Free Speech and political views 8 replies

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Commissar MercZ

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#1 6 years ago

I was reading an article in the New York Times about certain legislation in South Korea that the government there has used from time to time to stifle certain expressions of speech and political views, using a law instituted earliy in its life to 'guard' against North Korea and subversive Communist behavior. I guess it just stuck out to me because this kind of behavior the media usually attributes to 'closed', authoritarian states.

It got me thinking to the way the government reacts towards these things. Some people do intentionally test the government's commitment to "Free Speech" many times, though we know most western governments have certain limits on speech, be it against hate or 'violent' thought.

What are your thoughts on this? What sort of thought and speech should be 'punished'?




Admiral Donutz VIP Member

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#2 6 years ago

I don't think that you'll find any country that has unlimited free speech. The first thing that came to mind while reading your example about SK limiting certain expression s (pro NK, po communism), was the red-scare in the US. The infamous "He could be a communist" propaganda movie were they ask US citizens to report suspicious behaviour of people who act like communists. These days you risk being flagged by the authorities if you advocate radical or very orthodox Islamic views such as promoting the Sharia law.

Should free speech be limited? Certainly, if it gets to a point were you opress other people (discrimiation) or are calling upon people to commit violent acts then you have crossed a line. Though it would be an illusion to think that this would stop people from being radicalized. Simply because you can't monitor every form of communication (and should desire to do so either!) and because people might be enspired to engage into criminal or violent acts even if the source of their inspiration is more moderate.

For instance, a person could read and hear about the problems of immigrants and this could develop/boost distrust and hatred towards these immigrants, which could spark some people into commiting a crime against immigrants. I wouldn't take action against the source that stated the problems of immigrant though (aslong as they didn't promoted violence or strongly pushed people into doing so without outright saying so).




Asheekay

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#3 6 years ago

What sort of THOUGHT and speech should be punished? How can you punish thoughts? And even if you could, it would be a very offensive and weird act to punish people on things which they have no control over.

As long as the speech is concerned, definitely all provocative speech forms (internet, media and verbal) ought to be punished, deeming them as criminal incite.

As for censoring speech in favor of some specific dogma or ism schism, there are two possibilities:

1- Do not censor any speech form that criticizes anyone/anything. 2- Censor all speech forms that hurt/criticize any person in the country. While I say "any person" in the country it states any person who is a follower/believer of the religion which is being criticized. However censoring speech that criticizes or approves political systems (such as communism, capitalism etc) would be an entirely foolish act as that would curb the intellectual brains of the society.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#4 6 years ago

No thought or speech should be punished. You should be able to think and say whatever you like.

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Of course I also support extending the protections for self-defence legislation. If someone threatens to kill you, or urges violence against you, then that's an attack - as surely as if they put a gun to your head - so, it's just self defence.




Karst

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#5 6 years ago

Nemmerle;5599974No thought or speech should be punished. You should be able to think and say whatever you like.

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Of course I also support extending the protections for self-defence legislation. If someone threatens to kill you, or urges violence against you, then that's an attack - as surely as if they put a gun to your head - so, it's just self defence.

This. As I would not trust any governing body, any authority, anybody really, to "reasonably" define what is acceptable to say and what isn't, I consider it best to do away with such restraints altogether.

The only possible exception I'd consider - besides the aforementioned direct threats of violence - are news outlets publishing material as facts which is conclusively proven to be false. Although in an age where pretty much everyone can deliver pretty much any information to pretty much any audience, this is pretty much a moot point anyway.




Commissar MercZ

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#6 6 years ago

What are your thoughts on speech restrictions (legal or at least societal) on certain 'taboo' topics, such as the Holocaust legislation in certain countries? Or the reverse regarding discussion of the "Kurdish problem" (or other things that fall under 'terrorism' or 'secessionism' in the law) or the Armenian genocide in Turkey? There's similar issues I think with the discussion of 'sensitive' topics of preceding dictatorships in Europe or South America.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#7 6 years ago

Shouldn't be in place. You don't solve these issues by pretending they don't exist. If it's illegal to talk about this sort of thing, the only people the nutjobs will be able to talk to are other nutjobs.

And the ones that persist with the idea anyway? Well frankly I'd rather they make a lot of noise about it. These people who go around in SS uniforms, publicise their views - stuff like that - are retards, they're on every watchlist out there.

If the BNP, for instance, were allowed to be even more openly racist, I'd lay fair odds their support base would be smaller.




Karst

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#8 6 years ago

Once again I pretty much agree with Nemmerle. Here in Austria, we have some of the strictest laws against Holocaust denial and advocacy of National Socialism in the world, and at the same time one of the most successful ultra-right, neo-facist some would say, parties in Europe. These laws date back to the post-WWII Allied occupation, when there was a perhaps legitimate fear of Nazis regaining political power. Now, it's clear that these laws have neither eliminated full fledged Neo-nazis, who are content with, perhaps even encouraged by their status of being outside parliamentary legitimacy, nor prevented the democratic rise of the FPÖ which can be considered the ideological successor of the Nazi party. If anything, the laws lead to a situation in which ultra-right politics are tolerated as long as they sufficiently distance themselves from Nazism.

But aside from this specific situation, I have a more general concern with such legislation. I consider it an unhealthy precedent when the public accepts the banning of certain political positions, however undemocratic, downright evil, they may be. It's a basic question of principle, I think: do not let your government decide what sort of politics are acceptable and which aren't.




Admiral Donutz VIP Member

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#9 6 years ago

I oppose laws such that criminalize the denial of the holocaust or any other genocide. Not because I'd denie any such acts (or even glamourize them), but because I believe in free speech and giving people all the room they need when it comes to research, doubting official data etc. If somebody claims that certain data is not accurate (or even false), I'd invite them to present their own data and supporting sources. Outright denial of any killings at all having taken place in a certain genocide...well that's just marking that persion as a stupid idiot.

It might even make it more simple to spot these idiots. If they can voice their view openly you can either know which people to avoid or try to engage into a dialog with them and thus fight extremists views. The small percentage of extremists left won't change their views simply by outlawing their speeches. Let the general public be the judge of them when it comes to elections etc. Even if an extremists party gains a foothold, they won't be able to do anything that violations the constition (no discriminition, hatred, mass murdering, ...).

If somehow you find yourself in a country where 75% (50% over 2 terms?) has extremists viewsand that they can legally carry out mass murders... then it might be beter to get the hell out of there.