This is firstly a blog about the Arsenal and Arsenal fans. However, recent events on another Arsenal blog have brought to the surface the issue of free speech and how we deal with it. Is Censorship the answer? Is banning someone the solution?
Some will view the issue as a slippery slope, because the issue of free speech impacts on all of us, directly and so definately. How can we have a broad, discursive, and expansive literature on life in general without free speech which may offend others? Conversely, how can we quell our own innate desire to stop the speech of anyone who goes against our own beliefs?
But isn’t that the sine qua non of the debate? Chomsky, probably Americas’ last remaining true progressive put it very succinctly, he said this:
“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for those we despise, we don’t believe in it at all”.
Free speech is complicated, if you want to silence some KKK member in the USA for his beliefs, then you also have to silence someone like Salman Rushdie, and personally I don’t want to do that.
Free speech is a privelage that is restricted in the world to just a few, many countries Imprison or assassinate people who express their rights for a different sexuality, for a different religion and for their beliefs that are different.
I want to hold on to that privelage…. it’s extremely important to me and to many others who are discriminated against and abused. However, to do so also means that we have to be more lenient on those who have opposing views.
Voltaire said, “Think for yourselves, and let others enjoy the privelage to do so too”.
That’s my rant done, now if any of you talk about something that offends me you’ll be banned. HA HA HA.