We stand for the absolute, unconditional, inalienable, universal, non-negotiable, radical entitlement to Freedom of Speech and Expression.
We adamantly oppose all censorship in public spaces, including the internet, and have crafted an Internet Bill of Rights to protect the free exchange of ideas online (see below).
All social progress, all healing, all cooperation, all peace, and all proper functioning of civilization requires the exchange of new ideas. And new ideas require freedom of speech.
Without this freedom, anyone with resistance to a new idea can simply silence the speaker who attempts to share it with them, and no evolution can occur. You need freedom of speech. You need it.
"What about ideas that are truly horrible? Like fascism?"
The worse an idea is, the greater the need to debate it. Debating an idea, out in the open, is the only way to disabuse its proponents of their belief in it, and show the public why it's wrong.
Fascism and Nazism are ridiculous. They can be defeated with logic. Easily. But by trying to silence them - without debating them - you're telegraphing that you're afraid of them. You're saying "I can't debunk the tenets of Nazism", which implies that those tenets might be valid.
Don't be afraid to debate extremist ideologies. They're the easiest to debunk.
Bad ideas are like mold. They thrive in the dark. Shunting a bad idea into the dark makes it grow. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
In this case, light is a metaphor for consciousness. When we apply our awareness to an idea, and scrutinize it rationally... if that idea is bad, it will wither in the light of consciousness.
If an idea is bad, it can be defeated with Reason.
If an idea can't be defeated with Reason, then it isn't bad.
Furthermore, the strategy of ostracism leads to the formation of bubble-think, which in itself is the primary driver of extremism.
Ostracism is when you force someone out of conversation, and out of your group. It's making them an "other". An outsider.
When you ostracize someone, they don't vanish. They don't cease to exist. Maybe they obey your order to "go crawl under a rock"... but once they're there, they find out that they're not alone. They find others, who, like them, have been ostracized. They commiserate, and they share ideas.
And since the underside of the rock is socially isolated (that's the whole point of telling them to go crawl under it), there is no "Voice of Reason" there to offer balance. They no longer get to hear from "normal" people, because "normal" people won't talk to them! That's the whole point! That's "success" according to the Left (in its contemporary, corrupted condition).
And thus, the only ideas available "under the rock" are those of their comrades in misery. And so their ideas go unchallenged. They never get to hear counterarguments for their beliefs. This is the formation of a Thought-Bubble.
Once in the bubble, the bad ideas bounce back and forth, and grow more extreme as time passes.
Ostracism leads directly to Thought-Bubbles.
How is someone supposed to see the logic in progressive ideas if progressives won't even talk to them to share those ideas?
The only thing ostracism does is reinforce the original suspicion that "liberals" and "progressives" are fundamentally different form them, and are out to get them.
The correct response to deplorable ideas is to edify - not ostracize.
Edification: "If someone holds wrong beliefs, teach them the reasoning behind the correct ones."
Freedom of Speech in Private
We also oppose censorship in private spaces. While it's true that the law does not require freedom of speech in private, and the U.S. First Amendment does not apply in private, it is also true that if you only support freedom of speech when you're legally compelled to support it, then you don't really support it.
A person who says "This is MY space, so I'm free to censor whoever I want in it," is not a supporter of free speech in any principled way; they are a censorship-trigger-happy authoritarian who only respects public speech because they're being forced to by law. We can easily imagine that, in a system without a First Amendment, in which the government CAN censor people, such a person would have no problem with government-imposed censorship in public spaces, and would in fact be one of the loudest voices calling for the government to censor anything and everything they don't like, both in private and in public.
In other words, a person who claims to respect freedom of speech in public, while simultaneously practicing censorship on a private forum (such as a Facebook group, or a news comments section that he or she has control over) is an enemy of Liberty, whose authoritarian urges are constrained only by the force of law - similar to a would-be rapist or murderer who only refrains from raping and murdering because of the threat of punishment by law enforcement, and openly admits that this is so. He or she has no morality in principle.
But the Earth Party stands firmly on the principle that freedom of speech is the bedrock of a healthy society.
So even though we do not believe in using the weight of the Law to force respect for free speech in private, as an individual's private space is his or hers to control, we nevertheless believe that anyone who supports censorship - even in private - is a hypocrite deserving of ridicule.
And in all forums operated by the Earth Party, there shall be no censorship. We don't care if you're Left or Right or Center, moderate or extreme, lovey or angry. No matter what your opinions are, you're welcome to share them without fear of banishment.
what is respectful? Who gets to define what kind of communication is respectful and what isn't?
everyone gets to define respect for themselves, and hold other party to honoring that definition,
but only under two conditions:
1. the definition allows any and all content to be talked about, provided its desired protocols are followed concerning how to communicate, in other words, respect can govern how something is said, but not what is said. it can restrict manner, but not content, and cannot be used as an excuse to indefinitely evade content.
2. it must explain what its protocols are, when asked
if someone refuses to explain what their respect protocols are, then the other party cannot be at fault for failing to follow them, and such failure cannot be rationally used as a justification for shutting down the conversation.
if respect is breached, the one claiming to be affronted must be willing to explain how the breach occurred, and tell what their respect protocls are, nd give the other a chance to demonstrate greater sensitivity by following the now-explained protcol, and not use the breach as an excuse to evade content.
But the group is their provate property! Would you let a tfoll in your house?
Dumb comparison. House physical.
A physical space, like a book club, is a different dynamic than a virtual one. In a physical space, there is limited space - and every thing one person says takes away time for others to say what they want to say.
In a virtual setting, it's completely different. There is not a finite amount of space and time for discussion. There are multiple threads, even. If someone doesn't want to talk about a topic that I post about, they can just ignore that thread and go chat in another thread. I'm not taking away anyone else's ability to discuss anything. Not an applicable analogy.
People who hate other groups always seem to interpet a DEFENSE of the hated group as an ATTACK on THEM. They're unable to parse the difference between saying "hey don't hate those people" vs. saying "hey, I hate YOU." This applies to all conflicts, not just feminists vs. incels.
places in which people don't want to hear an opinion are precisely the places where that opinion is needed most.
Tolerance doesn't mean you allow bigots to go unchallenged. When someone speaks bigoted ideas, you show up and counter them, and explain why they're wrong.
You can't do that if they can't even speak. If bigots can't speak, their ideas remain mysterious, edgy, and intriguing, and they take on the status of a persecuted underdog, which most people naturally have an urge to sympathize with.
By disallowing bigoted ideas from being spoken, you're sending a message that you think those ideas are powerful and effective - so effective that even the slightest contact with them will lead to ideological conversion.
But when people such as white nationalists are allowed to speak, and their ideas are exposed to the light of the Sun, they lose their air of mystery, and it becomes clear how asinine they are. And for anyone lacking the intellectual fortitude to see the flaws in such ideas (such as a child), that's where you come in. All it takes is a minute or two to demolish bigoted talking points. Really, it's not hard. But if you shy away from the debate, by censoring them, you're "admitting" that you have no arguments against them, and that's what gives them the most legitimacy in the public's eyes.
Even if you "get them" by deplatforming them, you only struck at the PERSON - you didn't strike at the ARGUMENT. And this is precisely WHY those arguments have gained traction in recent years: Because progressives and lefties, the people who SHOULD be striking back at those arguments, are NOT STRIKING BACK at the arguments, because they're busy striking at the PEOPLE who are MAKING the arguments, while leaving the arguments themselves untouched and un-challenged!!!
Intercepting the communication of a bad idea, and preventing it from reaching the ears of its intended audience, DOES NOT COUNTER THE BAD IDEA. And the audience who you think you "shielded" still finds out about the idea anyway, in one way or another, because in the age of the internet, you CAN'T STOP IDEAS. They'll find it. Ever heard of the Streisand Effect? And if they don't find it, it will gather an air of INTRIGUE, nudging at them until they DO find it. This is what you and the rest of the deplatforming (or "delegitimizing") brigade are doing!! You are CULTIVATING BIGOTRY. You are fanning the flames. You are putting out an electrical fire with a bucket of water. Can you please try to see this?
what about holocaust deniers?
The biggest driver of holocaust denial is the illegality of holocaust denial.
Holocaust denial is illegal in Germany, and a few other countries nearby.
Deniers will tell you - they admit it right on their pages - that the thing that originally turned them on to talking about the subject, is the fact that it's illegal to talk about the subject.
The illegality raises suspicion. When you censor someone, it tells the world that you have no logical arguments to counter the arguments of that person.
It might not be true - you might actually HAVE plenty of arguments against them, and your arguments might be RIGHT. But that's not what censorship SAYS. Censorship SAYS you DON'T have arguments - even if you do.
"I can't believe you want holocaust denial to be legal!"
And we can't believe YOU want holocaust denial to be BIGGER.
CENSORSHIP MAKES THE THING YOUR CENSORING BIGGER.
If you want to censor it, then that means you want to make it bigger.
What happens if fascist gain control of a country, and start peddling some idiotic stories, and they make it illegal for YOU to question THEIR stories?
What are you going to say? Will you appeal to the right to free speech? How in the world will you make the argument for free speech, when you just spent the previous decade censoring other people's speech? What leg will you have to stand on?
"Oh come on. That's a distant future scenario..."
No it's not. It's already happening.
Links about facebook censorship of progressive pages.
Here's an example:
"Invasion at southern border"
"Wut do u mean invasion? Wuts goin on?"
Which of the following two responses will push kuriouskid further to the right, into a fear and distrust of immigrants, and which will help him develop a cosmopolitan, progressive worldview?
No, it's not an invasion. That's stupid. It's a MIGRATION. Human populations do that, from time to time. They MIGRATE. It happens. Usually in response to ecological breakdown or war in their native land, which is happening in the places all of these people are migrating from. When environmental pressures increase too much, populations migrate. It's something that humans do. It's not new.
It's not an invasion, because for that, there would need to be an army. And the people migrating are not an army.
Are they soldiers? No.
Are they armed? No.
Are they arranged into any sort of regimented units? No.
Do they have a hierarchical command structure?
Do they have uniforms? No.
Is there one flag, nation, or identity that they all share in common? No.
Do they have any sort of enforced collective discipline as a group? No.
So how the fuck is this an army?
And if it's not an army, it's not an invasion. It's a MIGRATION.
By calling it an "invasion", you're using a cheap wordplay to twist it into something it's not, to elicit people's emotions, to score "points." It's dishonest. Stop it. Be honest when you speak.
censoring hate groups strengthens them:
1. It proves them right. If they're getting censored, then the hated group really IS in control.
2. It keeps them isolated to their own spaces, keeping them insulated from other ideas, cementing their echo chamber.
3. It sets them up as bastions of friendship and support for other people who have been similarly censored and ostracized.
They have no one else to talk to, and the hate group reaches out and befriends them, and welcomes them. Humans are social animals. We need others. If a hate group is the only group offering you friendship, you're going to start hanging out with them, and listening to them, and hearing their ideas. And since you're all censored and ostracized by the outside world, no other ideas will get in, and the hate group's ideas will have no competition in your mind.
Imagine that your entire group of friends - your whole social circle, everyone you hang out with... all of a sudden refuses to talk to you, and refuses to hang out with you and refuses to associate with you and refuses to have anything to do with you at all. It could be for any reason -the reason doesn't matter. what matters is they refuse to talk t oyou from here on out.
Andthey say it's because of something you believe. They don't like one of your beliefs and they think you're a horrible person and they won't talk to you. But the thing is, they're misunderstanding you. You don't actually believe what they are accusing you of believing. Your belief is different form what they think it is. If they knew what your real beliefs are, they would know that you're not a bad person, and they'd want to talk to you again.
So you try to explain to them what your actual beliefs are, to show that it's not as horrible as they thought, but you can't explain it to them because they're not talking to you! And now you're stuck in a cycle where they won't talk to you, and yo uan't defend yourself... and since youo're not able to mount a defense of your beliefs and character, they contineu to think you're horrible. And so they won't talk to you! And s othe cycle just repeats and it gets locked in like that. Well that's what it's like for a lot of Righties. Not all of them - some of them really are assholes - but for a lot of them, that's the experience.
And now let's take it a step further. Let's say that this social isolation continues for a prolonged period of time. And you start to become very lonel yand frustrated with it. And you meet some people who identify with the Right, they might even be far right perhaps, and they wanna talk to you. they'r enice, and they're friendly and they invite you to come hang out with them, and they actuall ytreat yo uwell. they listen to you, they don't interrupt you, they allow you to get everything off your chest, you feel very empathized with, a ver warm and welcomeing environment. You've found people how have had similar experiences with you, they empathize with you ,and now you feel a sense of communit yand comraderie.
But of course now theres a conflict inside of you, becuase these people are supposed to be bad. You're not supposed to like these people. Rmeember, you're a good Leftie. A good feminist, a good this and that... and these people ar the bad guys, and you'r enot supposed to associate with them so you face the hcoice of either continuing to hang out iwth them and risking the exponential increase of rejection from your former peers... evne if they occasinally talk to you once in a while, they won't talk to you at all you'll lost hwat little contact you still have if they find out you're hangin g out with people on the alt right. But then again, you're really hungering for companionship and comraderie and peole to talk to, and hte left won't talk to you. the right is the only side that will. so what dod you do, it's quite a dilemma. perhaps you can resist the temptation to hang out with the righties too much. You can resist it for a while, but as the weeks months and even years draw on without any socialo contact form the left ,and the right is the only eople who are wlecomeing you, sooner or later all tha tloonellinjes and isolation is gonna be too much to beer, nad the temptation of joining the righties is gonna be too muchand youre gonna start to give into it, and you'll start making friendw ith the right, hanging out with them, listening ot their videos and memes, having discussions with them where they share their views with you again and again and again, and you're gonna start to make sense of their views, and you could even beomce on eof htem. An dif - when that hapens, because no human being can resist the opportunity for ocmmunity when they're been isolatedf ror that long, when that happens, you're in a particularliy vulnerable position because ,remmbe rhtere are now no lefty voices providing nay sort of counterbalance to the righty voices. the lefties are not presenting their ideas to balance the righty ideas. and now all you're getting are the righty ideas. the irony is you'd be glad to hear the lefty ideas, but they wont even talk to you. they won't even share their ideas, so that option isn't even open to you anyway. So you get no lefty views, no lefty ideas in your personal life. you can read stuff on the internet... but if all you facebook friends are righties, you're gonna be getting all the rightwing stuffin your feed...
so with no lefty voices and only righty voices, you're now in what's known as an echo chamber ,or a thought bubble, where only the same kind of ideas bounce around and repeat themselves, and no outside dissenting views make it in. and this can drive people to become fully identified with the new group. and it's even more dangerou sbecause not only are we dealing with rightwing ideas ,but we're dealing iwht underlying emptional resentment as well. because all those years of being rejected by all your former friends on the left ,and being lonely because o fit, has created a lot of anger resentment in you. so now, not only are you identifying as a righty, but here's also an animus of resentment driving it. and you could actually become one of the more rabit anti-lefties. you could lcing to the most extreme rightwing views, somply drivin by your emotoinal pain of rejection from th eleft and your anger to wards them.
So do you see how dangeoru this deplatforming idea is? When you cut these people off and isolate them, it doesn' tmake them disappear. It makes them, however bad you thoght they were, i tmakes them wrose. it pushes them further and further to the right, to the extreme. This deplatforming has to stop.
Censoring and silencing and lal of that stuff, that entire strategy has to be thrown in the garbage. the strategy form now on is TALK. talk to everyone. talk for as long as others are willing ot listen. and listen to them as well. let htem explain their views to you. Because A their views might not have been what you thought htey were ,and not as horrible - and B - they migth actualybe right about something! you could be wrong about something@! and the way people figure out that theyre wrong about osmetihng, is by listening to others views that disagree iwth them. thats what you want righties to do for you so that you can explain leftwing ideas - so do the same for them. Be iwling to listen to their ideas. You listen to them, and then the fair thing for them to do is to listen to yours! But if you don't listen to theris, then the fair thing for them to do is to NO tlisten to yours.
talk to everyone, talk and listen. we have to open up the discussion, not close it. It's so crazy that anyone, especially on th eleft, the side that's supposed to be progressive and oenmind and forward thinking, thought that the way to fix the world was to shut down conversatoin. that's insane.
no, the way to fix the world is to open up conversatoin.
"FB is a privately held platform. When you sign up you agree to their terms. Their terms outline what you can and can’t post. They aren’t the government. You don’t have the right to free speech."
The telephone company is also a private company. Do you see them cancelling phone service to people with dissenting political opinions? Do you want them to?
Social media is the public square now. This is how humanity discusses its issues. We don't meet in the town square for meetings anymore - we meet here. This is it. If free speech doesn't exist here, it doesn't exist anywhere that matters.
If you only support free speech when you're legally required to support it (i.e. when the Constitution and laws explicitly protect it), and don't support it in settings where you're not required to, then I have to ask: Do you REALLY believe in it?