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On-Liberty In the wake of the events in Garland a few days ago the above tweet by a reporter at The New York Times has garnered a fair amount of attention. It’s really hard for some (including me frankly) to not see this as “victim-blaming.” Free speech is a very special and distinctive liberty, in particular the liberty to speak in public without censure in a manner which assaults the basis of what is holy and sacred. In much of the world this particular absolutism, neigh, idolatry, of freedom of thought even unto the bounds of blasphemy and hatred that is adhered to in the United States thanks to our Bill of Rights is viewed as strange and offensive. The insights of classical liberal thinkers were strange and novel in their time, but they captured our imagination. We put freedom of conscience first and foremost not because that is how it has always been, but it is how we believe it should be. Conscience even for the devil himself!

To some extent there are aspects of incommensurability here. The right to blaspheme is relatively new in the history of the world, and especially in a multicultural world. Many Muslims who don’t understand how one could insult their religion often get confused when it’s pointed to them that their own religion is based in large part on invective against other faiths (e.g., ‘idolaters’). One person’s insult is another person’s fact. This rational critical position “outside” of society is abnormal in human psychology, which is embedded in all sorts of cultural and social presuppositions.

But in any case, with all that in mind, I was curious about attitudes toward speech in the GSS. There are a series of questions which exhibit the form:

If such a person wanted to make a speech in your community preaching hatred of the United States, should he be allowed to speak, or not?

In this case, a Muslim cleric who preaches hatred of the United States. Other questions refer to racists, atheists, militarists, homosexuals, and communists. Basically, these questions get at whether respondents would tolerate public expression of views which they might personally find objectionable. Look at the trend line over the years it is generally heartening:

speech_htm_8ee3688

The question about Muslim clerics only began to be asked in 2008, so I didn’t put it above. But, I was curious about how it related to a question about whether to let a racist speak in your community. Below are some demographic cross-tabs:

Demographic Allow Muslim cleric to speak Allow racist to speak
Extremely liberal 62 66
Liberal 52 64
Slightly liberal 49 58
Moderate 39 57
Slightly conservative 44 61
Conservative 40 61
Extremely conservative 34 60
Strong Democrat 42 57
Democrat 38 56
Lean Democrat 50 57
Independent 37 56
Lean Republican 46 66
Republican 41 62
Strong Republican 40 62
No HS diploma 18 41
HS diploma 37 56
Junior college 45 61
Bachelor 60 72
Graduate 65 74
Wordsum 0 11 31
Wordsum 1 20 43
Wordsum 2 19 37
Wordsum 3 23 49
Wordsum 4 28 56
Wordsum 5 31 54
Wordsum 6 39 54
Wordsum 7 48 62
Wordsum 8 60 70
Wordsum 9 68 81
Wordsum 10 85 88

correlation

Click to enlarge

In case you are curious the correlation between the two trends across these demographics is 0.95. To the left is a scatter plot which shows the pattern (click to enlarge). I was pretty shocked how nearly monotonic the tendency for the more intelligent (Wordsum is the score on a 0 to 10 vocab test which has a 0.71 correlation with general intelligence) to be more supportive of free speech is. Note that extreme liberals are more supportive of free speech even for racists than conservatives, though there isn’t much social difference at this point (I’m not surprised by the lack of partisan differences, which are much less segregated by social values than ideological identification).

Next I wanted to relate how the two attitudes toward speech related. Below you see the first two set of cross-tabs with marginals on the rows and columns. So the first set shows what percentage of those who would allow a Muslim cleric to speak would also allow a racist to speak. The second set shows what percentage of those who would allow a racist to speak would also allow a Muslim cleric to speak. In both cases the top left and bottom right are the “consistent” positions. Finally, I decided to look at attitudes by demographic again, this time broken down by both positions on speech with the marginals for the column. That means that every row shows the percentage of those who would allow a racist to speak who would also allow a Muslim cleric to speak, and those who wouldn’t allow a racist to speak who would also allow a Muslim cleric to speak.

Allow racist Don’t allow racist Total
Allow Muslim cleric 88 12 100
Don’t allow Muslim cleric 38 62 100
Allow racist Don’t allow racist
Allow Muslim cleric 63 13
Don’t allow Muslim cleric 37 87
Total 100 100
Allow racist Don’t allow racist
Allow Muslim cleric to speak Extremely liberal 81 27
Liberal 71 17
Slightly liberal 70 21
Moderate 60 12
Slightly conservative 63 15
Conservative 61 8
Extremely conservative 53 3
Wordsum 0-4 40 10
Wordsum 5 48 13
Wordsum 6 63 9
Wordsum 7 70 12
Wordsum 8 79 17
Wordsum 9 77 27
Wordsum 10 92 32

 

The consistent free speech position gets stronger as you get more liberal, and, as you get more intelligent. But it is interesting that the position where you won’t allow a racist to speak but you will allow a Muslim cleric to speak gets more frequent among liberals and the very intelligent. This, I believe, explains some of the rumblings and equivocation about free speech absolutism. These are a minority, but they are vocal. In contrast, though there are hardcore civil libertarians on the Right, it is almost certainly true that many conservatives who support the right to blaspheme Islam are less willing to stand up for the right to blaspheme the flag of the United States (e.g., allow someone to defecate on it, for example).

One major caveat that needs to placed here is that traditionally the elites of this country have been more defensive about free speech than the populace as a whole. That’s probably because the elites are worried more about power plays by their rivals. Ultimately politically oriented free speech is important for those with ambition and aspirations.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Free Speech 
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  1. “Should a Muslim cleric be allowed to defecate on US flag in your community?”

    heh, in my country (Finland) so called anarchists ( adolescent drunken punk rockers) customarily stage rowdy demonstrations during the independence day celebrations in front of the president’s “castle”. They often burn national flags which causes uproar. People have then to be reminded that according to our law, there are two allowed, non-criminal ways to dispose the national flag 1) burying in the ground 2) by burning, so the punk rockers do technically nothing wrong.

    I think defecating on the flag would be a crime here.

  2. Troy says:

    Interesting results. Here’s another (not mutually exclusive) explanation of the results: liberals think on more of a meta-level and conservatives more on an object-level (intelligence probably also correlates with meta-level thinking). If respondents were given all of these questions together, meta-level thinkers would recognize inconsistency/hypocrisy were they to allow the Muslim but not the racist to speak, and avoided that inconsistency by giving the answer they did.

    It would be interesting to compare these results with results were people randomly asked just one of the questions in this category.

  3. Liberals have strong deterministic nurture beliefs than conservatives who tend to have instinctive beliefs or genetic deterministic beliefs. Liberals believe that education or ”manipulation” ( brainwashing in desilusion OR NOT) of perceptions can change the personal culture of people. Because this beliefs they (seems) are more prone to be favorable to freedom speech. They hearing racists and islam extremists thinking how manipulate their point of views. Look for the famous case of KKK men in Oprah show who ”discover” that have 10% of ”black blood”.
    But based on my anedoctal observation, i really doubt that liberals are more prone to be tolerant with different point of views. Is sofisticated ‘to be’ tolerant. Even ”smart’ liberals or ”socialists” i know, these supposed tolerance is far to be true. Conservatives by this comparative and particular perspective, are more realist about people behavior than ( socially) liberals because their relative evolutive primitivism or higher instinct.

    • Replies: @CupOfCanada
    I don't agree with that. A lot of conservatives believe very deeply in the "American dream" - ie that hard work alone is sufficient to improve one's station in life.
  4. Very surprising and releaving. I think about this often when talking with various (liberal) students and, after Charlie Hebdo, I’d become totally convinced that they just didn’t truly care about free speech. This was infuriating to me. Glad to see that, at least, the smarties know how important free speech is.
    I still will always keep my ears perked for those saying that we need “decency” laws:)

  5. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I think the anti-speech liberals are a bit noisier online, but I’m relieved to see they are a distinct minority. I’m moderately liberal and basically a free speech absolutist, and I have been very disappointed at the amount of victim-blaming and equivocation that I see at places like DailyKos. A lot of the usual suspects there are apparently falling into enemy-of-my-enemy thinking – i.e., Geller is awful, so anyone opposed to her looks better by comparison – which in this case is nonsense.

    • Replies: @Jim W
    I guess I'd have to see the examples you refer to of victim blaming to know what to think. I don't at all see the tweet at the top of this post as being victim blaming. There is nothing inconsistent about being a free-speech absolutist and also denouncing the content of the Garland exhibit or the Charlie Hebo cartoons, for that matter. It is only anti-free speech if to try to prevent expression or encourage or condone violent retaliations, which I absolutely do not.

    Also, I think people are being illogical when their opinion about speech changes as a result of attacks. If you think the Garland exhibit is jeuvenile and in poor taste before the attack, why change your opinion after the attack?

    To me, it's just another case of people being hypersensitive.
  6. Very illuminating.

    Regarding freedom of speech, I’d like to raise some questions:

    “Is free speech good for my group?”
    “Is free speech good for the nation or society as a whole?”
    “Is free speech desirable for its own sake as a universal value, regardless of its utility/goodness for my group, nation or society as a whole?”

    When intelligent liberals or anyone stand up for freedom of speech (I mean, true freedom of speech), are they fostering the interests of their own group, or do they think so? Are they doing the best for the nation or society as a whole, or do they think so? Are they advocating for universal values for their own sake?

    Regarding the first question, I think the answer is NO. True and sincere advocates of free speech are not so self-interested. I think they are idealistic. Regarding the second and third questions, I’m not sure. What do you think?

  7. […] conclusion to a fascinating, data-rich post on support for free […]

  8. I color-coded your scatterplot.

  9. Jim W says:
    @Anonymous
    I think the anti-speech liberals are a bit noisier online, but I'm relieved to see they are a distinct minority. I'm moderately liberal and basically a free speech absolutist, and I have been very disappointed at the amount of victim-blaming and equivocation that I see at places like DailyKos. A lot of the usual suspects there are apparently falling into enemy-of-my-enemy thinking - i.e., Geller is awful, so anyone opposed to her looks better by comparison - which in this case is nonsense.

    I guess I’d have to see the examples you refer to of victim blaming to know what to think. I don’t at all see the tweet at the top of this post as being victim blaming. There is nothing inconsistent about being a free-speech absolutist and also denouncing the content of the Garland exhibit or the Charlie Hebo cartoons, for that matter. It is only anti-free speech if to try to prevent expression or encourage or condone violent retaliations, which I absolutely do not.

    Also, I think people are being illogical when their opinion about speech changes as a result of attacks. If you think the Garland exhibit is jeuvenile and in poor taste before the attack, why change your opinion after the attack?

    To me, it’s just another case of people being hypersensitive.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    the issue is that some people seem more intent on fixating on gellar than the self-styled jihadis. there are ways you address gellar in a liberal society. ignoring, like many muslims actually tried to do to be fair, is probably the optimal one. (terry jones tried some koran burning stuff more recently after the famous one, but got no traction). the bigger principle is that you shouldn't be under threat from violence for depicting a cartoon which happens to violate a religious taboo. there are many religious taboos that people around the world violate because there are many religions.

    a less extreme case is the annoying habit of some haredi jewish who keep asking to sit next to men on flights if there is a woman next to them. some people accommodate, some refuse on principle. (i favor the latter)
  10. @Jim W
    I guess I'd have to see the examples you refer to of victim blaming to know what to think. I don't at all see the tweet at the top of this post as being victim blaming. There is nothing inconsistent about being a free-speech absolutist and also denouncing the content of the Garland exhibit or the Charlie Hebo cartoons, for that matter. It is only anti-free speech if to try to prevent expression or encourage or condone violent retaliations, which I absolutely do not.

    Also, I think people are being illogical when their opinion about speech changes as a result of attacks. If you think the Garland exhibit is jeuvenile and in poor taste before the attack, why change your opinion after the attack?

    To me, it's just another case of people being hypersensitive.

    the issue is that some people seem more intent on fixating on gellar than the self-styled jihadis. there are ways you address gellar in a liberal society. ignoring, like many muslims actually tried to do to be fair, is probably the optimal one. (terry jones tried some koran burning stuff more recently after the famous one, but got no traction). the bigger principle is that you shouldn’t be under threat from violence for depicting a cartoon which happens to violate a religious taboo. there are many religious taboos that people around the world violate because there are many religions.

    a less extreme case is the annoying habit of some haredi jewish who keep asking to sit next to men on flights if there is a woman next to them. some people accommodate, some refuse on principle. (i favor the latter)

  11. I’d like to add that people discount Terry and Pamela as being stupid. That may be, but they’re the only ones willing to do things like this so that means they’re infinitely more valuable to me than any critics on this issue. Westboro, Larry Flynt, Max Harcore, Lenny Bruce, Hefner, gore sites…I don’t care how stupid it is because that’s point. Dr Oz? You go, girl!
    I also think it’s bullshit that animated child porn that “resembles a real person” is illegal. Obviously, I don’t see much value in some of those but the 1st Amendment wasn’t written for me, was it?
    I must admit the inclusion of animal crush/abuse videos is absolutely heartbreaking to me personally but the law is the law.

  12. […] has tended to be the right that has seemed to take up the cause.  Interesting since as Razib has pointed out, the general impulse in favor of unfettered speech is positively correlated with education and […]

  13. M says:

    Re: loudness of anti-speech folk online, between 2010 and 2014, the wordsum and polviews intersections for people with fairly strong partisan identification seems to look like this:

    Looks at first glance like some issues are split near to 50:50 (racism, muslim cleric) among people of average intelligence (around 6), of whatever political identification.

    So these may be the issues, about speech itself as an act rather than the content of that speech, that tend to run and run online even where people tend to clump together in partisan groups, as the issues where there is close to consensus would find the argument tending to close (most people will eventually conform), I’d think.

  14. a less extreme case is the annoying habit of some haredi jewish who keep asking to sit next to men on flights if there is a woman next to them. some people accommodate, some refuse on principle. (i favor the latter)

    I’d favour letting them pay for the seat beside them lol.

    There’s really two issues here though:

    One is a question of the state placing limits on speech or other fundamental rights, and the other is a question of religious accommodation in the private sector.

    On placing limits on speech (or other rights), I favour the approach outlying under the Oakes test (a Supreme Court ruling here in Canada). Under that approach the government can place limits on fundamental rights, but only if those limits are rationally connected to an objective that is justifiable in a free and democratic society, and only of those limits impair people’s rights as little as possible in service of that objective. These limits must also be proportional to the public good they are seeking to achieve.

    So for example, a government could ban speech that calls for violence against a group (“Kill everyone from group X!”) but not one that simply expresses a preference (“I don’t like group X”). In the former case, the objective in question would be public safety. That second group is what ridicule and scorn is for.

    On religious accommodation, I’d favour accomodation whenever it is reasonable to do so. So for example if this Haredi fellow wants to switch seats with someone, and there’s a volunteer to do so, great. If there’s no volunteer, he can get off the flight or suck it up.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    I’d favour accomodation whenever it is reasonable to do so.

    in practice, the crux is 'reasonable.' for example, there have been cases where religious people, usually muslims in the USA, have asked for separate 'women's only' public pool hours and such. is that reasonable? you'll get disagreement. if the issue isn't for example a dangerous environment for women, but just that muslims have attitudes toward modesty which are not mainstream, then there's going to be debate. probably depends on the # of muslims, etc.
    , @Robert Ford
    i'd also disagree. per your example, there have been many flights that have been delayed because they expect to be accommodated. i say we should set the tone that they will not be accommodated. would you make accommodations for a KKK member not wanting to sit next to a Jew?
  15. @Santoculto
    Liberals have strong deterministic nurture beliefs than conservatives who tend to have instinctive beliefs or genetic deterministic beliefs. Liberals believe that education or ''manipulation'' ( brainwashing in desilusion OR NOT) of perceptions can change the personal culture of people. Because this beliefs they (seems) are more prone to be favorable to freedom speech. They hearing racists and islam extremists thinking how manipulate their point of views. Look for the famous case of KKK men in Oprah show who ''discover'' that have 10% of ''black blood''.
    But based on my anedoctal observation, i really doubt that liberals are more prone to be tolerant with different point of views. Is sofisticated 'to be' tolerant. Even ''smart' liberals or ''socialists'' i know, these supposed tolerance is far to be true. Conservatives by this comparative and particular perspective, are more realist about people behavior than ( socially) liberals because their relative evolutive primitivism or higher instinct.

    I don’t agree with that. A lot of conservatives believe very deeply in the “American dream” – ie that hard work alone is sufficient to improve one’s station in life.

    • Replies: @Santoculto
    The way to belief tend to be different. Liberal hardcore tend to believe in 0% genetic, the blank slate or rock-like human behavioural lunacy.
    Nurture belief conservative style tend to believe that only motivation is completely environmental. I know and agree with you that a lot of conservatives are strong nurturists but the fact they are less prone to be tolerant with discrepant point of views show us that they are less desilusional with education or manipulation of narrative power to convice people to change their bio-cultural behaviour. They know instinctively that human behaviour is more hardware than software.
  16. @CupOfCanada

    a less extreme case is the annoying habit of some haredi jewish who keep asking to sit next to men on flights if there is a woman next to them. some people accommodate, some refuse on principle. (i favor the latter)
     
    I'd favour letting them pay for the seat beside them lol.

    There's really two issues here though:

    One is a question of the state placing limits on speech or other fundamental rights, and the other is a question of religious accommodation in the private sector.

    On placing limits on speech (or other rights), I favour the approach outlying under the Oakes test (a Supreme Court ruling here in Canada). Under that approach the government can place limits on fundamental rights, but only if those limits are rationally connected to an objective that is justifiable in a free and democratic society, and only of those limits impair people's rights as little as possible in service of that objective. These limits must also be proportional to the public good they are seeking to achieve.

    So for example, a government could ban speech that calls for violence against a group ("Kill everyone from group X!") but not one that simply expresses a preference ("I don't like group X"). In the former case, the objective in question would be public safety. That second group is what ridicule and scorn is for.

    On religious accommodation, I'd favour accomodation whenever it is reasonable to do so. So for example if this Haredi fellow wants to switch seats with someone, and there's a volunteer to do so, great. If there's no volunteer, he can get off the flight or suck it up.

    I’d favour accomodation whenever it is reasonable to do so.

    in practice, the crux is ‘reasonable.’ for example, there have been cases where religious people, usually muslims in the USA, have asked for separate ‘women’s only’ public pool hours and such. is that reasonable? you’ll get disagreement. if the issue isn’t for example a dangerous environment for women, but just that muslims have attitudes toward modesty which are not mainstream, then there’s going to be debate. probably depends on the # of muslims, etc.

    • Replies: @CupOfCanada
    That is the crux of it. Imho it comes down to cost vs benefit. I'd suggest that that is reasonable if there is enough demand to make the pool well utilized during such hours.

    I know a pool near me has special hours for nudists. I don't see this is any different really - just the opposite end of the spectrum.

    @Robert - I'm aware of those cases. I'd suggest that rather than delay the flight that individual should have been kicked off the plane, but that its really up to the airline (how important is Haredi business to them?).

    I think it would be tougher to find someone willing to sit next to the KKK member than the reverse lol.
    , @Marty
    I actually knew a muslim woman, Thai, in Berkeley who campaigned for this in the U.C. pools back around '03. She works at Genentech now, has a PhD in epidemiology. What I found most interesting about her was the almost perfectly contradictory political mix of Islam and western feminism. She said to me, "men are obsolete."
  17. It is my (anecdotal) impression that liberals (and even more so, leftists) who are willing to be “anti-free speech” in this case may, in other conversations, come across as “free speech absolutists”; but they slip and take a contradictory position in such cases. When pointed out (or when this recurs) they may eventually develop a theological justification for their shift, but until then, it may even be subconscious. It seems to happen because they have a heirarchy of crimes in mind, with “Western hegemonism/colonialism/imperialism/racism” being at the top of the list. Between suppression of speech and (perceieved) support of “the metropole” in the name of free speech, they will opt for suppression of speech.
    When doing so, some of them feel genuine conflict (see Joyce Carol Oates on twitter for hilarious examples) but feel that they have to come down on the side of the “under-privileged”.
    It sort of makes sense if you buy into their premises.

    This, btw, is one of the best takedowns of the PEN “dissenters” . The last line is philosophical gold
    http://tapferimnirgendwo.com/2015/05/03/dear-joyce-vcarol-oates/

    • Replies: @omarali50
    That link to the takedown of Joyce Carol Oates doesnt work for me, here is a corrected link

    http://tapferimnirgendwo.com/2015/05/03/dear-joyce-carol-oates/
  18. @CupOfCanada

    a less extreme case is the annoying habit of some haredi jewish who keep asking to sit next to men on flights if there is a woman next to them. some people accommodate, some refuse on principle. (i favor the latter)
     
    I'd favour letting them pay for the seat beside them lol.

    There's really two issues here though:

    One is a question of the state placing limits on speech or other fundamental rights, and the other is a question of religious accommodation in the private sector.

    On placing limits on speech (or other rights), I favour the approach outlying under the Oakes test (a Supreme Court ruling here in Canada). Under that approach the government can place limits on fundamental rights, but only if those limits are rationally connected to an objective that is justifiable in a free and democratic society, and only of those limits impair people's rights as little as possible in service of that objective. These limits must also be proportional to the public good they are seeking to achieve.

    So for example, a government could ban speech that calls for violence against a group ("Kill everyone from group X!") but not one that simply expresses a preference ("I don't like group X"). In the former case, the objective in question would be public safety. That second group is what ridicule and scorn is for.

    On religious accommodation, I'd favour accomodation whenever it is reasonable to do so. So for example if this Haredi fellow wants to switch seats with someone, and there's a volunteer to do so, great. If there's no volunteer, he can get off the flight or suck it up.

    i’d also disagree. per your example, there have been many flights that have been delayed because they expect to be accommodated. i say we should set the tone that they will not be accommodated. would you make accommodations for a KKK member not wanting to sit next to a Jew?

  19. @omarali50
    It is my (anecdotal) impression that liberals (and even more so, leftists) who are willing to be "anti-free speech" in this case may, in other conversations, come across as "free speech absolutists"; but they slip and take a contradictory position in such cases. When pointed out (or when this recurs) they may eventually develop a theological justification for their shift, but until then, it may even be subconscious. It seems to happen because they have a heirarchy of crimes in mind, with "Western hegemonism/colonialism/imperialism/racism" being at the top of the list. Between suppression of speech and (perceieved) support of "the metropole" in the name of free speech, they will opt for suppression of speech.
    When doing so, some of them feel genuine conflict (see Joyce Carol Oates on twitter for hilarious examples) but feel that they have to come down on the side of the "under-privileged".
    It sort of makes sense if you buy into their premises.

    This, btw, is one of the best takedowns of the PEN "dissenters" . The last line is philosophical gold
    http://tapferimnirgendwo.com/2015/05/03/dear-joyce-vcarol-oates/

    That link to the takedown of Joyce Carol Oates doesnt work for me, here is a corrected link

    http://tapferimnirgendwo.com/2015/05/03/dear-joyce-carol-oates/

  20. @CupOfCanada
    I don't agree with that. A lot of conservatives believe very deeply in the "American dream" - ie that hard work alone is sufficient to improve one's station in life.

    The way to belief tend to be different. Liberal hardcore tend to believe in 0% genetic, the blank slate or rock-like human behavioural lunacy.
    Nurture belief conservative style tend to believe that only motivation is completely environmental. I know and agree with you that a lot of conservatives are strong nurturists but the fact they are less prone to be tolerant with discrepant point of views show us that they are less desilusional with education or manipulation of narrative power to convice people to change their bio-cultural behaviour. They know instinctively that human behaviour is more hardware than software.

    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    Liberal hardcore tend to believe in 0% genetic, the blank slate or rock-like human behavioural lunacy.

    check the GSS before you assert this. not totally disagreeing, but no one cares about your impressions ;-) obviously there are ppl like this, but are they 1% or 10% or 50%?

    , @Uptown Resident
    I wonder if the aversion for genetic explanations for behavioral traits would make people more likely to accept Cochran's gay germ theory. Presumably a pathogenic explanation of sexuality would be less offensive than a genetic one, since you wouldn't have to give any special dues to heredity.
  21. @Santoculto
    The way to belief tend to be different. Liberal hardcore tend to believe in 0% genetic, the blank slate or rock-like human behavioural lunacy.
    Nurture belief conservative style tend to believe that only motivation is completely environmental. I know and agree with you that a lot of conservatives are strong nurturists but the fact they are less prone to be tolerant with discrepant point of views show us that they are less desilusional with education or manipulation of narrative power to convice people to change their bio-cultural behaviour. They know instinctively that human behaviour is more hardware than software.

    Liberal hardcore tend to believe in 0% genetic, the blank slate or rock-like human behavioural lunacy.

    check the GSS before you assert this. not totally disagreeing, but no one cares about your impressions 😉 obviously there are ppl like this, but are they 1% or 10% or 50%?

    • Replies: @CupOfCanada
    There's probably a bit of both. The social safety net becomes more important if you view things as primarily genetic (I don't, but I appreciate the perspective), which isn't exactly in most conservatives' wheelhouses these days. At least in the US.
  22. @Razib Khan
    I’d favour accomodation whenever it is reasonable to do so.

    in practice, the crux is 'reasonable.' for example, there have been cases where religious people, usually muslims in the USA, have asked for separate 'women's only' public pool hours and such. is that reasonable? you'll get disagreement. if the issue isn't for example a dangerous environment for women, but just that muslims have attitudes toward modesty which are not mainstream, then there's going to be debate. probably depends on the # of muslims, etc.

    That is the crux of it. Imho it comes down to cost vs benefit. I’d suggest that that is reasonable if there is enough demand to make the pool well utilized during such hours.

    I know a pool near me has special hours for nudists. I don’t see this is any different really – just the opposite end of the spectrum.

    @Robert – I’m aware of those cases. I’d suggest that rather than delay the flight that individual should have been kicked off the plane, but that its really up to the airline (how important is Haredi business to them?).

    I think it would be tougher to find someone willing to sit next to the KKK member than the reverse lol.

  23. @Razib Khan
    Liberal hardcore tend to believe in 0% genetic, the blank slate or rock-like human behavioural lunacy.

    check the GSS before you assert this. not totally disagreeing, but no one cares about your impressions ;-) obviously there are ppl like this, but are they 1% or 10% or 50%?

    There’s probably a bit of both. The social safety net becomes more important if you view things as primarily genetic (I don’t, but I appreciate the perspective), which isn’t exactly in most conservatives’ wheelhouses these days. At least in the US.

  24. I mention solely because it interested me to learn of it only last week that Israel has stringent laws against offending people’s religious sensibilities – typically used to protect Muslim sendibilities rather thsn Christian or Jewish. One Tatiana Suskin was jailed for two years in 1998 for a cartoon showing Mahomet as a pig….

    I note that Jews in Australia also are not in favour of weakening provisions of the law which are directed against communications which may offend or humiliate on various grounds.

  25. I thought this conference in Texas was intended as provocation from the start, to provoke some feeble minded dingbats into attacking them so they can claim they’re being attacked.

    • Replies: @Jim W
    Congratulations! You've given the correct answer to the rhetorical question at the top of this post.
    , @CupOfCanada
    It worked. The smarter response would have been defecating on a flag in front of the event.
  26. @Santoculto
    The way to belief tend to be different. Liberal hardcore tend to believe in 0% genetic, the blank slate or rock-like human behavioural lunacy.
    Nurture belief conservative style tend to believe that only motivation is completely environmental. I know and agree with you that a lot of conservatives are strong nurturists but the fact they are less prone to be tolerant with discrepant point of views show us that they are less desilusional with education or manipulation of narrative power to convice people to change their bio-cultural behaviour. They know instinctively that human behaviour is more hardware than software.

    I wonder if the aversion for genetic explanations for behavioral traits would make people more likely to accept Cochran’s gay germ theory. Presumably a pathogenic explanation of sexuality would be less offensive than a genetic one, since you wouldn’t have to give any special dues to heredity.

    • Replies: @JayMan

    I wonder if the aversion for genetic explanations for behavioral traits would make people more likely to accept Cochran’s gay germ theory.
     
    Sexual orientation is the one thing where that belief is completely reversed among such people, apparently, at least judging from the current conventional wisdom.

    They will absolutely not like Cochran's theory, and there are perhaps some good reasons for such reservations. However, what's true remains true regardless.
  27. @ackbark
    I thought this conference in Texas was intended as provocation from the start, to provoke some feeble minded dingbats into attacking them so they can claim they're being attacked.

    Congratulations! You’ve given the correct answer to the rhetorical question at the top of this post.

  28. @ackbark
    I thought this conference in Texas was intended as provocation from the start, to provoke some feeble minded dingbats into attacking them so they can claim they're being attacked.

    It worked. The smarter response would have been defecating on a flag in front of the event.

    • Replies: @J Yan
    No, the proper analogy is a contest in which abstract art is constructed from holy Eucharist.
  29. @CupOfCanada
    It worked. The smarter response would have been defecating on a flag in front of the event.

    No, the proper analogy is a contest in which abstract art is constructed from holy Eucharist.

  30. jtgw says:

    So let me be clear what the question asked. The topic of the hypothetical speech would be “hatred of the United States”; the difference is simply who would be allowed to make the speech. So, for example, we’re to understand that 27% of extreme liberals would allow a Muslim cleric to make an anti-American speech but would not allow a racist to make an anti-American speech? So the question is really about whether certain classes of people should be able to preach anti-Americanism, but there’s nothing in the question to suggest that the actual content of the anti-American speech would differ from speaker to speaker. Or is it implicit in the question that the content would differ? Is the purpose simply to probe some of the unconscious biases and associations people have with the concept of anti-Americanism and particular ideologies?

    Like, I can think of obvious points an anti-American Muslim cleric would bring up: support for Israel; Iraq invasion; drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, etc. But what exactly are the associations we are meant to make when we think of an anti-American racist? Maybe neo-Confederates?

  31. At work, which is probably un-representedly left, my colleagues, split 60-40 against Charlie Hebdo.* Now however, of the defenders about half take the opposite position about Pamela Geller et al.
    * the subset of people with any opinion is no doubt biased
    I find your general results heartening because I often see the opposite; that people only support the free speech that they approve of.

  32. The main reason to support free speech is the expectation that when you or your group wants to say something that is not popular then you are protected in that right. If that expectation goes away or is diminished what is the point of supporting free speech?

  33. JayMan says: • Website
    @Uptown Resident
    I wonder if the aversion for genetic explanations for behavioral traits would make people more likely to accept Cochran's gay germ theory. Presumably a pathogenic explanation of sexuality would be less offensive than a genetic one, since you wouldn't have to give any special dues to heredity.

    I wonder if the aversion for genetic explanations for behavioral traits would make people more likely to accept Cochran’s gay germ theory.

    Sexual orientation is the one thing where that belief is completely reversed among such people, apparently, at least judging from the current conventional wisdom.

    They will absolutely not like Cochran’s theory, and there are perhaps some good reasons for such reservations. However, what’s true remains true regardless.

    • Replies: @Harold
    Have you watched Harald Eia's Hjernevask episode on homosexuality?
    , @Curle

    However, what’s true remains true regardless.
     
    Thus the popularity of burying information supportive of heterodox views, repeating, as often as possible, orthodox views and making sure that all persons on a payroll subject to popular pressure (e.g., academics, government) are on message and that those who aren't are removed from public view.
  34. @JayMan

    I wonder if the aversion for genetic explanations for behavioral traits would make people more likely to accept Cochran’s gay germ theory.
     
    Sexual orientation is the one thing where that belief is completely reversed among such people, apparently, at least judging from the current conventional wisdom.

    They will absolutely not like Cochran's theory, and there are perhaps some good reasons for such reservations. However, what's true remains true regardless.

    Have you watched Harald Eia’s Hjernevask episode on homosexuality?

  35. Interesting article and a sound analysis of the GSS data. However, I don’t think self-reported data is accurate in this context. Liberal and intelligent people are more interested in being perceived as tolerant by other people or by themselves. This can explain some of the data.

    Admittedly, I only have anecdotal evidence but liberal people being more tolerant of other opinions doesn’t ring true to me. They can be pro- free speech in abstract but, in my experience, they are usually more intolerant of other’s opinions in concrete situations.

    For example, I recently participated in a debate about gay marriage. While all conservative people explained their positions with logical reasons (which may be valid or not), all liberal people were like “you are a bunch of fascists and intolerant, you are like Hitler who wanted to exterminated non-Arian people” (those are the exact words of a friend of mine who is a nice guy and liberal . In short, shaming other opinions, ad-hominem attacks and identifying the other opinion as evil, instead of misguided.

    And when a meeting of people with similar opinions is boycotted is more likely to be conservative than liberal. For example, you can see the attempts to silence Warren Farrell because he is an anti-feminist, while feminist meeting proceed undisturbed all around the world.

    (see after 3:20 for the most interesting bits).

    Or a Gamergate meeting is disrupted because of a bomb threat

    https://techraptor.net/content/gamergate-meet-up-disrupted-by-bomb-threat

    This is pretty extreme and not representative but I found it funny

    The fact is that most of these individuals conceive themselves as a tolerant and free speech (so reporting this way in a survey doesn’t imply lying) and they think that their behavior is fighting the intolerance. They silence other people in the name of tolerance.

    To be fair, I don’t think this intolerance derives from liberal ideology per se, but from the fact that liberal ideology has become the dominant ideology of our society (the one supported by the elite and the media) so it is seen as the truth. I think Islam in Muslim societies can play the same role (for example, Muslim qualifying dissidents as infidels or evil people instead of engaging in arguments with them). Or, some centuries ago, Christian ideology could play the same role in Western countries.

    • Replies: @Troy
    Oh my gosh -- please tell me that video is staged.
  36. @imnobody00
    Interesting article and a sound analysis of the GSS data. However, I don't think self-reported data is accurate in this context. Liberal and intelligent people are more interested in being perceived as tolerant by other people or by themselves. This can explain some of the data.

    Admittedly, I only have anecdotal evidence but liberal people being more tolerant of other opinions doesn't ring true to me. They can be pro- free speech in abstract but, in my experience, they are usually more intolerant of other's opinions in concrete situations.

    For example, I recently participated in a debate about gay marriage. While all conservative people explained their positions with logical reasons (which may be valid or not), all liberal people were like "you are a bunch of fascists and intolerant, you are like Hitler who wanted to exterminated non-Arian people" (those are the exact words of a friend of mine who is a nice guy and liberal . In short, shaming other opinions, ad-hominem attacks and identifying the other opinion as evil, instead of misguided.

    And when a meeting of people with similar opinions is boycotted is more likely to be conservative than liberal. For example, you can see the attempts to silence Warren Farrell because he is an anti-feminist, while feminist meeting proceed undisturbed all around the world.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iARHCxAMAO0 (see after 3:20 for the most interesting bits).

    Or a Gamergate meeting is disrupted because of a bomb threat

    https://techraptor.net/content/gamergate-meet-up-disrupted-by-bomb-threat

    This is pretty extreme and not representative but I found it funny

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6rCbqpq6d0

    The fact is that most of these individuals conceive themselves as a tolerant and free speech (so reporting this way in a survey doesn't imply lying) and they think that their behavior is fighting the intolerance. They silence other people in the name of tolerance.

    To be fair, I don't think this intolerance derives from liberal ideology per se, but from the fact that liberal ideology has become the dominant ideology of our society (the one supported by the elite and the media) so it is seen as the truth. I think Islam in Muslim societies can play the same role (for example, Muslim qualifying dissidents as infidels or evil people instead of engaging in arguments with them). Or, some centuries ago, Christian ideology could play the same role in Western countries.

    Oh my gosh — please tell me that video is staged.

    • Replies: @imnobody00
    @Troy

    I don't know. It could be. Methinks that the guy is intoxicated by some substance. Or at least his body language seems to suggest that. It does not seem a guy playing a role when you see these crazy eyes or the way he breathes and moves. But it is so fun. I laughed out loud.

  37. @Troy
    Oh my gosh -- please tell me that video is staged.

    I don’t know. It could be. Methinks that the guy is intoxicated by some substance. Or at least his body language seems to suggest that. It does not seem a guy playing a role when you see these crazy eyes or the way he breathes and moves. But it is so fun. I laughed out loud.

  38. “Free speech aside, why would anyone do something as provocative as hosting a “Muhammad drawing contest”?”

    Free speech, aside why would anyone do something as provocative as make pedophilia jokes about the Catholic religion?

    The same Left Wingers who think it should be illegal and a hate crime to poke fun at the prophet Muhammad, are the same Left Wingers who laugh at jokes about all Catholic priests being pedophiles and all White Republican Christians in the South talk to rattle snakes and participate in incest.

    • Replies: @Numinous

    Free speech, aside why would anyone do something as provocative as make pedophilia jokes about the Catholic religion?

    The same Left Wingers who think it should be illegal and a hate crime to poke fun at the prophet Muhammad, are the same Left Wingers who laugh at jokes about all Catholic priests being pedophiles and all White Republican Christians in the South talk to rattle snakes and participate in incest.
     
    Against my better judgment, and at the risk of getting banned, I'll make this comment just because what you say above annoys me very much (and I am a free speech absolutist who dislikes religion).
    -- If person X offends you or cause you harm in any way, it is X with whom you need to settle your differences. You do not take out your frustration by offending or causing harm to Y just to get back at X. That is uncouth behavior, and let alone adults, even children are taught not to do that (assuming their parents have raised them well.) X of course refers to "Left Wingers" and Y to "Muslims"; that ought to be obvious to you but one never knows.
  39. If such a person wanted to make a speech in your community preaching hatred of the United States, should he be allowed to speak, or not?

    When framed that way, most liberals will say “yes” reflexively. Take out the “preaching hatred of the United States”, and a lot of conservatives will switch to “yes”.

    The rhetorical place where people on the left have completely switched their views is on non-government consequences. Ask a question like “A person has political/racial/religious/etc views which many other people find repugnant/hateful/etc. This person works for a private company, in a role where he is (a public face of the company)/(contributes to the message the company sends). While there has been no previous complaint about the person’s performance, his views have come to the attention of his employer, and are publicly knowable. Should the employer be allowed to fire him?” The answers would be interesting.

  40. @Jefferson
    "Free speech aside, why would anyone do something as provocative as hosting a "Muhammad drawing contest"?"

    Free speech, aside why would anyone do something as provocative as make pedophilia jokes about the Catholic religion?

    The same Left Wingers who think it should be illegal and a hate crime to poke fun at the prophet Muhammad, are the same Left Wingers who laugh at jokes about all Catholic priests being pedophiles and all White Republican Christians in the South talk to rattle snakes and participate in incest.

    Free speech, aside why would anyone do something as provocative as make pedophilia jokes about the Catholic religion?

    The same Left Wingers who think it should be illegal and a hate crime to poke fun at the prophet Muhammad, are the same Left Wingers who laugh at jokes about all Catholic priests being pedophiles and all White Republican Christians in the South talk to rattle snakes and participate in incest.

    Against my better judgment, and at the risk of getting banned, I’ll make this comment just because what you say above annoys me very much (and I am a free speech absolutist who dislikes religion).
    — If person X offends you or cause you harm in any way, it is X with whom you need to settle your differences. You do not take out your frustration by offending or causing harm to Y just to get back at X. That is uncouth behavior, and let alone adults, even children are taught not to do that (assuming their parents have raised them well.) X of course refers to “Left Wingers” and Y to “Muslims”; that ought to be obvious to you but one never knows.

    • Replies: @D. K.
    In other words, you do not comprehend either the principle of equal treatment under the law (e.g., the Fourteenth Amendment) or contemporary political reality.

    The Left is vociferously pushing the notion that "hate speech" is not "free speech" under the American First Amendment, and thus that the nebulous category of the former may, and ought, be banned and criminalized-- with the Left's own political standards being applied. (Cf. the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center-- the Establishment media's go-to organizations for defaming politically incorrect people and organizations as "haters" who are beyond the pale of what should be either politically, morally or legally acceptable, in a contemporary "multi-racial and multi-cultural society!")

    Thus, Hollywood's typical depiction of Christianity and Christians, in general, and of the Catholic Church and Catholics, especially Catholic priests, in particular, is "free speech," according to the Left, while the recent "Draw-the-Prophet-Mohammed Contest," down in Texas, is "hate speech" that needs to be proscribed and criminalized.

    Such criminalization has long been in place, in many Western countries, with people now languishing in prison for the crime of "disrespecting the memory of Holocaust victims," or for supposedly causing "racial hatred" by critizing Islam, or even just radical Islamism as a political movement.

    What is at issue is not private spats, as you would have it; what is at issue is the rule of law, and the very nature of Western societies, in the contemporary world. The commenter 'Jefferson' is not the one being a hypocrite, here, while trying to sound high-minded, as he calls his opponent's intelligence into question.

    For the record, I am a religious agnostic, a long-lapsed Catholic (with one brother who is a priest, down in El Salvador, and another who is an athiest who loathes the Catholic Church!), a paleoliberal, and a life-long civil libertarian.

  41. @Numinous

    Free speech, aside why would anyone do something as provocative as make pedophilia jokes about the Catholic religion?

    The same Left Wingers who think it should be illegal and a hate crime to poke fun at the prophet Muhammad, are the same Left Wingers who laugh at jokes about all Catholic priests being pedophiles and all White Republican Christians in the South talk to rattle snakes and participate in incest.
     
    Against my better judgment, and at the risk of getting banned, I'll make this comment just because what you say above annoys me very much (and I am a free speech absolutist who dislikes religion).
    -- If person X offends you or cause you harm in any way, it is X with whom you need to settle your differences. You do not take out your frustration by offending or causing harm to Y just to get back at X. That is uncouth behavior, and let alone adults, even children are taught not to do that (assuming their parents have raised them well.) X of course refers to "Left Wingers" and Y to "Muslims"; that ought to be obvious to you but one never knows.

    In other words, you do not comprehend either the principle of equal treatment under the law (e.g., the Fourteenth Amendment) or contemporary political reality.

    The Left is vociferously pushing the notion that “hate speech” is not “free speech” under the American First Amendment, and thus that the nebulous category of the former may, and ought, be banned and criminalized– with the Left’s own political standards being applied. (Cf. the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center– the Establishment media’s go-to organizations for defaming politically incorrect people and organizations as “haters” who are beyond the pale of what should be either politically, morally or legally acceptable, in a contemporary “multi-racial and multi-cultural society!”)

    Thus, Hollywood’s typical depiction of Christianity and Christians, in general, and of the Catholic Church and Catholics, especially Catholic priests, in particular, is “free speech,” according to the Left, while the recent “Draw-the-Prophet-Mohammed Contest,” down in Texas, is “hate speech” that needs to be proscribed and criminalized.

    Such criminalization has long been in place, in many Western countries, with people now languishing in prison for the crime of “disrespecting the memory of Holocaust victims,” or for supposedly causing “racial hatred” by critizing Islam, or even just radical Islamism as a political movement.

    What is at issue is not private spats, as you would have it; what is at issue is the rule of law, and the very nature of Western societies, in the contemporary world. The commenter ‘Jefferson’ is not the one being a hypocrite, here, while trying to sound high-minded, as he calls his opponent’s intelligence into question.

    For the record, I am a religious agnostic, a long-lapsed Catholic (with one brother who is a priest, down in El Salvador, and another who is an athiest who loathes the Catholic Church!), a paleoliberal, and a life-long civil libertarian.

    • Replies: @Numinous
    I agree with your position on free speech. I would encourage scrutiny of religious figures, especially those that are used by their followers to justify any kind of obscurantism. I have no problem with mocking cherished religious and political attitudes as long as it is not done for the purpose of causing gratuitous offense to someone (again, I would absolutely not ban or criminalize it, but privately I might deplore it.)

    If I were a committed Catholic who was disgusted by the Left's demonizing of my faith, I would push back at the Left and try to defend my faith or poke fun at their own shibboleths; not try to pick another easy target (like the Muslims) to poke fun at just so the Left would get off my back, or to expand the zone of victimhood. That's what commenter Jefferson seemed to be advocating, and I am sorry if I got his intention wrong.
  42. At first, I was relieved to see that the GSS data still showed liberals supporting free speech, until of course I signed onto a political forum I frequent, where apparently that’s a concept long abandoned by your run-0f-the-mill online leftists. Frankly, I find it hard to believe that liberals are still supporting free speech when it seems that the majority who actually get attention are pretty clear in opposing it. From these pages Sailer did a story on Garry Trudeau, and the many high visibility writers opposing the PEN award to Charlie Hebdo.

    I recall hearing a quote many years ago (sorry I can’t source it) from poet/activist Susan Sontag, who was asked about free speech in the Soviet Union. She was alleged to have replied that the Soviets don’t need free speech, they’ve already achieved socialism. That’s what worries me; that the left’s support of free expression is purely transactional, and once they feel confident enough of their position in our institutions they can safely abandon the pretense of supporting free speech.

    Based on the MSM reaction to Charlie Hebdo and the Garland AFDI event, it’s hard to not draw the conclusion that we are already there.

    • Replies: @Wilkey
    "From these pages Sailer did a story on Garry Trudeau, and the many high visibility writers opposing the PEN award to Charlie Hebdo."

    Charlie Hebdo isn't even a conservative publication. How many PEN members would have flaked on free speech if the murdered publishers of the Mohammed cartoons had been, say, writers at the National Review or TakiMag?
  43. @D. K.
    In other words, you do not comprehend either the principle of equal treatment under the law (e.g., the Fourteenth Amendment) or contemporary political reality.

    The Left is vociferously pushing the notion that "hate speech" is not "free speech" under the American First Amendment, and thus that the nebulous category of the former may, and ought, be banned and criminalized-- with the Left's own political standards being applied. (Cf. the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center-- the Establishment media's go-to organizations for defaming politically incorrect people and organizations as "haters" who are beyond the pale of what should be either politically, morally or legally acceptable, in a contemporary "multi-racial and multi-cultural society!")

    Thus, Hollywood's typical depiction of Christianity and Christians, in general, and of the Catholic Church and Catholics, especially Catholic priests, in particular, is "free speech," according to the Left, while the recent "Draw-the-Prophet-Mohammed Contest," down in Texas, is "hate speech" that needs to be proscribed and criminalized.

    Such criminalization has long been in place, in many Western countries, with people now languishing in prison for the crime of "disrespecting the memory of Holocaust victims," or for supposedly causing "racial hatred" by critizing Islam, or even just radical Islamism as a political movement.

    What is at issue is not private spats, as you would have it; what is at issue is the rule of law, and the very nature of Western societies, in the contemporary world. The commenter 'Jefferson' is not the one being a hypocrite, here, while trying to sound high-minded, as he calls his opponent's intelligence into question.

    For the record, I am a religious agnostic, a long-lapsed Catholic (with one brother who is a priest, down in El Salvador, and another who is an athiest who loathes the Catholic Church!), a paleoliberal, and a life-long civil libertarian.

    I agree with your position on free speech. I would encourage scrutiny of religious figures, especially those that are used by their followers to justify any kind of obscurantism. I have no problem with mocking cherished religious and political attitudes as long as it is not done for the purpose of causing gratuitous offense to someone (again, I would absolutely not ban or criminalize it, but privately I might deplore it.)

    If I were a committed Catholic who was disgusted by the Left’s demonizing of my faith, I would push back at the Left and try to defend my faith or poke fun at their own shibboleths; not try to pick another easy target (like the Muslims) to poke fun at just so the Left would get off my back, or to expand the zone of victimhood. That’s what commenter Jefferson seemed to be advocating, and I am sorry if I got his intention wrong.

  44. Marty [AKA "wick"] says:
    @Razib Khan
    I’d favour accomodation whenever it is reasonable to do so.

    in practice, the crux is 'reasonable.' for example, there have been cases where religious people, usually muslims in the USA, have asked for separate 'women's only' public pool hours and such. is that reasonable? you'll get disagreement. if the issue isn't for example a dangerous environment for women, but just that muslims have attitudes toward modesty which are not mainstream, then there's going to be debate. probably depends on the # of muslims, etc.

    I actually knew a muslim woman, Thai, in Berkeley who campaigned for this in the U.C. pools back around ’03. She works at Genentech now, has a PhD in epidemiology. What I found most interesting about her was the almost perfectly contradictory political mix of Islam and western feminism. She said to me, “men are obsolete.”

  45. Curle says:
    @JayMan

    I wonder if the aversion for genetic explanations for behavioral traits would make people more likely to accept Cochran’s gay germ theory.
     
    Sexual orientation is the one thing where that belief is completely reversed among such people, apparently, at least judging from the current conventional wisdom.

    They will absolutely not like Cochran's theory, and there are perhaps some good reasons for such reservations. However, what's true remains true regardless.

    However, what’s true remains true regardless.

    Thus the popularity of burying information supportive of heterodox views, repeating, as often as possible, orthodox views and making sure that all persons on a payroll subject to popular pressure (e.g., academics, government) are on message and that those who aren’t are removed from public view.

  46. “The consistent free speech position gets stronger as you get more liberal, and, as you get more intelligent.”

    I’ve noticed in various surveys that labels like “conservative” and “liberal” do not always align all that well with how one actually votes. Asking partisan affiliation is much more likely to get you an accurate representation of one’s political views. I think that it’s especially common for members of less educated demographics – blacks, etc. – to call themselves conservative but to vote for Democrats.

  47. @Mike Street Station
    At first, I was relieved to see that the GSS data still showed liberals supporting free speech, until of course I signed onto a political forum I frequent, where apparently that's a concept long abandoned by your run-0f-the-mill online leftists. Frankly, I find it hard to believe that liberals are still supporting free speech when it seems that the majority who actually get attention are pretty clear in opposing it. From these pages Sailer did a story on Garry Trudeau, and the many high visibility writers opposing the PEN award to Charlie Hebdo.

    I recall hearing a quote many years ago (sorry I can't source it) from poet/activist Susan Sontag, who was asked about free speech in the Soviet Union. She was alleged to have replied that the Soviets don't need free speech, they've already achieved socialism. That's what worries me; that the left's support of free expression is purely transactional, and once they feel confident enough of their position in our institutions they can safely abandon the pretense of supporting free speech.

    Based on the MSM reaction to Charlie Hebdo and the Garland AFDI event, it's hard to not draw the conclusion that we are already there.

    “From these pages Sailer did a story on Garry Trudeau, and the many high visibility writers opposing the PEN award to Charlie Hebdo.”

    Charlie Hebdo isn’t even a conservative publication. How many PEN members would have flaked on free speech if the murdered publishers of the Mohammed cartoons had been, say, writers at the National Review or TakiMag?

  48. […] This reminds me of something that Razib Khan posted the other day, that I found utterly ridiculous. Self-reporting depends on self-awareness. The greater the self-awareness, the more accurate the self-reporting. You can’t tell me much about yourself unless you know something about yourself. No group of Americans is as lacking in self-awareness as progressives. […]

  49. […] hopeful thing is the widespread support of free speech among liberals and the intelligent.(Khan, 2015) However public opinion can change quickly, as the example of homosexual marriage […]

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