“A truth doesn’t mind being questioned. A lie doesn’t like being challenged.”
That above quote can be applied to many things, but particularly to how governments treat speech.
In truly free and democratic countries, governments seek to defend freedom of speech, because they know that free speech makes societies more creative, more innovative, and makes it easier for citizens to hold the government to account.
And truly great leaders want to be accountable, and want to empower the people, rather than simply having power over them.
By contrast, authoritarian states – whether Communist or Fascist – seek to destroy freedom of speech.
They build their power on lies and deception, and thus fear the public, because the public would turn against them if they knew the truth.
As a result, Communist & Fascist states suppress speech, using the power of government to narrow the bounds of ‘allowed speech,’ using legislation to make more and more speech ‘criminal,’ and attempting to create a climate of fear that keeps people from speaking their minds.
Basically, the more a government has to hide, and the more contempt they have for the public, the more they seek to suppress freedom of speech.
In the Soviet Union, they called their main propaganda newspaper ‘Pravda’ which meant ‘Truth.’
There was a joke told by Soviet Citizens about Pravda, and the other state newspaper Izvestya:
“In Pravda (Truth) there is no news (Izvestya)
In Izvestya (News) there is no truth (Pravda)”
People in the Soviet Union knew they were being lied to, and the government knew that the people knew they were lying to them.
But it didn’t matter, because one of the first things the Bolsheviks did upon seizing power was to eliminate all potential media opposition, and established a propaganda monopoly.
Of course, the fascists in Germany did the same thing, as did the fascists in Italy at the time.
The first big move of authoritarian states after seizing power is to create a unified and unchallenged propaganda machine, and that means either the outright physical destruction of any opposition media, or laws that heavily restrict potential opposition.
And this approach remains a staple of Communist regimes to this day, as we see in places like Cuba, and particularly in China, where the Communists have established a propaganda and surveillance machine that is ripped from the pages of George Orwell’s 1984 dystopia.
‘Lawful, but harmful’
And this brings us to a recent report by Blacklock’s, on how the Liberals plan to try and control Tweets that are ‘lawful,’ but harmful’:
“Twitter posts are undermining Canada’s democracy, says Department @CdnHeritage. Briefing note says regulation of lawful but hurtful comments is needed for “a truly democratic debate”. https://blacklocks.ca/tweets-undermine-canada/@s_guilbeault @imondouisabelle #cdnpoli”
Twitter posts are undermining Canada’s democracy, says Department @CdnHeritage. Briefing note says regulation of lawful but hurtful comments is needed for “a truly democratic debate”. https://t.co/0ogrdhpkrq @s_guilbeault @imondouisabelle #cdnpoli pic.twitter.com/58IdOmJTpT
— Holly Doan (@hollyanndoan) July 16, 2021
The story notes, “Lawful but offensive Twitter posts are undermining Canada’s democracy, Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s department says in a briefing note. Regulation of hurtful comments is needed for “a truly democratic debate,” it said.”
While it may sound innocuous, “lawful but offensive” & “lawful but hurtful” is a very disturbing distinction for the government to be making.
The entire point of having law is that it represents a clear demarcation line.
In instances of direct threats to someone’s life, or advocating for violence/terrorism,’ that kind of speech is against the law, and the government takes action.
In all other instances where laws are not being broken, that kind of speech is not at all in the realm of what government should be concerned with.
In a free society, government has zero interest in any speech that is lawful.
Lawful speech is up to individuals to support or oppose in however way they choose, and government is supposed to stay completely out of it.
So, when we see a government that plans to regulate “lawful but hurtful” speech, you can be certain that they are attacking the idea of free expression itself.
A threat against someone’s life, or advocating for violence and terrorism are objective things.
You can clearly read words that make it obvious someone is planning to do you or someone else actual physical harm.
The law is already well-equipped to deal with such threats, and such threats are already illegal.
By contrast, the idea of ‘hurtful’ or ‘offensive’ is deeply subjective.
Something may seem hurtful to you, while being hilarious to me, and vice-versa.
The entire idea of free speech and free expression is that individual Canadians are supposed to decide what we like and what we don’t like. We can consume more content we like, and less we dislike, all based on our own choices.
That is freedom.
That is democracy.
That is ‘democratic debate.’
For the Liberal government to now be declaring that the free exchange of ideas undermines ‘democratic debate’ is a Communist-style double-think argument that presages an attack on free expression, and attack already underway with the Liberals having pushed Bill C-10 and Bill C-36.
Things have reached the point where we really have to start calling this what it is:
Rather than defending the Western Democratic values of free speech and free expression, the Liberals are pushing a Communist-style censorship agenda that would destroy one of Canada’s strengths – the free exchange of ideas.
They are doing so using the ‘boiling-the-frog’ strategy, where they don’t take away freedom of expression all at once, but every little thing they do further undermines it, until we reach the point when people are shocked at how much freedom they’ve lost without truly realizing it – until it is too late of course.
Consider how the Liberals first boosted funding for the CBC (government propaganda arm), then bailed out newspapers, then expanded government funding to ‘private’ media, and then expanded government ad spending, shunned – and even arrested – independent media journalists in the 2019 election, imposed taxes on streaming services, introduced Bill C-10, and then Bill C-36 (which they will surely reintroduce if the get back into power), and now are planning to further impose centralized government control over content they admit is ‘legal.’
This is a Communist-style censorship agenda in slow motion, and that’s why we must continue to fight against it with all of our strength.
Photo – YouTube