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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

To truly protect freedom of speech, guess what it turns out we have to do?

“To truly protect freedom of speech – a fundamental necessity for meaningful democratic life – we must be alert to how it can become weaponised in ideologically coercive ways. Free speech can become a Trojan horse to gain space and attention for retrograde ideas that do not really merit debate. Pretending that all ideas must always be treated as equally valid and worthy of discussion in the idealised “marketplace of ideas” allows discredited ones – such as race science – to be covertly rehabilitated.”

– Priyamvada Gopal and Gavan Titley in a piece for the Guardian called “The free speech row at Cambridge will restrict, not expand, expression”.

Did you guess what was coming?

24 comments to To truly protect freedom of speech, guess what it turns out we have to do?

  • itellyounothing

    So now we can shutdown any leftie talking about economics ever?

  • Allen

    They mean well though!

  • Free speech means the freedom to speak out against the Shibboleths of the left and their wokerati “Useful Idiots”.

    Can’t have that, obviously.

  • Surellin

    Love the use of the word “retrograde”. Get with the ever-so-obvious arc of history, you filthy retrogrades!

  • William H. Stoddard

    They’re still playing those Marcusean golden oldies.

  • I did indeed guess it. Just like I guessed Christmas would be cancelled at the last minute.

  • bobby b

    From the article:

    “The group most vocal in this regard is one that has had a historical interest in eugenics, the ferociously rightwing Free Speech Union . . .”

    Dang, I thought they were going to say Planned Parenthood.

  • lucklucky

    “allows discredited ones – such as race science – to be covertly rehabilitated.”

    The Guardian has got racial articles probably in every issue since 10 years ago. They keep telling us that Blacks are stupid, Asians traitorous and Whites evil.

  • lucklucky

    And did not the Guardian supported Jeremy Corbyn?

  • Russtovich

    “Dang, I thought they were going to say Planned Parenthood.”

    (slow golf clap) 🙂

  • Clovis Sangrail

    the ferociously rightwing Free Speech Union

    The FSU has only been around for c 2 years. How can it have an historical interest in anything?

    One might as well say

    Gopal, who has an historical interest in simulating being oppressed, rather than being an extremely well paid member of the British establishment…

  • John Lewis

    Race science must not be rehabilitated.

    However black and women’s studies will continue to be just fine and dandy.

  • Duncan S

    The quoted paragraph reads like the speech Dolores Umbridge makes when she arrives at Hogwarts.

  • Eric

    I can never decide, when I read this kind of stuff, if it’s possible the authors actually believe what they wrote. Surely nobody is that dense. Surely this is just a pair of writers disingenuously looking for a tactical advantage.

  • With apologies to Mary McCarthy:

    Every word Gopal and Titley say is hate speech, including “and” and “the”.

  • Van_Patten

    Gopal in particular is sufficiently racist to have me withdraw my previous gift to the University of Cambridge unless she is removed from here position, the other writer I have never heard of but the title of his book does not inspire confidence.

  • “The group most vocal in this regard is one that has had a historical interest in eugenics, the ferociously rightwing Free Speech Union . . .”

    Dang, I thought they were going to say Planned Parenthood. (bobby b, December 20, 2020 at 5:55 am)

    I did not actually think they were going to say “left-wing progressives” or simply “the Democratic party”, because I felt confident their level of historical knowledge would be below even that very undemanding level.

    (Of course, bobby b did not really think they were going to say ‘Planned Parenthood’ – but Snopes would probably fact-check him on it, like they do the Babylon Bee. 🙂 )

    Clovis Sangrail (December 20, 2020 at 8:31 am), I too am puzzled how the recently-formed Free-Speech Union can have a ‘historical’ interest in anything. I guess when you are trying to implement ‘year zero’, your idea of history is, like a baby’s, short.

  • Clovis Sangrail


    when you are trying to implement year zero

    I think you nailed it there, Niall.

  • staghounds

    Like the Corona virus, ideas we don’t like are so powerful that you must be locked up to protect you from them.

  • Plamus

    “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”
    ― George Orwell, 1984

  • staghounds

    In real life, it turns out that the words don’t have to be eliminated. They just have to be designated, and they, their synonyms, and their very definitions become unsayable.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    Here in Australia, snowflakes have tried a new tactic, before lockdowns made it even easier. If some foreign speaker was to be invited to a University, and the opinions of the speaker were offensive to the snowflakes, then the Minister of Immigration would be lobbied to ban the entry of the offensive speaker! And this often worked. I think some pro-vaccination speakers were thus kept from contaminating our ears, and others. No need to ban free speech if you can just keep bigots out, so you don’t need to think.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    “retrograde ideas” – let me guess what this refers to:

    Concepts such as natural rights; equality before the law; checks and balances; free trade and capitalism; private property rights; scientific discovery, testing and debate; modern technology; fun and naughty jokes; competitive sports; being brought up by a mum and a dad in a nuclear family; representational painting; classical architecture; the right to self defence; poetry that rhymes; chatting a woman up at a bar without being sued for harassment; satire……

    By the way, I joined the Free Speech Union this year.

  • Paul Marks

    Correct J.P. – and the other comments are good to.

    The position in the Guardian newspaper is the position of the late Herbert Marcuse – of the Frankfurt School of Marxism. Freedom of Speech is “repressive” (“Repressive Tolerance”) because it “harms” groups that “Progressives” (i.e. Collectivists) support, and state tyranny is “Liberation” (the Marxists invert reality).

    No one can now honestly doubt that this campaign is Frankfurt School Marxism. This “cultural” approach will crush what is left of resistance in the United States after January 20th 2021 – when Puppet Biden takes office. Either the Supreme Court will be backed – or Chief Justice John Roberts will do some shyster tactic or tactics to get the ban on “Hate Speech” (i.e. dissent) into effect – at least in government and in business enterprises that have some connection to government (which is just about all of them).

    The Executive Orders that President Trump signed to try and defend Freedom of Speech, will be ripped up.

    As for the United Kingdom – remember my own case.