The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Be Careful What You Say

The new censorship is not coming from the government. It doesn't have to. The people, the loudest among us, will provide it. The CEO of Mozilla was ousted because in 2008 he gave $1000 to the yes on Prop 8 folks in California. It didn't matter what his motives were then, it didn't matter that Obama and Hillary both opposed Gay Marriage at the time; what matters is what the loudest want now.

I tend to harp on Freedom of Speech. I think it is one of the most important freedoms for a society that claims to be democratic. Free speech is not supposed to be popular speech; it is supposed to challenge, to confront, to tweak the public mentality. And it may as well be prohibited these days. You no longer can trust in the privacy of personal conversations. Anyone can record a conversation easily with a smart phone. 

Former Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice recently acquiesced to calls for her not to give the commencement speech at Rutgers. Why? I am saddened that she acquiesced. But I understand she is not a political warrior. She doesn't have the stomach for a fight of this kind. It's too bad. When some students at a university can dictate who can speak then there is no freedom of speech.

Yes, Freedom of Speech also protects bigotry, prejudice, and racism. And perhaps it should. It should never be "Freedom of Speech for those who agree with the majority." That is the worst kind of freedom; the freedom to conform and only to conform.


Joanne Noragon said...

I may not be around to see the outcome of all this judgement by popular opinion. That may be a good thing. Remember, it was popular opinion that both put "Under God" into the pledge of allegiance and women's right to decide the use of their bodies in the law.

Steven said... of these things is not like the other...

Douglas said...

Joanne, I like to think that it was the free exchange of ideas that led to those things; just as it led to things like desegregation and more. If, however, thought becomes homogenous (and ruled by peer pressure) would we see that happen again?

Tal Hartsfeld said...

There's an adage: Most people are anarchists when it comes to their own liberties and entitlements. And despots when it comes to those of others.

Douglas said...

Well stated, Tal, well stated.

Tom Sightings said...

Yeah, I saw the report about Condaleeza Rice. I think the kids were protesting the wrong thing. They were protesting against her political views, when they should have been protesting against the university paying her $35,000 for an hour of her time.

Douglas said...

Tom, her speaking fee was alleged to be $150,000 and "being paid by donor funds from the lecture series endowment, established by the late Curt Carlson, and the Carlson Family Foundation."

Former NJ governor Tom Keane is slated to replace Rice and is said to be refusing any fee.

Some information garnered from: