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Dumai wrote (edited )

i never said i wanted to give it the power to do anything. like most anarchists i'm not in the business of the politics of demand, and the us government is not likely to ever use these powers in the way you're assuming i want anyhow. i was just observing that free speech as a legal construct has often been used as part of a wider political toolset to protect violent bigotry. that's not incompatible with the fact the same system might otherwise legally target left-wing politics.

what have you read on wikipedia that contradicts what i said about faurisson? chomsky did deny that faurisson is anti-semitic, chomsky did sign a petition that described him as an innocent historical researcher, this did happen in the late '70s, long before holocaust denial was criminalised in france in 1990.


leftous OP wrote (edited )

I recognize the problem with liberalism.

But what you're failing to recognize is that the first amendment and those who protect it do so to limit the state. Yes, it's unfortunate that bigots can have a happy home in liberalism. However, limits on the state are the only way anarchists, leftists, and other allies are able to organize without being repressed. To argue against limits on the state while liberalism still exists is completely reckless and dangerous. It threatens everyone who dares to dissent.

Regarding your point about the Faurisson affair. According to what I read, Chomsky was not "literally his friend", because Faurisson included his essay without his knowledge or consent. I think I misread what you wrote otherwise, sorry about that. You're right that it does seem Chomsky failed to acknowledge the anti-semitism in Faurisson's holocaust denial.


Dumai wrote (edited )

as much as i'd like to believe the american government voluntarily limited its own powers and there were absolutely no authoritarian implications as a result, consolidating racial hatred is one of the many functions of freedom of speech as a legal construct, and it easily provides the state with the tools to do so. violence, too, since the aclu is basically defending the circumstances surrounding heather heyer's death! of course the person who did it is going to prison, but doesn't speak to the fact that it will continue to happen as a result of the policies the aclu defends. in the final analysis freedom of speech is a power of the state in and of itself, like many other well-intentioned attempts at reform.

obviously i'm glad to live in a country where i'm less likely to be arrested for being an anarchist, but that doesn't mean freedom of speech needs to be a part my political values - in part because it takes the presence of a state as granted in the first place. believing in the essential truth of a right to free speech assumes the state deserves the power to grant it! of course petitioning a government to institutionalise political censorship would also legitimate the state, so i'm not going to do that. there, happy now?

According to what I read, Chomsky was not "literally his friend"

well i was exaggerating and using "literally" as an intensifier in that way that annoys language snobs :')


leftous OP wrote

Alright fair enough. My only point is that I will support the right to free speech as long as the state/capitalism exist, and those institutions that protect it, since I think it's our only chance to not get fucked in the interim. Especially in our current culture where everything we say or post is increasingly being tracked. But I totally agree with everything you have to say.