Freedom of Speech and CensorshipSubmitted by LibertyIsPriceless on Mon, 08/26/2013 - 01:46
The first amendment to the constitution exists within the framework setup by the constitution itself.
The framework it establishes is a republic which is governed by the rule of law.
A basic tenant of this rule of law is recognition of the natural right of each person to think freely, speak freely, worship or not worship as they choose, and to associate with whomever they wish.
The first amendment to the constitution restricts the federal government from interfering with these natural rights.
The constitutions of the states also contain similar provisions to protect free speech and association from restriction by state government.
In theory and on paper, the federal and state governments are restricted from infringing on our expression.
What of private property and private concerns? May I censor what comes onto my own property? May I ask I guest on my property to leave if something they say offends me? Must I allow random groups of people following various religions to all pray on my property that I privately own?
Most here, I imagine, would answer that while the government is restricted from passing laws that dampen our natural right to speech, worship, expression, and association... that this does not apply to private parties and private property.
Speech, worship, expression, and association are not to be restricted in the public space, but are restricted in the private space. Do I have that right?
Okay... now finally to the main point of this post. What about speech, expression, worship, and association which itself is directly and openly opposed to the system which protects it and even the republic itself?
What if there was a cult that openly claimed it was opposed to republican government and wanted to bring about a theocracy that most certainly would not respect any dissenters rights to speech, worship, association, or expression? It would force conversion of every citizen to the cult belief and create a state church that collected taxes and had the power to detain and torture people for perceived 'morality violations'?
What if there was a political party that openly claimed it was opposed to republican government and wanted to bring about a totalitarian state ruled by an authoritarian dictator. This dictator would ban all dissenting speech, expression, association and worship. It would ban religion altogether.
The core question here is this: Do the protections afforded by the 1st amendment extend to speech which is openly hostile towards those very protections?
Does electoral politics as a replacement for war and conquest fall apart when one side wishes to participate in peaceful transfers of power within a legal framework, while the other side wishes to destroy the entire legal framework and hold power by force of arms?
I can not personally accept engaging in electoral politics with people who would undermine my very position as an elector. It makes no sense.
Anyone who advocates for the overthrow of the protections of the Bill of Rights by using those protections is exploiting the system and should be censored. I do not believe the intent of the first amendment or even any libertarian view of free speech could possibly justify allowing for people to openly overthrow the system itself. They are basically attempting to incite civil war and are traitors.
Must we continue to repeat the cycle of totalitarians using the democratic apparatus to destroy itself and yield to tyranny?
Shouldn't those who don't voluntarily accept the rules of the game not be welcome at the game table?
Please comment and explain why you believe I am badly mistaken if you disagree.