Sunday, September 16, 2018

It's time to free all speech again

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for August 15, 2018)

Last week some of the biggest social media corporations colluded to silence a voice they didn't like.

No matter how you feel about Alex Jones and his Infowars media brand, this wasn't good for free speech. It was the escalation of a war which has been building for some time, where voices running counter to the political biases of the dominant social media empires are being silenced.

If your argument is so weak you feel the need to silence the other side rather than respond with your own well-thought out points, then your opinions are probably wrong. Censorship is a loser's move.

It's not just voices from the political right which have been silenced. Libertarian activists are being targeted as well.

Private companies have the right to kick anyone off their platform for any reason. However, is a corporation, which has sought and received special privileges from government, still a "private company"? Corporations, through this special relationship with government called "crony capitalism", have become, in all but name, a branch of government. They use this relationship to encourage legislation which makes entering their field too expensive for most newcomers, thus stifling competition. In exchange, they sell your data to government.

Considering this special relationship, they should be held to the same standards the rest of government is supposed to be held to, which includes the responsibility to abide by the Bill of Rights even when they don't agree with it.

If they don't like the deal, they can remain private and stay out of government's bed.

Even if you still believe they have the right to censor those they don't like, in spite of this special relationship with government, it wasn't smart. If it becomes acceptable to silence voices you don't like while you are in power, you make it seem OK for others to do the same to you once the tables are turned.

What if they use liability as their justification? It's a valid concern, due to tyrannical government overreach. Government has already prosecuted a website owner for things others published on the platform, in the case of the Silk Road site, and has threatened to do the same to others. It's a dangerous, speech-stifling situation.

I'm never in favor of government regulating companies, even when they do things I don't agree with. Nor am I afraid of hearing dissenting voices. In fact, they often help me put my own thoughts in order. It's time to free all speech again.

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  1. I'm gonna have to dissent from the notion that some government interference with what should be a truly free market justifies the further interference of telling private corporations what they can and can't disallow on their social media platform. We've seen THAT slippery slope way too much, of one bad law leading to another bad law to allegedly fix the problem they created. You can't trust the people who created a problem to fix the problem by applying even more of the same faulty thinking.

    1. Are you saying there's such a thing as a "private corporation" then?

    2. I'm not calling for government or anyone else with power to step in and "do something". And certainly not with a "law".

      I just believe if a business gets in bed with the State by "incorporating" they have become part of the State and I'm going to judge them in that way-- as archators; someone doing things they have no right to do.

    3. I looked up why companies incorporate, and I'm just not buying the notion that doing this makes them part of the state. For example, one possible benefit of incorporating is to reduce your taxes in certain situations. Trying to keep money from being stolen by the state is the functional equivalent of becoming a part of the state?

      Another reason is to make it easier to allow a bunch of people to buy a small percentage of ownership in the company, thus allowing people who aren't wealthy the ability to gradually gain ownership in a bunch of companies, thus reducing risk by diversification. It's a way to prevent only plutocrats from owning huge companies. Not seeing how this benefit makes a company part of the government.

      Finally, in an AnCap society, some of the structures of incorporation might still exist.

    4. Not all the package of incorporating make the corporation a part of the State, but some of them do. There are many ways to reduce or avoid "taxation" (but of course, businesses never pay "taxes", only their customers do); some are ethical, but joining the State against your customers isn't.

      And, the benefits they get from incorporating make them prone to help the State against their customers. It's why Google, Apple, FB, etc. are so willing to spy on their customers and sell them out to the State for a pat on the head. Or for money.

      I agree that in an AnCap society there would probably be corporation-like structures. The differences make all the difference, though.

  2. good topic in comments.

  3. do corporations pay ObamaCare health insurance? Do they go to public school? Do they have a driver's license? Do they fill out DNRs? Can i put them in prison?
    Corporations are not sentient.
    Corporations are a tool, an implement, controlled by individuals, who are each responsible for the actions of their tool. Hold those individuals personally responsible.

    A facist state is characterized by it's use of regulation to control industries, commerce and corporations. Individuals within govt reward willing corporate officers as their tool, to implement their intent. Hold them individually responsible.

    Are individual rioters absolved of responsibility because they belong to a group? because they incorporate into a mob? because they identify as a tribe? They take personal benefit, but seek to disperse responsibility to an unrestrainable amorphous group.

    do not fall for legal fiction.

    remeber to identify and hold responsible the individuals. and make them responsible.

  4. if you reward it, you wi get more of it.

    Google, Apple, FB, are rewarded. we are getting more of it, good and hard.

    is it past time now to
    "dis-incentivize" that behavior?

  5. government, consciously or not, has effectively outsourced socialism to the private sector

  6. Amazon, enforcing social policy: illegal for the state. ok for fictional entities that are cutouts for the deepstate.

    conform or have your products removed from the marketplace

    1. see past the facade.
      in facist states, govt drives industries. and govt is absolving individuals doing the social justice behind their mascarade.

      impose the correct vision unto them: make individuals accountable for their actions, especially within such social warrior cutout corps

    2. in facism, the govt outsources functions to industry

    3. Yep. And "encourages" industry to follow the agenda with sticks and carrots.