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Censorship and Gun Control Will Not Make Us Safe
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Sadly, but not unexpectedly, the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh is being used to justify new infringements on liberty. Of course, opponents of gun rights are claiming this shooting proves America needs more gun control. Even some who normally oppose gun control say the government needs to do more to keep guns out of the hands of the “mentally ill.” Those making this argument ignore the lack of evidence that background checks, new restrictions on the rights of those alleged to have a mental illness, or any other form of gun control would have prevented the shooter from obtaining a firearm.

Others are using the shooter’s history of posting anti-Semitic comments on social media to call for increased efforts by both government and social media websites to suppress “hate speech.” The shooter posted anti-Semitic statements on the social media site Gab. Gab, unlike Twitter and Facebook, does not block or ban users for offensive comments. After the shooting Gab was suspended by its internet service provider, and PayPal has closed the site’s account. This is an effort to make social media websites responsible for the content and even the actions of their users, turning the sites’ operators into thought police.

Some social media sites, particularly Facebook and Twitter, are eager to silence not just bigots but those using their platforms to advocate for liberty. Facebook has recently banned a number of libertarian pages— including Cop Block, a site opposing police misconduct. Twitter has also banned a number of conservatives and libertarians, as well as critics of American foreign policy. Some libertarians say we should not get upset as these are private companies exercising private property rights. However, these companies are working with government and government-funded entities such as the Atlantic Council, a group funded by NATO and the military-industrial complex, to determine who should and should not be banned.

The effort to silence “hate speech” is not just about outlawing racist, sexist, or anti-Semitic speech. The real goal is to discredit, and even criminalize, criticism of the welfare-warfare state by redefining such criticism as “hate.” It is not just progressives who wish to use laws outlawing “hate speech” to silence political opponents. Some neoconservatives want to criminalize criticism of Israel for the nonsensical reason that any criticism of Israel is “anti-Semitic.” Other right-wing authoritarians wish to expand hate crime laws to include crimes committed against police officers.

Ironically neoconservatives and other right-wing authoritarians are among the biggest purveyors of real “hate speech.” What could possibly be more hateful than speech advocating perpetual war? Cultural Marxists are also guilty of hate speech with their calls for both government and private violence against political opponents, and for the use of government force to redistribute property. Just about the only individuals advocating a political philosophy not based on hate are those libertarians who consistently advance the non-aggression principle.

Preserving the right to free speech is vital to preserving liberty. All who value freedom should fight efforts to outlaw “hate speech.” “Hate speech” laws may initially be used to target bigoted and other truly hateful speech, but eventually they will be used to silence all critics of the welfare-warfare state and the authoritarian philosophies that justify omnipotent government. To paraphrase Ludwig von Misses, libertarians must fight hate speech—including the hate speech emanating from Washington, D.C.— with the “ideas of the mind.”

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Censorship, Constitution, Gun Control 
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  1. Rational says:

    AMERICA—LAND OF A THOUSAND TYRANTS.

    Thanks for the great article, Sir. I am shocked to read that the lib thugs like paypal shut down gab, the free alternative to twitter.

    This is shocking beyond belief. It is certainly not gab’s fault what one user did in his spare time. And who appointed paypal and other liberal corporations to decide what is “hate speech” and what is not?

    For me, promoting immigration is hate speech and the NYT, CBS, NBC, etc. should be banned by google and paypal on their own logic.

    I think it is time for congress to act.

    Internet companies, such as ISP’s, payment processors, domain registrars, etc. should not be allowed to censor content, (except on grounds of pornography and direct incitement to violence by the owner, not by a casual secondary user).

    • Replies: @Just us and them
  2. That was an excellent column, Dr. Paul. I think a lot of the unz commenters who are not normally sympathetic to anything principled about freedoms of any sort may see these authoritarian moves discussed in this post as hitting home. Sometimes it must be personal before people will learn a lesson. I know I may be proved wrong by some, and I’d like to see what stupid-assed arguments the hard-core Statetards will come up with in this thread to argue with this column.

  3. I have a lot of respect for Ron Paul, but I can’t follow the libertarian ethic when it comes to immigration. Libertarianism essentially states that the ends don’t justify the means, that coercion and violence are wrong no matter who employs them, including any state. But how can a people like the Danes or the Hungarians protect themselves without borders? By a strict enforcement of property rights, as the libertarians might say? Is that realistic? I agree that too many people believe that somehow the state will one day magically turn into their protector when it is often their exploiter. But if Orban, about whom I have no other thing to say, had not blocked immigration, would all those aliens really have been ready to learn Hungarian (rather than English) and adopt Hungarian ways? I welcome any attempt by Mr. Newman or anyone else to help me understand, but for the moment it seems to me that the libertarians are simply indifferent to results and willing to see many cultures die.

  4. KenH says:

    “Hate speech” laws may initially be used to target bigoted and other truly hateful speech, but eventually they will be used to silence all critics of the welfare-warfare state and the authoritarian philosophies that

    Not likely since libertarians pose no viable threat to the system and aren’t perceived as one. Attack the warfare-welfare state all you want and (((they))) will just laugh.

    White people who don’t hate themselves and who are hip to Jewish machinations causes (((the establishment))) to break out into a cold sweat so if so called “hate speech” laws are ever passed they will be selectively enforced only against such white people while it will be “free speech” to advocate for the death of white people and to bring harm to any whites to the right of Hildabeast Clinton.

    We’re seeing what selective enforcement looks like from big tech and the private sector in real time.One can threaten Trump and demonize whites with impunity but dare fight back rhetorically and you get deplatformed.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to read “The conservative case for hate speech laws” in the NR or Weekly Standard in the next few months.

  5. Mr. Bungay, I am glad to have a chance to respond to your cogent comment. You ask some good questions. Pure Libertarianism with no regard for where you will implement said philosophy is just stupidity, or at least, pie-in-the-sky John-Lennon-style imagining. You are quite right that you have to have a real nation first in which to implement Libertarianism, as any sane person can see the whole world is so far from it.

    The mostly-white, people of America of yesteryear, with many still descended from the British, with that country’s long history of fighting for the rights of men, was probably the best place to have taken a shot. Once you let in 50 million foreigners from places where the whole concept is never even imagined, then it ain’t gonna happen.

    I told our writer here, Dr. Ron Paul, in person in 2012, that he needed to talk about illegal immigration if he wanted to win the primary in our state. He’s a good man, but he didn’t take that to heart. As I wrote in What’s the deal with Peak Stupidity – Libertarian or Conservative?, Libertarians have a lot to learn from Conservatives. OTOH, per my comment #2 above, Conservatives had a lot to learn from Libertarians. Open borders proponents of any “denomination” are just full-out retards, no way around that.

  6. @Rational

    Replying to “Rational”, you state:

    Internet companies, such as ISP’s, payment processors, domain registrars, etc. should not be allowed to censor content, (except on grounds of pornography…

    Please define what you mean by “pornography”.

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