Mr. O’Reilly said the guidelines were not about censorship. ”œThat is one of the mistakes a lot of people make ”” believing that uncensored speech is the most free, when in fact, managed civil dialogue is actually the freer speech,” he said. ”œFree speech is enhanced by civility.”
I’m an absolutist when it comes to free speech. It should be free, without any encumbrances. And this idea of “managed civil dialogue?” Well, it’s just an updated, neato, Orwellian concoction in the tradition of ‘weakness is strength,’ ‘war is peace’ and ‘freedom is slavery.’
This place, The Agonist, is proof that you don’t need to sign up for some ‘code of civility.’ People who need ‘codes of civility’ just don’t have any boundaries and are easily deluded into thinking that managed speech is free speech. The problem with people like this is that they are insecure in their own intellectual development, their own emotional development as to need to be protected from bad ideas. Here at The Agonist we have contributors that I frequently disagree with but those are often the people I like the most. Why? Because they challenge, test and expand the limits of our thoughts and experience here. More importantly, they are essential to the functioning of a free marketplace of ideas, not a managed marketplace–a place like Red State or Michelle Malkin’s site where rigid conformity is expected. Even conservatives are welcome here, so long as they are good faith actors. And that’s the key, I think to much of this: so many people these days are no longer good faith actors. They don’t come at intellectual issues with an open mind, but only with a pre-ordained agenda and that is a whole ‘nuther topic.
Nota bene: While the New York Times article is garbage, this would be a great first start.
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