Submitted by hamjam5
on October 17, 2017 at 12:10 PM in Anarchism
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Repressing speech also has indirect cultural effects. For example, it strengthens the power of governments, police, unaccountable internet companies (Facebook Twitter etc), and hive-minds enforcing herd moralities. What we need to realise is, as anarchists (or socialists, feminists, “black identity extremists”, deep ecologists, gay liberationists...) we're also promoting ideas which might indirectly undermine capitalism and harm people. What can be done to Nazis can be done to any of us. Someone could read an anarchist argument that police are oppressive, and go out and kill a cop, even if the person who made the argument didn't intend that effect. The spread of anarchist (socialist, feminist, black radical, deep ecologist...) ideas creates an environment where violence against cops (bosses, men, racists, technicians...) can be said to be more normalised or tolerated. We have already seen with Black Lives Matter that a few people who embrace the discourse, go on to kill cops. We've seen people like the Unabomber kill technicians in the name of deep ecology. So by the same argument used against Nazis, anarchist theory and deep ecology Black Lives Matter can be banned because they might create an environment which leads to people killing cops. The idea of free speech provides a barrier against this kind of repression, thus creating more space for radicals of all kinds. Undercutting it to score a few points against the most extreme racists and sexists is counterproductive for black people and for feminists, who will be major victims of the mission-creep implied in the conveyor-belt model. There will also necessarily be hypocrisy in the enforcement of such rules, because defending the government or taking part in normal capitalist economics necessarily lead to indirect harm. Logically, if they're going to ban speech which creates an environment conducive to harming others, they should ban warmongering, police apologia, patriotism, anti-crime ideas, and so on.
Alternative formulation of free speech which is against identity imposition: this is already there in Stirner. Reject spooks, fight spooks, discourage spooks. Encourage idiosyncratic beliefs, not hive-mind conformity. Don't ban, rebut. Fuck this ridiculous focus on who has the power to produce discourse in a space. The point is to break down all power to dominate discourse - not just the power of the existing dominant discourse. Idpol substitutes another power to dominate discourse by suppressing anything deemed inconvenient for oppressed groups to "speak" as powerfully as possible. It's reverse hierarchy, not abolition of hierarchy. There should be no social norms in an anarchist space - just personal ethics grounded in ethos, in values. This is far more empowering - even for people from marginalised groups - than the puritanical, stultifying, inhibitory, status-obsessed, crybullying bureaucracy of conduct codes and safe spaces which is being imported into anarchism from neoliberal universities - and which, in fact, is an absolutely mainstream and liberal approach to interpersonal relations.
You should make this all a self post if you want anyone to see it. This thread is old.