The dictatorship of the liberal

A society in which people are not free to 'hate' is not a free one, writes Christopher Goff.

I chanced across one of those social media furore's not that long ago, albeit not a very big one. It was one which originated in the Irish Republic after the appearance in that country of a number of anti-cycling guests on RTE's popular TV talk show, The Late Late Show. One might describe some of the sentiment expressed towards cyclists on the show as being 'not very kind' – one guest likened cyclists to "farm animals", while another called cyclists "trash" – but then the aim of TV producers was, I think, one of creating a bit of controversy in the hope that it might pass as entertainment.

But there were plenty who did not quite see things in terms of 'a bit of harmless fun'. Some critics of what they had seen on The Late Late Show spoke of their concern that certain comments might incite hatred towards cyclists, and some even suggested that what they had seen and heard might have constituted incitement to violence. Others suggested that because it was now illegal to say unkind things about blacks, Asians, Jews and homosexuals, the 'haters' had moved on to hating members of other vulnerable groups in society, like cyclists. A few spoke of their intention to report RTE to the Irish broadcasting watchdog claiming the programme was in contravention of Principle 5 of its North Korea-esque Code of Programme Standards and which states that "programme material shall not stigmatise, support or condone discrimination or incite hatred against persons or groups in society".

The great irony here is that an institution which has erstwhile been at the very forefront of attempts to stamp out what has nowadays come to be known as 'hate speech' has seemingly been caught out by the ever-shifting tide of political correctness, and has itself been found guilty of giving a platform to people who espouse hateful views. I can even imagine one or two heads rolling in the corridors of RTE's Dublin headquarters over this apparent failure in its Department of Political Correctness.

This brings us to consideration of exactly what hate speech is. A while ago, and in an article of mine titled 'Attempts to Portray Political Issues as Moral Issues is Marxist Stock-in-Trade', I tried to explain how it had become the prerogative of the left to try and portray political issues as moral ones, so that key Marxist political projects like 'anti-racism' and 'anti-sexism' have in this modern age been cunningly transformed into moral crusades, and where opposing the new 'moral values' has become almost equivalent in seriousness to committing crimes against humanity, or at least one would think so.

The idea of using hate speech as an ideological tool to help achieve political objectives is nothing new. It should surprise no-one that the concept of hate speech was in fact the invention of communists who in the post-war period set in motion a grand project to repress the far-right in Europe by criminalizing the holding of certain convictions, particularly those relating to the issue of racial equality. But where the concept of hate speech was first invented as a tool to repress views concerning racial equality, it has now been expanded to encompass a whole raft of other things so that in many Western democracies there now exist laws preventing the saying of certain things about homosexuals, members of certain religious groups and the disabled, as I am sure there will one day exist similar laws criminalizing the saying of certain things about women, transsexuals, and who knows, even people with ginger hair or cyclists.

We are now at the point where some very widely held beliefs are casually being re-branded as 'hatred', and where people can be punished for merely holding 'unaccepted' convictions. In another article of mine I wrote about one of Sussex Police's Hate Crime Officers, a certain Sgt Peter Allan, and who had managed to cause a whole load of controversy over comments that he had been making on the social media platform Twitter. You will note that most, if not all UK Police Force's now have Hate Crime Officers, and I wrote of the threat that such people pose to society, saying: "… the danger is that people like Sgt Allan start to believe that it is their job to busy themselves with how people think about issues like homosexuality and multiculturalism". And this is exactly the point that we have now reached as a society – a state of affairs where not only the espousing of certain beliefs can land someone in trouble with the police, but also the holding of those beliefs can as well. In modern Britain, the concept of 'thoughtcrime' has become a worrying reality for anyone engaging in the far-right political struggle, and we now face the situation where the police are routinely being used as a tool to repress political opinion under the guise of what they term as 'their responsibility not to allow the spreading of hateful views'.

The Police State really has arrived. How many Police Officers when they first joined up sat down and thought to themselves that a not insignificant amount of their time in uniform would not actually be spent catching burglars, rapists and murderers, but would instead be spent knocking on the doors of the perfectly law abiding who might have posted some ill-thought-out comments about blacks or Jews or homosexuals on the Internet one evening after knocking back a couple of glasses of strong wine? At the very least, having Police Officers turn up at ones home, being interviewed under caution and then having a Police Officer advise you about your future conduct is intimidating, but this is of course exactly how a Police State operates. In fact, one only has to go back a short time in history to find examples of such tactics from the former communist states in Central and Eastern Europe.

Communists have excelled themselves since hate speech is a fantastically elastic tool for repressing people. I am loathed to use the 'sticks and stones' analogy, but the saying of things has never harmed anyone. Instead, words only ever harm people's feelings. In the US they of course have the First Amendment and which protects the right of US citizens to say what they believe in, and this should be evidence enough that if you do allow people to say what they want it is not something that ipso facto leads to the meltdown of society and the burning down of synagogues or the rounding-up of homosexuals as the liberal would have us believe.

It is all the more interesting that the ones at the forefront of attempts to silence people are generally not the ones on the receiving end of unkind words, but are instead the squawking and screeching liberals peering in from the sidelines and who in days past were quick to decry anyone wanting to tread on their rights as 'fascists'. While these people like to talk of tolerance, what they actually mean is tolerance for everyone except those who happen to espouse beliefs they don't like. And there you have the rank hypocrisy of the dictatorship of the liberal laid bare.

Copyright © Christopher Goff
Tag: Freedom
Uploaded: 23 January, 2018.