When did speaking your mind become dangerous?
When did speaking your mind become dangerous?
By David Rayden
In politics I became aware of a background noise that was getting louder and beginning to trouble me, becoming a deafening roar that was the spectacle of the USA election: My blog article here gives an overview of my thoughts on why the Democrats lost. TL;DR – The left were moving down an Orwellian path that many people recognised and voted against, rather than voting for Trump.
Twitter has given us “Newspeak” with its 140-character limit reducing the words we can use and removing nuance, and newspaper headlines and ledes are not much better. “Doublethink” (cognitive dissonance) already exists in seriously high profile left-wing pundits and political leaders acting like fascists whilst screaming against fascism, and the “Thought police” are already forcing Nobel Prize winners and public figures out of their jobs, forcing humiliating public apologies, and even legislation to criminalise how we speak.
If Trump cured cancer at the moment, he would be attacked for putting charities and doctors out of work. Just reading this will make some believe I’m a Trump advocate when I’m certainly not. I’m a liberal democrat who believes in free-at-source healthcare, STEM and philosophy/rational/critical thinking based education, and welfare for those truly in need. I’m also an egalitarian who believes in equality of opportunity for all.
I won over a few “Trump supporters” on social media who were promoting fake news and memes in poor taste, and a couple became friends. From “Libtard” to “Gentleman”! My argument is not for Trump at all, but against extremists and appeals to emotions for political ends – from whomever.
Trump is vilified in the press and this article by Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) gives an overview as to why, similar views passionately given by “Big Joe” during the woman’s March. (People will want to shoot the messenger, and not the message; the person and not the argument.)
“If Trump cured cancer at the moment, he would be attacked for putting charities and doctors out of work. Just reading this will make some believe I’m a Trump advocate when I’m certainly not.”
The current mass hysteria has induced people to abandon critical thinking to follow the mob and call for his overthrow, banning from state visits, and even violent insurrection and assassination! How have we got here! Shireen Qudosi is a Muslim in California and a senior contributor at CounterJihad.com. On the “Muslim Ban”, she and other Muslims don’t agree it’s a Muslim ban, and ask that we dig deeper into what this is all about, and the history. If Muslims are saying wait and see, why the hysteria from others?
“Unfortunately it was the ideology that cost hundreds of millions of lives.”
The answer is not “fake news” and “fake MSM”. It’s an equality driven Utopian left-wing soviet-induced (Yuri Besmenov et al.) ideology that has infiltrated media, entertainment, and academia, and indoctrinated people with a particular belief that has always attracted equality driven ideologues. Unfortunately it was the ideology that cost hundreds of millions of lives and that George Orwell (a socialist) warned us about in 1984 and Animal Farm, as well as his other essays and books. These people are genuinely lost in their belief and feelings of equality and the pain of the oppressed that they are unable to realise the irony of their current thoughts and actions, as predicted by Besmenov and others.
“The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.” ― John Kenneth Galbraith
Do we really want to live in a world where we are afraid of questioning, challenging ideas, or asking for evidence? Fear of being misunderstood and labelled as an ‘ist” or guilty of an ‘ism’? I don’t, so I will continue to question and be ambiguous in my politics. I don’t exist in an echo chamber. “The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.” ― John Kenneth Galbraith
Here’s a quote from Orwell on suppression of ideas:
“If I had to choose a text to justify myself, I should choose the line from Milton:
- By the known rules of ancient liberty.
The word ancient emphasises the fact that intellectual freedom is a deep-rooted tradition without which our characteristic western culture could only doubtfully exist. From that tradition many of our intellectuals are visibly turning away. They have accepted the principle that a book should be published or suppressed, praised or damned, not on its merits but according to political expediency. And others who do not actually hold this view assent to it from sheer cowardice.”
Original preface to Animal Farm; as published in George Orwell: Some Materials for a Bibliography (1953) by Ian R. Willison
The problem is that discussing politics in a bipartisan way has become a extremely emotive issue for people, as this Reuters article reveals. There is a very real fear of speaking one’s mind for fear of repercussions. We should refuse to give in to that fear. If we do, we are self censoring, and a voice of moderation and critical analysis is lost, something we can’t afford if we are to succeed as a species.
In a truly free and diverse society there will be naturally diverse cultures, practices, and opinions, and speaking your mind should never be dangerous for your social life, career, or relationship.
Regards, and thanks for reading all the way!
Here’s Bill Maher, a liberal, who is able to give it to either side, commenting on the intolerance of the illiberal left and forcing everyone to apologise. Warning: strong language.