a-philosophical libertarians and conservatives who think philosophy doesn't matter and that people can somehow be appealed to through a supposed automatic disposition to "liberty" regardless of the false premises they are constantly fed and emotionally cling to.

                            People have the potential to embrace freedom if they are rational and if they understand the philosophical principles of reality, thinking and ethics that it depends on. None of it is automatic.
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                    • Posted by term2 7 months, 3 weeks ago
                      I think that the thinness of the veneer lost her the election. A lot of people just didn’t like and trust her, despite that perennial smile her handlers pasted in her face. She is really an evil woman
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          • Posted by H2ungar123 7 months, 4 weeks ago
            Oh puh-leeze!! Of course the only reason "it" was elected is because "it" is black. I will never be
            convinced otherwise..
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            • Posted by ewv 7 months, 4 weeks ago
              Racism was one factor. It was not the only reason he was elected. Aside from superficial factors like his golden tongue, he was elected because of his collectivism that not enough knew to oppose.
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              • Posted by H2ungar123 7 months, 4 weeks ago
                Golden tongue?? Lying tongue is the true
                description of what the masses bought. Any
                mention of that person whatsoever sends me to
                the vomitorium
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                • Posted by ewv 7 months, 4 weeks ago
                  The "golden tongue" refers to his oratory abilities learned when he was in the private school in Hawaii. It doesn't mean he was telling the truth. It was how he sold the lie, most importantly his ideology, which has broad acceptance.
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                  • Posted by H2ungar123 7 months, 4 weeks ago
                    Yes, you are absolutely right; he sold it and it was
                    bought - lock, stock and barrel. Think it was Karl Marx who said "the masses are asses" which ain't
                    no lie.
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                    • Posted by ewv 7 months, 4 weeks ago
                      It was first sold by the academics in universities who taught others to accept it despite the American individualist sense of life. That is what Obama cashed in on. Don't challenge the bad philosophical views and the demagogues will continue to exploit it.
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              • Posted by CircuitGuy 7 months, 3 weeks ago
                "The only reason [President Obama] was elected is because of [race]"
                "he was elected because of his collectivism that not enough knew to oppose."
                I supported him along with most people I know, so I can at least tell you about my non-random sample of my corner of the world. I never detected anyone supporting him because of race. I did detect people who believe in socialism, as you said, voting for him because they thought he was more socialistic. OTOH, I and many people who are not statist or socialist supported him. At the time I thought he was clearly the less statist choice, but I'm not sure of that anymore. Also at the time, I thought regardless of which mainstream candidate became president, I would be sending in roughly a third of profits in quarterly estimates to run a global empire, social entitlement system, and a domestic prison system. The only candidates I thought might put a dent in that were Ron Paul and third-party candidates. I still think that today.
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            • Posted by term2 7 months, 4 weeks ago
              I agree that was the reason he was elected- enough people felt guilty over past slavery of former black people that was endorsed by white ancestors. Unearned guilt is a powerful motivator, and is used to the fullest by the left and religion.
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          • Posted by strugatsky 7 months, 4 weeks ago
            I can understand seeing him as an unknown, but did his party affiliation and his party's support for him not describe his platform? In the sense that in the 20th century on, almost all wars were started or promulgated by the Democrats, the universal medical care was pushed exclusively by the Democrats or RINOs, the race-mongers and racists have been almost exclusively Democrats, and although both parties are very guilty of debt spending, the Democrats have been doing in somewhat more and unashamedly. I am bringing up your specific concerns. I've heard from a number of people that they were surprised; they didn't expect him to do what he in fact written, said, and promised that he would do. It is a different matter altogether when people want to participate in the socialist theft, as many university students do now, but why would one hear the promises (as Obama openly advertised) and not believe the intent? (Regarding Democrats starting the wars; I consider both Bush's as Democrats (in their actions) or RINO's at the very least).
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            • Posted by ewv 7 months, 4 weeks ago
              Remember on the eve of his election the Fox news report showing the video of him promising to destroy the coal industry? It was there for all to see, but almost no one paid attention.
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              • Posted by  $  jbrenner 7 months, 4 weeks ago
                Indeed, I remember. The Constitution was designed to limit the ability of politicians to play one part of the country against another, but no constitution can survive a sufficient number of looters and moochers.
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            • Posted by term2 7 months, 4 weeks ago
              Good points. I had thought politicians usually lie when running, and what eventually happens is more a function of what the combined congressional bodies AND the president does. I didnt anticipate that Obama would get the cooperation in congress that he got.
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              • Posted by strugatsky 7 months, 4 weeks ago
                Normally, a politician makes promises that he does not intends to keep, but counts on the populace believing in those promises. What you're bringing up is very interesting, although risky. But for a new and an unknown politician, a high risk game is the way to go. Make blatant and perhaps offensive promises that the voters will discard as "just promises." Obama certainly did that - he openly promised to destroy the American economy, American exceptionalism, American leadership in the world - he gave multiple speeches and interviews, written a book, never hid his agenda. Yet, his agenda was disbelieved. Just like Hitler's. There are many references to the Germans saying that those are just words, that the German nation is too civilized for the brutality promised by Hitler... This is an interesting formula, isn't it?
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                • Posted by term2 7 months, 4 weeks ago
                  Very good point. That tactic certainly worked on me with newcomer Obama. It didn’t work on me with Hillary cause she lied so much before. But it work on half the voters in 2016 who voted for her. There was something about trump that made me trust him, and 2 years of “promises made—promises kept” tells me he deserves my trust
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  • Posted by barcbarry 7 months, 4 weeks ago
    Evil should be allowed to speak as long as I have the right not to listen.
    Think about the 13 years of public school indoctrination.
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    • Posted by term2 7 months, 4 weeks ago
      I would vote to cut taxpayer funding for all public schools of all levels and see how they fare in the real marketplace.. Let public schools be funded by contributions only.
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    • Posted by ewv 7 months, 4 weeks ago
      The indoctrination you were subjected to is the reason why freedom of speech is necessary: to protect proper ideas and knowledge and refute the evil and the wrong. That can't be done selectively, without a principle of freedom of speech. The right to think and act for yourself in accordance with your nature as a rational being does not guarantee reaching the truth, but the freedom must always be protected to allow self-correction. Denying freedom of speech negates the right to think for oneself. Understanding and defending rational ideas is not possible without freedom of speech.
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  • Posted by BCRinFremont 7 months, 4 weeks ago
    All speech must be free because, if it is not, the people in power (or those who have the strongest voice or the broadest reach) will define speech according to their beliefs and all others will be silenced...
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  • Posted by mcsandberg 7 months, 4 weeks ago
    I do find it disturbing to hear people advocating socialism or other forms of collectivism, when the various attempts to actually implement them killed about 262 million people in the last century https://townhall.com/columnists/walte... .
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    • Posted by term2 7 months, 4 weeks ago
      I would postulate that its not the "result" of socialism in practice that the leftists are concerned about. Its the "feeling" of everyone being "stronger together" that they really want for as long as it might last (which isnt long in practice). When it fails, just look at how it could be done differently and try THAT.
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      • Posted by mcsandberg 7 months, 4 weeks ago
        Let's just hope that they never get power in this country!
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        • Posted by term2 7 months, 4 weeks ago
          I will guess they get it in 2020 with Beto O'rourke as president, and maybe Ocasio-Cortez or Maxine Waters or Kamala Harris or Cory Booker as VP.

          i thought when I voted for Trump that we could stall out socialism for 4 years, but after that the dems would regroup with the "stronger together" leftists and win in 2020.
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 7 months, 4 weeks ago
    Free speech protection is primarily aimed at insuring offensive speech is allowed. Those who advocated for parting from the UK Commonwealth were exercising their right to speak in a way that offended the Crown. The Founders wanted free speech to be recognized as inviolate.

    There are penalties for some forms of speech: slander, telling untruths about someone that could harm them; inciting to riot, using inflammatory speech that leads to violence. Unlike some of our European friends, we do not criminalize "hate speech." Even groups that advocate criminal activity aren't punished for their speech. The North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) which advocates for pedophelia is a prime example of such an organization, which I consider evil.
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  • Posted by walkabout 7 months, 4 weeks ago
    Yes. Broadcast for all to hear the vapid, dangerous ideas of those who would be king. Broadcast,too the rebuttal to the ideas that would reduce individuals to only inconsequential specks within the collective. Maybe one of the hallmarks of evil is that it does not want to compete for the minds of people; that it will censor those who would have alternative ideas.
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  • Posted by term2 7 months, 4 weeks ago
    I want to hear the 'evil' arguments, at least once.

    I like Maxine Waters in that she just tells it like she sees it- so I know where she stands. Same with Ocasio-Cortez, and Beto O'Rourke. I disagree totally with all of them.

    I dont like Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer or Obama, because they lie and one never quite knows where they are coming from.

    People need to put up defenses against emotional manipulation arguments. I would be happier if people only discussed facts with the emotional baggage attached to them by the leftisits.
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  • Posted by  $  allosaur 7 months, 4 weeks ago
    Amendment I ~
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof: or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Fake news is mentioned in there. Evil is free to speak and the modern version of "the press," aka the media, has been spewing their foul blather for a very long time.
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  • Posted by GaryL 7 months, 4 weeks ago
    What is evil to one is completely acceptable to others. Twisted minds and souls exist all around us. Many believe every word that comes out of Donald Trumps mouth are pure evil. So, NO! Let evil speak and allow me the freedom to not listen.
    I refuse to ever watch CNN or SNL yet I have to endure the crap from both that gets replayed over and over on FOX. Something is evil there.
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    • Posted by term2 7 months, 4 weeks ago
      I think that it was common sense and factual arguments that got Trump elected, and it was emotional manipulation that vaulted Hillary to her heights. This time, emotional manipulation lost, fortunately.
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  • Posted by  $  Olduglycarl 8 months ago
    Evil does a Lot of speaking these days and yet, many are unaware; they have no truth, no history, no philosophy nor are aware of time tested principles, inwhich to judge evil or good.

    A proper answer is yes, evil AND good should be free to speak...it's just a shame that many cannot tell the difference.
    One should not judge or follow anything based solely on emotion.
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    • Posted by term2 7 months, 4 weeks ago
      I had a very emotionally manipulative mother. I learned quickly how to tune out the manipulation part of it, and that has helped me immensely in later life. I would wish that others would learn how to detune emotional manipulation that the left constantly bombards us with, and just stick to the facts and rational arguments.
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  • Posted by  $  7 months, 3 weeks ago
    “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
    ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956
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  • Posted by  $  Stormi 7 months, 4 weeks ago
    Free speech, yes, even Marx was allowed to go on and on in England. However, that only works IF other sides of a discussion can be heard. Mor and more, the Dems are trying to block free speech and have no side heard but there own. Hillary said she would limit political dissention on the Internet. She also promised to make any discussion against global warming, a crime! We are reaching totalitarian levels, where most TV is one sided, most newspapers, and TV media. There has to be a time and place where the other side can come in and be heard and respected without being shouted down or hauled away. It is getting quite concerning when our kids are being fed only one side, and it is a war between schols and parents.
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  • Posted by MinorLiberator 7 months, 4 weeks ago
    Before reading other comments:

    Absolutely correct. Both on no difference between communists and Nazis, and that both should be free to speak their evil ideas

    Because then question becomes “Who then controls the ‘evil’ speech”?

    Only The State can do that, and since the statement implies that speech is not currently censored, it must be some kind of democracy.

    So what happens when the majority changes?

    Imagine the Far Left, or the Conservative right, changing the rules defining “evil speech”. based on which populist majority dominated the last election.

    Meet the new boss. He’s the same as the old boss.

    We’d be screwed either way.
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    • Posted by  $  7 months, 4 weeks ago
      You just described the problem with the term, “hate speech.”
      The extreme left would like it to also mean speaking the wrong pronoun.
      The extreme right might use it to also mean using God’s name in vain.
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  • Posted by term2 7 months, 3 weeks ago in reply to this comment.
    I agree that the insurance companies tried to work their way into advantages guaranteed by government. I said "secret plan" because anyone taking breath at the time could see obamacare couldnt work, could never be repealed, and would end insurance altogether as medicaid for all would be the only thing left. The insurance companies were STUPID to think they could stick around
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  • Posted by ewv 7 months, 3 weeks ago in reply to this comment.
    It can't be reversed at all by appealing to a collectivist notion of "states rights" and competing statism.
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    • Posted by term2 7 months, 3 weeks ago
      My comment is totally from a pragmatic standpoint. Statism in all forms is bad, and has to be attacked philosophically to root it out.

      That said, we are living in pretty much a predominately fascist USA. People own the means of production primarily, but governments tell us what to do. Reality sometimes rears its ugly head and causes disaster from the effects of particular regulations of the governments.

      With a federal government, the whole country has to do what one huge fascist government dictates. With states being more in control, each state figures out its own fascist regulations and laws- resulting in various degrees of collapse depending on what they do.

      When things get bad enough, a state can change its laws on its own, in an attempt to mitigate the disaster their previous regulations caused. I say this competition between states (some of which COULD convert to being run by objectivist principles) will be more beneficial to the residents of states than what we have now.

      I call it a pragmatic approach in the short term while I am still alive to enjoy it.
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      • Posted by ewv 7 months, 3 weeks ago
        All states are becoming increasingly collectivist and statist. "Pragmatism" as a substitute for principled understanding does not change what is happening and neither does the anti-concept of "states rights".
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        • Posted by term2 7 months, 3 weeks ago
          But some states are more collectivist than others, and I am simply suggesting that their individual governments would be likely to compete with each other in terms of taxation, regulation of drinking straws, minimum wage rates, etc
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  • Posted by  $  7 months, 3 weeks ago
    “I saw that evil was impotent—that evil was the irrational, the blind, the anti-real—and that the only weapon of its triumph was the willingness of the good to serve it.“
    - Ayn Rand - Altas Shrugged
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  • Posted by  $  25n56il4 7 months, 3 weeks ago
    I can't really comment on someone's statement about Mr O'Bama being evil. I never could 'follow' him when he spoke. He would stop and start so much I got confused. And his cockatoo twitching of his head distracted me.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 7 months, 4 weeks ago
    Yes. Or I should say, people should be free to advocate evil. If they actually violate someone's rights, time enough to interfere when they cross the line.
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