The Left has been pushing to “deplatform” prominent voices on the Right for some time now, and has finally achieved victory (in their eyes) with the removal of Alex Jones from basically every major social media platform except Twitter, and soon after the removal of Gavin McInnes and his Proud Boys from Twitter. This has predictably led to the same banal argument that always comes up in this context, over whether or not a “right to free speech” applies only to forbidding the government from restricting speech, or if it covers “private companies” like Facebook and Google enforcing speech rules on their own platforms.
The debate follows the same pattern that political debates have tended to follow for the past several decades. The Left throws out a bait-and-switch distraction that is completely irrelevant to their actual beliefs and goals, and most conservatives and libertarians, who are weak, timid and fearful toward the Left, and primarily interested in appeasing them rather than standing up for their own beliefs, take the bait and run around in circles with self-congratulatory expositions that quickly devolve into infighting. Conservatives and libertarians start arguing with each other over what exactly the First Amendment means and how or whether it applies to the current issues, while the Left waltzes smiling to the bank with their true agenda, which rest assured, whenever a conservative or libertarian dare to point it out, will result in other conservatives and libertarians attacking him as a “conspiracy theorist” and assisting the Left in ridiculing and silencing him.
The issue of free speech is about the concept. It is about whether you believe that open discourse, argumentation, exchanges of words, and so on, is the way we should be approaching and resolving disputes, especially political disputes. If you don’t, then the only other option is violence. This is about the fact that the Left generally now sees it as a social good that certain voices get silenced and “deplatformed”, held together by an underlying belief that open “unrestricted” speech is dangerous to society. That is what this is about: the fact that large parts of this country actually think it’s good for society that some people are not able to speak on large platforms that can reach everyone.
What the hell does free speech have to do the First Amendment? For one, the First Amendment is about a lot more than just “free speech”, including the right to free assembly, a free press, and separation of church and state. Similarly, “free speech” is about a lot more than the First Amendment. To make this otherwise obvious point as obvious as it always should have been, let’s ask the basic question: why?
Why do we have an amendment protecting “free speech”? What’s so bad about the government restricting speech? The Right is stupid to respond to, “Facebook and Google are private companies, the First Amendment doesn’t cover that” with legalese debates over whether there are or should be laws against what we’re calling “private censorship”. The response they should be giving is, “why”? The Left is arguing that it is good for society that Alex Jones was taken off of social media. The argument has always been that his speech is destructive to a democratic society at best, and an urgent critical threat to our country at worst. If this is true, then why the hell shouldn’t the government restrict his speech? If, as the Left is openly claiming now, allowing free political speech for certain groups (which groups, exactly, are decided by the Left itself) is a clear and present danger to society, then is it not recklessly irresponsible for the government to allow it? After all, taking Alex Jones off of social media didn’t work. He’s more popular than ever. The end goal here is to silence Alex Jones because his voice is supposedly a social ill. If this is true, then it is a dereliction of duty for the government to stand idly by and let it continue.
The Right needs to stop letting the Left suddenly decide to become principled libertarians when it is convenient or expedient for them. If they respond to the above with, “it’s an overreach of government to take away his speech, people have rights on their own private platforms”, the only response to this must be, “you don’t believe in individual rights!”. The entire philosophy of Leftist politics is built on the rejection of private individual rights, and they do not hesitate for a moment to apply this when it helps them. In America today, no one has a right to discriminate freely with his own business, and this is because of the Left pushing “anti-discrimination” laws. The Left of course will draw arbitrary lines and say that only the discrimination they don’t like is discrimination, but the discrimination they do like isn’t, which is all internally consistent because the Left redefined the word “discrimination” to fit accordingly. Point out the word game, then quickly return to the original point: they are not allowed to appeal to “overreach of government” arguments because these are the people who think government should be involved in everything. If they claim they don’t think it would ultimately be a social good for the government to forcefully shut down Alex Jones’ whole self-made platform, they are liars. This is not compatible with a belief that Facebook and Google shutting him down is a social good.
The worst thing the Right could do, and they do this all the time, is to start arguing that the First Amendment needs to apply to “private” censorship too. Congratulations, you just played right into their hands. This has nothing to do with the First Amendment, which is nothing but a thorn in the side of the Left’s ultimate goal of controlling political speech. Bringing up amendments is a distraction the Left does because they know it works and will successfully distract you. They’re just happy they at least think they can effectively do this legally (i.e. without violating the First Amendment), and if you try to outlaw that, they’ll find other ways to do it. Come on, conservatives. Do you believe government is shitty at everything it does or not? I don’t want the government trying to protect political speech on Facebook. Not because I don’t think all political speech should be protected on Facebook (I do), but because I think the government will screw that up just like they screw everything else up. What do you want, a government agency that decides when Facebook has restricted someone’s political speech? What do you think will happen when that falls into the hands of a Leftist regime? Do we need to raise taxes to pay for this agency?
We should also be clear that the silencing of Alex Jones to prevent him from “corrupting” more people with his nefarious ideas is the obvious goal here. The reason why it would be ridiculous to try to politically enforce “rights to speak” on private platforms is because private platforms have limited space and resources with which to host speakers. It would be ridiculous to, for example, make a TV station air every show that anyone wanted to make. That’s not even possible, because there are only so many hours in the day. This is not the issue here. The Left is not defending Google and Facebook because they think it is “their right” to decide who gets to be on their platforms. They support the decision by these companies to remove Alex Jones. They have been demanding that they do it for some time now. Furthermore, Google and Facebook are not removing Alex Jones because they have limited space and would rather not grant some of it to him. They removed him as part of their campaign to protect the public from “bad” ideas, or what they call “hate speech”; the exact same impetus that drives the Left’s belief that free speech is actually extremely dangerous to society. So dangerous, in fact, that (as they believe) it is the primary cause of the rise of political extremism throughout history.
Even if they eschew basic internal consistency of their beliefs and say that it is somehow wrong or dangerous for the government to step in and much more effectively do what they’ve been demanding Google and Facebook do, it is honestly irrelevant to the issue. The point remains: the Left believes that a world where any person, no matter what political beliefs he has, is able to reach a large audience and speak in a place where everyone can hear him, is a bad world. That is the problem.
And it’s a severe problem. How did we get to this point, where one of the major political groups in the country is convinced that political discourse is bad? And don’t get me some bullshit about how, “oh we like political discourse, just not extremist discourse”, which is like saying, “I like lifting weights, just not ones that weigh anything”. People you strongly disagree with are “extremists” in your world view. Obviously the Left is okay with controlled debates where the beliefs discussed are filtered by them ahead of time, to ensure that the discussion ends with a vindication of their own ideas. Who doesn’t like a circle jerk!? Well, people who aren’t into public masturbation, but we’ll get to that in a moment. This is quite a spectacle for anyone who understands what is going on. We’re at a point where we actually have to remind ourselves, and argue to others, why free speech, and I don’t mean the fucking amendment, I mean the concept that led to the amendment, is so important to a free society. The idea that unrestricted political speech is “dangerous” to a free society that votes for its leaders is exactly backasswards, and in an unsurprising irony, is itself extremely dangerous to a free society.
And yes, I’m talking about all political speech. This includes neo-Nazis and white nationalists. It includes Antifa and communists. Forget about what private companies are “allowed” to do. What they should do is encourage and, as much as they can, facilitate open political debate and give platforms to as many people as they can. I understand if they have limited space and resources and have to deny some people, and if they do, they can make judicious decisions on who will get the limited spaces. That’s fine. But conceptually, we all should be doing everything we can to ensure that the political process in this country remains a process of speaking.
The “fire in a crowded theater” argument is another deflection. There is a clear and obvious line between even saying, “we should round up everyone in some group and put them in camps” as a political argument, vs. saying, “okay, at 5pm tomorrow, we are going to start with the people who live at these residences, break into their homes, and take them to the camps”. The latter is a call to action; illegal action, and is thus illegal. The former, no matter how distasteful or ridiculous, is not. That’s why Antifa is allowed to march with a sign saying all of their political opponents should be shot. It is the presentation of a concept, and it is absolutely critical that we create and maintain a culture that protects these conceptual discussions. As always, this is about culture, and the Right is so laughably oblivious to this it makes me furious (fortunately the Trump era is seeing an end to this, and the New Right is turning things around). It’s not about legalese bullshit or egg-headed diatribes about economics and ethics. It’s about culture. It’s about what is considered “cool” and what is considered “lame”. Trying to silence people during philosophical discussions, even about totally repugnant concepts like slavery or genocide, needs to be seen as lame; the actions of losers who can’t handle adult conversations, can’t defend their own ideas (and are so bad at arguing they can’t even win arguments with fucking neo-Nazis or neo-Soviets), and act like crybabies instead.
There are two ways to resolve conflicts. And to be clear, this is a law of physical reality, and is not dependent on (or changeable by) any kind of social structure or organization. Those two ways are argumentation and violence. Period. If you have a conflict with someone, resolving it will occur either by exchanging words with that person until an agreement is reached, or it will occur by wielding physical force. The fact is neo-Nazis and white nationalists types are essentially nonexistent in America today (their latest attempt to organize a rally couldn’t even draw 20 participants), so in such a world where everyone has a platform, they wouldn’t have a large one and will likely just be ignored by everyone else (unless, and of course they should be free to do this, the leftist media shines a huge spotlight on a nonexistent threat to justify their own authoritarian aspirations). The extremists, according to my worldview and definition of moderateness vs. extremism, that unfortunately do have a large platform are Antifa and radical communists.
They should have a platform.
Did you hear that? I, a hardcore capitalist libertarian right-winger, insist that crazed Antifa communists who fly hammer and sickle flags and want all private property abolished must be able to speak, and to speak in a place where everyone can hear them. This must blow the minds of the Left. How could I want to give my enemies, and yes I see them as enemies (immediate and substantial threats to my existence and well-being) rather than just people I disagree with, the opportunity to spread their ridiculous and dangerous, and yes I do believe it is very dangerous, nonsense to unsuspecting young people and turn them into more rabid zombies!?
Because that’s how we will crush them: in the arena of ideas. No, this isn’t some kind of “moral high ground” cuckery. This isn’t me “not sinking to their level” and insisting that the Right “do the right thing”. The Left wants to silence us because our speech is their worst nightmare!! Ideas are bulletproof. That goes for both good ideas and bad ideas. You can’t kill an idea with an army. If an idea can be killed at all, it is with better ideas. The cynicism of the Right that “people are irrational” and you can’t get through to them with arguments is just an excuse for their weakness and laziness; their refusal to really fight the Animating Content for Liberty. Arguments are exactly what truly wins people over. You might be able to intimidate people into helping you, but those are weak allies. As soon as someone else intimidates them, they switch sides. The Left is using intimidation to get conservatives to go after each other (because it works, because conservatives are, by and large, pussies with no resolve to fight for their beliefs), but they use ideas to build up their own numbers.
And that brings us to the burning question: why does the Left hate free speech so much? Why are they so insistent that Alex Jones be deplatformed? What are they so scared of? Well, let’s state the obvious: they’re losing. For the first time in decades, their grip on American society is loosening. Their loss of government positions to Republicans that aren’t one of their well-behaved RINO pets like Bush or McCain is only one small facet of this. Yes, they are definitely worried about that, but that isn’t what keeps them up at night. What really makes them shit their pants is that every time a news article with their ridiculous bullshit propaganda gets published, the comment section is dominated by the other side. YouTube “likes” and comments are being dominated by the other side. Even in their sacred bastion of Facebook where they manipulate the posts to put Leftist comments at the top, the shifting cultural tide is starting to peak through. They aren’t cool anymore. The Daily Show and late night comedy shows are unfunny, un-entertaining and lame. The Left, recently personified by Hillary Clinton, is the Establishment. They hate comedy and call every little joke racist or sexist or whatever. They hate dressing up for Halloween and scream “cultural appropriation”. They hate classic movies and even older classic TV shows and comb through them looking for things that would be “unacceptable” by today’s standards, which only illustrates how stiff and lame today’s standards are. When they do try to be funny, it’s absolutely cringeworthy.
The New Right is the new punk rock. It’s cool, it’s anti-establishment, and most importantly, it’s fun. This is understood by no one better than Gavin McInnes, who has dealt especially critical damage to the Left by creating a men’s club, the Proud Boys, which has led to meme-worthy clips of real men bashing soy boy Leftist protestors in completely justified acts of self-defense, which is the epitome of cool. The Left thought they could start denigrating masculinity. We’re coming out from under the spell now, and realizing that it isn’t cool to be a scronny pale dork with hipster glasses and green hair whose shit-talking about traditionally masculine guys is dripping with self-loathing and envy. In the last year, we’re starting to realize these soy boy pansies are sexual harassers because they can’t get laid, because heterosexual women never thought these guys were attractive (the era of “it’s cool to be a dork” really accelerated the creation of a generation of sexual deviants, because these dorky guys thought they’d finally get laid, and then found out being seen as “cool” just meant girls thought they were funny and entertaining, but still wanted to get fucked by the manly men). This is why Gavin McInnes and the Proud Boys were purged.
Why was Alex Jones purged? Because he is exactly what a well-behaved conservative “pet” of the Left is not. He’s “crazy”. He does all the things conservatives aren’t “supposed” to do (which other pussy cuckservatives won’t hesitate to throw him under the bus for doing). He screams. He talks about “conspiracies”. He talks about the true long-term agenda of the Left to abolish all private property, abolish all individual rights (especially gun rights), cram people into tiny cubes in megacities, and put anyone who questions their communist utopian vision into “reeducation camps”. Yes, it’s insane, and very doubtful they’ll ever come close to achieving any of these goals. That doesn’t change the fact it is their goals. Alex Jones has absolutely led the unmasking of the Left and exposing their true motives. He was calling them communists twenty years ago, long before they started marching in the streets with masks and red flags.
But perhaps even more important than that, he’s passionate and fun. His show is entertaining. It’s fun, and often funny (even for a fan of his) to hear him rant and scream. His way of presenting information is exciting and dynamic, in stark contrast to the boring, formulaic teleprompter reading that his competitors over at CNN do. And it is clear he is out of their control. Nothing he does is about appeasing the Left. He responds to the Left calling him crazy by acting even more crazy. When he went on Piers Morgan, the Left thought they successfully “fooled” him into acting like a lunatic on national television, so they aired that interview over and over again. When the dust settled, his radio show and YouTube channels grew substantially, and Morgan’s show collapsed and eventually got cancelled. Can you image how much that scares them? He broke their formula. Their formula is to get the Right to grovel to them, spending most of their time and effort seeking praise from the Left, primarily in the form of being attack dogs against “extreme” right wingers. Jones instead took all of their instructions, recognizing that you don’t take advice from the people you’re at war with, and did the exact opposite.
Okay, so the Left is losing. Why? Because they can’t argue.
Anyone who watched the 2016 election or participated in political debates any time in the last ten years knows this. I’ve been witnessing this behavior from the Left since I was in college in 2010. While they were spending their time in circle jerks with each other congratulating themselves, I spent four years reading books about politics and economics. As I began to emerge from my study chambers as a junior in college, I quickly found that the Left (not the Right, even though at the time I was an edgy libertarian anarchist who criticized the Right just as much as the Left) was extremely unappreciative of my newfound scholarship. In one example, I began engaging someone on Facebook after he posted that people who “deny climate change” (read: dispute Algorean climate alarmism) should be arrested. Take note of that: this was in 2010. The Left seeking to curtail speech is nothing new. I don’t say this to brag, but just to be accurate: I ran trains around him as we got into the “meat” of socialism vs. capitalism, because that’s what I spent the last several years immersing my mind in. He eventually started pleading to me in lengthy private messages to stop, appealing to how he “talked to all his friends and they all agree” I was crazy and out of line. After a couple of months of this, he blocked me. In other situations, this happened in person. Leftists would yell at me, demand that we stop having the conversation, curse me under their breath (but loud enough for me to hear), and so on. In one particularly egregious example, I was having a conversation with one other person, but it was in earshot of a few others. Two of them joined the conversation first to try to “school” me, and when that didn’t happen, they demanded the conversation (which didn’t involve them at first) end.
The Left doesn’t know how to argue. Why? Because for a while now, they’ve never had to. They are being indoctrinated by the school system, so they believe they “win” arguments by appealing to authorities. All the “X% of experts say” stuff comes from the Left. They thought that was sufficient. In schools and universities, they always grossly outnumbered conservatives and libertarians. In the above scenario, it was me vs. four people at once. Another time in college, it was me vs. an entire room (8-10 people). Whenever one person made some banal pseudo-argument like, “we were all taught in school” or “the experts say”, the rest would pat them on the back and they would consider the point settled. If I persisted and asked them to justify their point, they would laugh or get annoyed. I was just a gadfly that didn’t need to be taken seriously.
I have no reason to believe, and many reasons to not believe, that my experience was unusual. My Leftist friends never met any substantial intellectual resistance, so like a muscle never being trained, their minds atrophied. In fact, more than one of my friends told me in confidence that being around me for four years caused a crisis of doubt in his belief system. All it took was a single person, me, bugging them with arguments, to do this. Evidently, I was an unusual person in their lives, so imagine what it would have been like had I not been there. They, and this likely applies to Leftists in general, especially in “academic” environments like universities, were never really challenged, and when they were, it was by a single person who was widely seen as kooky and could be easily dismissed and ridiculed.
But for me, I was the person who was ridiculed. It wasn’t an option for me to be intellectually lazy. Every little tiny piece of my beliefs was scrutinized, picked apart, laughed at, called crazy and dangerous, and so on. And every time that happened, I grew stronger. Where their mind muscles met no resistance, mine met nothing but resistance on a daily basis. They thought they were kicking me down and extinguishing what was little more than a nuisance, not realizing what they really did was act as my personal trainer, forcing me to belt out that one last rep, even though I was about to puke. I could not have asked for a better intellectual training program than to be a young, fledgling Austro-libertarian surrounded by a bunch of socialist Democrats.
Today, I and people like me finally need to be taken seriously. Suddenly the Left has realized we aren’t just a nuisance that can be laughed at and then ignored. It turns out people were listening. The people on the fence heard people like me make our arguments, and then watched the Left give silly and lazy reactions to them (“that’s not what the experts say!”), and that won them over. Then, we realized that we’re in a culture war, and just like the Left never had to try to be cool, we always had to try. When I was in college, libertarianism wasn’t just seen as wrong. It was lame. It was cool to be a Lefty proto-SJW, and it was especially cool to be a learned Marxist who proudly proclaimed to be communist, which had a bit of anti-establishment “going against the grain” element to it, as well as an intellectual “nerdy” angle which was “cool” at universities. Once people like me realized this, and how important it is, we searched for a kink in the Leftist cultural armor, and found a gaping one: their hatred of humor and fun. We combined the twin cannons of scholarship and coolness into a lethal weapon: destroying their ridiculous arguments as baseless pseudo-philosophical claptrap with no basis, then following this by trolling them with the kind of edgy humor they want outlawed and meme-ifying the ensuing “u mad, bro?”
Today, the fence-sitters are watching the Left literally give up on talking to us and start demanding we be silenced. This is what the process of victory looks like. The Left either does not get this or they are so desperate and scared they are willing to take the risks. By focusing their effort on the “deplatforming” strategy, they are putting the nail in the coffin of their own movement. I can think of no quicker way to bring all the fence-sitters over to our side. This is why every conservative and libertarian who thinks Alex Jones is “crazy” and what he talks about isn’t true, at the very least, need to learn some God damned respect. His battle strategy is absolutely brilliant. He has done what none of the rest of us could accomplish: getting the Left to unmask themselves as enemies of discourse.
The main groups keeping this abhorrent, virulent strain of socialist Leftism going are public school teachers, college professors and corporate media pundits. In other words, one big giant circle jerk after another.
It is a movement held together by what is ultimately intimidation. Children are intimidated into compliance with their school teachers. University students are intimidated by the massive money and time investment riding on their appeasement of professors into compliance with those professors. The mainstream media, successful or not, functions as intimidation by authority (the fact they call themselves “mainstream” exemplifies that it is resting on intimidation). At no point do any of these groups join the other sides in the area of intellectual debate. Regardless of how exactly it got to this point, it is clear we are at a point now where the Left simply doesn’t know how to argue. Ask them a basic question that supposedly underlies their whole ideology, like “why is racism bad?” and watch them flail and descend into personal attacks. Any right-leaning person who has attempted to engage in debate has witnessed the pathetic attempt by nobodies to wield these same intimidation tactics, basically hysterical shrieking and emotional outbursts, which we all now call “Trump Derangement Syndrome”.
We are on the right path and we just need to keep going. Worrying about getting kicked off of social media isn’t the answer. The whole world is watching what is happening to conservative and libertarian voices. They are watching the the Left become the modern-day book burners. Guys, ideas win. Ideas determine the course of history. Even in situations where history is determined by who holds the guns, it is ideas that determine who picks up a gun, and which way he points it. This is a pure statement of war strategy, and this is why Alex Jones named his web site “Info Wars”. This is an intellectual war, and resorting to book burning is an act of surrender. It is the Left, not us, who believes that censoring works. We have won the major battle of ideas, and now we just need to keep marching forward, and wage the battle against the idea of censorship. We do not need to worry about being “deplatformed”, unless the Left starts coming after us legally (in violation of the First Amendment) to silence us and take us off the internet entirely.
Facebook and Google were already embroiled in controversies over spying on people, illegally sharing or selling their information, protecting or giving platforms to ISIS and pedophiles, and on and on. Having them lead the charge of silencing us is the best optics we could possibly hope for.
So, long story short, the Right must do this: keep arguing, keep spreading ideas, and point your intellectual spears at the Left’s book burning tactics to emphasize how thoroughly their ideology has failed. It’s not even that important to make other social media platforms (do we really need to be spending so much time on the internet anyways?). Spread ideas in real life. Don’t be a pussy. Defend Alex Jones and talk about InfoWars stories with your social groups. Defend Gavin McInnes and the Proud Boys. Hopefully, one of the people in those groups is a book burning Leftist and will use hysterical theatrics to try to shut you up, in front of all the other people in your social group. Boom. You just redpilled that whole group. They’ll skip Facebook and go directly to these sites. If we all do that, the only result of these social media bans is that we will kill social media and get young people out of their smartphone spells, and that would be an even greater victory for humankind.
We’ve won the next battle when the term “book burning Left” has become a meme. Hopefully we can get Trump to tweet it.