From Trends, search volume in the US for “hate speech” as a percentage of search volume for “free speech” by year:
Extrapolating from 2014 through to the present, a fourth slogan will roll out around 2030: Free speech is hate speech.
Dragonfly isn’t dead, it has just been hidden underground. Intellectual totalitarianism is scaling and strengthening. The great disease Bill Lind warned about two decades ago has metastasized. It now afflicts virtually every institution in the West. Putatively anonymous discussions on internet forums are increasingly being compromised. Hushed whispers in places devoid of smart devices are the last redoubts.
In addition to the rhetorical question of whether or not the US actually won the Cold War, there is another acute angle to the clampdown. Support for free speech correlates strongly with intelligence. Although he didn’t intend it as alternative narration to the opening vignette of Idiocracy, it could have been:
The people in charge will go to the mat to defend pornography freely available on-line, but scream bloody murder if Facebook lets someone talk about biology on their platform. Scientists are losing their careers, while pornographers are celebrated. It’s close to a 180 degree change from thirty years ago. In 1985, retailers were still keeping smut in the back room, away from the general public. Video rental places had a secret room for porn. Today, porn is so ubiquitous no one notices.
The power of the formal state isn’t the issue. To the contrary, the state–at least in the US–is currently a net defender of free speech, if an ineffective and unmotivated one. It’s not the state that splashes pornography everywhere while banishing those who talk about biology. It’s tech companies like Twitter that do. Simply searching “porn videos” yields an endless stream of hardcore fornicating, while a tweet about IQ, a subject buttressed by a century’s worth of scientific literature, is here today and gone tomorrow.